The Return of Talking Time

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  #31  
Old 04-19-2018, 01:27 PM
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That DUCK is a handsome dog.
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  #32  
Old 04-19-2018, 02:01 PM
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So can you drop DUCK off at the nursery and go slaughter sacred cows away from her innocent eyes without consequence?
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  #33  
Old 04-19-2018, 02:06 PM
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No, her prying eyes watch you wherever you go.

I ran from a bunch of battles at the beginning before getting the egg on an assumption that you're not monitored during that period, but that might be asking too much nuance from the NES. It might be the game "observes" from the get-go. We'll find out!
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  #34  
Old 04-19-2018, 04:01 PM
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Teach DUCK how to wheel and deal: bribe the cow for its liver.
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  #35  
Old 04-21-2018, 04:26 AM
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I must say, I'm impressed by how much this game hates the player. A hometown where the residents leave you for dead if you so much as talk to a person, an inkeeper that robs you blind, that "damned if you do, damned if you don't" bartender situation...

I'm guessing you're a long way from actually killing any guards, crooked merchants, asshole restaurant owners, or nursing mothers, but is there any word on what happens if you do? Like, are there any consequences other than being a really bad influence on your dragon?
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  #36  
Old 04-21-2018, 08:06 AM
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It doesnít hate the player, itís just a wrpg where your actions have consequences. If youíre going to wander around a crimeburg you should expect some crimes.

But itís DQ clone so no situation is truely unrecoverable. Most of the time the worst thing that could happen is you have to walk back to gran and grind some enemies for money. And seeing as itís a jrpg youíre going to be doing a lot of that anyway.

Fighting random npcs mostly influences the dragon, and you donít get much out of it. They donít drop gold or anything. But it could be useful to access places youíre not suposted to be.
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  #37  
Old 04-21-2018, 02:18 PM
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Well I said "hates the player" but with all due respect I do not actually consider that a bad thing. It really does make the game stand out in the vast sea of 8-bit Dragon Quest-likes. After all, RPGs with consequences on the NES were largely limited to Japanese adaptations of western PC games, like Ultima IV and Pool of Radiance.
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  #38  
Old Yesterday, 12:53 PM
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Now that we're getting DUCK's -GROWTH NOTES- we can talk about the heart and soul of any RPG: stats!

Strength, Defense, work how you'd expect. Dexterity affects turn order. Sansara Naga is like DQ where a defense high enough to negate all damage results in an "attack missed" message.

I'm not entirely sure what Intelligence does. Presumably special attacks but who knows. This may come as a surprise, but there's not a lot of information about this game on the English internet.

SYM is Sympathy. It represents how in tune with DUCK we are. Low Sympathy will result in her not following orders in battle. What she does when disobedient is dictated by her BRaVery and MORality. A cowardly dragon will cower and refuse to fight, while an unscrupulous one will attack without discretion, including turning its fury on its trainer.

You'll notice that on the left under her health we can see that DUCK is level -6. Unlike Funko, DUCK will level as we progress through the game. She's at negative levels now because she's just a stupid baby. And we all know about stupid babies. While she's in the nursery we can raise her level by following the Matron's recommendations. We've already given her some Daphina and now the Matron has suggested we move on to Tadpoles. We should get some of those!



But first! Upgrades! When we got the DUCK egg the old man suggested we sell the dragon dung to the chemist for cash.



Yesir! That's some good seed money.



Hitting up the armories we're able to outfit ourselves in everything except the Leather Armor. We're now more than capable against any of the grass-dwelling monsters around here.



Wandering into the shallow lakewater we luck out with a manageable encounter and get some of the tadpoles we need. Gas Toads are literally frogmen.



Also in the lake are Electro Toads. We're not strong enough to beat these guys, along with most of the lake encounters. These guys might be a nod to the old science experiment where a frog's leg is made to twitch with the application of electricity. I might be reaching though, and that certainly doesn't explain their tiger print speedos.



So we're not strong enough to go swimming yet, but with our new gear we should be able to tackle forests, right?



This Pishacha certainly seems to suggest so! He goes down in a couple hits and his trophy sells for a cool 150r (in comparison Daphina sell for 1r and Toadstools for 10).

Pishachas are demons in Hindu mythology that feast on human flesh. Traditionally they're depicted as dark-skin figures with red eyes and fangs. Here, they appear as a stereotypical genie figure offering us a spoonful of curry. Uh... maybe don't eat it.



Any dreams of forest farming are quickly put to rest by A GROSS BUG I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN. The design for this guy is just the best, I love it as a RPG monster. Terrible in real life, but good inna game thaaaaaaaaat's Cordyceps! That they sell these in the toy store implies they're good eattin for Baby-Ds we should try to get one.



Oh god why. Cordyceps are tanky enough that we can't beat one before it pounds us into dust. Well maybe it was just an unlucky encounter.



Nope. Forest encounters are simply out of our reach right now. Rain Breakers hit slightly (only slightly!) less hard than a Cordyceps, but there's four of them. We won't survive a single round.



Back in town we feed DUCK the tadpoles and some more Daphina.





