Yasuhiro Takagi

From Sega Retro

Not to be confused with Carol Yas.
Yasuhiro Takagi.jpeg
Yasuhiro Takagi
Date of birth: 1964/1965[1] (age 59-60)
Employment history:
Sega Enterprises (1988 – 2000)
SEGA-AM2 (2000 – 2004)
Sega (2004 – 2015)
Sega Interactive (2015 – 2020)
Sega (2020 – )
Role(s): Musician

Yasuhiro "Yas" Takagi (高木 保浩) is among the oldest of Sega's sound team members and perhaps best known as the Sound Director for Shenmue II. His earliest work with the company was for Turbo OutRun, where he worked with renowned Sega composer Hiroshi Kawaguchi.

Unlike Hiro, whom he has worked with since joining Sega in the late '80s, Takagi's roles have been largely in the background.


R&D 8

In university, Yasuhiro Takagi played games like OutRun[5] and After Burner II, and was so fascinated by it that he wanted to join its developer to learn more about the behind-the-scenes process[6].

He joined Sega Enterprises in 1988, where he became the second sound designer located at Studio 128. He became the "Denshi" (a pupil or apprentice) of Hiroshi Kawaguchi, which he is referred to in his debut work Power Drift[7]. His first game making music was Turbo OutRun, where he gained early fame for his songs, "Rush a Difficulty" in particular: It was the first video game song he ever composed, and included a keyboard which needed to be programmed note by note[5]. The song was arranged by the S.S.T.Band for Super Sonic Team (later appearing on several Best of albums for the S.S.T.Band) and all of his songs for the game (and also "Checker Flag" by Hiro) placed 5th on Game Music Best of the Year 1989[8].

Takagi and Hiro continued to work together on Sword of Vermillion and G-LOC, the pseudo-sequel to After Burner, which saw Takagi composing some music, creating sound effects and creating the program which generated jet sounds[6]. Some/all of the effects would be reused in the R360 variant of G-LOC and the pseudo-sequel Strike Fighter. G-LOC once again was praised for its music, and like Turbo OutRun, placed 5th in Scitron Video Game Music Best of the Year 1990[9].

After the release of G-LOC, R&D 8 expanded to include Takenobu Mitsuyoshi, and Takagi acted as his mentor, same as Hiro had been to him before[9].

Miscellaneous 90’s

After making "The Perfect Power" for GP Rider, as well as its sound effects[10], Yasuhiro Takagi began making less music for games, creating only sound effects for Rent A Hero[11] and Virtua Racing. He commented on this in Mega Selection II, revealing that he had an interest in doing more music soon after, which would be exactly what he did for Michael Jackson in Scramble Training.

After this, Takagi’s exact works are mostly unknown. In 1994, Takagi developed a sound processing system for theatres which could output various sounds based on the current scene, as well as localise sound to create a 360 degree experience[12]. In 1996, he was part of the team that designed the Royal Ascot II machine[13]


Alongside Royal Ascot II's composer Keisuke Tsukahara, Takagi became associated exclusively with AM R&D Dept. #2 starting with F355 Challenge. His most notable work at AM2 was becoming the assistant director of Shenmue towards the end of development[14], and for its sequel, taking over the main director role from Takenobu Mitsuyoshi once he moved to Hitmaker. Takagi was responsible for pouring through the stock of music created by the sound team (many during the development of the first Shenmue) and assigning them to fitting locations and scenes in the game[14][15]

Takagi took on a director role for several other games at the company Sega-AM2 and, besides composing Lei-Fei's theme for Virtua Fighter 4 Evolution, is not known to have been directly involved with creating sounds. However, he seems to have been the only person involved with creating music and effects for Ghost Squad (with the only other sound team member credited Tatsutoshi Narita, who was typically involved with direction and voice recording).

AM3 & AM1

At some point between 2004 and 2006, amid development of AM2's After Burner Climax, Yasuhiro Takagi transferred from AM2 to the new iteration of Hitmaker, AM R&D Dept. #3, where he became involved with Let's Go Jungle!: Lost on the Island of Spice and the Initial D franchise starting with Initial D Street Stage. He and programmer Kazuhiro Mori would go on to create the sound system that debuted in Initial D Arcade Stage 4, which creates unique tire sounds based on the surface terrain and the weight of the vehicle[16]. After this, Takagi would be credited as the chief sound creator of the series.

After AM3 was dissolved, Takagi and many others moved to AM1, where he continued to work on Initial D, but also contributed some music to Yakuza 4. One of his 2 songs, "Rebellions", was later included on Ryu ga Gotoku The Best Original Sound Track.

Following the mobile game Samurai Bloodshow, Takagi's known major works go dark once again. He is only known to have been in a support role for new Initial D entries starting with 7 AA X and programmed songs played by Chain Band.

Sega Interactive to present

Takagi's exact work is completely unknown during the Sega Interactive era, but is known to have worked as the section manager of the sound section at R&D3[14].

After Sega’s various sound departments were consolidated into a single department in 2020, Yasuhiro Takagi was recorded as being one of the 3 heads of the department, alongside Haruyoshi Tomita and Naofumi Hataya[17]. He took over for Tatsutoshi Narita as the album producer of AM2-related albums, starting with Border Break Music Collection Type-04.

Production history




Song credits

Main article: Yasuhiro Takagi/Song credits.

Turbo OutRun (Arcade version)

  • Vivacious — Music & Arrangement
  • Shake the Street — Music & Arrangement
  • A Huge Pile of Parts — Arrangement
  • Rush a Difficulty — Music & Arrangement

Sword of Vermilion

  • Rest — Music & Arrangement
  • Church — Music & Arrangement
  • Enemy Appear — Music & Arrangement
  • Battle — Music & Arrangement
  • Set Flag — Music & Arrangement
  • Level Up — Music & Arrangement
  • Fuyodol — Music & Arrangement
  • Boss B — Music & Arrangement
  • Ending (Staff Roll) — Music & Arrangement

G-LOC: Air Battle

  • Coin — Creator
  • BGM B — Music & Arrangement
  • Dog Fight in the Ravine BGM — Music & Arrangement
  • BGM C — Music & Arrangement
  • Continue — Music & Arrangement

GP Rider

  • The Perfect Power(通信)[21] — Music & Arrangement

Strike Fighter

  • Coin — Creator

Virtua Fighter 4: Evolution

  • clairvoyant — Music & Arrangement

Yakuza 4

  • Nervousness — Music & Arrangement
  • Rebellions — Music & Arrangement

Samurai Bloodshow

  • Samurai Bloodshow - Main Theme - — Music & Arrangement (with Kyokuso Tachibana)
  • Eternal flower — Music, Arrangement & Lyrics
  • Final Showdown — Music & Arrangement (with Kyokuso Tachibana)

Chain Chronicle Original Soundtrack Chain Band Ver.

  • Battle For Justice II [Chain Band Version] — Programming
  • Beat The Master II [Chain Band Version] — Programming