The Bit-Crushed Heart – Sonic Nostalgia in Hyper Light Drifter

Developed for as part of my MSc, this is a video essay about sonic nostalgia in Heart Machine’s game, Hyper Light Drifter (2016).


As a main source this essay uses Svetlana Boym’s The Future of Nostalgia (2001), and considers her concepts of Reflective and Restorative nostalgia, comparing the audio development strategies employed by Heart Machine, and contrasting them to those employed by Yacht Club Games in their game Shovel Knight (2014). I was fortunate enough to be able to interview Akash Thakkar, the sound designer on Hyper Light Drifter, for this essay. He was very helpful in sharing candid insights into what went into (and what people get from) the audio in Hyper Light Drifter.