Yuji Horii

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Yuji Horii
Yuji Horii (2).jpg
堀井 雄二

(1954-01-06) January 6, 1954 (age 65)
Nationality Japanese
Other namesYuuji Horii
Education Waseda University
OccupationVideo game designer, writer, author
Known forCreator of Dragon Quest series
Notable work
Dragon Quest series

Yuji Horii(堀井 雄二,Horii Yūji) (also written as Yuuji Horii) (born January 6, 1954 in Awaji Island, Japan) is a Japanese video game designer and scenario writer best known as the creator of the Dragon Quest series of role-playing games, [1] supervising and writing the scenario for Chrono Trigger , as well as the first visual novel adventure game Portopia Serial Murder Case . [2] [3]

Awaji Island island

Awaji Island is an island in Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan, in the eastern part of the Seto Inland Sea between the islands of Honshū and Shikoku. The island has an area of 592.17 square kilometres, and is the largest of the Inland Sea's islands.

Japan Country in East Asia

Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south.

Video game electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a video device such as a TV screen or computer monitor

A video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a two- or three-dimensional video display device such as a TV screen, virtual reality headset or computer monitor. Since the 1980s, video games have become an increasingly important part of the entertainment industry, and whether they are also a form of art is a matter of dispute.



Horii graduated from Waseda University's Department of Literature. He also worked as a freelance writer for newspapers, comics, and magazines, including the Famicom Shinken video games column that ran in Weekly Shōnen Jump from 1985 to 1988. [4] He then entered in an Enix-sponsored game programming contest, where he placed with Love Match Tennis , a tennis video game, motivating him to become a video game designer. Horii then created The Portopia Serial Murder Case , a game that later inspired Hideo Kojima (of Metal Gear fame) to enter the video game industry. [2] [3] It is the first part of the Yuuji Horii Mysteries trilogy, along with its successors Okhotsk ni Kiyu: Hokkaido Rensa Satsujin (1984) and Karuizawa Yūkai Annai (1985).

Waseda University Private university in Tokyo, Japan

Waseda University, abbreviated as Sōdai (早大), is a Japanese private research university in Shinjuku, Tokyo. Founded in 1882 as the Tōkyō Senmon Gakkō by Ōkuma Shigenobu, the school was formally renamed Waseda University in 1902.

Video game journalism is a branch of journalism concerned with the reporting and discussion of video games, typically based on a core "reveal–preview–review" cycle. There has been recent growth in online publications and blogs.

<i>Weekly Shōnen Jump</i> Japanese manga magazine

Weekly Shōnen Jump is a weekly shōnen manga anthology published in Japan by Shueisha under the Jump line of magazines. It is the best-selling manga magazine, as well as one of the longest-running; the first issue was released with a cover date of August 1, 1968. The manga series within the magazine target young male readers and tend to consist of a large number of action scenes and a fair amount of comedy. The chapters of series that run in Weekly Shōnen Jump are collected and published in tankōbon volumes under the "Jump Comics" imprint every two to three months.

After creating several more visual novel adventure games, Horii went on to create Dragon Quest , which is said to have created the blueprint for Japanese console role-playing games, taking inspiration from Portopia, [5] as well as Wizardry [5] and Ultima . [1] He was a fan of Apple PC role-playing games and was motivated to create Dragon Quest for ordinary gamers, who found such games difficult, and thus he worked on an intuitive control system, [6] influenced by his work on Portopia. [5]

In video-game culture an adventure game is a video game in which the player assumes the role of a protagonist in an interactive story driven by exploration and puzzle-solving. The genre's focus on story allows it to draw heavily from other narrative-based media, literature and film, encompassing a wide variety of literary genres. Many adventure games are designed for a single player, since this emphasis on story and character makes multi-player design difficult. Colossal Cave Adventure is identified as the first such adventure game, first released in 1976, while other notable adventure game series include Zork, King's Quest, The Secret of Monkey Island, and Myst.

