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A treasure map is a specialty item in Dragon Quest IX, which can be acquired in a number of different ways. When opened, a treasure map marks a particular spot on the world map where a secret grotto can be found. Treasure maps come in 2 varieties: normal and legacy boss. Overall, treasure maps play a key role in extending Dragon Quest IX's post-game by adding enormous amounts of additional content.

Map description

When viewed on the item screen, each treasure map displays description data on the top screen of the DS. This data contains the following:

  • Image of the map's grotto which must be located on the world map.
  • Name of the original owner of the map, aka the player whose game originally generated the map.
  • Name of the player who completed the map.
  • A 3 item list of treasure drops received upon completion of the map. These items have increasing rareness and are listed as question marks until they have been received for the first time. For all maps, the first item is always received 100% of the time. On normal maps, the first item is always another normal treasure map. For legacy boss maps, the first item is a mini medal. The second and third items are directly correlated to the treasure map boss' item drops, including their drop percentage.
A spoiler draws near! Click 'show' to display, otherwise run away!
  • There is one exception to this rule on normal maps: Greygnarl, as a normal grotto boss, drops an Yggdrasil Leaf as his 100% drop. This is due to the Dragonlord 's Map lvl. 1 being his 5% drop. His 10% drop is a lump of Orichalcum.
Thou hast defeated the spoiler.

World map locations

Each treasure maps displays a location on the world map that the player must find in order to access the map's grotto/dungeon. There is a fixed number of possible world map locations where a map's grotto can appear. For almost all maps, the grotto location is randomly selected from all the possible world map locations. However, maps shared using Tag Mode or by completing quests retain the same world map location.

To access a map's grotto, the player must find the location marked by the map on the overworld. When the map is activated, meaning it is in use and displayed on the top screen, the player will see an exclamation point above the hero's head on the bottom screen when they are in the correct location. Pressing the 'A' button when this happens will cause the map's grotto to appear. Pressing 'A' again, enters the grotto.

Once a map is put away, its grotto also disappears from the overworld. However, activating the map again allows the player to re-activate the grotto. The world map location of a map is permanent after it has been received by the player.

For images of some possible world map locations for each map, see List of treasure map grotto locations in Dragon Quest IX.

For a useful site with all possible world map locations, click here.

Types of maps

Normal maps

Normal treasure maps lead to grottos/dungesons which consist of a number of floors containing enemies and possibly treasure chests, as well as a boss in the final basement. Each normal map is given a descriptive title which includes a level number. This level is a measure of difficulty for the associated grotto. All normal maps which are not received via Tag Mode are randomly generated based on various criteria. See #Normal map generation mechanics for a full description of the normal map generation process.

Legacy boss maps

Legacy Boss maps are treasure maps which lead to grottoes/dungeons which contain only 1 floor holding a legacy boss from Dragon Quest I - VIII. These maps are considered bonus material and are only received using Tag Mode, by completing specific quests, such as #151, and as item drops from certain other treasure map bosses. There are exactly 13 legacy boss maps in Dragon Quest IX.

The Legacy Bosses are unusual in that you can give them the EXP normally obtained from defeating them so they can level up. This increases their strength in battle, and adjusts their treasure drops.

Methods to acquire maps

Tag Mode

See main article: Tag Mode

Treasure maps can be received via Tag Mode with other copies of Dragon Quest IX. When entering Tag Mode, each player is able to choose a single treasure map which they possess to share with other games. This map will be "copied", meaning the original player does not lose it by sharing it on Tag Mode. This method of sharing treasure maps is also used for various Dragon Quest IX events in order to share maps. The 2 most famous maps traded via Tag Mode are the Masayuki map and the Locker map.

Quests

The following quests give a treasure map as a reward for their completion.


Quest #015 - "Collapsus's Call"
Location Heights of Loneliness - L7
Available at Upon arriving at Heights of Loneliness
Requested by Christopher Collapusus
Response to Christopher Collapusus
Requirement Special medicine
Reward Treasure Map - Granite Tunnel of Woe Lv. 1
Detail An explorer called Christopher Collapsus wants some special medicine to help him out of tight spot at the Height of Loneliness.
Hint for solution You can alchemise Special medicine before you come here with 2x Strong medicine.


