May 20, 2013

Dragon Quest IV - Tuhloone Mindstate

Taloon is a big man with a big dream.  He'd like to be able to quit his current job and start a business of his own.  We've all been there.  Working day in and day out at a dead end job, underpaid and underappreciated by The Man; going back alone to the one room apartment after every shift and eating a not quite fully microwaved Hungry Man™ dinner; washing it down with a fifth of vodka while watching endless reruns of Flavor of Love; waiting for blissful slumber to come take one more day off towards inevitable death.

Oh, shit.  You got a house and wife.
My bad, Taloon. You doin' aiight.

Taloon makes his living in retail, though not selling lame stuff like fashions or shoes.  No, he sells weapons — everything from clubs to copper swords to thorn whips (okay, actually that's all he sells).  I can see why Taloon wants to open an arms store himself; even in a town with a population of around ten, a customer comes in as soon as another leaves.

And they always ask the same
two dumb-ass questions.

A lot of times a potential sale is lost due to the customer either not having enough money on hand (hurr) or not having an inventory slot available (durr).  Eventually, the day ends and Taloon pockets a little over a hundred golds and goes home to immediately go to sleep until the next work day starts.  He can even leave after serving just one customer (his boss is very progressive), go home, and go right back to sleep at the suggestion of his wife.  All this going to sleep talk better be a euphemism for sex, Taloon, or you can colour me several shades of disappointed Shen.

Oh good, it is.  *brofists T-Money*

After working just two full days, Taloon starts to leave early to go fight monsters in the forest.  He's able to reap big profit not only from the gold the monsters have, but also from occasionally finding an expensive sword or armour and selling it back in town, quite often to his boss.  After gaining a few levels, Taloon is off to find the Iron Safe, which will prevent him from losing half his gold should he die in battle.  The cave in which the safe resides proves to be of no consequence to Taloon; he effortlessly manages to solve the very easy puzzle elements of the cave and claims his prize.  He then heads to the city of Endor to find out what the used store market is like.  On his way, he stops by Bonmalmo and talks with the king, who is very open about his plans to conquer Endor but can't since the bridge is out.  Da Gardi, the engineer in charge of fixing the bridge, is AWOL, though Taloon knows that he's currently living it up in nearby Foxville with some foxy dame.  Foxville is a mysterious and spooky village.  Once entered, there is no exit other than by spending the night there and, upon awakening, the entire village is gone, only to reappear later.  Da Gardi is charmed by the magic of the village and the only way to break the enchantment is to bring a dog in to sniff out the master fox.  Taloon recalls that his hometown, Lakanaba, has such a dog but his owner is currently locked up in Bonmalmo for stealing.  No prob, Taloon smuggles him a Wing of Wyvern which will allow him to break out.

Aiding and abetting criminals
is what good heroes do.

Now a free man, he's able to give Taloon access to his dog, Tov, who has been locked up in his cage all this time and is quite excited to go on an adventure.  Heading to Foxville, Tov has no problems picking out who the master fox is disguised as and soon the entire village fades from existence.  Da Gardi is no longer enthralled by the sultry vixen he was macking on and promptly gets to work on repairing the bridge.  With the bridge being repaired, this means that the king of Bonmalmo will be able to attack Endor.  The king's son, Prince Reed, is strongly against this as he is in love with the Princess of Endor and conquering her kingdom would most likely put that pussy on ice.  At a secret midnight meeting, he implores Taloon to deliver a letter to her explaining the situation.

Delivering personal mail
is what good heroes do.

After a couple of trips back and forth, the whole issue is sorted out and the king of Bonmalmo decides to just wait until Reed marries the princess and eventually inherits Endor.  Finally, Taloon gets around to checking out Endor's real estate and, amazingly enough, there is just one store for sale.  With just over 2,000 golds in his Iron Safe, Taloon inquires what the going price is for such a fine establishment.

You can't see it from this angle, but
Taloon just did a massive spit take.

It seems like there is going to be quite a bit of grinding to get that much cash money, but, of course, there is a fetch quest to get a Silver Statuette which will cover most of the cost.  The statuette is somewhere in a partially flooded cave filled with monsters.  That sounds a little too dangerous for Taloon so he figures he'll just make that 35K at the famous Endor casino playing his favourite game, blackjack.  Unfortunately for Tee-$, the casino: a) doesn't offer blackjack; b) operates in casino coins, not gold pieces; and c) is closed.  The casino is completely deserted except for one poor gambling addict who is just wandering around.

Ragnar!  I remember you from
such chapters as chapter 1.

With the casino option gone, Taloon has no choice but to tackle the cave and get the statuette.  Taloon is no fool and with his deep pockets he hires two retainers to assist him; Strom, a very capable fighter, and Laurent, a spellcasting fool who blows through his Magic Points faster than a cokehead blows through blow.  He has the ever-popular Heal spell but it cannot be used outside of battle and during battles, the AI does what it likes (wasting MP).  The cave has more simple puzzle elements, this time involving flooding the place after the initial exploration in order to get access to previously restricted areas.  There is a good amount of treasure to be had, but Taloon only has a few slots free for extra stuff and both Strom and Laurent refuse to carry anything.  The group eventually reaches a staircase that obviously leads to where the Silver Statuette is.  Predictably, Laurent has almost nothing left for MP and Taloon already used the few Medical Herbs he brought alone.

If there's a boss down there, Laurent,
guess who's going to be the meat shield?

Luckily, the statuette was unguarded and the journey back out of the cave was swift.  Taloon manages to sell the statuette for 25,000 golds to some eccentric collector and, with just a little bit of grinding, amasses his wealth up to 35K and finally achieves his dream of being his own boss.  He calls for his wife to come run the place while he scours the lands for high quality weapons and armour.

What's with all the abusive wives in DQ?

Actually, more like, what's with Shen misunderstanding female interactions?  Much like the puff puff scenes from previous DQs, I misread what the "Smack!" was implying the first time it happened.  I guess I'm just not used to wives smacking with their lips instead of their hands.  Anyway, it's the day of the grand opening and the shelves are completely bare.  As he sets off for the day, Neta gives him a KISS ON THE CHEEK and his lunch.  Since his lunch is just peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (again!), Taloon promptly reenters the shop and puts it up for sale.

"15 golds is probably a little too much.  It's just shitty
P & J...  And the crusts haven't even been cut off...
And it's on plain white bread instead of rye or flax...
And the P to J ratio is all fucked up... And - "

With at least something now on the shelves, Taloon starts in earnest to locate some decent stock for his business, which he has tentatively named Tee-Money's Armament Emporium and Purveyor of Fine Wifely Lunches.