Thursday, March 19, 2015

Dragon Warrior III Finale - The Odyssey

Bud Fox has used all his ill-gotten earnings on Wall Street to turn New Town into the towering metropolis of Budville. But will this, like all great empires, collapse under its own excesses?

Also, I kill Baramos and Zoma. Today on the JUMBO-SIZED finale of Dragon Warrior III.





...yep, the city is already running into problems. It seems Bud Fox is spending all his time lounging in his palatial estate and banging Daryl Hannah. Meanwhile, the people of Budville are working hard for peanuts. Well, not literally.

I promised change in the last post...specifically, Staff of Change fun. Here we see our heroes after transforming into pretty princesses. And now, time for lesbian sex! Insert Bruce Jenner joke here that I'm too good for. Unfortunately, the Staff of Change wears off fairly quickly.

I use it again and become a PACK OF SLIMES. Run for your lives, people of Earth! RUN!

This weird old guy wants the Staff of Change. I could speculate on what nefarious ideas he has in mind for it, but since this is an old man in a Japanese game, we'd be here all day.

In any case, he trades our heroes a thigh bone for it. Hmm... a staff that transforms me into anyone I want to be... or a thigh bone that is good in soup. I...I DON'T KNOW.

Alas, the bone is sorta needed. It tells you the location of this ghost ship. And then...you go there. It would have been nice to be able to keep the Staff of Change, or maybe trade back for it. Maybe go back to the old man and be all "WE WANT REFUNDS" like the Royal Rumble 2015 audience. Ah well.

The point of the ghost ship is that it harbors this thing. I grab it and go. There's a whole subplot here about lovers who have passed on and become spirits, and it's a magical, wondrous tale.

I won't be covering that at all. Back to the jokes!

You can only have one of this item at a time, but it's essentially a Life 2 spell. Revive and full health restoration. It's also useful in dire circumstances where there is no TP in the wilderness.

Trouble continues to brew (heh) in Budville, as the beer magnate has been thrown in jail. But did he take the aptly-named Gordon Gekko down with him?

Where I come from in The Hood, a snitch is the worst thing you can be, Bud.

Apparently Bud is going to rot in jail for the rest of time. Yikes. Well, the good news is that I can just sorta take the Yellow Orb that he collected somewhere in-between taxing his people into poverty and boning Daryl Hannah.

Is this okay? It sorta feels like I'm just throwing Bud under the bus. I DID recruit him and leave him in command here and all. I feel kinda bad for the guy. His tale gets like no happy resolution.

Continuing on, I cause a volcanic eruption to cross a river. Seriously? First I let a man that I recruited rot forever, now I'm causing mass devastation to entire ecosystems? WHAT KIND OF MAN ARE YOU, LOTO?

Metal Babbles make their long-awaited appearance shortly after. These magnificent little T-1000 prototypes are hard to kill, but they give up massive amounts of exp.

I realize I haven't given any real point of reference as to what exp intake from the average battle is, but suffice to say, this is a LOT of exp.

At this point I take a detour back to a much-earlier town to buy Iron Helmets for the Pilgrim and Sage. They'd been using Leather Helmets for THE ENTIRE GAME and I was sure there must be something better that they can equip. Looked it up and it turned out that this was the best helmet for both classes. It's still somewhat early-game but at least it's better than the Leather Helmets they had on.
Cave of Necrogond is the next dungeon, and it's quite difficult. It basically plays the role that the Cave to Rhone played in the previous game. It's a lot easier than the CtR, at least, mainly because of the improved game design. You won't find any invisible pits here.

Emerging on the other side, there's the castle of Baramos. He's the big villain of the game, and I'm just one orb short of being able to challenge him.

Oh, hey, there it is. Now that I've got all six, what do I do? Summon the Eternal Dragon? No, not quite.

Placing the six orbs in this shrine results in a dragon egg materializing. I don't know what's going on, but roll with it.

The egg hatches and becomes Ramia, a small dragon. Only people pure of heart can ride it. So basically, I just used the Dragonballs to summon Kintoun, the flying cloud. DBZ influence is everywhere in this game.

I take off on Ramia. It's more or less an airship, letting you travel anywhere you want. Unfortunately, Ramia only gets to be useful for about five minutes because it's time for Baramos' Castle.

But first! We pay a visit to the dragon queen. While Final Fantasy has a dragon king, this series goes in the other direction and gives Bahamut some sweet ladyparts. She lurks up here close to the heavens, which makes her... Kami? Korin? Mr. Popo?

She gives our heroes a primo item. The Sphere of Light initially seems pointless, but this thing halves the HP of the final boss if used during that fight. I wonder how many kids struggled with said final boss, not realizing that the Sphere would make the fight much more winnable. I certainly did, but I'll get to that.

Baramos' Castle is a creepy place. Looks sorta like a town, but it's full of trap-floors. It's also a complicated maze. Hardcore RPGers would sink their teeth into this. It's like something out of Elder Scrolls Arena.

Baramos Himself lurks down in the basement. Is this guy really The Archfiend or is he just a stereotypical internet troll?

