Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation, also known as Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Reverie for Europe, is the sixth installment in the Dragon Quest game series. It is also the final Dragon Quest series title for the SNES and the last game in the Zenithia trilogy. It was the first game in the series to be developed by Heartbeat, rather than Chunsoft. The game made its Western debut in its Nintendo DS remake, over fifteen years after its original release.
Embark on a journey of the truth
Challenge the malevolent Murdaw
Explore a sprawling map spanning both screens
Assemble a team of unique companions
Strengthen characters by mastering multiple vocations
As the sixth installment to the Dragon Quest series, the graphics and gameplay remain close to the other games, with minor additions and upgrades. The graphics were improved from Dragon Quest V, which was also for the SNES, but had only a 16-megabit cartridge. Dragon Quest VI uses a 32-megabit cartridge instead. Navigation remains largely unchanged from the previous games and the turn-based battles are still only in first-person. The class system from Dragon Quest III returns, with minor adjustments.
This Dragon Quest, like Dragon Quest III and Dragon Quest VII, has a class system. The system is different than the one in Dragon Quest III, but similar to the one in Dragon Quest VII. Once the party gets to Alltrades Abbey, they have the option of training in one of nine starter classes. Joining a particular class causes certain stats to increase and others to decrease. Once a character has mastered two or three starter classes, they can change into an "advanced" class; for example, a Warrior and a Martial Artist make a Gladiator. To master a class, the character must fight a set number of battles as that class. Once certain hybrid classes are mastered, a stat relating to that class will permanently go up. There are two secret classes as well, obtained using special scrolls.
After fighting a certain number of battles in a given class, the PC will be promoted to the next level in the class, gaining a new title and some new spells and skills associated with the class. Level within a class is indicated by a number of stars (★) in the status screen. Gaining eight stars marks a character as having mastered the class. Experience in a class is retained when the PC changes class, and can be further increased by returning to the class. Battles with weak monsters do not necessarily increase a character's class experience; the monsters must be of a higher level than the character in question. Areas have level caps that dictate the class experience; but in the some of the later dungeons in the game, this rule is overturned and all battles will increase the party's experience.
Changing classes will change the PC's allowable equipment, but will not cause the PC to lose any spells or skills from the old class. However, special powers such as the Thief's ability to steal items will be lost when the PC is not in the appropriate class.
Not all characters are suited to every class, since their base stats may be too low to be effective, even after the increase from joining the class.
- Warrior: Strength and HP go up and several basic fighting skills are learned.
- Martial Artist: Speed goes up and kick/punch skills are learned.
- Mage: Most stats go down, except wisdom and MP, and basic attack and status spells are learned.
- Priest: Most stats go down, but less weak than the mage, and healing and status spells are learned.
- Dancer: Style and speed go up and several dance-style skills are learned.
- Thief: Speed goes up, but most stats go down, and skills that help outside battle, such as Hawkeye, are learned. The thief may also steal an item from an enemy at the end of a battle.
- Monster Master: Most stats go down and skills associated with monsters are learned. Monsters may join the party when there is a Monster Master present (Super Famicom version only).
- Merchant: Wisdom goes up, but most stats go down, and a random assortment of skills are learned. At the end of battle, a small portion of extra money is added to the party's income.
- Gadabout: Style slightly goes up, but most stats dramatically drop. Skills learned are quite random and the Gadabout has a tendency to not listen to the party's commands. Sometimes, instead of doing nothing, the Gadabout will use a technique, such as paralyzing all the enemies or putting them to sleep.
- Gladiator (Warrior+Martial Artist): Strength, HP, speed, and defense go up, making this a strong class. Most skills are super effective against one type of enemy, such as Dragoncut.
- Armamentalist (Warrior+Mage): Stats mostly go down and strong magic skills/spells are learned.
- Paladin (Martial Artist+Priest): Strength, speed, and wisdom go up and a mixture of Priest and Martial Artist skills are learned.
- Sage (Mage+Priest): Wisdom and HP go up and high level attack and healing spells are learned.