Dragon Quest, published as Dragon Warrior in North America until 2005, is a series of Japanese role-playing video games created by Yuji Horii and his studio Armor Project. The games are published by Square Enix, with localized versions of later installments for the Nintendo DS and 3DS being published by Nintendo outside of Japan. With its first game published in 1986, there are eleven main-series games, along with numerous spin-off games. In addition, there have been numerous manga, anime and novels published under the franchise, with nearly every game in the main series having a related adaptation.

Eastern role-playing video games (RPGs) are RPGs developed in East Asia. Most Eastern RPGs are Japanese role-playing video games (JRPGs), developed in Japan. RPGs are also developed in South Korea and in China.

His works also include the Itadaki Street series. Horii was also a supervisor of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System game, Chrono Trigger , which had multiple game endings, with Horii appearing in one of the endings with the game development staff.

Super Nintendo Entertainment System home video game console developed by Nintendo

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), also known as the Super NES or Super Nintendo, is a 16-bit home video game console developed by Nintendo that was released in 1990 in Japan and South Korea, 1991 in North America, 1992 in Europe and Australasia (Oceania), and 1993 in South America. In Japan, the system is called the Super Famicom (SFC). In South Korea, it is known as the Super Comboy and was distributed by Hyundai Electronics. The system was released in Brazil on August 30, 1993, by Playtronic. Although each version is essentially the same, several forms of regional lockout prevent the different versions from being compatible with one another.

<i>Chrono Trigger</i> Role-playing video game

Chrono Trigger is a role-playing video game developed and published by Square for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1995 that began the Chrono series. Chrono Trigger's development team included three designers that Square dubbed the "Dream Team": Hironobu Sakaguchi, the creator of Square's successful Final Fantasy series; Yuji Horii, a freelance designer and creator of Enix's popular Dragon Quest series; and Akira Toriyama, a manga artist famed for his work with Dragon Quest and Dragon Ball. In addition, Kazuhiko Aoki produced the game, Masato Kato wrote most of the story, while composer Yasunori Mitsuda wrote most of the soundtrack before falling ill and deferring the remaining tracks to Final Fantasy series-composer Nobuo Uematsu. The game's story follows a group of adventurers who travel through time to prevent a global catastrophe.

Horii currently heads his own production company, Armor Project, a company that has an exclusive production contract with Square Enix, [7] a contract established with Enix before the company merged with Square. He is on the selection committee for the annual Super Dash Novel Rookie of the Year Award.

Square Enix Japanese video game company

Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd. is a Japanese video game developer, publisher, and distribution company known for its Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, and Kingdom Hearts role-playing video game franchises, among numerous others. Several of them have sold over 10 million copies worldwide, with the Final Fantasy franchise alone selling 144 million, the Dragon Quest franchise selling 78 million and the Kingdom Hearts franchise selling 30 million. The Square Enix headquarters are in the Shinjuku Eastside Square Building in Shinjuku, Tokyo. The company employs over 4300 employees worldwide.

The Super Dash Novel Rookie of the Year Award is an annual award given by Shueisha's Super Dash Bunko imprint for the best new light novel of the year. The award was first presented in 2001. Submissions are accepted until October 25 each year, and announced on April 25 of the following year.


