It's raining protagonists: Let's play Dragon Warrior IV!

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TA
Posts: 1895
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 8:58 pm

Re: It's raining protagonists: Let's play Dragon Warrior IV!

Postby TA » Sun Jan 06, 2019 3:37 pm

the game genie code you want is YYEXVTGE
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François
Posts: 1401
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:00 am

Re: It's raining protagonists: Let's play Dragon Warrior IV!

Postby François » Tue Jan 08, 2019 4:13 pm

Friday wrote:the tragedy is Alena doesn't turn out to be the main character


She can be the main character in our hearts!

TA wrote:the game genie code you want is YYEXVTGE


Yyyyeah, I'll be playing it As Designed for better and for worse, but indeed I can only recommend bypassing that particular decision by any means available.

User avatar
François
Posts: 1401
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:00 am

Re: It's raining protagonists: Let's play Dragon Warrior IV!

Postby François » Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:56 pm

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Mara and Nara join the battle!

Code: Select all

         | Lvl | Str | Agi | Vit | Int | Luc | Atk | Def | HP  | MP  |
---------+-----+-­-­---+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+
Francois |   2 |   9 |   6 |  14 |   7 |   4 |  21 |  24 |  30 |   8 |
Nara     |  11 |  22 |  19 |  23 |  25 |  35 |  55 |  54 |  56 |  48 |
Mara     |  12 |  13 |  22 |  28 |  28 |  33 |  13 |  41 |  47 |  55 |


It's a good thing our hero has legendary potential, because for now, oof. He only hits harder than Mara because she's using a Poison Needle, and his defensive stats are very low!

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We immediately put the ladies in front. Looks like Francois isn't yet done being protected by the women in his life.

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Nara and Mara have their inventory mostly intact, with the curious exception of the Sphere of Silence. It's not actually the last we see of the artifact, so I think the justification here is that Keeleon would have confiscated it when he threw them in jail. They still had it when they boarded the ship to Endor though, so that's probably an oversight.

Since we don't know where Necrosaro is right now, what little direction we have at this point now would make finding Taloon our next goal. We don't know where he is either, but somewhere east of Branca seems likely. However, while we're in Endor, let's have a look at Bonmalmo and Lakanaba first, just to see what's been going down lately and maybe get some useful information. Of course, it won't hurt to make some money to gear Francois up for the trip while we're at it! Ideally we'd get Half-Plate in Endor and a Broad Sword in Bonmalmo, but cash won't come as easy for us at it did for Taloon, so we might have to compromise.

It's worth noting that if there are any chests in Taloon's two dungeons that you didn't open in Chapter 3, they'll still be available in Chapter 5. If I remember correctly, that means you can get a free Broad Sword and Half-Plate as soon as you can fight your way down the Silver Statuette cave. That does make it a bit slower to fulfill the king's order though, so I didn't leave them behind then.

That said, neither the Silver Statuette nor the Iron Safe chests contain anything in Chapter 5 even if Taloon didn't get them.

Whew, okay then. Let's finish getting caught up on local news in Endor for now.

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Image: Oh, I don't like to hear you put it that way!
Image: Everyone has their own destiny.
Image: I want to say that's nonsense, but...
Image: I guess it's hard not to believe in destiny when everyone in the world expected you to be born and save their butts.
Image: Prophecies are helpful sometimes, to serve as guides or warnings, to give hope or caution. But if we did nothing, evil would not defeat itself.
Image: I know. It's just... this is a lot.
Image: Wouldn't you want to fight these assholes anyway, though?
Image: Yeah. Yeah, I think I would. Necrosaro has a lot to answer for.
Image: Necrosaro, huh.
Image: I'm not sure who he is, but I think he works for the Ruler of Evil.
Image: And we want the head of a servant of his. It's good that we're fighting together, no matter the reason.

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Image: Oh hey, Neta sure pivoted the family business there.
Image: The profit margins aren't quite so high when you're no longer in position to resell monster loot and dungeon treasure!

So yes indeed, Taloon's shop has been converted to a Vault service! It functions just as it did in Luisa's Place in DW3: you can leave any items you like and retrieve them for a fee, and you can store money in 1000 gold increments at no charge. However, the fee in Luisa's Place was a tenth of the item's value, while here it's always 10 gold. Mara's still toting around the Gunpowder Jar and the Boarding Pass, so we leave them here.

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Image: It's rumored that the monsters are chasing him. I hope he's traveling with someone strong.
Image: Hmm... I wish I could read his fortune. We are searching for other lights, after all.
Image: Well, if we ever meet him, we'll make sure to help him out.

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Image: Presumably the other merchants in town caught on to his racket too, heh. Someone was bound to put up "not for resale" signs sooner or later.

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Image: A wedding in a Coliseum?
Image: Sounds romantic!
Image: There are more seats than at the House of Healing, at least.

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Heh, that's one way to reuse a scene, I suppose.

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It's drawn-out affair; the wedding ceremony takes place every day for the rest of the game!

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Image: Ah, wedding hecklers. How elegant.

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Image: At least this marriage was a good thing.

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Image: We'll see about that.

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Image: Even ships are for sale at the port town south of the desert.
Image: Hmm, that could come in useful.
Image: Oh, you can afford a ship? That's wonderful!
Image: Um, no, sorry.
Image: Aw.

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Image: It's nice she could marry him.

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Image: Even if he did it for wealth, I still think he's brave.
Image: He had to fight his way through hordes of Giant Bantams on the way. His bravery is beyond reproach.

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Image: Evolution...
Image: You don't think...?
Image: Ah, I hope not.
Image: Fearing his overwhelming power, the good forces in this world imprisoned him.

That's all for daytime. Fortunately, Nara still has the Lamp of Darkness.

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Image: Yeah, sure, mention the end of the world to a woman you're trying to make happy, that'll work.

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Image: Come back tomorrow.

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We still have to sneak in here!

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Image: He must look at least a little like a human if he fooled everyone like this.
Image: Well... there are ways to change your appearance by magic.
Image: So we have no idea.
Image: I did hear his voice.
Image: Wait, what?
Image: Would you remember it if you heard it again?
Image: I... heard him speak right after he murdered everyone I've ever known and cared about.
Image: ...!
Image: So I won't ever forget it.
Image: Yeah, I wouldn't forget Balzack's voice either.
Image: Not while he lives.
Image: Not while he lives.

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Heh, it's the king's turn to pace around his treasury at night!

And that's it for Endor. We get a room at the inn, and leave in the morning.

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Let's see if the way to Santeem is still closed.



Okay, so, there are two things of note in this fight. First off, Nara's in first place, so we get Chapter 4's battle theme instead of the standard one. That's neat.

And, well... there's something else that's not quite so neat. If you've noticed, we didn't get to choose Nara and Mara's actions in combat.

To put it plainly, for the entire duration of Chapter 5, which is the final chapter, we only get direct in-combat control over the Hero. Past a certain point, it's also possible to leave the Hero out of the active party, in which case we have no control over anyone.

Yeah. Ouch.

On one hand, I understand what the devs were trying to do. When you have a four-member party, some of which are spellcasters, you gotta press the A button a whole lot. There is some merit to giving thought to occasionally automating the process. There are many excellent JRPGs out there with useful and welcome auto-battle mechanisms.

On the other hand, what a tragic, misguided-ass blunder of a design decision. Good effing grief. It's all in not being able to opt out of it. That's the genuinely awful part.

Fortunately, the game's remakes do allow you to opt out of it, and you can then control your entire party as you see fit. And there's a Game Genie code to restore normal control on the NES version as well (YYEXVTGE, thanks TA). I encourage everyone to make use of either option.

As for me, for now, well... I've been through Rhone raw. This is nothing. I'm playing it as designed, and I'm face-tanking it as it comes! For the Internet! Huzzah!

Hu-frickin'-zzah.

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At the very least, the non-Hero returning party members aren't treated as guest characters were in previous chapters. They level up as normal, they have standard inventories and can obtain new gear, and we can have them cast any spells we like outside of battle. In addition, we see above that the TACTICS menu has a new entry, which can also be accessed at the start of every combat round.

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We do have influence over our party, with a choice of six AI schemes. Most of them only govern the behavior of our spellcasters, however, as they change which spells they are most likely to use at any given time. "Save MP" makes them stay away from their more expensive options, while "Use No MP" prevents all magic use (except maybe RobMagic?). "Offensive" makes them prefer big-ticket direct damage, "Defensive" is for heals and buffs. "Normal" is a balanced default scheme. And "Try Out" is extremely random, but it's the only scheme under which they'll try to use certain items. For example, Nara will only ever use the Silver Tarot Cards under the Try Out tactic. (This can backfire sometimes, as they'll sometimes use rare consumables without your authorization, or repeatedly put on the Meteorite Armband over and over again since it's beneficial to wear it but they have no concept of it being on already.)

The AI is actually a fair bit deeper than it looks. Most noticeably, once a character has seen one of their spells fail against an enemy type enough times (three times or so, I believe), they'll stop casting it on that enemy type entirely. So there's a bit of a learning function to it, and characters do get smarter over time. I also hear that if they figure out an unusual strategy works well under Try Out, they're likely to use it again on Normal, but don't quote me on that.

In addition, your allies know how much HP enemies have, and won't cast high-level damage spells if a weaker spell would finish them off. For example, Mara won't cast Blazemost if Blazemore would kill her target.

Of course, none of these tactics are nearly as good as just having direct control over your dang party.

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Moving on.

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Image: A whole castle's worth of people has gone missing?!
Image: There is tragedy everywhere these days...
Image: You think Necrosaro did it?
Image: It does sound like his style.

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Image: Our Princess Alena was saying someone called Necrosaro was suspicious...
Image: Oh, I heard about Alena! She won the tournament in Endor a while back.
Image: That's the one Necrosaro was competing in, right?
Image: He's much more than just suspicious by now. We have to stop him.

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Four Babbles on the way to Bonmalmo... Yeah, I'm glad we're not alone anymore! They do get Francois to level 3, for 3 Str, 1 Agi, 2 Vit, 1 Int, 3 HP, 2 MP, and the Blaze spell. Nara did get poisoned, and she doesn't know Antidote, but the sisters still have a few Antidote Herbs they bought a while back.

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Ducksbills again, already no match for us. I don't expect the trip to Lakanaba will be very dangerous.

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Image: I can only approve.
Image: I'm not sure how effective ordinary weapons and armor will be against the evil monster.
Image: The Ruler of Evil was put away once. We can do it again.
Image: Still, that's one problem I'd rather not sweep under the rug for future generations to deal with, if it can be helped.
Image: Ugh, right, we wouldn't be in this mess if he had been killed to begin with.
Image: I'm not so sure about that. Necrosaro's clearly enough to cause problems on his own.
Image: At least he's our problem, not somebody else's that got handed down to us.

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Image: I didn't stay long, but... yeah, it is.

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Image: A celestial nymph from the sky fell in love with a young woodsman, and soon they were expecting a child.
Image: ...!
Image: If it's true, what do you think has become of the child?
Image: That... that's some mystery alright.
Image: So there would be a half-celestial person somewhere in the world?

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Image: ...I think that's me.
Image: Hmm.
Image: Well, is your mom a celestial nymph or not?
Image: Three days ago, the human folk I thought were my parents told me I was adopted and then they got massacred by demons. Forgive me if I'm fuzzy on the details.
Image: ...right. Sorry.
Image: At any rate, if there's some kind of heavenly power inside of you, it makes sense that the monsters would want to hunt you down.
Image: Um. Okay, suddenly I don't feel quite so safe!
Image: Don't worry, they think I'm dead. A... a friend saw to that.
Image: Oh dear. I'm sorry.
Image: You didn't know. Just... let's move on, okay?
Image: Right.

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Image: From now on we can import as much armor as we want from Endor.

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Image: I'm sure he'll become a great king...

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Image: That's prison for ya.

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The weak monsters around here don't give enough money for a meaningful upgrade, so we have to skip the shops.

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Okay, that's already tougher! The sisters are stronger than both of these critters, but Francois doesn't want to take a couple IceBolts for sure.

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...gah. In fact, I didn't realize this at first, but it looks like Magemonja share their AI with Kaskos Hoppers, in that they're very likely to target your backline!

Francois gets to level 4 after the following fight, for 4 Str, 2 Agi, 2 Vit, 1 Int, 3 HP, and 3 MP. That early Strength growth is extremely encouraging!

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Ozwargs start appearing again. We definitely have to be cautious.

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The illusionary village is still gone. The problems Taloon solves stay solved!

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The Normal tactic has served us surprisingly well so far. Nara hasn't spent any of her juice on sub-optimal Infernos casts, and Mara stuck to Poison Needle stabs and the occasional Blaze spell that hit every time. It's not the best, but it could be worse.

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We could upgrade to Chain Mail, but since Francois is in the back, I'd rather get him a better weapon first.

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Oof, the selection has gone downhill since Taloon left. We pass on the Thorn Whip for now. That said, it's worth noting that the new sales clerk is Tom's son!

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Image: Maybe later!
Image: If you want weapons, go to the shop upstairs.

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Aaand Tom's son's dog is guarding Taloon's old house for some reason?

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Image: Ah... well... we're working on it, sister.

There's nothing of note going on at night, but we can't find Tom's kid anywhere, so he's presumably living in Taloon's old house now!

In any case, we're done with this excursion, and we have... 412 gold. Oof. I don't want to grind if it can be helped, so it'll have to do.

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DW3 kept track of what towns each character visited to determine where they could Return to, but here, Mara can send us to Branca despite having never been there herself, so it's no longer the case, it's all about where the Hero has been to. She couldn't even warp us to Haville or Kievs or Monbaraba!

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We spend the night in the woodsman's shack to save on money, then head to the castle in the morning to buy a Boomerang. Selling Francois' Copper Sword and Leather Armor leaves us enough cash for Chain Mail and... a Wooden Hat...

Wait... that doesn't... add up..?

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...huh. I... I think I didn't actually buy the Boomerang first. Or did I immediately resell it by accident?

...

Welp. It's been four games, I figure I'm long overdue for inattention-related inventory snafu. Here's to never using save tricks, we're rollin' with it. Selling Francois' old Leather Hat gets us to 116 gold, and we buy his Copper Sword back. Oh well! He's got Blaze, he'll be fine.

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Image: The world... It's pretty big, isn't it?
Image: Uh. Yeah?
Image: You haven't traveled much, I presume.
Image: I've lived in one village my whole life. My folk were trying to keep me hidden. It... almost worked. Or it did work, until now.
Image: But it sure didn't prepare you for all of this, did it?
Image: It prepared me for the fighting well enough. But yeah. That's not... there's a lot more to it than that. Everything's so far away, and everything costs so much money.
Image: Oh I hear you.
Image: ...
Image: But hey, there's a wealthy merchant on the run from monsters, isn't there? That Taloon guy?
Image: He went to the east, though a desert...
Image: If he has money and could use bodyguards on his travels, that's a lot of our problems solved at once.
Image: It's settled then, we're heading east. Do watch out for chickens though, alright? They make them big in this country.
Image: Ha, we both know fire magic, so don't you worry about any kind of scary chicken, okay?

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We reach the spot where we had to turn back last time without encountering anything more dangerous than a handful of Giant Worms.

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That's probably the desert we heard about, so let's head south first.

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Ooh, a wagon sprite, neat.

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Image
Image: Hmm... If we're going to cross this desert, it wouldn't hurt to bring some shade with us.
Image: Do people just give away wagons?
Image: No, they don't.
Image: Wouldn't hurt to ask, though.
Image: Fair enough.

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Image: I can't exactly blame you for being wary of complete strangers, but...
Image: Come on, this is the hero we're talking about, and we're trying to help out the famous Taloon! You can't leave us hanging here!
Image: You just don't get it, do you?
Image: What's there to get?
Image: I used to travel like you. One day I heard of a cave where the world's most valuable treasure was hidden. I went to the cave with my best friend. I trusted him, but he betrayed me and... Darn...
Image: Oh, I'm sorry to hear that.
Image: I just can't trust anyone anymore! Go away!
Image: Ugh, fine, be that way.

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Hmm, there might be another way to get to that chest...

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Image: Oops!. This won't help his trust issues.
Image: Eh, you don't put a Lunch you want to eat behind bars.

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Image: Yeah, we saw he's got something up his nethers alright.
Image: He once went to an eastern cave with his friend. Only my son returned, unconscious and injured, on his horse, Primrose... He changed after that. He doesn't trust anyone. What happened in that cave, I wonder...
Image: Hmm. I suppose it wouldn't hurt to check that cave out.
Image: The monsters who attacked my village mentioned they have a base. Maybe it has something to do with it.
Image: Right, it's worth a look.

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He's not kidding. If we try to leave to the south...

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We're immediately pushed back one tile north, with a "falling down a hole" sound effect, curiously enough. I have to assume it's too hot and windy to go on foot.

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Ah, we haven't seen those in a while; they're late Chapter 1 foes with Speed Up. No problem. Francois gets to level 5 here, for 3 Str, 2 Agi, 2 Vit, 4 HP, 2 MP, and the Healmore spell. That's not a typo; the Hero skips the basic Heal spell and learns Healmore much faster than Cristo and Nara. The fact that he starts with Expel and gets good healing powers quickly really flavors up the notion that his mother came from a celestial place!

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Again, this is nothing the Chapter 4 crew couldn't handle, but Francois isn't quite on Orin's level yet, so we can't let our guard down. The Normal AI gets Mara to open with Bang, and she switches to Blaze to finish off a Lilypa that received an Upper buff. If nothing else, that's entirely sensible.

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Oh crap, that's the companion of Saro's Shadow as a regular enemy! Mara finishes it off with Blaze before it gets to go berserk though, so that's a relief.

