Part 21: The Beginning of the EndLast time, Euchre participated in the Monster Scout Challenge finals, winning every bout and possibly getting his final opponent, Solitaire, disqualified.
Music: Scout Battle
This time, we'll be seeing the results of that.
Woah, check it out! The Commissioner has entered the arena.
What we have here is a case of a scout attacking an opponent's monster. According to section 84 of the MSO Challenge Rulebook...
...and subject to immediate disqualification. Euchre wins by default. I'm sure many of you are unhappy about this, but rules are rules, I'm afraid.
In any case, we have a champion! Euchre wins the seventh Monster Scout Challenge!
Music: Colosseum (IV)
Stick around fans - the award ceremony is coming up!
It looks like everything's coming together for a happy ending. Euchre's achieved his stated goal, Wildcard can stop the Great Catastrophe with the Scout's Mark, and he crowd and the MSO seem to be very happy because of the successful tournament.
It was a rather...unusual final, but you are undoubtedly the champion. And you certainly have a monster that any champion would - ahaha - kill for.
I did not see it before, but there is great power within you...
Hm? Oh, nothing! Never mind me...
Ahem. Sorry to interrupt, Commissioner, but the crowd is waiting...
W-Well, to business. Now, where is that prize...? Oh, fiddlesticks. I appear to have left the Scout's Mark in my office.
Yeah, what about it? Snap can't very well appear to give the winner nothing. Snap seems to be fairly absent-minded when it comes to things like this, too, so someone should really have checked beforehand.
Ha ha ha...ha. Er, yes. I'll have to give you your prize later, young man. Please come to my office.
Well, I guess that's it. The seventh Monster Scout Challenge is over! And what a GREAT way to end it all, fight fans!? See you all at the next challenge!
Er, no. That was not by any stretch of the imagination a great way to end things, since this could either refer to that fiasco of a reward ceremony or the final bout with Solitaire which ended without a monster battle. Either way, that's not exactly what the crowd would be looking for is a good tournament.
Music: Contest Castle
The award ceremony will take place in the Commissioner's office. He's waiting for you there now.
The player doesn't even get a choice here. Euchre is just brought to Dr Snap's office. I sort of understand why, but it's still a little jarring.
Isn't that right, Euchre?
Of course, I don't mind one bit. In fact, that was always my intention. Now, come to me, my noble monster.
Er, Snap? You're being a bit creepy there. Maybe you should tone it down a bit.
Anyway, Wildcard walks up to the treasure chest...
...and opens it up with his nose.
That's the Scout's Mark? It's not exactly what I imagined.
But I too have long waited for this moment. My monster friend...or should I say, INCARNUS!
Music: Ace Of Spades
A dark mist emanates from the sphere, engulfing Wildcard. Given what we know about darkonium, this probably isn't a good thing.
The scouts collected vast quantities of darkonium... ...Enough darkonium for me to construct this sphere. Can you resist its power, I wonder? We shall soon see...
Well, Wildcard's black and red now - this new form is known as the Ace of Spades. Is he still friendly, despite his new colour scheme?
Apparently not. It looks like Euchre might have just lost his greatest ally.
GIVE ME THE MARK, HUMAN.
For some reason the Scout's Mark changes colour when Wildcard uses it now.
It can slide back into his head, too, despite not being the real Mark. This would all be very impressive if it wasn't being used for evil.
But of course! I have been blind... Those thieves DID take the Mark! And they replaced it with this fake!
I SENSE THE MARK. IT IS FAR FROM HERE.
WHAT IS THE MARK TO YOU, HUMAN? WHAT DO YOU WANT?
With your body and soul steeped in dark matter, you must surely know what I want. I am the one who will help you complete your mission.
GOOD. COME WITH ME.
As Wildcard and Dr Snap try to leave...
...Euchre finally remembers that he's there and gets in the way of the two.
Of course, Wildcard isn't having any of that.
He hits Euchre, who goes flying into a wall...
...and collapses on the ground, unconscious.
C'mon, get up already. Time to move your lazy butt!
I came to the Commissioner's office to check out the Scout's Mark... ...but all I find is you crashed out on the Commissioner's floor. The Mark was supposed to be mine. AND that pet monster of yours - where are they?
Somehow Solitaire is useful for once. For once, her goals and those of Euchre align - namely, finding Wildcard.
Music: Contest Castle
In any case, it's at this point where we finally get back control of Euchre. That hasn't happened since starting the finals, so it's nice to finally be able to again. The first order of business is to talk to Solitaire.
... Hmph! Are you sulking AGAIN? You only won the stupid championship because I let you, you know.
To be fair, Solitaire's team would probably wreck what Euchre has right now, assuming she doesn't update her team between now and when Euchre will actually be able to fight her.
I'm afraid I find it rather difficult to resist a lady of such charms. Oh dear, I'm not much of a receptionist, am I?
Next up, trying to find out where Dr Snap went. His receptionist is fairly useless, and I can only assume that Solitaire's "charms" consist solely of her money and influence.
