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Yoko Shimomura on Versus XIII, Kingdom Hearts Re:Coded and The 3rd Birthday

Square Enix's super composer is hard at work on some of the company's biggest games.

Shimomura (photo from a Xenoblade Iwata Asks column).

Yoko Shimomura's resume already reads like a top ten list of classic Japanese games, and it will only get better as she adds three of Square Enix's biggest upcoming titles to her credits. In this week's Famitsu, the super composer was asked about her roles on The 3rd Birthday, Kingdom Hearts Re:Coded and Final Fantasy Versus XIII.

For The 3rd Birthday, Shimomura says she did not receive detailed requests. Instead, she was asked, broadly, that she make battle music. She was also asked to give the music a "Shimomura-like melody" and told that, as a theme, the music should "feature the Aya Brea character." (This "feature Aya Brea" element is a general theme for the game as a whole.)

Shimomura feels the Aya charater has the image of piano. Not a mellow piano theme, though.

Shimomura also worked on the soundtrack for the original Parasite Eve. Asked if she'd be reusing themes from that game, she said that the music will not be carried over as is. However, she feels that amongst her works, Parasite Eve is a game with music of a different color, and she'd like to carry that image over.

Famitsu noted that the latest trailer (see it here) has a piano and drum theme running in the background during the battle sequence. This, said Shimomura, is the style of melody we can expect for the game as a whole. She wants the sound to have a hard feel to it, with firm rhythms and pounding piano songs.

Regarding her work on Kingdom Hearts Re:Coded, Shimomura said she's doing three songs for the game. This is up from the two songs she did for the original Coded. She's able to relatively relax while making the Re:Coded music, as Tetsuya Nomura's orders aren't too tough.

Famitsu was able to hear one song in advance, and they described it as cute. The song they heard, Shimomura explained, was for the game's "Data World." She made it sound somewhat like Famicom chip tunes. However, she also took care to make sure it had the feel of Kingdom Hearts.

Hearing chip tunes will not be the only thing that makes players feel nostalgic about Re: Coded, though. Shimomura also said the game will also include a large number of songs from the original Kingdom Hearts, something that she believes will also make fans feel nostalgic.

Moving on to Versus XIII, Shimomura wouldn't say much. In fact, she didn't really say anything at all. The development staff is currently forming a framework for the game's music. Shimomura noted that they have to be careful about making too firm an image, as the music may then not end up fitting with the game. They're currently considering the possibilities for many different music types, a phase of development that she enjoys.

She said that reading all the passionate message about Versus XIII on blogs and so-forth, she understands how anticipated the game is.

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