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Okay, those are new. Mad Clowns have 36 HP, 31 attack, 43 defense, and 26 agility, with the ability to cast Firebal. That's actually quite dangerous! I mean, Balzack was more dangerous, but we only had to beat him once. They're completely vulnerable to Bang, immune to Expel, and slightly resistant to anything else we have. Mara's own Firebal hits both of them here, and Nara finishes one off; we don't end up taking any magic damage this time.

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Another new creature. It's impressive that after all those Chapter resets, the game still has early game monsters to surprise us with. Mandrakes have 30 HP, 44 attack, 30 defense, and 15 agility; they can roll critical hits, breathe sleeping gas, and do a party-stunning roar. They're vulnerable to Sap and all the magic damage we currently have, slightly resistant to Sleep, and immune to Expel. Opening with Bang serves us well again, putting the Mandrakes within Nara's one-shot range and taking out a Lilypa outright.

I'm beginning to wish Francois had better gear, heh. He does level up once more here, for 3 Str, 2 Agi, 1 Vit, 1 Int, 1 HP, and 3 MP.

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The Giant Bantams put in a couple more appearances... and they get roasted every time. Whew.

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Crossing forests at night always gets us into more random encounters than I think it will; we haven't traversed an enormous distance, but it felt like it took a while!

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Image: This has to be the place.
Image: It reminds me of the Sphere of Silence's vault. There has to be something valuable down here.
Image: Um... You can... you can have it if we find it.
Image: Oh, that's nice of you! You really are the hero!
Image: Just... whatever happens, let's not betray each other, alright? I don't actually care about treasure.
Image: Of course. To be honest, we have more important things to do than treasure hunting.
Image: You know, if we did plan to betray each other, I'm pretty sure we'd all be saying we don't care about the treasure. Then once your guards are down: shank! Poison Needle to the back!
Image: ...not helping, sis.
Image: Hey, we were all thinking it.
Image: Wait, what are you saying, then? Are you going to-
Image: No, of course not, but that's also what I would say if I-
Image: Alright, that's enough, let's just go!

User avatar
TA
Posts: 1895
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 8:58 pm

Re: It's raining protagonists: Let's play Dragon Warrior IV!

Postby TA » Wed Jan 09, 2019 6:14 pm

Actually, if Taloon never picked up the Iron Safe, it's still in the cave north of Lakanaba! You can go pick it up in Chapter 5!

But it doesn't work if you do. The remakes add a note about the hinges having rusted open.
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François
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Re: It's raining protagonists: Let's play Dragon Warrior IV!

Postby François » Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:36 pm

Huh! I did a run just to test that out when I was a kid and could swear not finding the safe there... but that was like 25 years ago so I'll consider myself corrected. :3

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TA
Posts: 1895
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 8:58 pm

Re: It's raining protagonists: Let's play Dragon Warrior IV!

Postby TA » Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:53 am

Yeah, I did runs when I was a kid just to have it, so that I could keep my money when I inevitably died. But it didn't ever work, not because the item wasn't there, but because if you do somehow have it in chapter 5, it fails to function.

Spoilers, I guess, [spoilers]that when you do recruit Taloon, it's fallen out of his inventory, just like the Sphere of Silence[/spoilers].

Interestingly, the Sphere of Silence is also where you would have gotten it if you managed to beat Chapter 4 without ever getting it, and it does work as advertised. So you can actually just get two, if you would ... ever want to.
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François
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Re: It's raining protagonists: Let's play Dragon Warrior IV!

Postby François » Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:56 pm

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I'm actually a little nervous coming in here. The inn is far enough away that we won't be able to go back on foot if we're in trouble, so we need Mara to keep 16 MP on hand to bail out safely, and she's got 25 left right now. And I suspect the monsters in here will be at least as tough as the ones on the way.

Hmm...

Yeah, executive decision here: we have enough cash for a Boomerang already, so let's get back to Branca right away. If someone gets a level out of the trip back, all the better. We already know what happens when I take chances with Nara and Mara, heh.

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Okay, I'm a lot more confident about this expedition now. We stay on the Save MP tactic until we get back to the cave, and nothing unexpected happens besides Francois taking a crit from an enraged Giant Eyeball.

...no, wait, a fight with a pair of Mad Clowns turns sour. We retrace our steps a bit and stay at the desert inn to recover. A fight against four Giant Bantams gets Francois to level 7, for 3 Str, 1 Agi, 3 Vit, 1 Int, 5 HP, 3 MP, and the Return spell. It's always good to have multiple characters who can teleport around!

At one point, Mara used one of her Medical Herbs to heal Francois after taking a Clown's Firebal. I'd usually prefer if Nara took care of the healing, but I suspect the Save MP tactic made her more likely to use an item. (Actually, never mind that theory: later experimentation shows that both sisters are keen to heal low HP allies when their turn comes up even on Normal. Its just that Mara is typically faster than Nara and she doesn't mind using Herbs if she has them. If you want her to focus on offense and let Nara heal, don't give her Herbs.)

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There we go. Back to Normal, then.

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Image: Alright, all together now.

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Each tile of the stone door shatters into fragments as we walk through it. No sweat!

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No monsters yet. Maybe I was too cautious.

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Image: Whoa, what the-

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A pit opens under Mara and Nara's feet, then closes as Francois automatically jumps forward to the other side. At the same time, a hidden stone door blocks the way back.

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Image: Oh crap! That can't be good.

Try as we might, the trap won't open again. We're alone.

Image: Well that'll explain a thing or two about that guy and his friend. Better find a way down, I suppose.

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Image: ...not that way, then.

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It looks like we can rejoin the sisters, but...

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They run to the west as soon as we get close.

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Image: Hey, it's just me! Are you alright?

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Image: I got startled too but that's no reason to run away like that!

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Image: With how things have been going so far, I need you a lot more than you need me!

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We know Liclicks from the Kievs/Keeleon area, if I remember correctly, fairly tough, able to cast Surround. That's a hard fight for a lone hero, especially since they're immune to Expel. We get Surrounded on the second round and take about 6-7 damage per hit, but we can exploit their weakness to Blaze and take a couple turns to use our Medical Herbs; before long there's only one left, and it's trivial past that point.

When the battle ends, a pitfall immediately opens under our feet, so quickly that I miss the screenshot.

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Image: Gah, there better not be four of them this time.

Mara and Nara are being chased around the room by two creatures.

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Image: Aw crap, the stairs are right there, but... Gotta be righteous and strong!

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Talking to one of the devils doesn't actually start a fight. Hmm.

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Image: Right, that's what I figured. Come on, let's take these idiots out.
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Image: But the stairs...
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Image: Oh come on!

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Oh hey, one of the bats starts out confused, that's a relief.

Tricksy Urchins have 35 HP, 37 attack, 30 defense, and 3 agility; they can build up power for a turn, and emit a fireball. They're immune to Expel and vulnerable to everything else we have... but this really doesn't feel like a battle Francois can win on his own as he is.

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The confused Vampire Bat "tried a body attack", but Francois dodged, and it just kept going, leaving the fight entirely. Huh. There's actually a lot more to the confusion ailment in this game than just attacking allies and helping enemies!

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Ultimately though, it doesn't change the outcome of the battle.

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Image: Wh... What happened back there?
Image: I... don't... knoooooooow...?
Image: Is it really you?
Image: I think so.
Image: No, seriously, you fell down a hole, and when I followed you, there were monsters that looked like you.
Image: You think we look like monsters?
Image: They must have been disguised. What did you see?
Image: I told you, I don't know.
Image: We fell down a hole and the next thing I know, we're here.
Image: ...huh. Well. Whatever's going on down there seems pretty messed up.
Image: Gah, you can say that again.
Image: Do you want to go back?
Image: We don't have a choice, if we want to follow Taloon. Just... just watch your step, alright?

We rest up, buy replacement Herbs, and set off again. Maybe we can avoid that fight next time.

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Image: Okay, be-

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Image: -careful. Welp.

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Image: Are you ready for a repeat?

The fight goes a little worse this time around, leaving us with 2 MP. It prrrrrobably would be good to have slightly better gear!

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Image: Yeah, no, you're not tricking me this time.

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As soon as we get close to the stairs...

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The false sisters run up and intercept us anyway. Welp, we can't skip this fight after all.

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No confused bats here.

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Oh well.

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Image: ...wait, what?
Image: Did we fall again?
Image: Yyyyyeah.
Image: What an evil cave!
Image: Okay, I'm weirded out. All in favor of not going back there again?
Image: Hmm.
Image: Do you have a better idea?
Image: ...
Image: ...
Image: ...
Image: Huh. No, I don't.
Image: If we let these critters win, we have no chance against Necrosaro. We have to go back.
Image: I just wish I knew what was going on.
Image: I wish I could tell you.
Image: So you're the only one to remember anything that happened there, right?
Image: Yeah.
Image: Okay, here's the plan. We get enough money to buy you a spear, and I'll lend you my armor for a bit.
Image: I don't want to put you in danger like that!
Image: Considering what we're up against...
Image: Oof, yeah, never mind. That does sound like a good idea.
Image: Alright then, let's go hunting.

Man, it's too bad that the Morning Star is only for Pilgrim types, otherwise Nara could let Francois take it too. We head back to the cave area, but we'll just pick fights for a while, enough to get an Iron Spear in Endor, which should be 880. See you on the other side!

Francois gets to level 8 after a bit, for 5 Str, 2 Agi, 3 Vit, 1 Int, 6 HP, and 4 MP. That'll help! Nara also gets to level 12, for 1 Str, 3 Agi, 2 Vit, 1 Int, 2 Luc, 4 HP, and 5 MP.

Hmm... Each battle earns us around 40 to 100 gold. We'll save up for an Iron Shield too while we're at it. The Bats and Urchins only do physical damage after all, so let's stack the odds in our favor a bit further.

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Whoa, Sand Masters pop up near the cave after sundown, I didn't expect that.

Mara gets to level 13, for 2 Agi, 4 Vit, 5 Int, 5 Luc, 9 HP (!), and 5 MP. And just as we earn the last of the money we need for now, Francois gets to level 9, for 3 Str, 2 Agi, 3 Vit, 1 Int, 3 HP, 3 MP, and the Firebal spell.

Yyyyyyeah, I think that'll be high enough. We've got 1612 gold; Mara takes us to Endor.

...is what I would say if she hadn't blown all her MP setting chickens on fire. Francois takes us to Endor instead. We get him his Iron Shield, Nara gives him her Half-Plate, and he gives her his... Chain... Mail...

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Ah, Nara can't use Chain Mail. So much for that plan, heh. The Iron Shield will have to be enough of a defensive upgrade for Francois then. We could buy him a suit of Bronze Armor, but we only have about a thousand gold left and I expect it'll be a bigger advantage to get him an Iron Spear instead. Dead monsters don't deal any damage!

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Okay, Francois hits harder than Nara now, and he's tough enough to take second place in front of Mara. I think that'll do. We head back to Branca and go east once more.

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Image: Okay, this is-

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Image: Aw come on!

Yeah, you can't avoid being separated by rejiggering your formation, Nara and Mara fall through no matter what.

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Image: You know the drill. Let's do this.

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Francois didn't get Surrounded this time, and he can two-shot each Liclick. Yeah, that's better.

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Image: You're all in for it now!



Francois takes out the Tricksy Urchins with a pair of Firebal casts, and one-shots each Bat in turn. No problem!

Image: How'd you like the taste of good Endor iron, you beasts?

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Huh, I figured we'd be able to get back up, but these stairs will be taking us down again.

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We can just barely see the "sisters" to the south as we arrive...

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...but they run off immediately.

Image: Yeah, no, I'm not taking another chance here, better get rid of them right away.

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Image: You saw what happened to your buddies on the other floor, didn't you?
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Image: Looks like that's the whole song and dance!
Image: You won't fool us again. You're not Francois! We'll fight you this time!

Image: Whuh-oh.

Image: Wait, what?
Image: Wait sis! I think this is really Francois. I can tell.
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Considering their names, that's a bit of a dick question.

Image: No, of course not.
Image: Hmm... you may be right.
Image: Nara is way too wise to blow all her money in a casino.
Image: Sorry we doubted you. We've been chased by your imposter for so long...
Image: Gah, I should have known you were going through the same nonsense I was.
Image: Let's go now!

Aaaaand we join the real sisters again. Whew! If we had answered wrong...

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...Mara just asks again, as ill-advised as that is. We get but-thou-must'd to our advantage for once.

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Image: Wait a minute. You don't think I'm wise?
Image: Oh dear.
Image: Ha, well, um...
Image: Why I never!
Image: Y-you're clever and beautiful!
Image: ...I'll take it.
Image: Nice save.

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Image: Another of those doors...
Image: It's no surprise that innkeep's son couldn't make it in here.
Image: Oh crap, did he... did he kill his friend?
Image: I don't think so. He suffered from betrayal, not guilt. Most likely one of the disguised monsters wounded him, and his friend perished alone.
Image: ...ouch.
Image: Well, we sure put an end to that, at least.

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We know this way already; we should be able to open the door on this side of the pitfalls on the uppermost level now.

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There are still no random encouters here.

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Image: Ugh, but that's some effort!
Image: Come on sis, put your back into it!

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Image: Here we are, then.
Image: Aw, cripes. Who wants to bet the real treasure is "friendship"?
Image: Isn't it?
Image: ...just open the chest.

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Image: Hmm. Okay, I wasn't right, but I wasn't wrong.
Image: It won't be much comfort to the man, but maybe if we explain the secret of this cave to him, he'll understand what happened back then.
Image: Better for him to know the truth than to go on living with hatred for his friend.
Image: Anyway, is that it?
Image: Yeah, I think we've got everything.
Image: Take us out, sis.
Image: Pleasure.

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Image: This place is going to keep right on sucking until the last second, isn't it?

The Hero learns Outside at some point, so it wouldn't do to let them leave alone! We just walk out.

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So that was some unusual dungeon, wasn't it? It's a long way full of dangerous monsters just to get there, and once you're inside there are hardly any battles except for a couple combat challenges that your party member who is likely to be the weakest has to take on alone. It's all an interesting set piece for sure.

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Francois gets to level 10 on the way back, for 2 Str, 1 Agi, 4 Vit, 1 Int, 8 HP (nice!), and 2 MP.

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Oh dang, I don't remember seeing those here; I bet the nearby desert monsters are bleeding into this encounter zone.

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We reach the desert inn just before dawn, and we rest up before we do anything else.

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Image: So, who wants to-
Image: I'll do it.

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Image: It's called the Symbol of Faith. I'm sure you already know where we found it.
Image: Why? Looking at it seems to purify my mind... The Symbol of Faith...
Image: Do you really not have any doubts about what happened back then?
Image: I got it! The most valuable treasure has been none other than trusting each other!
Image: Well, there was the cool statuette too.
Image: I've been wrong. Let me join your party. Of course we can take the wagon.
Image: If you understand now, then I'm glad to have you on board.
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So, yeah, not only does he let us use the wagon, but he outright joins us as well!

Image: Shall we go now?

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Image: Hello Primrose!
Image: Let's go!
Image: ...is it really okay to let a monster pull a cart?
Image: What?
Image: Oof. Okay then, it's good that we have a vehicle now, because it'll give us time to get you some education!

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We have a wagon now! It even changes the way we travel on the overworld, since the lead character walks in front of the horse, and everybody else takes position around the cart. Not only does it look neat, but it also ensures that we never get more than four sprites on the same horizontal line, which would cause graphical flickering due to the NES' limitations.

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As one might deduce from his generic "Young Man" class, Hector is generally sturdy but unremarkable; Francois already hits harder and is just barely less hardy than he is. That said, Hector does occasionally spend his turn building up power as a Lethal Gopher would, which is nice to see happen. He's otherwise a typical guest character in every way, so he'll keep his current stats and gear for the foreseeable future.

As for the wagon itself, it gives us a few all-new mechanics!

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It causes the CHANGE ORDER option of the TACTICS menu to turn into to CHANGE MEMBERS.

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As long as we've put at least one character in our party, we can now select END.

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The other characters enter the wagon, and only the characters we've selected act in battle at all.

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Characters in the wagon can cast spells outside of battle at will! (You can tell who is in the active party by the number to the left of their name.) In addition, as long as we have the wagon close, at the start of any battle round we can tell any character in the active party to use their turn to swap places with someone in the wagon. We can even swap out dead characters in the same way. On top of that, if our entire active party gets wiped out, anyone left alive inside the wagon will jump out to continue the battle. It's basically a mobile Luisa's Place that we can use even during combat!

If that wasn't cool enough already, characters in the wagon gain the same amount of battle experience as active characters do.

However, we can't take the wagon everywhere. Some dungeon entrances are too small for it to enter.

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Double-wide entrances can accommodate the wagon, but single-tile entrances force us to leave it behind, which deprives us of party swapping and experience sharing until we rejoin our crew. This is a clever design element, because some areas are balanced for a regular four-member party, while others are balanced with the entire back-up crew in mind.

Now we only have four party members so none of that is immediately relevant to us... but that'll change.

Aaaaand one last thing. If we put Hector in the lead without anyone else active...

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If you remember, guest characters don't count as "alive" when checking to see if we've got a party wipe, so the game doesn't let us have an active party with only guests in it.

Alright, that'll do it for now. Next time, we cross the desert, and we keep tracking down a rich man!

User avatar
François
Posts: 1401
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:00 am

Re: It's raining protagonists: Let's play Dragon Warrior IV!

Postby François » Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:43 pm

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Image: Wait, how did this Taloon guy cross the desert without a wagon?
Image: He didn't. I took him to the other side.
Image: So, what? You couldn't trust us, but you could trust him?
Image: Trust didn't come into it. I asked a completely unreasonable amount of money for the ride so he'd go away, and he outright gave it to me.
Image: Oh! So you must pretty rich now.
Image: Well, I wouldn't say I'm rich, but I'll be comfy for a while.
Image: You mean, we'll be comfy for a while, right?
Image: Hey, I said you could use my wagon, not that you could help yourselves to my life savings.
Image: Aw.

