|Born||January 6, 1954|
Sumoto, Hyōgo, Japan
|Other names||Yuuji Horii|
|Alma mater||Waseda University|
|Occupation||Video game designer, writer, author|
|Known for||Creator of Dragon Quest|
|Notable work||The Portopia Serial Murder Case|
Dragon Quest series
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, supervising and writing the scenario for Chrono Trigger, as well as the first visual novel adventure game Portopia Serial Murder Case.
Horii was born on January 6, 1954, 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.
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. 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, as well as Wizardry and Ultima.
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, influenced by his work on Portopia.
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, 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.
|1983||Love Match Tennis||Game design, programmer|
|The Portopia Serial Murder Case||Game design, programmer, scenario|
|1984||Okhotsk ni Kiyu: Hokkaido Rensa Satsujin Jiken [ja]||Game design, scenario|
|1985||Karuizawa Yūkai Annai||Game design, programmer, scenario|
|1986||Dragon Quest||Game design, scenario|
|1987||Dragon Quest II|
|1988||Dragon Quest III|
|1990||Dragon Quest IV|
|1991||Itadaki Street: Watashi no Omise ni Yottette||Game design|
|Famicom Jump II: Saikyō no Shichinin||Scenario supervisor|
|1992||Dragon Quest V||Game design, scenario|
|1994||Itadaki Street 2||Game design|
|Dragon Quest VI||Game design, scenario|
|1998||Itadaki Street: Gorgeous King|
|Dragon Quest Monsters||Executive director, game design, scenario|
|2000||Dragon Quest VII||Game design, scenario|
|2001||Dragon Quest Monsters 2||Executive director, game design, scenario|
|2002||Itadaki Street 3||Original planning supervisor|
|2003||Dragon Quest Monsters: Caravan Heart||Executive producer|
|Slime Mori Mori Dragon Quest|
|2004||Dragon Quest VIII||Game design, scenario|
|Itadaki Street Special||Game design|
|2005||Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime||Executive producer|
|2006||Itadaki Street Portable||Game design|
|Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker||General director, game design, scenario|
|2007||Itadaki Street DS||Game design|
|Dragon Quest Swords||General director, game design, scenario|
|2009||Dragon Quest IX||Game design, scenario|
|2010||Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 2||General director|
|2011||Slime Mori Mori Dragon Quest 3||Executive director|
|Fortune Street||Game design|
|2012||Dragon Quest X||Game design, scenario|
|2015||Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree's Woe and the Blight Below||General director|
|Dragon Quest of the Stars|
|2016||Dragon Quest Builders|
|Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 3|
|Dragon Quest Heroes II|
|2017||Dragon Quest XI||Game design, scenario|
|2018||Dragon Quest Builders 2||General director|
|Super Smash Bros. Ultimate||Original game supervisor|
|2019||Dragon Quest Walk||General director|
|TBA||Dragon Quest XII||Game design, scenario|
In 2009, Horii received a special award at Computer Entertainment Supplier's Association Developers Conference for his work on the Dragon Quest franchise. Horii received a lifetime achievement award at the 2022 Game Developers Conference for his work on Dragon Quest and Chrono Trigger.
- "Square Enix Co., Ltd. 2004 Annual Report" (PDF). Square Enix. March 31, 2004. p. 70. Retrieved September 18, 2006.
- Nintendo Power November 2007. Future US, Inc. 2007. pp. 77–80.
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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.
- "East and West, Warrior and Quest: A Dragon Quest Retrospective". 1UP.com. Retrieved July 5, 2011.
- "Yuji Horii". Retro Gamer. Imagine Publishing (97): 72–73. 2011.
- "Top 100 Game Creators of All Time". IGN. Archived from the original on March 5, 2009. Retrieved June 25, 2012.
- Graft, Kris (September 4, 2009). "Dragon Quest Creator Yuji Hori Headlines Awards". Gamasutra. Retrieved February 14, 2011.
- Lada, Jenni (March 24, 2022). "Dragon Quest Creator Yuji Horii Gets GDC 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award". Siliconera. Retrieved March 24, 2022.