Part 36: Dragon Valley Part IIPart 36: Dragon Valley Continued
You can really get yourself in trouble here, if you save right after reading paragraph 134, while the Queen is preparing to kill you. Even if you try to run from her, she will always go first and use her absurdly powerful breath attack. The good news is that it is possible to survive the battle with the Dragon Queen. I don't mean that we can "win" it, but it's possible for the damage roll to be a little lower, resulting in our being stun-wiped instead of getting an actual Game Over.
If you reload enough times, you can get out with all of your party members stunned. Then you get dumped back at the entrance, and all you have to do is slap a Band-Aid on those dragonfire burns. You can return to the northern part of the valley and the Dragon Queen will still be there, but she will not attack you again.
The best thing to do is to not get into a battle with the Queen at all. As you might have guessed, before her attack, we need to use the Dragon Gem.
Paragraph 120 posted:The Dragon Queen recoils when you show the Dragon Gem. "Curse you!" she hisses. "The Dragon Gem marks you as friend of dragons, and binds me to your will." The Dragon Queen looms above you, seeming impossibly large. "I grant you your life, and I dismiss you from my presence. When next you use the Dragon Gem, I will respond...but the sacrifice you offer must be sweet, or I will turn on you, and the Dragon Gem be damned!!"
With a beat of her wings the Dragon Queen is gone.
Sadly, the other enemies don't leave town with her, but this is important. There is a place where we'll want to use the Dragon Gem. If we try to use it in the wrong place, nothing happens, we just get the usual "item has no use here," which is a bit disappointing. It would be more fun if the Dragon Queen would show up and blast your party into oblivion for wasting her time. On second thought, maybe that wouldn't be so much fun.
One more thing: each party member gains 500 experience after the Dragon Gem is used here. I've found that a lot of game events give experience points like this. The ones I know of for sure are winning the Byzanople vs. Kingshome battle, reviving Zaton, and this one, but I'm sure there are many more that I haven't pinpointed. If someone in the party would gain a level, they gain it after the next battle you fight, even if you run away without killing an enemy. None of this matters much at all, but it's interesting to me.
Also, the Dragon Gem only lets us control the Queen. All of her hundreds of children will continue to make every effort to kill us, everywhere we turn.
At this point, we can leave Dragon Valley, as gaining control of the Dragon Queen is the main reason to come here. And that's probably what a sane person would do, as the battles are both dangerous and tedious.
Oh great. The game is guilt-tripping us for killing the baby dragons who are all trying to eat us. Just for that, I'm taking them all down! You wanted a Dragon War, you've got one!
Spare me the half-baked morality lesson. More blood means more experience!
This isn't like Might & Magic where destroying the monsters' nest removes their spawn point. We just get -- what else? -- a bunch of loot.
The equipment is a marginal upgrade, the Holy Lance isn't worth bothering with, and the Dragon Tears don't do anything. The Dragon's Eyes are very useful though, as they are more powerful Dragon Stones. These battles have chewed up a ton of my MP, so this is a very nice pickup.
And with that, there's nothing left to do but finish the massacre!
And with that, the only encounters left in Dragon Valley are random ones. The bad news is that the random encounters include fun groups like this:
I've hinted at this before, but Mages are the absolute worst around here. On one hand, they actually don't do any damage. On the other hand, they do this:
Yeah. They constantly spam the "lose a turn" spell, which is every bit as annoying as it sounds. Not only does it make them difficult to fight, it's also really annoying to run from them.
The "good" news about Brambles is that it doesn't seem to have a particularly high success rate. When it says, "the party misses an attack," it really just means that at least one member of the party will miss a turn. Even with six Mages spamming the spell every turn, one or two attacks will get through. In most cases, that's still enough to make the battle impossible, but since there is only one enemy who actually deals damage (the Dragon Warrior), we'll be fine. We'll just attack the Warrior with Dragon Teeth every turn, then attack the Mages. We'll win, we won't take much damage, but it will be a very slow process.
Also, that's the message we get if Brambles misses all party members. It doesn't come up all that often, but enough to indicate that the hit rate for Brambles isn't all that high.
Easy, right? Well, aside from the fact that it took about 30 turns just to get enough attacks off, sure.
Goodbye, and good riddance!
Off to Rustic! Next time, we'll tackle the Royal Game Preserve, likely to be our final stop before Nisir!