Dragon Quest XI staff discuss lack of voice acting, Dragon Quest III PS4 technical test, more

Yosuke Saito, Yuji Horii, and Takeshi Uchikawa interviewed in Famitsu.

Dragon Quest XI

The latest issue of Weekly Famitsu has an interview with Dragon Quest XI: In Search of Departed Time producer Yosuke Saito, game designer Yuji Horii, and director Takeshi Uchikawa, who share various new details about the game.

Get the tidbits below.

  • The plan from the beginning was to release Dragon Quest XI on PlayStation 4 and 3DS.
  • Regarding the PlayStation 4 version, Horii said that he wants users to play together with family and friends on a big screen.
  • Since the hardware specifications of PlayStation 4 and 3DS are completely different, it was easy to draw out the benefits of each hardware.
  • Originally, all of the music was supposed to be completely new, but since there was a lot of homage material, they also used music from previous entries in the series.
  • The concept of the game as a whole is a “return to origin” and the “story of a hero.” However, they were not only aiming for a return to origin, as Horii hoped to create something that would simultaneously become a new starting point.
  • The theme of Dragon Quest XI is the “chased hero.” As for what kind of existence the hero is, that will be answered through the story.
  • (Regarding the appearance of Loto / Erdrick) His appearance does not mean that those who have never played the Dragon Quest series will not be able to enjoy Dragon Quest XI. It can be enjoyed 100-percent without knowledge of previous games. On the other hand, they would like players who are interested in Dragon Quest XI to check out previous entries in the series. As for the meaning behind his appearance, that is a secret. They do not want to give any preconceptions.
  • The design of the last boss is truly amazing. It is a final boss that could only have been designed by Akira Toriyama.
  • They paid mind “not to create any useless characters.” Since they are really delving properly into the characters, they hope that players take a liking to the entire party.
  • Whether or not to include voice acting was a significant debate during development. They wanted to protect the traditional style of Dragon Quest. Voice-over recording would take considerable time, and would make it difficult to change the script later on. Horii was also fixated on seeing the story through to the very end this time. Horii did tuning and changed details of the dialogue until the end of the end.
  • There were adjustments as not to part with the fact that the player is the protagonist. For example, Horii said that they avoided expressions for the protagonist such as “getting angry” as much as possible. When he is angry, the protagonist shows it only by eye movement, not body language.
  • In creating Dragon Quest XI in Unreal Engine 4, they first did a technical test. Dragon Quest III‘s continent of Aliahan (although not in its entirety) was chosen as the subject. In other words, they created a PlayStation 4 version of Dragon Quest III. They made models of the hero, his mother, the Warrior, Priest, and Mage, Aliahan castle and the castle town, as well a pointlessly high-quality king, and verified the size of the map. The test version took a significant amount of time and labor, but was exciting and fruitful. Since it was only a technical test, they did not do any optimization. If the opportunity presents itself, they would like to showcase the PlayStation 4 technical test of Dragon Quest III.
  • Since the L2 button on PlayStation 4’s DualShock 4 controller is located near the decision button, you can play with only your left hand while doing something else.
  • “Tactics” can also be set for the protagonist, which should also make it easier to earn experience points.
  • The protagonist can be removed from the party.
  • “Restricted Play” is interesting for those who use the Share feature. They recommend using the “Ashamed Curse” restriction.
  • There are no plans for downloadable content.
  • An Internet connection is not required, but if you connect online after clearing the game, there may be a little something nice. This does not mean that there is online play. But again, there may be a surprise if you connect to the Internet. They hope someone will discover it.
  • They want everyone to play Dragon Quest XI until the end.
  • Horii loves surprises, so there will often be surprises during the course of the story.
  • Since the story will change again and again, even when you think “so this is what it is basically about,” the truth is that there will be things behind the scenes that you will not understand until the very end.
  • Even compared to the surprises of previous Dragon Quest titles, the content of Dragon Quest XI is considerably surprising.
  • Development started on PlayStation 4, but they decided that they could also start making the 3DS version in the middle of production. (Horii)
  • At the beginning of the 3DS version’s development, the field map was a little bigger. But once they dropped the map into 2D mode, the 2D mode map became too big.
  • Since there are two modes in the 3DS version, there were inevitably inconsistencies due to differences in appearance and specifications. But they pulled through with various ideas.
  • In both the PlayStation 4 and 3DS versions, the number of items that can be picked up, such as through shiny spots on the field or treasure chests, has been adjusted to be the same. However, there is a difference regarding elements that are only in one version of the game. It is easier to discover treasure chests in the 3DS version’s 2D mode.
  • “Delcadar” (a city in Dragon Quest XI) has a similar ring to “Delcondar” from Dragon Quest II (known as “Osterfair” in the English localization), but the similarity was truly only by chance.
  • They aimed to make Dragon Quest XI relatively easy to recognize as a homage. There are masquerade balls and merchant brothers who compete with each other for price cuts.
  • Puff-Puff” is a Dragon Quest element that has been passed down for some time, so they want to do it well.
  • Mahjong was proposed as a casino game, but it ended up not happening. (Uchikawa)
  • While there is a problem with the “Spell of Restoration” in that users can cheat, they wanted to include it. They want users to play around with the Spell of Restoration. There may even be interesting things that occur as a result.
  • If you play normally, there shouldn’t be many things that stop you in that you have to raise your level.
  • They would rather players not rush through the game, but thoroughly enjoy it. Since there is little stopping, they want you to progress without looking up guides as much as possible.
  • You can play quests even after clearing the game.
  • They want you to talk to your party members if you get a little lost.
  • Dragon Quest XI is not only a compilation of the series thus far, it is a fresh start for the series.

Dragon Quest XI: In Search of Departed Time will launch for PlayStation 4 and 3DS on July 29 in Japan. A Switch version is also planned, but has yet to be shown or dated.

Thanks, Hachima Kikou (2) and Ryokutya2089 (2, 3).

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