Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride, also known as Dragon Quest V: The Hand of the Heavenly Bride in Europe, is the fifth installment in the Dragon Quest game series It was the first Dragon Quest title to be released for the SNES. It was later re-released for the Playstation 2 and Nintendo DS, the latter being the first time it was released outside of Japan.
Along with Dragon Quest VI, the original SNES release never reached North America. In the absence of an official translation, several fan translations exist for the SNES version, as well as the PS2 version.
Dragon Quest V was the first game in the series in which certain monsters from random encounters may offer to join the player's party. Later, the same concept would spawn the Dragon Quest Monsters series.
The legend of Zenithia continues
Dragon Quest V follows in the footsteps of Dragon Quest IV by having unique divisions between segments of the game. Rather than using chapters, the game follows the life of the hero from childhood to adulthood to parenthood. This divides the game into 3 separate eras. It retains all of the typical elements of a Dragon Quest RPG with respect to enemies, levels, equipment, etc.
- Main article: Monster recruitment in Dragon Quest V
The largest gameplay addition was the inclusion of a monster recruitment system. Under this system, certain monsters may elect to join the player's party after being defeated in battle. These monsters then behave as typical player characters who can level up, use equipment, and receive orders/tactics in battle. Only specific monsters may be recruited and many have very low probability of joining the player's party. This new feature adds a great deal of replay value as it greatly increases the possible party configurations a player can use.
Throughout the game, many special items called knick-knacks may be collected by the player. These items can be displayed in a special museum; NPCs will be attracted to the museum once it has exhibits. The museum curator sometimes offers gold in exchange for the special product exhibits. Some special products will be upgraded by certain plot events. Knick-knacks are unrelated to the overall plot of the game and exist only as a sidequest.
There are multiple vehicles in the game used for traveling to various locations. In addition to the typical ship vehicle, there are several additional vehicles.
- Magic carpet: It can travel on grass, water, and shoals, and will suppress wandering monster encounters due to its high speed. It can be carried as an item, allowing it to be used anywhere where there is a sufficient region of grass to take off. However, it cannot travel through forests, so a line of forest inside a line of water (or vice versa) remains an impassible barrier.
- The Sky Castle: It can fly over any terrain; but it cannot reach or pass the high mountain on the central continent where the Great Temple is located. It can only land or take off from grass (and only large areas of grass, due to its size). The Return spell will not relocate the castle, although it is itself a valid Return target.
- The Master Dragon: The Master Dragon can also fly over any terrain, and moreover can reach the Great Temple on the mountain. He may be called with the "Bell of the Dragon" item, given by the dragon towards the end of the game. Like the carpet and Castle, the Master Dragon can only drop or pick up the party from grassy locations. He cannot reach the Dark World, so the Bell will have no effect there.
Other new features
- In this game it is possible to use katakana and numbers to name characters; earlier games had only allowed the use of hiragana. Also, message windows can now display kanji.
- Search, Talk, and Open commands can now be issued by a single button press, bypassing the menu.
- Combat screens now have background images, as in the first game. The images actually depend on the local terrain. Also, attacking a monster or casting an offensive spell will produce a matching animation.
- The original SNES version only allows 3 active party members instead of 4; a 5-person wagon is still available, however.
- The shop interface now shows what stat changes will occur when a weapon is equipped, and can equip purchased items automatically.
- Characters can now move a half-block tile at a time rather than only a full block.
- There is now a separate Defense stat, determining a character's base defense; in earlier games the base defense was calculated from other statistics.
- Boomerangs and whips, for the first time, can attack multiple enemies.
- Some traditional spells had their effects slightly altered.
- Pots, barrels, and similar objects can now be Searched, and will often contain useful items.
Dragon Quest V features a more advanced party AI than Dragon Quest IV. There is a "learn" strategy, which improves much faster than its counterpart in the previous game. It is also possible, unlike in the previous game, to set PCs to command mode, allowing them to be controlled individually as in the first three games rather than being automated.
Also, the mechanism for replacing characters with reinforcements from the wagon was changed. It no longer takes a turn for a character to be swapped with one in the wagon, and it is possible to replace all characters at once. This significantly changes battle strategy, especially against major bosses.
For the first time, any character who is targeting an already-dead monster will have their target automatically transferred to one of the other monsters (selected at random). In earlier games, the action was simply cancelled.
