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Masaharu Iwata
Masaharu Iwata

Born: October 26, 1966, Tokyo, Japan
Education:
High School
Favorite Drink:
Coffee
Favorite Food:
Noodles
Favorite Music:
All kinds of music.
Favorite Movie:
The Neverending Story, NEMESIS, TRON
Favorite Book: The Complete Cats in the Sun
Favorite TV:
Nash Bridges, Knight Rider, The Equalizer
Influences:
Parents, friends, cats
Hobbies:
Observing stray cats.
Studio Gear: KAWAI K5000S, AKAI S3000XL, Roland XV-5080
Sound Tools: Digital Performer, Sonic Foundry Sound Forge, SEK'D Samplitude.

Official website:
N/A

Credits: Tactics Ogre, Treasure Hunter G, Baroque, Evolution, Final Fantasy Tactics, BAKUSOU Buggy IPATSU YAROU, Shadow Hearts (sound), ETC.


RocketBaby: At what age did you become interested in music?

Masaharu Iwata: I became interested in music from my early childhood. In high school I started to compose music with my friends. Some early musical influences were Arabesque, Yellow Magic Orchestra, John Foxx, China Crisis and Bill Nelson.

RB: How did you get in to the game business?

MI: I applied for a part-time job at the game company, Bothtec. The first game I worked on was BAKUSOU Buggy IPATSU YAROU, ending music only (literal translation - A dashing buggy One shot guy).

RB: What are some of your memories for your early days in the game business?

MI: At first I was manipulating music to suit the games. In this way, I learned the work and had many experiences to adopt myself to hardware or tools with flexibility. Long after that I finally was able to compose. Before that, I had little sense of composition.

RB: How did you meet Hitoshi Sakimoto? What was your first impression of Mr. Sakimoto.

MI: When the coworkers whom I got acquainted with at Bothtec were making coterie software, Mr. Sakimoto was part of the group. He looked fearful (LOL). Seriously he looked like a grown-up fellow,
considering he was a senior high school student.

RB: What do you think of Mr. Sakimoto's music?

MI: I think his music is wonderful. I can't imitate his music, because it has a magnificent scale.

RB: How has your relationship with Mr. Sakimoto changed over the years?

MI: We haven't worked together recently, but our relationship in our private lives hasn't changed. We are good friends.

RB: What are some of your thoughts on the newest Tactics Ogre for the Gameboy Advance?

MI: I was pleased to work with Mr. Sakimoto again. About sound hardware for GBA, I had much trouble because it was my first experience.

RB: What is the process you and Mr. Sakimoto use when creating music together?

MI: We each take charge of a rough portion after looking at the specifications or lists from the clients.

RB: What was your experience working on the Evolution game series?

MI: I had worked for about three months and composed about nine pieces of music for Evolution. I was able to produce music with a little bit different color than usual. I troubled Sting because I delivered the music late.

RB: Another game you made for Sting was Baroque. How was that experience?

MI: The individuality of the game designer, the requested melodies, and the contents of games were all new experiences for me. It was difficult to grab their sense. I would like to thank Sting and John Pee for this game, Treasure Hunter G and many other games.

RB: Why do you create music and what inspires your music?

MI: Because I'm fascinated with game music.
Game music fills the deficiencies of games and it has a meaning more than sound. I use my life's experiences for the inspiration of my music.

RB: Who are some of your favorite game music composers?

MI: Raphael Gesqua, Nathan McCree, Tim Follin.
Because they are individualistic and make music suitable to games.

RB: You often give your name as REZON in many games. Please tell us the origin of this name?

MI: It's the name of the car which a hero drove. The hero appeared in a special program for children which was broadcast about ten years ago. I was pleased with the sound of the word, so I began to use the name.

RB: What are some of your thoughts on the older Orge games?

MI: The work gave me a big chance to change dramatically. My favorite work is Tactics Ogre and the reason is that both the scenario and the game design are profound, but easy to understand.

RB: How was the experience working on Final Fantasy Tactics? Did you feel any pressure working on a game with Final Fantasy in the title?

MI: I received a lot of assistance from Square. It was a giant project, so I profited a lot from the experience. And of ofcourse I felt pressure.

RB: You are credited as sound manipulator on the PSX 2's Shadow Hearts. What exactly is a sound manipulator?

MI: There were the two contents of work, music data translation and sound effect making.
It took me about one month to become familiar with the system, because PSX2 is not much different than PSone.

RB: What did you of Mr. Hirota's and Mr. Mitsuda's music?

MI: I sincerely think it's wonderful. I'm not just saying it to flatter them. It was a very interesting procession of work to be able to play their music using PS2. The work was troublesome, but it was rewarding.

RB: What has been your favorite console to work on?

MI: I have had troubles with every console I have worked on.

RB: Are you happy with the state and evolution of game music?

MI: I think it's joyful, because increasing capabilities means widening possibilities.

RB: What's next for you?

MI: I'm now working on an arcade game which will be released this year(2002).

RB: What is your most treasured memory in the game business?

MI: I have been truly moved every time I've heard the music or effective sounds in the scenes which I made, both good and bad. So my most treasured memory naturally is the time when my music was first played in a game.

RB: What advice would you give to those who want to create game music?

MI: I'm not worthy to give advice to anyone, but I think it's the will to achieve something and fortune that leads a man to a hopeful future.

RB: Any final thoughts?

MI: I myself am a game fan. Whenever I play games and hear good game music and sound, I feel pleasure and think I have to do my best.
From now on I'll do my work with the players in mind.

Translation by Miita

RocketBaby would like to thank Mr. Iwata for chatting with us and eagerly await his next work!
Special thank to Mr. Sakimoto for helping to contact Mr. Iwata. Also to Datschge for input. Mr. Iwata would like to give Miita a special thank you for translation help.

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