Dragon Quest Monsters Joker King Slime Synthesis Essay

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Epicmissingno
Jun 30, 2017




Welcome to Let's Play Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker!

What is this game?

This game is the fourth in the Dragon Quest Monsters series, released on the DS in 2006 in Japan and late 2007/early 2008 in the rest of the world. The series is all about collecting monsters and pitting them against other monsters. In this sense it's very comparable to Pokemon, but the way the monsters work is more similar to Shin Megami Tensei - instead of sticking with a group of monsters, you fuse them together to make stronger ones.

How familiar are you with this game?

I've played a good chunk of this game, but not all of it, so I'll be going in semi-blind. I have played the sequel, however, so I'm familiar with the mechanics enough that I can talk about them in relative depth.

Are you planning to 100% the game?

I'll attempt to obtain all the monsters in the game. There will be cheating involved due to some monsters being straight-up unavailable outside of special events, and the post-game grind will probably be too much in any case.

Will there be thread participation?

Yes. I'll be asking for names for important monsters and maybe some other things.

What's the policy on spoilers?

No spoilers, marked or unmarked.

Table of Contents:

Part 1: The Adventure Begins (Sort Of)
Part 2: The Adventure Begins (For Real This Time)
Part 3: The Scout's Pledge
Part 4: The Challenge Begins
Part 5: Going (Desert) Bowling
Part 6: Desert Roundup
Part 7: Dungeon Diving
Part 8: Gardens Galore
Part 9: Palatial Progression (But Not Too Much)
Part 10: Polishing Off Palaish
Part 11: Dead Island
Part 12: Metallic Madness
Part 13: Praise The Sun
Part 14: Make It Snappy
Part 15: Northern Sights
Part 16: Here Be Dragons
Part 17: A Pirate's Undeath For Me
Part 18: Jungle Japes
Part 19: Shrine Time
Part 20: The Final Battles
Part 21: The Beginning of the End
Part 22: To CELL And Back
Part 23: Mr Euchre's Wildcard Ride
Part 24: Loose Ends
Part 25: Torturous Tartarus
Part 26: Snap Snaps
Part 27: Wildcard

Postgame Part 1: Solitaire-y Confinement
Postgame Part 2: Euchre The Librarian
Postgame Part 3: Arena Antics
Postgame Part 4: The Other Final Battles
Postgame Part 5: The Eternal Grind

Epicmissingno fucked around with this message at Mar 9, 2018 around 00:15

#? Jul 4, 2017 10:11
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#? Mar 11, 2018 00:28
Epicmissingno
Jun 30, 2017


This post is reserved for potential fanart or something. I don't know.

Epicmissingno fucked around with this message at Aug 19, 2017 around 11:29

#? Jul 4, 2017 10:11
Epicmissingno
Jun 30, 2017


Part 1: The Adventure Begins (Sort Of)

Music: Title Screen



Welcome to Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker. Shall we begin?



Our protagonist will be called Joker, since it's the closest thing we have to a canon name for the character. I'm sure there will be no jokes about a certain other JRPG with a similarly named protagonist. None whatsoever.

Music: None



We start the game with a hooded man walking along a corridor. Who could this strange person be?



As it turns out the guy's name is Black Jacques. In proud Dragon Quest tradition, almost every character has an awful pun for a name. In this game, the theme is card games and their terminology.

...



Joker remains silent, which is understandable. He never says anything, after all.



I was under ze impression zat Warden Trump would detain you for much longer. 'Owever, it would seem zat 'e as 'ad an alteration of ze 'eart on ze matter.

Come on, it's like the game's trying to make me talk about Persona 5! Well, it's not happening.

But I digest - er, digress... As members of CELL, ze word of ze Warden is absolute.



It looks like Joker's dad is pretty high up in this CELL organisation. It's a shame that we don't know anything about it. Anyway, off to see the Warden...

Music: CELL Headquarters



Ten days since you attempted to run away and join that 'contest'. You demonstrated an earnest, albeit crude, interest in the event.

Trump clearly isn't the best father to Joker. He's probably too busy with CELL work.

And so I have made a decision! I will allow you to participate in the Monster Scout Challenge.

