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 Post subject: Basiscape Composers Interview - Shooting Gameside #1
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:55 am 


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Joined: 20 Feb 2011
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This is the 8 member Basiscape interview from Shooting Gameside #1. Someone requested this, and it was pretty quick to translate since most of the questions are repeated for each member. The questions focus on their shmup compositions... but unless you really love the Daifukkatsu and Deathsmiles IIX soundtracks, the first 3 interviews with Namiki, Sakimoto, and Iwata will likely be most interesting. The other composers just haven't done as much.

The questions don't go into too much depth, but I've tried to link to the songs mentioned whenever possible. I mainly used youtube, but for a couple things, nicovideo was the only option available. Probably the most enjoyable way to read this is to listen to the songs mentioned as you go through it. If you find anything I couldn't, feel free to post a link for it.

Anyway, enjoy! I've done most everything from Shooting Gameside #1 now, might try this Steel Empire developer interview next, though its a bit obscure... oh, and all my previous translations (and rancor's and others) are archived on the forum here, fyi.


Basiscape Team Interviews - Shooting Gameside #1
Interview by GERTACK!


Hitoshi Sakimoto

Main Shooting Compositions
1988 Revolter (PC 88 Series)
1991 Verytex (Megadrive)
1991 Magical Chase (PC Engine)
1994 Shippu Mahou Daisakusen (Arcade)
1996 Soukyugurentai (Arcade)
1998 Radiant Silvergun (Arcade)
1998 Armed Police Batrider (Arcade)
2004 Gradius V (PS2)

Shooting Arrangements/Remixes
1998 Battle Garegga (Sega Saturn)
2003 Dodonpachi Daioujou - Ketsui Kizunajigokutachi (Music CD)

—Please tell us about your childhood, and how you got into music and games.

Sakimoto: I was a typical game center kid, but I had been involved with music before that, so my interest in game music was a very normal progression. Game centers at that time had an atmosphere of a place where delinquents gather, but I started hanging out with some cool older kids who were there just because they loved the games. One thing that left a big impression on me was the first time I saw the ending of "Senjou no Ookami" [[Commando]]. The staff roll song was so moving to us that tears came to my friend's eyes.

—What was the first shooting game you played?

Sakimoto: I think it was Space Invaders. And maybe Galaxian after that.

—Are there any shooting games you particularly enjoy?

Sakimoto: I could give countless names, but Tatsujin is personally very memorable for me. It was very difficult for its time, and when I first cleared the first loop I found myself completely immersed in the game.

—Are there shooting games which have influenced you as a composer?

Sakimoto: If I limit it to shooting games, Dragon Spirit. Actually I don't like it that much as a game, but the music is astounding.

—Please tell us about the main equipment you use when composing shooting music.

Sakimoto: I just used whatever was available to me at the time. There wasn't really any particular instrument or hardware I always used.

—When you're composing shooting game music, is there anything you're particularly conscious of or careful about?

Sakimoto: Making the music dramatic, through small and large turns in the flow of the song. When you play a shooting game, you're focusing so much that time seems to go more slowly, and combined with small undulations in the flow of the music, as well as your attention being so focused on the screen, one's perception of the music can become very clear and sharp. I try to give players that experience with big dramatic shifts in the music as well. I know it sounds contradictory, but this is based off my personal experience playing shooting games... its very hard give a theoretical explanation.

—Of all the shooting game music you've composed, what are the ones you like the most?

Sakimoto: Probably Radiant Silvergun and Soukyuugurentai. Those were extremely exciting, dramatic games.

—Of all the shooting game remixes you've done, what are the ones you like the most?

Sakimoto: I've done almost no arrange versions, just a single track from Namiki's Battle Garegga soundtrack. It was like doing a compilation, and it was fun and memorable for me.

—What shooting game music you've composed has given you a lot of troubles, or is otherwise very memorable for you?

Sakimoto: After completing the Battle Garegga arrange track I mentioned above, we went out drinking. It was really funny when Namiki grabbed Shinji Hosoe and Ayako Sasou, who were also there, and proceeded to passionately talk their ears off about Hosoe's music. (laughs)

—Is there shooting music you've done that hasn't been released on cd yet, that you'd like to see released?

Sakimoto: Hmmm... which one's haven't been released as soundtracks? Sorry!

—We are also publishing a Raizing/Eighting feature in this issue. Please share any interesting episodes or anecdotes from your time there.