- Luminary (Dancer+Gadabout): Style is the only stat that goes up and an assortment of skills are learned.
- Ranger (Merchant+Thief+Beastmaster): Speed and wisdom go up and an assortment of battle skills are learned.
- Hero (Gladiator+Sage+Luminary+Ranger): This is the ultimate class and all stats go up. Several attack spells/skills are learned. The Hero (Dragon Quest VI) only has to master one of those classes for Hero class to become available.
- Dragon: Strength, HP go up and several breath skills are learned.
- Liquid Metal Slime: Agility and Defense doubled, but HP drastically lowered. Class learns also powerful attack spells.
There are seven different vehicles in the game, counting the wagon; this is the most of any game in the series so far. Also, this is the only game in the series to allow the players to travel underwater.
Monster companions are treated more like human party members in this game; they stay at Patty's Party Planning Place and can change class like humans. However, they will not join the party unless one of the active PCs belongs to the Monster Master class. Monster companions are less valuable in this game because there are a large number of human characters, who can learn most of the same skills and powers monsters obtain. There are a few powers that can only be obtained by monsters, however. There are 18 types of monster that can join the party (8 in the remake); but the Tavern has only 15 slots for monsters, considerably less than the fifth game.
According to Famitsu, this feature has been removed from the DS version, as the Beastmaster is incapable of recruiting monsters. It has been replaced by a system allowing recruitment of slime family monsters only through encountering them in towns/dungeons/etc.
Monsters of the slime type can fight in a special arena; one chosen slime fights a series of three battles in a tournament [it is always controlled by the AI], and if it wins, the party receives a prize dependent on the level of the tournament (which ranges from rank H to rank A). Winning the Rank A tournament twice will allow the slime to participate in the Championship battle.
- As in Dragon Quest IV and Dragon Quest V, there is a wagon to store extra party members. It can hold up to eight additional PCs. There can once more be four PCs in the active party at once. Unlike in the two preceding games, characters in the wagon can cast spells at any time, even in dungeons where the wagon cannot go.
- Characters now move twice as quickly in towns and dungeons than they do in the world map. The screen no longer scrolls off the edge of a town map; instead the party will begin to move towards the edge of the screen, moving the message window if necessary. Doors will now open automatically upon being pushed against, if the player has the appropriate key.
- It is now possible to enter wells by examining them; this takes the party to a special map determined by the well. Some wells have Magic Well monsters which attack the party when they try to enter. Other wells may have additional wells inside.
- The party combat modes have been changed slightly; there is now a new strategy which causes the other party members to focus exclusively on supporting the Hero. It will also cause monsters to focus on attacking the Hero. The AI takes account of previous events in the round, so it is useful to have some slow characters that act last in the round. Also, other party members will automatically attack enemies' weak points. Because of these things, the AI is more efficient than a human player. The AI is toned down somewhat in Dragon Quest VII.
- Combat arenas now cover the whole screen, and the monsters are animated when they attack (although only the final boss has sound effects). * There are two full worlds once more, as in Dragon Quest III, but there is no longer a day/night cycle; it will however become nighttime during certain plot events.
- For the first time, there is a bag to store excess items. As a result, the Item Vault shop was replaced with a Bank that only stores gold. Items in the bag cannot be used in battle, but characters can add or remove its contents at any other time. In the original version of the game, it is not possible to use items in the bag at all; but this is changed in later games, including the remakes from Dragon Quest III onward.
- There is a system to memorize speeches made by the townspeople. Pushing a button after speaking to someone causes their text to be remembered. Then, casting the Remember "spell" will cause the memorized conversations to be replayed. At higher levels, the Hero can replay more messages or delete messages from the list. This system is also used in the remake of Dragon Quest III, but not in any later games.
Style points and the Best-Dressed Contest
The Style stat makes its debut, allowing the PCs to compete in a Best-Dressed Contest. Style measures how well-dressed a given character is, taking into account his/her vocation and equipment; it will be high for attractive characters and monsters, and low for ugly-looking ones. Various weapons and armor can increase or decrease the stat; the effects of these equipments can themselves be altered at the Fashion Forge. A matching set of equipment will increase the stat further.
