The English version of Square Enix’s Dragon Quest I launched on the New Zealand iOS App Store earlier last night. Following the usual trend, it should be dropping on the American store sometime around 8pm (PST) tonight.
This marks the first time in fourteen years that Enix has released the original Dragon Quest in America.
The game was last seen in 2000 on the Game Boy Color. It also marks the first time that Square Enix has touched the property post-merger in America, and more importantly, the first time the game will be released with its proper Japanese title of “Dragon Quest” instead of the “Dragon Warrior” moniker.
Being arguably the first JRPG ever made, Dragon Quest I boasts a rich history that would go on to effect the creation of many other famous JRPG series such as Final Fantasy. Taking a lot of western computer RPG games at the time as an inspiration this game would find a compromise of merging the first person perspective of Wizardry with the top down perspective of Ultima, and wrap it up into a user friendly interface that can have the actions mapped to the two button controller of the NES over a mouse and keyboard interface.
It’s also one of the first game to have a popular comic artist working on it. Akira Toriyama (known for Dragon Ball), did the artwork for the first game and would stay on as a series mainstay from that point on.
Dragon Quest I is the first in the Loto (originally called Erdrick in the NES Dragon Warrior translation) trilogy of games, and stars a young hero having to save Princess Lora from the Dragonlord. The game features one-on-one battles, and has no other party members to speak of besides the hero.
This version of the game features the portrait (vertical) appearance of the other mobile versions (replicating the two screen long look of the Nintendo DS games), and can be played with one hand.
Food for thought:
Square Enix will localize the rest of the Dragon Quest mobile games in order, with II and III as their next couple of releases. According to Noriyoshi Fujimoto, producer of the Dragon Quest mobile titles, they hope to have a new title out “every month, maybe every two months.”