"SOL CRESTA" Creator's Comments

Yuzo KoshiroHideki KamiyaSatoshi HamadaTakahito WashisakaTakanori SatoHiroshi Yamaguchi

Message from Yuzo Koshiro, Music Compose & Arrangement

A few months before I received the offer from PlatinumGames, by sheer coincidence and just for fun I had copied Terra Cresta’s music using the PC-88’s FM sound source, so even though I was really surprised, I was already prepared to start.

The first thing I was asked to do was to use the sound creation knowhow of that era as a base, and “elevate” that sound to a “Neo” level.

While consulting with PlatinumGames, I thought once more about what would be fitting as the “Neo“ successor to the Cresta series. I thought it might be good to more actively emulate the sound of Kenji Yoshida, the composer of Terra Cresta’s music, but I was told to put my style in the forefront, so keeping that in mind I then thought it might be good to use the Yamaha YM3526 (OPL) chip, the most distinctive for the Nichibutsu sound.

However, that alone wouldn’t be enough to get the “Neo” feel, so I decided to upgrade to the YM3812 (OPL2) chip, lining up about 8 of them to get a good, heavy sound. That became the core of Sol Cresta’s FM sound. I searched for good programs that could emulate the OPL, but I had a hard time finding any. Unsure what to do, I took to Twitter and a developer at Plogue, based in Canada, offered their chipsynth PortaFM synthesizer. It’s a wonderful, elaborately made emulator that was able to replicate the classic Nichibutsu sound. In addition to this emulator, I also used a 3-channel PSG, a 16-channel PCM, and a virtual sound module designed with external reverb, delay, and choral effects to work on composing.

Hiroshi Yamaguchi from PlatinumGames is in charge of sound direction. He’s done excellent compositions for games like Bayonetta, and he also composed the music for the Sol Cresta April Fools’ trailer. Hideki Kamiya and Takanori Sato, also from PlatinumGames, have been giving advice from the game production viewpoint as well, and the music of Sol Cresta has been composed through the teamwork of the four of us.
There were a lot of revisions and iterations as we tried to include the best of everyone’s suggestions. I can proudly say that the result is a “Neo” sound that embodies everything we hoped to achieve.

Message from Hideki Kamiya, Creative Director

SOL CRESTA carries the Neo-Classic Arcade brand, a new endeavor from PlatinumGames.

The name “Neo-Classic” expresses our desire to reflect on the essence of what made the classic games of our childhoods so much fun, and to use everything at our disposal now to convey that fun in a modern, “Neo” fashion. The idea is not to just imitate what came before, but to exercise creativity and create something that is both nostalgic and innovative.

As the first title in this series, SOL CRESTA is also an official sequel to the extraordinary Moon Cresta and Terra Cresta, as well as the latest entry in the Cresta Saga. Nichbutsu, the company that released the previous two games, is no longer in business, but with SOL CRESTA we made our imperative to keep the spirit of the series alive and poured our hearts into creating the next evolution of its gameplay.

But what is the “Neo-Classic” concept we’re aiming for in the first place? The development of SOL CRESTA started with trying to figure out what the conditions of the brand were, and that ended up being more difficult than we had thought.

The goal was not to copy the past, we would also not be able to build on and evolve it without a proper understand of what “classic” means. However, none of us had experience as creators during that era. Among the various challenges that were piling up, sound in particular was completely unknown territory.

Lost with no knowledge or experience and faced with walking a path with no clear end in sight, a helping hand took ours—the hand of Yuzo Koshiro.

Yuzo Koshiro is a sound creator who has been active since those classic gaming days, having worked on games like Sorcerian, Ys, and Actraiser—games of my youth that made me cast aside homework to play nonstop, and with music that I’ll remember for a lifetime. Putting aside my personal euphoria at being able to work with someone like that, to lost sheep like us Koshiro-san, a person with deep knowledge of making music during the good old days of gaming and who is still going strong today, was the one who could guide us through dangerous waters and to our as-yet unseen destination.

Koshiro-san was able to incorporate the feel of the musical style created by Terra Cresta composer Kenji Yoshida, known by fans as the “Nichibutsu sound,” while also proposing new potential that goes beyond mere imitation, and define a sound that is both “Neo” and “Classic.” In creating the music of SOL CRESTA, he provided a robust pillar not only for this game, but for the future of the Neo-Classic Arcade series.

Like the phoenix, the Cresta Saga has been reborn, and flies on the blazing wings that are its music. As a player myself, I also plan to listen to this album and feel the joy of this historic rebirth.

