Translated from RBB Today, 2005.12.13
The XBOX 360 game "Over G" (Taito), slated for release on February 23,2006, is a realistic fighter jet simulation. However, the premise is that you're not just a fighter pilot. This allows for a more realistic entertainment experience. Combining gaming elements with reality, it is supported by the feature of Janne da Arc's "Destination". Two years ago, the producer, hearing the love call of Janne da Arc, made plans to have their powerful music connected to their project, to be used in the game itself as well as the commercials.
Now that the composition is finished, Janne da Arc's yasu (vocals) and kiyo (key) are granting interviews, and we too wished to get in on the trend.
Now, please tell us the whole story of how this whole thing came about, with the sponsorship of the "Over G" project.
kiyo:The conversation about the company's desire for us to make the song for "Over G" actually took place about two years ago. But, because we were recording an album at the time, and had so many things in our schedule, until now the timing didn't fit. But because the producer from Taito told them, "I absolutely want Janne da Arc's song!" finally, we were able to compose it for "Over G".
When you heard that it was a fighter plane simulation game, what kind of musical composition were you aiming for?
yasu:As far as the lyrics were concerned, the key words of "the sky" and "wind" appeared quickly, but because we didn't know what kind of game it was to begin with, we ended up with a very basic idea of how to answer the question of "What kind of music would an airplane game have?" Doing it that way, each member thought of their own idea of the music for an airplane game, and of course, they differed. However, kiyo's explanation differed strongly from mine. When I wrote the initial words, the theme was "The Woman I Love is Trapped Behind Enemy Lines". At the beginning, I had that image. Because I had heard that it was more of a fighter jet type of shooter game, that image solidified in my mind from a previous game, "Energy Air Force".
kiyo:As for the melody, Janne da Arc's hard sound showed through in the completed piece. Because it held the feeling of being free, and of the valiant actions of the fighter pilots, I felt it fit "Over G" perfectly.
In the same way as yasu, the image of "Energy Air Force" solidified in my mind as well. With that process in mind, there was also a human element included as I started to pay attention to the fact that this wasn't just a simple fighter pilot game, it was also saying something about the struggles of humanity. While simultaneously making the piece like a Janne da Arc piece as well as making it coincide with the worldview of "Over G", it was perfected.
What were your feelings about composing game music? Surely, you had the sense that you wanted to abolish traditional game music?
yasu:In the old games, for example, the Nintendo, there was a really insufficient sound source. However, there were a lot of really impressive melodies. The melodies where you could only hear the one base melody brings to mind those old TV games. "There's only three or four real tones to use, but people in the world can make this much music?!" that's what we thought, and so we had a deep respect for it. Compared to the Playstation's CD quality sound, though, it's rather desolate (laughs). But, I don't feel any dissatisfaction at all toward traditional game music. On the contrary, we were worried as to just how much we would be able to do. (laughs.) At that point, we decided we wanted to make a song with a very strong impact. Finally seeing the song match the game in the TV is the most fun for me.
You've said that it's 'hard and melodious', the Janne da Arc sound...you've finished this song in the same fashion?
kiyo:That's true for this song, however, because we made it with the idea that it would be going live, it's all right for it not to have keyboards at the beginning; we pulled the guitar to the front, to hammer out the intense feeling. But, the melody leaves a rather strong impression as well...and that's how we knew it was finished.
Did you consult any other fighter pilot games when you were writing the piece?
yasu & kiyo:It has the sense of another company's work, "Energy Air Force".
Please tell us about the games and game music that you like.
kiyo:"Chrono Trigger" and "Chrono Cross". When I was 20, I happened across them, and they left a deep impression on me. The person who composed the music for that series, Yasunori Mitsuda, is just two years my senior; something that I was surprised to learn at the time. I thought that game music was really neat, so for a while I thought earnestly about composing game music myself. (Laughs.)
yasu:"Alkanoids"! Oh, wait...that one doesn't have music! (Laughs) Generally, I love video game music. I've bought so many different soundtrack albums...(yasu)
Certainly, yasu undertook the task of including a Taito game in his unique way of joking ("Alkanoids" was Taito's old block-shooter) and of course have proven both he and kiyo as gaming fans, so the interview progressed with a genial atmosphere.
Do you have a game that you both like to play, against one another?
kiyo:Of course, I don't compete with my fellow members~ My favorite game genre doesn't allow for that. I love games like "Grand Theft Auto" and driving technique-related games.
yasu:I'm the opposite of kiyo—I don't like to drive cars unless they're sports cars. (Laughs.)
Surely, after "Over G" goes on sale, you're going to play it; but how are you playing it?
yasu:Surely, other than hearing the theme song, I want to become the best player!
kiyo:Because I like to have everything in its place, to the most minute detail, I'll master takeoff and landing! (Laughs.)
The theme song "Destination" will be released on all three versions of the "Furimukeba..." single, released in a CD only form and a CD+DVD on February 8, 2006. We recommend this song for both Janne da Arc fans and gaming fans alike. For those of you who can't wait for the game to go on sale, listen to the CD and let your expectations grow!