Dekar in Estpolis GaidenWhile it doesn't have the flash and charm of Estpolis II, Estpolis Gaiden: The Ruins of Silence does have its merits. For one, it gives players a look at an older Dekar, something that's a little hard to imagine.
Dekar is the only hero from Estpolis Biography II to appear in this game (which is a shame, since there are four other formerly playable characters that could've appeared too, but I digress). His presence is a selling point, and to some fans that may imply that he doesn't come off well. Surprisingly that's not the case. Est Gaiden's makers managed to age Dekar gracefully on every level. His character has evolved, and he hardly changed physically — no gray hairs, no wrinkles, just a few scars on his face. Not bad for a man close to fifty.
As a game character Dekar's comedic side has diminished, although a few jokes are made about his age. He's more of a helpful hero than anything else, and a thoughtful one too. He's doing research on the legendary Beast, meaning he finally acquired a taste for intellectualism. He's also grown less forgetful the older he got, and he doesn't really brag about his strength anymore. In fact, one scene in the Gratze fortress shows that it diminished with his age. Still, he handles it very well. In twenty years Dekar matured into a very balanced character. He's still the same guy we know and love, still stealing the show, still taking the reins and leading the party (and quite often too), but he's also different. Time mellowed him a bit.
After the party visits Gratze for the first time, Dekar and the rest of the cast are reduced to chipping in with a brief line of dialogue whenever something major happens. Also, a few other times the makers seemed to get carried away with Dekar's dialogue and made him a bit too silly, but other than that, he speaks just like his younger self. The main difference is that his brag has been distributed to areas other than his physique.
The most interesting thing to happen to Dekar in Estpolis Gaiden is that he finally gets a romance, with a young dancer from Daros. Sadly there aren't enough scenes with those two in the game, and one of them is totally optional. Dekar's relationship with Marin contributes greatly to his character development.
The developers should be commended for how well they treated Dekar. They kept him true to what he was. Everything about him extends naturally from Estpolis II. When I was working through the game, I was worried about how well Dekar would come off, but it turned out to be very enjoyable to see him again. If Estpolis Gaiden is worth playing once, then it's only for that reason. Dekar is the one treat that game has to offer.