Once we decided to go for the old school, side scrolling, beat ‘em up style with Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Video Game, we wanted to go all in! We brought in pixel artist extraordinaire Paul Robertson.
The next step was creating an amazing soundtrack. We immediately thought of Brooklyn chiptune rockers, Anamanaguchi. They wowed us (and 5,000 others) at PAX and really captured the sound we wanted for the game. Here, the guys share their favorite songs from the game.
I really enjoyed how the Twin Dragons cue came into existence. It was very unexpected. A couple months ago we were playing a show here in Brooklyn with Ok, Go. I was hanging out backstage with one of my good friends Damon who also happens to be one of the most talented chip artists I know (he goes by Starscream with his drummer George). We were kinda bored and decided to start a collaboration italo-disco song on Game Boy. He started with an awesome bass line and beat, and I started writing some melody stuff. We didn’t get past the loop that night, but the next day I couldn’t get it out of my head, and kept working on it. I don’t remember at what point I realized it would work perfectly for the game… it sort of just transformed into that cue naturally. So yeah, it’s my favorite because it really started as a song for myself that ended up being for Scott Pilgrim. That natural transition is a great example of what made the project so fun. It never really felt like writing for a video game, it felt more like composing music for life stuff we’ve all experienced – stuff that Scott Pilgrim happened to have experienced as well…
I’m especially proud of the track we wrote for the train level – Suburban Tram. When we were working on it, Pete had brought up giving it a sort of Hot Water Music-type sound, and it actually came very naturally after that. I really love positive, uplifting punk and post-hardcore music, and it was a lot of fun to try and translate it into our distinct style. Something about the final version of this track evokes real motion, as in makes you want to move, both from the heart and on the road.. at least that’s how i hear it!
“This is the End”
It was really interesting to hear ‘This is the End’ (yes, it’s for the perfect ending only!) go through many different phases as it was being written. At first it was just a straight ballad, but it needed something more… more epic and triumphant. Obviously it’s gotta be the best song ever if you have to be perfect to get there. That’s when Ary mentioned to Pete to think of it more as an epic Queen ballad, and it all came together after that. Pete absolutely nailed it. Not only will this song be extremely gratifying to the player as they perfect the game, but it also ended up being one of the last songs we wrote, and the last song we mixed, so us too were even treated to the ‘perfect’ ending of an incredibly amazing project.
“Scott Pilgrim Theme”
It’s really difficult for me to pick just one track to talk about, so I guess I’ll approach it in the big picture and discuss the theme. This was the first song we wrote for the game, I wanted the theme to be everything that epitomizes “Scott Pilgrim” to me. I wanted a melody that was both melancholy and triumphant, I wanted it to evoke a sort of nostalgic John Hughes world and the deluge of emotions and gut feelings that present themselves when you’re completely smitten, which Scott Pilgrim undoubtedly is. That’s what the second half of the song is about, the first half is about punching people, obviously.
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