Video Game / Dragon Quest VII

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The first Dragon Quest game on the PlayStation, Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past (JP Subtitle: Warriors of Eden) tells the story of a simple fisherman's son. His two best friends are Prince Kiefer, a Rebel Prince who regularly flouts his father's restrictions, and Maribel, the spoiled Tsundere daughter of the richest merchant in town. Theirs is an idyllic lifestyle, with no monsters haunting the countryside, no threats to their kingdom...

...And no other countries or continents beyond their small stretch of land.

See, during the final showdown between Good and Evil, most of the world got sealed away by the Demon Lord... and God never got around to fixing things. Whoops. Of course, that's where our hero comes into play, as he and his friends stumble across a great secret hidden in their island's Ancient Ruins and have to Set Right What Once Went Wrong via Time Travel. Or something like that, anyway.

DQVII introduced the concept of 'Party Chat' to the series. By selecting 'Talk' whenever you weren't facing an NPC, your party members would comment on whatever just happened. This wasn't restricted to major plot events, either; Kiefer, Maribel, and the others almost always had something to say about even the most minor NPC's 'Welcome to Corneria'. This feature made it into Dragon Quest VIII and several of the remakes of earlier games.

A remake was released for the Nintendo 3DS in Japan in 2013, and was released in the West on September 16, 2016.


Dragon Quest VII provides examples of:

  • Acceptable Breaks from Reality: In Disc 2, when the continents that are home to the great spirits are sealed off, curiously, Alltrades Abbey, one of the most crucial locations in the game, is still accessible despite that it does not fit the apparent criteria. But see also the fridge section.
  • After the End: Your little island is the only part of the world that wasn't sealed away. The game starts with one little island with two towns, a castle and a fishing village, and a ruins that everyone is forbidden to enter. The rest of the story is nothing but saving each island before it was lost.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Oh, the game adores this one.
    • Pamala/Palmela from Engow/Emberdale warns the villagers that it'll be dangerous to climb the volcano to worship their god and gets shunned for it.
    • Zebbot/Autonymus and Eri/ELLIE from Falrish/Frobisher; one is a misanthropic cientist who chooses to live away from people, the other is robot, robots being widely feared in the island.
    • Baloch/Pomposa in Litorud/El Ciclo is admired by the townsfolk, but is also a mad genius and lives far away from them.
    • Sieble/Buddy and his pets from Loomin/Nottagen get shunned because the townsfolk are fearful of monsters due to two previous massive attacks.
    • Firia/Fidelia from Gorges/Aeolus Vale deserves special mention here, because it turns out she's not an outsider at all. She was just born without wings, and her worthless father decided to 'raise her as an orphan' and let her little sister treat her like a slave rather than admit she's his daughter by blood. She takes the news surprisingly well; your party, on the other hand, gets righteously upset.
  • And I Must Scream: In one village, everyone was turned to stone by the Gray Rain... and have been worn away by the seasons for decades, rendering it impossible to save anyone. With one exception...
    • The worst part about this is that they glow at night. Poor Clayman assumes this is their hatred for him radiating off of them. In reality, they are just trying to pass on their memories so they can "die" in peace.
    • Later on, you come across a village that was just hit by the Gray Rain, and can get revenge on the monster responsible before saving everyone.
  • Apologetic Attacker: The first world-sector boss is Matilda/Maeve, who refuses to fight. This becomes a cross between Tear Jerker and free exp...
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: Like usual, you can only have four heroes in your party. The game handles this by having party members leave for various reasons at certain points: Kiefer permanently leaves shortly before you gain access to the Shrine of Dharma and character classes; Maribel leaves after the events in Past!Mardra, opening a place for Aira to join almost immediately afterward; Melvin gets isolated from your team during the start of Disc 2, allowing Maribel to rejoin you... You do eventually get the chance to choose your team, but really, given that you've only got five heroes total... a fifth slot in battle would've saved a lot of headaches.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Some of the guest characters can be stupid, such as using herbs when not needed or "observing the situation" rather than just killing the enemies. Fortunately they don't waste inventory items.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: The 3DS remake does the following:
    • A flashing indicator on the lower screen indicates if an area contains uncollected tablets, which are required to progress through the game. It's grey if all have been collected in the area, flashes slowly if the dungeon or town contains at least one undiscovered tablet, and quickly if the immediate room or dungeon floor contains a tablet. Furthermore, the minimap on the lower screen often shows exactly where a tablet is located.
      • There is also a feature that'll tell you which areas the tablets are, as well as a (rather useful, but not direct) hint on where in said area it is. (e.g, "It is in this volcano dungeon in the present, on the floor", "It is in L'arca, check in the buildings")
    • Random Encounters have been dropped and monsters are now shown on the map, allowing you to try and avoid them if you want. This isn't always possible, though: you may not be able to get around them in cramped areas, they may come in suddenly from offscreen depending on the camera angle, or they may even spawn right under your feet with no chance to dodge.
    • EXP has generally been increased so that the characters level up faster. It also takes fewer battles to rank up classes, but in exchange the Anti-Grinding cap has been lowered in several places so that you hit the point where battles stop counting towards class progression sooner.
    • In the original game, the immigrant town had to be filled with 5 fixed NPCs and 30 random NPCs to be maxed out. This was a frustrating feature because they spawned less frequently as your town got bigger, and you would need to reshape your town's population five times to get all of the possible bonuses, usually resulting in seeking out 60+ random townspeople. The remake's town is filled up entirely by talking to fixed NPCs with clues to their locations given by existing townspeople. Once you find all but one of them, all bonuses from the previous game's five town types are available all at once. This turns a multi-hour chore into as little as a 20 minute following of a walkthrough.
    • The game prologue has been streamlined to shorten its unusual length, such as cutting out a few of the extraneous rooms you had to travel through and eliminating some puzzles. The shrine where you placed the tablets has similarly been simplified, as before you had to travel through multiple rooms to get to the various pedestals but now they're all in one place and handled by a menu.
