Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age
Dragon Quest XI promises to be one of the biggest games in the long-running series and that level of vast content will need an extensive and interesting party to keep interesting. Today's trailer for the game hopes to show off that Dragon Quest XI has exactly that.
The trailer introduces you to the full roster of party members joining the Luminary on his journey. Square Enix has also released thoughts from series producer Yuji Horii on each of the new characters in the game.
The Luminary – The Destined Hero
Yuji Horii’s inspiration for the Luminary – Since this is the eleventh mainline title in the series and we were planning to go back to the roots, I wanted the main character to be a classic kind of "hero" (or what we call "Luminary" in this game). I also wanted to create a sense of unpredictability. So, here, the main character is informed that he is the "Luminary" and heads to the castle, only to be caught and thrown in the dungeon. The main character is the "Luminary", but who exactly is he? His story progresses with that question in mind.
Your favorite part of his design? – I like the Luminary's silky locks. I think he's a rather surprising protagonist, and, in a sense, he could even be the most attractive main character from the series with his silky locks and youthful looks.
On the Luminary’s personality - Dragon Quest protagonists typically don't have a strong personality. Reason being, is that it is determined that the main character should first and foremost be the player. To make sure the player can identify with the hero, we intentionally make him quite normal, or quite orthodox, so he doesn't act in a way that the player definitely wouldn’t. We strive to create the protagonist so that it will be easier for players to feel that they are the main character. In that respect, ultimately, I want people to have their own vision and depiction of the protagonist and project themselves onto the character.
Erik – The Reliable Partner-In-Crime
Yuji Horii’s inspiration for Erik – The first member the hero meets is Erik. He's a thief who happened to also be in the castle dungeons. He has been traveling to atone for his sins, and during his travels, he runs into a prophet who informs him, "you will eventually meet the Luminary, and when that time comes, save the Luminary and you will be free of your sins." He didn't actually believe the prophecy at that time, but when the hero is thrown into the dungeon next to him, he is surprised by the revelation that the young man is in fact the "Luminary." He decides to go along with the hero to see if there is any truth to the tale. Erik is the brotherly type when it comes to his relationship with the hero, and supports the "Luminary" at all times. He is a slightly nihilistic and cool thief character.
Your favorite part of his design? – Erik is a pretty handsome looking rogue, a bit nihilistic and cynical at times. This was reflected in his design and can be attributed as one of its charms.
On Erik’s personality – As mentioned earlier, in terms of the setting, Erik is traveling to atone for his sins and meets a prophet who informs him "you will lend a hand to the Luminary, and you will be free of your sins". At first, he thought this to be preposterous and didn't believe the prophecy, and this reaction describes his personality to a certain degree. But, when the "Luminary" actually appears before Erik while he was placed in the dungeons, he comes to believe the prophecy and saves the hero, so there's an honest and compassionate side to him as well.
Veronica & Serena – The Fearless Young Mage and The Laid Back Healer
Yuji Horii’s inspiration for Veronica and Serena – I came up with Veronica and Serena as a set. I wanted to include a strong female duo in the game, like Maya and Meena from Dragon Quest IV. That’s not to say that Veronica and Serena have similar personalities to Maya and Meena, but that is where the initial idea for them came from. I can’t say too much more without revealing spoilers, so let me simply say we added an element of surprise when it comes to these two.
Your favorite part of their design? – I was quite particular about having Serena carry a harp. She also has a therapeutic quality to her, but she's prone to make silly mistakes, and the design portrays her gentle and serene spirit. Veronica is physically small, but even so, she has a big personality. I really like her design. Her staff is bigger than her body, but she's still an outstanding mage.
On their personalities – Veronica looks like a child, but she's actually a mature young lady. She's a bit of a tomboy with a strong mind, and she doesn't shy away or hold back from stating her own opinions. In comparison, Serena is the one that always hides in the shadows. In fact, Veronica is always saying, "she's such a slowpoke," But, this is a nice distinctive quality between the two characters and their relationship.
Rab – The Mysterious Old Man
Yuji Horii’s inspiration for Rab – In Dragon Quest, you'll always find at least one older man. For example, Ragnar, Carver, and Trode from some of the past games are a few middle-aged male characters with some comedic undertones. That's where Rab comes into play. However, he has a little bit more mystery about him.
Your favorite part of his design – He's an old man, but rather than depict him as a gentle type, I asked for a design that adds a touch of the mischievous old grandpa vibe. He has a side that feigns ignorance, which makes him feel a bit more approachable.
On Rab’s personality – Rab appears with Jade. He's a strange character that brings to question "who exactly is he?" That said, despite his appearance, he's actually quite strong. He has a stern side, but also has the playful side; he is enshrouded in mystery.
Jade – The Noble Martial Artist
Yuji Horii’s inspiration for Jade – When deciding on what type of character Jade should be, and in deciding the party members that would accompany the hero, I wanted to incorporate a female martial artist. Dragon Quest XI is the culmination of the series’ 30-year history, so we wanted to include some nods to past titles. Up until now, if you asked people to name a female martial artist from the Dragon Quest series, Alena would be the first name to come to mind. This time, we have Jade, who supports the main character. She's essentially a big sister type of character that treats the Luminary as if he were her younger brother.
Your favorite part of her design? – She's fearless and brave. For me, having her hair gathered in a high ponytail reflects her strong will and determination.
On Jade’s personality – She's fearless and brave, as well as chivalrous and dignified. She's like an older sister, striving to protect and support the main character, but she also has a vulnerable side.
Sylvando – The Entertainer Extraordinaire
Yuji Horii’s inspiration for Sylvando – Sylvando is a traveling performer. He has a playful side to him, but has his own sense of chivalry and his own set of firm beliefs. He believes his form of chivalry is to bring joy to others.
Your favorite part of his design – Sylvando is physically fit. That's an aspect that we were particular about. He went through some rigorous training when he was younger, so his body is quite built. He's fit and also excels in various stunts and acrobatics. He is muscular, but with a beautiful form. He was more slender in the original designs, but we asked him to be redrawn because it made more sense for him to have a tapered body. His frame is slender, but he has well-defined muscular tones and a beautiful line.
On Sylvando’s personality – Again, he believes that bringing joy to others is his form of chivalry, and he works vigorously towards that belief.
Dragon Quest XI releases on PlayStation 4 and Steam on September 4.