Let's play Dragon Warrior III: you mean they made a sequel to that one game with all the instant death monsters?

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François
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Re: Let's play Dragon Warrior III: you mean they made a sequel to that one game with all the instant death monsters?

Postby François » Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:11 pm

Aight, I'm locking it in. Thanks for the votes! And now it's up to me to make something acceptable out of it. Get pumped!

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mharr
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Re: Let's play Dragon Warrior III: you mean they made a sequel to that one game with all the instant death monsters?

Postby mharr » Wed Jul 04, 2018 11:19 am

As a denizen of the old country whose formative experience was all BASIC games typed into protocomputers from magazines, I'm not sure if I should read this LP, or hide from the spoilers and play through DQ3 myself. This is the first unalloyed good one, right?

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Friday
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Re: Let's play Dragon Warrior III: you mean they made a sequel to that one game with all the instant death monsters?

Postby Friday » Wed Jul 04, 2018 1:35 pm

It's for sure the best of the three, and for a long time it was my all time favorite DQ (and one of my favorite JRPGs) until 8 came along.

I can't help but recommend playing it yourself, but I've experienced plenty of games through LP only and I don't regret it (Suikoden I and 2, Persona 4) so it's up to you.
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François
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Re: Let's play Dragon Warrior III: you mean they made a sequel to that one game with all the instant death monsters?

Postby François » Wed Jul 04, 2018 2:29 pm

I would also recommend that you play it yourself, especially if you can get your hands on one of the remakes/updates; it's a classic for a reason, it does a lot of stuff perfectly right, it never sinks to Rhone levels of jackassery, and I think it is absolutely worth playing even today.

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Rico
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Re: Let's play Dragon Warrior III: you mean they made a sequel to that one game with all the instant death monsters?

Postby Rico » Wed Jul 04, 2018 2:57 pm

The most feature-full version is somehow the GBC one. I like the Super Famicom one best, I think, but the mobile version is probably the closest to the original NES but prettier. The Pachisi rewards in SFAM/GBC can really unbalance parts of the game.

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Rico
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Re: Let's play Dragon Warrior III: you mean they made a sequel to that one game with all the instant death monsters?

Postby Rico » Wed Jul 04, 2018 3:00 pm

TA wrote:All women, girl team is underrepresented in this series and just more fun, and if you get lucky with rare drops actually to your advantage. And the sprites all look better.

Also, the Sexy personality in the remakes is the best for all-around balanced stat growth.

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François
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Re: Let's play Dragon Warrior III: you mean they made a sequel to that one game with all the instant death monsters?

Postby François » Thu Jul 05, 2018 6:25 pm

One week later...

Image: Well, maybe if your standards weren't so high-
Image: My standards? HIGH!? Do you have any idea what I'm up against?
Image: In fact, I do, which is why I think you should take any help you can find!
Image: You wouldn't tell my father to take these chumps.
Image: You're not your father.
Image: Why I-
Image: Excuse me.
Image: ...!
Image: ...!
Image: S-sister? Yes?
Image: I do hope I'm not interrupting anything.
Image: No, no, not at all! Nothing important!
Image: ...
Image: Very well, then. I'd like to sign up for-
Image: Oh! Oh, oh! Can you fight?
Image: You could say that.
Image: Okay, look, my name's Zofia, I'm Ortega's daughter and I'm... hunting... a fffiend. Would you join me?
Image: That sounds a bit out of my league. I was only hoping to help open the road to Reeve, to be honest.
Image: I'm definitely going to Reeve at some point. We could tag along until then.
Image: Alright, fair enough. My name's Isabel. I'm very glad to meet you!
Image: Believe me, the pleasure's all mine!

Image

Pilgrims received 68 votes, taking the first spot by a considerable margin. Ain't that a sigh of relief, heheh. Isabel here starts with a Club and a set of Wayfarer's Clothes. She also already knows Heal, which restores around 30 HP for 3 MP.

Newly created characters start with a set of stats specific to their class, but also receive 2 to 6 bonus points placed at random; she got 1 point of Strength and 2 points of Intelligence. It's possible to "re-create" characters at the registration deck on the second floor hoping for more favorable bonuses, but I just took the first roll.

You can also create a bunch of characters only to sell their starting gear over and over again (Soldiers get the most expensive equipment), but that's lame, so I'm not doing that.

Image: So, sweetie, are these the rest of our team?
Image: Yikes, no. You're... actually the first. Well, after me. These are just a bunch of id... uh... local color.
Image: Oi! Who are you calling an idiot?
Image: Oh! I'm sorry! I didn't see you come in. Are you signing up?
Image: Hell yeah I'm signing up. Fiend hunting, right?
Image: Can you fight?
Image: I can set stuff on fire real good, if that counts.
Image: When's the last time you were pass-out drunk?
Image: Uh... Last month? It's hard to get a good drink these days.
Image: My father always said never to trust a drunken wizard. If you're not perpetually soused, that's good enough for me. Welcome aboard!
Image: Wait, who're you again?
Image: I'm Zofia. Ortega's daughter.
Image: Everybody knows Ortega's got an only son.
Image: Well everybody's wrong.
Image: Eh, I don't care none. I'm Rebeca. Call me Reb.
Image: Hello, Rebeca. I'm Isabel. Nice to meet you!
Image: Wait, is the nun coming along?
Image: Yyyyeah. Is it going to be a problem?
Image: I don't knnnnnnow. Is it?
Image: I don't see a problem here.
Image: Alright, but if you start preaching at me, I bail.
Image: Duly noted!

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Wizards came in second place, with a solid 47 votes. There's our spellcasting sorted out! Rebeca starts with a Cypress Stick and a set of regular Clothes, and she knows Blaze. Blaze us what used to be DW2's Firebal, which is to say your basic single-target fire damage spell. It costs 2 MP, and rolls against your foe's fire resistance, dealing 8 to 13 points of defense-ignoring damage on a success.

Unlike in the previous game, damage spells actually have elements associated to them with appropriate resistance stats, instead of all being lumped together as generic magic damage. Spell resistances are measured from 0 to 256 this time though, with a resistance of 0 meaning the spell always works, and a resistance of 256 being complete immunity.

Rebeca's bonus stats are 2 Strength, 1 Agility, 1 Intelligence, and 1 Luck. Not the best for her class specifically, but such is life in the zone.

Image: Excuse me, miss Zofia, did I hear you say you were Ortega's daughter?
Image: Sure. Who's asking?
Image: Ah, please forgive my manners. My name is Alvaro.
Image: Can you fight?
Image: I'm certain you'll find my meager martial talents agreeable. I grew up hearing about your father's exploits, and I've been training in hopes of fighting by his side one day.
Image: Well that's not happening.
Image: Rebeca!
Image: Quite, unfortunately. But it would be an honor to support his daughter wherever she may go, if she is to fight evil.
Image: Well, that's the plan.
Image: Glorious! Are these ladies coming along?
Image: We are.
Image: What excellent company, then. Are you all ready to go?
Image: Sure. Do you want to swing by... wherever you're staying at? And pick up your gear? It's dangerous to go out without...
Image: I travel light. This will be fine.
Image: Ooooookay then.
Image: Alright, suit yourself.

Image

Fighters just barely made third place, with 41 votes. Alvaro here starts with only the Clothes on his back, and he received an extra 2 Strength, 2 Agility, and 1 Intelligence. The Intelligence isn't helping, but it's still a decent roll.

And that's our party. Merchants almost made the cut, with 40 votes. Goof-offs managed fifth place with 31 votes, and Soldiers came in last with 19 votes. But do not despair, we might still see them in action one day!

The 50 gold the king gave us can't buy us any useful upgrades, so we're just about ready to leave.

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Image Well, would you look at them go.
Image: It's so strange to see a group of adventurers who aren't related to each other.
Image: But it must happen all the time.
Image: Sometimes it's about the family you choose.
Image: Twenty gold says the witch ends up setting the nun on fire.
Image: Ha, no bet.
Image You're on!
Image: ...
Image: And sometimes it's about the family you don't.

Image

Image: Mom! I got my team picked out!
Image
Image: Hello!
Image: ...are you really taking us to see your mom?
Image: It's a pleasure, madam.
Image
Image: Actually we were just about to l-
Image
Image: Wow, she does not take no for an answer.

The next day...

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Music: Overworld

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Image: So, uh, where are we going again?
Image: Well, I'm thinking the Tower of Najima would be a good place to start.
Image: Weren't you going to Reeve?
Image: If monsters are using the Tower as a base, we're not clearing the road without taking out their nest. Besides, I'd like to check on an old man living there on his own.
Image: Fair enough.
Image: I thought we were going fiend-hunting.
Image: Do you have any leads on fiends?
Image: ...nope. I was kind of hoping you did.
Image: I... well... maybe I do. But the tower needs clearing.
Image: I've heard of a cave on the west side of the bay. Rumor has it it connects to the Tower.
Image: Yeah, that's what I'm counting on. But how about we stay close to town for a bit and see how we fight together? This is going to be a long trip and I don't want to go in unprepared.
Image: Wise.
Image: Eh.
Image: It'll make the people a bit safer. Let's do it.

Image

Music: Battle

DW2 wouldn't have dreamed of putting up the lone Prince of Midenhall against five enemies at once right off the bat, but here we are absolutely expected to start with a full party.

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Just like in the previous game, you can only aim standard attacks and single-target spells at groups rather than individuals, and the specific enemy hit is determined at random. What's new here, however, is the little arrow at the top of the target selection box.

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It allows us to target our own party members. The reasons to actually do this are vanishingly few, but there is in fact a confusion status ailment, and you might want to put an ally to sleep to prevent them from causing too much damage.

Since Zofia doesn't know any spells yet, she gets the Parry command instead, which uses up your next turn to reduce all incoming damage. There is a notorious bug about this though, as you can select Parry, then cancel the command with the B button and pick something else, and you get to act as normal while still receiving the damage reduction. (This doesn't work for the fourth character in the formation, since selecting Parry for them immediately starts the combat round.)

In case you're wondering, I'm not going to exploit this at all.

One last thing to note about the interface is that only the first character in the formation gets a Run command, and if they know any magic, the Spell command completely replaces their Parry command. There is something to be said about only putting non-casters in front for this reason, but if you're not making use of the Parry bug, it doesn't actually cause problems very often.

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The battle takes three rounds. Zofia and Alvaro can take out a Slime each per turn, but Isabel's 3 damage and Rebeca's 1 aren't seeing much use. Alvaro tends to hit for a point or two less than Zofia, but considering he's unarmed and she's packing a Copper Sword, it's still impressive.

Oh, and there's not much to say about Slimes, they're still the weakest enemies in the game, and have no resistances to speak of. It's easy to underestimate large amounts of them if you're alone, but, you know, don't be alone.

After a bit of wandering around, something strange happens. The overworld looked like this when we left town...

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...but now it looks like this.

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Image Well... that's odd.

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We get ambushed by three Black Ravens soon afterward. They're marginally stronger than Slimes, but have no special abilities or attributes.

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We pull out the big guns for these suckers. Alvaro gets his first ever critical hit (but hardly his last), and Rebeca's Blaze one-shots the second Raven.

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Holy crap, six enemies, literally outside the first town. Yeah, you can beat this game with just your Hero, but come on, bring some allies along, will you?

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Oooh, gotta love that little white arrow there. It means...

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He gains 1 Strength, 3 Agility, 1 Vitality, 1 Intelligence, and 1 HP.

Unlike in previous games, stat gains on level up are random, to a degree. Each class has a range of possible increases for every stat, so while you can usually expect Fighters to get good rolls on Strength and Agility, they're never guaranteed.

