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Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation

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Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation (ドラゴンクエストVI 幻の大地 Doragon Kuesuto Shikkusu Maboroshi no Daichi?, lit. "Dragon Quest VI: Land of Illusion"), Dragon Quest: Realms of Reverie in Europe, is a console role-playing game developed by Heartbeat and published by Enix (now Square Enix) for the Super Famicom as a part of the Dragon Quest series. It is the last Dragon Quest game in the Zenithia trilogy. It was released on December 9, 1995 in Japan. This installment in the series was developed by Heartbeat, whereas the previous Dragon Quest games were developed by Chunsoft. In July 2007, Square Enix announced a series of remakes of Dragon Quest IV: Chapters of the Chosen, V and VI for the Nintendo DS, making this the first remake of the latter game on other consoles. It was also announced that the title is slated to be release in both North America and Europe. Prior to this, it was translated by fans.

As the sixth instalment to the Dragon Quest series, the graphics and gameplay remain close to the other games, with minor additions and upgrades. The graphics were vastly improved from Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride, which was also for the Super Famicom, but rather unimpressive due to it being an early game on the console.. Navigation remains largely unchanged from the previous games and the turn-based battles are still in first-person. The class system from Dragon Quest III returns, with minor adjustments. Dragon Quest VI sold 3.2 million copies in Japan, becoming the best selling game of 1995.

The story follows the traditional Dragon Quest "Hero" on a quest to save the world. In this particular instalment, the heroes also have to endure the personal struggle of amnesia, as many of the main characters do not initially remember who they are. After completing a series of quests, the player learns that in addition to a Real World, there is also a Dream World, made up of people's dreams, and that there is a great evil that wants to conquer both. The Hero and his new party work together to save both worlds from the ever-growing threat.

Gameplay

Dragon Quest VI is a traditional, turn-based RPG (in an overhead perspective) which features random battles and a character class system that the Hero and his party members acquire new skills and spells. The Hero travels around the world gathering a party throughout his adventure. To progress in the story, the party must defeat specific boss monsters or trigger specific flags. In order to defeat the bosses, the player must spend time training the party by gaining experience points from battles to advance in character and class levels.

Other new features were added to the series, such as the monsters being animated when they attack. The Slime Arena and Best Dresser Contest were new mini-games introduced; the casinos return from previous Dragon Quest games. Like previous games, small medals can be found hidden throughout the worlds and can be traded for items. There are bonus dungeons and a few extra characters after beating the main storyline. There are day and night system, as in some previous installments; instead, only certain storyline events happen at night. While the beastmaster class can catch monsters it is not a major part of the game. Another returning feature from the past two games is the use of the wagon, which allows characters to be swapped out for other ones on the world map.

This Dragon Quest, similar to Dragon Warrior III and Dragon Warrior VII, has a class system. Once the party gets to Dhama Shrine, they have the option of becoming one of several starter classes. Once a character has mastered two or three starter classes, they can change into a hybrid class; for example, a soldier and a fighter make a battlemaster. Some of these hybrid classes give special bonuses beyond their stats and abilities such as the dealer who gives a small bonus to the party's income after every battle. or the beastmaster class which allows you to recruit certain monsters you defeat in battle as party members. To master a class, the character must fight a set number of battles as that class. Once certain hybrid classes are mastered, a stat relating to that class will permanently go up. There are two classes as well, dragon and mettable babble, which are unlockable through consumable books. Dragon Quest VI was the first game in the series to include abilities or skills (トクギ tokugi?) (special attacks and other techniques which are not spells and usually do not cost MP) for human party members. These special techniques were added to the remakes of III, IV and V later on.

Plot

Setting

Like the other Dragon Quest games in the series, the setting of Dragon Quest VI is very medieval, complete with castles, knights, and magic.[1] The main world is divided into the "Real World" and the "Dream World", each with a separate, but similar map. To get from one world to the other, the party uses special warps (such as in wells), by ascending/descending stairs on the world map or falling through holes in the "Dream World" to the "Real World".

