Spoilers warning ahead.
The third Taiko game for 3DS's Story Mode stars the Taiko siblings Don and Katsu traveling the world in order to help a couple of new companions: the sorceress Tia and the monkey-like creature Popokaka.
Emerging from a giant plate during a museum visit by the drum brothers, the two seek help as planet Earth's balance is in danger! Six powerful artifacts known as the Mystery Items are missing from their original locations and odd incidents are happening all over the world as a result, due to the items being originally used to seal the power of other-wordly, dragon-like creatures known as the Ryuumyaku, which inspired folklore legends all over the world across the ages. The mayhem has been caused by the actions of members from Hexaglia, a secret mage-powered society who seeks the Ryuumyaku's powers for their mischievous purposes.
The Mystery Adventure mode inherits the Story mode mechanics of Don to Katsu no Jikuu Daibouken's adventure, with the return of Clash notes from Wii 2 (for random battles only), up to 8 different members to be employable for battles and the possibility to use magic to grant several perks to the whole party.
Dokodon! Mystery Adventure features 8 different boss battles, as well as several fights against secret society Hexaglia's most powerful members with already-available songs (as opposed to the regular boss tracks, which are unlocked only after battling their owners). For the sake of this feature, we'll showcase the mid-boss fights first in order of appearance, before talking about the major enemies of the game.
Mid-Boss 1 - Arnold (アーノルド)
Featured in: Chapter 2, 4
Songs used: AWAKE ～Muscle Mezame no Theme～ (AWAKE ～マッスル目覚めのテーマ～) / Alexander no Theme (アレキサンダーのテーマ)
The first Hexaglia member who directly tries to stop the Taiko party's adventure dead in their tracks is Arnold Crougaia, a magic-less brute who constantly seeks for worthy rivals to battle against his mighty muscle power. In fact, Arnold is so strong that he's able to pull the scrolling mat several times, up to make it half of its original size for a short amount of time!
Arnold appears during the Easter Island chapter for a jungle match, and later on during the Yamataikoku chapter for an heated rematch near a volcano.
Mid-Boss 2 - Deborah (デボラ)
Featured in: Chapter 3, 4
Songs used: Theremin Rhapsody (テルミン狂想曲) / Mahoujin -Summon Delta- (魔方陣 -サモン･デルタ-)
Fire also happens to be the magic source of Deborah Ignispada, the eldest member of the Hexaglia society. During the Machu Picchu exploration (and later again in Yamataikoku), she's eager to challenge the team with mighty two-color fire attacks which may not cover the notes passing inside them, but temporarily changes their color regardless of what kind of notes actually were (to red by the red flames, and to blue by the blue flames), as well as adding fake duds to the mix (watch the wonky faces)!
Mid-Boss 3 - Lily (リリィ)
Featured in: Chapter 4
Song used: Yami no Mahou Shoujo (闇の魔法少女)
The second female lead of the mage society is Lily, a young magician with an attitude for causing all sorts of troubles with her portal powers. For her fights, this is translated into attacks that change the horizontal flow of the notes through the scrolling bar. Watch out!
Mid-Boss 4 - Matthias (マティアス)
Featured in: Chapter 4
Song used: Shiuryu (秋竜 ～Shiuryu～)
Closing Hexaglia's main quartet is Matthias Aquadia, an armless swordsman whose magic powers granted him the use of a pair of floating hands. Right before confronting Yamataikoku's major threat, he seeks revenge for his companions' defeats with his floating hands being used to interfere with the notes and scrolling bar in a number of ways, from changing the size of single notes to selectively accelerate certain notes... All in a wink of an eye!
Mid-Boss 5 - Hexaglia Group Battles
Featured in: Chapter 5, 6, 7
Song used: Madou Gensoukyoku (魔導幻想曲)
After the 4 consecutive defeats of the members in solo, Hexaglia reckons they need more power. Near the end of the Story mode, there will be several occasions where multiple Hexaglia members will attack the Taiko party with their signature song! During these battles, the special attacks will be cycled from the furthest member from the center to the closest one.
