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SimplyUnknown1
Aug 18, 2017

Cat Cat Cat


JeffRaze posted:

Not being able to buy warp wires for your first foray into the labyrinth is one of those things that never made sense to me. I mean sure there's a gameplay reason for that, but in universe they're basically not letting new adventurers use one of the most vital items for exploration. If anything they should make taking a warp wire on your first trek mandatory. Underestimated what the labyrinth is like? Sucks to be you, guess you'll die.

Yeah, that is weird. I think the only time they averted this was in EO1 Untold Story mode. If you went with Story Mode, you were escorted through the first floor by higher level explorers who know the labyrinth, so that makes sense why you wouldn't need a warp wire. But here...that is really weird. Maybe because of the test in this version, since they could take you to the starting position and you could warp out and maybe buy a map off of someone else to trick the guard?

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Blaziken386
Jun 26, 2013

I'm what the kids call: a big nerd


Crosspeice posted:

Be careful everyone, I have heard tales of these deadly Formido Oppugnatura Exsequens from Juthro, we should not-

FOE?

FOE!

FOE! FOE! FOE! FOE!

Democracy is still in effect.

I love the running "FOE! FOE! FOE! FOE! FOE!" joke, it's very relatable

theshim
May 1, 2012

You think you can defeat ME, Ephraimcopter?!?

You couldn't even beat Assassincopter!!!


FOEs not giving experience is such a middle finger to the player, perfect :atlus:

LiefKatano
Aug 31, 2018

I swear, by my sword and capote, that I will once again prove victorious!!


I can kinda get it, at least. Being able to beat a FOE early would give you more EXP, which gives you bigger numbers, which lets you defeat other FOEs early, which gives you bigger numbers, which lets you defeat other FOEs easily, which...

Libluini
May 18, 2012

I gravitated towards the Greens, eventually even joining the party itself.

The Linke is a party I grudgingly accept exists, but I've learned enough about DDR-history I can't bring myself to trust a party that was once the SED, a party leading the corrupt state apparatus ...


Grimey Drawer

EOII taught me to never venture into an EO-labyrinth without at least 2 warp thingies. :shepface:

As I never played the first game, I luckily wasn't disappointed about FOEs here not having any exp. I just went "ah, so it's like bosses in Final Fantasy" and immediately stopped asking questions

Omobono
Feb 19, 2013

That's it! No more hiding in tomato crates! It's time to show that idiota Germany how a real nation fights!

For pasta~! CHARGE!



JeffRaze posted:

Not being able to buy warp wires for your first foray into the labyrinth is one of those things that never made sense to me. I mean sure there's a gameplay reason for that, but in universe they're basically not letting new adventurers use one of the most vital items for exploration. If anything they should make taking a warp wire on your first trek mandatory. Underestimated what the labyrinth is like? Sucks to be you, guess you'll die.

Honestly? Considering WHAT warp wires/Ariadne threads do, no way they can cost only 100 cash. They're probably heavily subsidized by the government, because a lot of the economy of these places revolve around people gathering rare materials from the labyrinth and dead experienced adventurers mean less tax revenue.

So having an initial test kinda makes sense, to make sure the newbies understand what they're getting into?
Sensible newbies will listen and prepare when everyone in town warns about how the labyrinth is dangerous, while no amount of warnings will dissuade a certain type of fool (hi there Kaelin).
Somewhat callous, but what's the attrition rate in the first stratum alone?

FoolyCharged
Oct 11, 2012

Somebody call for an ant?



Honestly, I found it incredibly funny that the test on if you were tough enough for the labyrinth is literally getting chucked inside it and if you make it out alive you're deemed ready

Araxxor
Oct 20, 2012

My disdain for you all knows no bounds.


FoolyCharged posted:

Honestly, I found it incredibly funny that the test on if you were tough enough for the labyrinth is literally getting chucked inside it and if you make it out alive you're deemed ready

That's only part 1. You also have to make sure you create a proper map of the area while you're making your way out, or you aren't even let out of the Labyrinth.

SimplyUnknown1 posted:

Yeah, that is weird. I think the only time they averted this was in EO1 Untold Story mode. If you went with Story Mode, you were escorted through the first floor by higher level explorers who know the labyrinth, so that makes sense why you wouldn't need a warp wire. But here...that is really weird. Maybe because of the test in this version, since they could take you to the starting position and you could warp out and maybe buy a map off of someone else to trick the guard?

This reminds me, you actually can pull off a trick in EO3 that's essentially similar to what you're suggesting here. How mapping missions work is that they check for both the number of tiles you step on and checks for mistakes you made while drawing the map. A missing tile, a extra tile, a missing wall, or an extra wall all count as mistakes. In EO3 you have to step on 105 of 185 tiles, and cannot make more than 18 mistakes to pass the mapping mission. However, there's one big oversight the devs didn't account for. When you game over, your map data is saved, so you can death warp after fulfilling the mission requirements and then turn in the map to the guard after reloading your save file despite barely setting foot in the labyrinth. (It's one of the first steps of speedrunning EO3, so not only do they have to reach the required tile count faster, you also have to speed draw the map during the process.)

This doesn't work in EO1 as while game overing saves your map data, it doesn't save the tiles you step on, so you still need to step on the required amount. And while EO2 game overs save the tiles you step on, it doesn't work here as your mission is to get out of the Labyrinth as well. It was only EO3 where that oversight was possible, and starting from EO4, mapping missions started including fetch quests at the end of the explorable area to shut down exploits like that. Hilariously enough this game's remake noted in-universe that map plagiarism was getting to be a serious problem among new explorers, so they had to change the test to a fetch quest as a result.

Crosspeice
Aug 9, 2013

Zzzz... sploosh... zzzz... KABOOM... zzz... sploosh...

Part 4: Dodging for Deer Life

Woodland Ruins



So, what have we learned?

Fear the deer...

Now we have some directionings to choose.

Left! ...uh, I don't know why, still getting used to this new nose.




My work here is done!

But you didn't do anything...



CHA-CHING

Upon closer inspection, there are a number of shining coins lying amongst the roots. Could another explorer have dropped them? You are tempted to retrieve them, but you have to wonder about the circumstances.



Oh, uh, that's not a lot. Here, all yours.

Please do not pick random things off the ground, that could have been a trap.

They should be of the more lukertive variance.

You pick the coins out from the tangled roots of the trees. Their total worth is 100en... a careless adventurer must have simply dropped them here. Heartened by the lucky find, you return to your investigation.



Woah, 1/5th of a Nectar, so generous!

A slight callback to EO1's triple Mole ambush event. Only this time we don't get attack. Lotta Etrian Odyssey 1: Opposite Edition going on here, huh?



Can't believe this monster didn't listen to me! Are we not of the same kindling?

Because you're a Ragelope, they're Furyhorn, different species.

That makes sense.



2F D4 Mine Point

Ambush Chance: 3%
Ambush Encounter:
100% Raflesia x1

Amazonite: 70% chance. Sells for 30en.
1 required for Iron Glove - Gloves, DEF+10, VIT+1 - sells for 380en
1 required for Bird Stare - Accessory, Sleep Resist Up 50% - sells for 800en
1 required for Venom Ring - Accessory, Poison Resist Up 50% - sells for 800en
1 required for Leg Guard - Accessory, Leg Bind Resist Up 50% - sells for 800en
3 required for Matchlock - Gun, ATK+46, STR+3 - sells for 530en
7 required for Warabide - Katana, ATK+39, STR+2, -5 speed - sells for 450en
5 required for Paint the town blue

Aragonite: 25% chance. Sells for 35en.
1 required for Luck Beads - Accessory, LUC+10 - sells for 200en
5 required for Boar Spear - Sword, ATK+37, STR+2, +15 speed - sells for 350en
7 required for Tshirovha - Axe, ATK+39, STR+2 - sells for 410en

Garnet: 5% chance. Sells for 100en.
1 required for Power Ring - Accessory, STR+5 - sells for 200en
1 required for Apt Piece - Accessory, TEC+5 - sells for 200en

Mine. Now there were a lot of bad accessories last game, but the ailment/bind resist ones in this game are super good, 50% is pretty crazy for one slot and really helps against certain enemies. They won't always be useful, but it's worth sacrificing the slot to help out, since you won't miss the helmet or shoes. It's not always necessary if you have a burst strat, but it's still drat good. STR and TEC stacking through various equipment is also a cheeky way to make some classes less poo poo and big classes even bigger.

Oh nice, we're really getting to the good poo poo now! This is why you still want gathering parties despite the nerfs to gathering. While they do provide a decent amount of cash flow, the real benefit is the unlocks! And the gathering unlocks in this game can be really drat good! Accessories also got a lot more powerful starting with this game. Just look at those stats and effects! Base infliction rates from enemies are really high in this game, so a status accessory can help a ton! You can stack 2 of each to gain immunity to that disable as well, but be warned. Unlike EO3 through EO2U, armor is actually really drat good in this game, so while you can accessory stack, it's not a good idea to do so outside of some specific strategies.

If you don't get a rush of happiness from seeing a character's damage stat go up, then we can't be friends.



Oh for- what did we JUST talk about?

Lily did say to look around doors...



It's not a massive deal if you do run into an FOE, but if you don't flee first turn, someone's probably getting pasted. Also this is when we should talk about getting screwed because you can't flee! I turned to the right to face the FOE coming towards me and when I fled I moved one step back. You can see how that might be a problem if an FOE is coming towards a wall when it runs into you, so you turn to face it... and now your back is against the wall. And since you can't move one space back to flee... you're just loving screwed. This is when in-battle warp skills are useful, but otherwise you better kill the opponent. I know I'm gonna get screwed by this eventually, so let's see if we'll die from it!

And this is another thing that elevates EO2 FOEs above the rest of the series. A big change made in 2 was that you turn to face the FOE when you run into it. This means it's much easier to get cornered by simply making bad movements compared to EO1 and 3 where you can only get cornered by letting an FOE jump in on a battle. All you can do at that point is to fight your way out, or to accept your death. EO2 can be one of the more brutal titles in the series for that very reason. But as for the reason why you turn to face FOEs is because sidestepping can possibly cause you to break the FOE system by running into an FOE while facing a weird direction, so that was basically their bandage solution to that issue. They properly fixed it by EO3 by making it so that you face the direction you were actually moving in if you run into an FOE avoiding cornering issues entirely. And by EO4 the FOE system got a complete overhaul so it was completely impossible to get cornered in battle by any means.



In the den of so much prey I can't hunt, such a weird feeling.

It is fine to be admitting you are the frightened.




Wonder what exciting prize is this far out of the way- aw, rocks.

You know I can sense your emotions, stop getting excited for grass to eat!

2F E1 Mine Point

Ambush Chance: 3%
Ambush Encounter:
100% Raflesia x1

Aragonite: 70% chance. Sells for 35en.
1 required for Luck Beads - Accessory, LUC+10 - sells for 200en
5 required for Boar Spear - Sword, ATK+37, STR+2, +15 speed - sells for 350en
7 required for Tshirovha - Axe, ATK+39, STR+2 - sells for 410en

Amazonite: 25% chance. Sells for 30en.
1 required for Iron Glove - Gloves, DEF+10, VIT+1 - sells for 380en
1 required for Bird Stare - Accessory, Sleep Resist Up 50% - sells for 800en
1 required for Venom Ring - Accessory, Poison Resist Up 50% - sells for 800en
1 required for Leg Guard - Accessory, Leg Bind Resist Up 50% - sells for 800en
3 required for Matchlock - Gun, ATK+46, STR+3 - sells for 530en
7 required for Warabide - Katana, ATK+39, STR+2, -5 speed - sells for 450en
5 required for Paint the town blue

Garnet: 5% chance. Sells for 100en.
1 required for Power Ring - Accessory, STR+5 - sells for 200en
1 required for Apt Piece - Accessory, TEC+5 - sells for 200en

Exciting stuff. Note that the ambush chance has increased from last floor, because why not?

The deeper you go into a Stratum, the more likely you are to get ambushed at item points. Take care not to wipe to the wildlife there.



Hyah! You could really work on your singing voice!



Шокирует! I am thinking I need the ears of plugs.




Holy divine water that hurts! But it seems like I will survive.

Since it was going after Aleks in the turn order, then oh baby you know it was going for Poison.



And then this is the best thing a Crawler can go for. Scary fights, but we're doing alright.

Woof, these encounter formations are pretty brutal early on. Already they're sending the heavy stuff after you. At least level correction is gone, I don't want to think how much more bloody this game gets with that in place.



Ah, a cute little animal. I will be shooting it.

Wait, wait, wait! Don't worry little guy, we're not gonna hurt ya.

You can barely make out a squirrel-like animal in the shadow of a large plant. The rodent doesn't seem to fear your party, and it chirps brightly as it approaches. It seems as though it wants you to pet it. You wonder if you should oblige the creature...



Hmm, I'm not sure we should trust this creature, it is of the labyrinth.

In that case why should we trust you? I slay many creatures, but it means you appreciate the gentler ones.

Agreed, I'm gonna bring him back with us, he'll be called Conker! Ah, hey, that tickles, what are you- ah, the pack!

You reach out to the small animal... but it takes the opportunity to run up your arm and onto your body! From there, it jams its head into your backpack and runs off with something in its mouth. You hurriedly rummage through your pack to see what it was the thieving rodent stole... it was a Warp Wire, one of an explorer's most essential tools! It's too late for you to catch the animal by now... you sigh, and move on with your journey.

Well at least we know squirrels are evil.

Bah, it's a good thing I always pack two, just in case. Come now, let's get moving everyone.

Conker...



Hehe... suckers. Though next time steal something that wouldn't screw them over too much, okay Ymjdnjdnfj? But otherwise, good work- uh, what, really? ...sigh, fine, good work... Conker.

Welcome to EO2, enjoy your stay!

Eheeheeheeheeheeheeee!

Just you wait until EO5, where they put in squirrel enemies that can burn your Ariadne Threads in battle.




How many of these drat dirty deer are there?



Oh god I feel this twice over! Gonna need to reduce the connection more strategically.




So Atlus is being a little generous in letting you get a Warp Wire to replace the one they just stole from you. They will not be this generous again, so always, ALWAYS carry two wires. This is mainly useful in case you forget to buy one, I've got it ingrained in my mind over something unimportant like my little sister's birthday, but if you're really worried getting screwed over in an event, have three. Thankfully this is the only game where it's notorious, there's a lot less squirrels in later games.

Also, wow, it nearly took two floors, but Eleanore has an actual attack. She'll be using it a lot because Kienzan or Midareba take a WHILE to get to.

The sheer power move of Warp Wire dickery. You kind of have to admire some of the sheer gutpunches this game comes up with! I have to wonder who came up with the idea of screwing with the players' lifelines like that, it's just so gloriously jerkish! At least they're being generous in this instance so you know to look out for future instances without being punished too hard.

I'd say "if you don't carry two Ariadne Threads into the Labyrinth, then we Wait I already did this joke," but unfortunately my LPs mean that I am extensively on the public record as not having followed my own advice.

And the Ronin's slow start is one of their few balancing factors.



A quick rest and recovery is necessary, and then we shall return unto the night, mwahahahaha.

You wanna be slayed or what?



That's most of the optional parts of the floor explored, now onto the next part to get distracted by. Seriously this floor is loving short if you gun it.




Ahah, this is the one that I must take revenge on!

Of course it was the big cacti rather than the deering that nearly killed you.


Cactoid

HP: 90
STR: 13
VIT: 10
TEC: 7
AGI: 8
LUC: 9
Level: 7
Exp: 314

Skills
Needles: Uses the Arms. Deals 60% Cut damage to a single target 2 times. Has a 95% accuracy modifier and a 100% speed modifier.

Damage Vulnerabilities
100% 100% 100%
150% 100% 100%

Disable Vulnerabilities
100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
100% 100% 100% 100% 100%

Drops
Cactus Pin: 45% chance, sells for 14en.
1 required for Wakizashi - Katana, ATK+25 - sells for 180en
3 required for Spike - Axe, ATK+33, +0 speed - sells for 220en

Cactus Log: 40% chance, sells for 17en
1 required for Green Boot - Footwear, DEF+6, AGI+2 - sells for 120en
2 required for Nail Glove - Gloves, DEF+6, STR+1 - sells for 150en

Conditional: None

A pretty whatever enemy since it's like a Crawler, but wasn't encountered last floor, so isn't that scary. It'll only go for Needles past half health and having a Fire weakness is a bad idea with the cookie cutter team. Honestly, both this and Crawlers aren't that threatening anymore, and we'll have no problem against them from now on.

These are basically the muscle of floor 2, but as long as you weren't running from every battle, they shouldn't be too bad to deal with. With a properly outfitted party, even Needles shouldn't OHKO from full HP. They also don't get placed in any scary formations on this floor so they aren't too troublesome.

These things got upgraded to FOEs with an actual discernable gimmick in EO2U! Exciting.



Oh sweet salty christ, no.

Not that I hated being on the receiving end of all these gut punches back in my EO2 LP, but I gotta say there's something surreally funny about watching those happen to someone else in their LP.



I think we're in a bit of trouble here!

Don't worry, we can put them to sleep. Oh it didn't work.

What a surprising!



Well thanks for the res, let us get the gently caress out of here!

Affirmative.



Ugh, all I wanted to do was show off this fun little locked door, and the new icon associated with it! But unfortunately this hell corridor has some very nasty encounters and our team isn't the tankiest, so getting 2HKOed by Crawlers can quickly turn into a terrible time. Since there's no level correction, enemies can remain scarier for longer, especially if they come in groups of 3 or, shudder, even 5.



Sniff, sniff, sniff, sniff.

That is an... interesting way to smell the ground.

He's still getting used to knees. J-Just don't look.



It seems that the path continues beyond the wall... you search for a way past the wall, but the forest is too thick and it seems to be no use. Even if you could climb the wall, the branches are too high for you to reach. If only you had someone nimble enough to jump to the high branches, you could cross...

Maybe in my old body, but not this time.

Well we have an eager chap who could help us with this. Ro? No, the other one, Lagaan? He needs to join us for some wine, I always remember names after a glass...

Yeah, anyway, let's make this quick before monsters come.

Boy, if there's something that was needed in the sequel, it sure would be class exclusive shortcuts??? Yeah sure game, encourage players to bring a Survivalist, they're sure to be impressed! Now there are good rewards behind these... most of the time. But they definitely get a little annoying later on. There's in fact another class exclusive shortcut on this floor we can't reach yet, and it loving sucks!

Yeah you basically need 1 of every class in your guild to see everything in the game at some point. Some of it unlocks some nice treasures, but sometimes larger content, such as quests, gets locked off without a specific class available to you. I think they did this to make it so that players have more varied playthroughs compared to one another, but this is a little strict, and later games would make it so specific classes can influence how some events or quests play out, but you're never really locked out of content entirely without them.



But the way to the path is blocked, and there seems to be no way to walk through it. Just as you had despaired on passing the forest wall, the dark hunter present speaks up. With one stroke of the whip, the dark hunter latches onto a thick branch on the other side! If you use the whip as a line, you may be able to make it over the wall!



Let us slay some treasure, ohohohoho!

We haven't known each other that long for you to be doing impressions.

Look, if I am to lug her dead body around, might as well have some fun.



Back to town...



Wakizashi, requires 1 Cactus Pin.

Aww, how come she gets a whip but I don't get a new katana?

Because her's is free and you got one at the end of the last floor, remember?

I DID?!

I don't even want to think about how you managed to use my whip to get this. There, there, poor thing.



Right, back to where we were so RUDELY interrupted.



There is writing engraved here, but it seems ancient and utterly unlike anything you recognize. What the writing could possibly mean is beyond you... but it's apparent that a spell of some sort has been cast upon the stone monument. Perhaps someone who has studied mystical texts would be able to penetrate its meaning...

The grouchy guy should be knowing of this long dead words.

The lettering is understandable, but I don't recognise it from any of my widespread reading. Like this part here... "Le Grille", what the hell is that?



You strain your eyes and discover that it's some sort of emblem engraved into a rock. A shining gem is embedded in the emblem's center... you are certain beyond a doubt that magic is present in that emblem. As the rest of you debate on how best to reach the gem, the gunner pushes you aside. With a single, well-aimed shot, the gunner hits the gem and activates the spell! The nature of the magic seems to have been wind-based. You can barely remain on your feet as the spell draws you to the other side of the wall! The spell's effect will wear off with time. Now is your best chance to cross the wall.

Class specific shortcuts only check for one specific class, even if you would think another class would be perfectly capable of dealing with the obstacles detailed in these flavor texts.



As simples as-

Whazzat? Can't hear you over this gale!

I think she said pimple as. Such funny vernacular.

You're one to talk!

WHAT?



Stop it.



Welcome to the free club.

Hrrrrmmmmmm.

Again, you got a free weapon last floor, stop moaning!



Okay, back on the main path again, now we can finish the floor in- ooh, there's something over here.



Not the biggest fan of this, but I can heal my own wounds quickly enough.

Lots of room for sprites, so we can get some trickier encounters that stay relevant due to no level correction. Still, some enemies will always be scarier than others, so we'll be fine with 3 frontliners to spread damage around.

Sprite sizes actually do influence how encounters are designed and the game checks them to see if enemies can be summoned to battle. FOEs on the other hand, don't give a poo poo and will gladly delete some enemies to make room for themselves if they want to join in on a battle. Though I have no idea if model sizes have a similar influence on these mechanics in the 3DS games.

Unfortunately, you won't see the introduction of enemy rows until EO4, which sucks. Enemies having rows offers a lot of extra ways to make encounter groups way trickier.



I heard that Edda had come to the Grand Duchy. Would that happen to be you?

Actually we're-

Thrilled to meet such an avid fan!

...uh, yep, that's us. Edda. Real strong guild from, uh, Etreant?

You nod your assent, and the guard gives you a fascinated look before continuing.

That's wonderful! To think a guild that famous would come to our Labyrinth!

Obviously impressed, the guard tells you that he wishes to help with your investigation. He offers your choice of a weapon or medicine for your adventure. Either is 1000en. His offer does seem tempting.



The first bonus for a password game since the Town Medal/Crown. Yeah it's not a lot, huh. This harkens back to a similar event on B3F for a weapon that is expensive and not that impressive, or medicine you won't get for a while. For the first game's case, the Soma wasn't available outside of quests until B17F, while this offers a Theriaca BX, which won't be available to buy until 27F WHAT THE gently caress GAME. So yeah, we'll get the medicine when we get the money. And then never use it. Just in case.

A password game isn't all gut punches. Sometimes you get bonuses like these! Well the weapon is a complete ripoff (It's a sword so don't bother if you aren't using a Landsknecht, War Magus, or Protector) but the medicine is a FAR better deal! Grab that one if you can, it can be especially handy for the first boss fight.

I could always be using a newer gun.

Firstly, you just got one, what is with you people, secondly, we do not have the money for such a thing. We shall return as, uh, Edda, as the medicine is mighty tempting.

You consider lying to him, but realize that no words can take the place of real money.

I see... well, I'll be here for a while, so come back if you change your mind.

The guard watches you leave.



What would you do without my nose, eh?

It's my nose, actually, and how you're able to keep your senses with my physical attributes is something I've yet to figure out!




Weird amount of hidden areas you'll probably walk past pretty easily. Fine enough loot I suppose, Hart is the squishiest right now, so he can have this.



drat agile cactus!

Now that is a sentence.




You always looking so surprising when you working.

Because I am! My singing is terrible...



Slowly but surely we'll get somewhere. I'll actually skip on Climax for now to get Ecstacy, that's more immediately useful, but I will finish off Viper first. And then Bait and then- god there's so much. Ronin are way simplier.

If you're not interested in killing FOEs, skip Climax altogether, it's rather limited use outside of that. Also Climax won't do a drat thing if you aren't even strong enough to fight an FOE in the first place, so putting it off for later is a wiser move.




Excellent work team, another floor completed and we only nearly died twice.

That better be the ending of the deering.

There's a little section in the corner but otherwise 2F is done! Since there's no shortcut the line through this floor is pretty short, but there's a good reason for that.

Those empty uncolored in tiles. Must. Resist. Commenting.





Will I have to jump in front of every animal you want to shoot, Aleks???

At least it's giving off less suspicious vibes than the squirrel.

But after a second of meeting its eyes, it looks to the north, as if directing you there. A second growl indicates that it wishes you to go there and it faces you once again. You can travel the northern path indicated by the beast or continue on your way.

Game, the beast will stop us going ahead, what are you on about.



Before you can draw your weapons, a figure appears...

I've slayed worse humans than you, come at me!

Put that away you whip happy harpy!



The good-natured protector notes your confused expressions before continuing pleasantly.

Since you're new to the forest, I thought I should teach you about something useful.

With this, the man points to a mysterious shaft of light in a hollow to the south.



It has the useful function of teleporting explorers from the entrance back to here. All the guilds make use of it when we explore the forest. You should do the same. There's no trick to it, just touch the light. Then you can come here from town in a flash.

Oddly convenient, who made them? For what purpose? And can they fix my problems?

Ah... who made them, you ask? I'm afraid no one knows the answer to that one.

The man called Flausgul gazes at the Geomagnetic Pole, his long hair blowing in the wind.

That reminds me... eventually, you'll encounter what we call a Geomagnetic Field as well. It's even more mysterious. It can teleport you from town to the Labyrinth and back. Things like that are good to know if you're going to explore the forest.

While the protector speaks, the black beast you encountered before walks up to him.

Gah, I knew they were in conspiramancy with another!

I want one!

Aha... excuse me, but Kurogane is here for me.

Flausgul calls the beast's name, and walks away... you can activate the Geomagnetic Pole as he instructed, or ignore it and continue your journey.



Holy mother of checkpoints! Now we won't have to walk the enter length of the stratum to get to where you left off. Now granted, since you can only have one active at a time, it can be a hassle getting around on revisit, but the game is also pretty good at shortcuts and the battles are super easy. That's why 2F was so short, letting you get to where you need to go mostly painless. Mostly.

Already a huge improvement from EO1's level design. Not only are there more shortcuts, but you can have a singular checkpoint active at all times that you can quickly return to. Poles are one way trips though, as you can't exit through them. Like Flausgul said, Geomagnetic Fields still exist in the game and function like they did in EO1, being a 2 way entry point for the start of each Stratum.

フロースガル...

I would say that is quite the achievement.

This exploring stuff is harder than I thought, we need a break, let other guild members explore.

I am happy to be shooting, but could use some refining relaxing.

I will not rest until I have my revenge, but some light reading would be fine.

Sure, do whatever, I'll be back soon enough.

Vast Lands Spreading in the North



Spike, +0 speed, requires 3 Cactus Pins and 5 Earth Nails.

Och, ye better keep that drat thing away from me, I hate axes.

Ah here you are, we require your services, I will gather everyone in the bar.

Atlus has tried multiple times to make axes and axe-like weapons worth it, and they just...never can.



My father went to market the other day to buy me a new dress. I thought I might wear it in the shop to show it off, but it does get dusty in here. Maybe you can come back this weekend and I'll wear it then!



That was fast! I didn't think you had it in you. Oh, I didn't mean anything by it. You just don't look that strong... I was worried. But at this pace, I think you'll do great things! Good luck up there, children!

Well, I might not look particularly muscular, but that's why everyone has their own role. I even have the knack for numbers, but I don't want to brag as such and- yes, yes, I'm coming.



You there! Could you please lend me a hand and clear the area? If you could please excuse us, we need to get through here!

Another adventurer down in flames, eh?

yes they always leave such a mess, but that's what i'm here for.

Phew... thank you. Yet another explorer who got badly injured in the Labyrinth. Even experienced explorers can run into trouble if they're ambushed by monsters. Remember that during your own journeys.



