Curses (呪い) are hexes that afflict the target with a wide variety of potent effects. Some curses are permanently set upon certain items as well: see Cursed Equipment for a list. These items must be removed in a Church before the bearer can equip anything else, but the curses chanted in battle can be removed with the Sheen spell.
Curses have several debilitating effects, and only characters with high Luck can reliably avoid them. The potential damnation are:
- Reducing HP by 1 for every four steps.
- Reducing MP by 1 for every four steps.
- Randomly becoming stunned during battle.
- Randomly causing spells and skills to fail during battle.
- Forcing a character to randomly attack an ally.
Curses are cast by undead and demonic monsters, which force characters to lose a turn. The Hero is immune to all curses, save by one cast by the bonus boss in the post-game. Any curse-afflicting attacks “fizzle out” before they can reach the Hero, and he can use cursed equipment without penalty.
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Possible effects include:
- Halving the maximum HP of a character for the battle.
- Halving the maximum MP of a character for the battle.
- Forcing the character to succumb to instant death with a high probability within a random number of turns.
The party can find the Choker, an apparently-cursed collar, in the Zwaardsrust Ruins, in a corner of the room behind the same Magic Key-locked door that guards one of the six coloured Orbs needed to reach Yggdrasil. It is stored in the Important Items section of the party's inventory, meaning that it cannot be equipped. Upon trying to “Use” it, the Luminary picks it up, but “senses an oppressively ominous aura, and thinks better of it.” A thug near the ruins is seeking Zwaardsrustian treasure, and initially offers the party 10,000 gold coins for the Choker (continuing the trend of cursed equipment selling for unusually high prices in the Dragon Quest series).