Interview: Blue Bidya Games Chats with Koshiro Nishida

Nishida on A5, Artdink and Warsaw Philharmonic

Interview: Blue Bidya Games Chats with Koshiro Nishida

What else can be said about the PlayStation that hasn't already been said?

It's the defining console of the '90s. A standout choice for me, having been the focal point of numerous sleepovers and providing company during solo gaming sessions, lasting well into the early hours of the morning.

In sickness and in health, through every change of season, its union of plastic and silicon was the origin of so many unforgettable experiences.

As the memories fade one by one, I'm thankful for those who consider themselves gaming historians of sorts. Folks who dedicate their free time to documenting both the obvious and the obscure.

Blue Bidya Games, otherwise known as Dusty, is one such person.

"I do sentimental videos on every PS1 game alphanumerically and region-free until I die," he says on his Twitter bio and YouTube page. Is he mad? Possibly, but it doesn't show.

Measured, informative and comical in his videos, they're a treat for folks who are interested in not just PlayStation games, but the more obscure titles available in the PlayStation library as well.

There's a passion there, and it shows. So much so that Dusty managed to arrange an interview with Artdink composer and legend Koshiro Nishida. Dusty was kind enough to share this interview and corresponding emails so that we could share it with you on


I am Koshiro Nishida

The University of Shobi sits on the outskirts of Tokyo, Japan, amidst a tranquil suburban setting. Its campus sprawls across expansive grounds, adorned with cherry blossom trees that bloom in spring, adding a touch of natural beauty to the surroundings.

The architecture is very much turn of the millennium contemporary. Characterised by sleek lines, minimalism, pinks and blues - it wouldn't look entirely out of place on the cover of a Vaporwave album.

The University of Shobi, Kawagoe northwest of Tokyo. Source: University of Shobi

Nishida: Hello, I am Koshiro Nishida, I got a mail from the Shobi University that I get in contact with you. Would you introduce yourself simply (I don’t know who you are) and tell me about matters, questions, etc.? Best Regards, Koshiro Nishida.

Dusty was taken aback as Nishida-san's response arrived swiftly, exuding a willingness to assist with any queries he may have had. Seizing the opportunity, Dusty responded, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Dusty: Firstly, I want to thank you for taking the time to respond to my email. I understand that the life of a college professor is very busy, and I respect that. Please let me make this as brief as possible, out of respect for your time. I want to tell you that I am a huge fan of your work. Quite honestly, I am starstruck.

What inspiration did you draw for the A5 soundtrack? During the opening sequence of A5, I am pleasantly reminded of the use of George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" during the opening of the film "Manhattan."

Was this a direct inspiration that you took?

Wonderful A5 art created by Syd Mead. Source: Artdink

Nishida: The inspiration behind the main theme is quite simple. It involves composing in A major and incorporating the "A and E (5th degree tone)."

Personally, I adore 6/8 beats as they evoke a sense of immersion and fluidity. From the outset of game planning, Mr. Nagahama (CEO of Artdink) and I frequently discussed our vision for A5 over glasses of Nihon-shu (Japanese rice wine).

At that time, Artdink was located in Chiba.

During the early stages of development, we determined that A5 would be a commemorative game, warranting the use of a full live orchestra. The final sequence of the main title features a Piano-Cadenza and Clarinet's ascending scale (reminiscent of G. Gershwin), symbolising the transition from sky to cities.

The main graphical concept of A5 was conceived by Mr. Sid Mead, drawing inspiration from the aerial view of Vancouver. However, my inspiration did not derive from the film you mentioned.

15 Best Things to Do in Vancouver Year-Round | Condé Nast Traveler
Vancouver from above, inspiration for the cover art for A5.

Dusty: Did you enjoy working with the Warsaw Philharmonic? Can you tell me more about Ewa Marczyk? There is so little information about her online.

Nishida: Ewa was the concertmistress of the Warsaw Philharmonic at that time. Some parts of her violin solo are very charming and expressive; I love her sound.

However, I couldn't find the time to talk with her as she was also busy. Additionally, orchestra members were very friendly and honest about my composition. Mr. Nagahama and I stayed in Warsaw for 2 weeks and had 4 sessions with the orchestra. We enjoyed our time there.

Dusty: Artdink has quickly become one of my absolute favourite video game developers and publishers. I have heavily researched them and am very impressed by their creativity. Would you like to talk about what it was like to work with them?

Nishida: Initially, I was simply a sound creator and composer at the company. Every six months, I acquired additional titles such as manager, director, and GM. Undoubtedly, I was busy. Not only did I orchestrate "A5" at the office, but also at home. My wife was appalled.

Artdink | VGC
"Artdink is quite an amusing company." - Koshiro Nishida

During that time, I felt happy but also extremely busy. I spent most days at Artdink either discussing matters with Mr. Nagahama or attending to official tasks.

Artdink appreciates creators with keen sensibilities. Perhaps this hasn't changed to this day. Artdink is quite an amusing company.

Dusty: What is your favourite work? I really love the work that you did for Lunatic Dawn, as well. But I am so curious to know what your favourite piece is.

Nishida: You know, it's funny (chuckling now).

I actually composed the theme and some music for "Lunatic Dawn 2." It wasn't official... I created those pieces using a computer text editor for programming, like Vim. If the chance comes up, I'd love to rewrite them for orchestra with a church organ.

I'm really fond of it.

But my absolute favourite composition from the game is "After A5 has gone." Sentimental, isn't it?

Dusty: Do you plan on doing any video game soundtracks in the future?

Nishida: I am now composing for the next project of Artdink, certainly. But I mind that will be finished… I hope to compose music for other games and films for the rest of my life.

Dusty: I live in the United States, yet your work has transcended geographical boundaries and connected with me emotionally. Is this something that you hoped to do with your music?

Nishida: It is amazing for me that my music arrives in your heart. I married in Seattle, and I love your country. Where do you live, Dusty?

Seattle Washington Aerial Above Highway Lanes Traffic Skyline Waterfront  City
Seattle, where Mr. Nishida got married.

Dusty: My work requires that I live in Orlando, Florida. I love Seattle! That is a wonderful place to hold a wedding! Two of my siblings live there, so I visit often. It is the video game capital of the United States. Finally, do you enjoy teaching music at Shobi University? Are you happy to impart your wisdom to younger musicians?

Nishida: I've had such enjoyable days, but they haven't quite unfolded as I hoped.

Dusty: Thank you so much for your time, Mr. Nishida! I greatly appreciate you.

Nishida: Thank you, too. If you have any more questions, please reply.

On listening to Nishida's previous work we find ourselves enriched by the melodies created. We would encourage anyone to seek out his amazing music.

With a heart full of gratitude and a newfound appreciation for the artistry behind video game soundtracks, we s to this musical maestro, knowing that his legacy will continue to inspire and enchant for generations to come.

And to Dusty, deepest thanks for granting us a glimpse into the world of Koshiro Nishida.

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