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

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François
Posts: 1416
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Re: It's raining protagonists: Let's play Dragon Warrior IV!

Postby François » Fri Feb 01, 2019 3:19 am

It sure cuts down on AI shenanigans. :3

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Friday
Posts: 2981
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Re: It's raining protagonists: Let's play Dragon Warrior IV!

Postby Friday » Fri Feb 01, 2019 7:09 am

can't do the wrong thing when the only thing is hit
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François
Posts: 1416
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:00 am

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

Postby François » Sun Feb 03, 2019 2:16 am

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Ragnar's still wearing his ancient Wooden Hat and Half Plate, but Keeleon did drop a Full Plate and we have a spare Iron Helmet at the Vault, so let's gear him up right quick before we have a look at how he stacks up to everyone else. Ragnar and the male Hero have functionally identical equipment lists with a few exceptions we haven't seen yet, so everything that I've described until this point as being only equippable by a Hero is also in fact equippable by Ragnar.

(He's also carrying the extra Half Plate he bought with the money he had left at the end of his chapter, so it's nice to retrieve that 900 gold at least.)

Code: Select all

         | Lvl | Str | Agi | Vit | Int | Luc | Atk | Def |  HP |  MP |
---------+-----+-­-­---+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+
Francois |  19 |  61 |  33 |  73 |  24 |  28 | 106 |  88 | 147 |  71 |
---------+-----+-­-­---+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+
Ragnar   |  12 |  37 |  11 |  45 |   5 |  10 |  82 |  68 |  89 |   0 |
---------+-----+-­-­---+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+
Alena    |  17 |  63 |  48 |  58 |  12 |  56 | 101 |  64 | 135 |   0 |
Cristo   |  16 |  31 |  27 |  39 |  34 |  38 |  64 |  71 |  73 |  67 |
Brey     |  17 |  11 |  37 |  37 |  49 |  54 |  35 |  39 |  77 |  90 |
---------+-----+-­-­---+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+
Taloon   |  19 |  51 |  39 |  62 |  24 |  13 |  96 |  79 | 120 |  79 |
---------+-----+-­-­---+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+
Nara     |  18 |  35 |  31 |  35 |  35 |  51 |  68 |  79 |  80 |  76 |
Mara     |  20 |  16 |  40 |  48 |  54 |  75 |  16 |  65 |  86 |  92 |


The first thing that jumps at me of course is that Ragnar is enormously underleveled, being barely stronger than Cristo and Nara. This explains the gameplay reason behind the King of Burland's gift of experience points at the end of Chapter 1: it keeps Ragnar from being even further behind everyone. I suspect we were close to the minimal strength you have to be at to be able to defeat Keeleon, so it's not like the game expects your party to be at level 12 when you get here.

Fortunately Soldiers have a lot of power in their equipment selection, and Ragnar's Sword of Malice is reasonably up-to-date; it shouldn't be long before he gains a few levels and overtakes Cristo and Nara's attack power, and not much longer afterwards until he at least matches Taloon.

Aaaanyway. Before we go on the next main phase of our quest, let's see how Keeleon's defeat changed life for the townsfolk of the region, shall we?

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Oooh, Ragnar levels up off a pair of Infurnus Knights on the way to Haville, for 4 Str, 1 Agi, 5 Vit, 1 Int, and 12 HP. That'll be a taste of things to come for sure.

Ah, and while I think of it... We may have obtained our final overworld theme, but it only actually plays while Francois is in the lead with at least one other ally in his party. If any other Chosen One is in first place, their chapter's overworld theme plays instead, and we can still listen to the first Chapter 5 theme by putting everyone but Francois in the wagon. That's such a neat touch.

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Image: The king's regulations are gone, but I suppose it'll take a while for the people of other countries to catch on.

Hmm, it looks like that's the only piece of changed dialog in Haville. Unless I just missed that guy last time we were around. Ah well. I also want to check on the people complaining about the king in Kievs and Monbaraba, but while we're on the north coast of the continent, let's revisit the House of Prophecy and see how things are going in Aktemto.

It won't hurt to make a few bucks on the way either, seeing as Ragnar is going to be an expensive ally on the long run!

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Bisonbears have 80 HP, 60 attack, 45 defense, and 33 agility. Those are manageable numbers for us at this point, but they come with the ability to "take a deep breath", which is apparently an enhanced version of the "building up power" action with a higher damage increase. They're slightly resistant to most magic damage, to Sleep and to Surround, and highly resistant to Sap and Bang.

Nara levels up here, for 2 Str, 2 Agi, 1 Vit, 2 Int, 2 Luc, 1 HP, and 3 MP.

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Image: We have returned, lady seeress. Are there any more lights to gather?
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Image: Now that you, the Chosen Ones, have converged, you shall be able to defeat evil.
Image: So that's everyone, then.
Image: Your enemy is the resurrecting Ruler of Evil... whose name is Es...
Image: Es...?
Image: My lady?
Image: Gasp!
Image: W-what's wrong?
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Image: Wait, what?
Image: Oh no!
Image: She's...!

The prophetess literally dies halfway through saying the Ruler of Evil's name.

Image: What kind of curse is this?!
Image: She must... she must have looked too closely. She must have seen too much.
Image: This is madness!
Image: It doesn't change anything for us. We know that creature is bad news. We need to stop it.
Image: R-right.

Image: "Es". Hmm.
Image: Does it ring a bell, Reb?
Image: Uh... On second thought, if you don't mind, I'd rather not say.
Image: Not so keen on reciting the names of demon lords out loud anymore, are we?
Image: We did just get an object lesson.

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Image: This place...
Image: What is it?
Image: It reminds me of home, somehow.
Image: It's a mining town, and they struck a pocket of poison gas. There are many ways tragedy can strike.
Image: I'm sorry, Lord Hero. I can't possibly apologize enough for my failure.
Image: Hmm?
Image: If I had found your hometown, maybe...
Image: No, no, you... Listen. You're obviously very strong. But I was there while it happened. I heard all of it. One man wouldn't have made a difference.
Image: ...
Image: If you had been there, you'd have died too.
Image: It doesn't make me feel any better, but I trust your judgement.

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Image: The man who was at the graveyard passed away too...
Image: Ah...

If you had thought things in Aktemto could get any worse, I have bad news for you.

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We don't really have a reason for going back in the mines, but I want to see if there are any new monsters down there.

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Those are nothing new. We run into Mad Clowns on the first level and we only knew them to be east of Branca, but maybe they were always here and we just didn't run into them in Chapter 4 by chance. Either way, it's good experience for Ragnar!

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Even these gold-obsessed miners haven't made notable progress in all this time. We're done here.

Returning to Monbaraba...

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This dirtbag is still afraid of the king.

Brey levels up on the way to Kievs, for 3 Agi, 4 Vit, 3 Int, 4 Luc, 6 HP, 5 MP, and the Day-Night spell, which costs 12 MP and still does exactly what you think it does. It could free up the Lamp of Darkness' spot in Mara's inventory, but with our whole crew assembled, inventory space isn't quite as much at a premium as it used to be.

Ragnar gets to level 14 moments later, for 5 Str, 5 Vit, 1 Luc, and 11 HP. Yeah, he's catching up! In the same fight, Cristo levels up as well, for 1 Str, 2 Agi, 3 Vit, 1 Int, 3 Luc, 4 HP, and 5 MP.

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Oh dang, we haven't seen Somnabeetles since mid-Chapter 2! They're incredibly fragile by now, but their sleep effects are easy to underestimate.

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The news of the king's demise haven't reached here yet either; oh well. We do have 3544 gold on hand though, so we buy Ragnar an Iron Mask here. He can't count on his Agility to increase his defense power much, so it's important to upgrade his armor when you can.

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Image: So what's next, then?
Image: We did learn that Balzack took over Santeem.
Image: No!
Image: The indignity!
Image: ...
Image: But we know that Necrosaro just got a way to make himself even stronger too.
Image: The more time we take to track him down, the more powerful he's likely to be.
Image: And we have a basic idea of where his headquarters are.
Image: Yeah, okay, we need to go to the monster castle. Santeem isn't important.
Image: But- What?
Image: No, no, I... I understand. The building doesn't matter. We need to find the king and the rest of the royal entourage first. And if this Balzack occupies the castle...
Image: ...then that's not where they are.
Image: ...hmm.
Image: All in favor of going to this monster lair, then?
Image: Right.
Image: We are.
Image: Wherever you go, I follow.
Image: It's decided, then. According to the map we got in Mintos, we should just sail north up the coast from Monbaraba, then east. Let's get to it.

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Sealthropes have up to 150 HP, with 55 attack, 25 defense, 25 agility, and the ability to roll crits. They're vulnerable to Sap and Firebal, highly resistant to Sleep and Surround, and slightly resistant to Bang, Blaze and wind. As they are fat sacks of HP with low defense, it's a good idea bring in your melee combatants, but Mara's Blazemore will often do good work as well. Francois, Taloon and Alena cut this one to ribbons before it can do anything.

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Image: Oh, uh, right, I remember now, the island is surrounded by mountains. Hmm.
Image: There could still be a way in. Let's just go around and make sure.
Image: Because that worked so well for us when we were looking for Howden's treasure.
Image: That was then and this is now, sis, We have to try.

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Francois levels up off a pair of Plesiosaurs, for 5 Str, 2 Agi, 4 Vit, 2 Int, 1 Luc, 6 HP, and 7 MP.

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Guzzle Rays have 40 HP, 50 attack, 45 defense, and 23 agility, with the ability to call for reinforcements. They're slightly resistant to Sleep and all magic damage, and highly resistant to Sap and Surround. Nothing too remarkable at this point, other than how they'll rarely drop Lifeforce Nuts.

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Banglers have 35 HP, 39 attack, 30 defense, and 25 agility, with the ability to cast Surround. They're vulnerable to Firebal and Sap, slightly resistant to Bang, Blaze, ice, Sleep, RobMagic and StopSpell, and highly resistant to wind. They're not very threatening either, but they'll occasionally drop a Magic Potion.

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We do get a chance to witness how Taloon is talented enough to put monstrous fish to sleep. The battle music is even temporarily replaced by the short piece that plays when we get someone resurrected at the House of Healing!

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Image: Oh-ho! Wait! Look! Right there, to the south, between the cliffs!
Image: Ah, that's looking good.
Image: Well I'll be.
Image: All the water that rains on the island has to go somewhere!

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Image: That building...
Image: It can't be the monster castle. I wonder if there are humans living on this island.
Image: Better check it out.

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Image: Wow, this place is dusty.
Image: I wonder how long it's been since anyone entered this Travel Door.
Image: If no one's using it, then it can't lead to the monster base, right?
Image: It should be safe enough to have a look, then.

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Image: Oh, it's that shrine between Mintos and Soretta!
Image: Huh. Better go back, then.

Once we're back on the island...

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Jumbats have 113 HP, 92 attack, 82 defense, and 38 agility; they can roll crits, as well as cast Sleep and inflict sleep with standard attacks. It feels like they're a notch or two above the monsters we're used to! They're vulnerable to Bang and Sap, slightly resistant to Firebal, Blaze, ice and Surround, highly resistant to wind and Sleep, and immune to RobMagic and StopSpell. They're also one of the two monster types that can drop a Robe of Serenity.

At any rate, those numbers aren't messing around. Ragnar gets put to Sleep, with Francois doing 34 damage, Alena doing 24, and Nara failing to land Sleep. We replace Nara with Mara, and Francois has to wake Ragnar up. Mara casts Firebane coming in, finishing the first bat, than Ragnar and Alena defeat the other. Whew!

It's worth noting that if you cast Awake on a sleeping party member before their turn comes up, they will get their normal action; this allowed Ragnar to attack on the same round Francois woke him up. On the other hand, if their turn has already come up with the "So-and-so is asleep." message, then they have to wait until the next round to do anything.

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Rhinobands have 142 HP, 120 attack, 150 defense, and 35 agility; they always take two actions per round, and they can cast Defence and Upper. They're thankfully vulnerable to Sap, but they're immune to Bang, highly resistant to Firebal, Blaze, wind and sleep, and slightly resistant to ice, Surround, RobMagic and StopSpell. I'm not gonna say these tough customers are as dangerous as Keeleon was... but they're pretty close for sure!

