Square Enix has unveiled details regarding skills and special moves that characters in Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King may perform. Each character has unique moves and skills that can be enhanced by the player, allowing for a range of customizibility for them. Players can choose to put all of the skill points the characters earn into maximizing certain skills, or they can opt to spread them out and create a more balanced character.
The first ones revealed are "Sword" skills, which are available for both the hero and Angelo to use at leisure. Adding skill points to this attribute will eventually give the players more power when attacking as well as stronger special attacks. Players can see the hero and Angelo eventually gain abilities such as Flame Slash, Dragon Slash, and even be able to harness lightning with Gigaslash. Some enemies can only be damaged with certain attacks, for example, dragons have tough scales that aren't easily penetrable. Using Dragon slash, though, players are able to dispose of dragons rather hastily. Gigaslash is the ultimate sword technique and it proves this point by destroying any monster it comes in contact with.
The next skill is "Fisticuffs" and this is available to all characters to a certain degree. The hero and Yangus both are able to learn Multifists and Boulder Toss, while Angelo is able to learn how to focus his might into an attack called Miracle Moon. Multifists showers enemies in a lethal combination of punches and Boulder Toss allows for the player to lift a huge boulder out of the ground and smash their foes. Jessica and Angelo are both able to gracefully use their entire body to attack, rather than just fists. Mastering the skill of unarmed fighting will take alot of perseverence, but it will reward the player with the ability to defeat foes without the need of weapons.
Each character will have weapon skills unique to them. For example, the first one is Boomerang, which may only be used by the hero. If the player chooses to focus on this skill to master, then they will be able to learn Gigathrow, which allows the player to harness the power of lightning to attack one enemy. Adding points to this attribute will also make boomerang attacks more powerful over time. The next skill is for Yangus and it is Club, which allows him to be able to use blunt objects easily. Mastering this will allow players the use of Devil Crusher which is especially useful on demons. Whip is the next skill, and it only applies to Jessica, who is highly skilled in this light weapon. One of her more powerful attack is Serpent's Bite, which summons a magical snake that attacks multiple enemies. Angelo uses his Bow skill to masterfully attack enemies from afar. Shining Shot is one of his stronger bow attacks and it sends streams of light into the sky to fall down on multiple enemies.
There are four more skills that determine certain spells and abilities that characters may use during battle. They are Courage for the hero, Humanity for Yangus, Charisma for Angelo, and Sex Appeal for Jessica. These skills represent building up something that isn't visible. For the hero, the player is building up his courage to overcome all opponents. Advancing this attribute will eventually learn the hero new abilities such as spells or new techniques that are useful during battle. With Yangus, players are building up his compassion for others and it represents him learning basic empathy. Eventually he might be able to learn spells that can heal others, such as Minheal. Angelo is a well-known womanizer but with the Charm ability, he can even win over monsters. Using Charming Look, he can cause both pain and be able to stun his enemies. The last skill to be unvealed is Jessica's Sex Appeal. Jessica may have grown up in a shielded environment, but she knows that she has looks to kill and if players choose to build up this stat, she can eventually take out enemies with ease. One of the abilities gained from this skill, Pink Typhoon, magnifies her allure to call forth a tornado to damage multiple enemies.
Square Enix just announced yesterday that Dragon Quest VIII will ship to North America on November 22. The game will have an MSRP of $49.99 and has been rated "T" for Teen by the ESRB. It was also announced that a playable demo of the North American version of Final Fantasy XII will ship with the game. The game is also coming to Europe during the first quarter of 2006.