Yasunori Mitsuda (光田 康典) was born on January 21, 1972 in Tokuyama, Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan, and raised in Kumake. As a child, he took piano lessons, but he was more interested in sports and so never took music seriously. He also took to computers at an early age, and he taught himself to program simple songs and games. After a brief infatuation with golf, Mitsuda rediscovered music in high school, inspired by the scores of movies such as Blade Runner and by the works or composers such as Henry Mancini.
After high school, Mitsuda moved to Tokyo and enrolled in the Junior College of Music. Despite the school’s low prestige, Mitsuda received solid instruction from his professors, most of them practicing musicians who would take Mitsuda to gigs with them to help carry and set up equipment. Despite being used for free physical labor, Mitsuda got a first-hand view of the Japanese music world and valuable training both in and out of the classroom.
One of his instructors had worked in video games, and he showed Mitsuda an advertisement for an opening in the music department at the software developer Square
. Mitsuda sent a demo which won him an interview at the game studio. Despite the “disastrous” interview (as he describes it), Mitsuda was offered a position on the company’s sound team in April, 1992.
Although his official job title was “composer”, Mitsuda found himself working more as a sound engineer, a person who takes compositions by other people and adapts them to the technology used in making video games. In 1995, he finally gave Square's vice president, Hironobu Sakaguchi
, an ultimatum: let him compose, or he would quit. Sakaguchi assigned the young musician to the team working on Chrono Trigger
. Mitsuda was allowed to compose the majority of the tracks for the game under the watchful eye of veteran composer Nobuo Uematsu
Mitsuda worked on four more titles for Square, the last being Xenogears
in 1998. He then went freelance, though he continued to work closely with Squaresoft on projects such as the Chrono Trigger sequel, Chrono Cross
. He has also released non-video-game music, such as his CD Sailing to the World.
Also Known As
- Yasunori Mituda
- Y. Mitsuda
- Wizardry Online (2013), Sony Online Entertainment Inc.
- Xenoblade Chronicles (2010), Nintendo Co., Ltd.
- Thexder Neo (2009), Square Enix Co., Ltd.
- Soma Bringer (2008), Nintendo Co., Ltd.
- Super Smash Bros.: Brawl (2008), Nintendo Co., Ltd.
- Luminous Arc (2007), Atlus U.S.A., Inc.
- Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box (2007), Level-5 Inc.
- Monster Kingdom: Jewel Summoner (2006), Sony Computer Entertainment Incorporated
- Namco x Capcom (2005), Namco Limited
- Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter (2002), Capcom Co., Ltd.
- Final Fantasy Anthology: European Edition (2002), Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Ltd.
- Xenosaga: Episode I - Der Wille zur Macht (2002), Namco Hometek Inc.
- Legaia 2: Duel Saga (2001), Sony Computer Entertainment Incorporated
- Shadow Hearts (2001), Aruze Corp.
- Bomberman 64: The Second Attack (1999), Hudson Soft Company, Ltd.
- Chrono Cross (1999), Square Co., Ltd.
- Final Fantasy Anthology (1999), Square Electronic Arts L.L.C.
- Mario Party 2 (1999), Nintendo Co., Ltd.
- Mario Party (1998), Nintendo Co., Ltd.
- Xenogears (1998), Square Co., Ltd.
- Front Mission: Gun Hazard (1996), Square Co., Ltd.
- Radical Dreamers: Nusumenai Hōseki (1996), Square Co., Ltd.
- Tobal No.1 (1996), Square Co., Ltd.
- Chrono Trigger (1995), Square Co., Ltd.
- Live a Live (1994), Square Co., Ltd.
- The 7th Saga (1993), GAMEPLAN21
- Secret of Mana (1993), Square Co., Ltd.
- Final Fantasy V (1992), Square Co., Ltd.