After the events of Dragon Quest I, the descendant of Erdrick/Loto married Princess Gwaelin/Lora and sailed away from Alefgard. They founded the kingdom of Torland where the couple and their children happily lived out their days. Generations later, chaos broke out with rumors of a powerful evil being emerging from the southern impassible cliffs of the frozen plateau, Rhone. His name was Hargon, an Evil Sorcerer bent on world destruction. He chose Moonbrooke Castle to launch his reign of terror.Hargon's army swept in and decimated the castle, its inhabitants, and the King within minutes. A lone, injured guard escaped and walked to the nearby fortress of Midenhall Castle. No sooner had he told the king of Moonbrooke's defeat that he perished. Now as a descendant of Erdrick, The Prince Of Midenhall must venture out to meet his two cousins and stop the evil hand of Hargon. With a world four times larger and many new monsters, the heroes have a much harder and dangerous adventure than their ancestor.
Almost Dead Guy: One Moonbrooke guard escapes the besieged castle, limps all the way to Midenhall, and promptly dies after delievering the news. Given all the overworld threats, how urgent the message was, and that he's just some castle guard, he easily qualifies as Badass Normal and Determinator. He doesn't fade in the remix. He just lays there dead. Although the king makes sure he gets a proper burial.
Baleful Polymorph: The Princess of Moonbrooke gets turned into a dog before you meet her, forcing you to find out how to break the curse before you can recruit her.
Betting Mini-Game: Just a simple lottery, but notable because it was the first such minigame in the series.
It also set the standard for the series' fabulous grand prizes. 25% off everything in stores? Aw yeah.
The Cameo: The trio of heroes from this game appear as summonable helpers in the arcade game Dragon Quest Monster Battle Road Victory, both supporting the player and their monsters with defensive buffs and finishing their enemies off with Kazapple, also known as Alldain or Thordain — a spell that didn't exist until Dragon Quest IV. The Cousins also pop up in Fortune Street spinoffs.
Canon Name: The English localization of Dragon Quest IX gives the cousins' names as Princeton and Princessa. In Fortune Street (at least in Japan), they're known as Cookie (Cannock) and Pudding (Moonbrooke) — how Toriyama-esque.
Childhood Friend Romance: Maybe. An NPC in Midenhall castle is implied to be head over heels for the Prince, and even wanted to confess to him before she knew he was going to go on his quest. She never gets brought up again, so the player never learns if she eventually confesses or not.
Chromatic Arrangement: Midenhall wears blue, Cannock wears green, and Moonbrooke wears- well, pink, but a particularly dark shade.
Combo: The Falcon Sword. For the first time in the series, a character could strike twice in a row. Unfortunately, the Attack buff was only PLUS FIVE (Seven in the remix, but still, whoopdeedoo).
In the original, depending on your cash flow, this is Cannock's best weapon, despite being weaker than the Iron Spear's single strike (by 15, sure, but do the math, especially when you factor in critical hits). However, it is REALLY expensive, even with the Gold Card, and you may not even bother once you're rich enough in the final area, because you'd have to go through the final area all over again.
The point of the Falcon Sword is probably to increase your chances of killing Metal Slimes and Metal Babbles, since you can only deal Scratch Damage to them regardless of attack power. It essentially doubles your potential damage to them.
Curse: Hargon really likes his curses. He curses the entire castle of Moonbrooke after its fall, turns the princess into a dog, and as the heroes draw closer to his kingdom, he curses the Prince of Cannock to become bedridden, prompting a side quest to cure him (Remake only. Furthermore, you can beat the final boss without him, hard as it may be).
Depending on the Artist: The Princess of Moonbrooke. Technically, Akira Toriyama does both of her designs, but several Fan Art depictions have her act in different manners and personalities, depending on whether she has purple or blonde hair.
This is sort of ironic, considering Toriyama created a character in Dragon Ball named Launch. Whenever she sneezes, she switches from a Blue Haired Nice Girl to a Blond Haired Evil Woman.
The American box art gives the Princess rather Stripperific attire.
The Dragon: Hargon has three: Atlas, Pazuzu, and Belial. Also, Hargon himself is one for Malroth.
Evil Weapon: Sword of Destruction/ Demon Sword. Really high attack, but curses the user. There's also other "Evil Gear" in armor.
