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Added by Prelude on 14 Mar 2008 03:12
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Dragon Warrior / Dragon Quest series

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People who added this item 135 Average listal rating (74 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 0
Dragon Warrior - Famicom and NES
Launched as 'Dragon Quest' in Japan back in 1986, this title swept thru Japan like a tsunami. In the second half of the 80s, you might have mistaken its theme music to be Japan's national anthem.

In RPG standards, it didn't compare to the PC series such as Ultima and AD&D, but the PC back then was very expensive. Dragon Warrior was revolutionary because of how much it managed to fit onto a home console. One can even say this was the birth of the RPG on the console - Final Fantasy was directly inspired by Dragon Quest.

However, despite its fanatic popularity in Japan, with DQ I, II and III all selling insane amounts of copies thru the rest of the 80s, it wasn't until 1989 that North America finally saw the original title, renamed to Dragon Warrior to avoid name infringements. By then, Zelda was all the rage in the US, and despite its massive RPG world, Dragon Warrior was a commercial flop, with many copies having to be given away for free with Nintendo Power magazine. Its primitive graphics, heavy use of text, and turn-based combat was no match for Zelda and his sword and boomerang.

But the free game giveaways did eventually establish a decent cult following - once people finished Zelda or Final Fantasy, they got time to try out this title and if the music didn't get them hooked, its simplistic yet enchanting world kept them exploring deeper into the game.
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People who added this item 39 Average listal rating (19 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 0
Dragon Warrior II - Famicom and NES
Released in Japan as Dragon Quest II in 1987, and then in North America in 1990, this title fared even worse than the original. It didn't just have to compare itself to Zelda, it also had to the much superior Final Fantasy, released 6 months prior.

Unlike the first title, you now joined forces with two other characters, a magic-user princess and a wizard-warrior prince. Battles could now occur against up to six monsters, and the world was greatly expanded.
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People who added this item 51 Average listal rating (23 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 0
Dragon Warrior III - Famicom and NES
Released in Japan as Dragon Quest III in 1988, it didn't show up in North America until 1991. For the same reasons stated above in the first two titles, this release sold very poorly and as perceived to be very dated in 1991, even more so than I & II, as the graphics were still essentially the same as the original. This title, as well as perhaps IV, are some of the rarest NES cartridges in North America.

But despite that, part III of the Dragon Warrior series introduced many major elements to the game; the now was a character class system, along with an even larger word, many more items, and many more monsters. All this combined to make this part of the 'Dragon Quest/Warrior' franchise the biggest seller ever in Japan, with about 3.8 million copies sold over there, as well coming as high as #3 best game of all time in Japanese magazines, behind Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy VII.
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People who added this item 59 Average listal rating (25 ratings) 8.4 IMDB Rating 0
Dragon Warrior IV - Famicom and NES
Released in 1990 in Japan, and in 1992 in North America, this was the last Dragon Quest/Warrior title to appear on the Famicom/NES console. It's also the first in a new trilogy called 'Castle in the Sky' (IV, V and VI and part of this trilogy).

Dragon Quest IV differed from the series by breaking up the game into five distinct chapters. The first four are told from the perspective of the Hero's future companions and the fifth one, from the hero's perspective, brings all the characters together as they begin their journey to save the world.
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People who added this item 26 Average listal rating (10 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 0
Dragon Quest V - Super famicom and SNES
This fifth game in the Dragon Quest series made its debut on the Super Famicom, and has never been released out of Japan. A remake of the game, with improved graphics, was released on the PS2 in 2004, also a Japanese-only game. And a DS remake has currently just been released in Japan, early 2008. A North American DS release may perhaps follow, giving hope that this game will finally be available outside of Japan.

According to Yuji Horii, the creator of Dragon Quest series, this installment is his favorite.
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People who added this item 37 Average listal rating (15 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 0
Dragon Quest VI (JP) - Super famicom and SNES
The sixth game was unveiled in Japan for the Super Famicom system in 1995. Despite it being the 2nd to be released on the SNES, it had vastly improved graphics to take advantage of the superior console hardware (Dragon Quest V had just slightly improved graphics over the previous four NES titles), yet the gameplay and battle system was essentially the same.

This is the rarest of all the Dragon Quest games, having only been released on SNES and only in Japan. No remake or port has ever been released for it either, although a DS remake is currently in development in Japan - depending how the market goes, it may be possible to see a North American DS version before the end of the decade.
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People who added this item 38 Average listal rating (11 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 0
Dragon Warrior I & II - Game Boy Color
First released in Japan in 1999, and then in North America in 2000, this Game Boy Color title contains Dragon Warrior I & II on a single cartridge. It's not a port of the classic NES games though, but rather a port of the 1993 Japanese SNES remake by the same name. The graphics were improved, the sound improved, and some areas have been made larger.

