Zenithia is the name of a fictional sky castle from the Dragon Quest series. The first appearance is in Dragon Quest IV, and the castle is one of several elements from IV, V, and VI which connects the three games as a distant trilogy; this group was often called the Tenku (Japanese for Heaven, or Sky), or the Tenkuu no Shiro (Castle in the Sky) trilogy until Square Enix branded them as the Zenithia Trilogy in 2008.
Zenithia is home to a powerful dragon, lord of the skies, and the winged, angel-like Zenithian people. Zenithians are an insular culture who avoid contact with those on the ground if at all possible, but there have been instances where they have fallen off the clouds by accident or descended to earth of their own volition.
Zenithia is one of the few locations in Square Enix's DS remake Dragon Quest IV to keep the name used in the original localization.
The counterpart to Zenithia is Nadiria, the underworld.
A sky castle at the end of Dragon Quest III's remake bonus dungeon is called Cloudsgate Citadel, and the resident monarch refers to himself as King Zenith. It is unclear whether this castle and Zenithia are one in the same, or merely a reference to later games in the series. More importantly, the castle is home to Xenlon--the wish-granting guardian of the heavens.
The citadel is reached by stepping into the light of the stained glass windows at the Dragon Queen's palace in the normal world, although this only occurs if the player has already defeated Zoma and seen the ending, earning the "Erdrick" title on their save file on the loading screen.
The heroes will find themselves on a floating island surrounded by thick clouds. On this island is a deep cave, containing many rooms resembling those seen previously. The floors include:
- The 2nd and 5th floor of Gondo Cave.
- The 1st floor of Orochi's Lair.
- The 2nd floor of the Pyramid (the stairway on the upper righthand area leads to a room modeled after the basement of Tantegel Castle).
- The 2nd floor of the Underground Lake (The healing spring is also present).
- The 1st floor of Gondo Cave.
- The prison room of Manoza Castle.
Many fierce monsters populate this dungeon, including an alternate form of Baramos known as Baramonster. The final room of the dungeon is a monster arena, where the heroes fight inside the ring.
Riddles: A man in the throne room will ask the player 3 riddles with each one rewarding the player with a different item:
- A town in ruins. What glitters beneath the cross?
- A enclosed town in a dark world. It sleeps among flowers...
- The gazer of stars notices not what lies at his feet...
In Dragon Quest IV, Zenithia makes its first appearance. The castle can be accessed by climbing the Stairway to Zenithia near the Azimuth, which goes as far up to the sky. It is directly above the entrance to Nadiria. While at Zenithia, the hero is given additional experience points by the Zenith Dragon, enough to raise them one level. The Dragon also unlocks the Zenithian Sword's true powers, as it will be needed for the final confrontation. In the wake of Psaro the Manslayer's transformation in Nadiria, an energy beam is emitted and reaches the skies, burning a hole in the clouds. This hole gives the Hero access to the Doorway to Nadiria, where the beam came from.
In one of the castle chambers, a Zenithian woman can be interacted with. Her dialogue seems to imply that she is the Hero's long-lost mother. In addition, a diary can be found in the library. Its contents reveal more information about the Hero's mother. In the adjacent rooms, the Hero can obtain a Yggdrasil dew if he/she does not have any at the moment.
In Dragon Quest V, Zenithia has fallen into a lake south of Lofty Peak. This happened when the Golden Orb, half of a set of magical orbs that supported the castle in the sky, fell from its place in the foundation of the castle to the land below. Once recovered and returned to the Zenith Dragon, it will make Zenithia rise again, but not to it's full height. With this partially restored power, the castle can move freely around the lower sky and is one of the methods of travel used by the hero to fly around the world map -- it's the only means of reaching the secluded Talon Tower.
