Sunday, August 8, 2021

Dragon Warrior III (GBC) Finale: The Baramos With The Most


Rubiss is petrified, and can only be cured by the tears of Pikachu. Also Zoma awaits, in this final episode of Dragon Warrior III on Game Boy Color. What a great game this turned out to be. I think I have a new system-favorite game for the GBC.

After un-petrifying Rubiss, she gives us the last item we need to form the Rainbow Drop. She then goes about the business of being super-hot and doing Rubiss things. Since she creates planets and has blue hair, she's basically Gaia from EVO: Search for Eden.

That character was also designed by Enix, incidentally.

And that game had a world map based on the real world, incidentally. I should cover it at some point. Surprised I never did before. Enix likes to have the castles of evil lords be in mountains in Africa. This one's in the aptly-named Chad. Boco Haram is at it again!

"Wark!" says Boco while firing his AK-47.

Back to this game, the people of Alefgard have seen Ortega here and there. He seemed to always be in trouble. This guy saw him lost at sea somewhere.

So Ortega stumbled into the underworld while on his way to fight Baramos, which explains his disappearance, and spent most of the game's runtime down here trying to get to Zoma. He should have brought some party members along with him instead of trying to do everything himself.

The southeast shrine is, again, the place to get the Rainbow Drop.

Forget that, I want to know what's in that treasure chest in the room. It's unreachable. Dammit, Enix! Why do you taunt us?

I finally get around to the King's Sword. It costs a massive 35k, which isn't as bad when you remember that you get 22.5k from him for selling the ore that forges said sword.

There we go, the best sword in the game. I don't know what "Pierce" is and I don't want to know.

"I do!" -Sage

The Rainbow Drop has a unique animation in every version of this game. This port might have the best one yet, as sparks form a rainbow while the screen shifts colors.

Zoma's Castle. This is it...and I'm underleveled. It's hard not to be, unless you really farmed exp at Baramos' Castle or the Goopis.

Zoma's Castle is structured much the same as Baramos' Castle, with a side-door on the right side that you need to go through to actually get on the path to the boss.

The crucial thing to do here was grind, grind, grind. Soon as Sage got Explodet, things sped up a lot. I just wish there were a healing shrine somewhere around here like there is at the end of Dragon Quest II. Still one of the more relaxing endgame level-grinds I've ever played.

This one, on the other hand, takes a while if you want to be adequately prepared for Zoma, and requires a lot of walks back from Rimuldar after resting up.

Zoma's evil throne room contains an evil throne. There are two thrones here, indicating...that Zoma once had a queen? (Or co-king, we don't judge)

Behind the throne-pairing, a hidden stairwell that I know confounded a lot of kids back in the day. This is so ludicrously obscure.

And once again, Zoma's Castle is very much patterned after Baramos' Castle, which also had a throne room with damaging floors.

The arrow puzzles make a return, now with pits for added frustration. Once you get the hang of these tiles, they're simple. Just turn the controller around so that Up is pointing in the same direction as the light arrows.

Ortega versus King Hydra. In the 2D-HD remake, they should make this a full-on cutscene. The intro scene too. Just make both of Ortega's scenes into total DBZ-style battle-fests.

Kenny Ortega puts up a valiant fight and hits multiple V-Triggers...

...until he runs out of MP.

Having a silent protagonist hurts the game here, as Ortega dies without even being able to see who he's talking to. The Hero just stands there, then immediately walks off. It's like giving an impassioned speech to a quest NPC in an MMO before they wander away.

Probably the most important inventory item in the game, right here. Endless uses of HealUs by any character. The plan was always to give this to Tank, who has high agility from being a Thief.

Considering how necessary this is to beat Zoma and his goons, I feel like it was added to the game at the last minute as a balancing tool to help players beat the final boss specifically.

There's one more thing to do: Visit the Dragon Queen. I was under the impression that you couldn't get the Sphere of Light from her until after you reached Zoma's Castle, but I'll test this in the mobile version momentarily and see if it can be obtained sooner. It would be great if you could get it as soon as you got Lamia (pre-Baramos) or at least before you trek to Zoma's Castle. We'll find out in a couple days.

The Dragon Queen has a really understated role in this game. She doesn't do too much, and dies after giving you the Light Orb which is necessary to stop Zoma. It feels like she was supposed to do more than this. Maybe she's a parallel to Final Fantasy having the King of Dragons? I don't know.