On top of that, each stat for each class has a soft limit on it, where the game thinks that it's too high for your class/level combination. If the stat about to be increased is higher than that number, instead of rolling whatever your class' increase would be, it instead randomly increases it by 1 or not at all. So in essence, if you get a bunch of good rolls for several levels in a row, you might be set up for a few crappy ones as the game tries to keep your power in check. I suspect this is to counter save-scumming to get the best stat increases per level every time (as well as balance out a couple other mechanisms we'll see later), but it ends up having a few unpleasant side-effects that we'll touch on in time.

Image

Isabel follows suit, for 2 Strength, 1 Agility, 1 Luck, 3 Intelligence, 6 MP, and a new spell: Expel. For only 2 MP, Expel targets an entire group and has a chance to cause enemies to "disappear into the light". It has a lot in common with DW2's Defeat spell, in that it is effectively an instant death effect. However, you don't earn any gold or experience for enemies "killed" by Expel, so it's more a panic button than anything else.

Most enemies are at least moderately resistant to Expel, and it largely ceases being effective by midgame, but there are even a few endgame creatures that are surprisingly vulnerable to it.

Image

Rebeca also earns 1 Strength, 1 Agility, 1 Vitality, 1 Intelligence, and 3 MP.

Different classes need different amounts of experience to level up, and I think Heroes need the most, so Zofia stays at level 1 for now. We're low on MP though, so we head back home to rest.

When we leave again...

Image

The colors are back to normal. Odd! Strange!

We almost have enough money to buy a Leather Shield, so we pick a few more fights around town.

Image

Zofia finally levels up, for 1 Strength, 1 Agility, 1 Vitality, 1 Intelligence, and 2 HP. We're starting out pretty slow there.

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Image

Isabel's low HP and defense right now means she needs the shield's 4 points of defense a lot more than Zofia does.

The rest of our shopping list is another Leather Shield for Zofia, and a Copper Sword and Leather Armor for Isabel (the same gear as a Soldier or Merchant would want). Isabel's starting Wayfarer's Clothes would then go to Rebeca. Alvaro can't even wear the Wayfarer's Clothes, so there's no expense on his end. I'm not going to grind for any more of that stuff if I can help it though, and in fact it'd be nice if we were able to move on with our journey without having to spend all that cash, but we'll see.

We get into one more fight outside to afford Wings of the Wyvern, then we rest again, and start exploring in earnest.

Image: Alright, it's good to know we're at least not getting in each other's way. Time to head for that Tower.

Image

Image

Image: This must be Cave on the Promontory. Let's go around to the north.

Along the way, Isabel levels up again, for 2 Str, 1 Agi, 2 Vit, 1 Luc, 2 Int, 2 HP, and 2 MP.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image I still don't get why the world keeps changing colors like that. Is this is the Archfiend's doing?
Image: Oh, dear.

Image

Image

Music: Underground dungeon

And here's our introductory dungeon. We can already see it's keeping to how DW2 did things, with its maps built out of 2x2 square blocks, but there's a bit of perspective in the tileset's shading that give it a lot more depth than there used to be.

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We get ambushed by these Rabbits, but unlike in the previous game, enemy ambushes don't always give a free turn to all enemies, and only two of the three here get surprise shots on us.

There's not much to say about Horned Rabbits, other than they're slightly stronger than Black Ravens.

This gets Rebeca to level 3, for 1 Str, 1 Agi, 1 Vit, 1 Luc, 3 Int, 2 HP, and 4 MP. The next fight against another trio of Rabbits gets Alvaro to follow, for 2 Str, 4 Agi, 1 Vit and 1 Luc.

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Okay, let's try the eastern tunnel.

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Ah, our first treasure chest. I wonder if they'll be any good this time around.

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Eh, could be worse.

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Oooh, a single tile corridor! Maybe it's not staying so close to how DW2 did things after all!

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Looks like Rebeca gets her Wayfarer's Clothes sooner than I thought! Man I'm glad we didn't grind for it. Her defense goes from 7 to 11. It's not as big a deal a defense increase would be for Isabel, since the character in the fourth position gets targeted literally 1% of the time, but every bit helps.

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Giant Anteaters are, you guessed it, a bit tougher than Horned Hares. They're hardy enough that we can't one-shot them without Blaze, and Rebeca's running low on MP, so we turn around and retrace our steps out the exit without incident.

Zofia finally reaches level 3 on the way back, for 1 Agi, 3 Vit, 1 Luc, 1 Int, 8 HP (nice!), 1 MP, and her first spell: Blaze. If she had Heal available, we wouldn't have much use for her Blaze, but since right now it's all she has to spend MP on, it'll certainly help us delve deeper next time.

Image

Image

Image Is it just me or did the colors change again?

Image

Image Augh!
Image: W-what the... what!?
Image: Baramos must already be attacking the castle!
Image: Hurry up, everyone! Don't let demons take over Aliahan the way they took over Moonbrooke!
Image: It must be nice to always have the luxury to go to sleep before sunset and wake up after sunrise.
Image ...eh?
Image: That's night-time, my love. Nothing more natural.
Image: Oh! This is what night is! I read the stories, but I've never seen it with my own eyes!
Image: How eerie.
Image: Well I don't like this one bit.
Image: Haven't you ever noticed the sun moving around in the sky at least?
Image Yeah, but I guess I always figured it was going in circles. I mean, I always had more important things to do than care about where the sun was.

So, yeah, Dragon Warrior 3 has a day/night cycle! In 1988! How about that? It's not even just a hard transition. When we wake after resting, the time of day resets to morning. After a set distance traveled on the overworld map, the colors brighten for noon, then return to normal for the afternoon, then grow dark for night. Our interface even turns a nice shade of blue to reinforce the atmosphere.

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This isn't just cosmetic, either. All random encounter rates increase slightly at night for all types of terrain, and some enemies appear only during the day or night. And there's something else as well.

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Towns are also very different at night! Businesses tend to close (except for inns), and NPCs are in different locations, with different things to say. Let's explore Aliahan again and see if we can get new information.

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Image: Oof, your mom looks pissed.
Image: She's just worried. I don't usually stay out this late.
Image: We should head in, then.
Image: Yeah, but... Let's check out the rest of the town for now. She's going to need to get used to me not coming home in the evening at all.
Image: First her husband, then her daughter...
Image: ...
Image: Forgive me. I'm sure what you do needs doing.
Image: ...yeah.

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Luisa's Place is even emptier than usual, but both the Vault and the party management services are still available.

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The NPCs who hung around Luisa's have their own rooms at the inn!

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Image
Image: Yeah. Only every day for the past week. Lay off the sauce, will you?

I can't overemphasize how mind-blowing this was back in the day, and dang, even now there are so many games out there that don't even try to do this.

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The castle is completely closed. It's probably to save on memory and avoid having to write new dialog for all NPCs again, but it does make sense that they don't let people in at night, so I can't be too disappointed.

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The House of Healing is open, but the attendant definitely is a little annoyed with us at this hour.

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Image: And to think Luisa kept trying to get me to bring you along.

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This is in case some players don't understand why they can't shop at night, I suppose.

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We couldn't get into this building during the day, since the owner stood in the entrance.

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Image: Oh, uh, just dropping by I suppose. Never mind!

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Image: ...yeah. I'm going.

Aliahan doesn't have much in the way of new stuff at night, but dang, it's still a neat and flavorful introduction to the concept.

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Image: Time to face the music.

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Image: I'm glad I made it back too, mom.
Image: We're taking excellent care of your daughter, madam. Please don't worry too much.

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The next day, we sell Rebeca's old Clothes, leaving us with 23 gold short of a Copper Sword for Isabel, so we go pick fights with Ravens and Slimes outside. It earns Isabel and Rebeca level 4. Isabel gets 1 Str, 1 Agi, 1 Vit, 1 Luc, 2 Int, 4 HP, and 3 MP; Rebeca gets 1 AStr, 1 Agi, 1 Vit, 2 Luc, 3 Int, 1 HP, 5 MP, and her first support spell: Upper.

Upper is a single-target defense power buff, costing 3 MP. It's percentage-based so it won't turn your squishies into tanks, but it makes a hardy ally even tougher.

We buy Isabel her Copper Sword, increasing her attack power from 16 to 21, which is exactly the same as Zofia's and one more than Alvaro's. Just like that, our Pilgrim is tied for best physical attacker in the party.

Alvaro can equip Isabel's old Club, but it decreases his attack from 20 to 17, so let's not do that. And Rebeca can't use it at all. We could sell it, but I leave it at the Vault instead for Reasons.

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Alright, we're ready for our next attempt at the Cave. Alvaro reaches level 4 on the way, for 1 Str, 2 Agi, 4 Vit, 1 Luc, 1 Int, and a delightful 9 HP.

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After several fights with a ton of Ravens and Rabbits, Zofia gets to level 4, for 3 Str, 2 Agi, 2 Vit, 1 Int, 5 HP, 3 MP, a new spell: Heal. Her Max MP is only 11 right now, so it's definitely good to have Isabel for a main healer.

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Just like in DW2 again, enemies have specific items they can drop at the end of combat. Here we see that Horned Rabbits can drop Medical Herbs, which are definitely welcome.

The same fight sees Isabel reach level 5, for 2 Str, 1 Agi, 2 Vit, 3 Luc, 1 Int, 6 HP, and 2 MP. Not bad!

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Yeah, that's more like the chests we're used to.

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Image: This must be the basement to the Tower of Najima.
Image: So we're under the bay, then. What a marvel of engineering!
Image: I don't know why they couldn't just build a bridge.
Image: I don't... I don't do well with water. Let us not tarry.

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Masked Moths are slightly weaker than Horned Rabbits and Giant Anteaters, but they'll occasionally cast Surround. Surround is pretty straightforward: if you're afflicted with it, any standard attack that would hit has a 5 in 8 chance to miss. The spell effect no longer references a weird "Phantom Force"; its targets are "surrounded by mirages" instead. Having two party members with Blaze would allow us to bypass that in an emergency, of course.

That fight gets Rebeca to level 5, for 1 Agi, 3 Vit, 3 Luc, 1 Int, 6 HP, and a new spell: IceBolt. It costs 3 MP, and hits one enemy for 25 to 34 points of ice elemental damage. It's a lot more efficient than Blaze per MP spent and it'll easily one-shot anything we've seen so far.

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Isabel and Rebeca still have 11 MP, so I'm not necessarily in a hurry to leave, but I'm starting to worry a little. Let's try the north path from here.

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Froggores are a bit stronger than Giant Anteaters, but are otherwise unremarkable. All these incrementally more difficult jabronis make the difficulty curve really smooth, though.

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Image: It's not as fun as setting things on fire, but I gotta say stabbing things with icicles is pretty-
Image: Cool.
Image: I'm going to pretend I didn't hear that.

Another set of Froggores drop a Medical Herb. That's reassuring!

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Dang but this place is getting pretty large.

A fight against three Froggores and a Horned Rabbit gets Alvaro to level 5, for 2 Str, 2 Agi, 4 Vit, 1 Luc, 1 Int, and 6 HP.

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The Herbs we've picked up can take care of our healing, but Rebeca's running out of juice. Let's get that chest and then go home.

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Every bit helps, but hopefully we won't have to spend it on resurrection. Time to bail!

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Image: Hmm. Let's try these stairs. If they lead to the ground floor of the Tower, I have an idea.

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Music: Tower dungeon

Image: Alright, we're in business!
Image: Weren't we calling it quits for today?
Image: Yeah, but just follow me.

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Image: We don't need to walk all the way back. Now that we're outside, we can just use these Wings I bought.
Image: Hey, if it's that easy, I got some juice left. Can we kill a few more things before we go?
Image: Yeah, sure.
Image: What a bloodthirsty lass.
Image: These are bloodthirsty times, Isabel.
Image: True enough.

We might as well start checking the place out while we're still here.

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Image: Is that... a dining table?
Image: Could this be where the old man lives?
Image: Hmm, I guess so. I figured he'd be on the top floor, but I can't say for sure.

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Image: Um... Hello?
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Image: I can't imagine you get a lot of business down here, my good fellow.
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That's 2 per person, same as in Aliahan.

