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A Japanese RPG series that currently launched its tenth title. Often credited as the first turn-based battle jRPG in history (though it's definitely not the first RPG to ever exist as it's been said to be inspired by others such as Ultima and Wizardry). Absurdly popular in Japan, fairly obscure outside. Before their merger, Dragon Quest was to Enix what Final Fantasy was to Squaresoft. While never as popular in the US as the Final Fantasy series (but even more popular than Final Fantasy in Japan; since the companies merged, needless to say, Square Enix owns the Japanese RPG scene), it's notable for its character art by Akira Toriyama. Most of its tropes, especially the battle screen, have been kept intact over the years.Mostly due to the historical prevalence of console gaming over PC gaming in Japan, nearly all parodies of RPGs that show up in anime that aren't MMORPGs will reference Dragon Quest in some way.The English localization of Dragon Quest VIII was noticeable for its solution to the regional accent issue: many of the characters speak in British dialects rather than American ones. Similarly, the US releases of Dragon Quest IV, V,VI and IX on the DS are using regional dialects — there's a Russian town, a Scottish town, etc etc. However, the localizers' love of puns is also a bit of a bother to some fans.Sequels to the franchise are always released locally on Saturdays, which according to the company is to prevent the predictably huge turnout of fans from skipping school or work during launch days to pick them up. This fueled an urban legend inflating the real cause to be political pressure from local Japanese municipalities or that the release rule was an actual local law. (Although the Diet at the time did ask them to do something after a small boy was mugged and beaten during the Dragon Quest III launch — however, the delayed launches were entirely Enix's decision.)Few people know it, but there was a Tabletop RPG called DragonQuest, whose trademark was the reason the Dragon Quest video game series was originally known as Dragon Warrior outside of Japan, until Square Enix finally acquired it for their series. Nothing to do with this franchise; it was bought out and buried by the owners of Dungeons & Dragons so it would not be a threat to their Merchandise-Driven empire.For the manga and anime spinoff Dragon Quest: Dai no Daibouken (Dai's Great Adventure, translated into French and Spanish as Fly to avoid pronouncing "die"!), see the Dai no Daibouken page. The series that was dubbed as Dragon Warrior is at Dragon Quest Legend Of The Hero Abel.Not to be confused with the novel DragonQuest or the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode of that name.Also has a growing Awesome Music entry. You can vote for you favorite game here. The Dragon Quest series includes:
Itadaki Street (aka Fortune Street in America, Boom Street in Europe), an investment board game series (think Monopoly); later titles started featuring Dragon Quest characters and other franchises, some (PS2, PSP) crossing over with Final Fantasy and others (DS, Wii) crossing with Super Mario.
Monster Battle Road and its sequels, which are arcade/ Wii card-battle games. Basically Dragon Quest's version of Dissidia: Final Fantasy.
Alcohol Hic: Happens in the series (especially in the remakes) when you talk to guys who are drunk in pubs. There is also one time in IV when you talk to a drunken guy outside the bar in Endor at night, and he feels like he's not "wurring my slurds or anything".
Ambidextrous Sprite: Awesomely averted for all games except the original, Famicom version of Dragon Quest I. Updating the sprites was one of the things that they did for the US version.
American Kirby Is Hardcore: None of the American covers actually showed any of Akira Toriyama's artwork until the Game Boy Color remake of III. In some cases, such as the original game, it featured a reinterpretation of the original art in typical 80s high-fantasy western art.
It makes a sneaky appearance in 9, as well, right before the last boss, as the "Rusty Blade". Fixing it — easily done if you know how (or if you've done the DLC quests that include the recipes) — makes said last boss... still Nintendo Hard.
And I Must Scream: The player character is stuck as a statue for several years in DQV, as is his wife.
Happens to two towns in VII. The first time, you don't arrive fast enough to revert them, as they had been exposed to the elements for too long. The second time, the last survivor from the first town arrives in time to help.
The entire population of Trodain was turned into lifeless vines by the sceptre's curse in VIII.
And Now for Someone Completely Different: IV. In the last chapter (of the original; the remakes added an extra chapter and a prologue chapter), the hero (of which you name before the game starts) has to travel the world and assemble them all. You can even switch back and forth between party members in battle once you secure the wagon.
Armor and Magic Don't Mix: Mage and priest characters usually buy gear in the form of robes and gowns, while bulky and heavy armor is usually used for warrior characters and others with heftier builds; however, this tends to be an aesthetic choice only — robes and gowns tend to have similar defensive scores to suits of armor. (Every now and again you'll find some armor that can be worn by mages).
Artifact of Death: In the first Dragon Quest game, there was a chance of you getting Cursed Belts and Cursed Necklaces from certain chests. They did nothing except strangle you, yet bizarrely they sold very well.
