Saturday, August 5, 2017

Game 11 - Dragon Quest V Part 5

This is going to be a fairly short post since I didn't get as much accomplished since Wednesday as I hoped, but I'll put a few extra things in at the end.

I am now in the final phase of the game, where we go to the demon world and face Mildras. I knew that I had to get in through the locked door in the cave leading to Elheven, but I had no idea where the final key was and had to use a walkthrough. You have to revisit Salabona for a new scene. I guess they probably assumed the player would do that at some point to see what happened to Flora in the 8 years while Kurisu was a stone; I overlooked that, however.
Flora has married Andy, who was blundering around the fire cave
Flora's father is worried about a prophecy that's being fulfilled where a huge monster is going to come back and kill him. He's up on the large tower, and when I went to see him, he went back to town to "get ready" for the fight while the huge monster comes up.
What a coward
The monster is not very hard, and once I defeated him I was rewarded with the Final Key. I probably should have been keeping better track of where the locked doors were, but I did go back to the Medal King castle to get some items and to the temple to get the Heavenly Armor for Leto. Now we can get into the demon world, by using three rings (the Water and Fire rings I already had, and the Life ring that I got once I beat Ibul).
The demon world
It's an actual overworld area with one town and dungeon. The town is monsters and other formerly evil people who have been converted to good by Martha, who is up at Evil Mountain holding back Mildras.

The journey from the town to Evil Mountain is really difficult. I think the designers must have realized that because you can use Rura to warp to Evil Mountain once you reach it, despite it not being all that far from the town.

As is typical for Dragon Quest, the final dungeon is rather long. It also has some fairly tough monsters -- they can all be dealt with the right combination of spells, except for these stupid giant things:
Screw you
Even with a defense up spell they can sometimes kill me in one hit. And running is no solution because it often fails. I realize now I'm rather underlevelled but even after some grinding they're still tough. Partway through the cave I finally came across Mom:

A tearful reunion
She tries to sacrifice herself to stop Mildras, but just dies instead. Then, the ghost of Papas arrives to lead her to the afterlife.
Reunited in death
So it's all up to us. Next up are some puzzle-like floors with trap doors, multiple staircases, and floors that automatically move you.
Level 34 is rather low.
Then we walk down a corridor of faces with eyes that watch us.
That horse is quite well trained
And finally one of those puzzles on a 3x3 grid where you have one open space and you can move pieces around. Fortunately there aren't any encounters in this section.
The stars move the section of floor if possible
And then we're into the last room, where Mildras awaits.
"You've finally arrived."
At first he doesn't seem very hard, but of course once I take him down he has a second form.
This looks more like a DQ final boss
He wiped the floor with me pretty easily. He can often take 2 actions, has a damaging multi-hit spell, takes away your buffs, and heals himself. Since the Sage Stone heals everyone, even people in the wagon, you can swap people around to conserve HP. I think I need to use buff spells even though he'll get rid of them.

So this is where I am. Some people claim that save points in dungeons are cheap or dumbed-down, but in cases like this I prefer them. I would like to try fighting Mildras a few more times and use some different strategies, but I don't want to walk through the 30 minute dungeon just to get one attempt. In the past I might have used save states for multiple tries but I've restricted myself to only using those for crappy games. So basically I'm going to grind levels before I try again. The best place is in the final dungeon, in this area:
The tiles make you fall through
Because of this enemy:
Metal King
When he appears I swap in Ghanima, Bianca, and my slime, all with Poison Needles to try to kill him. He gives 30K a pop. The other enemies give 1-2K so even if the Metal King doesn't appear it's an OK place. I'm going to try it again when Kurisu reaches level 40, and then my plan is to raise 2 levels every time I lose after that. One GameFAQs walkthrough recommends level 47-48; walkthroughs often recommend levels that are way higher than necessary, and I hope I don't have to get that far.

Unfortunately the encounters give very little gold. If I wanted to buy better equipment I'd probably have to hunt down the gold enemies on the overworld, but I'm not sure buying better equipment would be that helpful.

OK, a few extras.

Extra 1: Dragon Quest 5 has a bonus dungeon after the game's ending. Is this the first console RPG to do this? It eventually becomes a staple of RPGs, but it's rare during this period. By a "bonus dungeon" I mean an optional dungeon that's usually unlocked by beating the game, and is harder than the final dungeon.

Extra 2: I got a Dualshock 4, which is far superior to the PS2 controller I was using before, hooked up to some 10 year old adapter I had, with fraying wires I held together with duct tape.

Extra 3: I've decided to start buying the games when I can get them for reasonable prices. I think for games of this era, you don't get the full experience without having the instruction manual. By the end of the SNES' life a lot of games put enough help and information in the game that it's not as important, but where I am, there's often additional story and character information in the manual, and I can never be sure what they allowed the players to know about the game. I just got Cyber Knight in the mail yesterday so I'm ready when DQ5 is done.


  1. Not having save points in dungeons kind of ties in with the "keep your levels when you die" mechanic. Going through the dungeon again gives you a chance to gain more experience (and, in DQ5, possibly even new party members--DQ5 apparently has new recruitable monsters right up to the bonus dungeon)

    Every game in the series from DQ2 to DQ6 ends in an "underworld" area which is a world in its own right (DQ2's is technically a mountain plateau rather than an underworld, but it's effectively just as much of a separate world since DQ2 has no flying vehicle) DQ3's and DQ6's underworlds are the largest, each containing several towns and a substantial portion of the game's plot.

    1. I really haven't met that many recruitable monsters. After I finished the game I checked a kouryaku site to see what kind of monsters I could recruit; I fought a lot of the ones they listed but they never offered to join, probably because I wasn't at a high enough level.

      In fact the best monster I have is still the Slime Knight I recruited near the beginning.

  2. One nice thing about Dragon Quest games is that facing a game over isn't a complete wipe to the last save as you get to keep experience earned, and at the end, there's little negative as gold has usually no value at that point.