Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age

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Dragon Quest XI (ドラゴンクエストXI 過ぎ去りし時を求めて) is the eleventh main Dragon Quest game. The game was initially released on the Nintendo 3DS and the PlayStation 4 game consoles, and later for Microsoft Windows via Steam and the Nintendo Switch.[1] The game was first revealed during a livestream on July 28, 2015[2]. The game was released on July 29th, 2017 on the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo 3DS in Japan, on the PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Windows via Steam in the West on September 4, 2018. An enhanced port for the Nintendo Switch, titled Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Definitive Edition, was released in September 27, 2019, then announced on July 23, 2020 to release on Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on December 4, 2020.

Planned as the 30th anniversary title for the series, Dragon Quest XI is a homage and celebration of the ten games that came before it that tells its own distinct story.


The world of the game is Erdrea, a peaceful planet watched over by the floating island that carries Yggdrasil, the source of all life. Though present in previous games, the significance of Yggdrasil is more pronounced than before, with the almighty arbor having widespread recognition and reverence even in the most remote villages. Cities and kingdoms based upon real world European nations return for the first time since Dragon Quest III, and the game's plot is divided into acts reminiscent of the chapters and generations of the fourth and fifth games; dramatic changes mark the ending of each segment of the game, greatly changing the environment and tone of the title.


The story of the eleventh game turns tradition on its head, and sees the Luminary on the run soon after the beginning segment. He obtains allies as well as enemies, and a greater conspiracy that revolves around the origins of Erdrea itself is slowly uncovered.


Playable Characters[edit]

  • The Luminary - A young man from the village of Cobblestone. He was born with a mysterious mark on his left hand, and is declared to be the "Darkspawn" by the King of Heliodor that will bring about the end of the world if he is not killed.
  • Erik - A blue-haired thief that the Luminary encounters in the dungeons of Heliodor who decides to accompany him on his journey. Despite his rough-and-tumble appearance, he is a kindhearted and loyal friend.
  • Veronica - A strong-willed, tomboyish girl who has lost her age and hates being treated like a child. She will stand up to anyone, regardless if they are an adult or monster. She is gifted with offensive magic.
  • Serena - A kind, dependable, and compassionate young woman who has a talent with healing magic and the lyre. Her hapless personality sometimes causes trouble for her sister Veronica.
  • Sylvando - A flamboyant and carefree entertainer with a dream to make people smile around the world. He is described as the mood maker of the party and has a strong sense of justice.
  • Jade - An expert martial artist who travels the world with Rab in order to fulfill a mysterious goal. Her beauty and dignified demeanor suggests that she is more than just a talented fighter.
  • Rab - A mysterious elderly man who looks like nothing more than a simple traveler, but in combat he wields ferocious martial arts skills and high level magic. He seems to know someone in every port and town around the world.
  • Hendrik - A Heliodoran knight and general who is initially opposed to the Luminary and is tasked by the King of Heliodor to capture him. After a change of heart, he vows to become the Luminary's sword, shield, and unswerving companion.

Other Characters[edit]

  • Gemma - Childhood friend of the Luminary, who was born on the same day as him. The two undertake a coming-of-age ceremony together, just before the young man departs on his journey.
  • Chalky - A kindly old man from the village of Cobblestone who finds the Luminary as an infant while out fishing in the game's prologue. He decides to adopt the boy as his own grandson. In his youth, he was a world traveler.
  • Jasper - A cruel strategist from the Kingdom of Heliodor. His cold methods have led to many victories.
  • King Carnelian - The wise and respected ruler of Heliodor. He is known as a master swordsman and is skeptical of the claims that the protagonist is the reincarnation of the Luminary.
  • Mia - Erik's younger sister and a fellow thief, forced into the Vikings' servitude in their youth. Due to an incident in Erik's past involving her, he is clouded with deep regrets.
  • Erdwin - The "Luminary of Legend," and the protagonist's predecessor.
  • Drustan - A warrior of great prowess and one of Erdwin's traveling companions.
  • Serenica - A sage of Arboria who was one of Erdwin's traveling companions.
  • Morcant - A wizard with a deep thirst for power who was one of Erdwin's traveling companions.

