Commentary of Sonic Forces “A Hero Will Rise” Original Soundtrack

Take a look at the composers’ thoughts behind the soundtrack of Sonic Forces.

Here is the full transcription of the Sonic Forces Original Soundtrack – A Hero Will Rise soundtrack, published by Wave Master Entertainment on 13 December 2017.

The transcription, taken from the international physical release of the soundtrack’s booklet, included commentary from composers Kenichi Tokoi, Naofumi Hataya, Tomoya Ohtani and Takahito Eguchi. Portions of the transcription have been fully translated into English.

We would like to thank our contributors Wongalov for presenting this transcription for the public record, and Kyoni for supplying the four images presented in the article.

An image of the physical release of Sonic Forces Original Soundtrack – A Hero Will Rise. (Wayo Records)


Commentary

Disc 1

  1. Fist Bump
    The prototype of “Fist Bump” was the fruit of trying numerous different demos on a sequencer, none of which I let anybody else listen to. Musically, I wanted a main theme to capture the essence of high speed confusion, different things happening one after another, which resulted in a main theme with a complex construction and many transitions. I was looking for the best combination of Japanese and Western music. (Ohtani)
  2. Theme of the Resistance – Title Screen ver.
    The title screen acts as the Resistance base of operations, so I decided to re-use the Theme of the Resistance (Disc 01 Track 06). However. I also wanted to present the quiet tension before the battle, so I used a new version where the percussion had been pulled. I like the rich atmosphere this gives the title screen. (Ohtani)
  3. Cutscene – Quickening of Evil
    In a dimly lit laboratory deep in Eggman’s secret base, an eerie shadow of a figure emerges from an experimental culture-fluid tank. In its chest is a shiny Phantom Ruby. The chord sequencing interchanges between larger and smaller waves expressing a suspicious breathing, as something unfamiliar sits awaiting its chance. (Eguchi)
  4. Lost Valley
    One option was to jump straight from the first stage into a serious no-holds-barred musical number, but director Kishimoto preferred that the next tune should be bright and cheerful in usual Sonic style, so this is what I came up with. The first Modern Sonic stage song is based on a conventional band sound concept featuring drums, bass, guitar, piano and synth. (Ohtani)
  5. Cutscene – A Hero Falls
    The robot army that Eggman created turned a peaceful city into a sea of fire. In the background, Tails looks set to save Sonic, but then … To emphasize Sonic’s heroic entrance, we introduced a fanfare-style phrasing to the music using a synth, which provided a contrasting texture against the orchestra. The result is a London Symphony Orchestra/Synth hybrid. (Eguchi) 
  6. Theme of the Resistance
    We pushed forward with a simple, strong core melody to emphasize the hope for victory, indomitable courage, and the strength of spirit to keep fighting back despite kickbacks and overwhelming odds. The demo was initially written as a variation on the main theme, but ultimately it was adopted as the Resistance theme. (Eguchi).
  7. This is Our World – A New Hero
    This song is only played once during the game, when creating your custom Avatar for the first time. This is a stem-mix of “This Is Our World” with the percussion removed. The orchestral parts which were recorded at AIR Studios, London, retain their sense of presence, making them a valuable sound source. (Ohtani)
     
