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Videogame: Dragon Quest

A Slime draws near!
Command?

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:


This series provides examples of:

  • Added Alliterative Appeal: The subtitles on the DS releases (IV-VI remakes and IX)
  • After the End: In a sense. VII started out on the only land mass on the planet that was not destroyed by the demon lord. You do get to restore them, though.
  • A.I. Roulette: One of the givens of the series.
  • Alchemy Is Magic
  • 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".
  • The Alcoholic: Kalderasha, a "drunk Russian" stereotype.
  • All in a Row: All main installments except VIII (it was brought back in IX) and the Dragon Quest Monsters games before Joker show all active party members on the screen when traveling by walking.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Notably averted by many monsters in the series.
  • Always Check Behind the Chair: hidden items in barrels, pots, hanging bags, drawers, coffins, crosses, just lying on the floor...
  • 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.
  • Ancestral Weapon: Erdrick/Loto's Sword is the most powerful weapon in Dragon Quest I. The sword is also in Dragon Quest II, but it is nowhere near being the strongest weapon in the game.
    • 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.
  • Animated Armor
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • Bondage, S&M, etc...
  • Artifact of Doom: The sceptre Dhoulmagus steals in VIII is possessed by Rhapthorne. The Golden Claw in DQ3 and a few other games is also somewhat evil — it increases your encounter rate to 100%, meaning you end up in a random encounter every single step until you get rid of it.
    • The golden claw isn't that bad in the original NES game: if you can escape the dungeon, you can sell it with no problems by instantly teleporting to any city, and you can run from battles just as easily as before. In the Game Boy remake, it didn't just raise the encounter rate to 100%, it also disabled running from battles. As if that's not bad enough, it sold for much, much less than the original game. As a tradeoff, however, the whole 100% encounter rate only applies to the pyramid itself once the Golden Claw is taken in this version. 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).
  • Artistic License - Economics: Gold Golems.
  • 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.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: III, after the first boss; also a sort of Nonstandard Game Over.
  • Badass Family: In V, you are not just the son of a king, but your party later in the game also consists of you, your wife, your children and your pets.
    • The heroes of II also count; they're all cousins (all descended from the hero of I and Princess Gwaelin/Lora).
  • Battle Aura: Tension, starting with VIII.
  • Battle Bikini: Jessica has plenty of them. 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.
  • Beef Gate: Death awaits beyond bridges for the insufficiently-leveled.
  • Betting Mini-Game: The casinos and Monster Arenas, starting from the second game.
  • 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
  • Blob Monster: The slimes are certainly the cutest examples of this trope.
  • Bonus Boss: The Dragovian Trials from Dragon Quest VIII.
    • Also Divinegon and Grand Dragon in the DQ III remakes (although Grand Dragon might be GBC exclusive). 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).
    • And in VII, you fight God.
    • 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.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Several characters in DQ8, after Rhapthorne is released... including a dog!
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: In the GBC remake of DQ3, God addresses you, the player, for your personal information at the start of a new game.
  • But Thou Must: The famous words of Princess Gwaelin/Lora from the original version of DQ1, but it pops up in other games, too.
  • Catchphrase: Yangus' "COR BLIMEY!" and Dhoulmagus' "Such a pity..."
  • Chest Monster: Not to mention pots, and books, and other things...
  • 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.
  • Chokepoint Geography: The swamp cave in the first game.
  • 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?
  • Crisis Crossover: The Monster Battle Road series as seen in this video.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: The Catholic motif for the churches, priests, and nuns.
    • In DQV, the Dragon King is an actual Crystal Dragon Jesus, a Physical God who sometimes takes the form of a human.
    • 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: Alena
  • 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 your Hidden Village planned... 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.
  • Delusions of Eloquence: Yangus from DQ8
  • Did You Just Have Sex?: V, presumably sometime after the marriage.
    • Your son is the legendary hero!
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: In many of the games, notably in DQV, you go more or less invade Hell, kick Satan's behind, and escape unscathed. DQVI also has an optional sidequest where you basically beat up Satan, and then he kills the Big Bad for you.
  • Dirty Coward: Prince Charmles from Dragon Quest VIII, appropriately named "Prince Charmless" in-game because he really is that much of a loser.
  • Doppelgänger Spin: Linguar's specialty.
  • Elemental Tiers: According to the manual for Dragon Warrior, HURT is a fire spell and HURTMORE is a lightning spell.
  • Encounter Bait: The "Whistle" ability.
  • Encounter Repellant
  • Endless Corridor: The looping stairway in Charlock Castle.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses: In just about every other game. Special mention goes to Alena, who joins your party and is easily the strongest physical fighter of her game.
