Shunichi Mikame is a former music composor for Nintendo games, guraduated from Music College (Tokyo Conservatoire Shobi) in 1986, in Music Composition/Programming, in Tokyo, Japan, and hired by a computer game maker, Culture Brain, Inc., (formerly known as "Nihon Game") in downtown Tokyo, position in computer music composer. Composed music for Nintendo computer games (Nintendo Entertainment System) and its TV commercial music using MIDI instruments (keyboard/synthesizer) and assembly language. Composed and provided various music (and also music arrangement) for the earliest version of Nintendo game software products called:
- "Super Chinese" released in Japan in June 1986 through Namco (this game is also known as "Kung Fu Heroes" in North America, released in 1988), - composed and provided total 5 music.
- "Hiryu no Ken: Ougi no Sho" released in Japan in Feb 1987 (this game is also known as "Flying Dragon: The Secret Scroll" in North America, relased in 1989), - composed and provided total 7 music (these were all composed in 1986), and also arranged 1 music (The main theme).
- "Arabian Dream Scheherazade" released in Japan in Sep 1987, - composed and provided only 3 music.
During his work at Culture Brain for these games (1986 ~ 1987), his personal equipment "Roland JX-8P (analog synthesizer)", "Oberheim Matrix 6 (analog synthesizer)", "Yamaha TX81Z (FM synthesizer module)", "Roland MC-500 (hardware sequencer)", and "Yamaha CX5 (music programming computer)" were used for the music creativity. His compositions were recorded to audio tapes for the music selection and approval process for the games, and it sounded great, however when these music were approved and programmed/converted (using assembly language - binary and hexadecimal) for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), he felt that it did not sound as way it is supposed to be (because he originally composed these game music using polyphonic synthesizers with more than 6-voice polyphony, but he did not arrange them to fit PSG (3-voice), that's why, and this was his 'Lesson Learned' when he worked for 'Super Chinese' in 1986 (There was no synthesizer sound module or chips available that time for the NES (only Ricoh 2A03 8-bit microprocessor chip with a 3-voice Programmable Sound Generator "PSG" was available for NES - it is two 'pulse wave' channels and one 'triangle wave' channel (that's said it is total 3 voices and plus one 'white noise' channel). Shunichi Mikame recalls that he worked a little better when he was composed music for 'Hiryu no Ken: Ougi no Sho').
Hiryu no Ken: Ougi no Sho Edit
"Hiryu no Ken: Ougi no Sho" released in Japan in Feb 1987 (this game is also known as "Flying Dragon: The Secret Scroll" in North America, relased in 1989), - composed and provided total 7 music listed below (these were all composed in 1986), and also arranged 1 music (The main theme). Other music you hear in the newer/later version of games are not his work/composition.
[NES production approved version, with 'PSG']: 0. Demo used for the final music selection/approval process 1. Douchu (The Journey) - (1986) 2. Hitman (boss) attack scene in Douchu/Journey - (1986) 3. Elimination round 1 & training stage - (1986) 4. Elimination round 2 - (1986) 5. Surprise attack by demon - (1986) 6. The password for revival (at game over) - (1986) 7. Mandara - (1986) - ('short phrase' version) 8. Arrangement of 'Hiryu no Ken - Main Theme' - (1986)
Hiryu no Ken/Flying Dragon's original main theme music (you hear it at timestamp: 00:00 ~ 16:00 sec) was ported from the arcade game version (Shanghai Kid / Hokuha Syourin Hiryu no Ken), but melody was too short to fit NES production version, therefore to meet Culture Brain's game producer's requirement, arranged it based on arcade version and added more melody, track, and measures (melody that added, that's you hear it at timestamp: 16:00 ~ 32:00 sec).
[The original synthesizer recorded version]: The original synthesizer recorded version would be uploaded here in the future after search and data/tape recovery from his 24 years ago's old library/archive.
Quotes from Shunichi:Edit
- I quit a job at this company almost 22 years ago in year 1987 or 1988. As a music composer, I worked for their 1st version of Hiryu No Ken (for Nintendo Entertainment System), but after that I moved to the U.S.A and got a new job, so I do not have any information about this company since then. I have no relation with them since I quit their company.
- Culture Brain seems not have much games, and probably they've been re-using the same games with the major or minor enhancement as needed, so it looks many versions of Hiryu No Ken (and Super Chinese) were released. But, regarding to Hiryu No Ken, I only worked and composed/arranged music for 1987 Flying Dragon: The Secret Scroll (Hihon Game / Micro Acadamy). I think it was called Hiryu no Ken: Ougi no Sho' in Japan when I was there with them. For your information, they renamed their company name three times (Hihon Game ==> Micro Acadamy ==> Culture Brain).