Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Dragon Warrior III (GBC) - Part 3: Louisiana Purchase

This game's Japan equivalent is our next stop after the class change. At this point the game becomes open world, so you can take on the next bunch of objectives in any real order. The Zipangu section actually contains one of the tougher upcoming bosses.

Seriously? ANOTHER racist town? They're as bad as the elves!

"Take a bath, barbarian" they scowl.

They also sacrifice their baby girls to the local hydra.

Zipangu's only guide on their journey is Himiko, a noble hero lady who explained to everyone that the only way they can be protected from the boogeyman is by feeding their kids to a dragon. As the Founding Fathers once said, "Those who sacrifice their kids for protection from a hydra deserve neither kids nor protection. Also, WTF."

"Sacrificing our kids. Also, we have no privacy and she listens to our conversations to make sure we aren't Extremists, which are a huge threat to humanity. Thank God for Himiko! Just...Thank God."

Jeez. Why is everyone so rude here in Zipangu? They're worse than the Elf town.

"GET OUT" screeches Himiko before gnawing on a weirdly human-looking bone. Well, maybe we can get Himiko to like us if we go and defeat this Orochi that's threatening the village and eating human sacrifices.

Next is a lava cave that looks REALLY nice in this GBC port compared to the NES original. Remember, back in the day people didn't have the Super Famicom version to compare this to. Not even a translated ROM, for a while. This was a huge step up from the NES version.

Here's Orochi, the first big boss since Kandar. This is where things get a bit more serious, though really, all of the bosses in this game are tougher than usual for this series.

The meta from this point on is to cast Sap once or twice on a boss to lower their defense, then go to town with the melee characters while the casters heal. SpeedUp also helps to cast early.

Orochi has some mean AOEs and managed to beat half the party, but I eked out a win.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch! Himiko is suddenly weirdly injured. "I fell down some stairs" she screeches.

With Orochi defeated and peace restored to Jipangu, we head back to Dharma to do some name-changes. Yeah, I decided that it was just too confusing the way it was. Tessa H. Fluffernuffer, Claire, and Veronica are due up for renames anyway.

Wait, what? It won't let me have Tess. What gives?

I end up going with these names. I really didn't want to name Tessa "Tank" because it just makes me think of Bobby Lee and his DAE-WOO.

Let's find out what the deal is. There's only one way the name could be "unavailable".

The heck. There's a Tess already. Who is this default group poser? What are the odds?

After that detour I go back to Himiko to see how she's doing from her stair-inflicted wounds. She reveals that she is in fact Orochi and needs for me to keep it secret. You can accept or na. I say na.

What follows is another fight with Orochi! This one is pretty much the same as the previous one, though it depends on what version of the game you're playing. In some versions, this Orochi is stronger.

Here's the NES version for comparison. Considering they're both 8-bit systems, the GBC actually dwarfs the NES in visual power.

That gets us the first of the six Dragonballs Orbs, which are the key to getting into Baramos' Castle and saving the world and all that jazz. It's great to be playing this again. There's a reason I've played all these different versions of the early DQ games. I'll take any excuse to play one of these again and have it be a somewhat new experience.

Our next stop has us retrieving this lamp that can turn day to night, very useful since there are a few areas/NPCs that only function at night.

That volcano leads to Baramos' Castle, but we can't go there yet. First, we have to sneak into the British fortress of Eginbear. It's safe to assume that the name is loosely based on Edinburgh.

Getting past the very strict guards requires buying these herbs that make everyone invisible. It's a cool idea, but as far as I know it's only useful this one time.

With invis herbs on, we can sneak in and wander around their castle.

Once past the guards, it doesn't matter if invis wears off. However, we must now face a new nightmare: The folk here call us "bumpkins". Language!

The king is nice enough to not mock us, despite our status as full-on bumpkins. He's doing us a real solid on this one.

We find the Dandy Clothes here, which turn the wearer into a dandy prancing lad. You still have a loooong way to go to reach the dandyism record set by Sylvando, a strutting peacock of a man.

In the basement we have to deal with a boulder puzzle. This game doesn't use puzzles very often so it's cool when it does.

This gets you the finest treasure of the Brits: The Dry Vase. Not a lot of moisture in the land of the English, unsurprisingly.