Image: Well, that's unusually convenient.
Image: Wait, are you all just going to trust this guy?
Image: Sure.
Image: I'll keep watch if it puts your mind at ease, miss Rebeca.
Image: Eugh, fine.
Image: Enjoy thy stay here!

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Image: Huh. Thanks.

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Aaaaand we awaken well-rested and ready to continue our journey. I was beginning to think this whole dungeon was a bit of a hurdle for a new player, but this inn is placed exactly where we needed it, and that's brilliant. Alright then, stay tuned next time for the Tower of Najima proper!

User avatar
TA
Posts: 1800
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 8:58 pm

Re: Let's play Dragon Warrior III: you mean they made a sequel to that one game with all the instant death monsters?

Postby TA » Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:36 pm

François wrote:Newly created characters start with a set of stats specific to their class, but also receive 2 to 6 bonus points placed at random; she got 1 point of Strength and 2 points of Intelligence. It's possible to "re-create" characters at the registration deck on the second floor hoping for more favorable bonuses, but I just took the first roll.

You can also create a bunch of characters only to sell their starting gear over and over again (Soldiers get the most expensive equipment), but that's lame, so I'm not doing that.


Indeed you can do both of these things! Chopping up a couple Soldiers for gold isn't the worst idea in the world, but since the starting stats will be subsumed in the random level-ups so quickly, it's not really worth it. However, there is a game-breaking bug here that makes this super not worth taking advantage of without extreme care.

Luisa's starts with three people. Male Soldier, Male Pilgrim, Male Wizard. You can add additional people on the second floor. However, you can't delete characters until you've filled it up with 11 characters - which, added to your hero, makes a total of twelve. I guess that's the total number of characters the game can track. So if you want to trash the Soldiers you've scrapped for parts, or the people who RNGed poorly, you have to max out the list first. And you can't max out the list.

Because as soon as you make that 11th character, it all breaks. Your Hero, if they don't already know them, immediately learns their first eight combat spells. Hurray! However, those spells include Heal and Return. And because you now know them, you will never learn them, and thus never gain the ability to cast them outside of combat.

Once you have both of those spells, it can be safe to screw with the Eatery, but by that level the gains aren't all that worth it?
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Friday
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Re: Let's play Dragon Warrior III: you mean they made a sequel to that one game with all the instant death monsters?

Postby Friday » Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:34 pm

The Parry Bug is/was so well known that iirc it was in the NES instruction manual as a "feature."

I never use it either, as I am (generally) in favor of playing games as the developer intended. (Unless what the dev intended was bullshit. And yeah, people's opinions on whats bullshit and what isn't vary, but that's nothing to my own choice of whether or not to abuse bugs/exploits.)

Didn't know about the bug TA just explained. Weird. I'd say bugs were common back in the NES days (and they were) but it's not like FF6 wasn't a fucking coding nightmare.
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François
Posts: 1326
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Re: Let's play Dragon Warrior III: you mean they made a sequel to that one game with all the instant death monsters?

Postby François » Sat Jul 07, 2018 6:13 pm

Huh, I had no idea creating too many characters could mess you up; it's not the sort of thing I'm inclined to do so I probably wouldn't have experienced it.

Friday wrote:Weird. I'd say bugs were common back in the NES days (and they were) but it's not like FF6 wasn't a fucking coding nightmare.


The first two DW games were surprisingly well put together in that regard. There's a glitch in DW1 that lets you respawn the starting chests in the Tantegel throne room, but it's more trouble than it's worth, and in DW2 there are the exploits with the Staff of Thunder and Water Flying Cloth, and the thing where you can keep the benefit of cursed weapons after removing the curse, but otherwise they're more or less mechanically airtight. In DW3 though, it's like a few things got lost in the increasing complexity. The whole deal with Vitality and Intelligence by themselves doing respectively nothing and next to nothing especially feels like they were meant to hook into another system (specific ailment resistances maybe?) but no one thought to actually make it happen.

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François
Posts: 1326
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Re: Let's play Dragon Warrior III: you mean they made a sequel to that one game with all the instant death monsters?

Postby François » Sat Jul 07, 2018 6:39 pm

So, the Tower of Najima. We're sitting on 287 gold and I'd like to get some shopping done, but we're still handling things alright, and with the ability to replenish our MP here, I'm confident Rebeca's IceBolt can pull us out of whatever trouble we may get into.

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Image: Seeing as we're all refreshed now, I'm thinking we could move from the bottom up and wipe out as many of these creatures as we can.
Image: Hmm, that way they get cornered on the upper floors and have nowhere to run. I approve.

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Zofia reaches level 5 here, for 3 Str, 3 Agi, 1 Luc, 1 Int, and 3 MP. That'll be a pretty good one.

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Image: This might as well be a dead-end.
Image: Wait, I know this stonework. This is... this is the jail in Aliahan castle!
Image: But why would there be-
Image: It was probably built during the war to hide troop movements, or as an escape tunnel for royalty.

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As we retrace our steps, Isabel reaches level 6. Good grief, she almost lapped Zofia to this one. It earns her 1 Str, 1 Agi, 3 Vit, 3 Luc, 2 Int, 7 HP, 3 MP, and her next spell: SpeedUp. For 3 MP, it increases all allies' Agility by a random percentage. It's not something that sees a lot of use, but it does make everyone a bit tougher, and can help you get your actions in before your enemies'.

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We definitely can't open this door either. Let's try that staircase in the northeast corner here.

After a fight with two Anteaters and two Rabbits, Rebeca gets to level 6, for 1 Str, 1 Agi, 3 Vit, 2 Luc, 2 Int, 7 HP, and 4 MP. That's almost a 50% increase to her max HP, so I'll call that a good level.

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Image: Huh.
Image: Multiple secret exits, that's pretty clever.

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There's another door we won't be able to open for a while. Trying to explore the area a bit...

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...causes us to return to the overworld.

Image: We might as well pick up some new gear while we're out here.

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That little shrubbery tile in the middle of the forest would definitely have looked suspicious if we had seen it on our way. Dang but it's super neat that this dungeon links to so many places!

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We've got more than enough cash to get everything we wanted now. So that's a Leather Armor for Isabel (16 defense to 20) and a Leather Shield for Zofia (18 to 22). Isabel now has more defense than Alvaro, and only 2 fewer HP, so we move her up in the formation. We could sell her old Wayfarer's Clothes, but I Vault them instead.

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We rest up and return to the cave's hidden entrance in the north, but I make sure we enter the cave at night this time.

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It being night outside has no effect on the encounter rate or monster types we run into underground, but we still have the blue interface to remind us of the time.

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Let's explore the rest of the floor before we move up. Alvaro levels up here, for 2 Str, 6 Agi (!), 1 Vit and 2 Luc. The Agility increase is great but that's a wasted Vitality point right there. (A Vitality increase of 1 can give 0 to 4 HP so this is definitely a bummer.)

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Welp, that's about it. I like that this tower has a rounded shape to it, instead of just having a bunch of rectangular floors like in DW2. Let's see that staircase, then.

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We went all the way around to get here, might as well check out these stairs immediately.

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Oh crap, we have no way to deal with poison right now. Maybe we should have picked up a couple Antidote Herbs before we left. Babbles are a bit stronger than Froggores, but they have less HP, so Rebeca is able to one-shot them with Blaze.

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Welp, Isabel got poisoned. Poison now costs only 1 HP every four steps, so it's not like we have to turn back right away, but she'll need to heal herself a bit more often to compensate. At least this is a tower and we can leave easily by jumping off a ledge.

Image: It won't be quite as fun as if they had the Cloak of Wind, though.

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Hmm, that chest is only accessible from a lower floor. We'll have to investigate it on our next run.

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Magicians aren't as strong as the other creatures in here, but they have up to 23 HP and a lot more defense than we're used to seeing, and though they can attack normally, their AI is heavily skewed towards making them cast Blaze every round. They're immune to Expel but almost any other spell is guaranteed to work, so IceBolt will usually take them down in one shot.

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We still can't open this, but there might be something around the central room here.

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Ah, there's the old man Bakor told us about. But this is clearly not the way to get to him.

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Yup, this is the top floor and it has nothing else to find.

Image: Typical.

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If it wasn't for the poison, we'd be in excellent shape to keep going, but even resting at the inn in the basement won't cure Isabel, so we have to return to Aliahan.

Image: Alright, we should be able to jump from here.
Image: Is... is that wise?
Image: Sure. My dad taught me an old trick, just watch. Hup!
Image: Ah!
Image: There she goes.
Image: Hmm, I see! This should be pretty simple. Hup!
Image: Good grief! I don't know if I can-
Image: Sure you can.
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Image: AUGH!
Image: Oof, maybe he can't. At least I know what not to do now. Hup!

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Image: Oh dear. Are you going to be okay?
Image: Y-yes... just... give me a moment.

We could walk back through the tunnels again, but we have money to spare and I don't mind buying another Wing on top of the Antidote Herbs, so we warp back home right away.

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Image: Wait... "Where?" What do you mean, "where?"
Image: What is this sorcery?

Good news, everyone! "Return" effects now allow us to choose our destination! We are no longer obligated to teleport to wherever we last saved.

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For some reason, Return effects also reset the time of day to morning. Well, we needed to shop anyway, no biggie. We replace the Wings we used, and buy three 10 gold Antidote Herbs.

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Curing Isabel's poison at the House of Healing costs 5 gold, so it's a bit cheaper than the to-go remedy, but at some point 5 gold won't be worth more than the time it takes to walk all the way there.

We rest at home, kill some time until night comes, and head for the Tower again.

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We make it back to the second floor without incident, and head west instead of south.

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Dang, I think there was maybe one chest in the entirety of DW2 that had more than 40 gold in it. This no longer feels like getting kicked in the nards, it's actual treasure!

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I also like this trend of getting useful equipment in chests. Leather Helmets are worth 2 defense points, and can be worn by anyone except Wizards and Fighters. We give this one to Isabel, bringing her defense on par with Zofia's.

Anyway, that was a fruitful branch of the dungeon for sure. We retrace our steps back to the zig-zagging hallway on the third floor.

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Despite how these monsters have no special abilities, it's pretty fun to figure out the most efficient way to win a battle like this. IceBolt will take out a Froggore, and Zofia and Alvaro can team up to defeat the other... but Alvaro is likely to go first, which means Rebeca may be tempted to finish off the wounded one instead of one-shotting the other. Instead, we have Zofia and Isabel each take one Anteater, and Alvaro is definitely capable of getting us rid of the Raven.

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Isabel rolled low and her Anteater survived, but even Rebeca should be able to finish it off with her Cypress Stick. Zofia and Alvaro take out the Frog, and Isabel and Rebeca end the Anteater.

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I love it when a plan comes together.

This fight even takes Zofia to level 6, for 1 Str, 2 Agi, 2 Vit, 1 Luc, 1 Int, 5 HP, and 3 MP. Aaaaand Isabel gets to level 7, for 2 Str, 1 Agi, 2 Vit, 5 Luc, 1 Int, 4 HP, 3 MP, and a new spell: our own version of Surround, costing 4 MP. No enemies around here have any resistance to Surround whatsoever, but their standard attacks aren't scary anymore either.

Isabel gets poisoned in a fight against four Babbles, but we can deal with it now.

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Scorpion Wasps are a bit stronger than Babbles, but a lot more brittle than the other creatures we run into here. Despite what you may guess, they can't actually poison you, but they have a 3 in 8 chance of calling for another Scorpion Wasp to join in the fight, so it can get out of hand pretty quick if you don't act decisively.

This fight gets Rebeca to level 7, for 1 Str, 3 Vit, 5 Luc, 3 Int, 4 HP, 7 MP, and a new spell: Firebal. Unlike the Prince of Cannock's Firebal spell back in DW2 (which was what Blaze is now), this Firebal is the first of a series of group-targeting fire element damage spells. It costs 4 MP, and rolls against fire resistance to deal 16-23 damage.

