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

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

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

The three heroes.

Prince of Midenhall

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

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

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

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

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. 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.


Legacy

DQII Trio leaping.png

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

  • 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

Trivia

  • 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

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/Loonking 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