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Crested Vipers make their return from mid-Chapter 2; Hector may be unremarkable, but having his massive HP pool sure helps soften the blows here. We run into lots more Armor Scorpions as well, but Francois and Mara dual-casting Firebal keep us out of harm's way.

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Barrenth have 55 HP, 45 attack, 30 defense and 25 agility, with no special attacks, making them just barely less dangerous than the Rogue Knights they're accompanying here. They're immune to Bang, slightly resistant to Sleep, Firebal and Infernos, and vulnerable to Blaze, so they're not quite so easy to take out with multi-targeting magic, though. Here, Francois keeps exploiting the Knights' Firebal vulnerability to good effect.

Interestingly, the Knights keep summoning Healer after Healer, but Nara and Hector immediately one-shot them as they arrive. It's clear that their AI knows to go after them first. Hector ends up taking a 49 damage Knight crit, but that's nothing Healmore can't fix.

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Arrops have 27 HP, 46 attack, 36 defense, and 21 agility; their attack may inflict sleep, and they can call for reinforcements. They're slightly resistant to Sleep and Blaze, but otherwise vulnerable to any other magic we have at the moment. They're less dangerous than the other monsters around here, but critters capable of summoning help are always easy to underestimate, and they have low HP, so we take them out first.

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We can't bring the wagon inside towns, so we go back to the single-file formation.

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Image: Ooooh-
Image: Not the time, sis.
Image: ...right.

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Image: Sure, that's sweet of you!

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Image: Somehow, we'll manage without.

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Image: Fancy!
Image: Hmm...
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Image: Seems like a shame to leave it here, then.

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Image: I-
Image: Only if you can pay for it with all the money you made at the casino.
Image: ...aw.

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Image: At... an inn?
Image: Sure beats the wagon.
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Aaaaand he gets behind the desk. Of course the innkeep would say that about his own establishment. In fact...

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He charges 10 gold per person. But if you go to the next building to the south...

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...there's another inn at 5 per person.

Image: Huh.
Image: Is this tour thing just a way to make us skip the cheaper inn?
Image: Heh, nice try buddy.

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Image: ...!
Image: We have work to do!
Image: But we just crossed a desert!
Image: Should I try to make my skin even more beautiful?
Image: That's impossible, miss.

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The armor shop offers mostly Endor-grade stuff, plus the Fur Coat and Feather Hat in case you didn't buy them for the sisters back in their homeland. We have 2091 gold on hand, so this is the time to replace Francois' Chain Mail with Half Plate. We probably won't have enough for a meaningful weapon upgrade after that, so we also get Nara her own Iron Shield.

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Mara's still tougher than everyone else, but Francois has overtaken Hector, so we swap the dudes around.

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The weapon shop is also a mix of Endor and Haville stuff. Francois already has his Iron Spear, so if we could afford an upgrade, we'd have to go back to Bonmalmo for it. We should be fine for now, though.

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Nothing unusual at the item shop, and we already have a Full Moon Herb just in case.

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Image: Well, it looks cool.

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Image: Oof, yeah, of course.
Image: After what we've seen in Aktemto, there's no way we wouldn't believe a ghost story.

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I'll let Nara have that one; her Strength growth has been pretty slow lately and she hits things all the time. She gains two points!

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Image: Many years ago, when monsters terrorized this town, he fought with them... and perished along with the last monster in the final battle.
Image: ...
Image: It doesn't have to be the fate of all heroes, you know.

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That's a regular House of Healing on the second floor.

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Image: What a kind son you have, sir.

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Image: Ah, that's where Taloon was going.
Image: It's our next destination, then.
Image: I hope he's not already gone...
Image: Heh, if he was planning on getting a ship built, he's probably still there.

That's all for daytime Aneaux, but let's use the Lamp of Darkness and investigate that ghost rumor.

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Image: He had lots of money and was talking about buying a ship. What an ambitious man!
Image: Let's just hope he understands the danger the world is in.
Image: If monsters have been after him for a while, he might know it better than anyone else.
Image: Well... maybe not anyone.

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Yup, that's a specter alright.

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Image: Oh, so there's a suit of armor to match the sword! That's getting interesting.

Image: Somebody stole it.

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Having delivered his message, Ruvas' shade disappears.

Image: Hmm, so the armor on display here is a fake.
Image: It did look a little too nice to have been recovered from a dead warrior.

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Image
Image: That's not what I'm-
Image: Oookay lady, no need to fluster the boy.
Image: Look at those muscles! Did you inherit them from your father or your mother?
Image: ...I don't know.
Image: He inherited them from training and hard work!

And that's it. Aneaux is a bit of a rest stop on the way south, but we did learn that there is such a thing as a Zenithian Armor! We rest up at the cheaper inn, and continue our journey in the morning.

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Image: So what you're saying is that horses aren't monsters.
Image: Right. They're animals, like dogs or chickens.
Image: But I've seen monster chickens. And there were monster dogs around Lakanaba! Who's to say there aren't monster horses?
Image: Primrose isn't a monster, buddy.
Image: How do you know?
Image: She's super nice, so she can't be a monster.
Image: Well, there was that one friendly Slime in the basement back home... It was definitely still a monster.
Image: So animals aren't monsters except when they are, and monsters aren't nice except when they are. Look, I'm sorry, but I feel like I know less now than I did two days ago. I thought monsters just... weren't people.
Image: No... Sometimes people are monsters too.
Image: ...
Image: Okay, okay, okay. So. It doesn't matter what Necrosaro is, because he's an asshole. And Primrose won't bite my head off while I sleep. Do I need to know anything else?
Image: Nah, you're good.
Image: Glorious!

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We get attacked by a couple groups of four Magemonjars here, but we're faster than they are and they're quite flimsy, no problem.

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Image: Ah, that would come in handy. One world map, please.
Image: Funny, I thought I had some more. They're gone. Hmm...

No world map for us. Welp!

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Somebody sure trashed the heck out of that room, dang.

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Image: Ugh, of course the monsters would go after ships. They just don't want folk to travel.

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Image: Yeah, I get you. We'd get performers touring in Monbaraba sometimes... Let's just say it's pretty bad when you need Blaze to clean up afterwards.

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Image: Since then, it's been shining evil lights on the sea.
Image: Hmm. That's actually good to hear.
Image: What do you mean?
Image: If it was monsters at sea attacking ships, we couldn't do anything about it from here. But if it's a lighthouse, we can just go over there and clean it out.

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Neat little dockside mall here!

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Ah, the Broad Sword makes an appearance again. It might be our next purchase at this point.

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Golden Barrettes! There was a monster a while back that could drop them, but this is the first time we see them for sale. They offer 12 defense (Wooden Hats are +6 and Feather Hats are +8), and they offer some protection from the confusion ailment. Only women can wear them, including a female Hero, if we had one. As much as I'd like to save up for a Broad Sword, Nara and Mara can definitely use the upgrade, especially since the former is still our point woman. We buy one for Nara right away... and it turns out that selling both sisters' old Feather Hats leaves us enough to get one for Mara too.

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Looking good!

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Image: I suppose I can't blame you.
Image: A port town without ships! What a joke!

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Image: Yikes.

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Image: Since the monsters took over the lighthouse, it's been emanating an evil light that sinks ships.

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Image: Oh hey, there's one left.

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Image: I don't know if I'd let children run around on board a ship at a time like this!

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Image: Before too long, if we have anything to say about it.

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Image: I bet she was a beauty.

Image: Ah, it's good to know that she's safe.
Image: Heh, as if she'd let anything stop her.

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Image: However, when a ship leaves the shore, the lighthouse shines eerily and makes the sea rage violently.

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Image: If I were a lot stronger, I'd go wipe out the monsters in the eastern lighthouse...

Just in case we haven't figured out our next goal yet!

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Oooh, our first Small Medal. It doesn't do anything for us right now, but we'll learn more about what it is much later on. Though if you've played later games in the series, you probably have a decent notion already!

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Image: Ah, so it is Taloon's ship after all!
Image: A sailing expert who has a priceless map lives on a southern continent, in a town called Mintos.

Considering none of the previous games had any kind of in-game map, this is a pretty exciting goal to aim for!

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Aaaand another Small Medal. This one takes up our last inventory slot, so we'll be making a trip to the Vault before long. It's worth noting that you can't reach this specific Medal (or the previous one) after a certain point, so it's one of the very few that can be permanently missed.

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Image: We're building this ship for Taloon, but he's so rash.
Image: Wait, did he already-
Image: He went to the lighthouse to destroy the monsters who are making sailing impossible.
Image: Wow! Is he really a merchant?
Image: Oh he definitely knows his way around a fight. I wouldn't have made it through the desert without him.
Image: Huh. Do you think he'll need our help, then?
Image: Won't hurt to offer anyway.

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Image: I hope the monsters at the lighthouse haven't got him.
Image: If they did, maybe we can recover his money.
Image: Mara!
Image: Hey, it'd still help!

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Image: ...
Image: North of... Is that your...?
Image: It is.
Image: ...ah.
Image: The people of Santeem, across the sea, vanished without a trace... Do these events have some connection to the rumor the Ruler of Evil will resurrect.
Image: Yeah, they do.

That's all for daytime Konenber, but we have money to earn and not that much longer until sundown, so let's get into a few fights instead of using the Lamp.

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Oooh, there are Metal Slimes here! The odds of beating one are pretty low for this party, but maybe Mara will get in a good Poison Needle stab. (Aaaand she does not.)

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Welp, classic formation right there.

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Razor Winds again, returning from the Birdsong Tower in Chapter 2. I think we generally have more HP than Alena's party had at the time, so we don't have much to fear from Infernos chain casts. The Arrops are the more dangerous critters here. Nara levels up after this fight, for 1 Str, 1 Agi, 1 Vit, 3 Luc, 1 HP, 4 MP, and her own Healmore spell. Francois immediately follows suit, for 3 Str, 1 Agi, 5 Vit, 1 Int, 12 HP (wow!), and 3 MP. Nice!

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Image: We are searching for someone, but as far as we know, he's on his own!
Image: It was a princess and her escorts. They said they were after a man called Necrosaro.
Image: ...!
Image: Well now we're searching for them too!
Image: If that's the Princess of Santeem, we know they've gone south for sure.

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Image: I didn't like my last one that much...
Image: Though it wasn't because of the sea.

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Image: ...but I spend too much! Why?
Image: No one can possibly answer this question.
Image: But-
Image: No one!

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Image: Oh! Um... Uh... I-
Image: Nice try.
Image: You're so naive. I was only kidding!
Image: Do people generally kid about marriage?
Image: You'd be surprised.

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Image: He plans to travel the world in his own ship to search for legendary weapons.
Image: We're going to need some of that for sure.
Image: The pieces of the prophecy are falling in place.

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Image: Okay, this is definitely not a case of rowdy bards tearing up a dressing room!
Image: Ehhh, I'm still on the fence.
Image: There must be something horrible in that chest.
Image: A pile of Gum Pods, maybe.
Image: Oof.
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Image: But I'm sure your ship will be sent to the bottom of the sea...
Image: Which is why we're going to take out your boss on land. Idiot.

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Image: Hey, what's this guy doing?
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He runs off.

Image: I don't know, but it's suspicious! After him!

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Image: I know times are tough for everyone, but that's no reason to start robbing each other!
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Image: Well, no harm was done, I suppose. We have no reason to turn you in, right?
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Image: You can exchange Small Medals for items.
Image: Hmm. They're more cumbersome than they look, but we'd better hang on to them, then.

If we had refused to forgive him, we'd have gotten but-thou-must'd, of course.

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Image: I've heard that one a lot, but I don't think it is!

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Image: Sure you were.

Yup, we can't save at night in Konenber because the local House attendant is trying to get a girlfriend. Welp!

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Image: That's why he's growing bald!
Image: Is... is that how it works?
Image: It sure was true for our father!
Image: One could argue he wasn't thinking enough...
Image: Maybe that makes you bald too.
Image: ...I guess I have too much to worry about to start fearing for my hair.
Image: Worry definitely makes you bald.
Image: Why do you think I'm always wearing this bandana?
Image: You guys are messing with me, right?
Image: Eh, your mom's from heaven, there's no way you're going to start losing your hair before you're, like, twenty-five.
Image: Plenty of time to save the world before then.
Image: Yaaaay.

Before we stay at the inn, we make a quick Return trip to the Vault in Endor.

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Which is closed because it's night-time. I wanted to rest in Konenber so we'd have all our MP for the trip, but we get a room in Endor after all. So much for being optimal! In the morning we leave behind the two Small Medals, as well as the Symbol of Faith. Later versions of the game have Hector keep the trinket for himself, but for us it's dead weight from here on out.

We Return to Konenber, rest up again to recover the 8 MP, and set off for the lighthouse.

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Gah, six Sand Masters. So much for trying to preserve our MP, heh. Mara gets to level 14 after this fight, for 2 Agi, 2 Vit, 4 Int, 5 Luc, 6 HP, 5 MP, and the Firebane spell! It's still an upgrade to Firebal, rolling against the same resistance stat and costing a very affordable 6 MP.

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More Birdsong Tower critters; their StopSpell isn't too worrying for our current crew, since we have three people who can hit hard without magic.

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Oooh, we haven't had a tower dungeon since Chapter 2!

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The entrance isn't locked, fortunately; Alena still has the only key we know about. Well hey, we know for sure Taloon's in there. He can handle himself, but we should still find him before something else does!

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Friday
Posts: 2913
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:40 pm
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Re: It's raining protagonists: Let's play Dragon Warrior IV!

Postby Friday » Wed Jan 16, 2019 6:22 pm

I assume Alena would just kick the door down anyway
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User avatar
François
Posts: 1401
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:00 am

Re: It's raining protagonists: Let's play Dragon Warrior IV!

Postby François » Fri Jan 18, 2019 10:09 am

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Image: Are lighthouses always this big?
Image: Not usually, no. It only has to be tall, so there's no point making a huge tower. This one must be very old. Or maybe it was used for something else for a time.
Image: It sure must be a pain in the ass to keep the flame lit. We're really far from town!
Image: It could be a magic flame. That would explain the evil lights we've heard about!

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Rogue Whispers are the first to greet us a short ways in. They're easier to defeat than they used to be, but they still have a small chance to inflict serious damage.

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There's no reason to be scared of lone Thevros anymore, but we still wouldn't want to run into six of them. The Metal Slime escapes us, of course.

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Image: Oh, is that-
Image: Yup, that's him. Hey, Mister Taloon!

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Image: Wow, rude.
Image: I want to extinguish the Evil Fire burning in this lighthouse.
Image: A noble goal!
Image: But powerful monsters have been preventing me from going any farther.
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If we refuse...

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...you guessed it.

Image: Yeah, sure. But we're going to have a talk about partnership opportunities later, alright?
Image: I thank you! The Fire of Serenity burned in this lighthouse until recently.
Image: Right, I knew magic had something to do with it.
Image: They say a remnant of it still burns somewhere in this lighthouse. It should be able to extinguish the Evil Fire.
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Image: No, it's okay, we understand. Fire of Serenity destroys Evil Fire, got it.
Image: I'm counting on you. I'll be waiting for you in the port town.
Image: Alright then, leave it to us!

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Aaaaand he leaves. Interestingly, he passes through the obscured tiles in the center of the floor on his way out, letting us know there's a hidden passage through there. Let's check it out before we try the obvious staircase.

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Ah, nice.

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Nara has 43 Luck, Mara has 40, and Francois has... 4. Yeah, that checks out. We let our Hero have it. Luck is especially important for him, because we don't want to have the one character we can control afflicted with disabling status ailments! He gains one extra point.

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Oooh, this gets us to 1612 gold. Another chest like that and we can afford a Broad Sword!

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Ah, more Vipers inside. Not too tough, but still no pushovers.

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We've seen Grislysabers back in the Birdsong Tower too. They can crit and call for reinforcements, so ignoring them to fight the Babbles is exceptionally risky, and we set Francois to take them out first. Hector and Nara help him out, while Mara goes after the Slimes with her Poison Needle, which is acceptable.

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Ha, nice going then! We don't gain any levels from this, but it's still a decent chunk of experience.

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Okay, that's all of the first floor, let's head back to the stairs.

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Goodness. That's a lot of potential experience, but also a lot of Blaze casts to face-tank. We manage to take exactly one out, because when Hector has spent a turn building up power, he does 2 damage to Metal Slimes! Wow!

Nara levels up here, for 2 Str, 1 Agi, 1 Vit, 2 Int, 3 Luc, 2 HP, and 5 MP. Francois follows, for 3 Str, 1 Agi, 4 Vit, 1 Int, 3 Luc, 10 HP, 2 MP, and the Repel spell, which as usual prevents overworld random encounters with weaker monsters for a time, though it costs 8 MP this time. Mara also levels up, for 2 Agi, 2 Vit, 4 Int, 6 Luc, 4 HP, and 3 MP. Nice!

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Gah, Mad Clowns again. That incoming fire damage is starting to add up. This time, Mara opens with Bang, instantly destroying the Thevros and letting Hector finish up the Clown.

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Whuh-oh. This started out as a battle against two Rogue Knights, a Mad Clown, and two Metal Slimes. Hector and Nara took out the Clown first, but then a Knight landed a 50 damage crit. That's the end of our run for sure. We could keep going for a bit, but Francois' Healmore will only last for so long now that we've lost Nara's Morning Star skills. We switch to Offensive tactics to end the fight quickly (Firebane makes short work of the Knights), and even manage to defeat the Slime... which is almost a shame given that Nara's missing out on that one. Francois gains another level, for 3 Str, 2 Agi, 4 Vit, 3 Luc, 9 HP, 3 MP, and the Outside spell.

