Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age is the eleventh instalment of the main Dragon Quest series. The game was initially released on the Nintendo 3DS and the PlayStation 4 game consoles, and later for Microsoft Windows via Steam and the Nintendo Switch. The game was first revealed during a livestream on July 28, 2015. The game was released on July 29th, 2017 on the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo 3DS in Japan, on the PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Windows via Steam in the West on September 4, 2018. An enhanced port for the Nintendo Switch, titled Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Definitive Edition, was released on September 27, 2019.
The game protagonist is a young man who grew up in a serene, quiet town. When he participates in the village's coming-of-age ceremony, he discovers that he is the reincarnation of a hero that once saved the world, and is burdened with a great mission. He sets off across the world of Erdrea, where he is joined by allies, including a snarky child prodigy, a blunt thief, and an over-the-top entertainer.
Gameplay of Dragon Quest XI varies by console. In the 3DS version, there are two modes that players can toggle between while playing. One version of the gameplay is traditional to the early games of the Dragon Quest series where it is 2D, while the other is that of IX gameplay with a slight mix of the old style of gameplay. The PS4 version is similar to that of X gameplay, where it is more fluid than it would be on a handheld console, due to restrictiveness of quality on handheld consoles.
Square Enix predicted that the game will take 50 hours to complete; 100 if one completes all its side activities. The player can traverse the world using the Zoom spell, a ship and various monsters, including a giant whale. Although the Luminary is central to the story, he does not need to be in the active party to progress through it. The game also has 58 Achievements/Trophies to unlock.
The turn-based battle system provides an accessible experience that features mechanics simple enough for the novice but with enough depth to satisfy hardcore fans. Heroes can use physical, magic, and special attacks. Squads can be tweaked with an occasional substitution, to try to find the perfect combination to take down particularly tricky monsters. During combat characters can also get pepped up, increasing their stats. When a character gets pepped up, they will gain bonuses to several of their attributes. When more than one party member is pepped up, they can work together to unleash collaborative attacks known as pep powers.
Certain party members pair better than others. For example, the Luminary works best with Erik. These pairings are intuitive based on the story. The Luminary pairs with Erik, Jade with Rab, Veronica with Serena, and Sylvando works well with everyone.
Aside from the main story, there are many side quests available. The Quest Catalogue serves as a guide to browsing completed quests and those still underway. Quest are received from NPCs with a purple icon over their heads. Quests can vary from retrieving things for the person to completing tasks and more. On completion of the quest, the player will be given a pop-up informing them of its completion and that they should return to the requestor for a reward.
The Character Builder is where players can use skill points to teach their party members new spells and abilities, and also improve their attributes. When they unlock a particular panel, the ones surrounding it will become available, expanding options ever further. Different skills cost different amounts of points which can be There are also secret skills that are only unlocked when all the surrounding skills have been unlocked. Each character has different skill paths they can follow, for example the Luminary has swords, greatswords, etc.
Camping allows the party to recover all their HP and MP just as a stay at an inn would, but for free. Players can also record their progress by praying at a sacred statue, and some campsites even have their own merchants. Camp sides are scattered throughout the word and can be identified by a fire icon on the map. After camping with Erik you will receive the fun sized forge which allows you to craft different items using materials from your inventory. You unlock blueprints for items by finding them in the world or receiving them from npcs.
S: Definitive Edition
The Nintendo Switch version of the game includes the following new features and improvements in addition to all content seen in the international PS4/PC release:
- Additional Party Chat dialogue
- In-battle speech bubbles for yet more party chat
- Fully voiced cutscenes for the Japanese version
- The ability to silence the protagonists' idle sounds such as yawns and battle cries
- Party members will follow behind the Luminary
- Party members will move on their own while in battle, adjusting to the conditions of conflict for more player-immersion. This is a aesthetic adjustment that does not affect gameplay
Mini game refinements
- A photograph mode reminiscent of Cameron's Codex
- Horse-racing minigame has been fine-tuned
- The cross bow minigame has been fine-tuned
- The amount of monsters to ride has been increased by four, including a golem, great sabrecat, and the slime of a slime knight
- Riding monsters can now be attacked for experience points and gold
- A dedicated musical theme will play when riding a great sabrecat
Quality of life adjustments
- Improved camera controls in 3D mode
- The ability to dash in the overworld has been added for the Japanese version
- Forging is now available at all times
- Cutscenes may now be skipped immediately
- Additional appearance-changing equipment
- The equipment set based on the protagonist of the eighth game that was added to the international release has been added for the Japanese version
- A special outfit for Erik designed by mangaka Hiro Mashima, of Fairy Tail fame.
- An extensive sidequest involving Hendrik and Jasper has been added to the end-game.
- A new character, Madame Cherie, has been added. She is a professor at l'Académie de Notre Maître des Médailles.
- The Luminary - A young man from the village of Cobblestone who is, in fact, the reincarnation of an ancient hero that once saved the world. He was born with a mysterious mark on his left hand.
- Erik - A blue-haired thief that the Luminary encounters in the dungeons of Heliodor who decides to accompany him on his journey. Despite his rough-and-tumble appearance, he is a kindhearted and loyal friend.
- Veronica - A strong-willed tomboyish girl who hates being treated like a child and will stand up to anyone, regardless if they are an adult or monster. She is gifted with offensive magic.
- Serena - A kind, dependable, and compassionate young woman who has a talent with healing magic and the lyre. Her hapless personality sometimes causes trouble for her sister and traveling companion, Veronica.