    • Originally, there were hidden job skills that could only be unlocked by using certain combinations of jobs consecutively. In the 3DS version, this was removed and the skills were distributed among the normal skill trees.
    • The 3DS version also inverts it and adds a roadblock involving job skills: many high-level skills are now locked to their job, instead of carrying over to any job once learned. This was done to promote job diversity and avoid Complacent Gaming Syndrome, as originally many players would simply have all their characters learn the best skills and leave no real difference between them.
      • In a moment of Guide Dang It, you can get around the vocation area cap woes by using any Tablet in Haven and battle the monsters there, even lowly slimes. Yes that's right, you can turn all your characters into uber powerhouses with their jobs shortly after the Alltrades Abbey Arc!
  • Anti-Grinding: Until you reach certain late-game areas or Disc 2, each area you visit has a Level Cap on how far you can take your class/skill grinding. You aren't really informed of this; battles simply stop counting towards your class mastery. Thankfully, it takes longer to level up in this game compared to nearly all other Dragon Quest games. There is no restriction for your character's battle level though.
  • Awesome, yet Impractical: Blade of Ultimate Power / Ultra Hit. The final ability of the Champion / Godhand class, an ability that deals close to 400-500 damage and costs 20 MP to use. In the 3DS version, the ability is tied to the Champion class, which has rather low MP so using it will cause your MP to get drained fast. What's more, it's not even affected by Oomph, Muster Strength, or Sap - a champion can deal more damage to a single target by delivering a knuckle sandwich.
    • Curiously enough, Ultra Hit was Boring but Practical in the Playstation version, due to the fact that abilities were kept upon mastery. Because the characters would get hundreds of MP by endgame, spamming Ultra Hit was a great way to beat the Final Boss.
    • In addition, it's also practical while on hunts for Metal Slimes in the 3DS version. Because the attack always does 400-500 damage and doesn't miss in that version, the attack can 1HKO Metal Slimes without breaking a sweat. It also counts as There's No Kill Like Overkill, as Metal Slimes tend to have very little HP but very high defenses.
  • Badass Bookworm: Quite a few NPC allies and helpers qualify, but none as much as Saide. He filled a house with books on other cities and traveling, and is one damn good brawler.
  • Badass Grandpa: Melvin/Mervyn.
  • Badass Normal: Kiefer, as he never learns any spells, although he does gain a flaming sword technique. Some of your NPC allies also qualify.
    • Sharkeye, or at least his crew, qualify. You later realize Borkano was this all along.
  • Baleful Polymorph: The town of L'Arca, where the people have been turned into animals by a terrible curse and the exact opposite happens to the actual animals themselves. Fortunately, they are changed back except for Ruff who is out of luck since the hackrobat made his spell permanent. Later on, another town has been hit with a similar curse where the children of the town are transformed into monsters on their first full moon.
  • Big Beautiful Woman: Mollie/Pearl, the hero's mother. In addition to being a Supreme Chef, she's noted to have aged quite gracefully by some NPCs.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Most of the time, your heroes arrive just in time to save various towns and lands from destruction and despair. Most of the time.
  • Bilingual Bonus: In the remake:
    • Dialac is renamed Regenstein, where the townspeople speak German (or English mixed with German words). Regenstein means "rain-stone" (because it's the first place you visit where people get turned to stone, and you can't do a thing about it).
    • Orph is renamed L'Arca, where the townspeople speak Italian (or English mixed with Italian words). L'Arca means "The Ark" (because it's full of animals).
    • Litorud is renamed El Ciclo, which is full of Spanish people. El Ciclo means "The Cycle" (the town is going through a "Groundhog Day" Loop).
  • Bittersweet Ending: For some towns, you don't give them their happy endings. Greenthumb Garden is a great example.
    • Ballymolloy: The monsters are defeated and the town's women are rescued, but the tragic story of Maev leaves the party shaken and hammers it into them that their adventures are Not a Game.
    • Faraday: The Automatons are defeated, but ELLIE, who was instrumental in the victory, is ostracized and abused by the very people she helped saved simply because she herself is an Automaton. To make matters worse, Automynous learns absolutely nothing from the whole ordeal and spends the rest of his days in bitter, misanthropic seclusion.
    • Labres seems almost like it has No Ending with the priest just walking off... except wait a minute, wasn't there a wandering priest a while ago who wound up sacrificing himself to save everyone?
  • Blessed with Suck: In the Deja tribe/Roamers, two special bloodlines are maintained as according to prophecy, descendants of both bloodlines will eventually be called upon to perform a special ceremony. ...A ceremony that will only work once. And nobody's sure just when that duty will need to be performed.
    • Then there's Coastal, where any babies born there are cursed to turn into hideous monsters and run away from their parents on the first full moon after their birth.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Kiefer, through and through.
  • Bonus Boss: God. Literally.
  • Book Ends: The game begins in Fishbell/Pilchard Bay during the Amitt Harvest when your mother gives you a Fishsub to deliver to your father, but he sails off before you have a chance to give it to him. You also discover Maribel stowing away on his ship, and she promptly gets kicked off. Later, at the start of disc 2, after the first fight with Orgodemir and resurrecting "God", you are given another Fishsub by your mother to deliver to your father, but this time, it actually gets delivered. Then, after the rematch with Orgodemir, the annual Amitt Harvest begins again, and once again you are given another Fishsub to deliver to your father, but this time she makes one for you to bring with you on your first fishing voyage with your father. Once again, you find Maribel stowing away on the ship, but before she gets kicked off, Borkano allows her to stay on just this once.
  • Boring but Practical: Have everyone master the Dancer and Sailor professions - the ultimate ability for the Sailor is Lightning. This is an ability that hits everything on the field, whereas Muscle Dance just hits a group. Neither cost anything, and while Lightning becomes weaker later on (and outclassed by other abilities) it is still great for the mid-game.
