Koichi Namiki

From Sega Retro

Koichi Namiki
Place of birth: Sanmu, Chiba, Japan
Date of birth: 1965-04-15[1] (age 59)
Employment history:
Sega Enterprises (1987-03[1] – 1995-09[2])
Role(s): Composer, Guitarist

Koichi "Pretty K.N" Namiki (並木晃一), also known by the alias Mickey, is a Japanese guitarist and musician, and former Sega of Japan and S.S.T.Band video game music composer.

Namiki is married to fellow game music composer Aki Hata.


Games career at Sega

The back cover of the album Super Hang-On, listing the songs and credits.

In 1985,[1] when he was in his early 20's, Koichi Namiki left his hometown in Chiba, where he had held a part-time job, to work as a musical instrument wholesaler in Tokyo, driving around in his van making deliveries. While the environment was comfortable, surrounded by people who loved music like he did, he earned little wages and could not afford many amenities like a bath or private toilet, and would sleep in his car on business trips to save money.[4] He needed a person to therapeutically complain to, and this happened to be the Sega Enterprises employee Katsuhiro Hayashi, who had known Namiki since high school.[5] Hayashi invited him to join Sega in early 1987, as he was struggling to complete the music for Super Hang-On by himself, and a few days later Namiki met with Hisashi Suzuki (then general manager of Sega R&D 1) and was lackadaisically rushed into becoming an employee, having never touched a computer before, not knowing what tools he would need, not even what an enterprise was, but he had to commit to the job so as not to embarress Katsuhiro Hayashi,[4] so brought in his guitar and rhythm machine the very next day to start working.[6][4]

The project Hayashi had recruited him for turned out to be the arcade game Super Hang-On. Namiki remembers being deeply unhappy and guilty during the game's development, frustrated at not being able to get work done (in part because of the distracting environment filled with programmers tapping away at their keyboards and Katsuhiro Hayashi humming his own music) and spending most of his time in the smoking room. He later made an effort to forget about the experience, and he also forgot the number of songs he wrote,[4] but fortunately he listed his 3 contributions (some minor) in Sega Game Music Vol. 3 After Burner close to the game's release.[6]

Accompanied by Tohru Nakabayashi, who had helped Namiki with programming Super Hang-On's music,[7] Koichi Namiki's first project as main composer was Thunder Blade. The game's soundtrack is famous for its use of sampled bass, particularly a slap bass solo (chopper bass, Namiki insists) during the song "Type-II",[8][9] which Namiki chose to do because his guitar, the same one Hiroshi Kawaguchi had borrowed to record samples for After Burner, was damaged.[10] The boss theme "Burning Point" had an intro cut out of the game since it didn't fit, but this was added back for the Galaxy Force album.[8] For the same album, Namiki had considered adding a melody to the titular "Thunder Blade", along the lines of certain songs in After Burner II, but decided it was fine without one.[11] Thunder Blade would also be the first of several games he worked on which were programmed by Rikiya Nakagawa, though this could be a coincidence.

Following a respite,[12] Namiki collaborated with Katsuhiro Hayashi again for Galaxy Force, a game that has since been paired with Thunder Blade. Being a person who loves odd time signatures, Namiki took inspiration from the song Take Five, a 5/4 jazz standard that was in the Japanese public zeitgeist from its use in a series of commercials,[13] to make a song in 7/8 time: "Beyond the Galaxy".[12] Another of his favourite musical elements was used for "TRY-Z", the other stage theme he composed. It's a Kochyokochyo (コチョコチョ) beat played over a stretched out chord.[12]

After Super Monaco GP, a notable project with only a bit of music, Koichi Namiki became more invested in creating sound effects, exclusively taking such a role for Bonanza Bros., and the music of Laser Ghost being an afterthought compared to its sound effects.[14] Due to having 2 other known music composers, it is possible he also exclusively made sound effects for Rail Chase.

Borrowing from his experience with Sega Super Circuit, Koichi Namiki was one of the composers to work on the initial theme park attractions featured at Yokohama Joypolis, both Megalopolis: Tokyo City Battle and Ghost Hunters. His final known game with the company is Sports Fishing in 1994.

