Home » Gameography » Hirokazu Tanaka Gameography
Name Hirokazu Tanaka
Nickname Hip Tanaka
Born December 13, 1957
Kyoto, Japan
Occupation Sound Designer
Composer
Sound Director
Executive
Known For Metroid
Kid Icarus
Mother
Game Boy Camera
Pokémon Franchise
President of Creatures Inc.
Years active 1980-Present

Hirokazu Tanaka - Gameography

Hirokazu Tanaka is a Japanese video game composer, sound designer, musician and executive.  Tanaka began his career in the video game industry in 1980 after graduating from university with a degree in electronic engineering.  He joined Nintendo as a sound designer for their Research and Development 1 Division where he assisted with the creation of early arcade games.

He worked on the sound effects of many arcade games such as Space Firebird, Radar Scope and Donkey Kong before getting the opportunity to compose the music for his first game, Donkey Kong 3.  As part of Gunpei Yokoi’s R&D1 team Tanaka was involved with the development of the Game & Watch line of dedicated handheld devices where he handled the sound effects for several Game & Watch titles before shifting focus to Nintendo’s new home console the Family Computer, a.k.a. the Famicom. 

When the Famicom first released in Japan in 1983 many existing arcade games such as Donkey Kong and Mario Bros. were ported to the system.  Tanaka assisted with the ports of the arcade games while working in the sound department.  Rather than using the console’s internal drivers which most designers were using to create their games, Tanaka developed custom sequencers using his own programming language to maximise the Famicom’s sound chip capabilities and allowing direct access to the music source.  By 1984 Tanaka became the primary music composer for Nintendo’s R&D1 division creating scores for games such as Metroid, Kid Icarus and Mother.

In addition to handling sound design for games he worked along side Gunpei Yokoi on hardware development beginning with the Nintendo Zapper and would continue to contribute in hardware development with the Game Boy’s sound hardware, Game Boy Camera and Game Boy Printer.  While working on the Game Boy peripherals during business hours Tananka at the advice of Tsunekazu Ishihara joined Creatures Inc as a guest composer and composed multiple songs for the first Japanese Pokémon anime. 

Due to a Nintendo corporate policy which did not allow employees to work for other companies he decided to resign from his position at Nintendo and joined Creatures Inc. full-time in 1999.  In 2000, Tanaka succeeded Ishihara as the President of Creatures Inc when Ishihara became president of “The Pokémon Company” to oversee and manage all aspects of the Pokémon franchise. His current job responsibilities consist of supervision of Pokémon products and, occasionally composing some additional songs for the anime series.

Known For:

  • All
  • Composer
  • Director
  • Producer
  • Programmer
  • Sound Effects
  • Special Thanks

