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Old Aug 14, 2014, 08:44 AM
《J》 《J》 is online now
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Default Ys IV composer breakdown

The time has come to put an end to one of the oldest mysteries of all VGM: a (possible and almost complete) composer breakdown of "Ys IV" - one of the best soundtracks in the entire series and (IMO!) a masterpiece of VGM. The content of this post is the result of a few days of investigation, now that I have a bit of free time to do so.

A bit of backstory:

Quote:
· Sometime around 1992/3, Falcom wrote up a basic story/scenario and composed the soundtrack (composed by Falcom's internal sound team, the Falcom Sound Team J.D.K.) for "Ys IV", and then gave them to Tonkin House (Mask of the Sun) and Hudson Soft (The Dawn of Ys) to make their own versions of the game. A version of Mask of the Sun for the Sega-CD was also planned under the Sega-Falcom joint development agreement, but it was never released. The end result is that you have two versions of Ys IV, neither of which was actually made by Falcom. Tonkin House's offering (Mask of the Sun) stuck to Falcom's outline while Hudson took the outline, then took liberties and gave us The Dawn of Ys. Both games tell the same general story using the same general cast of characters, but beyond the basics the games are very different. MotS was released on the Super Nintendo in November of 1993, while TDoY was released in December of the same year on the PC Engine CD.

· Falcom released a year later (1994) three Perfect Collection albums, containing a total of 55 tracks (+ 3 Super Mega Mixes) arranged by Ryo Yonemitsu. The Perfect Collections follows the naming scheme and track order of the PC Engine CD version.

· It is believed (or speculated by fans) that the music on both the Ys IV J.D.K. Special and the Falcom Special Box '95 (Ys IV J.D.K. Special Part 2, disc 3) was the source that Falcom gave to Hudson Soft (The Dawn of Ys) and Tonkin House/Advance Communication/CUBE (Mask of the Sun) to make their versions instead. Those tracks were produced with FM Synthesis (i.e. likely done on PC-98 hardware, as it sounds very similar to Falcom computer games of the same era), and they are the closest thing you will find to an original soundtrack of "Ys IV" (i.e. pure, original sound versions not arranged by someone other than Falcom's own composers).
As some of you people may know, Ys IV: The Dawn of Ys has a Developer's Room in where you can watch all the animated movies, see some unused stuff and also talk with the Hudson's staff who worked on this game (and also read some hilarious stuff). There's also a monster who says he'll play any song from the game you would like to hear, but in the end he doesn't. What a tease!

What most people don't seem to know (i.e. no one unless you're a die-hard Falcom nutcase from East Asia completely obsessed with their glorious Sound Team) is that DoY has ANOTHER debug mode according to this Chinese blog post (in which you CAN actually hear all the CD-DA/PSG songs with some kind of in-game music player!). The post itself didn't draw my attention... until I saw THIS:



If you didn't know, that "KIM" thing is actually the alias of Naoki Kaneda - one of the four composers that joined to the Falcom Sound Team J.D.K. in 1992 (and thus resulting in some of my all-time favourite Falcom scores: Brandish 2 and 3, Ys IV and V, LoH III and IV...). Then there's also this thing I found on an area called "Cemetery" while playing Brandish 3...



His birthday on VGMdb coincides with the in-game date. With isdapi's post + this, we can pretty much confirm at this point that KIM = Naoki Kaneda.

What impressed (or left me utterly SHOCKED and confused!) me the most was... why there was a mention to "KIM" in The Dawn of Ys, a game not developed by Falcom themselves? The blog post mentioned Sugimo, so I decided to lurk around the archives of his "Falcom Daisuki!" website and found THIS page. Look at all these codes - Google Translate doesn't allows me to make out very much, but from what I can understand, looks like these codes are actually suspected composer codes. It seems that Hudson left untouched the original filenames of the songs that Falcom sent to them in order to make their versions instead for The Dawn of Ys, a "mistake" they just made my fucking life as this may be the closest thing that ever existed to a Ys IV composer breakdown.