Band career at Sega

Sega Sound Staff Band at the After Burner Panic show
S.S.T.Band, with Koichi Namiki second on the left

Originally, Koichi Namiki was the guitarist of an unnamed band,[15] retroactively named the Sega Sound Staff Band.[16] Of that band's members, Koichi Namiki and Hiroshi Kawaguchi, two people who had been bandmates in high school,[17] were the only members to found its successor S.S.T.Band.[18] This band came about due to an offer from Alfa Records to publish arrangements of Sega game music, and Namiki was asked to join by a person in Sega's advertising department who had remembered he could play guitar.[15] The S.S.T.Band would go on to be published on 6 main albums, 2 best of albums and 2 live albums in 5 years.[1] This also gave Koichi Namiki the experience of working with his idol Issei Noro,[18] arranger for the S.S.T.Band and previously a member of Casiopea, a band whose songs Namiki had covered many times in his youth.[18]

B-univ's photo in the album Virtua Racing & OutRunners.

Once the S.S.T.Band was announced in August 1993 to be dissolving,[19] its last Sega employee members Namiki and Takenobu Mitsuyoshi began to form a new successor, B-univ, named after the song "Baby Universe"[20] Namiki had composed for the original songs album Blind Spot. The group would frequently work with Yoshiyuki Ito and David Leytze, people Namiki continued working with after leaving Sega in 1995.[2]

Career after Sega: initial freelance work and Sega console contributions

It feels weird, calling me a game sound guy, but take Konami's game CDs for example: Policenauts, Gradius, Guitar Freaks, Metal Gear, Tokimeki Memorial, I've had a hand in them. I am a constant precense, like the Doraemon of the GM world.

Koichi Namiki on Twitter[21]

Even while at Sega, Koichi Namiki continued to collaborate in secret with Katsuhiro Hayashi, who had left Sega several years ago, and therefore likely went uncredited so it wouldn't be found out he was working for outside developers. He has later revealed to have been a recording manipulator, guitarist and arranger for Hayashi work on the PC Engine games Road Spirits and Zero4 Champ II.[22] The adjacent hashtags on his work list may indicate he helped Hayashi with soundtracks on Sega Mega Drive, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Sega Pico and Nintendo Game Boy music as well, but he says he can't remember and it is also possible it isn't specifically about his work with Hayashi. Zero4 Champ II also featured former S.S.T.Band guitarist Jouji Iijima as composer.[23] These 3 would be credited together for Virtual Open Tennis, released less than 2 months after Namiki became a freelance musician in September 1995.[2]

He diversified his portfolio, working with his wife Aki Hata on various albums unrelated to video games,[24][25] as well as compose for several anime series. His video game exploits largely spilled over into Sega Saturn and Sony PlayStation games, some of which of were with Sega alumni such as Katsuhiro Hayashi for MediaWorks projects starting in 1996, or the "Koichi Namiki Project" 3D Shooting Tkool in 1997, which invited Kimitaka Matsumae (of the S.S.T.Band), Yoshiyuki Ito, Aki Hata and David Leytze as guests.[26][27] His S.S.T.Band connections also resulted in collaborating with Motoaki Furukawa for Policenauts, as the group's bassist Masato Saito had prior connections with Konami.[18] This relationship with Furukawa led to many collaborations with Konami and their Kukeiha Club, founded by Furukawa. Koichi Namiki was also very active with ports, in some cases his direct porting work (e.g. Nobunaga no Yabou Tenshouki and Winning Post 3), in other cases what just so happened to be ports of PC games to console, which includes Ugetsu Kitan to PlayStation, Prisoner of Ice to both consoles and the aforementioned Policenauts for Saturn.

Career after Sega: Direct work with Sega

There were very few direct Sega collaborations for a decade or so, but in 2007 he was contacted by Yoshihiro Ito to contribute arrangements to their new Sound! Shock Series of albums,[12] a label originally designating that an album contained Sound! Shock bonus arrangements as well as analog in-game recordings.[28] For Super Hang-On 20th Anniversary Collection, he decided to keep the song's original visions intact, that being a hard rock style, because, besides Sprinter, arrangements of the songs had not been published in Japan before.[4] For Galaxy Force II & Thunder Blade Original Sound Track, he wanted to challenge himself to play the songs entirely analog, without the use of MIDI.[12][18]

2 years later, he returned for Vermilion vs Rent A Hero Original Soundtrack, basing his Sword of Vermilion arrangement on Issei Noro's arrangement for S.S.T.Band. Unlike the previous pair of albums, he had no regrets about the original work. It was also his first time listening to the in-game music, as Yoshihiro Ito asked that he arranged a medley of songs in roughly game order, but he couldn't make it work and generally made several changes he worried would be seen as blasphemous.[29]

Blind Spot, with Koichi Namiki bottom center.

