Dragon Quest II: Luminaries of the Legendary Line

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Dragon Quest II (ドラゴンクエストII 悪霊の神々 Doragon Kuesuto Tsū Akuryo no Kamigami?, literally meaning; "Pantheon of Evil Spirits") originally known as: Dragon Warrior II, is a role-playing game and sequel to the original Dragon Quest. It was initially released for the Famicom in Japan on January 26, 1987. It would later be released in North America in 1990 and has been remade several times on different platforms. Currently, it is known as Dragon Quest II: Luminaries of the Legendary Line.

Gameplay[edit]

Dragon Quest II is noted for greatly expanding the game play from the previous title, such as featuring multiple heroes and enemies in a battle, various modes of transportation via a sailing ship and teleportals, and also the first to have weapons which cast spells when used as items in battle. In addition, Dragon Quest II offers a much wider array of spells and items, as well as a much larger world (256 by 256 tiles instead of 100 by 100). After battle status ailments have been introduced as well, embodied in the new Bubble slime foe. Due to the limited size of the NES/Famicom's cartridge ROM space at the time, the detailed battle backgrounds from the first game were replaced with a black background to make room for the increased number of monster sprites.

Gambling also made its first appearance in the series, with several towns featuring medieval slot machines called the tombola for the player to utilize at the cost of a tombola ticket given by merchants. Breakable keys have been removed, replaced by the Silver Key, Golden Key, and Thief's Key. Churches have now been given actual function rather than cosmetic purpose, with priests reviving fallen party members and removing various ailments for a fee.

The game also provides three locations for players to save their progress. It also allows deletion and the moving of saved games. To save, find a king, minister, or wise man and talk to them. As in the first game, the original Japanese version had a password system (or "Spell of Restoration") instead a battery backup (or "Imperial Scrolls of Honor").

Version Differences[edit]

Since its original release on the Famicom and Nintendo Entertainment System four remakes have appeared, with the first being on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, second the on Gameboy, third Mobile Cell Phones in Japan, and the most current being an iOS/Android release in the Japanese app store on June 26th, 2014. All the remakes feature updated graphics and music as well as a few other new features, such as quick-saving on the world map, animated battles, and the automatic redirecting of attacks that target defeated monsters. Starting with the cell phone version, all three descendants of Erdrick are capable of attaining level 50, with the two magic user's stat growth and exp requirements being adjusted accordingly.

Due to spacial constraints of the Gameboy and Gameboy color's screen, the english release of Dragon Warrior 1+2 in 2000 reverted the localized names of Erdrick, Gwaelin, and others to a closer approximation of their Japanese counterparts. These changes would be undone by Plus-Alpha in 2010 with their localization of Dragon Quest IX, which elected to retain the NES names as a surprise for older fans. As of the 2014 iOS/Android re-release, while several of the names of characters and locations have retained their NES designations (or very slight edits of such, like Midenhall instead of Middenhall), other characters and locations have elected for new translations that are closer to the meanings and puns of the original Japanese version. In addition, monsters, spells, and items have been updated to their modern naming conventions.

Characters[edit]

The three heroes.

Prince of Midenhall[edit]

See main article: Prince of Midenhall

The heir of the Kingdom of Midenhall is the classic warrior of the three Luminaries, with the most impressive physical stats. He can equip all weapons and armour in the game, though he has no magic ability (he is the only protagonist in the series to lack magical aptitude). This is the character the player starts out with in the castle of Midenhall, and his name is directly selected by the player.

Prince of Cannock[edit]

See main article: Prince of Cannock

The prince of Cannock is closer to his ancestor than the other Luminaries. He cannot use as wide a variety of weapons and armor as the prince of Midenhall but compensates for this with the ability with a unique assortment of spells. However, it should be noted that his magic is not as powerful as that wielded by the princess of Moonbrooke. Despite this, he can, like his cousin, equip the Erdrick's sword. This character is hard to track down in the beginning of the game, but he will grow to be a great ally. In earlier releases, his name is generated at random based on the name of the prince of Midenhall, although there is a cheat code to alter his name. As of the Mobile phone release, his name is offered initially via a random generator when the Hero departs from Midenhall, but the player can also decide to give the Prince of Cannock a name of the player's choosing.

Princess of Moonbrooke[edit]

See main article: Princess of Moonbrooke

The princess of Moonbrooke is the archetypal sorceress of the three Luminaries. Her armour and weapon selections are slim, but are incredibly potent. She shares some of the prince of Cannock's magic, but the bulk of her spells are exclusive to her. She is the first of the three main characters the player will see, shown being assaulted with her father in the game's cinematic intro. After this she will has been cursed and needs to be freed before she will be able to join her cousins. In earlier releases, her name is generated at random based on the name of the prince of Midenhall, although there is a cheat code to alter his name. As of the Mobile phone release, her name is offered initially via a random generator when the Hero departs from Midenhall, but the player can also decide to give the Princess of Moonbrooke a name of the player's choosing.

Hargon[edit]

See main article: Hargon

Hargon is the wicked occultist that attacked Moonbrooke, cursed its princess, and threatened to destroy the world by summoning the gods of evil. His defeat is the goal of the three heroes.

Plot[edit]

Warning: Spoilers
Click expand to view content

Dragon Quest II is set 100 years after Dragon Quest. The offspring of the original game's hero have migrated from Alefgard to the continent of Torland, and there established three kingdoms: Middenhall, Cannock and Moonbrooke. A century of peace in these three kingdoms is suddenly ended when the evil priest Hargon destroys the castle of Moonbrooke. One lone guard, an injured survivor of the attack, makes his way towards the kingdom of Middenhall. There with his dying breath he informs the king of the dire circumstances. The king then commands his son, the prince of Middenhall and a descendant of Erdrick, to gather his cousins and defeat Hargon before the mad priest can accomplish his goals.

