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Dragon Quest, formerly known in the West as Dragon Warrior, is a series of Japanese Role-Playing games published by Enix. Since its debut, it has become one of the foremost series of its type, and one of the best selling series of games in Japanese history.
Dragon Quest began in 1986 with the eponymous first game for the Famicom. The game was one of Enix's earlier games, and it was created by gaming pioneers such as Yuji Horii and Akira Toriyama, a manga artist. Although inspired by Western RPG's Dragon Quest was notable for its visualization and the increased ease of access of many RPG elements. The game was eventually a hit, resulting in three sequels for the game on the system. These games came out in 1987, 1988, and 1990. The third iteration in particular was a huge success, selling 3.8 million units on the Famicom alone.
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Dragon Quest would have its fifth and sixth iterations on the Super Famicom in 1992 and 1995. Each game sold about 3 million copies in Japan, continuing the series status as one of Japan's dominant franchises. There would not be another main entry in the series until 2000's Dragon Quest 7 for the Nintendo 64. This game used a mixture of 2D and 3D graphics so as to save space on the limited N64 cartridges. Dragon Quest 7sold 4 million copies in Japan, breaking series records.
All main Dragon Quest games since 7 have been developed by Level-5, which has become Enix's primary developer of games in general. 8 was released for the GameCube in November 2005, and although sales in Japan were lower than those for 7, this was compensated for by higher Western sales than previously in series history.
Dragon Quest 9 was, in a surprise move, announced for the Game Boy Nitro in late 2006. The final game turned out to be reminescent of the earlier games in the series, with new modern elements added such as cooperative and online play. Dragon Quest 9 was a huge sales success, selling over 5 million copies worldwide.
The latest main series Dragon Quest Game, 10, was released for the Revolution in August 2012. The game sold significantly less than its immediate predecessor, but in the same league as 7 and 8. Therefore, it is widely expected that the inevitable Dragon Quest 11 will be released for the recently released Game Boy 3DS.
Along with Final Fantasy and Pokemon, Dragon Quest is part of the "holy trinity" of Japanese RPG's. Every main entry game in the series since the NES-era has been a multi-million seller, with some games being upon the best selling in Japanese history. Although the series lacks the critical acclaim of some others in the West, thanks in part to the fairly conservative nature of new games in the franchise, the games have also been critically successful, particularly in Japan.