The Let's Play Archive

Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker

by Epicmissingno

Part 31: Postgame Chapter 4: The Other Final Battles

Last time, Euchre finished off the Xeroph Isle arena, qualifying for the finals of Solitaire's Challenge.

Music: Contest Castle

This time, he'll be doing what he's been working towards for all of the postgame and fighting Solitaire.

First, though, let's have a look at Team Euchre. Sidoh should probably have been synthesised with the Phoenix Sceptre at some point, because his stats are a bit lacking compared to everyone else.

He's mostly a vehicle for debuffs and ailments, though, so it's not too bad. It'd be nice if he did a bit more damage, but c'est la vie.

Abel's stats are also all over the place, with the lowest Wisdom of the team. It's a good thing he doesn't really need it thanks to his abilities. He's surprisingly good at attacking, helped by Double Trouble giving him two attacks per turn.

Speaking of abilities, he's got all the healing he could possibly need and not much else. Omniheal is especially useful and will probably get spammed a lot, since it's a full heal for the entire party. Its MP cost is appropriately high at 36.

Unsurprisingly, Wildcard has the highest total stats of anyone in Team Euchre. In fact, all of his stats are the highest in the party without boosts from equipment! That's no mean feat.

As for abilities, he's still mostly using stuff from Wulfspade II. It's a pretty balanced set, but Oomphle will probably get the most use. If the enemy tries buffing up, Disruptive Wave could be good too.

And, finally, there's Gypsum. Despite his comparably low level, he's still competitive with everyone else. His Sage's Staff is boosting his Wisdom enough to beat Wildcard, but even without it it's still very good.

He's the only member of Team Euchre who has enough abilities to reach two pages. They're mostly redundant, sadly, but Kafrizzle will be good for damage and the various buffs will be good for support.

With all that checked out, it's finally time to face Solitaire.

You think you're ready, Euchre? HA! You'll never be ready for me!

You know, I think this is the first time that Solitaire's called Euchre by name. Maybe she's finally warmed up to him or something. But there's no time for formalities; the two have to get to the arena ASAP.

Music: Colosseum (IV)

There's no love lost between these two battle legends!

...Commissioner GINNY RUUU-MMMMMMY!

I said, DO...NOT...USE...THAT...NAME!

Music: Boss Battle

Okay, let's get down to business here: with a team even slightly weaker than what he's got here, he would lose. Kaisey the Metal Kaiser Slime is probably the most annoying thing present, and needs to be either isolated or dealt with quickly. The team that Euchre will be using here is comprised of Sidoh, Abel and Gypsum, by the way. Don't worry, Wildcard will still get some screentime!

As you can see, Solitaire's monsters are very strong. Thankfully none of them get Double Trouble, but both the Atlas and Mumboh-Jumboe doing 150 damage per turn each is still very nasty. The Metal Kaiser Slime does about half that, but won't get many opportunities to attack anyway.

Immediately Sidoh lands a debuff on Atlasey, lowering its damage by a factor of around 1/3. It's guaranteed to move last thanks to its Trait, Last Word, so this affects it before it can attack.

And Gypsum does what he does best and casts Oomphle a couple of times, increasing everyone's damage.

Here's one of three reasons why Kaisey is a huge pain: Hustle Dance. Obviously it's a dance, but here's what it does.

It's a full-party heal! While it's not as much as Multiheal or anywhere near Omniheal's level, it's still more than enough to top off Kaisey. Yes, that means that it can heal itself fully whenever it feels like it, which is incredibly annoying if you don't have Hatchet Man. Guess who doesn't have Hatchet Man!

Speaking of healing, that's what Abel will be doing when anyone's particularly damaged. Otherwise, he'll be left to his own devices, so he'll be attacking a lot. Double Trouble really cranks up the damage output in that case.

Here's the second reason why Kaisey is a pain: Critical Miss. Relying on Hatchet Man or random crits to win this is no longer an option if this hits, so that's a big problem.

Thankfully this one hits Gypsum, who doesn't really care about this sort of thing.

Next, Weakening Wallop lands on Jumbey. Now Team Solitaire is no longer a threat.

Even more so now that Atlasey has bitten the dust.

And that brings me to the third and final reason why Kaisey is a pain: Zing. That's right, the hardest monster to kill on Team Solitaire can also bring back its brethren.

It's not Kazing, though, so it's still got a chance of failure and only revives monsters with half their maximum health. Unfortunately, death wipes all ailments away, so Atlasey is back at full strength in terms of attack power.

Not that it matters. At that point Jumbey was almost dead, so it falls very quickly...

...followed swiftly by Atlasey once again. Now it's just down to Kaisey, and it can't raise two monsters on the same turn.

Here's why Team Euchre is just barely strong enough to beat Solitaire, by the way. The physical damage formula is additive, so if Sidoh had just 20 or so less Attack here he would do either 1 or 0 damage. Obviously this is a huge improvement.

