Square Enix has shared the sad news that Japanese composer Koichi Sugiyama passed away on September 30, 2021, at the age of 90 due to septic shock. Sugiyama is best known for composing the music for the hugely popular Dragon Quest series, having contributed more than 500 tracks to the legendary RPG franchise. According to Guinness World Records, Sugiyama was the oldest video game composer.

A machine translation of Square Enix’s obituary for Sugiyama:

Koichi Sugiyama has contributed to the development of the series by working on the music for our game “Dragon Quest” series for many years. The deceased composed all of the more than 500 songs in the “Dragon Quest” series by himself, and his last job was to compose “Dragon Quest XII Chosen Fate no Haze”. I’m sorry to say that I would like you to continue to produce it together, but the music of “Dragon Quest” will be in your memory forever, and will continue to live in the world of the game of “Dragon Quest”. I will come. We would like to express our deepest respect and gratitude for Koichi S ugiyama’s achievements during his lifetime.

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.

Born on April 11, 1931, Sugiyama began writing music in high school before moving on to start his professional career at Fuji TV. He also worked as a director on programs such as Adult Manga, The Hit Parade, and Shinshun Kakushigei Taikai.

Some of the awards that Sugiyama has won:

  • Received the 30th Japan Record Award for Special Planning for “Symphonic Suite Dragon Quest III” in 1988.
  • In 1989, won the 3rd Gold Disc Award in the planning category for “Dragon Quest III and to the Legend …”
  • 2016 Certified as Guinness World Records as “the oldest composer in the world to compose game music”
  • Received the Order of the Rising Sun in the autumn of 2018
  • Received the 2020 JASRAC Award “Silver Award”
  • Selected as Person of Cultural Merit in 2020

Source: Square Enix (via Gematsu)

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1 Comment

  1. That grill looks straight out of England.

    Dragon Quest 1, which I got for free with a Nintendo Power subscription, was the first big RPG I managed to beat and got me hooked on JRPGs in general. I fondly recall the game and the music.

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