|Dragon Quest Monsters: Caravan Heart|
Game Box Art (Japan)
|Series||Dragon Quest Monsters|
|Platform(s)||Game Boy Advance|
|Release date(s)|| JP March 29, 2003|
|Genre(s)||Console role-playing game|
|Rating(s)||CERO: All Ages|
Dragon Quest Monsters: Caravan Heart is a role-playing game in the Dragon Quest game series series, in the Dragon Quest Monsters sub-series, developed for Game Boy Advance. It is the third installment in the Monsters sub-series.
The game was never released outside of Japan, though a fan-translation patch has been made.
Up to his usual mischief, Kiefer upsets his father, the King of Gran Estard, more than ever before and flees to his room in hopes of escaping his punishment. Hiding inside his dresser, Kiefer hears a voice call out to him and wanders out to an odd silence and the presence of a Travelers' Gate in his room. Once stepping in, Kiefer finds himself in the world of Dragon Quest II and must no sooner assume the role of a caravan leader in order to help a boy named Luin find a cure for his sick parents.
A young prince of the Grand Estard Kingdom, when turning 10 he came back to the castle, after doing some mischevious deed again, only this time to find his father, the king, outraged. While evading him he found himself being spoken to by an unknown woman and drawn to a different world through a portal. Finding himself in a world that is not only much bigger than his, but also filled with monsters. There he meets Luin, his Caravan and finds out why Luin started his journey, he then makes the decision to help Luin on his journey for a cure of his parents.
He formed a Caravan with 3 others and a monster to embark on a journey to find a cure for his parents, but fails miserable on first contact with monsters by feinting. His Father was once an adventurer. He is also the one you should speak to if you want to leave or move the camp.
Luin's Grandfather, practically takes care of the camp without Kiefer around. He started the camp together with Luin.
The creator of the Heart Getter, the one and only machine to drain the hearts of monsters, hence the name of the game. He is eager to learn all about every monster, although the player actually has to do all work (typically!).
Like Keifer, she was also drawn to this world for some reason. She is capable of using monster's and human's hearts to (re)form new monsters, giving the player the ability to strenghen his Guard Monsters into any kind of monster there is.
A bard you meet in the town ??? that helps you besway the third Illusion ??? into giving you an Orb of Loto, after meeting him again on top of the Tower of the Wind.
A women who became a tamer after learning of the return of an old friend as Zombie, an old man that took care of the Light Tower in the Luphgana region, which is quite happily joining you to become a better Tamer, to learn how to talk with her old friend.
Alex, Randal, Deckson
They join you when deciding to help Luin, they could be labeled Main Characters for not being able to discard them from your camp, but actually have not much to say. Alex is a Warrior, Randal a Mapper and Deckson a priest. Alex fights for you in battle, Randal makes your monsters not miss their target in battle while showing you a map and later access to a worldmap while traveling on the world yourself. Deckson heals your monster (in same wagon as him) in combat and can call an item store owner while outside of combat and in company of another priest.
The first Fortune Teller that joins you, she gives you vague hints of how to advance the story. Usually these are helpful, but sometimes make simply no sense.
They are extremely helpful in making money in this game and also open a Item Shop in your camp, that increases it's inventory with more Merchants joining. They make 10-30 Gold Coins per turn in battle alone or 25/45 when in the same wagon.
Open a bank in your camp and occasionally steal items while in battle.
A playboy bunny! She opens the Casino, which is a vital trade-in location for human hearts, that increase different stats of monsters reformed with them.
Master of Illusions
The person responsible for Kiefer's arrival in this world. She is mysterious and not much about her is known, except that she is beautiful and seems to have a greater sheme behind all her doing.
The first Illusion you encounter, he wants something delicious to eat in exchange for the first Orb of Loto. He will also give you his servant, your second Guard Monster when fulfilling his wish.
The second Illusion isn't much for talking, he instead wants to test your strength by fighting. Defeat him for the second Orb of Loto.
The third Illusion will want to see 3 beautiful things, giving you the third Orb of Loto in return. She then opens a portal on top of both Dragon's Path towers, allowing passage to the first port with an actually working ship.
The fourth Illusion waits, in a monster-filled castle for the player.
The player's overall party is referred to as a caravan, a collection of wagons, tents, people, monsters, and supplies. The camp that the caravan forms acts as a mobile base for the player throughout the course of the game, options being available for moving around the caravan and camp in order to exercise some strategy while venturing about the world. The camp itself contains an assortment of different tents that vary and increase depending on caravan members and the spot the camp has been set. It is undoubtedly the most visited spot throughout the game, containing essentials such as a church, a lady that refills ration, and a tent where monsters can be reformed. Whenever a WarpWing is used it will return the player to the camp.
