Project DQ

Metal slime: a grinning, silvery-colored teardrop shaped enemy from the Dragon Quest seriesOkay, wow, I’m honestly surprised at the interest in my Dragon Quest playthrough project, hereafter to most likely be referred to as Project DQ (PDQ). A number of people have contacted me about this playthrough, so let me acknowledge a few of those messages:

  • Yes, I know the hero’s name arguably should be Roto. It’s a romanization of the Japanese liquid consonant, which means technically both are correct.
  • On that note, I am aware of the importance of the hero’s name, but I didn’t utilize the information when I chose my name or how to spell it.
  • No, this is not a blind playthrough. (See the section below for further details on this project.)
  • However, this is the first time I’ve played the SFC remake. And it’s been a very long time since I played Dragon Warrior on the NES. Still, I’ll likely compare the two a lot.
  • Thanks for the tip about searching pots, dressers, etc. I know to search them in later games and I had noticed their presence in the remake; I just hadn’t realized they were more than graphical background additions.
  • Also, thank you for the suggestions on which versions to play with regard to future entries, but I’ll get into that below.

I suppose I should also announce the ground rules I have:

  1. This project is in no way affiliated with or endorsed by Square Enix who own and hold the copyright for Dragon Quest and all of its related material. All usage of such material here is dune under fair use as defined by United States law. Further, all opinions stated are my own.
  2. These will not be 100% playthroughs. I intend to thoroughly explore each game and do side content, but my only goal is to complete the main story.
  3. These will be entirely legitimate runs. No cheats. No hacking. No fast forwarding. No save states.
  4. I will not be using guides or walkthroughs. They aren’t necessary anyway since I’ve played through all of the games before except for V and VI. However, I will be utilizing references for things like item stats, alchemy recipes, etc.1
  5. I have no time frame for this project. RPGs are generally long and most of the DQ games are perfect examples of this. That means I have no idea how long it will take me to get through all nine games. I also want to avoid burning out, so I don’t want to rush through the games and I expect I’ll be playing other things on the side.2

Without actually recording myself while I’m playing, which I don’t have the capabilities to do anyway, I can’t exactly prove I’m adhering to the above statements. So, you’ll just have to take me at my word. In any case, I will note any changes to the above if the need arises.

There has been a lot of debate online as to the best versions of each DQ entry and I’ve given the topic a great deal of thought. In the end, I’ve more or less decided on the SFC remakes for I-III (patched with fan translations), the North American DS releases of IV-VI, and the official NA releases for the remaining three games. Yes, I am well aware of the shortcomings of the DS versions and quite honestly my main reason for choosing them over other, arguably better, versions is that I own them and haven’t yet played them. However, I think I’ll leave talk of all that until I actually get to said games.

Finally, even though of late posting here has been, at best, rather sparse, I don’t want this one project to completely take over the site, so after giving this some thought I decided that I’ll be keeping the PDQ posts to roughly once or twice a week. By doing this I can play the games at a leisurely pace and have the time to organize the ridiculous number of screenshots I’ll take. If you’re jonesing for more than that I will be posting snippets under the “Project DQ” tag on my Tumblr, too.

  1. There’s no way I could keep all that straight in my head even if I didn’t have the memory of a gnat.
  2. I just started Radiant Historia, which is proving to be a fantastic experience.

Quick ‘n’ Dirty

I’ve been dealing with an issue with my left eye for about two weeks now which is probably not pink eye but being treated as if it were. The whole thing came on kind of suddenly and for several days my eye burned and watered constantly as if I had soap in it. I was beyond miserable and by the time I broke down and went to the doctor I was in utter agony. I was prescribed some soothing drops which seem to have done just that, but the last few days I’m noticing an increase in the discomfort again. This correlates to me lessening how often I’ve been administering the drops, so I’m strongly considering requesting a refill before I completely run out.

Uschi’s eyes however are finally almost entirely healed. She has just the teeniest raw spot under her left eye and her right, which was by far the worse of the two, has only a thin scab. I’m entirely shocked she doesn’t have scaring and in fact it looks quite likely there will be no evidence of her wounds. I don’t know why this is so surprising considering the same thing happened last year with her nose and that also shows no signs of being rubbed raw.

Aside from the household eye health, the only other noteworthy thing I can think of to share is that in the interest of quelling the nagging voices to get me to update more consistently, I’m debating a blog idea that in an off-hand way Brooke gave me. She complained about the “strange” lack of personal details in my about page and chided me for not keeping it more up-to-date. There are a bunch of reasons for this and as I listed them off I realized that in and of themselves this was almost an entirely new blog. And then I thought about my abandoned blog and how I’ve toyed with trying to resurrect it in some way. Anyway, I’ll get into all that another time after I’ve got a more firm grasp on what, if anything, I will be doing.

