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I have a friend, as I am sure you all do, who is in love with the Final Fantasy series. As someone who has played and enjoyed both Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy, I attempted to have a conversation with this friend, to see what he thought of the two series, and why he would play one but not the other. So, for this topic, we will be discussing Final Fantasy vs. Dragon Quest. Important backround: Friend A has played every Final Fantasy game. Friend A has played Dragon Quest IX. Beets (yours truly) has played every Dragon Quest game. Beets has played the Final Fantasy games numbered I-VII, with some experience with XII and XIII and general knowledge about the rest. Let us being the conversation. Beets: oh. so you've played the generic one Friend A: well beets, i get the impression they are all generic Beets: i just meant that DQ9's got no faces. all I meant was that that game's town's are all disconnected, and that the story is fed to you in little bits, and that you just forget the bits after you've been fed. that's all I meant! i really meant that you played the least representative sample of a Dragon Quest game that you possibly could have. you can't say the series is generic without having played the rest Friend A: ok, Final Fantasy I, II, and III, they tried to be Dragon Quest-- Beets: they sure tried to be! Friend A: right, and for all intensive purposes they might as well be Dragon Quests Beets: yo, for the sake of argument, let's just say that Final Fantasy I is better than Dragon Quest I. now, i don't actually think that, but let's just say it is, because many would think so. Dragon Quest has one character. Final Fantasy has four characters. that's kinda critical, you know? Friend A: right, so, rpgs are about role-playing. Dragon Quests are about role-playing you; you name your character and you go on a quest. Final Fantasy gives the player four party members. so, if the player wants the black mage to be stoic, they can, and if they want their monk to be very brave, they can Beets: yeah, in Dragon Quest, you only had one party member. in Final Fantasy, you have four. that's four times the $#!& to manage; people like that! people play games, as we have discussed earlier, because they like to manage $#!&. where do you think your milk and cheese come from, anyway? dude, the monsters--let's have a history lesson. take a peak at the boxarts for these games: look man, japan got this pretty cool anime boxart with toriyama's work all over it. people like that stuff. then look at this! this is what people in america where sold: Dragon Warrior. it's generic, it envokes Dungeons & Dragons ripoff. and i mean we can't deny it, Dragon Quest a love letter to Dungeons & Dragons. but people in japan saw toriyama's boxart, and then they played the game, and nothing looks like toriyama's art! like, nothing. except for the dragon and dragonlord. but he's not 'till like the end, man. i guess there's the golem, too. but man, the rest look like an ugly globs of pixels. but you know what? nobody cared: japan ate that stuff up. they loved it for what it was. it's fun. Dragon Quest is fun. and then comes Dragon Warrior. all the kids look at it and think "ahh yeahh, time for a cool manly beef-time, time to add another dragon head to my wall of plastic swords," right? that's what this boxart says. Friend A: but that's what marketing is. they were able to market the same game to two different markets. Beets: yeah but it failed! nobody cared about Dragon Warrior in america. people saw this boxart, they expected something, and they play it and didn't get that something. they expected to go on a dragon-killing spree only to be disappointed that there's only two dragons. people wanted dragon combat, but Dragon Warrior isn't about the combat . . . Friend A: then what is it about Beets: it's about the people! the towns you explore, the conversations you have. there's only one save point, but you don't lose experience, so long as you don't turn off the game anyone can beat it. but it's never about "man, i'm ready to kick some big dragon butt" Friend A: it's about the classic role-playing adventure. it's about The Quest Beets: yeah! but they wanted to market it different Friend A: yeah, the marketing flopped, and they couldn't give 'em away Beets: do you know there's three sequels on the NES? three! nobody knows what those are! and then Final Fantasy comes along Friend A: right, nobody wants to play 3 or 4 because of the ever lurking question "what if i missed something big in the previous game?" the smartest thing Final Fantasy did with regards with its western releases was to skip the games and rename the ones they did release "II" and "III" Beets: yeah they skipped the bad ones. best decision squaresoft has ever made! Friend A: Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy are both about the classic role-playing adventure. some might argue Final Fantasy did it a little bit better, by giving you more party members, and II tried to give the characters personality and goals-- Beets: let's not talk about II--no one wants to talk about II Friend A: no one wants to talk about II, and they shouldn't, but the point is they tried something, which is big. Dragon Quest is about perfection. if one guy doesn't like one Dragon Quest, i'd find it hard to recommend the others in the series, whereas i could recommend a different Final Fantasy game to each person depending on who they are . . . to be continued in the meantime, let's ask ourselves this incredibly leading question: is Final Fantasy better than Dragon Quest?