Quest was the first true console Role Playing Game and defined
the RPGs we play today. Way back in early 80's, the only RPGs out
there were Ultima and Wizardry, but many average gamers
found them too complicated. Dragon Quest was a combined effort
of writer and programmer Yuji Horii, artist Akira Toriyama, and
composer Koichi Sugiyama. Even though they had already achieved
success on their own, they had no idea how popular and influential
one little game could be.
first garnered attention after he won an Enix sponsored programming
contest. After creating two simple games, his inspiration from American
RPGs led him to create Dragon Quest. Everything from the
story, dialogue and even the rough ideas for the monsters come from
him. Often referred to as the first video game author, Horii is
still in charge of the framework of Dragon Quest. He only
remakes a title when he feels the console can give the player a
different experience. In the mid 90's he took some time to co-create
another fan favorite,Chrono Trigger.
is in charge of the general look and the final designs for the main
characters and monsters. His unique style helped Dragon Quest
stand out from the typical fantasy RPGs. Toriyama has created numerous
manga series, but he is known best in America for Dragon Ball.
He met Horii while he was working freelance for the manga magazine
Shonen Jump. Since ending Dragon Ball, Toriyama is
taking it easy and enjoying a break from the hectic weekly schedule.
He still continues to work on Dragon Quest's designs and
various short series.
is the music composer for the series. He is a professional freelance
musician and his works can be found in the theater, games, movies,
TV shows and even a few commercials. Sugiyama is probably best know
for his work on Dragon Quest, which lead to the first live
video game music concert after Dragon Quest II's release
in 1987. He continues to conduct live concerts with Dragon Quest
music and releases the Symphonic Suite recordings.
the Ultima or Wizardry games, Dragon Quest
was relatively simple with its point and click interface. The simplicity
along with the colorful world and intriguing story, made it a game
everyone could enjoy. Since it wasn't a fast paced shooter or side
scroller, it had a broad appeal and was enjoyed by kids and adults.
Its popularity is hard to imagine for us western gamers. Dragon
Quest III was released on a weekday and many kids skipped school
and workers called in sick to purchase and play their copy. Lines
at game stores grew several blocks long. Some people were even mugged
by disgruntled customers desperate to get their hands on one. There
were even complaints that Dragon Quest slowed the country's
productivity which resulted in a DQ game only to be released on
a weekend or holiday. There has yet to be a game in North America
that has reached the cultural phenomenon status that Dragon Quest
has. When Dragon Quest IV was released, a celebration was
held and "hoimi" (the game's basic healing spell) became an official
delays (more than the typical DQ title) Dragon Quest VII
was released and became the highest selling Playstation game of
all time. It even became the first video game to win an award from
Japan's Agency for Cultural Affairs. Dragon Quest has made
a huge impact in the gaming industry. It kicked off a new genre
that's enjoyed by people of all ages around the world. Dragon
Quest VIII is the first to feature an all new look courtesy
of developer Level 5. In just a few days it became the highest selling
Playstation 2 title clocking in at over four million copies.
Since the beginning,
the Dragon Quest games have grown from a single hero traveling
on foot to multiple character parties that sail the seas and soar
through the skies. Players have created their own kingdoms, faced
God himself, and even captured and trained a few monsters. But its
core, its look and, its game play have remained the same. You won't
be seeing a dark and dreary DQ. It's colorful world and light hearted
story has kept Japan enthralled for nearly 20 years.
Pictures of the creators
and the creation process
insight on Dragon Quest, check out RPG Land's History
of Dragon Quest article.
Enix purchased Squaresoft resulting in a merger and becoming SquareEnix
Inc. in 2003. While there were several Dragon Quest titles
released in Japan under the SquareEnix name, none of them were brought
to America until Dragon Quest VIII. It's also been the first
Dragon Quest game to be released in the US under the DQ name
since SquareEnix purchased the rights from table top gaming company
TSR. With the massive ad campaign behind DQ VIII, SquareEnix is
hoping to attract new customers to the series. However, their plans
past VIII remains to be seen. Only time will tell if titles like
Slime Morimori and Dragon Quest V will reach the western