Quest #058 - "Fixing the Sicklops"
Location Newid Isle
Available at Complete Quest #39
Requested by boy standing next to a cyclops
Response to boy standing next to a cyclops
Requirement More info collecting...
Reward A random treasure map
Detail A boy you met at the lakeside tree on Newid Isle wants you to cure a sick cyclops. go to a grotto and fight Atlas until his HP is seven hundred or below, and then steal his titanic tincture.
Hint for solution Atlas hides in grotos 52 and up


Quest #062 - "Brian's Dyin' Wish"
Location Cringle Coast - Cave on the island in the North/East corner of the world map
Available at after doing quest #039
Requested by found on a scrap of paper near Brian's Corpse
Response to Brian's corpse
Requirement Larrrst letter
Reward Baramos's Map (Legacy Boss Treasure Map)
Detail A scrap of paper you found on a corpse in a cave on an island off the Cringle Coast implores you to locate a sea captain who set off across the sea in search of a certain grotto. Some salamarauders were apparently going to the very same grotto.
Hint for solution Salamarauders can be found at Tywll Cave and Slurry Coast. Keep fighting them until one drops a treasure chest containing a 'bedraggled piece of paper', turns out this is the larrrst letter of the captain. Return with it and read it to Brian's corpse.


Quest #151 - "Pushy Peddler"
Location Cave in Lonely Coast
Available at after aquiring Sterling's Whistle
Requested by Selwyn
Response to Selwyn
Requirement Ethereal Stone
Reward Malroth's Map Lv. 1 for first completion. Mythril Ore for subsequent completions.
Detail A suspicious-looking trader in a cave on the Lonely Coast says he'll give you a treasure map if you bring him an ethereal stone. This quest is repeatable.
Hint for solution The cave you need is the same one with the NPC that sells Chronocrystal for 50,000 Gold.


Quest #152 - "Marey Questmas"
Location Cringle Coast
Available at Upon arriving at Cringle Coast
Requested by Chris Cringle
Response to Chris Cringle
Requirement Heavenly Horseshoe
Reward Estark's Map Lv. 1 for first completion. Technicolour Dreamcloth for subsequent completions.
Detail Chris Cringle, who lives on a small island off the Cringle Coast, is interested in heavenly horseshoes. You can get hold of them by defeating a tantamount within five turns. This quest is repeatable.
Hint for solution More info collecting...


Quest #158 - "Battle Buff"
Location Heights of Loneliness
Available at Upon arriving at Heights of Loneliness
Requested by Ardaz Nayuls
Response to Ardaz Nayuls
Requirement More info collecting...
Reward Mortamor Map. Raging ruby for subsequent completions.
Detail Ardaz Nayuls, a warrior on the Heights of Loneliness, wants you to prove your strength. He's challenged you to go to a grotto and finish off the Trauminator with nothing equipped whatsover. This quest is repeatable.
Hint for solution Trauminator has about 4000HP and is weak to blast attacks. With a Mage or Sage cast any of the Bang family spells (Bang, Boom, Kaboom, Kaboomle). Also a high level warrior or gladiator with fisticuffs helps.


Quest #167 - "Who's a Pretty Boy?"
Location Snowberia#Cringle_Coast which is north of Swinedimples Academy.
Available at Post game
Requested by Graham the Bird
Response to Graham the Bird
Requirement More info collecting...
Reward Zoma Map(Legacy Boss)
Detail Defeat Bird Of Terrordise (#241) for the Jewellery Box and Terrodise
         Tail Feather.
Hint for solution go to a rank B and up grotto and defeat several birds of terrodise


Quest #176 - "Well forgetful"
Location Well south of batsureg
Available at  ?
Requested by Man in well
Response to Man in well
Requirement Cannibelle rage
Reward Orgodemir Map
Detail  ?
Hint for solution Use a Warrior's whistle ability at cannibelle 10 times.


Quest #179 - "Pants Macabre"
Location Wyrmtail
Available at  ?
Requested by Skeleton in cave
Response to Skeleton in cave
Requirement Grundies
Reward Rhapthorne map
Detail  ?
Hint for solution Grundies can be stolen from cumulus hexes,use a minstrel's pratfall to make him laugh and then use half-inch to steal them


Quest #184 - "Bleats Me"
Location Inside the cave at the lonely coast
Available at after you beat the game and have started the grotto missions
Requested by A sheep
Response to A sheep
Requirement The sheep wants a Venus tear
Reward Nokturnus' Map Lv.1
Detail A sheep in the cave at the lonely coast wants something
Hint for solution A Venus's tear can be obtained by completing quest #59.


Note that quests 121 and higher are only available through the DQVC. See List of quests in Dragon Quest IX for more info.

Treasure map boss item drop

After defeating certain treasure map bosses multiple times, the possibility exists that the boss will drop a specific treasure map. However, only 5 bosses have the possibility of dropping a map and each of the 5 has a specific map which they drop.

A spoiler draws near! Click 'show' to display, otherwise run away!
Boss Map Dropped
Baramos Murdaw
Murdaw Dhoulmagus
Greygnarl Dragonlord
Dragonlord Psaro
Psaro Nimzo

The drop percentages are as follows:

Boss Level Map Drop Percentage
16 - 25 10%
26 - 40 15%
41 - 56 20%
57 - 68 25%
69 - 80 30%
81 - 90 35%
91 - 99 40%
Thou hast defeated the spoiler.

