No, no opinaré, tranquilo Bangiras. Sólo pego texto sobre historia poco conocida por muchos, juegos ignorados y casi olvidados, así tal vez veamos con algo de luz (con zeta) decisiones de juegos japoneses posteriores, a ver si realmente todo encaja.


1982-1987 - The Birth of Japanese RPGs, re-told in 15 Games

Computer RPG History is poorly kept in the West.

The stories told rarely goes beyond "Richard Garriott made Akalabeth – and there was much rejoice".
And that's with everyone speaking English, developers still being around, many books on the subject, and impressive efforts like emulators, the Internet Archive and Cyber1.

In Japan is way, way worst.

Few care about ancient Japanese PC games, emulation is difficult, the language barrier is overwhelming, trusty sources rare and companies have little interest in the crude titles of their youth.

As such, the origins of JRPGs are told as "Enix made Dragon Quest – and there was much rejoice desu."  
Since I'm currently: a) living in Japan, b) creating a book on CRPG History, and c) unemployed, this seems like a perfect opportunity to tackle the subject with a handy guide to the origins of JRPGs.

Part I - The Glorious Japanese Tech

Forget PS4 vs. Xbone, or Nvidia vs. ATI. Back in the 80's, choosing hardware was serious business.

The Apple II, IBM-compatibles, Spectrum ZX and C64 held entirely different software, graphics, games, resources, prices, friends, romantic opportunities, etc... There are dusty old gravestones along untraveled roads which simply read "Bought a Coleco Adam".

In glorious Nippon, an early 80's gamer would have to pick between the Famicom (aka NES) or three mythical 8-bit machines we only hear whispers about: the PC-8801, the Sharp X1 and the FM-7:


Now, I'm in no way qualified to talk about the technical aspects of Japanese 80's hardware – I advise you to check this page for more info – but the gist of it is that, since the Japanese language uses crazy moonrunes full of details like 綺麗薔薇, their computers needed a higher resolution to display them. It was not about having fancy graphics, but about allowing people to read & write their own names.

So, while they struggled to render moving sprites (just look at this poor PC-8801 trying to run Mario Bros.), they could display still graphics that were years ahead of the western PCs.

For comparison, here's the title screens of two RPGs from 1984: Questron running on the Apple II, andHeart of Fantasy / 夢幻の心臓 running on the PC-8801, :


Humm.... the Questron dude looks really happy with his castle, but still...

Similarly, here's two early text adventure games with still images – The Dark Crystal, part of Sierra's Hi-Res Adventures, and Enix's ザース / Zarth – both from 1983:


Looking at this, it's perfectly understandable why western developers like Infocom went "eh... let's keep doing text-only games", while Japan was like "THIS IS AWESOME! We should make a whole genre out of cute girls with text beneath them! We'll call them Visual Novels!"

(Curiously, Sierra's King's Quest games never made into Japan... a matter of taste, business or tech?)

Anyway, with this technological prelude out of the way, let's jump into zeh games!

Part II - 1982/1983 - The Early Years

Where does one begin when talking about the first Japanese RPGs?

Well, with some game from 1982/1983. Problem is, no one knows which.

Dragon and Princess / ドラゴンアンドプリンセス is often pointed as the first RPG made in Japan, and it's particularly interesting for being a party-based game with top-down tactical turn-based combat (before Ultima III popularized such combat system), but at its core it's a text-adventure game:


This excellent Japanese forum thread will tell you that Koei's Underground Exploration / 地底探検 predates all other games, but again, it's hard to call it an RPG:


King Khufu's Treasure / クフ王の秘密 claims to be a "Roll Playing Game" and looks like a Temple of Apshai clone, but I couldn't find any analysis, video or disk image of it anywhere:


There are others: Mission: Impossible / スパイ大作戦, a spy-themed Adventure game; Dragon Lair / ドラゴン・レア, a mysterious game that might not even be Japanese; Genma Taisen / 幻魔大戦, based on a manga of the same name, Arfgaldt / アルフガルド, another text-adventure, etc...

