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Kazumi Totaka

Overview Biography Discography Game Projects Interviews

Kazumi Totaka Date of Birth: August 23, 1967 (Tokyo)
General Interests: Jazz Music
Instruments: Piano, Guitar
Game Works: Animal Crossing, Yoshi's Story, Wii Music

Employment History

Company Tenure Role
Nintendo R&D1 1991 - 1995 Composer
Nintendo EAD 1996 - Composer
Nintendo 1998 - Voice Actor (Yoshi, Totakeke)
Nintendo EAD 2001 - Sound Director
Nintendo EAD 2007 - Director

Brief Profile

Kazumi Totaka has become a cult icon for his musical and wider roles at Nintendo. He joined Nintendo R&D1 in 1991 and worked under Hirokazu Tanaka on X, Mario Paint, and Kaeru no Tameni Kane wa Naru. He soon gained popularity for his light-hearted music on Super Mario Land 2, The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, and Virtual Boy Wario Land. On each of these projects, he integrated a short quirk melody known as Totaka's Song somewhere in the game.

In 1996, Totaka was transferred to Nintendo EAD at the start of the Nintendo 64 era. After integrating jazz music on Wave Race 64, he went on to produce a childish score to Yoshi's Story, mix of horror and comic elements on Luigi's Mansion, and lead the music for Animal Crossing. Through these projects, he also became the voice actor of Yoshi and Totakeke. On Animal Crossing, Totaka assertively directed a team of composers to create an interactive and memorable score.

In recent years, Totaka has demonstrated his seniority at Nintendo EAD by directing the music of Pikmin 2, Animal Crossing: Wild World, Animal Crossing The Movie, and Yoshi Touch & Go. He also helped to define the Wii with his light jazz music for its channels and Wii Sports. In his most largest role to date, he directed Wii Music. He distinguished the title from other music games by allowing gamers to elaborate on the music rather than precisely follow a score.

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