Dragon Quest VI

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Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation (ドラゴンクエストVI 幻の大地 Doragon Kuesuto Shikkusu Maboroshi no Daichi?, literally meaning; Dragon Quest VI: Land of Illusion) (in North America, released as Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Reverie in Europe and Australia) is the sixth installment in the Dragon Quest series. It is the final Dragon Quest series title for the Nintendo Super Famicom and the last game in the Zenithia trilogy, the first game in the series to be developed by Heartbeat, rather than Chunsoft.

An adventure filled with perils and phantasms, the mystery of DQ VI spans two massive worlds filled with ferocious monsters, devious demons, and soul-shattering revelations.

Plot[edit]

Warning: Spoilers
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The Dragon Quest VI hero.

Dragon Quest VI opens as the Hero, Milly, and Carver approach Murdaw, the demon king’s castle. After Milly summons a dragon, the party enters the castle and comes face to face with Murdaw. Overpowering the trio, Murdaw appears to destroy each member of the party. The Hero wakes up in Weaver's Peak, and cannot remember anything before the fight with Murdaw. Tania, a small girl from Weaver's Peak, insists that he is her brother.

On his way to Somnia Castle, where information on Murdaw can be found, the Hero stumbles into a strange portal which brings him to another unfamiliar town. However, no one can see or hear him. After finding a similar portal, the Hero reaches Somnia and meets Captain Blade, the leader of Somnia's army, and Carver, who appears not to remember the Hero. To defeat Murdaw they will need the Mirror of Ra, and the captain sends them fourth to find the missing relic. The Hero and Carver discover another portal along their journey, which brings them to Port Haven where they can neither be heard nor seen. Milly, who does see them, reunites with the two and helps them become visible with the aid of Madam Luca.

The party discovers a Somnia Castle in the “Phantom World” and learns that the prince is missing and that the Hero looks like him. They also meet Captain Rusty, who bears a striking resemblance to Blade. Gaining entrance to the Moon Mirror Tower, the party meets Ashlynn, a woman who was invisible in the “Phantom World” as well and together they find the Mirror of Ra.

The four of them travel to Murdaw's castle in the original world. After defeating Murdaw, the Hero uses the Mirror and Murdaw then turns into the king of Somnia, confused and unaware of what happened. The king reveals that the "original" world is in fact the Dream World and the Phantom World is the Real World. Upon traveling back to the Real World, the King of Somnia thanks the party for defeating Murdaw in his dreams, but that the real Murdaw lives and that the party must travel to Ghent to retrieve a boat to get to Murdaw's lair. In Ghent, Nevan the devout joins the party and allows them to use the Ghent Clan's sacred ship. Upon exploring the island, Carver discovers a statue bearing his exact likeness and realizes that Murdaw's actions in the opening scene separated his, Milly's, and the Hero's souls from their bodies, trapping them in the Dream World. During the fight with the real Murdaw, the Hero gets sent back to Weaver's Peak like before; however with the Mirror of Ra the Hero warps back into the battle and defeats Murdaw.

After the victory celebration back at the castle, the Queen of Somnia tells the Hero that he is the Prince of Somnia and that his current existence is incomplete--Murdaw's curse still lingers, and his dream-self has not returned to his body. Told to go forth and find himself, the party's journey leads them to Arkbolt, where a terrible monster is blocking a nearby tunnel to the rest of the continent. The reward for defeating the monster is the famed Sunderbolt Sword, but before the party can confront the beast a warrior by the name of Terry slays her, winning the sword.

After traveling both worlds, the party learns that Murdaw was not the only evil in the world, having confronted several other powerful monsters that all seem to be connected.
The sorceress Ashlynn.

As the journey goes on, the party saves several towns and kingdoms from supernatural onslaughts and monstrous sieges, hearing legends of a forgotten city of magic known as Sorceria. Forbodingly, they also hear tales of a dreaded Arch-fiend who controlled Murdaw and the other powerful ringleaders the common monsters obeyed. After slaying a demonic fish at the depths of the ocean, the ancient city of Sorceria is restored in the Dream World.