Aside from the hidden passageway leading to the two orb pedestals, Zenithia's physical layout is largely unchanged from its previous appearance in Dragon Quest IV. The hole in the clouds is still present as well, although it no longer serves any purpose. In addition, the diary containing information about the previous Legendary Hero's mother is still present in the library, although its pages have aged to the point where only a small portion of the original passage can be read.
A former location in the Upper World, Cloudsgate Citadel is sealed away by Demon Lord Dhuran in Dragon Quest VI, and a giant hole is left behind in its place. Initially, the castle is corrupted by darkness and becomes a sentient being known as Stormsgate Citadel. The party will need to defeat "Stormsgate Citadel" in battle in order to explore it. Inside the castle, the hero and his companions will need to engage Dread Fiend Dhuran in battle to lift the darkness and restore the castle to its proper place. At this time, the castle is inhabited by normal people and is ruled by a human, King Zenith, although the egg containing the unborn Zenith Dragon is present. After Mortamor is defeated, the upper world begins to fade away; Cloudsgate Citadel remains as the only part of it that can still be seen and, floating above the real world, it becomes the Zenithia known in Dragon Quest IV and Dragon Quest V. At some point between Dragon Quest VI and V, the castle's inherent ability to float will fade away as well, making the two orbs necessary for the castle to remain in the skies.
There exists a set of legendary weapons and armor hailing from Zenithia. Most commonly known as the Zenithian sword, armor, shield, and helmet; only a hero of Zenithian descent can wear them. The entire set is required to be allowed entry into the Stairway to Zenithia in Dragon Quest IV--if the hero is not present in the party, the gate will not open.
In Dragon Quest VI, the sword is called the Sword of Ramias, the armor is the Armour of Orgo, the shield is the Shield of Valora, and the helmet is the Helm of Sebath.
Square Enix has released the Zenithian Sword and Sword of Ramias as part of their Dragon Quest Legend Items series - miniature collectible toy replicas of artifacts from the Dragon Quest universe.
An inhabitant of Zentihia is called a zenithian; notable zenithians appearing in Dragon Quest IV, V, or VI are:
- Zenith Dragon (formerly Master Dragon) - The ruler of Zenithia in Dragon Quest IV & Dragon Quest V. In IV, he asks the party to defeat Psaro the Manslayer. In V, he offers to carry the party on his back through the skies after the castle is restored.
- Orifiela (formerly Lucia) - She appears in the game Dragon Quest IV, as a Zenithian who has fallen to the world below and was unable to return to Zenithia. The party meets her at the top of the Yggdrasil, and she participates in battle as an uncontrollable partner.
- Dr Agon (formerly Pusan) - An enigmatic person who comes from the Castle of Zenithia. He appears in Dragon Quest V, and he may be more than he seems at first.
- King Zenith. The ruler of Cloudsgate Citadel in Dragon Quest VI. He is humanoid, unlike the Zenith Dragon, and advises the party after the dreadfiend Durhan is removed from his home.
- Sparkie (formerly Doran) - A young dragon who is sent by Zenith Dragon to help the party in their fight against Psaro the Manslayer. He appears in Dragon Quest IV as an uncontrollable party member.
- Oopsy and Daisy - Both are elfin girls who first appear in Birdsong Tower in Chapter 2 of DQIV. They leave upon Alena, Kiryl and Borya reaching the top of the tower, and accidentally drop Birdsong nectar. They appear again in Chapter 5 and 6 in Zenithia voicing their distrust of human, but concede respect for The Hero and company upon their victory of Psaro (Aamon in Chapter 6).
- According to the games, at least one woman from Zenithia became involved in a relationship with a human, leaving an offspring that is half-human and half-Zenithian.
- Zenithia might have some relation to Zenith from III, being both ruled by a powerful dragon and both being in the sky. In fact, Zenithia comes from the word zenith, meaning highest point or state, aptly appropriate seeing as it is the highest point in the game.
- Conversely, its counterpart, Nadiria, is derived from the word nadir, meaning lowest point.
- The Zenithians could be compared to Celestrians in IX.
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