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			       Metal Slime FAQ
			    Dragon Quest VIII (PS2)

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Table Of Contents (Searchable)
A) Intro/Explanation
B) Slime Stats
C) Equipment and Skills
 -skills-
 -equipment-
D) Strategies By Location
 -General Encounter Strategies-
 -Ruined Abbey (MS)-
 -Trodain(LMS)-
 -Dragon Graveyard (MKS)-
 -Fly-to areas (LMS+)-
 -Slime Hill (ALL)-
 -Other Areas-
E) Skill point strategies
F) Dragon Graveyard the best?
G) Thanks/legal

---------------------------A) Intro/Explanation------------------------------

Metal Slime hunting is the easiest way to gain experience (and thus levels)
in the Dragon Quest VIII game. They are tricky to find and even harder to
kill when you do find them so this FAQ was created in an attempt to educate
players on where to go and how to kill them.

This faq will not contain any plot spoilers but does specifically describe 
certain items, how they are obtained, and specific locations that you may 
consider small spoilers. If you want to be safe, I suggest only reading this
FAQ when you have reached the end of the game. I will minimize the spoilers
whenever possible and again, there is nothing story related here.

Also, not everything in this FAQ is provable or concrete. A lot is my own
opinions and findings. If you disagree with me, that's one thing but if you
think some of my opinions can be proven wrong, that's another. This faq is
intended as a resource to the community but it is still my creation. In
absence of evidence to my discretion, I will keep my opinions in this FAQ.
I am open to discussions though, and if good research improves our
understanding of the information in this FAQ, I will certainly add/change
it.

-------------------------------B) Slime Stats--------------------------------

There are 3 kinds of metal slimes in the game and although they vary in size,
they all have the same tendencies towards running away with the same 
extremely high defense. Below is combined from Red Scarlet's Appendix FAQ, 
Randy Price's Game System FAQ, and my own findings:

/=======================================================================/
| <#036> Metal Slime (Slime Family)                                     |
| Experience: 1,350 / Gold: 5						|
| Level: 13								|
| HP: 3-4								|
| MP: Inf								|
| Attack: 30								|
| Defense: 4096								|
| Agility: 65								|
| Evade: 1/16                                         			|
| Normal drop: Seed of Defense                                          |
| Rare drop: Seed of Agility                                            |
| Where fought: Ruined Abbey level 1-4,                                 |
|               beachy area before Wisher's Peak-day/night,             |
|               Small Nameless Island northeast of Farebury-day/night,  |
|               forest west of Royal Hunting Ground-day/night,          |
|               Howlwind Hill-day/night                                 |
| Battle actions: Runs away, attacks, casts Frizz                       |
/=======================================================================/

/=========================================================================/
| <#084> Liquid Metal Slime (Slime Family)                                |
| Experience: 10,050 / Gold: 18						  |
| Level: 19								  |
| HP: 6-8								  |
| MP: Inf								  |
| Attack: 65								  |
| Defense: 4096								  |
| Agility: 215						   		  |
| Evade: 1/16                                         			  |
| Normal drop: Seed of Agility                                            |
| Rare drop: Elevating Shoes                                              |
| Where fought: Trodain, Trodain 1F,                                      |
|               Small Nameless Island in southwest corner of the          |
|               world-night,                                              |
|               Godbird's Eyrie (Light World) level 2/6,                  |
|               flying spot south of Dragon Graveyard-night,              |
|               flying spot southwest of campsite west of Argonia-night,  |
|               Howlwind Hill-day/night,                                  |
|               flying spot southwest of Dark Ruins-night,                |
|               flying spot north of Neos-night,                          |
|               island west of Lakeside Cabin-night, Dragovian Path B2/B3 |
| Battle actions: Runs away, attacks, casts Sizz                          |
/=========================================================================/

/========================================================================/
| <#171> Metal King Slime (Slime Family)                                 |
| Experience: 30,010 / Gold: 240                                         |
| Level: 34								 |
| HP: 16-20								 |
| MP: Inf								 |
| Attack: 166								 |
| Defense: 4096								 |
| Agility: 255								 |
| Evade: 1/16                                         			 |
| Normal drop: Slime Crown                                               |
| Rare drop: Orichalcum                                                  |
| Where fought: Dragon Graveyard level 1, Howlwind Hill-day/night,       |
|               Black Citadel level 1/5-2, around Tryan Gully-day,       |
|               Dragovian Path B2-B4, Heavenly Dais level 2              |
| Battle actions: Runs away, attacks, slams its body into a party member |
/========================================================================/

Each metal has three battle actions. Running seems to be the most common
and occurs about 50% of the time. Standard attacks are also fairly common
at about 40% of the time. The third attack listed for each slime is much
more rare, they select it about 10% of the time. Lets also point out here
that metal slimes are immune to all status effects, instant death, or magic
damage of any kind. That means needle shot, magic burst, dragon soul, etc
are completely ineffective.

