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Ryuji Sasai

Ryuji Sasai Date of Birth: December 21, 1961 (Osaka)
Musical Influences: Various Rock Artists
General Interests: Rock Music, Playing in Bands
Instruments Played: Bass Guitar
Joined Square: 1991? (left in 1998?)


This biography was written by Z-Freak 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.

Ryuji Sasai was born on December 21, 1961, in Osaka, Japan. Though little in known about his influences, rock artists presumably formed a foundation for his works, as a keen bass guitar player who has been a member of several rock bands. The first band he joined was Novela in 1982, a respected experimental band that released several albums, including Sanctuary, Legend of Final War, and From the Mystic World. He joined ACTION after Novela dissolved, providing backing vocals in addition to his bass guitar work. This group stayed strong from 1983 to 1998, and, though now dissolved, Sasai continues to play in Queen Mania, performing at rock concerts even today.

After joining Square, Sasai's first work for them was Final Fantasy Legend III (known as SaGa 3: Jikuu no Hasha in Japan) for the Game boy in 1991. He composed the majority of the themes, though director Chihiro Fujioka handled four, and Sasai also arranged two of Nobuo Uematsu's works from Final Fantasy Legend. This score was released in the form of the album All Sounds of SaGa in 1991, together with Nobuo Uematsu's score for Final Fantasy Legend (Makai Toushi SaGa) and Kenji Ito's and Nobuo Uematsu's score for Final Fantasy Legend II (SaGa 2: Hihou Densetsu). Sasai composed his second work for Square the following year, creating the score for Final Fantasy Mystic Quest (Final Fantasy USA) with Yasuhiro Kawakami. He handled most energetic themes, while Kawakami worked on the calmer themes.

After a four year break, 1996 marked Sasai's first solo effort: Rudra no Hihou. He managed to create a captivating soundtrack, complete with his trademark "rockin'" battle and fun dungeon themes, and he kept the slower, calmer compositions for some towns and certain events. Yasuhiro Kawakami, his friend and co-composer on Final Fantasy Mystic Quest, is accredited in the liner notes for giving him a hand with the sound manipulation. Sasai later made an appearance alongside Kawakami and many other composers on Tobal No. 1. Its arranged album, Tobal No. 1 Remixes Electrical Indian, featured Sasai's track arranged in a jazz/fusion way, which gave a completely new dimension to it.

1998 marked Sasai's final work with Square thus far, the score for Bushido Blade 2. Arguably his best work for Square, it was comprised of several rock compositions, the other themes being oriental in nature. Though shorter than the score for Rudra no Hihou, the quality remained high, and the two arranged tracks at the start and end of the album were a fine bonus. This was Sasai's final work for Square, having left the company to work more on behalf of his bands. He has not been known to collaborate with any game companies since.

Though neither the most prolific nor popular composer for Square, Sasai has achieved a huge amount of respect from many of those people who have listened to his works. His albums refined a rock style that was unique for Square albums, and his works on behalf of various rock bands, most recently Queen Mania, have given delight to hundreds of his Japanese fans. Sadly, though, Sasai never received a work popular enough to achieve the same recognition many of Square Enix's other artists received. If he had received a breakthrough work like Nobuo Uematsu's Final Fantasy or Yasunori Mitsuda's Chrono Trigger, it is quite possible he would have received the international acclaim he was capable of.

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
Nintendo Game Boy
1991 Final Fantasy Legend III (aka SaGa 3: Jikuu no Hasha) C+A
Super Nintendo Entertainment System
1992 Final Fantasy Mystic Quest (aka Final Fantasy USA) C
1996 Rudra no Hihou C
Sony PlayStation
1997 Tobal No. 1 C
1998 Bushido Blade 2 C

List of Albums

Original Scores

Arranged Albums

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