Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King

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DQ8 - Valuable Early Skills & Attributes

   ************************************
   *                                  *
   *         DRAGON QUEST VIII        *
   *                                  *
   *    JOURNEY OF THE CURSED KING    *
   *                                  *
   *                                  *
   ************************************
   *                                  *
   *   FAQ: HERO & YANGUS:            *
   *                                  *
   *      VALUABLE EARLY SKILLS       *
   *                                  *
   *                                  *
   ************************************
   *                                  *
   *    FAQ Copyright by KATZNKITZ    *
   *                                  *
   *                                  *
   *  Work Completed: Nov 30th, 2006  *
   *                                  *
   ************************************

   *=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*
   *                                                             *
   *  If you contribute, you'll receive full credit:             *
   *                                                             *
   *    ideas, corrections, suggestions for improvement, etc.    *
   *                                                             *
   *                   through cheatcodes.com                    *
   *                                                             *
   *=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*


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   +                   +
   + TABLE OF CONTENTS +
   +                   +
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0-1. PRELIMINARY INFORMATION.
  0-1.A. COPYRIGHT MATTERS.
  0-1.B. ABOUT THIS FAQ.

0-2. HOW RPGs WORK (for beginners only).


1-1. EARLY SKILL DEVELOPMENT.
  1-1.A. SKILL POINTS.
  1-1.B. RATIONALE FOR SPECIFIC SKILL DEVELOPMENT.

1-2.  HERO'S SKILLS.
  1-2.A. RECOMMENDED SKILL DEVELOPMENT FOR HERO.

1-3. YANGUS'S SKILLS.
  1-3.A. FIRST SKILLS FOR YANGUS.
 

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   +                               +
   +  0.1. PRELIMINARY INFORMATION +
   +                               +
   +=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+


===================================================================================

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+ 0-1.A. COPYRIGHT MATTERS +
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


   Dragon Quest VIII RPG including all characters, items, and story line is copyright by SquareEnix.

   This FAQ, copyright by Kay Allan (KATZNKITZ) is based on that story and is intended to give hints and suggestion for playing DRAGON qUEST VIII.


===================================================================================

+++++++++++++++++++++++++
+ 0-1.B. ABOUT THIS FAQ +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++

New Game: Input your choice for the Hero's name.
          - In all DRAGON QUEST VIII FAQs, he will be known as "HERO."


~ SKILL POINTS:

  + One of the least understood aspects of Dragon Quest VIII may be the use of
    SKILL POINTS to develop the Hero's and Yangus's Skills & Attributes.

  + There is an optimal, that is a best-for-progress sequence of skill development
    for both HERO & YANGUS.
    - This helps the game to move forward more quickly.

  + This FAQ shows the best use of Skill Points for the first 12 Experience Levels.
    - Usually, Jessica joins the party when Hero's and Yangus's Experience Levels
      have increased to between Level 10 and Level 12.


~ If you have already progressed some way in the game, it is recommended that:

  + Check through this FAQ for those you may not yet have.
 AND...
  + Develop any you haven't yet got for your characters.


~ The information in this FAQ only deals with the first two characters in the
  original party:

  + HERO and YANGUS.

  + A different FAQ shows the complete Skill development for all characters:

    - On cheatcodes.com:

        USE OF DQ8 SKILL POINTS.


 ~=~=~=~=~~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~


     NOTE: IF YOU ARE HAVE PLAYED SEVERAL OTHER RPGs, SKIP SECTION 0-2.


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   +                       +
   +  0-2.  HOW RPGs WORK  +
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~ For all RPGs, the playable characters in the game start out at low Experience
  Levels (Level 1 to be exact) and with low HP (Health Points).

  + In the DQ-8 Game, Hero has 22 HP and Yangus has 30 HP.

    - That means Hero can only withstand 3-4 direct hits from monsters (even the
      weakest ones) before needing to heal.

  + Both Hero AND Yangus start with zero (0) MP.


~ When playing an RPG, patience is needed:

  + If you try to "get ahead" before the characters are ready, you end up with
    at least one "fallen" character.

    - If both are defeated, the Game is OVER.
      * That means you have to start again from the last save.

    - If only one falls, you can go to the Priest in the Church (where you can
      save the game) and have him resurrect the fallen.
      * That costs money you could spend more usefully on better weapons and
        defensive equipment.

  + In an RPG, it is NECESSARY to build up each characters experience so that it
    is more difficult for the enemy monsters to defeat them.

    - But because their stats are low and increase slowly, at first it is too
      dangerous to venture far from a place where they can heal.

    - That means staying close to the town (of Farebury) until they are at Level 3.


~ THE ONLY WAY TO SUCCEED IS TO BUILD THE CHARACTERS' LEVELS & STATS AS QUICKLY
  AS POSSIBLE.

  + It is vital for the characters to be able to stay away from town for longer
    and longer periods of time.

  + This means they must carry plenty of healing items (which cost money).
  OR...
  + Have healing spells.
  AND...
  + Get stronger weapons and better defensive equipment.

  + All of which means they need to get money (G or gold coins in the game).

     IN OTHER WORDS, DEFEAT LOTS OF MONSTERS!!!


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   +                               +
   +  1-1. EARLY SKILL DEVELOPMENT +
   +                               +
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~ There are two types of skills in DQ 8:

  + Magic Skills.
    - Magic Spells develop as Hero gets higher Experience Levels.
    - These skills are a "natural" result of increasing experience.

  + Weapon Attribute Skills.
    - In DQ 8, as the character's increase Experience Levels, they also receive
      SKILL POINTS.
      * The SKILL POINTS are used to develop the WEAPON ATTRIBUTE SKILLS.


~ Using the MAIN MENU to get information:
  + See the MAIN MENU's subheading MAGIC for the list of FIELD MAGIC SKILLS of
    each character.
    - YANGUS gets very few Magic Skills and only through the development of his
      WEAPON ATTRIBUTE SKILL of "HUMANITY".

  + See the MAIN MENU's subheading ATTRIBUTES to get information about:
    - The progress of the character's:
       * Strength
       * Agility
       * Resiliance
       * Wisdom
       * Attack
       * Defense
       * Experience (EXP in this FAQ).

    - The development of Weapon Attributes for HERO:
       * Swords
       * Spears
       * Boomerangs
       * Fisticuffs (unarmed battle)
       * Courage

    - The development of Weapon Attribute Skill for YANGUS.
       * Axes
       * Clubs
       * Scythes
       * Fisticuffs (unarmed battle, but a different set of skills from HERO's)
       * Humanity.


~ Since each character uses different weapon skills, the weapon attribute list
  is specific to each character.
  + Four of the set of skills Attributes applies to weapons.
    - Even though the fourth 'weapon' for all characters is bare-fisted fighting,
      each character develops a unique set of skills.
    - The fifth is a set of personal skills different for each character.


===================================================================================

+++++++++++++++++++++++++
+  1-1.A. SKILL POINTS  +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++

~ Weapon skills/attributes can only be developed through the use of SKILL POINTS.

  + When an EXP 'Level Up' is achieved, SKILL POINTS *must* be assigned to one the
    five sets of skills.


~ As the five weapon skills/attributes increase, the characters use of the weapon
  improves.

  + HERO:
      Swords ........ A weapon for one-on-one battle.
      Spears ........ A weapon with different action, but also one-on-one battle
      Boomerang ..... A throwing weapon which affects all enemies.
      Fisticuffs .... Using fists as a weapon (that is, for unarmed battle).
      Courage ....... Unique skills that provide more magic spells.

  + YANGUS:
      Axes .......... A weapon for one-on-one battle.
      Clubs ......... Another weapon for one-on-one battle.
      Scythes ....... This can become a throwing weapon, affecting an enemy group.
      Fisticuffs .... Unarmed battle.
      Humanity ...... Unique skills that provide some magic spells.


~ Starting at EXP Level 4, SKILL POINTS are awarded.
  + The number of Skill Points is fixed for each specific EXP level.
    - At first, Hero gets only two or three Skill Points each time he goes to a
      higher EXP Level (don't know why).
    - Yangus gets 4 or 5 at each EXP Level in early Level Ups.
      * Perhaps to make up for the fact he NEVER gets a Magic Skill with a
        regular Level Up, only through skill building.

  + Later in the game, a character may get 7 to 9 SKILL POINTS.


===================================================================================

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+  1-1.B. RATIONALE FOR SPECIFIC SKILL DEVELOPMENT  +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


1. HEALING SPELLS:

   a. The further our Hero and Yangus move away from the safe haven of the town
      of Farebury:
      - The more dangerous monsters they have to fight.
      - The more independent of the Inns they need to be.

   b. They need more and more HP to defeat more dangerous foes:
      - As EXP levels increase their HP and MP stats improve.
      - They can buy healing items so they can stay away from town for longer
        periods of time. 

   c. They need money to buy healing items:
      - That means the more battles fought, the more money they can get.
      HOWEVER...
      - The money is best spent on:
        * Better weapons to defeat monsters with fewer hits.
        * Better armour (the spelling used in DQ 8) to reduce the amount of
          damage done by a particular monster.
         
   d. Instead of having to rely on healing items, it is most valuable if the
      characters can learn healing spells.
      - HERO learns these as his EXP levels increase.
      HOWEVER...
      - YANGUs needs to develop his HUMANITY Skills to get healing spells.


2. WHISTLE:

   a. Since increasing EXP levels mean increasing stats;
      - The characters MUST fight battles to gain EXP.
      BUT...
      - You have to wander all over the landscape to find the battles.

   b. It is nice to have the means to bring the battles to the characters.
      - Yangus's WHISTLE magic can be used to bring any number of battles to the
        party.
      - Simply use the spell as soon as one battle is finished (and you've healed,
        if necessary).

   c. BENEFITS:
      - It saves a lot of time, as you stand still or stay close to one spot.
      - In just a few minutes, you can gain a lot of EXP.
      - And build up a lot of Gold coins.


3. EVAC:
   a. Usually, there is a BOSS in each Dungeon.

   b. By the time you have fought through the various levels of the dungeon,
      you may be:
      - Low on MP at the least.
      AND...
      - Low on HP at the worst.

      - EVAC allows the party to instantaneously exit the dungeon.

   c. EVAC takes the party instantly out to:
      - The Field just outside the dungeon's entrance from wherever they happen
        to be in the dungeon.
        * HERO can develop this spell through his COURAGE skills.


4. ZOOM:

   a. Sometimes you venture too far away from the nearest town.
      - Your HP and MP are low, and you're short on Healing Items.
        * But the nearest town is too far away to battle your way to it without
          risk of falling in Battle.

      - You can buy a number of CHIMAERA WINGs to instantaneously return to the
        town
        * Using a WING gives access to the ZOOM Menu.
          > The menu allows you to select any town the party has visited at least
            once.

      - HERO can develop ZOOM through his COURAGE skills.


5. SUMMARY:
   + Both characters should have HEAL as soon as possible.

   + The magic spell WHISTLE bring battles to the party.

   + The magic spell EVAC takes the party instantly out of the dungeon.

   + The magic spell ZOOM allows the to go from wherever they are in the Field to a
     place they have previuously visited.

     NOTE: If HERO uses zoom inside a dungeion or building, he hits his head!!!



   THIS FAQ SHOWS THE BEST WAY TO DEVELOP THESE SKILLS...
 

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   +                       +
   +  1-2.  HERO'S SKILLS  +
   +                       +
   +=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+


~ Hero doesn't get nearly as many Skill Points as Yangus.

  + Skill Points are gained on an exact schedule instead of being randomized.


~ Hero's Magic Points (MP):
  + When a character Levels Up, HP and MP are NOT filled to max.
    - A Medicinal Herb will restore 30-35 HP.
    - BUt they have to return to the Inn and sleep to restore MP.

  + Hero gets 5 MP at Level 3.
    - At the same time he learns HEAL.
    - But, since HEAL requires 2 MP, he can only heal twice before going to an INN.

  + He gets +4 MP at Level 4, and +5 MP at Level 5 (total 14 MP).


~ At the beginning, only some of Hero's Weapon Attribute skills are recommended.
  + These are SWORDS, COURAGE & BOOMERANG.

