Note: This biography was written exclusively for Square Enix Music Online by Z-Freak and Chris and is under copyright.


PROTIP: Takayuki Aihara composed the "Score" and "Guardian of Lightning" music that based from Street Fighter EX Plus Alpha.

Date of Birth: September 2, 1968 (Tokyo)
Instruments: Piano
Game Works: Street Fighter EX, Tekken, Ridge Racer
Official Web Site: Studio Carnaval

Takayuki Aihara was born on September 2, 1968 in Tokyo. He began his career at Namco in the early 1990's, where he was responsible for composing the scores for various games. In 1992, Aihara was selected along with fellow composers Ayako Saso and Shinji Hosoe to compose the score of one of the biggest revolutionary titles in gaming history: Galaxian^3: Project Dragoon. In addition, Aihara composed the scores of Rave Racer and Ridge Racer 2 with Hosoe, Saso, and Nobuyoshi Sano. He was also responsible for composing the score for Knuckle Heads, where he went solo for one of the only times in his career. In 1996, Aihara created his final major work at Namco with Soul Edge. Joined by Takanori Otsuka, he crafted an epic orchestral score that influenced the scores to the Soul Calibur series and received favourably reviews.

Aihara bonded with Hosoe and Saso extremely well during these early collaborations, so it is not surprising that he chose to follow them when they quit Namco and joined Arika in 1997. At Arika, Aihara co-composed Bushido Blade, his first contribution to Square, but did not return for IS: Internal Section. A more significant work was the Street Fighter EX series, where Aihara made a large contribution with his rock and electronica fusions.

In 2001, Aihara became a freelance artist and created his own studio, Studio Carnaval. After this, he collaborated once more with Saso and Hosoe on Driving Emotion Type-S and composed the bulk of Hajime No Ippo: The Fighting Victorious Boxers. 2003 marked another collaboration with Nobuyoshi Sano on Cavia-developed Square Enix-published Drakengard. The two volume soundtrack was very experimental; it consisted of bits and phrases of symphonic compositions, performed by the Tokyo New City Orchestra, mixed and looped to create the feel of chaos and madness in the game's war-torn battlefields. He took a smaller role on its sequel, scoring more conventional cinematic music with Masashi Yano. In recent years, Aihara has also been a reliable contributor to collaborative arranged albums, noted for exemplary arrangements even among the least acclaimed albums.

On 2006's Children of Mana, he created a handful of exciting themes that enhanced the quality of the soundtrack. He has also produced the bright orchestral score to Sledge Blow, produced the quirky main theme of Phantom Kingdom, and demonstrated his humorous side once again with a collaboration with Norihiro Furukawa on Mama-san's Volleyball. Following his work on Victorious Boxers: Revolution, Aihara retired from composing in 2007 to focus on managing sound effects, voices, and the balance among them. He remains eager to continue composing in some way, but found it incredibly difficult to maintain productivity with next-gen hardware while sustaining his family.

List of Game Projects for SquareEdit

Year Game / Role Console
1997 Bushido Blade (LightWeight / Square Enix)
Composition / Arrangement with Shinji Hosoe, Takayuki Aihara
PlayStation 2
1999 IS: Internal Section (Positron / Square Enix)
Composition / Arrangement with Shinji Hosoe
2001 Driving Emotion Type-S (Escape / Square Enix)
Composition / Arrangement with Shinji Hosoe, Takayuki Aihara
2003 Drakengard / Drag-on Dragoon (Cavia / Square Enix)
Composition / Arrangement with Nobuyoshi Sano
PlayStation 2
2005 Drakengard 2 / Drag-on Dragoon 2 (Cavia / Square Enix)
Cinematic Composition with Masashi Yano
PlayStation 2
2006 Children of Mana / Seiken Densetsu Children of Mana (Brownie Brown / Square Enix)
Composition / Arrangement with Kenji Ito, Masaharu Iwata

List of Covered AlbumsEdit

Album Title Catalog No.
Battle Garegga Perfect Soundtrack INDV-1010
DoDonPachi Dai-Ou-Jou & ESPGaluda Perfect Remix SRIN-1013
Drag-on Dragoon Original Soundtrack Vol. 1 MJCG-80125
Drag-on Dragoon Original Soundtrack Vol. 2 MJCG-80137
Driving Emotion Type-S / Bushido Blade Original Soundtrack SRIN-1003/4
ESPGaluda Original Soundtrack CVST-0001
Famicom 20th Anniversary Arrange Soundtracks SCDC-00320
FM Sound Module Maniax Promotional
Gradius Tribute SCDC-00530
Mahou Shoujou Ai 2 "transformation" Full Arrange Album CHCD-1001
Makai Kingdom Chronicles of the Sacred Tome Bonus Soundtrack (US) Promotional
Netherworld Harmony Inaugaration N01SD-CD001
Phantom Kingdom Original Soundtrack SLPS-20409
Phantom Kingdom Arrange Album SCDC-00434
Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II Premium Arrange KDSD-00039
Rogue Galaxy Premium Arrange KDSD-00085
Sega Mega Drive Super Medley SCDC-00450
Seiken Densetsu Children of Mana Original Soundtrack iTunes
Street Fighter EX Original Soundtrack PCCB-00241
Street Fighter EX Arrange Album PCCB-00251
Street Fighter EX2 Original Soundtrack PCCB-00322
Street Fighter EX2 Arrange Album CPCA-1023
Street Fighter EX2 Plus Original Soundtrack CPCA-1038
Street Fighter EX3 Original Soundtrack CPCA-1042
Street Fighter Tribute Album CPCA-1083
Technicbeat Soundtrack SRIN-1040
Technictix OMCP-7
Technictix Remix Vol. 1 SRIN-1044
Technictix Remix Vol. 2 SRIN-1049
Technictix Remix Vol. 3 SRIN-1052
Technictix Remix -Remix Disc- Promotional