Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Game 11 - Dragon Quest V Part 4

At the end of the last entry, 8 years had passed and I now have my children, Leto and Ghanima, on the team. Leto is instantly a great character because he can equip all the Heavenly stuff. I immediately went back to the desert castle to grab the helmet, so now the only missing piece is the armor. Ghanima is less effective. In general, magic users aren't that impressive in Dragon Quest because there are too many random encounters and you have to save your MP. The twins start at level 5, and die quickly. So I continued to use Pierre, the slime knight.

I also followed nofakenews' advice and got a Miracle Sword, which is a great weapon for Kurisu. It heals you every time you attack. The Holy Armor is good as well (30 HP heal every turn) but I haven't bought one.

Henry, Maria, and their 8 year old son
I made a quick visit to Henry to meet his son. Leto and he repeat the same stuff that Henry and I did years before. There's no point to this but it's a nice touch. Then it's off to follow the rumor of the village where Kurisu's mother came from, Elheven. You get there by going through a lake cave. Once in the village, I learn that Papas showed up there years ago looking for the hero, and Martha fell in love with him and they both left the village. 
The elders
The elders of Elheven tell me that there are three worlds: Earth, Heaven, and the Demon world. Martha went to the Demon world to hold off the Great Demon Lord Mildras. They want us eventually to save Martha and seal off the Demon world, but the first step in doing that is finding the floating castle. A man in town gives me the Magma Staff to remove some rocks which will let us find the castle, sunk into the sea, as well as a magic carpet.
Why don't you come with me little girl
The carpet is fairly limited; it can go over the sea but not over any obstacles. By removing those rocks we can go to the cave. One nice thing about DQV is that the caves and dungeons are all very different. For this dungeon we have a bunch of mine cars whose paths can be changed by flipping switches.
The cave leading to the "sky" castle
In the mine we find a guy stuck on a cart going around in circles. Once freed, he says he's one of the sky people and accompanies us to the castle. Which is not in the best condition:
The "sky" castle
So why is the castle in the sky now the castle in the water? As we explore the castle we reach the control room and find out that one of the two orbs is missing that keeps the castle in the air. The silver orb is there but the golden orb is gone. Astute players might remember that child Kurisu found a golden orb in the haunted castle but then it was destroyed by Gema before he sold Kurisu into slavery. I had forgotten about this but fortunately the game reminds you with some flashbacks. There's also a reminder of a small detail I had forgotten; when I was doing the quest for the elves, a mysterious person is hanging around town. He asked to see my golden orb -- you can pick yes or no but you don't have a choice. I thought he was suspicious but he just looks and gives it back. Now in the flashback I can see the guy was adult Kurisu.

Anyway, with the orb destroyed it seems like our only option is to go to the elves and have them make a new one -- finally they can repay me for my service as a child. But how do we get there? There's a forest that supposedly leads to the elves' village but it's just a maze. Until Leto hears a mysterious voice:
We want to go to the elves' village!
Since Leto can see the elf, he decides to lead us to the village.
Bera is still around
Everything is exactly as it was when Kurisu was a kid. The leader is happy to help but can't make an orb himself -- he gives us a horn that we can blow in the middle of a lake to make the elf castle appear. I had already found this lake when I was trying to find the forest before, so it was a quick return.
The mysterious lake
Unfortunately the elf queen is useless too; they can't make any more orbs like the Golden Orb. They tried, but it didn't work. She gives me their failure and seems to think I'll know what to do. Indeed, in the same castle we come across a mysterious picture. Gazing at it, Kurisu is transported to Santa Rosa, in the past. Just as it happened at the beginning of the game, the "mysterious man" approaches child Kurisu, looks at the orb, and switches it out for the failed orb that the queen gave him.
Isn't there some rule against doing this in time travel?
Now armed with the Golden Orb, it's an easy matter to make the castle rise into the sky again.
The castle revived
Some people are also in the castle now, and we can fly it around. None of the people seem to recognize that guy we saved in the mine, though. One guy gave me a stupid clue -- it's time to revive the Master Dragon, which requires going to the Bobul Tower on a Northeastern island. Here's the location of the "Northeastern island":
See the little man at the bottom left? That's where the tower is
I had to use a walkthrough to find it. Technically the island is to the northeast of where the castle was, if you wrap the map around to the bottom left. But that's an annoying way to refer to it -- I guess perhaps I should have known since it's one of only a handful of places I haven't been, but I wasn't keeping careful enough track. Anyway, the tower is in a jungle.
The front door is locked
The goal of the tower is to recover both eyes of the dragon statue, which have been taken by monsters. This dungeon had some nasty monsters, like these birds that cast a spell that can kill your entire party:
This seems a little unfair.
At this point I was using Ghanima because she has Bikilt, one of the best spells in the franchise, which doubles your attack power. If you use this plus Skult (raises defense) and Lukani (lowers enemy defense), the bosses are a lot easier.