The Game Boy Color version had one improvement over the SNES, and that is additon of a Field Log which allowed temporary save files. This was needed due to the portable nature of handhelds, allowing the player to quickly save and resume at a later time rather than returning all the way back to castle to save your progress.
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People who added this item 37 Average listal rating (17 ratings) 8.4 IMDB Rating 0
Dragon Warrior III - Game Boy Color
Released in Japan in 2000 and in North America in 2001, this is the second appearance of Dragon Warrior on the Game Boy. Just like DW I&II, this one is based on a Japanese SNES remake of Dragon Quest III (released in 1996) and not on the original NES title, so it featured improved graphics and certain gameplay enhancements.
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People who added this item 85 Average listal rating (35 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 0
Dragon Warrior VII - PlayStation
Known as Dragon Quest VII: Warriors of Eden in Japan where it was released in 2000, Dragon Warrior VII was launched in North America shortly afterwards in 2001. It was an attempt to re-start the highly popular Japanes series with American gamers, since they've largely ignored many of the NES sequels and parts V & VI were only released on the SNES in Japan.

This title is best know for its huge size. Without even touching the dozens of side quests, the main game can take 100+ hours to complete. The formula however is the same as all previous versions, with turn-based battles with only monsters visible (not the characters). The big change is the world environment is now in 3D, but battles revered back to plain 2D style. Also, instead of one large world map, the party now has to go to various continents.

This title was a huge success once again in Japan, with almost 4 million sold over there, and it was the best-selling Japanese game in 2000. In North America however, it received mixed reviews - many applauded its massive size and extremely long gameplay, while others found the graphics absolutely awful and the title too nostalgic.
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This is a remake of Dragon Quest IV for the PlayStation, and only has been released in Japan, in 2001. The remake was developed using the Dragon Quest VII's 3D graphics engine, but was still Dragon Quest IV's story and world. With this remake came new features. Among these features were a new chapter, a new character, an intra-party talk command similar to Dragon Quest VII, and the ability to turn off the artificial intelligence for party members. Enix America originally planned to bring the remake to North America in 2002, but it was later canceled.

This remake has recently been re-launched in Japan on the DS platform.
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People who added this item 19 Average listal rating (8 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 0
Dragon Quest V - PlayStation 2
This Japanese-only PS2 remake of Dragon Quest V was a huge hit. It brought the extremely popular SNES title (also a Japan-exclusive release) and gave it full 3D graphics above and beyond the ones found in Dragon Quest VII. The Hero and his companions have to fight more monsters in this remake than they did in the Super Famicom original, but the character limit on the party has been increased from three to four.

As of 2007, Square Enix's North American branch has no known plans to localize the Dragon Quest remake, but that may be possible depending on how well Dragon Quest VIII does in North American sales.
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Having finally obtained proper copyrights for 'Dragon Quest', the series dropped its north american 'Dragon Warrior' title with the launch of 2005's Dragon Quest VIII. It also marks the first time the series appears on the US PS2 platform.

The series also takes on a beautiful anime cel-shaded style thanks to Akira Toriyama, of Dragon fame. Battles are also a lot more dynamic, showing the characters for the first time, and this title has won many praises among gamers and critics alike, in Japan as well as worldwide. The same Japanese magazine that called 'Dragon Quest III' the #3 best videogame of all time places the 8th part of this long-running series in the #4 spot.
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Dragon Quest is back! In late 2007, the series made a triumphant return by bringing Dragon Quest IV (3D enhanced PlayStation version) to the Nintendo DS platform. It has been topping DS sales charts in Japan ever since, so plans are going ahead to bring Dragon Quest V and VI to the DS as well.

While a United States release has not been unveiled, several people editing the Japanese ROM file discovered a near complete English translation along with Spanish, French, German, and Italian translations already inside the Japanese game. Many fans are taking this to mean such an announcement is imminent, however at this time the official word from Square-Enix North America is that this game is NOT slated for any release outside of Japan.
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People who added this item 51 Average listal rating (19 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 0
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The most anticipated DS release, in Japan anyways, is the next installment of Dragon Quest. A lot of radical changes are planned; battle will no longer be turn-based, but live action, and up to 4 players can link up and play the game together. The graphics will be top quality anime-style, and this will also be the first time ever the Dragon Quest series launched a new title exclusively on a handheld platform. No words on a North American version to follow, but if rumors are true that a US version of Dragon Quest IV on DS is coming soon, all DS titles of the series may follow as well.
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The History of Dragon Quest
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Role playing video games have been around since the advent of the home computer, with the likes of Aklabeth, Ultima, Wizardry, and many others. One of the most important of these is Enix's Dragon Quest (known as Dragon Warrior in America.) Created by Yuji Horii, Dragon Quest combined the overhead movement of Ultima with the first-person, random battles of Wizardy, and effectively created the Japanese RPG subgenre. It took Japan by storm, inspired dozens of clones (including Final Fantasy, its primary competitor), and remains one of the most important video games ever made.

