Forgive a fanboy for gushing here, but Square Enix is releasing a compilation album to celebrate 25 years of one of gaming’s most cherished music composers, Yoko Shimomura.
memória!, as the album will be titled, will have tracks from several of her most popular games including Kingdom Hearts, Legend of Mana and Live a Live. It will be released for 3,000 yen (about $29), which is surprisingly cheap for a video game soundtrack of this magnitude in Japan.
If you have played Japanese video games for your entire life, especially during their peak in the 1990s, then chances are you have stumbled across Yoko Shimomura’s music at some point. In addition to the mentioned Square titles, her credits also include Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, Front Mission, and, my personal favorite of the bunch, Parasite Eve.
Her credits beyond Square Enix include Street Fighter II and handful of supporting roles from her early days at Capcom, and her more recent collaborations with Nintendo like the Mario & Luigi handheld RPG series and Xenoblade Chronicles show no sign of her wearing down after all this time. Her work in Atlus’ excellent Nintendo DS gem Radiant Historia could be yet another one of the highest peaks in her career.
It’s both a blessing and a curse that her works span so many companies, because while we can hear her mark on so many different series, it means we can’t have them all on a single release.
Yoko Shimomura is currently back in the halls of Square Enix working on Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts III. Be sure to look her up even if you are not interested in picking up memória!, because chances are you’ve heard something of her’s and just haven’t been able to put a face or name to it.