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Dragon Quest VII Tweaks on 3DS Explained by Developers

Posted by Andy Green

Satoru Iwata interviews the team behind the 3DS remake

The Dragon Quest VII remake for 3DS is out now in Japan, so it seemed only right for Nintendo President Satoru Iwata to interview a few of the people involved with the making of the game in his Iwata Asks series.

In the interview, helpfully translated by Siliconera, the series creator Yuuji Horii spoke about how Dragon Quest VII first came about. The game was first released in 2000 on the PlayStation and it represented the first time the series had made the leap from cartridge to disc. This of course meant the developers were given a lot more space to work with, and Horii was becoming buried under all the ideas given to him by staff at the studio.

In the end Horii decided that instead of packing the game with the same typical Dragon Quest style gameplay, he would instead do things differently. He revealed that at the time he had thought players had grown tired of the old formula and decided to draw upon MYST, a point and click adventure released in 1993, adding more puzzle-solving sections to the new game.

MYST had the player spending plenty of hours exploring their environments, and so too did Dragon Quest VII. This exploration was rewarded with hard-to-find items that would be scattered across the land.

Noriyoshi Fujimoto, producer of the 3DS remake, says this version of Dragon Quest VII is “easy to understand, unambiguous, and comforting”.

Getting lost in the original game was all part of the fun, however the team pointed out the audience has changed a little since then, and therefore minor tweaks needed to be made. Shintarou Majima of ArtePiazza, the developer, felt that the current audience would stop playing as soon as something looked boring or tiresome, leading to the team deciding upon a different approach.

This different approach is subtle, with the same ‘getting lost’ fun still apparent in the game. In addition, however, the developer has added a guide to give the player direction as they play; for example the game records all your progress and should your mind wander it’ll even remind you where to go. This modification will enable newer players to get to grips with the game more easily, while fans of the original will still be able to lose themselves in the vast worlds.

Sachiko Sugimura, of Artepiazza, believes that Dragon Quest VII is well suited for a portable system like the 3DS because the extensive plot is written like a series of short stories. She feels that because of this the player can enjoy playing the game in short bursts of time as they see fit.

The team also delved into how StreetPass would be incorporated into the title. Immigrant Town is a town that changes depending on which recruited characters live there; in the original game immigrants could be traded between memory cards — remember those? — but for the 3DS version it’s done automatically using StreetPass. This should lead to your town being an ever-changing village of new recruits.

The job system has been tweaked as well; in the 3DS version you can change jobs should you choose to, but you can only do one job. This has been done to stop players being able to carry skills over from previous jobs, essentially removing all point of choosing a role in the first place. Fujimoto said that this modification had resulted from the many comments from people who had played the original game.

This seemed to be the theme of everything the developer has done with Dragon Quest VII on the 3DS. Feedback has been taken from the original game and has been carefully looked at; it appears that most of the changes have come about thanks to feedback gained from players of the original title.

There's no news yet on a release outside of Japan, but you can be sure we'll keep you posted.

Have you played Dragon Quest VII before, or would the 3DS remake be a new experience for you? Are you hoping to get hold of this one? Let us know in the comments below.

[via nintendo.co.jp, siliconera.com]

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User Comments (34)

ljinkakidd

#3

ljinkakidd said:

The game has already sold over 1million in Japan. So 1/10 3DS owners have it. This is amazing. I want this game all too bad. It's a lengthy quest with puzzles, and interesting theme, and I want it.

Gamesake

#4

Gamesake said:

I played the ugly original but I stopped playing it as soon as something looked boring and tiresome. The 3DS version sounds like they've tried hard to rework nearly everything I didn't like about the original. I'm getting pretty psyched for this remake.

amerilia

#6

amerilia said:

I personally clocked over a hundred hours into the original DQVII for the psx, I did enjoy it a lot even though it did become a bit arduous at times. I will say that it is the only game I ever tracked down and bought a players' guide for.

BlueNitrous

#7

BlueNitrous said:

Dragon Quest X and this need to come to the States NOW. I guess I'll have to resort to getting 4-6 on DS for the time being.....

ljinkakidd

#9

ljinkakidd said:

I loved the beginning of the game honestly. It was mysterious and it built hype for the players. Trying to find out secrets that grownups of the island don't care for, that's pretty neat.

Geonjaha

#11

Geonjaha said:

Well I've played/enjoyed Dragon Quest 1,3,4,5,6,9 and a number of spinoff games - you can bet I'm waiting for this to come out over here.

Bass_X0

#12

Bass_X0 said:

I started DQ9 two weeks ago for the first time and I am quite enjoying it. A modern game with the gameplay of a classic 90s RPG. Just what I wanted.

Peach64

#13

Peach64 said:

I've only ever played Dragon Quest IX on the DS. I always intended to play VIII on PS2, but once I got my 360 and Wii, I just didn't have room to keep the PS2 hooked up, so never got around to getting DQ. Will definitely pick this up if it comes out here.

ueI

#14

ueI said:

Sounds good. I'm wondering why they didn't tweak the vocation system in Dragon Quest VI DS.

