Dragon’s Dogma – Dark Arisen FAQ


This Q&A is based on my traffic history search info. If you have a question that I haven’t answered, feel free to drop me a line in the comments and I’ll answer it as best as I can.

My answers come from my own personal experiences in-game, to which I have over 300 hours invested across three full playthroughs. I also owe a lot of thanks to the helpful forum users at PS3trophies.org and the Dragon’s Dogma Wiki.

Q: Do I need to own Dragon’s Dogma to play Dark Arisen?

A: No. Dark Arisen is actually an enhanced version of the original game, thus includes the original as part of the package. Whether you buy a hard copy or go the digital route, Dark Arisen is a complete version of Dragon’s Dogma that includes the new expansion built-in.

Q: If I already own Dragon’s Dogma, do my save files transfer over?

A: Yes. You can load your previous game with Dark Arisen as it’s actually just an enhanced version of the original game with the expansion built-in. The same goes for NG+ saves and DLC. Doing so awards you with 100,000 Rift Crystals, an Eternal Ferrystone with infinite uses, and a few sets of armor based on key characters from the original game.

Q: If I already own Dragon’s Dogma, is it worth buying Dark Arisen?

A: I would say yes. Dark Arisen offers 15-20 hours of additional content and the enhanced version of the original game offers a much better experience with better fast travel, higher resolution textures, a more user-friendly menu interface and, for 360 owners, a separate disc of data to install that increases overall stability. If you enjoyed the original game, there is no reason not to own this. If you didn’t like it to begin with, this may make Dragon’s Dogma easier to swallow but probably not enough to sway your opinion.


Q: How do I access the expansion?

A: There are no separate menus for Dark Arisen as it is already combined in to the original game. Upon starting a new game or loading an existing save, you will receive a pop-up telling you to visit the Cassardis Pier in the middle of the night. Cassardis is the fishing town at the beginning of the game. Go to the inn, rest until night time, head to the pier and talk to the NPC there to be shipped across to Bitterblack Isle. You can also follow the purple circle on your mini-map.

Q: What level is Bitterblack Isle?

A: To my knowledge you can go over at any time, but I’ve heard that it’s mainly geared for level 45+ toward the end. I was level 65 so I didn’t notice, but if someone else can confirm this in the comments I’d appreciate it.

Q: Does Dark Arisen have trophies/achievements?

A: No. Unfortunately it just changes the name from Dragon’s Dogma to Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen in your trophy/achievement list, but does not include any additional trophies or acheivements. Bitterblack Isle quests and loot do count toward various related trophies though.

Q: How do I access higher level vocations?

A: At the start of the game, the only available vocations are Fighter, Mage and Strider. Upon reaching level 10, Sorcerer, Warrior and Ranger open up. At level 20 you can access the hybrid vocations of Assassin, Mystic Knight and Magic Archer.

Q: When can my Pawn use the level 20 hybrid vocations?

A: Never. Pawns only have access to the first 6 vocations.


Q: What is the difference between Fighter/Warrior, Mage/Sorcerer, Strider/Ranger?

A: A Fighter’s primary focus is equipping heavy armor and using a shield to mitigate damage, while using various aggro-generating abilities to keep enemies off of the rest of the party. A Warrior still uses similar armor, but instead wields 2-handed weapons to deal extremely heavy melee damage. Warriors can only use 3 abilities rather than the usual 6, but when you deal as much damage as they do, 3 is plenty.

A Mage is a hybrid caster that uses spells to heal allies, enhance the party’s weapon damage with elemental boons, cleanse debilitations and use lower level damaging spells in combat. A Sorcerer loses the ability to heal or buff the party in exchange for spells that not only debilitate enemies but deal the highest amount of damage in the game.

A Strider is a melee specialist that focuses on climbing larger enemies and dealing damage with daggers, while also having access to lower level bow skills to attack from a distance. A Ranger is the opposite, favoring the bow and having access to higher level bow abilities with lower level dagger abilities at their disposal.

Q: What is the best Player/Pawn combo?

