Dragon Quest (universe)

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Dragon Quest (universe)
Dragon Quest.png
DragonQuestSymbol.svg
Developer(s) Square Enix
Chunsoft
Heartbeat
ArtePiazza
Level-5
Publisher(s) Square Enix (formerly Enix)
Nintendo
Designer(s) Yuji Horii
Koichi Nakamura
Genre(s) Role-playing
Console/platform of origin Nintendo Entertainment System
First installment Dragon Quest (1986)
Latest installment Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Definitive Edition (2019)
Article on Dragon Quest Wiki Dragon Quest (universe)

The Dragon Quest universe (ドラゴンクエスト, Dragon Quest) refers to the Super Smash Bros. series' collection of characters, stages, and properties hailing from the series of role-playing games originally published by Enix, now Square Enix. The player character assumes the role of a chosen hero going off on a quest to vanquish a cataclysmic evil and save the world. The franchise is widely considered the quintessential Japanese RPG series, to the point of being a cultural phenomenon in its country. The series laid the foundation that would define the genre for generations to come, directly inspiring monumental titles including Final Fantasy, Pokémon, EarthBound, Fire Emblem, and Shin Megami Tensei (including its subseries Persona), and elements popularized by it can still be seen in more modern series like Xenoblade.

Franchise description[edit]

In 1982, Enix sponsored a video game programming contest in Japan which would bring much of the original Dragon Quest team together, including creator Yuji Horii. The prize was a trip to the United States and a visit to AppleFest '83 in San Francisco, where Horii discovered the Wizardry series of American role-playing games. Fellow contest winners Koichi Nakamura and Yukinobu Chida, working with Horii, released the Enix game The Portopia Serial Murder Case for NEC's PC-6001 in 1983; it was an instant success which set an early standard for non-traditional, open-ended gameplay. This style would influence many games after its release, including The Legend of Zelda and Enix's own Dragon Quest.

A few years later, Horii desired to introduce the concept of role-playing games to the wider Japanese video game audience, streamlining the experience to its purest form. To this end, his team began to develop an RPG that would combine elements from the American computer games Wizardry and Ultima. These series were popular among computer hobbyists in Japan, but were deemed too difficult and convoluted for the average player to enjoy. In order to make this game more accessible than the usual computer RPG of the time, it was designed to be more streamlined and fast-paced, with a greater focus on exploration, combat, and storytelling. Horii combined the full-screen map of Ultima with the battle and statistic-oriented Wizardry screens to create the core gameplay of Dragon Quest. He chose the Famicom because, unlike arcade games, players would not have to worry about spending more money upon defeat, and could continue playing from a save point. Noted mangaka Akira Toriyama, of Dragon Ball fame, was commissioned to illustrate the characters and monsters. Similarly, music composer Koichi Sugiyama, known for advertising jingles and pop songs, was hired to compose the game's soundtrack after he sent a postcard to Enix praising their previous work.

While Dragon Quest was in development, many doubted that a fantasy series with swords and sorcery would become popular in Japan, as the more predominant fantasy genre at the time was science fiction; however, the game became an overnight sensation upon its release in 1986, thanks to advertising in Toriyama's Weekly Shonen Jump magazine. This ultimately led to Dragon Quest becoming a game that took the Japanese media by storm, and opened the door for a wider variety of genres for both Nintendo's console and the gaming industry as a whole. The team immediately began work on a sequel, and the Dragon Quest series quickly became a booming franchise spanning multiple forms of media, including spin-off games, novels, manga, anime, live music performances, and even a feature-length film.

Despite its overwhelming success in Japan, Dragon Quest was not released internationally until 1989, when Nintendo released it in North America (under the name Dragon Warrior, due to copyright conflicts with a pen-and-paper RPG of the same name). The first RPG to be released for the Nintendo Entertainment System, this version features improved graphics and a battery save feature instead of the password system of the original version. In late 1990, the official Nintendo Power magazine included free copies of the game as a subscription bonus; this move proved highly successful, as it attracted thousands of subscribers and ensured the success of the series in the West. Though it lags behind the Final Fantasy franchise internationally, Dragon Quest continues to see a steady release schedule and dedicated audience outside of Japan.

