Let's play Dragon Warrior II: Warrior Hardier!

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TA
Posts: 1800
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Re: Let's play Dragon Warrior II: Warrior Hardier!

Postby TA » Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:36 pm

This reminds me.

Friday wrote:Fun fact: Tadpole villager lady is the Puff Puff girl.

They censored her for the NA release, but try going to talk to her when the Princess is dead. They retained her alternate text.

yes i only know this because i watched a video detailing every instance of Puff Puff in Dragon Quest

(it's in DQ1 as well)


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And if you roll in with only Cannock alive, well ...

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Alas.
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Friday
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Re: Let's play Dragon Warrior II: Warrior Hardier!

Postby Friday » Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:03 am

Dragon Warrior 2 occupies an extremely weird place in my mind. It's like almost right in the unique position of being both obscure enough and good enough to hit that same level of "Shadowrun for SNES" dark horse favorite, (while not claiming it's as good as the big boys for the same systems, like DW3 or Earthbound) but then I remember how fucking awful fucking Rhone is. My problem with the endgame of Shadowrun is it's too easy, but if you think piles of Fireflies are bad...

But pretty much everything up to Rhone is forgivable, and considering how huge a leap forward DW2 was, the other flaws are easily overlooked.
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François
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Re: Let's play Dragon Warrior II: Warrior Hardier!

Postby François » Fri Jun 15, 2018 10:42 pm

TA wrote:And if you roll in with only Cannock alive, well ...

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Image: Good grief. I don't have a special someone in my life right now, but I dare say I'll have good enough taste as to choose someone who doesn't think I'm Zed.
Image: What is that supposed to mean?
Image: Uh... that... you're very strong, and smart, and handsome.
Image: Ah, yes, thank you. Carry on.

Friday wrote:Dragon Warrior 2 occupies an extremely weird place in my mind. It's like almost right in the unique position of being both obscure enough and good enough to hit that same level of "Shadowrun for SNES" dark horse favorite, (while not claiming it's as good as the big boys for the same systems, like DW3 or Earthbound) but then I remember how fucking awful fucking Rhone is. My problem with the endgame of Shadowrun is it's too easy, but if you think piles of Fireflies are bad...

But pretty much everything up to Rhone is forgivable, and considering how huge a leap forward DW2 was, the other flaws are easily overlooked.


Yeah, I'm on your side there. I mean, sure, I'm dreading Rhone, there's no getting around that. But so far this is a lot of fun, and it's been impressively well-designed. And I won't even qualify that with "for the time", I think it is legitimately a good JRPG, with flavor and substance, full stop.

Now let's hope I don't have to change my opinion by too much before the end, heh.

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François
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Re: Let's play Dragon Warrior II: Warrior Hardier!

Postby François » Fri Jun 15, 2018 10:43 pm

While I busy myself with mopping up the Star Crest tower, let's have a word about the game's structure so far.

A lot of the time, when you're thinking about a JRPG, you're thinking about going to a village, getting directed to a dungeon, beating a boss at the end of the dungeon, earning some plot, traveling to the next village, etc. I'm not saying that's bad, I'm saying that's a formula.

What about Dragon Warrior II, then?

1. We chase our cousin around for a bit, going to an introductory underground dungeon on the way, then join forces with him.
2. We get the Silver Key because it has intrinsic and immediate value to us (it's not a MacGuffin in the least), but we don't actually have to. And all it takes is to reach the bottom of a cave and walk back out.
3. We reach Hamlin and Moonbrooke, investigate a ruined castle, get some neat geographical clues, find a hidden artifact to break a curse, and join up with our second cousin.
4. We're introduced to tower dungeons, and we're given an item with a unique, flavorful mechanic related to these dungeons.
5. We go west to Lianport, and fight our first battle that's obligatory to progress. It's not even strictly a boss, it's more of a "you must be this tall to ride" test to make sure we're strong enough to handle sea travel. It earns us a ship.

As linear as this first portion of the game is, it still feels like someone said "let's do away with the JRPG formula, let's do something more free-form where you don't really ever repeat an objective". If something that experimental was made today, we'd call it post-modern, or a deconstruction, but it's really more pre-modern. The ideas just hadn't congealed yet.

And even after we get the ship and the world opens up, the game avoids turning into a vast stage select dealio where you just decide in what order you're going to beat the dungeons. There's the dungeon we just beat, and there's Charlock, yes, but there's also a bite-sized combat challenge in Osterfair, and sort of a cute sorta puzzly thing in Zahan to get the Golden Key, and the quest to find the wreck of the Relentless, and the whole thing with the Jailor's Key in Wellgarth, and exploration rewards us with info about the artifacts we'll need for the endgame, and...

It feels varied, and almost even free-form. And this variety and freedom make the world feel bigger and more open than it really is, which is an excellent lesson in doing more with less.

It's also extremely impressive that even through all this, I haven't strictly been obligated to grind yet. There has never been a point where every path available to us was blocked by foes we just couldn't defeat without killing easy enemies for 45 minutes. A great many games since have solved (or tried to solve) this potential issue with non-linear games with enemy scaling, but that's not a solution available to DW2, and it still somehow manages to work. (So far, at least.)

Aaaaaaanyway. Back to it for now. What did the rest of the Star Crest tower look like?

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It turns out the other three staircases from the ground floor lead to a collection of loops and dead ends, with a single chest containing a Chain Sickle.

At the risk of repeating myself, I gotta say I'm amazed at how the difficulty here has felt so right. We got into some real trouble here and there, those Dragon Flies don't mess around, but we're not in the introductory portion of the game anymore, and they're definitely teaching us to respect fire-breathing critters coming in large groups.

As we were clearing the tower, Gwen reached level 15, for 1 Strength, 3 Agility, 7 HP, 6 MP, and a new spell.

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For 8 MP, it restores one ally's HP to maximum. It is the best healing spell in the game (there are no healing spells with more than one target), and only Gwen gets to learn it.

In other news, right now Gwen has 75 max HP, while Glynn only has 72! This probably won't last for very long, but I didn't expect it. She has 56 defense power to his 59, too, so they're about equally durable. (Other than Glynn's Magic Armor reducing incoming spell damage, that is.)

Image: Well that was a fun little diversion, wasn't it?
Image: Yes, sure, let's call it that.
Image: I presume we're headed for the lake south of Moonbrooke now?
Image: That's right. We should be able to sail right over the tunnel to the desert.
Image: Alright then. Hoist the mainsail!
Image: ...?
Image: It's the big one.
Image: And... we do what with it?
Image: We hoist it.
Image: Just raise the sail, Zed.
Image: I don't know why you couldn't just say that in the first place.

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Image: My chamberlain once said I was strong as an ox. And the king of Osterfair said I was as strong as... several of those. I guess I'm moving up in the world.