The Golden Claw in DQ3 and a few other games has a powerful curse laid upon it — it increases your encounter rate to 100%, meaning you end up in a random encounter every single step until you get rid of it. In remakes, it's even worse — it doesn't just raise the encounter rate to 100%, it also disables running from battles. As if that's not bad enough, it sells for much, much less than in the original NES version. As a tradeoff, however, the 100% encounter rate only applies to the pyramid itself once the Golden Claw is taken. Escaping the Pyramid and bringing the Claw with you does not affect any other area at all (and it makes a good weapon for fighters).
The sceptre in Trodain Castle, stolen by Dhoulmagus just prior to the events of VIII proves to have several nasty side-effects that affect its wielder.
Author Appeal: Yuji Horii is a compulsive gambler, which is why games in the series often feature a gambling mini-game or few. (And the fact that you can only save in the town's churches make it so that going out on the field/into the dungeons would feel more like a gamble.)
Authority Equals Asskicking: Several heroes are royalty, among them II's heirs to Midenhall, Cannock, and Moonbrooke; Tsarevna Alena of Zamoksva in IV; the entire royal family of Gotha in V; and the Prince of Somnia in VI.
Big Damn Heroes: Happens all the time in VII, as you save over a dozen lands from destruction, just in time. (Subverted in a few worlds.)
Black Mage: Excusing for the moment the fact that almost all characters count, the Mage class in Dragon Quests III, VI, and IX all specialize in offensive spells. Barbara from Dragon Quest VI and Jessica Albert from Dragon Quest VIII count.
Blob Monster: The slimes are certainly the cutest examples of this trope.
Divinegon in the DQ III remakes (and Grand Dragon, exclusive to the GBC remake). Both bosses can be challenged multiple times, and will require excessive Level Grinding to defeat. Very, very few people have even fought Grand Dragon anyways, as it involves a massive spiked brick wall of a Collection Sidequest (see entry below). Defeating Grand Dragon rewards you with the game's Infinity+1 Sword that all classes can equip.
Also in Dragon Quest V with the Epilogue Boss, Estark (who previously appeared as a major boss in IV).
In Dragon Quest VI, the Bonus Dungeon ends with a battle against Nokturnus, the demon whose main contribution to the story is to annihilate an entire castle's worth of people whose king pissed him off. If you beat him, he'll waste the Final Boss for you without so much as breaking a sweat.
The Dragovian Trials from Dragon Quest VIII, which have heavy ties to the hero's true identity.
IX, having an immense amount of post-game content, tops them all. These include five post-game quests with bosses, twelve grotto bosses, and thirteen legacy bosses from previous games: The Final Boss of every previous main DQ game, the Disc One Final Boss of III, VI, and VIII, a major boss of IV that is also the aforementioned Epilogue Boss of V, and VI's ultimate Bonus Boss.
Breaking the Fourth Wall: In the GBC remake of DQ3, the game addresses you, the player, for your personal information at the start of a new game. This disembodied voice actually belongs to an NPC you meet late in the game.
The soldier design (female especially) from Dragon Quest III was appropriated for the generic soldier NPC sprite in later games.
Kandarnote Kandata in Japan, but re-dubbed "Robbin' Hood" as of Dragon Quest Monsters Joker, the obscenely muscled and underdressed thief from the same game has several references throughout the series, including reappearances in DQV and DQX (in the latter, he wants to steal the treasure of the moon). Dwight ("Da White" Dwarf) from Dragon Quest V is a mini-Kandar, and the "Hood" monster family returns in Dragon Quest VIII. He takes on a whole new significance in the Monsters spinoff series, where he's inspired an entire family of monsters. As of Dragon Quest Monsters 2 3D there's Robbin' Hood (Kandata) himself, Robbin' Huddle (Kandata-kobun)note A handful of Kandar mini-mes, the Prince o' Thieves (Kandata-oyabun, or "Kandata Boss"), Kandar's Wife (Kandata Wife)note An obese, hooded slug of a woman who bears a more-than-passing resemblance to the Slugly Betsy monsters of DQIX, the Kandata Ladiesnote A trio of three composed of a little girl with a mace, a sexy dominatrix-type, and a Huge Schoolgirl even more ripped than Kandar himself, and Kandata Rocksnote A Kandata-inspired rock band.
Torneko from Dragon Quest IV went on to star in a series of mystery dungeon games made by Chunsoft (the same fellows who made Pokemon Mystery Dungeon). Chunsoft also made a mystery dungeon game for Yangus from Dragon Quest VIII which picks up where Torneko's series leaves off, incidentally bridging IV and VIII.
King Trode has made a few repeat appearances since Dragon Quest VIII, including the implication of him playing a huge roll in the ancient past of Dragon Quest Heroes Rocket Slime and as a secret monster in the DQM Joker games.