  + After that, you will need to make your own decisions, based on the full list
    in the USE OF DQ8 SKILL POINTS FAQ (cheatcodes.com).


===================================================================================

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+  1-2.A. RECOMMENDED SKILL DEVELOPMENT FOR HERO  +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

~ In the following charts:
    LV = Level.
    SP = Skill Points gained at that LV.


~ The charts start at Level 4, because that's when Hero gets the first Skill
  Points.
  + Build the skills in the order given in the chart below.
  + Chart goes to L17.
    - You should be able to get Jessica on your team by the time HERO gets to
      Level 10 or 11.

  NOTE: METAL SLASH (at Swords = 30) makes it easier to defeat Metal Monsters.
        - Needed by the time you get to The Ruined Abbey (Maella Region).



   |    |    |      ASSIGN POINTS TO:         |
   |    |    |________________________________|
   | LV | SP |  SWORDS  |BOOMERANGS | COURAGE |  RESULT
   |____|____|__________|___________|_________|________________________________
   |  4 |  2 |  +2  (2) |    --     |   --    |
   |  5 |  2 |  +2  (4) |    --     |   --    | +5 ATTACK when SWORD equippped
   |  6 |  3 |    --    |    --     | +3  (3) |
   |  7 |  2 |    --    |    --     | +2  (5) |
   |  8 |  3 |    --    |    --     | +3  (8) | ZOOM (same as Chimaera Wing)
   |  9 |  2 |  +2  (6) |    --     |   --    |
   | 10 |  3 |  +3  (9) |    --     |   --    | DRAGON SLASH (sword equipped)
   | 11 |  3 |  +3 (12) |    --     |   --    |    
   | 12 |  3 |  +3 (15) |    --     |   --    | FLAME SLASH (sword equipped)
   | 13 |  4 |  +4 (19) |    --     |   --    |
   | 14 |  5 |  +4 (22) |   +1  (1) |   --    | +10 ATTACK (at Swords = 22)
   | 15 |  6 |    --    |   +6  (6) |   --    | CROSSCUTTER THROW (Boomerang)
   | 16 |  6 |{   --    |   +5 (12) |   --    | +5 ATTACK (BOOMERANG equipped)
   |    |    |{ +1 (23) |    --     |   --    | +5 ATTACK (BOOMERANG equipped)
   | 17 |  5 |  +2 (25) |    --     |   --    |
   | 18 |  5 |  +5 (30) |    --     |   --    | METAL SLASH (sword equipped)
   |____|____|__________|___________|_________|________________________________


~ SUMMARIZING:

        SKILL        |UP POINTS|     RESULT
                     |   TO    |
   __________________|_________|________________________________________________
     1. "Swords"     |     4   |  +5 ATTACK when SWORD equippped.
     2. "Courage"    |     8   | ZOOM (same as Chimaera Wing).
     3. "Swords"     |     9   | DRAGON SLASH (sword equipped)
     4. "Swords"     |    15   | FLAME SLASH (sword equipped)
     5. "Swords"     |    22   |  +10 ATTACK (sword equipped)
                     |         |
     6. "Boomerangs" |     6   | CROSSCUTTER THROW (Boomerang equipped).
     7. "Boomerangs" |    12   |  +5 ATTACK (BOOMERANG equipped)
     8. "Swords"     |    30   | METAL SLASH (sword equipped)
   __________________|_________|________________________________________________


  + At this point you can choose from the full lists but I would recommend
    taking the Boomerang Skills to at least 66 Points.


+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
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   +=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+
   +                         +
   +  1-3.  YANGUS'S SKILLS  +
   +                         +
   +=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+


~ Early development of Skills:

  + Build the various skills to the following levels in the order given.
    - These are the most useful for the game itself while HERO & YANGUS are at
      lower experience levels.


===================================================================================

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+  1-3.A. FIRST SKILLS FOR YANGUS  +
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

~ Because Yangus cannot learn spells as his EXP Levels increase,
  + His Skill Points are higher each Level-up so he can build Skills faster.

  + You can buy:
    - An axe at Alexandria (second town location in the game).
    - And a Scythe at Port Prospect (third town location in the game).


