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Megaten: Dungeon Primer

MMORPG.com Megaten Correspondent P. Roberts writes this primer for players looking to delve into the game's dungeons.

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You've been playing Megaten Online for a while now and completed some of the introductory quests, but now you come to a quest where Snakeman himself has instructed you to go adventure in the Suginami Tunnel and gather some soul shards from the Kodama there. Or perhaps your friends suggest heading to the dungeon, to gain valuable experience and levels. Maybe they're after rare items there too. For whatever reason, you have many attractive incentives drawing you there. But before you go, you must know a few different things:

The layouts of dungeons in Megaten Online are randomly selected, so you really won't have the ability to anticipate layout. This adds a necessary element of challenge to dungeon-running, certainly, and it can make it into a prodigious task, especially for a beginner. Because of this, preparation is the key to any successful venture into the enclosed and dangerous areas of Megaten's dungeons.

First of all, while still in the safety of Home III or another outpost, be sure to pack for your trip. If you use guns, fill up your stock of bullets and be sure to collate and then equip them. If you use magic, be sure to bring plenty of MP-regenerating items. And of course, it goes without saying to remember to pack items to restore your health and that of your demons. Even if you intend to be a healing magic-user, emergencies happen and sometimes it can be difficult to get a spell off. By packing enough recovery items for yourself and your party, you will lead to a much nicer and smoother experience. Although you can visit the Yagiya, both at the dungeon entrance site and usually during the dungeon itself as well, you may not be able to find the item or items you need and have to settle for less effective stock. Furthermore, the dungeon Yagiya locations rarely allow you to sell items, making it important to clear out your inventory while you still can, without having to throw away potentially valuable treasure.

Once you have adequately prepared, let's look at the map. You can see, for example, Home III and Suginami Tunnel here. Dungeons are always marked with the D symbol on the map, so you can always be sure to find them on your map. If you're not sure how to use your map, please see previous articles for an informative and extensive tutorial. It's paramount to be able to use a map when you're adventuring in the world of Megaten, wherever you are. Although changing maps can sometimes remove your minimap, just remember to click the symbol next to the compass that resembles the number 4.

Finding your way to the dungeon can be an ordeal in itself, especially at levels lower than it is expected for you to tackle this challenge. You may wish to go in a party if you can, but if you are careful, you should be able to make it to the desired area. This is very true in the case of Suginami Tunnel, where you will be generally safe as long as you are conscious of your surroundings and take shortcuts and the like, to make sure you stay off the main path, where many demons tend to accumulate. When you are in the area of the dungeon, usually a notification of your area such as "In front of the entrance to Suginami Tunnel" will show you that you are close.

You can't just enter a dungeon and be in the challenging part, though. First, you have to purchase a certain special item called a plate. The Yagiya sells these plates, and they come in a range of materials. Bronze is the lowest level, so if you're a beginner, buy Suginami Tunnels Plate (Bronze) for 100 macca. Finish the rest of any other shopping you may have to do -- Yagiya sells plenty of supplies for you to take advantage of, if you're running short -- and then approach the obelisk in the room. It's the large stone thing that, in many locations, people cluster around.

When you're ready to enter, click on the obelisk. It will ask you several questions; what you want to do is to create a regular, untimed dungeon. Be careful if you're in a group, because only one person creates the dungeon. If you click and create another dungeon yourself, you will be placed in that dungeon by yourself! Only one person needs to create the dungeon, so sort this out before one of you tries. When it is created, a message will come onto your screen telling you. If you weren't the one creating the dungeon, don't click on the obelisk at all until it tells you this message. Then click on the obelisk, and you'll be taken inside with your party.

To simplify: if you're alone, just click the obelisk and set up the dungeon. You'll be automatically placed in the dungeon when you finish creation. If you're in a party, decide who will create the dungeon; only one person needs to do so. If it's you, click the obelisk and create the dungeon, where you'll automatically be placed once you finish creation. If you decided another party member should create thedungeon, wait patiently and don't click the obelisk until a message appears on your screen to tell you it has been created. Then you will be placed in the dungeon to join your friends.

Once in the dungeon, the key is to approach the proceedings with the same kind of strategy that you use against any foes. Try to take foes on individually. Don't attract the attention (and aggro, or aggression) of several enemies unless you are completely capable of handling all of them. It isn't fair to ask your party members to defend you because you were foolish and gained aggro of a bunch of demons far above your level and strength. It also often puts them in hot water, since the demons will usually transfer their aggression to your party members! So be careful and take it slow. Most of the time you will not do timed runs, so it doesn't matter how long it takes you. This is especially important if you are solo in the dungeon...if you aggro a large group and find yourself overpowered, you'll be defeated and lose valuable experience!

One essential element of any adventuring, overworld or in the dungeons, is knowing when to rest. If you're down on health or magic, rest! It's free and doesn't use up your valuable recovery items. As previously mentioned, you won't usually be running timed dungeons, so you can take as much time as you like to slowly go through the dungeon and rest along the way. Few things are more frustrating than rushing from room to room and, when up against an enemy who should be easy, you are defeated simply because you forgot to keep a careful eye on your power reserves.

Navigating the dungeons can be complex. Although essential doors will not require glittering ore (a semi-common drop), optional doors may. Behind these doors can often be found treasure and rare demons, but they may not be so willing to accompany you. Tread carefully. Also, while travelling through the dungeon, you will come to silver platforms with glowing red designs; these are teleporters and are marked by red dots in a square on your map. Generally you will always want to work towards these, because they will take you deeper into the dungeon and closer to your ultimate goal.

When you come to a vast hall with a steep stairway leading down, you have come to the boss chamber. You don't have to go inside -- you could just teleport out with a Traesto stone, or youcould retrace your steps back to the entrance teleporter. At lower levels, you may not want to try the boss at all. However, once you go in and are sure you can fight, be careful. The boss will introduce itself, and battle will follow. For Suginami Tunnel Bronze, the boss is a giant Garm, surrounded by Cait Siths. The best boss strategy in general is to draw the boss away from the masses of other regular enemies, so that you can fight it without interference. It can be a fatal mistake to run into a crowd of demons, thinking they are too low-level to stop you, only to find that together, they are more than a match for you. Taking on foes one at a time is the best strategy in almost any circumstance!

Once all of the enemies in the room are defeated, you will be treated to another video, where the boss will admit defeat. You've won! Your party can now go around and collect all the loot left over from the fearsome battle...and it was surely a fearsome battle! There are new spoils, however, ones that can only be collected from a boss fight, and they are valuable indeed. The glowing blue-green boxes are special treasure, and they are random. You may only claim one per boss fight, which is why some people run through dungeons multiple times. Common items are augmentative incense, gems, and even weapons.

After that, it's time to go. You'll see a column of light which, once clicked, will give you the choice to leave or not. Congratulations! You've made your first dungeon run. Time to head back to Home III or another outpost and store or sell the loot you've accumulated, and get ready for another run!

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