Nobuo Uematsu

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Nobuo Uematsu
Nobuo Uematsu.jpg
Local 植松 伸夫 (うえまつ のぶお)
Born 1959-03-29
Birth Place Kōchi City, Japan
Nationality Japanese   Japan.svg

Nobuo Uematsu was born on March 21st, 1959 in Kouchi City, Japan. At about eleven he began to teach himself to play piano like his older sister. Uematsu went to college but did not pursue a degree in music. While at school he met his future wife, Reiko. After Uematsu he kept his hobby of music alive by writing jingles for local television commercials and working at a music rental shop. One day, in 1986, Uematsu was asked to consider composing music for Square. He agreed to the job and began making music for them on the side, still keeping his job at the music rental shop in Sugoshiyoshi. However, it wasn't long before Uematsu's co-worker at Square, Hironobu Sakaguchi (of Final Fantasy fame), asked him to compose music for his games, and Uematsu began working for Square full time.

Uematsu was hired by Bits Laboratory (under contract from Square) to do music for their title King's Knight. Bits Laboratory is known for creating the legendary terrible NES Ghostbusters. He later composed the music for their title "Hanjuku Hero". During his time at Square, Uematsu composed soundtracks for over 30 games, including his help on Chrono Trigger after Yasunori Mitsuda became ill. He is best known for the epic orchestrated soundtracks he scored for the Final Fantasy series.

In 2003, Uematsu formed a rock group called The Black Mages, a collection of both video game musicians and traditional musicians to put a new take on his Final Fantasy tunes. The Black Mages released three albums and performed several live concerts, but they disbanded in 2010. In 2004, about a year after the merger of Square and Enix, Uematsu quit citing his inability to find comfort since the company moved to the Shinjuku ward. After quitting, Uematsu formed his own company Smile Please, a music studio, and the company Dog Ear Records, a production studio. With his own studios to work in, Uematsu was able to concentrate on his music more fully and continue to compose soundtracks for Square Enix, but also other companies as well, like Mistwalker.

Uematsu's work is quite eclectic ranging from classical orchestrated pieces to modern techno tracks, and also including jazz, Celtic, rock, and blues. He cites the pop-rock music of Elton John as his biggest influence, in addition to The Beatles, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Simon & Garfunkel, Pink Floyd, and King Crimson. His more traditional influences come from Tchaikovsky, which he uses for his orchestration. He has even been called the "John Williams of the video game world" by some of his colleagues. Outside of pop and classical music, Uematsu enjoys Irish and Celtic music as well. His favorite work to date is the Final Fantasy IX soundtrack.

Uematsu currently resides in Tokyo with his wife and their Beagle, Pao. They also have a summer cabin in Yamanakako, Yamanashi.

Music Composition

For the most of his earlier material, Nobuo used instruments from the Roland SC-55 and SC-88.


For his NES music, it is most likely Nobuo wrote his compositions on sheet music manuscript paper, which was then sent to Square, and was most likely transplanted into the game by Toshiaki Imai, as most of the games Nobuo wrote for used Toshiaki's sound driver.


