We have, so far at least, written about the characters of Dragon Quest 8 in quite specific reference to their builds or equipment. However, we’d like to take some time to detail some very specific skills that each of them possess, and why we feel that you should prioritise them. It’s very easy to get lost in the noise when it comes to these kinds of games, and DQ8 really doesn’t help things by restricting your ability to remove your skill points and start again. This means that it pays to know what you’re aiming for, before you start investing. Aiming for at least a few of the following choices then, will ensure that you’re on the right track and making the best of each character.
- Omniheal (Courage, 82 Points)
- MP Discount (Courage, 90 Points)
- Falcon Slash (Swords, 52 Points)
- Lightning Thrust (Spears, 59 Points)
- Defending Champion (Fisticuffs, 11 Points)
Technically speaking, the Hero can operate in pretty much any role for your team. He might struggle to support from a buffing perspective, but aside from this pretty much anything is within his purview. Where he excels however, is in healing and dealing damage, with the former being a prime highlight. Regardless of your weapon choice, getting yourself some points into the Courage tree is of paramount importance, mainly because this is the only way you’re going to get your hands on the Omniheal spell, which long time DQ veterans will recognise as the full party, full health restoring heal. In all honesty, this spell alone will make any story encounter an absolute breeze, but becomes nigh on essential when taking on some post game content. Combine this with Defending Champion and you’ve got yourself an unkillable healing machine.
When it comes to damage, we’ve simply picked out a few of our favourites that will make your life easier, no matter the route. Lightning Thrust is the 50% critical chance skill, which will make taking down Metal Slimes a breeze, and Falcon Slash is a reliable, go to form of dealing good single target damage. Technically speaking the hero doesn’t really have a weakness in terms of a weapon choice, but shooting for one of these two will make your life easier, and grab you some nice skills on the way.
- Helm Splitter (Axes, 6 Points)
- Heal (Humanity, 10 Points)
- Kabuff (Humanity, 42 Points)
- Executioner (Axes, 66 Points)
- Thin Air (Fisticuffs, 42 Points)
Unlike our main protagonist, Yangus tends to have one singular goal: Deal as much damage as possible to your opponents. This doesn’t mean that he has no way to support others however; paying attention to his Humanity tree will reveal a few very useful skills. The first of these is the Heal skill, which is available for a meagre 10 points and will make your early game a great deal smoother, and the Kabuff skill that follows at 42 points will do the same in the mid game, thanks to it buffing the defence of your entire party. Neither of these are the main event however, because the bulky chap really wants to make damage numbers fly as much as possible.
First and foremost, grabbing the Helm Splitter skill for a miniscule 6 points in Axes is essential. Being able to reduce the defence of your opponents with a skill that does damage is fantastic, and it should be used liberally against pretty much any high health, single target opponent. Shooting for Executioner, which is his 50% critical Metal Slime slaying skill, will ensure that Helm Splitter is taken either way, but it’s worth getting this as early as possible. Finally, Yangus is a fantastic choice for the Thin Air skill, which goes down in infamy as one of the best random battle removing skills in the entire DQ series.
- Twin Dragon Lash (Whips, 23 Points)
- Caduceus (Staff, 57 Points)
- MP Recovery (Staff, 70 Points)
- Charm Attack (Sex Appeal, 16 Points)
Despite the myriad options available to Jessica, it would be worse than foolish to ignore her spell casting power. In fact, very few skills available to her come close to the power of the spells that she naturally learns, so your choices tend to devolve into the following: Diversify as much as you can, or fully lean into the spell caster role. Doing the latter will invariably lead you down the Staff weapon route, and at the very least aiming for MP Recovery will help to sustain your urge for flinging fire, whilst also grabbing the highly useful free single target heal, Caduceus.