Sakimoto: I really remember the faces of everyone who was developing Soukyuugurentai. Though they were quiet people, they were also strangely passionate, and when they'd get happy their eyes would get really big and round... their smiling faces left an impression on me. (laughs)

—What do you think the future sound of shooting music should be?

Sakimoto: I don't think I'm qualified to answer that question, but when I used to play shooting games I'd get into a kind of trance state while I played, and I'd like there to be more music that can bring people into that zone and totally immerse them.

—Please give a final message to all the fans of Basiscape and shooting music out there.

Sakimoto: Xevious, Darius, Slap Fight... I could go on and on, but I played these games so much back then that I really think they helped shape my personality. I feel I've grown somewhat apart from shooting games these days, but I get the impression that even now there are many, many game developers who were active in development back in the day, who still want to make shooting games. It would make me very happy to work with them and someday make more shooting music.



Masaharu Iwata

Main Shooting Compositions
1988 Revolter (PC 88 Series)
1991 Over Horizon (Famicom)
1991 Verytex (Megadrive)
1991 Magical Chase (PC Engine)
1994 Shippu Mahou Daisakusen (Arcade)
2000 Golgo 13 Kiseki no Dandou (Arcade)
2002 Golgo 13 Juusei no Requiem (Arcade)
2004 Mushihimesama (Arcade)

Shooting Arrangements/Remixes
2003 Dodonpachi Daioujou (PS2)
2003 Dodonpachi Daioujou - Ketsui Kizunajigokutachi (Music CD)
2009 Namiki Manabu Selection Deathsmiles Premium Arrange Album (Music CD)
2010 Deathsmiles IIX Makai no Merii Kurisumasu (X360)

—Please tell us about your childhood, and how you got into music and games.

Iwata: When I was in elementary school, I used to play arcade games at places like the local candy shop and the onsen lobby. Mechanical games were still the most popular then. After Space Invaders and the video game boom, with many companies putting at all kinds of games, I played a lot, and when game centers started to be built I often went there with my friends. I believe around junior high, I had this one friend I was always hanging out with, and did games, music, and everything together. We were into music like YMO and bought records and collected synthesizer catalgoues. When I started high school I got my long-desired synthesizer, and my friend and I started a YMO cover band. It was the beginning of my pretences as a composer, I think.

—Are there any shooting games you particularly enjoy?

Iwata: There are many, but I played Gaplus and Gradius II a lot, so I like those.

—Are there shooting games which have influenced you as a composer?

Iwata: Yes, all the songs I've heard while playing have all influenced me. When I joined the industry, shooting was flourishing at its zenith. It was a time when my senpai [[tr note: one's senior, ie composers before him]] were bringing many wonderful works into the world one after the other, and I was influenced by all of them.

—Please tell us about the main equipment you use when composing shooting music.

Iwata: My old pattern of work, which I did for a long time, was to find good sounds on a synthesizer or keyboard, enter all the song data directly into a text file by hand, compile it in assembler, and then fix things with a debugger. Lately I use a sequencer or DAW (digital audio workstation), and everything is done with software on the PC.

—When you're composing shooting game music, is there anything you're particularly conscious of or careful about?

Iwata: Usally, I look at the stage art and the way the enemies appear in the stage, and I form an image inside my mind of what I think the tempo and tonal color of the music should be. When I do this very decisive work, I don't look at still images much, but usually the actual stage in motion.

—Of all the shooting game music you've composed, what are the ones you like the most?

Iwata: Of my titles, I like Magical Chase. The PC Engine hardware has many quirks, but I remember in that title that it didn't feel like a struggle, and it was a joy to be putting music to such a good game. Mushihimesama is also very nostalgic for me and I like it a lot, too.

—Of all the shooting game remixes you've done, what are the ones you like the most?

Iwata: The Over Horizon arrange that was played at the "Extra - Hyper Game Music Event 2007." It wasn't so much a remix as it was being able to add parts that I couldn't express on the Famicom version. I tried to make an arrange version that people who knew the original music would enjoy. Incidentally, it was included on the cd "Extra - Official Compilation," but the version played at the event was two minutes longer, and the percussion was stronger.

—What shooting game music you've composed has given you a lot of troubles, or is otherwise very memorable for you?

Iwata: Its a doujin game, but I'll never forget Revolter. I met so many people and gained so much experience working on it, and it decisively showed me that I could make a living in this game industry. I met our company's President, and he taught me how to enter the music as program data. The method I learned then for entering data for the sound drivers (Terpshicore), I would later use in almost the same way for the Famicom sound drivers I created. I also learned about how to create sounds with FM synthesis then, too. As a composer I was just starting out and still had much to learn, but for the hardware side, my whole technical foundation came from that time.

