When Akira Toriyama’s characters had adventures in Antequera and Gerona: this is how the hilarious Dragon Quest commercials were filmed

This is a martial arts dream! The video game series Dragon Quest It is deservedly cult in Japan, but it has passed unfairly tiptoe for Spain. Not by those who are passionate about JRPGs, mind you, but because we had to wait to the eighth installment (on PS2) to lay the glove on these shores. Since then and until relatively recently, the games have arrived intermittently, which has noses: several announcements of the main major installments have been shot in Spain. Spots for television that deserve to be treated very special way.

Because there are videogame ads, trailers and spots -in general- that leave a very special mark. Even, if we don’t give a damn about the game afterwards. Some are flawless marketing ploys, others manage to convey the genuine essence and emotion of the games. There are those who dare to bring out the colors of their shelfmates (What times those of the most daring SEGA!) and then, conveniently separated from the rest, the Japanese ads.

And we are not going to deny it, the ones that Square Enix shot in Spain to promote the reissues of Dragon Quest VI: The Dream Realms on Nintendo DS, as you can see just above, they were really special.

Although the ad is already peculiar in itself, those who live on the privileged Costa del Sol have additional reasons to review what is shown in a loop: the landscapes and views in which the heroes of the adventure camp and the horizon they look at is nothing less than the Torcal de Antequera, a natural area that, by the way, is a World Heritage Site. Not to mention the main thing: the interpreters speak in Spanish. What does all this have to do with Dragon Quest?

Dragon Quest VI: from Akira Toriyama’s drawings to the landscapes of Antequera

When Dragon Quest VI premiered on SNES, in December 1995, Enix itself recorded commercials with real actors. That was a relatively common practice around the world, despite the fact that one of the hallmarks of the game was the aesthetics of the characters and the designs of monsters and artifacts Akira Toriyama, none other than the creator of dragonball. What’s more, the adventures of Son Goku and company stopped being published that same year.

At that time the Dragon Quest saga was already sweeping Japan. But the truth is that at the international level its reception was much more moderate: the first deliveries in the United States (such as Dragon Warrior) did not match Japanese sales and, by extension, taking the saga to a multilingual fragmented European territory was a double jeopardy. A pity, since by that date stupendous figures would have been achieved simply by offering characters and worlds imagined by Toriyama.

Although D.Dragon Quest VIII was a total success, we had to wait until May 20, 2011 for Dragon Quest VI reached European territory. More specifically, a tailor-made version of the Nintendo DS. Elements remained along the way and others joined. However, it must be recognized that there were very serious reasons for not relaunching the spot with which the game was announced in Japan in Spain: the words and interpretations lend themselves more to parody than to the tone and theme of the game.

And despite the fact that in today’s eyes could almost seem like a fan-made production In all aspects, Square Enix itself made a real display with a view to shooting the Japanese ad: a casting was done and the scenes were developed in Barcelona and, later, the recording began on the ground and filming in helicopters in Torcal de Antequera, in Malaga.

What’s more, Square Enix itself participated very actively in the process of creating the spot. But, why was it spoken in spanish? Well, in the absence of having the official answer, it can be understood that the language of Cervantes is not as well known in Japan as English, so that in the absence of inventing their own language, and as was the case When was Resident Evil 4 created?it was possible to get the viewer out of the image and take him to the subtitles without paying too much attention to the performance of the interpreters.

Japanese RPG with a Spanish accent!

Maybe the announcement of the new Dragon Quest VI It wasn’t the most ambitious ever made for a JRPG, but it’s clear that its creators particularly liked the result. Enough to shoot the new version of Dragon Quest VII, Fragments of a Forgotten World in Spanish and with a much more elaborate production.

The announcement of the new Dragon Quest re-released for Nintendo DS was shot in 2013 in Monells, which is part of Girona. And the way in which Akira Toriyama’s drawings were brought to reality deserves to be treated in a special way: Square Enix took care that the costumes were exactly that of the new video game designs, including the folds, the rings and, above all, the forms resulting from the colorful wardrobe of each protagonist,

Of course, this time the adventurers interacted and reproduced the same scenes from the video game in an environment that wonderfully recreated the aesthetics of the fantasy world. With many perfectly characterized extras in each scene and a display of media (drone included) that showed how seriously he was going for this commercial.

The result also reflected the dedication put in by the production team. After all, despite being a simple spot, Dragon Quest it is deservedly considered the King of JRPGs. And as can be seen in the filming diary, the Japanese team had a great time both in the south and in the north of Spain.

Does that mean that Spanish is the official language of the world of Dragon Quest? It would be very funny, and curious, of course. But, as you will see, those They were two very specific cases.

The other spots in Dragon Quest Live Action, and the curious effect of seeing them speaking in Spanish

Despite the fact that the launch of a new installment of the saga Dragon Quest It is an event in itself, Enix and later Square Enix have explored many ways to advertise it on Japanese television. And it is that outside of those clichés with melancholic characters and epic aspirations, the simple, entertaining and exciting tone that Toriyama brings has always been one of the key elements. And that, logically, It gives a lot of play when it comes to making original ads.

Beyond these two unique examples, different types of spots were shot for the Japanese public based on the saga. Dragon Quest. Some, like that of Dragon Quest IX, they take advantage of that surrealism that is only seen on Japanese television. And well what they do.

To be honest, before the spot was shot in Antequera, for the relaunch of Dragon Quest V an advertisement with western actors and the voices in Japanese was produced. Posts to choose, and strange as it sounds, we are left with the one that was made in Spanish.

The trend continued with the relaunch of Dragon Quest VIII on Nintendo 3DS, although this time they opted to make the actors speak in the Slavic language. More specifically, that of the Czech Republic.

The curious thing about this is that, unless there is a Czech expert among us, the effect of watching them speak is not very different from the Japanese listening to Spanish in the previous ads.

Currently, the saga Dragon Quest is in a very sweet moment. Not only are we enjoying lots of especially successful spin-offs for both mobile and consoles, but it has returned through new manga and animation projects. But the best is what is yet to come: a 2D-HD remake of the essential Dragon Quest III and a Dragon Quest XII which promises to be a turning point for the saga in all aspects.

Will we see a new spot spoken in Spanish for any of these projects? if we saw Joaquin Reyes as Kratoswe do not expect less from the next games of Dragon Quest.

When Akira Toriyama’s characters had adventures in Antequera and Gerona: this is how the hilarious Dragon Quest commercials were filmed