One of the Super Famicom’s most famous RPGs turns 30 today in Japan. Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride was the first game in the series on the 16-bit console, and even today Dragon Quest V is fondly remembered, although the game did not receive an official Western release. before its DS 2009 port.
The Super Famicom (or SNES) is no slouch when it comes to RPGs – with Final Fantasy IV, V and VI, Secret of Mana, Terranigma, EarthBound and the seminal Chrono Trigger being just a handful of names that Dragon Quest V has to compete with to be considered one of the best in the system. Even so, it still manages to stand out on a star-studded console thanks to Akira Toriyama’s distinctive art style, warm vibes, and great coming-of-age story.
Dragon Quest V introduced one of the series’ most iconic elements: monster taming (tell us you spent hours trying to get a Great Dragon, just like us!). Not only could you venture across the world with human companions, but now you could also bring Slimes and Slime Knights and all kinds with you. And yes, we’re not forgetting Saber (or Purrcy, or whatever you decide to name your Great Sabrecat!).
But what makes Dragon Quest V so beloved is its story, which follows a single boy from childhood to adulthood. You experience the world through the eyes of a curious little boy, experience some pretty gruesome things in the early hours of the game, then through adolescence and adulthood you get married, start a family, and save the world .
For a long time, the eternal question of Dragon Quest was: who did you marry? Your hero could choose between tomboyish best friend Bianca or rich man’s nice daughter Nera. The DS remake would also add Debora, a loud young woman who frequently berates the hero.
This fifth entry in the franchise from ChunSoft and Enix (and now Square Enix) is one of the most popular – and the hero makes an appearance in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate in Dragon Quest Hero’s Final Smash.
If you’re a Dragon Quest fan, we expect you to have some pretty strong opinions on this iconic entry. And it ranks pretty damn high on our readership list – at least at the time of this writing!
While there’s a lot to look forward to in the future of Dragon Quest – with Dragon Quest Treasures releasing in December, and Dragon Quest XII and Dragon Quest III HD-2D somewhere – we’re taking a moment to revisit a Super Famicom favorite, and we want to hear from you.
Vote in our polls below and share your memories of this game – whether you played it on original hardware, PS2, DS or mobile – in the comments!