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Hirosato Noda

Hirosato Noda General Interests: Listening to Music, Arranging, Synthesizers
Instruments Played: Piano
Place of Residence: Tokyo
Joined Square: 1998
Official Web Site: Profile at Square Enix American Web Site


This biography was written by Chris exclusively for use at Square Enix Music Online. It may not be placed on any web site or otherwise distributed publicly without advance written permission, as this is a violation of copyright.

Hirosato Noda is one of a team of five talented synthesizer operators that became employed by Square in 1998, as a result of the PlayStation console allowing a new method of implementing composers' works. Noda's first work was alongside game music legends Koji Hayama and Hayato Matsuo for Front Mission 3 in 1999. Since Hayama handled mostly electronic themes, whereas Matsuo took a symphonic approach, Noda had to show great adaptability here for both types of themes to be implemented in an effective way. Like Hidenori Iwasaki, Noda also received a small synthesizer operating role on Hitoshi Sakimoto's score for Vagrant Story in 2000. Here, he worked on the track "Great Cathedral," giving it a more substantial electronic feel, which differs from Takeharu Ishimoto's implementation of symphonic themes for the rest of the score. Noda's affinity to electronica remained with his arrangement "Dungeon Robot Mix," which appeared as a bonus track at the end of the album.

Perhaps Noda's most well-known work to date was his arrangement of Nobuo Uematsu's "Prelude" theme that appeared on Final Fantasy X in 2001. This arrangement embodied a lot of what Noda's style is about. As an example of light techno, it was praised for being catchy, fun, and original, yet it was also criticised for being cheesy, distasteful, and too unconventional. Some people even accused it of profanation towards Nobuo Uematsu's classic creation. Indeed, one either loves it or hates it, though the theme certainly suited its context within the game. His role in Final Fantasy XI and its extensions generally received wider acclaim. He and Hidenori Iwasaki were responsible for the synthesizer operating, and the pair yielded truly spectacular results; it is the most realistic and clear synth to be used in the series to date. Most people also responded to his upbeat and jazzy arrangement of Kumi Tanioka's "Mithra" in a positive way, though his other arrangement, "Shadow Lord," was less well-received.

In more recent years, Noda is known for working alongside Nobuo Uematsu on the Hanjuku Hero VS 3D Original Soundtrack in 2003. Though the synth was dubious compared to Final Fantasy XI, being somewhat reminiscent of 8-bit sound, it suited the light-hearted purposes of the score nonetheless. His first role during 2005 was as the synthesizer operator for the Romancing SaGa -Minstrel Song- Original Soundtrack. His work complimented the creations of Kenji Ito and Tsuyoshi Sekito perfectly and certainly helped to make the score very effectual. A little later in 2005, Noda made a return to the Hanjuku Hero series by helping to create the score for Hanjuku Hero 4 ~7 Hanjuku Heroes~, his biggest role to date. As well as demonstrating Noda's synthesizer operating once more, this score featured two original compositions and one arrangement from him, all three of which were done in a light techno style.

As he has been responsible for several controversial and unpopular works over his time at Square, Noda still has a long way to go to prove himself; however, as his works on Final Fantasy XI, Romancing SaGa -Minstrel Song-, and Front Mission 3 all showed, he can implement pieces wonderfully with his synthesizer when he wants to. In addition, as his compositions Hanjuku Hero 4 ~7 Hanjuku Heroes~ demonstrated, he has the potential to create very fitting compositions that are also extremely catchy. Having succeeded fairly well as a synthesizer operator, Noda should almost definitely receive more composing roles to date, as his bouncy electronic style has the potential to entices thousands.

List of Game Projects

Note: This list only includes games that the composer has actively worked on, so those games that feature reprises of the composer's work from older titles are not included.

Key: C = Composer, A = Arranger, P = Performer, S = Sound Programmer, E = Sound Effects, M = Synthesizer Operator

Year Game Role
Sony PlayStation
1999 Front Mission 3 M
2000 Vagrant Story M
Sony PlayStation 2
2001 Final Fantasy X A
2002 Final Fantasy XI M+A
2003 Final Fantasy XI Rise of the Zilart M
2003 Hanjuku Hero VS 3D M
2005 Romancing SaGa -Minstrel Song- M
2005 Hanjuku Hero 4 ~The 7 Heroes~ C+A+M
2002 Final Fantasy XI M+A
2003 Final Fantasy XI Rise of the Zilart M

List of Albums

Original Scores

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