Part 14: Make It SnappyLast update, Euchre went to the the twin temples of Celeste Isle, only to find his way blocked. This time, he'll be going back to Domus Isle in order to attempt to battle Commissioner Snap.
Before that, though, it's time to get suitably prepared. This combination of monsters results in a familiar face...
...a Golem! Remember when one of these was a boss fight? Well, Euchre has one now, and it's the first Rank A monster he's obtained. This'll be going towards the Monster Scout Proficiency Test soon enough, but for now Commissioner Snap is much more important.
It's getting Darklight Slashes from the Metal Slime Knight, but no points will be put in for the foreseeable future. Diminisher is just too important.
After grinding Brickman up to a respectable level, it's time to check the challenge leaderboards. Lo and behold, they've changed! Rummy is still up there at the top, but Euchre's risen a couple of places on account of his eight pieces of darkonium.
There's also a notice about Commissioner Snap that's unique to the Domus Isle scoutpost's noticeboard. Wasn't everyone barred from entering last time Euchre checked?
Music: Appearance of the Town
Breaking news! Scouts flock to Domus Isle to meet Commissioner Snap! First opportunity in years to shake hands with the Great One himself!
As it turns out this isn't a routine thing. It's strange that this happened just as Euchre was instructed to challenge Snap, though.
The snooty guy she replaced wouldn't let ANYONE see Snap, so she's definitely an improvement.
Presumably this new receptionist is the one behind the new initiative. With timing this convenient, though, I have a sneaking suspicion that she was planted by CELL.
I mean, he was the first ever challenge winner, the top scout in Green Bays!
We've heard about Snap's previous victory before, but the first ever challenge? That's new.
Music: Contest Castle
But when he laughs, he doesn't laugh with his eyes, if you know what I mean. It's not surprising. If great men weren't different, they wouldn't be great.
That doesn't seem right. Surely even great men should do that much. Maybe there's something wrong with him?
He was in front of the Commissioner's office going "ahem" this and "don't you know" that.
That guy was called Suit, right? Or, rather, he was in one cutscene and then lost it for some reason. In any case, his mysterious disappearance is sure to be tied into whatever CELL's plan is.
Sure enough, as everyone's been saying, he's been replaced with a female member of MSO staff. How about talking to her, then?
Excuse me!? A battle with the Commissioner? Hmm, I don't know about that. He's a very busy man, you know. He barely has time to see anyone, let alone battle random scouts!
Wait, wasn't it supposed to be easy to see Commissioner Snap now? What happened to that?
Oh. She's trying to be funny, unsuccessfully.
Hm? This is too easy. Why is she helping us...?
What a clever monster! It must have taken you AGES to teach it to do that! Anyway, let's go and see the Commissioner, shall we?
And so, unsurprisingly, Euchre goes in to see the Commissioner.
Oh, do I have guests? Now, who could it be?
Why would Snap be even slightly surprised by this? Hasn't he been beset by requests to battle all day?
Ah...I see you have a most unusual companion. Hm... Haven't I seen you before? Oh, of course! I treated your monster in the scoutpost on Xeroph Isle.
Well, that settles it. You HAVE to let him challenge you now, sir.
I'm in the middle of some rather important research, you see-
OF COURSE you are, sir! But didn't you say that you were a bit stuck?
Now this is just silly in how unsubtle it is. This is far too forceful for there to be no ulterior motive.
And what better way to refresh yourself than a battle at the arena?
And here that motive is - Snap needs to be out of his office so that his new assistant can do something-or-other. Frankly I'm staggered that he doesn't call her out on anything.
Besides, look at the strange monster he has. Aren't you even a little bit curious?
Very well. I shall go to the battle arena. Come on, young man. You shall have your battle!
And so Euchre and Commissioner Snap go off to Xeroph Isle, and nothing interesting happens along the way.
Despite being one of the most important people in Green Bays, he doesn't bring along any escorts. Perhaps his monsters fill that role.
Office has its privileges. The arena managers were kind enough to lend us their facilities. You're taking part in the challenge, aren't you? Well, how about this...
Four battles in a row. If you lose, it's the end of the match. In the finals, you would fight four different opponents, but today you fight only me.
Righty-ho, then. Let's see how you do against these fellows!
Music: Boss Battle
The format of this bout reveals itself: four fights against Commissioner Snap, with no healing in between as well as no item use. Since Euchre was only asked to challenge Snap, not win, losing at any point in these battles will continue the plot with no repercussions. That would be boring, though, so Euchre's going to win this thing.
This first fight has two monsters that we've seen before and a single new one - the Scissor Beatle. All of these guys are pretty terrible, being below the challenge level of random encounters on Celeste Isle. They don't get a chance to show off their moves before they get taken out. Interestingly enough, all monsters fought in this set of battles have randomly generated names - save before the fights, start the first one, reset and repeat and you'll find that the names change each time.
Beating any of Snap's teams doesn't even give out any experience points or money, so that makes the only reason for winning this set of battles the satisfaction of taking out Commissioner Snap.
