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Dragon Quest

Dragon Quest VIII is arguably one of the more important entries in the series. This was in part due to the game’s world, which was quite huge at the time.

Speaking about Dragon Quest VIII in this month’s issue of Game Informer, series creator Yuji Horii said:

“If you can see a mountain in the distance, you can run to that mountain and climb up it. Nowadays, this is pretty commonplace technology, but when Dragon Quest VIII was first released, this was groundbreaking.”

“I thought that laying out the story as a guiding path would make it possible to adventure and have fun in the world. While we have provided that path, we also intended for it to be possible to diverge from the path and enjoy the game freely.”

Lots of Dragon Quest news was shared during NHK’s recent 30th anniversary program. We got a new, brief look at Dragon Quest XI with tidbits of information, a message from character designer Akira Toriyama, and more.

On the topic of Toriyama, the television program actually gave a look at some scrapped enemy designs he drew up. Here’s a look:

The enemies are as follows:

– Arthur Sion / Arthursion
– Hentekorino (Henteko means weird in Japanese)
– Lizardman
– Halloweenman
– Boss #2

During NHK’s Dragon Quest program which aired last week, character designer Akira Toriyama – who is also the creator of Dragon Ball – shared a special message. He reflected on originally getting the job, working on the series in general, and a bit on the upcoming Dragon Quest XI.

Crunchyroll has now gone to the trouble of translating Toriyama’s message in full. You can read it below.

Square Enix owns two big franchises: Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest. Yet even though Final Fantasy managed to make a big splash in the west, Dragon Quest has still been trying to attain the same sort of success.

Dragon Quest executive producer Yu Miyake touched on this topic in last month’s issue of EDGE. He said Final Fantasy’s western popularity in comparison to Dragon Quest is something Square Enix has “been thinking about a lot internally”.

Miyake brought up a few different reasons in the interview. For one thing, “the source of nostalgia is different” in Japan and the west – Dragon Quest on Famicom and Final Fantasy VII on PlayStation respectively. He also believes that Square Enix should have originally given a greater effort with Dragon Quest’s localization. Finally, Miyake said that the cartoon-like aesthetic of Dragon Quest may not immediately connect with western gamers.

Miyake left some encouraging words, saying that “the age of people who are playing is rising” and there’s a greater interest overall as well. Square Enix is also trying to “soften up the ground for Dragon Quest XI” with its spinoff titles.

Miyake’s full words:

Nintendo’s upcoming “Super Nintendo World” theme park at various Universal Studios parks was talked about quite a bit recently. Now, it seems like Super Nintendo World won’t be the only video game-themed attraction at Universal Studios – Square-Enix announced a collaboration with Universal Studios Japan today. To celebrate the 30th anniversary of Dragon Quest, a “Real Battle Attraction” is coming to the Universal Studios park in Osaka. There, visitors will be able to grab weapons, enter dungeons and fight monsters for an authentic Dragon Quest experience.

Further details have not yet been announced so far, like the time frame for this event. The fact that this is a celebration of Dragon Quest’s 30th anniversary seems to suggest that this is a limited-time only event that won’t last very long, but we don’t know for sure yet.

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During the DS era, several Dragon Quest games were brought to the west. The series’ overseas status has been a little shaky over the past few years, but it’s starting to look up again. Looking at Nintendo’s involvement with Dragon Quest specifically, they just shipped Dragon VII in North America and Europe last month, with Dragon Quest VIII to follow next year.

If that wasn’t enough, Square Enix’s Noriyoshi Fujimoto told MCV that the company is “committed” to Dragon Quest in the west. When asked if Dragon Quest Builders – which might be a possibility for Switch – will affect the series’ status outside of Japan, he said:

“2016 marks the 30th anniversary of Dragon Quest series. It’s not as well known in the West as we would like but it really plays an epoch making role in the console gaming history. If gamers were to ‘discover’ Dragon Quest now, they may be surprised to the sheer breadth of the universe, in terms of variety and depth. But they would also have instant access to something that has taken us 30 years to build. Dragon Quest Builders is definitely a great way of getting the feel of Dragon Quest while having great fun right from the start.

We’re committed to bringing more Dragon Quest titles in the West as we believe it truly has potential to succeed even better. So watch this space.”

Dragon Quest XI is planned for both Switch and 3DS next year. I imagine we’ll get that one somehow – be it Square Enix directly or through Nintendo publishing.

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Dragon Quest has been around for 30 years, and Square Enix wants to share some facts with its fans with a new infographic. Head past the break for the number of games shipped, tidbits about Dragon Quest VII, and more.

Koichi Sugiyama has been creating video game music for many, many years, and he’s famous for his work on the Dragon Quest series. The Guinness World Records has now acknowledged Sugiyama as the oldest gaming composer. He’s 85 years old.

Sugiyama has been involved with Dragon Quest since the series’ debut in 1986. He’s also contributing to next year’s Dragon Quest XI.

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We all know that Dragon Quest is a massive hit in Japan. When it comes to the west though, the series hasn’t seen the same sort of success. Square Enix’s Yu Miyake shared two reasons as to why this is the situation we’re in.

Miyake first told Polygon:

“There’s two main reasons. The first is that, in Japan, the Famicom was kind of the moment that video games became part of families, and people really started bringing them into their homes.”

“In the West, we feel like PlayStation is where home consoles really caught on with Final Fantasy 7, so Final Fantasy has that foundation … where it really captured the hearts of gamers.”

Miyake also pointed to the “cartoonish style” from character designer Akira Toriyama as a turnoff for overseas gamers.

Later this month, Square Enix will be hosting a Dragon Quest 30th anniversary birthday countdown special live stream. This will be shown on Niconico at the following times on May 26:

– 5:30 AM PT
– 8:30 AM ET
– 1:30 PM in the UK
– 2:30 PM in Europe

MC Ayana Tsubaki, Dragon Quest series executive producer Yuu Miyake, and Dragon Quest series creator and game designer Yuji Horii will be on the broadcast. The group will count down to the May 27 30th anniversary of the Dragon Quest series.

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