Morrie, also from Dragon Quest VIII, where he ran the Monster Colosseum. Dragon Quest Heroes Rocket Slime introduced the slime Morrie-Morrie (complete with Hot Blooded Sideburns, Scarf of Asskicking, and appropriate color scheme), who ran the Tank Colosseum. In Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker, Morrie serves as the inspiration as one of the main audience-sprites at the main arena, which is almost identical to the original in design, though the audience version has a Cool Mask obscuring his face. On top of all that, Morrie appears to do the announcing for Dragon Quest Monster Battle Road.
The DQVIII incarnation of Lamia (known in the west as Godbird Empyrea), proved popular enough that later games and promotional materials Retconned her into the mythos of the original trilogy, replacing Lamia's original design from Dragon Quest III. See the specially animated opening for Dragon Quest's 25th Anniversary, for example. (Empyrea also played a significant role in Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 2, which distinguished the original bird into two forms — the powerful, but orange-feathered Empyrea, and the fully-powered "Great Godbird", with her traditional lavender plumage). (The "classic" Ramia design reappears in Dragon Quest Monsters: Terry's Wonderland 3D).
This goes as far back as DQ3, where you could find "revealing bikinis" or "battle bikinis" that would change the character sprite. They were actually somewhat useful, as they increased your character's dodge rate by a LOT — and affected the AI, to boot.
A handful of female characters distinguish themselves with this trope; the Princess of Moonbrooke had the "Dangerous Swimsuit" in the MSX 1 version of Dragon Quest II, and Jessica of Dragon Quest VIII (whose model would actually change depending on what clothes she was wearing) could also show off a few of the suits.
Double Subverted with Dragon Quest IX: the Dangerous Bikini set and the Dangerous Bustier both have a pitiable defense score of +1... but will gain significantly higher scores after you start alchemizing them into their "evolved" versions.
Chest Monster: The classic Cannibox monster, a little shadowy thing that hangs out in treasure chests, leers out at you with its nasty eyes, and uses the lid as a set of fangs. It and its Underground Monkey forms, Mimic and Pandora's Box, can all be considered Boss In Mooks Clothing material, given their talent for critical hits and One-Hit Kill magic.
We'll also mention the Urnexpected monster family, which works much the same way but, since it hangs out in a pot, is meant to punish Kleptomaniac Heroes. Not only are chests dangerous, so's the pottery!
Dragon Quest VIII introduces the Trap Master family, what might be considered the "adult" form of the Cannibox line — these things pop out and leer at you like demented skeletal jack-in-the-boxes.
Childhood Friend Romance: Bianca, possibly, in DQV. The game gives you the option of marrying the other woman, Flora, but it makes you feel like a right bastard for it, since marrying Bianca not only allows your romantic rival to marry his own Victorious Childhood Friend, Flora, but actually saves Bianca's father's life Also the threat that if you don't, she'll have to get work as an abused barmaid.
The punishment is only in the Super Famicom version. The PS2 and DS versions changed it so players won't feel guilty picking Nera or Debora.
Collection Sidequest: Required to gain access to Dragon Quest III GBC remake's second half of a Bonus Dungeon and ultimately Bonus Boss Grand Dragon. The sidequest spans throughout the entire game, as it involves collecting randomly dropped medals from almost every monster in the game, including bosses. This may be considered a Guide Dang It, as there are a few monsters whose encounter rate is so low that one may never run into said monster during a regular playthrough. Oh, and did I already mention that those medals randomly drop?
Also, the gender of the deity was changed—the original games had him addressed directly as "God" or "the Lord", but in the remakes they worship a Goddess instead. Presumably this was to avoid offending people. In Dragon Quest IX, the deity is male again, and referred to as "The Almighty". However, at the end of the game his daughter takes over the role so it switches over to a Goddess again. The reason for the change is unknown, except perhaps the fact that God actually appears in the game (and is very much male). He also appears in Dragon Quest VII as a Bonus Boss and is male in that game as well. This game's remake unfortunately hasn't been localized yet, but in Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 2, his English name is the rather appropriate Numen (look it up).
IX could in fact be a subtle prequel to the other games.
Cursed with Awesome: The hero from the eighth game was cursed as a kid, but in turn, this prevents him from being affected by any other curses, even those in-game.
Cute Bruiser: Character customization options can allow you to give large attack scores to cutesy characters. Examples include the female Fighter class from Dragon Quest III and Alena from IV.
Dangerous Sixteenth Birthday: III begins on your hero's sixteenth birthday with the king officially assigning you to pick up where your Disappeared Dad left off. IV also has the hero's journey begin at sixteen (actually eighteen), though that wasn't what yourHidden Villageplanned... Played with in V, as horrible things started happening to the hero when he was six, and he didn't really start fighting back until he was sixteen.
Distracted by the Sexy: Later games and remakes provide a "Charm" stat that allows characters and monsters to distract their enemies with just how good they look. A few female characters and monsters even have the Puff-Puff ability.
