"What does DQ Mean to You?"

On the Dragon's Den forum, a simple question was asked; what does Dragon Quest mean to you? The result was many heartfelt submissions from fans showing their dedication and passion for the series. Here they are:



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knighTeen87:

My Life As A Dragon Warrior

Dragon Quest series have always been a real adventure to me. Because;

Playing DQ3 (GBC) in the college classes without getting caught, it was always quite a dangerous adventure.

Shop by shop, searching for hama beads with my girlfriend to make a heal-slime, it was a tiring adventure.

Making my friends laugh with the jokes from Dragon Quest, it was a very funny adventure.

Learning how to play Tantagel Castle melody with my guitar, definitely was a cool adventure.

Walking in the streets with listening Dragon Quest musics, dreaming about that I am really a Dragon Warrior, it was a crazy adventure.

Saving Money for a Wii, just to play Dragon Quest Swords, it was a tough adventure.

Teaching my girlfriend how to play Rocket Slime on my DS, surely was a romantic adventure.

And after she learns how to play, getting back my DS from her, it was another tough adventure.

But most of all, playing through entire series and realizing that no Dragon Quest games left to play, it was a really sad adventure...

But usually, I prefer to play Dragon Quest games at nights,

Lonelier and quieter it gets, I get sucked more into the Dragon Quest world.

I enter to a whole new world and lost my connection with the real one.

Deep in the night, after those long adventurous hours, I took my heroes to inn to rest them quite a bit.

And when that sweet inn tune plays, i save my game and go to bed too.

Just like real heroes do...

Because, I am a Dragon Warrior....

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Deadxxstars:

Dragon Quest is my safe happy place. It would be great to see all the games localized especially - DQ VII and DQ X.

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Princess Lily:

Well, for me DQ was first game I could play when little without having to just watch grown-ups or older kids play. It started my love of turn based RPGs. It had free exploration, limited only by how well prepared you got to travel farther, you could play at your own pace, wich is good for people like me who absolutely hate time limited games like the Mario series games back then.

Also, I've fallen in love wit the critters in the series, like the common blue Slime with it's tear drop shape and ever cheery Akira Toriyama drawn smile that's so hard to replicate or the Healslime the blue jellyfish like critter who's name says it all it heals instead of hurts despite looking like a hurty real critter. I wish such critters were real, I'd love a Healslime as a pet or rather friend.

DQ also was one of first games to do monster allies and collecting them, with DQ 5, although poorly implemented at the time (and the remake not any better) still one of earliest instances of monster allies in gaming.

DQ 9 was my first true DQ experience, playing without looking up stuff on the internet and experiencing the game as a true first time experience, ironically FF 9 was my first true FF experience... 9 must be a magic number. (I prefer not using Roman Numerals)

So basically first enjoyable gaming experience and cute critters particularly the Slime family ones (though now also things like Khalamari Kid and Wooper Trooper I also adore).

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ignasia7:

"What does Dragon Quest mean to you?"

That's a hard question to put into words. The meaning changes each time I play, those various emotional or intellectual elements that tie together in the games that draw me to it, especially given the level of simplicity at face value, but the tremendous depth hidden underneath.

I suppose for me, due to writing FAQs for the series, there's that extra drive to go further, at least in terms of gameplay, and really see what I can do, and what I can't. The small nuances that govern the system. So it's a series that definitely draws me in to want to play more, to see what more I can wring out from it. Whether I want a different type of replay, or maybe I just want to power up, or maybe I feel like sailing through the gameplay without any unnecessary grinding, just so I can stop and enjoy only the story, while the gameplay is an afterthought.

