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Episode #040 - Dragon Quest Monsters Caravan Heart


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https://anchor.fm/dqslimetime/episodes/Episode-040---Dragon-Quest-Monsters-Caravan-Heart-e11ut7b

Woodus joins Platty and Liamland to chat about the infamous Dragon Quest Monsters Caravan Heart! Hungry for adventure? Don't quit the podcast after the first hour. Stick with it. Much like the game, it gets easier and more rewarding as it goes along.

This is an interesting game and definitely one that gets a lot of criticism for its difficulty spikes right at the beginning. I'm currently in the postgame and can't even remember the last time my characters suffered like we did within that first hour, walking around in starvation, feeding off our own HP. But once it picks up and you get enough support characters to sustain it becomes quite enjoyable.

A handful of things that we missed mentioning on the podcast:

1. @Woodus wanted me to mention a joke I had stated before the recording. Something we forgot to bring up. Basically this is the first Dragon Quest game where children get a Puff Puff massage.

2. They kinda cheaped out on the battle animation. Instead of the monsters animating like they would starting with DQVI-SFC they just zoom the sprite toward the camera to make it sorta look like it's attacking. The end result is a sort of pixellated zoom of the monster sprite that often leaves much to be desired. Eventually you tend to just get used to it. But it pails in comparison to more modern versions of a DQ game where the monster battle sprites are fully animated.

3. I'm in the bonus content now, postgame and this is the second instance of what would eventually become the grotto mechanic for DQIX. The first was in Dragon Quest Monsters 2, which featured the key-dungeons. In Caravan Heart you have to find orbs on the world map that you use to generate bonus dungeons. The map generation is RNG based so you basically can place 1-4 orbs, save state, enter the dungeon, reload the save state, enter the dungeon again and you would get a completely different map. There's some repetition here with the need to traverse the Torland world map over and over to find 2-floor orb caves or traveler tents where a random NPC will either sell or give you a random orb. My main issue with this concept is they don't new-game-plus the monsters on the world map. So as you're traveling you're random encounters will be the weak monsters you fought at the beginning of the story mode. They offer very little Exp and they're a super easy win, so there's basically no challenge when exploring for orbs. The key is to combo a Seer support class with two Mappers to show you where the orbs are on the world map. But you have to be lucky enough to have a Seer and not have already kicked them out of your max 20 character entourage.

4. There don't seem to be any gameFAQs guides available for the Caravan Heart postgame. All I had to go one was a simple GameFAQs forum post that tells you the gist of what to expect:

https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/boards/916688-dragon-quest-monsters-caravan-heart/58198299 

Similarly there were a handful of searchable topics here on The Den, but no definitive postgame guides seem to have been produced as of yet.

Edited by Liamland
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Orb hunting becomes far easier with a Seer and two Mappers. Now that I have a Seer again I'm able to just search the map for the locations and show up, rather than blindly searching. I finished the Red and Blue orb dungeons and now I'm on an all Green run. Yellow next and then I should be able to tackle the first bonus boss. 

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On 6/30/2021 at 10:36 AM, Woodus said:

I kind of wrote a basic one as I was playing thru, let me know what to add to it

https://www.woodus.com/den/games/dqm3gba/walkthru.php

I think a rundown of how the orb dungeon mechanic works would be helpful. I'm a little confused by what it says, whether you need 2+ orbs or 4 to reach an elemental and gain a spirit orb. What do different color combos generate, and does it matter what color you place in what position? Are there some orb dungeons that have stronger monsters or better treasure, like in DQIX where you have A and S rank grotto dungeons?

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Well I don't know if I really understood it either, I just went for 4 of the same color because that was what was needed to complete the post story quest. I didn't really dabble with color combos beyond that.

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I mentioned this on FB Messenger earlier, but in greater detail, I got to the first post-game final boss and he kept 1 shotting my level 46 MKS, despite the fact that my monster was max-buffed for defense. Basically an MKS with 180 max-HP and 999 defense is getting one-shotted by a bonus boss who is somehow still able to do 200-300 damage in a standard hit.