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Francois teleports us out, and Mara warps us back to Konenber.

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Good to see the healer can stop chasing skirts long enough to charge us 200 gold to bring Nara back. This leaves us with 1971, so we sell Francois' Iron Spear and upgrade to a Broad Sword!

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He now hits a lot harder than anyone else; if he can now one-shot Rogue Knights, it might save us a lot of grief. Nara can't use a Broad Sword, so we've got the best gear money can buy at this point.

If we go back to the captain of Taloon's ship, he has one more thing to say!

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Image: We're on it, no worries.

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Image: Yeah, we got into... difficulties.
Image: Do you think your ship will be ready by the time we're done?
Image: Yes, the ship will be completed soon. I'll wait for you to return with good news.

Alright, we're done here. Back east we go.

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From here though, let's put tactics on Save MP and check out the region instead of heading for the lighthouse directly, just in case there's something else going on nearby.

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Welp, that's it. We'd better make note of that river leading inland, at least. Francois can one-shot Sand Masters and Flythropes by now, but Rogue Knights still take two hits, presuming that they don't get healed in between. Oh well!

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A fight against three Grislysabers and two Metal Slimes earns us another Slime kill, and Mara levels up again, for 1 Str, 2 Agi, 2 Vit, 2 Int, 6 Luc, 4 HP, and 4 MP. Man I wish that experience went to Taloon instead of being wasted on Hector, but what are you gonna do.

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We ambush and defeat another Metal Slime, getting Nara to level 15, for 1 Str, 2 Agi, 2 Vit, 1 Int, 1 Luc, 4 HP, and 2 MP. Francois follows, for 3 Str, 2 Agi, 3 Vit, 2 Luc, 8 HP, and 2 MP. Man but his HP growth is remarkable.

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Dang, it feels like we encounter Metal Slimes every other fight in here!

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That one goes to Nara, for one point. The DW4 Pilgrim-types tend to be better late-game combatants than the DW3 Pilgrims were, but I'm still not too worried about Nara's late-game Strength stat. The surrounding roof tiles are impassable from here, so we retrace our steps.

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Ah, we ran into Kordra near the Bazaar back in Chapter 2, and they can still roll crits. I'm beginning to see a theme with this lighthouse: there are Mad Clowns and Thevros and Metal Slimes to chip away at us with small amounts of magic damage, and Kordra, Rogue Knights and Grislysabers to finish us off with critical hits. We absolutely have to keep our HP up.

A Poison Needle stab on a Metal Slime earns Mara another level, for 3 Agi, 2 Vit, 4 Int, 3 Luc, 1 HP, 5 MP, and the RobMagic spell. RobMagic still costs nothing, and it attempts to steal some MP from one enemy, rolling against its own specific resistance. I'm feeling a lot better about letting Mara loose with her offensive spells now!

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We know there's another up staircase on this floor, but let's try this one first.

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More monsters we haven't seen since Chapter 2! Skeletons hit hard, but they're not going to surprise us with a crit out of the blue, so we should be fine.

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Ah, that's a cool find. It's risky to let anyone but the Hero carry it, though. I don't think they'll use it before they run low on MP, but I'd still prefer to control the exact moment.

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Ooh, we know Vileplants from Aktemto, StopSpell casters and all. This one is easily handled.

We retrace our steps back to the central area of the second floor.

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Gah, okay, those are more of a handful. Mara does sneak in a Firebal at the start of the first round though, so everyone else can one-shot the Vileplants. Francois levels up here, for 3 Str, 2 Agi, 4 Vit, 1 Int, 3 Luc, 7 HP, 3 MP, and the Sleepmore spell, skipping the standard Sleep entirely! It costs the same as the basic version (3 MP), targets only one enemy, but indeed has a better chance to land despite technically rolling against the same resistance.

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Image: That one's a monster, right?
Image: Yyyyyup.

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Image: Nowhere you can reach, devil!
Image: I've been waiting to ambush him. I heard he was coming to this lighthouse... He must have gotten scared and headed back to town!
Image: Never mind Taloon! We're here to kick your ass!
Image: I'll go there and get him! Kiii... Kiii...

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Predictably, the creature bumps its head on the ceiling.

Image: Can't cast Return inside a tower, you dumbass.

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Image: Somehow I feel a lot more confident in the success of our mission, now.
Image: They're probably not all so incompetent.
Image: Eh, the dingus is hardly worth killing. Let's just get out of here.

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Okay, these are more lower Aktemto monsters, it's beginning to be real dangerous. Mara's running low on MP, but I put our tactics on Normal, we can't mess around with the likes of Weretigers.

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Gah. It's good to have another, but I'd prefer never having to use them.

Soon afterwards, Mara blows the last of her MP in a fight against a pair of Skeletons and four Vileplants. She better start robbing magic soon! At this point though, I expect we'll have to leave before long, and we'll take a less roundabout route next time.

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We know there are chests to the west, so let's keep going for now.

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Eh, it's worth money.

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Aw hell. (It's "Chest", the battle swirl effect just hid the first letter!)

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We'll be playing it safe on that one; I set our tactics to Defensive.

...whew, Francois' Sleepmore lands at the top of the round. I think we're good.

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Yup, everybody has a go, and Nara finishes the thing off with a crit.

Man-Eater Chests have 100 HP, a ludicrous 140 attack power, 55 defense, and 62 agility. Fortunately they have no special abilities,just their potent basic attack. They're highly resistant to Sleep and Blaze, and only slightly resistant to Sap and other elemental damage.

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Image: Huh. I figured they'd have hidden it better than this.
Image: Maybe they didn't expect anyone would have the guts to get this far.
Image: I am absolutely okay with the monsters consistently underestimating us.
Image: ...yeah, it gets ugly when they don't.

The Fire of Serenity has no special effect in or out of combat, unfortunately. We sure could use a free source of fire damage!

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Another Aktemto monster, but it's no threat on its own.

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Hmm... We saw two obvious staircases south of the chest, but this one in the northeast, we could have easily missed. Let's try it.

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Oof, now we're up against the same creatures that were infesting the Endor region while Necrosaro was there, and they were giving Alena trouble. We'll have to turn back before long.

Mara attempts a RobMagic on a Pteranodon, and fails; in fact it turns out they're immune to it. Hopefully she figures it out soon.

Nara reaches level 16 here, for 2 Str, 2 Agi, 3 Vit, 2 Int, 2 Luc, 8 HP, 5 MP, and she gets her own Sleepmore spell.

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Okay, this is clearly the top floor; we can see some kind of tiger demon and two imps dancing around madly in the center.

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Heh, so much for those stairs to the south then.

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Iiiiii kinda want to give the fight a shot... but we're sitting on over four thousand gold and Mara's running on empty. It'd just be reckless. Oh well! Let's finish our map at least, then head back to town.

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Hello, what's this?

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Heh, too bad we don't need it. We might meet someone who'll want it later though, so we'll leave it at the Vault when we have a moment.

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Aaaand that's the whole thing. We only have a boss run to do now! We jump off the edge...

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...Return to Endor to store our Barrette and extra gold at the Vault, and Return to Konenber to rest up. Victory is within reach!

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By now, Francois' defense is only seven points behind Nara's, and he has 34 more HP, so he finally takes the lead.

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We'll be staying on Save MP tactics from here on out, and we have a direct path to the top, so we ought to have enough juice left to put up a fight this time.

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Rogue Whispers are potentially threatening enough that I don't want to take chances right now, but they're also vulnerable to Expel, so it's a good idea to go on Use No MP and just get our Hero to send them into the light. No fuss no muss.

A Metal Slime kill gets Mara to level 18, for 3 Agi, 2 Vit, 3 Int, 4 Luc, 4 HP, and 4 MP. Francois gets to 16 a few fights later, for 3 Str, 1 Agi, 6 Vit, 2 Int, 2 Luc, 10 HP, and 7 MP.

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Alright, we're in good shape. Let's do it!

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Image: The Evil Fire will sink all the ships. Kekiki!
Image: Ha! Who's there?
Image: The light-bringers have come, you degenerates!
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Nara failed her sister pretty bad there, but all in all this could have gone a lot worse, and Mara has a lot more experience than the others so it's not too painful a loss.

The Lighthouse Bengal has 70 HP, 60 attack, 83 defense, and 15 agility; it's slow and not actually all that deadly. That said, it's got the hideous roar, and it can cast Heal, so it has "support monster" written all over it. It's vulnerable to all magic damage, and only slightly resistant to Sleep and Sap.

On the other hand, the two Flamers carry most of the offensive, with 75 HP, 70 attack, 75 defense, and 36 agility, and the ability to emit fireballs and straight-up cast Firebal. They're predictably immune to Blaze and Firebal themselves, but only highly resistant to Bang (it's more explosive than it is incendiary), slightly resistant to Sleep, and vulnerable to wind.

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Image: Alright, the folk in Konenber have suffered long enough. Let's end this.



A moment after we throw the sacred flame into the pot of Evil Fire, the light goes out entirely, then comes back on gradually, replacing the purple shadows all over the place with the red and grey tower dungeon hues we're familiar with.

Image: It worked!
Image: Of course it did.
Image: That's one job well done, at least. Come on, let's get Mara to the House of Healing and see what Taloon has to say about this.

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We made a ton of money even on this short expedition, so we can absorb a 330 gold revive, no problem.

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Image: What'd I miss?
Image: The Fire of Serenity lights the waters once more.
Image: ...did it look cool?
Image: Yeah, I was pretty cool.
Image: Aw.

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Image: Well, not that special.
Image: Don't be so modest. I can tell.
Image: Gah, keep it under your hat, okay? The monsters think I'm dead.

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Image: ...no doubt.
Image: Don't ever give up hope...
Image: Never.

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Image: Thanks to you, ships can now leave.

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Image: Did you expect it to fix itself?

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That other ship has already set sail!

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Image: Why hello there, mister merchant man!
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Image: And the ship is finally finished!
Image: Well that's excellent timing.
Image: I've one favor to ask of you.
Image: You mean, another favor.
Image: Shh!
Image: Monsters are after me. I'd feel safer being with strong people like you.
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Of course you can refuse...

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...but not for long!

Image: You're a bold man, Taloon. I'd be glad to have you by my side.
Image: I appreciate it! Let's leave right away.
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Image: Starboard the helm!

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Taloon automatically takes us to the wharf.

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And we sail out, just like that!

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Image: I hear an old sea expert who has a valuable map lives in the Town of Mintos down south.
Image: Agreed, I'm sure that'll help.
Image: The Princess of Santeem is there, too. It couldn't hurt to track her down as well.
Image: Man, I'm almost glad Keeleon kicked our butts! This is a heck of a trip!

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Until now, Dragon Warrior IV has been rather strictly linear, but as it often happens with ships in this series, the world opens right up and we can go nearly anywhere we please! Of course it's a good idea to follow Taloon's suggestion, since finding our allies is a priority, but we also want to track down Necrosaro and maybe even get a lead on the legendary Zenithian gear we've heard about, so we're guaranteed to find something interesting to do wheverever we go.

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Taloon hasn't ended his Chapter unscathed. Most obviously, he no longer has the Iron Safe. We can assume he sent it back home so Neta could start her Vault business! However, he's also lost the two special features of his chapter: there won't be any more random merchant encounters, and our item drop rate is the same as it usually is.

He did gain a few tricks in exchange, though! I mean that literally. Taloon is usually a basic melee combatant as we knew him, but he's taken a few pages from the DW3 Goof-off and on every round he now has a chance to do a special trick instead of a regular attack. However, unlike the Goof-off's irritating time-wasting nonsense, Taloon's tricks are actually useful and effective!

-He can trip, causing a weapon to fly out of his pack and hit an enemy for critical damage.
-He can summon an army of merchants, hitting three times in one turn before they leave.
-He can sing a lullaby, which is a Sleep spell that bypasses the StopSpell status.
-He can steal an item from an enemy, which guarantees that this enemy's item will drop after the fight.
-He can perform a strange dance, draining one enemy's MP.
-He can take a blow instead of an ally, which happens during an enemy's attack and does not take up his action.
-He can throw POCKET SAND!! in the enemies' eyes, simulating a Surround effect.
-He can attempt to calm the enemies down, convincing them to leave peacefully, which is an Expel effect not subject to Expel resistance.
-He can tell a bad joke, with a chance to make enemies lose their next turn as they laugh.
-He can sweep his leg and attempt to make one enemy trip, wasting their next turn.
-He can confuse one enemy by waving his finger in a circle. (Yyyyyyup.)
-He can stand in a daze and do nothing. (Well, okay, they're not all useful.)
-He can shout, which is equivalent to the enemies' hideous roar ability.
-He can build up his strength like Hector.
-When an enemy attempts to cast a spell, he can run up to them and cover their mouth with his hands, preventing the cast entirely; this also doesn't use up his action for the round, and it doesn't check StopSpell resistance.

So yeah, Taloon's not the best fighter and he has no magic, but he can definitely still have unique impact in combat and one could make a strong case for taking him along.

Speaking of which... Sorry Hector, but you'll never be in the active party again unless something goes horribly wrong! We can use all wagon features while aboard the ship, so we put Taloon in the main squad right away.

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Well hey, he's four levels behind Nara but still almost as strong as she is. It'll be great to have him on the team!

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nosimpleway
Posts: 2532
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:31 pm

Re: It's raining protagonists: Let's play Dragon Warrior IV!

Postby nosimpleway » Fri Jan 18, 2019 2:53 pm

I love the idea of some terrible monster channeling some terrible murderous magic then the fat middle-aged man cuts it off by clamping his hands over its maw.

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Friday
Posts: 2913
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:40 pm
Location: A user of Sosuns

Re: It's raining protagonists: Let's play Dragon Warrior IV!

Postby Friday » Fri Jan 18, 2019 5:02 pm

Neuga, ziena, zieber, zom...

Now the chosen time has come...

Exchange this wormmmpphhhhh!!!
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François
Posts: 1401
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:00 am

Re: It's raining protagonists: Let's play Dragon Warrior IV!

Postby François » Sat Jan 19, 2019 6:07 am

Alena's the best, that's indisputable... but Taloon's the one with his own spin-off series for a reason. :3

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François
Posts: 1401
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:00 am

Re: It's raining protagonists: Let's play Dragon Warrior IV!

Postby François » Mon Jan 21, 2019 8:12 pm

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Wwwait a minute.

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Huh, we have three people at exactly 75 maximum HP. That's gnarly.

Aaaanyway, we're looking for a map now! To the south!

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It's such a short way to the southern landmass that we don't even run into any sea monsters. Now we could just sail around some more, but we might as well go on foot from here and see what we can find.

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Okay, just Skeletons. That's no leap in difficulty yet.

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Taloon builds up power for a turn, delivers a massive finishing blow, and immediately levels up; he gains 3 Str, 2 Agi, 3 Vit, 1 Int, 1 Luc, and 8 HP.

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These are late Chapter 4 overworld critters, still no problem.

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We could have handled a much longer trek, but I won't say no to directions!

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That's an item shop right as we enter, but there's nothing new.

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Image: The legendary herbal medicine, Padequia, should cure him...

Image: A chancellor, is it?
Image: Cristo's probably not the only one in the world, but since we know Alena's party came through here...

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Ooh, Swords of Malice for sale. Both Francois and Taloon could use them, and it's 10 points stronger than the Abacus of Virtue, but 3500 is a bit steep for a 5 point upgrade over a Broad Sword, even considering the free Firebal cast. We have 4000 gold at the Vault, but let's hold off until we see the armor selection.

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Yeah, I figured we'd get new stuff. Only Francois can wear Full Plate, but it's only 5 points better than Half-Plate, so it's low priority. The Iron Helmet is 10 points better than the Wooden Hat that was previously the best headgear for men, and for now both Francois and Taloon can use it. If we had a female hero, a point could be made for sticking with a Golden Barrette, but for the guys here, it'll be a great upgrade. We can only have one with the cash we have on hand, so we let Francois have it.

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Image: Hmm... I might have to bring my son to study here one day.
Image: You're doing very well for yourself. Couldn't you teach him instead?
Image: Heh, maybe. In the end I'll probably let him decide!

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Image: Don't sell things, sell hearts! I'm struck with admiration by this idea!
Image: On second thought, I'll keep my boy well away from here. Securing a steady supply of hearts is harder than you'd think.
Image: I... think he means that you should cultivate your customers' pass-
Image He was kidding, sis.
Image: I would never kid about organ trafficking, young lady. Unless I could think of a really really funny way to do it.
Image: ...feel free to keep looking.

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Image: The many treasures he discovered enabled him to start a business. Now he's tremendously successful.
Image: It's too bad dungeon loot is not a renewable resource.

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Image Nnnnnno.
Image: Actually, yes! We've heard you might have a map, even!
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Image: Um... Sorry?
Image You don't have to apologize, he was just looking for an excuse to call you an idiot. I can tell.
Image: Come back again!
Image Oh, we're playing it like that, huh?

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Image No, we're looking for an expert on the whooooole wiiiiide wooooorld.
Image: I'm impressed... I'm not only an expert on the seas but on the whole world also.
Image I'm rolling my eyes in admiration, sir.
Image: You seem promising.
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Image Ssssssure!
Image: Here's the quiz. What's most important in business?
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Image: Mmm... Well done! Don't say anything... yes, Silence Is Golden!
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Image ...someone get me out of here.
Image: I'll give you the Treasure Map.
Image: Oh! We were only looking for a regular world map-
Image: Just take the map, kid.
Image: R-right!
Image: I discovered it when I was young but haven't been able to uncover its secret... Please accept it!
Image: It's an honor! Thank you!
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Image: Perhaps you can reveal the secret of this Treasure Map. Good luck!

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Image Oof, I've had enough of that guy's Gum Pods for a lifetime. What's the map say?
Image: Let's see...