In Sorceria, the party learns that this is Ashlynn's home. The elders tell Ashlynn that the Demon Lord is watching her and give her the powerful spell Madante to fight him. The party also learns that the only way to get to the Demon Lord is through Zenith Tower, but to activate the tower, they need to collect the sword, armour, shield, and helmet of legend. While doing so, the Hero meets his double in Real Weaver's Peak, who gets spooked, and speaks 'Y-You. Y-You're m-m-me!', and says that he must prove himself to be faithful to his family if he is to join powers. Returning to Real Somnia, the King and Queen tell the Hero that he is indeed the prince. When he fused with his clone, the Hero gained his memory back, much like Milly and Carver had done.

The party reaches Cloud Castle and meets Dhuran, who claims to have taken over the castle. He summons Terry to fight the party and then fights the party himself. Dhuran then reveals that all the enemies the party has faced were just pawns of Mortamor, the Demon Emperor. Milly reveals that Terry is her brother and Terry decides to join the party and fight against Mortamor.

Once Cloud Castle is back to normal, the party speaks to King Zenith who informs them of Mortamor's doings and how to reach the Dark World. Mortamor plans on merging both worlds. The party’s horse fuses with Pegasus, allowing the party to fly to the Dark World. With the help of two brothers, Isaac and Benjamin, the party enters Mortamor's Castle. After solving many puzzles, they come face to face with Mortamor and defeat him. Isaac reveals that the Dark World is falling apart and Pegasus helps them escape.

In a similar fashion to Dragon Quest III, the hero's weapons and armour were renamed for this installment in the Zenithia Trilogy. They are known as the Sword of Ramias, Armour of Orgo, Shield of Valora and Helm of Sebath. After the events of this game, these armaments become the Zenithian equipment and are renamed as such.


Setting[edit]

Like every other Dragon Quest game, the setting in Dragon Quest VI is very medieval, complete with castles, knights, and magic. The main world is divided into the Real World and the Dream World, each with a separate, but similar map. To get from one world to the other, the party uses special warps (such as in wells) or by ascending/descending stairs on the world map.

If something cannot be found in the Real World, chances are it has appeared in the Dream World, such as with Spiegel's Spire , in the middle of the quest. Also, another similarity to much of the series is the Dark World. This separate map features a dark island with a psychedelic sea surrounding it and some of the toughest monsters in the game. The final boss, Mortamor, lives there. Also, once Mortamor is defeated, the player can access the bonus dungeon and the secret final boss, Nokturnus.

Gameplay[edit]

As the sixth installment to the Dragon Quest series, the graphics and gameplay remain close to the other games, with minor additions and upgrades. The graphics were improved from Dragon Quest V, which was also for the SNES, but had only a 16-megabit cartridge. Dragon Quest VI uses a 32-megabit cartridge instead. Navigation remains largely unchanged from the previous games and the turn-based battles are still only in first-person. The vocation system from Dragon Quest III returns, with minor adjustments.

Vocation system[edit]

This Dragon Quest, like Dragon Quest III and Dragon Quest VII, features an extensive class system, referred to as vocations in games. The way vocations affect characters differs from those of Dragon Quest III and IX; once the party gets to Alltrades Abbey, they have the option of becoming one of nine base vocations. Once a character takes up a trade, his or her class causes certain attributes to increase and decrease. To gain new abilities or spells associated with a trade, the character must fight a set number of battles in that trade in order to improve their rank. If a character masters two or three of these occupations by increasing their rank to the maximum of eight, they may upgrade to a second tier vocation. For example, mastering the warrior and the martial artist vocations allows a character to become a gladiator. Once certain hybrid classes are mastered, an attribute relating to that class will permanently increase.

After fighting a certain number of battles in a given class, the PC will be promoted to the next rank in the class, gaining a new title and some new spells and abilities associated with the class. Ranks within a class are indicated by a number of stars (★) in the status screen. Experience in a class is retained when the PC changes their trade, and can be further increased by returning to the vocation. Battles with weak monsters do not increase a vocation's rank; the monsters must be a higher level than the character in question. But in the some of the later dungeons in the game, this rule is overturned and all battles will increase the party's experience.

Changing vocations will not cause the PC to lose any spells or skills from the old class, but special powers such as the Thief's ability to steal items will be lost when the PC is not in the appropriate vocation.

Not all characters are suited to every class, as their natural stats may be too low to be effective, even after the increase from joining the class.