Occasionally, you may encounter other guilds in the Labyrinth. There's a man from the guild called Beowulf who's always very supportive for beginners. Naturally, Guild Beowulf isn't the only guild you can expect to meet in your travels. That's all the advice I have for you. Never underestimate the Labyrinth.

Is that right? Kurogane is his name? We sound pretty alike. Oh, you mean that's the literal translation. I suppose it works better in natural tongue.

Mmhmm!

Chatty with animals, eh?

Crivens! How long have you been there?! Ugh, if you must know, they're more trustworthy. I'm going.

Flausgul and Kurogane were mistranslations. It was supposed to be Hrothgar and Wulfgar, fitting in with the Beowulf theme. This was corrected in the remake.



Though your job as explorers has only just begun. The Grand Duchy maintains a guard corps presence in the Labyrinth, but it is small. Just like this town... it's a shame the explorers can so easily outmatch the guards. Perhaps we should look to the guilds when recruiting new members of the guard corps. Either way, we will need your explorer's strength to proceed with our investigations. Thank you for assisting us. I'm expecting great things from you all.

Yes, yes, we could talk for hours, you and I. But I am here for the mapping boy, the one who is always here. Ugh, I remember names better when they have good necks to go with them.

Riiiiight, I'll pretend I didn't hear that. Logan, by the way, I'll take the map and... tweak it.

Yes, yes, you do that young one. But first, it is time to explore!

Man all these towns near trees really need to work on their "weak guards" issues. Though Dubois brings up an interesting factoid, this town is actually pretty small. Which stands out compared to all the other towns in the series which are considerably larger than Lagaard.



Eh, to get my true revenge, we must go higher, and faster!

How many revengences does one person need?

Eh? Yeh want to move up even faster...? Don't be daft! The Labyrinth isn't a playground! I give yeh credit for having guts, but don't overdo it! Know yer limitations, and take it slow! G'luck out there!

Cass's advice can pretty much apply to any EO game. Don't overextend, and know when it's time to retreat and to live for another day.



Hmm, figured this would happen. Well something to take a crack at.

Now hold on, there's more than five of us in this guild and while I appreciate everyone has slotted into their own work here, there is much to be done. So I shall remain in the party and we'll take on the new challenges.

Alreeeeeet! Time teh give some fannies a real smashin'!

Uh, metaphorically, right? I don't fancy getting too close myself...

Fine.

You will be bubbling partner in the back for sure.

Ugh, my epic tale needs to start sooner rather than later you know!

Agreed, you will not enjoy the sweeter delights of life with me serenading the innkeeper.

i'm fine just in the hospital, honestly

Now, now, you'll all get a proper crack at it, it's a big guild and it is sure to get bigger. But we must acknowledge that some will wait longer than others for their share. Besides, if you wish, we can wait until you are ready to fight this monster.

Oh joy I have that to look forward to, it seems.

I'm just here for the food.

Man, last LP was so much easier, 9 party members, boom 2 parties. Now with 11, soon to be 12, I've gotta figure things out. And so this will do for now, we'll keep Aleks and Alastor because they're new classes, while we need Holly, Logan and Corinth for various tasks, that's the main reason they were chosen. Fret not, every member will get two full floors to explore, split into three groups with some wildcards that'll fill the last slot. That'll be the Beast for stratum 2, but you'll be voting in what order the guild will be appearing, as well as boss voting and all that when it comes up, simple enough. Can't imagine trying to figure this out in games with a larger number of classes. Haha.

Large character casts will get super hard to juggle and balance in pretty much any media. Fortunately on the narrative LP side of things, most EO games don't tend to have too many classes outside of 2U and- oh god Nexus has 19 classes? Good thing we're not LPing that!

...



Yeh know the huge monster in the northern clearing on the 1st floor? Well, some stupid blighter took a poke at it. It's usually calm, but now that it's been riled... it's attacking anyone who comes near. Bad news, that one. Lotta people think the beastie needs killing, so there's yer job. And if you can't hack it, yeh've no chance of reaching the floating castle. Go get 'em, and g'luck!

We haven't improved that much since it clobbered us last update, so we'll be tackling this quest, eh, later. But I wonder who would be stupid enough to rile up that beast?

Chances are unless you have done a lot of grinding or are resorting to cheese strats, the Gashtor will still kick your rear end. Like Cross said, best save this one for later. By the way, killing it in advance doesn't count. If you've done that, taking this quest will revive it and you'll have to kill it again.



Maybe we can wait a bit to tackle that, uhhhh, how about this quest? It seems pretty... what's with that large crate of... oof... it's so heavy... gahhhhhh...

Oh, it's that one yeh're after? The Duke's guards went on a mission in the Labyrinth... yer job is to bring them food and other supplies, but I warn yeh--it's a damned heavy load! I s'pose yeh could divide it up equally, but there's a wee problem with that. If someone carrying the stuff dies, the monster will scarf it up lickety-split. So yeh can't let a single man die until yeh've delivered the goods, understand? The guards're up on the 4th floor. Careful with that stuff, all right?



Permission to let them starve for a few days.

Granted.

I can carry the whole box meself, but fiiiiine.

So you've seen how much I've been dying on the second floor, so now that you've reached the third floor, here's a quest that requires you to keep the entire party alive until halfway through the fourth floor? The gently caress? We'll put this off for a while as well, and next time, try out our new team in the fun third floor, I'm sure nothing bad will happen!

I'm not sure why this quest is placed here, it's 1 floor too early. Fortunately this quest only checks to see if anyone is dead after a battle is finished, so if you revive them before then, you won't fail the quest. That being said you're better off taking this quest later, as even if you think you're a hotshot who can prevent your party from dying... the game has other ideas, for reasons that will become very clear later.

Crosspeice
Aug 9, 2013

Zzzz... sploosh... zzzz... KABOOM... zzz... sploosh...

Survivalist



Can equip: Bows, Light Armor, Clothing

How the mighty have fallen. Wait I said that last time. Well it's still true, Survivalists were amazing last game, being a mix of offense and support, they could be at the front and tank some hits, or deal hefty single target damage from the back. However, like the Landy, they got nerfed pretty hard, meaning they're just mostly support with a couple of attacking options, I guess. And of course they're still great to use for a gathering party, but compared to how amazing they were before, this is probably the biggest L in the series.

Thought Landsknecht had it rough? Just take a look at the Survivalist in this game, holy poo poo. They were by far the best class in EO1 and completely overpowered, so some nerfs were in order. Instead of a few small taps or even a smack, Atlus opted to bludgeon the poor class until there was nothing left. It's really hard to recommend the use of this class when the Gunner exists. Though the Survivalist at least has some selling points. Whether those are worth taking up what's essentially an empty party slot otherwise is up to you. Hell even their gathering capabilities got nerfed due to the overall gathering nerfs. My god Atlus, were you trying to nerf this class, or were you trying to delete it?



Compared to last game, the Survivalist has the worst drop in overall average stats, they were 2nd and now they're 7th. They exceed in AGI, no one else outmatches them, but aside from HP, their stats are all quite below average. They still have alright VIT at least, so they can take some hits and support that way, but their STR is outclassed by basically everyone you'd expect, like hey, they still have more STR than an Alchemist or Troubadour! That's not an accomplishment.

If you intend on actually using a Survivalist, maxing out STR Up is by far the best thing you can do for them. It won't completely offset their horrific damage output, but you might as well stave off the worst of it. Their defensive stats also took a big hit in the transition from EO1 to 2. The game says they can operate on either line in EO2, but while this was true in EO1 as they and the Dark Hunter had similar durability, that's really not the case in this game. They can technically go up there sure, but they'll be smacked around harder than all of the dedicated front liner classes, and there's really no benefit to putting them on the front lines other than to really fill out that 3/2 formation, but it's really not worth it.

Common Passive Unlocks

AGI Up: Lv1: Velocity; Lv3: Ambush, Baitstep; Lv5: Sagacity
TEC Up: Lv3: Sleeper, Number, Poisoner

Alright, bit more investment into these skills, but it can be worth it. You will want to get Velocity since it leads into 1st Turn, an amazing support skill. Ambush and Baitstep are useful support moves but Sagacity is pointless if you level up Ambush enough, and because Survivalists are so fast, putting points into AGI is a little pointless. For whatever stupid reason you need to level TEC Up to get to the LUC influenced ailment skills, so you then need to invest in LUC Up to make them at all useful. Since they do paltry damage, have bad infliction rates and Survivalists, of course, have bad LUC, you won't get any use out of these. Hard pass.

I suppose you may as well invest in HP Up and VIT Up if you really insist on having them up there. If you insist on using their disabling skills, may as well invest in LUC Up. AGI Up is redundant outside of prerequisites, as they are already very fast and Bows give them a huge speed boost. TP Up is always a good pickup though.

Bows
Unlocks: Lv1: Trueshot; Lv3: Sleeper, Number, Poisoner; Lv5: 2-Bolt; Lv10: Apollon
Passive


Another gutting, this was a 50% boost to Weapon ATK last game, now it's a paltry boost that makes using Bows so much worse. None of these skills are really all that great, the ones that were, Multihit and Apollon, were nerfed and just don't do as much damage as before. You could max this out for Apollon, but in those 3 turns it takes to go off, someone else on your team will have done way more damage than it overall, so maybe go as far as level 5.

An 11% damage boost is not going to salvage their damage either, but you might as well invest in it after finishing off their build. They have so many terrible skills that they'll have SP to spare to spend in whatever they want. And they're still not a good class when all that's done. At least Bows give a sizeable speed boost???

Ambush
Prerequisites: AGI Up Lv3
Unlocks: Lv5: 1st Hit
Increases chance of preemptive strikes. Does not work on guaranteed blindsides. Passive.


Ah, at least this skill is still here. Ambush is amazing lategame since it gives you a breather against terrifying enemies and because preemptives are checked before blindsides, this skill is as if you invested in both of them, very worthwhile. However, the game is a bit cheeky with these numbers since this is added onto the final preemptive chance, which is capped at 25%, making the last level completely pointless. You're likely to have a good preemptive chance anyway if you're using a Survivalist since the formula takes into account the highest AGI and the highest LUC in a party, so even putting 3 levels into this skill might be a bit much. 1st Hit is still bad, so don't feel like you need to max this out, but it's still a great lategame skill to grab.

Fun fact, you could stack these if you had multiple Survivalists in EO1 to get a guaranteed preemptive strike in nearly every single battle. And considering how strong they were in that game, that was far from a terrible idea. Sadly no longer possible since the chances are now capped at 25%. May as well pick it up when finishing off their skill build. Unfortunately the existence of guaranteed blindsides dampens the effectiveness of this skill a bit. At any rate, you have a 5% chance of getting a preemptive on average without this skill, so level 4 is as high as you should take this. Heck you might better off leaving it at level 3.

Sagacity
Prerequisites: AGI Up Lv3
Unlocks: Lv3: 1st Hit
Decreases chance of blindsides. Does not work on guaranteed blindsides. Passive.


Great, this is back. Due to how good Ambush usually is, Sagacity doesn't have much of a place, especially since you need to invest even more into AGI Up to get to it, which is pretty pointless for this class. The blindside formula is a little friendlier to Sagacity, since it's a reduction from the final chance, meaning level 5 is useful to drop a blindside all the way to 1%, the minimum. Also it being based on the enemy's AGI and LUC means it's less in your control, so this skill can help with a surprise screwing. However, because of how good Ambush is, even at a lower level, it's really not worth it.

If this actually worked on guaranteed blindsides, I'd heartily recommend this as a pickup. (Well, as heartily as I can considering this is the Survivalist we're talking about here.) Unfortunately it does not, and Ambush helps with dealing with normal blindsides anyway. Even then blindsides average out around a 7% chance on average, so a 1 or 2 points in this skill is enough to send those all the way to the minimum most of the time.

1st Hit
Prerequisites: Ambush Lv5, Sagacity Lv3
Chance of user acting first for a turn. Passive.


Back again, I see. Well considering Survivalists are still the fastest around... what is the point of this? What situation requires this weak support class to go before a fast enemy that doesn't already have their skills go first anyway? Considering how much you need to invest to unlock this, this is a super no.

I cannot think of a possible use case for this skill, when Survivalists are already fast, and none of their skills really need priority. The ones you'd want to have priority already have them anyways!

Trueshot
Prerequisites: Bows Lv1.
A single target ranged Bow attack. Bow skill with Stab damage, uses the Arms.


Well isn't this looking familiar? Some mediocre damage from a mediocre class. This skill is, again, completely outclassed by Multihit, though it's a much closer race than before, especially if the targets for Multihit end up dying. Otherwise yeah there's no reason to use this, it was alright last game, but after nerfs to overall damage, even if this skill is stronger than it was before, it's still not worth using.

There is no reason to invest in this when the next skill... exists. That's a way to describe it I guess. Even as an earlygame nuke, it's not worth it as Survivalist damage is not good. Just keep investing into Bows to unlock the next skill if you insist on giving them damage dealing capabilities.

2-Bolt
Prerequisites: Bows Lv5.
A multi target Bow attack to 2 enemies, does not redirect if original target dies. Bow skill with Stab damage, uses the Arms.


How the mighty have fallen. gently caress, I keep saying that, but it's so true! Multihit was one of the best skills in the game since it added a third hit at level 10, doing so much damage overall, 375%. This hits 250% along with coming from nerfed Bows and nerfed STR. It's so disappointing how much they murdered this skill, since it means Survivalists are forced to support because their attacking options are so bad. But it's also the best skill they have against bosses, BARELY outdamaging Trueshot. God I'm so loving depressed.

So. This is their best spammable damage skill. If you can really call it that. They gutted Multihit's damage by 1/3rd and as a result, it's complete poo poo now. But Survivalists don't have any better options for dealing damage, so they're stuck with this. At least it's faster than it was in EO1? Really the thing that gets me about the Multihit nerf is that a few other classes in this game actually have better versions of the EO1 version of Multihit now! My god Atlus, stop! Stop! It's already dead!

Sleeper/Number
Prerequisites: Bows Lv3, TEC Up Lv3.
A single target ranged Bow attack that attempts to inflict Sleep/Paralysis. Bow skill with Stab damage, uses the Arms.


So you've decided to go full support with your Survivalist, here's why it's a bad idea. These are level 5 skills that get cut off halfway, so everything about them is bad, Survivalists have middling LUC, really don't need 3 points in TEC (???) and while landing an ailment early in a turn is helpful, if you don't land it, your Survivalist just wasted their turn with PITIFUL damage and did nothing to support the team. Truly a puzzling skill when other classes do these ailments way better AND multi target, letting you roll multiple times at once. There is utility in Sleep or Paralysis, but it's really not from this class.

I guess if you lack a Hexer... no, it's not even worth it in that case. Just skip these skills.

Poisoner
Prerequisites: Bows Lv3, TEC Up Lv3.
A single target ranged Bow attack that attempts to inflict Poison. Bow skill with Stab damage, uses the Arms.


Same as before, very not useful, but hey Poison is no longer bugged and capped at 255! Maybe this skill might've gone past that if it didn't get stopped halfway. Now admittedly this skill has some use BECAUSE it deals extra damage, so it becomes the strongest skill your have if it lasts a fair while. Hexer's Poison does 295 damage to every enemy buuuuuuuuut comparing any class to a Hexer is unfair. This is still a poo poo skill, but if you can land the Poison, congrats, your Survivalist is contributing with damage.

I guess if you lack a Hexer, it can be a way for Survivalists to chip in some damage. Of course if you do have a Hexer, don't bother with this skill at all. At any rate once your target is poisoned, just switch to spamming 2-Bolt.

Apollon
Prerequisites: Bows Lv10.
A single target ranged Bow attack that is fired on one turn and lands two turns later. If the user is incapacitated on the landing turn, it will not hit. Bow skill with Stab damage, uses the Arms.


Okay, phew, at least Apollon is still good. It did get nerfed slightly, but is still very strong, even if it has a couple of issues, like everything else we've seen so far. Maxing bows was way more useful in the last game, so doing so again for little results is a real pain, since you then have to fully invest in this skill to make any use out of it, so it'll be a while before it pays dividends. Due to having 42 STR at level 70 instead of 68 in EO1 also hurts this skill a lot, so it's 3 turns for something that's not massively impressive. A fair numbers of classes will easily outdamage you in that time, even Poisoner will, though that has to land first turn. Also it no longer Stuns opponents, which is a problem since it always landed first on the turn, even if the infliction rate was never that high. Overall it's still fine, but a far cry from its previous iteration.

Might as well get this since it's the Survivalist's best damage skill. Only a 20% damage reduction (as well as the lack of level 15 skills, but every class lost those) but the removal of the stun hurts since that was a very nice insult to injury moment in big fights since you'd be spamming this skill often. Here, well might as well spam it since it's the only way to get something resembling damage out of the Survivalist.

1st Turn
Prerequisites: Slowstep Lv5.
BUGGED: Game does not check success rate, making it 100% at all levels.
Forces the targeted party member to act first. Buff skill, uses the Legs.


Okay, phew, at least 1st Turn is still good. Man, am I a parrot? An amazing skill that gives the Survivalist incredibly unique utility in most situations. The bug persists between games, somehow, and let you save 4SP then and 7SP now, along with 7TP, just incredible. Of course you need to invest in some super bad skills to reach this, especially because the bug also applies to Slowstep, wasting 4SP you would've saved otherwise, and Velocity is a pretty pointless buff. Also it has the fringe case of not helping you out of a dangerous situation if your legs are bound, but that's pretty rare. This skill is completely worth it.

Heh, the exact same bug from EO1. Anyways, 1st Turn is the main selling point of the Survivalist and probably the only reason to really take this class. With that said, it's a much harder sell in this game compared to EO1. For one, 1st Turn in EO1 wasn't attached to a glorified empty slot. It was a class that had a number of other things that it could be doing as well. Here, it's the only worthwhile thing a Survivalist can do. Not only that, speed mechanics were hosed in 1, being heavily inconsistent which 1st Turn dealt with. Here... they're still hosed, just in a different way. But speed is more consistent amongst classes now, and a bunch of skills are faster to cast, making this a bit redundant. There are still quite a few slow skills in the game this will work on, so it can be useful for bypassing speed penalties. But if you really don't need this skill, then you don't need the Survivalist.

Slowstep
Prerequisites: Velocity Lv3.
Unlocks: Lv5: 1st Turn
BUGGED: Game does not check success rate, making it 100% at all levels.
Forces the targeted party member to act last. Buff skill, uses the Legs.


Uh, what is the point of this skill? When would you ever want to use this? Like going before or after an enemy is usually not a massive deal in most cases, but going first is often preferable. If there's a use for this, I can't think of it, and frankly I don't want to know. It's such a shame that you need to waste so much SP into this skill to unlock 1st Turn, it doesn't deserve it. ESPECIALLY since you should only ever put one point into it for that weird fringe case you'd need it. But of course not, still you've seen a good chunk of a Survivalist's skills, so it's not like they're hurting for SP.

Acting last can have strategical uses. Like putting up a buff after an enemy wipes it, or instantly curing a disable after an enemy inflicts it. Though such situations are uncommon, so don't expect to get that much use out of this skill. You'll have to invest in it to unlock 1st Turn at any rate.

Baitstep
Prerequisites: AGI Up Lv3.
Increases the user's evasion and provoke rate for 5 turns. Buff skill, uses the Legs.


This is an interesting buff that can have its uses, but of course, it has to have some issues. Survivalists could tank pretty well last game and this is somewhat the case here, they have middling HP and VIT so they can take some hits, but if you use this against a big group of enemies, you're getting pasted. Considering how you will always get targeted past level 7, the evasion increase does not scale to compensate, 21% is not that much and the last level just increases the TP and speed modifier, for a class that is usually going first anyway! UGH, this could've been a great option, but dodgetanking has always been a suspect playstyle due to how scary enemies are and this is not the way to go about it.

Fun fact, in the Japanese release of this game, all evasion boosts were bugged. They were accidentally coded as accuracy decreases. So a max level Baitstep would make a Survivalist 21% less accurate while not providing any evasion at all. Whoops!

If you want to dodgetank, play a different game. That playstyle becomes more viable in the later EO games, but not this one due to how accuracy works. It also doesn't help against AOEs, which there are plenty of late-game. Skip this one entirely.

Velocity
Prerequisites: AGI Up Lv1.
Unlocks: Lv3: Slowstep
Increases the user's AGI for 5 turns. Buff skill, uses the Legs.


Another suspect skill, you're putting points into AGI Up for Ambush and then 3SP into this to lead into 1st Turn, how much more drat AGI do you need??? Your Survivalist will be going first in most cases and will definitely go first out of your party, so what possible reason could you need to boost yourself M O R E. The cap for stats is 99, remember.

Why. If it wasn't for the fact that this is needed to unlock 1st Turn, there would be absolutely no reason to even take this skill. More AGI does grant more accuracy and evasion, but it doesn't help that much.

Patrol
Reduces damage from damage tiles. Field Skill.


These skills have always been a little weird, if you have a healer, damage tiles have never been much of an issue, and using Revenge strats basically requires your Hexer to be at 1HP, so that doesn't help with it. A Guard Sole is a level 2 version of this skill, so if you need reduction that bad just use that and save your SP. Being able to ignore them entirely is nice, but I've never cared much, heal before you get into an encounter you fool!

Damage tiles still deal percentage based damage in this game, so this can be a nice way to cut down on that. You'll start seeing those by Stratum 2, so if you insist on picking up this skill, do it by then.

Stalker
Reduces danger value of tiles. Field Skill.


This is a very important skill for gathering parties and not much for anything else because of how ridiculous it is. This reduces the danger value of tiles by a certain amount and at max level, because the game rounds down, any tile with a value of 4 or less are now 0. Which is, uh, most of them. Max this skill out and you have free range of the entire floor, it's an amazing skill to reduce any escape RNG as you reset to a gathering spot from a gathering blindside. But for your main party, battle everything you can, no getting out of it!

Fantastic for a gathering party since this is basically a turn off encounters button due to how encounters work in this game. For your main party, this is a bit of a questionable investment since you're heavily cutting down on your exp intake this way.

Foesense
Reveals all FOEs on the floor. Does not reveal invisible FOEs. Field Skill.


The map skills last game either only worked in a radius, or only worked as long as you stood still. Thankfully they were rolled into 1 pretty alright skill if you refuse to use the excellent Gamefaqs maps, since knowing where FOEs is always handy. However, it doesn't work on invisible FOEs, ones that could really use a skill for, and becomes pretty pointless once you've mapped the floor. Save your SP and look online, it's not cheating I swear!

If this actually worked on invisible FOEs like such skills do in the later EO games, I would say this skill is worth a pickup. It does not, so you should skip it. FOE movement patterns in this game aren't particularly complicated.

Airwalk
Increases the entire party's evasion for 5 turns. Force Skill, uses the Legs.


...t-that's it? Just an evasion boost? Even its speed modifier is pretty rubbish compared to other Force Skills, what the gently caress. Okay, an evasion boost is pretty nice, but enemies are usually pretty accurate so it's not a massive buff. It also doesn't affect enemies with 200% accuracy but that's a pretty rare occurrence. Like, yeah, you'll use it when you get it, but it really needed something else to be at all useful, and that describes this class in a nutshell. Surely the next class is good, right? RIGHT?!

Yeah this is the worst Force skill in the entire game, my god. It was even worse in the Japanese version thanks to the evasion bug. Halving your party's accuracy for 5 turns, hooray! Oh and despite not increasing speed at all, this is classified as a speed buff. So any speed debuffs will remove the effects of this skill. Yeah. You might think this is a good defensive buff despite that, but the problem is this Force skill is completely outdone by the Protector's Painless Force skill, since everything this skill affects, that skill affects as well. And that doesn't eat up 1/3rd of your buff slots to boot.

How the mighty have fallen indeed. It pains me to even say it after all the praises I sung for EO1 Survivalist, but it must be said. This class is completely awful and has very little redeeming value outside of 1st Turn. And if you don't need that skill, you don't need this class. Fortunately, this was the absolute worst of the nerfings, so we can only go up from here. The question is, how high can we go now?

Verant
Oct 20, 2012

Go on an adventure ordained by fate?
-->Okay.
-->Eh.

Yowza, that's a...stark difference there. I can understand not wanting to make Survivalist quite as broken, but this is just overkill.

Libluini
May 18, 2012

I gravitated towards the Greens, eventually even joining the party itself.

The Linke is a party I grudgingly accept exists, but I've learned enough about DDR-history I can't bring myself to trust a party that was once the SED, a party leading the corrupt state apparatus ...


Grimey Drawer

Yikes, this makes me happy I only used Survivalists in EO2 for my gathering parties.

Also, what's up with EO3 and armor? I keep hearing it's bad, with no explanation. And I keep forgetting to look into this. (Though I probably should, as I'm getting close to the postgame in EO3 right now, and if loading up with the best armor is secretly crippling me, I'd like to know)

Omobono
Feb 19, 2013

That's it! No more hiding in tomato crates! It's time to show that idiota Germany how a real nation fights!

For pasta~! CHARGE!



Short version, the damage formula doesn't give enough weight to armour values to make armour worth it over stats.
So accessories or pieces with relevant stats are better than raw defence.

Araxxor
Oct 20, 2012

My disdain for you all knows no bounds.


Libluini posted:

Yikes, this makes me happy I only used Survivalists in EO2 for my gathering parties.

Also, what's up with EO3 and armor? I keep hearing it's bad, with no explanation. And I keep forgetting to look into this. (Though I probably should, as I'm getting close to the postgame in EO3 right now, and if loading up with the best armor is secretly crippling me, I'd like to know)

I have a detailed explanation on this page (God I really need to finish up the archival work for that thing.) But for the relevant parts...

quote:

If a player unit is using a STR-based attack: User's Weapon ATK - Target's VIT
If a player unit is using a TEC-based attack: User's TEC * 4 - Target's VIT
If an enemy unit is using a STR-based attack: User's STR * 3 - (Target's Armor Defense / 3)
If an enemy unit is using a TEC-based attack: User's TEC * 5 - Target's Armor Defense

The base hit is by far the most important part of dealing damage, as that's what all those fancy multipliers are applied to. And if your base hit is low, all of those boosts won't mean much, so it's important to increase that as much as possible.

For STR-based damage coming from the player, the base hit is based on the user's weapon. So it's important to upgrade the weapons of your attackers fairly often, as they'll lag behind if you don't.

When it comes to enemies and their STR, their base hit is largely based on their STR stat, as they can't wield weapons, and it works pretty similarly to how TEC works. That being said, there's something I want to bring your attention to. Namely that armor isn't really that effective in reducing damage, since only every 3 points of defense reduces the base hit by 1. It helps yes, but VIT has a much bigger effect. What I'm saying is that while armor is important to upgrade, it's not a huge priority. Upgrade your armor every once in a while instead of at every opportunity.

As for enemy TEC, their base hit is very similar to how the player's version works, only being 25% stronger due to TEC being multiplied by 5. Armor is in full effect here, but because of how big TEC's base hit can get, it's not as effective as you'd think, as you're basically trying to stop a boulder with a wall made out of planks or something. As a result, armor isn't really too great all around in 3, and should be one of the lower priority purchases unless the armor comes with a good enough benefit.

So basically the meta was that armor was only upgraded if it made a tangible benefit, but the game was filled with even more powerful accessories that could reduce damage even more than armor could, so accessory stacking was done there to provide defense, and could even hard cheese some bosses.

EO4 had most of EO3's formulae, so unfortunately the same problems exist there as well. Oh and they got rid of accessory stacking in that game cause of all the cheese in 3, so now you're forced to live with your poo poo armor instead of being able to use a better alternative if you aren't the Fortress. (Who is the one class that actually wants every last bit of DEF they can get their hands on due to how they operate.)

