''Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 2'' is the fifth installment of the ''VideoGame/DragonQuestMonsters'' spinoff of the ''VideoGame/DragonQuest'' series, released on the UsefulNotes/NintendoDS.

[[HeroicMime The hero]] decides to stow away on a zeppelin heading towards the world monster tournament, observing as the [[AlphaBitch reigning champion]][[note]]Solitaire from the original Joker[[/note]] declares the ship unfit for someone of her caliber and storms off to find more appropriate accommodations. This turns out to be prescient, the ship is brought down shortly after takeoff, right after the Hero is caught as a stowaway and forced to work as a deck hand for the crew.

Waking up near the crashed ship, the engineer, [[PunnyName Rory Bellows]] finds him and sets him off on a quest to attempt to find survivors. It seems that the ship has crash landed on an island populated by hundreds of monster species -- fortunately for him, he always wanted to be a monster scout...

As a monster catching game, various flavors of monster are available, out of several broad families -- Slime, Dragon, Inanimate Objects, etc etc. Each monster has up to 3 to 5 skill trees they gain from their species and parentage, and gain skill points to place in these trees upon levelup. (This system is based on the ''VideoGame/DragonQuestVIII'' system of skill trees, and is almost identical to the system in the original ''Joker''.)

Each monster also has from 1 to 4 traits, passive benefits (or penalties) that affect them no matter what skill trees they have inherited from the breeding system -- for example, some monsters are just naturally able to move two or three times a turn, this is something they cannot pass on to children of a different species.

Received an UpdatedRerelease, ''VideoGame/DragonQuestMonsters Joker 2 Professional'', which added 110 new monsters, completely re-balanced the multiplayer, and roughly doubled the single player campaign. Unfortunately, due to some poor timing in both release date and localization, [[NoExportForYou this version was not the one localized]].

!!''Joker 2'' contains examples of:
* ActuallyFourMooks: Played straight -- only one monster appears on the map, but up to three appear in combat. It's further played with by the size system -- monsters can be size S, M, or G -- taking up 1, 2 or 3 party slots respectively. Size 2 monsters get a huge stat boost, can have more skill trees, and have more (and better) traits to make up for their size. Size 3 monsters are literal parties in and of themselves, and get outrageous stat boosts and can have 5 skill trees at a time.
** Unfortunately, Size G is reserved for truly gigantic boss monsters that cannot be scouted. [[spoiler: Until the PlayableEpilogue, of course.]]
** Fortunately, there are competitive balances between the small monsters and large ones, meaning that the multiplayer is not just "whoever has the biggest wins". The giant monsters do less physical damage (to make up for the fact that they hit the entire party) and many competitive standard size monsters have "Giant Killer", which causes every hit they make on a Size M or G monster to be a ''critical hit.''
** FakeBalance: HOWEVER, there is a significant problem with Giant monsters in Joker 2 released outside Japan: hardly any of them are actually worth using. There are a couple of issues. First, some clarification: the damage cap for normal attacks is 2000. Every Size G monster has a trait called Grand Slammer, which makes their normal attack and physical skills hit all enemies, as well as boosts all damage they inflict significantly. There are also three traits that grant multiple actions per round: Tactical Trooper (act 1-2 times, based on RNG), Double Trouble (twice), and Tactical Genius (1-3 times, based on RNG). For a Size G monster to be competitive, it MUST be able to act more than once per turn regularly, be able to heal itself, have a sizeable amount of HP, and in the absence of guaranteed multi-actions, must either have great stats/traits/resistances to make up for it. There are 18 Size G monsters available.