This situation will happen before the Taiko party get to the Ice/Crystal Skull (Lily, Deborah), when Atlantis's Ryuumyaku is defeated (Lily, Arnold, Matthias) and during the Taiko brothers' raid in the Hexaglia headquarters (brainwashed Arnold, Matthias).
Boss 1 - Leviathan (リヴァイアサン)
Song used: Soul Calibur III (ソウルキャリバーIII)
Now on with the game's actual story! After Don and Katsu's first meeting with Tia and Popokaka, Hexaglia member Lily steals from the two the Lion Pendant and proceeds to hid it in Greece, where the first Ryuumyaku is causing havoc with its fire-based attacks. Upon traveling there, the party meets the strong Heracles, who is looking for his lost medallion with the team in order to take down the threat.
The first Ryuumyaku is the Leviathan, which -contrary to many actual texts in religion and other folklore saying that it's a mythological water creature- attacks with explosive lava bursts which can partially cover up the scrolling bar only to explode seconds later.
Boss 2 - Cockatrice (コカトリス)
Song used: SORA-VI Hinotori (SORA-VI 火ノ鳥)
After solving the Greece accident, the 876 News broadcast reports the odd case of people disappearing on Easter Island, which in turn becomes the party's next location. Upon entering, a small trip to the island's jungle with the Makemake Grandpa is enough to spot some of the inhabitants being turned into statues! After facing off against Arnold, Don and Katsu discover that the Makemake Grandpa's blood lineage has gave him the powers of one of the Mystery Items, thus being able to revert the petrifying spell and to break the defense of the island's Ryuumyaku.
This time around, the enemy is a cockatrice, the two-legged dragon/snake creature with a cock's head, notorious for its ability to kill people by simply glaring at them. As the party is immune to petrification thanks to the new ally's powers, the mythical creature can only interfere with Don's drumming by turning the surrounding trees' branches to stone and use them as a visual distraction.
Boss 3 - Quetzalcoatl (ケツァルコアトル)
Song used: KUSANAGI
The next stop for the expedition is on the Peruvian Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, where its historical site and the surrounding mountain region is enveloped into a thick fog. Here, Don and Katsu meet the harpy Chaska, who was put in charge by her ancestors to revert the curse by awakening a golden flying fish. Upon confronting with Deborah at the fish's altar, it reveals himself to be one of the six Mystery Objects, and asks help to their saviors in order to take down the flying entity who caused the odd weather changes of the city.
And so, up in the sky, the team faces off against Quetzalcoatl, the Aztec god of winds which has taken the form of a flying snake. Its wind mastery has granted to the creature the ability to flip all the Don and Kat notes that are flowing in the scrolling bar, making the same bar a little faster in the process as well.
Boss 4 - Yamata no Orochi (カグツチ)
Song used: Kagutsuchi (カグツチ)
The fourth Story chapter is set in the feudal Yamataikoku, where time seems to be turned back to the Japanese Yayoi period. This exceptional occurrence makes possible for the Taiko brothers to meet a young Susanoo-no-Mikoto, who is trying to prevent the sacrifice of his friend Kushinada-hime to the vicious Yamata no Orochi, an 8-headed serpent living in a cave near the zone's village. This story closely follows the actual tale of the namesake Japanese deity Susanoo-no-Mikoto, in the period of time when he was banished to Earth (see here for more details!).
In order to gain access to the cave, the team has to gather enough supplies to be joining the sacrifice-expedition party, together with Susanoo's Totsuka-no-Tsurugi blade for the fight. After fighting each of the Hexaglia members on their way, the Taiko brothers put the young warrior in female disguise and replace the whole sacrifice party in order to face the beast. The battle is set with high tensions and low shots, as the Yamata no Orochi will periodically exhale the alcoholic drinks he had before the supposed "first course", effectively covering the center of the scrolling bar and making drunk the notes that are passing by as a result!
