Salutations. Aside from short reviews of the games we experience on the RPGTrek, I plan to write adventure summaries as I work my way through. This may seem a bit self indulgent, at best, as I focus on video games instead of more creative pursuits. However, stopping to write about my imaginary treks helps to further hone my skills. For example, note how I nearly avoid all use of passive speech in my exposition below. The more I write, the better I get at goals I set like that.
Now to talk about those of us on the RPGTrek are currently focused on… Dragon Quest II. Anyway, what follows are my journeys from this insane quest. While a bit on the spoilry side, I’m presuming I’m safe to post plot details of the game given its age.
The game quickly opens up, and becomes an open world ordeal. DracoLord explained to me that my heroes must find five seals needed to open the way to the bad guy causing all the problems. For someone coming from a few generations of bad guys, DracoLord is rather helpful! Unfortunately, he does not give much direction from there. With the wind to our backs, we jumped into our ship and set sail into the open waters.
I found a lighthouse tower to the south. I did two or three run throughs, grinding a couple of levels, and I found my first rune. As with most early dungeons, I did not run into many surprises there, but found the monsters to be a good challenge for my low level party. I then hit the open waters, once again.
I must admit, for a NES era game, the sheer open world atmosphere took me by surprise. The game does not handhold. With some clues from various NPCs (most of them quite vague), I was left to explore this rather large world. I sailed around a bit to find a new town. I forgot the name, but I did find one with enemies a bit above my level. I decided to grind a few levels there, with the inn nearby. That plan worked until I actually tried to rest at the inn. The prince in my party fell ill. I had to track down a magic seed to restore his health.
At first, this ‘surprise’ frustrated me a bit. I had a plan, and the game promptly sidetracked those plans. However, in retrospect, I respect just how much they packed into this classic. For its time, events like these surely surprised and delighted most RPGamers.
After pumping my levels around there a bit, and saving some money for a couple of Power Shields (which, incidentally, heal the wearer when used… a HUGE boon), I went exploring some more. I discovered a number of towns, and picked up numerous keys which, in turn, opened up new areas for me.
After six hours of grinding up levels and exploring, I had not found another rune. I finally broke down and scoped out a FAQ. It quickly led me to a second rune. Before leading me to the third, the FAQ wanted to direct me to several towns to do a couple of things. A smile came across my face as I had done nearly all of it during my earlier exploration. Again, the non-linearity and open world nature of the game made many of these points a memorable accomplishment.
The third rune was found at another tower, blocked by terrain until you visit a town where we released a dam. The new rivers created provided a way for our ship to sail towards a new tower. With all the levels I earned earlier, I found that dungeon run to go smoother than those before.
Leveling in this game feels more significant than most Final Fantasy games I play. It’s not unusual to learn a new spell that completely changes how I approach battles or make my life a lot easier. The stat increases also feel more significant. At this point, my price’s offensive spell hits all enemies for decent damage (killing weaker enemies at once). My main hero, Phil, hits like a truck and can take those hits in return rather well. At the moment, I’m a bit disappointed in the wizard, Mari, but I have hope that she improves as she levels further.
More to come soon!