Ace Combat 5 -The Unsung War- Original Soundtrack Liner Notes
Keiki Kobayashi - Music Director
This is the music director, Kobayashi. I got here because of my participation in Ace Combat 4. Because the story is greatly expanded, we recorded over 90 tracks, a historically large number! As for the contents, we didn't stop at achieving a full orchestra sound; we recorded the Warsaw Philharmonic's performances of the main and secondary themes, versions not heard in the game. We even recorded a new arrangement of the previous game's ending theme, "Blue Skies". All of this in an amazing four disc set! (laughs) We may have overdone it in terms of volume or quality, and this soundtrack overflows with emotion, but every track and performance was necessary for us to communicate the game's vision fully.
We began the lengthy production by wondering, "what is the vision of this game, and how do we help to create it?" At any rate, the plan for the story was "during the second war, a group of people playing around," and looking into it, that was the way the contents were directed. The search keywords were "country," "war," "unit," and occasionally "SAM," "hangar," "base," and so forth — nothing unusual. (laughs) I accepted that I would have to keep tabs on the information department that had to exist. Doing that, I investigated the history of the war, its details, the background of the era, and the people who experienced it. Very soon I came to feel the things the characters might have felt in those moments — feelings of being crushed, of the strength that comes with standing on one's feet, and of the desire for peace. These are the feelings that are important in Ace Combat 5. Having this point of reference, I was able to compose without holding back. In the story, the song "The Journey Home" is sung as a symbol of peace. It would be wonderful if modern society were to become more peaceful, and I cannot help but hope.
Here at the end, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Joe-san (your lyrics were wonderful), Mary-san (I was moved to tears by your performance), Liz-san (thank you very much for your wonderful singing), everybody in the Ace Combat 5 Chorus Team (you are all wonderful, and I absolutely want to work with you again), Goto, who played guitar (always a pain to work with, and I look forward to next time!), and everyone else (I've exhausted my vocabulary; thank you very much!). Let's all meet up again sometime.
Tetsukazu Nakanishi - Sound Director
Nakanishi here. Always a pleasure (laughs). Did you take time to enjoy Ace Combat 5's grand vision? When the game's background music becomes intertwined with the developments, the sound, and the acting, then I have succeeded in my role.
Now, what role will the music serve for all of you if it is separated from the game, I wonder. You could use it to recall your memories of the game, or you could listen to it casually, or it could accompany you while you drive. Some of you could even use it as BGM for a completely different scene! The music here has been separated from the game and compiled again, so that it can take on new roles.
Well then, let's all meet up again sometime.
Hiroshi Okubo - Sound Creator
Hello, this is Okubo; I was in charge of BGM. I've participated in the Ace Combat series since the second instalment, but since the style changes with every project, it's always enjoyable. At the beginning of Ace Combat 4's soundtrack liner notes, I wrote that "Once again it was an enjoyable project to work on." I had pulled out the previous game's album when I started wondering about what I should write for this one, you see.
I have to say that, regarding this project, I feel the same way. I was the primary BGM composer for the arcade mode, but I was also able to contribute a number of pieces to the campaign mode as well. For the arcade mode, I tried my hand at composing guitar pieces. Most of the time guitar parts like these are made to be played really easily, but that's no way for me to get better. So I composed whatever I could dream up. The guitarist, Goto-san, responded excellently to my inscrutable requests, like "more manly" or "with more passionate feeling," and presented me with many passionate phrases. The passion in his work made the air in the studio get hotter. I'm sweating, I thought... then I realized that the air conditioner was off (laughs).
By the way, "Elemental Particle 2" is a remake, or a remix, of "Elemental Particle," which I composed for Ace Combat 2. Please note the slap bass line.
Junichi Nakatsuru - Sound Creator
Hello, it's Nakatsuru, and this is my first time participating in an Ace Combat game. Until now I had enjoyed the Ace Combat series as a gamer, so it took time to get used to the idea that I was really going to be involved in it. That is to say, although I understood from the beginning what the language that made something "Ace Combat-like" was, I couldn't speak in my own words, and the pieces I created at the beginning were strained, like a cat borrowed from someone else.
Speaking of cats, back in summer 2003 when I was beginning to write music for Ace Combat 5, I had just started to raise a dog (a corgi). At the time he was only a puppy, but now he's grown to maturity, and recently if there's something he doesn't like, he'll tell me so (laughs). After I had raised the dog for half a year, I was finally able to express the vision of Ace Combat 5 in my own words. This time four composers worked on the project, and everyone's individuality comes out throughout the music. Why don't you immerse yourself in the rich variety of this music, and remember the scenes from the game?
Katsuro Tajima - Orchestrator
I had also helped out with Ace Combat 4 in the past, and it was an honor to be connected in some way to the game, I remember thinking. Well, this time I worked on the arrangement for two pieces by Kobayashi-san, but the demos were nearly complete as they were and I felt I had to do very little. To all of the fans who listen to this album, I hope to continue to work on the Ace Combat series in the future as well.
Liner Notes Translated by Ben Schweitzer. Do not republish without written permission.