I cannot write about this subject without also mentioning Seduction of Condominium Wives / 団地妻の誘惑, Koei's erotic RPG about a condom salesman visiting an apartment block, where he must knock on doors trying to "sell his products", while battling Yakuza and ghosts who roam the halls:


It's interesting many of these games already call themselves "Role-Playing Games", even thought few of them have traditional features like stats, XP, level ups, classes, etc. I believe this quote by Tokihiro Naito (creator of Hydlide), found in The Untold History of Japanese Game Developers Vol. 2, best represent the spirit that dominated Japanese game development at the time:

"Back then, Japanese people didn't have a well-defined sense of the RPG as a game genre. I suspect that because of this, the creators took the appearance and atmosphere of the RPG as a basic reference, and constructed new types of games according to their own individual sensibilities. In my case, I never had the opportunity to use an Apple II, so I was completely unaware of Wizardry and Ultima."
Even those who knew western games were doing experimental titles. Nihon Falcom began in 1981 as Apple importers in Japan, so they had access to the Apple II and its games. Later becoming developers, they jumped into the genre with Panorama Island / ぱのらま島, an exotic title that uses a hex-based overworld full of traps, plus wire-frame first-person dungeons (with auto-mapping!):


While it looks very RPG-ish (and pornographic?), and even sells itself as a "Fantasy Role-Playing Game", it lacks core elements like stats, XP, level ups... you only have to manage your food and money. Overall, it plays more like a crazy mix of platform and adventure game.

These are all interesting titles from a frontier age that ended when the genre's conventions were properly established, much like happened in the West in the early 80's. But how to classify them?  

Some early games that are undeniably RPGs, such as Sword and Sorcery / 剣と魔法, Legend of the Holy Sword / 聖剣伝説 and Poibos / ポイボス, but they are very obscure, their release dates are uncertain, etc...


The Japanese are also very confused and frustrated by this. As the writers of the excellent Old Gamers History series of books explain (and I badly translate):

"There has been exhaustive debate over which is Japans's first Computer RPG, but no clear answers. The reason is that we don't have clear release dates for some titles, and the RPG genre is difficult to properly classify."

Indeed, as a visit to the RPG Codex will quickly demonstrate, "define RPG" is no simple task.

But enough of this historical "chicken or the egg". Talking about the later, better known games that defined the genre seems like a more productive use of our time, so let's move on.

Part III - Where we finally get a list (which is what people came to see)

As a reminder, there are entire books on this subject and I only have one article, so I'll skip curiosities like コズミック・ソルジャー (Cosmic Soldier), ザ・スクリーマー (The Screamer), ロマンシア (Romancia), ファンタジアン (Fantasian), 闘人魔境伝 ヘラクレスの栄光 (Glory of Hercules), リグラス (Riglas) and クルーズチェイサーブラスティー (Cruise Chaser Blassty) –  but curious readers should definitely google those later.

So, without further ado, here's a selection of 15 early JRPGs that shaped the genre:

ダンジョン (December 1983)

The Old Gamers History Vol. 3 book begins their timeline with Kei's Dungeon, claiming it has a known release date and among the early titles it's the one closest to "modern RPGs". It's easy to see why. Instantly familiar to anyone who played Ultima, Koei's Dungeon asks you to pick a class – Warrior, Thief, Cleric, Wizard or Ninja – and explore a large island in search of El Dorado.


While the towns are oddly text-only, the rest of the game is an impressive programming feat – the graphics are way ahead of their time (OMG, solid walls!), the overworld has a handy mini-map and the island's underground is a MASSIVE dungeon with multiple entry points that's over 250 x 250 squares!

The developers were probably all big D&D fans, as you’ll face Mind Flayers, Frost Giants, Flesh Golems and even the demon prince Demogorgon, awkwardly traced from the rule book:


Curiously, no beholders. I guess the Japanese also think that 1st ed. beholders look ridiculous.

The Black Onyx
ザ・ブラックオニキス (January 1984)

Henk Rogers (now best-known for his dealings with Tetris) was a Dutch/American RPG fan who moved to Japan and noticed a lack of games like Wizardry. So he decided to create his own.


While not “Japan’s first Role-Playing Game ever!”, as it’s often claimed, The Black Onyx was the country's first popular RPG, selling over 150,000 units, spreading the genre and influencing many developers.

