Part 28: Martha's people are more reasonable than I expectedNow that we've gone back and checked in with our old friends, it's time to push on. If you'll recall, Ojiron had tracked down the location of Martha's home village, somewhere to the northish.
When we head back to Granvania, the ship is waiting for us. Previously, the ship was confined to the central sea of the game world, but now we can travel to the outer sea, which opens up a new continent to visit.
And with a new continent comes our first new monster pal in a while! The golem is kind of like a cross between Puckle and Brown; he's a physical fighter that picks up some MP-free battle techniques that let him buff himself up. Frankly, he's a lot more useful than Pippin.
: It looks there's a path through the mountains, but it's blocked off with rubble. Odd.
: Do you see something in the lake?
: A sunken castle! Can we go there?
: Can you swim to the bottom of a lake?
: I know how to dog paddle!
: Let's... just come back to this later. I don't think it's what we're looking for, anyway.
: Stay sharp, kids. The creatures around here are no joke.
Especially when you've been fucking around like I have, instead of grinding, this continent can be rough. I mean seriously, not just Satan, but a pack of three Satans? Completely unreasonable. On the plus side, the kids catch up in levels very quickly.
So many, in fact, that they make up most of my screenshot folder for this session. Repel prevents random encounters for a little while, which can be nice if you're just trying to explore. And you're a wimp.
: Look, down in the valley!
: Hmm. I don't see any way down there.
: That has to be it, though, right? That's gotta be Gramma Martha's village!
: Well, we'll find out when we figure out how to get there.
More levels! Bang is the first spell that attacks all enemies, and it does a respectable amount of damage at that. Have I mentioned I love how Dragon Quest names its spells? Anyway, the kids have pretty great stat growth. While you need to babysit them for a little while, they level up just fine by sitting in the wagon and watching the grownups fight, and pretty soon they can hold their own.
: Well, we've searched the rest of the island, and there's no way to walk down into that valley. In my experience, that means it's time to sail into a cave.
: Whew, this cave is huge. I'm not entirely clear how we're still able to sail, though. Should we start rowing?
: Oy, I don't tell you how to save the world, do I? Let me worry about the ship, boss.
It never stops! Numboff cures paralysis, stepguard protects you from damaging floor tiles. Snowblast does ice damage to a group, and generally does more damage for less MP than Firebane, so that's pretty cool.
: Wow, this looks evil as hell. You want it, Sancho?
: I think you're making fun of me now, young master. Anyway, my head isn't even the right shape to fit in there.
Strangely enough, there's no curse or anything on the Satan Helm. None of the humans can equip it, though; currently our only monster willing to put it on is Golemach, our new golem, so he's welcome to it.
: Say, did you kids know I met the Fairy Queen once?
: Nuh uh! You're making that up, aren't you?
: Haha, it's true. When I was about your age, I rode a magic light beam to the fairy kingdom and defeated winter!
: Daddeeee! You don't need to make up stories! We already know how awesome you are!
: Yeah, the real stuff is better. Sorry, Daddy, but you're not very good at making stuff up.
: Say, do we have enough yet, sire?
: Hmm, perhaps! We'll go back and check when we get the chance.
: Well, this looks important!
: ... Yep. Oh, well, I see sunlight down the other passage.
: Looks like we're in that valley. Let's go check out the village.
: This must be the place, it matches the map that Ojiron showed me.
: This is where we of the forgotten live.
: if you have come here to learn the truths of this world, then you must meet with the four elders of our village.
: I wouldn't mind learning a truth or two.
: said to possess a power connected to the deep Demon World. But now such strength can only be found amongst the elders! Once, however, Lady Martha, a maiden blessed with incredible power also lived in this village...
: That's grandma! This really is her village!
: Oh, Lady Martha... where could you have gone to?
: I was kind of hoping someone here could tell me that...
: How many years have passed since then... Since that young man wandered into this village...? He fell in love with a young maiden from this village and took her away with him... The girl's name was Martha. And that youth... his name was Papas.
: I'm trying to imagine my dad as a young man, and I'm completely failing.
: Hello, ladies.
: You know who I am?
: We have powers. I believe the townsfolk mentioned that. We have been expecting you for some time now... Once, we truly despised Lord Papas for stealing our great lady... But you, Simon, product of Martha and Papas' love, have committed no crime against us. So to you, we will explain all.