  8. Fighting Onward – Space Port
    The Avatar stage song concept is a modern EDM synth with vocals built on a Drum’n Bass style beat. Like a first skirmish, the song required considerable courage to approach, and the lyrics reflect these inner conflicts. I was shaken by Jon Underdown’s breathy singing style when he performed live at Tokyo Game Show. (Ohtani)
  9. Action on the Rails
    This song plays when you jump off the train at the Space Port and use the wire to narrowly avoid the buildings. The sense of tension as you try not to fall, just moments before collision, was achieved by adjusting the tempo in a manner similar to that of other stage songs. I wanted the music to synchronize with the final lock-on cursor, which builds up the excitement until the moment the button is pressed. (Tokoi)
  10. Cutscene – It’s Good to See a Sonic
    This is the song that plays when Classic Sonic makes his first appearance. By Producer Iizuka’s suggestion, we synchronized the close-up of Sonic’s face with the Classic Sonic phrase (the title screen song of “Sonic Mania”). As a result, I could clearly express the appearance of “Another Sonic from Another Dimension”. (Eguchi)
  11. Ghost Town
    I was hand-picked as official assistant for Classic Sonic songs. As we needed to revisit the synthesized sounds of the Mega Drive (Genesis) era, I allowed my feelings to slip back in time 20-odd years. It was strange to me how easily I could do this. Adding a melancholy edge to evening scenes is vital. (Hataya)
  12. Unstoppable
    I replaced the “Fist Bump” hook with an FM Synthesizer version. I essentially just copied the baseline and other parts of the original recording by ear, but even with this unusual sound color I was impressed that the sprinting feeling of the original remained intact. (What?!) (Ohtani)
  13. Cutscene – Frightful Reflection
    The scene of Avatar’s retrospection. During the battle against the Eggman army, Infinite laughs cruelly as he coldly annihilates the Resistance fighters. Avatar picks up the weapon of a fallen ally and resists as he might, but the difference in power is undeniable. His whole body trembles against the overwhelming force that he knows he’s no match for. Infinite’s terrifyingly cold callousness is expressed by a mellow but distorted melody. (Eguchi)
  14. Nowhere to Run – Prison Hall
    Two songs by vocalist Madeleine Wood were recorded at Richard Jacques’s studio in London. I loved the nuance of a girlish voice over-stretched to adult proportions. While rushing to the Death Egg to search for Sonic, I needed to express anxiety and feelings of hopelessness together with a tiny glimmer of hope. (Ohtani)
  15. Cutscene – Zavok Appears
    Taken From “Sonic Lost World”
  16. Battle with Death Queen (Battle with Zavok Remix)
    This is a remix of the BGM for “Battle with Zavok” from “Sonic Lost World”. I decided to go with a Dubstep style, raising the tempo significantly and adding plenty of gimmicky sounds. Additionally, I “freely borrowed” some of the orchestra material we’d recorded and mixed those right into the powerful Dubstep!! This was one of the more challenging tracks to put together, but I think it was also the most fun. (Tokoi)
  17. Egg Gate
    Modern Sonic stage music is based on a conventional band sound concept, but another element I was thinking of adding was a stirring trance-like synth melody. I used a highly syncopated rhythm to try to express the sense of Sonic purposefully advancing after his eventual release from capture. (Ohtani)
  18. Danger in the Sky
    Having now escaped, Sonic leaps between fighter planes as he shrugs off attacks from the Death Egg and infiltrates the prison satellite. The coolness as he cockily exchanges barrages, and the atmosphere of his infiltration, is reflected in the ticking passage of a string melody. As the scene occurs in the middle of the stage, I needed to build up the climatic tension right from the start. (Tokoi)
  19. Arsenal Pyramid