Bone Fish are a hard lakewater encounter, and Live Fish are worse. This group absolutely wrecks us. (I do like the gag here though.)

So what to do now? Well we still need the Leather Armor, which costs 500r, and we should vaccinate DUCK which is 300r. We could grind up Daphina and Toadstool trophies but that would take awhile and even then they still hit hard enough that we have to rest at the inn with some frequency. A night at the inn costs a 100 bucks so we've got to bring in more than that with each day's hunting. We could stay at the Lower Town inn for 50r, but doing so requires a walk around the lake (which is likely to get us killed at low HP) and takes us away from the Business District's amenities. It's not practical for the amount of money it saves.

So what to do?

(One solution would be to huff it back to Orissa and stay at Gran's for free, accumulating free Lunch Boxes, and farming Sand-tile encounters. I didn't do this because I'm a dumb boy.)





The answer is something the game hints at in a nice bit of design. The river that we followed up from Orissa and feeds into Hoverpool lake has a different encounter table than the lake itself (it also has a different tile graphic, which is how I clued in on it).

The Matron asks us to get Daphina, Tadpoles, and Bonefish. Tadpoles are way more prevalent in the river than in the lake, and so we're asked to engage with progressively stronger encounter tables. I like how this is subtly clued but not outright stated, forcing us to discover the environment on our own (it'd be better if tadpoles didn't show up in the lake at all, but ah well).



River enemies are very manageable and pay out well. Catfish sell for 30r, and electro ones for 40. Tadpoles go right into DUCK's hungry maw. They're good for her and she levels up to -5.

We're well on our way to that armor when something bad happens.



"It seems you took out a loan with us and it's time to make a payment...

What!? I never? I didn't??? What the hell? After 5 or so nights at the Inn this loan officer showed up out of the blue.

I honestly don't know what happened here. It's either a bug (not unlikely) or we automatically went into debt when we agreed to board DUCK without the 800r fee.



Regardless, we're somehow 3000r in the hole. We could try to refuse to pay, but this guy will destroy us and we'll still be in debt. We cough over our paltry 300r for now.



We opt to try and pay down the debt instead of restarting and hoping we don't somehow trigger the condition again. What we can do is forgo any inn visits, farm until we get knocked out, and get a free heal and respawn in town for half our on-hand cash. If we don't sell any trophies we can keep our money safe from the resurrection-tax until we're ready to pay off. This doesnít advance the day counter so the interest wonít go up and the goon wonít hound us. It's messy, and I don't know how it's going to affect DUCK's development, but it works.
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  #39  
Old Yesterday, 12:56 PM
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As long as we're doing this, we detour to nab the armor and vaccinate DUCK.

"By the way, you can't be a true Dragoon without a Dragoon Helm. You used to be able to get one from the palace, but not anymore..."

Iiiiinteresting.



After paying off about a grand we accidentally run into another Cordyceps on the way to the river. And whatdda know! We got lucky rolls and were able to defeat the thing before it could do us in.



Holy moly! Our money problems are solved!



After paying off the rest of the debt we still have a cool three stacks to do with what we want. But what? We've bought out the armories and we still aren't strong enough to handle lake or forest encounters without a bunch of luck.



We do have a good chunk of change though, perhaps its worth checking out some of the back alley deals in Lower Town.



"This magnificent blade will cost you 1980 Rupees. Would you like it?"

Like it? I love the 1980s!

"Tigers will flee in terror from you once they see this sword in your hand!"





The Kotetsu is actually an accessory that goes in out Other slot. Presumably it really does work by scaring the enemies instead of being an attacking weapon.

Nagasone Okisato was a Japenese swordsmith from the Kanbun era (1661 to 1673) who's blades were said to be legendarily sharp. He became a Buddist priest and took the name "Kotetsu" and would engrave his swords with the characters for 'tiger' (ko) and 'piercing' (tetsu), hence "Tiger Killer."

Have I mentioned the writing in this game is really good?

The Kotatsu trades a little defense for a lot of strength.



Lake encounters are still to tough to grind reliably, but we are able to snag some Bone Fish for our hungry baby.



The Matron doesn't have any more food requests for us. A couple of Bone Fish won't satisfy duck either. We need to feed something in the realm of 20-25.



She does gain a level from the first bites though, and all the other trophies we've been giving her have increased her sympathy and morality too!



With the last of our Cordyceps money we pick up a ball at the toy store.





With that we really are out of options. Everything else in Lower Town is too expensive or won't help. Lake encounters are too hard to farm for Bone Fish without relying on the "don't rest just die" trick and we don't know how that will affect DUCK's growth.

The Matron keeps going on about this Dragoon Helm though, and more defense would be a big help.



This guy mentions theives got into the castle somehow. Another NPC mentions that there's sewers under the town.



In both the Business District and Lower Town there's these wells. One in each will lead to the sewers.





Which are a maze of overlapping pathways. It's not as bad as it looks (and its some really cool visual design!), except exploring is hampered by...



OH SHIT.



A single Water Cat is still a scary encounter, but with the Kotetsu we're able to make due.



Also down here are Bone and Live Fish. We run from them mostly.



