September 03, 2013

[Game 040] Deep Dungeon III: The Journey to Become a Hero (NES - 1988)

Translation by KingMike

Who's ready for another helping of deep dish Deep Dungeon pie?  I guess I am!  Part three definitely feels like a DD game and makes some major improvements over the previous two.  But don't worry, there's also some terrible changes / omissions as well, so I'll still have something to complain about.  The simple plot this time is a tad more interesting than before and bears a mention.  Seems a young lad named Shen has a dream of becoming a great swordsman.  After years of intensive training, he leaves his little village and travels for a few days, ending up in the town of Huma.  While resting there for the night, some crazy ass storm blows through the village, forcing all the townsfolk to take refuge.  In the morning, the residents are aghast to find that their town has been surrounded by a high stone wall.  The only connection now to the other towns in the region is through a network of underground passages which are, of course, filled to the brim with monsies.  There isn't anyone brave enough in Huma to tackle this challenge so the man they call Shen steps up to the plate and vows to clear a path to rest of the world.

I like my blasé attitude after the man croaks.

Though the intro makes it seem like I'm going solo, I'm actually allowed to take up to three others with me.  I'm stuck with the swordsman class but there are three other classes to choose for my allies: hunter, priest, and magician.  I took one of each, purchased some basic weapons, and got ready to explore.  Before I go any further though, I must make mention that I'm using MrRichard999's graphical mod that alters the dungeon walls and changes the look of the panel borders.  I stumbled upon it while searching for material relating to Deep Dungeon and thought it'd be a bit of a lark.

I also use the hqx filter, so it's
not like I'm a purist or anything.

Tactical combat is increased from the previous games due to having multiple enemies to fight.  Up to nine monsters can occupy the 3x3 grid battlefield; the second and third rows can only be targeted by projectile weapons or magic spells.  When a first row monster is defeated, the one behind it will move forward and take its spot at the end of the round.  This can sometimes lead to battles where a first row creature is initially ignored so as to keep a more powerful one in the back rows while missile attacks deal with it.

Poison anything is the bane
in the early part of any game.

Levelling functions very much like DDII's system; increases are predefined by class and two bonus points are given to be allocated to either strength, agility, or luck.  Since dumping points into agility worked so well last time, I'm continuing the trend here and, so far, have only upped agility for all characters.  New spells have to be purchased from a temple or magic shop when the character reaches the appropriate level.  Being a swordsman, I'm the only one who can't cast spells (even though I have MP for some reason).  Hunters, who already kick ass with their projectile weapons, can get some low level priest spells but really just need Cure to be an extra source of healing.  Conversely, the magician has all offensive spells but unfortunately these are not always successful when cast.  So not only does the magician mostly sit there during regular encounters, doing shit damage with his shitty dagger, but when I do need his spells in a tough fight, he only rises to the occasion about half the time.  Well, by level six, I was getting pretty fed up with my magician's lack of participaction and was considering replacing him with another hunter.  There's an option to remove a party member at the inn and so I eagerly disposed of my magician, then noticed that there wasn't a command to recruit a new member.  I figured then it must be done from the main menu where I first created the characters.  After saving and resetting, I discovered that this was most definitely not the case.  There's just an empty, unfillable slot where a character used to be.  Dammit, I at least could have used him as a pack mule if nothing else.

Notice how the little bugger
also took 40 gold with him.

I'm a little baffled as to why the removal option would even be included if there's no way to replace the character.  Whatevs.  I started over again with two hunters and a priest.  It wasn't bad at all since I just needed to grind them back up to level six which didn't take too long.  Most of the previous time spent was in making the maps and exploring empty room after empty room.  Oh, did I mention all the empty rooms there are?  Unlike the previous games, there are no chests of gold laying sporadically all over the place.  DDIII takes the more traditional route and binds the gold to the monsters.  Also unlike the previous games, monsters don't drop items, which may be a good thing since it totally broke the bank in DDII.  I've just arrived at the second town and the prices are appropriately... er, pricey.  The path to the town went through a prison level where most of the rooms held a single prisoner.  The vast majority of them just say "I thought nobody would rescue me!" and then do nothing, so I'm still counting these as empty rooms for my bitching purposes.  Only two prisoners had anything interesting to say; the first gave me a possible quest item and the second was this guy:

Bitch, I would LOVE to have
Final Fantasy come true.

So far, the new party configuration is working out decently.  With two hunters, I get my pick of the battlefield when it comes to victims and even the priest can hold his own in mortal combat (at least he can equip a weapon better than a dagger... stupid magician).  I feel good about this party's chances as I begin to tackle level three and I'm looking forward to mapping out lots of empty rooms that I'll never step foot in again.  As is tradition for a lot of these dungeon crawlers, here's a monstrous montage to marvel at and mull over.

Lol, still having problems drawing
those darn bears, I see.