    • Thin Air. Paladins and Pirates learn this skill and does at least 90-100 damage to every enemy for free, crowd-clearing enemies up to the end game. The Champion and Hero classes learn this too. Even the enemies who resist it will take enough damage to be taken out the following round. Even fewer enemies are immune to it, and there is often something else that can be used that will knock them out (such as Boulder toss or the breath attacks) or it will just be easy to have everyone smack them.
    • Knuckle Sandwich from the Martial Artist vocation. You will probably find yourself using it on every boss all the way to endgame, where it becomes even more powerful. For only 2 MP, you deliver a very powerful attack. Combine this with Focus strength or Muster Strength (Two other abilities you can learn early on) and you'll deal almost 500 damage. Combine it with Oomph, you'll deal close to 1100 damage as a fighter class.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: Your reward for beating the bonus bosses? God moves to your immigrant town.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: The well water in Krage/Gröndal is poisoned by monsters, causing everyone who drinks it to think they're the Demon King.
  • Broken Bridge: Will be opened tomorrow. If you can get to it.
  • But Thou Must!: Mostly played straight, but interestingly averted in Loomin/Nottagen when given the choice what to do about Chibi.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: An interesting variation in Gorges: Grandma Pendragon calls out her pathetic son over his treatment of his daughter, Firia. The asshole definitely deserves it.
  • Can't Catch Up: For a many a player, Maribel can become this. Some try to get her out of this, others know of her leaving ahead of time, and purposefully ditch her. Regardless, all of her stats end up lower than anyone's save MP, Intelligence, and Style. The remakes fixed this by giving her access to spells such as Bang, giving her a boost to her speed, and making her level way faster.
    • Aira/Aishe as well, for entirely different reasons. The problem with her is that she comes very late in the game, starts out underleveled and most importantly, only begins with points in the Warrior and Dancer vocation when most of your party is working on a second second-tier vocation at this point. Even with Maribel's disappearing act, she still ends up being much closer to a third-tier job and will have a much wider range of skills than Aishe when she returns. Any final party that doesn't ditch Maribel will ditch Aishe.
    • This also can apply to Sir Mervyn. Due to the fact that the characters' battle level and job levels increase faster in the 3DS version, Sir Mervyn may be as many as ten levels behind the hero and Ruff, and that's not counting the amount of abilities and jobs that have been acquired. It seems that many a player of the 3DS version found themselves ditching Mervyn, when the PSX Metagame said to ditch Maribel.
  • Changeling Fantasy: Implied, although it never comes to the hero's attention. Early in the game it is noted that the hero had an unusually short gestation — only five months — before being born as healthy as a full term baby. During the Buccanham chapter, the player meets Anais, the pregnant wife of the pirate Sharkeye, in poor condition due to worrying about both the curse of the island that turns all babies into monsters the first full moon after their birth and her husband sealed off in demonic ice somewhere far away after having fought the Demon King. After clearing the curse and restoring the island, Anais disappears. Her prayer reached the Undersea King, who abducted her and turned her into a mermaid in order to live long enough to be reunited with Sharkeye when he were to be defrosted. Meanwhile, her unborn baby is said to have been transported to another land, possibly another time by the Water Spirit. This baby is strongly implied to be the hero. Later it is all but confirmed as both he and Sharkeye bear halves of the mark of the Water Spirit, Sharkeye passing his half to who would've been his son.
  • Chest Monster: As in every Dragon Quest game. VII is notable for not only having standard Canniboxs and Mimics, but Evil Books, Evil Pots, and Evil Well monsters. Be careful when exploring castles.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Maribel has feelings for the hero and is jealous of Princess Michaela who does as well, though it's unknown if the hero returns either girls' feelings. In the manga, Maribel also had feelings for Prince Keifer, though in the game they just have a platonic friendship.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Kiefer flirts shamelessly, but won't go any further.
  • Collection Sidequest: One Sidequest sees you founding and expanding your own town. To do so, you travel around Present Time searching for Immigrants, who randomly appear in various 'hot spots' in different villages. Oh, and collect enough of different types of Immigrants, and your town will turn out extra-special...
    • The Monster Park Sidequest, meanwhile, has you recruiting monsters. Not for battle partners like in other installments, mind; just for the park. Oh, and you need to find Blueprints for the various parts of the park, first. And if you manage to recruit every monster available? You get a Momento of Chibi.
  • Conspicuous CG: With the sprites rendered in classic Toriyama-style 2D looking very much like upgraded Dragon Quest VI sprites as well as 3D backgrounds and attacks... it can look a bit... style-breaking.
  • Continuity Nod: Numerous to earlier games, as usual, including some of the names of minor characters. Most notable is the return of the town-building sidequest from Dragon Quest III.
  • Cool Boat: The Marle de Dragonne, which is more of a floating castle than anything else. It is, more or less two boats, glued together by the castle in the middle. It even has its own Awesome Music. Now that's one Nice Boat.
  • Crazy-Prepared: SAIDE. The guy is implied to have never been outside of the desert, but is strong as heck for an NPC, has some mad skills, and hasn't even started on his first real adventure until the end of the game. Sure, he's Hadeed's descendant, but Hadeed was never as strong as Saide despite having more fighting experience than Saide!
  • Cut-and-Paste Environments: The bonus dungeons. Both of them.
    • The tablet quests from the 3DS remake are literally this: just takes areas from the game and fill them with the tablet's monsters. The chests and pots are present there as well, but have different loot.
  • Darker and Edgier: This may just be the darkest Dragon Quest ever. While previous and future entries often dealt with some rather dark material, DQ7 dives headlong into stuff like racism, slavery, multiple acts of genocide, horrific natural disasters, the brutality of war, and more.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: God was defeated!
  • Dojikko: Aimy/Antonia of Litorud/El Ciclo looks like this at first, falling down the stairs every morning... But that's not entirely her fault.
  • Did I Just Say That Out Loud?: After the Time Sage is defeated, as he dies he boasts that even with him gone, El Ciclo will remain trapped in his time loop...unless his giant hourglass is destroyed. Bonus points for how he actually realizes his blunder just before he dies.
