While Manabu Daishima might not be a name commonly known in modern gaming, his work on Square Enix’s JRPGs helped define the look and feel of 90s games. Following a tragic diving accident on July 30, the celebrated graphic designer has passed away at the age of 45.
The news comes courtesy of Japanese publication Mainichi Shimbun (via Anime News Network). Friends found Daishima unconscious 30 meters offshore from the Izo Kaiyū Kōen Diving Center in Ito, Shizuoka prefecture, off the coast of Japan.
Daishima worked as a graphic designer on multiple Square Enix games, dating back to when the company was still SquareSoft. While he was responsible for the monster design in Romancing SaGa, background graphics for SaGa Frountier, and battle effect graphics in Parasite Eve, he is likely best known for his work Square Enix’s major franchises. He worked on the field graphics for Chrono Trigger, field map design for Final Fantasy IX, 3D map design for Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII, and 3D map, and background design for Final Fantasy XII.
His last credited work was Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King in 2008. Though his contributions might seem small on paper, Daishima’s work all played into helping each of the Square games he was a part of be that much more memorable.