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Video Game / Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree's Woe and The Blight Below

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Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree's Woe and The Blight Below is a 2015 Action RPG Hackand Slash Spin-Off of the Dragon Quest franchise, developed by Omega Force of Koei Tecmo and published by Square Enix, released for the Sony Play Station 3 (Japan-exclusive), Sony Play Station 4, Nintendo Switch (Japan-exclusive), and PC. Unlike Omega Force's Warriors series proper, Dragon Quest Heroes differs by blending the traditional Eastern RPG mechanics of Dragon Quest with Tower Defense elements, while keeping the typical Warriors formula of using one character to defeat waves of Mooks. Furthermore, Dragon Quest Heroes allow the player to summon monsters to assist the party in fighting the enemy in one location, while the player accomplishes an objective somewhere else in the battlefield.

In a similar vein to Hyrule Warriors, multiple characters from across the Dragon Quest franchise make a playable appearance:

Meanwhile, four brand new characters exclusively for Dragon Quest Heroes make their debut:

  • Luceus (Act) and Aurora (Meer), the respective male and female captains of Arba's royal guard. Players can choose either one as the protagonist of the story, though both simultaneously exist at the same time.
  • Doric (Dirk), the very active king of Arba, who is not content to sit around on his throne with monsters running amok.
  • Isla (Guilietta), a magically and scientifically endowed lady who is also the creator of the "Spell Caster" weapons and the game's airship, which becomes the party's method of travel.

A Sequel called Dragon Quest Heroes II: Twin Kings and the Prophecy's End was released for the Play Station 3, Play Station 4 and the Play Station Vita in 2016. Unlike the first installment, it features multiplayer capability, while blending the Dragon Quest and Warriors elements even further.

A Compilation Rerelease featuring both games called Dragon Quest Heroes I & II was released for the Nintendo Switch in 2017.

Several thousand Slimes draw near! Command?