I just walked right back out of that dungeon. Leveling up two more to max of 48 for my MKS and then I'll have to class change to something with better HP gains.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Second attempt at the bonus boss, coming up. My previous attempt the boss was one-shotting my max Buff'd MKS, because the monster's max HP was too low. I've since class changed the MKS to a Pural, which ended up being a terrible idea (slow stat growth, low HP and defense), so I class changed him again to a Golem. It's a 3 star monster, but my stats by level 40 are all around the 700-800 range, with max HP at 529, by level 40. I also class changed my Trumpeter elephant into a King Leo, and his stat increases really shot up at each level. By level 40 the King Leo's Attack is now 999. His defense is still the weakest in my party, at 707. It's interesting, though. My Andreal's attack is 868 at level 40, but he attacks harder than my 999 attacking King Leo, because the Andreal has two soldier support characters, while the King Leo has two sages and a mage. I can't swap these two monsters, because the soldier wagon would be overweight with a King Leo. So I just deal with the fact that my Andreal is still my top damage dealer.

Here goes. Bonus dungeon, attempt 2!

Edited by Liamland
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Success! Save stated right when I defeated the bonus boss. Once work dies down a little I'll be able to appreciate the ending. I did happen to catch that there was more (I think new) character art during the credits. I'll need to go back and screenshot all that like I did when I beat the main story.

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I screenshotted all the character art they had at the end (with the majority being clean shots where the credits weren't rolling over them.) I'll crop them if you want them for The Den's Caravan Heart page.

That being said, I just beat Dragon Lord (who was crazy easy since my monsters were so jacked, and solidly human-supported.) I cast Increase once to get the party to max defense, Twin Hits both my Andreal and King Leo, and while my Golem cast Defense Sap. Then it was just a matter of time wailing on him. Dragon Lord didn't deal much damage, so it took slightly less than 10 rounds to take him out. They hinted that his dragon minion didn't understand why he had woken up (like there was more), but then all my support characters in my caravan camp seemed to indicate there was nothing left to do but "grow stronger." I'm effectively done.

I've got a Dragon Lord heart and the most I can do with it is create an Orochi, which I'd wanted to do several reformations ago. But now there doesn't seem to be any more bonus bosses, so I'm not sure there would be any point in that. Wish I could new-game plus this with my current monster regiment. That'd be something.

Sadly, my copy of DQM Joker is lost somewhere in NY, and it would take me being back to find it. Looks like I'll be waiting awhile.

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Yeah those would be good to have on there.

Same with me on DragonLord, seemed too easy almost after the end and that is when I quit playing.

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I screenshotted all the character art they had at the end (with the majority being clean shots where the credits weren't rolling over them.) I'll crop them if you want them for The Den's Caravan Heart page.
That being said, I just beat Dragon Lord (who was crazy easy since my monsters were so jacked, and solidly human-supported.) I cast Increase once to get the party to max defense, Twin Hits both my Andreal and King Leo, and while my Golem cast Defense Sap. Then it was just a matter of time wailing on him. Dragon Lord didn't deal much damage, so it took slightly less than 10 rounds to take him out. They hinted that his dragon minion didn't understand why he had woken up (like there was more), but then all my support characters in my caravan camp seemed to indicate there was nothing left to do but "grow stronger." I'm effectively done.
I've got a Dragon Lord heart and the most I can do with it is create an Orochi, which I'd wanted to do several reformations ago. But now there doesn't seem to be any more bonus bosses, so I'm not sure there would be any point in that. Wish I could new-game plus this with my current monster regiment. That'd be something.
Sadly, my copy of DQM Joker is lost somewhere in NY, and it would take me being back to find it. Looks like I'll be waiting awhile.
Haven't you been emulating these older DQM games? DS emulation is quite easy (get an app) and perfect for a phone held vertically. And, touch screen! 128d5be59de5eaccf55aacdb3d9ca88a.jpg
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I actually did just download RetroArch, for a decent Master System/Genesis emulator, to finally give Phantasy Star a full play-through, after bailing on my GBA version about a decade ago. RetroArch has the ability to emulate DS among others, so I may give that a shot. However, I do have the original cart for Joker and if there's any save editing or manipulation to acquire any locked DLC, like in DQIX it might prove more difficult through emulation. Connecting with other players to share or breed if that's a thing in Joker 1 would also be rendered near impossible through emulation on an Android device. I was hoping to play this one legit. If I could start on RetroArch and transfer or convert my save file and upload it with the NDS Adaptor Plus, when I'm back in The States, then it might be worth starting or at least testing the game on RetroArch.

From the UI options I chose the PS3, so it at least has a familiar feel to it. 

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