It's Dragon Quest IX. There's questing and you can fight dragons. This shouldn't be too unfamiliar. For quite a few people, this is actually their first Dragon Quest. For the OGs, we've been around the block a few times, and this is a neat trip through nostalgialand while adding enough fresh content. Then you have people inbetween, who have some DQ experience under their belt, but not alot. I hope this guide can help everybody. There are a few off-site pages I will link to just because somebody already did a certain job better than me (such as the Alchemy recipe/ingredient search engine, truly a helpful tool at any point in the game), but for the most part, most tips and advice in this is going to come from personal experience, advice and experiences from others, and of course, the DQ9 manual and Guidebook. Trust me, even with online FAQs, specialty pages such as this one, and whatnot, it's always handy to have the guide (plus it has lotsa purty pictures, just like the good old days). This is a real oddball for both /v/'s wikia "protip" pages and Dragon Quest. Mostly because of how social the game technically is, both online and in real life. As such, this may feel like an FAQ more than our typical tip pages. Please leave this page be for the sake of players looking for tips and use the discussion page for game relevant notes such as news of sponsored events, map downloads, and possible real life "hot-spots" that have good tagging potential such as game conventions.. That said, it's time to get down to business!
Stat Info and How to Take Advantage of Each
- This is mainly to clear up what does what, especially since a few new stats were altered from old ones or added.
Boosts the physical damage you dish out. Pretty much your base offensive capabilities, which can make even weaker weapons hit harder (in addition to the weapon skill tree bonuses). Definitely pump this up for multiple-hit skills you may use (even if a weak ally hits multiple times, it won't mean much if they don't have the muscle to deal significant damage).
Pretty much a fancy word for physical defense. Keeping it high is good if you change vocations to a less armor-inclined one. Example: Going from warrior to mage. Even if your armor sucks, you can make up for it some with this stat.
Raises the odds of a character taking action first. Due to the way turns work, the order of actions is not definite as there is a slight range of probability depending on agility, what your character will be doing (attacking, healing, etc.). Boosting your agility DOES help put the range in your favor that you will likely go first though. A great stat for healers who need to heal the party early, and nice for speedy attackers to consider.
Alot of people aren't sure about this, but you can rest easy, because here it is, straight from the fucking instruction manual itself: "Governs a character's ability to make preemptive strikes, perform critical attacks, and flee from battle." Now here's what they don't tell you: It also helps boost your steal rate, but only so much and so slightly (something's better than nothing...) and "spells going haywire"/"spells getting a significant boost" or "Critical Magic Hits". Yes, in DQ9, even magic can do critical hits! This works for damaging, healing (as in healing extra than usual), status ailments, stat debuffs, and anything else applicable. For ailments and debuffs, it's a far better chance of inflicting them and sometimes they may work better than normal. Example: "Sap", a spell which may lower one enemy's defense one level may end up lowering that enemy's defense TWO levels when critical-spelling.
How "attractive" your character is. Similar to Jessica's "Sex Appeal" in DQ8, this helps stun monsters into wasting their turns, regardless of the character or enemy's genders. This is a VERY helpful stat, as it even works on bosses, so definitely try to raise it up when you get Vocational skill trees that give you the opportunity to. There is an item known as a "Pretty Betsy" that raises a character's natural charm a slight bit; but, outside of the one you get in a quest, they can be variably hard to find. You might just want to use them on your hero/main character, just in case, especially since you can't take your self-made allies with you in multiplayer.
-Magical Might and Magical Mending-
Boost the capacity for your spells' damage (might) and healing (mending) respectively. Even weaker spells can be quite handy if you raise these high enough. Which is great since some of the strongest spells are quite expensive. Helps oh so slightly boost the effects of certain healing items like the sage's stone, but not for certain abilities like Meditation and Hustle Dance. That said, any healing that isn't affected, is also quite unlikely to reduce your built up tension (see below).
Only seems to come about with wands. Smack an enemy with a normal attack and you can drain some MP from it. How much you steal depends on this rating, which takes an amount from how much damage you do. Skills DO NOT count. However, you can still boost your damage by using spells or skills that raise your strength and attack, thus boosting the amount of MP you also drain. Do note that if an enemy has no MP, you won't drain anything.
-Block Chance and Evasion Chance-
Block chance affects how often you will nullify all assaults with your shield. Don't get too excited, as the rates are pretty low, even with great shields and Block chance boosting skills. Never hurts to have it though, and shields do still give extra Defense (and elemental resistances for a few). Immense Defence raises your block chance slightly temporarily. Evasion chance is just that. Your (also low) rate of potentially dodging all assaults. This is boosted by gear, clothing, a few skill trees, and so forth. Depending on the types of skills and characters you may be using, you may choose to equip a shield or raise evasion or NOT to, as some skills require you to get hit and take damage to be effective, which you may avoid with other skills.
-Attack and Defense-
Strength + Weapon, accessories, etc. = Attack; Resilience + gear, clothes, etc.= Defense; as noted before, the base stats of Strength and Resilience are most important as Attack and Defense WILL fluctuate depending on your weapon equipped, skill tree bonuses, current vocation, and so forth. Don't think you can use your weakest gear non-stop though! The better your equipment, the better your chance of survival.
Charm + cool threads (gear, clothes, etc.) = Style. Style can also help force enemies and bosses skip turns by "stunning" them with your fashion sense. Generally, the cooler and/or sexier your outfit is, the better. Some of the clothes you can get from Special Guests (Alena, Angelo, etc. from older DQ games) tend to have naturally good style bonuses, so be sure to pick those up when you can.
Only applies in battles. Tension isn't a stat so much as it is a "state". By using Psyche Up, Egg On, or Feel the Burn, you can raise tension up to 4 levels: 5, 20, 50, then 100. Each level boosts the effectiveness of your damage (physical or spell) and healing output by a significant multiple (not the numbers shown though). However, once you use an action/skill that isn't using an item, your tension returns to 0. Certain skills and spells do not use tension, so remember that when trying to maintain it. 100 tension does not always occur, but it is extremely handy to get and even keep, since not only if your output highest, but all damage taken while at 100 is lowered by about 25%, regardless of your current stats/resistances/buffs.
-"Where's the "spell resistance" stat?"-
There isn't one. Though, Spell damage IS reduced by wearing certain clothes and gear, along with using certain spells and skills during battle. Enemies and Bosses may have resistances to a few elements, but typically tend to be weak against some as well. Some are easy to figure out, such as Fire and Ice working well against each other, but others aren't immediately obvious, such as Slimes being resistance to light/"holy" damage.
Vocation (and General Vocation Skills) Breakdown
- Note 1: First things first, Talk to Patty after helping Erinn get her new inn in Stornway, the Quester's Rest, to gain the Egg On skill for your Hero/MC, which raises the tension of an ALLY (as in, NOT YOU) by one level each time used. This also unlocks the ability to use some premade characters, or to make allies of your own in any of the six basic vocations (Warrior, Martial Artist, Priest, Mage, Thief, and Minstrel) of your choosing.
- Note 2: When changing vocations, spells do not transfer (some mumbo-jumbo about being attached to the vocation itself). However, ALL of your skills and natural stat bonuses do. In addition, Omnivocational [weapon]-master allows you to use a type of weapon mastered with any vocation. Example: Rangers can't normally equip swords or shields, but if you had Omnivocational Shieldmaster and Omnivocational Swordmaster, the ranger could equip both and use their skills with no problem. Of course, this requires you to have 100 points in both shields and swords, but hard work doesn't go unrewarded in this game (typically).
- Note 3: Vocations get additional quests to unlock vocation-specific garments and special items that hold skills which can be used by any vocation, so long as you have the special item in an ally's inventory. These quests are available as a vocation reaches Level 15 and Level 40 respectively, though you may not be able to complete some of them as soon as you get them. You must have an ally currently using the vocation required to get approved for the quest though. After that, you can change back to a different vocation, if unrestricted, to complete the quest. This makes many quests much easier, believe you me.
