Commentary from composer Ryo Nagamatsu
This is our third and final entry in our series featuring composer Ryo Nagamatsu as he walks us through the attractions in Nintendo Land one-by-one, giving us an inside look at what he was thinking about when he wrote the game’s music.
This time we’re looking at Pikmin’s Adventure, Takamaru’s Ninja Castle, The Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest, and Yoshi’s Fruit Cart. But before reading, be sure to check out part one and part two, and let us know what you think of the music from the game.
On the audio capabilities of the Wii U
“There is a full stereo speaker setup inside the Wii U GamePad. You have a pair of stereo speakers located near the player in addition to the TV sound output, and I think this allows for audio that feels more direct and can work in tandem with the TV speakers to provide a wider range of expression. With Nintendo Land, music and sound effects are divided between the TV and GamePad speakers, something that I think produces a better-feeling game experience as you play. Hopefully people are enjoying it.”
“Unlike the original Pikmin, this attraction has practically no time limit. As a result, when producing the soundtrack, I tried to keep in mind the sort of up-tempo excitement you feel controlling Olimar and the Pikmin. A lot of tunes in the original have this mysterious, fantastical feel, but the rearranged versions here have a much more prevalent beat and are nice and easy to get into. Something had to feel new here, of course, so I produced new tracks for the autumn stages, mid-boss sections, battles, underground stages, and so on that built upon the original’s image.
“I hope people enjoy this music — it’s faster-paced, but it still has some of that slightly mysterious feel from the Pikmin games.”
Takamaru’s Ninja Castle
“This game uses the main theme, Takamaru’s theme, the castle-indoors theme, and so on from the original game. I arranged them with electric guitars and strings to make the game feel cooler while you play.
“The final boss battle music is an original composition. The ‘eiya-sa-sa’ Japanese-type chanting you hear is, again, me dubbing over recordings of myself repeatedly. There are about twenty Nagamatsus involved. See if you can chant along while you play; I think it’ll help you mow those enemies down faster.”
The Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest
“This attraction is based off an extremely popular series, so I decided to chiefly stick to arranging the original music.
“The game’s visual design reminds you of toys made with things like cloth and wood. As a result, the soundtrack’s overall feel is arranged around strings, xylophones, recorders, and so forth.
“I used the main title track from the original, of course, as well as Saria’s theme from Ocarina of Time, Ganon’s theme, and other songs that went well with the atmosphere. Gerudo Valley made it in because they added a sunset-themed stage near the end of development, and I figured nothing could’ve matched better.”
“The sound environment changes with the atmosphere of each stage, from darkness to fire and water and so on, and I hope that helps players feel more immersed in the attraction.”
Yoshi’s Fruit Cart
“The Yoshi series has all of this really great music, and again, I had trouble deciding which ones to arrange. The music that plays while you’re figuring out your path was arranged to be this really soothing tune that evoked the feel of the green game board and simple gameplay. Also, I personally love two songs from Yoshi’s Story, ‘Yoshi on the Beach’ and ‘Yoshi’s Tale,’ so that’s another reason [they were arranged].
“Yoshi’s Fruit Cart is a pretty tough game that requires a lot of concentration, but the arrangements rev up more and more every time you beat ten stages, so I’m hoping you can complete the game up to where you hear the final version!”