*** Of the 18 Size G monsters, three have Tactical Trooper,[[note]]Empyrea, Rhapthorne 2, Leonyx[[/note]] seven have Double Trouble,[[note]]Schleiman Tank, Stormsgate Citadel, Canzar, Ruin, Sagittar, Aquarion, Great Godbird[[/note]] and four have Tactical Genius.[[note]]Orochi, Estark, Zenith Dragon, Rigor Mortex[[/note]] The other four[[note]]Wormonger, Missing Lynx, Bjorn, and Khalimari[[/note]] will only ever act once per round. Of the 18 Size G monsters, eight[[note]]Wormonger, Missing Lynx, Bjorn, Stormsgate Citadel, Empyrea, Sagittar, Rhapthorne 2, Great Godbird[[/note]] have less than 2000 max HP. Should the enemy team have a Night Clubber,[[note]]a monster with 999/999/999 max HP/Attack/Defence, and the aforementioned Giant Killer trait[[/note]] only TWO of these Size G monsters [[note]]Sagittar, Great Godbird[[/note]] stand a chance of coming out alive. In all, only a third of the 18 Size G monsters are worth using,[[note]]Canzar, Ruin, Sagittar, Aquarion, Great Godbird, Rigor Mortex[[/note]] owing to giants in general having bad traits and painfully low max stats. Oh, and Night Clubber? Turns out it's great at killing everything else, too, especially if an Attack StatusBuff is cast on it.
* AlphaBitch: The reigning champion, who refuses to even get on the ship, and Lily Gilder, a TooDumbToLive RichBitch who torments you throughout the game.
** [[spoiler: Though her attitude towards you does get a little better as the story progresses.]]
* TheArtifact: Solitaire, TheRival from ''Joker'', appears in the game and her presence makes just about as much sense as keeping the title, in part because she carries over the ThemeNaming (almost all the major characters in ''Joker'' derived their names from a PlayingCardMotifs). Also, her status as reigning champion raises interesting questions about what happened between the events of ''Joker'' and ''Joker 2'', given that she appears to have been demoted. [[spoiler:No mention is made of the fact that she became commissioner of the tournament in the first game]].
* ArtifactTitle: The previous game had "Joker" as the CanonName of the main character, taken from the game's playing card ThemeNaming. While set in the same universe, ''Joker 2'' doesn't feature the protagonist ''or'' the theme, making the "Joker" part of the title meaningless (except, of course, the Incarnus monster (Wulf''spade'', Hawk''heart'', ''Club''oon, and ''Diama''gon), which ''does'' make an appearance.)
* ArtificialStupidity: Left to their own devices, your monsters that know [[KillItWithFire Sizz,]] [[KillItWithIce Crack,]] [[StuffBlowingUp Bang,]] or [[BlowYouAway Woosh]] spells will insistently use them in the presence of [[MetalSlime Metal Slimes]] mixed with other monsters, despite their being immune to any spell. They are likely use these spells when there are multiple monsters, but even in cases where the spells would only hurt one monster, none of them at all , or even accidentally [[FeedItWithFire heal the enemy.]] Note that this can easily be [[AvertedTrope averted]] by giving your monsters commands yourself.
** For the most part averted the rest of the time. The AI isn't outstanding, but apart from the cases above it isn't stupid.
** Luckily, the wild mosnters can be just as foolish.
%%* TheAssimilator: [[spoiler:Rigor Mortex's]] mondus operandi.
* BattleAura: "Psyching up" makes a return appearance from ''VideoGame/DragonQuestVIII'', ''VideoGame/DragonQuestIX'', and ''Joker''. As before, it drastically increases the numbers you put out, be it damage, healing, or ''scouting.''
* BeyondTheImpossible: Synthesizing ''Joker 2's'' TrueFinalBoss, whose main ingredients each require Captain Crow. Captain Crow can only be obtained once per game -- [[SocializationBonus you need a friend]].
%%* ButThouMust: Several times.
* {{Cap}}: All monsters have their own stat caps, level cap is based on how many "pluses" a monster has. (0-4, level 50; 5-9, level 75; 10+, level 100) Stat cap can be increased by getting stat bonus "skills", and there are even specific stat bonus skill trees you can take.
* CanisMajor: [[spoiler: The Incarnus makes a return in the postgame, and has an even bigger appearance in the UpdatedRerelease.]]
* ChestMonster: The Mimic / Cannibox / Trap-Box line makes a return, and are fairly powerful material type monsters.
