The Let's Play Archive

Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker

by Epicmissingno

Part 25: Torturous Tartarus

Last time, Euchre did some clean-up around Green Bays, nearly finishing the Xeroph Isle arena and obtaining all the monsters he couldn't find the first time around. Except Metal Slimes.

This time, he'll be entering the final dungeon in the hopes of putting an end to Dr Snap's plans.

Music: Scoutpost

But first, some synthesis! Vlad II isn't exactly well suited to his role as team mage, so he's getting a much-needed upgrade.

I was considering switching him to the Undead line to make a Tortured Soul, but another Slime is fine too. Poppet is a King Bubble Slime, which seems to be well-suited to magical support.

Might as well keep on going with the same Skills.

Next up, Wildcard. He's getting synthesised with the Cockateer that Euchre scouted recently, resulting in higher stats and not much else.

His Skills will be juggled around a bit, though, dropping the non-Wulfspade Skills and adding on Attack Boost. Two non-passive Skills is more than enough.

And, finally, Li'l Green is being synthesised using the Phoenix Sceptre in order to improve his stats too.

Confusion Ward is pretty pointless, to be honest. It's basically just filler.

Music: Frozen World

Now that that's over with, Euchre heads up to the top of Infern Isle once again, ready to head into the place Wildcard was guarding.

Music: Heading Into Darkness

And this is it! Welcome to Tartarus.

Most of it is a single, narrow path, but there are some branches here and there to keep things interesting. Each area only seems to have one monster wandering around, too, although as far as I know they can all come along with Liquid Metal Slimes. This one has Skeleton Soldiers.

The brown chests here have some top-tier loot, so it could be worth going through the dungeon again for some of it.

Soon enough, Euchre comes to a split in the path. He'll be going left first.

This particular path leads, almost immediately, to a doorway.

Said doorway leads to the outside of Tartatus' spire.

It also leads to another brown chest, with another useful item... well as a way back in. Euchre will not be taking this opportunity, though, since that would skip an alternate path to get there.

Backtracking to the fork in the path and heading right instead leads Euchre to a way up the inside of Tartarus.

Moving past the area transition is a more organic, veiny-looking area. Wandering around is a new monster for Euchre to subjugate.

Music: Monster Battle

Fallen Priests are relatively nasty. As their name might imply, they're spellcasters.

They like Zammle, which isn't much of a surprise, but...

...they also get Kaswoosh. Remember, this is a third-tier spell, and it's surprising to see on a regular encounter. If all three decide to use it, it's going to hurt.

Music: Heading Into Darkness

They're probably one of the nastier regular encounters around here, but they're still not too bad if you've been keeping up with synthesis like Euchre has.

This area, meanwhile, has a bit of a raised platform in the centre. Unfortunately, the camera is kind of bad at showing it, and the path up there isn't particularly obvious.

Anyway, the platform is...completely empty. Yep.

Except, of course, for a cutscene.

Euchre is shocked at something, and turns around...

...only to see a Boss Troll coming towards him. That might be a problem.

Music: Scout Battle

And of course, it starts a fight. Note that the scout command is greyed out for this; it's impossible to obtain another of these guys from here.

As for its abilities, it attacks for fairly solid damage and that's about it. It's easily thwarted by, say, Fullheal, and this sort of damage isn't nearly enough to be much of a problem any more.

In fact, it goes down within a few turns.

Music: Heading Into Darkness

After the fight, another glance around the platform shows that there is, in fact, absolutely nothing of worth here. It's all a trap to force the encounter with the Boss Troll.

There's little reason to remain here, so Euchre sets off up to the next floor.

This place has Cockateers all over the place, and the same aesthetics as before.

Again, it's pretty much just a single path, but there's a detour leading to a doorway. Euchre won't be going this way, because he's already seen what's on the other side. This is, in fact, where the two split paths meet up.

There's this strange veiny column growing in the middle of this chamber, but...'s not the same all the way around.

Convenient that the only part adjacent to a walkway is the part that's different and can be climbed, isn't it?

Getting to the top results in another cutscene. I'm sure you see the pattern.

This time, though, it's a black dragon that attacks.

Music: Scout Battle

This fight is, again, entirely optional. Still, it gives decent experience, and there are some very nice rewards associated with it.

It has a similar Attack stat to the Boss Troll, but...'s also got Blast Slash to give it a damage boost when it decides to use it. It's still not enough to be much of a threat.

It doesn't stick around for long enough to be a problem or show off any other potential abilities, and it drops a particularly strong sword that does extra damage to Dragon family monsters.

