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The Secret To Astral Chain’s Sci-Fi Sounds? Metal & Orchestra

It’s a month or so until hyper action game Astral Chain makes its way onto Switch. And you’re probably curious about the game’s soundtrack, whether it’ll be like Metal Gear Revengeance‘s butt rock or Bayonetta 2‘s pop-jazz fusion.

The straight answer? A bit of the former, with some sci-fi synths and drum machine sounds to go along with the cop-and-Legion pairing beatdown. According to a Platinum Games blogpost about the game’s music, composer Satoshi Igarashi said that the core genres of Astral Chain’s music are metal, electronic, and orchestra; they represent tense, calmness, and drama respectively.

The game’s combat needs to have cool and rockin’ combat music, but has to fit the title’s sleek sci-fi setting. Igarashi said that he had to downtune his guitar to a low G to make the rock beats nice and heavy without sounding too brutal murky, as well as include geometrical phrases for a metal sound and tight drums that feel more machine-like and mechanical. The extra synthesizers help too.

For a clear example of this, here’s a non-combat and combat version of his track “Ark Mall” that showcases the electronica and metal side.

Whether the game will feature in-and-out transitions for the themes is beyond us until we see the final game, but I’m getting a Transformers: Devastation vibe when the Ark Mall combat section kicks in. And yes, Igarashi also composed music for that Transformers game alongside Vinnie DiCola.

But what about the orchestral bits he mentioned in that diagram? That’s all on this track with a redacted title due to story reasons; the metal bits form the foundation of the boss theme but the orchestra shapes the melody to something dramatic.

Yep; that tune sounds like a pretty important boss fight with a major antagonist. Igarashi also shared this diagram on where the music goes.

The Ark Mall tunes we played are on the Stage and Normal Battle section, while the redacted title piece is on Event Battle.

Astral Chain is out 30th August for Switch. We’ll probably do a Platinum Games retrospective in written form, but if you want something in audio, you can check out this show from our pals at The Last King podcast.


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