Revisiting NieR Replicant’s ethereal soundtrack 11 years on

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When NieR Replicant launched in 2010, one of the most memorable facets of the PS3 action RPG was its soundtrack, masterfully created by Keiichi Okabe. Since then, the 51 year old Japanese composer has revisited that haunting sci-fi world on multiple occasions. Outside working on arrangement albums and live concerts, he returned for acclaimed series’ sequel NieR:Automata in 2017. And in a few short months we’ll hear modern-day reimaginings of those classic tracks, created especially for an updated version of the original entitled NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139… 

In anticipation of that game’s release on April 23, we had the chance to ask Okabe-san about revisiting that seminal work over a decade on and find out how the game’s ethereal soundtrack is being reinterpreted for this new version. Alongside discussing those rerecording sessions, the composer also gives insight into his creative process behind select game tracks, both original and new.  

NieR ReplicantNieR Replicant

You have created music for a vast number of games before composing for NieR, one of the works you are most known for. In what ways was composing for this game a unique challenge at the time?

Previously, I was involved more with arcade games, rather than console games. So, often I would be asked to create flashy music with a momentum to excite you for battle. However, with NieR, I placed heavier emphasis on the music fulfilling its role of expressing the unique world or conveying the emotions of a particular character and the feelings trapped in their heart.

The music did not clearly envision happiness, anger, sadness or levity, but instead, was created to give the listener a sense of all the emotions swirling around in the nooks and crannies of their heart—like the faint glimmer of hope amidst the sorrow, or sadness mixed with bitterness.

“We recorded a youth choir for this song, and I remember it was quite a difficult endeavour compared to recording an adult choir.”

Empathy is perhaps the most important theme of NieR. How do you translate this feeling into music?

I, myself, love music that evokes a lot of emotion. So, it wasn’t too big of a struggle to express that in my work. However, incorporating that flavor into most of the songs, and still giving it some variety, plus having to create the large number of songs, was what I struggled with.

Rather than the backing track, I try to inject emotion into the melody, and I feel that might be inspired from old movie scores.

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Stubbs the Zombie in Rebel Without a Pulse comes to life on PlayStation March 16

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The year was 2005. The game was Stubbs the Zombie in Rebel Without a Pulse. The console? Not the PlayStation 2… whoops. 15 years later, Aspyr would like to make things right the best way we know how: reanimating that classic on PlayStation 4 and 5. Better late than never, right?

For the authentic 2005 Stubbs experience, we’ve brought the game back exactly the same as it was back then. Same gameplay, same graphics, same UI. Okay, we also added modern resolution support, improved controls and key bindings on modern controllers, and nifty new Trophies. But other than that, it’s the same!

Stubbs the Zombie in Rebel Without a Pulse comes to life on PlayStation March 16

Since Stubbs the Zombie in Rebel Without a Pulse is new to PlayStation, we figured we’d give you a look into what the game is all about.


It’s 1959 and the city of Punchbowl, PA, is a beacon of progress and ideal living. The perfect combination of classic 50’s style and futuristic technology. Kind of like what we’re doing here with an old school game on cutting edge consoles. 

Stubbs the Zombie

As Stubbs, you’ll wreak havoc on the idyllic and retro-futuristic city of Punchbowl.

Brains, brawn, and good looks

The trick to a hostile takeover of a town like Punchbowl? Take your enemies out for a bite and add them to your zombie horde. The more the scarier, after all!

In your quest to reunite with the love of your life, you’ll explore several of Punchbowl’s most impressive locales. Each self-contained location features new mechanics, challenges, and (of course) new Punchbowl citizens to gnaw on. Ever wondered if a crazed farmhand’s brains taste different from a ray gun-wielding, jetpack joyriding barbershop quartet member’s? Now’s your chance to find out!

Stubbs the Zombie

Eat brains and add unwitting Punchbowl citizens to your loyal horde.

In Stubbs the Zombie, there’s more to being a zombie than just eating brains, building a horde, and terrorizing a city. It’s all that plus unholy flatulence, gut grenades, and sputum heads. Here’s the lowdown on all of Stubbs’ special abilities:

  • Unholy Flatulence: The foes you hit with unholy flatulence might not agree, but I think it’s a gas. You’ll come up smelli

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