Ortega's HeirThe son (or daughter) of the great hero Ortega. Shortly after you were born, your father departed on a quest to defeat the fiend Baramos, never to return. In his absence, it falls to you to take up his quest and save the world. A Magic Knight and all-around fighter with access to powerful attacks and spells. Good thing the hero is so well-rounded, since you cannot change your own class.
Tropes associated with the Hero:
- Always Male: In the original, even if you chose to be female, you would be "Ortega's son".
- This was more a translation issue, however note , and is Lampshaded in the Updated Re-release: If you choose to be female there, the king will start to call you "Ortega's son" before correcting himself and justifying the mistake with "But your dauntless look — no man could hope to match you!" The smartphone version makes a decent few references to this as well.
- The original also used the same sprite for the male and female versions of the Hero, unlike every other class.
- Anime Hair: Spiky black hair for both genders.
- Can't Drop the Hero: And can't change your class to anything other than "Hero".
- Post game, the hero can be dropped.
- Combat Medic: The hero can learn most of the healing spells, including the exclusive HealUsAll / Omniheal spell that restores the entire party's HP completely. Unfortunately, the hero's pool of MP is much more limited than that of the dedicated caster classes, so you'll be lucky to get even one of those Omniheal spells off before running dry.
- Dangerous Sixteenth Birthday: You aren't allowed to start your quest until you turn sixteen.
- Disappeared Dad: And you find evidence of his passing all over the world before finally tracking down what happened to him.
- Fake King: You don't choose to be one, but the king of Romaly gives you the crown so he can go gamble. You can hang around as king for as long as you feel like, then make the real king take his crown back so you can continue on your quest.
- Good Morning, Crono: The game begins on the Hero's 16th birthday, the day on which they are supposed to take up their father's quest.
- Hello, [Insert Name Here]: While you can change any character's name, most people will refer to the Hero.
- Heroic Mime: The Hero never speaks save to answer a yes / no question.
- I Have Many Names: In the end, he'll be Roto, Loto, or Erdrick, depending on which game you choose.
- Magic Knight: It's possible, thanks to the game's job system, for anyone to be this, but only the Hero gains strong attacking stats and innate magic naturally.
- Playing with Fire: Gets a small splash of the Blaze and Fireball line spells before unlocking the Hero's unique lightning element spells.
- Shock and Awe: The Zap series of spells is traditionally exclusive to the Hero only.
- With This Herring: 300 gold pieces. On the GBC and mobile remakes, the king gives you a small amount of gold and some basic equipment.
The Soldier / WarriorSoldiers are your obvious choice for defense. They are able to use the strongest and most durable weapons and armor in the game, and have the most hit points of any class, but are slow as molasses and don't learn any magic.
Tropes associated with the Soldier / Warrior:
- Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: Another weakness of the warrior is that as they can use most weapons and armor, they are VERY expensive to equip. You'd spend time having to Level Grind for both experience and money to buy the warrior weapons and armor.
- Ascended Extra: The female warrior has made cameo appearances in some of the other games in the series.
- Improbable Weapon User: The battle shears / scissors can only be used by warriors.
- Mighty Glacier: As the game goes on, it's quite likely that your Soldier will virtually always be the last to act. They are *incredibly* slow.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Purple for the female Soldier / Warrior, blue for the male.
The Pilgrim / Priest / ClericYour designated healer. Unlike many games, healers in Dragon Quest can become decent attackers and can learn some wind-based magic and other spells; the Cleric actually began the tradition of DQ "healers" having pretty reasonable offensive capabilities, no matter the game they were in.
Tropes associated with the Pilgrim / Priest:
- Blow You Away: Expel and its upgraded forms outright eject an enemy from the battlefield, which counts as them fleeing if they fail their resist.
- Bowdlerize: Not called a priest or even a cleric, but a pilgrim in the NES version.
- Combat Medic: Having a healer also be a decent hand at combat was pretty unusual for JRPG's at the time. They're no Soldiers, but they can wield decent weapons and do acceptable damage.
- Razor Wind: The only direct-damage spell the Cleric gets takes the form of a line of wind-based spells.
The Wizard / MageYour designated combat mage. Very weak physically, but are capable of blasting enemies into little piles of dust with their magic, as well as throwing out combat buffs. Always put in the back.
Tropes associated with the Wizard / Mage:
- Cute Witch <=> Hot Witch: Depends on the art style. In official art, the latter applies, but the sprites ingame tends toward the former.
- Glass Cannon: The frailest class in the game, but as long as their MP holds out they can lay waste to entire waves of enemies.
- Odd Name Out: Sure, Fireball / Firebane / Firebolt and Blaze / Blazemore / Blazemost follow a pattern, but Bang / Boom / Explodet? Averted in the remakes.
- Playing with Fire: The starting spell is "Blaze," and the Blaze family and Fireball family spells form an important core to their spell lists.
- Robe and Wizard Hat: The male Wizard / Mage even looks like a dead ringer for the classic Mage stereotype in the original artwork.
- Stuff Blowing Up: The Bang line of spells pounds the enemies with explosive force. Unlike Blaze, which is exclusively single target, or Fireball, which targets only a group of enemies and can thus be thrown off by funky enemy formations or heavily mixed groups, Bang will hit everything on the opposing side of the battlefield without exception.
The Fighter / Martial ArtistThe physical Glass Cannon. Doesn't use much equipment. In fact, doesn't really need equipment. A poor man's alternative to the Soldier (though sacrificing nothing in sheer power), but if you prefer two physical and one magic, you will have a Fighter.
Tropes associated with the Fighter:
- Artifact of Doom: The most well-known cursed item, the Golden Claw, is his. It's incredibly powerful, but carrying it drastically boosts the encounter rate, making it nigh worthless (though the remakes apply the curse only to the Pyramid, making it an incredibly useful weapon).
- Ascended Extra: The male Fighter has made cameo appearances in later games.
- Glass Cannon: They are far frailer than the Warrior, with smaller HP pools and much more limited armor selection, though their sky-high Agility still makes them tougher than the Squishy Wizard.
- Wolverine Claws: The only weapons worth equipping him with. Most of the other very-limited selection of weapons a Fighter can wield will actually drop his attack score.
The Merchant / DealerThe only one of the characters you need to have to complete the game, the Merchant is the Jack-of-All-Stats besides your healers, only not magical. Though they might not have the punch of a Soldier or Fighter, they have the ability to appraise items and find extra gold after battles.
Tropes associated with the Merchant / Dealer:
- Arab Oil Sheikh: The male Merchant looks vaguely Arab.
- Character Select Forcing: In order to progress, you MUST recruit a Merchant at some point.
- Master of None: Lacks the Soldier's sky-high stats, but isn't quite as slow as one.
- New York City: He starts a town there.
- The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: Averted; he's just thrown in jail and eventually released, rather than being executed.
- Sixth Ranger: You'll need him for one scene, but you won't want to use your own character for it.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: The female merchant usually has pink hair in fan works and some official art.
The Goof-off / Jester / GadaboutWhat are these guys doing on the battlefield? The higher their level, the more they goof off when they're supposed to be fighting! And even when they do what they're supposed to, all their stats except luck are mediocre at best. Not the most reliable of companions... At level 20, however, they can become a Sage without needing the Book of Satori.
Tropes associated with the Goof-off / Jester / Gadabout:
- Lethal Joke Character: Their Whistle ability in the remakes is actually vaguely useful. It allows you to whistle up an enemy encounter instantly, without having to move around trying to trigger one.
- Magikarp Power: Jesters are borderline worthless, but get them to where they can class change, and...
The SageA mysterious and rare profession, Sages learn all the spells of both Priests and Mages. Nobody is capable of simply starting as one, however; it takes special training and the rare and highly-valued Book of Satori...
Tropes associated with the Sage:
- Eleventh Hour Ranger: You can't start with one, but most players certainly will finish with one.
- Magic Knight: Not quite so much as the Hero, but is much more capable than the Wizard and Cleric in melee.
- Odd Name Out: Bang / Boom / Explodet. Averted in the remake.
- The Red Mage: With none of the weaknesses of the archetype; learns all priest and mage spells, and has stronger physical stats and an overall wider selection of equipment. The only real drawback is that Sages level insanely slowly.
The ThiefA Fragile Speedster that only appears in the Remakes. While the player cannot manually command them to steal, they have a chance of automatically swiping items from their defeated opponents... And the higher they level, the better their chances. They also have a set of spells useful for dungeon exploration.
Tropes associated with the Thief:
- Form-Fitting Wardrobe: The female Thief wears a very form-fitting catsuit sort of outfit along with a small breastplate.
Friends and Allies:
OrtegaThe Hero's father. Fought a monster over a volcano and fell in.
Tropes associated with Ortega:
- Hero of Another Story: Many comments made by various NPC's and the opening title scene of the game, reveal snippets of Ortega's heroic ordeal in trying to save the world. He even fought a few powerful monsters the Hero never encountered (most likely because he slew them). While ultimately unsuccessful, he went down like a true hero and put up one hell of a fight til the very end.
- Take a Third Option: There are items and gear the Hero required to successfully surmount certain obstacles, that Ortega overcame without. We'll never know the details, but it's obvious he found other alternatives that worked.
The Hero's MotherExactly What It Says on the Tin. Has no canon name.
Tropes associated with The Hero's mother:
DivinegonA god who grants you wishes if you defeat him.
Tropes associated with the Divinegon:
KandarA thief whom the hero crosses paths with several times. A vicious, axe-wielding brute.
Tropes associated with Kandar:
- Heel–Face Turn: Albeit not to your party. He just gives up the life of crime after you kick his ass twice, and becomes a law-abiding civilian.
OrochiA monster on the island of Zipangu who requires sacrifices.
Tropes associated with Orochi:
Boss TrollA vicious beast who plagues the realm of Samanao by pretending to be the king.
Tropes associated with Boss Troll:
- Degraded Boss: They show up in Alefgard as regular enemies in the NES version.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation: For a guy who just woke up, he's pretty much alert throughout the fight.
BaramosThy enemy shall be the archfiend Baramos.
Tropes associated with Baramos:
- Disc One Final Boss: Since the start of the game, you've been led to believe that this is the ultimate villain you must beat to finish the game. It's quite believable, as well, since you'll have explored the whole world before you fight him. The real villain is from a different world.
- The Dragon: Not the Big Bad, like you've been led to believe.
- Orcus on His Throne: For being the primary threat to the world, he doesn't seem to do much before you arrive at his castle.
King HydraA palette swap of Orochi. Kills The Hero's father.
Tropes associated with King Hydra:
BaraBomusAn evil wizard working for Zoma.
Tropes associated with BaraBomus:
BaraGonusA skeletal dragon also associated with Zoma.
Tropes associated with BaraGonus:
ZomaThe real cause of all this mess.
Tropes associated with Zoma:
- Big Bad: He's the real villain behind Baramos.
- Book Ends: Ending the Roto saga where it began.
- Four Is Death: Four bosses in Charlock Castle.
- An Ice Person: Future games that feature him as a Bonus Boss (The Monsters series, DQIX) portray him as a master of ice magic.
- Orcus on His Throne: He doesn't show up until you've beaten Baramos.