Righty-ho. I think I've warmed up now. It's been quite a while, you know. But you might find this one a trifle more challenging. Tally-ho!
Music: Boss Battle
This one's pretty simple, too. The main threat is the Treeface in the middle, since it's incredibly bulky compared to anything else here. Just remember that the Lump Wizard is immune to all offensive magic.
To supplement the Treeface's bulk it recovers some of its HP every turn, just to be extra obnoxious. In the face of Euchre's team, though, it crumbles within a couple of turns.
Now then, young Euchre. Let's see how you do against these fellows.
Music: Boss Battle
This time there are two monsters that we haven't seen yet. The one in the middle is a Mechan-O'-Wyrm, and the one on the right is a Beetlebully. Both are highly-ranked monsters that are pretty rare, all things told. Also, this where the fights start to get difficult.
The first thing that needs to be watched out for is Kasap from the Restless Armour. Since this particular party uses exclusively physical attacks, anyone hit by that won't be surviving very long.
Compounding the aggravation is the Mechan-O'-Wyrm's War Cry, which can buy the rest of its team turns to beat Euchre's monsters into submission.
The Beetlebully has a healing spell, I think, but it didn't get a chance to use it before it got flattened by the sheer might of Wildcard and Brickman. You might think that Euchre's team is far to strong for this, but you'd be wrong. Very, very wrong.
It's time for the fourth and final battle. Were this the real final, a victory now would give you the championship.
Music: Boss Battle
This, ladies and gentlemen, is the hardest fight in the game. The jump in competence from the previous round of this endurance battle is huge, and these monsters are far more powerful than Euchre's in terms of pure stats - the Living Statue on the left, the Gigantes in the centre and the Black Dragon on the right can deal more damage than any previous boss has managed individually. The only advantage that Euchre has for this fight is that Commissioner Snap's team is controlled by the AI, making them act randomly, while he can control his monsters manually.
So of course the first thing that I make Euchre's monsters do is fight without giving them orders, thereby leaving them to the whims of the AI.
Thankfully Wildcard leads with the ability I want him to be spamming in this fight, Lightning. Lightning is the second-tier form of Spark, the Wulfspade-exclusive ability, and it's very powerful right now.
This damage can't be resisted except by a Wulfspade, and it's high enough to wipe out a fair few random encounters right now. It barely scratches these guys, but it's the best that Euchre's got.
Brickman just attacks, which is a grave error and the reason why leaving him to his own devices is a bad idea. Basically anything else would have been more helpful.
Meanwhile Li'l Green casts Midheal in order to fix some of the damage from round three. Remember, there's no healing between battles.
Team Dr Snap starts out with a Bemusing Breath from the Black Dragon which thankfully misses everyone. Confusion would have been incredibly debilitating in this fight and would probably have given Snap the win if it had hit anyone.
The Living Statue does pretty bad damage for this team, all things considered, and doesn't have any utility either. It's definitely the weak link here, though it's still pretty nasty.
The Gigantes, meanwhile, is more of a threat. Again, it doesn't have utility, but does it really need any with that much damage?
Starting the second turn, the Living Statue defends, which is probably the best thing it could have done. That's fifty less damage to worry about.
Unfortunately when Wildcard uses Lightning again the Living Statue takes half normal damage because of its previous action. Still, it's not much of a problem.
Since I'm actually giving out orders on this turn, Brickman uses Weakening Wallop on the Gigantes in order to attempt to make it a non-threat.
It works, so the Gigantes is effectively locked down for a few turns.
Li'l Green heals off the damage from the previous turn...
Only to get even more HP taken off from the Black Dragon's attack. That thing is absolutely the highest priority target in this fight, with both very damaging physical attacks and very debilitating ailments at its disposal.
The Gigantes is now safely out of the way, though, comparatively speaking. It's safe to ignore it until the attack debuff wears off.
Moving on to the third turn Lightning does ridiculous damage once again. It would be incredibly difficult to take Snap's team down without a source of damage as good as this.
Gigantes finally goes down from this, making it only very slightly less of a concern in this fight than it was after Weakening Wallop.
Speaking of that ability, it gets used on the Black Dragon this turn. After that 89 damage last turn it needs to be neutralised, and fast.
The RNG is merciful and grants an attack decrease. The Black Dragon isn't entirely useless, yet, though.
After yet another Midheal from Li'l Green...
...it shows why it's not to be trifled with by launching a Burning Breath.
The RNG giveth, and the RNG taketh away. We haven't seen paralysis before, so here's a quick reminder - paralysed monsters can't take any actions until it wears off. Wildcard can still pull this off, though, right?
Er, no. The Living Statue gets a critical hit at the worst possible time...
And it takes out Wildcard. There was no way to survive that.
So now everyone's paralysed or dead and there are still two monsters left to take out. This is a horrible situation.
It gets even worse when Team Dr Snap decides to start exclusively attacking Li'l Green in an attempt to deprive Team Euchre of their healer when the paralysis inevitably wears off.