In this case the bosses turn out to be Gonz and Gema, the other two members of the trio that killed Kurisu's father.
Now is the time for revenge!
Gonz is easy, Gema is a little harder but still easy. Ghanima has the Staff of Blessing which can be used to heal a character, so even things he could do weren't that bad. Once you have the eyes, it's annoying to go around in the tower because you have to be careful not to fall off ledges. But finally I restored the eyes and got the Dragon Orb and the Dragon Staff. The Staff is awesome because it casts Dragoram (BeDragon in the English DW3), transforming you into a dragon for a few turns.
The Master Dragon
With the Orb, I headed back to the sky castle. It turns out that mysterious guy I found in the mine is actually the Master Dragon in disguise. Now that I have the Orb, he gives me the Dragon Flute so that I can call him down and fly around on him. This allows me to go to the other place I've seen for a while in the middle of the map, a large temple at the top of a huge mountain range. Here we find a large group of slaves praying to the Demon God with Martha at the head, and the Bianca statue behind her! Well, it's not actually Martha. After she forces you to pick "yes" to "Will you follow the demon god?" she curses us and reveals herself to be a monster instead. Beating her frees the slaves from their hypnosis, but the Bianca statue can't be restored without beating the high priest Ibul.
Bianca's home for the last 8 years
One nice touch is that if you talk to the slaves after they're freed, one of them is George, the little boy that got captured during the scene when Kurisu was a statue.

I found a secret stairway where the priest was standing, and descending into the depths, it turns out to be the slave mines where Kurisu worked. I do sometimes think the silent protagonist works well in cases like this -- modern RPGs (or even later SNES RPGs) would have a conversation here, but absent that you almost get to project your own realization onto the silent character.

Deep in the mines is the priest Ibul, the final boss of this section.
Ibul can't be beaten by the method I described above because he uses a move that eliminates all your buffs. However, his actions go on a predictable cycle. Once you figure it out, you can defend during his most damaging attacks, and the debuff move becomes a wasted turn for him that can be used to heal.

Once Ibul is defeated, he tries to use the last of his power to bring the Demon Lord into the world, but something stops him -- it seems that some power is holding back the Demon Lord in the demon world. So he dies, and now we can revive Bianca and head back to Granvania.
The family is reunited
So I guess that's the end of the game, why risk everyone's lives further? Kurisu will return to being king of Granvania.

Of course not, we now have the final task to enter the Demon World and defeat Mildras once and for all, and hopefully save Martha as well. 


  1. Wizards were pretty awesome in DQ3, but got steadily less so in each successive game up to DQ7. First in DQ4 everyone's HP (both heroes and monsters) got inflated while spells continued to do exactly the same damage as before; then DQ5 introduced weapons that hit multiple enemies at once; then DQ6 and DQ7 gave fighter-types "special moves" that work just like spells but don't cost any MP. At least the buffing spells remain powerful and useful throughout the series (though DQ4's AI which couldn't be disabled generally refused to cast them)

    1. It's been a long time since I played DW3, but even then I remember the magician mostly being a really weak fighter since he never had enough MP to freely use spells. It depended on the dungeon, and maybe I was just too scared and always saving up my MP for bosses.

      This is one thing I think they really made a great improvement on starting in the mid-Super Famicom era. Before they still had the view of magicians inherited from Wizardry (and thus D&D), that magicians should have very limited spellcasting power and almost no way to recover it without going back to a town. But eventually they seemed to have figured out that you don't need to limit magicians that much, or even have a dedicated "magician" class or character.