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  • Plants vs. Zombies How the Music for the Game Was Created


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Before the release of Plants vs. Zombies in 2009, hardly anyone could have predicted that the project in the tower defense genre would become so iconic. Now the franchise has three numbered parts, three spin-offs, and one card game for smartphones. But they didn’t surpass the power of the original game. Music played a significant role in this. The compositions from Plants vs. Zombies still appear in bloggers’ videos and serve as inspiration for stars and entertain users as much as betting at https://22bet.co.mz/en_mz/live and some pop hits. Keep reading to find out some interesting facts about its soundtrack.
What’s the Point?
Your house is infested with zombies who want to eat the brains of the property owner. With the help of monstrous plants, you fight off zombies. These are not only the usual horror zombies, but also monsters that cosplay Michael Jackson and huge boogeymen. The whole roster can be listed for a long time.

You have a lot of ways to fight. Sunflowers give energy, which is exchanged for the ability to buy other plants. For example, pods that bombard zombies with peas. Or cherries that blast several monsters at once. The player cannot control the plants; he only puts them on the line of defense.

Thanks to the huge variability, your strategy can change at each level. The arsenal grows, but the zombies also become more cunning. Plants vs. Zombies hasn’t aged a day, so even now it can be recommended. Be careful, because you can spend long hours playing the game. Especially with such a soundtrack.
Meet Laura Shigihara
A Japanese-American composer was born into the family of a Japanese man and a French-American woman. She taught herself to play guitar and drums, and later she tried her hand at writing music. The first game in her portfolio was the puzzle game Wobbly Bobbly, but it was Plants vs. Zombies that made her famous. The game’s chief designer, George Fan, was familiar with Laura’s work, so he offered her to write tracks for the project. In the early stages of development, Shigihara focused only on the pixel artwork of the monsters. She was particularly amused by zombies with long tongues sticking out.

“For some reason, it always made me laugh. Whenever I looked at them, I thought: creepy but also goofy. Which is actually what the soundtrack is all about. It mixes typical dark music with a wide variety of melodies and rhythmic beats,” she told Game Developer.
How Plants vs. Zombies Sounds
The project is done in a cute and cartoony style, without violence or even an abundance of black humor. Shigihara subtly caught this point, so the music in Plants vs. Zombies is reminiscent of the soundtrack to a cartoon, but without the ear-splitting excesses. According to Laura, all sorts of elements related to evil things fit better with howling strings, strange-sounding note transitions, and soft piano. But this isn’t a horror game, but a humor project.

“The zombies are silly, and the plants are cute. There’s a lot of different ‘feels’ in the game. That’s why I thought it would be great to do something unusual, like complementing Danny Elfman’s style with melodic motifs and funky beats. One of the first scenes features marching band percussion and swing. In another, there’s a quirky techno rhythm with a lot of organic sounds that I created myself,” the composer said.

A huge part of the music was also inspired by Laura’s childhood experiences with Nintendo Entertainment System console games. Its counterpart is known locally as Dandy. Shigihara wanted to make compositions as memorable as those in her favorite interactive entertainment favorites from her childhood.

And she clearly succeeded! Genre-wise, it’s like a mixture of the then-fashionable chiptune and orchestral soundtracks. Turn on the title theme song. It’s like it’s a sunny day, and it’s time to lounge on the lawn. But something is clearly wrong… Something bad is about to happen. That’s right, the dead people are standing right by the fence.

Same mood for the song in the first levels of the game. A minor annoyance that needs to be solved quickly so you can be left alone.

The tension builds noticeably as you progress, though. Japanese musicians like to change the melodies in a song in an unexpected yet harmonious way. Count how many times the Ultimate Battle track changes.

Like any outstanding video game soundtrack, the music in Plants vs. Zombies doesn’t switch attention to itself in the moment of action. The compositions are perfectly capable of being both a background “plug” for the rounds and a standalone piece of music.
You’ve Heard This Voice and Probably Didn’t Know It
The final song, Zombies on Your Lawn, was performed by Shigihara herself. When a player defeats the main boss in the game, they are presented with a video clip of a sunflower entertaining a zombie on stage. The composition became a meme at the time of the game’s release.

According to Laura, it was she who suggested making such a video for Plants vs. Zombies. The development team met the idea with enthusiasm and created the video in a week.

This is far from Shigihara’s only work. She released her debut album, My Blue Dream, in 2004, and after the success of the game, she wrote compositions for other interesting projects. These include music for the visual novel To the Moon, World of Warcraft, Minecraft, and more.

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