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The soundtrack of Metroid: Other M includes a piece of piano music (as referred to in the Iwata Asks interview and accompanying video). It is different from other Metroid series songs in that it is a piano ballad. It was first revealed on the newly redesigned Metroid.com/Metroid.jp, where it played as the background music. However, with their overhauls, the music was taken off. Months later, it was heard again, within the actual game. As Samus Aran returns to the BOTTLE SHIP to collect Adam's helmet, the theme starts when she steps into the Control Room from the first floor. During this cutscene, it is slightly different than the alternate Title Screen theme that is unlocked after the game is completed in that it picks up when Samus embraces the helmet, and ends abruptly when the self-destruction protocol of the BOTTLE SHIP activates.
Koike: The development took place over a long period, so there were several tough times. For example, the very first thing we made available to the public on the website for this project was a piece of piano music. That piece started life one afternoon when we got a message from Sakamoto-san, saying 'I want to make a piece of piano music'. After I responded 'well, there's somebody on my staff who can play the piano', we decided to create the piece. Then when I asked him 'when's the deadline, by the way?' he responded 'today'.
Iwata: ...That's rather unreasonable! (laughs)
Koike: It became one of those 'this is tough going!' times, that's for sure. So we got the piano-playing member of staff to play for us. We made the first part, and then let Sakamoto-san listen to it before doing anything else.
Iwata: Was Sakamoto-san in Kyoto at the time?
Koike: Yes, he was, so we sent the music as email attachments. Of course, Sakamoto-san is a bit of an obsessive, so his response upon listening to it was 'this part is wrong'. So we did it again and resent it to him, and his response was 'this part is wrong as well'. This kind of exchange continued over and over until about 8pm, and even the piano player started saying: 'I just don't understand!'
Iwata: So he was ready to admit defeat?
Koike: Yes, so I decided to join in and help him. We tried doing it with two chords, then one, and so on, steadily making the piece simpler and simpler. Then, at the end, we asked Sakamoto-san to listen to it. He said 'it's become really good. I'm moved...I could almost cry'. When I heard him say that I was incredibly happy. Though it was just one day's work, it had been really heavy going. Then, just like that, everything was all right...
Iwata: So you sampled heaven and hell in a day, it seems.
Koike: Oh, I sampled them, that are for sure! (laughs) But this is not the end of the story. After everything was finished that day and after I got home I received a phone call from Sakamoto-san. Just as I was thinking 'What could this be about?' Sakamoto-san said 'I heard a really great piece of music today. Thank you.'
Iwata: Ah, so that's how moved Sakamoto-san was.