* ComMons: Each family has a mascot mook, from the humble blue slime to the humble green dragon from ''VideoGame/DragonQuestI''. Each one has an "X" and "XY" version that allows you to continue using them throughout the game.
* TrailersAlwaysSpoil: more like "Credits Always Spoil", but similar principle. If you're paying attention during the ending credits, you'll notice it lists the various monsters in Joker 2 via what series they debuted in. [[spoiler: Including ''VideoGame/DragonQuestHeroesRocketSlime''.]]
* DefeatMeansFriendship: The Scout system, which takes into account your physical damage capabilities vs the enemy's power, and gives you a percent change to capture them based on this.
* DiscOneNuke: The King Slime combination that was so heavily abused in ''Joker'' was removed; instead Drackys and Great Sabercat Cubs take it's place. These two have negative traits that decrease their usefulness, but this is easily fixed by breeding them away to equally powerful Rank C monsters without the negative trait.
* DropTheHammer: The Hammerman monster and it's variants.
* EscortMission: In Iceolation, Lily Gilder refuses to go back to the ship, instead she keeps running off unescorted by even a single monster, only to be cornered by various '''hellhounds''', requiring you rescue her. This happens multiple times, and she remains ungrateful until the very end [[spoiler: when you beat back a 3 story tall minotaur... thing to save her again.]]
* {{Expy}}: [[spoiler:[[BigBad Rigor Mortex]] is arguably one of [[Franchise/{{Pokemon}} Mewtwo]]. Both were artificially created as a super powered clone of one of the most powerful monsters in their respective world, both ultimately rebelled and slaughtered their creators, and both plot to destroy humanity. Although while Mewtwo had an (arguably) [[WellIntentionedExtremist altruistic]] reason for his evil, Rigor Mortex is simply a [[CardCarryingVillain card carrying]] OmnicidalManiac.]]
* FakeUltimateMook: While the giant monsters introduced in this game and fearsome and powerful and very threatening to new players with weaker monsters, competitively they start to trip all over themselves. As mentioned under Fake Balance above, without a skill that allows them to strike more than once per turn, the giant monsters are sitting ducks for equally powerful small monsters to take on.
* FireIceLightning: Wind takes up the traditional position in the elemental trio, with Lightning being typically associated with heroes in ''VideoGame/DragonQuest.''
* FinalBoss: Malevolynx, [[spoiler: the corrupted form of the island's ruler, Leonyx]].
* FusionDance: As started by the ''Joker'' translation, "breeding" has been localized as this, called "synthesizing." It uses "Plus and Minus" instead of "Male and Female" (Possibly because "Hermaphrodite" and "Neuter" are also options), but GRatedSex is very much there.
* GoneHorriblyRight: [[spoiler: The researchers on the island wanted to make an artificial monster stronger than Leonyx.]] They succeeded.
* GottaCatchEmAll: You get bonuses for catching certain numbers of monster types, although most only worry about 1 or 2 families until the postgame.
* GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere: While Leonyx is mentioned a few times in the game the TrueFinalBoss in Joker 2 is not once mentioned by any character before his reveal just a few moments before your tasked with taking him down. And even in the context of the series his design is pretty gross and out there.
* GuideDangIt: Breeding any monster above a rank A. Most are references to ''VideoGame/DragonQuest'' mythos (breeding 2 dragons to make a BigBad is common) but others are from left field.
* HotSkittyOnWailordAction: Want to synthesize that Slime (roughly the size of your fist) with that Ruins (a 5 story ''castle complex'')? Go ahead!
** It gets better when you realise that fusing a Canzar requires ''exactly this''. More specifically, it requires a Crabid (a regular crab), the aforementioned Slime and Ruin, and a ''GODDAMN GEM SLIME'' (a gigantic golden slime, and the strongest of the exceedingly hard-to-catch Metal Slime family).

%%* InevitableTournament: Multiples.