For later titles, many of the original team members retain their role in the series; Horii serves the role of scenario director, while Toriyama and Sugiyama continue to provide character design and music, respectively. Subsequent Dragon Quest games build on the formula introduced by the original. For Dragon Quest II, the developers introduced a party system with the player controlling three characters, another idea inspired by Wizardry; this would go on to become a standard gameplay element in the Dragon Quest series. Dragon Quest III introduced a class system, allowing characters to specialize in certain roles, while Dragon Quest IV introduced chapter-based progression and computer-controlled allies. Dragon Quest VIII was the first fully 3D rendered game in the series, and it included the ability to control the camera at any angle on the overworld.

Remakes of the mainline entries have appeared on Nintendo's handheld systems, starting with Dragon Quest I, II, and III on the Game Boy Color in 2000. On the Nintendo DS, there was Dragon Quest IV in 2007, V in 2008, and VI in 2010. Finally, remakes of Dragon Quest VII and VIII were released on the Nintendo 3DS in 2016 and 2017, respectively. All of the remakes include reworked graphics and new gameplay features. The latest installment of the core series, Dragon Quest XI, was released in Japan in July 2017, and internationally in September 2018; an enhanced port for Nintendo Switch (as Dragon Quest XI S) released worldwide in September 2019, with enhanced Switch ports of Dragon Quest I, II, and III following.

According to Masahiro Sakurai, fans of the Dragon Quest series had long requested for representation in Super Smash Bros., but he initially considered it impossible. With some encouragement from Nintendo, Sakurai created a passionate proposal to Square Enix, asking to include the Hero in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate; though he would have agreed to compromise if Square Enix had requested something like Slime, he felt that the Hero offered more options, even knowing the hurdles that would come with their inclusion. To his surprise, Square Enix agreed almost immediately: they appreciated Sakurai's passion and felt Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was similar to Dragon Quest XI S as games that celebrate and combine elements from across their respective histories.

According to Yuji Horii, while there were restrictions in the past over having past heroes interact and fight with each other, it has become less strict over time, especially with the mobile title Dragon Quest Rivals. Knowing the popularity of Smash, he personally wanted the Hero to join the series. Sakurai's initial proposal had only included the Heroes of Dragon Quest XI and Dragon Quest III, but Horii allowed two more to be included. The Hero of Dragon Quest VIII was added due to his popularity overseas; for the final choice, the Dragon Quest V and Dragon Quest I Heroes were considered, but were ultimately passed over for the Hero of Dragon Quest IV.[1]

In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate[edit]

The long-running series and progenitor of the RPG genre makes its Super Smash Bros. series debut as the second DLC franchise in the Fighters Pass and the second Square Enix property to be represented by a playable fighter after Final Fantasy. While the content present is representative of the series at large, the bulk of the representation comes from Dragon Quest XI, as it was released to commemorate the then-upcoming release of the enhanced Nintendo Switch version. In addition to one newcomer, the series is represented by a stage with some minor cameos, eight music tracks, several Mii Fighter costumes, and several Spirits. Most of the content from this franchise was released in the version 4.0.0 update on July 30th, 2019.

Fighter[edit]

  • 72.
    HeroIcon(SSBU).png
    Hero: As a single newcomer, four protagonists from across the Dragon Quest series join the roster as alternate character costumes of each other, all serving as the second newcomer from the Fighters Pass. The Luminary from Dragon Quest XI is the default, with Erdrick from Dragon Quest III, Solo from Dragon Quest IV, and Eight from Dragon Quest VIII appearing as alternate character costumes. In battle, he uses a sword and shield for standard attacks but amplifies his moveset using magic; he has a limited supply of magic points (MP) to cast a variety of spells ranging from Frizz, Zap, and Woosh, with even more spells available from a command selection menu. The Final Smash calls upon even more heroes from across the series to unleash Gigaslash. He was released alongside Yggdrasil's Altar, 8 music tracks and the Dragon Quest series Spirits on July 30th, 2019 as part of Challenger Pack 2.

