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Thursday, July 6, 2017

Namco Taiko Blog (6 July 2017) - Behind the Notechart: Asteroid

Continuing from two weeks ago's feature, here's another Summer Rewards Shop's charting process being revealed in the main weekly Taiko Blog update! This time around, it's the turn of the collaboration-related Variety track Asteroid.

Masubuchi Yuji, the song's creator and notecharter, has took the center stage for the means of describing how the song came to be, as well as how it came to be in Taiko gaming. As mentioned in its subtitle, Asteroid is one of the songs that were made for KORG Gadget's Kamata, a synthesizer board application for the making of chiptune music akin to the 80ies' videogames that was created in collaboration with Bandai Namco, as the company itself supplied a generous amount of audio cues for the app's sound data. Being a synthesizer appreciator since his primary school years, Masubuchi jumped in to ask to compose one of Kamata's demo songs and with a bit of luck, he made it to take the part.

From the outset, Asteroid was not supposed to become a candidate release in Taiko no Tatsujin, thus Masubuchi did not have any ideas of how its charts would come up to be while creating the song, which is normally his modus operandi for all Taiko songs that are both created and charted all by himself; however, a number of requests both from other Taiko Team members (such as Takemoto) and even Kamata app producer Ookubon (オオクボン) led to the song to be chosen for Taiko no Tatsujin porting, with his creator on the charting deck. Masubuchi's biggest worries about the notecharting task was the main rhythm of the song being monotone for a seemingly-straightforward feel, but the song composition's different flow in places has made it possible to create a more diverse drum-hitting feel between the the chorus loops; as such, Masubuchi's original 8-star Oni plans gradually morphed into a 9* affair.

Just like many other songs charted/composed by the veteran Notecharter Sentai, the overall charting process is mostly a straightforward Musical Arrangement notation that follows the background song's music with its charter's "notecharted" interpretation of following it with Taiko drums, so Masubuchi opted instead to showcase the charting process by the visual manifestation of the mental images he had while charting the song in all of its most iconic passages! The time codes being reported here are based on the Asteroid song demo that is showcased in Bandai Namco's Youtube channel (link), so please also refer to gameplay videos in order to have clear pointers for the last few images as well.


As the name Asteroid might suggest, Masubuchi's mental framing of choice for the song is a videogame space race! We start up with a bird's eye view of the contestants at the start line...


...just to then quickly transition to a shoulder shot of the chosen pilot, shortly lagging behind the top group which is headed to an asteroid belt. Don't these camera angle choices sound quite Starfox-y?


The race is on! Once again, the first race track is happening with planet Earth on sight, it appears.


From the stretched-out early mental shots, now we find ourselves into the asteroid belt. As the many minor planetoids concentration makes it for some tricky manneuvers at high speed, the charting notation follows that sentiment from this portion and starts to become trickier and more irregular with its note clusters.


Inside the tubular tracks, it's time to hit hyper-speed!


The tricky-movement maneuvers are over for now, as the pilot finds himself in a larger, obstacle-ridden landscape to see, with a huge galaxy far away and a fuel dock station not that far away. In the notechart, this sens of a more-relaxed floating feeling is rendered with the lessened note density and scrolling bar effects, which are juxtaposed to the more frantic moments from earlier.


The pilot has landed to gather some fuel before resuming the race. Being a videogame-y race, on-screen notations are a must to fill in the player on the mood, and so is the Taiko notechart!


The race continues, on to a different stage. (...but with a similar BGM?)

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