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MAGFest XI Recap: Saturday & Sunday

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After a grueling night of playing challenges (check out the spoils above), I returned to my quarters only to wake up the next morning at 7am to go down and play some more.  In fact, Brandon was able to make his way down to play, as well, and he had stayed up even later than I did the night before—it was great to have a buddy to share the pain with so early in the morning.

Call us crazy, but those laptops are almost always occupied, and it has long been proven that going to the game room in the wee hours of the morning is the best thing to do if you’re looking to play a specific, popular attraction.  My first year, Jen and I woke up at 5am to go down and we were able to play whatever we wanted whenever we wanted.  That’s a Pro Tip for you there for next year, dear readers.

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At nine o’clock I went back to the room to wake up Jen and eat some breakfast, and together we wandered down to Kinuyo Yamashita’s panel.  Unfortunately for you all, my notes are sparse—she really didn’t say much outside of what I already knew from my biographical post about her.  However, one notable question asked was whether or not Yamashita ripped off a Guns and Roses song called “My Michelle” with her Mega Man X3 track “Neon Tiger.”  After some sleuthing, the Guns and Roses number was recorded in 1987, while X3 was released in 1995 (start at :20 for “Neon Tiger” and :26 for “My Michelle”).


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Know Your MAGFest Moguls: Kinuyo Yamashita

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It’s December, which means that the gaming event of the calendar year, MAGFest XI, is swiftly approaching. If you are unaware of MAGFest, I highly recommend you check out my three posts covering the event here, here, and here. Not only do I think my posts will satiate your curiosity, I want you to know why it’s awesome so that you’ll be there this year with me and the thousands of others who crave the coming of the following year’s event every waking day that they’re not at MAGFest.

Alternatively, you can just skip reading those posts and take your chances with my recommendation by going straight to the MAGFest website to buy tickets and book a hotel room. Nothing wrong with that!

I’ll be doing a few posts between now and January 3rd covering some of the headliners. These crash courses will give you enough fodder to prepare some questions for the guests and/or just simply enjoy their presence more since you’ll know who they are and what they’ve done.

First up is VGM composer Kinuyo Yamashita, who is most well known for composing the soundtrack to the original Castlevania.


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Yamashita was born on December 31, 1965, in Amagasaki, a city that is located in the Hyogo prefecture in the Kansai region of Japan1, 2, 3. Growing up, Yamashita studied piano as a child, but aside from that received no formal musical training4. It seems, however, that music had left its mark on her life, as, despite having graduated with a degree in Electronic Engineering from the Osaka Electro-Communication University, she had a desire to base her career in working on musical instrument hardware5. In turn, despite there being a limited job market for women in that line of work, upon graduating she scored her first job, which was with Konami, in 1986.

Inspiration struck early—Castlevania was Yamashita’s first video game soundtrack. When coming up with musical ideas for the game, she “aimed to create music suitable for the image,” citing both “the gothic images of the background” and – intriguingly – “the dynamicism with which the player moves” as influences6. Having absorbed those elements, a rock-tinged flavor usurped any influence that came from her musical idols – the likes of Nat King Cole, Chopin, and Beethoven. This direction “came naturally” and “gradually”—she had no specific plan as to what the vibe should be.

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