Thursday, February 24, 2022

Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride, Part 3 - The Gulag Archipelago


Today on DQV: The Gulag. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn would be horrified.

Here, big mean men whip us! We are slaves.

Ironically, I'm pretty sure it is SHE who is thirsty. Also I think we need to bring back "handsome". Hardly anybody says "handsome" anymore outside of AEW sensation John Silver.

...what kind of thirsty are we talking?

Oh, literally water. Cool, cool, yeah, I knew that's what she meant.

Generally speaking, the revolutionaries are usually the first ones disposed of in the gulag once the revolution is over and the new boss is in charge. Can't have a bunch of subversive elements running around.

Harry is now grown up, and far more mature than before. 10 years of slaving away in the gulag will humble a person.

This Order thing sounds like a cult. Does any of this involve getting onto a mothership to save yourself from the apocalypse?

The next part takes a page from The Hobbit and we escape from the gulag in barrels.

Exposed to fresh air and sunlight, Harry realizes that Maria is pretty she walks into a nunnery to become a nun. TOO LATE NOW HARRY

Sorry, not hot..."beautiful" which is another word we need to bring back.

Maria is too devoted to her studies as a nun to run off with Harry, and bids them farewell so she can get back to studying the testaments.

Harry is sad, but he gets over it quickly when he realizes he has a TNT Ticket. This is RAMPAGE.

And here we have the dawning of the game's new and very cool mechanic: There's no class system in this one, but you can tame monsters. Every so often a monster will randomly join the party after a fight. They can be equipped with different items and have varying abilities. It's very similar to what games like Final Fantasy XIII-2 later did. And like that game, the key is to find a few particularly good monsters with useful repertoires and build them up.

An expensive item, maybe? Not sure what this is for yet.

We get our first monster recruit. Not sure if it has to be a Slime or if the game is just set up to make it likely. All 3 times I've played the beginning of this game, I got a Slime as the first recruit.

It's a fairly mundane recruit. Not too strong, not necessarily weak, just sort of there.

Gootrude's basic stats. Monsters catch up on levels very quickly and at this point anything helps, though. The only problem is that Gootrude is a huge commie.

Within minutes, I sic Gootrude on her own cousins! It's a slime genocide!

At the end of this cave I find a note left by Pankraz. He found the Zenithian Sword and couldn't wield it, so he stashed it here.

True story, when I was a kid I really liked the idea of having a hidden lair somewhere in the wilderness and keeping treasure there.

Gazpacho somehow manages to move the incredibly heavy sword, something that most can't do. Harry doesn't even need that question answered.

For a moment it seems like Gaz could be the Legendary Hero...but he isn't. He can lift the sword, but not enough to wield it as a weapon.

So if the main character of the game isn't actually the Hero...who is? Have they pulled another Ragnar on us?

Zoom/Return is something you need to go on a specific quest for, but you get Evac/Outside automatically. And it's a good thing because GET ME OUTTA HERE.

Also as you can see we added Triple H to the party at some point.

Harry is afraid to return to his hometown, not knowing how things are there now. Meanwhile, piped-in "COOOO-BERG" chants are heard from somewhere.

Wait a minute, the wrestling posts were DQIV, what am I doing

That's how it usually goes, incremental heavy-handedness that often happens quicker than people are aware that it's even going on. They'll follow this with stuff like "if you'd just stop resisting, we wouldn't need more restrictions". So the "only way" to lift the authoritarian to allow the authoritarian tendencies. And if people resist, even better, because they can use the resistance to justify increased totalitarian measures and crackdowns.

For most people, that's a big If.

Meanwhile in Coburg, the country is falling apart and the Queen is employing mercenaries. Harry's little brother is now King, with the Queen continuing to pull all the strings. What happened to the dad?

Keep your thoughts to yourself, comrade. There are microphones everywhere here in the Gulag Archipelago.

I've been informed that Rotten Apple here is a great monster ally because it has a high hit rate and a high critical rate, two things that are crucial for Metal hunting. There seems to only be one small area where they appear.

