April 29th, 2009



  • 07:19 Didn't we already have a swine flu scare in the seventies? Do these trends just come and go, sort of like game shows? #
  • 18:47 @samuraifrog Maybe they're only covering it to make a fake-out headline. "Kim Kardashian dies...her hair!" #
  • 18:48 @eehouls Yes, and I for one never pretended otherwise. #
  • 20:03 A mystery mentor for Rat Pack Week? Is it Sinatra's ghost? #
  • 20:11 I can't stop sneezing. I hate this. #
  • 20:34 So, just what IS a funny valentine? #
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A History of Alefgard

While I've already covered a bit of the story of the first three Dragon Warrior/Quest games, I thought this was a topic worth returning to, even if I'm the only one who has any interest in it. As with several other series (Zelda and Castlevania come to mind), the second game in the series is a sequel, and the third a prequel. I don't know if it's exact, but there are about one hundred years between each game. Dragon Warrior II was disappointing in a few ways, but one of the most significant is that it wouldn't let you visit many of the locations from the first game. Tantegel Castle (along with the adjacent town of Brecconary), Castle Charlock, the Swamp Cave, and the shrine on the southern island could all be entered, but all of the other towns and locations aren't even shown on the map. DW3 makes up for this, however, by letting your party visit all of the same locations as the first game, and see how some parts of the country came to be. Even though you have a ship, though, a barrier prevents you from going beyond King Raosu's domain. This country, and sometimes the entire world, is known as Alefgard. EDIT: I originally read it as "Alfegard," a combination of Alfheim and Midgard/Asgard from Norse mythology. I wouldn't be surprised if this had been an influence, but there aren't too many elves there. The servant of Rubiss that Erdrick meets at the shrine in the swamp might be one, but even that isn't totally clear. Personally, I used the appearance of Erdrick's grave in an elf village in the first Final Fantasy to support the idea that there's a link between the worlds, and the elves fled Alefgard for the FF world in order to escape the demon lord Zoma. Of course, that's just crazy fan theory. But if the game designers hadn't meant us crazy fans to come up with our own theories, they wouldn't have left so many things unexplained, right? {g}

The end of DW3 mentions that Erdrick eventually left Alefgard, leaving his most powerful items behind. We don't know where he went (well, maybe to the world of FF, if we use that grave as evidence), but he either left at least one child behind, or one of his descendants managed to get back there, because you play as Erdrick's descendant (probably great-grandson, considering the number of years in between games) in DW1. The Stones of Sunlight, Staff of Rain, and Sacred Amulet (later the Token of Erdrick) are given to keepers. The hero in DW1 finds the Token in a swamp, but I'm guessing that it was originally kept in the shrine there, which must have sunk in the intervening years. Actually, a Google search brought up this description of a manga that gave some more back story to the Token, but I don't know how official that is. (Much more official than anything I came up with, I'm guessing. {g}) His armor ends up belonging to a merchant in Hauksness named Yukinov (or "Wynn," as DW1 calls him; I don't know why the translations were so sloppy in that respect), while the sword must have been stolen by the Dragonlord at some point.

After the defeat of the Dragonlord, the hero of DW1 journeys overseas with Princess Gwaelin and founds a land called Torland (or Lorasia in Japanese, since the original name of the princess was Lora), which is divided up among their three children. At the beginning of the game, each of the smaller kingdoms (Midenhall, Cannock, and Moonbrooke) has a king with at least one child, but no surviving queens. The Sword and Armor of Erdrick are both found in dungeons (in fact, in the case of the sword, it's the same dungeon where you found it in the first game, which is kind of odd when you think about it), and the Token and Shield are in the castles of Midenhall and Cannock, respectively. The Shield of Erdrick didn't actually appear in DW1, but maybe one of the descendants found it at some point in the century in between games. Even weirder, however, is that this game has a Helmet of Erdrick, even though there wasn't one in DW3. Was it a forgery, or a helmet that Erdrick wore AFTER his battle with Zoma? Who knows?

Books I Remember, But You Probably Don't

Just recently, I was thinking of a book called Fantanimals (at least I think that was the title) that I had as a kid. It was a collection of drawings, poems, and facts about made-up animals, like the drilling Ogger and the half-circle-shaped Ircle. I think it helped contribute to my fondness for books that index imaginary creatures. A Google search revealed that the author was Keith Havens, but not much else. I thought it might be interesting to make a list of such obscure books from my childhood, but I can't think of too many others just now. One I do recall was something called Amazing Days, which gave some information and activities for every day in the year. I get the impression that they made up some of the holidays, but it was how I learned about St. Swithins Day and the Ice Saints, as well as the International Wizard of Oz Club. Someone who worked on the book must have been an Oz fan, as it features both L. Frank Baum's birthday (15 May) and Ozma's (21 August).

This is definitely a topic I might return to in future posts, if I can think of any more relevant books.
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