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Video Game / Dragon Quest X

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Dragon Quest X: Awakening of the Five Tribes (approximate translation), is the tenth installment of the Dragon Quest series, released on multiple platforms over the course of its existence. The game takes place in the world of Astoltia, which is the home of five different races of people: Ogres, Wetlings, Elves, Dwarves, and Poppets (Humans are also present, but they're rare).

The game is an MMORPG that features Character Customization and Vocations, similar to Dragon Quest IX. Once you've created your character, you can send them to meet the characters of other players. You can form a party of up to four characters, who can then go together on adventures. One major thing about this game that makes it unique from the others in the series is that the multiplayer is handled online.

This game was released in Japan on August 2, 2012 for the Wii and on March 30, 2013 for the Wii U by Square Enix, with a PC version later released. The game has also received a port in Japan to the Android devices and for the Nintendo 3DS, both using streaming technology to enable the games to function and interact with those playing Wii, Wii U or PC. The Wii client was discontinued in 2017 due to obsolete technical specifications, and Wii U and 3DS will be discontinued in 2024. It also gained yet another port for the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch in 2017. It is so far the only mainline Dragon Quest title to be unreleased outside of Japan.

The game has received multiple major expansions, which often come with "All In One Package" Compilation Rereleases. The base game is considered Version 1:

  • Version 2: The Sleeping Hero and the Guided Allies, released on December 5th, 2013. Despite defeating Nelgel, who had destroyed the Hero's hometown, the barrier he had placed over the entire central continent was still in place. What could possibly be the cause of this strange phenomena? The expansion also added new Monster Master and Item Master vocations that both tame monsters as allies.
  • Version 3: Legend of the Ancient Dragon, released on April 30th, 2015. It introduced Dragons as a new NPC race, as well as the Dancer and Fortune Teller vocations.
  • Version 4: The 5,000-year Journey to the Distant Hometown, released on November 16th, 2017. It adds the Druid and Gadabout vocations. This version also marks a major change in the supported consoles, as the PS4 and Switch versions of the game were added in the months prior while the Wii was dropped from the lineup.
  • Version 5: The Maiden of Thorns and the God of Destruction, released on October 24th, 2019. While one-off Demons had already been present as Big Bads in prior versions, this expansion introduces them as a full NPC race. It also adds the Death Master and Demon Swordsman vocations.
  • Version 6: Heroes of the Heavenly Stars, released on November 11th, 2021. It also adds the Pirate and Guardian vocations.
  • Version 7: The Door to the Future and the Slumbering Girl, is set to be released on March 21st, 2024. The Wii U and 3DS versions will also be discontinued at about this time. It's set to add the Dragon Magician vocation.

An Offline version of the game was released on September 15th, 2022 in Japan for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Switch and PC in celebration of the 35th anniversary of the overall franchise, while Version 2 for the Offline version was released on May 26th, 2023, just a day before Dragon Quest day.

The Japanese website for the game can be found here.

This game contains examples of:

  • An Adventurer Is You: All of the player characters can choose a job class, which can be changed at a later time.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: In a sense. You start as one of a pair of human siblings; after plot happens and the main 'online' game opens up, you get to select/design a new character from one of the five races. There's also an 'offline' plot revolving around your sibling.
  • Arbitrary Head Count Limit: Most MMOs can have raiding parties in the tens to hundreds. X Online maxes out at four. That's four people total.
  • Bamboo Technology: Bambooligans and their variants such as Bamboozlers and Bamboogiemen make their first appearance in the series, while Bambooligans themselves can be recruited with the Item Master vocation.
  • Big Bad: Nelgel is this for the base game. The 1st expansion has Maldragora, while the 2nd expansion has Nadraga, the 3rd expansion has Kryonos, the 4th has Jagonuba, and the 5th has Jia Red Genos.
  • Big Eater: Sage Horro, who helps you penetrate Nelgel's barrier.
  • Big Red Devil: How Ogres look. This is also Jagonuba's body after he is freed from his seal.
  • Book Ends: In the opening video, an Ogre warrior bails out the human Hero from a Golem, then gives him a thumbs-up before leaving. After gathering a party and becoming an experienced warrior himself, the hero and his new friends return the favor, backing her up during a boss fight with a Night Clubber. As the ogre recognizes him, he flashes her a quick smile and a thumbs-up.
    • Notably, the intro cutscenes of each version show the steady improvement of the equipment of his allies as their adventure progresses in said cutscenes, with most of the screenshots being of his party.
    • The first Final Boss of the game, Nelgel was fought as a giant monster, while the first phase of Jagonuba is fought the same way, although their abilities and fights differ.
  • Call-Forward: Elements from Dragon Quest XI such as Monsters going Vicious and Pep Powers note , abilities like Well Weird Dance, note  and monsters (Clockwryms, Ursa Pandas, Lamplings, Iron Maidens, Succubats, Fruity Succubats, Lava Lamplings, Leafy Lamplings, Vampire Succubats, Golden Girls, and Dread Dragooners), as well as guest appearances from Erik and Sylvando are present in the game.
    • Dragon Quest X Offline goes even further with Character Builders.
  • Character Customization: Allowing you to tweak your height, hairstyle/color, eye shapes/colors, skin tone, and other basics. Notably, you're also given the chance to design your sibling.
  • Conveniently an Orphan: Though you lost your parents while young, you still have your sibling.
  • Creepy Doll: The Needleman monster line is introduced to the series from Version 2 onwards, being tiny ragdolls that stuff cactus needles into them to prick their enemies. They can also be recruited to the player's side via the Item Master vocation.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: The hero in the opening cutscenes? Has, as of Version 3, over half a dozen allies. As mentioned above, there's no way to have more than FOUR people in a party period in-game.
  • Damage Over Time: New to the series are the Rubblerouser and Tox spells, which damage enemies with earth damage for the former and poison for the latter, which is learned via the Mage's Knife skill tree.note 
  • Darker and Edgier: Probably THE darkest Dragon Quest game in the entire main series, with the Hero being killed right at the beginning of the game, as well as by an ally they trusted, an evil god that once ruled over the Dragons getting sliced in half, Astoltia being an apocalyptic wasteland from a great evil that utilizes time travel if said evil isn't stopped, a sea of blood in the Netherworld, etc.
  • Deflector Shields: One can be seen covering Rendashia, or at least what's left of it.
  • Demon Lords and Archdevils: Many bosses are given titles such as "Demon" or "Devil," a prime example being the base game's Big Bad, who uses the title Meiō, which translates to Hell Lord.
  • Doomed Hometown: Tenton, unsurprisingly. It gets rebuilt after Maldragora and later, Nadraga are dealt with, though.
  • Dragon Rider: The Dragon Riders make their retroactive return to the main series from 5.3 onwards, while the Dread Dragooners make their retroactive debut from 6.2 onwards. The Dragooners are absent, however, due to their Japanese name sharing the kanji as the Guardian vocation, itself introduced from 6.4 onwards.
  • Elfeminate: Elf player characters are almost universally androgynous (as in it is next to impossible to tell the males from the females), though older NPCs will occasionally grow mustaches.
  • Endangered Species: According to a magazine scan, Humans. Subverted by the first expansion onwards, since they're still doing fine despite being under attack by monsters.
  • Elite Mooks: In addition to new regular monsters like Visor Kaisers and Queen Slimes, and classic monsters such as Knight Abhorrents, Night Riders, and Tormentaurs, the game's first update adds the new rarefied monsters, which are a cut above normal monsters like 24-Carrot Bunicorns, Type G0s, Snooty Slime Knights, and Shadow Nobles.
  • Evil Power Vacuum: While Maldragora's death was a good thing, since it freed the humans from his tyranny, it also let more powerful forces like Dragons out note  and indirectly creates a power struggle in the Netherworld with three factions fighting over who will be the best of them all.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: The Elves have a very Medieval Japanese architecture, Wetling buildings seem to be influenced by Polynesians, and the Dwarven cities all have a Mayincatec style.
  • Fauns and Satyrs: The Satyrs, Pan Pipers, and Silenuses make their return in this game, while new relatives, Angoras and Celtic Fauns, make their debut.
  • Feathered Fiend: In addition to the usual Chimaera monsters and other Bird monsters, the Canarynio monster line makes its debut from 4.5 onwards, after getting a boss version named Sparky introduced from the start of Version 4 onwards.
  • First-Episode Resurrection: The connection between the prologue and the main online game. You start off as a human, but your village is attacked by Nelgel, leading to your death. Fortunately, you resurrect as one of the other playable tribes. You're eventually restored in order to travel in time, but have the choice to stay in your new body or return to being your original human self.
  • Final Boss Preview:
    • Version 4 has Kryonos in this trope. By fighting an ever-evolving villain near the end of every story who gets harder and harder to beat, he's still one step closer to succeeding in his goal. The fact that the Hero's biological father, Padre helping him get stronger and stronger before he later helps you near the end, is just the icing on the cake.