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Image: This old man certainly seems to enjoy his solitude
Image: I know, right? Let's bug him.

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Image: Wow, I sure am glad you've heard of me already.
Image: I dreamed that I have you this key.
Image: Ah... okay... sure, that's not weird.
Image: So I give you this Thief's Key. Do you accept it?
Image: That's why I came here in the first place. I gratefully accept it.
Image: Well then, be off with you, Zofia! I'll go back to my dreaming.

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Well hey, that's the Thief's Key alright.

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Image: Not yet, but I'm sure it will!
Image: See! My dreams often do come true!

If you answer "no" to either of his questions...

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There should be a small area of the third floor we haven't reached, not to mention that locked door in the tower's basement, so we're not done yet. Let's finish it up.

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Oh boy, an Agility Seed. Seeds are consumables that permanently increase their associated stat by a small amount, something like 1 to 3, if I remember correctly. The problem with this is that due to the soft cap mechanic, pushing a stat artificially high with Seeds will eventually cause you to get bad rolls for that stat on leveling up, so you lose out in the long run.

That said, Seeds can safely be used if someone's been having extraordinarily bad rolls and is far below their class' soft cap, or if their class has poor maximum rolls for that stat in the first place. Using Seeds to make a strong character stronger will usually result in losses in the long run.

I'm not super clear right this moment on whether it's a good idea to use this Agility Seed immediately, but I'll do some math between updates and get back to you.

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Alvaro gets to level 7 as we reach the castle tunnel, for 1 Str, 4 Agi, 3 Vit, 3 Luc, and 8 HP. I'd expect his Strength to rise faster, it looks like he's been getting some pretty bad rolls for it so far. But that's a decent amount of HP for sure, and he's got more of it than anone else.

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Aw man, I rested at the inn in the tower and forgot I wanted to try to sneak in the castle at night. Let's leave by another way and try again after sunset.

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Oh, of course. Heh.

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Yyyyup, no going in that way after all. Let's just head back home overland then.

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The sun is rising as we reach Aliahan, but we rest all the same.

Image: So, what's this key about? What does it open?
Image: Uh... Simple locks. Or so I hear.
Image: But which simple locks?
Image: A-all of them...?
Image: Well that's a handy little thing, then!
Image: Is it going to be much use for hunting fiends?
Image: You never know where fiends are hiding, right?
Image: That's the perfect excuse, I like it. "Don't you worry ma'am, I was just checking your home for fiends. They're gone now, but it looks like they took all your dosh!"
Image: How about we use that key to prevent crimes, not to commit them?
Image: Oh that sounds good, I like that one too! It sounds all noble.
Image: ...right.

Ethical quandary aside, we might as well put it to use right away! Let's see...

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Image: What's a Magic Ball? Rebeca?
Image: I, um, I don't... I mean, it's not important.
Image: Really now?
Image: I don't remember what it is, okay? So it must not be important.

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Image: Okay, he got pretty messed up.
Image: Remind me not to try to make a Magic Ball.

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Image: We'll be heading there anyway, might as well find out what those are while we're in the neighborhood.

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Image: Oooooh, that kind of Magic Ball. Yeah, they're used to break seals on Travel Doors.
Image: Are they, now.
Image: That sounds rather important.
Image: I've never had to break a seal on a Travel Door, so it wasn't important to me!

Guys, I think the game is trying to get us to go to Reeve for a Magic Ball. Just a hunch.

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Image: There's no way directly to the east though. If we wanted to go there, we'd need to go all the way around west, then north.
Image: Will you be hunting outside of Aliahan, Zofia?
Image: Yeah. I mean, probably.
Image: That's weird, I figured the king was paying you to go after fiends. Why go outside of the kingdom, then?
Image: Maybe he's trying to make amends for the war.
Image: Eh, sounds fishy to me.
Image: Haha, right... Who knows what he's thinking?

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That's all the simple doors in Aliahan. We're ready to leave, but I want to see if the two men staying at the inn might have something different to say at night, so I'll be picking some more fights until nightfall.

...aaaand they don't. We rest up, and leave in the morning.

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Music: Village

Ooooh, we've got another tune for small villages. It's got a bit of a mellow sound to it, I dig.

Image: Well then, here we are. It's been a bit of a detour, but I appreciate your assistance, Zofia.
Image: Ah, um, right. My pleasure.

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The Turban is a decent piece of headwear, +8 defense compared to a Leather Hat's +2, but only Merchants and Goof-offs can equip it. Fairy Water makes a return appearance at half the price it used to be, but it works in a slightly different way. It doesn't compare your Strength or HP to the stats of the monsters you're trying to avoid. Instead, every monster in the game has a level, and Fairy Water prevents encounters with monsters whose level is lower than your Hero's.

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Image: Uh...
Image: Shh! No, we didn't!
Image: I hear there is a cave in the forest south of this village that connects to the Tower of Najima.
Image: I'm sorry sir, we do have it.
Image: Come on!
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Image: Next time someone asks if you have a Thief's Key, you keep your mouth shut, okay?
Image: No promises.

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Image: It's not good enough to look from a distance. Get up real close.

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Still 2 gold per person, barely a formality.

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Image: Yes! Oh my goodness! Thank you!
Image: I cannot for the life of me understand why everyone else seems to make that mistake.
Image: You're wrong, everybody knows Ortega's child is a boy.
Image: Miss Rebeca!
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Image: Ha! Bless the little children!
Image: You're alright, kid.

This child is literally the first NPC yet who can tell Zofia's a young lady. If our protagonist is a young man, though...

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Ooof. Will you take a side of tragedy with that?

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Ah, now this is more our speed. The Training Suit is only for Sages, Fighters and Goof-offs, and offers 10 points of defense, only 2 less than Leather Armor. And it's cheap too! We're definitely getting one for Alvaro. We also get Zofia her Leather Helmet. Zofia and Alvaro now have 25 defense to Isabel's 23, so Alvaro takes second place again.

As for the weapons, the Chain Sickle is an obvious winner; it offers 24 attack power and can be equipped by anyone except Wizards (though you still don't want to give one to a Fighter). The +18 Thorn Whip is much more affordable, but it can only be wielded by Heroes, Soldiers, Merchants, Goof-offs and Sages. And the +14 Magic Knife can be equipped by anyone.

Selling Alvaro's old Clothes gets us to exactly 550 gold, so we pick up a Chain Sickle for Zofia, taking her attack power from 28 to 40. We could sell her starting Copper Sword now, but I'll Vault it next time we're in Aliahan. In time we'll want another Chain Sickle for Isabel and a Magic Knife for Rebeca, but this'll do for now.

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Standard House of Healing here. It's looking a lot less ornate that how you'd typically find them in DW2.

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Image: Allow me.
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Image: Oh my!
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Image: It already has!

So hey, boulder-pushing mechanic. I'm sure that's the last we'll see of it.

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Ooooh, cats and horses! So many animals!

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Image: Heard... the... huh?
Image: Go ahead and break the seal with this Magic Ball!
Image: I suppose there's only the one reason anyone ever comes here.
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Image: Without a doubt. Wherever Ortega's daughter goes, evil must cower.
Image: It sure looks like you three have a long journey ahead of you.
Image: ...yeah.

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Image: That's probably just as well.

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Image: And this is where we part.
Image: Welp, you came in handy for a churchy type.
Image: Wait, wait wait wait, it's not like the roads are clear yet.
Image: Oh, I should be able to escort travelers to Aliahan and back now.
Image: Well, while we're all here, maybe we could... patrol the surroundings until nightfall at least?
Image: It would be smart to make sure there are no brigands or the like nearby, just waiting to try something.
Image: That... may be true.
Image: You're very strong, but if someone raids the village, I'm sure everyone could use our help.
Image: But you clearly can't stay here forever. Your have your own journeys, your own paths to walk.
Image: Right, but one night wouldn't hurt.
Image: Ah... Fine. One night it is, then. But only one!

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François
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Re: Let's play Dragon Warrior III: you mean they made a sequel to that one game with all the instant death monsters?

Postby François » Mon Jul 09, 2018 9:00 am

The rest of the day goes by pretty quickly. The enemies around Reeve are the same as in the Cave on the Promontory, with the likes of Horned Rabbits and such.

Regarding the Agility Seed we got, it should usually be safe to give them in moderation to Heroes, Soldiers, Merchants and Goof-offs, but Zofia's Agility is slightly above average for her level right now, so I'm going to hold off on it.

Isabel reaches level 8 while Zofia is still level 6. She earns 2 Str, 2 Vit, 3 Luc, 1 Int, 4 HP, and 3 MP, which is pretty decent.

Image: Good grief, is there no end to these creatures?
Image: I... Uh... This is not... a... um... a local problem.
Image: Right. I hear things are getting more dangerous worldwide.
Image: Could there be a common source to these infestations?
Image: Well, I...
Image: Are you hiding something from us, Zofia?
Image: I'm not... Strictly speaking, I'm not hunting fiends. I'm looking for one fiend in particular.
Image: What kind of fiend?
Image: The... uh... the "arch" kind.
Image: Pfffffwhat?
Image: Hmm.
Image: Oh dear.
Image: Which one?
Image: ...
Image: There's more than one?
Image: Which one, Zofia? Is it Rhapthorne the cursebringer?
Image: N-no...
Image: Esturk the dreamer? Orgodemir the vain?
Image: Rebeca, it's a little late at night to be rattling off the names of powerful demon lords out loud, don't you think?
Image: Is it he-who-makes-slaves-of-the-dead, Z-
Image: It's Baramos. I'm after Archfiend Baramos.
Image: Okay, I haven't heard of that one. What's his deal?
Image: Destroying the world, I guess.
Image: Typical.
Image: Well, this changes nothing. I'm still at your service, Zofia.
Image: Thank you. Rebeca?
Image: Ehhh... Yeah, sure. Whatever. At least it probably won't be boring.
Image: ...Isabel?
Image: Let's just head back to town, shall we?
Image: Right.

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This may be the first time this really happens, but there is something to be said about how the Dragon Warrior series distinguishes itself by caring about the little people, about the stories of regular folk, trying to live under the whole situation we're doing our best to solve. This is not a subplot, this is not a sidequest, there are no clues or secrets to be found here; this is just one orphan being put up at the inn and one gruff stranger looking after him when he can because it's the right thing to do.

There isn't much else different at night in Reeve; the stores are closed, a couple NPCs are gone or sleeping, and the old Magic Ball man is in bed but still says the same thing he said to us last time.

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Image: So, I guess this is it then.
Image: It has been a privilege, Lady Isabel.
Image: I could stand you, that'll count for something.
Image: Actually...
Image: Hmm?
Image: I thought I was through with reinventing myself. I thought that this life I chose would be the right one at last. But... it looks like I'm still not done.
Image: Does that mean...?
Image: I couldn't sit here while the three of you kids run around the world after an archfiend. If you'll have me, I'm coming along.
Image: Haha, glorious!
Image: Of course we'll have you!
Image: Still no preaching, though. I'm serious.
Image: We'll see!

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Image: So, where to?
Image: The Travel Door, presumably.
Image: Yeah. To be honest I have no idea where Baramos is. But someone must know.
Image: No plan then. I can get behind that.
Image: There's no way an archfiend could remain hidden from everyone for very long. I'm sure we'll find a trail to follow somewhere.

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Zofia levels up off a couple Horned Rabbits, for 2 Strength, 2 Agility, 5 Vitality (!), 1 Luc, 1 Int, 8 HP, and a new spell: Expel. Heroes do get to learn their own unique magic at some point, but they often trail behind specialized casters when it comes to learning the spells they have in common.

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Of course these guys make a triumphant return, with their ability to cast Heal on accompanying monsters (or themselves when alone). They have more HP than anything else we've seen yet, but their physical stats are nothing to write home about. They're immune to Stopspell and Expel, and highly resistant to fire and ice, so if you need to wipe out a bunch of them at once, better try other elements.

