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BenHaskett avatar 3:02 AM on 10.23.2008  (server time)
Discovering the Monster Arena: Dragon Questing, Part Three

I recently experienced my first proper Dragon Quest game with Chapters of the Chosen for the DS and have since fallen in love with the series. As a result of my sudden infatuation, I've set out to acquire and play through every localized Dragon Quest title right up until I replay the fourth entry... on the NES. And, so that I remember this occasion after I've moved on to the next amazing and shiny thing, I've decided to chronicle my adventures right here.

If you've played any of the games I'll be talking about, I'd appreciate your comments as I don't know anyone locally who I can talk to about this wonderful series.

Part Three:

Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King continued...

So, at the end of part two, I was headed to Baccarat to finally check out the casino and see if I couldnít win a thing or two. I had been waiting for hours for it to open, but when it finally did, I was shocked at the cost of some of the items. Fifty-thousand tokens? Two-hundred thousand tokens?! You gotta be sh*ttiní me! I figured Iíd just play a game or two (I still had about 26,000 tokens left over from PIckham), but I, surprisingly, ended up grinding on roulette until I had 400,000. And it only took me a little over an hour. I just played all I had at first (26k), but almost every time I played that amount, I ended up winning 57,000 tokens back. God bless roulette.

When I had worked up the proper amount, I bought four Liquid Metal Armours and a Gringham Whip, which gave huge (50+) stat bonuses to all my party members. Itís like I had Kabuff casted on my characters at all times, and Jessicaís attacks were finally worth something. I felt indestructible, until I made my way to the next bossÖ Empryea.

Dude, what a bitch. This is the first time I felt the game just wasnít being fair. I might as well have had no armor at all, because she tore through me like butter every time I attempted to fight her. I didnít see any way to best her, save for grinding another ten or so levels, so I eventually ended up consulting a few online walkthroughs. After skimming through a dozen or so, one finally pointed me to a place I hadnít seen since right before Pickham and didnít pursue at allÖ Morrieís Place.

I put this place out of my mind back when I first saw it. I still had the three memos in my bag, and I hadnít even looked at them. I figured it was a bounty hunting side quest, a la Okami. But when I returned with the monsters mentioned in the memo, Morrie invited me inside the house he was standing on top of and revealed to me that it was actually a *gasp* monster arena!! So this is what all those special monsters were for!

I spent a good deal of time increasing my rank, and by the time I made it to Rank B, I had a badass monster party: two golems, and a fat, yellow thing named King Dumb. I also acquired the ability to have a secondary monster party that I filled with lesser-knowns. Together, the two teams were insanely strong. I went back to Empryea, and hell, I just let them to the majority of the fighting. Each team is only allowed to battle for three rounds, but after they had both finished their terms, they had taken the brunt of the damage and dished out the majority of the hurt. I basically delivered the killing blow.

Everything got kinda fuzzy at that point. Since then, Iíve used monster teams on every single boss battle with similar results. I feel like the kid from The Never Ending Story, when he rides Falcor through his hometown and teaches all the bullies a lesson.

Also, since gaining the ability to fly, Iíve been able to put together a team of three golems. And when they are put into battle, they join together and form a super golem: Mazin. Mazin is badass because he dishes anywhere from 300-800 damage per turn, and he has 999 HP. With this, Iím not only able to mow through bosses with no trouble at all, but I was also able to make my way up to Rank S in the monster arena. For those of you who donít know, the masters you compete against in that rank are Ragnar McRyan and Torneko Taloon from Dragon Quest IV. What a great cameo!!

And (almost done, promise), speaking of cameos, did anyone else notice that in Dragon Quest IV on the DS, in the new settlement town, thereís a couple there named Rocky and Adrian?! How random is that?!

Anyway, I defeated Marcello at Neos (a sad situation), and it looks like the final dungeon has reared its ugly headÖ I went in there to get it on, but the monsters were way too strongÖ does anyone know of a really good grinding spot?

Thanks for reading.

Total elapsed time across entire Dragon Quest series: 86 hours, 30 minutes. (IV & VIII)

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