They can drop a Demon Hammer, a cursed +70 weapon that Francois and Ragnar could equip. It has a high chance to miss, but when it does hit, it's always a crit.

For this fight, we replace Mara with Brey and see how it goes. Ragnar and Alena get put to Sleep in the first round, and Francois gets his defense power halved, so I'm still definitely glad we know Awake.

On the second round, Francois takes two Rhino hits for over 90 damage total. It's going to be too risky to take the chance of bringing in Nara or Cristo to heal him, so we swap him out for Taloon. Ragnar and Alena finish off the bat, while Brey fails to cast Snowstorm on the Rhinoband; I hope he thinks of Sap before long.

On the fourth round, the Rhinoband casts Upper, increasing his defense by 225, but Taloon and Ragnar use their Swords of Malice in response (very smart), finally chipping away the last of his HP. Good grief!

Alena levels up from this, for 8 Str, 6 Agi, 5 Vit, 4 Luc, and 7 HP. Man but that one was well-earned. Cristo and Nara patch up everyone afterwards.

Image: Guys, I know we all agreed to come here, but I'm starting to think we're no match for this place yet.
Image: Hmm.
Image: I can't say I'm keen on turning back now, but... That rhino's axe...
Image: What, are you scared?
Image: Yeah, a little bit.
Image: We did almost lose Francois.
Image: ...right.
Image: So, do we go back to Santeem, then?
Image: No, we need to visit new lands. Maybe not this one, but it can't be this bad everywhere.
Image: New lands... Hmm.
Image: We have to find out more about the Zenithian gear. If anything can give us an edge in here, that'll be it.
Image: Heh, of course you'd say that.
Image: Taloon has a point, though.
Image: Fine, fine. But can we at least get back on the ship and explore the rest of the river here? Maybe we can spot the castle from a distance, and the rhinos can't get us from the shore.
Image: Good enough for me. Let's go!

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Nothing here.

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Image: Hello, what's all this then?

As we reach a certain nondescript river tile, we're suddenly taken to a closer view of the area. This place has town music going on!

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Image: Wow, really?
Image: It's said the Ruler of Evil stole the essential component of the vessels.
Image: Gah, of course he did.
Image: It was probably buried along with him.

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If we sail further south...

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...we come out the other side of town. Let's go back and visit the eastern shore.

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Image: Is it really that simple?
Image: If such a gas existed, then I don't see why not.
Image: Oh, I bet that'd take us to Howden's treasure!
Image: Or anywhere in the world.
Image: To even more treasure!

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Image: Well, if we ever find the Ruler of Evil's tomb, we'll see.

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Image: His loss!

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Image: I don't want to hear her silly talk about a giant statue that walks.
Image: That hardly sounds like silly talk to me, but what do I know?

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This sleeping innkeep runs to his counter as soon as we enter. 80 gold for a night! That's only 10 per person, but still, dang.

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Image: That statue, right?
Image: The giant statue upstream walked!
Image: I do hope it's not some kind of gigantic monster...

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The armor shop south of the inn has interesting new gear for sale!

The Sacred Robe is Pilgrim armor for Cristo and Nara. It offers 38 points of defense (3 more than Full Plate, 2 less than a Pink Leotard), and some kind of elemental resistance; apparently it's a 1/3rd reduction to incoming spell damage as it used to be in DW3.

The Dragon Mail is heavy armor for Ragnar and Francois; it boasts 45 points of defense, which is only 5 less than Swordedge Armor for half the price. It also seems to offer 1/3rd resistance to all kinds of breath-type non-spell elemental damage.

The Dragon Shield is a heavy shield also for Ragnar and Francois, with 30 defense (the Iron Shield has only 12!), and from what I gather, it offers 1/3rd resistance to fire and ice damage regardless of whether it comes from a spell or a breath weapon. It sure comes with a price tag to match, though.

We have a few thousand gold at the Vault right now so we might be able to upgrade Cristo to a Sacred Robe (we'll probably replace Nara's Pink Leotard with one too at some later point), but I want to see the weapon shop here first.

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Image: Right, we heard as much.
Image: No one has ever returned from the castle.
Image: We'll be the first, then.

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Riverton is important enough to make the Return list, fortunately.

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Image: Sounds great! One flying vessel, please.
Image: I wish to say that, but I don't have any yet.
Image: ...
Image: You really ought to learn basic customer expectation management theory.
Image: It's almost complete. All I need is a gas lighter than air.

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Gah, those prices!

The Sword of Lethargy is a +60 weapon (10 more than a Battle Axe) for Ragnar and Francois. It can be used to cast Sleepmore at will, but it also has a 1 in 8 chance to put its target to sleep with every standard attack, and this latter effect ignores sleep resistance entirely. As far as I know, every monster in the game can potentially be put to sleep with a Sword of Lethargy strike, without exceptions. (The Sleepmore cast is subject to resistances as normal though.)

The Dragon Killer is a +90 weapon (!) for Ragnar and Francois as well. Unlike its DW3 counterpart, when striking a dragon/wyvern/pteranodon-type monster, it does not merely add a small-to-moderate amount of damage, but it straight up does 50% more damage instead.

Checking back in Endor quickly, it turns out we have 7000 gold at the Vault, and 1740 on hand. I did want a Sacred Robe for Cristo, and a Dragon Shield would come in handy... but we have just enough to get Francois a Sword of Lethargy!

Hmm...

Yeah, we're going for the Sword. We can get Cristo his Robe next time we put 4400 together. Francois' attack power goes from 111 to 126, and his Sword of Malice sells for 2625 gold, leaving us with 3365. Whew! That's a major buy­ right there.

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Image: Before we go, if I may...
Image: You want to investigate that giant statue, do you?
Image: Ah, indeed.
Image: If it's some kind of weapon the monsters are putting together, I can only approve having a look.

Just as we land at the end of the river...

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Mighty Healers have 140 HP, 90 attack, 80 defense, 47 agility, and come with the ability to cast Healmore. That's some serious business right there: even the support critters here are stronger than the most dangerous monsters on the Keeleon continent. They're weak to sleep, Blaze, Surround, Sap, wind and ice, slightly resistant to Firebal and RobMagic, and highly resistant to Bang and StopSpell.

Considering their defense, it's not a bad idea to bring in Mara or Brey, but here we have to watch out for the Rhinoband knocking them out of action in the meantime.

In the first round, Alena crits one Mighty Healer for 113 damage, and Brey comes in with an IceBolt to finish it. Immediately afterward, the Sword of Lethargy puts the other to sleep. Francois and Brey nearly get killed by the Rhinoband, but we bring in Mara and she ends the fight with Blazemore.

Ragnar levels up here, for 7 Str, 1 Agi, 4 Vit, and 8 HP.

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Image: Hmm, that's a giant statue indeed.
Image: You think it can really walk?
Image: It's difficult to believe. But there are many mysterious things in this world.
Image: It doesn't look very dangerous.
Image: Other than how it could crush a house, you mean.
Image: If it was some kind of weapon the monsters built to kill people, you'd think it would have all kinds of spikes and claws and horns. They'd make it really scary.
Image: If we saw it move, we'd be more than scared enough!

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Image: Oh, I've read that in an old book once.
Image: What does it mean?
Image: I have no idea.
Image: Hmm.
Image: If it's literal, then it's meaningless. Anyone can catch a teardrop in their hands. So there must be another interpretation.
Image: Journey carefully.
Image: Alright then, thanks anyway. Do stay safe, alright?

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Image: Gah, we can't go anywhere else without crossing this weird lake. So much for this island then.
Image: The Zenithian Sword wouldn't actually help us here either.
Image: But if this statue can traverse the water here, then a better key would open the path.
Image: Anyone has a lead for some kind of super key?
Image: Can't say that I do.
Image: Nope.
Image: I do not.
Image: Not for a better one than the ones we already have.
Image: So we're back to traveling the world.
Image: It's a delay, and there's Necrosaro, all of that, blah blah blah, but honestly, I can't think of anything else I'd rather do than go to new places with the lot of you. I mean, I'd want to take my family along of course, but... maybe once we're done with this nonsense.
Image: One day at a time, then.
Image: One day at a time.

User avatar
François
Posts: 1416
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:00 am

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

Postby François » Tue Feb 05, 2019 3:26 am

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Image: So, is there anywhere you want to visit first?
Image: There are two landmasses close to Santeem that I understand you've never been to. One to the north, and one to the southwest.
Image: Can you tell us anything about them?
Image: Precious little, I'm afraid. We never were a maritime power.
Image: Okay, fair enough. I'm also curious about the region east of Konenber. We could just start from the port and travel up the coast, away from Endor. There was a river going inland too, that we saw when we were at the lighthouse. It looked navigable.
Image: If we're going that way, could I bother you to suggest starting from the north instead?
Image: Hmm?
Image: Burland is just north of Branca, and, well, I haven't been home in a long time. It was at peace when I left, but...
Image: I can get behind that. We'd just have to sail south from here instead of northeast to Konenber, and we'd end up covering the same ground in the end.
Image: The Kingdom of Burland... Pray tell, my good man, do you have a prince there?
Image: We do not. My liege's only heir is a young lady.
Image: Ah, well then. Pity.
Image: What are you going on about? What do you care?
Image: The old man's trying to get you married off!
Image: That doesn't make sense, there's no way he doesn't know better by now.
Image: Just asking, princess, just asking, no harm in it.
Image: If her closest retainers believe they can make that sort of decision in her stead, then there is harm in it!
Image: Right, thank-
Image: That's not what I meant!
Image: Okay, okay, you three can sort that out on your own time. Burland it is.

Mara levels up as we circle around the Riverton island, for 1 Str, 2 Agi, 3 Vit, 7 Int (dang!), 4 Luc, 6 HP, 9 MP, and the StepGuard spell. Just as in previous games, it costs 2 MP and protects us from harmful terrain tiles. I think the only place we've seen so far where it would useful is the Burland treasury, which is excellent timing any way you slice it.

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We should reach the westernmost point of the Izmit region sailing straight south from the southwest corner here.

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Welp, we haven't been here in a while. Let's go to Izmit on foot and get a feel for the local fauna; sea battles are few and far between, and they haven't been terribly lucrative either.

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We arrive just before dawn, without running into any monsters. So much for wanting to pick fights.

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Image: Ah, it's good to be back.
Image: Are you from here?
Image: No, no, I'm from Burland Castle proper, but this is still my liege's domain. There were monsters kidnapping children around here, and I was sent to investigate.
Image: Why would they-
Image: ...they must have been looking for me.
Image: Exactly. I foiled their plans here and decided to do my best to find you before they could.
Image: Ugh, bastards.
Image: Everyone here is talking about the strange dream!
Image: Hmm? That's new.
Image: You should talk to the people before you stay at the inn.
Image: Well, we've come a long way, but we'll heed your advice.

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Image: Maybe it would be best to refrain from exploring any caves these days, young man.
Image: I'll talk with Pocos.
Image: Pocos should know it better than anyone!

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Image: I'll take a strange dream over children in mortal danger any day!
Image: When will we ever be able to live in peace?
Image: Working on it.

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Image: What kind of dream is it?
Image: It's creepy!
Image: Of course, a nice dream would be too much to ask for.

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Image: The word spread, and no one will stay here. What should I do?
Image: I don't have any advice for that, but maybe renting us eight beds will help you out.
Image: Is it really safe to have everyone go through this?
Image: Eh, at least as safe as it is for the townspeople.
Image: Plus we won't have to find a way to put it in words for everyone's benefit, even if it's really weird.
Image: Alright then, I'll get the others. If you'll excuse me.



(Many thanks to TooMuchAbstraction for letting me know how to correct an emulation glitch in this scene!)

And for the folk who can't or don't watch videos... this is too important to just summarize, so here you go.

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The character on the right plays a short flute melody, causing a staircase to appear; he climbs up inside the tower and appears next to the elf girl.

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The screen fades to black, and the night-time jingle plays.

