24 November 2010

Episode 4: Junko Tamiya

In this episode of The Legacy Music Hour, Brent and Rob present a composer focus on Junko Tamiya. They explore her music across several games and analyze her style (and various styles).  NOTE: Harumi Fujita composed Area 1 from Bionic Commando for the arcade, which Junko Tamiya only arranged for the NES.  The Legacy Music Hour was also mistaken about Darkwing Duck, which was actually composed by Yasuaki Fujita.  Full Track listing below.

Key: Game - Composer - Song - Company - Console - Year*

*The year specified is the year the version that we played was released.  For example, as some music from the same game may vary between Japanese and North American versions, generally, we play the North American version, which may or may not have been released the same year it was released in Japan.

Bionic Commando - Harumi Fujita, Junko Tamiya (arr.) - Enemy Base - Capcom - NES - 1988

Strider - Junko Tamiya - Introduction 3 - Capcom - Genesis - 1990

Gun.Smoke - Junko Tamiya - Cheyenne River (Stage 5) - Capcom - NES - 1988

Sweet Home - Junko Tamiya - Ichirou and Mamiya - Capcom - Famicom - 1989

Little Nemo: The Dream Master - Junko Tamiya - Topsy-Turvy (Dream 7) - Capcom - NES - 1990

Street Fighter 2010: The Final Fight - Junko Tamiya - Alleyway (Planet 1, Area 1) - Capcom - NES - 1990

Street Fighter II Turbo - Yoko Shimomura - Title Screen - Capcom - SNES - 1993

Darkwing Duck - Yasuaki Fujita - Bushroot's Forest - Capcom - NES - 1992

Little Nemo: The Dream Master - Junko Tamiya - Nemo's House (Dream 5) - Capcom - NES - 1990

Gun.Smoke - Junko Tamiya - Ending - Capcom - NES - 1988

Strider - Junko Tamiya - Defense Line/Raid! - Capcom - Genesis - 1990

Street Fighter 2010: The Final Fight - Junko Tamiya - Skimmer (Planet 1, Area 2) - Capcom - NES - 1990

Street Fighter 2010: The Final Fight - Junko Tamiya - Rooted (Planet 2, Area 2) - Capcom - NES - 1990

Bionic Commando - Junko Tamiya - Neutral Zone - Capcom - NES - 1988

Bionic Commando - Junko Tamiya - Processing Plant - Capcom - NES - 1988

Gun.Smoke - Junko Tamiya - Game Over - Capcom - NES - 1988

Gun.Smoke - Junko Tamiya - Hicksville (Stage 1) - Capcom - NES - 1988

Strider - Junko Tamiya - Grandmaster - Capcom - Genesis - 1990

Strider - Junko Tamiya - Hiryu/Theme for Counterattack - Capcom - Genesis - 1990

Sweet Home - Junko Tamiya - Battle Theme - Capcom - Famicom - 1989

Little Nemo: The Dream Master - Junko Tamiya - Mushroom Forest (Dream 1) - Capcom - NES - 1990

Strider - Junko Tamiya - Valleys and Rivers/Roaring - Capcom - Genesis - 1990


  1. Dannnng; major props dudes. I found your site while googling 'Rad Racer 2 composer' and I'm still looking, hahah!

    Enjoyed the show; keep up the great work!

  2. Ah very good! I will love this! But if I am not mistaken, Harumi Fujita wrote the Bionic Commando Level 1 music, since it is originally from the arcade version, which was composed by him.

  3. To Anonymous, yes, you are correct. Harumi Fujita was the actual composer for Area 1, and Junko Tamiya only arranged that piece for the NES. However, you are wrong about Harumi's gender; Harumi is a she.

  4. Oh snap, I just did all of this research to verify Area 1's original composer before posting a comment, but I should have looked here.

    Great choice for an episode though. Bionic Commando for NES is my favorite VG soundtrack.

  5. You've now played virtually every song in Strider EXCEPT the sublime 'bells' one near the end of stage 3! But, at least the rest is amazing as well.

    Also, thanks for introducing me to Sweet Home, I'm definitely interested in that now.

  6. Hey retards, the BIONIC COMMANDO area 1 music in the arcade was a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT THEME from the area 1 music from the BC NES game (You obviously haven't played the arcade game). Junko Tamiya created a WHOLE DIFFERENT MELODY from HARUMI FUJITA's theme. That's why Junko Tamiya is credited as the composer of the iconic Bionic Commando level 1 music theme from the NES, not Fujita.

    1. Wrong. It turns out, YOU'VE never played the arcade version before. Or maybe you just never made it to Stage 2.

    2. Crap. You are totally right. LOL sorry, I'm the retard. Well.... at least Junko composed Heat Wave all by herself..... and she and Harumi were great friends.

  7. Here is Harumi Fujita's facebook. Sadly, Junko doesn't have one...


  8. The ever elusive miss Junko Tamiya and her friend (and former Capcom colleague) Manami Matsumae attended the Bitsummit independent game developers festival held in Kyoto, Japan during March 2014.

  9. I definitely pickup on the strong classical influence in Tamiya's work.
    It's been a long time since I listened to the Genesis version of Strider, that is some pretty intense stuff!

    I feel that while Strider may be her magnum opus, I find Little Nemo to be her most listenable. There is a strong "old timey" feeling to many of the songs, Koji Kondo often does the same thing, some other NES composers did as well. There are many NES tracks that feel very nostalgic in composition. I don't mean that I feel nostalgic because I grew up with it, but the songs themselves evoke sounds of ragtime, carousel music, wind-up music boxes, or even vaudeville. It takes you to another place, and time. I love it.

    Another good example is the title screen to Punch Out!. It was quite literally a cover of the "Gillette Cavalcade Of Sports" theme song from the 50's.

  10. If these episodes were comic books, this one would be worth at least $15 - the first of appearance of "The" Gabe Castro!

  11. Wow, first appearance of the Gabecube! All the way from a mention to having a whole section of the show, Gabes corner. Love you guys! Keep up the amazing work!