Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies (JP) is the ninth instalment in the acclaimed Dragon Quest series, developed by Level-5 and published by Square Enix in Japan and Nintendo in North America, Europe and Australia.
In Dragon Quest IX, the user controls a hero and his companions as they travel across the game world fighting villains, solving puzzles, hunting for treasure and more. At the beginning of the game the user is asked to create a character and choose his or her physical characteristics. This will be the main character for the rest of the game. Before the battle with the Wight Knight, the player will be able to enlist up to three companions and assign a vocation for them. At any point in the game the player can choose to replace one of their companions with another one, though they are also warned that in doing so the character being replaced will be lost forever. After reaching a certain point in the game the user will be able to assign different vocations for all four characters.
Battles are turn based like previous instalments in the series. Unlike previous Dragon Quest games, however, battles will not randomly commence. Rather, the player will be able to visibly see the enemies on the screen and choose whether or not to battle them. Enemies who are very powerful will chase the player while enemies that aren't powerful will run away. During battles players have multiple options such as attacking, using special abilities or spells, defending themselves, using items or running away. If the entire party is wiped out, they will be brought back to the nearest town and lose half of their coins (coins deposited in a bank are safe). If a battle is successfully won then the player will reap the rewards of the battle including money, experience points and occasionally items (depending on the enemy and their chances of dropping an item). While battling standard enemies is not mandatory it is required in progressing the game due to the experience points they grant the player when defeated. Without these experience points, battles with the game's bosses, which are required, would be impossible to complete.
The hero starts out as a celestrian, invisible to the human eye, with the hero's mentor Aquilia. They and the other celestrians help the people of the world known as the Protectorate. As the new guardian of Angel Falls, the hero learns how to protect and serve the village, including helping people and talking to deceased spirits. A character named Erinn and her grandfather are traveling to Angel Falls, but a Cruelcumber and two Slimes are ready to ambush them. Aquilia and the hero defeat these creatures, and the player learns combat skills. After collecting benevolessence, a person's gratitude, they return to the celestrian base, the Observatory.
However, an evil beam of light blasts through the Observatory, and the hero, fyggs, and the celestial train, the Starflight Express, falls down to the Protectorate.
The hero wakes up, half mortal, as he/she is visible and has lost their halo and wings. Erinn said that they have crashed into the falls. Then Ivor, a young disrespectful boy asks the hero to go with him to the passage to Stornway, a city, which was blocked off by an earthquake. On the way, the hero encounters the main part of the Starflight Express, but Ivor cannot see it, and the door was apparently locked. At the landslide, some soldiers tell the hero and Ivor that the passage will be cleared soon. The soldiers also ask the hero and Ivor if a person named Patty was able to travel to Angel Falls through the Hexagon, however neither of them have heard of her.
Erinn seems concerned for some reason after the hero gets back and tells the hero about a friend of her father, named Patty. She then learns that she tried to go Angel Falls through an ancient ruin called the Hexagon. She almost asks the hero to go, but says it is too dangerous. The hero still goes to the Hexagon, where Patty is trapped under some rubble. But a monster called the Hexagoon appears and engages the player, yet the hero wins.
After traveling back, Erinn wants to go to Stornway, but is afraid. At night, Stella a fairy girl, and a driver of the Starflight Express, runs into the hero, and she doesn't believe that he/she is a celestrian. So, with the help of the spirit of Erinn's father the hero finds his trophy of the Incredible Inntertainer. After the hero shows her the trophy, Erinn then becomes confident enough to go to Stornway with Patty, and Stella, finally convinced that the hero is a celestrian, joins the hero.
Stella and the hero go back to the Starflight, to try and return to the observatory, but this unfortunately fails. Stella decides that in order to get the Starflight working again, the hero would have to gather Benevolessence. In order to try and find some people to help in order to get benevolessence, the hero decides to go to Stornway.
Upon arriving in Stornway, the hero hears of an infamous character, known as the Wight Knight. King Schott, the king of Stornway, has put a notice up asking for anyone brave enough to try and defeat the Wight Knight, should come to the castle, as the Wight Knight has been attacking the town and apparently trying to steal the Kings daughter, Princess Simona. Stella thinks that this would be a great way to gather benevolessence, so the hero goes to the king and agrees to try and defeat the Wight Knight. The hero decides that he could not do this alone, so he goes to Patty's Party Planning Place at the Stornwa Inn.
* - Post-Story boss
In Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies, there are twelve different classes that characters can have. There are six starting classes which are unlocked at the beginning of the game. They are Warrior, Priest, Mage, Martial Artist, Thief, and Minstrel.