Released Title Sample Notes
1986-04-30 Cruise Chaser Blassty (PC88)
1986-07-04 Alpha (PC88)
1986-09-18 King's Knight (NES) (キングスナイト)
1986-12-15 Suisho no Dragon (FDS) (水晶のドラゴン)
1986-??-?? King's Knight (MSX)
1987-03-12 3-D WorldRunner (NES) (とびだせ大作戦)
1987-04-03 Apple Town Story (FDS) (アップルタウン物語)
1987-06-06 Genesis (PC88)
1987-06-10 Aliens (MSX)
1987-07-24 Cleopatra no Mahou (FDS) (クレオパトラの魔法)
1987-08-07 Rad Racer (NES)
1987-12-01 Nakayama Miho no Tokimeki High School (FDS) (中山美穂のトキメキハイスクール)
1987-12-07 JJ: Tobidase Adventures Part II (NES) (ジェージェー:とびだせ大作戦)
1987-12-18 Final Fantasy (NES)
1988-12-02 Hanjuku Hero (NES) (半熟ヒーロー)
1988-12-17 Final Fantasy II (FC)
1989-03-19 Square's Tom Sawyer (NES) (スクウェアのトムソーヤ)
1989-12-15 The Final Fantasy Legend (GB)
1990-??-?? Nintendo World Championships 1990 (NES)
Composer of Rad Racer (NES) portion.
1990-04-27 Final Fantasy III (FC)
1990-12-27 Final Fantasy Legend II (GB)
1990-??-?? Rad Racer II (NES)
1991-07-19 Final Fantasy IV (SNES)
1992-12-06 Final Fantasy V (SNES)
1993-12-10 Romancing SaGa 2 (SNES)
1994-04-02 Final Fantasy VI (SNES)
1995-03-11 Chrono Trigger (SNES)
1996-01-27 Dynami Tracer (SNES)
1996-02-23 Front Mission: Gun Hazard (SNES)
1997-01-31 Final Fantasy VII (PS1)
1999-02-11 Final Fantasy VIII (PS1)
2000-07-07 Final Fantasy IX (PS1)
2001-07-19 Final Fantasy X (PS2)
2002-04-16 Final Fantasy XI (PS2)
2003-02-14 Final Fantasy Tactics Advance (GBA) One song only: "Main Theme"
2003-06-26 Hanjuku Hero Tai 3D (PS2)
2005-03-24 Egg Monster Hero (NDS)
2005-05-26 Hanjuku Hero 4 (PS2)
2006-03-16 Final Fantasy XII (PS2) One song only: "Kiss Me Good-Bye"
2006-12-07 Blue Dragon (X360)
2007-11-15 Anata o Yurusanai (PSP)
2007-12-06 Lost Odyssey (X360)
2008-01-31 Super Smash Bros. Brawl (WII) One song only: "Main Theme"
2008-06-17 Lord of Vermilion (ARC)
2008-09-04 Blue Dragon Plus (NDS)
2008-10-16 Away: Shuffle Dungeon (NDS)
2008-??-?? Cry On (X360) (Canceled)
2009-10-8 Blue Dragon: Awakened Shadow (NDS)
2009-10-10 Lord of Vermilion II (ARC) One song only: "Opening Theme"
2009-11-05 Sakura Note (NDS)
2010-09-22 Final Fantasy XIV (W32)
2010-10-14 Lord of Arcana (PSP)
2011-01-27 The Last Story (WII)
2011-07-14 UnchainBlades ReXX (PSP) One song only
2012-05-24 Jyuzaengi: Engetsu Sangokuden (PSP)
2012-08-30 Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory (PS3)
2012-11-29 UnchainBlades EXXiV (PSP)
2012-12-27 Fantasy Life (3DS)
2013-05-30 NORN9 (PSP)
2013-08-23 Lord of Vermilion III (ARC)
2013-08-29 Ragnarok Odyssey Ace (PS3)
2013-09-19 Fairy Fencer F (PS3)
2013-10-22 Hometown Story (3DS)
2013-11-14 Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas (IOS)
2013-12-17 Granblue Fantasy (IOS)
2014-01-08 Wonder Flick (IOS)
2014-04-10 Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters (PS3)
2014-10-09 Terra Battle (IOS)
2015-09-17 Chunithm: Seelisch Tact (ARC)
2015-11-05 Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force (PS4)
2016-04-26 Super Senso (IOS)
2017-09-21 Terra Battle 2 (IOS)
2017-11-15 Final Fantasy XV: Comrades (PS4)
2019-07-01 Terra Wars (IOS)
2020-04-10 Final Fantasy VII Remake (PS4)
2021-10-14 Dungeon Encounters (W64)

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