In 2011, the Tohoko earthquake left Japan in a terrible state, and Koichi Namiki looked for a way to cheer the people up. His solution was to reform the S.S.T.Band, but this would clash with Sega's existing in-house band [H.], so instead became an unofficial band named Blind Spot (referencing the S.S.T.Band's original songs album of the same name).[18]

When I looked at people’s faces at the first concert, they were all crying. Really crying; real tears! Everybody had made placards saying that they had been waiting for us to come back. People were really happy, so I thought we have to continue. Not business, you know, but live performances! I felt that we should continue with this as long as we can.

Koichi Namiki[18]

As such, Blind Spot continued for 10 years, disbanding in 2021 after Blind Spot 10th Anniversary ”Final Take Off” .[30]

For the 2016 iteration of Chunithm, Chunithm Air, Koichi Namiki contributed the song "Drive On The Rainbow". This song was named by[31] and featured an appearance from Kanade Sato,[32][33] a then-13 year old drummer he had recently worked with for Just who I needed to see 2016 (a Policenauts 20th anniversary single that featured some Blind Spot participants).[34][35]

Even with Blind Spot defunct, similar arrangement + original music albums were released by Koichi Namiki with the help of Wave Master's Yoshihiro Ito and Kazuo Koizumi, including the solo album Cool Rails and Stratosphere, which featured him reuniting with Katsuhiro Hayashi.

The back cover of Astro City Mini: Celebration Album, showing the list of songs, many of them labeled "Mickey Arr Ver."

Namiki also contributed to 2 arrangement albums themed around Sega miniature consoles: Astro City Mini: Celebration Album, where he made all the new arrangements, and Mega Drive Mini 2: Multiverse Sound World, where he added electric guitars to a pre-existing arrangements of the Space Harrier theme.


During the period when Sega's developers were not allowed to use their real names, Koichi Namiki rarely had any name appear in games anyway, only Galaxy Force II with the name Nami-Nami.This is because most of his games at the timed lacked production credits.

However, the music from many of his games was featured on albums which also contained arrangements by the S.S.T.Band, and in the liner notes, he was initially credited as Pritty K.N,[4] following the name scheme for Katsuhiro "Funky K.H" Hayashi of a fitting adjective and his initials. This was phased out and replaced with Mickey, borrowing from his surname, as can be seen with his Twitter handle k_namickey. This name has therefore endured past his time at Sega and is also the namesake for the Mickey House Studio where some of his albums are recorded.[36]

For a few years in the 2000's, Bluetz Lee, known as the composer of Bonanza Bros., was assumed to be an alias of Namiki's,[37][38][39] since his website listed Bonanza Bros. as a previous project.[40] In Sega System 24 Sound Collection, it was confirmed that Mickey created the game's sound effects and voices while the music was made by M.A (Minoru Aoki).

Production history




Song credits

Main article: Koichi Namiki/Song credits.

Super Hang-On (Arcade version)

  • Opening — Music & Arrangement
  • Winning Run — Music & Arrangement
  • Name Entry — Music & Arrangement

Thunder Blade (Arcade version)

  • Thunder Blade [BGM 1] — Music & Arrangement
  • Burning Point [Boss] — Music & Arrangement
  • Round Clear — Music & Arrangement
  • Type II [BGM 2] — Music & Arrangement
  • Burning Point [Complete Ver.] — Music & Arrangement [NOTE: Unused]
  • Type II [Complete Ver.] — Music & Arrangement [NOTE: Unused]

Galaxy Force (Arcade version)

  • Scene Select — Music & Arrangement
  • Beyond the Galaxy [Scene A] — Music & Arrangement
  • TRY-Z [Scene E] — Music & Arrangement
  • Stage Clear — Music & Arrangement
  • Name Entry — Music & Arrangement

Galaxy Force -G.S.M. Sega 1-

  • After Burner (After Burner Arrange Version) — Guitar
  • Beyond the Galaxy (Galaxy Force Arrange Version) — Music, Guitar
  • Space Harrier Main Theme (Space Harrier Arrange Version) — Guitar

Power Drift & Mega Drive -G.S.M. Sega 2-

  • Power Drift (Like the Wind Arrange Version) — Guitar

Super Monaco GP (Arcade version)

  • F1 Theme — Music & Arrangement
  • Advertise BGM — Music & Arrangement
  • Preliminary — Music & Arrangement
  • Fanfare — Music & Arrangement
  • Second Race — Music & Arrangement
  • Game Simulation — Music & Arrangement
  • Commendation — Music & Arrangement
  • Name Entry — Music & Arrangement
  • Game Over — Music & Arrangement

Super Sonic Team -G.S.M. Sega 3-

  • Final Take Off (After Burner Arrange Version) — Guitar (with Jouji Iijima)
  • Splash Wave (OutRun Arrange Version) — Guitar (with Jouji Iijima)