Maybe he's finally warming up to Joker, though! We might get some father-son bonding done yet.



I will relay further orders to you when the time is right. Keep in mind that your role as a participant is merely a guise. I have no interest in whether you win or lose.

...Oh. Never mind, then.

However, you will follow my instructions - all of them. Now take this - you will need it.



Joker receives a scout ring.
As I'm sure you're already aware...



This will be Joker's main tool in attracting allies to our cause, whatever our cause happens to be. We don't actually know what CELL wants him to do yet, do we?

As I recall, the opening ceremony of the challenge is today. Make your preparations, then head for Domus Isle.
...
Indolence is not a virtue. Make haste, boy!

Warden Trump further cements his position as worst father ever, and we finally get control of Joker.



The game's controls are pretty standard. The D-pad is used to move, the L and R buttons rotate the camera and the A button checks things in front of Joker. The X button opens the menu, but we don't have any options of interest at the moment. The lower screen has a map, with Joker's position given by the blue arrow.

Joker's first order of business is to have a chat to the Black Jacques-looking guy next to him.

The Monster Scout Challenge will soon be held on Domus Isle.



At least Joker knows how to get to his destination now. Of course now is an excellent time to go chat to NPCs and learn more about Joker's situation, so this will be ignored entirely.

When I formed CELL, I had a specific plan. Unfortunately, I cannot make you privy to further information on that issue. All I can tell you is that the lives of everyone living on these islands are at stake.

Trump's not helping much with this information-gathering thing. It's probably to be expected, though, what with his attitude towards Joker so far.



What's that? He's sending you to infiltrate the Monster Scout Challenge!? Things are looking up for you after all! Especially as you were trying to slip out of here to join the contest when you were caught!

Sometimes exposition is written flawlessly into dialogue. This is not one of those times. Anyway, Joker walks a little way along the corridor and sees something suspicious on the lower floor.



The monster there is called a Hacksaurus. Joker probably won't be getting one of them for a while.



Very good. Ze more samples we 'ave, ze more fun we 'ave, n'est pas?
I wonder if our work is really gonna make a difference though. All we ever do is catch one monster after another, over and over again.
So you tell me you no longer trust CELL? Or ze Warden? Listen 'ere, my scout friend. From where you stand, you cannot see ze big picture. But everything we do is part of ze Warden's plan. We are like ze cogs in a machine, n'est pas? Ze time for us to move is close at 'and. We must trust in ze Warden!
Um, yeah, okay...

You know, Jacques, you're not really helping your case. It sounds awfully cult-ish from where I'm standing. I'm not sure working for CELL is such a good idea.

In any case, more NPCs!



That'd be the tourney to decide the roughest and toughest scout around, eh? What!? You was told that it didn't matter if you won or lost? But it's a contest, right? Winning's what it's all about... ain't it?

As a JRPG protagonist there's no way Joker will settle for anything short of first place, I can assure you. Losing isn't in his nature.



The door next to the thug leads outside, to a view of another island. Talking to people in the area reveals that it's called Fert Isle.



I've just finished up training and arrived here at headquarters, SIR! And now I'm ready to capture monsters for CELL's glorious research, SIR!

This guy's certainly enthusiastic, I'll give him that. That monster behind him is called a Jargon, by the way. We'll also be seeing those later, but probably sooner than the Hacksaurus.

Sorry to be impertinent, sir, but is it REALLY true that all we do here is research?



But I'm guessing a rookie like me can't ask the Warden about it. Right, SIR!?

It seems that more than one person has doubts about CELL's motives. This doesn't bode well for Joker's future, but there's not really anything he can do about it for the moment.



There's no place for you down in the laboratory any more. You must now focus on the mission Warden Trump assigned to you.

Every time Joker tries to go downstairs he's stopped by this guy. For now we can't do anything about him, so let's go back to harassing the people around here.



That is why it is necessary to gather as many specimens as possible. I just hope we can come up with some results before we run out of space...

Do monsters have a particularly different biology to humans? Surely here can't be enough difference to warrant this amount of testing.

