Astral Chain Lead Composer Shares Five Music Samples On Latest ‘Sounds Of Science Fiction’ Devblog

Astral Chain Lead Composer Shares Five Music Samples On Latest ‘Sounds Of Science Fiction’ Devblog

Platinum Games has gone all-out on its Astral Chain development and they haven’t gone cheap, even on the game’s music score.

The latest of the developer blogs discussed the various elements and technicalities surrounding the process for composing Astral Chain’s background music. The lead composer have also shared five music clips straight from the game’s soundtrack.

Satoshi Igarashi, the game’s lead composer, wrote and produced almost all of Astral Chain’s background music. He also handled its overall technical implementation.

Astral Chain launches exclusively for the Nintendo Switch on 30th August 2019.

Check out the music samples, which you can download by clicking the links, and details below:

Each area of the game has its own combat and non-combat music for you to enjoy, and I’d like to start off with some of the calmer, non-combat music.

“Ark Mall”
Composed by Satoshi Igarashi

This background music appears in out-of-combat situations in a major shopping mall on the Ark. I know this particular sample is decidedly on the electronic side of things, which I’ll get to in a second, but for now please listen for comparison’s sake! This non-combat music lacks strong percussion or heavy guitar, and keeps the tension pretty low in general. That’s so we get maximum contrast the contrast when the combat music kicks in…

“Ark Mall (Combat Phase)”
Composed by Satoshi Igarashi

…like so! This is the standard combat music for regular fight scenes in the mall. As I said before, ASTRAL CHAIN’s combat music is primarily built around metal guitar sounds. As far as genre goes, this piece is more rock than anything else, but it still has some of those electronic sounds mixed in to emphasize the near-future sci-fi setting. Since these fights take place in a major shopping center, I tried to give even the combat music a bit of a cosmopolitan feel.

As you play ASTRAL CHAIN, keep your ears peeled for these contrasts between combat and non-combat music!

Neuron and Chill

I wanted to keep the metal-style drums and guitar locked in to combat music to make the fight scenes stand out loud and clear. That meant that out-of-combat scenes need a relatively calm, peaceful approach. ASTRAL CHAIN is set in a future not too far off from our own, with plenty of advanced electronics on display – holograms, augmented reality, and so on abound. Even the Astral Plane and the chimeras themselves are portrayed as solid digital data. And what better way could there be to emphasize the futuristic, digital nature of the setting than through electronic music?

“Task Force Neuron”
Composed by Satoshi Igarashi

This is the background music for the police station where the Neuron officers go about their day-to-day work. Neuron HQ is their refuge from the dangers of fighting chimeras, so the music can’t have too much tension. If you scroll back up to the genre chart for a moment, you’ll find this sits comfortably within the “electro” area at the bottom left.

It isn’t too relaxed, or too dramatic; it doesn’t swell majestically and it isn’t too cool. In short, it’s a natural choice to accompany the everyday scenes you’ll spend with your fellow officers during downtime. However, Neuron HQ is a very important place in-game, so I didn’t want this music to melt completely and forgettably into the background. Balancing those seemingly contradictory goals was a big challenge as I wrote this song, but I think the result fits ASTRAL CHAIN’s setting like a glove.

Turn up the Drama!

Most of ASTRAL CHAIN’s combat scenes come with rock music, but there are a few points that call for a little more pathos – climactic boss battles, for example. When metal and electro don’t quite cut it in terms of drama and scale, that’s when we bring in the big guns: massive orchestral sounds.

“Homunculus α”
Composed by Naofumi Harada

You’ll hear this during one of the boss fights. This boss is a big one, and needs music to match. The orchestra gives this piece more tension and a greater sense of scale than the mall combat music I shared earlier.

But of course, the orchestra you hear here is no ordinary orchestra; we’ve added synthesizers and digital percussion to the mix to make sure the music is unmistakably from ASTRAL CHAIN. This helps it fit in alongside the music from other genres.

Mixing it Up

If you’ve listened carefully to all these samples so far, you’ve probably noticed something. The electro pieces have a touch of guitar; the metal and orchestral pieces have synthesizers on display… There’s more than a bit of genre-mixing going on. Combining genre elements like this (a touch of metal here, a dash of electronica there) keeps ASTRAL CHAIN’s score sounding cohesive all over the Ark. For example, there are electric guitars all throughout; sometimes distorted, sometimes clean, but almost always there.

I’d like to share one more clip today that will make this genre-mixing crystal clear…

Composed by Satoshi Igarashi

You might recognize this one from the very first ASTRAL CHAIN trailer. The official title is a bit of a spoiler, so I can’t share it here, but you’ll definitely know it when you hear it in-game.