Sakurai: I Wrote The Lyrics For Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s Lifelight

Sakurai: I Wrote The Lyrics For Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s Lifelight

The Weekly Famitsu has published a feature on Lifelight, the main theme for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

In the feature, Lifelight composer Hideki Sakamoto and Japanese Lifelight singer Erina Koga share some important details from the development of the song. According to Sakamoto, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate director Masahiro Sakurai was the man who wrote the song’s lyrics, while Sakamoto himself arranged the song.

Although Sakurai wrote the lyrics to the song, he asks fans not to dwell on it as it “sort of breaks the illusion”.

Here are all the key points as translated by Source Gaming:

  • Koga didn’t know the details of the job when she accepted Sakamoto’s invitation to work together. She happened to like Smash Bros (playing as Kirby), so she was really surprised. She didn’t know Sakurai was the creator of Kirby when she met him – she looked him up afterwards.
  • Sakamoto submitted his first draft, and was told to redo the chorus to be more orchestra-like. Sakurai wanted it to be a song you wouldn’t forget after hearing it for the first time.
  • Easier said than done! Sakamoto struggled a lot to achieve that, and finally one day the melody came to him in the middle of the night, so he rushed to his computer to save it.
  • He knew the main theme would have various arrangements, and that it would have vocals, but also realized that what players would be listening to the most would be the menu music. He worked a lot on editing the different arrangements. Sakurai wrote the lyrics.
  • About 6 months before the final recording – the song was already in a high key, and Sakurai wanted the key to change another half step higher at the end to really make an impact, but it was hard to sing and Koga just couldn’t get that last high note to come out.
  • But right before the final recording, she was able to do it! She practiced a ton to hit and sustain that long high note.
  • [After the song was premiered but] before Koga was publicly named as the singer, many people on social media were naming veteran singers who they thought it was. Meanwhile Koga was thinking, “But it’s me!”, though she couldn’t say it yet (laughs).
  • She was named as the singer on 11/28, her 18th birthday. Her name became the top search on Yahoo, greatly surprising her friends. She was actually surprised because the announcement was supposed to go out that night, but it happened during the day.
  • Sakamoto notes that the song was properly shown in the E3 2018 video, but if you listen closely to the game’s announcement teaser from March 2018, you can hear the theme being sung in acapella (it’s not Koga singing).
  • Koga is currently studying for university entrance exams. She thought about going to music school, but intends to enroll in a regular 4-year university, and aims to become a voice actress.
  • She plays the new Smash and has unlocked all the characters, but she’s used to Kirby, so she doesn’t use the other characters at all (laughs).
  • The feature’s final comment from Sakurai: “By the way, I don’t really want to touch upon the fact that I wrote the lyrics. If it becomes like this message coming from the production side, that sort of breaks the illusion, so please don’t dwell on it.”

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