Koichi Sugiyama

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Kōichi Sugiyama
Koichi Sugiyama - 3.jpg
Local 杉山 浩一 (すぎやま こういち)
Gender Male
Born April 11, 1931
Birth Place Tokyo, Japan
Nationality Japanese   Japan.svg
Died September 30, 2021 (aged 90)
Website sugimania.com

Kōichi Sugiyama was a Japanese music composer, council member of JASRAC (Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers, and Publishers), board member of the Japan Institute for National Fundamentals, and honorary chairman of the Japanese Backgammon League, and composed a song for the Famicom Disk System title. He is best known for composing music for the Dragon Quest video game series, which is published by Square Enix, and several Japanese anime and TV shows, such as Space Runaway Ideon, Cyborg 009, and Gatchaman.

A classically trained conductor, he was considered a primary inspiration for other game music composers such as Nobuo Uematsu, and has been referred to as a "Big boss of game music."

Sugiyama had received two Guinness World Record awards, one for the first video game-inspired ballet, and the second for being the oldest working video game music composer.

On September 30, 2021, Sugiyama passed away at age 90. His music will always be remembered amongst the video game music community.

Music Development


Koichi made sheet music of his compositions and sent them to Enix and Chunsoft, where the music was arranged on the NES' Ricoh 2A03 in assembly machine code. The sound arrangers and programmers included Masumi Takimoto, Takenori Yamamori and Yasuhiro Taguchi.

Backgammon uses a sound engine by Hirokazu Tanaka, so he may have arranged his music as well. Sugiyama's only contribution to the game was the song for the Demonstration and Match Play theme. It's possible that the other game's composer, Yuka Tsujiyoko did the arrangements as well.


