Gaming Snaplog [Dragon Quest XI] A Mermaid's Tale

Dragon Quest XI is a world full of personality. Every town has its unique style and has its own story to tell. I noticed from early on the difference between each location's people's way of speaking. I don't know about the original Japanese version, but Dragon Quest XI localization team did an amazing job conveying personality with only text and voice.

One of the many speaking styles I liked was the Mermaid's from the underwater city of Nautica. The mermaids in DQXI speak in rhymes. The beautiful thing about it is that they can come up with the sweetest dialogue while still maintaining the rhyme they're going for.

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So this article is about Michelle, the first mermaid we meet in the game. Her story is beautiful and tragic, it's reminiscent of The Little Mermaid story, but it's different enough that it appears the parallels to it are only there for the emotional impact.

We met Michelle after losing our way in the sea. (Veronica was so excited to meet a mermaid.) Michelle was waiting for her love, a man named Kai. They agreed to meet in this place but he didn't return in a long, long time.

"I know it's rude to ask you, but I beg, I plead, I pray! Could you go to Lonalulu and make sure my Kai's okay?"

The party agreed to help her if she helped them meet the Mermaid queen to ask her about the undersea orb. So, we went to Lonalulu, the island that Kai came from.

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On the island, we met Kai's mother, and she told the story about the mermaid's curse and the man whose soul was taken by one. The man was the best fisherman in Lonalulu, he was caught in a storm and was saved by a mermaid. The mermaid took his soul, and when he went back to his fiance, he was no longer the man she once knew. The fisherman was staring at the sea every day, wanting to go back to the mermaid, but the Kahuna (his fiance's father,) banished him from the village and burned his boat so he couldn't leave the island.

This story happened long ago, so I knew the Kai we were looking for, isn't the same Kai that's currently in the village.

At this point I had two theories either Kai is dead or that he was forced to marry someone else. Either way, it was certain that more time passed than Michelle led us to believe.

The men of the island went to fight the sea monster, so we decided to help them. It was an interesting boss fight, but I was over-leveled for it.

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At the party after beating the monster, we met Kai, but he's Kainui not the Kai from the story. He was angry that we accused him of leaving the mermaid alone after proposing to her. People on this island hate mermaids and he never met one himself.

The Kai from the story, (Kainiua, Michelle's lover) was his grandfather. Ten years after he was banished from the village, his fiance married someone else and had a kid, but she along with her father and husband left to the sea and died in a storm.

The villagers thought it was the mermaid's curse that took them. They went to confront Kai about it, but when they reached him, they found him holding a baby in his arms. Both dripping with water. That baby is Kainui's mother. The villagers thought he had a kid with the mermaid, (so did Veronica) but Kainui knows that his mother is human. His grandpa found her abandoned in the beach and raised her.

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Kainui gave the party the Veil his grandpa was holding as he died. Told them to give it to the mermaid if she was really waiting for her Kai. You have to give it to her and tell her he's dead.

Kai's mom is a great woman. She lived her whole life with people thinking she's the mermaid's daughter. Only after her father's death, she was allowed to go to the village and marry one of the locals. Yet, she managed to turn her curse into a story show to make a living. She's smart!

Michelle didn't believe the story at first. She didn't want to acknowledge that her lover is dead. But when she saw the veil, she had to meet the Kai that gave it to the party. So, Shell went to Lonalulu.~

I got Kai to meet with Michelle, and when she heard his voice she thought he was really her Kai. (Do they have the same voice?) But he doesn't recognize her, and told her about his grandfather. Shell only believed it when she saw the grave and realized that the time she felt was passing slowly, was passing too fast for her loved one.

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Michelle leaves our reward to us, and she decided she'll stay here, by her lover's side. She turns gives herself human legs, (apparently mermaid's in this world can do that, but they die if they get wet again.) She talks with Kai('s grave) one last time before she vanishes in water.

Kainui remembers he had seen her somewhere before. He does to his grandfather's cabin and reveals a painting Shell's Kai drew. A pretty mermaid picture. They found a letter from him to his Shell.

It turns out Kainui's mother was the daughter of Kai's fiance. The woman lost her family and drowned herself in the sea. When Kai went after her, he only managed to save the baby. Now that he has to raise a child that no one else wants around, he couldn't go back to his mermaid anymore. That's what he wrote in his letter.

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I loved this story. It's tragic but beautiful. The letter from Kai is so emotional. He told her to forgive the villagers because they don't know her, and it's easy to fear what you don't know. But he understands if she did not forgive him for choosing to raise the child instead of going back to her.

Thanks for reading

Of course, Dragon Quest XI doesn't end there. Michelle's story was only the beginning of the mermaid's part of the game, but she's so memorable, and it seems every other mermaid respected her.

One detail I was happy to see is when I visited her home. She had two pillows on her bed because she thought she'll bring over Kai there when she marries him.

While writing this, I'm only in the next chapter of the game and I'm enjoying it so far. DQXI is a beautiful game and I like to take my time enjoying the story and scenery, so expect other articles about this game eventually.


  • This article is a cross-post on Hive and Read.cash.
  • I used this video on Youtube as a reference while writing this. It's footage from the game, but it paces the story really well.
  • All screenshots were taken by me.
  • Check #GamingSnaplog for more articles like these.
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