September 24, 2012

Dragon Quest III - End Game

The caves of the Necrogond mountains were tough but ultimately no match for the infuriated Nung.  After passing through to the other side, Baramos's castle can be seen but is surrounded by an impassable moat.  A small shrine to the east holds the desired silver orb.  Only one left to go but no real leads on where it could be.  JimBurke, being a rather worldly fellow, may have some notion as to the final orb's whereabouts so it's back to JimBurkeburg for a visit.  Upon arrival, the party was shocked to find that the citizens had had an uprising against J.B. and had thrown him in the very prison he had helped build.

Oh yeah, I remember you from the
COUNTLESS ADVENTURES WE
HAD BEFORE.

He's quite content to sit in prison but lets me know that the final orb is back at his mansion.  Alright, another easy orb.  No complaints here.  Before leaving though, the gang decides to check out the local theatre to hear some children sing and recite poetry.

*sniff* Excuse me, I have
something in my eye.

The shrine where the orbs must be placed had been found ages ago; previously acquired orbs had been dumped there.  Now, with all six in place, the party finally got access to the organic equivalent of Final Fantasy's airship.

Arise, chicken!  Arise!

Unlike the airship, this beast is hella slow and handles like a giant slug doped up on NyQuil.  However, there are no encounters while in flight so perhaps I should just chill the fuck out.  The castle of Baramos is suitably creepy and has a few dead ends and loops to get one's ire up.  The palace is also filled with hurty tiles which are normally overcome with the mage's Stepguard spell.  Unfortunately, Derp the mage was abandoned awhile back so it was up to the healers to compensate.  The confrontation with Baramos proved very difficult.  By the end of the battle, everyone who could heal had low magic reserves.  Knowing that DQ has a strong tradition of following the "final" boss with the REAL final boss, I was quite worried that more pain was on the way.

No way this doofus is the final boss.

However, this ended up not being the case.  Baramos dies and no one else shows up.  Shrugging, the gang and I return to my hometown where the news of the victory somehow got there before them.  The king declares me the most awesomest and the celebration is just about to get underway when...

Can we spend a night at
the inn first, please?

Zoma doesn't attack here.  He just introduces himself and then buggers off. The party must assemble and enter the dark world via a crack caused by the earthquake Zoma set off.  The hollow earth theory is in full effect here as the party drops down for some bonus adventuring.  It didn't take long for some serious déjà vu to creep in.

Where have I seen
this (twice) before?

Yes, it's the merry ol' land of Alefgard.  It's pretty close to the same size as found in DQ I and actually has a lot of the same quests.  I was tickled pink to have the game extend itself beyond my expectations.  There was even another Pachisi board to use some of the 40+ tickets that were otherwise rotting in inventory.  Initially, I was excited to get my chi-say on but this board burrowed into my Pachisi pleasure centers and then took a big dump all over it.  I had reached the goal of the three previous boards in just a few attempts.  I'd still play a board after finishing it to attempt to get various chests and pots that had been missed and also because it's Pachisi!  This cheating son of a gun literally took all the remaining tickets to get to the goal.  It got so bad that I was often able to correctly call the dice rolls just before hitting a trap door square that ends the current game.  Keep in mind that all of this was done during a single session.  Rage levels had a strong correlation with profanity levels.

More like Kol's stupid jerk
face prickchisi crapza.

The normal quests went much more smoothly.  Some key items were in slightly different locations than in the original but nothing too difficult.  The final castle (for reals this time) is even spookier than Baramos's and, of course, holds the hardest of monsters.  As the party progressed through the castle's many passages and corridors, they happened upon a fight between a king hydra and a most manly man.  It is none other than Ortega himself!

Feeling bad for killing
that volcano now.

We just idly stand by while Ortega gets completely owned by the hydra.  Unaware of my identity, Ortega gives a heartfelt speech before passing on.  At least, I think it was a heartfelt speech.  I wasn't really paying attention because of the barrage of questions that were flooding my mind.  Such as, how the hell did he get this far without doing any of the quests that I had to do?  If he's been alive for all these years, why didn't he ever let anyone know?  What are the odds of us arriving precisely at this exact spot within minutes of his demise?  Why didn't we lift a finger to help him out, even when it was obvious he was losing?  How about a Revive spell after he dies?  The game should have changed my personality to heartless bastard.  Well, at least Ortega cleared out a bunch of monsters for us, making it a little easier to reach Zoma.

DQ bosses love flippin' gang signs.

Zoma starts off with a magical barrier in effect which is brought down by the Light Orb found back in the old world.  Even without his barrier, Zoma is a tough cookie.  He gets two attacks per round and seemingly unending amounts of MP.  He also has the ability to dispel any spells currently in effect, forcing us to recast them every so often.  The first four attempts resulted in party devastation but the fifth was almost successful.  Unfortunately, my rules reared its ugly head after a dead Nung was not able to be resurrected before Zoma died.  There was no magical restoration for me after Zoma falls, so I was forced to restart.  It took another five attempts after that.

Totally worth it.

A proper celebration is given upon our return and here is where it gets interesting.  The King is super impressed and gives me the title of Loto, bravest hero in all of Alefgard! Loto, or Roto, is the legendary warrior from the first two DQ games!  What a twist!  The Dragon Quest remake trilogy has now come full circle with each title vastly improving on the originals.  Two thumbnails up... way up!