King Schott

King Schott of Stornway Castle will give the player 1 random treasure map when speaking with him after completing the game.

Completion of a normal treasure map

Each normal treasure map has a specific number of floors, always culminating with a boss monster on the final basement. Defeating this boss monster gives the player another normal treasure map. This is the primary method of obtaining new treasure maps, as there is no limit to the number of maps a player can complete. A new map is given each time the player completes a normal treasure map, however, each map must be closed and reopened before it can be completed again. For information on how each normal map is generated, see Normal map generation mechanics.

Normal map generation mechanics

After completing a normal treasure map, another map is randomly generated and given to the player. The mechanics of how a new map is generated are somewhat complex.

1. Determining quality

Quality is a computed number between 2 and 248 that is later used to determine how good the next map will be. A higher quality value yields more rare maps. The formula for quality is:

q = (h + (5 * r) + m) + p()

q: quality value
h: hero's highest vocation level
r: hero's highest number of revocations (max of 10)
m: level of previous treasure map
p(): randomly generated value between -/+ 10% 

The hero's highest vocation level is the highest level they currently hold in any single vocation. The hero's highest number of revocations is the highest number of times they have used revocation in any single vocation. Note that revocation is the process used to change from level 99 in any single vocation back to level 1. The high and low values for quality are thus computed:

h: 1
r: 0
m: 1

q = (1 + (5 * 0) + 1) + p() = 2 

h: 99
r: >= 10
m: 99

q = (99 + (5 * 10) + 99) + p() = 248

Note that p() in these examples is negated by the max and min values of 2 and 248 respectively.

2. Grotto content generation

After computing the quality value, the game randomly selects one of 32768 maps for that quality value. Since quality can range from 2 to 248, the total normal map possibilities can be computed as:

(248 - 2) * 32,768 = 8,060,928 different maps

Hence the reason high quality maps are so rare. Even with the highest quality value (248), there is still only a 1/32768 chance of getting a specific map. For higher quality values, the possible maps contain grottos which are much longer and hold more powerful enemies, bosses, and treasures. The following table shows the relation between the quality value and the map contents.

Quality # of Floors Monster Rank Boss #
2-55 2-4 1-3 1-3
56-60 4-6 2-4 1-3
61-75 4-6 2-4 2-5
76-80 6-10 1-5 2-5
81-100 6-10 1-5 3-7
101-120 8-12 2-6 4-7
121-140 10-14 2-6 5-9
141-160 10-16 3-7 6-9
161-180 10-16 3-7 7-10
181-200 11-16 4-9 8-12
201-220 12-16 5-9 1-12
221-248 14-16 9 1-12

Using this table, the game randomly selects an eligible value from each column according to the computed quality value. For example, for the highest quality brackets (201-220 and 221-248), a random boss is selected from all 12 possible bosses.

a. Monster Rank

The monster rank value is used both for determining monsters and treasure chest rank within the grotto. Higher values equate to more difficult monsters and better chest contents.

Monster Rank increases in value on lower floors of a grotto. The increase can summarized as:

r = b + floor((f-1) / 4)

r: rank of floor f
b: base rank of grotto, where K = 1 ... S = 12
f: floor number
Note that floor() is the mathematical floor function.

More simply stated, the rank increases by 1 for every 4 floors completed. So for the largest grotto (16 floors), the break down would be:

floor 1 rank = C (9) + floor((1-1) / 4) = C (9)
...
floor 5 rank = C (9) + floor((5-1) / 4) = B (10)
...
floor 9 rank = C (9) + floor((9-1) / 4) = A (11)
...
floor 13 rank = C (9) + floor((13-1) / 4) = S (12)
floor 16 rank = C (9) + floor((16-1) / 4) = S (12)

Therefore, rank S (12) is the highest any grotto can contain, and can only appear on floors 13-16 if the Monster Rank on floor 1-4 is Rank C (9). Also note that not all monsters within a particular rank may appear on a floor. Which monsters within the rank appear and their frequency is determined randomly. This fact is tied to the popularity of the Masayuki map, as it contains a floor where only Metal King Slimes appear.

For the list of monsters in each rank, see List of treasure map monster ranks in Dragon Quest IX.

b. Treasure chest rank

Treasure chest rank is derived from the monster rank value. Treasure chest rank only has 10 values rather than 12.

Monster Rank Treasure Chest Rank
1 1-2
2 1-2
3 1-3
4 1-4
5 2-5
6 2-6
7 3-7
8 3-8
9 4-9
10 5-9
11 1-10
12 5-10

Treasure chest rank is determined on a per chest basis. This means that for a floor with monster rank 5, each chest could have a rank between 2 and 5. Each chest permanently retains its rank, so a rank 8 chest will always contain rank 8 items. The treasure map must be closed and reopened in order for chests to respawn their items.