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Oh yeah, this is exactly the kind of battle we want Firebal for. Zofia and Alvaro get poisoned, but Rebeca wipes out the entire group of Babbles, and gets level 8 for her effort. She gains 1 Str, 1 Agi, 3 Vit, 3 Luc, 1 Int, 7 HP, and 4 MP. We're out of Antidote Herbs at this point though, so we head back to Reeve to pick up some more.

There are also Froggores and large groups of Scorpion Wasps in this area as well, so the difficulty is already ramping up. You know, I think I'll grind up enough cash for a Magic Knife on top of the Herbs, I'm sure it'll come in handy.

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Ooof, eight enemies at once. Of course they're all Slimes and Rebeca can incinerate them all with a thought, but that's still a lot of critters.

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Oh dang, I think those only appear in this area at night. Spiked Hares have a decent HP pool and high Strength, and they can cast Sleep, attempting to put our entire party to sleep (of course). On top of that, the targeting for their standard attacks completely ignores party formation, which puts Rebeca in more danger than she's ever been. Zofia is able to one-shot them, but Alvaro and Isabel need to work together to take one out.

We run into three groups of Hares in quick succession, followed by a pair of Magicians. It's good money, but if we want to make progress, we'll have to come back here after sunrise!

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This time around, our interface turns green to indicate a party member with low HP. Yeah, we need to hit that inn right quick.

Just before we reach Reeve, Alvaro reaches level 8, for 4 Str, 4 Agi, 2 Vit, 2 Luc, and 6 HP. Now that is a Fighter level!

Aaaaand we make it to the inn. Whew.

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For now, we're buying a Magic Knife for Isabel. It's sort of the same reason we bought an Iron Spear for Zed back in DW2: it's a smaller expense now, and we'll be able to hand it down to Rebeca once Isabel gets a real upgrade. It'll probably be a Chain Sickle, though whether it'll be because we buy her one, or because Zofia gets an upgrade and hands her Sickle down, I'm not sure yet. At this point, Alvaro bare-handed and Isabel with the Magic Knife both have 30 attack power.

We also pick up three Antidote Herbs, and we're on our way again.

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Music: Shrine

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Image: Yes, of course. We've just arrived from Reeve, in fact.
Image: You must go to the Cave of Enticement. You will find it near a spring.

If you tell him you don't have it...

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The game definitely doesn't want us to proceed without that Magic Ball!

It's tempting to think there might be something in pots like the ones in this hut, but the Search command only makes us search the tile directly under our feet, not the one we're facing.

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That's the spring the old man was talking about. Do you remember the ruffian in Reeve who told us to "get closer" to "suspicious things?"

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Yeah, this is it.

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Image: That's a literal hole in the ground.
Image: Hunting fiends isn't always glamorous, Reb.
Image: Still, for being the Cave of Enticement, it's not very enticing.
Image: It will be a great deal more enticing once you three are inside.
Image: Oh cram it, Casanova.
Image: Heh.
Image: Struck down in one blow...
Image: Better work on your timing, young man!

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Image: Not for long!

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Image: It looks like we're not the first ones to try this.
Image: Welp, let's hope our Magic Ball is top quality. Here goes nothing!



(I'll start putting summaries of what happens in videos like this for people following in places where watching videos is impractical at best. It'll be in the spoiler tags.)

"Rebeca sets up the Magic Ball on the wall." The wall outright blows up, with a neat explosion animation.

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Image: Huh, that worked alright.

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Image: It might have worked a little too well, in fact.
Image: Watch your step, everyone.

This floor is definitely messed up. I'm sure we could fall in that dark crack to the south here, but let's keep it as a last resort and inspect the north portion of this hallway first.

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...right. Let's try that northeast path.

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We run into a couple Spiked Hares here; we better be careful.

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Holy crap! Man that Firebal is going to come in handy again. Only Zofia can one-shot Magicians, but Rebeca finishes off anyone that Isabel and Alvaro wound.

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Just a dead end with a Spiked Hare and a bunch of Masked Moths. We'll try the western room just north of here, then.

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Image: I wonder what could possibly be at the bottom of these holes.
Image: I'd rather not-
Image: Welp, there she goes.
Image: She's bold if nothing else!
Image: W-we better follow.
Image: Ehh... Right.

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Image: I don't know what I expected.
Image: I doubt the Magic Ball did all this.
Image: Yeah, this rubble is... old.
Image: At least we can climb back out easily from here.
Image: Let's check out the rest of this pit first, though.

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Demon Anteaters are less durable than most other critters in here, but their 20 attack power is the highest we've seen yet. On top of that, they have a special group AI that determines a target at random (ignoring marching order) and causes them all to attack only that one target until it dies. I'm tempted to have Rebeca Parry in case she's been picked, but we need her to cast Firebal at least once first.

...okay, they pick Alvaro, and he shrugs off their nonsense. Whew.

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Another group of Anteaters chooses to pick on Isabel, but they get roasted before they have a chance to do much damage. Man but it feels like the encounter rate is unusually high down here.

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Caterpillars are even stronger than Demon Anteaters, and boast more than double their HP and defense. They're able to cast Increase, increasing the defense power of their entire party, but they're vulnerable to magic so they can still be defeated even if they managed to stack buffs.

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Welp, there's nothing in this place after all. Better climb back up.

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Ah, that's the way back to the exit. Let's try straight across from here.

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Image: This staircase looks important, but I've learned my lesson with pits here. Let's try somewhere else.

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Image: Rebeca!
Image: Okay, trip over, let's take her back to Reeve.
Image: Right!

Aaaand here's our first casualty. Unlike in DW2, the experience that fallen party members would have earned is divided amongst the survivors (the same is true if you have fewer than 4 party members for any reason), but it'll bug me if Rebeca falls too far behind.

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Isabel levels up on the way back, for 2 Str, 2 Agi, 3 Vit, 4 Luc, 2 Int, 4 HP, 4 MP, and two new spells: Sap and Sleep. Sap costs 3 MP, and is a single-target percentage-based defense power debuff, rolling against the target's Sap resistance. Sleep also costs 3 MP, and attempts to put a group of foes to sleep for several rounds; it of course rolls against Sleep resistance.

Certain spells have a 50% chance per level of being learned, starting from a certain level. For example, Isabel could have learned Sap starting from level 8, but she only got it at 9. Other spells have a range of levels in which they can be learned, and you're guaranteed to learn them at the latest at the end of this range, but depending on your Intelligence stat you may learn them sooner. For example, Sleep here is guaranteed to be learned by level 11, but Isabel passed the Intelligence check as soon as it was available and learned it at 9 instead.

Heroes learn all of their spells on the latter mechanism, so they're never more than two levels late on getting new magic.

Zofia levels up soon after, for 3 Str, 2 Agi, 5 Vit, 1 Int, 8 HP, 3 MP, and a new spell: Return! For 8 MP, it works like Wings of the Wyvern, teleporting us to a destination our choice, provided we're already been there at least once. I don't want to deprive Rebeca of much more experience, so we warp directly to Reeve.

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The House of Healing interface helpfully points out the afflicted with an asterisk, in case it wasn't obvious, heh.

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Image: ...is it dinner time already?
Image: Well you certainly gave us a scare, young lady!
Image: I'll try to perish in a less traumatizing way next time, if it'll make you feel better.
Image: Let's avoid seeing anyone perish at all if it can be helped, alright?

Things are pretty rough in that cave and we can almost afford a second Chain Sickle, so I'll be grinding up the 80 gold we still need. It shouldn't be long.

...aaaaand we're done. Isabel has her new Chain Sickle, Rebeca inherits her Magic Knife (from 11 attack to 23), and we pawn the leftover Cypress Stick. We now have the best gear money can buy!

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Alright, time for another go at it.

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The only branches accessible to us now are at the far north end of the central hallway. Let's get to it!

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Eh, always useful, I suppose.

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These are the types of fights we get into here. The Anteaters are only slightly resistant to Sleep, so we don't have to take a lot of damage if we're smart about our spells. Rebeca levels up from this one, for 1 Str, 1 Agi, 2 Vit, 2 Luc, 2 Int, 2 HP, and 5 MP.

Isabel and Alvaro can one-shot Demon Anteaters and Scorpion Wasps by now, and Rebeca can even one-shot Masked Moths and Black Ravens with her Magic Knife. Those upgrades are paying off.

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Man that's a long corridor.

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Ooof, that's all the way around to the south end.

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Right, the staircase up is on the other side of that fissure, and we already know the passage east only leads to a pit.

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Welp, so much for that. We'll Vault it when we can.

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Three locked doors... Let's go down the center first.

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It looks like the eastern branch is even shorter than this one, but there may be something there we can't see from here, so let's check it out next.

Alvaro levels up, for 4 Str, 4 Agi, 2 Vit, 2 Luc, 1 Int, and 2 HP. Yeah, dude's finally waking up. His attack trails behind Zofia's and Isabel's, but he now has our highest defense. Seeing as he only has 5 less max HP than Zofia, we actually put him in front. He pretty much always goes first in combat now, which is always nice.

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Welp, nothing in the east after all. West it is, then.

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Image: Whoa!
Image: Goodness.
Image: Well this is a fair deal more ominous than I expected.
Image: Don't tell me you guys are afraid of a couple big skull statues.
Image: It's not so much the skulls themselves, as it is that there are skulls here in the first place.
Image: Look, wizards put skulls on everything. This Travel Door would be suspicious if it wasn't flanked by skulls. Heck, it's weird that there are only two.
Image: You would be the one to know, I suppose.
Image: Alright then, if Rebeca says it's good, then it's good. Let's go.



The group steps on the Travel Door, causing a neat wavy effect that unfortunately doesn't seem to record very well.

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Image: Everybody's got everything in the right place?
Image: Yup.
Image: Indeed!
Image: Yes, I... I seem to be fine.

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Image: I wonder how far away from home this is.

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Pretty far, as it turns out!

User avatar
Friday
Posts: 2743
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:40 pm
Location: A user of Sosuns

Re: Let's play Dragon Warrior III: you mean they made a sequel to that one game with all the instant death monsters?

Postby Friday » Mon Jul 09, 2018 2:15 pm

When I was a kid I'd watch my brother play this, and he was not the type to grind exp or gold, always in a hurry to get on with the game, so he was always chronically underleveled. He would go to the Cave of Enticement early (like level 6) and get killed by those Demon Anteaters. So to this day, I'm always really extra careful when I encounter the 4 of them, having my weakest party member (usually a wizard) parry every round.

As it happens I like to grind up to more like 8 or 9, so I'm usually fine, but it's just another example of childhood trauma informing adult behavior.

(I also put off doing a certain cave until I'm massively overleveled because of fucking Derangers.)

The first Fighter power spike is coming up soon, which will put your guy on par or better with "what a Soldier would have been" for basically the rest of the game (until the very endgame), except pure raw HP. Assuming you don't roll really badly I guess.
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User avatar
TA
Posts: 1800
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 8:58 pm

Re: Let's play Dragon Warrior III: you mean they made a sequel to that one game with all the instant death monsters?

Postby TA » Mon Jul 09, 2018 3:17 pm

Is there any particular reason you're Vaulting a bunch of spare equipment? I can't recall anything to do with that ...

The thing with most seeds is basically that while it's more or less safe to use them if you've been rolling poorly, it's usually better to sit on them anyway. Every class has a "baseline" value they check against for every level for every stat, and if the character's stat is at or below their baseline when they level up, they roll with a stat/level dependent multiplier for stat gain, and if above it, 50/50 shot for +1 or zero. Usually, you'll see steady growth for a while until you reach a level where you catch up to your escalating baseline, and then growth will be about half and half real levels and empty ones.