  • Dirty Coward: If you get trapped inside Pilgrim's Perdition (and you have your skills drained by the evil priest), your option of escaping is to use the Soulstealer to kill five other people (taking their souls) and have the babygoyles get you out. Of course, as the NPCs note, it's considered morally reprehensible, and Strom will NOT put up with it.
  • Disc One Final Boss: The first fight with Orgodemir is an utterly perfect example. You fight him at the end of a long, treacherous dungeon (which is conspicuously devoid of treasure). The plot revolves around fighting him. He goes One-Winged Angel midway through the battle with him, and afterward, you don't get any experience or gold from the battle (which is typical for final bosses). Except, you're still on disc one of two. There's more game to come, but for now, change to disc two to continue the story.
  • Disc One Nuke: As is standard for the series, once the casino becomes available, it's remarkably easy to use Save Scumming to reload your way into an incredible gambling winning streak, with the tokens then traded in for gear that will outclass anything that will be found for several dungeons. Given that the casino first appears right before all of your skills and spells get locked away, this might just count as Developers' Foresight.
    • An almost literal example in the form of Bang. When Maribel learns it (Which is within Engow's scenario usually), it is basically an "I Win" button for almost all random encounters. By the time you reach Dharma Temple / Alltrades Abbey, you'll have access to boomerangs that attack everything and whips which attack enemy groups. You will find yourself using them a lot.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: A village, in the present, dresses up in animal costumes in a celebration.
  • Doom Magnet: Loomin/Nottagen's an entire town suffering from this. And no, it's not a Doomed Hometown, either. Unless you screw up.
  • Downer Ending: Dialac/Regenstein. You arrive too late to save the townspeople from their Taken for Granite state, as the statues are degrading. The bright spot is that there are two survivors and the island gets restored anyway.
    • Loomin/Nottagen if you make the wrong choice regarding Chibi (i.e. kill him).
  • Dub Name Change: The 3DS remake in English changes pretty much changes everything's name from the PSX version. Check the Character's page to see the original/remake.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Up to and including wine bottles, books, pots, wells, and columns.
  • Famed In-Story: The party, by virtue of the game's time travel elements. Whenever you visit a town in the present, they are bound to talk about the travelers who saved their town, oblivious that those same travelers are before them now. The people of Dune even recognize the group, despite the centuries between visits.
  • A Fête Worse Than Death: The Festival of Engow, which involves throwing torches into the volcano — something the local Big Bad plans to turn to his advantage by stoking an EvilFlame and setting off an eruption.
  • Fiery Redhead: Maribel.
  • Foreshadowing: When you return to Emberdale during the Greenthumb Gardens arc, speaking to the man who married the dancer will cause Kiefer to muse about how being married is incompatible with being an adventurer. This ends up foreshadowing his decision to remain in the past with the Roamers.
    • Sometimes, if you talk to Mayor Mayde after completing an island, he'll remark that sometimes he worries so much about Maribel that it makes him sick. At the time, you probably consider it a figure of speech, but he in fact does become critically ill after the events in Mardra/Hubble.
  • Fluffy Fashion Feathers: The Angel leotard has a bunch of feathers arranged like a Showgirl Skirt. But this is just in the artwork, not the game itself.
  • Fortune Teller: Pamala/Palmela of Engow/Emberdale. She's stuck playing The Cassandra when you first meet, warning of disaster that you have to avert. Later, she comes back into play a couple more times.
  • Free Rotating Camera: Some areas lock it though.
  • Gambit Roulette: Played by GOD of all people. Blocked entirely for plot contents. God has set up his battle with Orgodemir so that his four Spirits can be revived if they fell. He sealed his warrior Melvin away for the Hero to gain and add strength to his party. The Hero was about to be born in a Doomed Hometown, but God saved him and moved him to the continent of Estard in the future when the Ruins could be used. The Hero was originally a child marked with the Aqua Spirit's brand — but only half, his father Sharkeye was not killed, only Sealed in ice until needed so that the Hero can gain the entire seal. Estard, on the other hand, was the ONLY island that was spared from Orgodemir's destruction. On that island was the Ruins that allow the Hero to go into the past and save all the worlds. The shards to get to each world are arranged in difficulty to allow the Hero to grow. Then, right after the Hero has killed Orgodemir, the revival ceremony to revive God is allowed to finally work. Sadly, right after that is the Body Snatcher incident, but... God's Gambit works perfectly.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: One party member is Gabo / Ruff, who joins you at level one. It seems a little weird... except that Gabo is a feral child and technically an adolescent - ergo it makes perfect sense that he doesn't have a lot of combat prowess or experience. Melvin/Mervyn and Aira/Aishe, meanwhile, are at a much higher level when they join.
    • Additionally, Melvin/Mervyn, a paladin who was a warrior of God, joins your party, yet he is only slightly stronger than you are or even weaker. Except that he had been sealed away for God knows how long — not staying in shape.
    • Keifer learns Flame Slash as one of his first abilities. The 3DS remake of course shows him attempting it on a monster in a cutscene.
    • When Aira/Aishe joins, she already has the dancer class mastered, as well as several levels into Warrior. This is indeed befitting of her status as the village dancer as well as someone who is at the very least knowledgeable about weaponry. Additionally, the reason why it's only at level three makes sense as well — she mentions her parents usually don't like her fighting, so she isn't able to do a lot of training.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Talking to everyone, both the various NPCs and your own party via Party Chat, results in a lot of questionable scenes.
    • In one instance, you can talk to two kids trying unsuccessfully to milk a cow. Your party observes among themselves that said cow is male, and Melvin/Mervyn comments that he milked many a teat in his day.
    Engow Mayor: Let's go get piss drunk!
  • God Is Evil: Subverted, the God you first resurrect is actually the Demonlord in disguise.
  • The Gods Must Be Lazy: Turns out God won the war against the Demon Lord, but after sealing him away and recovering, he decided to let humanity and the four elemental spirits clean up the fallout themselves in spite of being both stronger than the Demon Lord and free to fix the problems created by the sealing of the world.