Hibabangos are about as strong as Basilisks, but they have nearly twice the HP. They can roll crits, as well as cast Surround and Defence. They're fairly resistant to Surround, but only slightly resistant at best to other magic.

Graboopis have nearly the same Strength, but are slightly less durable, and trade crits and spells for the ability to call for help. They're immune to Surround and Defense, very resistant to Sleep, and weak to damage spells.

This kind of encounter is where Firebane is highly useful, as you want to take out the Hibabango before it Surrounds Zed, but you can't neglect the Graboopi calling for reinforcements either.

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Image: Hmm, we've been here already.
Image: Really?
Image: Right, we saw it as we were going down the coast here, when we were returning to Zahan.
Image: There could be a town here one day, with a harbor, to trade between Moonbrooke and Osterfair.
Image: In better days, maybe.
Image: Well, there's more to this lake yet, let's head back west.

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Image: Rhone is definitely on the other side of this mountain range. We were right to figure Hargon would be attacking from somewhere nearby.
Image: Not that this guess has been particularly useful to us, in the end.

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Image: Alright, lubbers, we continue on foot from here!

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Hunters are a bit stronger than Hibabangos, with slightly more HP and slightly less defense. They only have a standard attack, though. They have low magic resistances all around, except a moderate resistance to Sleep. I'd say they're definitely worth a Surround if they're not alone.

It's pretty amazing to still see Magidrakees this far into the game. It's one advantage of having force-multiplier critters around; they're versatile and their threat scales with their companions. We let them live past the first turn at our own peril.

That fight earns Glynn level 19, for 1 Strength, 6 Agility, 7 HP, and 3 MP. Despite the low attack increase, I'd say it's a pretty good level, given that if we want him to do a lot of damage, Firebane is right there.

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Image: Aw heck, another tower.
Image: I wonder what it might have been built for.
Image: Not to hold a crest, that's for sure.

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Image: ...eh what?
Image: It looks like this is a dead end after all.
Image: Where would that river empty into? Not the lake for sure. And it certainly doesn't flow north either, or we would have seen it when we crossed the desert.
Image: Probably into the west side of the continent. We haven't sailed along that coast yet.
Image: It sounds like that's our next destination, then.
Image: Man, when I left Midenhall, I didn't think tracking down Hargon would take me across the world like this.
Image: Ha, would you have preferred the trip to be easy?
Image: Well, I would have preferred if Hargon hadn't shown up at all. But travelling with you guys sure beats training in the courtyard all day every day.
Image: It's a shame it took this disaster to get us to start spending time with each other, isn't it?
Image: ...yeah, it is.
Image: What's done is done. All that's left is to preserve a future where everyone gets to spend time with anyone they like, right?
Image: Right! Let's get a move on, then. To the west!

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We sail between the Dragon's Horns again, and follow the coast south.

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Image: Oh hey, we can land here!
Image: I thought we were looking for a river.
Image: Well, yes, we are. But this is still a way in to the continent.
Image: Better check it out. We'll kick ourselves later if this was the correct path.
Image: Right, good point. Let's get to it, then.

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Image: Welp, never mind.
Image: There's our river, at least.
Image: It must flow into the sea further to the south. Let's return to our ship.

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Puppet Men are upgraded Mud Men, about as tough as Orcs but doing a bit less damage. They know the strange jig of course (this fight cost Gwen almost 50 MP), but they can also cast Increase. They're immune or highly resistant to all magic, except with a mere resistance of 3 against spell damage. And most notably, they can drop extremely valuable Wizard's Rings.

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Image: Land... ho?
Image: Hmm! What's that island over there?
Image: I'm not sure. Let's get closer.

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Image: Oh! This is... the travel shrine! The one in the woods!

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Image: Wow, you've got to be kidding me.
Image: Well this is fortuitous. You know, we could postpone the river trip and see if there's a way to land on that island. What do you think?
Image: I for one am not keen on seeing another Puppet Man anytime soon.
Image: Yeah, sure. It's not like we know for certain the tower has anything interesting going for it.
Image: And if nothing else we can use the shrine to return to Lianport and get some rest.
Image: Alright then, it's decided. Find us a beach, captain.

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Image: These reefs are no good, but at least now we know it's not mountains all the way round. We could be on the right track.

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Image: Ah-ha! Here we are.

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Yeah, we can deal with these a lot more easily now.

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Image: Holy crap, a town!

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Image: Yes, we had already guessed that Hargon is more dangerous than an Ozwarg or Hibabango.

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Image: Yikes, this dude must have done something seriously bad to get put in here.

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If we had found a reason go after Roge Fastfinger before we actually tracked him down, this would probably be real disappointing to hear.

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These new tiles are traps that drain 30 HP per step! Fortunately Glynn's Stepguard rises to the occasion.

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Image: Uh... sure.

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Image: We know someone for whom it'd come in handy, hmm?
Image: I'll let you guys know if I find a sword that you don't need to be any good at wielding to be effective in battle.
Image: ...point taken.

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Well hey, it's good at least one person can give you directions to go there.

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The female shopkeeper runs a standard item shop. And the suspicious-lookin' fellow...

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Nothing new here, but it might be more convenient to come here through the travel doors than to sail all the way to Wellgarth for a Shield of Strength.

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That's a lottery kiosk. We got a ticket off a monster at some point... but we lose.

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Ah, right, this might be the only place where the game tells you what that does. And if you haven't found the World Tree yet (or if you saw it but didn't think to check it out), it might clue you in.

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30 per person, not a problem.

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Image: Eh? Alright, I'm listening.
Image: Seek the Fire Monolith and thou shall find the Sun Crest.

Ah, whew, okay, someone does point you towards the Sun Crest after all. It's in a monolith, and I think it's also the only one with a flame inside.

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Image: Nah, I'm not good with hours.
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Image: Good grief, if you didn't want to hear a no, why did you ask?
Image: A little courtesy never killed anyone.
Image: Sir, we're early in the morning, an hour and a half after sunrise.
Image: I thank thee very much indeed.

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Ah, nice. Beran will be a good Return point for exploring the region.

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She certainly means the island with the World Tree on it. The Leaf is an important item, it's good that the game insists on letting you know where it is.

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Image: Or the Prince of Midenhall, actually.

Man, this town's got all the important info we don't need anymore!

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Image: If we knew how, that is.
Image: It's a shame that we don't.
Image: It truly is!
Image: I'm a fighter and I'm a wizard and apparently I'm also a sailor! What else do you want from me?

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Ah, a fancy House of Healing. Let's check out that door in the back.

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It's a jail door, and we can't forget our Stepguard.

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Image: "Was"?
Image: We'll really need that Eye.

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Image: Yep, that's a dead end alright.
Image: I remember someone in Wellgarth saying the road to Rhone started from there. What is this, then?
Image: We didn't investigate that region very thoroughly.
Image: Yeah, the critters down there were something else.
Image: Let's map it out the next time we go that way, shall we?
Image: Right, we'll know better once we see the place with our own eyes.

