From the Western-infused opening of Wild Arms to the vocalized battles of the Persona series, music is an essential element to any great RPG. For our upcoming PS4 and Vita RPG, Cosmic Star Heroine, we knew we needed an amazing soundtrack — so we teamed up with Hyperduck Soundworks (Dust: An Elysian Tail, Penny Arcade’s On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 4, Kingdom Rush: Frontiers). Here to tell you a bit about the composing process is Chris Geehan from Hyperduck.
Chris Geehan: For the Cosmic Star Heroine soundtrack, we initially wanted to harness our own personal love for 80’s and 90’s film, game, and anime music, going from the Blade Runner soundtrack scored by Vangelis, to the Lethal Weapon soundtracks scored by Michael Kamen, David Sanborn (Saxophone), and Eric Clapton (Guitar), from the Grandia soundtrack scored by Noriyuki Iwadare, to the anime soundtrack of Bleach scored by Shirō Sagisu. The list just kept growing, bigger and bigger, and the influences are indeed vast.
Having such a large scope for music styles and influences is an exciting thing, and takes a lot of care and consideration to make sure that while you may go from sci-fi jazz funk to robotic rock military marches, you still keep a cohesive value throughout, and every song that has its moment, deserves it.
I think I’ve been preparing myself for a soundtrack like Cosmic Star Heroine for a long time, building up a collection of hardware synths (Roland D550, Roland JV2080, KORG Triton, KORG M3M and a few others), so it feels great to finally scratch that itch so to speak, in regards to getting to write a soundtrack with all these influences — and in this fantastic future-world Robert and Bill are building.
We’ve previewed some of the songs below where you can see a few of the varied styles and influences, the first being the spy theme, made for… well… when that episionage knob is cranked to 11, and it’s time to spy hard or go home spyin’… er, tryin’…
All the horn sounds are from sample libraries and a lot of work went into trying to make them sound as realistic as possible. The overall result was sci-funk; a blend of short horn phrases, funky mute guitar, upbeat drums and percussion, groovin’ bass, and a whole lotta synth. Initially we wrote the song without the synthetic layers in it, and realized that it needed something to connect it to this world that was essentially an imagining of the future from a 80’s perspective. After that we found it blended right into the sound palette and the visual palette of Cosmic Star Heroine.
I’ve shared a few more themes below, and I could talk about them all day, but for now you’ll just have to enjoy them!
Cosmic Star Heroine will be at Playstation Experience so be sure to stop by our booth and check it out!