    • You actually get the opportunity to call God out on this when you meet him as the Bonus Boss. He responds by telling you that you do not realize what true suffering is as he prepares to visit upon you the full wrath of God!
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All:
    • The main story requires gathering map pieces to restore islands. Additional fragments are used to unlock late game and post game dungeons.
    • Collection sidequests include recording every monster in the Big Book of Beasts, sending all recruitable monsters to the Monster Park/Meadows, and finding enough mini medals to cash in all the prizes from King Maximo.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: One region is stuck in this, prompting further timey wimey antics trying to hunt down the cause.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: Numerous guests "join" you and some even contribute in combat. You cannot control them.
    • Kiefer, somewhat infuriatingly.
  • Guide Dang It: Many map pieces, which are needed to advance the plot, are hidden in out-of-the-way places. This fortunately becomes averted in the 3DS version, which will often direct you to the next tablet fragment, but even then a player may find themselves confused onto just what these hints mean.
    • Want the best monster class-forms or the town-type of your choice? You're gonna need a guide.
    • At one point late in the game, you must use the Empty Bottle to collect Rainbow Dew. The Rainbow Dew could be collected hours earlier - but the game doesn't really direct you to do so or tell you just where you can find it. Fortunately it's out of the way.
    • Hybrid skills are mentioned PSX version's manual, but it never explains exactly how to get them. After reaching a certain rank in a class, the character will be mentioned as having "matured"; the character must then immediate switch to the other class and mature in order to learn the skill. The 3DS version gets rid of hybrid skills, simply relocating them to the classes' main skillsets. However, in doing so, they ended up introducing a different problem...
      • In the 3DS version, intermediate and advanced human vocations have powerful spells and skills that are locked, e.g. only the Monster Masher can use breath attacks they learn, and etc. This means that if you master a vocation and switch to another one, you lose the ability to use those powerful skills. Monster vocations have the benefit of learning some of those skills permanently, but again, the game never explains this outright.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: Once again, your hero.
  • Heroic Mime: Lampshaded by the Party Talk feature; your allies frequently prompt you to respond, or react as if you had actually said something to them... or just given them a Meaningful Look or two.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Matilda - however it's a case of I Cannot Self-Terminate
    • The warrior in Pink manages to do it, earning himself a Redemption Equals Death
    • The Priest of Providence. As it turns out he was more than willing to do this in the past...
    • Twice in Nottagen:
      • Buddy's first monster pet, a rock monster, detonates to save Buddy from the vine monster.
      • Wiggles will, if spared, fight off the rest of the hell worms to save Buddy and die of his wounds.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight:
    • You get a couple, both in the Dharma/Alltrades area when your spells/abilities are stolen. What's more, the other boss fights in the area that you're actually intended to win aren't any picnic either, even after you've gotten your spells/abilities back.
    • The first round against the corrupted King Zeppel/Hybris is also one of these.
  • Humanity Ensues: A few times.
    • In L'Arca as a result of the curse of Deathpal/Hackrobat, which turned all the humans into animals and all the animals, including party member Gabo/Ruff into humans. The curse is done, but not before the monster makes it permanent for the young White Wolf.
    • When returning to L'Arca, it turns out that Deathpal/Hackrobat himself has become (a rather scruffy) human due to his powers being sealed. His attempt to undo Gabo/Ruff's curse results in Gabo/Ruff learning to talk just like a human.
    • In the 3DS remake, Haven is a home for reformed monsters who have become human.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Monsters boast about eating people alive.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: Your hero, naturally. Dharma/Alltrades Abbey lets him become The Ace more easily than other characters.
  • Jerkass: Hondara/Pike, for being a lazy, good-for-nothing drunkard who stoops to bullying kids.
    • That warrior in the pink armor. After having his abilities stripped of him, he takes the demons up on their offer to use the Soulshatter Sword to shatter five souls, with his justification being that he deserves better than everyone else in Penal Town/Pilgrims' Perdition. The last soul shattered ends up being Neris/Nava's kid brother Zaji/Zev. You meet up with him again later, and not only is he not the least bit repentant for what he's done, he actually mocks Neris/Nava for wanting revenge.
    • The present day Mayor of Labres is this, Crazy-Prepared, and Ax-Crazy. He feared someone was going to find the tablet eventually, and had a giant axe ready to smash it to bits when they did. Why he did it has no real justification either.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: The people of Nottagen are distrustful of Buddy's second monster pet. They're clearly not meant to be sympathised with, even though they do have a point that a monster may not be the ideal choice for a pet, especially since they were just saved from monsters who attacked and took over the village twice in the past couple months. Of course, you could always decide to castigate them for their behaviour...
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: "The Pink Soldier" dies protecting another man from a monster attack, which is the only time he ever thinks for anyone other than himself.
  • Jumped at the Call: Kiefer. He's so excited by the prospect of adventure, that after your first actual fight (against mere slimes, no less), he goes into a hysterical laughing fit from the adrenaline rush.
    • After Dragon Quest Monsters: Caravan Heart, we know the reasons behind all this: he'd been transported to Alefgard as a child, and has been bored stiff with the lack of adventure ever since.
  • Karmic Transformation: Deathpal/Hackrobat. After transforming all of the humans in L'Arca to animals (and vice verse), he himself becomes human due to being drained of his power. He's reduced to using his scary voice to intimidate other monsters, because if they saw him they would attack him. He decides to make it up to Ruff for cursing him earlier by changing him back into a wolf, but only succeeds in letting him talk just like a human...but as it turned out, he prefers his new human form.
  • Kavorka Man: According to the Wind Spirit, Gabo.
  • Killer Robot: The Mechsoldiers assaulting Falrish. Comes complete with Turned Against Their Masters / Hoist by His Own Petard when the strongest Mechsoldier crushes the monster commanding them.
  • Knight Templar Parent: The King of Estard, who forbids Kiefer from helping to restore the world. Not that it stops him. Tragically, by the time he comes around and is willing to give Kiefer his blessing, it's too late...