A: There is no best answer. This is a game and we’re playing to have fun, right? My advice is to play around with all of the different vocations, find the one you like the best and stick with it. As for your Pawn, I always go for a tank or a healer so I can do whatever the hell I want. Tank and healer Pawns tend to rent out a lot more often, especially ones with optimal abilities and inclinations chosen. In the end, this question should just be “Am I having fun?”. If the answer is no, try another vocation.

Q: What is the best Pawn vocation?

A: There is no right answer for this, but from personal experience I tend to go with a Fighter or Mage so you always have a tank or healer with the best abilities and inclinations. These also tend to be rented out most often and finding one with proper inclinations and abilities can be time consuming.

Q: What are the best Pawn inclinations?

A: This is going to depend on your Pawn’s role. Mage healers want Utilitarian as their primary with Medicant as their secondary. You don’t want Medicant as primary, otherwise they’ll do nothing but spam heal your party even when a sliver of health is missing.

Fighter tanks want any inclination that targets enemies without relying on the player being attacked. I tend to go for Scather as primary, so the Fighter always targets the strongest enemies first, and then either Challenger (targets long range attackers) or Guardian (attacks anything attacking the player). You absolutely do not want Guardian set as your Fighter Pawn’s primary or they’ll do nothing until something is beating on your face.

For any damage dealing Pawn, I’d recommend Mitigator as primary (deals with weaker enemies first to thin their numbers) and Challenger as secondary (dealing with long range enemies).


Q: Why is no one renting my Pawn?

A: This could be any number of things. You could be in a level bracket that is unpopular, have your Pawn set to a vocation that no one really recruits, have inclinations that cause them to receive low ratings, etc.

Inclinations are a big deal in Dragon’s Dogma, so it’s worth paying attention to your main Pawn every couple of hours. Everything you do in the game alters your Pawn’s inclination—from mass looting and exploring, to shouting “help!” with the directional pad—so using your Rift Crystals to stock up on inclination elixirs back at The Encampment is a great idea.

If you’re looking for more Pawn exposure, I suggest posting your information on the Dragon’s Dogma Facebook page or joining any of the various gaming forums online. I’ve had a lot of luck this way.

Q: How do I change my Pawn’s inclination?

A: There are two ways to go about doing this, but one is a bit easier than the other. The first is to head on over to the Pawn Guild in Gran Soren, go down in to the basement, and have a seat in the “knowledge chair”. Your Pawn will ask you a series of questions where your answers will change their inclinations.

This can be a bit tricky without a guide, so I recommend the easier method of going to The Encampment, heading back toward the Rift stone, and speaking with the man in the yellow robe standing next to it. This man sells inclination elixirs for Rift Crystals.

What you need to do is buy 2 of the elixir that you would like for your Pawn’s primary inclination, and 1 of the elixir that you’d like for your Pawn’s secondary inclination. Go to your items menu and drink the 2 primary elixirs first, then the secondary.

Every few hours, check your Pawn’s status to make sure their inclinations stay the same. Otherwise it’s time to make a trip back to the Encampment. Once you’re settled in, you can stockpile the elixir to change it at will.

Q: What does each inclination do?

A: This is a bit too long to answer here, but I’ve already written a detailed post that can be found here.

Q: How do I trigger my Pawn to use certain abilities?

A: You can’t. Your Pawn is an AI controlled ally that reacts according to their battle knowledge, inclinations, and abilities you set for them. If you would like your Pawn to use a certain ability more, make sure it’s set in to their “primary” slot, not “secondary”.

Q: What is the name of the intro song for Dragon’s Dogma?

A: The original J-rock intro was B’z – Into Free, which has since been replaced by something from the OST. I’ve already posted on the official Facebook page a few times requesting the old B’z song back.. silly Capcom.

Q: Is Dragon’s Dogma good/worth buying/better than (insert game here)?

A: Everyone’s opinion will be different. To me, yes. It was my Game of the Year for 2012 and I thought it was better than Kingdom’s of Amalur: Reckoning, Skyrim, Witcher 2, Dark Souls and any other action-RPG released in the last few years.

