So I’m now finished with Dragon Quest VIII in just a little over 62 hours. It was a great, great game. One of the best I’ve played and I hope to have my review up in the next couple of days.

Two things I want to say now that I’m done. First, the strategy guide is absolutely fucking useless. It’s amazing that they had the audacity to release a strategy guide that is almost completely devoid of strategies or guidance. They say in the introduction that they didn’t want to spoil anything. Great. Thanks. If I don’t want to spoil anything I’m probably not going to be using a strategy guide. But even if they don’t put plot spoilers in the guide, there are still ways to include strategies, a walkthrough, hints on defeating the freaking bosses, something. Instead, we get a picture book with lots of lists and a couple of sentences here and there. What a lazy, useless money-grab. For my occasional walkthrough needs I ended up using Adagio’s well-done walkthrough. The official guide sat on my shelf and collected dust.

Second, I have a funny story about the final boss. I’d tried to defeat him once and got wiped out. I then tried again and got wiped out. I decided I’d give him a third try and if I couldn’t get him then I’d level a bit and work on improving my characters. So on the third try I was doing well. I’d managed to give him a good chunk of damage with my monster team and when my characters got to him we kept our healing up pretty well and were able to quickly resurrect characters that were killed. But the battle went on for a long time and I started to think that I wasn’t going to make it. I had several characters that were on low health and I needed to heal, especially Jessica who was near-death. When choosing my commands, I meant to select her Caduceus ability to heal her but for some reason I selected Attack instead. There was nothing to do at that point, the actions were committed. My other characters started healing themselves and when Jessica’s turn came up, she hit the boss with her staff, did something like 25 points of damage and killed him! My sons who were watching me all started whooping and laughing and I just was dumbfounded that I not only didn’t die but that my weakest melee fighter delivered the killing blow. Good stuff.

Anyway, great game and I’m glad I’m done with it. I know there’s the extra trials and I may give them a shot sometime but for now I’m going to move on to something else. I’ve been wanting to play Dreamfall: the Longest Journey for awhile so I may do that to break things up. It’s not exactly a RPG but I’ll bend the rules a bit as I want to play it and it seems like it’d be a fun game to write about. Plus I may be able to figure out how to take screenshots which would be nice.

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