Koichi Sugiyama’s political beliefs keep some gamers from enjoying the video game series, so this famous Japanese psychiatry expert has her own special cheat code.

For the most part, the Dragon Quest video game franchise has a wholesome, family-friendly image. Aside from some sporadic boob-related humor (which Japan is generally pretty accepting of), there’s not a whole lot that one could find offensive in the games’ classic stories of morally upright heroes battling obviously evil monsters, saving the day with only mild splashes of cartoony violence and a minimum of onscreen bloodshed.

▼ Trailer for Dragon Quest XI

And yet, for many fans there’s something about Dragon Quest that makes them uncomfortable, and that’s the involvement of composer Koichi Sugiyama. Sugiyama has voiced his incredulity towards the extent of the Nanking Massacre and the use of comfort women by the Japanese Imperial Army, going so far as to submit a full-page statement to an American newspaper denying the severity frequently described by international historians. He’s also said that he feels that education for students in Japanese schools regarding LGBT issues is unnecessary.

Those sentiments can make the Dragon Quest series hard for gamers to enjoy if their own beliefs don’t align with Sugiyama’s. Unfortunately for them, Sugiyama served as composer not just for the original Dragon Quest in 1986, but also for every sequel and spinoff, a library that now consists of nearly three dozen titles and continues to grow, meaning that there’s no way to play a Dragon Quest game without listening to Sugiyama’s music.

Unless, that is, you follow the lead of Japanese psychiatrist, university professor, and societal commentator Rika Kayama.

▼ Rika Kayama

The 58-year-old Kayama, who’s spoken at length on the problems of stress and depression in Japanese society and recently authored a book titled Why Don’t Feminists and Otaku Get Along?, sat down for an interview with magazine Jitsuwa Bunka Taboo, which appears in the publication’s 43rd volume, which went on sale March 4. During her talk with the interview, Kayama revealed that she’s actually a Dragon Quest fan, but that her gameplay experience is a little different from other gamers’:

“I love Dragon Quest, and I play the games, but I hate Koichi Sugiyama, so I turn the sound off when I play.”

Some might argue that Kayama’s audio option is overkill, and that it’s always important to separate the artist from their art. On the other hand, video games are first and foremost a form of entertainment, and just like some people have more fun using cheat codes, Kayama has found that her ideal way to experience Dragon Quest doesn’t require any special game controller inputs, but rather hitting a single button, “mute,” on her TV remote.

Source: Twitter/@WORLDJAPAN via Hachima Kiko
Top image: YouTube/PlayStation
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