The Best-Dressed Contest has eight ranks, which the player enters in order. The contestant with the highest style will win the prize. Depending on rank, the contest may be limited to men, women, or monsters. To win a given rank, the player must enter a party member whose style (modified by items) exceeds a certain value; otherwise another contestant will win the rank and the party will have to replay that rank. The contest is one of the minigames in Dragon Quest VI; the party must win the third rank of the contest because its prize is an important item.
Dragon Quest VI opens as the Hero, Milly, and Carver approach Murdaw, the demon king’s castle. After Milly summons a dragon, the party enters the castle and comes face to face with Murdaw. Overpowering the trio, Murdaw appears to destroy each member of the party. The Hero wakes up in Weaver's Peak, and cannot remember anything before the fight with Murdaw. Tania, a young girl from Weaver's Peak, insists that he is her brother.
On his way to Somnia Castle, where information on Murdaw can be found, the Hero stumbles into a strange portal which brings him to another unfamiliar town. However, no one can see or hear him. After finding a similar portal, the Hero reaches Somnia and meets Blade, the leader of Somnia’s army, and Carver, who appears not to remember the Hero. To defeat Murdaw, they learn, they need Ra's mirror. The Hero and Carver discover another portal, which brings them to Port Haven, another town in which they can neither be heard nor seen. Milly, also appearing to have lost her memory, does see them and helps them become visible.
The party discovers a Somnia Castle in the “Phantom World” and learns that the prince is missing and that the Hero looks like him. They also meet Captain Rusty, who bears a striking resemblance to Blade. Gaining entrance to the Moonmirror Tower, the party meets Ashlynn, a woman who was invisible in the “Phantom World” at first, too, and together they find Ra's mirror.
The four of them travel to Murdaw's castle, in the original world. After defeating Murdaw, the Hero uses the Mirror on him. Murdaw then turns into the king of Somnia, confused and unaware of what happened. The king reveals that the original world is in fact the Dream World and the Phantom World is the Real World. Upon traveling back to the Real World, the King of Somnia thanks the party for defeating Murdaw in his dreams, but that the real Murdaw lives and that the party must travel to Ghent to retrieve a boat to get to Murdaw's lair. In Ghent, Nevan, a priest-in-training, joins the party and allows them to use the sacred ship Providence. During the fight with the real Murdaw, the Hero gets sent back to Weaver's Peak, as before. However, with the aid of Ra's mirror, the Hero warps back into the battle and defeats Murdaw.The Queen of Somnia tells the Hero to discover who he really is. The quest leads the party to Arkbolt, where a terrible monster is blocking a nearby cave. The reward for defeating the monster is the famed sunderbolt blade, but before the party can strike the final blow, a warrior by the name of Terry kills the monster, winning the sword. After traveling both worlds, the party learns that Murdaw was not the only evil in the world, having fought several other monsters that all seem to be connected.
In Sorceria, the party learns that this is Ashlynn's home. The elders tell Ashlynn that the Demon Lord is watching her and give her the powerful spell Magic Burst to fight him. The party also learns that the only way to get to the Demon Lord is through Zenith Tower, but to activate the tower, they need to collect the sword, armor, shield, and helmet of legend. While doing so, the Hero meets his double in real-world Weaver's Peak, who gets spooked, and speaks 'Y-You. Y-You're m-m-me!', and says that he must prove himself to be faithful to his family if he is to join powers. Returning to real-world Somnia, the King and Queen tell the Hero that he is indeed the prince. When he fused with his clone, the Hero gained his memory back, much like Milly and Carver had done.
The party reaches Cloudsgate Citadel and meets Dhuran, who claims to have taken over the castle. He summons Terry to fight the party and then fights the party himself. Dhuran then reveals that all the enemies the party has faced were just pawns of Mortamor, the Archfiend. Milly reveals that Terry is her brother and Terry decides to join the party and fight against Mortamor.
