Part 6: Desert RoundupThis update, Euchre will finish exploring Xeroph Isle and get all the monsters currently available for scouting. But first, some unfinished business...
...naming his new Wulfspade. Wildcard is the obvious choice, and he replaces Moley on the team.
Now, we shall return to the passage where you found me. It leads to the shrine I seek.
That is where we must go. Remember its location.
Wildcard joins Euchre's team.
And with that Euchre is once more set free to do as he wishes. First things first: talking to people! Only the people in the Scouts' Den have their dialogue updated, though.
I couldn't hear what it was saying exactly... But that little thing certainly does talk posh, doesn't it?
Apparently it's weird for monsters to talk around here. Talking monsters don't tend to be all that rare in the rest of the Dragon Quest series, so it's a little strange for this guy to be so incredulous.
Maybe I should have tried scouting it for my team...
It's a good thing that Wildcard can't be scouted, otherwise someone like this would be able to steal him. I doubt they'd be as open-minded as Euchre is about Wildcard's request.
Incidentally, it's possible to confirm that Wildcard is indeed the Incarnus.
First we go into Euchre's menu and look in the Monster Library. This is where I've been getting the monster bios at the end of each update.
See there, on the bottom screen? Wulfspade's monster family is "Incarni", the plural of Incarnus. Of course that begs the question of what the others are. There's only one Incarnus, isn't there?
Another thing to do now is check the save menu. The stars that were empty before now have one filled in. That's because these are an indicator of how much darkonium Euchre has.
In any case, it's time to continue on in the cave Euchre found last time.
Music: Seeking Treasure
The first thing to note is that there are Winkies here! They have exactly the same spells as they did on Infant Isle, but with more stats. There's no point in going over them again.
The second thing to note is that the cave is just a wiggly line to the end with no detours. There are no interesting sights here, either.
The third thing to note is that there's a new monster here!
Music: Monster Battle
Muddy Hands are another monster that doesn't really do much. I didn't see them use any spells or abilities other than what's shared with every other monster.
That makes them easy to scout.
Music: Seeking Treasure
This update I'm outsourcing all my monster-naming. The Egyptian god of the Earth goes into storage, as usual, but there is something of note about it - it's Euchre's first Rank E monster. Monsters have ranks from F to X, with F being the weakest and X the strongest. Wildcard, however, is Rank ???, which doesn't really fit anywhere.
The exit to the cave spits Euchre out on the north side of the valley, which would otherwise be inaccessible. Heading down the side of the bowl...
...produces this treasure chest. Seeds are used to permanently increase one of the stats of a monster. They come in seven varieties:
- Seeds of Life increase HP.
Seeds of Magic increase MP.
Seeds of Strength increase Strength.
Seeds of Resilience increase Defence.
Seeds of Agility increase Agility.
Seeds of Wisdom increase Wisdom.
Seeds of Skill increase Skill Points.
Wildcard gets a level off one of the north side fights - mostly Scorpions and Komodos - and gets Zap from his Wulfspade skill. Sometimes, mostly on boss monsters from previous Dragon Quest games, you get skills named after the monster they come on. They tend to be full of top-tier abilities.
Wildcard, coming so early, does not have such abilities in his skill. However, it's one of the few skills that doesn't need 100 points to max it out, only needing 75. This is because if you fuse Wildcard away while it has it at maximum skill points it upgrades to Wulfspade II, and then to Wulfspade III if it's maxed again at 100 points. These give progressively better abilities, but we probably won't be seeing them any time soon.
We've actually seen a few of these types of skills before - all the stat-boosting skills that scouted monsters have max at 50 points and have II and III variants. II maxes out at 75 and III maxes out at 100, and each gives progressively better stat increases.
In any case, it's time to go exploring.
Heading up the valley and then west on the northern arc of land leads to this bridge. It can be kicked over, giving a shortcut back to the Scoutpost and the jetty to Domus Isle.
We still have much to do here.
Speaking of jetties, there's one at the very north of Xeroph Isle leading to parts unknown. Wildcard doesn't want Euchre to leave the island until his task is complete, though. Even Domus Isle and Infant Isle are off-limits right now, meaning that Euchre can't hand the Komodo in to Scoutmaster Shuffles.
