I’ll admit that I didn’t know that much about Reiko Kodama until a few years ago, but the things she worked on resonated strongly with me.
Phantasy Star was technically one of my first encounters with JRPGs, specifically II, and then IV. II lit my little child brain on fire when I saw the cool character portraits, and IV stunned me with its striking paneled cutscenes and character designs. Later on it would heavily influence my work in pixel art when working on Read Only Memories. Jess exists because of Nei, I’m not sure if it’s there now, but earlier versions of the game would default your name to Alys if you entered nothing in the name field, while Lexi’s high collar red jacket was inspired by Alys’ coat.
Phantasy Star in general still feels very unique to me in its fantasy sci-fi mixed style that I don’t think has been really properly recreated, not even with PSO which feels like its own style entirely. That unique extremely 1970searly90s mix of sci-fi with fantasy was what really drew me into it. That M2 Switch release of the first game is fantastic. The retranslation patch Frank brought up might be a good excuse to play it again on the MegaSG.
Skies of Arcadia was also one of my favorite games on the Dreamcast. its sense of fantastical adventure, bright blue skies and colorful characters stuck with me for a long time. I never get tired of flying around in my little ship, then stopping to just hang out inside of it. I recently started playing the GameCube version with a widescreen patch on the Dolphin and I’m having a blast.
Thank you for the memories and inspiration, Reiko Kodama.