Sequels Are Upon Us! Welcome back to the journey through the DQ Dynasty. We are moving on to the second game in the series, which is in a lot of ways the first real game. The first game was in many ways a prototype, this is where things really get in gear and go all out. A party of characters, multiple enemies in battle including different species attacking together which means strategy galore.
With DQ II we also have the idea of specializing characters. Even though “classes” properly haven’t been introduced yet the three heroes fit classic characters. The Warrior, The Cleric, The Mage. Storyline wise this game is a direct sequel to Dragon Quest I. 100 years have passed and the hero and Princess Lara have married and their descendants have lived in peace for a century and established multiple kingdoms around the world, the original continent now a small fraction of your journey. Unfortunately their peace is shattered as Hargon and his minions decide to be very proactive in restoring the god of destruction, Malroth. One kingdom is ravaged, and the Princess is lost. Now the two Princes of the two other kingdoms have gone on separate quests to gain revenge and restore justice to the world. Only by joining and finding their female cousin can the Heroic Destinies be achieved.
Gameplay wise we have expanded spells and specializing. Instead of Hurt we have Fire and Explosions spells. More status affecting spells. With the not-quite-classes we have varied armors, the mage wearing light cloth-based armor and the warrior getting the heavy metal jams. Swords and Spears are joined by staves showing the personality of those who can and cannot equip certain equipment. Personalities are distinct and with the Princess we have the series first female playable character which has always been a strong point in the series. Heroines who you want to play with no matter who you are because they are as skilled as their male counterparts.
The low grades? Yeah there are a few. Unlike many of the later games you only have enough people to fill your active party and you don’t choose anything about them, except the equipment you buy. Dragon Quest II is very story-driven yet the story isn’t very deep, the developers were still learning as they went. It’s leveling up and gold-gaining is a HUGE balance improvement from the last game. It’s not that grinding doesn’t happen but it doesn’t halt the story for hours.
Buy? No Buy? I’d Buy. Those with a Game Boy Color can get a remake of I and II packaged together so if you can find a good price online go for it. If not, get the mobile version and enjoy. It’s everything that works about the first version but amped up, this is what a sequel should be. Not just new levels but a feel that the developers listened to the audience and improved what fell short in the first game. Hargon and his boss Malroth are insidious villains you want to hunt down and defeat.
And the music still rocks. Have a listen. Yes it’s the Symphonic Suite. As I said before I Love You Readers.