Music: Heading Into Darkness

Unlike the empty arena for the Boss Troll, there are actually treasure chests up here. This is your standard super-strong hammer, but nobody on Team Euchre can equip those. It's a shame, really.

And, of course, there's a brown chest. It's a little strange that its contents are objectively worse than its predecessors, given what it takes to get to it. All of the miniboss encounters here respawn when Euchre leaves, by the way, so if he wants to get this chest again he'll have to beat another Black Dragon.

Anyway, back to the main path. Going back down the vine-like things reveals a doorway directly opposite.

Of course, it leads back outside.

Also of course, there's only one way back in besides the one Euchre left by.

The aesthetics of the area have changed once again, as they are wont to do here. As for the layout, it's pretty much just thin walkways yet again.

That doesn't stop encounters, though! These guys swoop down from above, and appear to also be frozen in the walls for whatever reason.

Music: Monster Battle

Their identities? Silvapitheci.

Their main trick is Kasap, which doesn't seem too accurate. They also barely use it, which is good for all involved. Except them, of course.

Music: Heading Into Darkness

Other than that, they have a weak physical attack that seems to be standard around here. They're not difficult to deal with in the slightest.

A brown chest directly along the path is always welcome, of course, but there isn't much left that this would be useful for. Most monsters from here on don't even use breath attacks.

This room also has a weird ball of faces that's constantly being pumped up from the floor to the ceiling. It's just kind of there.

Anyway, there's yet another split in the path up ahead. Euchre will be going through the doorway instead of turning left this time.

This one is strictly a detour for treasure. The Zombiesblight is a sword that does extra damage to Undead family monsters, as its name suggests. It's a really good idea to pick this one up, because that just so happens to be the final boss's monster family.

Back inside, the other way that Euchre could have gone is the way forwards.

It eventually leads up to yet another way outside.

And, hey, a red treasure chest right on the path!

And of course it's the only mimic chest in the game. It's not even a Mimic!

Music: Monster Battle

Well, sort of. Trap Box is actually the improved mimic monster, first seen in Dragon Quest 8 as a boss fight. This one is a joke.

This is mostly because it's still using Crackle when the random encounters are using Kaswoosh. I guess its physical attacks are relatively powerful compared to said encounters, but they're nowhere near the minibosses around here.

Music: Heading Into Darkness

Of course, it's getting scouted. It's the only one in the wild, after all, and Trap Boxes are very hard to synthesise. They take a high-tier metal monster, for goodness' sake!

Just past the Trap Box is an entrance back into the spire.

This time, along with the veins along the walls, there are actually windows to the outside. Lightning can be seen striking every so often outside the windows.

Taking the only path results in a treasure chest, as well as a new monster. Let's see the chest first, shall we?

It contains the same item that Euchre's found twice now in brown chests. That isn't to say that this isn't welcome- Yggdrasil Dew is still a really good item - but those brown chests have come a long way in terms of their potential contents.

Music: Monster Battle

The monsters, on the other hand, are Phantom Swordsmen. They're kind of annoying, but only with specific party compositions.

This is because they love to spam Uncarnate, which does extra damage to Wildcard and only Wildcard. Not having the Incarnus in the party means that it's the same end result as a normal attack.

Music: Heading Into Darkness

It's not the end of the world if it hits, of course, and the damage bonus isn't big enough to be a huge concern, so these guys are still fairly simple to deal with.

Heading down into the basin in the middle of the room results in yet another choice between two paths. Heading left here would lead Euchre along a winding path leading to absolutely nothing, so he'll be going right.

Immediately he's rewarded with a treasure chest, which contains a powerful staff. This one also gives a bonus to Wisdom when equipped, so it goes on Poppet.

And, of course, the way onward is there too. This is the only room in Tartarus with two monster species wandering around on the field, and the second one is right ahead.

Music: Monster Battle

Meet the Soulspawns. They exist, I guess.

Venom Breath is a thing they can do to Envenomate Euchre's monsters, but since it goes away after battle it's not very good. Remember, the encounters in this game exist to wear Team Euchre down.

Music: Heading Into Darkness

They're pretty simple to take down, and it's unlikely that much damage will come out of them in general.

And that's about it for that room. There's a transition to the next fairly quickly after Soulspawn start showing up, and this is it.

Pretty much the only thing on this floor is this weird structure with paths around it. What it actually is is a mystery, given that Euchre can't interact with it. There is still something around here, though. When Euchre walks around the object...

...yet another cutscene starts. I promise this is the last one.

