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Parish
04-01-2008, 12:35 PM
Now that Shiren has helped everyone adapt to the concept of an RPG where starting over is just a matter of course, it's time to move on to a more demanding variation on the theme.

Breath of Fire Dragon Quarter
Capcom | RPG | PS2 | 2002

AKA the best thing ever to sport the Breath of Fire name!

spineshark
04-01-2008, 01:17 PM
I'd like to start this off by saying that everyone should play this game this month. Even if you already have (I will, and it will be my 6th and probably 7th clears). Of course not everyone is going to do that, but I figured I'd say it anyway.

It's cheap and not hard to find, despite selling poorly and receiving favorable reviews. It's short and highly balanced, but if you're having too much trouble you can just use brute force with the restarting system. It should be easy to finish in a month playing about an hour a day. It has an incredible soundtrack and a unique and brilliant battle system. The more I play it, the more I respect its intricacy and amazing vision. Basically, it's one of the most brilliantly conceived games I've ever played, and the fact that it doesn't quite live up to its ideas is less disappointing than inevitable.

It is close, though. Easily my second, if not most, favorite game of the PS2 era. Fes is probably a coup de grace for P3 to get the top spot, but I don't want to say so too early.

Anyway this month I plan to put some effort into speedrunnning the game, since it really is made for it, with the quick and direct level design, the numerous clever tricks you have to avoid encounters, and the dragon form for annihilating the harder bosses. I've got some notes that were translated by someone else, from a Japanese guy who finished the game in about 75 minutes (game clock, not real time), as I recall. Plus I need to get my main file through Korkon Horay. I'll have to see how that works out.

Anyway, I hope to see what happens with this month's RPG...it's a really good one so I hope to see plenty of awesome discussion.

shivam
04-01-2008, 01:26 PM
what a random choice. i wonder if i even have this game?

Parish
04-01-2008, 01:54 PM
I assume by "random" you mean "indicated as an upcoming selection several months ago and reviewed in the most recent issue of GameSpite."

Reluctant Hero
04-01-2008, 02:15 PM
So... how much is this game going for on Ebay these days? I'd check right now, but ebay isn't accessable to me at my office.

ringworm
04-01-2008, 02:17 PM
My local gamestop has a copy (maybe yours does too (http://www.gamestop.com/Catalog/ProductDetails.aspx?sku=938508)), I'm pretty excited to check this one out. Been talking to a friend of mine who is a pretty solid RPG evaluator and he has very good things to say about it. He called it Breath of Fire's FFXII, in that it is an entity unto itself within the established franchise, and attempts to think outside the box. Also traditional BoF fans tend to hate in the same way that FFVII fans hated FFXII.

Mightyblue
04-01-2008, 02:18 PM
Well, damn. My PS2 and game collection is current unavailable, so this is like sweet torture.

Shucks.

Reluctant Hero
04-01-2008, 02:27 PM
My local gamestop has a copy (maybe yours does too (http://www.gamestop.com/Catalog/ProductDetails.aspx?sku=938508))

Good point, and mine does have a copy. Guess I'll stop by after work. I usually frown on used games from Gamestop due to cracked cases, no manuals, incomplete manuals, stickers, scratches, etc. Yeah, I'm anal about the condition of my games. I like them to be near mint.

Lakupo
04-01-2008, 03:36 PM
Yay, Dragon Quarter. \o/

Actually, I rented this years ago, got a few hours in, and decided to wait to buy it... a few years later, I finally picked up a cheap copy in nice condition, but when I tried resuming my game, I was a bit lost and forgot how to play it, and haven't played it since. So, I think I'll have to restart, but fortunately that's okay in this game, and this month'll be a perfect time to start. :)

Eusis
04-01-2008, 04:08 PM
I probably won't restart since I didn't play this TOO long ago and I'm at the Old TradeSector with 31%, which I was told is fine for that point.

pence
04-01-2008, 04:23 PM
Good point, and mine does have a copy. Guess I'll stop by after work. I usually frown on used games from Gamestop due to cracked cases, no manuals, incomplete manuals, stickers, scratches, etc. Yeah, I'm anal about the condition of my games. I like them to be near mint.

I got a pretty decent copy from my Gamestop; box, manual, and minimal sticker gunk. Only ran me 8 dollars, 7 dollars with the loyalty card. I'm going to go after it as soon as I drag myself away from Crisis Core's endgame.

mopinks
04-01-2008, 05:09 PM
I bought this game three years ago and never got more than an hour in. is this the point in my life where I finally rectify this ancient disgrace??

spoiler: probably not

alexb
04-01-2008, 05:16 PM
You can do it. I believe in you.

TK Flash
04-01-2008, 05:16 PM
I just want to say...

I'm so, so happy.

Octopus Prime
04-01-2008, 07:40 PM
Well, I got the game about a month ago and was distracted by the awesomeness of Shadow Hearts and Smash Brothers, so it sat on my shelf untouched.

So it looks like I'm going to play it now, suckas!

Stephen
04-01-2008, 08:50 PM
I want to play along. I paid paid full price for DQ in 2002 and never touched it--I pick it up now and then, but it always insists, "It's okay. Go play something else. I'll be here next year..."

It's time to buck 5 years of shame and finally get my $50 outta this sucker.

tungwene
04-01-2008, 09:10 PM
I've been wanting to play this game for some time but always feel intimidated to try. The game's reputation suggests to me there are only a few right ways to play it out of a million non-intuitive wrong ways you can accidentally screw yourself over bad. I hope I can play along this month but it is end of the semester time so who knows how much gameplay I'll actually get in.

If some of the vets could post some helpful beginner tips to start that would be much appreciated.

Mightyblue
04-01-2008, 09:23 PM
They're a tad musty, but here's a thread (http://www.gamespite.net/talkingtime/showthread.php?t=126) w/some DQ tips. The DQ thread on the last version of TT was much more complete.

Coinspinner
04-01-2008, 09:26 PM
Oh damn. I have a copy on my shelf. Well, shouldn't take me more than an hour to give up in frustration again...

SamuelMarston
04-01-2008, 09:47 PM
This is the sort of game I wouldn't mind being a pro at. The whole game is basically built around long term planning and new game+, so it's basically my cup of tea.

I played it for about an hour about a month ago and quit due to other projects. Now is the time!

I just want to finish off Phantom Hourglass and Gears of War first.

Stiv
04-01-2008, 10:03 PM
I've been wanting to play this game for fucking EVER but can't find a copy locally and screw ebay, it would take a million years to get here. I even checked the EB here last time I went in and no dice. Spineshark, maybe you will be nice enough to let me borrow your copy when you're done.

Sprite
04-01-2008, 11:14 PM
I love this game. Only played through one cylce though. Guess I'd better pull it out and see what happens.

So, like, the story's more fleshed out each time you play through, right? I loved the minimalist telling the first time through, focusing almost entirely on the characters' immediate plight. I'm really interested in seeing if the behind the scenes stuff is just as good. (not really spoilers, I don't think, but I figure some people want to go in blind).

spineshark
04-01-2008, 11:50 PM
I've been wanting to play this game for some time but always feel intimidated to try. The game's reputation suggests to me there are only a few right ways to play it out of a million non-intuitive wrong ways you can accidentally screw yourself over bad. I hope I can play along this month but it is end of the semester time so who knows how much gameplay I'll actually get in.

If some of the vets could post some helpful beginner tips to start that would be much appreciated.
There is only one thing you can truly do wrong. At the Game Over screen, DO NOT use the SOL: Restore or Restart options. Always choose "The End." The problem with using the continue options after you are dead is that you are penalized heavily for doing so, while doing the same thing while alive does not harm you at all. I understand why they did it (to encourage you to not die) but it's so harsh it really shouldn't have been in the game at all.

Fact is, everything else you can possibly do will get you closer to beating the game (though not necessarily the linear end of the game). You'll be stronger. Or smarter. Or have covered more ground. At the very least you'll be slowly shoring up Bonus EXP, money and items for the future.

And honestly, the difficulty is overstated. Not to say it's easy; you won't walk over everything like in a Final Fantasy title. But that sort of reference is why the game has a reputation for being "hard." It's possible to play the game without using SOL and finish, even on a fresh file as a first-time player. But you don't have to do this, which is a central element of the game's balance. If you think it's too hard, you can grind and gain items and money for free. All it will take you is time, and even doing that is surprisingly time-efficient, since you just need to pick something you can kill fast (which means ANYTHING, since if you're grinding you should use D-Dive) and do it a few times.

A couple of other minor tips:
D-Breath is lousy unless you can hit a truly inordinate amount of enemies with it (there are at most two battles I can think of where this even begins to apply). The best damage you can get for your valuable D-Counter is the Square move (the name of which I've forgotten) after a couple charges. More charges = more power (up to 10, I'm told) but the returns on charging do diminish, especially once you'd be killing everything in two or fewer shots.

I was going to post something fairly specific about the last couple battles in white text here, but I'll wait until somebody might have reason to read it. As you might guess, conservation earlier in the game is useful.