Anyway, it looks like Joker's out of people to talk to. Down to the jetty! Joker has to take a lift to get down there, since the only stairs down are blocked.



To the left here is our destination, but to the right is a familiar-looking corridor.



It's because you told the Warden that you wanted to participate in the challenge. As soon as you said that, he ordered us to keep a close eye on you.

Maybe it wasn't such a good idea for Joker to tell Trump about his ambitions, though it seems to have worked out in the end.



In any case, this is the place where Joker was imprisoned. There's no more reason to stay here, so let's get this show on the road and go off to Domus Isle. Talking to the thug on the jetty gives us this exchange:



Your mission is to infiltrate the Monster Scout Challenge, right? You can board a sea scooter for Domus Isle here, but...



So, what'll it be? Are you leaving?

Joker's got to get going eventually. He's delayed enough as it is.

Oh! Just a minute! I forgot something.





We have a choice of three monsters to start off with, all at level 1. The first, Dracky, is the fastest of the three starters and also the most magically oriented. It learns dark skills and some support through Dark Knight, and can be made even faster through Agility Boost. It's also got the trait Artful Dodger, letting it avoid more attacks, and is immune to Fizzle, the series' Silence equivalent.



Next we have a Platypunk. This is the most defensive of the choices and it can increase that stat even higher with Defence Boost. Naturalist, meanwhile, gives a very eclectic list of abilities including one of my personal favourites, Hatchet Man. Platypunks don't have any special traits like Drackies do, but they are still immune to Fizzle.



Finally we have a Mischievous Mole. This is the physical powerhouse of the starters, with Attack Boost increasing its damage further if it's invested in. Guerrilla, meanwhile, gives access to lots of skills that do damage and inflict status effects. Mischievous Moles also have the trait Psycho, which lets them "psych up" to do more damage. It's incredibly useful for obtaining new monsters and also dealing big damage outside of those situations. Finally they're immune to Dazzle, which is the Blind equivalent.



Anyway, Joker will be choosing Mischievous Mole, naming it Moley.

A mischievous mole, huh? Just as I expected... Now get going to Domus Isle! There's no time to waste. And good luck with the Monster Scout Challenge!

I'm sure Joker won't need luck to win. After all, he has pure skill.

Music: None



And so Joker sets off on his jetski to Domus Isle. Or rather he would, but getting some training done with Moley is the priority. Off to fight monsters!

Music: Island



Ah, Slimes! These are almost always the weakest enemies that you can fight, with the only exception that I can think of being Dragon Quest 6, where they're replaced by Mottle Slimes. Here they can only attack you normally, doing pitiful damage, or do a Desperate Attack, doing slightly less pitiful damage. They're not a threat at all.



Or rather they wouldn't be a threat if Joker wasn't the worst Monster Scout ever. Come on, you have to try to lose to these things!
#? Jul 4, 2017 10:12
Epicmissingno
Jun 30, 2017


By the looks of things we need a new protagonist. I'll leave it up to the thread to decide on the name, the starter and the starter's name - be aware that all the starters are available in the first area, so by choosing one we're not being deprived of the others. Bold all suggestions, please.
#? Jul 4, 2017 10:12
The Ayshkerbundy
Mar 22, 2016

make no bones about it


Euchre should get a Platypunk named Kemix's idea of naming it Duwang is marginally better

The Ayshkerbundy fucked around with this message at Jul 4, 2017 around 21:04

#? Jul 4, 2017 10:33
FoolyCharged
Oct 11, 2012

Somebody call for an ant?


Talent scout reporting for duty!

nemo, you're the platypunk! We're gonna make you a star, baby! A star!
#? Jul 4, 2017 14:01
Kemix
Dec 1, 2013

I AM INSUFFERABLE

MY POSTS CONTRIBUTE NOTHING

ALL CAPS WHITE NOISE


please shun this worthless poster



Lets see...Malcov gets a Platypunk named Duwang
#? Jul 4, 2017 15:13
Epicmissingno
Jun 30, 2017


Oh yeah, I forgot to set when voting ends. It'll be at 13:00 GMT on the 8th.

