Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Dragon Quest IV: Chapters of the Chosen, Finale - Hoffman Estates

The remake of DQIV has a solid Chapter 6 postgame. This takes place before the fight with Necrosaro and actually replaces it, sort of an alternate timeline version of things where Psaro doesn't have to die. We'll also deal with the real instigator behind Psaro's madness.

The postgame begins by jumping down this hole to find a sprawling optional dungeon.

What is this, A BED FOR GIANTS?

The new postgame dungeon has a lot of lava, but other than that it's unremarkable. This leads to the first of the two new postgame boss fights...

...these two farmers.

What the hell. Not a dragon, a giant, or a deity...nope, it's a postgame uberboss fight with farmhands.

Behold the dastardly force of nature that is Foo Yung and Chow Mein. This fight is HARD. Considering how easy most of the base game is, they needed some rough uberboss battles.

This fight makes the final battle with Necrosaro look like a miniboss, and I'm dead serious. It's brutal until you can take down one of the two. Once one is down, their damage output is half as blistering and victory is near. While they're both standing, they dole out MASSIVE damage, especially at these levels.

After several tries, I finally take them down. Once I managed to down one of them, that was it. I'm just glad they can't revive. Imagine if it was a fight where you had to balance them down.

...I gotta go.

The next step involves retrieving a flower to revive Rose, Psaro's sweetheart.

This lets me put right a wrong for Rose, as our heroes bring her back from the dead...

...and she immediately viciously attacks Ragnar's neck! Sometimes dead is bettah!

I'm kidding, she's fine, here she is.

The hell is up with that yeti standing there? CAN I HELP YOU?
Flashback time, as we see the humans going after Rose for her ruby tears. I've long-questioned why people don't try to bottle and sell the Tears of Pikachu as a petrification cure. Well, in this world, they DO.

Rose is saved by Psaro, and they have happy times. Man, he's so Sephiroth-like in this remake, it isn't even funny. The original PS1 remake of DQ4 that the DS/phone versions are based off of DID come after FFVII, for anyone wondering.

Re-do the final dungeon with Rose in tow, and her RUBY RUBY RUBY RUBY (sorry) tears turn Psaro back to his normal, non-plastic-surgery self. So her tears can become priceless gems AND undo evolution?

What ELSE can they do, and why hasn't humanity harnessed them for the benefit of science?

Upon seeing Rose, Psaro thinks he's dead and in the afterlife. Nope, we're just un-doing the endgame. Now that Psaro knows he was deceived by Aamon, he joins the party.

This guy is AWESOME. He's an outstanding physical attacker who also gets some of the best spells in the game. He could actually supplant the Hero as the party leader in the DPS department. It's not unlike getting Magus in Chrono Trigger.

The only downside is his levels. He doesn't start at your average party level; Dragon Quest games generally don't do that. Instead, he's about five levels short of the others, and that hurts his usefulness quite a bit. If you go and grind out EXP for a bit to close the gap, he reaches more of his potential.

Ideally you could get here with the party at level 35 so that they're even when they get him. Final boss Necrosaro is beatable at those levels. However, the dastardly farmer duo was an absolute unit to defeat even at level 40, so that's a roadblock and the main thing stopping you from keeping your levels even.

Returning to Endor, there's a secret shop that contains some of the best equipment in the game. This requires TONS OF MONEY. Since I didn't camp the casino in this version, I gotta farm.

IT'S GRIND TIME. Wait, why is Taloon motorboating the king slimes?? TALOON! DOWN BOY!

A gander at Psaro's battle spells. He has Explodet AND Multiheal, which is nuts.

Also, Kasap is always useful, and he has several special attacks that cost 0 MP and out-damage regular attacks. The guy is basically built for soloing, which fits his character. If only he had Oomph, he'd have everything important.

...oh, wow. He gets Oomph after several level-ups. A Sap caster who can also cast Oomph AND heal AND nuke AND dish out physical damage...this is worth doing the postgame alone. I just wish you got him before the super-rough fight with the farmers, because chances are some players gave up on that fight. Plus he would have helped a lot with it. There isn't anything after this that is on the same challenge plane.

That's right. Those two farmer guys were, by far, the hardest fight in this game. It's still a pretty easy game, and if I'd level-grinded to 50+ like the next couple of games in the series require, the farmers would have probably been easy too.

If you want true uberbossness in Dragon Quest, try the uberbosses in DQXI S. Especially in 2D mode. The most beastly fights in the series. You're gonna be at level 99 with BIS equipment by then, so you have no way to brute force them. It's all strategy.

Psaro's equipment set. Got him the Endor armor, so he's sufficiently beefed. Ragnar still out-does him on HP and defense, but other than that he's better at everything than the rest of the party.

This merchant is kind of funny. He bounces around to several different counters to play several different kinds of merchant, and he's also a priest somehow. This is a look at the future, a worker doing the jobs of four people so that the corporate overlords save money which they then spend on their virtue-signaling media campaigns to let you know that They Care.

::cough:: Sorry.

A quick look at the party before we head for the second and final postgame boss. It's pretty cool to see both Psaro and Rose in here. (Rose isn't playable)

The next stop is Psaro's castle, which we briefly visited earlier in monster form. Aamon returned here after his defeat in Hell, and now he's breaking into the Secret of Evolution himself.

Before he can say "following orders", Psaro impales him and swings him around on the sword like a kabob.

I'm just kidding, Psaro is pretty nice to all of his former goons and forgives them for lying to him.

Aamon, like any good dictator, has locked up all his political enemies. Luckily he's got the media on his side so it's no big deal.