You have (quite) limited inventory space in this game. This means You should sell things, frequently. Armor tends to sell for the most but is also the most useful. Since you can swap between 3 things in battle, and change equip every turn, it's important to balance the kinds of equipment you're wearing. Use shield slots to use different skills (sometimes you want Steal, but others you'll find a stronger defensive skill works better), armor slots to focus on different things (armor strength, move speed, effects like elemental resistance), and weapons slots based on elements and (in Lin's case) range.

Escape items and Tonics are occasionally useful but generally unnecessary. The escape mechanism effectively never fails and it's generally fairly easy to escape without incurring much loss. You can use as many items in a turn as you want, which makes Tonic + lots of Aid Kits on someone workable, but in many cases you'll find that you're in huge trouble as soon as somebody dies. Tonics are also just plain expensive which makes them infrequently worth buying over other items. After a battle dead characters will have 1HP again, like in Chrono Trigger so in short: most cases you shouldn't bother.

The shop girls are incredibly silly (after opening a gate that has been sealed for centuries...they're waiting for you on the other side) but they're extremely useful and you should utilize them when the opportunity arises. The safety deposit box girl will carry inventory items through SOL (as well as potentially saving you lots of inventory space for items you don't need until the next town), which you can actually abuse if you are too lazy to seek out Save Tokens (I have never used this but I did test it). It's also a good idea to deposit consumables and other items you want to take back with you. The weapon rack girl is the same, but you'll find it's useful to stash extra stuff on her already, since there are more different weapons and armor that you can find uses for than you can carry.

I've been wanting to play this game for fucking EVER but can't find a copy locally and screw ebay, it would take a million years to get here. I even checked the EB here last time I went in and no dice. Spineshark, maybe you will be nice enough to let me borrow your copy when you're done.
I sent my first copy to a friend in August, and when I bought a replacement at Game Force there were four copies as I recall (which isn't to say it'll be there now...but it didn't seem like they were really going to run out, heh). It did, however, cost a good deal more there, but at least it was in great shape this time (which I could definitely not say about my first). However, the manual is terrible and clearly written by people who had effectively no contact with the english version of the game, so unless you're an obsessive collector in that manner you shouldn't worry if your copy doesn't have it.

But if you really can't find one or just don't want to bother (I don't judge), yeah, I think we could work that out.

Eusis
04-02-2008, 12:29 AM
There is only one thing you can truly do wrong. At the Game Over screen, DO NOT use the SOL: Restore or Restart options. Always choose "The End." The problem with using the continue options after you are dead is that you are penalized heavily for doing so, while doing the same thing while alive does not harm you at all. I understand why they did it (to encourage you to not die) but it's so harsh it really shouldn't have been in the game at all.
This was confusing me and I was going to ask what the problem was, but then I thought about it and looked up in a faq, and I realized what it was. Best to SOL Restart/Restore without dying, not give up on the save period like I thought you meant.

Ouch, I saw that my save was about a year and a half ago. I'll see how I do, but if I'm completely lost or whatever I'll just SOL Restart.

TK Flash
04-02-2008, 01:45 AM
I think Dragon Quarter is one of the few games I've played that doesn't hit you over the head with every story point. The subtle story combined with the rich environment and music really left a lasting impression on me. In many places, DQ is a good example of showing and not telling.

A few things that I took note of during my playthroughs:

For straight damage, doing lots of 10-ap attacks is usually better than doing combos, but combos do have their time and place. Taking advantage of the combo system quickly will help in the long run.

Party XP increases with the more enemies you kill in the first turn. If you can take out a huge group of enemies in your bonus turn, you might get over 100% for a bonus; longer fights make the bonus drop dramatically.

As mentioned before, DO NOT USE THE DRAGON BREATH ABILITY. Using the build-up technique and the 1% or 2% dragon attacks will do much more damage for much less.

As for traps, I never found much of a use for anything except meat, which will draw enemies away from you. Especially later on, I found high-level healing items to be more appealing.

Any DQ veterans willing to try a completely fresh run?

liquid
04-02-2008, 05:31 AM
Well, I put a few hours into the game tonight. About a quarter of that time was spent with Nina at 1HP. Fortunately, simple use of kick, Lin's push shot, and fire traps seems to be enough to get you past most enemy encounters. As long as there's a narrow area you can put between you and the enemy, you can fill it with fire traps, at which point it will either keep running into the flames or allow you chip away at it using Nina and Lin. The only real problem is dealing with large groups or open environments.

Not having inns when you stop in town is pretty nerve-racking. As is being forced to choose between picking up an unidentified piece of equipment or using the inventory space for traps/healing items.

Current save: Right before you get the D-Counter. Haven't had to SOL yet. I'm hoping to get through without dying, although I kind of doubt it'll happen, this being my first time through.


Edit: It's kind of funny to have this going at the same time as SelectButton's Beautiful Blue Skies week. Why do people insist on making dungeon crawlers? Why not make a tropical beach crawler instead?

I may have to start up a game of Final Fantasy X, or something.

Octopus Prime
04-02-2008, 05:43 AM
Edit: It's kind of funny to have this going at the same time as SelectButton's Beautiful Blue Skies week. Why do people insist on making dungeon crawlers? Why not make a tropical beach crawler instead?

I may have to start up a game of Final Fantasy X, or something.

Well, Dark Cloud 2 is a Dungeon Crawler, and one of its levels is a tropical beach.

Kirin
04-02-2008, 08:57 AM
Argh. I also have this game on my shelf, not more than a couple hours in, and I really *want* to play it. But I'm not sure I'll be able to get to it this month. I'll have to keep this thread bookmarked or something.

I do remember my first time through I *really* felt like I need The Complete Idiot's Guide to Not Fucking Up the SOL System. It seems likely that between this and the earlier thread I should now be covered on that, though. I also remembered being really aggravated by Save Tokens, or lack thereof.

Classic
04-02-2008, 10:50 AM
If you have enough bonus EXP at the start of a SOL restarted game to get Ryu to level 15, you should have enough raw power to make it through if you carefully slay everything. Remember, 1st hits are amazing, and you needn't use Ryu to do it. If you can get Nina to strike first, simply lay as many spell-traps as you can with her, right in front of your enemies. They won't survive, especially if you overlay all three of your allotted traps in the same space.

Reluctant Hero
04-02-2008, 11:32 AM
Damn you FunClub! I've now bought another game I never intended to, and I like it! I got a mint, disc only (cringe), copy from Gamestop last night for $8 bucks. I went on ebay and bought the case and manual for $5 bucks as well. I played a little through the introductory area last night. Man, the game looks great on my PS3 upscaled to 720p!

I'm looking forwarding to delving deeper into this.

Thraeg
04-02-2008, 11:38 AM
On the strength of positive reviews and word of mouth, I picked this up a couple of years ago, but never got around to playing it. I'll have to take a break from Nightmare of Druaga (playing Shiren made me want to try out the rest of the series), but it'll be great to finally try it out.

MCBanjoMike
04-02-2008, 11:56 AM
Sadly, for the sake of my sanity, I've given up trying to keep up with the Fun Club games until such time as I have "cleared my plate", so to speak. As I've already got one jRPG to finish right now (P3), I don't think it would be wise to dive into this one at the same time. This is kinda sad! I'm intrigued by this game and would like to try it, but I know I'll regret it if I start it now.

On the bright side, maybe I'll have finished enough stuff to play some Metal Gear Solid with everyone once those roll around.

Derra
04-02-2008, 06:49 PM
As stated above, a lot of the difficulty in this game is overstated. Just remember, no inns or healing spells, so make sure you have items. Not getting hit at all is best. Meat is the best PETS item. Grow the faerie village. If you can get Kyrie, abuse it on undead. At first, trap spells are very powerful, rig them between the enemies and yourself.

Also, I've always found the beginning to be one of the hardest parts of the game, even if you know what you are doing, so if you are just starting up don't be discouraged. Use bombs, dynamite and the other PETS stuff early, as it doesn't really scratch later beasts, but makes your intro so much easier.

It seems that DQ ripens, as I too bought it right away, but didn't really get into it until a couple of months later. I love the game though; last time I played it I earned a 1/4.

I love the simple story. After so many games where you are saving the world and all that crap, this one is really about saving a little girl.

I also love the dragon concept, even if I don't like how the form looks. The dragons in BOF were always supposed to be this amazingly powerful race, but the implementation in the previous titles felt meh because of game balance. THIS dragon will kick anyone's ass, anytime, but at the cost of destroying Ryu himself.

Bah, I'm blabbing, I was waiting for this Fun Club. Guess I should boot up the PS2 again.

*edit* My brother got me the DQ OST for Christmas a couple years ago. This is awesome, but probably not as awesome as my wife getting me the Gitaroo-man OST.

pence
04-03-2008, 12:32 AM
We join our hero as he is locked in a danger room in the lift to BioCorp. Pence, who is slow-kicking Bosch's bitch on a very special mission, delivers a killing blow to a Nugget. Mama Nugget is displeased... she is angry. Pence and Bosch are left smoldering on the floor, reeking of ozone. It comes to pass that Pence resumes his mission from LowSector, a bit wiser, but no more powerful. He loads from a save.

