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YMMV / Dragon Quest XI

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  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • Was Hendrik telling the truth to Jasper about always feeling inferior to him, or was he just telling his former friend what he wanted to hear so that Jasper could die happily?
    • Is Jasper's envy directed toward Sylvando as well as Hendrik? In act two Jasper wields the Silver Orb, which was taken from Don Rodrigo's villa some years before the game's events, according to a book in the mini medal academy. When the party face him at the Fortress of Fear, the collar of his costume evokes a flower -which are used in a number of Sylv's abilities and Pep Powers- and contains the very same heart symbol that is most likely Don Rodrigo's -and by extension Sylvando's- family crest. The very same heart pattern can be seen on The Don outfit, as well as the outer gates of Puerto Valor. It can be assumed he "stole" from Sylv because to Jasper, he was the person who took Hendrik away with the training in Puerto Valor, along with any chances he had of surpassing his old friend.
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  • Anti-Climax Boss: The True Final Boss Calasmos, surprisingly, but not for the reasons you'd expect. While he's very strong if you choose to challenge him as soon as you gain the option to, the postgame includes a Difficulty Spike that requires a substantial amount of Forced Level-Grinding if the player intends to complete its side content. It's not uncommon for a diligent player to hit the level cap by the time they get around to fighting him, by which point they'll likely be more than strong enough to shrug off basically anything he can throw at them. Even with his ability to remove positive effects and sometimes prevent some members of the party from taking action during a turn, he's ultimately not much of a challenge compared to many of the other Bonus Bosses that came before him.
  • Ass Pull: Rab, whose body becomes an emaciated husk after travelling to Angri-La's snowy summit to enter the void and convene with his departed master, returns to his usual rotund self after nothing more than a good breakfast. This is a rather odd incident that's Played for Laughs and never mentioned again, despite the build up to the corpse's identity being rather serious.
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  • Author's Saving Throw: After being in Development Hell for a year and a half, the Switch version was finally announced as a definitive version. Thus, it is the closest the west will have to a 3DS version which means the extras exclusive to the 3DS version finally receive an international release. On top of that, the Switch version also includes the option to use the live orchestral versions of the soundtrack.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Opinions on Veronica tend to vary from badass Little Miss Snarker to an annoying brat who never shuts up. Regardless of the side however, Veronica's Heroic Sacrifice is agreed to be downright heartbreaking.
    • Gemma is a more minor example, some think she's sweet and that it's a shame she doesn't get more screentime or become a full time party member, whereas others think she's bland and rather irritating, and that her friendship with the MC feels forced since she's not around long enough for the player to really form much attachment of their own to her.
  • Best Boss Ever:
    • The Final Boss is a Dual Boss that changes the targets into a Stance System. It also uses a slowed down version of the decisive battle theme.
    • The True Final Boss, to those who didn't find it to be an Anti-Climax Boss. It's not easy by any means. You have to focus down his arms to weaken him, and he goes through multiple attack phases where he summons adds to help him out. You have to really really prepare - it's in a completely different league than the Final Boss.
  • Broken Base:
    • The fact that the 3DS version will not leave Japan. On the one hand, some people feel that the 3DS is getting the shaft (since the versions do have some differences). But on the other, some feel that this is a smarter business choice, due to the fact that the 3DS is in decline outside of Japan, particularly in 2018 (when shelf space in most brick-and-mortar stores for 3DS software is shrinking). It has become less of an issue when the Switch version was announced to have the ability to play the game with 16-bit SNES style graphics, a mode that was available in the 3DS version but not the PS4 and PC versions.
    • Also, the fact that Square-Enix is publishing. Some who are not fans of the accents used in the Nintendo-published remakes like it, while others think that adds to the charm. This ended up being a bit moot as the game does retain a fair bit of the accent conceit of older titles but pares it down in a lot of cases to not be obnoxious.