This time the monster that somehow sneaked up behind Euchre is new! It's still a palette swap of Gigantes, though.

Music: Scout Battle

This is Atlas. He's the only miniboss in Tartarus that isn't completely optional.

Like the others, he just doesn't do much. He exists simply to be a drain on precious resources. This is a pretty strong hit, though, so that's something to be careful of.

Music: Heading Into Darkness

With Atlas's unceremonious defeat, the way is open for Euchre. Going through this door...

...leads to the crater at the top of Tartarus.

Going around the edge instead of towards the centre results in the discovery of these chests, which have some very nice loot in them.

Yggdrasil Leaves are, of course, very welcome. You never know when a monster will die and need to be revived.

The other is a very strong set of claws which, again, do extra damage to Undead monsters. They're good for equipping on a spare physical attacker or one who can't equip the Zombiesblight.

And with that, that's all of Tartarus completed save for the final boss. Next time, Euchre will be taking on Dr Snap.

Extra: The Monster Library

King Bubble Slime

King Bubble Slimes have the Skill Bad Breath when synthesised and cannot be scouted. They have the Trait Poisoner and are immune to both Poison and Paralysis.

Bad Breath was first found on Walking Corpses back in Part 11.


Silvapitheci have the Skills Diabolist and Bang Ward when scouted, and just Diabolist when synthesised. They have no Traits and are immune to Whack.

Diabolist was first found on Lesser Demons back in Part 12.

Bang Ward is your standard ward Skill. Two Bang Guard passives, Magic Miser, Magic Scrooge, Wisdom +15, Attack +10, Maximum HP +10, Maximum MP +10. It's basically just as viable as any other ward Skill.

Trap Box

Trap Boxes have the Skills Fear-monger and Defence Boost when scouted and just Fear-monger when synthesised. They have the Trait Critical Massacre and are immune to both Whack and Paralysis.

Fear-monger was first found on Bags O' Laughs back in Part 7.

Fallen Priest

Fallen Priests have the Skills Woosh & Zam and Attack Boost when scouted and just Woosh & Zam when synthesised. They have the Trait Zammeister and are immune to Fizzle.

Woosh & Zam is yet another dual-element Skill, and it's the same as usual. Tier 1 and 2 spells to start with, and when Woosh & Zam III eventually comes around they'll be tier 3 and 4. The two elements this time do have different targeting, thankfully, although there's a little wrinkle in how Woosh works: it has more damage variance than usual.

Phantom Swordsman

Phantom Swordsmen have the Skills Woosh & Zam and Attack Boost when scouted and just Woosh & Zam when synthesised. They have the Trait Artful Dodger, are weak to Zap, and are immune to both Whack and Dazzle.

Woosh & Zam was first found on Fallen Priests a couple of paragraphs ago.


Soulspawn have the Skills Graveheart and Inaction Ward when scouted and just Graveheart when synthesised. They have no Traits, are weak to Zap, and are immune to both Whack and Poison.

Graveheart was first found on Ghosts back in Part 4.

Inaction Ward was first found on the Heligator received as a gift in Part 24, but this is a reusable source.

Extra 2: Synthesis Recipes

Silvapithecus + Dancing Flame = Frostburn (Rank F, scoutable, not available through generic synthesis)

Not a great recipe, since Frostburns can be found in the exact same area as Dancing Flames whereas Silvapitheci start to be available much later. And Rank F? Pretty much no synthesis recipe is worth it if it makes a Rank F monster.

Silvapithecus + Gigantes = Pazuzu (Rank A, not scoutable, not available through generic synthesis)

This is a very nice recipe, and one that will likely get a lot of use. Both monsters are fairly easy to come by, and Pazuzu is used in a couple of synthesis recipes for much-used monsters. Definitely worth doing.

Silvapithecus + Golem = Pazuzu (Rank A, not scoutable, not available through generic synthesis)

Second verse, same as the first. This one isn't quite as good, because Golems aren't found in the wild, but it's decent if you've got a spare.

Phantom Swordsman + Hunter Mech = Killing Machine (Rank S, not scoutable, not available through generic synthesis)

Killing Machines are good monsters, but they aren't actually used for anything. Do this one once, then ignore it.

Phantom Swordsman + King Kelp = Wailin' Weed (Rank A, scoutable, available through generic synthesis)

This one probably isn't worth it. Wailin' Weeds are easily scouted on Fert Isle, so just get one there instead. It's available through Monster Matchmaking, too, although it's still not particularly worth it. A positive King Kelp is provided, and a negative Undead family monster is required.