Sunday, September 3, 2023

Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation, Chapter 6 - Spike Gets Fired


Man, this game is GORGEOUS when it wants to be. The original Super Famicom version is too, as it came along in that late-era, Chrono Trigger timeframe.

After curing Amos with the herbs, he joins the group. He's definitely worth getting, and I'm glad I went out of my way to do this sidequest even though I was happy with the characters I had.

This guy is a smash-mouth fighter type of guy, and great to put up front with the hero and Carver. Give them Nevan with the heal staff as healing backup and you can pretty much autobattle everything. 

Unfortunately the SFC version doesn't account for items in autobattling so the heal staff never gets used by the CPU.

Amos starts out very well equipped. Can't even buy him any upgrades!

The next actual main story area is Arkbolt. It's mind-boggling that the snowy mountain was an optional area that players can miss, considering how much nicer it was than most of the main story areas.

Much like CM Punk in AEW, most of your interactions with the soldiers in Arkbolt is to get into fights with all of them.

The guards in here have to make sure you're tough enough to even meet the king. Our hero is ready to rise to the challenge, and puts a shirt on so he can take it back off.


Each one of these fights is basically a miniboss, and they're all tough. That's right, they're tough even with my being overleveled. Never in any particular danger of losing, but I take a beating.

After beating up all of his guards, the king finally decides that our heroes are worth talking to. Why all of the Tough Enough competition, you ask? Because he needs to find people strong enough to clear out a nearby valley that has been overrun.

"A big guy, on a bike."

Well, with how overleveled I am, I wouldn't worry about him.

The next part of the game has our heroes dragging a coffin around while Darby Allin's music plays. We're in a competition to get to the end of this cave before anyone else does, kinda like that race at the beginning of the game.

Behold, the competition is Terry. The final party member and an accomplished swordsman. We won't even get him until later, and he has the same issue that Psaro and Debora did in the previous two games: By the time he joins, he's underleveled and underclassed relative to your other characters, which really undercuts the usefulness of what could be the best non-hero character.

I was able to get Psaro powered-up so he could dominate as intended, while Debora was always a bit left-behind regardless of all of the leveling I did. Never could catch up to the others. We'll see which of these Terry ends up being more like.

It's too bad we don't get him sooner because he looks pretty awesome. Like a combination of Trunks and Glenn.

There's a boss here, but oddly enough Terry fights it instead of the party. He wins, and thus wins the competition.

The legendary sword of Arkbolt now resides with Terry. Since we're gonna get him later, I'm not too worried about this.

Next up is a dry desert town where everyone is obsessed with something called the "Isle of Smiles", a place where all of your woes go away and everyone has everything they want.

Our heroes hop onto the...moving island? that is headed for the Isle of Smiles. Let's find out what the deal is with this supposed dream paradise. I bet they're eating people, like To Serve Man.

...yeah, pretty much.

The "Isle of Smiles" brings its feckless victims to the evil sacrificial temple of Jamiroquai.

Here, he makes sacrifices to his dark god, the lord of death Toad.


BOSS FIGHT. This is the first major boss since Maou Mudo, and he's no pushover. The "Sap, Buff, Oomph, attack/heal" meta from the last several games is still the way to go here. However, DQVI throws you a curveball by having a lot of bosses be completely immune to Sap.

Even overleveled, this guy did a number on our heroes. Once Nevan fell, I didn't have a real healer, and a loss was actually looking likely.

I haven't really messed with classes yet, since the hero and Carver are too high level to actually gain class mastery points from anything. And therein lies the biggest issue with the class system in this game (and DQVII?)

Level caps on areas to keep you from advancing your classes too much. It's incredibly irritating. Gain a couple levels and you suddenly stop gaining class exp for that particular area, and if you've got a couple higher-level characters, forget about it.

Luckily, the level cap gets lifted before too long. Within 3 or 4 hours (if going at a brisk pace) of reaching Alltrades Abbey, you reach the Spiegelspire which has no level cap. Neither do a lot of the areas after it. Class-leveling is so much more fun at that point. If I remember correctly from when I checked it out 15+ years ago, DQVII takes a lot longer to lift class caps, so you're gimped on possible advancement for most of the game.


