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Dragon Questing V Part V [GO]
July 14th, 2009 by Dan

As if to drive home the need for a companion, Dan is now left completely alone on his quest thanks to Harry’s departure. This next part of the game features Dan coming in contact with his childhood sabrecat pet Leo, but this part of the game is, quite frankly, dull to me, despite the themes of friendship and family, since Leo is has been dutifully searching for Dan and joins his team only once he is shown Bianca’s ribbon.

Leo recruited, the real meat of the story begins when the hero hears of a potential location for the Zenithian Shield, the city of Mostroferrato, which is far less intimidating than it sounds. Mostroferrato is home to the Briscoletti family whose patriarch, Rodrigo, is supposedly searching for a suitor for his daughter Nera. The good news: Rodrigo owns the Zenithian Shield. The bad news: he will only give it to the man deemed worthy enough to pass his trials and marry his daughter. Rodrigo’s two trials are fairly standard RPG fare; namely, Dan must retrieve the Circle of Fire and the Circle of Water to serve as the rings for the wedding.

Between this point in the game and the part of the questline involving the Circle of Water, Dan comes into contact with three important women. If you hadn’t guessed, these are his prospective wives. The first is Nera, one of Rodrigo’s daughters and a serene, beautiful girl. She is clearly a catch, but there’s one slight caveat. A man in Mostroferrato, Crispin, is clearly in love with Nera and he is Dan’s prime competitor in this event. I can’t exactly remember, but I think that Nera may even have feeling for Crispin as well. This isn’t an ideal situation.

Dan’s second choice comes in the chance reunion with Bianca en route to collecting the Circle of Water. She joins up with Dan to fetch the ring and she’s clearly in love with Dan. Unlike Nera, she is far less sophisticated with a common lineage, almost no money, and the localization team chose to give her a bit of an accent to further hammer home her “peasant” status, at least compared to Nera. I like to think that the game subtly nudges the player toward marrying Bianca. The box art features Bianca along with blonde children (Nera has black hair) and Bianca is unsubtly head over heels with Dan. Combined with the preexisting competition for Nera, I bet Yuji Horii assumed that most players would choose Bianca on their first playthrough especially due to his narrative nudging encouraging that choice.

The final choice for Dan is actually a DS-remake exclusive. Debora is Nera’s sister and, thus, another Briscoletti daughter. She is rude, domineering, heartless, and an all around terror to be around. In an interview for the DS remake, Yuji Horii described Debora as a girl “nobody in their right mind would pick!” Naturally, Dan chose to marry Debora when the time to choose between the three women was upon him. I realized that this would cause my experience to be subtly different from the most common SNES or PS2 experiences back in the day, but I just couldn’t help doing what I was clearly not supposed to do.

Yuji Horii has been known to say that Dragon Quest V is his favorite of the series. I think this is a function of just how affecting the story he chose to tell really is for the player. I’m not exaggerating when I say that turning down Bianca, watching her take the rejection with sad pride, and listening to her wish Dan and Debora happiness in their marriage was a difficult thing for me to experience. I was so invested in Dan’s life and the world of DQV that I felt like I had broken that poor pixelated girl’s heart.

The question of Debora was also very intriguing to me here. Horii created a wife for Dan that was absolutely unlikeable, yet I wondered if he would go the clichéd route and have her completely soften up thanks to Dan’s love. Plenty an anime and video game have taken these normally confident, mean, and strong-willed women and put forth what I feel to be a subtly sexist message that “wild” women will be tamed through domesticity. Given the skill with which Horii has woven the narrative so far, I put my money on him not trivializing Debora and keeping her character suitably abrasive to Dan throughout the entire game.

Anyway, so Dan has himself a lavish wedding thanks to the Briscoletti affluence aboard Rodrigo’s casino ship. Harry and his wife Maria attend along with the Briscolettis, Bianca, and the Mostroferrato townspeople. Debora and Dan enjoy their first night together, Dan gets himself the Zenithian Shield, and then it’s back to the quest. Naturally, Dan wouldn’t want to expose his wife to such danger…wait, Debora has announced that there’s no way Dan is leaving without her. He’s also pretty much supposed to cater to her every need. It’s time for the newly formed family to continue Dan’s quest to find his mother.

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2 Responses  
  • Eric Mesa writes:
    July 14th, 200910:01at

    Wow, they did an amazing job there. They actually gave you quite a dilema in the first version. There’s a heavy push towards Bianca, but you lose the possibility of getting the shield. I forgot from previous posts (or maybe it hasn’t been mentioned yet), but why does Dan want this shield? Is it just an awesome bit of armor or does it have more meaning? And if so, what does that say about picking Bianca?

    With the addition of the third girl – on the one hand – I don’t think I’d have it in my to pick such a contrary girl. I’d feel too much that I was missing out on key story. Although you get the good vibes of letting the other dude marry Nera, you break the other girl’s heart. I have to assume that both in this game and the originals that getting with Bianca would net you something sweeter than the Shield in the end.

    • Dan writes:
      July 14th, 200910:25at

      The shield is a piece of the Legendary Zenithian Armor Set that Dan is collecting to save the world, more or less. I’m positive that marrying Bianca will still net you the shield in some way, since it’s required for the plot, but I have no idea how it’s collected if you do marry Bianca. Either Rodrigo gives it to you out of the kindness of his heart or it will be collected sometime later, but, again, it’s really not that clear. They certainly make it seem like you won’t get the shield if you marry Bianca, so that part is still perfectly valid.

      I have no idea if there are tangible rewards for marrying Bianca other than having a wife who is utterly devoted to you, but I guess that’s an exercise for someone else’s playthrough.


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