Some Japanese video game franchises such as Mario, The Legend of Zelda, and Sonic the Hedgehog have managed to become a beloved part of the video game landscape in the West as well as in their homeland. Other Japanese video game franchises have not fared so well but nonetheless remain significant influences over Japanese video games as a whole. One excellent example is Dragon Quest, which is one of the few video game franchises that can claim the honor of being more than 30 years old.
Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about Dragon Quest:
On Its 11th Installment
So far, there have been ten Dragon Quest games, with an 11th scheduled to be released on July 29 of 2017. Of course, this is just counting those in the main series, seeing as how there are numerous spin-offs as well.
Inspired By Western Games
Initially, the Dragon Quest games were inspired by a couple of video games released in the West. To be exact, the first Dragon Quest game was inspired by both Wizardry and Ultima, which have left lasting signs of their influence on the franchise.
Stable Development Team
Unlike most video game franchises, Dragon Quest has managed to retain the most important members for more than three decades. For example, the creator Horii Yuji is still involved as the game designer as well as the scenario writer, while other important members range from the character designer to the music composer.
Famous Character Designer
Speaking of which, people who have watched either Dragon Ball or Dragon Ball Z will find Dragon Quest characters to be more than a little bit familiar. After all, its character designer is Toriyama Akira, who was the creator of both the Dragon Ball and the Dragon Ball Z manga.
Famous Music Composer
Likewise, the music composer Sugiyama Koichi is well-known as well. In main, this is because he is an influential figure in the world of video game music, having inspired a number of Japanese video game music composers such as Uematsu Nobuo to follow in his footsteps. However, it should be noted that he is also involved in a wide range of other projects.
Its Mascot Is a Slime
Dragon Quest uses the Slime monster as its mascot, which has a simple but nonetheless distinctive teardrop appearance. This has resulted in it starring its own spin-offs as well as numerous kinds of Slime monsters in the games.
Earlier Games Released As Dragon Warrior in NA
The earliest games in the Dragon Quest franchise had to be released under the name Dragon Warrior in North America because of concerns over a potential trademark clash with a tabletop RPG called DragonQuest. It was not until 2002 that Square Enix registered the Dragon Quest trademark in North America, which was not contested by the owner of DragonQuest at the time.
Has a Ballet Adaptation
Yes, this is not an illusion – Dragon Quest has a ballet adaptation performed by the Star Dancers Ballet of Japan. In fact, it is the first video game franchise to have a ballet adaptation, which makes use of the music as well as the characters from the franchise.
Sticks to Its Roots
For the most part, Dragon Quest games have stuck to their roots. For example, most of the characters are as simple and straightforward as the franchise’s storytelling, though there are notable exceptions. Furthermore, the franchise is infamous for a paucity of save points, which is a deliberate decision meant to create a sense of tension in players.
Generated an Urban Myth
The Dragon Quest franchise is popular in Japan, so much so that it became the subject of an urban myth claiming that there was a law banning the release of its games save on either weekends or holidays. Other components of the urban myth ranged from stories of hundreds of schoolchildren being arrested for truancy to stories of a noticeable fall in Japanese productivity whenever a new game comes out.