If there's a tie, I'll choose whichever I like better.
#? Jul 4, 2017 21:11
IAmTheRad
Dec 11, 2009

Goddammit this Cello is way out of tune!


Rocket really likes the Platypunk named Ducktor Cid
#? Jul 4, 2017 22:54
Epicmissingno
Jun 30, 2017


IAmTheRad posted:

Rocket really likes the Platypunk named Ducktor Cid


Since it's come up now, I might as well state that the character limit for both names is 8. I assume shortening it to Cid would be acceptable?
#? Jul 4, 2017 23:03
MightyPretenders
Feb 21, 2014


A Dracky named Count.
#? Jul 4, 2017 23:06
Commander Keene
Dec 21, 2016


IAmTheRad posted:

Rocket really likes the Platypunk named Ducktor Cid

I'm going to go with this.

Epicmissingno posted:

Since it's come up now, I might as well state that the character limit for both names is 8. I assume shortening it to Cid would be acceptable?

drat, well, I suppose Cid is acceptable.
#? Jul 4, 2017 23:25
Kheldarn
Feb 17, 2011



Lipstick Apathy

IAmTheRad posted:

Rocket really likes the Platypunk named Ducktor Cid

Epicmissingno posted:

Since it's come up now, I might as well state that the character limit for both names is 8. I assume shortening it to Cid would be acceptable?


Alright, Rocket and his Platypunk named DuktrCid.
#? Jul 5, 2017 00:48
Glazius
Jul 22, 2007

Hail all those who are able,
any mouse can,
any mouse will,
but the Guard prevail.


I like that platypunk, but I'm totally down for Agent Euchre.
#? Jul 5, 2017 01:15
FredMSloniker
Jan 2, 2008

Why, yes, I do like Kirby games.


On a scale of 1 to ohgodwhy, how viable would it be to main Slime at the first opportunity?
#? Jul 5, 2017 04:22
Epicmissingno
Jun 30, 2017


FredMSloniker posted:

On a scale of 1 to ohgodwhy, how viable would it be to main Slime at the first opportunity?

Slimes are decent healers in the early game from what I remember, but they run into the same problem that everything else does: they can't cut it for particularly long. That's why you fuse them away to make something better.

If you really like them, though, there's a whole monster family comprised of Slime monsters, some of which are actually good. I have some plans for one in particular.
#? Jul 5, 2017 09:42
RareAcumen
Dec 28, 2012



Oh finally! Finally someone who knows what they're doing can play this game! I certainly had no idea what I was doing when I played this.
#? Jul 5, 2017 13:34
serefin99
Apr 15, 2016

Cup of SUGOII!

Well, I had a minor freak out when I saw this listed.

This game was my introduction to the Dragon Quest Monsters series, and it was love at first sight. I can't quite put my fniger on why, though. It's a shame I ended up losing the cartridge for it. If I remember correctly, I had made it to the final boss. At the very least, I had made it to the final area. It's also a shame I had no clue what I was doing so my team was just a random hodge podge of whatever I made. (Don't worry, I rectified both mistakes when I played the sequel.)

I remember one of my favorite things in this game being the Pokedex-esque thing that has information on all the monsters, including short (often kinda funny) entries. Will you be showing those off?

And as for the voting, I don't care what happens so long as we get a mole.
#? Jul 7, 2017 03:53
Epicmissingno
Jun 30, 2017


serefin99 posted:

I remember one of my favorite things in this game being the Pokedex-esque thing that has information on all the monsters, including short (often kinda funny) entries. Will you be showing those off?


I might as well try to be as thorough as possible, so why not? I'll probably put those at the end of updates.
#? Jul 7, 2017 14:43
Deceitful Penguin
Feb 16, 2011


I quite like Joker actually.

On the other hand, for a deep cover operation like this, we should go for a Mole named Matahari.

(or maybe Doctopus?)
#? Jul 7, 2017 19:56
HereticMIND
Nov 4, 2012


Go with Joker. Our Platypunk shall be named Cyclone.