    As the circumstances of the Tag stages change dramatically, I decided to alternate between Sonic’s band sound and Avatar’s synth sound. The basic construction of the song follows the same pattern as “Fist Bump” and features a strong lead into the hook, and a melancholy melody. (Ohtani)
  20. Arsenal Pyramid (Interior)
    After the Double Boost run up the side of the pyramid, the song switches at the entrance to mark the infiltration phase. The whole stage is set on a rotating mechanical gear, so a synth based EDM song seemed to fit. For this piece, the synth sound came from a NEXUS reFX. (Ohtani)
  21. Double Boost!
    The way the lead-in to hook from “Fist Bump” flowed was to have the tension build and build until it finally explodes into a sprint. It simply had to be used for the Double Boost. I searched the game for various situations in which the main theme could be used, and was very glad to find this scene. There’s also a short version for quicker staging. (Disc – 2 Track 21) (Ohtani)
  22. Luminous Forest.
    I often struggled over what kinds of songs I should write for jungle scenes, casino scenes, bomber raid scenes etc. With this song, I tried writing numerous versions before settling on something that felt right. The musical direction is very similar to “Theory of Attack” from “Sonic Runners”. The short electric bass break reminds me of punk music, which was one of my early influences. (Ohtani)
  23. Coiled to Strike
    This is the song that plays when suddenly confronted by a giant snake in the jungle. There were a lot of elements to include, such as the snake’s sudden appearance, the senses of speed as you glide along its back, being eaten, followed by the sense of achievement as you beat it down with a homing attack inside its belly. The song may be short, but it also took the most adjustment to get right. (Tokoi)
  24. Taking it Back
    “Because this plays right after clearing a high speed stage, I want the sense of tension and uplifting highs to linger as the results are displayed. It absolutely needs to be this fast!” This was how Ohtani explained his request for a tempo of 180 BPM. That’s the kind of terrifying speed our hero Sonic lives by! Watching the London Symphony Orchestra tackle it was also incredible! (Eguchi)
  25. This Is Our World – Phase 1
    I created this by isolating the A melody part from the “Orchestral Theme” playing the “Fist Bump” motif. Because it appears in the early stages of the story, it reflects a relatively calm atmosphere. It is however an important song that repeats frequently and encapsulates the game universe as a whole. (Eguchi)
  26. This Is Who You Are
    This song is played as you watch the mechanical menu screens. It’s an orchestral arrangement of the theme song motif punctuated by electric coloring. When Ohtani listened to the first draft of the arrangement, he suggested the EbM7 -F/Eb chord section be added. The state of the in-game universe may be dire, but the Sonic-like pop sound should linger in the player’s mind. (Eguchi)
  27. Up To The Challenge
    Many techniques are used for extracting a part (Stem) from a completed song and devising variations based on it. This song was made in such a way, but what was it extracted from? The correct answer is … The rhythm and synth sequence of the World Map song. (Disc – 2 Track 22)
    (Ohtani)
  28. Mission Failed
    We had the luxurious good fortune of being able to record one of the world’s most preeminent orchestras — the London Symphony Orchestra  — at the prestigious “AIR Studios” in London. It’s almost horrifying to me that in such a place with such incredible musicians, we needed them to deliberately mess the song up this badly. The studio was awash with laughter… (Eguchi)
  29. Fist Bump – Instrumental ver.
  30. Fist Bump – Piano ver.
    I wanted to make a piano version of the main theme “Fist Bump”, so I prepared a simple demo and asked Yutaka Minobe to prepare a fleshed out arrangement. I then had Koji Igarashi perform the arraignment on a Steinway piano at ONKIO HAUS Studios which I recorded at 96 kHZ 24 bit. I never tire of listening to it! (Ohtani)