The second attempt is easier, as Pence ditches slow-kicking Bosch and picks up some wacky new companions. One of them claims to be Nina, but Pence calls her Yorda, instead. The other is a catgirl with powerful skills like 'Hey, Hey!'. They fight some ornery Hermits, which can only be harmed by fire... luckily, Yorda has a magic spell that sets things on fire. She surrounds the Hermit with arcane glyphs, expecting it to march to its death... but it stays put. This is when Pence realizes that knockback is useful.

Pence runs out of heal kits somewhere in the waste shaft, and he is getting a bit nervous; Yorda is sitting at 1HP. He begins picking his battles, throwing haunches of meat, looting, and running. Usually, this will net him a replacement haunch of meat. Previously, he had a problem where he had plenty of save points, but no tokens. Fate continues to mock him, blessing him with two save tokens and not a save point in sight.

And then... EndSector! After 3 hours, Pence has found the second save point!

This game is tense, like, survival horror tense. I realize stories for a game that isn't 'random' don't work as well as they do in a roguelike, but I couldn't help myself. Getting to EndSector for the first time was an ordeal.

Eusis
04-03-2008, 01:33 AM
We join our hero as he is locked in a danger room in the lift to BioCorp. Pence, who is slow-kicking Bosch's bitch on a very special mission, delivers a killing blow to a Nugget. Mama Nugget is displeased... she is angry. Pence and Bosch are left smoldering on the floor, reeking of ozone. It comes to pass that Pence resumes his mission from LowSector, a bit wiser, but no more powerful. He loads from a save.
That's exactly how my first game went! Except I did SOL Restart upon dying. Didn't realize that may not have been the best, but when you've just begun it's not like you stored up a vast wealth of money or Party EXP to lose. My second game ended simply because I had put it down for forever, and decided I'd go and SOL Restart.

I fought the reconstructed Bosch at the end of Lifeline and once that fight was finished had nearly 10% added to my D-Counter than when I was in the middle of Old TradeSector. In the next area, Power One, I kinda screwed up in trying to kill the skeleton controlling monster and added about 5% to my D-Counter... Without killing it. I nearly got wiped by it and the others prior and was just going to destroy it outright, but I underestimated how much charging up would've helped and just killed it off without the D-Drive. I'm at 44% or 45% now.

spineshark
04-03-2008, 02:29 AM
Yorda
Heh.
This game is tense, like, survival horror tense. I realize stories for a game that isn't 'random' don't work as well as they do in a roguelike, but I couldn't help myself. Getting to EndSector for the first time was an ordeal.
The first description I ever heard was "survival horror RPG." It sounded silly at first but if that's not a good description I don't know what is. One of the big moments for anyone playing the game is when a Hychee falls right onto your head for the first time.

I realize it doesn't bring the breadth or depth of the experience of a roguelike, but I'm pretty sure that this is my single favorite game to talk about with people who are trying to get through it for the first time. For most RPGs, there are big story moments, waiting to be seen by players. In Dragon Quarter, there are big gameplay moments. Times when something clicks and the game just makes more sense. The same way people say "just wait until you get to December!" when talking to people who haven't finished P3, I think of parts like that in the gameplay*.

*I think that, unless you're a coward like me who saved well over half of his D-Counter the first time he beat the game and just abused it on every boss after HiSector, the boss at the end of PowerOne is the game's ultimate make-or-break moment. The mechanic added there is basically a test of whether or not you know what you're doing...but it's still beautiful in that it doesn't actually restrict you to only playing one way.

I've tried to start on my own game, but I've already hit a dilemma: do I bother to pick up the first save token? No, seriously. I wish I remembered where more are, then I could guess which ones are the fastest to pick up with more confidence. Also, I usually call this my favorite video game soundtrack, but damn, it's really amazing. It's not even like I forget, it's just that when I hear it I get all emotional. A little nostalgic, a little sad, a lot happy. There are a few other games with music like that, but this is really special.

spineshark
04-03-2008, 02:49 AM
As I've already got one jRPG to finish right now (P3), I don't think it would be wise to dive into this one at the same time. This is kinda sad! I'm intrigued by this game and would like to try it, but I know I'll regret it if I start it now.
I know why you're saying this but the experiences are incredibly far removed from each other. I mean, I'm not trying to make you play too much, but they're so different in mechanics, flavor, pacing, and just about everything else that I think they really complement each other nicely.

MCBanjoMike
04-03-2008, 06:45 AM
I know why you're saying this but the experiences are incredibly far removed from each other. I mean, I'm not trying to make you play too much, but they're so different in mechanics, flavor, pacing, and just about everything else that I think they really complement each other nicely.

Yeah, but there are only 24 hours in the day, man.

ted2000aed
04-03-2008, 07:39 AM
I just picked this up with no box and no instructions for $8...This is gonna be a wild ride. Btw, I got a box for it, but I want some cover art. Can anyone scan/upload the cover art or have it on hand by some miracle of chance??

Mightyblue
04-03-2008, 12:18 PM
GameFAQs has all the boxart here (http://www.gamefaqs.com/console/ps2/image/561476.html) (click on pic for larger image), and there's also an artbook out as well.

BodhiTraveller
04-03-2008, 03:17 PM
I beat Dragon Quarter with three "restarts," though each of these was spaced out by a couple of months. I remember finishing with a rather pathetic ratio, but it was a truly good time. For those who have finished the game, <font color="white">does the ending remind anyone else of THX1138</font>?

My only piece of advice for new players: don't be precious with Ryu's dragon form. When the instruction booklet revealed that the D-counter slowly ticks down as the game progresses, I never used any of Ryu's powers in fear that it would prevent me from being able to explore the game. This is very much not the case. Though you should still be smart about your consumption (<font color="white">In my own playthroughs I wouldn't touch it until fighting Bosch at the top of Lifeline</font>), moderate use will still allow you to see the end of the game.

Eusis
04-03-2008, 09:47 PM
Because I may go for an SOL restore: Can anyone tell me if the amount of item pages you have stays the same, reverts to when you saved, or gets reset entirely? If I can't keep it at all, I'll probably pass on the SOL Restore for now.

tungwene
04-03-2008, 11:41 PM
Hey guys, I'm in EndSector and I really really really need a save token. I want to go to bed and save my damn game so if there's a save token really close up ahead that would be greatly appreciated. I think I've missed a few here and there but I don't know how many so if some one can tell me how to find the nearest save token past EndSector that'd be great. I have lots of stuff I want to say about the game but first, need to save, turn this thing off and get some sleep. Much appreciated.

P.S. It's really fun especially once I discovered the joys of kickback attacks and Nina's traps.

pence
04-03-2008, 11:42 PM
IIRC I got a save token from a box right before the ladder to EndSector. You might have to run past a few monsters to grab it.

Mightyblue
04-03-2008, 11:44 PM
I didn't really bother with Nina's traps too much, especially when I started to get her attack spells, but it's been so long since my initial playthroughs it's hard to tell. The last time I did a run through I had most of the skills for everybody, so I didn't feel particularly hampered. That was also the playthrough where I didn't use the dragon form until the last battle. Boy, that was a pain, both figuratively and literally for my fingers.

Red Hedgehog
04-03-2008, 11:49 PM
So this game is... really hard. I haven't even gotten to the main story.

I've died twice at the first "boss" area (the place where the doors lock and you have to defeat all the monsters).

And my second time through, I thought I had a pretty good strategy. Huh.

tungwene
04-04-2008, 12:05 AM
Never mind found a token right next to a save point after the boss fight. This game really doesn't help my nerves since I'm a compulsive saver, though I keep telling myself it's okay if I'm stuck I can just restart the game. So far I've been really lucky in terms of item drops. Usually right as I run out of Heal Kits a couple of those worms that drop them fall from the ceiling though I'm really pissed I had to use my Trauma Kit on the ant boss because I ran out of all healing items.

Nina's trap are really awesome. The enemy AI in this game is really dumb, and if I just overlay three traps on top of one another they'll walk into all three of them and self destruct, and if there's not enough space to lay a trap, I just have Lin knock them back a bit. I hope Ryu learns some long distance skills soon because right now he's just a third wheel.

Mightyblue
04-04-2008, 12:09 AM
Ryu's combo chains come in very handy for the later boss fights, where you can't even harm them until you do a certain amount of damage all at once (combo chains count as a single attack of sorts, as does the D-breath for Ryu's dragon form, although I don't recommend THAT). Also, Lin's attacks tend to be long rectangles if I'm remembering right, and a lot of Ryu's skills tend to have a lot of horizontal range to them in addition to other effects.

pence
04-04-2008, 01:33 AM
Played for a short while tonight, picked up the D-Counter, and discovered that accidentally pressing the D-Dash button sucks. I thought that R2 switched characters in the field, honest! Dammit, D-Counter, 6.88%!