And Shachihoko. These are mythical lion-faced fish you see statues of up on the roofs of Japanese temples and castles. These ones drop Shachihoko Scale relics instead of regular trophies.
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  #40  
Old Yesterday, 12:59 PM
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To survive for any length of time in the sewers we need a full stock of Box Lunches (900r) but Water Cats sell for enough that it's not hard to raise the funds.



If we head to left of the entrance we come to this hole in the wall.



Which emerges in a strange kitchen!





"Then you just have to beat those blasted thieves down in the sewers! Then we're saved and... the Head Maid will surely give you a reward! I wouldn't roam around the palace until then if I were you..."



We can roam around the palace as much as we want.



Save State* But as soon as we talk to someone...





The guards show up, kick our ass, and kick us out. *Load State*





We can't get too far into the palace because the Head Maid blocks this chokepoint.





But in the back corner, there's this little storage room. *SAVESTATE*







I don't see any downside to this!

"Kurikara" is the Japanese transliteration of the Sanskrit "Kulika," a dragon-king often depicted as a flame-wreathed snake coiled around an upright sword.



Quote:
Legend has it that Fudoo (a Wisdom King) had to fight the representative of a different religion. He changed himself into a flaming sword but the opponent did the same and the fighting went on without a winner. Now Fudoo changed himself into the Dragon Kurikara, wound himself around the opposing sword and started eating it from the top. This episode gave rise to the iconographic rendering as we know it now.

The dragon used to be a vasall or symbol of the deity, but in this unique case the symbol and the deity came to be honored as the same thing. Especially during the Edo period where the sword was a symbol of the vasall's loyalty to his lord, the statues and steles of Kurikara Fudoo were produced in greater numbers.
The Falun shield most likely refers to Falun Gong, the Chinese qigong practice that incorporates Buddhist and Taosit principals to foster principals of truth, compassion, and forbearance.

The sword gives us a huge boost to strength. The shield doesn't offer much defense but heals about a 100 HP when used as an item in and out of battle. The two of them are a huge jump in power. Almost too much. What's the catch?



Ah. There it is. Stealing the castle's treasures makes no better than the helm thieves. DUCK is disgusted by our actions and learns all the wrong lessons. She'll be impossible to control in this state, and dangerous too. We could use the new equipment to grind up the cash and trophies needed to heal her stats, but that's a lot of work when we could simply not be thieves. *Load State*
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  #41  
Old Yesterday, 01:00 PM
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Leaving the castle's treasure behind we head east into the sewers.



A Seahorse Tongue is a nice item that will heal us fully or can be sold to the tune of 3000r.





Near this platform inscribed with a taijitu we find ten escargots. These are trophies from an enemy we haven't encountered yet and sell for 500g each. Between them and Water Cat trophies we're swimming in cash, and so can check another item off our to-do list.



We have those snapper scales from Orissa still, and now we have the cash to make the shield.



We could also make a Shachioko helmet for fairly cheap, but we'd have to grind up the scales and they do not appear with much frequency.

"And you'll have to wait a night for it to be ready."

There's a hidden 100r fee to say at the inn, but the next morning...



155 defense! And gained entirely legally.



Let's test it out.



Yesssss, get wrecked you stupid cat.



Finding the thieves requires a bit of roundabout navigation up to this warp-tile.



Which gets us on top of the taijitu.





And from there to the thieve's hideout.



"Let's get down to killin'!"





This guy doesn't compare to the sewer's Water Cats and Bone Fish normally, but with our kotetsu and snapper shield he's a joke.



"We're really sorry and we've learned our lesson. Here's proof of our sincerity."



I don't actually know what this is. Something that reflects, but beyond that... ? When we use it from our inventory we get the "nothing happens" message.

"You can also have all the treasure inside the chests around here."



Legitimate treasure! The two sweetest words.
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  #42  
Old Yesterday, 01:01 PM
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The rusted shield helps complete the Rusty Set. What is this, Dark Souls? We sold the Rusted Sword and Armor. Uh... I hope that wasn't a mistake. As for the Dream Mirror:





With the thieves taken care of we can return to the castle and report to the Head Maid.



I love this sprite.



"Then allow me to present you with this well-earned reward! This now will be proof of your social status."





A nice DEF boost and a step up a rung on the social latter, not a bad reward for a hard day's sewer work.







We now have free roam of the castle, and the main gate is open for easy access.

Next time we'll explore our new class privilege and explore outside Hoverpool for what feels like the first time in ages.

One last look at DUCK before we go:



Level -3! They grow up so fast.
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  #43  
Old Yesterday, 01:39 PM
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At least one other Famicom game references Fudou Myou - in its own name, even. Fudou Myou Den is the name of a game that got released on the NES as "Demon Sword."
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  #44  
Old Yesterday, 01:42 PM
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Do you have the option to feed DUCK anything, or only the stuff that the nursery asks for? Can we raise a terrible fast food baby?
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  #45  
Old Yesterday, 01:49 PM
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Yeah we can give her whatever. Most stuff is fine and will affect her growth ~somehow~. Stuff like Poison Daphnias will make her sick. Only the stuff Matron requests will trigger level ups tho.
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