—We are also publishing a Raizing/Eighting feature in this issue. Please share any interesting episodes or anecdotes from your time there.

Iwata: They were the first real job I had, and they seemed to be a company that specialized in shooting games, and I had never worked with a professional group of specialists like that before... so at my first meeting, I remember I was extremely nervous. (laughs)

—Please give a final message to all the fans of Basiscape and shooting music out there.

Iwata: When I look back on it now, I realize that all the technical skill I've acquired and the relationships I've built all have their origin in the shooting genre. I've unfortunately had less chances to work on shooting games nowadays, but if I ever get the request, I want to revive that youthful spirit I had which was so excited by shooting games and really give it my all. Thank you for everything!



Manabu Namiki

Main Shooting Compositions
1993 Thunder Dragon 2 (Arcade)
1993 Choujikuu Yousai Macross II (Arcade)
1994 Operation Ragnarok (Arcade)
1995 P-47 Aces (Arcade)
1995 Desert War (Arcade)
1996 Battle Garegga (Arcade)
1998 Armed Police Batrider (Arcade)
2002 Dodonpachi Daioujou (Arcade)
2003 Ketsui (Arcade)
2003 Bike Bandits (Windows)
2003 Dodonpuchi Zero (Mobile Phone)
2004 Mushihimesama (Arcade)
2005 Espgaluda II (Arcade)
2006 Mushihimesama Futari (Arcade)
2007 Deathsmiles (Arcade)
2008 Dodonpachi Daifukkatsu (Arcade)
2008 Gradius Rebirth (Wii)
2008 Fantasy Zone Complete Collection (PS2)
2008 Deathsmiles Mega Black Label (Arcade)
2009 Deathsmiles II Makai no Merii Kurisumasu (Arcade)
2010 Dodonpachi Daifukkatsu Black Label (Arcade)
2010 Deathsmiles IIX Makai no Merii Kurisumasu (X360)

Shooting Arrangements/Remixes
1998 Battle Garegga (Sega Saturn)
2004 The Madness Battle Garegga Perfect Soundtrack (Music CD)
2005 The Second Apocalpyse Ketsui Perfect Soundtrack (Music CD)
2005 Summer Carnival 92 Recca Famicom Soundtrack (Music CD)
2006 The Secret Lover Mushihimesama Remix Tracks (Music CD)
2007 Darius Remix (Music CD)
2009 Namiki Manabu Selection Deathsmiles Premium Arrange Album (Music CD)
2010 Darius BUrst Remix Wonder World (Music CD)
2010 Cave no Uta ~Burakku Reeburu~ (Music CD)
2010 Deathsmiles IIX Makai no Merii Kurisumasu (X360)

—Please tell us about your childhood, and how you got into music and games.

Namiki: After the Space Invaders boom had quieted down, my friends and I would get together and play arcade games that were installed at places like store fronts and play areas for kids on department store rooftops. As I played, my interest was piqued by the unique electronic music used in video games. In junior high I started listening to the radio, and my interest in music broadened as I heard 80s pop and rock. My first compositions were in high school, when I started taking my favorite heavy metal riffs and recreating them on an MSX computer. From there I gradually started making more original things.

—Are there any shooting games you particularly enjoy?

Namiki: Galaxian, New York New York, Time Pilot, Gyruss, Gaplus, Nova 2001, Stinger, Gradius, Section Z, Ninja Princess, Fantasy Zone, High Voltage, R-type, Mister Heli no Daibouken, Hishouzame, Area 88, Aureil, Gun Frontier, Raiden, Mahou Daisakusen, Strikers 1945, Battle Garegga, Mushihimesama, Deathsmiles... there's too many to list. (laughs)

—Are there shooting games which have influenced you as a composer?

Namiki: I've been playing since the beginning of shooting games, so I think on an unconscious level, everything that's reached my ears has influenced me. If I were to pick up some clear influences, Dragon Spirit was awe-inspiring for me, the way the BGM richly evolves in each stage. And if I'm not talking purely about music, "Summer Carnival Recca 92." I feel it wouldn't be an exaggeration to call it the predecessor of Battle Garegga. (laughs)

—Please tell us about the main equipment you use when composing shooting music.

Namiki: My basic method, which I've been doing for a long time now, is to use a sequencer to arrange instruments from a synth or keyboard... in other words, midi sequencing. In the past I had various specialized midi instrument hardware in a rackmount, which I'd then use sequencing software on a PC... but since about 7 years ago, I do almost everything in a PC software environment exclusively.

