Ace Combat 6 -Fires of Liberation- Original Soundtrack Liner Notes
Tetsukazu Nakanishi - Sound Director
"The battlefield drama of a squadron of pilots." Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation began from that slogan. To us on the staff, the form that that battlefield took suprised us. We had to convey the various dramas that unfolded there in sound, and we faced our own battlefields with the weapons of music, sound effects, and voices.
"Okay, Sgt. Kobayashi, go for the next one! What? You don't have any ammo? Is it over?"
"I'm going out in front, cover my tail!"
"An urgent telegram from headquarters... ALL UNITS, HEAD NORTH. What on earth? We can't move right now! We're in the middle of a firefight!"
"The final weapon has to stay incomplete until the last second...is that some kind of twisted rule?"
"You're going over the sea alone. You have to return with it. Leave this place to us; we're counting on you."
During production, all of this drama unfolded for us in reality... or probably not!
As for the pieces that we used in the game, during the mixing, we had to mix them in with the sound effects and the voices and find a good balance, so we had to pull back on the dynamics from what is on these discs. On the other hand, all of the music was produced in surround, so I think that aspect is the most enjoyable in the game itself. But in the production of this soundtrack, we remixed the music to work better in stereo and brought back the full dynamics we had planned originally. Something closer to our intentions as composers, so that you can enjoy the music as much as possible. So, close your eyes, and against the thrilling backdrop of the open sky, imagine your own Ace Combat 6 world. That is all I ask.
Keiki Kobayashi - Music Director
How did Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation turn out? To say that I feel liberated, well, it's a half truth, and I hope you enjoyed it. So, this time, I flew to London and Bulgaria to record a live orchestra and boys choir. The night before I left, I was up late occupied with another matter and didn't have time to pack, so I hopped onto the Narita Express with only the score and my PC (and pants, shirts, and a toothbrush...), without much sleep. Upon arriving in London, I met with the staff there, and immediately went off to Sofia, the Bulgarian capital. In Bulgaria, we recorded in a wooden hall like something from the Nazi era. The acoustics in our studio were amazing, and with our earnest and excellent musicians and superior staff, we weathered the storms and rode the waves of recording. At any rate, we had left Japan for London and then Bulgaria, the homeland of yogurt, roses, and Kotooushuu, for this very work. We had gone too far to come back and say "we tried, but it didn't turn out well, hehe."
Even if my words didn't get through, even if I were ripped off by a taxi driver, even if President Bush were staying in the same hotel at the same time, even if I were to be given a body search by the special police, I couldn't let it get to me. Along with my colleagues, I overcame the highest hurdles, and as I was able to clear them, left my anxieties behind. After I left, I returned to London, and recorded the boys choir. Everyone from the Trinity Boys Choir did a wonderful job, and the result is perfect! I have no complaints.
Outside of these recording sessions, there was a lot of other work being done on Ace Combat 6, and every day was truly and literally dramatic. But it was because of that that we believed that this game (and its audio) would be finished. This is thanks to everyone who worked on the project, but it is also because of all of you who love the Ace Combat series. Thank you all so very much. Finally, I would like to take this time to express my deepest gratitude to everyone tied to this game.
Oh, and I think an explanation is in order. Everyone, I present the "Sayings of Nakanishi-san" corner! Here are the sayings of Nakanishi-san (out of order):
1. ALL UNITS, HEAD NORTH
Right at the height of development, we had to move our base of operations, and everyone on the development team was complaining about it. So, since Project Aces moved from Yokohama to Shinagawa, we "headed north" (please refer to a map).
2. An urgent telegram from headquarters
It means that the message from our superiors... well, it certainly came quickly (very urgent).
3. We're in the middle of a firefight!
It means "Hey! We're in the middle of developing Ace Combat 6!"
4. What? You don't have any ammo? Is it over?
There's no deeper meaning in this one.
Let's all meet again sometime!
Hiroshi Okubo - Composer
Hello, this is Okubo, and I worked on some of the BGM for this game. So, a new main series game, Ace Combat 6, has arrived on the next generation of systems. I came into the project mid-way, so when I first saw the graphics, I got goose-bumps. I had already worked on a number of games for next generation consoles, so I would have thought that I had become accustomed to high definition graphics by that point. Even so, I was surprised. "To think that games have come so far..." I thought. I am always eager to see the times change, to see how things develop. In this way, the players and the developers are the same.
I composed six pieces of background music for this game. I got a request from the music director, Kobayashi, and the contents were just as I had expected. They were put in a giant warplane and a missile attack stage (laughs). These two missions are becoming classics, and it seems like whenever they ask for me, they're involved. It's quite an honor.
This time all of the music was mixed in surround for the game itself. Since the CD is in stereo, please take the time to play the game in a home theater environment as well. It's really amazing.
Junichi Nakatsuru - Composer
Hello, this is Nakatsuru, and I have continued to participate in this series' music following my work on 5 and Zero. When I received the e-mail telling me "Please write a comment for the liner notes, okay?", the thought that "soon, everyone's going to be able to hear the music" welled up in me. At the same time, I thought "have I done everything I could?" and "I really had a tough time with that track" and "the bentou I ate at the studio was really good," and so forth. It was a good opportunity to look back at all the things that had happened during development.
Most of you who have received this album have already experienced Ace Combat 6's magnificent sound. Did you enjoy playing it? In addition to the increased presence of the sound effects and script, the familiar music team has again produced music by turns cool and burning with passion. Since the game supports surround sound, the music was produced from the beginning with that in mind; we looked to take advantage of the additional separation. My only regret is that you cannot enjoy the surround sound on these CDs (rest assured that the idea was discussed). If you are not in posession of a surround sound system, please take this opportunity to get one. After feeling the overwhelming presence and power of the sound, you'll feel like "I've been missing out all this time," and you'll be surprised by the music playing in-game all over again. And on these CDs, I hope you enjoy the uncompressed, pure versions of the music. You'll enjoy your favorite tracks even more.
Ryuichi Takada - Cinematics Composer
Hello, everyone. This is Takada, composer of the cutscene music. How was Ace Combat 6? Through the game and its cutscenes, many people could live in the world of Ace Combat 6, if only for a short time, and I hope that you were able to feel closer to the lives of the characters. The cutscenes were given the utmost consideration, in order to present the background for the story that was not conveyed through the gameplay, and in order to draw players into the game's world.
It is not preferable to be overexpressive and make the music stand out excessively, but nor should the music be made excessively bland in order to stay out of the way, given that would leave no impression whatsover after one has finished. I wanted to leave players with a faint sense of relief from the weight after watching the cutscenes, so my problem was figuring out what kind of music would have that effect. My solution was to emphasize matching the most important lines of dialogue with the music. Whatever feelings the script aroused would be the impetus for the music. All of the characters' situations, their pasts, and their few hopes for the future were in the script for the drama. If you were able to experience the emotions of these characters and walk in their world, then to me as one who walked with them in music, there is no greater happiness.
Liner Notes Translated by Ben Schweitzer. Do not republish without written permission.