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"Dragon Quest XI Devs Talk Monsters, Hidden Secrets, And Why The West Is Getting More"


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http://www.siliconera.com/2018/07/16/dragon-quest-xi-devs-talk-monsters-hidden-secrets-and-why-the-west-is-getting-more/

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Siliconera: Dragon Quest games typically have a silent protagonist with other JRPGs have you step into a character. What makes a silent protagonist interesting?

Yuji Horii, designer and series creator: The connection is the main protagonist is essentially the player. If we create words for the protagonist to say then we feel there would be a disconnect since the silent protagonist is the player. The game is created in a way so players would imagine what the protagonist would say at any given moment. The main character doesn’t have much of a personality since he represents the player and the way I create party characters is to make them unique characters so that stand by themselves.


Can you tell us about how you created the party member characters in Dragon Quest XI?

Yuji Horii: Erik, one of the characters you encounter first in the game and the rogue character, he meets the hero in the story and identifies him as the Luminary. Erik was told a prophecy that he will save the Luminary and it creates this unexpected moment. Later in this storyline, they need to jump off a cliff and Erik believes in the Luminary’s powers and follows him to jump off the cliff.

 

Why did you want to make the hero a chosen one archetype?

Yuji Horii: Looking back, this is meant to be culmination of the past 30 years of Dragon Quest. We wanted to go back to the roots and origins which came down to making the main character the Luminary.

 

Yeah, there are throwbacks to the entire series like Roto’s Sword in the game too.

Yuji Horii: You’re right there are homages to the past Dragon Quest games. Anyone who hasn’t experienced the past Dragon Quest games can still experience these as episodes within this game and enjoy with these characters. These are something everyone can enjoy without knowing about the past games.

 

While Slimes and Drackys have been around since the first game, the world in Dragon Quest XI is a living world where we’ll see monsters interacting with each other. Can you tell us about how you designed this?

Yuji Horii: If you look back at the original games there were quite a lot of limitations. You would encounter monsters and that would be it. Given the advancements in hardware and animated monsters we were able to dive into what kind of habitats they would live in and what kind of mannerisms they have. The development team put a lot of thought into what these monsters may be doing and brought them to life.

Takeshi Uchikawa, Director: We also hope players look at the monster compendium in game. This has little tidbits about the monsters and how they behave. We wrote these tidbits for all of the monsters in the game.
Hokuto Okamoto, Producer: After the game came out in Japan, there was quite a bit of buzz about a baby panther-like monster. Since it is a baby it plays in the world and with other monsters too. There is a particular monster the baby panther shows interest in and the other monster is surprised when the baby panther finds it and the baby panther squirms away. Other times its rolling around and having fun. It’s very cute. In Dragon Quest XI, you can do a field attack to strike it and we saw online some players were tweeting that they felt bad about it and it created conversation because the monster was so cute.

 

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The Dragon Quest monsters always have been quite cute compared to other RPGs. Why did you want to create cute monsters for players to fight?

Yuji Horii: It’s because we wanted Toriyama-san to design the monsters. When I was originally developing the original Japanese version, we didn’t say we wanted to kill a monster. We said we defeated the monster and left the impression this monster may have ran away. We left it open to a player’s imagination.

[Okamoto shows a photo on his phone of two Dragon Quest Slimes, one drawn by Horii-san which was a more monster-like blob of slime and a pink one drawn by Toriyama-san.]

 

Dragon Quest XI changes the combat system too. Could you tell us why you switched to individual turns for characters?

Yuji Horii: We felt it would be a little more realistic and it would be easier to think through. Also, we have pep powers for combo attacks.


Discovering hidden treasures was a big part of Dragon Quest. With a bigger world in Dragon Quest XI, how did you hide secrets for players to discover?

Yuji Horii: We spent time to think this through. When you’re walking around world and if you got lost we want to ensure that getting lost wasn’t a waste. You might find something at a dead end of a dungeon. We went out of our way to place things in locations that some players may never discover.

Takeshi Uchikawa: Given that we have a more expansive world compared to some of our past games, we considered different kinds of players and what they want to do within this world. We thought about this when we placed treasure chests or shining spots with items. We want players to enjoy getting lost in this world.

Hokuto Okamoto: [Laughs] Originally, these items were placed on the path and served as a marker. This didn’t allow players to go to the far ends of the world, but it developed into what we have in the game now.

