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Thursday, May 27, 2021

The DRAGON QUEST 35th Anniversary Announcements

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Well, it could've been condensed. We don't really know much, still.

Last night—and I watched it on-demand this morning—SQUARE ENIX had a 35-year Dragon Quest anniversary announcement stream featuring series creator Yuji Horii and some TV personality named JOY, where they had SIX game announcements. Here's the stream... though I don't recommend you actually watch it.

Basically, it's in Japanese, and there's one English translator but several Japanese speakers, and it was a live event and the translator didn't know what would be said before it was being said. So it's an unfortunate mess, and the Japanese speakers tended to not actually provide any useful information. At one point, they dedicated their commentary to making fun of Dragon Quest producer Taichi Inuzuka transitioning from becoming “skinny” to putting on weight rather than give any additional information on the game he was presenting. ...There was a LOT of the Dragon Quest theme that played, though.

Anyway, I constructed this table summarising what was discussed, so you don't have to watch the anniversary stream and can come away with what little we know:

Game Name Available Platforms Release Time and Locations
Dragon Quest KESHIKESHI iOS and Android mobile trash 2021, might be worldwide later after Japan release? Match-3 free-to-play puzzle mobile game
Dragon Quest X Version 6 expansion Where it already is available 2021, Japan-only The next version of Dragon Quest X, an online game. Features some kind of angel character.
Dragon Quest X Offline Unknown 2022, Japan... other locations not mentioned An offline version of Dragon Quest X, but with a more charming chibi look.
Dragon Quest III HD-2D remake Unspecified home consoles Simultaneous worldwide release at an unknown year A remake of Dragon Quest III, but in the art style of Octopath Traveler.
Dragon Quest Treasures Unknown 2022, worldwide release Features children versions of Erik and Mia (brother and sister) from Dragon Quest XI in a spin-off that claims to be a non-traditional RPG.
Dragon Quest XII: The Flames of Fate Unknown Simultaneous worldwide release at an unknown year The next mainline release of Dragon Quest. Will change the battle system in an unknown way, and have some more “adult” themes.

They may or may not remake other DRAGON QUEST games in the HD-2D style... probably depends how well this one sells.

This isn't the first time the Dragon Quest games have done spin-offs with non-main characters. You know, not counting Slime as a non-main character. (I really, really was hoping they'd remake or port Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime, but no...) Like, playable merchant Torneko Taloon (originally from Dragon Quest IV) got SEVERAL Mystery Dungeon-type spin-off games because... I dunno why. But I'm interested in Treasures if only because I'm biased towards Dragon Quest XI right now and there's a lot of potential in Erik and Mia's backstory for interesting adventures.

Dragon Quest Treasures producer Taichi Inuzuka Bullet Club shirt Monsters
Horii and JOY were bullying Taichi Inuzuka's width, but that Bullet Club shirt is amazing.
(That's a Japanese wrestling team.)

As for Dragon Quest XII, we basically know about as much about it as we do Metroid Prime 4. There was a cool logo and... that's really it. Yuji Horii is kind of scaring everyone about the unknown battle system change with Dragon Quest XII. Will it go from a turn-based game to... a real-time action RPG? Hope not.

The Dragon Quest III remake is also very interesting to hear about. I know there is already a Switch version of the game available (and it's on sale right now), but I don't know how well it holds up today. I'd think the remake would address that.

Ludwig isn't actually done playing through Dragon Quest XI S yet. He's stuck getting game overs against certain boss fights that he won't name-drop here because they're spoiler-y. (One of them has to do with Dragon Quest III, though.) He is past hearing about Erik and Mia's backstory, though! Let him know in the comments section if any of the announcements have caught your attention.

Square Enix wants to hear what Dragon Quest fans are thinking in the era of the 35-year anniversary, and what fans want for the future... with a survey!
The 36th anniversary day was uneventful.


  1. I've never played rocket slime but now I want to, the graphics remind me of the GBA (Specifically Superstar Saga), makes me feel kinda sad. I know some real irritable folks on social media aren't going to be happy with all the fat shaming that's been going on here. Honestly he doesn't even look that large, but maybe video takes off a few pounds.

    Even though I've never played dragons quest, I am still very thrilled to know that it's making spinoffs. Spinoffs are wonderful, especially when your also getting a mainline game around the same time.

    1. I'm taking that last bit as a veiled reference to Metroid.

    2. haha, unless said spin off is FEDERATION FORCE. An acceptable game on it's own, but a god awful excuse for a Metroid game. Although at this point, Metroid prime may as well be considered a continuation of the same Metroid storyline. When 4 finally releases it will have as many games as the original, not counting remakes or ports. A bit like the current state of paper Mario.

    3. *If 4 finally releases

      We're in a race now between Dragon Quest XII, Metroid Prime 4, and I guess Bayonetta 3 where all we know are logos.

    4. 4 will release, and it will be yet another example of development HELL. I can't wait for all the documentary's. I predict dragon quest will come out first if we don't hear any Metroid news at E3, it's already on the llth(?, I don't know roman numerals) game so why go through development HELL now?

    5. Metroid Prime is already on the 3rd game, so why go through development HELL now?

    6. On your 4th game, everything isn't quite as solidified as it is with your 11th game. Although I suppose that isn't always true. In any case the Metroid series is behind all other 'living' Nintendo franchises, in both technology and lore. I guess we just need more games. And I don't mean want, I mean NEED. I don't care too much about prime, I just want another 2d game.

    7. I dunno, things can get complicated regardless of how many games you've put out. 2D → 3D transitions, for example, or standard definition → high definition has also confounded several developers.

    8. Just imagine all the pain and grieve when games move to 4D. Hard drives will melt for sure!

    9. Oh crap I read that as "4K" at first.

      Well, those are fortunately still quite niche...!

  2. The Dragon Quest III remake looks so good! I can't wait!

    I need to play more Dragon Quest games first, though, including XI.

    1. I don't know if in XI S I just need to grind more (but pretty much just Metal Slimes because I'm not gaining EXP from much else!), or I need a totally different rethink of my strategy. >.>
      (Or lower the difficulty. ...I'd rather not.)

  3. Fun fact - Treasures was initially slated to be a Monsters game, but the team has been going through some extreme development trouble. So while a Monsters game is still in development, this is what the original project turned into.

    Overall an extremely positive event - and super excited to try all the new games that were announced.

    1. Erik and Mia being monster tamers or wotever does seem... out of character.


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