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Sega veteran and Phantasy Star designer Rieko Kodama handed away – Destructoid
1963 – 2022
Sega veteran Rieko Kodama, who has been a key determine within the idea and visible design of so most of the studio’s iconic franchises, handed away on Might 9, 2022. She was 58.
Whereas Kodama’s passing occurred through the spring of this 12 months, particulars of her loss of life weren’t extensively reported out of respect for Kodama and for the privateness of her household. The unhappy information grew to become widespread after a memorial message was found within the credit of the just lately launched Sega Mega Drive Mini II console.
Born in 1963 in Yokosuka, Japan, Kodama devoted her scholarly years to a mixed curiosity in artwork and design, in addition to archaeology, notably fascinated by the mysteries of Historic Egypt. As she progressed by means of college, Kodama discovered herself drawn to graphic design and the visible arts — taking specific curiosity within the then-fledgling area of video video games. Upon leaving schooling, Kodama would discover a position at Sega in 1984, an organization that she would stay with all through her complete profession.
Underneath the pseudonym of “Phoenix Rie”, Kodama would ply her inventive expertise creating sprites and phases for all kinds of Sega Grasp System classics. Tutored by in-house artist Yoshiki Kawasaki, Kodama labored on titles equivalent to The Ninja, Quartet, Champion Boxing, and the long-lasting Alex Kidd in Miracle World. In these early years, Kodama’s magnum opus was the massively profitable RPG Phantasy Star, for which she served because the lead artist, creating the beloved and groundbreaking feminine protagonist Alis. As a result of sport’s success, Kodama would function a design lead on all Phantasy Star sequels.
Rieko Kodama handed away on Might 9, 2022. I’ve very fond reminiscences of her as a result of we had been Sega colleagues and created Phantasy Star and Sonic collectively. I wasn’t positive concerning the funeral footage, however I wished everybody to recollect her. Might she relaxation in peace. Rieko Kodama, without end. pic.twitter.com/lw9UTxLXbS
— Yuji Naka / 中 裕司 (@nakayuji) October 27, 2022
Into the Nineteen Nineties, Kodama would proceed her design work with Sega, having a hand within the visible model of Sega Mega Drive video games equivalent to Sorcerian, Shadow Dancer, Alex Kidd within the Enchanted Fort, and the smash-selling Sonic the Hedgehog and its sequel, Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Rising to the rank of producer, Kodama was the venture lead on the tightly-held Dreamcast RPG Skies of Arcadia, thought of by many to be unsung within the annals of the style’s most interesting examples.
In 2018, Kodama would obtain the Pioneer Award on the Video games Builders Selection Awards for her many a long time of labor as an artist, producer, and key affect for others throughout the trade.
Rie Kodama has been a key determine within the progress and institution of Sega, in addition to curator of the reminiscences of generations of gaming followers. Importantly, her position as one of many trade’s pioneering lady builders — a job she welcomed, demonstrated, and embodied with absolute delight — stays the core of her legacy. An indelible legacy that can proceed to dwell on within the hearts and minds of associates, work colleagues, and thousands and thousands of gamers all all over the world.
‘Rieko Kodama, without end.’