Headscratchers / Dragon Quest VIII

Isn't there a descendent still alive?
Despite Sir Leopold killing Marta, her son Marek is still very much alive at the end of the encounter. Even though he didn't necessarily want to carry on the responsibility of the descendants in keeping Rhapthorne sealed inside the scepter, he's still Marta's son. There's no indication that intent or willingness is a necessary component of being a descendant; as long as you're part of a sage's family tree, that should be enough, right? If Marek is still alive, wouldn't that be enough to keep the seal intact?
  • Maybe, like Jessica, he's not the "Chosen" heir.
    • Maybe it has something to do with the way she died? She was killed by the Rhapthorn-possesed Sir Leopold; you can even see the seal breaking after Rhapthorn kills each sage.
      • I think it's because Rhapthorne needed the magical energy in their blood. He didn't need to end the sage's bloodline, just simply use the descendants' latent powers to unlock his prison.
      • This is the probable answer. The blood of the Sage needs to be killed by Rhapthorn and/or his possessed puppet or staff. Otherwise Jessica would have also been a problem.
  • Heirs aren't chosen because of their inherent power, their status is heavily tied to their sense of duty — Alistair was more responsible than Jessica was in youth (remember their conversation about Alistair needing to improve himself more, and how he knew Jessica was more magically powerful despite how little practice she had). Marek's not the sage's heir because he abandoned his responsibilities, which left the bloodline high and dry even before Leopold got there.

The Puff Puff attack:
It's supposed to be Marshmallow Hell of some sort, so why does Jessica turn her back to the enemy while preparing said attack?
  • Obviously, to conceal the fact that she's whipping out a pair of slimes.
    • .......... -(facepalm)-
  • If you were in a battle, would you let your opponent inflict a Marshmallow Hell on you if you saw it coming? It's a double bluff. If it was something that looked harmless, you'd suspect a trick, and stop it. If it looked like trickery, you'd try and stop a trick that might not be there, allowing the actual plan to go ahead. In short, in order to pull it off, she resorts to Mind Screw.
    • And what about the Witch monsters (who can do the same attack, only actually facing the enemy as they rub their breasts)?

After he is defeated and saved by Angelo, he just limps off never to be seen again in the game. Honestly, I find this rather implausible. This is MARCELLO we're talking about. I don't believe he's the sort of person to just vanish while his enemies are hailed as heroes and with Rolo ending up the lord high priest. I didn't expect sunshine and puppies forgiveness/reconciliation, but I also didn't expect Marcello to just disappear. I get the feeling that more was supposed to happen between Angelo and Marcello. I know that life isn't wrapped in a bow and some things have no closure, but I will always find it hard to swallow that this is one of them.
  • I reckoned he just went off walking the world or whatever it is people do after losing everything. I wasn't happy with the conclusion either, but I'm not sure how else it would have been done.
    • I assumed he ran into an angry mob as soon as he left and got stoned to death.
      • Really just speculation and YMMV on my part, but who's to say he can really do anything beyond just being a jerk and a nuisance? Granted, he was actually able to resist Rhapthorne's influence for a time whereas even a powerful sorceress like Jessica already felt something coming over her, but can we really be sure that he would be a physical threat to the ones who not only defeated the Lord of Darkness, but held their own against the Lord of the Dragovians? Plus, any support he had at the Abbey would seem to be gone, thus limiting his resources. Incidentally, I'm only factoring the PS2 version of the game as the 3DS looks to render the discussion moot on several levels. One such change is Marcello actually fighting with you against one of the new Post-Game bosses, but while I don't speak Japanese, the music and facial expressions of the brother suggest that their relationship may become a more friendly one, or at least ending their status as rivals/enemies.
  • One other thing about Marcello that kind of bugs me - how did he somehow figure out that Angelo was his half-brother upon just his name? Is Angelo just a rare name or something? The only thought I have is that maybe he sort of recognised his face, but thought "oh maybe he just looks like Angelo" and only deduced that it was his half-brother once this new kid introduced himself as "Angelo".
    • Maella Abbey is walking distance from a small town and pub, and it's not unheard of for the religious to sneak out for a drink. It would not be hard for information to travel, especially regarding this unique once-rich orphan with Anime Hair with whom Marcello has significant family history.

So did Marcello kill the Lord High Priest or not?
On one hand, he's really the only culprit and seemed to be resisting Rhapthorne's control for a time, but on the other hand, the Lord High Priest's attendants said he was recovering, meaning he would've had to be killed. Confusing things further, Marcello gloats in his office about how the man "died of shock". Who was he trying to convince? Himself?

What was the point of knowing Empyrea's real name at the end?
Really, it came totally left field, right after the final boss no less. OK, so she was named as such by the people that believed her to be a God, but she never bothered to correct them that Empyrea wasn't her name, let alone she wasn't a God?
  • It's a shout-out and Continuity Nod; Lamia/Ramia appeared under her real name in Dragon Quest III (where she was hatched by the main character), which took place on a different world, as the party's flying vehicle. Revealing her real name was basically saying "yes, this is the same character, not just an alternate universe version".

Why take so long with the final heir?
Rhapthorne was actually quite speedy in killing the first 6 heirs, going from one to the next for the first four, then going to the Dark Ruins to heal, then heading straight off to kill the next two. So why all of a sudden does he take his sweet time to kill the last one? Considering you have to go get the sea chart, go the Empycchu, go to the Dark World, go to Tryan Gully and THEN he finally decides to attack? This just seems rather weird and OOC considering his expediency up until this point.
  • Difficulty finding them maybe? We know that the scepter can identify the sage's descendants but we don't really know what the range on it is, so maybe he just had really bad luck trying to find the last one? Or maybe like with Dhoulmagus Rhapthorne needed to heal up his new body at some point and that took time. Alternately the Lord High Priest's guard might have been too tight for Rhathorne to risk just busting in and he was waiting for an opportune moment but when the party decided started to go after him it forced his hand. Or if we want to be non serious maybe he was taking in the sights of this new era he had woken up into, his ultimate goal is to take over the world so maybe he wanted to see what kind of world he would be taking over. Now I have this mental image of Rhapthorne in Sir Leopold's body lounging on a beach somewhere. Or maybe he took a wrong turn somewhere, he did get Nook powder in his eyes courtesy of Marta.
  • Because Sir Leopold is a weak host. Dhoulmagus was a powerful enough sorcerer to blow through Trodain's castle guard before getting the scepter, so Rhapthorne could use that body to kill heirs as quickly as he could find them. In contrast, Sir Leopold is a dog that Rhapthorne possessed out of necessity. He was only able to kill David by surprise, and Marta gave him a run for his money despite her being a lone old woman. While the Lord High Priest is old and infirm, he's also surrounded by fanatical guards. Dhoulmagus-Rhapthorne could easily fight through a bunch of guards to kill Abbot Francisco, but Leopold-Rhapthorne is not so strong. He was probably biding his time for the Lord High Priest to move to a less secure location, then changed his plans once tracked down by Hero.