DateBoxTitlePlatformDeveloperPublisherRoleGenre
1980Space FirebirdSpace FirebirdArcadeNintendo R&D1Nintendo (JP)
Sega-Gremlin (NA)
Sound EffectsAction
1980Radar ScopeRadar ScopeArcadeNintendo R&D1NintendoSound EffectsFixed Shooter
1980HeliFireHeli FireArcadeNintendo R&D1NintendoSound EffectsShoot 'em up
1981Donkey Kong Arcade CabinetDonkey KongArcadeNintendo R&D1NintendoSound EffectsPlatformer
1982Donkey Kong Jr Arcade CabinetDonkey Kong Jr.ArcadeNintendo R&D1NintendoSound EffectsPlatformer
1982Game & Watch - Mickey & DonaldMickey & DonaldGame & WatchNintendo R&D1NintendoSound EffectsPlatformer
1982Game & Watch - Donkey Kong IIDonkey Kong IIGame & WatchNintendo R&D1NintendoSound EffectsPlatformer
1983Donkey Kong 3Donkey Kong 3ArcadeNintendo R&D1NintendoComposer
Sound Effects
Platformer
1983Mario Bros Cabinet 1Mario Bros.ArcadeNintendo R&D1NintendoSound effectsPlatformer
1983PinballGame & WatchNintendo R&D1NintendoSound effectsPinball
1983
Game & Watch - Mario's Cement Factory
New Wide Screen Series
Mario's Cement FactoryGame & WatchNintendo R&D1NintendoSound effectsPlatformer
1983Game & Watch - Snoopy (Panorama)SnoopyGame & WatchNintendo R&D1NintendoSound effectsPlatformer
1983Game & Watch - PopeyePopeyeGame & WatchNintendo R&D1NintendoSound effectsPlatformer
1983Game & Watch - Mario's Bombs AwayMario's Bombs AwayGame & WatchNintendo R&D1NintendoSound effectsPlatformer
1984Game & Watch - Spitball SparkySpitball SparkyGame & WatchNintendo R&D1NintendoSound effectsPlatformer
1984Wild Gunman BoxWild GunmanFamicom
Nintendo Entertainment System
Intelligent Systems
Nintendo R&D1
NintendoComposerLight Gun
Shooter
1984Duck Hunt BoxDuck HuntFamicom
Nintendo Entertainment System
Intelligent Systems
Nintendo R&D1
NintendoComposerLight Gun
Shooter
1984Hogan's Alley BoxHogan's AlleyFamicom
Nintendo Entertainment System
Intelligent Systems
Nintendo R&D1
NintendoComposerLight Gun
Shooter
1984Urban Champion BoxUrban ChampionFamicom
Nintendo Entertainment System
Nintendo R&D1NintendoComposerFighting
1985Balloon FightFamicom
Nintendo Entertainment System
Nintendo R&D1NintendoComposerAction
1985Wrecking Crew BoxWrecking CrewNintendo Entertainment System
Famicom Disk System
Intelligent Systems
Nintendo R&D1
NintendoComposerAction
Puzzle
1985Stack-up BoxStack-UpNintendo Entertainment SystemIntelligent Systems
Nintendo R&D1
NintendoComposerPuzzle
1985Gyromite BoxGyromiteNintendo Entertainment SystemIntelligent Systems
Nintendo R&D1
NintendoComposerPuzzle
1986Gumshoe BoxGumshoeFamicom
Nintendo Entertainment System
Nintendo R&D1NintendoComposerPlatformer
Shooter
1986Metroid BoxMetroidFamicom Disk System
Nintendo Entertainment System
Nintendo R&D1
Intelligent Systems
NintendoComposerAction-Adventure
1986Kid Icarus BoxKid IcarusFamicom Disk System
Nintendo Entertainment System
Nintendo R&D1
TOSE
NintendoComposerAction
Platformer
1988Famicom Wars BoxFamicom WarsFamicom Nintendo R&D1
Intelligent Systems
NintendoComposerStrategy
1989Super Mario Land BoxSuper Mario LandGame BoyNintendo R&D1NintendoComposerPlatformer
1989Yakuman BoxYakumanGame BoyNintendo R&D1NintendoComposerBoard Game
1989Tetris Game Boy BoxTetrisGame BoyNintendo R&D1NintendoComposerPuzzle
1989Mother BoxMotherFamicomApeNintendoMusical EffectsRPG
1989Golf Game Boy BoxGolfGame BoyIntelligent SystemsNintendoSound Programmer
Sound Effects
Sports
Golf
1989Knight Move BoxKnight MoveGame BoyJV "Dialog"NintendoComposerAction
Puzzle
1990Dr Mario BoxDr. MarioFamicom
Nintendo Entertainment System
Nintendo R&D1NintendoComposerPuzzle
1990Barker Bill's Trick Shooting BoxBarker Bill's Trick ShootingNintendo Entertainment SystemNintendo R&D1NintendoComposerShooting
1990Balloon Kid BoxBalloon KidGame BoyPax SoftnicaNintendoMusicAction
1992Hello Kitty WorldFamicomMario Co. LtdCharacter SoftSound ProgrammerAction
1992Fire Emblem Gaiden BoxFire Emblem GaidenFamicomIntelligent SystemsNintendoSupervisorTactical RPG
1992Mario Paint BoxMario PaintSuper Famicom
Super Nintendo
Nintendo R&D1
Intelligent Systems
NintendoComposerArt Tool
1992X Game Boy BoxXGame BoyArgonaut SoftwareNintendoSound effects