—When you're composing shooting game music, is there anything you're particularly conscious of or careful about?

Namiki: The main thing I'm conscious of is the fact that this music is meant for a shooting game. I have various rules for composition I've internalized, some I'm aware of and some I'm not, and these are things I've acquired with experience and are very hard to put into words, but their importance increases with each title I complete. But I always recognize that shooting game music is special compared with other music generally, and even with other game music.

—Of all the shooting game music you've composed, what are the ones you like the most?

Namiki: Wangan Sensou (Desert War) really summed up the time I was employed with NMK, and has many strong feelings for me. Also, Mushihimesama and Mushihimesama Futari have a lot of melodies in it that I personally like, so its a favorite. Deathsmiles is one I'd really like people to hear. I think it was a title in which the gameplay, visuals, and sound are all three unified, and as a shooting game I think it has a unique appeal you can't find elsewhere. If you haven't played it yet, please give it a go!

—Of all the shooting game remixes you've done, what are the ones you like the most?

Namiki: It may have been somewhat controversial, but I really like the arrange I did of the system 16 version of Fantasy Zone II, recorded for the PS2 "Fantasy Zone Complete Collection." I was able to pour my love for both Fantasy Zone games and Sega into it. Also, on the "Gradius Rebirth Original Soundtrack," I arranged various famous tracks from the series using their respectively different hardware and nostalgic sounds, but I especially like the SCC+PSG sounds used in 2 of the 4 bonus tracks.

—What shooting game music you've composed has given you a lot of troubles, or is otherwise very memorable for you?

Namiki: The work I did for the mobile phone app Dodonpuchi Zero gave me a lot of problems. The available memory was tiny, and there wasn't enough space for the BGM data, so there was no way to get it to fit except for removing notes from the songs. Even though I had to shave off so many notes from the pieces, the songs still needed to be enjoyable to listen to, and with all the fine tuning I had to do on these songs it was like some incredibly complex puzzle. Those days remind me of how much I hated the way musical data was done on mobile devices. (laughs)

—We are also publishing a Raizing/Eighting feature in this issue. Please share any interesting episodes or anecdotes from your time there.

Namiki: The programmers and designers on the development team were all grizzled veterans, so when I joined Raizing just before development began on Battle Garegga, I remember feeling overwhelmed by the pressure. But they were so friendly and we would go out drinking almost every day, so soon I broke through that. (laughs) Their teamwork was exceptional. Even today I can proudly assert, "I want to make more shooting games with those guys!" Man, I really want to... from the bottom of my heart.

—Please give a final message to all the fans of Basiscape and shooting music out there.

Namiki: Thank you for always enjoying our work. I think the shooting genre is immortal, so let's keep playing these games! I've been involved in arcade shooting game music for 18 years now, and I still feel like I have much to accomplish in creating music that delivers the "shooting high" state of mind, where the player, game, and music are all in sync. ...and so, let us meet again on the other side of our enemies' fierce attacks. (laughs)



Mitsuhiro Kaneda

Main Shooting Compositions
2005 Espgaluda II (Arcade)

Shooting Arrangements/Remixes
2010 Deathsmiles IIX Makai no Merii Kurisumasu (X360)

—Please tell us about your childhood, and how you got into music and games.

Kaneda: The first memory I have of playing video games is probably when I was 3 or 4, at a ski lodge I was at with my parents. I remember being very afraid of the Space Invaders music. I remember not understanding how to play Heiankyo Alien very well, and really loving the colorful Galaxian.

—Are there any shooting games you particularly enjoy?

Kaneda: There are too many to list, but I highly recommend Image Fight!

—Are there shooting games which have influenced you as a composer?

Kaneda: There's too many for me to list here, too, but I'd say X-multiply is one. There's a mysterious loneliness or sadness about it that was quite traumatic for me.

—Please tell us about the main equipment you use when composing shooting music.

Kaneda: Hmm.. I believe I used the Atomiswave soft synth?

—When you're composing shooting game music, is there anything you're particularly conscious of or careful about?

Kaneda: Make every moment count.

—Of all the shooting game music you've composed, what are the ones you like the most?

Kaneda: Espgaluda II's stage 4, I think.

—Of all the shooting game remixes you've done, what are the ones you like the most?

Kaneda: I think the arrange version of "horobishi suishou shinden no kioku" [[Memories of the Ruined Crystal Temple]] in Deathsmiles.