  • Evolutionary Levels: Psaro and his minions from Dragon Quest IV are after the Secret of Evolution so that they can build an all-powerful monster army to subjugate the world. This research also extends to giving animals the ability to talk.
  • Expy: The Celestrians of IX are quite similar to the Zenithians of the Zenithian trilogy: Winged Humanoid Angel-like beings living on a Floating Continent who regard mortals as somewhat pitifully weak creatures, though naturally there are exceptions to that. Both also suffer some major Pride Before a Fall, though the Zenithians' takes place between IV and V.
  • Fairy Battle: Torneko's chapter in Dragon Quest IV
  • Face-Design Shield: The Boss, Tempest, and Slime shields.
  • Fanfare: The Overture heard at the start of each game.
    • Also the Level Up music, which is used for every single game.
  • Fetch Quest
  • 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 rich red.
  • 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).
  • Floating Continent: Zenithia
  • 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 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 it, 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.
  • Good Morning, Crono: The protagonist is woken up by his/her mother in the beginning of DQIII
  • 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).
  • Gotta Catch Them All: The Monsters series, although DQ5 and DQ6 both had monster catching as well, years before Pokémon.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: Morrie from the NA version of DQ8 peppers his speech with Italian words. A slime version of him runs the Tank Battles in DQH: Rocket Slime.
    • In the DS remake of the fourth game, characters often use Russian words in the second chapter and French words in the fourth chapter.
      • Bishop Ladja speaks in gratuitous Russian in Dragon Quest V. Gядйdмдsтзя Йiмzф дlsф dфзs тнis, дйd тдlкs щiтн д Яцssiдй дlрндьзт fфям фf lззтspздк.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: Featured in one town in DQ7.
  • Guest Star Party Member: Several in Dragon Quest IV.
  • Happily Married: The main protagonist of DQ 5.
  • 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.
  • Heroic Mime: The Hero of every game. In DQ5, you get to hear the hero speak a few lines when he comes back to your childhood via Time Travel to exchange the fake MacGuffin for the real one.
    • The hero of the first game has a few lines after defeating the final boss, when he rejects the offer to take the place of the King of Alefgard.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: Marquis de Léon in Chapter 4 of DQIV.
    • 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.
  • An Ice Person: Borya of DQIV specializes in ice-based magic, like "Crack" and "Crackle".
  • 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.
  • Intentional Engrish for Funny: This is the most noticeable trait of the Russian accents in the DS remake of IV.
  • Interchangeable Antimatter Key: Both the door and key disappear when unlocked in the first game. Averted in all other games.
  • 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
  • Just a Stupid Accent: The Poirot Speak-using characters in the DS remake of DQIV are never actually seen speaking the languages the words they use are from.
  • 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.
  • Lady Land: A "queendom" in DQIV. Referred to in the English localization of the DS version as "Femiscyra", it's chock full of Amazonian Beauties... One of whom makes it very clear what kind of guy she's after.
    • 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: The Naughty/Sexy Underwear, an "armor" item for the girls that appeared through some iterations of the series; although the joke is only in the nature of the item, its effects and atributes are generally great, making it a great equip. 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.
  • Mascot Mook: The Slime family, including...
    • Metal Slime: The Trope Namer, with no less than seven 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, and the Nigh Invulnerable Platinum King Jewel. All varieties are 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.
  • Mithril
  • Monster Arena: Starting with Dragon Quest III. Later games even have subquests of you having to recruit monster gladiators for your teams.
  • Monster Clown: Dhoulmagus
  • Monster Compendium:
    • 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 shows models and character animations 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.
  • Moses in the Bullrushes: DQVIII has one of these, too.
  • Mushroom Man: Humanoid fungi appear as monsters.
  • The Musical: A musical was made in the early nineties featuring JPOP group SMAP playing the characters.
  • Mythology Gag: Boatloads in IX. Player characters from previous games appear and there is armor based on their clothes, and major bosses from previous games appear as Bonus Bosses.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Balzack, and his evolved form, Baalzack.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Marcello in Dragon Quest VIII subjugates 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.
  • Nonstandard Game Over: Say yes to the DracoLord in the first one. The GBC remake lessens it by making it All Just a Dream.
  • Nuns N' Rosaries: The church elements strongly resemble the Catholic church.
  • 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.
  • Only Six Faces: The character designs of Akira Toriyama often resemble each other and even with his other character designs from his other works.
  • Orichalcum
  • 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.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: Quite a few, particularly Medea's wedding dress in VIII.
  • Pirate: The Pirate job class.
  • 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!
      • From the beginning of III, you can recruit a female Goof-Off/Jester as a party member, whose sprite is a playboy bunny.
    • Jessica's bunny outfit in Dragon Quest VIII.
