Dragon Quest, published as Dragon Warrior in North America until 2005, is a series of console role-playing video games created by Yuji Horii and his studio Armor Project. The games are published by Square Enix (formerly Enix), with localized versions of later installments for the Nintendo DS and 3DS being published by Nintendo outside of Japan. With its first title published in 1986, there are eleven main-series titles, along with numerous spin-off games. Nearly every game in the main series has either an anime or manga adaptation, or both.
The series has had a significant impact on the development of console role-playing games, and introduced a number of features to the genre. Installments of the series have appeared on various computers, consoles, handheld devices, and mobile phones. Early in the series the Dragon Quest games were released under the title Dragon Warrior in North America to avoid trademark conflict with the unrelated tabletop role-playing game DragonQuest. Square Enix did not register the Dragon Quest trademark for use in the United States until 2002.
The basic premise of most Dragon Quest titles is to play a hero who is out to save the land from peril at the hands of a powerful evil enemy, with the hero usually accompanied by a group of party members. Common elements persist throughout the series and its spinoff titles: turn-based combat; recurring monsters, including the Slime, which became the series' mascot until the English version of Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King; a text-based menu system;[c] and random encounters (in the main series), until Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies.
Dragon Quest has had the same general lead development team since its inception in the 1980s, as scenario writer and game designer Yuji Horii, character designer Akira Toriyama, and music composer Koichi Sugiyama have handled their respective roles on every major game in the series. The original concepts, used since the first game, took elements from the Western role-playing games Wizardry and Ultima. A great deal of care was taken to make the gameplay intuitive so that players could easily start to play the game. The series features a number of religious overtones which were heavily censored in the Western NES versions.