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What Makes A Great Opening Song in Visual Novel?

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Before going to my question, I would like to say: "I'm back b*tches!!!". Anyway... While I was "replaying" my visual novel (VN) collections, I notice that there are songs that are "stale" and there are others who give me a lot of goosebumps particularly key's VNs like Clannad and Little Busters. I know people will start to argue that key's song is not that great, but this is my personal preference so BURNNN you haters!!!!! Just kidding, I'll respect your preference, but in return also respect mine too... XD

 

Going to the main question after me beating around the bush...

What makes an opening song/soundtrack great?

What are their construction (rhythm, melody, instruments, vocals, and other musical elements)?

What are do's and don't's in constructing a soundtrack?

How are they able to successfully trigger our emotions in psychological way?

 

Additional notes:

I prefer your answers in relation to moege. But I'm also welcome on other VN genre.

Reason for posting this question:
1. To satisfy my curiosity.
2. For educational purpose (maybe some people want to make a VN and get some of the ideas in this discussion for marketing strategy)

3. For pure pleisure (pleasure + leisure).

4. In order to control the ninjas cutting onions in the future. XD

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Opening song, for me, is usually associated with the opening video. 

 

What makes a good OP video then?

 

1) Hypes you for the game

2) Doesn't spoil much

3) Has a good song

 

My favorite OP is Remember11, followed by Ever17 followed by Steins; Gate.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKcFQoqfIQU

 

 

It might be worth to note also that out of the three, my overall least favorite VN is R11.

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Opening song, for me, is usually associated with the opening video. 

 

What makes a good OP video then?

 

1) Hypes you for the game

2) Doesn't spoil much

3) Has a good song

 

My favorite OP is Remember11, followed by Ever17 followed by Steins; Gate.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKcFQoqfIQU

 

 

It might be worth to note also that out of the three, my overall least favorite VN is R11.

I see, visual and information elements gives an impact in the player/audience. So what if the video is "ugly" (animation or picture) will it diminish the emotional impact to the player/audience?

Can you expound on what "good song" means?

Thanks for the input by the way... Much appreciated... XD

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What makes any soundtrack great? It has to be related to the context of the video. Depending on the context of it, instruments and voice and vary. Heavy metal riffs wouldn't go well a video about romantic high school relationship. On the contrary, a gentle melody on piano would do just fine. I'm not sure in the selection of the instruments you should use for one or other genre, but generally it's better to have slower, gentler music in the context of love and other passionate feelings, while it's better to accompany some action with some energetic music. It doesn't have to be heavy metal, it can be a mix of techno and dance.

 

As for the structure of the song, it has to be as simpler as possible. An intro, a "main" part and a conclusion work the best.

 

I'm not sure how do they actually trigger emotions, but if I had to guess I'd say that some audio frequencies combined with proper video content make your brain react in a pleasant manner, making you feel full of energy or anxious. It's just a guess.

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For me it's:

 

#1 Song/sountrack needs to be well aliged with a video.

#2 It need to represent it's characters.

#3 It needs to be well suted sountrack to a theme of a VN.

#4 it needs to show some strong moments/emotions of a VN withouth spoiling to much.

#5 Soundtrack/song needs to be good (True what is a good song is rather subjective and depends on a taste)

 

#5 one is probably one of more important things in order to have a great opening.

 

Here is one such example of a VN I haven't read myself but know a lot about that is half Moege half Nakige and witch OP meats all of those criteria:

 

 

Off course great graphic always helps, and example for that would be Rewrite second opening witch is completely animated.

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Usually, the transitions make or break an opening. A good opening needs to have pretty cool transitions, and should cut to the beat. The song should usually fit the overall tone of the VN. An opening also needs good context to initiate it, and usually needs to introduce most of the major characters.  

 

Honestly, I don't think the soundtrack matters so much as long as it's halfway decent, fits the mood and doesn't drag on for too long. Although soundtracks should usually have a strong beat to match the video.  

 

An opening is basically a movie trailer that says "this is why you should play this visual novel game". 

I remember most of 5pb's games had pretty good ops, imo. 

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I see, visual and information elements gives an impact in the player/audience. So what if the video is "ugly" (animation or picture) will it diminish the emotional impact to the player/audience?

Can you expound on what "good song" means?

Thanks for the input by the way... Much appreciated... XD

 

Some games can still have beautiful OP's with bad graphics (I'm looking at you, Umineko.)

 

A "good song" is a song that gets you hyped for the VN and also fits well with the video and the theme of the VN. This, however, is obviously subjective.

 

I love Remember11's intro... (I know I've posted about it before)

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What makes any soundtrack great? It has to be related to the context of the video. Depending on the context of it, instruments and voice and vary. Heavy metal riffs wouldn't go well a video about romantic high school relationship. On the contrary, a gentle melody on piano would do just fine. I'm not sure in the selection of the instruments you should use for one or other genre, but generally it's better to have slower, gentler music in the context of love and other passionate feelings, while it's better to accompany some action with some energetic music. It doesn't have to be heavy metal, it can be a mix of techno and dance.

