Kenji Yamamoto


1964 –


Who is Kenji Yamamoto?

Kenji Yamamoto is a Japanese video game musician working for Nintendo. He was born on April 25, 1964. He is notable for composing music in many titles of the Metroid series, mainly Super Metroid and the Prime trilogy. Yamamoto also plays a role as a music director at Nintendo, overseeing the audio for several Nintendo games. He often collaborates with Minako Hamano.

In development of Super Metroid, Yamamoto came up with some of the game's themes by humming them to himself while riding his motorcycle to work. He was asked to compose the music for Metroid Prime to reinforce the series' continuity. Metroid Prime's Dolby Pro Logic II surround sound was mixed by a member of Dolby Digital. Developers from Retro Studios noted how the process of fitting all the sound effects and music for Metroid Prime in 6 MB of space was crucial in producing a quality soundtrack, as each sound had to be of very high quality to be included. Yamamoto utilizes heavy drums, piano, voiced chants, clangs of pipes, and electric guitar. Metroid Prime 3 took advantage of the increase in the amount of RAM that took place when the series switched from the GameCube to the Wii; this allowed for higher quality audio samples to be used and thus a better overall audio quality. Yamamoto, who composed the music to Super Metroid and the Prime trilogy, copied the musical design of the original Metroid in Metroid Prime 3, by keeping the music and themes dark and scary until the very end, when uplifting music is played during the credits.

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Apr 25, 1964
Also known as
  • 山本健誌
  • Yamamoto, Kenji
  • Japan

on July 23, 2013


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