Levi "Doctor Octoroc" Buffum is an American chiptune musician and pixel artist currently based in Philadelphia. Drawing influences from 80's pop culture and beyond, primarily video games from console systems made by Nintendo, the artist initially gained notable Internet recognition in December 2008 with his chiptunes album of Christmas songs arranged in the style of different NES games, entitled 8-Bit Jesus.
He later made a name for himself as a freelance artist, creating 8-bit and 16-bit parody animations, most notably his re-imagining of the Internet sensation Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog (original film by Joss Whedon) as a theoretical Nintendo game. Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Game was released in April 2010 and since then, "the Doctor" has created similar works of animation based on Twilight, Jersey Shore, Glee, Harry Potter, Doctor Who, and Man Vs. Wild.
As a chiptunes artist, Doctor Octoroc uses a modded NES as an instrument via MIDI CC signals that manipulate the console's hardware. He also composes tracks using soundfonts ripped from Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis games.
Doctor Octoroc has released three official albums.
"8-Bit Jesus is an album of classic Christmas songs arranged in the style of classic video games for the Nintendo Entertainment System."
The album was originally made available on December 8, 2008 as a free nine-track download from DoctorOctoroc.com, as an extension of the track that Doctor Octoroc contributed to the Foundation 9 Holiday Card, featuring ten other chiptunes artists, including 8-Bit Weapon and ComputeHer. After the small collection of tracks appeared on sites like Kotaku, Joystiq, Boing Boing, and Destructoid, Doctor Octoroc created nine more tracks for an even eighteen tracks total, which he posted to his blog on December 22. A few days later, he had to take his dog "Einstein" to the vet for an emergency surgery for bladder stones, so he asked fans of the album to consider donating towards the download in order to help pay for the operation and in return, he sent physical copies of the album to anyone who donated $15 or more. The complete physical album became available in a 6-panel digipak, designed by Jude Buffum, and includes an additional bonus track titled "Let It Snoki Doki Panic".
Along with most of the parody animations that "the Doctor" creates, he releases the accompanying soundtrack as a free mp3 download.
- Dr. Horrible's Sing-along Game OST (2010)
- 8-Bit Twilight OST (2010)
- 8-Bit Glee OST (2010)
- Jersey Shore: The RPG OST (2010)
- 8-Bit Harry Potter OST (2010)
- Man Vs. Wild IV: Infinity Bear Saga OST (2011)
Doctor Octoroc has arranged and composed many tracks not featured on albums or in collections, including track contributions to Here Comes A New Challenger, Loser: A Sega Genesis Tribute, Iwadon: Hiroyuki Iwatsuki Tribute Album, and a 16-Bit arrangement of the Doctor Who (series 5) theme, as well as a similar arrangement of the opening song for the short-lived FOX TV show, Firefly.
After the response to his 8-bit Dr. Horrible rendition, Doctor Octoroc secured himself in the "classic video games parody animation" niche. As a result of the popularity that ensued after he released Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Game, he began creating similar animations for The Station, CollegeHumor, Dorkly, and other web sites.
Full Length Animations
Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Game (April 2010)
Initially created to visually accompany Doctor Octoroc's 8-bit arrangement of the Dr. Horrible soundtrack, the 8-Bit Dr. Horrible animation became the focus of the project, gaining attention from many of the cast and crew members of the original film. Among them, Felicia Day, Neil Patrick Harris, and Maurissa Tancharoen made positive mention of the animation on Twitter. The animation was also mentioned by celebrity gossip extraordinaire Perez Hilton, incorporating the moniker "Internet genius" into his description of the creator. In addition, a screenshot from the animation showed up during the 2010 Google I/0 day 2 keynote during a presentation about the beta of YouTube Lean Back.
Below is a list of animated shorts created for various websites.
