From Dragon Quest Wiki
Not to be confused with the Dragon Quest Monsters spin-offs

"Monsters" is a term that collectively refers to the assorted enemies that players will encounter throughout any role-playing game. Monsters are lifeforms that are separate from humans and other civilized races, but are not easily integrated into the animal-plant-fungi dynamic of non-sentient life. Anything can be a monster in Dragon Quest, from a cloud to a dinosaur and everything in between. Some monsters possess human-level intelligence and are able to speak, such as the common Slime, where as others are no brighter than a common chicken. The precise nature of monsters varies between games, with some describing beasts as simply being powerful animals that naturally arose in their worlds, where as in other entries monsters are a nearly supernatural presence. The dispositions of the creatures varies as well, with some media such as The Adventure of Dai stating that monsters are pure being easily influenced by the corrupting force of demon kings while others imply that monsters attack humans out of natural aggression.

Battling monsters

Fighting monsters is a cornerstone of the fantasy genre and Dragon Quest embraces this aspect wholeheartedly. Monsters are encountered in the overworld, dungeons, and more rarely towns as either random battles or displayed as 3D models visible to the player. When encountering a monster the game will shift to the battle screen and combat will begin, resulting in either victory or defeat for the player: the player wins a battle by reducing the HP (hit points) of all monsters present to zero and vice versa. If the player is the victory then the battle ends with the dismemberment of Experience points, Gold, and possibly treasure that the monsters happened to have on hand. If the player is unable to defeat the monsters then they're characters are killed and sent back to the last save point used: the Hero is always revived upon defeat, party members can be revived at will, and the only legitimate penalty for losing a battle is having the amount of gold accumulated cut in half.


Monster groupings within the games began with the first Dragon Quest Monsters spin-off, which standardized the notion that each monster belonged to a larger family akin to real life animals. This concept would be added into the mainline games with VII via the 'The Big Book of Beasts', which was expanded upon in VIII to include the families seen in the Monsters spin-off games. This cemented the following 15 families as the series standard:

There is also the Metal slime family and Floating "family" that are not officially recognized as distinct groups, but showcase distinct traits in each appearance.


Turning monsters over to the side of the player has been a feature in the series since the fourth game had Healie the healslime work alongside Ragnar McRyan to rescue the kidnapped children of Burland. An entire system dedicated to the recruitment and management of monsters would be added in the fifth game, giving players more than forty distinct species to take on their journey. Hence fourth, every even-numbered title would allow players to sooth the savage beasts, with the finer details of the system depending on the title.

Design and development

All monsters in the series are illustrated by Akira Toriyama, who receives a general direction on how the development team wants a particular beast to appear. Toriyama is a wonderfully inventive artist known for thinking outside the box and as such has created several monsters wholecloth, such as the slime. In Dragon Quest Illustrations: 30th Anniversary Edition, he has gone on record stating that his favorite monsters to draw are the small fries and not the major players or demon kings.