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Video Game: Dragonquest VIII

The eighth entry into the Dragon Quest series.

Dark times have fallen on the kingdom of Trodain. The villainous jester Dhoulmagus has stolen a powerful scepter from the kingdom, and used its power to curse its inhabitants: most of the inhabitants have been turned into humanoid plants, King Trode has been turned into a squat little troll, and the beautiful Princess Medea has been turned into a beautiful white horse.

The only one spared is a young guard, and he dutifully follows orders to hunt down Dhoulmagus, return the scepter to its rightful place, and break the curse over everyone.

Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King broke ground in several respects: it's the first Dragon Quest game on the PlayStation 2, the first DQ game in three dimensions, the first released in Europe (not counting the spin-off Dragon Quest Monsters), and the first released as Dragon Quest in the United States (as Square Enix finally acquired the rights to the name). It's also the first in which party members are visible during battle sequences.

Like most others in the series, it became extraordinarily popular in Japan, while achieving at most moderate success elsewhere.

In 2013, Dragon Quest VIII was released for smartphones in Japan. A North American release on iOS and Android followed in May 2014.

For tropes related to the Characters, go to the Dragon Quest VIII Character Sheet. New character trope examples should go there too.


This game has examples of:

  • Ambition Is Evil - Truly exemplified by Marcello.
  • Always Chaotic Evil - Subverted when you reach Trian Gully, where monsters, humans, and elves lives together in peace and harmony, but otherwise played straight with many other monsters you meet, especially the ones from the World of Darkness.
  • And I Must Scream - The poor residents of Trodain castle. Also, Medea isn't exactly capable of expressing her thoughts on the situation. Anyone possessed by Rhapthorne must feel like this, from Jessica's description.
  • Anyone Can Die - Not the core party, of course, but this game possibly has the largest side character body count in the entire series. To whit, all seven of the Sage Heirs are murdered, Empyrea's child is destroyed before he's even born, and the entire population of Neos is wiped out by the emergence of Rhapthorne's palace.
  • Arc Words - Cor Blimey! At the first end of the game, Medea herself says it to her father.
  • Artifact of Doom - The scepter Dhoulmagus takes. It's later revealed to be holding Rhapthorne, the ultimate evil.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence - When Baumren passes on after you put him to rest.
  • Ass Kicks You - Jessica's Hip Drop attack.
  • Battle Aura - Tension.
  • Battle Bikini - Jessica has several, and even changes outfits in-battle when they're worn.
  • Beastly Bloodsports - Mori's Monsterous Pit, where the player is given a starter set and is tasked with finding and recruiting stronger ones to battle in the arena.
  • Bird Run - King Trode of all people does this everywhere he runs. Contributes to his Ugly Cute status.
  • Black Magician Girl - Jessica. Forceful personality? Check. Action Girl? Check. Offensive caster? Check.
    • However, unlike the typical Black Magician Girl, Jessica has a not-insubstantial physical attack.
  • Big Bad Wannabe - Dhoulmagus initially stole the scepter so that he could become the world's strongest magician and get back at all the people who humiliated him. Rhapthorne, however, had other plans.
  • Bizarrchitecture: The Black Citadel, Rhapthorne's palace, starts out merely looking imposing and eventually degenerates into an almost Silent Hill level of architectural creepiness near the end.
  • Blessed Are the Cheesemakers - the hero's pet mouse, Munchie (who actually turns out to be the hero's grandfather, Chen-Mui, in disguise to help him out) can be fed various types of cheese to perform special attacks in-battle.
  • Boisterous Bruiser - In a pub brawl, Yangus beats a guy over the head with a chair while someone is still sitting in it.
  • Bonus Dungeon and Bonus Boss - The Dragovian Trials. Also the Dragon Graveyard and the Trolls' Maze, since they're not relevant to the main story.
    • On a smaller scale, the Puff Puff club. It has no relevance whatsoever on the plot and keeps no bonuses or notable items apart from a tinymedal.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy - Anyone (including a dog) who gets a hold of the scepter, except Marcello, Angelo's half-brother, who manages to (temporarily) out-will the Big Bad. Possibly his Crowning Moment Of Awesome, given that this is the Crystal Dragon Jesus version of Satan.
    • Khalamari, the second boss.
  • Break the Haughty - Marcello.
    • Prince Charmles in both endings, and to a much lesser degree, King Trode.
    • Dominico. He does not take his failure to protect David well.
  • But Now I Must Go - Empyrea, a.k.a. Ramia, leaves after the party dispatches the Big Bad for good, with a heartfelt thanks.
  • But Thou Must - Obligatory, with the most entertaining occurring in the normal ending.
  • The Casanova - Morrie, who seems to have cobbled together a happy polyamorous relationship with his curvy blonde companions Marrie, Mirrie, Murrie, and Merrie.
    • Angelo. The Lady of Skills even flirts with him when you ask about his Charisma.
  • Catch Phrase - Yangus' "COR BLIMEY!" and Dhoulmagus' "Such a pity." The latter turns out to be Rhapthorne's catchphrase, not Dhoulmagus' — whoever he's possessing via the staff will say it.
