DQII #8: Collect-a-thon

Continuing our search for crests, we visit Zahan. A man at the inn explains that all the men died when their ship was attacked, which is why there are only women here. Except, you know, for the man at the inn.

Not surprisingly the women mostly talk about the missing men, but a few pass along some information about the moon fragment. Seems it’s required to enter a cave that’s surrounded by coral.

The other big piece of information in Zahan is about this dog. He belongs to Tashisun, who is rumored to have the golden key,1 and he loves dogs. Another person will mention that the dog is acting strange, which of course is the cue to talk with the dog. He barks at us and leads us to a random spot where we discover the golden key!

A priestess at the temple warns the party about the incredibly large barrier within.

Another noteworthy thing in Zahan is this huge barrier. Unlike the Dragonlord’s castle, this one is a bit too large to just heal my way across so we’ll have to wait for Kain to get Safe Passage Stepguard at 17.

Sailing the incredibly short distance from Zahan to its monolith on an adjacent island

With yet another key in our limited inventory it’s time to backtrack a bit and open more locked doors. First, we sail west a distance so short we honestly should be capable of leaping it.

On this tiny island is a monolith and inside is a travel door which brings us back to Midenhall Castle.

The first golden door we unlock is to the treasury where a rather confused guard reprimands the party for attempting to steal. He then recognizes Prince Roto and allows us to loot the room. Literally, the only thing of value here is Erdrick’s Token. The rest of the chests are either empty or contain random low value junk.

Obtaining Erdrick's Sheild from a chest behind a golden key door in Cannock Castle

Behind a locked door in Cannock Castle, we find Erdrick’s Shield. It dawns on me that the room is surrounded by water and this old man has been locked in here. . . .

Obtaining the Armor of Gaia from a chest in the armor shop

In Ostefair Castle, we unlock the back entrance to the armor shop. Strangely, the merchant’s only concern is that we talk to him from across the counter to conduct business. Since he doesn’t seem to care, we help ourselves to the Armor of Gaia hidden in one of the chests back here.

Behind the locked door in Wellgarth we find the entire town has moved underground. We also discover from one of the residents that the jailor’s key is being sold here and right across from him is an item shop selling a mysteriously hidden something. Turns out it’s the jailor’s key!

As per usual the residents here have a lot of information to share. We learn the spirit mentioned back at the Fire Monolith is that of Rubiss. We also hear about the master weaver Don Mahone who can make the Water Flying Clothes, arguably the best armor for Maria.

Over on the east side of Wellgarth a prisoner tells us we’ll need the Eye of Malroth to open the path to Rhone, where Hargon is.

The cell across from him appears empty and the guard says the thief he locked inside seems to have escaped. He must not have searched very hard because we find Rogue Fastfinger hiding in a hole in the cell wall. For no specific reason he apologizes and gives us the watergate key.

Obtaining the Erdrick's Helmet from the Holy Monolith

Our collection quest continues back at the Holy Monolith. With Erdrick’s Token the man inside changes his tune and states he’s been waiting for us so he can pass on yet another piece of Erdrick’s equipment: his helmet.

Below Midenhall Castle are prisoners. If you talk to the one before obtaining the jailor’s key, he’ll promise to give you important information if you can release him. Since we have the key, he tells us the location of the life crest.

In the next cell, behind a barrier, we discover one of Hargon’s servants.

And a fight with the mace master ensues! As you can see by our HP the fight is not easy, but it’s definitely worth it because he drops the Staff of Thunder, which is a terrific weapon for Maria because it has decent attack power and casts Infernos.2 It’s actually worth a good chunk of gold, too. In the original there’s a glitch of sorts that allows you to respawn the battle by selling the staff and make limitless gold. I assume it’s still present in the remake, but I won’t be utilizing it.

  1. A fact that I’m aware of, but the party hasn’t learned because I don’t have any memory of the information chain about the various keys and I haven’t yet run into the random person who drops that specific clue.
  2. In the remake it’s actually an unnamed lightning-based spell.

DQII #7: Crest Fetching

Now that I have a full party once again, it is far less frustrating traveling1 and so we continue exploring the world. Our first stop is back to the world tree to get another leaf and then just to the west the party checks out the town of Wellgarth.

Wellgarth seems to only contain a locked door, a dog, and a man stating he's been left behind by all the other residents.

All that’s here are a dog, a lone man, and an obvious golden key door.

Obtaining the sun crest at the Fire Monolith

Next, we follow one of the leads from Beran and head to the Fire Monolith to obtain the sun crest. In typical DQ fashion it is hidden where you might expect to fall out of the area.