~ YANGUS'S SKILLS:

 |    |   |          ASSIGN POINTS TO:             |
 |    |   |________________________________________|
 | LV | SP| HUMANITY |  CLUBS  |   AXES   | SCYTHES|  RESULT
 |____|___|__________|_________|__________|________|_____________________________
 |  4 | 3 |  +3  (3) |   --    |    --    |    --  |
 |  5 | 3 |  +1  (4) | +2  (2) |    --    |    --  | WHISTLE (start a battle).
 |  6 | 4 |    --    | +4  (6) |    --    |    --  |
 |  7 | 4 |{ +1  (5) |   --    |    --    |    --  | +5 ATTACK (CLUB equippped)
 |    |   |{   --    | +3  (9) |    --    |    --  | +5 ATTACK (CLUB equippped)
 |  8 | 5 |  +5 (10) |   --    |    --    |    --  | HEAL
 |~~~~|~~~|~~~~~~~~~~|~~~~~~~~~|~~~~~~~~~~|~~~~~~~~|
 |  9 | 5 |    --    |   --    |  +5  (5) |    --  |
 | 10 | 6 |    --    |   --    |  +6 (12) |    --  | HELM SPLITTER [at AXES = 6]
 | 11 | 6 |    --    |   --    |  +6 (18) |    --  | +5 ATTACK (AXE equippped)   
 | 12 | 7 |    --    |   --    |  +7 (25) |    --  | HATCHET MAN (at AXES = 19)
 | 13 | 8 |    --    |   --    |{ +1 (26) |    --  | Critical AXE hit (more likely) 
 |    |   |    --    |   --    |{   --    | +7 (7) | Critical AXE hit (more likely) 
 |~~~~|~~~|~~~~~~~~~~|~~~~~~~~~|~~~~~~~~~~|~~~~~~~~|
 | 14 | 9 |{   --    |   --    |    --    | +5 (12)| +5 ATTACK (SCYTHE equippped)
 |    |   |{ +4 (14) |   --    |    --    |    --  | +5 ATTACK (SCYTHE equippped)
 | 15 | 8 |    --    |   --    |  +8 (34) |    --  | +10 ATTACK (AXE equippped)
 | 16 | 6 |{ +2 (16) |   --    |    --    |    --  | NOSE FOR TREASURE 
 | 16 | 6 |{   --    | +4 (13) |    --    |    --  | NOSE FOR TREASURE 
 | 17 | 5 |    --    | +5 (18) |    --    |    --  | One more SKILL POINT to get
 |    |   |          |         |          |        |   HEART BREAKER (CLUBS = 19)
 |____|___|__________|_________|__________|________|_____________________________



~ SUMMARIZING:

        SKILL        |UP POINTS|     RESULT
                     |   TO    |
   __________________|_________|__________________________________________________
     1. "Humanity"   |     4   | WHISTLE (brings battles to you).
     2. "Clubs"      |     9   | +5 attack WHEN EQUIPPED WITH A CLUB.
     3. "Humanity"   |    10   | HEAL
     4. "Axes"       |     6   | HELM SPLITTER (reduce an enemy's defense).
     5. "Axes"       |    12   | +5 attack WHEN EQUIPPED WITH AN AXE.
                     |         |
     6. "Axes"       |    19   | HATCHET MAN (at AXES = 19)
     7. "Axes"       |    26   | Critical AXE hit (more likely)
     8. "Scythe"     |    12   | +5 attack WHEN EQUIPPED WITH A SCYTHE.
     9. "Humanity"   |    16   | NOSE FOR TREASURE
    10. "Clubs"      |    19   | HEART BREAKER (may cause an enemy to miss a turn)
   __________________|_________|__________________________________________________


  + You're on your own (check the full list).
    - The full list is in USE OF DQ-8 SKILL POINTS on cheatcodes.com.


+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++



 OTHER DQ-8 FAQs:

   + USE OF DQ-8 SKILL POINTS.

   + UNDERSTANDING ALCHEMY.

   + ALCHEMY RECIPES.

   + LOCATIONS OF ITEMS YOU CAN BUY.

   + LOCATIONS OF MINI MEDALS (Part 1).


  All are on cheatcodes.com


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