Friday, January 21, 2011

Played Lately: Dragon Quest IX

  • I haven't talked about Dragon Quest IX since last August. I meant to, but I put the game down right around the time I started on a second post and didn't get back to it until recently. Funny thing is, I stopped about four boss battle away from the end of the game. I don't know what's wrong with me.

  • When last I posted, I was still working my way through the story, but I was quickly sidetracked by the treasure map system. While it is actually the endgame content, you can get an early taste of grotto (read that as random dungeon) hunting. You get one treasure map about midway through the game from a quest. Once you fight your way to the bottom of the grotto, you fight the boss and win a new treasure map as well as a small chance for a unique item. At one point during my play time, I completely abandoned the main story to delve new grottos and get win higher level maps.

  • One side effect of this was that I discovered that my party was not perfectly equiped to handle the endgame bosses. So what does one do in DQIX when you don't have the right skills? That's right, you change your character classes and start leveling from 1 again. In this case, I changed my warrior into a paladin to get the defense buffing spell. Once she was up to an appropriate level, the boss fights became much more manageable.

  • The end of the game, when I finally got to it, was exactly what I wanted from the game. My party fought through the corrupted final dungeon, defeating a number of boss returned from the dead, and then the final villain (twice). And even through I had put down the game for a few months, all of the emotion still came through when the story drew to a close. Getting to see how the world was changed by my character's work was great. It was exactly the ending I was looking for in the game.

  • When the credits had finished, your party is returned to the world to explore the endgame. Upon teleporting to Stornway (the main city in the game) I discovered how much the NPCs had been updated to know the new state of the world. Everyone was talking about the treasure map craze that was sweeping the population. At that point I saved, closed my DS, and put it away. I may return to the game some time. I do want to see more of the grottos and complete the endgame quests. But for now I've gotten everything out of Dragon Quest IX that I was looking for. Finishing the game just reaffirmed it was one of my Top Five from last year.

© 2011 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.

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