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Takayuki Nakamura

Takayuki Nakamura Date of Birth: July 1967 (Tokyo)
Instruments: Piano, Guitar
Game Works: Tobal 2, Ehrgeiz, Lumines, Meteos, Kengo


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

Born during July 1967 in Tokyo, is a self-taught composer, pianist, and guitarist influenced by Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, and Jeff Beck. He started composing at the age of 19 and channeled his creativity by forming a band with friends during college. After graduating, he joined Sega in 1990. He was most famous for his works on the musically iconic OutRun, Virtua Fighters, and Daytona USA with Takenobu Mitsuyoshi. He also worked on other titles such as Where's Wally, Dick Tracy, Astérix, Exhaust Note, Michael Jackson's Moonwalker, and E-SWAT City Under Siege. He even assisted Yuzo Koshiro on Streets of Rage, though did not specifically compose. Unfortunately, he didn't find working at Sega charming or interesting and felt limited during his work there. In 1997, he left the company.

Soon after, he became the resident sound creator at Dream Factory. Having achieved modest success with the Square-published fighter Tobal No. 1, they developed the Tobal 2 and Ehrgeiz for the company. Though Nakamura's electronica score to Tobal 2 was less diverse than its multi-composer prequel, its quality was impressive; he didn't base his music on the prequel at all, since there was no pressure to do so. With Ehrgeiz, Nakamura crafted separate Arcade, PlayStation, and arranged versions of his music, packaged into a two disc soundtrack release. He even arranged the main battle theme of Final Fantasy VII and the "Prelude" for the game to praise from Nobuo Uematsu himself. After Dream Factory ceased productions, Nakamura decided to become a freelance composer in 1999.

Nakamura has worked on impressively prominent projects as a freelancer. Since his debut with Grappler Baki: Baki Saidai no Tournament, h has maintained a close relationship with fighting games. He offered hard rock scores to WWF Raw, its sequel, and Custom Robo: Battle Revolution. He was also entrusted with the Game Boy Advance's The King of Fighters EX: Neo Blood score, but received criticism for overly simple compositions. Nakamura also scored the PlayStation 2's three instalment sword fighting game series Kengo. He demonstrated maturity with his Eastern-flavoured orchestral compositions, though only Kengo 3 received a soundtrack release. His impressive versatility was further exposed with the score to the Xbox 360's Ninety-Nine Nights; Nakamura handled six compositions that formed the score's body.

Outside the field of fighting games, Nakamura has achieved populaity with a series of puzzle titles. He has led the scores to the PSP's Lumines series, where the soundtracks are integral to gameplay; there scores were subject to three album releases — Lumines Remixes, Lumines Remixes, and LII Remixes — praised for providing character and diversity despite an overall electronic approach. His quirky soundtrack to the DS' Meteos characterised each planet and immersed gamers. He returned to the console in 2006 for Gunpey DS, a lesser-known puzzle title. Another recent work was Pro Evolution Soccer 5 (aka Winning Eleven 9), an instalment to Konami's incredibly popular series. With the freedom of a freelancer, Nakamura has grown to become one of the leading names in fighting and puzzle game scores.

List of Relevant Game Projects

Year Game / Role Console
1997 Tobal 2 (Dream Factory / Square)
Composition / Arrangement
1998 Ehrgeiz (Dream Factory / Square)
Composition / Arrangement

List of Covered Albums

Album Title Catalog No.
EHRGEIZ Original Soundtrack SSCX-10025
Ninety-Nine Nights Original Soundtrack KDSD-00101
Ten Plants 2 Children Songs BICA-5002
Tobal 2 Original Soundtrack SSCX-10007