With Maria in the party, we revisit Moonbrooke where the king has a lot of new dialogue. The remake has expanded this exchange greatly from the original, which only contains the DQI throwback about not being able to hear or see anything.2 In the NA release the line was changed into a rather awful pun about being fired.

Continuing the search for crests, the party heads to Ostefair. Inside the castle, the people are concerned about their king’s obsession with battle. Despite the warning of possible injury or death, we speak with the king who challenges us to entertain him for a prize.

The king releases a saber lion on us. It hits pretty hard for our level, but the fight itself isn’t tough.

True to his word, the king rewards us for our victory and hands over the moon crest. Two crests down, three more to go!

  1. Maria does have Repel, but it doesn’t last very long and is almost more annoying to use than fighting the numerous random encounters.
  2. In Brecconary there is a soldier who says a similar line.

Bowl

Black-and-white photo of Yara holding a metal dog bowl

Yara likes to carry things.1 A particular favorite is Eli’s bowl.

  1. Shepherds are very oral.

DQII #6: Unexpected Side Quest

We can’t nab the shiny equipment at the Holy Monolith until we’ve found Erdrick’s Token, so instead we continue exploring.

Since the dude here didn’t kick us out, we can use the travel door on the other side of the pedestal. The animation change for the warping in the remake makes me queasy. I suppose it’s intended to be an improvement from the possible seizure-inducing flashing screen from the NES, but initially I thought my console glitched out.

The travel door at the Holy Monolith transports the party to the Fire Monolith

There are quite a few of these warp points scattered about the world. I haven’t bothered showing them before now because they all were dead ends. The Holy Monolith’s travel door brings you to the Fire Monolith where there are two other travel doors.

From the Fire Monolith we can get to this very similar looking monolith. An old man here tells us to seek the aid of the spirit with regard to Hargon’s illusions and the guy just outside the monolith explains that to fully use the travel doors we’ll need the golden key. Of course, we needed that anyway.

Exiting the monolith we find ourselves transported to a new continent. The enemies here are a step above those around Tantegel Castle, but they aren’t too tough. There’s only one direction to go and it brings us to Beran.

Quite honestly, I don’t know if this is just supposed to be some crazy random guy or if he actually is referencing something.

A man in Beran wishes for Hargon to be divinely punished

In the NES version this dialogue was rather randomly censored to asking for the time.

Chiefly among the many clues to gather here in Beran are locations of two crests.

Rested at the inn, which was apparently A Very Bad Idea because the next morning Kain wasn’t in my party.

Inexplicably, Kain has been cursed by Hargon. He randomly tells us to go on without him because he’s going to die. My reaction to all of this is a gigantic WTF?!

Turns out the remake has an additional side quest!

Obtaining a leaf of the world tree

I didn’t have the slightest idea what I was supposed to do, but thanks to the Internet I discovered this was actually a fairly simple fetch quest. Talking to people around town you’ll learn about the leaf of the world tree, which revives a fallen character. I was already planning to swing by the little island the world tree is on and snag one. This extra quest just meant I’d have to do this twice because you can only have one in your party’s inventory at a time.

The trip to the island utterly and completely sucked. The encounter rate on the boat was pretty awful and every battle included at least one enemy that had some type of sleep effect. Almost every battle we were put to sleep. Several times we were put to sleep turn after turn after turn while sea slugs and the like whittled away at our HP. I’m sure it’s only thanks to the adjusted battle mechanics and difficulty of the remake that we didn’t die time and again on this journey, but in any case we got to the island and nabbed the leaf. I am so glad that I always carry a spare wing of the wyvern because that return boat trip would have probably made me break things in frustration.1

Back in Beran Kain makes a rather anticlimactic recovery thanks to being force fed some ground up leaf of the world tree.

Kain thanks us and apologies for his earlier out-of-character plea to leave him behind. He joins back up and I very gladly take a break from the game.

  1. Only Kain has the Return spell.

Adventures in Dog-Sitting

When Dad and Keith went to NYC a few years ago, the dogs spent the entire time moping about, being incredibly despondent. So, I’m happy to say they’ve reacted to this trip far better. Yara has been pretty much glued to my side since I arrived, while Eli and Uschi have been tearing up the house in an endless playtime.

Honestly, not much has happened. The shepherds definitely know they outnumber me and seem to have combined their efforts to drag me out of bed as early as possible. So far they’ve forced me to brave the below temps at 4 a.m. two days in a row.

Mealtimes have been delightfully uneventful. Everyone has eaten their respective meals with absolutely zero issue.

The weather unfortunately has still been far too cold to let them have some good outdoor fun, but the weekend is supposed to warm up a bit. So, perhaps we’ll get a chance before we get dumped upon by yet more snow.