- 8-Bit Twilight (June 2010)
- 8-Bit Glee (September 2010)
- 8-Bit Harry Potter (November 2010)
- Jersey Shore: The RPG (December 2010)
- Mario's Night Before Christmas (December 2010)
- Mario Paint Torture (January 2010)
- Man Vs. Wild IV: Infinity Bear Saga (June 2011)
- Saved By The Bell Interactive Game (August 2011)
- Game of Thrones RPG (August 2011)
- YTCracker: The Link Music Video (July 2010)
- Firewall (November 2010)
- 16-Bit Doctor Who Series 5 Intro (June 2011)
- EneMemes (September 2012)
- "Official Doctor Octoroc Website".
- McWhertor, Michael (2008-12-22). "8-Bit Jesus: The Second Coming Of The First Album". Kotaku.
- "Official Dr. Horrible Webpage".
- McElroy, Justin (2010-04-07). "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog recreated in 8-bit style". Joystiq.
- "8-Bit Jesus Home Page".
- Boyer, Brandon (2008-12-08). "8-bit Jesus, the NES themed chiptune holiday album". OffWorld.
- Crecente, Brian (2008-12-19). "Listen In On A Very 8-Bit Christmas Album". Kotaku.
- Bryant, Matt (2008-12-17). "Doctor Octoroc Presents 8-bit Jesus". BadRobotBrain.com.
- "Apple iTunes".
- Caoili, Eric (2010-12-02). "After These Messages: Doctor Octoroc Returns With Chiptune Mixes Of Classic Shows". GameSetWatch.
- Caoili, Eric (2011-03-09). "Shamroctoroc: Chiptunes For St. Patrick's Day". GameSetWatch.
- "Here Comes A New Challenger". Game Music 4 All.
- Ruybalid, Anthony (2009-10-12). "LOSER: A Sega Genesis Tribute". Game Music 4 All.
- "Iwadon - Hiroyuki Iwatsuki Tribute Album". VGMdb.
- Simon, Perry Michael (2011-05-26). "A SNES-Style "Doctor Who" Opening Sequence". Nerdist.
- "16-Bit Firefly Theme Song (Joss Whedon)". 8-Bit Collective.
- Z, Z (2010-04-06). "Doctor Octoroc Presents 8-Bit Doctor Horrible". Wired.
- Day, Felicia. "Twitter".
- Harris, Neil Patrick. "Twitter".
- Tancharoen, Maurissa. "Twitter".
- ハフマン島, Jeriaska (2010-05-17). "8-Bit Doctor Horrible is Just What the Octoroc Ordered". 1UP.com.
- Hilton, Perez (2010-04-06). "Neil Patrick Harris - Old School Video Game Style!". PerezHilton.com.
- Miller, Ross (2010-05-20). "Live from the Google I/O 2010 day 2 keynote!". Engadget.
- Gibson, Megan (2010-07-01). "8-Bit Twilight Eclipse Interactive Allows You to Control Bella, Edward and Jacob". Time Magazine.
- Benedetti, Winda (2010-09-22). "'8-Bit Glee' gives the TV show an old-school gaming makeover". msnbc.
- Dobbines, Amanda (2010-11-21). "Play the 8-Bit Harry Potter YouTube Game for Geeks". NYMAG.com.
- Ward, Kate (2010-10-07). "Jersey Shore: The RPG': So good, Ronnie would smush it". EW.com.
- McWhertor, Michael (2011-06-29). "Of Course A Bear Grylls RPG Would Include Copious Piss Drinking". Kotaku.
- Harrison, Josh (2011-08-05). "Play The 'Saved By The Bell' Interactive Game". Geekology.
- Schaffer, Dean (2011-08-12). "Videogame Music Wizard Doctor Octoroc on 8-Bit Music, Zelda, and, Naturally, Antonin Dvorak". SF Weekly.
- McWhertor, Michael (2010-11-16). "The Console War Fought Final Fantasy Style". Kotaku.
- "Official Doctor Who Tumblr".
- D'Orazio, Valerie (2011-05-27). "The Daily Geek: Sesame Street Zombies, Doctor Who SNES, and Spidey With A Sammich". MTV Geek.