+Basic Vocations (each are available from the start)+
Well, it's the default vocation for your Hero/MC. Despite being an "entertainer" of sorts, it's well-rounded, using healing and offense spells, and fighting rather well, but never reaches the capability of other respective "specialty" roles other vocations do. You'll probably want to vocation-change from it, no doubt. However, be sure to make an effort to level it to Level 40 whenever you can, preferably before the end of the game, as the item you get from its third quest lets the holder use the skill "Gritty Ditty", which boosts the attack of all allies one level when used. Very handy for random battles and makes boss battles less troublesome as well. Good to master before becoming a Sage.
- Special Note: As the Hero/MC is stuck as this until Alltrades is completed, consider what role you want to end up as before you vocation-change. Remember, you don't HAVE to spend skill points (they'll still be there next level up, anyways), so if you don't want to put points in any skill tree of the Minstrel vocation, save them for the vocation you want to. The max skill points you can save is 999, so don't worry about losing points until you level up past that.
Skills: @4 Hot Lick (very weak fire hit), @16 Pratfall (may distract 1 enemy group), @32 Sobering Slap (cures 1 ally of sleep + confusion), @55 Tap Dance (raises evasion chance), @82 Have a Ball (8 weak hits to random foes)
Bonuses: @10 Spry in a Crisis (natural bonus: raises evasion chance when at low HP), @22 Charm + 30, @ 42 Magical Might + 30, @68 Magical Mending + 30, @100 Deftness + 50
The old-school hero model. Above average offense, defense, HP make for a formidable and durable physical fighter. However, their MP is really low, which means they won't be able to use their skills often, and their agility is quite lacking, which means they'll likely end up going last (which does have advantages sometimes). Its roles are split between striking single enemies (unless you have some MP bonuses and like to use spears) and helping to take damage for another ally. Master their shields to help them be even better at the latter role, and master Courage to become even stronger to do both better. Their level 40 quest item lets the holder occasionally counterattack!
Skills: @8 Whipping Boy (take hits for 1 ally), @28 Whistle (provoke foes to target user), @48 Body Slam (hurt a foe + self), @70 Morale Masher (hit 1 foe + lower its tension), @100 Attack Attacker (hit 1 foe + lower its attack)
Bonuses: @16 Strength + 10, @40 Resilience + 20, @56 Strength + 30, @80 Resilience + 40, @90 Maximum HP + 60
Typically known as the "glass cannon" type, Martial Artists have changed slightly. Their MP is still nigh non-existant, but they've gotten a bit better at taking hits, and are still super fast, but do not quite have the boost of critical hits they typically had. Their emphasis is now on tension, while also slightly self-supporting themselves with their learned skills. Don't underestimate them though, tension is VERY effective and powerful, boosting the capabilities of physical offense and spells, healing and offensive alike, and especially good when you Egg On a tension user to get them tensed up faster. Their level 40 quest item lets them carry over tension they don't use from one battle to the next. An easy way to decimate foes!
Skills: @4 War Cry (try to stun 1 enemy group), @16 Psyche Up (raise tension each time used), @32 Mens Sana (purge self of ailments), @55 Mind Over Matter (reduce breath damage taken), @88 Meditation (self-heal ~80 HP)
Bonuses: @10 Agility + 10, @22 Strength + 10, @42 Maximum HP + 30, @68 Agility + 30, @100 Agility + 60
Ye olde wizard. Probably one of the best allies you can have early on, and even later. The Mage's spells include various buffs and debuffs, along with fire, ice, and explosion magic families. Not only are random battles a breeze with them, but boss battles can be made easier as well. As expected, this power comes at a price, the mage sucks physically. Just sucks. Even with a shield. If you have a mage and warrior, you can use the mage to power up the warrior, and use the warrior to protect the mage when needed. A great combo for beginners. The mage's level 40 quest item lets the holder use Weakening Wave, which lowers the attack stat of all enemies slightly. Not bad if the odds look grim, but rarely, if ever, works on bosses.
Skills: @8 Wizard Ward (lowers magic damage user takes), @26 Spooky Aura (weakens 1 foe's resistance to magic), @46 Focus Pocus (user heals MP each turn), @68 Channel Anger (boosts user's Magical Might alot)
Bonuses: @16 Magical Might + 20, @38 Maximum MP + 10, @54 Critical Spell Rate Up (raises chances for spells to crit/go haywire), @78 Magical Might + 60, @88 Maximum MP + 20, @100 Magical Might + 100
Unlike ye olde wizard, priests of Dragon Quest are like Combat Medics, but heal better than they fight. Unlike previously, the priest is a bit better physically than it used to be. Not too surprising given its use of staves and spears, which are quite versatile weapons. However, it lost its wind spells to the Minstrel & Luminary, and some of its stat boosting spells. The priest still does damn good healing though, and its Level 40 quest item lets the holder use Wave of Relief, which cures nearly all ailments (except death and inactivity). The buffs it still has are also handy. You should definitely consider a priest eventually, if only to boost an ally's Magical Mending for other vocations.
- Special Note: Benediction for the priests in your party and in churches only remove cursed gear from the wearer, not the curse on the gear itself. To do that, you need to use alchemy recipes, which changes it to a new gear piece. A few gear pieces are always cursed though, and have no alchemy equivalent.
Skills: @8 Divination and @28 Benediction (same as a church), @40 Rotstopper (lowers damage from undead foes' attacks to party). @70 Alma Mater (saves party from instant death), @ 90 Care Prayer (boosts user's Magical Mending alot)
Bonuses: @16 Magical Mending + 20, @40 Maximum MP + 10, @56 Magical Mending + 60, @80 Maximum MP + 20, @100 Magical Mending + 100
It's a thief. It steals things. Practical things (and not so practical things). The thief's best aspects are: its decent MP for a physical vocation, letting it use skills rather often, its skill tree (which provides boosts to deftness and agility, along with some treasure acquiring skills), and seemingly inherent extra boost to successfully steal as a thief (it's what it does best, after all). Sure, a thief gets a few support spells, is a decent fighter, and gets a quest item at Level 40 that gives the holder a probability to find a "secretly stolen" item after each battle. BUT... after you get the Honour Among Thieves medal after getting one to Level 99 and revocating it, you will likely not use one again. Seriously. Get all 4 allies to master Half-Inch and give them deftness boosts and gear and that will usually be enough to support the ally with the best stealing rate amongst you, regardless of vocation. UNLESS: You like to use "co-op de graces", which lets the Armamentalist/Thief combo to use "Haulellujah", giving you a chance to earn extra experience points, gold, and items
Skills: @10 Half-Inch (may loot from a foe), @22 Pitfall (dig to trap pals & monsters), @42 Nose for Treasure (counts loot left in the area*), @68 Eye for Trouble (lets you know a foe's info), @100 Treasure Eye Land (locates loot*)
Bonuses: @4 Deftness + 20, @16 Agility + 20, @32 Maximum HP + 20, @55 Deftness + 40, @82 Agility + 40
- Neither works on blue chests, but treasure eye land can find the descending staircases in grottos, making them easier to explore.
+Unlocked Vocations (each are unlocked later on)+
- Note 4: To unlock the remaining six vocations, you must talk with certain NPCs with blue bubbles at Alltrades and certain other places nearby (Gleeba's Mirage Mahal palace and the entrance to Zere Rocks respectively, you won't get Sage until near the end of the game and Luminary until post-game). They ask you to do certain tasks in quests they give you. Just complete them, give them notice of your successful completion, and the vocation will be unlocked for any and all allies to change to and from.
The Gladiator is all about dealing damage, as most of its stats concentrate on offense and are average to below in other areas. Their skills focus on dealing high damage. They also don't cost much, which is good because their natural MP is in a fierce competition with Martial Artists for the lowest of all vocations. Their coolest skill, Feel the Burn, raises their tension when they are struck, meaning that combined with Psyche Up and Egg On, they can potentially go from 0 to 100 tension in one round! Their level 40 quest item lets the holder sometimes deal an extra attack, and even works with skills! A common Gladiator setup is to use 100 tension+Uber Falcon Sword+Falcon Slash to unleash 4 hits of pure pain.