 

Are there any secrets that players haven’t discovered or found in the Japanese version yet?

Hokuto Okamoto: [Laughs] There is something! It’s not an item, but there is something that hasn’t been discovered yet. It’s a spell of restoration, though, so it’s not in the overseas version.

Yuji Horii: Unfortunately, the spell of restoration is not included in the overseas version, but rest assured any items you can receive through the spell of restoration you can receive in a different manner within the game itself.

If I did say there was an item or something in the world that has not been discovered would that fire up overseas fans?

 

Hmm… I think players all over the world like searching for secrets and Easter Eggs developers may have hidden in their games.

Yuji Horii: In the overseas version, the spell of restoration never existed so we couldn’t incorporate it in a meaningful way in Dragon Quest XI’s overseas version.

 

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Are you thinking about hiding another secret?

Yuji Horii: [Laughs]. If there is a next installment, we would like to do it.

Hokuto Okamoto: Way back, in one of the earlier Dragon Quest games, there was a certain monster that wouldn’t appear. You would encounter it, but it wouldn’t appear in the game. [Laughs]

Yes, for the next game we’ll definitely include a secret for players in it.

 

The overseas version does have new content though like voice acting and Draconian Quest difficulty mode.

Yuji Horii: English is different from Japanese and comparatively it’s simple. To get the nuances from Japanese across we needed voiceovers to get those language differences across to players. Because we have to localize the game, our overseas fans get the game a little later than our Japanese fans. [The extra content] is kind of our form of an apology so overseas fans have something new to look forward to as well.

 

Where do you want to take the Dragon Quest series next?

Yuji Horii: Games are entertainment and when you define entertainment it is to enjoy a life that isn’t your own, something that is a different life. That is something I’ve been creating and something I will continue to create.

 

Edited by Dakhil
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So what monster did you encounter that never appeared in the game? Did I miss a pic of my ex-wife in one of the instruction manuals?

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He mentioned the spell of restoration which from what I've read was used to transfer save data between the PS4 and 3DS Version.But it was also what they called the code you got after beating the game with the true ending to unlock Dragon Quest 1.I don't know if the transfer between 3DS and PS4 got you special items or not if it did then that could be what he was referring to,or he could mean that for the western release Dragon Quest I,II and III are unlockables stored on the disk. I am rooting for the later or the former if the later get released on PSN separately.

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Couple things:

52 minutes ago, Plattym3 said:

Talk secrets? Um, basically they said none.

They sort of did. They talked about secrets in the game and they said there were some.

Also, what was up with that response to why there is a protagonist of prophecy in the game? They wanted to go back to the series’ roots? There’s a chosen one hero in nearly every mainline game. And most every other part of the interview was about how this game is different from the older games, so it rings hollow to me. That one and the reason why there’s voice acting sounded like pre-planned PR answers rather than the actual thought process for those things.

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In 5 you're not the hero despite there being one, in 7 you're just a guy with the water mark but not a hero (you become a hero eventually, though), in 8 you're just a guy with good curse-preventing genes, and in 9 you're an angel. No idea about 10, but we haven't had a "chosen one" in a while.

Curious about how we might get DQ1, since there are no spells of restorations in our versions and you needed the one you got by clearing the postgame in the Japanese version. Maybe we just won't get it, or not for free.

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I don't think there have been straight up Chosen Ones in most of the games, only in IV and V, and V went out of its way to play with the concept. Other games don't make you a "chosen one" so much as have the main character's heritage be significant.

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Not in purest sense of “the ancient tablets fortols of your arrival 1000 years ago.” But aside from 7, in every game you’re the most specialest guy on the block who is meant to save the world.

And in V, you play as the chosen one, and if I remember, there was an actual prophecy that you were gonna sire the Hero.

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7 hours ago, Awesomeinblue said:

In 5 you're not the hero despite there being one, in 7 you're just a guy with the water mark but not a hero (you become a hero eventually, though), in 8 you're just a guy with good curse-preventing genes, and in 9 you're an angel. No idea about 10, but we haven't had a "chosen one" in a while.

Curious about how we might get DQ1, since there are no spells of restorations in our versions and you needed the one you got by clearing the postgame in the Japanese version. Maybe we just won't get it, or not for free.

