Shinichi Sakamoto (Interview)

Shinichi Sakamoto was a composer at Westone Bit Entertainment, creating music for several of their titles, along with some occasional works for Hudson. His work on both Wonder Boy in Monster Land and Wonder Boy III: The Dragon’s Trap were nominated in HG101’s Best VGM of All Time poll.

What is your background and education in music?

I took piano lessons from between when I was three and eight years old. After that, I was all self taught.

How did you first join Westone?

I was invited by someone when I was at Tekhan, the first company I worked at.

Were you familiar with arcade and video gaming before you joined Westone?

Everyday I played video games. Space Invaders, Galaxian and Pac-Man.

Can you provide a list of all titles you composed for when working for Westone?

Wonder Boy (AC)
Wonder Boy Monster Land (AC)
Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair (AC)
Aurail (AC)
Aquario of the Clockwork (AC) (unreleased)
Mashin Eiyuu Wataru Gaiden (FC)
Monster World II (Wonder Boy III: The Dragon’s Trap) (SMS)
Jinkuu Senki Mu (GB)
Monster World II: Dragon no Wana (GG)
Wonder Boy V: Monster World III (Wonder Boy in Monster World) (GEN)
Dungeon Explorer (Sega CD)
Aoi Blink (PCE)
Appare! Gate Ball (PCE)
Power Eleven (PCE)
Blood Gear (PCE CD) – opening music
Star Parodier (PCE CD) – PSG music
Tobidase! Panibon (Bomberman: Panic Bomber) (Virtual Boy)
Kekkon (PS/SS)
Akihabara Dennou Gumi Pata Pies! (DC)
Fish Eyes Wild (DC)

What was the computer game development scene like in the 1980s? Did you know any of the other composers, or did you ever receive any feedback from fans?

My music was developed using an IC microcomputer development machine based on CP/M. (info here) Although I did not know any other game music composers at the time, I liked the music from Namco. By all means, I want to hear feedback from fans.

What was your favorite system hardware to compose on?

Sega System 16

How long did you work at Westone?

Until 2010.

What was it like to work for the company? Did you often going drinking with your co-workers?

Westone was a great environment for producing work. This is because we were able to work freely, and we were able to be challenged.

What are your favorite types of music and other influences?

Although I loved Herbie Hancock and music like European jazz trio, I was heavily influenced by country folk. Even now, I still listen to country folk music in my car. I also like Taylor Swift, Lady Antebellum, Sheryl Crow, Brad Paisley and James Taylor.

What is your personal favorite soundtrack that you worked on?

Wonder Boy: Monster Land

What devices did you use to compose music?

Sound modules:
Como on Music

Where do you work today? Do you still compose music?

Nowadays, I am working at Media Vision. I no longer compose music.

Do you have anything you’d like to share with English-speaking fans?

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for enjoying my music.

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