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Image: ...
Image: ...huh.
Image: Saro...
Image: So... would that be Necrosaro, then?
Image: Absolutely. There's no way it's not him.
Image: I know his voice. It is him.
Image: It's no surprise the folk in Endor thought he was human.
Image: Isn't he, though?
Image: He doesn't look like a monster either.
Image: That doesn't mean anything.
Image: Either way, I'm more interested in this elven lass.
Image: Her name... Rosa, was it?
Image: She has to be responsible for these dreams. What powerful magic!
Image: Right, these are a message. A cry for help.
Image: I don't think it's a cry for help. She's not asking to be saved.
Image: You're right. It's a warning. Saro's not a threat to Rosa. But she still wants him stopped.
Image: That makes sense. She's an elf, and Saro mentioned humans specifically.
Image: But they both said the world would be destroyed.
Image: Ah... that's true. Would he really destroy the world just to wipe out mankind, then?
Image: I wonder what he even has against us in the first place.
Image: Ehhh, we can be right dicks sometimes.
Image: And elves can't?
Image: My best friend was an elf. She died to save me.
Image: ...oh.
Image: It just goes to show they're people, just like us. Some of 'em are saintly, some of 'em are Gum Pods, and I bet most are somewhere in between.
Image: Besides, our father was murdered by a human, and you don't see us trying to resurrect an ancient demon.
Image: But you did devote your lives to avenging him.
Image: ...
Image: ...we sure did.
Image: Anyway... Does this change anything for us?
Image: Nah, we're still after him all the way.
Image: We might want to look for this tower, though. Maybe Rosa can tell us more in person.
Image: It doesn't necessarily exist. We saw it through an elven dream spell. For all we know the entire place was a fabrication.
Image: But she has to be real.
Image: Yes, yes, almost assuredly.
Image: Better keep on traveling, then.
Image: Right! We're done here. Move along everyone, back to the wagon. We'll be following you shortly.

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Image
Image: It's good to see you well!
Image: You can have a strange dream at my inn! Isn't that exciting?
Image: Y-you could say that.

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Image
Image: I'd hardly say being kidnapped was a stroke of luck!
Image: Did he get hurt?
Image: No, of course not, I rescued him and brought him back safe and sound.
Image: Then it was an adventure! He really was lucky!
Image: If you say so, my lady.
Image: Just call me Alena, okay?
Image: I will not. That's out of the question.
Image: ...
Image: ...
Image: ...can you... do that?
Image: You can't.
Image: Ah... okay.

Image
Image: Right, sorry!

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Image: I love being a mother!
Image: That's why I don't mind being out and about in the dangerous places of the world, if it means folk like you can know peace. Please take care, ma'am.

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That's it for Izmit. You'd think this village's role in the plot would be over by now, but this dream business is a Big Deal. It's obvious we don't have the full picture, but it's equally clear that there's more going on with Necrosaro than there was with the previous villains in the series. And that's not just because he actually does things instead of sitting around his lair waiting to be decapitated.

I don't think we're ever given a reason why Izmit in particular receives this message, but we know Saro's Shadow perished nearby not long ago (if you'll recall, it was the Chapter 1 boss), so maybe there's a connection there.

Aaaanyway, let's go to Burland next.

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Oof, this guy caught us by surprise, but it tried to hit Alena and she dodged the blow with her Cloak of Evasion.

Tyranosaurs have 90 HP, 85 attack, 75 defense, and 40 agility, with no special abilities. They're vulnerable to Bang, Blaze and ice, slightly resistant to Firebal, wind and sleep, and highly resistant to Surround and Sap. They're definitely less dangerous than the creatures around Riverton, but these numbers are similar to what we saw in the Keeleon region.

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This is a wide entrance, so we can take our wagon across the river without having to get the ship first.

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Heh, looks like the monsters in here haven't been updated.

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Image: Okay, first, I know that you know that I know that. Second... you're STILL here?!
Image: You knew? You're really somebody, aren't you?
Image: ...I give up.

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Yup, no problem here. Maybe that soldier keeps the most dangerous critters at bay!

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Image: Now this is home.
Image: These walls are impressive!
Image: Oh, but they would be nothing without their stout-hearted defenders behind them.
Image: ...yeah.

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Image
Image: Oh, lady Flora, I'm only glad I could help.
Image: I'm now living happily with Alex.
Image: My best wishes to the both of you.

Image
Image: I hear that some people are gathering Zenithian weapons and armor in order to get to Zenithia.
Image: Wait, what?
Image: Hmm?
Image: Zenithia is a place?
Image: Obviously.
Image: Huh. And... you need to find weapons and armor to get there?
Image: Well, it's just a rumor.
Image: At any rate, it would be best to find this equipment before anyone else. No one else could put it to better use!

Image
Image: We only suspected it! This is great news.
Image: They say the queen of a certain castle has it.
Image: Ooh, a queen.
Image: What? A queen means a woman king!
Image: Wow, okay, if you say so old man.

Image

Just in case you skipped Izmit entirely for some reason.

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Image
Image: Dragons live in castles now?
Image: It's just an old man's silly talk.
Image: If you've heard this from the one I think you heard it from, I wouldn't dismiss it out of hand.

Image
Image: The Ruler of Evil must be the monster that completed the ultimate evolutionary step.
Image: Oh, that would make sense.
Image: The ultimate... I'm almost glad Nara and Mara aren't here to hear that.
Image: It's written that Master Dragon, fearing the evolved monster's incredible power, imprisoned him underground.
Image: Shame he didn't finish the job. That's not much of a master, if you ask me.
Image: Now the Ruler of Evil is about to resurrect.
Image: So... we have to go to Zenithia and tell this Master Dragon about it.
Image: Which means we have another reason to track down Zenithian gear.
Image: We must inform Master Dragon immediately!
Image: We'll do it, sir. Ease your worries.

Image
Image: That we did.
Image: How can we find Master Dragon?
Image: We're sailing all over the world, we'll run into him sooner or later.
Image: Perhaps, we don't need to find him because he should know it by now if he's really a master.
Image: Gah, yeah, that's a good point.

Image
Image: What will they do with such a thing?
Image: Why does anyone even care about that stupid bracelet?

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Image: Likewise, my lady.

Image
Image: Are you under the impression that I haven't left this castle since we've received word of the kidnappings in Izmit? I don't know where to even begin correcting you!

Image

Image: Oh, hmm, I believe miss Mara could assist us here.
Image: Right, we'll go get her once we're done.

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Image

Image: My liege, it is I! Your servant has returned!
Image
Image: I am pleased to introduce the hero, Francois.
Image: It's an honor to meet you, lord Burland.
Image: And this is Princess Alena of Santeem, as well as her retainer Cristo.
Image: I'm glad you've found the Hero.
Image: My duty is hardly done, however. We're now questing for Zenithian artifacts!
Image: I learned recently that the Zenithian Shield was once in this castle.
Image: Oh hey, now that's some good luck for us!
Image: It seems that in my grandfather's time, the shield was given to the Queen of Gardenbur. Gardenbur is the Castle which rises from the heart of the eastern mountains.
Image: That's an excellent lead, Your Majesty. Thank you.
Image: What were my grandfather's intentions? I wonder...
Image: Well, seeing as you're not the king of Gardenbur, it must not have sealed the deal.
Image: P-princess!
Image: W-w-well, we'll be on our way! Thank you again!

Image
Image: A volcanic eruption blocked the cave with lava. The Magma Staff might be able to melt a pathway through the mountains...
Image: One more thing to find, then. I'll just add it to the list!

We leave momentarily to replace Cristo with Mara.

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Image: Are you sure this won't get us in trouble?
Image: Oh, we've lost the key to this door ages ago. The king will be grateful just to have the room back.
Image: Welp, fair enough.

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Image

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Alright, good start. We'll decide who gets it next time we're outside.

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Last one went to Cristo, this one goes to Nara.

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It won't hurt Ragnar to get this one right away. He gains one point!

Image: And to think we'd have the Shield already if it wasn't for His Royal Granddad who couldn't keep it in his pants.

That wasn't an amazing haul, but hey, we need money, the Helmet sells for 825 gold, it's all good. We use the Lamp of Darkness at this point and finish our sweep.

Image
Image: Um...
Image: Oops, you're not Alex. How embarrassing...
Image: Ha, it's just good to see you're in love. Please excuse us.

Image
Image: So you've been keeping out of trouble, then.
Image: Thanks for saving me.

Image
Image: It's only a matter of time before they manage to breach major cities. We need to act now.

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Aaaand there's nothing new in the castle.

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Cristo's low HP is something of a liability, especially since we want our healers to be tough, so he gets the Nuts, for 6 points. And Nara gets 3 points from her Strength Seed.

On our way back west...

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Skullknights have 180 HP, 110 attack, 65 defense, and 40 agility; they can cast Healmore and summon Phantom Knights as reinforcements. They're immune to Blaze, ice and Sleep, highly resistant to Expel, Firebal, RobMagic, StopSpell and Sap, and vulnerable to Bang, wind and Surround.

That's a tough customer all around! It would be tempting to bring in Mara, but seeing as she has no upgrades to Bang yet and Blazemost wouldn't work, it's best to go with physical attacks at this time. Ragnar, Alena and Taloon do around 30 damage each, and Francois comes in with a 47 damage finisher.

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Savnucks have 80 HP, 80 attack, 55 defense, and 38 agility; they can emit poison gas and cast Infermore (!). They're vulnerable to ice, immune to wind and StopSpell, slightly resistant to other magic damage and to sleep, and highly resistant to RobMagic, Surround and Sap.

I want to bring in Brey and get him to start spamming Snowstorm, but maybe we should see about taking one of the Savnucks down first because he couldn't survive four Infermore casts.

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Gah, not good! We go Defensive, Nara replaces Alena, and Francois patches Ragnar back up.

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Holy crap, Taloon literally took two blows for Alena, saving her life each time... but then Infermore took them both before Nara could get out of the wagon. We're still outnumbering the bastards though. We replace Taloon with Brey; hopefully Francois and Nara can keep us alive while Ragnar does his bloody work.

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Due to the Defensive tactics, Brey came in with only an IceBolt, but it finished off the last Savnuck. Whew.

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Just before the end of the battle, Nara takes exactly as much damage as she had HP. Man, this'll have been a struggle to the finish.

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That's three casualties. We definitely don't want to get too comfortable! We Return to Burland and get everyone revived, for 1070 gold total. There goes the cash we found in the castle.

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Okay then, take two.

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Ah, right, casting Return brought the ship to the nearby river. We might as well sail east from here and see what's at the other end.

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Image

Image: I do believe that'll be the path to Gardenbur.
Image: If there ever was a cave here, it's gone now.
Image: Magma Staff it is, then.

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Beleth have 125 HP, 90 attack, 80 defense, and 57 agility; they can cast Bounce and Firebane. They're highly resistant to almost all magic, with the exception of immunity to Firebal, and only slight resistance to Sap (and lightning, but we have no sources of lightning damage). Better let Ragnar, Alena and Taloon work on it, especially since we don't want to risk getting our spells Bounced back.

The Beleth gets put to sleep by the Sword of Lethargy on the first round. Taloon finishes it off with a 103 damage crit on the second, then Francois puts the Skullknight to sleep as well. Just when I think that could hardly have gone any better, Alena ends the fight with a 133 damage crit.

Aaaaand Taloon levels up, for 3 Str, 2 Agi, 3 Vit, 2 Int, and 7 HP.

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We get in a fight with two more Beleth here, made notable by Taloon stealing a treasure chest from them!

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Daaaaang. The Staff of Force is a +55 weapon that Brey, Cristo, Mara and Nara can equip. Just like its DW3 counterpart, it also reduces its wielder's MP by 3 per hit. I don't want Cristo or Nara to spend their healing juice on this, but seeing as Brey is still making do with his Venomous Dagger, I think I'll let him use it for a while. It takes his attack power to 67, which is 2 points more than Cristo's and 6 less than Nara's. Giving a Wizard Pilgrim-grade attack power is no joke.