 

As for the structure of the song, it has to be as simpler as possible. An intro, a "main" part and a conclusion work the best.

 

I'm not sure how do they actually trigger emotions, but if I had to guess I'd say that some audio frequencies combined with proper video content make your brain react in a pleasant manner, making you feel full of energy or anxious. It's just a guess.

 

Hmm... Nice explicit association of music type in each genre you mentioned. You really hit the mark. Frequency? That's an interesting hypothesis. I'll verify on your hypothesis. XD

 

For me it's:

 

#1 Song/sountrack needs to be well aliged with a video.

#2 It need to represent it's characters.

#3 It needs to be well suted sountrack to a theme of a VN.

#4 it needs to show some strong moments/emotions of a VN withouth spoiling to much.

#5 Soundtrack/song needs to be good (True what is a good song is rather subjective and depends on a taste)

 

#5 one is probably one of more important things in order to have a great opening.

 

Here is one such example of a VN I haven't read myself but know a lot about that is half Moege half Nakige and witch OP meats all of those criteria:

 

 

Off course great graphic always helps, and example for that would be Rewrite second opening witch is completely animated.

Hmm, what do you mean by "It need to represent it's characters"? I concur with subjectivity as the main attribute. But subjectivity have always a reason behind it. However, most people can't identify the reason. That's what I'm after at. XD

 

 

1. Not misleading

Two words that really sums it up... Hehehe... XD

 

Usually, the transitions make or break an opening. A good opening needs to have pretty cool transitions, and should cut to the beat. The song should usually fit the overall tone of the VN. An opening also needs good context to initiate it, and usually needs to introduce most of the major characters.  

 

Honestly, I don't think the soundtrack matters so much as long as it's halfway decent, fits the mood and doesn't drag on for too long. Although soundtracks should usually have a strong beat to match the video.  

 

An opening is basically a movie trailer that says "this is why you should play this visual novel game". 

I remember most of 5pb's games had pretty good ops, imo. 

Whoah, I agree... I have experienced it first handed when I was editing a video. It's like my brain is seeking to have a good timing in transition with the song I choose. Hehehe... XD

 

Y'all VN companies gotta stop spoiling my shizzle. I know you only got a handful of CGs for each route, stop acting like you can go around throwing them all over the place.

Hahaha... Lol... I agree.. Maybe marketing strategy to make their VNs appear to have plenty of CGs even though most, if not all, are already showed in the opening music video... XD

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So this is what I gather so far:
1. VN soundtrack should not be misleading (sum's up most of the criteria of having a great soundtrack)

2. The song genre should be fitting with the VN's genre.

3. The video should be good and matched with the song

    a. Gives information regarding the game without spoiling to much

    b. Good scene transition that is timed with the beat of the song

    c. Video theme should be the same with the theme of the song

    c. Preferably good graphics and animation

4. It is rather subjective on the player/audience (kinda ambiguous at the moment)

5. Something to do with sound frequency (scientific hypothesis that needs to be verified)

 

How about using these criteria to these two opening music videos:

A. Hoshizora no Memoria (which is stale for my taste even though this VN is one of my favorite)

   

 

B. Little Busters Ex (one of my favorite opening music video)
   

 

 

 

So what are your thoughts or findings? XD

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Ok, I'm going to be a bit of a buzzkill here...

 

50% of VN opening quality is your personal tastes, another fourteen percent is technical excellence, twenty percent is matching the rhythm of the visual aspect to the musical aspect, and  fifteen percent is visual beauty/aesthetics.  The last percentile is the magic and genius of the person who actually played the song in the first place.

 

Edit:  Here are some examples of openings that left me stunned.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=liL1WbFxKsg

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSKE2bCw7Rk

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4Cp4f1NFTc

 

Now what did you see (bearing in mind that ALL of these are colored with my personal tastes, only Hapymaher's being within the original request of moege-relation)?

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1. Get JAM Project to do your opening song

2. No need for step 2.

 

 

Otherwise, eh... I don't use openings to choose VNs or anything, so I guess you need to slap a good song on good visuals and make them coordinated.

To make your OP visually appealing, it can be nice to get talents from the animation industry, if possible good animators, but also potentially good graphists (like ef did with Makoto Shinkai).

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So this is what I gather so far:

1. VN soundtrack should not be misleading (sum's up most of the criteria of having a great soundtrack)

2. The song genre should be fitting with the VN's genre.

3. The video should be good and matched with the song

&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; a. Gives information regarding the game without spoiling to much

&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; b. Good scene transition that is timed with the beat of the song

&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; c. Video theme should be the same with the theme of the song

&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; c. Preferably good graphics and animation

4. It is rather subjective on the player/audience (kinda ambiguous at the moment)

5. Something to do with sound frequency (scientific hypothesis that needs to be verified)

How about using these criteria to these two opening music videos:

Here's an OP that has all elements you listed, especially "good scene transistion" and "good graphics and animation". I mean, nearly all VN OPs are just puppet shows with still sprites and CGs, hardly any animation at all.

This is what I call real animation, plus an emotional song:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdeMc6W71oE

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