Nihon Falcom

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Nihon Falcom
Type Public kabushiki kaisha
Traded as TYO: 3723
Industry Video games
Founded March 1981
Headquarters Japan
Key people Masayuki Kato, Founder
Toshihiro Kondo, President
Products Dragon Slayer
The Legend of Heroes
Vantage Master
Toshihiro Kondo, president of Nihon Falcom, at Seoul Next Visual Studio, on April 21, 2014

Nihon Falcom Corporation (日本ファルコム株式会社 Nihon Farukomu Kabushiki-kaisha?) is a Japanese video game company. The company was founded in March 1981 by Masayuki Kato. Falcom has played a definite role in the growth and development of the Japanese personal computer software industry. The company released the first Japanese role-playing video game in 1983 and followed with real-time action and adventure games as well as games with fully developed soundtracks. They were pioneers of the action role-playing game genre[1] and Japanese role-playing game industry,[2][3] and remain one of the oldest role-playing game developers still in existence today.[3]


Falcom was one of the three most important Japanese role-playing video game developers in the 1980s, alongside Enix and Square,[2] both of which were influenced by Falcom.[2][4] Falcom's flagship titles include the Dragon Slayer, The Legend of Heroes and Ys series. In the 1980s, these franchises, particularly Dragon Slayer, were responsible for setting the template for the action role-playing game genre,[1] and laying the foundations for the Japanese role-playing game industry.[2] Dragon Slayer II: Xanadu (1985) had more than 400,000 copies sold,[5] making it the best-selling PC game up until that time.[6]

While most of Falcom's games have been ported to various video game consoles of all generations, they have only developed a few non-PC video games themselves. The company's decision to develop mainly for PCs rather than consoles set them apart from their main rivals, Enix and Square, but limited the company's popularity in the Western world, thus limiting their growth potential in the 1990s.[2][3] Nevertheless, in terms of the number of game releases, Falcom's flagship Ys series is second only to Final Fantasy as the largest Eastern role-playing game franchise.[7]

Falcom was also a pioneer in video game music, with their early soundtracks mostly composed by chiptune musicians Yuzo Koshiro and Mieko Ishikawa,[7][8] and some arranged by Ryo Yonemitsu.[8][9] They were the first company to produce game music CDs, the first to apply vocals to game music, and one of the very first to have their own sound team composed of professional musicians dedicated to games, the Falcom Sound Team jdk.[7] Falcom's Ys soundtracks in particular are considered some of the finest and most influential role-playing game scores of all time.[10]

Published works[edit]

System indicated reflects the first release (or concurrent releases) of the game.

English-localized products[edit]

Many of these titles were not developed by Falcom, and in some cases bear little resemblance to the original game.

  • Faxanadu (NES) Nintendo
  • Tombs & Treasure (NES) Infocom
  • Ys: The Vanished Omens (SMS) Sega
  • Ancient Land of Ys (DOS) Kyodai Software Publishing
  • Legacy of the Wizard (NES) Brøderbund Software
  • Sorcerian (DOS PC) Sierra Entertainment
  • Ys Book I & II (Turbo CD) NEC Home Entertainment
  • Ys III: Wanderers from Ys (Genesis) Renovation Productions
  • Ys III: Wanderers from Ys (SNES) American Sammy
  • Ys III: Wanderers from Ys (Turbo CD) Turbo Technologies
  • Dragon Slayer: The Legend of Heroes (Turbo CD) Turbo Technologies
  • Brandish (SNES) Koei
  • Popful Mail: Magical Fantasy Adventure (Sega CD) Working Designs
  • Xanadu Next (N-Gage) Nokia
  • Legend of Heroes: A Tear of Vermillion (PSP) Namco Bandai Games
  • Legend of Heroes II: Prophecy of the Moonlight Witch (PSP) Namco Bandai Games
  • Legend of Heroes III: Song of the Ocean (PSP) Namco Bandai Games
  • Ys: The Ark of Napishtim (PS2) Konami
  • Ys: The Ark of Napishtim (PSP) Konami
  • Ys Book 1 (mobile) Hudson
  • Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure (PSP) Mastiff Games
  • Ys Strategy (DS) Rising Star Games
  • Ys Book I & II (Virtual Console) Hudson
  • Legacy of Ys: Books I & II (DS) Atlus
  • Faxanadu (Virtual Console) Hudson
  • Ys Seven (PSP) XSEED Games
  • Ys I & II Chronicles (PSP) XSEED Games
  • Ys: The Oath in Felghana (PSP) XSEED Games
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky (PSP) XSEED Games
  • Ys: The Oath in Felghana (Steam) XSEED Games
  • Ys Origin (Steam) XSEED Games
  • Ys I & II Chronicles+ (Steam) XSEED Games
  • Ys Memories of Celceta (PS VITA) XSEED Games
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky SC (PSP/Steam) XSEED Games

Many Falcom games have been licensed and developed by other companies such as NEC, Hudson Soft, Epoch, Tokyo Shoseki (aka Tonkin House), Sega, RIOT, Victor, Koei and Konami, for various PC and video game systems.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Bailey, Kat (May 18, 2010). "Hack and Slash: What Makes a Good Action RPG?". Retrieved 2011-07-11. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Szczepaniak, John (7 July 2011). "Falcom: Legacy of Ys". GamesTM (111): 152–159 [153]. Retrieved 2011-09-07.  (cf. Szczepaniak, John (July 8, 2011). "History of Ys interviews". Hardcore Gaming 101. Retrieved 6 September 2011. )
  3. ^ a b c Gifford, Kevin (09/07/2011). "The Trail of Nihon Falcom: The president of Japan's oldest existing RPG maker speaks". Retrieved 13 September 2011.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  4. ^ John Harris (July 2, 2009). "Game Design Essentials: 20 RPGs - Dragon Slayer". Gamasutra. p. 13. Retrieved 2011-03-02. 
  5. ^ "Xanadu Next home page". Retrieved 2008-09-08.  (Translation)
  6. ^ Hendricks, Fayyaad (22 December 2011). "A complete history of role-playing videogames: Part 2". EL33TONLINE. Retrieved 25 December 2011. 
  7. ^ a b c Szczepaniak, John (7 July 2011). "Falcom: Legacy of Ys". GamesTM (111): 152–159 [154]. Retrieved 2011-09-08.  (cf. Szczepaniak, John (July 8, 2011). "History of Ys interviews". Hardcore Gaming 101. Retrieved 8 September 2011. )
  8. ^ a b Kalata, Kurt (11/27/10). "Ys". Hardcore Gaming 101. Retrieved 3 September 2011.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  9. ^ Ryan Mattich. "Falcom Classics II". RPGFan. Retrieved 3 September 2011. 
  10. ^ Chris Greening & Don Kotowski (February 2011). "Interview with Yuzo Koshiro". Square Enix Music Online. Retrieved 2011-06-20. 

External links[edit]