I was rather hoping to have completed Dragon Quest IX before writing this post, but Corvus has been kicking my ass, and I don’t know what’s beyond him. I can still talk about the main part of the story, however, so that’s what I intend to do. In an earlier post, I examined the earliest part of the game, and some the basics in gameplay. This time, I’ll start with pointing out that the first part of the game is quite episodic, and rather moralistic. The goal is to gather the seven fyggs that have fallen to Earth and return them to the Observatory and the World Tree. The fyggs are symbols of the benevolence of mortals, and have magical powers.
In pretty much every place your heroes come to, someone has used a fygg to grant a wish, only to find that the wish has unforeseen consequences. It’s up to you to solve the problem by killing a monster. (Hey, it’s still Dragon Quest.) It gets a bit repetitive, but it’s fun to see all the different settings and characters. Whoever is currently translating the DQ games has a love for puns and jokey names, so we see quite a few of those.
After gathering all the fyggs, the next part of the game involves battling the Gittish Empire, which had terrorized the world centuries earlier with help from the dragon Barbarus. The main villain has brought the inhabitants of the empire back to life to fulfill his goal of destroying humanity, and you have to take them out.
At one point, your hero rides the dragon Greygnarl to do battle with Barbarus, in a cut scene over which the player has no control.
Once you’ve defeated Godwyn of Gitt, ruler of the empire, the main villain takes control of the Realm of the Almighty, transforming it into an evil fortress. And that’s pretty much where I am now.
One thing I’ve noticed about this game is that it has a lot of extras of which I’ve made minimal use. There’s a pot that you can use to fuse items together to create new ones, but I never seem to have all of the necessary ingredients. Also, there’s the ability to change a character’s class, and I haven’t done that at all. So far, I haven’t noticed any occasion when it would have really helped me to have done so. Besides, I think a class change means starting again at the lowest level, which means having to build them up again. When playing DQ7, I found myself changing vocations quite often, but there it told you when you had built up a class to its maximum level. I haven’t seen any indication of such in DQ9. Since the more recent DQ games (including reissues of the older ones) usually have more to do after completing the main quest, perhaps that’s when you can really have fun with the extras.