We don't always like being nonplussed

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Flailing Through Dragon Quest VI - Day 1

Well, it's been a while since I've been on, and I'm here to tell you that rumors of my death have been slightly exaggerated. I know I said months ago that my next review was going to be Dragon Quest VI, but I'm sorry to inform you that instead, I'm going to be reviewing Dragon Quest 6. Why the sudden change in plans? Because I can't read Roman numerals, that's why. Seriously, what the hell is XVIIV, anyway?

So, in the time between this review and my last one, I've made a few investments in the hope of making this site more interesting. The first was a good computer, so that we don't have to take photographs of a TV screen all the time, and the other... well, you'll see in the coming weeks, I'm sure.

Now, on with the show.

You can hear the theme music. You know you can.
I don't know much about the Dragon Quest franchise, but I do know that it's full of tons upon tonnes of puns... which rhymes more than I would like, but what can you do? So, given the spirit of the game, we'll attempt to guess at, or come up with pun names when we can. Now, time for the all important naming of the main character.

I'm pretty sure that's BeBeBeBo.
Nope, I don't have any idea what it says either, but I should be able to pick it out in a long line of Japanese characters, if I'm lucky.

If you're familiar with Toriyama's (limited) library of faces and hairs, this is essentially Blue-Haired Teen Gohan.Our story begins, much like many legends of old, with out hero passed out drunk by a campfire while a vagrant seems to be planning on eating him. I'm not sure why, but our hero also seems to be wearing a vibrant green vest that clashes majestically with his gravity defying hair. Ah, Akira Toriyama, I love you.

Pressing A causes our hero to wake from his slumber and reveal that he has been using his sword for a pillow. I can't really say how stupid this is, because there were actually many times where I would wake up and realize that I hadn't taken all of the swords off of my bed before I passed out. This is not a joke.
As our hero awakes, he is asked a question. It could be, "Did you sleep well?" or possibly, "Are you going to eat your leg?" because it's being asked by the flesh-eating hobo... or possibly princess... HOBO PRINCESS!

After the attempted meal invite, a man jumps down out of the trees and into the middle of the clearing, as one does.

He does love his bright colors, that Toriyama.
He has a purple Mohawk, and a green thong... I don't like how this is going in the least, but I press on, because this is all for your amusement. I like even less the fact that he then walks up and whispers in my ear before heading off into the words... then so does the hobo princess. This could turn into the most frightening video game ever created, and I am counting Cho Aniki.

After they finish talking to me, they head off and I am left alone by the fire, my only real option being to follow them, or apparently starve. I can hear the banjos being tuned as we speak, and if I hear one person mention anything about pigs... well, it'll be in Japanese, so I'll be screwed... which is my fear.

OH! It's not as bad as I thought that it was!

Oh good! I can always plunge to my death instead!
We're just taking a walk on a cliff that seems to hover over the turbulent storms of Limbo, or possibly Purgatory. I'll take it! But seriously, how the hell high up are we that we can breathe, but the storm clouds are below us? I don't like heights, and this concept shakes me to my core.

I speak with hobo princess, who may or may not also be an elf, and they respond in the normal, socially standard way, which is to walk to the edge of the cliff and throw what at first looks like a toy submarine into the air. I'm kidding! That would be nuts! Can you imagine, someone just throwing a toy submarine into the air for no reason?

Good thing, because I had enough trouble controlling a BIKE in Excitebike, let alone a dragon.
It's actually a magical dragon summoning ocarina, which is not crazy at all. I would like to point out right now that I find this really cool, because most of the time games make you work for the magical dragon summoning musical instruments, like in Excitebike... It's in there!... ok, no it isn't.

Back to the story, we all hop onto the dragon, and fly off to what could easily pass for Dracula's castle, if it were built by Tibetan monks.

The parking pad for dragons is in back.And all die in the horrible crash, since it turns out this dragon wasn't equipped with air brakes... or not, since in a moment more we are whisked away to...

This place does a good job of looking foreboding considering how bright it is.
... Princess' house? Well it is obviously evil, so maybe. But eye-raping color palettes aside, I see a door, and since I can't access my party menu or inventory, this tells me that this is a back story which I cannot win. Best just to move along, and get on with the game itself.

