DeathSmiles IIX Original Soundtrack Liner Notes
Manabu Namiki - Lead Composer
Thank you for waiting! We were able to release the soundtrack to DeathSmiles II as a bonus with the Xbox 360 version's release. So, please give me a moment to talk about my memories of the production.
I had already composed the music from the beginning of the game until the city for the AOU (All Nippon Amusement Machine Operators' Union) debut version. The father of the game, Mr. Junya Inoue, had told me to "remix the main theme," and I had to find a way to fuse my gothic-loli shooting game music from the first game with a Christmas feel. It was a process of trial and error.
And then in May the game came out in arcades, and with the addition of Kamikura's monuments and Kudo's ruins to the compositional palette. Add to that the collaborative effort on the Mirapalace zone (mainly by Kamikura) and my own false angel zone in updated version from July, as well as the live-recorded vocals on Kudo's "Decisive Christmas Eve Battle," and you can see how much the breadth of DeathSmiles' music has expanded from the previous game.
As you can hear, while the previous game gave a prominent role to guitar, this time we brought vocals and chorus to the fore. "Let's take this Christmas eve mood to the next level with the power of the voice," I felt. How do you feel about it?
For the final update in November, I slipped in the name and demo music as a personal favor for IKD-san (Tsuneki Ikeda), and this year I wrote two tracks for the additional stages in the 360 version. And when I arranged the music for the downloadable content, the thought that "looking back on it, I've been working on DeathSmiles II for over a year now" welled up within me.
While I hope that you fully enjoy the 360 version, which includes all of these things, I hope that you enjoy this soundtrack for a long time.
Finally, I'm going to have to let this out, since I've been holding it in for the whole time. "Try keeping your energy as if every day for over a year you are celebrating Christmas and compose! It's so damn hard! ...(fall flat)..."
Noriyuki Kamikura - Composer
Although I was only a guitarist on the previous game, this time I participated as composer, and I wrote two of the stage themes.
The first was the ruins level. I composed a waltz piece based on the ideas of "a suspicious building, where something might come out at any time" and "cute but eerie." In the track you can hear a "rumbling male laugh" and "a child's cute but eerie voice." I used a number of methods, but they are all based on my own voice. After everyone at the company had gone home, at midnight when it was pitch black in the studio, I sat alone in front of a microphone and recorded myself going "hahahaha" and "hehehehe," laughing, making odd voices as loudly as I could.
The other piece I wrote was the first part of the last stage, Miripalace. I thought about the dark palace music from the previous game, and felt "I want to make something more aggressive, something with even more feeling!" So, I added in the same phrase in the second half in the guitar solo so that fans would have these kinds of "ah!" moments. Namiki-san, who was music director for the entire project, listened countless times to this piece and gave me advice. Likewise, Kudo, who participated both as composer and guitarist, helped with manipulation of the choral part and provided a powerful guitar solo in the first half. I feel that all of us working together on this piece made it a truly powerful track.
Finally, I hope that all of you continue to love both this soundtrack and the game for a long time.
Yoshimi Kudo - Composer
Hello!! This is Kudo of Basiscape. Straight from Jitterballad, where it's always the middle of the Christmas season, I present to you the DeathSmiles II soundtrack. Let's enjoy it, shall we?
Well, this time, in addition to composing, I did manipulation on the choral parts and played lead guitar. I would be very glad if some of you have realized this already, but in this game the chorus doesn't simply sing "ah" or "ha" — it was programmed to inflect in actual vowels and consonants. This is something unique about the game, and I figured that I would try to create a convincing performance in order to bring out the humanity in Christmas.
In my guitar playing, I wanted to bring out the special feelings of Christmas that quietly boil in one's heart — that excitement — through nuance. I looked at the Christmas images I had collected, and somewhat shyly, yet somewhat uplifted, I stood up and recorded.
Changing topics to my compositions, in the monument stage, I emphasized the aforementioned mixed choir, and the combination of male and female voices made for an imposing piece. My first challenge was to write a primarily orchestral piece for a shooting game. I wanted to instill a sense of unease in the player while conveying both a hint of large scale and of gothic horror.
And then there was the final boss music. I arranged the Ave Marias of Gounod and J.S. Bach, and Yuki Watanabe-san handled the vocals. When the decisive battle on Christmas Eve reaches its climax, chimes, bells, and the choir are added to the techno base.
Please enjoy this soundtrack on Christmas... no, not just on Christmas. Please enjoy this soundtrack all year round.
Liner Notes Translated by Ben Schweitzer. Do not republish without written permission.