    • 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.
  • Power Nullifier: In III onward, but most annoyingly in V. "Boss X sends a disruptive wave of energy!" "All party stats are returned to normal." *groan* At least some of your Mon can do it, too.
    • 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.
  • Random Effect Spell: Chance/Hocus Pocus, across the series.
  • Rebellious Princess: Alena from DQ4
  • Relax-o-Vision: Jessica's Puff-puff special ability in DQ8, which, um... well, let's just say only Jessica can use this. Actually a long-standing Running Gag — each game has had a "puff-puff" scene in some way or another.
  • Requisite Royal Regalia: Like most RPGs, crowns are used as armor, but in these games, so can the crown of the king slime.
  • Rare Candy: The stat-boosting seeds, found in drawers, pots, hanging sacks and nearly everywhere else.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: The manly knight Ragnar of DQIV has brilliant all-pink armor.
  • Red String of Fate: Mentioned during the Playable Epilogue of DQV.
  • 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.
  • Saintly Church: The Churches of the unnamed deity.
  • Samus Is a Girl: Depending on your choice in the GBC remake of DQIII, it is possible to discover that Loto was a girl.
  • 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.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Rhapthorne, Orgodemir, etc.
  • Sequential Boss: Dragonlord, Hargon/Malroth, Dhoulmagus...
  • Shapeshifter Guilt Trip: In DQ5, a shapeshifting monster poses as your mother, as the High Priestess of the Church Of Evil.
  • 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.
  • Sole Entertainment Option: Most games have exactly one (sometimes two) casino in the world.
  • Smash Mook: Loads of different types.
  • Spoiled Brat: Charmles in VIII.
    • Also Prince Harry when he's young, the 10 years of slavery made him more laid back and optimistic ("We're locked up... I guess we can rest now!" or something like that) in V, and later his son.
  • Sprite/Polygon Mix: DQ7, DQ9, and the remakes of 4, 5, and 6.
  • Squishy Wizard: The Wizard class in DQ3, Borya in DQ4
    • Jessica from VIII too. Not just literally, either. Well, she's a wizard, and, er, parts of her are squishy...
  • Suspend Save: The only way to save in the field.
  • Take That: The remake of IV, especially, seems to direct one at Sephiroth.
  • Tank Goodness: A big part of DQ Heroes: Rocket Slime
  • Those Two Guys: Alena's retainers, Kiryl the priest and Borya the wizard.
  • Tiered by Name: The Slimes have a lot of buffed variants, including an infamous one that only takes one point of damage and gives out high EXP. All of them have "Slime" in their species names.
  • 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.
  • Trick Boss: Balzack in the fourth chapter of Dragon Quest IV. At first, he is immune to all attacks, and the party needs to use a special item to render him vulnerable. After Balzack is defeated, Marquis de Léon, the real boss of that chapter, storms in and immediately wipes the floor with your party. You get to fight Marquis de Léon again in Chapter 5, but this time he's beatable.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: Dragon Quest II and the second chapter in Dragon Quest IV.
  • Unfortunate Names: Balzack?! It is the name of a French author, however (although it's spellt Balzac).
  • Ur Example: Of just about every JRPG trope in existence. No, really, just about every one. Even Final Fantasy (the first of which came out a scant 2 months before DragonQuest III) has callbacks to Dragon Quest titles. Amusingly, given the length and influence of the series, it could also be called the Trope Maker and Trope Codifier for quite a few of them, too.
  • 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.
  • Weapon of X Slaying: Various examples, such as metal claws (extra damage vs. Metal Slime) or the dragonsbane sword (extra damage vs. dragons).
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Dragon Quest IV's Psaro the Manslayer.
  • Whip It Good: Several characters throughout the series use it, and one was one of the strongest weapons in the Game Boy Color remake of Dragon Quest III.
  • White Mage: The Priest class.
  • Whole Plot Reference: Basically, the entire sequence in the fairy world in V is one big Shout-Out to The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. However, despite what it might seem like, it does become important much later.
  • 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.
  • World of Badass: According to this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=odKPdhiY46s&feature=related
  • Wretched Hive: Pickham
  • Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: Only the first two games in the original US localizations, though they for the most part were good about their grammar. The team that took over the localization of Dragon Quest VIII is British-based, and a more modern version of Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe shows up. Cor Blimey! In addition, the DS remake of Dragon Quest IV has the Zenithians speak in Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe.
    • This was removed for presumably space reasons in the Game Boy Color remakes of the first two, which were released on the same cartridge, as Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe takes up precious bits.
  • You Killed My Father: Dragon Quest V, Bishop Ladja was responsible for the hero's father Pankraz's death. Although the hero is a Silent Protagonist, to the player its obviously personal and eventually the payback is returned.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle: 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...)
    • 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.

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alternative title(s): Dragon Quest; Dragon Quest
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