Wizardry Soundtracks, In Loving Memory
06.10.07 - 10:07 AM

Last week, on Saturday, June 3, 2007, Kentaro Haneda died of liver cancer. He was 58 years old.

To the Japanese public, Kentaro Haneda was probably best known as the educated and humorous TV show host for the show "Unnamed Concert 21" (Daimei no Nai Ongakukai 21). He was also an accomplished pianist, composer, and arranger.

Relevant to this web site, Haneda worked on a number of videogames. He regularly worked with Falcom in their early days, and he once arranged a fantastic Genso Suikoden album. But he may be most widely recognized for his extensive work in the Wizardry series.

Yes, the series that started in the US as a silly and fun text-based RPG that was transformed into something very different upon arrival in Japan. Haneda created some lovely tunes for the series, there is no doubt about that.

To recognize Haneda's contribution to the world of VGM, today we present reviews for every Wizardry album Haneda wrote for. According to our records, there are 6: one for each of the first six Wizardry games, minus Wizardry IV (which, sadly, never had a soundtrack release), plus the 1998 album Wizardry ~ Llylgamyn Saga (which would be Haneda's last venture into that series). Haneda, sometimes alongside Tamiya Terashima (another VGM veteran who also worked on Falcom projects), created some of the most lovely classical, tonal music in the world of VGM. It is akin to Sugiyama's work in the Dragon Quest series, though definitely of its own style.

Each of these six albums are orchestra arranged, but none of them are live/studio recordings. High quality synthesizers were used in the production of these albums.

Please check the soundtracks section to see the reviews for these six albums, and be sure to take time to remember the great work Kentaro Haneda brought to the gaming industry, among other things.

Patrick Gann

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