What makes DRAGON QUEST XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Definitive Edition so definitive?

The updated RPG is full of enhancements, including revamped mechanics, quality of life updates and even entirely new story content!
By Duncan Heaney

As we’re sure you saw, DRAGON QUEST XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Definitive Edition is coming to Xbox One consoles, PS4 and PC on December 4, 2020.

The game comes with a host of features that enhance and expand it in some seriously dramatic ways.

Here are just a few reasons why this ‘Definitive Edition’ is truly worthy of the name.

There are new side stories for companions

DRAGON QUEST XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age has some of the most charming characters of any RPG, and the Definitive Edition lets you spend even more time with them. This is a very good thing.

There are new side stories for the companions you meet on your journey, and all of them are meaty, meaningful additions to the overall adventure.

What’s particularly great about these stories is how different they all are. Without wishing to get into spoilers, each one feels very distinct and provides a wonderful insight into who these heroes are and what makes them tick.

I’m pretty sure everyone will find their favorites. For example, I personally adore the new segment focusing on the eternally upbeat Sylvando, but I’ve spoken to others here at Square Enix HQ who can’t stop singing the praises of Erik’s adventure.

Basically, every single tale is brilliant and memorable and absolutely worth experiencing - even if you’ve played the original release.

You can play the entire game in 2D mode

DRAGON QUEST XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Definitive Edition features beautiful 3D visuals that are bursting with detail color. But perhaps you prefer to keep things old-school.vIf that’s the case, you can play the entire game in a retro-style 2D mode.

If you’re a long-term DRAGON QUEST fan, you’ll feel instantly at home with these stunning sprites and mechanics. It even features the traditional DRAGON QUEST battle system - a fantastic touch.

They’re both great ways to play - but if you struggling to decide which to go with, why not both? At any church or save spot, you can restart a chapter and switch to the other graphical style.

Visit the 16-bit World of Tickington

Early on in this enhanced adventure, you’ll get an opportunity to visit Tickington.

This optional area lets you jump into locations from the previous ten mainline DRAGON QUEST games, all recreated with beautiful 16-bit 2D art. Key pieces from the games’ soundtracks have also been gloriously recreated in an 8-bit style to match the aesthetic - it’s a real nostalgic treat for the eyes and ears.

It’s a revelation to see some of these classic locations on an HD display - they look genuinely fantastic. What’s even better is what you do there - each location features characters to talk to, side quests to complete and monsters to battle.

For fans, it’s nostalgia overload. For those new to the series, it’s an enormously entertaining introduction to the storied history of the DRAGON QUEST series.

You can play with a Japanese voice track

We know some fans like to play games with the Japanese voices. You couldn’t do this in the original release of DRAGON QUEST XI Echoes of an Elusive Age for a very specific reason - there weren’t any!

The original Japanese version of the game didn’t include any voice acting, but that’s changed for this latest release. You can now play the entire adventure with a new Japanese audio track.

It has orchestrated music

This edition of the game now features a fully orchestrated soundtrack as standard, which makes these timeless tunes sound richer and fuller than ever before.

That said, if you prefer the more old-school soundtrack from the original release of DRAGON QUEST XI, you’re covered too. You can switch between the new orchestrated music and the original synthesized tracks at any time by simply popping into the menus.

There’s a new ultra-fast battle setting

A new ultra-fast battle option makes fights fly by in the blink of an eye. This is very useful when you’re trying for rare item drops from weak foes, or just want to get back to the exploration quickly.

Here’s a pro tip though - don’t use it for boss battles. Information comes and goes extremely quickly, and you may find yourself struggling to react and adapt to the right strategy. Fortunately, you can change the battle speed at any time - even mid-fight.

Shutterbugs rejoice - there’s a photo mode!

The environments in DRAGON QUEST XI S are pretty as a picture - and now you can make your own.

The game features a new photo mode that lets you capture your greatest moments for posterity. You can rearrange characters, pose them to your liking, fiddle with the angles and more.

We’re excited to see what you all come up with - particularly considering how imaginative you’ve been with DRAGON QUEST BUILDERS 2!

Cosmetic-only options mean you can change up your look at any time

Some equipment sets in DRAGON QUEST XI S change the appearance of your party members.

In this new edition of the game, once you have collected this image-altering armor, you can choose to display it whenever you want - even if it’s not equipped.

That means that if you find gear with better stats, you don’t have to give up your favorite threads. You can rock that look while enjoying all the benefits of that more effective equipment.

Crafting is also faster and more convenient

The Fun Size Forge is an important tool in DRAGON QUEST XI S. It lets you combine items you find in the world to create powerful weapons, armors and more.

Not only is crafting useful, it also involves a fun minigame that’s surprisingly deep and endlessly compelling. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself crafting more than you need just to keep doing it.

In the original game, you could only craft at certain locations, but for the new Definitive Edition, you can access the Fun Size Forge at any time. That makes it much easier to keep your characters equipped with top-notch gear.

A new quick command menu helps keep things moving

A push of a button brings up a new Quick Commands menu that’s full of useful functions. These include the ability to summon your horse, access the Fun Size Forge, and use the Zoom spell to instantly teleport to any town or campsite.

In news that will thrill completionists, there’s also a new ability for one of your allies that tells you how many chests are in an area. That’s another function instantly accessible from the quick menu.

It’s another quality of life improvement that sounds small on paper, but has a dramatic impact on the flow of the game.

DRAGON QUEST XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Definitive Edition releases December 4, 2020 for PS4, Xbox One and PC. It will also be available on Xbox One via Game Pass.

To stay up to date with news and information about the game, visit the DRAGON QUEST XI S website, or follow the team on social media: