Woven by the dressmaker Don Calico in the town of Slewse, the Flowing Dress is the best armor in the game for the Princess. Here’s how to obtain the materials needed to craft this extremely useful item.
Here are some tips that will put you on the path to crafting the Flowing Dress with ease:
- Talking in Tantegel: An NPC in Tantegel will give you hints on one of the items you need.
- Bring Keys: You’ll need the Silver Key and Jailor’s Key to find the materials as well as the Gold Key to open up the workshop.
- Passing the Time: Don Calico won’t give you the Dress unless you manually save, quit, and visit him again upon loading your file back up.
Seeking the Celestial Skein
There is only one Flowing Dress available in Dragon Quest II and it cannot be bought by any merchant in the game. Rather, it must be made by Don Calico, a dressmaker in the town of Slewse. Before you visit Slewse, however, you will have to acquire several key items Don Calico needs to make you the Dress.
These items are the Celestial Skein (skein being a unit of yarn) and the Subtle Shuttle (shuttle, in this context, meaning a tool used in weaving).
Your first stop on the quest to get these items is the kingdom of Tantegel. Zoom or sail to the castle and enter the town.
Head northwest from the town’s entrance and into this shop, which can be unlocked with the Silver Key.
The shopkeep will ask you if you’re looking for the Celestial Skein. Tell her “Yes”. The bad news is that her supply has run out, but the good news is that you’ll be able to find some in the Dragon’s Horns.
Aside from just giving you directions, talking to this woman will also cause the tile where the Celestial Skein can be found to sparkle, making this step very useful.
Your business in Tantegel is concluded, so Sail or Zoom to Rippleport.
From the coast of Rippleport, sail southwest until you see the two towers known as the Dragon’s Horns. Follow the river inland, dock your ship on the northern side and enter the northern tower.
Inside the tower, keep following the stairs until you reach the third floor.
On the third floor, you should see a sparkling tile. Examine it.
You can Evac from the dungeon here as there is nothing else to find.
Searching for the Subtle Shuttle
Your next destination is the village of Zahan. Zoom there if you have it registered, or sail down to the southeast corner of the overworld’s waters and you should find it without too much trouble.
In Zahan, head north to this large structure, with a nun posted at the entrance.
Note: If you don’t have the Gold Key and Jailor’s Key, now would be a good time to pick them up. Talk to the dog directly east of this building’s entrance. It will show you a sparkling tile where the Gold Key can be found.
With the Gold Key, you’ll be able to open up the previously inaccessible entrance to the underground city of Burrowell, where a merchant will sell you the Jailor’s Key, which is listed as “???” in his shop.
You’ll notice the floor of this large building is covered in Damaging Tiles, which will rapidly eat away at your party’s HP every time you take a step on one. The easiest way to circumvent this issue is to have your Prince cast the spell Safe Passage, which will allow you to walk across these floors without taking damage. If you don’t yet have access to that spell, just make sure your HP is topped off before you enter this area.
Once you’ve cast Safe Passage, make your way across the now harmless floor and to the northwestern chamber. Use the Jailor’s Key to unlock the door.
Open up the chest, and now you have the Subtle Shuttle! All that’s left to do is find the dressmaker.
Getting the Flowing Dress
To find Don Calico, you’ll need to find the elusive town of Slewse.
Start from Burrowell, then sail north and west along the coast, following the mountain range that stretches along the land mass.
Ignore the first river you see and keep tracing along the coast with your ship until you see this river north of a bridge, flanked on either side by mountains.
Follow this river to the northwestern tip, up until the point where you need to disembark.
On foot, make your way through the narrow forest clearing and, finally, arrive at the town of Slewse.
From the town’s entrance, head west and north, across the bridge and to this house. This is Don Calico’s workshop. Unlock the door with your Gold Key.
Head downstairs, and, with the Celestial Skein and Subtle Shuttle. Don Calico tells you he will make you a Flowing Dress, what luck!
…However, despite all the trials and tribulations you’ve gone through, he can’t just make you the dress. Instead, he will tell you to return the next day. This might seem rather confusing, as Dragon Quest II has no day and night cycle, but in true NES/Famicom era fashion, there is a logical, albeit unorthodox, solution to this.
To cause enough time to pass for Don Calico to be done making the dress, you’ll need to save your game, quit, and then load the game again. Even if you quit and immediately boot up your file, you should be in the clear (it is nice to take a break sometimes, though.)
Warning: Although the Quick Save feature is extremely convenient, you’ll need to manually save your game the old fashioned way with a King/Old Man/Priest in a town for time to progress in regards to this particular quest.
Talk to Don Calico again, and voila! You have yourself one Flowing Dress!
Properties of the Flowing Dress
Though the Flowing Dress is quite a hassle to acquire, it is well worth it. It provides the following bonuses to it’s wearer:
- +65 Defense – The second highest defense bonus in the game, only outclassed by Erdrick’s Armor. However, only the Prince can wear Erdrick’s Armor while anyone can wear the Flowing Dress.
- Spell and Breath Attack Damage Reduction – The armor reduces the damage of all Spells and Breath Attacks on it’s wearer by 50%. The only armors that has something similar is Erdrick’s Armor and the Magic Armor, but those only reduce Magical Damage by 25% and are only wearable by the Prince.
While the game suggests giving it to your Princess, the Hero and Prince can, if you so choose, wear the Flowing Dress. However, there are a couple of reasons why it would be best to give this to the Princess:
- The Princess is almost certainly going to be under leveled compared to the rest of your team because you get her much later in the story and the game does not scale her level up to your team’s level upon adding her to your party. She’s going to need all the help she can get to keep up with progression of difficulty.
- Unlike the other party members, the Princess only has a narrow selection of equipment available to her which are noticeably inferior to the Flowing Dress, with the two notables being:
- Cloak of Evasion – Grants +20% Evasion and +35 Defense
- Mink Mantle – Grants +60 Defense and costs an exorbitant 65,000 Gold
Because of this, it would be best to give the Flowing Dress to her.