Mystery Dungeon Wiki/About the franchise

The MDFW - Documenting Mystery Dungeon since 2008.
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During the 1990s, the computer role-playing game genre became famous in Japan due to the successful hit of the Dragon Quest series. However, most roguelike games that were published for PC used to not have a Japanese translation, and therefore, the genre's recognition remained low as a result. While following the basic game system of roguelike games, other companies tried to bring the genre into a home console. Two of the earliest-known attempts were Sega's Fatal Labyrinth and Dragon Crystal, both games released in 1990, but which lacked the depth of a typical computer-based roguelike. Neither proved to be successful games.

Koichi Nakamura, founder of Chunsoft and one of the creators of the Dragon Quest series, conceived this series as Chunsoft's first original work even if the company have self published games prior, for example Otogirisō. 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. The series was based on 1980's video game Rogue, which has spawned its own genre called roguelike. 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. Torneko's Great Adventure: Mystery Dungeon was published in 1993 and became the first video game to bear the "Mystery Dungeon" moniker. Though it sold less than the series' mainline titles, it did not stop the company to work on an indirect sequel. Two years later in 1995, Mystery Dungeon 2: Shiren the Wanderer was released as their second work, with a new world setting. [Read more...]