Stage[edit]

  • SSBU-Yggdrasil'sAltar.jpg
    Yggdrasil's Altar: A pivotal location based on the area of the same name from Dragon Quest XI. This stage is a platform flying over Erdrea, the geographical setting of Dragon Quest XI. The floating platform tours around the landscape to locations such as Haven's Above and the Ruins of Dundrasil. Occasionally other platforms containing chests with items may appear, though the chest may also turn out to be a Mimic. Slimes, Tockles, and the white whale-like creature Cetacea cameo in the background. The stage was released on July 30th, 2019 as part of Challenger Pack 2.

Music[edit]

Source Tracks[edit]

  • "Adventure - DRAGON QUEST III": The overworld theme of Dragon Quest III: The Seeds of Salvation, which appears in the Hero's reveal trailer. However, in-game, the song is a sequenced version taken from Theatrhythm Dragon Quest.
  • "Fighting Spirits - DRAGON QUEST III": The main battle theme of Dragon Quest III. Sourced from Theatrhythm Dragon Quest.
  • "Wagon Wheel's March": The overworld theme of Dragon Quest IV: Chapters of the Chosen. Sourced from Theatrhythm Dragon Quest.
  • "Battle for the Glory - DRAGON QUEST IV": The main battle theme of Dragon Quest IV. Sourced from Theatrhythm Dragon Quest.
  • "Marching through the Fields": One of the overworld themes of Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King. Sourced from Theatrhythm Dragon Quest.
  • "War Cry": The main battle theme of Dragon Quest VIII. Sourced from Theatrhythm Dragon Quest.
  • "The Hero Goes Forth with a Determination": The main overworld theme of Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age, sourced from the original sequenced version.
  • "Unflinchable Courage": The main battle theme of Dragon Quest XI, sourced from the original sequenced version.

Victory fanfare[edit]

  • "Victory! Hero": A sequenced rearrangement of the ending phrase of Overture, the recurring main theme of the series. This arrangement, like most of the other Dragon Quest music, is sourced from Theatrhythm Dragon Quest.

Other[edit]

  • Extended orchestral versions of Overture from Dragon Quest XI S and Adventure from the Dragon Quest III Symphonic Suites orchestrated soundtrack were used in the Hero's reveal trailer, but are not selectable in-game. This is likely due to licensing complications with series composer Koichi Sugiyama, who retains the rights to the Dragon Quest soundtracks instead of Square Enix themselves.

Mii Costumes[edit]

Hats[edit]

Costumes[edit]

  • MiiSwordfighterHeadSSBU.pngVeronica Outfit
  • MiiSwordfighterHeadSSBU.pngErdrick Outfit
  • MiiBrawlerHeadSSBU.pngMartial Artist Outfit

Spirits[edit]

1,324. Hero (DRAGON QUEST XI S)
1,325. Hero (DRAGON QUEST III)
1,326. Hero (DRAGON QUEST IV)
1,327. Hero (DRAGON QUEST VIII)
1,328. Hero's Comrades
1,329. Cetacea
1,330. Slime

1,331. King Slime
1,332. Dracky
1,333. Golem
1,334. Great Sabrecub
1,335. Great Sabrecat
1,336. Liquid Metal Slime
1,346. Tockles

Games with elements from or in the Super Smash Bros. series[edit]

Dragon Quest[edit]

  • Playable Characters:
  • Stage Elements:
  • Spirits:
  • Music:
    • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate"Victory! Hero": An excerpt from the recurring "Overture", first appearing in this game.

Dragon Quest II: Luminaries of the Legendary Line[edit]

  • Playable Characters:
    • Super Smash Bros. UltimateThe Hero from this game cameos in Gigaslash.
    • Super Smash Bros. UltimateThe Hero's up special, Woosh, is a spell that debuted in this game.
    • Super Smash Bros. UltimateKaboom, Thwack, Kamikazee, and Hocus Pocus first appeared in this game
  • Stages:
  • Stage Elements:
  • Spirits:
    • Super Smash Bros. UltimateA Liquid Metal Slime appears as a Spirit.

