Hi! I’m Shoji Meguro (u/GunsUndarkness), the main composer of the Persona games, Digital Devil Saga, and Trauma Center. I’ve recently begun my indie creator voyage with my new game Guns Undarkness which is currently up on Kickstarter. Won’t you join to talk about music, indie games, and demons in High School!

Proof: Here's my proof!

Comments: 258 • Responses: 47  • Date: 

sneakycrown165 karma

Whats it like knowing most people who have heard your works have been moved to tears at some point during their experiences? Your music is a huge reason why these games are so memorable, your ability to make the music match the atmospheres flawlessly.

Thank you for your music.

GunsUndarkness203 karma

When I first started composing song I had no idea I would have the kind of impact. It really makes me happy... and could move ME to tears! Thank you for your listening!

Traxgen156 karma

How has the transition to being an indie developer been? What are some of the biggest challenges you've had to deal with, as compared to your time in Atlus?

Love all your work so far - am still listening to the Persona 5 OST on loop to this day!

GunsUndarkness218 karma

Making the decision to leave Atlus was the most challenging. I've worked there most of my composing life so it wasn't easy to do but once I did, I've really enjoyed making my own game.

GunsUndarkness110 karma

I have about 5 more minutes left so any last minute questions? Also if you get the chance to check out Guns Undarkness I would be grateful. It is my indie dream and I couldn't make it without the support of backers.


GunsUndarkness102 karma

Good morning everyone! Thank you for joining me!

GunsUndarkness90 karma

Thank you everyone. That's all the time I have but I really appreciate all of you who came to this AMA! If you do get a chance to check out my game or tell someone about it I would really appreciate it. I need all the word-of-mouth support I can get.


Ok_Excitement354283 karma

Has there ever been a game which you composed for, that you wish you could remix the songs for again?

GunsUndarkness196 karma

I would love to remix Persona 5 actually.

Trem4581 karma

Hello Mr. Meguro! Big fan of your work! I had two questions for you

  1. Who is your favorite character in Persona?

  2. What is your favorite soundtrack that wasn't composed by you?

Looking forward to your new works!

GunsUndarkness182 karma

1) I love Chie-chan from Persona 4

2) Megami Tensei 4 - Final (This was composed by Kozuka-san)

Demonee-HoKun80 karma

Enjoy Persona Live!
What guitars and effects pedals are you using?

GunsUndarkness113 karma

Pender Stratocaster and I use empress heavy pedals

Random_Nom59 karma

Do you play the games you compose for? Does it feel weird hearing your music in the background?

GunsUndarkness110 karma

Absolutely. It feels really weird to play a game that has your music playing in the background.

Asgartinus53 karma

What is your opinion about Adachi from Persona 4?

GunsUndarkness100 karma

I didn't like Adachi-san at first but there are a lot of fans that like Adachi-san so I was surprised by that

cmscaiman52 karma

Seeing as you mentioned Trauma Center, do you wish the series would make a return? Would you like to be involved again, if that were the case?

GunsUndarkness55 karma

Absolutely! I love that series!

TheGingerAleMan48 karma

I have two major questions

1: Is there any soundtrack that you regretted?

2: Are there any Atlus games that you feel are underappreciated? Could be an older game or something more recent.

GunsUndarkness89 karma

1) Revelations Persona released in 1996. I was new at the company and it just wasn't my best work.

2) I wish Maken X was more popular.

TheGingerAleMan64 karma

Wow, Revelations: Persona of all games? I get that you didn't really do much for it, but of the songs you did compose, they're all great! Aria Of The Soul is iconic, and the music for the infested Mikage Hospital really gives off the atmosphere of a place that you wanna leave ASAP. I also love the funky sound of the Black Market's music.

And yeah, Maken X really is underappreciated.

GunsUndarkness55 karma

Thank you for the nice words!

Phyxse47 karma

Hey thank you so much for holding this AMA and congratulations on the project !

I was wondering, since composing for video games can be so specific with the constraint of some music needing to be able to fade into others almost at any point and others like it... As a game designer / director, do you already have in your mind what the music would be ? How it would fade in and out of the action and so on ?

Good luck to you and the whole team Meguro-san !

GunsUndarkness85 karma

That's a good question. I always prepare a song to be cut into or out of but the key to good RPG music is a good intro that catches you right away.

BeatrixDavis12343 karma

There's a song in Digital Devil Saga (Blade) that sounds very similar to Maken X (Sicily), was the song reused for a purpose?

