Dragon Quest series creator Yuji Horii has opened up to Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu about the two current projects he is working on, the action game “musou” spin-off Dragon Quest Heroes: The Dark Dragon and the next main game in the franchise Dragon Quest XI. Both are in development simultaneously, and both satisfy the directions Horii wants to take the franchise.
For quite some time, Horii has wanted to make an action game out of Dragon Quest. In fact, the original build for Dragon Quest IX was more of an action-RPG style of game, but Horii was forced to change it after the fan community in Japan erupted with horrible backlash. Despite the change, Horii wanted to keep his vision alive and claims he was approached by Koei Tecmo to make a spin-off in the vein of their Dynasty Warriors series.
I wonder if Horii had any idea that Koei Tecmo was working on Hyrule Warriors at the time.
Dragon Quest Heroes: The Dark Dragon‘s story sees one million of the beloved classic monsters from the series invading a kingdom, and only a small band of warriors stand between them and the destruction of their home. Nice and old fashioned, just like Dragon Quest should be. Our heroes this time are a sword swinger named Akuto, a lady fencer named Meer, an aging heavy bruiser named Dirk, and a tinkerer named Julietta.
Chiming in at the end of the trailer are also Alena, Kiryl, and Maya from Dragon Quest IV and Terry from Dragon Quest VI. Horii did not mention any crossovers or gameplay appearances from fan-favorite heroes in his interview, so only the trailer suggests this will happen.
The game has been in development since last year, and Square Enix is producing and supervising while Koei Tecmo develops. To date, Dragon Quest X is the only game that has been developed in house at Square Enix, so a foreign entity working on the property is nothing new.
Longtime classical composer Koichi Sugiyama is returning to write new fully orchestrated music, and all of the classic 8-bit sound effects that appear in every game aren’t going anywhere. I can’t imagine hearing those slashes over and over again cutting through trash mobs.
Horii closed the interview stating that Dragon Quest XI is in production, but he declined to provide any further information like a platform or release window because he wants fans to be excited for Dragon Quest Heroes first.
“Dragon Quest XI is being developed simultaneously alongside Dragon Quest Heroes, but we’d like you all to play this title first to bring out enlivened feelings before going to the next title.”
All we know is that it won’t be appearing on smartphones. Horii is not a fan of mobile gaming. He teased earlier during E3 that he was thinking of a more traditional game in the vein of Dragon Quest VIII on the latest console hardware. All I can say is, “Yes please!”
Dragon Quest Heroes: The Dark Dragon, Dragon Quest XI, and a brand new Dragon Quest Monsters game on the Nintendo 3DS are all in development at the same time. Combined with the five on the Nintendo 3DS that Square Enix hasn’t localized yet, this will bring the total to eight games! You have to wonder if Square Enix is going to dump them all on us at once or not even bother at all.
Regardless, Dragon Quest Heroes: The Dark Dragon is bound for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 in spring 2015, and it sounds like Dragon Quest XI is also PlayStation 4 bound. Region-free gaming opens the doors to importing, and my limited Japanese ability is surprisingly enough to struggle through Dragon Quest‘s simple stories. Nothing is holding me back from these two.