Metal slime family
The Metal slime family (メタルスライム系) is the English-language fan term for members of the Slime family that bear the word "metal" in their name, possess superb defences, and yield phenomenally high amounts of experience points when defeated. Though not an official family, the colloquialism has been present in every game since the beginning of the series and hunting the silver slimes has become a kind of mini-game in and of itself.
- 1 Hunting methods
- 2 Appearances
- 2.1 Dragon Quest
- 2.2 Dragon Quest II: Luminaries of the Legendary Line
- 2.3 Dragon Quest III: The Seeds of Salvation
- 2.4 Dragon Quest IV: Chapters of the Chosen
- 2.5 Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride
- 2.6 Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation
- 2.7 Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past
- 2.8 Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King
- 2.9 Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies
- 2.10 Dragon Quest X
- 2.11 Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age
- 3 False metal slimes and similar monsters
Metal slimes are nearly invincible and require special tactics and weapons to defeat, with the amount of options available to players varying greatly between games. There are fundamentally two different styles to countering the slimes' defences, being the chip damage method and the all-or-nothing approach that relies on real life luck for critical hits.
This method involves whittling down a slime's HP one point at a time, risking the chance of the goo fleeing before the final blow is dealt or dodging the attacks completely. The most popular weapon for this approach is the poison needle as it is guaranteed to always deal 1 point of damage unless the target dodges the blow altogether and has a low chance to instantly defeat a slime in one hit. The falcon blade is a reliable alternative for characters that cannot equip the needles as it can potentially deal double damage in one turn and also doubles a character's critical hit rate--this includes the Martial artist, Paladin, and Gladiator's innate critical hit boost in VI & VII. Similarly, the multi-striking skills such as falcon slash, rain of pain, and multithrust can also be used to the same end though they are still subject to the slimes' natural evasion as well.
Regular attacks have a 50% chance to deal 0 or 1 point of damage to a slime, and thus fall under this method. The metal slash skill deals 1 damage to metal slimes regardless of defence, and thus can deal 2 points of damage with regular weapons and up to 4 with the falcon blade. For games in which this skill does not appear or for characters who cannot utilize the skill or any of the above mentioned weapons, one option is to chuck vials of holy water which will deal 1 damage to metal slimes in every game after IV.
The spiked armour is the one way to harm the slimes when a character is on the receiving end of an attack, as it will inflict a rounded-up portion of the damage dealt back to the glob. Having a character take the lead position in the party to kite damage to themselves while wearing nothing but the armour can turn most metal monster's regular attacks into accidental suicide charges.
Heavy reliance on real life luck is the cornerstone of this approach, but it does not cause the same level of white-knuckle tension as the chip damage method due to only needing to work once per battle. In essence this technique forgoes the innate critical hit rate of characters for specialized weapons and skills that will often miss but guarantee massive damage when they do connect. The two weapons most associated with this style are the headsman's axe and hela's hammer--the former having a 1/8th (12.5%) chance to land a critical hit on the spot or miss completely, and the latter having a 3/8ths (37.5%) chance to land a critical hit and miss all other times. These odds are substantially higher than the standard critical hit rate of 1/64 (1.56%) and can be used immediately where as martial artists and similar vocations need significant level grinding to hone their abilities. Players can also equip characters not using either weapon with the demon spear, which has either a 1/8th or 1/6th chance to instantly slay the target depending on the specific game, but cannot chip away at a slime's HP 1 point at a time like the poison needles.
With the advent of the skills system introduced in VI, characters can learn the Hatchet Man ability that mimics the hit rate of hela's hammer in the sixth and seventh games, and has a 50% chance to connect in all subsequent titles. Though the skill would eventually gain a fairly high MP cost, it has become synonymous with metal slime hunting.
A slightly different version of this approach was popular in the early history of the series, wherein the Puff! spell would allow a party member to instantly immolate a metal slime after casting. This is due to the spell ignoring the probability-based elemental resistance in the NES version of III & IV and focusing on damage reduction instead, with the coding not cancelling out the damage completely even though metal slimes are immune to fire. The spell can wipe out entire groups of metal slimes in just two turns if the player is lucky, but due to the affected character's agility being dropped considerably once they become a dragon it is strongly advised to have acceleratle cast on them as quickly as possible to get the drop on the monsters before they flee.
While this method was partially retained in the SNES version of the fifth game, where the fire spewed by the party member would deal 1 point of damage, it has since been retired in all other entries in the series due to the logical fallacy of the spell being effective when sizz, frizz, and normal fire breath do not work on metal slimes. Instead, the spell now gives characters a fixed boost to damage when they attack as a dragon, thus ignoring the high defence and instantly beating the blobs.
In addition to the above-listed armaments, there exists a series of weapons that have the property to always deal 1 point of damage to a metal slime but with none of the accuracy or low power drawbacks of the aforementioned. They are exceedingly rare and either one of a kind or prohibitively expensive to create via alchemy, but can also serve as final boss tier weapons in addition to metal hunting. They are the:
Aside from those in the boomerang category, each weapon can be used in conjunction with the multi-strike abilities to quickly whittle down a target's HP.
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False metal slimes and similar monsters
There are a handful of monsters that, while being members of the slime family and having the word metal in their name, do not meet the strict qualifications of the real mccoy. One such example is the Metal slime knight, which has no noteworthy resistance and lacks a high experience point yield--flavor texts in latter games states this is due to the knight taking the hit intended for the metal slime and allowing their silver steed to slip away unharmed. An interesting case is the metal dragon slime as it is not as impervious as the standard metal slime, but it does give a high number of experience points for its area in a game when defeated.
Additionally, there are a few members of other families that mimic the properties of metal slimes, the most noteworthy being the Metal chimaera and the Hardy hand which were added in the remake of the third game.