Heading to the far west results in finding this door. It's at the exclamation mark on the map, so it's what Wildcard's looking for.
That means it's progress. Euchre doesn't like progress, so he's going to put it off for as long as possible.
Right next to the door is a chest and another bridge, which is a much more convenient shortcut than the one on the west. The chest coughs up an Antidotal Herb for Euchre, which will probably never be used. Poison isn't very good, after all, and all ailments are removed after battle.
Music: Monster Battle
There's only one more monster that can be found on Xeroph Isle during the day, and those are Spitniks.
Spitniks love to spam Dazzleflash which, like Sandstorm, inflicts Dazzle on multiple monsters. It appears to be more accurate than Sandstorm, too. It's really annoying when trying to scout the thing because scouting relies on physical attacks. Dazzle makes these miss a lot.
This one is scouted nonetheless.
It should be easy to guess where it goes.
Music: Ambiance of the Night
For the other monsters on Xeroph Isle, Euchre has to rest until night-time.
Music: Monster Battle
The first new monster, which appears in similar places to the Healslimes on the south side, is the Crabid. Their gimmick is that they like to defend a lot, which doesn't tend to come up much. It's annoying for scouting because, again, scouting chance is based on attack damage. If they defend this is lowered and they become harder to scout.
Luckily this one doesn't defend at the critical moment and promptly joins Euchre.
This is probably the best game featuring a character named Rabies being Let's Played. Sadly this Rabies won't be featuring for long, since he goes into storage.
Similarly to the Crabids, these appear on the south side of Xeroph Isle.
They cast Frizz and are generally boring. They have really low defence, too.
It's so low that this one had a 100% scout rate.
To storage with you! I swear one day Euchre will put something into substitutes, but at the moment it's all full up with monsters I want him to train.
To the north, Demonriders appear. We've seen these before when Euchre fought that other scout, but I didn't go over them then. They've got a pretty diverse moveset.
They have Gust Slash, a Woosh-elemental physical attack...
...Helm Splitter, which attacks and lowers defence...
...the Trait Counterstriker, which allows them to make counter-attacks sometimes...
...and finally Poisonous Poke to inflict Poison while doing damage.
Music: Ambiance of the Night
It's scouted and put into storage. Much like the Muddy Hands from before, Demonriders are Rank E.
While wandering around and looking for more new monsters, Euchre finds one of these spots in the air. They only appear at night, and always cough up a Seed of Skill. They refresh every night, and spawn in semi-fixed spots, so they're easily farmed.
Music: Monster Battle
Down in the valley, the Komodos have been replaced with Chimaeras. There's no counterpart for the Skelegons, though, and for good reason - like the Gigantes and King Slime on Infant Isle they're really not meant to be fought at this point.
Unlike those two, their attacks are a little more manageable. Both Chimaeras and Skelegons have the bottom tier Fire Breath skill.
Skelegons also have its ice counterpart, Cool Breath.
They hit pretty hard physically, too, but Euchre's monsters can withstand it.
Here's a tip for dealing with them, though - use Wildcard's Zap. They're weak to it, and magic damage can't be mitigated by their absurd defence stat. Slimes can also have it at this point, but they're so fragile that it's a terrible idea to bring one for this.
Also, because of said defence stat, scouting is probably not going to work out. Even with 100 tension, Wildcard was barely increasing the scout chance at all.
Chimaeras like to heal themselves when on low HP. To go with this, I have a correction to make to one of the things I said about enemy Healslimes. They do not, in fact, heal for 30-ish HP with Heal, and instead heal for a value closer to 15. Enemy healing skills are considerably worse than the versions that Euchre gets, for some reason.
More friends for storage.
The final monster on Xeroph Isle's exterior is the Frostburn. You'd expect it to be an icy counterpart to the Dancing Flame, and you'd be right. It even appears in the same place at roughly the same rate.
It has the Crack-elemental slash and Cool Breath similar to the Dancing Flame's Frizz-elemental Slash and Fire Breath.
It'll be warming - or rather, cooling - the bench along with its firey counterpart.
And that's about it for the monsters of Xeroph Isle. Next time, Euchre will be heading into the island's shrine at the behest of Wildcard.
