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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 game and adventure games as well as games with fully developed soundtracks. They were pioneers of the action role-playing game genre and industry, and remain one of the oldest role-playing game developers still in existence today.

OverviewEdit

Falcom were one of the three most important Japanese role-playing video game developers in the 1980s, alongside Enix and Squaresoft, both of which were influenced by Falcom. Falcom's flagship titles include the Dragon Slayer series, 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, and laying the foundations for the industry. Dragon Slayer II: Xanadu (1985) had more than 400,000 copies sold, making it the best-selling PC game up until that time.

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. Nevertheless, in terms of the number of game releases, Falcom's flagship Ys series is second only to Final Fantasy as the largest franchise.

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

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