The Roto-ry

I’ve never gotten into manga, but when I learned there was one based on the original Dragon Quest trilogy of video games, I had to check it out. The first eighteen volumes are available in English translation, but the last three apparently aren’t, so I didn’t get to see the climactic battle at the end. If there ARE translated versions of the other volumes, I’d like to know about it. There’s a summary of the series and one of its spin-offs at the Dragon Quest Shrine. Anyway, the comic takes place between Dragon Quest III (which is actually a prequel) and the first game. The back story is that two descendants of the great hero Roto (or Erdrick, as those of us who played the original English translations know him) returned to the upper world and founded two kingdoms: Carmen, on the ruins of the Archfiend Baramos’ castle in the Necrogond; and Loran, on the site of the late Dragon Queen’s castle. The hero of the series is Arus, the Prince of Carmen, who journeys throughout the world with some companions, including the descendants of some of Roto’s companions. Jagan, the Prince of Loran, doesn’t follow in his ancestor’s footsteps, but instead joins the forces of evil under the command of Lord Imagine.

Another one of Imagine’s followers is the Dragonlord, the main villain in the first DQ game. The manga more or less confirms the popular notion that the Dragonlord is the son of the Dragon Queen, hatching from the egg she leaves when she dies. I guess this means the story in the Dragon Warrior Explorer’s Guide about his being a discontented guy who learned he had the power to control dragons isn’t true, although I guess it technically still could be. The Dragonlord is an intriguing character who doesn’t seem to be so much an embodiment of pure evil as other DQ bosses like Malroth/Sidoh and Zoma, so seeing more of his story is definitely interesting. The comic includes a lot of aspects from the games, including many of the same spells and monsters. I enjoyed it, but I’d like to know more about how this series eventually leads into the first game. I’ve done quite a bit of speculating about this myself, and the manga seems to be the closest we’ll get to official answers.

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4 Responses to The Roto-ry

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