The year is 1996, my family and I were living out of a hotel of the small town in North Dakota we just moved to. We were waiting to find a home to live, but wanted to get there before the school year started. All of our stuff was packed in boxes in a storage shed and I really had nothing to do. I didn’t know anyone and didn’t do much after school since I used to just play outside with friends, which now I had none. This is the year that I feel I truly became a “gamer”. My mom knowing we needed something to do to pass the time until we could get our things back she took us to the local video store. They rented out the brand new PlayStation for a mere $20 per week. With that it got you one controller and you had to rent games at $4.99 per day (or so I think I remember). They only ever had 2 games in that we really liked to play. One was a demolition derby game I think called “Demo Derby”, the other was a small game called “Resident Evil”. When we first rented this game we didn’t know what we were getting in to, we didn’t realize that this would eventually become a franchise that would rule over horror games, movies, books, over the next 20 years. All we knew was that it should be fun, and this was the first ‘M’ game that we have ever played.
My brother and I would take turns playing until we died because we didn’t have a memory card, and the video store did not rent them out. So we were trapped in this groundhogs day sort of loop where we would have to figure out the best way to do things, fastest way to get to the previous spot, and what to carry so we didn’t have to back track. We got so good at the game we could get to the Snake (known as Yawn) in under 20 minutes. I got so good that I could beat the game in under 3 hours to get the unlimited Rocket Launcher, but without a memory card I could never do anything about it. I fell in love with this series, fell in love with the unique full motion video, and also loved the horrible dialogue. All of these things hooked me in to the series, and the genre until this day. My favorite games and movies are horror. I loved all of those games and am glad that many game companies tried to copy the formula (looking at you Konami :)).
Now back then I didn’t appreciate the entire music selection that the game brought with it, but I can tell you one thing. When you open a door to a new area and you heard that save room music, everything just slows down. You take a deep sigh of relief and say “I’m safe…. for now”. You know that for a brief moment that the crazy can’t get you in here, you can take your time and sort through your new items, take that ink ribbon and save a game (twice if you had a crap memory card) and pucker up before you go back out into hell. It impacted me so much that when other people had top 40 songs, or funny messages, I had that song as my first ringtone.
20 years later and now we have fully orchestrated music and I appreciate it much more. Resident evil 7 comes out this week so I figured it was a perfect candidate for us to listen to and appreciate this week. I haven’t had a chance to listen to it (only samples) but from what I have heard, it sounds amazing. Horror soundtrack are always weird where half of the tracks hold more weight in the game world because something is happening, where out in the real world there is nothing going on and the music does not connect. So remember if the music doesn’t move you out here, it will definitely move you in there. Another thing to remember about horror soundtracks is that they tend to jump a lot with tracks lasting short times. Most of the tracks on this album are 1 or 2 minutes long.
The composer for this soundtrack is Akiyuki Morimoto,with additional contributions from Satoshi Hori, Miyako Chinone, Brian D’Oliveira, and Chris Velasco as stated here. It has over 80 tracks and lasts just about 2.5 hours. Just enough to get you through a little bit of your work day. Akiyuki has done other works such as contributed to the Resident Evil 6 and Monster Hunter 3 soundtracks. I’ve never played or listened to Monster Hunter, but RE:6 has an amazing soundtrack so I feel that this one will be something great too. Resident Evil 6 is going to be so different from 7 that the 2 soundtracks should not even be compared. 7 will once again be a horror game, where most of 6 was action. The previews of the songs on the publisher’s site suggest that the music will be more traumatic, tense, and atmospheric than that of RE6. Those kinds of music are good when trying to dig into a problem, finally write down that idea and begin Chapter 1, or just for zoning out. Be forewarned, sometimes these horror soundtracks have fast paced chase music just right after a somber melody so the intensity can move from track to track.
Resident Evil Composer
She seems like a newcomer but seems like someone to look out for this and future releases. Can’t wait to here more from Akiyuki.