The Let's Play Archive

Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker

by Epicmissingno

Part 12: Metallic Madness

Last time, Euchre started (and finished) his business on Infern Isle. This time, he'll be heading on to the only new island he can reach right now: Celeste Isle.

"The mighty ruins that tower over this island imbue it with an air of ancient mystery."

Like so.

Celeste Isle is the northernmost island in Green Bays, with two rather prominent spires as its main feature. That makes the only island that Euchre hasn't visited yet Fert Isle, over to the northeast.

Music: Island

Unlike on Infern Isle, there's a scoutpost here. How about checking it out?

Music: Scoutpost

The island is divided into two halves, north and south. Only this southern half has a scoutpost. If I were you, I'd stay near the scoutpost for now, until you get your bearings.

The receptionist, as usual, is the first port of call. The idea that Euchre should stay near the scoutpost is, of course, laughable - after all, the shrine is right in the centre of the island, and that's his immediate destination.

They say you need the sun and moon to get there! Who're "they"? Why, the talking mirrors of course!

It's always a good idea to explore everywhere thoroughly, so this is welcome information. Trying to get to this smaller island without first consulting talking mirrors would just be silly.

Well, I don't know any shrines, but this island does have some enormous ruins. Two great towers loom over them. It's easy to get lost inside! There's an entrance to the west. You can use that to get in and explore.

Those towers must have been what was visible from the Green Bays map. Even if the ruins and the shrine have nothing to do with each other, it'll still be worth it to visit them. Everyone knows that ruins always house treasure, after all.

Hmph. No prizes for guessing which contestant is best at treasure hunts. But the finals are a different story. That's when the REAL scouts prove themselves.

Actually, didn't Euchre meet someone with that name? Madame Rummy from Palaish Isle didn't seem the type to enter the monster scout challenge, though, so perhaps this is some relative of hers.

Looks like he needs a lot of it for his research.

We've already established that darkonium is made of dark matter, which is what makes monsters what they are. What could Dr Snap be researching that requires so much of it?

In any case, since Euchre is in the scouts' den, why not take a look at those rankings?

They haven't changed since Euchre checked it last, despite his near-complete collection of darkonium. Of course.

So what's in the shop this time? Well, there isn't actually anything new this time in terms of consumables. More's the pity.

Meanwhile the weapons on sale are of equal or higher quality than those for sale at the Domus Isle department store. The Holy Lance is the highest power weapon here, so Euchre buys one. It goes on Li'l Green in an attempt to get his attack power up to a respectable level.

Music: Island

With his shopping done, Euchre heads south out of the scoutpost and up a ramp to find the bulk of the island. Here, off the south edge of the island, is that smaller island that we heard about. There doesn't appear to be any way over there right now, unfortunately.

Turning to the west in place puts a sizable chunk of ruins in view, as well as a new monster.

Music: Monster Battle

This particular encounter is very favourable, since it contains a Metal Slime. Metal Slimes are immune to all magical damage, all breath damage and all status effects. They're also ridiculously defensive, to the point of taking either zero or one damage from pretty much any physical attack. Fortunately they only have three hit points.

Why is this important? Well, Metal Slimes and their ilk are the monsters that give the most experience points out of anything in the game. These ones in particular give about 3000 experience points each, so about 1000 when split between all three of Euchre's monsters. Compare this to the 100-ish that other monsters around here give out, and that's a pretty significant amount.

Oh, and the other monsters in this encounter? Mecha-mynahs can cast Acceleratle, raising the agility of their team, but I couldn't catch any of them using it on camera. Great Sabrecubs, meanwhile, have a couple of tricks.

First off there's Mercurial Thrust, which always goes first. It even has higher priority than defending, so doing that won't help protect against its damage. Fortunately said damage is pretty underwhelming.

Then there's Sandstorm. It's as underwhelming now as it was back at the beginning of the game.

Now that that's dealt with, what's the best way to deal with a Metal Slime?

Use normal attacks on it, of course! This may seem a little counter-intuitive, since other attacks could normally do more damage, but it's really not since they, too, would do miniscule damage, with one exception. It's best to save the MP. There's one near-surefire way to beat a Metal Slime, though:

Get a critical hit. This is, obviously, easier said than done - it's completely at random, after all, and I was lucky to see any at all. Using the ability Hatchet Man, though, guarantees either a critical hit or a miss, ramping up the chance for this to happen significantly. Why do critical hits work against these monsters, you may ask?

They work because critical hits ignore defence, pulverising whatever metal monster is on the receiving end. This is doing over 50 times this Metal Slime's maximum HP.

