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Dragon Quest II (originally titled Dragon Warrior II in North America, and receiving the subtitle Luminaries of the Legendary Line in some later versions) is the second installment of the Dragon Quest series and acts as a Distant Sequel to the original. After the events of that game, the descendant of Erdrick/Loto married Princess Gwaelin/Lora and sailed away from Alefgard. They founded the kingdom of Torland where the couple and their children happily lived out their days. Generations later, chaos broke out with rumors of a powerful evil being emerging from the southern impassible cliffs of the frozen plateau, Rhone. His name was Hargon, an Evil Sorcerer bent on world destruction. He chose Moonbrooke Castle to launch his reign of terror.

Hargon's army swept in and decimated the castle, its inhabitants, and the King within minutes. A lone, injured guard escaped and walked to the nearby fortress of Midenhall/Lorasia Castle. No sooner had he told the king of Moonbrooke's defeat that he perished. Now, as a descendant of Erdrick, the Prince of Midenhall must venture out to meet his two cousins and stop the evil hand of Hargon. With a larger world and many new monsters (who now travel in groups), the heroes have a much harder and more dangerous adventure than their ancestor.

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From a historical perspective, DQ2 is an odd duck - while its influence on its own successor is all-encompassing (every major gameplay system, or near-as-dammit, in DQ3 was designed with consideration from the feedback Chunsoft got concerning DQ2 and its trouble areas), and while it was in many ways comprehensively superior to its predecessor, because said successor so thoroughly outclassed it in turn and went on to become the real cornerstone of the franchise and the wider concept of the JRPG, and because DQ2 itself still had a lot of rough edges due to its incredibly short development time (barely six goddamn months) and still being somewhat "in the reeds" design-wise as a result of being such an early RPG, it has become the uncomfortable middle child of the Erdrick Trilogy. It is still important, but it is often forgotten in favor of the other two and not played or discussed as often. If it has any enduring claim to Trope Codification, it is in setting the model for party progression - if a JRPG isn't using the DQ3 "make and/or swap out the whole party yourself" system, it will instead follow DQ2's model of "travel to certain new locations early in the game, some plot happens, gain one new party member each time", and late-game party customization often hybridizes the two.

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This is reflected in its porting and release history - it did get an MSX port (complete with that salacious picture of Princess Moonbrooke), but that was more or less it until it got ported to the Super Famicom in a package deal with DQ1, and even then, the porting felt rather perfunctory compared to DQ1's improvements (and nothing like the SFC port of DQ3). It also got Game Boy Color and feature phone versions like its trilogy-mates, but again it was not particularly high-effort for a port. Finally, like the other games, it got a smartphone version in 2014, based on the SFC version but with DQ3-size sprites... on the unaltered SFC maps, which makes things look oddly scaled. Of these, English speakers got the GBC and smartphone versions, the latter of which remains widely available.


Examples:

  • All in a Row: The Prince of Cannock and the Princess of Moonbrooke always walk behind the Hero.
  • Alliterative Title: The iOS and Android re-release adds the subtitle Luminaries of the Legendary Line.
  • Almost Dead Guy: One Moonbrooke guard escapes the besieged castle, limps all the way to Midenhall, and promptly dies after delievering the news. Given all the overworld threats, how urgent the message was, and that he's just some castle guard, he easily qualifies as Badass Normal and Determinator. He doesn't fade in the remix. He just lays there dead. Although the king makes sure he gets a proper burial.
  • Ant Assault: Iron ants appear as early-game enemies. They aren't strong, but they're still a step up from slimes and mauluscs. Their Palette Swap variants include army ants, which can call for help, and somnol ants, which can put one of your party members to sleep.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • If, for some reason, you don't find all the keys...worry not! The Princess of Moonbrooke learns the spell of Open which will open any door in the game. It is possible to use this to your advantage, seeing as how it can also open up 3 item slots for you characters.
    • Since there are no MP restoring items and only one item that can revive a character, some items can replicate magic spells with no MP cost. The Shield of Strength will cast Healmore on the character who uses it as an item in battle, for example. This lets you save MP from healing and use it for other spells, like buffs/debuffs and Revive.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: After Hargon and Malroth have been destroyed, the King of Midenhall retires, and the Hero becomes king.