Rogers tells that people didn't understand what RPGs were, so he couldn't sell his game at first. In order to get the word out, he hired a translator and went present the game to computer magazines:

“I sat down with each editor and asked them for their name. I typed this in and then asked them to choose the head that looked most like them. In this way I taught them how to roll a D&D character. Then I left them to play.”

What's also noteworthy is that the game was a pioneer in allowing players to customize their character’s appearance, and even had character's equipment actually show on-screen in their avatars. It also used colored bars to indicate character's health – an idea that would be extremely common afterwards.

Heart of Fantasy
夢幻の心臓 (March 1984)

Mortally wounded in battle, you curse the gods. They listen, and banish you to a dark world of monsters, treasures and adventure. If you wish to return to your own world, you must find the eponymous "Heart of Fantasy". But there's a timer ticking – you have 30,000 days.

XtalSoft's Heart of Fantasy is another game inspired by Ultima, but while Dungeon was very simplistic, this one is a full-fledged adventure. It has a massive open world, several cities, many wire-frame dungeons (with auto-mapping!) fancy enemy graphics, NPCs, quests, spells, equipment and many character building options, as you can spend XP to level up individual stats.


However, the game is quite difficult and heavy on grinding (a trend we'll see a lot of), forcing players to repeatedly kill farmers and other weak enemies until they can safely taking quests and exploring the world.

Tower of Druaga
ドルアーガの塔 (July 1984)

Conceived as a “Fantasy Pac-Man”, this deceptively simple Namco arcade classic casts you as Gilgamesh, who must climb the 60 floors of the tower and save the princess from the evil Druaga.

In each floor you must grab a randomly placed key and unlock the door to the next floor, avoiding hazards and killing monsters in the way. Combat is done by simply “bumping” into enemies, but some require special items or strategies – ghosts can only be seen if you have a lit candle, for example.

The trick is that each level has a hidden chest, and if you truly want to beat the game, getting those is mandatory. Each item in each floor requires a specific action to be performed. Some are simple: killing three green slimes in Floor 1 wields a pickaxe, which can destroys walls. Cool.

But others are crazy: to reveal the hidden chest in Floor 18, you must avoid touching any walls for 10 seconds. However, the chest is locked and will only open if you have the Unlock Potion from Floor 17, which only appeared if you allowed a Ghost Mage to teleport five times. Inside the chest is the Dragon Slayer sword, but you can only equip it if you got the White Sword from Floor 5, which required you to...  

Oh, did I mention there's a time limit? Yeah, no wonder this never made into the US.

(But really, just imagine the arcade strategy debates this generated – and how badass was the kid in school who knew how to get to Floor 42! Ahhh... fuck you GameFAQs, you ruined gaming.)

Widely popular in Japan, its magical items and real-time "bump" combat inspired Dragon Slayer, Hydlide, The Legend of Zelda and many others. Still inspire, if you think of the puzzles some Japanese games have.

Dragon Slayer
ドラゴンスレイヤー (November 1984)

If Tower of Druaga was about uncovering obscure secrets, Falcom’s Dragon Slayer is about grinding.

You’re locked inside a huge dungeon and tasked to slay a dragon, but you start too weak. Your only hope is to slowly explore, finding treasures and bringing them back to your home to increase your stats until you’re powerful enough to actually slay the dragon! And then a new dungeon appears...


Like in Druaga, the game is real-time and you fight by bumping into enemies. There are useful magical items as well, but you can only carry one at a time, so be prepared to backtrack or juggle items back to your house. Optionally, you can also push your house around the dungeon, because why not.  

Dragon Slayer is often considered the first Action-RPG ever, since Tower of Druaga didn't actually have stats, level ups and other proper and respectful RPG elements such as grinding.

Falcom eventually created a extensive list of over 60 sequels, expansions and spin-offs of Dragon Slayer, some which we'll mention next, others which you probably know about, like Legacy of the Wizard (1987) and the excellent The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky (2004).

ハイドライド (December 1984)

Dragon Slayer stayed inside dull dungeons, but T&E Soft’s Hydlide took the Tower of Duraga formula to a (rather tiny) colorful open world, in an epic adventure where players must explore the land in search of magic items to rescue the princess – after they slowly grind experience, of course.


