Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies is the ninth installment of the main Dragon Quest game series, and the first to be initially released on a handheld console. The game was released on July 11, 2009 in Japan. It was released in July 2010 in both North America and Europe and August 2010 in Australia.
This quest is made for you!
Character creation and customisation
Team up with your friends
A rich expansive world to explore
Dragon Quest IX continues the Dragon Quest tradition of turn-based combat, with a few modern twists. The game allows players to have a cooperative wireless multiplayer experience with up to four players.
Unlike the other games in the main series, Dragon Quest IX is a 3rd person RPG in battles and there are no more random encounters. Instead, the enemies are on an open world map and can pursue the player party from within their field of view, much as in Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker.
The game includes a quest system. Quests serve as side-stories helping non-player characters around the game's world. Multiple quests can be performed simultaneously with some even interlocking and unlocking various stages in fellow quests. Early quests include gathering magical spring water, slaying monsters and stealing for a fellow thief. Unlike previous Dragon Quest installments, Dragon Quest IX contains many open-ended mini-quests. Upon completion a quest, it is recorded in the "Quest List", serving as an in-game achievement list. Quests can unlock many things, such as vocations and rare equipment.
Unlike the other Dragon Quest games, the game includes only one save slot.
- Highly customisable characters with many different faces, skin colours, weapons and armours.
- Co-operative play with up to four players through local ad-hoc.
- 3D graphics similar to those found in the previous installment, Dragon Quest VIII.
- The touch screen is used for inputting commands during battle.
- A real-time map is displayed during gameplay. As in Dragon Quest VIII, the locations of doors and stairs are also clearly marked.
Introduction of sub-categories for weapons. Example, swords are now in a category called "swords", bows are now in a category called "bows".
By helping and protecting his/her town and earning their thanks, the main character obtains enough benevolessence for the World Tree to produce the fyggs. Just as the Starflight Express that will take the Celestrians to the Realm of the Almighty arrives, the Protectorate is attacked from below by a mysterious and powerful force. The force scatters the assembled angels and knocks the fyggs, the Starflight Express, and the main character down to the Protectorate.
The main character awakens without wings or a halo and finds they have been rescued from the base of the waterfall in Angel Falls. As they come to, they learn a little about their fall and the great earthquake that happened at the same time. Having lost most of their Celestrian powers, but not their memory or the ability to see deceased and magical spirits, they travel about trying to find a way back to the Observatory. During an adventure to reconnect their village to the nearby castle after landslides caused by the great earthquake, the main character finds the broken down celestial train and its faerie driver, Stella. Stella promises to help the main character return to the kingdom of angels if they can prove they really are a Celestrian.
By helping humans, the main character gathers benevolessence, though they can no longer see it. Their ability to aid and protect the humans convinces Stella who, restoring power to the Starflight Express with the benevolessence, helps the main character return to the Observatory. Upon their return, the main character discovers that the fyggs have also fallen to the human world and that many Celestrians have been dispatched to find them, though no one has yet returned. Their prayers to become a Celestrian again are unanswered, but a vision is presented to the main character as they stand before the World Tree. Taking the vision as a sign, the main character is charged with returning to the human world to help collect the fyggs.
As the main character travels the Protectorate in search of the fyggs, they find that the fruit has the ability to grant those who eat it any wish. Unfortunately, the wishes are not always fulfilled in the way they were expected and those who eat the fruit succumb to strange and demented ways. It is the hero's mission to travel from land to land, finding and battling those possessed by the fyggs' power. As they defeat these individuals in their twisted forms, the main character sets the possessed free and regains the fyggs one by one. After the hero collects all the fyggs, they return to the Starflight Express with Stella and head for the observatory.
During the ride, Aquila enters the Starflight Express, and ask the hero for the fyggs. They refuse to give him the fyggs, and engage in battle with Aquila. The main character finds themselves unable to attack Aquila (or even move), because Celestrians can't attack their superior, and thus he nearly kills them. The train is then attacked by a large black dragon, and strange man whom Aquilla refers to as "Lieutenant Hootingham-Gore". The main character soon falls out of the starflight express and awakes in Wormwood Creek. They them enter Wormwood Forest and meet Serena, who wants the main character to find a serene necklace she hid under the Guardian Statue. The main character finds the necklace and, after retrieving it, returns to Serena, who agrees to break the seal blocking the entrance to the Bowhole. The hero defeats the beast Gadrongo, and gets the Wyrmlight Bow, which they then use to open a path to Upover. The hero climbs the Magmaroo, a volcano where the light dragon Greygnarl resides. After battling him and receiving the dragon warrior armor, he and the hero battle Barbarus, the dark dragon. During the fight, Greygnarl sacrifices himself, and the hero falls to the Gortress. Teaming up with Sterling, a fellow jailmate, the hero escapes the Gortress and returns to the Observatory. Yggdrasil turns into the goddess Celestria, who guides the hero to Gittingham Palace. The hero defeats King Godwyn's ultimate form and gains access to the Oubliette, where they find Corvus. He rides Barbarus to the Realm of the Almighty, and corrupts it into the Realm of the Mighty. Ascending the hellish domain, the hero battles Corvus. At first it is impossible to attack (as Corvus is a Celestrian and cannot be attacked by lesser Celestrians), but with the one remaining fygg, the hero is turned into a mortal, and is able to defeat Corvus.
