4. Living Garden
Power Type: Hydro
Minimum Rank: Baron/Baroness
Minimum Recommended Trap: Oasis Water Node Trap
Objectives: Get the Rift Base and the Phantasmic Oasis Trap / Get the Rift Detector
Recommended Area Progression Plan: Where Should I Go Next?
A Quick Word on Traps
You should have at least the Steam Laster Mk. 3, the A.C.R.O.N.Y.M. Trap and the Clockapult of Time to hunt in the Living Garden, Sand Dunes, and Lost City. However, if you followed my advice, you may not have visited the Iceberg yet and might have skipped the Clockapult. For these and other reasons (namely that I like to get the best traps I can before I enter a new, tough area), I would suggest you get the Oasis Water Node, the Droid Archmagus, and the Interdimensional Crossbow (or comparable LE traps).
You can probably manage with lesser traps, but it‘s going to be a struggle. Furthermore, if you want to craft the Phantasmic Oasis trap, which I recommend, you will need Oasis parts, so there‘s pretty much no way around that one. (Unless you want to wait and get the Queso Fount Trap from Queso Geyser, in which case you can skip the Phantasmic Oasis Trap.)
Don’t bother going for the Clockwork Portal Trap or the Grand Arcanum Trap though. With the introduction of Fort Rox, these two are now obsolete. At roughly the same strength as their Fort Rox counterparts, triple the point requirement, and a higher cost, these two are no longer desireable.
When you first get your Key to the Living Garden, three areas open up for you, the Living Garden itself, the Lost City and the Sand Dunes. Your first stop will be the Living Garden, because you don‘t have the right bait for the other two locations yet.
Enter the Garden, arm your Oasis Water Node Trap (or equivalent LE trap) with your best Base and maybe some Charm and start hunting. Standard cheese types are used here, preferably either Gouda or Brie. Just a heads up: There‘s a lot less gold to get here than in the Warpath, so if you‘re not in a hurry, Brie might be sufficient. If you‘re rich and you don‘t want to deal with FTAs, SB+ is of course another choice.
Your objective is to catch mice that drop Dewthief Petals. These Petals are used in the Cheese Shoppe to buy Dewthief Camembert. I‘d suggest accumulating somewhere between 100-200 of these Petals before you move on. But wait, there’s more!
The mice of the Living Garden also periodically drop things called Essences. There are 9 different Essences. Essences can also be crafted, any Essence requires 3 Essences of the one below it to craft it. For example: 3 Aleth Essences make 1 Ber Essence, 3 Ber Essences make 1 Cynd Essence, and so on through Dol, Est, Fel, Gur, Hix and finally Icuri.
A kind of mini game can maximize your essences. It is about using Blue Sponge Charms to filter moisture out of the air and gather it in a container. Each Sponge Charm costs 1 A Essence. Those Charms are only consumed on a successful catch. You‘ll notice that for each catch with a Sponge Charm you‘ll get 1 drop in your container. Don‘t pour straight away though, because for every Sponge Charm catch from catch #11 through #20 you‘ll get 2 drops, plus an extra 5 drops when you get to 20 Sponge Charm catches. That‘s the time to unequip them if you bought more than 20, because now you can pour. You‘ll have 35 poured hunts if you‘ve gone all the way to 20 with the Sponge Charms. 35 hunts during which the otherwise absent Thirsty Mouse is present in the Garden. You might get lucky and catch a few, but catching none in 35 hunts happens as well. It‘s worth it because Thirsties drop a B and a C Essence each. Beware though, because FTCs and FTAs count as a poured hunt! Your progress, be it the collecting of drops by Sponge Charms or the number of poured hunts you have left, will not be lost if you leave the Living Garden.
Next, you will move on to the Sand Dunes and the Lost City to collect Dreamfluff Herbs and Duskshade Petals. When you have about 150-200 each, use them to acquire Duskshade Camembert. As with the Dewthief, there a two routes you can choose. One incorporates Magic Essence. The same advice as before goes for this one: only use the ME option if you have a lot of SB+ at your disposal.
Now, back to the Living Garden, arm your Duskshade Camembert to catch Carmine the Apothecary. When you do, you‘ll be transported to a strange and wicked mirror world, a bit like Alice through the looking glass. You‘ll be in the Twisted Garden.
Keep hunting with your Duskshade Camembert and collect Graveblossom Petals.
The mini game of the Twisted Garden is similar to the one in the Living Garden. The thing that has changed is that now you don‘t have Blue Sponge Charms, but Red and Yellow ones. Get 10 of each and fill up the tanks.
Pouring the Yellow drops will give you a bonus on Luck, the Red a bonus on Power. Pour them together for a combined bonus for the next 35 hunts (if you‘ve filled both containers all the way). Also, during that time the Dehydrated Mouse will show itself, if you‘re lucky.
Here‘s a tip: You will be back in the Twisted Garden at the end to catch the boss mouse of the area. So if you can manage, make sure that both the Yellow and Red tank are full when you run out of Duskshade Camembert. That way you‘ll be able to pour when you return to catch the boss. The Power and Luck bonus you receive during the poured hunts will help in catching it.
Once again, you will move on, this time to the Sand Crypts and the Cursed City, to collect Plumepearl Herbs and Lunaria Petals. I suggest you get enough to acquire 20-40 pieces of Lunaria Camembert. (Since Plumepearl Herbs and Lunaria Petals are this difficult to get, in this case the ME recipe is totally justified!)
Arm your Oasis, best Base and your best Charms. Ultimate Luck or Ultimate Power might be a good investment in this case. Don‘t forget to pour to get an extra bonus on your stats if you‘ve managed to collect enough drops during your first visit to the Twisted Garden. Your goal is to catch the Twisted Carmine. She is not a guaranteed attraction, however, and tough to beat, even with the best setups. Good luck!
When you catch her, she will drop a Living Chest. These contain various things, among them is Fresh Garden Soil, which you‘ll need to craft the Soiled Base. Combine the Soiled Base with Growth Charms or even Wild Growth Charms (craftable as well) for a combined stats boost. (However, these items are all completely optional!)
Ultimate Luck and Ultimate Power Charms are craftable now as well. They‘re far from cheap, but the possibility is there.
You can also craft Unstable Gourds and poke them. This works in the same way as Unstable Curds in Furoma. You craft, poke, and get different kinds of cheese out of it.
The final boss mouse of the area is the Shattered Carmine. It can only be attracted in the Twisted Garden with Lunaria Camembert and a Shattering Charm armed. Each Shattering Charm requires (among other things) an Aromatic Oil, which in turn each cost a million gold. Yes, you read that correctly, 1 million! Plus, each Shattering Charm requires 1 Icuri Essence for crafting. For fun, that’s roughly six and a half thousand A essences, or 9 Twisted Carmine catches.
Shattered Carmine, together with King Scarab in the Sand Crypts and Dark Magi in the Cursed City, hold items necessary to craft the Rift Base.
* Use standard cheese types to gather Dewthief Petals for Dewthief Camembert.
* Use Duskshade Camembert to catch Carmine the Apothecary to get to the Twisted Garden.
* Use Duskshade Camembert to collect Graveblossom Petals.
* Use Lunaria Camembert to catch Twisted Carmine.
* Use Lunaria Camembert and a Shattering Charm to catch Shattered Carmine.