For some reason, EOU saw fit to nerf armor even further, making it about as 1/4th as effective against STR based attacks instead of 1/3rd. And against TEC based attacks? 2/7ths. Not only that, enemy base hits got a massive boost which is why everything in that game hits like a goddamn truck. Enemies hit harder on average and armor is nearly a completely worthless mechanic due to the nerfs. If you wanted defense, HP increases were far far better for survivability than most defensive boosts could ever be, and if you couldn't get those, VIT boosts. Armor was only worth buying if it had a good secondary benefit or came with an HP boost as DEF is nearly worthless in EOU.

2U shared the same formulae as U, so the same kind of applied there, though HP boosts got nerfed across the board. Course if you were the Beast, you actually wanted every last bit of DEF as possible due to how they operated.

It wasn't until EO5 that armor finally got fixed and snagging helmets and gloves over boots was an actual choice you had to make instead of "all boots all day." (Nexus shares the same formulae as 5 as well.)

Libluini
May 18, 2012

I gravitated towards the Greens, eventually even joining the party itself.

The Linke is a party I grudgingly accept exists, but I've learned enough about DDR-history I can't bring myself to trust a party that was once the SED, a party leading the corrupt state apparatus ...


Grimey Drawer

Oh, oh dear.

I think I have to do some changes with my party

DACK FAYDEN
Feb 25, 2013

Bear Witness

Araxxor posted:

For some reason, EOU saw fit to nerf armor even further, making it about as 1/4th as effective against STR based attacks instead of 1/3rd. And against TEC based attacks? 2/7ths. Not only that, enemy base hits got a massive boost which is why everything in that game hits like a goddamn truck. Enemies hit harder on average and armor is nearly a completely worthless mechanic due to the nerfs. If you wanted defense, HP increases were far far better for survivability than most defensive boosts could ever be, and if you couldn't get those, VIT boosts. Armor was only worth buying if it had a good secondary benefit or came with an HP boost as DEF is nearly worthless in EOU.
as someone who didn't bother to look this up and ragequit EOU despite having beaten the final story boss of every other EO game, lmao, no wonder everything was murdering me on sight

Crosspeice
Aug 9, 2013

Zzzz... sploosh... zzzz... KABOOM... zzz... sploosh...

Part 5: Stalking Stalkers




A gem as beautiful as your eyes... eh, her's are pretty brown.

If you're using a gathering party, get used to resetting a lot. Hey, better them than your main party, right?



Matchlock, requires 3 Lymph and 3 Amazonite.
Venom Ring, requires 1 Bug Wing, 1 Amazonite - Poison Resist Up 50%
Leg Guard, requires 1 Amazonite - Leg Bind Resist Up 50% - Gear that helps keep the legs from being bound.
Luck Beads, requires 1 Aragonite - LUC+10 - Its well-polished gem is said to bring luck.
Apt Piece, requires 1 Garnet - TEC+5 - Aids in the user's concentration.
Power Ring, requires 1 Garnet - STR+5 - Mysterious ring that awakens inner strength.

Always nice to have as early as possible, you get one hell of a haul from new gathering points that that don't need restocking, unlike some later games!

+5 STR/TEC accessories available this early in the game, jesus.

Holy gently caress look at all those stat boosts this early! And this is just the 3rd floor, too! God, +10 LUC this soon would be a godsend for inflictors in a non-EO5/N game after the DS era. (It ain't too great in this game, +10 LUC is about a 10% increase at best in a game with harsh resistance stats.)



Nothin' like a reet battle in the mornin'! I feel stronger already!

It's been five minutes.

And somehow it's working...

Exp cheats make the world go round!

Considering how the games are meant to be gone through with a singular 5 man party, I couldn't imagine doing an LP with 1 of every class without EXP cheats. ...Well, you can easily do that in this game, but it comes at the cost of not being able to raise up alternative party members until the second stratum, which is what I had to do if you read that old fangled LP. Still, if you're concerned about playing legit, level grinding is far from a problem in this game after a certain point. (Other types of grinding on the other hand... gently caress the gear registry.)



The Duke's men are looking for a strong landsknecht. It occurs to you that the landsknecht in your party may be the man they're after. When you have a spare moment, return to the bar!

A man, eh?

I-I-It's just what's written on the request, please don't crush me...

Something the quest doesn't mention in the slightest is better rewards depending on level. Level 6-9, nice, is an extra 50en, while level 10+ is an additional 100en. By the time we get to level 10, that amount of money is nothing, but might as well get it. Just submit this quest as soon as you're able, tbh.

Only 50 en minimum, jfc.

Okay I'm going to go and say this now that a player would most likely run into an issue with these quests here. Do not take any "class + level check" quests until you are ready to turn them in right away! There's a rather infamous issue with every single one of those quests where they inefficiently check your party state after every single step taken. Even though it's completely impossible to level up outside of battle. That combined with the other many code inefficiencies in this game, causes the game to lag like a motherfucker while exploring the Labyrinth. Instead of walking continuously down a row of tiles, you'd pause for like 1 second after every tile. And yes, it feels very awful to play. If you happened to take the quest, don't worry, rejecting it at the bar will return the game speed to normal.

And if you're still experiencing some slight lag in certain places despite having no such quests, don't worry. The game just does that sometimes due to inefficient coding. There's sadly nothing you can do about those instances, but they won't slow down your game as much as these quests do.

I was having it on out of curiosity and didn't notice a huge amount of difference, since this game and OBS in tandem are already a little laggy, but for future quests where you could have them active for much longer and in areas that are a bit resource intensive, you definitely wanna leave these at the bar.




Warabide, -5 speed, requires 15 Rat Needles and 7 Amazonite.

As for what our new members will be doing, since this is the exponential nightmare, we need to invest in skills for them to be any good. For some classes that have a lot of skills you want, since the early game is easy enough, you can grab a few for variety and then invest in them, but for some, like Landy and Survivalist, you should head straight for them and jack them right up. However, you can only do that to an extent since the TP cost will rapidly outpace your pool. So find a happy medium and then finish it off later when you have more to work with.

Holly will go Tornado into eventually getting the chasers to work, that'll take a bit. But she doesn't have anything else to do! Logan will do pretty pathetic damage with 2-Bolt until he can get Apollon, but we'll be getting 1st Turn and Ambush before that, he won't be on the front lines for very long. For Alchemists, you should focus on one or two elements depending on what your team is missing, though you should basically ignore Ice, it isn't very good, but we'll be taking it for a little bit. We'll head for Analysis pretty much immediately and then Megido. Very simple.



Now to be off, everyone ready?

Yes, of course, though there is an outstanding request to take care of.

Always the Duchy's lapdog, eh, lassie?

He is quite the secutarian, right, back buddy?

Don't touch me.



Didn't encounter many Hedgehogs on 2F, so have to take a minute to finish this worthless quest.




Cool.



What I need yeh to do is get 3 materials for the hunting horns those guards carry. Yeh've not seen it? They blow on the thing to communicate or when they're in trouble. The more explorers that flock to this town, the more guards yeh see. Think yeh'll sign up? Anyway, yeh can get the Red Shards they need from one of the Labyrinth critters. G'luck!

Woodland Ruins




I'm h-helping!

Sure you are.

Quick little check on the disparity of classes. Alchemists are kinda unfair this early. It won't last.

You can make them last, it just involves cramming Amritas down their throats relentlessly. Or just treating them as an empty slot during explorations, which seems kind of a waste for a party slot. The series isn't just about FOE and boss fights you know, the exploration is a significant part as well.



It seems the path continues beyond the wall... while you consider different ways to get past the wall, the survivalist points upward. Above the wall, a high branch juts out invitingly. The survivalist nimbly jumps between the trees, landing directly on the branch! With your survivalist's help, you fasten a rope to the branch so the entire party can cross.

Nimble little oval office, eh?

I could be doing that if I was wanting to. I just do not wanting to.



Nice upgrade, but it will barely help.



oval office!

Language...



There is writing engraved here, but it seems ancient and utterly unlike anything you recognize. As you take turns examining the writing, you can hear your alchemist mutter something. The strange language begins to ring, as the gem in the center shines brightly. It appears that your alchemist can read whatever is written here! You can now use the activated monument to teleport to the other side of the wall.



I still don't know what Le Grill means, why does it appear so often?



They're not all winners, I just want the money.

If you're wondering if these barriers are worth the reward, the answer is... sometimes. A lot of time you get junk for something that demands a specific party composition.



Now fer the proper fanny smashin'! What're yeh getting all marroon fer?

J-Just not used to these words, not exactly used in the Grand Duchy... also... you're really... close.

Now, now, while it's easy to do, enough teasing the lad, we need to be on full alert in this forest.



Horny.

Snnrk, so serious!


Redhorn

HP: 158
STR: 15
VIT: 11
TEC: 8
AGI: 10
LUC: 11
Level: 10
Exp: 425

Skills
Charge: Uses the Head. Increases the user's damage by 110% for 5 turns. Has an 80% speed modifier.
Horns: Uses the Head. Deals 200% Stab damage to a single target. Has a 50% accuracy modifier and a 100% speed modifier.

Damage Vulnerabilities
75% 75% 75%
150% 150% 150%

Disable Vulnerabilities
100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
100% 100% 100% 100% 100%

Drops
Red Shard: 35% chance, sells for 15en.
1 required for Kodachi - Katana, ATK+37 - sells for 270en
1 required for Nail Glove - Gloves, DEF+6, STR+1 - sells for 150en
5 required for Boar Spear - Sword, ATK+37, STR+2 - sells for 350en
7 required for Horn Mace - Stave, ATK+45, HP+20 - sells for 440en
3 required for Sounding the call

Conditional: Kill with Fire damage
Red Horn: 80% chance, sells for 26en
1 required for Tarbarzin - Axe, ATK+46, Type: Fire - sells for 560en

New floor, new monsters. Redhorns show that Charge strats are different compared to last game, they're a slight buff for a few turns, meaning they can do a lot of damage. Despite being a 5 turn buff, the Charge AI is still flag based, so it'll alternate using it every other turn so it's not slamming you with Horns for 4 turns in a row. This means their AI is two lines long, but with elemental weakness and not doing anything first turn, means you shouldn't have too much trouble taking them down.

This thing got upgraded to an FOE with a pretty dumb gimmick in 2U!

Charges are no longer glorified telegraphs. They... sorta increase damage. Not by a notable amount, but it's there. These things are basically a soft tutorial on the defend command. They can hit super hard and possiblly OHKO a party member. But if you defend, you'll reduce 30% of that damage (it's not half, that doesn't happen until EOU), taking what would be a 220% damaging attack down to 154%, likely suriving what comes your way. And after it uses Horns, wail on it! Oh yeah...

Redhorn AI Script posted:

If flag 0 is not active, cast Charge. (Targets self.) Activate flag 0.

Else, cast Horns. (Targets a random party member.) Deactivate flag 0.
Yeah Cross wasn't kidding about the AI being super short.



Oh ho, now that is an air of malice!

Yet yeh're grinnin' a bunch.

So are you!

The monster in the depths surpasses your current skills... fighting it means your death! Not all monsters have strength proportional to the level of the Labyrinth they inhabit! Sometimes it's best to leave these demons be... this, too, is a form of strategy. Observe the monster at your leisure and continue on your journey, mindful of your skills.



Even from this distance it's still massive! Let's avoid that, please!!!

I am not in the best of belief we will...

So regular FOEs will keep kicking our rear end for a while, so here's an even stronger one that'll mince you up in seconds flat! Not that the deer weren't already doing that, but this is a similar introduction as EO1, so the same strat works, right?



Nonononononononononono!

Yeh can't hold me down, noodle arms, chaaaaaarge!

Your funeral.

Ah poo poo, here we go again...


Stalker

HP: 1200
STR: 20
VIT: 25
TEC: 20
AGI: 25
LUC: 20
Level: 18
Exp: 0

Skills
Amputate: Uses the Arms. Deals 200% Cut damage to a single target. Has a 100% accuracy modifier and a 100% speed modifier.
Scythe: Uses the Arms. Deals 200% Cut damage to a single target with 50% splash damage. Has a 100% accuracy modifier and a 100% speed modifier.

Damage Vulnerabilities
100% 75% 100%
125% 50% 125%

Disable Vulnerabilities
25% 25% 25% 25% 25% 15% 25% 3%
25% 25% 25% 20% 3%

Drops
Scythe: 80% chance, sells for 389en
1 required for Sensui - Katana, ATK+55, STR+2 - sells for 1,020en

Conditional: Kill within 1 turn
Harvester: 100% chance, sells for 1,280en
Required for nothing

If you can cheese this early, you can get a nice katana upgrade, but otherwise avoid the gently caress outta these things, so completely not worth your time. We'll be back in like 20 updates for the conditional, mainly because I'll forget about it for a bit. You need to head straight up from the entrance to go past it, going to the other side of the room doesn't work. Though how are you to know that first time? At least the similar room in EO1 worked both ways.

Red FOEs are back, and just like in the first game, they denote the strongest FOE in the stratum. And considering how beefy EO2 FOEs are, you really want to avoid these at all costs! Just look at those sky high stats, 4 digit HP already! It's almost as strong as the Stratum boss, so yeah, you won't be killing this thing for a long while!




So, what have we learned?

Strong idiots die young.

Who you callin' dead? But, uh, sorry Logan...

It's... fine, I guess, we tired it out, so let's get moving.

And so a skinship was forming. Friendskin? Whatever.

After 3 steps it pauses for 1 turn and you can slip past it.



My attacks won't do much, so blow 'em up, grumps!

I'd rather not. I can do plenty with low yield barrages.


Roller

HP: 87
STR: 10
VIT: 13
TEC: 10
AGI: 12
LUC: 11
Level: 9
Exp: 266

Skills
Rolling: Uses the Legs. Deals 115% Bash damage to a single target. Has a 90% accuracy modifier and a 100% speed modifier.

Damage Vulnerabilities
75% 100% 100%
150% 100% 100%

Disable Vulnerabilities
100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
100% 100% 100% 100% 100%

Drops
Gum Hide: 15% chance, sells for 11en.
1 required for Wing Leaf - Clothing, DEF+13, HP+5 - sells for 200en
1 required for Sherwani - Clothing, DEF+20, VIT+1 - sells for 420en
2 required for Bullwhip - Whip, ATK+32 - sells for 260en
2 required for Hide Aspis - Shield, DEF+12 - sells for 325en
2 required for Rough Hat - Headgear, DEF+8, TP+8 - sells for 120en
3 required for Hide Plate - Heavy Armor, DEF+22 - sells for 310en
5 required for Iron Glove - Gloves, DEF+10, VIT+1

Shell Wart: 25% chance, sells for 12en.
1 required for Briar Whip - Whip, ATK+42, VIT+1, AGI+1 - sells for 520en
5 required for Tshirovha - Axe, ATK+39, STR+2 - sells for 410en
7 required for Kurodachi - Katana, ATK+46, Type: Ice - sells for 580en

Conditional: None

Elemental vibe check, except not really since it only slightly resists Cut in this game. Can be annoying at lower health when it keeps going for Rolling, but we won't encounter that many at once for now.

These things are uhhh... well they only resist cutting attacks so uh. Yeah I got nothing, they're basically a trash mob. Later games would actually make them resistant to all physical instead of just Cut.




Alr-right, don't look at it, a simple puzzle, you can solve this.

Wonder why it acts differently to the previous one.

Some Stalkers only aggro if you're literally in front of them. Easy enough.

Not all FOEs of a specific kind act the same, as the FOE AI handler determines behavior based on the specific FOE entity, not the enemy type they represent. Though starting from EO2, FOEs of a specific kind will generally behave more consistently depending on what type of enemy it is, so you can usually sus out which FOE you're trying to avoid. Where in EO1, the deer FOE could have entirely different behaviors depending on where they were placed.



Pretty bug. Time to smash!

A menybug is a refining symbol, I will be taking its carcass.


Ladybug

HP: 81
STR: 10
VIT: 11
TEC: 9
AGI: 22
LUC: 20
Level: 8
Exp: 222

Skills
Blink: Uses the Legs. Increases all opponent's AGI by 200% for 5 turns. Has a 200% speed modifier.
Summon: When by itself with an AGI buff, summons Raflesia to the battlefield.

Damage Vulnerabilities
100% 100% 100%
100% 100% 150%

Disable Vulnerabilities
100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
100% 100% 100% 100% 100%

Drops
Bug Nail: 30% chance, sells for 11en.
1 required for Culverin - Gun, ATK+35 - sells for 240en
3 required for Kodachi - Katana, ATK+37 - sells for 270en

Bug Shell: 25% chance, sells for 12en
1 required for Color Boot - Footwear, DEF+8, AGI+3 - sells for 140en
5 required for Pure Vest - Light Armor, DEF+17 - sells for 230en Required for The item trade II

Conditional: None

Alright, an enemy with something vindictive to it! Ladybugs are a right pain due to their high AGI and the relative inaccuracy of your party. Be sure to take it out before anything else and absolutely go all out if it's by itself, since it will summon a Raflesia under a few scenarios. If it's by itself when it blindsides you, it has a 50% of summoning, but if it's by itself without an AGI buff, then it can either cast Blink, attack or just summon a Raflesia, though that's rarer. In any case, Raflesia aren't FOEs so they'll mess you up a bit but you can fight them off fine enough compared to 1F, but you'd rather not fight them very often, so take out these bugs quick.

These enemies are extremely dangerous! Sky high AGI, and they can double it, making them and any allies even more evasive! If they're by themselves, either snipe them fast, or run! You don't want to be dealing with a Raflesia this early, and your party likely won't be strong enough to survive an encounter with one. If they aren't by themselves, kill them first so they can't make everyone else more speedy and evasive, which also denies their summoning. They also mark a change in a certain design decision, as in EO1, enemies that could summon other enemies summoned the same kind as them. That's not always the case here, as enemies are capable of summoning different types now. These things choose to summon the strongest monster in the stratum, so you can't just laze your way through the Labyrinth, or you'll end up as a delicious 5 course meal for a flower.



He notices you and begins to speak.

Need any help? You look like explorers--you looking for something?

Well we've found one on these, but wanted to confirm...

You tell him about your quest relating to the hunting horn and await his reply.

Ahh... well, there are some monsters on this floor that carry Red Shards. Good hunting!

After relaying this information, the guard returns to his post. Is he a lookout of some sort? You walk away from the guard, rededicated to your task.

That told us nothing.

I would doubt he has fought those large beasts.

Well Cass doesn't tell you where to find them, and the drop rate from the Redhorns isn't super high, so there's a good chance you'll miss out on those by this point. Nice of them to give pointers if you need help I suppose.




To put it in perspective, Holly's side Tornado hit does the same damage as Logan's 2-Bolt, he is mainly here for benchwarming for now. I'll max out 2-Bolt eventually, but we should get moving to utility more than anything.




AWW FOOOOOK YEAH!!!

Not... used... to... hugs...



Ahh, a respite from the nightmare that is my waking life.

...do... do you want to talk?

Good stuff from chests for once, you could almost pretend the Landy is good when they get a boost like that! And having a Sleep or Lure Bell on hand, which we'll unlock soon enough, are just so nice to ignore whatever FOE related puzzle before you. They'll be more useful later on.



oval office!

Well we found out what it does if we don't kill it immediately, good work everyone.

Defend command! She would have barely survived with 2 or 3 HP in that case!



Noooooope.

Mmm, it seems pretty doable. Burst down the Cactoid on turn 1, defend on turn 2, heal up whoever got smacked afterwards, and take out the Redhorn at your leisure. Sometimes you should take out the weaker enemies first to avoid unnecessary incoming damage, as Holly would have survived a big hit while defending, but not a bonk from the Cactoid after that. Deaths like that can be rather humiliating.




Well that oil would be hinting at something, except imbues are terrible and trying to use them against FOEs is an additional terrible idea. Anyway, nice shortcut, cause floor is kinda long.

It's such a shame a mechanics change ended up as an omega nerf for imbues for a good portion of the series until they got buffed later. In EO1, imbues boosted your basic attack damage, which scaled off your TEC stat. But now all it does is add an element to your basic attack, and does absolutely nothing else. Meaning that TEC's importance on physical attackers got drastically lowered in this game. (Oh, don't cry out for TEC. It has no need for your mourning after this game. :shepface: )




Well hello again, please explain quickly, Holly will not stay in one place for long.

You said... you're from Nidhogg, right? Could you hold off on that door for now?

The man looks at your party each in turn, a troubled expression on his face.

Hmph, we're at this already.

I can't explain why. Just go ask the Grand Duchy... you'll understand then.

The protector remains in place, blocking the door with his head hung low. It seems that he won't let you pass just yet. You should return to town and visit the Duke's Palace for an explanation.

Very well, we shall step back, away from the door... and there's monsters right behind us.

Yow! It's an ambushing!



If you know you're gonna trigger something that forces you to move afterwards, make sure that step won't trigger an encounter.

Oh wow, I forgot this quirk actually existed in the first two games. Forced movement from cutscenes actually add onto your encounter radar, so it's possible for a bit of jank like that to happen. EO3 fixed this by making all relevant tiles tied to moving around in a cutscene or talking to people have a danger value of 0, making it so that nothing gets added onto your encounter radar. And later games took it further by disabling the radar in "safe moments" (Mostly cutscenes, though there are a few other story moments that tie into that.)



We'll take a slight diversion to get healing bullets, we don't need all the ailment recovery just yet, before we head back on the Richochet grind.

Ze healing leaves little time for ze hurting.



You can come here all you like... I'll keep repeating myself. Go ask the Grand Duchy. If you still want to go past here after hearing what they have to say, I won't stop you.

It seems that he won't let you through for any reason until you have returned to town. You should inquire about the matter at the Duke's Palace.

Fortunately there's a shortcut right nearby, so getting back here after reporting to the Duchy won't take too long.



Some interesting trees around here... though while there's not too much, those are quite some trunks.

If we're quite finished, I have the need for some delightful linguini.

3F E1 Chop Point

Ambush Chance: 3%
Ambush Encounter:
100% Raflesia x1

Bent Twig: 65% chance. Sells for 30en.
1 required for Wood Bow - Bow, ATK+27, +20 speed - sells for 170en Required for The item trade I
3 required for Slice Whip - Whip, ATK+38, STR+2 - sells for 370en
5 required for Beast Bow - Bow, ATK+39, STR+1, +5 speed - sells for 440en

Hard Root: 30% chance. Sells for 35en.
1 required for Targe - Shield, DEF+9 - sells for 150en
3 required for Horn Mace - Stave, ATK+45, HP+20 - sells for 440en

Log: 5% chance. Sells for 150en.
Required for nothing.

Usually Chop points are the least interesting, but hey there's some good stuff here. Okay two bows and a stave is whatever, but new whip, r-right?

Tag yourself, I'm the log that literally unlocks nothing.

zzz



Phew, we were running out of TP towards the end, mainly because Landy and Alchemist can be a little expensive, but we've explored a good chunk of the floor.

Crosspeice fucked around with this message at 02:36 on May 7, 2021

Crosspeice
Aug 9, 2013

Zzzz... sploosh... zzzz... KABOOM... zzz... sploosh...

Beautiful and Sublime Lands



...

...

...

... LET US THROO'!

Oho! You there! You're the ones from Nidhogg, are you not? Excellent timing. I have a boon to ask of you. I tell you now, it's a very dangerous mission. I won't force you to do it. But if you're willing to help this old man... perhaps you wouldn't mind hearing me out.



I believe we would benefit from this boon, ohohoho.

Oh, you know that meaning as well?



A number of the guard corps have gone missing over the past few days. We have guards and medics posted around the first Stratum to support new explorers, you see. However... yesterday, when the shift was over, ten of them did not return. I fear something very bad is happening near the Labyrinth's entrance. Normally, it's a mission I'd reserve for a guild like Beowulf or Esbat. But I think I can entrust this one to you...

Wonder why the Edda guild aren't taking this, haven't heard from them for a while.

...who?

Let it motivate you to someday surpass those sterling guilds! Now, go... find out the source of the disappearances and save the guards! Oh, yes... here, take this. It's a Lure Bell. All guards carry one with them at all times. If you see an enemy that's too much for you, you can stop its movement or lure it to you. It won't work on every monster in the Labyrinth, but it still comes in handy. We only have one left, alas. But you can make these from Bell Steel. If you want more Lure Bells, you can chop for this material on the 3rd floor. I'm relying on you. Make me proud!



Yeh think these'll work on Hart?!

Let us be testes it!

Testing. And I could go for a drink as well...



Yadda, yadda, yadda, Lure and Sleep Bells work on most FOEs within 3 spaces to either make them come to where you triggered it and stunning them, or just stunning them on the spot, either are quite nice to have since you want to dodge fighting these wastes of space as much as possible. Though you can see why they don't return in later games, they're not strictly necessary.

Red FOEs have one more attribute that makes them stand out other than being telegraphed as the strongest FOE in the Stratum. FOE items and skills like these don't work on them. You'll have to rely on your smarts to get past those.

Incidentally, according to the EO2U dev blog, these items and the equivalent FOE skills were added in as an attempt to make the Labryinth more interactive. Such as giving players more ways to deal with FOEs. On paper I could see where they were coming from but in practice... people didn't use these. It was just easier to memorize the patrol paths, and these FOE manipulation tools could end up screwing up a patrol path hard if used wrong, making a section harder to get past, not easier. But the spirit of the concept carried onto EO4 once the series made the jump to the 3DS, as FOEs in those games could get more complex mechanics tied to their behaviors to create Labyrinth puzzles. Also it was for the best they moved away from the simplified orange fuzzy ball system, as trying to do anything more complex with it resulted in jank.



Oho? You're approaching me?

I can't knock that bell from your hand without getting clozzzzzzz...

Oh wow, these are really effective on him.

...hm? It put him to sleep but not me, it's a wonderful respite!

Give it five seconds.

i was hoping it would last longer

All these bell noises are making it hard to read!

Land sakes, that was fast. That was bigger than I thought. Hm... you did get three, though. Well then, here's the reward. Nice work, all of yeh.



Alright, money!



Bullwhip, +40 speed, requires 2 Gum Hides and 3 Bug Wings.
Culverin, requires 1 Bug Nail, ATK+35 - A small, easily concealable firearm.
Wing Leaf, requires 1 Gum Hide and 4 Bug Wings.
Nail Glove, requires 1 Red Shard and 2 Cactus Logs, DEF+6, STR+1 - Sturdy gloves woven with small metal fragments.
Color Boot, requires 1 Bug Shell, DEF+8, AGI+3 - Brightly colored sandals that reduce strain.




Let me in! Let me iiiiiiinnnn!

There is a somewhat resigned undertone to Flausgul's words.

Go on, then. I'll leave the matter of the missing soldiers to you. I have other things to do...

He seems to be addressing this last to the beast beside him as he moves away from the door.

One more thing... a little free advice. The reason why all those soldiers went missing. It's because a herd of deer are running amok in there. The area's choked with enemies. Never let your guard down and avoid combat whenever you can.

With these last words, Flausul and his companion walk away. You can continue through the door and face the chaos within, or return to town to prepare.

Nothing you do will prepare you for what's inside.

How could you know from here? I'm sure it's not that bad.



Oh. Oh dear.

This is quite the gently caress.

Oh god oh man oh geez, what the hell is this? Ugh, the smell! My head's swimming, I-I-... how are you two so calm?!

I am all too familiar with this scenario, the sights and the smell, I could tell from the moment we set foot on this floor.

Same here... as a... lumberjack.

The ground is stained crimson with blood and corpses are stacked on the field. The bloodcurdling sight reminds you of the mission you accepted at the Duke's Palace. You agreed then to find the soldiers who never returned from their posts in the forest. The gruesome open grave before you may be the final resting place of those very soldiers. A sudden roar from the east of the room startles you. You know now what caused this slaughter. You suppose you are obliged to check the area for survivors, though your hopes are dim. The monster to the east remains still. You see a side path leading into the forest. If you're to check the side path, you must defeat the monster or find another way. Your options are open... you only wish you understood just what they were. One thing is certain: this is a fearful monster, and your victory is by no means certain.

