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Chihiro Fujioka

Chihiro Fujioka Date of Birth: October 24, 1959 (Osaka)
Instruments: Drum Kit
Joined Square: 1990 (left in 1996)
Game Works: Final Fantasy Legend III, Burai Fighter


Note: This biography was written exclusively for Square Enix Music Online by Chris and is under copyright.

Born on October 24, 1959, in Osaka, Japan, Chihiro Fujioka is a rare talent in the gaming industry; once a composer of several popular scores and a member of a Japanese symphonic rock band, he is now also a successful director, storyline writer, and game designer. He entered the video game in 1983 to join Crystal Software. Here he worked on games such as the PC-8801's Earthbound, Battle Gorilla, and Lizard, the X1's Aspic Special, and, with Ryuji Sasai, Mugen no Shinzou 3. Perhaps his most notable score during this time was 1989's All Sounds of Burai, the score for Taxan's Japan-only NES shooter Burai Fighter.

While working as a video game composer, Fujioka was involved with the Japanese progressive rock band Mr. Sirius as a drummer. The band, which was masterminded by multi-instrumentalist Kazuhiro Miyatake, also featured Lisa Ooki of Final Fantasy Vocal Collections and Pageant fame as a vocalist and keyboardist. The band's music was characterised by its fusions of the Canterbury style with the Italian symphonic rock style, notable for its highly beautiful, melodic, and classically-oriented sound, and received critical acclaim for its two studio albums, 1987's Barren Dream and 1990's Dirge.

Fujioka's first work for Square was for the Game Boy's Final Fantasy Legend III (aka SaGa 3: Jikuu no Hasha), where he not only composed the score with Ryuji Sasai, but also directed. The score, his only composing work for Square, was released in the form of the album All Sounds of SaGa in 1991 alongside the works of Kenji Ito and Nobuo Uematsu for the earlier instalments to the first SaGa trilogy. He only produced four tracks — two serene themes, a frenetic panic track, and a proud ending theme — but, despite their simplicity, generally added to the character, catchiness, and diversity of the score. His roots are very old-school, indeed.

Also at Square, Fujioka was responsible for the storyline of Final Fantasy Mystic Quest in 1992, which was first released in North America. Here, he worked alongside Sasai once more, though not directly, as Fujioka didn't co-compose. Since it received some acclaim internationally, Fujioka became a much bigger name. His next project, directing Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars in 1996, saw Nintendo and Square directly collaborate. This is his most recognised work, and is highly representative of the general light-heartedness of all his projects.

After the game's success, Fujioka joined many of the game's workers to work on games on behalf of 'Heads and Shell' and 'Alpha Star', two of Nintendo's game developers. On behalf of them, he has worked on hit games such as Paper Mario, Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, Hamtaro: Rainbow Rescue, and, most recently, Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time. Though unlikely to compose in future, Fujioka will continue to make his mark known by helping to develop more games in the future.

List of Relevant Game Projects

Year Game / Role Console
1991 Final Fantasy Legend III / Jikuuno Hasha SaGa 3 (Square)
Direction / Composition with Ryuji Sasai
Game Boy
1992 Final Fantasy Mystic Quest (Square)
Super Nintendo
1996 Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars (Square / Nintendo)
Super Nintendo

List of Covered Albums

Album Title Catalog No.
SaGa, All Sounds of NTCP-1004/5
SaGa Series 20th Anniversary Original Soundtrack Premium Box SQEX-10145/65