I made a page for Project DQ, which makes it all official or some such a thing.
Dragon Quest II starts off with a title screen that’s only just barely more interesting than DQI’s because, um, the title is animated a bit. Okay, again there’s not much fanfare here in the remake. I have no explanation. Even the NES version had an additional bit of animation added to the title screen from the Japanese original.
The game starts with this introduction, which summarizes the entire first game in a single sentence. (To be fair, it is a short game.) Since DQI, the hero and Gwaelin got married, journeyed around, established a bunch of new countries, and then handed them down to their kids. A hundred years later these countries are now ruled by their descendants.
This introductory blurb was an addition made from the Japanese original. The remake has slightly enhanced this from the NES version by adding a background.
Another addition from the Japanese original was the opening cutscene showing Hargon’s attack on Moonbrooke Castle. The remake has given this quite a facelift. It’s quite nice even if the fan translation is a bit melodramatic.
A lone soldier manages to survive the Moonbrooke attack. Though badly wounded he makes it to Midenhall Castle where the guards carry him to the king. In the NES version “carry” is portrayed by the three walking Very Slowly; in this version the animation looks to me more like they drag him.
Upstairs in the king’s chamber, the soldier tells the King of Midenhall of the attack before succumbing to his wounds. This is where the Japanese original began.
The king’s action in this case is to delegate the adventuring to his son, i.e., my character Roto. Yes, I’ve used the Japanese legendary hero’s name again, though, to
guarantee I’ll constantly mess it up avoid confusion I’m using the alternate spelling.
The king orders the soldier’s burial . . . and then the soldier actually dies. So, he was just there on the floor gasping his few last breaths as the king monologued?
Downstairs, the king gives me the contents of the nearby chest. It’s a better start than King Lorik’s contribution to the hero in DQI, but only just barely. Between the king and another random NPC I learn that the Prince of Cannock and Princess of Moonbrooke are also descendants of Erdrick. So, I should track them down and join together. Yay, a party!
The town of Leftwyne is aptly to the left. Clever, game.
Finally, it’s time to really start this adventure by heading outside and smacking experience out of stuff. Prince Roto’s first encounter is the typical slime battle. Except, of course, in a big change from the first game: battles can now have multiple enemies!
As you might expect, things around Midenhall are pretty tame, but the difficulty ramps up quickly. Unlike DQI, battles in this game will require far more strategy than merely outlasting your opponent. I’ll get more into the battle differences later, but for now the other noteworthy change I’ll point out is the addition of the Defend (or Parry in the NES version) command. Using that will reduce the damage you receive by half. I assure you, it’ll be used a lot.