The Let's Play Archive

Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker

by Epicmissingno

Part 8: Gardens Galore

After Euchre's experience at Xeroph Shrine last time, he heads off to Infant Isle to hand his Komodo in to Scoutmaster Shuffles.

Music: Appearance of the Town

As it turns out, though, there's some new stuff to do on Domus Isle. Firstly, a good chunk of people have new things to say.

But the Commissioner happened to be passing by and he saved its life.

People already know about Wildcard, then. Hopefully this doesn't make Euchre a celebrity for travelling with him, since he needs to keep a low profile for CELL's mission.

According to what I'VE heard, the dog has since joined up with a scout no one's ever heard of.

There's probably no danger of that, though, since nobody knows who Euchre is even after acquiring Wildcard.

At least, that's what I heard an MSO suit saying. Maybe it's a kind of poison?

It's no surprise that the Monster Scout Organisation has all this obscure information about monsters. Dr Snap is very knowledgeable about them, after all.

...but I was just thinking about the dog-like monster that broke into HQ. I wonder what it wanted.

Based on the description, it was probably Wildcard that tried to break in. We can guess at his motive, too: obtaining the Scout's Mark.

A lot of my success was down to the fact that I wasn't afraid to experiment. You should try it. Have a go at combining a monster of the dragon family with a slime. You might be surprised!

This is the first time the game has given out a special synthesis recipe! Some recipes don't require specific monsters, and instead need anything from a given family. In this case, a Slime and anything from the Dragon family creates a Drake Slime. These things are about the same strength as anything from generic synthesis at this point, being Rank E monsters. It might be a good way to drive up the ID number of some junk monsters if you can spare them, though.

One theory says that these blue chests are the remains of dead mimics.

That's quite interesting, actually. Based on what Euchre heard from that thug earlier, that probably makes darkonium crystallised dark matter.

She owns the WHOLE island! Oh, and she really likes metal monsters, apparently.

Metal monsters are incredibly important and that alone makes Palaish Isle worth visiting. Hopefully they'll be available to fight, because they give absurd amounts of experience points when beaten up.

NEWSFLASH! Scouts stampede to Palaish Isle, the most popular island in Green Bays! But can they solve the puzzle of the shrine? Find out next time!

Next time will probably be after Euchre finishes Palaish Shrine, so the answer to that question will almost certainly be "yes".

In any case, there's something new on Domus Isle that isn't just conversations: the department store! Yes, it's open already, and Euchre's next order of business is to investigate.

This is the first of the counters inside the building. It sells something we haven't seen yet.

Skill scrolls are magical manuscripts that allow you to teach your monsters new skills instantly. I accept monsters in exchange for my scrolls.

If you want a good scroll, you've got to give me something worth my while. So, what d'you say? Feel like trading something?

Skill scrolls teach monsters skills that can't be obtained otherwise.

They're also prohibitively expensive right now, costing two Rank C monsters of a given type. There's basically no way to get anything like that at the moment, other than grinding for inordinate amounts of time. Frankly, it's not worth it.

Warrior's scroll teaches the Skill Warrior and requires Slimes. Mage's scroll requires Demons and teaches Mage, Priest's scroll requires Nature monsters and teaches Priest, and Mart art scroll requires Material monsters and teaches Martial Artist.

The weapon shop, named Lethal Weapons, has a few weapons available that are better than anything seen so far including the Sacred Spear. They're not nearly as costly right now as the skill scrolls, so buying one or two might not go amiss.

Lastly the item shop, Backpackers, has some relatively rare consumables. Strong medicine does double the healing of the medicinal herb, though it's much more than double the price, Panaceas cure all status ailments affecting a single monster. Oomph powder is still strongly recommended, but it's very expensive at 900 gold coins.

Finally Insulade increases a single monster's resistance to fire and ice breath. These attacks' damage can't be mitigated outside of innate resistances or buffs that are currently unavailable, so it might be worth getting one or two of these if you can spare the money.

That's all there is in here for now, but if Euchre goes upstairs...

But we're a little bit behind schedule. I'm so sorry about this. But do come back when we're open!

