Part 2: Flame City
Okay, the viewers have spoken! This name luckily is just one character shy of the cap. That's a lot of space for your name, normally you only get seven letters in JRPGs from that time period.
They also voted to roll with Armadillomon. His starter deck is Yellow and Blue instead of the Red and Black deck Veemon had.
Quick explanation of what each color of Digimon brings to the table:
Red: The best in terms of raw power, but with low HP.
Blue: The highest HP values, but low raw offensive power.
Green: The fastest to evolve. Most Green Digimon are worth 30 DP. Average power levels.
Black: The slowest to evolve, but if you get to Ultimate, you get a massive amount of power. Also notable for having lots of support effects with big drawbacks - bad support timing can ruin your play.
Yellow: Low power levels, but their support effects are wacky and unpredictable. Play them right and you'll surprise your opponents, play them wrong and you'll be beaten quickly.
Each partner also has a different background color, so instead of that nice Veemon blue, we get a really bad shade of yellow. Seriously, if it were a little brighter this would be fine.
Here's an example of why I love Yellow Digimon. I'm almost certainly going to get KO'd on this turn, so if I use this card, I at least drop their HP down to where mine is currently.
And that Betamon card in his hand is far less useful because I have ClearAgumon in my hand - that's the transparent Lego-looking thing. His support effect actually negates the opponent's support card, but only if it's a Digimon, not an Option card.
YES! These are excellent cards to pick up. Even if the colors don't match, you can still include a Digimon just for the support effect, and it's good for DP as well.
This is the Ultimate I got for beating Babamon on this playthrough.
Players also start with an Ultimate in their inventory, it's just not in the starter deck for some reason. If you select Armadillomon, it's Mamemon, which happens to be the player character's canonical partner in Digimon World. Kind of ironic that it wound up being a Yellow card, come to think of it...
Anyhow! Enough observations about Yellow Digimon, let's head to the next city!
Only Flame City can get away with putting a giant frying pan on top of the Battle Café. That's epic.
Inside, we meet Davis from Digimon Adventure 02. This game features lots of characters from the TV shows, but you can't play cards with them until the post game. For now Davis just informs us that weird stuff is happening in the cities. The player character states that he only just arrived in Digi-Land "a few days ago" but I'm pretty sure this file only has half an hour of playtime on it so far.
Well gee, that's informative. Leave it to the main character to not know anything.
Also in the Battle Café is a Digimon named Rosemon, though the game refuses to call her that. Come on, anybody would know her name, especially if they played the previous, Japan-only Digital Card Battle. Anyway, she leaves after more vague foreshadowing, and the Arena opens up.
Flame City is full of Red Digimon. It can be pretty exciting to fight fire with fire, but we get to use "Rare" Digimon instead. (Rare? What's Rare about them?) First up is Meramon.
Ooh, lucky draw! I get to demonstrate Evolution Options. These are cards you can use only during the Evolution Phase. If they get used in the Battle Phase, they do absolutely nothing. Speed Digivolve is simple enough, it lets you Evolve without having enough DP - but you can't use it if you played a Champion directly without Evolving to it.
We have just enough attack power to nail
Specifically, he has O Counter, which means if I select my O attack, and he selects his X attack, my attack does nothing, and I take as much damage as I would have inflicted. On the other hand, if he selects X and I did not select O, my attack goes through normally and he only does the displayed amount of damage (always zero unless you raised it with a card effect.)
Counters are massively powerful if you can predict what your opponent will do. Whenever I see one I typically avoid using the attack that would get countered completely, even in a spot like this where I could go for the one-hit KO. Of course in some cases I would take the chance and go for it anyways, but not here.
I took most of the Blue cards out of the starter deck because of this. Meramon's deck is like a hard counter to Blue Digimon, which I don't think many players used because there aren't any Blue partner cards. (Two of the Armors are Blue, though)
Check out his X effect. Plenty of Digimon have X attacks that triple in damage against specific colors of Digimon, which looks dangerous as is, but support effects are applied before the damage gets tripled, so you could use another card to increase or even double the power of the attack before it's tripled for an even more devastating blow. Just watch out for opponents with X counter.
Anyhow, I picked up a pretty neat Option card on this run, the Lucky Mushroom. It gives you 500 HP if both players select different attacks, which is pretty good, it always has a 2/3 chance of working if you aren't trying to predict your opponent's attack. I use this and other recovery cards to keep my HP up.
He didn't manage to put up much more resistance. Onto round 2!
Next up is Phoenixmon, who has some interesting cards. She uses avian Digimon, who in this game like to not only hit hard, but hit first.
Biyomon's X effect, for instance, allows her to attack first even when it's not her turn. Also pictured: an incredibly annoying Option card.
The fight goes fine for a little while, then Phoenixmon pulls out her own card. Its support effect is to keep your Digimon alive even if it's KO'd on that turn - it still counts towards the three KOs needed to win, but you can use this to keep an Ultimate alive if you really want it to stay alive, and clearly the AI did.
Then in the following Battle Phase, Phoenixmon manages to pull an Attack Chip from the top of her deck for her first KO. Didn't see that one coming.
So I bring in another ModokiBetamon. Okay, THIS time I know what to do. My T attack KOs her, but her X attack can KO me and it attacks first even on my turn, so I need to keep my HP up. Fortunately, Psychemon can change my HP to match hers. This can be used in numerous ways, but here I use it for survival. That's KO number two!