Initial Vocations[edit]

  • Warrior: Strength and HP go up while agility, wisdom and magic points drop. Several basic fencing skills are learned.
  • Martial Artist: Agility increases at the cost of magic points, and melee skills are acquired. Additionally, the character's critical hit ratio improves significantly, by up to three times.
  • Mage: Most attributes go down, except wisdom and MP. Attack and status spells are learned.
  • Priest: Many attributes decrease, but the priest is less frail than the mage. Restorative, status, and woosh spells are learned.
  • Dancer: All attributes save for style ang agility drop significantly, and a variety of status inducing dances are learned
  • Thief: Agility goes up, but most other stats go down, and skills that help outside battle, such as Hawkeye, are learned. The thief may also steal an item from an enemy at the end of a battle.
  • Monster Master: All stats go down except for agility, wisdom and style. Several breath skills are learned, as well as the puff spell. In the original SFC version, monsters may join the party when there is a monster master present.
  • Merchant: Wisdom goes up, but most stats go down, and a random assortment of skills are learned. At the end of battle, a small portion of extra money is added to the party's income.
  • Gadabout: Style slightly goes up, but most stats dramatically drop. Skills learned are quite random. Sometimes, instead of doing nothing, the gadabout will perform a beneficial trick, such as singing a lullaby to put enemies to sleep.

Advanced Vocations[edit]

  • Gladiator (Warrior+Martial Artist): Strength, HP, Agility, and defence go up, making this an excellent melee vocation. Most skills are super effective against a particular type of enemy, such as Dragon Slash.
  • Armamentalist (Warrior+Mage): Stats mostly go down and strong magic skills/spells are learned, along with elemental slashes that exploit enemy vulnerabilities.
  • Paladin (Martial Artist+Priest): Strength, Agility, and Wisdom go up and a mixture of defensive and offensive skills are learned such as Forbearance and Pearly Gates.
  • Sage (Mage+Priest): Wisdom and MP go up and high level attack and healing spells are learned. At higher ranks, the Sage will be able to cast spells for fewer MP.
  • Luminary (Dancer+Gadabout): Style is the only stat that goes up and an assortment of skills are learned.
  • Ranger (Merchant+Thief+Monster Master): Agility and Wisdom go up and an assortment of exploration and defensive skills are learned.
  • Hero (Gladiator+Sage+Luminary+Ranger): This is the ultimate vocation and all stats go up. Several high power attack spells/skills are learned, such as Gigaslash, and characters will automatically regenerate HP at higher ranks. The Protagonist of Dragon Quest VI only has to master one of the listed vocations to become a Hero.

Vehicles[edit]

There are seven different vehicles in the game, counting the wagon; this is the most of any game in the series so far. Also, this is the only game in the series to allow the players to travel underwater.


Monster Companions[edit]

Monster companionss are treated more like human party members in this game; they stay at Patty's Party Planning Place and can change vocations. But they will not join the party unless one of the active PCs belongs to the Monster Master vocation. Monster Companions are less valuable in this game, because there are a large number of human characters, who can learn most of the same skills and powers monsters obtain. There are a few powers that can only be obtained by monsters, however, and each bestial buddy boasts resistances that humans do not. There are 18 types of monster that can join the party, but Patty has only 15 seats for monsters in her bar, considerably less than the fifth game.

This feature has been removed from the DS version, as the Monster Master is incapable of recruiting monsters. It has been replaced by a system allowing recruitment of slime family monsters only through encountering them in towns/dungeons/etc.

Slime Arena[edit]

Monsters of the slime type can fight in a special arena; one chosen slime fights a series of three battles in a tournament (controlled by the AI), and if it wins, the party receives a prize dependent on the level of the tournament (which ranges from rank A to rank H). Winning the Rank H tournament twice will allow the slime to participate in the Championship battle.

