At the end of the last post, I had gotten to the end of the childhood section of the game. Papas is killed, and Kurisu sold into slavery, then the game advances 10 years. During all this time, Kurisu has been slaving away building some sort of temple.
|Slavery makes it hard to recover HP|
On this fateful day, however, a new girl named Maria has accidentally dropped a rock on one of the overseers’ feet.
|“I’ll beat that gutsy nature out of you!”|
Kurisu steps in and defeats the overseers. Of course this just leads to him getting the crap knocked out of him, but it turns out that Maria was the daughter of one of the soldiers. In gratitude he sends you, Maria, and Henry down a river on a barrel to escape. We wash up at a church, where Maria gets cleaned up, but decides to stay at the church.
|Maria cleans up well|
Kurisu and Henry head off to a nearby town, where we can buy a wagon for 3000 gold. This allows us to start recruiting monsters. Monsters will offer to join you after you beat them if they think you’re strong enough. I quickly got a slime, brownie, and stinking man. They can level up, learn spells and techniques, and equip things just like anyone else. Unfortunately you can’t name them (at least not yet). There’s also a casino, but there’s no video poker or blackjack! What kind of DQ casino is this?
|Slime racing, monster battles, slots|
The next town is Papas’ hometown again, but it’s looking much worse than it did ten years ago.
|You can’t go home again|
Apparently the soldiers from Reinhart burned and pillaged the town, because Papas was blamed for Henry’s disappearance. They’re really trying to milk every sad thing they can out of this. An old man recognizes you and lets you use his boat to explore a new area of this cave (he blocked the door in the young period).
If you’re not familiar with DQ, Metal Slimes are an iconic enemy. They tend to run away, and your attacks frequently miss or only do 1 damage. But if you can beat one they’re worth big XP. 3 and 4 had introduced new types of metal enemies which I assume will show up here too. I don’t like grinding so I didn’t wander around just to find these, but I did manage to beat a few in this dungeon.
Any part of this floor you step over cracks, and the corresponding water square one floor below disappears. I didn’t realize what was going on. Anyway, at the bottom of the cave is a sword and a letter from Papas.
|The legendary sword|
Papas had begun to search for the legendary hero equipment to try to find the hero himself. Standard RPG trope would suggest Kurisu is the hero, but he can’t equip the sword, and based on one small thing I know about this game I don’t think that’s where the plot is heading. Next up is Alpaca. Unfortunately Bianca is long gone, so it’s off to Reinhart castle. Henry’s brother Dale has become the king, but things don’t seem to be going very well in the kingdom.
Not very hard. Once that’s finished, peace is restored to the kingdom.
|Kurisu and Slimey|
Henry stays behind, leaving our party as Kurisu and two monsters (surprisingly only 3 characters at once allowed in this game). The harbor where we sailed into at the very beginning of the game is now open again and we can sail to the western continent to see if we can find more of the hero equipment. If you return to Reinhart later, Henry has married Maria, and you can buy a world map from the same person you bought the wagon from earlier.
Now we sail for the western continent.
Soon after arriving, we are approached by a man from a rural town to the south, who offers 3000 gold (1500 upfront) if we can deal with a monster who is ruining their crops at night. If you wait until night you see a shadowy figure fleeing the town, to the west. There’s a cave out there, and at the bottom is a panther.
This is of course Bolongo, the baby panther we saved from the kids all those years ago. If you show him Bianca’s Ribbon he’ll join the party. If you then head back to the town they think you tricked them — you were in league with the monster the whole time. They pay up the 1500 gold but aren’t happy about it.
The magical mirror that reveals a disguised entity's true form is a recurring item in just about every Dragon Quest game since DQ2. In DQ2 it was used to obtain your third and last party member, whom the bad guys had transformed into an animal; in DQ3 it was used to reveal that a tyrannical king was a monster in disguise; and in DQ6 it gets a real workout (don't wanna spoil since it sounds like you haven't played DQ6, but searching for the mirror comprises an entire major arc of DQ6's plot, encompassing several towns and dungeons)
Two oddballs are DQ4 and DQ7. In DQ4 the mirror has no story purpose and in fact is just a store-bought item; when enemies use spells to transform themselves in battle, you can use it to force them back into their original form. DQ7 has a whole bunch of subplots which the mirror could have resolved in a much happier way than they end up playing out, but you can't obtain the mirror until the very end of the game, by which time it's far too late (DQ7 has a reputation as a depressing game…)
DQ4 didn't introduce the hero until a quarter through the game. I wonder if the delayed first scene of the "hero" is a running theme for this trilogy.
6 and 7 both have Hero as a class; IIRC it can only be learned by the main character, at least in 7?
I've played DQ6 up to the Temple of Dharma; this was way way back when the noprogress translation first came out. I've since played a little bit of it twice in Japanese but I never got very far.
II I played about 2/3 of on the GBC version, III maybe 1/3 on both GBC and SNES, VII up to the end of disc 1, and IX maybe 5 hours.
And this is why I set up structured playthroughs like this blog — if I don't do that, the above is what happens. 🙂
In DQ6 any party member can theoretically become the Hero class (even monsters!) but the requirements for someone other than the main character to do so are ridiculous. Also, what you can equip is determined by character identity and not by class, and the obligatory "legendary hero equipment" is reserved for the main character.