---------------------------C) Equipment and Skills---------------------------

Metal Slimes are immune to all types of magic. They also have an extremely
high physical defense (4096) which makes conventional strategies fairly
useless. Lets briefly mention all relevant Equipment and Skills and discuss
how they can be utilized to gain some great experience from the metal slime
family of enemies.

Most of the following will revolve around 3 principles. 1) Attack multiple
times (with tension when possible) 2) Get critical hits to 1-shot metals and
3) raise your agility which will let you go before the metal.


-----Skills----

-Base attack-
  All characters
Description: Your base attack which has a small chance of performing a
  Critical Hit.
Explanation: Critical hits ignore defense, even metal slime's defense. This
  means that any time you get off a critical hit, even from a normal attack 
  command, you will do full normal damage against a metal, killing them in a
  single turn. All characters can do this. Also, normal hits will often
  do 1 pt of damage to a metal. Finally, you can use multi-hit weapons like
  a falcon blade to get two attacks off. Each could critical or simply give
  you 2pts of damage. Metal slimes are fairly easy to kill from just
  attacking but larger slimes will require more strategy. 
NOTE: All the weapon trees give an "increased chance of performing 
  criticals" at different points along the path. These will significantly
  increase your chance of performing a critical but it will still be very 
  rare so don't count on it.

-Metal Slash-
  Hero: Sword level 30
  Angelo: Sword level 22
Description: Makes it easier to hit a metal enemy, and will cause 1 to 2 
  damage to it. All other enemies will take normal damage.
Explanation: Possibly the most obvious of skills, metal slash allows you to 
  effectively damage metals via a consistent damage output of 1-2 pts. 
  Particularly effective against metal slimes (and not their larger cousins),
  the skill also improves with tension. With 5 tension, it will hit for 1-4 
  damage. With 20 Tension, 2-8 damage. With 50 tension, 4-16 damage. With 100
  tension, 8-24 damage. Also, this attack can be used with a falcon blade 
  type sword which gets two attacks and can further double the damage output. 
  A full tension metal slash from angelo or hero with a falcon blade will 
  likely kill a Metal King Slime in 1 turn!

-Lightning Thrust-
  Hero: Spear level 59
Description: This ability replaces Thunder Thrust. It will always land a 
  critical hit, but only hits about 50% of the time.
Explanation: Critical hits 1-shot metal enemies since they ignore defense.
  Lightning Thrust has a 50% chance of hitting but will always critical which
  means that it has a 50% chance of killing a metal. Note though that even
  critical hits can be evaded (1 in 16 chance by metals) so it's not a 
  guaranteed kill. The real chance is 1/2 * 15/16 or 15/32 or 46.875% of 
  actually killing the metal. This skill is particularly useful against 
  larger metals like the metal king slime since it only needs 1 turn to work.

-Thunder Thrust-
  Hero: Spear level 12
Description: Has a high chance of landing a critical hit, but only hits 
  about 50% of the time
Explanation: Very similar to Lightning Thrust except it criticals only 50% of
  the time when it does hit giving a 25% total chance of performing a 
  successful critical and is thus less effective against metals.

-Executioner-
  Yangus: Axe level 66
Description: This ability will replace Hatchet Man. It has a 100% critical
  hit rate, but only hits about 50% of the time.
Explanation: Critical hits 1-shot metal enemies since they ignore defense.
  Executioner has a 50% chance of hitting but will always critical which
  means that it has a 50% chance of killing a metal. Note though that even
  critical hits can be evaded (1 in 16 chance by metals) so it's not a 
  guaranteed kill. The real chance is 1/2 * 15/16 or 15/32 or 46.875% of 
  actually killing the metal. This skill is particularly useful against 
  larger metals like the metal king slime since it only needs 1 turn to work.