A massive hit in Japan, it’s one of the most influential JRPGs of the early 80’s, credited for introducing quick saves and regenerating health (although 1982's Dungeons of Daggorath did it first!)

However, it only reached the West in 1989, two years after The Legend of Zelda had far surpassed it, and was bashed for its mandatory grinding and frustrating difficulty (because, really, fuck this game).

ザナドゥ (November 1985)

While a sequel to Dragon Slayer, Xanadu changes almost everything.

It adds a town where you can train individual stats or buy items from NPCs with gorgeous artwork. Beneath the town lies an expansive maze, which you explore in a platform-like side-scrolling view.


When you touch an enemy or enter a dungeon, the game changes to a top-down “arena” view, much like what The Legend of Zelda would later use. Combat is still “bump-based”, but the spells, items, equipment and diverse enemies make Xanadu much more engaging than its predecessors.


Finally, now there are several different boss enemies, which you fight in a unique "boss battle" room.

To this day Xanadu remains Falcom's greatest success: a PC exclusive that sold over 400,000 copies back when computers were expensive and inaccessible. From Zelda to Wonder Boy, it's impossible to look at these pictures and not see the influence the game had.

Heart of Fantasy 2
夢幻の心臓II (November 1985)

The second game improved just about every aspect of the original.

It changed the wire-frame first-person dungeons into scrolling top-down maps, added better graphics, a five-character party and a three large interconnected worlds you can explore – the land of humans, of elves and of demons. It even has a line-of-sight system, where walls and other obstacles block you view:


Searching this game online wields many claims that it influenced / was copied by Dragon Quest. Things like the "Ultima exploration + Wizardry combat" mix, the various status effects or the shape of the world map are mentioned, but what stands out is that, while Heart of Fantasy 2 is a PC-exclusive, it abandons hotkeys for an accessible two-button menu-based interface – one of Dragon Quest's defining features.

The Old Gamers History book merely says this is a useless discussion that has been going for too long between fans – both are 2D RPGs who descend from Ultima and took their battle systems from Wizardry.

Regardless, this was a game loved by many, and playing it you can see why. It's a Japanese Ultima – not a mere clone anymore, but a solid title on its own right. If this was released in English back then, it would probably as fondly remember by us as well.

PS: This game totally deserves a fan-translation. wink wink, nudge nudge.

The Legend of Zelda
ゼルダの伝説 (Februrary 1986)

Miyamoto and his team took Hydlide's and Xanadu's formula and showed how to do it right.


They added an attack button, created a huge world full of secrets, designed clever dungeons, puzzles and boss battles, made magic items that actually impact gameplay and got rid of all the stats, XP, levels and grinding (so it's not an RPG, ok?).

In doing so, The Legend of Zelda created a new genre: the Action-Adventure, where the series still rules.

Dragon Quest
ドラゴンクエスト (May 1986)

Dragon Quest was the perfect game at the perfect time – and in the perfect platform.

Created by Yuji Horii, an RPG fan who wished to reach wider audiences, it blended Wizardry’s first-person battles with Ultima’s NPCs and open-world, wrapped in a friendly menu-based interface. Suddenly RPGs no longer required expensive PCs and a huge keyboard (with a "Quick Reference Card" nearby), anyone could play them using the Famicom/NES and its two-button controller!


Amplified by Akira Toriyama’s colorful art style, a massive hit was born: Dragon Quest sold over 2 million copies in Japan, spawning a massive series and defining the JRPG genre.

In 1990 Enix published a manga re-telling the game's development, titled Road to Dragon Quest /ドラゴンクエストへの道. Among other things, it shows the developer’s passion for Wizardry and Ultima:


イース (June 1987)

A team at Falcom thought CRPGs were getting too demanding, directed only towards hardcore gamers,so they decided to created an Action RPG focused on fun and adventure.

The result is a light-hearted epic saga that’s accessible (it uses a slightly more complex "bump combat”), has some memorable moments and packs one of gaming's best soundtrack.


While overlooked in the West, in Japan it stands tall as one of the landmarks of the genre, alongside Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy. And it's still going, with Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana just being released.