It's hard to pinpoint. Each game means something different. Does something different. As a series it touches on a surprising variety of topics. Historical concepts, sociological elements, some of those dark seedy elements of life, love, lust, and even family. Granted, the surface layers give this impression of something shallow, but paying closer attention to the words and the obviously implied meanings and simple nuances as the shifting dialogue of Debora, as she goes from cold-hearted sadomasochist, to appreciative but hard and pushy, to openly caring and considerate, to the harsh realities of such gut wrenching loss as that of a sweet and considerate wife Katrina after her loving, but work obsessed and socially awkward husband saves the town from the wretched illness coming from the Quarantomb, and the aftermath of bringing him some sense of community and companionship to alleviate his loss, as he learns he is appreciated outside of his home, and comes to accept his role in the greater community. Dragon Quest storylines have a lot to offer, but always in simple, and small doses. The larger themes tend to be the primordial good versus evil, with very fixed concepts of what good and evil actually are, but the games tend to focus on those smaller towns, and their more intimate storylines. That, in many ways, gives me a greater sense of meaning and connection to each and every place visited, and the storylines of the various NPCs.

There's the fact that every single DQ has slowly grown. It's not trying to reinvent the wheel. Rather it's like a good car company, that knows it has a good product. It doesn't fix what isn't broken. It tweaks it. Maybe one element is removed for one game, and shows up a few games later. Maybe another element is added in, to see how well the product runs, looks, feels, but it never once strives to be something different from what it is. It appreciates itself, and this shows with each game. I guess what I'm trying to say is, Dragon Quest is to videogames what ice cream is to desert. What a grilled cheese sandwich shared with your mum on a cold night, and then some hot cocoa afterwards is to food. It's simple, good, clean fun. It's intuitive to enjoy. I don't have to think about whether I like it or not. I don't HAVE to think about whether I want to delve deeper into the game or not. It's something I naturally enjoy (I just like to delve deeper).

It's like coming home. I can rest easy knowing the next game will still be Dragon Quest, no matter what is tweaked, no matter what is added, what is removed, or even what alternative gameplay is used for a new offshoot of the series. The sounds, the graphics, the way the stories unfold, the feel, the gameplay elements. It's all Dragon Quest all the time. I can always relax and just...play.

- Alexander Langella

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Mattcraft:

Dragon Quest is a nostalgia road-trip to the days of old. Where RPGs did not hold your hand, but instead backstabbed you every time you saw a silvery smile.

That's what it is to me.

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Woodus:

For me it is mainly storyline and nostalgia, for some reason DQ stories draw me in more that other series, cannot really explain why. I always have to talk to everyone in every town, and usually do multiple times to see if they have an new information for me. I played Zork, Eye of the Beholder, King's Quest series on the PC back then, but nothing had me looking forward to a new game like Dragon Quest did. Well I must have enjoyed the series, I started this site almost 20 years ago ;)

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solo:

Dragon quest is my life without it i will never get to my goal and might never make my dream come true so i will see to that the newer generations get to know dq i feel like it is my duty

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Motdrafin:

The Dragon Quest series holds some of my favorite games. They all have their own charm, with fun gameplay, nice characters, story, and art style. The Dragon Quest series has helped introduced me to other JRPG series too, and started my appreciation towards this genre- which quickly became my favorite one! The series has also gotten me through long car rides and boring days, which rapidly became fun right when I heard the title screen's fanfare.

Thank you Dragon Quest!

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But_Thou_Must:

"What does DQ mean to you?"

To me, Dragon Quest is the quintessential console RPG. It may not have been the first RPG ever or the first electronic RPG. However, its spot in video game history lies in how it brought the genre to the general gaming community. It streamlined the technical aspects of Dungeons and Dragons and presented it in a colorful world with recognizable characters and monsters. It also inspired other popular console RPG series such as Final Fantasy and Pokémon (with Dragon Quest V's monster recruitment system).

The series has a solid development team that, like the games themselves, has stayed consistent since day 1. Horii's storytelling engages the player to keep advancing the plot, especially in Dragon Quest IV and V. Toriyama's monster designs are simplistic but also instantly recognizable to any fan of the series. Sugiyama's classical soundtrack captures the essence of music: making the listener feel something (whether that be accomplishment, sadness, shock, or suspense) and bringing out the human side in people.