So, in summary, this is all we have so far:

Spoiler:
01 NAG_005 Termination (Ys II) (CD-DA)
02 KIM_109 Fountain of Love '93 (PSG)
03 NAG_001 The Syonin (Ys I) (PSG)
04 NAG_002 Tears of Sylph (Ys I) (PSG)
05 NAG_004 Lilia (Ys II) (PSG)
06 AYS_428 Resurrection Ceremony (CD-DA)
07 KIM_106 The Dawn of Ys (CD-DA)
08 AS_050  Promalock (PSG)
09 KIM_004 The Syobainin (PSG)
10 AYS_418 Tear of a Young Swordsman (PSG)
11 AYS_408 Karna (PSG)
12 AYS_420 Romun Empire (PSG)
13 NAJ_027 Field (CD-DA)
14 MSR_029 ULTRAMAN LEOOOOO I Want to be Kind (PSG)
15 BOY_124 Broken Hourglass (PSG)
16 AYS_419 Dungeon (CD-DA)
17 AS_058  Battle #58 (CD-DA)
18 NAJ_011 Game Over (PSG)
19 AYS_405 Lava Area ~ A Kiss From Eldeel (CD-DA)
20 BOY_119 Five Loyal Retainers (PSG)
21 MSR_032 Far Beyond The Sun but actually audible A Great Ordeal (CD-DA)
22 AYS_422 Family of Darkness (PSG)
23 AYS_403 The Great Forest of Celceta (CD-DA)
24 KIM_003 Beyond Reminiscence (PSG)
25 SB-206  Burning Sword (CD-DA)
26 AYS_411 Wise Man (PSG)
27 AYS_427 Ancient Legend (PSG)
28 MSR_003 Leeza (PSG)
29 BOY_229 Walking the Path of Legend (CD-DA)
30 KIM_033 Leeza ~ Hiding her Thoughts in her Heart (PSG)
31 AYS_415 Sanctuary (CD-DA)
32 ???????? Eldeel (ADPCM)
33 KIM_060 Valley of Quicksand (CD-DA)
34 KIM_107 Tension (PSG)
35 KIM_058 Crimson Wings (CD-DA)
36 NAG_003 Rest in Piece (Ys I) (PSG)
37 ???????? Feena (Ys I) (ADPCM)
38 NAG_006 Tower of the Shadow of Death (Ys I) (CD-DA)
39 ???????? The Last Moment of the Dark (Ys I) (ADPCM)
40 KIM_024 Theme of Adol 1993 (CD-DA)
41 AYS_414 House (PSG)
42 KIM_023 Harlequin's Temptation (CD-DA)
43 AYS_421 Illusion (CD-DA)
44 BOY_234 Sadness (PSG)
45 AYS_425 Lefance (CD-DA)
46 AYS_434 Quickening of the Ancient City (CD-DA)
47 KIM_112 The Ancient City Surfaces (CD-DA)
48 BOY_126 Bronze District (CD-DA)
49 BOY_231 Poem of the Blue Moon (PSG)
50 MSR_030 Temple of the Sun (CD-DA)
51 AYS_426 Arem (CD-DA)
52 KIM_008 In the Fires of Ignition (CD-DA)
53 KIM_108 The Final Decisive Battle (CD-DA)
54 KIM_111 A New Beginning (CD-DA)
55 AYS_417 Fantasy Horizon (CD-DA)
----------------------------------------------------------------
According to Sugimo:
KIM = Naoki Kaneda (?)
AYS = Atsushi Shirakawa (?)
MSR = Masaru Nakajima
BOY = Takahiro Tsunashima (?)
AS, SB, NAJ, ??? = unknown, not clear.
NAG = Looks like reprises from Ys I and II
----------------------------------------------------------------
Falcom Sound Team J.D.K. members around that time: Mieko Ishikawa, Atsushi Shirakawa, Hirofumi Matsuoka, Masaru Nakajima, Naoki Kaneda and Takahiro Tsunashima.