Curious readers can read HG101's excellent analysis of the series for more information.

Digital Devil Story: Megami Tensei
デジタル・デビル物語 ストーリー 女神転生 (November 1987)

Based on a novel of the same name, Atlus' Megami Tensei stars Akemi Nakajima, a teenage hacker who uses his 1337 h4x0r s|<1llz to summon demons. Shockingly, it backfires.

As the demons – including Lucifer – run out of control, it’s up to Akemi and his girlfriend Yumiko to stop them – fighting the demons, or simply talking to them and recruiting them to your party.  A very cool feature is that you can also fuse demons into more powerful demons.


A cult classic, it receive a great sequels and spin-offs, including the amazing Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne (which you SHOULD play) and the now-mainstream Persona series (pfff, posers).

Final Fantasy
ファイナルファンタジー (December 1987)

The story is well known: Square's business were bad and Hironobu Sakaguchi was frustrated with his job, so they bet everything on a massive, "final" adventure, that would either sink or swim.

Building upon the Dragon Quest’s formula, Final Fantasy is a huge game, where four “heroes of light” have to travel the world – by feet, boat and airship – to purify the four elemental orbs.


Unlike its sequels, there isn't much of a story here, and heroes are chosen at the start of the game – you can pick any combination of Warrior, Fist Master, White Mage, Red Mage and Black Mage.

While it didn't sell as much as Dragon Quest, the following series made a lot more success overseas, and ended up becoming the world’s best-know JRPG series.

ソーサリアン (December 1987)

The fifth title in Falcom’s huge Dragon Slayer series, it expanded the RPG elements, added complex magic, impressive boss battles and a party of four custom characters.


It also had a weird job system, where your characters had day jobs – like Carpenter, Cheese Maker, Translator, Barber or even Clown – that would earn them money and different stats increases. So yeah, Sir Grömlash the Despoiler might be a shoe maker when not slaying dragons... gotta pay those bills, yo.

The game was module-based, divided into several quests, and in the following years many “Scenario Packs” were released, some including content made by fans in official design contests.

Phantasy Star
ファンタシースター (December 1987)

Developed by SEGA and often voted the best game for the Master System, Phantasy Star raised the bar for JRPGs with its excellent graphics, memorable cast and by having an evolving story.


As the game starts, a cutscene shows your brother being killed by soldiers of Lord Lassic. And so you, Alis, venture forth to form a resistance and overthrown the tyrant! Along the way, Alis will find three companions – Odin, a brute warrior; Lutz, an arrogant sorcerer; and Myau, a magical cat-like creature.

The game really stands out for its presentation – cutscenes play throughout the story, the party follows the man character on-screen, the first-person dungeons scroll smoothly and are shown full-screen, without any UI to clutter it... I mean, just look at this:

That's not a fake CGI trailer dude, it's actual gameplay, running on a 8-bit console from 1985!

While the other games listed here look pretty simplistic today, with stale "defeat evil" plots and generic / custom characters, Phantasy Star feels like a transition piece, a template for many of the JRPGs that would come in the next decades.

Part IV - The end of an Era

By the end of 1987 consoles had become the definitive platform for JRPGs – and for Japanese games overall, a complete reversal of the situation in the US.

Even with the popularization of 16-bit computers later on, the PC was left for niche titles which made use of their amazing capabilities to render high-res still images: Visual Novels and erotic games – including erotic JRPGs like Rance and Dragon Knight. Only Falcom would remain strong defenders of PCs JRPGs – which might explain why they are barely known in the West.

As such, Western CRPGs lost all relevance to the Japanese market – Dungeon Master, Wasteland, SSI's Gold Box series, Diablo, Daggerfall, Baldur's Gate, Fallout, System Shock 2, Deus Ex, Morrowind, Gothic and other classics either never made to Japan or barely made an impact. Even the Ultima series, so influential years before, lost all relevance – have you ever seen a JRPG based on Ultima VII?