I will make as many Kamen Rider Double references as I see fit, dammit!
#? Jul 7, 2017 20:27
Leraika
Jun 14, 2015


Euchre and DuktrCid.
#? Jul 8, 2017 02:01
Epicmissingno
Jun 30, 2017


Okay, voting is over. the votes are:

Protagonist name:

Euchre: 3
Rocket: 3
Joker: 2
Malcov: 1
Talent: 1

Since there's a tie, I'm deciding that Euchre is the winner.

Starter:

Platypunk: 7
Mischievous Mole: 2
Dracky: 1

Platypunk wins in a landslide victory.

Starter name:

DuktrCid: 4
Duwang: 2
Cyclone: 1
Nemo: 1
Matahari: 1
Count: 1

DuktrCid is the winner, so that's what we'll be naming Euchre's Platypunk.
#? Jul 8, 2017 12:11
Genocyber
Jun 4, 2012



Oh drat, I missed voting.

I got this game when it came out cause I was a Pokemon-fiend, and I remember enjoying the heck out of it. I don't remember much about its plot but from what I've seen in the first update doesn't make that all that surprising.

Also I don't know if you're aware, but if you have a decently-powered computer (I'm assuming you're emulating the game) you can increase the internal rendering resolution if you have the latest development builds of Desmume. Makes 3D games like this look soooo much better.
#? Jul 8, 2017 16:32
Epicmissingno
Jun 30, 2017


Part 2: The Adventure Begins (For Real This Time)

After Joker's disastrous adventure, it's time for a real protagonist to take the stage.



Euchre here is exactly the same as Joker in every way except competence, so we'll be skipping everything up to picking a starter.



Instead of taking a Mischievous Mole, Euchre will be taking a Platypunk named Ducktor Cid, or DuktrCid for short. It's worth noting that starters actually have slightly higher stats than their wild counterparts, to carry you through the early game more easily.



Off to Domus Isle!

First, though, we have to learn about the setting.

The Green Bays archipelago consists of seven diverse islands. They are home to an extraordinary abundance of monster life. The most talented monster scouts congregate here for one special event...



Music: Appearance of the Town



This is Domus Isle, featuring the largest settlement in the Green Bays archipelago. It's also the site of the Monster Scout HQ.

The first thing to do, as with anywhere else, is ask around to find where to go.



Welcome to Domus Isle. Try not to let all the big buildings overwhelm you. I don't suppose you have towns where you come from.

That was surprisingly condescending. Hopefully nobody else is like that.



Unfortunately, yes.

I knew it! Mine too! The first time doing anything is always tough, huh? I'm thinking of going over to Infant Isle to practice scouting and battling.

Infant Isle was where Joker went at the end of the last update. It's populated by low-strength monsters.



The challenge hasn't even started yet, and you're already way behind. If you want to have any hope of competing, you'll need at least three monsters!

We need that many because that's the size of a team. You can actually carry six with you, though, and swap them around outside of battle.

You still have time before the opening ceremony. Why not go and scout more monsters on another island?



The top five finishers go on to the finals and battle it out for the championship! It's the seventh scout challenge, and this time I'm gonna make it to the finals!

Somehow I don't think so. You tend to need a name to do that. Anyway, contrary to what he's saying, it's not a race against time to qualify. The game doesn't progress its plot until you choose to.



Wait... don't tell me you're here to enter the challenge! The Monster Scout Challenge is a serious competition, for REAL scouts. It's not a children's game!

What is it with people outside that makes them act so horribly towards Euchre? Maybe there's something in the air.



Warden Trump told me everything. Now listen to me, kid... Don't mention CELL to anyone, ever! You hear me? This mission is top secret. Now, get outta here before someone spots us.

CELL's the least of Euchre's concerns right now. The Monster Scout Challenge takes precedence, after all, and he doesn't have any orders yet other than to enter.



I wonder what the problem is. The MSO's not usually this disorganised. You know, I've got a funny feeling about this challenge...

Euchre's eventual mission will have nothing to do with this guy's funny feeling, though, that's for sure.



But your "team" doesn't look like it could fight its way out of a paper bag. Are you SURE you want to enter the challenge like this? Well, you're either specially gifted...
...or especially stupid.

It'll all work itself out in the end. Probably.



It looks like we can go into the sewer based on the map, but these boxes are in the way. There's no moving them either, so our only solution is to come back later.

