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  #1  
Old Mar 27, 2011, 10:07 AM
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Perhaps best known for her scoring of Wario Land 2 and 3, Kozue Ishikawa provided music for a modest selection of Nintendo's software output during the 1993-2001 period. Gravitating towards sound-engineering and composition for the Game Boy and Game Boy Color, Ishikawa's work seemed aligned closely with Nintendo R&D 1, with her name cropping up most commonly in the Wario Land series and Zelda: Link's Awakening--as well as a credit for the unreleased Star Fox 2. As the Game Boy Color yielded to the onset of the Game Boy Advance, so too does Ishikawa's name seem to vanish. I'm wondering: Does anyone have any detailed information on this composer, or any insight as to what she's doing at present?

The earliest credit to her name that I've found is Link's Awakening. In an official strategy guide interview about the DX version of the game, Ishikawa is credited for "BGM Composition", whereas Totaka and Hamano--both listed before Ishikawa's name when composition is listed in the game credits--are only credited for "Sound Program" and "BGM Work" respectively: http://www.glitterberri.com/content/...111%28U%29.png

Though this is a shaky revelation in that the wording could simply be a curiosity of translation, I do feel it's something of a significant find. Some have, after all, queried who is responsible for individual track compositions as far as Link's Awakening is concerned. Though it's a leap of faith, I would hypothesise that the wording suggests that Ishikawa, perhaps, is the chief character responsible for Link's Awakening's musical score, with supplementary work being done by Hamano, and with Totaka introducing a few oddities in the form of his hidden jingle. I feel somewhat reassured in that this aligns, albeit tenuously, with a bit of information I heard some time ago that Ishikawa is the composer responsible for Link's Awakening's take on the Zelda overworld music; does anyone have any evidence for this?*

*Edit: Happily, the Guitar Super Best album seems to corroborate this--though it doesn't confirm Ishikawa's prominence in the scoring of the game. On the one hand, it could be interpreted as a fairly important piece that you might think the lead composer would be responsible for; on the other, it is something of an arrangement of an already established tune, and might be relegated to one of the supplementary composers.

Last edited by Uppa; Mar 27, 2011 at 11:21 AM.
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Old Mar 27, 2011, 03:12 PM
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i've longed to know more specific information for link's awakening as well. interesting that the picture you linked mentions Totaka for sound effects and programming, because i can hear his quirks here and there on the score (totaka's song aside.)
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Old Mar 28, 2011, 04:02 AM
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i've longed to know more specific information for link's awakening as well. interesting that the picture you linked mentions Totaka for sound effects and programming, because i can hear his quirks here and there on the score (totaka's song aside.)
I confess that I do feel something along the same lines as this, having wholeheartedly believed that Totaka was responsible for the game's score for the longest time. He's got work in there--the anthem for Richard Villa is ripped nearly straight from his melody in 'Kaeru no Tame ni Kane wa Naru'--but I have little idea as to what extent he did any of the original music in the game. I suppose it doesn't help that Totaka's work is kind of varied in what it does--comparing 'Yoshi's Story', 'Wave Race 64', 'Super Mario Land 2', and 'X' doesn't betray many overt similarities in style, for me--but his credit as "Sound Design" does compel me to consider that he might not be responsible for the music in the game beyond cameos.

Hamano's predilection for dark and moody Metroid games and Ishikawa's distinctively pugnacious Wario Land melodies don't make guessing the composer for this fairly chipper game any easier--but I suppose the primary aspiration here should be more concrete information.
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Old Mar 28, 2011, 06:36 AM
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The upbeat area music before you get the sword is definitely by Totaka as well. My guess is that the roles are pretty spot on as written in the scan, Totaka (having previous experience with the GB synth) doing SFX and sound programming, composition and arrangement, Hamano doing composition and arrangement and Ishikawa only doing compositions. Even in her next work, Super Mario Land 3: Wario Land, she worked alongside Yoshitomi who like Totaka also did SFX, sound programming, composition and arrangement all together before. So I'm pretty sure Wario Land 2 was her first work on her own.
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Old Mar 28, 2011, 06:52 AM
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Totaka's consistency that i notice across many of his scores is his use of jazz harmonies/voicings, particularly use of chromaticism. also his arrangements are often quite sparse/sporadic... i've noticed many of his songs sound "empty", on basically all soundtracks he's worked on.

here's some of the songs that i would guess he had a hand in: link awakens, swordless overworld, mabe village/ghost's house, inside house, phone booth, mr. write's house/goat's house, bee scene, house of chickens, stairway appears and talking to the wind fish. yeah, richard's villa and totaka's theme are the dead certs.

granted, i'm not nearly as familiar with hamano or ishikawa. need to nerd up on those guys some more i do recall the wario land games sharing some similarities with link's awakening.
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Old May 4, 2011, 11:44 AM
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bee scene
Intriguingly, it turns out that Ishikawa was responsible for that ditty, according to some new information that has filtered through today.

http://www.glitterberri.com/links-aw...list-interview

According to question 12 in Ishikawa's entry, the scene with Tarin and the bees was her work. It's not much, but at least that clarifies the composer of one more melody in the game. I do still think it's interesting, though, that Totaka is again credited here for "all the sound programming and sound effects" whereas Ishikawa and Hamano are both credited exclusively as "BGM composition." Once again, I can't help but wonder if those two are the ones responsible for the game's soundtrack, rather than Totaka.
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Old May 4, 2011, 11:58 AM
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yeah, that's fascinating. the parallels between link's awakening and other totaka soundtracks are rife. but if that's the case (and it could well be) then i'm blown.
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Old Jul 10, 2014, 05:16 AM
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Old Jul 10, 2014, 06:17 PM
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The accompaniment makes me think it's by Yoshitomi.
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