Sakura Con 2000 Enix Report
On Sunday April 2nd, Sakura Con 2000 was in its third day and just by touring the con, it was inherently obvious that the masses were sleep-deprived, yet still determined to see every interesting piece of anime being shown, spend their hard earned cash in the vendors' room, or visit other attractions. One such attraction of particular interest on that day was Enix America's panel discussion.
The panel was conducted by Product Manager John Laurence and Marketing Manager Andrew Stein. Their intentions were to provide background information on Enix Corporation and therefore they did not announce any U.S. plans. Nonetheless, they talked candidly about potential plans and displayed many Enix games.
The panel room had a table in which various products included anything from their past games' packaging, to slime plush dolls, DQ graphic novels, and of course video equipment to project their games on the wall for all to see. They started by displaying the original Dragon Warrior and talking about Dragon Quest's history.
While Andrew Stein purchased a club and battled a slime (he was enjoying DW) The reason behind the "Dragon Warrior" name was discussed. TSR bought the rights to use "Dragon Quest" and that's why the series was changed to "Dragon Warrior" in North America. However, Enix hinted that they're currently talking to Wizards of the Coast (the company that bought out TSR) and trying to obtain the rights to use the "Dragon Quest" name. Will "Quest" replace "Warrior" in North America? Nothing definite from Enix yet!
Another topic covered was the role of "thy", "thou", and other Old English words and how it wasn't used in Dragon Warrior Monsters due to the space limitations on a Gameboy cartridge. However, they have not revealed which method they would use for any other potential Dragon Quest titles they might translate. Another tidbit about DW Monsters was that it has now sold 60,000 copies in the U.S., which is quite good for a Gameboy title.
One interesting answer to an audience question was about whether they would re-release any of the older DQ games. They admitted to many translation mistakes the first time around and that if they happened to re-release any of the DQ titles they might consider redoing the translation. This would be good news for those looking for a more pure translation in relation to the Japanese version.
Aside from talking about the past, Enix also took a glimpse into the future with showings of Valkyrie Profile (mainly the commercials available in our movies section), the Dragon Quest VII playable demo show at last fall's Tokyo Game Show, and the introduction FMV to Dragon Quest Monsters: Tolneko's Great Adventure 2, a DQ series spinoff for Playstation.
Non-RPGs shown included a short, but high-quality video from Love Story, a Playstation 2 title in development; Utautau, a rhythm-based drum simulation (picture Parappa with a drum); a music video simulation, and a vegetable growing simulation. While these titles were being shown they mentioned that Enix relies heavily on the Dragon Quest franchise, but this also gives them the resources to fearlessly try some of the more unique games listed above that might not always hit it off with fans, but at least give them something unique!
On behalf of RPGFan, I would like to thank Vice Convention Chairman Isaac Alexander for inviting us to Sakura Con and Enix America for taking the time to interact with the press and die-hard fans. We hope to bring you concrete U.S. plans from Enix in the near future.
April 3rd, 2000