  • Chekhov's Gun - Quite a few, but one doesn't pay off until the good ending: the Argonian Heart you obtain while performing the initiation rite with for Charmles. Once the hero's discovered his history, it pays off in a BIG and very satisfying fashion.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture - The church in this game still keeps dungeons in its abbeys for converting heretics, and the party is kept in a cell at one point to await torture in one the next morning. Angelo's comments make pretty clear that Marcello has a decent amount of practice as an inquisitor.
  • Combat Medic - Despite the fact that his outfit and hair color are reminiscent of another character archetype from another series, Angelo fits, and in his case, it is more justified than the typical cleric character in that he is a Templar. No, not that kind.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard - The battles in the game are of the old school "enter your commands at the start of the round and watch them execute" variety. The computer has no such limitation and will take its turn at the moment, rather than at the round start like the player. This results in situations such as the enemy curing itself of a status effect that was just inflicted that turn, dispelling freshly cast buffs, healing and reviving freshly killed allies, etc. Naturally, the player is unable to perform such clairvoyant acts and must wait until the next round. The twist comes in the fact that, if you put your own allies on AI, they can now perform these acts. This makes the computer a far more effective healer than the player, since they can cure injuries instantly and efficiently instead of being forced to wait, or wasting MP curing everybody regardless of full health in preparation for incoming damage.
    • The player can even exploit the computer reviving allies for powerleveling.
    • Another bit of cheating the computer can do is using powerful high-damage attacks like fire-breathing as often as it likes for no penalty. This is especially grating early on, when the weakest breath attack does 30 to 40 damage to everyone and your characters' max HP scores are barely twice that at best. Get into a fight with three or more enemies that can use such attacks, and you can easily get a full-party defeat without any chance of even trying to heal up from it.
    • Easily the worst example, however, are the bell-like enemies. Their favorite tactic is to call in reinforcements, which, in the case of the ones in the arctic area, is more of themselves...who then get a free turn to call in more, until you're facing a full octave of them... at which point the 8th one will perform a technique that kills your entire party. (Just to rub salt on the wound? The animation for this technique is the 8 bells playing the "Game Over" dirge.)
  • Continuing Is Painful. While you don't have to reload the game, losing half your gold is nothing to laugh about. That is, until you find a bank and start selling excess armor and weapons.
  • Corrupt Church - The Church of the Goddess has real problems with this. There are plenty of true believers and upstanding members, though.
  • Covert Pervert - King Trode. Go on, hit the select button after changing Jessica's outfit, especially regarding the bunny suit and the divine bustier. See Dirty Old Man below.
  • Cursed with Awesome - In the epilogue, it's revealed that the main character had his memory wiped as a child... with the side effect being that he was given immunity to curses. This shows up in gameplay as well, as he cannot be afflicted by the Cursed status ailment, and can easily remove cursed equipment.
  • Cute, but Cacophonic - Don Mole, the fifth boss. A journal in Castle Argonia continues the Running Gag of how awful he is by telling that his music causes birds to fall from the sky and causes deer and rabbits to writhe on the ground in agony foaming at the mouth.
  • Cutscene Incompetence - Despite having all their weapons and armor, as well as a key that can open any door on the planet, the party and High Priest Rolo get captured and sent to Purgatory Island extremely easily.
  • Damage-Sponge Boss - Ruin could be considered one of these. After dealing with so many extremely hard bosses that have two actions per turn and that Wave of Ice ability, this one is a surprising change of pace. All it does is deal large hits to single party members with a noticeable chance of missing entirely, so you can just keep attacking while having Angelo cast Fullheal on whoever gets hit.
  • Dangerously Genre Savvy - Rhapthorne doesn't screw around when it comes to killing the people holding the seal on him. More than one are killed in front of the heroes' eyes.
  • Deadpan Snarker - You wouldn't know it by listening to just his voiced dialogue, but if you take the time to listen to Angelo every now and again while speaking to the party, it's pretty obvious he is one.
  • Delusions of Eloquence - Yangus, trying to make himself sound proper.
  • Demonic Possession - Rhapthorne does this to anyone holding his staff.
  • Demonic Spiders - The Rockbombs. On the outside, they look just like little rocks with a nice smile. Until you realize they can cast Kamikaze which will literally take everyone in your party down to 1-5 health.
  • Dirty Coward - Prince Charmles. You'd want to punt him for it, but he'd run away before you could.
  • Dirty Old Man - King Trode. Equip Jessica with any of her Battle Bikinis, and his comments on the status summary screen change from general tips and commentary to openly admiring her. Equip part of her Bunny Girl outfit, and he practically screams at you to hurry up and find the rest of it already!
  • Disc One Final Boss: Dhoulmagus.
  • Disc One Nuke - Use the Alchemy Pot. That is all.
    • Don't leave Farebury without a boomerang. It'll single-handedly keep your party alive until you have four members.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The scene where Prince Charmless tries to ride Medea is either a metaphor for spousal abuse or rape, depending on how you interpret it.
  • Doting Parent - King Trode clearly cares more for his daughter than anything else in the world.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come - After beating the game for the first time, the last scene shows where the Bonus Dungeon lies. The next time you load up that file, talking to your party reveals they all had a strange dream about that area.
