Yuji Horii

Yuji Horii (堀井 雄二, Horii Yūji) (also written as Yuuji Horii) (born January 6, 1954 in Awaji Island, Japan) 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]

Yuji Horii
堀井 雄二

(1954-01-06) January 6, 1954
Other namesYuuji Horii
EducationWaseda University
OccupationVideo game designer, writer, author
Known forCreator of Dragon Quest series
Notable work
Dragon Quest series


Horii 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 TitleOriginal platform(s)Scenario writerDesignProducerOther
1983 Love Match Tennis NEC PC-6001-Y-
The Portopia Serial Murder Case YY-
1984 Okhotsk ni Kiyu: Hokkaido Rensa Satsujin Jiken NEC PC-8801Y---
1985 Karuizawa Yūkai Annai Y---
1986 Dragon Quest NESY Y--
1987 Dragon Quest II YY--
1988 Dragon Quest III YY--
1990 Dragon Quest IV YY--
1991 Famicom Jump II Y--Supervisor
Itadaki Street: Watashi no Omise ni Yottette -Y--
1992 Dragon Quest V Super NESYY--
1994 Itadaki Street 2 -Y--
1995 Dragon Quest VI YY--
Chrono Trigger Y--Supervisor
1998 Dragon Quest Monsters Game Boy ColorYY-Executive director
1998 Itadaki Street: Gorgeous King PlayStation-Y--
1999 Torneko: The Last Hope Y---
2000 Dragon Quest VII YY-Scenario director
2001 Dragon Quest Monsters 2 Game Boy ColorYY-Executive director
2002 Itadaki Street 3 PlayStation 2-Y--
2003 Dragon Quest Monsters: Caravan Heart Game Boy AdvanceYY-Executive director
2004 Dragon Quest VIII PlayStation 2YY--
Itadaki Street Special PlayStation 2-Y--
2005 Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime Nintendo DS---Executive producer
2006 Itadaki Street Portable PlayStation Portable-Y--
Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker Nintendo DS-YY-
Itadaki Street DS -Y--
2007 Dragon Quest Swords Wii-Y--
2009 Dragon Quest IX Nintendo DSYY--
2010 Itadaki Street Mobile Mobile phone-Y--
2011 Fortune Street Wii-Y--
Slime MoriMori Dragon Quest 3 Nintendo 3DS---Executive producer
2012 Dragon Quest X Wii, Wii UYY-General director
2015 Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree's Woe and the Blight Below PlayStation 3---
2016 Dragon Quest Heroes II PlayStation 3---
2017 Dragon Quest XI Nintendo 3DS (Only in Japan), Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4YY--


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. 2004-03-31. p. 70. Retrieved 2006-09-18.
  1. Nintendo Power November 2007. Future US, Inc. 2007. pp. 77–80.
  2. Szczepaniak, John (February 2011). "Portopia Renzoku Satsujin Jiken". Retro Gamer. Retrieved 2011-03-16. (Reprinted at Szczepaniak, John. "Retro Gamer 85". Hardcore Gaming 101. Retrieved 2011-03-16.)
  3. Kasavin, Greg (2005-03-21). ""Everything is Possible": Inside the Minds of Gaming's Master Storytellers". GameSpot. CNET Networks. p. 2. Retrieved 2007-08-15.
  4. Fujii, Daiji (2003). "Entrepreneurial Choices of Strategic Options in Japan's RPG Development" (PDF). p. 13. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-12-30. Retrieved 2006-08-12.
  5. "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 (2009-09-04). "CEDEC 09: Dragon Quest Creator Yuji Hori Headlines Awards". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2011-02-14.
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