YMMV / Dragon Quest VIII


  • Accidental Innuendo: To quote Morrie:
    Morrie: "You know what they say: You never know the depths of your own passion until you play with yourself."
    • It simply has to be on purpose with this guy, judging from many of his other lines:
    Morrie: "You give my monstrous pit a good licking."
    Morrie: "You keep it up, and you will go far in my monstrous pit!"
    • Apparently, Kalderasha has asked Valentina repeatedly not to touch his crystal balls.
    • Captain Crow demands Red get her hands off his jewels.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Marcello. Manipulative, self serving Jerk Ass, or Well-Intentioned Extremist? Or he could be both.
  • Awesome Music: Quite a bit of the soundtrack.
    • Particularly, the song when you first gain the ability to fly. Especially as you recall that the embodiment of your flight is Empyrea's dead son, whose spirit is shown just before you start flying.
    • Remembrances, a particularly sad piece.
    • Apparently, the original versions of the game got synthesized music, whereas localizations got an orchestral soundtrack, and the theme that plays while fighting the final boss is probably the most awe inspiring orchestral you will ever listen to.
  • Breather Boss: The Ruin you fight at the end of the escape sequence from the Dark Citadel. It's massive and intimidating, and has the same more intense boss theme that played for Dhoulmagus' second form and Rapthorne, but compared to Rapthorne's first form you just fought and the post-Dhoulmagus bosses, it's a joke. It has a really high attack stat and can critical hit, but doing normal attacks is all it can do. Unlike the aforementioned streak of bosses, it doesn't possess the Ice Wave move, and with it having no skills, you can buff up and psyche up to your heart's content, and easily heal away the damage it deals out, which won't even be that much after some Kabuffs unless it gets lucky with crits. It doesn't even make two moves each turn all the time, an ability that has been long standard for bosses at this point.
  • Broken Base: The much hyped new alternate ending for the 3DS version, which sees the Hero marrying Jessica instead of Medea. Predictably this broke into camps of people being overjoyed, particularly since the pairing was a popular ship in the fandom. And there are those who dislike it because it comes out of left-field, and it also happens to sink another popular ship in Angelo and Jessica.
  • Complete Monster: Rhapthorne is one of the most repulsive villains in the Dragon Quest series. While the characters aren't initially aware of it, Rhapthorne is present from the beginning to the end, actively causing all the calamities in the game. His most heinous acts include turning the residents of the castle Trodain into immobile plant people, killing Marta in cold blood (after forcing her to come out by holding her son hostage), destroying the Holy Isle of Neos, and ordering the murder of the unborn child of the Godbird Empyrea. He also did most of his work by performing Grand Theft Me, which trapped the victims of that into mental torture.
  • Demonic Spiders: Dead Ringers, who given enough time to summon backup can use an attack that wipes out the whole party.
    • The Rockbombs. On the outside, they look just like little rocks with a nice smile. Until you realize they can cast Kamikaze which will literally take everyone in your party down to 1-5 health.
    • Belials. As threatening as every enemy is in the Dragovian Path and Heavenly Dias, they still manage to be a level beyond them and any other regular enemy in the game. They can take a hell of a beating with over 700 HP and adequate defense, they possess plenty of resistances and immunities (including being immune to bang damage), they have among the highest attack of all enemies while also being able to cast Kaboom to hit your entire party really hard, and can move twice a turn while being able to psyche up. No other monster is so hard to kill while also being such a huge offensive threat. And they're pretty common too in the areas they appear, while being able to show up in large groups of themselves and with other enemies. Fortunately the 3DS version makes it easy to avoid running into them most of the time, but no such luck in the PS2 version with its random encounters.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Marcello, due to being Tall, Dark and Snarky.
  • Early Game Hell: The game starts off a little difficult, mostly for the fact that you only have two characters, and the game isn't afraid to toss encounters with up to five or six enemies at once within the first two hours of gameplay. Sure, they may be tossing you against enemies who only deal Scratch Damage at best but when you're hit with up to five or six times in a row, it starts adding up. You really really need a boomerang. But once Jessica joins, things start getting far easier. Until Dhoulmagus, Evil Jessica, and Empyrea.
  • Ending Fatigue: A rather famous video game example of it. A lot of the second half of the game is running from place to place while the overarching plot is halted. The general consensus is that it could have ended 15-20 hours before it did without too much being lost: and that would still leave it with over fifty hours of gameplay! That said, there is one bright spot amongst all of that. Marcello's rise to power, and subsequent fall from it, and then being saved by his despised half-brother Angelo, is almost universally said to be awesome.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Yangus, who was popular enough to earn his own spin-off. Marcello qualifies, given his fangirls.
  • Fan Nickname: Captain Douchebag for Marcello, as heard in a Let's Play of the game.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Angelo/Hero by sheer volume of fanart. Since they are the only two young males in the game that interact on a frequent basis: that alone is enough for yaoi fans to latch onto.
    • If the Developers are anything to go by, Hero/Jessica ended up being this with the Japanese fan base, to the point where they added the option to marry her instead of Medea in the 3DS port.
