Monday, November 29, 2021

Dragon Quest IV: Chapters of the Chosen, Part 2 - Ice Packs for Taloon

Endor does not allow gay marriage! That and the Princess wants a husband. Which all begs the question of why they even allowed women into the tournament to decide who she marries in the first place. I think there's a yeti in there too.

The tournament begins! This is something I failed at on the NES last time I played it, and also in the DS version. The Abominable Snowman fight always gets me if Samson doesn't. This time, I used the cutting-edge strategy of bringing Actual Levels. I also had to fill out an entry form explaining my qualifications for being in the tournament. Two words: Stylish Hat.

First opponent: Attila the Hunk, whose qualifications are "oral game on point". Moments after this picture was taken, Alena forfeited her spot in the tournament and congratulated the Princess.

Next is Quick Draw Mc...Gore? The whole joke is that McGraw rhymes with Draw. Why did they change it to Gore? Regardless, this guy is no suitable mate for the Princess. According to the Qualifications section of his tournament entry forms, he is, and I quote, a "two-pump chump". Why would he even admit to that?

Next up is Prima Donna. Why is she even here? Is she also trying to save the Princess from being forced into an arranged marriage? Her tournament entry form says "give me money" under Qualifications for some reason.

Fourth fight is the first one that poses any threat at all, unless you're sufficiently leveled. According to the Qualifications section of his tournament forms, Samson is, and I quote, "hung like a moose".

I eke out a win, and it's a good thing I brought a bunch of herbs for healing. I actually thought that I'd steamroll these fights at level 15, but nope.

Here's the real bastard of the arena fights. Every round you have a 25% chance of actually hitting the guy, because only one of the Showmen is damage-able, and it shuffles every round. He filled out TWO tournament entry forms for some reason, and under Qualifications they say "Futter" and "Buck" respectively. I...don't understand.

After another tough fight, I win. If you have good luck, this is a super-easy fight. My luck was medium so it was rocky. I'd say Samson posed a bigger threat over-all in this run simply because he's so tough.

...why was Yeti Who Can Split Into Four a contestant in the tournament to find a mate for the princess, anyway?

...And how unlucky is she that he lost?

Now for the championship round: Alena versus Psaro the Manslayer, the villain of the game. It would have been interesting if this fight had actually happened here. Given that Psaro's intent is to root out and slay the hero of legend, I'm not sure why he's interested in this tournament. Unless he thought maybe the hero would show up. Either way, he's nowhere to be found.

Now the Princess can marry whoever she wants, and Alena heads home in triumph. The only problem is...

...home is now deserted. Where is everyone, and does this have anything to do with Psaro?

That's the end of Chapter 2, onward. It's worth noting that the one thing the DS version does that the phone version doesn't... have these rad images of the characters during the chapter changeovers. What an odd thing to leave out of the phone port, considering it has everything else the DS version has and then some.

"Well...well...well. It is I, the man of the hour. I deliver more package than Amazon and I stuff more boxes than the postal service. The peeled banana in your fruit bowl of love, and the only one who TRULY knows how to inspect her gadget. I don't know what I'd do if I woke up and I wasn't me. Taloon 'The Girls Call Me Fred Flintstone Because I Make Their Bed Rock' Gertner."

Taloon is a portly merchant who lives with his hot wife, Tessie (full name Tessa H. Fluffernuffer)

Taloon is a big lump of bother. He's also debatably the coolest character in the DQ series.

Why is he so cool, you ask? Taloon is a hard-working chap who has a demanding job and a wife with an insatiable sex drive who he somehow manages to keep up with. He also has to deal with all kinds of lip from the local men who don't understand their relationship.

She's staying fit, don't worry. Now if you'll excuse me...

...B...B...Bog-trotter?? Excuse YOU, sir!

Taloon's job involves standing at a counter and selling weapons. You can do this as long as you want, and you make an (extremely) meager commission from it. Occasionally someone will sell something good to the store, like a Chain Sickle or (rarely) Cautery Sword. If that happens, you can leave the shop and come back to buy the new item yourself before someone else does. So if you really want to, you can sit here and farm the merchant shop for ages to get a decent weapon.

Considering that Taloon starts out hitting for 1 damage, it's a good idea to at least get something from this store. However, a meager Copper Sword is sufficient. There isn't much need to farm. Enemies drop weapons and armor like candy in this chapter...once you can win any fights.

Taloon: "Man, I hate having to deal with these customer people."

Taloon collects his pathetic wages, while wishing he could go back in time and buy Bitcoin instead. That's how we can spot the time-travelers: Anyone who actually has time-travel powers would have gone back and bought Bitcoin, not done whatever it is they were doing in the highway underpass when they were arrested and claimed to be a time-traveler.

