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  #1  
Old Jun 3, 2010, 04:34 PM
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Default Where have these composers gone? (The MIA thread)

So, I've been wondering what's happened to composers who either dabbled in VGM for a short time never to be seen again, or composers that were relatively active up until retirement/career change/personal reasons/whatever.

This thread is for those composers, and the reasons for their disappearance! Anyone who has any information to contribute is encouraged to post.

If anyone has any additions they'd like to make, please feel free. I would say it's reasonable to add any composer that has been inactive in the VGM field for more than three years. That number is based on my concept of game development cycles, where a composer who seems inactive may very well be actively scoring a game that is either unannounced or announced but without its designers fully disclosed.
--------------------------------------

Yumiko Kanki (F-Zero)
Last known game work: F-Zero (1990)

Masahiko Yoshimura (Shining Force, Shining in the Darkness)
Last known game work: Shining Force (1992)

Norihiko Yamanuki (The 7th Saga)
Last known game work: The 7th Saga (1993)

Yayoi Wachi (Magic Knight Rayearth, Panzer Dragoon Zwei)
Last known game work: Panzer Dragoon Zwei (1996)

Toshiyuki Sasagawa (Tengai Makyou Zero)
Last known work: Ten Plants 2 (1999)
Last known game work: Tengai Makyou The Apocalypse IV (1997)

Motoaki Takenouchi (Shining Force II, Shining Force CD, GunGriffon)
Last known game work: GunGriffon (1998)

Yasuhiro Kawakami (Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest, Tobal No.1, Chocobo's Dungeon 2)
Last known game work: Chocobo's Dungeon 2 (1998)

Mitsuhito Tanaka (Treasure Hunter G)
Last known game work: Baroque (1998) - as arranger

Hiroshi Tamawari (Vandal Hearts I & II, Azure Dreams, Suikoden)
Last known game work: Vandal Hearts II (1999)
Official site: http://www.eurus.dti.ne.jp/~tama/

Yasuhiro Kawasaki (Illusion of Gaia)
Last known game work: Super Producers (1999)

Masanori Hikichi (Terranigma, Granstream Saga)
Last known game work: Oprhen: Scion of Sorcery (2000)

Hiroyuki Masuno (Drakkhen, Top Gear)
Last known game work: Arle no Bouken: Mahou no Jewel (2000)

Yasunori Shiono (Lufia I & II, Energy Breaker)
Last known game work: CIMA: The Enemy (2003)

Noboru Iwata (Langrisser III)
Last known game work: Erde ~Under the Juniper Tree~ (2003)

Junko Shiratsu (Panzer Dragoon Zwei, Hundred Swords, Onimusha Buraiden)
Last known game work: Sega Rally 2006 (2006)


Partially solved mysteries:

Mari Yamaguchi (Breath of Fire, Super Ghosts 'n' Ghouls, Disney's Magical Quest series)
Last known work: Rockman 10 Image Soundtrack (2010) - as arranger
Last known game work: Mega Man 10 (2010)
*Mari Yamaguchi's last known game work before MM10 was Mickey to Donald Magical Adventure 3 in 1995; in other words, she is assumed to be officially retired from the VGM industry. I wonder if she still is an active composer otherwise?

Noriko Matsueda (Front Mission 1 & 2, Bahamut Lagoon, Final Fantasy X-2)
Last known work: Final Fantasy X-2 Piano Collection (2004) - as arranger
Last known game work: Final Fantasy X-2 International + Last Mission (2004)
From SEMO:
Quote:
Matsueda subsequently worked on 2004's acclaimed Final Fantasy X-2 International + Last Mission and her three arrangements of the Final Fantasy X-2 Piano Collection. Written with the intention of leaving a legacy, Matsueda decided to leave the gaming industry immediately afterwards to the distress of her friends Shimomura and Eguchi. Her intensive job brought sleeplessness, loss of appetite, sharp weight decreases, and rough skin and Matsueda found this increasingly affected her with age; the reception towards Final Fantasy X-2 was the last straw. She currently resides in Japan living a relatively quiet life, but continues to listen to and play music as a hobby and actively follows her former colleague's careers.
I wonder if she would find freelancing less stressful?
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  #2  
Old Jun 3, 2010, 04:52 PM
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Sad to hear that about Matsueda. I haven't heard any soundtracks from her besides Final Fantasy X-2, which was a beautiful soundtrack.
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Old Jun 3, 2010, 04:57 PM
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What's the source on Matsueda?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jormungand View Post
Yasunori Shiono (Lufia I & II, Energy Breaker)
Last known game work: CIMA: The Enemy (2003)
He seems to have quit Neverland long ago and retired from the composer, according to what his wife says in her SNS. I heard Shiono has talked about the reason why he had left Telenet Japan in a magazine interview, but it was too old for me to confirm (if that's true, he was actually afraid of Sakuraba's talent).
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Old Jun 3, 2010, 07:01 PM
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The last thing Kanki did was the cancelled Star Fox 2 with Kozue Ishikawa. I guess the former went down with the ship.
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Old Jun 3, 2010, 07:23 PM
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Soshiro Hokkai (Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance)
Last known game work: Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow (2003)