Elemental Powers: Primarily consisting of the various families of magic spells characters can learn.
Blow You Away: The "Whoosh" series, which summons tornadoes to attack increasingly large groups of enemies. The hero of Dragon Quest V is notable for specializing in this rather than a more common element.
Casting a Shadow: The "Zam" series, which attacks individual enemies with "Stygian bolts".
An Ice Person: The "Crack" magic series involves summoning shards of ice to skewer enemies. One character who learns these spells is Borya of DQIV.
Playing with Fire: There are two major spell series in this element: "Frizz", which creates fireballs to hurl at individual monsters, and "Sizz", which produces a field of flames to attack enemy groups.
Shock and Awe: The "Zap" magic series, which strikes enemies with lightning from on high. In early games, the "Boom" series also counted as electric before shifting away.
Fiery Redhead: A common design theme - there's Alena in IV, Ashlynn in VI, Maribel in VII and Jessica in VIII. IX also has this as a design choice; interestingly, however, the usual dark orange favored by the designers isn't available — instead, IX features a very richred.
First Law of Tragicomedies: Several games start off with a fairly light and comedic tone, then get progressively darker (particularly near the end of the plot).
Zenithia, which features prominently in Dragon Quests IV, V, and VI.
The Observatory, base of operations for the Celestrians in Dragon Quest IX.
Funetik Aksent: DQIV DS (and, to a thankfully lesser extent, DQV DS) uses several different dialects for characters from different regions of the world. DQVIII did it first, though.
Actually, all of them had this in the original Japanese script, as characters from different towns would speak in different Japanese regional accents. DQVIII was the first to do this for the English translation as well.
Gaiden Game: Games centering on Torneko from DQ4, Yangus from DQ8, Rocket Slime, and the Monsters series.
Gainaxing: Jessica of DQ8, to an almost absurd degree. Depending on the camera angle it can distract from almost anything else occurring or being said on screen.
Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: The series is horrible about doing this to the final bosses of the games; the only ones who can make legitimate claims to not pulling this in some form are the third, fourth, seventh, eighth, and ninth games. The content of the various games is lousy with fleas, as well.
The first Dragon Quest game did this in the original Japanese text, by forcing you to fight the Dragon Lord/DracoLord's giant pet dragon after killing him. The English translation and further remakes changed it so that the Dragon Lord transforms into the giant dragon.
The third and sixth also avert this trope, although this was originally a spoiler, especially in regards to 3, which was the Trope Codifier for the use of Your Princess Is in Another Castle in video games. You didn't think Baramos was the only Archfiend, and Murdaw was the only Demon Lord, did you?
The original English translation of Dragon Quest II is one of the all-time worst offenders of this trope, to the point that it almost makes Necron look like less of an Ass Pull. Hargon is played as the Big Bad for the entire game. When you finally kill him, he throws a demon named Malroth (Sidoh in the Japanese version) at you who turns out to be infinitely harder. Absolutely nothing in the entire game even so much as hints at Malroth's presence, with the exception of a quest item named Eye of Malroth (that has absolutely nothing to do with demons), and it's never fully explained exactly what the hell Malroth is or why you need to kill him right now (aside from the fact that he's trying to kill you). In the Japanese translation and remakes, it's revealed that Malroth is the god that Hargon and his cult worshiped. This still doesn't change the fact that Malroth is a huge Giant Space Flea, though.
DQV had this in its original version since Nimzo isn't even mentioned until late in the game. The DS remake rectifies this somewhat by namedropping him, at least in incidental NPC chat, far earlier.
The seventh game mostly avoided this with Big Bad Orgodemir, who is set up from the very beginning and is ultimately responsible for every single bad thing to happen to every place you've been (although you're mostly dealing with the effects of his villainy at first), although many lesser bosses you face turn out to be space fleas.
Game-Favored Gender: Since Dragon Quest III, female characters tend to enjoy a larger selection of armor and accessories than their male counterparts. They may run into class restrictions, but it's not unusual to run into several points in a given game where the best armor currently available is a dress, skirt or robe, barring men from using them. By contrast, male-exclusive items tend to be more jokey, like boxer shorts.
God: There are several different candidates, generally unique to their particular world.
While earlier games made vague reference to "the gods" or even a specific "God", later Dragon Quest games (like, say, Dragon Quest VIII and Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime) make reference to a monotheistic Goddess.
Dragon Quest VII had Numen.
Dragon Quest IX had Grand Architect Zenus, also known as The Almighty. DQIX is notable since since there are actually two major divinities at work, Zenus and his daughter, Celestria.
God Is Evil: A very rare JRPG example that almost completely subverts the trope. In fact, in DQIX, a Genre Savvy player might well think that there's a lot of really obvious setting up for "God", as the Celestians understand Him, to be the major villain of the entire game. The truth of the matter is... substantially more complicated.
