Masayoshi Soken (祖堅正慶 Soken Masayoshi, born January 10, 1975) is a Japanese video game composer and sound editor who has worked for Square Enix since 2001. Soken is known for scoring Mario Hoops 3-on-3 and Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. Throughout his musical career, Soken has also gone under the names "Masayoshi Kikuchi", "Sorbonne Soken", and "Luis Noma".
|Also known as||Masayoshi Kikuchi|
|Born||January 10, 1975|
La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico
|Occupation(s)||Composer, sound designer|
|Labels||Square Enix Music|
Born in La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico, Soken and his family later moved to Tokyo, where he attended the Tokyo University of Science. He joined Square in 2001, where his first assignment was arranging two songs on the extended play feel/Go dream: Yuna & Tidus; he was credited as "Masayoshi Kikuchi". His debut as a composer came with the Japan-exclusive sports games Nichibeikan Pro Baseball: Final League, in which he was the sole composer, and World Fantasista with synthesizer programmer Takeharu Ishimoto. Soken came into the public eye when he performed at the 2005 Square Enix Party event and was confirmed a sound editor for the company. His only known roles as a sound editor are for the 2005 titles Drakengard 2 and Front Mission 5: Scars of the War.
In 2006, Soken composed and arranged the score to Mario Hoops 3-on-3 (known as Mario Slam Basketball in Europe), a basketball game developed by Square Enix and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo DS, featuring both Mario and Final Fantasy characters. Along with Kenji Ito and Tsuyoshi Sekito, he created the soundtrack to Dawn of Mana (known as "Seiken Densetsu 4" in Japan), with Academy Award-winning composer Ryuichi Sakamoto providing the main theme. Soken also arranged a few tracks from previous Mana games, and performed the electric guitar for his arrangements. In 2007, he scored the online game Elebest with Ai Yamashita.
Soken has also contributed to Square Enix advertisements; Front Mission 5: Scars of the War (2005) featured the sports commercial song "Blue Stream", Soken's only composition in the game. He also participated in a Square Enix advertisement for pencils where he got beaten up by two robots; the commercial featured music composed by him. Soken created the fanfare for Square Enix Music TV, a monthly video feature where new album releases are discussed and interviews with Square Enix composers are conducted. For the iTunes-exclusive Square Enix Music Official Bootleg collection, Soken contributed the piece "Dog Street" for the first volume in 2006, and "Languid Afternoon" for the third volume in 2007; he went under the alias "Sorbonne Soken" on the third volume. In 2008, he composed the Japan-exclusive Nanashi no Game, this time under the pseudonym "Luis Noma". In 2010, he composed another sports game for the Wii, Mario Sports Mix. Since the 2010 development team reshuffling, he has been sound director for Final Fantasy XIV. Soken became primary composer for the title with the launch of A Realm Reborn and has collaborated with Nobuo Uematsu on the soundtracks for the game's expansions.
Musical style and influencesEdit
Soken primarily approaches his game composing with the player's experience in mind.
|2002||Nichibeikan Pro Baseball: Final League||Composition/arrangement|
|World Fantasista||Composition/arrangement||Takeharu Ishimoto|
|2005||Drakengard 2||Sound editing|
|Front Mission 5: Scars of the War||Composition/arrangement||Hidenori Iwasaki, Kenichiro Fukui, and Yasuhiro Yamanaka|
|2006||Mario Hoops 3-on-3||Composition/arrangement|
|Dawn of Mana||Composition/arrangement||Kenji Ito, Tsuyoshi Sekito, and Ryuichi Sakamoto|
|2008||Nanashi no Game||Composition/arrangement|
|2010||Mario Sports Mix||Composition/arrangement||Kumi Tanioka|
|2010||Final Fantasy XIV||Sound director|
|2013||Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn||Sound director, Composition/arrangement|
|2015||Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward||Sound director, Composition/arrangement||Nobuo Uematsu|
|2017||Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood||Sound director, Composition/arrangement||Nobuo Uematsu|
|2019||Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers||Sound director, Composition/arrangement|
|2002||feel/Go dream: Yuna & Tidus||Composition||Masashi Hamauzu and Tsuyoshi Sekito|
|2006||Square Enix Music Official Bootleg Vol. 1||Composition||various others|
|2007||Square Enix Music Official Bootleg Vol. 3||Composition||various others|
- "Masayoshi Soken Profile". Game Music Online. Retrieved 2014-09-21.
- "Final Fantasy X: feel / Go Dream". Square Enix Music Online. Retrieved 2009-09-25.
- "Mario Hoops 3 on 3 Tech Info". GameSpot. Retrieved 2009-09-25.
- Smith, Luke (2006-07-14). "Final Fantasy Characters Invade Mario Hoops". 1UP.com. Retrieved 2009-09-25.
- Gerstmann, Jeff (2006-09-12). "Mario Hoops 3 on 3 Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 2009-09-25.
- "Seiken Densetsu 4 Original Soundtrack -Sanctuary-". Square Enix Music Online. Archived from the original on 2012-04-17. Retrieved 2009-09-25.
- Harry. "Front Mission 5 ~Scars of the War~ Original Soundtrack :: Review by Harry". Square Enix Music Online. Retrieved 2009-09-25.
- "Front Mission 5 ~Scars of the War~ Original Soundtrack". Square Enix Music Online. Retrieved 2009-09-25.
- Don. "Square Enix Music Official Bootleg Vol. 1 :: Review by Don". Square Enix Music Online. Retrieved 2009-09-25.
- Don. "Square Enix Music Official Bootleg Vol. 3 :: Review by Don". Square Enix Music Online. Retrieved 2009-09-25.
- Chris (2008-07-23). "Nanashi no Game EP Released". Square Enix Music Online. Archived from the original on 2012-09-13. Retrieved 2009-09-25.
- Masayoshi Soken at Square Enix Music