"They were nearly lost forever": How one JRPG superfan spent 340 hours saving Dragon Quest 7's DLC just before Nintendo's 3DS server shutdown

Dragon Quest 7
(Image credit: Square Enix)

Dragon Quest 7: Fragments of the Forgotten Past, the 3DS-exclusive remake of Dragon Quest 7, was very nearly doomed to permanently lose its DLC with Nintendo's shutdown of the 3DS servers, but a dedicated fan managed to save and preserve the files just in the nick of time.

The 3DS version of Dragon Quest 11 has more than 50 DLC "tablets" that you can collect after a certain point in the game, as well as three post-game story expansion tablets. The thing is, these tablets are only available at a certain area in the game and they require a connection to download, which means they're no longer available in any official capacity because Nintendo shut down the 3DS servers on Monday. However, Dragon Quest devotee Gronya responded to a call-to-action from RPG enthusiast sackchief and documented their harrowing journey of preserving Quest 7's DLC in the YouTube video below:

Using an incredibly detailed guide created by another Dragon Quest megafan going by Ignasia, Gronya went to work speedrunning Dragon Quest 7 (using this speedrun from Twitch Highspirits as a guide) and unlocking all of the DLC using a very specific method to preserve the game in its purest form. All in all, it took Gronya 340 hours to do all of the necessary grinding to make sure all DLC tablets were available in their save before uploading the files. All of this while recovering from surgery, mind.

With those save files now available in a public archive, anyone who wants to do a complete run of Dragon Quest 7 can do so quite easily by downloading the files. It's absolutely worth mentioning that another preservationist, DaniPhoFani on Twitter, collaborated with Gronya to release a clean Dragon Quest 7 save from a US 3DS, just in case Gronya's files weren't compatible with US hardware.

As I'm a relative newcomer to Dragon Quest, having been introduced to the series with Dragon Quest 11, I haven't gotten around to playing Dragon Quest 7 yet, although I plan on it after I beat Dragon Quest 8 (long story), so I'm psyched to know I won't have to miss any of the DLC now in yet another huge win for video game preservation.

Just before Nintendo shut down the 3DS and Wii U servers, fans rallied together and gathered 23,000 data dumps to preserve DLC that was nearly lost forever.

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.