We return to Beran, with only a couple Hunters and Magidrakees standing in our way.

Image: Ready to look for that river again?
Image: Yeah. If we don't find a clue towards the Moon Fragment in that region, we might be in trouble.

On our way back to the ship, we run into a bunch of Titan Trees, and they dance Glynn's MP from 68 to 27. Good thing we're carrying a couple Wings.

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Image: There's our way in.
Image: Oof, are you sure about that? It looks pretty narrow.
Image: I can manage it. The mosquitos will be a bigger worry than the river, I think.
Image: Not if the Staff of Thunder has anything to say about it.
Image: Glorious!
Image: Welp, time to find something to stuff in my ears.

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We run into a Hawk Man and a Gas early on, but there are Puppet Men and Hunters showing up deeper in. We can manage, but it's not trivial.

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Image: I think that's a village over there.
Image: But the river's blocked. I'm not sure... Is that a sluice gate of some sort?
Image: It doesn't look like there's anything we can do from this side. Maybe if we go around?
Image: There was a fork earlier, let's try the other way.

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Image: Looks like we're leaving the river behind.
Image: There must be a way through the mountains north of here.
Image: We are getting fairly close to that tower, too.
Image: Good news all around, then.

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Image: Or not.
Image: How...? Hmm.
Image: This is a different river from the one we've followed so far, right?
Image: There's another branch downstream, near the sea, but there's a bridge over the other side of the fork there, we're definitely not sailing underneath.
Image: Could that other branch also flow into the sea, but in a different spot? Further up the coast maybe?
Image: It's worth a look.

As we go back, Zed reaches level 21, for 6 Strength, 3 Agility and 6 HP. It doesn't really mean anything special here, but this is the level we were at when we defeated the Dragonlord in the previous game.

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Image: Bingo! This must be the one!

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Oooh, there are Metal Slimes up here too. Zed kills it with a 19 damage regular blow, and it feels crazy good.

This part of the mountains must share an encounter zone with the desert in the north, because we also run into Carnivogs, Baboons and Ghost Rats.

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Image: Gah, finally.

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Image: There's no going to that tower without getting that river open.
Image: We still have that key from Fastfinger, right?
Image: Hmm. Of course.

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Image: Oh, isn't this where this Don Mahone fellow lives?
Image: Right, the guy who makes "the finest Water Flying Cloth". I'm still not sure why we should give the finest Water Flying Fu-
Image: ZED! Language!

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Image: Well then, here we go.
Image: Maybe you can get him to teach you a thing or two, Glynn.
Image: Not. Interested.

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That's a regular House of Healing. I do like how they're all architecturally different from each other.

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Image: Ooooooooh yeah. Just what we wanted to hear.
Image: Now we're in business!

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Ah, the Falcon Sword. It has only 5 attack power, which is between the Bamboo Stick and the Club. However, its wielder attacks twice per turn. Both Zed and Glynn can equip it, and it is in fact the only weapon stronger than an Iron Spear that the Prince of Cannock can wield. We'll definitely get him one... sometime.

The Falcon Sword is an interesting weapon in that it almost entirely relies on its user's Strength for its damage output, and it doesn't do as well against high-defense monsters as a hypothetical single-hit weapon with twice its effective attack power since each blow has to overcome that defense separately. (Random number generation aside, two 50 damage hits against an enemy with 30 defense deal 40 damage total, while one 100 damage hit against that same foe deals 70.) I think at some point it still becomes the best weapon in the game for the Prince of Midenhall as well, since it employs his ludicrous Strength twice, but I hope we won't have to grind him up that high.

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Image: You could say that.
Image: Well, he stole the key to our watergate, the scoundrel. We would dearly love to have it back.
Image: What kind of idiot steals the key to a watergate?
Image: The "asshole" kind of idiot.

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Image: It lies to the south.

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Image: Pffft.
Image: Um... Sure.

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Image: ...oh! Of course!
Image: I shall weave thee a Water Flying Cloth, but it will take time. Please come back in a day or so.

He's not kidding about that. We can stay at the inn as many times as we like, but he won't be done until we save our game, quit, and reload. At least for now he takes the Loom and the Yarn off our hands, so that's two inventory slots we get back.

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The inn is 40 gold per person, still not a problem.

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Image: Yyyyeah, I get it.

We haven't found that watergate yet though. But if we try to go north to check on the dog here...

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...we can see there's more to the village than first appears.

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Image: ...your wife wants to name your dog after her father?
Image: Well, we should not judge the traditions of foreign lands.
Image: Oh boy, I am definitely staying out of this nonsense, thank you very much.
Image: I wonder if Orwick and his girl ever found each other.

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Image: Ah, here we are.



The Watergate Key isn't in our inventory anymore, again giving us welcome free space.

It's a bit of a dick move, but we can't actually save in Tuhn. We'll be Returning to Beran to save, quit and reload, then we'll sail all the way back here through the now freely-flowing eastern branch of the river. The mysterious Water Flying Cloth will be ready by then, and we'll be able to reach the Tower of the Moon, where hopefully we'll find one of the last few key items we need to open up the endgame. Can't wait!

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TA
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Re: Let's play Dragon Warrior II: Warrior Hardier!

Postby TA » Sun Jun 17, 2018 12:16 am

The glitch with the Cloth is such a fascinating insight into how the game stores quest states.

Reminds me, though, I pushed through and finished this the other day and I think I found a glitch in the game that I don't think I've seen reported before? It's weird and mostly just a display thing. If the amount of XP you need to gain a level is more than 65535 and you talk to someone to save and see how much you need, it'll only show you how much in excess of 65535 you have left to go. Makes it seem like the next level is a lot closer than it actually is.
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Friday
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Re: Let's play Dragon Warrior II: Warrior Hardier!

Postby Friday » Sun Jun 17, 2018 1:51 am

Fill me in on the cloth/quest glitch(es)?
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TA
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Re: Let's play Dragon Warrior II: Warrior Hardier!

Postby TA » Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:15 am

Okay, so, the game doesn't really seem to ... track a lot of stuff. It seem like it checks states based on what you have in your inventory, not what you've actually done - I haven't busted into the game's code to check this stuff and wouldn't know how to start, but I suspect things like the King in Osterfair check whether you have the Moon Crest to determine which version of his dialog you get, or the Lighthouse checks whether you have the Star Crest to determine whether the old man is there. This is why chests respawn if you leave the area and come back, and if you throw away something like a key away later you can just come back and get it again. These things are just not persistently tracked. You can get infinite money as soon as you get the Golden Key just by looting the Midenhall treasury, leaving, coming back in, and repeating until satisfied.

There are two really standout exploits that come out of this though. The first is the Evil Clown that gives you the Staff of Thunder. Once you kill him, he's dead until you save and reset the game, but once you do, he's back. Of course, they do a check to make sure you can't just outfit everybody with Staves of Thunder - if you already have one in your inventory, he'll be there to be killed again, but he won't drop another. But if you already dropped or sold the first one, he'll give you a new one. And it sells for 19,500 gold. Huge money, on demand, and it's really not a hard fight.

The other, more long-lasting exploit is for the Water Flying Cloth. Water Flying Cloth is the best armor in the game for both the Prince of Cannock and the Princess of Moonbrooke. But you can only get one. Sucks! Except because of this glitch, there's a way to get two. Once you save, reset, and get back to Tuhn, which I assume will be the first thing in the next installment of the LP, Don Mahone will give you the Water Flying Cloth, and then if you talk to him again ... give you the same spiel he does if you've never talked to him, saying he could make you one if you brought him the Dew's Yarn and his Magic Loom. And it's true, he will. The Magic Loom is always there in Zahan unless you already have one in your inventory, in which case the chest is empty, but Dew's Yarn is much trickier - that's only there to be found in the north Dragon's Horn if you have no Dew's Yarn in your inventory, no Water Flying Cloth in your inventory, and Don Mahone does not have a completed Water Flying Cloth waiting to be picked up. So you have to collect both items, give them to him, then go get new items, THEN save and reset. Then collect your armor, and immediately turn them in a second time. Save and reset again, and get your second Water Flying Cloth. The timing is precise.

But if you screw it up? No biggie. Just throw away your Water Flying Cloth and start the side quest again. Game doesn't care how many times you've done it, just what you currently have on you at any given time.
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Rico
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Re: Let's play Dragon Warrior II: Warrior Hardier!

Postby Rico » Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:17 am

Sniped.

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François
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Re: Let's play Dragon Warrior II: Warrior Hardier!

Postby François » Sun Jun 17, 2018 4:23 am

Ha, I had a write-up about it ready to go in the next update, but TA's explanation is actually a lot better, since I didn't know about the bit where the Yarn can't spawn if Don Mahone has the Cloth completed. Good info, thanks mang.

It's kind of crazy to me how many unique events happen in this game without there being internal flags/variables keeping track of progress on stuff. The only thing I can think of that doesn't rely on your inventory is whether or not you have access to the ship. Oh, and the Prince of Cannock's location in the early game too, probably.

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TA
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Re: Let's play Dragon Warrior II: Warrior Hardier!

Postby TA » Sun Jun 17, 2018 4:50 am

I've never tried to save and reset the game with the Prince of Cannock quest partly completed, to see if the state is preserved. Maybe it is. Or maybe it's all just kept in temporary memory like the Evil Clown and gets flushed when you reset, because who would go to the Spring of Bravery, then Midenhall, and then turn it off?
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MarsDragon
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Re: Let's play Dragon Warrior II: Warrior Hardier!

Postby MarsDragon » Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:57 pm

Someone whose mom was yelling at them to go to bed right now, presumably.

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François
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Re: Let's play Dragon Warrior II: Warrior Hardier!

Postby François » Sun Jun 17, 2018 8:16 pm

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Aaaand we're back. That'll count as a day, right?

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We run into a new foe traveling up the river again. Horks are not very strong for this point in the game (20 less Strength than Hunters), and they have very low defense, but they have high HP, they have poisonous attacks, and they have the sleep-inducing sweet-scented breath... somehow. They're highly resistant to Sleep, and fairly weak to anything else we currently have, but given their high HP and low defense, standard attacks will typically be more efficient than damage spells against them.

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Hmm. Putting characters sprites a few pixels "above" of the tile they're standing on usually looks pretty neat, but it's kinda weird on trees, heh.

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Image: Ah, very good. May I...
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Image: Why, thank you very much!

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Even considering it's the reward for a fairly involved sidequest, the Water Flying Cloth is an excellent piece of body armor. It has exactly as much defense as the Armor of Gaia we nicked from the Osterfair merchant, and on top of that, it reduces incoming spell and breath damage by 50%. Despite what the artisan says, anyone can equip it, but it's still a good idea to let the Princess of Moonbrooke wear it. It is in fact her strongest available armor.

Apart from a rare drop that is also cursed, it would also be the Prince of Cannock's best armor. But Glynn's Magic Armor is much better than the Clothes Hiding Gwen's been using for a while now, so the party overall benefits more from her getting the Water Flying Cloth.

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Ah, this is what he would have said if we had come here without the required items.

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Image: Uh...
Image: That's too bad. We could help each other.
Image: Well we could... give you a hand... again?
Image: Good, good. All I can tell thee is that the loom was taken by someone who smelled like fish.
Image: But... it's right th-
Image: We'll keep an eye out haha goodbye!

There is a glitch that lets you get as many Water Flying Clothes as you like. The Magic Loom reappears in Zahan once it's no longer in your possession, but you can't get Dew's Yarn again if you already have some in your inventory, if you already have a Water Flying Cloth, of if there's a completed one waiting for you to pick it up. However, since none of these conditions happen while Don Mahone works his magic (before you save and load), you can get the Yarn from the Dragon's Horn again, save, reload, then pick up the Magic Loom again, and basically complete the quest a second (or third) time.

(TA's post explained it more thoroughly; I know these huge pages get tricky to scroll through, so get to it if you missed it!)

I prefer to play and show the game as designed, but it's an option if that sort of thing is your jazz.

We're sitting on 14200 gold right now, so we stop by Tuhn's item store and pick up a Dragon's Bane for Zed, given that we have newly-freed inventory space. He's already technically immune to Stopspell, but him getting put to sleep is bad times.

I'm stressing out a little about heading in that tower we just opened up with all that money. I guess we could grind a couple thousand someplace safe and get the Light Sword from Wellgarth for 16k, but I would really rather be saving up 21500 for a Shield of Strength first.

Ahhhhhh... We'll dip our toe in, see what the opposition is, and try not to take stupid risks. Let's go.

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Image: It feels strange to have come all this way, and still be so close to home.
Image: I'm only grateful Hibabangos and Hunters couldn't swim across the lake and wait for us in Moonbrooke.

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Image: What eerie carvings.
Image: That's one word for it. Any idea what kind of creature that is?
Image: Hmm. Six clawed limbs, a pair of wings, and a tail...
Image: Not a dragon, I don't think.
Image: It could be a demon of some sort.
Image: This tower is ancient. Whatever beast this is might not even exist in this world anymore, for all we know.
Image: Eh, I don't think I'd bet a lot of money on that.

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Oh dear, Evil Clowns in the wild. The Horks are relatively non-threatening, but they're unholy meatwalls, we can't one-shot them, and they can put us to sleep. In a situation like this we better take down the Clown first; Zed and Glynn working together can do the job in one turn.