Falcom games released around the same time frame:
[...]
(1993.03.12) Brandish 2: The Planet Buster (PC-9801) <- First game in which Hirofumi Matsuoka, Masaru Nakajima, Naoki Kaneda and Takahiro Tsunashima are officially credited.
(1993.11.09) Ys IV: Mask of the Sun (SFC)
(1993.12.22) Ys IV: The Dawn of Ys (PC Engine CD)

(1994.02.18) Dragon Slayer VIII: The Legend of Xanadu (PC Engine CD)
(1994.03.18) The Legend of Heroes III: White Witch (PC-9801)
[...]
----------------------------------------------------------------
My theory:
KIM = Naoki Kaneda (pretty much confirmed)
AYS = Atsushi Shirakawa. AYS is the closest code to his name, and the number codes are higher than the ones from the other composers. Shirakawa also joined to Falcom before these four composers, so... yeah.
MSR, NAJ = Masaru Nakajima. Also, his blog address is http://shibuya.cool.ne.jp/naj/
BOY = Takahiro Tsunashima. According to both the Ys IV J.D.K. Special and the The Legend of Xanadu J.D.K. Special (booklet p. 02-03 on both), this guy has an alias: タカ, which would mean something very close to Taka-boy. Here's a photo I took from the LoX album.



No sign of Mieko Ishikawa and Hirofumi Matsuoka. Maybe they didn't compose for "Ys IV", or maybe one of them is AS or SB.


TL;DR: Ys IV: The Dawn of Ys has suspected composer codes in it. Shirakawa and Kaneda freaking killed it with this one. Naoki Kaneda is the GOAT (I must simply check-out his post-Sound Team jdk output!).

I might be overthinking it or just plain wrong, so feel free to say what you think/have in mind and if you agree or not - I look forward to discussing this with you all!

P.S. So, should we edit all the Ys IV albums and add the known credits at the notes? ;p

Last edited by 《J》; May 10, 2015 at 08:04 AM.
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  #2  
Old Aug 14, 2014, 12:56 PM
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dissident93 dissident93 is offline
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awesome research! wish something like this could be found for Sonic 3 & Knuckles :P

EDIT: isn't that website supposed to be just fan guesses? I remember finding a site like that (probably the same one) that had composer credits for Sorcerian. then again, it seems these codes come directly from the game, hmm.

Last edited by dissident93; Aug 14, 2014 at 01:04 PM.
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Old Sep 14, 2014, 10:40 AM
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Is it possible that AS and SB refer to musicians who worked for Falcom at one point but no longer did at the the time the game was released? Considering that they/Hudson had no problem putting in music from an earlier game, I think they might also be inclined to use similarly old music that had not yet been in a game. They probably have heaps of music that never got put into anything.
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Old Sep 15, 2014, 06:38 AM
《J》 《J》 is online now
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Ooh! Someone finally bumped this thread up! lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by dissident93 View Post
EDIT: isn't that website supposed to be just fan guesses? I remember finding a site like that (probably the same one) that had composer credits for Sorcerian. then again, it seems these codes come directly from the game, hmm.
The codes come from a debug mode inside the game (as you can see from the pictures on the OP), so they are legit. Whoever each code refer to, however, is purely based on speculation. Kaneda, Nakajima and Tsunashima look legit, though, for the reasons I've previously mentioned.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Garnobium View Post
Is it possible that AS and SB refer to musicians who worked for Falcom at one point but no longer did at the the time the game was released? Considering that they/Hudson had no problem putting in music from an earlier game, I think they might also be inclined to use similarly old music that had not yet been in a game. They probably have heaps of music that never got put into anything.
I've also entertained that very possibility, strangely enough. The fact that the Nayuta no Kiseki's soundtrack has tracks (supposedly) composed by Takeshita and Osaki (even though they left Falcom a few years ago) also supports this theory. If that's the case (and that's a big if, mind you!), then Yuzo Koshiro, Hideya Nagata or Masaaki Kawai could be considered candidates for composing any of the AS-SB tracks.

Then there something I noticed recently: AYS_4, so who knows if this is really Shirakawa or someone else. Or maybe he's actually AS and only did Promalock and Battle #58? So many questions...

I think our best bet would be ask to former members of the sound team. Actually, we can contact with a few of them!

