Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Game 30: Dragon Warrior III (NES) - What's With The Pit?

I have a feeling this wasn't a fair trade...
Just a feeling though
Everything for the pursuit of the quest. Baramos must fall; even if it means trading priceless artifacts capable of changing one's appearance for an old sailor's thigh bone. The hermit wizard was eager to throw me a bone for the staff. A little too eager. Still, I couldn't pass up on the offer unless I wanted to wander the torus looking for a ghost ship. Now that I know where it frequents though, maybe I could keep the staff next time.
My body lies over the ocean... thatta way!
The ghost ship, located south of Romaly, was operating with a skeleton crew and a couple stowaways. One of them was a monster awaiting my arrival, and the other a treasure hunter looking for a fabled horde. Errol was among the crew even though he wasn't a criminal like the others. He, like Olivia, longed for his beloved. From the bunks I sifted out the Locket of Love, and left poor Errol to his fate. Back at Olivia's promontory I had some trouble finding the exact spot to use the locket. I think I used it in every tile between the one I was pulled from to the one I was pulled towards. This last tile was the one I needed.
Strange, you don't look like a Simon
With the way clear, I easily found the Sword of Gaia in the shrine's jail. Poor Simon was long deceased, which is odd since it seemed his son was searching for him recently. Sword in hand, I made a short trip back to the pirate's hideout since I'd seen the clue for an orb within the screenshots I was putting together for the last post. Below the hideout was a jail where a man was kept. He only revealed the pirates returned at night. Off to the right side though was a boulder, which I easily pushed around. Searching under it revealed stairs to a hidden room with the red orb.
That boulder is just asking to get pushed around being out here all by itself
Half the orbs! Half! At this point I had no leads on any others, and my only clue was the path made by the Sword of Gaia when I threw it into the volcano. It triggered a violent reaction. Lava flowed out of the mouth, and down the river. Once solidified, the lava flow cooled, and created a land bridge to the area below Isis. There was a cave ripe for exploration.
Really, it was quite a spectacle with the ground shaking, lava flying everywhere, and the screen flashing
The next area held a bunch of monsters that really stepped up the difficulty. They ate quite heavily into my resources, restricting my range to the point that I questioned if I was early to the area. However, I didn't have any other clues to fallback on. Nevertheless, I searched every town with the echoing flute and came up empty. Inside the cave were even more powerful monsters capable of multiple attacks, casting away party members into limbo or instant death, and using area effect spells that quickly drained my HP. I came away from my first exploration with a new piece of armor and a couple levels, but little hope of making it through.
I even returned to these treasures in the pyramid I left behind--they are the only chests in the game that glow yellow
With some effort, and a whole lot of luck, I managed to select the correct path to get through the cave on my second attempt. I picked up the Thunder Sword along the way, but foolishly failed to equip it until Baramos, which I'll get to by the end of this post. On the other side of the cave I could see his castle, but no way to reach it. Instead there lay a shrine nearby. Inside was a solitary figure who bestowed unto me the silver orb. Glad I searched this way, but now I was really out of clues.
So close, yet so far
Once again, I went back to every location, not just every town. Once again, I played my heart out of that flute. And, once again, I didn't hear its sweet echoing tune. However, I did manage to find another orb, this time by mere chance. I had entered the town where Everhate was staying during my last search and failed to notice the changes that occurred (too focused on the flute's response). This latest round of searching I noticed an NPC in the town proclaiming it Everhateville. Still no echo, but I was intrigued. During my search of the perimeter I accidentally stepped out of town. When I stepped back in, the woman that had greeted me was replaced with a soldier that proclaimed that it wasn't just Everhate's town anymore.
What do you mean 'finally'? I was here just two seconds ago and everyone was praising him
I'm not sure if the town was a fixed timer, but the evolutionary changes only happened once the town was visited, or if it changed automatically each visit regardless of the time passed. In any case, the town reached the end of its cycle, and now Everhate was in jail. He appreciated the situation for what it was, and accepted it even though I'm completely in the dark about what happened. In any case, he told me of something he'd hidden behind his thrown. Guess what it was... the yellow orb. Somehow, between the time I entered previously--while Everhate ruled and I'd used the flute--and the time I exited and re-entered, a mysterious man came to town and gave the orb to him.
Seriously! What did you do?
