Dragon Quest IX [Nintendo DS]
Play Time: 34 Hours, 21 Minutes
Notice how I didn’t write down any character levels? Well that was done for a reason. I’m all the way at the final boss area and realized that I really didn’t spend enough time exploring the classes. That’s what I’ve decided to do from here on out so this will likely be my final update unless I come back once the game is complete and tell you all how I’m completing the various adventure quests.
I figured this would be a great way to finish off this adventure log by explaining how the class system works. Since the game is in Japanese it was a little confusing at first, but now I fully grasp how everything is done. Expect the import review sometime this week because I now have more than enough information to write a concise and honest review.
So, the class system. It’s actually quite simple to follow as it works very similar to the skill system in Dragon Quest VIII. In that game, when you would periodically level up you would receive skill points that you could allocate to various skills. Put in enough points and you’d learn a new skill for use in combat or elsewhere. Here, everything is much clearer as skill trees are clearly defined. I’m getting head of myself here, so let’s get back to the basics.
In DQ IX there are 12 unique classes. There are six basic classes and six advanced classes. At one point in the game once you reach the Dharma Temple, you have the option of switching any member of your party over to a new class. I should warn you now that advanced classes can only be unlocked by completing adventure quests. They are super easy to find though, just visit the various villages and then look for people with a blue speech bubble over their heads. Complete enough of these quests and you’re sure to find the right person for unlocking the hidden classes.
Switching classes is actually quite important because it’s the only way to truly learn a bunch of useful new skills and increase your stats in a big way. Let’s say you were a warrior, well that class, along with all the rest, have five unique skill tress you can allocate skill points towards. A warrior has the following skill tress selectable, sword, spear, knife, shield, and bravery. The last skill tree is always completely unique to that class. That means sword, spear, etc could show up in another class. The non-unique skills are the ones that typically give big bonuses for the weapons they’re attached to. That means if you allocate a lot of SP into sword, you’re going to get things like Attack +10 while using a sword. The great news is, if you max out the sword skill tree you then unlock the ability to use swords with every class, for this particular character. Why this is important is because if you don’t max out this tree, and you switch classes to a class which can’t use swords, then all of those bonuses go out the window. Get it?
This is why it’s very important to read the skill trees to determine whether or not it’s worth investing SP into one of the more generic skills or the unique skill tree. For Warrior, the unique skill tree, Bravery, gives players big bonuses in Attack, and overall HP. Those unlocked skills will follow the player over to another class independent of whether or not they maxed out the skill tree or not. That’s important to realize because if we took a Warrior and changed them into a Mage, they’d still retain the unique skills from the Bravery skill tree. All of these areas must be looked at in great detail in order to create your powerful characters. Almost always it’s important to max out the unique skills before the other ones. It really depends on how you want to play the game though.
The other bit of good news is that at any time you can return to the Dharma temple and get your character’s old class back, at the same level it was at when you switch. Thus, you never lose anything. You always gain the new skills and stat bonuses though. This means that changing classes isn’t just important, but it’s an integral part of the gameplay and something you will have to do. I’ve only just started switching up my classes, but I’m satisfied where my characters are headed.
Something else important to note is that if you have a Mage and you spent time leveling up their Cane skills, and you then transfer them over to become a Warrior, you won’t be able to simply use all your magical attacks right off the bat. If the class you switched into doesn’t allow for magical attacks, then you won’t ever be able to use them because those were exclusive to the Mage class. In DQ VII when you switched classes you transfered over everything from skills to spells, but here things are slightly modified.
So there you have it folks. Again, this will likely be my last update before the import review goes live. I’ve still got a little more time to put into the game, but I can easily write the review right now given I’ve seen everything the game has to offer. I will say this, the ability to download new adventure quests and receive new items from the WiFi store has really left me with the sensation that this is the first RPG in history to actually have serious replay value to it. I fully intend to spend the next several weeks, months and maybe even longer going forward to try and complete all the various side quests and new download quests.
I really hope you’ve enjoyed this adventure log and hopefully I can do the same in the future with other import titles I decide to pick up.
Thanks for reading :)