    • The soundtrack. Some people take significant issue with the midi soundtrack, feeling that it's a significant downgrade to the orchestral version that was made, but wasn't included because the composer wanted to maximize music and ticket sales instead of letting players hear it in the game. Others are more accepting, feeling that it suits the classic feel of the game. While PC players got a mod that replaces the music with the orchestral version almost immediately and the Nintendo Switch version includes both the MIDI and orchestral versions, 3DS and PS4 owners are currently out of luck. Beyond the MIDI controversy, many fans have derided the actual composition of music as subpar, even when orchestrated.
    • The nature of the post-game undoes a lot of the character development of the crew in exchange for a happier ending. Some argue that this is disingenuous and that removing said character development is a disservice to the story, with Serena in particular reverting back to her old self and making her emotional triumph kind of pointless. Others argue that this is in the nature of Dragon Quest- to always strive for a better conclusion for our heroes, and that because of the defeat of the True Final Boss, the happier ending is worth it for the struggle it takes to get there.
    • The Nintendo Switch version getting announced as the Definitive Edition, getting extra story content, dual audio options, and even having the full Orchestral OST the PS4 and PC (without mods) versions lacked. This ended up invoking quite a bit of Console Wars sentiment among the community.
  • Catharsis Factor: In this game, you can trample over enemies while riding a horse, provided that your level is high enough. Relish the joys of sending helpless monsters flying like ragdolls while you tour this beautiful world.
  • "Common Knowledge": The Nintendo Switch version of the game allows the hero to marry Gemma or any of their companions towards the end of the game. In actuality, Gemma is the only character where references to marriage are directly made. Choosing any of Hero's female companions as his bride is still acknowledged via party chat and some of the people in Cobblestone, but the same can't be said if he chooses any of his male companions. Instead, they become Heterosexual Life-Partners with the hero and even Sylvando, for how campy he is, isn't any more affectionate than he previously was. The fact that it's possible to choose Rab (your grandpa), Jade (who sees you as a sibling) or Veronica (who has a small child's body) for this lends a layer of Squick for some fans, since though it's not outright called a marriage in all cases the connotations are still there.
  • Complete Monster: The Gloomnivore is a monster and predator that enjoys eating despair. To this end, it targets victims and imprisons them in their worst memories, forcing them to relive the anguish over and over again as it savors the meal. Encountered when it targets the ghost of King Irwin, the Gloomnivore forces him to relive his murder countless times to hurt him worse as a delicious meal, before intending to attack the heroes and put them through the same.
  • Cry for the Devil: Jasper gets this in his final moments. The lead-up to the hero and Hendrik's confrontation with him in the ruins of Heliodor castle is also interlaced with flashbacks to his more innocent youth.
    • He’s perhaps the only character whose fate is even worse in the new timeline. He’s betrayed and brutally killed by his master Mordegon, in order for Mordegon to maintain his disguise as the King of Heliodor. Mordegon happens to be so ridiculously evil that his disguise is given up not even 24 hours later.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Jasper might have a sympathetic backstory, but he's a cold and cruel man who betrays his kingdom, his closest friend, and all of humanity to the darkness. Good thing he's very pretty and has a lovely voice.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Gemma, the hero's sweet childhood friend and potential Love Interest; it's been lamented that she wasn't a full-time party member. Prince Faris is very popular as well, another common sentiment being that he'd have made an organic addition to the party after his arc.
    • For the villains, Tyriant is well-liked despite not lasting very long. Krystalinda is popular as well.
    • Among the party members themselves, Sylvando is extremely popular; to the point of placing first in the western popularity poll. By virtue of his own popularity, characters affiliated with him such as Dave and the Soldiers of Smile tend to also be very well-liked, which resulted in them gaining some focus in Sylvando's character episode in the Switch version.
    • Queen Marina, the ruler of the land beneath the waves, who even after meeting her the first time, still helps you out again later in the story. It also helps that she's very beautiful, elegant, and probably the best ruler of any kingdom in the game.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Krystalinda before her Heel–Face Turn, although she loses none of the sexiness afterwards.
    • Jasper as well, who's as evil as he is sexy.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Hero/Jade is a very popular ship. Despite the stated tone of their relationship, many feel their tender moments together edge into amorous territory. Not to mention the prince of Dundrasil and the princess of Heliodor making for a natural match, which is lampshaded in the Switch version. Not to mention, before the events of the game, Jade (as a child) only knew the Hero as a newborn baby, so seeing the present-day Hero, a virtual stranger, as her sibling-figure doesn't seem to make much sense. As of the Switch version, the player can choose to make it a reality.