Abel is in the same boat, but is slightly weaker. Still, two attacks do wonders for damage.

At this point, Solitaire must be getting desperate. Zing completely fails, but it probably wouldn't make any difference to the outcome.

In a last-ditch effort, Kaisey attempt to wipe Oomphle off Team Euchre.

But, like the rest of Team Solitaire, it eventually goes down.

Music: None

Music: Colosseum (IV)

Was there ever any doubt?

Euchre takes the championship! Give it up for the greatest scout in history, our Green Bays wild card...

This challenge would get kinda old fast if I kept winning all the time. So I decided to throw this one...y'know, just to make things interesting for the fans. If I REALLY tried, there's no way I would lose to this kid!

And of course Solitaire's not taking this well. I'd have hoped that she'd have mellowed out a bit, but no such luck.

...Well, IF that's true, maybe you could try "for real" next time...

The announcer doesn't seem to believe her either. Who'd have thought?

In any case, Euchre wins Solitaire's Challenge! See you all at the next challenge!

Music: Solitaire

So, like, congratulations, I guess. Here, take it.

Euchre receives a brass key.

I'm sure Solitaire thinks she's fobbing Euchre off with a useless reward, but it's actually fairly important.

It looked kind of interesting, so I hung onto it for a bit. I tried opening all the doors in HQ, but it didn't work on ANY of them. But anyway, I'm giving it to you as a present, so I hope you're grateful.

We've just got started. More battles lie ahead! You've only won the first round, nothing more.

Now that Euchre's got the Brass Key, it's time to go around and see what it opens. Think back to all the locked doors Euchre's come across in his journey...

Music: CELL Headquarters

Oh, wait, there was only one. The Domus Isle sewer has that locked door that's been taunting us ever since fighting Dr Snap on Xeroph Isle.

This is Dr Snap's secret laboratory. Igor Folds already said that his research partner had a lab here, and the key being in Snap's belongings suggests that he conducted his research here.

There are some monsters floating around in tubes here. They can't be interacted with, but my best guess is that Snap was using them to study monster biology.

There are a couple of bookcases around the room that contain details on Snap's backstory. Let's take a look.

I discovered the legendary Mark completely by accident. Who would have imagined I'd find such a treasure amongst Igor Folds's accumulated rubbish!? I might not even have recognised it were it not for the strange light it gave off. I took the Mark from Folds, and banished the senile fool from my laboratory. It meant losing my research partner of many years, but I did what I had to do.

As it turns out, Folds was indeed telling the truth about his partner. This new piece of information paints Snap in an even worse light than before; after all, he could have just asked for the Scout's Mark but decided to steal it instead, leaving poor Igor destitute in the process.

And lo, the Mark now glows in my hand, just as the legends described. But though I wait and wait, the Incarnus does not come to me. Perhaps it is unaware of the existence of the Mark? If that is the case, I must somehow tell the world about the treasure I have discovered.

And that's the story of how Dr Snap had the idea of putting the Scout's Mark up as the tournament prize. The next (and final) book isn't about Snap's discovery of the Scout's Mark, unlike these first two. Instead, it's just his research, and it's the first time the game tells players about a specific game mechanic...

We assume this phenomenon to be caused by the awakening of dormant traits in the base monsters. If we randomly pair up a Mum, Boh, Jum and Boe, we can synthesise two visibly similar monsters. But if we combine these, we produce a new monster impossible to create by any other means. I have named this phenomenon Quadrilineal Synthesis.

Yes, I've been calling this particular mechanic the wrong thing the whole game. Sorry about that! I find that Grandparent Synthesis is a far more descriptive term, though. The recipe described here is for a Mumboh-Jumboe, unsurprisingly.

Anyway, there's just one more thing in Snap's secret lab. Euchre goes down the corridor and runs straight into...

...Estark! This guy is a recurring boss in the series, first appearing in Dragon Quest 4 as the main villain, sort of. After that he was a superboss in 5, which makes sense since it's a direct sequel to 4 albeit countless years later. He's also appeared in the remake of 8 for the 3DS, as well as 9 and Joker 2.

There's also the matter of this not actually being Estark, but rather a character called Psaro who changed into a form very similar to Estark. The original Estark was blue instead of brown.

Thou who darest waken me... ...I have waited long for thee. I was born of the firey flames in the ancient depths of the underworld known as Nadiria. My destiny is to evolve beyond Lord of the Underworld and Emperor of Monsterkind! I bow to none excepting he that can defeat me through force of arms.

There's no question that Estark is the hardest opponent in the game, and Team Euchre is powerful enough to handle him. Let's start this fight!

Do not flinch! Fight me now, with all your strength!

Music: Fight Against Milayou

Estark, as a boss fight, has a bit of a gimmick to him. In pretty much every game he's been in he's either started battle asleep, been weak to sleep, or both. This game has the third of the options, so Kasnooze spam is a viable option. As for what he resists, he's immune to both Whack and Fizzle.

