List of homages in Dragon Quest XI

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As Dragon Quest XI is the 30th anniversary title of the series, it boasts a wide variety of references, allusions, and homages to the ten games that came before it. These range from key items of past adventures making a reappearance after several real-life years, one-off monsters returning suddenly, and broad inspiration from past characters and circumstances.

All versions

Th following are present in the PS4, Switch, 3DS, and PC versions of the game.

Characters

  • Jade's status as a princess and her mastery of martial arts draws inspiration from Tsarevna Alena. The difference is that the former is soft-spoken, lady-like, and sharp of tongue while the former is boisterous, child-like tomboy.
  • Rab is a former king who travels the world in disguise to locate a loved one, similar to Pankraz. Additionally, the legendary hero of their respective worlds is their grandson.
  • The relationship between the mermaid Michelle and fisherman Kai is a more tragic take on the romance between Unda and Rod of Dragon Quest VI.

Items

  • The Six Orbs from Dragon Quest III play a pivotal role in the game's story. While the orbs had first reappeared in Dragon Quest IX, this was as simple alchemical ingredients and had nothing to do with plot progression.

Monsters

  • Calasmos is protected by a shield during the final battle, which must be removed by using a sacred item as a tool. This is based on Zoma's infallible shield of ice, which must be destroyed by the Sphere of Light.
  • The Abominable Showman returns as an opponent in a martial arts competition, albeit as a muscle-bound pro wrestler instead of a yeti.

Themes

  • Time travel plays a significant role in the game's story, serving as a brief instance of exposition during the beginning of the Luminary's adventure upon his return to Cobblestone, and as a major plot point during the end of the second act. The first instance references the hero of Dragon Quest V returning to Whealbrook during the third generation, and the latter pays homage to the act of time traveling righting the wrongs of the past being the foundation to Dragon Quest VII.

Switch and 3DS exclusive

The Echo chamber allows players to travel to the worlds of past games for additional adventures, allowing them to meet several characters from those titles and visit famous locales for original scenarios.