Yuji Horii

po_Quest-Dragon2bDragon Quest, known as Dragon Warrior in the USA, is the first role-playing video game (RPG) in the Dragon Quest media franchise.

It was developed by Chunsoft for the Family Computer (known in Japan as the Famicom) and published by Enix in Japan in 1986. Dragon Warrior has been ported and remade for several video game platforms, including the MSX, PC-9801, X68000, Super Famicom, Game Boy Color, and mobile phones.

A version of the game for Android and iOS has been released in Japan on November 28, 2013. During the game, players control a hero character who is charged with saving the kingdom of Alefgard and rescuing its princess from the antagonistic Dragonlord. Dragon Warriors story later became the second part in a trilogy that encompasses the first three games in the series. Several anime and manga, which revolved around this overarching plot, were created. Two of the manga take place between the events in Dragon Warrior and its prequel Dragon Warrior III.

po_Quest-DragonThe game was created by Yuji Horii, who took inspiration from previous RPGs such as Wizardry, Ultima, and his own 1983 title The Portopia Serial Murder Case. Horii wanted to create an RPG which would appeal to a wide audience of people who were unfamiliar with the genre or video games in general, place a greater emphasis than other RPGs on storytelling and emotional involvement, and expose the mainly Western genre to Japan. Manga artist and Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama produced the game’s artwork and Koichi Sugiyama composed its music. The North American localization released in 1989 featured numerous changes, including battery-backed RAM save games (rather than using a password save system), modified character sprites and pseudo-Elizabethan English style dialog.

Dragon Quest was commercially successful in Japan; its release as Dragon Warrior in North America was less favorably received. Later, Western critics noted the game’s shortcomings but acknowledged its importance to the genre. Its original pseudo-Elizabethan English script has been praised in many of these reviews. Fan-made ROM hacks were released with substantial changes to the game. The game’s sound effects have also been orchestrated, and its music has been performed at numerous concerts. As a whole, Dragon Warrior has been credited with establishing the basic template for the Japanese console RPGs that followed.