Koji Kondo

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Koji Kondo
Koji Kondo.jpg
Local 近藤 浩治 (こんどう こうじ)
Born 1960-08-13
Birth Place Nagoya, Japan
Nationality Japanese   Japan.svg
Aliases Nick Kondo, Konchan

Koji Kondo was born on August 13, 1960 in Nagoya, Japan in the Aichi Prefecture. His love for music appeared early in his life when he would create short tunes for fun, and by seventeen he began to study music professionally.

In the early 1980's Kondo heard that a company called Nintendo was looking for music composers to create music for video games. Kondo never thought of composing music for games before, but he decided to try it out and in 1983 he was hired. He felt very confined to writing music on the Famicom because it had such a low quality of music, but as Nintendo released new systems, the quality of music also increased.

Kondo went on to compose music for some of the biggest known titles for Nintendo including the Mario and Zelda series. To this day, Kondo continues to work with Nintendo making music for video games.

Kondo's style shows elements of Jazz, Classical, and Latin influences with a cinematic theme that have remained fairly similar throughout his career. His music has been released on a multitude of albums. Some have drawn a parallel calling him the John Williams of video games.

Music Composition

NES

At the time, Nintendo required their main composers such as Hirokazu Tanaka and Akito Nakatsuka to write their own sound engines for the NES/Famicom, so Koji programmed a sound driver on the Family BASIC computer in 6502 assembly.

SNES

Kondo composed his music on an electronic keyboard and then programmed it into the game. It is likely that the instrument samples came from his electronic keyboard but it is unknown what make and model of keyboard he used.

Gameography

Released Title Sample Notes
1984-02-?? Punch-Out!! (ARC)
1984-05-01 Golf (NES)
1984-06-12 Vs. Stroke & Match: Golf (ARC)
1984-06-21 Family BASIC (FC) Sound programming
1984-10-05 Devil World (FC)
With Akito Nakatsuka
1985-04-09 Soccer (NES)
1985-05-?? Arm Wrestling (ARC)
1985-06-21 Kung Fu (NES) Sound effects
1985-09-13 Super Mario Bros. (NES)
1986-02-21 The Legend of Zelda (NES)
1986-04-14 The Mystery of Murasame Castle (FDS) (謎の村雨城)
1986-05-03 Super Mario Bros. 2 (FDS) (スーパーマリオブラザーズ2)
1987-07-10 Dream Factory: Heart-Pounding Panic (FDS) (夢工場 ドキドキパニック)
1987-09-04 Famicom Tale: New Onigashima - Prequel (FDS) (ファミコン昔話 新鬼ヶ島 前編)
1987-09-30 Famicom Tale: New Onigashima - Sequel (FDS) (ファミコン昔話 新鬼ヶ島 後編)
1988-10-?? Super Mario Bros. 2 (NES) (スーパーマリオUSA)
1988-10-23 Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES) (スーパーマリオブラザーズ3)
1990-11-21 Super Mario World (SNES) (スーパーマリオワールド Super Mario Bros. 4)
1990-12-21 Pilotwings (SNES) (パイロットウィングス) Composed Helicopter; Sound programming
1991-11-21 The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (SNES)
1993-02-21 Star Fox (SNES) (スターフォックス) Sound Effects
1995-08-15 Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island (SNES)
1996-06-23 Super Mario 64 (N64)
Programmed by Hideaki Shimizu
1997-05-27 Star Fox 64 (N64) With Hajime Wakai
1998-11-21 The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (N64) Last game entirely composed by Kondo
2000-05-27 The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (N64) With Toru Minegishi
2002-07-19 Super Mario Sunshine (GC) With Shinobu Tanaka
2002-12-13 The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (GC) Composed Grandma's Theme
2006-05-15 New Super Mario Bros. (DS) (ニュー・スーパーマリオブラザーズ) Composed Ground BGM; Sound Director
2006-11-19 The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (WII) Composed Orchestra Piece #1
2007-11-01 Super Mario Galaxy (WII) Composed Rosalina in the Observatory, Egg Planet
2008-01-31 Super Smash Bros. Brawl (WII) Arrangements
2009-12-07 The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks (DS) Composed Ending
2010-05-23 Super Mario Galaxy 2 (WII) Composed Yoshi Star Galaxy, Starship Mario, Bowser Jr.'s Fiery Flotilla
2011-11-18 The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (WII) Composed Legend of Skyloft
2013-11-21 Super Mario 3D World (WIIU) Composed Chain-Link Charge, Sunshine Seaside
2014-11-21 Super Smash Bros. for Wii U (WIIU) Arrangement
2015-09-10 Super Mario Maker (WIIU) Arrangements; marks first role as lead composer in 15 years
2017-04-28 Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (NS) Composed Battle Theme
2017-10-27 Super Mario Odyssey (NS) Composed Wooded Kingdom, Bowser Castle

Picture Gallery

Links