New features[edit]

Fun-size forge[edit]

The Fun-Size Forge is a complete overhaul of the alchemy system first seen in VIII. Instead of recycling older items, weapons, and armor to create new gear, the forge allows the player to refine existing armaments and items into more potent versions that have greater stats and effects.

The forge is used on a separate screen, where the item being reforged is presented in a grid layout set over its rough outline. The goal is to hit the selected grind square so that the meter bar assigned to it is raised to the target level, changing the molten outline of that section of the item into its proper shape. The player has a variety of strike techniques and temperature control to raise the meters to the ideal setting, and each action requires a set number of focus points. The amount of focus the Luminary can grant at any time is proportional to his level.

Player conveniences[edit]

  • The player can catch up on current and past events at any time by checking the "Info." section of the main menu.
  • The mini map on the overworld screen will highlight the direction where the next plot point is.
  • Zoom can now be cast in doors.
  • Party chat returns, with a menu screen similar to VIII.
  • A new camping system that serves as rest stops for the party, where the player can speak to their allies, use the fun-size forge, reallocate skill points, and purchase items from wandering merchants.

Battle refinements[edit]

Dragon Quest XI is still using its traditional turn-based battle system, with the player and monsters act by turns. The player can switch the battle style graphics of the Nintendo 3DS version from 3D to 2D, which the battle system can be toggled after encountering a monster when the players are walking through the field. For the PlayStation 4 version, there are two battle systems as well. With the Free Camera-style, the player can rotate the camera freely and position characters as desired, similar to the style of Dragon Quest X. While using the Classic Camera-style, the player cannot move characters around and camera angles are dynamic, similar to Dragon Quest VIII. Specific additions to the battle system are:

  • The player can attack a monster on the overworld by sneaking up on them and striking, dealing a small amount of damage and getting a preemptive strike when battle commences.
  • The text displaying a monster's name will now change color, becoming dull yellow when they drop below half of their maximum HP and red when they drop below 25%.
  • Experience Points are awarded to all characters so long as they are alive, even for storyline battles with prearranged party configuration.
  • A character's HP and MP are fully restored upon leveling up.
  • The Luminary will be revived with one HP after battle if he perishes.

International bonus features[edit]

The following features were implemented for the international release of the game on the PS4, and were retroactively added to the Japanese version for the Switch port.

  • Fully voiced characters in English.
  • Draconian Quest: an excessively difficult mode for experienced players.
  • A sprint button that allows a character to dash.
  • Redesigned menus that replace the traditional transparent black with sepia tone parchment that displays item and equipment artwork, similar to the menu found in the PS2 version of VIII.
  • Refined camera control for easier viewing of details.

Dragon Quest XI S: Definitive Edition[edit]

This version of the game includes the following new features and improvements in addition to all content seen in the international PS4/PC release. This version is the marriage of the best features of the 3DS and PS4 versions, and will allow the player to alternate between 2D and 3D modes at any church or goddess statue.

Quality of life adjustments[edit]

  • Improved camera controls in 3D mode.
  • The ability to dash in the overworld has been added for the Japanese version.
  • Forging is now available at all times, available from the "+" button menu.
  • Cutscenes may now be skipped immediately.
  • Additional appearance-changing equipment.
    • The equipment set based on the protagonist of the eighth game that was added to the international release has been added for the Japanese version.
    • A special outfit for Erik designed by mangaka Hiro Mashima, of Fairy Tail fame.
  • The ability to switch between the Symphonic Suite and original soundtracks.
  • The ability to switch between 3D and 2D modes as in the 3DS version.

