Dragon Quest X: Waking 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 Astordia, 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 on August 2, 2012 in Japan for the Wii and for the Wii U on March 30, 2013 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 using the PC, Wii or Wii U versions. It later gained yet another port for the Nintendo Switch and Playstation 4. It is the only mainline Dragon Quest title to not be released outside of Japan.
The game has received multiple major expansions, often with "All-In-One" Compilation Re-release physical versions. With the base game as Version 1:
- Version 2: The Sleeping Hero and the Guided Allies, released on December 5th, 2013. Despite defeating Nergel, 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 vocation.
- 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.
- Version 6: Heroes of the Heavenly Stars has been announced and is expected to release in Fall 2021.
An Offline version of the game was announced on May 26, 2021 in celebration of the 35th Anniversary of the overall franchise. It will launch in 2022 in Japan.
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 MMO's can have raiding parties in the tens to hundreds. DQ10 maxes out at four. That's four people total.
- Big Bad: Hades Nergel is this for the base game. The 1st expansion has Madesagoura, while the 2nd expansion has Nadraga, and the 3rd expansion has Kryonos.
- Big Eater: Sage Horro, who helps you penetrate Nergel's barrier.
- Big Red Devil: How Ogres look.
- Bookends: In the opening video, an ogre warrior bails out the human hero, 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. 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 Madesagoura and later, Nadraga are dealt with, though.
- Elfeminate: Elf player characters are almost universally androgynous (as in it is next to impossible to tell the males from the females), though older NPC's 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.
- Evil Power Vacuum: While Madesagoura'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 Demon Realm 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.
- 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 eventually restored in order to travel in time, but have 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.
- Foreshadowing: After you defeat Nelgel, he warns of dark powers beyond his control before dying. Said powers turn out to be his master Madesagoura, the Dragon God Nadraga and others like Kryonos.
- 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 Madesagoura 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.
- Greater-Scope Villain:
- Madesagoura, 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, Madesagoura 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 MiniGames. There's even a "Renown System" where your status rises up according to how many people use the equipment you've made.
- 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.
- 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.
- Reality Ensues: You defeat Madesagora, who was behind Nelgel's attack on your hometown of Tenton, and save the day. All is good since humanity commended your efforts? Wrong! It turns out that Madesagora was the most recent king of the Demon Realm, and his death results in its three kingdoms engaged in civil war.
- Rich Bitch: Runana, due to her late father's reputation among the Dwarves.
- The Rival: Hyuza 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.
- Sibling Team: You and your sibling start out as this.
- Sinister Sentient Sun: An artificial sun commanded by one of Nelgel's commanders is used to menace a villiage.
- Standard Fantasy Races: The setting has powerful, warlike ogres, fairy-like elves, technologically skilled dwarves and — unusually — very rare humans.
- Turtle Power: Galapagod, the guardian deity of the village of Tenton. Its powers are what ended up saving the Hero's life and gave them a second chance to begin their life anew as one of the five races.It's later revealed that it took on the form of a tortoise to hide from its enemies; it's true form is that of a Pegasus.
- What the Hell, Hero?: At the start of the Wetling storyline, a villager calls out your rival Hyuza for taking advantage of your hero's guard being dropped during a sparring session, which resulted in their death.
- 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.