Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Dragon Quest (Japanese: ドラゴンクエスト), known as Dragon Warrior in North America, is a series of Computer role-playing games created by Enix, now Square Enix. Installments of the series have appeared on the MSX, the Nintendo Family Computer (or Famicom, a.k.a. the Nintendo Entertainment System), the Super Famicom, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, Sony PlayStation, and PlayStation 2 video game consoles, as well as on several models of mobile phone. As of 2003, the Dragon Quest series has sold over 31 million units worldwide.
Dragon Quest's North American name change was necessitated due to a trademark conflict with the role-playing game DragonQuest, which was published by veteran wargame publisher SPI in the 1980s until the company's bankruptcy in 1982 and purchase by TSR, which then published it as an alternate line to Dungeons & Dragons until 1987.
On October 8, 2003, Square Enix USA registered a trademark in the United States Patent and Trademark Office for the name "Dragon Quest" (Serial Number 78310830) to be used in video game software, video game strategy guidebooks, comics, toys, and other merchandise. This could be the signal of the end of the "Dragon Warrior" name in North America.
During the mid-1980s, Dragon Quest was created by Enix employee, Yuji Horii. The series monster and character designs were by famed Dragon Ball manga artist, Akira Toriyama. Most of the music for the Dragon Quest series has been composed by Koichi Sugiyama.
The series is very popular in Japan. The Dragon Quest series is so popular in Japan that, following the release of Dragon Quest III in 1988, the Japanese Diet passed a law forbidding the release of new video games on any day other than a Sunday or a holiday, to prevent children from skipping school to wait in line for the latest Dragon Quest title.
The unofficial mascot of the Dragon Quest series is a blue slime. The Dragon Quest's blue slime is shaped like a piece of garlic. The blue slime has appeared in every Dragon Quest game and it is usually the first monster you have to defeat. It can also combine with other slimes to become the Kingslime, a large blue slime with a crown.
The games themselves feature a number of religious overtones: bishops are often seen wandering around the overworld of Dragon Warrior Monsters and have the ability to heal. In Dragon Warrior VII, the Demon Lord, otherwise known as the Devil(known as Orgodemir in the game), is the final boss, and there is also a sidequest to fight God himself.
Dragon Quest's Japanese cultural phenomenon is not only in video game form. There are live-action ballets, musical concerts, and audio CDs based on the Dragon Quest universe. In fact, the world-famous London Philharmonic Orchestra has performed for several Dragon Quest music albums.
Dragon Quest is not nearly as successful outside Japan, having been eclipsed by Final Fantasy and other RPG series. Because of Enix America's closure, Dragon Quest V and Dragon Quest VI were never officially released in North America. In Europe, none of the games except Dragon Warrior Monsters have seen release. The lack of official localizations for Dragon Quest games and remakes has influenced North American fans to learn Japanese and inspired many fan translation projects, but these, too, have suffered from the franchise's low profile overseas: although there have been several attempts to translate Dragon Quest VI, Torneko no Daibouken , and the Super Famicom remake of Dragon Quest III, only Dragon Quest V and the Super Famicom remake of Dragon Quest I & II have reached 100% completion. Several fans have had to abandon fan translation in favor of more important obligations in life. The Dragon Quest III remake and Torneko no Daibouken fan translations are still underway. The Dragon Quest IV remake fan translation is also underway. Even the official North American localizations of the Dragon Quest games before the Square Enix merger have suffered from the franchise's low profile.
The first four Dragon Warrior titles suffered from substantial censorship in their North American localizations, largely in keeping with Nintendo of America's content guidelines, which placed severe restrictions on religious iconography and mature content. Both graphics and text were edited, replacing coffins with ghosts, crucifixes with five-point stars, and "Priest" with "Healer," to name but a few. Reference to sex through a ceremony known as "puff-puff" were removed, as well.
How To Play
Dragon Quest borrows heavily from the Ultima and Wizardry video game series. The game player's party walks into a town and buys weapons/armors/items in order to defeat monsters easily. When the player's party is out of the town, the party is vulnerable to monster attacks. When the player encounters monsters, s/he has several options from which to choose. The player can attack and defeat the monster(s) with weapons, magic, or items. The player can also attempt to run away from a fight, however the option is not open during a boss battle. After a player wins a battle by defeating all the monsters, the player's party members gain experience points (EXP) in order to gain a new level. When a certain character gains a new level, the stats of the character are upgraded.
When the player's party dies in battle, they will lose half of their gold and the leader of the party warps back to the nearest church. The leader then needs to revive his/her party members. In order to revive certain characters, you have to pay the priest.