Well. That escalated a lot faster than in EO1. Pretty sure it took a lot longer for any serious bloodshed to start happening in that game.



Maybe I can just ignore it and the whole situation will disappear, hahaha... gah!

Don't you dare laugh at all this. We need to get to the bottom of this and let the dead rest in peace. Show them some drat respect!

Wow, how are you getting him to be so talkating?

3F B1 Chop Point

Ambush Chance: 3%
Ambush Encounter:
100% Raflesia x1

Bell Fruit: 60% chance. Sells for 30en.
1 required for Sleep Bell - Item, Lv1 Slumber, stuns non-red FOEs within 3 rings for 4 turns - sells for 150en
1 required for Lure Bell - Item, Lv1 Luring, non-red FOEs within 3 rings will move to the user and be stunned for 4 turns - sells for 150en

Hard Root: 35% chance. Sells for 35en.
1 required for Targe - Shield, DEF+9 - sells for 150en
3 required for Horn Mace - Stave, ATK+45, HP+20 - sells for 440en

Log: 5% chance. Sells for 150en.
Required for nothing.

Here is the only gathering point for Bell Steel, so don't forget this, they're pretty useful!

These items are fortunately not restockables, so once you have the Bell Fruit, you can completely ignore this point for the rest of the game.

How do you make actual bells out of a fruit...?



Ugh, starting to wonder if this crown is making me a more inviting target. But I won't take it off...



Spinnin' Cunter!




Affected FOEs will flash when selecting these items, so make use of them when you can, this is the only time you have to use them, but there's plenty of later times when we could.

And the times you would like to use them... you can't because they used red FOEs for those moments. Also another reason why FOE manipulation tools barely saw much use, the situations you actually wanted them for didn't let you use them.



Greetings, you are safe now.

Waugh...! Oh... a-are you e-explorers?

Judging by his uniform, there is little doubt that this is one of the missing guards. You tell him of the mission you took at the Grand Duchy and ask if he survived the attack.

I'm saved... I'm saved! Thank you! Yes, I was a member of the investigation team. My comrades... they were all slaughtered by that herd of deer!

Well it's still alive and kicking, but there's probably a secret passage, we were a little preoccupied.

You tell the soldier the fate of that monster and how to return to town safely.

You're a lifesaver! I'll make sure to put in a good report for you when I get back.

The soldier stumbles to his feet and staggers to the exit. Your mission is complete! Return to town and report to the Duke's Palace.



Heh, at least we were able to save somebody.

...uh, hallos? Your turn to go through the passage.



Now let's get teh cuntin' this oval office!

Not exactly the right verb, but I cannot stop you. Nor won't, ohohohoho!

Maaaan, why do we keep doing this?


Furylord

HP: 580
STR: 20
VIT: 20
TEC: 16
AGI: 20
LUC: 16
Level: 9
Exp: 0

Skills
Step: Uses the Legs. Deals 80% Cut damage to a single target, with 75% splash damage, and attempts to inflict Confuse. Has a 30% base chance, a 95% accuracy modifier and a 120% speed modifier.

Damage Vulnerabilities
100% 100% 100%
125% 75% 75%

Disable Vulnerabilities
25% 25% 25% 25% 25% 25% 25% 10%
25% 25% 25% 50% 10%

Drops
Deer Hide: 40% chance, sells for 203en
1 required for Hide Armor - Light Armor, DEF+23 - sells for 500en

Gum Hide: 95% chance, sells for 11en.
1 required for Wing Leaf - Clothing, DEF+13, HP+5 - sells for 200en
1 required for Sherwani - Clothing, DEF+20, VIT+1 - sells for 420en
2 required for Bullwhip - Whip, ATK+32 - sells for 260en
2 required for Hide Aspis - Shield, DEF+12 - sells for 325en
2 required for Rough Hat - Headgear, DEF+8, TP+8 - sells for 120en
3 required for Hide Plate - Heavy Armor, DEF+22 - sells for 310en
5 required for Iron Glove - Gloves, DEF+10, VIT+1

Conditional: None

Alright, as you'd expect the Furylord is a stronger Furyhorn, which doesn't matter since the latter still kicks our rear end anyway. It's just a plot obstacle with +2 in STR, VIT and AGI and a higher Deer Hide chance, but if you beat one you can beat the other. Though there is one proper difference...




Please stop trying to kill us all.

Alreet, fine, this way.

We get two Furyhorn spawn just to really hammer home you should not be fighting this early, though the second Furyhorn is forced to head up since it can't move otherwise, meaning it doesn't enter the battle until turn 6. It's only during this mission, so feel free to come back and kick its rear end later.

It's basically the game forcing you to use the Lure Bell for its tutorial. Chances are you won't survive this encounter if you try to take it on headfirst.



Since we are so close, might as well find the stairs.



A note informs you that the Grand Duchy has temporarily closed the way ahead. It seems there is a task yet to be completed for the Grand Duchy before you may proceed.

I mean, I can just step o'er this...

If you did I would report it!

Narc.

Sheesh, a lot of roadblocks already.



Oh there were the monsterers behind us.

So why wasn't I healed for this battle? Well since we were low on TP I was just gonna warp out after seeing the blocked stairs... but the space I moved back to was an encounter, so we're definitely heading back!

Beautiful and Sublime Lands



Why does Logan never let me submit my own reports and maps...

I heard all the details from our man. You did well indeed in rescuing him! He has given us an extensive debriefing on what happened in the Labyrinth. Marvelous work. Please accept this token of the Grand Duchy's gratitude for saving his life.



I'm the one in the guild that likes money, thanks.

Dooon't buy me an axe!

Which reminds me... I mentioned the report the guard filled on the events that transpired. According to him, the cause of so many monsters appearing in the first Stratum... was, in fact, the work of another monster! The Grand Duchy is issuing an official mission to resolve this crisis. You have contributed much to the matter already, so I will not force you to take part. However... no, it's nothing. You did well.



So long as we don't get too close...

You know drat well half of the guild is going to punch it in the face.

My punches are in the long ranges.

I cannot thank you enough for going back to rid the forest of this threat. Allow me to explain fully. As you have heard already, powerful monsters have been appearing in the first Stratum. The cause seems to be that the king of beasts, called Chimaera, has settled on the 5th floor. It is Chimaera's roar that draws monsters from the upper floors down to the first Stratum. Once we defeat this Chimeara, we eliminate the roar that lures such terrible fiends downward. It is a serious crisis, make no mistake. We must destroy this Chimaera, king of the beasts!



Tshirovha, requires 7 Aragonite and 5 Shell Warts
Iron Glove, requires 5 Gum Hides and 1 Amazonite



With the king of the beasts as our first main opponent, we've got a fair bit before that point, and we'll only die to most of it. Next time!

I hope you're all ready for a bloodbath! Whose blood? You'll see.

Crosspeice
Aug 9, 2013

Zzzz... sploosh... zzzz... KABOOM... zzz... sploosh...

Part 6: The Eyes Have Blindsides

Woodland Ruins



We went through a lot on this floor, so it's time to leave it behind and head on.



Alright, now that I'm ready and at a safe distance, check this out!

Now yer speakin' me language!



That is looking the painful.

It is! Oh god, it's like I'm undead, ohohohoho!

Meh, I've had worse.

If you want to fight a Raflesia, then you'd best kill it quick before it quickly kills you. Freeze is only brought out if Pollen isn't used, so it's not as common, and also isn't AS deadly. I can only attempt this because of all my Fire power.

There's honestly no need to be in a rush to kill it, as its drops don't give that much of a headstart.



Neat.



There's one last room on 3F to visit, but you best be prepared.



St-St-Stalkers on both sides...

Good for not immediately running away, I guess.

We could kill these cunts nah, but, uh, I dinnae wanna!




You just head straight down to get these two chests, nothing to worry about. Oh, how do you get back out of this room? Well I've never tried it, so I'll just say it's impossible and move on!

Generally some FOE trap rooms are one way and basically scream "use a Warp Wire" to get out. Granted you could fight your way out, but good luck doing that with EO2 FOEs, let alone red ones!



Holly can carry that with one arm... of course.

Phew... thanks! You're a strong bunch...! The desk was my daughter's, but it's too small for her now. We bought her a new one. I couldn't lift it myself, so I didn't know what to do. My husband is out looking for ingredients in the Labyrinth. Good thing you showed up!



Is it true you've already made it to the 4th floor? Wow, that was really fast! I've been hearing more people in the shop talk about you. You're an amazing guild! I'm proud just to know you! Oh, I mean... sorry! I shouldn't say things like that. Umm, I've got some cleaning to do... feel free to look around the shop!

You've got me all blushing here, but I still need to know of all the secondhand bookstores around here!



sleepy but thats normal

Hm...? You look tired. Are you all okay? You may know your way around the Labyrinth, but that won't help if you get exhausted. Don't hesitate to return here and rest at the inn, or to come see us if necessary. But it's best not to get injured in the first place.

Just don't get hit and you'll win every time.



But I dunno... I've seen my share of guilds, and yeh don't seem like much to me. Find that floating castle and maybe I'll change my tune! Haw haw!

I wonder what guild has been talking about us?

A girl with a sword from the Ed-whatever guild, she said we were very honourable for taking on all these quests. And then she tried to fight me.



Yeah... this quest should be right up yer alley. There's a well-loved family in this Duchy, and their gran isn't doing so well these days. She's a kind old bird. Lost her man a few years back--he was popular in the corps in his day. Every time I saw them, they put a song in this wicked old heart of mine. I don't think she's long for this world, and her family wants to give her a memento of gramps. They tell me there's a certain flower he gave her when he proposed. Thing is, I've looked it up, and it only grows in the Labyrinth. They say it's on the 5th floor. A soothing, pale flower... think yeh could fetch it for the old girl's sake? We're all counting on yeh!

Is the game giving these quests a floor early so they add some difficulty with you forgetting about them by the time you reach that point?

Another issue with EO2 quests. The distribution timing kind of sucks and is all over the place. From EO3 onwards this mostly ceased to be an issue.



I just want an adventure already.

Hmmhmm!

There's no need to report here every time you return to town. Although... part of my job is to advise explorers like you, I suppose. Well, here's a tidbit for you, then. It's obvious, but most explorers tend to forget it. Are you aware that each enemy in the Labyrinth has a specific affinity? Swords, axes, arrows, spells... if you find an enemy's weakness you can do even greater damage. Combat in the forest will be much easier once you use your mind as well as your weapons... that's all the advice I have for you. Never underestimate the Labyrinth.

Too bad the games don't exactly keep track of weaknesses until 4. You just have to go off of damage number comparisons. And I guess be on the lookout for Analysis activating if you have an Alchemist.



I've seen better.

That's what we're researching! Ugh, how many drat Yggdrasil Labyrinths are there, and why does one of them have "space cop" scribbled next to it?!

I've only been inside with the guard corps protecting me, but I was struck by its beauty. High Lagaard has its own charms, of course, but it's nothing like the forest interior. Even before my time, the forest has protected High Lagaard. It's almost a guardian to this nation. Perhaps you'll find the land of the gods at its peak, rather than a mere floating castle. I'll be interested to see the outcome.



Grabbing my dingaling when I'm alone in the forest.

See it's funny because it's one of seven thousand words for penis.



Sleep Bell, requires 1 Bell Fruit - Item, Lv1 Slumber, stuns non-red FOEs within 3 rings for 4 turns
Lure Bell, requires 1 Bell Fruit - Item, Lv1 Luring, non-red FOEs within 3 rings will move to the user and be stunned for 4 turns
Wood Bow, requires 1 Bug Wing and 1 Bent Twig, ATK+27 - An everyday bow made of the forest's branches. Required for The item trade I
Targe, requires 2 Bug Wing and 1 Hard Root, DEF+9 - Shield that protects the user's shoulder joints.



I know the color red causes issues with image compression but seeing basically instances of red words look like they're being smudged out is oof.

I can't even blame the bad font like last game!

I'll put it on the show floor today, so please have a look. It's my father's masterpiece! Oh, yes! I left the reward with Cass, so you can collect it at the Stickleback Bar. If I need anything else, I'll leave a request for you all on the notice board!

Maybe I should get a bow, I could look pretty- oh... a squirrel.

There you are! Where the hell have you been? Come on, you've got some food to gather.

Nope.

What do you mean, "nope"?!

I have this new guild I'm working for. Who actually pay me. And maybe even like me.

WHAT?! You are blood bound to serve me. Don't you walk away!

Make me.

What- but- you- GAHHHH!

Well, well, well, if it isn't the consequences of your actions.

...shut up, sis.



Ah, excellent, thank you for being the in-between, have a glass on me. ...everything okay?

...you know what? Yeah. It is.

Hey there! Great work! Sorry to give yeh all the runaround. I've heard the whole story! Ahh, quit yer whining and take the reward! Haw!



Oh, uh, if you want me to help with this I can-

Woah now, sit down and have a brew! Put your feet up for a change, that's what the rest of the guild is for.

Yeh must know what the score is by now. Yes, another request from Sitoth Trading. I don't want to muck up the details of the quest, so yeh should ask around over there.



Need one of them Pure Vests, uh, definitely fer someone pure like me.

Wonderful! I'm still trying to get used to asking strangers to do our work... I'm glad that you're so eager to help us. Oh, right! The materials we need. That's 1 Metal Hull and 5 Bug Shells. Just like last time, once you have them, just sell them to me. Oh! A customer! Sorry, I have to go, I'm counting on you! Welcome, sir...!

Evenin', I'm here to peruse your axes again.




"Now?" Have we met before?

Who cares about that, I want that amazing medicine he has. Where did you even get that?!

Now we shouldn't rush, perhaps the sword is more useful. Though taking a look at it, it seems pretty rubbi-

Here's the money, thanks for the sword!

Who saw that coming?~



It's an honor to meet any members of Edda. Have a pleasant journey!

The guard leaves the area with a smile, happy merely to have met you. You, too, elect to return to your journey through the Labyrinth.



I finally remembered to go back to this guy now that we have the ca$h. Don't buy the sword, it's garbage.



Well, it's a slight improvement, but the Boar Spear we get FOR FREE on THE NEXT FLOOR is much better.



You'd have to be an idiot to think the weapon is a better deal!

Meanwhile, this heals all status for all allies and isn't available to buy until 27F, what the gently caress. If anyone asks why I like this game so much, it's because there's dumb poo poo like this popping up constantly. How did no one notice this??? Anyway, back to your regular exploration.

For the record, Therica BXes are distributed through quest rewards and chests so this isn't the only time you get one before post-game. It's just 27F is when they become farmable.



That is the cheatings! Only bugs can flying!

The airborne beasts rests its wings atop the high rubble towering before you. The rubble is stacked high and seems impossible to climb over. It is natural, you reflect, that the forest denizens can reach areas that you cannot. If you are to continue, you must understand this well and pay attention to your surroundings. You hold your breath as you leave, so as not to alert the monster to your presence.


Slaveimp

HP: 152
STR: 17
VIT: 17
TEC: 17
AGI: 17
LUC: 17
Level: 16
Exp: 0

Skills
Flight: Uses the Arms. Deals 50% Cut+Fire damage 4-5 times at a 50/50 chance, respectively. Has a 95% accuracy modifier and a 100% speed modifier.
Heal: Uses the Head. Heals an ally by 110HP. Has a 100% speed modifier.
Aura: Uses the Head. Increases damage dealt by all allies by 150% for 5 turns. Has an 80% speed modifier.

Damage Vulnerabilities
100% 100% 100%
100% 125% 100%

Disable Vulnerabilities
50% 50% 50% 50% 50% 50% 50% 25%
50% 50% 50% 35% 25%

Drops
Glue Hide: 20% chance, sells for 126en
1 required for Sherwani - Clothing, DEF+20, VIT+1 - sells for 420en

Gum Hide: 95% chance, sells for 11en.
1 required for Wing Leaf - Clothing, DEF+13, HP+5 - sells for 200en
1 required for Sherwani - Clothing, DEF+20, VIT+1 - sells for 420en
2 required for Bullwhip - Whip, ATK+32 - sells for 260en
2 required for Hide Aspis - Shield, DEF+12 - sells for 325en
2 required for Rough Hat - Headgear, DEF+8, TP+8 - sells for 120en
3 required for Hide Plate - Heavy Armor, DEF+22 - sells for 310en
5 required for Iron Glove - Gloves, DEF+10, VIT+1

Conditional: None

New to the series is Flying FOEs, ones that come in a cool blue and patrol around places you can't reach. This is a bad introduction to them since Slaveimps are absolutely pathetic, they're comparable to Redhorns, who we don't have much issue with anymore. Flight also does pathetic damage and they won't use their other skills until a later time, there's a reason they're so weak after all. We could fight them now, but we'll do so later and they're easy to dodge, so I don't see the point. Getting through the floor will be more difficult, so I'd rather save the TP.

Oh hey, here's a new mechanic. FOE types. You saw orange and red FOEs before but the color didn't mean much other than signifying power. Here these signify different ways they can trip you up on the field. Flying FOEs can ignore walls entirely making them pretty tricky to get past if you aren't paying attention to the map.

Slaveimps are absolutely pathetic and you could kill one right now with most parties. Not much of a reason to do so unfortunately due to the lack of EXP, so it's just less of a hassle to avoid them.

Now normally EO2 FOEs are to be avoided until you are heavily ready to take them on. That's not the case with flying FOEs for whatever reason. All Flying FOEs can easily be taken on when you come across them with a lot less prepwork. I'm assuming it was because they thought it was easier to get caught out by them so they made those FOEs weaker to give more of a fighting chance.



Looking closely, you can see that he's a soldier of High Lagaard.

That's quite the load you've got. Must make it hard to fight the monsters.

I-I-It's not heavy at all!

Yer legs are shakin', noodle arms.

After you tell him your tale, he nods in understanding.

Supplies, huh...? Well, the men are stationed in the southern area of this floor.

After thanking the solder, you considered your next move. You have the opportunity to complete the quest by going to the southern area.

Another instance of "wrong way, idiot", but to prove how 2cool4school I am, I will explore the entire floor with the load even if it's a pain in the rear end.



What the gently caress is that?

Oh, too scary for the mean vampire?


Evil Eye

HP: 130
STR: 17
VIT: 14
TEC: 9
AGI: 12
LUC: 12
Level: 13
Exp: 506

Skills
Glare: Uses the Head. Attempts to inflict Paralysis on a single target. Has an 25% base infliction chance and a 100% speed modifier
Tackle: Uses the Head. Deals 200% Bash damage to a single target. Has a 50% accuracy modifier and a 100% speed modifier.

Damage Vulnerabilities
100% 100% 100%
100% 100% 100%

Disable Vulnerabilities
100% 100% 0% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
100% 100% 100% 100% 100%

Drops
Glue Quill: 30% chance, sells for 16en.
1 required for Short Bow - Bow, ATK+34 - sells for 270en
1 required for Rough Hat - Headgear, DEF+8, TP+8 - sells for 120en
2 required for Warhammer - Stave, ATK+41, HP+10 - sells for 370en
3 required for Hide Armor - Light Armor, DEF+23 - sells for 500en
5 required for Plume Boot - Footwear, DEF+11, AGI+2 - sells for 350en

Conditional: Kill with non-physical damage
Gem Eye: 70% chance, sells for 27en
1 required for Carp Sword - Sword, ATK+43 - sells for 440en

Man, this game was great before these fucks showed up. Evil Eyes are less annoying when you encounter them with other enemies, since they have a guaranteed blindside otherwise and have a 50/50 chance of pasting someone into the ground with Tackle. Hey, don't we have a quest where we fail if we finish a battle with a dead party member? When they're under half health they have a chance of using Glare, but that's the least threatening thing they can do, they're always ready to make you waste a Nectar or be the number one priority to take down. gently caress these things!!!

Ahaha! Believe it or not, this is actually the less dangerous formation to encounter these monsters in. You see, here's a mechanic that wasn't used in any other game, guaranteed blindsides for random encounters. Certain encounter formations are always flagged to start off the battle as a blindside, and there's absolutely no way to prevent it. The Survivalist's blindside passive? Useless! Fortunately these mostly get used for formations where there's only 1 monster in them but they can be a rude thing to run into.

Evil Eyes are a very rude introduction to the guaranteed blindside mechanic, because chances are, they'll kill someone with their free turn. Just look at their STR stat and how their skill deals double damage. And given how money isn't exactly free flowing right now, chances are you don't have a Nectar to revive someone who inevitably died to these things. Kill them first unless you want more blood spatters on the grass floor.



He is always so smiling when dead.

Thankfully we can leave the mole and revive Alastor to continue the quest, but UGH.




In here, quickly!

Bloody dinos! They were always so eager to interrupt me... lumberjack work.

Yes I think we get it by now.

That there is a Raptor, which is stronger than the Gashtor, which can still kick our rear end, so we'll be waiting a bit longer to tackle this one, it'll chase you down though!



Thankfully an Evil Eye's regular attack is pretty manageable and we can take it out in one turn. It will not always be this easy.



4F A3 Take Point

Ambush Chance: 5%
Ambush Encounter:
100% Raflesia x1

Green Nut. 55% chance. Sells for 75en.
1 required for Blaze Oil - Item, Lv1 Blaze, imbues the target's regular attacks with Fire damage - sells for 250en, must be restocked
1 required for Freeze Oil - Item, Lv1 Frost, imbues the target's regular attacks with Ice damage - sells for 250en, must be restocked
1 required for Shock Oil - Item, Lv1 Shock, imbues the target's regular attacks with Volt damage - sells for 250en, must be restocked

Sour Fruit. 25% chance. Sells for 30en.
1 required for Ward Chime - Item, Lv2 Stalker, reduces danger values by 33% for 50 steps - sells for 200en
2 required for Guard Sole - Item, Lv2 Patrol, reduces damage tile damage by 40% for 50 steps - sells for 200en
3 required for Poison Gas - Item, Lv1 Poison, 15% base infliction chance, 20-30 damage - sells for 450en

Tiny Bloom. 20% chance. Sells for 25en.
1 required for Nectar - Medicine, revives the target to 10-16HP, TEC depending - sells for 500en
2 required for Theriaca A - Medicine, LV5 Unbind, removes all binds from the target - sells for 100en
3 required for Theriaca B - Medicine, LV8 Refresh, removes all ailments from the target - sells for 100en

Unlike last game, the gathering points you find on later floors to their introduction tend to be very similar, but also very boring. It's fine, I don't read them either!



Well that's annoying, but we're fine to face a Raflesia every now and then, we'll be seeing them as regular encounters soon enough.



FUCKFUCKFUCKFUCKFUCK

Ah, the classic EO experience. Such beauty to my eyes.




And that was an optional part of the floor, and it seems they intended for you to take this path later since the encounters are pretty rough compared to the proper path.



Now to never use the Theriaca BX, just in case.



Short Bow, +0 speed, requires 1 Glue Quill and 2 Bug Nails.
Kodachi, ATK+37, requires 1 Red Shard and 3 Bug Nails - Katana that's as flexible as a short sword.
Rough Hat, DEF+8, TP+8, requires 1 Glue Quill and 2 Gum Hides, sells for 120en - A hat of layered beast fur for high defense.



Snails and bugs working together, oh the horror!

The bugging is very nice in the golding, do want.


Kingmai

HP: 96
STR: 12
VIT: 12
TEC: 12
AGI: 12
LUC: 12
Level: 11
Exp: 390

Skills
Mucus: Uses the Head. Attempts to inflict Arm and Leg Bind on a single target. Has a base 75% infliction chance and a 100% speed modifier.

Damage Vulnerabilities
100% 75% 100%
100% 100% 150%

Disable Vulnerabilities
100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
100% 100% 100% 100% 100%

Drops
Metal Hull: 30% chance, sells for 11en.
1 required for Royal Claw - Claw, ATK+47 - sells for 420en
1 required for Pure Vest - Light Armor, DEF+17 - sells for 230en Required for The item trade II
3 required for Gladius - Sword, ATK+35 - sells for 280en
FIFTEEN required for Slice Whip - Whip, ATK+38, STR+2 - sells for 370en

Conditional: Kill with Ice damage
Iron Shell: 70% chance, sells for 22en
1 required for Kurodachi - Katana, ATK+46, Type: Ice - sells for 580en

Snail... II! Slightly annoying binds but there are way deadlier enemies on this floor that you need to prioritize. They can come in large packs with Woodmai but that also isn't a big deal, and you want to see it because it gives you a nice chunk of exp. It's nice to get a breather every now and then!

Not that notable. If you're coming from the later games where themed enemies working together is an actual game mechanic, that's not in this game. EO3 is the one that introduced that.



Accessories are good so we'll be making use of this later.



I will plunge you into the depths of health!

While Salve doesn't have much kick to it due to lack of healing multipliers on a War Magus, it's pure laziness on my part to grab it for less Cure usage. We'll be going for Warmight after this, we'll need it!




Normally I would advocate fer fightin' these fools, but even I cannae be hosed.

That's the spirit.



Ugggggh... this better wash off!



4F D2 Chop Point

Ambush Chance: 10%
Ambush Encounter:
100% Raflesia x1

Hard Root: 60% chance. Sells for 35en.
1 required for Targe - Shield, DEF+9 - sells for 150en
3 required for Horn Mace - Stave, ATK+45, HP+20 - sells for 440en

Bent Twig: 25% chance. Sells for 30en.
1 required for Wood Bow - Bow, ATK+27, +20 speed (+10) - sells for 170en Required for The item trade I
3 required for Slice Whip - Whip, ATK+38, STR+2 - sells for 370en
5 required for Beast Bow - Bow, ATK+39, STR+1, +5 speed (-5) - sells for 440en

Log: 15% chance. Sells for 150en.
Required for nothing.

Again, nothing exciting aside from a higher ambush chance, gently caress that noise. Indeed, it seems this floor has been going pretty smoothly so far, we're nearly at the supply quest destination. I hope nothing will-



He is always so popularizing.

I am like TWO STEPS AWAY, would you kindly gently caress off??? You better be carrying a lot of Nectars if you're using a War Magus, but at least Logan can quickly revive him, Survivalists are good for something at least.

Introducing guaranteed blindsides with enemies that can one shot you while also having the quest where you can't have anyone die take place on the same floor is such a glorious dick move.



Coming closer, you can make out footsteps and speech. You have found the band of guards that you sought! One of them spies you. Wiping the sweat from his brow, he begins to speak.

I heard a group of explorers signed up to bring us supplies. Please tell me that's you...

Here's yer drat food, I promise I dinnae take much.

We really must work on your people skills. It is all accounted for, I have... different preferences.

You tell him the story, and he gently smiles before relieving you of the goods.

I knew it! Thanks, guys. We can stay here much longer now that we've got these...

After receiving their gratitude, you walk away, relived to be free of your burden.

I wasn't sure how long I was gonna last... they were way too heavy.

Perhaps you should work on those noodle arms.

You're one to be talking, cannelloni boy!

...hmm, close enough. I'm more of a farfalle guy.



Greetings, I take it you're with the other lot?



Oh...! You must be Nidhogg, right? I heard that many guilds were sent to defeat Chimaera. But I must tell you, Beowulf has already ascended to the fifth floor to challenge it. You see... some time ago, they lost many of their comrades to the king of beasts. The remaining two decided to press on in the hopes of defeating the monster someday. But if they couldn't do it with five, I don't see how they'll manage with two...

The guard shakes his head worriedly.

Beowulf's leader, the one called Flausgul, is an amazing man. I only hope the worst is not about to befall him...

The guard looks up into the forest again anxiously. If you would challenge Chimaera, you must hurry and pursue Beowulf to the 5th floor.

Sounds pretteh serious. Let's go!

Pah, idiots, what's the point in throwing away your life for revenge? The dead don't care, they're dead.

