We at RPGFan pride ourselves on our great music coverage. But what about the truly “unsung” hero of game audio: sound effects?
Listening to 99 of them back-to-back is not a particularly enjoyable experience. But when timed properly with their visual counterparts, sound effects make a turn-based RPG come to life. To that end, this rare CD — given out as a lottery prize at a Square Enix event in Japan — feels like the audio equivalent of scrolling through raw image assets from a game. Oh look, a 2D sprite! Hey, a watercolor environment!
What is really frustrating, at least for me, is that Square Enix themselves could not manage to list all of the sound effects creators for the SaGa series. However, when I went to look for the information myself, I realized why they did not bother. There are a lot of names, and because some games give vague credits to just “Sound Design” or even “Sound,” it is hard to know who actually made sound effects. A most definitely incomplete list of contributors to the SaGa series SFX collection, based on my viewing of end credits on YouTube, netted me these names:
Nobuo Uematsu, Takashi Tokita, Masanori Hoshino, Yasunori Mitsuda, Yasumasa Okamoto, Tomio Otomo, Naoto Kurihara, Eiji Nakamura, Kazumi Mitome, Hironobu Izumi, Teruaki Sugawara, Tatsuya Shoji
So to all of those people, and more that I’m sure I’ve missed, thank you for bringing SaGa to life with all the smash, clash, bash, buzz, SHEEEEN!!!, and other Adam-West-Batman-onomatopoeia. And yes, we know, this 15-minute CD is but a small sample of all of the sound effects across the franchise. Ten sounds per game? Please…most games have well over 100 SFX all their own. Such a compilation would be a tad too overwhelming, I think!