Sadly scouting any monsters in an encounter prevents Euchre's monsters from gaining any experience points at the end, so the Mecha-mynah and Great Sabrecub have to be put down this time. Don't worry, we'll be coming back for them. Oh yes, and Metal Slimes are absolutely not feasible to scout at this point due to their nasty habit of taking almost no damage. Eventually it's possible to out-damage their sky-high defence stat, but that's a long time from now.

Music: Island

Getting back to exploring, the southern side of that ruined wall has an entrance leading to this place.

Directly up the stairs is a chest with a horribly outdated weapon, but at least it's something.

There's also a junction, allowing Euchre to go either left or right. In this case he goes left...

...resulting in another treasure chest. Somehow the loot in this one is even more unremarkable than the last.

Heading back to the junction and going the other way results in some more stairs up and then another monster along the only path. Let's have a look at these guys, shall we?

Music: Monster Battle

Headhunters don't seem to do anything of interest. All I ever saw them do was attack. Of course, since there's a Metal Slime here, no scouting will be taking place this time. Just like with the previous two monsters, a Headhunter will be picked up later.

Music: Island

A little past the Headhunter is this chest. The items in these get better, I swear.

Backtracking down to ground level again, the southwesternmost part of this ruined building has yet another staircase.

This one only has a short way to go before reaching a dead end with a chest. At least this one gives Euchre more money than the sale of a Medicinal Herb would.

Meanwhile, tucked away in a corner near that last set of stairs, there's a chest which coughs up a higher quality of item than the others so far.

There's yet another in the northeast corner of the ground floor. These things, at the very least, can't be bought yet and heal for more than Li'l Green can manage right now.

Fortunately that's it for this ruined building. Now what?

Music: Monster Battle

How about showing off why Metal Slimes are immensely annoying? They will flee completely at random, denying Euchre their experience points. It's always a race against time to beat one, and it's made worse by the fact that they're stupidly fast, sometimes escaping on the first turn before they even have a chance to be targeted.

Music: Island

Getting back to the task at hand, Euchre manages to find some encounters without Metal Slimes in them, obtaining the monsters from earlier. This makes a Headhunter...

...a Mecha-mynah...

...and a Great Sabrecub, all going to storage.

To the north of the previous section of ruins, there's the start of a trench which runs all the way to the westernmost part of Celeste Isle. It's pretty unremarkable, and Euchre won't be taking it.

That's because there's a bridge which leads to the same place and it has a new monster on it.

Music: Monster Battle

Hunter Mechs are pretty obnoxious enemies if they stick around.

They specialise in attacks that cause status effects, starting with Confusion here.

There's also Envenomate, which is probably their least threatening ailment... well as Dazzle. These guys are priority targets, but thankfully they don't have all that much HP.

Music: Island

That Anti-Metal Skill is actually a nod to their purpose - they're always described as trying to hunt metal monsters, and often appear in the same area as Metal Slimes or their variants. Sadly there's no game mechanic where wild monsters fight each other, so they never actually get around to doing that.

One thing that is consistent with that, though, is that they drop Obsidian Blades, powerful weapons that also do extra damage to metal monsters. There's a guaranteed one later, but they're very much ahead of the power curve right now.

Past the bridge, this wall bars Euchre's path. At least, it would, if it couldn't be walked around. Euchre heads over to the left...

...and into the building behind it. Thankfully this one is only one room.

There's also a blue chest up against the wall here.

That makes eight darkonium crystals. Almost there!

Heading up the ramp guarded by the Hunter Mech leads Euchre outside once again.

Just behind him is this non-restocking chest, which contains a new item. Elfin Elixirs are the improved version of Magic Elixirs, restoring all MP to a single monster instead of just 30. They're also stupidly rare, so using one lightly is not advised.

Turning around yet again, Euchre finds the door to the shrine. At least now we know where it is so that Euchre can go in once he's finished exploring the outdoor part of Celeste Isle.

Right now, though, it's getting ignored in favour of those stairs just beyond it.

At the top lies this door, which isn't budging right now. It's sure to open up eventually.

Near the door are some more steps down, leading Euchre over to an area just north of that bridge from earlier. Convenient!

Before heading back to the scoutpost, there's just one more monster that appears on Celeste Isle during the daytime. It appears on the westernmost edge of the island, just past the exit of the trench.

Music: Monster Battle

Great Sabrecats are essentially Great Sabrecubs but better. Their stats are decently better than their young counterparts, and they share one of their abilities.

First off, though, they have War Cry, attempting to shock Euchre's team into inaction for a turn.

Meanwhile, while Sandstorm is gone, they still have Mercurial Thrust to fall back on. With their decent strength stats this might actually be a threat compared to their cubs.

Music: Island

They're essentially the "strong" monster of Celeste Isle, but that doesn't really mean anything any more.