A staple of the Zenithian Trilogy, the wagon, makes a return in Caravan Heart as a central part of forming a team. The player will start out with one wagon in their caravan and can obtain two more as the game progresses, each wagon having to be assigned a guard monster and up to four humans depending on the individual weight of monster and person alike and the weight capacity of the wagon in question. The monster will be able to act each turn while the caravan members in the wagon will act according to the order they were placed in, with the fifth turn of a fight (and any preceding turns that caravan members couldn't act) being used by the wagon to get organized before the caravan members will repeat their actions where repetition is applicable. If a guard monster for a particular wagon gets KOed, or if the wagon has no guard monster, the caravan members will be unable to act in battle.
When moving through the over-world or within dungeons, the player will steadily consume their rations, indicated by a number in the upper-right corner of the screen. The amount of food the player and their caravan can hold increases in intervals determined by how much the player has walked, essentially acting as a separate leveling mechanic. The food indicator will turn green when rations start running low, and if it hits 0 the HP of the guard monsters will decrease very rapidly when moving about, so it is wise to keep the indicator as high as possible by either regularly restocking at the camp or shops or by having items on hand that can replenish the ration supply, such as apples and box lunches. The rate which rations are consumed can be determined by several factors, such as the terrain being crossed and whether or not the camp is being moved along with the player.
Unlike the other games in the Monsters sub-series, Caravan Heart uses a battle system akin to that of the traditional games where enemies can appear in individual groups well-exceeding the normal 3-on-3 battles, though the player is still restricted to as many as three acting monsters on their side. With this system in place many moves have been given their traditional traits such as Firebal (Sizz) being able to hit groups and Icebolt (Crack) being able to only hit one monster but significantly more as it advances. Additionally, monsters can only have six moves each as opposed to the previous 8, likely due to balance out with acting caravan members that have techniques that mimic many attacks. With the odds in numbers often being against the player and strategizing more strict, Caravan Heart can prove to be a more challenging game when compared to others in the sub-series.
Instead of holding a large stock of available monsters the player will only have a few monsters to choose from throughout the entire course of the game and will be able to collect monster hearts instead of the monsters themselves. These hearts are central to the game's spin on the old breeding system and are thus one of the most important aspects of the game.
Reform / Tenshin System
Caravan Heart replaces the breeding system from the previous games with the reform system (tenshin system when taken directly from the Japanese version). Instead of two monsters being used to create a new one, a single monster has two monster hearts applied to it which are then used to reform it. While using three ingredients may be more complicated than using two, the system itself has more benefits as the reformed monster will not forget any of the moves it learned, retaining them even in their advanced states, and the stat loss isn't nearly as severe as it could be with breeding.
Nearly as important as the guard monsters are the people that ride in the wagons they guard, the caravan members. These individuals are often callbacks to classes from previous games, some being the classes outright, while others fulfill roles specific to Caravan Heart. Depending on what class they are, the caravan members can have significant effect in battle, on the field, and within the camp itself. The different members available throughout the game are:
Warrior: Alex (アレクス), Clast (クラスと), Seska (セスカ).
Mapper: Randal (ランドル), Vandal (バンダル), Ronmil.
Cleric (Priest): Deckson (デクソン), Tasha (ターシャ).
Dancer: Ripple (リップル).
Mage: Alissa (アリサ), Zenon (ゼノン).
Monster Encyclopedian: Professor.
Merchant: Kachua (カチュア), Raider (レイダー), Homey (ホーミィ).
Fighter: Ann (アン), Renda (レンダ), Ryuga (リュウガ), Fannu (ファンヌ).
Seer (Fortune Teller): Leela (リーら), Oost (オースト).
Fisher: Nana (ナナ), Glass (ガルス), Garth.
Medic: Ixas (イクサス), Maurice (モーリス).
Knight: Gordon (ゴードン), Irene (アイリン).
Fencer: Jula (ジュラ).
Bard: Boldo (ボルドー).
Tamer: Machua (マチュア).
Thief: Getz (ゲッツ), Dogi (ドギー).
Player: LunLun (ルンルン).
Metal Hunter: Gilme (ギルメ).
Sage: Izrag (イズラグ).
Additionally, if more than one of the same kind of member is put in a wagon their power will increase, and if the wagon if full of that particular character then a special move can be used in battle. It is also possible to find advanced forms of the individual types that can mimic the actions of two or three of the same type, but without using up as much space. Members cannot change their type, nor can they advance their own type, so it will become necessary to remove members as new, superior ones are found. Occasionally, when a caravan member is let go they will leave behind a heart based on their class which can be used in reforming to boost a stat by a certain amount.
As the player travels the world of Dragon Quest II they will not only run into monster fights but an assortment of events as well. The player can be given the opportunity to obtain items, refill their rations, and even earn monster hearts by helping out vulnerable monsters (assuming they have a caravan member capable of helping the monster), though bad events can also occur, such as being ambushed by monsters out for food or thieves out for gold.
Yet another tradition brought back is the necessity to save at churches instead of the ability to save anywhere in the previous two Monsters games (provided one was in a safe spot or had a bookmark).
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