    • In the first city you visit, you meet Valentina, who seems to have this very power.
  • Drowning My Sorrows - The once-great Fortuneteller Kalderasha is found in a pub, drinking hard. He eventually gets better and returns to his profession, thanks to the party and Valentina.
    • King Trode immediately hits the pub once you get to Pickham.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect? - When Prince Charmles greets the party at his wedding, he casually states that since they are peasants, they won't be allowed in the church. This is despite the fact that 1) they had recently saved the world, 2) if it wasn't for them, he would have been disinherited for failing to complete the Argonian Rite of Succession, and 3) The Hero had been promoted to Captain of his father-in-law-to-be's Royal Guard, making his exclusion from the wedding a serious insult to his bride's family.
    • On the third point, King Trode, Princess Medea, and Prince Charmless were never told that The Hero was related. Pretty much the whole series of events was done on the fly and after the fact.
    • Also not to mention that a few people in the church, such as King Pavan, Carrie and Cash, as well as King Clavius himself are good personal friends of the party, meaning they have some damn good connections. Way to show how much of an ass you are in front of the world's richest people, Charmless.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending - Let's see... in order to get the best ending, you have to beat the final boss, go through the difficult Bonus Dungeon, defeat the Bonus Boss at the end, and beat the final boss all over again; the Hero has more than earned the right to marry the Princess Medea.
  • Eek, a Mouse!! - Prince Charmles and lizards. Also a maid in Albert Mansion in Alexandria.
  • Enormous Engagement Ring: The party accompanies the prince of Argonia on a rite to slay an Argonian lizard and bring back its crystal "heart" to be made into an engagement ring. The prince is disappointed to discover how small they are and insists the party get a big one before returning home. Naturally, it is by far the largest such crystal anyone's seen.
  • Entitled Bastard: Prince Charmles is an almost textbook example. He Has to undergo a trial to prove that he's worthy, which is to get an Argonian lizard's jewel-like heart. He not only treats your party like shit the entire time and make them undergo the trial, but then they realize that he flat out BOUGHT it making all their hard work go for naught. Naturally, he is surprised when this comes back to bite him.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses - Medea
  • Evil Sorcerer - Dhoulmagus
  • Evil Weapon - The staff that Dhoulmagus stole allows Rhapthorne to possess the wielder.
  • Expy - That mysterious, softly-spoken man with blue hair is named Ishmahri. Not Seymour.
    • Also, at one point Rhapthorne posseses Marcello, transforming him into... Magus from Chrono Trigger.
  • Failure Is the Only Option - You always fail to protect Rhapthorne's targets.
  • Fairytale Wedding Dress
  • Fast-Forward Mechanic: You can stay at an inn until either sunset or sunrise, in case you wish to interact with NPCs who only appear during the day or night.
  • Fauns and Satyrs: Satyrs show up in the bestiary. Apparently, they use their flutes as a weapon.
  • Fanservice - Jessica, but also many other female characters around you. And, of course, the infamous "Puff Puff" Club, in Argonia.
  • Fiery Redhead - Jessica. And how, when she's mad. Literally too, given her penchant for throwing fireballs when angered.
  • Five-Man Band
  • Free Rotating Camera
  • Freudian Excuse - Marcello's life was effectively ruined by Angelo's birth, and he's more than a bit bitter over it. He also has to deal with the fact that, since he was born a commoner, he's not exactly popular with the Church's higher ups despite his status as Templar Captain and later, leader of the Templars, period. Whether or not this justifies his later actions is debatable.
  • Gaiden Game - Yangus stars in one.
  • Gainaxing - Jessica must be using spirit gum to stay in her outfits, given how low-cut they are and how much bouncing she does. She can even use this in battle to distract enemies, if she levels up her Sex Appeal to learn the Puff-Puff attack.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration - The Hero survives Dhoulmagus cursing the entirety of Trodain castle. In battle, he's completely immune to the Curse status condition.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation - Particularly whenever there's a storyline death. Party members die all the time... all you need to do is cast Kazing, or drag them to a church.
  • Genre Savvy - Upon discovering that Castle Trodain is completely covered in thorny vines, Jessica simply burns the vines covering the entrance with a fire spell. She mentions that her magic is not that powerful, so she can't burn them all.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar - Pretty much everything Morrie says is contains a Double Entendre. Quite intentionally so, too. How could they resist when he runs Morrie's Monstrous Pit?
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Geyzer, the guardian of the waterfall, comes as a surprise. Also Don Mole and the monsters you fight while escaping from the collapsing Dark Citadel.
  • Glass Cannon: Empyrea. As a boss, her hitpoints are about half that of other bosses at this point in the game, but she makes up for it by having some devastatingly crushing attacks.
  • A God I Am Not: The Godbird Empyrea states this of herself in the ending when King Trode asks if it's proper to tell a goddess to take care, saying these are merely titles humans bestowed upon her. This is also when Empyrea takes the time to reveal that her true name is Ramia, the very same one from DQIII.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Whenever a character is actually killed onscreen.
