I have to start with a wonderful shout out to Guan! (And with some assistance from Yotaka, as well!) This translation is his work, so we have a Translation Tuesday this week thanks to him. Not quite what I planned (I’ve not had time to work on it, due to Ys VIII and another freelance project of mine), but I’m sure people will enjoy reading this regardless.
You remember those surveys for Livejournal and stuff that were super popular years ago? Falcom did one, their ‘Staff Baton,’ through the employees of the company. If you are familiar with the company and people in its positions, then you can usually identify some of the members of the staff baton as it went around.
This week’s Translation Tuesday is one of those batons- a member from the Falcom soundteam identifying himself as ‘S.’ It shouldn’t be too hard to realize that ‘S’ is, in fact, Hayato Sonoda. This baton was dated on 10-5-2006, and published on the staff blog.
(Note: I’ve not linked directly to the Japanese version, simply due to the way the staff blog is made. You can follow the date listed above, or you can look under other (???) on the right, to see the staff baton list.
The translated version of Sonoda’s staff baton is behind the cut!
1. Who Are You?
My name is [Hayato] S[onoda]. Thank you for having this interview on Trails in the Sky with me.
2. What work do you do?
I’m with the Sound Team jdk.
3. Can you tell a little more about your work?
I’m in charge of composing the BGM, arranging and drafting the sound effects data. In the second half of the project I’m also involved in the game’s direction. I sometimes meddle with the script files or implement sound effects.
4. When do you take your breaks?
Whenever I’m at the toilet. (laughs) Getting up from my seat and walking a bit are enough to give me a sense of relief. Removing my headphones and giving my ears some rest is also mandatory.
5. How long have you been playing games?
From the Famicom’s golden age onward, so about 20 years now. There were also moments that my parents prohibited me to play games, though.
6. What’s your favourite gaming genre?
RPG’s. For consumers, RPG’s can be lifechanging.
7. How long have you been working at Falcom?
About 9 years now. I didn’t really know about Falcom until I started working here.
8. What was the first Falcom game you played?
Hmm… Does Faxanadu count as a Falcom title? (laughs) If we’re talking about completely genuine Falcom games, then I’d say Vantage Master…
9. What is your favourite Falcom series?
I’m emotionally attached to the Trails in the Sky series.
10. Ys or The Legend or Heroes?
The Legend of Heroes. I love these kind of games where I can thoroughly enjoy its story, in particular when I think about how these work their way to a big finale.
11. What Falcom music do you like?
As the musician myself I’d like to say everything, but… Well, I really like the main themes of the Gagharv Trilogy. The point where I was converted to Falcom-ism was when “White Witch Gueld” gave me goosebumps.
12. Who’s your favourite Falcom male character?
Weissmann. I was so charmed by this evil professor. If we go back a bit further, I’d say King Alf from White Witch.
13. Who’s your favourite Falcom female character?
She’s a minor character, but Raychel from Cagesong of the Ocean.
14. What are your hobbies?
I’d love to go to game concerts as much as possible, though I wasn’t able to go to Falcom’s concert two months ago… I also grew addicted to orchestral music after having it experienced once.
15. What’s gotten your interest recently?
Healthy Water. Apparently I’ve reached the age where you get interested in these kind of things. I’ve even gotten used to the bitter taste.
16. What are your favourite meals?
As a child I loved soumen and watermelon. Over time my tastes have grown quite obscure, so there isn’t anything in particular that comes to mind right now.
17. What films, music, novels, manga, et cetera do you like?
Star Wars. I didn’t get into it until episode 2, though. (LTTP) I would be interested to see Yoda engage in a sword fight [with samurai].
As for drama series, I watched a lot of Kouki Mitani’s series that were broadcast on Fuji TV in the 90’s. I love the music of Tayayuki Hattori, especially in collaboration with Mitani.
I also watched a ton of taiga drama on NHK. It’s a long-running television drama [annually since 1963] and this year’s series, called Koumyou ga Tsuji, is particularly interesting. The three heroes [of Nagoya, i.e. Nobunaga, Hideyoshi and Ieyasu] are portrayed really well. I also enjoyed [the previous series,] Dokuganryuu Masamune and Aoi Tokugawa Sandai. I got Masamune completely on DVD.
18. Dogs or cats?
While I love both, I’m the owner of a Shih Tzu dog myself.
19. What are your home computer’s specs?
I had a computer store compile it for me, featuring an Athlon64 3000+ CPU and 1GB RAM. It’s not the fastest, but it’s entirely incompetent, too.
20. What’s your homepage on that computer’s browser?
A blank page.
21. How many games do have you installed on that computer?
Falcom included, about six. FC and SC take up the majority of the space, though.
22. Do you have something to say to those looking for a job at Falcom?
There isn’t anything I can say in particular. The work environment provides enough freedom for yourself to optimise your schedule or offer suggestions for improvement. There isn’t a seniority system that you grow in the hierarchical ladder the longer you work here, so if you were to submit genuinely brilliant pieces of music, newcomers will get an equal opportunity to shine. People thinking ‘I am a successor of the Falcom-ism’ should certainly submit an application.