Dragon Quest IV: Chapters of the Chosen

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Dragon Quest IV (ドラゴンクエストIV 導かれし者たち Doragon Kuesuto Fō Michibikareshi Monotachi, literally meaning; The People Who Are Shown the Way) is a role-playing game and the fourth installment of the Dragon Quest video game series. The game was originally released for the NES, but has been remade several times for different systems. It begins the Tenkuu (Celestial) trilogy, known better as the Zenithia trilogy in English.

It was originally released for the Famicom on February 11, 1990 in Japan. The North American version, titled Dragon Warrior IV, was released for the NES in October 1992.


Dragon Quest IV is the first of the series to not be related to the lineage of Erdrick--the game is the first of a new trilogy revolving around the legend of a castle in the sky that watches over the world below. The world map is of a comparable size to that of III, but has no direct parallels to the real world in regards to the shape of the continents and nature of the kingdoms.


The story in IV is a more character-focused tale centered around the lives of the chosen ones prior to and during their quest to prevent the resurrection of the ruler of evil, Estark. The first four chapters of the story are about the hero's companions and their own challenges and hardships. While they each travel with their own goals and dreams in mind, they all eventually discover the conspiracy of Psaro the Manslayer to drive the human race to extinction via Estark's hellish power.


The characters of Dragon Quest IV. From left to right: Kiryl, Ragnar, Alena, the Hero (female and male), Borya, Maya Mahabala, Meena Mahabala, and Torneko Taloon.
Main article: Prologue

Introduces The Hero and his/her friend Eliza. This portion of the story was introduced in the PlayStation version, and became standard in later remakes.

Chapter 1: Ragnar McRyan and the Case of the Missing Children

Main article: Chapter 1

Ragnar McRyan, one of the soldiers in the royal palace of Burland, is sent by the king on a journey to find out why children are disappearing across the kingdom.

Chapter 2: Alena and the Journey to the Tourney

Main article: Chapter 2

Alena, princess (Tsarevna in the Nintendo DS localization) of Zamoksva, who slips out of the castle in hopes of seeing the world that exists beyond the castle walls. She is accompanied by the priest Kiryl and the mage Borya.

Chapter 3: Torneko and the Extravagant Excavation

Main article: Chapter 3

Torneko Taloon lives in Lakanaba with his wife and son, and works part-time in the local weapon shop. He aims to become the best merchant in the world, and begins his chapter in search of a regional treasure that could help him accomplish his goal.

Chapter 4: Meena and Maya and the Mahabala Mystery

Main article: Chapter 4

Maya Mahabala the dancer and her younger sister Meena Mahabala, the fortune teller, have left Laissez Fayre in search of vengeance against Balzack, their father's traitorous apprentice.

Chapter 5: The Chosen

Main article: Chapter 5

The Hero has been brought up by the inhabitants of a remote and nameless mountain village. But Psaro and his legions destroy the village, leaving only the hidden hero alive. The hero leaves in search of his seven companions, in the hopes of defeating Psaro and saving the world.

Chapter 6

Main article: Chapter 6

Chapter 6 is a post-epilogue continuation of the game's storyline. Originally appearing in the PlayStation remake of Dragon Quest IV, Chapter 6 offers a lengthy bonus dungeon, and the culmination of certain plot points that were left ambiguous in the original release.

New features

Artificial intelligence

In a bold move for an NES title, a significant portion of the game's memory was dedicated to an intricate artificial intelligence that controls party members during the fifth chapter. In the fifth chapter of the NES version of the game, the player no longer directly controls any of the previous characters; instead using the Tactics menu to deliver a loose set of instructions (Normal, Defensive, Offensive, Save MP, Use No MP, Try Out). The only character directly controlled is the Hero. All chapters except Chapter 2 also contain NPC, which travel with the player, but cannot be directly controlled. They act on their own, guided by the game's AI.

Party expansion

  • Every chapter save the second includes a non-chosen party member who will assist the group temporarily during their travels together. Each is tied to a story element of the chapter and reflect that section of the story's tone.
  • A Wagon was implemented to transport up to eight party members at the same time, allowing for battle configurations to be rearranged to suit any encounter at will. Certain dungeons will not allow the wagon to enter the area, however.


As the Erdrick trilogy revolved around amassing several artifacts to advance a game's progress, IV introduced collectibles to maintain the same sense of accomplishment while playing a more linear narrative.

  • Mini medals are scattered throughout the world for the player to gather at their leisure, which can be exchanged for incredible equipment at the palace of the Medal King.
  • Items are now hidden in drawers, cabinets, and urns in addition to chests. Contents range from stat boosting seeds to common item and small sums of gold.


Building upon the gambling featured in the monster arenas of III, the fourth game allows players to explore a large casino in the city of Endor. Redeemable tokens can be won at slot machines, poker, and monster betting, which can be spent on exclusive items and equipment.