Disc 2

  1. Infinite
    I thought about setting up the character nature of “Infinite” with a Dubstep, Trap x Heavy Rock sound. Also, I wanted to put a rap part on either the main theme or the Infinite theme. Dangerkids’ Tyler Smyth worked the song right the way through mix and mastering, which in my mind gave it a powerful western feel. (Ohtani)
  2. Cutscene – You May Call Me “Infinite”
    A theatrical movement in the style of Infinite’s theme. If Avatar’s retrospective scene shows a fearful stillness in the face of such unfathomable cruelty, then this scene shows the dynamic of Infinite’s overwhelming power. The London Symphony Orchestra provided a lively performance with the string and woodwind sections capturing the speed and tension, and the brilliant sound of brass bringing a hefty sharp edge that pierces straight through. (Eguchi)
  3. Battle with Infinite – First Bout
    The first song of the Infinite battle. Did you notice that the key is lower than that of the vocal version? This was actually the key I’d originally written it in, but the final key as recorded was changed at the recommendation of vocalist Tyler Smyth. I still liked the original lower key, so I revived it here for the boss battle. (Ohtani)
  4. Faded Hills – Green Hill
    I talked about altering the seriousness of the stage song to accommodate “Modern”, “Classic” and “Avatar”. That’s not to say that it isn’t serious at all, just that it doesn’t have to be overly serious, in Classic Sonic style. Although this early stage shows the devastated Green Hill Zone, it boasts a cheerful and upbeat musical tone which is unusual for this title. (Ohtani)
  5. Battle with Egg Dragoon Mk. II
    The battle against Eggman as Classic Sonic song really has to be catchy and charming, at least according to my thinking. The gameplay is quite straightforward, so it needs a more verbose riff to drive the action. As the gameplay changes to its second form, the music also needs to change with it. Not really related, but the bushy grass swaying in this stage really got under my skin. (Hataya)
  6. Cutscene – The Phantom Ruby ~ Evil Deed
    This song connects to “Cutscene – Quickening of Evil”. The first part expresses how Eggman’s plot to destroy the world steadily progresses with the swell of the “wave”, and the second part is the plan which is finally put into action, the world surrounded by fear and flames, everything going to ruin … I approached the writing from a bird’s eye point of view. Every time I listen to it, I feel like the strength has left my legs. (Eguchi)
  7. Justice – Park Avenue
    This was the first song that I wrote for the Avatar stages, so I think that many of my initial inspirations and the other elements I wanted to include are all condensed into it. The vocal part presents the image of fragmented dance music vocals. I think of this song as the Avatar stage lead song. (Ohtani)
  8. Casino Forest
    After considering how to differentiate the Modern and Classic Sonic stages, I decided to go with a classic sound that is more stoic than the songs found in “Sonic Mania”. I got a real kick out of playing with effects from the Mega Drive (Genesis) era such as sequence delay, modulation and stereo positioning etc. (Ohtani)
  9. Moonlight Battlefield – Aqua Road
    The vocals in this song are sung by Nana Hatori, who performed live at Tokyo Game Show. The vocal part was not meant to be part of the song so much as a sample seemingly shoehorned in, so I thought it might be tricky to sing live, but she nailed the performance nonetheless. Moonlit Battlefield is a beautiful stage and I felt this fitted it perfectly. (Ohtani)
  10. Sunset Heights
    This was the first stage that the developers worked on, so it was a tough choice deciding which song should lead the Modern Sonic stages. Needless to say, this was the one we went with. With a melancholy melody and a beautiful dusk background. I wanted to express that even in tough circumstances, you have to push forward. (Ohtani)
  11. Cutscene – The Fake
    Original Music taken from “Sonic The Hedgehog”
  12. Virtual Enemies – Capital City 
    Stage songs for this title were written with consideration of the overall progress of the story. During this stage, the song showcases the virtual reality technology developed by Infinite and the thrill of the gradually increasing confidence of Avatar. The dark voice in the middle saying “Don’t believe…” was processed as a formant. The song ends suddenly like the plug has been pulled on the virtual reality world. (Ohtani)
  13. Cutscene – This Is Your Moment!
    Another confrontation between Avatar and Infinite, but memories of the overwhelming difference in power continues to haunt him. His spirit is revived by Sonic’s inspiring words, “Show strength when things are at their worst. Drive forwards when you’re scared.” The part where Avatar turns his despair into hope, fear into courage, and rises up again will bring a lump to your throat. (Eguchi)
  14. Battle with Infinite – Second Bout
