June 02, 2013

Dragon Quest IV - The Chosen Nung

Finally, I get to have a slice of the action.  I've just been sitting here for the past 16 years or so, chilling out in this remote, hidden village while everyone else gets to have adventures (I assume).  Life is quiet and pristine in this village, which is cool and all, but it's also the reason I'm still at level 1.  All dad ever does is fish and mom just makes lunches all day.

Shut up, mom!  I know how to JRPG!

Thankfully, the village gets attacked by monsters but before I get a chance to snag some XP, I get dragged to an underground bunker where I have to hide.  Apparently, I'm some big hero who will be able to destroy any evil being but they feel I'm not ready yet (maybe I should have been fighting slimes instead of sitting around).  I can hear all the excitement above me as the villagers get slaughtered.  Some chick who I think is my girlfriend comes to say goodbye and then polymorphs herself into a duplicate of me and sacrifices herself to the monsters.  Believing I am dead, the monsters leave and I stroll out of my hiding place to find the village in total and utter ruin.  Now I can finally get my grind on.

♪ I'm going to make it after AAALLLLL! ♫

Gah, I wish I would have had some better training because I'm getting whupped out here.  Thankfully, the city of Branca is nearby and I invest heavily in the inn there.  I guess I also know the Expel spell, which gets rid of creatures in combat but I don't get any golds or XP from them.  No one from Branca is willing to team up with me so I head west to Endor.  There's a casino there but I have no money to spare right now.  I did try to hit on this hot babe who was working the slots but she dissed me.

Ooo, is your sister as hot as you?... *Smack!*

I meet her sister, Nara, who is a fortune teller and she detects that I am the hero that they have been searching for.  Just like that I'm up two allies who both have far more levels than I do.  While I can't control them directly in battle, I am able to assign a general tactic for them to follow.  There are six to choose from and, thankfully, one of them instructs them to use no magic in fights.

Laurent from Chapter 3 badly needed this.

I've mostly been setting it to No MP or Save MP and switching it to Offensive for major encounters.  While Mara and Nara are both sweethearts, I think that this party needs a little more testosterone so we're off to cross a desert in search of Taloon.  In order to get across the desert, I have to convince some baby named Hector to let me use his wagon.  He's all pissy because a former friend ripped him off and now he trusts no one.  Finding an item called the Symbol of Faith somehow changes his mind and he's all for lending the wagon.

Actually, it's a Metal Babble
Shield but whatever.

After making it across the desert, I learn that Taloon is trying to fix a cursed lighthouse which is disrupting the trade ships and, therefore, profits.  I find him on the first bloody floor just wandering around randomly and he asks me to basically do his quest for him.  He doesn't even help me out, the bastard.  But I do it anyway because that's what heroes do.  To his credit, once the lighthouse is operational again, he does join the group as well as letting me captain his newly built ship.  Since it is Taloon's ship, he suggests that we all head south to try to get our hands on a treasure map he's heard about.  Let's not let the end of the world get in the way of getting our hands on some fresh golds and jewels.  A short jaunt south has me at the town of Mintos where I easily procure the treasure map from an old dude named Howden.  All I had to do was pass his Zen-like quiz which required one to not answer at all.  The map is pretty useful as it shows the entire world as well as my position in it.  The treasurey X on the map is inaccessible at this point, which is fine because another quest pops up after I visit the inn.  A chancellor named Cristo has been afflicted with Unknown Disease #42 and needs the Padequia root to cure him.  His friend, Brey, implores my help which I dutifully give (I'm really getting into the swing of this hero thing).

Isn't it also a superfood with
high levels of antioxidants?

Of course, the town which normally harvests the Padequia plant, Soretta, had been hit by a drought which eliminated all traces of the Padequia.  The only remaining seed was hidden away in a cave by the former king.  I hesitate a bit to help out these poor fools who fail so badly at basic agricultural techniques but then remember about Cristo.  The cave which holds the seed is pretty chill; there's conveyor belts all over the place which whisk us around like a roller coaster.

I can see why there are so many
monsters in this cave. Wheeeee!

After finding the seed (and having a few more rides), I exit the dungeon and give the seed to the king of Soretta.  The plant instantly grows to full size so Cristo won't have wait for months for his treatment.  I just love how the world of DQ is setup for maximal convenience.  At any rate, I return to Mintos and freshmaker Cristo back into health.

Oh, he just had an acne breakout?
Cristo, you pansie.

With Cristo back to normal, he joins our group as well as Princess Alena, who had also been searching for the Padequia seed but failing.  With our party an impressive seven strong now, a bard rushes up to me as I'm leaving the inn and tells me that a soldier named Ragnar has been searching for me and was last heading to Keeleon Castle.  Mara and Nara know this place well and so offer to lead me there.  I order Taloon's ship to carry us west and when we arrive, I find that I am unable to open any of the castle's doors.  I do find something that infuriates me to my very core.  Something that should not be, but is, and is not explained in any way, shape, or form.

Healie's a human now? Noooooooooooooo!

Not only is Healie inexplicably a human now, he doesn't even get his own unique sprite anymore (he gets the oft-used bard sprite).  He probably can't even heal anymore.  I would have easily... EASILY offered him a spot in our group, even if it meant kicking someone else out.  As it is, he's lucky I don't slay him on the spot.  Ugh, I'm just so disgusted with Humanie.  Like there isn't enough bullshit humans around, making the world a shittier place for everyone.  He had the intrinsic ability to heal whatever he touched; there is no way that he could not do good in his healer form.  Whatever, the thing formerly known as Healie tells us that we need a Magic Key to open Keeleon's doors and that we may find some clues at the northern port town of Haville.  A merchant there gives us the skinny on the existence of such keys.

In a land filled with magical weapons,
armour and spells, this is totally...

The Magic Key (which does exist) is located in a hidden chamber in the same cave where Mara and Nara found Orin.  New monsters have moved in but with Taloon and Alena both packing a decent melee punch, they prove to be none too difficult.  The key is smoothly recovered and as I explore Keeleon's corridors, I spot Ragnar being escorted by two guards.  When Ragnar sees me, he gets a burst of strength and hulks out on his escorts.  Together, we enter the king's chamber and Ragnar takes on three guards by himself while the rest of us deal with the monstrous Keeleon.  Keeleon is a tough boss but Cristo smartly uses Stopspell and Surround on him to severely hinder his magical and melee attacks.  After Keeleon is dispatched, Ragnar nods approvingly and joins the party.  The Chosen Ones are now united and together we will bring an end to the Ultimate Evil.  In order to do so, I must gather the fabled Zenithian items but have no real leads to go off of.  Exploration of the world now begins in earnest and we pack the ship full of supplies before heading away from Keeleon Castle into the great unknown beyond!

Yeah, farewell forever, you fucking sellout.