A Dragon Quest fan remake 11 years in the making is available to download for free, and it adds 6-8 hours of new content

As someone that got into Dragon Quest relatively recently with 2018's Echoes of an Elusive Age, I've long looked for an excuse to play through the game that started it all. Don't get me wrong, I own the game on Switch and have dumped a few hours into it, but it all just feels a little... before my time. It's rudimentary, a little janky, and a tad grindy for my liking, but I absolutely respect it for kickstarting one of my favorite franchises.

That said, when I stumbled across NightFly's fan remake on Twitter - and especially with the recent passing of Dragon Quest co-creator and artist Akira Toriyama - I knew it was time to revisit this curious little oddity. Dragon Quest +, as it's called, is a fan remake of the first Dragon Quest game with 6-8 hours of new content, remixed monsters, new armor, weapons, and items, an orchestrated soundtrack, new dungeons and mini-dungeons, three new mini-games, and a ton of quality of life improvements that make this seminal JRPG more approachable.

It's actually been out for a few months now, but the most recent version, 1.07, is a lot more refined than the original release, making now the perfect time to jump in. Everything's neatly packaged in a clean, completely free download from the Dragon's Den fan site, although it's worth noting there are separate clients for AMD and Nvidia GPUs. Regardless, I was able to get it up and running in just a few minutes, and by golly it is pixel perfect.

To be clear, this is a full-on remake, not a remaster, although it does seem to re-use some assets from various games in the series. For example, the intro is a take on the beginning of Dragon Quest 3 in which you start the game in a dream world and answer questions that determine stat growth throughout the game. Monsters are animated in battle like later games in the series, and the OST sounds a whole lot like Dragon Quest Builders.

As for the 6-8 hours of new content I mentioned earlier, that's made up of a bonus dungeon inspired by Dragon Quest Monsters, as well as a whole new bonus world inspired by Dragon Quest Monsters 2. Then there are new mini dungeons in Alefgard and three new mini-games. 

It'll be a while before I can get to that stuff, but for now what I'm really appreciating about Dragon Quest + is how it amalgamates various elements and quality of life features from future games in the series. It's as if Square itself remade the first Dragon Quest with elements from later games so as to make it appeal to a modern crowd.

If anything, it's something to hold me over until that sweet-looking HD-2D Dragon Quest 3 remake surfaces. The last we heard was in September when Square said it was "progressing steadily," but it's been tumbleweeds since.

Find out which Dragon Quest game made our list of the best JRPGs to play today.

Jordan Gerblick

After scoring a degree in English from ASU, I worked as a copy editor while freelancing for places like SFX Magazine, Screen Rant, Game Revolution, and MMORPG on the side. Now, as GamesRadar's west coast Staff Writer, I'm responsible for managing the site's western regional executive branch, AKA my apartment, and writing about whatever horror game I'm too afraid to finish.