Upon reaching Cannock he is informed by the King of that kingdom that his son has already left for the Spring of Bravery, a traditional place that is visited by warriors upon beginning their journeys. Inside the shrine there is a body of water said to bless pilgrims. Upon arriving, a sage explains that the player was too late, and the prince has once again already left. The prince continued to Middenhall to join the Hero, whom he doesn't know is also looking for him. Finally, the two meet at an inn located in Leftwyne, and the prince joins the Hero's party on his quest.

Together the two cousins set out northwest towards Gwaelin's Gate they pass underground and head south for Moonahan. In this village they meet a dog that seems peculiar to them. Upon reaching the ruins that remain of Moonbrooke they are informed by spirits of those that died (including the King himself) that the princess has been turned into a dog by Hargon and the only way to reverse the curse is to use the Mirror of Ra. The two warriors search for this mirror and they find it in a swamp from which four bridges can be seen at once. Upon their return to Moonahan they utilize the mirror in front of the curious dog they met, and much to the surprise of the Hero, he sees a beautiful girl in the reflection of the mirror. The princess is restored from her beastly appearance and joins her two cousins on their quest to defeat Hargon. After exploring the Pillar of Winds to obtain the Windbreaker, the party heads for a shrine west of Moonbrooke where they pass underground and then head northwest across fields, desert, and mountains to reach the Dragon's Horn: two tall towers, each fixated on one side of a river.

Scaling the southern tower to its peak, the party glides over the river below using the Windbreaker, and land safely across the body of water. They continue on to the port city of Rippleport, where they rescue a young girl from a pair of gremlins. Quite relieved upon her return, her grandfather, as a token of his gratitude, offers that the three heroes to use his ship to aid in their voyage. Hearing legends of a sunken treasure, the three set off into the northern sea, and find it glistening in the water. Upon returning it to Rippleport, a man desperate to get out of debt offers them the Echo Flute in exchange for it.

The trio then sails east and land on the continent of Alefgard. They reach Tantegel only to discover that the King has locked himself away for fear of Hargon. They explore the remains of Charlock Castle where they meet a descendant of the Dragonlord who hope to succeed where his ancestor failed. Although the Dragonlord's decendant clearly has evil intentions, even he realizes the threat in Hargon, and reveals to the three young warriors that if they wish to defeat Hargon they must take five sigils to the Rubiss Shrine.

With this new information in hand the party sets sail south of Alefgard and discover a small island in the middle of the ocean on which a prominent lighthouse stands. As they explore the inside of the tower they witness a gremlin vanish into a wall. Following it, they find a passage and are greeted by an old man who tells them to follow him. He guides them to a treasure chest and offers its contents to the luminaries. However upon opening the chest they find it empty and the old man suddenly transforms into four gremlins that charge upon the unsuspecting trio. The cousins defeat the monsters and in doing so recover the Star Sigil, which one of the fiends was carrying.

Legacy[edit]

Dragon Quest II was the first game to introduce the concept of a party.

Dragon Quest II is widely recognized for improving upon the shortcomings of its predecessor, increasing the depth of battle and exploration considerably. Series director Yuji Horii's writing is also seen as improving during the development of the game, no longer relying solely on fairy-tale archetypes to constitute the setting and characters.

Ports[edit]

  • Dragon Quest II had a port for the MSX platform in Japan.
  • Dragon Quest II was released in North America, under the name Dragon Warrior II, on the Nintendo Entertainment System in December of 1990.

Remakes[edit]

Trivia[edit]

  • A smaller, simplified version of the world of Dragon Quest is included on the world map in Dragon Quest II.
  • Dragon Quest II was the first game in the series to feature pits and tower balconies from which the party can fall. (As always, they take no damage from this.)
  • The MSX version of the game contained a special scene involving the "Dangerous Swimsuit" and the Princess of Moonbrooke. This was removed by the time the game made it outside of Japan, due to Nintendo of America's strict censorship policies and the objectively poor quality of the image in question.

Soundtrack[edit]

DQI&II GameBoy Art.png

Koichi Sugiyama composed the music and directed all the associated spin-offs. Dragon Quest II's symphonic suite was bundled with Dragon Quest I's symphonic suite and a disc of original compositions as Dragon Quest in Concert. Here is the track listing of the Dragon Quest II portion of that release:

  1. Dragon Quest March (ドラゴンクエストマーチ/Dragon Quest March) (1:39)
  2. Only Lonely Boy (Love Song 探して/Looking for the Love Song) (2:42)
  3. Pastoral ~ Catastrophe (3:21)
  4. Château (王城/Royal Castle) (3:03)
  5. Town (街の賑わい/Bustle of the Town) (3:30)
  6. Fright in Dungeon ~ Devil's Town (恐怖の地下洞~魔の塔/Fear Dungeon ~ Devil's Town) (4:02)
  7. Requiem (レクイエム/Requiem) (2:09)
  8. Endless World (遥かなる旅路~広野を行く~果てしなき世界/Distant Journey ~ Going in Plain ~ Endless World) (5:43)
  9. Beyond the Waves (海原を行く/Going on the Sea) (2:13)
  10. Deathfight ~ Dead or Alive (戦い~死を賭して/Fighting ~ Risking Death) (3:56)
  11. My Road, My Journey (この道わが旅/My journey is This Road) (4:10)

Gallery[edit]