Part 22: To CELL And BackLast time, Euchre won the Monster Scout Challenge, but was tricked by Dr Snap who turned Wildcard into the Ace of Spades. Euchre followed them to Fert Isle in an attempt to stop their nefarious plans to cause the Great Catastrophe.
This time, he'll be going to CELL headquarters, just off the coast of Fert Isle, so as to corner the two.
Euchre will be taking a jetski to get there, as usual. This time there's no map on the bottom screen that shows Euchre's route, because CELL HQ technically counts as part of Fert Isle.
Music: Seeking Treasure
When Euchre lands on the island, nobody is there to greet him. Unsurprising, really, what with everyone probably being concerned with the rampaging monsters.
This is a different jetty to the one that Euchre originally left on, and the only object of interest nearby is this lift.
Unfortunately, the main part of headquarters is just a little bit wrecked. Let's see what that guy lying over there has to say about this situation.
I'm sure it'll be just fine. This is nothing a little spring cleaning won't fix, right?
Anyway, true to what was said, monsters are roaming the halls of CELL headquarters. Euchre's seen all but one of them before fairly recently, so there's very little point to looking at them again. They've basically just got a stat boost compared to how they were before.
As well as Dingalings, there are also Jargons. This one is guarding a treasure chest, and must be battled to loot it.
Music: Monster Battle
Hacksauruses are also wandering around, and this Jargon just so happened to have one in its party.
While we're in battle, why not show off Vamp's new spell? He's put enough skill points into Frizz & Bang II to learn Kafrizz, which is basically the same as it was on Metal King Slimes a couple of updates ago.
It does around 150 damage to a single target. It's the party's best consistent damage option right now, along with Li'l Green's Kazap, because nobody has Oomph at the moment.
Music: Seeking Treasure
Anyway, the treasure that the Jargon was guarding was this axe. It's pretty good in terms of attack power, but no members of Team Euchre can equip axes.
Moving on, there's a set of stairs on one of the sides of this room, as well as another person on the ground.
Well you see, there's this thing called a darkonium sphere and it makes monsters go berserk and this probably isn't very helpful while you're bleeding out on the ground, is it?
The stairs are the more important of the two right now, though. As it turns out these are the exact same stairs that Euchre wasn't allowed to go down right at the beginning of the game. We've almost come full circle!
The room at the top of the stairs contains something a little different. It's the only new monster in CELL HQ.
Music: Monster Battle
Metal Dragons are fairly simple. They're probably some of the more durable monsters around, and that's not just because of their high Defence.
Part of it is that Dazzleflash makes it very difficult to hit them with physical attacks. Magic or breath attacks are the way to go to deal with these guys.
Unfortunately, in order to scout this one, Team Euchre has to rely on physical attacks. With no Oomph and only one physical-oriented party member, this is going to be a problem.
Music: Seeking Treasure
It takes a while, but eventually one joins up. Note this particular specimen's level: 25 is about the same level as Team Euchre, with the exception of Vamp who is at level 19, and it's also the level of the monsters that can be found on uncharted islands. This is probably around the point where Euchre is supposed to fight the monsters there based purely on that.
The room that the Metal Dragon was guarding is empty, just like it was when Euchre was here last. From here on there are no chests or anything, since Euchre's already been through. Then again, there wasn't any treasure around the first time either.
Leaving the room gives us a glimpse of a Hacksaurus wandering around the place. I like how all the monsters that Euchre saw here at the start of the game are also here now, near the end.
Ignoring the axe-wielding dragon, Euchre moves on towards the other lift in the building. Once again, there's someone nearby.
Apparently Warden Trump is in danger, which is no surprise. CELL seem woefully ill-equipped to deal with anything like this based on the condition of the building.
Of course Euchre will be ignoring this plea for now and going down to the jetty he originally set off from.
Look around! We're in a lotta trouble here! You wanna know what's going on? Ask somebody else! It all went down to fast for me!
Remember this guy? He gave Euchre Ducktor Cid way back at the beginning of his adventure. Sadly he's got nothing for Euchre this time, but that's just the way things go.
Still, at least we're safe. I hope the same can be said for the Warden... His guards are with him, so I don't think we have to worry, but...
It's a little surprising that there are cells here in the first place. The only person we've seen in there is Euchre (and Joker, of course), and people seem perfectly content to hang around in them as opposed to nearer the jetty down here.
He had a really weird laugh and a big, grey doggy!
Yep, that's Snap all right. It's good to know that this is all definitely his fault.
Anyway, that's all there is down here. There's a surprisingly low number of people down here considering this is one of the last places without any monsters. Maybe it's because there just aren't many people who can make it there...
Moving on, the door ahead leads outside.
It's pretty much what it was at the start of the game, but now without people and with encounters. Exciting! It's also notable that Zoom doesn't work out here, so there's no escaping the island without taking the jetty Euchre came in on.
That's all there is in CELL HQ other than Warden Trump's office, so there's only one logical thing to do.
That is, of course, going in.
Looks like Euchre was just in time, too!
The Belial appears to be surprised by this.
It's not surprised for long, though, since it immediately attacks Euchre!
Music: Boss Battle
So, the Belial. It's got Double Trouble, so it attacks twice per turn. Expect to see that a lot.
