Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory launched last month, and being a rhythm game pulling from tracks all throughout the series, it was a game that had Yoko Shimomura to thank for existing. Shimomura, main composer for the Kingdom Hearts series as well as classics like Street Fighter II, Xenoblade, and the Mario & Luigi franchises, recently sat down for an interview with Square Enix to discuss the creation and development of (arguably) the franchise’s most iconic song, “Dearly Beloved”.
Previous interview with Yoko Shimomura from E3 2014.
Shimomura doesn’t remember how she got the job to score KH in the first place (“I don’t really know why I was selected. Maybe it was because my schedule just happened to be free at the time!”), but she does remember how, after playing the start of the game in the Destiny Islands, she felt a wave of inspiration due to all the sea imagery. She set about composing yet had a hard time working her vision into the game due to the PS2’s limitations. They were only able to record two of the game’s tracks in the studio – everything else had to be produced with the PS2’s synths. Shimomura had no idea that “Dearly Beloved” would become so… beloved when she first made it. She originally just hoped the team would use it for an emotional cutscene – the decision to make it the title track came later.
Shimomura also discussed different versions of the track she made later on, as well as the emotions and themes she put into each of them. Be sure to give the full interview a read as she comes across as humble, earnest, and sincere.
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