I was lucky enough to recruit one on the first encounter. Don't let me down, apple.

King Wilbur, Harry's brother, is the one "in charge" by default. He's been shooting women with his crossbow and he is now very fatigued. My God! What has happened to this kingdom?

He gives us our next mission: Find a magic mirror, since there are two of the Queen running around and we need to know who is the real one.

Imprisoned in the castle dungeon is...the Queen, who says that the current (fake) Queen threw her in this prison as a Queen Impersonator. Here in the Gulag Archipelago we have no need for truth! If the government says the other Queen is the real one, then that is reality now. Remove the original Queen from all the photographs at once!

This part is a little bit confusing because you get a new key RIGHT before this that "unlocks all the doors in the castle". Not this door though. I thought maybe the game was glitched. Nope, this door can only be opened by story. The new key opens blue doors.

In any case, the mirror is in a nearby tower. Said tower is sealed by a door that only clergy can open. Sounds like we need Maria's help. Wonder how she's doing after a week at the monastery?

"Oh my God!" says Maria while looking up from her books. "Not just one boy, TWO boys?"

"I've been SO bored!" she says while squeezing a soapy sponge against her chest for no apparent reason. "I haven't been smooched in SO long!"

Gazpacho: "........"

Harry: ".........."

Maria: "I'd be doing even better if I got smooched already!"

Harry: "We've ah, we've got a job to do you see"

::Maria gasps:: "I'M a maiden of the Goddess! Teeeehee!"

Maria: "I could if I had a couple of good-looking BOYS to protect me! I'm just a girl living her best life!"

"Now get over here and smooch me already, boys!"

"When did you both get so strapping?" she says while taking off her nun headband and letting her hair down seductively while it flows and bounces in the air.

"Did you two sly boys bring me here to make out? SLY BOYS!"

After that, Maria is sent home by the boys so they can hunt Metal Slimes. Time for the apple monster to prove himself. GET 'EM!

Well, Adams has already let us down. Lame. The apple, not the mayor of New York City. ...speaking of rotten apples, that town has seen better days.

Also...these monster names are great puns so far.

There's a section here where you can walk across a "pit" and it looks like you can't. The left and right "tiles" of the pit can be walked across, the middle can't. Wonder how many people got completely stumped by this because the game gives you no hints that there's a way to walk across. And falling sends you aaaaaall the way back down.

Get past that part and here's the mirror in question.

We finally get a loose connection to Dragon Quest IV here as this Darwin guy (hyuck) alludes to the transforming power that Necrosaro and friends were after. Considering this is supposed to kind of be a new trilogy, connections are sparse so far.

"Which one do I shoot with my crossbow? Tell me quickly, my patience wears thin! I demand blood!"

Generally, the side throwing people in jail indefinitely without charges tends to be the bad side, so I'm gonna guess this one is the imposter.

::The US government looks at the camera awkwardly::

Yeah, the game didn't let me down. Let's get 'er!


That was probably the next big boss fight, and I rolled it pretty well. Note that my levels seem to be much higher than they need to be for this point, due to level-grinding on plane rides.

Wait, is she the one who ordered the piping in of those COOOOBURG chants? To make people think her administration is more popular than it actually is? What is she, CBS' political polling department?

Oh yeah, things are spicy today here at the Gulag Archipelago.

I can't, but...

As Harry says this, he glances sidelong at Maria over there making obscene sexual gestures at him.

...I can't, but SHE can.

Maria: "I have to go back to the monastery and no one has smooched me ONCE! HMMPH!"

Wilbur is going to team up with Harry to make Coburg a better place.

BUT IS IT TOO LATE?, not really. Things will be alright. Where is Punk, though?

Other Dragon Quest Posts

The Dragon Quest Master Post

1 comment:

  1. It just isn't this part of the game without that Clerks reference.

    Whacka: "snip snip"

    The people want Punk!