Culture Brain

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Culture Brain
Culture Brain - 01.jpg
Founded 1980-10-05
Headquarters 2-5-7 Taihei, Sumida-ku, Tokyo 130-0012, Japan
Other Names Nihon Games, Inc., Micro Academy

Culture Brain (株式会社カルチャーブレーン) was a Japanese game developer. They are known in the USA for their games such as The Magic of Scheherazade and in Japan, they are known for their Hiryuu no Ken games. They originally went by the name Nihon Games, then changed it to Micro Academy before permanently changing it to Culture Brain. The company also produced the Pro Mahjong Tsuwamono series in Japan (no relation to Athena's Pro Mahjong Kiwame series). The company also had an American office located in Redmond, Washington.

The company was known for almost never putting credits in their games. Their first game to have credits was Hiyuu no Ken 2, in which the developers names are actually responses to the roles. The rest of their games with credits had the developers use aliases that sounded like real names. For example, Yukio Tanaka was always credited as Yumenosuke Akademiya, and an unknown programmer who went by David E. Yamamoto. During their SNES period, they were a bit better about game credits, but still left them out of most games.

In 2016, the company changed their name to Culture Brain Excel (カルチャーブレーンエクセル).


Music Development


A sound driver was programmed by somebody named David Yamamoto, though this is most likely an alias. The music had to be written in 6502 assembly. Shunichi Mikame started off writing his compositions on sheet music which were then sent to Culture Brain to be implemented in the game, but he later ended up learning to use the sound driver. Akinori Sawa most likely only sent sheet music to the developers.


Culture Brain reprogrammed Nintendo's Kankichi-kun sound driver, in particular, the S1.20 version. It is unknown how SNES music at Culture Brain was created exactly, but it was likely a custom MML. It sounds like the instrument samples are from an Ensoniq EPS and the drums are from a Korg M1.

Audio Personnel