Just as Dragon Quest IX mania is sweeping Japan, we reach are own mini version of DQ mania here at Chrontendo.
Perhaps you've seen Final Fantasy or similar 8-bit RPGs put into the context of "Dragon Quest clones." As in, "Final Fantasy was released at a time when countless Dragon Quest clones were hitting the shelves in Japan," or something similar. Yet here we are in Fall 1987 and there is a puzzling lack of games which resemble DQ. Oh sure, we've seen some old school style dungeon crawlers like Deep Dungeon. And tons of hack and slash games with RPG elements or Zelda influences. Magic of Scheherazade and Zoids certainly borrowed from Enix's game, but managed to be rather unique in the way they used the borrowings. So far, the only game that seems 100% DQ inspired is Hercules no Eikou (and maybe Mirai Shinwa Jarvas, but that was a 50/50 mixture of DQ and pure garbage.)
I was getting to the point were I was thinking that maybe all these DQ knock-offs were more hypothetical than anything else. As in, "DQ was a very popular game, thus there must have been lots of similar games released afterwards."
Well, it turns out those DQ clones are real. They were just hanging out behind the shed, waiting for enough other DQ clones to join the gang. Now the forces of DQ clones have organized their ranks and are marching in the streets, kicking in our doors. In Episode 23 we'll see the devastation they have wrought.*
Also, in Episode 23, I plan to do a little Chrontendo update - a few things that I missed or overlooked or was just mistaken about. Most intriguingly, commenter Qun Mang has pointed out that Photon: The Ulimate Game on Planet Earth was in fact connected to the US TV show/Laser Tag center/toy line franchise. I did not realize at first that "The Ultimate Game on Planet Earth" was the tag line for the Photon brand in the US, but now it all makes sense.
For those not familiar with the mind-boggling Photon TV show, well....here you go.
I'd advise you whip out your strongest grade combustibles before attempting to watch these.
Some of you old time NES kids may have recognize Photon as being the source of the "Space Scout Theater" segments of Club Mario from the Super Mario Bros. Super Show.
Also up, a little profile on the great (well, sometimes) developer Irem. So it looks to be a nice episode.
*Don't get the mistaken impression I dislike RPGs. It's just.... well you'll see what I mean when Episode 23 comes out. Ya'll ever heard of a little game called Hoshi no Miru Hito?
Photon image from Virtual Vikki's Photon Page