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I Can Count to Nine: A Journey through Dragon Quest - Part 2

I choose to take a lack of people yelling at me to stop as encouragement! Here is my writeup of Dragon Quest II.


Dragon Quest II (SFC)

What, you want party members? What kind of luxury RPG series do you think this is? Well... okay, but you get no magic, the monsters get to gang up on you, the girl's as fragile as a kitten and nobody but you can equip basically anything. Enjoy!

Yeah, I know, what? The thing is, neither of us is that big of a fan of II. We'd both put it squarely at the bottom of the series, which certainly isn't to say it's bad - it holds up better than some RPGs of its time - but in a series this awesome, something has to be the worst, and this was kind of a halting step forward for the series overshadowed by Final Fantasy I. I didn't get around to playing II until after VIII had come out, and I wasn't enamored of the obnoxiously punishing difficulty or basically-impossible-without-a-guide crest hunt. We picked a remake for a change of pace and a somewhat easier time. We're using the translation patch of Dragon Quest I + II by RPGONE, which has two versions - one with DQ names, and one with DW names. We picked the latter for consistency's sake.

I was going to keep giving out numeral names, but my friend suggested we be a little fancier. So this chapter follows the adventures of Prince Double, or Dub to his homies. This time, we roll three Royals deep. Characters!

Week Five

*Ground until Double was level 30 and tackled Hargon's castle.

*Defeated Hargon and Malroth on the first try! Final levels were 30, 28, 23.

This game never stops punishing you. The monsters in the final dungeon can take even a party at levels appropriate to fight the last boss and wipe it out if you're unlucky. The "illusory" Midenhall Castle when you get to Hargon's beachfront retreat is a clever touch, but when you dispell the illusion, you have to stand in a big cross and use the Eye of Malroth again. I have no clue how you're supposed to know this - it's never remotely hinted at. I guessed I ought to use something in that spot and got lucky.

This remake DOES make one major concession, it turns out - the Princess as well as the Prince learns revive. It's pretty much impossible to overstate how much this helps make the game beatable. It sure saved our asses in the final fight. Although we beat Malroth on the first try, it was NOT easy. Our resources were stretched as far as they could go - we were using Wizard's rings to restore MP, shields of strength to restore MP, and that leaf of the world tree got used at a key juncture. If we hadn't gotten lucky on a turn or two, we would've been wiped out for sure.

Time has been unkind to Dragon Quest II, but I'm glad we beat it. Now we can move on at last...

Highlights from the Imperial Scrolls of Honor:

*Today on Lifestyles of the rich and evil, Hargon's luxurious beachfront lair!

*The bugs in this patch came really fast and furious in the fake Midenhall. I think Hargon's illusion-producing abilities are buggy.

*Dub: Wow, this version of home is so beautiful... I even get my own bunny girl-in-waiting.

Fake King (with two bunny girls in front of him): Two girls, one king, baby!

Linda: Snap out of it, Double! Remember what Rubiss said; it's all an illusion.

Dub: But nobody here is calling me adopted...

Rolando: Yeah, it's DEFINITELY an illusion.

*Hargon: It is I, Hargon!

Linda: No, it's "It is me."

Rolando: Yeah, seriously. All this time to sit here planning what you're going to say to us and you didn't check your grammar?

Hargon: ...Rhone has really low standardized test scores. The only section we excel at is "Explodetology."

*Prayers said on prayer rings:

Linda: I pray that I'll get a chance to see Useless play broom with Rolando. That sounds really funny.

Rolando: I pray that someday Linda will stop being such a bitch.

Dub: They're wizard's rings, man, not miracle rings.

*There were some amusing scenes in the credits. In one, the party takes Rolando's coffin to Useless so she can gloat over it.

*In another, the party runs around in circles, I guess because Linda hasn't quite gotten over the desire to chase her tail.

Linda: Hey, I resent tha- SQUIRREL!

The three heroes ruled the land as their reward, and set to making some immediate changes.

Hear ye, Hear ye. By decree of the triumvirate of Dub, Rolando and Linda, by their authority of we're-all-over-level-20-and-what-the-hell-are-YOU-going-to-do-about-it:

*Lighthouses with floorplans more complex than "entryway, stairs, light room" are outlawed, and their architects thrown in the dungeon.

*Monsters are no longer allowed to carry Clothes, thus cluttering the inventory of unsuspecting royalty.

*Bullwongs are against Our Law, in addition to several laws of nature, sanity and reason. One exception shall be made:

*For the entertainment of the populace, the former King of Osterfair will wrestle the aforementioned excepted Bullwong, daily.

*Any Citizen caught giving unnecessarily vague advice will be stranded in the Desert with a piece of paper reading "It is said that water lies under a tile in the southwest quadrant."

And peace and happiness reigned in the world for all time thereafter.

(screenshots from SNES Central)
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About tim333one of us since 5:53 PM on 12.11.2007

Regarding my 1001games project: There's only one deadline. I haven't hit it yet!

I'm a 90s gamer and Sega kid for life. I like platformers, adventure games and JRPGs. I'm not that into first-person shooters or sports games.

I spend more of my time playing older games than new ones. I do have a PS3 now, though, and I like buying games on PSN. I like the Wii and have a ton of games for it. I'm encouraged by some of the stuff out on Wiiware - to me, games like Bit.Trip Beat are more appealing than the "triple-A" titles coming out on the HD consoles.

Some of my all-time favorite games are Sonic 3 & Knuckles, Dragon Quest III, Heroes of Might and Magic III, The Curse of Monkey Island, and Dance Dance Revolution.