Dragon Quest
Image: Square Enix / Nintendo Life

Dragon Quest composer Koichi Sugiyama passed away on September 30th, Square Enix has confirmed. He was 90 years old. The cause of death was septic shock.

Sugiyama's work on the massively popular JRPG series is immense; he composed more than 500 songs for the franchise, with his final contribution being for the upcoming Dragon Quest XII.

Given his involvement with Dragon Quest, Sugiyama was seen as an inspiration for many musicians in the video game arena, but his background was originally in creating music for TV shows and movies. He was named a Person of Cultural Merit by the Japanese government in 2020.

The composer became something of a controversial character in his later years due to his political activism; he was involved with the promotion of Japanese nationalism and questioned the validity of reports of Japanese war crimes during World War II.

"We would like to express our deepest respect and gratitude for Koichi Sugiyama's achievements during his lifetime," a statement from Square Enix reads. "The funeral and farewell ceremony was held only by relatives and close relatives. Please refrain from condolences, incense, offerings, flowers, etc. due to the wishes of the bereaved family. We are planning to hold a farewell party with everyone at a later date, but the schedule etc. are undecided. Thank you for your understanding."

Dragon Quest creator Yuji Horii had this to say about the news:

I'm really sorry to hear Mr. Sugiyama's sudden obituary. Thirty-five years after making Dragon Quest, Professor Sugiyama has brought the life of music to the world. The teacher wrote a lot of really wonderful songs. Dragon Quest will continue to be with the teacher's music. The teacher should stay alive in the hearts of our users. Sugiyama-sensei, Thank you very much for a long time.

Akira Toriyama, whose art is synonymous with the series, said:

I was surprised to hear the obituary of Dr. Sugiyama. From the impression I had when I met just a few years ago In a good way, I thought of it as a witch with eternal life. The image of Dragon Quest is Mr. Sugiyama, who has loved games since that time It was determined by a number of wonderful and impressive masterpieces. It is no exaggeration to say that. It was a great honor to work with you for a long time! We pray for the souls from the bottom of my heart.