Dragon Quest Finally has its First Movie

Dragon Quest coming to a Japanese movie theater near you.

It’s a cultural phenomenon so big in Japan that hundreds of children would skip school for the release of new games in the franchise, and that the company began releasing them on weekends to end the nationwide lack of productivity on launch days. Dragon Quest has its beginnings as one of the first computer RPGs. After more than twenty years Dragon Quest: Your Story, an animated movie for the series, is in production.

Dragon Quest: Your Story will show in Japanese theaters on August 2, 2019. The movie is based on Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride, one of the franchise’s most popular games. This game’s first appearance was in 1992, on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. In the game, the player takes the role of a hero through 30 years of his life, fighting monsters and other villains all the while.

Dragon Quest as a series debuted in 1986. With such age, 11 main games and 33 spinoffs in the series, a Dragon Quest movie has been long-awaited. The franchise has become so iconic in Japan that it is integrated into its culture. In Japan, there are Dragon Quest themed restaurants and cafés. For its 2012 April Fool’s joke, Google designed their Google Maps service to be identical to those in the old Dragon Quest games. Each year, there are performances of the games’ orchestral soundtracks in Japan’s concert halls. Upon the release of Dragon Quest III, 300 schoolchildren were taken into custody for being absent from school in favor of buying the game. Furthermore, there were rumors of a measurable drop in the country’s productivity, both in adults and children, on release days for the games. This was so significant that Square Enix, the creators of Dragon Quest, arranged for the games to release on Saturdays.

Dragon Quest does not have this legacy in the United States. It hasn’t been announced whether the movie will play in American theaters, or released here at all. Many have predicted that the movie could finally bring some of Dragon Quest’s fame outside of its home country.