Dragon Quest VIII is a classic role-playing game, but the minds behind Square Enix have added some great new twists. Looking for drama? Action? Adventure? Horror? Barfights? This game has got it. Just when the plot and storyline starts becoming clear, it turns around and stabs you in the back.
The story line is one that should be familiar to RPG veterans: a group of rag-tag characters with different backgrounds unite for a common cause: killing the bad guy who manages to unleash evil upon the world while staying one step ahead of the heros.
In DQ VIII, the evil, maniac jester Dhoulmagus (don’t ask me to pronounce it) steals a forbidden scepter which unleashes a curse. The kingdom housing the scepter becomes entangled with enchanted vines, while the king and princess are transformed into animals. The only person who manages to survive is you: the Hero. King Trode is now a “hideous” frog, and his “beautiful” daughter Medea is transformed into a horse who pulls your wagon (let’s see the feminists in the crowd comment on this).
The three of you set out to catch Dhoulmangus. A cast of characters eventually meet up with and join in your quest. Yangus, an ex-bandit and thief with an English accent (a la Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins), wields a mighty club among other items. Jessica, the now only child of a rich family, can cast spells and due minimal damage using whips and daggers. She also uses her “feminine charms” to subdue enemies (namely, blowing kisses, sexy dances, etc.).
Last is Angelo, the Templar Knight who is cast out of the Abbey to join your group. He not only has a fair amount of attack power, but learns a lot of status and healing spells for your party. These three characters accompany you on your quest to annihilate Dhoulmagus.