...there's this clerk, who will be setting up a monster matchmaking service in the future. It might be worth coming back for that at some point.

After checking out the rest of the town, Euchre heads to the scoutpost to find more people to talk to.

Music: Scoutpost

...A park full of savage monsters who wiped out my team and then chased me into the sea... The bad kind of park. I should have played it safe and gone to Palaish Isle first.

It looks like Infern Isle may still be out of Euchre's league. Maybe after the next island it'll be manageable.

Other than some information about the department store being open, the notice board shows that Euchre is moving up in the rankings. There are a couple of new names there, but Rummy is still at the top. Is Madame Rummy participating in the challenge?

Anyway, that's enough of being sidetracked by Domus Isle. It's time to get back to the main purpose of this trip: completing more of the Monster Scout Proficiency Test.

Music: Island

The Komodo scouted from Xeroph Isle is enough to solve Shuffles's fourth question. He receives a Battle Whip as a reward, which is a weapon that can hit the entire enemy party. Unsurprisingly it's a bit weaker than the single-target weapons.

Question number five is another easy one, and costs 100 gold coins to attempt.

Euchre already has Cat-Ears on his team, so he doesn't need to go back to the scoutpost to get anything. This nets him a seed of magic, which he will proceed to hoard and never use it.

This next task costs 180 gold coins to undertake, and once again Euchre already has the relevant monster.

Showing Monarch to the Scoutmaster gets Euchre a martial artist's scroll. If you'll recall, those were ridiculously hard to obtain in the department store, so this is extremely welcome.

Question seven costs 300 gold coins to attempt, and it's a bit too hard right now. Returning when Rank C monsters are more readily available would be a good idea here.

Music: Scoutpost

While Euchre's near a scoutpost, he synthesises Wildcard in an attempt to make him stronger. Incarnus synthesis is a little different to synthesis with any other family, since it always results in an Incarnus. No exceptions. In this case it produces Hawkhart again. The form that the result will take is dependant on the family of monsters that the Incarnus is synthesised with - Wulfspade needs a Nature monster, while Hawkhart needs a Demon monster. If the conditions aren't met to change to another form, Wildcard will remain in its current form.

Synthesis is also the way to change Wildcard's name, if you so desire. For the purposes of this Let's Play, though, Wildcard will keep his name throughout.

Wildcard picks up Hawkhart and Guerrilla from this synthesis. He probably won't use much outside of Wulfspade for a while, though.

Music: Island

Back on Xeroph Isle, the battle arena is open now!

There's a grand total of seven tourneys on offa, rangin' from Rank E to X. Each tourney consists of three matches. Ya have to win all three to clear that rank.

Ev'ry time ya clear a rank, we'll reward ya with a bonzer little prize.

Something that isn't mentioned here is that Euchre's monsters are uncontrollable during the entire thing. The only say the player gets in how they act is through changing their AI. While this is good in some situations (like healing), it's bad in others (like wasting MP or prioritising the wrong target). There's another problem with entering right now, though...

...Wildcard doesn't want to take part.

Wait! Though I agreed to help you in the challenge, I must not draw undue attention to myself. If you would do battle in the public eye, you must do so without me in your team.

But ya can use the Switch Substitutes command to remove him and bring in a diff'rent monster. Talk to me again when you've got ya team all sorted out then, eh.

Wildcard is the powerhouse of Euchre's team and to enter the arena without him at this point would be foolhardy. Euchre should get around to training a monster for when Wildcard can't participate, but not right now. It's definitely worth it to do so, though.

"Madame Rummy's private island. Come and play in the Old Maid's garden."

It's finally time to leave Xeroph Isle via the jetty to the north. It looks like Palaish Isle is Euchre's next destination.

Music: None

Music: Island

Arriving on Palaish Isle, the immediately obvious landmark is the scoutpost straight ahead. Is there anything interesting there?

Music: Scoutpost

Well, the clerk is friendly at least. What's she got to say?

Are you prepared to be captivated by the stately splendour of Palaish Isle? This is a private island owned by Madame Rummy.

