It only took me a few minutes to grind my way to level 3. By then I had the necessary gold to purchase a leather shield. And with that slight boost in defense, I made my way west to Leftwyne.
In town some helpful NPCs give me vague directions to Cannock Castle and a monolith nearby.
Another man tells me about poison, which is a new status effect in this game. He doesn’t mention the nearby church, but the priest there can remove poison. He also performs resurrections.
I stop at the monolith on my way to Cannock only to discover I can’t get through without the prince anyway.
At Cannock, I find out the prince has gone to the Spring of Bravery. Off to the first dungeon!
Entering the Spring of Bravery in the NES version it’s immediately obvious that dungeons have changed a bit from the last game. The layout is much larger rather than the single-tile-wide pathways from DQI and you don’t need a light source to see. Instead there are screen transitions to reveal new areas of the dungeon. They’re actually kind of annoying because they have a ridiculous encounter rate.1
At the Spring is an old man who heals my HP to full. In the NES version you have to answer “no” to get the heal, but in the remake he heals you at the start of his dialogue. He tells me the Prince of Cannock just left for Midenhall. Before heading back, I take advantage of the free healing and grind my way to level 6 in the nearby hallway.
So, in the NES version there’s a mistake here and the king basically repeats what the old man at the Spring of Bravery says. This version is almost as nonsensical, though. Apparently, no one has told the prince it’s easier to be found if you stay in one place!
Luckily, I know where to find the prince even if my character probably doesn’t.
It might seem random to find the prince at the inn, but if you talk to his sister she will mention that he’s an easy-going kind of guy and takes lots of breaks. Of course, if that’s the case you’d think I’d have caught up with him sooner.
Nevertheless, I finally have another party member! In the NES version, he was honestly pretty weak and virtually useless; I’ve been told he’s more balanced in the remake, but it’s impossible to tell at this point since he’s only level 1 and has some seriously outdated equipment. So it’s back to the grind.
- That’s not superstition; it’s coded into the game. ↩