Seems to be played straight in Dragon Quest VII. Except it's actually Demon Lord Orgodemir posing as God. When God actually does show up as the Bonus Boss, he turns out to be a pretty decent guy.
The Goomba: Slimes are usually the first, and easiest, enemies you face in these games. That just applies to the standard slime though. Except in DQ6, where there's an even weaker variant of the slime and the standard slime doesn't appear until about an hour later (a subtle hint to the game's plot twist; "true" slimes only appear in the real world).
Hello, Insert Name Here: A series standard for the main characters. Yuji Horii has even stated that it's one of the series' essential elements.
Canon Name: A few get named in other material: the IV heroes are Solo and Sofia and the V hero is Madason in postgame cameos for the DS remake of VI (though Solo and Sofia's names came from the manual from a previous remake of IV), and the VI and VII heroes are named Botsu and Arus in manga adaptations, while the V hero's children are daughter Sora ("Sky") and son Ten ("Heaven") in the manga adaptation (before the DS remake renamed their Canon Names as "Madchen" and "Parry"). Also, II's Prince of Cannock and Princess of Moonbrooke, whose names were randomized originally, were given true names in other games: "Cookie" and "Pudding" in Japanese editions of Fortune Street; "Princeton" and "Princessa" in the English version of IX.
DQV has this with Bishop Ladja at the end of generation 1.
DQVII has this as well.
And also DQIX twice when your mentor Aquila defeats you and takes the fyggs you took hours to collect and Corvus, the Big Bad of the game, proceeds to instantly kill the main character before commencing his Evil Plan.
Hurricane of Puns: A distinctive feature of the games that Westerners have only started encountering since Dragon Quest VIII is all the wordplay, which is actually native to the games, resulting in a natural Woolseyism debate.
Iconic Item: The Sword of Loto is used as a quickhand reference to the original trilogy (sometimes just Rubiss' Crest). The Sword of Zenithia is similarly used as a symbol for the second trilogy. Dragon Quest Monsters Battle Road Victory features them both prominently.
Impractically Fancy Outfit: Some of the fancier gowns and robes are more suited to ballrooms than battlefields. Special note goes to the Shimmering Dress, which is not only impractical in design but in its special effect. The Shimmering Dress sometimes reflects magic, including healing spells.
Improbable Age: Dragon Quest V starts off the protagonist as six years old. He gets treated as such, and it shows in other things such as being unable to read signs, but this obviously does not stop him from donning Plate Armor and wielding a Broadsword to considerable effect.
Not to mention you're forced into marriage at 16 years old.
Improbable Weapon User: Astraea's Abacus is one of the most powerful weapons available in Torneko's chapter of DQ4. An abacus!
In-Universe Game Clock: Dragon Quest III introduced a day/night cycle. Sleeping at an inn would always take you to morning, and there were also spells and items that would change it from day to night or back. This continues on in DQIV.
Dragon Quest VIII has a day-night cycle of about a half-hour. However, the player can circumvent this with most inns: going to an inn in the middle of the night has you wake up at dawn, and going to an inn during daylight gives you the option of sleeping until the next morning or only until evening.
Inevitable Tournament: The fourth game, though it's actually a ruse by Psaro the Manslayer to get Alena away from her castle so he can reduce it to smithereens. It's not clear why he needed to lure her away, though; she's strong, but not THAT strong. Also, an important focus of the Monsters series.
Infinity+1 Sword: Characters (especially The Heroes) will often have exceedingly powerful equipment that only they can use, creating a set of Infinity Plus One Gear. That said, there are a few cases where even these unique weapons are not in fact the strongest weapons in the game. In Dragon Quest V, for example, the Metal King gear has the highest stats in the game, but can be equipped by anyone and achieved by spending too much time at the casino.
Item Crafting: Many of the games have this in the form of Alchemy.
Jack-of-All-Trades: The second game avoided the tendency of RPGs to make the main character fit this role, instead giving it to the second party member out of the three.
Additionally, the hero in each game may be a jack-of-all-trades by the end of the game, but he's almost always a healer type, assuming there's no job system. While he can and does get the most damaging spells in the game (Zap, Kazap, and (sigh) Kazapple), they are prohibitively expensive, and his physical power and healing spells are always more useful.
Jerkass: Prince Charmles from DQ8 is a walking embodiment.
Just Add Water: Alchemy in DQ8 and breeding/synthesis in the Monsters series
Kleptomaniac Hero: Ever since the introduction of openable drawers and pots and whatnot around-about DQV, the series has gotten a hair infamous for this. None of the NPCs ever seem to care, either.
Knighting: "Loto" or "Erdrick" is not actually a name — it's a title bestowed only upon the bravest of heroes. It is given to the hero of Dragon Quest III, the heroes of Dragon Quest II (and possibly to their ancestor, the hero of Dragon Quest I, though his adventure occurred before this part of the mythology had been developed), and to Prince Kiefer of Dragon Quest VII and his partner Luin, as per Dragon Quest Monsters Caravan Heart.
