Yasunori Mitsuda (光田 康典 Mitsuda Yasunori?, born January 21, 1972) is a Japanese video game composer, sound programmer, and musician.
Mitsuda was born in Tokuyama, Japan, and raised in Kumage District. He took piano lessons as a child, but he was more interested in sports and never took music seriously. He also got interested in PCs at an early age, and he taught himself to program simple songs and games. While in high school, Mitsuda rediscovered music, inspired by Vangelis' Blade Runner and Henry Mancini's The Pink Panther film scores.
After high school, he moved to Tokyo and attended the Junior College of Music. Despite the school's low prestige, Mitsuda received solid instruction from his professors, most of them practicing musicians who would take Mitsuda to gigs with them to help carry and set up equipment. At the cost of being used for free physical labor, Mitsuda got a first-hand view of the Japanese music world and valuable training both in and out of the classroom.
Veteran Final Fantasy composer Nobuo Uematsu showed Mitsuda an advertisement for an opening in the music department at the software game developer Square Co. (now Square Enix), the same development where he was currently employed. Mitsuda sent a demo which won him an interview at the game studio. Despite the "disastrous" interview as he describes it, Mitsuda was offered a position on the company's sound team in April 1992.
Chrono series music
Although his official job title was "composer", Mitsuda found himself working more as a sound engineer. In 1994, he gave Square's vice president, Hironobu Sakaguchi, an ultimatum: let him compose, or he would quit. Sakaguchi assigned the young musician to the team working on Chrono Trigger. Mitsuda was allowed to compose the majority of the tracks for the game under the watchful eye of Uematsu, in the end arranging fifty-four tracks with Uematsu composing the remaining ten, having Noriko Matsueda assist him with one. The Chrono Trigger soundtrack proved extremely popular with fans.
Mitsuda revealed in 2004 that Uematsu offered to help him on the soundtrack after he developed a stomach ulcer due to his working so hard. Following Chrono Trigger, Mitsuda composed the soundtrack for Front Mission: Gun Hazard, again with Uematsu. According to Uematsu, Mitsuda worked so much that he eventually defecated blood out of stress and physical problems.
Following Chrono Trigger, Mitsuda also composed the music of Radical Dreamers: Nusumenai Hōseki, in 1996.
In 1998, Mitsuda went freelance, though he continued to work closely with Square Enix on projects such as Chrono Cross. A new acoustic arrangement of the music from Chrono Cross' was quoted by Mitsuda as planned for release in 2006, despite it being previously rumored to emerge in July of 2005. However, such an album has yet to be published.
Sound designer credits
- Hanjuku Hero: Aa, Sekaiyo Hanjukunare...! (1992)
- Final Fantasy V (1992)
- The 7th Saga (1993)
- Secret of Mana (1993)
- Romancing SaGa 2 (1993)
Video game soundtracks
- Chrono Trigger (1995) – with Nobuo Uematsu and Noriko Matsueda
- Front Mission: Gun Hazard (1996) – with Nobuo Uematsu, Junya Nakano, and Masashi Hamauzu
- Tobal No. 1 (1996) – with Masashi Hamauzu, Junya Nakano, Yasuhiro Kawami, Kenji Itō, Noriko Matsueda, Ryuji Sasai, and Yoko Shimomura
- Radical Dreamers: Nusumenai Hōseki (1996)
- Xenogears (1998)
- Mario Party (1998)
- Bomberman 64: The Second Attack (1999) – with Yoshitaka Hirota
- Chrono Cross (1999)
- Shadow Hearts (2001) – with Yoshitaka Hirota
- Legaia 2: Duel Saga (2001) – with Hitoshi Sakimoto and Michiru Oshima
- Tsugunai: Atonement (2001)
- Xenosaga Episode I: Der Wille zur Macht (2002)
- The Seventh Seal (2002)
- Shadow Hearts: Covenant (2003) – with Yoshitaka Hirota, Kenji Itō, and Tomoko Kobayashi
- Graffiti Kingdom (2004)
- Deep Labyrinth (2004)
- Tsukiyo ni Saraba (2005) - with Miki Higashino
- Tantei Kibukawa Ryosuke Jiken Dan: The Masquerade Lullaby (2005) - with Takanari Ishiyama and Kazumi Mitome
- Monster Kingdom: Jewel Summoner (2006) - with Shinji Hosoe, Hitoshi Sakimoto, Kenji Ito, Yoko Shimomura, Masaharu Iwata, Tsukasa Masuko, Yasuyuki Suzuki, Ayako Saso, and Takahiro Ogata
- Luminous Arc (2007) – with Kazumi Mitome, Akari Kaida, and Shota Kageyama
- Soukou Kihei Armodyne (2007)
- Soma Bringer (2008)
- Inazuma Eleven (2008)
- Sands of Destruction (2008)
- Arc Rise Fantasia (2009)
- Mega Man Legends 2 (2000)
- Super Smash Bros. Brawl (2008)
- Chrono Trigger Arranged Version: The Brink of Time (1995)
- Creid (1998)
- Street Fighter Zero 3 Drama Album (1999)
- Biohazard 2 Drama Album: Chiisana Toubousha Sherry (1999)
- Biohazard 2 Drama Album: Ikiteita Onna Spy Ada (1999)
- 2197 (1999)
- Ten Plants 2: Children Songs (1999)
- Square Vocal Collection (2001)
- Sailing to the World (2002)
- Kirite (2005)
- Sailing to the World Piano Score (2006)
- Dark Chronicle Premium Arrange (2004)
- Rogue Galaxy Premium Arrange (2006)