If we try to go up the stairs to the square...



So the main square at the top of the steps is currently closed. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

...We can't go there yet either. Our only solution is to go to Infant Isle and kill time until the opening ceremony starts.



Perhaps you should take this opportunity to visit while you're waiting for the challenge to begin. I'm afraid the opening ceremony has been delayed.
While you're waiting, you're free to go and visit Infant Isle. Perhaps you could go up to the Scout's Stone and take the Monster Scout's Pledge? It's an old custom, you see. Most contestants take the pledge before they begin the challenge.
Just ask at the scoutpost on Infant Isle for directions to the stone. You might find the scoutpost a little... primitive, but you can still save your progress there.

It's certainly something to do while waiting. Why not?



"An island inhabitated (sic) by weak monsters. It's perfect for beginners." Travel to the island?

Of course.

Music: None



This is the world map. As you can see there aren't actually seven islands - there are nine, not counting the smaller coloured islands. The two in the middle of the top are considered to be a single island, and the one on the very top right is CELL Headquarters. It's not counted as an island for some reason. Maybe it's too small.

Music: Island



Here Euchre is on Infant Isle. Up ahead is the scoutpost for the island, signified by the Slime symbol above the door.

Music: Scoutpost



At the counter is this guy, who tells us all about the island and scoutposts in general.

The scoutpost is the support centre for all your scouting needs. Are you here to take the Monster Scout's Pledge? In that case, you'll want to go inside the little temple at the top of the mountain.



You're going to have to fight through monsters on your way. If your own monsters get hurt, run back here and heal them. Don't take any chances, and come back in one piece, okay? So, can the scoutpost information desk help you with anything?

Answering yes here brings us into the scoutpost menu, so let's go over that now.



Saving is obvious. It lets you save your current position in the game and start again should you turn the game off. If Euchre's team is wiped out, he will also return to his last save point but with no progress lost. He will, however, be stripped of half his on-hand money.



This is the save screen. The stars there aren't important right now, but they do fill in as you progress through the game. It also tells you Euchre's current team, his location, and the amount of time you've been playing for.

The next option on the menu, Rest, lets Euchre swap between day and night. Different monsters come out at different times, but night monsters here are more difficult that the day monsters. It's best to leave it as daytime for now.

Chance Encounter is a function that's similar to Streetpass on the 3DS - you put the game into Chance Encounter mode and it swaps data with other games in the mode. If you somehow managed to find someone else with the game, you could obtain copies of their monsters.

The Help tab gives information on the Monster Scout Challenge, but it's all stuff that we'll see soon enough anyway. In fact, some of it is a minor spoiler for the opening ceremony, so we'll definitely be ignoring it.

Now that Euchre's here, why not speak to some of the people standing around?



There you'll find the Scout's Stone. That's where you take the pledge.



Around the back of the scoutpost are some other services, but the only one we're concerned with right now is the item shop.



Since this is still early on in Euchre's adventure the goods here are decidedly unimpressive. Medicinal herbs heal 30 HP, Antidotal herbs cure poison and the rest are weapons. Simple enough. Euchre isn't going to buy anything right now, though.



There's also a locked door back here, which will be open to us soon enough.

Music: Monster Battle



Back outside, Euchre runs into his first encounter: a single Slime. He needs more monsters for his team, so he's going to try to scout it.



Joker raises his hand in the air, giving power to Ducktor Cid.



Cid attacks the Slime...



...which raises its scout meter to 27%! This is the chance that the Slime will join Euchre.



And the Slime takes the offer. Now to name it.



That should do it. Rocket is now a member of the team.

Music: Island

Leaving the beach, Euchre heads to the left.



After crossing a few bridges and beating some more slimes, a treasure chest comes on screen. Brown treasure chests refill every so often and contain random items.



Chimera Wings warp Euchre to the last used scoutpost, but only when he's outdoors. They're generally very useful if you want to heal in a hurry.



That treasure chest was at a dead end due to boxes blocking the ladder, though, so Euchre heads back the other way. The ladder here doesn't lead to anything in particular, despite going up the mountain - it's only useful as a one-way shortcut to get back down.