Wizardry, on the other hand, would gain new life in Japan. While Sir-Tech imploded in the 90's, the Japanese would acquire the serie's license and produce over 30 Wizardry games, remakes and spin-offs, plus novels, manga series, anime, toys, mobile games, tabletop RPGs and even a MMORPG:

But that's a story for another time...
  • Fortianita
Reacciones: Edil
Cuando leí el texto pensé, "Por eso los japoneses son más de novela visual", pero no es un argumento sólido ni de broma. Aun así explica un poco por qué desde el principio estuvieron tan ligados al storytelling que los occidentales, la falta de recursos tuvo que afectar al desarrollo de los juegos haciéndolos más "inteligentes" (el mismo japonés al que entrevistó este tipo decía que cuando niño al ver Wizardry lo encontró "Tan intelectual", como que cambió un poco la manera de ver los juegos por allá en ese entonces, que parecían más una pérdida de tiempo para chavales y adolecentes, es más, hasta el día de hoy se sigue mirando con malos ojos que un adulto siga jugando videojuegos, a pesar de que se hayan vuelto ya parte de su propia cultura)
Más tendrá que ver con que quienes hacían CRPGs en occidente eran todos adictos a D&D y derivados, mientras que Japón sólo conoció las imperfectas adaptaciones videojueguiles. No por nada Questron (excepción occidental, quien lo hizo sólo conocía Ultima) perdió tantas opciones "roleras", resultando en una experiencia muy similar a los JRPGs. Los roleros quieren contar su propia historia, no sólo seguir la novela creada por un game master.

Air Luigi

Iluh Minaoh
Y te has dado cuenta hoy? Por la ultima frase digo xd

Occidentales ofrecen experiencias genericas olvidables con muchas opciones. Japon ofrece experiencias memorables concretas y limitadas. No hace falta irse a rpgs, pasa lo mesmo con cualquier genero. Esa es la regla general, siempre hay gente independiente que va a su bola, pero esos no estan en las grandes compañias (Undertale, lolS).
Pero si llevo años diciendo que el anime pixelado es un desperdicio de bytes, no sé de qué habla. Mejor no sea tan dolido y aproveche el texto que pegué, tiene ahí muchas obras maestras muy populares entre los niños del glorioso oriente, disfrute.
Parece que el autor recientemente escribió una pequeña cuarta parte sobre la poca influencia occidental en JRPGs posteriores (eso, o la versión que copié del códice es una censurada, quién sabe), así que ahí está la actualización.
La inevitable conclusión que saca uno del texto es que Japón copió Ultima y Wizardry sistemáticamente, normalmente sin entenderlos mucho, como quien hace fangames, y que obtenía mejores resultados "en taquilla" a medida que los juegos se simplificaban y mejoraban el apartado técnico/artístico. El grindeo no era importante, daba igual si había más o menos.

Vamos, todo lo que ya se ha dicho aquí mil veces, pero con la historia y los rigurosos ejemplos confirmándolo.

Y Don Horii fue el más listo de todos: simplificó más que nadie (go consola, dos botones y accesibilidad máxima) y apostó por el apartado técnico/artístico más que nadie (coloridos gráficos Toriyama style). ¿Resultado? El primer shonen con stats de la historia, y encima para consolas (juguetes para niños). Deberían estudiar esto en la carrera de empresariales, todo un gurú comercial el Horii.

Zelda en cambio sí que inventó. Lo hizo reformulándolo todo, aprovechando los primeros pasos verdaderamente adelante (aunque en falso) de los propios compatriotas (Tower of Druaga, Xanadu) y la filosofía de los pioneros americanos (los mundos a explorar de Ultima, el claustrofóbico mazmorreo de Wizardry). El resultado fue la arcadización de la aventura que proponían los CRPGs tan basados en D&D, una forma diferente de evocar sensaciones parecidas, sin las mismas posibilidades narrativas y creativas pero con la emoción de navegación y combate directos (y muy buenos, gracias Miyamoto).

Pues Janco tenía razón en todo al final. Ya se me fueron las ganas de jugar DQ otra vez.

Air Luigi

Iluh Minaoh
Haces bien, Dragon Quest no te necesita. Aunque ya lo has jugado sin querer gracias a Zelda y Mother :p

Mucho miedo a que te guste veo. Y es normal, yo he tenido que sacrificar Zelda y CT en el proceso :( Matrix tampoco esta tan mal.