-Hatchet Man-
  Yangus: Axe level 19
Description: Has a high chance of landing a critical hit, but only hits
  about 50% of the time
Explanation: Very similar to Executioner except it criticals only 50% of
  the time when it does hit giving a 25% total chance of performing a 
  successful critical and is thus less effective against metals.

-Whistle-
  Yangus: Humanity level 4
Description: Instantly puts you into a battle with enemies from that area
Explanation: The best way to find metal slimes is to have them come to you.
  Wandering around a dungeon or map just takes too much time! Our goal is
  quick experience which means quick fights. Whistle helps us get into the
  encounters right away with less time between battles.

-Accelerate-
  Jessica: Staff level 3
Description: Doubles your Agility. The spell will last the entire battle
Explanation: The more your agility, the better your odds of going before the
  metal slime has a chance to run away. Accelerate does not take effect
  until the next turn but can be useful for the second or later turn. Also 
  note that it is effected by tension which can be helpful. Finally, a note
  that your max agility is still 999 so although accelerate stacks, you will
  eventually reach maximum agility. The good news is you're always going to
  go first with 999 agility.

-Twin Dragon Lash-
  Jessica: Whips level 23
Description: Causes a little more damage then a normal attack, and will hit
  a single enemy twice. If used on a group it may hit a single enemy or 
  multiple enemies
Explanation: Although not especially useful, it can help to get two attacks
  from jessica when hunting metal slimes. Twin Dragon Lash gives a maximum
  of two damage since it gives 2 attacks. Since it removes the ability to
  critical (because it's a skill), I find it only useful against metal
  slimes and not larger metals. jessica is mostly better off using
  Accelerate as well so that the next turn, the other 3 characters will
  have a better chance of going before their metal opponents.

SKILL NOTES: Please keep in mind that many skills are completely useless
  against metals. Dragon Soul, for example, ignores defense but is still
  considered a magic attack so it will not effect metals. Also, many attack
  skills (like flame slash) have a 0% chance of making a critical which can 
  make them actually worse than just using your base attack. Also, buffs
  like oomph have no effect. 

  Also, there are some other notable multiple attack skills like Twin
  Dragon Lash, namely Multishot, Multihit and Crosscutter Throw. They are
  similarly effective but unlike jessica, the others get more useful
  skills. Metal Slash and the improved criticals from the spear and axe
  tree are much more useful. However, these other multi-attack skills 
  are somewhat useful alternatives.

-----Equipment-----

Lets briefly list some very useful items you'll come across in DQ8 and how
they can be utilized to get some nice experience from metals


-Falcon Blade-
 Useable by: Angelo, Hero, Jessica (after knife level 30)
 Buy: Baccarat Casino
Explanation: The falcon blade is very useful because it gives you 2 attacks.
  The best use is with tension as well using metal slash with angelo and hero
  which will give you good, predictable damage against even larger metals. 
  The problem is that this takes a lot of setup work but when you can pull
  it off, it's very successful. I won't specifically list the falcon knife or
  the uber flacon blade but they are very similar and can be used in place
  of falcon blades.

-Timbrel of Tension-
 Useable by: All
 Recipe: Magic Beast Hide + Sun Crown + Tough Guy Tattoo
Explanation: As we've discussed in this faq, raising tension is very useful
  both for getting more damage from metal slash and in increasing the boost
  given from accelerate. The most effective way to raise tension is a Timbrel
  of tension since it works on the entire party raising everyone 1 level.
  There are two skull helms in the game which can be turned into two sun 
  crowns which can then be turned into two timbrels. I suggest getting both
  as soon as possible. They're also very useful beyond just metal slime 
  hunting.

-Meteorite Bracer-
 Useable by: All
 Found: Given to you by Princess Minnie once you acquire 60 Mini Medals
 Recipe: Agility Ring + Agility Ring + Orichalcum
Explanation: This accessory gives Agility +50 which will greatly help your
  chances of going before the metal enemies. I recommend four of these which
  will cost you some orichalcum but again, they're useful for more than just
  metal slime hunting.