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Well hey, is that amazing or what? A world map! A real world map! Okay, maybe Dragon Warrior is behind the curve a bit on that one. TCELES B HSUP, anyone?

Let's compare it to what we've put together so far.

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It does look like we've covered most of the land already, but there are plenty of loose ends even in the places we're familiar with, so no worries there.

Image: If X marks the spot, then it's just east-northeast of here.
Image: It can't be as easy as it looks, though. Otherwise Howden would have gotten to it already. Are those mountains all around?
Image: Yeah, definitely.
Image: Oh well. It can't hurt to look for a tunnel or something.
Image Wait, Taloon, didn't you have a tunnel made from Endor to Branca?
Image: I did!
Image: Why couldn't you-
Image: Ha, because I'm flat broke!
Image: Wait, aren't you a famous merchant?
Image: Yes, well, ships don't build themselves for free, as it turns out.
Image: Wouldn't it have been wise to save some capital?
Image: I was intending to, but I didn't count on unexpectedly high desert travel expenses.
Image: Ah.
Image: Hmm-mmm.
Image: Well then.
Image: True story.
Image: Oh, I believe you.
Image: Okay, look, that doesn't actually matter. We're after the Princess of Santeem first and foremost. We need to learn what she knows about Necrosaro. And if she didn't cross those mountains, we won't have to.
Image: Right, back on track. Let's go.

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Image: Ah, I know a good kid when I see one. That's very wise of you, young man.

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Image: My grandfather from Soretta brought me a root of Padequia. It cured me completely.

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Heh, one of these kids is going from the water basins to the kitchen table, and the other from the stove to the jars. Neat!

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Image: Old Howden, a mentor for aspiring merchants, lives here.

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Image: I still don't have the answer. Oh, I want that Treasure Map!
Image Keep reaching for that rainbow, my good man!

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Oh hey, that's an unusual open-air House of Healing right there.

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Image: Well, Howden must be doing something right. That's some fancy inn!
Image If snookering in suckers with phony advice is right...

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It's only 6 per person, but we have to pay for our entire crew, not just the four we have with us. We don't need to rest just yet, though.

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Image: When I told this to the Princess at the inn, she darted out.
Image Aw crap, she's gone already.
Image: But we know where she went.

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Image: Aaaand she went alone, it turns out.
Image: She does seem the type.

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Image: Our mistress, Princess Alena, went to get medicine alone. I'm very worried...
Image: So she went to Soretta, right? That's our next stop.
Image: You look kind.
Image: ...do I?
Image Don't contradict the man!
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Image: Yes, of course. We'd help just to help, but I suspect we have a common goal.
Image: That's very thoughtful of you. I'll accompany you!
Image: Oh! Well, alright then! Welcome aboard!
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Image: I must ask the people of this inn to take care of Cristo. I'll meet you outside later.
Image: We have a wagon just outside town, with a white horse. You can't miss it.

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Aaaaand he leaves. If we had refused his request...

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...but we could just talk to him again, it's not a problem.

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Image: He really is in bad shape...
Image: I wonder if this is Necrosaro's doing, too.
Image: People just fall ill sometimes.
Image: Fair enough.

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Aaaaand that's it for daytime Mintos. Let's leave town for now.

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There are no surprises in Brey's inventory; it would be nice to replace his Venomous Dagger with a Poison Needle, but his defensive gear is already as good as money can buy right now. (Mara's in a Fur Coat and Golden Barrette, so that's women having better equipment choices for ya.) There's a point to be made for letting him carry the Thief's Key by the end of Chapter 2 so we can have it again as soon as possible, but I think the only Thief's Key door we know about and haven't opened yet is in Burland Castle, and that's a long way from here.

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Leaving Hector in the wagon was a no-brainer, but now that we have five official Chosen Ones on board, it gets a little more difficult to decide! The experience sharing lets us experiment at no cost though, and Brey's levels are going to catch up to the rest of the party's whether we let him see action or not. That said, for now... let's let Francois and Hector catch a break. We still get to change tactics and party members while in combat even though our hero isn't involved, and I'm kinda curious to see how the others are going to behave together. Besides, being 100% efficient doesn't matter too much, since the monsters haven't been extremely dangerous around here and we're headed for a town, not a dungeon.

Image: So they're just going to let the hero of prophecy take it easy in the wagon?
Image: We've sure come a long way.
Image: How many free passes did you get for being your father's daughter?
Image: How many free passes did you get for being my great-great-great-great-great-grandson?
Image: Um...
Image: All of the free passes, I do believe.
Image: ...maybe a couple.

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Case in point, Vampdogs are also from Aktemto. Mara opens with Bang, Taloon and Nara each finish off a critter, and Brey paralyses the remaining Vampdog. No sweat! Nara reaches level 17 here, for 1 Str, 1 Agi, 2 Vit, 2 Int, 4 Luc, 4 HP, and 3 MP.

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Another Aktemto monster; Blaze and standard attacks do the job just fine.

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Heh, night fell sooner than I expected, but we haven't rested since we left Konenber, it makes sense. Let's head back.

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Image: Blessings!
Image: Ah-choo! It gets chilly at night.

Image
Image: Heh, you might be his most sensible student.

Image
Image: I wonder if they still grow Padequia.
Image: You mean, it's in doubt?! Oh dear!

Image
Image: Oh, Ragnar!
Image You know him?
Image: Nah... Not really. We just met at the Casino in Endor. He looked pretty intense!

Image

Image
Image: Aimed for the one, struck the other, eh?
Image: I've made enough money already. I don't need any more treasure.
Image Do you think you'll ever have made enough money, Taloon?
Image: Maybe. But not soon!

Image

Alright, that's it for Mintos then. We rest at the inn and set off again in the morning.

Image

Image: At any rate, you're certainly an eclectic bunch. I don't mean to pry, but what is it that brings you to travel together in these dark times?
Image: Fate.
Image: That's not the most useful answer, young lady.
Image: Nara and I have beef with a demon lord back west, and I guess Francois here is going to be a demon-killing machine before too long. It just made sense to join up.
Image: Also, he's the hero.
Image: Oh, is he? Well darn, that explains the lighthouse business getting solved this quick.
Image: I... heard the hero was slain.
Image: He wasn't.
Image: Are you guys talking about me?
Image: Yeah.
Image: Oh. Okay. Keep it clean, alright?
Image: No promises!
Image: So he's in the wagon. The hero, I mean. This wagon right here.
Image: That's right.
Image: Hmm.
Image: Is it that difficult to believe?
Image: It doesn't matter, I suppose. Dead demons are dead demons, regardless of whose blade their blood stains.
Image: That's the spirit!

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Image

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Mage Toadstools have 43 HP, 40 attack, 53 defense, and 20 agility. They know IceBolt and Heal, so they can be a threat in large numbers. They're slightly resistant to most spells, highly resistant to ice, and weak to Sap. On the plus side, they can drop Magic Potions, and that's always welcome!

...Taloon stole an item in this battle, but it was a Medical Herb from one of the Viceters. Oh well.

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Oh hey-

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Whuh-oh. I'm pretty sure this doesn't actually buff the enemies, and it's only a colorful way to say "it didn't work", but... Anyway, it's just as well that the attempt failed because that specific Mage Toadstool dropped a Potion.

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Dang but it's fights like this that make me glad we have a bunch of casters around! That'll definitely merit a switch to Offensive tactics; Bang and Snowstorm wipe out half the screen. Brey levels up here, for 1 Str, 3 Agi, 3 Vit, 4 Int, 6 Luc, 6 HP, and 4 MP.

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That's probably not Soretta, but let's check it out anyway.

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Image

Image
Image Didn't we hear it was to the east?
Image: East, south-east, we'll get there either way.

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Hmm...

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Image

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Well that was sneaky. We take note of the locked Travel Doors, and continue on our way.

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Gah, Nara took a Metal Scorpion crit too many. The Normal AI doesn't seem too worried about keeping people topped off if they're not in immediate danger, so we have to watch out for them crits. We get Francois to replace her right away. "Taloon shoves Nara's ghost into the wagon!"

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Now we're losing experience I'd rather gain, so let's hope we make it to town before long.

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Image

Image

Image How can you think this will ever work!?
Image: Hey, you never know.

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Image

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Well hey, the House of Healing is right by the entrance, how convenient. We bring Nara back for 290 gold.

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Image
Image: Ah, agreed. Though it's been quite a while since I last had the leisure!
Image: Some time ago I almost caught a Giant Octopod! I'm not lying!
Image: Not in this pond, you haven't.

Image

That farmer is completely immobile.

Image
Image Is he...?
Image
Image: Ha! He's not dead, just well-made!

Image

Image: Is that the castle? What's with these walls?
Image: It can't be. No castle worth the name would be this shabby.

Image
Image: ...I stand corrected.

Image
Image: Are these people just sleeping on the floor? What's going on here?

Image
Image That's one way to look at it.

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In a rare formatting error, the top of this specific line scrolls off the top of the text window as the last words appear. Can't catch them all!

Image: Poor King...
Image: Padequia is extinct!?
Image: Cripes, that's tough luck. But you can't base your entire economy on one crop, anyone who knows anything could have told them as much.
Image: Never mind that, Sir Cristo is...!
Image Maybe they've got a root stashed somewhere. We don't need them to actually grow it, right?
Image: I... I suppose there's a chance...

Image
Image: Hmm. I don't know the first thing about farming, but monsters are our business. Let's come back tomorrow.

Image

That man is tending to his crops even at night!

Image
Image: Hey ho! You wouldn't happen to have some Padequia roots left, would you?
Image: Padequia roots? The drought five years go destroyed them all.
Image: Alas!
Image: That's why I now grow carrots, radishes, and such.
Image: Yeah, that's the safe money right there. Best of luck!

Image

Image

We return to the village entrance and get a room at the inn.

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Image: Well, at least it used to be...

Image

Oh dear, the king is working in the fields too.

Image
Image: The record states the former King kept a Padequia Seed in the southern cave as a precaution against catastrophe...
Image: Oh! These are excellent tidings!
Image: Unfortunately, monsters now lurk in the cave, and we can't get in. Sorry, I can't help you. If I had the Padequia Seed, I could...
Image: Brey, do you think your Princess would have-
Image: Yes, yes, I'm afraid so, to my perpetual embarrassment. If I may trouble you to keep pursuing her further...?
Image: Right, of course.
Image: Hmm. Well, maybe you are the hero after all.

Image
Image: Ah, so she did pass through.
Image: She had three men with her. One was rugged and another snobbish.
Image: W-what...?
Image Okay, you're the snob, but Cristo didn't look even a little bit rugged, and who's the third guy?
Image: I've never come here before. It must be three other people! Oh, I dare hope she hasn't fallen in with a bad crowd...

Image

Oof, the only store here is a poorly-stocked item shop. Shambolic economy indeed.

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Image
Image: Right, we met him coming in.
Image: This country is so poor even the king must work.

Image: Well... in many lands, the kings do work hard. Just... not in the fields.
Image: ...not like you'd know. What's your job description, again?
Image: Slayer of evil gods, if I remember correctly.
Image: It was just the one.
Image: I could have taken another.

Anyway, that's it for Soretta. Before next update we'll have returned to the Vault to deposit our latest Small Medal and retrieve enough cash to get Taloon an Iron Helmet and a Sword of Malice. And then we'll see if we can get our hands on that Seed!

User avatar
MarsDragon
Posts: 492
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:30 pm

Re: It's raining protagonists: Let's play Dragon Warrior IV!

Postby MarsDragon » Mon Jan 21, 2019 11:53 pm

Here's a DQIV interview, just translated! It has some minor spoilers for an upcoming dungeon, so if you want to stay perfectly spoiler-free you might want to hold off for a bit, but for the most part it's safe to read where we are now. It has a lot of interesting stuff about the AI system (it was a big selling point, apparently) and the development process.

User avatar
François
Posts: 1401
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:00 am

Re: It's raining protagonists: Let's play Dragon Warrior IV!

Postby François » Tue Jan 22, 2019 1:44 pm

Dang, that is a nice read, and rather amazing timing for it too, heheh.

In the end, there's a weird give-and-take going on with the AI design, in the sense that the game is not hard enough to let the AI show it has the potential to be brilliant (or to occasionally simulate brilliance), but if it was any harder, the flaws it does have would be devastating. So it finds itself in that weird between space where it's generally competent in a way that's only impressive if you pay close attention to it, with occasional frustrating missteps that end up being what you're most likely to remember.

User avatar
François
Posts: 1401
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:00 am

Re: It's raining protagonists: Let's play Dragon Warrior IV!

Postby François » Thu Jan 24, 2019 1:12 pm

While we're in the Endor area for Vault business...

Image
Image: Haha, I told you I'd drop by when I could! And I'm traveling with strong people now, so I'm in even less danger now than before I left!
Image: Don't worry about me. I'll be here when you return after fulfilling your dream.
Image: I know. You have all of my trust, Neta. I love you.

Taloon's son still says pretty much the same thing he used to say back in Chapter 3, though. And if we travel a bit further just to see if anyone else notes that the man is safe...

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Hmm... Something I don't think I ever noticed happened on the way to Lakanaba (it's not on the Return list in Chapter 5, so we have to walk there from Bonmalmo). An Ozwarg tried to hit Francois with IceBolt, but I had actually replaced him with Brey at the start of the turn. And instead of the IceBolt automatically retargeting Brey, there was a "But Francois is in the wagon!" message and the spell hit nothing. It's probably tricky to exploit this in a useful way, but the fact is, we outright avoided an instance of damage by swapping party members, and it's clearly intended behavior for the combat system since there's text for it.

Taloon leveled up just before we reached his hometown, for 4 Str, 1 Agi, 4 Vit, 1 Int, 1 Luc, and 9 HP. I think that Strength growth is about on par with what Francois' been getting!

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Dang, that's always nice to see happen. Taloon's just rad. It's such a fun course correction from DW3 Merchants being underpowered without the too-obvious recourse of giving them bigger numbers.

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Image: Oooh, I see you're getting yourself into some honest work!
Image: I decided to work hard and asked the boss to hire me.
Image: Pay's not great, but he's a decent guy.

Image
Image: It's very yes!
Image: Keep it up! You have a cute wife.
Image: I... sure do!

If we answer with "no"...

Image: Actually, my family's out of the arms biz for now, seeing as I'm looking for the Zenithian Sword these days.
Image: What? You're traveling in search of a legendary sword? Hmm...
Image: What have you learned about it so far?
Image: That it probably exists. I was hoping to find out more overseas, but, well, you know the rest.
Image: What would you do with it if we found it?
Image: I'm a merchant, I need to make paper. But with the world how it is, I've been thinking, maybe I ought to find someone who can put it to good use instead.
Image: Yeah, that's pretty smart.
Image: Of course I didn't count on finding the sword-arm before the sword, but I can't complain!

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Image: Heh, just take good care of yourself, alright?
Image: My son is working hard and is married now.
Image: Whoa, really? Ha, he reminds me of someone I know!

Image
Image: It was nothing at all, really.
Image: Of course, I appreciate it too... Blush...
Image: Oh! Well... you're... you're welcome!

Image
Image: ...who just says "blush"?

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Image: I lost all my money at the Casino... Sob...
Image: Oof. At least you had the good sense not to sell the inn.

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Image: I haven't lived the quiet country life in a while, but I've been doing alright out there!
Image: The news that you purchased a ship has reached this town. What a feat!
Image: Eh, all it took was money, and Neta's mostly to thank for that, to be honest.

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With Taloon in the party...

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...the faithful foxhound moves aside!

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Image: ...what the...?

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Image: It's me, Tom's son. Your wife sold me this house.
Image: Yeah, that's my Neta.
Image: I'm determined to become a great merchant like you.
Image: You could do a lot worse than following in my footsteps, then. And you've even found yourself someone special, I see!

Image
Image: You just take good care of each other, alright? There's always been a lotta love in this house.

Man, I had entirely forgotten that Tom's son gets married to a nun. He's come a long way from Bonmalmo's dungeons! Welp, all's well that ends well in Lakanaba. (Except for the guy who lost his money in Endor I guess!)

We return to Mintos and gear up Taloon with the money we put in the Vault before we fought the Lighthouse Bengal.

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Francois and Taloon have very similar Agility, but the Iron Apron is better than Half Plate, so Taloon actually has the highest defense in the party right now. However, even with his new Sword of Malice, he doesn't hit as hard as Francois does with a Broad Sword. (He does leave Nara in the dust offense-wise, though. He's absolutely meant to be a stronger combatant than the Pilgrim-types.)

Anyway, that's the housekeeping done. We return to Soretta, rest up, and head south.

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We'll definitely be taking Brey along inside the cave once we get there, because it would be a dick move not to, and because I don't want him to fall further behind in levels. But we're leaving him in the wagon until then, because that ensures he'll have all his MP when it counts.

Nara's in as well because she's our main healer, and I suspect that the advantage Taloon gets from his new gear will be more useful than doubling up on wizards right now, so Mara will be waiting for us outside with Hector and Primrose. On the plus side, that means we can let her off the chain on the overworld. Offensive tactics it is!

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I guess the merchant army is targeted to a specific group, because they kill the Scorpion with their first attack, and their other two do nothing. Still, I'm unreasonably amused at the notion that Taloon has a mob of merchant fanboys/girls within earshot at all times, heh.

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Okay, new critters. Demonites have 40 HP, 55 attack, 33 defense, and 23 agility. They can emit a freezing wind (ice breath attack, slightly stronger than "emitting a fireball"), and they know Sacrifice, Explodet and Defeat. That sounds horrifying, but in fact they have 0 MP and can't actually cast their spells, so the freezing wind is their only dangerous ability. They're weak to Sap and highly resistant to Blaze, but only slightly resistant to other magic damage.

Bisonhawks have 52 HP, 43 attack, 55 defense, and 26 agility, with the ability to cast Sap and enough MP to do so twice. They're slightly resistant to Sleep and Sap, but completely vulnerable to all types of magic damage.

