Friday, May 13, 2022

Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride, Part 9 - Finale

Do you like Huey Lewis and The News? Their early work was a little too new wave for my tastes, but when Sports came out in 1983, I think they really came into their own commercially and artistically. The whole album has a clear, crisp sound, and a new sheen of consummate professionalism that really gives the songs a big boost. He's been compared to Elvis Costello, but I think Huey has a far more bitter, cynical sense of humor. In 1987, Huey released Fore, their most accomplished album. I think their undisputed masterpiece is "Hip to be Square", a song so catchy, most people probably don't listen to the lyrics. But they should, because it's not just about the pleasures of conformity and the importance of trends, it's also a statement about the band itself.

Looming before me is the final dungeon and everything that goes with it. First order of business: Sack the dungeon for any loot it has. Second: Level grind to get Debora up to speed and get everyone else a bit higher. There are Metal King Slimes in this dungeon, making it the best leveling spot. Third: Obliterate the final boss.

All kinds of poisonous mist wafts about here. We should probably be wearing gas masks.

Madchen is sensing a lot of stuff here.

We get a magical moment, as Gazpacho's mom appears here. This time it's the real her, so they're finally reunited...

...only for her to get struck down and die after five seconds.

I'd have rathered they just not bring her back at all. The fuck is the point of this scene?

Of course, the Red Menace is behind all of this. I guess the developers decided he needed more heel heat or something (he didn't).

This is the final fight with Ladja, and it's a bit tougher than the previous fight...though not by much.

Ladja burns up. What does Elon Musk think about this?

"Man, fuck Bishop Ladja" -Elon Musk

Pankraz appears in Jedi Force Ghost form. I disagree, we're also responsible for leaving good things for said children, like maybe clean air or something.

Debora is fired-up for some avenging. Which is great because it's time to GRIND METALS.

"And grind hips!" says Golem as everyone peers at him.

These bad boys randomly appear in the final dungeon, most commonly on the lowest floor. In other words, I needed to fight all the way down several times to get my grind on; in the event that an Inn was needed, that was another trip down to resume the grind.

Debora smacks them one time and the fight is over. If she misses...usually they run away. I was able to get about 35-40% of the Metal King Slimes that appeared, because sometimes she'd miss multiple times in a row until the MKS eventually fled. Boy, was that frustrating. However I got enough of them to make this super lucrative.

She's only 13 levels behind Gazpacho, LET'S GOOOO

Many, MANY Metal King Slimes later, and she's in the 40's with everyone else.

This might be the only Dragon Quest game where the main character A) Isn't the Hero later on and B) Actually gets benched a lot in the endgame because other characters are more crucial. Golem leading the party works better than Gaz, and the other 3 slots are going to the right characters.

Moosifiers attack here, and now they're blue. This usually tells you you're close to the endgame of one of these quests.

Finally, here we are. The final boss. TBH, Ladja should have been the final boss. No question.

Instead they're going to do the 90's RPG thing and spring a higher power onto us at the last minute.

He makes sure to let us know that Ladja, Korol, etc were MERE PAWNS. Cool, Necron.

Here's the endgame in the DS version, which this is of course an HD port of. The font is completely different for this part, presumably because he's speaking in an otherworldly accent.

Some of that is using Russian alphabet characters, continuing the theme of the death cult all being Russian in this game. The Commissariat thanks you for your service, citizen!

He has a first and second form, as is tradition. The first is no problem at all, especially with this leveled-up party. Wonder what kind of challenge this would have posed if I hadn't done the Metal King Slime grind. Probably could have squeaked past form 1, but form 2 would have likely been impossible.

That...was quite easy. The key here is to use as little of your resources (MP) as possible.

But wait! Here's form 2, and he's much bigger, as is form 2 tradition.

This ridiculous. Not ridiculously hard, mind you. It isn't hard, especially with these levels. However, it takes FOREVER because they went way overboard with his HP. The biggest threat here isn't the boss, it's time and attrition. Eventually your characters will run out of resources if the fight goes on too long. Yeah, it can go on THAT long. Victory was never particularly in-doubt either, it was just a total grind and slog.

The main thing making this fight take so long? Dispels. He gets two attacks per round and frequently dedicates one to an AOE dispel. This is so incredibly obnoxious, and forces you to constantly rebuff (at the very least Oomph for Golem and Insulatle to prevent his AOEs from mauling everyone). All of that rebuffing in turn slows down DPS.

