Operation Backlog Completion 2024
Jun 282023

Dragon Quest XII is once again a hot topic of debate, which is impressive considering how little we know about it.

Part of this comes from Final Fantasy XVI. Being an M-rated action RPG, it’s led many fans to think Dragon Quest XII will follow in its footsteps.

The concerns about Dragon Quest XII having action combat have been circulating ever since it was announced, despite there being no proof of that.

This time, however, the controversy is more about the game’s tone.

The latest news comes from an interview in which Dragon Quest creator Yuji Horii was asked about the status of Dragon Quest XII, since we haven’t seen anything about it since it was announced in 2021.

As translated by Noisy Pixel, he responded:

Mmm, I guess it will take a little while. This time we are making a game directed toward an adult audience, so we are having a lot of trouble (laughs). There was also the Coronavirus pandemic.”

He goes on to say that a lot of employees are still working remotely.

This has spurred a lot of controversy over the idea that Dragon Quest XII will be a dark, edgy, M-rated game, along with the repeated claims that it won’t have turn-based combat, even though none of this has been confirmed. We still don’t know what they mean about the target audience being adults. We barely know anything about Dragon Quest XII at all.

Here’s what’s actually been confirmed about Dragon Quest XII:

  • The full title is Dragon Quest XII: The Flames of Fate.
  • It was described as “Dragon Quest for adults” when announced.
  • It will have choices.
  • The combat system will be “renewed” but still feel familiar to fans (based on the translation here).
  • The story is complete.
  • It has the same director as Dragon Quest XI.
  • It uses Unreal Engine 5.
  • Dragon Quest XII could set the path for the next 10-20 years of the series.

None of that says the combat will be a radical departure (if anything, it suggests the opposite). There’s no proof the tone will be dark and edgy or even rated M, either. All of those assumptions are coming from the “Dragon Quest for adults” line, which still hasn’t been explained. For all we know, that could mean they’re making the gameplay more complex.

So, what about this latest interview answer? Considering he laughed while giving the answer, I’m not sure we should attach too much significance to the adult target audience being what’s caused so much time to pass without news. The remote work and COVID-related delays feel like the more likely culprits.

Dragon Quest XII could have a completely different tone, but it’s too early to panic over it. In the meantime, I probably should play more Dragon Quest so I have more than two games to reference when talking about it!

What do you think Dragon Quest XII having an adult target audience means?

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  6 Responses to “Remember, We Hardly Know Anything About Dragon Quest XII”

  1. Well, adults could mean the likes of Shadow the Hedgehog, or adults could mean, y’know, mature people in an emotional development sense (not an ESRB sense).

    Seems like a lot of speculation and much ado about nothing.

  2. For adults could also just mean that the main characters are all treated as adults instead of wide-eyed teens (instead of the adult party members just existing at the sidelines and being endlessly told how old they are at *gasp* 30!). But I doubt they’ll change the overall aesthetic of the games from their bright and colorful look.

    • Hah, I remember when the “Dragon Quest for adults” comment was first made, a lot of people were joking “But we already have Dragon Quest for adults!” while showing Yakuza: Like a Dragon (which not only features an adult cast, but also has a main protagonist who loves Dragon Quest to the point where they got permission to mention Dragon Quest by name).

  3. For adults could mean so many things, so it really means very little. Maybe it will just be aimed more at the people who grew up with the series/the first DQ games.

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