CoG 2011: The Hall of Heroes – The Hero of Composers


~ Nobuo Uematsu ~

Choosing the Hero of Composers was no small task, what with musical talents such as Halo‘s Marty O’Donnell, The Elder Scrolls’ Jeremy Soule, and Akira Yamaoka of Silent Hill fame. However, one maestro inched ahead in the polls, drawing on years of composing some of the best-loved and emotionally charged pieces of the RPG genre. The honor of being crowned Hero of Composers is no small milestone, and this year, Nobuo Uematsu clearly stood apart from the rest to claim certain victory.

In the minds of many, Nobuo Uematsu is synonymous with one of the most influential RPG franchises of gaming history, Final Fantasy; the name of one goes hand-in-hand with the other. The self-taught pianist joined a struggling Square in 1985 as a side job to earn a little extra money. He soon met Hironobu Sakaguchi, and the two created a lasting partnership that persists to this day. In 1987, Uematsu scored Sakaguchi’s send-off to Square, his aptly titled swan song, Final Fantasy. The game was anything but an ending, instead opening the door to one of the biggest franchises in gaming, and the path to musical stardom for Uematsu.

Uematsu’s tenure with Square Enix lasted almost 20 years, until he left the company in 2004. He has since formed his own music production company and toured with his rock band The Black Mages (performing rock versions of his FF compositions). He has left his trademark sound on most of the games in the Final Fantasy series, and continues to compose for Square Enix as well as Mistwalker, the company formed by his long-time collaborator and ex-Square designer, Hironobu Sakaguchi. Uematsu’s scores have been renowned for decades to run the full gamut of feelings and emotions, and have imbued countless digital moments with hours of warmth, whimsy, excitement and action.

Hero Uematsu, welcome to the Hall.

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