AJR
04-04-2008, 07:02 AM
God I love this game. I haven't picked it in months, but its something I keep coming back to.

Eusis
04-04-2008, 06:21 PM
Pretty much bulldozed the rest of the game last night, getting up to just before the last three bosses at 58%. Finished it today, D-Diving each of the bosses. I think I was a bit too hyped on the ending being amazing to like it as much as I could have, but I felt satisfied and that feeling's increased since. This also marks the first time I beat the current RPG, unless CT's first New Game+ ending counts, though this kinda cheats for being approximately 3/4ths finished when I started it up again.

Odin
04-04-2008, 07:19 PM
Damn the Fun Club races through games! While I was out on vacation you went through Crisis Core and MG2 and have started on Dragon Quarter!

As much as I'd love to join, I'm still working on Shiren (picked up the English DS version 2 weeks ago in Tokyo), Phantom Hourglass, and a stack of action games. And I haven't started Crisis Core. Maybe?

Eusis
04-04-2008, 07:21 PM
Well, like I said I was most of the way through the game. I had a save from late 2006 with me just outside of Trinity's base.

Red Hedgehog
04-05-2008, 09:48 AM
Alright, third time was the charm. The third time I started this game, I finally "got" the combat and trap system and actually made it to the point where I have a D-Counter!

The game is fun so far, but I hope at some point the combat evolves beyond Nina laying fire runes and Lin and Nina shooting at opponents from a range.

tungwene
04-05-2008, 02:54 PM
I probably all the way at the top of BioCorp (I hope) because I finally found a telerecorder and save token. My D-Counter is at >11% which I hope is a good value for getting me through the rest of the game. D-Counter only creeps up by itself when I'm walking around, but not in battles or when I have a menu open correct? I have one level one spell for each of the three elements for Nina so when I run into a Goo I just have her accumulate AP for one turn and then pound into the sucker with the opposing element.

I'm getting the hang of traps as well. I'm not very good at aiming bombs. I think Shrooms are for the most part useless. Perhaps they become more useful if I accumulate more and toss my whole inventory into a swarm of bees or something. Also on the room with the treasure chest on the one floor of BioCorp you reach by taking the elevator down that's guarded by one enemy I tossed a piece of rotten meat from the doorway and it landed right in front of him trapping him in the corner while I waltzed in, collected my treasure, and waltzed out. That was pretty fun.

I'm a little befuddled by the ant colony. The orders page just confuses me but I'll look at it more carefully once I find myself in town again.

pence
04-05-2008, 08:00 PM
I just made it to the top of the Frozen Road and fought (the boss gauntlet, including a giant walking robot named Asimov, and Zeno). That was a hell of a battle, and (Asimov) made me feel like a badass. A runthrough of the battle:

(I had equipped Ryu with a lightning based sword for the Frozen Road section, which turned out to be a bad idea, because it didn't do much against Asimov, and it healed his adds. I had to reequip myself with the only other sword in my inventory, which did fire damage and was not slotted. Looks like Ryu is only spamming Slash this fight...

Nina was also slotted to do lightning damage. She had another wand, but the only thing on it was Frost. Again, not slotted. I was switching her wands back and forth every turn to use both Frost and Fragball. Usually, when the adds would spawn, they would immediately be frozen by Fragball. Awesome!

Lei... I don't know what to say, she can't seem to do any damage unless she uses Blow Up, so I just used her to pull or push enemies around with C'mere and Back Off. She's also useful for scanning enemies.

When I had Asimov's hp down, I stopped suppressing his adds and started burning him down. Haha! I thought I had this... only to discover that, when he hit 0 HP, he began to self destruct. Which meant I had to get the hell away, and survive three more turns while doing it. The whole battle became keeping adds suppressed while switching my poorly-prepared weapons around, and running away at the same time. And it was fucking awesome.

Zeno was boring.)

So epic. My roommate watched me playing and said 'this looks annoying,' but I'm pretty sure I had a smile on my face the whole time.

PS: The mimics in this game can net you insane amounts of money, I think I made about 8000 zenny from them in the Frozen Road.

PPS: Ryu was dead after that fight, and missed out on about 1000xp. I dipped into the party xp fund because I couldn't deal with having him so far behind.

spineshark
04-05-2008, 08:47 PM
I probably all the way at the top of BioCorp (I hope) because I finally found a telerecorder and save token. My D-Counter is at >11% which I hope is a good value for getting me through the rest of the game. D-Counter only creeps up by itself when I'm walking around, but not in battles or when I have a menu open correct?
D-Counter ticks, as I remember them:
.01% for every 12-20 steps (I remember hearing once, but I forget)
.01% at the end of every turn in battle (unless you are in D-Dive)
1% for activating D-Dive
1% at the end of a turn under D-Dive
<1% for a Dash tap...will use a lot more if you hold it down.
Dragon attack values are listed in-game.

I'm getting the hang of traps as well. I'm not very good at aiming bombs. I think Shrooms are for the most part useless. Perhaps they become more useful if I accumulate more and toss my whole inventory into a swarm of bees or something. Also on the room with the treasure chest on the one floor of BioCorp you reach by taking the elevator down that's guarded by one enemy I tossed a piece of rotten meat from the doorway and it landed right in front of him trapping him in the corner while I waltzed in, collected my treasure, and waltzed out. That was pretty fun.
Meat is the most useful, by a lot. Bombs are better used in battle, using the PETS portion of the game to set them up. In one case you can actually stack up enough bombs to blow away a boss in one turn, but realistically speaking, they're just a mild tactical consideration which can be used in rare cases.

Derra
04-05-2008, 08:53 PM
D-Counter increases when you

1) Walk around (every so many steps will increase your counter)
2) End a turn in combat (small increase)
3) Use D-Dash (don't use D-Dash once the counter appears)
4) Use D-Dive or any of the dragon's abilities.

Really, though, as long as you aren't relying on D-Dive to kill stuff, you should have plenty of counter for where it matters most. I think Lifeline is where I started using D-Dive on bosses.

Also, once you have the dragon, you can use him to get Party XP very fast: locker your good stuff, save, then just slaughter everything with D-Dive, and then SOL Restore when you are at a high %. D-Diving = one turn kills = high party XP. You can also use this to scout out an area ahead of time, while retaining Party XP / Zenny.

Eusis
04-05-2008, 10:52 PM
Started up a new game. The final timer for my last game was 33:12, but I had restarted twice and it seems to just include it all, but I wasn't too far in either so I guess I took about 30 hours to beat it period. Anyways, my D-Ratio's 1/2048, and I stopped after getting Nina. Holding on to the save tokens until I'm actually challenged, I leveled both characters up to 20 and will do the same for Lin when I get her. That'd use maybe a half of the Party EXP I have, and that's stretching it, but I want to hold on in case I screw up or something, or simply to keep building it up to more ludicrous levels for future replays.

tungwene
04-06-2008, 01:56 AM
I hate it when I have to use a perfectly good save token just because I'm tired and want to go to bed.

I just got past the same place Pence did and let me just say that'll teach me to bring along enough tonics next time. I was doing okay for the first half though I was over confident and Lin spent the entire fight KO'd while I fought more conservatively. I abused the crap out of Fragball and Roundsaber The second part went much better. I set up a row of Fragballs right in front of the boss which would cause the things it summoned to land smack dab on top of them and freeze. Then I would snipe them with Lin's Blow Up. I got screwed on the last boss though. As I said before, I had plenty of healing items but had used up all my tonics. She kills Lin and Nina in like two turns and I'm stuck with Ryu with nothing to heal them with. So I used D-Dive and take care of her almost as quickly as she dispatched my teammates but now my D-Counter's jumped from 13% to 23%. Oops.

Using D-Dive really is like a last resort/act of desperation. It was so fucking easy to win but I nearly doubled my D-Counter just using it once.

pence
04-06-2008, 03:11 AM
I hate it when I have to use a perfectly good save token just because I'm tired and want to go to bed.

Select 'quit' from the menu screen and you'll create a temporary save file. It's erased as soon as you load from it, but it's better than nothing.

AJR
04-06-2008, 08:18 AM
If you find yourself resorting to the dragon form, don't forget to use the D-Charge ability. It's probably not really a spoiler but using D-Charge twice, then Twister will kill almost any boss in the game (in the rare cases it doesn't work D-Charging 3 times then using Twister will do it).

Red Hedgehog
04-06-2008, 10:44 AM
Not giving any sort of shop or significant health items through the industrial zone was brutal. I made it past the first boss two bosses, but when I got to the third one (the first one again with the power of the second) I knew I was done for. I figured I'd just turn into a dragon and kill him that way, but he killed me before I could. :(

Oh well, I'll reload from my save all the way back and go back to the shop before it to stock up on healing items.

pence
04-06-2008, 11:59 AM
Not giving any sort of shop or significant health items through the industrial zone was brutal.

