Dragon Quest V Soundtrack (PlayStation 2), Koichi Sugiyama, 2004
Considering just how big the Dragon Quest franchise has always been in Japan, it was a bit of a surprise to see it landing on the SNES only in 1992 – maybe the last big 8-bit franchise to make the jump. Of course, once Dragon Quest V was released, it was another massive success for Chunsoft and Enix, selling 2.8 million copies on the SNES. Add in sales of its remakes (PlayStation 2 in 2004, Nintendo DS in 2008 and mobile phones in 2014), and the figure exceeds six million units.
For a franchise that has a reputation for not changing much from instalment to instalment, Dragon Quest V does try some interesting things. First and foremost, there’s how its narrative is structured, covering thirty years of the main protagonist’s life, from birth to the point when he is married and has a family. And while Dragon Quest V didn’t invent the idea of collecting monsters (the Megami Tensei series had been there first), it was still a relatively novel concept that would soon become ubiquitous via the Pokémon franchise.