New Features[edit]

Monster Battle Victory DQ VI group.png
  • As in games IV and V, there is a wagon to store extra party members. It can hold up to eight additional PCs. There can once more be four PCs in the active party at once. Unlike in the two preceding games, characters in the wagon can cast spells at any time, even in dungeons where the wagon cannot go.
  • Characters now move twice as quickly in towns and dungeons than they do in the world map. The screen no longer scrolls off the edge of a town map; instead the party will begin to move towards the edge of the screen, moving the message window if necessary. Doors will now open automatically upon being pushed against, if the player has the appropriate key.
  • It is now possible to enter wells by examining them; this takes the party to a special map determined by the well. Some wells house Well wisher monsters that attack the party when they try to enter. Other wells may have additional wells inside, connecting the two worlds.
  • The party combat modes have been changed slightly; there is now a new strategy which causes the other party members to focus exclusively on supporting the Hero. It will also cause monsters to focus on attacking the Hero. The AI now takes account of previous events in the round, so it is useful to have some slow characters that act last in the round. Also, other party members will automatically attack enemies' weak points, having a full understanding fot heir elemental and status ailment vulnerabilities. Because of these traits, the AI is more efficient than a human player. The AI was toned down somewhat in Dragon Quest VII and onwards, including VI's remake.
  • Combat arenas now cover the whole screen, and the monsters are animated when they attack (although only the final boss has sound effects).
  • There are two full worlds once more, as in Dragon Quest III, but there is no longer a day/night cycle; it will however become night-time during certain plot events.
  • For the first time, there is a bag to store excess items. As a result, the Item Vault shop was replaced with a Bank that only stores gold. Items in the bag cannot be used in battle, but characters can add or remove its contents at any other time. In the original version of the game, it is not possible to use items in the bag at all; but this is changed in later games, including the remakes from Dragon Quest III onward.
  • There is a system to memorize speeches made by the townspeople. Pushing a button after speaking to someone causes their text to be remembered. Then casting the Remember "spell" will cause the memorized conversations to be replayed. At higher levels, the Hero can replay more messages or delete messages from the list. This system is also used in the remake of Dragon Quest III, but not in any later games.

Style and the Best Dressed Contest[edit]

A "Kakkoyosa" (かっこよさ, effectively Charisma, known as Style in English localizations) stat makes its debut, allowing the PCs to compete in a Best Dresser Contest. Style measures how charismatic and well-dressed the characters are; it will be high for attractive characters and monsters, and low for ugly and non-humanoid ones. Various weapons and armour can increase or decrease the stat; the effects of these equipments can themselves be altered at a Fashionable Forge. A matching set of equipment will increase the stat further through hidden bonuses; these pieces of equipment are often joined by a theme such as faerie tale elegance.

The Best Dressed Contest has eight ranks, which the player enters in order. Depending on rank, the contest may be limited to men, women, or monsters. While the contest is one of the mini-games in Dragon Quest VI, the party must win the third rank of the contest to gain an important item that will advance the plot.

Development[edit]

Production[edit]

The scenario designer, like always, is Yuuji Horii. As in all other Dragon Quest games, the art work and design are made by Akira Toriyama of Dragon Ball fame, who also worked on Chrono Trigger, Tobal No.1, and Blue Dragon. This is the last game in the series to belong to the Zenithia or the Tenkuu no Shiro (Castle in the Sky) trilogy.

After the release of I + II in 1993 development of VI began in earnest, with a goal of returning to the more adventurous, less on-rails structure of the Erdrick trilogy and also parodying the very common trope of the "hidden world" scenario that RPGs employed at the time. By introducing the concept of the Upper and Lower worlds within the first ten minutes of gameplay, Horii avoided the cliche of the late-game introduction of a hidden area where the cast would be forced to explore before confronting the final evil, and allowed VI to carry an air of genuine mystery from beginning to end.

In order to balance the heavy plots and characterizations that IV and V enjoyed with the player's ability to explore at their leisure, the vocation system from III was reimplemented and given a substantial overhaul. Instead of defining a character in a fixed role, VI's vocations gave players the ability to completely customize their party as they saw fit.

In July 2007, Square Enix announced a series of remakes of Dragon Quest IV, V and VI for the Nintendo DS. This marked the first time the game was available on another console and outside of Japan. Prior to this, it had only been available through fan translations. Dragon Quest VI was the final game of the subseries to be released, following Dragon Quest IV in 2008 and Dragon Quest V in 2009.

In January 2010, the game was re-released in Japan on the Nintendo DS. On December 20, 2010, it was announced that Nintendo of America would be publishing Dragon Quest VI on February 14, 2011. The subtitle was officially named "Realms of Revelation."

