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For the anime series, see Dragon Quest (anime series).
Dragon Quest logo

Dragon Quest (Japanese: ドラゴンクエスト Doragon Kuesto) is a series of role-playing video games made by Square Enix (originally Enix Corp.) for a variety of video game platforms. It is the all-time best-selling video game series in Japan, and enjoys decent popularity elsewhere as well.

Each game in the main series of games it titled with the name "Dragon Quest" followed by a roman numeral. Since 1986, which marked the release of the original Dragon Quest, Dragon Quest has so far featured eleven games within the main series, as well as several spin off games. It has also featured two animated productions.

Dragon Quest is often compared with the Final Fantasy series, created by SquareSoft. Although the Dragon Quest series started before Final Fantasy, it continues to lag behind in the number of games within the main series (eleven Dragon Quest titles versus fifteen Final Fantasy titles). The two competed for more or less the same market until the companies' merger in 2003, at which point Dragon Quest began to take a backseat to the more universally popular Final Fantasy.

Common themes

Every Dragon Quest game is told primarily through the eyes of a Hero named by the player, usually a prophesied "Chosen One" or a similar concept that requires him to rise against a new evil. Often, this evil is a Dragonlord or some kind of demon, but invariably wishes to take over the world and enslave or destroy humanity. Unlike other games in the genre, which have since the turn of the century begun to take on more of a science fiction slant, Dragon Quest tends to lean more towards traditional fantasy, with medieval technology and trappings. With certain exceptions, most games take place in a world distinct from every other; there is next to no direct continuity between installments, with each game taking place in a world envisioned from the ground up ad hoc.

However, Dragon Quest I-III and IV-VI can be considered related through their storytelling. II is a direct sequel to the original game, while III is a prequel that effectively makes a trilogy; IV, V, and VI each feature the Zenithia castle as an important plot element, and so fans have come to call them the "Zenithia Trilogy." However, Yuji Horii has stated that this second group was never intended to be related.

Magic is frequently an important element, as both an in-battle ability of player-controlled characters and the cause of various world-shaking events.

As a pioneer in the RPG realm, Dragon Quest games have a reputation for being "bread and butter" representatives of the genre. The player advances through the game by carrying out predetermined actions directly related to the progression of the plot, such as collecting a key item or defeating a particular antagonist. Usually, one of his first orders of business is to gather a party of like-minded warriors to join him on his quest. As the party traverses the landscape and various dungeons, they will be forced to fight (or, if they choose, flee from) enemies based on a "random encounter" system. Later in the game, the party often acquires improved transportation that may allow them to avoid such skirmishes. Battles are turn-based; the player delivers combat instructions each turn from an in-battle menu system. Some games feature AI that sees all party members but the Hero character responding to situations based on various factors at hand, sometimes including general orders such as "Attack ferociously" or "Go all-out with magic."

Defeating enemy characters yields experience points (EXP). When a certain number of EXP has been accumulated, the character levels up and becomes stronger, improving in a number of areas represented by statistical values that affect their performance on the battlefield. This system means that if a player finds any part of a Dragon Quest game too difficult, he can simply fight against weaker enemies until he becomes strong enough to have an easier time of it.

Dragon Quest is, overall, a fairly lighthearted and humorous series that was likely not intended to be taken too seriously.

Design

The Dragon Quest series is primarily the work of three men: Yuji Horii is the scenario writer and lead designer; Akira Toriyama is the character designer, bringing in a style reminiscent of his manga works; and Koichi Sugiyama handles the music production.

List of games

Main series

US Cover art JP Cover art Title Release Date
DQ1logo Dragon Quest ドラゴンクエスト
Famicom
MSX
Super Famicom
Game Boy Color
Mobile phones
Wii
Android & iOS
DQ2logo Dragon Quest II ドラゴンクエストII 悪霊の神々

Famicom
MSX
MSX2
Super Famicom
Game Boy / Game Boy Color
Mobile phones
Wii
Android & iOS
DQ3logo Dragon Quest III ドラゴンクエストIII そして伝説へ… '
Famicom
Super Famicom
Game Boy Color
Mobile phones
Wii
Android & iOS
DQ4logo Dragon Quest IV ドラゴンクエストIV 導かれし者たち
Famicom
PlayStation
Nintendo DS
Android & iOS
DQVDS boxart Dragon Quest V ドラゴンクエストV 天空の花嫁
Super Famicom
PlayStation 2
Nintendo DS
Android & iOS
DQVIDS EU Boxart Dragon Quest VI ドラゴンクエストVI 幻の大地
Super Famicom
Nintendo DS
Android & iOS
DQVIIPSX US Boxart Dragon Quest VII

ドラゴンクエストVII エデンの戦士たち

Playstation
(PSOne Books re-release)
(Ultimate Hits re-release)
3DS
Android & iOS
DQVIIIPS2 box art Dragon Quest VIII ドラゴンクエストVIII 空と海と大地と呪われし姫君
Playstation 2
Android & iOS
3DS
DQIXDS box art Dragon Quest IX ドラゴンクエストIX 星空の守り人
Nintendo DS
Yet to be released overseas. DQXWii JP Boxart

ドラゴンクエストX

Wii

Wii

Wii U
Windows
Android
3DS

Wii

Wii U
Windows

Wii

Wii U
Windows

 DQXI Euro boxart Dragon Quest XI PS4 box art ドラゴンクエストXI
PS4, N3DS
Switch

Monsters series

Cover art Title Release Date
Dragon Quest Monsters ドラゴンクエストモンスターズ テリーのワンダーランド
Dragon Quest Monsters 2 ドラゴンクエストモンスターズ2 マルタのふしぎな鍵
Dragon Quest Monsters 1+2


ドラゴンクエストモンスターズ1・2 星降りの勇者と牧場の仲間たち

Dragon Quest Monsters Caravan Heart
Dragon Quest Monsters Joker Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker
ドラゴンクエストモンスターズ ジョーカー
DQMJ2DS N box art Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 2
ドラゴンクエストモンスターズ ジョーカー2
Dragon Quest Monsters Joker 2 Professional


ドラゴンクエストモンスターズ ジョーカー2 プロフェッショナル

Spinoff games

US Cover art JP Cover art Title Release Date
 Yet to be released overseas. Kenshin dragon quest cover2

剣神ドラゴンクエスト 甦りし伝説の剣

DQSlogo Dragon Quest Swords

ドラゴンクエストソード 仮面の女王と鏡の塔

Dragon Quest Heroes DQHPS4 box art

ドラゴンクエストヒーローズ 闇竜と世界樹の城

Dragon Quest Heroes II DQHIIPS4 box art

ドラゴンクエストヒーローズII 双子の王と予言の終わり

Trivia

As of the release of Dragon Quest III, new installments have to be released on weekends in Japan, as at the time, so many children skipped school to buy the game.[1]

References

  1. Myth Confirmed! Square Enix Talks Selling Dragon Quest On School Days on Game Informer


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