I like to think of there being two parts of Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past. There’s your life before Alltrades Abbey and your life after. It’s that important a plot point in the course of the game. Part of this is because of all the strategic options that open up to your after that point, as well as the direction the game takes since you’re getting closer to restoring much of the world. But it’s also because this is the first time Dragon Quest VII really gets challenging. Prior to this point, it’s a bit of a cakewalk.
The important thing to know, going into Alltrades Abbey, is that you’re going to really be relying on two characters. You’re down to three regular party members at this point, and one of them will be severely handicapped from here on out. You want to be sure the people you do have around are at their absolute best for the challenges ahead.
If you really want to be prepared, the best thing to do is head to Pilgrim’s Rest, the place where people stop before heading to Alltrades Abbey and visit the casino. The Lucky Panel game is the best way to go. If you win, you’ll get nine items to keep. These can be doled out to your party members or sold for money, which you can turn into tokens, and use to get even more pieces of equipment. The slot machines aren’t always helpful, and the card game feels rather rigged, so it’s best to rely on your memory.
There are specific casino items you might want to try and get in the Lucky Panel game, since you won’t have access to great stock selections in this area’s shops. I recommend trying to get at least two Cloaks of Evasion, if you can, as they have a chance of letting the people wearing them dodge an attack. Giving one to Maribel is ideal, since she’ll be your healer in this scenario, and you can save the other for another party member. The Assassin’s Dagger is also great for Maribel. I’d recommend getting at least one Full Plate Armor, because Auster can use that added defense. While you can absolutely shoot for a War Hammer, it’s okay to go with Edged Boomerangs from Pilgrim’s Perdition’s shop for both Auster and Ruff. They’ll be your damage dealers for this section and having them hit everyone at once is advantageous.
Next, you should stock up on Medicinal Herbs. I’d suggest 40, if you can afford it. You’ll want to have some in Auster and Ruff’s inventories at all time. They’re going to rely on these items for healing. Don’t worry so much about keeping Maribel stocked up. Not long after Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past starts this scenario, you’ll get a Salvation Stone from a thief. If this item is in her inventory, she can use it repeatedly to heal one person at a time both in and out of battle. Auster and Ruff can use it too, but you’ll want them to focus entirely on healing for this part of the game.
Once Alltrade Abbey’s scenario is in full swing, there are only three pieces of advice I can really offer. The first is to deposit your money in the bank. This is the first really challenging area in Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past. You don’t want to risk losing your hard earned cash. Second, you should save often. Finally, there are unwinnable boss fights here. You’ll know them when you see them, and losing will advance the story.
As long as you head into Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past’s Alltrades Abbey questline prepared, you should have no trouble earning your classes. It is more difficult than first portion of the game, but it feels more balanced than it did in the PlayStation release. Take your time, get your characters to about level 15, visit the casino for a while to earn great items and you’ll be set.
Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past is now available for the Nintendo 3DS.