It feels like we’ve been living in the “era of Dragon Quest XI” for years. First released for PS4, 3DS, and PC in Japan in 2017, the game made the journey overseas in 2018, followed by the worldwide release of Dragon Quest XI S: Definitive Edition for Nintendo Switch in 2019… and the PS4 and PC port of Definitive Edition in 2020. In fact, there’s even been a 2021 launch for the beloved story of “Eleven” and friends, courtesy of Google Stadia’s stalwart effort to get in on the fun.
To be sure, there’s nothing wrong with all of that. RPGFan’s Rob Rogan gave Dragon Quest XI a 95, praising just about everything; fast-forward to Dragon Quest XI S, and Audra Bowling and Bob Richardson gave the enhanced version a 96 and a 97, respectively. We love Dragon Quest XI. Many of you love it, too.
All good things must come to an end, but the best endings are new beginnings. And for Japan’s most enduring RPG franchise, tonight’s change in Roman numeral was inevitable. Welcome to the era of Dragon Quest XII: Flames of Fate.
Announced during the Dragon Quest 35th Anniversary Event, Dragon Quest XII seems steeped in the sort of tone one might not immediately expect from this charming series. The ambience is decidedly adult, with flames tearing through a barren wasteland leading to a fiery logo reveal with an inky black backdrop. Of course, guessing a game’s tone based solely on its logo art is iffy at best, but series creator Yuji Horii himself informed the event’s audience that this is “Dragon Quest aimed at adults,” with more mature content and a need for players to make an important narrative decision that could change the course of the story.
The Dragon Quest series’ trademark command-based battle system will be going through some major changes, Horii added, though he was quick to note that this doesn’t mean the entire system is being transformed. At present, the developers are toying around with various prototypes for this new formula of theirs.
Dragon Quest XII: Flames of Fate is currently in development. Neither the release date nor the platforms are presently known, but Square Enix is targeting a worldwide launch. Stay tuned to RPGFan for more information on Dragon Quest XII.