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Irem Software Engineering
Founded 1997
Headquarters Hakusan, Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan
Other Names International Playing Machine

Irem Software Engineering, Inc. is a Japanese game developer and publisher best known for the R-Type series.

Irem was founded in 1974 with the name International Playing Machine, but changed their name to Irem Corporation in 1979. Irem also published games on the Nintendo Entertainment System. On April 1, 1986, the company opened up a division called Tamtex (株式会社タムテックス), which appears to have focused on the home console market. The company developed many licensed and original titles. They are probably best known for the game Metal Storm.

In 1994, they ceased all new game development. The company was given renewed life when, on April 15, 1997, Nanao (which later merged with Eizo Corporation) founded Irem Software Engineering, Inc..


Music Development


For Tamtex's games, the company used a custom sound driver, possibly by Ikuko Mimori.

For the game Kickle Cubicle, Masahiko Ishida programmed a sound driver and used a piece of software for the NES that worked like a piano roll. This same sound driver was used in Ai Sensei no Oshiete: Watashi no Hoshi, but Ishida denies involvement with that title.


Irem's SNES sound driver, based on the credits in various games, was programmed by Motoyuki Yoshioka. Unlike most other SNES sound driver, Irem's SNES sound driver is unique and is not based on Nintendo's Kankichi-kun sound driver.

However, there were other sound programmers credited in games that use the same driver; "H. Saitoh" (R-Type III), Ryo and Question (Undercover Cops), and Toshihiko Kobayashi (Rocky Rodent).

Audio Personnel

Picture Gallery