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Archbisons have 90 HP, 95 attack, 85 defense, and 39 agility, with the ability to "emit gales of scorching breath". They're vulnerable to Firebal, wind and Sleep, slightly resistant to Bang, Blaze, ice and Surround, and highly resistant to Sap. It's rather telling that this hefty fellow is the easiest foe we've met in this region. Francois uses his weapon to cast Sleepmore and takes it out of the fight immediately.

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Cristo levels up here, for 2 Str, 3 Agi, 3 Vit, 2 Int, 2 Luc, 9 HP, and 3 MP.

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...oh crap. We bring in Brey and go Offensive this time, but Francois is going to spend his every action casting FendSpell on people. There's no way we can afford to take five instances of wind damage every round.

Aaaand it works. Brey's Snowstorm and Taloon's Sword of Malice did the heavy lifting, but it also helped that the Savnucks mostly spent their turns poisoning us. Brey even levels up from this, for 2 Agi, 2 Vit, 3 Int, 3 Luc, 3 HP, 5 MP, and the Bikill spell! Just as it did in DW3, it costs 6 MP and doubles the physical damage inflicted by one ally. It can be a hassle to get him to cast it, but it's worth it when he does! And that's one Mara never learns.

Ragnar also levels up, for 3 Str, 6 Vit, 1 Int, and a ridiculous 14 HP.

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Oh, um.

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Image: I do believe that's land's end, folks.
Image: Aaaaah, well... maybe we should have sailed here instead. Heheh.
Image: There are probably fewer Savnucks at sea, yes.
Image: Goodness, I hope so.

Welp, back to Izmit. At least we got good experience out of this! And a free Staff of Force!

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Oh crap, I forgot about the dream and I got startled!

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I didn't know this, though: whether it's daytime or nighttime in the dream depends on whether you decided to rest in the day or night.

In the morning, it turns out we have 5757 gold, so we'll pop to Riverton right quick to get Cristo his Sacred Robe.

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He now has the second best defense power, barely behind Francois'. Dang but I dig a sturdy healer. Okay then, back to Izmit.

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I'm pleased with how hard Brey is hitting in these sea battles. He never gets a stronger single-target damage spell than IceBolt, so it's good to see him knocking heads about with reckless abandon like this.

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Image

Image: Cave or house?
Image: Maybe someone in the house knows about the cave!
Image: Good enough, let's go.

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That's a 10 per person inn right here.

Image
Image: Ah, so are we. I suppose it wouldn't do to ask if you knew anything about it...?
Image: I suspect it's in the nearby cave.
Image: Ooh, score!

We learned a lot this episode, but we're sure overdue for a new dungeon.

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Image

Image: Who wants to bet this goes to Mintos?
Image: Oh, I know better than to take you up on this, young man.
Image: ...feels weird to hear that one.

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Image

Image: Welp, now we know.

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Image

Image: Um, hi?
Image
Image: I reward those who bring them to me.
Image: Ooooooh, this is gonna be good.

I think I'll save that particular infodump for next episode. Next time: the Medal King, and maybe even the Zenithian Armor! Progress, sweet progress!

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nosimpleway
Posts: 2535
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:31 pm

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

Postby nosimpleway » Tue Feb 05, 2019 11:29 am

P/Saro is so casual about the whole thing. "That's not a bad cup of Joe, Rosa. It's been a hell of a night, you wouldn't believe how difficult it is to resurrect a long-dead evil god and annihilate the human race. Which is what I'm doing. Are those new shoes? They look good on you."

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François
Posts: 1416
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:00 am

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

Postby François » Tue Feb 05, 2019 4:40 pm

I uploaded a fixed version of the video and images for the dream sequence; it turns out the game uses a quirk of the NES' horizontal sprite limit to display this scene correctly, but I usually have my emulator disable that limit so it doesn't interfere with screenshots.

nosimpleway wrote:P/Saro is so casual about the whole thing. "That's not a bad cup of Joe, Rosa. It's been a hell of a night, you wouldn't believe how difficult it is to resurrect a long-dead evil god and annihilate the human race. Which is what I'm doing. Are those new shoes? They look good on you."


Dang, yes. It feels like he's making an explicit threat in a tone that you'd usually use to make an implicit one. Really adds to the unsettling flavor of this scene, as short as it is.

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nosimpleway
Posts: 2535
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:31 pm

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

Postby nosimpleway » Thu Feb 07, 2019 10:42 am

Found on Discord and presented without further comment:

Image

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François
Posts: 1416
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:00 am

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

Postby François » Thu Feb 07, 2019 6:01 pm

Well then, that certainly explains his propensity for trying the same plan over and over again even after it's been repeatedly proven that it won't work.

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François
Posts: 1416
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:00 am

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

Postby François » Fri Feb 08, 2019 7:41 am

Between updates, I popped back to Endor and picked up all the Small Medals we had at the Vault. That's six so far!

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Image: Sure thing, here you go.
Image: It's not like they're any good to us anyway.
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Image: The stakes are high, we're not a charity outfit. Show us what you got!

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The Staff of Punishment is a +35 weapon for Cristo and Nara, two points better than the Morning Stars they're using, but five points worse than a Broad Sword. However, it casts Infermore for free when used in battle, which is where the real juice is.

The Hat of Happiness is a +15 hat for Brey, Cristo, Mara and Nara, just one point weaker than a Iron Helm, but three points stronger than a Golden Barrette. Not only is it the best defense power on headgear for Brey and Mara, but it also restores 1 MP for every step taken.

The Sword of Miracles is a +100 weapon for the Hero, Ragnar, Taloon and Cristo. It's hella strong and easily endgame-grade, and it also heals its wielder for 25% of the physical damage it inflicts, sort of like a reverse Multi-Edge Sword. However, it does not heal if a strike kills its target.

Finally, the Metal Babble Helm is a +50 helmet for the Hero, Ragnar, Taloon, Cristo, and Nara. It has no special effects or resistances, but just like the Metal Babble Shield, it's best-in-slot for raw defense.

So here's the deal. There are 32 Small Medals hidden around the world, in jars and drawers, in conspicuous spots on the ground, and a few in treasure chests. That's enough to get one of each of those items, with one left over for an extra Staff of Punishment. A lot of people prefer to skip the Helm so they can double up on Hats and Swords, and there's some debate over what to get first, since the last few Medals are hidden in the final area and that's a long time to wait for whatever your last item is.

For this playthrough, we'll have one of everything and we'll leave the Helm for last. There's no shortage of neat weapons we can find or buy, so to me, getting multiple Swords of Miracles just feels less interesting even if numbers-wise it's probably optimal. We are absolutely getting our one Sword right now with the six Medals we have on us, though!

Image: The Sword of Miracles. Is that correct?
Image: Sounds fair enough.
Image: You want the Sword of Miracles, right?
Image: We do.
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I'm going to let Ragnar have it for now, but he'll probably hand it down to Taloon once we get another decent weapon that only a Soldier or Hero could equip. I don't want to give it to Francois at this time, because we could only give his Sword of Lethargy to Ragnar, and his AI is really keen on using it to cast Sleepmore instead of attacking with it. It would turn Cristo into an excellent melee combatant, but he can already heal himself at will, so the special effect isn't as valuable on him. Besides, if I put him in the active party, it's because I want him to use magic. Ragnar's guaranteed to take a swing every time his turn comes up, and his higher Strength will make the healing effect more effective anyway.

Image: Very well. I will give you some choices. Come back anytime!

Equipping the Sword of Miracles takes Ragnar's attack power from 101 to 156.

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He's now our strongest attacker by far!

If that feels like a lot of power to just give away for free, think of it this way: functionally, these items are the reward for checking every jar and every drawer and every chest in the game, as well as following hunches on suspicious yet completely unmarked terrain tiles.

We rest at the inn outside, and we're on our way.

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Image: Could the Zenithian Armor really be in this cave? It's a long way from Aneaux.
Image: Heh, we've come a long way from Aneaux too. Everything's possible!

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This cavern breaks convention a bit. It has a single-tile entrance, but we outright sail our ship inside!

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Magic Key door, no problem. If you decided to come here without the key, well, you still found the Medal King nearby, so it wasn't a wasted trip.

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Maskans have 91 HP, 84 attack, 79 defense, 50 agility, and can call on their fellows for help and cast Infermore. They're immune to Bang, Blaze, StopSpell and sleep, highly resistant to Firebal and RobMagic, slightly resistant to ice, Surround and Sap, and vulnerable to wind. On the plus side, they can drop Stiletto Earrings.

Seeing as Nara is our only wind caster and she doesn't know Infermore yet, I'm beginning to think getting a Staff of Punishment would have come in pretty handy! Brey and our melee fighters should suffice here, though.

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Oh, um, right. Maskans sometimes call for one other Maskan to join, and sometimes they call for, I think, up to three. Goodness. Can't wait for that Infermore, Mara! Ragnar comes in to replace Taloon, we go on Offensive, and Francois casts FendSpell on Brey.

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Whew, dang. Snowstorm worked every time, and we didn't take any wind damage. It's good experience, too! Alena levels up, for 7 Str, 5 Agi, 5 Vit, 1 Int, 6 Luc, and 11 HP.

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Image: These paths the to sides look mighty suspicious!
Image: Yeah, I get you. Let's have a closer look.

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Nothing here.

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Necrodains have 130 HP, 140 attack, 85 defense, 53 agility, and they're actually wielding Swords of Lethargy and will regularly use them to cast Sleepmore! (Their drop is only the cursed +49 Zombie Mail, though.) They're weak to Bang, slightly resistant to Expel and Firebal, highly resistant to wind, ice and Sap, and immune to everything else we have.

Plesiodons have 380 HP (holy crap!), 125 attack, 50 defense, 30 agility, but no special skills. They're weak to Bang and wind (and lightning, technically), and slightly resistant to other magic damage as well as to sleep, Sap and Surround. They're "only" highly resistant to instant death though; if we had someone with that kind of spell, it would be our best option.

This is honestly getting pretty hardcore. We'll have Francois spamming Expel to get rid of the Necrodains, and we bring Mara in to chip away at the Plesiodons. We need cash, but we don't need it that bad.

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Gah, Francois gets put to sleep before even one Expel goes off, and he's the only one who knows Awake. I'm tempted to try to run, but... Let's replace him with Taloon and see how it goes.

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Haha, wow. The others managed to take down the second Necrodain, no sweat. The Plesiodons hit Taloon and Alena for 40-50 damage though, so we replace Taloon with Nara. He gets killed before she arrives, but she immediately patches up Alena. Whew.

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Man, that was a challenge and a half. Nara levels up, for 1 Str, 1 Agi, 1 Vit, 2 Int, 3 Luc, 2 HP, 4 MP, and the Vivify spell! It costs 12 MP, and still has a 50% chance of resurrecting one dead ally with half their HP. That's enormously convenient, seeing as Taloon just got bumped off. Nara brings him back on the first try

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Nothing here either. A Maskan fight gets Francois to level 21, for 5 Str, 1 Agi, 4 Vit, 2 Int, 2 Luc, 10 HP, 7 MP, and the Ironize spell. Just like in DW3, it turns our entire party into solid iron, preventing us from taking any actions or damage for several rounds. It's still very situational, but it can conceivably get monsters to waste MP, or protect us from built-up strikes. Ragnar follows, for 5 Str, 1 Agi, 5 Vit, and 9 HP.

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Ah-ha! The second passage to the east opens into a side tunnel.

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Not that it does us any good; we have to retrace our steps to the ship. Maybe the west side will be more interesting. We fight off a few more Maskans and Plesiodons on the way. It's a good thing Ragnar gets health back when he attacks, because Francois and Alena need Cristo to heal them after every fight. Nara's the only one who can bring us back, so I'm inclined to save her MP and keep her out of danger at the moment.

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Snowjives have 90 HP, 70 attack, 78 defense, and 35 agility. That's less immediately dangerous than the other critters in here... but they also know Blizzard, which is the upgraded Snowstorm spell. They're highly resistant to most magic, slightly resistant to Sap, Bang, Blaze and Firebal, and only weak to lightning.

For this one, we replace Brey with Mara, and let the others just hit it; it falls before it gets to do anything. Dang but I don't look forward to fighting multiples of those.

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Oooh! That's the fourth passage to the west.

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This large flooded chamber must be accessible by ship from the passage we saw just north of the entrance.