So, for Strength, Agility, or Luck Seed, you want to use it where you'll see lasting benefit, on someone who won't just have that bump subsumed into their leveling and hit the baseline sooner. That means either use it on someone who will realistically never hit their baseline, or save it and wait until someone's passed their baseline because the stat gains will have leveled out by then. An Agility Seed can be safely used on a Hero, Merchant, Soldier, or Goof-Off starting at level 1, but isn't safe to use on a Pilgrim until ~30, a Fighter until ~45, a Wizard until ~50, or a Sage until ~60 - and I wouldn't expect you to see those latter levels.

Intelligence Seeds and Vitality Seeds should never be used, and only sold. Those stats do nothing. The only thing they do is increase your max HP and MP when they go up from leveling, and by the amount they go up times two and with a variance of plus or minus up to two. But HP and MP will see increases from Vitality and Intelligence when they go up from seeds, so you'll just hit your baselines faster without the HP or MP to show for it. This is also why changing someone from a non-casting class to a casting class can really hurt, because you'll have a bunch of residual Intelligence growth without any MP to show for it.

There is technically a baseline for HP but it's almost impossible to ever see it on any class. Chomp Acorns of Life on whoever.
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François
Posts: 1326
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:00 am

Re: Let's play Dragon Warrior III: you mean they made a sequel to that one game with all the instant death monsters?

Postby François » Thu Jul 12, 2018 6:39 am

I was going to go into detail on the various seeds once we got to see more of them, but that looks like the long of it, yeah. High Intelligence does help learn certain spells sooner than the level at which you're guaranteed to learn them, but that is somewhat dubious in the long term of course.

TA wrote:Is there any particular reason you're Vaulting a bunch of spare equipment? I can't recall anything to do with that ...


It's more to make my life a bit easier in regards to something I want to try for the LP's sake only, not something that one might want to do in a normal game. I'll probably even vault the seeds we find for the same reason. It'll make sense later.

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François
Posts: 1326
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:00 am

Re: Let's play Dragon Warrior III: you mean they made a sequel to that one game with all the instant death monsters?

Postby François » Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:00 am

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Judging from the state of disrepair this side of the Travel Door is in, and that you can't even see the building from the world map, it must have been intentionally ignored for a long time.

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Image: Have you guys ever been here?
Image: Nah.
Image: I'm not especially well-traveled, to be honest.
Image: I've been around when I was young, when it was much less dangerous to travel by sea. But it's been a long time since I was here last.

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Image: I wonder if the king somehow managed to send word about us.
Image: Either way, I'm glad they know we're coming. I was almost afraid we were going to get arrested.

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The inn is 3 gold per person, and I think that's the first time a dude without the merchant sprite is behind the counter. (Though there was that one innkeep lady in Zahan.)

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Image: He will not.

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Image: The king's a dick. What a surprise.

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Image: Oof, I definitely don't need to be self-conscious about my accent right now.

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Image: Could this be the Archfiend's influence?
Image: Eh, most folk don't need a demon around to be butts to each other.
Image: But it did get worse somehow.
Image: I suppose killing a mighty evil creature will always be easier than traveling the world convincing people to be nice.

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Alright, new gear. The +28 Iron Spear can be equipped by all non-Wizards, and the +33 Broad Sword is restricted to Heroes, Soldiers, Merchants and Sages, marking the first time where the weapon selection of Merchants is better than Pilgrims'.

The +16 Shell Armor is an upgrade of four points over Leather Armor, for Heroes, Soldiers, Pilgrims, Sages, and Merchants, but the +20 Chain Mail can be equipped by the same classes, so the former is only for the budget-conscious. The +7 Bronze Shield is limited to these five classes as well. (Goof-offs are the only class that can use a Leather Shield but can't upgrade to Bronze.)

We'll want Zofia to get a Broad Sword at some point, but we have just enough for an Iron Spear at the moment, and she can hand it down to Isabel later so it's not a wasted expense. We'll sell the spare Chain Sickle this time, and use the proceeds to upgrade both Isabel and Zofia to Bronze Shields. This barely puts Zofia's defense ahead of Alvaro's, so she takes first place again.

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Continuing the tradition of item shops selling good Merchant gear, the +22 Iron Apron is two points better than even Chain Mail, and only Merchants can equip it.

The Full Moon Herb is a cure for "numbness", which is a status ailment similar to sleep, only it does not wear off in battle, and will in fact persist past the end of combat. Every step a numb character takes out of battle has a 1 in 16 chance to see them cured, so it can take a dangerously long time to get them back. In addition, numb characters count as being dead for the purposes of the game checking if we've been wiped out in battle; if all of our living party members are numb, we lose. We'll buy one Herb for now.

As for our two spare Leather Shields, we'll Vault them when we get the chance.

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Image: Hmm! This place reminds me of Osterfair.

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Image: They're making monsters fight?
Image: It'll cull their numbers, at least.
Image: Seems like a roundabout way of doing it if you ask me.

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Image: Say, young lady, how does this-
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Image: Um, my apologies.

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Image: ...

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Image: That's one way to dress up bloodsport.
Image: You pick the monster that wins and rake in the cash! The tickets are 80 pieces of gold each! Whaddya say? Wanna try your luck?
Image: I'm curious if nothing else, but it's above our means right now.
Image: Besides, I'm not sure I want to see this at all.
Image: You kidding? You're not interested? Come back again!

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Image: Pass.
Image: What's this? You can't pay even 5 pieces of gold? You better go home then.

Maybe we'll be back here when we have money to spare.

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Image: I wonder if he's still there.
Image: Accomplices?
Image: Sounds like a shady character.

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Image: I'll go north when I'm good and ready!
Image: The only way from here is north, though.
Image: My point stands.

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Image: Whose fault is that? You knew how he was before you let him take the throne.
Image: You know, I'm tempted to just skip the king here.
Image: He might have information on the Archfiend.
Image: Ugh... yeah, maybe.
Image: I wouldn't bet on it, though.

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Image: But first it's best to set out for the north to try out your skills.
Image: That just makes me want to go east first!
Image: I know, right?
Image: Oh dear.

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Image: At least this unworthy king knows how to put a garden together.
Image: Waste of tax money, if you ask me. Especially in times like these.
Image: The coliseum must be raking in the cash.

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Image: Oh boy. The last time a king was anxiously awaiting me, he put me in charge of assassinating an archfiend.

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Image: At least the guards are mighty polite.
Image: Yeah, they want something from us, of course they're gonna lay it on thick.
Image: Or maybe everyone here is usually nice and the king is the only screw-up.

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Image: Well, it's home.
Image: I'm sure the people there have beautiful hearts too.
Image: They do, milady.
Image: It's good to see the pain of the old war has faded. Maybe it was a good idea to seal the Travel Door for so long after all.

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Image: Zofia needs 221 more experience points to go to the next level.
Image: Ah, right to business then.

This king can also save for us.

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Image: Do you, now?
Image: Someone named Kandar has stolen the Golden Crown from the castle. If you fetch me that I will acknowledge you as a true hero.
Image: That's... too kind of you.
Image: Go then, Zofia!

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Image: "Fetch the crown"? Who does he think he is?
Image: That's a king-sized jackass right there.
Image: What does being acknowledged as a true hero even mean?
Image: Does that come with money? It better come with money.
Image: The king of Aliahan acknowledged me as a hero, and he gave me 50 gold!
Image: You're kidding! What the hell?
Image: So... are we doing it or not?
Image: It's a waste of time.
Image: You know that Kandar character probably won't stop at stealing from the king. If he's the type to steal a crown, he'll only be bolder from here on out.
Image: Eh, right. I don't know.
Image: What would your father do?
Image: He'd... he'd... cripes, he'd go whup Kandar's ass. No question.
Image: We don't have to do it for the king. We can do it for the people.
Image: I still think it's a useless detour, but it's up to you.
Image: Yeah, yeah, we're doing it. But I want to take a day or so and see what those tough monsters in the east look like. I mean, they may be dangerous to a bunch of randos from Romaly, but for all we know we've faced worse in the Cave of Enticement.
Image: That sounds like a plan!

We rest at the inn here, and set off in the morning.

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These are some of the worst the Cave had to offer, but they're well within our ability to deal with.

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Yikes. Vampire Cats have about as much HP as Caterpillars, but they have nearly twice their attack and twice their defense. In fact, Caterpillars are level 6, and Vampire Cats are level 11! They're very fond of using Stopspell, and their standard attack has a small chance to crit. They also have about 1/3rd magic resistance to nearly everything, except to ice and a couple elements we don't have access to yet.

For now we'll try Isabel's Sleep, and maybe we can sneak in IceBolts until their Stopspell lands on Rebeca... but I suspect we might have to run away.

Alvaro hits for 4, and is hit back for 14. Isabel's magic is sealed in the first round, but I think we can two-shot them with more IceBolts.

...yeah, no, Rebeca gets silenced in the second turn. We do take one of the Cats down though, so maybe Zofia and Alvaro can finish this fight with Isabel and Rebeca on watch with Medical Herbs.

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Okay forget it, we're leaving.

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Image: Whew!
Image: Okay, wow.
Image: So, north to Kanave, then?
Image: The day's half-spent already; let's make some money around Romaly until tonight and leave in the morning.

Escaping from battles has a couple wrinkles. If the Hero's level is at least 11 levels higher than the highest level monster's, running automatically succeeds. Otherwise, every attempt has a base 1 in 8 chance of success. On the second round, after that 1 in 8 roll, the game makes a second check with a 1 in 4 chance, and on every subsequent round the odds of that second extra check are 1 in 2 instead.

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As soon as we turn back...

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Rogue Knights have slightly less attack and defense than Vampire Cats, but they have a lot more HP. They're slightly resistant to Surround and fire and highly resistant to Sleep, but Sap and ice are guaranteed to hit. Their attacks have a chance to crit, but they're most notable for their ability to call for Healers to join them! I'm pretty sure this is the first enemy in the series able to request reinforcements from a different type of monster.

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Image: Holy crap, you knocked that guy out through his armor!
Image: Wait, Al, did you turn into a badass while we weren't looking?
Image: Ha, it's always been inside me. Maybe you should have been paying closer attention!

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Poison Toads show up at about the same longitude as Romaly, and they're definitely more along the lines of what we're meant to be fighting right now. They're functionally an upgrade to Spiked Hares, with the same formation-ignoring AI, but their only special ability otherwise is an occasional poisonous attack. They're somewhat resistant to Sleep and Surround but not at all to any damage elements, so Firebal is practically guaranteed to one-shot them if you can spare the MP.

We get into four more fights before sunset, and Alvaro rolls a crit in three of them. These battles leave us with 213 gold total; the last one before we reach town is against two Spiked Hares and a Poison Frog. We spend like three entire turns with our whole party asleep, and finish with Isabel poisoned and Rebeca with 1 HP left.

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The shops are closed and the streets are largely deserted. If we try to go to the throne room...

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The coliseum is still open, though.

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I have no idea how accurate this guy's predictions are, but if he was always right, it'd be way too easy to make a ton of money.

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Image: Maybe just this once.

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The monsters that will participate in the next fight are random, and the odds are generally higher for weaker monsters. The Masked Moth's Surround is likely to be something of a wildcard, but it's otherwise rather fragile.

Image: Hmm. The Froggore looks like the best bet here.
Image: We didn't need to pay 5 gold to that other guy to find that out.
Image: Eh, let's see how it shakes out.



The Masked Moth Surrounds the Babble on the first round, then gets taken out by the Froggore. The Babble is then unable to even put a scratch on the Froggore, and the latter easily wins.

We paid 80 gold for the ticket, and received 177 for our win, which matches the 2.2 odds we were given. It's a far cry from the 848 we would have made with a winning Masked Moth ticket, but we'll take it.

Image: Hot damn, we won! It's not a fortune, but it's ours.
Image: Huh. I can see how someone might get used to this!
Image: But we will not, right?
Image: Well...
Image: That's right, Lady Isabel, we will not.
Image: Yeah, yeah, we won't.
Image: Let's just get some rest. We have a long way to go in the morning.

