Shadows of the Damned Sound Director Akira Yamaoka Talks Audio Influences

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Shadows of the Damned Sound Director Akira Yamaoka Talks Audio Influences

Shadows of the Damned for PS3

Greetings fellow demon hunters! I’m the Sound Director and Chief Creative Officer at Grasshopper Manufacture. Some people may know me from my work on the Silent Hill series, but today I’m here to talk about our latest game — Shadows of the Damned, out now on the PS3.

Music plays an incredibly important role in setting the atmosphere for games, and it’s especially vital in an action-horror game like Shadows of the Damned. When scoring Damned, I tried to imagine tracks that would bring Hell to life for the player and the lead character Garcia. Designing music isn’t always the most transparent task, so in this blog post I want to explain my thoughts behind the creation of a few tracks included in the pre-order bonus soundtrack.

Shadows of the Damned: Garcia entersShadows of the Damned: Eerie streets

Broken Dreams


You could say I created this track to be the title song for Shadows of the Damned. Originally, I had planned to make it a duet, as sort of a theme for the two lovers: Garcia and Paula. I wanted to match the heavy, aggressive sound to the game world with Paula and Garcia at the center. I never thought that the game´s genre had anything to do with it, never made it sound the way it is just because it´s an action game. It´s a long song – over seven minutes – but you can think of it as a compressed version of the experience you´ll have playing the game and venturing into its hellish world.

I used a special seven-string guitar to get the sinking sound. I think you´ll get a heavier impression from this than you are used to hearing from a guitar.



This song was made for the scene at the beginning of the game when Garcia is riding the bike. It´s not an interactive section, but I wanted the song to give the impression of rushing along at high speed. I suppose it´s an easy musical style to understand. By putting this music in the game, I wanted to create the player to feel like a motorcycle section could start at any second.

Flash 01


When I first saw the artwork being used for the game, Jan Švankmajer immediately came to mind. Then I began to think of the streets of the Czech Republic. It differs from the world you experience in the game, but I imagined Czech animation I used to watch a lot when creating this song. No matter the musical style, if I work on music for a game, I want to surprise the players with a new experience beyond any they´ve played before, even those works I´ve been associated with. I think that thought process is apparent in this music.

Thanks for reading! I want to thank everyone for the feedback we’ve been getting on Twitter, Facebook, and forums all over the Internet. We’re both proud and humbled by the fan comments. We’re currently working on a limited edition Shadows of the Damned Official soundtrack. Please look for it this Summer!

Also, Play For Japan: The Album, an industry wide charity album featuring composers like Koji Kondo, Nobuo Uematsu, and Sean Murray, will be available for digital download through Amazon and iTunes next week! All proceeds go to help earthquake and tsunami relief in Japan.

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