Revisiting Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King

Dragon Quest VIII (00)

After I played through Persona 4 in high-definition by way of a PlayStation 2 emulator, I was really curious as to what Dragon Quest VIII would look like.  It was such a beautiful game at the time that I was sure it would look amazing with some tinkering.  So I dug out my copy of the game, and started grinding slimes in HD.  My intention was to spend a few hours, maybe a weekend, reliving a small portion of one of my favorite games.

That’s not how things went down, though.

Dragon Quest VIII has been one of my favorite games since I first discovered it on the shelf of a massive electronics store during the holiday season of 2005.  I had never even heard of Dragon Quest, but the box art looked like Dragon Ball Z with swords, so I purchased it with the money my grandfather gave me for Christmas.  If the game turned out to be absolutely horrible, at least there was a demo for Final Fantasy XII packed in with the game.

The game was far from horrible, though.  Dragon Quest VIII captured my imagination in a way that very few games had. However, I wasn’t very experienced with the classic JRPG formula, and didn’t finish the game until about 4 years later when I wrote my first video game review (posted here for your amusement).  The game holds a special place in my heart.

Forcing Dragon Quest VIII to run at 3x the native resolution of the PlayStation 2 breathes new life into the game.  That’s not to say that there aren’t some glitches that pop up from time to time; emulation is a tricky beast, and because Dragon Quest VIII pulled every bit of power out of the PlayStation 2 hardware, it’s particularly difficult to run.  Once I managed to find an acceptable configuration, I became just as immersed in the game as the day I tore off the shrink wrap.  I found myself wanting to relive the entire adventure I had so many years ago, and this time… I took screenshots.

Think of this as a pictorial journal of my recent playthrough Dragon Quest VIII (MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD).

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