Hideki Kamiya
SOL CRESTA Creative Director

Message from Satoshi Hamada, HAMSTER Inc. President

In 2014, Hamster inherited the rights held by Nichibutsu. Even now, I still feel the pressure of having inherited the Nichibutsu games I loved as a child. I have the responsibility to make sure the Nichibutsu classics like Crazy Climber, Moon Cresta, and Terra Cresta remain, and to spread them all over the world.
Through the Arcade Archives collection, Hamster has reissued 14 Nichibutsu titles worldwide, but the concept behind Arcade Archives is to preserve the games as they were, and we haven’t released any remakes or sequels to Nichibutsu titles. We believed that in order to do something like that, we would need the right amount of planning, structure, and resolve. 
This time, PlatinumGames has released SOL CRESTA, a sequel to Moon Cresta and Terra Cresta, Nichibutsu’s flagship titles. A dream team of creators including creative director Hideki Kamiya and composer Yuzo Koshiro handled the development, and in terms of both the gameplay and music, SOL CRESTA is an excellent game in which the love for Nichibutsu titles shines through.
I’m thankful to everyone who worked on SOL CRESTA, and hope that as many people as possible enjoy playing it and come to know Nichibutsu.

Satoshi Hamada
President, HAMSTER Inc.

Message from Takahito Washisaka, Producer

I’m Takahito Washisaka, the producer of SOL CRESTA.

I’m from the generation that enjoyed playing Moon Cresta and Terra Cresta in real time, but I never dreamed that I’d one day be involved with the Cresta series as the producer on a new sequel, let alone that I’d be making it a reality at PlatinumGames.

SOL CRESTA will be the final chapter of the Cresta Saga, but it is also the first title in the Neo-Classic Arcade series.
At the start of development, when creative director Hideki Kamiya told me about the keyword “Neo-Classic”, I understood the “classic” part right away but thought, “what does ‘Neo-Classic’ mean?”
I felt like I kind of understood, but...

I’ve worked with Kamiya for over twenty years, and this kind of thing had happened before.
This was an extremely important key word, and if we went ahead only kind of understanding we’d run into pitfalls up ahead. Previous experiences taught me that if I didn’t make sure I fully understood up front, the project would end up taking a big detour, and because game development is a team undertaking, we needed to all be on the same page from the start.

In recent years, game production has changed a lot, but the gems that our predecessors have left behind in the annals of game history continue to shine. How can we use current technology to express the essence of these games as “Neo-Classics” in the modern age, while showing the proper respect to these amazing classics like the Cresta series?

Regarding sound, the answer Kamiya found was, “What if the hardware of that time had progressed along that path to the present?”
I could see what he was aiming for and imagining that parallel timeline got my heart racing. I knew this was going to get interesting!

Just as that thought came to mind, the next big problem did too: who would be able to make that happen?
There are many talented composers at PlatinumGames, but no one with the knowhow or understanding of the hardware of that time. We were racking our brains, until Kamiya said “only Koshiro-san can do it.” To be honest, right when he said that Koshiro-san’s name had popped up in my head too!
We contacted Koshiro-san immediately and asked for his help with this new project. He graciously accepted, and that’s how this miraculous collaboration came to be.

I hope all of you enjoy the Neo-Classic realm of possibilities created by the legendary Yuzo Koshiro!

Message from Takanori Sato, Director

I’m Takanori Sato, the director of SOL CRESTA.

During the creation of SOL CRESTA, the biggest stroke of luck we had was being able to ask the legendary Yuzo Koshiro to create the music.

We gave him the difficult task of composing music that, while following in the mold of cozy, classic game sound, goes on to elevate it to a fresh and innovative “Neo-Classic” sound. What he gave us was perfect, and I can’t thank him enough.

We’re taking another look at the “essence of fun” that classic games have and pursuing that with the tools we have now to express it in a “Neo” fashion.

As both the end of the Cresta Saga and the beginning of the Neo-Classic Arcade series, no other music could have been a better fit!

Instead of reading this message, take a listen to the music.
A song is worth 1,000 words and will make it very clear what we want to express!

Of course, we’ve put our all into making sure the game is just as great, so I hope those of you who haven’t tried it yet don’t just listen to the soundtrack, but also play SOL CRESTA. For those who have played, I hope you play again and again, and enjoy the Neo-Classic world in full.

Here’s to a great Neo-Classic experience!

Message from Hiroshi Yamaguchi, Composer

I’m Hiroshi Yamaguchi, a composer at PlatinumGames.

I composed the SOL CRESTA trailer music and handled direction and production support for Koshiro-san. Koshiro-san started from the consideration of what would it sound like if the hardware of the classic gaming era had progressed along that path into the present. From there, he was able to perfectly replicate the fiercely unique Nichibutsu sound and compose exquisite music while imagining the progression of the hardware sound source from then until now, and the results are extremely stylish and moving.

I think that even someone like me who didn’t experience the era firsthand will be charmed by it, and that it turned out to be an unparalleled sound. It will remind you of the uniqueness and universal appeal of game music! If you listen to it along with the soundtracks to classic games like Moon Cresta and SOL CRESTA, you should enjoy it that much more!

©PlatinumGames Inc. / ©HAMSTER Co.
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