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...did I say "relatively non-threatening"? It's getting obvious that Dragon's Bane doesn't protect from sleep gas; it only helps resist the actual spell. Gwen is left to fend for herself alone for several turns but gets focused down before either prince can awaken. Looks like we'll be making several trips to this tower. We could use our Leaf of the World Tree, but we're not very deep in and I'd rather save it for a bigger emergency. Glynn casts Outside, and we shame-walk back to Tuhn (because using Return would take us to Beran).

300 gold later...

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And as soon as we enter the tower...

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Evil Eyes are slightly stronger than Hibabangos, but aren't too robust; they know the strange jig, and can breathe sleeping gas. They're pretty weak to magic all around though, with no Surround resistance and faint Sleep resistance.

Mummies (not to be confused with earlier Mummy Men) are slightly weaker, but they've got a fair bit more HP, and they come with ability to put their target to sleep with a standard attack. They're fairly resistant to all magic, with an immunity to sleep.

As we fight our way back to where we left off, we run into a couple lone Gold Orcs, each earning us a bit more than 200 gold. The other encounters are hard, but these guys are making them worth the hassle.

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(The extra black squares are there to help me keep track of floor corners.)

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Huh, didn't expect to find these dinguses here; we've only seen them at sea before.

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Image: Eh, it'll pay for our next inn stay I guess.

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Let's try to go back down. Our MP is already pretty low, we might have to leave soon anyway.

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Oh crap, these guys are by far the strongest monsters we've seen yet, with 120 Strength to a Gold Orc's 80. They have slightly less HP than Horks, but twice the defense power. Their only special move is Firebal, but they have no resistance to Stopspell. Their other resistances are unimpressive, but Sleep is less likely to work than anything else.

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Gah, I'm glad we were returning to the entrance, because Glynn just bit it and we have to walk out.

...

Did I say something about not taking stupid risks?

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Image: Man I hope this works.

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Image: ...we're still in the tower, aren't we?
Image: You gotta get us outta here, man.
Image: Please, captain.
Image: Right... just gimme a moment. Back to Tuhn, right?
Image: Actually, no. We're going to need a new Leaf, so you might as well take us back to Beran.
Image: Spending some time at sea does sound pretty good right now, doesn't it?
Image: Absolutely!

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We rest up and set off again. We've never explored this continent's southern coast, so we might as well take this opportunity to add to our map. Gwen reaches level 16 on the way, for 3 Strength, 6 Agility, 5 HP, and 12 MP. It's a great level, and we definitely need every single point we can get right now.

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Image: Uh... Thanks, mister tree?
Image: Right, thank you!
Image: Allies are allies, eh?

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Image: You know, someone in Wellgarth talked about the path to Rhone being nearby, but we had to go through Beran's travel door to actually get there.
Image: So what's around here, then?
Image: I'm definitely curious about that. Glynn?
Image: Alright, landing us right here then, it's worth checking out.

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A fight against three Gases and two Evil Trees earns us a Clothes Hiding! That ought to be worth around 800 gold to sell, it's a great find.

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Image: If there ever was a path to Rhone from Wellgarth, it's gone now.
Image: Eh, it'll be a short way from the inn in Beran, so that's nice.
Image: We're going back to Tuhn for now, then?
Image: Actually...
Image: Hmm?
Image: We still haven't found the cave where the Eye of Malroth is, right?
Image: That's... correct.
Image: It wouldn't hurt to find it, right?
Image: Zed, are you trying to stall for time before going back to that tower?
Image: Yes, I am.
Image: Oh. I... didn't expect to be correct on that one.
Image: Can you blame me?
Image: N-no.
Image: Right.
Image: All in favor of finding that cave, then? It'll earn us some money we can put to good use.
Image: Yeah, sure.
Image: Alright. We have absolutely no clues, though. Is there someplace you want to start from?
Image: There are a few blank areas in our charts not far from here, right? Between Wellgarth and Berun, and from the World Tree north up to Cannock and Midenhall, if I recall.
Image: Those are as good as any, I suppose. Let's try west first.

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...

...

...

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Image: Anyone see a cave?
Image: Nope.
Image: Definitely not. Back on board, then.

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Image: So.
Image: North of the Tree, then.
Image: Hmm-mmm.

If nothing else, this trip is surprisingly lucrative. Sea Slugs are common, and they're worth 80 apiece, which is surprisingly high for how easy they are to beat by now.

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Image: Oh! Oh oh hey! Glynn! Gwen! Oh!
Image: Could this be...?
Image: Yup.

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Image: This reef will shred our hull apart like parchment. There's definitely no going in there without some way to control the tides.
Image: So, Moon Fragment.
Image: Quite.
Image: Back to the tower, then, I suppose.
Image: Actually...
Image: Zed. We need to find that fragment.
Image: I know, I know, but...

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Image: We only need a little more than 2000 gold to get Glynn a new shield.
Image: The Leather Shield I bought in Leftwyne is looking a little ratty, yes.
Image: Hmm...
Image: We have to go back in there, I know that. But we need to stack the odds in our favor, and keeping Glynn alive is a big part of doing that.
Image: I have to say, you're making a lot of sense right now.
Image: So, what? We just keep mapping out the sea until we have enough Sea Slug guts to sell?
Image: I don't know what to tell you, people love that bold flavor!
Image: Sure, okay. Maybe we'll find something else interesting anyway. Let's go, then.

Spoiler alert re: finding something else interesting.

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We don't.

That's almost the entire world. Presumably, we're only missing Rhone.

Glynn gets to level 20 on the way, for 2 Strength, 3 Agility, 4 HP, and a new spell.

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It's our version of Increase, enhancing our entire party's defense power by a random percentage. It's a lot stronger on Zed than on anyone else, but it's still always welcome, it only costs 2 MP, and it stacks.

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Oooooh yeah. Glynn's defense goes from 63 to 77, and him now being able to cast Healmore on himself for free when in combat will considerably improve our staying power. The 68 gold we get for pawning his old shield doesn't even cover our inn stay.

Our next purchase is likely to be the Light Sword for Zed, but we might push it and get the Falcon Sword for Glynn first instead. It'll depend on how strong our enemies get later on.

Anyway, with our pockets that much lighter, we sail to Tuhn, rest up, and head for the tower again. Along the way, Zed reaches level 22, for 6 Strength, 6 Agility, and 9 HP. That's a great level, and a needed one too.

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Hmm! Better keep an eye out for a way to go down the northeast corner from above.

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We're missing a corner of the first floor, in the southeast. Judging from this though, each floor is going to be pretty small. But I bet there's a bunch of 'em.

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...very funny. Back the way we first went, then.

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Aw heckin' heck. Let's get that chest and try to walk out of here, I don't feel like getting another Leaf right away, and we don't have over 15k to lose anymore.

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Bah!

We manage to get to Tuhn, pay the 400 gold, and climb back to the second floor.

