- Demonic Spiders: The game likes to throw some of these at the player as part of clearing optional challenges in a few chapters. The Green Dragons in Chapter 1 and Boss Trolls/Gigantes in Chapter 3 especially. Without proper gear, they will wreck you.
- Faux Symbolism: The final chapter has a fair amount of New Testament symbolism. The Builder is suppose to save everyone from a demonic figure opposing the patron God, gets advice and gifts from three wise people who traveled a long way, is repeatedly called a carpenter by one of the guards, and dies to save everyone.
- Fridge Brilliance: As discussed in-game, Elle thinks that the original hero accepted Dragonlord's offer just to see what happened if he said, "Yes." That means the whole game happened because the hero basically wanted to see if Dragonlord would invoke But Thou Must!.
- In all of the flashbacks to the original game, the POV character refuses everything the NPCs suggest: They buy an axe but do not equip it and they refuse the puff-puff. If these dreams are the memories of the fallen hero, this possibly foreshadows their drive to do the opposite choice by taking the Dragon Lord's offer. They've been a contrarian the entire time!
- Goddamned Bats: Ghosts and Specters. They will spawn pretty much anytime and any place during the night (even if you're in your base) and never stop chasing you until they're either defeated or until the sun begins to rise. They get stronger as each chapter progresses, reminding you to constantly be upgrading your gear.
- Les Yay: The first settler, Pippa, makes a few suggestive remarks no matter what the gender of the Builder is:Pippa: If we had two beds, we could sleep next to each other!
- At least one villager will also ask if you and Pippa are sleeping in the same room, and that's just in the first chapter.
- The Builder seems to have at least one woman in a village that either constantly implies a relationship or villagers start to question it, up to Princess Gwaelin, regardless of the Builder's gender.
- Narm: Should the player decide to accept the challenge to defeat Dragonlord without Erdrick's Armor, the celebration at Tantagel after Dragonlord is defeated is hard to take seriously given the Builder had all of their gear stripped, leaving them to celebrate and greet everyone in only their underwear.
- Nightmare Fuel: On an intellectual level, the core premise of the game. After the Hero of Dragon Quest 1 accepted the Dragonlord's offer, the Dragonlord then covered the world in darkness... and also took away humanity's knowledge and power to create in the process. This doesn't sound scary until you find out what taking away that power actually means: it means not being able to read and write, not being able to make shelter, not being able to make food or tools, among many other things. People in-game don't understand how the Builder is making objects and tools, even while directly observing what the Builder is doing. The Dragonlord, in one stroke, turned every human in the world into an cave-dwelling animal that can't comprehend complex ideas and are accordingly incapable of ever rising up, while still being aware enough that they know that something is terribly wrong but can't even realize what they're missing.
- Polished Port: The Switch port, like all good ones, is basically the full game, and plays the same as the original, but on the go.
- That One Boss: Retrieving the Staff of Rain in Chapter 4: A series of battles against Mook Maker nests of the enemies that deliver the Standard Status Effects from Chapter 2, and they spawn enemies like there's no tomorrow. The final three nests are at the top of a very tall cliff which is very easy to fall off of. The Bodkin Fletchers are the worst as they can quickly move out of range and spam Poison Arrows from all directions. Once all of the monster nests are destroyed, a Giant Enemy Crab (who can also summon minions) that was very difficult-to-dodge attacks capstones the battle. It's arguably a harder fight than the final boss.
- They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Throughout the game everyone speculates as to why the Hero of Alefgard took the Dragonlord's offer. The Builder has dream flashbacks implied to be the memories of the Hero. It all looks like the story is building up to some climactic revelation about the Hero, but when the Builder finally reaches the Hero he's just a modified Hoodie enemy who spouts nonsense, gets defeated easily, and runs off, never to explain anything.
YMMV / Dragon Quest Builders