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Dragon Quest 8 (3DS): Tips and tricks guide

Dragon Quest 8 3DS tips and tricks guide: Dragon Quest 8 has just been re-released for the 3DS and we've got plenty of tips, tricks and other essential info for getting started with the game on Nintendo's portable console. Here's our full beginner's guide for Dragon Quest 8.

Dragon Quest 8 is a classic RPG that first knackered our thumbs back on the Playstation 2. Nintendo has given the game some tender loving care and re-released it on the 3DS, so now a new generation can get lost in this epic adventure and fans can beat it all over again, whether on bus, train or toilet.

Of course, newcomers to the Dragon Quest series may be rather confused or easily defeated at the beginning of Dragon Quest 8, as it's not the easiest of titles to get to grips with. That's why we've compiled this handy starter's guide, packed with tips, tricks and some walkthrough help, so you can conquer Dragon Quest 8 on the Nintendo 3DS.

Check out our full Dragon Quest 8 3DS review, which includes the changes made to the game vs the original PS2 version.

Dragon Quest 8 3DS tips and tricks guide: How do I save the game?

Sadly you can't just go saving your game any time you like in Dragon Quest 8. When you want to save your progress, you'll need to head to your nearest church. These can be found in pretty much every town and are marked on the map with a candelabra.

Once inside the church, find the priest or priestess - usually located behind the podium bit. Talk to them and you'll have the option for 'confession'. This is how you save your game in Dragon Quest 8. Select this and you can save your game to one of two save slots, before choosing to continue or quit.

Remember to save your game as often as possible, as you'll lose your progress if all of your team mates fall in battle. You can always teleport back to the nearest town using a chimaera wing if things get serious.

Dragon Quest 8 3DS tips and tricks guide: Is there a Quick Save feature?

If you find yourself having to put away the Nintendo 3DS in a hurry and you're nowhere near a church, you can thankfully Quick Save at any point. Just hit X and then scroll down to Misc. From this sub-menu select Quick Save and you'll be asked if you wish to save and quit.

Note that the Quick Save will be erased when you continue the game, so if you subsequently die you'll be returned back to the last time you saved your game inside a church. This is simply a way of postponing the game when needed.

Dragon Quest 8 3DS tips and tricks guide: How do I resurrect a dead character?

Don't panic if your team mates fall in battle. Either finish the fight or flee and then head to your nearest church, just as if you were saving the game. There's a ressurect option which can be used to bring any dead peeps back to life, for a small fee. In this way you can continue your Dragon Quest 8 adventure with a full squad.

Also, enjoy the rather hilarious animation of a coffin sliding into town whenever your team mates are dead.

Dragon Quest 8 3DS tips and tricks guide: How do I heal?

You can heal your team mates at any time in Dragon Quest 8, which comes in very handy indeed. After all, the world is absolutely crawling with tough foes who like nothing better than taking chunks out of you.

One way to fix yourself up is by using a medicinal herb. These can usually be found in barrels and pots, so be sure to smash everything you come across. Don't worry, their owners don't seem too bothered about you destroying their homes, for some reason. Hit X on the 3DS when you're in control of your main character and select Items, then scroll down to the Bag. This contains everything you pick up. All you need to do now is select medicinal herb and you'll quaff one, to restore some health.

You can also restore every team member's health instantly, by visiting an inn at any town. This will cost a couple of coins per team member.

During combat, you can again use medicinal herbs and other healing items to restore someone's health if they've taken a battering. Alternatively, use your main character's heal spell (gained very early on) to restore one person's health. This costs some Magic Points but can be used over and over.

Dragon Quest 8 3DS tips and tricks guide: How do I equip or use an item I just found?

If you find a weapon, piece of armour or anything else useful during your adventure, you can equip it by tapping X and going to Items. Find the item in your bag and tap A, then choose Transfer. Swap it to the character you wish to use it.

Next go back to Dragon Quest 8's main menu and choose Equip. From this new sub-menu you can scroll through weapon, armour, shield, headwear and accessories, to equip whatever is best. The stats on the touch screen tell you if an item will boost or lower your stats when equipped.

You can switch characters with the 3DS' L and R triggers, if you wish to try an item with a different member of your team.

Dragon Quest 8 3DS tips and tricks guide: How do I level up?

When your characters gain enough experience points in Dragon Quest 8 (by winning fights), they will automatically level up. From level four, you'll be able to allocate skill points to your chosen areas - weapon specialisation and another tree which gives group powers.

We recommend pumping your points into just one or two of these branches, as it's best to specialise in one type of weapon than be adequate with several.

You can also allocate your points at a later time, by pressing X and heading to Misc, followed by Skill Points.

Dragon Quest 8 3DS tips and tricks guide: Combat

In each fight you get direct control over each team member, which means you can get them to target specific creatures with their best attacks as well as cast spells and the rest. We recommend focusing on the most powerful enemy with all of your attacks at the start of a fight to take them out, followed by any creatures that cast spells to boost their attack attributes.

If you can't be bothered to directly control each team member during Dragon Quest 8's combat sections, you can use the tactics section instead. Change this from 'Follow Orders' to the kind of action you want them to take. For instance, Show No Mercy will cause them to blindly and savagely attack any creature standing in your way, while Focus on Healing is good if your team members are losing health fast.

Remember that you can Flee at any time too, if you're really suffering. This is a good idea if you've defeated a lot of enemies since your last save, to avoid losing precious experience points. Dragon Quest 8 can throw some really tough fights at you randomly, so definitely don't see this as a cowardly tactic.

Dragon Quest 8 3DS tips and tricks guide: Surviving your first dungeon and boss fight

Pretty soon after starting the game, you'll be tasked with finding a crystal ball in a nearby cave, south of the town. Don't head straight there, whatever you do. First you'll have to do a spot of grinding, which means levelling up your characters by fighting lots of beasts outside of the town. This is a great way to get accustomed to the combat system too.

We recommend killing enough random creatures to be level four or five before venturing inside the cave. Pretty much all of the fights inside can be avoided until you get to the boss, who is a tough customer. Still, we reckon you should take on loads of the creatures you see, as the experience points will come in very handy indeed.

The boss can deal some major damage, but is quite predictable. Just keep slogging away at him and healing yourself whenever needed with the Heal spell and you should defeat him first time, if you're not too low a level.

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