    • Hero/Erik is also popular; Erik won a Japanese Twitter poll on "who would you like to marry", beating out even Jade.
  • Game-Breaker: There are suprisingly a few of them, more than one would expect in most Dragon Quest games.
    • Divide. Erik's next move will be multiplied by 3 when used. That means more chances to hit, more chances to crit, and with Critical Claim, three guaranteed critical hits. Using Divide followed by Double Down while dual-wielding boomerangs is lethal in boss fights that have multiple targets.
    • MP Regeneration
      • The Belle's Bow. An accessory for Jade that can be acquired nearly immediately after getting her, in its best form it increases her charm drastically and gives her 6MP Recovery per turn. This eliminates most of her MP concerns and remains useful even in the post game. Broken even more if she is equipped with it when you arrive in Arboria, where it will be duplicated in the post game.
      • In the Switch version, switching between 2D and 3D modes resets all treasure chests with a very small number of exceptions. Once the player has reached Arboria, this can be used to obtain enough copies of the Supplicant accessory to outfit the entire party. With two fully-upgraded Supplicants on every party member, the entire party will be regenerating 6 MP (9 if Jade uses one alongside the Belle's Bow) per turn from the end of Act 1 onward.
      • Mode switching will also allow the player to stock up on mini medals much sooner, allowing them to obtain Erdwin's shield at the very beginning of Act 3. For the entirety of the final act, the Luminary can recover at least 10 MP every round.
    • Though it takes a bit of work to get and you get it in the middle of the second act, the Sage's Stone is as broken in this game as it is in every other game. It is a literal, infinite use free Multi-heal, and it suits both Hendrik and the Luminary as a means to heal the party cheaply. Particularly good for Hendrik, due to his less than stellar MP pool.
    • It is stupidly easy to break the game using the 200-token roulette tables in the Octagonia Casino: simply walk in with a few thousand tokens to start (although the minimum required is 800, this removes Save Scumming) and bet 200 on all three rows and the treasure square (so that you're guaranteed a win). While this seems like a good way to lose money, it isn't - At worst, you'll only lose 200 coins each time, and eventually, the wheel will absolutely land on the Jackpot, netting you a million tokens. And this is repeatable. All of a sudden, you have the best whip in the main game, amazing armour, great forging materials, and, most importantly, the means for infinite gold: Sage's Elixirs are very cheap in tokens, sell for a decent amount at market, and are damned useful to boot. By winning the jackpot, buying a ludicrous amount of Elixirs, and selling them, you can kiss any worries about gold goodbye.
    • While it's not usable during the story, Veronica's Magic Burst spell is by far the most powerful attack available in the postgame. Enhanced by Channel Anger's 50% damage bonus, it can deal upwards of 4000 damage to all enemies, enough to kill some bosses outright and severely weaken those that can survive it. After it's used, the exhausted Veronica can be swapped out for another party member to finish the job...or you could use an Elfin Elixir you bought from the casino to refill her MP so she can cast Magic Burst again next turn.
    • Exclusive to the Definitive Edition, The Benevolessence is a free, infinite use Magic Barrier. It can be given to anyone to add utility to their arsenal. Jade and Erik especially benefit from it as they have great speed and next to no supporting moves, while Serena can be made to have both defensive buffs to free up Veronica's turns.
    • Another Definitive Edition exlusive is the War Drum. It's a multi-target Oomph spell that costs no MP and can be used an infinite number of times. Two turns is all it takes to double the entire party's attack power.
  • Goddamned Boss: Dragon Quest bosses traditionally have the ability to attack twice. That's not a problem... However, some bosses have the ability to attack three times. Bonus points for when they use an attack that can crowd control you and renew the effect on you.
