The Ridepod (called Steve by Cedric) is a fully customizable machine Max obtains at the beginning of Dark Cloud 2 being obtained at the same time the Photography is introduced after the first fight against Linda.
Once obtained, Steve can be accessed in Dungeons by pressing R3 when controlling Max. You'll then switch to the Ridepod.
Fighting with the Ridepod isn't very different than fighting with Max and Monica. Left stick to move Steve around, X to attack with your current Arm, R1 to block against attacks. You may think Steve is better than Max at Chapter 1, which is true, but in order to keep Steve strong you'll have to invent new parts for him, which can be time-consuming, especially if you do not use your Camera very often.
In order to upgrade Steve, you have to find new Parts for him. You have two ways to do so :
- Buy parts from Cedric
- Invent them via the Make menu
The second option is recommended over the first, as Cedric does not sell the most useful Parts.
Some ideas of Parts' inventions can be randomly found in places, but every Parts related to Steve can be invented, except Cores and Shield Kits.
The most important items for Steve are Ridepod Parts. There is a large amount of them, allowing you to entirely customize Steve, considerably more so than Max and Monica. Ridepod Parts affect Steve's defense, speed, fighting style, and appearance.
Initially, Steve is equipped with the following Ridepod parts:
- Energy Pack: Energy Pack (Energy Points = 80)
- Core: Core (Capacity = 0/60, Defense = 0/12)
- Arm: Cannonball Arm
- Body-type: Drum Can Body (Defense = 6)
- Feet: Iron Leg
Steve's parts are classified into Cores, Arms, Body, Feet, Energy Pack and Miscellaneous.
Cores are the heart of your robotic friend. Cores are very important, because they determine your capacity to attach others Parts as well as Steve's maximum defense along with Body-types. So, better Cores means more capacity to attach more powerful body-types and arm, you should first buy Cores from Cedric before spending EXP on Shield Kits or Parts.
Cores cannot be invented, but only upgraded from Cedric in exchange of EXP.
Body-types are Steve's second important Parts. As they determine Steve's overall look, they also serve as Steve global defense. Since Cedric will only start to sell Body-types at Chapter 5, it's advised to invent them in order to upgrade Steve's defense.
Body-types can be bought from Cedric or G-Parts but all of them are inventable.
Steve's Feet Parts are also important, but only if you plan to beat every Time Attack medals in Dark Cloud 2. Basically, Feet Parts determine Steve's speed and mobility. They exist in different types, ranging to standard feet to futuristic hover-jets.
Feet Parts can be bought from Cedric or G-Parts but all of them are inventable!
Energy Packs are literally Steve's health. It determines how much damage it can withstand before running out of fuel. The Steve's energy will also decrease over time. The first Energy Pack is made in the Photography Tutorial.
Starting with 80 Energy Points, better Energy Packs will upgrade its maximum "health", so it's advised to invent better Energy Packs especially if you plan to use him often.
Energy Packs can be bought from Cedric or G-Parts but all of them are inventable.
Steve's Arms are its main ways to defeat enemies. They range from the Cannonball Arm you start with to futuristic weapons like the Laser Arm, but also consist of somewhat modern weapons like the Machine Gun Arm.
All Steve's Arms allow him to attack while moving, making "hit and run" techniques very useful against monsters. They can be broken down into 2 categories : Melee Arms and Ranged Arms. Also, all of Steve's Arms have four versions with each version being more powerful than its predecessor.
One constraint is that they can't be upgraded with crystals, nor they can't collect ABS. You're stuck with the Stats of your weapons.
Steve's Arms can be bought from Cedric or G-Parts but all of them are inventable.
Steve's melee arms are various and are the ones which allows to block while moving. While most of them are suited for fighting Windup monsters with ease, they can do pretty well against any enemy. They also have a lot of trouble hitting airborne monsters, too.
All of these arms deliver a 3-hit combo and they will generally make the enemy flinch, but they'll never knock them down, unlike Max and Monica's right-hand weapons, their only difference between them being the attack speed and their elemental stats.
Here, the WHP goes down every time you manage to hit a monster with your melee arm.
Steve's ranged arms permit Steve to engage enemies at long distance. The first one you'll obtain is usually the Barrel Cannon at Chapter 2, but there are many others ranged weapons, ranging from machine guns to laser arms and missile launchers. You can easily hit airborne monsters with them.
Unlike its melee arms, you cannot block attacks with R1 when using any ranged arm. Use Steve's mobility to evade incoming attacks until you build enough distance from monsters.
With Steve's ranged arms, the lock-on is very important, as shooting without a lock-on will guarantee a miss about 90% of the time : this is especially true with the Missile Pod Arms, as they shoot 12 missiles.
For these, the WHP goes down every time you fire with the X button.
The Miscellaneous part are every item that does not fit in any previous category. It consists of the Voice Unit and the Shield Kit. While the first is completely useless, the second one is very important to raise Steve's defense. It's basically Steve's powerup item concerning defense.
Those two items can only be bought from Cedric in exchange of EXP.
General fighting strategiesEdit
- If you know how to fight with Max and Monica, then fighting with the Ridepod should not be a problem. Steve can easily defeat tougher monsters (especially Windup-monsters), monsters which prove to be difficult with the two characters, especially Monica as her sword can't effectively damage metal.
- One advantage Steve has on Max and Monica is that Steve can attack while moving, making "hit and run" techniques easier against enemies. He can also block while moving but only with its melees arms. It can be very helpful dealing with incoming monsters : block while guarding incoming attack to retreat safely.
- One thing to note is that Steve's melee arms can be tricky to use against airborne monsters. If you really want to hit them with a melee arm, you have to wait them to get down before smashing them to pieces.
- If you're using his ranged arms, try to be far away from monsters, especially if they're fast, as you can't use the Block button to block enemy attacks. Use Steve's mobility to evade incoming attacks while counter-attacking with yours.
- Last thing to note, lock-on targeting (with O) is more important with Steve than it's with Max and Monica. It is especially important with its ranged weapons, as firing without lock-on will guarantee a miss.
- When any monster is defeated it'll drops blue grains (ABS). If they're collected by Steve, they'll be collected as EXP, EXP used to upgrade the Ridepod from Cedric.