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We know there are a lot of Nintendo Life readers who’d love to get their hands on Dragon Quest Monsters 2 but can’t, either because of Nintendo's ongoing region-locking policy or simply due to the language barrier. So we’re hoping to give you the next best thing – a front-row seat on Kerry’s run through the game! How far we go with this — as a text and images guide rather than video — depends on you: our attempts to clone our so-called “Import gaming expert” have proven unsuccessful up to now, and as this kind of article could only be more time-consuming if we refused to return the fingers we borrowed for the cloning experiments this really needs to do well if we’re to keep our resident moon-rune wrangler focused on the task. So read, enjoy and make sure you spread the word!

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Before we get stuck into the adventure there’s a little bit of setting up to do – do we pick Iru or Luca? Do we name them something else (it's even possible to use English characters if you like)? What sort of personalised monster companion do we make? Once all that’s out of the way we can finally sit back and enjoy the slick opening sequence.

After finally reaching the kingdom of Malta mum and dad (yep, Iru and Luca have a bare chested hulk of a man for a father) wander off to introduce themselves to the King, leaving the wannabe Monster Master siblings to explore on their own for a while with friendly Slime Slash in tow.

As it turns out Slash is far more than just a blobby blue face – he’s both Iru’s first party member as well as our hand-holder through the short battle tutorial. There’s really only two things to learn – how to hit enemies and how to perform “Scout attacks” that, if successful, result in the Scouted creature joining your team. One quick Devilpine (those hovering pineapples with teeth – geddit?) recruitment drive later and we’re off again, this time investigating the treasure chest Luca’s just found. If you’re the conscientious sort this isn’t a bad little spot to level up a bit and also grab yourself a Hanakawasemi (lit. “Flower Kingfisher”) if the lunatic pineapple monsters don’t tickle your fancy.

Luca’s got a serious case of itchy feet! As soon as we’d equipped the cypress staff found in the treasure chest on one of our monsters he went running off again, this time into a dead-end cave… oh, with a giant white dragon peering through a crack in the wall! Luckily Iru and Luca aren’t turned into tasty dragon-snacks by this mysterious giant, and instead of eating them up the dragon drops off the egg we saw them carrying in the intro – with our custom monster inside! Kids aren’t known for missing a chance to show off, and so of course the siblings rush back home to show their fancy new friend (the default name is “Montona”) off to mum and Manliest Dad of All Time.

Once inside the house mum’s got a job for Iru that’s a little more mundane than monster-whacking… a fetch quest! We need to go see Posta and bring home a pie – what could possibly go wrong? This little jaunt gives us our first look at Malta proper, a beautiful sun-kissed kingdom with an abundance of coconut trees and beautiful flowers. As well as seeing the main village for the first time we’re also given the dubious honour of meeting Prince Kameha and his sidekick Warubou, although with Posta’s house just off the main east street it’s not too long before we’re back to pie-collecting again.

PIE GET! Hurray! If only it was as easy as walking it home... which it would have been if Warubou hadn’t sniffed it out and stolen it! Quick, catch that thief! The chase takes them all the way to the palace; Luca catches up with Kameha, grabs the pie and… Kameha falls backwards, shattering Malta’s Navel - which just so happens to be the one thing that’s vital to keeping the kingdom vibrant, healthy, and, y’know… not at the bottom of the sea.

There’s only one thing for it, and that’s for Warubou to get his fluffy pink backside working as an emergency stopper while Iru and Luca run home with their pie and try to find a suitable replacement. Luckily they find a large pot in the back of their home which might do the trick, so they hurry back to the palace and see if it’ll fit – and it does! Unfortunately it doesn't hold for long though, and it soon shatters it on the ceiling through the force it’s trying to contain, so Warubou’s back on plug duty (just how strong is this guy’s backside?!).

Warubou doesn’t appear too keen on spending the rest of his life acting as a pink plug, so he hands Iru the Oasis Key, a magical item that will allow her to travel to ANOTHER WORLD (insert your own wibbly screen effect here) to try and find a replacement Navel...but only after a good night's sleep at home first - these journeys off to mysterious unknown lands can be pretty tiring after all.

So the morning after Iru returns with her magical key (poor Warubou has of course been stuck in that hole all night), offers it up to the mysterious locked door and...

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Would you like to know what happens next? You’ll have to wait until next time to find out! We hope you enjoyed this tour through the opening segment of Dragon Quest Monsters 2, and would love to read your thoughts in the comments below.