Today, during the second day of the Dragon Quest Summer Festival 2017 at the Big Sight venue in Tokyo, the staff of Dragon Quest XI disclosed some interesting details about the development of the game.
First of all, we learn that Creator Yuji Horii was very conflicted about the title, and he thought about it for a long time, feeling the pressure for the fact that this was the 30th anniversary game for the series. When the team came up with “Gone by and Seeking Time” (which will be adapted in English to Echoes of an Elusive Age), it was almost a snap decision. It expresses the concept of time which ties into the story, and also expresses the thirty years during which developers and gamers walked side by side while enjoying the series.
We also see the original character design reference sheets with Horii-san notes sent to Akira Toryama. While they were just a reference, and Toriyama-sensei had ample creative freedom, they came with requests from the creator, and rough silhouette designs.
The hero definitely changed a lot, and his original design was much closer to classic Dragon Quest protagonists. Camus used to have short hair, which basically changed in the opposite direction compared to the hero. While no explanation was provided, it’s possible that Toriyama-sensei wanted to give the hero more of a “good boy” look, and Camus more of a “bad boy” look, given the respective backstories.
Another interesting change went down with Senya. Horii-san explicitly asked “miniskirt please” in his notes, but Toriyama-sensei came back with a long skirt dress, which as adopted for the final game. A very similar dress with a short skirt and the tiara is still included in the game as an alternate costume. You can see it portrayed at the top of the post.
Funnily, Sylvia is defined by Horii-san’s notes as a “charming, slender macho.”
On the other hand, everyone’s favorite waifu Martina was already well identified as “Actually [redacted], combines elegance and sexy charge.” It’s also mentioned to give her a cool weapon like a naginata (a Japanese long-bladed polearm).
Moving to something more light-hearted, the developers showcased a series of videos including glitches from the game’s development. We see a group of slimes combining with a metal slime to create a king slime, a group of shell slimes “dancing” due to an animation loop bug, the hero animating in a rather crazy way when turning around on PS4, Homer with his face deformed by an Assassin’s Creed-like glitch and Graig riding on thin air.
You can check out a recording of the video below.
During the same livestream, Square Enix also announced the development of Dragon Quest Builders II for PS4 and Nintendo Switch (alongside a few more pieces of info), the launch of Dragon Quest, Dragon Quest II and Dragon Quest III for PS4 and 3Ds, and the release date and new trailers for Itadaki Street: Dragon Quest & Final Fantasy 30th Anniversary. We also learned that Dragon Quest XI shipped over three million units in Japan, and lets players unlock a demo of Dragon Quest X for PS4.
Dragon Quest XI will release in the west in 2018, with the official English title Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age. The game is currently available for PS4 and 3DS in Japan, with a Switch version announced, but not yet revealed.