I've made a habit out of backtracking for shops when my inventory is full or my potions are dwindling. It's a bit like cheating, but it works. When I reached the fork in the road in the industrial zone, I gave serious consideration to backtracking to explore the other direction. Gamers don't like consequences and such. When I saw third boss I was relieved that I did not.

I've also started using Lin to shoot unfamiliar enemies, and scan them on the extra turn. Then, Nina can switch to one of three element-themed weapons to capitalize on their weaknesses.

tungwene
04-06-2008, 02:04 PM
I've made a habit out of backtracking for shops when my inventory is full or my potions are dwindling.This is what I do too. This is why The Old Waste Shaft was the most nerve-wracking segment of the game for me because I was not within reach of any shops for that segment of the game. Also, so far all the areas I've been in the path back to the area you were just in tends to be pretty straightforward which was a nice design consideration.

I've also started using Lin to shoot unfamiliar enemies, and scan them on the extra turn. Then, Nina can switch to one of three element-themed weapons to capitalize on their weaknesses.I accidentally traded away Nina's fire elemental staff because I didn't realize when you try to purchase a weapon when your weapons slots are full you have to trade in one of the weapons in your inventory and I wasn't paying much attention.

Red Hedgehog
04-06-2008, 03:09 PM
You're kidding! There's no identify girl in the mid-sector mall?

Eusis
04-06-2008, 04:16 PM
You're kidding! There's no identify girl in the mid-sector mall?
Looking at the map again, I'm pretty sure she's just in an odd corridor off the main path in that section. My memory's a little hazy though, but I swear there was one there.

Anyways, replay progress: I've got a D-Counter again! It's currently at 3% or 4% and I've got 6 unused Save Tokens right now.

ringworm
04-06-2008, 06:00 PM
I finally got a chance to sit down with this a bit today. Only played 2.5 hours or so but I really loved what I saw.

I started off terribly, and nearly died well before even getting to the BioCorp place. So I reset, since I've been told that's sort of what you do in this game. I was incredibly pleased to see that cutscenes flesh themselves out on subsequent replays, what a great touch.

Anyway this second time I kind of understood the combat a little better, found the shop in the first town so I could buy some more consumables and made it much farther. I rescued Nina, but found myself without any health items and no save tokens (my previous save was at the BioCorp one). I moved on but quickly became nearly dead after several fights. I chose Quit, but I intend on doing another reset when I play again.

I'm really looking forward to digging my teeth into this game.

Mightyblue
04-06-2008, 06:20 PM
Yeah, honestly you don't really need Save tokens or traditional "saves" for this game. In DQ they're mostly a genre carryover that doesn't really fit with the general tenor of the game, and the only real purpose they serve is to backup your game clear saves so you can start over again. Just use Quit when you're done for the night and that's all you really need.

Classic
04-06-2008, 10:54 PM
The game actually REWARDS you on new game+ es for NOT using save tokens and simply relying on the reload-only-once save-and-quits. This makes Bonus EXP farming impossible, but generally irrelevant because presumably you've beaten the game once already before trying to max out your new game + bonuses.

In my experience, characters will go through phases of being INCREDIBLY USEFUL and basically only useful for one or two things, with Ryu spending most of his time in the latter category simply because of how vulnerable every character is and Nina spending the least due to an impressive and varied elemental skill set. Ryu is redeemed however, by being generally slightly more durable than his companions and a good choice for dealing with legions of weaker enemies (X-SLASH is A-MAZING) as well as having fairly damaging physical combos to lay particularly pesky stand-alone bosses to rest (though why you'd ever bother with such a thing is beyond me).

Where Ryu really fails is where the game is at its most interesting, i.e. battling small armies of useless but still dangerous foes being led by a few or a lone commander of unusual strength. He might be able to eliminate the minions, but his ability to stand toe-to-toe with a large or leader-type foe is still limited by his endurance (enough to survive MAYBE two blows,) and often ends up being more trouble than it's worth. It's OK when it's a required all-or-nothing boss battle that you expect to throw everything you've got into. It's not OK for the four or five intense mini-bosses that you'll find along the way while you're trying to save up the resources you'll need for that boss.


Add'l hopefully less inane tip:
If you begin using the dragon to win "boss" fights starting with the ambush that Captain Zeno lays for you, you should be able to just barely squeak by to the end with 10% remaining to deal with the final boss gauntlet which should be all you need.

Red Hedgehog
04-07-2008, 10:31 AM
Looking at the map again, I'm pretty sure she's just in an odd corridor off the main path in that section. My memory's a little hazy though, but I swear there was one there.

Right, I eventually found her in a corridor obscured by the forced camera angle. Boo on you, Dragon Quarter!

Eusis
04-07-2008, 11:15 PM
Right, I eventually found her in a corridor obscured by the forced camera angle. Boo on you, Dragon Quarter!
Thought so.

Man, I may've just demotivated myself from playing the game for awhile, I died in the Kokan Horay (or however its spelt) and while that doesn't force you to start the whole game over, you DO lose all your items... And as such lost all the damn save tokens I gathered up. I'm almost tempted to just go screw it and SOL Restore, except I haven't saved at all and it'd only serve to make me lose EXP, so a;sldjkfla;ksjdf.

Edit: I should note I just went in to mess around, my instinct was to save first but stupidly I ignored it. Also, I died in the first room to an overpowered nugget. God damned nuggets.

liquid
04-08-2008, 12:54 AM
Well, I've made it to the mall without resorting to SOL or using party XP, although my D-Counter is in the sixties or seventies now, so I'm not sure that I'll be able to last much longer. These multi-boss fights are starting to get to me: I take out the first using careful tactics, half-ass the second one, and just dragon form my way through the third. At least there hasn't been any of that extra lifebar bullshit that liked to show up in the earlier Breath of Fires.

ted2000aed
04-08-2008, 11:05 AM
I met a rather unceremonious and rather quick end about an hour into the game. As I don't have an instruction manual, I think I might be missing out on something. I've figured out baiting and getting the edge in an attack situation. I also have a rudimentary understanding of the "combo" system. Am I missing something? And are there EVER ANY freakin save tokens? EVER?!?!?

Classic
04-08-2008, 11:25 AM
You're going to have to try again when bosses with those amazing shields that regenerate each turn, meaning you need to deal damage over a not insignificant threshold to even start nicking life away from them. It's possible (and generally more effective) to save up AP and do this every other turn, but still really hard.

Just remember: There's (almost) no boss that can't be beaten by sacrificing 10% of your D counter. And IIRC, you're still a good way away from them.

Zarathustra
04-10-2008, 12:20 AM
Damn, guys, come on. I just started this game, and i think it fits pretty nicely into the 2002/flawesome continuum, but i'm still a bit on the fence. Post more insights! It's pretty fun, but feels kinda hollow. I'm just scraping by in most fights, so i think i'm going to "grind"...

pence
04-10-2008, 12:32 AM
I'm working my way through Lifeline right now. It's kind of like the industrial center, only with some enemies called Tri-Lizards that completely vindicate my decision to keep three separate wands around for Nina. Lin even does damage now that I have the Sniper Scope for +50% accuracy. I also met a guy named Mebeth 1/4, who is very tall; I hope that Ryu will get lifts in his shoes for the second playthrough, there may be a direct correlation between height and D-Ratio.

Zarathustra
04-10-2008, 02:56 AM
I think I'm expecting too much for how far into the game i am. My save is just before the, ahem, awakening of Ryu, and i've got him at level 15 after SOL Restoring a few times and doing "dragon runs" through the area for money, items and party exp. I want to power up enough that i won't feel underpowered any longer, but i get the sense you're supposed to barely squeak through the game.

Poor Nina has but one spell, and it's not always helpful. I'm so weak!

AJR
04-10-2008, 06:33 AM
Once you get more weapons and abilities, the depth really starts to open up. I honestly wouldn’t bother grinding; it would take forever to get your party at the stage where they overpower everything. My advice is to just keep it up, explore every nook and cranny to get as many abilities and items as possible. Nina (and especially Lin) become incredibly helpful as the game progresses.

Classic
04-10-2008, 10:26 AM
Somewhere along the way, you will realize stealing (and killing) EVERYTHING is the only way to go, even if the attempt is very likely to destroy you.

The game, while linear does indeed allow basically unlimited backtracking. If you are not a bad enough dude initially, consider going back.

Also... GoldEXP= love.

Red Hedgehog
04-10-2008, 12:01 PM
Also... GoldEXP= love.

A bandit stole my first one and escaped with it. :(


The game does tend to drag in some parts, but I like that you always need a good strategy going into the battles or you will come out of them very much worse for wear.

liquid
04-10-2008, 04:02 PM
Well, I finally had to restart, at what I assume was the final boss gauntlet. This really is like survival horror, the RPG.

Now I'm about to reach those assassins that are in your way when you try to get to Trinity. My D-Counter is still under 10%, so I seem to be progressing pretty well. I think I'll be able to get through the first dude with the regenerating shields without resorting to dragon form. And normal encounters haven't been too bad. Even at low levels, having access to Lin's group targeting moves early in the game makes her a monster.

