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BenHaskett avatar 9:47 AM on 10.16.2008
How to Give a Boy a Heart: Dragon Questing, Part Two



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, Iíve set out to acquire and play through every localized Dragon Quest title right up until I replay the fourth entryÖ on the NES. And, so that I remember this occasion after Iíve moved on to the next amazing and shiny thing, Iíve decided to chronicle my adventures right here.

If youíve played any of the games Iíll be talking about, Iíd appreciate your comments as I donít know anyone locally who I can talk to about this wonderful series.


Part Two:

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



Oh, by the way, there will be spoilers!

Thank goodness for these three-day weekends. I didn't even know one was coming up until the Friday before it started. Who the heck gets Columbus Day off anyways?! Whatever, the important thing is that I had all weekend long to play this fantastic game, and I feel like I've made some real progress.

I wrote up every little thing I had done in the ~20 hours I was able to play this weekend, but then deleted all of it. It sounded like a walkthrough, and it was close to ten pages long. I think it's better if I just focus on the major things that happened during my travels. The following is what really stood out to me.

Doing it wrong:

So, I had just gotten the ship, right? I was supposed to go to Baccarat from there, but instead ended up going to Argonia waaaay before I should have. I went the opposite direction the game intended for me to go and ended up going on a grueling trek through powerful monsters and a lack of inns. Poor Jessica didn't stand a chance. So I went to Argonia, couldn't do anything there, made a looooong hike up to Chateau Felix were something really useful happened (see below), and then finally made it to Baccarat. Bewildered, I checked a player's guide and finally figured out that I pulled a Columbus (It's a stretch, but due to the timing, it works...?). What should have been a leisurely cruise to the east ended up being a painful, epic sh*tstorm to the west. Good times!



Baumren's Bell

I figured Chateau Felix was like... a cat show or something. But when Master Felix hired me to take an item to an "old friend," I knew what the end result was going to be... after all, he let me ride one of his Sabrecats to my destination. Sure enough, when I returned successful, he gave me Baumren's Bell, an item that would let me summon a Sabrecat from anywhere on the world map. These guys move, like, five times faster than the hero on foot. Getting anywhere at this point was a breeze.

I love Baumren's bell...

Prince Charmles and Princess Medea:

There was not a second that I spent with Prince Charmles that a) wasn't awkward; or b) I didn't want to punch him in his stupid, fat face. He bitched like a stereotypical spoiled prince the whole time, and had absolutely no respect for anyone. Even worse was when I found out this little turd was betrothed to Princess Medea. Poor Princess!! I loved to hate this guy, and did plenty of hating when we were all at the Argon hunting grounds. He had to kill an Argon lizard and collect the heart as part of a coming of age initiation, but not only did he wuss out and make us do all the killing, he made us kill a total of four of them before he was satisfied with the size of the Argon heart. He said the others were too small and therefore wouldn't impress anyone enough. What a twerp.

But when we had to set up camp and stay in the hunting grounds overnight, things quickly took a turn for the awkward. As everyone awoke the next morning, Charmles was outside, trying to ride Medea. King Trode was desperately begging him to stop, but Charmles only responded with belittling trash-talk. I actually cringed when he started whipping Medea and calling her a stupid beast. If only he knew he was talking to his future wife and father in law!!

One thing I don't get is that after we obtained the Argon heart from the Great Argon lizard, you could see the reptile stumbling off in the distance as Charmles marveled at the bounty within his hands. Err, doesn't he need that to live?

Angelo and Marcello:

This story was dished out a while ago within the game, but while I'm on the subject of character interaction, I thought this deserved a mention. Whenever sub-plots like this come up in the game, they always do so without warning and take me by surprise; one second it's happy-go-lucky adventuring, the next it's sad, morbid storytelling. Tears actually welled up in my eyes during the flashback to Angelo's childhood.

There was apparently this rich man who couldn't have kids with his wife, so he had an affair with the family maid and she bore a child instead. It was a boy, and he was named Marcello. Somehow, years later, the man managed to impregnate his wife, so after that son was born (named Angelo), the man threw out the maid and his son Marcello to fend for themselves. The maid died a short time after, and Marcello sought shelter at a nearby abbey, where he lived from that point on.

If that weren't tragic enough, Angelo's parents die somehow (I don't think the game explains how), and now both Angelo and Marcello are officially orphans. When Angelo, also seeking shelter, stumbles to the same abbey, he and Marcello meet for the very first time. A very tragic scene then takes place that shows a teenage Marcello comforting a very young Angelo. The tone changes abruptly when Angelo reveals his name to his estranged brother, who wipes the smile off his face and tells Angelo to leave and never come back. Angelo remained there at the abbey, but not without a lot of resentment from his brother…

Dhoulmagus is a giant douche:

God, this guy was hard. I faced him five times before I finally beat him. I tend to be really hasty when I play RPG boss battles, so when Dhoulmagus would wail on me, I'd just throw everything I had at him and go for broke. Dead jester or bust. I finally made it after my older brother sat down to watch me and gave me seasoned-RPG-player advice. He kept me in check and had me using Angelo to heal every single turn. What's funny is that when I went to face him, it was only to show my brother how hard and impossible he was... and when I finally did beat him, I couldn't believe he was actually dead. I'm just now hearing about the real antagonist?! Wow!

So, does this mean that Dhoulmagus was really a good guy?

Dominico:

Not much to say about this asshole. He's a stuck up, egotistical prick, but I couldn't help feeling sorry for him when he realized that the man he was put on earth to protect had just been murdered.

So, at this point, Sir Leopold is Rhapthorne's window to the world, but I don't care, because I've taken a break to help Cash and Carrie with their little dispute. And now, I'll probably gamble for a few days. :)

Oh, also, here's a question: Do I have to acquire an alchemy recipe in order to make it? I have three rare items that can be forged into an uber-powerful item, but the pot turns green and spits them back out... what gives?

More to come in the next couple of days.

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Total elapsed time across entire Dragon Quest series: 71 hours, 30 minutes. (IV & VIII)

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