Sound Programmer
Vehicular Combat
1993Mario & Wario BoxMario & WarioSuper FamicomGame FreakNintendoSpecial ThanksPuzzle
1994EarthBound BoxEarthBoundSuper Famicom
Super Nintendo
Ape
HAL Laboratory
NintendoMusic
Sound Director
Sound Programmer
RPG
1994Tetris & Dr Mario BoxTetris & Dr. MarioSuper Famicom
Super Nintendo
Intelligent Systems NintendoMusic SupervisorPuzzle
1994Fire Emblem - Mystery of the Emblem BoxFire Emblem: Mystery of the EmblemSuper FamicomIntelligent SystemsNintendoSpecial ThanksTactical RPG
1995Mario's Tennis BoxMario's TennisVirtual BoyNintendo R&D1
TOSE
NintendoSpecial ThanksSports
Tennis
1995The OutfoxiesArcadeNamcoNamcoSpecial ThanksArcade
1995Snoopy Concert BoxSnoopy ConcertSuper FamicomPax Softnica
Nintendo R&D1
Mitsui Fudosan
Dentsu
Sound Effects
Music
Sound Programmer
Action
1995Teleroboxer BoxTeleroboxerVirtual BoyNintedo R&D1NintendoSpecial ThanksFighting
1997Game & Watch Gallery BoxGame & Watch GalleryGame BoyNintendo R&D1
TOSE
NintendoAdvisorCompilation
1998Game Boy Camera BoxGame Boy CameraGame BoyNintendo R&D1
Jupiter
NintendoDirector
Graphic Designer
Sound Composer
Hardware
1998Game Boy PrinterGame BoyNintendo R&D1
Jupiter
NintendoSound ComposerHardware
1999Super Smash Bros BoxSuper Smash Bros.Nintendo 64HAL Laboratory
Game Arts
Sora Ltd.
Bandai Namco Studios
NintendoOriginal Music ComposerFighting
2001Super Smash Bros. Melee BoxSuper Smash Bros. MeleeGameCubeHAL LaboratoryNintendoOriginal Music ComposerFighting
2001Machop at Work BoxMachop at Worke-ReaderNintendoWizards of the Coast, IncDirectorAction
2001Kingler's Day BoxKingler's Daye-ReaderNintendoWizards of the Coast, IncDirectorArcade
2003Pokemon Channel BoxPokémon ChannelGameCubeAmbrellaNintendo
The Pokémon Company
SupervisorAdventure
Simulation
2004Metroid Zero Mission BoxMetroid: Zero MissionGame Boy AdvanceNintendo R&D1NintendoSpecial ThanksAction-Adventure
2006Mother 3 BoxMother 3Game Boy AdvanceBrownie Brown
HAL Laboratory
NintendoSpecial ThanksRPG
2006Pokémon RangerNintendo DSHAL LaboratoryNintendoSpecial ThanksAction RPG
2008Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of AlmiaNintendo DSCreatures, IncThe Pokémon Company
Nintendo
Special ThanksAction RPG
2008Super Smash Bros Brawl BoxSuper Smash Bros. BrawlWiiGame Arts
HAL Laboratory
Sora Ltd.
NintendoMusic Arrangements
Senior Supervisors
Fighting
2009PokéPark Wii: Pikachu's AdventureWiiCreatures, IncThe Pokémon Company
Nintendo
ProducerAction-Adventure
2010Pokémon Ranger: Guardian SignsNintendo DSHAL LaboratoryThe Pokémon Company
Nintendo
Special ThanksAction RPG
2011Pokédex 3DNintendo 3DSCreatures, IncNintendoProducerApplication
2011PokéPark 2: Wonders BeyondWiiCreatures, IncThe Pokémon Company
Nintendo
ProducerAction-Adventure
2012Pokémon Dream RadarNintendo 3DSCreatures, IncNintendoProducerAction
2012Pokédex 3D ProNintendo 3DSCreatures, IncNintendoProducerApplication
2012Kid Icarus Uprising BoxKid Icarus: UprisingNintendo 3DSProject SoraNintendoSpecial Thanks3rd Person Shooter
Rail Shooter
2013Pokémon X & YNintendo 3DSGame FreakThe Pokémon Company
Nintendo
Special ThanksRPG
2014Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha SapphireNintendo 3DSGame FreakThe Pokémon Company
Nintendo
Special ThanksRPG
2014Super Smash Bros for Wii U BoxSuper Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii UNintendo 3DS
Wii U
Music Arrangements
Senior Supervisors
2014Pokémon Art AcademyNintendo 3DSHeadstrong GamesNintendoPokémon Trading Card DevelopmentArt
2016Detective PikachuNintendo 3DSCreatures, IncThe Pokémon Company
Nintendo
ProducerAdventure
2016Pokemon SunPokémon Sun & MoonNintendo 3DSGame FreakThe Pokémon Company
Nintendo
Special ThanksRPG
2017Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra MoonNintendo 3DSGame FreakThe Pokémon Company
Nintendo
Special ThanksRPG
2018Super Smash Bros. Ultimate BoxSuper Smash Bros. UltimateNintendo SwitchSora Ltd
Bandai Namco
NintendoMusic Arrangements
Original Game Supervisor
Fighting
2018Pokémon Let's Go, Pikachu! And Let's Go, Eevee!Nintendo SwitchGame FreakThe Pokémon Company
Nintendo
Special ThanksRPG