After Burner

~Arrange Version~

Hyper Drive -G.S.M. Sega 4-

~Arrange Version~

S.S.T. Band Live! -G.S.M. Sega-

Laser Ghost (Arcade version)

  • Title — Music & Arrangement
  • Opening — Music & Arrangement
  • Noumiso no Shiwa (BGM 1) — Music & Arrangement
  • Tsukune no Younamono (Boss 1) — Music & Arrangement
  • Fanfare — Music & Arrangement
  • Interval — Music & Arrangement
  • M (BGM 2) — Music & Arrangement
  • Storm over Inubou Peninsula (Boss 2) — Music & Arrangement
  • Supaigero――Acid Stomach (BGM 3) — Music & Arrangement
  • Smelly Feet――My Shadow...... (Boss 3) — Music & Arrangement
  • Game Over — Music & Arrangement
  • Ending — Music & Arrangement

Game Music Festival Live '90: Zuntata VS. S.S.T. Band

Game Music Festival '90 Special: Zuntata VS. S.S.T. Band

Formula -G.S.M. Sega 5-

~Arrange Version~

Strike Fighter

~Arrange Version~

Mega Selection II -G.S.M. Sega-


~Arrange Version~

Blind Spot

Game Music Festival ~Super Live '92~

Virtua Racing & OutRunners * B-univ

~Arranged versions~

  • Polygonic Continent — Arrangement (with Takenobu Mitsuyoshi), Electric Guitar
  • Stream — Arrangement (with Takenobu Mitsuyoshi), Electric Guitar
  • Center Run — Arrangement (with Takenobu Mitsuyoshi), Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, GR-1
  • France — Electric Guitar
  • Adventure — Arrangement (with Takenobu Mitsuyoshi), Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, GR-1
  • Passing Breeze (1993) — Electric Guitar
  • V.R. Medley — Electric Guitar
  • Sonic Control — Electric Guitar
  • Splash Wave (1993) — Electric Guitar
  • Last Wave (1993) — Arrangement (with Takenobu Mitsuyoshi), Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar

Virtua Fighter "The Strongest Warrior"

~Arrange Version~

  • Prologue — Music (with Takenobu Mitsuyoshi), Guitar, Programming
  • Fighter's eyes — Arrangement (with Takenobu Mitsuyoshi & Yoshiyuki Ito), Guitar, Programming
  • Virtua Fighter — Arrangement (with Takenobu Mitsuyoshi), Guitar, Programming
  • Kage — Guitar, Programming
  • Wolf — Guitar, Programming
  • Jeffry — Guitar, Programming
  • Jacky — Guitar, Programming
  • Akira — Guitar, Programming

B-univ * Daytona USA

~Arranged Versions~

  • Let's Go Away — Arrangement (with Takenobu Mitsuyoshi), Guitar, Programming
  • Pounding Pavement — Arrangement (with Takenobu Mitsuyoshi), Guitar, Programming
  • Daytona in the Night — Guitar, Programming
  • Sky High — Arrangement (with Takenobu Mitsuyoshi), Guitar, Programming
  • Tornado — Arrangement (with Takenobu Mitsuyoshi), Guitar, Programming
  • The Queen of Speed — Guitar, Programming

Yu Yu Hakusho: Makyou Touitsusen ~Mega Drive Music~

  • Insoluble Flame (Vocal Version) — Guitar
  • Offensive and Defensive Form (Arena Arrange Version) — Guitar
  • Before and After Reincarnation (Spiritual World Arrange Version) — Guitar

Virtua Fighter "Sega Saturn" Image by B-univ Neo Rising

  • Virtua Fighter "You are the Master" — Produced & arranged by, Guitars, keyboard & rhythm programming
  • Wolf — Produced & arranged by, Guitars, keyboard & rhythm programming
  • The Moon is the White Gate's Light — Guitars
  • My Shadow — Produced & arranged by (with David Leytze), Guitars
  • Ocean Crystal Ship — Guitars, keyboard & rhythm programming
  • Stand Tall — Guitars
  • Winner Takes All — Guitars
  • Wounds by Design — Guitars, additional keyboard programming
  • Warrior Blue — Guitars

Yuukyuu Gensoukyoku (Saturn Version)

  • I Want You to Teach Me (Sega Saturn Opening) — Arrangement
  • I'm at My Limit! ('Wake Up!!' vocal version) — Arrangement, Guitars
  • A Smile Is Your Protection ('Shy Boy' vocal version) — Arrangement, Guitars
  • I Want to Be a Pearl (Sega Saturn Ending) — Arrangement

