View Full Version : Latecomer Reviews: Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride

02-27-2016, 06:06 PM

Spring is just around the corner and I'm still curled up with my little old DS, getting my hands on the second game in Dragon Quest's Zenithian trilogy. In some ways, this could be considered Dragon Quest's FFVI (with DQ VIII being FFVII) in that a whole lot of people argue this is the best game in the series, even if DQ VIII was the first one that really grabbed the attention of Western audiences. So is this game truly such a masterpiece?


Well, the first big twist in Dragon Quest V is that you are not the legendary hero. Instead you take control of a little boy who is following his dad on a quest to find this hero. The story, if stripped of all the fluff, is still pretty much the same thing, with a great evil taking control of the land, and it's up to you to find this hero and stop the villain. But putting it like that is not really fair towards the game. Dragon Quest V truly excels in the way this journey is presented. You start as a little boy who later grows up, gets married, and has children. This has since been done in other RPGs, e.g. Fable, but nowhere have I seen it executed in such a meaningful, profound way. You really have to go through some very painful, dramatic stuff to grow up and end up where you are supposed to be. You eventually get to choose a wife out of three candidates, but even then the drama doesn't stop. You only get to settle once the battle over the fate of the world is over. And this time around, it really is personal. You, as your character, have a deep, personal reason to really see this through to the end. It's rare that I get to feel so connected to my protagonist, and I think the gameplay plays a really big part in that.


While the battle system remains unchanged, how you manage your party is different. For a big part of your journey, you are the only human on your team. But that doesn't mean you're alone - you have the opportunity to befriend many of those painfully punny-named monsters. If it sounds like Pokemon, that's because it kind of is, though DQV did it first. In the DS version, there are about 70 monsters to get on your team. Though they usually have more limited equipment choices than your human characters, they are nonetheless very useful and careful management of your party is one of the biggest strategic challenges of this game. As for the human characters, you are joined by your wife, your children, and friends of the family. This may sound like it's not a big deal, but it really helps you feel that much more connected to your party than ever before. Further helping that is the inclusion of party chat, which lets you converse with your wife and kids along the way, providing some very fun and heartwarming moments.


Presentation-wise, the game is identical to Dragon Quest IV, though the dominant colors are cooler and more subdued, probably due to the fact that this was originally released on a later generation system than IV. This, combined with another excellent soundtrack by Koichi Sugiyama, helped create an atmosphere for the game that was quite unlike what we've seen before in Dragon Quest.

All things considered, Dragon Quest V is indeed worthy of all the praise it gets. Though I still miss the vocation system from III, the freedom of composing your own party from a big pool of monsters (and your family members) is very welcome. But the game truly shines in the story department. It's a great example of how a simple idea can be executed with fantastic results if it's done with enough love. For someone who's at the beginning of starting his own family, such as myself, this game can be an emotional rollercoaster. Though in the end, the heartwarming elements outweigh the painful ones. The same version of Dragon Quest V is also available on iOS for $14.99.


Wolf Kanno
02-27-2016, 06:55 PM
Fun fact: Yuji Horii considers this game to be his magnum opus and it's still his favorite entry in the series.

I really enjoyed DQV and it's the only game from the franchise that has come close to dethroning DQIII for me as my favorite entry. Monster collecting was fun and the game has one of the bestter stories in the series. Agree with the FF comparison as well.

02-27-2016, 07:12 PM
I love DQV. While I'm rather neutral towards the others in the series that I have played, this is one of my favourite games ever. I love the story, the characters, the world. It's just such a charming and delightful game

Depression Moon
02-27-2016, 07:23 PM
I'm planning on playing this next. I had problems getting it to work, but I think I got it straight now.

02-27-2016, 08:56 PM
What a magnificent game. Even if Liquid Metal Bubble Slimes (however they are named in the version you play) are overpowered companions.

The Fat Bioware Nerd
03-17-2016, 09:23 AM
I bought this game on Android and it's so hard to play on my phone that I'm buying the Nintendo DS version again, and I'm gonna play it on my New 3DS XL in the near future, because I just can't let this game go. I love it so much. I like marrying Nera and I like naming my children, I think this time I'll name them "Barry," and "Kara," after "Barry Allen," from The Flash TV Show on the CW and "Kara Danvers," from the Supergirl TV Show on CBS.

03-17-2016, 10:12 AM
I married Bianca and named my kids Rex and Tabitha. The default names are incredibly dumb. Mädchen is German for "girl" - who the hell names their daughter "girl"?

The Fat Bioware Nerd
03-17-2016, 10:34 AM
Well, supposedly Bianca, is Italian for "White" just like Nera is Italian for "Black" or at least that's Television Tropes says. Anyway Bianca says something in the party chat that pisses me off that's why I don't marry her, well that and I don't like her accent. Some fairy says something about the player's blood and the heavenly bride's blood and if your heavenly bride is Bianca, she bitches about all the pain and anguish she went through and the player character gives her this great big death glare that says, "Bitch please, don't give me that bull trout."