- Note: Remember! This isn't the only set up for an offensive character! Just a common one. Warriors and Martial Artists also have their advantages in combat, so don't rule them out because of this vocation's raw power. In addition, though the 100 tension+UBF+FS combo is powerful, it isn't fool-proof, especially when a boss uses Disruptive Wave to wipe out your tension and other offensive boosts. Experiment with other weapons, skills, and setups and figure out what you like the most, especially since different ones are better for different situations.
Skills: @10 Clap Trap (solid hit on 1 foe*), @22 Double Up (self's ATKx2, DEF/2), @42 Double-Edged Slash (strong hit, user loses HP), @68 Blind Man's Biff (smash 1 random foe*), @100 Feel the Burn (auto-psyche up when hit)
Bonuses: @4 Maximum HP + 10, @16 Strength + 10, @32 Maximum HP + 20, @55 Strength + 30, @82 Maximum HP + 30
- Note: Clap Trap's big advantage over most skills is that it has a cap of 9999 per hit instead of 1999 per hit like others. Something to consider when you have REALLY high strength. Even more so when you have all allies know it so you can combo it.
- Note 2: Blind Man's Biff has the same cap. However, unlike Clap Trap, because of it's random target factor, it cannot combo. However, it has a higher base multiplier. This makes it more situational, especially since it takes much longer to learn.
-Paladin- Forbearance. Combined with with spells, skills, and special effects, it can make fights go ALOT smoother. It's the reason you use this vocation, along with the resilience and HP bonuses. Its other skills are okay, but far more situational, aside from M-Pathy, which gives a pal some MP. Its level 40 quest item lets the holder use Solar Flair, which hits a group of foes for good "Light" damage based on Magical Mending, but is expensive. They also learn some defensive and healing spells, the best being Kerplunk, which KOs the user and uses all MP, but heals/revives the HP of all others. Great as a last resort, especially since they're usually the last one standing.
Skills: @4 Pincushion (Defend+hurt foes who attack user on turn used*), @16 H-Pathy (give HP to 1 ally), @32 M-Pathy (give MP to 1 ally), @55 Selflessness (take hits for critical HP allies*), @82 Forbearance (take hits for party)
Bonuses: @10 Resilience + 10, @22 Magical Mending + 30, @42 Resilience + 30, @68 Resilience + 60, @100 Maximum HP + 80
- Note 1: Only used for one turn. Because of the all damage taken is halved, don't expect too much for the payback. I don't know how this skill factors in with "spiked" gear, which has the same payback effects, but I imagine it helps if you like the skill itself.
- Note 2: Once activated in battle, this is a passive stance for a few turns, and activates based on situational crisis. It's hard to get into a situation where it's useful, since the allies have to be in critical health for it to work. It doesn't hurt to have it active for tough fights though.
-Armamentalist- This vocation loves boosts. Its skill and spell sets revolve around boosting your allies and weakening foes. Fource* is a skillset you WILL want to master eventually, as it lets you give your allies an elemental boost, letting them strike enemies' weaknesses and lower magic damage taken. The level 40 quest item it gets lets the holder use a single casting of a fource skill to affect all allies, making battles go even faster. Consider giving them the level 40 items of other vocations, such as Minstrel and Mage, to further increase their boosting capacity. As a vocation, it's rather well rounded for a "spell-caster", able to fight well and has a good chunk of MP for skills.
Skills: @4 Fire Fource (infuse ally w/ fire), @16 Frost Fource (infuse ally w/ ice), @32 Gale Fource (infuse ally w/ wind + lightning), @55 Funereal Fource (infuse ally w/ earth + darkness) @82 Life Fource (infuse ally w/ light)
Bonuses: @10 Strength + 10, @22 Resilience + 20, @42 Charm + 10, @68 Magical Might + 30, @100 Maximum HP + 30
- Note: Think of it as applying an elemental status upon allies. Thankfully, you don't gain the weaknesses of an element, but your physical damage dealt (unless a skill uses its own element) becomes an element (like fire), and the elemental damage you take (physical or magical) is reduced (such as, a fire hit won't hurt you as much). Sadly, fource does not infuse resistance of superior elements. So having fire fource won't reduce damage from ice. Obviously, it also reduces damage against the same element (a fire attack won't hurt a fire elemental enemy as much). It's quite handy otherwise if you don't want to use a mage/minstrel/luminary for elemental exploits.
Vanish and Mist Me are the best skills this vocation gets. Vanish hides the party out of battle and the user in battle to avoid detection, and Mist Me lets the user take a free hit. Soothe Sayer can be useful, but it is very situational. So what's a Ranger's meal ticket? DEFTNESS. This crafty vocation's high deftness helps it to critical hit like no other. Its other stats are also damn good too. Best of all, it gets some nice healing and support spells, meaning it can do well in any role aside from offensive spell casting. Its level 40 quest item is risky, but nice. The holder has better odds of dealing critical hits when at low HP. Combo with the Double Up skill, you may just luck out in a tight spot.
Skills: @4 Soothe Sayer (quell 1 enemy's rage), @16 Mercy (lets weakened enemies flee), @32 Vanish (conceals prescence*), @55 Mist Me (take 1 free hit for 0 damage*), @82 Wolf Whistle (2 strong attacks on random foes)
Bonuses: @10 Deftness + 10, @22 Agility + 20, @42 Resilience + 20, @68 Deftness + 30, @100 Deftness + 60
Note 1: In battle, Vanish does NOT prevent damage, prevents an enemy directly targeting you. So if the party is hit by strike-all or random target assault, they still can get damaged.
Note 2: Sadly, this effect does NOT layer, so being hit twice or more doesn't prevent subsequent blows.
FUCK. YES. Although this is the last vocation you get pre-post-game, it's probably one of, if not the best, at least at being a damn good all-around spell-caster. Its skill set is nothing to scoff at either. Lots of handy skills including the skill to change vocations anywhere, full party HP regen, DISRUPTIVE WAVE, and most importantly, 25% off all the user's MP costs! Its level 40 quest item lets the holder use "Twocus Pocus", a skill that lets the target use a spell twice a turn! However, as cool as the sage is, it is not the absolute best at everything. Technically speaking, the Mage and Priest are best at their respective roles; however, if you want 1 ally to do great at both, go sage, especially since it has Kazing (100% guarantee revive) and the Zam spell line (dark spell damage, which is great against certain difficult enemies).
Skills: @10 Jack's Knack (change vocations anywhere), @22 Right as Rain (party regens HP each turn), @42 Disruptive Wave (all boosts gone from all foes), @68 Caster Sugar (boosts user's Magical Might and Mending abit)
Bonuses: @4 Magical Mending + 20, @16 Magical Might + 20, @32 Magical Mending + 40, @55 Magical Might + 40, @82 Maximum MP + 60, @100 MP Consumption-25%
"YOU JUST MAD CAUSE I'M STYLIN' ON YA." is essentially the entire point of this vocation. In fact, it is so stylin', that you can't even get it until you beat the game. A more offensive-centric Minstrel, it ditches some spells to learn Bounce and the mighty Kaswooshle, which rips apart groups with wind damage. Its skill set centers on dazing and distracting enemies, and boosting the Charm stat to stun them. The last skill, Disco Stew, is a groovy skill that hits all foes for nice damage, and can really speed up grotto-exploration. Its level 40 quest item lets the holder use Gold Rush, which costs 1000 gold but does hefty damage to all foes. Worth using just for these skills alone.
Skills: @10 Autograph (50G for a hefty hit to 1 foe*), @22 Scandal Eyes (may blind a group), @42 Extreme Makeover (boosts user's charm), @68 Eyes on Me (enrage all foes to target user), @100 Disco Stew (smashes all foes*)
Bonuses: @4 Charm + 10, @16 Agility + 20, @32 Maximum HP + 20, @55 Charm + 20, @82 Charm + 30
- Note for Both: The damage dealt for these is based on Charm. Using Extreme Makeover will boost the damage some.
