GSQ4: On with the show, this is it

Dragon Quest V: Heavenly Heartbreak
Something about GameSpite Quarterly 4 that sort of went unpublicized is that the first half of the book is a loose dissertation on the state of RPGs. I’ve been skipping around with my postings of the book’s contents, but not anymore. Now it’s time to get serious. By which I mean “posting all the articles in sequence.” Beginning with this bit on Dragon Quest V. Enjoy.

13 thoughts on “GSQ4: On with the show, this is it

  1. I started playing this last week after FFXIII failed to fulfill my old-school-hankerin’ for an JRPG. I’ll circle back around to read this when I’m done (I think I just ran into an older version of myself in the second town the Hero visits in the game, and am now exploring some king’s castle for the first time while he parlays with my poppa), but I’m glad I’ll have whatever this article waiting for me when I’m finished.

  2. I agree with your take on the Hero, but I think another big reason DQV is so affecting is how great the (relatively small) supporting cast is. Harry’s transformation from spoiled royal to friend and comrade-in-arms is one of my favorite bits of character development in a video game. Then there’s Sancho, whose loyalty to your family never wavers even after years of your absence. These aren’t the most original character types, but they work in Dragon Quest’s simple fairytale world.

    Even the “bad” characters, like Harry’s stepmother and the minister of Gotha, have moments of empathy and even redemption. It makes the truly evil characters stand out all the more.

    That said, I’m slogging my way through Nadiria right now, and I’m starting to agree with the Hero’s uncle: I should’ve stayed home with my family. I don’t want anything else bad to happen to the poor guy.

  3. I do feel there is one thing missing in this article. The simple journey of trying to get this game. For whatever in-fathomable(not sure on this word, going with spell checker, hmmm) reason Square-Enix does not seem to have printed very many copies of this game. Similar to how they didn’t seem to get many copies of FFVIA while there were gobs of FFVA. You can easily do a search on Amazon for DQIV and find a copy shipped and sold from amazon right there. DQV however does not have that luxury. It took me weeks of waiting for a copy to become available to order on Amazon. As soon as it did I of course picked it up right away.

    It is a good game and I have enjoyed it, even though I am currently stuck on the final, right before the optional final, boss Necrais or something. The guy who near Precuria(sp?right place? the final dungeon).

    The one thing I find interesting about this game as compared to its predecessor is the fact that there are almost no HP/MP restore points anywhere in the game dungeons. In DQIV, if I recall correctly there was always at least one HP/MP restore spring in the dungeons you went through. DQV not so much. I can only remember one, but since I have not played that part of the game in a while, I do not remember where it was.

    That said I definitely agree that the story in this one really makes you want to just plow right through it as fast as possible and damned the levels.

  4. I think I grabbed a rare new copy of DQV about a few week after Parish complained about the game being so hard to find on a Retronauts podcast last year, but Square Enix seems to’ve reprinted the game since then as you can snatch up new copies again without too much work.

  5. This article was almost a spoiler since I literally just saved my wife (Bianca) while I was at lunch. I came back to work from lunch a little misty eyed. Then I read this article and it all came back again. This game is one of the few that has done that to me, and the heart ripping plot twists make me almost want to skip work to finish. Did anyone else want to do a group hug when you wife and kids were all reunited?

    Time to hunt more liquid metal slimes before I journey to where ever the rings take me.

  6. All I’ll say is that after that scene at the end of the hero’s childhood, when I realized what 10 years had gone by, I had to turn off the DS and I didn’t touch it again for days. I closed the DS so brusquely that the wife asked what was wrong. I don’t remember the last time a game had affected me like that…

  7. I have absolutely nothing to add to this article. My own sentiments are echoed exactly here. It really is a shame video games aren’t able to employ subtlety more often.

  8. I only played the fan-translated ROM a couple of years ago, and not the DS version… but what a masterpiece.

  9. It’s strange, the first time I played through the game (the translated SNES version), it didn’t pull at my heartstrings that much. I played it again on the DS, though, and it most definitely did. I suspect the years between the two playthroughs had a bit more effect on me. There are some things that you only learn by living, and imagining it applied to me is very emotionally moving.

    And yeah, I was fighting back tears during the intro for Up. So much for maintaining that manly image…

  10. The emotional impact of the intro to UP was rather confounded for me as me and my then Girlfriend got into a heated argument right before the movie started. I’ll try to avoid having something similar happen whenever I start playing DQV.

  11. For whatever reason, I’m averse to jRPGs with strong pet/monster training bents, yet that’s what I usually play in Western style RPGs. I think this makes me an idiot or really picky. Or maybe I misread about DQV and it’s as optional there as it was in VIII?

  12. Thoroughly agree with the article, it really is a great game, I’ve loved every Dragon Quest game I’ve played, but this one is very special. Nice to see little Hero winning the day after all the hardship he’s been through. Anywhere to get the picture at the top of the article in a higher resolution?

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