The Last Remnant Original Soundtrack Liner Notes


Commentary

Tsuyoshi Sekito - Composer

I first started working in games when I was 24 years old. 22 years and one job later, here we are! Can you believe it? That's almost a quarter of a century of gaming! I've worked on titles for the Game Boy, MSX, Genesis, TurboGrafx-16, and Arcade, but there is one experience that really left a lasting impression on me, even now.

I was stationed in Chicago, in the United States, where I was working on Arcade games aimed at Western markets. The game we were working on was on schedule, the sound was almost complete, and it was the first day of location tests. Note that this day was in the middle of the coldest Chicago winter in 30 years... The temperature was hitting -20°C. Still, it was a very important day.

Ready to head to work, I went out to the parking lot only to find the entire thing covered in ice. Finding my car within the glacier was the first challenge... I used water to melt the ice from the windows and front door, and finally could get inside. It was insanely cold! But the engine started up with one go. Hooray for Japanese cars! So, I was free of the parking lot, but, as the roads, sidewalks, and buildings were all the same icy white color, it was incredibly difficult to tell where I was going. Add to that my terrible sense of direction, and it was a full five minutes before I realized I was going the wrong way.

At length, I made it to the shopping mall to prepare for data collection at the location test. Just as we finished making the final tweaks to the game machine, a pair of middle schoolers put in coins! (This was incredibly gratifying.) They played for a while and then wandered off.

Afterwards, an element school-aged child started to play... He was tiny, but he was good. With only one coin, he made it 10 minutes... 15 minutes... and, eventually, a businessman joined in as second player. Three minutes passed, then the businessman had to put in another coin... and another coin... and still another coin... What is this madness? This kid is amazing!! Eventually the businessman stopped putting in more coins. And then, BAM, he kicked the cabinet and stalked off. But the kid kept playing. By now, we were' wondering if it was a bug, so after the kid finally left, we checked the cabinet. Everything was in working order, so the location test continued.

On the way home, the snow had turned everything into a virtual ice rink, so it was a slow and steady drive home (safe, thankfully!). When developing arcade games, it's common to do location testing directly before releasing the game to the public. However, this is one of the few points where we and the players have a chance to connect. Of course, that sort of contact is impossible with console games. It makes me a little sad. However, nowadays, imagining people enjoying games and game soundtracks sitting in front of their TVs, or with portable audio players, really reaffirms my joy for making games.






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