* InfinityMinusOneSword: Several:
** Similar to Joker 1's "King Slime" breeding combination (breed 4 Rank F Slimes to make a Rank C King Slime), a player can breed 4 Rank F Great Sabercat Cubs to make a Rank C Great Sabercat or 4 Rank F Drackys to make a Rank C Great Dracky. The original King Slime combination was removed, and these new Rank C monsters are given negative traits to compensate for how easy they are to get.
** Speaking of easy to get, it's very possible to ''stumble'' into fusing up a rank D Dragurn and/or a rank D Green Dragon before you even have to go to the third major area of the game. They won't be invincible ''forever'', sure, but the green dragon in particular will make a poor joke of the next few areas all by himself, and is very good in general as his only potential weakness is a low MP pool. And even more importantly, he's ''upgradable''; see below.
** The X and XY (stronger and strongest) system, although not as prevalent as in ''2 Professional'', still allows for people to turn at least one MascotMook from each monster family into a very powerful monster at level 20 (about mid point of the game) and level 50 (about the end of the game).
** One of the candidates for this is the series' iconic Green Dragon, and you can fuse up an "initial" one without a ton of difficulty before even going to Iceolation, and by the time you get to the fourth area, finding the components for his necessary fusion buddy and training it is trivial. The first-stage upgraded Green Dragon can then waltz all over the game up until the very end of the main quest.
** The Swarm and Conklave Monsters, which can hit multiple times (with each having a chance to crit) and the ability to equip anti MetalSlime gear, and are both available in the first area of the game. The Conklave can even be turned into a Stronger and Strongest, to boot. These particular monsters allow for easy MetalSlime farming early on, which is vital for most of the game and postgame.
** Conklave easily turns into an InfinityPlusOneSword post-game. Multihitting, able to psych up and attack multiple times (turning it into what is undeniably ''the best'' scouting monster in the entire game), great attack... oh, and it gets Uber Dark Dynamiter, giving it some of the strongest spells in the game.
* InfinityPlusOneSword: Any of the S+ rank monsters. ''Especially'' the SS or X rank monsters. These are all BigBad and [[TheDragon "Dragons"]] of previous games, and require an extreme amount of postgame work to aquire. Arguably, the Strongest versions of the Minus Ones could count as well.
* KillSat: In ''Professional'', there's a ''recruitable'' KillSat. It's a [[MascotMook Slime]].
* LeakedExperience: Monsters in your back row will gain experience, meaning it makes sense to bring them along. Monsters back in the Monster Pens will also gain experience, but at a ''vastly'' slower rate.
* LethalJokeCharacter: Wildcard. Its HP is pitiful (especially compared to its predecessor, Wulfspade Ace), but it's immune to almost everything, and has a permanent counter affect, so anything that ''does'' hit it is just as likely to hit the enemy as well.
** It's even worse than it sounds. Wildcard isn't immune to much, but he has this one skill that everyone hates, [[CrossCounter Counterstriker]]. What's so bad about it is that it nullifies any physical attacks and attacks back for free. This wouldn't be a problem, but [[UselessUsefulSpell magic in the game is useless]] compared to physical attacks, as {{MetalSlime}} are immune to it, and they have a cap, unlike physical attacks. It's so bad, that every non-healer has to waste a skillset for elemental slashes, otherwise you have a great chance at being walled by Wildcard.
*** Actually, not even elemental slashes work. At least, the AI of the game won't use them against Wildcard, and more often then not, the only times you're fighting a Wildcard are when you can't directly control your monsters. Meaning if you don't have any offensive spellcasting at all, which is likely the case, your mons will just sit there and do nothing. Which means your only option is to forfeit. Lethal Joke Character, or something much, much worse?
* LevelGrinding: It's a {{Mons}} game, 'nuff said.
* LiteralSplitPersonality: [[spoiler: Leonyx launched his soul out of his body as he felt the DemonicPossession take full command.]]
* MagikarpPower: The X and XY (Stronger and Strongest) system. Through patience, hard work, patience, careful breeding, and ''still more patience'', you can turn any of the Mascot Mooks into endgame monsters. These come with updated traits (such as moving twice per turn) and each gain an "ultimate" ability, translated as Uber in the original Joker -- Uber Healing, Uber Breath, etc etc. This system was expanded in the UpdatedRerelease -- you could use any monster in the game until the endgame, provided you continued working on empowering it to the X and XY forms.