Mara immediately incinerates both Demonites with Firebane, and Taloon dances the Bisonhawk's 6 MP away before it can do anything. Yeah, we got this.

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Eh, it's money. We'll probably find chests in the cave, so we let Mara hold on to it.

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Oooh, Taloon's smart enough to use the Sword of Malice to cast Firebal. Nice, that's money well spent.

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Yup, that's a single tile entrance alright.

Image: I... I guess we'll be watching the wagon, then.
Image: You guys better not do anything reckless in there!
Image: Perish the thought!
Image: We know there's a lot riding on our shoulders. Don't worry too much, alright?

We set our tactics back to Normal, get Brey in the party, and head inside.

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Cool new tileset there. I always like those sorts of large, distinct bricks, it makes it a lot easier to count tiles for mapping purposes.

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Well hey, fire monsters in a frozen cave. Brey's ice magic will come in handy. We know Baby Salamands from Aktemto, but Infurnus Knights are new.

Image: Well... "new".

The Knights have 58 HP, 63 attack, 63 defense, and 24 agility, generally a step up from what we're used to fighting at this point. They can also roll crits, so... that's neato. They're slightly resistant to Blaze, Sap and Sleep, but vulnerable to all other magic damage.

This is a situation where the Salamands' fireballs can chip us down to one-shot range of a Knight crit, so we can't afford to mess around here. We go Offensive for one round, prompting Brey to cast Snowstorm on the Salamands. We then proceed to chip away at the Knights in relative safety. In fact...

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Aw yeah, that's my dude right there.

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The frozen tiles on north side of this hallway are impassable; I presume it's thin ice that would dunk us into water, so we're smart enough to stay away. As for those odd arrow tiles in the southwest...

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...we predictably slide in the direction of the arrow as soon as we set foot on one. There's your dungeon gimmick, heh. At least the chest here is easily reached.

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Iceloths (ha. ha.) have 75 HP, 65 attack, 35 defense, and 25 agility, with the ability to emit a freezing wind. They have more HP than the Knights, but far less defense, which makes them more vulnerable to physical attacks than to spells. Which is good because they're outright immune to ice damage; hopefully Brey will catch on before long, because we'd much rather have him Sapping Knights. However, they're vulnerable to Sap, Bang and Blaze, and only slightly resistant to Sleep, Firebal and wind. Mara would be a lot more useful against them!

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Brey does try Snowstorm, but Nara casts Sleep and catches a couple of them. Not bad! The first round sees us taking a bunch of damage though, and we go Defensive for a bit.

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Gah, it's not enough. Nara does her best to keep us healthy and Taloon even pitches in with a Medical Herb, but Brey takes a Knight crit and crumples up instantly. Bad luck for sure.

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At least Taloon shows the brutes what's what in the end.

Francois levels up here, for 2 Str, 2 Agi, 4 Vit, 1 Int, 4 Luc, 10 HP, 7 MP (nice!), and the Awake spell, which wakes up all sleeping allies for only 2 MP.

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Image: Oof. What do we do now?
Image: We bring him back and try again.
Image: Right. We're not going to make an ally out of the Princess if we show up with the body of her retainer. Let's get out of here.

Image

Image: ...done already?
Image: False start, never mind.

At least he's still at a low level, so the revival only costs 170 gold. Alright then, once more from the top.

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Hmm... I don't expect Taloon to ever have an amazing Agility growth we'd be delaying or missing out on, so we let him have this Seed, earning him one point.

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Conjurers only have 38 HP, 40 attack, 49 defense and 30 agility, but they can cast Infernos, as well as summon Healers and Thevros. Nasty little buggers for sure. They're slightly resistant to Blaze and ice, and highly resistant to other elements and to RobMagic. We better just hit them over the head; Francois one-shots this one at the start of the first round, and Nara puts the Knight to sleep.

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On Normal, Brey goes for sensible IceBolts on lone Knights. I approve.

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Image: ...huh.
Image: You guys better back me up when I tell Mara about this later.

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Image

Image: Ah, this'll be fun. These mysterious caves are always so interesting.
Image: There's a healthy attitude!
Image: My... my bones...!

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Oooh, who do we see there, walking around with her new crew?

Image: Princess!

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Image: Oh, right! It's good to see you're still going!
Image: Sorry we couldn't let you join us then because we were full.
Image: Eh, I get it. Besides, none of the people who were with you back then are here, so it's probably for the best.

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Image: For what it's worth, I wish you every triumph.

A fight against Vampdogs and Knights right here gets Taloon to level 15, for 3 Str, 3 Agi, 3 Vit, 2 Int, and 5 HP.

Image
Image: I suppose I ought to be pleased she did not go alone after all.
Image: We've accompanied her to this cave.

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Image: What do you think I'm doing, you reckless-
Image: W-we've come for the Padequia Seed, miss.
Image: What? You're looking for the Padequia Seed with them?
Image: That's right! This is no place even for you!
Image: You shouldn't have worried. We'll find the Padequia Seed and save Cristo!
Image: Ah... well... best of luck, I suppose.

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Aaaand they just keep going. They'll be wandering a set path on this floor for a while, in fact. Better not wait for them to succeed!

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Image: Hmm... There's no telling where those slides are going to take us, so let's explore as far as we can without using one, shall we?

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Brey levels up here, for 1 Str, 3 Agi, 2 Vit, 4 Int, 5 Luc, 3 HP, 4 MP, and the SpeedUp spell, which increases our entire party's Agility by a certain percentage for 3 MP. I don't expect we'll see him use it very often!

Image: Do either of these pits look like seed storage space to you?
Image: Nnnot really.
Image: Nah.
Image: Just as well, I guess.
Image: It looks like all of the slides around here go directly into... wait...
Image: Hmm...
Image: This one, just to the south... It goes between the pits. It should take us to the other side!
Image: Worth a shot, let's go.

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Image

Image: These stairs...
Image: We'd have to come from the northeast, I wager. Let's go around south first.

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Image: Fie, not this way at all, then.
Image: There was another path in the northwest, I believe.
Image: Heh, at least we know a bunch of shortcuts for the way back there.
Image: ...right.

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Vampdogs can cast Sleep, so Francois gets an opportunity to try his latest spell. That's a lot of resources saved by this little 2 MP fellow!

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Image: The one on the left looks like it ends sooner than the other. Let's play it safe here.

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Image: Good call, kid!

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Ooh, nice. We let Francois have those. That's four more MP!

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Image

Image: WHEEEEEE!
Image: AAAAAUGH!

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Image

Image

Image: ...well that was harrowing.
Image: Let's do it again!
Image: Gentlemen, focus.

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Image

Image: Better take the short one again.

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Image

Image: The west side had that ornate door and a chest. But maybe we can get to some of those stairs in the east from here.
Image: I'm thinking east first.
Image: Might as well. East it is.

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Image: Yup, there we are.

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This place can be pretty nasty; if we had taken the longer slide, it would have sent us to the other side of the room and we'd have had to start over entirely.

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Ouch.

Image: All in favor of trying another path?
Image: Nope.
Image: We gotta keep going.
Image: Sorry.
Image: ...I may well just be getting too old for this...
Image: These words are unbecoming of a court wizard. You are more than equal to this challenge!
Image: Ah... I pray you are correct.

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This looks a lot worse than it is, but it's all about paying attention and finding a series of tiles that go backwards starting from where you want to end up. I don't think we can see the starting location for the way to the chest from here, but we can access the northern path from the northeasternmost tile.

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Okay, let's see...

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Yup, simple enough. But let's check out this other chest first...

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Of course. Too easy to get to. Should have known.

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The Chest roars and stuns Taloon and Mara, but after Francois and Brey have at it, Taloon comes to his senses and summons his merchant army to finish it off. Whew!

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Image

Image: Ah! The Seed! There it is!
Image: I knew you could do it.
Image: Young lady, a man knows to admit his wrongs!
Image
Image: What an awesome object! No store is likely to be able to appraise the value of this.
Image: It is worth an entire kingdom's prosperity, and more health than anyone would be able to account for.
Image: Let's bring it back right away.
Image: Wait, what about Princess Alena?
Image: Eh, she's fine.
Image: We should probably let her know we've found what she's looking for.

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Image: She... she's not here...
Image: Maybe her party went back to town. We'll just head back ourselves then.

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Brey has definitely learned not to try freezing Iceloths by now. And even Taloon occasionally opens up with the Sword of Malice on groups of the buggers. Excellent!

A fight against a bunch of Infernus Knights on the top floor gets Taloon to level 16, for 3 Str, 2 Agi, 3 Vit, 1 Int, and 9 HP.

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We're still missing at least one chest, whatever was behind the door, and maybe something down those pits near the start, but we can come back for those later. Looking it at now, I think my map is off by a row somewhere... Hmm. I'll fix it up for the complete version next time.

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Image

Image: Miss Mara, pray tell, did you see the Princess leave the cave?
Image: Nah.
Image: Oh dear.
Image: Her folk could have teleported out without anyone here noticing. There's no reason to worry yet.
Image: Speaking of which, do we have the-
Image: Yup.
Image: Amazing. Let's go.
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Image

Image
Image: Soooo... How long do those take to-
Image: Hurry! Plant the seed in this field! Yes, Padequia grows instantly.
Image: ...huh.

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We even get a unique little jingle here!

Image: Goodness!
Image: Thank you! Our country is saved!
Image: Well that was enormously convenient.
Image: Take this Padequia Root.
Image: Thank you very much, Your Highness.
Image
Image: Cheers!
Image: Cheers!
Image: Cheers!
Image: Cheers indeed!

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Image
Image: I'm sure this country will thrive again.

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Image

Image
Image: You caught a Man O' War here? Goodness, maybe I should have believed you about the Octopod!

We rest up in Soretta, then Return to Mintos for our pharmaceutical delivery!

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Image

Image: Ah, Princess! You've returned!
Image
Image: It was pretty tricky to find, but we got it.
Image: I couldn't find it myself and returned empty-handed. I'm grateful!
Image: It warms my heart to see you express it.
Image: Quick! Cristo needs the Padequia!

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Image: Here, give it to me.
Image: Right-o.

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Image: Let's see...
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Image: Hmm! Excellent technique, miss.
Image: Ah, well... I learned it from my father.

We get the Padequia jingle again!

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Image: Miraculous!
Image
Image
Image: I'm ashamed. I'm the one who should be looking after you.
Image: Don't worry, Cristo. Now let's resume our journey to find Necrosaro!
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Image
Image: I heard Necrosaro destroyed the Hero's village. Is Francois the...?
Image: That's right.
Image: ...yeah, I am.
Image: Really? Then we should journey together.
Image: I was hoping you'd say that. Welcome aboard, Princess.
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In previous games, playable characters hardly ever talked to one another on screen so it wasn't much of an issue, but here I guess it can be unclear if I'm making up dialog or not. Just now, everything Cristo and Alena said in this exchange was the game's own words.

As we leave the room...

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...the bard waiting outside accosts us.

Image: Gah, we should be more careful about this!
Image: I didn't know that Francois was the Hero who will save the world!
Image: Is it too much to ask to spread the rumor that he's actually dead?
Image: A man named Ragnar, searching for the Hero, once stayed at this inn.
Image: Oh, so that's who he was looking for back then!
Image: He could be... He might be one of the lights!
Image: Ragnar said he was going to a country named Keeleon in the far west...
Image: Oh dear. That's not a country friendly to righteous folk these days. I hope he's alright.
Image: Well, thanks for the info, my good man. And please keep any songwriting about me for after we've won, okay?

And just as we leave town...

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Image: Hmm? What's going on, Hector?
Image: I know I must take over my father's inn someday. I've decided to study management under Old Howden.
Image: ...really? Huh.
Image: Ah, well, I respect your decision. Thanks for your help back in the lighthouse!
Image: Goodbye, Primrose! Goodbye, everyone! Best of luck!
Image: Goobye, Hector! You came in handy!
Image: Don't take too much of Howden's nonsense, kid. Work hard, keep your eyes open, and you'll be fine.
Image: Never lose faith again, alright?
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Aaaand that's indeed it for Hector; joining up with Alena's entire crew is the trigger causing him to stay behind. He sure helped out for a bit, but his stats are getting outclassed and we've just got a few more interesting party members besides. He's kind enough to give us Primrose and the wagon though, so there's a good man in the end, for sure.

From this point on, if we return to the inn in Mintos...

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Image: See? I'm working hard!

We can then rest up as usual.

Next time, we mop up the seed cave, and go after Burland's number 1 man!

User avatar
François
Posts: 1401
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:00 am

Re: It's raining protagonists: Let's play Dragon Warrior IV!

Postby François » Sun Jan 27, 2019 12:03 pm

So, Alena and Cristo!

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Alena cannot equip any kind of shield, and the Chain Mail is still the best body armor she can wear for now, so we're set on that at this time. As for her headwear, we quickly hop to Endor to pick up the extra Golden Barrette we found at the top of the lighthouse.

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Cristo and Nara have very similar equipment selection, so he'll have his best available gear if we just buy him an Iron Helmet.

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The shopkeep even mentions that he's sending our gear to the wagon. Man, any other game would have silently put the helmet in Cristo's inventory, but DW4 goes the extra mile.

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Francois still hits the hardest, despite still using a Broad Sword; Taloon is close behind with his Sword of Malice, and Alena's just barely in third place with her Iron Claw. The Chapter 2 crew is lagging behind a bit; Alena is level 13, Cristo 12, and Brey still only 14, while everyone else is between 16 and 18. All those Metal Slimes in the lighthouse sure made a difference!

We'll be letting Alena and her followers catch up for a bit though; they'll be escorting Francois as we finish clearing out the Padequia Seed cave. They'll almost certainly be underpowered at first, but hopefully our hero will be enough to keep them safe, and Brey already knows what spells to avoid besides.

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Of course Taloon, Nara and Mara will be the ones walking there, just to make sure the others are in good condition once we arrive. Dang but that wagon sure is convenient.

Cristo levels up on the way, for 1 Str, 1 Agi, 2 Vit, 2 Int, 2 Luc, 3 HP, and 4 MP. Brey follows suit, for 2 Agi, 2 Vit, 2 Int, 4 Luc, 2 HP, and 4 MP.

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Oh, and while we're here...

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Alright, that end of the continent is mapped out now.

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Image: So, um, Princess, whatever happened to the warriors you were traveling with?
Image: Okay, first off, just call me Alena.
Image: ...
Image: Sure, if you like!
Image: Anyway, long story short, they told me it didn't make sense to spend all this time trying to save Cristo, so I told them to take a hike. And here we are!
Image: Ah...! Thank you for not abandoning me!
Image: Eh, don't mention it. If I can't help you, I can't help Santeem.
Image: Err... Alright then. Well, thank you all the same.
Image: So Necrosaro destroyed your home too, then.
Image: Everyone just disappeared, like they were never there. Is that how it happened in your village?
Image: ...no, it's not.
Image: Ah.
Image: I see...
Image: ...
Image: Well, whatever happened to your people, I hope we find out.

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We make our way back to the eastern area of the second level without much difficulty. Let's try heading west from here this time, instead of further east to the stairs leading to the seed cellar.

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Ooh, there's a chest behind that door in the west. We'll go that way first.

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Aw crap. Cristo couldn't have survived that crit even at full HP. At least Alena levels up after the fight, for 4 Str, 4 Agi, 5 Vit, 1 Int, 6 Luc, and 10 HP.

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Hmmmm... We're in deep enough that I don't want to just go back right away. Let's keep going until Francois runs out of juice.

Francois gets to level 18 after beating a pair of Infernus Knights, for 4 Str, 2 Agi, 4 Vit, 2 Int, 3 Luc, 8 HP, and 5 MP.

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I'm not sure if we needed the Thief's Key to open this door, but I don't think so.

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Oooh, that's a cool find. The Robe of Serenity is an artifact that you can only find in this chest or as a rare drop from exactly two monsters; it offers 33 defense (between Half Plate and Full Plate), and it also reduces damage taken by its wearer when asleep or paralyzed. Anyone can wear it except the Hero, but seeing Alena's gear limitations, we're letting her have it right away. It takes her defense from 49 to 64!

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Hey, that's nothing to scoff at. I'm so glad chests have been worth going after since DW3.

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Okay, I think we're almost done here.

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Clear dead end. I'm certain this is where you end up if you take a slide that sends you into one of the pitfalls on the main floor, so I'm comfortable skipping those.

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That's all of it, then. Let's return to Soretta and bring back Cristo.

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Still cheap, no problem.

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Image: Hey, I know we're going west to Keeleon, but... we did get that Treasure Map.
Image: Ooooh, right.
Image: Aren't there a bunch of mountains around the spot?
Image: The map is missing fine details. There could be a way in.
Image: Whatever it is, if there's a chance it helps us take out Necrosaro, we ought to have a look. We'll just head north and do a loop around the region. Keep your eyes open for hidden caves, people!

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We go with Taloon, Nara and Brey this time. That way we can just go on Offensive and nuke everything we come across, and we have a chance for Taloon to pickpocket something or other.

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Man, going double-wizards makes such quick work of these jobbers. Cristo gains a wagon level on the way, for 2 Str, 2 Agi, 3 Vit, 2 Int, 2 Luc, 5 HP, and 5 MP. Nara follows, for 2 Str, 2 Agi, 1 Vit, 2 Int, 1 Luc, 1 HP, and 4 MP.

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Aaaand we're back in familiar territory.

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That's all of the Mintos/Soretta continent, but for that mysterious area in the northeast mountains.

Image: I wonder if their world has a phoenix.
Image: Gah, I hope so.
Image: Well, they sure haven't found any orbs yet.
Image: Or crests.
Image: Or staves and stones and tokens.
Image: Eh, that's just as well.

