For the upcoming Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree’s Woe and the Blight Below, we sat down with Ryota Aomi, the game’s producer, to get some behind-the-scenes insight on how the game came to be. Check out our interview below!
Can you tell us a little about how the project came about?
Creating an “action game” for Dragon Quest has been an ongoing idea. Yuji Horii, the game designer and the creator of Dragon Quest, and I challenged quite a few things.
And then Ko Shibusawa from Koei Tecmo (the Chairman of Koei Tecmo Games) reached out and asked us if we wanted to “create a Dragon Quest action game together.” As we came together to brainstorm ideas, we felt we’d be able to create an amazing Dragon Quest action game based on this, and the project took off with our hearts as one.
How did you decide that the game would get an overseas release?
For a while now, every time a new Dragon Quest title is released in Japan, we receive many requests from our fans to release the game overseas. The situation wasn’t any different for this title; as soon as the game was released in Japan, we received a lot of response from our fans.
I think we especially received a lot of interest and support from our overseas fans this time because this game is the first full-on action RPG in the Dragon Quest series.
There were various hurdles to overcome, but we were able to make it happen because of all of you, so thank you very much! Your voices reached both Yuji Horii and myself!
Is there anything you’d like the fans to look forward to?
The main characters and monsters are designed by none other than Akira Toriyama, and they come to vivid life in beautiful graphics, utilising the PS4 specs to the fullest.
Gigantes, a giant taller than the height of a building, swarms of slimes, amongst many others — not only are these scenes worth seeing for Dragon Quest fans, they are a must-see for those who don’t know Dragon Quest as well!
Furthermore, this game comes with English voiceover, so we feel players will be able to fully immerse themselves in the world of Dragon Quest. Please take in the dramatic cutscenes to your heart’s content!
If there’s anything you can discuss at this point, can you tell us about the story, characters, and gameplay?
I think there are a lot of people out there whose forte isn’t action games. I, myself, would actually be categorised in the “not so good at action games” group, but the game is designed so that even those types of gamers can fully enjoy the experience; on the development side, we made adjustments to the game until the very last minute.
In addition to the “Quick Controls” that allow players to easily trigger abilities by pushing the buttons consecutively, just like the other titles in the Dragon Quest series, players can develop their characters by leveling them up through experience points and purchasing equipment and weapons by saving up gold. So that those who aren’t so good at action games can also clear the game.
Of course, there are also battles which players who are good at action games can really get into that are quite complex! Zoma from Dragon Quest 3 and Nokturnus from Dragon Quest 6 are very, very strong… Give up all hope. LOL
What does this title mean to you, personally? What title or series has influenced you the most?
Dragon Quest was the game I liked the most in elementary school, and starting with the first Dragon Quest on the NES, I grew up with the series in real time over the years. I feel extremely blessed to be involved in such a title. It’s because of this that we developed this game with everything we had so that it doesn’t fall short of everyone’s expectations.
There are many people who love Dragon Quest on the Koei Tecmo development team, and the development environment was really full of love for the series.
Alright, thanks for joining us, Aomi-san! Everyone here is looking forward to the game, and we can’t wait to play it ourselves!
Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree’s Woe and the Blight Below comes to PS4 October 13th, 2015. You can pre-order to get the Day One Edition, which includes the Slime Weapon Set!