Yuji Horii

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Yuji Horii
Yuji Horii (2).jpg
堀井 雄二

(1954-01-06) January 6, 1954 (age 67)
Other namesYuuji Horii
EducationWaseda University
OccupationVideo game designer, writer, author
Known forCreator of Dragon Quest
Notable work
The Portopia Serial Murder Case
Dragon Quest series
Chrono Trigger

Yuji Horii (堀井 雄二, Horii Yūji) (also written as Yuuji Horii; born January 6, 1954) is a Japanese video game designer and scenario writer best known as the creator of the Dragon Quest series of role-playing games,[1] supervising and writing the scenario for Chrono Trigger, as well as the first visual novel adventure game Portopia Serial Murder Case.[2][3]


Horii was born in Awaji Island, Japan. He graduated from Waseda University's Department of Literature. He also worked as a freelance writer for newspapers, comics, and magazines, including the Famicom Shinken video games column that ran in Weekly Shōnen Jump from 1985 to 1988.[4]

He then entered in an Enix-sponsored game programming contest, where he placed with Love Match Tennis, a tennis video game, motivating him to become a video game designer.

Horii then created The Portopia Serial Murder Case, a game that later inspired Hideo Kojima (of Metal Gear fame) to enter the video game industry.[2][3] It is the first part of the Yuuji Horii Mysteries trilogy, along with its successors Okhotsk ni Kiyu: Hokkaido Rensa Satsujin (1984) and Karuizawa Yūkai Annai (1985).

After creating several more visual novel adventure games, Horii went on to create Dragon Quest, which is said to have created the blueprint for Japanese console role-playing games, taking inspiration from Portopia,[5] as well as Wizardry[5] and Ultima.[1]

He was a fan of Apple PC role-playing games and was motivated to create Dragon Quest for ordinary gamers, who found such games difficult, and thus he worked on an intuitive control system,[6] influenced by his work on Portopia.[5]

His works also include the Itadaki Street series. Horii was also a supervisor of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System game, Chrono Trigger, which had multiple game endings, with Horii appearing in one of the endings with the game development staff.

Horii currently heads his own production company, Armor Project, a company that has an exclusive production contract with Square Enix,[7] a contract established with Enix before the company merged with Square. He is on the selection committee for the annual Super Dash Novel Rookie of the Year Award.


Year Title Original platform(s) Scenario writer Design Producer Other Ref.
1983 Love Match Tennis NEC PC-6001 - Green tickY -
The Portopia Serial Murder Case Green tickY Green tickY -
1984 Okhotsk ni Kiyu: Hokkaido Rensa Satsujin Jiken [ja] NEC PC-8801 Green tickY - - -
1985 Karuizawa Yūkai Annai Green tickY - - -
1986 Dragon Quest NES Green tickY Green tickY - -
1987 Dragon Quest II Green tickY Green tickY - -
1988 Dragon Quest III Green tickY Green tickY - -
1990 Dragon Quest IV Green tickY Green tickY - -
1991 Itadaki Street: Watashi no Omise ni Yottette - Green tickY - -
Famicom Jump II: Saikyō no Shichinin Green tickY - - Supervisor
1992 Dragon Quest V Super NES Green tickY Green tickY - -
1994 Itadaki Street 2 - Green tickY - -
1995 Dragon Quest VI Green tickY Green tickY - -
Chrono Trigger Green tickY - - Supervisor
1998 Dragon Quest Monsters Game Boy Color Green tickY Green tickY - Executive director
1998 Itadaki Street: Gorgeous King PlayStation - Green tickY - -
1999 Torneko: The Last Hope Green tickY - - -
2000 Dragon Quest VII Green tickY Green tickY - Scenario director
2001 Dragon Quest Monsters 2 Game Boy Color Green tickY Green tickY - Executive director
2002 Itadaki Street 3 PlayStation 2 - Green tickY - -
2003 Dragon Quest Monsters: Caravan Heart Game Boy Advance Green tickY Green tickY - Executive director
2004 Dragon Quest VIII PlayStation 2 Green tickY Green tickY - -
Itadaki Street Special PlayStation 2 - Green tickY - -
2005 Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime Nintendo DS - - - Executive producer
2006 Itadaki Street Portable PlayStation Portable - Green tickY - -
Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker Nintendo DS Green tickY Green tickY - General Director
Itadaki Street DS - Green tickY - -
2007 Dragon Quest Swords Wii - Green tickY - -
2009 Dragon Quest IX Nintendo DS Green tickY Green tickY - -
2010 Itadaki Street Mobile Mobile phone - Green tickY - -
2011 Fortune Street Wii - Green tickY - -
Slime MoriMori Dragon Quest 3 Nintendo 3DS - - - Executive producer
2012 Dragon Quest X Wii, Wii U Green tickY Green tickY - General director
2015 Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree's Woe and the Blight Below PlayStation 3 - - - General director
Dragon Quest of the Stars iOS, Android - - - General director
2016 Dragon Quest Heroes II PlayStation 3 - - - General director
2017 Dragon Quest XI Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Switch, PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 Green tickY Green tickY - -
2018 Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Nintendo Switch - - - Original Game Supervisor
2019 Dragon Quest Walk iOS, Android - - - General director


In 2009, Horii received a special award at Computer Entertainment Supplier's Association Developers Conference for his work on the Dragon Quest franchise.[8]


  • "Square Enix Co., Ltd. 2004 Annual Report" (PDF). Square Enix. March 31, 2004. p. 70. Retrieved September 18, 2006.
  1. ^ a b Nintendo Power November 2007. Future US, Inc. 2007. pp. 77–80.
  2. ^ a b Szczepaniak, John (February 2011). "Portopia Renzoku Satsujin Jiken". Retro Gamer. Retrieved March 16, 2011. (Reprinted at Szczepaniak, John. "Retro Gamer 85". Hardcore Gaming 101. Retrieved March 16, 2011.)
  3. ^ a b Kasavin, Greg (March 21, 2005). ""Everything is Possible": Inside the Minds of Gaming's Master Storytellers". GameSpot. CNET Networks. p. 2. Retrieved August 15, 2007.
  4. ^ Fujii, Daiji (2003). "Entrepreneurial Choices of Strategic Options in Japan's RPG Development" (PDF). p. 13. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 30, 2008. Retrieved August 12, 2006.
  5. ^ a b c "East and West, Warrior and Quest: A Dragon Quest Retrospective". 1UP.com. Retrieved July 5, 2011.
  6. ^ "Yuji Horii". Retro Gamer. Imagine Publishing (97): 72–73. 2011.
  7. ^ "Top 100 Game Creators of All Time". IGN. Archived from the original on March 5, 2009. Retrieved June 25, 2012.
  8. ^ Graft, Kris (September 4, 2009). "CEDEC 09: Dragon Quest Creator Yuji Hori Headlines Awards". Gamasutra. Retrieved February 14, 2011.

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