If you asked me to pick my favorite JRPG series, it would have to be a tie between Lunar and Dragon Quest. But since no one made a good Lunar game in a while, I'll talk about Dragon Quest. It's one of the few RPGs that retained a that classic feel, even after many tweaks and modernizations from other RPGs, including its rival, the Final Fantasy series.
Actually Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy have a very entwined history together. Final Fantasy ranks first as Square Enix's most popular game, which Dragon Quest is a close second (Dragon Quest has a bigger following in Japan than in the US), however, Dragon Quest came first and, it can be said, that Final Fantasy rose to came to be because of its former competitor.
In 1982, Enix sponsored a national contest for aspiring video game programmers. The winners of this contest would form the core of the Dragon Quest team, headed by Yuji Horii. The prize for winning was a trip to an Apple convention in San Fransisco, where Yuji discovered the Wizardry series. Being inspired by this and the Ultima games, Yuji decided to work on an RPG of his own. Other talent joined, such as composer Koichi Sugiyama and manga-ka Akira Toriyama (of Dragon Ball fame), who did the character designs. Dragon Quest skyrocketed when it was released. Japan found a new obsession and Yuji Horii became the father of japanese RPGs.
Another game company, Square, was facing bankruptcy, due to poor sales. Hironobu Sakaguchi, a programmer at Square, decided to put the company's future on an all-or-nothing gambit. Inspired by fantasy games, most notably, Dragon Quest, Sakaguchi made his own fantasy epic. He named it Final Fantasy, which some people attribute to it being Square's last chance at a success while others to the fact that Sakaguchi planned to retire after making it (so much for that). Seeing how Dragon Quest used a great composer and character designer, Sakaguchi would do the same, employing composer Nobuo Uematsu and artist Yoshitaka Amano, both masters of their respective arts. The rest is history, but only in Japan did it become so apparent that Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy were like twin brothers, fighting an evenly matched battle for supremacy in the gaming market.
When it was brought to the States, Enix changed the name to Dragon Warrior, due to a trademark conflict with an obscure tabletop RPG of the same name. It did well, but really didn't hit off the RPG kick in America like Final Fantasy did.
By the turn of the millenium, both Square and Enix took huge financial blows - Enix for long delays in their game releases, and Square for the box-office nad-shot resulting from Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. The two companies expressed interest in a merger and, in 2003, the two companies became SqEnix, um, Square Enix. Because of this, the rivalry between the companies flagship RPGs changed. In fact, after the merger, the company brought Dragon Quest back to American audiences. The two series have coexisted since, with Final Fantasy being more of an avant garde RPG for the kind of person who thought life before Sephiroth sucked (whatever) and Dragon Quest for the RPG aficionados who like to go back to their roots (and probably played at least one tabletop RPG not made by White Wolf).
Anyway, back to Dragon Quest. It is still classic, after all these years. Just like Final Fantasy, it's seen its offshoots. Dragon Quest Monsters, Rocket Slime, Dragon Quest Swords, Torneko's Mysterious Dungeon (starring one of the characters in Dragon Quest IV), etc. But it's the core games that really keep to a lot of the formulas they used back in the '80s, which is good. Personally, I'm an old school kind of guy. I own all of the NES games, even Dragon Quest Monsters 2 for Game Boy, and I just picked up Dragon Quest IV for the DS. Dragon Quest proves the old addage, "If it ain't broke, don't try to fix it."
Well, that's it. I'm gonna go back to playing IV before bed.
(Update: For those of you who regularly come to check out this post for your own faptastic reasons, I have some news for you. Basically, I use StatCounter to track which posts are being viewed and how much traffic I get. Which post is the most popular on my site? You guessed it - Dragon Quest for Pervs.
Not anymore. You see, most of the people who come check out the naked boobies never really go any further into my blog. They don't check out Random Weirdness, or Games You Should Know About..., or my Savage Worlds RPG reviews. I've been constantly updating this site to keep fresh content and a steady stream of awesomeness delivered to you, but if all you do is look at a post I made several months ago, then what the fuck's the point?
So, instead of looking at the plethora of individuals who are here for nothing more than abusing the pink bishop, I decided to take down the pictures I had up here. If you have actually taken the time to check out the rest of my blog, accept the Kaiser's appreciation and sincerest wishes that you enjoy my blog and come back often. If you're just here to see what Jessica from Dragon Quest VIII looked like naked, there's a whole wide internet out there. Find that shit elsewhere.
The Kaiser has spoken.)