Weapon (and General Weapon Skills) Breakdown
There's not technically a "best weapon" type to choose from in this game. However, that is not to say that some weapons aren't better than others at doing certain things, and better for certain vocations. Some are even more beneficial for a vocation that may not even use them without an ally first mastering the weapon in question, For example: You may not think to give a Paladin a fan, but the fan's Reverse Cycle ability, combined with a Paladin's Forbearance is an extremely good combination versus breath attacks, and you can even stack a shield's Magic Mirror onto this, meaning the only thing that may harm the Paladin are strong or critical hits (if the paladin does not have the shield mastery scroll) and status effects (if the Paladin is not immune to them thanks to certain equipment). This is a somewhat risky 2 turn set up at times, but assuming your party can last those two turns, they might spend the next 4 or 5 damage free, all while deflecting damage back to the enemy or boss spewing breath or casting spells. Combos like this can be found and utilized quite easy with a bit of formulaic reasoning. This is just an overview of general stuff about each weapon type, and how they may be used well. That isn't to say you should just use one thing. Experiment and see what works best for you, and enjoy blasting foes with your favorite skills.
- Note 1: Like Vocations, weapons also have their own extra quests. Most of these can be started after defeating the boss at Swinedimples. You may not be able to finish some of them until later on though. The quest you get at having 30 skill points in a weapon nets you a fairly good weapon of that type. Having a weapon mastered (100 skill points) unlocks the second quest, which gives you a secret scroll, which lets the holder use an special skill when equipped with that weapon type. Some of these may not quite act like you might expect (The boomerang's special skill, Gigathrow only hits one foe instead of all of them), but you should find all of them are quite helpful.
- Note 2: "[Stat]+ # with [weapon]" skills transfer between vocations, but of course, only apply when that weapon type is equipped.
Swords are the go-to weapon for many; but, at least in DQ9, it's easy to see why. Swords can deal extra damage to 2 of the tougher enemy types: Dragons (i.e. Lizard-ish enemies) and Metal Slime types. GigaSlash** is good to decimate enemy groups. Their secret scroll skill, GigaGash*+**, is a TWIN GigaSlash. Their best skill is Falcon Slash, which hits a foe twice. Use this with a Falcon Blade and you get 4 hits! Add the Level 40 Gladiator quest item, and you may score 5! Top off with tension and attack boosting and you can cause some colossal single-enemy damage. Don't count other swords out though, because this combo requires beaucoups of natural Strength.
Skills: @3 Dragon Slash (~150% damage to dragons), @13 Metal Slash (~2 damage and increased accuracy to metal slime types), @35 Miracle Slash* (drains HP from damage dealt***), @58 Falcon Slash (double slash attack), @88 Gigaslash* (strong group slasher)
Bonuses: @7 Attack+10 with Swords, @22 Critical Hit Rate Up with Swords, @42 Attack+20 with Swords, @76 Attack+30 with Swords, @100 Omnivocational Swordmaster
- Note 1: These noted skills do not get an extra hit with the Falcon Sword. It's possible to get a second with the gladiator item for Miracle, but I don't know about the Giga skills, since I've never been lucky enough to see it myself.
- Note 2: The Giga skills fall are tied to the light elemental, so be careful against some resistant foes.
- Note 3: Miracle Slash heals the user by 1/4 of the damage they inflict to a foe
Yeah, they're motherfucking axes, and they're probably one of the best SUPPORT weapons. Yeah, I know that sounds lame, but hear me out. Axes have uses other than just hitting a single enemy. See that group of foes? Chop 'em down with Axes of Evil. Boss has a defense buff? Helm Splitter that sucker back to normal. Annoying ass enemy who won't die easily? Try to paralyze it with Parallax. Metal King Slime? Hatchet Man it and you may rake in major EXP. The only mediocre skill axes have is Poplar Toppler, which does extra damage... to plants, most of which are pretty damn weak to begin with. Otherwise, a good choice for a support character and a versatile one to boot.
- Note: Outside of quest completionism, don't waste your time with their secret scroll skill, Whopper Chop. It does good damage, and ignores physical defense buffs like magic, but costs 16 MP. Worst so, it relies solely on strength for damage, ignoring your weapon and element unlike Parallax, which does almost the same amount of damage, is also a "magic" strike, costs ONLY 3. It's not even a "critical hit", as it doesn't work on metal slimes, so why bother? Everything else about Axes is good, but they really got the shaft when it came to their secret scroll skill, much to the rage of many like myself.
Skills: @3 Poplar Toppler (~150% damage to plants), @13 Parallax (more damage+may paralyze a foe), @35 Helm Splitter (may lower defense), @58 Hatchet Man (50% hit chance, but crits when it hits), @88 Axes of Evil (group strike)
Bonuses: @7 Attack+10 with Axes, @22 Critical Hit Rate up with axes, @42 Attack+20 with Axes, @76 Attack+30 with Axes, @100 Omnivocational Axemaster
Spears are an offense-oriented versatile weapon, good for a variety of situations. Against Metal Slime foes, you have Pressure Pointer and Thunder Thrust, each having a chance to insta-kill/crit respectively. Mercurial Thrust is good to finish weakened foes before they heal up or use a trump card spell on your party. Multithrust hits random foes 3-4 times at half power each time, but goes great with tension and attack boosts. Cattle Prod is pretty handy because a good chunk of enemies are "beast" type. Their secret scroll skill, Lightning Storm, is BADASS, dealing great damage against ALL enemies. Let someone with high MP spam it, and those random encounters will drop like flies!
Skills: @3 Mercurial Thrust (50% damage, hits 1st), @13 Cattle Prod (~150% damage to beasts), @22 Pressure Pointer (may insta-kill a foe), @58 Thunder Thrust (50% hit chance, but crits when it hits), @88 Multithrust (50% damage, but 3-4 hits)
Bonuses: @7 Attack+10 with Spears, @35 Critical Hit Rate Up with Spears, @42 Attack+20 with Spears, @76 Attack+30 with Spears, @100 Omnivocational Spearmaster
They sound weak, but fans are damn helpful. As a support-defensive weapon, its strength lies in evading damage. Flower Power confuses a group to fight amongst themselves or be too dazed to duel. Reverse Cycle lets the user reflect back breath attacks used on them to the breather*. Schizofanic lets the user evade the next assault of any type on them. Fans can be offensive with Water Slaughter and Fan Dango, but you may use their secret scroll skill, Hustle Dance, more often. It heals the party by ~70 HP for free! As noted, fans go great for allies who protect others. Also, if you're lucky, you may find the ultimate fans, which boost your chance to get a coup-de-grace!
- Note: Reverse Cycle only protects the user against breaths. The rest of the party is still targeted. When reflected, only the breather takes damage. (When used with Forbearance, this reflects each breath target individually, making it quite good against bosses and enemies who like to spam breath damage to both protect your allies and also deal a decent chunk of damage.)
Skills: @3 Flower Power (May confuse a group), @13 Reverse Cycle (user reflects "breath"s), @35 Water Slaughter (~150% damage to "waters" (fishes and shit)), @58 Schizofanic (evade the next assault), @88 Fan Dango (50% damage, but 3-4 hits)
Bonuses: @7 Attack+10 with Fans, @22 Critical Hit Rate Up with Fans, @42 Attack+20 with Fans, @76 Attack+30 with Fans, @100 Omnivocational Fanmaster
Devo aside, whips are nice alternates to single target weapons. They hit groups of foes, and the early-learned Lashings of Love does extra damage to the rather common "humanoid" type. Whip skills that add confusion, sleep, or paralysis can be handy for quests to kill certain foes by certain risky methods. Consider using them with knife-users, as they knives have skills to do extra hurt to those hit by these ailments. Schadenfreude helps keep your HP up by draining a group's. Their special scroll skill, Serpent's Bite*, is alot like sword's GigaSlash. Like in DQ8, the double-hit Twin Dragon lash is also great, but sadly it now takes more points to learn.
