Everything you need to know about Dragon Quest

Dragon Quest VIII takes the series to the fifth level

When Dragon Quest VIII rolled around the newly christened Square-Enix wasn’t going to make the same mistakes they made with VII. They ditched the developer of VI and VII, Heartbeat, and hired Level-5, which had only worked on the Dark Cloud series previously. By the time DQVIII came out in 2004, the series took Japan by storm again, and was one of the best looking games on the PS2, taking on a cel-shaded look that matched its Akira Toriyama character designs. It helped in a big way make Level-5 the key developer it is today.

It also reverted to the Quest title in the US, which all the other games and remakes have followed since, and it was the first DQ to be released in the UK. Though it did better internationally, it still wasn’t the blockbuster Square-Enix hoped for, partially because it came out around the same time as fervor for the 360 and next-gen gaming had just begun. Still, Level-5 proved they could take DQ into the modern age, and it seems to be the dev for the foreseeable future.

Puff Puff

We’d hate to leave you guys without a happy ending, so let’s focus on the more improper side of DQ, the Puff Puff, or Powder Puff massage. Appearing in the first Dragon Quest, though not showing up in the American releases of Dragon Warrior until later Game Boy Color remakes, the Puff Puff massage is offered by the sexy ladies of the world, who dress in classy bunny girl costumes. Once the money is paid the lights go out and the fun begins.

Above: Learn about similar too hot for Nintendo stories here 

For years it was left up to the player’s imagination, though most just assumed that the practice was the same as in Dragon Ball, where DQ character designer coined the term. In the comic it refers to getting a facial massage from a woman’s breast, to put it bluntly. But at long last, Dragon Quest VIII revealed the truth about Puff Puff:

Future Quests

Currently the future looks rosy for Dragon Quest, at least in Japan. DQIX has been out there for a year and has sold 4.2 million, making it the bestselling game in the series, and one of the biggest Japanese sellers of all time. Meanwhile, Dragon Quest X was announced for the Wii nearly two years ago, which continued Square-Enix’s tradition of putting DQ on the highest selling console of the generation. No news has been seen since the announcement, but here’s hoping we see something soon.

Overseas, Nintendo is optimistic they can make DQIX a hit in the US, while the release of Dragon Quest VI on DS seems more up-in-the-air than before. But whether it has international success or not, Dragon Quest will still be huge in Japan next year for its 25th anniversary, and will almost certainly be around for the 50th.

Jul 11, 2010

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  • awsomemaster - July 11, 2010 3:29 p.m.

    ahh nothing quite as awesome as a slime!
  • ihopethisisnotantistasblood - July 11, 2010 5:58 p.m.

    well.. two slimes
  • NeoKef - July 11, 2010 6:17 p.m.

    Is it me or did the same artist who did the Dragon Ball series did the early art for Dragon Quest games?
  • NeoKef - July 11, 2010 6:23 p.m.

    Wait, let me rephrase: Did the same person who did the character designs for Dragon Ball work on the early Dragon Quest as well? The blue dragon on the first box art was in the DB series and the main character in III looks a lot like a teenage version of Goku.
  • CaseInPoint - July 11, 2010 6:48 p.m.

    @NeoKef: I think Akira Toriyama has been with Dragon Quest from the start of the series. And he also does the Dragon Ball series' art, so yes, the art styles are pretty much the same. I used to hate his art style, after watching Dragon Ball Z and hating it, but then DQ came along and I learned to love it. Recaptcha: "Vizier 70th". Sounds like a DQ boss. The chancellors to the throne are always bad!
  • Gobblemeister - July 11, 2010 7:26 p.m.

    I know little of Dragon Quest as a series. This being said when I bought DQVIII without really knowing what to expect I can say I was very pleasantly surprised. It reaffirmed my love of the turn based system and is, in my honest opinion, the greatest JRPG I have played second only to FFIX. MY interest has also been piqued by the review of DQV. If I can find the money to put into it I might try it. However, I've already put a lot of money into FF, buying XIII, III, IV and IX all in this year alone. But I'm always game for a great RPG.
  • chrisat928 - July 11, 2010 8:45 p.m.

    Goddamn it Square, put Dragon Quest VII on PSN.
  • Cleanser247 - July 11, 2010 8:54 p.m.

    The biggest slime on the railcar looks like he's got his mouth full of something... Good stuff Henry!
  • CH3BURASHKA - July 11, 2010 8:55 p.m.

    I love these history articles. Can you guys make it a monthly feature, a retrospective of sorts?
  • 2dboy - July 11, 2010 9:10 p.m.

    Nice reading, should get me ready to play DQ9.
  • EDfromRED - July 11, 2010 10:19 p.m.

    I didn't realize the wealth of RPGs on the Nintendo DS untill I looked up info on Dragon Quest V & IX. I might have to pick one up--might as well wait till 3DS arrives to get it or a Price cut DS. Any suggestions of other DS RPG's of note?
  • Chardan - July 11, 2010 10:28 p.m.

    I am definatley getting the new one now. I always stayed away from turn based RPG's due to the random encounter system, and favoured ones like Mario and Luigi where Enemies can be seen in the overworld, which makes all the difference for me, Cant wait.
  • Batman - July 12, 2010 1:37 a.m.

    Dragon Quest VIII was/is pure win.It was the last epic RPG IMO all rpgs since have been average at best.
  • Giinjii - July 12, 2010 1:43 a.m.

    Although Dragon Quest 8 was my first intro to the series, I loved the slimes right away and was jealous of my cousin that somehow obtained a PS2 slime controller. Also Mr. Gilbert, when will you be back on TalkRadar?
  • Vagrant - July 12, 2010 2:11 a.m.

    That was a pretty interesting article, I wish it included some screenshots though. Just to see the evolution of the series' graphics.
  • HotCyder - July 12, 2010 2:18 a.m.

    Don't forget! Akira Toriyama also did the artwork for another popular RPG from SquareEnix: Chrono Trigger! His artwork was even turned into fully animated cutscenes for the playstation reissue.
  • 8bitBaby - July 12, 2010 2:23 a.m.

    PAFU PAFU! @ U @ ~yeeeeeeeeee hee heeeee this is a good run through of the history. awesome. i came in at DQ3, it was the tv show that got me interested. i still play DQ games (tho i never finished 7) and i still go back and watch the episodes of the show.
  • 510BrotherPanda - July 12, 2010 2:53 a.m.

    I thought the Monster combining in Monsters Joker was fun. Thanks on the history lesson, Hen!
  • JayBeat - July 12, 2010 6:46 a.m.

    Never played a DQ game, but thats a interesting history.
  • Ravenbom - July 12, 2010 11:50 a.m.

    Puff puff! I just got DQ9 and I'm excited!

Showing 1-20 of 27 comments

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