For insurance if you want to keep most of your gold, the recent Dragon Quest games have a bank to store your money.
To save a game's progress, most of the time the player has to go to a town's church and talk to a priest/nun. Also, sometimes the king can grant the player's save request in earlier Dragon Quest games.
These items appeared in most of the Dragon Quest games:
- Medical Herb — Herb that heals wounds and restores HP (Health Point(s))
- Antidote Herb — Cures poison-related ailments
- Chimera Wing (Warp Wing or Wing of the Wyvern) — Throw it into the air to return to a town or castle that you previously have been to.
- Holy Water — Sprinkle on yourself to temporarily block off weaker monsters.
- Moon Herb — Herb that cures paralysis
- STRseed — Upgrades Strength
- DEFseed — Upgrades Guard stat
- Life Acorn — Upgrades Max HP
- Mystic Nut — Upgrades Max MP (Magic Point(s))
- Leaf of the World Tree — Revive one dead character.
Dragon Quest I
Dragon Quest I was originally developed for the MSX computer system and later ported to the Nintendo Famicom. Dragon Quest I was the first part of the Roto Trilogy. It originally required passwords. The password feature was replaced by the save feature in the North American release. The 8-bit version was released in the United States for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Published in North America by Nintendo, the company, inspired by fantastic Japanese sales of the game, overproduced the North American version of the game and as they were unable to clear all of their stock of the game, wound up giving away free copies of it as a bonus for subscribing to Nintendo Power magazine. Dragon Quest was remade for the Super Famicom alongside Dragon Quest II, combined into a two-in-one package. The Super Famicom versions of Dragon Quest I and II were marketed exclusively in Japan, due to the absence of the Enix America Corporation. They were later ported to the Game Boy Color and then released in North America, where they did not sell well. Many Dragon Quest fans in the United States and Canada opted to play the Super Famicom version instead, whether by imports or through emulation, and some of them decided to learn Japanese. However, the Super Famicom versions have been unofficially translated into English and Spanish by an online translation group called RPGOne. There are two versions of the Dragon Quest I and II Super Famicom fan translation, the DQ (Dragon Quest) version and the DW (Dragon Warrior) version. The former is a reasonably accurate Japanese-to-English translation. The latter is based on the North American Dragon Warrior translations of Dragon Quest I and Dragon Quest II. RPGOne also translated the Super Famicom and Game Boy Color versions into Spanish. Dragon Quest I takes place in Alefgard and puts the player in the shoes of a descendant of the legendary Erdrick (or Roto in Japanese releases), i.e. Dave or Eiyuu. Eiyuu was to save Alefgard from the clutches of Dragonlord (or DracoLord in U.S. Game Boy Color version) and his servants. Gwaelin (or Lora in U.S. Game Boy Color version), the princess of Tantegel (or Radatoma in Japanese releases), daughter of King Lorik (or Lars), was captured by servants of Dragonlord. First Eiyuu rescues her, then he defeats Dragonlord. Many of Eiyuu's friends were killed by Dragonlord's servants. Mercado (or Cantlin), guarded by Golem, has a graveyard for people who were killed by Dragonlord's servants. Dragon Quest I has recently been released on cellular phones.
Dragon Quest II
Like Dragon Quest I, Dragon Quest II was originally developed for the MSX and later ported to the Famicom, and it originally required passwords. The password feature was replaced with a battery save feature in the North American NES version. The NES version sold well, but the Game Boy Color version, an adaptation of the Super Famicom remake, did not sell very well in North America. Dragon Quest II is the first game in the series to have more than one enemy fought in one battle. It is also the first game in the series to have more than one playable character and to have more than one save point. Dragon Quest II happens 100 years after Dragon Quest I. The object of the game is to save Alefgard and its surrounding lands from the evil clutches of Hargon. The introduction begins in Moonbrooke castle ("Moonbrook" in the GBC version). It was originally from the Dragon Warrior NES version of the game. Hargon's servants invade the Moonbrooke Castle and destroy it. They killed the King of Moonbrooke, but the Princess of Moonbrooke hid underground and then fled to a town nearby. A Moonbrooke soldier left to inform Midenhall Castle about the conflict. The Prince of Midenhall, hereafter known as the Dragon Quest II Hero, begins the quest from Midenhall and travels to Leftwyne then to Cannock (or Lorasia in GBC version). The Prince of Cannock meets with the Hero, for the Hero cannot travel near Moonbrooke by himself. After the Princess of Moonbrooke joins along with them, the plot requires them to visit Alefgard, the land where Dragon Quest I takes place.