- Note: It is also tied to light elemental as well, so beware.
- Bonus: If you find a Gringham Whip, you can hit ALL foes! (though I'm not sure if this applies to skills as well, but it'd be great if it does!)
Skills: @3 Hypnowhip (may confuse a foe), @7 Lashings of Love (group strike + ~150% damage to humanoids), @22 Trammel Lash (may paralyze a foe), @42 Hit the Hay (group strike + can put each to sleep), @76 Schadenfreude* (group strike + heals user), @88 Twin Dragon Lash (randomly strikes a group twice w/ heavy damage)
Bonuses: @13 Attack+10 with Whips, @35 Attack+20 with Whips, @58 Attack+30 with Whips, @100 Omnivocational Whipmaster
- Note: The damage you heal is about 1/4 that of the first enemy damaged.
Outside of the huge MP boosts, the MP regen, and handy skills they offer, only with attack boosts should you use them to normally attack. Why? Even though they can drain MP from foes by attacking, wands have horrible attack boosts and your typical spellcaster has horrible strength. However! Beelzefreeze can be a life saver against "demon" foes, as it has a pretty good chance of paralyzing them. Also, using certain wands as items "casts" weak spells for free! Most of these aren't bad early on, but they're less effective later. Zing Stick, their secret scroll skill, lets a wand user cast Zing as a skill. Pretty handy if you can't use it for whatever reason.
Skills: @7 Antimagic (may seal a foe's spells), @21 Beelzefreeze (may paralyze a demon), @44 Caduceus* (heal one ally by ~80 HP)
Bonuses: @3 MP+10 with Wands, @13 MP Absorption+2%, @31 MP+30 with Wands, @57 MP Absorption+4%, @70 MP+60 with Wands, @84 Auto MP Recovery with Wands, @100 Omnivocational Wandmaster
- Note: Caduceus is not affected by tension (or magical might), so you can use it without fear of losing any you have built up. (I think. I may have to double check)
Ancient "fistory" has shown fists to be classic weapons. They're always on-hand and you never need to buy a new set. They don't need an Omnivocational skill either. Instead, at 100 skill points, they get an extra 60 attack to stack on. Also, most fist skills don't need much MP. Do note that they won't be super-handy until you get Multifists, at 42 skill points. Their secret scroll skill, Miracle Moon, lets the user sock all foes and heal some HP. Provided you get alot of natural strength boosts from other vocations, you can even use fisticuffs post-game! Honestly, these go great as either a primary or secondary weapon. Give this badass weapon a shot if you can't think of anything else.
- Note: Even when using a shield, you can still use fisticuffs and their skills. However, when you have a weapon equipped, you must unequip it first to use fisticuffs.
Skills: @3 Stone's Throw (weak hit vs. an enemy group), @12 Wind Sickles (group strike, ~150% damage to elementals), @25 Knuckle Sandwich (~135% damage to a foe), @42 Multifists (4 hits to random foes), @77 Boulder Toss (hefty damage to all foes)
Bonuses: @7 Attack+10 with Fists, @18 Critical Hit Rate Up with Fists, @30 Evasion+4% with Fists, @60 Attack+30 with Fists, @100 Attack+60 with Fists
The knife is an underdog weapon. Skill and attack wise, it isn't too hot. However! When you get certain knives, you may find them to have GREAT special effects when striking or when used as items. They also work great in conjunction with other weapons, skills and effects, thanks to two of their skills which cause extra damage to enemies inflicted by status effects. Their secret scroll skill, Peresecutter, does extra damage to confused or sleeping foes. They're also pretty cheap, in both MP and gold costs. They're a cross between swords and wands, so you may use these if you can't decide between them and also if you want to act as more of a support-fighter.
- Note: I've found the best knife I've used to be the Falcon Knife Earrings, since the double hit applies to all of their skills (to my knowledge), which makes them great for insta-kills, inflicting effects, and exploiting ailment-affected foes with Victimiser and Persecutter. With attack boosts, they can surprisingly be quite good.
Skills: @3 Toxic Dagger (may poison a foe), @13 Fly Swat (~150% damage to bugs), @35 Victimiser (extra damage vs a poisoned/paralyzed foe), @58 Assassin's Stab (May insta-kill a foe), @88 HP Hoover (slash and drain HP)
Bonuses: @7 Attack+10 with Knives, @22 Critical Hit Rate Up with Knives, @42 Attack+20 with Knives, @76 Attack+30 with Knives, @100 Omnivocational Knifemaster
Tsarevna Alena from DQ4 loves 'em and so should you. Claws have one specialty: decimating single foes. If that's cool with you, keep reading. They're almost as strong as swords, but their skills are much more specialized in dealing damage and only a few need MP. An early one, Can Opener, crushes machine foes, who are some of the toughest in the game. Rake n' Break does damage and can remove all stat-boosts and tension on a foe! Their secret scroll skill, Hand of God*, does heavy damage to a single foe and is cheaper than most scroll skills. If your hero/MC uses claws, you should consider having a secondary weapon to deal with groups if you plan on soloing some areas.
Note: Hand of God has a light element tied to it, which can make it good for those weak against it, but not so much against those who are resistant. So beware.
Skills: @3 Propeller Blade* (2 attacks on a foe), @13 Can Opener (~150% damage to machines), @35 Flailing Nails* (4 hits on a foe), @58 Hardclaw (2 strong blows on a foe), @88 Rake n' Break (removes all stat-boosts)
Bonuses: @7 Attack+10 with Claws, @22 Critical Hit Rate Up with Claws, @42 Attack+20 with Claws, @76 Attack+30 with Claws, @100 Omnivocational Clawmaster
- Note: The second attack is a wind element magic strike, and does about half of the damage as your normal attack. Good for exploiting weaknesses.
- Note 2: Flailing Nails does random multipliers per hit, but generally ends up doing about 2-2.5 times the damage as your normal attack. Consider using it when you have ailment-inflicting claws on, like the cobra claws, that way you have a better chance of inflicting said ailment on a foe.
A.K.A. "Bo Staff". Staves are a curious case. They are a defensive type of weapon that just so happens to be versatile. Their actual attack power is also pretty high. Trip of a Deathtime and Party Pooper do well when fighting groups, and Deliverance is pretty good for the undead foes that pop up in various parts of the game. Crushed Ice* is the most odd. It hits random foes with 4 ice-based attacks, making it one of the few "Magic Sword" skills of the game. It does this regardless of weapon or Fource placed on it. Outside of Fisticuffs, they are the only weapon to offer an evasion boost. Their secret scroll skill, Counter Wait**, evades attacks and counters them.
- Note 1: I don't know if Crushed Ice relies on Magical Might in addition to physical strength or not. It may from what I've heard, but I'd need to see the actual formula to know for sure.
- Note 2: Counter Wait, unlike the shield skill Back Atcha, uses the user's attack rating as opposed to the enemy's. It doesn't seem to run off tension either. It also does not work against skills or spells taken.
Skills: @7 Trip of a Deathtime (attempt to trip a group), @22 Deliverance (~150% damage to zombies), @42 Party Pooper (attacks a group), @76 Crushed Ice (4 ice hits on random foes)
Bonuses: @3 Attack+10 with Staves, @13 Critical Hit Rate Up with Staves, @35 Attack+20 with Staves, @58 Evasion +4% with Staves, @88 Attack+30 with Staves, @100 Omnivocational Staffmaster
Let me just get this out of the way: Bows are HANDY AS FUCK. They'll probably end up as the weapons for an offensive spell-caster. Conjury Conductor can make an enemy weaker to magic, so when your aim is true, just spell-spam away. Out of MP? Not a problem! Shoot a Hallowed Arrow to steal some of an enemy's! Does your foe have bounce or is far too resistant to spells? Use Rain of Pain instead. Oh look, a Metal Slime variety! Needle Shot can make quick work of it. Now, you'll probably need to raise your natural strength with bonuses, but after that, you're all good to go. Even more so with bows' secret scroll skill, Shining Shot*, which hits all enemies.