The only ability I've seen it use is Buff, and not even that often. This one was on the last turn before it got beaten. You should know how to deal with that by now: debuffs, magic or breath attacks. Thankfully Team Euchre has two out of those three.
I could have sworn it had more than just that, but I'm not complaining. Fewer offensive options means an easier time. As it is, two attacks at this much damage is fairly dangerous. It'll do even more damage to Vamp, too, due to his all-around lower stats.
That's why he's the first to get Buff cast on him. It's best to prioritise the most likely to die in this situation, just in case they get targeted twice, but everyone else is also getting a Buff after this.
And, of course, Weakening Wallop exists to nerf damage output into the ground. This one's in the bag now.
As I said earlier, the best damage options right now come from Team Euchre's spells. That's disregarding Red Horn's Psych Up, of course, but he's kind of busy debuffing Belial.
With two mages constantly spamming their best spells, as well as Red Horn's debuffing contributions...
...Belial falls unceremoniously.
It drops an Yggdrasil Dew, which is pretty valuable. It'll probably never get used, though, because I hoard items way too much.
Music: Seeking Treasure
Now that the Belial has been taken down, Warden Trump is safe - at least for now. Euchre, of course, rushes to his downed father.
I'm not...much of a...father, am I? Not like this...
We had sent cadets in before, but the MSO's security was just too tight. So we used you to lure Snap away from his office.
Really? The security was a joke! How else did CELL's mole get in?
But then Snap appeared, accompanied by a vicious, black beast! What!? That was the Incarnus? Yes, of course. That would have been his plan...
That is when things got...out of hand. He is using dark matter to control the Incarnus and achieve his goals...
I heard about your victory...in the challenge. You are the...only one who can... (cough)
I created the orb based on the research stolen from Snap. The fool. He was so fixated upon the Mark that he walked right past it. Heh heh...
For all his intelligence, Dr Snap is remarkably stupid sometimes. Between this and when the Scout's Mark was taken, that's twice he's been fooled by CELL now.
Use it...to end that evil beast's...
Monsters are...foul creatures. We cannot live alongside them. I never told you, but it was a monster that...took your mother from us... Always remember! They are our...
I can't help but think this falls a bit flat. Euchre has been using monsters all game, and they've done nothing but be helpful. Hell, Wildcard was positively friendly towards Euchre before Dr Snap got to him. Then again, this does provide ample motivation for Trump to take such efforts to prevent Euchre from becoming a monster scout.
He has told you the truth. Now let him rest.
Music: Seeking Treasure
With that, Euchre's left to his own devices once again. Checking on his father's condition is still top priority.
Unfortunately he's unconscious right now and isn't likely to come to his senses any time soon. So what should Euchre do now?
Why, check the bookcases of course! Since CELL stole Snap's research notes, all the important ones are in the bookcases around this room.
The archipelago is home to a singularity which opens a portal to the dark world once every 300 years. When the portal opens the darkness beyond begins to affect our world causing its form to change.
...the dark world's invading multitudes. Though we dismiss it as a barren wilderness the scene of this event is none other than Infern Isle.
Well, that's not much of a surprise. This would mean that Snap and Wildcard will most likely be heading to Infern Isle next, so that they can open the door to the dark world. After all, there was that one door there that nobody could open.
There are actually multiple bookcases around the room with research notes in them. It's worth it to take a look at all of them.
But I have recently come to believe that it is dark matter which is responsible for generating monsters. It appears that dark matter can mould the substance of our world into something wholly different.
Essentially, monster biology is so different to that of humans because they've been warped by dark matter. Good to know.
...as an obstacle to my ambition. I could not have been more wrong. Far from blocking my path, the Incarnus holds the key! For the Incarnus is responsible for maintaining the balance of dark matter.
Snap had obviously been planning the corruption of Wildcard for some time. Thank goodness he didn't recognise him as the Incarnus back on Xeroph Isle, otherwise all of this would have happened much sooner and Euchre would be powerless to stop it.
However, I believe I have found a solution. Those stained in dark matter will draw more of the substance into themselves. So I shall stain the Incarnus. The darkonium crystals I gather through the challenge should accomplish this perfectly.
Snap's final set of notes reiterate what he said after the finals: he planned to pump Wildcard full of dark matter to bring him in line with his way of thinking.
And with that, Euchre's finished with CELL HQ. None of the monsters are cleaned out yet, but the worst is over with.
Next time, Euchre will be leaving CELL HQ and tailing Snap once again all the way to Infern Isle.
Extra: The Monster Library
Metal Dragons have the Skills Assassin and Attack Boost when scouted, and just Assassin when synthesised. They have no Traits and are immune to Whack.
Assassin is a Skill that specialises in inflicting status ailments with its attacks. Sleep Sock, Paralysing Punch, Baffling Bonk and, of course, Assassin's Stab all feature. On top of this there's some utility, such as Mercurial Thrust, Dazzleflash and Multislash, which are mostly useful abilities to have. Finally there's Whack Guard, which is always a nice resistance to have. You don't want your monsters to be instantly killed, after all! Overall, I think this is a very strong Skill for physical-oriented disablers to have, especially because of the added utility afforded by the non-diabling abilities. Recommended.