-Seed of Agility-
 Useable by: All
 Found: Waterfall Hut (bag), Tower of Alexandria (treasure chest), 
   Boat (pot), Red's Den (treasure chest), Baccarat area (treasure chest on 
   the field), West Argonia area (treasure chest on the field), World of 
   Darkness (treasure chest on the field)
 Drop: Liquid Metal Slime(N), Metal Slime(R)
Explanation: Raising agility again helps characters go before the metals.
  Seeds are common all throughout the game and can be useful as described
  against metal opponents so apply them to your characters! It's what they
  are there for!

-Holy Water-
  Useable by: All
  Buy: Item shops everywhere
  Recipe: Amor Seco Essence + Rock Salt
  Drop: Firespirit(N), Lost Soul(N), Lump Wizard(N), Peeper(N), Winky(N)
Explanation: This is really an early game useful item against metal slimes.
  It will do 1 damage guaranteed every time and can be effectively used 
  early on, in the absence of other good skills and equipment. Once you get 
  metal slash or some of the other skills, you'll find these less useful. 

-Metal Weapons-
Explanation: Lets briefly point these out. There are a number of metal
  weapons in the game with names like "Liquid Metal Sword" or "Metal Wing 
  Boomerang" that have a line regarding metal slimes. They all have an 
  inherent ability to hit for 1-2 damage to metals on a normal attack. 
  However, all these items are only gotten at the end of the game at which 
  point you should also have access to more useful items like the falcon
  blade. You may find them of limited use though, for instance the 
  Boomerang can be useful against mass metal slimes. However, by the time
  you get it, you will only be wasting your time going after regular metal
  slimes.

EQUIPMENT NOTES: There are also many many other agility raising items in the
  game like the Mercury's Bandana,  Mercury's Rapier, Argon Ring, or just a
  good old Agility Rings. These are useful like the seed of agility I 
  described above. Try to maximize your agility when fighting metals. 

--------------------------D) Strategies By Location--------------------------

This is the meant and purpose of this FAQ. Now that you've got an idea of
what you are up against and have a good list of tools at your disposal, lets
get down to the business at hand of killing these pesky things! This section
will be broken down into 5 locations, each with their own types of situations
to deal with. Our goal is the best experience with the least work.

------General Encounter Strategies------
When hunting metal slimes, you're always going to be in a situation of
trying to get your party into a rare encounter. The key is to minimize the
time you spend NOT fighting metal slimes. This is done in two ways. The 
first way is to use whistle instead of just walking around. The second is to
simply get yourself out of battles you don't want to be in. Run across other
enemies? Don't waste your time! The quickest and easiest way to get out of
these battles is to flee (run). However, many people complain that this will
raise their statistic (boo hoo crybaby) or cause King Trode to insult you
in the battle logs section (waaaaah). The second best option is intimidate
which doesn't always work AND takes more time. However, if you are afraid
of fleeing, that's your next best option. Fighting all the battles will
waste your time and slow down your Experience gain.


-----Ruined Abbey (MS)-----
Here you'll find your first metal enemies in the form of Metal Slimes. This
is also a very early location in the game which means you won't have access 
to many of the skills and equipment from the previous sections. Still, this
is your first chance to gain some easy levels if you are well prepared. 

Your best bet here is going to be metal slash. I wouldn't bother with tension
either, I find the best results from just going after them with the hope of 
two damage points. Jessica Can be used in a variety of roles here. She likely
has accelerate which is useful if the battle lasts more than one turn but she
also has twin dragon lash or just her regular attack. Experiment with all 
of these options, you'll find they all give about the same result. As you 
increase your level, your agility will be higher and you will have an easier
time killing these slimes. Note though, that metal slimes are not a common
encounter here so you don't want to waste too much time leveling at this
point in game.

I would also mention the Thunder Thrust and Hatchet man skills here although
that they give a less than 25% chance of killing the slime. Hero is
definitely better off using metal slash if he has it.

Tension won't help you much here since the metal slime will likely be gone
before it is relevant. Also, later in the game when you have more 
skills/equipment, this is not the spot you want to go back to due to it's
low encounter rate and the fact that metal slimes really don't give too 
much experience for a late game group.

Finally, you might try using a lot of holy water which will do 1 damage
against metal slimes. Especially if you don't have the gear and skills,
they can make your life easier.


-----Trodain(LMS)-----
Enter the Liquid Metal Slime. At nearly 10x the experience of the littler
metal slimes and each giving more experience than any non-metal battle will
ever yield, this is when things really start getting good.

