Ace Combat 7: Daredevil | Orchestral Cover

Daredevil from Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown

Composer: Keiki Kobayashi Arrangement: Andrés Soto

Originally composed by Keiki Kobayashi, this piece is celebrated for its electrifying blend of electronic, rock, and orchestral sounds, which together create an exhilarating and epic atmosphere that perfectly captures the essence of aerial combat in the game. My challenge was to capture that same intensity and emotion without relying on the rock and electronic elements, particularly the electric guitars, central to the original piece.

The adaptation process began with a thorough analysis of the original composition, identifying the key elements that drive both the energy and the emotional narrative of the piece. My goal was to recreate these elements using only orchestral instruments, necessitating a creative approach to instrumentation and orchestration. The intensity and dynamism of “Daredevil” were achieved through strategic use of the brass section for powerful melodic lines, while strings and percussion were employed to build dramatic tension and sustain momentum throughout the piece.

To replicate the energy that would typically be contributed by electric guitars and synthesizers, I focused on texture and dynamics. The strings, with their wide range of playing techniques, offered a rich palette of colors to explore, from soft, ethereal passages to powerful rhythmic ostinatos. Percussion, from timpani to the bass drum, added layers of intensity and a sense of urgency. The wind instruments, meanwhile, brought their unique voice to the arrangement, with woodwinds providing melodic counterpoints and brass accentuating the most heroic and dramatic moments.

One of the most rewarding aspects of this project was finding new ways to express the essence of “Daredevil” while remaining true to the spirit of the original work. This involved not only a careful selection of instruments and exploring their sonic capabilities but also adapting the musical language to resonate with a concert hall audience. The result is an arrangement that, though divergent from the rock and electronic elements, remains faithful to the intensity, emotion, and complexity of Kobayashi’s original piece.

This orchestral arrangement of “Daredevil” demonstrates the versatility and emotional potential of video game music when presented in a classical context. Through this project, I aimed to not only pay homage to an iconic piece from the video game soundtrack genre but also to explore how these compositions can find new life and resonance within the orchestral repertoire. Video game music, with its rich diversity of styles and ability to evoke deep emotions, offers an uncharted territory for arrangers and orchestrators. With “Daredevil,” I’ve attempted to bridge these two worlds, hoping that both video game music enthusiasts and classical music lovers can appreciate this unique and thrilling synergy.

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