Part 5: Episode 5: Cock of the Star Rock
Before I can resume training our baby panda, we have yet another intruder. I'd like to note that I'm not making up any of the dialogue below.
H-hey! That owl...! Could it really be!?
What's wrong, Hootie? Oh, who's there?
Isn't that a Borgan White Owl!? Incredible! I thought they'd gone extinct!
Oh, sorry! I'm Viola, a Star Rock research student at Barba University.
The Owls Are Not What They Seem.
You can't even imagine! The Borgan White Owl was named "Protector of the Star Rock" because of its long life and great wisdom. It was very important to the community. But excessive hunting for those soft feathers led to their recent extinction.
Rock star? So he was like a bodyguard?
Um, no... I said "Star Rock." Protector of the Star Rock?
You must've heard about the Star Rock, right? The Star Spirit appears from within it, granting a single wish to its possessor.
Oh yeah... Isn't that from a fairytale though?
That's what a lot of people say, but my research strongly suggests that it's real.
What!? So that part about getting a wish when you find it...?
Well, that "fairytale" we all grew up hearing could actually be true!
Wow, Hootie! I knew you were special, but I never imagined this! Can I be your student?
Oh wait. Hehe, I've been your student for years now... So can I have the Star Rock?
Can you actually communicate with it?
No. No it is not. And it never will be.
Would it be okay if I came back again sometime?
I'd like that. What do you think, Hootie?
Great, then I'll see you again. So long!
I need some securitrons or something. This trespassing shit is getting more than a little ridiculous already.
Off I go!
Anyway, on to training. We're going to pump up Diabetes' power until he can chew through skyscrapers like so much bamboo.
In this case, training power involves bashing a giant log through a stump. That's a helluva headbutt.
While it's not a terrible growth, we can do so much better. So let's move on to drills!
Like errantry and training courses in past MR games, drills take your monster away for a month to build up their stats and give them the chance of learning a new attack.
Unlike past monster rancher games, drills are done on a giant board game. You roll the die, and your monster moves across the board. You can gain stats, lose stats, gain rolls, lose rolls, and get the coveted WILD CARD. Also if you pass Go, you get $200.
I rolled a 1, and got a little blue guy to give me sweet, sweet stats.
This annoyed the little blue guy, and he left my panda for dead in a river. I lost a turn trying to find the body.
Using a different panda corpse to torment him, I extorted more stats out of the blue guy.
Note to self: The most effective training comes when you throw the trainee into a river.
During his near-death experience, Diabetes learned the hula. And he picked up the ability to scratch as well somehow. I had hoped more failure would coax more attacks out of him.
Instead, all I got was more disappointment. Well, that and a bloody panda bear.
Thanks, Squidtamer DA!
Moving on, we have an official tournament next month.
And with these stats, we may be able to barely eke out a win if we get really lucky. Considering Diabetes' past failures, should we send him to the proving grounds?