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Topic: Dragon Quest XI + I, II, III & Beyond

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rallydefault

I'm very intrigued by a DQ that will be a bit "darker." I am someone who really enjoys the traditional JRPG systems the franchise has stuck with, but sometimes the aesthetics and too much silliness gets in my way of truly enjoying some of the titles.

rallydefault

Tyranexx

@TheJGG You were screaming? I was jumping for joy and lobbing money at the screen of my phone! The article with the comparison video indeed hammered home many of the comparisons. This does indeed fit the definition of a remake, at least in my book. They literally would've had to start from the ground up for something like this.

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BruceCM

I do want to see & hear more about what they're doing with DQIII, @Tyranexx & @TheJGG .... But I'll definitely be getting that for Switch, unless it also comes to Steam I do hope they might do something with IV - IX, too!

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TheJGG

Well to be fair @Tyranexx Dragon Quest XI was the first and to date only Dragon Quest title I've played, so for this series to mean that much with just one game speaks to how good XI was! Octopath Traveler may be a frustratingly grindy game but by God it was a looker. Easily one of the most beautiful games I've ever played and one of the most beautiful games on Switch. Some of the late-game areas are set at dusk, or sunset, and it made me swoon.

Untitled

I'm confident we'll find out by the end of the year, @BruceCM. I'm very willing to wait a bit more to get stuck into the ever popular Dragon Quest III, and if you read Yuji Horii's comments you'll know that the team are very interested in giving Dragon Quest I and II a similar treatment! So let's encourage them by getting the HD-2D DQ3 remake!

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BruceCM

Yeah, that'd be great, @TheJGG .... I hope that also means they'd like to do something with the others to put them on Switch, etc, too, though!

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Ryu_Niiyama

Yeah super nervous about XII. DQ games are already pretty dark thematically so I can’t see what other changes are needed really. But I’ve been a lifelong fan so I am hoping that it is fun.

Liked the mobile game. It is always weird seeing people rag on puzzle games even though many folks were tetris/puzzle league/bubble bubble bobble/columns fans growing up. Like these games didn’t start with mobile. It feels like if someone started dunking on shumups because some are on mobile.

Curious about treasures but not day 1 curious. I am hit or miss with the spin offs. Want more info for x offline even though I will get it day 1. The HD-2D treatment is genius. Need more of that.

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TheJGG

Really, @Ryu_Niiyama? I’d argue Dragon Quest games are relatively lighthearted, especially compared to Final Fantasy. The DQ titles have a lot more pop with colours, plus Toriyama’s style appeals to children.

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Ryu_Niiyama

@TheJGG if all you look at is the artstyle then that is fair but bright color does not equate to light hearted. Nor does convoluted equate to adult.

Kidnapping, mass murder, slavery, betrayal, stone sleep, curses, attempted genocide and possession don’t seem like themes for children to me. I mean sure kids are exposed to themes like that but I don’t think they are appropriate for kids. And DQ is chock full of that and more. And that doesn’t even include the sexual innuendo in the games.

And perhaps it is a cultural difference (as in individual upbringing, as an american I know indifference to violence is the norm around here) as I don’t find myself as numb to death and destruction as many gamers seem to be. However I have never seen DQ games as lighthearted. Been playing them since I was 10.

Also while I am a staunch hater of Toriyama’s artstyle I think it is safe to say it appeals to all ages.

You couldn’t pay me to live in a DQ game.

I would like to see an end to the “but thou must!” trope or at least tone it down. Don’t ask me a question if I can’t actually say no. Waste of a dialogue tree to me.

Edited on by Ryu_Niiyama

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TheJGG

@Ryu_Niiyama No, I was responding quite quickly so I anticipated I'd be asked if that was my only point! While art style is a factor I also look at the characters, music, and world design. Bear in mind though that your experience vastly outshines mine when it comes to this series!

The music is really lighthearted. Yes, there's scenes where the cast share a sad moment, but it's not as depressing as in FF or even Kingdom Hearts, being used as references because they're sister franchises. The overworld themes, battle themes and area themes have little in the way of emotion other than "let's go on an adventure!", whereas Final Fantasy themes feel coded, almost as if each song is trying to tell you something. I like both approaches but I'm happy DQ has the approach it has, because it's traditional in only the best way.

The characters are also quite light, but it doesn't mean they're shallow. Would you ever find a character like Yangus (8) or Sylvando (11) in other games? I've only played XI but Sylvando comes across as a very one note character until you find out who he is. Character arcs in 11 are similar, you find out very detailed backstories of various characters especially in the second half of the game.

You have a point with the various themes you've listed. I believe because of the various lighthearted elements, it makes delivering these themes much better, and more efficient. The art style means emotions are at the fore, whereas in a later FF entry the focus is on realism. Final Fantasy's realistic art direction, from 2001 onwards, has meant visible emotion has taken a backseat, but the timeless DQ art style means it's easier to convey. Shame you don't like it though, because I suspect it's here to stay.