One of the rescued souls here is the Medal King himself. I haven't been too focused on Mini Medal gathering in any of these games, though.

The kidnapped folk of the "Isle of Smiles" are bewildered at their circumstances. They got lured here by hot bunny girls, then the next thing they knew they were being drugged and human-trafficked. Unfortunately this sort of thing happens a lot in the real world, especially on seedy islands in international waters that we're not supposed to talk about.

One thing is for sure, Bunny Girls are the best honeypot in the DQ world.

The next phase of the game is THE most annoying chapter of the entire game...and the entire Zenithia Trilogy for that matter. It's the ::thunder crashes:: Prince Howard chapter.

For this part, you need to go through a cave with the Prince in tow, and he CONSTANTLY runs off. This necessitates lots of backtracking.

Not just backtracking, sometimes it requires you to leave the cave entirely and go back to some earlier town. It just eats up SO MUCH TIME. It's especially egregious because I'm so close to the Spiegelspire (and being able to level my classes up freely) only to run into the wall of slowness that is the Prince Howard nightmare chapter.

There are a bunch of minibosses to fight in here. I think Prince Howard is supposed to be the one fighting them, but of course our heroes do all of the work.

None of these minibosses are particularly tough. It's a lot like that castle earlier with all of the guard minibosses. Ashlynn is STILL left way behind on levels. son of a b-

After finally finishing that chapter, Prince Howard gets lauded with praise.

Whatever, I don't care any 'mo.

I don't care any 'mo.

I love getting new keys in these games. Look up a list of treasure you need that key for, and run around scavenger-hunting. Unfortunately, the Magic Key here doesn't really unlock any crucial items, just lots of gold chests and a seed or two.

There is one super-important thing the Magic Key does, though: Gets you to Goowain, the Green Knight. Another optional character who is entirely missable. He's a slime knight, and a welcome addition to the party. If he's anywhere near as useful as the slime knight in DQV, which was basically a clone of the hero, then I'll definitely be putting him up-front eventually.

Since this is a Japanese game, old people talk incessantly about how they're Old, while young people in their vicinity also make constant reference to their Oldness.

Next up, we scale this mountain dungeon. There's no Prince Howard, but it still manages to be incredibly annoying. One misstep and you fall all the way back down to the bottom of the mountain. that. They decided to place the two most annoying (maybe only annoying) dungeons in the game back-to-back.

The end goal of the dungeon is getting this shard at the mountaintop. However, you can't get it without the Golden Pickaxe, which is really well-hidden on the way up and extremely easy to miss. So a lot of first-time players probably had to run this obnoxious dungeon 2 or 3 times.

That leads to this super-weird segment where a boy named Matt Tress, who tragically died, gives us his magical flying bed.

This is one of those low-airship type vehicles that can't go over mountains and hills but CAN go over oceans and flatlands. This opens up the world a little bit.

More importantly, my buzzing around on a flying bed has attracted the attention of Healie. Not sure if this is supposed to be the same Healie as DQIV or not. Either way, he's our latest optional character. He automatically gets a number of useful heals as he levels up, even without having a class.

It might be redundant to make him a Priest since he gets those spells anyway, but ideally you want him to end up as a Sage for the half MP benefit.

A very quick sidequest gets this all-important accessory. In this game, the wearer of it pretty reliably goes first in battles. This can be great on a Luminary with Hustle Dance for emergency heals, or whoever your healer is. Can also be great for metal hunting if given to a character with Metal Slash or any other reliable metal-slaying move.

Our next quest is to infiltrate the Spiegelspire and fight the next big boss, Spiegel. As someone who has been holding off on any significant class-leveling, the Spiegelspire was a huge goal. Once there, you can level classes as much as you want. And since the place gives fewer EXP per fight than later areas with no level cap, you won't overlevel that much in the process of grinding out some classes. Unless you do a ton of grinding of course.

