There were several announcements during the Dragon Quest 35th Anniversary Special, including five new games. The stream was hosted by TV personality Joy with very special guest Yuji Horii, who created Dragon Quest and also worked on Chrono Trigger. The two reflected on the history and legacy of the Dragon Quest series while surrounded by cool memorabilia in a room resembling a cozy office.
There were several appearances from individuals who are hard at work on the games announced with lighthearted humor mixed into the stream. There were several instances where Yuji Horii started to discuss what he’d like to see or what could happen until he was interrupted by a loud whistle offscreen. It’s hard to say if it was planned or not; knowing Yuji Horii, it could have been a planned joke or a necessary intervention before he revealed too many details. It was a fun celebration and look back on the series that also included several very cool announcements.
Dragon Quest Keshikeshi
Dragon Quest Keshikeshi is a free-to-play puzzle game coming to smartphones and tablets. It’s got cute little monsters in it and looks like it will be a fun and easy way to jump into the Dragon Quest world for a few minutes at a time. It’s easy to criticize free-to-play games but one thing to remember is that this is coming in addition to other games. It’s not like all we’re getting is this and some ports. It also looks like a really good puzzle game. I enjoyed Pokemon Shuffle a lot and am always looking for a fun, new puzzle game to play when I want to play a game or am bored but only have a few minutes to spare. Plus, this might introduce new people to the franchise so they’re aware of the series before some of the new games come out. It’s currently set to release in 2021 with no specific release date.
Dragon Quest X Online – Version 6
Dragon Quest X Online is an extremely popular and successful MMORPG set in the Dragon Quest universe. The latest update was announced but it still isn’t being localized outside of Japan. It looks like a really neat game and I’d love to play it someday. I’m glad new content is coming for those already playing it but I hope it eventually gets released internationally. I don’t really engage much with MMORPG titles but would definitely enjoy playing one set within the world of Dragon Quest.
Dragon Quest X
Dragon Quest X is an offline adaptation of Dragon Quest X Online that’s going to run with the story from the online version of the game but with some changes. It’s another way to experience the world of Dragon Quest X Online for fans of the MMORPG or a different way for people to play it for anyone uninterested in the online version. There’s no information on if this is going to be localized at this time but I could personally see this being the way Square-Enix brings the story to everyone outside of Japan and maybe even a way to test interest in the online version.
Dragon Quest III – HD-2D Remake
Dragon Quest III – HD-2D Remake looks incredible. I have not played any of the titles before Dragon Quest VII and I’m sure I’m not alone. This looks like a great way to experience the story, characters, and world of Dragon Quest III for first-time players and for anyone wanting to revisit the experience with some nice updates. The graphical style combines pixel art with 3D effects. It looks similar to Octopath Traveler’s style but warmer and more full of life. I felt like I was moving pieces for a board game when playing Octopath Traveler but this looks like a world that’s alive and breathing. I could almost feel the air when it showed the characters moving through the overworld.
There’s currently no release date but producer Masaaki Hayasaka said they’re planning on doing a simultaneous worldwide release on home consoles. They’re starting with Dragon Quest III for now since they believe it’s a fan favorite and that it’s a good place to start. Yuji Horii said he’d like to see remakes in a similar fashion done for Dragon Quest and Dragon Quest II but they’re not officially confirmed at this time.
Dragon Quest Treasures
Producer Taichi Inuzuka announced Dragon Quest Treasures as a new spin-off title in the Dragon Quest series. He was unable to share too much information but did confirm it’s an RPG but not in the traditional sense. Inuzuka also said the game will star Erik and Mia from Dragon Quest XI but take place during their childhood. The only other detail he was able to share is that this game features treasure hunting. It was a fun reveal but there weren’t too many details shared. Inuzuka also said they’re planning on a worldwide simultaneous release but the platforms and release date are not known at this time. The game looks really cute and like it might kind of wrap the addictive nature of ‘looter shooters’ into the classic role-playing style of gameplay. It’s too soon to know exactly what the game will contain but I’m really looking forward to learning more about Dragon Quest Treasures.
Dragon Quest XII
Dragon Quest XII is probably something everyone expected to see at some point but it’s finally been officially confirmed. There’s no information known outside of the quick teaser reveal and we will have to wait for another trailer or announcement to learn more about it. I’m hoping the optional retro mode from Dragon Quest XI is included too. That was a really cool mode that should be in as many role-playing games as possible. Dragon Quest XI was released on everything (even Google Stadia) so I’m hoping the same happens for XII. It did release first on PlayStation and Nintendo platforms though so maybe we’ll see a staggered release for this title as well.
The Dragon Quest series is doing really well at thinking about the future while also providing experiences for old and new fans of the franchise. Dragon Quest Keshikeshi may help a puzzle fan discover they also love RPGs. Dragon Quest X is something other MMORPGs should consider doing too because an offline adaptation of a game can keep the fun going long after servers go dark. It also helps people jump into a story they may love but at a different pace and with different framing. The ‘HD-2D’ remake of Dragon Quest III is a brilliant idea and will help people experience an earlier point in the series with a nice new coat of paint and some quality of life features thrown in. I’m extremely excited about Dragon Quest Treasures too because the last spinoff from Dragon Quest was Dragon Quest Builders, which ended up being one of my favorite titles to play that year. Dragon Quest XII may be early in development but it’s an important announcement because it reassures longtime fans that remakes and spinoffs aren’t all the developer is thinking about.
There’s something here for everyone, which kind of sums up the Dragon Quest series as a whole too. The games are really accessible compared to other RPG franchises but they still have the depth and story players want from role-playing games. We will be eagerly anticipating updates on everything announced in this stream and excited more than ever about the future of the Dragon Quest franchise.