Dragon Quest Builders
|Dragon Quest Builders|
|Platform(s)||PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Nintendo Switch|
|Release date(s)||JP January 28, 2016|
|Genre(s)||Console role-playing game|
|Rating(s)||ESRB: E (Everyone) (GBC)|
Dragon Quest Builders (ドラゴンクエストビルダーズ アレフガルドを復活せよ) is a sandbox game developed and published by Square Enix for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation Vita.
The Builder is tasked with rebuilding the world after it was destroyed by the evil Dragonlord. The game features gathering and building elements, similar to Minecraft and Terraria. The game was released in Japan on January 28, 2016, in North America and Europe on October 11, 2016. A port for the Nintendo Switch was released on February 9, 2018, in North America and Europe, and in Japan on March 1, 2018. In summer of 2017, the sequel was announced.
The game is set in Alefgard, the world of the original Dragon Quest game, and players gradually rebuild each area of it. This includes Cantlin, Rimuldar, Kol and Galenholm, using materials they find to overcome the specific blights each area is beset by. The game is based on a parallel ending of Dragon Quest: before the final battle, the hero accepted the evil Dragonlord's suggestion - each rules a half of the world. But that's indeed a trap, and the hero was eliminated, then the world was dominated by monsters. With time passing by, a new hero (the player character) appears to revive the desolate world.
Builders is divided into chapters, with the aim in each to restore light to the land by rebuilding the central town, with both the quality and quantity of the buildings and decorations contributing to an overall Base Level. The higher a town's Base Level, the more citizens it will attract, and better quality items will become available. Inhabitants of a town will give the player quests in order to better their surroundings, defend the town if monsters penetrate the defenses, and cook/craft items for the player to use. The game also features a day/night cycle which affects the type of monsters that appear as well as their ferocity. Monsters can attack what the player has built and lower the town's "experience" as a result, though the Base Level can never actually decrease. Furthermore, the player will periodically need to defend the town against an organized horde of monsters, usually led by a boss monster.
The player character has both a health meter and a hunger bar, both of which can be restored through healing items and food items, respectively. The game also features a crafting system by accessing workbenches. New crafting recipes can be discovered as the player progresses through the story, as well as acquiring new resources.
The game is divided into chapters (one for each town) accessible through the main menu once unlocked. At the end of each chapter, a boss is fought (a golem for Cantlin, a hades condor for Rimuldar, etc.). Each chapter can be replayed until the desired points are accumulated using a checklist as a guideline.
List of characters
|Pippa||Cantlin||Pippa joins the base immediately after the player places the Banner of Hope. She offers a number of quests, but avoids battle.|
|Rollo||Cantlin||Rollo is found under a rock some monsters stuck on top of him. A bombastic buffoon, he is a man of endless enthusiasm who encourages the builder with information he gleams from an old tomb called the Cantlin Chronicle.|
|Larouche||Cantlin||Larouche appears at the base once the player acquires the blue teleportal. Larouche doesn’t engage in combat, but does provide quests that improve the base.|
|Kenelm||Cantlin||Travel through the blue teleportal, defend Kenelm from skeletons, and he gratefully follows the player to the base. He becomes a vigilant defender of the base and teaches the player a special combat technique.|
|Sheridon||Cantlin||Sheridon arrives at the base after the player places the red teleportal. While he does not participate in battles, he shares the secret of building wrecking balls, which are the key to defeating a powerful enemy.|
|Magnus||Cantlin||A renowned blacksmith, Magnus has been locked up by evil forces. Once set free, he eagerly engages in battle at the player's base and shares his knowledge.|
|Cherie||Cantlin||Cherie pops up at the Banner of Hope after the green teleportal is earned. She isn’t a fighter, but she does pitch in by creating items in the workshop.|
|Splatrick||Cantlin||Splatrick is a slime found behind the Green Teleportal. He is a slime who is hated by the other slimes because he doesn't hate humans. He has the ability to talk to other monsters as seen after the final battle.|
|Elle||Rimuldar||A devout nun who attempts to counter poison with piety. She is immensely grateful to the Builder facilitating her aid to the ill, but her fervor for first-aid may come at the cost of her own life...|
|Gerontius||Rimuldar||The learned Gerontius becomes a valuable asset after he is recruited to the cause. He is a scholar, but has no problem getting dirty while battling monsters. His anguish is tied to the secrets he keeps.|
|Nosh||Rimuldar||Nosh is the first of many diseased people that must be carried back to the base. When he’s healthy again, Nosh becomes the driving force behind learning about how to fish.|
|Casey||Rimuldar||Casey must be rescued from the island beyond the blue teleportal. Casey’s illness requires two treatments, but she protects the base as soon she’s out of the sickroom.|
|Hazel||Rimuldar||Hazel’s rescue involves a trip through the red teleportal and vanquishing a group of treefaces. Feed her four meals to restore her health. She isn’t a fighter, but she builds items when the player creates the proper rooms.|