If you crave an audience with Her Ladyship... ...clime the grand stairway to your right as you exit the scoutpost. Her Ladyship is blessed with surpassing beauty. Do pay her a visit, if only to admire the view!

Wow, Madame Rummy sounds like a sight for sore eyes. After all, if the scoutpost clerk says so then it must be true.

All scouts should meet her at least once, including you. It's a good opportunity to see a new type of monster.

This guy seems less than thrilled with Madame Rummy. I suppose Euchre will just have to see for himself.

I'd like to find out, but a lot of this island is off-limits... Unless the Old Maid give you permission, that is.

Looks like Euchre will be meeting Madame Rummy whether he likes it or not.

Meanwhile the shop is full of items that are available elsewhere.

The weapons aren't as strong or varied as the ones at the department store, so they're not worth getting in the slightest. There is a whip, though, whereas the department store didn't carry any of those. It's slightly stronger than the whip from the Proficiency Test, too.

Music: Island

Over to the west of the scoutpost is this ladder, which leads up to...

...a weirdly placed area transition and a future shortcut. It's blocked off right now, of course.

The only other feature on the beach is this huge stairway. What's up there?

A spawn point for enemy scouts, of course!

Music: Boss Battle

Wyrma, as her name suggests, has monsters from the Dragon family. Even with Wildcard at level 1, they're not much of a challenge, and they give a nice chunk of experience and gold as a reward.

Music: None

And also a Strong Medicine, which will proceed to be ignored.

Music: Island

But that's not all that's up the stairs! There's also the centrepiece of Palaish Isle, Madame Rummy's palace.

Music: Contest Castle

The place is only one room, though, with an upstairs and a downstairs. Kind of a letdown.

Before you do anything else, please go and pay your respects to Her Ladyship. You will find her on the uppermost level of the palace. You may use the stairs.

Why not go see her? There's nothing to lose from doing so. Well, Euchre heads up the stairs and



I am Madame Rummy, and this is my domain.

I simply ADORE having the contestants frolic in my gardens. As a good scout, I do hope you won't deny me my little pleasures!

Should your performance satisfy me... I will give you free rein to explore ALL my gardens - at your leisure!

Let's never speak of this experience again, shall we? The restrictions on the garden can't be too bad, right?

On the right of the upper floor is the door to the garden.

Music: Island

It's quite a nice garden if you ignore the monsters roaming around the place.

Music: Monster Battle

Capsichums are a pretty good contender for worst pun in the game.

They get Sap, to decrease one of Euchre's monsters' defence.

They also have Helm Splitter, making Sap pointless. I don't think it applies the defence down effect at a lower rate than Sap, but that's the only explanation I have for a monster having both.

Music: Island

They go to storage, because Euchre's training more Slimes in his substitutes at the moment.

There's a treasure chest in plain view around the corner, as well as even more Capsichums.

Music: Monster Battle

As it turns out they're sometimes confused when entering battle, like the Lips on Infant Isle.

Music: Island

And already there's a gate barring progress. Looks like Euchre will have to do the garden challenge after all.

There's time for another scout battle, though, right?

Music: Boss Battle

Milicia here doesn't have a theme to her monsters as far as I can tell, and they aren't all that great. They go down quickly for easy experience points and gold, and also a Wizard's Penny.

Music: Contest Castle

Anyway, back to the task at hand.

The objective of the challenge is to gain access to all of Her Ladyship's gardens. You must race against the clock to clear each area of a certain number of slimes.

Eventually, you will gain access to all of the palace grounds. As you strive to progress, remember this!

At present, you may attempt to clear Madame Rummy's winkies area. You must defeat 9 slimes in 2 minutes and 10 seconds to gain access to the huggies area.

It's required to progress, so why not? Euchre's got to get it done eventually.

Good luck, young scout.

Luck doesn't make up a large part of this, thankfully, so this statement is largely irrelevant.

Music: None


Music: Scout Battle

And so the first Garden Challenge starts. Defeating nine Slimes in 130 seconds might sound irritating because of the time it takes to find each slime and for battle transitions, but it's really not. What's the reason for this?