I love how Dragon Quest's simple, intuitive gameplay has been mostly consistent throughout the series since game 1, but with innovations along the way such as multiple party members, class changing, monster recruitment and training, and many others. The gameplay is also a source of relieving stress for me; there's nothing quite like hearing the signature "level-up" jingle after defeating metals!

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Geon:

Dragon Quest III (GBC) was the first DQ game, and RPG, that I ever played. Being very young and having no experience in the genre, I was terrible at it - so bad I could never get off the first continent. That only pushed me on though, and added to the fun. With time I learned of more DQ games and enjoyed experiencing each one.

Dragon Quest is one of my favourite gaming franchises, and one that I can buy into with faith of any new game release. The formula is fun and consistent, while the spin off games always manage to also capture my interest. The universe of DQ is a very familiar place, and seeing it again and again, with new stories to be told every time is a joy. Playing a new DQ game is a strange mix of nostalgia for all that's come before it, while a refreshing new experience with a new story, and possibly new mechanics or functionality. Not having any releases here in the West as of late has served to remind me just how much I love the series, and how much I miss it.

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Rezca:

Hnmm... I probably won't be able to write up a huge detailed post, but the DQ series was one of the earliest games I played in my childhood. I came across a magazine article that had a short gameplay guide for Dragon Warrior I on the gameboy, and I asked my parents to get it for me. I loved both games a great deal, spending most of my time playing the second game and imagining about all these wonderful looking creatures and places. When Dragon Warrior 3 rolled around, I got it the day it was released. It has to be one of my all time favorite games, and still is.

I never got the chance to play Terry's Wonderland, but I played the heck out of Tara's Adventure, still play it today even (Admittedly on an emulator, since I lost the cartridge for Tara's a few years back urfh..). Most of my early and middle childhood was taken up by Dragon Quest. I never got the chance to play the original DQ/DW games past IV, though I saw advertisements for them on the Playstation and whatnot.

So I'd say it's a large and important part of my childhood, since Dragon Warrior 2 and 3, as well as the second Monsters installment, were some of my most cherished games and influenced a lot of my writing and artwork through elementary and middle school.

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CoarseDragon:

DQ to me means adventure, interesting characters, great stories and the chance to help a world survive. But more than that DQ gives a sense of fulfillment in that you can conquer fear of the unknown (the characters that is) and have a chance to enhance your own feelings about helping others in your world, even if there is no reward.

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Charski:

I'll first start off by saying that I got into the Dragon Quest games when IX first came out, I ended up getting it as a last-minute Christmas present. When I first played it the puns threw me off big-time, but I wanted to pull through since it was a Christmas present and I had to show that I like it. I ended up later liking the game's writing so much because it had such an EarthBound feel (which was inspired by Dragon Quest). I began to like all the puns and quirky English writing of the game and once I got past that I ended up finding IX to be an amazing experience, I compared it to a game like Skyrim or Fallout considering how big and how much there was to do in it. I eventually decided to play through all of them after having such an amazing time with IX. I later made it up to playing IV and by around that time, Dragon Quest X was announced. I couldn't wait to play more Dragon Quest.

As I thought three years ago.

Ever since then there have been multiple releases of X on different platforms, and a ton of 3DS games that are currently not released outside of Japan. I just thought to myself "Why aren't they releasing these games? There were still a steady release of games before X and the 3DS games so why stop now?" It really bothers me that I get into this series just for it to fall in localization limbo once I got into the Dragon Quest games. It's really obvious to everyone around me how much this bothers me. Just when I found out Dragon Quest was good everything just stopped. I continually hope for Dragon Quest X's release, hoping that it would re-create my first-time joy with IX and to be able to show my friends just how great and enjoyable these games are. There are the iOS/Android remakes, but most of my friends avoid playing on smartphones and tablets.

So what does Dragon Quest mean to me?