It's at this point that the Black Dragon decides that it's going to throw Envenomate around.
Thankfully it only hits Brickman, but that won't matter for long.
Brickman loses 1/8 of his maximum HP when he takes his turn, which happens to be right after Venom Breath comes out. He's still paralysed, by the way.
Immediately after that, the Living Statue decides that now would be a good time to attack Li'l Green...
And because of the lack of healing that's just enough to nudge him down to no HP. Now I'm on a turn limit, because Envenomate won't wear off on its and item use is prohibited so Brickman can't heal.
Thankfully the paralysis wears off, and Brickman is free to punch the Living Statue in the face.
It wasn't very sturdy, so it goes down. Not it's one-on-one.
A few turns pass with not much happening other than a simple trading of blows. I'm sure you already know how that goes given previous showings. Until finally...
...the Black Dragon goes down.
This left Brickman on 19 HP, only two more turns away from being defeated by the venom.
And that's how you take down a boss.
But the level of scouting these days is much higher than it was in my time. Beating me doesn't mean much. I was a champion, yes - but many years ago. Well then...
I'm not as young as I used to be... Let's have a little rest, shall we, before returning home?
Music: Ambiance of the Night
In fact, the rest is so long that it stretches well into the night.
It's all thanks to monsters that we can enjoy ourselves like this.
Their home is another dimension, a place we call the "dark world". Extraordinary thought, isn't it? What a place it must be. A paradise for monsters... Oh, how I would love to go there. If only it were possible.
It is time we returned to town. I have much work to do...
And so Euchre and Commissioner Snap returned to Domus Isle, again without incident.
Before they can reach MSO headquarters, though, they're stopped by one of Snap's subordinates.
Oh, never mind! The thing is, something terrible has happened! We've been robbed, sir! Robbed!
Well, it looks like CELL has made their move. I wonder what they stole?
Music: Scout Battle
I left my receptionist to guard it! What the blazes happened to her?
She seems to have, er, disappeared... A lot of us think she might have been involved.
Well, that's certainly put a spanner in the works. Presumably the "it" they're talking about is the Scout's Mark, but really it could be almost anything.
Returning to MSO headquarters, Euchre is left to his own devices. How about asking some of the employees what happened?
I'd hate to think it was one of my colleagues, but if it smells like a slime...
Somehow I don't think she was working alone. Just a hunch.
Did you see? She would smile at EVERYONE who came to the Commissioner's office.
Nothing is more valuable to Dr Snap than those notes.
He seemed more concerned with something singular, though, rather than his plural research notes. At least we know what was taken now.
They guessed that someone would be sure to lure him out of his office sooner or later. Giving them a perfect chance to raid it.
You might think there would be safeguards in place to prevent this sort of thing, but no, apparently Commissioner Snap's personal assistant can just walk out with all his research notes without anyone preventing it. Then again, the security here was already shown to be pretty lax when Wildcard broke in without anyone capturing him.
Had I only done my job, this tragedy would never have occurred. I became ill and took to bed with a slight fever. Oh, what a fool I am! A fool, I say!
Another huge security question is how exactly the CELL agent managed to get into the position of personal assistant to the Commissioner and enacted huge policy changes when the true holder of the position was off work for, at most, a couple of days.
Ah, Euchre. Did you come to check on me? Well, don't you worry, my boy. I'm quite all right, I assure you. All the bounders took were my research notes and a diary.
The important thing is that no one was hurt. Well, then. Let's put this unpleasant incident behind us, shall we? The Scout's Mark is still safe and sound.
I've taught you some of my finest tricks. It would be a shame not to see them put into practice in the finals!
Frankly Snap's tactics weren't anything special, other than having some of the better monsters with ludicrous stats. Then again, that's usually enough to get through anything the AI can throw at you.
I don't know who you are, but you must leave right away. From now on, this area is off-limits to everyone except authorised MSO staff. No one gets in to see the Commissioner - no one!
Music: Contest Castle
At least they're doing something sensible now and kicking out a potential security risk. Then again, this is really too little too late. There's nothing to do now but leave MSO headquarters entirely.
Music: Appearance of the Town
Our timing was...unfortunate. Why did your father order you to duel with the Commissioner? And did we complete the mission by fighting him at the arena? If so, were you not promised a reward?
"Mission accomplished. The gate to the bridge on Infant Isle has been opened as a reward."
Does this mean we are closer to reaching the finals?
The decision is yours.
With that, Euchre has his new objective: check out the gate on Infant Isle to see whether it leads to anything needed for his further progression. Next time, he's be doing that as well as completing a few loose ends.
Extra: The Monster Library
Golems have the Skill Materialist when synthesised and can't be scouted. They have the Trait Psycho, are immune to instant death, and are more likely than average to be sent to sleep.
Materialist was first found on Muddy Hands back in Part 6.
Incidentally, since Golem was a boss fight, the Sleep weakness is just as relevant there as it is here. The same goes for all monsters that double as boss fights.
Extra 2: Synthesis Recipes
No new recipes are available using any combination of Euchre's monsters.