Welcome back to Box Art Brawl, our regular (normally, although we’ve had a few weeks off) retro box art-based poll to find the best regional variants from two or more territories.
Last time we grabbed our cameras for a closeup of Pokémon Snap on Nintendo 64. Europe’s bluer cover emerged as as the winner quite comfortably, taking home over half of the vote with the North America coming in second just ahead of third place Japan.
This week we’re anticipating the upcoming 35th anniversary of seminal JRPG Dragon Quest by taking a look back at the original Famicom / NES release. Europe sits this one out as, somewhat remarkably, this original game didn’t get an official European release on a Nintendo console until the Switch version in 2019.
Ready to slay? Onwards!
Renamed Dragon Warrior in North America to avoid issues with an existing property, the epic NA cover provides an epic logo with an epic warrior fighting an epic dragon in a most epic manner. Someone turned the bloom up to Max here — the sword is glinting, as is the armour and the bicep and the slimy-looking dragon skin, too. It also uses nearly every colour in the palette.
Big flowing cape? Floating castle in the background? Little inverted triangles on the ‘A’s of the classy serif-ed title type? A stirring tagline calling you to self-serious adventure?…
We think this might be an RPG.
The Japanese cover features most of the same elements as its North American cousin, but the cartoon stylings here make it appear more fun and approachable than its western counterpart. Sure, the dragon’s goofy-lookin’, and that ponytail coming out the back of the hero’s helmet is a bit sus, but we know which game we’d rather play.
The Japanese box has the added benefit of bearing the classic DQ logo, too, with a dragon coming out of the ‘D’ breathing a fiery Japanese ‘Dragon Quest’, no less. The logo gets a little lost due to its colouring, perhaps, but we like everything else about this cover. If this one doesn’t win, you’re all quite mad.
So, you’ve seen the options, but are you a Quest-er or a Warrior…, err,
Like a Dragon Quest or two? Help us rank all the mainline games by rating your favourites in our Nintendo Life Dragon Quest poll, and we’ll see you next time for another Box Art Brawl.