Eventually (after like 17 minutes) I manage to put him away. Aside from attrition, later in the fight the biggest threat was me falling asleep. I wanted to put auto battle on a few times just to get the fight done. When a fight is going on so long that the player wants to take a break mid-fight, the boss has too many HP.

With the Order of Zugzwang (or whatever they called themselves) finally defeated, a new dawn begins where people's kids aren't being kidnapped and sold into slavery.

You get to soar around on your dragon and drop off your characters, kinda like Chrono Trigger's main ending.

Harry then notices that Maria is pointing at his nether-regions and making "choppy" motions in the air, so he quickly stops admiring Debora.

"Now GET OUT" says Maria as she throws Harry on the couch.

Man, what did that week at Catholic school DO to her?

We fly to Flora/Nera's hometown, which is shaking violently for some reason. Crispin and Nera need to knock it off!

Soften nothing, she has legs of steel.

He is, but deep down, he wonders if there's an alternate universe where he married Bianca. Somewhere out the Multiverse. It's possible.

We stop by Bianca's place and she's STILL SINGLE after all this time. She immediately tries to slide into Gazpacho and Debora's relationship. Whatta homewrecker!

Sancho is...Sancho. He is a national treasure, even if he does sometimes dress up and fancy himself a ballerina.

This is the time in the story when we Dance. Indeed, everyone just sorta dances now and they all live happily ever after.


Just kidding, that's it. We get a montage of scenes from the game.

Here's the first meeting of young Gazpacho and young Bianca. Somewhere in the Multiverse, indeed.

But wait! It isn't the actual end because we have a postgame dungeon to do. It isn't a full-on new chapter like DQIV's postgame, but it's something.

The dungeon is worth popping into just for the key treasure, which you find almost immediately. This thing casts Oomph on the entire party, and should be used at the start of every fight really. At this point I had the Meteorite Bracer on Madchen for Sage's Stone heals, so I gave her this as well to unleash the group attack buff at the start of battles.

The Jungle of Massacre sword. This thing is one of the strongest weapons in the game and hits all enemies onscreen. The only problem is, it also reduces the wielder's defense to zero. It just isn't worth it, like dating a ginger.

Here's the best armor in the game, Metal King Armor. And I need it, cause it's time for the postgame uberboss.

At the bottom of hell is distortion, but also...Esturk. What's Esturk doing in DQV?

He's just sorta lurking down here with no memory, so he decides to engage the party in a fight. The fact that DQIV's sub-villain is the big postgame boss of DQV seems like it indicates that the DQV crew isn't as strong as the DQIV crew, but I'm not going to read into it too much.

Yeah, there he is, in the flesh. As is later-DQ tradition, the amount of turns you defeat him in determines the prize, and you can fight him multiple times.


Just try dispelling me now that I don't have to single-cast Oomph anymore. I bet the final boss would be a lot quicker, for starters.

This fight isn't easy, because he can easily one-shot your characters if he targets the same person twice in a round with physical attacks. Things start to rapidly go south around this point...

...but I was able to rotate in the B-Team members to help keep things going by reviving/healing until the A-Team was ready to finish things off.

That's...a lot of turns. At higher levels it can take one quarter that time with an optimized group.

Is that like, a bathing shrine filled with beautiful women wearing nothing but towels?

Damn, Esturk, I didn't realize you were a monster of taste.

Turns out his "secret place of enjoyment" is just a Pachisi track. Well, that concludes DQV for real this time. Great game, and the postgame area was short and fun.

On a final note, here's the last boss (Grandmaster Nimzo, not Esturk). This fight...was not fun, as I mentioned. I don't even know if it's fun to watch, because it DRAGS. He went absolutely nuts with the dispels. In other words, this video isn't worth seeing, so don't bother. If you want to see how I fared against the last boss and what strategy I used, though, here it is. The Esturk fight also dragged quite a bit, and at the end of the day these things might be the only real problems with this game. The endgame bosses have WAAAAY too much HP. That's about it. Other than that it's about as good as the Dragon Quest series gets. I could stop the series here and end on a very high note.

Other Dragon Quest Posts

The Dragon Quest Master Post

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