Trodain offers a rare encounter with LMS which can be very rewarding.
Unfortunately, you're not going to have access to a lot of equipment at this
point but if you went spear for hero or axe for yangus, you can probably
make some good experience. Executioner (EX) and Lightning Thrust (LT) are
what you really need due to the higher hp of liquid metal slimes. Jessica
should use accelerate as much as possible and angelo is probably best using
a regular attack and praying for a critical. 

If you don't have EX and/or LT, you're not going to have an easy time
killing LMS. You can use a similar strategy as described for the ruined
abbey but since LMS have twice the HP, you're going to have far less
success. 

Finally, keep in mind that agility gear is very helpful. You won't have
access to much at this point but as you get it, use it.

-----Dragon Graveyard (MKS)-----
Lets get down to it! The Dragon Graveyard gives the best experience of the
entire game but is also fairly complex and confusing. Many players prefer 
other areas because a) they lack patience or b) they don't know how or
c) they screw this method up. The confusion here is because we're not just
going after Metal King Slimes (MKS), we're going after max XP. That involves
kerplunk casting Beelzebuzz and MKS. It involves exploiting not just LT + EX
but metal slash, falcon blades, and tension tension tension! Lets begin.

The basic encounter here is just one MKS. The way you want to kill these is
to have hero use LT and yangus use EX. Jessica should case accelerate and 
angelo should attack and pray for crit. If you have a timbrel of tension 
(called ToT), you might consider having angelo use it hoping to boost
jessica's accelerate. Again, agility raising gear is very helpful. This
isn't the ultimate xp gain here in the Dragon Graveyard though. Read on!

The real fun comes in when you get MKS along with a few Beelzebuzz. The
reason this is so great is because Beelzebuzz have kerplunk. If you manage
to kill off the MKS and then have him brought back by kerplunk, you can kill
him AGAIN and gain ANOTHER 30,000 xp. Effectively, each Beelzebuzz becomes
another MKS worth of experience for you to get. Using this method, you can
gain over 200,000 experience in a single battle (with a little luck) and
although such boosts are rare, they happen frequently enough to make this
the single fastest way of gaining experience in the game. When you find
yourself in that lucky situation of seeing MKS along with some Beelzebuzz,
use the following phases. For this example, we'll assume you are fighting
3 Beelzebuzz and 1 Metal King Slime. The encounters vary slightly but the
strategy is much the same.

Phase 1: Kill the MKS. The goal here is much like the basic MKS strategy.
Use LT and EX to bring down the Metal King Slime quickly. Try to avoid
killing the Beelzebuzz yet, I'll explain in the next phase.

Phase 2: Now that you've killed the Metal King Slime, you want to buff
yourself as much as possible. This means getting hero and angelo to 100
tension and using enough accelerates to get everyone to 999, assuring you'll
go first. The key here is to not kill off the Beelzebuzz or leave only one
because this will cause them to cast kerplunk too early. You want to make
sure that you'll have the capability to kill that MKS in one shot with your
fully tensioned, falcon blade swinging, metal slash using hero/angelo.

Phase 3: Now that you're fully buffed, take yangus and kill off all but 1
Beelzebuzz. Make sure you keep track of which one he is. It will cast 
kerplunk and your MKS friend will be back upright. Next turn, send a metal
slash his way and bring him down. Again, you'll want to have a falcon blade
which will give two attacks without reducing metal slash's damage. At 100 
tension, hero/angelo should 1-shot the MKS. At 50 tension, it's about 50/50
in my experience so you might want to use both. Try not to kill off all the
Beelzebuzz though or you'll miss out on some of that XP. After killing the
MKS for a second time, we're back into phase 1. Note that each Beelzebuzz
only has enough MP to cast kerplunk once so make sure you leave each one
alive on it's own at least once so it can cast it's kerplunk.

Done effectively, the encounter with three Beelzebuzz and one MKS should
result in over 120,000 xp. Complex? Yes. Easy to mess up? Yes. Fastest? YUP!

Finally, a note about the dragon graveyard is that killing machines cannot
be intimidated. If you refuse to flee (because you're a cry baby), you are
going to have to kill them before progressing. You should really flee.

