Spoiler Warning: Note there are spoilers for God of War Ragnarök in this video.
Join composer Bear McCreary, music production lead Sonia Coronado, music engineer Kellogg Boynton, and Justin Fields from the music affairs group for a deep dive into the music and sound of God of War Ragnarök, including a discussion on their roles and much more.
God of War Ragnarök is available now.
Take it from the smartest man alive There are drawbacks to knowing Everything spoilers are plenty on ahead So tread carefully unless you find your Own Noggin bouncing off a rather firm Backside metaphorically speaking of Course When you're playing a game in order to Have an emotional response that feels Real music can help generate that Connection to what you're doing Foreign My name is bear McCreery I'm the Composer for God of War Ragnarok hello My name is Sonia Coronel and my role Here in God of War Ragnarok is a music Production Elite my name is Kellogg Boynton and I'm a recording and mixing Engineer for the music department here At PlayStation Studios hi my name is Justin Fields I'm in the music Affairs Group and typically handled music Contracts and Licensing for God of War Ragnarok I was invited to compose English Language Lyrics for the music Score Composing music for a video game begins In my studio in my head I want to come Up with themes that will resonate Melodies that Gamers will be able to Take with them on this journey From there It involves a lot of people my main goal For this game is to make an interactive
Music Experience for the players so they Feel really immersed in the world of God Of War through music my role on the Production for the music of God of War Was to help oversee the recording Sessions working with our external Engineering Partners both over in London And over in Iceland working with them on Mike choice and placement providing them Any details that they may need as well As being able to mix some of the score The music group at PlayStation strives To leave no Creative Stone Unturned and Composing lyrics for the score and Translating those to Old Norse was an Opportunity for us to lend an air of Authenticity that will help bring the Players into the realm and world of God Of War Ragnarok Well I recognize that Jared expression Anywhere as a composer and as a fan I Want to go into a sequel and here's Something that gives me exactly what I Want and exactly what I don't know that I want What do I want as a fan the same thing I want to hear that same theme again But what do I need is new information And A New Perspective On that material I think my initial challenge in facing God of War Ragnarok was in trying to Match ultimately exceed the scope of my Score for God of War when I read the
Script for Ragnarok the story was Expanding the roster of characters the Realms everything was bigger and Simultaneously needed to be as Emotionally immediate You tell me if you were gonna eat me That's a joke right probably the biggest Challenge for me was coming up with a Theme for atreus which I didn't do last Time I didn't do last time because the Story really didn't need it I had a Theme for his mom I had a theme for his Dad and the game was about his Relationship with those two entities Ragnarok was different I needed a theme For atreus And I I struggled with this one it went Through many drafts Finally I came across an idea of using The Nordic folk instruments Predominantly to be his theme to pull Back on the orchestra and almost get rid Of it and I got a really small group of Strings just five strings Had them start chugging away It was small and tight Like a Rock track And then I brought in the nickel harpa And a harlingener fiddle And wrote this theme for them that was Quite literally the Kratos theme Turned on its head Instead of Bom bom bom I just turned it around
It's telling you twice in a row twice in A row it tells you hey this is the Kratos theme but it's backwards And I pitched it like this I said uh Atreus's theme has got to be Scrappy It's got to be smaller he's growing up We don't want it to be as big and Ominous and powerful and slow as the Kratos theme it's got to be different so This is it's going to be a little Smaller and I hit play Foreign I remember Eric Williams was quiet and Corey was Laughing Corey was like laughing at me and he Looked at me and he said I love that you Think that piece is smaller and I felt At that point That I had in a way overcome the biggest Challenge I was going to face I thought From there Be smooth sailing turns out I was wrong About that one of the biggest challenges That we overcame is that we had to Record this entire score remotely Obviously due to the pandemic we were Not allowed to travel for obvious Reasons so we had to be able to figure Out how to do this all remotely with our Team in Los Angeles while recording the Orchestra over in London and in Iceland So being able to kind of pull together
As a team and pull this off especially With the hurdles that we had to work Through it was a huge accomplishment for Everyone involved And I find that the quality of the Implementation the creative instincts of The team that are actually putting the Music into the game are part of what Shapes your experience when you play it One of my proudest achievement is Something that we actually thought early On during this project we were wondering Is there a way to not cut off Melodies In a game that is so interactive so we Really try to carry that Vision into This game and it was a really a team Effort to make this happen but we Ensured that in all boss fights and in All systemic content as much as we could To let no Melody be harmed and I hope All the players get to enjoy that Oh it's Really you The first day that I met with Corey and Eric to discuss God of War Ragnarok we Spent the vast majority of it talking About anger Boda and atreus her impact On the story is massive and making sure That she and atreus had a relationship That works and that the audience bonds With her was a primary focus for me as a Composer In many ways her theme pushes the Boundaries of our score a little bit
I wanted sounds that would be in the Same musical realm as these Nordic folk Instruments but I wanted something that Was different It's this perfect mix of sweetness and Innocence combined with the magic aspect Of this realm so the use of dulcimers For example to really represent that Childlike in a sense but also this Food-like melody that uh really carries The story of when you're Boda So this unique wooden flute comes in Playing her Melody And her Melody is closely connected to The atreus tune The first five notes are the same That's atreus That's anchor Boda because they're Related their Fates are intertwined You're the English language lyrics for Anger bodus theme which is titled the Giantess of Ironwood mother mother of Wolves you will endure You will endure You are your savior Keeper keeper of souls the last giantess Mother of wolves you will endure So this cue is a great example of how we Use a few words to accomplish something Fairly impactful the line you are your Savior in particular speaks volumes About anger boda's character Arc the Concept of Breaking Free from one's own Fate and taking control of One's Own
Destiny is a common theme across all of The God of War games and exploring that As it applies to anger Boda was an Extremely interesting and exciting Opportunity I was supposed to fight alongside you I Wouldn't disappear from your damn mural Halfway through she's lived under the Weight of this prop Part of her dramatic Evolution comes From what happens after that Thanks So I think the aspects that I'm most Excited for the players to experience Are actually the music for each realm Hearing how the music and themes Elevate The experience the way that we've been Able to tell a story through music Really excited for players to be able to Experience all of that Team the sound team and all the writers And casts that I interacted with for all Of us it's a passion project we're doing This because we love it and I am so Excited for fans to get to hear all the New music and get to go to all nine Realms I can't wait for fans to pop this Game in and be transported away