Y no me parece a mi que Dragon Quest destaque por prodigios tecnicos, son juegos super humildes siempre, es seña de identidad xD Las sagas caras eran Zelda y Final Fantasy, y por mucho que hicieran siempre estaban a la sombra de Horii (y cualquiera que vea mas alla de sus narices vera por que). Por eso Zelda y FF tuvieron que subir el nivel narrativo con urgencia y transformarse para tener su oportunidad, ya que con los valores de produccion no bastaba. Ahi aparece Koizumi para que te enganches a tu querido Ocarina, y no a Z1, que para farsantes ya tenemos a Juanco. Solo hay que ver como Mother 1 parece un Ferrari grafica y sonoramente en comparacion a los DQ de su tiempo. Y el estilo de Toriyama en NES y SNES mas alla de los diseños de monstruos no se nota una mierda, con la localizacion de Nintendo todo el mundo imaginaba los Dragon Warrior Ultima style, ya que los sprites siempre se prestan a la interpretacion personal (razon por la cual FF resulta tan majo con sprites y absolutamente repelente cuando se revelo la "realidad").

Podrias probar con Mother 1, que asi vas sin prejuicios y ese es clon total de DQ.
Pero si para 1986 Dragon Quest era lo máximo gráficamente, compare nomás con juegos anteriores japoneses en este mismo tema (que ya eran gráficamente superiores a los occidentales, a excepción de Bard's Tale y pocos más). El juego vive de su presentación, si hasta contrataron a la súper-estrella Toriyama y llenaban la Shonen Jump de publicidad, todo para atraer a los niños japoneses. ¿De qué humildad habla?

Posteriormente la competencia copiaría la exitosísima fórmula, por eso parece que DQ se queda atrás, y porque para entonces ya sólo cosechaba los frutos del éxito del primer juego. Y por eso fracasó en occidente, DQ llegó tarde, para entonces ya competía con Final Fantasy siendo lo mismo pero más bonito en NES, y muy detrás de los gráficos Phantasy Star en Master System, o hasta los juegos de PC que habían ya saltado a la siguiente generación (con aventuras gráficas ya muy detalladas, y entre los RPGs estaban Quest for Glory, Dungeon Master, Might & Magic 2, y varios otros). Dragon Quest no tuvo oportunidad.

Air Luigi

Iluh Minaoh
Ya quisiera Final Fantasy ser lo mesmo que DQ... >.>

El primer Dragon Quest exitoso de verdad y que hizo explotar la fiebre fue el tercero (juego que en America se vio tras AlTTP, y ALTTP se creo con la influencia de DQIII en mente). Obviamente eso desvirtuo todo el desarrollo de la historia del jrpg en occidente, la gente ya no miraba a la nes. La culpa es de Enix eso si, que sacan los dw de nes tarde y mal, y luego van y se saltan toda la epoca clave de Snes, estoy seguro que si DQV hubiera salido en Snes la historia seria bastante diferente. Square se lo monto mejor, saltandose los titulos de nes y trayendo los titulos gordos de Snes (IV y VI) que iban a conectar mejor).

Si comparas con Ultima y Wizardry, evidentemente Dragon Quest parece HD, pero yo hablo respecto a lo que habia en NES sea del genero que sea. Si quieres pongo imagenes o videos, pero me da una pereza tremenda para algo tan obvio. Solo mira por ejemplo Mother o Sweet Home, respecto a Dragon Quest III y IV, que son contemporaneos todos. Y evidentemente FF. Lo que pasa es que en Japon por lo que sea la gente leia el juego, mientras que aqui se quedaban en la carcasa.

