The wagon is a mechanic first introduced in Dragon Quest series that facilitates larger parties.
Since only four characters can be in the active "battle" party at one time, once the party grows to more than that the rest can wait in the wagon until switched in. Up to four characters can ride in the wagon. Where the wagon is available, the player can rearrange the party any time. The wagon is not typically available in caves, dungeons, or castles, preventing the player from having anything to fall back on if his characters run low and forcing him to make due with what he currently has at his disposal; however, some items such as the Baron's Bugle can summon it. Additional characters can be stored in Ruida's Tavern.
The wagon is obtained from Hank Hoffman Jr. at the Last Chance Saloon after convincing him to help out, and he joins the party as a guest for a time. When he leaves the party in Mintos to study under, he leaves his horse and wagon in the Hero's care.
The wagon is purchased from the Curiosity Shop in Fortuna. Said shop is only open at night, and the wagon is offered at the low cost of 300 gold coins. This is required in order to start taming monster companions.
Some elephant monsters (like Eyevory tusk-tusk) can banish a party member to the wagon, requiring the player to switch them back in at the start of the next round. Similarly, one of the effects of confusion on party members is that they may leave for the "peace and quiet" of the wagon.
The wagon works a little differently in this installment. Since the party composition is fixed, the wagon is instead used to house the alchemy pot.
Dragon Quest V monsters in the back of the wagon.
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