    It was suggested that the second Infinite battle use the same song as the first, but I felt the gameplay pacing was different, so I prepared another version of the song with a modified arrangement. The wobble bass and tricky synths are an important element of Infinite’s sound, so this version really brought all of these to the surface. (Ohtani)
  15. Cutscene – Divine Intervention
    “AIR Studios” in London, where this song was recorded, was constructed by George Martin in a remodeled church. The gorgeous studio ceiling is tall and graceful, and there’s even a pipe organ. The reverberation texture is outstanding, and even in track down this was used to maximum effect, a powerful sound that spread with a sense of a tense sharpness. (Eguchi)
  16. Chemical Flow – Chemical Plant
    When I considered what kind of song should we use for Classic Sonic stages, for some reason a funk image came to mind. Funk numbers performed on the “YM2612” FM synthesizer—the sound chip from the Mega Drive (Genesis)—come out crisp and melancholy. This was the kind of sound I was going for. (Ohtani)
  17. Fist Bump – FM ver.
  18. Red Gate Bridge
    I wrote this song very early in the game’s development, and many of my idea fragments for the overall musical direction of “Sonic Forces” can be found here. I had no intention of using this song in the final version (I wrote another song for that), but I couldn’t let go of this first attempt, so it was later added to the stage entry routine. (Ohtani)
  19. Mark II Locks On
    This is the song that plays when you encounter the huge Death Egg Robot raging in an urban area. A dynamic spectacle of directorial staging takes place during this scene, so I wanted to use a powerful orchestral song to differentiate it from the stage song. I had the strings play semiquaver passages to emphasize the sense of speed, while the brass section produced bursts of longtones to provide weightiness to the song. (Tokoi)
  20. Battle with Metal Sonic [US ver. Remix]
    This is a remix from the “Sonic CD” US release. To produce a Metal Sonic “duplication” by the power of the Phantom Ruby, I decided to take the remix approach like I did with Zavok. Based on the PSY-Trance genre, I authored this chase song with a real sensation of speed. The wobble bass increases the wickedness by 30%! (Tokoi)
  21. Double Boost! – Short ver.
  22. This Is Our World – Phase 2
    “The music of the World Map needs to adapt to complement the rising tension of the final stage. Take the development part of the orchestral theme song and write phase 2.” This song was my answer to Ohtani’s idea and request. It is also a variation of the intro motif. The song loops naturally, and keeps the sense of exhilaration high without ever becoming tired. (Eguchi)
  23. Episode Shadow
    Although we could have used the same song for the “Episode Shadow” World Map screen as we did for the other stages, it seemed more in keeping with the character to change it, so I opted to remix the “System: Select” track from “Shadow the Hedgehog” which featured the riff “I Am… All of Me.” I kept some of the original track while changing the tone color. The guitar by Jun Senoue is completely new. (Ohtani)
  24. Enemy Territory [Westopolis Remix]
    The stage song for “Episode Shadow” is a remix of the “Shadow” theme song used in previous titles. It is mostly remixed from the first stage “Westopolis” of “Shadow the Hedgehog”, but also features phrases from the “Radical Highway” stage of “Sonic Adventure 2”. (Ohtani)
  25. Eggman’s Facility [Rhythm and Balance Remix]
    This is a remix of the “White Jungle” stage song from “Sonic Adventure 2”. Shadow’s musicality of previous eras was formulated around techno, breakbeats, digital rock etc., so these aspects were reinforced in this reconstruction with original breakbox and synth parts. There are hints of “Jungle” in there too. (Ohtani)
  26. Virtual Reality [Supporting Me Remix]
    Likewise, this song is a remix of the Biolizard battle, also from “Sonic Adventure 2”. This was reconstructed by first checking the original sound source data to see what was in there, and then adding new sounds as we went along. The vocal part of the original recording was significantly distorted, so I reworked this to make sure the lyrics were audible. (Ohtani)
  27. Cutscene – Infinite’s Beginning
    Infinite with his devastating strength and ruthlessness. An event in the past shadowed his birth. Ohtani provided a stem as an overall image demo and audio resource, and I worked the arrangement based on this. With little decided regarding the musical direction and instruments to be recorded, the song worked itself into its current shape. The wild guitar part is all Jun Senoue’s performance. (Eguchi)
  28. Fist Bump – SXSW ver.
    For most of you, this is probably the first Sonic Forces song you will have heard. To sneak preview the main theme at the SXSW (South By Southwest) event held in the US during March of 2017, we prepared a version where the melody line was performed on guitar. Guitarist Susumu Nishikawa advised on how to break down the A melody into a guitar lead. (Ohtani)

