Jump to content

Rieko Kodama (Phantasy Star, Skies of Arcadia, 7th Dragon) has died


Recommended Posts

I was sad to read this on Twitter this morning. Her games meant a lot to me, particularly Phantasy Star 1 & 4.


Back in my youth, we got a second hand Master System which came with Phantasy Star and Spellcaster. For a Spectrum owner it seemed right out of the space age. While I never beat Phantasy Star legitimately back in the day, I'm fairly sure I saw the end credits thanks to a leftover save from a previous owner just before the Dark Force fight, and there was "Total Design: Phoenix Rie". I did legitimately beat Spellcaster though (thanks in a great part to a guide in an old copy of S Magazine that arrived with the console), and there again was "Phoenix Rie" (and also, if my memory serves me correctly, someone going by the pseudonym "Sexy Dynamite"). I knew it was a name to look out for, even though I didn't know who Phoenix Rie really was!


Phantasy Star 1 was my first ever RPG, and it gave me a party consisting of a female lead, a talking cat, Dolph Schwarzenegger and a non-binary wizard. That's how you do it! Amusingly, while Kodama's original intent of having Lutz be non-gender-specific was abandoned, the shoddy English translation managed to give Noah a mixture of male and female pronouns. Found in translation!


Phantasy Star 4, which Kodama directed, was one of the gems of what I think of as my emulation era, discovering all the great 16-bit JRPGs I missed out on via emulators like KGen96 and Snes9x. It's a perfect capstone on a series, generously embracing everything that had gone before, including the distinctly black sheep that was PS3. I've always been bewildered that no-one copied its anime-tile cutscene style, which along with the party-talk mechanism did so much to bring the characters to life.


To my great shame, I've never played Skies of Arcadia, although as a Phantasy Star fan, I was really excited when it was announced. I really must get a modded Dreamcast at some point and remedy that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. Use of this website is subject to our Privacy Policy, Terms of Use, and Guidelines.