Agreed, if you must do such a thing, at least have it be for the undead.



Please, Nidhogg... look after Beowulf...

The guard's voice is small and plaintive, and his gaze does not waver from the forest sky. You must hurry and pursue Beowulf to the 5th floor.



That's a good chunk of the floor done, but it's quite the journey from the 3rd floor, so we're pretty worn out.



Kurodachi, requires 1 Iron Shell and 7 Shell Warts.
Royal Claw, ATK+47, requires 1 Metal Hull - Made from modifying and sharpening a hard shell.
Gladius, ATK+35, requires 3 Metal Hulls - A simple short sword designed for piercing.
Pure Vest, Light Armor, DEF+17, requires 1 Metal Hull and 5 Bug Shells, sells for 230en - Clothes with hard plates woven inside. Required for The item trade II

We've unlocked our first claw for the upcoming Beast and they work pretty similarly to katanas, having high ATK, though very slightly slower and less accurate. They can definitely dish out damage if they want, but due to a wide variety of factors, cough Loyalty cough, it's a lot easier to use a Ronin and focus on the more defensive aspects of a Beast. Something to expand on later.



My father and I are both so grateful! I've already put it on the show floor, so please take a look. I left the reward with Cass, so you can claim it from him. Thank you sooo much. If I have another request, I hope you'll be the ones to help!



I heard that lot never leaves the place. The forest'll take them if they don't look out! The main thing though, is yer reward, right? Here yeh go, and thanks a lot!



Welcome back. How was the armor they worked up? Well, I s'pose you'll find out soon enough. Here you go! Thanks again!



Maybe you should put it on to stop dying all the time.

And deny my chance of death? Absolutely not!

There's still a chunk of 4F left, but we'll finish that up along with trying to find Chimaera next time.

Crosspeice
Aug 9, 2013

Zzzz... sploosh... zzzz... KABOOM... zzz... sploosh...

Protector



Can equip: Swords, Heavy Armor, Light Armor, Shields

How the mighty have fa- wait, this class is still good??? Well of course, just because the enemies don't overwhelm you with level advantage doesn't mean you should shirk on defense! Well you kinda can actually, this game rewards you using busted classes to wipe out strong bosses in a few turns, making support not a great option. Most of the skills from the previous game work as well in this one and some of the wonkier skills actually got better, making a Protector an incredibly useful member. HOWEVER, they are very SP hungry and aren't very useful in offensive teams, and mainly shine later on when enemies become very scary, almost required, even! They barely do anything aside from defend and they are no longer tied for the highest STR in the game, so they don't hit very hard, but when they shine, oh boy do they.

Wait, a good class that actually got buffed in the transition to EO2? Say it ain't so! Well for a given definition of good, as Protectors themselves didn't have too much to offer in 1 while at the same time being mandatory for a few key fights. Here, they're not even a lock for most parties since you have a ton of other defensive tools to facetank the things they were previously used for in this game. And offenses got heavily buffed in this game, allowing players to end fights before they would really need the defenses. Still, if you choose to go with a Protector, they're very capable of performing what's asked of them in their job description.



Oof that STR is a little hard to look at, but they have the second best stat average in the game, and since the best average is a meme class I'm scared to use, I think the Protector wins out overall. They have, of course, the best VIT and low TEC and AGI, but they also have great LUC, even if it only helps against low LUC enemies, as well as great HP. Their TP is middling which can be an issue on longer stints, since they're a bit useless if they can't defend, but they're usually fine in boss fights, where they matter the most. Overall, a very standard spread, but it's for the best.

Okay not everything about them got buffed. Their STR took a very hard hit, so Smite spamming isn't really a great thing to do in their downtime anymore. You could try buffing it up if you really want them to spam Smite again, but you're honestly better off using an actual damage dealer class instead. HP and VIT are fantastic stats to increase for them to make them basically ubertanks. And they'll also appreciate TP increases to be able to spam their defensives more often. TEC doesn't really do much for them aside from increasing their evasion against TEC-based attack slightly, and they're already fairly bulky enough to facetank a bunch of things instead of dodging them. LUC isn't an ideal stat to raise either for the same reason, as the evasion increase is miniscule. AGI is completely and utterly worthless to increase on them, as all of their important defensives have priority, making their low AGI a moot point.

Common Passive Unlocks

HP Up: Lv1: HP Regen; Lv3: Riskwall
TEC Up: Lv1: Refresh; Lv10: Antiall
VIT Up: Lv1: Fortify

A relatively even spread, aside from TEC Up, that is a massive pitfall going for Antiall, probably one of the biggest trap skills in the game. Anyway, it's good the requirements for everything else are pretty low due to how much SP you don't have to spread around, Refresh lets your Protector do something else with their life, depending on team composition, while Fortify isn't too useful but can be comboed with other good skills, so up to you. Don't think about STR Up, I know you want to, but it's too hard to bear, just invest in TP Up instead. And LUC Up will only help you avoid stuff better, not that useful. ...oh, AGI Up? LOL

Shields
Unlocks: Lv1: F. Guard, B. Guard; Lv3: Antifire, Anticold, Antivolt; Lv5: En Guarde; Lv7: 1 Guard; Lv10: Smite, Antiall
Passive


A lack of weapon mastery means the Protector should stick to its lane and it's alright as a passive. You'll want to max it out due to all the amazing skills on here, and 1 Guard, while Smite gives them SOMETHING to do. Overall, 10/10 would max again.

Unlike in EO1, this now covers all damage types, so it's now a very nice overall defensive boost. Unfortunately like EO1, it still doesn't boost Smite's damage, but you still have to max it out to unlock it.

Aegis
Prerequisites: HP Regen Lv5, Riskwall Lv5
Gives the user a chance to be automatically revived at 1HP. Does not activate if killed by Instant Death. Passive.


Oh hey this is back in another suspect scaling, this skill can be absolutely amazing if it works, but if it doesn't you've got dead SP and a dead Protector. If it does work and your Protector is the only one left at 1HP, then it's not very useful either. It has a much heavier investment compared to 1 and HP Regen is a terrible skill to fully invest in for this, so, sure, you'll actually be at 8HP when it works, happy now?! One level can offer results, but this game isn't as brutal that you'll go drat, if only the best defensive class in the game wasn't dying so much!

This skill was a questionable investment in 1, and it was stronger there. Here it's a bit weaker, and there's not much of a reason to take this I'd say. Really doesn't help you have to burn 5 SP on a really crappy skill to get this. Your Protector shouldn't be dying so much when they're a fairly beefy class, and this just provides a safety net for an area they're really unlikely to fail in. If you absolutely insist on picking it up, make sure it's one of the last things they learn.

En Guarde
Prerequisites: Shields Lv5
Chance of reducing incoming damage by 50%. Passive.


Now this is a little better, very easy to unlock, especially compared to last game, and due to Provoke and Fortify shenanigans this is something that you can reasonably activate often. 50% can be a lot later in the game and flipping a three sided coin each attack can add up pretty fast, honestly. It's not a must have skill and maxing it out is painful, but an early point can help massively improve survivability, you know, if you're lucky.

En Garde on the other hand got buffed. Now it provides an effective 20% increase to the Protector's HP. Not a bad pickup for later, especially since its unlock requirements are no longer as strict.

HP Regen
Prerequisites: HP Up Lv1
Unlocks: Lv5: Aegis
Restores the user's HP at the end of the turn. Passive.


?????????????????? If you want Aegis, yes, with gritted teeth. If you don't want Aegis, AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

7 HP restored per turn. Not 7%, 7 HP. Well, this skill isn't quite as bad as it looks, as there are some applicaitons for it. It does stack with the War Magus' Regenall, and that 7 HP per turn is fairly strong in the earlygame! That's around 14% HP recovered per turn there, giving them a ton of bulk. And resting is now a viable option since it only takes away 5 levels, and can now be done at any time, so you can have your Protector dump this skill for more useful ones. Unless you really want Aegis I guess. Past the early-game, it's complete crap and the only reason to take this is to unlock Aegis, which isn't an amazing skill.

Riskwall
Prerequisites: HP Up Lv3
Unlocks: Lv5: Aegis
BUGGED: Lv2 of initial threshold is slightly worse, oh no!
Reduces all damage by a certain amount depending on user's HP. Passive.


A bit of levels into HP Up and you've got another great passive that is easy to max and when combined with Shields, gives you an 18% reduction before you've even started! And it gets better as you get deader! Admittedly the last threshold is kinda useless in most cases, but can let your Protector hang on just a little bit longer to receive that juicy Salve. Once you get your initial defenses up and before you spend 15 floors on the Anti skills, this is a good pick.

If you're wondering why that bug is there, that's actually related to a very deep rabbit hole I'll dive into later, as that sort of writeup is really not fit for a class overview.

This stacks multiplicatively with Shields, causing it so that a healthy Protector with max level Shield and Riskwall starts off with a 17.2% damage reduction, effectively increasing their HP by 20%. And as their HP gets lower, it can increase to to a whopping 35.2% damage reduction, effectively giving them a 54% increase to their HP! It's a very nice defensive boon that gives more and more as the Protector loses HP, making them harder to kill. Very easy skill to unlock and invest in, and a very worthwile pickup.

Smite
Prerequisites: Shields Lv10
A single target Shield attack that attempts to inflict Arm Bind. Shield skill with Bash damage, uses the Arms.


Ah this juicy skill is back and has some real nice numbers behind it, especially since shields offer more DEF this time around, letting you hit harder than ever! Ah, just kidding. Unfortunately Protectors have 32 less STR at level 70 than before so these numbers try to compensate but fail miserably. Still, your Protector literally has nothing better to do when they don't need to defend, so sure whatever, let me just go drink in the corner. Also the Arm Bind chance is alright with their higher LUC, but don't count on it.

Do not be fooled by that high damage modifier. The Protector's STR got utterly gutted in this game, and STR has a massive effect on damage, so Smite's damage output just tanks to terrible levels. And Shield DEF no longer has an impact on Smite's damage in this game, so that's another hit to its damage Smite got. Not a great investment unless you really have nothing else left for the Protector to take.

F. Guard/B. Guard
Prerequisites: Shields Lv1
Unlocks: Lv5: A. Guard
Reduces physical damage dealt to the front/back lines for the entire turn or if the user dies. Shield skill, uses the Arms.


My bread and butter is back! Though does that make one bread and the other butter? I'm referring to F. Guard, of course, I don't think I used B. Guard once, since there's barely any situations you might need it. F. Guard is just so easy to spam and it's even better than before as well as activating multiple times! That last part doesn't really matter, either the attack hits your entire party, which will activate this skill 3 times, or it'll hit the party randomly, so your back row could get pasted. In any case, this was amazing then and it's amazing now, you'll use this skill in basically every fight, max it asap! ...alright to give some credit, due to back row damage reduction, 30% in this case, it does make B. Guard pretty good, but you want 3 people up front to spread damage around, making defending 2 members, your Protector usually not one of them, not a compelling concept.

These skills were overshadowed by Defender in the previous game, but Defender is gone now, so these are now the Protector's bread and butter skills. These skills got some very heavy buffs. Not only are the damage multipliers stronger, the skills can now activate multiple times on the same character! However, the buffs in question also include making these skills RNG based. The multiple activations aren't guaranteed to proc, and every time they do proc the chances of them activating again go down. Still, F. Guard is a very powerful defensive, if not the most powerful defensive, and probably one that will be seeing the most use.

As for B. Guard, it's usefulness was shaky in 1, but it can be understood why it existed in that game. The back row wasn't targeted as often, but the defense increase it provided was nearly miniscule, so a skill to protect that row was understandable, even if it doesn't see use thanks to Defender. Here... well um, the back row got changed to reduce damage by 30%, and like in the other EO games, it's not targeted as often, so you really don't need this skill, as it's pretty redundant with the protection the game provides. B. Guard can easily be ignored without too much fuss in this game thanks to the buffs to the back row mechanics.

A. Guard
Prerequisites: F. Guard Lv5, B. Guard Lv5
Reduces physical damage dealt to the entire party for the entire turn or if the user dies. Shield skill, uses the Arms.


Defender... look at how they massacred my boy. What a great skill in the last game, no wonder it got the smack, A. Guard can be useful, but since it can't protect the entire party, or indeed some of the party if one member gets tagged multiple times, then it's not as effective as just maxing out F. Guard and leaving this and B. Guard to rot away, you are short on SP afterall. I'd say the skill barely justifies the investment, it can be useful, but Defender this is not.

RIP Defender. It got turned into All Guard, and honestly, it's not too great. It requires too much investment to snag, and it's significantly less reliable than F. Guard, and it can't even protect a full party from an AOE physical attack. F. Guard is pretty much their best skill that covers most situations just fine.

1 Guard
Prerequisites: Shields Lv7
Reduces physical damage dealt to a single target for the entire turn or if the user dies. Shield skill, uses the Arms.


Eh, another wonky skill that has its uses and drawbacks. It's difficult to have a single party member targetted 10 times, after all Protectors have the Provoke skill. Survivalist Baitstep? Snrk, yeah for sure man. It can be very useful in making sure a specific target survives the turn but what about everyone else? Why not use F. Guard? Or hell, A. Guard, they offer better overall protection, but there are situations when this is useful. It's not a big an investment as A. Guard, so maybe go for it, but it's a hard sell regardless.

For those of you that have played the later EO games, no this isn't a redirection skill. It's just damage reduction for one party member. Before you get any ideas, this doesn't work with a Loyalty Beast, as Loyalty has priority over Protector Shield skills for some unfathomable reason. I'd say this is a hard pass, as F. Guard covers more people while only having a tiny bit less damage reduction. And as insult to injury, maxing out F. Guard takes up less SP than maxing out 1 Guard.

Antifire/Anticold/Antivolt
Prerequisites: Shields Lv3
Reduces Fire/Ice/Volt damage dealt to the entire party for the entire turn or if the user dies. Shield skill, uses the Arms.


It's SP sink time! Compared to last game where you could leave all 3 anti elem skills at level 5 due to a very useful bug, boy you cannot do that this time. Now you can leave these skills at level 8 for most of the game since most elemental attacks you want to block are party wide and that's all good, but there are some attacks you need to max it out so you don't get completely pasted, especially if you want to heal your party as these skills are no longer bugged! You can max them and nullify all aspects of an attack, have it protect you as many times as you want AND you get healed to boot! You will spend half the game levelling these skills up, but they are some of the best skills in the game, so you have to, no further questions.

The Antielemental skills now nullify attacks and their secondary effects when they absorb damage, so feel free to max them out. Actually, you basically have to max them out, as they're very unreliable at protecting the entire party even at levels 8 and 9. However, you won't need these for the maingame too often, as not too many enemies have access to elemental attacks, and throwing down a Mist can be enough to deal with those if you really need the help. By post-game... mists are still really good for dealing with the usual culprits you'd want these skills for, so they're not actually must-haves for those specific portions of the game. Though obviously having these maxed by then is a huge help. For the main game you can focus on leveling F. Guard and max out these skills at your leisure on the way to post-game. Or ignore them entirely if you don't plan on tackling post-game, up to you.

Antiall
Prerequisites: Shields Lv10, TEC Up Lv10
Reduces elemental damage dealt to the entire party for the entire turn or if the user dies. Shield skill, uses the Arms.


Oh, uh, wow, that was a mighty fall, almost got whiplash. Antiall is an absolutely godawful skill due to two big reasons. Firstly, what the gently caress are those prerequisites, WHY WHY WHY would you EVER max out TEC Up on a PROTECTOR????!!!! It does nothing for them, it's only good for Refresh since that has some utility, but you also need to max Shields as well? For a skill that doesn't protect the entire party from an attack. What the gently caress were they thinking, there is never a case when you'd want this over using the proper Anti skill, since any enemy that has multiple elementals do so in a nice, standard pattern. Or you just block the scariest one and deal with the others. There is one very very late exception, but this skill will NOT SAVE YOU FROM THE NIGHT OH GOD anyway don't use this garbage, good grief.

Antiall is a terrible skill, skip it entirely. Sure you're saving some SP compared to maxing out the other 3 Antielemental skills which takes 33 SP in total compared to spending 25 SP to max out this skill. So you're basically saving 8 SP for a skill that can't even protect your entire party from an elemental AOE, which is what you'd want it for. You don't encounter too many elemental attacks from random encounters, and most FOEs and bosses in the game have access to only one element, so you're better off using the single Antielemental skills instead of Antiall even in those use cases. There's precisely one boss fight in the game where this skill would be genuinely useful, but said fight is very easy to get past and is not worth wasting a whole 25 SP for. (Note this is different from the one Cross is talking about, and in that fight this skill is abject garbage.)

Fortify
Prerequisites: VIT Up Lv1
Increases the user's physical defense for 5 turns. Buff skill, uses the Head.


Oh hey it's this skill again. It's alright, I used it a couple of times in the last game for a few specific, solitary, challenges, but it doesn't really offer much that F. Guard doesn't. It does have some use now that Provoke isn't bugged garbage. That skill also works like Fortify, so I guess if you stacked them you'd be a physical machine, but that works if they solely target you, which isn't always the case. Anyway, it's alright, but again most of these skills sound neat, but of course Protectors do not have SP to spare.

Now that a specific non-existant skill no longer completely and utterly overshadows this skill, is this worth taking? To be honest, not really, for the exact same problem it wasn't worth taking in 1. There are still other skills that make this one redunant. Two of them in fact, and the Protector is already super bulky in this game.

Provoke
Unlocks: Lv3: Parry
Increases the user's physical defense and chance of being targetted for 5 turns. Buff skill, uses the Head.


Ah now this is much better! Before, Provoke was only a multiplier to the relatively small chance of being targetted, since we don't know exactly how it all goes down, so it looks like it has barely any effect. Here, the results are obvious, past level 7, every single enemy is drawn to you. That could be good, but also very bad, so pick your battles wisely. This doesn't affect AOE attacks, but any single target attack will land right on your face. And that's fine due to Fortify basically being built into this skill, so it's advisable to max it to combine with Shields and Riskwall, and yes, you can combine this with Fortify and Parry to really make a tank, but of course 5 enemies could just wreck your face before you can do anything, so maybe don't do that. Big investment, but can provide big results.

Now that Provoke isn't bugged garbage, it's a great earlygame skill. To go briefly into how enemy aggro works in this game, most of the time the AI will tell the enemy to use "a standard targeting routine", which makes it so that the enemy has a large chance of targeting the party member with the highest current HP in the front row, a decent chance of targeting the party member with the highest current HP in the back row, and a small chance of going after someone random. The AI can also tell the enemy to go after a specific target, which overrides every aggro effect and completely ignores the effects of Provoke and Baitstep.

However "standard targeting" routines will be overridden by Provoke's chances, and since it's a 100% aggro rate at levels 7 and above, it'll always redirect the enemy's fire in those cases. Well, not quite. There's an additional condition required for Provoke to work. The attack in question must be a single target attack. Splash target, random target, and other such attacks are entirely out of the question and ignore this skill. And you'll be seeing more of those as the game goes on, causing this to fall off past earlygame. But in the earlygame, you'll be seeing plenty of single target skills, so this can be a good way for the Protector to defend the rest of their party during that time. Oh and since Fortify is basically built into this skill despite having a weaker defense boost, there's little reason to take Fortify.

Note that targeting routines are decided at the start of the turn, so it'll take until next turn for Provoke's aggro effects to kick in. Comboing it with the Survivalist's 1st Turn is a complete waste since AI routines are decided before that skill activates as well.

Parry
Prerequisites: Provoke Lv3
Nullifies all physical damage for the entire turn or if the user dies. Buff skill, uses the Arms.


Now we're playing with power. In the right circumstances this skill is incredible, you effectively ignore all physical attacking enemies for a turn and let your team clean up, but of course outside of that situation it's not that great. Firstly this practically needs to be paired with Provoke, and of course it only works for physical damage. You also don't need to invest in it that much since, like with 1 Guard, there's no way you'll be attacked physically 20 times in one turn, also it, again, doesn't work for AOE attacks. Well, it will nullify one of the AOE hits I guess, but yeah situational, that's what makes it incredible.

This skill also makes Fortify redundant, since it nullifies physical damage entirely. However since it only protects the Protector, this means that this skill only really helps the party if you combo this with Provoke. And once Provoke starts falling off in usefulness, this skill does as well, since Protectors will likely want to move onto spamming F. Guard by then. If you do end up taking this skill, you don't need to max it out. A few SP or even only 1 point is fine, as even with Provoke active, Protectors shouldn't be targeted that often, and they have a decent amount of bulk to survive a few stray hits in the earlygame.

Refresh
Prerequisites: TEC Up Lv1
Removes ailments from a single target. Cannot dispel Petrify. Heal skill, uses the Head.


Well Protectors can't heal anymore, thank goodness, but they can now remove... most ailments. Since it's single target it's not as useful as it could be and your Protector should be using F. Guard or something instead but it can be something different. Obviously not necessary on a team with a Medic or War Magus, but if you don't feel immediately threatened and don't want to use a Theriaca B for some weird reason, sure why not.

Well, it's only 6 SP to take, but it being single target really makes it not super appealing. If you have a Medic or Gunner, you really don't need this skill. Also, Therica Bs basically do this skill's job better, as they cost no TP, no SP, and can actually cure Petrification. I mean this skill might be nice to have in emergency situations in case you run out or forget to pack Therica Bs, but even then I'd consider it a low priority grab.

Flee
Chance of escaping battle at start of turn. Can warp to previous floor if one was visited during the current trip. Coward skill, uses the Legs.


Huh. Okay. This skill is weird, but hey, guaranteed escape at max level I guess? The most important aspect is the warp part of this skill works even if an FOE corners you, which prevents any kind of escape otherwise. That's, uh, that's about it, it's pretty useless outside of max level since you can never rely on it, but escaping isn't hard to do and also getting cornered by FOEs is only done by casuals and LPers, so whatever, r-right?

This may seem redundant with EO2's naturally high escape rates, especially once you factor in Esc Up. However it does have a use in that it can rescue the party if they get cornered by FOEs, which can happen frequently in this game due to the revised FOE mechanics. Do note that the warp component has to activate for this skill to rescue you from such situations, as the escape rate is disabled there.

Painless
Nullifies all damage, ailments or binds for the rest of the turn. Does not affect buffs, debuffs or dispels. Force Skill, uses the Arms.

Oh hey the only skill without an image because, well, that's everything that it does. Painless is one of the best Force skills, since you can activate it every other turn if you fancy burning loads of Axcela IIs. You might need to to get past certain enemies with terrifying skills that will kill you if you don't PUSH THIS PANIC BUTTON RIGHT THE HELL NOW!!! So yeah, big fan, really easy to rely on and make you complacent.

One of the best Force skills in the entire game by far. Guaranteed invincibility for 1 turn is one of the most powerful effects in the game, especially if you're in the post-game. (And you can activate this more frequently if you stuff Axcelas down their throat.) By post-game, the Antielementals and this skill are the main selling points to take this class, and it makes for a fantastic panic button. Especially since this is one of the few ways to deal with some mechanics at certain post-game bosses.

Thankfully the Protector got through unscathed, might've become better actually, but it was already a great class last game. Sure it's weaker and some of its skills are wonky, but when you're not spending all your SP on the Anti skills, they have some great tools and make my life much less of a headache when you don't vote in a healer AGAIN CUT ME A BREAK ALREADY!

The Protector's overall usefulness thankfully did not get hammered into the ground like with the Landsknecht and the Survivalist, and I'd say they're simultaneously better and yet not really a must-have like in the last game. While the Protectors are overall a better class than they were in 1, they aren't a mandatory pickup like in 1 since you have more options to cover up your party's defensive holes. Though if you do choose to take one along, they can really be a huge boon to the party, increasing their survivability greatly.

Crosspeice
Aug 9, 2013

Zzzz... sploosh... zzzz... KABOOM... zzz... sploosh...

Holly and Lavin: Sword or Axe

Hmmmmmmm...

Hmmmmmmm...

...

I'll take this Kalinga, please!

One Carp Sword, thank ye!

HMM?!

Oh, heh, nice little sword there. Reminds me of my younger days when I foolishly dabbled in such things. Now of course I stick to the much stronger axe.

Ugh, yeh cannae have fun with axes, I noo that from me... lumberjack days. Swords are teh way to go!

I understood like half of that, where's your accent from, Caledonia? And why did you hesitate saying lumberjack?

Well me family says we're from the sunken islands of North Gaul, where we have a long tradition of fightin'- ah, wait, why am I tellin' yeh all this??? Stupid axehead with a pretteh face!

Oh, sorry to tell you, cute sword stooge, but I'm already taken!

Call meh cute again and I'll take yer head!

You wanna go?!

OCH, YE WANNA GO?!

Um...

What?!

My father says anything you break in the shop will be broken a second time on your head...

...

...

Wanna get a drink?

If yeh're payin', pretteh boy, then this cute stooge will oblige.

Alright, once we're drunk we'll prove who's better through combat, just how gran used to train me!

Now yer speakin' meh language!

kvx687
Dec 29, 2009



Soiled Meat

Early game EO2 seems pretty slow in general, there's more floor events than in 1 but it's definitely still in training wheels mode. You'd expect at least for Guild Beowulf to show up a few more times, don't the later games usually have the local friendly newbie guild pop up once every floor or two instead?

Araxxor
Oct 20, 2012

My disdain for you all knows no bounds.


Jank Odyssey Blast From the Past Edition: Etrian Odyssey I (Alternate Title: EO1 Survivalist is Broken)

So this Let's Play is a direct sequel to the Etrian Odyssey 1 LP. It was a pretty comprehensive LP with lots of explanations of various mechanics, but a few stuff slipped through the cracks. There were just some mechanics we had absolutely no details on, as there was absolutely no documentation of them anywhere, nor did we have the tools and knowledge to grab that information for ourselves. Until now.

I wasn't really planning on making this update as looking through EO1's remaining mechanics was more of a personal curiosity than anything I figured anyone would truly be that interested in. I was very wrong, and this update is not simply just going to list the explanations of the remaining mechanics that we didn't cover too well in the first LP. As horrific some of EO2's design decisions and coding can be, it had to have gotten those properties from somewhere. There's a reason why this is a Jank Odyssey update.

Critical Hit Rates

There was an assumption that LUC might've had an effect on critical hit rates in 1. We were wrong, it does not affect it at all. Critical hit rates are dead simple in 1. Player units have a 5% chance to crit, while enemy units have a 3% chance to crit. The Ronin's Crit Up passive added on +1% to +10% to the rate, getting up to a 15% crit rate at most. Yeah not that exciting. :geno:

However, this factoid does reveal one thing. Allow me to bring up a statement from the first LP.

quote:

Enemies can crit in this game, to thunderous applause, I assume, so having a high stat in this can be annoying, but we don't know the specifics to really assume. If LUC only effects item drops, then this stat is completely useless for an enemy.

As enemies can't get item drops from killing players in 1, and we just found out that LUC does absolutely nothing for crits as well, that means that LUC is a completely useless stat for enemies in EO1! At no point does it ever get checked or used for anything!

Preemptives and Blindsides

The mechanics are also simple here. The rammifications a bit less so, but we'll get to that in a moment.

When getting into a battle, the game first checks to see if the party gets a preemptive strike. If that chance fails, the game then rolls to see if the party is blindsided. And if that fails, the battle starts out on even footing.

The preemptive chance is determined purely by the average level of the party and the average level of the enemy formation. If the average party level is greater than or equal to Enemy Average Level + 10, the preemptive strike rate will be set to 5%. Otherwise it just gets set to 3%. The Survivalist's Ambush passive is added onto this rate, making it very good at giving you frequent preemptive attacks.