- Hero/Heroine - The hero/heroine is a silent protagonist and Celestrian under the tutelage of Aquila, assigned to watch over the village of Angel Falls in his/her master's stead. Later fell from the Observatory after strange beams struck through the heavens during the Fyggbloom, losing wings and halo. Like a lot of RPG games, his/her speech is not shown on screen, but may be accompanied by the text:
- Aquila: A fellow Celestrian and mentor of the Hero. A firm but fair master, he went missing after the hero and the fyggs fell from the Observatory.
- Apus Major: The most senior of all the Celestrians, this all-knowing ancient rules the Observatory with a benevolent hand.
- Erinn: A young woman living with her grandfather in Angel Falls; she finds the hero after he/she fell into the base of the waterfall. Her father was the "Inncredible Inntertainer," and Patty recruits her to help restore his old establishment, the Quester's Rest, in Stornway.
- Patty: A feisty party girl and old acquaintance of Erinn's father. She recruits Erinn to help restore his old inn. Provides her Party Planning services for the hero at the Quester's Rest.
- Stella: A flippant fairy, keen on fashion but prone to malaproprism, Stella is the skipper of the Starflight Express and has been trying to find her missing boss who she calls 'old fatguts'. Manages the Battle Records for the hero and is always ready to give advice.
- Pavo: A Celestrian with the power to open the Rapportal. Enables the player to use multiplayer mode.
- Sellma: A representative of the Sinndicate of Pubs, Inns, and Taverns (S.P.I.T.), sent to Quester's Rest to manage the DQVC Shopping Service.
- Serena: A forlorn ghost of a woman that wanders the Protectorate in search of Corvus.
- Corvus: The Guardian Of Wormwood Creek, and once Aquila's teacher. He went missing long ago under mysterious circumstances.
- Sterling: The Captain of the Starflight Express, who went missing after it was struck by a mysterious beam of light.
- Greygnarl: An ancient dragon known as the "Hero of the Heavens," he still bears wounds from when he clashed with Barbarus and the Gittish Empire. He is attended by the residents of Upover, and gets first dibs on the local ale.
- Barbarus: A dark dragon who was summoned by the Gittish Empire to do their bidding. Famously clashed with Greygnarl long ago.
- King Godwyn: A cruel tyrant from ages past who sought to bring the world under the heel of his Gittish Empire. His death was shrouded in mystery, but he and his empire seems to have returned.
- Zenus: The Grand Architect who created the world, known as simply the "Almighty" to the mortals and Celestrians. Had no intention of sparing the mortals lives
- Celestria: The daughter of the Almighty One, she sacrificed herself and transformed herself into the World Tree Yggdrasil, until it was proven Mortals have goodness in their heart.
- Jack of Alltrades: Arbiter of Vocations, after defeating him at the Tower of Trades, you may enter different vocations.
- King Schott: King of Stornway
- Princess Simona: Daughter of King Schott
- Queen Voluptua: Queen of Gleeba
- Ivor: Early Companion
On an extra quest later in the story, you find out that Patty and her friend Phoebe used to be fighters. But when Phoebe gave her life to protect a baby, she buried her and gave up fighting.
Dragon Quest IX features various forms of multiplayer using the Nintendo DS's built in wireless. There are 3 different modes.
Co-op mode consists of up to 4 DS systems linking together using local wireless (similar to Pictochat) to play together. The 3 guests join the host system's world and can go anywhere which the host has explored. Guests are not required to stay with the host, but rather can wander wherever they like. Battles can be fought as a group with the host having the ability to summon the other players into a battle using the 'Call to Arms ' command.
Guest players are given a special 'Watchers Wing' item which allows them to teleport back to their own world at any time except whilst in battle or cutscene. Players can leave multiplayer at any time by speaking to Pavo at Quester's Rest.
Dragon Quest IX featured an online Wi-Fi shop which could be accessed from the Quester's Rest. This shop sells items and treasure maps which the player can purchase. The contents of the shop vary daily from player to player, so two different players will likely have different items for sale each day. Nintendo and Square Enix have used the shop to distribute special bonuses such as bonus party members from past games (Carver from Dragon Quest VI) and treasure maps which lead to caves featuring past bosses (Zoma, Dragonlord). The WiFi shop can be accessed by talking to Sellma at Quester's Rest.
The Wi-Fi shop is the only multiplayer mode that uses WAN internet rather than the DS-to-DS wireless.
The Wi-Fi Shop has closed as of May 20, 2014, due to Nintendo closing the Nintendo WiFi Connection. Despite this, using these action replay codes should give you all the extra items that required a Ninendo WiFi Connection. it is also possible to use this one for only the quests.
Tag Mode is a passive wireless mode which is active only when the DS is placed into sleep mode. Tag mode is activated by speaking to Erinn at Quester's Rest and selecting the 'Canvass for guests' option. While in tag mode, Dragon Quest IX looks for other Dragon Quest IX games and exchanges data with them.