Mightyblue
04-10-2008, 09:25 PM
Until the final battle you don't really need to D-Dive. Just build up some AP as Ryu and spam as many high damage skills as you can. Combos count as a single hit, so successive strikes will gradually wear down absolute barriers until you start doing real damage.

Red Hedgehog
04-12-2008, 11:45 AM
I had to D-Dive for the first time last night. I was fighting modified Bosch - man the visuals and directing in the cut scene were great. I totally felt sorry for him. He just regenerated too many hit points each turn for me to be able to do any lasting damage to him. Using the whole Dragon form, he was a piece of cake, but holy cow - my D-Counter went from 18% to 32%. I hope I don't have to use it on all the bosses from hereon out or I won't make it through. Of course, I guess the put isn't to get through it on your first playthrough.

TK Flash
04-13-2008, 07:56 AM
Actually, you can probably still finish the game or get damn close if you're only at 32% on modified Bosch.

I say go for it.

Eusis
04-13-2008, 02:42 PM
That might actually be low for that point, I was able to beat the game just fine with, I think, 40% at that point. You might want to hold off on D-Diving for another boss though, the next one introduces an obnoxious new mechanic to deal with but is manageable.

Red Hedgehog
04-13-2008, 03:38 PM
That might actually be low for that point, I was able to beat the game just fine with, I think, 40% at that point. You might want to hold off on D-Diving for another boss though, the next one introduces an obnoxious new mechanic to deal with but is manageable.

Yeah, I was able to beat the next boss without D-Diving. We'll see.

PhoenixUltima
04-14-2008, 06:52 AM
I've actually beaten this game from a fresh start without using the SOL system at all before. Now that's challenge! As a result, when I play through the game "normally" I don't bother using SOL Restore until the series of boss battles at the end of the Ice Cavern, where it's possible to save, charge through the battles with D-Dive, then SOL Restore and repeat until you have enough Party XP to be level whatever you want. With the XP from that I usually get myself up to level 25-ish, then just play "straight" from there.

I've never managed to beat Kokon Horay though, mostly because it bores the shit out of me.

tungwene
04-15-2008, 06:13 PM
I SOL restarted in the industrial complex. I was stuck in a locked room with those damn fire birds and the head bird had silenced my entire party and I had nothing to cure them with. So I escaped and since I couldn't get past that damn bird and couldn't go back out the door with nothing to cure them with I did the SOL restart. I'm now past that point and reached the mall. It's been a pretty easy ride for me so far. Got past the assassins with no trouble. So haven't found a fire rod for Nina, ever since I accidentally traded it away in my first game. Also, does anyone know when I get a Lvl 2 Ice spell for Nina?

Red Hedgehog
04-15-2008, 07:14 PM
Also, does anyone know when I get a Lvl 2 Ice spell for Nina?

The two places to find it are either at the skill shop in the ant colony or from one of the blue goos (don't remember what size it had to be).

nunix
04-19-2008, 09:32 PM
Spooky! I started replaying this (starting over with a new game slot) last night, wandered over to gamespite to the thought of, "I wonder if there's a Dragon Quarter thread, I know there was that review.." ..and here we are.

I don't even know how to talk about this game without just whitespace-tagging the whole thing. Top-tier favourite game (tied with Vagrant Story). Get irate that every review likes to focus on D-Counter mechanics and ignore some of the brilliant story bits and overall design focus.

Er, before I go off rambling giddily.. what're the forum rules (and the appropriate vb tags) as far as spoilers? Is it really necessary to blank huge swathes out or is it more just a courtesy/habit?

estragon
04-19-2008, 10:24 PM
Do we have forum rules here?

I'm pretty sure the only "rule" about spoilers or anything else is just to use common sense and not be a dick.

nunix
04-19-2008, 11:07 PM
'kay.


Sooo.. there was a nice 4-5 day gap in the posts there, anyone still playing this? Stuck somewhere and need assistance?

I hit Zeno right at 9.5% on my counter, having hit 5% at Bosch. I remembered that this boss was up ahead, as you get to the end of Frozen Road.. but did NOT remember the en-masse Sub-Bosses 1, nor Mid-Boss 2 there. Finished those off without diving, though I used Attack, Defense, and Speed boost items on Ryu for the first set. Got final boss down to ~200 HP.. and had to dive, because they'd done their power-up move, I was completely out of healing items, and there was no way I was going to finish them off with regular puny attacks. Le sigh. Counter at 12.5%.

(This is actually no big deal at all, but as this is the first time I've played it in a year and a half, I'm trying to keep the counter down as low as possible, and not dive for bosses if I can help it.)

Then! I manage to beat Tantra (ho ho! no spoiler space! you meet him for first time when you fight him =p) without him landing a hit on me, thanks to the freezing properties of stacked Fragballs.. except.. he has C'mere.

Dammit.

Guess that means I'm hauling a Cleaner around on Lin for the rest of this playthrough. =p

I actually had a bit of trouble in the beginning. Had a Death Cow at the 2nd(?) treasure chest, which ate up all my heal kits, and got wiped a few rooms later to.. something, can't remember now. Just did a restart there. Got up to BioCorp Lab first visit.. and accidentally skipped a cutscene I'm particularly fond of. -.- Restarted, just for the hell of it.

Weird thing is that I wound up with a Gold XP in my inventory on both those (clean) starts, but the third one (current) I don't have one. Must've dropped as random loot from someone, but didn't notice it on either of those first two runs. Probably for the best though, inventory been running especially tight this game.

nunix
04-20-2008, 07:02 PM
Hit TopSector Borough @ ~25%, new record for me on a new game. Didn't have to dive for the Pit or the boss at the end of Lifeline, so was pretty happy about that. Have to backtrack to pick up backpack expansion before heading off to PowerStation.

Fairy Colony is coming along nicely.. I've always really enjoyed the colonies in the BOF games. It's fun to check on their progress, build it up and customise it a bit, and all of that. I wish there was more variety, or just an extended usefulness, in the various rooms. Only iffy part about the DQ colony is that I hate bugs, so having to work with the antz is kinda ooky. ;p The colony definitely feels tacked-on in DQ, though.

Fun fact: the PAL version of the game got rid of the soft-save COMPLETELY. You can only save at the (1-2 hour spaced) telecorders. In exchange for no soft-save, you get 10 Save Tokens when you SOL: Restore.

Ample Vigour
04-20-2008, 10:07 PM
I was at a buddy's last night and put about four hours on the game. That first segment, where you spend your time kicking guinea pigs, was crushing in its boredom. We we more wrapped up in talking banana bread than in what was going on in game.

Luckily someone turned on the fun switch when Lin blew up the train. Nina's trap magic made all the difference in the battles; I can't get enough of kicking spiders into landmines.

I love how important combat is, too. You can't just wail on X when you have three healing kits and no idea where the next town will be. We had to use choke points, anticipate enemy movement, conserve AP for retreat... Exhilirating.

Synchronicity: My buddy just IMed me telling me I have to come over every night until we beat the game.

pence
04-20-2008, 10:27 PM
I just beat the first reagent at the top of PowerOne and I had forgotten to put skills on Lin's new weapon. Everyone but Ryu was dead at the end, and as a result, Ryu went to level 32 while the rest of my party was stuck at 29. I just dumped nearly all of my party xp into pulling them up to speed, so I hope this is The Run.

nunix
04-21-2008, 12:11 AM
I love how important combat is, too. You can't just wail on X when you have three healing kits and no idea where the next town will be. We had to use choke points, anticipate enemy movement, conserve AP for retreat... Exhilirating.

It's also great how the enemies you get.. are the enemies you get. They never respawn (there's a type of enemy that's a slight exception to this, but maybe it's mini-spoiler so I'll save the surprise for you). If you wipe everything out of an area, it stays gone, and you can wander back and forth with impunity (mindful of your .01% gains).

pence: I always use my party XP on my first play. Just makes stuff easier. You can always SOL loop for party XP.

Wasted half a percent tonight running back through Lifeline looking for a backpack expansion that.. is technically there, but behind a locked door. -.- The danger of relying on memory when replaying a game instead of just playing what's in front of you.

Gotta say, PowerOne music is some of my favourite in the game. Subtle and driving.

Ample Vigour
04-21-2008, 01:43 PM
It's also great how the enemies you get.. are the enemies you get.

Totally right. Random encounters would just have ruined the game balance. Being able to skip the more challenging encounters before we reached the second town giant ant giant ant giant ant is the only thing that got us there. If we'd HAD to fight those last few battles, I would microwaved the DVD.

Brickroad
04-21-2008, 02:01 PM
Gotta say, PowerOne music is some of my favourite in the game. Subtle and driving.

I'm not replaying DQ right now, and I try to stay out of Fun Club threads I'm not participating is, but god damn yes that song is terrific. It's been a mainstay on all my playlists ever since the game came out.

nunix
04-21-2008, 05:57 PM
Ample: Hah hah! Yeah, I skipped that encounter also. I was running on empty - no heals, no meat, no bombs - and since you can R2-dash there without penalty, I used that and just blew through it. =p (at least I think that's still a D-Counter-free area, I'm pretty sure it is.. but maybe I'm lying and I just dodged, I can't recall).