    • Jagonuba tops Kyronos in this department, starting by awakening slightly when Nalasia wanders too close to his body and summons Daviyaga, one of the 7 Dark Deities. He even pierces Luchenda's barrier, and nearly kills the Hero, Anlucia, and Shaka had Sage Marine not shown up. He later one ups this by defeating Luciana in combat despite her reawakening.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • After you defeat Nelgel, he warns of dark powers beyond his control before dying. Said powers turn out to be his master Maldragora, the Dragon God Nadraga and others like Kryonos.
    • While escorting Anlucia through a cave, she is attacked by a Great Argon Lizard while the other Anlucia and her two guards watch, but don't help her, though a barrier of light suddenly appears and repels the monster before it could hurt her. That is because she is the REAL Anlucia while the other is the Maluminary and her two guards are monsters and they were trying to get her killed before she remembers who she is.
    • Crow and Orstov also have visions of what will happen next in the Version 2 and Version 3 storylines such as characters going through certain events and/or developments. While Crow's last vision shows Maldragora in some form, Orstov's last vision doesn't show any real evil at the end before he is captured and put into the dungeon. It turns out he was Evil All Along and was manipulating the Hero into helping Nadraga get resurrected by reunifying the territories of Nagaland.
    • Nalasia has red eyes when Jagonuba starts to awaken. The red eyes are also present on him while Illusia suffers a headache when trying to strengthen the seal on him after Daviyaga's defeat. Later, Nalasia suffers a similar headache when Luchenda and later, Marine try the same thing, with the latter glaring at her. This is because he is the human avatar of the Great Source of Darkness and he doesn't want the Goddess or any of her allies to interfere again.
  • Greater-Scope Villain:
    • Maldragora, the Big Bad of Version 2, is revealed to be the mastermind behind Version 1, being the ruler of the Demon realm and made a pact with Nelgel in order to destroy the hero before they could become a problem.
    • The Great Source of Darkness, Jagonuba, which is invoked by Nelgel, Maldragora and Nadraga, and is revealed in 5.2 to be responsible for the creation of the Demon race.
  • A Homeowner Is You: Complete with An Interior Designer Is You (and Exterior Designer).
  • Item Crafting: Which takes the form of 7 MiniGames: Weapon Crafting, Armor Crafting, Sewing, Woodworking, Cooking, Pot Alchemy and Lamp Alchemy. There's even a "Renown System" where your status rises up according to how many people use the equipment you've made. You can only choose one crafting system for long-term crafting though, so choose wisely.
    • Offline strangely forces you down the Weapon Crafting path, with the other 6 crafting paths locked to Online.
  • Job System: The classic Job system from Dragon Quest III onwards is implemented, with 6 initial classes to choose from when starting up a new file. This gradually expands until you have over 20 different classes to choose from. Interestingly, you're actually encouraged to sample each class, as their exclusive vocation skill trees grant stat passives to all classes.
  • Kid Hero: Among your design choices at the start of the game is whether your character appears to be in their upper teens/early adulthood or is noticeably younger. Same goes for your sibling.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • General Zobris being sealed in a weapon, only to be freed by someone looking to use said weapon for the war between the various kingdoms of the Netherworld calls to mind General Rudolph.
    • Jagonuba is defeated by Kazapple, made possible by the thoughts of everyone throughout the whole world giving the Hero strength to do so, just like Mortamor in Dragon Quest VI's Land of Illusion Manga.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Averted big-time. These dwarves are nothing like the normal bearded Scottish type, instead looking like green-skinned, beardless toddlers using Magitek technology with a distinct Mayincatec design. They're still short and technologically advanced, though.
  • Ret-Gone: The plot of Version 7 is that people from the Kingdom of Tenton are disappearing left and right, while people who haven't disappeared don't remember seeing the disappearances, causing the Hero to go on yet another adventure, this time to the world of Earth Zenias.
  • Rich Bitch: Runana, due to her late father's reputation among the Dwarves.
  • The Rival: Hussar serves as one for the Wetling Hero/Heroine, Asanagi for the Elf Hero/Heroine, and Jīganfu for Aroldo.
  • Royalty Super Power: The Hero is part of a royal family that had the ability to control time.
  • Screwball Squirrel: Version 2 of the game marks the debut of the Red Squirrels and their relatives, Blue Minxes, Lemming Stars, Tail Squirrels, and Grinsquirrelsnote , who can mess up opponents with skills and spells like Sultry Dance, Deceleratle, Kafuddle, Kasnooze, Kaswoosh, and Kazammle.
  • Sibling Team: You and your sibling start out as this.
  • Sinister Sentient Sun: An artificial sun commanded by Razuban, one of Nelgel's commanders, is used to menace a village. It shows up again in the present time at the end of the 3rd episode of the 10th Anniversary Quest, however, causing Eruju to faint upon seeing it.
  • Standard Fantasy Races: The setting has powerful, warlike Ogres, fairy-like Elves, technologically skilled Dwarves and — unusually — very rare Humans.
  • Tengu: 2.4 of the game onwards introduces the Tengu Crows, a rarefied variant of the Hawk Men that have the usual look, which also resembles the Super NES remake coloration of the Gargoyle in Dragon Quest II. In addition, Galengus, an entirely new monster, make their debut in the series from the start of Version 6 onwards.
  • Villainous Harlequin:
    • Pujyu seemingly is one throughout the game's story, but is actually something far, far worse by the time of Version 5's story.
    • Pantomines and Indojesters, little humanoid creatures riding Rockbomb monsters depending on which one is faced also make their debut in the series.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: At the start of the Wetling storyline, a villager calls out your rival Hussar for taking advantage of your hero's guard being dropped during a sparring session, which resulted in their death.
  • Whip of Dominance: Mystical Juliante is a whip-wielding Hot as Hell demoness that has the overall look of a dominatrix, complete with black leather outfit and high-heeled boots that are studded with spikes.
  • Youkai: The Ogre race hits pretty much all the hallmarks of traditional Japanese oni: giant bodies, red skin, horns, mountain-dwelling, clad in animal-skins, etc.


Video Example(s):


Always a Bigger Monster

A Night Clubber from Psaro/Estark's army is mauled to death by the King of Calamity's monster form, with the King himself glaring at the screen, and by extension, the players themselves.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (1 votes)

Example of:

Main / AlwaysABiggerFish

Media sources: