Picking the four best party members in a game that originally had only four choices, might immediately sound like a fool’s errand. However, the advent of the vastly improved 3DS version of Dragon Quest 8 meant that the possible choices expanded to 6, leaving the player with a meaningful choice when it comes to selection. We will of course preface this by saying that pretty much any combination can work, after all the game changed relatively little for the most part between versions, but we firmly believe that the following four will provide you with the firepower needed to take on anything the game can throw at you, post game included.
First up is the feisty and fiery spell slinger, Jessica. Third to join the party, she is a mage that immediately bolsters the party with her damage dealing capability, the ability to regularly charm opponents and contribute a bit of party utility where necessary. So far so good, and if you’re looking to simply defeat the story portion of Dragon Quest 8 then you need look no further really, but things do get a little more complex when you delve a little deeper.
Compared to alternative party choices, her single target damage will become a little limited. She specialises in damaging vast swathes of opponents, which she’ll be unmatched in dealing with for the aforementioned story portion, but she’ll struggle to keep up when bosses make themselves known. She does have Whips as an option, which when combined with certain weapon models will keep her competitive, but other choices, specifically those in this list, will pull ahead of her in the end. She does have a few buffs to offer, and equipment can help her contribute a few heals, all of which combine to make her a strong option for the majority of the game, but she’ll ultimately lose out when other members start to reach their full potential.
- Jessica will provide excellent group damage for the majority of the game. This will only be surpassed by a few members in the late game, but the gap isn’t technically an issue at all.
- She will suffer when it comes to single target damage, especially in the late game. Whips keep her relevant in this regard, but not enough to truly compete late on.
- She can offer further utility, however any healing will require Staves or accessories to help plug the gaps. The former is certainly worthwhile, but not necessarily enough to deal with the mass of incoming damage in late game portions.
- Whilst entertaining, her chance to charm enemies is ultimately unreliable and difficult to plan around.
Our next choice is the rambunctious wrestler, Morrie! Having starred in the PS2 version of DQ8 as the master of the Monster Arena, he becomes a party member choice in the 3DS version, replete with a cheerleader-esque set of skills and a penchant for dealing large amounts of physical damage, which he does tremendously well. In fact, we’d argue that his kit combined has the capability of dealing the most physical damage of anyone.
His Claws allow him to deal massive single target damage, Boomerangs do the same for groups and all enemies, his Passion tree will buff his and others damage by huge amounts and he can even branch out into Metal Slime farming with his remaining choices. Truly, as a damage dealer at least, there’s little that Morrie cannot do. He does struggle to contribute meaningful support outside of Tension, and his low defence and health stop him from being positioned further up this list, but he’s a fantastic choice for a damage dealing slot in your party.
- Morrie provides possibly the most powerful buffs in the game in his Passion tree, which boosts Tension for either him or another party member, which massively boosts their damage.
- He’s also capable of massive single target damage via his Claw skills and the Hand of God ability, which completely ignores the target’s defence.
- Don’t think that group damage is ignored either, because Morrie’s Boomerang skills are tremendously powerful for dealing with groups.
- Unfortunately Morrie has not been blessed with a great deal of either defence or health, so he can find it hard to survive at times.
Speaking of 3DS additions to Dragon Quest 8, Red elbows the competition out of the way and muscles herself into second position in our list, by dote of also becoming a party option. When it comes to damaging and defeating enemies, we consider her to be almost equal to Morrie, with her strong choices of Whips and Fans allowing her to compete with the very best when it comes to single and group damage respectively. But if she only ‘almost’ competes with someone further down this list, why does she position above him?
Loot is why. More specifically, passive gold income and increased item drops is exactly why she takes the second spot. By investing into Red’s Roguery tree, you’ll unlock skills that passively gain you increased gold and item drops from enemies, both of which are at a premium in Dragon Quest 8. The game was deliberately designed this way, but the developers received some complaints from the original release, and patched things up via Red and her skills. These are essential when farming and crafting some of the best items in the game, and she can even throw the excess cash that you find at opponents with Dosh Toss, which itself deals incredible amounts of damage.
- Her Roguery tree houses passive gold and loot farming skills, both of which are an incredible benefit, especially when you’re attempting to craft some of the rare and powerful Alchemy recipes in the late game.
- Her weapon choices, specifically the Whips and Fans, will also let her deal big damage to single and group targets when required.
- Alternatively, throw your excess cash at enemies with Dosh Toss for huge damage.
- Whilst Red does technically learn a full heal, and as such can help to support the team, her low health and defence might be a concern. She does make up for this quite a bit however, by having huge Agility.
We noted in our Tier List that it’s not too unusual for the Hero to be the most powerful party member in a DQ game, however this is not something that’s initially apparent in DQ8, at least not to the untrained eye. At first, he’s likely to feel somewhat similar to the main character in DQ9, performing like a Minstrel and covering every possible requirement to a reasonable level. He’ll even deal a high amount of damage at times, depending on your choice of skill point allocation. His real value however, becomes clear as you approach the mid and late game.
At this point, investment into his Courage tree will pay off in spades. This will unlock the ability to halve his MP costs, but more importantly will unlock Omniheal, which is a full party, full health heal. Having this available will make the late and post game much, much easier. Choosing to combine this with Swords and mastering both, which we absolutely recommend that you do, will eventually unlock the secret Gigagash ability, which is a massively powerful group attack available only to the Hero. These points, combined with his utility throughout the game, the ability to use his helper friend for various benefits and his overall statistical prowess, make him stand out as the best party member going. As he should be, too. This is a Dragon Quest after all.
- The Courage tree will eventually unlock Omniheal, which is exclusive to the Hero and fully heals the entire team. This, combined with the MP reduction skill, makes him the defacto best healer in the game.
- He’s no slouch when it comes to damage either. Technically any choice is good with him, but Swords are a true highlight thanks to Gigagash being unlocked when you master them alongside Courage.
- Spears and Boomerangs too will allow him to deal big damage whilst also contributing to Metal Slime killing duties, though they will be overtaken by Swords versus normal enemies and bosses.
- All of these, combined with his excellent spell list and utilisation of his cheese eating helper, add up to make him by far the best party member possible.
Categories: Dragon Quest VIII