The Mega Drive Mini 2 — a retro collection console featuring plenty of SEGA classics — has just been released to the public. However, there’s more waiting for eager fans of the classics than just a trip down memory lane. Displayed in the staff credits screen of the console shines a memorial message for Rieko Kodama, a longtime producer at SEGA, who recently passed away.
Out of respect for the legendary developer’s family, the wider public was not aware of Kodama’s status until this message was spotted. A main hand behind Phantasy Star, Skies of Arcadia, 7th Dragon and more, Kodama was a major figure in the video game industry.
This, alongside other interesting details about the console, was spotted and publicly showcased by Retro Gamer Mag’s Nick Thorpe on Twitter. It was this thread that spurred users to confirm the information with SEGA producer Yosuke Okunari via the platform, to which he replied “As you understand it. We respected her.”
Finally, the staff credits include a memorial message for Rieko Kodama. She started as an artist on games such as Alex Kidd In Miracle World, Phantasy Star and Sonic The Hedgehog, and was the producer for Skies Of Arcadia, 7th Dragon and most recently the Switch Sega Ages games. pic.twitter.com/v6xk8oUNYO— Nick Thorpe (@HKT3030) October 26, 2022
Kodama was a pioneer in the industry. Back in 2019, she spoke about her proudest moments, stating in regard to her involvement in the SEGA Ages and Mega Drive Mini projects: “I really enjoy seeing or reading about fans experiences with past SEGA titles, or having them come up to me to talk at trade shows. These encounters make me feel great about working with the Mega Drive, even today.”
As a person who had such an impact on the Mega Drive generation of games, as well as SEGA’s push to bring their retro collection to modern consoles and on dedicated retro systems, there’s likely no better place to honour her memory than the Mega Drive Mini 2. As a system intended to bring players back to the golden age of SEGA, it’s fitting that she be a permanent inclusion.