- Sylvando - A flamboyant and carefree entertainer with a dream to make people smile around the world. He is described as the mood maker of the party and has a strong sense of justice.
- Jade - An expert martial artist who travels the world with Rab in order to fulfill a mysterious goal. Her beauty and dignified demeanor suggests that she is more than just a talented fighter.
- Rab - A mysterious elderly man who looks like nothing more than a simple traveler, but in combat, he wields ferocious martial arts skills and high level magic. He seems to know someone in every port and town around the world.
- Hendrik - A Heliodoran knight and general who is initially opposed to the Luminary and is tasked by the King of Heliodor to capture him. After a change of heart, he vows to become the Luminary's sworn shield and companion.
- Gemma - Childhood friend of the Luminary, who was born on the same day as him. The two undertake a coming-of-age ceremony together, just before the young man departs on his journey.
- Chalky - A kindly old man from the village of Cobblestone who finds the Luminary as an infant while out fishing in the game's prologue. He decides to adopt the boy as his own grandson. In his youth, he was a world traveler.
- Amber - A friendly woman who helped raised the Luminary. After Chalky died, she was the primary caretaker.
- Jasper - A cruel strategist from the Kingdom of Heliodor. His cold methods have led to many victories.
- King Carnelian - The wise and respected ruler of Heliodor. He is known as a master swordsman and is skeptical of the claims that the protagonist is the reincarnation of the Luminary.
- Derk - An old crime partner of Erik's. He sold the Red Orb to open a shop in the upper-class district of Heliodor.
- Flint - A lumberjack and bridge builder that resides in the Manglegrove
- Connie - A young girl that travels with her father
- Noah the Know-It-All - An information monger that travels with his daughter
- Sultan of Gallopolis - The ruler of Gallopolis. He spends a lot of money for his son in hopes that he'll rule the kingdom
- Prince Faris - The son of the Sultan. He has his servants to everything for him but eventually becomes aware of his faults.
- Placido - The son of the mayor of Gondolia. He gets afflicted with a silencing curse after prying into Jasper's affairs.
- Beningo - A friend of Placido's. He steals Veronica's wand to try and remove Placido's curse.
- Dave - A sailor who keeps watch over the Salty Stallion. He is good friends with Slyvando.
- Vince Vanquish - An orphan of the Octagonia orphanage. He wins the local tournament to get money for the orphanage.
- The Underdigger - A fighter in the Octagonia Masked Martial Arts Tournament. He gets paired with the Abominable Showman.
- The Abominable Showman - A fighter in the Octagonia Masked Martial Arts Tournament. He gets paired with the Underdigger.
- Sinderella - A fighter in the Octagonia Masked Martial Arts Tournament. She gets paired up with Whambelina.
- Whamebelina - A fighter in the Octagonia Masked Martial Arts Tournament. She gets paired up with Sinderella.
- Golden Boy - A fighter in the Octagonia Masked Martial Arts Tournament. He gets paired up with Sylvando.
- Servantes - The butler of the Rodrigo family
- Michelle - A mermaid waiting for her true love, Kai.
- Kainui - A fisherman from the fishing village of Lonalulu. He despises the mermaid for bewitching his grandfather.
- Queen Marina - The ruler of the merpeople of Nautica.
- Maxime Medaille - The principal of L'Académie de Notre Maître des Médailles
- Queen Frysabel - The newly crowned queen of Sniflhiem
- Snorri - A scholar in service to the crown of Sniflhiem
- Krystalinda - A witch who froze Sniflhiem. She is freed thanks to Jasper.
- Benedictus - The Holy Father of Arboria. He raised Veronica and Serena when they were children.
- Grand Master Pang - The head priestess of Angri-la. When Yggdrasil fell, she erected a barrier that protected Angri-la at the cost of her life.
- Du - A father who lives in Phnom Nonh. He lies to a monster named Avarith to save his son.
- Son - A boy who lives in Phnom Nonh. He goes searching for his mother's necklace when his father gave it away.
- Don Rodrigo - A knight that taught Hendrik swordsmanship. He is also Slyvando's father.
- Queen Eleanor - The former Queen of Dundrasil. She was a good friend to Jade.
- King Irwin - The former King of Dundrasil.
- Mia - Erik's biological sister. When Erik gets her a necklace that can turn things into gold, she goes ham over it. When she tries taking it off, she gets turned to gold in the process.
- Erdwin - The previous Luminary.
- Drustan - A good friend of Erdwin.
- Serenica - An ally of Erdwin's who eventually falls in love with him.
- Morcant - An ally of Erdwin's on the search for knowledge.
- Miko - The Priestess of Hotto. She is tasked with slaying the beast but it unable to do so.
Exclusive Characters to 3DS and Switch version
- Ickle the Tockle - A tockle tasked with finding a hero to save Tickington.
- Stickle - The mayor of Tickington in charge of guarding the sacred tomes.
Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age received "generally favorable" reviews on Metacritic gettting a metascore of 80/100 on PC and 86/100 on PS4. While its Definitive Edition on Nintendo Switch is tagged as a "Must-Play" game holding a metascore of 91/100. On whatoplay.com, it gives an aggregate score (playscore) of 8.73 on PC and 8.98 on PS4. Its Definitive Edition on Nintendo Switch receives a playscore of 9.26 ranking 1st on its "Top 10 Nintendo Switch Games of 2019" list on its website.
- ↑ Dragon Quest 11 Logo Appears Ahead of Reveal on GameSpot
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Game Informer #90: Dragon Quest XI: In Search of Departed Time
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