Beloved artist and character designer behind some of the Shining Force and Stalker games at Climax Entertainment, Yoshitaka Tamaki, unfortunately passed away from lung cancer on July 13th, 2023 at the still-too-young age of 55. He was just recently mourned in a private funeral service, according to a post from his own twitter that was translated by Gosokkyu.
Tamaki-san’s artwork was easily recognizable with its stylized merging of anime and Disney-esce visual styles. Sega fans will remember his art best from games like Shining in the Darkness, Shining Force, Landstalker, Time Stalkers, and Shining Soul I and II, each of the Sega games he worked on during his time at Climax Entertainment, the developers of all except for the two Shining Soul games. Before all that, he got his start in the video game industry working freelance at Enix until getting noticed by Climax and asked to design art for their first Genesis game, the aforementioned Shining in the Darkness. Besides those games, he would also illustrate for games like FEDA: The Emblem of Justice (both the Super Famicom original and its Sega Saturn remake), FEDA 2: White Surge, Alundra, and Assault Suits Vaiken. Unfortunately, photos of him are rare because he was rather camera shy in life.
We at Segabits humbly thank him for gracing us with his talent and wish the best for his friends and family. His stamp on Sega and video game history will remain long into his absence.
Feel free to take in some of his amazing art from the Sega games he worked on as well as leave some best wishes and fond memories in the comments after the break.