But who show you respect if you play the female protagonist.
Lazy Backup: Played straight by some, averted by others, especially the immensely useful system in DQV where your Mon and characters not in the active party would jump out to fight for you if the entire main party was knocked out. Interestingly, since only the main character can interact with others, if you enter a town with the hero unconscious, one of his party members (even his pet panther!) would drag him off to get revived.
Lethal Joke Item: Some high level "armors" for girls are actually just lingerie, like the Naughty Underwear or Bustier items. Unlike male underwear (like, say, the Boxer Shorts), these items actually have high stats and good effects... meaning many, many players have the female characters wearing them. Also due the blatant name, and its implication for the wearer venturing the land in nothing more than a sexy lingerie, the item is widely referred in Fanarts and Doujinshi.
Level Grinding: Varies between games, but the original was the worst of the bunch when it came to this.
Although this trope can be averted — the buff and debuff spells such as the ones that increase defense, mute the enemy, etc etc actually work quite well in most of the games in the series. If you don't use these spells you will have to grind quite a bit to just overpower the fights. Smarter, not Harder, and all that.
Licked by the Dog: The hero of DQV, by a wild sabrecat. It turns out to be Saber (or whatever you named him), his and Bianca's pet "kitty" from childhood. Ironically, the people of the town that the sabrecat was terrorizing think that it means the protagonist planned the whole thing.
Locked Door: Finding the keys are a major part of each game.
Magic Is Rare; Health Is Cheap: Varies from game to game. However, it is usually far easier to acquire health-restoring items and potions than it is to find magic-restoring ones. Some earlier games have no such items.
Magic Knight: The hero from every game in the main series is one of these, mostly of The Paladin variety (being the best or second-best healer in the game)... except the second one. The main character in that game can't use a single spell; instead, the role of Magic Knight is played by his cousin, the Prince of Cannock.
The main character being a Magic Knight descends from the set-up of the first game, where the character had to be something of the Jack of All Stats and do everything since he was solo the entire time.
Mana Potion: Magic Water, and the more potent Elfin Elixir.
The Man Behind the Man: Lots! Malroth behind Hargon (sort of) in II. Zoma behind Baramos in III. Aamon behind Psaro in IV. Nimzo behind Ladja in V. Mortamor behind Murdaw (and many others) in VI. Rhapthorne behind Dhoulmagus in VIII. Corvus behind Godwyn in IX.
Market-Based Title: As mentioned above, TSR owned the trademark to the name Dragon Quest for many years, forcing the series to be released as Dragon Warrior in America until the eighth installment.
Metal Slime: The Trope Namer, with almost a dozen examples in the series — the Metal Slime, the Liquid Metal Slime, the Metal King Slime, the Metal Kaiser Slime, the Gold/Gem Slime, the Darkonium Slime, the Platinum King Jewel, the Diamond Slime, the Liquid Metal King Slime, the Metal Star, and whatever else they come up with in later games. All varieties are Nigh Invulnerable, usually susceptible to critical hits and not much else, often making their defeat a matter of luck (or the proper weaponry).
Minigame Zone: Most of the later games include a casino where you can win large quantities of cash and powerful equipment.
The Big Book of Beasts in the DS remakes of IV, V, and VI shows number of enemies defeated for each enemy beaten, what kinds of items received from them, and attack animations.
The monster list in Dragon Quest VIII displays models, character animations, and flavor text for every enemy type defeated. Filling it up by defeating at least one of every monster, including bosses, nets the player a secret item that can prevent random encounters.
The defeated monster list in Dragon Quest IX shows models, animations, number defeated, and items received from each monster type defeated, along with flavor text. The thief vocation's skill "Eye for Trouble" reveals a second page of flavor text for each monster observed using the ability along with revealing both possible item drops regardless of which items the player has attained from the monster.
Monster Town: Dragon Quest VIII has one, with the beginnings of one appearing way back in IV.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Marcello in Dragon Quest VIIIsubjugates the Big Bad and attempts to take power out of the hands of the nobles and church. Then the heroes come and beat him up, freeing the Big Bad and, by a lucky coincidence, allowing the Big Bad to reach his own body, thus regaining his full power. Whoops.
Nothing Is the Same Anymore: The original Dragon Quest trilogy allows you to visit the same locations at different stages in history. Dragon Quest Monsters Caravan Heart shows you much of the same world reduced to ruins.
One-Winged Angel: It would actually be easier to list the final bosses that don't do this (to date, only Malroth in II and Zoma in III have no One-Winged Angel form). Dhoulmagus gets special mention for being a mid boss that does this.
