September 05, 2012

[Game 026] Dragon Quest III (NES - 1988) (SNES Remake)

Translation by DQ Translations

Part three of the seminal Dragon Quest series is being served remixed just as in the two previous games.  The standard upgrade to graphics and sound is present but so much more has been added.  The jaw-dropping begins with the opening sequences in which a brave man named Ortega is shown embarking on his quest to kill the archfiend Baramos.  At first the perspective is that of the game's normal overhead view as Ortega goes from place to place.  As he is seen entering a volcano, however, the view switches to the side so that one can bear witness to a spectacular fight scene on and inside the volcano.

Battlin' inside a volcano —
classic Ortega.

I wish I could show that in its full full-motion goodness but I left my regular quad-core dwelling a few nanodays back and have been hanging out in an old 286 ever since (hey, sometimes Shen needs his quiet time).  But let me assure you, it's super sweet.  For all his obvious badassness, Ortega actually bites it here but he does take the demon creature down with him (not Baramos, by the way).  Cut back to the castle where the king surmises that Ortega must have failed and is dead.  Ortega's wife wastes absolutely no time in disregarding Ortega and assures the king that her son will take over the quest when he's old enough.

Damn it woman, the body
isn't even cold yet.

Hoping that Ortega's manly DNA will carry on through his offspring, I find myself coalescing into his son, awesomely named ShenNung.  I start off in a dream state where a disembodied voice asks me a string of questions in order to determine my personality.  Once it has done so, the scene shifts to an interactive sub-dream sequence where I witness a little drama play out and then am free to talk or perform actions.  What actions I take during the scene will determine my personality type.  This type determines starting stats and I think influences stats gained during levelling.  The questions must be off, though, as I was told that, although I think I am really cool, I am totally not at all.  Figuring the game was broken or something, I restarted a bunch of times until I found an outcome that more accurately describes the main man, Shen.

Well, I am the Avatar after all.

The most memorable sub-dream sequence had me awaken inside the body of a monster.  I laid at the bottom of a well, encrusted with crud and grime.  A single rope led up out of the dank depths and I began to ascend.  Upon reaching the top of the well, some of the nearby villagers fled in terror.   A fighter attempted to attack me and... it didn't end well for the fighter.

Remember when you said you'd
bring me to justice? Well,

Everybody was acting like a jerk and all I ever wanted was a hug so fine — they can ALL BURN.

Ruff!  Anybody order a hot dog?
Oh, I'll spare him alright...
I hate it when my meals hoot at me.

Okay, so for reals this time, I went through and answered the questions truthfully and ended up with the romantic personality type.  I won't deny it as I do love railing the ladies.  Anyway, the mom sends me off to the king who recaps the story of Ortega's death in a completely inconsiderate way.

Good one, King.  Hey, maybe later
we can go piss on his grave.

As a hopeless romantic, I know that all my great poetry and lovemaking skills will be of little use against the many monsters of the land.  To that end, I am allowed to have three other companions by my side.  I know, I know, Ortega would be disappointed.  There are seven classes available when registering a new companion and some stat customization is available before creating the character.  Each companion has a personality type as well which is heavily determined by the starting stats (e.g. the high wisdom mage starts as the Sharp type).  I created one companion for each class and will be swapping them around for the first 10-20 levels to determine usefulness.  Some classes have special abilities beyond just having a different spell list.  For example, the thief will sometimes steal an item after a battle and the dealer (merchant) gives extra gold after each encounter.  The dealer also has the ability to appraise an item and give a lengthy description about it.

Hey, I don't need no book to
tell me how to get ripped.

Personality types are not set in stone and can be changed by using disposable items such as books or equiping certain items.  For example, the Muscle Guidebook mentioned in the screenshot above switches the personality to a Jock type.  Some books can only be read by a female character, making me glad I'm a progressive, equal opportunity employer (three of my seven companions are bitches).

One of the new aspects in this remake is the Small Medal system (which is actually taken from Dragon Quest IV).  All over the place are hidden small medals that can be redeemed for items at a collector's home located in the first town, Aliahan.  The medal collecting is cumulative and an item is rewarded after hitting certain numerical milestones, usually every five or ten medals.

You're wearing it right
now, aren't you?

The beginning area is set on an island with the town of Aliahan and the village of Reeve making up the only two settlements.  A short quest is undertaken to find the magic ball which is used to break down a wall which allows passage to the mainland.

Really got my balls to the wall here.

With the introductory island behind us, it feels like this epic quest is about to start in earnest.  It'll be slow going as I grind levels for all the companions, not to mention all the golds I need to equip all of them.  Well, it just wouldn't feel right to leave an initial DQ posting without having a pic of one of my biggest monster crushes of all time.

I want them all to come home with me.