Extra: The Monster Library
Because this update was mostly monster collecting, there are more than usual to go through.
Crabids have the Skills Defender and Defence Boost, have no Traits, and take extra damage from Frizz.
Defender is that same as it was on Komodos back in the previous update, so nothing new there.
Chimaeras have the skills Cleanser and Defence Boost, and the Trait Artful Dodger. They're immune to Confusion.
Cleanser is a healing skill that focuses on getting rid of status ailments. It gives Heal at 4 skill points, so it's a good early source of healing if you don't want to use a Healslime, but it never gets any Midheal or Fullheal. It gives Squelch for healing Poison, Tingle for healing paralysis, and Zing and Kazing to cure death (the latter of which is only a 50% chance). It's also got Amor Seco Rain for delayed multi-target healing, Wave of Relief for getting rid of all ailments on the party (invalidating all other ailment-curing skills in the process other than Kazing) and finally Disruptive Wave. Disruptive Wave gets rid of all buffs on the enemy party which is extremely useful in multiplayer but not so much in single player. Overall Cleanser doesn't seem to be all that good because the only three worthwhile abilities (Kazing, Wave of Relief and Disruptive Wave) can be found on other skills with other useful abilities.
Frostburns have the Skills Icemeister and Defence Boost and the Trait Crackmeister, which decreases the MP cost and increases the power of Crack-element abilities. They're weak to Frizz but are healed by Crack and Ice Breath.
Icemeister is essentially the Ice counterpart to Fire Fighter. It teaches the tier 1 and 2 Crack spells, the two Crack-element slashes, and Crack Guard. The other abilities it gets, however, are fairly different. Tongue Lashing, Breathtaking Bash and Meditation are the other abilities, which have been gone over before. Here's a reminder, though: Tongue Lashing inflicts Shock and lowers defence to 1 if it succeeds, Breathtaking Bash does damage and stops an enemy from using breath attacks, and Meditation is a self-heal. Just like Fire Fighter, it's not too bad, but the non-ice skills are a bit of a mixed bag - Meditation is pretty awful, Breathtaking Bash is situational and Tongue Lashing is pretty great.
Spitniks get the Skills Frizz & Bang and Defence Boost. They have the Trait Bangmeister, increasing damage and lowering MP cost for Bang-element abilities, and they're even healed by the element. They're weak to Crack, though.
Frizz & Bang is another of those skills that can be upgraded through spending skill points on it. In fact, every "element & other element" skill can be. It caps at 50 skill points, the second version caps at 75, and the third caps at 100. Each one gives only Frizz and Bang abilities at increasing levels of power, both magical and physical. Other than that, there's Frizz Guard and Bang Guard at the third tier of the skill. This is a pretty good skill, and the elements complement each other nicely. The Frizz spells (Frizz, Frizzle, Kafrizz, Kafrizzle) are all single-target, whereas the Bang spells (Bang, Boom, Kaboom, Kaboomble) are all multi-target. Definitely worth getting for mages once it's got to the higher tiers, and it's one of the components in the ultimate magic skill too. There are only two physical abilities to use, though, which may be a problem for anyone who wants to use those.
Firespirits have the Skills Fire and Defence Boost. They have the Trait Frizzmeister, which should have an obvious effect based on the last two monsters, are healed by both Frizz- and Fire Breath-elemental abilities, and are immune to Water-elemental abilities.
Fire, like Frizz & Bang, comes in three tiers: Fire, Fire II and Fire III. Fire gives the abilities Frizz, Frizzle, Fire Breath, Flame Breath and Flame Slash, as well as Deep Breath. Both tiers of the Skill above this increase each of these abilities by a tier, so Frizz becomes Frizzle and then Kafrizz, and Fire Breath becomes Flame Breath and then Inferno. Frizzle eventually becomes Kafrizzle, and Flame Breath eventually becomes Scorch. Flame Slash only gets upgraded to Inferno Slash in Fire III, though, since there are only two tiers of the ability, and Deep Breath never gets an upgrade. On top of this, Fire II adds Frizz Guard into the mix, which lowers Frizz damage taken by 25%, and Fire III adds Fire Breath Guard, which does the same for Fire Breath. Overall this is a pretty good offensive Skill, similar to the dual-element Skills, though it's not purely invalidated by Magic Barrier thanks to the breath attacks. Consider picking it up.