DateBoxTitlePlatformDeveloperPublisherRoleGenre
1983Donkey Kong 3Donkey Kong 3ArcadeNintendo R&D1NintendoComposer
Sound Effects
Platformer
1984Wild Gunman BoxWild GunmanFamicom
Nintendo Entertainment System
Intelligent Systems
Nintendo R&D1
NintendoComposerLight Gun
Shooter
1984Duck Hunt BoxDuck HuntFamicom
Nintendo Entertainment System
Intelligent Systems
Nintendo R&D1
NintendoComposerLight Gun
Shooter
1984Hogan's Alley BoxHogan's AlleyFamicom
Nintendo Entertainment System
Intelligent Systems
Nintendo R&D1
NintendoComposerLight Gun
Shooter
1984Urban Champion BoxUrban ChampionFamicom
Nintendo Entertainment System
Nintendo R&D1NintendoComposerFighting
1985Balloon FightFamicom
Nintendo Entertainment System
Nintendo R&D1NintendoComposerAction
1985Wrecking Crew BoxWrecking CrewNintendo Entertainment System
Famicom Disk System
Intelligent Systems
Nintendo R&D1
NintendoComposerAction
Puzzle
1985Stack-up BoxStack-UpNintendo Entertainment SystemIntelligent Systems
Nintendo R&D1
NintendoComposerPuzzle
1985Gyromite BoxGyromiteNintendo Entertainment SystemIntelligent Systems
Nintendo R&D1
NintendoComposerPuzzle
1986Gumshoe BoxGumshoeFamicom
Nintendo Entertainment System
Nintendo R&D1NintendoComposerPlatformer
Shooter
1986Metroid BoxMetroidFamicom Disk System
Nintendo Entertainment System
Nintendo R&D1
Intelligent Systems
NintendoComposerAction-Adventure
1986Kid Icarus BoxKid IcarusFamicom Disk System
Nintendo Entertainment System
Nintendo R&D1
TOSE
NintendoComposerAction
Platformer
1988Famicom Wars BoxFamicom WarsFamicom Nintendo R&D1
Intelligent Systems
NintendoComposerStrategy
1989Super Mario Land BoxSuper Mario LandGame BoyNintendo R&D1NintendoComposerPlatformer
1989Yakuman BoxYakumanGame BoyNintendo R&D1NintendoComposerBoard Game
1989Tetris Game Boy BoxTetrisGame BoyNintendo R&D1NintendoComposerPuzzle
1989Knight Move BoxKnight MoveGame BoyJV "Dialog"NintendoComposerAction
Puzzle
1990Dr Mario BoxDr. MarioFamicom
Nintendo Entertainment System
Nintendo R&D1NintendoComposerPuzzle
1990Barker Bill's Trick Shooting BoxBarker Bill's Trick ShootingNintendo Entertainment SystemNintendo R&D1NintendoComposerShooting
1992Mario Paint BoxMario PaintSuper Famicom
Super Nintendo
Nintendo R&D1
Intelligent Systems
NintendoComposerArt Tool
1998Game Boy Camera BoxGame Boy CameraGame BoyNintendo R&D1
Jupiter
NintendoDirector
Graphic Designer
Sound Composer
Hardware
1998Game Boy PrinterGame BoyNintendo R&D1
Jupiter
NintendoSound ComposerHardware
1999Super Smash Bros BoxSuper Smash Bros.Nintendo 64HAL Laboratory
Game Arts
Sora Ltd.
Bandai Namco Studios
NintendoOriginal Music ComposerFighting
2001Super Smash Bros. Melee BoxSuper Smash Bros. MeleeGameCubeHAL LaboratoryNintendoOriginal Music ComposerFighting