  • Fridge Brilliance: During Marcello's ascension to the Lord High Priest, he gives a speech talking about the unfairness of birthrights, the useless nobility who trod upon others, etc... then he gets to speaking about "a Goddess who does nothing", and the player realizes that the death of Abbot Francisco, after he'd expressed confidence that the Goddess would save him, just may have hit him harder than it appears. May also count as Hidden Depths.
    • The Hero's immunity to curses, at least once you start to realize how it affects gameplay.
    • The guards of the prison island, in a world where almost everyone has a British accent, have Australian accents.
    • The subtitle. Trode might be a cursed king, but he's not the only one.
  • Fridge Horror: Prince Charmles is the Hero's cousin! They are actually related by blood!!! AAAAAAAAGGGGGHHHHH!!!!
  • Game Breaker: The roulette wheel in the casino is hilariously broken. Betting the maximum amount of tokens on every possible space you can bet on leads to you earning more tokens than you spent, no matter where the ball lands. Doing this for just a few minutes will earn enough tokens to buy the Disc One Nuke weapons and armour from the casino's store with ease.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: In contrast to the general Cult Classic status of the series outside Japan, all things considered, when it comes to entries that the western fanbase has at least heard about, this is the Dragon Quest equivalent to Final Fantasy VII.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Many people in places Dhoulmagus attacks end up repeating his Catchphrase, "Such a pity". It turns out this is something much more sinister than just Got Me Doing It...
  • Jerkass Woobie: Geyzer can be seen as this, considering the pain he suffers from his wound.
  • Late Character Syndrome: Red and Morrie. By the time they join, the game is nowhere near over, but it's well past the halfway point.
  • Les Yay:
    • Jessica's Puff-Puff move, which can be used on female monsters.
    • Also as a Funny Moment: "Jessica laughs triumphantly, having won the battle of the bulges." What's even funnier is that not only is Jessica immune to this move, but that the monster who tried it loses their next turn out of shame.
    • Also in the Puff-Puff Club, if you have Jessica or Red (in the 3DS version) as the first character. The puff-puff girl has no problem whatsoever to give a nice "Puff Puff" to them and even call her "cherié" and "mademoiselle". Still, Jessica doesn't look amused. Yet if you talk to her after getting a puff puff, she says she'd love to have a "pair" like that. Keep in mind that Jessica is the one saying this! Red meanwhile nervously sweatdrops.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Marcello, for a while. Despite acting mostly for petty reasons, you almost have to respect him for becoming Lord High Priest in a matter of weeks, effectively playing politics with the entire Church and winning. Not to mention resisting Rhapthorne's possession, because he's just that focused. Not even one of your party members could do that.
  • Memetic Badass: King Trode is a ninja.
  • Mis-blamed: When footage surfaced of the 3DS version showing that Jessica's outfits had been altered some people immediately blamed Nintendo of America for the changes. However the changes are present in all regions, including Japan, and the real reason for the change is due to the CERO ratings board in Japan not wanting to give the game an A rating with the old costumes intact.
  • Moral Event Horizon: While Francisco, Marta, and the other sages' death's were needed for his plans to be fulfilled and his ultimate goal to be achieved, there was one instance where he topped himself in terms of sheer cruelty. Before he killed Marta, he tried to kill her son (whose death wasn't needed) in front of her after implying he'd simply trade his life for hers.
    • Gemon destroying Empyrea's unborn son with himself, which Rhapthorne is implied to have ordered if Gemon was ever defeated.
    • Let's not forget what Marcello pulls once he gains control of Rhapthorne's power for a while...
  • Narm:
    • Can be invoked by putting Jessica in an extremely Stripperific outfit and then watching the more serious moments with her present.
    • After defeating Dhoulmagus for the first time, the camera shot after he turns One-Winged Angel makes it look like he has giant bird feet rather than something imposing and demonic.
    • Get Jessica to max tension. Use Hustle Dance. Laugh as she does the dance with a Death Glare plastered on her face.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • It's hard not to get chills at the cursed Castle Trodain. Or seeing Rhapthorne's true form for that matter.
    • Even some of the enemies can be disturbing. A Capsichum, one of the first enemies in the game, is two gigantic, anthropomorphic bell peppers, impaled together on a kebab skewer.
    • The cut-scene where Rhapthorne breaks free of the statue of the Goddess on Neos is rather terrifying — particularly the glowing eyes.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: King Trode is snobby and demanding, and comes across as a whiny, useless plot device early in the game. However, as the story progresses, it becomes clear that he is not a total buffoon, but a compassionate (if fairly egotistical) monarch who wants to preserve what little dignity he has left. He also builds (and later upgrades) the Alchemy Pot for you, which is absolutely essential for getting higher level items. And of course, there's his showing of ninja skills during one of the endings.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: The "wave of ice/Disruptive wave" boss ability. It's on over half of the bosses after Dhoulmagus, and it clears every buff on your party, meaning that if you just spent the last several turns buffing up your party, raising tension, etc, those turns were just completely wasted. It doesn't deal damage, so it's not particularly dangerous, but it certainly is incredibly annoying.