    • Taken Up to Eleven with the Tentacular boss fight, as with its tentacles intact, it can strike up to four times. Lord have mercy if you're playing with Stronger Monsters on.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: When Erik reappears in Part 2 without his memory, Sylvando notes his new manners and says that Veronica would "just die" if she saw him now. It turns out later on that after Mordegon destroyed the Yddrasil Tree, Veronica performed a Heroic Sacrifice to save the Luminary and their companions.
  • Ho Yay: Loads between Hendrik and Jasper, especially towards the end of the game, although at that point it's Foe Yay between The Lancer and The Dragon.
    • Aside from the pair of clearly infatuated schoolgirls at L'Academie de Notre Maitre les Medailles and a faculty member at the same who was blatantly in love with Jade's mother, Queen Frysabel and Krystalinda have some of this going on. The queen's bikini-clad royal guards will actually mention how inseparable they've become if spoken to after the first Sniflheim arc.
    • Inevitably, between the Hero and any male companion he chooses to live with in the Switch version. Except Rab, for the obvious reason.
    • A sidequest in Tickington requires the Luminary to play the groom in a wedding rehearsal, with the option of choosing any of his companions, including the men, to stand in for the bride. If either Erik or Hendrik is chosen, he genuinely thinks the Luminary is proposing to him. Before realizing that it's pretend, Erik outright says yes, while Hendrik is concerned that they don't know each other well enough yet but still seriously takes it under consideration.
    • Golden Boy, one of the coliseum fighters in Octagonia, seems to experience an offscreen Coming-Out Story during his partnership with Sylvando; claiming that Sylvando made him "realize some stuff" about himself and saying that it was the sweet sound of Sylvando's voice that kept him from giving in while he was captured by Arachtagon.
  • Iron Woobie: Hendrik. One of the few known survivors of Zwaardsrust's destruction, made an Unwitting Pawn against the heroes, betrayed by his best friend, betrayed and nearly killed by his demon-possessed king, and only seeing the light after the world has been literally covered in darkness. He soldiers through all of this with nary a word of complaint; he always rises to the challenge.
  • It Was His Sled: As is the Dragon Quest norm, the plot has a very classic fantasy feel and thus several big plot twists can be spoiled very casually, but Hendrik pulling a Heel–Face Turn and joining the party is probably the easiest to stumble across, as you literally can't watch anything from the game's second half without seeing it, and lots of promotional material (as well as the Spirit Battle artwork for the "Hero's Comrades" in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate) shows him among the rest of party.
  • LGBT Fanbase: This game has garnered a respectable following amongst gaymers due to having a major party member (Sylvando) who's obviously gay and portrayed in a positive light; not the butt of a disrespectful joke, not evil, and not meant to be shunned by everyone, just unapologetically himself and a true hero. Gay male gamers have voiced a lot of appreciation for this.
  • Most Wonderful Sound: Every time you land a critical hit, which is a loud, thunderous crackling sound, complete with slow motion and screenshaking. Amplified even further if you have Erik use Critical Claim with Divide in effect.
  • Narm: Can be invoked by the player through the choice of aesthetic items. Some items will change your characters' appearance, much like Dragon Quest VIII.
    • Can also be forced by the player through running around in combat. This doesn't actually mean anything, just where your character is. Cue players doing things like making every character get as spread out as possible, making people turn their backs to enemies, putting the Squishy Wizard party members right in front of enemies while the melee fighters are distanced... the possibilities are endless. Further adding to the comedy is the fact that the enemies don't react to this - meaning they will literally run around party members to get at the hero in the back (and party members literally stepping to the side to let enemies attack someone right behind them), and enemies will attack party members without even facing them or throw Area of Effect Attacks away from them yet still hit them. The only reason this is forced by the player is the fact it's an entirely optional feature.
    • Kainui's voice is quite monotone, which can make his Dull Surprise take seem almost funny. However, this becomes a bit of Fridge Horror when you realise he could actually be monotone due to living with depression (see Tear Jerker).
  • Narm Charm: The ridiculousness of some of the regional dialects is taken Up to Eleven compared to other localized titles, most especially with the residents of Hotto speaking (mostly) in Haiku while everyone from Nautica Rhymes on a Dime, even during sad and dramatic scenes. But, the crazy thing is, it all still works!