  • Green-Skinned Space Babe - Not really "Space", but Raja the female Elf in Trian Gully fits this trope well.
  • Guide Dang It - 90% of the Alchemy Pot formulas.
    • The playable epilogue's effect on the endgame, as well as the recipes for the most powerful weapons and armor in the game. Made all the more infuriating by the fact that the official Prima guide deliberately omits all of this information. If you get all your info from the Guide, you'll never know about the Dragovians at all.
  • Half-Human Hybrid - The Hero, who is half human, half Dragovian.
  • Handsome Lech - Angelo.
  • Happily Adopted - Valentina.
  • Helpful Mook - In battle, puppeteers can buff your party's tension. Out of battle, several NPCs are monsters that are more than happy to talk to you.
  • Heroes Fight Barehanded: You can have a barehanded hero and armed party members, but in this way you miss the chance of using powerful and useful weapons. You can however learn how to cast Razor Wind.
  • Horny Devils - The Hipster and Witch-type enemies.
  • Hot-Blooded - Morrie. Incredibly so.
  • How We Got Here - Jessica asks how Yangus, a former bandit, ended up becoming the hero's staunch ally. Yangus and Trode provide the details.
  • Hypocrite - Marcello welcomes a young orphaned Angelo into the monastery — and then promptly revokes the welcome and goes against everything he claims his order stands for the moment he learns that the orphan is the half-brother that he was disinherited in favor of.
  • Identical Son: The Hero and his father, if the pictures shown while Chen Mui tells his grandson of his past are any indication.
    • When you first meet King Clavius, he bolts from his throne and clears out his eyes when he sees the Hero. The King then tells his minister that he looks like someone he knew, but must be mistaken.
  • Improbable Weapon User - A rare inversion of this. Your party uses the standard-fare swords, staves, bows, axes, and clubs as their weapons of choice, along with the usual magic. The enemies, on the other hand, use odd and downright goofy weapons such as puppets, hornpipes, stampeding sheep, sloppy kisses, and dance moves.
  • Infinity+1 Sword - Take two swords: One is a legendary blade passed down through a hidden society of dragon people for eons, the other is a pinnacle of metal forging with orichalcon and a symbol of slime royalty. Mix the two together and you get the most powerful weapon in the GAME, and the name is just as epic as it sounds: The Dragovian King Sword. Now go forth, and obliterate thine enemies with it.
  • In Medias Res - The game starts after the hero has been traveling for some time and has already met up with Yangus.
  • In-Series Nickname - Princes Charmles of Argonia. Just about everyone (except his dad, of course) calls him "Charmless" behind his back, even Princess Medea.
    • Yangus's nickname for the protagonist is "Guv".
  • Interspecies Romance: The Hero's parents.
  • I Owe You My Life - Yangus's reason for following the hero.
  • It Always Rains at Funerals - At Abbott Fransisco's, anyways.
  • It Is Pronounced Sharm-LAY
  • Item Crafting - The alchemy pot again.
  • Jerk Ass - Charmles again. Honestly, he's like the worst parts of Elmer Fudd and Fat Bastard. His name is supposedly pronounced "Charmulls", as his father does, but the vain prince insists on "Sharm-LAY". Everyone else (quite justifiably) calls him "Charmless". Marcello, a few NPCs in Pickham, and that great magician Dominico also count.
    • Also Rolo, who's an ambitious prick who only cares for his well-being and his position. He greatly redeems himself by admitting his fault (showing genuine remorse) and by helping the party on Purgatory Island.
  • Jiggle Physics: Jessica. She has enormous boobs, which jiggle and bounce, as well as several different character models of her in skimpy clothing, and even a skill set called "Sex Appeal". Many NPCs, including women, make note of her generous assets.
    • They even bother to model the effects of gravity on her chest when she's lying on her side and as she sits up instead of just on special moves in combat. Someone spent waaaay too much effort on this.
    • A family of humanoid female enemies have this too, with jiggling boobs when attacked. Their Puff-Puff attack involved their boobs, causing the male party members to lose one or more turns in lust. They can even do this to Jessica, with hilarious results...
    "Jessica laughs triumphantly, having won the battle of the bulges."
    • In a non-female example, Don Mole is a morbidly obese anthropomorphic mole...so much so that his rolls of fat jiggle even during his idle stance. When he attacks, it is essentially a tidal wave of blubber.
    • This is even worse during the final battle with Rhapthorne. He has so many rolls of fat that just jiggle, even when he's doing nothing!
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope - Marcello. He starts out as a Knight Templar when the heroes meet him, then quickly turns to resorting to bribery to climb the political ladder of the church and practically starving the monks at Maella Abbey in favor of his Templars. And then goes From Bad to Worse, with him crossing the Moral Event Horizon and killing the Lord High Priest, who is a relatively defenseless old man. Granted, the game hints at Marcello being somewhat under Rhapthorne's influence (and it's clear that he's definitely under his control during his boss fight), and even Angelo says he doesn't believe Marcello would resort to murder.
  • Just a Stupid Accent - All over the place. While most are variants of British accents, a few others are out there. After all, the game was localized in the UK to give it a medieval European theme used by the rest of the series.
