4. Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride

Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride Nintendo DS Front Cover

Developer: Chunsoft
Publisher: Enix
Year: 1992
Platform: SNES (Japanese only); DS

I first played this game on a SNES emulator with an English translation patch, then later on the DS. The DS version has a few additions that may increase enjoyment; regardless, both versions are an example of a great RPG, with emphasis on the role-playing.

Dragon Quest V was one of the first RPG’s to have a plot that took place over multiple generations. In fact, you see the hero’s birth and fight as him over the course of his life, first with your father, then with wife, and eventually your kids. For simple graphics and simple dialogue, the game has a lot of emotional weight and there are decisions you can make to influence the hero’s life.

Dragon Quest V: Tenkū no Hanayome SNES Fighting

Gameplay is virtually identical to the first four games in the series. It’s puzzling that the developers used so little of the 16-bit engine to upgrade the graphics and music (these screenshots are from the SNES). The one advantage is that it’s familiar and user-friendly, but it’s unfortunate more spectacle wasn’t created to emphasize the dramatic story line. The main gameplay feature that was new to the series (and to RPGs for the most part) was the ability to recruit monsters into your party. Strategizing what monsters you want to try for (weaker monsters tend to be easier to recruit) is part of the fun. One primary difference between the SNES and DS versions is that you get four party members instead of three, allowing for more variety. Also, you have a wider selection of wives to choose from!

Dragon Quest V: Tenkū no Hanayome SNES Intro: the birth of the hero

If you like the Dragon Quest series at all, there’s no reason you shouldn’t play this game. I’ve played a little bit of VI and VII and was unimpressed with what I saw, though I have heard repeatedly that IX is excellent.

3 thoughts on “4. Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride”

  1. I’ve heard about IX as well.

    I remember having this game in the store like it was yesterday. Have they really been burning through the series that quickly?

    1. Well, nearly version of this game was released about four to six years earlier in Japan, with the exception of this game, which took almost 20 years to get a translation.

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