Orgodemir of Dragon Quest VII is an interesting case. The first time you fight him he plays this trope straight. The second time he inverts the trope, as he goes from his One-Winged Angel form to his normal form, and then further changes into a hybrid of the two forms.
Only One Name: It's easier to name characters that have last names in the series than ones that don't.
The series has a Running Gag with something called "Puff-Puff", where the main character gets his head massaged with a woman's breasts. While this was played straight once or twice, by Dragon Quest III it had become just one more silly thing to parody. After drawing you in to enjoy one in DQIII, the hero — after clearly enjoying himself — opens his eyes to discover he's been attended to by the girl's father. In DQVIII, the puff-puff is carried out with a pair of slimes. In DQIX, it's carried out with sheep butts.
In Dragon Quest I, after rescuing the princess, you have to carry her back to the king. If you sleep at the inn while still carrying her, the innkeeper's farewell dialogue will change. This can ratchet up to Refuge in Audacity if you take a young woman who wants to tag along with you from Tantegel Town while holding the Princess in your arms to the inn, and since the message is the same for both of them, the game all but states ""you slept with two women at once!''
In Dragon Quest V, the player has a choice over which girl the protagonist should marry, after which a sexual encounter is implied with the bride of choice, though only one of them, Nera, makes sexual encounter references. In the Nintendo DS Remake, it is in fact required, because the game won't let you progress until you've gotten married, and then if you marry Nera or Deborah, you don't have to go back to the Roundbeck Inn in order to get a cutscene implying sex. Because apparently either one of them had already had sexual intercourse with the player character on her wedding night, the evening before she decided to become your traveling companion spouse.
Party in My Pocket: VIII and Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker use this trope. In VIII only the character in the first slot of the party (or the first living character if the ones in front are dead) is shown when walking and Joker only shows the protagonist.
Pet Baby, Wild Animal: Saber, the Great Sabrecat from DQ5. Differs from the usual in that it's the villain who does the Shoo the Dog bit to turn him feral, but years later he recognizes his old master and rejoins him for the rest of the game.
Physical God: The Dragon God / "King" of the Zenithia trilogy; he sometimes disguises himself as a human.
Playboy Bunny: One of the most common character images in the series.
If you have a female character in III, you can actually play as one by equipping the outfit—which turns out to be very effective armor. The sprite even changes! You can also recruit a female Goof-Off/Jester as a party member, whose sprite is a playboy bunny.
Jessica's bunny outfit in Dragon Quest VIII. There are some NPC bunny girls, though this amounts to a set of ears, a tail, and a short skirt.
Dragon Quest IX has Bunny Ears, a Bunny Tail, Stiletto Heels, and different bustiers (some of which can be made through alchemy), as well as the NPC harlequin Bunny Girls.
In fact, you have to be able to do it in order to remove the "Bounce" spell-deflecting field around the final boss of V. Good thing using the Zenithian Sword as an item will have the same effect. And since it's plot-relevant, you can't miss that item.
Poirot Speak: In the DS remake of the the fourth game, characters in the second and fourth chapters often use Russian and French equivalents of simple words such as "yes" and "no".
Prequel: DQIII in the Erdrick trilogy and DQVI for the Zenithia trilogy.
Pretty in Mink: A fair number of armor and character designs have fur.
Prince Charmless: Charmles from VIII often is mispronounced this way, at least in the English language versions. Given his personality, this is intentional.
Punny Name: A lot of the monsters, particularly in the DS games.
Romani: Meena and Maya in DQIV. Though they might be stereotypically a fortune-teller and a dancer, the game at least gives a nod to realism by making their family Indian.
Running Gag: In DQVIII, 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.
Dragon Quest V have a few slimes appear on maps. They're willing to tell you that they're not bad slimes and demand you to not attack them. They also usually give you some tips in return.
Sacrificial Revival Spell: Kerplunk does this with everyone in your party that is dead. It also removes all of your MP so you can't just have your newly revived healer revive you so you can use it again.
Samus is a Girl: Depending on your choice in the GBC remake of DQIII, it is possible to discover that Loto was a girl.
Scary Impractical Armor: Late in the games, players can start finding armor with powerful stats and malevolent designs, like of skulls and demons. However, this armor is usually Cursed, and will inflict negative status effects on your character, like increased weakness to some or all kinds of attacks or even losing a turn in battle. This armor is also impossible to remove normally, usually requiring a trip to Church.
Schizo Tech: Despite otherwise being in a standard medieval, high fantasy setting, robot enemies are a staple of the series. Some places also have technology that shouldn't exist yet, including slot machines.
Dragon Quest IX also features a steam train, which, to be fair, can fly and was created by God himself.
In Dragon Quests Monsters 2: Joker you withdraw and deposit monsters from the pen with of all things... a computer terminal.
Schrödinger's Player Character: Averted. Dragon Quest III, Dragon Quest IV, and Dragon Quest IX all allow you to choose whether The Hero will be male or female, but their plots and backstories are all identical.