Disc 3

  1. This Is Our World
    This song is positioned as the authentic orchestral theme. The magnificent performance of the London Symphony Orchestra, the acoustics of AIR Studios, the engineering, everything was extremely professional, and I’m very glad both to have experienced such a recording environment, and that such beautiful sounds can be brought into the game. (Ohtani)

    I explored the direction of arrangement based on Ohtani’s theme sketch of two different songs. “Serious (but not too dark), sense of weight, epic feel”, “Rapid tempo, but no need to give a sensation of speed”, these were the requests I had to follow. Ultimately, a medium tempo arrangement of the current intro was decided on. (Eguchi)
  2. Set in Motion – Guardian Rock
    I had the idea that I wanted to add vocals to all Avatar stage songs, so I presented this song with provisional lyrics added, and it was well enough received that I was given the go ahead to proceed. I particularly like the dance rock vibe and the somewhat wild feel. (Ohtani)
  3. Death Crab Pursuit
    This song is for a scene where you are being pursued, by a Death Crab. I initially made the song as a sequenced techno style track, but I wanted to add something different, so I asked Kenichi Tokoi for his thoughts, and in response he provided the rhythmic string phrases. I couldn’t come up with this by myself. (Ohtani)
  4. Network Terminal
    This song was the result of aggressive performances by all the regular rhythm section members. This drum part is irreplaceable with this band line-up, and the bass line gives a real sense of running at high speed. Susumu Nishikawa’s strumming guitar sound also makes this song a must-listen! (Ohtani)
  5. Network Terminal – Interior
    Because the gameplay tempo is different in the earlier outdoor areas, we decided to write a different song for inside the facility. Most of the songs give the sensation of running, so I decided to contrast it with a medium tempo funk track. An electric bass was recorded through a synth bass effector, and while the wow cutting is original, I can’t help feeling a sense of nostalgia. (Ohtani)
  6. Death Prison – Death Egg
    I had difficulty interpreting Ohtani’s instructions to give this song the “seriousness of Classic Sonic”. I tried playing the developer ROM, and boy was my mind blown! My head began to swim as my consciousness slid back to my time working on the late development Mega Drive (Genesis) era “Hybrid Front”. I completed the task without further issue. (Hataya)
  7. Cutscene – Scrambled Death Egg
    The Resistance succeeded in destroying the Phantom Ruby powered “Death Egg”. The unsettling image of Infinite standing calm and composed before a trembling Eggman is expressed with flute and harp, which illustrates a quietly meandering pad and the occasional glimmer of the Phantom Ruby power that will continue to shine on. (Eguchi)
  8. Metropolitan Highway
    Although it sounds more like a sequenced track than a conventional band sound, this was all recorded with real drums, bass and guitar. I had considered whether or not to program a bass in, but I decided to include Akinori Yamada’s “organic groove” (old expression) bass performance instead. We made this uplifting track as a rock band producing analog trance! (Ohtani)
  9. Cutscene – Null Space
    Sonic has finally caught up with Eggman, but it’s a trap! Sonic and Avatar find themselves sucked into “Null Space” by the power of the Phantom Ruby. The music for this part emphasizes the sense of tension, eeriness and coldness by becoming expressionless, indifferent. (Eguchi)
  10. Null Space
    The piano phrase that appears in the interlude of the main theme represents “Null Space”, and it’s from this troubling situation that the two combine their efforts to form the main theme of “Fist Bump”. The song “Fist Bump” came first, and I decided later on the direction of arrangement for this stage, such as adding a chorus part. (Ohtani)
  11. Fist Bump – Escape from Null Space
    To play immediately after exiting Null Space, we prepared a looping version of the section of “Fist Bump” just after the guitar solo. I really wanted to insert the main theme into a scene that was consistent with its lyrics, but in addition this also happens to be one of my favorite sequences from the game. I think it turned out to be very exciting, don’t you? (Ohtani)
  12. Cutscene – Nothing Can Contain Us!
    Sonic and Avatar have escaped Null Space and must now return and confront Eggman. They couldn’t do it alone, but working together…  The scene allows a glimpse of the unwavering subtext that flows beneath the main story, I find myself unwittingly remembering the enthusiastic “fist bump” between staff after a successful day’s recording in London. (Eguchi)
  13. Cutscene – Sun of Despair
    Finally, the lines of the Eggman Army and the Resistance collide, As a fierce epic battle proceeds, Infinite invokes the power of the Phantom Ruby. An enormous sun appears in the sky. I composed the music to match the images on the screen, and worked hard to ensure the intonation flowed with rather than against the visuals, (Eguchi)
  14. Fading World – Imperial Tower
    As with “Prison Hall”, the vocals are by Madeleine Wood. The stage didn’t have much sense of speed, so I broke it into 4 EDM tracks. I requested a breathy style in the vocals as the song already featured so many breaths. It seemed novel to have this kind of female vocal track attached to such a climactic scene. (Ohtani)
  15. Cutscene – Valor and Wonder 
