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Video Game / Dragon Quest Builders 2

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Dragon Quest Builders 2 is a Wide Open Sandbox spinoff of the Dragon Quest series, and a sequel to Dragon Quest Builders. It was released for Playstation 4 and Nintendo Switch in Japan in December 2018, with a Western release following in July 2019.

The game is set in Torland, the world of Dragon Quest II. Unlike the original Builders, however, this game does not take place in an Alternate Continuity but instead continues the story after the end of DQII, exploring what happened with the followers of Hargon after his downfall. "Many moons" after the evil wizard's defeat, what few monstrous members of his Religion of Evil, the Children of Hargon, remain, take command of the one seafaring vessel still available to them and raid Cantlin in Alefgard for prisoners and slaves to help them survive, with a particular desire for capturing human Builders. This is to help further the cause of Destruction, the most central tenet of the Children of Hargon, and not at all to help them make a new base or ensure their ship doesn't sink. The ship, however, is caught in a massive squall, and begins to come apart, with one Builder being pulled beneath the waves...


...whereupon that Builder - you - wash ashore on a deserted, seemingly uncharted island alongside a mysterious amnesiac named "Malroth". Together with this rambunctious and destructive young man, you must set out on a journey to rebuild the island into the paradise it has the potential to be... and, in the process of traveling the seas to find help and residents for your new land, uncover the hidden truth of the place you now find yourself in and those you've met.

Building off of the foundation laid by the first game, Builders 2 incorporates several new features, including Co-Op Multiplayer for up to four players over the internet (and via local wireless on the Switch), the ability to fly and swim, Fast Travel, a dash button, and the ability to recruit a party of NPCs to accompany to player in their journey.


Dragon Quest Builders 2 contains examples of:

  • Absurdly Low Level Cap: The game has a rising level cap, starting at 10 and then raising by an additional 10 at the beginning of the second and third chapters plus another 5 for Malhalla. Given the fact that the player gains EXP for enemies that NPCs kill in addition to the ones they fight themselves, they are all but guaranteed to be within 2 levels of the cap by the time of each of the bosses. Furrowfield is a prime offender here, as players will most likely hit Level 10 halfway through the chapter. This switches over to Absurdly High Level Cap in the post-game, where the cap instead becomes 99.
  • Action Girl: Female Builders, natch. Female villagers will also pitch in during battles, with some specifically suited to combat.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Easily the single greatest example in the entire franchise. DQB2 is pretty much "Adaptation Expansion For Dragon Quest II: The Game" and expands especially on Malroth and the nature of the Children of Hargon enormously.
    • In the original game, Hargon and his minions had absolutely no motivation for being opponents beyond "we're the villains"; here, the nature of their Religion of Evil is expanded on tremendously and it deals with the way monsters in general tend to see themselves and their place in the world (and how Hargon exploited that).
    • Similarly, Malroth in the original game had basically no characterization whatsoever, being basically just being a big scary demon for you to fight at the end of the game since Dragon Quest I had established the tradition of needing a bigger foe at the end; in the original game, and especially original English release, Malroth was barely even mentioned prior to his appearance. Here, the Malroth you meet at the start is a Jerk with a Heart of Gold who gradually becomes friends with the Builder, and exactly what the Master of Destruction is, and what his relationship with the idea of Creation (as personified by the Builders) is, is a central theme of the game. Malhalla and the final sequences of the game in general also up his Villain Pedigree tremendously. In the original game, he was one of Toriyama's far less inspired designs and wasn't terribly threatening (looking more like a low-tier Dragon Ball villain than anything); the Malhalla sequence repackages God!Malroth as a deific Reality Warper whose limbs can manifest out of nowhere and gouge out massive chunks of terrain, can manifest black holes which visibly suck blocks away into nothing, who can get big enough that his sheddings can be used as building materials, who can spawn "shadow fiend" versions of monsters that are pure automatons of Destruction and his proper god form is way more threatening than it ever was in DQII.
      • As a side note: the game takes that whole "Malroth is barely mentioned" thing from DQII and actually makes it a plot point. It comes up that barely any members of the Children of Hargon actually know the "holy name" of the Master of Destruction, which is why the various members of the Children you meet don't take much note of Malroth at first. Pastor Al is clearly starting to wonder about him toward the end of Furrowfield, and the King of Moonbrooke similarly seems to have some suspicions; it's the high-up members you meet in Malhalla who actually know who Malroth might be, and by that time, you're trying desperately to find him.
    • Even Hargon gets a bit of this, despite being seemingly dead thanks to the events of DQII. It turns out the illusory Midenhall was a lot more than the Scions of Erdrick ever realized, and it's part of Hargon's Batman Gambit to cheat death if defeated; he essentially re-created himself and a whole little world outside of the castle area by using the Creation side of the duality that Malroth's power represents. While it's essentially illusory and will fade in time without extraordinary intervention, it would still give Hargon just enough time to re-empower Malroth and have him shed any remaining shreds of mortal attachment he might have, turning Malroth into a true avatar of pure Destruction. He did not, however, reckon on the attachment Human!Malroth would form with the Builder, despite wanting a Builder in the illusion to draw out Malroth's urges toward Destruction.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Everywhere. Generic villagers, Flavor Text, the Trophies on the PlayStation version, even standard dialogue has alliteration. For example:
  • After the End: A localized version. While Hargon was defeated on the mainland, his cult is very much in control of the island chain that Builders 2 takes place on. At least that's how it appears at first. It turns out things are a bit more complicated: the World of Illusion is a false reality created by Hargon for two purposes, the first being an attempt at tricking the Scions coming to kill him... and the rest of it being a Batman Gambit designed explicitly for a Builder from the real world to create things on so that Malroth, if defeated, could be re-empowered for a much more destructive second round.