  • Baleful Polymorph: The Princess of Moonbrooke gets turned into a dog before you meet her, forcing you to find out how to break the curse before you can recruit her.
  • Betting Mini Game: Just a simple lottery, but notable because it was the first such minigame in the series. It also set the standard for the series' fabulous grand prizes. 25% off everything in stores? Aw yeah.
  • Blatant Lies: In Tantegel, you find that the king is missing. After obtaining a Gold Key, you can find him in a room above the local armoury, claiming to be a simple armourer, all while wearing full royal regalia. Upon beating the game, if you return to Tantegel, the king "reveals" his true identity and brags about how he had completely fooled you.
  • Boring Return Journey: The game does not conclude with the defeat of Malroth. You complete the game by returning to visit the King of Midenhall. You can go anywhere you like before doing this, including visiting towns to receive thanks from all the people you've saved. While getting to the Big Bad involves thousands of random battles, after his defeat, there are none to be found, even in the dungeons, since apparently defeating the boss results in the elimination of all his mooks.
  • Boss Rush: In the Very Definitely Final Dungeon, your attempt to scale Hargon's castle to bring down the Big Bad is interrupted by fights with his most powerful servants, Atlas, Bazuzu, and Belial. To make matters worse, you can't defeat them then leave to save and heal and return. They come back if you exit the dungeon (unless you are playing one of the remakes, where they stay dead after getting killed).
  • But Thou Must!: After the party have destroyed the Big Bad, the King of Midenhall asks the Prince if he will accept the throne. If you answer "No", he will reply "Don't be silly. Will you accept it?" until you take up his "offer", whereupon he will happily say "That is your decision."
  • The Cameo: The trio of heroes from this game appear as summonable helpers in the arcade game Dragon Quest Monster Battle Road Victory, both supporting the player and their monsters with defensive buffs and finishing their enemies off with Kazapple, also known as Alldain or Thordain — a spell that didn't exist until Dragon Quest IV. The Cousins also pop up in Fortune Street spinoffs.
  • Canon Name: The English localization of Dragon Quest IX gives the cousins' names as Princeton and Princessa. In Fortune Street (at least in Japan), they're known as Cookie (Cannock) and Pudding (Moonbrooke) — how Toriyama-esque.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: An NPC in Midenhall castle is implied to be head over heels for the Prince, and even wanted to confess to him before she knew he was going to go on his quest. She never gets brought up again, so the player never learns if she eventually confesses or not.
  • Chokepoint Geography: You cannot access a second continent until you get the Prince of Cannock. Then you cannot access a third continent without the Princess of Moonbrooke. Once you get to the third continent, you can get a ship that opens up the rest of the world except for the final area. Then you need the Eye of Malroth in order to reach Rhone Plateau which is surrounded by impassable mountains.
  • Chromatic Arrangement: Midenhall wears blue, Cannock wears green, and Moonbrooke wears... varying colors, actually. The original, original art (seen above) was obviously meant to be pink (of course), but the sprite in-game was, thanks to NES palette restrictions, white and fairly dark purple. Later depictions have gone all over the place on certain details, but have generally cleaved closer to the original sprite due to fandom mental inertia. Her most recent depiction, in the 25th anniversary movie, Fortune Street and onward, goes for a knee-length white dress, maroon-red hood, and purple hair.
  • Combos:
    • The Falcon Sword. For the first time in the series, a character could strike twice in a row. Unfortunately, the Attack buff was only PLUS FIVE (Seven in the remix, but still, whoopdeedoo).note 
    • In the original, depending on your cash flow, this is Cannock's best weapon, despite being weaker than the Iron Spear's single strike (by 15, sure, but do the math, especially when you factor in critical hits). However, it is REALLY expensive, even with the Gold Card, and you may not even bother once you're rich enough in the final area, because you'd have to go through the final area all over again.
    • The point of the Falcon Sword is probably to increase your chances of killing Metal Slimes and Metal Babbles, since you can only deal Scratch Damage to them regardless of attack power. It essentially doubles your potential damage to them.