Dragon Quest IX was a game that made me realise I needed to think more openly about video games, and not to be dismissal of some games at first glance. Thanks to Dragon Quest IX I've gotten into more games like Fire Emblem, Minecraft, and many other titles that I would usually act negative towards because I simply never got the joy of it. Dragon Quest was a big help in trying to break my selective video game border, and I show my best to support a franchise that had changed the way I approached playing video games. I went from enjoying games to trying to find absolute adoration in what each individual game can offer. It's why I loved playing the Dragon Quest games. Each and every single one of them always tried something new, whether it was marriage in V, or the classes of III, all of these games stand out on their own while still being a Dragon Quest games. These games are truly special, and I really wonder why I looked over Dragon Quest.

Dragon Quest helped me broaden my horizon of gaming, because of how different it was from most games and how each game [Dragon Quest and most other games] is always a unique experience.

That is how much Dragon Quest means to me, and that is what Dragon Quest means to me.

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Megalosaro:

Not really a simple question. I've been a Dragon Quest fan for so long that it doesn't mean the same thing to me now that it did when I first started playing.

I was a kid when I first started the series. I didn't really know much about anything back then. But the stories of each game taught me a lot. The characters exemplify very real themes: doing good for the sake of doing good, loyality, unwavering bravery. Some would say that these games are too simple, but for me I always looked up to their mythic portrayal of right and wrong.

As an adult, I relish these games because of that. The moral ambiguities that arise from dealing with the adult world are tiring, so it is relaxing to go back and experience something so innocent and pure. I am glad that Dragon Quest has never abandoned that tenant.

Furthermore, my appreciation for the Dragon Quest series has shaped my aesthetic tastes. I doubt I would have learned, piano if it weren't for Sugiyama's music, for example.

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Deforestater:

Dragon Quest is a safe haven for when I want to experience a fun game and fun characters. Dragon Quest IV is my favorite because you get to know your party before you get the hero

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Sneers:

"What does Dragon Quest mean to you?"

Well this will take awhile I hope you are sitting down, and are comfortable. Dragon Quest to me is not just any old game, it is my childhood to my adult life. It all started when I had a subscription to Nintendo's Fan Club before Nintendo Power came out. On release of Nintendo's first Nintendo Power magazine which came with the Nintendo Fan Club subscription, I was sent a copy of Dragon Warrior. Now at the time I wasn't really into RPGs, but was starting to get into them such as Bard's Tale and Might and Magic. When that cartridge came to my house, history was written.

From pressing the Power button on the first day, I was hooked instantly. It reminded me of Ultima but with a more linear goal, and a lot less headache. My childhood would never be the same again from this point on for the better. After completing DW1 I could not wait for the next installment of the series. Kept reading about it in Nintendo Power, and was getting extremely excited. No other game could compare at the time, except for maybe Zelda and Metroid.

Once DW2 came out I was living, eating, breathing, and enjoying DW as much as possible. I even got my family hooked namely my uncle. He was playing the first game as I was venturing through the tough second one. Though the game was 100x harder than the first for me, the party aspects and the overall more open world put me in awe as though I was mesmerized anytime I looked at the screen. Completed 2 and the wait begins again, and though I completed the game I sat down grinding until I was max level with everyone out of sheer boredom to wait for 3.

Oh man 3... where do I begin with 3... At this moment 3 to me hands down was the best of the Loto Trilogy. Create your own characters, run them through a vast world of light and dark, and end up in the world of DW1 where the story continues to DW1. I would skip school, pretend I was sick, do whatever it took to play DW3, it was my drug. Though it was bad choices back then, I still do not regret it to this day.

And now for the Zenithian Series, oh man what a twist. Playing multiple stories only to end up all meeting at the end. I will be honest at first I did not care for this game for many reasons. The small storylines made it seem as though it wasn't one game but many small stories which at first I hated. But when I found out the real story began once you meet the Hero with everyone, my mind was blown. Very awesome tactic and definitely pulled me in. By this time FF was also well into it's 4th game ( 2 for us ) and I was conflicted for FF4 was my favorite FF of all time. But even so DW/DQ held something in my heart.