As for how blindsides work, enemies just have a 3% chance to blindside you, that's all. And given the roll can only take place after a failed preemptive check, that means the blindside rate is even smaller than that. But I want to bring your attention to another passive skill.

quote:

Aware
Prerequisites: Ambush LV2
Decreases the chance of being blindsided by enemies. Passive.

The description for this skill is a bit inaccurate. It doesn't affect the blindside chance directly. It instead has a chance to nullify a blindside if one happens. Of course given how blindsides are pretty rare, this means that this skill at level 10 effectively drops the chance of getting blindsided from 3% to a mere 2.1%! For a whopping 10 SP! That's a beyond terrible deal, and this skill should never be invested in, especially when Ambush effectively does the same thing, but better!

Gathering

A quick refresher on how gathering worked in 1.

quote:

Mugwort. 50% chance.
Hardwood. 30% chance.
Red Fruit. 10% chance.

This is the data from the B1F Chop point in that game. As you can see, the chances don't add up to 100%. So if you manage to hit that missing 10%, you end up getting nothing. Thankfully no gathering ambushes in this game at least. This is where the gathering skills come in.



The gathering skills worked as we thought, they're actually a multiplier applied to the item chances, so you can eliminate the chances to gather nothing altogether if the level of the gathering skill is high enough. However, this comes at a cost...

quote:

Mugwort. 60% chance.
Hardwood. 36% chance.
Red Fruit. 12% chance.

With a level 10 gathering skill, the rates become equal to what I listed above instead. Except this doesn't add up to 100% either, going up to 108% instead. So what happens to the excess 8%? This is where the bad news comes in. The game still only does a X out of 100 roll here, and more relevantly, the game checks the rates from common to rate instead of rare to common like with item drops. Yes that's right, this means that leveling the gathering skills too high makes it harder to gather rare items! So the rates would actually look like this instead:

quote:

Mugwort. 60% chance.
Hardwood. 36% chance.
Red Fruit. 4% chance.

Ouch. A level 10 gathering skill makes it more than twice as hard to snag the rare drop here. While leveling gathering skills does grant more gathering attempts, it also makes it harder to hunt for rare items! Fortunately the multipliers from these skills don't stack, only the gathering attempts given. The game only checks for the highest leveled gathering skill, so you thankfully can't screw yourself into common drops only with a gathering party.

Escape Rates

Strap yourselves in, because this one is a doozy!

There are actually 2 parts to this mechanic. For the first part, when a party member attempts to escape, they'll have a 30% chance to succeed. If they fail, +2% is added onto this chance. This affects the entire party, not just the party member that failed to escape, and there's no cap on how high this can get. However, if a party member fails this roll, that doesn't automatically mean they failed the escape attempt. The game actually gives them a second chance to escape. Sort of.

Now for the second part. The game then uses this formula to determine a secondary escape rate:

(Party's Total LUC / Party's Total Level) / 3

The result is then rounded down.

If the result is 0 or below, then the party member has a 0% chance to escape. (Automatic failure.)
If the result is 1, then the party member has a 33% chance to escape.
If the result is 2, then the party member has a 66% chance to escape.
If the result is 3 or above, then the party member has a 100% chance to escape. (Automatic success.)

So this secondary escape formula only works if your party's total LUC is 3x above their total level. If you somehow have 9 times more LUC than level, than escape attempts are guaranteed to succeed. Which only happens at the very beginning of the game. Here, let me show you the Suvivalist's level up table, which is the class that has the highest LUC in EO1.



Do you see the problem here? Even assuming you have a party of 5 Survivalists, you only get the guaranteed escape rates at level 1. The moment you level up to 2, you actually plumet straight down to the 33% escape rate tier, skipping the 66% tier entrely! You would need LUC boosts to hit the 66% chance. And then once you hit level 6, the secondary escape attempt will always fail! Fortunately the base 30% escape rate is rather generous, giving an 87.5% chance to flee on the first turn if everyone tries to run. Of course if you have less than a 5 man party, the escape rate goes from generous to very strict.

Yes this is the only other mechanic in the game LUC effects, and is why the Survivalist has the highest LUC stat in the game, so they can run away more easily. But as I've said, this only works at the very beginning of the game. Once your party hits level 5 or 6, it essentially ceases to function. Oh and LUC is not even checked for if an enemy tries to escape. They'll always succeed in their escape attempts, so LUC is still completely useless for enemies!

Oh but that's not all! I have one last thing I wish to rake over the coals point out. If you recall, the Survivalist had a skill in the first game that boosted escape rates.

quote:

Escape
Prerequisites: Quicken LV3
Increases the party's escape rate for 5 turns and increases DEF past level 4. Buff skill, uses the Legs.

You may be wondering if this affects the initial 30% escape rate or the essentially non-functional secondary roll. I'm sad to say it only affects the latter and has absolutely no effect on the former RNG roll. Considering that LUC essentially goes defunct at level 6, and you need to be level 11 to max this skill out ASAP, it should go without saying that this skill is beyond worthless, as it cannot function past the first few floors of the game. Aside from the paltry defense buff, which barely reduces damage.

I have no idea what the gently caress even happened here. With this skill or with this... entire mechanic really. I guess it's true what they say about the apple not falling too far from the tree. EO2 had to have gotten its eldritch properties from somewhere, after all.

Crosspeice
Aug 9, 2013

Zzzz... sploosh... zzzz... KABOOM... zzz... sploosh...

Part 7: Running From Raptors

Woodland Ruins



Time for the hardest part of the earlygame, reaching the checkpoint on 5F before running out of TP. It's gonna be a close one.

Any steps forward can be meaningful progress. More experience, and more knowledge of the map can make your next trips go further and faster.



Battings, nine o'clock.

Are you doing this on purpose?




Was the triple backflip dodge really necessary?

Apparently this game didn't get the memo that encounters should be reduced around FOEs, I had three within 15 steps of each other.

I actually went and checked the game maps, and it turns out the whole "encounter rates tend to be lower in FOE infested areas" originated with EO3. In the first 2 games, FOE patrol zones tend to be just as dangerous as the rest of the floor. Interesting how many series staples truly got established in that entry.

It's a weird bias you can have in these games, I didn't notice it at all in EO1. If I didn't get an encounter I was like of course I didn't, but if I did get an encounter then I like that's unlucky. Never crossed my mind I was just wrong lmao.

All these years later, and sometimes EO1 and EO2's collective jank still surprise me.



Neat.



Neat!



Neet!

Okay enough of that.



This corridor patrolled by a Raptor has class exclusive shortcuts, so better have them or you're trapped!

Or a Warp Wire.



But it is immediately apparent that doing so will be no simple task. A monstrous, grey spider whose web is strong as steel waits for you there... the metallic strands are spun far and wide. You wonder if there's any way through. After each member tries, your landsknecht steps forth valiantly. The spider has fled, but you are powerless to cut its steely web and move forward! The landsknecht raises a sharp blade and brings it down with a wild cry. The tough fibers are chopped in two, and the nest begins to fall apart! Thanks to your landsknecht, you push through the brush and reach the passage beyond.

Indeed game, only a Landsknecht is strong enough to cut a steel web.

We're really keeping up the pretense of landsknechts being physically stronger than ronin, huh?

I know the class gating is done for gameplay reasons, but the flavor text they went with to justify these can get pretty :psyduck:



The spoils for you.

Was nae issue for the strongest in yer guild!

Hmm?!

Don't drop your book in the fireplace.

More defense is always a good thing. ...Man, it feels so surreal to say that after several Etrian Odyssey games of armor being pure crap.



Just as you are about to take your first step, a rabbit darts past your legs into the path. You gape in horror as the leaves attack the rabbit, devouring its meat in an instant! It seems the plants are not only carnivorous, but vicious as well. You blanch after the gruesome sight, but your war magus steps forward fearlessly. The war magus produces a vial and applies the purple liquid from it to your bodies. It seems the salve will mask your scent, making it safe to walk down the path! You will have to suppress your gag reflex, but you may now continue down the hidden path.

Always felt to me like the whole "war magi are dark arts witches/wizards" thing was underutilized, both in this game and its remake.



All yours, friend.

Uh, thanks, it suits me. Do you always carry a vial of that stuff around? It's very useful in repelling people.

This is most unrefining!

While the smell is a pain, I also wouldn't mind having more of this stuff.

+12 DEF on a piece of non-body armor? What is this!? And a 3 TP increase to boot, geez!

The future is now, old man.



The other two hidden paths require a Protector and a Ronin, so we'll be back when we have the 5F and 6F party. Hopefully we can get there without wasting more Nectars...

Checkpoints are always on floors 3 and 5 of a given stratum, but it's much appreciated after how 1 starved you of shortcuts sometimes. Also lets you reach the boss a lot more easily instead of having to wade through all 5 floors of a stratum.



Anythin'?

Weird trees that kathy might like, nothing interesting for the map.




Thank god we're nearly done, I'll be hearing Logan's yelps in my sleep.

You just need the plushy bed like mine.




What a terrifying presence that could kill me ten times over, hohohohoho!

Ah, sweet sanctuary. There's a little bit of 4F we skipped because we're out of TP with basically everyone, but getting here is so nice.




Seems to be all anyone is talking about now...

One of my guests told me about it, and I know they'd never lie. It gave me a real scale to hear about all those different types of monsters mixed together! Are you sure you'll be okay? Don't overdo it... you can't explore if you're dead!



He always sounds so disappointed!

can't imagine why

How are things going? I'd say your careers are taking off nicely. The inn's owner came by here the other day for a scheduled checkup on her daughter. She told me you were some of the better explorers staying with her. But you should still be careful and look after yourselves.



It's a new sword... made of a super-dense metal... urrgh...

No issue for me, the strongest in our guild.

Hrm, I'm pretty sure I could've kicked it in position.

As our endless healed fractures show, you overestimate my leg strength.

Wait, no! Oh... I'm sorry... you didn't have to... I-I didn't mean for you to... w-well, thank you very much for helping me. I didn't have any idea how to move that thing. *sigh* I shouldn't do this to customers, or they'll never come back... I'm really sorry! W-Well, I'll be cleaning up, but just call me if you need something!



Boar Spear, requires 5 Red Shards and 5 Aragonite - Sword, +15 speed.

Btw, most swords have +20 speed, so equipping this is making Holly slower, but it really isn't that big a deal. When the bad weapons come up, I'll definitely mention them.

Gotta love those pointless differences.



Be careful, though. I hear there's quite the beastie up on that floor. This one lot nearly got wiped out by the thing, before they were saved by another guild. And I'll tell yeh, they knew what they were about. The fiend was just too strong. If yeh're planning to go up against it, be careful. I don't like to hear about guilds dying!

Hmmmmmmm?!

...yes, yes, it's your turn to join the party.

Ah, what a debut we will have!

We will be requiring the slashy woman, but your turn will be aftering.



The guards are actually being nice and talking to me! Usually they'd ignore me or call me names...

Oh goody a depressing backstory.

I got this request from one of the Duke's guards. Quite the gentleman, that lad. He waxed eloquent about all this guild had done for him... and judging by his description, he can only have meant yeh. The young guard over at the Duke's Palace can tell yeh more about the job. Get going!



Oh hey, Gerson was drinking with that guy earlier.

Who?

Yeh want to hear the details anyway, eh? I knew yeh wouldn't be satisfied... all right... there's a geezer lives far from the main ciy, name of Chapman. More commonly known around Lagaard as Braggart Chap. His story is that he was an explorer once, but no one believes it. Insists that there's a spring that collects the moon's tears. Swears up and down he saw it. Nice story, sure, but this is Braggart Chap. I doubt the man's been as far as the 5th floor. But if yeh're going to chase tall takes, I won't stop yeh. Just don't get your hopes up.



i hope they're in twisted, gnarled shapes

Guh! You're as stealthy as death itself, ohohohoho!

Apparently, the trees in the Labyrinth have been withering abnormally. He wants yeh to find the cause. I dunno much about it, but it sounds pretty serious. Check in at the hospital to get more details. G'luck!



Not well enough for this one.

Hrmmm...

They say you've even reached the 5th floor. If so, take even more caution than before. There's a fierce monster at the 5th floor's end. Don't take it lightly, or you'll regret it. That's all the advice I have for you. Never underestimate the Labyrinth.



It must be someone from the guard corps. Please wait here.

I found him! Or, well, he found me, he initiated the conversation! Does that make us friends?!

I dinnae think that's hoo it works.



Huh? Don't you remember me? Oh... I guess we all look the same with our helmets on, haha. I'm one of the guys you brought those supplies to in the Labyrinth... remember? Yeah, exactly! Well, I've got another favor to ask of you. The roads of High Lagaard are decorated with a beautiful mineral called Amazonite. Some roads are in need of repair, and we were going to fix the, but we don't have any Amazonite left. It's usually no problem to get some more, but we're pretty busy now, so could you help out? All you have to do is Mine at an item point in the Labyrinth. Once you collect five chunks of Amazonite, just take them to Cass at the bar. If you don't have any questions, I'll get back to work now. Hope to see you soon!



Beware of that place, I've heard too many stories of explorers losing their lives there. I'm sure you'll be all right. Just... use extreme caution.



If it's about the quest, I'm terribly sorry, but could you come back tonight? It's a personal request, so it wouldn't be fair to go over it while I'm on my rounds. Now then, I have work to do. I hope to see you later.

Huh. I know the Labyrinth had time-gated stuff, but I didn't realize NPCs in town did so too. Seems... odd, given that an inn rest is completely effortless compared to in the Labyrinth where an inn rest would be more effort to get to. Not surprised the rest of the series mostly didn't use this mechanic again.



Fine with me, I never sleep, hohohohoho.

you were definitely snoring when you were hanging in the rafters

It's called meditating! Ahem.

We've been getting strange reports from explorers and guards about the matter... have you seen it, too? Parts of the Labyrinth are withering away unnaturally. I hope I'm overthinking it, but I'm afraid I'm not. There must be some reason behind it. No one's too worried about it yet, but it could lead to some very serious circumstances. I'll turn over whatever data you collect to the Northern Academy. Oh, I guess I should explain that they're an organization of healers across this hemisphere. But to get the ball rolling, I need you to verify a few specific instances for proof. There are currently clusters of trees on the 5th and 6th floors that are withering away. I think samples from three areas should be sufficient to begin. Oh, just to let you know, this request has nothing to do with the hospital or the Grand Duchy. I don't want to spread rumors without evidence to back them up. Please keep this a secret. Once you have the samples, can you turn them in at the bar? I'm counting on you!

And with that Derek has probably more dialogue than most EO1 patrons. There's 5 spots to observe trees between 4F and 8F and you get a nice chunk of cash for finding more than you're supposed to, so we'll have this quest for a fair while. And with the lengthy town visit, get used to these, we've got to get a new team ready to explore 5F!




Hindi, requires 7 Long Pins and 7 Bug Wings.

We need Eleanore for a shortcut so she's back up to par, though since it hasn't been long she's just going for Kienzan/Midareba. I did go a little overboard with Lily's Front Guard, she can only use it 3 times, but there's really not much for Protectors to go for this early and it'll be great for FOEs and Bosses if you're going for short, nuking fights. kathy has her eternal point in Revive and is gonna max Healer to make Cure and Salve cheap and powerful! Since I have item drop cheats I'll ignore Scavenge, but would highly advise you grab it early, it's literally free money.

If you can't cheat (or just choose not to), absolutely grab Scavenge if you can. It's broken as hell in this game and makes things so much easier and much less of a headache.



Ah, you've returned before they did to pick me up. Hmmhmmhmm.

I even took the scenic route.

Four, five... yes, that's all of them. I'm still shocked yeh knew that guard so well. Can't forget yer reward of course. I'll be counting on yeh!



Exciting quests!

Some of the flavor text can be pretty interesting, but wow I absolutely do not miss doing quests in original EO2.

A Sudden Gust of Wind that Calls for Death




You look almost disappointed.

Well I don't mind getting a little more injured!

less work for me at least


Gashtor

HP: 300
STR: 17
VIT: 17
TEC: 17
AGI: 17
LUC: 17
Level: 9
Exp: 0

Skills
Fangs: Uses the Head. Deals 150% Cut damage to a single target and attempts to inflict Paralysis. Has a 50% base infliction chance, a 100% accuracy modifier and a 150% speed modifier.

Damage Vulnerabilities
100% 100% 100%
125% 100% 100%

Disable Vulnerabilities
25% 25% 25% 25% 25% 25% 25% 10%
25% 25% 25% 50% 10%

Drops
None

Conditional: None

I guess we should easily crush this FOE while we have an incredibly powerful team. If you know what to spec for, then you can get very powerful very quickly, I'm just spreading out skills just for some variety. Two healers might seem overkill, but Alastor is much faster with those heals, and can do other things, whereas kathy will remain in the back row for probably the entire LP. It also means we can't die.

Atlus wouldn't solve the "if you know what to spec for, you can get powerful very quickly" problem until...what, EOU? I think that's the earliest instance of them realizing that significant TP cost increases at important skill levels would discourage rushing the most powerful skills, at least somewhat.

Gashtors are basically the starter FOE. Strong enough to destroy you on the first fight, but later on when you're more powerful, they're pretty manageable. Is generally the standard pattern for FOEs in the EO series, though going toe to toe with most other EO2 FOEs requires more effort to pull off compared to other EO games.



HIYAH! Nice to cross off a revenge, now when we get to the next stratum, I can cross off a lot more!

I don't want to knowing how many there are.



The danger to travellers is no more, and all may pass this point without fear. Your quest is complete. When you have the time, go to the bar and report your work!

By the way, once you complete this quest, that Gashtor is permanently dead. It's one of the few FOEs that never respawns.



The guards were chuffed to see how strong yeh were! The Explorers Guild isn't just here to explore that Labyrinth, yeh know. Sometimes yeh'll have to pitch in and help around town, so come see me now and again, eh? Ahh, yes, the reward. Here yeh go, and I'll be counting on yer help again soon!



they're a little bitter, but mix in some cocoa powder and it goes down a treat.




4F B4 Mine Point

Ambush Chance: 10%
Ambush Encounter:
40% Raflesia x1, Hypnowl x1
40% Hypnowl x3
20% Raflesia x1

Amazonite: 60% chance. Sells for 30en.
1 required for Iron Glove - Gloves, DEF+10, VIT+1 - sells for 380en
1 required for Bird Stare - Accessory, Sleep Resist Up 50% - sells for 800en
1 required for Venom Ring - Accessory, Poison Resist Up 50% - sells for 800en
1 required for Leg Guard - Accessory, Leg Bind Resist Up 50% - sells for 800en
3 required for Matchlock - Gun, ATK+46, STR+3 - sells for 530en
7 required for Warabide - Katana, ATK+39, STR+2, -5 speed - sells for 450en
5 required for Paint the town blue

Aragonite: 25% chance. Sells for 35en.
1 required for Luck Beads - Accessory, LUC+10 - sells for 200en
5 required for Boar Spear - Sword, ATK+37, STR+2, +15 speed - sells for 350en
7 required for Tshirovha - Axe, ATK+39, STR+2 - sells for 410en

Garnet: 15% chance. Sells for 100en.
1 required for Power Ring - Accessory, STR+5 - sells for 200en
1 required for Apt Piece - Accessory, TEC+5 - sells for 200en

There's one last floor to this stratum, but there's a couple things to finish on 4F. This is the only gathering point on this floor that ambushes you with Hypnowls, which are found next floor. Bit annoying, but it's nice and close to the Pole.



Dodging dinos already, what an adventure, heh.

This FOE is such a pain to actually get around from this side that I considered just killing it.

I'm pretty sure that's a behavior some EO players have. Puzzle or just walking around them is too much of a pain in the rear end, so just kill the FOE to save themselves the trouble. Which can work in most EO games but uh, due to how strong EO2 FOEs are, that's almost always a bad idea in this game unless the FOE in question is a flying one.



Wah, that light magic burns!

It's just a healing paste...



You look around and find that one of the trees nearby has turned grey. Upon closer inspection, it seems almost as if it's turned to stone. Just then, kathy lets out an astonished cry.

ahh. they're hosed. awesome.

The affliction has spread! Many of the trees around you have changed color. You now remember the quest you accepted at the hospital. You agreed to investigate the abnormalities found on trees within the Labyrinth. You note down your current coordinates, and leave the area of strange trees.



Hey, get behind me, don't get close to those weird things!

i just wanna stroke them...



There are five tripwires lain, and all but one will set off the trap. It's a simple snare, but a difficult one to see through. As you give up on the trap, one by one, your ronin waits for a chance to step in. Once the way is clear, the ronin sits in a meditative position and closes both eyes. ...... The ronin's blade lashes out, slicing one of the tripwires! Before you can blink, the blade is back in its sheath, and the trap lies exposed to all. Thanks to your ronin, the trap has been destroyed, and you may proceed down the trail.

Wowzings, how did you know which was the ones?

You'd be surprised how many books I've read feature this as a puzzle.



Creepity creep.

Oh no, five Annettes.

A 50% Arm Bind resistance can be very helpful for your big, physical attackers, or even some insurance for your Protector, so we'll store this for later, most accessories are worth keeping!

You can also stack multiples for complete immunity. Granted Arm Bind resistance isn't really needed right now.



Suddenly, arrows from all directions, piercing the ground near your feet! It seems that the hidden passage is riddled with traps. As you contemplate how to pass the traps, your protector pushes you aside and steps forward. The arrows become little more than a nuisance against the protector's raised shield. You may now follow the protector and pass the forest wall.

I'll take the lead!

Makes a change...



And that's all the class shortcuts we'll be encountering for a while. They can be a little fun, but it is a pain being a member down if you decide not to grind one of each class in the game, you can see why we never see these after this game. And later ones have way worse requirements! But hey, that's all of 4F done, that was quick.

Good grief +12 DEF on a mere shield, and this early on, are you all seeing this!?



Horn Mace, requires 7 Red Shards and 3 Hard Roots - Stave, -3 speed.

Slice Whip, requires 15 Metal Hulls and 3 Bent Twigs.

And +20 HP this early that you can fit into your weapon slot! (And most staff users don't care too much about the Staff's attack power all too much.) Good grief, they're just piling on the defensive options!



We're up and onward now, completely done with 4F!



new floor, new cuties.

Well to each their own, but it is quite fun finding new denizens on new floors.

Heh, the great adventures start here. Though, are we forgetting anything?

Got the Warp Wire, so don't think so.

We should be very fining with this party!



...what do you mean they already left???

That's what my nose is telling me, let's kick 'em when they get back.

Ahem, so I was only planning on having Eleanore back in the party for the 4F shortcut, she was gonna tag out with Juthro and then we'd explore the new floor from there. Except I completely forgot and she'll be in the party for the entire floor. Whoops! As an apology to Prexot for forgetting their character, Juthro will be in the boss fight, and will be doing the stratum clean up and 6F as planned. Anyway, we have a new monster.


Cube Gel

HP: 114
STR: 13
VIT: 14
TEC: 13
AGI: 15
LUC: 14
Level: 14
Exp: 427

Skills
Acid: Uses the Arms. Deals 75% Untyped damage to a single target, healing the user by 50% of the damage dealt. Has a 90% accuracy modifier and a 100% speed modifier.

Damage Vulnerabilities
50% 50% 50%
200% 200% 200%

Disable Vulnerabilities
150% 150% 150% 150% 150% 150% 150% 150%
150% 150% 150% 150% 150%

Drops
Gel Core: 25% chance, sells for 13en.
2 required for Warhammer - Stave, ATK+41, HP+10, -3 speed - sells for 370en
2 required for Hell Claw - Claw, ATK+61, Type: Fire - sells for 1,210en
5 required for Tabarzin - Axe, ATK+46, Type: Fire - sells for 560en

Conditional: Kill with Stab damage
Fiber Hide: 80% chance, sells for 25en
1 required for Plume Boot - Footwear, DEF+11, AGI+2 - sells for 350en

Aw yeah, freakin elemental weak enemy baby. Even with the physical reduction, Acid doesn't heal enough for it to actually stall you. You'll also have some kind of elemental damage, surely, making these a complete non issue.

In EO2U, gel enemies in general got reworked to focus on "uses nasty skills on death" as a gimmick. Cube gels, if I remember right, threw out a physical damage debuff on death, which is...yeah, pretty nasty.

Ah, Gels. They're kind of weird and annoying. Resists all physicals and can restore their own HP, but they don't have much HP. Also any elemental and ailment will shut it down. So odd.



5F D1 Take Point

Ambush Chance: 10%
Ambush Encounter:
40% Hypnowl x3
40% Raflesia x1, Hypnowl x1
20% Raflesia x1

Tiny Bloom. 50% chance. Sells for 25en.
1 required for Nectar - Medicine, revives the target to 10-16HP, TEC depending - sells for 500en
2 required for Theriaca A - Medicine, LV5 Unbind, removes all binds from the target - sells for 100en
3 required for Theriaca B - Medicine, LV8 Refresh, removes all ailments from the target - sells for 100en

Sour Fruit. 25% chance. Sells for 30en.
1 required for Ward Chime - Item, Lv2 Stalker, reduces danger values by 33% for 50 steps - sells for 200en
2 required for Guard Sole - Item, Lv2 Patrol, reduces damage tile damage by 40% for 50 steps - sells for 200en
3 required for Poison Gas - Item, Lv1 Poison, 15% base infliction chance, 20-30 damage - sells for 450en

Green Nut. 15% chance. Sells for 75en.
1 required for Blaze Oil - Item, Lv1 Blaze, imbues the target's regular attacks with Fire damage - sells for 250en, must be restocked
1 required for Freeze Oil - Item, Lv1 Frost, imbues the target's regular attacks with Ice damage - sells for 250en, must be restocked
1 required for Shock Oil - Item, Lv1 Shock, imbues the target's regular attacks with Volt damage - sells for 250en, must be restocked

And now you can see that throughout a stratum a gathering point will barely change and just gets worse to gather at the higher you go due to nastier encounters. Close to the pole, but it doesn't matter, the first one you find in a stratum is the one you'll go to whenever you need it.



Who?

you stop that


Hypnowl

HP: 108
STR: 13
VIT: 14
TEC: 21
AGI: 14
LUC: 14
Level: 15
Exp: 571

Skills
Powder: Uses the Head. Attempts to inflict Sleep on the entire party. Has an 80% base infliction chance and a 100% speed modifier.

Damage Vulnerabilities
100% 150% 100%
150% 100% 100%

Disable Vulnerabilities
100% 100% 100% 100% 0% 100% 100% 100%
100% 100% 100% 100% 100%

Drops
Feather: 25% chance, sells for 13en.
1 required for Volcanic - Gun, ATK+43 - sells for 370en
1 required for Bird Stare - Accessory, Sleep Resist Up 50% - sells for 800en
2 required for Hide Plate - Heavy Armor, DEF+22 - sells for 310en
5 required for Sensui - Katana, ATK+55, STR+2 - sells for 1,020en
7 required for Carp Sword - Sword, ATK+43 - sells for 440en
10 required for Beast Bow - Bow, ATK+39, STR+1 - sells for 440en

Conditional: None

Gah, these fuckers. If we're finding a Petaloid-like enemy this early and they were a massive pain, you can imagine this is an even bigger pain with some stronger monsters around. Definitely need to be taken out asap but thankfully they are pretty fragile. If you want consistency, you can equip your Gunner or Medic with a Bird Stare, but we won't need to use those kinda strats... yet.

These got shuffled into the 2nd Stratum in EO2U for fairly good reason, I think.

Ahahaha what the hell? Hey say hi to Petaloids in owl form! AOE 80% base infliction rate, what the poo poo. Yeah easily one of the most dangerous enemies in this stratum due to how they let other enemies pound you down so easily! Also Torpor doesn't work on these enemies if you were using that strategy, so don't try that. Use Poison instead if you have that.



Guess it didn't get much from just suckling on your shield.



He gives a start as you approach, then smiles and addresses you.

No need to be afraid, though you never know what could be lurking, hohohoho.