Expy: The "classic" version of the Princess of Moonbrooke looks suspiciously like a palette-swapped version of Nausicaa with slightly longer hair. This may explain the explicitly blonde redesign that popped up for the SNES remake. (The more recent artwork for the Wii compilation and related material opts for making her hair aggressively purple.)
Get On The Boat: The series first. Which lets you explore the world, even returning to Alefgard!
Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Malroth (Sidoh in the Japanese version) has the unique distinction of being possibly the first in an RPG. In the original NES English translation, at least. Absolutely nothing in the entire game even hinted at his presence aside from a quest item called the Eye of Malroth. In the Japanese version and further English translations, Malroth is revealed to be the demonic god that Hargon worships.
In the SFC/GBC versions, the Almost Dead Guy does mentions Hargon's master plan is to revive a demon god to destroy the world, but considering any further references to said demon god don't show up until when said demon god appears, it still feels like this trope.
Hello, Insert Name Here: The Prince of Midenhall. The Prince of Cannock and the Princess of Moonbrooke have their names randomly selected from an internal list. You can rename them yourself after recruiting them by highlighting the save file and holding Left/Right + A.
Jack of All Stats: In this case, it's NOT the main character who qualifies; it's the Prince of Cannock.
Jumped at the Call: The Prince of Midenhall. Even shown literally jumping from his throne to listen to the Moonbrooke guard in the Japanese manual.
Just a Kid: Pretty much the Prince of Cannock's reason to his younger sister on why she can't come with your party. Given that the party is only about 16 or so, she can be assumed to be rather young. She likely didn't have any formal training either, which would have made her The Load in your group.
Lightning Bruiser: The Prince of Midenhall; his main weakness is that he can't cast magic.
Mythology Gag: Only in Japan. Tonnura (トンヌラ) was one of Cannock's possible names in the Famicom version. Supposedly, the name sounds "odd and stupid" to several Japanese people, which fit how weak the prince was on the FC. It became an in-joke as a "weak and uncool" name (but not "hated"), and popped up in a few later games. It is speculated that Yuji Horii came up with this from Ernest Tonnelat.
Perhaps a western equivalent would be something like "Derp". (The localizers of Dragon Quest IX apparently weren't aware of the joke in the Japanese version and instead call him Prince Princeton of Cannock.)
Nintendo Hard: Whoever said this game is easy is either a liar or very, very good at RPGs. You will need to level grind INTENSELY this time out, and even when you do, it isn't enough.
Retired Badass: The messenger didn't go to Midenhall to get the prince to help. He wanted THE KING. Unfortunately, the two kingdoms have probably been out of touch for a while, as Midenhall's king notes that he's a bit too old to be adventuring about. Have at it, my boy.
He officially retires as the Prince of Midenhall gets his Awesome Moment of Crowning in the finale. Not a bad boost from your "parting gift" at the start.
Justified, considering that he is a descendent of Loto/Erdrick along with his royal counterparts in the other kingdoms.
Taking You with Me: The Prince of Cannock eventually learns the Sacrifice spell. As he's also the only member capable of reviving others with his magic in the original version, this is a last-ditch tactic. Unfortunately, certain Random Encounters can also cast this for a Total Party Kill...
Took a Level in Badass: The Prince of Cannock. In the NES, his best gear was roughly The Prince of Midenhall's early to middle-game gear, and due to everyone only having TWO non-HP/MP stats, he could die A LOT if you weren't careful. He was upgraded notably in the I+II Remix. The Princess of Moonbrooke also qualifies, but to a far lesser extent.
This is taken to Rule of Funny levels in Fan Art based off his NES days. He's often waking up or sleeping in his coffin, or just dead.
Useless Useful Spell: Averted with prejudice. If you don't utilize your arsenal of debuffs, you'll spend a lot of time dead. There's several brute force spells, but they are much more expensive to cast and aren't always a OHKO, meaning the enemy is still hitting you. Having both spellcasters repeatedly debuff while your hero kills the enemy party one by one is actually a pretty good tactic in the late game.
Villain Opening Scene: In a sense; the game opens with a long sequence depicting the attack on Moonbrooke.
With This Herring: In order to ensure your journey is a successful one, the King bestows upon you... a Copper Sword and 50 gold. Thanks, Dad.
To be fair, it IS more than you get in the first game, and the Copper Sword is stronger than a few other weapons. Heck, Cannock only had a club. Also, none of the nations are technically implied to be "rich", just in charge.