Scenario additions[edit]

  • An extensive sidequest involving Hendrick and Jasper has been added to the end-game.
  • A new character, Madame Cherie, has been added. She is a professor at L'Académie de Notre Maitre des Médailles.
  • Additional sub scenarios are added at the beginning of Act 2 focusing on various party members and what they were doing before rejoining the Luminary. In order, they elaborate on Sylvando, Jade, Erik, and Rab's activities.
  • The Luminary is able to 'Become Companions' with any party member (rather than just Gemma) in Act 3, with a scene added atop the Cobblestone Tor for each.

Party interaction[edit]

  • Additional Party Chat dialogue.
    • In-battle speech bubbles for character commentary.
  • Fully voiced cutscenes in both English and Japanese for the Japanese and International versions respectively.
    • The ability to switch between English and Japanese voices in the International version
    • The ability to silence the protagonists' idle sounds such as yawns and battle cries
  • Party members will follow behind the Luminary in 3D mode just as in 2D titles.
    • Characters can be spoken to directly on the overworld without having to bring up the party chat menu.
  • Party members will move on their own while in battle, adjusting to the conditions of conflict for more player-immersion. This is an aesthetic adjustment that does not affect gameplay.

Mini game refinements[edit]

  • A photograph mode reminiscent of Cameron's Codex.
  • Horse-racing minigame has been fine-tuned.
  • The amount of monsters to ride has been increased by four, including a Golem, Great sabrecat, and Slime knight, and an Iron Maiden.
    • Running over small to medium monsters now gives experience points, 30% of what would be gained in a normal battle. Gold is not awarded by these hit and runs.
    • A dedicated musical theme will play when riding a Great sabrecat.

2D and 3D art styles[edit]

Dragon Quest XI is the first game in the series to be simultaneously released for different hardware, being the 3DS and PS4 initially. Due to the differences in processing capability between the two systems, each has a distinct art style and the 3DS version allows the player to enjoy the game in 3D and 2D styles. The former is a super-deformed presentation reminiscent of Dragon Quest IX with chibi character proportions, and the latter is sprite-based and designed to evoke the SNES remake of Dragon Quest III.

As the 3DS version was not released internationally, the Nintendo Switch version is the only way for Western fans to play the game in a 16-bit style in their native language.

Pre-released information[edit]


The news about Dragon Quest XI was revealed by its creator Yūji Horii, when saying that he won't release Dragon Quest XI for smartphones.[3] In April 2014, Yūji Horii teased that he is working on the next Dragon Quest title.[4] In July 2015, they announced through a Japanese magazine Shonen Jump that they will release a new Dragon Quest title during a livestream on July 28, 2018. [5] After the announcement in Shonen Jump, there were been rumours that the newly titled game is in fact Dragon Quest XI. A Wall Street Journal Japan reporter received a letter of invitation from Square Enix containing that there will be "a new title from main Dragon Quest series." which the letter fully revealed "a new title from the main Dragon Quest series for the first time in three years."[6] During the livestream on July 28, 2015, the revealed gameplay footage of Dragon Quest XI, revealing that it will be released for the Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation 4. They also said that the PlayStation 4 version uses Unreal Engine 4 to create a high quality game.

On July 28, 2017, Yūji Horii announced that the game will be released internationally in 2018 in five different languages. The Western release of the game was announced on March 28, 2018, which will include various new features added from the Japanese release, including voice acting, as well as a release on PC systems. The five languages the game was translated into are English, Spanish, French, Italian, and German.

Dragon Quest XI producer Hokuto Okamoto confirmed during an interview with Dualshockers on April 8, 2018 that Dragon Quest XI S will be based off the PlayStation 4 version. He also mentioned that while Dragon Quest XI S was already part of the outlook when the development team started developing Dragon Quest XI, the game at the time couldn't run on the Nintendo Switch since the SDK (software development kit) wasn't ready within Unreal Engine 4. But the development team is now able to start working on Dragon Quest XI S since the SDK that supports the Nintendo Switch has been implemented on Unreal Engine 4. However, that SDK only supports a version of Unreal Engine 4 that is higher than the version that the original game is developed on, which means the development team had to update the engine, which comes with its own sets of issues; the developers are in the process of resolving those issues. Square Enix had considered releasing Dragon Quest XI at the same time as the PlayStation 4 and PC versions. But since they don't have a solid input on how long the development for Dragon Quest XI S will take, they believe it's going to be a long ways out, and they didn't want fans on PlayStation 4 and PC to wait that long to be able to enjoy Dragon Quest XI[7].

