Dragon Quest VIII uses cel-shading textures for the characters and scenery and is the first game in the series to have fully three dimensional environments. This game retains most of the series' role-playing game elements, such as turn-based combat and the experience level system. Dragon Quest VIII follows the silent Hero, the main character, and his party of allies as they journey towards their goal of defeating the wicked Dhoulmagus. The kingdom of Trodain has been cursed by Dhoulmagus and the King, Trode, and his daughter, Medea, have both been transformed and it is up to the Hero to return them to their original form and save the kingdom.
Dragon Quest VIII has enjoyed much success since its release, both in Japan and in the US. It is a Square Enix Ultimate Hits and a Sony Greatest Hits title. A survey conducted in 2006 by the magazine Famitsu earned the game the #4 spot as the best video game of all time after Final Fantasy X, Final Fantasy VII and Dragon Quest III.