We head back to Mintos and rest up.

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You know, we're sitting on 6636 gold, plus maybe 3000 at the Vault, and we know the shops in the Keeleon region don't have anything we'd want to upgrade to. Let's get Francois a Full Plate and Sword of Malice.

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It's just five more points for attack and defense (and the free Firebal cast)... but hey, we can afford it, and his old gear sells for a decent chunk anyway. It's all good.

Oh, and while I think of it, isn't that comparative attack/defense status screen super great? Imagine going through everyone's individual status screens just to find out who has the highest defense. Good grief.

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I'm not sure what we'll run into on the high seas, so let's play it safe and start with Francois, Alena, Nara and Mara.

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Welp, that's how we know we're at sea in a Dragon Warrior game. Men O' War have 40 HP, 35 attack, 15 defense, and 20 agility; as usual, they can inflict paralysis with regular attacks. They're vulnerable to Bang, wind and ice, slightly resistant to Firebal and Blaze, and highly resistant to sleep. They might have been more threatening on our way south from Konenber, but by now their stats are very low, and even if they managed to paralyze our entire party, the backup crew would jump right in.

Alena gets to level 15, for 3 Str, 4 Agi, 2 Vit, 1 Int, 3 Luc, and 5 HP. Brey follows, for 2 Agi, 3 Vit, 2 Int, 5 Luc, 5 HP, and 4 MP.

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We reach the western continent a short time after nightfall.

Image: Is that Keeleon?
Image: It is. But now that I think about it...
Image: You're not having second thoughts, I hope.
Image: Without Orin, we won't be able to enter the castle.
Image: ...aw crap.
Image: Who's Orin?
Image: He's... he's the friend we lost the last time we were here. He broke the locks on the entrance for us, but the doors are magical and didn't stay open for long.
Image: So, what do you want to do?
Image: Hmm.
Image: I... don't know.
Image: Ladies, I'm all for sorting out your vendetta, but if we're looking for Ragnar, he might not necessarily be in this castle. Especially if nobody can get in.
Image: Yeah, good point.
Image: Maybe someone in Monbaraba could have seen him. People come from all over for the shows, so...
Image: Right, right. Okay. Can you take us south then? We'll tell you where to land.
Image: Might as well, let's go.

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Another fight against Men O' War gets Mara to level 19, for 1 Str, 2 Agi, 4 Vit, 2 Int, 8 Luc, 8 HP, 4 MP, and the Blazemore spell. As usual, it's the upgraded single-target fire damage spell, costing an affordable 4 MP.

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Image: Wow. I didn't think we'd be back here so soon.
Image: Is this place always so quiet?
Image: Heh, in the daytime, sure.

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Image: Oh, there you are, you piece of crap.
Image: Tell no one that I'm hiding here, okay?
Image: Only because we like the king even less than we like you.

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Image: A jester? Yeah, I guess any dancer they bring in would just end up reminding people that I'm not around anymore.
Image: Go to the theater at night if you want to talk to him.

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Image: He's still going to that cave?
Image: Maybe we should have told him there was nothing more to find.
Image: Or maybe he knows something we don't.

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Image: I wonder where they went. It's not like they could have taken a ship after us...
Image: They must be living happily together somewhere...

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Image: We didn't, actually. We know it's there, it's on our map, but we went in a straight line from Mintos to Keeleon. It must have been too far south of our route.
Image: I hear there's a big island rimmed by rocky mountains in the far eastern sea. They say there's a castle of monsters on the island.
Image: Well now, that's interesting.
Image: A castle of monsters... They have to know something about the Ruler of Evil and Necrosaro.
Image: But it's not like they'd just tell us.
Image: I'm sure we can find a way to make them.
Image: I like your style!

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Image: Haha, don't get too excited, I'm just dropping by.
Image: Did you avenge your father?
Image: We're still working on that.
Image: I see... Best of luck to you!

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Image: I don't know if we have the t-
Image: I'd be delighted! See you tonight!

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Image: ...what?
Image: Did we miss a key when we were down there?
Image: I guess that's possible.
Image: Do you know where he went?
Image: There's an underground vault west of our hometown, to the north. We must not have been as thorough as we should have been.
Image: Well, if we need that key, we better have another look.

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Image: When will I debut?
Image: As soon as that Panon guy stops making money, probably.

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Heh, we get the casino music down here tonight instead of the Chapter 4 battle theme.

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Image: I know! I have great timing!
Image: I have a tale to tell.
Image: Go on.
Image: Would you hold the edge of my coat? Yes, that's right. Are you ready!
Image: I'm always ready!
Image: Get your hands off my tail!
Image: ...
Image: ...
Image: ...
Image: ...I don't get it.

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Image: He doesn't even have a-
Image: Don't think about it too hard.
Image: But-
Image: Alena was holding on to his coat-tails, and tail's another word for butt.
Image: Oh. Ha... ha?
Image: Everyone's drunk down there, it doesn't have to be brilliant.

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Image: It sure doesn't keep his minions from making trouble.
Image: I dare him to come back to life!
Image: It may be inevitable, but...
Image: Seeing what Necrosaro can do on his own, I'd really rather stop him before he can set his master loose.

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Image: I don't know if it's such a good idea to bring the Princess and the Hero to a place like this...
Image: I go where I want!
Image: That's my point, I'm not sure you want to.
Image: You never know where we're going to find useful info, sis. Secrets get spilled all the time in here.
Image: Okay, what's going on?
Image: Oh I'm not saying nothing!

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Image: Huh, I wonder why.
Image: Some guys buy into the dream a little more intensely than others, I guess.

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Image: Wh-
Image: Welp, thank you, no thanks, good night!

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Image: ...huh.

This bit is one of the few parts where a character's gender comes into play, besides available equipment. If we meet this lady with a woman instead...

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Image: Pufpuf is not easy to master.

And that's it for Monbaraba. The shops are the same as they were the last time, so we're done. Better head for Kievs now! We'll be covering familiar ground and it's not far, so we use the Lamp of Darkness and make some money off the extra encounters.

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Image: So... did you sleep well last night?
Image: Y-yeah. I mean, same as usual! Why?
Image: No reason!

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Mystic Dolls have 40 HP, 42 attack, 40 defense, and 30 agility. Stats-wise, the Soretta region got us used to much worse. However, they can dance away our MP, as well as cast Defence and Chaos, the latter of which is still a single-target confusion spell. I'm extremely glad we have three party members with Golden Barrettes on right now! They're immune to sleep, Sap, and all fire damage, highly resistant to StopSpell, and slightly resistant to wind and ice. It's worth noting that they're vulnerable to Expel, but they're worth 300 gold each, so it's best to actually take them down if possible.

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Ah, I had a feeling we'd see these again. They're not dangerous alone, though. Taloon levels up after this fight, for 2 Str, 2 Agi, 3 Vit, 2 Int, and 5 HP.

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More Infurnus Knights, not unexpected.

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Image: Ah... This is a relief. I was worried Balzack would punish our hometown for what we did.
Image: The cretin must have better things to do.

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Image: Hello!
Image: My dear Nara!
Image: It's good to see you again!
Image: You're alright.
Image: I'm sorry we disappeared without telling anyone what happened, but we had to leave in a hurry.
Image: Hey, I was wondering. Did dad ever tell anyone about a Magic Key?
Image: What? A Magic Key? Edgar's pupil Orin had one.
Image: Oh, so that was his trick.
Image: No no no, there was no key, I saw him break the locks with his bare hands!
Image: So he didn't have it with him when we raided the castle.
Image: And it's not in dad's house for sure.
Image: So he must have left it where we found him.
Image: No reason to bring it along, I guess.

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Image: You're still here!?
Image: Is that the Slime you mentioned?
Image: Yes.
Image: So... No squashing, then.
Image: Better not.
Image: Aw.

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Image: I trust what my friends say about you. Don't worry.
Image: I remembered! Edgar has a secret laboratory somewhere else. If I remember correctly, it's in the western cave. I think you'll find a Magic Key there.
Image: It must be why Orin went there to hide. Balzack must not have known about it.
Image: Why didn't he tell us, then?
Image: Hmm.

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Image: Waaaait a minute.
Image: Until recently, I held a desert bazaar in the country of Santeem.
Image: I knew you looked familiar!
Image: Now that the bazaar is over, I'm on my way to Monbaraba in the south.
Image: Watch out for Mystic Dolls, alright?
Image: Well, allow me to do business with you.

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Oh dang, he's actually a merchant!

The Battle Axe is a +50 weapon only the Hero can equip. However, the Sword of Malice is +45, so that's 1100 gold per extra point of attack power. We'll pass on it at this time.

The Cloak of Evasion is +28 armor that Mara, Brey and Alena can equip. It's only slightly less robust than Half Plate, but as usual it does come with a chance to evade physical attacks. I don't know the exact odds, but it was 20% in DW3, and it's probably still around there.

The Iron Mask can only be equipped by the Hero, and it offers 25 defense, which is 9 more than the Iron Helmet.

For now, we'll get one Cloak of Evasion, and give it to Alena. It'a downgrade in raw defense from the Robe of Serenity, but since she's more of a frontliner she'll make better use of the dodge chance. She passes the Robe down to Mara. Sooner or later we'll get Brey a Cloak of his own, but seeing as I want to keep the sisters in our active party while we're in their homeland, it can wait.

I also want to get Francois his Mask; we only have 2100 gold on hand, but we make a quick trip to the Vault for another 2000, and we leave his Helmet there for Reasons.

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Of course, "quick" is a relative term, given that Kievs doesn't make the Chapter 5 Return list. Oh well.

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Dragonpups have 67 HP, 64 attack, 40 defense, and 34 agility; they can attack twice and summon Butterfly Dragons. The latter aren't too tough by now (we ran into a few in the Birdsong Tower), but they do know Heal, so it can extend the fight by a bit. Dragonpups are weak to all magic damage and to Sap, and highly resistant to Sleep and Surround.

Mara drops a righteous Blazemore for 75 damage; bye bye pup. We reach Kievs moments later.

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Image: Right, that's what it was, in the end. Seeing what Balzack did to himself with it, it's no surprise dad tried to destroy it.
Image: Evolution is how man evolved from apes or something like that, right?
Image: That would be natural evolution, I think. I doubt it's the same process.
Image: I wonder what will become of us if we keep evolving!
Image: Hmm...
Image: ...what? Do I have something on my face?
Image: Nnnnnah.

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Image: Porta the dog is chasing it barking.
Image: Gah, poor thing.

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Image: I'm very fond of him!
Image: Or maybe it's just that you smell like a Slime.
Image: Wow, rude.
Image: You chatted with a Slime recently?
Image: Yeah, but that's besides the point.

The inn is still free as long as we have Mara and/or Nara in our active party, so we rest up and get ready to go. With Francois' new Iron Mask on...

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Yup, looking good.

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I expect there will be more Mystic Dolls in the cave and confusion spooks me, so we'll be letting the boys do the fighting on the way there, then we'll switch the girls in.

Image: Hey, um, Taloon?
Image: What's on your mind?
Image: Have you even been through Pufpuf therapy?
Image: Pfffhohoho! I'm a married man, kid!
Image: Ah, I get it, so you don't need confidence so much anymore.
Image: ...hmm. Maybe it means something else down here. The world's a big place!
Image: Yeah, you can say that again. What does it mean where you're from, though?
Image: I... Uh... You're... Well. It's hard to explain. Ask Cristo.
Image: Yeah, ask Cristo!
Image: Do please leave me out of this!

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Oh hey, that's right, that's a wide entrance! Nice.

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Image: So, do you have any idea where to look?
Image: Strictly speaking, the key could be anywhere, but...
Image: If Orin was living out of dad's hidden lab, it could be close to where we found him.
Image: Alright then, lead the way.

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Good grief!

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Hurray for the wagon, dang. Did I mention how some dungeons are balanced with the whole crew in mind? Yeah. A couple Snowstorm and Bang casts clear the screen.

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Oof. Yikes.

Welp.

I guess it's a step up from DW3's Voodoo Shamans.

Aaaanyway.

Phantom Messengers have 100 HP, 54 attack, 30 defense, and 55 agility. They can summon Phantom Knights for help (we haven't seen those yet), as well as cast Sap and... Beat. Which is of course the single-target instant death spell. Again, the wagon makes instant death a lot less painful than it used to be, but we still don't want to mess around with those for too long if it can be helped. They're immune to all fire damage, highly resistant to ice, RobMagic and StopSpell, and slightly resistant to sleep, wind and Sap.

Seeing as they have enormous HP, low defense, and generally high magic resistance, I definitely want to bring in Taloon and Alena. We can only swap out one character per round though, so at first it's Brey for Alena, then Taloon for Mara.

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As soon as Taloon hops out, he summons the merchant army, hitting the last Messenger three times for 34 damage each. Good grief, Taloon is rad. We haven't even seen a crit from anyone yet that dealt more than that at once.

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Okay, we're bringing Brey back for this one. From this point on I'm going to spare you most of the details for all this party swapping, but I think you get the picture by now.

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Image: ...I wish the Kievs folk didn't just tell everybody...
Image: I just can't find a way downstairs. I know the mechanism to open the entrance is at the bottom of a treasure chest, but... Hmm...
Image: Do you, now?
Image: That narrows it down, at least.

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Ah, there's those Phantom Knights. 80 HP, 82 attack (ouch), 59 defense, and 40 agility. Aaaand they know Healmore. They're vulnerable to Bang and Blaze, slightly resistant to Expel, Firebal and wind, and highly resistant to ice and Sap. It's best to get Mara to deal with those, but they hit very hard, so take care not to fill your squad with squishies!

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Gah, Nara got Beat. Time to let Cristo be our back-up healer. Coincidentally, he levels up afterwards, for 2 Str, 2 Agi, 3 Vit, 1 Int, 4 Luc, 6 HP, 5 MP, and the Increase spell, which increases all active allies' defense power by (I believe) 50%, for 4 MP.

Cristo doesn't know Healmore yet, but Francois is usually busy bashing heads, so he'll have to do.

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Alena levels up here, for 4 Str, 3 Agi, 5 Vit, 5 Luc, and 12 HP. She's getting tougher!

Image: Mara, did you really explore this cave with just the two of you?
Image: It... it wasn't that bad back then. There were just, I don't know, evil mushrooms? Not all those skeletons and fire devils.
Image: Monsters have been getting more dangerous all over the world. We truly need to take action now.
Image: Good thing we left home when we did, after all.
Image: Yes, yes, I am forced to admit as much.

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Ah, one of those Dolls starts the fight paralyzed. That'll make them less horrifying, I guess.

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Image: Okay, we should be getting close. There was another chest on the other side of this pond, but let's just have a look at the one across the bridge here.

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Image: Lessee...

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Image: Huh, clever.
Image: Oh crap, I don't know how we missed that.

There was in fact no way to find this button during Chapter 4, even if we had searched the chest multiple times.

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Image: One hidden lab, coming up.

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Gah, good thing we caught up with Alena, those are Thief's Key doors.

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Image: So, this is... huh.
Image: What fascinating apparatus! Ah, if only I had the time...

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Image: Two beds. He must have lived with Orin down here for a while.

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Image: There it is.
Image: Well then, it looks like I have one more reason to be grateful to your father.
Image: Gah, I wish Nara could see this.
Image: I'm sure you'll be able to show her once we've sorted out everything.
Image: Yeah...

Alright, we got what we came for. Brey takes us out, and we rest up in Monbaraba. Next time we have a couple doors to open in Endor, but once that's done, we're getting back on Ragnar's trail.

User avatar
François
Posts: 1401
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:00 am

Re: It's raining protagonists: Let's play Dragon Warrior IV!

Postby François » Wed Jan 30, 2019 7:19 pm

Before we raid Keeleon Castle again, let's see about opening a few doors with our new Magic Key. We could technically unlock the Santeem treasury and a mysterious building in Surene, but we'll get to those when we revisit the area later on. Every other Magic Key door we've seen yet is in Endor, conveniently enough.

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Image: In Endor? It would be hard to beat my store in uniqueness, we don't even have a fixed inventory. Or, well, that's how it was before I left, I guess.

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Image: Oof. Okay. Okay then.

The Swordedge Armor is the fourth strongest piece of body armor in the game, at 50 defense power; it does retain its special property from DW3, as it reflects 25% of the physical damage received by its wearer to the attacker. In our current party, only the Hero could use it.

With its ludicrous 95 defense power, the Metal Babble Armor is absolutely the strongest single piece of armor available, without exceptions. It has no elemental resistances or other special properties, however. It's just a big ol' chunk of defense. It can be equipped by the Hero of course, but also, pleasantly enough, by Taloon, Cristo and Nara. By comparison, back in DW3, the best Merchant armor was +23 Half Plate, and the best Pilgrim armor was +40 Magic Armor (though the latter did come with resistance to spell damage).

Those price tags don't mess around, though. We could technically grind, say, Mystic Dolls for a long, long while and outfit ourselves in endgame-grade armor, but... yeah, no. Not now, for sure. But the option's there!

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The down staircase behind the counter leads to a pair of chests on the ground floor, but we don't have a way to get there. The upstairs lead to the roof, which seems inaccessible. Hmm.

Let's just find some other doors.

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Oooh, okay, we should be able to get there from the ground floor castle entrance.

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Image: The sky? Are there clouds moving somewhere?
Image: I'm afraid the Ruler of Evil is about to resurrect!
Image: We might be running out of time...
Image: Eh, if the Ruler of Evil does come back, all we need to do is beat him for good.
Image: I hope it's that simple.

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If we jump off the ledge here...

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Oh-ho!

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Image: Just a moment!

Image: Ah, a proud tradition is maintained.
Image: I knew you had a redeeming quality somewhere.

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Image: Huh. That looks awkward.
Image: Yeah, you're liable to chop your own head off with it. It's no wonder the shopkeep doesn't sell it.

