It has been over 30 years since the world was introduced to Dragon Quest. The franchise has been one of the most popular role-playing games that have come out of Japan. It has enjoyed a lot of success in the form of spin-offs.
The series also provided influence to many role-playing games that we’ve come to know, love, and play to this very day. It is generally accepted that Dragon Quest is the first role-playing game for consoles.
It opened Japanese-style RPGs where Dungeons and Dragons remained a formidable competition to the world. If you want to know more about Dragon Quest, here are some interesting facts about it that you probably don’t know.
The Original Name
Dragon Quest was not called as such until 2005. Previously, it was known as Dragon Warrior. Those who can still remember its original name will know that the company that produced the game ran into some issues with DragonQuest tabletop RPG.
It wasn’t until 2002 when Square Enix, the game’s publisher registered the trademark for the name that the game was able to establish itself as a separate game.
The game earned the right to use Dragon Quest in 2005 just in time for the release of its eighth title.
At a time when most role-playing games were developed and published by Western developers, Dragon Quest made an impact and showed the world how Japanese RPGs can compete with western titles.
Dragon Quest further defined the genre that many other games enjoyed today. The fantastical setting, a large library of monsters, and the overall theme and design of the game are heavily embedded in many Japanese RPGs today.
If you look at Dragon Quest, you can immediately notice the aesthetics that other RPGs have emulated. You can find similar elements to most of the games within the genre and all of that thanks to Dragon Quest.
Did you know that Dragon Quest’s overall popularity not only spawned several sequels but also crossed over to other media platforms? There is a total of two anime series based on the game itself and ran for a total of 43 episodes.
The anime series is loosely based on the storyline of Dragon Quest III. The popularity of the game expanded even further from the small screen onto the silver screen.
That expansion included movies such as Dragon Quest Saga – The Crest of Roto in 1996 and Dragon Quest: Your Story in August of 2019.
When you talk about a game franchise, you will always look for a familiar face that will become its mascot. Pokemon has Pikachu and Super Mario has Mario.
In Dragon Quest, the enemy that you will surely encounter in the early stages of the game is the game’s mascot – the Slime.
The slime is a blue blob with a smiley face and is the official mascot of the entire series. As quirky as the game is, its mascot is equally lovable and peculiar. The slime has been merchandised in the form of plushies and dolls.
Dragon Quest Law
Those who have played Dragon Quest III when it was released will surely know the urban legend surrounding Dragon Quest Law.
During the third game’s release, there were massive complaints about students and employees calling in sick. Because of that, the Japanese government forced Dragon Quest to only release new games on weekends.
It is not entirely true that the government made a law in regards to the game, it was actually Square Enix that imposed such a rule for themselves.
But the company received hundreds if not thousands of complaints at the time so they promised to release every Dragon Quest title on a weekend.
Considered the National Video Game
Easily one of the most recognizable series of all time, Dragon Quest is considered by many Japanese as the national video game even over Mario.
One would argue that Mario singlehandedly placed Japan at a forefront of gaming in the early 80s. However, Dragon Quest broke many records within and outside the country.
The franchise has sold over 80 million copies worldwide. The remade version of Dragon Quest IV even sold a million copies in Japan during the first four days after its release.
The wide appeal and its overall gameplay have influenced its overall popularity. And so many still consider Dragon Quest as the country’s national video game.
If you look at the overall character art of the game, you would immediately notice a similar style with a popular anime called Dragon Ball.
Dragon Quest is designed by Akira Toriyama who has worked with Dragon Ball. You will notice similarities to a point where Dragon Quest III featured notes of Goku and some characters from the series getting cameo appearances.
Toriyama was a very popular designer and artist that he also worked for another series that is equally popular and influential to the genre – Chrono Trigger.
The scope and level of art that Toriyama provides to the iconic series remains some of his greatest work.
It has become a staple in today’s video games to have different endings depending on your character’s choice. But back when the game was first released, players were caught by surprise with the concept of the alternative ending.
Players were offered a choice to join the game’s main villain or fight him which would change the course of the game entirely.
There is no denying the popularity and influence of Dragon Quest over the success of Japanese RPGs in today’s world.
The entire series has single-handedly brought the charm and fantastical setting that has made JRPGs a unique genre in gaming today.