I've been playing Dragon Quest VII since March of 2009 (dangerously close to a year-and-a-half).
I last blogged about it in August (almost a year ago.)
In the aforementioned last blog, I was 52 hours in, and half-way through the game.
Currently, the game clock registers 98 hours, and I'm at the very last dungeon.
I have not played the game since October.
Dragon Quest VII: Warriors of Eden... continued
So, here's what happened: My then-fiancé went away to Vegas for her bachelorette party during the last weekend in October. Having already been playing the game for seven months at that point, I made a personal goal for myself to finish Disk One during that time. I ordered a pizza, turned on the TV, and got lost in DQVII's world like never before.
Well, in just a day and a half, I met my goal. But with still so much free time left, I continued on to Disk Two and, before I knew it, I was at the end of that, as well. All that remained at that point was to work my way through the last dungeon and finally kill the Demon Lord. Figuring I probably wasn't ready for that yet, I made my way to the fabled metal slime hunting grounds, a Dragon Quest staple, and proceeded to grind on the bastards for the following 12 hours. I brought my entire party (Ben, Melvin, Aira, and Gabo) up past level 45-or-so, and had them train under several different jobs along the way, until they all had master-class skills, as well as healing abilities. I had a team of highly trained killers at my disposal, and I was now fully ready to tackle the last dungeon and beat some Demon Lord ass.
Well, that was about eight months ago... since then, I got married, moved into a dingy downtown studio apartment, started looking for houses, bought a house, and then moved into said house. Really though, that had nothing to do with me not playing Dragon Quest VII. No, you could probably chalk that up to me buying a PS3
; a shiny distraction that has demanded so much of my free time since I bought it that, for a while, it completely eclipsed my mission of playing the Dragon Quest series. Beautiful games like Ratchet & Clank, Uncharted, Dead Space (I don't have a 360), and Demon's Souls had introduced me to a whole new world of gaming, and to be honest, I just kind of forgot about Dragon Quest VII for a while.
But, holy crap, turns out Dragon Quest IX is getting released over here in just over a month. As much as I've enjoyed VII, I don't want to be playing the game forever, so I'm making a promise to myself to finish this great but way-too-long game before the next sequel shows up here in the states.
I've only got one dungeon left... how hard could it be?
My memory is admittedly a bit fuzzy, but here is what I experienced eight months ago:
Disk Two really brought things back for me with Dragon Quest VII. I wasn’t getting bored with the game, per se, but working my way down the never-ending list of towns that needed saving did seem a little stale at times. I had gotten into such a rhythm with the game (collect enough shards – visit town – diagnose issue – find demon – kill demon – watch town flourish – look for more shards), that regardless of whatever crazy calamity had ailed whatever town, the overall adventure was a bit predictable.
But enter Disc Two, and the game—even though still predictable—offered a familiarity that I was much more content with. It became the Dragon Quest I know and love; I no longer had any shards to gather, I more or less forgot about the past versions of the worlds I’d visited, restrictions on learning classes were removed, and I’d finally found a spot to hunt for metal slimes. And, as I mentioned earlier, boy, did I ever go hunting.
I spent twelve hours looking for metal slimes, and climbed 14 levels as a result. I’m not exactly sure what it is about this part in all the Dragon Quest games that I like so much… but I think it has something to do with the metal slime’s elusiveness
. It’s rare you’ll run into one, and if you do, it’s rare you be able to land a hit on him before he high-tails it outta there! There aren’t a lot of things more gratifying than running into eight metal slimes at once, and being lucky enough to dispatch every single one of them. Same goes for coming across the fabled king metal slime.
Speaking of king metal slimes, it’s not like they were common by any means, but I gotta say, I ran into more of them in this game than in every other Dragon Quest game I’ve played combined. The game’s bestiary says I’ve slain about 20 of them. I think I ran into one once
while playing VIII, but didn’t even mange to scratch him before he escaped. They’re so rare that, really, I’m not even sure there were any in IV or V… So even though 20 is a pretty small number, for me, it’s like saying that I saw a bald eagle wrestle a ring-tailed lemur for a Slim-Jim… twice.
The best part of Disk Two was how it broke up the pacing. Because I no longer had to worry about shards, the game presented the task of locating four spirits so they could summon God. While this still sounds like just another seek and solve mission, some of the places I visited along the way were pretty damn cool, not the least of which was SkyTown.
This place certainly reminded me of another game I’ve played before (see caption), but the real reason it stuck out so much is because it’s one of the only times throughout this huge adventure that the developers really took advantage of the fact that they were working in 3D. I mean, yes, most of the game is in 3D, but most of its set pieces just seemed like a reluctant and meager upgrade from its 2D counterparts—a pop-up book novelty, if you will. SkyTown was special in that it did something that 2D couldn’t.
I’m sure you can figure it out from the picture, but SkyTown took place on a geometric shape that would twist and turn as you walked around it. It was a real treat to navigate. Even better, though, was the dungeon associated with this part of the game, which took place in some other, weird dimension. Same idea, but used the 3D navigation to an even greater effect, which made for some pretty awesome puzzles.
Anyway, when all that was done, and I awakened the four spirits, they summoned God:
Okay, next up, I reacquaint myself with a game I haven’t played in eight months, and I beat the sh*t out of it! Stay tuned!
As always, thanks for reading!
Total elapsed time across entire Dragon Quest series: ~268 hours -
IV DS - ~30 hours
VIII - ~70 hours
I NES - ~20 hours
DQM:J - ~20 hours
V DS - ~30 hours
VII - ~98 hours
Total amount of money spent on Dragon Quest Series: $259.00 (IV, VIII twice, slime controller, I, I & II GBA, Joker, V DS, V SFAM, VII)
For the past Dragon Questing blogs, click the links below:
:::::::::: From Dragon Quest VII:
Dragon Questing Part Fourteen: Groundhog Day
Dragon Questing Part Thirteen: I am 100% Addicted to the Dharma Temple
Restoring the Planet: Dragon Questing, Part Twelve
Meet the Warriors of Eden: Dragon Questing, Part Eleven
:::::::::: From Dragon Quest V:
No Wonder Everyone Loves This Game: Dragon Questing, Part Ten
Coming to America Sans Eddie Murphy: Dragon Questing, Part Nine
:::::::::: From Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker:
I Guess They Can't All Be Gold: Dragon Questing, Part Eight
:::::::::: From Dragon Quest I:
Returning the Ball of Light: Dragon Questing, Part Seven
Getting a Grip on a Classic: Dragon Questing, Part Six
Going Back in Time: Dragon Questing, Part Five
:::::::::: From Dragon Quest VIII:
The conclusion of an Epic: Dragon Questing, Part Four
Discovering the Monster Arena: Dragon Questing, Part Three
How to Give a Boy a Heart: Dragon Questing, Part Two
Meeting the Cursed King: Dragon Questing, Part One