This is part of a first-playthrough guide using the Dragon story arc. It covers both the original PSX version and the 2021 HD remaster, though some place and item names differ slightly in the latter. You can find an overview of the Dragon% path here.
The Quick Version
Place the two artifacts you got from The Fallen Emperor to unlock the Junkyard and the Norn Peaks. The former leads to a sidequest that unlocks golem building, and the latter is where the Dragon story arc continues. For now, though, we’re going to unlock combat pets by taking a side trip to Domina.
Head as far west in Domina as you can and you should reach the West End. Depending on when you last visited Home, the West End may be taken over by pumpkins, in which case you’ll have to do a brief miniboss battle to return it to normal (Event: “The Little Sorcerers”). After the pumpkin fight, just return to the West End and Duelle the onion kid will be waiting there with a tutorial on catching monsters. Follow his instructions to catch a monster of your very own.
If you think you might want to 100% this game, be sure to talk to the Cactus upstairs at home after completing this quest and before finishing any others. Monster Corral is one of just a few quests that doesn’t restart on New Game + playthroughs; instead, you start with the Monster Corral already up and running.
The Details (May Contain Spoilers)
This quest is known as “The Monster Corral” in the PSX release, but in the HD remaster it’s just “Monster Corral.”
Monster catching can be a little finicky, but the basic idea is to distract the monster egg with food and then sneak up behind it. For this quest, you can run fairly close to the egg, drop any of the three fruits that Duelle gives you, and then retreat out of the monster’s field of view until it is preoccupied eating the fruit. Then run up behind the monster egg and catch it.
Monster raising is its own detailed domain of minmaxing that can be pretty time-consuming but yield some great results. For now, it’s A-OK to just go back to the Corral (at Home) once the first egg has hatched and use that monster as your combat pet. If you don’t want to wait for it to hatch, do a quick lap around the zones you have already placed on the map (without actually entering them), and the in-game day should have advanced enough for you to collect your monster.
This first pet doesn’t do much, huh?
Well, no, not really. Its damage is pretty weak, it doesn’t have much HP, and its attack patterns are pretty prosaic. But even the starter pet is worthwhile for two reasons:
- It allows your Synchro effects (buffs that apply when you are near a party member) to proc.
- It distracts enemies, preventing you from getting swarmed by regular mobs or juggled by bosses.
Since pets revive at the end of every fight, the low health is not much of an issue. Also, you’ll need a third party member of some kind to complete the Dragon story arc, and pets are way easier to get (and simpler to deploy) than golems.