Anticlimax Boss: Chetyre. One wonders if the real Final Boss was actually Dragon-hybrid Bosch before it. Really, you can't actually lose against Chetyre, unless you don't realize you're supposed to push your D-ratio to 100%.
Capcom seems to (at least since 2007) semi-officially consider Dragon Quarter its Old Shame as far as the franchise goes — no promotional material has come out since a few months after its release in Japan; it is the sole game in the franchise never to have had derivative works licensed such as manga or drama albums; it is the sole game never to have had a port from its original system (Breath of Fire III did have a No Export for You PSP re-release and Breath of Fire IV did have a Windows port); and all new promotional material for the franchise as a whole (save a re-release of the Breath of Fire Complete Works artbook) has been for IV. This treatment likely is due to the badlyBroken Base outside of Japan.
Critical Dissonance: Critics generally enjoyed the game and gave it positive reviews. Fan reception, as noted above, was MUCH more mixed, albeit the game's reputation has improved over time as noted below.
Cult Classic: Despite the controversy the game has managed to win itself a small following of fans who consider it to be an amazing, tightly designed game that really doesn't deserve its backlash.
Faux Symbolism: Most of the symbolism is from the Kabbalah, including a mockup of the sephirot in its official art with appropriate placements. Elyon's own name also fits in this imagery set. There's also extensive Christian imagery with several of the regents' names, the name of the org Trinity as well as some other hidden references.
The D-Dive ability. Even when taking into account that abusing Ryu's dragon form will eventually cause the D-Counter to rise to 100% and thus end the game, the sheer power behind the dragon form alone is ridiculous. By using the D-Dive sparingly the dragon form can kill any boss in the game, and with the right strategy used, the player can still finish the game with ample percentage left in the D-Counter.
Alternatively, using the D-Dive to finish fights faster and then, making use of the strange save game mechanic, allowing the Party XP to be carried over (while resetting the D-Dive in the process), and then rinse and repeat, farming large amounts of XP. This can get your characters up to at least 10 levels over your enemies.
Rin has an ability ("Shatter!" in the US version) that deals more damage the closer she is to the target. It will easily do damage in the hundreds when she's at a high enough level which is enough to outright kill most enemies.
There's a minigame with the fairies that allow you to exchange money for two different types of currencies. The idea is you buy low and sell high. One of them has a fairly predictable, but low rate of return. The other is higher risk... But it still follows a fairly predictable up and down curve. As long you check back every 10 minutes, you can earn enough money to max out your credits within an hour.
Ho Yay: Elyon with Cupid, whom he is implied to have a relationship with.
And partially the victim of one of two incidents of Bowdlerization known to have happened with Dragon Quarter, but (compared to the mass censorship in IV) was merely changed to a het relationship.
Jerkass WoobieDestroyer Of Worlds: Yeah, Bosch's an entitled jerk, but anyone who's seen all his cutscenes knows this kid is severely messed up. A particularly disturbing SOL sequence shows Bosch killing a Genic five times his size at his father Vexacion's demand - before his voice broke.
That One Boss: The game is designed around the tension of the D-Counter and how it moves up, and so a lot of the game's bosses and even some of the regular enemies are very challenging specifically to tempt you to use it. Below are a few examples:
There's a boss gauntlet that happens after you get through the Ice Caverns; you are ambushed by Ryu's former boss Zeno, and then have to fight a grueling boss gauntlet. The first fight has you up against 8 soldiers (an extremely large amount that can very easily become overwhelming). The second has you fighting a Mighty Glacier of a machine that spawns smaller machines that can cast spells on you, and then finally the third one is a battle with Zeno herself and two more soldiers. Zeno is no pushover and can easily drain half of a complete life bar and more with her combos or just outright kill you if she has enough AP. She also becomes much more powerful upon getting close to dying, making her even more overwhelming. Getting through this entire gauntlet without using the Wyrm powers at least once requires a LOT of healing items and careful play.
The second fight with Bosch is the first to introduce a new mechanic that prevents you from simply damaging the boss as you please; Bosch will heal 1/4 of his HP at the end of every turn, meaning you need to outdamage his heals, something the player might not have an easy time doing without having the right abilities and equipment. It doesn't help that Bosch is quite vicious besides, being able to easily one-shot any of your party members should he go for the right combo. This makes coming into the fight with a multitude of healing items paramount as the fight can drag for a long time depending on how much you can damage Bosch per turn.
Vindicated by History: Somewhat. Reception to the game has warmed a bit over time, with people praising its oppressive atmosphere, small-scale plot, innovative New Game+ mechanic, memorable soundtrack, and challenging strategic gameplay. It's to the point that somepeopleargue that the game was actually a work of genius and simply too ahead of its time.