—What shooting game music you've composed has given you a lot of troubles, or is otherwise very memorable for you?

Kaneda: When I was brought on for Espgaluda II, I remember having a lot of troubles related to my being so new and asking for things that were impossible.

—Please give a final message to all the fans of Basiscape and shooting music out there.

Kaneda: I haven't written much yet, but please look forward to new shooting game music from us with the Basiscape spirit!



Kimihiro Abe

Main Shooting Compositions
2006 Mushihimesama Futari (Arcade)

Shooting Arrangements/Remixes
2005 Battle Garegga (Mobile App)
2005 Mahou Daisakusen (Mobile App)
2005 Soukyugurentai (Mobile App)
2006 The Secret Lover Mushihimesama Remix Tracks (Music CD)
2007 Darius Remix (Music CD)
2009 Namiki Manabu Selection Deathsmiles Premium Arrange Album (Music CD)
2010 Dodonpachi Daifukkatsu Black Label (Arcade)

—Please tell us about your childhood, and how you got into music and games.

Abe: I've liked music since I was a child. My interest for video game music began when I was a 4th year elementary student. One Sunday afternoon, my friend and I snuck into a game center and heard the Gradius stage 2 music. As for my interest in composing, the FM music section of the MSX FAN magazine, as well as modern classical music that I listened to on the radio were both big influences. Also, a friend who was in the same class as me in my first year of high school was an influence.

—What was the first shooting game you played?

Abe: Its a memory from when I was 5, so its not very clear, but I think it was playing Space Invaders at a game center.

—Are there any shooting games you particularly enjoy?

Abe: Puuyan, Grobdaa, Skykid, Star Force (the arcade version!), Star Soldier, Hector 87, Red Alert, Granada, Blaster Burn, Aleste 2, GG Aleste 2, Sky Smasher, Gunnail, Strikers 1945, Strikers 1945 II, Battle Garegga, Armed Police Batrider, Guwange, Rayforce, Raystorm, Raycrisis. Lately I've been into the Geometry Wars series. The mathetmatical theme suits me.

—Are there shooting games which have influenced you as a composer?

Abe: I think Battle Garegga, Soukyuugurentai, and Radiant Silvergun all had a big influence on me. Also, I think shooting games have a large puzzle element, so I'd say the music for Quarth, which had several shooting-ish aspects to it. Also, I felt very inspired by the music for the first boss in Trigon, with its eerie atmosphere.

—Please tell us about the main equipment you use when composing shooting music.

Abe: For my main sequencer I use Cubase. With Mushihimesama Futari I used the XV-5080 and soft synths together, but recently I've been using Kontakt3 as my main sampler and using soft synths just to wrap things up. I've used a lot of free VSTs for synth style sounds, too.

—When you're composing shooting game music, is there anything you're particularly conscious of or careful about?

Abe: I try to further deepen the world of the game with the music, while also writing music that quickly draws the player into the game. This is something related to music written to sync up with a stage's progression, but one trouble I have is in games when there are a lot of items being dropped or collected onscreen, and slowdown causes small discrepanies to occur between the scrolling background and the music I had previously syncronized.

—Of all the shooting game music you've composed, what are the ones you like the most?

Abe: I like everything I've created, original or arranged, so I will be happy if people listen to all of it.

—We are also publishing a Raizing/Eighting feature in this issue. Please share any interesting episodes or anecdotes from your time there.

Abe: I was involved in porting the data over for the mobile phone versions of Soukyuugurentai and Battle Garegga. I remember having a lot of trouble with porting the FM music to the mobile devices. Porting the FM music for Garegga itself was challenging enough, but there were many parts where the FM algorithms couldn't be reproduced. I took some of the original drum sounds and coded them to fit within the memory, so I think it was an accurate port.

—What do you think the future sound of shooting music should be?

Abe: This is a very difficult question. While the music acts as support for the world of the game, whenever I hear the music break free from those constraints, I personally feel that I want shooting game music to stand out more. But I also wonder if this isn't just the sentiment of someone who played shooting games mostly during the "shooting golden age."

—Please give a final message to all the fans of Basiscape and shooting music out there.

Abe: If you have a chance to hear the music of the Basiscape composers, by all means, please share your thoughts with us! We've received very little feedback about the songs themselves, but this feedback gives us energy and hope for our future work, so please share your thoughts with us.