Motohiro Kawashima (Streets of Rage 2 & 3)
Last known game work: Can't remember, something for the Saturn I think (mid-late 90's)

Junko Tamiya (Strider, Bionic Commando, Little Nemo)
Last known game work: Little Nemo: The Dream Master (1990)
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  #6  
Old Jun 3, 2010, 08:20 PM
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One composer that comes to mind is Tim Follin who composed the music for Ecco the Dolphin: Defender of the Future, one of KeyLogic's favorites. Unfortunately for us, he has moved on to other projects as video game music wasn't supporting him quite they way he had hoped.
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Old Jun 3, 2010, 09:20 PM
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What ever happened to Yuko Takehara? Like Mari Yamaguchi, she was last seen composing for video games in 1999 (JoJo's Bizarre Adventure), and then disappeared until 2010 to write for Rockman 10 again. I love Yuko's music, it's a shame she's not actively composing anymore.
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  #8  
Old Jun 3, 2010, 11:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strugglepoo View Post
Motohiro Kawashima (Streets of Rage 2 & 3)
Last known game work: Can't remember, something for the Saturn I think (mid-late 90's)
Apparently he actually worked again with Koshiro on a Hitman Reborn! game for the PS2 and Wii just 2 years ago. I haven't found any rips or samples of the music; a shame, because I'm quite curious after such a long time.


You're also missing another one-hit wonder:

Naoto Ishida (F-Zero)
Last known game work: F-Zero (1990)

It's kinda stunning how the composer of one of Nintendo's most iconic songs in its music history just seems to be non-existant. I wonder what other music we would have been graced with if he stayed on the VGM industry.
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  #9  
Old Jun 4, 2010, 02:17 AM
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Motoaki Takenouchi -- the last I heard from him was the track "Shower" that he wrote for Rina Chinen. great song. that was back in 2000 though. he was responsible for arrangement for a bunch of other random songs too... i think they were all listed on joshinweb. maybe there's some new things, haven't checked in a while. certainly no game stuff that i know of though. I REALLY would love to hear more stuff from him, he's great.

here's some.

Eriko Imura (Klonoa, Wagyan Paradise, Prime Goal 3)
Last known game work: Klonoa 2 (2001)

she only wrote stuff for those four soundtracks. her music for all of them is brilliant. speaking to her on twitter recently, from what I understand she hopes to return to the industry in the near future. I hope so. again, from what I can understand, I think she's been working as a (music?) teacher for some number of years.

Soyo Oka (Super Mario Kart, Sim City, Pilotwings)
Last known game work: Gakkou no Kaidan (2004)

she's at least not disappeared without a trace, and she's on twitter now. the recent arrangement activity is promising too. nonetheless, no known game soundtracks in six years is a bummer. her recent stuff for Nurse Witch, Lagnacure and Gakkou no Kaidan has been pretty nice. maybe she has done more recent games but they're just not mentioned anywhere. methinks it's SEMO interview time...

Masanao Akahori (Cybernator, Brainlord, Exhaust Heat)
Last known game work: X-Squad (2000)

from all I can tell he's been working less on soundtracks and more on sound engineering and localisation in the last decade.

Shinobu Amayake (Stunt Race FX, Wario's Woods(?))

--

all i can think of for the moment

Quote:
The last thing Kanki did was the cancelled Star Fox 2 with Kozue Ishikawa. I guess the former went down with the ship.
almost! her last game work that i know of was "Special Tee Shot" on the SNES, released in 1996 -- a little later than Star Fox 2. Pretty fun soundtrack too! parts definitely remind me of her f-zero work. Who knows where she is now though. I'd like to know, I really like her music.

Quote:
I wonder what other music we would have been graced with if he stayed on the VGM industry.
I seem to remember him doing some earlier NES and disk system games, can't remember which ones though. I know Kanki worked on some NES projects too.
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  #10  
Old Jun 4, 2010, 12:59 PM
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Very interesting thread.

Akito Nakatsuka (Ice Climber, Excite Bike, Zelda II: Link's Awakening)
Last known game work: Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day! (2006)

Izuho Takeuchi (Phantasy Star III)
Last known game work: Phantasy Star III (1991)

Seiichi Fukami
(Gradius II, Gradius III)
Last known game work: X-Men (1992)

Tokuhiko Uwabo (Alex Kidd in Miracle World, Columns, Phantasy Star)
Last known game work: Sorcerian (Mega Drive) (1990) (I'm not 100% sure)

Last edited by Revoc; Jun 4, 2010 at 01:07 PM.
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  #11  
Old Jun 5, 2010, 10:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jormungand View Post
Motoaki Takenouchi (Shining Force II, Shining Force CD, GunGriffon)
Last known game work: GunGriffon (1998)
Apparently working (or has been since he quit composing for games) in the pop music business as a producer. Rina Chinen was one of his projects.