Continuing on further, Euchre starts to encounter monsters beyond Slimes - Platypunks! Sadly he already has one, so it's much more difficult to get a second. He'll have to find a different monster to fill out his team. Wild Platypunks can do the same things as Slimes in battle.



And here one is! Mischievous Moles pop out of their holes to attack. This one is hopefully going to join up.

Music: Monster Battle



Upon attempting to scout, the percentage is much higher than with the Slime. This is because when scouting all your monsters attack the target - having two monsters is much better than having one for this, obviously. They've also both gained a couple of levels, so that's contributing too.



Despite the higher chance, the mole doesn't want to join up. When failing to scout, monsters can either ignore the attempt or take offence. Both make your monsters skip their turns, but the latter raises all enemy monsters' tension and locks the Scout option for the rest of the fight. In this case the Mischievous Mole does the former.



Speaking of increasing tension, Mischievous Moles can raise their own on their turn. There are five stages of tension - 0, 5, 20, 50 and 100 - and each increases the damage or healing that a monster can output. Each time a monster raises its tension it goes up a single stage, and if it does damage or heals its tension drops to zero.



On the second try, the mole decides to join up.



It's named Moley, after Joker's failed monster. Hopefully this one will get some more use.

Music: Island



Continuing on further, Euchre passes a blocked-off bridge. There's a blue chest and a jetty on the other side, so maybe he'll be able to get at it by coming from a different island.



This tent looks like a good rest stop.



I'm the man who runs this island's famous Monster Scout Proficiency Test.

This should be very helpful! Euchre will be able to find out whether he's proper Monster Scout material.

It's a simple little test - you just have to bring me some monsters. Of course, they have to be the right KIND of monsters...
...and sometimes, finding them isn't so easy. It takes brains as well as brawn.



And IF you bring the right ones, I'll even reward you with a little prize. It'll cost you five gold coins to play. What do you say?

Euchre hasn't got much use for money at the moment, so why not? I'm sure there will be good prizes.





Now, go!

That's it for the first question? This seems heavily weighted in Euchre's favour. He'll be recognised as a high-ranking Monster Scout in no time.



We've already scouted Rocket and Moley, so the answer is an emphatic yes.

...Bravo, young man! You've solved problem number 1! Remember - scouting monsters is the most basic skill you must master. This is your prize - a medicinal herb.



Hooray? Those are easily bought at the local scoutpost, so that's not particularly helpful. Maybe the next challenge will give something worthwhile.

Now, the Monster Scout Proficiency Test consists of ten problems. The next problem will cost 10 gold coins. Do you want to hear it?

It costs more, so the reward must be better, right? Let's do it.

Good, let's begin! Listen carefully to problem number 2 of the Monster Scout Proficiency Test!



You might think that this one is a little harder than the last one, but it's actually easier. The way to check what weapons your monster can equip is to go into the Library in the menu and press R on the monster you want to look at.



The yellow crook-looking icon on the far right of the "able to equip" section is a staff, which a cypress stick is one of. In fact, all our monsters can equip it.

The dialogue for completing this request is the same for the most part, but our reward is different:



Antimagic powder attempts to inflict Fizzle on a single enemy. It's useful for shutting down healers, and we can't buy it yet, so it's a good reward.

Now, problem number three... Oh, hang on. It's too soon for that. We can't continue until after the opening ceremony of the challenge has taken place on Domus Isle.

No more easy rewards for Euchre yet. At least he knows to come back here later.



Euchre is painfully aware. They made him take the long way around.

Well, they were in the way, so I took it upon myself to clear them up. If you're heading for the scoutpost, use the ladder. It's much quicker.

He's right, you know. If Euchre heads behind the tent...



...he'll find that the ladder next to the chest from before is climbable now. That makes an entire circuit around the island.

That just leaves the mountain, which Euchre will tackle next time.

Extra: The Monster Library

This will be a regular feature of the LP. Whenever Euchre obtains a new monster, I'll be giving it an overview here.