- Note: Shining Shot is tied to the light element, so beware.
Skills: @3 Conjury Conductor (may weaken a foe vs. magic), @13 Flutter Disaster (~150% damage to birds), @35 Needle Shot (may insta-kill a foe), @58 Rain of Pain (4 hits to random foes), @88 Hallowed Arrow (drains MP from damage dealt)
Bonuses: @7 Attack+10 with Bows, @22 Critical Rate Up with Bows, @42 Attack+20 with Bows, @76 Attack+30 with Bows, @100 Omnivocational Bowmaster
Like Axes, hammers are best for support, but act in a different role. They're a bit more situational and specialized on turn order. Heart Breaker can be handy for stalling foes for some reason, and Bagsy Last always strikes after everyone else (but with boosted damage). You may not find much use for them at first, but you might come up with strategies later on, especially in multiplayer. Penny Pincher is good for slight gold gathering, but useless later on. Their ace skill, Crackerwhack hits all foes with earth damage, so keep that in mind when fighting resistant foes. Their secret scroll skill, Big Banga, also hits all foes harder, and seems to be non-elemental.
- Note 1: Big Banga may be dark-elemental. I have yet to see it in action, so I can't verify. Either way, you don't have to deal with earth resistance. I'm not sure if the two hammer skill relies on Magical Might for damage either.
- Note 2: Although it may be obvious when you check the bestiary, please note that "Material" and "Machine" enemy types are not the same.
Skills: @3 Heart Breaker (may stun a foe), @13 Penny Pincher (may steal money), @35 Bagsy Last (hit last w/ extra damage), @58 Monster Masher (~150% damage to materials), @88 Crackerwhack (Hits all foes)
Bonuses: @7 Attack+10 with Hammers, @22 Critical Hit Rate Up with Hammers, @42 Attack+20 with Hammers, @76 Attack+30 with Hammers, @100 Omnivocational Hammermaster
Ever since DQ5, Boomerangs have pretty much been the best thing for spamming "A" through random encounters. Not much has changed. What has changed though is how many enemies you typically encounter. You often fight 4-5 enemies at most, meaning until you get Firebird Throw, rangs aren't as handy. Still, they aren't bad for clearing out foes when none fall under groups. Curiously, their secret scroll skill, Gigathrow*, only hits one enemy, but does heavy damage against it. Give them a whirl, and you may find yourself returning to them. They're damn handy for a solo run and work GREAT in post-game. FBT is really good as an alt to Have a Ball, due to its fire element.
- Note: Like many secret scrolls skills, this is also tied to light elemental.
Skills: @3 Crosscutter Throw* (hits all foes, w/ an extra hit to the first), @7 Power Throw** (hits all foes w/o consecutive loss), @22 Ooze Bruiser (~150% damage to slimes), @42 Starburst Throw (equal strong Light damage to all foes), @58 Firebird Throw (7 fire hits to random foes), @88 Metalicker*** (Metal Slash all foes)
Bonuses: @13 Attack+10 with Boomerangs, @35 Attack+20 with Boomerangs, @76 Attack+30 with Boomerangs, @100 Omnivocational Rangmaster
- Note 1: The extra hit's damage is about 1/8 the starting damage the first foe takes.
- Note 2: Power Throw does about 80% the starting damage you would normally do to all foes instead of just the first and decreasing.
- Note 3: Metalicker does the normal Metal Slash damage to Metal Slimes, but still follows the normal consecutive reduction for every other enemy hit.
"Hey, shields aren't weapons!" Typically, and in DQ9, no, they are not. But... EVERY ally should master shields eventually. They add extra defense, have nice defensive skills, and often look cool as fuck. The best thing about shields is that there's a chance to completely NULLIFY ANY ASSAULT on the wielder. No damage, no effects, no ailments. Depending on your style, this can be a GREAT thing, or a good thing and minor inconvenience. You'll want to get hit for skills like Feel the Burn. Otherwise, shields are made even better by their secret skill scroll, which PREVENTS CRITICAL HITS on the holder when using a shield. A must for post-game.
- Note: Magic Mirror only reflects enemy spells. You're in the clear for healing and stat-boosts from your allies!
Skills: @6 Blockenspiel* (take+deal half damage turn used), @18 Defending Champion (90% reduction of physical damage), @32 Immense Defence (block % up for abit), @40 Magic Mirror (reflect enemy spells for abit), @66 Holy Impregnable (immune to ailments for a bit), @82 Back Atcha** (reflect physical attacks on the turn used)
Bonuses: @12 +2% to Block, @25 +2% to Block, @52 +2% to Block, @100 Omnivocational Shieldmaster
- Note 1: While using this, some weapons will not factor into the half damage formula for damage dealt, and instead the formula uses the damage output you'd do with your fists. If you have fists mastered, it's not much of a problem, but you will do much less damage than half if you don't.
- Note 2: This uses the damage an enemy would deal to you. As noted, it does not factor in skills or spells. This also does not run off tension, so don't worry about losing any you have built up.
Alchemy and Ingredient Breakdown
-When is it first available?-
Krak Pot, your sentient little alchemy pot buddy, becomes available after fully completing the Wight Knight ordeal (beating the Morag, talking with the king and princess of Stornway after doing so, etc. You'll know when you're done.). Go back to the Stornway Inn/Quester's Rest and talk with Erinn. She should bring it out after doing so (If not, then you probably need to wrap up something you missed with the king and princess.). Sadly, you cannot take it with you, but the good news is that it does INSTANT alchemy for a combo up to nine times at once. To clarify: If you have 18 Medicinal Herbs and you wanted 9 Strong Medicines, all you have to do is "Use a Recipe" and tell Krak Pot that you want 9 of it. Alternatively, you CAN use "Try Your Luck" to set the values yourself, but you must have the proper numeral pairs for the product, and can only add 9 of them that way, as opposed to recipes where you can make them regardless of the total number of ingredients, just no more than 9 of the final product.
-How Do I Make [product] and What Do I Need?-
If you want to know what all is possible to make then use this compendium of Alchemy Recipies: HERE
If you want to know how to make something in specific, or what ingredient can be used for what, use this Recipe Search: HERE
-Where to find what ingredient on the overworld-
Not sure who all made this, but it's one of a handful of helpful variations made. The best version I've seen is "Material Map with Menu Icons, Regions and Grid by Tyralyon" found HERE. (Too big to upload here.)
Chronocrystals are bought in a store for 50000 gold EACH (Yes, seriously.)
That mini medal location seems to always only have JUST ONE medal pop up per respawn.
-"Why is this ingredient respawn taking so long?"/"Why am I getting so little of this ingredient?"
There's a reason for that. Respawn times and ingredient quantities vary per a number of various factors, each of which seem diiferent per each save (or cart). You may find much more of a certain ingredient much more often than somebody else might. In addition, from one day to the next (likely REAL day, but not necessarily to count out the in-game days), you may find an abundance of an ingredient that you found so little of before. There's no real rhyme or reason to these rates, the ingredients just pop up or they don't. However, they are all consistent in each and every game as to where they spawn and are located.
-Why can't I find [ingredient] on the Overworld? -
Some ingredients: must be bought, can only be found in blue chests, are monster drops/steals, and lastly, some ingredients must be alchemized already before they can be used. Here is an example of the last one: In order to make the Apollo's crown, you must first have the Sun Crown ingredient, which comes from alchemizing a "Skull Helm" and 3 "Saint's Ashes". I'm not sure about each item myself, but someone named "thwgatrostys" has compiled the data for damn near all, if not all, in this FAQ.
Metal Slime Hunting
- Special thanks to PKFire for getting this sucker started.
-"What are metal slimes"?-
If you have ever played a Dragon Quest game before, you'll already know why everyone goes crazy over these little buggers. They are a special breed of slimes that give gigantic amounts of experience! The trade-off? They are really hard to kill without proper preparations.