-----Fly-to areas (LMS+)-----
During the Night (night only, have I said that enough yet?), you can
encounter Liquid Metal Slimes (LMS) in any area you can only fly to
(besides slime hill). One such example is the plateau south of the dragon
graveyard but there are several others. Look for the areas in the clouds.

Much simpler and requiring less skills/equipment is LMS hunting. Any area
you can fly to, at night, will feature encounters that may include multiple
LMS. However, you should now have access to falcon blades and a Timbrel of
Tension (or two). Since LMS come in multiples here, this is a great place to
gain large experience in a regular fashion. Although not as fast as the
dragon graveyard, it requires far less gear, far less patience, and is much
easier. Also, it's still pretty good XP!

The basics here are to utilize what we've got. Lightning Thrust (LT) and
Executioner (EX) are still work great but now with falcon blades, we have
other options. Metal Slash with a falcon blade will do up to 4 damage at
normal tension and can 1-shot an LMS even at 5 tension with a little luck.
Again, agility raising gear is quite useful here. Use seeds if you got em,
use agility gear if you have it (or even go make some).

Yangus doesn't have a sword or accelerate to deal with so he's only going to
be useful if you have enough points in axe using Executioner (or god forbid,
maybe even hatchet man). You could always do the "attack and pray" as well.
He makes a poor timbrel user because he has such poor agility. I prefer to
give the ToT to Jessica if I only have 1 but you might consider giving a
second to yangus.

Angelo doesn't have an auto-crit move like EX or LT so he's definitely going
to be using falcon blade + metal slash. 

Jessica has two good options, she makes an ideal ToT user due to her high
agility and she has accelerate. I mostly prefer the ToT approach as it
increases the killing rate, even if most of the LMS get away. When fighting
six LMS (fairly common), you can't expect to kill them all. 

Hero has both yangus's and angelo's options in metal slash AND LT. Both have
their strengths. Generally though, most players will NOT have both. If they
did, they'd likely not be wasting their time here and instead leveling in
the dragon graveyard. If I had both, I'd probably use LT mostly, firing a
metal slash + falcon blade off when his tension was high from a few hits
with a ToT.

This area also gets worse after a late-game event due to some other enemies
getting mixed in to the encounter rates thus reducing the number of LMS you
will see over a given time period. It doesn't require as much stuff as the
dragon graveyard though so it makes a good place to start metal slime
hunting.

-----Slime Hill (ALL)-----
OK, I'm only even putting this in here because so many people talk about it.
Compared to either of the above locations, the experience rates are not any
good. First off, not all the slimes you fight are metal. Second off, even
normal metal slimes are not really worth your time at this point. Oh, and
for those who don't know, slime hill is that area in the clouds near rydon
tower. It's also the only fly-to-only area that doesn't feature the same
encounters as dictated in the strategy above.

Slime hill features MS, LMS, and MKS so you'll need to use all the
strategies above (except there are no kerplunk casters so forget that). I
won't go into detail but again you have LT and EX, as well as metal slash.
Agility is again very important. Hit em with what you got. Move on to
greener pastures when you get serious about gaining more xp.


-----Other Areas-----
MS, LMS, and MKS can be found in many other areas. I haven't listed
individual strategies for each because they are mostly redundant. If you've
read through the strategies I gave for each area, you should have all the
knowledge needed to hunt any metal anywhere. Again, the fastest place is
the dragon graveyard. Also keep in mind that many locations are simply not
as good as the ones I've listed. Don't waste your time in places when
there is better xp elsewhere.

--------------------------E) Skill point strategies--------------------------

OK, so lets spend a minute talking about spending your skill points as you
level up. You can go all fisticuffs if you like, and I'm sure it's a fun
strategy to try, but you're not going to be able to hunt for metal slimes
much at all. The key skills for metal slime hunting are listed above in
section B and how many points you'll need. Lets talk about at what levels
you COULD have access to these skills if you had some foresight.

-Hero- 
Metal Slash COULD be learned as early as level 14
Thunder Thrust COULD be learned as early as level 8
Lighting Thrust COULD be learned as early as level 19
All COULD be learned as early as level 25

-Yangus-
Whistle COULD be learned as early as level 5
Hatchet Man COULD be learned as early as level 8
Executioner COULD be learned as early as level 21
All COULD be learned as early as level 21

-Jessica-
Accelerate COULD be learned as early as level 10
Twin Dragon Lash COULD be learned as early as level 13
All COULD be learned as early as level 14

-Angelo-
Metal Slash COULD be learned as early as level 18

So, if you prioritize these categories, you can see very early on you get
the skills you will need to metal slime hunt effectively. If you decide to
focus on these skills or not is your business and your game but complaining
you don't have a skill and thus cannot get good experience is mostly your
own doing. 