  • Lampshade Hanging: Done quite a bit with party chat. Special mention goes to when you finally are going up to the actual church in Alltrades Abbey... when even the other npcs are getting frustrated at how long it's taking and comment just how impossibly fast it was for the monsters to set up an arena.
  • Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards: Inverted — Both fighters and mages get a lot of fancy abilities. Unfortunately, the problem with mages is that they don't have anything to multiply the power of their abilities like warriors do. Warriors have several abilities that are boosted in power by Sap (lowers enemy defence), Focus or Muster Strength (allows the next attack to deal more damage) and Oomph (Doubles attack power). This enables mages to deal only just above triple digit damage, whereas an oomphed Focus Strengthed warrior will hit for over a thousand damage with Knuckle Sandwich (And this will only take a couple rounds to set up, too). Even for clearing out groups of enemies, mages fall behind since most prestige warrior classes get access to useful abilities like Thin Air, which hits harder than any of the Boom spells do and costs nothing. Later on, mages are useful primarily for healing, buffing, and debuffing.
  • Love Dodecahedron: Hoo boy. In Verdham: Iwan has an Arranged Marriage with Linda, but Linda loves his gardener, Pepe. Iwan's maid Kaya loves him, and jokes about poisoning everyone to get what she wants. Linda and Kaya both pressure Pepe to fight for her, but he cracks under the pressure of trying to please everyone and leaves town so she can marry and live well. Nobody's happy, and even Maribel and Kiefer get pissed at the non-solution.
    • And it goes From Bad to Worse, folks. We get to revisit Verdham down the road, and we get to see the results of the fact that everyone went stupid the last time you were here — Iwan loses the house and is worthless, Kaya has married the new owner of the house, we find out that her poisoning jokes weren't exactly jokes, Linda abandoned her family to become a nun at a convent overlooking Pepe's estate at Mentare and recently passed away pining for Pepe, and Pepe has become a confirmed bachelor. Perhaps it's for the best that Verdham in the present is a ruin, with only the decaying herb garden left to mark that it even existed.
  • Love at First Sight: Michaela has elements of this with the hero. What really hits it off for her is his age similarity to herself (a breath of fresh air when your castle is full of older people) and kind nature. Though it's never really explored much, the Hero is noted by allies to get a bit shy around her when Party Chatting, and is said to be rather happy to be kissed by her in the epilogue. This is all to Maribel's chagrin, of course.
  • Magic Knight: Melvin/Mervyn, who is more magic-centric. Aira/Aishe is a more combat-centric example. The armamentalist class focuses on this.
  • Marathon Level: Dharma Temple/Alltrades Abbey.
    • Nottagen — you have to save the village three times. Even though you can doom them, but why would you do that?
  • Meaningful Name: Loomin and Nottagen. Loomin because the threat of evil is always looming over the town... and Nottagen because when the player goes back for the third time to restore the town, they are probably thinking Not Again! (See Marathon Level)
  • Metamorphosis: Little Gabo/Ruff got hit by this.
  • Mistaken for Own Murderer: Exploited by the head of the monsters in one area. It strikes a deal with the local priest, claiming that as long as the priest lives in a cursed, monstrous form, it will leave his hometown and everyone living there alone. However, the transformed man is forced to return home and try to live among the residents, who naturally tend to assume that he killed the real priest and is mocking them. In other words, the monster expects them to invalidate the deal by killing the transformed priest themselves, at which point it can swoop in and finish them off...
  • Moral Event Horizon: In-Universe. While Orgodemir is called the Demon Lord for good reason, the party outright states in Party Chat that turning newborn children into monsters and making them attack their parents in Buccanham has unequivocally crossed the line!
  • My God, What Have I Done?: In present-Faraday, upon witnessing his guards critically damage ELLIE under the false belief she was about to attack Ambrose, the King finally realizes that ELLIE is more than just a machine and how his blind obsession with advancing Faraday's technology was preventing him from seeing the big picture. He immediately agrees to return ELLIE to Autonymous's house and resolves to be more mindful and ethical in his technological pursuits.
  • Nerf: Happened to some abilities by making them limited to some classes. The most notable being the Blade of Ultimate Power.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Make the wrong choices in certain cases, and...
    • Nottagen's scenario forces you to do this — by clearing the darkness, you cause a huge man-eating plant monster to return. Oops. You can make this even worse by deciding to kill Chibi / Wiggles, resulting in the entire town save one getting killed.
  • Noble Wolf: The White Wolves of Orph. Also, Gabo.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Pomposo is a clear analogue to Antoni Gaudi, with the buildings he designs evoking Gaudi's Signature Style. Made even clearer in the remake, where the local town of El Ciclo gains a Spanish accent.
  • Now, Where Was I Going Again?: "Party Talk" will often be this — especially in the 3DS version, wherein the characters will mention what you were doing last. Very useful in a game of this length and if one sets the game down for awhile.
  • One-Man Party: Amazingly, it's not the hero. Protip: Despite it being completely against common sense, teach Gabo healing spells. He's the only character that never leaves your party, including the main character, and running out of healers sucks.
  • Only Sane Man: In Krage, only the elderly mayor manages to resist the poisoned water long enough for you to retrieve the cure, and only he drinks the Holy Dew willingly.
  • Our Souls Are Different: They can be sucked out by a magical sword. And restored by stabbing the victim with the same blade.
  • Papa Wolf: Borkano. The remaining sea-monsters in the world are why he's so against you and Maribel traveling with him.
    • In a later example, he's rescued by Sharkeye, after it's implied that he's been fighting monsters on the sea — ALONE — for a good while, no less.
  • Parental Obliviousness: Subverted; the heroes' parents find out what they're doing early on and cope with it... to varying degrees.
  • Permanently Missable Content: An entire town. If you make the wrong choice in past-Loomin and kill Chibi, the town is destroyed and there's nothing you can do about it.
