Q1. First, would you mind introducing yourselves?
A1. Tanaka: I’m Kosuke Tanaka, the Sound Director.
I’m in charge of designing
and overseeing the general sound concepts, as well as schedule management.
I do some actual
production work as well and, to give a few simple examples, I created the sound effects for the
Wirebug and the Title Screen.
A1. Hori: I’m Satoshi Hori, the Lead Composer.
I’m in charge of supervising all
BGM-related elements of Monster Hunter Rise, creating musical concepts for each monster (deciding
the sense of scale of each piece, and which instruments to use, etc.), and directing the other
Q2. What kind of image and goals did you have for the sound in Monster Hunter
A2. Tanaka: The general theme for the sound was “catchy and easy to
If the sound design for Monster Hunter: World and Iceborne could be described as
“Art with delicate layers,” then I’d say the sound design for Monster Hunter Rise is “to convey
everything with one concentrated effect.” That’s what we were going for.
Also, we wanted to treat
past titles in the Monster Hunter series with respect, so although there are a lot of new sound
effects in this game, we’re intentionally using some nostalgic sounds as well.
Q3. We’ve already shown some live gameplay footage of the Shrine Ruins at TGS,
and the environmental sound effects, like the songs of birds etc., change very realistically based
on where the hunter is going, correct?
A3. Tanaka: Yes, in order to make the new stages, like the Shrine Ruins, feel as
realistic as possible, we went out and did field recordings in a variety of places. The songs of
birds, the chirping of cicadas, ambient noise in caves, the bells of a temple, and lots and lots of
other sounds. We’ve put a lot of “real sounds” into the game like that. As a result, we’ve managed
to create a soundscape that feels like a living, breathing ecology, which adds to the realism, I
Q4. The BGM in the trailers we’ve seen so far also uses a variety of
instruments. How did you record all of this?
A4. Hori: Oh yeah, we recorded a whole bunch of traditional Japanese instruments:
shakuhachi, shamisen, shinobue, and koto of course, but also biwa, hichiriki, ryūteki, taiko,
atarigane, Kagura suzu, and horagai. There’s even some very unusual instruments in there that you
normally wouldn’t hear outside of special occasions.
On top of these Japanese instruments, we
also recorded live orchestral performances in order to convey the strength of the monsters and the
scale of the world in a way that you would expect from a Monster Hunter game. The orchestral
performances were carried out in Japan, LA, and London, depending on where the music was going to be
used and which monster theme we were recording. For particularly fearsome monsters and music that
required a large sense of scale, we mainly used Abbey Road in London.
Apart from the huge
collection of instruments, we also recorded several songs in a variety of genres.
Q5. Yes, I noticed the singing in “Proof of a Hero: Rise Version”! Can you tell
us a bit more about that?
A5. Hori: We used a chorus of 24 people for “Proof of a Hero: Rise Version.”
think we’ve managed to create a quite unique version of this fan favorite by combining the usual
orchestra with traditional Japanese instruments, and vocal music.
For this game, we wanted “Proof
of a Hero” to symbolize the people of Kamura Village fighting against the onslaught of the Rampage,
encouraging themselves and the players through song, in order to protect their homes.
parts in this piece where the themes of Kamura Village and the Rampage are both played
simultaneously as well, so keep your ears open for that as well!
Q5.5. You mentioned monster themes; have the monster themes been remade for
Monster Hunter Rise?
A5.5. Hori: We haven’t made any huge changes to the original music. We made sure
to pay the proper amount of respect to the Monster Hunter series by preserving the quality of the
original pieces, while also adding a catchy twist to them to better fit the themes of this
Mr. Ichinose wanted to have vocals for every piece, so it’s not just the completely new
monster themes that will have vocal performances in them, but the arrangements of existing themes as
Q6. In Monster Hunter Rise, the hunter has actual lines of dialogue. How many
voice options will there be in the game?
A6. Tanaka: If you want to know the exact number, you’ll have to play the game,
but there are enough choices for you to be indecisive over.
As you said, the hunters don’t just
grunt anymore, they have actual dialogue this time, and each voice type represents a certain
“personality.” Our script writer had to come up with different settings and a whole bunch of lines
for each voice type, but we think he did an outstanding job. It really speaks to the imagination: “A
hunter with a voice like this probably lives their hunting life in such and such way,” you know? I
really think players will enjoy mulling over which voice they’re going to pick.
Q6.5. Why did you make the decision to have the hunters talk this time?
A6.5. Tanaka: We wanted to use the hunter’s voice as a communication tool between
For most of the past entries in the series, players used to gather together with their
portable consoles and just talk to each other in real life, and we wanted to recreate this sense of
excitement for people living in an environment where it is not so easy to get a group of players
together in a physical space. So we figured that maybe we could pull this off by borrowing the
Using in-game player voices also removes the necessity for companion apps, which
significantly lowers the hurdle for communication.
Q7. Considering that players from all over the world will be able to play
together online, is it possible for players to communicate with each other while maintaining their
separate voice settings? (i.e. Will it be possible to communicate with players who have different
settings from yourself?)
A7. Tanaka: Each player will hear the voice language that they selected in the
The dialogue spoken by other players will play back in the voice language you selected,
so there should not be any trouble communicating. We hope everyone will use this VO to make friends
with people from all over the world.
Final Comment from Shibata:
Thank you, Mr. Tanaka and Mr. Hori! As you can see, we’re paying
plenty of respect to the Monster Hunter series’ legacy, while also making sure Monster Hunter Rise
is its own unique entry in the franchise, so we hope you look forward to experiencing the impactful
soundscape for yourself. The fact that the hunters have dialogue has already got lots of people
talking, so in that sense we’ve already managed to get players excited!
Next time, I’ll be
talking to Inouchi, the designer of the monster icons and other illustrations!