Above: The huge cast of Dragon Quest IV
By the time the fourth and final Dragon Quest for the Famicom/NES came out, Enix was ready for a fresh start with the series and began what would be known as the Zenithia trilogy, as all three games starting with IV incorporated the floating island of Zenith into the plot. DQIV featured the biggest cast yet, as each party member had their own personality and story, a stark contrast to DQIII. Though it eventually lead to a very similar ending, one of where destined hero killing the big bad, it was only after getting the antique armor with the help the ancient dragon that lived in the floating world of Zenith. For once the dragon of the title was your friend, not your enemy.
Above: V follows that turban-wearer's voyage to maturity
Dragon Quest V took storytelling in the series to new heights, as it followed one character’s hard journey from child to man, all the way to fatherhood. Not only did it use the new graphical abilities of the SNES/Super Famicom to make it the best looking DQ yet, but it was really ahead of its time with monster collecting, as any monster you fight can join your party in battle. Once you restore the fallen Zenith and its dragon to power, you are finally able to avenge your father’s death in probably the best told story in DQ history.
Dragon Quest VI, the only main line DQ game yet to see an American release (though the DS remake has a planned release for some time in 2010), wrapped up the Zenith saga and also the series commitment to Nintendo home consoles. Just as before, the hero must free the lost land of Zenith if he hopes to take down the villain, and he must collect the same mythic armor used in IV and V. Once done, the hero, who looks pretty similar to Chrono of Chrono Trigger, saves the day as is expected, ending the trilogy in grand fashion.