Muddy Hands have the Skills Materialist and Attack Boost. They have no Traits, and are vulnerable to Frizz. They also cannot be Dazzled.
Materialist gives a mix of ability types, with a focus on physical skills and buffs. To start with there's Buff and Kabuff, the single- and multi-target defence increases. There's also Bounce, which reflects spells and is great for dealing with enemy mages. Not so much when you need to heal or buff, since those spells reflect too. Helm Splitter, Metal Slash and Hatchet Man are all pretty useful. Helm Splitter is pretty much universally great, whereas Metal Slash and Hatchet Man are best for dealing with Metal Slime monsters, the experience point pinatas of the series. Metal Slash simply adds 1 to the damage dealt to these (they all take 0 or 1 damage most of the time) and Hatchet Man either gets a critical hit, ignoring defences, or misses entirely. Finally Materialist teaches Kerplunk and Kamikazee, which both kill the user. The former fully heals and revives the other monsters on the team and the latter attempts to inflict instant death on all enemies or huge damage if that fails. The skill in general isn't half bad for what it is, giving some useful abilities for defence, offence, or when you're backed into a corner.
Demonriders have the skills Diminisher and Attack Boost. Just like their wild variants they have the Trait Counterstriker, which enables counter-attacks when struck physically. They're vulnerable to Zap and immune to Fizzle which is really weird since they're primarily physical monsters.
Diminisher is very similar to Guerrilla in that it gives abilities that do damage while either inflicting ailments or debuffs. Slowing Slug, Weakening Wallop, Stupefying Strike and Helm Splitter lower Agility, Attack, Wisdom and Defence in that order. The most useful of those is probably Weakening Wallop, which neuters most monsters and allows for easier setup. Then there's Breathtaking Bash for getting rid of breath attacks, Break-Dance Beat for stopping dances, Blinding Blow for dropping accuracy with Dazzle and Assassin's Stab for killing monsters instantly. Diminisher is incredibly good and a must-have for any debuffer you want on your team. It has an answer to everything that could possibly get thrown at you other than physical immunity, which doesn't exist in this game. It does exist in the sequel, though...on a single monster.
Wulfspade is unique. There is only one in the game. There's also no way to get a second through tag battles on multiplayer, since it's immune to scouting. The bright side is that there's no way to lose it! Its skills are Wulfspade and Agility Boost and it has the Trait Psycho. It's also healed by Lightning, which isn't very common, weak to Earth, which also isn't very common, and immune to having its attack lowered.
The Skill Wulfspade teaches Zap and Zapple, the tier 1 and 2 Zap spells. It also teaches Lightning Slash, the tier 1 Zap slash. The other attacks it gives are Spark and Lightning, Lightning-elemental attacks which hit one or all enemies respectively. At least, I think they're Lightning - they might be Zap. Elements in Dragon Quest can be confusing. Lightning Guard also features. The final abilities that Wulfspade teaches are Oomph and Sag, the single-target attack buff and debuff respectively. Both are incredibly useful, and Oomph only takes 11 skill points. It's definitely worth your while to get that, at the very least.
Wulfspade II, gotten by investing 75 points into Wulfspade, is essentially "Wulfspade, but better". Everything that was learned in Wulfspade has now gone up a tier: Zap and Zapple become Zapple and Kazap, Lightning Slash becomes Thunderbolt Slash, Spark and Lightning become Lightning and Lightning Storm. Lightning Guard is back, and is joined by Zap Guard. Finally Oomph and Sag have been replaced by their multi-target variants, Oomphle and Kasag. Their usefulness is more questionable, though, since their strength is decreased to compensate for the improved targeting. Since each has to be cast twice to get the effect of one single-target spell, they're only useful if there is more than one ally or enemy who needs the buff or debuff. Kasag is especially guilty of this, since the debuff is most useful during bosses which generally only have one target.
Overall Wulfspade and Wulfspade II are pretty good skills. Kasag is pretty much the only weak link here, but it's still situationally useful.