Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies

Dragon Quest IX Logo.png
Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Sky
Dragon Quest IX Front CoverEuropean Boxart
PublisherSquare Enix
DesignersYuji Horii
Akihiro Hino
ComposerKoichi Sugiyama
Character ArtAkira Toriyama
SeriesDragon Quest
Release Date(s)July 11, 2009 (JP)
July 11, 2010 (NA)
July 23, 2010 (EU)
August 19, 2010 (AUS)
PlatformNintendo DS
Official Websitedragonquest.ninteno


[edit] Background

High above the world, in an angelic paradise known as the Observatory, dwell a race of angelic beings known as Celestrians. The player takes on the role of one of the Celestrians; the Hero. His/Her goal is ultimately to make it into The realm of the Almighty, a task that requires them to collect the golden Fyggs. The Fyggs become scattered far and wide in the Protectorate, and being that they are no ordinary fruit, reclaiming them proves to be ordeal after ordeal. The first Fygg is gained by making an offering of Benevolessence to the revered world tree, Yggdrasil. Benevolessence is the physical form of crystallized gratitude, produced by performing tasks for the mortals of the Protectorate in the world below and earning their thanks.

The Hero's journey begins in the small and peaceful village of Angel Falls, the first stop of many along the convoluted and action-packed road to the Almighty's realm.

[edit] Gameplay

Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Sky diverts from the typical Dragon Quest style in a few ways, though as a member of the popular series, it inherits many of the other games' features.

Unlike other Dragon Quest titles, Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies allows players to create the main protagonist (Hero), adjusting their gender and looks as desired.

In past games of the series, a single goal is laid out and the story consists of quiet a few complications. In Dragon Quest IX, along with the main goal, the player must also complete hundreds of smaller Quests for the inhabitants of the world, in an effort to earn their thanks. These quests range from slaying a specific breed of monster to collecting a rare item for a villager. As more of the world is traversed and explored, more locations and quests become available. The more quests that are completed, the more Benevolessence that is collected.

On top of this, Dragon Quest IX features additional quests, or side quests, that share little to no relevancy to the game's storyline. These side quests are usually simply for rewards, such as a piece of equipment or an item that is otherwise unattainable through regular main play.

[edit] Battle

Combat in Dragon Quest IX is your basic turn-based affair. Battles are displayed in a combination of first-person and third-person perspectives. The character decides the attack they find suitable from a menu in first person perspective, selecting which opponents to target. The designated action is then carried out in third person so that the player can observe the outcome.

The style of combat makes for large strategizing potential - players will need to think about an enemy's type, weaknesses, strengths, and how those things can be used against them or compensated for by way of their different spells and abilities. There is also a means of automation for a player's party. Members can be set to focus on offense, defense, support, MP conservation, or to follow orders as normal.

[edit] Multiplayer

Dragon Quest IX is the first installment in the series to feature wireless multiplayer. Players may connect with one another through the Nintendo DS's local wireless capabilities and form exploration parties of up to four. Certain quests and locations are only available for play, or can be unlocked, through playing with other people.

Players are also able to download exclusive Wi-Fi quests, have guests from previous games, and access an online shop known as DQVC where unique items, equipment, and costumes can be purchased for gold. Not to mention the tag mode which allows you to bring your ds with you and share treasure maps with your friends.

[edit] Main Characters

[edit] Aquila

A senior celestrian who would take on no apprentices until he saw your potential, and agreed to mentor you. He is strong, fair, and has a very strong sense of honor. He will do anything for his celestrian comrades. But will he betray all he knows and loves...?

[edit] Apus Major

The oldest and most regal of all the celestrians. He has a strong sense of benevolence, and has great hopes for the hero. He yearns for the day that the holy celestrians fulfill their grand duty assigned to them by the Grand Architect, Zenus.

[edit] Stella

A fairy who arrives alongside of the Hero in the mortal world. She is the operator of a flying train known as the Starflight Express and serves as the record-keeper throughout the Hero's travels.

[edit] Erinn

A bright, young girl who runs the inn in Angel Falls. She is kind, caring, and great at what she does. She is the hero's first mortal friend and later becomes the manager of the Quester's Rest, an inn in Stornway that serves as a get together for all adventurers.

[edit] Corvus

The betrayed Celestrian who fell from grace... Can the Hero save him before all is lost?

[edit] Zenus

The Grand Architect himself, know as the Almighty to the mortals and Celestrians. He is a wise and all-powerful leader and creator of mortals and Celestrians alike. He is the father of Celestria. Angered by the Mortal's greed and planning to destroy them, he launched an attack against the Protectorate in a fit of rage. Celestria, however, thought the mortals were a kind race and they were just a little off course and in need of redemption, so she transformed herself into the mighty Yggdrasil to protect the Mortals from her father's wrath.

[edit] Monsters

See Monsters (Dragon Quest IX)

Several new monsters, such as the Wight Knight and Slime Stack, make their debut appearances in Dragon Quest IX. Most of the monsters have the cheesy names typical of the Dragon Quest series, but that doesn't mean they can't fight. While most of the enemies are pushovers, there will still be enough tougher ones that you might be forced to stop mashing attack more often than during boss battles.

There are also cameos of Legacy Bosses from previous Dragon Quest games that provide a memorable experience for those just starting with Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies, or those who have been playing Dragon Quest games for a while.

[edit] Reception

Review Scores
Site Score
Game Informer8/10
Official Nintendo Magazine90%
Aggregation Scores
Aggregator Score
Metacritic 87/100
GameRankings 86.88%

Dragon Quest IX sold 2,318,932 copies -- out of an estimated three million copies that had been shipped -- just two days after it was released in Japan. The game received mixed reviews from gamers, though it received favorable reviews from most gaming magazines / websites. Famitsu gave Dragon Quest IX a perfect 40/40, claiming that the game was true to it's roots and a visual spectacle on the DS.

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