|Japanese||つっこみ (VII only)|
ツッコミ (IX, X, XI)
Sobering Slap is the name of two distinct abilities in the Dragon Quest series.
In Dragon Quest IX, X, and XI, it is a restorative ability that slaps an ally out of confusion or wakes them up (much like Rude Awakening from VII). In addition to curing confusion and sleep, it also cures beguilement and paralysis in X and XI.
In the Dragon Quest VII, it prepares the user to counter a physical attack when attacked. It is similar to Follow Suit (Retaliate) from the original version of VII - however, unlike the latter ability, it only applies to physical attacks, not breath attacks and spells.
In the original Sony PlayStation version, Sobering Slap is learned by advancing to rank 4 as a Jester and rank 2 in the 3DS version. It prepares the user to launch a counter attack after being targeted by an enemy's physical attack. It is similar to Follow Suit (Retaliate) from the PS1 version, but only counters physical attacks, not breath attacks and spells. It costs no MP to use.
This ability is learned with 32 skill points allocated into Litheness skill.
Sobering Slap is learned by Minstrels once again by investing 22 skill points into their Litheness skill. It costs 4 MP to use and has a 100% chance to awaken a sleeping party member and a 75% chance to remove paralysis, confusion, and beguilement boosted by the user's deftness.
Sobering Slap can be learned by Sylvando through his Litheness panel for 8 points, but has already been learned by him when he joins the party. It can remove sleep, confusion, beguilement, or paralysis from one party member for 4 MP. Sylvando also uses this during his short stint as a non-playable ally early in the game.
The Japanese name for this technique, ツッコミ tsukkomi, is a reference to Manzai, a form of traditional Japanese comedy which involves there being two comedic performers.
One of these two performers is the boke, who acts foolish and/or says ridiculous things (similar to the "funny man" in Western double comedy acts). The other performer is the one delivering the "tsukkomi" to the boke's tomfoolery - which basically involves making funny commentary on the boke's behavior, or correcting their outrageous statements (similar to playing the "straight man" in Western comedy routines) - this generally leads to more confusion and/or stupidity from the boke, leading to additional opportunities for tsukkomi until the manzai act ends.
Often times in manzai, the one delivering the tsukkomi is seen giving a Sobering Slap to their idiotic "boke" partner - which may be where the English localization for this skill derives.
The skill Pratfall is called boke in Japanese, so it could be seen as a counterpart to this skill.
The two different versions of this technique are distinguished in Japanese by the use of hiragana for the counter ability in the remakes of Dragon Quest VII, and katakana for the restorative skill from IX - XI.