Dragon Quest III
Dragon Quest III was originally developed for the Famicom, released in Japan in 1988, and released for the NES in North America in 1991 (as Dragon Warrior III). At this time the Japanese Diet, or congress, passed a law restricting the release of Dragon Quest games to Sundays and holidays. The law went into effect after Dragon Quest III. It was remade for the Super Famicom in 1996, but the Super Famicom remake was marketed exclusively in Japan. The Super Famicom remake of Dragon Quest III came out late in the life of the Super Famicom. It has been unofficially translated into English by the online translation groups called DeJap Translations and Illuminus. The Game Boy Color version is based on the Super Famicom version, but it did not sell very well in North America. Dragon Quest III has a gender and class feature. The hero as well as companions can be male or female, but male is the actual gender of the hero. The classes are Hero, Warrior, Wizard, Cleric, Thief (SNES and Game Boy Color only), Fighter, Jester, and Sage. Jesters (may) later become sages. Dragon Quest III also introduced the day and night feature, indicating the passing of time. Time passes when the hero walks in the world map. Some places are open only in the daytime, while others are open only at night.
Dragon Quest III is a prequel to Dragon Quest I, but the connection is revealed only at the end of the game. It tells of the legend of Erdrick. It begins in the Kingdom of Aliahan. Erdrick must save the world from the evil clutches of Zoma and Baramos. At some point in the game, he winds up in Alefgard, the land where Dragon Quest I takes place. Inadvertently, he is unable to return to his native world. The hero is dubbed Erdrick at the end of the game on the American NES version and the SNES fan translation, and dubbed Loto on the American Game Boy Color version. He is dubbed Roto in the Japanese releases.
Dragon Quest IV
The original Famicom Dragon Quest IV game was released on February 11, 1990 in Japan. The North American equivalent, Dragon Warrior IV, was released in December 1992. Dragon Quest IV had a unique (for a video game) way of advancing the story. It was split into five chapters and each chapter was devoted to a main hero or heroine. The first chapter is The Royal Soldiers and the hero, Ragnar must find the Kingdom of Burland's missing children. The second chapter, Princess Alena's Adventure, stars a princess that wants to become independent from her father. The third chapter is Torneko the Arms Merchant, which is about a weapons merchant named Torneko (Taloon in Dragon Warrior IV) who wants to become independent by trying to buy a new store. After "Torneko," you play The Sisters Of Monbaraba, which is about two sisters named Nara and Mara. They want to find out how their world renowned alchemist father mysteriously died. The final chapter is The Chosen Ones and the main hero is you. All the previous characters that you met in the game will help you to defeat the ulimate evil, Necrosaro.
Not only did Dragon Quest IV feature a new chapter-based story telling system, but it was also the first game in the series to have a casino, which is now a staple of the Dragon Quest video games. This was the first Dragon Quest game to introduce the artificial intelligence options, which allow the computer to control the other party members. The wagon, which holds all of the party's items and members who are not going to fight in a dungeon, is also introduced.
On November 22, 2001, Enix and Heartbeat made a PlayStation remake of Dragon Quest IV. The remake added the Dragon Quest VII's 3D graphics engine with Dragon Quest IV's story and some new features. Some of the new Dragon Quest IV PlayStation Remake features were a new chapter, new character, inter-party talk command similar to Dragon Quest VII, and the ability to turn off the artificial intelligence for party members. The Enix of America Corporation originally planned to bring the remake to North America in 2002, but it was later canceled due to Heartbeat closing its video game development operations. As of early 2005, given the age of the game, the age of the original PlayStation, and the lack of recent development for the original PlayStation, it is unclear whether this version of the game will ever be released outside of Japan. The original version was released in North America three years after its Japanese release, and the same goes for the other Famicom releases and for Final Fantasy I. A fan translation of the PlayStation remake of Dragon Quest IV is underway by an online translation group called Partial Translations.
Dragon Quest V
Enix released their first Dragon Quest Super Famicom game on September 27, 1992 in Japan. There was no North American release due to the closure of Enix of America. The hero is the heir of Granbania. His mother died while giving birth to the hero. After the maternal death scene, the game goes forward 6 years and the hero is traveling with his father, who is named Papas. Later on the journey, Papas was hired to take care of the Reinhart's Prince. When the prince gets kidnapped, the hero and his father tried to save him and succeeded. However, Papas later gets killed and with his last ounce of strength he tells his son that his mother is still alive. The hero and the prince are then captured by thugs.
The hero and prince were held slaves for several years until they escaped. After they escaped through an underwater path, they ended up in the nunnery. The hero is determined to find his mother. In order to go around the world, the hero will get a magic carpet. The hero's party members consist mostly of monsters that will join the party periodically. Later on, the hero has to choose between two girls to marry which will alter the game's story.
