Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX Original Soundtrack

 kh-15-remix Album Title:
Kingdom Hearts – HD 1.5 ReMIX – Original Soundtrack
Record Label:
Square Enix
Catalog No.:
Release Date:
November 26, 2014
Buy at CDJapan


Hello! Yoko Shimomura here! Thank you very much for picking up this CD! At this point, it has been thirteen years since I was chosen to score Kingdom Hearts. I think I wrote my first piece of music the series back in 2001. I’ve said this many times now, but the first song I wrote was “Destati” for use in a promotional video. I remember giving a confused reply to Tetsu-san’s order [Translator’s note: Tetsuya Nomura] “Huh? Is such a dark song going to be okay for a game with Disney characters?” So much time has already passed since that day… Time just passes too fast! (laughs)

And now, eleven years after its original release, the game was remade into a splendid HD version. Truth be told, at first the plan was to do nothing to the music and leave it as it originally was. But given the graphics were made super-pretty, I couldn’t help wonder “How could they leave the music like this, made with that internal synthesizer?” (At the time of the original release, the technical specifications of the game made streaming music playback impossible, so I had to make do with the strict limitations of the console’s limited memory in order to produce the music.) And so, that thought process led me to get into this mess!

We’re making an HD version, after all, I thought. We don’t have to worry about things like hardware capacities! (Well, strictly speaking, that doesn’t mean it’s alright to pay no attention to it at all.) The new hardware supports streaming playback, so we can produce any kind of sound at all in its original form: orchestras, pianos, guitars — bam! Well, I thought, I wanna do it. I really want to do it! Of course I love the original music — that painstakingly pieced together, wildly-compressed, puzzle-like set of sound waves — but in spite of that, I’d love to be able to play around with better sound.

From there, everything flowed naturally. I whispered to Keiji Kawamori (who’s always taking care of me) and the rest of the sound team members about my intentions, and one way or another, we pulled it off! We made new recordings for almost the entire score! As you might expect, many would think it would be way too much to do something like re-record all the strings, because we’d have to replace almost the entire score — but my team had no shortage of enthusiasm. “If we’re gonna do it, let’s do it right,” they all said, “Shimomura-san — get ready!”

We decided the most important thing was, above all else, not to lose what everyone loved about the original songs. You might not expect it, but when it comes to game music, there are people who say “Huh? It would’ve been better if they hadn’t arranged it…” So, to keep that from happening, I focused on the spirit of the original music and made the new recordings. So, what’d you think? We, the Kingdom Hearts sound team, made the score with warmth in our hearts. I’ve had eleven years to think on this, and I still feel that there’s more I want to do from here. So with that, I entrust everyone with this soundtrack!

In closing, regarding the work on the 1.5 soundtrack: for everyone who lent their assistance, for all the performers, and for you who picked up this CD, I offer my most heartfelt gratitude.

Thanks Mom and Dad,
my brother, friends, loved ones, and Chief,
the whole “KINGDOM HEARTS ~HD 1.5 ReMIX~” staff,
and the “KINGDOM HEARTS ~HD 1.5 ReMIX~” staff, too.
Thanks for giving me a stage on which to perform,
And for all the joys that have made me who I am.
Thanks for the ocean, the mountain, the earth, the wind,
The sky, the sun, music…
… and you.

Translated by Stephen Meyerink. Edited by Stephen Meyerink and Chris Greening. Please do not republish without written permission.

Posted on April 26, 2015 by Stephen Meyerink. Last modified on April 26, 2015.

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About the Author

is me! Hello there! I'm a Japanese-to-English video game and manga translator! I kept RPGFan Music running for a few years, studied Japanese in grad school, and now bounce back and forth between California and Tokyo in my endless quest to make Japanese video games magically transform into English ones. I'm a lifelong lover of game music, and I'm ever seeking ways to spread awareness and appreciation of the medium to both new and longtime listeners.

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