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Depending on your version of the game, you migt have the following pets available: cat, dog, ferret, and imaginary pet.
There isn't any difference between these pets (other than the imaginary pet, which won't do any fighting), so feel free
to pick the one you like the best.
The pet is an invaluable companion, often doing as much or more damage than you. You can change your pet by feeding it fish, and can send it home to sell junk to merchants in torchlight. Pets will take 10 seconds per level of dungeon to sell your items, to a maximum of 2 minutes. You can greatly improve your pet by taking the pet mastery skill, if you find that to be of interest. Your pet will NOT sell quest items.
Pets (and all minions) can be set to an aggressive stance (attacking all enemies on screen) by clicking on the sword icon beneath their name on the upper left side of the screen. Clicking on the shield makes them attack only when you are attacked. You will want the aggressive stance most of the time, especially if playing as a summoner. The defensive stance is more useful if you are annoyed by increased monster aggression.
Pets can equip two rings and an amulet. Equip rings or amulets that improve damage (+ elemental, especially electricity), health, and possibly resistances. Pets also benefit from magic find and gold find bonuses, but not from experience gain bonuses. Increase the power and strength of your pet and summons with items with bonuses to minions (+ health, + damage, + armor, among others). These are very useful for summoners.
You can change a pet by feeding it fish. You can go fishing in holes encountered in the dungeon and one in Torchlight.
Pet Shapechanges: Some fish will change the form of your pet. Simple fish will change your pet for 2 minutes, giving them a number of special abilities (like dashing attacks, poison attacks, spells, and other goodies). Big fish will change your pet for a full hour. Giant fish will change them permanently. You will typically find these three types of fish in a 100:10:1 ratio, with weaker forms more common. Transfer a giant fish (such as an ice angel, which transforms your pet into an ice elemental) to a new character, giving the pet a huge boost at the beginning of the game. You can also buy a catfish/dogfish to reverse a transformation (though you could just feed them a cheap 2 minute transformation to remove the effect). Note that if you feed your pet a giant fish, then feed them a normal or big fish, they will revert back to dog/cat form after the duration has ended.
Fishing is done by pressing the hook button when the two circles meet and flash red briefly. If done properly you'll grab a fish. Fish are fairly useful and fall into a number of categories. Your success here is proportional to your level. You will not get great items fishing at level 1! The deeper in the dungeon you are, the more likely you will be to fish up something nice.
Pet Buffs: A few, rarer fish will give your pet a temporary boost to their stats, making them better in combat or better at finding good items.
Boots: You can sometimes pull boots out of the water. They tend to be rare quality or better, and will be close to your level. Fishing for boots gets you some about one time in 50 or so.
Fish Meat: Two varieties of fish meat can be procured, which act as joint health and mana potions. Along with consumables, fish meat is the second most common item you'll pull during fishing, making up about 20% of what you dig up.
Consumables: A bit rarer, you may find some consumable fish. These include ember fish eyes (bonus to experience gained for a few minutes), bearded fish (armor bonus for a few minutes) and others. Many of these also count as rare items, allowing you to get dull ember from transmuting them. Note that you may even be able to claim a few very rare permanent stat boosting fish, though they are exceptionally uncommon.
Socketables: You can also find some uncommon items that can be socketed, but not improved. These include fish scales, fish teeth, and other goods. The bonuses these give aren't that great, but make for good options while waiting to improve your ember.
Other: You may occasionally grab a gold fish (good value for selling) or some other, more bizarre items. Four unique items can be found, and may even be transmutable...
You can acquire a number of maps from random merchants in the dungeons or from Triya the ember merchant in
. These maps open up two new levels for you to explore. The number after the map name describes the maximum level of the foes that you will find inside. A map described as 1-10 will either have foes around your level or level 10, whichever is lower.
Purchasable maps are a great way to earn extra loot and fame, since you'll invariably face at least two unique monsters in each one. Note that if you die and choose to resurrect in town, then you will lose access to the map level. You can sometimes return if you use an identical map scroll, but it's not guaranteed. Try at least one of these maps when you have Brink with you, just to get a bit of experience for the upcoming fights.
You can purchase ember from Triya the ember merchant in
random merchants in the dungeons. You can also find them in your explorations, or get them from transmuted goods.
In general, merchants will sell you cracked or dull ember, rarely offering much better than that. Still, as money becomes plentiful, which it should be for most characters, go ahead and buy ember occasionally. Triya will restock her inventory whenever you explore the dungeons.
Monsters will also occasionally drop ember. The only ones that do so repeatedly are Medea, mimics, and the ember beast (level 24). You will also occasionally find ember in secret areas of the map.
The best way to increase your supply of ember is to transmute items.
You will find a lot of junky magic items in your journey. You can either trade them for a few hundred gold (often much less!), or you can transmute them, saving several hundred in ember purchases (and also building up your socketable items). Four green magical items will transmute into a random piece of ember, usually of dull quality, though sometimes of cracked quality (most often for skulls). Four blue magical items will transmute into the same quality of ember. Note that both blue and green items include fish pieces like ember fish eyes and chaos gems, so you can get ember from these items as well. If it has an outlined boundary it will give you ember. If you decide to transmute four unique items you will get a piece of blank (tier 4) ember.
For a list of ember stats, please refer to the