* MascotMook: One for each monster family.
* MetalSlime: An entire sub-family of them, starting with the humble Metal Slime and going all the way up to ''Metal Kaizer,'' a metal slime berserker with a face right out of ''DragonBall'', or Gold Slime / Gem Slime, which is more or less a ''[[DragonBall Super Saiyan]] Slime.''
* {{Mons}}: 311 of them. The UpdatedRerelease adds 110 more.
* OldSaveBonus: Tagging with ''VideoGame/DragonQuestIX'' and ''VideoGame/DragonQuestVI'' DS unlocks special monsters from those games. These monsters are still available in the standard game, but much easier to get in the tag mode battles. In addition, tagging can unlock special events where Kandar from ''VideoGame/DragonQuestIII'' invades your game.
* OlympusMons: Multiple Examples, including several flavors of evil deity BigBad, alongside the return of [[spoiler: the Incarnus]].
** This game contains perhaps the ''ultimate'' Olympus Mon in the form of Numen from ''VideoGame/DragonQuestVII'', who is literally ''{{God}} Himself''. Interestingly enough, He's actually weaker overall than most of the {{Final Boss}}es, which may or may not be a MythologyGag relating to the fact that [[spoiler:the FinalBoss of His game defeated Him]].
* OriginalGeneration: Several original monsters, most notably the final boss and the BonusBoss, were created by Creator/AkiraToriyama exclusively for this game.
* PaletteSwap: A few examples, mostly from ''VideoGame/DragonQuest'' history (Dragon -> Red Dragon, Slime -> She Slime, etc). Playing it more straight is the Stronger / Strongest system, which doesn't even bother with the swapping -- although this is arguably the point, so one could go through the game with one's favorite nostalgic {{Mons}}.
* PlayableEpilogue: You didn't think becoming ''world champion'' was going to be good enough, did you?
* PostClimaxConfrontation: The tournament you were trying to get to is hilariously easy after having dealt with the problems on the island, to the extent that the game doesn't even bother with making you fight most of it; its only really there to set up the postgame.
* PowerNullifier: There are multiple status effects that cause people to be unable to hit, cast, or do anything at all. And there are multiple counters to this.
* PunnyName: Every area (save the ship) is named after an emotion -- Treepidation, Doubtback, etc. Every member of the ship's crew and passenger's list is also punny -- Eugene Pool (an expert in monster breeding), Rory Bellows (an expert in the seemingly coal powered ship's engines), etc etc.
* RandomlyGeneratedLevels: An unfortunate exception, although there is a semi-{{Roguelike}} like bonus dungeon that doesn't randomize it's layout, but does randomize each room's monster family and layout.
* RankInflation: Monsters go from F (ComMons) to A (usually something from the TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon), to S ([[TheDragon Dragons]]), and finally XX / S (BigBad and beyond).
* RegionalBonus: Some bugs were fixed, and the meddle slime can now be recruited, and it will turn into a normal MetalSlime. This was not possible even in ''Pro''. Due to it being a different monster, there's no penalty toward scouting another, and since it has lower defenses, it means that getting metal monsters is easier in the international version than any version the Japanese got.
* RetCon: ''Joker'' treated the Alabast Dragon (one of the various forms of the Dragovian Lord from ''VideoGame/DragonQuestVIII'') as the Zentithian Dragon ({{God}} from DQIV, DQV, and DQVI). In ''Joker 2'', the Zenithian Dragon got its own model and entry, and the Alabast Dragon was demoted to its proper place.
* TheRival: The reigning world champion is too snobby to fly on the ship, meaning she misses out on what may possibly be the most important discovery in the history of the world's monster breeding / training / etc society. She does return for the post game.
* ShoutOut: Lots, to previous ''VideoGame/DragonQuest'' games.
** The default names for your starting monsters are references to the Edios translation of ''VideoGame/DragonQuestMonsters'' 1. For example, the Ghost is named Spooky.
