The Sonic series soundtracks have always held a sort of magic for me. I was a huge fan of the cartoon when I was a kid and the theme song was among my favorites — along with Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers and Big Bad Beetleborgs. Well, I typed it. Not like I can take it back now.
Enough of my ranting: Part three of the Sonic documentary is up and takes us through the processes some of the series’ composers went through to come up with the hedgehog’s signature tunes. Masato Nakamura, composer for the first Sonic the Hedgehog, said he didn’t treat the job as though he were composing music for a video game. Instead, he harnessed a vibe that would remind players of a feature film.
“It has a very strong story, so I wanted to create movie music, or film music,” he said.
Interestingly enough, all Nakamura had to go on when he composed the music for that first title was still images. Check out the video after the jump.
The composer said red colors would inspire him to give the soundtrack a volcano vibe, or if he saw ice in a screen shot, he’d “create icy music.”
“My inspiration came from each graphic, you know, each stage,” Nakamura said.
It’s interesting to hear all of this when, at least in my mind, soundtracks are composed while live video of the game or movie it’s meant for is playing in the background for the composer to get a feel for what they should shoot for. The music in Sonic music is memorable, to say the least. And although “Green Hill Zone” might be regarded as the best of the series’ music by many, my vote goes to “Emerald Hill Zone” all the way.
The rest of this piece of the 20th anniversary documentary also goes through the music from Sonic Adventure and Sonic Generations. Part one of the documentary series detailed Sonic’s origins. Sorry we missed Part two, but you can find the YouTube video here. That was a look at how the series made its transition to 3D.