|Mildred||Rimuldar||Mildred suffers starving sickness and requires a large amount of food to be cured. Once on the mend, she serves as a guard for the town and will attack monsters on sight. Concerned with creature comforts, she hopes the Builder can lead the village to a life of luxury.|
|Glutimus||Kol and Galenholm||Glutimus is an overemotional and overly-dependent doofus that joins the base the moment the flag is planted. Sorely misses Barbella, and is fixated on restoring the Kol bath's. A coward at heart, he has to be forced to join the builder to rescue his mates.|
|Burley||Kol and Galenholm||Burley is a kind-of-but-not-really vegetarian that must rescued from a desert cave on the chapter’s starting island. Burley is a fearless fighter who defends the base and joins expeditions outside the base with equal zeal.|
|Maxi||Kol and Galenholm||Maxi must be rescued from the prison north of Kol. He is the most appreciative of the thugs, and has complete faith in the Builder's abilities, being well informed of the player's actions in Cantlin and Rimuldar.|
|Barbella||Kol and Galenholm||The leader of the thugs who has been abducted by monsters. Though as crude as her cohorts, she tries her hardest to fight against the Dragonlord's curse and develop new weapons and defences. Studied under Galeleo a long time ago, and would prefer not to talk about it.|
|Galeleo||Kol and Galenholm||This former inventor turned lingering spirit has a long history with Barbella, and only the Builder can see and speak with him. His greatest goal was to combine fire and ice into a weapon that could slay the elementals impervious to normal blows.|
|Baird||Kol and Galenholm||A flowery bard from Galenholm, who lost his love Cecille in a blizzard. A milksop amongst muscles, he reassures himself that there is no way his lover would take a shine to sweaty meat-heads over his refined poise...|
|Cecille||Kol and Galenholm||After rescuing Cecille from a trio of killing machines beyond the red teleportal at Baird’s behest, she quietly settles in at the base and insists she and Baird are only good friends. Later, she pops up again, when odd singing disturbs her sleep.|
|Myrlund||Tantegel||A great wiseman who survives the bleak landscape of Tantegel by subsisting on mist. Though disgruntled with the Builder's backtalk and sass, he puts his full faith into them and guides them in the purification of the land.|
|Princess Gwaelin||Tantegel||When the Dragonlord cast his curse upon the land after the hero's betrayal, the anguished princess chanted a curse of her own to turn to stone. Revived by the builder, she works diligently to assist in the recovery of her fallen kingdom.|
|Launce||Tantegel||Guards the Princess with his life. Completely disregards the Builder's heroic deeds with laughter.|
|Trystian||Tantegel||Guards the Princess with his life. More respectful of the Builder than Launce.|
|Androoo||Tantegel||Androoo is a monster taking on the appearance of a human that can potentially be recruited to the base. Androoo has been shunned by other monsters because he doesn’t hate humans. Androo works so hard at passing for human that he’s willing to attack other monsters when they attack the castle.|
|Dragonlord||Charlock Castle||The blight of light and bane to the land, the Dragonlord is the devilish dictator of Alefgard, having kept humans in the dark for well over a century.|
Builders began development under series producer Noriyoshi Fujimoto, who wanted to address the unfamiliarity of sandbox-style games with Japanese players. As the series has a precedent of spin-off titles that eschew the traditional RPG formula of the main line games for more action focus, Fujimoto felt that an experimental title such as Builders would not clash with the fans, and instead introduce them to a new type of genre altogether through crafting.
The setting of Alefgard was chosen due to the relative simplicity of the landscape compared to later entries in the series, which Fujimoto felt would be more intuitive to Builders' theme of exploration and restoration. The Dragonlord's infamous offer of half the world lent itself to a scenario that would easily explain why the game's setting was in dire need of rebuilding in the first place, and not clash with the design sensibilities the series is known for.
The initial planning document specified that the game would be an open-world style adventure in which all areas were connected, rather than featuring sequential chapters that remove the resources accumulated previously. Director Kazuya Niinou proposed a change to this plan, citing that if players completed one area and moved to the next with their materials still accessible, the game would become too easy and not rewarding to play. He suggested a switch to the chapter format, which would have the added benefit of giving more distinction to each area and the people within along with resolving the difficulty curve issues.The chapters would originally reverse the order in which towns are normally reached in the original, which is why the game begins in Cantlin. This was changed later during production to begin near Charlock Castle and radiate outwards before reaching Tantegel in the final chapter, rather than the more predictable reverse-order.
For quality assurance, play-tests were done from the perspective of gamers with no prior experience with the series so as to make the game accessible to newcomers. Rather than finalize a concrete story at the start of the project, the development team instead focused on the types of materials and items the player can make use of, only beginning work on the story once the team was satisfied with the tools they had created.
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