Dragon Quest III: The Seeds of Salvation[edit]

  • Playable Characters:
    • Super Smash Bros. UltimateThe male Hero from this game, Erdrick (also referred to as Arusu), appears as a costume for the playable Hero.
    • Super Smash Bros. UltimateHero's neutral special Frizz along with its stronger variant, Frizzle, were introduced in this game.
    • Super Smash Bros. UltimateHero's side special Zap along with its strongest variant, Kazap, were introduced in this game.
    • Super Smash Bros. UltimateSwoosh and Kaswoosh, were introduced in this game.
    • Super Smash Bros. UltimateBang, Whack, Oomph, Acceleratle, Kaclang, and Bounce debuted in this game.
    • Super Smash Bros. UltimateThe Martial Artist class debuted in this game, and appears as a costume for Mii Brawlers.
  • Stage Elements:
    • Super Smash Bros. UltimateMimics, enemies that first debuted in this game, make an appearance on Yggdrasil's Altar, sometimes replacing regular treasure chests.
  • Music:
    • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate"Adventure - DRAGON QUEST III": The main overworld theme from this game.
    • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate"Fighting Spirits - DRAGON QUEST III": The main battle theme from this game.

Dragon Quest IV: Chapters of the Chosen[edit]

  • Playable Characters:
    • Super Smash Bros. UltimateThe male Hero from this game, commonly referred to as Solo, appears as a costume for the playable Hero.
  • Music:
    • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate"Battle for the Glory - DRAGON QUEST IV": The main battle theme from this game.
    • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate"Wagon Wheel's March": The main overworld theme from this game.
  • Spirits:

Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride[edit]

  • Playable Characters:
    • Super Smash Bros. UltimateThe Hero from this game makes a cameo in Gigaslash.
    • Super Smash Bros. UltimateGigaslash first appeared in this game.
    • Super Smash Bros. UltimateErdrick's alternate color scheme resembles the Hero from this game.
  • Spirits:

Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation[edit]

  • Playable Characters:
    • Super Smash Bros. UltimateThe Hero from this game makes a cameo in Gigaslash.
    • Super Smash Bros. UltimateFlame Slash, Kacrackle Slash, Metal Slash, Hatchet Man, and Magic Burst all debuted in this game.
    • Super Smash Bros. UltimateEight's alternate color scheme resembles Terry from this game.

Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past[edit]

  • Playable Characters:
    • Super Smash Bros. UltimateThe Hero from this game makes a cameo in Gigaslash.

Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King[edit]

  • Playable Characters:
    • Super Smash Bros. UltimateThe Hero from this game, commonly referred to as Eight, appears as a costume for the playable Hero.
    • Super Smash Bros. UltimatePsyche Up debuted in this game.
    • Super Smash Bros. UltimateThe Luminary's alternate color scheme resembles Angelo from this game.
  • Music:
    • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate"War Cry": The main battle theme from this game.
    • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate"Marching through the Fields": One of the two main overworld themes from this game.

Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker[edit]

    • Super Smash Bros. UltimateKafrizz and Zapple debuted in this game.

Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies[edit]

  • Playable Characters:
    • Super Smash Bros. UltimateThe Hero from this game makes a cameo in Gigaslash.

Dragon Quest: Monster Battle Road Victory[edit]

  • Playable Characters:
    • Super Smash Bros. UltimateThe art used for Gigaslash is taken from this game.

Dragon Quest X[edit]

  • Playable Characters:
    • Super Smash Bros. UltimateThe Hero from this game makes a cameo in Gigaslash.