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Image: If only.

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Image: What a brave little boy.
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Image: Oh! Right, my apologies.

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Image: So, to the north, then?
Image: Sure. But I wonder what's to the west, too. Let's keep our eyes open.

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Image: Welp, now we know.
Image: It's a shame that so many kingdoms are locked off from each other. If the Archfiend were to attack, we'd all fall alone.

Isabel reaches level 10 after a fight against four Poison Toads, for 2 Str, 3 Agi, 1 Vit, 3 Luc, and 3 MP. Dang but she can't learn Antidote fast enough. Zofia gets to 9 soon afterward, for 2 Str, 2 Agi, 6 Vit, 1 Int, 11 HP (wow!), and 3 MP.

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Killer Bees are not the most durable critters we've encountered, but they're a bit stronger than Caterpillars and their attacks occasionally inflict the Numb status effect. They're somewhat resistant to fire and sleep so normally Firebal would be an iffy proposition, but on groups of four like this I'm still inclined to try it. They also have no resistance to Surround, so that'll minimize the odds of getting paralyzed.

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Wow, okay, that's kinda grim. Putrepups have a butt-ton of HP, but they're a bit weaker than Killer Bees and have exactly 4 defense. Their one special ability is a Slow cast, which is the opposite of SpeedUp and will decrease our entire party's Agility by a certain percentage. They're immune to Sleep, but only slightly resistant to Expel and not at all to anything else that interests us at the moment­.

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Image: This isn't such a bad little village, for being so remote.

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Image: Oh, Rebe-
Image: If you're about to say I'm very weak, I will incinerate you in your sleep.
Image: I... was... only... about to mention... how... this... this healthy tree's foliage reminds me of your eyes.
Image: Gah, that's almost worse!
Image: Long ago they used to sell them at the item store.

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Image: They say he defeated a bear with his bare hands.
Image: Now that I've seen Alvaro in action, I could believe that!
Image: You flatter me!

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Image: Ah, that makes five of us.
Image: Apparently, he has fled to a tower somewhere.
Image: You're not great at this whole investigation thing, are you?
Image: Shush, Rebeca. Doors are open for the daughter of Ortega that would be closed to others.
Image: ...did you just shush me?
Image: She has a point!

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The Iron Claw here offers a 30 point attack bonus, almost as much as the +33 Broad Sword for half the price. However, it can only be used by Fighters, and it is in fact one of the extremely few weapons they can equip normally without penalties. We'll definitely want one very soon! The +23 Fighting Suit (3 points stronger than Chain Mail) can also be worn by Fighters, and also by Sages.

The Half-Plate Armor is 2 points stronger than the Fighting Suit, but it can only be worn by Heroes, Soldiers and Merchants. The Iron Shield boasts 5 more defense points than the Bronze Shield, but only Heroes, Soldiers and Merchants can equip it; Sages and Pilgrims can't make the upgrade from Bronze.

Anyway, we can't get anything right now, but we'll have that Iron Claw by tomorrow for sure.

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The inn is 4 per person, which is still a pittance. It can't ever be too expensive, as people would just Return to Aliahan and rest at home for free instead.

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The item shop is identical to the one in Romaly, and there is indeed no Poison Needle to be found.

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Image: Oh! Right, sorry, force of habit.

Image: Hmm! Hmmmmmmm... Hmm-mmm!
Image: Zed, you can't be thinking what I think you're thinking.
Image: Look, it's almost irresponsible for this merchant to-
Image: You're incorrigible!
Image: Hey, it all worked out in the end, right?
Image: Oh dear.

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Image: It's not the biggest, but hey, at least the atmosphere is better than at Luisa's.

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Image: Yeah, that's something they'd do.

Image: ...what are these "elves"?
Image: I don't know, but they sound like real jerks.

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Image: Alright, we still have daylight left. Maybe we can scout out this tower right quick.

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West it is, then.

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Army Crabs have relatively low HP for this area, but high attack and a ludicrous 60 defense; they can also summon fellow Army Crabs to the battle. They're only slightly resistant to Sleep and Surround, but they're weak to all elements, and in case you have a Pilgrim but no Wizard, Sap will also always work. For us, a single IceBolt can take them out.

Rebeca reaches level 10 after the following battle, for 1 Str, 1 Agi, 2 Vit, 4 Luc, 1 Int, 5 HP, 3 MP, and two new spells! She gets her own Increase (costing 4 MP), and Outside, which teleports us from the interior of a dungeon to the overworld for a rather hefty 8 MP.

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We only make it this far after a battle against a Putrepup and three Army Crabs where Isabel and Rebeca ran out of MP and Zofia had to finish the fight with a bunch of Blaze casts. It's really about time we turn back.

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Of course the Return effect only gets us to Kanave at sunrise, so we can't investigate the nightlife there just yet. We can certainly get a new toy for Alvaro, though.

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Image: I don't think much of weapons, but oh, do I ever like this.

The Iron Claw increases his attack power to a whopping 64! By comparison, Zofia with an Iron Spear has 51, and Isabel with her Chain Sickle has 44. The dude is going beastmode!

We stay at the inn, and head towards the Tower of Shanpane again in the morning.

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Huh, I just noticed Rebeca has more HP than Isabel. I would not have guessed that one.

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We're really taking a lot of damage at this point. Apart from the Bronze Shields we picked up in Romaly, everyone is still wearing protective gear from Aliahan and Reeve. We better save up for some better armor before thinking about another weapon.

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Image: If this Kandar lives so far away from civilization, it's no wonder he's evaded capture for so long.
Image: Ha! He won't evade it for much longer, I bet.
Image: What good is wealth if you have to live in the boonies with it, though?
Image: It'll attract other brigands, and before long you have an army. Keep your guard up, he's not alone in there.

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Next time: the raid on Shanpane Tower!

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François
Posts: 1326
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:00 am

Re: Let's play Dragon Warrior III: you mean they made a sequel to that one game with all the instant death monsters?

Postby François » Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:46 pm

Alright, the Tower of Shanpane. Seeing how the encounters outside were rough chuckles, I don't exactly expect to blow through this in one go. But we do need money, and this is just as good a place as any to get it.

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We first met a Rogue Knight in an area we clearly weren't meant to go to, but we can actually handle them already, as long as they don't show up in groups. If we can spare 3 MP for IceBolt, they're not hard to finish off with everybody else's standard attacks even if they manage to attract a Healer.

Alvaro reaches level 10 from this fight, for 3 Str, 6 Agi, 3 Vit, 2 Luc, 1 Int, and 6 HP.

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Humanabats (or Batmen, as they prefer not to be called for legal reasons), are a touch stronger than Caterpillars, but less durable. They're slightly resistant to debuffs and disables, but not at all to elemental damage, and have a 25% chance to cast Stopspell on their turn. All in all they're not extraordinarily dangerous unless you depend on magic a lot more than we do.

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This is the first staircase we've run into, but we saw a ruffian on the north side of the tower and a chest in the southeast near the entrance and I want to see what those are about.

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Image: Yeah, we had that one figured out.

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Wings aren't necessarily super useful at this point, but at least they allow us to spend all of Zofia's MP without regrets if we have to.

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This tower doesn't look all that wide after all, but there's no telling how high it goes.

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We take more damage than I'd like, far too much for comfort, but Alvaro usually going first every round and being able to one-shot anything except Army Crabs is definitely saving us a lot of harm.

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That's a dead end, but Alvaro delivered a 65 damage crit to a Humanabat here, so it was worth the detour.

Image: So Kandar lives in a tower full of monsters.
Image: Could he be in league with evil?
Image: Pretty sure he is evil, Al.
Image: Being a criminal is one thing, striking a pact with an archfiend is another.

Isabel reaches level 11 as we retrace our steps, for 2 Str, 2 Agi, 1 Vit, 3 Luc, 2 Int, 4 MP, and a new spell: Antidote. It cures poison from one ally, and it costs 3 MP this time around. Poison is slightly less bad than it used to be, but curing it demands greater expense. There haven't been any poisonous monsters in this tower so far, but it'll be useful against the Poison Toads outside for sure.

Zofia levels up to 10 here, for 3 Str, 1 Agi, 4 Vit, 1 Int, 6 HP and 4 MP.

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Gas Clouds have pretty feeble combat stats for this area and fairly low HP, but they do have an unusually high evasion rate of 12/256, and even that is nothing to write home about. They're immune to Sleep and Surround and vulnerable to attack magic, and they realllly like to cast Blaze. Just two like this shouldn't be a problem, though.

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Demon Toadstools are as strong as Humanabats, but a fair deal more fragile; they're slightly resistant to Sleep and highly resistant to Surround, but weak to anything else that interests us. Their sole claim to fame is a 25% chance to breathe gales of sweet breath, attempting to put our entire party to sleep. Alvaro and Zofia quickly one-shot those two.

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Image: You're not one of them, of course. I'm sure you're just here because of the view.
Image: If I was a bandit living in this tower, and I saw the lot of you walk in, I'd pretend to be an innocent bystander too.
Image: So, we ice him then?
Image: Nah, we're after the big cheese.
Image: Once we take out the leader, the rank-and-file will disperse. We have our hands full with monsters, we don't need to slaughter people as well if it can be helped. Even if they are criminals.

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Poison Silkworms have high Strength and HP, but moderately low defense and no evasion, and they're slightly resistant to fire and Sleep. They can also breathe "gales of toxic poison", attempting to poison our entire party. That'll be what Antidote is good for in here!

This is a tricky fight, as getting put to sleep by Toadstools will cause us to take a lot of damage immediately, but getting poisoned will end up depleting Isabel's already low MP. Hmm... let's go for the Toadstools first. If we have to leave afterwards, so be it.

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Yeah, we have maybe one more fight in us. Let's head for the edge and go back to Kanave.

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Just outside the tower, Rebeca reaches level 11, for 1 Str, 1 Agi, 3 Vit, 3 Luc, 2 Int, 8 HP, 6 MP, and a new spell: Bang. Bang is the first in a line of explosion spells, something like a mini-Explodet. For 5 MP, it deals 16-23 points of fire damage (exactly as much as Firebal) to all enemies regardless of grouping. Other games in the series give Bang spells their own explosion-type damage, but here they roll against the same resistance as the Blaze and Firebal spell families.

I know I didn't leave that as an option, but it's easy to underestimate how much sheer destructive might a party with multiple Wizards has access to. Two IceBolts will destroy any single enemy we've seen yet, and two Bangs will clear pretty much any screen for a while.

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Good grief, Rebeca is rolling epic HP increases; she now almost has as many as Alvaro does.

We're about out of juice at this point, so we use one of our three Wings of the Wyvern, just to play it safe. We enter the village with 1615 gold in our pocket, so of course we head straight for the weapon shop. I know I said I wanted to buy armor before another weapon, but I didn't expect to come back here with enough money to buy an entire Broad Sword. Hmm... Yeah, okay, we get Zofia her sword, hand her old spear to Isabel, and pawn Isabel's old Chain Sickle. This leaves us with 527 gold, almost enough for an Iron Shield or Fighting Suit.

Holy crap, even with the new Broad Sword, Zofia has 59 attack power to Alvaro's 67.

We could go back to the Tower right away, but I think it would be a pretty good idea to explore a bit of the Kanave region and make some relatively easy money first. Or... No, okay. Let's walk back to Romaly, buy Zofia a suit of Chain Mail that she'll eventually hand down to Isabel, then see if we can't come back to Kanave taking a different path. We might even be back in time to explore the village at night!

Alright, I dig it. Let's go.

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...

Yup, Zofia's defense goes from 51 to 59. It's not huge, but we'll be able to pick up a Half-Plate and Iron Shield before too long, so it'll do.

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There's a path north of Romaly, between the mountain range leading to Kanave and a lake in the east. Let's see where it leads.

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Welp. It looks like there's more land to explore further east and north, but let's call it a day for the moment.

