During the Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies 10th anniversary special live stream hosted by GameTV on July 11, the DS title’s key development staff discussed the potential of a remake.
Find below a summary of their discussion. While a remake is currently not in production, the discussion certainly makes it seem like it is going to happen in the near future.
Here is the lineup of speakers:
- Yuji Horii (Dragon Quest IX scenario and game designer)
- Yuu Miyake (Dragon Quest series executive producer)
- Ryuutarou Ichimura (Dragon Quest IX producer)
- Jin Fujisawa (Dragon Quest IX director)
- Akihiro Hino (Dragon Quest IX director and Level-5 president)
Miyake: “We’ve been thinking about doing a remake of Dragon Quest IX for a while now. Dragon Quest I to VIII have already been remade or ported multiple times, while IX hasn’t. Dragon Quest IX was on a portable console, it has StreetPass Communications, treasure maps, and
other features unique to the game, making it difficult to pinpoint which hardware we should choose to remake it on. Although there are probably many people who have only played the story once, it could be nice to have a Dragon Quest IX that just simply lets you go through the story. So, we are looking into a remake, yes. I wonder which hardware people would want it on?”
About 90 percent of the live stream audience said Switch, according to Ichimura. Hino also commented on the announcement of Nintendo Switch Lite.
When the talk shifted to who will develop the remake, Level-5 was jokingly mentioned. Hino seems to be OK with this, however. Miyake also mentioned, “if we are to do this, that may very well be where we task the remake,” further reinstating that Level-5 would be the studio to handle the development.
Hino: “I would really want to play even if only the graphics are upgraded.”
Miyake: “What kind of look would you like to see?”
Hino: “A Dragon Quest IX remake with Dragon Quest XI level graphics would be amazing.”
Hino: “It might be possible to do something similar to StreetPass communication, too (on Switch).”
Ichimura: “Simply having to go through the story, or having all the additional story content in the package, might be a good idea. Nowadays there is Dragon Quest X that you can play endlessly, so making a Dragon Quest IX that has a set ending is one way we can take.”
Hino: “Dragon Quest IX and Dragon Quest X are very different. Dragon Quest IX was good for being a game you can Simply pick up and play.
From here, Horii joins in and is told that most of the live stream audience would like to see a remake for Switch.
Horii: “Is there a StreetPass communication feature for Switch?”
Fujisawa: “No, there isn’t.”
Hino: “We have to do something that replicates that.”
Horii: “Then smartphones?”
Hino: “Well we can use the online features on Switch whenever it detects Wi-Fi and do something as well?”
Horii: “I see. So you can party up with complete strangers.”
Hino: “Yes. That way you can party up online.”
Hino: “Although, we were saying that even if the graphics were the only part that got upgraded, that would be a big motivation to re-experience it.”
Horii: “The art had a lot of care put into it, such as the gear. If we can see it with better graphics, that would be great, although it would take some time, right?
Hino: “I’m not sure. I would hope it doesn’t take too much time. When I saw the past footage on this show, it looks really rough. We thought it looked really nice back then, though.”
Horii: “It would look really nice on Switch, wouldn’t it?”
Hino: “If its on Switch, it’ll look revolutionary. The metal armor would look real shiny!”
Fujisawa: “Dragon Quest VIII‘s heroes were lead by a rather passive cause, so I wrote Dragon Quest IX‘s story so that the hero would go on an
adventure for their own cause. I believe it was a good story, but people seem to not remember it much, so redoing it with good graphics is something I’d love to do.”
Hino: “Dragon Quest IX has a lot to play after the main story, so they might have forgot how it was.”
Horii: “If we were to do it, we should add additional stories and content that was cut even.
Fujisawa then mentioned that cut content might be difficult because the whereabouts of the data are unknown.
Ichimura: “We should reevaluate Dragon Quest IX and add new content.”
Hino: “It’s pretty hefty by itself, too.”
Horii: “Maybe make Sandy stand out more. Also maybe introduce her sister?”
Fujisawa: “I’m pretty happy that so many people are interested in a remake.”
Ichimura: “Horii-san, we need a company to make this happen. (Implies Level-5 to do it.)”
Horii: “I think its a good idea. The source code is probably still available too.”
Hino: “Give us two months…”
Ichimura: “Don’t push yourself!”
Horii: “Is that even possible? Its gonna be out by the end of the year.”
Hino: “If I can say things without taking responsibility, we have a good engine for Switch. So if we feed Dragon Quest IX‘s code into that and add a feature here and there… it might be possible.”
Miyake then intervened to clarify that there is nothing planned or in development yet. Hino and Fujisawa said they were secretly expecting a Dragon Quest IX remake to be announced during the broadcast.
Ichimura: “Nope, there is no announcement for now. Though if we can gather what users want, and if Hino-san says he would do it, I’d be on board.”
Hino: “If Horii-san says so.”
Hori: Two months might be too much of a demand, but what if I said a year?”
Hino: “Mmm, maybe… I can’t say for sure, but it might not take that long. That’s if it doesn’t have any extra content.”
Fujisawa: “Well, there’s always gonna be a lot of extra content.”
Ichimura: “Designing the new content takes a lot of time. Maybe six months? Also scheduling is needed too.”
Fujisawa: “New stories take time.”
Horii: “Yeah, stories take time. Especially when you add new towns and what not.”
Ichimura: “If we task the development team with upgrading the graphics, while the design team redesigns the game, it might get done pretty quickly.”
Fujisawa: “There were many areas you can go by train. And that part was just an open-ended adventure with no story, so I’d like to add a story to that part.”
Horii: “If its not the main story, and just side quests it shouldn’t be too hard.”
Hino: “We would to need to discuss it in a design meeting, but I think implementing an online matching system instead of the StreetPass system might work out.”
Fujisawa: “It’s odd that we would come to this discussion of remaking Dragon Quest IX with Horii-san himself around.”
Horii: “Yeah, it feels so realistic now.”
Hino: “Also right around when the new Switch model was announced.”
Ichimura: “I’m hyped for this remake.”
Hino: “When I was making VIII and IX, I thought that we won’t do any remakes or side stories. But now, I have nothing against that.”
Ichimura: “We got Hino-san’s confirmation here!”
Fujisawa: “We’ve progressed pretty far in this conversation today.”
Hino: “It’s Horii-san’s decision now.”
Horii: “Well actually it’s up to Miyake-san.”
Ichimura: “Well Miyake-san is the one who makes the final call here, and he’s been listening to this conversation the whole time. What do you say?”
Miyake refrained from answering—for obvious reasons.
Ichimura: “Well, I think from the overall mood that he’s considering it at the least. Let’s prepare so that we can have a serious conversation about this in the future.”
Thanks, Games Talk.