"lol hommos" he says as he unleashes the full power of his acne.

So...yeah. Long story short, we won. The fight was VERY DIFFICULT for me. I probably shouldn't have even won it at all. He whooped me good, yep. I had to use the infamous parry trick to win. It was a traumatic event. I don't want to talk about it.

wat

So yeah, the Real Higher Power(tm) behind Baramos was this Zoma guy. The king immediately covers it up, sends me to deal with it, and goes back to business as usual. He should run for U.S. congress.

A gigantic hole has now opened up near Baramos' Castle. I'm just glad Stephanie McMahon made it into this post somehow.

DUN DUN DUNNNNNNNNN!!!

That's right, falling down the hole lands our heroes in the underworld of Alefgard. In other words, the world of the first two games is technically Earth's hell. Mind blown.

History repeats itself, as you start out fighting Red Slimes around Tantegel with almost no HP.

The rest of the game from here on is a collect-a-thon as you find all of the artifacts from Dragon Warrior. They're generally in the same locations.

You get a boat down here almost immediately, and with it we can see that... the world of Alefgard has edges. Wow. We couldn't see these edges in the original game because it lacked a boat. Mind blown again.

Wait a second... are we just ignoring Dragon Warrior 2? It had Alefgard as well but it was Greater Alefgard, a full-on boat-able world that certainly didn't have edges.

More blasts from the past show up; you can see the slight difference in sprites between the DW1 enemy (Wyvern) and the DW2 enemy (Zombie).

The collect-a-thon continues as I find another of the items needed to create the rainbow bridge. Too bad this staff doesn't make it rain.

For young people: By that I mean literally cause rain to fall

If this game were 3D, perhaps. Forget Final Fantasy VII, where's the 3D remake of Dragon Quest III dammit?

Sell this dude some Oricon (found in a horse stable amongst the hay) and he'll use it to make the Sword of Kings. This is the best sword in the game, and makes a cameo appearance in Earthbound. Technically, THIS is "Erdrick's Sword" of the later games.

Here's what should be the Shield of Erdrick later on, if such a thing existed. This game has Silver Shields as well in the endgame.

And finally, the armor. Not sure if this restores health with every step like in the original game; there's a ring that has that effect that I obtained around the same time.

Saving Rubiss is an important optional objective. She's important. I don't know what else to say. Oh, she's also super-hot.

Ohhhhhh Yeahhhhhhhhh.

This guy combines a bunch of items I've been lugging around, creating a Rainbow Drop. Thank God, because inventory space is limited dammit!

Now I can go to Charlock Castle, but I'm about ten levels short of actually being able to beat the final boss. Uuuugh. Time for some level-grinding...

Loto's full spell repertoire is quite a sight. Healusall is a full heal on the entire group, at the cost of about half of his full MP amount.

He gets a similar OP offensive ability: Lightning. The best attack spell in the game, it wipes out everything onscreen. I bet it would be super-awesome-looking if this game had spell visuals. But that's okay, because we can close our eyes and imagine something better, the same way our girlfriends do when we're having sex with them.

I can go to the final dungeon now, but I made an odd zero-hour decision to change Dram back into a Soldier and throw some of my leftover equipment on him. Fighter just isn't as good in this version as it is in the SFC version, sadly. This puts him back at level 1, but I kinda wanted to see someone gaining levels at some kind of reasonable rate given that I was spending hours grinding at this point in time.

I guess I didn't fight enough battles over the course of the game already, even though I never ran from fights and the encounter rate is obnoxiously high. Dragon Warrior III, you're letting down my memories a bit here.

Wizards/Sages get a GREAT spell at later levels called BeDragon. It turns them into an uncontrollable dragon that unleashes breath attacks for the rest of the battle. Why is it great to totally lose control of a character? Because the breath attack in question totally cuts through Metal Babble defense. It takes one turn to power up, but on the second turn it'll unleash hell on every Metal Babble onscreen.

If there are three Metal Babbles onscreen...this happens. OOOOH YEAHHHH DIG IT

UNNNNNFFFFFFF

Now leveled-up (aside from Dram, who I probably should have left alone), it's time to Rock Charlock. This brings back first game memories and has a very similar vibe.

The castle itself is a bit nicer than Baramos' wrecked fortress. Hey, wait a minute! Get back to the inn, guys!

...oh, this shot was taken earlier during the leveling-spree, that's why.

Not one, not two, but THREE Green Dragons attack at a time now. It's really appropriate.

One thing that I can see dooming a lot of kids is this room. If you don't have a wizard on the team (or sage), you won't have Stepguard to deal with the floor. And the floor is horrible. Depletes your HP at an insane rate. Plus there doesn't seem to be anything IN the room, just a dead end. Even if you know that you're supposed to search behind the throne, you're still dealing with a bunch of possible squares.

The next floor is another death-trap of sorts, with a bunch of panels that move you in different directions depending on your button presses. ProTip: Go onto the panel just left of Loto here and hold Up and you'll get taken to the end of the room. Yeah, just like that.

