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

User avatar
François
Posts: 1207
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:00 am

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

Postby François » Sat Jul 14, 2018 1:50 am

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


Much appreciated!

Sometimes there's a voice deep inside that goes "dang broseph, just stick to the game". And there's a lot of legitimate criticism that can be leveled at the notion of blank-slate protagonists. But to me, part of what makes me appreciate these games so much is the space that they leave for the player to make their own story in. And just as it was in Nocturne, I can't think of a better way to demonstrate that aspect than to share what my story is.

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


Yeah, the value of a single point of defense power is rather puny. Since we only have one character who gets the heavy stuff, being that thrifty hasn't been too much of a concern so far, but it would definitely be something to think about if we also had to outfit, say, a Soldier and a Merchant.

That said, we've had plenty of fights where someone ended up at 1 HP (including our victories against the Dragonlord and Malroth), so you never know!

User avatar
François
Posts: 1207
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:00 am

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

Postby François » Sun Jul 15, 2018 6:30 am

Image: Wow. Okay, this is crazy, but for a moment I had a weird notion that I had become the king of Romaly.

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Image: Oh. Right.

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Image: Now I understand why Aliahan sealed themselves away from this place.

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Image: I don't think you realize how creepy that sounds.

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That's right, we're the king of Romaly. If we try some of our menu commands...

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Image: ...not that long ago.

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Image: I just got here! If this is an improvement, the previous guy must have been horrible.

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Image: Besides, it can be used any number of times.
Image: I don't know what you expect me to do with that information.

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Image: That's one way to put it.

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Image: He's done this before? Somehow that makes it feel even worse.

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Image: You're in kind of a weird position to be telling your king you wish he was bloodthirsty and merciless.

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Image: I'll... uh... I'll send someone? I guess?

The House of Healing attendant doesn't treat us any different from before. That's something of a comfort.

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Image: What, is the king supposed to stay cooped up inside the castle all day every day? Good grief.

Image: Hello, miss.
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Image: Good grief, settle down, I only said hello.

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Image: I do now!

The Cloak of Evasion is the new name of DW2's Clothes Hiding. We'll definitely want it.

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Image: Huh. I wonder where Isabel, Alvaro and Rebeca have gone.

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Image: Eh, sure. All taxes are hereby cut by 75%. You're welcome.

Image: Ah, now that's my style of governing. Decisive and popular!
Image: Isn't that also why Glynn had to step in as Lord Treasurer after three months?
Image: The only reason the entire royal guard didn't quit right away is because they owed you their lives!
Image: And then everyone knew better than to give me jobs I don't want to have. It's win-win!

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Image: ...well that explains a lot.

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Image: I hear it's popular with royalty these days.

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Image: You're certainly looking cheerful.
Image: The common people have it good indeed! I never knew gambling was so much fun!
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Image: I guess I can "fix" a couple more things for you.
Image: Well, until we meet again! Ho, ho, ho!

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Image: I went where I pleased before I was the king, and I'm not stopping now.

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Image: Same as always I guess. Except for the, you know, all the obvious king stuff.

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Image: How about you avoid treating the new king like an idiot, hmm? Sounds like a healthy life choice.

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Image: Maybe this isn't so bad after all. I could devote this entire nation's resources to fighting the archfiend! I think I'll take a stroll outside to celebrate this turn of events.

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Image: Um... Excuse me.
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Image: What. Seriously, I go where I want.
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Image: ...

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Image: nopenopenopenopenope

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Image: nopenopenopenopenope

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Image: Nope!
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Image: Nope!
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Image: No, wait! No! I mean, yes! I do tire already!
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Image: Whew, thanks.
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Image: Tired of the good life already, eh?
Image: It's overrated.
Image: Well it's good to have you back.
Image: Cripes, you can say that again. Your replacement was a total doof.
Image: I did tell him not to pet that Vampire Cat.
Image: ...at least that's one mistake he won't make again.
Image: Not that he could even if he wanted to, heheh.
Image: Oooooookay.

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The once-again king gives us the typical royal spiel.

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You can actually take the throne again anytime you like!

Image: Uh, pass. No thanks. Maybe later. Much later.
Image: Oh, I see... Well, be on your way then!

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Image: So, in the end, what was in it for us in that whole nonsense?
Image: Absolutely nothing.
Image: Kings are dicks.

Image: Amen to that!

Image: I only regret that I won't be here to see his face when he has to tell his subjects that he's quadrupling the tax rate.

This entire sequence leaves us with the same HP and MP values we had when we delivered the crown, so we need to rest at the inn before leaving.

Image: With all that done, I still don't think we're quite ready to head east yet.
Image: I believe we could push through if we had to, but it would be a long and bloody trip.
Image: I did learn one interesting thing while I was king. There's apparently a town called Noaniels in the far north, and they need help.
Image: That sounds right up our alley!
Image: Depends on what they need help with.
Image: The least we can do is check it out, in any case. It might be the archfiend's doing.
Image: Yeah, that's what I was thinking. Let's go, then.

We could Return to Kanave, but we want to buy an Iron Shield from there, so we go on foot instead. We're about 100 gold short by the time we arrive, but we can just sell Zofia's Bronze Shield for the rest. Her defense goes from 45 to 50, and we now have all the best gear money can buy. That won't last long, but it feels good while it does!

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Huh, that was actually much closer than I thought it would be. So far the overworld has felt a lot denser than DW2's. We've probably covered an area a bit smaller than the first continent in the previous game, but it has a lot more stuff in it.

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Image: Oh dang, this is eerie.

The first warning sign is that this villager here is not moving. All characters who aren't dead or sleeping are usually going through their two-frame animations even when they're standing in place, but this man is completely immobile.