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Ooof, Puppet Men, as if we needed a bigger drain on our MP. Glynn gets jiggered all the way down to 13, so we cast Outside and try again. I've mentioned in the introduction post that the endgame to DW2 gets cruel. We haven't even started the real cruelty yet, we're not even seeing it on the horizon from here, but this is an entrée for sure.

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This is the only jumping-off point we've seen so far, on the third floor. We're definitely not afforded an easy way out from nearly anywhere this time!

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At least the floors are getting even smaller.

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Hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhg.

We can still use Outside this time. Silver lining, right?

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That won't even cover the resurrection. We leave, recover, and return. At least on the way out it's cathartic to use Glynn's Firebane at will against the Hunters and Hibabangos outside. And we're still making profit overall; we leave the village with about 4700 gold.

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Hmm. Stairs up, and an important-looking staircase down behind locked doors. Judging from the size of the floor, we must be close to the top floor, but I want to take a look at the rest of the lower floors, and maybe talk to that old man we saw near the entrance.

We're really seeing the effectiveness of the Magic Armor and Water Flying Cloth here. Zed's regularly mauled by Ghouls and Evil Clowns casting Firebal and Firebane right through his armor, but Glynn and Gwen practically laugh them off.

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Image: Old man, you have no idea what we went through to get here.
Image: What secrets might you have for us on this bloody day?
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Image: Yes, that's... Oh boy.
Image: ...
Image: I'm the opposite of a sailor and even I knew that.

Hmm. I suppose it's a bit of a clue regarding what the Moon Fragment is for, in case you haven't found any of the other references to it.

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Image: Oh! Well then.
Image: It's here after all. That's a relief.
Image: We're not out of the woods yet. We should probably check the roof as well, just in case.
Image: Yeah, you're right.
Image: Who wants to bet there's one chest on top of this tower, and it somehow has a Lottery Ticket inside.
Image: Ha, I'm not betting against that!

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Image

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Image: ...I don't want to be right. Please don't let me be right.

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Image: Whew.
Image: Alright, it's high time we leave this piece of crap tower behind us forever. Glynn?
Image: Oh no no no, we're using the Cloak of Wind.
Image: What? No! No way! Nuh-uh!
Image: But thou must!
Image: ...
Image: ...
Image: Haha, wow.
Image: I am so proud of you.
Image: ...fine.

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Image: WOOOOOOOHOOHOOHOOOOOO!
Image: See, was that so bad?
Image: No comment!

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After the Star Crest tower, I expected this tower to be a lot bigger, but seeing the menagerie that populates it, I can't say I'm disappointed.

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Image: Wait, we don't have any more business in Tuhn, do we?
Image: Hmm. That's right.
Image: Osterfair is fairly close to the cave of the Eye. Shall I Return us to Beran, so we can sail there right away?
Image: Sounds good to me!

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Image: Welp, we'll all look mighty silly if this Moon Fragment is just a regular dumb rock.



Image: Here we are, then.
Image: The way into darkness is open, at last.

User avatar
François
Posts: 1324
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:00 am

Re: Let's play Dragon Warrior II: Warrior Hardier!

Postby François » Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:43 am

We went to save and quit in Osterfair after the last episode, and Gwen leveled up on the way back to the cave. She earned level 17, for 2 Strength, 3 Agility, 9 HP, 12 MP, and she also learned Outside! It seems a bit redundant with Glynn, but we can now leave the dungeon with either of them left alive, so it's a nice quality of life improvement.

We get jigged on a couple times by Evil Trees before we can even board our ship again, and I don't want to enter the cave without full MP, so it takes a few false starts to get there.

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Ah, here we are.

Music: Underground dungeon

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Image: Ugh! This heat!
Image: This place is an inferno!
Image: Hmm... It looks pretty bad but I'm feeling alright. Aren't you being a little dramatic?
Image: No, no, in fact I'm pretty sure this is lava. Let's see...

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Image: Gah! Hot!

Stepping on these bubbling red tiles costs us 1 HP per step.

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Image: Oof, I'm glad I have good boots.
Image: Seconded!
Image: This is nothing! I don't know what you're talking about!
Image: How can...
Image: Gwen, your robes are protecting you from the heat.
Image: ...eh? My...
Image: It's the Dew's Yarn! The Water Flying Cloth is shielding you!
Image: Oh! Well, this is nice.
Image: ...yeah I bet.

It's true; whomever wears the Water Flying Cloth is protected from this lava damage. Stepguard is ineffective here, so this is extremely welcome.

Our first fight here is against two Evil Eyes and an Evil Clown, so it looks like we're starting against foes from the upper levels of the previous tower. We should be able to deal with them relatively easily for now. There are also Graboopis and Gases as we go further inside, which require some expense but aren't too dangerous.

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Whoops, forgot to take a screenshot of that room, but it's a dead end, you're not missing anything. Glenn levels up here, to 21, for 2 Strength, 4 Agility, 4 HP, and a very decent 8 MP.

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Medical Herbs are probably the most useful things a non-critical chest can contain, since we want to minimize the MP we spend on healing.

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We've missed a couple branches here, including a path through the lava near the start, but it would be too costly to retrace our steps, and I'd rather cover new ground for now. Let's go down.

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First enemy down here is an Evil Tree; it jigs Gwen for 32 MP at once, good grief. That's part of the Wellgarth and Osterfair local menageries, so we're still in known waters. We also start running into Gold Orcs again, which is always pleasant.

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Image: OW! What the hell?
Image: Oof, here, let me tend to this.
Image: What is this cruel pit? If this is how the Eye of Malroth is sealed, it should never see the light of day again. Curse Hargon for having us go through this!

Man I forgot those were even a thing. Better check our HP before we open chests now.

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Fights like these are great opportunies for Firebane. Gwen using the Staff of Thunder will finish off all Graboopis, and Zed will finish off the Tree, leaving the Orc alone for the second turn. And the Orc can't call for help or dance.

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Image: ...what is this guy even doing here?
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Image: You know this is clearly the place, right?

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There is still more to this floor, but let's keep descending for now.

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Oh dang, that's the monster we fought at the Osterfair coliseum. It's not as threatening to Zed now, but it definitely hits Glynn and Gwen harder than I'm comfortable with. It's beginning to be worth it to cast Glynn's Increase once at the start of big fights.

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Hmm... let's go for the one next to lava first.

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This is getting more complex! Caves not being restricted to a square or rectangular layout like towers sure makes them a bit trickier to figure out, since you never really know where the edge of the map is.

For now, let's go east and see if we can connect this place to the rest of the second floor.

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Huh, maybe not. Welp, I'm not turning down a staircase.

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Yikes. Better Surround those.

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Glynn didn't have time to use his Shield before he got mauled. That's the end of this trip right there. At least the fight gets Zed to level 23, for 4 Strength, 1 Agility, and 9 HP.