Slime





Slimes are the most basic of the basic in terms of monsters. They have the skills Slimer and Attack Boost when scouted, and the skill Slimer when fused from other monsters. They also have the Trait Critical Massacre, which gives them a higher chance of doing a critical hit. They aren't immune to any status effects like the starters are.

In summary, Slimes have very little going for them and aren't all that good to keep around. Slimer is an okay skill, since it gives them some healing capability, but it's obsoleted when better healers come along. They've also got some utility in there with Sag, the attack debuff, and Dazzleflash, which inflicts Dazzle on the entire enemy party. The skill is very eclectic, though, and has no place on a well-focused monster.

Platypunk





I already went over Platypunks in the first update, and the same goes for them here. Skills are Naturalist and Defence Boost when scouted and just Naturalist when fused, no Traits, immune to Fizzle.

They're probably the worst of the starters due to not getting any particularly useful skills early on and not being much good at scouting. Naturalist does get some very good skills later on, though, like Hatchet Man (good for grinding), Tongue Lashing (drops enemy defence to 1) and Mercurial Thrust (always attacks first).

Mischievous Mole





Again, I already went over these. Skills are Guerrilla and Attack Boost when scouted and just Guerrilla when fused, Trait is Psycho, immune to Dazzle.

Mischievous Moles are, in my opinion, the best starter because it has Psycho. Psycho allows the monster with it to "psych up" and increase its tension. This can increase damage and scout rates dramatically, so it's incredibly useful. In the early game, when you're scouting lots of monsters for your team, Psycho is your best friend. Other than that, Guerrilla gives lots of skills that lower stats and inflict ailments. It also has Brake Wind, which stops breath attacks from working, but it doesn't really fit in with the rest of the skills.

Epicmissingno fucked around with this message at Jul 26, 2017 around 00:41

#? Jul 8, 2017 21:04
serefin99
Apr 15, 2016

Cup of SUGOII!

Scouting is definitely one of the more fun things in this game when you're just faffing about, much like capturing pokemon is in Pokemon. Unlike in Pokemon, though, scouting is actually a lot easier to game in your favor.
#? Jul 8, 2017 23:23
Chronische
Aug 7, 2012



Scouting is so much better than the awful meat system from the prior Dragon Warrior Monster series. Does make getting metal slime a pain in the rear end, however. They're slightly easier to get in 2, as there's a nerfed version defensively. I'll leave getting metals in this just as it stands - an annoyance. There's other things that make it a pain in the rear end, but I'll let you get to that when were there.
#? Jul 9, 2017 00:30
MightyPretenders
Feb 21, 2014


I once challenged myself to beat this game without ever using fusion.

It took a dozen attempts to recruit a certain non-respawning monster in the early-mid game, and several dozen to beat the final boss.
#? Jul 9, 2017 00:51
Glazius
Jul 22, 2007

Hail all those who are able,
any mouse can,
any mouse will,
but the Guard prevail.


Do scout chances add up as a monster refuses to join you, or do you always start from zero?
#? Jul 9, 2017 01:50
Commander Keene
Dec 21, 2016


You start from zero every single time you try to recruit a monster, regardless of the success or failure of previous attempts. Better make sure you get that 90% on the first try!
#? Jul 9, 2017 02:00
Epicmissingno
Jun 30, 2017


Chronische posted:

For quadrilinear synthesis only grandparents matter, so just make sure you include those 4 monsters, what you synthesize with what doesn't make any difference.

Levels don't really don't matter attack is the biggest factor. I confirmed sledgehammer and Oomph double scouting percentage, so with those two you have 4x higher chance.
Don't even think about scouting metal monsters with attack below 600. Depending what metal you want to scout, 800-900 would be enough with a bit of luck. Double trouble also doubles chances, so if you have team of oomphed double trouble sledgehammer wielding monsters, you get 8x what a team with exact attack but none of these traits would have got.

Honestly, Zoma, Alabast dragon and Darkonium slime are one of "ultimate" monsters. You might want to get a physical attacker, like Nimzo or Estark and replace Darkonium Slime with Gem Slime. If you need better mage, Rhapthorne II is really good, but your team right now is strong enough for anything. (scouting, finishing game, postgame, fights with other scouts, etc)

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