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Dragon Quest VR arcade to open in Shinjuku

by Kazuaki Nagata

Staff Writer

Game-lovers can wield a sword, use magic and dive into the world of another megahit game series starting Friday at the VR Zone Shinjuku in Tokyo.

Ahead of the launch of Dragon Quest VR, the arcade held a preview for media Wednesday with producers touting that the new attraction will virtually transform players into characters of the iconic fantasy role-playing game series.

The game is mostly about battling monsters that appear in the game series, including the jelly-like Slime and Dracky, which looks like a bat. The mission is to slay a boss villain called Zoma.

Two-to-four people form a party to engage in the 15-minute battle in a spacious 240 square-meter room. Each user can choose to play as a warrior, priest or mage. The adventuring party must include a warrior and a priest.

Along with a VR headset, players carry a backpack computer and handheld devices that turn into a sword or a rod. The warrior strikes monsters with a sword and blocks opponents’ moves with a shield, while the mage and priest cast magic to attack and support others, such as the fire spell mera, and hoimi, which has healing powers.

Taking advantage of a big room where people can move around freely, the operator has wanted to introduce Dragon Quest VR since the opening of the facility in July last year, said Yukiharu Tamiya of Bandai Namco Amusement Inc., who oversees the facility.

Dragon Quest is about adventure, so going into a VR world and being able to walk around can give a sense of venturing into unexplored land, he said.

“I think this space really goes well with the concept of the role-playing game. And we wanted to do that with the popular Dragon Quest,” said Tamiya.

The arcade started taking reservations for Dragon Quest VR last Friday but are almost booked until the end of May, according to Bandai Namco Amusement.

A ticket for Dragon Quest VR costs ¥3,200 per battle. Players must be 13 years or older, but those aged between 7 to 12 can play with parental consent.

The Dragon Quest series debuted in 1986 and has attracted more than 75 million shipments and downloads.

The VR Zone Shinjuku has other virtual reality attractions based on famous games or anime, such as Mario Kart and Dragon Ball.