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This article is about the video game franchise. For the first game in the series, see Dragon Warrior. For other uses, see Dragon Quest (disambiguation).
Dragon Quest (Japanese: ドラゴンクエスト Hepburn: Doragon Kuesuto?), published as Dragon Warrior in North America until 2005,[Note 1] is a series of internationally best-selling console role-playing video game (RPG) titles created by Yuji Horii and his studio, Armor Project. The series is published by Square Enix (formerly Enix), with localized versions of later installments for the Nintendo DS (NDS) being published by Nintendo outside of Japan.
The first title was published in 1986 and there are currently ten main-series titles, numerous spin-off games, and nearly every game in the main series has either an anime or manga adaptation, or both. The series has had a significant impact on the development of console RPGs, and introduced a number of features to the genre. Installments of the series have appeared on MSX computers, Nintendo Entertainment System, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, PlayStation, PlayStation 2 and Wii video game consoles, and several models of mobile phones.
Each Dragon Quest video game soundtrack is arranged into an orchestral piece and the video game series is the first to have live-action ballet adaptations.
Early in the series the Dragon Quest games were released under the title Dragon Warrior in North America to avoid trademark conflict with the pen-and-paper role-playing game DragonQuest. Square Enix did not register the Dragon Quest trademark for use in the United States until 2002.
The basic premise of most Dragon Quest titles is to play a hero who is out to save the land from peril at the hands of a powerful evil enemy, with the hero usually accompanied by a group of party members. Common elements persist throughout the series and its spinoff titles: turn-based combat; recurring monsters, including the Slime, which became the series' mascot until the English version of Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King; a text-based menu system;[Note 2] and random encounters (in the main series), until Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies.
The series is one of the few long-running video game series to have a stable key development team; Yuji Horii (creator), Akira Toriyama (artist) and Koichi Sugiyama (composer). The original concepts, used since the first game, took elements from the western RPGs Wizardry and Ultima. A great deal of care was taken to make the gameplay intuitive so that players could easily start to play the game. The series features a number of religious overtones which were heavily censored in the NES versions.
Dragon Quest X is the newest game in the series. It is a massively multiplayer online game, featuring online battles. It has currently been released in Japan on the Wii and Wii U.