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Dakhil

Yuji Horii's Reflection on Dragon Quest VIII

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So, Yuiji Horii did an interview on Game Informer, where he reflected upon Dragon Quest VIII.

 

Speaking about Dragon Quest VIII in this month's issue of Game Informer, series creator Yuji Horii said:

 

"If you can see a mountain in the distance, you can run to that mountain and climb up it. Nowadays, this is pretty commonplace technology, but when Dragon Quest VIII was first released, this was groundbreaking."

 

"I thought that laying out the story as a guiding path would make it possible to adventure and have fun in the world. While we have provided that path, we also intended for it to be possible to diverge from the path and enjoy the game freely."

 

Horii reflected on other aspects of Dragon Quest VIII as well while talking with Game Informer. He weighed in on the tension system for battles as well as the alchemy system, noting:

 

"I came up with the idea of occasionally but not always entering Super High Tension when building up tension. Will you be able to go Super by spending another turn to build tension? Or will you end up wasting a turn? I thought that sense of excitement was great. As for the visuals when that happened, the Super Saiyan [from Dragon Ball Z] transformation was perfect for the effect, so I borrowed that concept.

         

I wanted to come up with an alchemy system that relied on your intuition, so you would wonder what you could make by combining two different things. We started with the simple idea of combining two herbs to get a better herb, and expanded it from there. It feels great to do a lot of damage with a weapon you built yourself."

 

As for the 3DS version, Horii said the team "analyzed play feedback from users and development staff, then added in the characteristics of the 3DS hardware to come up with ideas for additional elements and changes and then decides on the ones to pursue."

 

Yuji Horii also briefly discussed Dragon Quest in general. In his view, the series' appeal is  "experiencing a life different from your own." Horii is also interested in "a fusion of the virtual and the real."

         

"This concept hasn't changed from the time we created the original Dragon Quest. The hardware, however, keeps evolving, and there have been huge advances in the technology to realize these worlds. People can have more and more realistic experiences in games. What I would like to aim for next is a fusion of the virtual and the real. It would be really amazing if I could make a game that would improve the player's real life as well."

Edited by Dakhil
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Thanks for these links and the quotes!

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Thanks for posting the interview.

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At least we know that Super Saiyan look was intended.

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I always said DQ VIII was ahead of it's time.

 

I'm glad the creator thinks the same :)

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"I thought that laying out the story as a guiding path would make it possible to adventure and have fun in the world. While we have provided that path, we also intended for it to be possible to diverge from the path and enjoy the game freely."

 

I really hope they dropped this idea for DQXI and decided to make more open like the first three games. Having a big and open world is much more meaningful when the path you take actually matters imo.

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"I thought that laying out the story as a guiding path would make it possible to adventure and have fun in the world. While we have provided that path, we also intended for it to be possible to diverge from the path and enjoy the game freely."

I really hope they dropped this idea for DQXI and decided to make more open like the first three games. Having a big and open world is much more meaningful when the path you take actually matters imo.

DQ1-3 was more wide open than 8? I thought 8 was quite huge and explorable at the right times. God forbid they go through DQVI route.

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"I thought that laying out the story as a guiding path would make it possible to adventure and have fun in the world. While we have provided that path, we also intended for it to be possible to diverge from the path and enjoy the game freely."

I really hope they dropped this idea for DQXI and decided to make more open like the first three games. Having a big and open world is much more meaningful when the path you take actually matters imo.

DQ1-3 was more wide open than 8? I thought 8 was quite huge and explorable at the right times. God forbid they go through DQVI route.

 

 

I think he's talking about how linear Dragon Quest VIII is, compared to Dragon Quest I - III. In Dragon Quest VIII, the story tells you where to go, where in Dragon Quest I - III, you have a choice of where to go without the story telling you where you're supposed to go.

 

But of course, I could be wrong.

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I found VIII to be one long road. It looked big (and it was), but most of the path you must follow was, well, a literal path. The dirt road takes you exactly where you must go, and should you need to go somewhere else, another character will be like "go this way, then take this turn and follow this landmark to the destination."

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I guess story-wise, yeah, you're right. I was thinking of just exploration. The second you could access a continent or the boat, you could pick the order of stuff to visit, but the story didn't necessarily open up.

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I found VIII to be one long road. It looked big (and it was), but most of the path you must follow was, well, a literal path. The dirt road takes you exactly where you must go, and should you need to go somewhere else, another character will be like "go this way, then take this turn and follow this landmark to the destination."

Yup. Technically you could, "Explore," but aside from a few chests and mini-medals you wouldn't find much.