Dragon Quest XI producer Hokuto Okamoto announced on Twitter that the Japanese version of Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Definitive Edition went gold on July 19, 2019[8] while the Western version of Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Definitive Edition went gold on July 26, 2019[9].

During the Dragon Quest Paradise News Station event at Tokyo Game Show 2018 on September 23, 2018, Square Enix announced that the Nintendo Switch version will be titled Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age S, with 'S' meaning "Switch," "Special," "Shaberu" (Speaking), and "Seiyuu" (Voice Actor), according to Yūji Horii. Dragon Quest XI producer Hokuto Okamoto added that "Even though shaberu (speaking) will be taking priority...I think there are some players who would prefer Dragon Quest without voices, and we're keeping that in mind. Horii will be able to say more about that at some point..."[10] Nintendo announced during the Nintendo Direct presentation on February 13, 2019 that the Nintendo Switch version will be titled Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Definitive Edition and will be released during Fall 2019[11].

During E3 2019, Nintendo and Square Enix[12] announced that Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Definitive Edition will be released worldwide on September 27, 2019[13]. During the Pre-Xbox Games Showcase of July 23, 2020, Dragon Quest XI S was shown to have a release set for Xbox One and Windows 10 on December 4, 2020. Stated by Yuji Horii, it is the first time the franchise has a game published on Xbox.[14] After the showcase, a Steam and PlayStation 4 port of the game were published on Twitter and would be released on the same date as the Xbox One and Windows 10 port.[15]






  1. Dragon Quest XI And X Are In Development For Nintendo NX: Update
  2. Watch Square Enix's Dragon Quest Announcement Event Right Here
  3. Dragon Quest XI Won’t Be For Smartphones Says Dragon Quest Creator
  4. Could Series Creator Yūji Horii Be Teasing Dragon Quest XI?
  5. A New Dragon Quest Title To Be Announced In On July 28th
  6. Rumor: Dragon Quest XI To Be Announced Next Week
  7. Square Enix Confirms Dragon Quest XI for Switch Is Based on PS4 Version; Explains Lack of 3DS Version
  8. 岡本 北斗 DQ11S 9.27発売 on Twitter: "最近悲しいお話がいっぱいありましたので、できるだけ明るい話をということで……… 「ドラゴンクエスト11 S」日本版 マスターアップしましたーー!!! 開発のみんなお疲れさまでした! …でも、海外版はまだ終わってないのでもうちょっとだけ続くのじゃ"
  9. 岡本 北斗 DQ11S 9.27発売 on Twitter: "海外版もマスターアップしたようです - 完 -"
  10. Dragon Quest XI for Switch titled Dragon Quest XI S [Update]
  11. Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Definitive Edition - Nintendo Direct 2.13.2019
  12. 『ドラゴンクエストⅪ 過ぎ去りし時を求めて S』プロモーション映像
  13. DRAGON QUEST XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Definitive Edition - Nintendo E3 2019
  14. Xbox Games Showcase Livestream 2020
  15. DRAGON QUEST on Twitter: #DragonQuest XI S - Definitive Edition launches December 4, 2020 on both #PS4 and #Steam, and makes a series debut on #Xbox One! Including new scenarios, an orchestral soundtrack, 2D mode and more, this is the ultimate #DQXI experience for long-time fans and new adventurers.

Names, etymology and in other regions
Language Name Meaning
Japanese ドラゴンクエストXI 過ぎ去りし時を求めて Dragon Quest XI: In Search of Departed Time

Dragon Quest XI guide[edit]