  • Alliterative List: Before some Berate and Switch: At Skelkatraz, when the builder and Malroth are locked up in The Pit:
    Malroth: This place is dark, damp and dingy... I love it!
  • Anime Hair: With Akira Toriyama's character designs, it's to be expected. Male Builders and Malroth stand out, in particular.
  • Anti-Frustration Features
    • While you can no longer place teleportation beacons anywhere you want, there are far more fast-travel points available to you, and you can teleport inside buildings and caves.
    • Weapons and tools no longer have limited durability.
    • There's a dedicated button for swinging your weapon, and a dedicated button for using and switching between tools.
    • Tools do very little damage to enemies, and weapons don’t destroy objects. This prevents you from accidentally destroying your own village when fighting monsters in it.
    • Shortly after starting the first island, your inventory becomes MUCH larger than the first game, and you don't even need the Colossal Coffer this time!
    • If you have build requests or active blueprints your inventory and crafting screens will mark the items you need and how many are needed.
    • Gloves let you pick up, rotate, and drop individual blocks without having to hammer them.
    • After a certain point in the game, villagers can build blueprints for you (if provided the materials). In general villagers will do some tasks for you as the Base level increases, reducing the amount of micromanagement needed compared to the previous game.
    • If you need materials for your personal island, you can travel to a handful of smaller islands that randomly generate and will always have what you need. While you need to pay a fee in gratitude points to unlock travel to the island, you'll be able to travel there as many times as you wish after. In addition, completing scavenger hunts on those islands will unlock unlimited amount of a material at builder's stations, reducing the amount of grinding needed (and playing the Echo Flute on those islands will lead you directly to each of the items on the list without having to scour every square inch).
    • An update to the game allowed you to save three different Buildertopias, instead of just one.
    • The cladding and flooring items from the first game have been swapped out with the far more versitile Transform-o-Trowel, which lets the player instantly swap walls and floors with any other building material from their inventory as much as they want (instead of only working on dirt and converting it into one of several preset materials). It can later be upgraded to create walls just as easily.
    • When monsters attack as part of story segments, NPCs will instantly repair any damage done to the town once the battle is over.
    • If, for whatever reason, you happen to discard or misplace the Heartwood you need to rebuild the tree in the Furrowfield chapter of the game, Badboons nearby the old church within the jungle happen to drop it. This was likely done to prevent the player from soft-locking themselves at that point in the story. Also, Heartwood is quite expensive to buy at a whopping 500 Gratitude points per block.
  • Apocalypse How: Not like in the last game. No, unlike the rewritten ending of Dragon Quest I, Dragon Quest II's events proceeded just as they're meant to. However, now the vengeful illusory-copy-slash-ghost of Hargon, seeing as he's (kind of) dead and all, intends to revive Malroth in secret — this time not to remake the world, but to erase everything.
  • Artistic License – Biology:
    • Lambs produce cotton, not wool.
    • In the first game, you could sacrifice one crop to produce multiple seeds of that plant. In this game however the only way to acquire new seeds is by finding them in the wild. There's no way to obtain seeds from your harvested crops. Which the game seems to almost mock by having chosen to use only crops that in Real Life produce hundreds of seeds per crop like wheat, corn or rice of all things. Even the description for strawberries specifically mentions how it's completely covered in seeds.
      • It is possible that the selection of crops was intentional and there was supposed to be a way of multiplying your seeds like in the first game, but the process may have been Dummied Out in production.
  • Artistic License – Physics: When you are underwater your walking speed slows down as would be expected in real life where the resistance of water makes walking much more difficult. However, when you're riding a mount (such as the Sabrecub) even if the animal is completely submerged and only your head is poking out of the water your speed remains unaffected and the mount will continue to run at full speed.
  • Arc Words: Each of the three main islands has a single word that serves as the main theme for their respective chapters.
    • Furrowfield: Dreams
    • Khrumbul-Dun: Love
    • Moonbrooke: Conviction
  • The Artifact: The Colossal Coffer from the original Dragon Quest Builders. You can still build it, but it doesn't do anything in this game due to the fact that your inventory is much larger than before.
  • Artificial Brilliance:
    • Malroth is quite good at helping out both in battle and in breaking blocks and other objects to gather materials.
    • NPC allies know how to avoid the more highly-telegraphed monster attacks, and ones that don't fight focus on staying out of the way of battle.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Generally when a farm animal or pet is attacked they'll flee, but cows in Iridescent Island will flee when under attack only to run straight into pools of lava and just stand there while their HP depletes. Apparently the AI doesn't recognize ground hazards as being "under attack" so they stay in place until they die. It's not unusual to be exploring the island and randomly find Beef in a pool of lava.
  • Ascended Glitch: The method of acquiring the ultimate sword is to recreate a famous glitch from Dragon Quest II.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: All of the boss monsters are far bigger than their minions. But Atlas, the boss of the Moonbrook chapter is a special case; he's a ogre who's bigger than your entire castle!
  • Babies Ever After: This game retroactively confirms this of the Builder in the first game, as the Hero had become a monster and they were thus the only verifiable descendant of Erdrick leftnote  who could've continued the bloodline to lead to the three Scions of Erdrick from Dragon Quest II, which takes place before this game.
