Koichi Sugiyama—known for both his incredible history of contributions to the world of video game music and his controversial political stances—has passed away. He was 90 years old, and passed due to septic shock on September 30. His close family and friends already held a funeral for the revered composer.
Sugiyama started composing music for anime and then video games after he went freelance in 1958, and he would go on to work on compositions for titles ranging from Cyborg 009 to Science Ninja Team Gatchaman: The Movie and beyond. He then built his legacy at Enix after sending them a fan letter for a PC Shogi game. Enix invited him to compose music for some of their games, including the first Dragon Quest, which would greatly influence video game compositions as a whole and lead to Sugiyama creating over 500 songs for the series.
Sugiyama contributed to Dragon Quest soundtracks right up to the end of his life, including the as-yet-unreleased Dragon Quest XII: The Flames of Fate, which is the next main entry in the series. Throughout his time at Square Enix, he earned the title of being the first video game composer to record with a full live orchestra, and was awarded honors such as the Order of the Rising Sun 4th Class, Gold Rays with Rosette in 2018 and selection as a Person of Cultural Merit.
Audiences will never forget the way he shaped the music of video games and created timeless classics along the way.