If something cannot be found in the "Real World", it may appear in the "Dream World", such as with Miralgo's Tower, in the middle of the quest. Also, another similarity to much of the series is the "Dark World". This separate map features a dark island with a psychedelic sea surrounding it and some of the toughest monsters in the game. The final boss, Mortamor, lives there. Also, once Mortamor is defeated, the player can access the bonus dungeon and the secret final boss, Nokturnus.

Characters

Dragon Quest VI has nine party members, one of which, Rookie, is a hidden character.

  • The Hero is the main character of Dragon Quest VI. He comes from the small town of Lifecod (Raifukoddo), however, he is actually the prince of Somnia (Reidokku in the Japanese version), which he learns late in the game. Unlike each of the other "Heroes" in previous Dragon Quest games, this Hero does speak- he does so while meeting his clone, and in sequences within Lifecod at that time. The Hero is joined by other characters he meets along his journey. While he has no official name in the game, he was named Botsu in the manga based on the game.
  • Carver (Hassan in the Japanese version) meets up with the Hero at Somnia. Carver is the natural fighter of the party and the son of carpenters. After regaining his memory, Carver learns that he is from Port Haven (San Mariinō in the Japanese version), where his parents recognize him. At first, he does not believe them, but after visiting Murdaw, he remembers his past.
  • Milly (Mirēyu in the Japanese version, Muriel in the No Prgress translation, and Milayou in the official localization of Dragon Quest Monsters, though the most accurate romanization would be the French name Mireille) joins the Hero and Carver because she can see them in the Real World. She is the typical cleric of the group, and specializes in healing and supportive magic. Before meeting the Hero, she lived with her fortune telling grandmother, Grandmaz.
  • Ashlynn (Barubara in the Japanese version) joins the group in the Mirror Tower, where she is trying to find a way to make herself visible to those around her. She casts magic like Milly, but uses mostly fire-based attack magic. She hails from Sorceria (Karuberōna in the Japanese version), a village known for its strong magic. Before the party reaches Sorceria, Ashlynn's past remains very mysterious.
  • Chamoro joins the party next. He is a Cleric from Gent village (Gento), specializing in healing magic. He is also the only one that can steer the Divine Ship for the party.
  • Amos is the protector of Monstor (Monsutoru). He [becomes a monster at night and is defeated by the party, but after receiving the Seed of Reasoning, he joins the party on their quest. Amos is an optional character.
  • Terry is the final character to join the party, after appearing as an enemy for part of the game. He is a knight who defeats the monster terrorizing Arcbolt (Ākuboruto), just before the party does, thus gaining the reward. He joins the Hero's party after the battle with Duran and reveals that he is Milly's brother.
  • Lizzie is the Battle Rex that Terry defeated. After being locked in Arcbolt for some time, the beast, will join the party if they visit her with Terry. She is an optional character.
  • Rookie is a slime that the party is asked to train after they defeat the Champ at the Slime fighting arena. He is an optional character.

Story

Dragon Quest VI opens as the Hero, Milly, and Carver approach Murdaw, the demon king’s castle. After Milly summons a dragon, the party enters the castle and comes face to face with Murdaw. Overpowering the trio, Murdaw appears to destroy each member of the party. The Hero wakes up in Lifecod, and cannot remember anything before the fight with Murdaw. Tania, a small girl from Lifecod, insists that he is her brother.

On his way to Somnia Castle, where information on Murdaw can be found, the Hero stumbles into a strange portal which brings him to another unfamiliar town. However, no one can see or hear him. After finding a similar portal, the Hero reaches Somnia and meets Soldi, the leader of Somnia’s army, and Carver, who appears not to remember the Hero. To defeat Murdaw, they learn, they need the Mirror of Ra. The Hero and Carver discover another portal, which brings them to Port Haven, another town they can neither be heard nor seen. Milly, also appearing to have lost her memory, does see them and helps them become visible.

