Ryuichi Sakamoto, Famed Composer and Creator of the Sega Dreamcast Intro, has Cancer

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Remember the Sega Dreamcast? If you were too young to have enjoyed it during its heyday, it was a wonderful little console by Sega, way ahead of its time, and woefully underappreciated. So why I am talking about the Sega Dreamcast in an article about famed composer Ryuichi Sakamoto, who has recently been diagnosed with throat cancer?

Well that’s because he composed the goddamn startup sound for the Sega Dreamcast, which you can hear in high definition below:

Sakamoto did compose lots of other amazing stuff, like the soundtrack to one of my all time favorite anime flicks, Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honneamise, as well as his completely amazing score for The Last Emperor, which got him an Oscar, a Golden Globe, and a BAFTA nomination. As for game compositions, his contributions ranged from the 1989 Far East of Eden, all the way to 2006’s Dawn of Mana.

In light of his recent diagnosis, he has cancelled all of his upcoming appointments, and is focusing on treating the illness, and “regaining my health”.

“The first wealth is health, and hence this bitter decision,” Sakamoto wrote on his official website. “I would like to apologise for all of the burden I will undoubtedly be casting upon everyone who has been working with me on various other projects … I promise to return after a full recovery.”

Sakamoto’s doctors had identified the illness back in June, mere weeks before he was going to kick off the first annual Sapporo International Art Festival. He was the guest director, and he was diligently working on the 2014 festival for “the past two painstaking years.” He went on to promise the quality of the show will be there, despite his absence:

“Although I will be absent, all of the programs will be of highest quality – this I promise. I would like nothing more than for everyone to enjoy the festival in my place.”

Sakamoto also had to pull out of a concert in Tokyo that is set for the 30th of this month, a performance that was made to honour the 20th anniversary of the Park Hyatt Tokyo. “It deeply upsets me to have to cancel this concert during a time of celebration,” Sakamoto wrote.

We sincerely hope that Sakamoto-san reaches a speedy recovery, and is back to making brilliant music once more.


Owner and Publisher at Niche Gamer and Nicchiban. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. Pronouns: Patriarch, Guido, Olive, Catholic

1 comment
  1. TiamatNM
    July 15, 2014 at 12:52 am

    The Dreamcast intro is great :D I’ve never heard of the guy before but I wish him all the best