There's a big evil door with a bucktoothed walrus face on it, and I guess that it's probably there to warn my about the dangers of Gingivitis, because it doesn't open. Given that, I take the hallway to the north, which makes the rest of the party start following me WAY more closely than any group of people need to travel. Seriously,

THAT's more like it, foreboding-wise. But guy, I'd better not hear you use the word 'purty' in ANY context.
The guy with the green thong looks like he's trying to smell my hair, and that's... that's just wrong, dude. Couldn't it have at least been the one that looks like a girl? I would have been slightly less horrified by that.

I keep going north, and I come to a hall with another red carpet, though this one has a pattern. Patterns on carpets are never good, especially if there's a center to the pattern. There is always evil at the center of a carpet with a pattern on it... except when it leads to a stairway to Evil... which, by the way would be an awesome parody song.

Yep, this area is much more evil. I should have suspected, since that's all stairs do in evil castles... that and make it so those goddamn Medusa heads can hit your feet, and knock you into a pit.

I follow the small path, and it isn't long before I come to the true sign of evil!

...they do, don't they? I wish I could get five missiles by touching a window...
Yes! a Double Bucktoothed Walrus Door!... oh, and the mist is skulls, which if you couldn't guess by the subtlety IS SYMBOLISM! Also, the towers look like wangs... SYMBOLISM! And the windows have a pattern that looks sort of like Samus' missiles from the original Metroid. PLAGIARISM!

Now that we've gotten our isms all sorted out, I guess I'll see if I can get through this door and find out the tooth, the whole tooth and... meh... I kind of gave up on that one midway through. I like my puns to have a bit more bite to them.

We gather around the door in need of braces, and then my party separates, and I think they're asking me if I'm ready to proceed... oh gods, this can't end well, if I was right earlier about what's going on.

Not the Dave Clark Five! Anything but that!Oh good, I was wrong. we've just walked into 1963, that's all. The room is a swirling miasma of scintillating thought, and turgid ideas... or there's a power surge in the disco lighting. In either event, my party begins to quiver in fear, and that leads me to believe it is 1963.

Oh good, it's just Keith Richards.
Well, we're flying now, and we seem to be getting ready to battle batman... fat, hippy batman, in a throne that seems to be made out of left over mausoleum parts. Neat. At this point, the Fat-Bat begins to spin us around the room in circles, which I guess is his plan to make us all throw up before battle.

That fog does look Scully. And soon our bodies will Mulder in a grave.
But I'm wrong! No! Instead what he does is simply blow all of us before we even enter a battle that we can't win, because it's a plot point!... I'm not entirely sure if I love or hate this idea. At least it didn't lead us on into thinking that we could win, when obviously we couldn't. Well, that was a fun game, I guess I'll just pass the torch of review back to AngeliqueDaemon and...

Maybe if you slept in a BED you wouldn't have nightmares like that.
Guess I was wrong, because I've just woken up in some woman's house. She has blue hair, too, so I'll just take a shot in the dark here, and say she's my evil twin... or my mother. Same thing.

She wakes me up and asks me a question, yes or no, which I'm going to have to guess was, "Were you all just killed by an evil bat demon?" I answered yes, because I can't lie to my mom. In all fairness, she takes this in stride and just sits at the dinner table, likely shaking her head and wondering what sort of son she raised while she drinks her morning coffee/scotch.

I now have access to my HUD (Heads Up Display,) and I do the only reasonable, rational thing to do after just being murdered by a cosplayer, and loot my mother's house.

Row 1: Talk/Magic. Row 2: Item/Search. Row 3: Status/Tactics.
After I figure out which freaking option that is, I mean. Also, I like that the drawers open when you've looted them, because that means I won't make the mistake I always do with these games and keep looting the same thing over and over.

I head outside, because this game and review would be boring otherwise, and I find quite a cute little town.

'It counts as an open air market and I get a tax break! Really helps pay for the back surgery!'
It must be a really, really strange environment, since that house doesn't have a roof... or bed... or back door. and actually, after looking around for a bit, I find that in this world, no businesses have roofs. That's both handy, and has to suck when it comes to bird droppings. Also, the old man in the (what I assume is an) item shop would have to crawl over the counter every night when he was done work. Sucks to be him, because at 28 I'm pretty sure that would kill my back, and he looks like he's at least... 30.

Well, it's time to find a church and call it for today's review. Sorry that I missed out on a number of pictures that would have been great, but this new setup is taking time to get used to. That and the slight delay between capture device and computer screen is proving to be another detail that I'll try to work out over the coming weeks.

Take care, gang, and keep flailing wildly.

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