  • Competitive Balance: The three playable characters: Midenhall has the higher offensive and defensive stats by far, but he knows exactly zero spells; Cannock is weaker and definitely less resilient, but he can still deal decent damage and has access to several healing and attack spells; finally, Moonbrooke has the lowest physical attack of the trio, but she learns the most powerful magic in the game.
  • Convection Schmonvection: In the Undersea Cave, lava pools don't hurt your party unless they are standing right on it. And even so, the heroes can cast Safe Passage to walk over lava without getting burned or choked to death.
  • Curse: Hargon really likes his curses. He curses the entire castle of Moonbrooke after its fall, turns the princess into a dog, and as the heroes draw closer to his kingdom, he curses the Prince of Cannock to become bedridden, prompting a side quest to cure him (Remake only. Furthermore, you can beat the final boss without him, hard as it may be).
  • The Dragon: Hargon has three: Atlas, Pazuzu, and Belial. Also, Hargon himself is one for Malroth.
  • Dub-Induced Plot Hole: Lorasia was localized as Midenhall, losing some of its significance. Lorasia is named after Princess Lora, but this is lost on those who know Princess Lora as Princess Gwaelin.
  • Dub Name Change:
    • Prince of Lorasia to Prince of Midenhall (NES)
    • Haagon to Hargon
  • Dungeon Town: The Castle of Moonbrooke has become ruins plagued by monsters and haunted by tortured souls after Hargon's devastating strike.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: As with the first game, the Japanese version of 2 features a Password Save system; 3 was the first entry with a save battery in the cartridge.
  • Enemy Mine: A minor example; in the Dragonlord's castle, you'll find his descendant, who gives you a hint toward defeating Hargon rather than fighting you.
  • Evil Overlooker: The Japanese box art has Hargon's giant head grinning down on the heroes while Malroth's face looms over all of them.
  • Evil Sorcerer: Hargon is a corrupt wizard bent on world destruction.
  • Evil Weapon: Sword of Destruction/Demon Sword. Really high attack, but curses the user. There's also other "Evil Gear" in armor.
  • Expy: The "classic" version of the Princess of Moonbrooke looks suspiciously like a palette-swapped version of Nausicaa with slightly longer hair. This may explain the explicitly blonde redesign that popped up for the SNES remake. (The artwork for the Wii compilation and related material opts for making her hair aggressively purple.)
  • Get on the Boat: The series first. Which lets you explore the world, even returning to Alefgard!
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Malroth (Sidoh in the Japanese version). In the original NES English translation, at least. Absolutely nothing in the entire game even hinted at his presence aside from a quest item called the Eye of Malroth. In the Japanese version and further English translations, Malroth is revealed to be the demonic god that Hargon worships. In the SFC/GBC versions, the Almost Dead Guy does mention that Hargon's master plan is to revive a demon god to destroy the world, but considering any further references to said demon god don't show up until when said demon god appears, it still feels like this trope.
  • Goggles Do Nothing: Oddly enough, both Princes wear goggles as part of their headgear.
  • Grim Up North: Hargon's base of operations is located on Rhone, a high, snowy plateau surrounded by an impassable range of mountains, and the game's only ice-themed location.
  • Haunted Castle: Moonbrooke is haunted by the flaming spirits of those slain by Hargon's forces. This includes the King himself. Talking to him after saving the Princess leads to a rather depressing conversation.
  • Healer Signs On Early: The Prince of Midenhall never learns any magic; however, both of his cousins have healing magic, and one of your first tasks is tracking down the Prince of Cannock.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: The Prince of Midenhall. The Prince of Cannock and the Princess of Moonbrooke have their names randomly selected from an internal list. You can rename them yourself after recruiting them by highlighting the save file and holding Left/Right + A.
  • Interface Spoiler: In Wellgarth there is one shop that has a blank spot in the list of wares, and townspeople speaking of the Jailer's Key being sold at a shop. Hmmm...
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: In this case, it's NOT the main character who qualifies; it's the Prince of Cannock.
  • Jumped at the Call: The Prince of Midenhall. Even shown literally jumping from his throne to listen to the Moonbrooke guard in the Japanese manual.