Now for the heartache, and the determination of a hands down DW fan. No 5 or 6 came out... I was devastated, though I seen the game pictures in gaming magazines, I would never play them I thought. Until one day on DQ5's release date in Japan, we had a local Japanese game store around the corner from us. I popped in saw no Dragon Warrior 5, but I did notice a game that looked similar but was called Dragon Quest 5. I asked the clerk what is that he told me it is Dragon Warrior 5 but is really know as Dragon Quest. My heart sank, in the good way. I begged and dropped all my allowance into the pricy $155 brand new cart. Not even knowing a lick of Japanese I did not care for I held the best damn DQ game in history in my hands.

As time went on and I was getting stuck due to language barriers, I went to our local Japanese Mall which had a bookstore in it. And holy crap did they have the best damn selection of gaming guides ever. Thumbing through them all I found the holy grail for 550 Yen which is around $6 ( damn cheap for a full on guide with maps and unique art ) I had the power to beat DQ5 without knowing anything about the story. Showed exactly step by step where to go, what level to be there , and showed detail maps of everything towns, and dungeons. Within a month I have bested DQ5, and damn proud to say I am probably the only American on launch day , who cannot read or understand Japanese has beaten DQ5.

Time moves on, and sadly that store never got DQ6 for lack of sales of 5. Also sadly I did not own a PS1 so I was not blessed to play DQ7. But I will have to say 8, and 9 are great add ons later in life.

So what is DQ to me? 30 best damn years of my life hands down, and continued to be so. I just hope to god they bring 10 here, playing an online version of the best damn RPG ever to hit the states would be fulfilling to me. My daughter is also very knowledgeable of DQ, I have started her young. She has played 9, not beaten it but got to the whale which to me is damn good for her age. Anyways SEI if you are reading this, take this from a long term fan who has been there since day 1. Whatever title comes out from Japan, Online or not, should definitely bring to the states. Because as you can see, it is not just a game but a livelihood.

Thank you for your time,

Robert 'Sneers' Dryburgh

rpgrapture@gmail.com

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Hoshino22:

What does Dragon Quest mean to me?

That's a kind of hard question to answer...Dragon Quest may not have been the first game that I played, but it was the first game I played that held meaning to me other then gameplay. Other then what was just on the surface. The first game series I would replay over and over and get 100% every single time and still love it. Even when I play some of the games I can't understand there is something there that interests me... That keeps me coming back. It's quite hard to describe and pretty unbelievable so let me put it this way: Dragon Quest was the first game that spoke to me in more ways then just with gameplay. The first game that I took every opportunity to talk to random civilians to figure out exactly what was going on in the story and loved every second I took that small detour because it meant something.

The first Dragon Quest game I played was, surprisingly, Rocket Slime. That tiny game you can get 100% on pretty easily. The tank battles were amusing and fun, but once again, it was just gameplay to me. The characters were interesting, but I wanted to play the game not experience it. The second was another side-game, Dragon Quest Monsters Joker. Rather amusingly, the first X rank monster I worked hard towards was Mortamor. A demonic looking creature that I had no idea what it even was the first time I looked at it, but it intrigued me so I eventually synthesized it. This was the first game that spoke to me more then gameplay, because when I saw Mortamor I wanted to know what it was. When was it created? How did they get the idea for this bizarre creature? And I found it out and played my first actual Dragon Quest game, Dragon Quest VI. I love all Dragon Quest games, but Dragon Quest VI spoke to me the most. Now that may just be because it was the first real Dragon Quest game I played, but regardless, it was the first game I really felt everything that was happening. I ran through the game once and was pretty confused, to tell the truth. But after the second and third run-through, I loved how every piece of every puzzle had a place. After that game, I played Dragon Quest IV. What stood out to me about this game was its characters. Each one really developed as time went on and the result was a very realistic and life-like experience. I died quite frequently on later bosses, but every time I came back I tried something different. And eventually, I would prevail and I would celebrate and really feel excited. I felt outright rage towards Aamon for what he had done, I have hated characters in video games, but never before had I really felt rage. Felt like the truth was unfair, like something needed to come at Aamon and punish him for what he had done.

