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Asuka Ota

Asuka Ota Instruments: Piano
Joined Nintendo: 2004
Company Role: Composer
Game Works: Four Swords, New Super Mario Bros, Mario Kart Wii


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

Asuka Ota has been a composer at Nintendo Entertainment Analysis and Development since 2004. She learned to play the piano from a young age and was also fond of Super Mario games. Ota received classical training while studying music at university, but also participated in bands with friends and listened to a range of music, including techno. Shortly after graduating, she impressed Koji Kondo so much with her musical experience and was recruited to Nintendo EAD's sound team. Debuting on the GameCube's cooperative multiplayer title The Legend of Zelda: Four Sword Adventures, Ota mixed arrangements of Kondo's score to A Link to the Past with a few new compositions. Though many of the arrangements were straightforward, whole new passages were added to the two overworld themes. Sumptuous arrangements of Kakariko Village's theme and an orchestral piece of field music further demonstrated Ota's musical maturity. She revisited Nintendo history once again by combining classic arrangements with light-hearted new compositions for the DS' Yoshi Touch & Go.

Ota was chosen as Kazumi Totaka's assistance on the DS' Animal Crossing: Wild World after he was impressed with her work on Yoshi Touch & Go. The project was very demanding given she was expected to create a very large number of original compositions and maintain a similar style to its predecessor. The setting themes mixed mellow acoustic pieces, catchy jazz-based tunes, and experimental ambience while the 'K.K.' themes proved to be a mixed and quirky bunch. To enhance the interactivity of the title, 24 themes were also composed to change with each hour of the game. The following year, she composed the majority of the score to New Super Mario Bros.. While its musicality was often unconventional, most of the original music was very catchy and endearing. Her arrangements of Kondo's classic tunes were fitting homages and demonstrated how far Nintendo's music has progressed.

In another high-profile work, Ota was assigned to compose for The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess under Toru Minegishi. She was an excellent choice to score Zelda's largest score to date given her productivity and versatility in the past. She added to the drama of the game with her orchestra and piano-based event themes and was also responsible for most of the battle themes. More recently, Ota contributed reprises and an arrangement of Yoshi Touch & Go's "Flower Field" to Super Smash Bros. Brawl. She also led the score for 2008's Mario Kart Wii. She took the series' music in a subtle new direction by mixing light jazz-influenced stage themes with diverse arrangements of classic themes. After sitting out of Wii Music, Ota is expected to take a large role on Animal Crossing: City Folk under Kazumi Totaka. During her short time at Nintendo EAD, Ota has produced several major scores and the quality of her work has propelled her to become a senior member of Nintendo's team.

List of Game Projects

Year Game / Role Console
2004 The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures
Composition with reprises by Koji Kondo
2005 Yoshi Touch & Go
Composition with Kazumi Totaka, Toru Minegishi
2005 Animal Crossing: Wild World (Nintendo EAD)
Composition with Kazumi Totaka
2006 New Super Mario Bros.
Composition with Hajime Wakai, Koji Kondo
2006 The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Composition with Toru Minegishi, Koji Kondo
2008 Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Reprises / Arrangement ("Flower Field" from Yoshi Touch & Go)
2008 Mario Kart Wii
Composition with Ryo Nagamatsu

List of Covered Albums

Album Title Catalog No.
Nintendo Sound History Series - Zelda the Music SCDC-00395
Nintendo Sound Selection Vol. 3: Luigi B-Side Music CN-P020
Touch! Generations Soundtrack Promotional
Zelda Twilight Princess Official Soundtrack, The Legend of (Nintendo Power) Promotional
Zelda Twilight Princess Official Soundtrack, The Legend of (Sword and Shield) Promotional
Zelda Twilight Princess Sound & Visual CD, The Legend of (Nintendo Dream) Promotional