What Will Happen to Dragon Quest 12 After Composer Koichi Sugiyama Passes Away

By Iyane Agossah

October 7, 2021

Sugiyama Kobo Co. Ltd announced on October 7 that Dragon Quest composer Koichi Sugiyama passed away on September 30. Koichi Sugiyama was 90 years old and the cause of death was Septic Shock. Square Enix published messages from Yuji Horii and Akira Toriyama on the official Dragon Quest website, as Sugiyama was working on Dragon Quest 12, we translated them below.

  • MORE – What we know on Dragon Quest 12 The Flames of Fate

Dragon Quest XII teaser trailer | Square Enix

Dragon Quest XII teaser trailer | Square Enix

Yuji Horii mentioned Koichi Sugiyama supported the Dragon Quest series for 35 years, bringing it to life with his music, ad how his music will stay alive in the hearts of the fans and the series.

Akira Toriyama said he remembers the first time he met with Sugiyama like it was yesterday. And in a sense, he always thought he was some kind of immortal wizard, in a good way. He concluded by saying it’s not an exaggeration to say Sugiyama composed many masterpieces for the series.

Sugiyama wasn’t only known as the composer of Dragon Quest in Japan. He also worked on anime starting 1978, with Tatsunoko Studio’s Science Ninja Team Gatchaman. He also composed music for horse racing, which is huge in Japan. Sugiyama was already a popular composer before the Dragon Quest series started on May 27, 1986. However, Dragon Quest is pretty much like a religion in Japan. With the games being released during holidays only, the fact that even adults who claim video games are for kids will still play them. Or how there are even schools using DQ BGM as a recess bell. So Sugiyama stayed on the series no matter what. Forming an iconic trio with director and writer Yuji Horii and character designer Akira Toriyama.

Will Dragon Quest 12 feature Koichi Sugiyama

Koichi Sugiyama was announced to be the composer of Dragon Quest XII The Flames of Fate when the game was officially announced in May 2021. However, Square Enix has been working on Dragon Quest XII since at least 2019 and it’s very likely Sugiyama was already done composing the OST for months now. This means there is only one final game, Dragon Quest XII, that will feature his music. Except for the overture fanfare / Dragon Quest opening theme which will definitely stay. Especially after seeing Yuji Horii’s message.

There are several other composers who worked on Dragon Quest spinoff games, so Square Enix could pick someone from there to replace Sugiyama for future Dragon Quest games after XII.

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Iyane Agossah

Living near Paris, Iyane is the head of Japanese content at DualShockers. He speaks Japanese, has been watching anime for over 25 years, and plays Genshin Impact mainly for its story. You can reach him on Twitter at @A_iyane07.

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