  • Bag of Spilling: You have to leave all your stuff on the Island of Awakening when going to story-focused islands. Thankfully you get it all back when you return, and this limitation is removed after completing the chapter.
  • Baleful Polymorph: The Mod Rod originally from Dragon Quest III makes an appearance helping you transform into different monsters so you can infiltrate their base and obtain information on how to beat them, though you have no control over which monster it will turn you into.
    • Unfortunately, the enemy is also using this spell to infiltrate the Moonbrooke resistance and undermine your efforts from within.
    • The girl who was transformed into a dog, as described under Call-Back below.
  • Batman Gambit: Hargon's entire plan was to create an illusionary dystopia for an unwitting Builder to bring the power of Creation to. Because the stronger the power of Creation gets, the stronger the power of Destruction grows as well. And this can be used to help a certain someone reach his "true" potential.
  • Benevolent Monsters: There are quite a few monster tribes who are not fanatical followers of the Children of Hargon, some of which have lived in harmony with humans for various reasons. You can even recruit them after a certain point in the game. Most wild monsters such as bunicorns and slimes in fact will behave more like regular animals and only become aggresive if you attack one of their kind but will gladly continue roaming about as you murder other enemy types.
  • Berate and Switch: At Skelkatraz, when the builder and Malroth are locked up in The Pit:
    Malroth: This place is dark, damp and dingy... I love it!
  • Big Bad: Hargon, or rather his disembodied spirit manifesting itself in his great illusion.
  • Boring, but Practical: For party members, Nuns, such as Esther, and Heal Slimes. They don't do much damage, but their attacks are ranged, and they can heal your party.
  • Bowdlerise: Subverted. While "The Book of Blue Prints" appears to be censored in North America due to the original name translating to "Naughty Magazine," the joke/pun comes from the usage of "Blue Prints" rather than "Blueprints" in the name as "Blue" is an old slang term for callous or smutty.
  • But Thou Must!: Many, many times.
  • Call-Back:
    • During the Moonbrooke episode you obtain the key item Ra's Mirror, an item that dispels any shape-shifting illusion. If you go back to Furrowfield Farms and you use it on the dog you befriended way back at the start of your adventures, she will transform back into a human girl. This is a reference to Dragon Quest II where you save the Princess of Moonbrooke in the exact same manner. No word on whether the girl is the Princess of Moonbrooke or not in this universe as she decides to keep the name you gave her when she was your pet.
    • The captain of the slaver ship from the tutorial mentions that they picked you up in Cantlin, the starter town of the first game.
    • The Shrine of Rendarak reappears as a teleport location in the island of Moonbrooke back from Dragon Quest II. This time it's guarded by a friendly Hammerhood rather than a priest however, and it's still on an island in the middle of a lake connected by bridges to the mainland.
    • Back in chapter 2 of Dragon Quest Builders, you meet a guy named Nosh in Rimuldar who says he wants to become a fisherman and sends you on several fish related quests. In this game you can find a journal signed "Nosh, the fisherman from Rimuldar".
  • Chekhov's Gun: The Oaken Club that the Builder makes for Malroth at the beginning of the game. After Malroth is returned to his God Form, the subconscious remnants of his human personality prevent him from destroying it with all his other gear. After the builder returns the club to him, he uses it during the final battle to deliver the fatal blow to Hargon, breaking it in the process.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Captain Whitebones from the beginning of the game doesn't appear to be anything other than a tutorial character who is thrown out to sea and seemingly killed right before you end up on the Isle of Awakening. Cue him showing up alive and well at the end when the player needs to find somebody to pilot the Ark in Malhalla.
  • Combination Attack: Once you and Malroth's level is high enough (usually half way through Khrumbul-Dun), you both can perform the "Co-op de Grace".
  • Combined Energy Attack: The Kazapple Cannon, a massive weapon that draws energy from the townspeople and focuses it into a powerful beam.
  • Cooking Mechanics: Over 150 different recipes the player can cook or brew to refill their hunger meter and feed their villagers, some of which may also restore HP or provide other bonuses (ranging from simple things like salads and steak, all the way to complex stuff like cheeseburgers and spongecake). Villagers will also cook for the player if provided access to the proper ingredients and a kitchen, though they can only use recipes that the player has already discovered.
  • Cool Starship: The Ark from Malhalla effectively serves as one - some of the blocks used to construct it are even called "Spaceship blocks".
  • Co-Op Multiplayer: While players cannot travel to the story islands with other players and help them through the game's campaign, they can join other players on their personal islands.
  • Crapsack World: Downplayed, at least compared to the previous game. Torland and civilization at large repelled Hargon's onslaught. However, some of his disciples still roam the land, capturing or slaying any builders they find. The islands you visit in the game are fully under their control and are abysmal places to live in:
    • Furrowfield, once famed for being a lush farming region, is suffering from a devastating famine due to spoilspores rendering the land infertile. Even if the land was workable, the Children of Hargon have banned the act of farming on pain of death, leaving everyone to starve while foraging for wild-grown plants.
    • Khrumbul-Dun, once a wealthy and prosperous mine, has gone bust thanks to Madusa turning the once-plentiful veins of precious metals to stone and sealing away the local guardian golem.
    • Skelcatraz: An isolated island prison where monsters torment builders through monotonous, Sisyphean labor until their spirits are broken.
    • Moonbrooke: A fallen kingdom trapped in a Forever War with an implacable army of monsters, whose king knows all too well that their world is an illusion whose time is nearing its end.