    • Dominico's accent seems to be from Birmingham.
    • American accents can be found in Baccarat and the Monster Arena announcer. Cash and Carrie take this one step further with Valspeak, like, what-EVER.
    • French accent can be found in Baccarat, during the cut-scene in the Inn.
    • Also Morrie, who uses a lot of Gratuitous Italian.
    • Marta & Marek speak with a Russian accent. Marta's dog Boris even barks in Russian. ("Gav gav!")
    • Kalderasha and Valentina seem to have a Romanian-like accent(?)
  • Just Add Water - The alchemy pot.
  • Kick the Dog - Charmles just had to go for the biggest gem during his initiation, didn't he? No matter the cost. Funny you should mention "cost"...
    • Poor David. The way Dominico abuses him when the party first arrives in Arcadia is bad enough. He even treats his pet dog Sir Leopold much better than David. When he makes him get on his knees to eat dog food after accusing David of poisoning it, it's enough for most players to pass Dominico off as a Jerk Ass, until David is killed by the now-possessed Sir Leopold, causing Dominico to break down emotionally at his murder and then realizing that he was not the heir to a sage. After wallowing in self-pity, he mellows out dramatically and urges the party to kill his once-beloved pet dog to atone for his ignorance. He also awakens some of Jessica's potential as a magician, enabling her to cast Kacrackle and Kasizzle.
  • Knight Templar - Marcello. Under his leadership, the rest of his Templars definitely qualify too, and the tradition probably goes back aways if the current and old abbey's dungeons are any indicator.
  • Large Ham - Morrie. Rhapthorne engages in this too once he gets his physical form back, to somewhat hilarious effect in his first form.
  • Laser Blade - Angelo's best sword, The Shamshir of Light, looks like it's just a dagger when its put away. Yet in battle, it's actually just a hilt for a light blue lightsaber with a curve on the end just like a Shamshir would have.
  • Level Grinding - Pretty much a requirement early on. You will die on the way to the first dungeon if you aren't at least level five.
  • Luck-Based Mission - The Monster Arena, to an extent Though you can pick which monsters are on your team, you can't control their actions. You have to just sit back and watch.
  • Lucky Translation - This one's easy to miss unless you know Basic English AND Basic Japanese. At one point, Yangus mentions he noticed something while he was picking his nose... picking some flowers. It works both way, as "Hana" is both the Japanese word for "Nose" and "Flower" and in English, picking is something you can do to both one's nose and to flowers. [The pun translates into both languages. Though the pun used is different, the joke is the same.]
  • Malaproper - Geyzer.
  • The Man Behind the Man - Rhapthorne, controlling whoever touches his scepter to release him.
    • All but one strong-willed Templar, and even then he manages to take over eventually.
    • This was actually well-planned by the original trailer for the game. It hypes up Dhoulmagus as this epic big evil for the team to defeat, when really it's only the halfway point of the entire game.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Marcello.
  • Match Maker Quest - between Prince Charmles and Medea.
  • Mascot Mook - If it appeared in a previous game, expect it to appear again here.
  • Metal Slime - Well, yeah. Ironically, the Metal Slime isn't even the true Metal Slime of the game; that honor goes to its upgraded versions, the Liquid Metal Slime and the King Metal Slime.
  • Minigame Zone - The two casinos and the monster arena.
  • Mons - There's a monster arena where you get to fight monsters you pick up with names like Slime Shady.
  • Monster Arena - A literal one, since only monsters are allowed to fight in it.
  • Monster Clown - Dhoulmagus.
  • Monster Town - Trian Gully.
  • Ms. Fanservice - Jessica, especially when the player equips her with various Battle Bikinis.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous - One of the enemies is a multi-armed demon warrior.
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile - Some areas are infested with Crocodogs, as in giant, floating half-mutt half crocodile monsters.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, HeroMarcello tries to pull this on the party late in the game, conveniently neglecting to mention that it was his fault for killing the Lord High Priest, the final Sage's descendant.
    • In a way, Marcello had a valid point. His willpower was so great that he was able to resist Rhapthorne's possession, which effectively made his own body Rhapthorne's new can. Until you beat him within an inch of his life, at which point Rhapthorne is able to escape. Then again, it's unclear just how long Marcello could've held up even if left alone.
  • Nintendo Hard - There's a reason why there are a large amount of side quests.
  • Nostalgia Filter - The Western version of this game gets criticized by Dragon Quest purists complaining about the inclusion of voice acting; replacing the dated, Super NES-era synthesized music in the Japanese version with the orchestral score; and removing the classic battle sound effects ruining the classic feel of the series, completely ignoring the fact that this game STILL PLAYS like a classic Dragon Quest game.
  • One Curse Limit: Why the castle's curse did not affect the Hero and why he cannot be cursed in battle.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: the main type of dragons you find around the world are either made of Thorns, or very large Dinosaurs which can attack with poleaxe or use Booze-Based Buff, or simply chomp you whole. Averted with the Dragovian Lord, who can turn into 8 different Bad Ass Dragons.
  • Outlaw Town: Pickem.