Noriyuki Kamikura

Main Shooting Compositions
2009 Deathsmiles II Makai no Merii Kurisumasu (Arcade)
2010 Dodonpachi Daifukkatsu Black Label (Arcade)
2010 Deathsmiles IIX Makai no Merii Kurisumasu (X360)

Shooting Arrangements/Remixes
2007 Darius Remix (Music CD)
2009 Namiki Manabu Selection Deathsmiles Premium Arrange Album

—Please tell us about your childhood, and how you got into music and games.

Kamikura: Ever since I can remember my family had various keyboard instruments like pianos, electronic organs, and synthesizer in our home, so I naturally acquired an interest in music. Also, I encountered many different games through my older brother, and I'd play melodies from the game music by ear on the piano. When I look back on it now, rather than playing outside, my childhood was more like "Let's play games inside! Let's play music!"

—What was the first shooting game you played?

Kamikura: My memories are a little vague here, but probably Space Invaders.

—Are there any shooting games you particularly enjoy?

Kamikura: There's so many I have trouble remembering them all, but Musha Aleste is one. I like the whole Aleste series, but this one has a different color and feel to the world, and the BGM is in a hard rock and metal style, so its my favorite in the series.

—Are there shooting games which have influenced you as a composer?

Kamikura: I'd say Zanac, Super Star Soldier, Seirei Senshi Spriggan, Gynoug, Sengoku Blade, Silpheed... Of course I like them as games, and I'm very drawn to the way their BGM adds color to the game world and atmosphere. They were a large influence on me.

—Please tell us about the main equipment you use when composing shooting music.

Kamikura: I primarily use a PC, and sometimes also use guitar.

—Of all the shooting game music you've composed, what are the ones you like the most?

Kamikura: "Mahou ni kakerareta kyuuden" [[The Enchanted Palace]] from Deathsmiles II. For a long time I had secretly had the ambition to make a majestic symphonic metal style song for a shooting game, so being able to realize it like this was very meaningful for me.

—Of all the shooting game remixes you've done, what are the ones you like the most?

Kamikura: Stage 4 from Dodonpachi Daioujou Black Label EXTRA (X360). I tried to write a song where the melodies and tempo would evolve as the stage progressed. It went better than I expected, and I think it showed a strong synergy between the game and the music.

—Please give a final message to all the fans of Basiscape and shooting music out there.

Kamikura: In the past I played all kinds of shooting games, but now, its a strugle for me to even no miss the first stage on any game... I've become a scrub. (bitter laugh) We're working hard everyday on bringing you music you'll enjoy, so please keep watching us!



Azusa Chiba

Main Shooting Compositions
2008 Dodonpachi Daifukkatsu (Arcade)
2010 Dodonpachi Daifukkatsu Black Label (Arcade)

Shooting Arrangements/Remixes
2007 Darius Remix (Music CD)
2009 Namiki Manabu Selection Deathsmiles Premium Arrange Album

—Please tell us about your childhood, and how you got into music and games.

Chiba: I think it was because of my cousin, but I've been playing games as long as I can remember. The first time I heard a song from a game and thought "this is great!" was for "Scheherazade Arabian Dream" [[The Magic of Scheherazade]] for the Famicom, when you're in the past. The sad atmosphere in the song really matched the game, and left an impression on me. I didn't develop an interest in composition until much later, when I was about 18. I had been playing classical piano for a long time, but until I started studying composition, I didn't even know chord names. For awhile I really hated music so much that I thought I'd escape by taking up drawing instead. But now I do music composition as my job.

—What was the first shooting game you played?

Chiba: Gradius, on the Famicom.

—When you're composing shooting game music, is there anything you're particularly conscious of or careful about?

Chiba: When I'm writing a song for a stage, I work hard to make the progression of the stage synchronize with the music. Depending on the player making mistakes or causing slowdown, discrepancies will occur, so its impossible to syncronize things perfectly, but in shooting games the speed of the scrolling and the timing where bosses come out are all preset beforehand, so it can be done I think.

—Of all the shooting game music you've composed, what are the ones you like the most?

Chiba: Stage 2 of Dodonpachi Daifukkatsu. This was the first shooting game music I had ever composed. This song was needed for showing the game at the AOU Expo, but I completely forgot that fact when I volunteered to write it at a company meeting. I remember that Namiki, who was doing the sound direction, helped me out many times while I tried to compose under the pressure of that deadline. When we showed it at the AOU Expo and I saw the game actually running, I discovered that if you played well against the midboss, the song would finish too early before the end of the stage! For the actual arcade version I changed the structure and made some revisions.

—Of all the shooting game remixes you've done, what are the ones you like the most?

Chiba: Dodonpachi Daioujou Black Label Extra (X360). I did the fifth stage and the ending arrange tracks.

