Alltrades Abbey in Dragon Quest IX
|Rōmaji||Dāma shinden (Dharma temple)|
Alltrades Abbey is a recurring location in the Dragon Quest series. It is represented as an abbey, church, or temple where playable characters can change their vocation by speaking to the abbot situated at the center of the building. It usually appears within the first quarter within a given title, giving players time to get accustomed to the flow of the game before being given the ability to customize their party. Since its primary purpose is vocation-related, it does not appear in Dragon Quest games that do not possess this system.
In each game, there are set requirements for when a character can change to another vocation. The abbey is essential to the system and is not uncommonly used as a hub location in the games in which it appears, serving as an inn, shop, and occasionally housing Patty's Party Planning Place.
The abbey is located just north of Baharata, and most players will venture to it before they obtain their ship. In order to change their vocation characters must be level 20 or higher; however with the class change comes a price, as the character will revert back to level 1 and they will not be given starting equipment suitable for their new role. The abbey is often used as a hub point once it is reached, due to the ability to save the game directly at the entrance, making it the quickest way to save the game in the original NES Version.
The Hero may not change their vocation at all, with the abbot scolding them for attempting to do so. In order for a character to become a Sage, they must either be a Gadabout that has reached level 20 or be any other vocation and have the Words of Wisdom in their inventory. The scroll is only good for one use, and careful consideration must be given to who is promoted to sage.
The abbey appears in both the Lower World and the Upper World. However, it has been sealed by the archfiend Murdaw in the Lower World and cannot be used to change vocations until he has been defeated.
The system in this game differs from that of III in that a vocation is a kind of accessory to a character rather than the whole of their capabilities. When assuming a vocation, that character's stats are modified via percentage-based increases and decreases and they will learn new abilities as they advance through the 8 ranks within that vocation. This advancement is done by completing a fixed number of battles with monsters that are of a similar level to the character: beating up weaker monsters will not count towards vocation advancement. This new system allows for more time adventuring and less time leveling up weaker characters to avoid party wipe outs.
In addition to the eight starting vocations, a character can take on an advanced, hybrid vocation by mastering two prerequisites. There are also two hidden monster vocations that require scrolls for party members to take on the Liquid metal slime and Dragon vocations, similar to the older method for becoming a sage. This abbey is also the first to house Patty's services, accommodating the much larger cast of characters.
The abbey is initially under the control of monsters in the distant past, and must be cleansed before it can be used to change vocations. This scenario has the party stripped of their innate abilities, dumped into a penal colony to die, working to free High Priestess Jacqueline, and fighting through a gladiator deathmatch before killing the monster behind the whole mess.
Once the infestation is exterminated, the player has access to an enhanced version of the vocation system seen in VI. The third tier of vocations has been expanded beyond that of just the Hero with the inclusion of the Druids and Champions, and the roster of monster vocations has been increased from two to thirty-four. These monster classes are also broken down into basic, advanced and master tiers, and can be accessed by speaking to the abbot with a Monster Heart in a character's possession or in the item bag.
The abbey appears somewhat earlier than in other games. However, Abbot Jack, the vocation-changing priest, has gone missing. He must be located and rescued before vocation changing options are available in the game.
The main abbey is located in the city of Sered, and local branches can be found in most other towns in the game. This is to prevent massive lines of players forming in one central location, and for general convenience.
The 3DS and Switch versions of the game allow players to travel to the abbey of VI by using the Echo Chamber. Once there, the party will find that a group of delusional geezers are pestering the abbot to turn them into bunny girls, preventing anyone from changing their vocation.
A version of Alltrades Abbey, based on the version in Dragon Quest IX, appears in the crossover installment Fortune Street. In Tour Mode, the player has to go against Patty, Dragonlord, and Bowser Jr.
- Dharma is an spiritual and religious concept in many Indian religions. In Hinduism, dharma refers to one's duties, conduct and "right way of living"; its connection with vocations draws off of this definition.
- The name "Alltrades Abbey" was first used in the English localization of Dragon Quest IX in 2010.