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Japanese video game music composer and sound designer, Kenichi Okuma, has sadly passed away at the age of 56, due to cancer. The news was announced by his family via his Twitter account.
As reported by Shacknews, Okuma composed music for a number of games during his career, including the 1998 Sega Saturn game, Langrisser V: The End of Legend, but was arguably best known for his contributions to the 2008 Nintendo Wii title, Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
“Kenichi Okuma fell asleep on July 22 due to esophageal cancer. [He] was 56 years old,” the tweet reads (translated by Google). “I would like to express my gratitude to everyone who loved Okuma's music and all the people involved for their long-standing kindness. Thank you very much. (All family members)”
The director of the Super Smash Bros. series, Masahiro Sakurai, gave his condolences: “I pray for your soul,” he wrote (translated by Google). “Thank you for your help in Smash Bros. X [Brawl], but there are songs that are also used in later series.”
ご冥福をお祈りします…｡— 桜井 政博 / Masahiro Sakurai (@Sora_Sakurai) July 25, 2022
Okuma’s works in Brawl include Gyromite, Flat Zone 2, and Pokémon Gym / Evolution - no doubt all of which will be familiar to anyone who’s played the iconic fighting game. As Sakurai added in his tweet, these songs were also brought back in the latest instalment of the series, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Earlier this month also marked seven years since the death of Satoru Iwata, the former president and CEO of Nintendo, who worked on the development of both the Pokémon and Smash Bros. series. He was responsible for building the compression tools which allowed Game Freak to include the Kanto region in Pokémon Gold, Silver and Crystal, something which was adored by fans at the time, and continues to be one of the highlights of the second generation games’ legacy.
Our condolences go out to Kenichi Okuma’s family and friends at this difficult time - may he rest in peace.
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