DateBoxTitlePlatformDeveloperPublisherRoleGenre
1994EarthBound BoxEarthBoundSuper Famicom
Super Nintendo
Ape
HAL Laboratory
NintendoMusic
Sound Director
Sound Programmer
RPG
1998Game Boy Camera BoxGame Boy CameraGame BoyNintendo R&D1
Jupiter
NintendoDirector
Graphic Designer
Sound Composer
Hardware
2001Machop at Work BoxMachop at Worke-ReaderNintendoWizards of the Coast, IncDirectorAction
2001Kingler's Day BoxKingler's Daye-ReaderNintendoWizards of the Coast, IncDirectorArcade

DateBoxTitlePlatformDeveloperPublisherRoleGenre
2009PokéPark Wii: Pikachu's AdventureWiiCreatures, IncThe Pokémon Company
Nintendo
ProducerAction-Adventure
2011Pokédex 3DNintendo 3DSCreatures, IncNintendoProducerApplication
2011PokéPark 2: Wonders BeyondWiiCreatures, IncThe Pokémon Company
Nintendo
ProducerAction-Adventure
2012Pokémon Dream RadarNintendo 3DSCreatures, IncNintendoProducerAction
2012Pokédex 3D ProNintendo 3DSCreatures, IncNintendoProducerApplication
2016Detective PikachuNintendo 3DSCreatures, IncThe Pokémon Company
Nintendo
ProducerAdventure

DateBoxTitlePlatformDeveloperPublisherRoleGenre
1989Golf Game Boy BoxGolfGame BoyIntelligent SystemsNintendoSound Programmer
Sound Effects
Sports
Golf
1992Hello Kitty WorldFamicomMario Co. LtdCharacter SoftSound ProgrammerAction
1992X Game Boy BoxXGame BoyArgonaut SoftwareNintendoSound effects
Sound Programmer
Vehicular Combat
1994EarthBound BoxEarthBoundSuper Famicom
Super Nintendo
Ape
HAL Laboratory
NintendoMusic
Sound Director
Sound Programmer
RPG
1995Snoopy Concert BoxSnoopy ConcertSuper FamicomPax Softnica
Nintendo R&D1
Mitsui Fudosan
Dentsu
Sound Effects
Music
Sound Programmer
Action

