Saturday, March 21, 2020

Dragon Quest III #9 - Castles of Sand

Our heroes arrive at Zoma's Castle, only to discover the shocking truth: Zoma is Russian. Dammit Nintendo! The Cold War ended a long time ago!

This hallway turns out to be a vile trap, as the statues come to life and attack.

These creepy bastards are like something out of Bioshock Infinite.

Some of the rooms here consist entirely of damaging floors. If you don't have anyone with StepGuard, you're completely screwed here.

Our heroes stumble upon a Mexican dude fighting a purple hydra. Well, he's probably fine, moving on...

Wait, what? That guy is Ortega, Buffy's dead father? He's been alive all this time? How long has he been fighting this thing?

...and then he immediately gets killed.

This reminds me of Everdred's death in Earthbound. It's sad, but at the same time it's so surreal that it's almost comedic.

Jim Ross: "Have you no soul? THE MAN'S GOT A FAMILY!"

Here's one of the most important items in the game. It casts HealUs, infinite times, for no MP. Can only use it in battle, and it's used from the inventory. Only problem is, everyone has a separate inventory, so I need to pick one character to bestow this upon. Since Angel is heal-deficient, I let him have it. He's probably better off on offense than being our new main healer, but I didn't want to put this on a character who already has heal spells.

Final stats before fighting Zoma. I'm a bit under-leveled for this, but given how much I put into class-ups...

Maybe Zoma should bring a second Zoma so it'd be a fairer fight.

Zoma appears amidst a bunch of torches lighting themselves. It was cooler when Magus did it.

Time for a procession of bosses. First up is the hydra that defeated Ortega. You'd think it'd be a real badass, but that isn't the case. Sap depletes its defense, and then I wail on it with physical attacks. The fight quickly ends.

Next, there are two Baramos clones to fight. This one is basically Baramos 2.0, and he's a lot nastier than the hydra. He can take three (yeah, THREE) turns at once, and is the only boss in the game with that ability.

Most frightening of all, this one is called Barabros. He almost beats me. Luckily, Spike manages to finish him off with Explodet. Yikes.

Next up is Baramos... 3.0? This guy doesn't take three turns or blast you with hit-all spells like the previous boss, but he does have some very potent single-target physical attacks. He's like Atlas in Dragon Warrior 2.

Not sure if those two bosses were actually the same guy, only one without skin. Like how Crocomire's skeleton comes back to ambush you in Super Metroid.

After all that, I finally get a shot at Zoma. I conserved MP as much as possible on those fights, which likely prolonged them and made them more difficult than they needed to be. They're much tougher minibosses than what Dragon Quest 2 had on tap.

Zoma is an absolute beast, and uses a variety of ice-elemental attacks. It's rare to see a final boss that is ice element. If you're lucky he'll use the weakest one often.

Spike uses the Light Orb to take out Zoma's defensive barriers, and the battle is on!

He talks too much. Can he back it up? The final bosses in this series are, traditionally, pretty difficult.

After an epic battle that I completely neglected to take further shots of, I win. Victory was never particularly in doubt. I mainly just buffed Faith's attack power and had her wail on him. Had to repeat the buff a lot because Zoma likes to dispel everyone. Angel using HealUs, Faith attacking, other characters buffing and helping with heals... it wasn't pretty, and it wasn't quick, but I won.

Now he cuts a promo about light and darkness before leaping out a window and impaling himself on a beachball.

The castle then bursts into flame. Man, this place is just evil.

Unfortunately for our heroes, it seems they're trapped down here in Alefgard. No returning to the upper world for them.

At this point you can revisit the various towns in Alefgard, and there is much celebration.

Oh yeah... the land isn't all dark anymore. It has gone from being the overworld's hell to being a pretty decent world in its own right.

Our hero is dubbed Loto (or Erdrick in the American versions).


There's the man behind the series.

That was a really fun game, and the Super NES version is certainly more polished than the NES version. Still, you can't beat the NES versions of these games for nostalgia, and in a way, I prefer them.

One thing about the Super NES version, though: It has a new optional postgame, and I'll be doing that next. Stay tuned.


  1. That Zoma shot with the ice-shards is BADASS. I guess a lot of that element being final boss level is the freezing wave that removes all of your buffs. doesn't remove Buffy though. Only the Expel or Limbo spell can do that. ...or can it? I don't think it's possible for the team to not have the hero in it.

  2. Zoma coming after Baramos reminds me of me thinking I finished all my work and then more tasks arriving.

    It's super-shitty for these dudes that they have no way to go back to their home world, heroes though they are. Zoma sucks!

    Great job. The game was easiest for you at the end because of all the excellent prep you did on the way.

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