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  #31  
Old 04-19-2018, 01:27 PM
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That DUCK is a handsome dog.
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  #32  
Old 04-19-2018, 02:01 PM
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So can you drop DUCK off at the nursery and go slaughter sacred cows away from her innocent eyes without consequence?
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  #33  
Old 04-19-2018, 02:06 PM
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No, her prying eyes watch you wherever you go.

I ran from a bunch of battles at the beginning before getting the egg on an assumption that you're not monitored during that period, but that might be asking too much nuance from the NES. It might be the game "observes" from the get-go. We'll find out!
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  #34  
Old 04-19-2018, 04:01 PM
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Teach DUCK how to wheel and deal: bribe the cow for its liver.
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  #35  
Old 04-21-2018, 04:26 AM
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I must say, I'm impressed by how much this game hates the player. A hometown where the residents leave you for dead if you so much as talk to a person, an inkeeper that robs you blind, that "damned if you do, damned if you don't" bartender situation...

I'm guessing you're a long way from actually killing any guards, crooked merchants, asshole restaurant owners, or nursing mothers, but is there any word on what happens if you do? Like, are there any consequences other than being a really bad influence on your dragon?
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  #36  
Old 04-21-2018, 08:06 AM
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It doesnít hate the player, itís just a wrpg where your actions have consequences. If youíre going to wander around a crimeburg you should expect some crimes.

But itís DQ clone so no situation is truely unrecoverable. Most of the time the worst thing that could happen is you have to walk back to gran and grind some enemies for money. And seeing as itís a jrpg youíre going to be doing a lot of that anyway.

Fighting random npcs mostly influences the dragon, and you donít get much out of it. They donít drop gold or anything. But it could be useful to access places youíre not suposted to be.
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  #37  
Old 04-21-2018, 02:18 PM
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Well I said "hates the player" but with all due respect I do not actually consider that a bad thing. It really does make the game stand out in the vast sea of 8-bit Dragon Quest-likes. After all, RPGs with consequences on the NES were largely limited to Japanese adaptations of western PC games, like Ultima IV and Pool of Radiance.
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  #38  
Old 04-22-2018, 12:53 PM
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Now that we're getting DUCK's -GROWTH NOTES- we can talk about the heart and soul of any RPG: stats!

Strength, Defense, work how you'd expect. Dexterity affects turn order. Sansara Naga is like DQ where a defense high enough to negate all damage results in an "attack missed" message.

I'm not entirely sure what Intelligence does. Presumably special attacks but who knows. This may come as a surprise, but there's not a lot of information about this game on the English internet.

SYM is Sympathy. It represents how in tune with DUCK we are. Low Sympathy will result in her not following orders in battle. What she does when disobedient is dictated by her BRaVery and MORality. A cowardly dragon will cower and refuse to fight, while an unscrupulous one will attack without discretion, including turning its fury on its trainer.

You'll notice that on the left under her health we can see that DUCK is level -6. Unlike Funko, DUCK will level as we progress through the game. She's at negative levels now because she's just a stupid baby. And we all know about stupid babies. While she's in the nursery we can raise her level by following the Matron's recommendations. We've already given her some Daphina and now the Matron has suggested we move on to Tadpoles. We should get some of those!



But first! Upgrades! When we got the DUCK egg the old man suggested we sell the dragon dung to the chemist for cash.



Yesir! That's some good seed money.



Hitting up the armories we're able to outfit ourselves in everything except the Leather Armor. We're now more than capable against any of the grass-dwelling monsters around here.



Wandering into the shallow lakewater we luck out with a manageable encounter and get some of the tadpoles we need. Gas Toads are literally frogmen.



Also in the lake are Electro Toads. We're not strong enough to beat these guys, along with most of the lake encounters. These guys might be a nod to the old science experiment where a frog's leg is made to twitch with the application of electricity. I might be reaching though, and that certainly doesn't explain their tiger print speedos.



So we're not strong enough to go swimming yet, but with our new gear we should be able to tackle forests, right?



This Pishacha certainly seems to suggest so! He goes down in a couple hits and his trophy sells for a cool 150r (in comparison Daphina sell for 1r and Toadstools for 10).

Pishachas are demons in Hindu mythology that feast on human flesh. Traditionally they're depicted as dark-skin figures with red eyes and fangs. Here, they appear as a stereotypical genie figure offering us a spoonful of curry. Uh... maybe don't eat it.



