On February 13, 2019, it was announced that the Dragon Quest game will be making its first appearance on the big screen this year. The announcement was made by Takashi Yamazaki, famed film director of Stand by Me Doraemon and Parasyte films, on News Zero program at NTV. The film’s official website stated that the movie is slated to premier in Japan on August 2, 2019. Titled Dragon Quest: Your Story the upcoming release is based on the fifth installment of the Dragon Quest franchise namely Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride. It will be the first ever 3D CG anime film based on this gaming series.
While the original story is created by Yuji Horii of the franchise who will be supervising it, Yamazaki is the scriptwriter and the chief director. He will be assisted in the direction department by Ryūichi Yagi and Makoto Hanafusa, both of whom have earlier worked with him on Stand By Me Doraemon. The music is being composed by Koichi Sugiyama who is also the game’s music composer.
Since the first Dragon Quest game made its debut in 1986, the whole series has collectively sold 76 million copies the world over. So far there have been eleven main episodes and several spin offs. In additions to these, innumerable mangas, novels and animes related to the franchise have also been published. The most famous spin off games based on the franchise include Dragon Quest Monsters RPG and Dragon Quest Swords. Arcade games like Japanese Dragon Quest: Monster Battle Road also draw inspiration from the series. The first novel based on the game was published in December 1988 while the manga debuted in 1989. Two main anime television series based on the game went on air in December 1989.
The series has played a major part in the development of games involving role play and is credited with introducing several new aspects to the genre. It was initially released in North America titled Dragon Warrior; it was registered under the Dragon Quest trademark in the United States in 2002.
The eleventh installment of the series, Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age, was released in Japan in July 2017 and in September the same year in North America and Europe. The Switch version of the game is expected this year.
The main theme of majority of the titles revolves around a hero on a quest to save the world from a potent and malevolent enemy; he is kept company by a group of comrades on his adventurous journey.
Slimes, Mummies, Bags o’ Laughs and Shadows are some of the monsters that are known for making recurring appearances in the series. Designer Akira Toriyama is accredited for introducing many of these creatures, who can be enlisted by the hero to help him in his fight against evil.
The franchise has garnered rave reviews worldwide; the main reason being that people with varied skill sets and interests can play and enjoy it. Hence, it appeals to hardcore as well as casual gamers alike.