Taking advantage of the Alchemy system is absolutely key to ensuring success in a Dragon Quest game. Technically speaking, most story sections can be completed without approaching the magical mixing pot, but we’d argue that you’re doing yourself a disservice to completely ignore it. The early game in particular benefits from significant time investment into creating equipment, often allowing you to access powerful gear before you reach towns and locations that sell them. To this point in particular, we’ve found that the following six recipes make the first fifth of the game an absolute breeze.
Images used in this article are used courtesy of the Dragon Quest Wiki.
- Iron Nail + Bronze Knife
We do love it when a developer hides something powerful in a very early section of the game. In DQ8 this is the Thief’s Key, which can be found at the top of the church in Farebury once your companion has been removed from the town. Picking this up at this point is a great boon for your early game, because it’ll allow you to open quite a few chests in the first quarter of your adventure. We should note that it’ll take you a little while to fully craft, because you’ll have to wait until Peregrin Quay to get both of the ingredients, and you’ll need to make sure that you don’t use them for another recipe by accident. Prioritise crafting this and you’ll be able to get yourself plenty of loot in upcoming areas, all of which is worth more than a Reinforced Boomerang or some such.
- Leather Hat + Chimaera Wing
Possibly the earliest and most useful alchemy is actually the simple Feathered Cap, which can be made as soon as the Alchemy Pot becomes available for use, thanks to all of the ingredients being available in Farebury. It’s also very simple when it comes to the benefits; the Leather Hat in the recipe will give you +3 Defence, but the Feathered Cap will provide +9 Defence. This is a huge difference in Defence rating, and it’ll make a noticeable difference in the damage that your team members will take. By far our best advice here is to craft one for every single party member, so four in total, and don’t expect to remove them for quite a while. They’re so good in fact, that a late joining party member is still wearing one (Red).
- Leather Shield + Bronze Knife
Not only can the Bronze Knife – purchased at Peregrin Quay – be used to craft the Thief’s Key, but also the Bronze Shield by very simply combining it with a Leather Shield, itself purchased in Farebury. Given that it grants +10 Defence, and would otherwise only be available for purchase upon reaching Ascanthia, it’s certainly worth crafting once you reach the ‘Quay. We found ourselves crafting up quite a few of these during the early Abbey portion of the game, specifically so that we could explore the huge area that surrounds it in relative safety. Oh and it’s also a key ingredient in our next choice…
- Chain Mail + Bronze Shield
We do love it when crafted items become ingredients in subsequent crafted items. It makes the whole thing feel like it works together a little better, though we will admit that it can make your shopping list quite extensive and time consuming to gather. This is another piece of equipment that you would otherwise wait until Ascanthia to purchase, however since the Chain Mail can be purchased at Peregrin Quay, you can create them much earlier than this. Having such an extensive list at the ‘Quay can be a significant investment, but this does give you an excuse to explore the area and take down some new and novel opponents. Also, the section around the Abbey can be a little difficult for new players, particularly the boss fight found underground, so getting every little advantage can be useful at this time.
- Leather Whip + Scale Shield
Possibly the most specific and targeted Alchemy recipe in our list today is the Snakeskin Whip. This is because one of the ingredients, the Leather Whip, is inexplicably tremendously rare. One can be found in a chest on the world map around Pickham, however it’s the one that comes equipped by Jessica that we’re more interested in. By combining this with a Scale Shield purchased at Peregrin Quay, it’s possible to make the Snakeskin Whip, which provides a significant +23 attack bonus. This makes it very powerful at such an early part of the game, and it’ll really help Jessica keep up in damage, especially if she’s invested into the Whip skill options. This gives her a great alternative to costly spell casting, so we’d certainly advise that you consider this.
- Wizard’s Staff + 2 x Rockbomb Shard
We’re jumping forward a little bit now, towards the section following Ascanthia specifically. We say this, because you’ll need to defeat some enemies in this particular area to craft the Magma Staff, and pair their loot with a Wizard’s Staff purchased either in Ascanthia, or prior to this at Simpleton. The item in question is the Rockbomb Shard, for which you’ll need to defeat the Minidemon enemy, found in the region around Pickham. You can alternatively find these from the Rockbomb enemies in the desert, however this does require a little more progress and it’s technically a rare drop from both opponents. Combining two of these with the Wizard’s Staff will net you the Magma Staff, which is notable because it’ll cast the Bang spell when it’s used as an item in battle.
At this point in the game having a free cast of the Bang spell is incredible, and its usage will extend for hours and hours to come. Simply having it in your inventory will allow it to be used in battle too, so it’s worth keeping around even after you replace it as an active piece of equipment. Some of the other options on our list are useful, sure, but this one takes the cake as our absolute favourite alchemy recipe for any particular point in the game.
Categories: Dragon Quest VIII