Chimera wings and the Zoom spell
The Chimera wing item will transport the party to the last town they visited, as in the earliest games of the series; but the Zoom spell will take them to the town of their choice as in the later games. The Zoom spell can only be acquired at a certain stage of the plot (in the first half of the second era); it cannot be acquired by leveling, and monsters with this spell will not appear until the plot event occurs. This marks the first time in the series that spell acquisition has been tied to plot events.
The Hero is, in the early chapters of the game, a six-year-old boy who travels all around the world along with his father, Pankraz. After the death of Pankraz, the Hero is a slave forced to undergo hard labor in the building of a temple. Ten years after, he finally escapes from there, and he starts a journey to find his mother, Mada, who is said to have died soon after the Hero was born. She came from Elhaven and hence had the power to tame monsters.
Pankraz is the father of the Hero. Though he was once the king of Gotha, he left his homeland to search of the Legendary Hero and his wife. His attendant, Sancho, goes with him on his journey and resides in Whealbrook early in the game.
Bianca is a daughter of the innkeepers of Roundbeck and the childhood friend of the Hero. After growing up, she moves to a small village for recuperation of her father, and is one of the women whom the player can choose to marry the Hero.
Nera is a daughter of Ludman , who recently got back from a religious house. She is the second choice for becoming the Hero's bride. Her father, Ludman (ルドマン Rudoman) is a wealthy man living in Salabona (サラボナ Sarabona). He seeks his daughter's bridegroom, but will only accept a man who is able to pass his trial.
Andy (アンディ Andi) a friend of Flora's, also desires to marry her.
Dragon Quest V begins with a brief scene of the Hero's birth in which the player gives the Hero a name. After that scene, the Hero finds himself in a room on-board a ship with his father, Pankraz. After the ship stops at Littlehaven (ビスタ Bisuta), they leave the ship for Whealbrook, where Pankraz's friend Sancho lives. Upon arrival, the Hero meets Bianca. After exploring the cave behind Whealbrook, he and Pankraz accompany Bianca to her town Roundbeck. Upon arrival at that town, Bianca and the Hero explore the haunted castle Uptaten Towers (レヌール Renūru), where they obtain a mysterious Golden Orb. Afterwards Pankraz and the Hero return to Whealbrook, along with a pet tiger named Saber (ボロンゴ Borongo), a monster that was saved from bullying by the Hero and Bianca.
The next day, the Hero notices a man in the town who looks very similar to him. That man asks the Hero to show him the Golden Orb and, after returning it, asks him to take care of his father Pankraz. Elsewhere in town, he finds the spirit of Honey, who asks him to return with her to her country, the snow-covered land of Fairy Lae. Upon arriving there, the two defeat the Winter Queen to allow Spring to return to the land. After accomplishing this feat, the Hero, Pankraz, and Saber travel to the eastern kingdom of Coburg (ラインハット Rainhatto), where the Hero befriends Prince Harry (ヘンリー Henrī). However, Harry is kidnapped, forcing the Hero and Pankraz to rescue him. Once the Hero finds Harry in a nearby hideout, they are attacked by a duo of powerful monsters; Pankraz defeats them, but then a third entity appears and threatens the Hero's life, forcing Pankraz to give in. In the process, Pankraz is killed by powerful monsters, the Golden Orb is destroyed, and the Hero and Harry are sold into slavery.
The story continues ten years later, and the player finds that the Hero and Harry have grown up working on a giant temple. They get into a scuffle with the guards after seeing a girl named Maria (マリア Maria) being whipped; the three of them are released from the temple and sent drifting to the casino town of Fortuna (オラクルベリー Orakuruberī) by Maria's brother. Here the Hero and Henry discover that Whealbrook has been destroyed by the armies of the Queen of Coburg, who has been acting as regent for Harry's brother Wilbur. Upon paying a visit to his homeland, Harry discovers that his mother has been replaced by a monster. After unmasking the fake queen using the mirror of Ra and defeating the monster, Harry and Maria marry and become advisors to the king.
Afterward, the Hero will travel to the western continent, where he will meet up with Saber once more, and travel to the town of Mostroferrato, where the wealthy nobleman Mr. Briscoletti and his daughters Nera and Debora live. He sends the hero on a quest to retrieve two magic rings of fire and water as a test of his worthiness as a suitor for Nera. The Hero is able to accomplish this task only with the aid of Bianca, who he meets in a nearby village. Afterwards, Mr. Briscoletti offers the Hero the chance to marry Nera, but it is also possible for him to marry Bianca or, more surprisingly, Debora instead.