  • Pet Baby Wild Animal: Sieble/Buddy does this twice, with Rocky the Bombcrag and Chibi the larval Hellworm. Um... yeah. Guy has exotic tastes.
  • Plot Hole: After your first fight (against Slimes, of course), Kiefer's reaction suggests this is the first time he's ever encountered monsters, let alone fought some. Then Caravan Heart came out.
    • But here's where this is arguably averted: In Caravan Heart Keifer didn't fight. His monsters did.
  • Power Fist: Gabo/Ruff uses claw versions, they do look like powerfists in the game but the icon and artwork shows them as claws. His high strength still lets him give a good haymaker though!
  • Power of the God Hand: One of three Advanced classes is called the Godhand.
  • Prestige Class: The advanced classes are this — as they require you to master multiple basic classes and intermediate classes to be able to promote to and give powerful abilities. Godhand/Champion and Summoner/Druid are these for fighters and mages, respectively.
  • Precision F-Strike: Averted. A lot of other "bad words" are used though. Even by Gabo/Ruff. Pretty jarring considering the NES and GBC entries...
  • Prolonged Prologue: You need to spend at least two hours of gameplay to get into a first dungeon and first battle with a slime. The 3DS remake trims it down considerably, but there's still a fair bit of time before the first battle.
  • The Quisling: In Dune, Hadeed insists that Queen Ferid has become this. Ultimately, she's a sympathetic example, struggling to protect her people while undermining the monsters wherever possible.
  • Raised by Natives: Firia, a sweet little girl adopted by Pendragon, the leader of the winged Lefa tribe. She faces constant bullying by her peers and step-sister, and copes as best she can... And then the whole thing gets turned on its head by her father admitting that she's not adopted. He IS her father — she was just born without wings, and the cowardly dumbass thought it was better to let her grow up treated like an outsider than admit she was really his own.
  • Raised by Wolves: Gabo/Ruff, with good reason: he IS a wolf.
  • Random Drop: The monster hearts are a particularly annoying example of this. You can find some in chests (in limited supply), win some from the Lucky Panel minigame (infinite supply, if you have the patience and luck), but some (such as Boltrat, Dumbira, and LizardMan, all three of which must be mastered to work up to some of the best advanced monster classes) can only be obtained by battling the monsters and hoping you get lucky. Expect to spend many hours of farming before you see your first Dumbira heart, if you don't give up before that point.
    • The thief and pirate class actually work like this, you don't get the item until the battle is over.
  • Random Events Plot: The plot arcs for each island are usually separate from each other.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Played with; the party meets a warrior in pink armor who's headed to the Shrine of Dharma/Alltrades Abbey to change classes. He's stripped of his powers by the monsters' trap and shunted to the shanty town like everyone else. He then goes mad and takes the demons up on their soul-stealing deal, and is ultimately killed during an uprising... But dies while defending another man, who is inspired by his sacrifice and calls him a hero.
  • Rebellious Princess: Kiefer hits every part of this trope's description save gender.
    • Later on, there's Aira/Aishe of the Deja tribe/Roamers, who's just as rebellious. There's a reason for that.
    • Maribel is a Mayor's daughter. Pretty close.
  • Redemption Equals Death: In Dharma Temple/Alltrades Abbey, the pink armored warrior ends up sacrificing himself to save a child from monsters.
  • Redundant Researcher: The desert scholar.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Eri/E.L.L.I.E., for Jerkass Zebbot/Autonymus's dead wife.
  • Ripple Effect-Proof Memory: Possessed only by your party and the other people on your island.
  • Robot Maid: Eri. Not a Ridiculously Human Robot.
  • Rule of Funny: WHEE!! I'm selling my old weapons to a CHICKEN!! Wait, he used to be a human? Oh well. How much for this Copper Sword? Cock-a-doodle-do!
  • Sadly Mythtaken: Happens in-universe; thanks to Time Travel, the heroes witness several events which are then twisted by the passage of time, leading to various effects. In at least one instance, the twisting is deliberate to guard the town's reputation.
  • Satan: Orgodemir is clearly meant to be a parallel to him.
    • He's certainly cruel enough. Not to mention, extremely prideful.
  • Sealed Good in a Can: The hero Melvin/Mervyn was sealed away in case the Demon Lord happened to rise again.
    • The crew of the Marle de Dragonne were sealed away by a curse of the Demon Lord, frozen in a block of ice for hundreds of years. It's possible to run into the frozen ship long before there's any hint in the game whatsoever what happened to it. When the Demon Lord is revived and casts the world into darkness, this has the side-effect of dispelling the ice that froze the Marle de Dragoone, and they arrive at Fishbel just in time to provide some help.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: The majority of the journey in Disc 1 is restoring the world to its original state. In the present day, all the other lands have long fallen into despair and destruction from Orgodemir's minions and ultimately sealed away as a result of their schemes. The party uses the Fane to go back to the past of each land when the crisis can still be averted and set things right to restore the land in the present.
  • Shoot the Dog: In Loomin/Nottagen, the townsfolk ask you do this to Chibi, Sieble's beloved baby Hellworm. It's clearly the wrong choice, however, and results in a BAD END for all involved.
  • Shout-Out: The man who tasks you with building your own town? Sim.
    • In Verdham/Greenthumb Gardens, there's a pair of sisters who are references to Meena and Maya. One of them is a dancer and mentions that her sister hasn't been the same since they took revenge for their father.
    • One nun at the church overlooking the past version of Wilted Heart prays in memory of the sisters who did it for themselves.
    • The Hubbstock festival has among its torban candidates Jimi, Eddie, Lemmy and Yngwie.
  • The Casino: One located near Alltrades Abbey... oddly in the well. Another is in a palace.
  • The Slacker: Hondara/Pike, the hero's worthless wannabe Con Man uncle. Your mother frequently worries that her son might turn out the same way. The Holy Water he offers to sell you, though? The real deal. Surprises the hell out of his neighbors. The Hot Stone he's trying to pawn off also turns out to be very significant to the plot.
