Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King is a game that encourages you to do your best as you go along. There are sidequests to complete. You have alchemy to perform. The Nintendo 3DS version even has those photo quests to extend the life of the game. But, it’s what happens after the end that might convince people to keep going deeper into the well. Between two marriage candidates, each with standard and true endings, and two post-game dungeons, this is a game that wants you to be at your best and will encourage you to reach new heights with substantial challenges.
One of the most discussed additions in Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King is the ability to marry either Medea or Jessica, offering two endings. Medea is the default heroine. To marry her, play through the game as normal. You’ll have no additional errands to run or decisions to make. It’s only if you want to marry Jessica that you need to do something different.
If you want to have your hero marry the heroine who has been fighting alongside him all along, you’ll need to pay a visit to her childhood home. Before heading off to fight Rhapthorne, it’s important to speak to Rosalind in Alexandria. She will give you Alistair’s Armor. After that, sleep in Alexandria’s inn. Keep going through the game as normal. Instead of immediately marrying Medea, you’ll be able to make some choices when speaking to King Clavius. He’ll ask if you have feelings for Medea. All you have to do is say that you don’t care for Medea and have feelings for someone else. You’ll then get to settle down with Jessica.
Having two marriage choices isn’t the only double delight in Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King. There are also two post-game bonus dungeons. One is found near Baccarat, while the other is near Marta’s cottage. The Baccarat-area dungeon is the Dragovian Sanctuary. Inside, you’ll find Mini Medals, as well as important equipment like the Dangerous Bustier, Liquid Metal Armor, a Skull Helm, Thanatos’ Shield. Oh, and dragons. There are lots of dragonic bosses here. Though, you really only need to beat the Lord of the Dragovians once, to get the Argon Ring and unlock the Dragovian Trials. The Argon Ring is the item you’ll need to see the true endings for both Medea and Jessica. In each case, you need to choose to show King Clavius the Argon Ring after beating Rhapthorne.
Memories Lane, the second post-game dungeon, is far more difficult. It’s found at Marta’s cottage, south of Orkutsk. Think of it as a way to remember all of the bosses you’ve fought throughout Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King. Only now, they’re ridiculously strong. You only have to fight each one once, but it is possible to fight them repeatedly. There are 15 to face, with Estark making an appearance as the absolute final boss. It is an excruciating trek and honestly, I would not risk going in unless you’re at least at level 80. And, even at level 80, you still might not be strong enough to make it all the way to Estark.
When you go through Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King, you’re getting a chance to get everything you could possibly want for your characters. It’s an opportunity to make them the best people they can be. And, for your efforts, you might just earn an item that will give you a ring for the true endings. The game rewards you for proving yourself and expending that extra effort, giving you better equipment and additional endings.
Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King is available for the Nintendo 3DS.