Saturday, February 26, 2022

Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride, Part 4 - Images of Sorrow, Pictures of Delight


Today on Dragon Quest V: Our hero goes on a quest for rings so that he can get married. But to who?

Here's Zoomingale, one of the most important towns in the game. Tons of stuff happens here. Which is unfortunate, because...

...the town is a real pain in the ass to get around in. Lots of walls. At least the camera can be rotated. It's about half as bad as every location in Breath of Fire IV.

The armor shop here has a bunch of new items, and some of them are very strong. The Iron Mask in particular is the best helmet for an age and a half in this game.

This guy sends us on a quest to get the Zoom spell, and it involves...

...finding a flower on the overworld that only blooms at night. Now we gotta wait for the morning light.

He casts this into the cauldron and it explodes like a science fair project.

That gets us the Zoom spell, probably the most useful spell in the game overall. I wonder what else this guy is gonna cook up later.

For this next part, it's important to make sure you have Bianca's Ribbon in the hero's inventory. Back in the day, she attached this to our cat friend, Punk.

After the umpteenth cave dungeon, we find ourselves face-to-whiskers with the boss...

...Punk, who is now huge. The game doesn't actually tell you that it's him before the fight and you're left to kind of figure it out.

Using the ribbon causes the fight to end and he immediately joins the party.


He also kept Pankraz's Sword down here. Unfortunately, it isn't really any better than the top-of-the-line storebought weapons, but I use it for a bit regardless.

Next, we return to Coburg. Wait, why is the castle shaking violently?

::moaning and angry screaming are heard along with the sound of windows smashing::

Gaz and a sweaty, clawed-up Harry are reunited for the first time in ages.

As he says this, Maria sits there staring at Gazpacho and sucking on her thumb.

...I'll just get going.

There's a note here from Harry, since he has a lot to say and a lot of trouble saying it in person.

This is actually a super touching moment in a game full of good moments. This game absolutely gets the story and characters, even if the gameplay is fairly basic without a class system. That isn't the point of this particular installment. The point is to tell a memorable story that people will recall years later.

Nera, formerly known as Flora in the Super Famicom version, is one of the 3 choices for marriage in this game. Her father is trying to get her pawned off quickly so he can go back to The Firm and his Clients or whatever.

That's right, an arranged marriage. Does she like her prospective husband? Who cares? He presented her father with a splendid dowry!

Flora (...Nera) runs into our hero while chasing her dog, and they have a moment of "love at first sight" gawking. Flora IS incredibly fetching, and surrounded by weird-ass monsters, which makes him look look like a pretty good option in comparison. He's the only male in this picture who doesn't smell like a barnyard.

They're really obvious with the "love at first sight" thing here. I think this might have happened to me one time, met this lady in a shop, had a random nice chat, and she just sorta went off into daydream land while looking at me (and me happy to look at her). Then I randomly ran into her AGAIN like a week later in an apple-picking orchard and a similar thing happened with her in no hurry at all to walk away. Unfortunately I did nothing with this incredible, lottery-like coincidence and was on my way without asking for her info. In some other universe we just had our 6th kid and I work as a grizzled lumberjack.

What if you don't run into each other again? Why do we just assume that'll happen? Second opportunities are not a guarantee.

Arriving at Flora's Dad's House, there's actually A LINE of guys waiting to present their case for marrying her. It's like that scene in Hot Shots 2 with all the army guys lining up to talk to that blonde CIA agent.

Crispin Burns here is basically to Flora what our hero is to Bianca. He makes sense as the guy who probably should be marrying her. I mean it's clear that Bianca is the right choice for our hero, as someone who cares deeply for him.

...but Flora is really hot.

For some reason I read this in an intense Paul Heyman voice.

Jesus. Her father is making decisions about the rest of her life (and who she has to have sex with) and she can't even come down and help with the judging? What if one of the guys has sick abs?

Flora is a well-behaved lass. So well-behaved. All of that pent-up frustration is waiting to be unleashed all over some lucky guy.

"Person" says Ramona Flowers. Why do you keep saying that?

Is this a euphemism for something?

She doesn't actually want anyone to go spelunking in the fiery cave. Her father demands it, however. THEY MUST PROVE THEMSELVES TO HIM.

Nera is probably excited that Gazpacho showed up. I think she's generally confused though, lot of stuff happening fast.

Our heroes journey to Mount Doom...not to throw a ring in, no, to retrieve a ring.

Crispin is here (along with the corpse of a previous suitor), and he's working as hard as he can to prove that he's worthy of marrying Flora's Dad's Daughter. It's messed-up that he has to do all of this when they like each other and that should be enough.

Things get serious here, as The Machines begin to show up. Luckily I'm vastly-overleveled, so even traditionally-OP machine enemies are no match for this party.

The only reason Adams is lagging behind so much is because Rotten Apples, for some reason, cap at level 20. Super lame.

Here's the ring, but I won't get it without a fight...

The Magman trio is one of the tougher bosses in the first half of this game.

Look at that. Even overleveled, they do a number on our heroes. As you take them down, they become less and less of a threat.

Also, it's probably time to replace Adams, unfortunately.

Here's your ring, SIR.

Wait, there's more to this challenge? Rodrigo doesn't f***** around! HE DEMANDS STURDY GRANDKIDS.

Wait what? Bianca? ...who?

Oh my God. Bianca lives. And...she's a woman now.

Well things just got confusing...for Gazpacho. Bianca is pretty good-natured and level-headed about the whole thing, given that they haven't seen each other in ten years anyway. A lot can change in that time.

But mainly, they just talk about how hot Flora is. She's really hot. Not sure why Bianca wants to know so much about this, but whatever.

Bianca fixes breakfast for the hero, and she's still every bit the wonderful person she was as a kid. If he doesn't marry her, he's an absolute FOOL.

Even her dad is hoping for this. I mean there's no contest. As hot as Flora is, let's stop kidding ourselves. Bianca and Gazpacho are meant for each other.

Gaz is probably thinking those same things right now, as she stirs him from his daydream.

With that, we're off to get the Circle of Water. It's just like old times.

This requires sailing across the ocean, fighting off mermaids.

"Mer-man!" they say. "Mer-MAN!"

We finally arrive at our destination, a distant island.

This grotto is an amazingly romantic place, with glorious waterfalls. If we didn't have a Goo Man and a sentient grinning apple looking on creepily, I'd say this would be an ideal time for Gazpacho to stop and tell Bianca how much he has missed her.

Probably also make out a bit.

Another dungeon, another ring. So now...

"yay." says Bianca when reached for comment. Actually, she's still a really good sport about the whole thing.

Is Gazpacho about to make the biggest mistake of his life? Is the grass truly always greener?

Other Dragon Quest Posts

The Dragon Quest Master Post

1 comment:

  1. Nice to see that Harry and Maria got a cat, at least.

    Wow, your levels are insane for this point. You should already have children.