It looked a lot like the one you had before. Did you give it to him? Actually, it was a different colour, now that I think about it.
Unsurprisingly, Snap has already left the building. Euchre will have to continue his search in town.
Before that, though, I remember to add a monster to Euchre's third team slot. Vamp is a good candidate, since he's been in the substitutes for a while now and fills a niche that's missing from Team Euchre at the moment.
Music: Appearance of the Town
(shrug) Nope. Not as far as I can recall. Assuming I didn't miss him, he must have gone north, so try that part of the island. And if you still can't find him, the chances are he left by the north jetty.
One of the most obvious places to check is the jetty leading to Xeroph Isle and Infern Isle, but it seems as though Snap didn't pass this way. Since Euchre went through the main part of town to get here, it only makes sense to check the sewer next.
Music: CELL Headquarters
It an' the MSO were rivals back in the day. The two groups 'ad completely diff'rent goals, see.
Although nobody down there has seen Snap, there are still some things worth doing down here. The person who told Euchre about Warden Trump's past experience a while back has a new bit of information about an organisation that is presumably CELL. In what way were they and the MSO opposed, though?
'Ere, 'ave this on the 'ouse. Don't tell the other customers though.
Euchre receives a phial of Yggdrasil dew.
Ooh, nice. As far as I know that's the only thing that anyone will give to Euchre right now, but it's a very good item considering its source.
Music: Appearance of the Town
He was bound for Infant Isle. I wonder what he wants there?
Well, now we know where Dr Snap went, at least to start with.
So there's very little reason not to follow him. Infant Isle is pretty much unchanged from before, so I'll only be going over what changed since Euchre's last visit.
First up, the monster synthesis counter has a new service available. I think it's been available since Euchre entered the finals, but I completely forgot to check at the time. Oops.
Not only do we synthesise monsters for you... ...but we also provide you with expert synthesis advice.
...existing recruits and then offer some friendly advice on which to go for. The best way to learn is to do it yourself! Would you like to have a go?
The new option is listed under the synthesis menu under "synthesis picks". I don't recommend using it, though. Why?
Because if you're this late in the game you've probably got a handle on the synthesis system. Sometimes the game decides that it just wants to use up difficult-to-get monsters, like Captain Crow here. The bottom option in this case even gives up Red Fang, which is absolutely not okay. I have a very special plan for him.
Anyway, since Euchre's here, why not do some synthesis? As it turns out, Wailin' Weeds are currently the best monster to get something up to the highest ID generic monster of their family. They're readily available, too, which makes them better than Captain Crow in this regard.
This combination just so happens to result in a Demon-At-Arms, since it's the monster at the top of the Demon family's generic synthesis line.
I don't really care what Skills go on it, but it might as well get the new one and Attack Boost. Having Skills in common with an intended synthesis partner is really helpful for making the most of available skill points.
Next up, a Bodkin Archer and a Gryphon are being synthesised together. This one really doesn't matter much, to be fair, but I needed something to eventually pass Fortifier on to Vamp. Both him and the Bodkin Archer who has the Skill are positive and can't be synthesised together.
I was lucky enough that the resulting Octavian Sentry was neutral. If it was positive again, I'd probably have reset.
Fortifier is the only important Skill here, since this monster is just a vehicle to get it onto something else. That's all the synthesis Euchre's going to be doing for now.
The only thing that's changed on Infant Isle, meanwhile, is in Scoutmaster Shuffles' tent.
I think it's time I cashed in my chips. I'm quitting this racket.
Since a Diemon is decently hard to obtain, you can bet that Euchre is taking this one. If you'll recall, it's the result of grandparent synthesis using four Winkies.
Cool. I'll send it to your monster storage. Look after the big blue beastie, okay?
It's impossible to see outside of battle animations, but Diemons actually have multiple eyes under their masks that they can open or close to simulate spots on a die. Hence the name.
With that over with, it's time for Euchre to find Dr Snap. Where could he have gone?
Well, since he's nowhere else on Infant Isle, he must have taken the only other jetty. There's someone in the scoutpost that says this but, er, I forgot to screenshot them. Oh well.
Even though Euchre's chasing after Snap and Wildcard, there's still time for distractions. This is the last time that uncharted islands will be at all noteworthy.
This one is a Slime island. It contains only Slimes, She-Slimes, and the only monster on uncharted islands that we haven't seen yet.
Speaking of which, that monster is right here at the far end of the island.
Music: Monster Battle
Like Great Drackies were to Drackies, Behemoth Slimes are essentially Slimes but larger. There's a little more effort put into their design, though, since the face is all out of proportion with the rest of the body.
They're probably meant to be encountered a lot earlier, since they're still using a tier 1 spell. As with all uncharted islands, it's a little difficult to say when the monsters here are supposed to be fought, since it's random when they show up.
Without Wildcard's contribution, scouting is a lot harder. Oomph and a second Psycho user are both incredibly useful tools, and not having them cripples Team Euchre's scouting effectiveness.
Now that the uncharted islands are finally done with, Euchre can get back to the task at hand. There's only one person nearby upon landing on Celeste Isle, so they must have seen where Dr Snap went.