Brickroad: Any other favourites? Kinda like pence up there, when I sat down to play this time I'd half a mind to do a play-by-play writeup like John H did for Shiren. This fell through a bit, but I have been taking a lot of notes on the music. What plays when, (leit)motifs, sentiments from the pieces.. Figure I'll post up some general thoughts on it in a day or so, or maybe start a seperate spoilerriffic thread.

It's generally not a soundtrack I'll listen to when I'm mucking about the house, but I will put it on a portable for when I'm off doing things in the world. Vagrant Story has some very good and memorable pieces (ending montage particularly, some other bits throughout the game), but I really love what Sakimoto did in Dragon Quarter.

(Ironically, I hate the FFXII soundtrack, because every single track sounds like a remix of either a VS or a DQ piece. A bad, stupid, terrible, lifeless remix done by an understudy hack. But this isn't an FFXII thread so I won't ramble off there excessively. ;P)

Had to dive for stupid PowerOne boss, and messed up by only using two D-Charge instead of three, so I had to use an extra Twister. Annoying! Now to the homestretch...

pence
04-21-2008, 06:04 PM
nunix: yeah, it started off so well, but then my posts started to devolve into 'I fought this boss, fuck him!'

I'm still loving the game, though. I hear that the path you take in Centre is pretty key to determining the difficulty of the final stretch, but I'm just going to be D-Diving every boss from here on out, so I'm not sure how necessary that is. I'm only at 30% on my D-Counter!

nunix
04-21-2008, 10:06 PM
Woo, cleared. I forgot how fast the Centre and post-Centre boss fights go when you just Dive and don't muck about with Absolute Defense, Transfer, 7th Senses and the like. Somehow I missed a Save Token, though, and wasn't able to save at the last telecorder.. no idea what happened with that (not like it mattered). 1/1024.. I don't remember if you can really do much better on a first, I know I got ambushed a fucking tonne and lost a lot of points to losing that first turn.

I still remember most of my first playthrough, lo these many years ago. I used D-Breath in the very first transformation, used D-Dive on pretty much every boss in the game but didn't really learn about layering D-Charge until wayyy late, got to penultimate boss with.. ~99.5%. Impossible to beat final. Had to SOL: Restart there..

pence: Yeah, there's some difficulty change, but only if you're not Diving. Also you obviously run into different Treasure Chests and the bosses have different things to steal.

By the way, if everyone hasn't tried it yet, next time you telecorder save, run your counter up to 100% and choose The End. It's a very intense little cutscene.

tungwene
04-22-2008, 08:54 PM
So um, I think I'm near the end just got to Centre at ~39% and this scares me because I have no idea what I am doing anymore. I got my first game over of my entire game right at the end of PowerOne thanks to three twin strike attacks in a row, one for each of my members, only one had HP over 300. That was incredibly frustrating but going through that dungeon again wasn't the problem. The problem is I have absolutely no idea how to beat the boss fights without resorting to D-Dive every time. I tried to fight Bosch but ran out of items since he kept regenerating and the first regent I had no idea how to damage him even. Does anyone have any advice what I am supposed to be doing. I am completely befuddled and have no idea what to do.

nunix
04-22-2008, 09:22 PM
Yeah, that's Absolute Defense. It's basically a kind of armor that regenerates when you stop attacking, and you have to beat the number of the defense to start doing damage. Example:

Boss has Absolute Defense of 100.

Ryu attacks with Slash (damage 50), Slash (damage 50), Hazecut (damage 100). Boss takes 100 damage. As soon as your combo ends, that is you stop attacking and the game goes back to the base combat menu, the defense regenerates. If you attack him now, his AD will be back and you have to break it down again. For this reason, there's two basic strategies.

Strategy 1: D-Dive. If you're at the end of PowerOne/just after it, and at 40%, you are doing perfectly fine and can D-Dive the rest of the game's bosses. It's sorta-kinda what you're "supposed" to do.

Strategy 2: AP build-up. This is mostly going to be damage via Ryu. You just skip your first turn to build up full AP, then unleash on turn 2. Use Nina + Transfer to send her AP to Ryu every turn after that (so he has full or near-full every turn without having to skip every other turn). Lin can use tricksy combos for positioning, item stealing, and the like.

Strategy 2 is a good place for you to use 7th Senses and Power Boosts. So is 1, but it's not really necessary there (sometimes can save you an extra 1% on the counter though).

Transfer can be stolen from the medi-bots (can't recall their actual name, they're the little guys that pop up with the tank-bots) in PowerOne. If you've already killed all of them, or have already left PowerOne, you're probably going to have to D-Dive. You can try the skip-turns but you're probably going to run out of healing items (there is ONE more shop left, however, at the end of the area you're in now).

As far as D-Counter, after PowerOne, there are this many bosses left in the game, and the basic D-Dive strategy to beat them: 5 bosses. 1% for Dive, 3-4% for overlapping Charge, 2.5% for Twister puts you at 6.5%-7.5% for each boss. Totally doable.

Red Hedgehog
04-22-2008, 09:47 PM
Strategy 2: AP build-up. This is mostly going to be damage via Ryu. You just skip your first turn to build up full AP, then unleash on turn 2. Use Nina + Transfer to send her AP to Ryu every turn after that (so he has full or near-full every turn without having to skip every other turn). Lin can use tricksy combos for positioning, item stealing, and the like.

This is more-or-less the strategy I used to defeat the first regent. Basically Ryu and Nina would do something every other turn. Lin used her tactics to drain his movement down as low as it would go and from then on just used Go Away so he could only get in one attack per turn. Ryu and Nin would then start a big combo on him every other turn.

For Bosch I had to D-Dive and really can't imagine any other way I could have beaten him.

tungwene
04-22-2008, 09:59 PM
Use Nina + Transfer to send her AP to Ryu every turn after that (so he has full or near-full every turn without having to skip every other turn).This is a good idea. I have Transfer but have never used it. Also, what attacks of Ryu's should I be using to do the most damage/AP spent per turn? Also, is using Spiritcharge a good idea and is there anyway to chain Spiritcharge in between attacks?

nunix
04-22-2008, 10:14 PM
As far as Ryu's attacks, it's going to kind of depend on what weapons and skills you have, but generally it's recommended to just use long strings of 10 AP attacks. Ogre Slash is good because it can critical, but it's got an accuracy penalty, so you might just want to stick to good ol' Slice. Hazecut is a good 20 AP attack due to its accuracy bonus. If you want to go up to 30 AP attacks, stick with a single-target like Deathbringer. DON'T use Crossviper, as it actually physically moves you and it'll break the combo.

Also, if you have it, Discharge. You have to take some hits before it becomes useful, but it'll seriously put the hurt on.

I didn't use Spiritcharge at all this run so I really don't remember how well it works. You can't use it in a combo, though. And I'm pretty sure it only comes into effect on the next turn (and only that turn). Experiment with it a little bit on a normal enemy fight and see what happens.

Red Hedgehog
04-23-2008, 09:20 AM
Rust is a good 10 AP attack to use because it will lower the enemies armor defense. I think did only Rusts until I'd gotten his defense as low as it would go and then every turn I attacked was Rust, Slice, Ogre Slash, and Hazecuts.

Classic
04-23-2008, 10:34 PM
And of course, don't neglect the power of efficient comboing. Even Lin can break Absolute Defense with a little persistence planning. IIRC, Using "COME HERE!" on an enemy to pull them into Nina's traps is hilarious in ways that kept Lin very useful for bosses.

Stephen
04-24-2008, 03:45 PM
Poor little Dragon Quater. The month is almost over and it only got 4 pages of love. I finished S.T.A.L.K.E.R (awesome in between crashes) and Yakuza (not awful) last weekend which means the plate is clear for some hot DQ action. I'll try my best to finish it before the month is over.

I started my first run on Monday and over the course of the week I managed to get to is the first boss of PowerOne. Knowing that I'd have to restart eventually I wasn't shy about abusing Ryu's D-Dive against bosses, so after Twister-ing it to death my Ratio was up to 95%. Restart time! I haven't started my next run yet, but I'm curious to see how easy the first few areas will be with all my party exp and cool new skills.

So far, I really like the game, though it's not really what I was expecting. I keep hearing the term "RPG survival horror" but I never ran low on zenny or healing items so I don't get the comparison. Possibly I was too frugal with my items?

Battles take a long time because my most powerful attacks are come from spamming the same move 4-8 times until my AP runs out. I hate that Ryu's slice-slice-slice-slice-slice-slice-slice-slice combo is more powerful than a well thought out combination like, say, Slice-Ogre slash-Rust Armor-Spiritcharge-Deathbringer. The idea of doing a little damage, inflicting some status stuff, building up a big combo bonus, then landing a devastating blow is really appealing to me. If I crunch the numbers though, 8 slashes is almost always a better use of my AP. That kinda defeats the purpose of having the combo system in the first place.