  • So Long, and Thanks for All the Gear: Averted; when Kiefer leaves, he gives back all the equipment you gave him.
    • Played straight in the original with Maribel, with no warning. Hope she wasn't carrying anything useful, like the Bless Staff or Tiny Medals... or that empty bottle. No idea what would happen if she was holding the DarkRuby, which would normally be taken from you later beyond your control.
  • Squishy Wizard: Maribel starts off as one with her natural stat growth and offensive spells learned by default, but unlocking the Job system allows her to take another path.
  • Stable Time Loop: During the game, you hear from various people or in books about the climatic battle between God and the Demon Lord, with the implication that God was defeated in the battle. So why doesn't the Demon Lord exist in the present? Turns out the Demon Lord was left heavily wounded by God and the party is the one who goes back in time using the final Pedastal to finish him off. Until he's inadvertently revived by the Deja/Roamer tribe at least.
  • Sword of Plot Advancement: The Aquagon sword. It's initially provided by the King of Coastal as a reward for saving the kingdom, and is by far the best weapon for the hero available at the time (and for a long time after). Later on, it's the key to convincing Sharkeye that you're telling the truth, and it helps to revive the Aqua Spirit.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: You can talk to your other party members at any time, even during battle! ...However, if you choose to talk three times in a single turn instead of selecting your actions for that round, the enemy gets a free round of attacks.
  • There Is No God: The Glowering Inferno believes that the deity that the citizens of Emberdale are worshipping doesn't exist at all. It turns out he does.
  • Time Skip: Aside from the obvious, you get to revisit a few 'past time' towns while working on other villages in the region. One case gives you an update on the Love Dodecahedron mentioned above: Iwan married Linda, but lost his family fortune and now works for the new rich guy in town; Linda's become a Missing Mom and left her resentful son with Iwan; Kaya married the new guy and is slowly poisoning him as revenge in Iwan's name...
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: Oh yeah. There isn't much mention as to how many years have passed between the past and present, made even more confusing once you revisit previous locations and characters while working on other locations.
  • Torches and Pitchforks: Shows up in Labres, when the citizens try lynching a monster that's holed up in the church. Turns out, however, that the 'monster' is the kindly priest, who voluntarily changed into a monster to protect them for as long as he lived as a mute, hideous demon.
  • Town with a Dark Secret: A minor version, but still irritating: Present day Labres turned the tale of how they nearly killed the priest who sacrificed so much to protect them into a yarn about them protecting the priest from 'evil travelers', and treat the family that's been passing down the truth like freaks. While you can expose the truth, the adults just keep covering it up — but hey, at least the kids find out what really happened and decide to work to overturn those lies.
  • Tragic Monster: Matilda/Maeve. Her fate leaves your little group a bit shaken and forces them to recognize that their quest is Not a Game.
  • Translation Train Wreck: There are numerous typos in the English version, but given the sheer amount of text they had to translate...
  • Trauma Conga Line: Buddy - first he is kicked out of his house by monsters. When he goes back, one stays with him but then blows itself up so Buddy won't be taken by the vines. Then he gets a pet monster who the townsfolk want to kill and who [[spoiler:sacrifices himself too when the town gets attacked by monsters once again.
  • Triang Relations: Layla/Lala and Jann/Florin are in a relationship, but there are complications even before Kiefer enters the equation...
  • Tsundere: Maribel, who's heavy on the tsun-tsun and not so much with the dere-dere for most of the game.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: Your hero, Kiefer, and Maribel, once they leave to go discover new islands. After Kiefer leaves forever and until you get Mervyn, which is quite a while, Hero, Maribel, and Gabo/Ruff.
  • Unpleasable Fanbase: In-Universe example: No matter how the town old man Sim is making turns out in the end, he doesn't like it. He particularly hates the cathedral form, wishing a fiery death on its inhabitants, but he isn't particularly pleased with any other result. The closest to "happy" he gets is with the default town, where he simply complains about the fact that it feels like the town is slipping away from him. His successor in the 3DS version is completely the opposite.
  • Useless Useful Spell: Zig-zagged - only a couple bosses are immune or resistant to Sap, and only a couple trash mobs are outright immune to instant-death spells. However, it is often better (and more practical) to just spam cost-free abilities that hit harder and sometimes all enemies, or use a scepter later in the game that will cast a powerful spell for free.
  • Valley Girl: The people in Nottagen ("Worst. Town. Ever."), like, totally talk like this. Even the elderly say things like "ASAP".
  • Video Game 3D Leap: The leap was very minor in this case, with Dragon Quest VIII seeing the full presentation upgrade.
    • The 3DS remake opted to ape its successors, with full 3D models for the whole cast and in-engine cutscenes.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: You can cause Nottagen to be destroyed in the present by deciding to just go Shoot the Dog.
  • Video Game Remake: Released for the Nintendo 3DS in Japan in February 2013 and in America in September 2016.
  • War Is Hell: The central theme of Faraday and Probina/Providence is the brutality and tragedy of war.
  • Water Source Tampering: Krage's sole source of water is a single well in the middle of town. Then it gets spiked with a poison that makes everyone believe that they're the Demon Lord. Considerable amounts of Stupid Evil antics ensue until your merry band is able to do anything about it.
  • Whip It Good: Maribel primarily uses whips, but a certain whip can be used by the Hero.
  • Wild Child: Gabo/Ruff, due to originally being a wolf.
  • Winged Humanoid: The Lefa Tribe of Gorges in the past.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle: You finally made it back to Alltrades Abbey... oh wait, now they built an arena. In an impossibly short amount of time -- the characters are just as surprised as the player is.
    • Great job, you resurrected God! Wait a minute... he's starting to enslave everyone... and seal off the world again.
    • Congratulations! You've just destroyed the Demon King and finally brought peace to the world. Except you're still on Disc 1.
    • You have just killed the monster causing darkness around Nottagen. Wait a moment, why is it still ruined? Back to fix it! Well now you saved them from a man-eating plant. Now let's see what-wait why are they still ruined?

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