  • A prequel, Dragon Quest Monsters (Dragon Quest Monsters: Terry's Wonderland in Japan), was released in 1998. This game featured Terry and Milly years before the events of Dragon Quest VI. It was released in North America the next year, even though Dragon Quest VI was never released in North America. Along with Terry and Milly, several of the main enemies, including Mortamor, reappear. However, their previous roles have been eliminated, making them appear as just normal enemies. Mortamor and Murdaw (Mudou in the game) do appear as very challenging, very late in-game bosses, though.

Release[edit]

The initial release date in Spring of 1995 was delayed over a year, Heartbeat wanting to further develop their game. The game was eventually shown at Shoshinkai in November of 1995. Dragon Quest VI was released a few weeks later on December 9, with the very steep price of 11,400 yen (roughly over 100 U.S. dollars before inflation adjustments). The game went on to sell over 3.20 million copies, becoming the highest-selling title in the series at the time by a wide margin. Since then, in Japan, the game actually made the news in 2005, when a Japanese student threatened another student over an argument about what Dragon Quest is the best, the student doing the threatening favoring Dragon Quest VI.

North America[edit]

On February 12, 2011 Yūji Horii visited Palo Alto, California for a special Nintendo launch event at Gamestop, where he signed autographs for the first 50 in attendance. Fans were able to purchase the game two days before the official launch date, affectionately referred to by Nintendo as Valenslime Day.

Nintendo also held a trivia contest via Twitter, with the winner receiving a trip to the launch event to be the first in line to meet Horii.

Best Buy also had special events to promote Dragon Quest VI and Dragon Quest IX on February 26, 2011 and March 5, 2011.

Legacy[edit]

Fan Translations[edit]

Several unofficial English translations were attempted by several different groups. While none of them have ever been fully completed, as of 2001, the online translation group NoPrgress has released a translation in which 93% of the dialog, 80% of the battle text, and 95% of the menu text is translated. In 2000, the online translation group DeJap released an incomplete translation, however, the project is currently dead. A fan translation of the DS Remake was anonymously released (for plausible deniability) in December 24, 2010.

Nintendo DS Remake[edit]

Dragon Quest VI did not receive an enhanced remake on a console until the Nintendo DS. The Dragon Quest VI enhanced remake for the Nintendo DS was announced in late 2007 by Square Enix and was developed by ArtePiazza.

On April 28, 2008, it was reported that Square Enix had applied for the trademark "The Realms of Reverie" at the United States Patent and Trademark Office, leading to speculation that it was the localized title for this game. On May 20, 2008, Square Enix opened up the North American site featuring the three Dragon Quest DS remakes, acknowledging Realms of Reverie as the official subtitle, as well as confirming a release in North America. The next day, a press release from Square Enix confirmed that the game would be released in Europe as Dragon Quest: Realms of Reverie.

Two and a half years later, on December 20, 2010, Nintendo of America issued a press release concerning Dragon Quest VI; the game would be published by Nintendo in North America under the name Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation and would be released on February 14, 2011. As with the release of Dragon Quest IX, the sword in the Dragon Quest logo was replaced with an ordinary 'T'.

During the following months, Dragon Quest VI would be released in Europe and Australia as Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Reverie. The logo used was identical to that used in the North American release, other than the subtitle, while the actual box art was nearly identical to that of the Japanese release.

A handful of changes were made to the game, some remaining controversial among fans:

  • The monster recruiting function of the Monster Master vocation was removed, replaced with a system of slime companions that can be recruited during the journey. Some of these slimes, like the mottle slime, were not available in the original version.
  • A new mini-game called Slippin' Slime can be played, utilizing the DS stylus.
  • Enemies generally have 80% HP and give 120% EXP compared to the SFC version. Some enemy groups have been increased in number to compensate for this. This change was decried by some fans as making the game too easy.
  • Magic Burst's damage multiplier is reduced to 2x MP (similar to later installments), instead of 3x MP.
  • The hero's conversational memory spells have been removed.
  • Party members' natural resistances are now gone. However, Lizzie and slime companions retain the native resistances of their monster counterparts.
  • Re-equipping armour during battle no longer resets the effects of Sap/Buff spells.
  • The layout of some towns and dungeons have been slightly altered.
  • Amos now has a unique sprite model, where as he shared the NPC warrior sprite before.
  • Zoom can now be used to warp to both the real world and dream world versions of Alltrades Abbey.

