ever interview is with the accomplished composer of Ehrgeiz and
Tobal 2. This 32 year old musician who was born in Tokyo and started
composing at the age of 19. In college Mr. Nakamura who is self
taught started a band with some friends and played guitar.
Update- Mr. Nakamura is currently working on 2 unnamed games
for the PlayStation 2, and as yet an unreleased solo disc. He
the company Brainstorm Inc., a company dedicated to sound for
July 1967, Tokyo Japan Favorite Food:
Sushi Favorite TV show: X
1992 Out Runners (arcade)
1993 Virtua Fighter (arcade)
Ghost Hunters (sega theme park)
1994 Virtua Fighter 2 (arcade)
Virtua Fighter (sega saturn)
1995 Virtua Fighter 2 (sega saturn)
1996 Virtua Fighter Kids (sega
saturn) Virtua Fighter 3 (arcade)
1997 Tobal 2 (psx)
1998 Ehrgeiz (arcade,psx)
Ehrgeiz (digicube sscx 10025)
2 (digicube sscx 10007)
Virtua Fighter 3 (toshiba emi tycy5522
Virtua Fighter Kids (toshiba emi
How long were you at Sega, and what made you leave for Dream Factory?
Nakamura: I worked for Sega for almost seven years.
At which time I felt very limited at Sega and decided to change
How did you feel limited at Sega?
I did not feel Sega's work was charming or interesting.
Do you work exclusively for Dream Factory?
Until now I worked exclusively for Dream Factory, however later
this year I will be freelancing.
Were there any differences in the attitude towards music at Sega
and Dream Factory?
In my preparation there was no difference. There was more pressure
at Dream Factory since I did all the music.
On the Virtua Fighter series you were involved with the original
music, arranged music or both?
I was involved with all versions.
How closely did you work with Yu Suzuki?
I heard what
styles would be good directly from him, while each tune was written
to his exact specifications.
Tobal 2's music has many styles (funk, jazz and rock), what influences
I like the music styles of Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock and Jeff
Was there any pressure to keep the music similar to Tobal No.
Did you refer to Tobal No.1?
My favorite tune of your is "Grope after the truth" from Tobal
2. It really wowed me when I first played the game. What is your
My favorites are Ehrgeiz's "Opening(short ver.)" and "Tobal 2".
The music to Ehrgeiz seems to have a harder edge than your previous
work. What were you trying to do different?
With Ehrgeiz I tried to make the music simpler than Tobal 2. The
reason for this is the image of the game must be considered, and
there was not as much time to pound out the tunes for Ehrgeiz.
Did you work with Nobuo Uematsu on the Final Fantasy tracks for
No, he came only to hear the song which I had arranged.
What did he think?
He was very pleased with the tune which I arranged of his.
At what point do you become involved with each game,and how long
do you work on each project.
I participate at the time development begins and I work for about
When not working
what kind of music do you listen to?
I listen to music of all kinds. A recent favorite is Hikaru Utada.
RB: Do you
have any influences in the videogame music world?
TN: I did
not know the industry so much until I started at Sega.I came to
know the genre well through the Master System and Genesis. I like
the seniors at Sega as well as the Final Fantasy series.
RB: Do you
play games and what are some of your favorites?
I like to play Unreal and Diablo.
RB: Do you
play Tobal 2 or Ehrgeiz?
TN: I like
both games, but I think Tobal 2 has a better replay and a higher
degree of quality.
there other creative outlets that you would like to explore, such
as film or pop music?
I am looking to work in other industries.
RB: Do you
perform your game music in concert?
TN: So far,
I do not have such plans. However, I want to in the future.
makes Japanese videogame music so good?
TN: I think
the reason is the Japanese like the music of Jazz and techno.
do you think of the next generation game consoles and there sound
TN: I don't
know. I have not heard the sound of the PS2 or Dolphin yet. However,
I think the sound chip that Sega uses is good because it is by
is your studio gear?
is what I have in my home studio: Apple Power Mac G3 233DT, Opcode
Studiovision, Digidesign Pro Tool, Emu Protues 1 XR, Korg TR-Rack
Korg M3R, Korg 01/W, Roland SC-88VL, Roland MC-505, Akai S200.
RB: In the
past I asked you if there would be a Tobal 2 remix disc and you
said no. The release for Ehrgeiz has arranged track included.
Why are there so many remix discs in Japan(example Tekken 3)?
is a difficult problem. I think a lot of remix versions in Japan
are the speculation of the record company. If a game is popular
the chance of sales is raised for the company.
question. What is you next project?
TN: I have
had several offers, but have not decided on which one. I also
plan to work on an overseas game this year. Please listen to my
thank Mr. Nakamura for taking the time to chat with us. Look for
more news on his next projects here at the Journal.
2 and Ehrgeiz images are owned by Dream Factory/Square
Final Fantasy VII images are owned by Squaresoft
Virtua Fighter 3, Virtua Fighter 2 and Virtua Fighter Kids images
are owned by Sega