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Image: So this is the sleeping village we've heard about.
Image: Elves definitely did this. They get offended by some tiny thing, and then an entire town gets put away until who-knows-when.
Image: I did not know they were so cruel.
Image: I know, right? I'd just burn the whole place to the ground instead. You gotta get it done in one, right quick. Anything else is just showing off.
Image: ...ssssssure.

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If I don't show you someone's dialog here, assume it's "Zzz... Zzz..."

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Image: Oh hey, you're awake! What's going on here?
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Image: You yokels stole a magic gem from the elves? What the heck did you think would happen? I can't believe this!
Image: If you don't, the spell on the village will never be broken!
Image: I wonder how they figured they'd get their bauble back if all villagers were put to sleep.
Image: No one in this entire situation thought anything through.
Image: The hidden village of the elves is in the west forest.

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Image: Won't the elves just find an excuse to put us to sleep too?
Image: I hope being Ortega's daughter will count for something.

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Aaaand that's it for Noaniels. It's a good thing it's close to Kanave after all, because we can't stay at the inn here.

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The obvious attraction here is the cave, but there is in fact a tile of scrubland in the northwest, looking just like the secret exit to the Cave on the Promontory.

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We arrive just as the sun sets.

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Image: We come in peace!
Image: My mother will be mad if I talk to a human!
Image: Yup, total racists. They probably think Baramos won't even touch them.

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Image: Be that as it may, I wouldn't be so quick to take responsibility for the elves' overreaction.
Image: Because he eloped with an elfin princess...
Image: Oh wow, they definitely don't like that.
Image: I've come here in my son's place to seek amends. But they won't forgive us.
Image: This is nonsense, you didn't do anything wrong. We'll find a way to sort this out.

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Image: Oh get over yourself.

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Image: Yeah, we will. Cripes.

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Image: Alright Ears, what's going down with Noaniels?
Image: ...!
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Image: She took the Dream Ruby and went to him, never to return.
Image: So it wasn't even the human who took your jewel? What a load of crap!
Image: Rebeca, it might be time for diplomacy right now.
Image: Yeah, tell that to the townspeople?
Image: After all, what hope do an elf and a human have? Anne must have been fooling herself.
Image: You're just mad because your daughter's ten times as smart as you are!
Image: Reb, don't-
Image: I can't stand the sight of humans! Get away from me!

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Image: Ugh, that was pointless.
Image: I wonder where the couple might have gone.
Image: They could be anywhere by now.
Image: Or they could also be closer than we might think.
Image: Hmm?
Image: There's a cave close-by, right? They could have hid in there, hoping the whole thing would blow over sooner or later, and they could return home.
Image: That's true. Besides, travel wasn't always this difficult, but it's never been easy.
Image: Well, it's worth checking out for sure.

As soon as we leave the village...

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...we're jumped by four Madhounds. They're a bit weaker than Rogue Knights in every respect, but of course they don't always show up alone. They're highly resistant to Sleep and slightly resistant to fire and Surround, and they have about a 33% chance to cast Defence on their turn, reducing our entire party's defense power by about 50%.

Alvaro's the only one who can one-shot Madhounds at this point, and even Isabel and Zofia working together usually won't take one down in one turn.

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Avenger Ravens are a touch weaker than Madhounds, but much less durable, and almost without resistances (only 77/256 to Sleep and Surround). However, to compensate for their lower HP and defense, they are the first monsters we've seen with two attacks per turn. This is especially devastating to low-defense party members (and makes Madhounds much more dangerous when they're encountered together), but fortunately Avenger Ravens do respect standard formation targeting. Their only other remarkable aspect is an uncommonly high evade chance of 12.

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Considering how far we are from an inn, it's kind of the game to make sure we won't have to travel far on foot if we have to leave. But we still have to save 8 MP for Rebeca's Outside!

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Oooh, that's good to know. It doesn't look like this is the one, though.

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Alvaro reaches level 12 here, for 5 Str, 3 Agi, 3 Vit, 5 Luc, 1 Int, and 8 HP. He's just getting buffer and buffer!

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Deadly Toadstools are a hint stronger than Madhounds, and a bit less durable. They're nearly immune to Sleep and slightly resistant to fire. Most dangerously, their standard attacks have a chance to put their target to sleep, and they can breathe sleeping gas as well. This is a fight with a lot of potential to go very wrong, so we have Isabel and Rebeca go with Infernos and Firebal while Alvaro handles the Toadstool.

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Vampires are a fair bit stronger than Vampire Cats were, though they're actually easier to kill. They only have mild resistance to Sleep, and have about 1/3rd chance to cast IceBolt on their turn, which is extraordinarily bad news.

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Let's go for the western stairs here.

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Image: Hmm! I don't know if this place has anything to do with Anne and her beau, but it sure looks important.
Image: I'm more interested in finding out if this is the spring of healing we've heard about, because I'm just about out of juice.
Image: Right, we're all exhausted by now.
Image: Let's see if we can at least find out what these standing stones are about. Then we can turn back.

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As we step on the center tile, the screen flashes white.

Image: Whoa!
Image: Ah, this is wonderful!

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Just like that, everyone's HP and MP are filled up. Holy crap, Dragon Warrior 3! You're so nice!

Image: Well hey, are you all ready to keep going?
Image: Ha, absolutely!
Image: I feel like I could set a million undead wolves on fire!
Image: Let's not imagine the smell.
Image: Too late.

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That staircase almost seems too obvious, but let's try it just to be sure.

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The Man-Eater Moth is a bit weaker than a Vampire and has less HP, but it has slightly higher defense, and mild resistance to fire and Sleep. Its attacks ignore formation, and it comes with the ability to call for other Moths, to cast Surround, and to poison us with its regular attack. If we had to worry about our MP expenditure, fights against these would be a lot tougher than they are!