TheAdza

#15

TheAdza said:

Recent news indicates that this remake has sold more than DQX. Maybe this will make Square Enix realize that people don't want their favourite franchises messed with so much. DQX and every FF after X i'm looking at you.

Chomposaur

#16

Chomposaur said:

ill re-buy a 3ds if this game comes out :-) also DQX would be a treat too, we need more AAA games

ljinkakidd

#17

ljinkakidd said:

@TheAdza

Well said, couldn't have phrased that any better. Dragon Quest wasn't meant for online, it just doesn't feel like Dragon Quest to me. Final Fantasy screwed after 10. And people wonder why JPRGS are dwindling.

Zombie_Barioth

#18

Zombie_Barioth said:

I like that the game will record your progress, since the trouble with many open-ended games is when you get deep into the game and take a break you come back but have no idea where you left off so you end up feeling lost.

It'd be really nice if they localized Terry's Wonderland though, I played the heck out of DWM2 as a kid and its still one of my favorite parts of the series. I'm with @Bass_X0 on the modern game/classic gameplay mix and thats what I like best about DQM:TW, a classic game updated with the new monsters.

LordGeovanni

#19

LordGeovanni said:

I mourn the loss of the original DWVII. No Multi-class characters? HORRIBLE. Is that a limitation on the cross-class like Pirate and Paladin? Or is it just where the abilities are unavailable if I chose to switch? Either way it is SE just saying "HAHAHA... I DONT CARE!" to destroying the game. This was the last TRUE DQ. Then Square and Enix merged and the same garbage is made out of the previous game ever since.

In closing: Removed random encounters = BAD. Only have one class = BAD. Hints to return to storyline = probably good. Streetpass the immigrants? GOOD. This game? PS1 Version = GOOD, 3DS Version = 5/10 max. I would rather devote my time/money to making a portable TV/VCR/PS1 hybrid to carry around than buy this with such HORRIBLE "improvements".

Zombie_Barioth

#20

Zombie_Barioth said:

@LordGeovanni

It sounds to me like they mean when you switch classes your character keeps any learned skills but can only use them when assigned the appropriate class, so if you need a healer you have to actually pick a class that learns healing spells for example. Sounds fair to me and makes things more balanced and strategic, you can't have a bunch of uber powerful characters with the best spells and just plow through the game and have to actually think about which combinations of classes work best.

As for being "the last TRUE DQ" I think thats crossing the line a bit. DQVIII and (from what I hear) DQIX are both great games, and with all due respect its rather presumptuous to declare something isn't a "true" anything just because you don't like it.

hamsterfactor

#22

hamsterfactor said:

I became a big fan of DQ after playing and beating IV, V, VI and IX for DS, so I'm really looking forward to this one.

FullbringIchigo

#23

FullbringIchigo said:

@TheAdza maybe it will make them realise we don't want main number Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest games as MMO's as spin off's they are fine but when they are part of the main series it just feels wrong

or making a offline version of them would be nice they could play like the elder scrolls games open world and all that

LEGEND_MARIOID

#24

LEGEND_MARIOID said:

Hmmm. May get this some way down the line, not at launch. Currently playing two stellar RPGs in Paper Mario SS 3DS and DQIX DS. Would prefer a 3DS DQ X actually.

Rapido

#25

Rapido said:

Can't wait for this. I played the original and its epic. Just did'nt get the part where they added guides when players gets lost and dunno what to do. Getting lost is all part of the core gameplay and should not have been altered. IMO anyways.

mookysam

#26

mookysam said:

I want to replay DQVIII this year, but might have trouble finding time between my unplayed pile and upcoming releases! It's one of the finest RPGs on the PS2. I'm particularly looking forward to the 3DS version of VII, especially because the original was never released in Europe. For that reason, I'm not fussed about the changes.

LordGeovanni

#28

LordGeovanni said:

@Zombie_Barioth I have the perfect response to that comment. The reason why this was the last "true" DQ? Square. After this game was originally made, Square and Enix merged and the ENTIRE DQ line was crippled. I could count off all the ways how DQ VIII and IX are sub-par to this but it really shows with DQX. And the US still doesn't have that game for a reason. For some reason, Square seems to think that we all just LOVE MMORPHs and just CANT STOP MAKING THEM. (FFXI, FFXIV, DQX)

Back before the merge, Square and Enix were warring over the games. Square was making FFVII, Enix made this. FFVIII and FFIX and even FFX were made before the merge. Since then, I have heard RAMPANT complaints about the newest games. Removing FFXI and FFXIV and DQX, have you actually looked at all the other changes made? Square has been making sequels to the FF-Main games. Battles were not in an independent screen in FFXII, FFXIII is too linear for a large part of the beginning to be called an RPG, DQVIII would be acceptable but there seems to be so many stupid little things in it that it seems that they were TRYING to make it bad (individual classes that only one character can learn? Stealing at an abysmal rate?). Then there is DQIX. Their focus on the after-game left a lot to be wanted during the game itself. It is nowhere near the level of this game. It was a horrible ending with such a stupid result that just handwaves in an after-game playmode. Then you have to deal with the ridiculous Legacy Bosses with horrible drop rates and a huge Difficulty curve and I just cannot share enough why that game was a disappointment.