  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Some quest rewards are alternate costumes for the main characters.They change the character's color. That's it. Thankfully those quests tend to be a bit easier and shorter than others.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • True of many fully charged tier 3 spells with shorter ranges.
    • The main character's fully charged Kazapple spell is a super cool with a large area of affect but is slow to charge and takes an astronomical amount of MP, and isn't all that powerful. It does stun robot enemies but the tier one version (Zap) stuns robot enemies just as well for a quarter the cost.
    • Nera's endless Cresent Moon and Endless Maelstrom are incredible but drain her MP like a mother. Used in high tension is another matter altogether.
  • Badass in Distress: The captain not chosen as the main hero gets captured and possessed by the Big Bad for a couple of chapters.
  • Bodyguarding a Badass: As captains of the royal guard, one of the jobs of the main characters is to protect the king, who is himself a Boisterous Bruiser. Hilariously, the late game reveals that there's a good reason there's two captains of the royal guard... and that they're the ones ACTUALLY being protected!
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • The main character's Inferno Slash/Cold Fission is the first skill the player learns but clears an entire room of enemies, has a quick charge, takes a low amount of MP, and also hits flying enemies making it probably the most commonly used attack of the entire game.
    • Yangus's Helm Splitter lowers an enemies defense to where player attacks are up to three times more powerful.
  • Boss in Mook's Clothing:
    • Done quite literally as some bosses, like the Green Dragon and Living Statute, return in later levels in a mini-boss capacity.
    • If a powerful end level mini-boss like Killing Machines, Great Sabercats, and Golems make their first appearance with their own life bars, expect to see them a couple of levels later crawling the battlefields by the dozens. By then they'll have even ditched visible life bars.
    • Mimics and Canniboxs. Be very, very careful about opening chests when other enemies are around.
  • Bragging Rights Reward:
    • You can earn 5 mini metals per monster by destroying enough of them - 100 per medal. This includes bosses, all of which have their own unique levels. To get all the available medals you'll have to defeat each boss 500 times. Thankfully Metal Slimes and Mawkeepers are exempt.
  • Broad Strokes: The game takes this approach for a few aspects of the crossover characters, with Bianca and Nera being a specific example.
    • Both make comments that sound like they've traveled extensively with the Dragon Quest V hero and have seen most of their world, except the hero can only take one of them on the journey in V itself, and only after the marriage (the two were explicitly taken from Mostroferrato the night before the wedding, seemingly right after the playable section with the hero).
    • Bianca states they're both from Mostroferrato when properly introducing themselves. Not precisely true, but Bianca may also be keeping it simple for her new friends. She was in Mostroferrato when she got whisked away, at any rate.
    • The two are pretty sincere friends and mention having known each other "for a few days". Unless one goes out of their way to visit Mostroferrato before obtaining the Circle of Water, Bianca and Nera only meet when the Circle is turned in to complete the marriage trial, and they only interact briefly, and the marriage happens the next morning.
    • Similarly, Nera mentions being "unable to sleep" and "going out for a walk" the night before the wedding, when the two are taken. Nera is rather famously sound asleep compared to Bianca during the well-known "night before the wedding" sequence itself in V.
    • Amusingly, all this ambiguity regarding who ends up being the heavenly bride can lead to it looking like a case of Hide Your Lesbians.
  • But Thou Must!: Robbin' 'ood will not take No for an answer when he asks if you'll let him go and give him another chance.
  • Call-Back:
    • All of the guest characters are callbacks to previous Dragon Quest games. Most of their attacks and dialog have references to their respective games.
    • Psaro's Coup de Grace in particular sees him utilize the secret of evolution, temporarily becoming the final boss of Dragon Quest IV.
    • Kiryl's coup de grace fills the screen with "Kiryl cast whack... but it missed" dialogue boxes straight out of Dragon Quest IV.
  • Character Exaggeration: Inevitable for a Warriors crossover with Kiryl getting hit the hardest - while he was afraid of heights in Dragon Quest IV, it only comes up occasionally; in Heroes, it occurs quite often, though not helped by the fact that home base is set on an airship with Alena needling him for it. Terry's arrogance from Dragon Quest VI is similarly played up and Yangus is based almost entirely around being soft-hearted for Healix and saying Cockney-based slang constantly (he did the same in Dragon Quest VIII, but not to this extent for Heroes).
    • Oddly averted with Alena: to those unfamiliar with Dragon Quest IV, one would assume Alena's lust for combat is being played up to comical, almost obnoxious levels. As Kiryl will state with a sigh, this is accurate to her portrayal in IV.
    • Also interestingly averted with Nera in relation to Kiryl. Party chat in V suggests she was also fairly afraid of heights like he is, yet during Heroes she shows no such fears even knowing she's on an airship, though perhaps she's just canonically less fearful of heights than Kiryl was. She however does make a comment about being fairly afraid of the ocean during the Shrine of Seals segment, mirroring a line of hers about the sea from when she had been a child in the opening part of the remakes of V.
  • Colossus Climb: Played with. Bejorn the Behemoose is fought from the deck of the Stonecloud until he's knocked over. The team jumps onto his nose and runs up his snout to whack his eyes until he gets up and sneezes them back onto the deck.
  • Continuity Nod: Most of the guest characters appear to have exited their worlds in the middle of the game they originated from, as if the stories were going on concurrently in other dimensions. One could consider Arba to be the central hub of a Dragon Quest multiverse, and assume all the characters will leave Arba and return to their worlds to resume their respective stories.
    • Alena and Kiryl recognize Marquis de Leon, as well as Maya and Psaro, suggesting they all come from a point in time after the ending of IV, as they're also looking for a thief who stole a gift to Alena from her father which happens to be a pair of glass slippers for Alena's coronation to Tsarina.