  • No Yay: In the Switch version, instead of being forced to be in a couple with Gemma, the player can choose whoever Luminary will end up with. That includes Rab (your grandfather) and (despite her real age) Veronica.
  • Polished Port: The Switch version comes with a large number of quality-of-life changes and a bunch of features not found on the PC or PS4 versions, such as content previously exclusive to the Japan-only 3DS version. One of the most notable additions is the inclusion of an orchestrated soundtrack, which fixes the problem many had with the game being stuck with midi tracks.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Daggers/knives were a Scrappy Weapon in previous Dragon Quest games due to low attack power, crapshoot Useless Useful Spell abilities, and characters who can use them often either not being very well equipped to do so or have better weapons available. This game however makes the daggers much better by allowing characters to wield two, enabling the weapons' low base damage to keep up and double the chance to inflict status ailments, which daggers tend to be richer in than other weapons... and the general dagger tree now includes a backstab-style attack patterned on similar mechanics in other games, wherein you can attack a monster disabled by a debuff for absolutely stupendous damage with your "main hand" dagger.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: Doping to get stronger in an MMA setting nearly kills Vince. Thankfully, he goes straight after the Arachtagon fight (even if he now has to start his training over from scratch).
  • Squick: It's a bit dodgy how Rab is clearly aroused by Jade's sexiness despite her essentially being his adopted daughter. It thankfully doesn't receive any attention outside of a few pep power cutscenes.
  • That One Attack:
  • That One Achievement: Getting a Royal Jelly Flush in Poker, winning 10 consecutive rounds of Double or Nothing, and experiencing the Freeze in Slime Quest slots are often the biggest barriers blocking players from 100% completion due to being Luck Based Missions with ridiculously poor odds. With Double or Nothing in particular, getting 7 consecutive wins is cause for the game to give you fanfare and you have to do it three more times to actually earn an achievement!
  • That One Boss:
    • The Slayer of the Sands is where shit gets real for many players (especially Draconian quest players). The previous bosses were basically an Elite Mook if anything. This is the first real "Boss battle" in Dragon Quest XI - the game was going very easy on you prior to this fight. However, this isn't as much of a Wake-Up Call Boss as...
    • The Arachtagon - it's possible to bumble your way to this without even being prepared. He can tangle up any number of party members for a turn or can attempt to confuse them all. And he loves to spam both attacks. It's common to have half your party invalid every turn literally for the entire fight. Oh and what's more, you can't swap party members out if they're immobilized.
    • Dora-in-Grey is one of the most infamous bosses in the game especially on the higher difficulties. Her main gimmick is charming/confusing/sealing you and using her additional turn to deal out hefty damage, leading to an experience that comes closer to Luck-Based Mission than anything else. Oh, and what's more, she often goes for Sylvando, who has an ability that removes charm or confusion with no damage.
    • The Restless Knight is one of the fiercest opponents in the game. In addition to having access to powerful physical and lightning moves, he is one of the few enemies to make liberal use of the curse ailment, which can cause effects as benign as losing a turn, to cutting max HP, to outright killing someone. There is no easy way to approach this fight, and very few ways to counter both his onslaught and curses at the same time.
    • Booga comes straight on the heels of another tough boss fight, meaning you have no chance to heal up or adjust your equipment. On top of that, he absolutely spams the ever-loving hell out of beguilement and charm moves as well as a move which drains a fair amount of MP from your entire party. And depending on when you fight him, you may be missing several members of your party - including your healer, Rab.
    • The Auroral Serpent can withstand loads of damage and hits like a train. He is able to attack twice in a given turn, but what really makes him scary is that he can paralyze your party with a burning breath, which he will do quickly and often. What’s more, he can potentially force party members from acting in a turn, which coupled with paralysis (which can easily happen in the same turn), can lead to a very swift wipe if you’re not so lucky.
    • In the postgame, Mordegon. Think just because the hero is mid to late 50s in terms of level, your allies are carrying gear that they used against the Final Boss, and you have an immortal Guest-Star Party Member with forbearance that this will be a cakewalk? Think again. The boss will throw out a mist that reverses your healing and buffs for several rounds, forcing you to just eat his attacks. Bonus points since he's a Flunky Boss - and he will also remove your buffs with the disruptive wave attack when he's not reversing them.