  • Just a Kid: Pretty much the Prince of Cannock's reason to his younger sister on why she can't come with your party. Given that the party is only about 16 or so, she can be assumed to be rather young. She likely didn't have any formal training either, which would have made her The Load in your group.
  • Lethal Lava Land: The Undersea Cave, a volcanic cave formed by a submarine eruption.
  • Lighthouse Point: The Lightouse located on an island south of Alefgard houses the Star Crest.
  • Lightning Bruiser: The Prince of Midenhall; his main weakness is that he can't cast magic.
  • Lost in Translation: Lorasia is changed to Midenhall, losing the association with Princess Lora, the original name for Princess Gwaelin.
  • Luck-Based Mission: The final battle with Malroth amounts to whether or not he decides to cast Healall. Unlike Hargon, Pazuzu, and Zarlox/Belial, who will only use it when near death, Malroth can use it at any time and completely at random.
  • Lured into a Trap:
    • The trap would be rather obvious to onlookers. You see an enemy on-screen move into a room, and said room contains a wizard - he then says he will guide you to the place where you shall find the Crest. The treasure chest he leads you to is empty, instead you are ambushed by four Gremlins and need to defeat them before getting the Star Crest.
    • A tool-assisted speedrun of the game has those four gremlins caught off-guard by the hero, despite the game presenting them as surrounding ambushers that caught the party by surprise.
  • Master of Illusion: Hargon. A good deal of the game is spent just trying to find a way to break through his illusions.
  • Mini Game Zone: First game in the series to include mini-game areas, although back then it was a simple Lottery Shop which could be found in every town.
  • Missed Him by That Much: The Prince of Midenhall and the Prince of Cannock spend the first minutes of game looking for each other. The Hero arrives at Cannock Castle and finds out the Prince has gone to the Spring of Bravery. In the Spring of Bravery, he is informed the Prince has gone back to the castle. The Hero walks back to Cannock Castle and is said the Prince has headed towards Midenhall Castle to find him. The Hero goes back to his home, and is said his cousin has returned to Cannock to meet him. The Hero makes his way back to Cannock, but he finds out the Prince has not yet arrived, so he heads towards Leftwyne, a town located midway between Midenhall and Cannock, where he finally runs into the Prince.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Only in Japan. Tonnura (トンヌラ) was one of Cannock's possible names in the Famicom version. Supposedly, the name sounds "odd and stupid" to several Japanese people, which fit how weak the prince was on the FC. It became an in-joke as a "weak and uncool" name (but not "hated"), and popped up in a few later games. It is speculated that Yuji Horii came up with this from Ernest Tonnelat.
    • Perhaps a western equivalent would be something like "Derp". (The localizers of Dragon Quest IX apparently weren't aware of the joke in the Japanese version and instead call him Prince Princeton of Cannock.)
  • Nintendo Hard: Whoever said this game is easy is either a liar or very, very good at RPGs.
    • You will need to level grind INTENSELY this time out, and even when you do, it isn't enough. This is because the game was made on such as short time span (development started in April and ended in December), they just didn't have enough time to playtest the late game.
    • Can go beyond Nintendo Hard to plain unfair. The Gold Batboons/Bat Demons will randomly cast Sacrifice, wiping themselves out and taking your whole party with them. There's no way to prevent this. Yes, that's right. You can get a Game Over through no fault of your own. And they can do this in the very first round before you even have a chance to do anything if so inclined. At least the Rockbombs in Dragon Quest III and beyond would wait until you pounded them to near-death.
    • Adding to this, in the NES version, the run option wouldn't always be effective in Rhone Plateau (even if all characters are maxed out in levels).
    • There is only ONE MP restoring item (Wizard's Ring). However it could break at any time and could only be won via the Lottery.
    • The remix is easier, mostly thanks to extra stuff/boosts in the remix, but Rhone Plateau remains pretty hard regardless.
  • Non-Indicative Name: You would think Infernos is a fire based spell but is actually a wind spell. Later releases would change this to Whoosh.
  • Nostalgia Level: The Dragonlord's castle has more-or-less the same layout as it did in the first game. You even find the Sword of Erdrick in the same place you found it previously.