  • Party in My Pocket - Oddly enough, this is the only main Dragon Quest game not to display party members All in a Row (not counting the first game, which only had one character to show). This might have been because this was the first Dragon Quest game in full 3D without a top-down perspective: having all four characters on-screen (plus Medea and Trode) would make it impossible to see where you are going. Not to mention it would increase the loading time between areas. Although you can still occasionally hear Medea clop around/whinny behind you.
  • Pimped-Out Dress - Medea's wedding dress.
  • Pirate Girl - Red
  • Playboy Bunny - Jessica can dress as one in battle with the right gear.
  • Pokémon Speak - Don Mole's underlings after you beat him say nothing but "dig" and "dug." Odd not only because you can understand them fine, but there's no indication any of them were speaking this way before the fight.
    • King Maximillian speaks in nothing but grunts, harrumphs, and coughs from his sick bed. The voice actor seemed to being having fun.
  • Polar Opposite Twins: Marcello and Angelo.
  • Power Dyes Your Hair - In the American and European versions, when the main character builds his tension high enough, his hair becomes lighter and spiky.
  • Pretty in Mink
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner - High Priest Rolo is not the one doing the asskicking, but he does get a good line in Purgartory Island.
    Rolo: Take a little nap, you half-wit nurses!
  • Prince Charmless - To no surprise, Charmles. It's even his in-game nickname!
    • The Trope Namer as well.
  • Pyro Maniac - Jessica in cutscenes. The first thing she does when she meets the Hero (and mistakes him for Alistair's killer) is to sling fireballs at him.
  • Puff Puff - Jessica and some female monsters can do this in battle to distract the opponent. Curiously, when done by Jessica, she turns her back to the enemy. Oh, there is also the secret Puff Puff Club near Argonia, accesible only with the legendary key. There your characters can get a Puff Puff for free. (Yes, even Jessica).
  • Random Encounters: Played straight, peppered with some optional non-random encounters all over the world.
  • Rare Candy - The stat-boosting seeds. (Tip: Save them for later.)
  • Roaring Rampageof Revenge: Geyzer, who wants to get even with whoever hit him on the head with a crystal ball and slurred his speech.
  • Recurring Boss: Though gameplay-wise, he is always quite different, you have to fight Rhapthorne so many times you almost start to feel bad for him. Nearly every story boss post-Dhoulmagus is him in some form, with only a few exceptions. He stops seeming like such a terrible threat about the third or fourth time you beat him down, but at least he's persistent.
    • For those keeping count: Dhoulmagus' first form, then his second. That's two. Then Jessica. Then Sir Leopold the Flying Dog. Marcello is pretty clearly under the influence of the staff when you fight him. Then you fight Rhapthorne's "true form" in his castle. THEN, you fight his final final final form. Counting both phases of the final battle, you have to beat Rhapthorne eight times.
  • Regional Bonus: Amazingly, despite its popularity there contrasted with its unpopular status elsewhere, Japan has never gotten (and will never get) the version of this game with voice acting.
    • Japan also does not get the visually enhanced interface and the symphonic score that the Westerners got.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni - Literally in the form of two guardian bosses (Red Horn and Blue Fang)at the bottom of the Dragon Graveyard
  • Relax-o-Vision - Jessica's Puff-Puff attack. Subverted when the hero goes to a massage parlor and gets one. He closes his eyes and doesn't see the masseuse merely rubs two slimes against him. At least, it's a "warm and soft pair".
    • Also on Purgatory Island, when the whole party, including Yangus with a Slasher Smile, ambush the two guards from behind and clobber them..
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter - Most monsters. Thanks to Toriyama's sense of whimsy, the monsters that aren't this are at worst Ugly Cute instead.
    • Sometimes subverted; for instance, the Sea Dragon looks quite strong and menacing.
  • Rising Cost Of Health Insurance: Priests get progressively more expensive as you level. Thankfully, you can eventually learn to use resurrection spells yourself.
  • Royal Brat - Why Charmles is The Scrappy.
  • Running Gag - King Trode will pop up and make a comment when the team least expects to see him, always prompting a "COR BLIMEY!" from Yangus. Lampshaded late in the game, when Trode shows up at Tyran Gully, and Yangus starts to say his line, but then stops and says he's getting sick of that old bit.
    • Near the very end of the game, it even gets subverted: after you have defeated the Big Bad, you're flying away on Empyrea and Yangus looks around, expecting Trode to show up on the back of a giant bird, then laughs at his gullibility.
    • In the normal ending, this is played straight, this time by Princess Medea when she sees her father at the reins of the horses pulling the stagecoach which she took to get to Savella for the marriage to Prince Charmles, after the Hero and the party crashed said wedding to whisk Medea away from a lifetime of unhappiness.
  • Saharan Shipwreck: The party actually uses one of these as their main transportation, after using magic to get it back to sea. Strangely for a fantastic setting, it's pretty clearly stated to be a receding coastline issue — they get it back to sea by using magic to "get the area to remember when there was ocean there".
  • Scenery Censor - A non-naughty version. Flashbacks to the night of Dhoulmagus stealing the scepter are carefully framed to prevent you from getting a good look at Medea and Trode's faces, sometimes in the most contrived ways.