Since he's asleep, it's best to start out with buffing everyone up. For this fight, Euchre will be using Sidoh, Abel and Wildcard. Psych Up is the best option here for both Wildcard...

...and Sidoh.

Meanwhile, Abel will be casting Buff to shore up the team's defences. Estark is a very strong monster, and we need as much damage mitigation as we can get.

Unfortunately Estark wakes up before everyone's finished buffing up, so Wildcard doesn't get increased defence. There's less time for Psych Up, too, but that's fine.

As for Estark's damage, he hits hard. It might not seem like much compared to Solitaire's output, but remember, this is through Buff. And he does it twice thanks to Double Trouble!

Kazammle is a little less dangerous, but can't be disabled due to the aforementioned Fizzle immunity. When a top-tier spell is weaker than an unbuffed physical attack, you know you have something special.

Once Wildcard hits 100 tension, he starts casting Oomphle to prepare for attacking.

This goes off before Sidoh's Weakening Wallop hits, which is nice. Sadly only one stack of Oomphle was applied for this, and Weakening Wallop seems to be slightly weaker than just attacking, but it's still very good damage. Sadly it doesn't debuff Estark.

On top of what he's already done, Estark likes to toss Scorch the party's way.

Since it's the highest tier of fire breath, it hurts like hell.

Wildcard, having cast Oomphle twice, uses up his tension with a Thunderbolt Slash and produces some ludicrous damage. And yet Estark still won't die!

Sidoh finally gets Weakening Wallop to land its additional effect, though, which is nice.

And on the next turn, he does the same with Breathtaking Bash, shutting down Estark's Scorch.

And again with Helm Splitter! This battle looks like it's almost over.

Of course, that's not going to stop Estark from blatantly cheating. Like the Belial in the arena, Estark doesn't have Psycho. In fact, his only Trait is Double Trouble. This is dangerous regardless, of course, but he immediately uses the tension on a physical attack. It's a good thing he's still doing barely any damage with those!

Soon enough, we're down to one last hit...

...before Estark falls.

Music: None

Like any good boss fight he drops an item. The Royal Rod is, predictably, the strongest staff-type weapon in the game. On top of its relatively high physical attack boost, it also adds a whopping 50 points to Wisdom.

Music: CELL Headquarters

I shall honour my vow, and accompany thee on thy quest.

Estark is Euchre's very first Rank X monster! It's a shame that his stats aren't too great, but what new recruit has good stats? He'd have to be synthesised before he got good, and thankfully there are a few good recipes that use him. There's actually one that's possible to do right now! I'll go over it at the end of the update, as usual.

Now that that's over, it looks like someone has come in to investigate. Is that Igor Folds? But it's not night-time!

V-Vat!? You tamed ze Estark!? Snap created zat creature, but it vas too much of a handful, even for him. It vould throw a tantrum venever it lost, so Snap locked it up down here.

Vell! If YOU can best Snap, maybe I can too! I vill become a greater researcher zan Snap! Ah, it's been a long, long time since I was zis excited about anything!

With that, Igor leaves Euchre to his own devices. But what if Euchre talks to him one more time?

If I invent something even better, zen I, Igor Folds, vill be ze vinner! My only regret is zat he vill never know. I vould have loved to see ze look on his face ven he lost!

This raises the question of how Folds knows that Snap is dead, but I guess he could just be assuming based on how long Snap's been gone. Whether there's a plot hole here or not, that's all we're doing this update. Join me next time for synthesis, synthesis and more synthesis! How exciting...

Extra: The Monster Library


Estark has the Skills Estark and Defence Boost when obtained in Dr Snap's laboratory, and just Estark when synthesised. He's got Double Trouble for his Trait, is weak to Sleep, and is immune to Whack and Fizzle.

Estark is quite an unfocused Skill, but the abilities it has are generally very good. It starts out with Double-Edged Slash, which is a nice and powerful physical attack despite its recoil. Multislash is also good for multi-target physicals, and Assassin's Stab is great for bulky monsters who aren't Whack-immune. That's all for physical attacking, but for offensive spells he gets both Kacrack and Kazam, which are decently powerful without costing ridiculous amounts of MP. Then there's Spooky Aura for making those hit harder, as well as Wave of Panic and Disruptive Wave, both of which are very good. Overall this is a good Skill, although it may be difficult to find where to fit it into a team.

Extra 2: Synthesis Recipes

Estark + Alabast Dragon = Dhoulmagus (Rank S, not scoutable, not available through generic synthesis)

This is one of four ways to get Dhoulmagus, one of the villains in Dragon Quest 8. It's probably not the best one, though, because of a quirk involving the monster Psaro that I won't go into here. Suffice to say, Estark has a recipe that only he can be used in, and it's not this.