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Or... it's not. There might still be something on the west side of that strip of dirt, though.

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I was thinking of saving up for a Hat of Happiness, but seeing how things are going, one Staff of Punishment really wouldn't go amiss.

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Oh, man, these guys already! Dragon Riders have 141 HP, 115 attack, 87 defense, and 70 agility; they always get two actions (makes sense), and can breathe scorching gas. They're weak to wind and ice, slightly resistant to Surround and Sap, highly resistant to Firebal, Blaze and sleep, and immune to Bang.

FendSpell won't save us here; we go Offensive with Brey's ice magic and hope for the best.

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Okay, that is in fact not the best. I think I'd rather be back in Riverton, fighting Rhinobands! We get Cristo to replace Ragnar, and Francois will try healing himself. Hopefully Alena and Brey get their good stuff in before they get taken out.

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...whuh-oh. Aw man, I didn't realize that the waterways are large enough to accomodate the ship, but the dry tunnels are too small for the wagon. That single-tile entrance isn't just for show, in the end. Here's to not paying attention!

I want to run away, but we did get some decent damage in already. Francois will heal himself, and we'll see if the others can beat the Riders before they get taken out. Hopefully our hero will live to see the next round at least, and he can try to escape then.

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Huh, Francois' the only one who died, after all. Hoooo boy.

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Image: Augh! No!
Image: It's okay, it's okay, we can bring him back to the ship, and Nara's gonna take care of him like she did with Taloon.
Image: I-I'm not entirely sure we can make it back...
Image: None of us have healing magic. We can't take that chance. Sir Brey, can you get us out of here entirely?
Image: Goodness, I dare hope so. Let's see...

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Image: ...wait a minute. Where...?
Image: Where are the others!?
Image: I... don't... know...?
Image: They're still in there! We have to go back!
Image: Not in the shape we're in. They're in a better posture than we are, we need to rest first.
Image: Ugh! Fine.

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The Outside spell literally left Cristo, Mara, Nara and Taloon behind.

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We make it to the Medal King's island without difficulties, though. We rest up, and trade in the Medal we found for one Staff of Punishment.

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Fortunately, stepping on any tile of dry land inside the cave then back on the ship causes our entire party to reassemble immediately. The game doesn't keep track of where the wagon crew is; it just knows to make them available when you board the ship while inside the cave.

Image: Good grief, what took you so long?
Image: Well-
Image: Oh dear, never mind, please allow me...

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It takes her three tries.

Image: We can't keep going like this. We need more training.
Image: Gah, but we're so close, I can almost smell it!
Image: Yeah, count me in to try again.
Image: That's so reckless!
Image: Oh I wish you'd stop using that word.
Image: I wish you'd stop giving me cause to use it!
Image: Goodness, how about this, then? We give it one more try for now, but Francois doesn't leave the ship without either Cristo or I with him.
Image: Ah... that seems reasonable.
Image: Hmm. Fair enough. But I don't want to have to carry your body out of here three times, alright?
Image: Deal.

The wagon crew didn't get to rest up, so we go back to the inn right quick. Oh, and we hand Cristo his new Staff of Punishment. He never gets wind damage spells, so he'll make better use of it in the long run than Nara would.

After a Maskan fight on the way out, Taloon levels up, for 3 Str, 2 Agi, 3 Vit, 1 Int, 1 Luc, and 4 HP. Mara follows, for 1 Str, 3 Agi, 2 Vit, 6 Int, 4 Luc, 4 HP, and 9 MP. Aaaand Cristo gets to level 19, for 2 Str, 3 Agi, 3 Vit, 2 Int, 3 Luc, 9 HP, 4 MP, and the Beat spell, which attempts to instantly kill one foe for 4 MP.

Beat can be very useful, but there's one notorious problem with it: Cristo rrrrrrreally likes making absolutely sure it won't work on bosses. Which it won't, ever. But he'll still try. Oh well.

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That was a Bikill-powered strike by Ragnar, and Cristo's very first Beat cast taking out 380 HP's worth of giant sea monster. I have a good feeling about this run!

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We could keep exploring this western path on foot... but let's stay on our ship as much as we can.

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Gah, holy crap. Fortunately Francois puts the critter to sleep immediately afterwards, and all it costs us is a few Healmore casts.

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So much for there being possibly something at the southwest corner of this chamber. At least we came in through the correct entrance this time.

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Fury Faces have 130 HP, 108 attack, 76 defense, and 67 agility. They get two actions per round and will sometimes waste one "assessing the situation", but they can also breathe poison gas, sleep gas, scorching gas, and freezing wind. They're weak to wind, Surround and Sap, slightly resistant to sleep, highly resistant to Bang, Blaze and Expel, and immune to everything else.

The Staff of Punishment is put to good work, but we also mostly just wail on it regular-style; it breathed sleeping gas twice, and only put Francois to sleep with it.

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It looks like we still have two corners of this level to explore. The southwest one is closer to the exit, but the northwest one will probably require us to go on foot. Hmm...

Northwest it is.

A fight against one Maskan that saw Brey cast Bikill on Francois to great effect gets our Wizard to level 20, for 2 Agi, 2 Vit, 3 Int, 3 Luc, 3 HP, and 5 MP.

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Ah, nothing there after all. Southwest, then.

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Okay, that's looking good. I bet the idea here is that if we had gone west from the entrance at first, we would have taken this long dead-end footpath along the west and north edges of the level. The only way to reach this staircase is to take the ship through the east side and down the central chamber.

We need to leave our back-up behind from here, though. Let's go with Francois, Ragnar, Cristo, and Brey. I don't want to put Nara in harm's way here, and Cristo's Sacred Robe would protect him from Snowjives.

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Image: Could this be it?
Image: Keep your guard up. Either of these chests could be Man-Eaters.

On literally the last tile before the chests...

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Dang, it might as well be a boss fight. Francois' gonna spam FendSpell on this one; it'd be nice if Cristo could land a StopSpell, but they're highly resistant to it, I can't count on that happening.

On the first round, Cristo uses the Staff of Punishment, landing three hits. Brey follows with Snowstorm, actually hitting twice, killing one and allowing Ragnar to finish another while Francois shields Brey. The remaining Snowjive hits Brey in the face. No problem.

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Aaand it's gone. Wow! That went extremely well, and if I had any doubts about getting that Staff, they're gone now. Ragnar levels up, for 5 Str, 6 Vit, 1 Luc, and 7 HP.

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Image: Is this...?
Image: Oh it has to be.
Image: Does it fit you?

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That's an increase from 90 to 125.

Image: Yeah, it does. It's like...
Image: It was made for you.
Image: Incredible!
Image: Well, it looks like I have an apology to make.
Image: Eh?
Image: I should not have suggested we turn b-
Image: Oh, no, no, forget about it. You're looking out for me, I understand.
Image: Ah, I'm glad you see it this way.

The Zenithian Armor offers 70 defense power, second only to the +95 Metal Babble Armor. However, it also bestows 1/3rd resistance to both spell and breath weapon damage. That's as good as it gets for a Hero of either gender!

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We'll hang on to that one until we find three more. On our way back, Brey drops a 63 damage Staff of Force crit on a Maskan, and Alena levels up, for 6 Str, 6 Agi, 3 Vit, 1 Int, 5 Luc, and 5 HP.

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Image: Wow!
Image: I knew you could do it!
Image: Can I... Can I have a look?
Image: Ha, of course.
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Image: Hmm... must be armor. I don't know what to tell you. The following can be equipped with this: Francois. It seems I can't be equipped with this. What an awesome object!
Image: That's one way to put it.
Image: No store is likely to appraise the value of this.
Image: So you don't mind if I hang on to it, then?
Image: Pfft, heheh, no, I don't. It's yours. I'm just glad I got to see it.
Image: So, are we ready to leave now?
Image: It shouldn't be too much trouble to finish our map and make sure we've cleared the place out.
Image: Alright then, just say the word.

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Image: Welp, that's it. Let's go!

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That wasn't the longest dungeon in history, but man, it was a decent combat challenge. The AI was rather well behaved throughout, and when things didn't go the way I would have preferred, the choices it made were still generally satisfactory. I'm happy we didn't run into any more Dragon Riders though. I remember the bastards giving me no end of trouble when I was a kid, so I'm definitely breathing a sigh of relief. To be honest, at the start of this episode I was maybe 70% convinced we'd have to turn back and try again later.

There was interesting stuff going on with visual design, too. The greenery and half-submerged boulders really help convey the notion of a natural seaside cavern with sections open to the sky, having been modified to house the Armor, as opposed to the vaults and tunnels we're used to visiting. It's very creative use of various terrain tiles for sure.

We rest up at the Medal King's inn, and turn in our eighth Medal for safekeeping without trading it in. Next time, we'll keep exploring the eastern side of the Endor/Branca/Burland continent. The quest continues!

User avatar
TA
Posts: 1922
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 8:58 pm

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

Postby TA » Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:25 pm

I never ran into that Outside/Wagon interaction before. That might be the only dungeon where it happens. That's ... interesting.

The Zombie Mail, while cursed, is one of the few cursed items that can actually be worth using if you happen to get it. +49 Defense, compared to the +35 Full Plate you've been using, and the curse is that you lose 1 HP for every step you take outside of combat. Which certainly isn't trivial, but 3 MP for a Heal every 30-some steps isn't that harsh of a penalty for +14 Defense.

Once you can afford Dragon Mail, though, it's without purpose.
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User avatar
François
Posts: 1416
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:00 am

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

Postby François » Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:34 pm

Yeah, that notion of casting Outside and leaving the wagon crew in the dungeon feels like it could be exploitable for something, but unless you're on a challenge run and want to go through the game with only certain characters, I can't think of what benefit there might be.

And I never really considered the Zombie Mail because in most circumstances you only find one in a chest near the endgame, at which point Ragnar and the Hero typically have much better armor, and I always kind of expected the curse would be the usual "occasionally lose a turn in battle" idea, but this gradual damage stuff makes it a lot more usable than I thought!

User avatar
TA
Posts: 1922
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 8:58 pm

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

Postby TA » Sat Feb 09, 2019 3:21 am

I don't think any of the curses in the game are "occasionally lose a turn in battle"! The Demon Hammer is capped at 3/8 accuracy, so in a lot of circumstances that's effectively losing a turn, but when it does hit it guarantees a crit, so it's perfect for metal slime/metal babble hunting. The Multi-Edge Sword has that recoil damage, but if you're expecting to have to heal anyway, that's a lot of attack power on a weapon available so early in the game. The Sword of Destruction works perfectly without penalty, it just reduces your defense to 0, which hurts a lot but it's not like Taloon is gonna have a lot of defense anyway, and it's second only to the Metal Babble Sword in offense. The Demon's Armor reduces your Agility to 0, but for +50 Defense and 1/3rd off damage from Blaze, Ice, and Bang spells, it's still a damn fine suit of armor. It's really only the Mask of Corruption that has no real purpose in a normal game, at +200 defense but permanent confusion, because unlike DW3 a confused character who's by themselves can still hit themselves now.
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François
Posts: 1416
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:00 am

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

Postby François » Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:41 am

Huh... Somehow I've always held the notion that all cursed gear in the series caused you to skip turns, and it never occurred to me to test or question it. Welp, scales off my eyes, that's good info, thank you!

User avatar
François
Posts: 1416
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:00 am

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

Postby François » Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:39 am

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With all this Small Medal and Zenithian Armor business behind us, we can keep pursuing our initial goal to explore the east coast of the Endor continent.

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It looks like this river flows around the cave where we found the Symbol of Faith, and likely connects all the way to the Konenber area; we have to assume there's a lake somewhere in the middle that empties in two directions.

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Runamok Albacores aren't much more dangerous than the sea monsters we're used to; they have 47 HP, 6 attack, 20 defense, 10 agility, and the ability to land critical hits. They're immune to Sap, highly resistant to Firebal and wind, and slightly resistant to other magic damage... not that you'd really need spells here.

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It looks like there's a cave due east of the desert we needed the wagon to cross, but we clearly can't get to it from here.

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That forested area is new territory for us, but let's just keep going by river for now.

