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