He came from Infant Isle, but then set off immediately for Fert Isle. I kept my distance though. He had this vicious-looking black monster with him.
It looks like Euchre's finally cornered Snap, since there's only one jetty on Fert Isle.
Snap won't catch himself, though, so Euchre's still going to chase after him. to Fert Isle! More specifically, to the scoutpost!
He seemed to be injured. I wonder what he's been up to...
Last time Euchre heard about a man in black, it turned out to be Black Jacques. Maybe he's here now, too.
Sure enough, he's in the Scouts' Den in the back.
All ze monsters we 'ad collected escaped from zeir cages, and now zey run wild! It was getting a leetle to 'airy for me, so I says to myself: "Jacques, it is time for an 'oliday!" (wink) A good thing your old friend Jacques knew about ze secret jetty, eh?
Hmmm. I suppose zere is no 'arm in telling you now. Leave zis scoutpost, go left, and follow ze shoreline around ze island. Zere you will find it - ze secret jetty! Go if you want. But if it were me, I'd stay far away from zat place...
So apparently there's not just one jetty on Fert Isle, but two. By the sounds of things, Dr Snap probably went to CELL HQ and made the monsters there go berserk. Euchre's going to have to chase after him yet again and save everyone on the island.
Remember that gate that blocked off a side path last time Euchre was here? Well, it's not there any more, and there's a Great Argon Lizard beyond it. Incidentally, Euchre's currently got Vanish turned on. That's why his model is see-through.
Since Euchre's already got one of those, there's basically no point to fighting this one. Instead he passes it to reach a jetty.
And, conveniently enough, this one leads to CELL HQ. Next time, Euchre will be heading over to his former home in an attempt to save everyone from Dr Snap.
Extra: The Monster Library
Behemoth Slimes have the Skills Woosh & Zap and Agility Boost when scouted and cannot be synthesised without a Phoenix Scepter (and if this happens they only get Woosh & Zap). They have the Traits Psycho and Desperado, and are immune to Whack.
Woosh & Zap is yet another two-element Skill, and this one comes with both single- and multi-target options. I think Woosh has a bit of a caveat where the damage variance is larger than usual, but otherwise it's fairly standard.
Diemons have the Skills Wind Blower and Defence Boost when received on Infant Isle, and just Wind Blower when synthesised. They have the trait Wooshmeister and are immune to Confusion.
Wind Blower was first found on Phantom Fencers back in Part 16.
Octavian Sentries have the Skill Thunderwind Slashes and cannot be scouted. They have no Traits, are healed by Water and are immune to Sag.
Thunderwind Slashes does exactly as the name suggests: it teaches Zap- and Woosh-elemental slashes: Gust Slash, Lightning Slash, Gale Slash and Thunderbolt Slash. It also teaches Zam-elemental slashes (Shade Slash and Shadow Slash) and Mercurial Thrust on top of these. It's a good Skill for physical attackers to have, since it gives damage boosts (30% for each tier 2 slash, I think) for very little MP cost and no danger to the user, and Mercurial Thrust is a decent bonus in terms of utility. It's not the best Skill for this purpose, but the Skill that is better for elemental slashes is more than a little difficult to obtain.
Demons-At-Arms have the Skill Crack & Zam II when synthesised and cannot be scouted. They have the Trait Double Trouble, allowing them to act twice in a turn if they are not given orders, and are immune to Whack and weak to Sag.
Crack & Zam was first found on Skelegons back in Part 11, and it unlocks Crack & Zam II when 50 skill points are invested in it.
Extra 2: Synthesis Recipes
Behemoth Slime + She-Slime = Beshemoth Slime (Rank D, not scoutable, not available through generic synthesis)
This is one of two recipes involving Behemoth Slimes, and I think it's the better one. Beshemoth Slimes have only one use in a recipe, but it's to make a monster that is itself a component to make the final boss. Besides, this is the only way to get a Beshemoth Slime.
Behemoth Slime + Behemoth Slime = King Slime (Rank C, scoutable, not available through generic synthesis)
This recipe isn't quite as good. Even though King Slimes are used in more recipes than Beshemoth Slimes, they're considerably easier to get - with the diminishing returns in scout rate inherent in scouting multiple copies of a given monster, getting two Behemoth Slimes is more difficult than you might think - remember, they can't be synthesised. Not only that, but King Slimes aren't exactly hard to get any more. The wild one on Infant Isle is probably easily scouted at this point.
Buffalogre + Diemon = Boss Troll (Rank B, scoutable once, not available through generic synthesis)
This is one of the options for getting a Boss Troll, but it's honestly not as good as the alternatives. This is especially true since using the Monster Matchmaker allows you to get a Boss Troll using just a Buffalogre. Give this one a miss. Oh, and although it's possible to get a Boss Troll from Gigantes + Diemon, since Diemons aren't Rank A, they don't fit the requirements for said Monster Matchmaker synthesis.
There's one more synthesis recipe that's available at the moment, but I'm going to save it for when we actually do it. The result is something special.