July 06, 2012

Dragon Quest II - End Game

The quest to cure Kain's ailment was literally over before Shen and Maria got to the end of the block from the inn.  An old man mused that perhaps the Leaf of the World Tree might lift the curse.  Oh, you mean this leaf we've been carrying around for the last month?

World Tree Leaf: Get the
clear skin you deserve!

At least now we're back on track to get the remaining crests.  Some of them are cleverly hidden and the only way to even know their approximate whereabouts is to carefully listen to townsfolk that talk about them.  This... I initially did not do.  I had been stumbling across crests so far and figured the remaining locations would be pretty obvious.  Not so for the fire crest.  By the time I realized that I wasn't just going to happen upon it, I had also forgotten which town that one guy who talked about the crest was in.  Something about a fire monolith but I hadn't come across any fire-based monoliths yet.  Seeking out the one guy and abashedly asking for the crest speech again was the kick I needed.  Turns out the crest was in one of the monoliths that have three transporting portals in it (the lit braziers in it are what made it the fire monolith).  This major hub of activity had been frequented by us many times in the past.  All this time the crest was buried beneath a tree just 'round back.

Who'd have thunk it?

Getting the fire crest fourth when it looks like it probably could have been gotten first just goes to show how DQII took a more nonlinear approach than its predecessor.  There were a few times where I already had the MacGuffin needed (such as the Kain-curing leaf mentioned above).  Another one involved a quest to find the key to open the water gate of a parched town.  I had already met with the thief who had stolen the key in the first place and acquired it from him.

Wow, I've seen all your porns, man.

I had no idea what the watergate key was for until I entered the very town that needed it.  The price one pays for rejecting the linear route, I suppose.  I already knew the final crest would be found in the cave on the way to Rhone (where Hargon resides) because I actually listened to the townsfolk this time.  The cave is filled with tough fights, pit traps, and rage-inducing mazes.  The mazes are of the type that if you take a wrong branch it sends you back to the beginning of the level.  Usually there are just two branches but I'll be damned if I didn't hit every single incorrect path possible.  After finally getting out, we found ourselves in a mystical space far removed from the earthly realm.  Some powerhouse monsters exist here but are an excellent source of EXP.  We can just barely hold our own against these new foes so this becomes the first and last time that grinding is necessary.  We suffer more than a few full party deaths and lose half our golds each time (luckily we have a big stash in the bank back on earth — not that we need gold at this point).  Finally we get around to assaulting Hargon's castle.

It certainly looks ominous
and foreboding.

However, upon entering...

Umm, I think I took a
wrong turn somewhere.

No, it's just Hargon's illusion magic tricking us.  Even staying overnight at the inn fools us into thinking we're back to full health and magic.  It becomes very obvious something isn't quite right when everyone we talk to goes on and on about how great Hargon is.  We had been forewarned about Hargon's deceitful magicks and knew that the charm of Rubiss would dispel those illusions.  Let me just grab the charm and.... hmmm, maybe it's in my other pocket... mmm, nope.  Hey, Kain, do you have the charm of Rubiss in your backpack?  No?...  Oh, crap.  I forgot to get the charm of Rubiss back in the prime world.  In order to get the charm, all the crests must be found first and I found the last one on my way up to this realm.  Well, no choice but to abort this assault and race on back.

Descen..*gasp* Descendants
of..*whew* of Roto here.

The ascent up Hargon's tower was gloriously straight forward and just had a few really difficult fights.  The group is flush with prayer rings (restores magic points) and keeping healed up hasn't been a problem.  Upon reaching the throne room, Hargon started a little chitchat and asked if I had heard of how awesome Hargon is.  I replied that I'd never even heard the name before.  This infuriated Hargon and the priest prepared to throw down.

He actually looks more ready
to get down in that getup.

The fight was over quickly and I figured that worse was about to come.  Turns out that Hargon was just a puppet or servant or something of a bigger and more terrible evil!

What a twist!

Shidor's not shy about launching massive group damaging spells or throwing double melee attacks on a single character.  Kain and Maria had their hands full just trying to keep everyone healed.  Why is there no heal party spell?!  Argh!  Even with both spellcasters fully charged heading into this fight, Maria still had to waste a turn or two to use a prayer ring.  Despite their best efforts, Shidor wasn't relenting in the least.  In a stroke of bad luck, a well-placed Explodet spell eliminates both Kain and Maria.  With no source of healing now, I, the obstinate Nung, would inevitably fall to Shidor's superior strength and skill.  Shidor's fanged maw grinned cruelly as he tasted the victory at hand.  But there's one thing that Shidor had forgotten.

Shen is the muthafuckin' MAN!

Kain and Maria are resurrected and the triumphant trio head back to my home of Laurasia to tell my father, the king, of our victory.  King Dad is so happy that he immediately abdicates the throne and gives it to me.

Hail to the king, baby!

Cue to the credits while showing cutscenes of all the places we travelled to throughout our journey.  A long stroll through memory lane signifies that this is...