Dragon Quest Designers

Yuji Horii

Dragon Warrior Scenario and Game Designer
Chief Executive Officer of Armor Project and Director of Enix Corporation
Year of Birth: 1954

Yuji Horii started in the videogame industry in 1982, the year he designed a game called Love Match Tennis that won a video game design contest sponsored by Enix. Since then, Mr. Horii has created many hit games, including the murder mystery titles Port Pier Renzoku Satsujin Jiken (The Murders at Port Pier) and Okhotsk ni Kiyu (Disappearance at the Sea of Okhotsk). He also designed the game series Itadaki Street.

Mr. Horii is best known for Dragon Warrior (known as Dragon Quest in Japan), the series he conceived and designed. Mr. Horii has been in charge of the series since day one and he continues to breathe inspiration, easy to understand gameplay, detailed scenarios and believable characters into the much-loved series.

Akira Toriyama

Dragon Warrior Character Designer
Year of Birth: 1955

In 1979 Akira Toriyama's first comic book series, Dr. Slump, debuted in Weekly Shonen Jump magazine. From the outset, it was a huge success. The phenomenon known as the "Arale-chan Boom" swept through Japan. His next series, Dragon Ball, solidified Mr. Toriyama's status as one of the world's most popular cartoonists.

Mr. Horii, who also wrote columns for Weekly Shonen Jump, requested that Mr. Toriyama design characters for the original Dragon Quest game. This game was later released in the North America as Dragon Warrior. The presence of characters and monsters designed by Mr. Toriyama contributes greatly to the popularity of the Dragon Warrior franchise.

Koichi Sugiyama

Dragon Warrior Music Composer

The composer for this game was Koichi Sugiyama, a classically trained musician with experience writing orchestral pieces. He had also written film scores; in 1989, long after he had been established as a leading game composer, he did the music for a Godzilla movie. Mr. Sugiyama did something everyone had previously thought was impossible; he recreated the sound of classical music on the Nintendo. For the first time, game music aspired to be musical, and not just bearable.

In fact, Sugiyama's music for Dragon Quest and its sequels was so popular that the Dragon Quest III soundtrack was released as an album. Moreover, the music was arranged for an orchestra and an album was made of that too. Sugiyama did all the arranging himself. He no doubt had the orchestra in mind when he was writing the pieces in the first place. The success of the Dragon Quest albums started a trend, and thereafter, all major video games were released, both in "Original Soundtrack Versions" and often arranged for orchestras.