EDIT: sorry, just saw that Blitz Lunar had responded to this.

Last edited by zinger; Jun 5, 2010 at 01:01 PM.
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  #12  
Old Jun 5, 2010, 11:59 AM
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Miki Higashino (Gradius, Contra Spirits, Suikoden, Suikoden II)
Last known game work: Tsukiyo ni Saraba (2005)

I mean, come on guys, missing Higashino. That makes me weep. I would sell my soul to see Suikoden VI composed by Higashino.
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  #13  
Old Jun 5, 2010, 01:34 PM
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Takayuki Iwai (Darkstalkers series, Capcom arcades)
Last known game work: Twinkle Star Sprites: La Petite Princesse (2005)

He formed Wavelink Zeal with his wife Yuki Iwai. But around late 2007 she made a cryptic statement saying she would be in charge of WZ. She kept composing now and then, but there is no mention of him anywhere. I fear the worst.
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Old Jun 6, 2010, 11:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revoc View Post
Izuho Takeuchi (Phantasy Star III)
Last known game work: Phantasy Star III (1991)
Wasn't his last work actually Phantasy Star IV? It is shame he disappeared right after that, had gotten really good by then.
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Old Jun 6, 2010, 12:00 PM
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Interesting about Motoaki Takenouchi.

I'm pretty sure Izuho Takeuchi is Ippo Yamada, but still waiting for absolute confirmation.

Chudah's Corner's liner notes on Moonlit Shadow pretty much explain the Miki Higashino situation.

Quote:
she's at least not disappeared without a trace, and she's on twitter now. the recent arrangement activity is promising too. nonetheless, no known game soundtracks in six years is a bummer. her recent stuff for Nurse Witch, Lagnacure and Gakkou no Kaidan has been pretty nice. maybe she has done more recent games but they're just not mentioned anywhere. methinks it's SEMO interview time...
Actually, I was having a big discussion with Don about possible interviews and Soyo Oka came up, along with two other semi-retired female composers. I'll see if I can make it happen once I'm done with exams. Her DeathSmiles arrangement was sublime!
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  #16  
Old Jun 6, 2010, 01:01 PM
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great fingers crossed then. i'd love to know once-and-for-all what the score is regarding Bando and Kondo's involvement in SMK and Pilotwings (respectively.) there must be people other than me who find that totally confusing.
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  #17  
Old Jun 8, 2010, 06:33 AM
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Nobuyuki Hara
Last work? Dual Orb II (SNES, 1994)
Naoki Kodaka
Last work? Albert Odyssey Gaiden (Saturn, 1996)

I remember both of them fondly from the old Sunsoft NES games like Batman and Ufouria, though Kodaka did also Albert Odyssey Gaiden, which is pretty awesome.
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Old Jul 4, 2010, 05:53 PM
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Hideki Naganuma, where art thou?
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Old Aug 6, 2010, 02:18 PM
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I've always wondered what these people do when they stop composing video game music.

I would just rocking chair my life away.
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  #20  
Old Aug 6, 2010, 07:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strugglepoo View Post
Hideki Naganuma, where art thou?
Hideki is rumored to be Skankfunk (Air Gear), as Hummin' the Baseline has been remade into Not Hummin' But Vibin', but I believe they are two different people, as Skankfunk claimed to be "paying homage" with that track.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBeR7Uceme8 - Hummin' the Baseline
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1SVqmU5ai0 - Not Hummin' But Vibin'

The timing of his departure/recession from Sega (late 2005/early 2006) is also positioned too well to be merely a coincidence (The Air Gear anime started later in '06), so that might be why they chose to use it (because the game series was technically over then).

This may or may not help
http://d.hatena.ne.jp/keyword/%E9%95...8B%B1%E6%A8%B9

Last edited by kyubihanyou; Sep 2, 2011 at 07:50 AM.
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  #21  
Old Aug 11, 2010, 05:57 AM
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Anyone have heard about Waichiro Ozaki nowadays?; the guy whom composed YuGiOh: Duelist of the Roses; Falsebound Kingdom; Forbidden Memories and Ephemeral Fantasia.
I think its music is good that deserves somebody ask about him.
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Old Oct 29, 2010, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blitz Lunar View Post
Shinobu Amayake (Stunt Race FX, Wario's Woods(?))
Quote:
Profile: Born in Kyoto Prefecture. Formerly of Nintendo Data Development. Presently a representative of AMK music, jazz vocalist, and the person behind this sheet music arrangement collection. Also worked on the music of Pokemon, etc.
via: http://www.glitterberri.com/ocarina-...iew-koji-kondo