There are also six unlockable classes that are unlocked by completing certain quests throughout the game. They are Paladin, Ranger, Gladiator, Armamentalist, Sage, and Luminary. The quests for Gladiator and Armamentalist are unlocked after defeating Master of Nu'un. The quest for Ranger can be done once the player has reached Zere Rocks. The quest for Paladin can be done once the player has reached Gleeba. The quest for Sage can be done once the player has reached Gittingham Palace. The quest for Luminary can be done after the main story has been completed.
In Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies, grottoes are used a separate side-quest-like system which extends into a post-story mode. It allows the player to obtain treasure maps, which lead the player to a grotto, by showing them a small section of a map, with a red "X" where the grotto is located. When the treasure map is opened from the item menu, it replaces the normal map on the top screen. Once at the location of the hidden grotto the player will have an exclamation mark appear above their head and after they press the A Button the grotto will be revealed. After a grotto has been found it will always be shown when its treasure map is open. Inside the grottoes the player can explore a generated dungeon to find treasures and fight bosses that are located at the end of the grotto. Each of the floors of the grottoes start without a map, however as the player moves through the grotto the map is already filled in with the walls and staircases that the player sees. On the last floor of the grotto, the player faces a special boss, and after the boss is defeated, they drop another treasure map, and have a chance of dropping rare items.
However, there are also Legacy Grottoes, where the player must simply defeat a boss from a previous Dragon Quest game, and they will receive a new Legacy Grotto map, instead of a regular treasure map.
At the end of each grotto the player must defeat a boss to finish the grotto. Almost every grotto boss is a re-color of an original boss in the game. For example, Tyrannosaurus Wrecks has the same model as Master of Nu'un, however it has different colors.
|Shogum||Sir Sanguinus||Trauminator||Tyrannosaurus Wrecks|
All grotto bosses, except for Greygnarl, have a 2% chance of dropping a rare piece of armor which can't be obtained elsewhere. However the actuality of obtaining the armor can be determined using a Hoimi Table.
Several fans of the game have made tools that can help players with grottoes and treasure maps, by doing functions like recording facts about grottoes, telling players where grottoes are located, calculating when types of metal slimes can be found in specific grottoes, calculating what a dungeon will look like, and calculating what a player will get from a blue chest. A tool has also been made that can help a player to find when the player can receive a special item drop from grotto bosses.
- Treasure Map Searcher - Helps players to find the location of their grotto
- Offline Map Tool - Gives players information about their grotto
- Grotto Calculator - Gives the player information about their grotto and for the next grotto they will get
- Grotto Log App - Allows the player to log information about the grottoes that they have found
- Hoimi Table - Allows the player to calculate when they will obtain rare boss drops
- Alternate Hoimi Table - An alternate, easier to use, version of the Hoimi table
On August 19, 2006, series composer Koichi Sugiyama confirmed that Dragon Quest IX is in development. He is quoted by Japanese video game magazine Famitsu as saying "I'm not sure when Dragon Quest IX will be released, but it seems that progress is continually being made. I'm personally excited."
On December 12, 2006, during a press conference celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Dragon Quest franchise, Square Enix announced that Dragon Quest IX will be released exclusively for the Nintendo DS handheld gaming system, making it the first original numbered Dragon Quest title to appear on a handheld. Dragon Quest IX was announced to feature an action-oriented battle system and cooperative multiplayer for up to four players via Wi-Fi, as opposed to the traditional turn-based design of earlier Dragon Quest games. Ultimately, neither of these things came true. Though the final game did contain a four player mode, it was only local.
Early in 2010 Nintendo announced that they would publish the title in North America, Europe and Australia. Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies was featured on the cover of Nintendo Power V257.
The Nintendo version of the game replaced the sword at the end of the game's logo with a T. According to series creator Yuji Horii this was done because Nintendo felt that the sword was too "childish".
- Official Dragon Quest IX Japanese Website
- Teaser Site The Official Dragon Quest IX Teaser Site From Level 5
|Dragon Quest series|
|Main series||Dragon Quest (I & II) • II (I & II) • III (I-II-III) • IV • V • VI • VII • VIII • IX • X • XI|
|Dragon Quest Monsters series||Monsters (Remake) • Monsters 2 (Remake) • Caravan Heart • Joker • Joker 2 (Pro) • Joker 3 (Pro)|
|Mystery Dungeon series||Torneko no Daibōken • Torneko: The Last Hope • Torneko no Daibōken 3|
|Slime series||Slime MoriMori Dragon Quest • Rocket Slime • Slime Mori Mori Dragon Quest 3|
|Spin-offs||Swords • Monster Battle Road Victory • Wars • Itadaki Street DS • Fortune Street • Heroes I + II|
Theatrhythm • Builders • Builders 2 • Rivals
|Related||Enix • Chunsoft • Level-5 • Yuji Horii • Akira Toriyama • Koichi Sugiyama • Chrono Trigger|