Thursday, November 25, 2021

Dragon Quest IV: Chapters of the Chosen (iOS/Android, 2014)

 

I've played this on the NES several times, and I played this on the DS back in college. This mobile port is almost exactly like the DS version, with a couple of neat features and sharper visuals. I wasn't even planning to play this, but it felt weird to jump from DQIII mobile to DQV mobile, and I figured DQIV deserves a "normal" post series after the wrestling-themed one. Let's get going.


For comparison, here's the title screen of the Nintendo DS version of the game, which this is essentially an HD port of.

There's an intro where you play as the Hero, before the game breaks off into intro chapters for all the other characters. I don't remember this intro being in the NES version, so it might be a new remake addition.

Mario and Mallow: "WHAT? NOT A FROG?"

Eliza here is adorable. She's also DEAD MEAT.

.....Can you turn into Tyra Banks?

Unfortunately there isn't much to this intro. It's only about a minute long and serves to introduce you to the main character you won't see again until like 12 hours later.

Time for Chapter 1: Ragnar.

The King claims that kids are being rampantly kidnapped/trafficked. ...it better not be Kandar's latest scheme.

Ya know, DQIII's world map skipped Ireland and Scotland, so it makes sense that this game starts out in a place designed after those lands.

In the first town, you get your first party member. It's this old guy, and he moves very very slowly.

You can actually wait for him to catch up if you want, but eventually he'll admit that he probably won't be much help after all. 

He then sets out for the Shrine of Dharma to become a young girl, but unfortunately 6 years into his journey (and a quarter of the way there) he died of old age.

Upgrading Ragnar isn't actually all that necessary. Unlike the first few games in the series, you don't really need to grind at the beginning of this one. The first chapter is designed to be very easy. Still, I went out of my way to get the best armors from the first town, and in the process got enough levels (5) to progress without much issue.

This game uses the DQVII Playstation 1 graphic style, compared to the previous three phone remakes using the DQIII Super Famicom graphic style. The DQV and DQVI remakes use the same style as this one. Them being the first releases of those games in the West means they're the only exposure a lot of people have had to those two games. I'm gonna check them out soon.

And speaking of remakes, when are we gonna get console remasters of DQVIII and DQIX? And DQX at all?

Ragnar starts out by brawling with slimes, as is tradition. I fought enough battles to clean out the armor shop, as mentioned before. I didn't get any weapon upgrades, because the attack boosts from level-ups are enough for this chapter. If I have extra gold by the end I'll grab a weapon, but I generally don't worry about Ragnar's equipment much until Chapter 5.

The second town immediately obsoletes the first town's armor set. The amount of grinding to get this equipment would be insane at this point, though, and more importantly, completely unnecessary.

The what? Speak English!

Fun Fact: When I was in Europe, the hardest time I had understanding English speakers was when I was in Ireland. People from there and Scotland have English as a first language, but when they talk fast I still can't understand a word they're saying. Funny thing is, in places like Germany and France where English is a second language, they're easier to understand than people in Ireland are.

This (relatively brief) chapter revolves around reuniting this couple.

Wait...Angus and Aigneas?

There's weird purple goo on the ground where the bad guys have been. What is this purple goo and why do they leave a trail of it everywhere?

The winged shoes from the original game. This is one of the many instances where an item or place had an entirely different name in this remake and I had no idea what the new name meant without looking it up. Sometimes "Winged Shoes" is better.

::Ragnar looks around:: "...God?"

The guy sending the weird messages is Healie, who is what would happen if Metroids were created by Dr. Seuss instead of the Chozo.

What the! The kidnappings were real after all, as we see this weird eye-monster dragging kids away.

Cautery Sword is the big loot of this dungeon, and really, the entirety of Chapter 1. You'll want this on Ragnar post-haste.

At the top of the tower, Ragnar saves the kidz. It's worth noting that Ragnar was a great character to start with in this game, since he's the Soldier/Warrior class character. It may not have selectable classes like DQIII, but it has almost every class represented by real characters with interesting personalities. Soldier here isn't the biggest damage dealer, but it's the most resilient class and a good one to start with.