Sega Ages 2500 Series Vol. 30: Galaxy Force II Special Extended Edition

  • Beyond the Galaxy -[H.] Arrange Ver.- — Music
  • Ending ~After 20 Years the Junos~ — Music
  • Ending ~After 20 Years the Junos~ -Mickey Original Ver.- — Music, Sound Producer, Arranged by, Performed by (Guitars, Bass, Programming)

Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA

  • Velvet Arabesque — Arrangement
  • Love List Updating? — Arrangement


Main article: Photos of Koichi Namiki


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 File:VirtuaRacingandOutRunners CD JP Booklet.pdf, page 8
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 https://www.facebook.com/koichi.namiki/about_work_and_education
  3. @JfodxVSqgXSoeOY on Twitter (archive.today)
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 File:SHO20A CD JP Booklet.pdf, page 6
  5. https://media.vgm.io/albums/41/1814/1814-1278814180.jpg (Wayback Machine: 2023-10-02 14:26)
  6. 6.0 6.1 File:SGMV3AB CD87 JP Booklet.pdf, page 7
  7. File:AstroCityMini CD JP Booklet.pdf, page 6
  8. 8.0 8.1 File:GalaxyForce CD JP Booklet.pdf, page 7
  9. https://data-discs.com/products/galaxyforce-thunderblade?variant=38554392970
  10. File:GF2TBOST Booklet.pdf, page 4
  11. File:GalaxyForce CD JP Booklet.pdf, page 6
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 File:GalaxyForce CD JP Booklet.pdf, page 5
  13. https://ghostarchive.org/varchive/t8L7LD7RiKA
  14. File:Formula Music JP Booklet.pdf, page 7
  15. 15.0 15.1 File:BitSSTB Music JP Booklet.jpg, page 3
  16. https://vgmdb.net/album/81278
  17. File:BitSSTB Music JP Booklet.jpg, page 5
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 18.5 18.6 htt (Wayback Machine: 2017-03-15 19:19)
  19. File:VirtuaRacingandOutRunners CD JP Booklet.pdf, page 10
  20. File:DaytonaUSABuniv CD JP Booklet.pdf
  21. @k_namickey on Twitter
  22. http://homepage.mac.com/~koichinamiki/work/work.html#4 (Wayback Machine: 2002-10-09 21:21)
  23. https://vgmdb.net/product/14171
  24. https://vgmdb.net/album/2324
  25. http://homepage.mac.com/~koichinamiki/work/work.html (Wayback Machine: 2002-10-09 21:21)
  26. https://vgmdb.net/album/3036
  27. https://soundcloud.com/mandalazu/taming-the-beast (Wayback Machine: 2023-09-27 16:55)
  28. https://ebten.jp/sega/p/4571164389370 (Wayback Machine: 2023-10-02 18:02)
  29. File:VtRaHOST CD JP, page 11
  30. @k_namickey on Twitter (Wayback Machine: 2022-03-09 08:48)
  31. @k_namickey on Twitter (Wayback Machine: 2023-10-02 19:46)
  32. @k_namickey on Twitter (Wayback Machine: 2023-10-02 19:35)
  33. @k_namickey on Twitter (Wayback Machine: 2020-10-29 08:21)
  34. https://ghostarchive.org/varchive/g1K_nrPIsyk
  35. https://vgmdb.net/album/63932
  36. https://vgmdb.net/artist/59325
  37. https://vgmdb.net/forums/showpost.php?p=3180&postcount=1 (Wayback Machine: 2023-10-02 14:24)
  38. https://www.smspower.org/forums/12003-VGMPackBonanzaBros
  39. https://www.smspower.org/forums/11527-WhoDevelopedBonanzaBros
  40. http://homepage.mac.com/~koichinamiki/work/work.html (Wayback Machine: 2001-04-29 22:12)
  41. File:BonanzaBros System24 SuperGangs.png
  42. File:VirtualOpenTennis_Saturn_JP_SSEnding.pdf
  43. 43.0 43.1 File:VirtuaFighterNeoRising CD JP Booklet.pdf, page 15
  44. File:VF2DancingShadows CD JP Booklet.pdf, page 15
  45. 45.0 45.1 45.2 File:SHO20A CD JP Booklet.pdf, page 11
  46. File:SuperHangOn Vinyl Box Back.jpg
  47. File:AB2 vinyl UK back.jpg
  48. File:SpaceHarrier VinylUK le back.jpg
  49. 49.0 49.1 49.2 49.3 http://sound.jp/namiki/works/index.html#5 (Wayback Machine: 2005-01-09 04:02)