  • Obvious Beta: Yuji Horii once admitted in an interview that nothing after the Moon Fragment Cave was play-tested; there simply wasn't enough time.
  • Opening the Sandbox: First game in the franchise to include sailing. Your party obtain their ship when they reach Rippleport, whereupon you can finally explore the whole world, rather than just the central landmass, whatever you please.
  • Permanently Missable Content: If you have a completely full inventory when you come across the Silver Key, do NOT decline to drop one of your items to make room for it, or else the chest holding the key will disappear. The "Open" spell keeps this from being a Game-Breaking Bug, but it does mean a lot of extra grinding before you can open silver doors.
  • Princesses Prefer Pink: The Princess of Moonbrooke, though again, it is a rather dark shade.
  • Prolonged Prologue: One of the earliest examples - starting a new game in the original Famicom/NES version results in watching an unskippable 10-minute scene depicting the backstory before Midenhall gets to do anything. The detail of the Sole Survivor of Moonbrooke walking all the way to Midenhall feels like excessive Padding.
  • Puppy Love: In Leftwyne, you will find a boy and a girl. Talk to the girl and she will complain that you are interrupting a lovers' tryst.
  • Rare Random Drop:
    • From the NES version: The Dragon Potion, an item which allows you save your game anywhere (even the interior of a dungeon or tower) note . It is a rare drop from Metal Babbles, provided you can find them and kill them. Multiple times.
    • The infamous "Mysterious Hat". The only enemies who can drop it are the Magic Vampirus (a normal late-ish game enemy that's only in a few select areas) and two of the bosses in the final boss rush. It has a notoriously low drop rate well below 1%. This item is so infamous that Pokémon creator Satoshi Taijiri originally got the idea of trading collectibles in video games while grinding countless hours for the thing, only for his friend to somehow get two.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: The King od Midenhall kindly provides his son with gear and some money to get started with his quest, and records his progress every time the hero drops by.
  • Regional Bonus: For those who played this on the Japanese MSX cart, they got an extra scene of the Princess of Moonbrooke in a "Dangerous Swimsuit". And yes, this is what La-Mulana was referencing.
  • Retired Badass: The messenger didn't go to Midenhall to get the prince to help. He wanted THE KING. Unfortunately, the two kingdoms have probably been out of touch for a while, as Midenhall's king notes that he's a bit too old to be adventuring about. Have at it, my boy. He officially retires as the Prince of Midenhall gets his Awesome Moment of Crowning in the finale. Not a bad boost from your "parting gift" at the start. Justified, considering that he is a descendent of Loto/Erdrick along with his royal counterparts in the other kingdoms.
  • Religion of Evil: The Shadowtime cult that Hargon leads.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: The entire party consists of royal cousins of a common ancestor, with two princes and a princess.
  • Schizo Tech: In a medieval world, it might surprise you in the Cave of Rhone to find robots! The Hunter Mech and Killing Machine make their first appearance in this game.
  • Serial Escalation: True in some senses, but in others not as prominent as Enix wanted people to believe, back in the day. The world map, in particular, was an example - the game world was often touted as being "four times as large" as DQ1 and as including the all of the first map as a mere "part" of the bigger overworld... but this was achieved by shrinking Alefgard's landmass and removing most of its content. Only Tantegel, Charlock, and the South Rimuldar Temple can be visitednote , and the Alefgard landmass itself is less than half the size it used to be. In real terms, the game is bigger than DQ1, but not four times - it's not even twice the size, and is still one of the shorter DQ games.
  • She's a Man in Japan: Inverted for the NES version in regards to Rubiss. While the game treats Rubiss as gender neutral, one NPC refers to Rubiss as "he" and a "sorcerer", rather than a "sorceress".
  • Smash Mook: The Cyclops, the Gigantes, and (if you count bosses) the Atlas. These enemies do one thing only and do it well; smash your party into goo with a club.
  • Sins of Our Fathers: Subverted. The Dragonlord's grandson chooses to not antagonize Erdrick's grandson and helps him instead. In the Playable Epilogue the Dragonlord's grandson says that the feud between their respective ancestors is not his problem and expresses a desire to become friends with the heroes.
