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Akira Toriyama: 5 Games to know his Legacy

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Akira Toriyama's legacy went beyond his work with manga and anime and also passed through the video games' universe. In this article, we present five of the main games that marked his career in the industry!

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Akira Toriyama, known for the manga series Dragon Ball and Dr. Slump would have a birthday today, April 5th. The artist passed away on March 1, at the age of 68, leading fans to pay hundreds of tributes to his work and legacy in the past month.

His work with anime left a historical impact in mainstream culture and became a reference and inspiration for several artists from the most diverse genres, with direct references in other manga and even songs.

Toriyama's legacy is also found in the gaming universe, both in world-renowned works, such as Chrono Trigger and Dragon Quest, and in titles which marked generations. In this article, the Um Gamer team separated five original titles that mark the presence, legacy and cultural impact of Akira Toriyama's works in the gaming industry!


Five Games to know Akira Toriyama's Legacy

Chrono Trigger

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Our journey begins with a trip back in time to 1994 and 1995, when Squaresoft (now Square Enix) released Chrono Trigger, an RPG launched by what became known as “the dream team”, with Akira Toriyama, Hironobu Sakaguchi, Yoshinori Kitase and Nobuo Uematsu (Final Fantasy), Yuji Horii (Dragon Quest), Takashi Tokita (Parasite Eve), Masato Kato and Yasunori Mitsuda (Xenogears).

With a story about adventurers from different eras traveling through time to prevent the end of the world, Chrono Trigger became a timeless success, with over 2.3 million copies sold on the Super Nintendo, being named by many as the best RPG game of all time for its innovative gameplay and aesthetics.

Chrono Trigger was a huge hit for the gaming industry, being a reference to this day in narratives about timelines, and carries the entire essence of Akira Toriyama's traits and personality in its core characters and monsters.

Dragon Quest

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Dragon Quest is the classic predecessor of JRPGs as we know it, and helped popularize the genre in 1986 by providing friendlier mechanics and more intuitive gameplay for the public, creating the basis that would influence the creation of other renowned titles, such as the Final Fantasy franchiselink outside website

Much of its success is also due to the concept behind its plot: a classic journey where the player takes on the role of a hero trying to save the world from an imminent danger caused by a great villain or evil force, creating an easy and palpable sense of understanding for any audience at any age, while more complex narratives throgout the years have improved the surroundings and dilemmas of each mainline game in the series.

Akira Toriyama's traits are found since the first game and remain until Dragon Quest XI, the most recent main title in the series, released in 2017, making it one of the main ways to appreciate its work on video games, including on its various spin-offs, such as the widely known Torneko's Great Adventure: Mystery Dungeon.

The next title in the series, Dragon Quest XII: The Flames of Fate, which has suffered development delays and doesn't yet have a release date, may be the last mark of Toriyama's direct contribution to the franchise, but his legacy will remain in the series for years to come.

Sand Land

Image: Bandai Namco
Image: Bandai Namco

Launched in August 2000 by Shonen Jump, Sand Land is a single-volume manga that has gained prominence lately with the launch of its animated series on Disney+ and its electronic role-playing game scheduled to be released on April 25 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series and PC, published by Bandai Namco, known for its partnership with the Dragon Ball series games.


The manga tells the story of a war-torn planet in the distant future, where water has become a scarce resource and controlled by a cruel king and his army. After asking the king of demons for help to find a lost lake, Sheriff Rau receives help from Beelzebub to cross the desert, beginning an adventure full of dangers.

Blue Dragon

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Blue Dragon is a turn-based RPG, released exclusively for the Xbox 360 in 2007. The game was known for bringing back the partnership between Hironobu Sakaguchi and Nobuo Uematsu with Akira Toriyama to create a new title, in addition to being one of the first games created by Sakaguchi outside of Square Enix.

With several traditional elements of the genre in addition to some innovations such as the class system through shadows, and an engaging story about five friends who seek to save the world from thepurple clouds catastrophe, Blue Dragon became a must-play hit of its generation, with an anime adaptation, in addition to two other games that make up its trilogy: Blue Dragon Plus and Blue Dragon: Awakened Shadow, both for Nintendo DS.


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Published by Square in 1996 for PlayStation, Tobal No.1 was one of the pioneers in 3D fighting games for consoles and one of Akira Toriyama's earliest works for Sony's console, creating a unique and recognizable aesthetic of his legacy for games.

Tobal No.1 became known for being one of the first titles with free movement in the three-dimensional arena in fighting games, in addition to having a “Quests mode” where it mixed its combat elements with a dungeon crawling system, with items to collect and bosses to defeat and progress to the next floor.

The following year, Square released Tobal 2 exclusively for Japan, with mechanics from the first game being expanded upon while featuring 200 playable characters drawn by Toriyama, including monsters that could be captured in quest mode by throwing a magic rock at them when they are weakened.

Honorable Mention: Dragon Ball

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The Dragon Ball series is Akira Toriyama's greatest legacy in works of fiction, and has already received dozens of games on different consoles and styles. Among them, the RPG series The Legacy of Goku for GameBoy Advance, the Budokai Tenkaichi series for PlayStation 2, and the most recent Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot and Dragon Ball FighterZ stand out.

Toriyama's anime will continue to receive new games in the future, such as the already announced Dragon Ball Sparking! Zero for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series consoles, as well as PC. The title does not yet have a release date, but it promises to bring back the essence of the Budokai Tenkaichi series, widely acclaimed for its combat system.



Akira Toriyama's legacy in the fiction industry goes far beyond his original works. References to iconic characters from his series are recurrent in mainstream culture, whether with the example of the elderly man who becomes physically stronger when he releases his powers, like Master Roshi, or in the characters who awaken a hidden power in the face of an impulse to fury, like the Super Saiyans, and in the way that Eastern and Western RPGs still use foundations established by the Dragon Quest series in 1986.

His talent will continue to inspire new generations of writers, comic artists and game developers for decades to come, keeping his memory and mark on contemporary history alive in the hearts of fans and enthusiasts.

And to that, we must celebrate, in the name of one of the greatest artists who have ever passed through our world.

Thanks for reading!