I never liked to press the No button when playing, it made me feel quite guilty. But because there's absolutely no repercussions if you do... may be worth a shot.

Edit: Having thought about it a bit more, I'd also say that "dark" in the traditional sense would mean Dragon Quest has subtlety, metaphor and symbolism. It has none of these things; it's a very no-nonsense straightforward type of storytelling. It doesn't leave much to one's interpretation.

Edited on by TheJGG

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TheJGG

@Slowdive Exactly. Seeing Veronica's final words was quite depressing. I'm actually playing it right now, and your described events just happened!

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TheJGG

Well technically it's my third playthrough @Slowdive! I'm trying to unlock all the post-game content, plus all the DE stuff like the past DQ missions. I swear though, enabling the DQ8 music was the best thing I could have done for myself. It was such a godsend. It carries such an air of serenity that no other song in the whole game carries. I prefer it infinitely to the original theme, which wasn't that good.

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Ryu_Niiyama

@TheJGG Like I said I don't actually like Toriyama's artstyle (I love DQ that much. I'm not a graphics snob but I've played almost every DQ game and spin off...and I think the artstyle is ugly/overrated...) but I still say that bright color places like the overworld is not light hearted...it's a fantasy game set with low technological advancement...things should be green. But that being said there are TONS of ruined areas and teleports to the Makai in several games that look like pretty awful places. So I am trying to understand your issue with the art in saying that it is light hearted and I wonder if it is more because you associate Toriyama's work in a certain way? Do you feel that way about dragon ball? Chrono trigger? Do you associate his work with your childhood? Some times that ruins people. Osamu Tezuka gets that kind of generalization. Black Jack is pretty dark but because Tezuka-sensei did Astro Boy, some people get a preconceived notion. Another example of that is Sailor Moon, a series that is quite violent at times but is often dismissed because the art style is elegant in shading with long limbs and soft edges. (Also the double standard for teenage female protags vs males ones)

Granted his monster designs are fantastical but many of them look mean; dragons, ogres, anything that is poison based they all have a sinister look about them. As for the characters they don't look any more strange from a design concept than anything from lord of the rings (armor, tunics, swords...except some of the classes in IX). The male heroes anyway...Toriyama has always been hit or miss with clothing designs for female characters. You do have types that are now staples of the series like the shopkeepers/armor sellers with the 'roided bodies and the bull masks that look like an S&M trip but that isn't lighthearted.

Music is in my opinion a bit too subjective to deem lighthearted or solemn. Instrumentation can be deceptive, as something that seems like a light an airy song can be a dirge. Dragon Quest soundtracks tend to be full of woodwinds, brass and harps (and whatever the piano is classed under) , which lends it a very cinematic, bombastic sound, but that imo isn't the same as lighthearted. Koichi Sugiyama also has a very distinctive composition style. His music does invoke a sense of wonder and exploration, but I also feel it very heavily invokes a sense of gloom, and maudlin reminiscence (ruins of darkness in VIII fits this...it feels both airy and gloomy at the same time). It has a brooding quality about some of it. While I have not played as many FF games a DQ I do have most of the soundtracks and I don't think that FF sounds more gloomy or poignant but I do think it has a greater instrumentation range.Also modern FF uses vocalizations (one winged angel is a classic example) that DQ just doesn't do...it is a style difference more than a theme difference, imo. Edit: I have no formal musical training aside from Taiko/Fue so this is just how I feel and why I felt it was so subjective.

FF6's Kefka is a literally crazy clown...more flamboyant, ruthless and serious (in his insane way) than Shirubia/Sylvia (Sylvando, sorry I am playing DQ XI in Japanese so I had to look up the names in English) on his most flamboyant day...which isn't lighthearted either...flamboyant people exist, so that is an odd one to single out. Yangus, is a poor brutish thug with a heart of gold character...also super common in gaming and literature. Not odd at all. Also while trite, not lighthearted.

VIII (III, V and XI as well) had quite a few twists and turns. I mean DQ doesn't go out of its way to be overly convoluted, but I don't think a lack of nuance is its issue. But that isn't adult either.

I'm not saying you are wrong. You feel the way you feel about it. I would need a bit more to understand your stance though.

Edited on by Ryu_Niiyama

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Tyranexx

@BruceCM Honestly, with how Square Enix has been handling their releases lately, it wouldn't surprise me if this version of III also hits PC/Steam. Steam is a rabbit hole I don't want to get sucked into yet, so I'll likely stick with the inevitable Switch release.

@TheJGG To date, my favorite overall DQ I've played is VIII, specifically the 3DS version. Though V is my favorite story-wise. Many sing praises about XI*, so that's yet another game I have waiting for me in my pile of shame! I do hope to get to it sooner rather than later.