03-17-2016, 10:47 AM
I don't remember any bitching though? The whole relationship was very sweet. And I think k her accent was cute

The Fat Bioware Nerd
03-17-2016, 11:03 AM
Well, maybe it wasn't so much "bitching" as it was "complaining" some fairy talked about my blood (the player character's blood) and Bianca's blood and the fairy said that's how Bianca was able to make twins and she (Bianca) said, "You mean all of this pain could have been avoided!?" and then my avatar gives her a death glare, which she deserved by the way. And that made me hate Bianca, if the accent, didn't make me hate her already.

03-17-2016, 11:17 AM
Idk, I feel like that's a fair reason to feel down and who do you confide in if not your spouse? But that's subjective, I guess :gator:

The Fat Bioware Nerd
03-17-2016, 11:29 AM
Idk, I feel like that's a fair reason to feel down and who do you confide in if not your spouse? But that's subjective, I guess :gator:

The next thing you'll tell me is that Prince Harry saying "You really don't deserve [Insert Heavenly Bride's name here] [Insert Hero's name here]" is a good thing because you know, Harry's a likeable asshole isn't he? ;) :roll2

03-17-2016, 11:50 AM
That was a joke, though. After spending ten years slaving away together, Harry and the hero are pretty much as close as brothers, and that's how people close like that joke around. It's like when you see your best friend and say "hey, asshole!"

The Fat Bioware Nerd
03-17-2016, 12:00 PM
That was a joke, though. After spending ten years slaving away together, Harry and the hero are pretty much as close as brothers, and that's how people close like that joke around. It's like when you see your best friend and say "hey, asshole!"

I know my younger brother calls me a "fat asshole" but we aren't particularly close. In fact he hates it when I stand there by his doorway and watch him play Xbox One, but I digress. That's neither here nor there. :(

Depression Moon
04-18-2016, 11:31 AM
Fynn can you help me beat Bjorn? I finally got around to playing this game and it feels really long. Bjorn has been kicking my ass and I have no clue how to tackle him. Is he required to beat the game? I have no clue what I'm supposed to be doing at the moment so that's why I'm fighting him.

04-18-2016, 12:04 PM
Hmm... I can vaguely remember Bjorn being very, very difficult. I'm pretty sure you can just come back to him later. Give me a minute or two, I'll try to retrace me steps and remember

Depression Moon
04-18-2016, 12:10 PM
If it helps, the last thing I did in the game was revive the Zenithian Dragon.

04-18-2016, 12:14 PM
So in general, Insulatle, Kabuff, and Multiheal are your friends. I recommend using the son, Saber and Orc King for this battle, though there's really nothing they can do that other party members can't. Just make sure you have those three spells at least. If you have the Zenithian Sword already, which I believe you should, use it every time Bjorn buffs himself.

04-20-2016, 03:15 PM
Love this game. The story truly moved me.

I married the :bou::bou::bou::bou:y wife; I think her name was Debra. She was always so mean to me but she had stolen my heart :love:

04-20-2016, 03:19 PM
I mean, I actually felt kinda bad for Deborah with how the writers treated her. "Oh no, she has poor manners, she is forever ruined for marriage" - the whole town talks like that and it just makes me sad :(

Depression Moon
04-25-2016, 12:41 AM
It ain't really poor manners, she's annoying in general.

I just beat the game finally. I actually picked Debora first because she's the prettiest and I felt the game tried hard for me not to. Asked me three times if I was sure. Debora also acted like she didn't care about getting married, but she came rushing down the stairs when she heard that I had to make a choice. I ended up ditching her because she called me a slave and I don't play that.

Bianca was who I was originally going to pick and was disappointed to find out that the wedding was a lot more tame compared to Debora's.

Game was good with a lot of emotional moments like when Harry left the party, but damn the encounter rates in this game. They're very high and there's no way to reduce them because Holy Water and the like only work on weaker enemies practically making it useless. I was able to survive the last dungeon and boss by only going to the casino on the boat and buying a bunch of Magic Water on the T N T board. Recruiting monsters was pretty cool and adds some replay factor.

I actually wrote a long review about it, but won't post it here because this is Fynn's thread and I don't want to impede on that.

Ffamran mied Bunansa
04-30-2016, 06:36 PM
DQV is BY FAR my favourite game in the series. Like no contest, it's bloody amazing! I don't generally play DQ for the story, but V has one of the greatest in gaming, not just the franchise.

05-05-2016, 12:24 PM
It was certainly great, but since it was so hyped up for me before I played it, DQ VI actually managed to dethrone it for me personally :p (Check out the review I did of that as well!)