Any dreams of forest farming are quickly put to rest by A GROSS BUG I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN. The design for this guy is just the best, I love it as a RPG monster. Terrible in real life, but good inna game thaaaaaaaaat's Cordyceps! That they sell these in the toy store implies they're good eattin for Baby-Ds we should try to get one.



Oh god why. Cordyceps are tanky enough that we can't beat one before it pounds us into dust. Well maybe it was just an unlucky encounter.



Nope. Forest encounters are simply out of our reach right now. Rain Breakers hit slightly (only slightly!) less hard than a Cordyceps, but there's four of them. We won't survive a single round.



Back in town we feed DUCK the tadpoles and some more Daphina.





Bone Fish are a hard lakewater encounter, and Live Fish are worse. This group absolutely wrecks us. (I do like the gag here though.)

So what to do now? Well we still need the Leather Armor, which costs 500r, and we should vaccinate DUCK which is 300r. We could grind up Daphina and Toadstool trophies but that would take awhile and even then they still hit hard enough that we have to rest at the inn with some frequency. A night at the inn costs a 100 bucks so we've got to bring in more than that with each day's hunting. We could stay at the Lower Town inn for 50r, but doing so requires a walk around the lake (which is likely to get us killed at low HP) and takes us away from the Business District's amenities. It's not practical for the amount of money it saves.

So what to do?

(One solution would be to huff it back to Orissa and stay at Gran's for free, accumulating free Lunch Boxes, and farming Sand-tile encounters. I didn't do this because I'm a dumb boy.)





The answer is something the game hints at in a nice bit of design. The river that we followed up from Orissa and feeds into Hoverpool lake has a different encounter table than the lake itself (it also has a different tile graphic, which is how I clued in on it).

The Matron asks us to get Daphina, Tadpoles, and Bonefish. Tadpoles are way more prevalent in the river than in the lake, and so we're asked to engage with progressively stronger encounter tables. I like how this is subtly clued but not outright stated, forcing us to discover the environment on our own (it'd be better if tadpoles didn't show up in the lake at all, but ah well).



River enemies are very manageable and pay out well. Catfish sell for 30r, and electro ones for 40. Tadpoles go right into DUCK's hungry maw. They're good for her and she levels up to -5.

We're well on our way to that armor when something bad happens.



"It seems you took out a loan with us and it's time to make a payment...

What!? I never? I didn't??? What the hell? After 5 or so nights at the Inn this loan officer showed up out of the blue.

I honestly don't know what happened here. It's either a bug (not unlikely) or we automatically went into debt when we agreed to board DUCK without the 800r fee.



Regardless, we're somehow 3000r in the hole. We could try to refuse to pay, but this guy will destroy us and we'll still be in debt. We cough over our paltry 300r for now.



We opt to try and pay down the debt instead of restarting and hoping we don't somehow trigger the condition again. What we can do is forgo any inn visits, farm until we get knocked out, and get a free heal and respawn in town for half our on-hand cash. If we don't sell any trophies we can keep our money safe from the resurrection-tax until we're ready to pay off. This doesnít advance the day counter so the interest wonít go up and the goon wonít hound us. It's messy, and I don't know how it's going to affect DUCK's development, but it works.
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  #39  
Old 04-22-2018, 12:56 PM
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As long as we're doing this, we detour to nab the armor and vaccinate DUCK.

"By the way, you can't be a true Dragoon without a Dragoon Helm. You used to be able to get one from the palace, but not anymore..."

Iiiiinteresting.



After paying off about a grand we accidentally run into another Cordyceps on the way to the river. And whatdda know! We got lucky rolls and were able to defeat the thing before it could do us in.



Holy moly! Our money problems are solved!



After paying off the rest of the debt we still have a cool three stacks to do with what we want. But what? We've bought out the armories and we still aren't strong enough to handle lake or forest encounters without a bunch of luck.



We do have a good chunk of change though, perhaps its worth checking out some of the back alley deals in Lower Town.



"This magnificent blade will cost you 1980 Rupees. Would you like it?"

Like it? I love the 1980s!

"Tigers will flee in terror from you once they see this sword in your hand!"





The Kotetsu is actually an accessory that goes in out Other slot. Presumably it really does work by scaring the enemies instead of being an attacking weapon.

Nagasone Okisato was a Japenese swordsmith from the Kanbun era (1661 to 1673) who's blades were said to be legendarily sharp. He became a Buddist priest and took the name "Kotetsu" and would engrave his swords with the characters for 'tiger' (ko) and 'piercing' (tetsu), hence "Tiger Killer."

Have I mentioned the writing in this game is really good?

The Kotatsu trades a little defense for a lot of strength.



Lake encounters are still to tough to grind reliably, but we are able to snag some Bone Fish for our hungry baby.



The Matron doesn't have any more food requests for us. A couple of Bone Fish won't satisfy duck either. We need to feed something in the realm of 20-25.



She does gain a level from the first bites though, and all the other trophies we've been giving her have increased her sympathy and morality too!



With the last of our Cordyceps money we pick up a ball at the toy store.





With that we really are out of options. Everything else in Lower Town is too expensive or won't help. Lake encounters are too hard to farm for Bone Fish without relying on the "don't rest just die" trick and we don't know how that will affect DUCK's growth.

The Matron keeps going on about this Dragoon Helm though, and more defense would be a big help.



This guy mentions theives got into the castle somehow. Another NPC mentions that there's sewers under the town.



In both the Business District and Lower Town there's these wells. One in each will lead to the sewers.





Which are a maze of overlapping pathways. It's not as bad as it looks (and its some really cool visual design!), except exploring is hampered by...



OH SHIT.



A single Water Cat is still a scary encounter, but with the Kotetsu we're able to make due.



Also down here are Bone and Live Fish. We run from them mostly.



And Shachihoko. These are mythical lion-faced fish you see statues of up on the roofs of Japanese temples and castles. These ones drop Shachihoko Scale relics instead of regular trophies.
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  #40  
Old 04-22-2018, 12:59 PM
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To survive for any length of time in the sewers we need a full stock of Box Lunches (900r) but Water Cats sell for enough that it's not hard to raise the funds.



If we head to left of the entrance we come to this hole in the wall.



Which emerges in a strange kitchen!





"Then you just have to beat those blasted thieves down in the sewers! Then we're saved and... the Head Maid will surely give you a reward! I wouldn't roam around the palace until then if I were you..."



We can roam around the palace as much as we want.



Save State* But as soon as we talk to someone...





The guards show up, kick our ass, and kick us out. *Load State*





We can't get too far into the palace because the Head Maid blocks this chokepoint.





But in the back corner, there's this little storage room. *SAVESTATE*







I don't see any downside to this!

"Kurikara" is the Japanese transliteration of the Sanskrit "Kulika," a dragon-king often depicted as a flame-wreathed snake coiled around an upright sword.



Quote:
Legend has it that Fudoo (a Wisdom King) had to fight the representative of a different religion. He changed himself into a flaming sword but the opponent did the same and the fighting went on without a winner. Now Fudoo changed himself into the Dragon Kurikara, wound himself around the opposing sword and started eating it from the top. This episode gave rise to the iconographic rendering as we know it now.

The dragon used to be a vasall or symbol of the deity, but in this unique case the symbol and the deity came to be honored as the same thing. Especially during the Edo period where the sword was a symbol of the vasall's loyalty to his lord, the statues and steles of Kurikara Fudoo were produced in greater numbers.
The Falun shield most likely refers to Falun Gong, the Chinese qigong practice that incorporates Buddhist and Taosit principals to foster principals of truth, compassion, and forbearance.

The sword gives us a huge boost to strength. The shield doesn't offer much defense but heals about a 100 HP when used as an item in and out of battle. The two of them are a huge jump in power. Almost too much. What's the catch?



Ah. There it is. Stealing the castle's treasures makes no better than the helm thieves. DUCK is disgusted by our actions and learns all the wrong lessons. She'll be impossible to control in this state, and dangerous too. We could use the new equipment to grind up the cash and trophies needed to heal her stats, but that's a lot of work when we could simply not be thieves. *Load State*
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  #41  
Old 04-22-2018, 01:00 PM
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Leaving the castle's treasure behind we head east into the sewers.



A Seahorse Tongue is a nice item that will heal us fully or can be sold to the tune of 3000r.





Near this platform inscribed with a taijitu we find ten escargots. These are trophies from an enemy we haven't encountered yet and sell for 500g each. Between them and Water Cat trophies we're swimming in cash, and so can check another item off our to-do list.



We have those snapper scales from Orissa still, and now we have the cash to make the shield.



We could also make a Shachioko helmet for fairly cheap, but we'd have to grind up the scales and they do not appear with much frequency.

"And you'll have to wait a night for it to be ready."

There's a hidden 100r fee to say at the inn, but the next morning...



155 defense! And gained entirely legally.



Let's test it out.



Yesssss, get wrecked you stupid cat.



Finding the thieves requires a bit of roundabout navigation up to this warp-tile.



Which gets us on top of the taijitu.





And from there to the thieve's hideout.



"Let's get down to killin'!"





This guy doesn't compare to the sewer's Water Cats and Bone Fish normally, but with our kotetsu and snapper shield he's a joke.



"We're really sorry and we've learned our lesson. Here's proof of our sincerity."



I don't actually know what this is. Something that reflects, but beyond that... ? When we use it from our inventory we get the "nothing happens" message.

"You can also have all the treasure inside the chests around here."



Legitimate treasure! The two sweetest words.
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  #42  
Old 04-22-2018, 01:01 PM
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The rusted shield helps complete the Rusty Set. What is this, Dark Souls? We sold the Rusted Sword and Armor. Uh... I hope that wasn't a mistake. As for the Dream Mirror:





With the thieves taken care of we can return to the castle and report to the Head Maid.



I love this sprite.



"Then allow me to present you with this well-earned reward! This now will be proof of your social status."





A nice DEF boost and a step up a rung on the social latter, not a bad reward for a hard day's sewer work.







We now have free roam of the castle, and the main gate is open for easy access.

Next time we'll explore our new class privilege and explore outside Hoverpool for what feels like the first time in ages.

One last look at DUCK before we go:



Level -3! They grow up so fast.
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  #43  
Old 04-22-2018, 01:39 PM
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At least one other Famicom game references Fudou Myou - in its own name, even. Fudou Myou Den is the name of a game that got released on the NES as "Demon Sword."
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  #44  
Old 04-22-2018, 01:42 PM
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Do you have the option to feed DUCK anything, or only the stuff that the nursery asks for? Can we raise a terrible fast food baby?
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  #45  
Old 04-22-2018, 01:49 PM
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Yeah we can give her whatever. Most stuff is fine and will affect her growth ~somehow~. Stuff like Poison Daphnias will make her sick. Only the stuff Matron requests will trigger level ups tho.
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  #46  
Old 04-26-2018, 10:19 AM
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Dragoon Helm behelmed we have free reign of the palace.



The suspicious palace.



Could there be more to the statues beyond mere scenery?


"Think I could become one?

I laughed.



This is the first we're hearing of any tower. It's not on the world map, which might explain why no one can enter it!

This is super simplified, but in the Vedic religion Rta is a term for the natural order of the universe, and Satya (Sathya) is the concept of truth (or fact, or "real"). So this tower in the center of a lake in the center of the world that is named after the cosmic order of existence seems like it could be important.

"Even if you could, the altar inside is sealed, and the seal cannot be broken."




This game nails the experience of celebrity for sure.



Hey! We're almost any woman!




The palace is dominated by a giant room and despite our shiny helmet the guards won't let us in.



Past the throne room is a chamber full of... concubines?



"Thus says an old legend..."

Or I guess, a bunch of young scholars? I'm not quite sure what's going on here.





"That can mean anything..."



"I wonder where the Dragon's world could be?"





That's it for the palace.



Now to use our swanky new prestige to get a table at that exclusive restaurant.



Apparently not even almost dragoons are good enough for this snooty place!
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  #47  
Old 04-26-2018, 10:20 AM
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Time to hunt.



Ahahahahah get fucked you fish.

With the defense boost from the helmet Lake and River encounters finally in the realm of possibility. Now we get get the 23-ish Bone Fish DUCK desperately craves.



One encounter we still can't tackle are these crabs. They have super high defense, and between four of them we just can't outrace their damage output.



We stumble upon the rare Kailpa encounter too.

Quote:
During the time of Kassapa Buddha, there was a bhikkhu named Kapila, who was very learned in the Pitakas. Because of his great learning he gained much fame and fortune; he also became very conceited and was full of contempt for other bhikkhus. When other bhikkhus pointed out to him, what was proper or not proper he invariably retorted, "How much do you know?" implying that he knew much more than those bhikkhus. In course of time, all good bhikkhus shunned him and only the bad ones gathered round him. On one sabbath day, while the bhikkhus were reciting the Fundamental Precepts for the bhikkhus (i.e., the Patimokkha) Kapila said, "There is no such thing as Sutta, Abhidhamma, or Vinaya. It makes no difference whether you have a chance to listen to the Patimokkha or not, " etc., and left the congregation of the bhikkhus. Thus, Kapila was a hindrance to the development and growth of the Teaching (Sasana).

For this evil deed, Kapila had to suffer in niraya between the time of Kassapa Buddha and Gotama Buddha. Later, he was reborn as a fish in the Aciravati River. That fish had a very beautiful golden body, but his mouth had a very horrid, offensive smell.


"I think she can eat any kind of food now. By the way... Have you heard the stories about the Legendary Dragoon? Only in Miina Village do eople make the best Dragoon Flutes in the world! Since I'm taking care of DUCK, maybe you should try visiting that place? Miina Village is not that far away from here."

Our new quest takes us out of Hoverpool for the first time in a long while. Before we head out I wanted to give DUCK a Cordyceps since they sell for 10,000r in the toy store. They got to be good right?




While hunting we encounter two new Forest enemies. Rain Bringers are simply cuties, and not a reference to any myth or story I can find, while Jorōgumo are Japanese spider yokai.



It takes us a long while to find a Cordyceps, but in doing so we fought 20 Rain Breakers. These guys turned out to be real honey pots, with each trophy selling for something like a 200r.

Okay! To Miina!



Miina is southeast of Hoverpool, which aside from the river, is surrounded by mountains.



First, we try going right over them. Mountains make us walk much slower than usual and the encounter rate is almost at 100%.



But the encounters themselves are about on par with Forest type. Preta is a type of spirit that originated in India and spread to other Asia cultures. They're trapped in a state of perpetual suffering, mostly hunger and thirst, and usually crave one specific and sometimes bizarre thing.



On the other side of the mountain range is a rough terrain followed by a marsh. As soon as we step on the rough...



We're attacked by a hard hitting Marut Knight. He's too strong for us and we have to run. Maruts (or Marutas) are Hindu spirit deities who wield lightning bolts. In Vedic mythology, they're a troop of warriors who serve Indra, a guardian deity.



So the overland route isn't going to work. Instead we double back to Hoverpool and follow the river southeastward. As grassland turns into rough we're forced to travel by river exclusively.



The game pulls a really cool trick here, where by changing the type of terrain available, what was once the dangerous areas become the only safe route. That's smart design.



Eventually we come to Haratama Hut #3.



I did some research on the Japanese web. Apparently Haratama is a reference to a character in the Rumiko Takahashi anime "Urusei Yatsura" who's catchphrase "haratama" was related to beef bowls. Sorry, I'm too much of a gaijin to follow the joke beyond that.



We've got the cash so we splurge on shogayaki.



"Miina? It's in the wetlands on the southeastern peninsula. But be careful! The acid rain that falls there is hazardous to your health."



The "professional eater" isn't here, instead we get this generic NPC with a not-super helpful clue.



Nothing in the back room either.




Further on, the river is bisected by a line of forest.
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  #48  
Old 04-26-2018, 10:22 AM
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Entering the forest takes us to a little sub-area, where each step does damage! This must be the acid rain the Haratama Hut clerk mentioned.



Who's this?





Woah! A cutscene!



"And who are you...?"



"The way of the Dragoon is long and difficult. Many people go astray before they have completed their training. The become the so-called 'Fallen Dragoons.' Are you prepared for such a fate?"

We answer yes.

"The rain has stopped and my Dragon is getting hungry. I must go. If you walk the same path as me, we shall meet again someday, somewhere..."

Amrita disappears and we're free to exit south out of the swamp.




It's not much further to Miina surrounded by water cat infested deeps. We'll have to brave rough terrain to reach it.



Look at this fella. He's business in the front, Animalia Mollusca Gastropoda in the back. Luckily, he hits much less hard than the Marut we encountered earlier. He drops a snail shell relic as well.





Miina is a small town with Inn and pharmacy but no other amenities.



In a house near the entrance we find a familiar face.



"If so, then you'll have to destroy the Ichthyosaur. How do you hope to handle a Dragon if you cannot defeat an Ichthyosaur?"

We came to Miina to find one of their famous Dragoon flutes, instead we get a quest to earn Ala Singh's instead.



It's both!




Most of the NPCs offer not super interesting flavor text, but in the middle of the town this mother gives us some direction.



On our way back to the river we hit a couple new rough terrain encounters. Clamingos aren't too bad but pelicans are right bastards.



They pull off this move which both causes our attack to miss and hits to the tune of 30 HP. Between the two of them they wipe us out.
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  #49  
Old 04-26-2018, 10:23 AM
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Mata Mata have high defense but are otherwise unthreatening. Matamata is a species of South American turtle.



The Ichthyosaur is only a little way downriver fro Miina.







It's one of those "find the right path from a bunch of doors" mazes.



The only thing here though are catfish, so its not dangerous to explore around until we find our goal.







Its got some nice visual design too.





It's not too much trouble before we find a cave with an ominous shadow.





Did you know that Ichthyosaurs weren't dinosaurs, but rather a separate species of ocean-dwelling reptiles? They were kinda like what if a dolphin was a lizard.

Luckily, the Ichthyosaur hits for reasonable damage and gives us plenty of chances to attack.



We got a Red Bull from a random drop off a Pishacha a while back. I suspect it was a generic "energy drink" in the original Japanese and the translators turned it into Red Bull because gotta brand. We pop it when our HP drops to the danger zone.



-hed. It fills us up to full health and the Ichthyosaur doesn't last much longer.





We salvage eight scales from the battle.





The back cavern leads to the entrance of the dungeon and we head back to Miina.



Say, wuld you like to become my disciple? Then I shall make a flute just for you. Come back for it tomorrow?

I thought he was going to give us his personal flute? I guess this is pretty much the same thing.

But the next day!!





"Master Ala Singh has left something for you. He said he looks forward to meeting you again somewhere."

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Old 04-26-2018, 10:23 AM
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The flute doesn't do anything when try to use it from our inventory.



With nothing left to do in Miina we head back to Hoverpool.



Sarpedon was a son of Zeus and hero in the Trojan War, but in this context refers to Graphium Sarpedon, a species of butterfly found in southeastern Asia.



These guys suuuuuuuuuck. They can only do 1 damage to us, but we can only do 1 damage to them. We can only beat one of them in the long (long) battle it takes to wear us down to 0 HP.



Back in Hoverpool we get some exciting news.

"She can even go outside alone! There's a sring in Looze Village that can harden Dragon scales. Your baby Dragon will grow stronger if you bathe her in that spring."

!

!!!



Yes! Finally! Funko and DUCK, together at last!



"Hearken unto me!

Never part with thine Dragon!

Never steal from the righteous!

Strike back when hit hard!

Do not kill on a whim!

Strike first before being stuck!

Eat only one bowl of rice per day!

Don't be fooled by sweet words and dark ways!

Work hard on little money!

Revere! Praise! Overcome your hardships!

Go, Fnko! Follow the path of Justice!"



Yessssssssssssssss. A dragon AND new duds? Best day ever. We'll check out DUCK in battle next time, but for now let's see how she shook out.



Yup, that's her alright.
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  #51  
Old 04-26-2018, 02:31 PM
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Dracula Dracula is online now
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Whoa new Dragon sprite! A cutscene feels unheard of in a Famicom RPG. That's how you know this one is quality.

I just want to mention that the Mata Mata is one of the most ridiculous creatures we have on the planet. Just look at this face:



They hang out at the bottom of swamps and pretend to be rotting wood, then when prey comes nearby, they open their mouths and suck them up like Kirby. They can't chew at all, so they have to swallow the prey whole.

Also, cordyceps. Wow! It's one of the strangest things in the universe. It's a fungus, but unlike your average mushroom, it doesn't just grow on a dead log. One species of cordyceps infects the bodies of ants, takes control of their brains, and causes them to walk to a good vantage point, grip it, and stay there so the mushroom can slowly grow inside its body, sprout, and shoot its spores for the next life cycle. Real-life zombies. There's a time-lapse video of it here if you're so inclined to watch.

Or just look at this cute fanart.



What I'm saying is that biology is a perfect place to get your inspiration for enemy design in video games.

Anyway another thing that struck me is how much of a mess this game would have been if it'd been localized in its time. All of those names deriving from eastern mythology would have been complete nonsense.
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  #52  
Old 04-26-2018, 02:55 PM
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This game is super fascinating.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dracula View Post
Anyway another thing that struck me is how much of a mess this game would have been if it'd been localized in its time. All of those names deriving from eastern mythology would have been complete nonsense.
I mean, they still are if you aren't familiar with the material.
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  #53  
Old 04-27-2018, 06:53 AM
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This game really is a gem. Each NPC and monster sprite is more delightful than the last, but I just really love that surly mother for some reason.
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Old 04-29-2018, 03:18 AM
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This game is really neat, and the attention to detail and explanations of context in the LP are great.
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  #55  
Old 04-30-2018, 12:08 AM
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Yeah, joining the praise here for both the game, a truly unknown jewel, and the highly informative LP.

You're doing God's work here, Loki.
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  #56  
Old 04-30-2018, 09:51 AM
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Thanks everyone! I'm glad people are enjoying this game despite its obscurity.
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  #57  
Old 04-30-2018, 12:08 PM
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So we got a dragon and with it some cool Dragon Quest Sprite armor.



But we're still not cool enough to get in the restaurant.







Our next task is to visit Ikushu springs and toughen up DUCK's scales, but before we do we got a couple chores in Hoverpool. First we sell off all trophies on hand, we can't feed them directly to DUCK anymore. Then we visit the Armor shop to forge the scales we got from the Ichthyosaur. We could spend half of them on a shield, but it wouldn't be better than the Snapper shield we have already so we go all in on the armor and get a nice little defense boost for it.



At some point we might want to grind up snail shells for a new helmet as well.



Alright! So DUCK! All throughout the game so far we've been careful with our actions. One, because it influences DUCKs stats as she grows, but two because it also determines what flavor dragon we grow into.



We ended up with a Green Dragonling. None of the colors are bad but White is what we were shooting for. I think we ended up with Green because of all the running away before we got the egg. I was working off the assumption that that was a kind of "free period" but I guess not. I think I needed to give DUCK more toys while in the nursery too, but no big loss. All Dragons are Good.



With DUCK in the party we get twice as many attacks per round. That's a big up on our previous capabilities. DUCK is still very week though with a paltry 60 HP and 20 STR. If we can't feed her trophies, how does she get stronger?



By eating bad guys right off the field. After every battle we're given the choice of which monsters to keep as trophies and which to let DUCK devour.



The more she eats the stronger she gets. What she eats determines how her stats grow too. Scary looking monster tend to raise Strength, tough ones Defense but lower Dexterity, fast ones raise DEX, mystical or religious-themed ones Intelligence, and miscellaneous ones raising Luck.

If there is hard data on what enemies raise what stat I haven't found it.



Eating those tadpoles gave DUCK 6 strength. Just like a typical EXP system, the stronger we get, the less weaker monsters will contribute, so we can't simply grind Daphnia for hours. Eating is also the only way for DUCK to recover HP. She'll get back hitpoints depending on how tough the monster is. So now the game is balanced between keeping DUCK's health up, eating monsters for stat growth, and keeping trophies to sell for money.

It's pretty smart!

You can also see here that DUCK has three diferent attack types: Tear, Beat, and Bite. I suspect they have advantages against different types of monsters, but what exactly is beyond my grasp.

Duck can also "Mock" an enemy, which right now doesn't seem different than a regular attack. I suspect this will allow her to do status related "mirror moves" but that's just a hunch I haven't been able to pull off.



Sometimes DUCK will just fuck off. This is doubly bad because not only do we lose her fighting skills, she also loses her opportunity to eat. We can ensure that DUCK follows orders by raising her Sympathy.



This is why we got the flute from Ala Singh.




Playing the flute raises DUCKs Sympathy. It'll drop a couple points for each battle, but each use of the flute raises it a good dozen, so we don't need to sit playing, or play after each battle or anything. A toot on the flute every once in a while will be enough to foster a good relationship.



Ikushu is in the northeastern quadrant of the world. The river we took to Miina also will give us safe passage there, as well as providing lots of catfish and bonefish for DUCK to eat.



We do spend some time on dry land as well to vary up her diet.



Following the river fork north leads to a mountain pass.



The tall peaks are only two tiles wide, with DUCK we should be able to cross this.
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Old 04-30-2018, 12:09 PM
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On the first tile we encounter a snapper turtle. This guy looks tanky and should provide DUCK with some much-needed Defense. He doesn't provide much trouble.



But on the next tile we encounter Clappers. These look like they should be pushovers, but they have a move that inflicts sleep and between four of them we're sleeplocked into oblivion.



"I did everything I could to help DUCK, but even medicine is not enough sometimes. You should remember that... What bad luck... Well, I think I've earned a little reward, eh?"

Ala Singh will resurrect DUCK if she falls in battle and charges half our rupees for the trouble. But this won't kick us back to the last inn we visited. She will lose a good chunk of Sympathy too, so we gotta be toot-tootin.





Over the peaks is out, but a big river is just a jaunt to the east.



And eventually we can cross over to a river that runs East-West across the northern part of the continent.







Following it eastward gets us to Ikushu, a dry desert-like land.



On the "wasteland" terrain we can encounter Rogue Dragoons. These guys will mop the floor with us so we run.





Ikushu is dominated by a large hotspring/inn building.



"If you're looking for HOT springs, though, you've come to the right place!"

But apparently not the hot springs that will help DUCK.



An accessory shop here sells a number of intriguing items, including a mysterious Phantasy Star-esq empty slot (it's just a bundle of 12 Jellies at a slight discount).





There's also a police presence in town.



In the station there's one cop and a conspicuous chest.



And it's ripe for the picking. But no, no we are good Dragon parents and we pass by (it's just a Jelly anyway).



On the south end of town is a tavern.



"She's worried about her missing hairpin. It seems to be all she can think about right now.
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  #59  
Old 04-30-2018, 12:09 PM
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"Looze Spring? It's on a peninsula north of the Capital City. My mother and I often visited it when I was a child, but now... Huh? Hairpin? So, you've heard about it. My mother gave it to me when I left our village, but I must have lost it during a monster attack."

So Looze is north of Hoverpool? At least we know where to go next!



A junk store sells a suspicious set of equipment that we pass on for now.



Finally, we visit the hot spring itself.



"The men's area is to your left, and the women's to your right. We've got a simple hot salt-water bath here. It's great for stiff shoulders and nervous disorders. It may even bring you luck!"



I don't know if it helps our luck to bathe in it. It certainly doesn't do anything for our HP.





Each time we talk to this guy he'll show us a new scar caused by increasingly absurd numbers of harder and harder enemies.



"It was bitten off by the cruelest creature in the whole world... my wife! Wahahahaha! By the way, that Brahman Umibozu... I'd better not say."

Mysterious.



Only one other npc in the springs has anything interesting to say.



Lastly, there's a little mini-game here where you can win some money.



The guy will keep repeating left, right until we hit A.



There's got to be timing issue to it, but I couldn't figure it out.



The journey here netted DUCK a fair bit of Strength and Defense and a whole lot of HP.





More importantly, she learned to breathe fire! Breath does the same amount of damage as a regular attack, but it hits anywhere from two to six times. It is our bread and butter way of dealing damage.

A Bhuta (or bhoot or bhut) is a spirit or ghost in Indian folklore that can't move on to a new phase of existence, hence the good mums we got here.
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Old 04-30-2018, 12:10 PM
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We take the big river west until we're about at the longitutde of Hoverpool and start trekking overland northward.





Looze isn't on our map, but Tara said it was on a peninsula to the north and I only see one of those.



That's not what an antelope looks like... (makes for good eating tho).



Batman is a figure from American mythology about a sad ghost who punishes the mentally ill.





Uh, oh boy, this doesn't look good.



Kalkala look tough but they're pretty weak. Mountains are our new safe-zone

Kalkala means echo or "shaking sound" in Arabic. If it has a more appropriate meaning, I'm not aware of it.



Up here we also encounter the main guy from Splatterhouse.



This is a little rougher. The Bhuta's no problem but the Phurba have high defense and there's three of them. This battle can go real bad real quick.

A phurba is a three-sided peg or knife used in Buddhist and Vedic traditions







But Phurba are no match for the dragons we face on the wasteland tiles. One is doable, and it's worth doing for the stat boosts DUCK will gain.



But two is certain death. Heading down this peninsula is eating up our resources like crazy.



But we do it. At the very end of the peninsula is a lone building. Could this be Fooze Spring?



No, no it is not.

We went the wrong way and lost about 10,000r in the doing. I should have known better when we were faced with wasteland and lava tiles.



But fighting those high-level enemies was good for DUCK.

Next time: Go left, stupid!
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