YearTitleOriginal platform(s)Scenario writerDesignProducerOther
1983 Love Match Tennis NEC PC-6001 -Green check.svg-
The Portopia Serial Murder Case Green check.svgGreen check.svg-
1984 Okhotsk ni Kiyu: Hokkaido Rensa Satsujin Jiken  [ ja ] NEC PC-8801 Green check.svg---
1985 Karuizawa Yūkai Annai Green check.svg---
1986 Dragon Quest NES Green check.svgGreen check.svg--
1987 Dragon Quest II Green check.svgGreen check.svg--
1988 Dragon Quest III Green check.svgGreen check.svg--
1990 Dragon Quest IV Green check.svgGreen check.svg--
1991 Famicom Jump II Green check.svg--Supervisor
Itadaki Street: Watashi no Omise ni Yottette -Green check.svg--
1992 Dragon Quest V Super NES Green check.svgGreen check.svg--
1994 Itadaki Street 2 -Green check.svg--
1995 Dragon Quest VI Green check.svgGreen check.svg--
Chrono Trigger Green check.svg--Supervisor
1998 Dragon Quest Monsters Game Boy Color Green check.svgGreen check.svg-Executive director
1998 Itadaki Street: Gorgeous King PlayStation -Green check.svg--
1999 Torneko: The Last Hope Green check.svg---
2000 Dragon Quest VII Green check.svgGreen check.svg-Scenario director
2001 Dragon Quest Monsters 2 Game Boy ColorGreen check.svgGreen check.svg-Executive director
2002 Itadaki Street 3 PlayStation 2 -Green check.svg--
2003 Dragon Quest Monsters: Caravan Heart Game Boy Advance Green check.svgGreen check.svg-Executive director
2004 Dragon Quest VIII PlayStation 2Green check.svgGreen check.svg--
Itadaki Street Special PlayStation 2-Green check.svg--
2005 Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime Nintendo DS ---Executive producer
2006 Itadaki Street Portable PlayStation Portable -Green check.svg--
Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker Nintendo DS-Green check.svgGreen check.svg-
Itadaki Street DS -Green check.svg--
2007 Dragon Quest Swords Wii -Green check.svg--
2009 Dragon Quest IX Nintendo DSGreen check.svgGreen check.svg--
2010 Itadaki Street Mobile Mobile phone -Green check.svg--
2011 Fortune Street Wii-Green check.svg--
Slime MoriMori Dragon Quest 3 Nintendo 3DS ---Executive producer
2012 Dragon Quest X Wii, Wii U Green check.svgGreen check.svg-General director
2015 Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree's Woe and the Blight Below PlayStation 3 ---
2016 Dragon Quest Heroes II PlayStation 3 ---
2017 Dragon Quest XI Nintendo 3DS (Only in Japan), Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4 Green check.svgGreen check.svg--


In 2009, Horii received a special award at Computer Entertainment Supplier's Association Developers Conference for his work on the Dragon Quest franchise. [8]

Computer Entertainment Supplier's Association (CESA) is a Japanese organization that was established in 1996 to "promote the computer entertainment industry [...] with the aim of contributing to the strengthening of Japanese industry as well as to the further enrichment of people's lifestyles." It organizes the annual Tokyo Game Show and Japan Game Awards.

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<i>Fortune Street</i> 2011 video game

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  2. 1 2 Szczepaniak, John (February 2011). "Portopia Renzoku Satsujin Jiken". Retro Gamer . Retrieved 2011-03-16. (Reprinted at Szczepaniak, John. "Retro Gamer 85". Hardcore Gaming 101. Retrieved 2011-03-16.)
  3. 1 2 Kasavin, Greg (2005-03-21). ""Everything is Possible": Inside the Minds of Gaming's Master Storytellers". GameSpot . CNET Networks. p. 2. Retrieved 2007-08-15.
  4. Fujii, Daiji (2003). "Entrepreneurial Choices of Strategic Options in Japan's RPG Development" (PDF). p. 13. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-12-30. Retrieved 2006-08-12.
  5. 1 2 3 "East and West, Warrior and Quest: A Dragon Quest Retrospective". 1UP.com. Retrieved July 5, 2011.
  6. "Yuji Horii". Retro Gamer . Imagine Publishing (97): 72–73. 2011.
  7. "Top 100 Game Creators of All Time". IGN. Archived from the original on March 5, 2009. Retrieved June 25, 2012.
  8. Graft, Kris (2009-09-04). "CEDEC 09: Dragon Quest Creator Yuji Hori Headlines Awards". Gamasutra . Retrieved 2011-02-14.