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Jun Ishikawa

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

A composer for Nintendo developed HAL Laboratory, Inc., Jun Ishikawa is most well-known as the principle composer of the Kirby series whose background isn't known. His earliest works were for Uchuu Keibitai, HyperZone, and Arcana, and his first Kirby score was for the Game Boy's Kirby's Dream Land in 1992. In 1993, Ishikawa composed for the action-RPG Alcahest, released on Super Nintendo in 1993 by Square and developed by HAL Laboratory. No official soundtrack was released, unusual for Square projects, though game rips are available. His earliest soundtracks, Alcahest included, have an action emphasis and a light adventurous feel, though are sometimes criticised for being unmemorable.

Beyond his early works and Alcahest, Ishikawa has exclusively contributed to the Kirby series. In addition to his debut Kirby work, he has worked on the Nintendo's Kirby's Adventure, the Super Nintendo's Kirby's Dream Land 3 and Kirby Super Star, Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, the Game Boy Advance's Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land, and, more recently, the GameCube's Kirby Air Ride and Nintendo DS's Kirby: Canvas Curse. The series has also had six soundtracks dedicated to it, including a 52 track 'Best of' selection, and the series' music has featured in the live concert albums Game Concert 5 ~The Best Selection~ and Dairantou Smash Brothers DX Orchestra Concert.

Ishikawa, together with his principle collaborators Hirokazu Ando, Shogo Sakai, Hirokazu Ando, and Tadashi Ikegami, has moulded the Kirby series into something musically reputable, particularly in the most recent instalments. Gleaming with buoyancy, the generally highly melodious music is enhanced by lyrical phrasing, thorough development, bouncy harmonies, and interesting fusions of orchestral and electronic music, ideal for creating an adventurous feel. With Ishikawa the series' most consistent contributor, Kirby's games and music having a strong fan following, and HAL Laboratory still going strong, it's anticipated that Ishikawa will contribute to the series' next game.

List of Game Projects for Square

Year Game / Role Console
1993 Alcahest (HAL Laboratory / Square)
Composition
Super Nintendo

List of Covered Albums

Album Title Catalog No.
Game Music Concert 5 ~The Best Selection~ SRCL-2739
Super Smash Bros. Original Soundtrack TECD-35446/7
Super Smash Bros. DX Orchestra (Japan) Promotional
Super Smash Bros. Melee ~ Smashing... Live! (UK) Promotional