    • The second fight against Tatsunaga even on regular difficulty can run the gamut. He gets three attacks per turn and his attacks can range from a physical attack, a very powerful fire barrage, and area of effect attack that can knock down your party, and finally a all out desperation attack that has an uncanny ability to land. And since there's no set pattern to which attacks he'll use, this can quickly turn into a Luck-Based Mission, especially on Draconian Difficulty.
    • The Malicious Grey Gordon in the post-game seems easy enough. Most Malicious monsters are simply powered up versions of regular monsters. This guy however, has tons of abilities to immobilize the party, calls an infinite supply of allies that deal roughly as much damage as himself (many of whom can also heal him), uses hustle dance, which heals and instantly peps up all enemies including himself, and casts high level spells. And he moves 3 times a turn so he can do just about everything every turn. And of course he has a ridiculous amount of health.
  • That One Sidequest:
    • A sidequest around one area requires you to find monsters and get an item drop from them... they only appear when it's raining. Two things make it a bit easier: So long as the quest is active, the item drop is guaranteed, and speaking to a nearby cow makes it much easier to learn when it will rain again.
    • A mid-game one involves winning the Jackpot at roulette. Even though a nearby casino bunny can say if someone's about to win, it's still entirely a Luck-Based Mission.
    • Two sidequests in the Post Game involve searching for specific books. One quest's books are all in a single dungeon, but the other sidequest requires searching across the whole world!
    • One Guide Dang It! sidequest tasks you with tracking down a hide-and-seek master, but the only thing you're told is that he's "somewhere in Champs Sauvage", one of the larger regions in the game, holding an expansive overworld area, a dungeon, and two full towns, all of which have a lot of hidden alcoves, twists, and turns. Good luck finding the guy! For those that can't be bothered, he is hiding in the mini medal academy's magic key door room.
    • One post-game sidequest requires you to battle a duo of tough Cyclopses but finish each of them with one specific Pep Power. There are many other side quests that involve having to finish off an enemy with a particular Pep Power, but this one is unique for requiring you to do it twice in one battle since the required move can only target one enemy at a time. Also the Cyclopses can hit hard with their physical attacks, even if you're at a high level and have great armor. It's pretty much required to use Pep Pips or Pep Pops, which, outside the limited number that you get as an award in several end-game side quests, are very expensive or are a rare drop. Even better, the pep move you have to use at least twice has a 10% chance of missing.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!:
    • Using Zoom indoors no longer resulting in hitting the ceiling was met with disappointment from fans. While one can't argue that it allows for far more fluid exploration of Erdrea, many veteran Dragon Quest players felt that it robbed XI of a mechanic that for many became something of a personal Running Gag and added a bit of realism to the setting. This change also leaves Evac pretty much obsolete, as escaping a dungeon is not particularly useful now that you can simply zoom away for 0 MP whenever you want. Which is a shame because the visual effect for Evac is really cool this time. However if you are playing in 2D on the Switch or 3DS versions, you will still need to use Evac in dungeons as using Zoom will give you the typical result.
    • Having party members not following you around the map. While VIII lacked this feature as well, it's a shame that such a classic element was removed, again after it return in IX. And to rub salt in the wound, multiple guest characters DO follow at certain points, which puts the kibosh on arguments that it somehow was unfeasible due to the camera angle or due to technical limitations. This is addressed in the Switch version of the game, where up to three (four if the Hero is not in the active party) party members will follow after you.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Some felt that Faris would have been a better addition to the party in place of Sylvando or in addition to Sylvando, owing mostly to the fact that the arc preceding to Sylvando joining the party is centered around Faris. On top of that, Faris himself has a story arc about him becoming a knight and better fighter, which some felt it would have been for a story arc that doesn't get revealed until later in the case of Sylvando.