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Image: Ah, there, port side! A village!
Image: Well then! I was beginning to wonder if this region was inhabited at all.

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The old man in this building walks in a circle from one counter to the next.

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Oooh, Stiletto Earrings for sale. Alena has 122 attack power right now, and her raw Strength counts for 84 of it; with the Earrings on, she'd have two 89 power strikes. If she had to fight monsters with high defense, it would be a problem, but this'll be an enormous advantage in many of the battles we find ourselves in, and it gives her two chances at a critical hit besides.

This is one subtle notion where the DW4 party system's versatility gives us some peace of mind. If we fight a monster where single strong blows are preferable to multiple lighter strikes, we can just bring in Ragnar or Taloon. Back in DW2 and 3, giving someone a Falcon Sword was a major decision that impacted every subsequent battle for good and for ill, but here we're allowed to have all the advantages of a double strike while still having an easy way out of the drawbacks as long as our wagon is nearby.

Now we only have 4656 gold on hand, and none left in the Vault, but with what we found last episode, we can sell Francois' Full Plate Armor, Ragnar's Sword of Malice, and Cristo's Morning Star. Adding to that Alena's Iron Claw, we end up with 11068 gold, more than enough!

If we catch the old man at the southern counter...

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Selling Ragnar's Full Plate gives us just barely enough to upgrade him to Dragon Mail. The Swordedge Armor and Metal Babble Armor have better defense (by a little and by a lot, respectively), but I expect the breath weapon resistance will make it worth the expense for a very long time.

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Oooh, an all-new item! A Scent Pouch is the opposite of a vial of Fairy Water: it increases the odds of getting into random encounters for a set number of steps. We don't need one right now, and we can't afford it besides, but it's useful for grinding.

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Predictably, the west counter is a House of Healing.

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Image: Rosaville?!
Image: It couldn't be... could it?
Image: But Rosa's not a Dwarf.
Image: That doesn't mean she can't live among them.

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Image: So it is her.
Image: Her teardrops turned into rubies.
Image: Hmm...
Image: No good could possibly come of this.
Image: Some humans began treating her badly in order to make her cry all the time.
Image: How despicable!
Image: What did Taloon say again? "Right dicks"?
Image: If... if someone had treated Celia that way, I...
Image: Did her tears turn to rubies too?
Image: I don't know. I don't remember having ever seen her cry. Not even... when...
Image: She must have been strong.
Image: Yeah.

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Image: If Saro hadn't rescued her, the humans would have devastated her.
Image: It's strange to hear "Saro" and "rescue" in the same sentence.
Image: Could we have misjudged him so completely?
Image: No way.
Image: That we learn new things about him doesn't make the things we knew before wrong.
Image: Even Rosa wants him stopped now. Whatever his motives may be, he's going too far.

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Image: ...!
Image: Light help us, we are not counted among those who would cut a man's throat in his sleep.
Image: ...even if that was Balzack?
Image: I would wake him up first. Just long enough for him to know.

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Image: Ah, so it is a real place, in the end.

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Image: Look! Up there! She's still here!
Image: Let's see about that staircase...

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Image: Huh.
Image: We'll need a flute of some sort.
Image: I guess we'll just have to take it from him.
Image: Maybe we could simply walk in the front door.

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Image: Ah, he indeed is a monster then, despite appearances.
Image: I don't think dwarves would have tolerated his presence if he had been evil from the start.
Image: He left the village determined to rule the world.
Image: Maybe he just hid it well, then.
Image: He was gentle to Rosa, though.
Image: Or it's his kindness that he hid from most.

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Image: They say he had a secret chamber built somewhere inside it... and has been hiding something precious there.

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That's definitely the secret passage up there. And that's all for daytime; we get a room at the inn, for 72 gold total.

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Image: Humans sure know how to run a business.

Image: Yikes. It's a good way to run a business all the way into an early grave, if you ask me.

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Image: At night, beautiful girl looks out a window of that tower.
Image: Only at night? Hmm.

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Only at night.

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Image: ...now I've seen everything.

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Image: I guess that depends on how keen Dwarves are on serving him.

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Image: I can't tell if this horse is incredibly intelligent or incredibly foolish.

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Image: That is a power beyond comprehension!
Image: I can speak man's language!
Image: Oh no... It must be the Secret of Evolution!
Image: I could think of worse ways to use it than making dogs talk.
Image: In Keeleon, the ritual was powered by stealing youth from women. Where do you think he got the energy to make this dog talk?
Image: ...oof, okay then.

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Image: The Secret of Evolution is nice!
Image: Ugh, it is not!

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Image: You humans are not welcome. Please leave.
Image: GLADLY!

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Image: I-I'm sorry.
Image: No, it's okay, I get it.
Image: Hmm.
Image: This is my father's research. I can't-
Image: We know the Ruler of Evil used the Secret of Evolution long ago. Such knowledge does not remain forgotten forever.
Image: ...

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Image: I'll be rich if I can capture the elf!
Image: Well she's not here! Go away!

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For now at least, this is it for Rosaville.

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We know the river flows out into the Konenber coast not far from here, so let's start to explore the area on foot.

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Great Ohrus have 120 HP, 112 attack, 75 defense, and 40 agility, with a chance to act twice. They're slightly resistant to most magic, with weakness to lightning, wind and Sap, and high resistance to ice, Surround and Beat.

This is way too squishy a party for this fight, so we call in Ragnar to take Nara's place.

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Cristo has the excellent idea to cast Increase on the first round! Ragnar comes in too late to benefit from it, but man, I'm extraordinarily glad to see a well-timed buff here. Brey's Snowstorm fails, but Francois and Ragnar take down one Ohrus together.

On the second round, Mara replaces Brey, coming in with a Blazemore, and Cristo uses the Staff of Punishment to bypass our foes' defense. The rest of the fight is uneventful. That could not have gone better!

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Heh, I guess just calling them "Blood Swords" wouldn't have flown with Nintendo. Hemaswords have 114 HP, 89 defense, 68 agility, and 49 agility; they can roll crits, as well as cast Upper and RobMagic. They're immune to Surround and sleep, highly resistant to RobMagic, Firebal, Blaze, wind and ice, slightly resistant to Bang, lightning and StopSpell, and weak to Sap.

It's best to keep Cristo around for now, in case he feels up to dropping a StopSpell to prevent them from casting Upper.

In fact he casts Upper on Ragnar instead, which, okay, sure. Mara's Blazemore fails, but Francois' Sword of Lethargy strike disables one of the Hemaswords despite their immunity to sleep. No sweat.

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Hambalba have 90 HP, 109 attack, 79 defense, and 30 agility, with the ability to emit a fireball (not threatening by now) and to inflict paralysis with their normal attacks. They're weak to lightning, wind and ice, slightly resistant to Bang, Surround, Beat and sleep, and highly resistant to Sap and all fire damage.

We're bringing Brey back for this one; whether he casts Bikill or Snowstorm, we win.

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Francois finishes off number 1, Cristo pops the Staff of Punishment to end number 2, and Ragnar beats number 3 before any of them get to do anything. Man, this feels like a well oiled machine.

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Dragonits have 105 HP, 84 attack, 110 defense, and 41 agility, with a scorching gas breath. They're weak to Sap, lightning, ice and Expel (!), slightly resistant to wind and Surround, and highly resistant to everything else. Ragnar takes this one out with a Bikill-powered hit. On the second round, Brey powers Francois up as well, and the Skullknight basically gets shredded.

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That's about it for the Rosaville region. If we want to visit the cave we saw on our way here, we'll have to find a way around the eastern mountains by ship. Cristo levels up as we return to the inn, for 1 Str, 3 Agi, 2 Vit, 2 Int, 3 Luc, 4 HP, and 4 MP. With the cash we made here, and selling an Iron Spear we looted off a Skullknight, we're back to 1845 gold.

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Image: Man, I've had this place on my mind ever since we saw it from the lighthouse.
Image: Do you think there's anything special there?
Image: I don't know... Maybe it's just curiosity.
Image: Welp, we're about to find out.

More Great Ohrus greet us as we disembark. I expect we'll run into Rosaville-grade creatures here, but the region is covered in forests instead of mountains, so we should be able to travel faster.

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That's in addition to a 20 damage standard attack. Aw yeah. Taloon levels up here, for 2 Str, 2 Agi, 3 Vit, 1 Int, 1 Luc, and 5 HP.

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Oof, we ran into a Chillanodon already, on that tiny island supposedly close to the Ruler of Evil's palace. Mara helps take it out on the first turn, but both Beleth put up Bounce, so we replace her with Taloon afterwards.

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Bounce protects from all magic, except the magic of comedy.

We run into a bunch more Chillanodons, and Blazemore keeps coming in handy! Ragnar levels up, for 4 Str, 7 Vit, 1 Luc, and 8 HP.

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Ah, there's that cave. It's a narrow entrance, so I take a chance and assemble our lowest-level party members so they can maybe catch up a bit; Ragnar's our lowest melee combatant, and Brey and Cristo have less experience than Nara and Mara.

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Oh, now that's neat. Let's see...

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That's one animated background tileset that doesn't mess around; this dungeon looks like nothing else we've ever seen in the entire series. It even uses edge tiles to put together a multi-layered effect, giving the impression that we're at the bottom of some sort of terraced watery basin.

Image: I-I'm not entirely sure why we aren't drowning right this moment.
Image: It must be by magic!
Image: ...
Image: Ah... Um... Right. Thank you for your insight, Sir Ragnar.
Image: Anytime, Sir Cristo.

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Seriously, need I remind you of the dungeons these games have got us used to?

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Goodness.

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Image: This is... Hmm.

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Image: There's clearly some sort of opening here.
Image: Right, but...
Image: The waterfall won't yield. It must be magic, as you said.
Image: This is a barrier. Someone put it here deliberately. We'll need the proper key to proceed.
Image: You know, we heard that we need the Zenithian equipment to get to Zenithia. Maybe it's here, and that's why we can't go inside.
Image: Would a kingdom called Zenithia really be underwater?
Image: If the Master Dragon is very powerful, it could explain how this magical cavern exists.
Image: Ah, either way, we're done here. Come on.

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Balakoodas have 120 HP, 88 attack, 77 defense, and 47 agility; they can cast Increase and Blazemore, holy crap. They're weak to Bang, lightning and Surroud, slightly resistant to Firebal, wind, ice, sleep and Sap, highly resistant to Blaze and Beat, and immune to RobMagic and StopSpell.

Doolsnakes have 130 HP, 85 attack, 63 defense, and 38 agility, with the ability to cast StopSpell. They're weak to lightning and Sap, slightly resistant to Beat and all other magic damage, and highly resistant to RobMagic and StopSpell.

I was a bit worried about bringing Brey to a water dungeon, but ice damage definitely seems useful anyway, and Bikill never goes out of style besides.

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Image: Well that didn't take long.
Image: Yeah, it's a dead end for now. We'll need more info.
Image: A magical waterfall blocks our path forward!
Image: Did you try kicking it?
Image: I did!
Image: And it didn't work?
Image: It did not!
Image: That's messed up.
Image: Beyond belief, my lady.

Nara levels up off a fight against three Tyranosaurs, for 2 Str, 1 Agi, 2 Vit, 1 Int, 2 Luc, 3 HP, and 4 MP. Francois follows suit, for 6 Str, 2 Agi, 4 Vit, 2 Int, 4 Luc, 9 HP, and 7 MP. That's a good one!

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That brings a tear to everyone's eyes. Mara levels up afterwards, for 1 Str, 3 Agi, 2 Vit, 6 Int, 6 Luc, 3 HP, and 10 MP. Aaaaand Brey too, for 1 Str, 3 Agi, 3 Vit, 6 Int, 4 Luc, 3 HP, and 4 MP.

A fight with a Dragonit gets Alena a level as well, for 3 Str, 5 Agi, 4 Vit, 6 Luc, and 9 HP.

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Welp, that's a new record.