  • Spoiler Cover: The front box art of the American version shows a mural of Malroth behind Hargon atop the alter. The Japanese also shows Malroth standing behind Hargon and the heroes.
  • Squishy Wizard:
    • The Princess of Moonbrooke is a physically fragile albeit competent spellcaster.
    • The Prince of Cannock also has elements of this early on, but grows out of it eventually.
  • Sword and Sorcerer: The Prince of Midenhall is a powerful warrior, but he has no magical abilities whatsoever. He is always accompanied by his cousins, the Prince of Cannock and the Princess of Moonbrooke, who are physically weak (especially the Princess) but wield powerful magic (especially the Princess).
  • Taking You with Me: The Prince of Cannock eventually learns the Sacrifice spell. As he's also the only member capable of reviving others with his magic in the original version, this is a last-ditch tactic. Unfortunately, certain Random Encounters can also cast this for a Total Party Kill...
  • Toilet Humor: You can scare a guy urinating in Leftwyne, who asks you if you wanted to make him dampen his britches.
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • The Prince of Cannock. In the NES, his best gear was roughly The Prince of Midenhall's early to middle-game gear, and due to everyone only having TWO non-HP/MP stats, he could die A LOT if you weren't careful. He was upgraded notably in the I+II SNES remake. This is taken to Rule of Funny levels in Fan Art based off his NES days. He's often waking up or sleeping in his coffin, or just dead.
    • The Princess of Moonbrooke also qualifies, but to a far lesser extent.
  • Total Party Kill: The Gold Batboons and their equivalents in the remakes are a late game random encounter enemy that can cast the spell Sacrifice. They rarely cast it, but if they do, your entire party will be instantly killed no matter what. You can't do anything to safeguard against it, and you don't get a saving throw. Do not pass GO, do not collect $200. The enemy technically dies too, but even if the last enemy casts it and the whole field on both sides is wiped out as a result, you still lose.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: If you look closely at the surprisingly beautiful front box art of the American version, it shows a mural of Malroth behind Hargon atop the alter.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: The heroic party consists of the Prince of Midenhall, the Prince of Cannock and the Princess of Moonbrooke. All three of them are immediate cousins, though, so no love triangle shenanigans happen.
  • Undesirable Prize: The fifth prize at the tombola is the refreshing herb, an item that can be bought in many places, heals little HP and can be sold for a measly 4G.
  • Useless Useful Spell:
    • Averted with prejudice. If you don't utilize your arsenal of debuffs, you'll spend a lot of time dead. There's several brute force spells, but they are much more expensive to cast and aren't always a OHKO, meaning the enemy is still hitting you. Having both spellcasters repeatedly debuff while your hero kills the enemy party one by one is actually a pretty good tactic in the late game.
    • Played straight with Kamikazee, a spell that kills the user and all non-boss targets on the field, meaning it's the designated last-resort tactic. Problem is, the only playable character to learn this is the Prince of Cannock, and, barring remakes (where the Princess of Moonbroke can learn Revive), he's the only one that learns Revive. Even worse, you can only carry one Yggdrasil leaf at a time (a single-use revive item) and all revivals leave the revived character at really low HP, meaning spending more MP/items to heal back up. However, when used against you, Kamikazee is GUARANTEED to cause a Total Party Kill, since Kamikazee kills targets with perfect accuracy and to the enemy, 'all targets' means 'your entire party'.
    • The Princess of Moonbrooke's Click/Open Spell spares you the trouble of lugging around four different keys, freeing precious inventory space. Unfortunately, she learns Click Spell at level 23 (NES/SNES/GB) or 36 (mobile/Switch). Unless you have been power-grinding, the odds are that you have no doors left to open by that point.
  • Villain Opening Scene: The game opens with a long sequence depicting Hargon's attack on Moonbrooke. The scene was added in the North American version. It became canon in the remakes, with new music. (The US NES version simply used the battle theme.)
  • With This Herring: In order to ensure your journey is a successful one, the King bestows upon you... a Copper Sword and 50 gold. Thanks, Dad. Don't worry about the items and gold locked in the treasury; someone who loved dogs took the only key far away.


Alternative Title(s): Dragon Quest II Luminaries Of The Legendary Line

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