Now that Euchre has met all the monsters that appear in the day, it's time to head to the scoutpost and rest.

Music: Scoutpost

But first, it's time to show off the last feature of the scoutpost - the bank. This place lets Euchre withdraw and deposit his gold.

Unlike other Dragon Quest games, where the bank only allows deposits in thousands of gold coins, this one allows any amount of money to be deposited.

What's the point of this, then, if Euchre can just carry around all of his money? Well, when all of Euchre's team falls in battle, he loses half of his on-hand cash. Putting money in the bank makes it safe from any unfortunate accidents.

Music: Monster Battle

Back outside, some new monsters appear at night.

The first of these, the Restless Armour, likes to use Hatchet Man. This makes it pretty dangerous, since a critical hit can spell disaster for pretty much any team.

Thankfully none of its attempts managed to connect, making it easy to scout.

Nardragons, meanwhile, have one of the worst abilities in the game: Body Slam. This does a proportion of the target's current HP - about 90%, I believe - in damage, but also damages the user for the same amount. The reason why it's awful is because it has a fairly good chance to miss entirely, only doing damage to the user.

At least Body Slam can't be used to commit suicide, since it draws from current HP. If it could, scouting a Nardragon would be incredibly annoying.

The final monster that appears only at night is the Lesser Demon.

Dazzleflash is a real annoyance, making them difficult to hit.

They follow that up with Frizzle, the first tier 2 spell that wild monsters have used.

It looks pretty nice compared to its tier 1 counterpart, too. Being a Frizz spell, though, the damage is pretty underwhelming.

Of course, the most dangerous thing they can do is cast Bemusing Breath. Confusion is a pretty nasty status effect, and if it's cast party-wide it can theoretically completely wreck a team.

Diablo gets sent to storage for his transgressions. Overall Lesser Demons can be pretty annoying to deal with, so they should be dealt with first in pretty much any formation.

And, well, that's it for the southern part of Celeste Isle. Next time, Euchre will be heading into Celeste Shrine and maybe even finding the next Nexus Chamber.

Extra: The Monster Library

Before we begin this entry in the monster library, I feel that I should bring something up: rank thresholds. You see, a monster's rank in this game is entirely dependant on its ID number. Here are which ID numbers correspond to each rank:

Rank F: 1-30
Rank E: 31-52
Rank D: 53-85
Rank C: 86-113
Rank B: 114-137
Rank A: 138-163
Rank S: 164-185
Rank X: 186-200
Rank ???: 201-210

Strangely enough, there's no way to sort monsters by ID number in the in-game monster library. Instead, everything is either sorted by monster family and then ID within that or by alphabetical order.


Nardragons have the Skills Martyr and Attack Boost when scouted, and just Martyr when synthesised. They have the Trait Psycho and no resistances.

Martyr is full of abilities which either damage the user or lower their defence while also having other beneficial effects. Double-Edged Slash, as the name suggests, does significant damage to both an enemy and the user. It's not proportional, though, unlike the next ability on the list: Body Slam. It and its improved version, One-On-One, lower the HP of both the user and the target - to 10%-ish of current HP for the former, and to exactly 1 HP for the latter. Both have a good chance to fail, though, dealing damage to just the user. Then there's Blowback, which counters breath attacks when the user is hit, and Double Up, which does a lot of damage but increases all damage taken on the turn it's used. Then there's Kamikazee, which sacrifices the user to deal massive damage to all enemies, and Kerplunk Dance and Kerplunk, which both sacrifice the user to fully heal and revive all allies. Overall Martyr isn't all that good a Skill, since the constant damage to the user will probably get them killed quickly. Body Slam and One-On-One are especially guilty of this, given how often they seem to fail. Don't bother with this one.

Great Sabrecub

Great Sabrecubs have the Skills Naturalist and Defence Boost when scouted, and just Naturalist when synthesised. They've got the Trait Psycho, and are immune to having their agility lowered.

Naturalist has been available on Platypunks all the way back in Part 2.

Great Sabrecat

Great Sabrecats have the Skills Speedster and Defence Boost. They have the Traits Psycho and Early Bird, ensuring that they always go first, and like their younger counterparts are immune to having their agility lowered.

Speedster was on Jumping Jackals back in Part 11.


Mecha-mynahs have the Skills Bird Brain and Defence Boost when scouted, and just Bird Brain when synthesised. They have the Trait Artful Dodger and are immune to both instant death and turn-skipping abilities like War Cry.

