Friday, March 1, 2013

Who Dunnit?: Music from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (NES)

First off, I'm referring to the 1989 NES game from Konami here.  And apparently, a guitar riff by Queen, but I'll get to that in the next post.  First, we'll go into a bit about the composer.

If you do a Google search for Keizo Nakamura, you'll find a great deal of seemingly mixed information.  The Video Game Music Database, which I will look at frequently for verification on early NES game composers, doesn't have anything for Keizo Nakamura before 1993, despite the fact that TMNT was released in 1989.  They do have a link to his Facebook profile though, whatever that ultimately means.  Another frequently reliable source, the Video Game Music Preservation Foundation has Keizo Nakamura's only credit as being Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game which came out in 1990.  Then there is a disclaimer that says Kiezo Nakamura is not to be confused with fellow Konami music composer Kozo Nakamura.

If you do a Google search of Kozo Nakamura, you'll find a great deal of seemingly mixed information.  Woah.  The VGMdb doesn't have anything for Kozo Nakamura before 1999.  The VGMPF does have Kozo Nakamura as the composer for TMNT (1989) as well as Monster in My Pocket (1992) and TMNT IV: Turtles in Time (1992).  

And now!, (now as in a week after initially writing this, parts of the TMNT article from VGMPF have been changed/updated) there has been a third name to enter the arena.  VGMPF now has it listed that Jun Funahashi composed half of the games music, but for as to who composed the other half of the music, "because it has been such a long time, he doesn't remember."

IMdb and Wikipedia both have Keizo listed as the composer while IMdb lists Kozo as the composer for TMNT IV and MiMP, but not TMNT.  I have not found anything else internet-wise regarding Jun Funahashi being the composer for TMNT, but that doens't mean that he didn't do it.  The game doesn't even have a credit sequence to tell us anything about the creators of the game.  VGMPF says/ previously said that "it has become known that Kozo Nakamura is responsible for the Ninja Turtles NES soundtrack," although that sentence has been since taken down and replaced with "The game lacks credits, but Jun Funahashi has confirmed that he composed half of the games music."

So who is the composer for the NES game TMNT that was released in 1989 by Konami?  Based on Jun Funahashi's statement, it was him and some other people, which could very well mean that Kozo Nakamura and/or Keizo Nakamura were associated with the game's music.  I've sent messages to Jun and Keizo two weeks and a month ago respectively and have not heard back from either, possibly for obvious reasons.  For the time being however, we'll have to settle and accept the information at hand and be thankful that at least there are some people who care.


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