DateBoxTitlePlatformDeveloperPublisherRoleGenre
1980Space FirebirdSpace FirebirdArcadeNintendo R&D1Nintendo (JP)
Sega-Gremlin (NA)
Sound EffectsAction
1980Radar ScopeRadar ScopeArcadeNintendo R&D1NintendoSound EffectsFixed Shooter
1980HeliFireHeli FireArcadeNintendo R&D1NintendoSound EffectsShoot 'em up
1981Donkey Kong Arcade CabinetDonkey KongArcadeNintendo R&D1NintendoSound EffectsPlatformer
1982Donkey Kong Jr Arcade CabinetDonkey Kong Jr.ArcadeNintendo R&D1NintendoSound EffectsPlatformer
1982Game & Watch - Mickey & DonaldMickey & DonaldGame & WatchNintendo R&D1NintendoSound EffectsPlatformer
1982Game & Watch - Donkey Kong IIDonkey Kong IIGame & WatchNintendo R&D1NintendoSound EffectsPlatformer
1983Donkey Kong 3Donkey Kong 3ArcadeNintendo R&D1NintendoComposer
Sound Effects
Platformer
1983Mario Bros Cabinet 1Mario Bros.ArcadeNintendo R&D1NintendoSound effectsPlatformer
1983PinballGame & WatchNintendo R&D1NintendoSound effectsPinball
1983
Game & Watch - Mario's Cement Factory
New Wide Screen Series
Mario's Cement FactoryGame & WatchNintendo R&D1NintendoSound effectsPlatformer
1983Game & Watch - Snoopy (Panorama)SnoopyGame & WatchNintendo R&D1NintendoSound effectsPlatformer
1983Game & Watch - PopeyePopeyeGame & WatchNintendo R&D1NintendoSound effectsPlatformer
1983Game & Watch - Mario's Bombs AwayMario's Bombs AwayGame & WatchNintendo R&D1NintendoSound effectsPlatformer
1984Game & Watch - Spitball SparkySpitball SparkyGame & WatchNintendo R&D1NintendoSound effectsPlatformer
1989Golf Game Boy BoxGolfGame BoyIntelligent SystemsNintendoSound Programmer
Sound Effects
Sports
Golf
1992X Game Boy BoxXGame BoyArgonaut SoftwareNintendoSound effects
Sound Programmer
Vehicular Combat
1995Snoopy Concert BoxSnoopy ConcertSuper FamicomPax Softnica
Nintendo R&D1
Mitsui Fudosan
Dentsu
Sound Effects
Music
Sound Programmer
Action

DateBoxTitlePlatformDeveloperPublisherRoleGenre
1993Mario & Wario BoxMario & WarioSuper FamicomGame FreakNintendoSpecial ThanksPuzzle
1994Fire Emblem - Mystery of the Emblem BoxFire Emblem: Mystery of the EmblemSuper FamicomIntelligent SystemsNintendoSpecial ThanksTactical RPG
1995Mario's Tennis BoxMario's TennisVirtual BoyNintendo R&D1
TOSE
NintendoSpecial ThanksSports
Tennis
1995The OutfoxiesArcadeNamcoNamcoSpecial ThanksArcade
1995Teleroboxer BoxTeleroboxerVirtual BoyNintedo R&D1NintendoSpecial ThanksFighting
2004Metroid Zero Mission BoxMetroid: Zero MissionGame Boy AdvanceNintendo R&D1NintendoSpecial ThanksAction-Adventure
2006Mother 3 BoxMother 3Game Boy AdvanceBrownie Brown
HAL Laboratory
NintendoSpecial ThanksRPG
2006Pokémon RangerNintendo DSHAL LaboratoryNintendoSpecial ThanksAction RPG
2008Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of AlmiaNintendo DSCreatures, IncThe Pokémon Company
Nintendo
Special ThanksAction RPG
2010Pokémon Ranger: Guardian SignsNintendo DSHAL LaboratoryThe Pokémon Company
Nintendo
Special ThanksAction RPG
2012Kid Icarus Uprising BoxKid Icarus: UprisingNintendo 3DSProject SoraNintendoSpecial Thanks3rd Person Shooter
Rail Shooter
2013Pokémon X & YNintendo 3DSGame FreakThe Pokémon Company
Nintendo
Special ThanksRPG
2014Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha SapphireNintendo 3DSGame FreakThe Pokémon Company
Nintendo
Special ThanksRPG
2016Pokemon SunPokémon Sun & MoonNintendo 3DSGame FreakThe Pokémon Company
Nintendo
Special ThanksRPG
2017Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra MoonNintendo 3DSGame FreakThe Pokémon Company
Nintendo
Special ThanksRPG
2018Pokémon Let's Go, Pikachu! And Let's Go, Eevee!Nintendo SwitchGame FreakThe Pokémon Company
Nintendo
Special ThanksRPG