Air Luigi

Iluh Minaoh
Y como ustep dise, Phantasy Star muy superior graficamente, un escandalo incluso diria. Y sin embargo el juego me perdio desde el minuto 1 por usar cutscenes y npcs estaticos. Curiosamente pese a animaciones de enemigos, laberintos en primera persona cool y todo eso, el juego se siente mucho mas muerto. Algo parecido pasa con FF. DQ lo petaba por el uso del medio, por eso por mucho que hicieran el resto de compañias no tenian nada que hacer, Horii jugaba en su liga, sin rival. Itoi fue el que se entero de la pelicula e hizo lo propio, y mas de la mano de Nintendo, con los valores de produccion que eso te garantiza. Lo que pasa es que Itoi sabe mucho de escribir y poco de videojuegos, mientras que Horii lo peta en todos los sentidos uniendo exploracion y narrativa sin sacrificios.
DQ obviamente hace mejor su trabajo si lo ponemos a nivel de sus contemporáneos de la nes, pero hay que decir también que tiene la presentación adecuada para encantar niños y jóvenes (al final Enix salió ganando con su estrategia de Marketing, no olvidemos que hacer buenos juegos no basta), yo creo que Dragon Warrior hubiera vendido más si en USA hubieran marketado mejor el juego, para mí que hubiera sido útil dejar las portadas originales manguescas, después de todo la nes la jugaban muchos niños y tener una portada como esta no le da mucho atractivo si comparamos con esta

Hay que recordar que no todos los niños son iguales y la mayoría aunque no lo parezca, sobre todo en esa época, prefería cosas más amigables para su edad, no "mucha sangre" y complejidad. Una traducción a la era victoriana no ayuda en eso en lo absoluto, el spoony dijo en un video que aprendió a leer con Ultima III, tampoco digo que se deba subestimar las capacidades de un infante, pero ese estilo de escritura no es adecuado para un juego de niños. Al final el hecho de intentar hacer ver al juego más "cool" les jugó en contra.

Además poner a Phantasy Star no ayuda mucho ya que Nintendo y SEGA estaban en guerra y nadie iba a tener las dos consolas, obviamente quien tuviera una famicom compraría uno y el que tuviera Master System el otro.
Hubo errores de marketing pero no son tan importantes, el cover de Nintendo of America era un error muy común que no hundía a otros juegos (¿hola Megaman?), el "Ultima Speak" aunque sin mucho sentido es sólo un detalle. Nada iba a salvar a Dragon Quest porque en Japón triunfó por ser juego enfocado totalmente en atraer a los niños fans del shonen, nicho que en occidente aún no existía (dos o tres proto-weeaboos de los ochenta no cuentan), y para eso debía ser súper-fácil de jugar y ser gráficamente superior, lo cual fue verdad en 1986, pero para 1989/1990 (habiendo ya SMB3, Ninja Gaiden, etc.) ya era anticuado. Luigi es tonto por hablar de juegos de NES posteriores, pero en 1986 DQ era gráficamente lo máximo, y el éxito que tuvo fue enorme (2 millones sólo en Japón y millones de clones), sin ese público fiel y el prestigio de ser "el primer JRPG", ningún DQ3 hubiese vendido una mierda.
Habría que ver las revistas de Nintendo Power y si le dió mucha importancia al juego o no. En todo caso es cierto, tampoco es que FF fuera un gran hit, la cosa se elevó por los cielos cuando aparecieron los otakines (FFVII)

Air Luigi

Iluh Minaoh
En fin, es igual, entre la traduccion y la falta de un huevo de material que venia con los juegos en Japon para elevar la imaginacion al jugar no es lo mesmo. Megaman es un plataformas, no tiene textos y saltar/disparar lo entiende cualquier niño, na que ver. Dragon Quest era una obra de arte y necesitaba un trabajo de localizacion y aclimatacion imposible para esa epoca donde aun no habia medios para proyectos asi y en occidente aun no se tomaban los juegos en serio. Ni tampoco un publico educado (tampoco es que lo haya hoy en dia 8-D).

Al final la consecuencia de Dragon Quest es Pokemon, y como eso a Nintendo si le interesaba pos ya sabemos lo que paso... en occidente el jrpg explota 12 años tarde, y eso lo cambia todo quieras que no.Y bueno, en america habian catado al menos los jrpgs gordos de Snes, porque en Europa yo no sabia ni lo que era un jrpg hasta 1998 por lo menos (aunque habia oido campanas por las revistas, que recuerdo perfectamente como hablaban de Dragon Quest y FF como una cosa del diablo imposible de entender, solo para japoneses, lol). Asi que normal que en Europa Zelda fuera la leche, era el JRPG por excelencia, no habia mas donde elegir practicamente en consolas (y ese era el tipico juego que llegaba, aka Terranigma) xD