See also[edit]

Soundtrack[edit]

Koichi Sugiyama composed the music and directed all the associated spinoffs. Three soundtracks were released for the music of Dragon Quest VI. The first was a two-disk soundtrack, which included an orchestral performance and an OST. The second soundtrack was released on August 23, 2000, and just had the orchestral version. This version was released by SPE Visual Works (now Aniplex), and was named Dragon Quest VI ~The Dream World~ Symphonic Suite. This version was featured on Dragon Quest Daizenshu Vol. 2, which is a compilation of Dragon Quest music. A second Symphonic Suite edition of the OST was performed in March 2005 and released on July 19, 2006, also by Aniplex. The Symphonic Suite tracklist is as follows:

  1. Overture (1:20)
  2. At the Palace (3:40)
  3. In the Town ~ Happy Humming ~ Inviting Village ~ Folk Dance (7:02)
  4. Through the Fields ~ Wandering through the Silence ~ Another World (5:03)
  5. Ocean Waves (5:11)
  6. Flying Bed (2:08)
  7. Pegasus ~ Saint's Wreath (5:39)
  8. Evil World ~ Satan's Castle ~ Frightening Dungeon (4:22)
  9. Brave Fight (6:23)
  10. Melancholy (3:11)
  11. Ocarina ~ The Saint (2:07)
  12. Devil's Tower (1:36)
  13. Dungeons ~ Last Dungeon (5:52)
  14. Monsters (4:36)
  15. Demon Combat (5:15)
  16. Eternal Lullaby (6:46)

Reception[edit]

A survey in the magazine Famitsu in 2006 earned Dragon Quest VI the #34 spot on the list. This is a much lower spot on the list than the other games in the series, showing that, although the game is popular, it remains in the shadows compared to the rest of the series, particularly Dragon Quest III and Dragon Quest VIII, which were both in the top five. Dragon Quest VI was one of the best selling Super Famicom games in Japan, selling well over three million copies. In volume 81 of Nintendo Power, the staff wrote an article on Dragon Quest VI, hoping the game would find a U.S. release. They also suggested why the series might not appeal to the American audience: there is too much fighting and not enough adventuring. The game has not been released outside of Japan.

Dragon Quest VI was listed as #7 among the 10 Best Japanese Games Never Released in the U.S. by GamePro magazine in their May 2005 issue. Dragon Quest V, another Japan-only game, was also on the list, placing at #2. (the whole list can be seen here [1])

In terms of contributions to the series as a whole, VI is considered by several fans as being very significant: the addition of skills allowed further refinement to combat and added significantly more layers of depth to battles, the bag reduced the amount of frustration players could face by putting an end to shuffling items between characters, and the Hero's ability to memorize and recall lines of dialogue directly lead to the creation of Party Chat in VII. Furthermore, the raising of stat limits from 255 to 510 allowed for more dynamic character growth and battle potential, complimented by a significant increase in stat-enhancing accessories. Smaller touches also enhanced the quality of the series from then on, such as the three tone vocal range for men, women, and children, and the mini medal exchange program becoming one where awards are dispensed based on the total collected, rather than being used as an alternate type of currency.

While VI may not be among the most popular games in the series, it is assuredly one of the most important in Dragon Quest's history

Related media[edit]

A 10-volume manga adaptation of the game titled "Maboroshi no Daichi" was made by Masomi Kanzaki. It was published by Enix in the Monthly Shonen Gangan between 1997 and 2001. The storyline roughly follows that of the video game from which it was based but with several differences, such as the inclusion of the character Kizu Buchi, a spotted slime.

Trivia[edit]

The game is likely a prequel to IV and V, based on small details and hints scattered throughout the story. In typical Horii fashion, many of these hints are not concrete and are up to the player to decide for themselves. That being said, the similarities between Zenithia and Cloudsgate Citadel are objectivly clear even at a cursory glance.


Gallery[edit]

Box art[edit]

Merchandise[edit]

External links[edit]