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 of Dragon Ball fame. 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. 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".
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.
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).
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.
It kind of makes sense since the Artist for the series is Akira Toriyama after all.
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.
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).
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.
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 has not been remade yet, but in Dragon Quest Monsters Joker 2, his English name is the rather appropriate Numen (look it up).
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.
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.
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).
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 turns 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 Killer Panther. It turns out to be Saber (or whatever you named him), his and Bianca's pet "kitty" from childhood. Ironically, the people think that it means he planned the whole thing, but they later forgive him.
Locked Door: Finding the keys are a major part of each game.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Punny Name: A lot of the monsters, particularly in the DS games.
The King Metal Slime Helmet, found only in The Very Definitely Final Dungeon of DQV and only if you landed in the right place for the sliding floor puzzle, is the best helmet in the game. It's even better than the Legendary Hero's Helmet.
Rare Candy: The stat-boosting seeds, found in drawers, pots, hanging sacks and nearly everywhere else.
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.
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.
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?
Those Two Guys: Alena's retainers, Kiryl the priest and Borya the wizard.
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.
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.