When discussing influential video games through the ages, most people would agree that Ultima should be number one on the list of role playing games. After all, it was the first of its kind, released all the way back in 1981, and also lauds itself as the first open world game. So, why is this weeks Geek-A-Long post about Dragon Quest instead? Ultima might’ve pioneered RPGs, but the Dragon Quest franchise is the one that attracted people to them. Dragon Quest, which also goes by the name Dragon Warrior, was a turning point in video game history. Yes, it contained elements from video games like Ultima and Wizardry, but Dragon Warrior created a template for the genre. It ditched the Dungeons & Dragons model that previous video games had used in favor of a simplified system that helped players associate themselves with the hero, creating a greater emphasis on storytelling.
“At the time I first made Dragon Quest, computer and video game RPGs were still very much in the realm of hardcore fans and not very accessible to other players. So I decided to create a system that was easy to understand and emotionally involving, and then placed my story within that framework.” –Yuji Horii on the design of the first Dragon Quest
Most of the gamers that I know have never played Dragon Quest, even though they totally should. It was a national phenomena in Japan and never quite became as popular here in North America. If you love Final Fantasy and JRPGs, then you should consider giving it a try. Dragon Warrior/Quest laid down the fundamentals for good ol’ FF and, after Square and Enix came together to form Square Enix, are made by the same people. Seriously, go play a piece of video game history.
Akira Toriyama, creator of Dragon Ball Z, worked on the designs for Dragon Warrior, which is impossible not to notice when you’re playing the game. Toriyama is responsible for Super Saiyans and the iconic enemy from the game, the Slime. Shaped like a blue Hershey Kiss with a big smile, the Slime is one of the first enemies you’ll encounter and it’s the official mascot of the series. In Japan, the Slime holds the same level of fame as the Chocobo from FF or Pikachu, so we put the adorable menace on this week’s square!
Whether you’re knitting, crocheting, or cross stitching this square, you can download the Dragon Quest pattern here. Instructions for both knit and crochet are listed in the pattern. When you’re finished making it, don’t forget to tweet or instagram your squares at me @jac_attacking or Megan-Anne @Doctor_Llama with the hashtag #geekalong!
If you’re having trouble with double-sided knitting, we have a how-to video here and a tutorial on crochet here. Want to hang out with other people making the blanket? You can find moral support in the Geek-A-Long group on Ravelry here.
When Final Fantasy was released in America, it contained a reference to the original Dragon Quest. In the town of Elfheim, there is a gravestone that reads: “Here lies Erdrick, 837-866, R.I.P.” Erdrick was the name of the protagonist in Dragon Quest.
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