Playing via Spotify Playing via YouTube
Skip to YouTube video

Loading player…

Scrobble from Spotify?

Connect your Spotify account to your account and scrobble everything you listen to, from any Spotify app on any device or platform.

Connect to Spotify


A new version of is available, to keep everything running smoothly, please reload the site.


  • Born

    19 October 1967 (age 53)

  • Born In

    Hyogo, Japan

Yoko Shimomura (下村 陽子 Shimomura Yōko, born October 19, 1967) is a Japanese video game composer. She has been described as “the most famous female video game music composer in the world”. She has worked in the video game industry ever since graduating from the Osaka College of Music in 1988. From then until 1993, she worked for Capcom, where she composed wholly or in part the scores for 16 games, including Final Fight and Street Fighter II.

While working for Capcom, Shimomura contributed to the soundtracks of over 16 games, including the successful Street Fighter II, which she composed all but three pieces for. The first soundtrack she worked on at the company was for Samurai Sword in 1988. Final Fight, in 1989, was her first work to receive a separate soundtrack album release, on an album of music from several Capcom games. The first soundtrack album to exclusively feature her work came a year later for the soundtrack to Street Fighter II. While she began her tenure at Capcom working on games for video game consoles, by 1990 she had moved to the arcade game division. She was a member of the company's in-house band Alph Lyla, which played various Capcom game music, including pieces written by Shimomura. She performed live with the group on a few occasions, including playing piano during Alph Lyla's appearance at the 1992 Game Music Festival.

In 1993, Shimomura left Capcom to join another game company, Square (now Square Enix). She stated that the move was done because she was interested in writing "classical-style" music for fantasy role-playing games. While working for Capcom, she was in the arcade department and was unable to transfer to the console department to work on their role-playing video game series Breath of Fire, although she did contribute one track to the first game in the series. Her first project at the company was the score for the role-playing video game Live A Live in 1994. While she was working on the score to Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars the following year, she was asked to join Noriko Matsueda on the music to the futuristic strategy RPG Front Mission. Although she was overworked doing both scores and it was not the genre that she was interested in, she found herself unable to refuse after her first attempt to do so unexpectedly happened in the presence of the president of Square, Tetsuo Mizuno. These games were followed by Tobal No. 1, the last score she worked on with another composer for a decade.

Over the next few years, she composed the soundtrack to several games, including Parasite Eve and Legend of Mana. Of all her compositions, Shimomura considers the soundtrack to Legend of Mana the one that best expresses herself and the soundtrack remains Shimomura’s personal favourite. Parasite Eve on the PlayStation had the first soundtrack by Shimomura that included a vocal song, as it was the first game she had written for running on a console system that had the sound capability for one. In 2002 she wrote the score for Kingdom Hearts, which she has said is the most “special” soundtrack to her, as well as a turning point in her career; she named the soundtracks to Street Fighter II and Super Mario RPG as the other two significant points in her life as a composer.

Kingdom Hearts was wildly successful, shipping more than four million copies worldwide; Shimomura’s music was frequently cited as one of the highlights of the game, and the title track has been ranked as the fourth-best role-playing game title track of all time. The soundtrack has led to two albums of piano arrangements. Kingdom Hearts was the last soundtrack that she worked on at Square. After the release of Kingdom Hearts in 2002, Shimomura left Square for maternity leave, and began work as a freelancer in 2003. She has built on the work she did while at Square; since leaving she has composed or is composing music for eleven Kingdom Hearts games and Nintendo’s Mario & Luigi series. She has also worked on many other projects, such as Heroes of Mana and various Premium Arrange albums. On February 10 and 11, 2014, Shimomura played piano at a retrospective 25th anniversary concert at Tokyo FM Hall. She performed songs from games such as Kingdom Hearts, Live a Live, and Street Fighter II. During the Beware the Forest’s Mushrooms performance from Super Mario RPG, Shimomura was joined onstage by fellow game composer Yasunori Mitsuda, who played the Irish bouzouki. She is currently working on the score for Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts III.

Her works have gained a great deal of popularity, and have been performed in multiple video game music concerts, including one, Sinfonia Drammatica, that was focused half on her “greatest hits” album, Drammatica: The Very Best of Yoko Shimomura, and half on the music of a previous concert. Music from several of her games have been published as arranged albums and as piano scores.

