This time on Dragon Quest Around The World, I have Frostare from Mexico. Frostare one was of the first people I got to know in the DQ community online, so I'm really glad to get to share their thoughts on the blog today!
Austin: First, can you tell everyone about yourself?
Frostare: Hi, I’m Frostare from Mexico! I've played video games my whole life and found my favorite genre in jRPGs. I LOOOVE monsters, silent nameable protagonists, reading dialogue, creative creature design, clever names, epic music, plot twists, etc. And yeah, JRPGs tend to have all that!
Austin: What was the first Dragon Quest game you ever played?
Frostare: Dragon Quest IX; I had heard through my local magazine that this was a series that Final Fantasy couldn’t even compare in sales in Japan, so after hearing the announcements of a new game on the series for the DS, I couldn’t wait to try it! Let’s just say it took me 4 games to really love Final Fantasy and just one to really love Dragon Quest.
Austin: Do you have any cool Dragon Quest stories?
Frostare: Well, the story is long but the short version is: Dragon Quest was a thrilling storm of hype that just kept growing, but it was also like finding a hidden treasure or a missing puzzle piece from my childhood. Anyway, here goes:
I remember when I first played DQ9, the first thing that enthralled me was the freedom of character creation: I loved being able to create myself in the style of Dragon Ball, one of my childhood’s favorite shows. Then it just grew from there: The game was in Spanish, the graphics were colorful, the overworld was magical, the monsters were charming, the bosses came in all shapes and forms and their old school battle music sounded nostalgic (for some reason it took me to the SNES days), the towns and cities had their unique charm, the playable characters remained silent so I could make their own stories, the clothes and the vocations the game had a lot of variety to actually PLAY those stories (which I was not expecting), etc.
Then the Fygg gathering quest came and I was in Cloud 9; it’s exactly the story-telling style that my favorite series at the time, Paper Mario and even old school Dragon Ball, had! I really, REALLY love fetch quests where finding each treasure in a set can hold itself as a story of its own, yet you take something out of that little quest for the next ones. It’s a style that, at the time, I thought only appealed to me – I was even worried no other piece of media would carry it anymore. Glad to have been wrong.
Then the story took another serious turn: Plot twists, dark realms, major villains, a world in peril… it turned into a Final Fantasy-esque game! And then… after finishing the game, I began imagining how cool a crossover between all DQ games a la Dissidia FF would be – only to find out the very same game I was holding had ALL the Hero’s clothes and ALL final bosses. I could just not believe it. What a ride that game was – from Secret of Mana to Paper Mario TTYD to Final Fantasy IV to a dream crossover, it felt like four games in one! The best parts of those four games, too.
The discoveries did not end there: As I tried more games from the series I soon understood where so many of my childhood games, teenage year games, games I was enjoying at that time, and even games I’ve only read about had gotten a lot of their ideas from; why were they molded the way they were; and why they took the route they took. As I said before, it was like finding a missing puzzle piece, and to this day, I’m glad I found it.
Austin: Do you have a favorite Dragon Quest character? What do you love about them?
Frostare: Well, to this day, I still see myself in DQ9’s Hero. But out of the fully fleshed out ones by the makers, it’s Ashlynn! She’s got a cheerful, innocent attitude, a neat hairstyle, she’s proficient with magic and her backstory is… well, let’s just say it’s very unique, especially for the time, and quite sad too.
Austin: Can you tell people a bit about what Dragon Quest is like in your country? What kind of following does it have? Is DQ pretty rare?
Frostare: Well, the Dai no Daibouken anime, or “Las Aventuras de Fly” as it was called here, was pretty popular, although not as famous as say, Dragon Ball or Saint Seiya, though I didn’t hear of it at the time. As for the games, it was quite hard to get ahold of ANY video game back in the days, not just Dragon Quest. Much of your only options were “fayucas”, where games were sold at cheap prices but the quality was compromised, not to mention they usually only carried the popular ones and a lot of knockoffs. In those you could only get specific lesser-known games like the Dragon Warrior series by commission and, oftentimes, they would not be able to get them. However you were able to get a game, you’d also have to know English since Spanish games in Mexico were not a common thing until the late 2000s, so good luck with text-heavy games. This was an important part of how I got to learn and embrace English, albeit not with Dragon Quest.
As official retailers became more frequent, finding the games was still not easy until the name changed to “Dragon Quest” and even then, they would have like one copy per store. On the plus side, the games weren’t that much in demand so they usually would not have been taken. Nowadays, especially after the Hero in Smash happened, a lot of stores got a more decent stock for the most recent ones, like Dragon Quest XI.
Austin: What was the first Dragon Quest game to release in your country?
Frostare: Probably Dragon Warrior, the USA version in English, no translation… if you could find it. Where I lived I didn’t even get to see a copy for rental at video stores.
Austin: Is there any way Dragon Quest has gotten you to interact with other fans from around the world?
Frostare: Definitely! I joined a super amazing community of DQ fans and enthusiasts and got to meet many amazing Let’s Players, too!
Austin: Is there a Dragon Quest game you’re most looking forward to playing next? Maybe one of the announced ones or an entry you haven’t tried before?
Frostare: I’m really hoping DQ3 HD-2D comes out in Spanish. It’d be the first time it has happened and the first main game from the Erdrick Trilogy to be if it does. It already looks breathtaking and promising. I also hope they include the GBC dungeon but I’m rooting the most for the translation, I really wanna know all those monster names in Spanish! =)
And of course, as a lot of DQ fans out there, DQ12. I hope at least for more info and visuals this year.
Austin: Anything else you’d like to add today?
Frostare: Thanks for being amazing, Dragon Questers! I’ve never felt more welcome in a community. =D I guess we’re used to beauty, depth, and fun in our games…
You can follow Frostare on Twitter, and I highly recommend it! They're great!