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Let's inspect those stairs here and then bail.

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This looks real important, but we're done.

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Sections that are side-by-side are at the same depth, though for now I can't guarantee they're arranged correctly otherwise.

Gwen takes us Outside, and we sail back to Osterfair.

Image: This is a lot harder than Glynn made it look!
Image: Really? Here, let me try.
Image: By all means.
Image: Okay, let's see...
Image: ...
Image: ...
Image: ...
Image: ...
Image: ...
Image: Yeah, no, sorry, this is stressing me out. You... you keep handling it, alright?
Image: I did tell you!

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Image: Oh balls, there is no House of Healing in Osterfair.
Image: Well this is exceptionally inconvenient.
Image: What do we do now?
Image: Did Wellgarth have one?
Image: Yeah, but if we have to go all the way to Wellgarth, we might as well just go to the World Tree instead.
Image: We could go to Midenhall-
Image: No House in Midenhall either, just a guy who tells people to go to one.
Image: That's... not the best.
Image: Looks like we're using a Leaf and then getting another one, then.
Image: Joy.

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At least this trip earns us a bit of extra cash. By the time we return to the cave, we're sitting on 10460 gold.

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Let's try that path to the west here.

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Image: ...eugh.

We check out the last remaining branch on the first floor (surprise, it's a dead end), but after that I want to directly return to where we left off last time, since it looked so important. If we find what we're looking for down there, it should be simple to just mop up the rest on subsequent trips.

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Okay, we're in much better shape than last time. Let's see what awaits us down here.

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Image: ...eh?

Ooooh, a Metal Babble. This sucker is a bit less physically powerful than what the rest of this cave causes us to expect, but it has 35 HP and a ludicrous 255 defense. It knows Surround and Firebane, and just like its Metal Slime cousins it is immune to all magic.

The rewards are commensurate with its difficulty, though, as it would earn us 255 gold and 1050 experience! If that wasn't enough, its item drop is the incredibly rare Dragon Potion, an unlimited-use item that allows you to save anywhere. It's not exactly a typical quick save though, because loading the game (or casting Return) sends you to the last place where you had a standard save, but it's still a weird convenience to lock away behind those kinds of odds.

Zed is already strong enough to hit Metal Babbles for single-digit damage instead of randomly rolling for 0 or 1, but still, chances are, if we don't get a lucky crit...

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Oh well.

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...whoops, that's a dead end after all. Better go back one level.

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And that side's a loop. Okay then, back up again.

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And to think I dared believe we were almost done. Let's try that lava path here.

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Okay, this also looks super important, but we know well where that kind of guess gets us by now.

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Just like that guard in Tantegel said, red doors are unlocked with the Golden Key.

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Image: ...this goes even deeper?
Image: I don't know what to tell you, Zed. Volcanoes are pretty big.

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Image: Ugh, of course.
Image: Do you want to skip the next one?
Image: ...almost. But we can't start doing that. That's how the chests win.

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Image: Whew.

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Ah, okay, this could be the northwest corner of the deepest floor we've reached yet. Or it might not be. Let's try that other staircase.

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Okay, also a no. The corridor above kept going south though, let's see...

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Mega Knights are about as strong as Saber Lions, but slightly less durable. Their only special attack is a Defense cast, and they're moderately resistant to magic, though damage spells and Defence are a bit more likely to land than others. Their item drop is the Evil Shield: it's has the same defense power as the long-obsolete Steel Shield, and it's obviously cursed, causing you to freeze in place instead of taking an action 25% of the time. It's best to sell it if you get one, since it goes for a downright silly 6600 gold.

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Image: Ugh, Hargon, you piece of shit.
Image: ...
Image: We sure are earning our taxes today, eh?

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Image: Okay, these are the first stairs we've seen leading to a level underneath this one. Don't let your guard down.

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Aw heck, Puppet Men now. As if this wasn't already harsh enough.

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Image: URGH!

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Image: It's just you and me now, you pink dickhead.

We manage to pull through. Good grief.

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Image: Yeah, no, I'm not doing this alone.

We use our Leaf on Glynn, and get out of here.

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Man, this place is so much more complex than even Dragon Warrior 1's version of Charlock. It's some serious dungeoneering for sure.

But I dig the hell out of it. Ahhhhhh, this is the stuff right there. Making maps, fighting tough battles, watching our resources dwindling, dang but this gets into some good tickling spots right there.

I mean, of course this is horrible for Zed, Glynn and Gwen, but from here, sitting in my chair... I love this shit. Yuji Horii, old friend! How long has it been?

That's the feeling! It's coming back!

Hurt me more!

Image: Those are some famous last words right there.

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One more time, then.

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Hmm, this seems less momentous than I expected. (Again.)

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Or not! This small corridor is between the two dead-end stairways flanked by chests.

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Ugh, this is tempting, but it might be best left for the clean-up once we're done.

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We've seen this big lava pool from other places, but I think this is the first time we get to this exact section.

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Oh boy.

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There's that chest, at least.

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We already all have one, but eh, it's money.

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Oooh, wait, okay, I think I can piece part of these maps together from here; I recognize that cross formation in the southeast.

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That's a lot of stairs to check out. Let's start with the one directly east of that cross hallway.

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Or just this one.

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...I see.

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It might be easier to just try these one by one until we're taken to a new place.

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It turns out they all lead back to the same lava pool, except this one, to a dead end we saw earlier instead. We haven't been on the west side of the pool on foot, though. Let's try it.

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Image: This is gonna suck.

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These stairs are the only other way down from here.

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These guys ambush us and leave us in pretty sorry shape after the first turn. We gotta play it real safe.

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Image: Just in time! You have my thanks!

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(...healed.)

Image: Alright, back in action!
Image: Yes! Yes! Make me proud, Gwen!

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Image: Holy crap, Gwen, you're a machine! Thanks for saving our bacon!
Image: My pleasure!

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Welp, those weren't new enemies, but that was our biggest critical hit yet, and we sure saw Gwen cracking a Clown's skull with her staff, so huzzah!

(Don't mind the HP/MP discrepancy in the video, I had technical difficulties and had to redo that run. It's a lot faster when you know the way!)

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Image: Nice try, idiots.
Image: If they weren't guarding something important, I'll eat my helmet.

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Oh. A robot. Of course.

Metal Hunters aren't very strong, but they have very high defense and decent HP, and they can attack twice and crit, so they're still a big threat. They're moderately resistant to most spells, but they're vulnerable to Surround, and Defence always works.

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Image: I want to say this is it, but...
Image: Just open the chest, Zed.
Image: Here goes nothing.

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Image: ...whew. We did it.

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Image: Well this is rather unseemly.
Image: All this trouble, just for this gross old thing.
Image: No, it's for Hargon. This cave is just one step on the way.
Image: ...right. It's easy to forget, sometimes.
Image: Not for me.
Image: Okay, okay, let's get out of here.

