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The court jester Dhoulmagus of the kingdom of Trodain stole a powerful magical scepter sealed beneath the royal castle. Using the power of the scepter, Dhoulmagus destroyed the castle, placed a curse upon the kingdom and its people, and turned King Trode into a troll and the princess into a horse. A sole surviving castle guard journeys with the king, the princess, a reformed bandit named Yangus and a few other companions in search of the evil jester and a way to break the curse.

Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King is a traditional Japanese-style role-playing game with random enemy encounters, simple turn-based combat mechanics, and management of a party consisting of four characters, each belonging to a clearly defined class. Unlike its predecessors in the series and most Japanese RPGs in general, the game features a continuous world with fairly vast landscapes and integrated towns and dungeons, as opposed to world map traveling and locations represented by icons. The game features full camera rotation and optional first-person view. Like in the previous Dragon Quest games, many objects can be interacted with; for example, barrels can be physically lifted, carried, and broken, to reveal items hidden within.

In addition to experience points, the player receives skill points from battles, which can be manually allocated into a skill category of the player's choice. These categories include three different kinds of weapons, fisticuffs, and a discipline unique to each character. After a required amount of skill points has been invested into a particular category, the correspondent character learns a new ability or becomes more proficient with the chosen weapon. The Alchemy Pot system allows players to gather recipes and mix items to create new ones.

The international version of the game features several updates to the original Japanese version, including voice acting, graphic menu, symphonic soundtracks, and flashier effects.


Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King PlayStation 2 One of the game's many "functional" churches, where a priest saves your game as per series' rule
Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King PlayStation 2 People are praying in this abbey
Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King PlayStation 2 Visiting a rich person's house. Very individualized environment!
Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King PlayStation 2 Angelo in a bustling city

Promo Images

Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King Screenshot
Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King Concept Art
Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King Concept Art
Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King Other


Alternate Titles

  • "ドラゴンクエストVIII:空と海と大地と呪われし姫君" -- Japanese spelling
  • "勇者斗恶龙VIII" -- Chinese spelling (simplified)
  • "Dragon Quest VIII: Sora to Umi to Daichi to Norowareshi Himegimi" -- Japanese title
  • "Dragon Quest: The Journey of the Cursed King" -- UK title
  • "Dragon Quest: L'odysée du roi maudit" -- French title
  • "Dragon Quest: L'odissea del Re maledetto" -- Italian title
  • "Dragon Quest: El periplo del Rey Maldito" -- Spanish title
  • "Dragon Quest: Die Reise des verwunschenen Königs" -- German title
  • "DQVIII" -- Common abbreviation

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

A perfect continuation of the classic Dragon Quest series PlayStation 2 Bregalad (969)
A perfect flawed experience, not unlike eating the best shit sandwich you’ll ever have PlayStation 2 lasttoblame (424)
Dragon Quest Finally returns to NA! PlayStation 2 Rich Hollands (7)
If only they made the turn-based combat better... PlayStation 2 Indra was here (20862)

Critic Reviews

HonestGamers (Staff reviews only) PlayStation 2 Dec 17, 2005 10 out of 10 100
Game Chronicles PlayStation 2 Dec 11, 2005 9.5 out of 10 95
MAN!AC PlayStation 2 May, 2006 93 out of 100 93
Next Level Gaming PlayStation 2 Nov 20, 2005 93 out of 100 93 PlayStation 2 May 28, 2006 9.1 out of 10 91
GameSpot PlayStation 2 Nov 14, 2005 9 out of 10 90
Gaming Target PlayStation 2 Dec 02, 2005 9 out of 10 90
Pro-G PlayStation 2 May 16, 2006 9 out of 10 90
PSX Extreme PlayStation 2 Apr 20, 2006 8.7 out of 10 87
Retroage PlayStation 2 Mar 26, 2012 7.7 out of 10 77


Topic # Posts Last Post
Mobile version 6 Fred VT (25910)
May 30, 2014


1001 Video Games

The PS2 version of Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

North American version

The North American version of the game has been improved. It contains new voice acting, new animations, enhanced music and sound effects, additional spells and attacks, and a new menu interface. It is also the first game in the Dragon Quest series to bear the Dragon Quest name (rather than Dragon Warrior) in North America. The North American version also became famous for shipping with a playable demo disc of Final Fantasy XII.

Title translation

The translation of the Japanese title in English is "Sky, Sea, Land and a Cursed Princess".


  • 4Players
    • 2006 – #3 Best Role-Playing Game of the Year
  • GameSpy
    • 2005 – #8 Game of the Year
    • 2005 – #3 PS2 Game of the Year
    • 2005 – PS2 RPG of the Year

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Contributed to by Fred VT (25910), Lone_wolf (14) and Edward Beezy (41)
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