She also leaves behind an egg. I think the implication here is that the egg is going to hatch and become the Dragon Lord. Or at least, that he's descended from this line. The 2D-HD remake could do more with this, especially if it's going to flow into a 2D-HD remake of the first game.


Zoma is beatable at these levels, but it's a challenge. He's one of the stronger final bosses in this series. Note that I didn't really bother with the character personalities too much. That's one element of the DQIII remakes that I've never been into. It gets into min/maxing territory where each personality has different stat growths. So I pretty much left it alone here. I'll be forced to mess with it more in the mobile port (coming soon) so more on this then.

Zoma is ready to bring the pain. First, we must battle his goon squad:

King Hydra, who defeated Ortega. This thing is barely any stronger than Orochi, and is easily the weakest of Zoma's goons. It's like when Bardock's friends were defeated by...Dodoria. Couldn't Ortega at least be felled by Zoma himself?

Next up is... still not sure what this is. Baramos' clone? His brother? His decaying corpse?

I'm inclined to say the latter, but considering that this guy is called "Barabros" in this version, it's entirely possible that he's intended to be a twin brother.

Editor's Note: Once again, the mobile port will no-doubt shed some light on this.

After defeating slightly-stronger Orochi and slightly-stronger Baramos, we battle a new boss. This thing only uses physical attacks, and they decimate. It's like the Atlas fight in Dragon Quest II. Beef up your defense and focus the heals. This also has more HP than anything else in the game besides Zoma, but I'd rather deal with a powerful single-target foe than all of these bosses that spam AOEs.

After the minibosses are down, it's time to finally use Wizard Rings to recover everyone. They take way longer to break than I remember from the NES version, so I bought a lot more than I needed. I got like 12 of them and I needed all of 3 to get through Zoma Castle and the minibosses.

Finally, here's the big boss. The fact that he has the pseudo final boss as a lackey is proof of how bad-ass this guy is. I like the super-rare times when games do that, have you re-fight the previous big bad right before the real big bad.

First thing to do is cut his power with the Light Orb, though he usually gets off a vicious attack before it goes through.

Monk is easily the weakest character defensively, and extremely vulnerable to taking damage in this fight. I had to stop and revive her several times, unfortunately, which also killed whatever buffs she had.

Zoma crouching like Eminem in the Real Slim Shady video.

"I'm like a head trip to listen to" warks Zoma as Monk is down AGAIN.

There was also the matter of contending with mass-dispels, easily Zoma's most obnoxious ability. He absolutely SPAMS these.

"Every single a slim Zoma lurking" says Zoma as he crumbles into dust.

After lots of Tank AOE item heals, Monk dying, Sage rebuffing after dispells and reviving Monk, and Hero basically doing 75% of the damage, I get a win. Hero was almost a ringer for this one, though Sage was equally vital to the win. Tank did the Sage's Stone role she was put on this Earth for, and...well, Monk did some damage too. In past playthroughs I found the Monk to be the most devastating in this final fight, so something went wrong here.

The post-Zoma ending is almost identical to the post-Baramos scenes, with the heroes returning to the first town (now Tantegel) and celebrations occurring.

The doorway to the upper world is now sealed and Alefgard is its own realm.

It'd be zany if the screen darkened here and a NEW bad guy appeared.


Cool. Wait a minute, if the door between worlds is now sealed, that means our heroes can't teleport back home, and are trapped here forever. Explains why Erdrick's gear is found all over Alefgard in the future. Unfortunately no monuments were built for noble Tank, Monk, and Sage. You'd think Sage would get one at least since she's super hot. What gives, Tantegel?

Most U.S. versions of the game use the title Erdrick, so it's surprising to see Loto get the nod here. They brought that name directly from the Super Famicom port.

This leads directly into the events of the first game in the series. It's pretty cool how this trilogy is basically a closed-loop. Devil May Cry does the same thing with its first 3 games.

That's it for this game, but I'm STILL not done with Dragon Quest III yet. Have one more port to check out before I move on to something else.

Other Dragon Quest Posts

1 comment:

  1. Huh, I never tried turning the controller in the same direction as the arrow. Ingenious.

    Having Healall definitely helps your solo trip chances until the inevitable running out of MP. ...though you've still vulnerable to Beat and Defeat.

    I never thought of the baby dragon as any kind of villain. ...but then again, the Dragonlord DOES specifically steal the Light Orb, so maybe there's something to that?

    That damn debuff. At least it means Sap is more important than ever since he can't get rid of that.

    Well, Serenica got a statue in Dragon Quest XI at least.