Boss 5 - Dragonewt (ドラゴニュート)
Song used: Heaven's Rider
Right after the Orochi situation's resolution, the latest news reports are documenting the Antarctic zone melting due to an unexpected internal source of heat! Upon reaching the icy region, the Taiko siblings meet a friendly yeti and a suspicious statue standing in the overly-heated region. Upon finding a crystal skull inside the inner caves, the newly-found Mystic Item breaks the statue to reveal the creature that's inside.
Coming from the fantasy lore of tabletop gaming and former role-playing videogames of the caliber of RuneQuest, the creature reveals itself to be a Dragonewt, a magical dragon/humanoid being which is able to improve its body's capabilities through self-regeneration. Having interrupted the Dragonewt's fire-based regen cycle, its powers -while not being at their peak- are powerful enough to be used against the Taiko party, with his stone clones being able to blacken selected notes during the play.
Boss 6 - Kraken (クラーケン)
Song used: SORA-III Heliopause (SORA-III ヘリオポーズ)
Upon hearing the news of some suspicious ship breaks caused by an 'unidentified sea creature', Don and Katsu manage to discover the mermaid-inhabited realm of Atlantis, where the brothers come to know that the final Mystery Object has been destructed. All hope is not lost though, as an other-worldly being temporarily takes the control of Tia, revealing the possibility to create a duplicate of said item by gathering enough materials from Atlantis's surroundings. Once that the Mystery Cube has been forged once again, the party is headed towards the Kraken, so that they can slain the last Ryuumyaku with the newly-regenerated item.
While this Kraken doesn't have the usual octopus-like features that have been narrated through the ages in many myths and stories, the power of the seas is surely within its reach! As such, the creature is able to control the undersea tides to obstruct the view with waves and sea creatures, as well as make notes fluctuate with the tide in irregular waves.
Boss 7 - True Deborah (真デボラ)
Song used: Crazy Beauty (クレイジービューティー)
Upon defeating the Kraken and during a rematch with the Lily/Arnold/Matthias trio, Deborah takes advantage of the fight to gather the energy of the Team's six Mystery Objects to revert her looks and powers to their original form, so that she can take over the plans of world domination by herself! After vanishing with the brainwashed Andrea and Matthias, Lily feels betrayed and joins the drums' team in the quest of stopping Deborah's ambition, leading the crew to Hexaglia's headquarters in Europe.
Upon delving into the lair's deepest rooms (and recruiting the duo of Arnold and Matthias in the process), Don and Katsu manage to stop Deborah's rituals in time for a heated fight in the borderline to the Ryuumyaku's dimension. Taking a page from V Version's Violia Noise powers, Deborah's true form is able to make the notes come to the hit marker from many different angles from the ordinary scrolling bar!
Boss 8 - Ryuumyaku King (龍脈の王)
Song used: Ryuumyaku no Ou (龍脈の王)
Upon defeating the strengthened Deborah, she loses her powers in order to call out the king of Ryuumyaku so that the ritual can go on! Although if only the head made it crossing the dimensional borderline, its fire and thunder powers are already enough to turn the heroes' scheme upside-down... literally!
On selected occasions, the powerful beast will drag the scrolling bar to the Nintendo 3DS's lower touch screen for a smaller-than-usual visual complete with thunder screen-obscuring attacks, together with the fact that the whole scrolling bar will be also able to move vertically and rotate horizontally just to add to the confusion. On top of that, if the player manages to reach the Ryuumyaku King fight without losing once to True Deborah, there's a slim chance that will make the whole battle play on Detarame (as also the video above shows), randomizing every single note of the chart!
Defeating the powerful king will be worth for the game's Story resolution, as the credits scene will offer a longer cut of the theme song, Linda AI-CUE will want to take a trip to the museum with his latest devilish creation and 876 News will report the appearance of an unidentified flying object, coming to Earth in order to take back Tia and Popokaka... wait, WHAT?
That's right- the game's main companions are actually aliens. Did you think that the UFO appearing on the top-right corner of the game's cover art was there for no reason?
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