    • Malhalla: A hellish, so-called "promised land" with an eerie red sky and caverns made of scaly Meat Moss, which is slowly being destroyed by the Master of Destruction.
  • Darker and Edgier: Right from the first scene of the opening cinematic you'll see someone getting their head chopped off for refusing to destroy a statue of Rubiss. Granted, the scene does a Smash to Black before we actually see the sword go through his neck, but still this is a big change from the first game where death was only implied and all murders had already happened in the past.
    • In-game isn't any lighter. One of the first things you find after the tutorial are a bunch of corpses at the beach.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Even more notable than in the first game. While you lost some of the items in your inventory on the first game, this time you'll just be woken up by Malroth's voice with no consequences whatsoever.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: After you learn the recipe for Monster Munchies some monsters will be available to be recruited, but only after you defeat them, and only in the Explorers' Lands.
  • Defector from Decadence: A sizable chunk of the Children's forces defect to the Builder, some out of genuine altruism, others for pragmatic issues. Kind of hard to keep loyalty when the edicts you enforce makes it hard for your own forces to eat, or causes them to live in uncomfortable caves.
  • Downer Beginning: The game opens after Hargon's defeat with you on a slave ship under the bootheel of his disciples. The ship is wrecked in a storm, with only you and one other prisoner surviving. This is on top of the fact that the Children of Hargon have ensured civilization cannot rebuild.
  • Dream World: The true nature of the Land of Illusion.
  • Drop the Hammer: While primarily a tool for breaking blocks, hammers can also be used as bludgeons. They do very little damage to most enemies, but are super effective against enemies made of stone (except for Golems, strangely). Malroth gets his own builder's hammer one as a weapon in the postgame.
  • Dystopian Edict: Under the Children of Hargon, the very act of creation is verboten. Naturally this makes it difficult to grow food, build shelters, or live any sort of lifestyle beyond hunting and gathering.
  • An Entrepreneur Is You: Downplayed. You can build an item shop and stock it with items you make, but there's no currency in the game so anything you sell to villagers is converted to Gratitude Points.
  • Evolving Weapon: The final chapter is largely spent building and upgrading one of these until it's capable of getting the Builder into the last dungeon.
  • Exactly What It Says Onthe Tin: The Biig Dør item is... a big door.
  • Fanservice: The Scandalous Swimsuit comes back, however this time not only the builder will wear it, both male and female NPCs will wear it when swimming around the pool in the Silver Bar in Khrumbul-dun. The miners are particularly fond of the pool once it's built.
    • Not to mention the Playboy Bunny costumed waitresses. And yes, you can make the costume for your builder (or other NPCs) to wear. Even if they're male.
  • Fishing Minigame: Courtesy of the Aquarium Pack DLC. Complete with aquariums to show off your favorite fish.
  • Flavor Text: Kelp's, which has Added Alliterative Appeal:
    Slippery, slimy seaweed that's naturally nutritious.
  • Fog of Doom: The Ill Wind haunting Furrowfield turns the surrounding air a sickly shade of violet, and brings with it crop-destroying spoilspores.
  • Forced into Evil: The remnants of the Deitree in Furrowfield is forced by the Children of Hargon to spread the Ill Wind.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In Furrowfield, Saffron will ask how you got to the island and when you explain that you and Malroth arrived by boat she mentions that she'd love to take a boat sometime and visit a place she's heard of before called "Moonbrooke" that's west of Furrowfield. This may sound like a Shout-out at first, however you and Malroth will eventually visit Moonbrooke as part of the game story.
    • Captain Brownbeard mentions that after an encounter with a slaver ship, he got lost and now he can't find his way back as none of the islands he finds are on his map, and he needs to create a new map; the Captain fills it in he discovers more islands and explores more of the sea. This foreshadows that this is not actually in the real world.
    • Later when the group arrives to Moonbrooke, he seems confused that Moonbrooke is an island, remembering Moonbrooke being in the continent and nowhere near the shore. The Moonbrooke they arrived to is an illusion.
    • The King and several other characters bring up the fact that there is a spy repeatedly, and that you shouldn't trust anyone, even your closest friends. This comes to a head when the person supposedly trying to help you catch the spy and is pushing you to suspect everyone is the real spy.
    • Warwicke seems pretty shaken up after he sees several soldiers die in battle, and he mentions how he lost all his family in the Forever War. This foreshadows how he will do anything to prevent his death, even betraying his army just so the Children of Hargon will turn him into a monster, ensuring his revival in Malhalla.
    • During the first chapter, when you speak with the old withered Deitree it explains that you shouldn't feel bad for killing what remains of it, for creation can't exist without destruction. Later on in the final chapter of the game this becomes borderline Arc Words.
  • Forever War: In Moonbrooke, humans and monsters are pitted against each other in constant warfare. By the Children of Hargon's decree, both sides are encouraged to keep fighting to the last, but at the same time neither side actually wants to win because it would bring an end to the destructive war, meaning that the surviving faction would have to rebuild afterwards. As a result, the Builder's presence is actually welcomed to a degree by both the indoctrinated humans and the monster army, because the humans are on their last legs in a decrepit castle. The Builder is able to provide them with defenses and armaments that balance the odds, and give the monsters more to destroy.
  • Frothy Mugs of Water: The game allows you to brew drinks in casks, though all mentions of alcohol are removed. Putting in rice or wheat creates what is quite clearly sake and beer, but the game instead refers to them as a "rice smoothie" and "farmer's frappé".