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Image: Oof, wrong way.
Image: This chest clearly holds something precious inside.

Image: Yeah, you'd think that, wouldn't you.

Image: Even if the Dream Ruby isn't here, it still might have been worth it to come all this way.
Image: Come on, let's climb back up and find another path.

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Zofia levels up here, for 1 Str, 2 Agi, 3 Vit, 2 Luc, and 5 HP. Nnnnnot the best possible level for sure.

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Okay, that's was a pointless loop. Let's head south in that long corridor instead.

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Ah, okay, not bad.

Isabel reaches level 13 here, for 3 Str, 2 Agi, 3 Vit, 2 Luc, 1 Int, 7 HP, and 1 MP. That's pretty decent, and it catches up her low HP somewhat.

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Oof, that's a tough one. Alvaro takes two IceBolts to the face, and Zofia and Isabel just get hit hard. If anyone dies, I doubt the spring will be enough to bring them back, and we'll have to cast Outside. But I don't want to take the chance of running... Let's go for another round.

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Whew! Dang but it's good to have two capable healers on board.

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As soon as we climb down, four Man-Eater Moths jump us on the floor below. Rebeca levels up afterwards, for 1 Agi, 4 Vit, 5 Luc, 3 Int, 9 HP (!!!), 6 MP, and a new spell: Slow. For 3 MP, Slow attempts to reduce the Agility of an enemy group, making them act later in the round. It's often better at making sure you act first than SpeedUp, but SpeedUp never has to overcome a resistance stat.

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Dang but it's so cool to see dungeons now having more decorative features. This cave with its flooded lower level and fancy stone bridge has more personality than any dungeon in DW2 or 1.

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Image: There's no way there's anything of value in this chest.

Image: There's no way there isn't anything of value in this chest!

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Image: So they didn't go very far after all. How tragic.
Image: Wait... there's something else...

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Image: Forgive me, mother, for departing this world ahead of you.
Image: Oh no...
Image: If my love for him, that of elf for human, is forbidden in this world, at least I can be with him in the one beyond...
Image: Aw hell. Why'd they have to do that?
Image: Now we have terrible news for everyone.
Image: At least we can return the Dream Ruby.
Image: It'll be the coldest of comforts.
Image: But if it sets Noaniels free, we'll have accomplished that much.
Image: Ehhh... yeah. I hope the elves will learn something from this, but I'm not holding my breath.
Image: What a strange jewel though. I wonder what properties it might... it might...

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Image: Alvaro!

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Image: Ugh, I can't believe that oaf! Gimme a moment...

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Image: Now don't do that again!
Image: ...right. Thank you.
Image: Just take us out of here, Rebeca. We'll be clearing this place out another time.

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Image: Yes, it is. It was in the cave just south of here. Please take it.
Image: Don't expect your daughter or her love to come back from there, though.
Image: What? Are you saying that Anne and that man cast themselves into a underground lake?!
Image: You suspected it all along, didn't you?
Image: Oh! Why was I so hard on them?!
Image: ...
Image: What am I to do...
Image: Well I sure can think of something.
Image: ...Now I see. Here, take this Wake Up Powder with you and go back to the village. Then you may remove the curse. Anne would want it that way. Oh, Anne! Forgive your mother!

If we try to talk to her again...

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Image: So much for learning anything.

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Image: You have our most profound condolences.
Image: At least he didn't depart alone. For what it's worth.

The shopkeep still won't sell to us. There's nothing left for us here.

User avatar
François
Posts: 1207
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:00 am

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

Postby François » Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:19 pm

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Image: I figured being a hero would feel at least a little better than this.
Image: Zofia, the portions of this quest that ended in sorrow took place long before any of us had anything to do with it.
Image: Besides, the elves had it coming, to be honest.
Image: That's not as comforting as you think.
Image: Sometimes, all of the endings are bad. But what's up to us is making sure there will be another story tomorrow.

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The sun rises just as we get within sight of Noaniels. What a night that was.

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Image: Alright then, let's see about this powder.
Image: If it turns out this is just flour, we're going back there and torching the place.

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Just like that, the man at the entrance starts moving!

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Image: Haha, it worked!
Image: Whew, okay then, we definitely didn't screw that one up.

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Image: Um...
Image: Yeah, we did.
Image: Really? I'm embarrassed.
Image: Eh, it's nothing. We're used to sleeping close to Isabel, so...
Image: What's that supposed to mean?
Image: Oof.
Image: Yikes!
Image: There's no way no one ever told you.
Image: ...oh dear.

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One more gold per person than in Kanave, still no biggie. We might as well rest right away.

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Image: ...
Image: Goodness, it must have happened while you were already...

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Image: There's no such thing as a son of Ortega.
Image: Oh! I thought you were someone else.
Image: Look, I'm his daughter. What's your deal?
Image: I thought it was only yesterday that Ortega was in the room next door. He must have headed to Assaram in search of a key. But... it is hard to believe so many years have passed since then and that Ortega is gone.
Image: ...yeah, it is. Even if you haven't been asleep all this time.

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Image: He must have been looking for a key to Portoga for sure!
Image: Well, let's hope there's still a copy of it in Assaram, because if he took the only one, we definitely won't get to use that tunnel.

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Image: It's a good thing the elves' enchanted sleep kept them nourished.
Image: Well, the elves may be jerks, but they're not demons.

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Image: Right, we just heard of that town. Do you have any idea where it is?
Image: Assaram is east of Romaly!
Image: That's... not the best news.
Image: Well, thank you.

I think we have our next objective! Let's hope the Tower of Shanpane and this ordeal with the elves will have prepared us adequately.

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The Spider's Web is a consumable item that basically casts Slow. We can have Rebeca cast Slow anytime we need, so it's no use to us, but it's nice of the game to make a debuff effect available to every class in this way.

The Wizard's Wand is a +15 weapon (one more point of attack power than a Magic Knife) that can be equipped by Wizards and Sages. If you use it in battle, it basically casts Blaze. It's a halfway decent buy if you somehow missed the Poison Needle or have more than one Wizard, but Sages can wield Actual Weapons instead.

The Cloak of Evasion offers a +20 defense bonus (as much as Chain Mail), and it can be equipped by all classes! Its claim to fame is that it allows its user to avoid any standard attack 20% of the time. It would be an upgrade for both Isabel and Rebeca, and in fact it's better than Alvaro's Fighting Suit even though it has 3 less defense... but man is it expensive. We can't even afford one right now.

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Image: Oh! Hey! You're welcome!
Image: Finally some gratitude.

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Image: Can't remember what you were doing, little boy? Were you going somewhere?
Image: That's right. I was on my way to visit Grandpa.

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Image: Just take care of the people you love. It'll be enough.
Image: That's right! Don't worry about it!

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Image: A little money would have been nice though.
Image: Rebeca...
Image: Just saying!

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So, we've been pretty clearly pointed to Assaram, east of Romaly. That said, we didn't finish exploring the cave where we found the Dream Ruby, and there are portions of this northern region we haven't even seen yet, so let's get to wrapping that up right quick. It'll even get us enough money for a Cloak of Evasion before we set off on our journey.

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Ah, Acorns of Life! These increase a character's maximum HP by 1 to 5. They're pretty much unambiguously good, so we let Isabel have them, since she's 9 points behind Rebeca, which doesn't make any sense.

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Welp, she's condemned to roll poorly on HP, I guess.

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Strength Seeds being any good depends on the same circumstances as Agility Seeds. We'll be vaulting that one for Reasons.

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...okay, sure.

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And we're done here. Rebeca takes us outside, and we spend some time wandering around until nightfall.

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Unsurprisingly, the villagers of Noaniels are in no hurry to go to bed. Everyone is doing whatever they were doing during the day, and even the store is open. We do take this opportunity to buy Rebeca a Cloak of Evasion, seeing as she's still wearing Wayfarer's Clothes; it takes her defense from 16 to 28. It could be argued that she needs it the least, but all it takes is a strong enemy who ignores formation to take a hefty chunk of out her (admittedly considerable) HP pool.

The next morning, we set off to complete our map of the area. There's a small path west of Kanave we haven't seen yet, as well as another region roughly east of Noaniels.

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Welp, there's not much in the west.

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Oooh, that's ice terrain in the east. There's nothing too remarkable about it, and it's passable on foot.

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Hmm, there are some shoals at the mouth of the river we followed from Romaly a while back. If we ever got a ship, we'd have to find another way.

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And that's the entire region covered. Man but there was a lot to do here! We're about done though, and we have a new destination, so we head back to Romaly. Alvaro levels to 13 on the way, for 4 Str, 6 Agi, 3 Vit, 4 Luc, 1 Int, and 6 HP. Dang but that's another great level right there.

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Hmm, the tickets are now 120 gold instead of 80. I suspect this scales in proportion with the Hero's level.

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There are even monsters we haven't seen yet! Let's drop some coin on... the Wild Ape.



Yikes, the Ape gets taken out second, and the Toadstool comes out on top.

Image: ...huh.
Image: Well, that's 1380 gold we're not making.
Image: Gambling is stupid.
Image: Indeed!

We stay at the inn, save with the king, and depart in the morning.

Image: Let's see a bunch of dumb cats stop us this time!
Image: By the way, you never told me where you found my... uh... my replacement. Who was it again?
Image: Um...
Image: The less is said about that, the better, I think.
Image: Yeaaaaah.
Image: Huh. Okay then.

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Despite that one Wild Ape's poor performance in the arena, they're actually quite dangerous, with the ability to roll crits and to call for other Apes to join in. They have only 10 less attack power than Kandar, and they're slightly less durable than his Henchmen. They're highly resistant to ice and slightly to Sleep, but other elements work well.

Zofia levels up a few fights later, for 2 Str, 1 Agi, 4 Vit, 3 Luc, 10 HP, and a new Hero-only spell: Ironize. For 6 MP, it turns everyone in your party into solid iron for a few rounds, making them impervious to all damage and magic, but unable to take any action. This seems pointless at first, but it has a few niche uses. First off, if you encounter new enemies, it gives you a chance to see what they're capable of without putting yourself in any danger. It can also be used to skip a fews turns and increase your odds of successfully running away. And finally, since monsters actually need MP to cast spells for the first time in the series, you can cast Ironize to get them to waste their juice while you're invincible. (That last one only really works on enemies who don't have enough MP to cast their big ticket spells several times, but those are certainly out there.)

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Image: Ugh, even the wind is hot.
Image: I... I feel like I want to punch the sun!
Image: I suddenly miss the Noaniels weather for some reason.
Image: Ha, you homebodies still don't know what real heat is like. Enjoy this while you can.
Image: I hope you're kidding... but I can tell you're not.

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Image: Is it, now?
Image: Oh, yes it is. When I was young, I-
Image: ...!
Image: Hohoho, never mind. I probably said too much!
Image: Wow, okay.

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Image: Haha, Assaram!
Image: Yikes. I thought I heard wrong, that it was because I only heard it in the northern accent, but... nope. Assaram.
Image: Assaram indeed.

Image: ...Assaram?
Image: Good grief. What happened to the likes of "Brecconary" and "Hauksness"?
Image: Assaram. Assaram. Assaram.
Image: Assaram!
Image: Gah, if I hear it said even one more time, it's like the word won't even mean anything anymore!
Image: Better keep saying it, then!
Image: Ass!
Image: Sa!
Image: Ram!
Image: ...I need a drink.

That's right. We're in Assaram. Enjoy the rest of your day, everyone.

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The inn's seven gold per person, quite reasonable.

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Oof, recent history has not been kind to that name.

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Image: I think the old man that lives there knows about the Magic Key.
Image: Ah, we've got a trail to follow then. Thanks.

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Image: ...!
Image: What's with... oh!
Image: Oh my.
Image: ...
Image: Alvaro?
Image: I think his brain shut down.
Image: That certainly is a lot of money for not a lot of swimsuit.

The one new piece of kit here is the ludicrously expensive Revealing Swimsuit. It only has a defense power of 1, and it has no class restrictions, but only women can wear it. Its only "use" is that it changes the wearer's sprite, in a way that I'm sure you can imagine. I don't know if we'll ever have that much money all at once, and it's doubtful any of our lady companions would even accept to wear it, but who knows what the fullness of time may bring?

Image: Pfft, in your dreams maybe.
Image: Not even!

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Hmm, the item store is unusually sparse. Maybe they have supply problems. We do pick up a couple Full Moon Herbs, just in case.

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Image: Uh... sure.

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No prices? Hmm!

Image: How about that Iron Helmet?
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Image: ...what?
Image: That's insane!
Image: Never take a first offer in Assaram, sweetheart.
Image: Yeah, no. Pass.
Image: I see you're good at bartering. You've bested me. Okay, let's make it 8000 pieces of gold. Is that more to your liking? Will you take it?
Image: If you pay eight grand for that metal bowl, I'm leaving and you'll never see me again.
Image: Of course not, that's still demented.
Image: If I go any lower I'll lose money! But again, you're a friend...
Image: But we've just met!
Image: OK, let's make it 4000 pieces of gold. Is that more to your liking? Will you take it?
Image: It still doesn't make any sense, sorry.
Image: Show some mercy! Do you want me to go broke?
Image: I kind of wouldn't mind, to be honest.
Image: Well, all right. OK, let's make it 2000 pieces of gold. Is that more to your liking? Will you take it?
Image: ...I actually only have a thousand on me right now.
Image: Oh, I see. Too bad. Come back again.

You need to refuse this merchant's offer three times before you get his best price, and it can still be higher than what you'd pay elsewhere for the same item. For example, the lowest he'll go for a Cloak of Evasion is 5800!

The Iron Helmet is his only item that you can't buy anywhere else. It can be worn by Heroes, Soldiers, Pilgrims and Sages, and it offers 16 defense, a considerable upgrade over the +2 Leather Helmets they're probably wearing at this point. The 2000 he charges is actually reasonable for that much defense.

The Battle Axe boasts 40 attack power, and it can be equipped by Heroes, Soldiers, Merchants and Fighters (though the latter are penalized as usual). Absolutely do not buy it here for 5000 gold, though.

The Giant Shears have +48 attack power, and only Soldiers can use them. The 7400 price here is a massive overcharge, of course.

The Staff of Force offers a truly massive +55 attack power, and it can be used by Wizards, Pilgrims and Sages, but it drains 3 MP per attack so it's a bit of an iffy proposition. You can also do better than this guy's 5000 gold asking price, so if we ever want one, we won't get it here.

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Image: Yeah... I got a notion.

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Image: It'll be a great deal less toasty for sure.

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Ah, that's where the rest of the consumables are for sale. But we're not putting up with this guy's bullshit, we can just Return somewhere else if we want any of that stuff.

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Image: Please don't interrupt rehearsals. OK, 1 and 2 and...

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Image: Yikes. One of them needs a lot of practice.

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This town is clearly going to be a lot more lively later. Let's get some fighting done until sunset.

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Vampire Cats are still not trivial, but it's almost scary to contemplate how much stronger we are than when we first encountered them. This particular fight gets Isabel to level 14, for 2 Str, 2 Agi, 4 Luc, 3 Int, 6 MP, and a new spell: StopSpell. It costs 3 MP this time around, but it works the same as always, rolling against one group's StopSpell resistance to try to permanently block their spellcasting. I was hoping we'd get it soon ever since we ran into those IceBolt-tossing Vampires.

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I wonder what's going on with this cave. Let's just have a peek.

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Ah, it looks like it could be a tunnel to another area.

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Image: Heyo, mister.
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Image: Norud? More like yes rude!
Image: Bah, fine, see if we care.
Image: I'll never understand how one can be so unwelcoming to travelers.
Image: Eh, maybe it's because they keep taking everything that's not nailed down. Speaking of which...

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Image: ...whoa! What are you doing?
Image: His name's not written on it. And even if it was, he had it coming. Don't you say he didn't!
Image: ...
Image: Welp.

We return outside and resume killing time and monsters until nightfall. Rebeca reaches level 14, for 1 Str, 1 Agi, 4 Vit, 4 Luc, 2 Int, 6 HP, 5 MP, and two new spells: Return and Firebane. This is the earliest a Wizard can learn either of those spells, so Rebeca's Intelligence is definitely on point. Firebane is an upgrade to Firebal, dealing 30-41 fire damage to a group of foes for 6 MP.

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Image: Ah, blessed sunset, at last!

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Image: ...sssssure?
Image: I don't know if-
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The dancer waits for us at the entrance to a nearby building.

Image: This seems rather shady.
Image: Meh, live a little. What's the worst that could happen?
Image: You probably don't want to know the answer to that question, Rebeca.

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Image: I... uh...
Image: Zofia, I'm sure there's plenty this town has to offer that doesn't involve us not being able to protect you.
Image: Come on, she's stronger than any one of us.
Image: It's up to you, sweetheart.
Image: Yeah, okay, I'm going. Just stay close, alright?
Image: Got it!

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Just like that, we're separated from the rest of our party.

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Image: Whoa, err. That's not a type of fortune-telling I'm familiar with. What with the... the bed and all.
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Image: Sure, yeah, sitting, I can sit. I'm pretty good at sitting!
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Image: Um... maybe... how about nnnnnno-
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Image: Augh!
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Holy crap, Zofia's getting in-game dialog.

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Image: ...eh?
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Image: I... what?
Image: Ha, ha! I couldn't resist!

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The father in question runs off to the west, presumably through a secret door.

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Image: My shoulder? Wh... what the... What?

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And just like that, we return to our party. I have no idea how the Japanese version handles this scene, but I suspect it's very different and that the localization didn't quite handle it as gracefully as it maybe should have. That thing with the stiff shoulder... Were we supposed to get a massage? And we expected a massage from a lady but then the lights go out and they pull a switcheroo?

Welp. What happens in Assaram stays in Assaram. Let's carry on, shall we?

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It's neat to see the game tell us what the new consumables do when it's not so obvious.

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Ah, this shop is closed during the day. It's all stuff we've seen, but you definitely want to buy your Battle Axes here, not at that other rip-off artist's place. It's too bad the item shops aren't open at this hour, or I'd sell Zofia's Broad Sword and trade up.

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Image: This beat is something else!
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Image: Oh! Err, gosh...
Image: Haha, it's all coming back to me!
Image: Wooo, Isabel!

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Image: Not any more, you're not!

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Image: It's already happening!
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Image: Like... this?
Image: The boy's got some moves when he feels like it!

...

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Image: Whew!
Image: Oh my.
Image: Good grief, that takes me back.
Image: I love you guys.

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Image: Alright, wanna turn in for the night?
Image: No. But we have work to do tomorrow, don't we?
Image: Man, screw the archfiend. Screw his face! If it wasn't for that asshole we could just... go on a vacation or something. Everyone could go on vacations without having half their face ate off by a god-damned Vampire Cat.
Image: That'll be the dream, eh?
Image: Fia, tell me we'll make it happen.
Image: We'll make it happen.
Image: We'll all make it happen together.

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

Postby TA » Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:40 pm

François wrote:And just like that, we return to our party. I have no idea how the Japanese version handles this scene, but I suspect it's very different and that the localization didn't quite handle it as gracefully as it maybe should have. That thing with the stiff shoulder... Were we supposed to get a massage? And we expected a massage from a lady but then the lights go out and they pull a switcheroo?


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

Postby Friday » Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:50 pm

As you may have suspected, the "fortune telling" scene was originally the Puff Puff scene. That's why there's a mention of your stiff shoulders, she's giving you a massage, yes.

With the Cloak of Evasion, Fighters really become pretty decent tanks for the rest of the game.
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François
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Re: Let's play Dragon Warrior III: you mean they made a sequel to that one game with all the instant death monsters?

Postby François » Wed Jul 18, 2018 1:18 am

Oh cripes of course it's Puff Puff. I keep forgetting that's even a thing.

In retrospect, it would be pretty skeezy to imply a teenage girl is getting tricked into being massaged by some dude.

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

Postby Doki Doki Gonzales » Thu Jul 19, 2018 12:41 am

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Can I just say that I covet that blindfold super bad

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

Postby François » Thu Jul 19, 2018 6:53 am

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Well that was certainly a refreshing moment after the tragedies in Noaniels, eh?

We made enough money yesterday to buy Zofia an Iron Helmet from Mister Happy Bargain, so we go through his rigamarole again.

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The Helmet takes Zofia's defense from 51 to 65, so that's money well spent. We'll need another for Isabel before long, but we might go for the Battle Axe first, depending on what we need most at the time.

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Image: So there's a country in the western desert. If it's any hotter than in Assaram, I'm not looking forward to it.
Image: It is, by a lot. But I'm sure you can take it.
Image: Yeah, I'm a little envious of your light gear at this point, Alvaro.
Image: It seems like a pretty awful place to build a home in.
Image: It wouldn't be my first choice, but it's nicer than you'd think!
Image: Still, if we can just find that swamp shrine in the south, maybe we won't have to cross the entire desert.

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Infernus Crabs are a touch weaker than Wild Apes, but they have an incredibly high defense of 110; if that wasn't enough, they'll cast Increase 25% of the time, doubling their defense! Fortunately their HP isn't too high, and they're only mildly resistant to most spells, with complete vulnerability to Sap, ice and wind. They're extra tricky when they appear alongside Vampire Cats, as having your spells blocked may reduce you to fishing for crits or lethal Poison Needle stings.

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Image: ...I don't want to be the first to complain, but... this is pretty terrible, rihgt?
Image: ...yeah.
Image: Hmm-mmm!
Image: This... this about as bad as it gets.
Image: Under the sun, maybe. If we're going to fight an archfiend...
Image: Which we are.
Image: ...we'll be in much hotter places someday.
Image: Ugh, I don't even want to imagine it.

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Image: I never would have guessed I'd be so happy to see a swamp at sunset.

Walking in this crud still deals 2 points of damage per step.

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Image: Yes, we are!
Image: We sure didn't schlep all this way just to say hello.
Image: I hear that the key lies in a Pyramid in the northern part of the desert.
Image: Okay, this is the worst possible news.
Image: I could think of worse but...
Image: ...it's up there.
Image: But first, before you go there, go the the Castle of Isis. You'll find it at the edge of an oasis.
Image: That sounds like a good idea for sure. Thank you very much.

If we had said we weren't looking for the key...

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The man sure is set on his purpose in life.

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Image: So you've been to Isis, Isabel?
Image: Yes, but... it's been a long time, and I had a guide. I know it's far to the west, but I couldn't tell you the way now.
Image: We should probably follow the mountains, at any rate. I don't relish the notion of getting lost in the desert at night without landmarks.
Image: Right, good call. Let's just keep going and watch for an oasis.

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Flamapedes are not quite as strong or durable as the recent new enemies around here, but they are in fact our first foes equipped with a fire breath attack. They can exhale "gales of flaming breath", dealing a small amount of fire damage to our entire party; it's usually single-digits, so it would be a bit weaker on a single target than Blaze. They have about 1/3rd chance to use it on their turn though, so it adds up.

They're predictably immune to fire, and highly resistant to Sleep, but ice and wind always work.

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Image: Ah, this must be it!
Image: Does it look familiar, Isabel?
Image: Yes, yes! It's definitely Isis!
Image: Not a moment too soon.

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The specific forest tile you enter on the overworld determines on which side of the oasis you appear on in the zoomed-in view; the right one is in the southwest.

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Image: Well I'll be. There's a whole town here, and a castle!
Image: Ha, what did you expect?
Image: I don't know. Shacks?
Image: If you're going to live in the middle of desert, you might as well make sure your buildings look decent.

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The inn's only 10 per person, but we arrived at night, we might as well have a look right away.

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Image: Oh! Well, that would be nice. But we're a little short on money right now, so we have to pass.
Image: Well then, armor is it?
Image: Still too poor right now, thank you.
Image: I know! You want the Meteorite Armband! Am I right? If that's so, I hear it's in the castle.
Image: I've never heard of that thing, but... thanks? We'll probably need some gear later though.
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Image: Here too? Good grief!
Image: I take it this wasn't here when you visited?
Image: Not that I remember.
Image: There might have been too few monsters back then to sustain such a business.

The townsfolk around the arena say exactly the same things the audience in Romaly did. Tickets are now 130 gold, but we need to save our money, so we pass on betting tonight.

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Image: This is certainly relevant to my interests!

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Image: ...are they really just letting us walk in at night?
Image: When the days are this hot, plenty of official business in conducted before sunrise.

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Image: Hmm, this is curious.

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There is no secret entrance in the west wall, but...

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Image: Oh-ho!

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Image: I... I'm not entirely sure we belong here.
Image: The place is clearly open to the public. It's not like we snuck in anywhere!

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Image: Huh. If they were trying to keep this hidden, they could have done a better j-whoa!
Image: Augh!

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Image: Alright Bones, what do you want?
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Image: Clearly, yes. You have our most sincere apologies.
Image: We didn't know anyone was sleeping here!
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Image: Nah, it was that bard guy running around like a cat on fire outside.
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Image: ...huh.
Image: Well that was easy.
Image: I can't believe that worked.
Image: No, no, no, no more of this. Mister skeleton? Mister skeleton!
Image: Isabel! Quiet! We got away with it!
Image: Mister skeleton! We're the ones who took the Armband!
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Image: ...
Image: Isn't that much better?
Image: I... I guess.

Yeah, this ghost leaves you alone whether you tell him the truth or not.

As for the Meteorite Armband, it outright doubles its wearer's Agility! Anyone can wear it, and it doesn't even take up an equipment slot. You just put it on by using it from the inventory menu. It's straight-up one of the best pieces of gear in the entire game. Let's have a look at Alvaro's stats with it on.

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With only the Armband and his Fighting Suit, he has 16 more defense power than Zofia. This is bonkers. And he's definitely going first every round now!

A point could be made for giving it to someone else, especially if you don't have a Fighter in your party. Isabel in particular could make good use of it, since you want your healers to act early in the round and she definitely could use any increase in defense power. In addition, Wizards tend to have decent Agility and they of course always want to be more robust. But for now at least, it's such a massive boost to Alvaro that it doesn't make a lot of sense not to let him have it.

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And that's all for this side passage; let's check out the castle proper.

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Image: ...w-what!?
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Image: Wait a minute you furry piece of shit!
Image: It's gone...
Image: Well, if there was any doubt about there being an archfiend at all, there's our proof. We know it exists.
Image: And if he didn't know about us before, he does now.
Image: Pfft. Let him know we're coming for him. Whatever he's been doing to the world won't always be this easy.

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These guards are just snoring.

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Image: Dang, he doesn't suspect how much he's on to something.

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Image: It's about time we have a queen in one of these realms.
Image: I suppose the jury's still out on whether queens are dicks, then.

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This must be the door to the queen's chambers. I wonder what could be underneath this hole in the wall, though.

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Oh. Alright then! We were done taking in the Isis nightlife anyway, so let's just rest at the inn and see what the day has to offer.

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Image: I'll... uh... try not to? Sure.

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Image: Wait, what?
Image: Weren't you that guy that-
Image: Pffhahahaha! What a dingus!
Image: Well, apparently he never sleeps, so he must be doing something right.

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Image: Gah, I can't blame you. We've been cut off from the rest of the world for a long time.

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Pretty standard item shop right there.

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Image: I guess we'll be heading north from here, then.
Image: Not that there were many other ways to go.
Image: It's still better than wandering the desert aimlessly!

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This is where you want to buy Giant Shears if you've got a Soldier. Apart from that, the only new piece of gear is the +32 Full Plate Armor, 7 points stronger than Half Plate. Heroes and Soldiers can upgrade to it, but Merchants have to stick with their Half Plate or Iron Apron. For our next purchase though, it'll still probably be a Iron Helmet for Isabel, or a Battle Axe.

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And that's another item shop on the other side of town. This place sure likes its merchants.

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There are more cats around the entrance now, and they all act normal.

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Image: Considering the desert monsters literally breathe fire at us, a little sunburn is the least of our problems.
Image: I'm still extra glad I have my cool hat!

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Image: Yeah, I figured. But they always miss something somewhere.
Image: You seem to know a lot about thieves, Rebeca.
Image: W-well, most people aren't very observant, that's all.

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Image: Why thank you!

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Image: ...oh hell.
Image: I suppose I'll have to fall back on my martial talents.
Image: We'll be fine. We've accumulated many Medical Herbs along our voyage, I'm sure we can manage.

There are in fact a few areas of the next dungeon where you outright can't use any magic. I'm not entirely sure whether the Wizard's Wand can be used, but it's probably where a Staff of Force would come in most handy. But the only place we could buy the latter at charges an exorbitant price for it, so Rebeca will have to rely on her Poison Needle.

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A sighing cat? Hmm.

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Image: Not the best song I ever heard.
Image: We better remember it all the same!

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Image: The Archfiend himself kneels before the beauty of our queen.
Image: Talk about tempting the Fates!
Image: For your sake, I hope that's true.

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Image: Wise words, your Majesty.
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The Queen of Isis also has access to the Imperial Scrolls of Honor.

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This has been a bit of a short update, but I expect the Pyramid will be a tight fit for an entire episode, so I'll be calling it for now.

I'd like to take a moment to talk about the game's structure so far, though. What have Zofia and company accomplished?

-We've sought out an old hermit for a key.
-We've opened the sealed path from Aliahan to Romaly.
-We taught a bandit a lesson, retrieved Romaly's Golden Crown, and became queen for a day.
-We brought sad news to the elves and freed the folk of Noaniels.
-We spent a pleasant night in Assaram.
-We're preparing for the first installment of Zofia Croft: Tomb Raider.

Of course, you'll note an element conspicuously missing from that list: taking any direct action whatsoever against Baramos. We don't know where he is. Few others know his name. Some doubt he even exists. And perhaps most tellingly, none of the wrongs we've righted so far had anything to do with him.

For practically all intents and purposes, we're running a squad of wandering adventurers, traveling the world, opening roads and solving people's problems because that's what heroes do. Even DW2's opening at least gave us a personal stake in the quest and a first-hand glimpse at the world's fate, should we fail. It could be argued that this makes the main through line weaker, but I quite like how it gives an episodic flavor to the whole enterprise. Something that it does share with DW2 is the variety of its short-term objectives: we do neat things and it doesn't feel same-y from one little story to the next.

Even the combat complexity is smoothly ramping up, and winning fights in the desert is a far cry from what winning fights in the Tower of Najima meant. There is something delightful going on with the mechanical progression here. In fact, we've basically never had to grind, apart from maybe the first couple levels near Aliahan. The closest we get to grinding has been occasionally getting into a bunch of fights waiting for sunset, and that doesn't feel like a chore because it means you get to explore a different version of a town. Overall, the game's flow feels incredibly refined and balanced, but without the featureless blandness of maybe another sort of game that one would design first by focus group. There is definitely enough friction in the moment-to-moment play to create texture for the tactical mind to grasp onto and enjoy, and we're just getting started.

Anyway, I'm having an excellent time. I don't know if I made that obvious enough, heheh.

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

Postby Silversong » Thu Jul 19, 2018 9:19 am

Doki Doki Gonzales wrote:Can I just say that I covet that blindfold super bad


I could make that happen. Unless you happen to be an old friend in disguise though, not for free. But if several people wanted one, it would be cheaper to make, though the eyes would take the same amount of effort. I've been thinking of making myself a new sleep mask anyway, so let me know.

If you collectively knew many people who wanted one, I could get custom printed slime-eye fabric made.

Slimes for Puff-Puff not included. https://www.amazon.com/Dragon-Quest-stu ... lush+large

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

Postby Friday » Thu Jul 19, 2018 4:02 pm

I'm not gonna lie, the first time I came upon that archfiend cat (my brother never found it back in the days where I would just watch him play, as he wouldn't obsessively talk to every animal) it creeped me right the fuck out.

It's your first real sign that the Archfiend is real and present, and worse yet, knows all about you. Plus the revelation that monsters can change shape and infiltrate towns is, in what I'm sure is a unique event throughout history, actual foreshadowing in Japanese media for a later event that is actually fairly subtle and isn't rubbed in your face over and over.

Pyramid is my favorite dungeon in the game. Looking forward to it.
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nosimpleway
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Re: Let's play Dragon Warrior III: you mean they made a sequel to that one game with all the instant death monsters?

Postby nosimpleway » Thu Jul 19, 2018 8:19 pm

Friday wrote:actual foreshadowing in Japanese media for a later event that is actually fairly subtle and isn't rubbed in your face over and over.


what

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

Postby Friday » Thu Jul 19, 2018 8:52 pm

a unique event throughout history


There's always an exception to every rule, I guess.

Anyway, I'd like to talk about the merits of putting the Armband of Double Agility on your Heroine.

Sure, using it on your fighter is a great way to get a fuckton of (scaling) defense and turn him into a SUPER DUPER TANKY DUDE.

Here's the thing, though. Fighters will always go first, with or without the Armband. They're just that fast. So the actual "agility" part of the bonus is lost on them.

I actually ended up putting it on my Hero, because while you don't get as much defense, you do get a decent amount and then you've got TWO hard hitting warriors that move before anyone else.

Up to you, of course. You could also put it on your Pilgrim for fast healing, which is also super-useful. But then again, the Hero can heal in a pinch (and even ends up as the only character with HealUsAll.)
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