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Xbox Adds Dynamic Blue Dragon Background In Honor Of Akira Toriyama

Image: Xbox
Image: Xbox

Earlier this month, the world learned of the passing of legendary mangaka Akira Toriyama, the creator behind Dragon Ball, Dr. Slump, and Sand Land. In the world of games, he is best known as the prolific artist behind games like Chrono Trigger and the Dragon Quest series, as well as the Xbox-exclusive RPG Blue Dragon. In recognition of the latter and of Toriyama himself, Microsoft has released a dynamic Xbox background of Blue Dragon featuring the late artist’s work.

Blue Dragon released for the Xbox 360 back in 2006 as part of Microsoft’s bid to garner more of a positive reputation in Japan. Made in conjunction with Final Fantasy’s creator Hironobu Sakaguchi and his studio Mistwalker, Blue Dragon launched a small series, including a pair of sequels on the Nintendo DS and an accompanying anime. The series was set in an original world created by Sakaguchi, and the story follows a cast of characters who are able to summon “shadows” to aid them in battle.

The new dynamic Xbox background features Shu, the main character of the Blue Dragon series, and his shadow, the blue dragon, overlooking a cliff heroically. This very same image was also featured on the box art for the game. It’s a simple and elegant tribute to the legend, and represents one of the last huge undertakings he took in the games industry before his passing earlier this year.

I won’t lie, I teared up a little. It’s been wonderful realizing what a profound impact Toriyama has had on the world around me, and seeing his work be celebrated in the days after the news broke lifted my spirits tremendously. It’s become a bit easier to deal with his passing considering just how much he left us, and I can’t wait to throw this background on the second I get home. As one of the folks who watched and loved the anime long before I ever realized it was based on a game, as well as someone who plays his Xbox more than any other system these days, this small gesture is going a long way for me.

Elsewhere, Toriyama’s influence on the world still lingers. I was just at PAX East where the upcoming Sand Land game was being demoed inside of a tank ripped straight out of the game, and the recent anime adaptation just launched to wide acclaim. And of course, his legendary contributions to Chrono Trigger and Dragon Quest will be felt for generations to come, especially in the forthcoming Dragon Quest XII, which may likely represent the last of Toriyama’s work in games when it releases.

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