The goal of Spiegelspire is to get what I need to free this princess trapped in a mirror. All she can do is sign-language, which is difficult for her because she was a motormouth before. She's been trapped in there for years and By God she's horny as hell.

Here it is. The Spiegelspire. Time to put the game on hold and just GRIND CLASSES all the time. I wanted to get this game to the point where I could grind classes without any worries about caps, so I'd have something to grind mindlessly during my spare time over the holiday. Well, here we are.

The door doesn't even let you in. It's simply a matter of casting Peep to get through. However, you never need to use Peep anywhere else, and the game doesn't exactly give you any hints here. That's the thing about DQVI, it never stops being vague and confusing.

I start running with the core classes that each character needs. Goal is Gladiator/Hero for Spike, Gladiator for Carver and Amos, Sage for Nevan and Healie, Paladin for Goowain, Armamentalist for Ashlynn, and Luminary for Milly. Once they're done with their core classes, I'll start branching out into other stuff just to rack up more abilities and mastery bonuses. Ranger is going largely unused and I figured that'd be a good class for Terry.

Some enemies in Spiegelspire can morph into your heroes. My God.

It Begins. It's so nice to see classes actually leveling up, since before now they wouldn't have budged on half my characters.

Surprisingly, it doesn't take long to raise job levels in this game. It isn't the major committal that I expected. Looks like characters are expected to master a bunch of jobs over the course of the remainder of the game. It's good to plan what you want in advance, like pick two Tier 2 classes for each character and work on those specifically.

In my case, I picked a primary class route for each character, then when I finished those, branched out into other things. Milly started out with Dancer->Gadabout->Luminary.

Luminary being the new name of Idol threw me off a bit because of DQXI.

Also detoured to get Priest for her. I made sure to get Priest for every character so that they all have Zing and FullHeal for emergencies.

Ashlynn goes for Armamentalist, which is a pretty cool idea on paper. A mage-knight that can decimate bosses? Awesome. However I think other classes do things better: Sage is a better caster and Gladiator is better DPS. Still, more abilities won't hurt.

Jeebus. The one issue with having classes not take that long to master, and having so many of them, is the MASSIVE ABILITY BLOAT. And this is just Page 1!

I seriously don't know what 30-40% of these things even do.

Buried in the list somewhere is the greatest Luminary ability: The zero-MP group heal, Hustle Dance. It's like having a Sage's Stone, except you can get this on multiple characters and basically be unkillable.

Boulder Toss (Gladiator) is another huge one, decimating all foes onscreen for, again, zero MP.

Hero is unlocked once Spike masters Gladiator. It's the ultimate class and all of that, so once I've leveled up enough classes (...or run out) I'll set him as a Hero for the remainder.

Hero takes longer to max than any other class (I think) but it's also doable with some grinding. I'd say at this point everyone's pretty well-equipped to roll through the rest of the game up to the final boss.

That said, there are still tons of classes to master. The only one that'd really compliment what the Hero already has is probably Sage, so I'm gonna start him down that route. Yeah, we might be heading towards "overkill" territory with classes now, but I'm just glad to have something to grind on my phone.

Oh God, let's not encourage Ashlynn.

Ashlynn: "...I'll be in my wagon."

Carver becomes a master of trolling as I really get into the weeds of classes now. Ranger is a pain to get so it better be good. (Spoiler: It's alright)

Now the Hero is working on Sage. Not sure if I'll do more after that. Could go for Luminary to have another Hustle Dancer, or Ranger. More likely I'll just max Armamentalist and Paladin.

Pretty sure this isn't how you're supposed to DQVI, but it's not my fault they put these low level caps on all the areas up to this point (and most of the areas after this point) and made this the best place to class-farm so that I'd actually want to stay in this one area.

Anyway, more DQVI later. I think I might detour back to the SFC version for an episode.


::POOF:: "WELL...WELL...WELL. It is I, the Quintessential Studmuffin and the leading man in your girlfriend's fantasies. The biggest ladykiller since OJ Simpson! Taloon "Delivers more package than UPS"...Gertner."

Other Dragon Quest Posts

The Dragon Quest Master Post

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