Manami Matsumae joins the development team of Heart Forth, Alicia as a composer

Brave Wave is pleased to announce a collaboration with Mexico-based indie developer Alonso Martin and his team on their upcoming game Heart Forth, Alicia! Manami Matsumae is joining their game as one of the composers, making new original music for various parts of the game including the Challenge Stages. Similar to what was done on Shovel Knight, Brave Wave is going to act as a bridge between the Western team and the Eastern composer by translating notes and directions, hand-delivering important documents and other coordination efforts.


Heart Forth, Alicia is an epic Metroidvania RPG that combines timeless 16- and 32-bit gameplay, modern mechanics, and a set of unique, intertwining stories to take you on a fantastic journey. The development is helmed by Mexico-based Alonso Martin, with collaborators from the United States including Owlboy’s composer Jonathan Geer, whom Manami Matsumae would collaborate with on a number of tracks. “When I saw the game trailer, I thought to myself: Wow, those are 2D pixels? They look so pretty, and yet this game reminds me of the old days of gaming,” comments Manami Matsumae on the game. “When I worked on Dragon Quest Swords, I wrote music that was orchestra-like in nature, and watching the trailer made me want to do just that again after such a long time.”

Manami Matsumae is famously known as the composer and sound designer of the original Mega Man, making both the addictive music and the memorable sound effects back then. As a veteran composer from the NES-era, Manami still pushes through to make compelling music even after more than 25 years of work. “Brave Wave’s Keiji Yamagishi has mentioned this before, but recently, Japan’s game industry has demanded composers who are able to write orchestrated music,” says Manami. “Those who cannot do that have a hard time finding projects. Other games are established series whose composers carry over to the next projects as well. So, getting those projects turns out to be such a competitive task among composers.” Manami found a more responsive audience in the West, and with Brave Wave’s help, she’s breaking into new territories with exciting projects. “I feel that all Japanese composers should look to markets outside of Japan, where there are plenty of opportunities to be had.”

Recently, Manami Matsumae performed live at BitSummit in front of an excited audience, playing new compositions from her Brave Wave catalogue and from games such as Mighty No. 9 and Shovel Knight. Her latest appearance on Brave Wave’s In Flux finds her joining forces with Tim McCord, the bassist of Grammy-winners Evanescence, working together for the first time. Manami comments, “I find it inspiring to work with talented composers from outside Japan. In the future, before I get too old, I want to make music that people will enjoy listening to. Brave Wave’s President, Mohammed, is constantly asking me to create a solo album. Now is not necessarily the time for that, but in a few years, I think this will become a possibility.”