Koichi Sugiyama discusses Dragon Quest IX music
Famed composer meets the press ahead of concert.
Dragon Quest music composer Koichi Sugiyama shared a few insights today into his work on Dragon Quest IX. His comments on the upcoming DS entry in the series came during a press session prior to the latest Dragon Quest series concert.
Held by Sugiyama Koubou today in Tokyo, the concert was titled "Koichi Sugiyama & Tokyo Metropolitan Brass Quintet: Classics, New songs, Dragon Quest." This year's installment of the annual concert offered a mix of DQ series music, from Dragon Quest, Dragon Quest V, and Yangus and Mysterious Dungeon. The concert also included non-DQ fare like an arranged version of The Beetles' Let it Be and a brand new piece which Sugiyama spent over a year making.
Most notable was the first live performance of the Dragon Quest IX prologue song (the song has already been given its public debut in prerecorded form). Fittingly, during the press conference prior to the concert, Sugiyama was willing to open up with a number of new details on DQIX's musical work.
The DQIX prologue, he said, was created to give the feeling of the start of a new series, in recognition of part nine being the first numbered entry released first on a portable. He wanted something of similar impact as IV, which had also been given a new prologue. It took a while before an idea came to him, and he also admitted to having made a number of drafts of the song before coming to the final version.
Sugiyama appears to have put quite a bit of work into DQIX's composition. The number of songs would require two CDs, he said. He also apparently did some extra credit work, creating not just the songs that were requested of him, but also asking if he could put songs in certain areas of the game.
For long time fans of the Dragon Quest series, Sugiyama revealed that DQIX will have scenes with songs from parts one through eight.
Outside of his work on composition, Sugiyama revealed that he's currently playing DQIX. Asked for his impressions, he said that the game has become more user friendly, with good use of the dual screens and large, easy-to-read text. He admitted that he'd actually been worried about playing on a small screen.
Sugiyama is playing the game as a sound debugger and will even be appearing in the credits listed as such.
News that Sugiyama is playing DQIX shouldn't come as a major surprise. The composer is well known as being an avid DQ play. A commonly cited passage involves Sugiyama having played through DQV twice in order to select both heroines for marriage. He said today that because the DS version of DQV increased the heroine count to three, he cleared the game three times.