Beyond Hero Mode ++ - How many stars is possible?


I currently have 191 gold stars with just my starting 6. Here are the stars I am missing, please let me know if any are doable:

"A Desperate Dash to Freedom" - Extreme

"Eztli-Tenoch’s Right Hand" - Extreme (I already used all my obsidian skulls, or I would try a super-slowing Wrenna to slow down the hand enough that I could just ignore it)

"The Way Out" - Advanced and Extreme (The DPS problem seems insurmountable, even on Advanced)

"Following Zelemir" - Extreme

"Zelemir’s Army" - Advanced and Extreme (Advanced should be possible, but I can never manage to deal with an Abomination+ in all three lanes at the end. Extreme is hard because of so much armor and the Cultist Priest+ are great big meanies)

"The Face of Madness" - Extreme (Using Slak + Markos to focus on killing Zelemir takes long enough that the enemies get too powerful for the rest of my team. I’ve gotten him down to 1 million before getting overrun)

"The God-King Walks Again" - Advanced and Extreme (honestly, doing this on normal was just as hard for me as doing it on extreme with a full team. I tried Advanced once, and it felt like a bad joke)

If you want to know how I did any of the other levels, just ask and I will post my strategy

Some help with Mods

The Way Out (Extreme)
The Face of Madness (Extreme)
The God-King Walks Again (Extreme)

are impossible, everything else is doable in Hero mode, hence 198 gold stars are possible (I can link a saved game if you’d like).


Excellent, thanks for the info. Any chance you have some specific advice on “The Way Out” advanced and “Eztli-Tenoch’s Right Hand” extreme? The other ones that you have done but I haven’t I am pretty sure I can figure out.


Hi, (and happy holidays!)

There was a very detailed discussion about it on the old forums (much of it contributed by myself) and I’m not sure they have been saved. I believe I did the way out adv. with max crystal and pushback to group the baddies up, for ET’s hand I have a youtube video uploaded (user: mirnaiabw) which does it with a self-imposed restriction BUT with the book Slow End which is VERY difficult to get in hero mode (you need to use healer-recalls with explosive start) frankly I don’t remember the normal way. One trick I do recall and which you can see in the video is that you need to crack the abominations open with lightning at around the same time so you can dragon fire their payload.


One more trick for ET’s hand: slow the hand to hell with a boost 1 mage (over 10 minutes of slow), and when you do need to fight reposition her to her proper position, where she stays until everyone is recalled to finish the Hand off.


Hey everyone!

So, for the upcoming DQ1HD re-release, I’ve been considering making some ever-so-subtle late game balance adjustments so that a true Hero-Mode 100% completion is actually possible, but I’m very cautious about wrecking what’s already there and I know people generally hate it when I change things as sensitive to achievements/accomplishments as this is.

So, my question to you veterans is – what is the lightest possible touch that can be given that would keep the vast majority of the game challenge as-is, but still make a true Hero-Mode 100% feat possible?

Potential solutions:

  • A high-level custom item or two only available after X stars (190, 195, 196, etc)
  • A level cap bump to 61
  • Other things like that


Also occurs to me we could actually field-test most of these sorts of proposed tweaks with some very simple mods.



Had been thinking about it when I was originally struggling with the last few stars (that reminds me, do you by any chance have the original thread saved? it used to be at ).

  • I’m a bit against level cap boost as it nullifies the already existing challenges (that said, some are so difficult that it might not matter that much).
  • I’m quite intrigued by the extra Hero-Mode only item idea (or maybe something you’d only get for that specific battle on Expert). From the top of my head you lose The Way Out because of no AoE, the last two battles on Expert simply have slightly higher level monsters than you can handle, DPS is slightly lacking. No idea if you remember but the only way (so far) to do Zelemir’s Army Expert+ was to use explosive healer-recalls, so I’d say that is the monster level you can not beat normally but what is possible with some exploits.

I’m going to whip out my saved game and see what I can do, and think about what the smallest tweak could be that would make these levels beatable with the Original Six (Seven).


Cool ideas! And to be clear do you consider the use of the “H-bomb” Healer + Explosive start “exploit” as an off-limits tool or not for your standard of “beatable” ?

As for the original forum thread, it SHOULD be in here, but my importer tool wasn’t cool enough to retrofit the old links. I’ll have to dig through the archives.



I’m kind of split on whether something that can only realistically be won with the h-bomb counts as “good design” or not.
I did some tries with The Way Out (where the h-bomb is out of the question, because you don’t have a healer, chain lightning is more cost-efficient than knight explosions) - got to the last wave spawning before dying a rather horrible death a few times.

H-Bomb FEELS bad, and even though of course I think if it’s there then by all means use it, patching it out (by adding a cooldown to it or something) would be a better solution I think. Let me put it in another way: (chain) lightning as a spammy thing feels right, and the h-bomb as a spammy thing feels wrong for me, mostly because of the compulsory pause and having to do the calculation of how many times to drop before each bombing.

That said I still don’t have any specific advice. Contrary to my previous post I did get to the point where Azra’s AoE potential (max crystal and fire and chain lightning) seemed adequate and I “just” got overwhelmed the usual way. I was thinking of a battle-specific item or spell, trying to base it around the fact that there are now only 3 companions remaining of the 7. Frenzy, Healing, Crystal, and Dragon Fire are all tied to missing companions, Lightning to Azra and Pushback to Markos, so maybe reduced Pushback cooldown for the battle? On the other hand it would kind of mandate an Azra spec which I’m against. I was also thinking about an extra book - I’ve been using slow end and chain lightning so far - chain lightning seems mandatory so it would have to be better than slow end which is one of the best books, unfortunately. I was also considering adding a boost 6 for this battle only however that’s quite a bit anti-canon as it is supposed to be the “easy” final battle; the rational but cowardly choice. Also, I imagine it would be a pain in the ass to code and the UI doesn’t really have space for it.

I’ll keep experimenting and will let you know should any bulbs light up above my head.


I think the simplest way to make all of the levels possible would be to add an Azra book that boosts her spells based on the number of characters on the board.

Another decent way would be to add a Markos specific weapon that makes his attack AOE (and possibly increases range by 0.4). Unfortunately, this would make too many challenges way too easy.

A third option would be to remove the thorns from Cultist Priest+. This would probably make every level except “The Way Out” Extreme (TWOE) possible.

I feel like H-bombing is an exploit, but if you like it, you could make the explosion damage scale with the cost of what you summon… so that knight bombing would be better than spamming chain lightning. That might be enough for TWOE to be possible.

I’ll not have time to play in the next couple weeks, but after that, I’ll finish the possible levels with starting 6 and try the impossible ones a few times and see if I can come up with better ideas.


It turns out that The Face of Madness (Extreme) is actually possible, though very difficult and annoying. An easy way to make it a lot less annoying and slightly less difficult would be to switch waves 3 and 4. This gives more time for Wrenna to slap the Abomination+ around before the Death Worm+ get in the way.

Here’s my setup:

Azra: Book of Blood, Furious Start. Max the red spells and put remainder of points in Healing.
Slak: Evni+. Max Slash, Double Hit, Flurry, Madness, Swiftness, Rage. Remainder of points in Resilience.
Ketta: No Deep Shot or Poison Shot. Only 1 point in Triple Shot (and keep it turned off), 5 points in Piercing Shot, everything else is maxed. In retrospect, Ignoring Spread Shot and maxing Poison Shot (only 3 points in Piercing Shot) might have worked better.
Bakal: Obvious
Wrenna: Beast Weapon+. Only 1 point in Sleet (and keep it turned off), 5 in Ice Spear and max everything else.
Markos: Eye of the Flame+. Skip Cleave. 1 point in Hard Knock, Stun Stab, and Armor Pierce. Max everything else except Armor Training, which is level 3.
Niru: 1 point in Epic Halitosis and Fatten Up, 4 points in Roar. Max everything else. Remember to disable his other attacks when you want to Nom. I did a LOT of micro-ing…although in retrospect, maybe the “CHEAPEST Technique” target option would have taken care of that.

Anyway, attached is a picture of the basic setup. Wrenna moves the the (1) spot when the Abomination+/Monstrosity+ get out of range. Slak moves to the (2) when convenient or if you are really worried. Markos moves to (3) in the direst of circumstances. Moving Wrenna happens every set of 6 waves except the first. Try not to do other moves… you’ll need the psi.

Here’s how it works:

Place Slak, Ketta, and Bakal immediately, DO NOT CAST FRENZY. FRENZY IS FOR KILLING ABOMINATIONS. When Snake Knight+ comes around, place Markos -make sure he has “strongest” priority. Then place Wrenna when things start coming out of her lane. Use knockback and then dragon fire to get past Snake Knight+ and Worm+ with a minimal amount of psi, but save your Crystal for the Worm+ that spawn from the Monstrosity+ that spawn from the Abomination+. Frenzy when the Abomination+ spawns. Use some lightning on the Death Worm+ as needed. Your goal is to get through the first six waves using a minimum of psi on lightning so as to boost Niru as much as possible as soon as possible.

Once Niru is fully boosted, move Slak around to follow Zelemir, and cast lightning on him as much as possible. I think I did around 3 million damage with lightning. Make sure you have enough Psi to move Wrenna around, or the Worm+ spam will be too much. Keep frenzy for killing the Abomination+/Monstrosity+/Worm+. Crystal, too. Dragon Fire is useful too, a little… though honestly I think I only cast it twice because I was holding it in reserve for emergencies. I won around wave 45. The really hard part is using enough Lightning on enemies so you don’t get overrun, but not so much that you don’t have enough Psi to do all the many things you need to do.

Sorry for the extreme detail, but I figure since apparently nobody has done it before, the detail was appropriate.

Next I’ll try to figure out mods/tweaks that would make “The Way Out” and “The God-King Walks Again” possible on Extreme. I think TGKWAE will be easier to tweak than TWOE… but we shall see!

DQDX Quest for Hero Mode 100% [Finished!]

Major f*cking kudos and many many hats off! …only two levels left :slight_smile:


Wow, I need to check in more often. This is super epic.

As I get closer to releasing DQ1HD, I’m going to start working on a mod file for DQ1-legacy that tests some of our hypotheses about little tweaks we could make to make ultra super duper hero mode possible. Feel free to put out suggested balance tweaks as bullet points or whatever and I’ll collect them up when the time comes.


Here are a few suggestions to make “Face of Madness (Extreme)” a bit more approachable. I tried it again and failed miserably 3x in a row, so I think that even though it is possible, it is still unrealistically hard.

  • Change Wave 3 to have 12 enemies instead of 10 {free psi, longer waves}
  • Change Wave 2 to have level 65 instead of 66 {Worms SUCK, and even this little bit helps}
  • Switch waves 3 and 4 so that Wrenna has more time to wreck the Abomination without interference.

Using the setup I described above and these modifications, I won first try and it was merely absurdly difficult. Suggestions for “The Way Out (Extreme)” will be coming soon, but that level requires some bigger modifications. “The God-King Walks Again (Extreme)” is still out of reach for me.

A side question for Lars - a couple years ago, Coyot indicated that you wanted the game to be playthroughable on Normal with no grinding. Is this still a goal? It would be a fun challenge to figure out how to make that possible.


RE: Normal with no grinding – that was so long ago I honestly forget what the original intent was and it depends on the definition of “grinding” – does one mean:

  1. No replaying already-beaten missions?
  2. No going back to play advanced/extreme missions, ie, plodding forward on normal ONLY?

I think I was mostly thinking along the lines of No. 1, whereas coyot might have been thinking about No. 2. As is, the game’s progression is designed to kind of encourage you to go back and try advanced/extreme lest you miss out on that “feature” of extra missions (but also has the accessibility options and casual mode, as well as “settle for a blue star” in case you don’t want to).

It (def. no 2) does still sound like a fun challenge and I’m interested in it as an intellectual/design exercise but I won’t twist myself into knots if it proves to be a huge headache.


I’m absolutely swamped with work right now but I am keeping an eye on this topic, and will share my Way Out thoughts (I can get to the last wave spawning with chain lightning and slow end and then die miserably). Never tried the book of blood. Myrddinemrys’ suggestions sound awesome as it’s rather a tweak that only fixes the current battle rather than a boost that would have potentially far-reaching implications.

Coyot’s normal playthrough, with which I’ve fiddled a bit myself: Do every level exactly once, perfect, NG and NG+, on Normal. You are allowed (but not required) to do bonus challenges when they become available, and you can (and are required to) do the NG+ side quests whenever you feel like it. So basically, you end the game with the 67 normal gold stars.

Impossible levels are the sheep+ (regen and fast sheep kill you) and Zelemir’s Army+ and from then on, as far as I remember. The whole playmode is incredibly challenging, but allows for great strategic thought and foreplanning, both with hero-hiring and with equipment buying choices. Also, finally you spec members of the same class differently. It is also a big lesson in psi management.


I definitely like the idea of adding very small tweaks to various levels. That seems like the lightest possible touch without massively undoing balance elsewhere.


I definitely meant number 2 - just plod forward on normal, you can only go back on the world map to visit shops…


Been thinking more about challenge modes. At the very least we’ll have an option for Hero Mode which will work like this:

  1. You can explicitly select it when you start your game, and this will lock hiring new characters.
  2. If you try to hire a new character, it will ask you whether you want to “break” your hero mode attempt.
  3. If you don’t opt into hero mode, but you haven’t yet hired a generic, you can still turn on the hero mode lock.
  4. Regardless of whether the lock is on, you’re eligible for the achievements as long as there’s no generics in your party.

@coyot, can you give so more details on your “no-grinding” challenge? Spell out the rules? I’m thinking about how I might implement it as a first-class challenge mode that you can set for yourself if it’s not absolutely insane to implement.