Taloon: "I'm too tired to even move! Wait, why are you dropping your clothes everywhere?"

Tessie: "Shhh."

Taloon: "I'm really not up for-"

Tessie: "SHHHHH. I'll do all the work."

Taloon: "Oof! Ow!"

Tessie: "Yeah, you like that??"

Taloon: "How do you have so much energy?"

Taloon flinches as his wife draws near, then reaches for a couple of icepacks and a bag of frozen peas before heading to work.

Taloon: "Mmrrph."

Customer: "Wait, why are you icing your groin and your jaw?"

Taloon: "Grrfmfnrf."

Customer: "Your ass, too? My God!"

Holy light shines down as someone finally sells me a Hunter's Bow. I spent way too much time doing this tedious minigame just to get a decent weapon. Unfortunately, my pay is so abysmal that I can barely eke out enough money for a single weapon.

I made some headway by selling all of Tessie's packed lunches and pocketing the money, then going hungry instead. Desperate times, this chapter is. And now we face a conundrum: I still can't afford the bow, nor can I win any fights to buy it. I'll just need to toil at the shop for another day.

Tessie: "What do you mean you haven't recovered from last night? On the bed, NOW!"

::crashing sounds are heard as Tessie yowls with delight and Taloon screams::

"Now get out there and make me some money, bitch!" says Tessie before pushing Taloon out the door and slapping him on the posterior.

Trapped in a cycle of being Tessie's sex slave and a wage slave at work, Taloon does the only thing he can: Continues saving for the Hunter's Bow. This means denying everyone who comes in and tries to buy it. That's right, the Hunter's Bow isn't for sale! BACK OFF!

Finally, I thanks to a Leather Hat I found in a pot, I can just barely afford to buy the Hunter's Bow I've been fighting with customers over for the past 20 minutes.

Now that Taloon can actually win fights, he rampages around the countryside farming money and levels from enemies like a normal character. This also means acquiring the Steel Strongbox, which permanently prevents the group from losing gold to a wipe, at least once he joins the group in Chapter 5. Super-useful.

I also adopt a dog to help me sniff out treasure and alchemy ingredients. Unfortunately, the dog spends most of his time sniffing around for women and rapping about toking blunts.

Now equipped with a bow and a dog, Taloon is flying high.

The next goal is to find noted architect, Archie. Now that Taloon has some money, he's gonna be staying in some inns just to get a break from Tessie. Though he gets weird looks every time he asks an innkeeper if they have an ice machine.

Looks like Princess Veronica has found her match...and it's someone she actually chose herself!

"Scandalous!" says everyone in India when reached for comment.

This next step involves Taloon being the personal carrier-pigeon for the two kings as they discuss this matter. It's either that or go home to Tessie H. Fluffernuffer who just got back from... the toy store.

This chapter is all about raising massive amounts of gold. Luckily, there are a few treasures to find that sell for most if not all of what you need. There was a similar thing near the beginning of Breath of Fire that caused me to balk at that game the first time I played it, since I thought I actually had to farm 35000 GP or whatever it was.

Next, Taloon buys a shop in Endor, finally achieving his dream of actually owning something and prospering off of his hard work. However, his plan is to leave Tessie in charge of the shop and go out doing hero things to bring back more cheddar, and I'm not sure if she'll be okay with having to actually do some work.

Tessie then literally takes off her socks and sits on the counter. "Well? We going to break this shop in or what?"

Taloon breaks the news that he's going to go out traveling. Tessie...doesn't take it very well. "Quick plow before you go?" she asks. "No? .....NO??"

Taloon makes his escape through the new 60,000 G tunnel while Tessie's yelling can be heard behind him. "I'VE BEEN HOOKING UP WITH THE MILKMAN, YOU KNOW! I DESPISE YOU, TORNEKO TALOON!"

Annnnd that's the end of that chapter. Thank God.

The next chapter has you playing as the fortune-telling sisters, and dynamos of sex appeal, known as Maya and Meena (formerly Mara and Nara on the NES). This game doesn't have personality trait types like DQIII because these two already cornered the market on Sexy. They brought it back long ago.

They're on a mission of vengeance, while also working as strippers...or something like that. So basically Octopath Traveler stole a storyline from this game.

In any case, Meena (formerly Nara) is the fortune telling healer, while Maya (formerly Mara) is the scantily-clad bellydancer who casts offensive spells.

Meena: "Quick, we must get this to Taloon so he can cast on his wife!"

Maya: "Truly she is banshee-like. But who can blame her, when Taloon is such fine specimen?"

Meena: "This will help us find way around in dark when we sneak around creepily."

Maya: "Sneak if you want, I prefer to twirl and spin everywhere."