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Image: Whoa, wait, what?
Image: A restless spirit!
Image: So, what do we do? Do we kick a dead man's ass in a cemetery?
Image: Well, we could make contact first.
Image: If that doesn't pan out, I'm setting the whole place on fire. Fair warning.

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Image: At least he's not hurt.

Image: Um... hi? Mister ghost?
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Image: But if you want to know the truth, I used iron claws! Ha, ha, ha!
Image: There's no shame in that.

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Image: Well that was uneventful.
Image: This is probably not the afterlife he was expecting, but he seems jolly enough.

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Image: It's him right there, isn't it?
Image: Oh! I must have dozed off.

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Image: Hmm! Oh-ho!
Image: Just keep it to yourself, will you?
Image: I barely even said anything!
Image: None of us are that dumb, kid.

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Image: Okay then, time to turn in for the night.
Image: Al? Isabel? How about you pay up and wait for us? I want a word with Zofia in private.
Image: Hmm?
Image: I don't see why not.
Image: Girl talk?
Image: Ssssomething like that. It won't be long!
Image: Alright. Don't do anything dangerous!

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Image: Rebeca, what's going on?
Image: Shh.

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Image: What did you want to talk about?
Image: Nothing. Sorry. Do keep an eye out though, will ya?
Image: ...for what?
Image: I know you're smarter than that question, Fia.

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Image: Reb...?
Image: Quiet!

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Image: Whew, okay.

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Image: Just give me a moment...

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Image: Ugh, nope.

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Image: It's got to be in here somewhere.
Image: Reb, what are you doing?
Image: Less questioning, more looking out for the owner, please. I'd rather not have to burn this place down to cover our tracks.

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Image: Ha, nice! I knew he wouldn't sell the last one.
Image: What's-
Image: Later, later, let's just get out.

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Image: Rebeca! Did we just-
Image: Yes, yes, we robbed a store. Big whoop. We're also hunting an archfiend, in case you forgot.
Image: I don't see how this justifies-
Image: This Poison Needle kills things. It kills things that are hard to kill. Do you follow?
Image: You're gonna stick Baramos with a stolen needle?
Image: I'm gonna stick a lot of things with a stolen needle. We need every edge we can get our hands on. It'll be worth it, trust me.
Image: ...it better.
Image: Come on now, let's not get our two goody-two-shoes worrying too much.
Image: I don't know what to think of the fact that you don't see me as a goody-two-shoes.
Image: I see you as someone who gets important things done.
Image: Ehhhhh... Fair enough.

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Image: But I can't say I like it.

The Poison Needle has a +1 attack bonus, but it is programmed to do exactly 1 point damage 7 times out of 8, regardless of its wielder's total attack power. The other 1 time out of 8, it causes instant death instead, to anything but a handful of rare creatures. Only Wizards can equip it, so it's not like you're trading a lot of melee damage potential for it, and it keeps their Fight command relevant throughout the entire game.

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Image: So, did you two have a good talk?
Image: Yeah. It was very enlightening!
Image: We... we sure did learn a lot about each other.
Image: Alright then, ready to take out those dastardly thieves?
Image: You know it!

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In the first round of our first battle today...

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Image: Wait... Is that a Poison Needle?
Image: Sure thing.
Image: How did you-
Image: Turns out the shopkeep had a spare! And adventurers working hard to save the world can be very persuasive!
Image: Well then, how nice of the man. It's good to see there are many generous people left in the world.
Image: Warms your heart, doesn't it?

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We make it back to where we left off last time in much better shape, since we didn't have to explore a bunch of dead-ends. Rebeca even one-shot an Army Crab and a Humanabat on the way. And Alvaro reached level 11, for 4 Strength, 4 Agi, 4 Vit, 3 Luc, 1 Int, and 7 HP. At this rate, I expect he'll remain our best physical attacker for the foreseeable future.

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Nice chunk of change, that.

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Image: I'm sure we're almost there. Stay on your guard, everyone.

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Image: Halt! In the name of the law!
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Image: W-w-weirdos?

We get closer.

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And they run to the staircase.

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Image: Guess we'll just have to take them all on at once!

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Image: Are you Kandar?
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Image: It wasn't even hard!
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Image: Oh!
Image: Augh!
Image: Oof.
Image: Everyone in one piece?
Image: ...yeah.
Image: Well they won't trick us twice! Let's head back up!

The pit opens under your feet no matter where you're standing when Kandar starts speaking to you.

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Image: Dammit, we've been had.
Image: Ugh, typical.

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Image: Of course.
Image: We know they didn't come back down the stairs. Come on, we're jumping!

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Image: ...eh?

Oooh, that top turret is smaller than the floors below, so jumping off doesn't take us all the way out of the tower.

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Image: Talk about amateur hour!
Image: You chumps aren't taking another step with that crown.



We get in a fight with Kandar and his three Henchmen. It's pretty tough, but we make it through without losing anyone.

Well hey, a dungeon with an honest-to-goodness boss! Will wonders never cease?

Kandar is much stronger than anything else we've faced so far, with high defense and up to 150 HP. He's mildly resistant to any magic we could throw at him, his targeting ignores formation, he Parries one eighth of the time, and he has a small chance to roll crits on standard attacks. Curiously, he has a 1/2048 chance to drop a Cypress Stick for some reason.

Kandar's Henchmen are a bit weaker than their boss, with about half of his HP; they inherit most of his resistances but are vulnerable to ice damage. They also ignore formation, but only ever attack normally, and they can't roll crits.

I suspect they're all immune to the Poison Needle, but I don't know for sure.

Since all enemies here are in their own one-man group, both Bang and IceBolt are decent choices, but party buffs are also extremely useful since you're likely to be taking a heck of a lot of damage. Even boosting your Agility will help your healers get in their actions earlier, which can be quite the determining factor.

As we saw, we got several levels out of this fight! Zofia got 2 Str, 1 Agi, 5 Vit, 1 Luc, 1 Int, 12 HP (!), and she learned her own Firebal. Isabel got 2 Str, 1 Agi, 4 Vit, 3 Luc, 2 Int, 8 HP, 3 MP, and she learned Infernos. Rebeca got 1 Str, 1 Agi, 3 Vit, 2 Luc, 1 Int, 5 HP, and 4 MP. Lots of good HP increases there!

Infernos in DW2 was basically what Firebal is now, but it's been changed somewhat. For 4 MP, it still targets an entire group, and will roll against their wind resistance to deal 8-23 damage. In terms of raw damage it's strictly weaker than Firebal (16-23 for 4 MP) since it's a Pilgrim spell and they're not meant to have access to big-time nukes, but of course it's a different element, meaning that it can actually prove more reliable in certain circumstances.

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Image: What, do you think we're idiots? You're the kind of twit that never learns, I can tell!
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Image: Rebeca, even a wretch like this is not beyond redemption.
Image: Do I look like I care? I'm not letting him go!
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Image: Oh dear. I never thought my secret technique could be used for evil!

Image: Just go.
Image: Eh!?
Image: We're a lot of things, you and I, but we don't kill surrendering enemies.
Image: ...
Image: Right!
Image: Just get out of my sight, Kandar.
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And just like that, Kandar and his crew jump off the edge.

Image: Ugh. The crown better be in there.

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Image: I do believe that'll be mission accomplished!
Image: It hardly gets us closer to the archfiend, but I think this'll still count as a good deed.
Image: He's just going to start robbing again, you know.
Image: Heh, that's not our problem. If the king wants Kandar gone on a more permanent basis, he'll have to actually pay us.

The Golden Crown is actually headwear, and it can be equipped by anyone except Fighters for +6 Defense, so we let Rebeca put it on. It's even the only hat for Wizards that's not a huge pain in the butt to find! Returning it to the king of Romaly isn't strictly required for progress, so a point could be made for just keeping it. But that wouldn't be very heroic now, would it?

So! That's the Tower of Shanpane done. It's a very simple dungeon, even moreso than the Tower of Najima was, with one staircase per floor and a minimal amount of dead-ends. In that way, it was definitely designed to be the introduction to the notion of a dungeon boss: if Kandar wipes the floor with you, getting back to him is straightfoward and quick. On top of that, despite the tower's short length, the standard monsters in it are pretty tough, so it doesn't feel like a training-wheels waste of time. The game generally does a great job of teaching you the ropes on new ideas while still offering a challenge in other ways!

We got some MP left, so we finish exploring the area around the tower before returning to Kanave for some shopping.

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We buy Zofia's Half-Plate, and hand down her Chain Mail to Isabel. Selling Isabel's Leather Armor, Rebeca's old Magic Knife, and a Copper Sword we got off an enemy drop a while back leaves us with 935 gold, so we also buy Alvaro a Fighting Suit, taking his defense from 34 to 47 and again making him the toughest member of our party. He has 21 fewer HP than Zofia though, so I leave him in second place. The only upgrade we need from here now is the Iron Shield.

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Image: Alright your Majesty, here's your fancy hat back.
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Image: You are indeed a true hero!
Image: That's hardly news to the rest of us.
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Image: Um... No?
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Image: I'm extremely busy, no thanks!
Image: Speak ye not thusly. Accept instead, if for the sake of experience alone. What say ye? Wilt thou not rule this land in my place?

Image: Oh no.
Image: Is everyone just doing this now?

Image: Just say yes and shut him up. Once you're the queen it's not like anyone can stop you from leaving.
Image: What a colossal waste of our time.
Image: If anyone deserves a royal title, it's one of Ortega's bloodline!
Image: ...eugh. Fine. Cripes.
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Image: The queen! You mean the queen! I'm a wom-

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The "level up" jingle plays.

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Image: ...

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Image: What the...

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Image: Well this is frikkin' weird!

User avatar
Friday
Posts: 2743
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:40 pm
Location: A user of Sosuns

Re: Let's play Dragon Warrior III: you mean they made a sequel to that one game with all the instant death monsters?

Postby Friday » Fri Jul 13, 2018 9:39 pm

I just wanted to say that Fia and Reb's midnight adventure was fucking amazing and the effort you put in to do that was not wasted

(also I didn't know that the Crown is actually the 'reasonable' best helm in the game for Wizards. Neat. It means you can't ever talk to the King of Romaly again, of course, but that's not a big deal.)
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Friday
Posts: 2743
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:40 pm
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Re: Let's play Dragon Warrior III: you mean they made a sequel to that one game with all the instant death monsters?

Postby Friday » Fri Jul 13, 2018 9:42 pm

Oh, also, I did some poking around in how DW3 handles damage/defense formulas, and the answer is complicated, but a reasonably close approximation is 1/2 attack power minus 1/4 defense power, with like 30%ish variance on the final number.

It just helps when deciding if an upgrade is worth the cash: For example, your half plate upgrade for Zofia will, on average, reduce incoming damage by 2. Compared to her old armor, I mean. Depending on how hard you're usually being hit, that may be worth it or not.
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TA
Posts: 1800
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 8:58 pm

Re: Let's play Dragon Warrior III: you mean they made a sequel to that one game with all the instant death monsters?

Postby TA » Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:13 pm

Friday wrote:Oh, also, I did some poking around in how DW3 handles damage/defense formulas, and the answer is complicated, but a reasonably close approximation is 1/2 attack power minus 1/4 defense power, with like 30%ish variance on the final number.

It just helps when deciding if an upgrade is worth the cash: For example, your half plate upgrade for Zofia will, on average, reduce incoming damage by 2. Compared to her old armor, I mean. Depending on how hard you're usually being hit, that may be worth it or not.


According to the Game Mechanics FAQ, the damage formula is DAMAGE = ATTACK - [DEFENSE / 2] * RANDOM FACTOR, where RANDOM FACTOR is (102..153) / 256 or roughly 39.8%-59.7%. So with some wiggle room, attack/2 - defense/4 is not far off. Bikill doubles the final result. Special weapons like the Zombie Slasher add 16-31 to the final result if applicable.
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