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Image: Remember that old sage at the island monolith, northeast of Midenhall?
Image: He's the one who first mentioned the Eye to us, isn't he?
Image: I wonder what he'd have to say about this.
Image: Only one way to find out!

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Image: Indeed we have.
Image: The Eye of Malroth sees much that is not readily apparent. Use it in the swamp of the hidden valley and perhaps thou will see a way to Rhone.
Image: The hidden valley...
Image: It has to be through the gate in the back of Beran's House of Healing.
Image: That's where we're going then.
Image: We're getting close!

For the form, I'm gonna take a bit of time off-camera to finish mapping out the cave, and maybe see if we can't scrape together another 10000 gold to get Glynn a new sword. Until then!

User avatar
Rico
Posts: 517
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 2:29 am

Re: Let's play Dragon Warrior II: Warrior Hardier!

Postby Rico » Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:41 am

Huh, I didn't realize the mech enemies were around way back in II. Definitely have the foggiest memories of this one, but it's really impressive just how many staples got crammed in so early.

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Friday
Posts: 2727
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:40 pm
Location: A user of Sosuns

Re: Let's play Dragon Warrior II: Warrior Hardier!

Postby Friday » Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:12 am

bug explanation


Thanks. I assume they had to program it that way due to memory constraints. Funny to think that a simple "switch" from RM2K was beyond the capabilities of the time.

going in and out of dungeon a lot


This is a really important design thing here, because I firmly believe that in the old days, this was intended design. A dungeon wasn't meant to be one-shot. You were -supposed- to go in, explore a bit, get fucked up, and back out before you ran out of resources. It was intended that you were gonna have to visit a dungeon several times to clear it out.

It's a bygone form of design, modern gamers won't tolerate it. Instead we get save points littered throughout that act as inns and full restores, and a character dying isn't a big deal, or even a small deal.

I'm not "uphilling my way through the snow both ways, you kids have it easy" here. I don't think the new design is worse. Most people don't like being forced to repeat areas they've already been too.

Speaking of repeating areas, I too have finally caved and am replaying DW3 thanks to this thread. It's funny to me that the Dream Ruby/Crown quests are completely pointless and can be 100% skipped. I guess they're actually just really early WoW quests! in that they disguise the fact that you need to fucking grind in order to go to Assaram.
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nosimpleway
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Re: Let's play Dragon Warrior II: Warrior Hardier!

Postby nosimpleway » Wed Jun 20, 2018 9:34 am

In order to not have your shit pushed in in Assaram, then?

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Friday
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Re: Let's play Dragon Warrior II: Warrior Hardier!

Postby Friday » Wed Jun 20, 2018 9:58 am

Yeah, that's my point. They're small goals with small rewards (completing the Dream Ruby quest allows you to buy Wizard's Wand and Cloak of Evasion) that give you something to do other than walk back and forth outside of a town, which is what DW1 made you do in order to not get your shit pushed in in Kol or Rimuldar or whatever.

The analogy I was making is that prior to WoW, MMOs just made you grind. Quests were few and far between. Then WoW came along and made everyone forget they were grinding by saying that killing twenty kobolds was actually a quest, here's a green dagger.

Breaking up grinding by claiming it's actually a quest is by far the superior way to design. I was actually complimenting DW3 for being ahead of its time.

Town 1 --> Kill Twenty Kobolds --> Collect 20 Ores --> Kill Kobold Chief --> Kill 15 Goblins --> Collect 10 Flowers --> Kill Goblin Chief --> You are now level 5 --> Town 2

Town 1 --> Grind to level 5 on kobolds and goblins --> Town 2

These two things are the same. They take roughly the same amount of time/fighting. One is more interesting for the player.
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TA
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Re: Let's play Dragon Warrior II: Warrior Hardier!

Postby TA » Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:02 pm

I never got far in Everquest, but I do recall lots of grind-facilitating quests. They were usually of the format where enemies in an area dropped quest items, which could be turned in for a bonus reward. "Orcs in Orc Zone drop belts and give 100 XP, turn in 3 belts for another 100 XP" sort of thing.

And of course, City of Heroes predates WoW by a good seven months and was almost entirely instance- and mission-based. "Go into this procedurally generated building, beat up the gang inside, and rescue the three hostages" and get XP for every gang member you beat up and a big bonus on completion.
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Friday
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Re: Let's play Dragon Warrior II: Warrior Hardier!

Postby Friday » Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:23 pm

That's true. I think WoW just codified and popularized quests into what they are today. In any case, regardless of what MMO invented/popularized what, DQ3 figured that shit out in 1988.
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François
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Re: Let's play Dragon Warrior II: Warrior Hardier!

Postby François » Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:11 am

Rico wrote:Huh, I didn't realize the mech enemies were around way back in II. Definitely have the foggiest memories of this one, but it's really impressive just how many staples got crammed in so early.


Yeah, I hear ya. The series is practically built out of chocobos at this point, in a sense. It kinda opens it to criticism about stagnation, but regardless of how big a deal that is to any given player, it also definitely means it has a consistent style and personality.

Friday wrote:This is a really important design thing here, because I firmly believe that in the old days, this was intended design. A dungeon wasn't meant to be one-shot. You were -supposed- to go in, explore a bit, get fucked up, and back out before you ran out of resources. It was intended that you were gonna have to visit a dungeon several times to clear it out.


Right! If your dungeon doesn't have a boss, the dungeon must be the boss. (As we've seen so far, a couple dungeons had an unavoidable fight just before their goal, but those have been much easier than the toughest random encounters in their area so I can't count them as bosses.) Every time you map a dead end, every time you open a chest with 2 gold coins and an empty beer bottle inside, you're dealing a blow to this dungeon-boss, and you're reducing its HP. And every random battle on the way is a counter-strike from this dungeon-boss, fighting back, draining your resources until you can advance no longer.

The lovely thing about this concept is that the dungeon-boss works like Doom Gaze in FF6. It doesn't replenish its health between encounters, so you can chip away at it over time. In this entire game so far, I can't remember a single moment where we ventured in a dungeon and made no progress at all before we had to turn back.

Friday wrote:In any case, regardless of what MMO invented/popularized what, DQ3 figured that shit out in 1988.


Arguably, even DQ2 does it. The Silver Key is optional, and the Cave of the Lake has the same enemies as the Hamlin region, but if you go straight to Hamlin, the next area is chock full of Baboons and Zombies, and if you didn't go through the Cave you definitely need to grind. And the Tower of the Wind is nearly the same, even though it's not optional. If you could go straight to Lianport after joining up with the Princess of Moonbrooke, you'd get completely wrecked by Mummy Men and Medusa Balls and Demighosts. But having to go through a dungeon full of Moonbrooke-grade enemies before you can cross the Dragon's Horn channel ensures that you've got better tools for survival.

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