The villain they're after is the nefarious Balzack, a formidable opponent that anyone who has played this game before will have bad memories of. Since Meena is a priest and Maya is a black mage (not a dancer, unfortunately, as that class isn't added until DQVI), all they really need is a fighter. For that, the game gives you a temporary ringer in the form of Oojam here.

He's only a temporary character, but it's good to have a "tank" to go with this party. This is the last chapter before the game begins "for real". I tend to stick with Meena and Maya a lot in the final chapter, plus they're the first party members you get there, so I make sure to level up as much as possible here in Chapter 4. This chapter also has a difficult final boss, like Chapter 2 but worse.

This chapter is also the debut of King Slimes, which are used for breast augmentation in some nations. Maybe Tessie would be nicer to Taloon if he brought back a couple of these puppies for her. squeeze as a stress-ball.

We pretty much spend the entire chapter getting warned not to mess with Balzack.

In these mines, we encounter this chap who has the black lung.

We reach the very-French castle of Balzack. Here, everyone just sorta fools around all of the time, like real France. Oojam and friends have to interject at one point to save this petite lady from a rampaging helmeted gimp.

Finally, Balzack. Now the purple-haired ladies can have their revenge for his past misdeeds.

We learn what said past misdeeds were: He killed their father. Prepare to die, etc

Moments later, he transforms into...

...a monster! Even with the party overleveled, this guy is an absolute beast of a boss fight. It helps to bring a bunch of herbs on Maya so she can help heal.

Eventually I run out of heals AND herbs and just barely eke out a win. Wow. Maya's casting only went to Sap, because he resisted every attack spell I tried casting.

After BARELY defeating Balzack, we find that his even stronger cohort is the nefarious Marquis de Leon.

Considering Balzack is the big memorable foe of this game besides the actual final boss, he immediately gets upstaged here by Leon. Later on Balzack will be more powerful than Leon in the rematches, at least.

Here, Leon just absolutely annihilates what's left of the party with huge single-target attacks.

The father of Balzack (or maybe Leon) is imprisoned here. Prison, which is where our heroes are now. Luckily they kept all of their weapons and equipment, as is RPG tradition.

They escape prison by moving some pots and barrels around, and make their escape. Well, the sisters escape, while Oojam holds off the guards and sacrifices himself. It was good to have a ringer while it lasted. What is this, Final Fantasy II?

"On the ground, NOW!" says Jack. Our heroes just sort of peer at him. "Where is Salazar, DAMMIT?" he continues as our heroes wander off.

That's it for Chapter 4. Fun chapter with a particularly hard boss, and it's clear the game has gotten serious. When I was a kid, I remember Chapter 4 having a bit of a bad rep for some reason, possibly because of the boss.

Time for Chapter 5...NEXT TIME, ON DRA- Just kidding, we're doing that now:

The Hero is lurking in this hidden mountain hamlet, training for hero-dom, when he runs into a familiar-looking guy. Is that Marquis Elmdor from FF Tactics?

Nope, that's Psaro the Manslayer himself, the Sephiroth of the Dragon Quest series. The boss of both Balzack and Leon. .........why is he in the hidden village that's supposed to be kept completely secret so nothing bad happens to the Hero?

...oh Goddammit. THAT ISN'T A POET. Did no one notice that all the dogs went ballistic when he arrived?

The Terminator rampage theme plays as monsters storm the town, and we finally learn the name of our hero: Nas.

That's right, famed rapper Nas. I couldn't think of anything else.

The people of the village push Nas into a hidden cellar and fight until the monsters overwhelm them. All Nas can hear from here is all the gunfire.

Not a single person talks, despite the harsh torture Psaro no doubt inflicts on everyone to find out where the Hero is.

They say he is adept at administering "the purple nurple".

Eliza and the Hero are trapped in the cellar together. If you can do that Tyra Banks illusion, now's the time.


Nope, instead, she goes outside and transforms into THE HERO to fool the minions into thinking that they've killed him. So...that's it for her.

The town is in shambles and slathered with that weird purple goo. Now that the bad guys think the hero is dead, I'm free to roam about the world unbothered.

On the way out of the mountain village, there's a cabin where a rude guy tells the Hero to get lost and bother someone else. Of course, he has no idea what the Hero just went through. Which is the lesson for today: Don't treat random people like dirt, because you never know if one of those people happens to be having the worst day ever already.

Next time: A swift kick in the Balzack.

Other Dragon Quest Posts

The Dragon Quest Master Post


  1. Alena's hat > *

    Taloon > Alena's hat

    Tessie is insatiable!

  2. Enemies resisting attack spells is why I stopped using mages in chapter 5. You did use the Sphere of Silence on him, right?

    Good lesson.

    1. I did indeed use the Sphere of Silence and he STILL put up a surprising fight. Balzack 1 was way harder than in the NES version and Balzack 2 was way easier.