The number of actual chests on any one floor is determined randomly. This variability in the number of chests and their rank is the reason for the Locker map's popularity, as it has a high amount of rank 9 and 10 chests.

For details treasure chest rank items, List of treasure map treasure chest ranks in Dragon Quest IX.

c. Normal map bosses

There are 12 possible bosses for normal treasure maps. These bosses are indexed below in increasing order of difficulty:

A spoiler draws near! Click 'show' to display, otherwise run away!
# Name
1 Equinox
2 Nemean
3 Shogum
4 Trauminator
5 Elusid
6 Sir Sanguinus
7 Atlas
8 Hammibal
9 Fowleye
10 Excalipurr
11 Tyrannosaurus Wrecks
12 Greygnarl

The first ten bosses are implied at several points throughout the game (and stated outright by Fowleye) to be aspects of the Almighty, who was fragmented by Corvus and sealed into the grottos to ensure that he would not regain his power.

Thou hast defeated the spoiler.

After defeating a boss, the treasure map must be closed and reopened in order for the boss to reappear.

For a full list of treasure map bosses, see List of treasure map bosses in Dragon Quest IX.

5. Map name generation

The treasure map name is generated based on the treasure map grotto contents and is structured as follows:

prefix + environment + "of" + suffix + level

For example:
Clay Tunnel of Bliss Lv.1  

Each portion of the map name represents an attribute of the grotto contents. Since the grotto contents are determined by the quality value listed above, the name is determined by randomly selecting from the eligible options for each portion of the name according to the grotto contents.

Level

The level formula is:

|l| = (((f - 2) * 3) + ((m - 1) * 3) + ((b - 1) * 3) + r()

l: new map level
f: number of grotto floors/basements, not including boss floor
m: base monster rank of grotto
b: boss number
r(): random number between -5 and 5

So for a map that has 8 floors (not including boss floor), monster rank 5, and boss 5 the level would be computed as:

|l| = (((8 - 2) * 3) + ((5 - 1) * 3) + ((5 - 1) * 3) + r()
|l| = (18 + 12 + 12) + r()
|l| = 42 + r()
37 <= l <= 47

So the level will be between 37 and 47, depending on the random value generated between -5 and 5.

Prefix

Prefix is related to the rank of the treasure map grotto. Rank is determined by the quality value computed above, and the prefix is randomly selected from the possible prefixes associated with the base rank.

Prefix Base Monster Rank
Clay 1-2
Rock 1-2
Granite 1-2
Basalt 1-2
Graphite 1-4
Iron 3-4
Copper 3-8
Bronze 3-8
Steel 5-8
Silver 5-8
Gold 5-8
Platinum 5-8
Ruby 6-9
Emerald 7-9
Sapphire 7-9
Diamond 7-9

There is a fair amount of ambiguity with each rank, as a map with rank 8 could have 10 out of 16 possible prefixes.

Environment

Environment is the word in the treasure map title that describes the 'theme' of the treasure map grotto. There are 5 possible themes:

  • Cave
  • Ruins
  • Ice
  • Water
  • Volcano

There are a variety of environment words used to describe each of these different themes. The environment word used is related to the number of floors the grotto contains.

# of Floors Cave Ruins Ice Water Volcano
2-7 Cave Tunnel Cave
2-11 Mine Crevasse Marsh Mine
4-13 Lair Icepit Lake Crater
6-15 Path Snowhall Moor Dungeon
8-15 Crypt
10-16 Nest Ruins Tundra Waterway Nest
12-16 World
14-16 Abyss Maze Glacier Chasm Void

The ambiguity is high related to number of floors. A grotto with 11 floors could have any environment word except for Tunnel and Cave.

Suffix

The suffix of the treasure map name is related to the number of the boss on the last floor of the grotto.

Boss Number Suffix
1-3 Joy, Bliss, Glee
1-6 Doubt, Woe, Dolour
4-9 Regret, Bane, Fear
7-12 Dread, Hurt, Gloom
10-12 Death, Ruin, Evil, Doom

Treasure map calculators

Calculators have been developed to compute the possible values related to treasure maps using the mechanics discussed above.

Obtaining better maps

A common question is how to obtain better maps. The answer to this question is to improve the quality value computed when each new map is generated. This can be done by doing the following:

  • Level up the hero, in any vocation, as high as possible (eventually level 99).
  • Level up the hero, in many other vocations to level 99 and begin using revocation.
  • Continue completing the highest level treasure maps available, as the level of the previous map is used in computing the quality of the next map.
  • Use revocation up to 10 times for maximum effect.

Other appearances

Dragon Quest XI 3DS and Switch

A certain grotto known as Ruby Path of Doom, appears as a location in the Echo Chamber in the 3DS and Switch versions. The grotto is based on the Masayuki map. The Doomsday dragon and King of Metal king slimes can be fought there.

Monsters

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