By today's standard, it was a very simplistic game. You're a lone knight, off to retrieve a sacred artifact stolen by an evil warlord. Along the way, you'll fight some monsters (including a dragon or two, naturally), buy new weapons, and save a princess. The quest is pretty straightforward, you never gain any extra party members, and fights are primarily determined how much highly you've leveled your characters, as opposed to having any real strategy. And yet, it earned admiration all across Japan.


The Rise of Dragon Quest

So why, exactly, did Dragon Quest take off the way that it did? For starters, it had immediately accessible appeal due to the artwork supplied by Akira Toriyama, one of the most famous manga artists in Japan, responsible for phenomenons like Dr. Slump and Dragon Ball. Although the in-game graphics were primitive and barely resembled Toriyama's artwork, it provided a lot of character to the otherwise standard designs of western RPGs, which were heavily rooted in Dungeons & Dragons.

It was also one of the most in-depth games seen on the Famicom at the time. Back in 1986, if you wanted a complicated game, you needed an expensive PC. But while Dragon Quest isn't as remotely in-depth as any of those games, it offered significantly more exploration and play time than most other titles, which concentrated on arcade-style action. The soundtrack was also supplied by classically trained musician Koichi Sugiyama, who had previously carved out a living for himself writing background music for commercials. Although the synth of the 8-bit Famicom was simplistic, it supplied a rousing backdrop to the adventure, with a memorable main theme that may as well be Japan's national anthem.

With its success came several sequels. DQII added a longer quest, more items, more spells, and most important, more characters. DQIII added several different character classes (similar to the original Final Fantasy, which had been released a few months earlier in Japan) and DQIV featured multi-chapter adventure that focused on different characters. Each game sold insanely well and established its reputation as one of the most popular franchises in the nation.

Despite the breakout success of Dragon Quest in Japan, it didn't receive nearly the same response in America. Enix didn't have any offices outside of their home country, so the original Dragon Quest was published by Nintendo of America in 1989, three years after the initial release. Nintendo had a breakout hit with The Legend of Zelda a few years earlier, despite fears that it may have been too complicated for young American gamers, so they anticipated a similar success. They even included a mini-strategy guide that detailed the entire game, in order to groom newbies into the world of role playing.

Unfortunately, most of America simply ignored the title. The graphics and sound were too primitive. The interface was unwieldy. And perhaps most importantly, it lacked the action and puzzle solving that earned Zelda its success, instead replaced with slow-paced, turn-based combat, requiring hours of tedious leveling to advance. Nintendo vastly overestimated demand, and ended up giving away unsold copies for free with subscriptions to Nintendo Power. Because of this, it earned quite a lot of recognition from American NES gamers. However, it was quickly eclipsed by Final Fantasy (designed by rival publisher Square and also published in America by Nintendo), which featured far superior graphics and sound, and far deeper gameplay mechanics. The later iterations -- Dragon Warrior II, III and IV -- were also published in America by Enix themselves. They were all much improved over the original, but they kept the same ugly graphical style and clumsy interface, and came out far too late, where they competed against the 16-bit titles on Sega Genesis, NEC TurboGrafx 16 and -- in the case of DWIII and IV -- even the Super NES. As a result, they're some of the most sought after American released NES games (particularly III and IV.)

Dragon Quest continued to proliferate in Japan, with two more sequels released for the Super Famicom, both of which added greater narrative and character customization. In 1997, Final Fantasy VII popularized JRPGs worldwide with its flashy graphics, which became model for a number of subsequent games. On the other hand, Dragon Quest VII, released in Japan three years later, was comparatively meager, using low budget graphics and barely any CG cutscenes at all. It was greeted with multi-million selling status in Japan, and severe indifference in America. Dragon Quest VIII was released in 2005, this time featuring far superior manga-style cel shaded graphics that finally rivaled Final Fantasy's high budget aesthetics. Once again, it took Japan by storm. In America, it sold significantly better than past installments, but nothing compared to the Japanese sales numbers, and certainly not enough to match Final Fantasy.

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Posted: 5 years, 4 months ago at Jul 14 17:14
Why has this list been promoted after only 7 votes and not 9 votes?

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