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An Interview with Tomoya Koga, an Individual - Part Two

The second half of Nicolaas Hamman's interview with Tomoya Koga brings you more from the mind of the guitarist and former SEGA composer, including his involvement with the music of Virtua Fighter, SEGA-Race TV, Shinging Force Cross, and more!

Welcome to our continuation of Nic's special Individual interview with Tomoya Koga! If you haven't checked Part 1 of their chat, please do so by clicking here. 
Much like Part 1, Tomoya's answers here are presented in both English and Japanese as Nic didn't actually translate any of his English text as Koga-san did, thus best to preserve every line so that anyone with fluency in both languages can spot where misunderstandings may have occurred.
Without further ago, here is Part 2. Enjoy!


Q: Were you a composer for some of the Virtua Fighter games? Some tracks from Virtua Fighter 5, 5R and 5 Final Showdown have composition credited to AM R&D 2 SOUND STAFF on JASRAC Works Information Database (BORDER BREAK AIRBURST has a couple as well that are co-composed with Fumio Ito), and for years I’ve wondered if some or all of them were yours or maybe Masanori Takeuchi’s for the first Virtua Fighter 5.

バーチャファイターシリーズで、何か作曲している曲はありますか?バーチャファイター5、5R、5  ファイナルショーダウンの中の何曲かで、AM R&D 2 SOUND STAFFがクレジットされていることをJASRACのデータベースで見つけ、あなたが作曲に携わっているのでは、と長い間疑問に思っていました。

A: I wrote a lot of songs for Virtua Fighter 5, 5R, Final Showdown.

バーチャファイアター5、5R, ファイナルショーダウンなどではたくさんの曲を書いております。


Q: Recently you worked on Virtua Fighter 5 Ultimate Showdown, where all your tracks were co-composed with others, even one (BEGINNING) which was composed by Fumio Ito, Yasuyuki Nagata and yourself. How did that process work?

最近はバーチャファイター5 アルティメットショーダウンに携わっていましたが、”Beginning”はイトウフミオさん、ナガタヤスユキさん、そしてあなたの共作で、その他の曲も他のミュージシャンとの共作です。どのように作業を進めていったのでしょうか?

A: I just provided some materials like guitar sounds and melodies and the other persons proceeded after that. 



Q: I know you performed Virtua Fighter 4 music live at least once. Have you performed a lot of live SEGA music?


A: I performed the live for some events of Virtua Fighter and Border Break. And I played the guitar live on Tokyo Game Show.



Q: Regarding the whole Virtua Fighter series, how has working on it changed over the years? For most of it you’ve had to come back every year or two to record, compose or arrange for it, especially when you count the PlayStation/Xbox versions with new music.


A: It was like “making a lots of stuff!” Because there were lots to finish.



Q: The arcade version of The King of Route 66 is the only game I know of that only features music you wrote, nobody else. Is that correct? What were some differences between that solo work versus sharing writing responsibilities with Fumio Ito and Sachio Ogawa on the PlayStation 2 version?


A: OSTs for games have so many songs to make and it leads to cooperation with other composers but it requires separate works that don't change when you do it by yourself. I don’t know if I did King of Route 66 by myself…

ゲームのBGMは何しろ曲数が多いので、いつも誰かと共同作業にはなりますが、手分けしてやるだけなので、一人でやるのも共同作業も余り変わりはありません。King of Route66も一人でやったのかはわかりません。。。


Q: There seems to have been a period, maybe 2002~2006, where all the big SEGA AM2 games (especially the ones Fumio Ito worked on like aero dancing 4, OutRun2, AFTER BURNER CLIMAX, etc.) was full of your guitars. Do you have periods where you’re more passionate about performing versus composing/arranging?

2002年から2006年の間に、SEGA AM2のビッグタイトル(イトウフミオさんが手掛けた、エアロダンシング4、アウトラン2、アフターバーナー・クライマックスなど)のギターを演奏していますよね。作曲やアレンジよりも、演奏により注力した時期はあるのでしょうか?

A: I coincidentally got performance jobs at that time. Basically there’s no difference between two kinds of stuff.



Q: I’ve always assumed you joined SEGA around 2000 when you started composing for 18WHEELER and F355 Challenge, but then I learned you actually became an employee in 2005. Why after so many years did you want to join the company?


A: I was just invited to be an employee. I was so much honoured to be invited.



Q: From the dates I’ve looked at, even though AFTER BURNER CLIMAX came out in late 2006, apparently most of the music was finished in late 2005?! How long before a game comes out do you usually go in for recording? Do you have a few days where you record everything and then you’re finished, or do you keep getting brought in every few days or weeks to record something new?


A: Usually, recordings are done in one go. Especially we used the amps in studios. 

I don’t know much about the duration from the recording to the release.




Q: I know very little about the music on SEGA-RaceTV, but I want to know a lot. It feels very different from the other 2008 onwards releases, but nostalgically like the mid-2000s. Could you tell me some fun stuff?


A: In RaceTV, I gathered a great drummer and a bassist, and recorded live performances. Half of the songs were directed and played by me.




Q: There’s some more games I’ve wondered about you working on while at SEGA. R-TUNED? The Shining Force CROSS series? SEGA NETWORK CASINO CLUB? Maybe some mobile games?

あなたがセガに在籍している間、ほかにどのようなゲームを手がけていたか気になります。 R-TUNEDや、シャイニングフォースクロス、セガネットワーク・カジノクラブや携帯用ゲームなどは手がけていらっしゃいますか?

A: I don’t remember the details but I worked on The Shining Force CROSS, Casino Club and various games.



Q: I know you composed the Reach Default BGM for MJ4, but about half of the soundtrack sounds like your compositions to me. How much did you work on the MJ series?

対戦麻雀MJ4において、Reach Defaultを作曲したことは知っているのですが、このゲームのサントラの半分はあなたが作曲したように聞こえます。このゲームの作曲にはどれくらい関わっているのでしょうか?

A: I composed Reach Default indeed. I remember I composed many other songs so I don’t have clues pf what songs I created. I perhaps can tell if I listen to them…

Reach Defaultは私が作曲しました。他にも作ってるのですが、みんなでいっぱい作ってるので私がどれをやったのか?はハッキリしません。曲を聞けばわかるのですが。。。


Q: While it would later be released as DAYTONA USA, SEGA Racing Classic was essentially DAYTONA USA without the DAYTONA USA brand. Did that change how the music was re-arranged?


A: Never branding, naming, or position of projects influence the process of the remake of songs. I rearranged the song thinking about the popularity of the song and fan’s expectations 



Next week, we'll have the third and final part of Nic's Tomoya Koga interview, featuring his many collaborations with his colleages! 

22nd February, 2023 - 23:47 GMT Twinny Article viewed 1094 times 0 Comments


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