—What shooting game music you've worked on has given you a lot of trouble, or is otherwise very memorable for you?

Chiba: The 5th stage arrange music for the Dodonpachi Daioujou Black Label Extra (X360). Since its the last stage in the game, I figured it would have a lot of emotional significance for players, so I was under a lot of pressure to not write something halfassed. I did a pretty drastic rearrangement of the original song, so I think players might be surprised when they first hear it, but I think its enjoyable as a slightly different take on Dodonpachi Daioujou.

—Please give a final message to all the fans of Basiscape and shooting music out there.

Chiba: I think all our shooting fans already know this, but we write music where if you play well, the songs will syncronize with the stages. And when you've played well in this way, I think the experience is even more enjoyable. So please have fun with this "match play" with the music! Thank you to everyone for reading this today; I hope we will meet again someday.



Yoshimi Kudo

Main Shooting Compositions
2008 Dodonpachi Daifukkatsu (Arcade)
2009 Deathsmiles II Makai no Merii Kurisumasu (Arcade)
2010 Dodonpachi Daifukkatsu Black Label (Arcade)
2010 Deathsmiles IIX Makai no Merii Kurisumasu (X360)

Shooting Arrangements/Remixes
2007 Darius Remix (Music CD)
2009 Namiki Manabu Selection Deathsmiles Premium Arrange Album

—Please tell us about your childhood, and how you got into music and games.

Kudo: When I was young I played the Famicom game Megami Tensei II. The music really fit the setting, which was a post-apocalyptic, ruined Tokyo, where the hero shoots demons with an uzi. It left a strong impression on me. I remember with the battle music in particular, I'd turn the volume on the television way up and listen to it over and over until my parents yelled at me. After that, I picked up guitar and started a band, and perhaps it was inevitable that I got into stuff like Impellitteri and Highway Star, which were used as the names of enemies in that game. (laughs)

—Are there any shooting games you particularly enjoy?

Kudo: I'd say Area 88 on the Super Famicom. There was something romantic about powering up your ship's weapons and equipment with bounty money you earned as a mercenary. A game that has a lot of memories for me is Tenryuusei (Saint Dragon) on the PC Engine. I remember getting it as a present from Santa. The mechanical bull was the most awesome thing.

—Please tell us about the main equipment you use when composing shooting music.

Kudo: I use the PC and guitar, and create almost all my sounds with soft synths. Shooting music tends to have a lot of simulated analogue synths and rhythm loops... but when I look back at my own work, I think I've been most inspired by voices and vocals. Soprano vocals, choir vocals, shouting, sampling my own voice (laughs)... I haven't really been too conscious about it until now, but I feel you can sense that influence from vocals in about 80% of my music.

—When you're composing shooting game music, is there anything you're particularly conscious of or careful about?

Kudo: Before I sit down to compose, I spend time thinking about what kind of song this will be, and how to convey that emotional state to players. Will this be a song that should convey the joy of flying around shooting enemies out of the sky, or is it meant to convey a feeling of "This is impossible! There's no way I can win!" when some evil killer super weapon appears on screen? Also, I strive to write music that will sync up with the stage and leave an impression on the player.

—Of all the shooting game music you've composed, what are the ones you like the most?

Kudo: Its recent, but I like my work on Dodonpachi Daifukkatsu Black Label. You could call it "full sprint" music, and that aggressiveness fits with my own musical tendencies. One song I would recommend that I've done is "Longhena Cantata" from Dodonpachi Daifukkatsu. Even if you forget the song, I don't think you'll forget the name. (laughs)

—Of all the shooting game remixes you've done, what are the ones you like the most?

Kudo: Ketsui EXTRA (X360). These remixes were going to be used in the actual game, and the original compositions would loop twice in a single stage, so I rearranged the structure of the whole song to match the scrolling in the stage, and doubled the length, making it a sort of "plus alpha" version of the original. It was also the first time for me to experiment with many different musical ideas, like changing the different high speed blast beat rythms to scratch beats and break beats.

—What shooting game music you've composed has given you a lot of troubles, or is otherwise very memorable for you?

Kudo: Every title has been difficult, but I would say the most memorable was my first shooting game music challenge, Dodonpachi Daifukkatsu. We had somehow managed to finish everything, and I was there in an exhausted state checking all the music on the hardware itself, and when I heard Namiki's stage 5 composition, tears welled up in my eyes. The way it starts so light and transparent, then building to roushing climax with that melody, and also the way the main Donpachi theme appears in it... it really captured the whole ordeal of working on that project for me. I had completed it, and made it to where I am today... it was very meaningful to me.

