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The party refers to a set of playable characters that carry out the progress of a game. Originally introduced in Dragon Quest II, and made customizable in Dragon Quest III, it has become a staple of the Dragon Quest series.


Dragon Quest II[edit]

Dragon Quest II did not offer any customization of party members. Instead, the hero must recruit his two cousins, the Prince of Cannock and the Princess of Moonbrooke.

Dragon Quest III[edit]

DQIII introduced the concept of a totally customizable party to the series. The vocation, sex, and personality (in all remakes) of a party member can be controlled by the player when a character is created at Patty's Party Planning Place (a bar) in Aliahan. While only four characters (including the hero) may be in the party, extra characters will stay in the bar.

The party exploring the world in Dragon Quest IV.

Dragon Quest IV[edit]

With the series shifting focus to character-driven narratives, the act of character creation has been removed. The party line up can be changed on the fly, and even in battle, thanks to the addition of the wagon. In addition, all characters in the wagon recieve experience points at the end of battle.

IV also brought A.I. to the series: once the Hero gathers companions in the beginning of the fifth chapter, they may be assigned one of several battle strategies to adhere to. A.I. could not be turned off in the original NES version.

Dragon Quest V[edit]

The abundance of recruitable monsters saw the necessity of Monty, the monster monitor. The veteran veterinarian will care for all creatures not in the active party of the wagon. V also saw return of Patty, to manage the human cast when not in battle.

Dragon Quest VI[edit]

Patty has taken up monster monitoring in addition to her usual services in VI, located in Alltrades Abbey. In the Super Famicom version, 15 of the 20 recruitable monsters can be kept at the bar, where as all slime buddies can be recruited in the remakes.

Dragon Quest VII[edit]

The wagon has been abolished in VII, with characters joining and leaving the party at various points in the story. There are five permanent characters in the main game, with the extra one staying put in a town when not traveling with the hero. This character will not gain experience points.

Dragon Quest VIII[edit]

Characters join the Hero as the story progresses, with customization being represented through character-specific skillsets. As there are only four playable characters in the original version, the wagon is used to house the Alchemy pot.

  • Two additional characters can join the heroes in the 3DS remake. How they are housed when not in the active party is currently unknown.

Dragon Quest IX[edit]

IX is very reminiscent of III, in that characters are created with the help of Patty and stay at the Quester's Rest in Stornway while not traveling. As these characters have no party chat or story presence, Stella takes up the task of being the Hero's (very) vocal companion and adding colour commentary to cut-scenes and events.



Some Dragon Quest games offer the position of party members in battle to be customized. The position of each member affects how often an enemy will target them. Note that this does not affect the success or failure of said attacks, simply whom they're directed at.

The base formula for calculating party position targeting in most games is:

Lineup Position Targeting Percentage
1st 40%
2nd 30%
3rd 20%
4th 10%

In Dragon Quest VIII it is:

Lineup Position Targeting Percentage
1st 35%
2nd 35%
3rd 20%
4th 10%


The wagon was implemented in IV to accommodate the larger cast of playable characters. Characters (even deceased ones) can be switched in and out of battle as a free action that doesn't eat up the player's turn. As mentioned above, characters sitting in the wagon will receive experience points even if they did not participate in battle. Unfortunately, characters will not regain HP or MP while riding.