Long time Hong Kong Dragon Quest fans got a thrill of a lifetime, as series creator Yuji Horii was in town for the launch of the Chinese version of Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age.
111 lucky RPG fanatics were invited to the exclusive fan meet and greet held at The [email protected] Place One earlier this month, where Horii answered fan questions, posed for pictures and even signed lovingly preserved memorabilia brought by the most devoted of players.
When asked about what new experiences this eleventh entry to the series would bring to the table, Horii replied, “The theme of DQXI is echoes, and we hope to give long time fans a chance to reminisce about the times they spent with us when they were young, and also introduce newcomers to our history.”
Players who have stuck with the series through its 30-plus years will certainly recognise the character designs by famed mangaka Akira Toriyama, who is adored as the creator of Dragonball. From the tiny yet determined child mage Veronica to the flamboyantly entertaining busker Sylvia, the Dragon Quest design heritage shines through.
The venue was decked out in DQ décor, with the classically lovable frenemy slimes being the main theme. Fans were treated to slime soda, slime macaroons and even a slime burger.
The food and beverages weren’t the only slime-centric objects at the event, as super fans Eric, Suzanne, and Iori were also all dressed up in DQ-themed clothing and had brought their prized possession for Horii to sign, including a rare manga about how the first game was made. As to the reason why they love Dragon Quest over the more well-known Final Fantasy series?
“Dragon Quest has a much deeper plot, and a more engaging story every time,” said Suzanne, who was wearing at least seven different pieces of DQ gear and was hoping for a hug from the spry 63-year-old Horii.
Whether she got that wish fulfilled is unknown, but all those gathered were in for a treat as the DQ team had a special surprise announcement. Upon beating Dragon Quest XI for the first time, intrepid adventurers would receive a password to download the remastered versions of the first three games in the series, DQ I, II, and III.
This was welcome news for Chinese-speaking fans, as it will be the first time the classical entries can be played in their native language, which had previously only been released in Japanese and English.
In keeping with Horii’s wish to introduce a whole new generation of gamers to the gems that started it all, these downloads will come at no additional cost to those who finish DQXI. He added, “The first entry was quite short. But as we developed the series, we tried to add challenges and ramp up the difficulty. I hope this little gift can let you experience the evolution of DQ.”
We’re not quite sure if Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Dawn will quite live up to the successes of its predecessors, but to die-hard fans all over the world and especially here in Hong Kong, it’s time to let the echoes ring.