Atsushi Shirakawa (known as Tenmon, famous anime composer) - https://twitter.com/tenmon2010
Naoki Kaneda (aka my new legendary FM hero ) - https://twitter.com/KIMsSOUNDROOM
Hirofumi Matsuoka - https://twitter.com/hiro_st21net
Masaaki Kawai - https://twitter.com/mklasta

Last edited by 《J》; Sep 24, 2014 at 02:29 AM.
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  #5  
Old Mar 17, 2015, 03:25 PM
NightWolve NightWolve is offline
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Am actually looking for the cheat to activate this Debug Mode right now. I can't remember if I ever did so or just am thinking of the Developer's Room... All I wanted for the moment was to access the PSG menu, and looking at my script translation that was inserted for the Developer's Room, somewhere there is a character or should be (in the Sound Room) that should let you access it, much like you can access the portraits and cinemas in the final room... Try as I might, I can't find the character known as Takimoto. Here are the lines he says before letting you access it:

Quote:
[06100506]
[12]You surprised<\n>
me! How cruel!
<\0><\0>

[04130506]
[12]I'm Takimoto, the<\n>
music supervisor.
<\0><\0>

[04140506]
[12]Wanna listen to my<\n>
wonderful sounds?
<\0><\0>

[080C030A]
[0C]<arrow>PSG MUSIC<\n>
<arrow>CD AUDIO<\n>
<arrow>EFFECT 1<\n>
<arrow>EFFECT 2
<\0><eos>
If anybody was ever able to find Takimoto or knows the Debug Mode cheat, lemme know. So far as I know, the Debug Mode was activated by a patch according to the Chinese website I was shown, also linked by the thread creator:

http://site.douban.com/120173/widget...ote/298028528/

Last edited by NightWolve; Mar 17, 2015 at 03:30 PM.
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  #6  
Old Apr 10, 2015, 04:40 AM
《J》 《J》 is online now
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The mystery "seems" to be over - a friend of mine asked Tenmon through Twitter (on my behalf, so to speak). He got a reply: https://twitter.com/tenmon2010/statu...60329022431232

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tenmon on Twitter
hello! That is very nostalgic. The music that I was in charge of in that track1,3,4,5,8.
Quote:
01 SB-206  Burning Sword (CD-DA)
02 NAJ_027 Field (CD-DA)
03 AS_058  Battle #58 (CD-DA)
04 AYS_403 The Great Forest of Celceta (CD-DA)
05 AYS_405 Lava Zone ~ A Kiss From Eldeel (CD-DA)
06 KIM_033 Leeza ~ Hiding her Thoughts in her Heart (PSG)
07 MSR_030 Temple of the Sun (CD-DA)
--Unused Tracks (from Falcom Special Box '95)--
08 ???????? Crater
09 ???????? Temple
10 ???????? Tower (Ys IV: Mask of the Sun Only)
11 ???????? Prison House
This pretty much confirms that Shirakawa is "AYS", "AS" and "SB".

Then my friend asked him about "Eldeel" (the ADPCM track, i.e. the one without code), since I forgot to include it to the YouTube playlist. "Eldeel" was indeed composed composed by Shirakawa: https://twitter.com/tenmon2010/statu...56668045537281

*COMPLETE YS IV COMPOSER BREAKDOWN*:

