Dragon Quest 7
Image: Square Enix

There's a line of thought that suggests RPGs were a key part of Sony's success with the PS1, and that's certainly true when you think of the Japanese market.

The fact that Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest were both on PlayStation ensured plenty of interest from Japanese gamers, and releases like Final Fantasy VII achieved global fame, further solidifying Sony's stranglehold on the console market in the '90s.

Interestingly, it seems that Sega – whose Saturn console was in direct competition with the PS1 – tried to tip the balance somewhat by creating a demo of Enix's Dragon Quest for the 32-bit console. This is something that Yuji Naka mentioned some time ago, but former Sega staffer Yumiko Miyabe – who served as art director on the Space Channel 5 series and also has NiGHTS, Clockwork Knight and Panzer Dragoon Saga on her CV – has confirmed its existence on social media.

According to Google Translate, this is what Miyabe said:

At the time, it was said to be a top secret within the company, but when I googled it, it was already an article, so I thought I'd write about it just for today. A team of several people made a demo of Dragon Quest for the Sega Saturn version, and I also worked on it. I did it.

We assume that the demo was intended to prove to Enix the console's suitability when it came to hosting an epic RPG of Dragon Quest's stature, but it would appear that the gamble didn't quite pay off.

However, Enix did support Saturn with four titles – Nanatsu Kaze no Shima Monogatari (1997), Ninpen Manmaru (1997), Riven: The Sequel to Myst (1998) and Nihon Daihyou Team no Kantoku ni Narou! Sekaihatsu, Soccer RPG (1998) – during its lifespan.

The main artist of the Dragon Quest series, Akira Toriyama, sadly passed away last week.