Metal slimes only have a handful of HP, but an extremely high defense score, making them nearly impenetrable to attacks. A normal attack will not do more than 1 point of damage no matter how powerful you are, and frequently you won't do any damage at all. Apart from that, they are also immune to all kinds of magic. To top it off, they are very rare, very fast and like to run away a lot, often even before you get a chance to strike. Still, if you know what you are doing, there is no better way to gather big amounts of EXP in no time. Keep in mind that they'll try to run away even before the fight starts, so don't dawdle if you see one.
- Note: If you're quick about it, you can sneak up behind them. Using Holy Water or the Vanish skill defintiely helps here. It won't always assure a surprise attack for you, but it's better than charging them head-on.
-Let's get into the details-
There are five kinds of metal slimes, each having more HP and giving more EXP than the last one. If you haven't gotten to them yet, please note that these EXP amounts are BEFORE they split amongst your allies.
Metal Slime: 3-4 HP, 4096 EXP, encountered in the Quaratomb
Metal Medley: 6-7 HP, 12288 EXP, encountered in the Bad Cave
Liquid Metal Slime: 7-8 HP, 40200 EXP, encountered in the Bowhole
Metal King Slime: ~16 HP, 120040 EXP, encountered post-game in the Tower of Nod (however, so rare that they aren't worth hunting)
Platinum King Jewel: ~20 HP, 240000 EXP, only encountered in very high-leveled grottos
Gem Slime: ~20 HP, 6000 EXP, 10080 Gold, also only in very high-leveled grottos
-"Are there any other places where you can find them?"-
Yes, however you won't see those places until post-game. Once you have the ability to fly, you can visit the hill to the east of Angel Falls, which has slimes of all kinds and metals up to the liquid variety. More importantly, they are very common in this place, you might even be able to kill three liquids in a single encounter if fortune smiles upon thee.
The other places are grottos, the randomly generated post-game dungeons. Liquids start popping up in grottos of around high level 40s, kings at high level 50s, and jewels way later. Fortunately, "slime hill" at Angel Falls is more than enough to get to the point where you're strong enough to conquer these grottos.
- Note: For Metal Kings, a number of people have noticed that they like to pop up more often in grottos with water themes (not snow, WATER). If you have a high level grotto and notice it's flooded, you may just get lucky!
-General Levels to Move onto the Next Rank of Metal Slime-
Still utilizing the most basic Metal Slime at Level 18? Sheesh, it's time to move on. Using THIS page as a guide, here's the general levels you should probably move on at.
- Note: To clarify, Solo means going at these suckers alone. Duo means just bringing along one party member. Considering how experience splits up in this game, this may work better for you if your party has huge level gaps in it.
Quarantomb - Level 13
Bad Cave - Level 22
Bowhole - Level 31
Solo or duo Bowhole - 40
Angel Falls plateau - Level 46. Best done solo or duo after 40 or so
Grottos with Metal King Slimes - Level 46 to 49, depending on how common they are in your respective favorite grotto, how long your party may survive fights with other enemies, and how patient you are.
-"So how do you kill them?"-
You can get a bunch of very useful skills to make your hunts easier. Generally you'll want to use skills that attack multiple times to maximize your damage output.
Normal Attacks - Enough to kill the basic metal slimes if you're lucky. There's always the chance to get a critical hit, which will pierce their defence and kill them instantly.
Metal Slash (Sword) - Exactly what it says on the tin. This attack will always do 1 or 2 points of damage (unless the little shit dodges, which still occasionally happens). Very useful in combination with the falcon blade, which attacks twice, for a potential 4 points of damage!
Metalicker (Boomerang) - Same as the metal slash, except it hits all enemies on the screen. However, since you will likely never see multiple metals in one encounter until post-game, this is less useful than it sounds.
Multithrust / Fan Dango / Multifist (Spear/Fan/Fisticuffs) - This skill strikes random enemies four times in a row. Quite useful if you are only facing one metal. Gets less godly when there are several monsters. The spear variant may sometimes only hit 3 times, but when used with the Demon Spear noted below, and you may just see more than one metal slime insta-killed in one go!
Have a Ball (Litheness) - Hits random foes 7-8 times. Not too shabby for slimes, medleys or even liquids, though it does need a lot of skill points in litheness, which isn't really the best skill tree otherwise.
Flailing Nails (Claws) - Attacks the same enemy four times in a row. Seems to be somewhat less reliable than multifist, though.
Mercurial Thrust (Spear) - Always gets the first strike of the round. Quite useful when you're sure that the slime only has 1 HP left.
Thunder Thrust / Hatchet Man (Spear/Axe) - Now we're talking. These two skills may only have a 50% chance of hitting at all, but when they do, you get a critical hit and one dead metal slime. These are THE BEST skills to kill liquids, kings and platinum jewels with, nothing else comes close. The only downside is a relatively high MP usage.
Pressure Pointer / Needle Shot / Assassin's Stab (Spear/Bow/Knife) - Both of these early skills may instant-kill even the strongest metal slimes. The chance is a bit low though. You do need the first to finish a side-quest.
Acceleratle - Got a mage with you who doesn't have any of the above skills? Give this spell a chance. If the slimes haven't all escaped by the next round already, your chances to strike before they do will be increased.
Weapons with an Instant-Kill Chance - There are a few weapons with a chance to instantly kill a foe when you strike. The earliest you may find is the Poison Needle, which always does 1 damage and has a low chance to kill instantly. The Assassin's Dagger also has this chance, but not the assured 1 damage. The Demon Spear is a surprisingly NOT-cursed weapon that has this chance, but also not the 1 damage assurance. It's also good otherwise.
- Note: As noted in other sections above, equipping the Gladiator's Level 40 quest item can give you a chance at an extra hit for an attack or physical skill. Every little bit helps, right?
-"What can I do to stop them from running away?"-
Normally, nothing except killing them before they do. However, if your charm and style are high, you may be able to distract them for a turn. This is a rather chancy IF though.
-Tips to Avoid Metal Boredom-
Let's be honest. Trying to fight the same damn enemy several times can be frustrating, even boring. The official guide even admits it. Here's some suggestions to keep the experience from growing stale:
1. Try getting some alchemy ingredients. If there's some enemies nearby that drop something handy, you can try stealing from or defeating them for a while. Especially if you can recall a recipe you can almost finish.
2. Fight other enemies in general. If a metal slime doesn't want to spawn, and it's been 10 minutes or so, blow off some steam on other foes. Since this clears out the build up of other foes, you may get lucky and see one pop up post-battle. Either way, it'll net you more gold than fighting Metals ever will.
3. Take a break and leave the area. Blue chests and (usually) overworld ingredients respawn everyday. If you've been so preoccupied grinding, you may have forgotten to check for new loot! Not bad if you can net mini-medals either.
Treasure Maps and Grottos
Treasure Maps, Grottos, and Legacy Bosses... The pre-post-game story feels like a tutorial compared to dealing with some of this stuff. Thankfully, there are ways to alleviate this, due to the efforts of people on the internet.
-Your First Treasure Map-
Outside of Tag Mode, most players get their first map from a certain "Christopher Collapsus", an NPC lying down on the broken staircase just outside Zere Rocks at the top of the Heights of Loneliness (To clarify for those who have not gotten here yet, it's right after you get off the first boat ride, through the town of Dourbridge, and to the east, where there is a mountain-ish area. You won't get here until you fight Lleviathan, so don't get too anxious.). Be sure you have alchemized a Special Medicine ahead of time, so you don't have to go back to Stornway. Give it to him, and he'll give you a treasure map. Open it from the menu, find the location (see below if you're having trouble), open the Grotto (note the "!" on your head when you're near it), and get to exploring. After you beat the boss at the bottom, you will get a new treasure map in addition to the one you already have. Find the new location, conquer that dungeon, and you will gain yet another new map. And so on, and so on. And no, despite what he says, Christopher never seems to get off that damn mountain.
