Today Nintendo hosted a panel at PAX West in Seattle dedicated to Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition.
Speaking at the panel were Producer Hokuto Okamoto, Development Director Masato Yagi, and assistant Producer Hikari Kubota.
The developers provided some interesting little details about development of both the original game and the Nintendo Switch port, and even talked about their experience collaborating with Masahiro Sakurai in including the hero in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
- Okamoto-san apologized about the inability to release the 3DS version in the west, but mentioned that with the Definitive edition on Switch, the developers can finally deliver both types of gameplay.
- The team set out to include as many vision of what a quintessential Dragon Quest game should be in the game.
- With Dragon Quest XI S was born from the desire of bringing those two together, creating the “definitive edition.”
- The dervelopers wanted to put basically every single monster ever appeared in the Dragon Quest series in the game, but they had to balance monsters that are staple of the series, with new ones, and those that have appeared in the past but haven’t for a long time.
- We get to see the development document provided to Akira Toriyama to design Rab.
- Okamoto-san mentioned that the original idea for Rab may have been a bit too crotchety, but Toriyama-sensei held back that a little, resulting in the adorable granpa.-like figure we have now.
- With Dragon Quest XI S, the developers wanted to give the player the idea of traveling with companions. At some point they even thought to have them go off on their own to fight enemies independently, but that ended up conflicting with the idea of traveling together, so it was nixed.
- The pepped up status at some point looked a little bit too much like Super Saiyan, so that was dialed back.
- The translation progress ended up being more difficult than expected. The 2D version hadn’t been translated in other languages at all, and there actually wasn’t a system in place in the game for that. That turned the process into an unexpectedly difficult one.
- Yuji Horii’s warmth is communicated through the localization, especially through puns. Humor is in all areas of the game. The team tried to convey not only the function of the language, but also the same feelings that Japanese players feel when they’re experiencing the game.
- Offering both the 2D and 3D modes in the Switch version was a very important goal for the developers.
- Another important element was to let players experience bits of past Dragon Quest games in order to embody the 30 years of history of the franchise. With Dragon Quest VII to X the developers actually had to recreate the graphics and gameplay from the ground up with a Super Famicom style.
- The team did everything they could to fullfill the demand of an orchestral soundtrack for the game. That being said, they wanted to keep the original for those who enjoy that.
- The music in the old Dragon Quest worlds have been rearranged just a little bit, to feel familiar but still fresh.
- Interestingly, when promoting the game overseas, the developers heard requests for a Japanese soundtrack from the English-speaking audience.
- The companion characters in the original Dragon Quest XI were very popular, so the developers wanted to create scenarios in which they are the protagonists.
- The main goal with Dragon Quest XI S was to create a definitive experience that would allow players to play the Dragon Quest they want to play.
- Funnily, the devs jokingly mentioned that slimes taste like lime.
- Square Enix was approached by Masahiro Sakurai, who was really excited to get Dragon Quest characters in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
- The hero in Smash Bros. can use a lot of spells and specific moves from Dragon Quest Games. It wasn’t the team at Square Enix that pushed that. Sakurai-san himself selected the spells and specific abilities from the DQ series he wanted to make sure would get into the game. The folks at Square Enix simply looked over the process.
- It was the team at Square Enix that suggested the hero from Dragon Quest XI as they main character and the heroes from past games of the series as variations.
- Funnily, Okamoto-san used the expression “kamikaze” to describe this idea, and he mentioned that may have caused a bit of trouble for the developers.
If you’d like to learn more, you can also enjoy the most recent trailer, a previous gallery of screenshots, more gamplay footage, a trailer showcased during Square Enix’s E3 presentation, and quite a lot of gameplay showing once more the features exclusive to Nintendo Switch, and the previous batch of screenshots showing the stories dedicated to the other members of the party.