GunsUndarkness80 karma

You nailed it. In Maken X you use a sword (Ken) as you do with DDS (Blade).

Its-a-me_LouieG41 karma

What inspirations influenced the soundtracks of Persona 3 FES and Persona 4 Golden?

GunsUndarkness112 karma

With 3 I wanted to make future pop - Something that suggests music in the future.

With 4 - It was Pop Rock!

KoberanteAD41 karma

Which songs have you enjoyed the most composing? Do you think you get enough recognition?

GunsUndarkness134 karma

I loved making Persona 4's reach out to the truth. Sometimes I feel I get too much recognition.

Complex_Excitement34 karma

What is your thought process when you are designing the opening and ending songs of a game?

Thank you for doing this AMA!

GunsUndarkness82 karma

It's embarrassing but I actually don't have a process so coming up with an opening song is quite challenging for me. If you have any tips or ideas I'd love to hear them! Thank you for coming to this AMA!

ZeldaKid_N6431 karma

What is your favorite Persona game?

GunsUndarkness88 karma

Persona 5 The Royal!

LunuYes28 karma

Would you work on a mainline SMT game again if given the opportunity?

GunsUndarkness78 karma

Yep. If Atlus wanted my support on that I would jump at the chance.

BeatrixDavis12327 karma

I have a few questions 🙂

  1. What is your favourite soundtrack you have composed? Do you have a favourite song from it in particular?
  2. Is it harder working on your own for Guns Undarkness than at Atlus?
  3. What approach did you take when composing Strange Journey's soundtrack?

I'm excited to hear your work for Guns Undarkness and will happily continue to support your future endeavours. Thank you!

GunsUndarkness40 karma

Guns Undarkness is definitely harder but also more fulfilling. I wanted to have a unique chorus in the game right from the start so I already had that "inspiration" on Strange Journey

ZeldaKid_N6427 karma

Out of all the Megami Tensei artists, which one is your favorite?

GunsUndarkness40 karma

I love Soejima-san! (Character Designer)

JalopesTL25 karma

Who are some of your biggest non-video-game-related musical inspirations? What artists do you enjoy listening to?

And thank you for the incredible work you've done over the years, your work is a huge inspiration for me!

GunsUndarkness55 karma

Listening to Classical music is a better inspiration than listening to modern music actually. And thank you for listening to my work!

MykeRave23 karma

What do you do in you're free time between composing/coding/creating GunsUndarkness? Also how long is that free time?

GunsUndarkness73 karma

I'm hanging out with my child

AlarmingTonight614822 karma

How do you go about writing music? Your chord progressions are very unique and driving, and every time I listen to your songs I pick up on new details. Do you have any tips for mixing specifically? Your levels are always perfect.

GunsUndarkness42 karma

First you need to start with figuring out the melody and chords. Or rather that needs to just come to you. Once you've figured out that, you need to build out the structure of the song.

CognitiveThoughtwork19 karma

What is your favorite food? Is there a snack or meal that gets you in the groove to create?

GunsUndarkness68 karma

Pringles! That always puts me in the mood!

Luigi_Aguiar19 karma

Which DAW do you use? Do you have any favorite plugins or music making tools?

Thanks for doing an AMA, I'm a huge fan!

GunsUndarkness34 karma

Pro Tools. I use the Abbey Road EQ as far as plug-ins go.

CognitiveThoughtwork18 karma

Have you achieved your Magnum opus yet? If so what song was it, if not what do you think it will be like?

GunsUndarkness150 karma

Persona 3 "kimi no kioku" would be my Magnum Opus.

BeatrixDavis12317 karma

What is your favourite Shin Megami Tensei game and demon?

GunsUndarkness74 karma

I like Shin Megami Tensei Nocturne and my favorite demon is Jack Frost!

BigGalaxylol16 karma

Even if you don’t reach the stretch goal for fishing. Will u still add fishing?

GunsUndarkness37 karma

I really want to put it in the game so I may need to do it in a scoped down version if we don't get there. I really hope we do though.

Worried_Stay712516 karma

Did you mentor the younger guys at Atlus like Kozuka-san or Konishi-san? Where does Atlus find all these extremely talented people? Were you involved in their recruiting maybe? You're almost a world famous composer now, and your work is legendary, but it's surprising that there's on top of that so many other great composers working at Atlus.

GunsUndarkness30 karma

While at Atlus I did provide guidance to them but now that I'm focused on Guns Undarkness, they are doing their own work and it's great!

arceus167815 karma

If you could do a remix of any song from Shin Megami Tensei V, which one would you choose?