After the marriage, the Hero takes his bride through a great mountain path that leads to his homeland of Gotha. Upon their arrival, Sancho is shocked to see the Hero and Bianca (or one of the Bricoletti sisters), and immediately takes them to see the current King of Gotha--Albert, the younger brother of Pankraz. The Hero must undergo a Rite of Passage before he can assume the throne, while his wife, now revealed to be pregnant, rests. During the coronation celebration, the Hero's wife is kidnapped, but the newly born twins are safely hidden.
The Hero rushes to save his wife, but upon defeating the powerful monsters who kidnapped her, both the Hero and his bride are cursed and turned into stone; they remain this way for eight long years.
The Hero is found by his two children now grown and Sancho in the garden of a wealthy man's estate, and is revived and taken back to Gotha castle. They still have not found Bianca, Nera or Debora, but they have a lead on the whereabouts of the Hero's mother: she was from the town of Lofty peak on the continent north of Gotha. The Hero goes there, finds more information, and procures a magic carpet. Travelling the world to collect the legendary "Heavenly" or "Celestial" armaments for the Legendary Hero, it is discovered that the Hero's son is indeed the Legendary Hero sought by Pankraz almost twenty years ago.
During this stage of the journey, the Hero avenges Papas by killing Slon and restores the Zenith Dragon, as well as his flying castle, to their proper homes in the sky. To accomplish this, the Hero has to enter a time warp to retrieve the Golden Orb from his child self. The Hero, older and wiser, attempts to talk Pankraz out of going to Coburg to his demise, but he does not heed the warning.
After returning to the temple the Hero helped build as a slave, the Zenithian armor is found, as well as the statue of his wife. He then must go defeat Ivol in other to get the ring of life that is strong enough to remove the curse from his wife. After the final source of evil is eradicated from the world, the party is told that Martha remains in Nadiria, and that the final source of evil, Grandmaster Nimzo (ミルドラース Mirudorāsu), is lying in wait for the Legendary Hero. The Hero, his wife, and their children agree not to leave Martha in the demon world, so together they travel there via a portal near Lofty Peak, and reach Mt. Zugzwang.
Martha is found inside, but dies shortly after meeting the Hero and his family. The party continues on to confront and destroy the lord of evil, Nimzo. They return to Gotha, and have a joyful party. As the family celebrates, Pankraz and Martha watch their son and his family from the heavens, happy and content with their progeny.
After beating the game, players can gain access to the bonus dungeon. Dragon Quest V was the first Dragon Quest game to have a bonus dungeon (although the remakes of Dragon Quest III and IV added bonus dungeons later).
Dragon Quest V is set years after the Zenithian Hero defeated Psaro on its previous installment, Dragon Quest IV. The game starts at Littlehaven, with the Hero leaving to go to Whealbrook. Like all other Dragon Quest games, this one takes place in a medieval world, with no real modern technology, such as cars or electricity. Characters fight with swords, clubs, and magic instead of guns or other weapons.
The layout of the world is similar to the layout in Dragon Quest IV, but with a new set of locations, and considerable geographic alteration. The Tower of Heaven and Castle Zenithia are the only surviving locations from the previous game, and they have fallen into ruin and are no longer connected. The overworld has different monster encounter tables for each of the three eras.
The quest takes the Hero and his party to many exotic locations, such as a fairy village, a mansion made of ice, several caves, and a volcano. The party eventually makes its way to the castle Zenithia, which is a castle in each game of the Zenithia trilogy. Like a few other Dragon Quest games, the final enemies reside in a dark world, separate from the main map.
Square Enix released a PlayStation 2 enhanced remake of Dragon Quest V on March 25, 2004, with first day sales of 722,000. As of April 2004, the game has sold over 1.5 million copies making it the top selling Dragon Quest remake game of all-time, and is available in Japan as a Square Enix Ultimate Hits title. The remake was developed by former Dragon Quest VII art directors, Artepiazza. It features 3D graphics that are similar to Dragon Quest VII, but it utilizes the extra PlayStation 2 graphical capabilities. The Hero and his companions have to fight more monsters in the PlayStation 2 remake than they did in the Super Famicom original, but the character limit on the party has been increased from three to four. Also, there were only 40 monsters available to the player's party in the Super Famicom version of Dragon Quest V due to ROM limitations. The PlayStation 2 remake, however, does not suffer from this restriction. The music is performed by the NHK Symphony.