Dragon Quest V was unofficially translated into English by online translations groups called DeJap Translations and Partial Translations. The fan translation is based on the Dragon Warrior-style translations.
Square Enix released a PlayStation 2 remake of Dragon Quest V on March 25, 2004. As of April 2004, the game has sold over 1.5 million copies making it the top selling Dragon Quest remake game of all-time. The remake was developed by former Dragon Quest VII art directors, Artepiazza. It features 3D graphics that are similar to Dragon Quest VII, but it utilizes the extra PlayStation 2 graphical capabilities. The hero and his companions have to fight more monsters in the PlayStation 2 remake than they did in the Super Famicom original, but the character limit on the party has been increased from three to four. Also, there were only 40 monsters available to your party in the Super Famicom version of Dragon Quest V due to ROM limitations. The PlayStation 2 remake, however, does not suffer from this restriction. The monsters you wanted to be in your party in the Super Famicom version but could not get, now can fight along side with you in the PS2 version. The music is performed by the NHK Symphony . Another new feature in the remake is the "Yuujii's Speciality Museum;" the player has to collect local specialties from all around the world, return the items back to a guy named "Yuuji," and he will give rewards for your effort. The Dragon Quest V remake is the first Dragon Quest release in the Square Enix name. Lastly, a Dragon Quest VIII preview video disc is included in the Japanese release of Dragon Quest V remake. The Dragon Quest V remake may get localized for a North America, but as of now, Square Enix U.S.A. has not committed to the project. An fan translation is underway, until the Dragon Quest V remake is announced for localization to North America.
Dragon Quest VI
The final original Super Famicom Dragon Quest game, Dragon Quest VI, was released in 1995 in Japan. It was not released in North America. Dragon Quest VI was developed by Heartbeat, whereas the previous Dragon Quest games were developed by Chunsoft.
In the beginning of Dragon Quest VI, the hero and his friends are camping out in order to rest to destroy a monster called Maou Mudo later on. When they arrive atthe lair, the Maou Mudo warped the hero and his friends to an unknown dream-like world. The hero was in a town called Lifecod and his friends are missing. The hero is determine to go back to his "original" world and find his friends.
Dragon Quest VI features a class / job system that the hero and his fellow party members can learn to gain new skills. Other new features were added as well, such as each character having a 'personality' that goes along with their stats. The monsters are now animated when they attack you. The Slime Arena and Best Dresser Contest were the new mini-games introduced. The human warriors can learn "techs" similar to their monster party members. There are bonus features like an extra dungeon and an extra character. Finally, Dragon Quest VI doesn't have a day and night phase.
Dragon Quest VI was unofficially translated into English by the online translation groups called DeJap Translations and NoPrgress. As of early 2005 that project is only about 90% complete, though the game is playable without much problem by most English speaking gamers.
Dragon Quest VII
Though originally planned for a Super Famicom and then N64 release in 1997, Dragon Quest VII was plagued with delays for years. In 2000 the developer, Heartbeat, finally finished the game, and by August of that year, Dragon Quest VII: Eden No Senshi Tachi (Warriors of Eden) became the best selling Japanese PlayStation game of all-time. Enix of America released the North American version, Dragon Warrior VII, in November 2001
When it came out in 2000 in Japan, more than one year before the North American release, it had outdated graphics for a PlayStation game and still has most of the elements of past Dragon Quest games.
The Dragon Quest VII Cast of Characters: An unnamed hero is an ordinary boy living in a fishing village known as Fishbel. He is friends with the Fishbel boat owner's daughter, Maribel and the Prince of Estard, Kiefer. Later on the game, you will meet a swordfighter named Aira, Marvin, a mythical hero, and a boy named Gabo.
Dragon Quest VII's story started out in a tiny island called Estard Island. However, it is not just an ordinary island because it is the only landform in the world. Estard Island was surrounded only by water. That would start to end when the unnamed hero and Kiefer discover a portal that goes back in time... To free other land masses, you must find tablets scattered around the present and past.
In order to beat this game, you need to master several classes to gain skills to defeat the last boss, Orgo Demirra, otherwise known as the Demon Lord. There are 20 different job classes, and countless other monster classes. The ten basic classes: Warrior, Fighter, Mage, Cleric, Dancer, Thief, Bard, Mariner, Sheperd, and Jester. You can build a new town from scratch by finding immigrants scattered around the world. There is also an option to catch monsters for a monster park, not unlike a zoo. Another sidequest in this game is to fight God. Dragon Quest VII is known to take somewhere in the neighborhood 70-100+ hours to beat the main quest.