The party discovers a Somnia Castle in the “Phantom World” and learns that the prince is missing and that the Hero looks like him. They also meet General Tom, who bears a striking resemblance to Soldi. Gaining entrance to the Mirror Tower, the party meets Ashlynn, a woman who was invisible in the “Phantom World” at first, too, and together they find the Mirror of Ra.

The four of them travel to Murdaw's castle, in the original world. After defeating Murdaw, the Hero uses the Mirror on him. Murdaw then turns into the king of Somnia, confused and unaware of what happened. The king reveals that the original world is in fact the Dream World and the Phantom World is the Real World. Upon traveling back to the Real World, the King of Somnia thanks the party for defeating Murdaw in his dreams, but that the real Murdaw lives and that the party must travel to Gent to retrieve a boat to get to Murdaw's lair. In Gent, Chamaro, a healer, joins the party and allows them to use the Gent Clan's ship. During the fight with the real Murdaw, the Hero gets sent back to Lifecod, like before. However, with the Mirror of Ra, the Hero warps back into the battle and defeats Murdaw.

The Queen of Somnia tells the Hero to discover who he really is. The quest leads the party to Arcbolt, where a terrible monster is blocking a nearby cave. The reward for defeating the monster is the famed Sword of Thunder, but before the party can strike the final blow, a warrior by the name of Terry kills the monster, winning the sword. After traveling both worlds, the party learns that Murdaw was not the only evil in the world, having fought several other monsters that all seem to be connected.

In Calberona, the party learns that this is Ashlynn's home. The elders tell Ashlynn that the Demon Lord is watching her and give her the powerful spell Madante to fight him. The party also learns that the only way to get to the Demon Lord is through Zenith Tower, but to activate the tower, they need to collect the sword, armor, shield, and helmet of legend. While doing so, the Hero meets his double in Real Lifecod, who gets spooked, and speaks 'Y-You. Y-You're m-m-me!', and says that he must prove himself to be faithful to his family if he is to join powers. Returning to Real Somnia, the King and Queen tell the Hero that he is indeed the prince. When he fused with his clone, the Hero gained his memory back, much like Milly and Carver had done.

The party reaches Cloud Castle and meets Duran, who claims to have taken over the castle. He summons Terry to fight the party and then fights the party himself. Duran then reveals that all the enemies the party has faced were just pawns of Mortamor, the Demon Emperor. Milly reveals that Terry is her brother and Terry decides to join the party and fight against Mortamor.

Once Cloud Castle is back to normal, the party speaks to King Zenith who informs them of Mortamor's doings and how to reach the Dark World. Mortamor plans on merging both worlds. The party’s horse fuses with Pegasus, allowing the party to fly to the Dark World. With the help of two brothers, Krimut and Masarl, the party enters Mortamor's Castle. After solving many puzzles, they come face to face with Mortamor and defeat him. Masarl reveals that the Dark World is falling apart and Pegasus helps them escape.

In a similar fashion to Dragon Warrior III, the hero's weapons and armor were renamed for this installment in the Zenithian series. They are known as the Sword of Ramias, Armor of Orgo, Shield of Sufida and Helmet of Cevas. After the events of this game, these armaments become the Zenithian equipment and are renamed as such.

Development

Production

The scenario designer, as in all previous Dragon Quest games, was Yūji Horii. Similarly, the lead artist was mangaka Akira Toriyama. This is the last game in the series to feature the Tenkuu no Shiro (Castle in the Sky) trilogy.

A prequel, Dragon Warrior Monsters (Dragon Quest Monsters: Terry's Wonderland in Japan), was released in 1998. This game featured Terry and Milly years before the events of Dragon Quest VI. It was released in North America the next year, even though Dragon Quest VI was never released in North America. Along with Terry and Milly, several of the main enemies, including Mortamor, reappear, however, their previous roles have been eliminated, making them appear as just normal enemies.[2] Mortamor and Murdaw (Mudou in the localization) do appear as very challenging, very late in-game bosses, though.

Release

The initial release was delayed over a year because of Enix wanting to further develop their game. The game was eventually shown at Shoshinkai in November 1995. Dragon Quest VI was released a few weeks later on December 9. Since then, in Japan, the game actually made the news in 2005, when a Japanese student threatened another student over an argument about which Dragon Quest is the best, the student doing the threatening favouring Dragon Quest VI.