I've loved day/night systems in games ever since Pokemon Gold/Silver introduced the concept to me as a kid. It'll be neat to experience that with III, which ironically had the idea first! That evening scene with its orange hues from Octopath looks stunning indeed!

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BruceCM

That's why I think there might well be a Steam version of it, too, @Tyranexx .... You definitely should play DQ XI, too

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Ralizah

Dragon Quest stories are already dark. All I really took from the trailer for XII is that they're going to make it grittier and probably remove the prominent humor and fun characterizations as well.

FFXVI looks miserable. If DQ is going down the same road, then I really am done with their games. I'll stick to ports/remasters of their older stuff, like that gorgeous remake of DQIII.

Although this is all jumping the gun a bit. I'll wait and see what the game looks like first.

Edited on by Ralizah

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Ryu_Niiyama

I am expecting a possible art style change with XII. Not sure if that means dropping Toriyama or going jump all stars with it but that is what I can see happening. I don’t think it will fly given all the DQ games available to the public in Japan (rivals aces, walk, tact, of the stars, dai no daibouken) so it isn’t like tons of adults aren’t playing that style. The west has a bland color palette obsession (that makes me think a lot of people must be miserable in their daily lives. I fricken love color. The sea, the sky, sunsets, trees, the night sky) and I do not want DQ to become FF. I was devastated at the merger but relieved when DQ kept its identity (even though most other enix properties died off) and I would hate to see my fear finally come true. That being said I will also wait and see.

Edited on by Ryu_Niiyama

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TheJGG

@Tyranexx I have to agree with @BruceCM, Dragon Quest XI is simply too good for you to pass. It’s an extremely big game, with tons of story and side content. There’s three ‘acts’, and on a slower, more relaxed play-through, it took me 33 hours to finish the first act. The combat’s fairly challenging and you don’t need to grind too much. If you have the game already I encourage lining it up soon, and if you don’t... get it!

@Ryu_Niiyama Actually... I had never even heard of Akira Toriyama until I played Dragon Quest XI for the first time last year! So I can’t answer that in confidence unless I’ve seen more of his work. But I can express my view that the monsters indeed look mean, like they’re out to ruin your day, but not evil. From the remastered art in the original three games to XI itself, this much is consistent. Only the main villains I’d assume look actually evil.

I’d also point to the UI and system text as signs of light heartedness... I don’t know how to describe it but sometimes the game makes fun of itself. With enemy names, place names, and many of the comedic scenes... it may seem like I’m grasping at straws; but it’s an established presence.

I don’t remember if I said this previously (I’m typing on my phone, so revisiting it means deleting this text...) but Sugiyama’s music is like the storytelling. Up front, with no subtlety. If it wants to make you sad by golly it’ll do that. If it wants to make you happy it’ll also do that. There aren’t many pieces from the series, if any, that have a blend of emotions or a transition mid song. Final Fantasy music is quite different, you can feel a range of emotions in a single track.

And to allude to your latest post; my entire argument would fall apart if the art style and composer changed! But that’s fine, only if it serves to better the series. But Final Fantasy’s now an established moody franchise so hopefully DQ keeps the elements that make it what it is...

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Ryu_Niiyama

@TheJGG gotcha. Unfortunately you have failed to convince me otherwise so I will agree to disagree. I am going to have to stand by my original post in that DQ is already thematically dark. As long as you have fun is what counts. Not like you have to see it in the same light. I merely responded because you commented on my post.

I do find it interesting though how so much of your stance is shaped by the art considering Yoshitaka Amano’s art style as well as the bishonen translation of his work to the FF games. As for the UI which is very traditional I am assuming that you are leaning into spell names and status effects to which I blame more on the localization than anything. Spell names are different in Japan. Anyway.

General Post: I feel like I am the only one looking for the Dai no daibouken game (infinity strash not the arcade and mobile games). I am watching the anime (terribly predictable but it is action focused which I prefer when watching most works. ) so I wanna play but I have not seen any news since the trailer.

Edited on by Ryu_Niiyama

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JoeDiddley

I’m cautious re XII, they had to change it up after VIII and are again now after XI.

Both those games are pretty impossible to follow, not an easy task.

I dropped the Dai anime after about 25 episodes, I love the DQ series but that couldn’t carry it for me in the end.

Edited on by JoeDiddley

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TheJGG

@Ryu_Niiyama That’s fine by me! Either way we may both be wrong if Dragon Quest XII is as dark as it promises, which excites and frightens me at the same time. Final Fantasy took that route and it looks and feels quite generic at times. If I didn’t know FF15 was a Final Fantasy game, and then someone told me it was, I wouldn’t believe them. I’d argue that for XIII as well, but perhaps seasoned fans could see it. At times even FF7R. I assume it’s because the art direction has shifted towards realism.

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