Also, pictures.
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Old Nov 8, 2010, 03:20 AM
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interesting though that doesn't say anything about new music from her

speaking of Shinobus though... what's Shinobu Tanaka up to these days? What was her last work for Nintendo? Was it Wii Fit? That was released in early 2007, and I can't think of anything she's done more recently. Maybe she left Nintendo?
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Old Nov 8, 2010, 11:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blitz Lunar View Post
interesting though that doesn't say anything about new music from her
Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia / Pokémon Ranger: Batonage (2008)
http://www.mobygames.com/game/ninten...-almia/credits

Sound: Takuto Kitsuta, Kinta Sato, Shinobu Amayake

Amayake did not return for Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs, however.
http://www.mobygames.com/game/ninten...-signs/credits

Sound Director: Takuto Kitsuta
Music: Ken-ichi Koyano, SIGERO, Keisuke Oku
Sound Effects: Ayumu Ito

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blitz Lunar View Post
speaking of Shinobus though... what's Shinobu Tanaka up to these days? What was her last work for Nintendo? Was it Wii Fit? That was released in early 2007, and I can't think of anything she's done more recently. Maybe she left Nintendo?
Wii Play, actually.
http://www.mobygames.com/developer/s...loperId,55568/
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Old Nov 8, 2010, 11:46 AM
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err oops, wii play was what i meant.
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  #26  
Old Apr 29, 2011, 03:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kewing View Post
Wasn't his last work actually Phantasy Star IV? It is shame he disappeared right after that, had gotten really good by then.
You're right, I completely forgot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by strugglepoo View Post
Motohiro Kawashima (Streets of Rage 2 & 3)
Last known game work: Can't remember, something for the Saturn I think (mid-late 90's)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kewing View Post
Apparently he actually worked again with Koshiro on a Hitman Reborn! game for the PS2 and Wii just 2 years ago. I haven't found any rips or samples of the music; a shame, because I'm quite curious after such a long time.
I've found his Twitter account and this profile. He is on MySpace too.
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Old Jul 19, 2011, 08:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revoc View Post
Tokuhiko Uwabo (Alex Kidd in Miracle World, Columns, Phantasy Star)
Last known game work: Sorcerian (Mega Drive) (1990) (I'm not 100% sure)
He went to SEGA Europe (1995-1997) after the completion of Sonic 3 and Knuckles. He then left that in 1997 to do venture capital. In 2007 he became the Managing Director at mobile gaming company, Winlight.
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Old Jul 19, 2011, 08:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jormungand View Post
Mari Yamaguchi (Breath of Fire, Super Ghosts 'n' Ghouls, Disney's Magical Quest series)
Last known work: Rockman 10 Image Soundtrack (2010) - as arranger
Last known game work: Mega Man 10 (2010)
*Mari Yamaguchi's last known game work before MM10 was Mickey to Donald Magical Adventure 3 in 1995; in other words, she is assumed to be officially retired from the VGM industry. I wonder if she still is an active composer otherwise?
Something interesting I came across: Someone called Mari Yamaguchi (same kanji name) was credited for the 1998 visual novel "Natural ~Mi mo Kokoro mo~". The soundtrack is included in this album:
http://vgmdb.net/album/26365

Credit can be found on Wikipedia: http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural...F%83%E3%82%82-
Quote:
音楽 - 山口真理、他
It could easily be someone else though, considering the amount of dubious profiles that appear on Google search for that name =)
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Old Aug 19, 2011, 04:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zinger View Post
Apparently working (or has been since he quit composing for games) in the pop music business as a producer. Rina Chinen was one of his projects.

EDIT: sorry, just saw that Blitz Lunar had responded to this.
I've spent a ton of time trying to find a way to contact Motoaki Takenouchi over the past several years. I think I've checked nearly every link on every US and Japanese search engine, tried to contact him through other Japanese composers, even had some friends in Japan try to find him, but to no avail. He used to have a website (which is archived) which had an email address, but it longer works.

I personally think his Shining Force II soundtrack is THE best VG soundtrack of all time. I would love to tell him that personally, as well as ask him about the composition process of that soundtrack.
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Old Aug 20, 2011, 12:40 AM
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Myself and surasshu were talking about him around a week ago in relation to this. It does seem like he has straight up fallen off the planet... it's very peculiar.

Which other composers did you contact? My first thought is Shinji Hosoe as he is kind of an oracle and knows everyone. Also Hayato Matsuo would probably know more as well but he isn't the easiest to contact either. Takenouchi would be a fascinating person to interview, for sure. Shining Force II has brilliant music.
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