On the way out, the guard makes sure to insult us one more time. He then flicks his handkerchief into the air in disgust.

A glimpse of the world map shows us a lot of unexplored territory still. The nonexistent continent east of Australia is the one you start on in this game, before warping to France. Not unlike a season of Highlander. Looks like the Americas are probably our next destination. IMO, that first island with Aliahan should have been in the central U.S. area instead. The rocky mountain region, maybe. North America gets very little use in this game and it would have been cool to have your party start there, rather than having a continent that doesn't exist be the starting point.

Here's the Bering Strait.

Eventually, the Dry Vase gets us to this island shrine, home of...

...the third and best key. This will get us into any locked door in the game. I'm realizing more and more how much this game has in common with Dragon Quest XI now.

This is the point where you need to travel to the "new world" and set up "New Town", aka New York. It requires that you hire and bring a Dealer/Merchant, so I recruit Lorne. This has been a bit of a perma-tradition for me since 2009. RIP Andy Hallett.

Here's Ireland. There's absolutely nothing here in the DQ3 world. Why, Enix? Fun Fact: DQ4 starts out in a place very reminiscent of Ireland and Scotland, so at least they got around to this area later.

Arriving in the Americas, here's what New Town looks like. That's right, there's nothing there.

There is this one random guy who wants to build a town. The only problem is, he's missing a Merchant.

"...across the sea that one time from Edinbear to here. We fought 3 or 4 battles. I'll never forget."

Here's North America. The Mississippi River has gotten a bit out of control. The next thing to do is follow that north to the town of Soo (which is a reference to the Sioux tribe). Like I mentioned before, I would have had Aliahan and the beginning of the game be in some of that unused space in the U.S. or Canada.

Getting to Soo requires us to sail through the river maze. Along the way we run into...

...My God.

Soo is home to, what else, the Sioux.

Fun Fact: Centuries ago, Samoans didn't have a word for "steal" because it wasn't something anyone did.

This weirdo is hiding in a well with a stack of "Female Sages Weekly", the hottest new magazine in DQ3 land. It's all pictures of female sages casting spells.

Speaking of sages, outside the well there's a particularly strong caster weapon just laying in the dirt.

Next up is the west coast tower. North America is weirdly barren in this game. There are 3 things of note on the entire continent.

After an extremely-brief dungeon if you know where to go, we get another key item.

Now it's off to South Africa, seen here not on fire. There's very little of anything in the southern half of Africa in this game, much like North America. It's pretty much just Baramos' Castle and the Necrogond in the Kilimanjaro region, and one town in Rhodesia, which is...

...this odd place, Tedanki. For some reason it doesn't show up when you cast Return.

This is where you find the easiest orb in the game. Just go at night and this guy hands it over.

Two down, four to go before we can summon The Eternal Dragon Lamia and fly to Baramos' Castle.

WHOA, hold on there!

Oh, this is actually some very good advice. Disperse (formerly Limbo) can make your party members disappear, and some players won't know where to go to get them back (or even if it's possible).

Kind of odd that it's this one random NPC in this one out-of-the-way place that tells you this particularly important info.

Botany Bay? Well, it sounds like we need to get outta here.

The Pirate Den here is the one significant location in the southern half of South America. It's where you find the crucial item TubeSocks. No, not really that crucial.

The Pirate Den is a huge place with not a lot going on...until you look around the outside and find this hidden passage.

::CM Punk's metal theme begins to play::

Also in this room: Red Orb. 3 down, 3 to go.

One last interesting place to check out in this episode. This shrine is sorta like the Lighthouse in Secret of Mana. It's lurking out here, not really doing too much, but it's particularly intriguing nonetheless.

Luzami is home to this world's version of Copernicus, the math scholar who was banished from his town for saying that the world revolved around the sun rather than the other way around.

Even worse, he was flagged by Twitter and Facebook as "disinformation". Just wait a few years and turn out to be right, it usually works out that way.

More later.

Other Dragon Quest Posts

1 comment:

  1. Good point about how long it took for us to get a translated version of the SNES rom. About a decade longer than a lot of other games.

    Whoa, Sami Zayn is hanging out in Ruida's tavern too.

    Sylvando is a 11/10 dandy.

    I love Lorne.