  • Scenery Porn - This is one of the nicest looking games on the PS2.
    • Stand on top of that mountain next to Farebury, look to the castle WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYY in the distance across the trees and hills, and see if your pants don't shrink.
    • Have you ever seen the sunrise or sunset while on the boat or on a beach? Oh man.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Rhapthorne
  • Sealed Evil In A Six Pack: The Big Bad. His soul is sealed inside the Sceptre of Trodain, and requires the death of seven people to break. His body is sealed in the statue of the Goddess in Neos.
  • Secret Level - The Troll Maze. Finding it is one huge Guide Dang It, and the dungeon itself is something of a Big Lipped Alligator Moment (Trolls living inside a mirror want to eat Argonia's chancellor? What?), but it's only about ten minutes in length and you don't get anything particularly valuable from doing it, so it's not that big a deal.
  • Secret Test of Character - Interestingly, a key one plays out that isn't for The Hero, but for Prince Charmles. Who fails.
  • Sequence Breaking - And how.
  • Shadow Discretion Shot - We're treated to one each time Dhoulmagus runs someone through with his scepter.
  • Ship Tease - Jessica/Angelo gets teased quite a bit, mainly through Angelo's teasing. Then there's The Hero/Medea and Red/Yangus...
  • Shoot the Dog - You do this quite literally, albeit with medieval weapons rather than firearms. The dog had it coming, though.
  • Shout-Out - If the main hero can reach maximum tension, his bandanna comes off, his hair gets a couple shades lighter (though pinkish purple instead of blond) and gets incredibly spiky. Of course, Akira Toriyama did do the character designs, so the fact that the hero can go Super Saiyan should surprise nobody.
    • Given that he was not only designed by Akira Toriyama but also looks a lot like teenaged Gohan, it's a nice nod to Dragon Ball fans either way.
    • On that note, his ultimate move, Dragon Soul, looks suspiciously similar to Super Saiyan 3 Goku's Dragon Fist, except green and performed in a diving motion. These last few references were not in the Japanese original but added to North American and European versions.
      • Another Hero-Dragon Ball correlation: he and Gohan are both half-human. Both characters' non-human racial traits allow transformations into a large beast.
    • Another Dragon Ball Shout-Out near the end of the game involves collecting seven orbs needed to break the shield around Rhapthorne's final form.
    • Last but not least, his whole outfit is the same outfit Tapion wears, except for the bandanna. Which is similar to the one Gohan wears in his "Great Saiyaman" guise.
    • Jessica can learn an attack called Pink Typhoon.
    • Back to Dragon Ball, during Jessica's first appearance, her stance while charging up her fireball attack is reminiscent of that of the Kamehameha.
    • A mustachioed man with a thick Italian accent that wears red and green is definitely a Super Mario Bros. reference.
      • The Monster Arena ring announcer is a straight-up Expy (right down to the voice) of Michael Buffer, the ring announcer best known in boxing matches and WCW wrestling matches for the trademarked catchphrase "LET'S GET READY TO RUMBLE!" The Monster Arena announcer says "LET'S GET IT ON!" before every round.
      • One of the NPCs in the Monster Arena actually refers to Morrie's Harem as the "Super Morrie-o Sisters", shedding all doubt.
    • Hilariously enough, one of the recruitable monsters is named Slime Shady.
    • Don Mole is a very cheesy James Brown riff.
    • A book in Pickham refers to the town as a "wretched hive of scum and villainy."
  • Sibling Rivalry - Cash and Carrie. These two also fall under Sibling Seniority Squabble and, eventually, Brother-Sister Team. Incredibly Lame Pun also applies here, since they run a casino.
  • Significant Anagram: Munchie's name is an anagram of his actual identity: Chen Mui, the Hero's grandfather.
  • Silent Protagonist: The Hero.
  • Someone to Remember Him By: Xia, a girl from the Dragovian Tribe, visited the human world and fell in love with the human prince of Argonia, Eltrio. The girl's father disapproved of their courting, and took his daughter away, back to the Dragovian Village. Eltrio searched all over the world for his lost love, eventually dying just before he could reach the village. The girl was heartbroken, but soon after she received word of his demise, she discovered she was pregnant with his child, The Hero.
  • Spare To The Throne: It's a similar situation with King Argonia, an Unexpected Successor who had to step up after his elder brother disappeared while pursuing his lost love. While he has shaped up to be a good ruler, his own son is none other than Prince Charmles, causing his father no end of grief over how horrible he would be once it's time for him to hand down the crown. In the Golden Ending, he's presented with his brother's son at a rather awkward time for a family reunion, and it's heavily implied he cedes the right to rule after him to this new arrival, giving his own son the shaft.
  • Spoiled Brat - It's another negative character trope; it must be Charmles.
    • Also Cash and Carrie, but they become better after their sidequest is through.
  • Speech Impediment - Another Charmles trope. He talks like Elmer Fudd, except higher-pitched and more abrasive.
  • Standard Female Grab Area - How Angelo drags Jessica away from a bar brawl before she can start throwing fireballs in the inn.
  • Stealth Insult - King Clavius to Prince Charmles after he presents his (fradulently obtained) Argon heart:
    "Very well. Then I congratulate you. I accept this Argon heart as proof of your true character."