The whip-cracking Barog is strategically missing the L! Plz don't sue, Tolkien estate

Let's stand here and not help! HAW!

Wait, what? That's Ortega, Loto's father. HE LIVES. It makes perfect sense that he'd be here, since he fell into a volcano and this IS the underworld.

He battles the King Hydra one-on-one for quite a bit while our heroes fool around on their phones. Man, millennials suck.

King Hydra hits Ortega so hard that he EXPLODES.

JESUS H

We can't mourn forever, so we journey on to find the single best item in the game. This casts an MP-less group heal in battle. I give it to the spell-deficient Dram, which turns out to be a good call since my two actual healers spend much of the final battles casting buffs and debuffs.

Finally, we arrive at the lair of Zoma. This guy is the REAL Archfiend, and he makes Baramos look like a declawed kitten. 'Cept not as cute. Kittens are cute.

But first, you must fight his three goons. It's like a DBZ movie! First up is King Hydra, slayer of Ortega. It has 500 HP, which means the fight is over in like two rounds. Seriously? We couldn't give Ortega a hand with THAT guy?

Baramos Boner and Baramos Gonus are significantly stronger; both are upgraded versions of Baramos that still put up a fight even now. Well, a mild fight. I wonder what the story is here, because it isn't explained. Is Bomus a stronger revived version of Baramos, and Gonus is like his endoskeleton after he burns up? Are they Baramos' weird twin siblings? Why doesn't Gonus have any meat on 'em? My money is on both being the same Baramos as the first one.

Zoma with one of the best lines in the game.

My first go...did not go well. I did around 1600 HP worth of damage before losing. As no boss has exceeded 700 HP before this, I really started wondering WTF was going on.

The second try, I remembered to use the Sphere of Light from the Dragon Queen. This thing cuts Zoma's HP in half, bringing it from 2000 to a more manageable 1000.

This fight didn't go the way I figured it would. I thought I'd buff the hero and Dram, then let them wail on him while Booth and Gara used group heals. Instead, Zoma used one of his two moves every round to dispel my group. EVERY SINGLE ROUND. So Booth and Gara were constantly re-casting Sap and Bikill to lower Zoma's defense and boost Loto's attack, respectively. Loto would then attack for some big amount (150+ if Sap and Bikill were both up), and Dram would use the Sage's Stone to heal everyone. Dram never got to attack because he was stuck on healing duty. Since Zoma was only launching one attack per round (instead of two), Dram's group heal was able to cover all of the damage the group sustained.

It was an underwhelming, lengthy, repetitive slog, but I eventually took him down.

Zoma gives us the Zeromus speech and expires. Wait a minute... Zoma? ...Zeromus? Square was definitely paying attention when this game launched. Those Sage-stealing bastards.

Our heroes escape from Zoma's lair and return to the surface world, which is now bright. Alefgard would be a peaceful place from here on out...until the DragonLord arrived on the scene, anyway.

The bad news is... the way to the upper world caved in, and for whatever reason magic doesn't work either for warping back. So Loto is stuck in Alefgard FOREVER.

The good news is that the people of Alefgard now recognize Loto and give him the mad props, as it were.

They also bestow him the title of Erdrick, and he becomes the hero of legend. So that's awesome. Now to get to siring descendants so Dragon Warrior 1 can happen!

It's safe to say lots and lots of sirin' happened, as Loto now has access to literally thousands of women who want at his... Erdrick.

Loto disappeared because he was busy making mad whoopie. I'm calling it now. He probably never left the house again. Dram and Booth probably went shopping for him when he needed food, while Gara became Wife #22.

::the screen shakes violently::



3 comments:

  1. I really liked how the SNES version added one more Bud scenario where he's freed from jail and is going to start over.

    Heh, they really are "magnificent little T-1000 prototypes."

    Iron Helmets are SO NICE for those crumply classes.

    Ramia is a bird! Also (spoiler alert) this scenario is recreated in Dragon Quest VIII and it's AWESOME.

    I explain the edges away with how Zoma already made Alefgard the world of darkness. I guess he sealed it away from the DQ2 parts of the world too.

    The armor does restore the HP, yep.

    ORTEGA NOOOOOOOOOOOO

    Whoa, cool gif with the Hydra and Baramii.

    Well, Erdrick could never go home again, but it sounds like it was worth it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All 5,000 of Erdrick's descendants from a hundred years later are a testament to it being worth it.

      But only one of them could stop the Dragonlord. The rest were lazy millennials, and they didn't reach for the brass ring.

      Delete
  2. "I won't be covering that at all. Back to the jokes!" I LOL'd at this part.
    I'm pretty happy with the example the townspeople set by jailing Bud.
    Obviously the King Hydra only has 500 HP because Ortega already took the rest of the hit points off!
    Speaking of Erdrick's offspring, I wonder what kind of racial differences there are between people in the overworld and underworld? Ok I'm sure the designers didn't think of any at all.
    Great series, great work Jer.

    ReplyDelete