Dragon Quest 2 developers were so busy they never played the whole game

The developers of Dragon Quest 2 were so busy making the 1987 RPG happen that none of them ever had time to play it all the way through.

That anecdote emerged from a nearly as old interview conducted with the game’s lead staff, as translated by Shmuplations (opens in new tab) and spotted on Twitter earlier today by Austin King (opens in new tab). The interview was conducted in 1989, between the launch of Dragon Quest 2 and in the leadup to Dragon Quest.

Dragon Quest series stalwarts Yuji Horii and Koichi Nakamura talk about their travails with the previous game in the interview, including the fact that “the content is a bit thin” in parts, particularly after players get their own boat to travel with. Horii said he was so busy writing the story and adjusting the game balance that he just didn’t have time to see how it would all feel as a cohesive whole, and Nakamura agreed.

“It wasn’t just you and me either,” Nakamura continued. “On the day the final version was ready to be taken in for production, I was shocked to learn that not a single person on the development team had played the game all the way through. I was horrified! How were we supposed to release a game in this state? Thankfully, for Dragon Quest 3 we’ve resolved this problem; the game has been completely balanced and tested from start to finish.”

If anyone ever tries to tell you that developers spend too much time playing games and not enough time working, you tell that person that sometimes developers don’t even have time to play through their own games, like, once.

Dragon Quest 11 is still a lock in our list of the best RPGs – hopefully, the developers had time to play through that one.

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