Part 10: Still too young to gamble.
: So, uh... now what?
: I figure the first order of business is to get to that city in the north the nuns mentioned, and buy you some new clothes.
: Yeah, I'd appreciate that! Maybe I can't dress like a prince anymore, but I'd love to be able to put on some pants.
: Hey, Simon, this isn't north.
: I know, I just want to see what's over here...
: Whooooops. Sorry guys, we'll be going now!
The monsters across the bridge are tougher than you're supposed to deal with. They're beatable, but it's not easy and not very rewarding. We'll be back this way again later!
: We'd better find you some more reasonable monsters for you to learn how to fight... I think I saw some slimes and stink weasels back this way.
: Fight? Me? I don't know how to do that!
: You'll be fine. You beat up that guard back at the temple, remember? Look, I'm not going to throw you in the deep end. Just stay alert, watch what I do, and jump in when you feel ready, OK?
: Holy hell, I didn't realize boomerangs worked like that!
: *phew* You did this as a little kid?
: Well, sure. It's a little easier now that I'm not tripping over my cloak. Oh, here we are!
: Kind of a weird name for a town... Ever heard of it, Henry?
: I didn't exactly pay much attention to geography class...
: Well, they're bound to have some decent gear. First, we need to get you a weapon.
: ... I know just what I want.
: Sweet, sweet poetic justice.
: You sure? Those things are kind of hard to... oh, well, you'll figure it out sooner or later.
: I can't wait! But seriously, what about those clothes?
: Right, right, here you go!
: ... These are not pants.
: What? They're fine. Dad had one just like that!
: ... Somehow, that doesn't help.
: Hey, I know what beer is, I just don't know what you call that stuff!
: I don't know the details... but you must have come from some really barren place...
: Hmm? Ah, you're a traveler. Oh, but it's nice to have a place to go home to... But I supposea young person like you still doesn't know the true joy of such...
: God, now I'm depressed.
: Stay strong, bro.
: I could hardly believe that people actually lived there.
: Just you watch... I'll be the number one dancer here soon!
Man, finally. Up until this point, every item is carried by a specific party member, and space is limited. This is no party bag, but it'll give us a place to stash all the stuff we don't need at the moment.
: Ooh, blinkie lights. Think we should go in there?
: We only have a little money left, we shouldn't blow it on blackjack.
: I don't even know what that is.
The casino's a pretty neat little set of gambling minigames. Of course, when you're using an emulator, you can just savestate your way into vast fortunes. Which I'll probably do, just not right now.
: Yes, a friend of your husband's. That explains why we've broken into your house. Do please tell us your story!
: My husband keeps telling me that he wants to go North to a great castle to sell his wares... But this castle doesn't have the most shining reputation... it just worries me so...
: Hey, could I have that? To make up for my "pants" not covering below my upper thigh?
: At night, this town will show its other face.
: We're aware of night and day work.
: Yeah, night is when you sneak out of the inn and go on secret ghost adventures.
: When I was younger, this town was just a small village. People only started coming here after they built the bridge up North. How long ago? It's been about ten years since they put that up.
: To tell the truth, I only do fortunes at night... but seeing that you're my type of man, I'll tell you something helpful.
: Why are the lights going out?
: Jeez, lady, I was hoping to get some sleep tonight!
: Whether you want to believe it or not, that's entirely up to you. Heh heh heh...
: It's only open at night, though.
: By the way, thanks again for teaching me to read and write and stuff. That would be super helpful right now if anyone had thought to label this map.
: No sweat, dude. I still don't remember any geography, though.
: Well, this is a weird house. Who could live down here?
: I'm gonna have to guess trolls.
: Hmmm... you... you have such a pure and strong gaze... and what power lies behind those eyes...
: I give up, what?
: What? ... Anyway... Perhaps with such power, you will be able to even befriend fierce monsters.
: Maybe if they're being picked on by little bullies?
: What? "How might I do that," you ask? Very well, let me tell you! First things first! You need to find a caravan!
: I have no idea what that is.
: Don't interrupt. And then... You must fight monsters, not with hate... but with love!
: I think this guy's a crackpot, Simon.
: And when the monsters see this love, they will come to you, not as an enemy, but as a friend... a companion... Of course, they respect only the strong... so you must triumph over them in battle first before they join you. Understand?
: Not in the slightest, but for the love of God please don't repeat all that. I'll just figure it out as I go.
: Good! A smart one like you will be able to befriend many a monster! You will be able to take along a lot more monsters with the caravan, but there is still a limit... When you reach such, just come visit me. I'll take care of your monstrous friends.
: Ohhhh, that's it. He just wants us to gather creatures for his petting zoo or whatever.
: Please do!
: If you want a monster to obey your orders all the time, you should raise their intelligence. When a monster's intelligence is over 20, he'll do just about anything you order him to do.
Phewwww, that's a hell of an infodump. This is the start of one of DQV's unique features... but we still need to do one more thing to unlock it. We'll have to wait until nightfall for the next part...
: Wow, this town's still pretty jumping after dark. Let's take a look around!
: Yep, you gotta live on the edge, but know when to quit when ya gamble.
: If it's true, I'd like to go there one day...
: I wouldn't pack your bags just yet.
: It's not gruel, and I'm pretty sure no guards spit in it. I'll take it!
: What? It was good?! That's unbelievable... what have your parents been feeding you?
: To do that, I need to go to this castle said to exist to the North and take tons and tons of orders... But my darn wife... She won't let me go! Dammit! *hick* ...
: Customers nowadays... all they do is complain!
: Only if you're not so scary this time!
: Pssh. Baby. Very well. Since you're so handsome, I'll tell your fortune for free!
: Uh oh...
: Let's see... You are... looking for someone... and that person... a woman most dear to you... But you are confused... for you do not know whether she lives or not... But take heart, for she lives! And she too anxiously awaits the day that you two can come face to face... You must go North. There you will find a piece to this puzzle...
: Oh. That was actually very non-nightmarey. Thank you!
This is what we came for! Now, obviously such an important plot item will involve a quest, like fetching a magic wheel from his ancestral dwarven...
Or he just wants to get it out the door to make room for next year's model. That's fine by me!
: I have no idea why, but I must have this! It's a deal!
: Alright! It's a done deal! I'll leave the caravan outside the city... good luck now!
Check out that pimpin' horse and cart. He may not know why quite yet, but Simon is rollin' in style.
: Wh... what is that slime doing? Didn't we kill it?
: We're armed with a stick and a length of chain. I don't think we've actually inflicted lethal damage on anything. Anyway, this little guy's kind of cute... I say we let it tag along with us.
: You're the boss, I guess. But I'm not cleaning up after it.
: What the...? Where did it get a nametag?
Yep, Simon has dominion over the beasts of the land! Not every monster can be obtained, but a lot can. I don't remember the exact number, but it's somewhere around 40ish. Monsters level like humans, and can even be given equipment. Unfortunately, you can only have 3 active party members, plus 5 more in the caravan that you swap out as needed. Sadly, you can't name the monsters, but each variety has a few names that it randomly picks from.
I'm not going to try to get 100% of the recruitable monsters, but I do want to have a good selection so that you can vote on who Simon takes along.
Next time: I think they want us to go North!