Today on the 28th of June 2019, we are celebrating the work and achievements of an individual who has made a significant contribution to the Metroid franchise. Fifty years ago on this day in 1969, Minako Hamano was born in Kyoto, Japan. Hamano-san has been involved in several high profile titles from Nintendo, which include franchises such as Donkey Kong Country, The Legend of Zelda, Super Smash Bros and most notably, Metroid.
Hamano-san joined Nintendo R&D1 in 1991 as a composer. Her first game was The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening. Soon after that game, she became involved with Super Metroid. Working alongside Kenji Yamamoto, Hamano-san was the composer of the themes of the Wrecked Ship, Maridia, Kraid, Mother Brain and the ending credits theme, as well as Ridley’s iconic battle music, which became a staple of both the Pirate himself and the series. Hamano recorded a scream for Samus during the Game Over scene in Super Metroid, which was omitted from the game due to concerns over its suitability.
Later, Hamano-san led the composition of Metroid Fusion, and has had a role in nearly every Metroid game since. With Metroid: Samus Returns, she moved into a supervisor role, overseeing newcomer Daisuke Matsuoka’s take on her iconic tracks. With this feature, we hope to bring Hamano-san the recognition she richly deserves.
Minako Hamano’s significant contributions to Nintendo has been an absolute joy to experience over the years. But in my honest opinion, I feel she has sadly been overshadowed by other composers who have worked alongside her. On her fiftieth birthday, I want to extend my congratulations and best wishes to her. I want to say thank you for the incredible memories and inspiration she has given me as a Metroid fan. Ridley’s theme is one of my favourite ever themes in video games, and such an iconic piece of music deserves my heartfelt respect. Happy Birthday Minako Hamano!
Happy birthday to Minako Hamano. Hamano-san, your music is what transformed Super Metroid and every subsequent game in the series into a masterpiece, and you don’t get nearly the amount of credit you deserve. You composed both Maridia themes, and the unforgettable Vs. Ridley/Big Boss Confrontation BGM (Ridley, Draygon), which I’ve spent countless hours listening to while studying and working. Thank you, Hamano-san, for the wonderful music and atmosphere, and the years of memories. Enjoy this special day.
I wish a very happy birthday to Minako Hamano for her dedication to the Metroid franchise and helping compose the atmospheric soundscapes for the series since 1994. It’s impressive to say that she was only 22 when she began composing for games with Link’s Awakening. I’m also going to be “that guy” for a moment to bring up her involvement in Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE, though only as a sound assistant, it’s always interesting to see a composer’s side work just to highlight their variety and give recognition where it is deserved. Here’s to a bountiful future in composition, no doubt we all can’t wait to see what she may have cooked up for Metroid Prime 4.
Minako Hamano worked on some of my favorite themes of the whole Metroid franchise (especially Maridia and Mother Brain themes, as well as the famous Ridley battle music). Super Metroid and Metroid Fusion has really unique and iconic ambiences thanks to her work and I couldn’t be more thankful for that! I’m really looking forward to her work on the Metroid Prime 4 soundtrack if she’s involved in this game as well. Happy birthday Hamano-san!
As someone who loves boss themes in general, especially Metroid’s, as a Metroid fan who can forget the iconic moment in Super Metroid when Mother Brain rises with a deformed body after seemingly thinking she was defeated? The accompanying theme that Minako Hamano created for Mother Brain perfectly suits the monstrosity and threat that she represents. Also being responsible for the composition of Ridley’s theme, being the base for one of my favourite versions, namely Meta Ridley’s, just adds to how remarkable she is at capturing the essence of alien characters as well. Happy Birthday to Minako Hamano, may she create new pieces of music in Metroid Prime 4 so I can enjoy listening to them over and over.
Super Metroid’s score is often credited only to Kenji Yamamoto, but it would be careless to ignore the important contributions made to it by Minako Hamano. In particular, her themes for the bosses give each encounter the sense of drama and intensity to go along with the battles. Later, in Metroid Fusion, she composed the soundtrack following a slightly different style, but always providing the right atmosphere for each environment. I wish her happy birthday and the best with her future career!
One of the most powerful aspects of the Metroid series is the score. Minako Hamano’s work set the mood for the game through the music. Her composition of Ridley’s battle music and Mother Brain added to the intimidation factor, especially during a time when graphics were more limited, so the game developers couldn’t rely on realistic and detailed design to make the enemies appear more daunting. So happy birthday Minako Hamano, and thank you for creating memorable score!
Here’s what the wider community had to say…
Just wanted to say you’re a beautiful human being, your touching work makes the Metroid experience unique and joyful, I hope you’re having a good time with your family and friends or just being with the people you love and care, happy birthday miss!
Happy birthday from all of us Metroid nerds across the globe. Have a drink on us, lady.
Thank you for the soundtracks that make my car rides atmospheric! Happy Birthday Hamano-san!
Happy Birthday Minako! You’ve composed some of the greatest music of all time. I would not be a pianist or guitarist had I not heard your compositions and been inspired.
Metroid Fusion is still to this day one of my favorite games and game soundtracks of all time. This is, of course, not to mention all of the other iconic games you have worked on. Happy birthday and much love to the amazing Minako Hamano!
Happy Birthday! I hope your birthday and all other upcoming days will be amazing. With your talent you added in making our time amazing, so you deserve all of it back
お誕生日おめでとうございます濱野さん！ Thank you for all the incredible music you’ve written for many video games, especially Metroid! Your music has a powerful way of affecting emotions, and your excellent compositions have influenced my writing the way I listen to music. The whole community is thankful for your creativity and your musical insight. We hope you continue to live a long and happy life!