Still, this game handles free-movement in a turn based environment better than any other game I've played. I love that I can use items for free. I really like the light, fairy tale nature of the story line. One question, how many extra cinemas will I see on my next run through? Does the SOL system add a lot of new story stuff, or will I just be skipping cut-scenes to get back to where I was before my D-counter over loaded?

nunix
04-24-2008, 04:03 PM
Re: survival horror: mostly it comes in from few healing items and being surprised by enemies (bugs dropping from ceiling, Gigantis popping up out of a corridor, and so on. Plus the general confined/claustrophobic environment. It hits some people and not others, though, I've found.

Re: SOL: there aren't a lot, and it is dependant on your D-Ratio, which only updates when you clear a game. At 1/8192, you'll see a couple, but not too many. The last SOL scenes unlock at, I think, 1/256. They also always pop up with a yellow "SOL" icon in the corner, so you know when you've hit one.

They're also not really "vital". There's a good dozen or so, but most are short, and they're interesting but mostly provide some context and alternate points of view on some of the events and story bits.

Glad you're enjoying it so far. =D

spineshark
04-24-2008, 04:05 PM
If you're replaying without having beaten the game, the number of new scenes is not very large. Basically the way the new scenes work is completely brilliant. The main story is simple and enjoyable, and while the added ones that appear contribute a lot to it, it's better to hold them in reserve. It'd feel too pretentious and ridiculous to have so much buildup for such a straightforward conclusion, but throwing the backstory in afterward for replays feels satisfying and appropriate.

tungwene
04-24-2008, 04:11 PM
I want to play more of this game, I really do, but this week my allergies are acting up so I can't wear my contacts and usually when I'm at home I take my glasses off because they give me a headache. It's just right now I really want to shoot whoever picked the design scheme for Centre because bright ambient light plus nearsighted means I can't see a thing and am getting ambushed. Also, no voice acting. When I return to the land of the non-visually impaired I'll definitely wrap this game up.

Red Hedgehog
04-24-2008, 11:22 PM
I just don't have a lot of time to play games (or do anything in my free time) recently. :(

I'll try to get back to it this weekend.

Zarathustra
04-25-2008, 01:17 AM
I feel sad for giving this up, but i just couldn't hang. Nothing grabbed me enough. There's a hump to it maybe i'll get over someday...

liquid
04-25-2008, 02:18 AM
If you're replaying without having beaten the game, the number of new scenes is not very large. Basically the way the new scenes work is completely brilliant. The main story is simple and enjoyable, and while the added ones that appear contribute a lot to it, it's better to hold them in reserve. It'd feel too pretentious and ridiculous to have so much buildup for such a straightforward conclusion, but throwing the backstory in afterward for replays feels satisfying and appropriate.
I don't know, man. Almost every time I saw an SOL scene, I felt like I was being punished for restarting. Most of them were telling me things I already knew, or adding details that were anime in the worst possible way (the scene between Bosch and his father). It took the game from a refreshingly focused story about saving a little girl to jRPG tripe. The only parts I really liked were the conversations between Ryu and Lin.

I appreciate what they were trying to do, but it just didn't work out.

Stephen
04-26-2008, 07:15 AM
I played a few hours of my Restarted game last night. Dumped all the party XP into my characters right at the beginning and I'm at level 20 heading into the Frozen Road. My D-Counter is at 10% already, because I D-Dived the Armstrong (the big robot that's sleeping on Corplab 1f). I wanted to see what equipment I could get from him, but it wasn't worth it.

There are more SOL cut scenes than I expected--I've had 6 or 7 already. These ones seem fairly innocuous, most of them providing some backstory for Nina and Rin. Liquid's mention of anime put up the caution flags for my next play through (assuming I get to it), but I'll burn that bridge when I get there.

The trip back through the Old Waste Shaft reminded me of one really great moment from my first run. There's an area right at the end that has 6 or 7 ants milling around. If you slaughter them (and I always do, to keep them out of my sugar you see) the doors lock and a gigantic ant appears. I was out of healing items, but figured I'd use Nina's fire trap and Rin's long range weaponry to keep the beast at bay and finish him slowly. The GiAnt slaughtered everyone but Ryu with a couple powerful long range spells, completely ruining my plans. I used an Escape item and spent 20 minutes debating whether or not I needed to restart. I decided that no fucking ant would stand in my way and dropped some bombs, D-rushed the ant into them and blew the fucker up. The bombs took away half his HP, then he promptly killed off Nina and Rin again, because I was still boneheadedly trying to trap him. I sent Ryu on a last ditch kamikaze and found that huge ants don't like Deathblow.

Victory was mine and that became one of the most thrilling RPG battles I was ever involved in. The way DQ adds consequences to death is what makes it such a fun game.

nunix
04-26-2008, 12:04 PM
Re: Armstrong and seeing what he's got: something you may not know about, a lot of people miss it:

When it's Lin's turn, hold R2. There's a command called Profile. Use it. =D It's free and doesn't cost AP, but it DOES count as actions on her turn so you can't R1 or Select and try to delay her turn once you use it.

Nina's R2 command is Magic Erase, which will clear off any magic circles she's put down (handy for if you already have some circles down but want to replace them, because of the 3 trap limit).

Stephen
04-26-2008, 10:24 PM
Re: Armstrong and seeing what he's got: something you may not know about, a lot of people miss it:

When it's Lin's turn, hold R2. There's a command called Profile. Use it. =D It's free and doesn't cost AP, but it DOES count as actions on her turn so you can't R1 or Select and try to delay her turn once you use it.

Yeah, I did check to see what he had, but when it's equipment it just shows up as ???????????+2 or whatever, so I still didn't know what it was until I had it identified. Turned out to be a crappy shield for Rin or something.

nunix
04-26-2008, 10:33 PM
When I fought Armstrong (for pretty much the same reason), I got my butt handed to me, and hightailed my guys out of that little room.. and he couldn't make it through the doorway. After that, it was just a matter of Nina wearing him down.

Red Hedgehog
04-27-2008, 06:49 PM
I finally finished it up today.

I managed to finish the game without ever doing an SOL Restart/Restore. I died about a half dozen times (two of these being right when I started out before Ryu even merged with the dragon). Really, once I got the hang of how the game worked, I didn't find it that difficult. It seemed I always had just enough healing items to make it from shop to shop. Because of this, I only D-Dived once in between first getting the dragon power and reaching Elyon the Origin and my D-Counter was at about 35% when I reached that point.

With the win, I managed to get my D-Raio down to 1/2048. I'm not sure if that's good or bad, but given it's only two steps down from the starting 1/8192 I guess I could have been more efficient or something, but I'm not really sure what lowers the ratio.

I enjoyed the game. The skill and weapon system and battle system made it very strategic. I also liked that I could never sleepwalk through battles, even with regular enemies. There was always a ton of tension as to whether I would be able to survive.

I'm somewhat tempted to replay the game to see the extra story provided. With all the party exp I made in the previous game, I should be able to get through it relatively quickly a second time. Then again, I also have Persona 3: FES to start.

nunix
04-27-2008, 07:53 PM
Second time through, especially in the beginning section, is very quick.

D-Ratio is based on quite a few things: how many times you save, how many chests you open, how many times you got the Extra Turn in battles, how long it took you to get through the game, how many Kokon Horay levels you explored.. plus a few other criteria.

Red Hedgehog
04-27-2008, 08:10 PM
D-Ratio is based on quite a few things: how many times you save, how many chests you open, how many times you got the Extra Turn in battles, how long it took you to get through the game, how many Kokon Horay levels you explored.. plus a few other criteria.

Is it bad that I have no clue what a Kokon Horay level is?

nunix
04-27-2008, 08:49 PM
Heh! Not so terrible.

Kokon Horay is a 50-level dungeon that's discovered by and accessed via the Fairy Colony. You go in at level 1, but you take your items and weapons with you; another facet of DQ's sorta-RL-ness. There's some rare and exclusive gear and skills you can acquire in there, along with an interesting last-level boss.

nunix
04-30-2008, 01:49 PM
Aaaand April comes to a close and so endeth the Dragon Quarter thread.. Well, hopefully a few people who gave Dragon Quarter a pass originally got motivated enough to play it this month and gain some appreciation for the game. Obviously I dig it very much (http://www.gamespite.net/talkingtime/showthread.php?t=4162), and it always bummed me out that more folk didn't give it a chance.

Red Hedgehog
04-30-2008, 02:33 PM
Just as a follow-up, I replayed up through where you use your Dragon Power for the first time. The extra SOL scenes were kind of neat, but it's a long enough game that I didn't feel like going through it again just to see them. I did unlock the roguelike Kokon Horay levels though.

Stephen
05-01-2008, 05:21 PM
I didn't quite finish DQ, but I really enjoyed the 20 hours I put into it this month. It has definitely proved its worth as a cult classic and I no longer regret dropping $50 on it oh so long ago.

Parish
05-01-2008, 05:31 PM
I wish I'd had time for this.