GunsUndarkness36 karma

I would remix 日常. I think that is something like "daily activity". It was used in the overworld

sbin31813 karma

仲間は4人いるとのことですが、まだ姿を見せていない人がいるようです。 kickstarter期間中にデザインやプロフィールは公開されますか?

I understand that there are four companions, but there are some who have not yet shown up. Will the designs and profiles be available during the kickstarter period?

GunsUndarkness17 karma

Yep. There is a good chance you will see the last character in an update next week!

Kivadavia12 karma

What do you like the most in your work with music?

GunsUndarkness32 karma

Coming up with the melody. When the musical inspiration light bulb turns on, it's a great feeling

Electronic_Yak_718312 karma

Any songs you like listening to currently on the radio? Any artists on Spotify you’ve been listening to a lot lately?

GunsUndarkness33 karma

It's Japanese music. I like Fuji Kaze. But normally I listen to Classical Music.

Joser22H11 karma

Did you expect the sheer amount of love and support for your project almost immediately after launch and how has it actually effected everyone working on it

Also if you could make a sequel soundtrack to any game,movie,or tv what would it be?

GunsUndarkness23 karma

I was surprised by the support. I didn't think I would get so much so quickly.

cmscaiman10 karma

Oh, are you primarily planning on writing songs for AAA companies, or are you interested in collaborating with smaller studios and indie developers? And if Guns Undarkness is successful, do you plan on focusing solely on your own projects until retirement?

GunsUndarkness28 karma

Right now I really just want to work with Atlus and work on my indie game. That alone keeps me very busy.

HandBurger38 karma

Have you considered uploading more of your music like the Digital Devil Saga and Devil Summoner soundtracks on streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify?

cmscaiman15 karma

certainly atlus owns them 🥲

GunsUndarkness29 karma

Yep. They are Atlus's IP.

Grzybojad8 karma

What's your favorite video game soundtrack (of the games you didn't work on)?

GunsUndarkness27 karma

I loved the Sega Rally. When Atlus was bought by Sega and I got to meet Mitsuyoshi-san I was so happy!

arceus16788 karma

How much did you enjoy composing the new songs in Devil Survivor 2 Record Breaker? And if there were a future Devil Survivor game, would you want to compose songs for it?

GunsUndarkness16 karma

I would say the word "enjoy" isn't right per say. It was a challenge to compose but I did like the game so if that opportunity came I would jump on it

Grzybojad7 karma

First of all, congratulations on the Guns Undarkness Kickstarter! I love your music (I often listen to it in my daily life) and I'm very curious about your indie creator voyage.

What led you to create your own game? Is it something you always wanted to do, or did you just want to do something where you're 100% in charge after working for Atlus for many years?

GunsUndarkness17 karma

I always wanted to make my own game. I submitted a few design documents at Atlus while I was there so it's always been a dream of mine to make a game.

TigrePopulista6 karma

Thoughts on Fortnite?

GunsUndarkness48 karma

I haven't played much of it. People are just too good and I get destroyed. LOL.

Windermed5 karma

Hello! Thank you for the opportunity to let us ask questions

Out of everything you've composed for the Megami Tensei Franchise, Which game's soundtrack would you say is your favorite?

Looking forward to GU by the way!

GunsUndarkness9 karma

I answered the Megami Tensei question above (Nocturne) and thank you for looking forward to Guns Undarkness!

Parel15 karma

Have you done any game programming prior to starting on Guns Undarkness? Your interview in Update #3 was very inspiring, and you seem to have a good handle on the amount of work that will be required.

What is your personal favorite song from the Persona 3, 4 and 5 soundtracks?

GunsUndarkness20 karma

I've actually been programming here and there since Elementary school but did take proper programming classes in College.

BeatrixDavis1234 karma

How did you first come to work at Atlus and why did you decide to leave?

GunsUndarkness18 karma

I had multiple interviews at different game companies but Atlus was kind enough to give me a job. I left so that I could focus on my indie career.

HandBurger33 karma

Will you continue creating music beyond Guns Undarkness?

GunsUndarkness24 karma

Yep. I'm fully staying on the indie path and will continue to do music for Altus when they ask while working on my own games.

LordQuas02 karma

Who is, in your opinion, the most creative composer at Atlus in terms of taking risks and trying new ideas?

GunsUndarkness14 karma

I can't really say one. They are all pretty amazing if you ask me.