Really cool job gathering all these surprise contributors for the Kodama remembrance, especially Mark Cerny. I also had no idea she’d passed away. I was never a Sega kid so I haven’t really had the direct formative exposure to her work that some of you did (tbph I’ve bounced off of Skies of Arcadia and Phantasy Star, the latter most recently just the other day) but I knew of her from the magazines and message boards as “the first lady of JRPGs” and noticed she was exceptionally open to Western press compared with a lot of the mystified figures in that world.
That one time Tim published an essay bragging about getting birthday wishes from her on Facebook, I was consumed with envy and curiosity, lol - what’s it like to know a person who made those colorful, romantic games that felt to an American child like they’d dropped in from a whole other world?? Since becoming a “journalist” myself, I’ve also had the experience of looking at the news and discovering someone I once sat down with for a long, surprisingly personal interview (the first I ever did) has passed on… it’s an uncanny feeling. Cerny’s remembrances on the podcast were especially affecting, coming from the perspective of someone who once knew her as a colleague on a day-to-day basis.
Even observed from a distance, she was a distinctly bright-shining star in an industry full of big egos and faceless suits. Sad that her passing was so quiet and so soon.