Sunday, December 25, 2022

Dragon Quest V (Super Famicom, 1992)

 

It's the Fifth Day of Christmas, and the actual day, which sounds like a good time for a 5 game. Today on DQV, we go back in time. Way back in time.



We start with Pankraz pacing back and forth like he's waiting for the Okama Gamesphere.

But wait! In this universe he's called Papas.

"Papa! Papa!" said MJF when reached for comment.

His wife's name is Martha.

"MARRRTHA" said Batman when reached for comment.

Martha isn't long for this world, and dies immediately after birthing our hero. Yeah, this game sets the tone of seriousness right out of the gate.

Look at me. I am the Captain now.

That sounds a lot like the actual Windows Vista, if I'm remembering correctly.

Set foot on the overworld and you immediately get attacked. In the remake, you could walk around until you got attacked. I'm guessing there's not much you can do with that though.

"It's dangerous to go alone. Take this!" says Papas before Gaz holds him in the air somehow.

Here's Bianca, who keeps crossing paths with Gaz every few years. He doesn't remember though, because he's a wee lad.

Bianca tries to read to Gaz, since he can't read at all. Unfortunately she can't read too well either.

SANCHO. Wait, where's his accent? Yeah, the accents wouldn't become a Dragon Quest staple until a while after this, unfortunately. (Or fortunately, if you're one of those weirdoes who thinks the accents are in some way bad)

THE GAMEPLAY~! begins with the oddly-huge-for-an-intro-dungeon cave over here. This means lots of grinding for levels and scrounging for medical herbs.

I'm playing with a Super Famicom controller so I actually know what he's referring to. The blue button is the X button. That searches and opens doors in this game, skipping the menu. The game still moves super slowly though, which is jarring after the remake. This game is NES-slow and there's no dash that I can find.

I manage to just barely get the best weapon before leaving town with Papas and Bianca's family.

"Walk" by Pantera plays as they all file out.

The one thing I don't like about this game is how in the first chapter it constantly sends you off to roam aimlessly.

"F you I won't do what you tell me" says our hero before beelining for the Palace of Lenoire.

"She's not my girlfriend! GROSS!" says our hero.

They sneak off to the Palace in the middle of the night. Don't forget to helmet up!

Well, there's no time for that, because this is the spookiest place ever.

Probably for the best.

Wait, hold on. Gaz actually talks a little bit in this dungeon. I thought he was a mute for the whole game.

Bird-flipping ghosts, my nemeses.

Here's the boss. As in the remake, Bianca outpaces Gaz on levels.

Now I gotta name the cat. Punk isn't an available choice this time so I go with PUCKLE.

Annnnd everyone says goodbye for now, right after I got a bunch of equipment for Bianca. No! Those cost money!

Gaz meets some old weirdo outside the church. The guy wants to touch Gaz's orb. Of course, this is Older Gaz, and he switches it out.

Next thing we know, Bella drags our hero before the hall of spritely fairy-ladies.

They need for someone to find their lost Flute. The fluteless frustration is very real here in the land of fairy women.

This brings us out into the snow, a part of the early game that I'm really into. I like these early-SNES visuals and how similar they are to the NES games. The Super Famicom remakes of the first and second games would also use this graphics engine, while the third game's remake got to use DQ6's very nice upgraded engine. The remakes of games four through six used the DQ7 engine. I think the engine I prefer the most is DQ6 on Super Famicom and DQ3's remake. Too bad that "generation" didn't last long. Yeah, it's a bit like what Pok√©mon did with its main entries and remakes.

I don't know yet if you can actually recruit monsters in this version of the game. I think you can, just not until Act 2. Soon as I find out, I need to recruit a deadly apple.

In the far north lurks a place I moderately dread: The ice cave.

But wait! I can't get in yet. Where the keys doe?

This slime is a rat fink snitch!

"Snitches get social credit from the Commissariat, comrade!" says the slime while the USSR national anthem plays.

Moments after saying this, the guy went back to pacing around in circles.

To nobody's surprise, I find the key first. Except it isn't the key, it's more like...a guide to lockpicking I guess? Now that this minidungeon is over, it's back to the ice cave:

After lots of tedious sliding puzzles...

...we arrive at a DOUBLE BOSS. No break in-between either.

First up is Zaile, who I forgot existed. Not even sure if this fight was in the phone remake. It's pretty much on par with the Boss Ghost fight earlier.

The real main event is the Snow Queen, and with the previous fight sapping some resources, this is even tougher than it needs to be. Probably the nastiest foe of the first half of the game. Kind of like Father Gascoigne in Bloodborne, the toughest fight for a while is at the end of the first chapter.

I got lucky with her not using too many ice AOEs, and STILL almost lost.

Puck really messed her up though. Hooray for the Puckster.

Now the problem is getting the hell out of here without losing half of my copious amounts of gold. I used a single MP-restoring item that I found in here to get Gaz enough MP to heal everyone, and that's the ONLY reason I survived with the money intact.

Gaz bids farewell to all these succulent young fairy women. I imagine after he left, they danced in a circle while giggling uncontrollably.

Gaz wakes up in this dingy basement. Did he just imagine all of that, pretend-fighting in this hovel and imagining a world that doesn't so closely resemble hell?

I don't know about all of that, but here's Stuffy British Sancho to let us know that Papas IS ABOUT TO TAKE OFF WITHOUT HIS SON.

Next time on DQV, whenever that is: Prince Harry.



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