- Fountain of Expies: The original Dragonlord from Dragon Quest I. Both Hargon of Dragon Quest II and Zoma of Dragon Quest III are blue-skinned villains with black headgear... just like the Dragonlord.
- Not to mention the antagonists of most RPGs of the eighties.
- Keep Circulating the Tapes: A lot of the older Dragon Quest games, particularly the original trilogy, have been hit rather hard with this. About the only things the US audience gets in that regards are mobile ports of the games, with any and all re-releases of the original games being Japan exclusives.
- Late Export for You: Generally why the games didn't have the same kind of thunderbolt impact in English-speaking territories as they did in Japan, particularly Dragon Quest III. The Erdrick Trilogy was released in English three years after coming out in Japan, by which point domestic games, especially RPGs, had progressed on their own in many ways, leaving the DQ games looking more primitive than they should have and easier to dismiss.
- As an example, III came out in early 1988 in Japan - roughly the same time as, say, Ultima V or D&D: Pool of Radiance, who both make for reasonably good comparative partners in terms of scope and technology. The English version came out in mid-1991 - over a year after Ultima VI and Worlds of Ultima: The Savage Empire, after basically the entire Gold Box series had come out, and barely months before Ultima VII would land with its own kind of thunderbolt and Ultima Underworld would introduce a much different way of playing an RPG. Never mind the fact that Square, at the time, got wise, and bumped Final Fantasy IV up to "II" and released it as soon as they could. Dragon Quest never contributed to the RPG conversation in America because it arrived far too late to the party to do so.
- In modern times, the VII and VIII remakes on the 3DS took 3 years to release, thanks only to the publishing efforts of Nintendo. Also XI S on the Switch is only happening thanks to Nintendo's support. It seems like Nintendo cares more about the series than Square Enix does.
- In mid 2019, to coincide with the release of Dragon Quest XI S on the Switch, the ports of I, II, and III that Japan enjoyed on the PS4 or 3DS (they even got I for free up completing XI) were finally, finally released on the Switch. This is the first time the original trilogy is available on dedicated game systems in North America and Europe since the Game Boy Color releases in 2001.
- Network to the Rescue: As detailed below, Dragon Quest has had a history of shaky publishing in the West. After the DS Remakes for IV and V flopped in sales, Square was reluctant to release anymore of the titles in the West. Nintendo ended up stepping in to distribute. IX and VI, with again the two games underwhelming. Years later, the 3DS remakes for VII and VIII come out and Square once again refused to publish the game outside of Japan. Nintendo once more stepped in to publish both games, even localizing the games themselves.
- Nintendo not only published XI S on the Switch, but bankrolled some of the new features including the previously 3DS-exclusive content as well as the 2D mode, new story content, orchestral music, and Japanese voice acting in order to justify anybody double-dipping.
- No Export for You:
- While the release of XI was met with great happiness from the fanbase, the news that the 3DS version will NOT be localized caused a great deal of consternation. The 3DS version has not only a completely different art style but some exclusive content as well. This also puts in doubt if the 3DS ports of I, II, and III will be released in the future. This is especially sad because every main series game would otherwise be playable on a single 3DS system, missing those 4 games and X. On the plus side, at least some of the 3DS content is being incorporated into the Switch version which is being localized.
- For whatever reason, VII is the only game from 1-8 that is not available on mobile devices outside of Japan. The likely culprit is some kind of exclusivity contract between Nintendo and Squareenix, as Nintendo took on publishing duties for the 3DS remake of VII.
- The series as a whole entered an age of this after the release of IX, the remake of VI, and Monsters: Joker 2 in 2010-11. The West missed out on Dragon Quest X, Slime Morimori 3 and the remakes of Monsters Joker 2, Monsters: Terry's Wonderland, and Monsters: Cobi's Journey and Tara's Adventure. The drought finally ended in 2016, with Dragon Quest Heroes and the remakes of VII and VIII all receiving English-language releases and XI getting a decently timely release in 2018, but for ages it looked like the VII and VIII remakes would miss the boat, too, and naturally all of the previously-mentioned titles seem to be in permanent export limbo (which is maddening for X).
- And of course, people are/were extra sore about this, VII in particular, because this wasn't even the franchise's first trip out into the woods. After Dragon Quest IV's awful-because-it-was-years-late showing in 1992, the franchise entered a years-long period of missed or sporadic releases in the 90s, with V & VI infamously left to molder and only sporadic releases of spinoffs happening, along with VII somehow making it over. It was only after VIII in 2004, and in the lead-up to IX, that the newly-formed Square Enix seemed to be interested in making a new push for the franchise.
- Before Dragon Quest VIII, none of the Dragon Quest games were released in Europe, except Dragon Quest Monsters. The Erdrick trilogy took nearly three decades from its original release year before the region finally saw a release, but on smartphones.
- Then there are the Arcade games that Square-Enix released under a partnership with Marvelous AQL. So far Monster Battle Scanner is available outside of Japan at certain arcades, notably Aeon Molly Fantasy outlets. Whether they'd become available in more countries however remains to be seen - which is kinda sad since the English localization Was rather well done and apparently they got Side UK as their talent agency.
- Screwed by the Network: All the problems discussed in Bad Export for You and No Export for You above are because the American branch of Square Enix seems to have no faith in this series outside of Japan.
- Network to the Rescue: Nintendo. They are the ones who are responsible for the western releases of IX, Monsters: Joker 2 and the remakes of VI, VII and VIII. Sometimes they even took on the responsibilities of translating and marketing the games themselves.
- Trope Namer;
- The Wiki Rule: The Dragon Quest Wiki and Gamepedia Dragon Quest Wiki, as well as Wikia Dragon Quest Wiki.
Trivia / Dragon Quest