Happy, happy birthday miss Hamano-san. Your work made my childhood!
Thank you for making this world a better place with your beautiful art!
Happy birthday Minako, your artistic visions will be cherished and remembered forever!
Happy Birthday Minako!!! To this day I still shed a lonely tear anytime I hear Maridia Rocky Underwater Area, and throw a fist in the air in triumph whenever I hear Super Metroid’s ending them! That your music, aged as it is can still pull such emotion after all these years is your triumph.
Congrats, Metroid Fusion OST is your absolute masterpiece!
I just want her to know she made sure I’ll never forget Metroid Fusion. Sector 1’s theme, the ambient drone of the SA-X’s theme coupled with its footsteps, all made sure a handheld sidescroller was the most terrifying experience of video game history to me.
Happy Birthday, Ms. Hamano-san! Your work on the series will always be treasured!
Happy birthday. Thank you for making the best atmosphere for the best game ever. Without your work it would not be the same.
Happy birthday Hamano-san! Thanks for your amazing tracks that fill each moment of the Metroid games you worked on. You are part of a masterpiece, once again thank you for everything!
Happy birthday! Thanks for composing fantastic music for my favorite franchise of all time!
Happy birthday Minako, I loved your work in Echoes and Fusion, my two favorite Metroid games. Chykka’s battle from Echoes is top quality in my book, alongside basically all of Fusion but especially Serris’ theme and the Final Mission.
Oh my goodness, please have a wonderful birthday Hamano-san. May it be blessed with good food, a wonderful conversation, and something sweet to keep you going.
Happy Birthday Hamano-San! Your tracks have given so much atmosphere and soul to the Metroid series! And they’re so much fun to listen to! Thank you!
Her music in Fusion still terrifies me to a degree today. She’s wonderful.
Happy birthday and I’ll forever be grateful for the outstanding music you provided for my favorite Nintendo IP.
Her work in the video game industry cannot be understated, she’s truly a talented person. Feliz cumpleaños, Hamano-san, you’re truly an inspiration for artists to come.
Happy birthday, Hamano-san. Metroid has some of my favorite music in games thank you so much for making such great stuff.
Happy Birthday, Hamano-san! Your music you created for Super Metroid are timeless. Ridley’s fights wouldn’t be the same without your incredible composition of his theme. Thank you for everything you’ve done for the Metroid franchise!
Happy birthday, Hamano-san. The wonderful tracks you’ve made for the Metroid series stay with me forever.
Hamano-san, may you have a great birthday, and thank you for everything!
誕生日おめでとう、濱野さん！ Metroid music makes the games so much more enjoyable, thank you for your amazing contribution to it. Some of my absolute favourites are your works, and really stand out to me. ありがとうございます！
Music that she created, back then made games feel like a cinematic experience. Pulse pounding melodies, and an intense atmosphere that felt alive. Thank you for creating these memories, Hamano-san.
Here’s to a Great Birthday For you Hamano-San, thank you for giving Music for so many Masterpieces.
Happy birthday Hamano-san! Thank you for the beautiful music you make!!!
Minako Hamano has done amazing work for the Metroid series. Without her, a large portion of the immersive experience that goes into Metroid would be lost. She has my eternal thanks.
I love how she composed the music for Zelda: Link’s Awakening and also some in the Metroid series, so happy birthday to her!
The game that got me into the series was Zero Mission. I was playing the in the sound menu replaying the songs more than I played the game sometimes. Thank you for some great music and wish you a very happy birthday Hamano Minako. Thank you
Thank you Hamano-san, you indeed played a important role in our lives by sharing amazing musics and your talent. Thank you so much and Happy Birthday!
Some of the most iconic music, not just video game music either. When I listen to Metroid’s music, it takes me back to my childhood. Thanks for the memories!
Thanks for your amazing music and happy birthday Hamano-san!!
Happy birthday Hamano-san! Thank you for all of the Metroid music
Thanks to Hamano-san for her awesome contribution to the Metroid series and I dare include Donkey Kong Country Returns. My apologies for Google Translate: どうもありがとうございます！
The music in the Metroid series is certainly something else. No other game series has ever quite captured the same kind of atmosphere that Metroid has because its music really gives it a special identity. Happy birthday!
浜野さん、お誕生日おめでとうございます。子供の時から浜野さんの音楽が非常に気に入り、聞くのがいつも楽しかったです。これからの音楽を聴くを楽しみしています。(Hamano-san, I wish you a happy birthday. I liked listening to your music since I was a kid and it always was a good time. I look forward to hearing your future songs)
Very Happy Birthday to you Hamano-san! Thanks for all of your hard work over the years.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! I hope it’s a great one!
Happy birthday Minako Hamano! Your music set the mood for isolated deep space exploration. Thank you for all of your hard work.
Happy Birthday, Ms. Hamano-san! Your work on the series will always be treasured.
Happy birthday Hamano-sensei!! Your work is the main reason why I love Metroid so much!!
Happy birthday Hamano-San! You’ve created so many wonderful pieces of music throughout your career, my favorite being “Maridia Waters”. It’s partially motivated me to get a degree in music production! I hope your day is relaxing, and I look forward to your future contributions
Thank you for writing the soundtrack to my childhood. I wish only the best for you on your birthday.
I wish you a happy birthday Hamano-San! Thank you so much for your contributions to the Metroid, and other video game soundtracks that we all know and love.
Happy Birthday! Thank you for all the amazing work you have contributed to the Metroid soundtracks (among other Nintendo games). You better go eat a bunch of cake to celebrate… preferably in the shape of a Morph Ball!
A huge thank you to everyone who shared birthday wishes for Minako Hamano. Happy birthday, Hamano-san!