  • Game Gourmet: With dozens of recipes to unlock, some having up to 3 levels of quality in some dishes, plus all the items that can be consumed raw, the number of food options is staggering and you can cook everything from warm milk to a beautifully piped cake.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: Malroth can't assist you in any way with building, but he can help you fight and gather materials by killing monsters and destroying objects, and this is supremely helpful to the Builder's projects. His role in the gameplay ultimately reflects the game's Central Theme that creation and destruction have a symbiotic, rather than antagonistic, relationship.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Upon returning to the Isle of Awakening from Furrowfield, one of your first tasks is to plant a forest, since you'll be needing lots of wood to build your new village. Then you're sent over to the first Explorer's Shore where you can get... an infinite supply of wood.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Due to animals having no noticeable gender you may not expect that all animals are technically female as they can all breed. So you may be surprised when your male-named dog gives birth to a puppy.
    • For the same reasons, when you adopt a dog in Furrowfield Farms who turns out to be a cursed girl, she may end up with a very masculine dog name like Fido or Spot. Thankfully you can rename her using the Resident's registry.
  • Genre Shift: The final island, Malhalla, has you riding around in a buggy and building a spaceship. Up until that point, most of the things you built fell into a medieval fantasy paradigm.
  • Geo Effects: Placing enough terrain block tiles in an area of The Isle of Awakening will change the terrain shown on the minimap. This has a function other than looks: It also changes what type of monsters will spawn on those tiles. This can be used for getting resources.
  • The Ghost: while in DQB1 Rubiss was a constant companion to the player, here the Goddess is often mentioned and her statues appear in multiple locations, but she never takes any direct action. This is because the entire story after the shipwreck is happening inside an illusion created by Hargon, far beyond her reach.
  • A Glitch in the Matrix: The illusionary replica of Midenhall Castle in Moonbrooke is populated by NPCs that mistake you for the prince of Midenhall, and the king breaks down mid-sentence when you confront him. This is because the Midenhall section of the illusion was much more purpose-built for the Scions of Erdrick and its inhabitants are a lot more limited than the rest of the illusory world, and coming into contact with you basically unravels what little still kept them together.
  • Go Mad from the Isolation: Implied to have happened to Ordelia, who's found alone in the Marshroom Room deep below the town of Khrumbul-Dun, and refers to herself as "we".
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • Residents will sometimes tell you the elements needed to build a specific room type in their banter, but some of the room recipes and sets are never alluded to or require a specific item you may not have unlocked yet.
    • The cooking recipes are even worse. While some are pretty straightforward (wheat and tomato make saucy spaghetti) and some of the most esoteric ones are given to you during the main story (you were not expecting that dry grass of all things was a recipe ingredient were you?), but other recipes border on Luck-Based Mission; unless you happen to be holding cherry petals in your toolbar while standing directly in front of a cooking workstation you'll never find out that they can be "cooked" into confetti, or that snow can be cooked into ice cream when you add milk.
      • To make matters worse, the recipe list in your Builderpedia keeps a list of the dishes you already unlocked and the ingredients needed, however the ingredients are generic category descriptions even on recipes that require a specific ingredient, so you'll need to write down your own notes if you want to remember how to make a specific recipe.
      • For example, both the recipe for Bread and Best Bread are identical: "Ingredients: [grain]", the game never bothers to tell you that Wheat makes Bread while Buckwheat makes Best Bread. Also, buckwheat is only available on the Hotto DLC pack, yet the Builderpedia will show a blank space until you figure out the recipe. Good luck completionists!
    • The breeding system. It's very poorly explained as one of the optional goals in Island of Awakenings and breeding a rare pet is a trophy requirement on PS4. It borders on The Computer Is a Lying Bastard since it tells you to feed Moreberries to your pets to make them breed, but it never stated that this only works when you feed them at a very specific time (at dusk, before bed), when fully grown and most importantly only when their happiness is at 100%.
      • Getting the pets to 100% happiness is a Guide Dang It! moment in itself. You're given the recipe for a pet bowl, however you're never told what to feed your pets. You may be stuck trying to put every food item in their bowls for hours until you figure out both cats and dogs eat only raw meat, and feeding them is the only way to increase their happiness. This is markedly different from farm animals for which you're given clear instructions on how to construct a grazing area.
  • Heävy Mëtal Ümlaut: Almost everything in the Modernist DLC has this, like the Chær or the Söfå.
  • Heel–Face Turn:
    • Pastor Al, a priest of Hargon who has a change of heart after you help grow the Deitree.
    • The remaining Children of Hargon pull this in the Malhalla chapter, once the Builder teaches them about the joy of building and offers them a way to avoid the incoming apocalypse.
  • Hero of Another Story: The builder who created the puzzles, the Island of Awakening, the Deitree, Goldirox, the Kazapple Cannon, seeing how he placed puzzles and left diaries in every remote area in the map, as well as basically jumpstarted civilization in all 3 areas, creating the Furrowfield Farms and the mines in Khrumbul-Dun. He even ended up building the temples in Malhalla after getting stuck there. He is later revealed to be the Hairy Hermit himself.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Due to the Children of Hargon spreading the word that Builders are harbingers of death and destruction, people will not be willing to trust you at first once they see you create anything.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Many players have noticed how the Builder and Malroth have some chemistry regardless of the Builder's gender. The Builder being a Chaste Hero keeps this to subtext however.
  • Hold Your Hippogriffs: Captain Brownbeard's expressions can run into this sometimes.
