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Dragon Quest (game series)

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For the anime series, see Dragon Quest (anime series).
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Dragon Quest (Japanese: ドラゴンクエスト Doragon Kuesto) is a series of role-playing games made by Square Enix (originally Enix Co.) 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 9 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 [1] 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 (9 versus 14 total games). 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 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 bent, 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 pre-determined 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

JP Dragon Quest
ドラゴンクエスト
NA Dragon Warrior

Famicom

JP May 27, 1986
NA August 1989
MSX
JP 1986
Super Famicom
JP December 18, 1993
Game Boy Color
JP September 23, 1999
NA September 27, 2000
Mobile phones
JP 2004
Wii
JP September 15, 2011
Android & iOS
JP November 28, 2013
WW September 11, 2014

DQ2logo Dragon Quest II

JP Dragon Quest II: Akuryo no Kamigami
ドラゴンクエストII 悪霊の神々
NA Dragon Warrior II

Famicom

JP January 26, 1987
NA December 1990
MSX
JP February 1988
MSX2
JP May 1988
Super Famicom
JP December 18, 1993
Game Boy / Game Boy Color
JP September 23, 1999
NA September 27, 2000
Mobile phones
JP 2005
Wii
JP September 15, 2011
Android & iOS
JP June 26, 2014
WW October 9, 2014

DQIIIGBC box art Dragon Quest III

JP Dragon Quest III: Soshite Densetsu e…
ドラゴンクエストIII そして伝説へ…
NA Dragon Warrior III

Famicom

JP February 10, 1988
NA June 12, 1991
Super Famicom
JP December 6, 1996
Game Boy Color
JP December 8, 2000
NA July 7, 2001
Mobile phones
JP November 19, 2009
Wii
JP September 15, 2011
Android & iOS
JP September 25, 2014
WW December 4, 2014

DQIVDS box art Dragon Quest IV

JP Dragon Quest IV: Michibikareshi Monotachi
ドラゴンクエストIV 導かれし者たち
NA Dragon Quest IV: Chapters of the Chosen

Famicom

JP February 11, 1990
NA October 1992
PlayStation
JP November 22, 2001
Nintendo DS
JP November 22, 2007
NA September 16, 2008
EU September 12, 2008
AUS September 11, 2008
Android & iOS
JP April 17, 2014
WW August 7, 2014

DQVDS boxart Dragon Quest V

JP Dragon Quest V: Tenkū no Hanayome
ドラゴンクエストV 天空の花嫁
NA Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride

Super Famicom

JP September 27, 1992
PlayStation 2
JP March 25, 2004
Nintendo DS
JP July 17, 2008
NA February 17, 2009
EU February 20, 2009
AUS February 19, 2009
Android & iOS
JP December 12, 2014
WW January 22, 2015

DQVIDS EU Boxart Dragon Quest VI

JP Dragon Quest VI: Maboroshi no Daichi
ドラゴンクエストVI 幻の大地
NA Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation

Super Famicom

JP December 9, 1995
Nintendo DS
JP January 28, 2010
NA February 14, 2011[2]
EU May 20, 2011
Android & iOS
JP TBA

DQVII3DS JP Boxart Dragon Quest VII

JP Dragon Quest VII: Eden no Senshitachi
ドラゴンクエストVII エデンの戦士たち

Playstation

JP August 26, 2000
NA November 1, 2001
JP March 2, 2005
(PSOne Books re-release)
JP June 20, 2006
(Ultimate Hits re-release)
3DS
JP Febuary 7, 2013
Android & iOS
JP TBA

DQVIIIPS2 box art Dragon Quest VIII

JP Dragon Quest VIII: Sora to Umi to Daichi to Norowareshi Himegimi
ドラゴンクエストVIII 空と海と大地と呪われし姫君
NA Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King

Playstation 2

JP November 27, 2004
NA November 15, 2005
EU April 13, 2006
AUS April 12, 2006
Android & iOS
JP December 12, 2013
WW May 28, 2014
3DS
JP August 27, 2015

DQIXDS box art Dragon Quest IX

JP Dragon Quest IX: Hoshizora no Mamoribito
ドラゴンクエストIX 星空の守り人
NA Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies

Nintendo DS

JP July 11, 2009
NA July 11, 2010
EU July 23, 2010
AUS August 19, 2010

Yet to be released overseas. DQXWii JP Boxart

JP Dragon Quest X
ドラゴンクエストX

Wii

Wii
JP August 2, 2012
Wii U
JP March 30, 2013
Windows
JP September 26, 2013
Android
JP December 16, 2013
3DS
JP September 4, 2014

Wii
JP December 5, 2013
Wii U
JP December 5, 2013
Windows
JP December 5, 2013

Wii
JP April 30, 2015
Wii U
JP April 30, 2015
Windows
JP April 30, 2015

 Yet to be released overseas. No boxart

JP Dragon Quest XI
ドラゴンクエストXI

Wii U

JP 2016

Monsters series

Cover art Title Release Date
Dragon Quest Monsters

JP Dragon Quest Monsters: Terry no Wonderland
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
NA Dragon Warrior Monsters

JP September 25, 1998
NA December 31, 1999
EU January 25, 1999

Dragon Quest Monsters 2

JP Dragon Quest Monsters 2: Maruta no Fushigi na Kagi
ドラゴンクエストモンスターズ2 マルタのふしぎな鍵 NA Dragon Warrior Monsters 2

JP March 9, 2001
NA September 15, 2001

Dragon Quest Monsters 1+2

JP Dragon Quest Monsters 1+2: Hoshi Furi no Yūsha to Bokujō no Nakamatachi

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

JP May 30, 2002

Dragon Quest Monsters Caravan Heart

JP Dragon Quest Monsters: Caravan Heart
ドラゴンクエストモンスターズ キャラバンハート

JP March 29, 2003

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

JP December 28, 2006
NA November 6, 2007
EU March 14, 2008
AUS March 13, 2008

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

JP April 28, 2010
NA September 19, 2011

Dragon Quest Monsters Joker 2 Professional

JP 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

JP March 31, 2011

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