Dragon Quest II: Luminaries of the Legendary Line was developed by Chunsoft and published by Enix in Japan in 1987. The localised English version of this game was released as Dragon Warrior II in North America in 1990.
The game’s story centres around the Prince of Midenhall, a young man and the central hero of the story, who is tasked with stopping an evil wizard called Hargon from taking over the world. The Prince sets off alone from his home town and must recruit two of his cousins to help him on his quest. As the characters roam various continents they fight countless random battles and gradually build up their power and resources – eventually acquiring a boat that allows them to sail across oceans and expand their horizons.
Dragon Quest II builds on the ground-breaking first game by having a larger party, more areas to explore, a wider variety of enemies to battle, and also the aforementioned sailing ship that provides an open-world, less linear progression.
This game is considered to be one of the most difficult games in the Dragon Quest series – especially towards the end of the game. This was mostly because the developers were having issues balancing the game and ran out of time before the game’s release (which was delayed by some months while the creators struggled with its development).
Regardless: Dragon Quest II was still a huge hit in Japan, selling over 2.4 million copies, and it remains a decent game to play to this day.
It’s been re-made a number of times, most notably for the Super Nintendo and Game Boy Color (in 1993 and 1999 respectively), and also for the Nintendo Switch in 2019.