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Obituary: Yoshitaka Tamaki, Shining series character artist, has passed away at age 55

Beyond his work as a character and monster artist on the Shining games, Tamaki wrote and directed titles such as Landstalker and FEDA: The Emblem of Justice.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

October 16, 2023

1 Min Read
Japanese cover for the 1992 video game Shining Force.

Japanese artist Yoshitaka Tamaki passed away earlier in the year at 55 years old. Per Time Extension, Tamaki died in mid-July from lung cancer, and private service was held in his memory at the end of September.

On X, Tamaki's family said at the time that the service "was attended only by close family members."

Born in October 1967, Tamaki was primarily known for being a character designer on Climax Entertainment's games, notably the Shining series. His debut game was as an outline and storyboard artist on 1991's Shining in the Darkness. 

Tamaki's final credited game is 2007's Shining Force EXA as a designer for the game's monsters.

Outside of those Shining games, he wrote (and drew art for) 1992's Landstalker and designed 1994's FEDA: The Emblem of Justice and 1997's FEDA 2: White Surge of the Platoon. In 1997, he formed his own studio Salamander Factory, which helped work on titles such as Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse and Project X Zone

In 1999, he joined developer Swallowtails, which is credited with helping development on 2020's Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions.

"I hope that the work that he devoted his life to as a game creator will always be remembered," wrote the Tamaki family. "Thank you very much."

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About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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