Well, every encounter here consists of three Slimes, cutting the number of battles required to three. Each Slime has around 30 HP, so anything that can do about that much consistently with their normal attack is great here. After all, the shorter the animation the better in this situation. It helps that the Slimes are only spread over the incredibly small area of the gardens that's open at this point. Also, time doesn't pass in the menu if it's opened between battles, so healing outside of battle isn't penalised. The final advantage that the game gives is that the time it takes to defeat the final battle's worth of Slimes isn't counted against Euchre - the only thing that matters is that time isn't up at the time when the last fight starts.

It's no surprise that Euchre finishes with plenty of time to spare - 40 seconds at the start of the last battle, in fact.

Music: Contest Castle

You exterminated 9 slimes and opened Madame's huggies area. Go upstairs and enter the gardens via the doors to your right. We look forward to seeing you again.

Oh no, Euchre's not falling for that trick. There's sure to be another gate later on, so it's better to do the next level of the challenge now.

At the present time, you may attempt to clear Madame Rummy's huggies area.

Well, scout? Will you attempt Madame Rummy's Garden Challenge?

This time, Euchre has 220 seconds to do some Slime extermination. They're a little more spaced out this time, though, since they span two areas of the gardens now. I won't be going over the second area yet, though, because Euchre's going to be travelling through it to get to the rest of the island anyway. Suffice to say this challenge is definitely manageable if you breezed through the previous one, since it's just more of the same.

This means you have access to all of Palaish Isle's gardens... You can also reach the jetty for sea scooters that will take you to Domus Isle. Go upstairs and enter the gardens via the doors to your right. We look forward to seeing you again.

And with that Euchre has gained access to everything on Palaish Isle.

Wait, what about those metal monsters?

...except for one. The metal menagerie remains closed to you. Only scouts who have advanced to the Monster Scout Challenge finals may enter there. If you do make it to the finals, you are welcome to come back and visit the menagerie.

What a let-down. Oh well, at least Euchre knows to come back once he qualifies for the finals. Better get back to collecting that darkonium, then!

Music: Island

Past the previously-locked gate, there are some stone pillars with chests and what appears to be a new monster on top of them.

Music: Monster Battle

These aren't that monster, though they are new - Spiked Hares like to wander around on the ground in this area. Capsichums have been completely removed from the encounter pool.

They Psyche Up and attack. That's about it.

Can you guess where its destination is?

This, however, is the monster on top of the pillars - Goodybag. These things phase in and out of existence, teleporting between each pillar. It's best to try to ambush them near the top of a ladder leading to the top of each pillar.

They can use Sultry Dance, which hasn't come up on anything else yet.

It causes dancing, which is another form of skipping a turn. One annoying thing about skipping a turn is that it drains tension completely, meaning that if it hits a monster who's using Psych Up all their hard work will be undone.

Goodybags also have Kasap, making them good at supporting their teammates if nothing else. It's a shame that all its friends are dead at this point.

Music: Island

Euchre collects his loot and puts it into storage. It's the safest place, you see. If he'd defeated all the monsters in this encounter instead of scouting the Goodybag, though, he'd have gotten somewhere around 200 gold coins. This amount is not to be sneezed at, and makes Goodybags a relatively good way to grind for money at this point without having to rely on randomly spawning scouts.

Continuing on, there's a gate that would bar the way to the next area of the gardens had Euchre not already unlocked it. As it is, he'll be ignoring it for now.

Instead, Euchre heads past the gate to find, er, more pillars. There's really nothing exceptional about these ones, and it's a dead end, so back to the gate he goes.

Past said gate is a bridge maze. Or rather a bridge path - there's no real maze here. There are a couple of branches, but they all lead to the same place and there's no treasure along them.

This area has the greatest concentration of kicking down bridges in the entire game, though, so enjoy it while it lasts. It's somehow very satisfying.

Music: Monster Battle

There are actually new monsters roaming around on the platforms dotted around the pond: See Urchins.

