About Mystery Dungeon

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Mystery Dungeon Franchise
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Developer(s) Spike Chunsoft (formerly Chunsoft), Square Enix (formerly SquareSoft), Matrix Software, Cavia, Neverland, h.a.n.d., Arika
Publisher(s) Spike Chunsoft (formerly Chunsoft and Spike), Square Enix (formerly SquareSoft and Enix), Nintendo, The Pokémon Company, Sega, Atlus, Aksys Games, Namco, SoftBank Creative, Konami
Platform(s) Super Famicom, Nintendo 64, Nintendo Wii, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 4, Bandai WonderSwan, Sega Dreamcast, Microsoft Windows, Mobile Phones, Smartphones
Genre(s) Roguelike, Role-playing Game
Mode(s) Single player, Multiplayer Co-op, Multiplayer Competitive
Engine Various
Version Various
Release date(s)
WW September 13, 1993 - December 2, 2020
Additional info
System requirements
Varied by game and platform.
Release years for new titles
1993 Torneko's Great Adventure: Mystery Dungeon
1995 Mystery Dungeon 2: Shiren the Wanderer
1996 BS Shiren the Wanderer: Save Surala
Shiren the Wanderer GB: Moonlight-Village Monster
1997 Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon
1998 Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon 2
1999 Torneko: The Last Hope
2000 Shiren the Wanderer 2: Demon Invasion! Shiren Castle!
2001 Shiren the Wanderer GB2: Magic Castle of the Desert
2002 Shiren the Wanderer Side Story: Female Swordsman Asuka Arrives!
Torneko's Great Adventure 3: Mystery Dungeon
2004 The Nightmare of Druaga: Mystery Dungeon
TwinBee Dungeon
Mobile Suit Gundam: Mystery Dungeon
2005 Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Red & Blue Rescue Team
2006 Dragon Quest: Young Yangus and the Mysterious Dungeon
2007 Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time & Darkness
2008 Shiren the Wanderer 3: The Sleeping Princess of the Karakuri Mansion
2009 Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Adventure Squad
2010 Shiren the Wanderer 4: The Eye of God and the Devil's Navel
Shiren the Wanderer 5: The Fortune Tower and the Dice of Fate
2011 Shiren the Wanderer: The Rainbow Labyrinth
2012 Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity
2015 Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon
Etrian Mystery Dungeon
Mystery Chronicle: One Way Heroics
2017 Etrian Mystery Dungeon 2
2019 Chocobo's Mystery Dungeon: Every Buddy!
2020 Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX
Shiren the Wanderer: The Tower of Fortune and the Dice of Fate

The Mystery Dungeon franchise is a long running series of roguelikes created originally by Chunsoft (later Spike Chunsoft), a Japanese developer company, in 1993. Eventually growing to include other developers and publishers, the series now spans multiple console generations, platforms and uses both licensed and original characters.

About the franchise[edit | edit source]

Origins[edit | edit source]

Koichi Nakamura, founder of Chunsoft and co-creator of the Dragon Quest series, conceived the series as Chunsoft's first original work.[1] After the launch of the Super Famicom and finishing development for Dragon Quest V, they ceased working on the Dragon Quest series and began working on the Mystery Dungeon series.[1] The series was based on the game Rogue, which has spawned its own genre called roguelike.[1] For a week, Nakamura played Rogue at the recommendation of a staff member, trying to understand the game's appeal, and concluded the high degree of challenge made the game very rewarding.[1]

Nakamura explained that the appeal of the Mystery Dungeon series is that every game is different and that players skills are constantly being challenged, which helps the player feel deeply involved.[1] Seiichiro Nagahata, who supervised and planned the development of Shiren the Wanderer DS, explained that the Mystery Dungeon series is all about "tension" and "reasoning".[2]

Dragon Quest Mystery Dungeon titles[edit | edit source]

See also the page: Dragon Quest Mystery Dungeon

The Mystery Dungeon franchise began with Torneko's Great Adventure: Mystery Dungeon, serving as a spin-off of Dragon Quest Ⅳ: Chapters of the Chosen. It is the first Mystery Dungeon title to be a crossover with another series, being the Dragon Quest franchise. The title are primarily centered around Torneko, the weapon merchant first met in Dragon Quest Ⅳ, settling after the event of said game. With the success of Torneko's Great Adventure in Japan and the roguelike genre in consoles, the Mystery Dungeon series would be created.

