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Gamasutra - A JRPG Primer

by Dhruin, 2008-03-19 20:50:58

Wandering far from our normal territory, Gamasutra's A Japanese RPG Primer might be somewhat educational for those of us who know little to nothing about them.  But, hey - Ultima and Wizardry are both mentioned so it can't be all bad:

Two of the most popular games back in the day were Ultima and Wizardry. Although all had followings amongst hardcore Japanese gamers, they were a little bit too uninviting for your average console owners, whose ages skewed a bit younger. Yuji Horii, a developer at Enix, decided to take on an interesting experiment.

By combing the overhead exploration aspects of Ultima (the third and fourth games, specifically) and the first person, menu-based battle system of Wizardry, a new game was born: Dragon Quest. Released for the Nintendo Famicom in 1986, the game became a phenomenon, and went on to inspire dozens of clones. Most of these are best left forgotten, but it did inspire two more notable franchises: Square's Final Fantasy and Sega's Phantasy Star.

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