Climax Entertainment illustrator Yoshitaka Tamaki passes away at 55 years old

Man, what’s with all the bad news lately? I’m sorry today’s been such a downer, Sega fans. I’ve saved the saddest, most serious news for last though.

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.

SEGA News Bits: Shining series turns 25 years old

25 years ago today, on March 29th 1991, Shining in the Darkness released to the Japanese Mega Drive. While the original game did not light the world on fire, the later Shining Force games would become some of the best strategy RPGs ever produced. The series is still going strong, at least in Japan, with Blade Arcus from Shining EX releasing just last year.

Whatever you may think about the recent installments, most fans agree that the Shining Force games were legendary and the original Shining in the Darkness is to thank for starting the franchise. Join us on this SEGA News Bits as we share our Shining memories and talk about the possible future of the series, and don’t forget to brush up on all the SEGA anniversaries hitting this year!

If you enjoy the SEGA News Bits video formats make sure to like, share and subscribe to our YouTube for more.


SEGA files trademark for “Shining Seed”

Shining Resonance Yuuma Jenius

News has just broken about SEGA’s trademark for “Shining Seed” going public. Gematsu writes that SEGA filed the trademark application on January 28th, with the trademark finally going public on February 10th. This is almost certainly the title for the next entry in the Shining series, though it’s hard to say what’s next in store for the franchise. Shining Resonance, which released last year on December 11th, was actually the first Shining game to appear on the seventh generation of consoles, and that generation is nearing its end.

Since its release in Japan, Shining Resonance has been regularly supported by DLC from SEGA. There’s been no word on Shining Resonance’s localization prospects as of yet.

Do you have something in mind for the future of the Shining series? Write back in the comments!


Article image courtesy of Gematsu.

Check out the location test preview of Blade Arcus from Shining

Two months after the arcade fighting title’s announcement, SEGA released a location test preview of Blade Arcus from Shining which features characters from the Shining Series.

The game will be held at the SEGA Akihabara Building 1 for location testing, and will feature a total of six playable characters. We’ll have more info on the game once the final build is released in arcades.

SEGA’s Shining cross-over fighting game reveals six playable characters

SEGA is putting together a Shining cross-over fighting game and calling the game ‘
Blade Arcus from Shining‘. The 2D fighting game will run location tests in Japan from May 9th to May 11th in Akihabara. Blade Arcus will allow users to test six characters, which include two new characters just for this game.

  • Ryuga (new)
  • Pairon Wong (new)
  • Rage from Shining Blade
  • Sakuya from Shining Blade
  • Xiao-Mei from Shining Hearts
  • Altina from Shining Blade

Given that SEGA has taken this franchise everywhere from a hack’n’slash arcade game to various role-playing games, does an entry into the 2D fighting game market excite you? Would having classic Shining Force characters matter?

Shining Blade – Animated Opening

It’s a sorry state of affairs when a new Shining title is announced and I’m not excited in the slightest, but that has been the case for almost every announcement since the series was rebooted back in the early 00’s.

Shining Blade may not be the Shining Force 4 I’ve been waiting for but it has certainly gained my interest. It has been said that Shining Blade will take many cues from Sega’s other big SRPG series Valkyria Chronicles. It’ll use the same canvas style graphics engine and similar game play mechanics. This is already a huge step up from the horrible D-list Action-RPGs from a few years back.

This animated intro is quite nice too but I’m still having one big problem and that is the sheer number of half dressed woman clogging up the roster. Where are the quirky dwarves, centaurs, birdmen and the rest made the series stand out in the first place? Personally I don’t care if they add a bunch of skanky girls but don’t get rid of the characters I like to do it…

Oh well, I’m cautiously optimistic this could be the game changer in terms of game play, it’s coming to the PSP and probably wont leave Japan. Stay tuned kids!

New Shining Game announcement soon

[A screenshot from the most recent Shining release, Shining Hearts]

Speaking in a recent Famitsu interview, Tsuyoshi Sawada, the man directly in charge of the direction of the Shining series, has revealed that a new title in SEGA’s long running series is in the works, read the full quote after the break;

Shining Hearts gameplay video

Check out this gameplay video of Shining Hearts curtacy of

I have mixed feelings about this game, the new art direction of this series is not my thing. However I really like these old style sprites looking models with big heads like classic Shining series. Oh and I see at least one Beastman.

Time will tell if this game can live up to the classic shining series, but I wont be holding my breath.

Shining Hearts – Extended TGS trailer

Here is an extended trailer for the next game in the Shining series, Shining Hearts.

While I don’t hate anything I see here and the game play actually looks like it could be a cool retro style JRPG of which I often enjoy. I can’t help but feel this series has betrayed its roots and I’m not even talking about it not being a tactical JRPG.

The art style in Shining Hearts has lost the charms of the original series. While in the past the Shining Force art style was easily recognizable with its Western inspired look and feel. The characters in this trailer could easily be from any cheap anime show or JRPG. Not to mention it seems that all of the coolest series staples like Beastmen, Centaurs, Birdmen, Werewolves and so on have been relegated to background characters or removed completely in favour of 16 year old girls with monster tits and cat ears, no thanks.

Now how about a classic style Shining Force on Valkyria Chronicles CANVAS engine? Yes please!

Retro Review: Shining Force III Trilogy

Shining Force III is a game that had many Saturn owners wishing that they could speak fluent Japanese. Considered to be one of, if not the best game on Sega Saturn, only one third of the full story ever saw an English translation. While most fans will already know this, the Shining Force III that most westerners are familiar with is only a fraction of an intricate trilogy of games, a true epic in every sense of the word. Three different scenarios, three different stories, all intertwining and combining to form an intricate, sprawling story and game. Recently however, thanks to the hard work of some very dedicated and skilled fans, almost every part of every game has been translated finally allowing the game’s English speaking fan base to enjoy the game as it was intended. So, how does it hold up over a decade later?