  • Sticks to the Back - Hero's weapons.
  • Stout Strength - Most prominently Yangus, but a number of monsters as well.
  • Stripperific - Jessica, in case you couldn't tell from the above. Sure she's wearing a ankle-length skirt in her "default" outfit, but her shirt is... effective, to say the least. Her alternate outfits show quite a bit more skin and often feature sandals.
    • Hell, her final outfit is an actual corset with stockings and garter belts.
    • There is a bit of irony here, though; her alternate outfits, while usually showing a significant amount of skin, tend to be far more modest with her chest than her default outfit.
    • Lampshaded when Jessica will sometimes ask you if you think her outfit is too revealing if you talk to her.
    • Also the Female Warriors you see around in some places, a bright example of Chainmail Bikini
  • Taking You with Me - Gemon, one of Rhapthorne's minions, destroys Empyrea's egg with his death explosion. It gets better... kind of.
    • More gameplay-centered, but certain enemies can also sacrifice themselves to help their fellow monsters defeat you by using a powerful skill.
  • Technicolor Blade: Some swords and weapons are unusually colored. For example, the Dragon Buster sword is red.
  • Tsundere - Jessica, as per Toriyama's requirement that every project he works on has at least one. She even has the appropriate pigtails. When first introduced, it looks like she'll be heavy on the tsuntsun, but deredere is actually her default personality. It's only when Angelo gets to womanizing or an enemy hurts someone innocent that she goes full tsun.
  • Uncle Pennybags - Morrie, the owner of the Monster Arena MONSTROUS PIT and one of the wealthiest men in the world... ragazzo.
    • Mr. Golding, though you only hear about him posthumously.
  • Unexpected Successor - The current ruler of Argonia, King Clavius, only took the throne because his brother disappeared. Also, if his brother's son is discovered, he in turn replaces Prince Charmles as heir.
  • Unexplained Recovery - It's not explained in the ending just how the new Lord High Priest Rolo survived.
    • An interpretation for this is late in the game, as the party escapes from Purgatory Island after being imprisoned with Rolo for one month after being wrongfully accused by Marcello for killing the Lord High Priest. They could not raise the cage lift without using the nearby lever to activate it. Rolo elected to stay behind and activate the lift. The two guards whom were knocked out so they could make their escape cornered Rolo, who accepted his fate. As the party gets off the lift when it reached the top, the chain snaps, sending the lift plummeting into the shaft. Note that Rolo and the two guards were standing in the vicinity of where the lift was. This still does not explain how Rolo got out, though.
  • Unique Items: A few items can only be made once or twice. The Liquid Metal Sword is one, as well as the Sage Stone, and Timbrel of Tension is another.
  • Units Not to Scale: Actually averted.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Dhoulmagus really shouldn't have taken away the staff that held Rhapthorne from its protective circle.
  • Useless Useful Spell - Any of Yangus's weapon skills that are not Axe-related. The Hammer's extremely specialized skills immediately come to mind.
  • Video Game 3D Leap - Dragon Quest VII was a minor leap in comparison; VIII brought the true presentation upgrade.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: Hope you've grinded and upgraded your equipment before you get on the ship in Port Prospect, because Khalamari will be there to make damn sure you're serious about this game before you get to go any further.
  • Wham Line:
    Jessica: Such a pity...
  • Whip It Good - Jessica, who can even develop her skills for extra effectiveness.
  • Who's Laughing Now? - This was Dhoulmagus' original motivation for stealing the scepter. Rhapthorne, however, had other plans for him...
  • The Wonka - Morrie. When we first meet him, he's standing on a roof staring off into space, then he arbitrarily chooses you because he sees promise. It turns out half the people in here fall into this category, those who didn't buy their way in. He's not a total weirdo, but he garbles phrases ("I shall be waiting with bad breath"), refers to the arena by an extremely interesting name, and is generally similar to the Trope Namer.
  • You Are The Translated Foreign Word - Averted. Although it is what Morrie always refers to Hero as, we are never told what "Ragazzo" translates as (It's italian for boy). Then again, his voice actor apparently wasn't told either, so it makes little difference.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle - Hey, you defeated Dhoulmagus, great job! Wait... why are Trode and Medea still cursed?
    • If you hadn't been paying attention to the world map and seeing how much was still unexplored, you'd probably think it really was the Final Boss battle at first. You've just made your way through what gives a very good impression of The Very Definitely Final Dungeon and fought through a multi-form extremely difficult Boss Battle, after all. Even if you have been looking at the map, the fake final boss is so well-done that it would be easy to forget you've got half the game left to play.


Dark CloudCreator/Level- 5 Dragon Quest IX
Dragon Quest ITropeNamers/Video GamesEagle Eye Mysteries
Dragon Quest VIIVideoGame/DRAGONQUESTDragon Quest IX
Dragon Quest VPlay Station 2 Dragon Rage
Dragon Quest VIIFantasy Video GamesDragon Quest IX
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alternative title(s): Dragon Quest8; Dragon Quest VIII; Dragon Quest VIII Journey Of The Cursed King
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