Her next Digimon evolves to Piddomon (which is a recolor of Angemon.) Note the card background - recognize it? It's Mt. Infinity from the original Digimon World. Nearly all the Digimon cards in this game have backgrounds from Digimon World, which is a great homage. Even Digimon that weren't introduced in that game have such backgrounds.
Now it's time to bring out the BIG GUNS. ToyAgumon has one of the most overpowered support effects: Discard 1 card, and both players are set to 200 HP. No matter how big your opponent's HP is, it gets dragged down to a very possible KO range. Shame I have to get rid of Armadillomon, though.
On the very next turn I bring out a new Digimon and evolve it to Numemon, and then finish the match. That was a close one - first time so far I've gotten KO'd two times!
Phoenixmon's deck never changes in the entire game.
The last round turns out to be Veemon, Davis's partner. In the Japanese version of the game, this is the first battle to use a song from the TV show for the background music: Target for the main music, Break Up for the battle animations.
Due to license problems (I guess) they couldn't use that in exported versions, so they used recycled tracks from the previous Digital Card Battle. I don't really mind the change, but the music can get repetitive later on, especially in the post-game but that's a long ways off.
Veemon uses lots of dinosaur Digimon. I'm going to use this Option card to get them out of his hand. It's not exactly random if only one card is in his hand, is it?
Couple turns later, and Agumon's down to 10 HP, that's rare. Well, now I can Evolve to NiseDrimogemon (A recolor of Drimogemon with a cool 'stache.)
The following turn, Veemon Evolves a Digimon to Greymon (Oh the irony). I've kept my HP up, but 600 is pretty high, and he has a Counter attack.
(Haha I love how self-aware the attack names are)
Oooh this is bad. I picked up Speed Digivolve but I don't have an Ultimate to Evolve to. Unfortunately, when you want to re-draw your hand, you have to throw out the whole hand, so the Speed Digivolve card is going to be stuck there while I throw away my other cards while I wait for an Ultimate. Try to avoid that.
Luckily the AI isn't good at predicting my moves, for some reason he thought I'd try my O attack.
Just look at the numbers! Etemon's O attack does over 700 damage, you just can't see it because Agumon lowered it to zero. But the T attack will suffice!
"Yellow decks, if you like it, if you feel it, you can't help but move to it. That's what happens to me. I can't help it." -- Etemon, probably
He was actually dangerously close to pulling out MetalGreymon, and I kinda wish he did, you can't have Phoenixmon KO me two times and then have Veemon KO me zero times.
By the way, Armadillomon has been gaining EXP and ranks the whole time. Every five ranks, the partner's base stats increase - not by a meaningful amount, but it's something to note.
I wonder what color of card we will find there??
Flame City's arena gives you a Red pack every time you beat it. If you're interested in building a Red deck, this is where you can get plenty of cards to get started.
I got a second Yellow Ultimate too, and it's the best one in the whole game.
Okay, fine, it costs 50 DP, but it's a teddy bear of doom, how can you not be impressed? Look what it does to Black cards!
Oh yeah, after clearing that arena you can talk to Davis to recieve a bonus...
The first Digi-Egg! Digi-Eggs are artifacts that allow Digimon to Evolve to Armored forms. As I mentioned previously, all partners in this game get two armors, except for Veemon, who gets three.
This is the Partner menu. You can view the stats of your partner, their equipped Digi-Parts, and any Armors you have. Armors are overpowered. Partners can Armor Evolve for absolutely no cost whatsoever - the only downside is they can't normally reach Champion or Ultimate level, but nearly every Armor outclasses most Champions anyways.
That said, Digmon, The Drill of
Digi-Parts are pieces of equipment you get by ranking up your partners. Each partner can equip three and the effects range from stat boosts, to changing the support effect, to changing the X effect, and all equipped parts also affect the Armors, too. Some have drawbacks, but this really lets you customize your partners, and you can do creative things with it.
Mind you, this only really affects three cards in your 30-card deck unless you use a Gameshark to duplicate your partner, in which case all copies of your partner card (you can have up to 4 copies of any card in your deck, by the way) gain the buffs from their equipment and they can all Armor evolve.
For comparison, here's what Veemon and his first Armor look like at this point in the game. You get the Digi-Parts in a different order depending on the partner chosen, so Veemon players can do something like this. Flamedramon is probably the best Armor you could ask for in the early game, with a 500-point O attack and a Counter attack, so you don't have to use a Digi-Part to give him one.
And just look at how big the numbers get with those Digi-Parts. Partner cards can be VERY game-breaking.
No shit, Phoenix.
Anyhow, one last feature opens up when you beat Flame City's arena: The Fusion Shop.
Fusion Shops have two features. One, you can give up two cards you aren't using and get a new one in return. You can carry up to 6 of each card (even though you can only use up to 4?) so this is a nice way to get rid of excess cards and maybe get something new.
At this moment, we have few cards to burn and can only fuse Rookie and Option cards anyways, and we have no idea what the result will be besides the color. Fusion results are sometimes fixed, but there hasn't been a lot of research into ALL the different combinations. There are some consistent combinations listed on sites with info on this game, though.
The other feature of Fusion Shops is to convert excess cards into EXP for your partner. The more powerful the card, the more EXP, and if the color of the converted card matches the partner's color, there's a boost to that EXP as well. You may want to do this if you're in the endgame and want to max your partner ranks.
Anyhow, that's enough for now. Next time, we check out the jungle!