As I suspect my time with Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen will slow down over the coming months, I spent a good chunk of the last month chipping away at my ranger Corinne’s adventures in the game. Upon reading a bit more about the game and learning that its “new game plus” feature is where this game truly shines, I decided to try to streamline thisinitial playthrough to focus on just getting through the main quests. Still, the game is quite determined to give me plenty of side quests, some of which read as very interesting, so it remains to be seen whether or not I can stick to that goal. As well, I’m not sure just how large the game’s map of Gransys is, but as I’ve barely explored a sliver of it, I wouldn’t mind trying to reach some of its more far-flung places before calling it a day. But, first things first, such as delivering a hydra head to the king.
When I last left Corinne, she had just defeated in grand fashion said formidable hydra, and had been directed by one of the king’s guards, Ser Mercedes, to deliver the head to the king at Gran Soren. And so, off they all went – Mercedes, other guards, and Corinne and her three pawns (main plus two) – off into the night. The main objective was to keep the caravan safe, which we did…eventually. As I’m still learning the game’s controls, I died several times thanks to my own fumbling thumbs. Because of that, the journey to Gran Soren felt like it took f-o-r-e-v-e-r. But, it did show me that enemy mobs spawn in the same locations, so it was good knowing that I wouldn’t be up against random groups of enemies at random times in my travels. The quest also provided plenty of chances for me to utilize both my daggers and bow. Both felt solid and responsive, which made for very satisfying combat.
Upon reaching Gran Soren, well…that was that! Mercedes said “thanks,” and the quest was over. Not that I totally expected to meet the king, but…I mean, Corinne really did all the work, so, why not have a little audience with his highness? Instead, I was directed to explore Gran Soren a bit and find a one of its residents named Mason. I did the exploring part first and picked up quite a bit more information about the game’s systems, such as setting and leveling up skills, advancing time, and purchasing and upgrading equipment. Gran Soren certainly was a significant “one stop shop” for all of one’s adventuring needs! And yes, I got lost more than one in its confusing, monotone layout before finally locating Mason.
And what exciting quest did Mason have for Corinne?? To…visit Grand Soren’s pawn guild. Um, okay. So not exactly something that involved much monster bashing, but I’m guessing such was not really Mason’s thing. So, off to the city’s pawn guild we went. While sounding rather dull, the trip wasn’t for naught. At the guild, we met a fellow named Barnaby who turned out to be our next quest giver. Since Corinne, the “Arisen,” was a hero and all that, Barnaby asked that she explore a place called The Everfall, located underneath the guild, as something nefarious seemed to be happening within it. Sure thing, I said!
The Everfall was, at first glance, little more than a long spiral staircase that just seemed to keep going and going and going. And then, the enemies started appeared. Rather difficult ones, at that. Bats, skeletons, an ogre! Yep, the place then had “dungeon delve” written all over it. Upon finally reaching the very bottom the place, I was rewarded with some gear and treasure, and I grabbed a bright, shiny trinket called a “portcrystal” (which I should have left, since I now know they are used for fast travel). And just as I was about to make my exit, another giant monster appeared. And disappeared. And reappeared again. In the ruckus, I never caught the thing’s name, but it essentially consisted of tentacles that popped out of the floor at various locations. Not knowing what else to do, we all started bashing at them. The fight seemed to be going our way, until it became somewhat evident that the owner of the tentacles, which kept regenerated over and over, was not something we could actually defeat. As so, we made a run for it! And as Corinne hightailed her way up the stairs, the tentacles “gave chase.” We eventually made our ragged way back to Barnaby, who I only wanted to punch in the face for sending us into that pit in the first place. Instead, he ended the quest, and we were immediately greeted by Ser Duncan, one of the king’s guards, who had even more “fun” for us. Ah well, no rest for the weary.
After a brief respite, gear changes for Corinne and main pawn Josefina, and picking up a couple new pawns, the group went off to find Duncan. It turned out that he had a whole series of comings and goings called “Wyrm Hunt” quests. Well, at least Corinne would not be bored! Duncan offered a choice between several, and I went with the one that sounded the most monster-riffic, which involved taking back a fortress that had been overrun by goblins. Good times, surely. Though squealy and squirmy, the goblins I had so far encountered in the game had proved worthy opponents, and the one we encounter at the fortress were no different. Only, there were loads more than those we had seen on any stretch of road. If I had had a vorpal blade, it would have went snicker-snack in those goblins one and all!
With the fortress secured, all that was left was to turn the quest into Ser Duncan and move onto the next. However, as much as Corinne and her crew might be ready for such, I don’t wonder if I ought to get out and explore the map a little before Wyrm Hunt-ing. As I said before, I’ve opened up so little of Gransys that I can’t help but wonder what’s out there beyond the roads. The thought of finding treasure and neat gear out the in the wilds is something to consider, too. For now, my little quad of heroes will remain undecided. By the time I return to the game, I’m sure I’ll have our next steps all figured out.
Oh yeah, I’m sure.
All images, include lede, were captured by author during Xbox One gameplay of Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen (© Capcom).