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Old 02-06-2018, 07:26 PM
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Default Dracula's Dungeon of Classic JRPGs and Other Artifacts

~STEP INTO THE SHADOW OF THE HELL HOUSE~



Lately I've been posting here and there about the various finely aged JRPGs I've been playing since last year. A few people suggested I made a thread to keep it all in one place, so here we go!

This is going to be a sort of off-the-cuff Let's Play series. I don't have the ability to capture video or screens from my CRT, so this won't be a strict play-by-play. Mainly I'm just going to share my experiences and observations from these games, as many of them I've either never played before or haven't played since high school or earlier. Also, I'll be playing all of them in their native language, which will be a new experience for each one.

Here's a master list of the games I intend to play. I either own these or will own them at some point in the future. Games marked with an asterisk (*) I have played at least once in the past. (This is subject to change and isn't presented in any sort of order.)

FAMICOM
  • Dragon Quest - FINISHED March 2018 (Begins next post)
  • Dragon Quest II - FINISHED May 2018 (Begins here)
  • Dragon Quest III - CURRENTLY PLAYING (Begins here)
  • Dragon Quest IV
  • Final Fantasy* - FINISHED January 2018
  • Final Fantasy II - FINISHED September 2018 (Begins Here)
  • Final Fantasy III
  • LaGrange Point
  • Megami Tensei
  • Mother
  • Portopia Serial Murder Case
  • Metal Max

SUPER FAMICOM
  • Final Fantasy IV*
  • Final Fantasy V* - FINISHED 2017
  • Final Fantasy VI*
  • Mother 2*
  • Chrono Trigger*
  • Shin Megami Tensei
  • Dragon Quest V

PC ENGINE
  • Ys Book I/II - FINISHED 2017
  • Ys III
  • Ys IV
  • Tengai Makyou Fuun Kabuki Den
  • Snatcher

My philosophy about these games falls into the category of "all games are good." I'm going to enjoy them. I'll observe things that might be clunky or old-fashioned or maybe just not very fun, but my mission is to enjoy them as they were originally enjoyed.

Also because this is my thread I'll probably post about other dusty old games I'm playing, even if they're not RPGs at all, because I need an outlet for stuff like that.

Oh, and one last thing. You might have noticed that I haven't played some very important games.

Please don't spoil me.

This is for your own good. I would probably forgive you for spoiling me on a thirty-plus-year-old game, but Jbear might actually hunt you down and kill you. Fair warning.

Last edited by Dracula; 10-16-2018 at 11:05 PM.
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Old 02-06-2018, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Dracula View Post
This is for your own good. I would probably forgive you for spoiling me on a thirty-plus-year-old game, but Jbear might actually hunt you down and kill you. Fair warning.
FIGHT ME
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Old 02-06-2018, 07:52 PM
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Okay! So let me get you caught up on where I am in DRAGON QUEST, a game that exploded the popularity of what came to be known as the "JRPG" and which I'd never played until the year of our dragon lord 2018.

Yuusha Drac is currently about a hundred experience points away from Level 7, and has wandered around a fair bit of the starting area.

I'm told I need to let everyone know my starting equipment. It was:
  • Club
  • Cloth Armor

You're given a torch in the king's throne room, and the 24-gold medicine seemed like a racket given that you learn a healing spell at Level 3 and you could heal all your HP and MP for 6 gold at the Radatoum* inn.

So since grinding out a few initial levels**, I've done the following.

- Explored the cave just north of Radatoum castle. This is of course where you encounter the restless spirit of Loto, the former hero who vanquished evil in a prior age.

(There were several things I loved about this cave. First, it taught you what to expect from DQ's dungeons. Second, it had no enemy encounters so you were free to map it out without fear of death. Third, it is in an obvious place that you will definitely see no matter which way you start exploring outside of Radatoum. Fourth, it rewards you not with gear or riches, but the game's pointed instructions on how you're supposed to get to the Dragon King's castle, which you will have seen if you paid attention to the villagers in Radatoum. I loved that these were not given to you immediately by the king; instead he gives you a more generic instruction to "go and defeat the Dragon King," which encourages you to just go and explore.)

- Followed a villager's advice to go northwest to the town of Gaira. There, I learned that the princess was carried off to the east and is apparently being held in a cave somewhere.

- Found some stronger enemies south of Gaira and grinded enough gold to afford a copper sword and a full set of leather armor.

- Started mapping out the cave west of Radatoum. I managed to survive in its first basement long enough to get a couple of treasures, including a Warrior's Ring which the Internet tells me is bugged and does nothing. That's too bad.

Beyond that, here are the enemies I've seen in the game so far:

Slime: The typical DQ slime. They run from me now.
Slimebeth: A red slime. They also run from me now.
Drakee: A little happy bat. They are fast but just a tad stronger than Slimes.
Ghost: I note that these guys show up with more frequency the further you get from Radatoum, and are a challenge at low levels.
Majidrake: Sturdier than the Drakee and can cast Gila.
Magic User: A coin flip if they use Gila or a weak physical attack. Still somewhat challenging at Level 6.
Giant Scorpion: They have decent HP, hit hard, and are difficult to run from.
Skeleton: Apparently a rare encounter west of Radatoum; I've only seen one. It wounded me pretty badly.

Underground, I've seen a few others:

Meeda: A floating brain. I'm not sure what the name means, but "me" is Japanese for "eye," so it might be something like "Eyegar." I run from these as they hit pretty hard.
Wizard: Seen in the basement of the western cave. Tougher version of the magic user.
Metroghost: Seen in the basement of the western cave. A stronger ghost that can cast Gila.

That's it for now. I get the sense that the game wants me to explore east, and the tougher enemies in the cave's basement seem to be a caution against going too deep. So I'm gonna take the adventure hook.

*I'm not familiar with the Western names of anything in this game, so it's all going to be my best guess at what the kana is trying to say. Oh, and fortunately, GameFAQs has a really thorough script guide that has all the game's Japanese text alongside an English translation, so I'll be using that if I have any serious difficulty understanding the NPCs.

**I like grinding in games up to a point. It's kind of a zen thing I guess.
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Old 02-06-2018, 08:12 PM
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Gila is hurt?
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Old 02-06-2018, 08:25 PM
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"Gila" or "Gira" is the basic offensive spell, yeah. I think that's what you're asking. The manual says it's a fire ball.
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Old 02-06-2018, 08:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dracula View Post
"Gila" or "Gira" is the basic offensive spell, yeah. I think that's what you're asking. The manual says it's a fire ball.
The English version actually names the spell "Hurt", which is what Loki meant.
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Old 02-06-2018, 08:31 PM
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If you haven't bought it yet, there should be a dragon's scale you can buy for 20 gold at the southeast shop in Brecconary Tantagel Radatoum town that gives you a decent defense boost when equipped. I usually make it one of the first things I buy 'cuz it's cheaper than the best armor options in town and even just two extra defense points can make all the difference.

Also, consider buying herbs once you start raking in more gold. Yes, they cost more than the inn, but you can stack up to six and they give you back-up healing for when you're low on MP or need to conserve it for other things.
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Old 02-06-2018, 08:34 PM
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I did notice the dragon's scale in the shop, but I only just re-checked the manual to see what it does. It'll be the next thing I buy!
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Old 02-06-2018, 08:41 PM
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And it actually works (unlike the Ring).
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Old 02-06-2018, 09:26 PM
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The Akira Toriyama Skeleton is one of my favorite enemy designs in all of video games.

Whenever you get to the Megami Tensei games, I wish you good luck trying to read the Japanese.
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Old 02-06-2018, 09:34 PM
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It's far from the only scorpion-like monster the series has had over the years, but Dragon Quest 1's classic Angry Eyes Scorpion has really grown on me.
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Old 02-06-2018, 09:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dracula View Post
Slimebeth
Metroghost
Yes. Yes, good. This is the high quality content that I'm here for.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Falselogic View Post
FIGHT ME
I don't even need to hunt False down. I know where he lives now!
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Old 02-07-2018, 05:56 AM
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I don't know how blind you want to be playing this game, so I will mark this extremely minor spoiler regarding gameplay mechanics as such;

Remember that monster difficulty is gated by bridges; you cross a bridge further away from Tantagel Radatoum, you're going to be fighting stronger monsters.
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Old 02-07-2018, 06:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Octopus Prime View Post
I don't know how blind you want to be playing this game, so I will mark this extremely minor spoiler regarding gameplay mechanics as such;

Remember that monster difficulty is gated by bridges; you cross a bridge further away from Tantagel Radatoum, you're going to be fighting stronger monsters.
I want to say that this is called out explicitly by an NPC soldier in Tantagel. Something like "Beware! Danger grows when thou crosses bridges."
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Old 02-07-2018, 06:21 AM
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I'm very excited by this thread.
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Old 02-07-2018, 06:26 AM
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Quote:
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I want to say that this is called out explicitly by an NPC soldier in Tantagel. Something like "Beware! Danger grows when thou crosses bridges."
It was in the English instruction manual.
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Old 02-07-2018, 07:17 AM
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Metroghost was localized as Poltergeist. Why metro?
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Old 02-07-2018, 07:40 AM
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I misread the Title and for a moment I thought this thread would be about badly artifacted .JPGs and I'm very mad that it's not.
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Old 02-07-2018, 08:03 AM
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Quote:
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Metroghost was localized as Poltergeist. Why metro?
I'm assuming that, like with Metroid (the Metro-Android), the word "Metro" has an association with underground tunnels in Japan
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Old 02-07-2018, 08:10 AM
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Is that really what Metroid is?
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Old 02-07-2018, 08:15 AM
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Oh my god
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Old 02-07-2018, 08:17 AM
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Yup, supposedly
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Old 02-07-2018, 09:39 AM
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Yes, the bridges thing is communicated by a guy in Radatoum, is mentioned in the manual, and I'd also heard of it in an interview I read with Yuji Horii.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuji Horii
I guess I was influenced by "Wizardry." In Wizardry, enemies get stronger as you go deeper into the dungeons. It was really exciting each time you went downstairs. That is why I used the bridge to make the other side of the bridge scary.
Anyway, I was able to do some more exploring last night. I had my first death south of Myra from a Skeleton.

On the next pass, I got all the way to Myra (the city in the northeast corner of the map), leveled up, and learned a new spell, Rally-ho. Yes it is exactly the same spelling as the thing the dwarves say in Final Fantasy.

Myra was positively bursting with information. Some things I learned include:
  • The continent south of Myra is very dangerous, but also a town there has the fabled Key Shop, which was previously hinted at in Radatoum. I've taken notes of everywhere I've seen locked doors.
  • There is a place east of (somewhere, I forget the name) that sells fantastic weaponry.
  • There's a Golem somewhere, and in the ancient past he was put to sleep by Fairies, and also doesn't like the sound of a flute.
  • Some old guy living in a swamp shed (seriously, you have to take damage to talk to him) told me I can't defeat the Dragon Lord with my current weaponry.
  • The shop also had a Chimera Scale Wing for sale, which according to the manual I believe is a "dungeon escape" type of item. I haven't tried it yet, but my guess is that it takes you back to Radatoum Castle.

After writing down the various rumors, I also checked out a place that you can only get to by walking west of Myra. I figured it would be another dungeon, but it turned out to be a little old man's underground house. He told me to seek out a "Golden Harp" that has the power to summon monsters, and if I brought that back to him, he'd give me something called a "Rain Cloud Staff." Neat.

Last edited by Dracula; 02-07-2018 at 10:54 AM. Reason: Chimera Confusion
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Old 02-07-2018, 09:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetManMas View Post
If you haven't bought it yet, there should be a dragon's scale you can buy for 20 gold at the southeast shop in Brecconary Tantagel Radatoum town that gives you a decent defense boost when equipped. I usually make it one of the first things I buy 'cuz it's cheaper than the best armor options in town and even just two extra defense points can make all the difference.

Also, consider buying herbs once you start raking in more gold. Yes, they cost more than the inn, but you can stack up to six and they give you back-up healing for when you're low on MP or need to conserve it for other things.
Hey I know this is all well intended but Drac requested no spoilers and in a game like DQ1 knowledge like this definitely changes the experience of discovery.
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Old 02-07-2018, 09:53 AM
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It's so weird to look up Dragon Quest monster names. On one hand, googling "Dragon Quest/Warrior Monsters" will get you the spinoff series. On the other hand, with the Famicom, NES, and Mobile versions, there's potentially at least three different names for certain monsters. Apparently Metroghost/Poltergeist is now Fightgeist.
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Old 02-07-2018, 10:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Octopus Prime View Post
I'm assuming that, like with Metroid (the Metro-Android), the word "Metro" has an association with underground tunnels in Japan
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Old 02-07-2018, 10:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dracula View Post
The shop also had a Chimera Scale for sale, which according to the manual I believe is a "dungeon escape" type of item. I haven't tried it yet, but my guess is that it takes you back to Radatoum Castle.
It's a scale and not a wing in the original Japanese? Neat! This must get changed for later games, though, because they eventually have pictures and it's definitely drawn as a wing then. (And even in the first game I think it was translated as "Wings".)
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Old 02-07-2018, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
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It's a scale and not a wing in the original Japanese? Neat! This must get changed for later games, though, because they eventually have pictures and it's definitely drawn as a wing then. (And even in the first game I think it was translated as "Wings".)
Oh no, sorry. It's wing. I just typed it wrong. It's even drawn as a wing in the manual.
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Old 02-07-2018, 10:57 AM
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You gave me the gift of Metroghost so I'll forgive you.
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Old 02-07-2018, 11:01 AM
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This thread is...


Good.
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