DQII #1: A Whole New World

I made a page for Project DQ, which makes it all official or some such a thing.

Dragon Quest II title screen

Dragon Quest II starts off with a title screen that’s only just barely more interesting than DQI’s because, um, the title is animated a bit. Okay, again there’s not much fanfare here in the remake. I have no explanation. Even the NES version had an additional bit of animation added to the title screen from the Japanese original.

The introduction reads: Ages ago, a young descendant of the legendary warrior Erdrick defeated the Dragonlord, and returned light to the world. The introduction continues: The young man, together with his bride, left on a journey to build several new countries.
The introduction continues: These countries were ruled by the children of that young couple, and were handed down to the following generation. The introduction concludes: 100 years have passed since then...

The game starts with this introduction, which summarizes the entire first game in a single sentence. (To be fair, it is a short game.) Since DQI, the hero and Gwaelin got married, journeyed around, established a bunch of new countries, and then handed them down to their kids. A hundred years later these countries are now ruled by their descendants.

This introductory blurb was an addition made from the Japanese original. The remake has slightly enhanced this from the NES version by adding a background.

Another addition from the Japanese original was the opening cutscene showing Hargon’s attack on Moonbrooke Castle. The remake has given this quite a facelift. It’s quite nice even if the fan translation is a bit melodramatic.

A lone soldier manages to survive the Moonbrooke attack. Though badly wounded he makes it to Midenhall Castle where the guards carry him to the king. In the NES version “carry” is portrayed by the three walking Very Slowly; in this version the animation looks to me more like they drag him.

Upstairs in the king’s chamber, the soldier tells the King of Midenhall of the attack before succumbing to his wounds. This is where the Japanese original began.

The king’s action in this case is to delegate the adventuring to his son, i.e., my character Roto. Yes, I’ve used the Japanese legendary hero’s name again, though, to guarantee I’ll constantly mess it up avoid confusion I’m using the alternate spelling.

The king orders the soldier’s burial . . . and then the soldier actually dies. So, he was just there on the floor gasping his few last breaths as the king monologued?

Downstairs, the king gives me the contents of the nearby chest. It’s a better start than King Lorik’s contribution to the hero in DQI, but only just barely. Between the king and another random NPC I learn that the Prince of Cannock and Princess of Moonbrooke are also descendants of Erdrick. So, I should track them down and join together. Yay, a party!

Leftwyne lies to the west

The town of Leftwyne is aptly to the left. Clever, game.

An encounter with two slimes An encounter with two slimes

Finally, it’s time to really start this adventure by heading outside and smacking experience out of stuff. Prince Roto’s first encounter is the typical slime battle. Except, of course, in a big change from the first game: battles can now have multiple enemies!

As you might expect, things around Midenhall are pretty tame, but the difficulty ramps up quickly. Unlike DQI, battles in this game will require far more strategy than merely outlasting your opponent. I’ll get more into the battle differences later, but for now the other noteworthy change I’ll point out is the addition of the Defend (or Parry in the NES version) command. Using that will reduce the damage you receive by half. I assure you, it’ll be used a lot.

Comments

  1. I wonder if anyone was living in those other countries before the hero and Gwaelin claimed them.

    Also, if you look at a map, that dying soldier walked pretty damned far. Well, maybe he had a Return spell we don’t see him using.

    • It’s certainly possible they just conquered their way through these countries given they did pass them down to their children to rule. Which does make one wonder if there are other descendants of Erdrick aside from the three protags.

      Adrenaline is clearly just as much a miracle hormone in medieval fantasy as it is in reality. ;-) Seriously, though, now that I think about it there is no explicit statement made (or animation within the cutscene) to definitively state he was wounded in the attack. I suppose it’s just as likely he got jumped by a group of baboons en route to Midenhall.

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