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Image: So... that'll be it for the east coast, then.
Image: Sure was a long way to go without a lot to show for it. And Necrosaro's getting stronger all the time.
Image: No need to remind us!
Image: Pfft, we're getting stronger all the time too.
Image: Besides, now we know for sure the stuff we want isn't here.
Image: It would still be nice if we didn't have to go everywhere it's not.
Image: We've explored most of the known world at this point. Considering how many artifacts we still need, we're bound to find something worthwhile soon.
Image: Hmm. So where's left, then...

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Image: Santeem proper, the two nearby islands, and... whatever that speck in the center might be.
Image: We could go west from Konenber to the landmass southwest of Santeem, and see that smaller island on the way.
Image: Sounds good to me. Let's go.

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Image: Nasty shoals, these.
Image: Let's hope we don't need anything from there.
Image: It would still be nice to have that flying vessel!

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On the way, Taloon managed to sweep the "legs" of a Man O' War and made it trip. That man has definitely figured out something everyone else is missing.

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Image: We're almost there! Just a bit further north!

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Rhinotropes are a fair bit weaker than Rhinobands, with 70 HP, 88 attack, 100 defense, 22 agility, and no special abilities. They're weak to sleep, Surround, Sap and wind, immune to Bang and ice, and highly resistant to anything else we have.

We alro run into a few Bengals and Chillanodons here again, no big problem.

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Lethal Armors have 64 HP, 80 attack, 75 defense, and 30 agility, with the ability to cast Sleepmore. They're slightly resistant to most magic, save for a weakness to lightning, and high resistance to Sap and sleep.

The typical game progression probably expects you to go north towards Santeem as soon as you clear the events in Keeleon, which would explain why the monsters here are much less dangerous than around Riverton and in the far northeast.

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Image: Makes sense.

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Image: I suppose we ought to apologize for not having contacted you in some time...
Image: Are you familiar with the legend of the Sandglass of Regression?
Image: I can't say that I am.
Image: The legend says the Sandglass of Regression can reverse time slightly.
Image: So... How "slightly" are we talking about? Thirty seconds? A day? A year?
Image: It does seem like an unusually powerful artifact, one way or another.
Image: Ugh, I hope Necrosaro doesn't have it.
Image: That would explain a lot.

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Hmm, we can almost afford Nara's own Sacred Robe. She'd hand down her Pink Leotard to Mara, and Mara could give Brey the Robe of Serenity, which would very advantageously replace his ancient-ass Leather Armor. And the Leather Armor sells for 135! Holy crap, I could not have planned it better.

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That's three people getting an upgrade! Nara's defense did drop by two points, but the spell damage resistance is more than worth it.

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Image: He better not be dreaming of money, because he's not having ours.

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Image: Oh, that's neat.
Image: No surprise we weren't much on speaking terms, then.
Image: Many years ago they settled on the land... leaving the treasures they'd stolen deep behind a water cascade somewhere in this world...
ImageImage: ...!
Image: Is that...?
Image: Hmm-mmm!
Image: They say among the treasures was the ultimate weapon, the Metal Babble Sword.

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Image: So it's not Zenithia down there, then.
Image: I think it's still worth a look!

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Image: The Stone of... Hmm.
Image: The Vase made more sense. At least the water has somewhere to go.
Image: Arguably.

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Image: This graveyard is submerged by water each night, like a man drowning in the sea.
Image: Isn't that kind of an awful place to bury sailors in, then?
Image: Maybe they don't like their ancestors very much.

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Oh-ho!

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Image: One of many, I presume.
Image: Our ancestors used it in battle. You use it to reverse time after a wrong move in battle.
Image: Oooooh.
Image: I don't know, that feels like cheating to me.
Image: I wouldn't lose a lot of sleep over cheating to beat Necrosaro.
Image: Yeah, I guess. But I don't have to like it.
Image: It's not essential you own it, but it may come in handy.

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Dang, that high tide doesn't mess around.

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Image: Oh, hey, that spot...
Image: ...eh?
Image: Huh.
Image: Why is it...
Image: Did they bury the Stone of Drought here too?
Image: Only one way to find out.
Image: Fourth step due south of the first row of trees next to the inn, got it.

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Just barely enough!

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Image: Let's see...

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Image: Haha, good eye, Alena!
Image: Shall we go use it right away?
Image: Absolutely!

Man, that's such a clever little environmental puzzle.

The watery cave is just west of the Seaside Village, so we don't even need to Return to Konenber first.

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Image: I didn't expect we'd be back here so soon.
Image: Ah... all this humidity...
Image: Once more unto the breach, gentlemen!

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Maelstrom have 100 HP, 74 attack, a humongous 120 defense (more than enough to make Stiletto Earrings basically useless), and 42 agility, with the ability to cast Snowstorm. They don't hit quite as hard as Snowjives with their Blizzard spells, but they're a fair bit more durable! They're weak to lightning, slightly resistant to Bang, wind, Surround, Beat, RobMagic and StopSpell, highly resistant to Sap and sleep, and immune to Firebal, Blaze, and ice.

Given that we have no source of lightning damage yet, we have to count on Bikill and Beat. Francois does take a couple Blazemore casts, but the Zenithian Armor saves his bacon. Cristo levels up here, for 3 Agi, 4 Vit, 2 Int, 3 Luc, 11 HP, 3 MP, and his own Vivify spell.

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Image: At least we know for sure the Stone still works.



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Image: More of these damnable iron gates?
Image: At least we didn't come here for nothing this time. Let's see...

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Image: Okay, we'll take it!

The Sandglass of Regression can only be used in battle, but when you do use it, it rewinds time until the beginning of the fight, no questions asked. It can be used any number of times (not to mention that as far as the "true" timeline is concerned, it is never actually used), any time you like. And just like the merchant back in the village explained, you don't ever need it for anything, it's not a key or a plot item, it's just nice to have. I don't think the AI will ever actually use it outside of the Try Out tactic, maybe not even then, and that's just as well, so we'll just keep it on our hero.

It's not quite the Metal Babble Sword we were hoping to find here, but it'll come in handy indeed!

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Friday
Posts: 2981
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Re: It's raining protagonists: Let's play Dragon Warrior IV!

Postby Friday » Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:55 pm

I remember Super Mario RPG had an item with that same functionality, it's basically a "load state" item if you fuck up too badly during a fight.

SMRPG had a bunch of weirdo function items like that. It's neat to see one of them in a DQ game. I guess they figured it was too powerful in subsequent games, but in a game where you can't directly control your actions, it seems a good addition.
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TA
Posts: 1922
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Re: It's raining protagonists: Let's play Dragon Warrior IV!

Postby TA » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:11 pm

I wonder if it retains the AI learning progression. Might be a good way to let Cristo work out all his stupid on a tough boss.

But none of the bosses are really so hard that you need to.
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François
Posts: 1416
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Re: It's raining protagonists: Let's play Dragon Warrior IV!

Postby François » Tue Feb 12, 2019 8:27 am

I did a bit of testing (you can reliably get Nara to cast Sleep and Sleepmore in the first several rounds of the Balzack fight on Normal tactics, and I could probably have gone with Cristo and Beat too), and while I'm not 100% sure, it does look like it resets monster knowledge as well. Also, I didn't know this until now, but you can't actually use it more than once per battle!

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François
Posts: 1416
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Re: It's raining protagonists: Let's play Dragon Warrior IV!

Postby François » Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:03 am

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Just before we can leave the watery cavern...

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Minidemons have 95 HP, 103 attack, 62 defense, and 54 agility. They can breathe freezing wind, and unlike their Demonite cousins, they actually have MP, and will use it to cast Blazemore. They're weak to wind and lightning, slightly resistant to Bang, Firebal, ice, Surround, RobMagic and Sap, and highly resistant to Blaze, sleep, Beat, and StopSpell.

They can drop a Mask of Corruption, which is a +200 piece of headgear that anyone can equip, though it is predictably cursed and causes its wearer to be permanently afflicted by the confusion ailment. It's basically how the Noh Mask worked in DW3, so... someone's not a fan of theater.

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Image: So, what, it didn't work?
Image: No, no, it did, but there's a locked gate further in.
Image: Aw, come on.
Image: We really need to track down this Magma Staff so we can go to Gardenbur and enquire about the Final Key.

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Image: All that's left is that island north of Santeem. And Santeem proper, of course.
Image: My kingdom is pretty big, and I've never heard of that Staff besides, so we can start with the island.
Image: Right, it'll be new ground for all of us.
Image: Mara, Nara, is that okay with you?
Image: Eh, if Balzack knows we took out Keeleon, I don't mind letting him live in terror for a bit longer.
Image: There's no telling how much harm he's inflicting on the region, but... I can't say I disagree with Mara.
Image: New island it is. North to the Medal King's island, then east. Let's go!

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Ragnar levels up off a pair of Banglers, for 4 Str, 1 Agi, 7 Vit, 1 Int, and... 20 HP. Wow. He's now 6 HP ahead of Francois, and 11 ahead of Alena.

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We drop off the Small Medal we found in the Seaside Village. We could go for a second Staff of Punishment for Nara, but I suspect she'll learn Infermore before long, so we'll hold out for a Hat of Happiness instead.

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Image: Is that a castle over there?
Image: Hmm, right, I see it.
Image: That coast looks treacherous! It's no wonder we have no contact with these people.

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Only Lethal Armors, no problem. It's likely this place is less dangerous than the Rosaville region.

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It can be a little tricky to pick the right spot to land on so you can reach the castle on foot, but the island is not very large, it's no big deal.

Oh, and, while we're at it...

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...let's clear out all this empty ocean, shall we? We've now been everywhere on the overworld, except for the area where Old Howden's treasure is supposed to be, the Gardenbur region, the monsters' castle, and that curious be-shoaled island west of Konenber.

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Image: Is that man alright? Did the monsters attack already?
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Image: Nah, he's just sleeping on the job.

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Image: That's a lot of water for the inside of a city.
Image: Do you think we can use this boat?
Image: Sur-
Image: Let's ask around a bit first.

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This weapon shop, strangely open at night, is the first to sell the Sword of Lethargy if you've followed the slight trail of plot breadcrumbs that leads north from Keeleon instead of wandering the world. We don't exactly need a second one, though.

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Image: I wouldn't mind living in a place like this.
Image: I'm sure it's great if you have someone to row for you.
Image: Heh, not a problem.

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Image: Well, you know what they say. When life gives you Slimes, you make Slimonade.
Image: ...
Image: ...
Image: ...
Image: Why does the King want a hearty laugh in these troubled times anyway?
Image: The King wants to laugh? I guess I get it.
Image: Heh, I'm sure I can sort him out.
Image: I... wouldn't bet on that.
Image: Ooh, have we found the one thing you won't bet on?
Image: Ha. Ha.

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Image: Well, no one's using it.
Image: We can bring it back when we're done.

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Image: If he's anything like the one in Haville, I don't want to know.
Image: There can't be a lot of foot traffic at night in here. Maybe he slipped out for a drink.

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Image: You have to bring a lunch with you, my good man!

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Nice. One more for the Hat.

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Image: Oh dang, I was only half kidding!

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Image: No we won't.
Image: What good will my work do anyway?
Image: Not an excuse. Keep doing it. People rely on you.

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Image: Tell me I'm right, please!
Image: You are.
Image: You're so considerate... Sob... Sob...
Image: I don't think he really believed you.
Image: Before long, he won't have to take it on faith.

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Image: I can't blame them. If I wasn't in a position to help make things better, I don't know how I'd manage.
Image: Oh, dear. We've all kept so busy, it's easy to forget that you've just been through a lot.
Image: Yeah, I forget too sometimes. Just... not for long.
Image: Kid, you've been practically every fight we've been in since we met you. None of us would complain if you took it easy for a bit. Just to, you know, digest.
Image: I'll work this out when we're done. For now, everyone's waiting on me.
Image: On us.
Image: Yeah, okay, on us.

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Image: Oh! Please tell us! We need to get there!
Image: The scholar at our castle knows the legend well.
Image: Alright then, I'll ask him. Thank you!

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Image: Hmm...
Image: It would make sense. We sure haven't found it anywhere under the clouds.
Image: Wait, Francois, didn't you say your mother is from the sky?
Image: Well I don't know for sure, but-
Image: If you're half-Zenithian, that'll explain why no one else can wear your armor.
Image: Not to mention it'll also explain everything about the power of the hero of prophecy.
Image: That makes sense. But it's not like we needed more reasons to go there.

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Image: In fact, we did not.
Image: Is it about the joke thing?
Image: Whoever makes the King laugh heartily will receive any reward they desire.
Image: I'm telling you, it's in the bag.
Image: For what it's worth, Taloon, I hope you're right.
Image: He's really not, though.
Image: You've seen me make monsters laugh!
Image: Sure, go to the king and tell him "it worked on monsters, it ought to work on you!"

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Image: Well, you seem to be doing a good job of it.
Image: The monsters are getting smarter, so I must watch carefully.
Image: That... that's the Secret of Evolution at work.
Image: ...

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Man, this is such a neat-looking castle.

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Image: Eh, we'll kick 'em out soon, just watch.
Image: I don't blame the King for wanting to laugh away his fears.

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Aw yeah. Next stop, twenty more.

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Image: ...
Image: ...
Image: ...
Image: Ha ha! Good one!

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Image: Sooner than you think, I'm sure. Don't give up hope.

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Image: I'm all ears.
Image: Whoever obtains the Zenithian Armor, Helm, Shield, and Sword will be allowed into Zenithia.
Image: Ah, so there is a Helm, then.
Image: Only the Helm has been handed down in our royal family.
Image: Taloon, I need you to-
Image: Got it.
Image: The world is doomed.

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Image: One time, true story, I told a joke to my son while he was sleeping, and he laughed.
Image: I'll need independent confirmation for this one.

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That's all we can do in Stancia at night. We head to the inn and rest up; it's only 56 gold!

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Image: I've heard the King here has it.
Image: Eh, you've heard wrong. To be honest, I don't think the Zenithian stuff even exists. You should give up.

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That's an item shop, also with Scent Pouches.

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Image: Well, now we have, sure.
Image: You can only enter the castle by boat. Good luck!

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Image: Ugh. If she's beautiful, she's heard that a million times, and if she's not, now she knows you're a dishonest flatterer. Try something else!
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Image: I'm SORRY, I thought you wanted a SUCCESSFUL rendezvous! My bad!

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Image: I'm sure it still feels good to hear it sometimes either way, sis.
Image: Not from a guy who sings like a dead duck caught in the wind.
Image: ...I take it you've been clumsily approached before.
Image: You have no idea.

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Image: Do they, now?
Image: Well this half-Zenithian sure is doing a lot of good!

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The local healer is back at his post and offering the usual services.

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The armor shop right next to the House of Healing has nothing we want anymore.

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Ah, and this boat shop offers affordable Staves of Force. I'm almost tempted to get one for Nara, even taking the MP expense into account, but we have more pressing uses for money right now.

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Image: We must be prepared for the monsters' attack, though.

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Image: ...there was a castle above the clouds, and the master of dragons lived there.
Image: I still think it's kind of weird that a dragon is running Zenithia.

Image: I was about to say!
Image: The Dragon Queen helped us out a lot in my day.
Image: And we know in how much trouble that got us in in my day.

Image: If the Master Dragon attacked the Ruler of Evil, we have to presume his heart is righteous.
Image: Eh, we're on the same side for now, at least.

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Image: ...to destroy the Ruler of Evil and other monsters.
Image: That's not happening unless your King gives up the Zenithian Helm, though.

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Image: That's why the King issued the proclamation even though he knew he would be laughed at.
Image: Someone's having a giggle either way, I guess.

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Image: Ehhh, that one's a little mean.
Image: Nobody wants to think about a penguin getting maimed.

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Image: You and me both, friend.
Image: Yet I don't think I can find all of the Zenithian weapons and armor. I heard, however, the Zenithian Shield was once at Burland Castle.
Image: You heard right, but that's not true anymore.

It's becoming clear that the Zenithian gear is this game's equivalent of the DW1 stones and staff and token, of the DW2 crests and of the DW3 orbs. However, each piece actually increases our actual combat power by a significant amount, so we're not chasing down individually-useless plot coupons anymore. That's a big improvement!

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Image: Well, not that funny.
Image: Not as funny as me, I'm sure.
Image: Jury's still out.
Image: He'll probably be able to make the King laugh... Where could he be now?

Hint, hint.

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Image: Ugh, of course there's a line.

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Image: I can't tell if this is the world's worst joke or the world's worst life advice.
Image: I can't tell if it even makes sense.

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A few moments later...

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Image: That reminds me, I need to buy a muted trombone, for reasons.
Image: I hate myself!
Image: Whoa, whoa, no need to go that far. I'm sure you've got lots of good qualities!

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Image: Ah, that's right. I presume you've heard of us, then.
Image: Make me laugh.
Image: Err, I don't-
Image: What's the matter? Hurry!
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Image: Taloon! Help me out here!
Image: Alright, leave it to me. You can be my straight man.
Image: What's that mean?
Image: Err... Just act normal.
Image: Um, sure.
Image: ...this is already a disaster.
Image: I don't trust stairs.
Image: Okay, that's weird.
Image: ...
Image: ...
Image: ...
Image: ...
Image: ...ask me why I d-
Image: W-why don't you trust stairs, Taloon?
Image: They're always up to something!
Image: ...
Image: Oh no.
Image: Okay, tough crowd, I get it. How about this: what's orange and sounds like a parrot?
Image: A... an orange... parrot?
Image: A carrot! Ah-ha!
Image: ...
Image: Nope.
Image: Alright then, alright, we were almost there, let's stay with the food theme. Why did the tomato blush?
Image: I don't know, Taloon. Why did the tomato blush?
Image: It saw the salad dressing!
Image: Heheh.
Image: ...
Image: That one's a thinker, you can give it a moment if you want.
Image: I'd rather not.
Image: Ahem! What do you call a pony with a sore throat?
Image: I don't know, Nara. What do you call a pony with a sore throat?
Image: A little-
Image: A little hoarse!
Image: Ha! Nice!
Image: Wait, that's one of dad's... huh.
Image: ...
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Image: No, wait, wait, last one. Please hold on to the edge of my-
Image: Taloon! NO!
Image: Ah, you've heard it before.
Image: That's not a king joke!
Image: Oof.
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Image: Well that was a bust.
Image: I'm sorry, I'm not a very good straight man.
Image: It's okay, that was our smallest problem.
Image: But... we need that Helm! We can't just give up!
Image: We'd better leave it to a professional. Let's go back to Monbaraba.

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Image: H-
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Image: Huh? Wha-
Image: Hmm... I must have been hearing things.
Image: No, wait, we actually did come here to ask you to come with us!
Image: I see. The King of Stancia has the Zenithian Helm you'll need for your journey...

It's a bit awkward here. The game has to presume our silent protagonist is telling Panon about the situation, but it ends up sounding like he already knows.

Image: And to get it, you'll need my talent...
Image: That's the long and short of it. Please help us!
Image: By any chance, do you intend to go to Zenithian Castle?
Image: W-
Image: No, you don't have to tell me. I understand. I'll accompany you.
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Image: Ah, thank you!
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Image: Hmm. He seems wise, at least. Maybe he can do it.

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Image: It'll be easier than to replace the Zenithian Helm.
Image: I've no choice. I must resume the old singing and dancing revue...

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Image: Yeah, sure, as long as I'm on hiatus.

If we come back at night...

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Image: Yeah, stand-up comedy is out right now.
Image: When will I debut?

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The show's back to three dancers.

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Image: ...
Image: You'll get your crown back someday.

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Image: Oh ho ho! You asked for it!
Image: WE DID NOT!

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So, Panon!

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You'd think he would be a non-combatant like Flora back in Chapter 1, but he's actually a guest character, and despite his low stats he comes with a Sword of Lethargy, a Cloak of Evasion, and the Sleep spell, giving him an attack power between Taloon's and Nara's. He also seems to have at least some of Taloon's random tricks; I bring him to a couple fights around Monbaraba, he uses the MP-draining dance a couple of times, and I suspect he's also able to make monsters laugh. (Taloon levels up after one of those fights, for 2 Str, 1 Agi, 2 Vit, 2 Int, 2 Luc, and 4 HP.)

It's worth noting that the Goof-off is one of the the two DW3 classes that aren't represented among the DW4 Chosen Ones (along with the Sage), so it's still a neat nod to have a Jester join us for a bit.

We can immediately Return to Stancia so we won't actually need him to fight for us, but you don't need any keys to get him on board, so he can conceivably be of some help before you even join up with Brey, meaning you can have both Panon and Hector in your crew at the same time. In fact, if you're underleveled for the Keeleon fight, getting a Sword of Lethargy effect on him can turn the battle in your favor!

We won't be using his combat services at this time, though. We head straight to Stancia.

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Image
Image: Time to work your magic, sir.
Image: The King isn't drunk, so he might be a tougher nut to crack than your usual audience.
Image: I have a special act in mind, no worries.

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We actually have to put Panon in the lead; only the first character in the party gets to tell jokes here.

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Image: Make me laugh. What's the matter? Hurry!
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Image: What? Fat lot of good it did us to bring you here!
Image: ...?
Image: However, I believe the people who brought me here surely can!
Image: No, wait, we already failed, that's why-
Image: Ah, I see what you're getting at.
Image: Please give them the Zenithian Helm. They will save the world and bring the days when everyone will be able to laugh without worry.
Image: ...huh.
Image: He's right. That's the plan. We need that Helm, Your Highness.
Image: Hmm... Panon! You perceived my true intention! The reason I issued the proclamation was to cheer up this country. I thought if I brought lots of funny entertainers here, they would make my people happy.
Image: And now they just think you're a weirdo.
Image: But I've realized you can't cheer up people who have lost hope. Your request is well taken. I place all my hope in you!
Image: You won't regret it. That's a promise.
Image: Take this Zenithian Helm!
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Image: Until then, I'll keep issuing the proclamation.

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Image: Well, that was an unorthodox approach, but I can't argue with these results.
Image: ...I knew you couldn't actually make him laugh, though.

Just as we leave town...

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Image: You have all my gratitude, Panon, sir. I don't know what we would have done without you.
Image: Eh, we could have just busted in there and took it if we had to. It can't be that hard.
Image: I mean, I don't know what we would have done to avoid being thrown in a dungeon without you.
Image: I'll resume my wandering. Goodbye, Francois. I wish you success!
Image: Goodbye! Thanks again!
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And he's gone.

Man, what a curious little episode. From a progression point of view, Stancia exists solely to dress up how we obtain the Zenithian Helm without getting into even one fight (aside from a couple battles on the island). It does get a lot of flavor across though, about the despair settling over the common folk, and it also makes the world a bit bigger, especially with its elaborate aquatic castle and Venice-like channels. It's just neat all around.

The Zenithian Helm itself is a +30 helmet that only the Hero can wear; it's five points better than an Iron Mask, but twenty points weaker than the Metal Babble Helm. Unlike the Zenithian Armor, it doesn't have any special resistances or effects to offer, it's just functionally best-in-slot for our protagonist (since we'll give the Metal Babble Helm to someone else of course).

Interestingly, it doesn't look much like a helmet, more like a sort of metallic circlet, with wing-like decorations on the sides; it's what our Hero's sprite has been wearing all along. We have to presume its protective power is magical in nature.

Image: This is all well and good, but it doesn't bring us any closer to the Final Key.
Image: And we've run out of places none of us have been to.
Image: So...
Image: It's time to revisit Santeem, at long last.
Image: We'll take it back. We're with you, now.
Image: Yeah, I know. It's just...
Image: ...we haven't found our people anywhere.
Image: If the best we can do is help you get your castle back, then it's the least we can do.
Image: We'll get to Necrosaro by climbing over the bodies of his servants if we have to.
Image: This'll be good, Alena. Trust me.
Image: Ooooh, I'm sure I'll find a way to enjoy it. Don't you worry about that.

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

Postby nosimpleway » Thu Feb 14, 2019 11:05 am

Leave the jokes to Taloon, folks. You don't want to try making dad jokes unless you're an actual dad.











You don't want to commit a faux pa

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

Postby François » Thu Feb 14, 2019 1:28 pm

I'm just an uncle; I'm afraud I have to admit looking them up.

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