Uematsu's Hanjuku plans will make fans smile

The former Square Enix composer is making music for Hanjuku Hero 4, and he and his Mage bandmates will appear in the game.


TOKYO--Former Square Enix composer Nobuo Uematsu's new music studio is called Smile Please, and the composer has plenty to smile about these days. After 20 years of composing music for the publisher of the Final Fantasy franchise, Uematsu and Square Enix parted amicably last October, but Uematsu still has a few tasty Square Enix projects on his plate.

Uematsu is currently creating the music for the quirky strategy game Hanjuku Hero 4, which is slated for a Japanese release on the PlayStation 2 later this year. In addition to his musical contributions, Uematsu will have a cameo role in the game, leading a special unit called Nobuo Uematsu and the Hanjuku Mages. The name is a pun on Uematsu's own real-world band, Uematsu's Black Mages, which is best known for playing unique versions of music from the Final Fantasy games.

Some of Uematsu's bandmates will join him in the game, masquerading as members of the Hanjuku Mages. Romancing SaGa series composer Kenji Ito, who left Square Enix in 2002 to pursue a career as a freelance musician, will also play one of the mages.

As if this weren't enough to give Uematsu fans something to smile about, the composer is also touring with his Final Fantasy music in a symphonic tour called "Dear Friends," which plays in Chicago in February and San Francisco in March. For more on the tour, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.

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