I placed this along with the other orbs on the altar in Liamland, and stared into the flames blankly. I'd exhausted every location I could reach and played the flute. Finally, I started my way back through the towns, and had planned to speak to everyone. I thought maybe I'd missed a vital yet subtle clue. It didn't take long before I stumbled back to Lancel (it's a short boat trip from Liamland, in fact it was my first stop). There I met man who said something a little odd. Previously I think I'd brushed his comment off as an odd reference to the shrine with the final key, but now that didn't make a lot of sense based on the distance to that shrine.
You know, that shrine wasn't all that bi... wait, am I missing a shrine?
My first reaction was to race outside and start searching off the coast for a shrine. No luck. Next I started examining each tile for a hidden shrine on the island. Nothing turned up.  Finally, I tested all the exits from the village until, once again, I just happened to stumble upon the one path leading to the north side of town. There a shrine about three times larger than the town was sitting just out of sight. Only in a video game could a shrine of that size hide due to the fact the party always entered from the south. From the shrine I could access a path to the cave known as the Navel of the Earth. A path only the hero was allowed to enter.
There better be an orb in here or I'm going to tear this world apart
The monsters inside weren't too difficult for Victar alone by this point, and despite a few rude messages suggesting I turn back, it was easy going. I was definitely wary of falling prey to mimics though, so I skipped all the side treasure rooms until I came upon an area that seemed likely to hold the final orb. The very first chest I opened turned out to be the one containing the blue orb. The last orb was mine!
So long as I didn't accidentally throw it away
Luckily I had one slot in my inventory. It was filled up by a random fairy water drop I received from battle. I had forgotten enemies could even drop items; it's that rare to receive one. I easily tossed that away, and took the orb in its place. The manual suggested that if I don't discard an item the prize from the chest would be lost, but I wonder what happens to key items. I wasn't brave enough to find out. I made my way out without touching another chest.
Back at the shrine I found someone who confirmed I collected the orbs in the wrong order
The rest of the characters back at the shrine weren't much more help. One mentioned Eginbear and using the Invisibility Herb, and another hinted that I'd need Everhate's help. In any case, I had the last of the orbs and made my way back to Liamland to claim my prize. Placing the last orb on the final altar released the phoenix Ramia from her egg.
As the only typo I've seen in the game I'd be remiss if I didn't point it out, Dragon Warrior is a support of high times
The guardians (or watchers, not really sure what to call them) warned me that only one pure of heart could ride Ramia. Obviously that meant my party could. I flew the phoenix to the Dragon Queen's castle. It was the one surrounded by mountains north of Baharata. The queen was sadly ill. Before she passed, she presented the party with a sphere of light. At the time of her passing she also laid an egg as well. A new dragon will be born into the world.
I hope this dragon is as kind as its mother
The last place to explore was Baramos' castle, but I decided to try and land inside the area around the Navel of the Earth. It failed spectacularly.
Why? I've already been here, what's the purpose of preventing the whole party from entering?
Well, there was one more place... the Great Pit of Giaga was a pit right next to final castle. There were a couple guardians that warned me that no one who entered ever returned. I didn't find anything of use there at the time. That only left Baramos, and the final assault on his castle. The castle assault went easily, but the fight against Baramos was the toughest one yet. Much harder than Orochi.
Too soon? Pretty sure I've done everything else
I tried brute force. I tried using Ironize to drain his MP, but didn't even get close. I only tried twice before I gave up for the night. I did find a Demon Axe and an Unlucky Helmet during the second assault. Retro, my backup merchant identified the Demon Axe as not cursed, but didn't mention whether the helm was cursed or not. I guess that means it's cursed, but I couldn't find anyone to test it on. Join me next post for the thrilling conclusion.
I feel kind of bad being trounced by such a goofy looking enemy
Elapsed Time: 6h55m (Total Time: 31h47m)


  1. 31 hours seems so much less than when I played as a kid. I swear I rented the game for several weekends (of 48 hour no-sleep playing) just to beat this thing. Luckily nobody ever erased my saved games!

    1. I remember renting this as a kid, but not really knowing what to do at all. My brother played it more than me, but I remember enjoying creating characters and trying them out (I still do that). I'm pretty sure it would have taken me double that time to get to this point (and I'd be a much higher level with all the best equipment).

    2. I believe some non-game sources identify the Dragon Queen's son as the Dragonlord from the first game.