Today in hidden gems we are going to talk about Masashi Kageyama and to many one of the best and underrated soundtrack in not only the 8-bit era but of all time and that game is Gimmick!
Gimmick or Mr. Gimmick in the USA was a platformer created by Sunsoft back in 1992 in Japan and was released in the USA a year later to little fanfare. The game would later become a cult classic and a hidden gem in its own right. The game itself was platforming at its best with an early glimpse of physics being introduce into video games and music that was a classic and stand above some of the best the NES had to offer and it was thanks to a man named Masashi Kageyama.
Masashi Kageyama was a composer during the golden age of gaming and creating such hits for Sunsoft for games such as Benkei Gaiden and OUT LIVE. What made Gimmick! stood out from his other work and from other Sunsoft titles is he never did the same soundtrack twice. In an interview he gave back in 2011, he stated this:
“By then I had already done the music for games Out Live, Benkei Gaiden, and others, so naturally I felt that pressure where you feel like you have to outdo yourself. Substantively, the developers asked for several songs with a “pop” sound. For me personally, game music is something where you’re going to have to listen to the same songs over and over, so I try to make sure that A.) the looping music won’t become grating to the players, and B.) the opening and endings are dramatic. Above all, I was careful to make sure I was writing music that just felt good.” – Masashi Kageyama
Soon after he left the gaming industry and went on to master photography and design and play jazz music at Naru, the oldest jazz house in Japan. Gimmick maybe his opus magus and forgotten over the years, but Masashi Kageyama contribution to gaming music shouldn’t be forgotten and its games like Gimmick is proof of that sometimes the best music in the world are from places you least expected.