    • Nera and Bianca were removed from Dragon Quest V the eve before one of them marries the hero.
    • Terry could have been anywhere before joining the hero in Dragon Quest VI.
    • Yangus and Jessica have already defeated Rhapthorne in Dragon Quest VIII, as Yangus refers to himself as a "bandit turned 'ero", and Jessica unleashes Magic Burst as her coup de grace, which is an endgame spell. And after Empyrea rescues the party at The Fault, Yangus and Jessica tell you that Empyrea directly helped them to defeat a villain in their own world, referencing the final battle with Rhapthorne.
  • Crisis Crossover: Features characters from across the Dragon Quest franchise, specifically from "The Zenithian Trilogy" and Dragon Quest VIII, with four new playable characters unique to this game only. It's also quite literally a crisis-style crossover - all non-Arban characters are lifted straight from their respective games, and in some cases, are only half-way through the plot!
  • Death by a Thousand Cuts: Midway through the game player attacks are capable of doing hundreds of damage. Most levels by then are chock full of mini-boss and boss tier enemies that easily have tens of thousands of health.
  • Dual Boss:
    • The boss of the elven city is a boss troll accompanied by a Cosmic Chimaera.
  • Dub Name Change: The Original Generation characters - "Acht" and "Meer" become Luceus and Aurora (which ends up doubling as Theme Naming), "Dirk" to Doric, "Julietta" less explicably turns to Isla, and "Homiron" far more explicably becomes Healix, preserving the monster Theme Naming. And "Helmud", our villain, becomes Velasco.
  • Dubtitle: To the annoyance of some, the subtitles for cutscenes and the like are only of the English dub. This would be a little less contentious if the English version didn't take liberties with the way some of the characters, especially Alena and Kiryl, speak compared to the still-included Japanese audio, along with the large number of altered names (including virtually all the original characters).
    • Taken to ridiculous levels with characters such as Yangus' dialogue in Japanese being subtitled wot like 'e's a right proper Cockney fella, as in the dub.
  • Eye Scream: Bejorn the Behemoose's eyes are bigger than the playable characters. Guess where they get to repeatedly slash after knocking him down?
  • Excuse Plot: More like excuse to get all the fan favorite characters from previous games fighting together.
  • Expy: The fight against King Hydra is very much the same as King Dodongo in Hyrule Warriors as the best way to damage it is to chuck a Rockbomb into its mouth.
  • Fighting Your Friend: The Monsters in Arba's world are friendly towards humans and it's only at the start of the game that they go rogue and the player proceeds to massacre them by the thousands.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration:
    • Only the children of light are allowed into the sanctum of the shrine of scales, so the player has to fight the boss alone.
    • Isla is the only person who knows how to get into Dawnsholm so she has to be in the player's party for the entire Dawnsholm segment.
      • Similar towards the endgame, a lot of quests revolve around a certain party member, who naturally must be in the party.
    • Valesco and Bjorn the Behemoose topple the Pinnacle of Light. The player is unable to visit it again unlike every other level (unless they go through a dimensional portal on Trial Isle).
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • Even though you get a grand total of 13 characters in your party, and the in-game chatter indicates that everybody is indeed present in the battle, you can only actually bring 4 along with you.
    • In every cutscene all the characters exhibit a sense of urgency to save the world that the player is free to completely ignore.
      • Hooray, we just cleared out all the monsters attacking the city walls! Let's hurry inside and find the elder while the monsters are all gone...after we return to the airship and do some side-quests first.
    • Even after supposedly liberating the different towns of all monsters, you can always go back and grind against more monsters.
    • In a lot of the cutscenes, character intros especially, the characters are able to drop golems, trolls, and other tough enemies with a single attack. Many of those enemies are so powerful during gameplay that it takes constant hammering by the entire party to defeat one of them at the time said character joins you.
    • Psaro shows up a couple times, annihilates the strongest monster on the battlefield before his dialogue is finished, then vanishes. Later during his boss fight he incredibly powerful and more than capable of team wiping the player's entire party. Once he joins the player's party he will probably lag behind some of the other characters and is rather squishy.
      • Psaro's entire character is about how he chose to ally himself with monsterkind and even calls himself the 'King of Monsterkind' when he enters high tension. So why why did he appear just to defeat a monster? You'd think he would have gone after your party.
    • Many quests require you to defend certain points, with a corresponding life bar. No problem when those points are doors or other inanimate objects, but many times you are defending a person. So the question is, why can't I heal them somehow, either with Jessica's Hustle Dance or via Healix?
  • Hold the Line: An absolutely ridiculous number of stages involve guarding a specific object or location. There are more "protection" missions than any other type of mission in the game.
  • I Am Who?: Luceus and Aurora are the last surviving Children of Light. Doric, the king and paternal figure who they're supposed to protect, is actually charged with protecting them.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Bringing the one mentioned in Badass in Distress above back to their senses.
  • Interface Spoiler: The in-game manual tells you point-blank who will eventually join the party and in what order.
  • Insurmountable Waist-High Fence: In the first Dawnsholm segment, your original attempt to the village is cut off by a large chunk of rubble stuck between the trees, which forces you back to take another way. In real life it would be easy for them to simply clamber over the nearby roots and make it in anyway.
  • Leg Focus: Based on the character models, one would expect this to go to Alena or Bianca for their shorter skirts and the latter's Zettai Ryouiki, but the award goes to Nera and can be seen for a very brief moment when she enters high tension.
