Comic 1384 - Dragon Quest x Rain

27th May 2021, 7:53 AM in Special
Dragon Quest x Rain
Average Rating: 5 (2 votes)
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Author Notes:

Jocelyn 27th May 2021, 7:53 AM edit delete
Jocelyn
In case you were wondering where my current avatar came from. XD

Anyway, happy 35th anniversary to the Dragon Quest series, my favorite media franchise of all time, and a huge inspiration for so much of what I do. And yes, believe it or not, that includes Rain! So I thought it'd make for a fun crossover (that, in hindsight, I'm genuinely surprised never happened before now).

I drew this as a celebration for the whole series on its anniversary, but the designs (and background) are all largely from DQ3, with each of the kids representing the nine classes in the game. Incidentally, I drew this earlier in the week, and I had no idea at the time that Dragon Quest 3 HD 2D Remake was going to be announced. I really just picked the costumes because it's my favorite entry in the series (so, you know I'm hype for this remake).

Anyway, from left to right, we have:
Ky, as a thief
Chanel, as a merchant
Maria, as a martial artist
Rudy, as a goofoff
Puddle, as a regular bunny (but with a Slime on his head)
Emily, as a sage
Rain, as the hero
Gavin, as a warrior
Ana, as a priest
Ryan, as a mage

***

And here's some fun DQ/Rain facts for you:
- In 2005 or so (I think) when I was hyping for the upcoming release of Dragon Quest 8 for the PS2, there was a community developed for it called the "Slime Knights," which offered information and contests and all kinds of neat stuff. I don't remember full details because it was forever ago, but they had one contest where members were to draw what they would want for a protagonist in a game if it were up to them. I submitted this picture (minus Maria) of the original fantasy-style Rain with her backstory (although I think I may have left out mention of the trans aspects at that time). I did not win that contest, but as I recall, I did get a lot of votes and came pretty close. And unless I'm mistaken, that was actually the first time Rain had ever made an appearance on the internet. In a fan contest for a commercial game of all places. XD

- Remember how Rain received a Yuu Us from her brother on Christmas, but then I never really did anything with it past that arc besides her holding the gamepad occasionally in home scenes? Part of the reason I gave Rain the console, is because I was so convinced Dragon Quest 10 (the MMO one) would finally be localized for the west on Wii U. I had this whole arc in mind where Rain would meet another trans person in "Wyrm Adventure 10". Rain and the other kid would never meet face-to-face, but they'd interact and share stories and be valuable supports for each other. This was all cut from the story when that one game never got localized (and sadly, as last night confirmed, still isn't almost nine years later). The online kid's role got repurposed a little and distributed to other characters instead. (That said, I still like this whole idea, so I may keep Wyrm Adventure 10 in my back pocket for another future story someday.)

- Not specifically Rain-related, but Dragon Quest 3 did help me see my trans identity in something long before I had the words for it. If you know me, you might've heard my story that I've always known I was trans from my earliest memory at age 3-4, but that I thought I was the only one, and I was afraid to tell anyone. But DQ3 was the first RPG I ever played that allowed you to choose the protagonist's gender. And of course, super closeted 7-8 year old Jocelyn chose "female". However, I think this feature was just too complex for the original game back in the 80s. The sprites for the male and female protagonists are 100% identical, and every single NPC I remember still calls you "boy", "lad", "son" and all manner of male pronouns and titles. If you picked to play female, the ONLY ways you even know you're playing a female character is through the status screen (which labels you as such) and the narration (for example, "Jocelyn searches the area around her feet").

Say what you will, but this was actually pretty fascinating to me. Whereas developers from way back in the day failed to adequately portray the experience of playing a straightforward cis female hero, they did an excellent job of accidentally portraying the experience of playing a character I identified very closely with. I mean, here we have a character who - through self-perception (status screen) and inner monologue (narration) - refers to herself as a woman. But her appearance is still masculine, and she is forced to listen to all the people in her life refer to her as a boy all the time. It puts a sad twist on what was originally a pretty simplistic and straightforward story, but it was very validating for me. It would be decades before I'd realize why that meant so much to me, though.

(All that said, fortunately, the gender discrepancies were fixed in all the remakes. Surely, including the upcoming HD 2D one. This was just an odd quirk of the NES version, specifically.)

***

Anyway, I've rambled more than enough. If you're still reading, first off, thanks for listening to me gush about things I love. And second, go play Dragon Quest. DQ11S, in particular, is an excellent place to start and it's available on every modern console and PC.

And lastly, I hope everybody has a gooreat day. ^_^
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Comments:

Lucia 27th May 2021, 6:49 PM edit delete reply
I definitely would have identified with the DQ10-ish storyline, I interact with most of the trans friends in my life through discord and Final Fantasy XIV.
SneakyPaws 27th May 2021, 8:19 PM edit delete reply
Ok, this is awesome af. I adore Dragon Quest. I'm still yet to play many of the games, unfortunately, but plan to remedy that when I'm able. DQ VIII was my first and I fell in love.
Laser Frog 27th May 2021, 9:42 PM edit delete reply
Oh man, I love Dragon Quest. I remember playing the original on the NES, back when it was called Dragon Warrior in the US because of copyright issues. I think 3 just edges out 4 as my favorite of the entire series. It blew my little mind when I realized the world map was literally Earth but warped a little bit.
Oh, and I have the Town music stuck in my head now.
Drake Zephyr 27th May 2021, 10:42 PM edit delete reply
Drake Zephyr
Maria looks like a Dragon Ball reference.
Jocelyn 28th May 2021, 4:31 AM edit delete reply
Jocelyn
@Drake Zephyr

The character designer for Dragon Quest actually is also the creator of Dragon Ball. So design similarities between the two are not uncommon.
Tepro 27th May 2021, 11:01 PM edit delete reply
These are all very cute!
Liv A La Mode 29th May 2021, 4:51 PM edit delete reply
I've been following this comic for about a year now and I just got in to DQ (XI) a month ago and it's just really cool to see that you are also a fan!
Tohru 31st May 2021, 4:01 PM edit delete reply
Is that berserker rain?? Some powerful energy there
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