Monday, February 10, 2020
Yuko Komiyama is Working on the Rockman X DiVE Soundtrack
I recently had the chance to exchange a few words with composer and arranger Yuki Komiyama via Twitter, where she was kind enough to confirm that she is working on the Rockman X DiVE Soundtrack! Although there is not much else to say beyond that, we have prepared a little bit of information about Ms. Komiyama after the break in case you are not familiar with her!
Yuko Komiyama began her career in the game industry in 2003 when she joined Capcom. Barely three months after she joined the company, she was asked by Shinya "LoveShop" Okada - the lead composer on Rockman X Command Mission - to write music for Rockman X7. In the years that followed, she assumed the role as one of the lead composers for both the Rockman X Command Mission and Rockman X8 soundtracks.
Afterwards, she jumped to the Monster Hunter series to become a composer and lyricist; roles that she still maintains to this day while alternating among smaller projects like arranging music for the mobile games (JUSTICE MONSTERS FIVE, Merc Storia, FINAL FANTASY Record Keeper) and Playstation Vita game Uppers.
Komiyama left Capcom in 2010. She is currently a member of Tetsuya Shibata's multimedia music company Unique Note where she works as a freelancer.
In 2014, Video Game Music Online had the chance to interview her. You can find the relevant Rockman-related questions below, but be sure to check the full interview conducted by Chris Greening here.
Could you share your experiences on your first video game project, Mega Man X7?
"In July, three months after I had entered the company, Command Mission lead composer Shinya Okada-kun (who had arrived at the same time) and I were asked to write music for the high speed stages in Mega Man X7. I was told that the music would also be used in a Tokyo Game Show promotion, and I wrote it under my senior Seiko Kobuchi-san’s guidance. I had no knowledge of how to use a computer to create music, so I would come into the office even on my days off to learn more. The process of writing the music took roughly a month. In the end, I ended up handling the stage music, and Okada-kun the boss fight themes. I was overjoyed when I saw the final TGS footage."
You took lead role on the soundtracks for Mega Man X7, Mega Man X8, and Command Mission. How did you pay tribute to the series’ classic stylings? And at the same time, how did you still offer modern musical approaches and high-quality implementation?
"Mega Man X7 marked the series’ PS2 debut as well as the first appearance of Axl, so we wanted to bring a fresh element to the series in the form of electronic timbres. Each stage was given a particular tone color to match its own color. The director had asked for a progressive feel, so I tried to mix elements of progressive rock into the classic Mega Man X style, while creating good melodies as well.
The theme of X8 was “a return to our roots”, so I sought out the advice of X1’s Setsuo Yamamoto-san, and tried to recreate some of the coolness of X1 with a modern flavor. We brought back the guitar as the lead timbre, and, through discussions with Akemi Kimura-san [Editor’s Note: An alias of PlatinumGames’ Naoto Tanaka] regarding how to create the mix, we produced its sound through a combination of plugins and synth. I also tried to create a feeling of continuity by making use of motifs from X8’s theme in various scenes throughout the game. As main composer, I would decide on the overall direction of the music, and write stage, cutscene, and jingle themes, as well as music for various other scenes.
Command Mission was in production at almost exactly the same time I was working on Mega Man X8, and Okada-kun was heading the team as lead composer. The game was to be released simultaneously on PS2 and Gamecube, and I thought it sounded like quite a difficult assignment. On the other hand, being a Mega Man X RPG, the game featured new characters such as Cinnamon in addition to the franchise’s established cast, so it also seemed like quite a lively project. I worked on the music under Okada-kun’s direction. I had wanted to write some orchestral pieces, so I ended up working on Redips’s themes."
It would be interesting to hear you elaborate more about your visual inspirations for the Mega Man X titles. Could you tell us more? Do you have any particular favourites among the tracks you composed?
"I think that in all of the games in the Mega Man X series, our approach has focused on letting the music reflect the feelings of the characters. X faces the dilemma that he hates to fight against the bosses, who are reploids like himself, but he has to fight because they are causing trouble. Zero is cool and wins through his strength, while Axl fights because he is too young to understand fear, which I think is really cool; I make a point of reflecting the characters’ feelings in the story scenes. More than anything, the world revolves around X, so I try to make sure that sense of liveliness and conflict can be felt in every scene. With the stage themes I want to make sure that players feel energized through the music’s melodies and motifs while playing the game.
The piece that has stuck with me more than any other is the theme that plays over X8’s ending. It has a simple melody and a lively atmosphere that I feel capture X’s personality perfectly; in my mind, I could say nothing more in words in regards to the Mega Man X series than I have said with that music."