As for the "ability only while in class". I would not mind too much if they shared the heal spells over into the other classes. It would be annoying for me to be forced to use two Clerics just because there are so few Healing classes. For example, what are the different Heal spells? Heal, HealMore, HealAll, HealUs, Vivify, and Revive (*note, not going to list EVERY single Heal spell because there are Song and other such, however the point is the same). Without looking at the individual character abilities (because I haven't heard anything on them yet), Cleric is the only one that learns several of the heal abilities while maintaining an easy way of obtaining. Sage requires you having a Maxed Cleric then train as a Mage for a while. Oops! Now you just lost your Heal spells. It is ok... After the next two-three islands you should have suffered your way through the Mage class. Unless you were not really going to focus another character into being a TeenIdol and had them become a substitute Cleric in the mean time... I still haven't heard anything about the Hybrid skills and the Monster Hearts yet either. I expect that they were neutered along with the rest of the game...

It most certainly doesn't help how few abilities that we actually get per class. Some classes get 3 or less. It just seems stupid to be that worried over "over-powered" characters when the game is still lengthy with even those strong characters. The bigger problem was the strong attacks that people spammed. Specifically Sword Dance. I never used it and the game was nowhere near easy for me. Just a nice enjoyable game.

LordGeovanni

#29

LordGeovanni said:

@LordGeovanni (continued with more thought)...

I was doing further research on this and I heard on the GameFAQs board that it is only the higher level skills and the hybrid skills. If I can keep the Cleric skills while training Mage it not only puts my entire rant in the trash but it rips it into little pieces beforehand. If SE was really worried about Overpowered skills it would be better if they did something like FFIX did with the passive abilities: Your level describes a certain amount of "points" that you can leave on some abilities that you do not naturally learn in that class and carry that ability while you have those points assigned. That would enable all sorts of combinations while limiting the "Godplays" that people complain about. It would also enable SE to change the required amount of "points" to make the "Godplays" too expensive to make while enabling the mixing of class abilities that the game was made for. 4 abilities on average is not what a class makes on its own. And I REALLY would not like to start a class change without any abilities every time I wish to improve a character.

Windy

#30

Windy said:

@Geonjaha Just a question. I think I know the answer. Would you like to see Dragon Quest X localised for Wii and Wii-U? Im chompin at the bit for it and might never play another game ever again if it's localised. well not that far but it will take alot of my time

Geonjaha

#31

Geonjaha said:

@Windy - I'd love to see a Wii U version localised, even if that would take at least another 2 years considering this is Squeenix we're talking about. It doesn't excite me that much though (definitely not as much as getting any of the 3 Dragon Quest 3DS games in Japan localised) - I really don't tend to get into MMORPG's anymore, and I'm starting to find them too formulaic and not worth a subscription fee (plus I have no friends interested enough in DQ to play DQX). The fact that it is a Dragon Quest MMORPG gives me hope though, and I'd of course give it a shot if It got localised.

Zombie_Barioth

#32

Zombie_Barioth said:

@LordGeovanni I was thinking they did it like FFIII, although I like the sounds of that. I've played other games with a similar system.

My point about calling something the last "true" anything was because thats just an opinion, and it is rather presumptuous to declare an opinion as fact. I do agree about Square Enix taking a turn for the worst with Final Fantasy and their focus on MMO style games but things like class systems and story are subjective at best. Never mind spin-offs like the new DQM games.

I actually liked DQVIII's class (or rather skill) system because of how the skills focused on each character's abilities, and it would be odd for a guy like Yangus to become a mage or cleric.

LordGeovanni

#33

LordGeovanni said:

@Zombie_Barioth Truthfully, I enjoy the games like VII and VIII over DQIII and DQIX where the characters are created by the player. I like the interactions between the characters that you don't get when you make the characters yourself. Regardless of that, if I want my Hero to use a boomerang then I should be able to do that. At the same time, I see the opposite. DWVII had it best - Basic skills learned by default. Different weapons based on the character and not the class. Skills learned in the different classes. The whole basis of the class system was that the Intermediate and Master classes would be supported by the Skill/Spells that you learned in the Basic Classes that you had to take in order to even get permission to learn that class. DQVIII forcing you to raise characters a certain way always leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Why can't I get the other characters to steal from the monsters in that game? Because SE will not let me. How about this game? There is no reason. I may not do good against bosses, however I am given the freedom to do such.

As for this being the last "true" Dragon Quest. I declare that statement based on one major ideal. These new ones are not made by Enix. It is now Squarenix. I have not seen a single DQ game since they merged that I enjoyed as much as this game and that includes the remakes. It might have been that I just love DWVII too much. Still that does not stop me from feeling that the newer games are just garbage. DQM has suffered by this too. Now we have Joker and Joker 2 when I really enjoyed the DQM2. And I believe that it is SE not actually having the same ideals that Enix had.

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