Shout-Out: Dragon Quest Heroes Rocket Slime contains shout outs to other Square Enix-published series, such as a Platypunk ally named Ducktor Cid (a reference to the recurring character name in Final Fantasy) and the hero goes up against a tank with a treant-like apperance called Chrono Twigger (an obvious reference to Chrono Trigger), whose in-game logo even resembles the Chrono Trigger logo. These two are notable because the series referenced were formerly Square series, whereas Dragon Quest was an Enix series. It also has a shoutout to TMNT in Tokyo Tom, and one Tank called DQ Swords, subtitled "The Revolution is coming, Whee!"
In addition, the two mercenaries from Torneko's chapter in DQ 4 have been named "Laurel" and "Hardie" in the DS remake (named Laurent and Strom in the NES localization).
Do all the revisted locales and battles from the first Monsters game count?
Situational Damage Attack: The Mana Burst spell deals the caster's remaining mana as damage, leaving them unable to cast most spells afterwards.
Jessica from VIII too. Not just literally, either. Well, she's a wizard, and, er, parts of her are squishy...
Status Buff: There are magic spells that enhance power, speed, and defense, and are very important in that these generally aren't completely mitigated by Contractual Boss Immunity.
Tension, introduced in Dragon Quest VIII, allows a character to increase their power exponentially. At its highest level, it will give the character a Battle Aura (DQVIII's hero even has his hair fly straight up in a deliberateShout-Out to the Super Saiya-jin).
The Killing Machine series has been enjoying this, too. First you had the Killing Machine, an endgame-class monster in its own right from DQII. And then DQVI introduced the Overkilling Machine. DQIX introduced the Trauminator (that's the Super Killing Machine in Japan). And then there's a few variants unique to Dragon Quest Monsters titles not released in the west.
Timey-Wimey Ball: In Dragon Quest III, where a city is destroyed during the day but intact and apparently in the past during the night; you need to use this trick to obtain one of the Orbs you need to awaken Lamia. Also, one of the more complicated examples in Dragon Quest V, as a child, you find a glowing golden orb which does not seem terribly important. Later, you show it to a random traveler. Still later, The Dragon crushes it so you can never use it against him. Then, after the Time Skip, you're given a fake orb and use a magic painting to go back in time to exchange balls with your younger self, which means that that traveller you showed the gold orb to was you (though you could tell that by his clothes the first time you met him) thus meaning that The Dragon destroyed the fake.
Useless Useful Spell: Averted. Death, Sleep, Silence, and the like are much more effective when used by your party than they have any right to be — even on bosses. The party AI is usually good about using those to slow down an enemy's assault instead of spamming high-damage and high-cost magic attacks. Ironically, most American gamers expect this trope so much that Dragon Quest has a history of being Nintendo Hard and requiring lots of Level Grinding — which it does, if you don't use the Useless Useful Spells.
With This Herring: The series tends to do this quite a bit... "You are the prophesied hero foretold to save our kingdom from doom! And so I bequeath you this modest stick, a burlap sack, and some lint I found under my pillow. God be with you!"
Which makes V's subversion so much nicer: "You aren't the prophesied hero... but your wife will give birth to him, after you grow up!" You don't even get to see the stick/sack/lint part of the game, since your children rescue you on their own.
Dragon Quest VII also did this with panache: After you've restored all the islands/continents that the Demon Lord sealed away and solved all the pressing crises in each location, you finally track down the Demon Lord himself and defeat him in combat, ensuring peace and prosperity for the newly restored world... except you haven't even gotten to Disc 2 yet.
Dragon Quest VIII makes you think you've won the game after beating Dhoulmagus, but the party notices something is amiss when the King's and princess' curses aren't immediately broken. In Dragon Quest 3, you beat the Big Bad Baramos, start in on the victory celebration, only to have the real big bad, Zoma, mock you for celebrating too early. Cue Extended Gameplay.
Done with style in the recently fan-translated Dragon Quest Monsters: Caravan Heart: You beat the Big Bad, causing him to flee the (good) High Demon Lord he was possessing, only... he ... fled... right?Whoops. After the credits, you see the 4 other (good) Demon Lords who helped you out throughout the game floating in the darkness... then the darkness sprouts a hideous face. Cue the hero having to run screaming back to the Alternate Universe to sort that little mess out...)
Your Size May Vary: Most of the games in the series have trouble when it comes to distinguishing size, often leaving it to the player's imagination, and the bigger monsters are often very vague on how big they are (how big is Hargon's castle if it can fit Atlas?). Games released during the renaissance (e.g. Dragon Quest VIII, Dragon Quest Monsters Joker & Joker 2) have utilized superior graphical capabilities to give a much better effort in scale. Dragon Quest Heroes appears to be going out of its way to avert this.