Well...technically in 7 he is a chosen one.  The mark itself is an indicator of such.  However, it's by a lesser deity/overseer who knew the future required someone with said mark to unlock the world and based on genealogy, one who would very likely become a true hero and live up to the larger role he would have to play.  Nothing foreordained or anything.

While unmentioned so far, DQ6 was similar to 7 in that a lesser deity chose him as the only individual capable of handling the task, only to a MUCH lesser degree, in that the hero of 6 had no spiritual link to anything that could unlock or save the world, only the grit and ability to challenge Murdaw, and if successful, the rest of the Demon Lords, leading to the true malice behind the scenes.  Still chosen in a way, but more so on the spot because he had already been successful in penetrating Murdaw's Palace, had recruited capable fellows, and had the physical stamina to handle the job.

8 was like 7 and 6 in that the Hero happened to be from a bloodline capable of handling the mess, and had the grit and determination, only 8's hero wasn't helped along the way by any external force, like 6 and 7's heroes.  For him, it was simply chance he happened to collapse near Trodain, leading to his presence and the luck of the draw for the King and Princess, and being the only person capable of creating a ragtag group of allies (like 7 and 6...and even 5).

Actually, 9 is actually picked by a deity.  You forget that the special connection the main hero has is his special half-way position of part mortal and part Celestian after both visiting the Yggdrasil tree for the first time, and the moment of his fall.  He wasn't directly picked up front, but it's almost as though Celestia's dream state knew this particular Celestian was destined to undo what was about to happen.  After the second meeting in front of the tree, with the special dream, at that stage the hero IS picked for this special task by the dreamstate Celestia as Yggdrasil.  He is literally the only one who can do this by interacting directly with humans, while still retaining some element of his powers, something no other Celestian experienced, despite nearly half of them also being knocked off the Observatory and crashing to earth.  They all retained their Celestian aspects.  There are even subtle hints from the fragments of Zenus' that you were in fact chosen.

Hell.  Even 3 wasn't truly "chosen," nor 2, nor even 1.  3 happened to be from the bloodline of the strongest.  If anything, 7's storyline and ties to bloodline borrow heavily from 3, with the exception of knowledge of said bloodline.  5 is similar in terms of the Main character, which is a very necessary component to produce the Hero, but less so due to his strength as it is due to the combination of his Mother's bloodline with the original bloodline of 4's hero/heroine, which would produce the new pre-ordained hero.

1 and 2's bloodlines are just tied to the hero, but there's nothing remotely divine about them.  Nor are they ordained.  Like 5, 6, 7, and 8, it's a tough as fudge bloodline that can handle the task at hand, only one where they're expected to be the bloodline of heroes.  So it's more like the story of Ortega.  Ortega being expected to handle Baramos being the most capable fighter in Aliahan, and an established hero of the realm, though we're never told why.  It's not quite the same.

The only games with truly ordained Heroes are:

  • 4
  • 5
  • 11

The games with technically ordained (picked by deities) are:

  • 6
  • 7
  • 9 (gonna put this here, because it's in the moment of the events that lead to the downfall at the very start, as the hero isn't foreordained, but IS definitely picked and IS uniquely special allowing for fulfillment of the task)

The games where divine beings have helped the hero at some point, but where not instrumental in the choosing of said hero or the starting point are:

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7 hours ago, ignasia said:

Actually, 9 is actually picked by a deity.  You forget that the special connection the main hero has is his special half-way position of part mortal and part Celestian after both visiting the Yggdrasil tree for the first time, and the moment of his fall.  He wasn't directly picked up front, but it's almost as though Celestia's dream state knew this particular Celestian was destined to undo what was about to happen.  After the second meeting in front of the tree, with the special dream, at that stage the hero IS picked for this special task by the dreamstate Celestia as Yggdrasil.  He is literally the only one who can do this by interacting directly with humans, while still retaining some element of his powers, something no other Celestian experienced, despite nearly half of them also being knocked off the Observatory and crashing to earth.  They all retained their Celestian aspects.  There are even subtle hints from the fragments of Zenus' that you were in fact chosen. 

To add on to this, Nine actually gets backed by multiple deities; he's the favorite of Styrmling the Sacred, too.

And he's also a "chosen one" on a smaller scale, too -- he's both Aquila's first-ever apprentice and is (one of?) the youngest appointed Celestrian(s) ever, backed by Apus Major.

I can't recall the fragments of Zenus implying he was chosen, though; mostly I recall them talking about themselves or their history.

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