Hero Masahiro Sakurai Yuji Horii Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Square Enix Dragon Quest XI S

A livestream occurred in Japan today for the launch of Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age Definitive Edition. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate director Masahiro Sakurai joined Square Enix staff including Dragon Quest creator Yuji Horii to talk about how Hero wound up in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, as well as their respective philosophies to game development. Siliconera provides a helpful translation of the highlights.

Square Enix was quickly convinced to offer the Hero to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Originally, Masahiro Sakurai didn’t think it was possible for Dragon Quest to come to Super Smash Bros., but Nintendo believed there was a chance it could happen. So Sakurai made a presentation to Square Enix, really hoping to get Hero for Ultimate but being open to other characters, such as monsters, to appear instead.

Much to his surprise, Square Enix agreed to allow Hero pretty quickly, “partially because of Sakurai’s passion, and partially because the ‘best of’ element in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was quite similar to that of Dragon Quest XI S.” Yuji Horii acknowledged that it would have been difficult in the past to allow Hero to battle other heroes, but the rise of games like Dragon Quest Rivals (Japanese digital card game) has normalized such things.

Initially, Eleven and Erdrick were the only intended two heroes to be in Ultimate, but Horii said it would be okay to make it four, so Eight and Four were ultimately chosen for various reasons.

Square Enix Dragon Quest XI livestream Masahiro Sakurai Hero

Sakurai and Horii’s approaches to game design

Sakurai and Horii were asked what it really means to be a game designer. To Sakurai, it means being able to put together intangible and subjective elements and creating something fun out of them. To Horii, “game designer” is simply a synonym for “game creator.” However, when it comes to what they enjoy doing as designers, both creators particularly enjoy playing with individual pieces of game data — and getting things to work just right.

Lastly, Sakurai and Horii got to ask each other a question. Sakurai asked Horii how he goes about outdoing the previous Dragon Quest game each time he makes a new one, to which Horii explained that he simply adds up all the new ideas he’s accumulated. His ideas just end up adding up to a large scale. Meanwhile, Horii playfully asked Sakurai if he ever sheds his stoic persona and lets loose to have fun. In response, Sakurai insisted he is not that serious and that he wrote all the jokes between Pit and Palutena in Kid Icarus: Uprising.

For even more nitty-gritty details of the conversation, check out Siliconera’s full breakdown. There’s some fun trivia in there.


John Friscia
Head Copy Editor for Enthusiast Gaming. I'm a writer who loves Super Nintendo and Japanese role-playing games to an impractical degree. I really miss living in South Korea.


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