Spoiler:
01 NAG_005 Termination (Ys II) (CD-DA)
02 KIM_109 Fountain of Love '93 (PSG)
03 NAG_001 The Syonin (Ys I) (PSG)
04 NAG_002 Tears of Sylph (Ys I) (PSG)
05 NAG_004 Lilia (Ys II) (PSG)
06 AYS_428 Resurrection Ceremony (CD-DA)
07 KIM_106 The Dawn of Ys (CD-DA)
08 AS_050  Promalock (PSG)
09 KIM_004 The Syobainin (PSG)
10 AYS_418 Tear of a Young Swordsman (PSG)
11 AYS_408 Karna (PSG)
12 AYS_420 Romun Empire (PSG)
13 NAJ_027 Field (CD-DA)
14 MSR_029 ULTRAMAN LEOOOOO I Want to be Kind (PSG)
15 BOY_124 Broken Hourglass (PSG)
16 AYS_419 Dungeon (CD-DA)
17 AS_058  Battle #58 (CD-DA)
18 NAJ_011 Game Over (PSG)
19 AYS_405 Lava Zone ~ A Kiss From Eldeel (CD-DA)
20 BOY_119 Five Loyal Retainers (PSG)
21 MSR_032 Far Beyond The Sun but actually audible A Great Ordeal (CD-DA)
22 AYS_422 Family of Darkness (PSG)
23 AYS_403 The Great Forest of Celceta (CD-DA)
24 KIM_003 Beyond Reminiscence (PSG)
25 SB-206  Burning Sword (CD-DA)
26 AYS_411 Wise Man (PSG)
27 AYS_427 Ancient Legend (PSG)
28 MSR_003 Leeza (PSG)
29 BOY_229 Walking the Path of Legend (CD-DA)
30 KIM_033 Leeza ~ Hiding her Thoughts in her Heart (PSG)
31 AYS_415 Sanctuary (CD-DA)
32 ???????? Eldeel (ADPCM)
33 KIM_060 Valley of Quicksand (CD-DA)
34 KIM_107 Tension (PSG)
35 KIM_058 Crimson Wings (CD-DA)
36 NAG_003 Rest in Piece (Ys I) (PSG)
37 ???????? Feena (Ys I) (ADPCM)
38 NAG_006 Tower of the Shadow of Death (Ys I) (CD-DA)
39 ???????? The Last Moment of the Dark (Ys I) (ADPCM)
40 KIM_024 Theme of Adol 1993 (CD-DA)
41 AYS_414 House (PSG)
42 KIM_023 Harlequin's Temptation (CD-DA)
43 AYS_421 Illusion (CD-DA)
44 BOY_234 Sadness (PSG)
45 AYS_425 Lefance (CD-DA)
46 AYS_434 Quickening of the Ancient City (CD-DA)
47 KIM_112 The Ancient City Surfaces (CD-DA)
48 BOY_126 Bronze District (CD-DA)
49 BOY_231 Poem of the Blue Moon (PSG)
50 MSR_030 Temple of the Sun (CD-DA)
51 AYS_426 Arem (CD-DA)
52 KIM_008 In the Fires of Ignition (CD-DA)
53 KIM_108 The Final Decisive Battle (CD-DA)
54 KIM_111 A New Beginning (CD-DA)
55 AYS_417 Fantasy Horizon (CD-DA)
----------------------------------------------------------------
KIM = Naoki Kaneda
AYS, AS, SB, Eldeel = Atsushi Shirakawa
MSR, NAJ = Masaru Nakajima
BOY = Takahiro Tsunashima
NAG = Reprises from Ys I and II
----------------------------------------------------------------
--Unused Tracks (from Falcom Special Box '95)--
???????? Crater = Atsushi Shirakawa
???????? Temple = Naoki Kaneda, Takahiro Tsunashima or Masaru Nakajima
???????? Tower (Ys IV: Mask of the Sun Only) = Naoki Kaneda, Takahiro Tsunashima or Masaru Nakajima
???????? Prison House = Naoki Kaneda, Takahiro Tsunashima or Masaru Nakajima

(I personally suspect "Temple" = Nakajima, "Tower" = Kaneda, and "Prison House" = Tsunashima. :V)

Bottom line: The soundtrack for "Ys IV" was composed by Falcom Sound Team J.D.K. members Atsushi Shirakawa, Naoki Kaneda, Takahiro Tsunashima and Masaru Nakajima. Mieko Ishikawa and Hirofumi Matsuoka were not involved with it.


This will requre some editin' to all the Ys IV albums.

On a separate note, Shirakawa also confirms to be the composer of Brandish 4's Opening! https://twitter.com/tenmon2010/statu...60885975670784

Last edited by 《J》; Apr 10, 2015 at 02:31 PM.
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  #7  
Old Apr 27, 2015, 01:58 PM
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Good job on all the research!

I am wondering now: two of Masaru Nakajima's four tracks are known cases of plagiarism. What are the chances he ripped off the other two as well?
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Old Apr 28, 2015, 08:26 AM
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I come to the VGMdb forums for stuff like this. I haven't even listened to Ys 4 very often and wasn't looking for a composer breakdown. But reading research like this is way more interesting than most else on the net.

