The Dragon Quest series has included a lot of comedy and innuendos in its dialogue, which is only amplified by the exaggerated British accents of seemingly every character with a voice actor. The series has its darker moments, but there are enough bad puns to make even the most stone-hearted of gamers crack a smile.
One of the recurring aspects of the Dragon Quest series is the "Puff-Puff", which is something that is offered to the party by beautiful women of ill-repute, as well as being an action that female adventurers can use to beguile enemy monsters into inaction, which tends to involve posing with their chest thrust forward.
The Puff-Puff scenes have become one of the most infamous recurring jokes in the Dragon Quest series and long-running fans of the franchise are always interested in seeing how the latest games will interpret the gag. People who are new to the Dragon Quest series might not be aware of what a Puff-Puff is and might be left mystified by the scenes from the older games that are restricted to sprites. The time has come to unveil the mystery of the Puff-Puff and how it has become one of the longest-running jokes in gaming history.
What Is A Puff-Puff?
The addition of the Puff-Puffs to the Dragon Quest series is likely one of Akira Toriyama's contributions to the franchise. Akira Toriyama has been a character designer on the series since its creation and aspects that appeared in his Dragon Ball manga would also make their way into Dragon Quest, such as the bunny girl outfits that have made their way into almost every game.
The first person to offer a "Puff-Puff" was Oolong from Dragon Ball, who was shapeshifting as Bulma when he offered one to Master Roshi. A Puff-Puff is essentially the act of a woman massaging another person's face with her breasts, though the true nature of the act is only ever hinted at in Dragon Quest.
The Censored Puff-Puff
There were characters offering Puff-Puffs to the heroes of the Dragon Quest series dating all the way back to the first game, but these were censored outside of Japan for a long time. The Puff-Puff scenes were usually changed, with the exception of Dragon Quest IV for the Nintendo Entertainment System, which had a woman offering "Pufpuf" therapy, but that had no sexual connotations. Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Reverie for the Nintendo DS changed the Puff-Puff scene into a makeup session, which makes sense, as the event increases the player's Style stat.
The False Puff-Puffs
The majority of the Puff-Puffs in the Dragon Quest series are usually not what the player expects, which has become a running joke. Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King has a scene where a woman offers to give a blindfolded Puff-Puff, which is actually a scam, as she's just rubbing two Slime monsters against the character's face.
The Puff-Puff scene in Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Sky involves a woman rubbing the player character's face between the rears of two sheep. A girl offers to give the hero of Dragon Quest III: Seeds of Salvation a Puff-Puff, only for it to turn out to be a massage from her father. Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age includes a Puff-Puff scene where the Luminary is tricked into going bungee jumping. The Dragon Quest games tend to play up the Puff-Puff as something kinky, only to pull the rug out from under the player at the last moment, which is why it has become a popular joke among the fans.