Sequel connectivity

Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride has some references to Dragon Quest IV, but is mostly an independent story that does not heavily rely on the previous entry. The adventure of the chosen is known only by a scant few individuals, which further separates the Zenithia trilogy from the Erdrick saga's heavy focus on in-game history and family lineage.

Remakes and ports

Dragon Quest IV was remade for the Sony PlayStation on November 22, 2001 in Japan. It was developed by Heartbeat and published by Enix. The remake was developed using Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past 's 3D graphics engine. With this remake came new features; among them were a new chapter, a new character, a boom town reminiscent of VII's, an inter-party talk command similar to Dragon Quest VII, and the ability to turn off the artificial intelligence for party members. The Enix of America Corporation originally planned to bring the remake to North America in 2002, but it was later cancelled due to Heartbeat closing its video game development operations.

Exploring the world in the DS version of Dragon Quest IV

On November 22, 2007, this PlayStation remake was ported to the Nintendo DS. No significant changes were made to the game's story, gameplay, or bonus features, aside from modifying the boom town's immigration aspects to reflect the lack of memory cards in the DS hardware and the calculation method for Alena's Critical Hits. The Fungeon (bonus dungeon) changed it's layout to random locations for each floor, whereas the PlayStation version was a mix of previous areas from the game and from Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past. This portable version was released internationally in September of 2008, but without the party chat feature. This was due to Square Enix's uncertainty regarding the reception of the title, and the budget to translate the two-thirds of the script that the chat contained was slashed. However, the international release performed well and the budget for localization was expanded to allow the feature to be retained in V and VI.

  • The Nintendo DS remake uses nearly the same style as the PS1 version, with some minor compression to account for the handheld's screen size.
  • The Pioneer Town lacks the variants of the PS1 version due to replacing recruitable NPCs with ones that can be found after a certain point in game (see the article for more details).
  • The floors of the Fungeon are made up of new designs rather than from previous areas in the game, as well as Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past.
  • The DS uses 2 separate screens in the game, the top screen displaying the map and the heroes' battle information.
  • Religious references that were removed from the NES version are now included in the game.
  • Name changes to Weapons, Armour, items.
  • Alena's Critical Hit formula was changed from level/256 to (level(0.75))/256, rendering her maximum chance at level 64 to be 19%.

On April 7, 2014, the PlayStation remake was ported to iOS and Android compatible devices. This version features significantly sharper graphics than before, as well as a fully orchestrated soundtrack. No significant gameplay changes were made aside from yet another tweaking of the Tsarevna's Critical Hit formula, and a slight change adding a detour in the boom town development. The bonus dungeon layout from the DS port was retained. This version was released world wide on August 7, 2014, and most importantly restored the long-lost party chat to much critical acclaim.

  • The Android and iOS uses touch screen features and the game uses a portrait screen setting instead of the landscape screen.
  • Zoom and Evac's MP cost have been reduced to 1 MP each.
  • The Pioneer Town's upgrade requirements have been slightly tweaked, requiring more townsfolk to be recruited per stage of development.
  • Alena's Critical Hit formula cap has been raised to 87, restoring the 25% chance from the NES and PSX versions.


Splash art of the cast as they appear in Monster Battle Road Victory

Kōichi Sugiyama composed the music and directed all the associated spin-offs. This is the track listing of the Symphonic Suite:

  1. Overture (1:55)
  2. Minuet (3:07)
  3. Comrades (10:28)
  4. In a Town (8:16)
  5. Homeland ~ Wagon Wheels' March (5:58)
  6. Frightening Dungeons ~ Cursed Towers (5:19)
  7. Elegy ~ Mysterious Shrine (5:03)
  8. Balloon's Flight (4:32)
  9. Sea Breeze (4:31)
  10. The Unknown Castle (4:37)
  11. Battle for the Glory (7:51)
  12. The End (5:12)


Original Famicom version
Role Staff
Scenario writer Yuji Horii
Character designer Akira Toriyama
Music composer Koichi Sugiyama
Scenario assistant Kazunori Orio
Tsuyoshi Asami
Fuminori Ishikawa
Shigeya Ueno
Sachiko Sugimura
Chief programmers Hiroshi Naito
Manbu Yamana
Programmers Narita Togo
Masaaki Okano
Assistant programmer Kenichi Masuda
Kazuya Asano
Masumi Takimoto
Masayoshi Saitoh
Takahito Ikeda
Hiyoji Shinohara
Graphic designer Takashi Yasuno
Satoshi Fudaba
Sound programmers Masumi Takamoto
Tadashi Fukuzawa
Assistants Rika Suzuki
Kenjiro Kano
Mariko Iida
Kazuhiro Kurimoto
Yuchi Kikumoto
Toshiaki Kamata
Eriko Yamakawa
Chiharu Ando
Assistant producer Hiroyuki Takahashi
Sadao Yahagi
Director Koichi Nakamura
Producer Yukinobu Chida
Publisher Yasuhiro Fukushima


Title Screens

Box art


External links