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The D-Counter is a gameplay mechanic featured in Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter, which regulates the player's usage of the dragon transformation ability, penalizing and eventually punishing overuse of dragon related abilities.

Role in Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter[]

The D-Counter is presented as a gauge that measures from 0% to 100%. Its modulation is very important since, if the D-Counter reaches 100% before a certain event in the game, the player will receive a Game Over and be forced to perform an SOL-based Restore or Restart. It is not possible to reduce the D-Counter during gameplay.

The following actions raise the D-Counter:

  • 0.01% per every about 20 steps
  • 0.01% per turn in battle
  • 1.0% for D-Diving (i.e. transforming into the Dragon Form)
  • 2.0% per turn in battle in Dragon Form
  • 1.0% per Vortex (weakest dragon attack)
  • 1.25% per enemy hit by Hurricane (medium dragon attack)
  • 1.5% per Twister (strongest dragon attack)
  • 2.0% per every D-Charge (increasing Ryu's attack power)

Additionally, D-Breath and D-Dash also raise the D-Counter, and the longer the player uses these attacks, the more it raises. Conservely, the game encourages the player to not use D-Dive and keep the D-Counter as low as possible thus forcing them to play it smart against powerful Bosses.

The D-Counter pushes the player to not use the dragon abilities offered to the player. While using dragon abilities is what generally causes the D-Counter to increase, it will still increase gradually by playing the game, even without using the dragon abilities, resulting in an eventual Game Over if the player does not eventually focus on completing the game.

To defeat the final boss a high remaining D-Counter is required - as the only way to defeat it is by shattering its absolute defense (which is equivalent to 20,000 HP) with D-Breath. Having the D-Counter too high already would render the final boss unbeatable, forcing the player to use SOL.