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I agree with eal and cprmauldin. In a truly "open" world, you could see a mountain or tower or whatever, and you could head over that way to see it, but you might run up against some monsters that will pulverize your puny party. That's something the last few games haven't done well, in my opinion. In DQVIII, the only place I can think where that happens is right after you get the boat. If you sail toward the edges of the map you can run into trouble, but everywhere else you can land you can at least survive a battle and Zoom out. In DQIX I can't think of anywhere other than grottoes where you can get in over your head.That was one thing I vividly remember from the NES DWI-III: if you wandered around, you'd eventually get somewhere where you'd get yourself killed. I like the fact that I could get there, but that I didn't really want to be there! Of course, getting repeatedly whacked isn't fun either, and the grinding it used to take to move from one area to the next was tedious, so I think the newer games have superior playability in that respect. Especially when your gaming time is as limited as mine. One thing I've thought of that I wish Mr. Horii and the developers would explore is including changes in the storyline for going off the beaten path. For example, instead of just blocking access to certain areas that aren't yet part of the story, add in a funny side scene or even a penalty, such as getting robbed or thrown in jail. A revolt against the hero for taking the party into a situation they can't handle would be hilarious! Just my two cents, for what it's worth. I love the Den and appreciate all the Denizens that populate it. Keep up the good work!

Edited by OldGeorgiaQuester
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I suppose the only real compromise, Georgia, is a game with DQ1~3's exploration (even DQ4 had some level of this, though to a lesser degree), especially 2 and 3, and that utilizes an automatic message about the dangers of said area, and extra data if you go into party chat at that moment.  So you get some historical views....

 

Maybe a character says there's an old story of a mining crew seeking new resources, came from a land with this description, or this exact island, or continent, and this area of that continent, and disappeared.  The search party found little trace of the former crew, save a few scattered bones, and a completely wrecked campsite.  The bones were munched on as if from something rather huge, and they could hear loud growls off in the distance.  The few smaller monsters they encountered were rather difficult, so the search team left on the immediate, ill equipped to handle anything too powerful.

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That's exactly the kind of thing I was thinking of. It just seems most of the time you are excluded from an area by an NPC who is mindlessly blocking a doorway or cave entrance or whatever. And I'm not saying there's no place for that in the games sometimes. Just let us have the freedom to get slaughtered every now and then! One other thing that popped into my head after my last post was the visible enemies on the map. In the older games, the screen blurs and the music changes and you transition to the battle screen. With the new overworld map enemies, it would be possible to avoid enemies to reach a "carrot" of some sort. I think a worthwhile reward, instead of a pittance of gold or a medicinal herb, would encourage exploring and taking the risks associated with it. Horii said he wanted it to be real; give us some real risk, especially if you don't have to have the "carrot" to proceed. This is just my own thoughts about how to improve DQ. I'm not complaining, just thinking out loud, in a text-based kind of way.

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Yuji Horii also briefly discussed Dragon Quest in general. In his view, the series' appeal is  "experiencing a life different from your own."

 

I've just found my signature quote.

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That's exactly the kind of thing I was thinking of. It just seems most of the time you are excluded from an area by an NPC who is mindlessly blocking a doorway or cave entrance or whatever. And I'm not saying there's no place for that in the games sometimes. Just let us have the freedom to get slaughtered every now and then! One other thing that popped into my head after my last post was the visible enemies on the map. In the older games, the screen blurs and the music changes and you transition to the battle screen. With the new overworld map enemies, it would be possible to avoid enemies to reach a "carrot" of some sort. I think a worthwhile reward, instead of a pittance of gold or a medicinal herb, would encourage exploring and taking the risks associated with it. Horii said he wanted it to be real; give us some real risk, especially if you don't have to have the "carrot" to proceed. This is just my own thoughts about how to improve DQ. I'm not complaining, just thinking out loud, in a text-based kind of way.

 

I agree with eal and cprmauldin. In a truly "open" world, you could see a mountain or tower or whatever, and you could head over that way to see it, but you might run up against some monsters that will pulverize your puny party. That's something the last few games haven't done well, in my opinion. In DQVIII, the only place I can think where that happens is right after you get the boat. If you sail toward the edges of the map you can run into trouble, but everywhere else you can land you can at least survive a battle and Zoom out. In DQIX I can't think of anywhere other than grottoes where you can get in over your head.That was one thing I vividly remember from the NES DWI-III: if you wandered around, you'd eventually get somewhere where you'd get yourself killed. I like the fact that I could get there, but that I didn't really want to be there! Of course, getting repeatedly whacked isn't fun either, and the grinding it used to take to move from one area to the next was tedious, so I think the newer games have superior playability in that respect. Especially when your gaming time is as limited as mine. One thing I've thought of that I wish Mr. Horii and the developers would explore is including changes in the storyline for going off the beaten path. For example, instead of just blocking access to certain areas that aren't yet part of the story, add in a funny side scene or even a penalty, such as getting robbed or thrown in jail. A revolt against the hero for taking the party into a situation they can't handle would be hilarious! Just my two cents, for what it's worth. I love the Den and appreciate all the Denizens that populate it. Keep up the good work!

These ideas are well thought out...I like em.

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