Video game soundtracks:
• Samurai Sword (Famicom Disk System) (1988)
• Final Fight (1989) (Minor role) – with Yoshihiro Sakaguchi (uncredited)
• Code Name: Viper (1990) (All songs except Stage 1) (uncredited) – with Junko Tamiya
• Adventure Quiz Capcom World: Hatena no Daibouken (1990) (Minor role) – with Yoshihiro Sakaguchi, Manami Matsumae, Junko Tamiya, Hiromitsu Takaoka, and G. Morita (uncredited)
• Gargoyle's Quest (1990) (Minor role) – with Harumi Fujita (uncredited)
• Adventures in the Magic Kingdom (1990)
• Mizushima Shinji no Daikoushien (1990)
• Nemo (1990)
• Mahjong School: The Super O Version (1990) (Minor role) – with Masaki Izutani (uncredited)
• Street Fighter II (1991) – with Isao Abe
• Buster Bros. (PC Engine) (1991) – with Tamayo Kawamoto
• The King of Dragons (1991)
• Block Block (1991) – with Masaki Izutani
• Varth: Operation Thunderstorm (1992) (Minor role) – with Masaki Izutani and Toshio Kajino
• Breath of Fire (1993) – with Yasuaki Fujita, Minae Fujii, and Mari Yamaguchi (Only composed "Trade City")
• The Punisher (1993) – with Isao Abe
• Live A Live (1994)
• Front Mission (1995) – with Noriko Matsueda
• Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars (1996)
• Tobal No. 1 (1996) – with many others
• Parasite Eve (1998)
• Legend of Mana (1999)
• Hataraku Chocobo (2000)
• Kingdom Hearts (2002)
• Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga (2003)
• Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories (2004)
• Pop'n Music Carnival (13) (2005) – (Only composed "Majestic Fire")
• Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time (2005)
• Kingdom Hearts II (2005)
• Monster Kingdom: Jewel Summoner (2006) – with many others
• Heroes of Mana (2007)
• Luminous Arc 2 (2008) – with Akari Kaida, Yoshino Aoki, and Shunsuke Nakamura
• Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story (2009)
• Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days (2009)
• Pop'n Music The Movie (17) (2009) – with many others
• Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep (2010) – with Tsuyoshi Sekito and Takeharu Ishimoto
• Kingdom Hearts coded (2010)
• Xenoblade Chronicles (2010) – with ACE+, Manami Kiyota, and Yasunori Mitsuda
• Last Ranker (2010)
• Kingdom Hearts Re:coded (2010)
• Radiant Historia (2010)
•The 3rd Birthday (2010) – with Tsuyoshi Sekito and Mitsuto Suzuki
• Half-Minute Hero II (2011) – with many others
• Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance (2012) – with Tsuyoshi Sekito and Takeharu Ishimoto
• Demons' Score (2012) – (Only composed "Azazel del cielo ardiente")
• Mario & Luigi: Dream Team (2013)
• Exstetra (2013) – (Only composed “Main Theme”)
• Rise of Mana (2014) - (Only composed “Where the Heart Beats Free”)
• Chronos Ring (2014) - with Kenji Ito and Evan Call
• Final Fantasy XV (2016)
• Kingdom Hearts III (2019)

Other works:
• Parasite Eve Remixes (1998)
• Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II Premium Arrange (2004) – with many others
• Dark Chronicle Premium Arrange (2004) – with many others
• Dan Doh!! (2004)
• Best Student Council (2005)
• Rogue Galaxy Premium Arrange (2006) – with many others
• Murmur (2007) – original album with lyrics and vocals by Chata
• Drammatica: The Very Best of Yoko Shimomura (2008)
• Mushihimesama Double Arrange Album (2009)
• GO! GO! Buriki Daioh!! (2012)
• GeOnDan RareTrax the LAST (2012)
• GeOnDan Super Rare Trax: The LAND of RISING SUN (2011) – with many others
• GO! GO! Buriki Daioh!! (2012)
• X'mas Collections II (2013)
• memória! ~ The Very Best of Yoko Shimomura (2014)
• Game Music Prayer II (2014)

Edit this wiki

Don't want to see ads? Upgrade Now

Similar Artists


API Calls