- Note: When taking a map in Tag Mode, you keep your map that you're offering, as only a copy is transferred to other people. And please don't give a crap map, because nobody's going to bother with it.
-Important References to Map Your Way to Victory-
Where the Grottos are: How can you explore a grotto if you can't find it? Don't worry. With this, you're as good as covered. Just compare your map to one of the pics, and you'll find the area easily.
Treasure Map Searcher - Not sure quite where a map is, but know some attributes of the general area? This will help you narrow down your search if you can't quite recall the images in the link above.
What the names mean: This is important as fuck. Essentially, names cover: what kind of monsters you may encounter, which of the 12 Grotto bosses you may meet, and how many floors the Grotto will have.
The Heal/Hoimi Table: A crazy compilement based on how many times you need to use healing spells to get the best item drops from Grotto bosses or Alchemiracles (i.e. the best of a type of weapon or armor gear in the game). You may or may not want to use this, depending on how obsessed you are with rare loot.
Let's face it. If you're an OG Dragon Quester/Warrior like some of us, then this was probably the main reason you bought this game. Don't even lie. Disregarding even more of them for now, this is just a friendly reminder of how to obtain some of them:
1. If you somehow manage to get to any official events, or hot-spot tagging areas, then you may get a map from an official representative, or someone willing to give you a copy of theirs.
2. The maps will be offered through the in-game DLC quests. You still have to beat the quest to actually obtain the map (like defeating Trauminator with absolutely no equipment for Mortamor's map).
3. The biggest difference to normal grotto maps is that these only have a boss floor and they always start at level 1, but make no mistake, they are still exceedingly powerful. Once you beat a boss, they will come back to their feet and ask for the EXP from the fight. This way you can actually level them up, making them even stronger, but also making them give more EXP and drop better items. Some of them might even drop maps for other bosses.
The following is a list of every legacy boss you can fight and how to get their maps (beware, this might spoil some of the other DQ games for you):
Dragonlord (final boss of DQ): 5% drop from Greygnarl in high-level grottos
Malroth (final boss of DQII): DLC quest 151
Baramos (mid-boss of DQIII): Quest 62 (post-game)
Zoma (final boss of DQIII): DLC Quest 167
Psaro the Manslayer (final boss of DQIV): 5% drop from Dragonlord
Estark ("Legendary Evil" of DQIV and DQV, famous monster of DQM series): DLC quest 152
Grandmaster Nimzo (final boss of DQV): 5% drop from Psaro
Murdaw (mid-boss of DQVI): 5% drop from Baramos
Mortamor (final boss of DQVI): DLC quest 158
Nokturnus (bonus boss of DQVI): DLC quest 184 (WARNING! He may very well be the hardest of all (even in-canon!), even having the highest base stats of any boss.)
Orgodemir (final boss of DQVII): DLC quest 176
Dhoulmagus (mid-boss of DQVIII): 5% drop from Murdaw
Rhapthorne (final boss of DQVIII): DLC quest 179
Take care, because these are the hardest foes in the game. Even at level 1, some of them will utterly destroy you without the right equipment and skills. If you manage to beat one, there is a small chance they will drop a piece of gear belonging to that game's hero. Otherwise, they tend to drop Mini Medals.
Good luck, you will need it.
-General Stuff in General-
1. The inn at Stornway, the one you take Erinn to, is where you recruit customized party members. Talk to the violet-ribboned, dark blue-haired lass, Patty, and she'll help you plan your party. This lets you make an ally from scratch, and lets you choose what vocation they will follow (Warrior, Fighter, Thief, etc.). You can also drop off allies here if you so choose.
2. Unless you want to challenge yourself, PLEASE, please, do the Alltrades Abbey fygg mission as soon as you can. Talk to NPCs in the abbey to learn the Bow Party Trick, assign it in the menu, use it at the entrance of the tower to the east, beat the boss and return to the abbey, and change your vocations as you wish. I've heard way too many horror stories of frustrated people missing out on this when it was right there the entire time.
3. In the story, there's no set path for getting the Fyggs. After you get your own boat, you may take on the ones you haven't gotten yet in any order you so desire. Or do some questing and exploration. Take your time and enjoy the game for what it is.
4. Playing in Multiplayer increases the amount of experience points you would normally get. Very handy if you might be having trouble in the game outside of this. Also, multiplayer does NOT count as single-player play time. As a result, you can power up like mad in multiplayer and steamroll single player in record time.
5. After you unlock DQVC (roughly after you get the Zoom ability for your Hero/MC), check it from time to time. You may find a few alchemy ingredients, items, or pieces of gear that you had been looking for. Best of all, anything they sell is much cheaper than it is if you were to find it in a store. It updates everyday and the various types of sales campaigns change every Friday update.
-Tips from Others- Here's some advice from one of /v/'s resident Dragon Warriors, Dogi, with the occasional supplemental note from yours truly:
1. SP don't have to be spent when gained. Or even on the class that gains them.
2. Pick one weapon per character and master it asap. Make that their primary for other classes. Even the pitifully weak mage can make a decent hack at an enemy when they have spears mastered.
3. Swap jobs often early leveling several jobs to 20 is a hell of a lot faster than leveling one to 30. And that way you get over 250 SP to spend, instead of just roughly 65-75.
4. Go for the early stat bonuses in class specific trees, and their useful skills. 22 SP as a Martial Artist's class tree gets you 10 agility, 10 strength, psyche up and War Cry. 16 SP into a thief's gets you 20 agility, 20 deftness and Half-Inch (aka Steal)
5. There is no fucking up. There are 12 classes. You get 200SP once a class is level 99. There are 26 skill trees. 2600 SP to learn everything, 2400SP from maxing everything. You can rebirth a class to level 1 and gain all the SP again without losing the previously spent SP.
6. Don't bother grinding on anything but the newest Metals you can kill, unless it's a level 1 character. Even then a single fight can get them to level 5 and have enough HP for metal hunting.
- Note: Strictly speaking about quick EXP, as for gold, there's other enemies and manners to obtain that.
these last 6 are more for post game than main game, but keep them in mind while going through the story. Especially if you grind several classes
7. Pick a main class for each person in your party, master skill trees that benefit them. Giving your melee the priest skill tree, Benevolence, is useless, but giving a Healer or Sage Benevolence is very helpful (paladin's good for every class really though, same for sage)
8. Teach everyone either axes or spears. This way you can metal grind as any class using the crit skills.
- Note: As noted above, it's not the only way to do it, but its easily the best for Metal Kings and Platinums Jewels.
9. If a grotto chest gives you 3000 gold or Orihalcum, it is an A rank chest. This means it can carry Metal slime equipment, remember that chest and farm it.
10. If a grotto chest gives you Sage's elixir it's likely a C or B ranked chest. It can have three star weapons inside and usually mini medals.
11. If a grotto chest gives you Gold Bars, Reset Stones or Soma Drinks then it is very likely an S ranked chest. You can get the four star strongest weapons in the game from those. Definitely remember where those chests were and farm the shit out of them.
- Note: For the above 3, the easiest way to farm is raid each chest, exit before or after beating the boss (your call), and closing and re-opening the map. This refreshes EVERYTHING and INSTANTLY (including the boss).
12. Grottos with all MKS floors are most likely going to be a water type with Emerald, Platinum, Diamond, Ruby or Sapphire prefixes.
Links of Interest
-Websites and stuff-
Dragon's Den - The classic go-to place for DQ info. Their DQ9 page is QUITE detailed to say the very least. Probably the best one in English.
Nintendo UK's DQ9 Homepage - Not bad for absolute beginners. Plus you can use the "Customisation" feature to experiment with faces and even save your finished face as an image.
Nintendo USA's DQ9 Homepage - Not as kickass as the UK's, but not bad for what it is.
GameFAQs - Gotta give props to those who made it less difficult to make this page.
Dragon Quest Fan - A budding French page. I don't know. You can learn some of the different names of in-game places and stuff in French and seem educated or something.