Personally, I try to get all these skills by the mid 30s. Before that, I
just don't see much benefit in metal slime hunting. By the time I reach
the dragon graveyard though, I'm ready and able to gain all the xp I'll
ever want. This style of play assumes you don't mind being at decent levels
through most of the game. For those who intend to play though with low
levels, metal slime hunting is really not for you. Not only will you not
need the experience gains, but worse the skills listed are really not the
ones you need to focus on and will be too costly a diversion. 

Many discussions about what skill builds to use for characters revolve
around the skills above. Getting them early locks out other key skills that
are very helpful for those who do not intend to level up 

-------------------------F) Dragon Graveyard the best?-----------------------

Where the fastest experience gain can be gotten is a debate in nearly every
RPG, DQ8 is no different. Particularly after the release of this faq, the
discussion in the gamefaqs community has become fever pitched. I assert
repeatedly in this FAQ that the Dragon Graveyard (DG) is the fastest place
to gain experience and that has proven to not be universally accepted. I am 
adding this section to summarize the debate and my opinions on it.

The basic premise here is that the fly-to-only areas mentioned above are
actually faster than the DG. Proponents argue that the encounter rate of LMS
is higher which makes up for the larger XP possible in the DG. I disagree
with this due to my own findings. I have spent several hours fighting
metals in each area and my experience has been that the DG is considerably
faster. I'm not going to use the word "proven" anymore, but to me it is.
I've been given threats, ultimatums, and misleading evidence but nothing
that I feel changes my opinion.

I think there are a number of contributing factors towards why people have
the mistaken opinion that the fly-to-only areas are faster. First, is
because the method for best exploiting the DG is complex where simply
swinging away with LT and EX is fairly straightforward. Also, I think a lack
of patience is commonplace. The DG encounter rates for MKS are small, and
the odds of finding them with Beelzebuzz are even smaller. People then seem
to loose sight of the long-term averages and base their opinions on short-
term findings. Of course, there are those who DO understand the correct DG
methods, who HAVE all the right skills/setups, and STILL think the fly-to-
only areas are faster.

Naughty Monkey has done some commendable analysis on this, lets go over his
results. Despite refusing to actually provide data from his analysis,
he claims to have completed 1000 encounters in each location, recording his
results as he went. Although I have at least a dozen problems with his
statistical analysis on the data (which is why I asked for his data), he
claims the final numbers are that the "Dragon Graveyard gives about 450000 
experience per 100 encounters while Liquid Metal hunting gives 670000 
experience per 100 encounters." In addition to the statistical mistakes,
the main flaw with this is the underlying premise that the encounter rates
are of similar speed. Of course, most encounters in the DG will consist of
fleeing due to the vast majority of encounters not including MKS and thus
the rate at which you go through 100 encounters is much faster.

In the end though, neither of us have access to the actual code in the game.
Neither of us can give you a purely definitive answer. The experience gain
in both locations is quite good, better than anywhere else. Either place
should serve you well. In fact, as I have said in this FAQ already, the 
fly-to-only area "requires far less gear, far less patience, and is much
easier. Also, it's still pretty good XP!". Maybe in the end, that's the
deciding factor for you.

-------------------------------G) Thanks/legal-------------------------------

Thanks to Red Scarlet, Randy Price, and David Vreeland for the info from
their FAQs. Thanks to the gamefaqs community and thanks to Square Enix for a
great game.

Info from other gamefaqs FAQs is copywrite by their respective owners.
Dragon Quest VIII is copywrite Square Enix and everything else is mine.
All rights reserved. 

For posting on Gamefaqs.com ONLY.

Contact: EMAIL d _at_ mosc _dot_ com

Version 1.0 - 1/26/07 - base version
Version 1.1 - 2/2/07 - fixed spelling and added some useful feedback in
Version 1.2 - 4/2/07 - Added discussion on DG, some other MISC stuff.
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