I once thought about creating a website for VGM composer breakdowns meant for analyses like these. After solving several mysteries and gaining credibilty, composers and game companies might realize that we fans care about who composed what. Maybe some would even find the site themselves and help out, and not just respond to inquiries (if even that). Too bad I'm a lousy programmer and can never create my ideas for various VGM sites
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Old Apr 28, 2015, 01:36 PM
《J》 《J》 is online now
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Glad to see people bumping this thread up - I thought I was the only one I cared about stuff like this for Falcom soundtracks.

I also posted a composer breakdown for Nayuta no Kiseki here, and edited the album notes for VM Japan with full composer breakdowns (and yes - both *are* confirmed!). All the credit goes to kotorain and his excellent articles on http://falcombob.blogbus.com and http://site.douban.com/120173/, which gave me a better knowledge about Falcom; especially about Sound Team jdk and the current sound lead Hayato Sonoda.

Last edited by 《J》; Apr 28, 2015 at 01:41 PM.
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Old Apr 29, 2015, 12:57 AM
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dissident93 dissident93 is offline
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Great work. Hopefully someday something like this will be done for Sonic 3 & Knuckles. :P
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Old Apr 30, 2015, 12:19 PM
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While these discoveries are cool indeed, I hope you could add a link to the sources in each album's thread, it's hard to keep up sometimes (ex. VM Japan).
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Old May 1, 2015, 12:55 PM
《J》 《J》 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dag View Post
While these discoveries are cool indeed, I hope you could add a link to the sources in each album's thread, it's hard to keep up sometimes (ex. VM Japan).
Oh, sure. I'll post the source of the VM Japan credits in its thread as soon as I can.

Should I specify anything for Nayuta no Kiseki, though? Now that I look at it again, my original reply is kind of vague, lol.
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Old May 2, 2015, 03:14 AM
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Well some quick clarification wouldn't hurt.

I understand Nayuta info comes from leftover files in the ISO (Ys Seven had some too but I don't think they had credits), but other people will see that and think "wut" :3
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Old May 27, 2015, 01:37 PM
Spirit_Chaser Spirit_Chaser is offline
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I've been meaning to reply to this thread. This is probably one of my top favorite posts on this website. I've always been curious about composer credits regarding the falcom sound team composers from Ys IV, as well as Hirofumi Matsuoka, Mieko Ishikawa and Satoshi Arai. I've thoroughly dug into their discographies with their works at Falcom and have enjoyed the soundtracks to all the games they've composed for. To find a groundbreaking composer breakdown like this is gold.

After going through this and editing the artist information, It's given me a pretty good lead on what the Ys IV composers may have done throughout The Legend of Xanadu, Brandish, Ys, Legend of Heroes and other series. I hope more discoveries regarding these composers can be found out soon. The only thing making me wonder right now is if these composers always composed individually, or sometimes with different pairings of each other.

On the last three with no composer credits, I would also agree with who might had done Temple and Tower. Prison House sounds much different than most of the soundtrack, but I would also narrow it down to Takahiro Tsunashima.

Thanks for researching this game's soundtrack.
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Old Jun 8, 2018, 08:16 AM
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I asked Kaneda on Twitter, and he says that he did Tower, Tsunashima did Temple, and Nakajima probably did Prison House.
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Old Sep 1, 2018, 09:35 AM
NightWolve NightWolve is offline
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FYI to anyone interested. Mednafen, the emulator author, fully uncovered how to activate the "Ys IV: Dawn of Ys" Debug menu some time ago and I demonstrate how to reveal the sound test!

Details here:

https://www.pcenginefx.com/forums/in...?topic=18808.0

And she later made a Cutting Room Floor entry all about it:

https://tcrf.net/Ys_IV:_The_Dawn_of_Ys






I was able to use the Easter Egg to activate the PSG sound test by talking to a certain character in the Developer's Room as well.



I detailed the attempt here: https://www.pcenginefx.com/forums/in...0129#msg400129

You have to make Music Supervisor Takimoto (The Invisible Man) unhide himself basically by equipping the Black Potion, standing where he's hiding and then he'll give you access to the sound test. Anyway, this was a bit of a tangent but there you go!

EDIT: My video [finally] shows you how to fully unhide Takimoto to access the sound test, full demonstration.

https://youtu.be/45VV2_D2kgw

Last edited by NightWolve; Apr 15, 2019 at 01:22 PM.
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