Once Cloudsgate is back to normal, the party speaks to King Zenith who informs them of Mortamor's doings and how to reach the Dread Realm. Mortamor plans on merging both worlds. The party’s horse fuses with Pegasus, allowing the party to fly to the Dread Realm. With the help of two brothers, Isaac and Benjamin, the party enters Mortamor's Castle. After solving many puzzles, they come face to face with Mortamor and defeat him. Isaac reveals that the Dread Realm is falling apart and Pegasus helps them escape.
In a similar fashion to Dragon Quest III, the hero's weapons and armor were renamed for this installment in the Zenithian series. They are known as the Sword of Ramias, Armor of Orgo, Shield of Valora and Helm of Sebath. After the events of this game, these armaments become the Zenithian equipment and are renamed as such.
Like every other Dragon Quest game, the setting in Dragon Quest VI is very medieval, complete with castles, knights, and magic. The main world is divided into the Real World and the Dream World, each with a separate, but similar map. To get from one world to the other, the party uses special warps (such as in wells) or by ascending/descending stairs on the world map.
If something cannot be found in the Real World, chances are it has appeared in the Dream World, such as with Spiegelspire, in the middle of the quest. Also, another similarity to much of the series is the Dread Realm. This separate map features a dark island with a psychedelic sea surrounding it and some of the toughest monsters in the game. The final boss, Mortamor, lives there. Also, once Mortamor is defeated, the player can access the bonus dungeon and the secret final boss, Nokturnus.
The scenario designer, like always, is Yuji Horii. As in all other Dragon Quest games, the art work and design are made by Akira Toriyama of Dragon Ball fame, who also worked on Chrono Trigger, Tobal No.1, and Blue Dragon. This is the last game in the series to belong to the Zenithia or Tenkuu no Shiro (Castle in the Sky) trilogy.
A prequel, Dragon Quest Monsters (Dragon Quest Monsters: Terry's Wonderland in Japan), was released in 1998. This game featured Terry and Milly years before the events of Dragon Quest VI. It was released in North America the next year, even though Dragon Quest VI was never released in North America. Along with Terry and Milly, several of the main enemies, including Mortamor, reappear, however, their previous roles have been eliminated, making them appear as just normal enemies. Mortamor and Murdaw (Mudou in the game) do appear as very challenging, very late in-game bosses, though.
The initial release was delayed over a year, Enix wanting to further develop their game. The game was eventually shown at Shoshinkai in November of 1995. Dragon Quest VI was released a few weeks later on December 9, with the very steep price of 11,400 yen (roughly over 100 U.S. dollars). The game went on to sell over 3.20 million copies. Since then, in Japan, the game actually made the news in 2005, when a Japanese student threatened another student over an argument about what Dragon Quest is the best, the student doing the threatening favoring Dragon Quest VI.
Several unofficial English translations were attempted by several different groups. While none of them have ever been fully completed, as of 2001, the online translation group NoPrgress has released a translation in which 93% of the dialog, 80% of the battle text, and 95% of the menu text is translated. In 2000, the online translation group DeJap released an incomplete translation, however, the project is currently dead.
Nintendo DS remake
Dragon Quest VI did not recieve an enhanced remake on a console until the Nintendo DS. The Dragon Quest VI enhanced remake for the Nintendo DS was announced in late 2007 by Square Enix and development by ArtePiazza.
On April 28, 2008, it was reported that Square Enix has applied for the trademark "The Realms of Reverie" at the United States Patent and Trademark Office, leading to speculation that it was the localized title for this game. On May 20, 2008, Square Enix opened up the North American site featuring the three Dragon Quest DS remakes, acknowledging Realms of Reverie as the official subtitle, as well as confirming a release in North America. The next day, a press release from Square Enix confirmed that the game will be released in Europe as Dragon Quest: Realms of Reverie. On December 20, 2010, Nintendo of America announced that the game would be released on February 14, 2011 as Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation. 
A handful of changes were made to the game, some remaining controversial among fans:
- The monster recruiting function of the Monster Master vocation was removed, replaced with a system of slime companions that can be recruited during the journey. Some of these slimes, like the mottle slime, were not available in the original version.