** Breeding 4 Great Sabercat Cubs makes a Great Sabercat -- a reference to the sidekick from ''VideoGame/DragonQuestV'', which grew up between the two generations of that game.
** Mostly particularly iconic characters -- BigBad and [[TheDragon Dragons]], mostly -- have their own skill unique sets, which give them their iconic abilities and strategies. These can (and should!) be inherited if and when these monsters are bred away.
** The Cleric (a mistranslation of "Hero") skill tree (most easily gotten from a King Slime) is the same lineup of spells the ''VideoGame/DragonQuestIII'' hero uses -- thunder magic, the ultimate physical attack, the ultimate healing magic, the ultimate resurrection magic, and Kaclang (which makes you completely invincible for several turns). Muspell is a similar batch of dark and instant kill spells, which is typically associated with various villains -- including [[VideoGame/DragonQuestIV Psaro]].
** [[spoiler: Solitaire makes a return, and her team maps almost perfectly from the first game; unfortunately, new size rules mean she had to drop the Metal Kaiser Slime, but she still has Atlas and Jabber-Wockee]].
** Dracolord, the last boss of the original ''VideoGame/DragonQuestI,'' has the same breeding combination he had in ''Dragon Warrior Monsters'' -- Great Dragon + Demon-At-Arms.
** Kandar, a reoccurring boss character in ''VideoGame/DragonQuestIII'', now named "Prince of Thieves," can attack you while doing Tag Mode. This replaces the standard tag mode battle with a battle against him. There are several special breeds that require Kandar, including a Conklave cosplaying as Kandar's gang from 3.
** Many of the {{Big Bad}}s require their [[TheDragon Dragons]] at some point in their synth chain.
* SilentProtagonist: Lampshaded.
* SlouchOfVillainy: The [[http://www.woodus.com/den/resources/monster_wiki_result.php?jname=%E9%82%AA%E7%8D%A3%E3%83%92%E3%83%92%E3%83%A5%E3%83%AB%E3%83%87 Baboon Beast]] from ''Professional'' has this. No seriously, his throne is a part of his graphic.
* SoulBrotha: The moles.
* ToBeContinued: The last thing you see before the PlayableEpilogue kicks in.
* TookALevelInKindness: In the first game, the Incarnus was arrogant, snobby, demanding, and exhibited more than a little FantasticRacism towards humanity. Here, he's a genuinely nice and courteous guy.
* TheComputerIsACheatingBastard: Solitare's final team is quite blatantly impossible for her without some serious cheating going on. Her first is Dr. Snapped; ignoring the fact he takes weeks of continuous grinding and synthesis to make, one material is Captin Crow; a character who she does not have any access to as he wonders the land, then eventually joins the player. Similarly the Ace Of Spades she owns requires the Incarnus; which she clearly has no access to. To put this in perspective imagine if Gary Oak in PokemonRedAndBlue suddenly had a shiny Mew and MISSINGNO in his party with no explanation whatsoever. It really is that level of stupid.
** But wait, it gets even better. Her Dr Snapped has the trait double trouble; which while it did have in Joker 1, it had taken away in this game. There's no way whatsoever to change a monster's traits so it is really a hacked monster. That Mew that was joked about a second ago? Imagine it has Wonder Guard too. The developers didn't even try to hide her blatant cheating; which considering her character, could very well be intentional.
** Speaking of traits the TrueFinalBoss has an ability to have a permanent magic reflect. There's no trait that grants this and it cant be removed with skills like a normal version. Even if you synthesize one yourself, it, of course, doesn't have this trait.
* TrueFinalBoss: [[spoiler:Rigor Mortex in the original, who corrupted Leonyx in the first place. In ''Professional'', it's the Sitting Lion Beast (''Hihyurude''), who comes complete with OneWingedAngel ''Evil Beast'' (''Hihyudorado'')]].
* UselessUsefulSpell: Averted. All the buffs and debuffs work on the bosses, meaning that it actually makes sense to bring along someone with the ability to increase or decrease attack, defense, etc.