Strangely enough, whilst she is fantastic at dealing with multiple enemies, Jessica can struggle to deal with single targets, especially those with a higher than usual resistance to magic. In this regard, grabbing something like Twin Dragon Lash, which doesn’t require a great deal of Whip investment, will give her some much needed damage diversification. She’s never going to break any records in this regard, after all her statistics do not lend themselves to doling out physical hits, but with a powerful enough weapon she will outdo her single target spells with ease.
- Seraph’s Arrow (Bows, 66 Points)
- Shining Shot (Bows, 88 Points)
- Oomph (Staves, 65 Points)
- MP Recovery (Staves, 100 Points)
- Sarcastic Snigger (Charisma, 13 Points)
Whilst the hero might not have a great deal of innate personality, it’s safe to say that Angelo is a very different character, however when it comes to their function in battle, the two are actually quite similar. Where the hero trumps his healing power in the mid to late game, Angelo provides a greater degree of support and spell damage. Both of these are aptly aided by his application of Staves, which provide him excellent MP recovery and the powerful Oomph spell, however it’s his possession of another option that makes him stand out: Bows.
Taking up the role of resident archer really lets Angelo attain peak performance. He’ll learn to sustain his spells, healing or otherwise, through judicious use of Cherub’s and Seraph’s Arrow to restore his MP whilst dealing damage, and he’ll eventually access the very powerful Shining Shot, which is up there with Thin Air for destroying random battles. Finally, having a way to reduce the Tension level of an opponent is crucial as the game progresses, and Angelo can achieve this very easily with a small 13 point investment into Charisma, which grants him Sarcastic Snigger.
- Hardclaw (Claws, 40 Points)
- Hand of God (Claws, 100 Points)
- Super Throw (Boomerangs, 66 Points)
- Swing Both Ways (Boomerangs, 100 Points)
- Intensso (Passion, 30 Points)
- Grande Gusto (Passion, 68 Points)
Having been added as a possible party member in the 3DS version of Dragon Quest 8, Morrie plays the part of a frail-yet-powerful damage dealer. However, it should be noted that his skill choices do require the player to be a little more careful. It’s easy to dismiss his Passion tree almost entirely and simply pile all of your points into his weapon skills, and whilst Hand of God and Swing Both Ways are two of the most powerful single and all targeting attacks in the game, being this hasty will see you miss out on some very powerful skills.
Intensso and Grande Gusto are essentially Tension boosting skills, which allow Morrie to boost either himself or another party member. This doesn’t sound too unusual, but it boosts them by two whole levels! Having access to a defence ignoring, 200% damage dealing skill like Hand of God is great, but a well Tension boosted version will pump its numbers into the stratosphere, and the same goes for your allies attacks too.
- Dosh Toss (Roguery, 27 Points)
- Fortune Fleecer (Roguery, 52 Points)
- Knee-jerk Nick (Roguery, 66 Points)
- Defending Champion (Fisticuffs, 7 Points)
- Twin Dragon Lash (Whips, 32 Points)
- Butterfly Bop (Fans, 100 Points)
Were we to wish for one thing from the original DQ8, it would be to remedy the loot and money situation. For those unaware, the game was envisaged more as an open world MMO type experience, so the developers were acutely aware of how exploration would be curbed if items were easy to come by. The result of this is that item drop rates are tiny, and whilst gold farming locations exist, having to use them on multiple occasions isn’t exactly ideal. So how did they go about fixing this? They gave us Red, thief and moneymaker rolled into one.
Regardless of what pon you choose to prioritise with her, it’s crucial that you take the time to invest in her Roguery tree. Not only will she pick up skills that passively increase the gold that enemies drop, namely Gold Getter and Fortune Fleecer, but she’ll also access Knee-jerk Nab and Knee-jerk Nick, which simultaneously let her passively steal items from the last defeated foe. Not only do these combine to combat the general poor drop rates, but they’ll help you craft your way through some of the more powerful Alchemy recipes in the late game. Plus, all that gold that she gathers can be put to absurdly good use through Dosh Toss, which, enemy type depending, turns out to be one of the most powerful attacking moves in the entire game!
Categories: Dragon Quest VIII