Dragon Quest 7’s emphasis on exploration and famously obscure puzzles owe a debt to series creator Yuuji Hori’s interest in Myst.
In a new Iwata Asks translated by Siliconera, Hori said he thought players might be tired of endlessly battling through past Dragon Quest games, and wanted to bring in the exploration and puzzle solving he enjoyed in the Myst games.
This ambition and the jump to CD media on the PSOne led to a huge world. Unfortunately, the development team’s desire to build a world you could lost in and some notoriously difficult-to-find items resulted in many players, well, getting lost.
For the 3DS remake, which just released in Japan, Square Enix has implemented a guidance and summary system; it’s testament to Dragon Quest VII’s size that this feature alone took a year to write and develop.
Dragon Quest 7 was the last of the series to be released in the US under the title Dragon Warrior. The remake has not been confirmed for western release. It uses StreetPass to augment some of the original mini-games and has other portable-friendly features; hit the link above for the full skinny.