Starting now, I'm going to try to chronicle my adventures in Astoltia, the world of Dragon Quest X. I began playing the game a couple of weeks ago. If you're interested in trying out the game for free yourself, then you can read last week's post on getting DQX to run on your American Nintendo Switch for free.
Yes, there are going to be some spoilers. So, if you're interested in playing the game and seeing this for yourself, you may want to avoid this post until you've played through it. Oh, and to make things easier, I'm going to call people and things by the names they're called on the Dragon Quest X wiki instead of how they show up using my Google Translate app.
Of Grandmothers and Galapogod
The offline prologue quickly introduces us to some characters. There's Tenda, who's a wise village elder. She's the grandmother to Singh, a guy who looks like Nevan from Dragon Quest VI had a child with Hermes from Disney's Hercules. I mean, just look at this:
Singh is going to be your primary quest giver for a while, so you should get to know him. He stays at the church in the starting village of Tenton. If you played through the Altar of Ages stuff in Dragon Quest XI S, then you've seen some 2D renderings of the village for yourself. Oh, and did I mention Tenton has a giant guardian turtle called the Galapogod? Because it does. It's a giant, magic turtle that protects the village and hangs out near the church. And sometimes Tenda rides it around like a donkey. I'm assuming for funsies.
Of Onions and Flowers
The bulk of the prologue has to do with the usual fetch quests and early exploration missions you see in a lot of RPGs and MMOs. You have to collect items, bring them back to the village, rinse and repeat, etc. After a couple of these, an ornery onion makes its way into the village, and you'll have to take care of it. To be clear, when I say “take care of it,” I don't mean you raise it as your own and make sure it stays alive through college. I mean, you have to murder it. Big time.
After that, it's time to head off into a nearby cave (all the way to the north of the village) to find a flower, which will help you save Tenton. Your sibling and Singh will tag along, giving you a three-person party. During this time, I leveled up my character to about Level 10. The entire time, my sibling and Singh never leveled up, so I'm assuming they never do. Thanks to your sibling, you also get a funky little flower hat, which I wore throughout the entirety of the prologue.
The areas in DQ10 are vast, which can mean a lot of trekking around. If you want to explore areas, you're usually rewarded by finding a unique monster or treasure chest. So far, though, it seems like these areas are a little TOO big, but I guess that's a complaint for another day.
Keep walking north, and eventually, you'll wind up at the cave. Along the way, you'll have a couple of sub-boss encounters (for lack of a better term) with a slime knight and a golem. Getting inside the cave, however, gives you the first glimpse into a dungeon. If you've played an MMO before–or any RPG, really–then the layout will look familiar. The enemies in here are a little tougher than the ones outside, but not by a lot. If you've leveled up a little, you'll be fine.
But beyond that, we've got a flower to find!
At the end of the cave, you come face to face with Begoda. He looks a bit like an old man crossed with a goblin. Oh, and he has a hula-hoop that he'll use for things other than geriatric aerobics. Like, beating you up, for instance.
Begoda is working for Dread Lord Negel, the main baddie in DWX Version 1.0. The fight itself isn't very tough, and it's nice to get to face a real boss. After the fight, Begoda destroys the flowers you were after with his Old Man Gobline breath. However, thankfully, one flower survives. Guess it's time to get back to Tenton now that we've (hopefully) saved the day.
After a couple of cutscenes and what feels like some unnecessary backtracking, you'll get back to your village. (You can also learn the Evac spell, so you can avoid a little of it if you use it to leave the cave.)
Here's one of those classic Dragon Quest twists. The village is destroyed. It's on fire, lots of people have died, and the attacking monsters are being led by the Dread Lord himself. After a bit of dramatics, your soul is sent 5000 years into the past (at least, I think that's what's happening — it's in Japanese, and I don't speak or read it). You must now choose from one of the five races and create a new avatar…because, um, your soul has to go into one of their bodies. If you like the human race, then you can still choose that.
I chose a Weddy, because I've loved those blue sea people since I first laid eyes on them. From here on out, the story path will change based on which race you chose. And that's the end of the prologue! It doesn't take a whole lot of time to get through, but it's incredibly fun, and absolutely worth playing.
Join me next week, where we explore the first Weddy village and save a wedding!
We will also be talking about Dragon Quest X on the Dragon Quest FM podcast in the coming weeks/months, so if you haven't checked that out, here are a few links for you.