    Captain Brownbeard: Speak 'o the angel! Where in the Eleventy Seas is my beloved ship?
  • Hollywood Genetics: You can tame and breed cats and dogs, however the kittens or puppies will not be the same breed or even color as their parents.
    • In detail: if you cross 2 white Van cats the offspring will always be orange Tabby cats (which would be nigh impossible with two parents of the same breed), if you cross two of those orange tabbies you'll have a 50/50 chance to breed either a black Bombay or a Russian blue, which as the name states are of a completely different color from their parents. However, if you cross the black and blue cats, the offspring will be a Calico cat which while it is the only mix that is actually possible (the Calico fur pattern is caused by a rare genetic mutation) is still Holywood Genetics as you can continue to cross the black and blue cats and you will breed a Calico every time which is just plain impossible in real life.
    • What makes it even worse is that these breed changes aren't an anomally but a rule. If you cross 2 cats or dogs of the same breed the offspring will never be the same breed as their parents.
  • Hot Springs Episode: The game has the building of an onsen (renamed a "spa resort" in the English version) as one of the optional objectives in the third land of your Island of Awakenings, it becomes one of the landmarks of the island on your map when you're done, complete with special Background Music Override.
  • Hypocrite:
    • Pastor Al comes down to personally chastise and threaten the farmers of Furrowfield for farming (a form of creation), however when you visit his house (you know, a built structure) he has a fully working farm including a quite complex irrigation system. This foreshadows his eventual Heel–Face Turn.
    • The Children of Hargon in general (especially the higher ups) don't appear to have any problem with building so long as it suits their purposes, something that is pointed out on multiple occasions.
  • Infinite Supplies: Completing the checklists on the Explorer's Shores will grant the Builder an infinite amount of commonly used materials like wood or coal.
  • Infinity -1 Sword: The Poison Needle is found on Furrowfield, the first story island, by defeating the giant killerpillar bonus boss. It has decent attack power, an enormously high critical hit rate of close to 50%, always does at least 1 point of damage to metal slimes, and has a chance of inflicting instant death, although seemingly with a lowered chance against super strong monsters.
    • There is also the Thunderbolt Sword, which is the third strongest sword in the game in raw attack, which is found in the last place you would look: In the wrecked ship of Captain Whitebones in Malhalla in a pot.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: The Sword of Kings, as per series tradition. It's not a Sword of Plot Advancement, however; you just obtain it after defending your base from enemy waves during the Malhalla chapter.
    • A more classical version is the Liquid Metal Sword you can forge after collecting every mini medal. The real ultimate sword, however, requires recreating a famous glitch from Dragon Quest II with the Sword of Ruin and the Falcon Blade.
  • In Spite of a Nail: Dialogue from the Hairy Hermit in the postgame implies that this game takes place in the same continuity as the first Dragon Quest Builders, meaning that the events of Dragon Quest II still happened despite the deal with the Dragonlord that set off the plot of the first game.
  • An Interior Designer Is You: Just like in the first game, you can get bonuses for decorating rooms in specific ways. But this time there are "sets" of furniture that work even outdoors.
    • Once you finish the game, residents will have a specific taste of furniture, preferred size of room and fanciness for their bedroom. If you match all three you'll get a big heart bonus and a massive fanfare. Completing several of these is required for one of the optional tablet goals.
  • Killed Off for Real: In stark contrast to the first game where the only onscreen deaths were due to people being turned into zombies, this time around you get to see multiple soldiers die in front of you. At one point Esther asks you to bury three soldiers properly in coffins. Later on she'll ask you to do it a few more times, but you're not obliged to do so. If you don't though, their bodies don't disappear like the monsters', they will remain there unburied.
    • When the Primate discovers the Furrowfield Farms, he murders Pastor Al in a fury without giving him the chance to explain. Even Malroth who is usually an advocate for violence and destruction swears revenge on the Primate for this.
  • Lava is Boiling Kool-Aid: Magma, go figure. The only real difference between it and poison is you can't glide over it and it requires an upgrade to the Bottomless Pot in order to carry it.
  • Lost World: The fake Midenhall Castle is nestled in a beautiful valley covered in flowers, a grandiose castle much bigger than Moonbrooke and only friendly monsters... and it's located right in the middle of a freezing mountain range covered in a never ending blizzard.
  • Metaphorgotten: When Rosie first meets the Builder and Malroth she proclaims "You can't make an omelette without breaking a few rules."
  • Mistaken for Betrayal: In the Moonbrooke chapter, the Builder is asked to build a dungeon, not knowing that the people of Moonbrooke are planning to lock up Malroth because they think that he is dangerous. The Builder repeatedly asks the king and soldiers when Malroth will be set free, and is finally allowed to release him right before they fight the world boss. However, Malroth takes this to mean that the Builder is only releasing him because he has become useful again, and refuses to let the Builder explain themself. Malroth's feeling of betrayal leads to Hargon kidnapping and controlling him.
  • Monster Allies:
    • Over the course of the game, the player befriends a Wiggly in Furrowfield and a Golem and a Goodybag on Khrumbul-Dun. You can also recruit other monsters outside the main quest line to journey with- some may even let you ride them.
    • The Malhalla chapter has the player join forces with an entire crew of monsters to bring them all to safety with a giant spacecraft.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Malroth crafting a medicinal herb (the most basic of healing items in the game) just before the final battle is treated as a major climatic sequence, both because it saves the Builder's life and it's the first time that he's ever managed to build anything.
    BUILD IT!!!
  • "Noah's Story" Arc: The Malhalla chapter revolves around building a giant spaceship-themed Ark to evacuate all the monsters that reside there.
  • Nobody Poops: Averted. Amongst the rooms you can build are restrooms, which villagers will make use of. The toilets produce "night soil" which can be turned into fertilizer. Of course, the Builder themselves still plays the trope straight; you can make them sit on the toilet, but no... product will result.
  • Non-Malicious Monster: Many monsters you encounter are just doing their own thing, and will ignore you if you leave them alone. They act more like animals than anything else.
  • Not Quite Flight: The Windbraker allows the Builder to glide over the land, so long as the land doesn't have lava, nor can you do so in Malhalla. Recruiting a Chimera in one of the explorer's islands allows you to use it as your personal helicopter. After fully upgrading The Buggy Buggy with the heart of N04H, it gains the ability to fly, and the final fight is fought while riding it.
  • Not So Different:
    • It's often mentioned by the voice in Malroth's head that as the Lord of Destruction he can't be friends with a builder who is a symbol of creation. As discussed in the final battle, both forces complement each other perfectly. It's even discussed that Hargon's original intention was to rebuild the world in his image after destroying it, which means he'd become that which he hated the most; a builder. Further proof of that is the imaginary world and Malhalla, both created by Hargon himself.
    • Malroth and Lulu -despite how much they argue- have identical tastes when it comes to bedrooms (level 4 size and fanciness with a cool theme).
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Party members will follow the Builder around but, if they can't reach the Builder directly and get too far offscreen, they just teleport to wherever the Builder is. NPCs will also do this eventually if their path to a scripted location is obstructed for more than a few seconds, most commonly seen in the final chapter due to the sheer number of characters blocking each other's paths.
  • Old Save Bonus: Having a save file from the first Builders game allows the player character to equip the hat (and hairstyle) of the Builder from the first game.
  • One-Gender Race: You can befriend cows to raise in your farm and obtain milk from as well as egg-laying hens, however due to the lack of bulls and roosters in this game this leads to the unusual situation where two female cows will give birth to a healthy baby calf or an egg will grow to a chick with no male interference.
    • Unless this means one of them is a male cow you can milk or a male egg-laying chicken which leads to a whole different set of Unfortunate Implications.
  • Only One Finds It Fun: After the Builder and Malroth escape from Skelcatraz, Lulu decides to throw a private party just for the three of them and brings out a cake she baked for that occasion. Unfortunately, it has questionable ingredients and only Malroth enjoys it.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Malroth's dismissive attitude to the deaths of the soldiers that followed him to Moonahan is the first sign something's wrong with him. Shortly afterwards when he abandons The Builder, they drop the perpetual grin they've been sporting up until then. Several people afterwards even point it out.
  • Platonic Cave: The world is revealed to be an illusion created by Hargon.
  • Point of No Return: Right after making the Isle of Awakening's flag, talking to the Hairy Hermit will trigger the last part of the story, which at that point you have to complete the main story in order to go do anything else. Fortunately, the game gives you a heads up.
  • Pool Scene: The second bar you build in Khrumbl-Dun is more pool than bar. Villagers will swim in pools if you build them (and building one on the Isle of Awakening unlocks a swimsuit costume for your builder).
  • Randomly Generated Levels: The Explorer's Shores.
  • Redemption Equals Death: After Pastor Al vows to become a builder and swears off the cult's teachings, he's murdered in cold blood by the Primate.
  • Religion of Evil: The Children of Hargon, a cult dedicated to destruction and violently opposed to creation.
  • RPG Elements: Unlike the original Builders, you and Malroth gain experience through battle and completing tasks. As you level up, Malroth's strength increases, as does your own HP and stamina. You also can learn new recipes through leveling up.
  • The Remnant: The tutorial on the slaver ship makes it clear that despite the death of Hargon, his followers still exist. Though some are lost trying to find a purpose, others continue kidnapping and murdering people.
  • Repeating So the Audience Can Hear: Just as in the first game, we never see what the Builder says, however we do see the other characters' reactions, and when the idea is too complex for us to infer from the response, the characters will parrot back what the Builder just said, so the players can understand the conversation while still enforcing the Heroic Mime trope.
  • Shmuck Bait: A rather odd meta example. The monster list clearly shows mermen as enemies, and should you spend far too much time in the deepest parts of the ocean (indicated by dark blue tiles on the map), you'll find one that'll kill you quickly. Seems like a Boss in Mook's Clothing, right? Well, all three actually exist in Coral Cay.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Crops will occasionally spawn better versions of themselves. So whats the name of the higher quality tomatoes? Killer Tomatoes.
    • And the upgraded version of normal chili peppers? Red Hot Chili Peppers of course.
    • Red earth you can find in areas where there's signs of a battle is called Battlefield Earth.
    • When talking about the Children of Hargon's Hope Crusher policies on Skelkatraz, Molly describes building using Yoda's speech about the Dark Side from The Phantom Menace.
    Molly: Creation leads to attachment. Attachment leads to fear. Fear leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.
    • The two main miners are Digby and Dougie. Take the first syllables from their name and combine them.
    • All the furniture in the modernist pack DLC comes with quadi-swedish sounding names, referencing none other than IKEA.
    • The leaders of the Hair Force, Air Force, and Scare Force are collectively known as Hargon's Heroes.
    • When Malroth and the Builder build the world at the end of main story, there's a second where both perform a Kame-hame-ha.
