Dragon Quest: Controversial Game Composer Dies at 90 Years Old


Dragon Quest: The composer of the soundtracks for all Dragon Quest series games, Koichi Sugiyama, passed away in Japan at the age of 90. He created the music for all 11 games in the main series working on his own, and the soundtrack for the next game – not yet released – will be written by him. Sugiyama will not only be remembered for his talent, but also for his controversies.

Square Enix estimates that the composer has created a total of at least 500 music tracks for the game series in his prolific career. Dragon Quest XII, still without a released release date, will mark the debut of their latest works.

And it’s in the game’s music that one of the composer’s controversies comes in, because Sugiyama is the reason Dragon Quest XI was originally released only with the soundtrack in MIDI format. His view is that players interested in hearing the original orchestrated versions should buy the CDs for that.

But some of the biggest controversies involving Sugiyama, unfortunately, took place outside the gaming world. The composer had an ultra-nationalist stance and for years has been involved with historical denial groups in Japan. His support for the “Committee for Historical Facts”, a group of people who try to deny the inhumane – and admittedly documented – practices of Japanese soldiers during Sino-Japanese War (1894 – 1895) and World War II (1939 – 1945).


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