  • Limit Break: Going into High Tension makes the character effectively impervious to damage and grants infinite MP while it's active. However, the real reason to enter High Tension mode is to unleash a devastating Coup de Grace in a crowded room of enemies.
  • Magic Skirt: Averted. There's no helping it if Alena or Bianca are thrown into the air and the camera angle happens to be just right.
  • Metal Slime: It wouldn't be Dragon Quest without the Metal Slime and its cohorts, the Liquid Metal Slime and the Metal King Slime. In addition to their usual high resistance to damage, you now have to chase them down when they spawn, and they are incredibly fast. Take too long and they'll vanish altogether (unless they just do it on a whim).
  • Moveset Clone: Luceus and Aurora have the exact same moves, skills, and most of the same equipment. The only difference is Luceus uses Fire and Aurora uses Ice. Terry also uses a very similar style, but trades some power for speed, different spells, and focuses on Lightning.
  • The Multiverse: The world of this game appears to be a part of, if not a hub of, a Dragon Quest Multiverse. All the guest characters have exited their own worlds at various points of their own games' stories.
  • Mysterious Protector: Psaro shows up in the World Tree, defeats a Boss in Mook's Clothing and disappears. He can even appear on the other side of the level so the player is only aware of him through dialogue.
  • Mythology Gag: Kiryl's Limit Break involves him trying and failing to cast Thwack, a reference to his Artificial Stupidity in the original Dragon Quest IV. Additionally, the animation for it is the same one used in Dragon Quest Monsters Battle Road Victory.
  • One-Man Army: Like most Warriors games, any playable character can become this. Downplayed this time, however. It's usually a party of four fighting and they need to make good use of Player Mooks to succeed.
    • Any player in high tension mode is an invincible god of destruction. infinite HP, infinite MP, status effects don't work, and heightened attack. Too bad it's temporary.
  • Original Generation: Luceus, Aurora, Doric and Isla.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Alena qualifies as she is clearly the shortest playable character but packs one hell of a punch!
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Aurora and Luceus wear their respective colors.
  • Regional Bonus: Played with - the European and North American versions include all Downloadable Content episodes originally sold separately in the Japanese version, though none of the episodes cost any money in Japan later as they were automatically added via updates every couple of weeks.
  • Running Gag: Aurora and Luceus are almost a comedy duo with how often she'll interrupt him during an overly-long strategy briefing. Plus several instances of Luceus coming up with a legitimately good idea but someone else gets credit for it.
  • Shaped Like Itself: When given the choice between crippling embarrassment or unbearable pain, Luceus chooses the pain. Aurora quickly reverses that decision for this reason.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Gloriously averted, with the male-to-female ratio (5-to-7 with the main cast, 6-to-7 with Psaro) of playable characters tilted toward the ladies. More specifically, the playable men are Luceus, Doric, Terry, Kiryl, and Yangus (+ Psaro), while the playable women are Aurora, Isla, Alena, Jessica, Bianca, Nera, and Maya.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: From a meta perspective, the Zenithians - more than half of the playable cast come from the world of Zenithia, but spread out over different time periods. Counting Psaro, four Zenithians are from Dragon Quest IV alone!
    • Alena and Kiryl are a more direct example: in the localization, the two tend to steal any scene they participate in, thanks in part to their voice actors running with the established Funny Foreigner tendencies of the characters as far as they can.
  • Static Role, Exchangeable Character: The character you don't select as your main avatar becomes The Lancer.
  • Take Your Time: To an almost comical degree. Put on display when Doric almost leads the charge onto the next battle before thinking it might be a good idea to fall back and briefly recover being liberating the town they're at, and then chooses this interlude as a good moment to introduce side-quests. This also holds true for a boss fight immediately after the game's only Timed Mission: regardless of how much time is taken in the first mission, the team can take as long as needed to defeat the boss.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Played with. The monsters don't attack whenever Luceus is devising an overly-worded strategy, but Aurora constantly reminds him they won't wait forever and he shuts up.
  • Useless Useful Skill: Don't think that the Warriors gameplay shift means that this Dragon Quest staple is ignored:
    • Kiryl, of course, has Whack and Thwack, which instant kills enemies when they work, which is rather uncommon. It's often better to conserve the MP and just attack the enemy directly (or use his other skills) than to rely on those two.
    • The Zoom spell may not seem like such a big deal for the majority of the game, but then you get to Dawnsholm.
    • Blocking isn't as useful as dodging when facing huge waves of mooks, but during certain bosses like Psaro it's essential.
    • Yangus's Defending Champion skill negates all damage but Yangus can't do anything while it's active. It's a lifesaver in certain situations.
  • World-Wrecking Wave: The plot kicks off when a wave of dark energy sweeps over the Kingdom of Arba, causing the normally peaceful monsters to go berserk.
  • You Don't Look Like You: Downplayed. All of the returning companions are sporting vastly fancier and more ornate versions of their classic outfits.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Dragon Quest Heroes


Kiryl Casts Thwack

Kiryl's infamous crippling artificial stupidity from the NES version of Dragon Quest IV where due to his poorly programmed AI he would continuously cast Whack and Thwack above all others, even when healing is necessary and the enemy is immune to them, which has become a recurring in-joke by both the fans and the creators of the Dragon Quest series is referenced in Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Trees Woe And The Blight Below by having his coups de grace involving him failing to cast Thwack over and over again until he gets so frustrated that he stomps the ''But it failed!'' text windows to dust and then casts Kathwack successfully. It is also lifted from Dragon Quest: Monster Battle Road appearance another game that references the meme in question.

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