    • Gemma is the hero's implied Love Interest. On one hand, some feel it's nice that the game has No Hugging, No Kissing and no real Ship Tease between the hero and Serena or Jade (who sees the hero as more of a little brother). While Gemma does sit back and do nothing during fights, this gives great opportunity for Character Development since her arc could be about being more than the hero's childhood romance.
    • While the post-game scenario is generally seen as interesting enough to keep fans at the game, many have complained that this comes at the cost of a lot of the development that the cast underwent during the second act of the game. In particular, Serena loses a lot of what makes her arc special after Veronica's death thanks to the Reset Button.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: At the start of the second portion of the game, the sky is filled with dark clouds which give a creepy After the End feel. One of the first things the player has to do after this happens is kill the monster causing the clouds, ending the effect. While it does make sense for this to be a priority, the player doesn't get to see most of the world under its effects. Only the Last Bastion and now abandoned Heliodor Castle are visited. The rest of the world has a fairly Cozy Catastrophe feel by the time you get to see them again. This is lessened in the Switch version, where the rest of the party visits other areas before the Luminary deals with the darkness; the dark clouds are not present in those segments, which take place in other parts of the world, but other effects of Yggdrasil's fall are still seen.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy:
    • While the game mostly averts it, Magic-heavy characters like Veronica and Rab tend to lean into this owing mostly to the fact that Dragon Quest inverts the Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards trope. Magic is very useful for dealing with groups of enemies, but is of situational usage against bosses. Only Flunky bosses (Which are decently common in Dragon Quest games, but less so in this particular game) being where they will likely see the most action. Thankfully, they have valuable buffs and debuffs that make them somewhat useful against bosses. Adding onto this are also abilities which increase the power of magic damage - a major welcome.
      Offensive spells are also significantly more useful under the Stronger Enemies Draconian Challenge, as the increased stats for foes includes a significant defense boost that greatly hinders your team's physical attackers, but since magic-resistance isn't a natural stat (only really granted by equipment or status buffs), magic spells will do just as much damage as ever. Or failing that, Veronica and Rab can cast the defense-debuffing Sap/Kasap spells to bring your melee attacks back up to prominence.
    • Serena goes in and out. She's the best healer in the game (And not useful for much else) until her plot-related powerup. When this happens, she becomes Purposely Overpowered and practically forces Rab into the bench. However, after the postgame in which you get Veronica back, she goes back to Crippling Overspecialization, but still preferred due to her healing abilities.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: Arachtagon. Before him, most bosses were hilariously weak mini-bosses and even Jasper and the Slayer of the Sand, the first two proper bosses, were not excessively hard. (Though the Slayer of the Sand can be a real Wake-Up Call Boss) Then, you meet this guy who can immobilize party members with spider thread and has also a very powerful area attack that can be devastating for Squishy Wizard characters like Veronica. Later, when he Turns Red, he will start using another area attack that can confuse your characters that can potentially doom you if he is lucky. If you did not spend time to level up, forge equipment, rework existing equipment, and learn skills because you thought that the game was too easy, Arachtagon will be your first major roadblock.
    • Avarith as well. While she isn't a dangerous boss per se, her shtick is that she repeatedly debuffs your characters while buffing herself. Thus, the difference between making the fight last a couple minutes and over ten is whether or not you have remembered this, as you cannot beat the fight by just going focusing on burning her down with physical attacks. (Especially if you went there before Angri-La and thus not having Rab, who has access to Sap and other useful buff spells.)
    • Mordegon in the post-game. This battle is somehow harder than the main game equivalent, despite that in-story, Mordegon has not powered up. It sets the tone for the fact that the post-game bosses are not easy.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Badass?: One of the reasons Gemma being the sole Love Interest (or at least the main one in the Switch version) is divisive.
  • Woolseyism: "Shirubia" being localized into "Sylvando", rather than "Sylvia". Despite the fact that Sylvando is very flamboyant, it's generally agreed that Sylvando is a wiser choice of name for the character, because he still very much identifies and presents as male. "Sylvia" in Japanese was a sign of just how far he had tried to distance himself from his old name and life as Goliath/Norberto, but in English, especially in 2018, it could be construed as the character being transgender, which he simply isn't in any language. It also sounds more Spanish.

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