Dragon Quest V was next, followed by Dragon Quest IX, Dragon Quest VIII, Dragon Quest Monsters Joker 2. Each one of these games held special meaning to me, and I never wanted to put them down, but eventually it was over. There were no more games-no more experiences. These games really helped me become the woman I am today, but they were gone now. I, of course, imported many of them to play, but without the ability to understand them it really hindered the experience. You have no idea what I would give to experience that feeling again, but for the time I would just have to play the ones I owned... I would have to attempt to translate the ones I couldn't understand. But when I heard Dragon Quest Heroes was being localized... When I heard Square Enix said that the Western Dragon Quest fans have a bright future, I was given hope again! That feeling of a light piercing through the darkness... It was overpowering.

Is this what Dragon Quest means to me?

This is closer to how Dragon Quest makes me feel. What it has done to me. But what does Dragon Quest mean to me?

Everything.

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RaxusCarnelli:

Well, I've said it already, and I know it's been seen, but I feel guilty for putting it in the wrong place. But to me, Dragon Quest means perfection. Every Dragon Quest game I've ever played is superb, regardless of whether or not I've finished it. The monsters are well designed with comically pathetic enemies like the world famous slimes mixed in with menacing horrors like the final bosses. The characters are easy to become attached to, especially Abel, the main protagonist from Dragon Quest V (Well I heard he's supposed to be called Abel). And it features gameplay across all sorts of different genres: Standard JRPGs, Monster Collecting, Platforming, Real Time Strategy, and Hack n' Slash (in both 3rd and 1st person). There's an omnipresent, undeniable, and always appreciated charm about the games. And above all else, it remains consistent in design from game to game (well, as far as character design goes). In short, Dragon Quest, means RPG greatness to me, and I hope that Square Enix will realize that fans in the west are sorely missing these games.

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Dog of Zahan:

Dragon Quest, or Dragon Warrior, as I knew it in the formative years of my life, means my introduction to a new type of video game, a type of game I grew to love more and more through the years. If not for Dragon Quest, my time in my favorite hobby would have been far different.

The early games sparked my imagination in ways not even the action RPGs like Zelda of the day could do. The game's initial limitations were it's strengths to me. the text descriptions of actions of still characters left me to fill in the gaps. The quasi-shakespearean dialog of the first two games of the series felt authentic to the realm of knights and wizards it was portraying, and made me feel smarter for reading it. The idea of growing stronger with time, and the sense of travelling far away lands filled with danger was thrilling and empowering in a way few other games I'd played matched. I had before only played Mario games, where characters moments of power were fleeting and impermanent. Dragon Warrior opened to me a world where a new and permanent increase in ability was just one bridge, or mountain range, or cave away, and only my patience, and my strategic mind could get me there. It was a quest for my mind more than my thumbs and it produced in me a thoughtful, intelligent man out of an imaginative, dreaming boy. A boy who would attempt to create a home made board game to recapture the essence of Dragon Warrior, without even ever having heard the terms d20 or Gary Gygax. Dragon Warrior had me attempting to make a paperback RPG in my own home before I even knew what they were!

As I grew into that thoughtful man, the games I loved grew up with me, as the saga continued in parts 2, 3, and 4. The sense of continuity and growth of story in Dragon Warrior's opening trilogy was something I'd never seen before, and has grown into the sprawling epics in storytelling we know today. Dragon Warrior 4 was not connected to them in sense but theme and number, but the unique bend on storytelling with several chapters devoted to the many friends your named character would make throughout his or her adventure was something I'd never seen before or since.

The Dragon Quest series left me for several years after that, as Enix hit hard times in the 90's, but I never left it. when it returned in the 2000's and beyond, I have been impressed and a loyal follower of nearly every new adventure ever since.

To make a long story short, what does Dragon Quest mean to me? It means roots. MY roots as a gamer, and in some ways, as an imaginative person.

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redneckpride4ever:

A purely fun game experience. The turn based system crushes action based and ATB systems. The art style and music are miles above the competition. It holds my interest like no other series- and is the only game series where grinding is addictive as opposed to a chore.

Pure euphoria.

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