Another new feature in the remake is the "Yuuji's Specialty Museum," where the player has to collect local specialties from all around the world, return the items back to a character named "Yuuji," and receive rewards for them. The Dragon Quest V remake is the third Dragon Quest release in the Square Enix name (after Kenshin Dragon Quest and Slime Morimori Dragon Quest). Lastly, a Dragon Quest VIII preview video disc is included in the Japanese release of Dragon Quest V remake.
A fan translation of the PS2 version is currently being worked on by Kojiro Translations.
The engine of the PS2 remake is similar to the one used in Dragon Quest VII. Like Dragon Quest VII, there is a pseudo-3D view replacing the original bird's eye view. The graphics are updated accordingly. There is also a preview of Dragon Quest VIII bundled with the remake.
- The “Bag” is available from the start of the game; so the Vault is replaced with a Bank.
- There are now 10 possible names for the Baby Panther, instead of 4.
- The Monster Depository can now store 200 monsters instead of 50.
- Monster companions can now have their names changed.
- One can talk to companions while traveling in the overworld.
- Pots, barrels, and similar objects can now be picked up and thrown.
- The AI modes are updated to match the ones used in Dragon Quest VII.
- The "Paralysis" status effect will now wear off after several turns.
- Items now sell for 50% of their purchase price, instead of 75%.
- Some new spells and specialty attacks have been added.
- The first-level fire spell, MERA or Blaze, can now be cast by the hero's daughter; in the previous game there was no way to obtain it.
- There can now be 4 active party members in battle, instead of 3. Enemies appear in concomitantly larger groups, even in the early parts of the game when there are 3 or fewer party members anyway.
- Stat gains on level-up are now randomized.
- There are now 70 potential species of monster companion, instead of 40.
- Bosses are much more powerful.
- Some town and dungeon maps are redesigned.
- There are now Sugoroku boards as in Dragon Quest III.
- The casino now offers poker in addition to its other games; the party's slime companion, if any, can be entered in the Slime Race.
- Save games now display a picture of the party's surroundings as a reminder.
- The marriage system is different than in the original.
- Gema now plays a more significant role in the plot.
A Dragon Quest V remake for the Nintendo DS was announced in late 2007 by Square Enix. The game uses the same engine as the DS remake of Dragon Quest IV.
On April 23, 2008, it was reported that Square Enix has applied for the trademark "Hand of the Heavenly Bride" at the United States Patent and Trademark Office. It was confirmed to be in reference to Dragon Quest V by a listing from Nintendo of third-party titles for Nintendo platforms. On the following day, Square Enix sent out a press release saying that the game will be released in Europe under the name Dragon Quest: The Hand of the Heavenly Bride.
Like the other games in the series, Dragon Quest V was very popular in Japan.In 2006, the Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu had readers vote on the top one hundred games of all time, Dragon Quest V coming in at 11 and the PS2 remake at number 40. In particular, the way the story is divided by different periods of time has been praised, as it is something that has not appeared in many video games. Dragon Quest V has also been acknowledged as Yuji Horii's favourite in the series.
Koichi Sugiyama composed the music and directed all the associated spinoffs. A compilation of Dragon Quest V's music was put on the album Dragon Quest V ~Bride of the Heavens~ Symphonic Suite, was released in 1992 and then again in 2000. The first version features an extra disc with the original soundtrack as well as the symphonic one. Here is the track-listing of the Symphonic Suite:
- Overture (1:59)
- Castle Trumpeter (2:21)
- Melody in an Ancient Town ~ Toward the Horizon ~ Casino ~ Lively Town ~ Melody in an Ancient Town (7:50)
- Magic Carpet ~ The Ocean (7:39)
- Melody of Love (3:00)
- Monsters in the Dungeon ~ Tower of Death ~ Dark World ~ Monsters in the Dungeon (6:20)
- Violent Enemies ~ Almighty Boss Devil Is Challenged (5:44)
- Noble Requiem ~ Saint (5:53)
- Satan (4:52)
- Heaven (2:57)
- Bridal Waltz (3:39)
Dragon Quest Tenkuu Monogatari (Tale of the Air) is a twelve-volume manga series based on Dragon Quest V by Chino Yukimiya, which ran in 1997, and again in 2001. The story follows Sora and Ten, the two children from Dragon Quest V.
The main character of the 2011 Japanese Drama series "The Hero Yoshihiko and the Demon King's Castle"(a comedy series cemented within the Dragon Quest world) is heavily based on the design of the Hero character within Dragon Quest V.
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