Dragon Quest VIII
Dragon Quest VIII was released November 27, 2004 on the PlayStation 2. It was being developed by Dark Cloud series creators, Level-5. Yuji Horii still oversaw the project, while Akira Toriyama continued designing the monsters and characters, and Koichi Sugiyama resumed his role as composer.
Dragon Quest VIII sports graphics similar to those of Dark Cloud 2 in that it has cel-shaded textures on the characters and scenery. Dragon Quest VIII's battles are not limited to a first person perspective like its predecessors. Instead, it contains some third person views as in the recent 3D Final Fantasy games. A trailer of Dragon Quest VIII was included with the Japanese release of the Dragon Quest V PlayStation 2 Remake.
The main Dragon Quest VIII supporting cast of characters are a whip-carrying woman named Jessica, a scar-faced fighter named Yangus, a green monster-like person named Torode, and Kukule, a swordfighter with silver hair.
In its first three days after being released in Japan, Dragon Quest VIII has sold over 3 million copies.
On January 11, 2005, Square Enix announced that Dragon Quest VIII would be released in North America. An exact release date, however, remains undisclosed. In breaking with tradition, the title of the North American release has been given as Dragon Quest VIII, not Dragon Warrior VIII.
North American Games List
- Dragon Warrior I — Nintendo Entertainment System (1989)
- Dragon Warrior II — Nintendo Entertainment System (1990)
- Dragon Warrior III — Nintendo Entertainment System (1991)
- Dragon Warrior IV — Nintendo Entertainment System (1992)
- Dragon Warrior Monsters — Nintendo Game Boy Color (1999)
- Dragon Warrior I & II — Nintendo Game Boy Color (2000)
- — Sony PlayStation (2000)
- Dragon Warrior Monsters II: Tara's Adventure — Nintendo Game Boy Color (2001)
- Dragon Warrior Monsters II: Cobi's Journey — Nintendo Game Boy Color (2001)
- Dragon Warrior VII — Sony PlayStation (2001)
- Dragon Quest I & II — Nintendo Super Famicom (1993) and Game Boy Color (1999), Dragon Quest I for cellular phone (2004)
- Dragon Quest III — Nintendo Super Famicom (1996) and Game Boy Color (2000)
- BS Dragon Quest — Super Famicom Satellaview (1998)
- Dragon Quest IV — Sony PlayStation (2001)
- Dragon Quest Characters: Torneko no Daibouken 2 Advance — Nintendo Game Boy Advance (2001)
- Dragon Quest Monsters I & II — Sony PlayStation (2002)
- Dragon Quest V — Sony PlayStation 2 (2004)
- Dragon Quest Monsters
- Kenshin Dragon Quest
- Torneko for PlayStation.
- Slime Morimori Dragon Quest for Game Boy Advance.
Fan Translation Games List
- Dragon Quest VI (Super Famicom) — fan-translated into English by NoPrgress in 2001
- Dragon Quest V (Super Famicom) - fan-translated into English by DeJap Translations in 2001
- Dragon Quest I & II (Super Famicom) - fan-translated into English and Spanish by RPG-One in 2002
- Dragon Quest III (Super Famicom) - fan-translated into English by DeJap Translations and RPG-One and into Spanish by RPG-One in 2004
Manga and anime
- Dragon Quest: Abel Yuusha — loosely based on Dragon Quest III, 30+ episodes, 13 episodes dubbed in the United States
- Dragon Quest: Dai No Daibouken — loosely based on Dragon Quest II, 37 volumes, 46 episodes, 3 movies
- Dragon Quest: Emblem of Roto — takes place prior to Dragon Quest I, 21 volumes, movie
- Dragon Quest: Maboroshi no Daichi — based on Dragon Quest VI
- Dragon Quest: The Heaven Saga — based on Dragon Quest V
- Dragon Quest: Warriors of Eden — based on Dragon Quest VII
- Final Fantasy
- Chrono Trigger
- Fire Emblem
- Shin Megami Tensei
- Video game music
- Fan translation
- Enhanced remake
- Dragon Quest Shrine
- Dragon's Den
- Besu's Slime Shrine
- Kingdom of Alefgard
- Square Enix's Official Dragon Quest Website (Japanese)
- Dragon Quest Tsuhan (Japanese)
- RPG-One Translations, site containing the Japanese-to-English fan translation patch for the Super Famicom version of Dragon Quest I & II.
- DeJap Translations, site containing the Japanese-to-English fan translation patch for Dragon Quest V for the Super Famicom.
- Dragon Warrior World A site on the Dragon Warrior series which also has website templates.
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