Yuzo Koshiro: Legendary game composer, family business owner - Polygon. Video game composers will never become household names on the level of rock stars. Practically everyone can hum the theme to Super Mario Bros., but it takes a certain type of person to be able to tell you that the man behind that timeless earworm was a fellow by the name of Koji Kondo. Though video game music has worked its way into countless millions of people's lives, only the most devoted of enthusiasts take the time to explore the lives of the creators responsible for those insidious, addicting loops of music that accompany their every frantic attempt to stop Dr.
Robotnik or master the fastest loop of Tetris. Among those avid game music fanatics, though, few names carry as much weight as Yuzo Koshiro's. And yet, even among the game music literati, Koshiro's work beyond composition rarely receives much discussion. As president of game development studio Ancient, Koshiro has had his hands in the process of making games for nearly as long he's been writing music for them. Sonic origins. Yuzo Koshiro. Biography Early life (1967–1985) Yuzo Koshiro was born in Tokyo on December 12, 1967. His mother, Tomo Koshiro, was a pianist. She taught him how to play the piano at the age of three, and by the age of five, he had a strong command of it. While he was still in high school during the early 1980s, Koshiro began composing music on the NEC PC-8801 as a hobby, including mockups of early arcade game music from Namco, Konami, and Sega. In a 1992 interview, Koshiro said that his favorite music genres are new wave, dance music, technopop, classical, and hard rock, and that his favorite Western bands are Van Halen and Soul II Soul. Career at Nihon Falcom (1986–1988) Early freelance work (1988–1990) Founding of Ancient Corp. (1990–1994) His CD soundtracks became best-sellers in Japan during the early 1990s. In 1993, Electronic Games listed the first two Streets of Rage games as having some of the best video game music soundtracks they "ever heard.
" Works Gaming Intelligence Agency - Features - Interview with Yuzo Koshiro. Yuzo Koshiro is one of the premier videogame music composers of our time. He learned to play the piano at the age of 3 under the careful guidance of his mother, later studying the violin and cello as well. His first professional project was for Nihon Falcom and would result in the highly renown soundtrack for Ys. Koshiro gained wide recognition for his works in the Shinobi and Streets of Rage series, but it was his groundbreaking compositions for Actraiser that cemented his place in the annals of videogame music. When Sega announced Shenmue, more than a few eyebrows were raised at the ambitious and expensive production.
GIA: First, thanks for taking time out of your incredibly busy schedule - Our first question is, how and at what age did you get involved in music? YK: I started to learn playing the piano when I was 3 years old. GIA: At what point did you decide to compose music for videogames? YK: I used to listen video game musics when I was a child. YK: Actually Mr. YK: Above all Mr. Keeping the Classic Sound Alive: An Interview with Yuzo Koshiro from 1UP. Or kids who grew up owning Nintendo consoles, "Hip Tanaka" was likely the first name they ever put to a video game soundtrack. But those who grew up on Sega or NEC systems probably had a different muse: Freelance composer Yuzo Koshiro. A talented, versatile, and decidedly friendly musician, Koshiro entered the games industry writing compositions for niche PC RPG developer Nihon Falcom before branching out to console work.
Koshiro contributed to two landmark works of game music: Ys Books I and II, whose reworked Turbo CD version turned thousands of young American gamers into instant fans with its blistering rock arrangements, and the Streets of Rage trilogy, which stunningly twisted the Sega Genesis sound chip into a source of the purest, most addictive trance electronic to appear in a video game to that point. For our first appointment in Japan before this year's Tokyo Game Show, we visited the office of Koshiro's development studio Ancient for a long overdue interview. YK: Oh, okay. Yuzo Koshiro. Biography Early life (1967–1985) Yuzo Koshiro was born in Tokyo on December 12, 1967. His mother, Tomo Koshiro, was a pianist. She taught him how to play the piano at the age of three, and by the age of five, he had a strong command of it.
While he was still in high school during the early 1980s, Koshiro began composing music on the NEC PC-8801 as a hobby, including mockups of early arcade game music from Namco, Konami, and Sega. Early career at Nihon Falcom (1986–1988) Early freelance work (1988–1990) Founding of Ancient (1990–1991) Streets of Rage series (1991–1994) For the soundtrack to Streets of Rage 3 (1994), he created a new composition method called the "Automated Composing System" to produce "fast-beat techno like jungle Later career (1994–present)
OPCFG: THE OPCFG INTERVIEW WITH YUZO KOSHIRO. The OPCFG Interview with Yuzo Koshiro Yuzo in his studio Recently I got in contact with Yuzo Koshiro, the man that composed the music for such classic games as The Revenge Of Shinobi, Actraiser, and the Streets Of Rage series. More recently he worked on music for the Dreamcast epic Shenmue. He graciously agreed to an interview, which I'm presenting here.
Rob: I'd like to thank you for agreeing to this interview, and for starters, I'd just like to ask a few basic questions. Yuzo: Since my mother was a piano teacher, I learned to play from her when I was 3 years old. Rob: What kind of setup do you normally use to create music? Yuzo: 3 diy-based pcs, Logic Audio. Rob: Something I've always wondered is where and when did you get your start composing music for games? Yuzo: First of all I learned basic composition from Joe Hisaishi for 3 years when I was 10 years old.
Rob: Also, what other games did you work on music for before you started freelancing? Yuzo: Both are SOR2. The Revenge Of Shinobi. Exclusive Interview Feature: Interview #2: Yuzo Koshiro. Our second interview partner is Yuzo Koshiro. The 39-year old composer is best known for scoring early Nihon Falcom classics, such as Ys, Ys II and Sorcerian. After leaving Nihon Falcom, Koshiro founded his own company, Ancient, in 1990. Recently, Koshiro has worked on Monolith Soft's Namco X Capcom, Konami's class="game">Castlevani: Potrait of Ruin as well as Atlus' Etrian Odyssey and its sequel. As a company, Ancient is not only offering Koshiro's composing skills to publishers, but also the game development capabilities of its 19 employees. Since 1991 the company has worked on more than 20 mostly action-oriented games for companies like Sega, Enix (now Square Enix) and Sony Computer Entertainment.
Q: Mr. Q: Let's hear about the music of Etrian Odyssey 2 and its composition. Q: How does the music of the prequel differ from Etrian Odyssey 2's soundtrack? Q: Apart from Etrian Odyssey 2, are you currently working on any other game music projects? Video Games Daily | Yuzo Koshiro Interview. Page: 1 2 3 If you were to ask a devout game music fan who the most well-known composers are, one of the first answers would most certainly be Yuzo Koshiro.
While his most well-known work is the classic Streets of Rage 2 soundtrack, Yuzo still remains highly active in the composition of game music to this day; his most recent effort being the themes of the mega-crossover Namco X Capcom. His family's game development company, Ancient, also continues to produce and develop new titles. Kikizo recently had the opportunity to talk with Yuzo about his recent work, the technical aspects of game music composition, and the difficulties of being a small developer in a cutthroat market. Kikizo: So, what exactly has Ancient been up to lately? Koshiro: We're currently working on a new game based on an anime series, which I'm also doing the music for. Kikizo: The Namco x Capcom theme was the first song you composed with lyrics, isn't it? Koshiro: Yes, it is.
Kikizo: That's really cool.