They attempt to inflict Dazzle and do damage at the same time. It doesn't work out very well for one of them.

Music: Island

The other one gets to join Euchre's glorious storage army, though, so it's probably in a better situation than it was before.

Looping around the outside of the maze and going back in results in the discovery of a piece of darkonium. That makes three now.

Back at the original exit to the maze, though, there's this little path. Refusing to follow the arrow results in...

...nothing! It's just a dead end. It feels like there should be something here because of the sharp drop-off on an otherwise normal path, but there never is.

Following the arrow, though, leads to this nice little pond. As you can see, it contains a new monster. As you probably can't see, it also contains another scout spawn point.

Music: Monster Battle

Khalamari Kids sometimes enter battle while asleep. If they're not asleep, they... er... don't do much. They can either stare into space or assess the situation, missing their turn. They can also attack, but there's no surprise there - so can everything else.

Euchre could send his new Inkling to the Squid Research Lab, but it's much better suited in storage.

King Kelp can appear here, jumping out of the water when Euchre draws near.

They can use Tap Dance to attempt to steal one of Euchre's monsters' MP.

The important word here is "attempt", since it doesn't seem to work all that often.

They also have Poisonous Poke, which is fairly self-explanatory.

Music: Island

Jackson moonwalks into storage after a Thrill(er)ing battle.

Of course, what's more important than the monsters here is what's next to the pool: the shortcut back to the beach! Now Euchre can travel back to this point easily from the scoutpost.

Music: Scoutpost

Back at said scoutpost, Euchre trades in Cat-Ears and Podoboo in return for...

...Litwick the Wax Murderer. Cat-Ears was getting very outdated, so a synthesis was in order in an attempt to bring him back up to date.

He gets Diminisher, Attack Boost and Fire Fighter. The last one will probably be replaced on his next synthesis, but the other two will probably stay on for some time.

And that's it for this lap of the island. Next time, Euchre will be clearing up the rest of the island and maybe heading off to Palaish Shrine.

Extra: The Monster Library


Capsichums have the Skills Saboteur and Defence Boost when scouted, and just Saboteur when synthesised. They don't have any traits, but are weak to Frizz and immune to Sleep.

Saboteur is home to multiple abilities that decrease Defence and Agility or guard against those stat drops. Abilities relating to Defence are Sap, Helm Splitter, Kasap and Sap Guard. Abilities relating to Agility are Decelerate, Slowing Slug, Deceleratle and Decelerate Guard. The lack of Attack debuffs really hurts this Skill, but it's still not too bad because the debuffs it does give are helpful. Hey, at least it doesn't lower Wisdom.

Spiked Hare

Spiked Hares have the Skills Naturalist and Defence Boost when scouted and just Naturalist when synthesised. They have the Trait Psycho and are immune to Drain Magic.

Naturalist is the same as it was on Platypunks way back in Part 2. It's just as eclectic but still somehow pretty okay as it was back then.

Khalamari Kid

Khalamari Kids have the Skills Aquapothecary and Defence Boost when scouted, and just Aquapothecary when synthesised. They have no Trait and are healed by Water as well as being immune to Fizzle.

Aquapothecary is a combination of Crack spells and healing. It gives access to Crack and Crackle, but nothing better, so it stops being a viable source of Crack damage eventually. As for healing abilities, there's Heal, Midheal and Amor Seco Rain (delayed multi-target healing), as well as Song of Salvation (delayed multi-target revival). Again, this drops off eventually. Finally there's Sultry Dance, which attempts to make a single enemy monster miss their turn, Mist Me, which blocks the next attack directed at the user (with a few exceptions) and Water Guard. Overall Aquapothecary is thoroughly uninteresting, with abilities that will be outclassed relatively soon. Give this one a miss, though Mist Me could be fairly useful.


Goodybags have the Skills Enfeebler and Defence Boost when scouted, and just Enfeebler when synthesised. They have no Trait and are immune to Fizzle.