- A new mini-game called Slippin' Slime can be played, utilizing the DS stylus.
- Enemies have 75% HP and give 120% EXP compared to the SNES version. Some enemy groups have been increased in number to compensate for this. This change was decried by some fans for making the game too easy.
- Magic Burst's damage multiplier is reduced to 2x MP (similar to later installments), instead of 3x MP.
- The hero's conversational memory spells have been removed.
- Party members' natural resistances are now gone. However, Lizzie and slime companions retain the native resistances of their monster counterparts.
- Re-equipping armour during battle no longer resets the effects of Sap/Buff spells.
- The layout of some towns and dungeons have been slightly altered.
- Terry's starting level was raised from 23 to 28.
- Amos now has a unique sprite model, where as he shared the NPC warrior sprite before.
- Zoom can now be used to warp to both the lower world and upper world versions of Alltrades Abbey.
In addition to the changes listed above, the 2015 mobile version included a few adjustments to the game.
- Raised level cap for each area, making it much easier to earn vocation ranks in any given section of the game.
- The Ranger has been slightly buffed, now gaining +20% MP instead of losing 30%.
- Terry's level upon joining has been raised to 33, in addition to having already mastered the Mage and Priest vocations. His strength and agility stats have been increased by +5 and +28, respectively.
- The sex of monster companions is now displayed in the attributes section, with Lizzie and Shelley being female and the remaining slime buddies being male.
- Suite Dreams sidequest has been altered to no longer rely on multiplayer and can now be done entierly in-game.
Koichi Sugiyama composed the music and directed all the associated spinoffs. Three soundtracks were released for the music of Dragon Quest VI. The first was a two-disk soundtrack, which included an orchestral performance and an OST. The second soundtrack was released on August 23, 2000, and just had the orchestral version. This version was released by SPE Visual Works (now Aniplex), and was named Dragon Quest VI ~The Dream World~ Symphonic Suite. This version was featured on Dragon Quest Daizenshu Vol. 2, which is a compilation of Dragon Quest music. A second Symphonic Suite edition of the OST was performed in March 2005 and released on July 19, 2006, also by Aniplex. The Symphonic Suite tracklist is as follows:
- Overture (1:20)
- At the Palace (3:40)
- In the Town ~ Happy Humming ~ Inviting Village ~ Folk Dance (7:02)
- Through the Fields ~ Wandering through the Silence ~ Another World (5:03)
- Ocean Waves (5:11)
- Flying Bed (2:08)
- Pegasus ~ Saint's Wreath (5:39)
- Evil World ~ Satan's Castle ~ Frightening Dungeon (4:22)
- Brave Fight (6:23)
- Melancholy (3:11)
- Ocarina ~ The Saint (2:07)
- Devil's Tower (1:36)
- Dungeons ~ Last Dungeon (5:52)
- Monsters (4:36)
- Demon Combat (5:15)
- Eternal Lullaby (6:46)
A survey in the magazine Famitsu in 2006 earned Dragon Quest VI the #34 spot on the list. This is a much lower spot on the list than the other games in the series, showing that, although the game is popular, it remains in the shadows compared to the rest of the series, particularly Dragon Quest III and Dragon Quest VIII, which were both in the top five. Dragon Quest VI was one of the best selling Super Famicom games in Japan, selling well over three million copies. In volume 81 of Nintendo Power, the staff wrote an article on Dragon Quest VI, hoping the game would find a U.S. release. They also suggested why the series might not appeal to the American audience: there is too much fighting and not enough adventuring.
Dragon Quest VI was listed as #7 among the 10 Best Japanese Games Never Released in the U.S. by GamePro magazine in their May 2005 issue. Dragon Quest V, another Japan-only game, was also on the list, placing at #2. (the whole list can be seen here )
A 10-volume manga adaptation of the game was made by Masomi Kanzaki. It was published by Enix in the Monthly Shonen Gangan between 1997 and 2001. The storyline roughly follows that of the video game from which it was based but with several differences, such as the inclusion of the character Kizu Buchi, a spotted slime.
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