Looking back over past installments of this column, I’m surprised I haven’t given Bianca any love yet. I mean, in Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride, the game in which she first appears, she literally becomes your wife. Assuming you make the correct choices, that is.
Of course, you have two other options for who to wed in that game. But as someone who grew up as whatever the middle-class equivalent of a country bumpkin is, Bianca spoke to me right from the first moment I met her. And I knew right from that first meeting that I was going to wed her.
Them other girls dun’t matter, y’hear? Well, they do, but not right now. Bianca!
Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Bianca Whitaker
Okay, I got it wrong. I have not yet finished Hand of the Heavenly Bride, nor was I near to doing so.
Well, actually, that might not quite be true. But I have been getting a little distracted on my way to what I can only assume is the final boss: first with grinding to get Bianca up to a similar level as my protagonist and their children, and subsequently with the subject of today’s article.
Many RPGs today concentrate primarily on their core mechanics, with their optional content involving those same mechanics: challenging combat, deep dungeons or hard-to-find items. But the Dragon Quest series, like Final Fantasy, is one that has always incorporated minigames into the mix, with their own completely separate ways of playing. And it’s that I’d like to talk about today.
Continue reading Delving into Dragon Quest: Hand of the Heavenly Bride – #6
I haven’t had as much time as I’d like to play Dragon Quest recently, but I took the time to play some at lunchtime today, and it reminded me of some things I’d like to talk about.
What I’m going to talk about today relates to the series as a whole, but with the release of newest installment Dragon Quest XI looming at the time of writing, it’s particularly pertinent to mention these things, given some of the issues that have been brought up by recent reviews.
So let us ponder a core aspect of not just Dragon Quest, but of the type of RPG that Dragon Quest went on to inspire. Let us contemplate grinding!
Continue reading Delving into Dragon Quest: Hand of the Heavenly Bride – #5
I think I’m nearing the end of Hand of the Heavenly Bride. It’s just a feeling I have.
As we’ve previously discussed, Dragon Quest is not generally a series for making a huge deal out of significant narrative moments, preferring to allow you to draw your own meaning from them rather than attempting to force you to feel a particular way through lengthy cutscenes.
This doesn’t make those significant moments any less meaningful or effective, however — it’s just a markedly different treatment of these events than you’d find in many other games.
Continue reading Delving Into Dragon Quest: Hand of the Heavenly Bride – #4
It’s a slightly belated new episode of the MoeGamer Podcast!
Both Chris and I had some unfortunate technical issues with our previous attempt to record this podcast, so we ended up having to do it all over again. We present to you the Definitive Edition of this particular episode!
I’m also pleased to announce that there is now an audio-only version of the podcast available on Soundcloud, and it’s been submitted to iTunes and a few other places. The show will continue to be presented in video format here and on YouTube as well, so if you enjoy watching as well as listening, never fear.
Continue reading The MoeGamer Podcast: Episode 7 – Touching is Good
Exciting things have been happening in the world of Dragon Quest V, and I am thoroughly enraptured with this game.
I can’t remember the last RPG that managed to make one’s adventure feel so simultaneously personal and meaningful to the broader context in which the narrative unfolds. But Hand of the Heavenly Bride does a wonderful job at this — and now I’m into the game’s third (and, I believe, final) act, things are escalating considerably while still remaining tightly focused on the protagonist and his family.
Let’s take a closer look, then! Doubtless you’ve already figured out that spoilers likely abound in this series, but I’ll warn you once more just in case.
Continue reading Delving Into Dragon Quest: Hand of the Heavenly Bride – #3
I’m about ten hours deep into Hand of the Heavenly Bride at the time of writing… and it’s been a highly enjoyable adventure so far.
Last time, we talked a bit about how the prologue chapter of the game represents an interesting exploration of childhood and fatherhood.
Now that my adventure “proper” is well underway, I thought I’d start examining some of the interesting things this fifth installment in the series is doing.
Continue reading Delving into Dragon Quest: Hand of the Heavenly Bride – #2
For one reason or another, fatherhood has always been a popular subject to explore through video games.
Interestingly, when fatherhood is presented in a positive light (as opposed to stories of, for example, abusive or absent fathers) it tends to be with the player in the role of said father, rather than the child. But there are plenty of interesting stories to be told about fatherhood from the child’s perspective, too.
Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride’s early hours explore this idea in some detail, making for an incredibly memorable prologue chapter that concludes with plenty of incentive to set off on an adventure.
Continue reading Delving Into Dragon Quest: Hand of the Heavenly Bride – #1