I hope everyone's ready for some exposition!
: In ancient times, God divided our world into three parts: the Heavens where He Himself lives, the Earth where humans live, and the Dark World where evil creatures were sealed away. So that these three worlds would never collide, God created 'gatekeepers' to each realm. Those gatekeepers are none other than us, the people of El Heven.
: Ah. I think that's the first straightforward explanation of theology I've ever heard.
: ever seen before. No doubt the monsters kidnapped Lady Martha in hopes to force her to open the gates of the Dark World for them...
: As the years pass, the gates of the Dark World are forced open, wider and wider. If this continues, a great beast from the Darkness will make its way into our world. Before that can happen, Lady Martha must be rescued and the gate must be resealed. Simon, child of the great Lady Martha. Only you have the power to save her.
: But with the passage of time, such powers became weaker and weaker...
: Well, that was all very unsettling.
: Well, I didn't actually anything yet, but yes, I'm her son.
: Then let me gift you with a Magic Carpet and a Magic Key!
: Yes please!
: Both these treasures are hidden in this village.
: Waaaaait. Is this going to be some kind of scavenger hunt?
: If you find them, then you may keep them.
: YAAAAY! Scavenger hunt!
: I trust and count on you to save our dear Lady Martha...
: Really, dude? I can see it out your window. You are bad at hiding things.
: Oof, I don't understand why people like turning their towns into mazes. This had better be worth it.
: So worth it!
: That tower stretches all the way into the skies. It is said that those who brave the journey can reach the Zenithian Castle, where God lives.
: You know, I've been to just about every place on Earth now, and I've seen a lot of towers, but I haven't seen any that reach all the way to Heaven.
: Now this I like. Hey, kids, want to take this thing for a spin?
: Yes please!
: Wheeee! Go higher, Daddy!
: I'm trying! I don't think this thing goes any higher!
The flying carpet is our new mode of transport. It only works over open ground and water; it's blocked by cliffs, mountains, forests, etc. Still, it opens up several new areas to visit, but that's for next time. For now, we've got a little backtracking to do.
: We meet again, door. You knew your time would come.
The Magic Key unlocks this kind of door, which has vexed Simon in the past.
The meteorite armband is an excellent piece of gear. Equipping it doubles your agility, and, like the rings and Bianca's ribbon, it's worn in addition to your normal gear. Agility isn't tied as closely to defense as in some other DQ games, but going earlier in battle is always a good thing.
Here's something I forgot to pick up while I was here before. Walking into the wall below the stairs there leads you to this secret room...
Siiiiigh. I'm not going to talk about the Naughty Underwear. Let's just pretend it doesn't exist. The Hat of Happiness, though, is completely excellent. It's one of the best headgears we've seen so far, and it recovers the wearer's MP with every step as a bonus! I like to stick this on Healie while I'm wandering around and exploring or grinding, since he does the bulk of the healing. It's a good idea to stick it on one of your main line characters when you go into a dungeon, like Lola, so she can keep slinging attack spells.
Next on our backtrack agenda is Port Selmi. There's actually some new dialogue in town since we were here last, such as the dwarf in the lighthouse!
: That's Saint Belles. No ordinary human can climb that mountain. I heard this rumor that with the dragon God off somewhere, someone is doing something evil and nasty up there. Where'd I hear that rumor...? None of your damn business!
: Not really!
: Gorosute used his Final Key to wreak havoc all across the lands.
: Final Key, eh? Go on....
: But he got his. Seems he got himself swallowed whole by a monster the size of a mountain! That was the end of him. Of course, that monster got slain by someone in turn, though. Just a reminder that there's always
: Naw, we got a sweet new magic carpet now! Boats are for suckers!
: Huh? Not anymore? Traveling the world on a flying carpet? You... you big liar! You can't trick me! People can't fly!
: Another obstacle falls to my door defeating powers!
: You're kind of weird sometimes, Daddy.
: Aw. Stealing from my own vault was more rewarding somehow.
One more stop...
: Finally... This room has been tantalizing me since I was a little boy. I finally get to find out what's stashed away in there!
: ... Oh. Having your childhood desire fulfilled sucks sometimes.
Next time: Magic carpet ride!