—Please give a final message to all the fans of Basiscape and shooting music out there.

Kudo: We will continue to work at making more interesting music, new music that's never existed before, and music that gets your pulse going, so please continue watching us!
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Last edited by blackoak on Thu Dec 12, 2013 11:58 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Basiscape Composers Interview - Shooting Gameside #1
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:50 am 


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Excellent translation, as usual! :D

The differences in all of their composing environments is interesting. I never would have guessed Namiki worked mostly with a midi sequencer. I thought he would have programmed everything in like Iwata said he does.
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 Post subject: Re: Basiscape Composers Interview - Shooting Gameside #1
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:45 am 


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Flawless. as always + extra points for the links you provided.
It seems like Shinji Hosoe's Dragon Spirit influenced all of this guys. Sadly Namiki and Kamikura left Basiscape last year.

Wangan Sensou is known as Desert War
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 Post subject: Re: Basiscape Composers Interview - Shooting Gameside #1
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:01 pm 


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Thanks for yet another great read.

Near the end of the Namiki section, "Reverse" should be "Rebirth," I think.
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 Post subject: Re: Basiscape Composers Interview - Shooting Gameside #1
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:51 pm 


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Cool, thanks for catching those! I updated it, and added a link to the Gradius Rebirth OST on youtube as well.

Do you know anything about why Maniki left Basiscape? He sure seems to remember the Raizing team fondly. Everything I read about them just makes me want to go play more Batrider. How did that not get an OST release?!
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 Post subject: Re: Basiscape Composers Interview - Shooting Gameside #1
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:34 pm 


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No one knows why he left Basiscape, but right now he's working as a Sound director at M2.
Now the big question is if Cave is going to hire Namiki or Basiscape for their future Soundtracks, i heard IKD is a big fan of Namiki, but who knows.

Regarding Batrider OST, no info about that also. Simon B. from the Shmuzik Thread on FFS made a perfect rip of that game if you are interested.
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 Post subject: Re: Basiscape Composers Interview - Shooting Gameside #1
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:49 pm 


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If namiki left basiscape last year, why is the sdoj ost credited to "namiki (basiscape)"? Was the ost made that long ago?
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 Post subject: Re: Basiscape Composers Interview - Shooting Gameside #1
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:02 pm 


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He made it last year, when he still was a part of Basiscape. Ryu Umemoto was accredited as Sound Director for that Soundtrack, and he died on August 16 last year. I'm sure they have been working on the music since back then.
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 Post subject: Re: Basiscape Composers Interview - Shooting Gameside #1
PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 3:48 am 


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Great work, as always.

Azusa Chiba and Yoshimi Kudo are pretty good newcomers. Noriyuki Kamikura might be good too actually, not sure exactly what he's done so far.
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 Post subject: Re: Basiscape Composers Interview - Shooting Gameside #1
PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 8:45 am 


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 Post subject: Re: Basiscape Composers Interview - Shooting Gameside #1
PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 8:59 am 


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Blackie strikes Again :)
Thank you as always shmuppingmate !

I didn't know Iwata made Magical Chase music ! Haaaa <3
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 Post subject: Re: Basiscape Composers Interview - Shooting Gameside #1
PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 9:35 am 


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Thank you once again for your translation blackoak!

Does Wangan Sensou have an OST release ?
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 Post subject: Re: Basiscape Composers Interview - Shooting Gameside #1
PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 11:33 am 


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absolutley blown away by the effort you are putting into the community blackoak! amazing work! :)

if you ever need more material i have tons of stuff that might be of interest. (dont read japanese myself so cant say exactly what they entail)
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 Post subject: Re: Basiscape Composers Interview - Shooting Gameside #1
PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 1:55 pm 


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rtw wrote:
Does Wangan Sensou have an OST release

No, and the emulation is not good enough to do a rip.
Supersweep Record has been releasing Namiki's past works since last year, i think there's a big chance for that soundtrack to be released in the future.
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 Post subject: Re: Basiscape Composers Interview - Shooting Gameside #1
PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 11:40 pm 



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Thanks a lot, Blackoak.

Sakimoto's comment on arcades being full of delinquents is pure gold, it seems that all arcades in the world were like that, then!
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 Post subject: Re: Basiscape Composers Interview - Shooting Gameside #1
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:12 pm 


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I made a mistake, Wangan Sensou has an CD release
http://vgmdb.net/album/24297
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