Friday, January 1, 2016

Makoto Tomozawa: Exclusive Interview w/ Former Capcom Music Composer (Mega Man, Resident Evil (1996) + RE1.5)

(Originally published at the now-defunct DASH Republic in March 2012. Re-edited and expanded for Tumblr in 2013. Finalized for January 2016 on The Game Informant.)
Makoto "V. Tomozo" Tomozawa adjusts
audio equipment during the 
production of
Street Fighter IV, circa January 2010.
Under the pseudonym V. Tomozo, as it was Capcom's policy to obscure talents' names back then, Makoto Tomozawa became well-known for composing music for several of the more popular early titles in the Mega Man franchise, including Mega Man X and Mega Man 7 for Super Nintendo (while also supposedly lending a hand in Dr. Wily's Revenge for Game Boy). He would later be best known for his work in the two main Mega Man Legends entries years later.

He continued to be credited under the pseudonym until Resident Evil in 1996, when 3D polygonal games were becoming the norm and the talent it took being more valued and recognized. Tomozawa would work briefly on the first draft of Resident Evil 2 (Resident Evil 1.5) right until it was scrapped. As soon as that game entered redevelopment in 1997, Tomozawa would be reassigned to compose music for Mega Man Legends, the first major 3D Mega Man game for PlayStation.

His other work consisted of titles from other well-known Capcom properties, including the Dino Crisis series on PlayStation. Tomozawa returned to the Resident Evil franchise one last time as a co-composer for the remake in 2002. One year later, after the release of P. N. 03, he left the company to join the Dimps Corporation and work on the highly-celebrated Street Fighter IV. In 2010 he would reunite with the Blue Bomber in Mega Man 10, composing Strike Man's stage theme.

Around the time of the Mega Man Legends 3 cancellation catastrophe in summer of 2011, I had a chat with Makoto Tomozawa on Twitter. Being the huge fan of the Legends series and some of the Resident Evil games in particular, I wanted the opportunity to speak with him about his past years at Capcom. He gladly accepted and over a period of months, he and I replied back and forth in an on-and-off manner to the point where he unfortunately dropped out on the middle of Legends 1 portion of our chat.

But from what I did gather, he didn't hesitate to admit that the Mega Man Legends projects were among the higher points of his time at Capcom.
Arron - OKeijiDragon: Hello, are you Makoto Tomozawa (友澤 眞) who worked at Capcom Co. Ltd (カプコン)?
Makoto Tomozawa: Yes, I once worked at Capcom, but I retired from the company.
Arron: Oh hello, Mr. Tomozawa! Pleased to finally meet you. I am a big fan of your work in Mega Man Legends. =)
Tomozawa: Thank you very much!!! It was one of my favorite works.
You can catch how the interview unfolded by clicking the jump!