Goodbye, LJ

On the heels of my nattering on about blogging and my lack thereof, I received an email informing me that LiveJournal has deleted my account.1

It’s amusing to me that it took them some 7 years to finally get around to noticing the complete lack of activity I’ve had on my old blog there. But I guess the clincher was that I sort of locked myself out of my account about two years ago and never bothered to fix that. Oops. Still, it’s kind of bittersweet for me. LJ was my first blogging home and I have met some pretty awesome friends through the community there. Except, like me, they’ve all basically abandoned LJ for other haunts like Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr.2 Then again, I had one foot out the door of LJ long before they were bought and then later sold by Six Apart so I don’t know why the email was even a little jarring to me. I guess it’s just the finality of it. Like Geocities shutting down, this is yet another piece of my Internet beginnings that will no longer be a part of my life.

Anyway, if for some ridiculous reason you’ve been looking for me over there, this is just to say the obvious: I haven’t been around and I won’t be coming back. Sorry. Really though there’s just too many other places to be. Even sometimes places that have nothing to do with a keyboard and a monitor. I know, it’s crazy!

  1. There’s still a syndicated feed if you actually still use LJ and for some reason insist on reading my blog via them.
  2. And, of course, I barely use all of those.

The Problem with Blogging

Over the weekend I queried the Internet about how to make the Assistance Dog Blog Carnival1 a success and in doing so it brought to light my own personal issues with participating and blogging in general.

Let’s face it, the Internet is an entirely different beast than it was in 2000 when I first set up my little slice of the great WWW on LiveJournal. Blogs were basically personal journals that just happened to be public. And like the Internet itself, they were considered a fad. For me, and many others, they were exactly the thing we needed. A place to pour out our streams of consciousness and share life with family, friends, and/or any interested party behind a computer screen.

An aluminum keyboard with white chiclet style keysNowadays blogs are so many things: sources of news and entertainment, resources of information, etc. The average blog with any real presence has some focus to it and the personal journal has all but died out. Social media has a lot to do with this. It’s much easier to natter on about random daily life in short snippets than find the time to write an entire article. What seems to push this shift is that even commenting has moved over to social media. The back-and-forth is more convenient, but with the comment section’s where the interaction occurs and it’s also a large source of generating traffic to and from a blog.

So where do I fit in with all this? I’ve never really had a specific focus to my blog — and I have absolutely zero intention of turning it into one. I never set out to be the best or most popular blogger, especially since I’m forever amazed that anyone finds me interesting enough to read. It’s probably why I’ve never particularly minded that more often than not I feel like I’m blogging in the void. And yet even though I’m admittedly a rather lazy social media user, even I have slowly gravitated towards using it.

The big roadblock for me has been an almost oppressive lack of desire to blog. At first it was just that I lacked anything inspiring to share.2 It didn’t alarm me since I’d gone through it a fair few times before. Eventually, it became clear to me this wasn’t a typical dry spell because when I did have something I felt like sharing I still wasn’t writing. Sometimes I’d try and it just felt stale and ludicrously pointless. This was partly because writing about the frustration and stress in my life was only heightening those issues for me, but I also know now these things were were some of the first clues I was slipping into major depression.

I’ve been out of that black cloud for several months now and so the question remains why the lack of blogging? Honestly, I don’t have the answer to that. I do know that my time on the Internet has largely been spent searching for a new job. It’s time-consuming in a way that you only understand if you’re in the same situation. It also makes me want to spend any moment not engaged in job-searching away from the computer. There’s also the intermittent issues I’ve had with pain and stiffness that make it difficult at times to be at my keyboard.

Mostly, I think it’s just that I simply got out of the habit, which you would might think would be easily rectified. I’m finding, however, that is far from the case and quite honestly I’m not sure why.

  1. Presently, the Internet has responded with only silence.
  2. Champion rambler that I am, even I can only prattle on about nothing for so long.

An Honest Query

People ask me every now and again when or if I’ll ever get going since it’s only been, oh, forever. The domain actually expires next year and I’m quite doubtful I’ll renew it. This is mostly because I’m still not sure what exactly it should be as a site. I know what it could be, but I don’t really have a good plan for how to start it to grow into that. And because of that I’ve more or less lost interest in the idea. I also am not as confident there is enough interest as a whole on other people’s part to justify the work I would put into it.

Assistance Dog Blog Carnival (#TheADBC)Then there’s the Assistance Dog Blog Carnival, which over the last year seems to have run out of steam. I have a few theories as to why that is, but I quite honestly am not sure what the problem is. When I hosted in May I extended the submission period twice because there were almost no participants and this current edition seems to be suffering from a similar issue.1

I’m aware that there are many people who used to regularly participate in the Carnival and haven’t in several rounds and that includes myself. Of course, I’m just one person amongst an entire community of participants and my issue is not specific to the Carnival itself and has been a lack of desire and inspiration to blog in general.

When Brooke and I took over handling the Carnival it was in part to help it grow again and we’ve brainstormed a few things that we hope will accomplish this. However, we could certainly use your input. We really want to know what we can do to make the ADBC a success. We want people to be interested in participating and we want to know that news is being spread about the current calls for submissions and/or editions.

Thoughts? Comments? Crickets?

  1. Presently, there isn’t a single submission.