Please do not giving him sheer heart attack.

Ah! A group of explorers, I see! What are you after?

You fill him in on the details of your task, and the guard expresses his bewilderment.

A flower? But... this floor is filled with flowers.

No way.

Oh! Maybe I know the one you mean. I think it's in the southeast region of this floor.

You thank the guard and return to your search.



The guard is another "wrong way, idiot", but this is an immediate dead end so it's not a big deal to ignore him.

This item can be handy for the upcoming boss fight.



The thin, grey trees are twisted in a way that seem to call out to you. You think back to the doctor's words and take an instinctive step back. What could this disturbing tableau mean? You note down the coordinates of the strange trees and leave the area.

no hope for them



Thankfully the Raptor does not come into the room.



Hmm... hmhmhm. Am I might be sinking?

You're not that short!

Looking carefully at your surroundings, you notice something odd on the ground. ...it's moss! Even through your thick-soled boots, it was evident how soft the ground was. But why would moss be growing in a place like this...? As you ponder this question, you see water seep to the surface, creating a small pond. The moonlight's glow hits the water, making it seem like a thing alive... Suddenly, you remember the quest you undertook in the bar. The tear of the moon that Braggart Chap asked about... you feel certain that the "moon's tear" he spoke of is this very water. You decide to coax the water into a container and stow it in your bag.



Now that was a sight to behold, heh.

I've seen fancier.



Map design is my passion.



Zzzzz... oof! Hey, what gives, I was dreamin' about a world without doors!

Now ain't this a winning combination. Thankfully no blindside, but that was just a regular hit that did a massive chunk to my tankiest unit. Anyone hit by Tackle while asleep will loving die.

Case in point for Hypnowls being dicks, encounter formations like these! Hope you have Nectars!



Thankfully with two healers we'll be just fine.



5F B7 Mine Point

Ambush Chance: 5%
Ambush Encounter:
100% Raflesia

Aragonite: 40% chance. Sells for 35en.
1 required for Luck Beads - Accessory, LUC+10 - sells for 200en
5 required for Boar Spear - Sword, ATK+37, STR+2, +15 speed - sells for 350en
7 required for Tshirovha - Axe, ATK+39, STR+2 - sells for 410en

Garnet: 35% chance. Sells for 100en.
1 required for Power Ring - Accessory, STR+5 - sells for 200en
1 required for Apt Piece - Accessory, TEC+5 - sells for 200en

Amazonite: 25% chance. Sells for 30en.
1 required for Iron Glove - Gloves, DEF+10, VIT+1 - sells for 380en
1 required for Bird Stare - Accessory, Sleep Resist Up 50% - sells for 800en
1 required for Venom Ring - Accessory, Poison Resist Up 50% - sells for 800en
1 required for Leg Guard - Accessory, Leg Bind Resist Up 50% - sells for 800en
3 required for Matchlock - Gun, ATK+46, STR+3 - sells for 530en
7 required for Warabide - Katana, ATK+39, STR+2, -5 speed - sells for 450en
5 required for Paint the town blue

Don't get distracted by this amazing gathering point, look to the left!



ah, this is heavier than i...

I got it, I got it.

Nice +50HP a floor before we unlock it. That's nearly double our HP right now, way more than new armour could reduce by.

What is with all these defensive increases, holy poo poo!?



Got nothing to worry about when you're behind me, heh.

As much as I would love to be slowly whittled away by these things, I'll be more willing to fight 5 stacks when we have party wide attacks.



Another one of these blasted things.

I cannot imagining dragging Lily through one of these.

i could always put her to sleep

I see you raising your stave! It won't get past my shield!

With how thin Sleep Gas is, I don't see any other way.



We're about halfway through the floor, no need forcing the push to the end, there's a deceptive amount to go.



I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm trying to fix it...

Hmm, you're lucky I'm so forgiving.

Well to make it up, want to beat up the horror amalgamation coming up soon?

Bitchin'.

Back alrea--what?! Yeh got the moon's tear? Is this a joke? Blimey... I guess even Braggart Chap tells the truth sometimes. ...haw! I was so surprised, I nearly forgot yer reward. I'll be sure to pass the word onto old Chapman!



I don't really think much of paralysis, in either the player or enemy hands, but if you know it's coming, this is a nice way of trying to prevent it.



Volcanic, requires 1 Feather - Gun, +3 speed

This is the first gun with a positive speed modifier, but since most guns with negative modifiers are just +1 instead, having +3 isn't a big deal.

Warhammer, requires 2 Gel Cores and 2 Glue Quills - Stave, ATK+41, HP+10, -3 speed
Plume Boot, requires 1 Fibre Hide and 5 Glue Quills - Footwear, DEF+11, AGI+2, sells for 350en - Feather-covered boots that increase defense.
Hide Plate, requires 2 Feathers and 3 Gum Hides - Heavy Armor, DEF+22, sells for 310en - Armor made from layered beast fur.
Bird Stare, requires 1 Feather and 1 Amazonite - Accessory, Sleep Resist Up 50%, sells for 800en - A necklace that guards against drowsiness.

Definitely want some of these later, since there are... other enemies aside from Hypnowl that sleep ya.



And good morning, next time there's a first stratum to clean up, shouldn't take too long I hope.

Crosspeice fucked around with this message at 19:44 on Aug 9, 2021

Crosspeice
Aug 9, 2013

Zzzz... sploosh... zzzz... KABOOM... zzz... sploosh...

Dark Hunter



Can equip: Swords, Whips, Light Armor, Clothing

How the fallen have mightied. Dark Hunters were perfectly fine last game, they had some utility, though they preferred swords to dish out more damage. Since they were a mediocre class, Atlus decided they needed a buff, and boy did they get it! Dark Hunters are one of the best classes in the game, they have great utility in both weapons, you can go swords or whips with little issue, though I would recommend sticking to one, and they have great ways to make bosses easy as hell and very sad. They step on the Hexer's toes, which is dangerous to do in this game, so some aspects like binds and poison aren't as useful, and they're not amazing in regular battles, having ZERO attacks that are multi-target. But some of the skills of this class are just incredible and they fit into most teams super well.

So you've seen a few classes that got mega nerfed. How about mega buffed!? And boy oh boy, Dark Hunters went from a rather okay class to completely and utterly broken! It's another textbook case of EO2's wild class balancing, as while you have utterly terrible classes, you also have completely bonkers classes on the other end of the spectrum.



Oh hey this seems familiar, because this was basically their same stat line from before, they were pretty balanced overall, like the Landy, so there wasn't much to fix. Their TEC took a massive hit though, they had the second highest before, even if they never used it, but have slightly higher HP and TP, so overall I'm very happy with it.

Common Passive Unlocks

STR Up: Lv5: Ecstacy
TEC Up: Lv1: Unbind

Oh now this is nice to see, barely any requirements aside from ones you were gonna do anyway. One point into TEC Up for Unbind is a fair trade, though it depends if you need that skill, since Dark Hunters usually have a lot to do. Unbind leads into some nice passives, so it can be worth it for one point of TEC. You want to max out STR and Ecstasy is practically a requirement for Whip builds, so yes please! While Swords don't take much advantage of binds, they can still use Dominate so it just means they're doing other things afterwards that's not Ecstasy. AGI and VIT Up can be useful since they like both of them, and LUC Up has some fringe use of very slightly increasing bind and ailment chances, not much though. Since they have good HP and TP, can be worth making them better, but you have a fair bit of freedom in what you want to focus on.

Since they're a damage dealing class, STR Up is always a good investment to take. Some of their skills can get rather pricey, so they'll appreciate TP Up later down the line. While all classes will appreciate more durability, Dark Hunters will get a lot of mileage out of HP Up if you intend on making heavy use of their Bait skills. VIT Up can be another nice way to beef them up to take hits so they can deal counter damage. TEC doesn't really do much for them, so you can ignore that one.

I'd say AGI isn't great for them either since they're already a super fast class with Swords and especially Whips providing massive speed boosts. LUC boost could be handy since thier LUC is terrible and it has a decent amount of influence on infliction rates. But don't bother taking LUC if you're trying to boost up their defenses against ailments, as they have skills that are far more effective at dealing with those.

Whips/Swords
Whips Unlocks: Lv1: Viper; Lv2: Shackles; Lv3: Cuffs; Lv4: Gags; Lv6: Climax; Lv8: Ecstacy, Bait, Magibait
Swords Unlocks: Lv1: Hypnos; Lv2: Nerve; Lv3: Mirage; Lv4: Drain; Lv6: Petrify; Lv8: Bait, Magibait
Passive


Another mediocre weapon investment, but as always which one to choose? Well, both, because the bait skills are loving amazing, but which to focus on? Whips has the best overall use, but Swords makes a good case for itself too. If you're using a Hexer then it's probably best to go swords since they work better with poison and binds, but oh no you're slightly less useful than the most busted class in the series, how terrible. Ecstasy and Climax are amazing but also require some setup, meaning you're relying on the other skills at the start of a fight, so you don't do the big unga bunga damage until later, unless you have Dominate ready to go.

Swords are mostly unique, though Hypnos is godawful compared to the Hexer's version, Paralysis is never great, Mirage has bad numbers, but Drain and Petrify are pretty top tier. So it's relatively even, depends on your party setup and what your want your Dark Hunter to do, they're incredibly flexible and even their bad skills still work wonders if there's no alternative, since they have alright stats and don't purely rely on damage like other, worse, classes. Even at their worst, Dark Hunters can still help in a variety of ways.

Whips and Swords were on equal footing in 1, though Swords edged out Whips a bit since they dealt more damage. Here it's all about the Whips! Whips are so goddamn broken in this game, with having access to Ecstasy and Climax. Not only that, binds also got changed big time. They were easier to land on bosses in 1, but bosses would use different body parts instead of wasting turns using skills from a bound body part. Not so in this game onwards. Everyone will gleefully waste their turns trying to use skills from a body part that's bound, so binds got hugely buffed in that aspect and are basically on par with ailments in being hard disables. However FOEs and bosses are overall more resistant to binds to make up for that. But landing one basically gains your party a lot of momentum. Swords aren't bad and a Dark Hunter can still contribute heavily with them, but they are considerably less effective than using a Whip.

Antisick/Antibind
Prerequisites: Unbind Lv3
Increases user's resistance to ailments/binds. Passive.


Neat. Little more SP to invest for my liking, but still neat. Since allies have a 100% resistance to everything, lowering it to 20% for the infliction formula will help a crapton. It depends if you think you need it, usually you can rely on Theriacas to just get you out of the jam immediately and most of the time it's not the end of the world if your party does get tagged, but having someone who will very rarely get tagged to then help everyone else is very nice. Still, because it's just neat to have in most cases, investing in TEC Up, then Unbind, then 5 points into these makes it not a stunning investment, but Dark Hunters will have some SP to spare. Just some. Up to you if you invest in one or the other, binds can be deadly, but also not, while ailments are usually annoying but nothing too dangerous.

If you're playing the Japanese version of the game, do not take these skills! While they do work on the Dark Hunter, they also affect your enemies, making disabling them way harder!

Anyways, they're very nice defensive pickups since the Dark Hunter's LUC is pretty bad, opening them up to getting disabled. Oh and remember tha ailment resistance affects everything that aren't binds. So Instant Death and Stuns are affected as well. Though you won't be seeing too much of the latter in this game, as only 2 enemy skills in the entire game can Stun. How much you take in these is up to you. Maxing them out might be a bit dicey, but a few points in them should be alright. I'd say if you had to invest in only one, to pick up Antisick, as binds aren't typically game ending, but ailments are far more dangerous and capable of leading to a party wipe since they're capable of hard disabling your party and preventing them from doing anything at all, while you can still use items and other such actions while bound.

Viper
Prerequisites: Whips Lv1
A single target Whip attack that attempts to inflict Poison. Whip skill with Cut damage, uses the Arms.


Alright, first attack and it's... eh. Now this is pretty amazing early game since you can be dishing out like 160 damage by level 4 but after that it's not that impressive. It'll be the main whip skill you use when Ecstasy and Climax aren't around because if you land the poison it'll do the most overall damage, but otherwise it's kinda whatever. Still, it's a short and sweet skill to invest in that fails horrendously in stacking up to the Hexer's Poison, but such is life as an inflicter in EO2.

Ooh, talk about a massive buff. This skill only being 5 levels gives a much more compelling reason to pick it up. This is gonna be one of the Dark Hunter's bread and butter skills, as you can be dealing double damage for 6 SP and 8 TP, so by level 4 they can hit randoms really hard in the earlygame. Unfortunately that's about the best they'll be contributing to those, as they don't really have access to AOEs and the such, but hey, that's what your other party members are for!

Shackles/Cuffs/Gag
Prerequisites: Whips Lv2/Lv3/Lv4
A single target Whip attack that attempts to inflict Leg/Arm/Head Bind. Whip skill with Cut damage, uses the Arms.


There's a lot of binds to go around in this game, 3 classes have access to the full set and depending on team comp you can either use them in tandem or stick to just one set. Dark Hunter is in the middle of infliction rates but also does damage as well. It's mostly negligible since the whole reason you're using these is to shut something down, and that's very useful for specific enemies. Like always, Leg binds aren't that important, while Head and Arm usually depends on physical or magical attacks, so if you're gonna invest in these skills... you'd use a Hexer, BUT the latter two are usually safer bets. Of course you don't want to max all 3 skills, that's a huge waste of SP, but they do have their uses. Since you have a lot more options in this game, it's entirely possible for even a Whip DH to skip them entirely, especially since Dominate is just... so loving good.

Dark Hunters don't really have the SP to max out everything here easily, so I suggest only going with 1 or 2 binding skills, if you go with them at all. Dominate completely overshadows these skills and Viper is already good for damage, but if you wish to be less cheesy, I recommend taking Gag or Cuffs as Shackles isn't too great. Don't worry too much about overlapping with a Hexer, as disables are hard to land on the big enemies, and multiple attempts at landing a disable are always good.

Ecstasy
Prerequisites: Whips Lv8, STR Up Lv5
A single target Whip attack that deals significant damage to fully bound enemies. Whip skill with Cut damage, uses the Arms.


Alright, now we're talking, at face value this skill seems as bad as it was last game, since fully binding an enemy is no mean feat, however Dominate makes that requirement a breeze, you should never use this skill without it. After all, what else is your DH gonna do when an enemy is fully bound? Viper? Of course this requires having Dominate in a fight, which can make bosses a bit too easy, while also being ridiculous overkill for regular enemies, so it might not mesh with certain playstyles. You've gotta make sure you wanna use this as well, since it's quite an investment, not just the SP, but also your Force. It's definitely worth it though, goddamn this skill is good. In the right circumstances.

This skill was garbage in EO1 since it was basically unusable due to how hard it was to fully bind an enemy. Now, Dominate exists and it's one of the most broken skills in the entire game since you can nuke an enemy for 750% damage afterwards! The baits have higher damage potential, but a fully bound enemy won't do much, and that's the perfect time to hit them with Ecstasy!

Climax
Prerequisites: Whips Lv6
A single target Whip attack that inflicts Instant Death if an enemy is below HP threshold, healing user by remaining HP. Will always miss if enemy is above HP threshold. If enemy is immune to Instant Death but under HP threshold, deals regular damage. Whip skill with Cut damage, uses the Arms.


Phew, that's a lot of specifics, but that's because this skill is so loving dumb. Any enemy that isn't IMMUNE to Instant Death has, in essence, less than half health at max level. What a ridiculously easy requirement, but of course it's only useful on certain enemies. Firstly, most bosses are immune to Instant Death, probably because of this skill, while regular enemies are usually dead from a full assault if they're just above half health. Therefore this skill works best, and amazingly so, on the 2 bosses not immune to ID, as well as E V E R Y FOE. Yep, if you've got this skill, every FOE has effectively less than half health, which is RIDICULOUS! Not that it's too amazing, FOEs don't give exp, again, probably because of this skill, and there's no reason to fight them once you've gotten their drops, but still, I'm just nitpicking, god this skill is loving insane.

The accuracy modifier is only for the regular attack the Dark Hunter uses if you use this against an immune enemy. For the instant death component, it can't miss ever once the enemy falls under the proper conditions.

And here's yet another broken skill! Climax is basically an FOE deleter since it basically makes FOE fights half as long. There's only one FOE it doesn't work on, and it's a fairly easy to deal with quest enemy. And FOEs in this game are possibly some of the strongest FOEs in the entire series, so being able to cut down the fight length is way more helpful than it would be in any other EO game. Heck it can allow you to bypass some FOE roadblocks more easily, and it makes farming their drops a lot easier.

It's a great skill, and you should max it out. Not to mention it can make farming certain bosses really easy, considering that killing bosses gives you massive benefits in this game. Do be warned, this skill doesn't really allow you to take on the FOEs in the first place. If they can crush your party long before you get them to half HP, this skill won't be able to do a drat thing, so it doesn't let you punch way above your weight class.

Hypnos/Nerve
Prerequisites: Swords Lv1/Lv2
A single target Sword attack that attempts to inflict Sleep/Paralysis. Sword skill with Cut damage, uses the Arms.


That was some cool whips, so let's see what swords have to offer. Torpor is such an insane skill that Hypnos has little use unless you're not using a Hexer. Like, Sleep is nice, but only one target isn't great. Paralysis also isn't great since it doesn't really do much, I've never been a fan of it and was one of the few sword skills I didn't use last game. Like they can be useful and using ailments is the whole reason for going swords, but if only they were more impressive. Still, the damage is good and the extra tag is nice, something you can use early game at least, especially if you get a good Sleep off and waste an enemy's turn.

In EO1, ailment resistance was coded as 1 stat, so there was very little reason to ever invest in a disable that wasn't the best one. Now every single ailment has their own resistance stat, so there's actual reasons to invest in multiple disable skills. However if you plan on having your Dark Hunter really contribute to random encounters, I highly suggest having them invest in Petrify for that and spam that. Though that's not going to work so well in big fights, so that's what these skills are for. These are gonna be the Sword Dark Hunter's bread and butter skills against FOEs and Bosses (assuming they're not spamming the baits anyway.)

As for which one to go for, Sleep is more of a hard disable, but will wear off the instant the target takes damage. But Paralysis isn't entirely reliable, though it's far more likely to last longer on average. I'd recommend investing in Nerve for big fights, as the damage amp component from Sleep can't be easily capitalized in this game either, while making it so an FOE or boss has a chance of losing half of their turns on average is a more enticing benefit. Wait a few more games for sleep bombing to be more viable.

Mirage
Prerequisites: Swords Lv3
A single target Sword attack that attempts to inflict Panic. Sword skill with Cut damage, uses the Arms.


Alright, Mirage is usually different since Panic is quite the good ailment to just hand over to the player, so I'm sure it- ...oh no. It's one of THOSE skills, a level 5 skill that scales like a level 10 skill but stops halfway for no reason. Well Panic is useful but not with that infliction chance, damage is trash, everything about this skill is trash. Nothing else to do but completely ignore it.

Confusion in 1 was a rather powerful, but dicey ailment to use. Not only was it hard to inflict, it sometimes made enemies more dangerous as they could be attacking more often with Confusion active on them. From this game onwards, skills start to get vastly more powerful than regular attacks, so the downside of Confusion causing enemies to attack you barely starts to matter, so it's an ailment that's always a strong one to land. Unfortunately, this skill is complete and utter crap, so it's not really worth using this no matter how powerful Confusion is. Unfortunately, outside of the Hexer's Force Skill, this is literally the only way in the entire game to inflict Confusion. So uh, that ailment might as well not exist for players. Talk about a heavy nerf!

Drain
Prerequisites: Swords Lv4
A single target Sword attack that heals the user by damage dealt. Sword skill with Cut damage, uses the Arms.


Now here's a level 5 skill that scales PROPERLY, Drain is great for your frontline DH, it really adds to their survivability and is a great skill to just spam with little issue. Quick to invest in and while it doesn't do amazing damage, it's a nice tool for most of the game, especially giving your Medic or War Magus less headaches in earlygame healing. Nothing too fancy, but it gets the job goddamn done gently caress yeah.

This skill can be nice to spam to give the Dark Hunter some more survivability at the cost of dealing less damage and not being able to lock down their enemies. It'll make the DH less of a priority target for healing, which can take some stress off of your healers or whoever is thinking of tossing a Medica to a given party member. Whichever basic Sword attack you take is up to you, but most aside from Mirage aren't bad choices.

Petrify
Prerequisites: Swords Lv6
A single target Sword attack that attempts to inflict Petrify. Sword skill with Cut damage, uses the Arms.


Now here's the main event, Petrify is the same as last game, so enemies hit by it will stick around for the rest of the battle, but it still has amazing utility, and not a bad infliction rate for what it does. It also has some cool power behind it, so even if you don't land it, it's still one of the strongest hits a Sword DH can do. Otherwise it's mostly useless in Boss and FOE battles and might be a bit much for various regular enemies, but landing one is still a great feeling, might as well, right?

This is pretty much gonna be the Dark Hunter's best basic attack skill to spam in normal battles, as Petrification can be great crowd control. A chance to instantly take out random encounters can help greatly, especially if your party is hurting for AOEs or other disables. However, unlike Climax, this skill isn't too great against FOEs and bosses, as FOEs are heavily resistant to this, and almost every single boss is immune to Petrification. Use Hypnos or Nerve against those instead.

Bait/Magibait
Prerequisites: Whips Lv8, Swords Lv8
Counterattacks physical/magical damage dealt to the user and those adjacent to user. Will still occur even if incoming attack is blocked. Whip or Sword skill with Cut damage, uses the Arms.


Holy poo poo this skill got one of the biggest buffs in the series. Before it was Sword locked, only had the physical version and the adjacent counter did around half damage on average. These skills require a higher investment, sure, but are also incredibly powerful if you know what's coming. Obviously you need to max them to make them at all useful and position your DH in the middle of a front row of 3, but if you get 3 counters, that's 1200% damage in one turn jesus loving christ.

Also they still work even if an Anti skill or Painless blocks them, letting you do offense AND defense in one turn? Just incredible. But of course it's most effective against the right enemies, most magical attacks are party wide, but physical ones are a little harder to come by. And of course you need to survive the hit, but at least you don't need to take the attack to fully counter it. Even if you only use one weapon, you have to invest in the other mastery for these, they're just too good.

By far the best skills in the Dark Hunter's skillset, whether you go with Whips or Swords. And this skill isn't particularly unreliable as long as you know how the enemy works. As long as you plant your Dark Hunter in the middle of the front row with a 3/2 formation, even a single hit towards the front row will cause a 400% damage counterattack! Which is significantly more than any of the basic attacks in the Whip or Sword branches. You'll definitely want to grab these eventually, as the Dark Hunter can just utterly shred any poor enemy that activates multiple counters. And you'll be seeing plenty of AOEs as you get farther into the game, so these skills just get more powerful as the game goes on.

Unbind
Prerequisites: TEC Up Lv1
Unlocks: Lv3: Antisick, Antibind
Removes binds from a single target. Heal skill, uses the Head.


Hello again Unbound but called differently for some reason. Like with the Landy this skill is barely useful, you've seen the DH's kit, they have better things to be doing, but I guess you can use it. It's better to just go to Antisick/Antibind and more or less ignore this skill, but maybe if your Arm is bound it could be good? Oh poo poo, then it'd just be Arm Heal! NOOOOOOOOO!!!

If you do take this skill, 3 points at most is all I would put into here for the same reasons I listed under Unbound for the Landsknecht. Dark Hunters are pretty fast, so they can be a fast unbinder I suppose, though Therica As would be a better investment that doesn't require you to spend SP or TP.

Racket
Lures non-red FOEs in a certain radius to tile used and stuns them for a set duration. Field skill.


Uh, okay, these skills are sometimes helpful but using the items instead of wasting SP is generally preferable, especially since you never want to invest in these skills too much, so it's a lot of TP initially for not much result. You do want to avoid FOEs in this game so there's definitely utility, but I don't think it's worth it, I will show all the ways to avoid FOEs, I don't wanna fight them either!

There are parts of the game where FOE luring is required, but you can do that with items, and Dark Hunters themselves will never be required to do that. There is one part in the first stratum where this could be helpful, but outside of that particular situation you can probably just use the item instead.

Dominate
Inflicts Head, Arm and Leg Bind on a single target. Force skill, uses the Arms.


So here's like half the reason to use a Dark Hunter. This is one of the best offensive Force skills in the game, mainly because it will always work. Because of its insane infliction rate, only <1% resistances can avoid this, and there are none, lowest is 3%, so this skill will always, ALWAYS fully bind an opponent. Combined with all the other offensive tools in this game, this lets you get off some incredible strategies, and it's useful in regular boss and FOE fights to give you a breather for a few turns. Like all Force skills, you can't fire them often without plenty of Axcela IIs but this is one that you should really think about for lategame and postgame use. Of course it ties into Ecstasy beautifully and even Climax so you can take down FOEs with little trouble.

Oh hey, say hello to one of the best Force skills in the entire game, if not the best one! While the 1% speed modifier basically ensures the Dark Hunter will move last when casting this skill, Dominate basically ensures any poor enemy that gets hit with this won't be doing anything for a turn since disables can't be recovered from on the turn they're inflicted, and possibly longer depending on how long the binds stay on for. The higher the enemy's level is, the longer it takes for them to recover from a disable on average, so this skill gets even more powerful as the game goes on! If you combo this with a Survivalist's 1st Turn, you can guarantee 2 turns of lockdown since the enemy won't be able to do anything on the turn the Dark Hunter casts this, though this comes at the cost of putting a Survivalist in your party. This skill is also why people prefer to use Whip Dark Hunters.

While Sword Dark Hunters can still use this Force skill, an enemy that's locked down will highly be unlikely to attack while they're tied up, making the Baits rather useless while that's going on. With Whip Dark Hunters, you can nuke them down with Ecstasy, but Sword Dark Hunters have no such powerful skill to abuse, basically leaving those variants of Dark Hunters twiddling their thumbs while the enemy is tied down. And Axcelas make this skill flat out broken, essentially keeping an enemy locked down forever whenever all the binds fall off. Do keep in mind it's best to cast this when an enemy has no binds on them, as it won't override previous binds and the longer a bind stays on, the higher chance it has of wearing off.

Man that was fun to talk about, Dark Hunters got ridiculously buffed compared to last game and it shows with how nutty some of their skills are. Sure, some of them aren't great, but I really wouldn't call any of them outright bad. Uh, okay, Mirage is bad because it's missing 5 levels, but that's really it. It pales in comparison to Hexers in some aspects, but they're the most broken class in the series, oh no, how could this class be slightly worse in some aspects! There's always room for a Dark Hunter and they can focus on specific skills that make them incredible under the right circumstances, but circumstances can be made pretty easily, so it's really not a big deal.

Several absurd buffs to this class took them from rather mediocre to outright broken. It's not too hard to slot one in your party, and they're easily the 2nd most broken class in the entire game. The 1st is the Hexer, but we'll talk about them later.

Crosspeice
Aug 9, 2013

Zzzz... sploosh... zzzz... KABOOM... zzz... sploosh...

Not dead, just lazy, so let's kick things back into high gear by voting on who will be fighting Chimera!

Firstly because I'm a stupid moron with an ugly face and a big butt, Juthro will be partaking in this fight guaranteed and will be spamming Bravery, most likely.

You're welcome.

But otherwise, :siren: Vote for three others :siren: , the top 4 voted will join him though this won't affect who will be exploring the 2nd stratum, big fights are separate votes to those. Also since it's still pretty early and most of our guild can still only do one thing, I won't list their specifics, it's early enough that you're free to vote for anyone, with how many ways you can upend this game and make it incredibly easy, I always have an out in case I get a less than average party.

TeeQueue
Oct 9, 2012

The time has come. Soon, the bell shall ring. A new world will come. Rise, my servants. Rise and serve me. I am death and life. Darkness and light.