At 99 attack power, the Multi-Edge Sword is among the most powerful weapons in the game, and only the Hero can equip it. Just like its DW3 counterpart, it reflects 25% of the damage you inflict with it back to you. It's also extremely cursed, so you can't just take it off when you run low on HP. It's not completely unusable, but if you do want to take advantage of it, it's best to keep Nara and/or Cristo in your active party.

Just like the Robe of Serenity, it can be found as a rare drop from two late-game monsters, so it's not strictly unique, but this is the only guaranteed spot to get it from. I don't plan on messing around with it, and Taloon helpfully informs us that it sells for 2475 gold, so we'll just get rid of it for a head start on our next upgrade.

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Hmm... I'll let Cristo have this one; he's behind everyone, and Pilgrim-type Strength growth ought to be hard to mess up. He gains 3 points!

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This maid blocks the way, so we have to come back after sundown.

Image

Image: I-is this really okay?
Image: Hey, they're royals. If they wanted to stop us, they would.
Image: Is that how it works?
Image: Eh, pretty much.

Image

Image
Image: Aw.

Image
Image: Hello, Your Majesty. We're on joint Merchant/Hero business, you know how it is.
Image
Image: Now I've lost my place to sleep. Ho, Ho, Ho!

Image: Sure beats the Eginbear royal family's sleeping arrangements.
Image: Don't remind me.

Image

It's a dressing room, makes sense.

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The Pink Leotard is a +40 piece of armor (5 points better than Full Plate, somehow!) that all women can equip, including a female Hero. Right now, Alena has a Cloak of Evasion, Mara has the Robe of Serenity, and Nara is on her old Half Plate Armor. Nara needs an upgrade the most, she can't use a Cloak of Evasion, and she's more likely to be close to the frontline than her sister is, so she gets to wear it, as out-of-character as it may seem. It takes her defense from 69 to 79, beating Taloon by two points for second highest in the party!

The Leotard would be worth 4725 gold to sell, but we won't be doing that for a while.

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And of course there's a Small Medal in the rightmost drawer.

If we return to the expensive armor shop at night...

Image
Image: The Go-
Image: ...?
Image: W-was it, now?
Image: What will they do with such a thing?
Image: I guess they just like pretty things.

Image

Image: It's just as well that monsters have it now. It was sealed away because a lot of people killed each other over it.
Image: That Bracelet, you mean?
Image: Yeah.
Image: How do you know?
Image: Eh, long story short, we retrieved it to solve a hostage situation back in my country. Brey was worried that putting it back in circulation would cause trouble, but it's the monsters' problem now.
Image: Ah, nice. All's well that ends well.

That's it for Endor, then. Now we could Return to Monbaraba and go to Keeleon on foot or by sail, but seeing as we'd want to rest up in Haville anyway, we might as well just sail there from Endor instead.

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Image

Image: Hey, Taloon, you're from Endor, right?
Image: Nah, I'm a country boy, I haven't actually lived there for long. Why?
Image: I was just wondering if you knew what's that building on the promontory there.
Image: Couldn't tell you, sorry.
Image: Brey, you're old, you'd know about that kinda stuff, right?
Image: Bah- Wha- I never...!
Image: Yikes, never mind, didn't mean to imply you learned a lot of stuff in your many years.
Image: Knock it off, Brey's the smartest man I know. If he can't tell you what this place is, nobody can.
Image: Okay, okay! Just curious!
Image: Gah, now I'm curious too. You want to check it out?
Image: Yeah, kinda.
Image: Alright then.

Image

Image

Image

Image: Weird place for a shed.
Image: It looks ancient. Maybe there was once a town here.

Image

Image: Huh.
Image: Well that's locked up tight.
Image: That's a bust. Sorry everyone.
Image: No, it's alright. You never know.

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Image

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Plesiosaurs have 48 HP, 42 attack, 33 defense, and 26 agility; they can emit a fireball... and that's it. They're slightly resistant to sleep and Sap, and vulnerable to wind and ice, but highly resistant to all other magic damage.

The Plesiosaurs have something of a claim to faim though, as they can rarely drop Stiletto Earrings! The Stiletto Earrings are weapons that Nara, Mara and Alena can equip. They only offer 5 attack power, but just as the Falcon Sword did in previous games, they allow their wielder to attack twice per round. I don't expect either sister's base Strength to ever make it worth equipping on them, but they'd already be better than Alena's Iron Claw, and as she levels up they'd become her best overall weapon by a considerable margin.

Needless to say, you want Taloon in your party anytime you're fighting these, just in case he can nab it from them.

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Image: Wait, that's... there's something on this island.
Image: Really now?
Image: Are you sure? Looks like a bunch of trees to me.
Image: I am.
Image: Okay then, let's have a look.

Just as we land...

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Chillanodons have up to 85 HP, 66 attack, 40 defense, 37 agility, with the ability to roll crits, to emit a freezing wind, and to emit a blizzard (which is the mid-grade ice breath). We have party members their blizzard could kill in two shots, so that's no joke. They're immune to ice, highly resistant to sleep, slightly resistant to wind and Sap, and vulnerable to all other magic damage.

Standard Bengals are a fair bit more dangerous than their lighthouse-bound counterpart, with 100 HP, 73 attack, 32 defense, 36 agility, and the ability to cast StopSpell. They're highly resistant to ice and Surround, slightly resistant to StopSpell, RobMagic, sleep, wind, Firebal and Blaze, and weak to Sap and Bang.

This is definitely a risky battle. I hope it occurs to Mara to drop a Blazemore on the Chillanodon. I'd go on Offensive tactics, but I don't want to discourage Nara from healing us as a reaction, so Normal it is.

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She even one-shots it! Glorious! Francois, Taloon and Nara make short work of the Bengal immediately afterwards. I guess I was worried for nothing, but this could have gone much worse.

As we enter the scrublands tile in the center of the island...

Image: I knew I saw something!
Image: Good eye!

Image

Image
Image: Is that thing... gardening?
Image: The garden doesn't seem to mind.
Image: How common are friendly monsters, exactly?
Image: Not nearly common enough, by my accounting.

Image

Image: Sir? Hello?
Image
Image: You gotta build a signal fire or something!
Image: Fire isn't the solution to everything, Nara.
Image: You gotta admit, though...
Image: You must watch out!
Image: What for?
Image: They say long ago the Ruler of Evil's palace existed somewhere around here.
Image: ...huh.
Image: I guess that narrows it down.
Image: Well, thank you sir. I don't know what we'll do with this information, but it's good that we have it.

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Oof, that one'll be easy to miss.

Image

Image: So, was there anything...?
Image: The Ruler of Evil's palace, apparently.
Image: Well, maybe.
Image: Really now.
Image: It would have stood somewhere around here, once.
Image: I wonder if Necrosaro knows that.
Image: Hmm... We know the monsters' castle is far to the southeast from here. Maybe they just haven't figured out where their master is yet.
Image: That'd be a stroke of luck for sure.
Image: Even then, we cannot rely on them never finding out.
Image: They sure did find me. And I didn't want to be found.
Image: Yeah, we have to stop Necrosaro anyway.
Image: And Balzack.
Image: And Keeleon.
Image: Right. Back to it.

Image

Image: Wait! Let's go a bit further west!
Image: Hmm?
Image: To Aktemto?
Image: No, not that far. To the House of Prophecy!
Image: Are they any good?
Image: I would not have known Francois for who he is without the prophetess there.
Image: Aight, good enough.

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Image

Image
Image: Your words came true, my lady. I've brought the Hero before you on this night.
Image: Hi, I-
Image: Ragnar, a soldier from Burland, came searching for the Hero.
Image: Ah-ha!
Image: I told him what the Hero looks like.
Image: How did you-
Image: She's a prophetess. This is the House of Prophecy. Come on, connect the dots.
Image: The lights are glowing even more radiantly. Your encounter may take place soon.
Image: By all that is good and bright, we will find him.

Image

Image: So he really is in Keeleon.
Image: Or Haville, maybe.
Image: Or Aktemto. But he probably wouldn't look for you there, it's kind of a craphole.
Image: Let's just get some rest for now. We'll have our answers tomorrow.

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Image
Image: The last ship to leave this port left some time ago.

Image

Image
Image: If nothing else, we sure put some real hurt on him.
Image: Good for me, I can take it easy.

Image
Image: ...it runs in the family, I guess.

Image

Image

Just in case it didn't occur to you to visit it again!

Image
Image: I'm afraid we won't be able to take a walk at night anymore.

Image: If he's anything like Zoma was, all of their walks would be at night.

Image
Image: Ah... We caused problems for everyone...
Image: He was just looking for an excuse anyway. This is not our fault.
Image: We may never see another ship leave this port.

Soooo the game outright calls them the G word there. Welp. I guess even today you'd find people to argue it's not a slur, but it's no skin off my nose to just say "Romani", really.

Everyone on the second floor of the inn is asleep, so we get a room of our own.

Image
Image: I'll convince her how good he is!

We were probably meant to meet this guy here before we ran into him at the bar. It sure didn't take much for him to turn on his brother!

Image
Image
Image: It's okay. We're not looking.
Image: Anymore.
Image: They say alchemists could make one easily. I remember alchemists used to live in the southern village, Kievs.

It's smart of the game to give us this clue here; you get pointed to Kievs whether you first arrive in Haville or in Monbaraba. Unfortunately, that's the shopkeep who used to sell Poison Needles, and he won't offer his wares anymore. Brey is stuck with his Venomous Dagger for a while yet.

Image
Image: That's true, he does.
Image: According to rumor, he's no human.
Image: That's true, he's not.
Image: When I told this to a soldier called Ragnar, he left quickly.
Image: Now we know.

And that's it. We drop a save at the House of Healing. It's time.

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Francois, Nara and Mara are no-brainers here. I want to bring a powerful attacker to balance out the group; Alena is stronger than Taloon, but he's a touch hardier and has his tricks besides, so I'll be taking the latter along for now. It's a tough call to make, but Alena's critical hit rate hasn't come into its own yet and that's what tips the scales for me at this point.

Image

Image: So... You've been here before, then.
Image: We have.
Image: And it didn't go great, if I understand correctly.
Image: It didn't.
Image: You think we can do this?
Image: We're a lot stronger than we were back then.
Image: And we were only three.
Image: Yeah, we've got your back now.
Image: Okay then. Okay. Let's do this.

Image

Image

Image: Pfffwhat?
Image: Goodness! He did it! Somehow he did it!
Image: Eh, I guess a Healer that lives long enough can learn Transform.

Image: Hiya Healie. What's going down?
Image: Please rescue Ragnar in the castle!
Image: Rescue? Uh-oh.
Image: That's why we're here.
Image: You can sneak in if you have a Magic Key.
Image: We have everything we need. Just sit tight.

Image
Image: If you don't want any trouble, leave immediately!

Image

The guards are blocking the main gates, but that's not a problem.

Image

We can find the stairs to the escape tunnel again, for what little good it'll do us.

Image

Image: Oh... oh no...
Image: He won't go unavenged.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image: The throne room is hidden at the end of this hallway. Let's hurry!

Image

Image: That's him!

Image

Image: Ragnar!

Image

Image

Ragnar strikes his captors one after the other, and they're sent flying back.

Image

Image: Dang, if I had known you were this strong back in Endor, I would have hired you on the spot!

Image
Image: To... join me, right?
Image: You fit the description I heard at the House of Prophecy! I hear the ones in this room belong to the evil force which plans to destroy the world.
Image: Murderers and tyrants, in Necrosaro's service!
Image: Let's defeat them and reveal the source of evil which drives them!
Image: We're with you all the way!
Image: Let's go inside!

Ragnar audibly busts the hidden door open, and we automatically follow him to the throne room.

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Image

Image

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Aaaand he busies himself with the royal guards.

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Image

Both of these guards' "dialog" is accompanied by melee combat sounds.

Image

Image
Image: We're the revolution!

Image

Image: Wait, where's Balzack?
Image: Not the time, sis!
Image
Image: Not. For. Long.
Image: We know your tricks now, beast!
Image: We will not fall to you again!
Image: Huh? You! You were chasing Balzack to seek revenge! Too bad Balzack isn't here anymore... Ha, Ha, Ha!
Image: Well I came here to set a monster on fire. I don't care if it's him or you!
Image: This will be a fun way to pass time. I'll show you how inferior humans are. Regret being born in such fragile bodies!

Image



Keeleon must have let the good life get to him a little too much, because he's a lot weaker than when we saw him in Chapter 4. Plot armor's only good when you have it! He has 400 HP (from 999), 140 attack (from 170), 80 defense (from 120), and 35 agility (up from 30). I'm pretty sure he still regenerates a set amount of HP per round, but it's much lower this time around. He used to get two attacks every round, but now he only has a chance to have a second action, it's not guaranteed. Aaaand he replaced his scorching gas breath with a weaker freezing wind attack, replaced Firebane with Firebal, and lost Healall entirely. It's hard to complain about that last one.

Keeleon also gets a much less impressive set of resistances; he's weak to Sap, Firebal and wind, slightly resistant to Bang, Blaze and ice, highly resistant to Surround and StopSpell, and immune to RobMagic and Sleep.

Mara's Blazemost definitely did the heavy lifting here, especially given that Francois had to pick up Nara's slack on healing duties. Going Offensive is the best way to get Mara to pull out the big guns, but it usually inspires Nara to try a few Sleep casts at the start of the fight and she'll occasionally cast Infernos throughout instead of whatever it is you'd rather have her do. (However, due to how the AI works, if you lose this fight and bring Nara again on your subsequent attempts, she'll already know Keeleon is immune to Sleep.)

If you want Alena and Taloon to do a lot of damage in this fight at the levels we're at, it's best to find a way to land Sap or Defence first.

Image

Well hey, better than a kick in the pants. I think that's a guaranteed drop.

Francois levels up here, for 2 Str, 1 Agi, 5 Vit, 2 Int, 3 Luc, 10 HP, 5 MP, and the FendSpell spell, which costs 2 MP and blocks all spells aimed at one ally. Taloon actually gains two levels here, for a total of 9 Str, 4 Agi, 6 Vit, 4 Int, 2 Luc, and 9 HP. Mara is our first to level 20, for 1 Str, 2 Agi, 2 Vit, 2 Int, 5 Luc, 3 HP, and 7 MP.

If that wasn't rad enough, Keeleon Castle counts as a town map, not a dungeon map, so despite how we weren't allowed to swap characters and we weren't getting reinforcements if we wiped, the wagon crew is still counted as close enough to benefit from experience sharing! Alena levels up, for 6 Str, 3 Agi, 4 Vit, 1 Int, 4 Luc, and 10 HP. Cristo follows, for 2 Str, 3 Agi, 2 Vit, 2 Int, 4 Luc, 4 HP, 5 MP, and the Healmore spell. Brey closes the march, for 1 Str, 2 Agi, 3 Vit, 4 Int, 4 Luc, 6 HP, and 5 MP.

Image
Image: I think you know who I am.
Image: Are you the Hero who is prophesied to destroy the Ruler of Evil?
Image: Yes. I am. I'm alive. You failed. You all failed. And you're going to keep failing.
Image: You can't be! I heard Necrosaro destroyed the Hero... Gasp!

Image

It's curtains for Keeleon.

Image: Whew.
Image: We... we did it. We did it!
Image: But Balzack-
Image: We destroyed his master. He's the one on the run now!
Image: Yeah... Yeah! We did it!

Image
Image: So what, you've been brainwashed? How convenient.

Image

Image: Ragnar of Burland! It's good to see these guards were no match for you!
Image
Image: Hero, let's fight together to save the world!
Image: It'll be an honor, sir.

Image

Now you might be wondering what happens if you don't have your Hero in the active party when you reach this point. Well...

Image

Ragnar just does not open the door to the throne room unless you bring the Hero to him.

Image

Image
Image: Congratulations, you're just enough of a useless toady not to be worth our time to kill.
Image: The abominable Balzack is in Santeem Castle! I've given you valuable information, haven't I?
Image: Isn't that-
Image: Right, that's Alena's home.
Image: We have a new destination, then.

If we visit the second floor...

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...the roles have been reversed!

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Image

Image

Image
Image: That's the short of it.
Image: What's the Secret of Evolution, anyway?
Image: ...a grievous mistake.

Image
Image: What are you even talking about?
Image: The Secret of Evolution is already in the hands of Necrosaro.
Image: Oh no.
Image: T-this is bad!
Image: So, what, he can make himself even stronger now?
Image: Yeah, basically.
Image: We really have to attack that monster castle as soon as possible.
Image: What about Santeem?
Image: Ah... Hmm... Ugh, we'll figure something out.

Image
Image: No. Now that the demon who dwelled here is gone, you had better fortify the castle. There's no telling where the monsters will make their next move.

Image

Image

Image
Image: Oh hey, Healie! We found Ragnar.
Image
Image: ...and I, Healie, thank him greatly. Farewell!

Image

I missed the screenshot there, but Healie straight up walks out the front gates.

Image

Image: Ragnar, sir, did you see Healie pass by just now?
Image: You know Healie?
Image: We met him just outside the castle. He said to wish you good luck, and to thank you, then he left.
Image: Hmm! I suppose he has a life to build for himself now, and we're not all great at goodbyes.
Image: Let's not have one of those for a while, alright?
Image: Ha! I've been looking for you for so long, all over the world. I'm by your side now, you can count on that.

So that's the Chosen Ones assembled, at long last. And just as when we got our full party in DW2, we get a new overworld theme to celebrate!



The beast of Keeleon has fallen. Let our remaining foes tremble.

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Friday
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Re: It's raining protagonists: Let's play Dragon Warrior IV!

Postby Friday » Thu Jan 31, 2019 12:55 am

Clearly the strongest team is Alena, Ragnar, Taloon, Hero.
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