Released Title Sample Notes
1984-08-?? Zarth (FM7) (ザース)
1984-11-?? Wingman (PC88) (ウイングマン)
1985-02-?? Door Door mkII (SMZ) (ドアドアmk2)
1985-07-?? World Golf (PC88) (ワールドゴルフ)
1986-04-?? Wingman 2 (FM7) (ウイングマンII)
1986-05-27 Dragon Warrior (NES) (ドラゴンクエスト)
Arranged by Takenori Yamamori.
1987-01-26 Dragon Warrior II (NES) (ドラゴンクエストII 悪霊の神々) Arranged by Takenori Yamamori.
1987-04-?? Jesus (PC88) (ジーザス)
1987-05-?? Gandhara: Buddha no Seisen (PC88) (ガンダーラ 仏陀の聖戦)
1987-07-?? Animal Land: Satsujin Jiken (MSX) (アニマルランド殺人事件)
1987-10-?? World Golf 2 (PC88) (ワールドゴルフ2)
1987-12-?? Wingman Special (PC88) (ウイングマンSPECIAL さらば夢戦士)
1988-02-10 Dragon Warrior III (NES) (ドラゴンクエストIII そして伝説へ) Arranged by Tadashi Fukuzawa.
1988-03-18 Star Command (MSX) (スターコマンド)
1989-05-?? Angelus: The Gospel on Evil (PC88) (アンジェラス~悪魔の福音~)
1990-04-?? 46 Okunen Monogatari The Shinkaron (PC98) (46億年物語THE進化論)
1990-09-07 Backgammon (FDS) (バックギャモン)
Demonstration, Match Play Music Composition; Unknown arranger, possibly Hirokazu Tanaka.
1990-10-?? World Golf 3 (PC88) (ワールドゴルフ3) Arranged by Yasuhiro Taguchi.
1990-02-11 Dragon Warrior IV (NES) (ドラゴンクエストIV 導かれし者たち) Arranged by Masumi Takimoto and Tadashi Fukuzawa.
1991-02-08 Akagawa Jirou no Yuurei Ressha (FC) (赤川次郎の幽霊列車) Arranged by Yasuhiro Taguchi.
1991-03-?? Jesus II (PC88) (ジーザスII)
1991-07-28 Jesus II (X68) (ジーザスII) Arranged by Yasuhiro Taguchi.
1991-12-13 Tetris 2 + BomBliss (FC) (テトリス2+ボンブリス)
Arranged by Masumi Takimoto and Tadashi Fukuzawa.
1992-09-27 Dragon Quest V: Tenkuu no Hanayome (SFC) (ドラゴンクエストV 天空の花嫁) Arranged by Tadashi Fukuzawa, Takenori Yamamori, and Chiyoko Mitsumata.
1992-12-19 Hanjuku Eiyuu: Aa, Sekaiyo Hanjunare...!! (SFC) (半熟英雄[はんじゅくヒーロー] ああ世界よ半熟なれ)
1992-12-21 E.V.O.: Search for Eden (SNES) (46億年物語 はるかなるエデンへ) Arranged by Motoaki Takenouchi.
1993-03-05 Monopoly (SFC) (モノポリー)
1993-09-19 Torneko no Daibouken: Fushigi no Dungeon (SFC) (トルネコの大冒険 不思議のダンジョン)
1995-12-01 Fushigi no Dungeon 2: Fuurai no Shinen (SFC) (不思議のダンジョン2 風来のシレン)
1995-12-09 Dragon Quest VI (SFC) (ドラゴンクエストVI 幻の大地) Arranged by Tsukasa Tawada and Hitoshi Sakimoto.
1996-11-22 Fushigi no Dungeon: Fuurai no Shiren GB (GB) (不思議のダンジョン 風来のシレンGB 月影村の怪物)
1998-09-25 Dragon Warrior Monsters (GBC) (ドラゴンクエストモンスターズ テリーのワンダーランド)
1999-09-15 Torneko: The Last Hope (PS1) (ドラクエキャラクターズ トルネコの大冒険2 不思議のダンジョン)
2000-08-26 Dragon Quest VII (PS1) (ドラゴンクエストVII エデンの戦士たち)
2000-12-27 Fushigi no Dungeon: Fuurai no Shiren 2 - Oni Shuurai! Shiren Jou! (N64) (不思議のダンジョン 風来のシレン2 鬼襲来!シレン城!)
2001-03-09 Dragon Warrior Monsters 2: Cobi's Adventure (GBC) (ドラクエモンスターズ2 マルタのふしぎな鍵:ルカの旅立ち)
2001-04-12 Dragon Warrior Monsters 2: Tara's Adventure (GBC) (ドラクエモンスターズ2 マルタのふしぎな鍵:イルの冒険)
2001-07-27 Fushigi no Dungeon: Furai no Shiren GB2 (GBC) (不思議のダンジョン 風来のシレンGB2 砂漠の魔城)
2002-02-07 Fushigi no Dungeon: Furai no Shiren Gaiden: Jokenji Asuka Kenzan! (DC) (不思議のダンジョン 風来のシレン外伝 女剣士アスカ見参)
2002-10-31 Torneko Adventures 3: Mysterious Dungeon (PS2) (ドラクエキャラクターズ トルネコの大冒険3 不思議のダンジョン)
2003-03-29 Dragon Quest Monsters: Caravan Heart (GBA) (ドラクエモンスターズ キャラバンハート)
2003-11-14 Slime MoriMori Dragon Quest: Shougeki No Shippo Dan (GBA) (スライムもりもり ドラゴンクエスト 衝撃のしっぽ団)
2004-11-27 Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King (PS2) (ドラゴンクエストVIII 空と海と大地と呪われた姫君)
2006-12-28 Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker (DS) (ドラゴンクエストモンスターズ ジョーカー)
2009-07-11 Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies (DS) (ドラゴンクエストIX 星空の守り人)
2010-04-28 Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 2 (DS) (ドラゴンクエストモンスターズ ジョーカー2)
2012-05-31 Dragon Quest Monsters: Terry's Wonderland 3D (DS) (ドラゴンクエストモンスターズ テリーのワンダーランド3D)
2012-08-02 Dragon Quest X (Wii) (ドラゴンクエストX 目覚めし五つの種族 オンライン)


While Sugiyama didn't really use aliases per se during his career, he was usually credited with his name in hiragana, as opposed to kanji.

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