I wonder if that means he'll be a palette swap of the final boss.

This lion is overjoyed to see Psaro. Aamon sits on a throne of lies!

Aamon is surprised to see Psaro alive. Once it's clear that Psaro knows what he did, Aamon drops the pretenses and...

...uses the Secret of Evolution to go full monster. He jumps right to Form 2, skipping the Esturk form entirely.

This is just like the final boss, just...way harder. It feels like a real final boss, unlike the actual final boss which basically rolled over.

He goes to Form 3 (2 for him). Weird how Aamon's transformation looks just like Psaro's. It's like the Secret of Evolution turns you into a Bogdanoff.

Absolutely KEY in this fight is to keep Insulate up to reduce elemental damage. He does his best to dispel it, as all DQ final bosses seem to do.

His final form (which is one step beyond what Necrosaro had) is by far the worst, and might maaaaybe even be tougher than those farmers earlier. This fight is so much harder than Necrosaro, it isn't even funny. I like it though, it means this game got a real final boss worthy of the game. You legitimately have a reason to go for broke in the endgame and optimize your party now.

Time for MORE GRINDING, since there are still un-bought upgrades out there, and a few levels won't hurt.

This is a HUGE upgrade to Alena's attack power and I somehow missed it entirely before. This should help a lot since she's my primary consistent DPS character.

Also got her some new armor. Surprisingly, this has really high defense.

Party chat with Psaro, you ask? Unfortunately, there isn't much to it. Like most of the party chat in this game, it generally just pertains to what you need to do next. Psaro mostly just says you "don't need to be here", because he wants to get back to his castle. That's about it.

After my crushing loss to Aamon, I also decide that it's time to finally do the Hoffman sidequest and get the optional town up and running. There are a couple of major upgrades that can only be bought in said town.

"It's good to be back in the group!" says Hoffman. Who?

Hoffman's got lots of new arrivals at his future township, like Rocky and Adrian.

Adrian is a nun...lul

Psaro is un-amused by all of this. Can we get back to his castle and fight Aamon? We'd probably win now.

NO! I'm going to max out, dammit!

I tried to do this sidequest earlier, but it's pretty vague about what you need to do next at any given time to move the quest forward, so I ended up just leaving it alone. Now I have a guide at the ready, and need to refer to it often.

The quest consists of going around and recruiting people to go back to Hoffman Estates. Only certain key people can be recruited, so yeah, a guide helps.

It's time to name the town, so Hoffman names it after the hero. Unfortunately this just makes me think "Nasty Town"

It figures that the next resident of Nasty Town is a guy whose name rhymes with Pelvis.

A little more bite, a little less bark? A little less fight, a little more spark?

We recruit this random lady. "I've always wanted to get nasty!" she says. It...isn't that kind of town. Whatever, just get in the wagon.

Our oasis is now 40% slime residue, thanks a lot.

I swing by Endor Coliseum, where Psaro was supposed to fight in the tournament finals earlier. Now, he's a mere spectator. There's a certain rush to walking out into a packed arena when a show is already in full swing.  

Nastown is now a full-on castle! This sidequest is actually pretty rewarding, too bad the early objectives can be vague.

The final form of the shop here. We've got some really good, best-in-slot type loot here.

Psaro hits level 40 and I think that'll be good for this run.

Got him a Mighty Armlet too since I'm expecting him to dish out some damage this time.

Full spell repertoire. Almost. He gets one more spell... at LEVEL SIXTY. It's Magic Burst, a spell that I don't think existed in this series until later. Consumes all of the caster's MP to unleash one massive attack. It's incredibly OP. Wizards in Everquest get the same spell, which makes this the 6th or 7th time that a 2000's era Dragon Quest game has featured a Wizard spell from that game.

While I'm at it, stats for the rest of my main party:

I'll be leaning on Ragnar quite a bit for Sage's Stone uses, but also to dish out some damage when possible.

The Hero maintained a 5 level lead on Psaro, again making me wish I'd gotten him earlier. Not sure why they don't just start Psaro at level 40 since the party is likely to be close to that already.

Alena really benefited a lot from the new uber-gear and should be far more useful in this go-around. She'll be the primary damage dealer, more likely than not. We'll see. No plan survives contact with the enemy.

Finally brought to the place he wants to hurry up and get to, Psaro actually has something to say here.

The rematch is already going a lot better with a couple more levels and the Hoffman town equipment.

Final form. Here we go. I'm pulling out all the stops.

Annnnnd it wasn't bad at all. Still felt like a real final boss. I struggled more with the farmer duo, but Aamon is stronger for sure. They're both respectable uberboss fights.

"Don't look at me" says Psaro before putting on a mask like Dashing Cody Rhodes.

He gives the Culex speech from Super Mario RPG. And we never saw Culex again. Meh.

That's it for DQIV. Still a great game, and the phone version didn't disappoint. It is very much on the easy side and didn't require much planning or optimization compared to the other DQ games, but other than that it was a good time. And to think, for a little while I wasn't even planning on playing this remake. I was going to jump right to DQV since I haven't covered that before on here in any form. Well, I'm glad I stuck around in DQIV-land a bit longer.

Other Dragon Quest Posts

The Dragon Quest Master Post

1 comment:

  1. I remember the chicken and egg.

    That's... THE YETAAAAY

    Man, it's probably a good thing for Alena that Psaro didn't stick around for the end of the tournament.

    Yeah, Aamon wrecked me the first time too. I wasn't using Insulate which is as important as you say.

    Alena is absolutely beastly with those earrings.

    Great job! Love this game. Wish I could play it with party chat someday.