    • Granted, this is a pretty typical for Dragon Quest bosses: most players actually prefer when a boss does this, because if they use one of their rounds removing buffs on you, then they're not attacking.
  • That One Boss:
    • Disc One Final Boss Dhoulmagus. He has two forms — his first, where he splits into three copies of himself, and the second, where he assumes a demon form that is somehow even stronger than the combined might of the three from the previous fight. The only consolation is if you die against the second form, you don't have to fight the first form again.
    • Captain Crow the ghost pirate, who vastly prefers attacking when he has maximum tension. And like every other boss at this stage of the game, he can take two actions per turn and remove your buffs.
    • Empyrea the God Bird is just plain unfair. Fighting a boss with stupidly high defence, an immunity to the defence lowering spells that also hits like a truck, gets to move twice and likes to remove your buffs every other turn is bad enough, but it gets worse. She can also confuse and dazzle you as well. Success in this battle generally depends on how often the boss confuses you and who gets confused.
  • That One Level: The Dark Ruins, due to being full of Demonic Spiders and Goddamned Bats who take a bit of abuse before going down even if you are overleveled and you outgear the enemies. Several of which have defence so high they take very little damage from physical attacks, can take a good chunk out of your characters health or harass you with hit-all attacks, and in the 3DS version, enjoy going into narrow hallways to make you fight them.
    • In the Monster Arena, the B rank, where the luck required to win in the arena becomes especially apparent. It's a massive stepup in difficulty from C rank, with the first battle being especially rough; it's against a team of Dragurn, Tyrantosaurus, and Snapdragon, all with really high stats, while the Dragurn can breathe Inferno to hit your entire party up to 80 damage, the Tyrantosaurus also has Inferno and can critical hit, and the Snapdragon can attack twice while also being able to immobilize one of your monsters for a turn and cast Kafrizzle. Then the subsequent two rounds aren't really any easier. Additionally, the player has a lack of good options for team composition at the point they can take on B rank without being at a really high level; Talos is more than strong enough for the rank regardless of the hero's level, and Hackzilla will be strong enough if the player is at a decent level while also possessing a valuable fire resistance for that first round, but the player won't be able to get a good option for a third teammate, with the available options being underpowered until the hero's level approaches the 40s and the monsters with valuable support skills being heavily prone to the Idiot Ball. Clearing B rank however is highly rewarding, with it giving players the ability to have a second team, thus giving the ability to call out two monster teams a battle, which helps tremendously against bosses (something you're going to really want before the Dhoulmagus Difficulty Spike). Clearing B rank also makes some really good special monsters appear, which is why some players think the A rank and even the S rank is easier than B rank when they'll have better options available. The B rank's rewards incentivizes players to beat it as soon as possible, adding to the frustration in trying to beat it.
  • That One Sidequest: In the 3DS version, photoquests 138-142 in Cameron's Codex. The ingame descriptions doesn't even tell you really what you need to take a picture of, just colored "twinkles", much less on how and where to find them, leaving it a huge Guide Dang It. Then if you look up what you need to actually do, it doesn't ease the frustration at all. To explain; once these photoquests become available, Stella from Dragon Quest IX can spawn in one of five locations in the overworld in one of five colored dresses, each corresponding to one of the colored "twinkles", and talking to her will have her give you a reward each day you encounter her, while you need to take a picture of her in each of her colors. Now for where the frustration sets in; these five locations are pretty much random markless spots in the vast overworld, and there's only a small chance she will spawn each time the player enters the overworld. Then she can spawn only once a day, and what color she will spawn in is completely random, while there's nothing preventing it from being a color you already gotten. The lone reprieve is that once she spawns, she will remain for the rest of the day, so a player can brute force her to spawn by entering and exiting a town over and over for an extended period, then go to each of her spawn locations to check if she is there, and then reset if she's in a color they already gotten. But if they happened to save after she spawned, which the player will have no indication has happened unless they check each of her locations, they're stuck with her color until the next day, adding yet another day they need to spend doing this. So in conclusion, once you know what to actually do, it's a very time-consuming process that can't be done through normal gameplay, and will take a minimum of five realworld days to get them all, while these photoquests won't become available until near the end of the main game, overall being a very glaring Last Lousy Point and being nigh-impossible to get them all without looking it up.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy: Just about everyone has at least one useless or underperforming skill besides Fisticuffs (which are, ironically, only really good on Yangus).
    • Yangus deserves special mention due to the fact that Axes are essentially his only good skill tree due to the abilities being good and Axes being the most available weapons for him. Sure, he gets a rather hilarious attack if he maxes out Humanity, but to a lot, his low MP really doesn't justify investing so much, especially when he can learn some very useful axe abilities instead.
  • Values Dissonance: The 3DS changes: the censorship of Jessica's outfits were actually because what the game could get away with in 2004 versus 2015 has changed.
  • Win Back the Crowd: After the resounding failure of Dragon Quest VII (in the west), Dragon Quest VIII was released to massive sales and critical acclaim and successfully renewed interest in the franchise in the west.

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