Hudson Soft

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Hudson Soft Co., Ltd
Hudson Soft.svg
Founded 1973-05-18
Closed 2012-03-01
Headquarters Midtown Tower, Tokyo, Japan
Other Names Hudson

Hudson Soft Co., Ltd was a Japanese game developer. They initially started in 1973 making software for personal computers, but branched into video game design early on. They had several successful franchises including Adventure Island, Bomberman, Bonk, Lode Runner, and Mario Party. They also created the first 16-bit video game console, the TurboGrafx-16.

The company was also known for their spokesperson, Toshiyuki "Meijin" Takahashi, who was able to shoot 16 shots per second in the game Star Soldier due to his amazing skill in finger presses on the controller. Takahashi was also the basis of the character of Master Higgins in the Adventure Island series.

In 2012, Hudson was purchased by long-time partner Konami and absorbed by Konami Digital Entertainment, the video game division of the Konami holding company.

During its life, the company had several branches. Hudson Soft Co., Ltd was its primary Japanese branch and developer of all its games, but there were several publishing divisions as well. The most successful was Hudson Soft USA, Inc., their American publishing arm which exists from 1988 to 1995. Their European ventures weren't quite as successful with Hudson Soft Ltd lasting only from 1983 to 1984, and a second attempt with Hudson Soft Europe Limited publishing only a single game in 1995.


Music Development


There were several sound drivers programmed at Hudson Soft, mainly by Fumihiko Itagaki, Toshiaki Takimoto, and Katsunori Takahashi. These all required music to be entered in 6502 assembly language. Itagaki programmed the main sound driver and the others modified it for their own needs. It has a similar sound to Beam Software's sound earlier version of their NYNTH sound engine, in which there is a short silence between notes.

The NES game Lode Runner used a sound driver by Shinichi Nakamoto, as he was the sole programmer of the game.

Several of Hudson's earlier NES games like Raid on Bungeling Bay, Challenger, Binary Land and Nuts & Milk used a custom sound driver provided by Toshiyuki Sasagawa.


Hudson's only Mega Drive game, Mega Bomberman, the company used a sound driver by Shinichi Sakamoto. Though the game credits June Chikuma, it's possible Sakamoto arranged the music from the TurboGrafx-16 version himself.


The composers at Hudson used Nintendo's MP2K sound engine.


Hudson initially outsourced the sound programming of their SNES titles to T's Music. Later, Takayuki Iwabuchi developed Hudson's own sound driver, which was modified by various other sound programmers over the years.

The games Bill Laimbeer's Combat Basketball and Earth Light share a custom sound driver, but it is unknown who developed the sound engine, but it is possible it was by Make Software, a company that was working closely with Hudson Soft at the time.


All of Hudson's sound drivers for the TurboGrafx-16 were programmed by Takayuki Iwabuchi. Toshiyuki Sasagawa would convert the composers' music to the console via Music Macro Language using a PC-9801.

According to Keita Hoshi:

Hudson's sound engines were all created by Mr. Iwabuchi, so it is likely that Mr. Sasagawa was converting the composer's sequences to Music Macro.

In the second version of the driver, Toshiaki Takimoto was usually the one who was the sound programmer. After that, several people were usually credited for sound programming.


Composers Daisuke Inoue and June Chikuma both used Performer for the Macintosh and sent their compositions to Hudson to implement into the game's audio code. Takeaki Kunimoto used FM Music Composer II for his Yamaha CX-7 MSX2 computer with its built-in SFG-05 sound device.

Audio Personnel

When it came to music, Hudson usually hired professional musicians for better quality music.

These composers worked at Hudson Soft: