My brother and I continue our RPGTrek with Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride. This game continues the Zenethian trilogy in epic fashion. In this game, you get married, collect monsters pokemon style, and travel the world to collect the hero’s Zenethian armor from the last adventure! Does this game push the series forward, or does it knock it down a few hit points? Your next RPGTrek story is only a click away!
JOURNEY OF A UTAHN POLYGAMEIST
DRAGON QUEST V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride – PART 1
This adventure begins with the birth of a child inside a lavish castle. I see a loving couple discuss the name (which, when given the choice, I promptly choose “Phil”) for their new boy before the mother seems to die, giving birth. I swear, giving birth is the second leading cause of death among the parents of heroes. I wake up in a cold sweat, on a ship. My character, now about ten years old, gets out of bed at the prompting of my father, a rugged middle aged man named Pankraz. He instructs me to entertain myself while he attends to more adult matters. Over the course of the next six hours of gameplay, this happens a lot. I do not have children, but this game teaches me that they can get into a LOT of trouble when told to go outside and play.
Eventually, the ship docks, and my father escorts me to our hometown, Wealbrook. Far from the plush surroundings I recall from my earlier dream, it seems we come from much more humble origins. While my father takes some time to handle business in the house with some friends, I go around town and chat. Someone mentions that a friend or relative lost their way in a nearby cave. Why was this defenseless town person parusing a cave filled with environmental and supernatural dangers? To get a healing herb for a sick friend, of course! (Once again, a Dragon Quest game establishes that the GOOD weed…errr…healing herbs may be find in the darkest, most dangerous caves.)
So, as an adventurous 10 year old, I go to help. A guard allows me to walk right on by after cautioning me. How thoughtful! After all, I have a stick, so I can clearly take care of myself! Eventually, I find Rockfeller, who, ironically enough, lies trapped under fallen rubble. I help him out much to the praise of several people back in town.
My father, completely oblivious to the fact that I risked life and limb to play in caves filled with monsters located right in our own town, informs me that we must escorting several friends to their home. As we travel, monster accost us, but my father dispatches them with ease. We arrive in the town of Roundback and a girl, Bianca, joins me as we run around harassing the townspeople, as ten year olds should. Eventually, we come across some boys beating up a small sabertooth cat. Bianca demands that they stop and hand over the tortured creature. The boys inform us that they will happily comply, if we go over a haunted castle and defeat the ghosts there.
The incredible level of parental neglect and oversight continues as Bianca and I slip out of town in the still of night, not once, but at least four times. We trek over dangerous lands filled with foul monsters that adult townspeople fear, we investigate a terrifying mansion filled with all manners of undead and deadly critters, fight a dark wizard to the death, and, in return, receive a wild sabertooth cat… all while the parents of not one, but two children remain completely oblivious… even as we flaunt the cat in front of them. Amazing! Only in a JRPG can children get away with this level of shenanigans!
My father and I return to Wealbrook where a fairy (that only I can see and hear) contacts me for assistance. The grand tooth…errr… season fairy, cannot usher in Spring because someone stole her “Herald of Spring.” So, of course, rather than assign one of many adult denizens of her kingdom to address the issue, she charges me with the task with the assistance of Faerie Lae. Thankfully Purrcey, my new Sabertooth cat, proves quite effective in fights, as well.
Eventually, our investigation leads us into more dangerous caves and an ice palace. The ice covered floors makes movement hard, but we eventually find our way to a dwarf who believes he’s a superhero. After defeating him, the true mastermind behind this evil act, the aptly named Winter Queen, appears. She puts up a decent struggle, but stands little chance against our combined efforts. We recover the magic item, return it to the fairy queen and spring begins anew.
My father, summoned to the nearby castle city of Coburg, leads us through more dangerous lands. There, the queen asks us to watch after her brat of a son, Harry. While we do, he sneaks out only to have some hooligans kidnap him. My father and I track them down to nearby ruins to effect a rescue. We eventually find him locked up, near the back. My father frees him and yells at us to run as he fights off the thugs. Unfortunately, we run into a powerful trio of evil doers as we approach the exit. They quickly smack us down (child abuse!) as my father shows up. While Dad can clearly best them in combat, Bishop Ladja has our unconscious bodies as leverage. This forces papa to let his guard down while they slaughter him… leading to the number ONE death of parents in RPGs… death by monster. Before he passes into the great beyond, my father mentions that my mother still lives.
This ended the first chapter of the game. The next scene opens ten years later in a slave quarry…