Enfeebler is essentially Saboteur for Attack and Wisdom. This makes it half very good and half awful, since Wisdom doesn't affect all that much - the power of every spell has a lower bound, unlike physical attacks, so lowering Wisdom will just bring spell damage down slightly. It gives Sag, Dim, Weakening Wallop, Stupefying Strike, Kasag, Kadim, Sag Guard and Dim Guard.

King Kelp

King Kelps have the Skills All-Rounder and Defence Boost when scouted and just All-Rounder when synthesised. They have no Traits, are healed by Water and are immune to Sleep.

Despite its name, All-Rounder seems to specialise in disabling monsters. There's Weird Dance for draining MP, Weakening Wallop for lowering Attack, Fuddle Dance and Bemusing Breath for inflicting Confusion, Break-Dance Beat for disabling dances, and Critical Miss for disabling critical hits. Then there are Song of Salvation and Amor Seco Rain for delayed healing, for some reason, and finally there's Follow Suit, which is essentially like Mimic from Pokemon - the last ability used is copied for the rest of the battle. All-Rounder is fairly good early on - Weakening Wallop for 12 Skill Points is absurd - and then becomes bad later. The healing skills require a turn of charging up, so they'll likely come out too late to be useful, and Follow Suit is incredibly situational.

Wax Murderer

Wax Murderers have the Skill Fire Fighter when synthesised, and add some stat boost when they're scouted (though I don't know what). They have no Trait and are immune to Sag.

Fire Fighter is the same as it was on Dancing Flames back in Part 5.

See Urchin

See Urchins have the Skills Aquapothecary and Wisdom Boost, dropping Wisdom Boost on synthesis, and the Trait Health Professional. They're healed by Water and immune to Fizzle.

Aquapothecary is the same as it is on Khalamari Kids earlier in this very update.

Extra 2: Synthesis Recipes

This will be an occasional extra part to each update detailing any new synthesis recipes that Euchre has available to him. Only monsters that Euchre has in his party, synthesis or storage will be considered as components.

Winky + Winky + Winky + Winky = Diemon (Rank C, not scoutable, not available through generic synthesis)

Diemon is basically the same sort of thing as King Slime, but harder to obtain - Winkies don't level up nearly as fast as Slimes do.

Komodo + Material Family = Nardragon (Rank E, scoutable, available through generic synthesis)

Nardragons, being Rank E, are around the power that's supposed to be available at this point. As such, they're not very interesting. They're even found in the wild later on!

Crabid + Chimaera = Scorpion (Rank F, scoutable, available through generic synthesis)

This one actually lowers the ID number of the result compared to what it should be. Don't bother unless you're trying to make a bad monster.

Hammerhood + Nature Family = Brownie (Rank D, not scoutable, not available through generic synthesis)

Brownies are basically a straight upgrade to Hammerhoods, and Rank D is nothing to sneeze at for such an easy recipe. Recommended.

Bag o' Laughs + Bag o' Laughs = Goodybag (Rank E, scoutable, available through generic synthesis)

This might have been a good synthesis to do back on Xeroph Isle, but now Goodybags are just available to scout.

Slime + Dragon Family = Drake Slime (Rank E, not scoutable, available through generic synthesis)

Again, it's around the same strength of monster that's available at this point anyway.

Slime + Slime + Slime + Slime = King Slime (Rank C, scoutable, not available through generic synthesis)

You've already heard my opinions on King Slimes. They're great.

Goodybag + Goodybag = Cannibox (Rank D, scoutable, not available through generic synthesis)

Canniboxes will become available very soon, but until then this is a good recipe to use if you want one. It's Rank D, too, so it's slightly ahead of the curve right now.

Incarnus Family + Demon Family = Hawkhart (Rank ???, not scoutable, not available through generic synthesis)

Incarnus Family + Nature Family = Wulfspade (Rank ???, not scoutable, not available through generic synthesis)

These two basically amount to the same thing: if the Incarnus is in a form you don't want, it can be changed. It's also good for relearning the unique skills of each one, if they've been forgotten.

There's one more recipe available right now, but it's something I plan to utilise and it's better to see it first hand. It's not quite as good a jump in power as King Slime or Diemon, but it's pretty ridiculous nonetheless.