Ace Combat 04 -Shatterd Skies- Original Soundtrack Liner Notes
Tetsukazu Nakanishi - Sound Director
This is the sound director, Nakanishi. Looking back, I first participated in the Ace Combat series with Ace Combat 2, and then with 3 and now 4 I have become the sound director. Certainly, within that time, the expressive power of the games' visuals has improved dramatically, but more than that, we have created more realistic images than ever within a virtual world. And with a deep world that has been established down to details invisible to players, the Ace Combat series is amazing!
Those invisible parts... For those players who live in this world, in this place, what state of mind are they in? What kind of time are they spending...
These were the themes I wanted to find ways to express. In the graphics as well, there was a theme of blue imagery. Even in the opening, the explosions that connote red are left behind and this world begins to speak, softly yet powerfully. It continues consistently through the ending credits, as I am sure all of you who have finished the game know already.
We needed to provide a different kind of "passionate score" for this new Ace Combat. The sky, war, grandiosity, anxiety, anger, sorrow... our direction was immersed in these various concepts. They became the groundwork for this new music.
At a listen, much of it seems dark and subdued, but in reality it is brimming with passion. The feeling comes over you slowly. You could call it a "concealed passion," I suppose. This passion is not an explosion but a combustion, although both are heat all the same. It shows itself not only in the openly showy displays of fighting spirit, but also in its attempts to hide itself under a cold exterior. These contradictions and dissonances... I believe that these must be the pilots' feelings. If you listen to the music by itself, separated from the game, you may find you feel something new in it.
Well then, let's meet again somewhere, sometime!
Hiroshi Okubo - Composer
Hello, this is Okubo, composer of some of the score and the ending theme. I have worked on every Ace Combat game since Ace Combat 2, but since the kind of music is different every time, I find it to be very interesting work. I enjoyed this project as well.
For the score, I took the requests from each of the directors into account, found the right thickness and intensity for a sound that matches the images, and, as with the ending theme matching the sidestory, I crafted each piece carefully.
Stephanie Cooke-san, whom I met through the American record label King Street Sounds, sings the ending theme. She has a beautiful voice and ties up the sidestory wonderfully. Please listen as memories of the game wash over you.
Keiki Kobayashi - Composer
Hello, this is Kobayashi. In Ace Combat 04 the key concepts were "The boundless, looming sky. The shadows of warplanes, friend and foe alike, disappearing among the clouds. The futility of war, and the desire for peace." Jet fighters were created in order to fight, but at the same time, they are planes that can soar freely through the sky. The magnificence of being able to fly through the sky freely, independently, and the fact that they are flying armed for battle. These jet fighters hold both of these opposing characteristics together. In the game's sidestory, a man called "Yellow13" appears. Maybe he is one who has felt the futility of war. How do those of you who have played it feel?
Katsuro Tajima - Composer
This is Tajima, composer of some of the music for the sidestory. There were some places in the second half of the game that required more subtle expression. Understanding that the feeling of "wabisabi," the slow, deep breath that unfolded in the music required a full knowledge of the guitar's essence, I remember giving a number of directions to the performer during recording.
Well, the opening piece — a free chorale — had strangely caught the ear of the director from Studio4°C when the demo came out. It's the one the solo guitar sings out beautifully at the beginning of the sidestory. I am sure many of you fans were surprised by how this unsuitable element suited this mechanical game so well. I believe that, in the end, the guitar performance worked out.
Liner Notes Translated by Ben Schweitzer. Do not republish without written permission.