    The looming sun. In this scene of impending crisis, a lone figure flies away towards the burning sun. His strong heart and resolute desire to save the world activates the power of a prototype Phantom Ruby, which brings about a miracle. The composition features intense change, the resonance of the rich gems of the London Symphony Orchestra gleaming impressively. (Eguchi)
  16. Mortar Canyon
    For the last stage of the story, the synth expresses a sequential one step forward, one step back, attack and retreat pattern, while the piano and strings envelope the song with a dramatic air. It gives the image of running as fast as you can but getting nowhere. I particularly love that there are dramatic strings underpinning the rock beat. (Ohtani)
  17. Cutscene – Infinite Showdown
    Sonic finally catches up with Infinite, and the fight between them begins. The power of the Phantom Ruby has paled, but Infinite is still the tougher of the two. The music sustains the atmosphere of the annihilation having failed, while simultaneously displaying the ostentatious show of powerful strength with deliberately restrained pitch intervals. (Eguchi)
  18. Battle with Infinite – Showdown
    The final Infinite battle. As Avatar appears in the middle of the battle scene, we decided to have Yutaka Minobe write an orchestral arrangement of Infinite’s theme. The melody of the vocal version was incorporated to some degree, and it was rounded off with a heavy and chaotic orchestration. (Ohtani)
  19. Cutscene – Infinite’s End
    After a fierce battle, the two heroes finally overpower Infinite. The feeling of sadness for those who had been lost, and the enigmatic sense of knowing the existence of other dimensions is reflected in the chorus. As a tribute, I added the familiar “Eggman’s Theme” and linked it to the Extended Battle. (Eguchi)
  20. Iron Fortress
    As I’m not really that adept at writing songs for the final story stages, this was the most troubling piece for me to write. I needed the song to carry urgency, and give the player a sense of mission. Additionally, Ohtani instructed me to add “elements of hope to the second half”. I rekindled feelings from the Golden Axe and “Sonic CD” eras to write it. I also consider myself to be a “classic” style person! (Hataya)
  21. Last Judgment
    Conceptually, this is the development style of “Mortar Canyon”. Adding orchestration helps built to the exciting climax. As the stage auto-scrolls and I ended up making the song longer than the game specs required, some sections of the song are not played during the stage. Please listen to it here instead. (Ohtani)
  22. Final Judgment – Reactor
    I gave much thought to whether or not we should switch to another song for the power reactor part, and decided another song was needed to build to the climax. I don’t know if this is an appropriate expression or not, but I liken the synth sound here to a bunch of head screws popping out. (Ohtani)
  23. Cutscene – Mega Death Egg Robot
    Although it looked like he had defeated Eggman, as a final trump card, the Mega Death Egg Robot powered by the hidden Phantom Ruby rises up and attacks Sonic. The Eggman Army has expanded all over the world and numbers now in the tens of thousands. I wrote this thrilling tune based on a 3 + 3 + 4 beat to match the visuals. (Eguchi)
  24. Battle With Mega Death Egg Robot
    The final boss battle song. I wanted to use an orchestral arrangement of the main theme, but as “Fist Bump” had been used in so many other situations, I decided to prepare a new song instead. After the Classic Sonic and Avatar phases, the music appears lacking up to the trio part, but before you know it, it’s wrapped in a fiery heroic phrase that gives it a dramatic final climax. (Ohtani)
  25. Cutscene – The Resistance Prevails
    Sonic is victorious over the Mega Death Egg Robot. The Eggman Army disappears one after another with the annihilation of the Phantom Ruby. Resistance allies raise joyful voices. “Did we really win?! I guess we finally must have!” The gradual increase in confidence and jubilance of the allies is reflected in the music. (Eguchi)
  26. Cutscene – Parting Ways
    Farewell to Classic Sonic. The familiar orchestral theme and intro motif can be heard in Koji Igarashi’s gentle piano performance. As an ending song, it focuses on “hope for the future”, but as it isn’t a final farewell, I stopped it short of being overly sad. The song was recorded at the ONKIO HAUS Studios in Tokyo. (Eguchi)
  27. The Light of Hope
    Although I’ve written many songs in the “Sonic” series, this was my first time to write a ballad ending. I also wrote lyrics in Japanese, and the atmosphere is retained in both language versions. When I heard vocalist Any Hannam perform the very first take in London, I knew the song would be wonderful. Listening to the Muroya Strings perform Eguchi’s arrangement for the first time in 9 years was also amazing. I particularly wanted this song to begin playing from the middle of the event scene. (Ohtani)
  28. Cutscene – New Journeys 
    The Resistance disbands. The allies each pledge to join forces from here on to restore the world. Sonic and Avatar also part in mutual friendship towards their own destinies. The beautiful strings performance was by Muroya Strings, and was recorded the same day as the end theme, “The Light of Hope.” (Eguchi)
  29. The Light of Hope – Title Screen ver.

Preface

Here are the opening notes from Takashi Iiuzka, Shun Nakamura, and Tomoya Ohtani.

We would like to thank Kyoni for suppling these images.

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