top of page

Batman: The Video Game

Composed by Naoki Kodaka

It was at this time that the Batman franchsie as a whole saw a resurgance in it's popularity, thanks in part to Frank Miller's 1986 graphic novel, The Dark Knight Returns, and Tim Burton's 1989 Batman movie. With the success of the Batman movie came the obligatory video game adaptation. Sunsoft at that point was a key developer for Nintendo, releasing titles such as Blaster Master, and the Nintendo port of Sega's Fantasy Zone. In the 90s, Sunsoft would be known for more titles based on properties owned by Warner Brothers. This game was one of the benchmark titles for Sunsoft and their games based on Warner Brothers properties. To help enhance the experience of this game, Sunsoft used one of their primary composers, Naoki Kodaka to help with the score.

Kodaka had been playing the piano since he was a child, and always enjoyed learning how to play what was popular at the time. He studied at the Aichi Prefectural University of the Arts, and then after graduation, became a composer for radio and television. He was introduced to Sunsoft through a friend who considered Kodaka as "this young composer who plays at the game center all day." While many video game composers of this era had issues with the limitations of the sound chips within the consoles they composed music for, Kodaka had nothing but praise for the Sunsoft team, and their ability to go beyond what sound chips were capable of at the time, according to the Rom Cassette Disc in Sunsoft liner notes translated by Shmuplations. He would write the music on sheets, and his team would translate his notes and would adjust the music based on his feedback. In 2002, Kodaka retired from composing video game music, and became a music theory and computer music instructor at Daido University. 

There were multiple Batman video games released in the late 80s and early 90s. The Batman game released for the Nintendo, to coincide with the Tim Burton movie, is considered one of Nintendo's best game's based on a movie. The music didn't try to replicate Danny Elfman's score from the movie, nor did it try to tack on music just to rush out a product. Effort was put into every aspect of this game, including the music.

bottom of page