Other characters other than Torneko would become playable throughout the titles: Torneko's own son Tipper in Torneko's Great Adventure 3: Mystery Dungeon and Young Yangus in the spin-off and prequel of Dragon Quest Ⅷ: Journey of the Cursed King, Dragon Quest: Young Yangus and the Mysterious Dungeon.

As of now, only World of Dragon Warrior: Torneko: The Last Hope was able to receive an official translation and port in North America. The other games have remained in Japan due to the series' popularity in Japan, being more important than overseas between the 90's and the early 2000's.

Shiren the Wanderer titles[edit | edit source]

See also the page: Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer (series)

The naming and numbering convention of Shiren the Wanderer games is complex due to the fact that the company has made many games (all derived upon and building upon the "Mystery Dungeon" roguelike framework) on various platforms and localized for various markets over the course of decades. For example, what players today call "Shiren 1" (the first game featuring the character Shiren) was in fact originally called "Mystery Dungeon 2", as it was the second game using the Mystery Dungeon framework. Some games were apparently numbered based on their original release platform plus their release sequence on that platform while others originally had unique titles with no numbers featured. Then, over the course of time, some but not all of these games were ported to other platforms or localized into English and sold in other markets, often under a new name as the original name or number wouldn't have made much sense in the new market. Games that were released in English were often released many years after their initial Japanese releases, even though one or more newer games in the series had already been released in Japan in the intervening period. Games that were re-released on other platforms also sometimes included additional content that was not part of the first release, or that was optional downloadable content (DLC) for the first release. Fortunately for the English-speaking audience, the company seems to have bundled all DLC whenever they have localized a game into English.

To date, only three Shiren games have been officially localized into English. Note that none of the English titles uses the same numbering system as the original Japanese titles did. But lack of officially localized releases has not stopped some hardcore English-speaking fans of the series from playing other games in the series, either via imported games and struggling to play in a foreign language or via hacks, mods and player translations. Consequently, this site has more complete information for games that were officially released in English but also has content for other games in the series as well.

The name or numbering convention is so complex that English-speaking fans of the series usually use shorthand names or nicknames for the games in the series. Unfortunately, there is no single canonical short name for each game used by all players, as different audiences favored different short names based on which release or re-release they were playing. For convenience, this site uses short names based on the original release title to the greatest extent possible, otherwise the short name is derived from the original release platform plus the sequence on that platform.

Chocobo's Mystery Dungeon titles[edit | edit source]

See also the page: Chocobo's Mystery Dungeon

The Chocobo's Mystery Dungeon series is fully developed and published by Squaresoft, then Square Enix for the third installment. Even though few developers from Chunsoft worked in the two early games, including Nakamura as a supervisor.

As of now, only the original Chocobo's Mystery Dungeon for the PlayStation and WonderSwan does not have an official translation or port in the west.

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon titles[edit | edit source]

See also the page: Pokémon Mystery Dungeon

The Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series is published by Nintendo and co-developed by The Pokémon Company. It is currently the most popular sub-series worldwide.

As of now, only the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Adventure Squad titles do not have an official translation or port in the west.

Etrian Mystery Dungeon titles[edit | edit source]

See also the page: Etrian Mystery Dungeon (series)

The Etrian Mystery Dungeon duology is co-developed and published by Atlus.

As of now, only Etrian Mystery Dungeon 2 does not have an official translation or port in the west.

Individual Mystery Dungeon titles[edit | edit source]

There were also a few titles who only got one installment. Namco's The Tower of Druaga, Konami's TwinBee and Bandai's Gundam franchises were developed with help coming from Chunsoft.

Reception and popularity[edit | edit source]

See also: Mystery Dungeon references in other media.

The series can be seen as moderately popular in Japan whereas the overseas community has a smaller following of dedicated fans.

External Sources[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 {{cite web |url=http://www.1up.com/features/koichi-nakamura-interview-console-rpg |date=August 6, 2012 |title=Koichi Nakamura Interview: On the Birth of the Console RPG |first=Jeremy |last=Parish |accessdate=April 4, 2013 |publisher=[[1UP.coPokémon Mystery Dungeon] |archiveurl=https://www.webcitation.org/6O7eoBomV?url=http://www.1up.com/features/koichi-nakamura-interview-console-rpg |archivedate=2014-03-16 |url-status=dead }}
  2. Ramon Aranda (February 27, 2008). Chunsoft Developer Speaks on the newest Pokemon Adventure. 411mania.com. Archived from the original on 2011-09-25. Retrieved on April 4, 2013.

[[Category:ReworPokémon Mystery Dungeon]