The Vanquish Soundtrack


Filed: Community, Games, PlatinumGames, Vanquish

Hello everyone. I’m Vanquish composer Erina Niwa. I’ve been on the Vanquish team for over 2 years now, so my memories of the start of development are a bit hazy these days. However, I’m going to do my best to recall what I can and give you some insider information about the music you will hear in Vanquish.

Vanquish, as you know, is a shooter with strong action and speed elements. As the world of Vanquish is set in a SF imagining of the near future, I realized that the game would definitely need heavy synth elements, and then went to work.

With a lot of Western TPS games, the soundtrack is either rarely used, or when it is used, it seems to lack punch, but one of the things that Mikami-san told me that he wanted for the Vanquish soundtrack was for the music to “be the backup dancers for the game.” As we developed the game, a clear sense of speed emerged, as did the game’s hook, so the background music had to match that. This all lead to the up-tempo, banging soundtrack in the game today.

Even within PlatinumGames, there were those who said that the soundtrack didn’t sound like a shooter soundtrack, but since Vanquish is so aggressive, we made the soundtrack more along the lines of something from an action game. It is a blending of genres, from techno, to industrial, to breaks, metal, jungle, and even some Hollywood style scoring.

Another thing Mikami-san said was, “Make sure it doesn’t end up P.N.03-esque.”

“Make it a battlefield. Make it militaristic,” he added. “The game may look like SF, but the soundtrack should be gritty and war-like.”

Having that SF-style feel of the near future but matching it with grittiness is something that is very hard to pull off at the same time with music, but I took the tracks and genres that we were already working on, and looked at how we could add the grittiness of war into these tracks. Then it was a matter of dissecting these key ideas, and reassembling them as music.

Actually, when I started thinking of militarism, it reminded me of the track that they used in the Advanced Wars commercial here in Japan, and even during production, that track would pop into my head from time to time. Those were the days… But I digress…

The game won’t be released for a little while longer (October 19 in North America, October 21 in Japan, and October 22 in EU/PAL territories), but I really hope you all get your hands on Vanquish and give it a try.

One more thing…

The Vanquish Original Soundtrack will be released in Japan on October 27, 2010. It’s all the intense music from the game, spread across a wonderful three disc set.

It also features tracks from our awesome collaborators on this project, Masafumi Takada, of The Silver Case, killer7, God Hand, and No More Heroes fame, and Masakazu Sugimori, composer on Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (GBA) and Viewtiful Joe (GC) amongst others. At 3990 yen, it is a bit pricey, but once you get great at the game and then start thinking the music was awesome, the soundtrack is the perfect companion!

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19 Comments Add Your Own

Dixon Francois Jr. Posted on September 9, 2010 at 7:13 pm

I enjoyed reading this and I'm happier that The Vanquish OST is available. Ordering it overseas is okay however, please attempt adding an OST disc as a special edition to your next triple A game because I'll gladly buy it :-)

Majid Posted on September 9, 2010 at 7:15 pm

Well I must say that PG already blessed us with the soundtrack of Bayonetta

The same goes for all of eir previous titles from Killer7 to VJ to the legendary Okami

to of course God Hand.

Even Madworld's soundtrack was awesome , so I am full of confidence at this CD

collection sounds like a day 1 to me!

Keep up the good work and I sincerely wish you the best all the way

for you are one of very few Japanese studios out there that know what they are

doing whilst every body else is just Americanizing their productions to appeal

to the western gamers.

Well done!

Anthony (++Good Game Posted on September 9, 2010 at 7:18 pm

I have GOT to get this!!!!! The demo for Vanquish was the best 'demo' I've ever played for a game, and I love the speed of the title. I feel so guilty as I deemed Bayonetta my favorite game off all-time (even surpassing Strider) — and it may only hold the crown for another 6 weeks. One thing is for sure — Shinji Mikami knows how to make a game!!! Also, I love the theme that plays during the demo's boss-battle. What is the name of that track?

SonicTHP Posted on September 10, 2010 at 1:32 am

Oh wow, Masafumi Takada. Now I really want the OST.

FAUNA Posted on September 10, 2010 at 1:41 am

Awesome. I especially love the break-beats. Did you compose any of BAYONETTA or OKAMI's score?(which were the best ever). After playing the insane mind-blowing awesomeness that is VANQUISH, all else seems so boring. I fully agree with MAJID about Japan 'westernizing' their games. It's not a good idea & doesn't make a game better. Japanese art/style is always way better. In VANQUISH, you seriously ARE playing an anime. This is what I've been waiting for…

Dracorian Posted on September 10, 2010 at 8:39 am

I LOVE the cd cover design! I am so looking forward to this!

Vesshra Posted on September 14, 2010 at 8:50 am

Soundtrack sounds great. I just hope there's an option to play the European release with Japanese voice and English subtitles, as it appears the original Japanese version is voiced in Japanese.

EL_DIABLO Posted on September 22, 2010 at 8:08 pm

Will there be a custom soundtrack feature like in Bayonetta?

Dodgers Posted on September 25, 2010 at 1:17 pm

The first demo's backround music seemed exactly as descripted here – not as heavily present, like some other games in this generation, for example Megaman 10, Scott Pilgrim or Yakuza 3, but it sure does grows to the player. Also, I'm happy that the OST will feature many musical styles across the tracks -metal? YES!-, and not just one style all the way. Plus, Masakazu Sugimori as one of the composers? His work on the first PW game was excellent, so i'm looking forward to his work too.

But the game is easily one of my favourite games of the year, judging by the demo, and I hope i'll can say the same regarding the OST too. Keep up the good work!

Shawn Posted on September 25, 2010 at 10:47 pm

I will be getting it! I am already loving the soundtrack in the demo! :D

deafwing Posted on October 23, 2010 at 10:12 am

This is probably my only complaint about this game

– the back the box clearly states – "custom soundtrack"

but you can't play it

What's going on Platinum Games? Will we see this or what?

Alsina Posted on October 29, 2010 at 3:18 am

Please can you release it also in Europe or in iTunes ?

brooklyniteOne Posted on November 5, 2010 at 6:05 am

Loving the soundtrack. Great work!

joe blow Posted on April 3, 2011 at 10:20 pm

Seriously one of the best soundtracks I have heard. I'm in awe. Nice to hear something that actually feels different, yet has a "techno" feel. And yet is totally proficient, technically (granted, I'm no music critic).

Joe Posted on August 11, 2012 at 10:33 pm

Erina you're amazing and I love you.

Joe Posted on January 4, 2013 at 9:51 am

Erina you're still amazing and I still love you.

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