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Dragon Questing V Part IX [GO]
July 30th, 2009 by Dan

If you couldn’t already guess, a midwife/doctor type confirmed that Debora was not only pregnant, but quite far along. It brings up the tricky point of time in these video games. What seemed like hours traveling around the world map in my control must have been nine months, because Deb is apparently ready to pop. It makes sense, considering the scale of the map and the modes of transportation, but without an outright statement of “Nine Months Later” (too obvious), I find myself pulled out of the narrative a bit. Speaking of getting pulled out of his narrative, Dan is summoned down to see King Albert, prematurely ending the joyous discovery.

Expecting a fight for the throne, I went downstairs to go talk to Uncle Albert. Horii goes ahead and defies some expectation by having King Albert all but pay me as he tries to abdicate the throne. He goes ahead and plays right into narrative tropes by having the chancellor, the real head of this mostly puppet government, scheme to delay my ascension by requiring me to complete a meaningless task required of royals before obtaining the crown. My suspicions were confirmed when Dan learned that the guards were under strict orders to reveal to no one that he was the son of Pankraz.

The task was fairly mindless and easy and, predictably, Dan was jumped by some hired hitmen who were easily dispatched. Expecting more trouble, both Dan and I are surprised when our return was not met with more assassins, but there was no time to get into royal business upon Dan’s return, because Debora started to go into labor.

In a delightful callback, Yuji Horii calls back to the very first scene of Dragon Quest V by forcing Dan to pace around the throne room awaiting news of the children. Every detail was identical, down to the ticking clock in the background, only this time it was less of a cutscene and more of an interactive experience. Your mileage may vary, but as a helpless bystander forced to walk around in circles awaiting an event that I, the player, had no control over, I admit to feeling anxious and powerless as I hoped for the best, but feared for the worst, since the Chancellor was still lurking around. At last, tension broke as the good news was rushed downstairs. Dan was a father…twice over. Twins!

The callback continued as Dan rushed up to the royal bedroom and was greeted by the sight of his wife and children. The conversation naturally led to names for the children and, once again, I was able to pick names. Having missed the chance to name my pet sabrecat after my buddy Min, I briefly considered naming either of the kids after him, since Min is an acceptable name for both men and women, but since I was in Florida with my younger brother at the time, I went with David for Dan’s son and Rebeca for the daughter. Just like in the cartoons, Dave resembled his father pretty strongly while Rebeca looked a lot like Deb. Not that this is all that hard, since most Toriyama art looks very similar, but it works in this situation. The boxart seems to imply that the twins would be blonde instead of having black hair if Bianca ended up wedded to Dan, so there’s one change that I spotted from the marriage decision.

With the childbearing out of the way, nothing could stand in the way of Dan’s coronation, so the ceremony proceeded and the main character’s robes transitioned from purple to red for the occasion. I noticed at this point that it was rather telling of Dan to be wearing purple, a color associated with royalty, the whole game. It’s this kind of attention to detail that I’m sure was not an accident based on what I know about Japanese game design.

What’s a good coronation ceremony without a huge party? Surely no harm could come with every man, woman, and child incapacitated from alcohol and fatigue overnight in the stronghold of a recently wronged Chancellor. I’m sure that part X will just be the blissful end of this tale…

Get Dragon Quest V!


One Response  
  • Eric Mesa writes:
    July 30th, 20099:56at

    Awesome! Can’t wait to see what happens next!


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