Since the holidays are right around the corner, I wanted to spread the love and talk about some of my favorite holiday-themed shenanigans in Dragon Quest and other JRPGs I’ve enjoyed.
Dragon Quest IX
First off, we have to talk about the Santa event in Dragon Quest IX. We’ve been doing a deep dive into Dragon Quest IX on the podcast, which brought up the subject. The first episode is available now, but I think the actual Santa costume was discussed in our second one.
Yes, Santa makes an appearance in Dragon Quest IX. And, yes, you can even get a Santa outfit if your character is male and a “Santa’s Little Helper” holiday dress if your character is female. Unfortunately, this was one of the downloadable quests from the game, which means unless you got it before the servers went down, you probably can’t get it anymore.
Dragon Quest X
We (and by we, I mean folks who are lucky enough to play Dragon Quest X, which I’m not), also got some cool Christmas-inspired content that included a slime with a Santa hat, and a familiar face dressed up as Old Saint Nick. Players also got a host of holiday swag that included a reindeer costume! Seriously, we need Dragon Quest X over here–NOW!
Secret of Mana
I couldn’t talk about my favorite Santa moments without bringing up my first-ever encounter with the jolly old fat man in a video game. Seeing Santa Clause show up in Secret of Mana is still one of the more surreal moments in the game. Based on the number of players I see bringing it up, it’s apparently one of the most memorable, too.
Star Ocean: First Departure R
I have no clue if Santa shows up in the other versions of the first Star Ocean. I assume he does. Still, it’s a bit unsettling to see someone named Santa the Dealer hiding behind a snow-covered tree in the wintry kingdom of Silvalant. And while he sells some pretty cool items, we never actually see the guy. So, is it the real Kris Kringle? Who can say?
Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
I know Santa doesn’t really show up here, but Yule is definitely a Christmas-inspired town. You get cute new outfits for your characters as they run around in the snow, there are holiday lights aplenty, snowmen, and talking yeti creatures. I’m currently replaying Ni No Kuni on Switch, and if I time it just right, I might end up in Yule this Christmas.
Dragon Quest XI
And, lastly, we have to talk about the snowmen in Dragon Quest XI. Although Sniflheim gives off more Frozen vibes than a Christmas-y feel, the kingdom is covered in snow. There’s even a boss fight that involves your party members being trapped inside cute little Frosty-the-Snowmen. So, yes, I’m 100% including it on this list.
Until Next Year!
That about wraps up my favorite holiday-themed moments in Dragon Quest and other JRPGs. It’s by no means a complete list–just some bits I remember from playing through various games. Got a favorite moment I didn’t list on here? Let me know!
This is probably my final post of 2019 (yikes!), but I’ll be back in 2020. So Happy Holidays/Merry Christmas/Happy Hanukkah, and have a great New Year!