Hopefully you found the answers you were looking for, but if not, drop it down in the comment section and I’ll answer it to the best of my ability.

13 thoughts on “Dragon’s Dogma – Dark Arisen FAQ

  1. Im using ps3 i have dd save file and buy the ddda disk but when i play the ddda i cant continue my character and i dont have the awards with 100,000 Rift Crystals, an Eternal Ferrystone.. :-( i even check the storage in the inn also dont have

    Please help


    1. That’s definitely odd. I’m using PS3 with the disc version of DDDA. When I turned the game on, I picked “load game”, picked my Dragon’s Dogma save, it prompted me that I had received rewards and once I got to Gran Soren I could take it all out of the bank. If your save file isn’t showing up when you load Dark Arisen, the only thing I can suggest is to put in the original Dragon’s Dogma disc, load your save, save again so it’s a current save file and try again. If that doesn’t work, you might have to contact customer support for the game itself. If you try this and it works, let me know.


    2. Digging around a bit, one person reported that Dark Arisen corrupted their save file so it wouldn’t even work and they had to start over. This is honestly the first time I’ve heard of this. Another person said that you could exit the game, delete the Dark Arisen save file (back it up just in case) and the next time you turn the game on it should let you load your original DD save. I’m not sure of any of that works, but figured it was worth mentioning.


  2. i’m just starting out so being new to DD and starting out with DDDA I dont get to have 100k rift crystals? that sucks. thanks to your guides i started my game over with attributes (like weight and height, i thought it didnt matter) that i like better for stats. this game has a ridiculous learning curve.


    1. It definitely has one of the more vague tutorials and you often find out things for yourself, but I actually enjoyed that aspect of the game. You struggle for hours and hours and suddenly something clicks and you press on, much like Demon’s Souls or Dark Souls. Hope you’re enjoying it!


  3. Hello there,
    Like the page. Cheers!
    Unlike others, who seem to want to know if Dark Arisen is worth buying after playing the original, I have a different question: I’ve played neither but can pick up a copy of the original really cheap. Is it really worth shelling out the extra for the Dark Arisen version? I have a PS3 so, assuming I don’t mind about the expansion isle, will I just be paying extra money for fast travel? Is it worth it?

    PS. I’m encouraged by all the Demon’s/Dark Souls references. (Flamelurker still haunts my dreams.)


    1. If you are a PSN Plus subscriber, Dark Arisen is actually free this week. I would highly recommend getting Dark Arisen over the original if you have the option, but that’s purely based on the fact that I know the extra content is worth the price. How much of a difference in price are we talking between what you can get the original for and what the cost of Dark Arisen is currently?


      1. Thanks for the quick reply.
        I’m not a PSN Plus susbcriber.
        I live in Japan, where I can use US region (BLUS) and Asia region (BLAS) PS3 games, but have to pay sticker price to have them imported. Many/most Japanese versions of games are released without the necessary English voices, subtitles, menus and the like. Those that are released over here fully English-enabled are beloved by us Japan-living English speakers.
        Dragon’s Dogma (and Dark Arisen) are fully English-ized and second hand copies of the original can be picked up for about Y950 (less than 10 dollars US). The Dark Arisen, being still new-ish, would be (much) more than twice that.
        So… Was there MUCH more that needed fixing than the “expensive fast travel” I’m hearing all about? Was the original REALLY all that buggy?
        Anyway… Thanks again for getting back to me.


        1. The original on its own is still a great game. The main difference is that Dark Arisen includes the original game + expansion. If you can get the original for less than $10, I’d highly recommend it. Plus the original has the better Jrock intro song lol. I had no issue with bugs in the original and I’ve put about 250ish hours in to it. But by having an original save and importing it to the Dark Arisen version, I got an eternal ferrystone to let me fast travel to any port crystal as often as I’d like. Otherwise you have to buy ferrystones and they’re few, far between and expensive as all hell.

          Hope this helps and if you DO pick it up and have more questions, don’t hesitate to ask =).


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