When did you
first become attracted to music?
When I was in a preschool, I began to
take piano lessons. That was the beginning of my musical interest.
When I was a high school student, I composed my first original
piece of music. It was an assignment for my music class.
How did you get your start in the game industry?
Before I started at Intelligent Systems (a Nintendo game maker),
I worked as a programmer for a software company that was not
related to games.
Fire Emblem is an innovative game series which defined
a new genre called "simulation/RPG." How did you get involved
with all its games? How long did you work on the music for the
Fire Emblem games? Especially considering the astonishing
number of 114 songs you did for Fire Emblem 4: The Genealogy
of Holy War?
I got to take charge of it because at
that time I was the only music composer they had. That was at
a time when one person could take care of the sound programming
and SE, wasn't it? After it changed to SFC, I was working with
a sound programmer as a pair. I think I took about one year
to compose the music for "The Genealogy of Holy War". I made
them listening to the description each time, since the scenario
and the program were rewritten many times. I composed a lot
of music. I just feel like I composed them without a lot of
Beside several Fire Emblem Original Soundtrack CDs
there were also many additional singles, arranged and drama
CDs released. What was your involvement?
the soundtrack, I think I only participated in the final check,
because I started working with the next project.
Panel de Pon was released as Tetris Attack
in western countries. According to the game's own ending credits
you were only involved with Tetris Attack, what did contribute?
I participated in only one tune of the
title of Tetris Attack. It was the arrangement of the
existent "Yoshi Island's" BGM.
Why and how do you create music?
There are pictures, stories and the maker's thoughts in the
production of games. And there is the feeling that people want
to express using sounds. It's interesting when they are expressed
by using sounds? Each person feels it in different ways.
How do you compensate for the limitations of the console or
hardware you are working on? Which is your favorite?
The way of making music is different depending on the hardware.
Also the way of programming music is different. So it's hard
to tell which is better. The portable machine is interesting.
The production based on CD-ROM is also challenging for me. Even
if the procedure of making music is the opposite direction.
I can't compare which I like. I like putting music on games.
How do you feel about yourself as a composer?
I have a firm belief and a good imagination, but I am a haphazard
and rough person.
Your latest work Mario Story (Paper Mario) stood true
to the way Yoko Shimomura defined its predecessor Super Mario
RPG. The music is mostly uplifting and there are again a
bunch of remakes of older Mario songs. Was this work fun for
you or did you suffer from the limited possibility to create/use
your own style?
Although I enjoyed doing it, I also had a hard time. Because
we made the plan over many times by trial and error we changed
all the aspects of the design of the game, scenario, graphics
not only the sounds. After the development for a long time,
the game was completed. The basic point of the music was making
the original Mario Story (Paper Mario) without interrupting
the original "Mario" music. This was cheerful and lively music
written by Koji Kondo. I think I enjoyed composing the comical
and lively tunes in my own original way. I could enjoy composing
Mario Story (Paper Mario), because of my simple personality.
I reflected the image of the game to my mood. There is also
another composer for the game. I think we gave great influence
to each other. Then the composition became interesting work.
Will you be working on any more Fire Emblems or Game Boy Advanced
I'm sorry, I can't answer the questions about GBA of Fire Emblem
Why did you leave Intelligent Systems?
I retired from the company and became independent after MARIO
STORY. However, I am to work with Intelligent Systems in
the future. I do want to compose for all musical genres, not
Shouzo Kaga is known as the "designer/inventor" of
the Fire Emblem series. He left after Fire Emblem
5: Tracia 776. How was it to work with him?
I worked with him on all of the series until Tracia 776. Mr.
Kaga and I were the only staff left who worked on the first
game. I got great influence and inspiration from Mr. Kaga's
passion for creating games. I always got a power from it.
Do you have a favorite game composer? Who and Why?
Mr. Horokazu Tanaka. He is my teacher. I think he is wonderful,
because he composes music which is enjoyable and relevant.
What would be your advice to people who want to create game
Listen to various music, absorb and research them. Enjoy yourself
Any last words??
I'd like to make music for various games, and I hope all users
will enjoy them.
Discuss this interview at RocketBaby's
would like to thank Ms. Tsujiyoko for chatting with us. Special
Thanks to Datschge for submitting questions.