VG Tribune

A Brief Interview with Nobuo Uematsu at Distant Worlds Chicago

June 27, 2011 / 2:33 AM

By: Roger DiLuigi III

Yesterday night, before Distant Worlds Chicago, I had the pleasure of sitting down to have a chat with Nobuo Uematsu, a composer best known for scoring the Final Fantasy series of video games. We were joined by Hiroki Ogawa, who acted as Uematsu-san’s translator and VG Tribune’s news writer Alex Romero.

DiLuigi: Today, I am speaking with Nobuo Uematsu. It is an honor to meet you.

Uematsu: Hello. Nice to meet you too.

DiLuigi: Our first real question is do you enjoy the Final Fantasy games themselves or do you just enjoy composing the music for them?

Uematsu: Yes, I have played all of the games that I composed myself, except for Final Fantasy XIV. Not yet at least. (Laughs)

DiLuigi: Yeah, it’s probably a good idea to wait on that one a little while longer. (Laughs)

Uematsu: Yes, yes. (Laughs)

DiLuigi: About three weeks ago at E3, Iwata-san announced that two new Smash Bros. titles are being developed for Wii U and 3DS. We actually brought a copy of Super Smash Bros. Brawl with us because we enjoyed your composition of the main theme and we were wondering if you’ve been contacted about composing music for the upcoming games.

Uematsu: Oh no. I haven’t been contacted yet about that project.

DiLuigi: Would you like to compose for the games if given the opportunity?

Uematsu: Of course. Composing is a job so if there is an offer, I will do anything, in any place. In any country! (Laughs)

DiLuigi: With that said, if the opportunities arose, which game series would you most like to work on outside of Final Fantasy?

Uematsu: It’s very difficult for me to imagine composing for a series that someone else has already composed for. I’ve never really thought about composing for other games. I don’t think I can compose Super Mario Bros. music better than the original music.

DiLuigi: So, no New Super Mario Bros. music then?

Uematsu: Never. Never. (Laughs)

DiLuigi: Of all the pieces that you’ve composed, which is your favorite or which do you think has influenced you the most as an artist?

Uematsu: I’ve been composing for twenty-five years! (Laughs)

DiLuigi: (Laughs)

Uematsu: Recently, my favorite is Answers. I composed all of the background music until Final Fantasy 9. Ten years have passed since I completely scored all of the songs for a Final Fantasy game and now I have composed Final Fantasy XIV, which includes Answers. You’re familiar with it, right?

DiLuigi: Of course.

Uematsu: It’s one of my favorites. It sounds very nice.

DiLuigi: Finally, and this isn’t really a question as much as it is a comment, but I am big Earthbound Papas fan and I just wanted to say congratulations on your 1st album on iTunes. I think it even hit the number one chart on its category for a little while there.

Uematsu: Oh really? (Laughs)

Ogawa: I didn’t know that! (Laughs)

Uematsu: Invite us out here to do a concert! (Laughs) We are always looking for more chances to perform. We’re actually going to Houston to do the first Earthbound Papas Live. Please join us there. And please enjoy tonight’s concert.

DiLuigi: We will! Thank you so much for your time.

About the author /

Roger is probably best known throughout the “interwebs” as the man behind TopHatProfessor in the Professor Layton Twitter viral marketing campaign. Roger is a Chicago-based actor and Theatre/English graduate at the University of Illinois at Chicago.


  1. DJ Rowland

    Very cool. I get to see Distant Worlds in Columbus OH this August, can’t wait for that! Uematsu’s gonna be there for a Violin/Organ duet on a piece from Final Fantasy VI.

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