Also represented in this game: Hero, Fighter/Monk, Cleric x2, Mage x2, Dealer. Goof-Off Fans will have to stick with DQIII for their Goof-Off fix.

This just in: The mysterious Necrosaro and his goons are only into kids. Righto, I'm gonna need you to take a seat.

The thing here is, the bad guys are hunting for the Legendary Hero, and know he'll be a kid.

The first boss is a two-fer, and it really helps to have Healie alive and well for this fight (so not what I did here).

Psaro's Pawn is defeated. "Nooo! My goo!" he says as he bleeds out.

Ragnar leads the kids back to town, now a hero to everybody.

Your what??

After finishing the chapter, the King goes all Eldest Namek and powers up Ragnar for no reason. No matter what he'll end this chapter at level 15 or so, because that's what's needed for his return in Chapter 5. I'm not too big on these free levels because no one else gets them and I'd rather just level him up myself, which would take no time at all. It's like they realized Chapter 1 was too short and needed an out for the level discrepancy he'd have with other characters.

Chapter 2 is a fun one because now you have a well-balanced party. Alena is the game's most fun melee character, plus she's got caster support from a healer and a mage.

An audience can be heard faintly singing in the distance as Alena breaks a wall down. She just made THE LIST.

Alena takes off with her noble heal-bot, Kiryl (formerly Cristo). Also along is noted mage, Borya (formerly Bray). While the previous kingdom was styled after the British isles, this one seems more like Russia (another underutilized land in DQIII)

There's a sign here that warns our heroes that they need better weapons. This is like those spam mails people get that look like official business, then turn out to be some car insurance company whose entire clientele is over 80 for some reason.

The red slimes have formed an alliance with the Mole People. Their goal? No more taxes, and a mantis in every pot.

Mantis: "Wait, wha-GACK"

Is this an Orochi situation? What are we sacrificing people for now? In any case, Alena poses as the latest sacrifice so that we can get to the monsters doing the killing. It's basically a sting operation.

Borya's entire character is "old". For this most part, this game avoids anime character tropes, with this exception. ...and Alena not noticing that Kiryl is interested, ever. Well, at least all the tropes are confined to this one chapter. It isn't like Taloon's character dialogue is all "lol food" the entire time.

Our heroes battle the dastardly fiend that is... Foo Dog.

Who you calling undersized? LEAVE THAT TOWN ALONE!

Foo Dog is back for revenge, and brought a pack of mantis minions.

After switching Anastasia out for Alena, we go to meet the villains.

My God. It's not one, but TWO Foo Dog. Also featuring Master Kung. I feel like I've been had.

After winning that fight (Orochi, it ain't) and saving that town, it's onward to the next town...where an Alena impersonator is on the loose. This woman is envious at how Alena always has two strapping lads catering to her every whim. Well, one of them is Borya, so.

Oh no. Russian mobsters have the fake princess and are holding her for ransom. How do we know the whole thing isn't a ruse?

We get their ransom anyway, and solve the crisis. Between the visual style and the way we're going from town to town solving random problems, this reminds me a bit of DQVII.

The Hunter's Bow is a tremendously good weapon in this game. Not only is it new, it's usable by most classes...maybe even all of them.

Our next stop is Endor, which is as close to a hub town as this game has.

First, nectar to cure the king of a speech impediment. Another quest down!

New remake change alert: There's a useful town map you can pull up to immediately see where all of the shops are when you arrive in a new place. And even better than that, tap the map and...

...you can scroll through the sale lists for all of the local shops. That's right, if you're looking for specific items to buy, it's easier than ever. You don't need to run around to all the shops to see what a town has to offer, just pop in and look at this screen. It's a great QOL improvement.

Huh huh, "debrief"

Some foes of yesteryear begin showing up around this time, like the skeleton. And more importantly...

...the Metal Slime, which gives this party by far the best chance to level up in advance of the final chapter, for anyone who wants to overgrind early. I'm not doing any more grinding though. Let's see how much of this game I can get through with minimal grinding. I remember it being one of the less grind-reliant Dragon Quests.

More later.


Other Dragon Quest Posts

The Dragon Quest Master Post

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