Nintendo DS remake

The Dragon Quest VI enhanced remake for the Nintendo DS was announced in late 2007 by Square Enix and was developed by ArtePiazza.

This version has a few differences:

  • The Beastmaster Class is no longer able to recruit monsters and has been redone to have abilities similar to the Blue Mage class in Final Fantasy.
  • The after-battle monster recruitment has been removed. Instead, there are certain Slimes that will join you once you accomplish a specific task. Dorango still remains recruitable.
  • Since this version comes with a built in map of both worlds on the top of the screen, the World Map and the Magic Map have been removed.
  • The 'Surechigai' system from Dragon Quest IX has been implemented, which allows wireless communication and data transfer between two DS systems.
  • A Slime Curling mini-game was added.
  • The names of the following characters from this game were changed in Dragon Quest IX as follows: Mireille (Mireyu) as Milly, Hassan as Carver, Barbara (Bābara) as Ashlynn, Redach (Reidakku) as Somnia, and San Marino as Port Haven.

On April 28, 2008, it was reported that Square Enix has applied for the trademark "The Realms of Reverie" at the United States Patent and Trademark Office, leading to speculation that it was the localized title for this game. On May 20, 2008, Square Enix opened up the North American site featuring the three Dragon Quest DS remakes, acknowledging Realms of Reverie as the official subtitle, as well as confirming a release in North America. The next day, a press release from Square Enix confirmed that the game will be released in Europe as Dragon Quest: Realms of Reverie. On July 13,2010 In an interview Yuji Horii (creator of Dragon Quest), was asked if Dragon quest VI was still coming to the U.S, Horii replied "...Dragon Quest VI is definitely a possibility!".

Related media

As with every Dragon Quest, Koichi Sugiyama composed the music and directed all the associated spinoffs. Three soundtracks were released for the music of Dragon Quest VI. The first was a two-disk soundtrack, which included an orchestral performance and an OST. The second soundtrack was released on August 23, 2000, and just had the orchestral version. This version was released by SPE Visual Works (now Aniplex), and was named Dragon Quest VI ~The Dream World~ Symphonic Suite. This version was featured on Dragon Quest Daizenshu Vol. 2, which is a compilation of Dragon Quest music. A second Symphonic Suite edition of the OST was performed in March 2005 and released on July 19, 2006, also by Aniplex. The Symphonic Suite tracklist is as follows:

All songs written and composed by Koichi Sugiyama. 

A 10-volume manga adaptation of the game was also made. It was authored by Masaomi Kanzaki and published by Enix in the Monthly Shonen Gangan between 1997 and 2001. The storyline roughly follows that of the video game from which it was based but with several differences, such as the inclusion of the character Kizu Buchi, a spotted slime.

Reception

Despite the very high price of 11,970 yen (about 100 dollars), Dragon Quest VI sold 3.2 million copies in Japan, becoming the best selling game of 1995.

According to Nintendo Power, Dragon Quest VI was originally planned for North American release in the spring of 1996 under the title "Dragon Warrior V". However, the Super Nintendo localization of the game never took place, Enix having already given up on the US market. Square, one of the only companies still willing to bring console role-playing games to the US, was also still struggling to get their games to sell in the US, and therefore, Dragon Quest VI had no companies willing to take a risk for it. In Nintendo Power vol. 81, the staff wrote an article on Dragon Quest VI, hoping the game would find a North American release. They also suggested why the series might not appeal to the American audience: there is too much fighting and not enough adventuring. Other critics have mentioned that class building becomes tedious and that the dual worlds are too overwhelming, both possible reasons against a US release. Dragon Quest VI was listed as #7 among the 10 Best Japanese Games Never Released in the U.S. by GamePro magazine in their May 2005 issue.

In 2010, Dragon Quest VI for the Nintendo DS sold almost a million copies in Japan in its first week. The game sold over 1.2 million copies by March 2010.

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