Monday, February 24, 2020

Dragon Quest II (2014 Remake) Finale - Le Petite Mort

Time for my favorite part of DQ2: Tons of level-grinding in the snow.

The southern part of the plateau has much easier enemies than the northern part. They give a lot less EXP though. All of these things have really appealing designs.

The northern variation of the Cyclops. STOP KILLING SIGURD!

Rhone Plateau is actually a shining beacon of race relations. Look at how everyone's teaming up against our heroes. It's a place where a cyclops can be best friends with Skynet's latest hunter-killer.

In that gossamer towel, some would say she has already achieved the heights of perfection.

The foes there also drop lots of Devil equipment (Gremlin equipment in the NES version, IIRC) that sells for massive amounts. This is good because these sellable items persist through death even as your money takes a hit. The downside is that your inventory fills up with cursed equipment all the time.

Hargon's Castle, or Le Fort Du Hargon. These modern super-2D visuals are CRISP. The new Switch version of the game looks just as good, only with a horizontal orientation instead of vertical.

At first, Hargon's Castle appears to be your hometown...but it's all a TRICK.

Wait, what? Who loved the chancellor?

Everyone in here is drunk! The hell is this? And why is the king surrounded by bunny girls? Isn't he married?

The king is all "I shouldn't have believed in you" which, if the bunny girls weren't hint enough, gives up the ghost that this place isn't on the up-and-up.

Use Rubiss' Charm and all of the faux scenery melts away. Hargon's Castle is one of the quicker, easier final dungeons in the series, and nowhere near as confusing as DragonLord's Castle.

The giant cross here is intact even as other crosses in the game got censored. So you offer up the False Idol from the Sea Cave (at the cross, I see what they did there) to get to the rest of the castle...

...which is a pretty standard dungeon. It consists of a few short floors. The main thing it's memorable for are the three minibosses:

Atlas, the pure melee fighter. This thing hits hard, so it's the optimum time to whip out Kabuff. There isn't much else to the fight. It hits one character at a time and is slow, which makes this pretty manageable.

The second miniboss is a real ass. Pazuzu here casts Sacrifice to instakill the entire party, and in my experience there's about a 50% chance of this happening.

This also defeats Pazuzu. What a weird miniboss. If he doesn't use it, the good news is that he has very low HP compared to the other minibosses, so you can take him out in 2 rounds at these levels. Other good news: If you have to run back, there won't be any enemies in this dungeon on the floors where you've defeated the miniboss. Defeat all 3 of them and it might be possible to run straight to Hargon without getting attacked.

Belial is the third and final miniboss, and the most "standard DQ boss" of the three. He has a lot of HP and uses AOE attacks. The main function of this fight is to let the player know that they're in no way prepared for the final boss if they have trouble with this buffoon.

The last part is devoid of enemies, but it has deadly floors to take out players that didn't cast StepGuard.

"What is that...that symbol?!" says 1999 Michael Cole when reached for comment. After a fairly easy fight, which isn't much worse than the minibosses...

...Hargon sacrifices himself to the REAL big bad, in yet another callback to the Conan movies.

Malroth is a big badass. He dishes out damage, has a ton of HP, and worst of all...he occasionally heals himself to full.

Debuffing his defense ASAP is key, since most of your damage here is going to come from the physical attacks of Midenhall (and to an extent, Cannock).

This isn't looking good. And lo and behold... I sustain a loss. These levels would have been sufficient to win in the NES version, but everything has been scaled up a bit in the endgame for this one. The level caps are higher and so are Malroth's stats relative to the rest of the game.

I head back to Wellgarth and sell off some cursed equipment to get...

...Sigurd's best armor. All of his best equipment is store bought, whereas the other two characters find their best equipment. This is a must, really, since Sigurd is already such a defensively weak character.

More level-grinding in the snow! I might as well go all the way with this and see how high the levels can get. Notice how the level gaps are really closing at this point, which never happened in the original version.

It's a magical moment, as Hansel reaches level 50. This is the new cap for all of the characters, up from 50/45/35 in the original NES version.


After getting everyone to level 50, I return and UNLEASH HELL on Malroth.

During the epitaph I made sure to go talk to Dragon Lord the 3rd (wrestling name DL3) and he's all about the slaying of Hargon. Now he can take his rightful place as the Big Bad of all the land for Dragon Quest 3. Wait, that's a prequel? Dammit! DL3 gets no respect!

Casting off your princely mantle? Is that like in the Yakuza series when they throw their shirts off?

That's it for this game. Time to check out the Game Boy Color version.

1 comment:

  1. That is by far my favorite "you need this much EXP to level up" translation that I've seen.

    The overworld and areas look alright, but man, the character sprites are enormous. They're a better size in DQ3 Switch, at least.

    Malroth's Healall is the WORST. Chaos in FF1 can do this too.

    "My Dearest Dragon Warrior", nice.