Bird Brain is a Skill with a good variety of abilities. Firstly there's Accelerate and Acceleratle for increasing agility, then there's Woosh and Swoosh for tier 1 and 2 magic damage. Insulate and Insulatle, both very useful spells for reducing breath damage, also feature, on top of Brake Wind to nullify it entirely. Sandstorm also appears, as well as Multislash for multi-target physical damage. Overall Bird Brain appears to be a pretty versatile Skill, with pretty good abilities for both physical damage and buffing. Where it falls down is with offensive magic, since maxing out at tier 2 makes the fairly random AI a bit of a liability. Otherwise, though, this is a recommended Skill.

Hunter Mech

Hunter Mechs have the Skills Anti-metal and Defence Boost, with just Anti-metal when synthesised. They have the Trait Metal Beater, which adds one onto any damage inflicted on metal monsters, and are immune to instant death, poison and paralysis.

Anti-Metal is exactly what it sounds like - it teaches abilities that help in taking down metal monsters. Accelerate and Acceleratle are there to help outspeed enemy monsters, as well as the Agility + 30 passive that's taught a little down the line. Metal Slash increases all damage towards metal monsters by one when it's used, and Metal Beater does a similar thing but is passive. Hatchet Man is, of course, here, being the most effective measure against metal monsters. Oomph is also there, just in case it helps with overpowering their huge defences. The final ability on the list is Magic Frailty, which reduces all enemies' resistance to magic. I'm not sure whether this works on metal monsters, but if it does then it makes them very easy to beat them with magic. Overall Anti-Metal is a pretty great Skill, since metal monsters tend to be incredibly difficult to take down without something like this. Recommended.


Headhunters have the Skills Berserker and Attack Boost when scouted, and just Berserker when synthesised. They have the Trait Metal Beater and are immune to instant death.

Berserker is similar to Martyr in that it has a lot of abilities that hurt the user, but there's a much greater emphasis here on doing lots of damage and it's arguably a better Skill because of that. The shared abilities between the two are Double-edged Slash, Double Up, Body Slam, One-on-One and Kerplunk Dance. Other than these, Berserker teaches Helm Splitter and Hatchet Man, both of which are very good abilities, as well as Whack Guard. Overall, Berserker is a fairly good Skill that's unfortunately held back by Body Slam and One-on-one.

Lesser Demon

Lesser Demons have the Skills Diabolist and Confusion Ward. They have no Traits, and they're immune to Bang-elemental spells and abilities.

Diabolist is a bit of a mixed bag. On one hand it's got good spells and abilities like Kafizzle, Sap, Sag, Magic Frailty and Magic Barrier (which increases resistance against magic for the entire party). On the other, it's got awful ones like Frizz, Zam and Whack, and the tier 2 versions of these don't feature at all. Overall it's a decent disabling Skill that's unfortunately dragged down by the presence of lacklustre attacking abilities.

Confusion Ward is another Ward Skill, with its primary draw being two instances of Confusion Guard. For stat boosts, there's Maximum HP +30 and Defence + 10, and instead of Magic Scrooge it teaches Able Ambusher. This passive ability increases the chance of getting a preemptive strike. Unfortunately, because of the absence of Magic Scrooge, Confusion Ward isn't quite as useful as some of the other Ward Skills. It could still be helpful for patching up weaknesses, though.

Restless Armour

Restless Armours have the Skills Anti-Dragon and Attack Boost when scouted and just Anti-Dragon when synthesised. They have the Trait Psycho and are immune to instant death.

Anti-Dragon is a bit of a strange thing to call this Skill, since it's actually closer to Anti-Breath. The only ability here that's specifically for taking down Dragon monsters is Dragon Slash, which obviously does extra damage to them. As for the other abilities, there's Insulate and Insulatle for lowering damage from breath attacks, Gobstopper, Breathtaking Bash and Brake Wind for attempting to stop them entirely, and Blowback for countering them. On top of that there's Fire Breath Guard and Ice Breath Guard as passive abilities. Overall Anti-Dragon is pretty good for countering breath users in general, not just dragons, but since most of its abilities essentially do the same thing it lacks versatility. It's still useful, though.

Extra 2: Synthesis Recipes

Great Sabrecub + Great Sabrecub + Great Sabrecub + Great Sabrecub = Great Sabrecat (Rank C, scoutable, not available through generic synthesis)

By the time it's feasible to get four Great Sabrecubs, Great Sabrecats are available to scout. Just do that instead and save yourself the hassle.

Lesser Demon + Beast Family = Gargoyle (Rank C, scoutable, not available through generic synthesis)

Gargoyles will become scoutable relatively soon, but this isn't a difficult recipe by any means. It might be worth it anyway, although they're not all that higher in the rankings than Lesser Demons.

Restless Armour + Demonrider = Grim Rider (Rank B, not scoutable, not available through generic synthesis)

Grim Riders are pretty important monsters to get a copy or two of, since they're part of a couple of synthesis chains to get the top monsters. This recipe is a near necessity if you want the best monsters.