Theatrhythm Dragon Quest[edit]

  • Music:
    • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate"Adventure - DRAGON QUEST III": Sourced from this game.
    • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate"Fighting Spirits - DRAGON QUEST III": Sourced from this game.
    • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate"Battle for the Glory - DRAGON QUEST IV": Sourced from this game.
    • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate"Wagon Wheel's March": Sourced from this game.
    • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate"War Cry": Sourced from this game.
    • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate"Marching through the Fields": Sourced from this game.
    • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate"Victory! Hero": Sourced from this game

Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age[edit]

Worth noting is the fact that all content from Dragon Quest XI is instead said to be sourced from Dragon Quest XI S, the definitive version of the game released for the Nintendo Switch. The reason is likely because the only other Nintendo console that it released on, the Nintendo 3DS, was a Japan-only release.

  • Playable Characters:
    • Super Smash Bros. UltimateThe Hero from this game, the Luminary (also referred to as Eleven), appears as a playable character in Ultimate, as the default costume for the Hero.
    • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Veronica appears as a Mii Swordfighter costume.
  • Stages:
    • Super Smash Bros. UltimateYggdrasil's Altar takes its appearance from this game, with several landmarks and design elements taken from this specific appearance.
  • Stage elements:
    • Super Smash Bros. UltimateCetacea, a major character from the game, makes a cameo appearance on Yggdrasil's Altar
  • Spirits:
    • Super Smash Bros. UltimateCetacea appears as a Spirit
    • Super Smash Bros. UltimateThe main cast from Dragon Quest XI, barring the Hero himself, also appears as a collective Spirit under the name "Hero's Comrades".
    • Super Smash Bros. UltimateTockles appear as a spirit.
  • Music:
    • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate"The Hero Goes Forth with a Determination": The initial overworld theme, sourced from this game.
    • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate"Unflinchable Courage": The main battle theme, sourced from this game.

Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Definitive Edition[edit]

  • Playable Characters:
    • Super Smash Bros. UltimateMitsuki Saiga, the Luminary's Japanese voice actress from this updated Nintendo Switch rerelease, reprises her role in all regions of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Trivia[edit]

  • This is the second character-based third-party universe from Square Enix, the first being Final Fantasy.
  • Dragon Quest, EarthBound, Final Fantasy, and Persona are the only universes without playable characters from the first installment in their series in Super Smash Bros.
    • Notably, all four of these series are RPGs, and use different protagonists in all main games in the series.
  • Characters from Dragon Quest previously crossed over with characters from the Final Fantasy series multiple times in the Itadaki Street series, starting with Dragon Quest & Final Fantasy in Itadaki Street Special for the PlayStation 2. The Itadaki Street series also hosted crossovers between Dragon Quest and the Mario series through Itadaki Street DS and Fortune Street for Wii.
    • The Dragon Quest enemy Slime also appeared as a playable character in Mario Sports Mix, which prominently featured Final Fantasy characters.
  • In the Famicom Disk System version of Zelda II, Dragon Quest was referenced through a tombstone for the legendary hero, Erdrick. The tomb was engraved with the message, "The hero Erdrick rests here." (ユウシャ ロト ココニネムル) The tombstone was removed in the internationally-released NES version of Zelda II.[2]
    • The original Final Fantasy included a grave for Link, which was replaced in localization with a grave for Erdrick.[3] Coincidentally, the developers for Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy later merged into Square Enix.
  • The series was originally released as Dragon Warrior in the North American market, due to the regional trademark on "DragonQuest" being held by board game manufacturer TSR. In 2003, Square Enix registered the trademark on "Dragon Quest" in the United States, deeming the Dragon Warrior name obsolete. Dragon Quest VIII is the first installment of the series to be released with the Dragon Quest name in North America.
  • Dragon Quest is one of five third-party series with primary representation in the Smash Bros. series to debut on a Nintendo console; the others are Mega Man, Final Fantasy, Castlevania, and Banjo-Kazooie.
    • All of these series debuted on the NES except for Banjo-Kazooie, which debuted on Nintendo 64.
  • Dragon Quest is the only DLC universe introduced in Ultimate to not introduce a new company to the series (or subsidiary, in the case of Atlus).
  • Dragon Quest is the only DLC universe in Ultimate (and one of two in general, alongside fellow Square Enix series Final Fantasy) to not include any new arrangements.

References[edit]