When data is exchanged, a clone of the main character from each game is placed in the other player's Quester's Rest. This cloned character holds an item which can then be received by talking to him/her. The clone then continues to stay in the upper floors of Quester's Rest unless dismissed by the player. Using tag mode like this, players can exchange various items including equipment and treasure maps with other Dragon Quest IX players.
Tag mode is wildly popular in Japan, breaking several records for most players communicating wirelessly while playing a video game. Treasure maps in particular are highly sought after as some are extremely rare with special items/equipment, while others contain excellent enemies for building levels. Tag mode, however, is dependent on the number of other Dragon Quest IX players using tag mode in any local area.
Dragon Quest IX was primarily designed around the idea of attracting a wider overseas market by "giving the game a more action-oriented premise than previous games in the series. In mid-2006, Dragon Quest series composer Koichi Sugiyama confirmed that Dragon Quest IX was 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 would be released exclusively for the Nintendo DS handheld video game console, making it the first numbered Dragon Quest title to debut on a handheld.
The Japanese release of Dragon Quest IX was subsequently delayed from 2007 to 2008. The company cited the need for more time to make a better game as reason for the delay. At the 2008 Tokyo Game Show, a new trailer was shown at the Square Enix booth which showed a glimpse of the changes made to the gameplay and graphics. At the end of the video, a confirmation of the release date (set for March 2009) was unveiled. Square Enix released another new trailer for the game, showing various aspects of the storyline, boss battles, along with cutscenes; the end of the trailer showed a then-correct release date for March 28, 2009, along with a price point of ¥5,980.
On February 12, 2009, after having delayed the release of its quarterly financials by a week, Square Enix announced the game would be delayed once again to a Japanese release on July 11 of the same year. The game's release delay worried Final Fantasy fans, who were told by Square Enix president Yoichi Wada that the delay may affect the release of Final Fantasy XIII, stating that he "[could] not say there [would not] be an effect."
Dragon Quest IX was designed to be the hardest Dragon Quest game of its time. The rationale was that, according to Brian Ashcraft, Night Editor for Kotaku, the Dragon Quest IX developers said, "people can always find out information on the internet — like that's part of the game experience." In addition, the game has only one save slot. Ryutaro Ichimura, producer of Dragon Quest IX, clarified the reason explaining that there was not enough space on the cartridge for two traditional save-slots given the amount of freedom the game allows. Instead the save area is used for a backup save-slot in case of battery failure.
Dragon Quest IX shipped with over 2 million pre-order sales. While the game's official release date was July 11, 2009, some retailers had already shipped orders; one such dealer asked its customers to not play it until the official release date. In spite of the large number of pre-orders and additional release shipments by Square-Enix, lines still formed for the release.
Within a two-day period the title had sold 2,318,932 copies out of an estimated 3 million copies that had been shipped. Some analysts said that 3 million may have been too conservative and expected 5 million copies sold in Japan alone with large overseas sales expectations that could break previous Dragon Quest sales records. Ultimately, Dragon Quest IX set the record for the highest premiere-week sales post-2000, which was previously held by its predecessor, Dragon Quest VIII.
Famitsu has scored the game with 40/40, the tenth game to achieve a perfect score. After its international release, it received positive reviews, including an 87% on Metacritic.com and a user score of 9.0.
Akihibara became a hotspot for players of the game shortly after its release, increasing the social aspect of the Multiplayer and Treasure Map functions. Patty's Pub, a location in-game, was soon given a real-world equivalent in the aforementioned location, largely due to the rarity of a single treasure map featuring characters of whom appear only once during normal gameplay.
- Prior to its release, the game was known as Dragon Quest IX: Defenders of the Starry Skies
- A malware version of the ROM was released early on 2chan. Instead of the actual game however, it was an H-anime slideshow which bricked the Nintendo DS.
- Dragon Quest IX was the first entry in the series to launch on a handheld.
- Dragon Quest IX was the last entry in the series to be developed by Level-5, with Square Enix taking over for the following mainline entries.
- Dragon Quest IX is the only entry in the mainline series that is purely exclusive to one system, with no remakes or ports available for the game.
In Dragon Quest IX, there is an unused debug mode where you can access models and animations of any monster and NPC. There is also an option in the debug mode called 'Debug', that creates the default character and puts them in a black void area, playing the Stornway Inn music.
In the debug mode, each monster is given a number, followed by a letter. E.g.: Slime is 1a, She Slime is 1b, Sacksquach is 60a. There is an unused monster under 60c, without a name. It is a pure white Sacksquach without anything coming out of its mouth.
|French||Dragon Quest IX: Les Sentinelles du Firmament|
|German||Dragon Quest IX: Hüter des Himmels|
|Spanish||Dragon Quest IX: Centinelas del Firmamento|
|Italian||Dragon Quest IX: Le Sentinelle del Cielo|
- Official Dragon Quest IX Japanese Website
- Teaser Site The Official Dragon Quest IX Teaser Website from Level 5
- Dragon Quest IX at IGN
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