    • When Warwick betrays the Builder and lets himself be transformed into a Silvapithecus, Wrecktor orders it to fight by saying "Fly my pretty!". Quite fitting, considering that the Silvapithecus is a literal winged monkey.
  • Situational Damage Attack: Hammers are primarily used for resource gathering and deal a pitiful amount of damage even at higher levels. However, they'll reduce stone enemies to a pile of rubble in a matter of seconds.
  • So Long, and Thanks for All the Gear: In the Moonbrooke chapter, Warwick takes his gear with him when he betrays the Builder and becomes a monster. That being said, there's nothing you can give him at that point of the game that's truly irreplaceable.
    • Some troops can also die for real, and you can bury them while they're still equipped with the gear you gave them since there's no way to take back the gear once they die.
  • Stealth Pun:
    • Pastor Al refers to the Furrow Field regional boss of the Children of Hargon as the Primate. Later, we find that the boss is the Brainy Baboon. A primate can either be an order of animals that includes humans, apes, monkeys, and other simians; or the most prominent religious authority. Being a baboon as well as the local head of the Religion of Evil, the Brainy Baboon is a primate in both senses of the word.
    • Khrumbul-Dun revolves around the construction of three separate pubs and powering up a stone golem named Goldirox with three different kinds of metal. It's Goldirox and the Three Bars.
    • The final chapter has you constructing an Ark under the supervision of a robot with the serial number N04H.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Averted. Unlike in the first game, players can swim in this game.
  • Team Mom: Each settler squad in Island of Awakenings features their own Team Mom: Rosie for the Furrowfield Friends, Babs for the Khrumbul-Dun Crew, and Anessa takes over from the King as leader of the Moonbrooke Mob.
    • Unusually, Lulu grows into the leader of the other Team Moms as the spokesperson and leader of all the villagers, much to Bonanzo's chagrin, as he still vies for the Village Elder role.
  • The Thing That Goes "Doink": Courtesy of the Japanese inspired Hotto Stuff Pack DLC.
  • Toilet Humor: One quest in Furrowfield teaches you how to build a lavatory from a villager who really needs a place to drop a deuce. You can even collect a crafting material from the chamberpot called "Night Soil".
    What was formerly food, now found piled in pots.
  • The Unfought: Zig-zagged with Hargon. You never actually get to fight Hargon in normal gameplay; he just watches from the sidelines as you fight Malroth the first time, while in the second he's only "fought" in the form of an Attack button prompt to have Malroth finish him off during a mid-battle cutscene. Whether this actually counts as fighting him is up for debate, but the game records do list him as an enemy you've killed afterward.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: This is an actual game mechanic due to changes in how towns level up compared to the first game. NPCs will drop Gratitude Points any time they feel thankful towards the Builder, which happens everytime you complete a quest, do tasks for them, or just as they go about their days and use the various buildings you've made for them. Making sure that all their needs are met is key to bringing in a steady supply of Gratitude Points, and they'll drop more if the rooms match up with their personal tastes (measured in size, mood, and fanciness).
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: In the explorer's islands you can befriend farm animals to bring them into your farm... or you can murder them in cold blood and they won't even fight back. And the easiest way to do this? Befriend them first so they don't try to run away. You obtain chicken legs, beef and lamb meat this way, and if you intend to complete your recipe list you'll need to do this as there's at least once recipe that requires each of these ingredients.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Lulu and Malroth argue most of the time they interact, but they clearly care about each other.
    Perry: I can't tell if those two are friends or enemies. It's like they love to 'ate each other..."
  • The War Sequence: While many battles can involve dozens of combatants on both sides, the Moonbrooke chapter relies on this heavily, not only featuring a castle under constant siege almost completely reduced to rubble by the time you arrive, but also providing you with a special weapon that lets you lead your entire army into battle.
  • Walking Wasteland: Malroth is a downplayed example; he's physically incapable of building anything despite attempting to several times and enjoys destroying stuff, but he's perfectly happy to help you gather materials to build things.
  • Warp Whistle: Players can fast travel through the world map between their home bases and any Naviglobes they find.
  • Wham Episode: Moonbrooke. Not only do you learn that the world you've been building in is an illusion, but that by building things you've been playing into the Big Bad's plan all along, and Malroth leaves the party.
  • Wham Line: At the start of the Moonbrooke chapter, you get an aside of the Hairy Hermit praying to Hargon, setting the tone for the island's events.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: More of a dialect example, as Goodybags use the obscure Polari cant slang.
  • Wide Open Sandbox: The game as a whole counts, but the Isle of Awakening is a big one, being a personal island that you can reshape and mold to your heart's content using everything you find and build over the course of the game.
    • Then there is Buildertopia, unlocked after you completed the main story, which allows you to generate islands that are like the Explorer's Shores islands, but savable and able to be built on and send people to live on, giving you even more room to create.
  • Wizard Needs Food Badly: As in the first game, keeping your hunger meter high is important. A high meter will confer passive HP recovery, while a depleted meter will cause the Builder to stop and groan when doing anything extraneous, most notably swinging a sword once.
  • World of Pun: A trademark of the series at this point.
  • You All Look Familiar: Due to the game reusing a lot of assets from Dragon Quest Builders this happens often. Bonanzo looks suspiciously similar to Rollo from the first game, not to mention that Lulu is a recolored Pippa, but the worst offenders are the miners being flat out copy-pasted from the Bodybuilders, and Gillian from the fishing DLC being a copy of Barbarella from Kol. Of course, heavy reuse of sprites has been a Dragon Quest tradition ever since the first game.

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