Lily, Holly, Corinth

kvx687
Dec 29, 2009



Soiled Meat

Hart, kathy, Corinth

Class-specific shortcuts are such a weird idea. Did they ever come back in any of the sequels? I don't think they even came back in EO2. I guess they were supposed to be an incentive to use all the classes but that seems like it would be a huge pain to keep an entire roster up to date legitimately.

Araxxor
Oct 20, 2012

My disdain for you all knows no bounds.


kvx687 posted:

Hart, kathy, Corinth

Class-specific shortcuts are such a weird idea. Did they ever come back in any of the sequels? I don't think they even came back in EO2. I guess they were supposed to be an incentive to use all the classes but that seems like it would be a huge pain to keep an entire roster up to date legitimately.

Nope, though class specific events existed. And there it was more that having a certain class would make the outcome of the event different (such as having a Farmer in EO3 S5 would nullify an ambush from a specific event) rather than making it so you can't partake in the event at all.

Story mode in U and 2U pretty much ensured class specific shortcuts never came back, as well as quests that required specific classes coming with an alternate solution, as you had fixed parties and couldn't change party members. Alter Class wouldn't have worked either, as the event scripting for Story Mode in both games hardcodes the story characters as their base classes for the purposes of events.

EO1 and 2 were very experimental games before EO3 basically cemented a lot of series staples and structures. And yeah, maintaining an all class run would get more painful as the series went on, as they kept adding more and more classes (aside from 4 which shrunk the roster for once.) The Memory Conch exists in 5 and N, but even then...

Verant
Oct 20, 2012

Go on an adventure ordained by fate?
-->Okay.
-->Eh.

Lordy, seeing it spelled out like that, Dark Hunters really did come out on top compared to most of the other classes with rebalancing going into 2.

Also, Sonia, Corinth, and Lily

Crosspeice
Aug 9, 2013

Zzzz... sploosh... zzzz... KABOOM... zzz... sploosh...

Voting is closed!

Corinth: 4
Lily: 3
kathy: 3
Sonia: 2
Hart: 2
Holly: 2
Aleks: 2
Logan: 2
Alastor: 1

Well that's a pretty even spread for 4th place, so I used a site to roll a d5, and it gave me a 2, so Hart will be joining Corinth, Lily, kathy and Juthro to take on the first boss! What the hell is this team...

Araxxor
Oct 20, 2012

My disdain for you all knows no bounds.


quote:

Troubadour
Alchemist
Protector
Medic
Hexer

what the making GBS threads gently caress is this team

All I can say is good luck with Chimaera, Cross. And that Im really glad Im not in your position right now.

SimplyUnknown1
Aug 18, 2017

Cat Cat Cat


Crosspeice posted:

Well that's a pretty even spread for 4th place, so I used a site to roll a d5, and it gave me a 2, so Hart will be joining Corinth, Lily, kathy and Juthro to take on the first boss! What the hell is this team...

Um... well...Yeah, that's only one potential damage dealer who is rather reliant on TP...At least you have the chance to potentially poison for the conditional drop?

Crosspeice
Aug 9, 2013

Zzzz... sploosh... zzzz... KABOOM... zzz... sploosh...

Part 8: Cheesing the First

Woodland Ruins



Alright, rest of 5F to go, though it won't take long to get back to where we were.



Nice.

please don't talk, it makes the bleeding worse

If you didn't fancy gathering ambushes or ladybird summons, then 5F is when you actually properly fight Raflesia on occasion, so you better have a strat for it. The strat is we're stronger than those previous times and now it's not massively dangerous.

Right, so a proper run down on these things now that the party is at level. They're kind of tanky assholes and can smack your entire party with damage. Consider these a check on your party's strength. If you can't handle these, you won't like the boss fight one bit.




After you.

Well there's nothing behind this door, so I do not see what the fuss is about.

You just got lucky...

At least you're always covering our backsides.



You'll notice there's an FOE behind me, and if you've been mapping properly you could see how not to get pinned by it.



Ooh, this looks like one of my book covers!

Looking carefully, you can see small flowers, of a soothing pale hue. They remind you of the quest you agreed to at the bar. The old lady, and the memento of her late husband. This could be the flower that Cass told you about. It's your choice to pluck the flower or walk away.



A flower as beautiful as your neck- er, eyes.

my lack of sun gives me a pale view on life.

As you crouch down to reach for the flowers, monsters appear from within the bush! It seems to be a chance encounter, but no less deadly for that!



What fun. We also don't want to hang around in this battle for too long.

Ahaha, a forced blindside. Good thing these things don't do much other than force sleep, otherwise the dreams these things'll give you will turn into nightmares.



Gah! Did you just bonk my head???

well i gave you a remedy but a quick smack gets the blood pumping again.




A forced encounter of three enemies that can keep you locked down for multiple turns is in the path of an FOE. Thanks, game.

EO2 is probably the most mean spirited games in the entire franchise, and this is only scratching the surface.



Ugh, shortcuts are just doors that you can't see.

I am beginning to wondering if this is a childhood traumer.

5F E6 Chop Point

Ambush Chance: 5%
Ambush Encounter:
100% Raflesia x1

Bent Twig: 45% chance. Sells for 30en.
1 required for Wood Bow - Bow, ATK+27, +20 speed - sells for 170en Required for The item trade I
3 required for Slice Whip - Whip, ATK+38, STR+2 - sells for 370en
5 required for Beast Bow - Bow, ATK+39, STR+1, +5 speed - sells for 440en

Log: 35% chance. Sells for 150en.
Required for nothing.

Hard Root: 20% chance. Sells for 35en.
1 required for Targe - Shield, DEF+9 - sells for 150en
3 required for Horn Mace - Stave, ATK+45, HP+20 - sells for 440en



Another equipment we unlock next floor, that's neat. If only I bothered with gloves...



Nearly got out of a treasure area without an encounter, but that never happens. Little scary but remember that Sleep overrides Poison, so that's nice. Getting hit by a Raflesia while asleep is not.

Bit of a nasty formation there if you don't get things under control right away.

Getting hit by a lot of things while asleep is generally not pleasant.



You look around carefully and notice spots of blood on the forest floor. The trail of blood continues down a path to the north, ending at a turn to the east. A wounded explorer may be there... You ponder whether to follow the trail of blood and see if anyone is stranded at its end.

Puppy!

Hey, hey, don't run off where I can't protect you. Unless there's a door down there, in which case you're on your own.

you're not very good at this protecting thing.

You don't wanna know what I've been through. Those cute monsters... the amount of flour on my books...

Let's not be letting her get too far away.

Oh, but childhood trauma is the most interesting. It neatly explains your entire character.



The black beast Kurogane, always at his master's side, is here with blood-matted fur. Though he's on the verge of collapse, the beast remains on its feet, gazing westward.

Ah! kathy, help puppy!

hmm, that's a lot of blood. most i can do is dull the pain.

When he notices you, he extends his hand, revealing a parchment in his mouth. It turns out to be a map of the Yggdrasil Labyrinth. It must have been Beowulf's... The charted territory ends abruptly at the nearby hall. Its muzzle free of parchment, the beast gazes into the forest and gives a yelp. It is a bark filled with the sadness of losing something precious... That is how you come to grasp the fate that has befallen Guild Beowulf. The place where the map ends is the Chimaera's lair...



Well, we must avenge the young lad, but it will not bring him back.

It is a shame we were not quickened.

Dunno if we could've stopped him, my shield can only do so much.

Ah, the guild that helps you in the 1st Stratum being wiped out. A proud tradition, and by "tradition" I mean "EO3 did it again in a really convoluted way and then EO4 dropped it."




Definitely want to unlock this! We'll see what's through that bottom left door in a moment, but let's check out the boss room, just as soon as I fix a couple of things... bloody wolves can't draw that well.




Ohohoho, delightfully devilish.

I can just about be seeing it. Is this something you've foughten before, Ele- Ello- Ellana?

Close enough, dear, but, hmmm... never seen it before in my life!

then how did you reach the next stratum?

I was on the edge of death, don't remember!

Helpful. Back to town we go then.



3 Sour Fruit and 1 Huge Petal required for Poison Gas - Lv1 Poison, 15% base infliction chance, 20-30 damage
5 Gel Cores and 1 Red Horn required for Tabarzin
7 Feathers and 1 Gem Eye required for Carp Sword - ATK+43 - One-handed sword that tapers to a point.
1 Huge Petal required for Wildflower - Beast Armor, DEF+38, sells for 450en - Defensive necklace made from a giant petal.
3 Huge Petals and 2 Gum Hides required for Hide Aspis - Shield, DEF+12, sells for 325en - Small shield reinforced with beast hide.

Now you might notice the next boss has a conditional for killing it with poison damage and you unlock the gas just beforehand, so no brainer right? Well no, as you can see the gas items are completely useless because, damage aside, you have a 3% chance of landing it before LUC barely affects it. Dunno why they bothered making them so bad.

Gas items suck so much rear end in this game. And that poison damage is pitiful. I know that items shouldn't be too powerful, otherwise they obsolete skills and give no reason to spend SP in them, but come on! They don't have to be this pathetic! As it stands they're just ways to get conditional drops if you lack the proper skills in the party.

It takes a long, long time before gasses start becoming actually useful, let alone as viable as standard infliction skills.



You nearly finished training, Juthro? We are about the finish the floor.

Hell yeah.

Excellent work! Aha... so this is the memorial flower, is it? That's dainty, that is. Oh, I knew it would be small, I'm just surprised yeh found it in that great big Labyrinth. I'm sure it'll bring the old girl joy. Here's yer reward. I'll be counting on yeh!



Quests are so worth it.

Next game... next game the pain finally stops there... Well I guess you get Cass dialogue in this game, which is far more riveting than Valerie's dialogue at least?




Behind door number 15 or whatever is two Raptors guarding a Bird Whip, a nice upgrade before the first boss that we'll unlock next floor. What's the strategy to get past these two? I dunno, just run through and try not to die, worked for me.

Basically use an FOE item to stun them. That's about it. They aren't red FOEs so that bypasses them easily. Otherwise run past and hope they don't hunt you down.



And with that, we just need Juthro up to everyone's level and max out Bravery. gently caress, what do I go for after Bravery... Health? Health.

Oohoohoohoo! Good choice! Hey what if Prevent Order from the later games was an even stronger skill? That's Health right there.



Yeh beet yer heiney I do!

Perhaps one day I'll understand what you're saying.

Come with me now. I'll leave the store with the rest've yeh and be back before long.

Slash them up for me! I assume that's what she's doing, right?

Don't touch me.

All right, I'm back. I saw the hodgepodge lot they'd gathered... what a sorry crew! Yer one trumped them all put together! Haw haw haw! I don't know what they're up to, but sit tight. They should be done soon. Ah, here we are. So, what was the big deal?

I put meh... lumberjack skills teh use for the rookies.

Just kick a tree down, it's faster!

...they had yeh teaching swordplay to the green recruits? Haw haw! Well, good job, whatever yeh did. I'm sure the Grand Duchy appreciated yer skills. Here's the reward. G'luck, and keep up the hard work!



The accessory is nice but this quest was only finished this late since Holly switched out of the party at level 9, and of course I have to get the full reward. Thankfully you get the Power Ring no matter what, but if your Landy is level 6-9, you'll get 50en and if they're 10+, you get an additional 50en, loving woohoo. Super not worth getting all those levels if you're not using a Landy, so just take the ring and shove them back in the guild for when you need another shortcut.

Also totally worth all the system lag if you didn't bother to cancel the quest and actually carted around the class forced to be trained.



you know you want to

Ugh, but the Duchy's door is really big and spooky. Fiiiiine.

I had wondered why you'd never entered that building.

Remember when yeh took yer landsknecht to the Grand Duchy? Seems they were well impressed. They've got a job in the offing they want yeh to be part of. Fame comes quickly, doesn't it? This time it's a protector they're after, to help fight off a pack of beasties. How do I know about the job, yeh ask? Like I said last time... the Grand Duchy trusts me now. It's all thanks to yer fine work that the Duke's men recruit from the Stickleback Bar!



Well then, follow me. The rest of you, mind the store. I don't want a break-in while I'm away!

I was only going to be taking a few snackings!

Thanks for staying! I admit, that looked like a hearty bunch of protectors. But don't worry. Yer one was clearly the strongest, just yeh wait and see! If yeh've time to sit a spell, why don't yeh relax here? Business here is slow today, and I hate maundering around the place by myself. Haw! Ahh, there yeh are. The work went well, did it? Glad to see yeh're not hurt.

I brought a friend back. Heh, well, he followed me for food.

Here I thought you and Holly were coming over to visit me at the Duchy...

With all the monsters in the Labyrinth, yeh can count on more jobs like this. Anyhow, thanks for taking care of this one... I'm always counting on yeh lot!



Similar verse, same as the first. Kinda. See, since I got 100en for my level 11 Protector it looks like it's using the same requirements, right? Well, no, documented nowhere else except for the JP wiki, you get extra money depending on your Protector's Shield Mastery, not level, so 100en for Lv3 or 200en for Lv5+. Since this is the first time I've heard about this, I didn't go for the max reward, and honestly you don't need to invest in Shields that much this early, I only did so I can pivot to the Antiskills whenever I need to. This fuckin game man.

Yeah turns out some of these quests also do skill checks which was loving news to me when Cross asked what got these extra rewards and I looked into things more! How deep does the EO2 iceberg go?



Oh this would make for an excellent bonding exercise when we get our new furry friends.

Ugggggggghhhhhh...

Worst quest in the game, already? How lovely. The first game had you spend 5 days in the labyrinth and it was also miserable, but thankfully you had a healing spring and a small back and forth with no encounters. We don't have either of those here, but at least it's only 3 days. Still, it's a pretty awful quest you can't really attempt very early, so we'll come back to this later, I'd want the full guild anyway since I'll do some guild bonding like I did last LP. Though it'll be changed a little to account for less days. Anyway, ignore, ignore, ignore!

"Hmm, yes. Clearly the problem with the first game's version of this quest was that it could easily be cheesed by staying in the spring room. :thunk: "

A Sudden Gust of Wind that Calls for Death



This is the party we should've had for the entirety of 5F, but hey, with nothing else to do, let's kill some FOEs finally, they won't be impossible walls forever, but you wish they weren't such a waste of time to fight! As a refresher:


Furyhorn

HP: 420
STR: 18
VIT: 18
TEC: 16
AGI: 18
LUC: 16
Level: 8
Exp: 0

Skills
Step: Uses the Legs. Deals 80% Cut damage to a single target, with 75% splash damage, and attempts to inflict Panic. Has a 30% base chance, a 95% accuracy modifier and a 120% speed modifier.

Damage Vulnerabilities
100% 100% 100%
125% 75% 75%

Disable Vulnerabilities
25% 25% 25% 25% 25% 25% 25% 10%
25% 25% 25% 50% 10%

Drops
Deer Hide: 25% chance, sells for 203en
1 required for Hide Armor - Light Armor, DEF+23 - sells for 500en

Gum Hide: 95% chance, sells for 11en.
1 required for Wing Leaf - Clothing, DEF+13, HP+5 - sells for 200en
1 required for Sherwani - Clothing, DEF+20, VIT+1 - sells for 420en
2 required for Bullwhip - Whip, ATK+32 - sells for 260en
2 required for Hide Aspis - Shield, DEF+12 - sells for 325en
2 required for Rough Hat - Headgear, DEF+8, TP+8 - sells for 120en
3 required for Hide Plate - Heavy Armor, DEF+22 - sells for 310en
5 required for Iron Glove - Gloves, DEF+10, VIT+1

Conditional: None

This won't be much health to chew through with some good defenses, a lot of healing, Bravery, and elemental weakness. A well timed Step can throw all this out the window, but we should be fine, right?

Confusion is a far worse ailment to be hit by than Paralysis, so this thing can end up ruining some strategies if you aren't careful. Furyhorns got a rather substantial buff from the Ragelopes since they can confuse and smack multiple party members at the same time now. Furyhorn actually hate front liner classes, and will target specific classes if they can on the first turn (Landskenchts, Protectors, Dark Hunters, Ronin, or Beasts.) After that they try to slam party members that aren't Confused.

And if I see ya discs tryin' to make any quiet moves... I'll break the board in two.



You won't make a counter outta me, ahahahaha!

Been five minutes and he's already stabbing me in the back...

I am thinking we will be the okiedokie.

you will be once i clean up this mess.

Can't enjoy victory without a little pain. Especially from your allies!



Die monster! You don't belonging in this world!

Ohohoho, gah! Well, you're not wrong.

This could be going better.



Don't worry, soothe your mind with my mus- or shoot yourself in the head, either way.

it is one way to cure yourself



I've gotten too into the habit of keeping everyone alive at the end of a battle because, remember, you do not get any exp from FOEs. This does mean we can grab their drops and avoid them forever, and you can do some suicidal rushes without worrying about missing out on experience. But it's not particularly fun.

Making FOEs not pay out any exp had some rather unfortunate consequences on people's playstyles. Namely that any incentive to kill them was completely and utterly gone beyond their unique drops and that avoiding them was basically the correct move 100% of the time. That and well killing an FOE resulting in no rewards is not exactly fun to see. Like did you even see the drop rate for their unique drop? You have to kill an average of 4 Furyhorns to get 1 Deer Hide. That is 4 kind of tough fights where you get absolutely no experience. As someone who got these without drop cheats, lemme say uh, it's kinda demoralizing! And nearly every FOE in the game have bad drop rates for their uniques, not just those deer. Which results in the game basically telling you that you wasted your time and effort killing these tough enemies if you didn't snag their main drop. If you're gonna take away the exp payouts, at least make the item drops guaranteed.



Alright, let's see if this fight goes bette-



These old bones aren't good for dodging...

He does some of this on purpose.

...well since the RNG is gonna need a bit of a shake let's go fight something else.

A bizarre and rather infuriating quirk of the DS era was that you and an FOE running headfirst into each other wasn't a guarnateed neutral start like in the 3DS era. Instead it actually rolls for preemptives and blindsides there, meaning that you can just get blindsided even if you and the FOE approached each other on seemingingly equal grounds.




Ahhh, much better.



Ooh, rigour mortis.

ffs


Raptor

HP: 600
STR: 22
VIT: 22
TEC: 22
AGI: 24
LUC: 24
Level: 15
Exp: 0

Skills
Fangs: Uses the Head. Deals 150% Cut damage to a single target and attempts to inflict Paralysis. Has a 50% base infliction chance, a 100% accuracy modifier and a 150% speed modifier.

Damage Vulnerabilities
100% 100% 100%
100% 125% 100%

Disable Vulnerabilities
25% 25% 25% 25% 25% 25% 25% 10%
25% 25% 25% 50% 10%

Drops
Brass Fang: 30% chance, sells for 248en
1 required for Hell Claw - Claw, ATK+61, Type: Fire - sells for 1,210en

Gum Hide: 95% chance, sells for 11en.
1 required for Wing Leaf - Clothing, DEF+13, HP+5 - sells for 200en
1 required for Sherwani - Clothing, DEF+20, VIT+1 - sells for 420en
2 required for Bullwhip - Whip, ATK+32 - sells for 260en
2 required for Hide Aspis - Shield, DEF+12 - sells for 325en
2 required for Rough Hat - Headgear, DEF+8, TP+8 - sells for 120en
3 required for Hide Plate - Heavy Armor, DEF+22 - sells for 310en
5 required for Iron Glove - Gloves, DEF+10, VIT+1

Conditional: None

Slightly tougher than a Furyhorn but I've never respected paralysis in this series and no splash damage means this is technically an easier fight.

It's a stronger version of the Gashtor. Once you have the stats to take this thing on, it's basically the same fight. You just can't get an easy preemptive on these without FOE items.

Gods, earlygame FOEs in the early EOs are just...so bizarrely simplistic.



Can you reviving her, Alas? ...you blinked twice, does that mean no?

F.Guard is great, but it doesn't help the backline getting oneshot. And no, B.Guard doesn't count cause I'll never use it.



So, uh, we ready for the boss yet?

I'll go with ohhhh myyyyyy no.




Furylord

HP: 580
STR: 20
VIT: 20
TEC: 16
AGI: 20
LUC: 16
Level: 9
Exp: 0

Skills
Step: Uses the Legs. Deals 80% Cut damage to a single target, with 75% splash damage, and attempts to inflict Confuse. Has a 30% base chance, a 95% accuracy modifier and a 120% speed modifier.

Damage Vulnerabilities
100% 100% 100%
125% 75% 75%

Disable Vulnerabilities
25% 25% 25% 25% 25% 25% 25% 10%
25% 25% 25% 50% 10%

Drops
Deer Hide: 40% chance, sells for 203en
1 required for Hide Armor - Light Armor, DEF+23 - sells for 500en

Gum Hide: 95% chance, sells for 11en.
1 required for Wing Leaf - Clothing, DEF+13, HP+5 - sells for 200en
1 required for Sherwani - Clothing, DEF+20, VIT+1 - sells for 420en
2 required for Bullwhip - Whip, ATK+32 - sells for 260en
2 required for Hide Aspis - Shield, DEF+12 - sells for 325en
2 required for Rough Hat - Headgear, DEF+8, TP+8 - sells for 120en
3 required for Hide Plate - Heavy Armor, DEF+22 - sells for 310en
5 required for Iron Glove - Gloves, DEF+10, VIT+1

Conditional: None

Next up is the Furylord, don't forget it! Or do, getting 100% in this game is loving miserable.

Gear Registry: "Muwahahahahahaaa!"

The Furylord is just a beefed up Furyhorn. If you tried to fight it during the guard rescue mission you'd also have to deal with 2 Furyhorns but no such thing happens after the mission is complete. It's rather unremarkable considering the buildup the game does for it, even if it's small.

Wait, Step is (i)cut(/i) damage?



Best way to avoid illusions is to focus on a point in front of you.

Even at early levels Health is still a 40% reduction in infliction rates, it's pretty great!



hey. hey. hey. you dead?

You know he is.

always good to make sure

That is on me for not using Alastor, drat Medics are slow.



So that was fun. Are we ready for the last FOE in this stratum with a dependable team like this?



Hahahahaha. The only other thing to do is to get the last of the equipment.

Red FOEs will basically destroy you. You should probably save these for when you reach the next Stratum.

Crosspeice
Aug 9, 2013

Zzzz... sploosh... zzzz... KABOOM... zzz... sploosh...




Just need a couple more Gum Vines as well as like 10 more drops for the Maimai Bat... thankfully by the stairs you can encounter 3 Woodmais pretty consistently. Let's check out all our new loot!



5 Bent Twigs and 10 Feathers required for Beast Bow, +5 speed.
1 Deer Hide and 3 Glue Quills required for Hide Armor - Light Armor, DEF+23, sells for 500en - Armor of boiled, hardened fur.
1 Brass Fang and 2 Gel Cores required for Hell Claw - Claw, ATK+61, Type: Fire, 98% accuracy, sells for 1,210en - A claw left by an envoy of Hell.
1 Gum Hide and 2 Huge Petals required for Sherwani - Clothing, DEF+20, VIT+1, sells for 420en - Clothes of hardened fur, with a short waist area.
5 Gum Wines and 1 Shell Wart required for Briar Whip - Whip, ATK+42, VIT+1, AGI+1, sells for 520en - Created from the vines of a gigantic flower.
30 Husk Shards required for Maimai Bat - Stave, ATK+37, TP+10, sells for 420en - Mage staff created from durable shells.

Phew, that's everything we can get before the boss, definitely some nice stuff though it'll get quickly outclassed by anything you unlock on 6F, like the Briar Whip we already have an upgrade to. While I prefer the HP boosting staves, I grinded for it so dammit I'm using the Maimai Bat!

30 materials. Why. And no, this isn't a bizarre case of a mega grind. There are several pieces of equipment that require similar grinds throughout the game.

quote:

Gear Registry: "Muwahahahahahaaa!"
Do you see why people hate this loving thing and are glad it never returned in any of the later games?

Also is like Sitoth the literal only equipment store in all of Lagaard or something? Why does the Duchy care that much about what wares they have?



But with nothing else to do, are we ready for Chimera? Well technically, no, with ordinary methods we'll get out poo poo pushed in and be forced to grind a bunch of levels, but this game has far from ordinary methods, and you guys voted in just what I needed. Though it's early enough in the game that I can just Force push my way past anything so I wasn't worried anyway!

:siren: Scarlet Rain :siren:



Good start.

Don't rush me!

With my shield, take all the time in the world.

I would prefer if you didn't take too long though, this is not my element.

I'm the one with elements here, we'll be just fine.

drat we're screwed


Chimaera

HP: 1400
STR: 22
VIT: 22
TEC: 22
AGI: 18
LUC: 20
Level: 18
Exp: 21,000

Skills
Blaze: Uses the Head. Deals Fire damage to a single target, with splash damage, with a spell power of 47. Damage multiplied by 110% for initial target and 100% to adjacent targets. Has a 95% accuracy modifier and a 1% speed modifier.
2-Hit: Uses the Arms. Deals 55% Bash damage to a single target 2 times. Has a 95% accuracy modifier and a 100% speed modifier.
Pile: Uses the Legs. Deals 65% Stab damage to a single target, with 70% splash damage, and attempts to inflict Poison. Has a 50% base infliction chance, deals 80-120 Poison damage, has a 95% accuracy modifier and a 10% speed modifier.

Damage Vulnerabilities
100% 100% 100%
100% 125% 100%

Disable Vulnerabilities
20% 20% 20% 20% 20% 10% 20% 0%
25% 25% 25% 25% 0%

Drops
Brute Tail: 60% chance, sells for 776en.
1 required for Shadow Bow - Bow, ATK+58, STR+2, HP+10, +5 speed - sells for 2,380en, must be restocked
1 required for Beast Tail - Whip, ATK+65, VIT+2, LUC+2 - sells for 2,310en, must be restocked
1 required for Amrita III - Medicine, heals the target by 999TP - sells for 20,000en, must be restocked

Conditional: Kill while Poisoned
Brute Wing: 100% chance, sells for 30,000en.
1 required for Zamiel Bow - Bow, ATK+181, STR+10, HP+40 - sells for 231,000en, must be restocked.

First boss is a real menace due to pretty high stats and a bit more HP. Fenrir, for comparison, had 1200HP and you could change the fight's difficulty with level difference. Here, there's no such luck, either you get strong enough to survive... or cheese it through Poison or Force skills. Since we have Hart, and cannot do any damage outside of Corinth's level 1 elementals, we'll be going the Poison method. You'll want to end the battle quickly anyway due to the many Slaveimps, though it'll take quite a few turns for multiple to enter battle. That seems a bit ironic considering what we said about them earlier, but, well...

Here's the first real challenge of the game! Can you succeed where the Beowulf guild failed? If you want to avenge them, you'll have to work hard to accomplish that! Chimaera is a big battle of attrition and it is very easily capable of destroying unprepared parties. It doesn't start off particularly dangerous at first, only using 2-hit and regular attacks at the battle's start. But as its HP gets lower, it'll throw in Blaze for more coverage on your party, and then Pile which essentially instantly kills your party members if the poison lands. Unless your HP is high enough, you aren't surviving a Poison at this point. A Troubadour's Health buff is a fantastic way to counter that skill. And if you have access to any Ice attack, use them at this point! You need all the damage you can get! Chimaera by itself can be rather fearsome, but there are a few more wrinkles in this fight...


Slaveimp

HP: 152
STR: 17
VIT: 17
TEC: 17
AGI: 17
LUC: 17
Level: 16
Exp: 0

Skills
Flight: Uses the Arms. Deals 50% Cut+Fire damage 4-5 times at a 50/50 chance, respectively. Has a 95% accuracy modifier and a 100% speed modifier.
Heal: Uses the Head. Heals an ally by 110HP. Has a 100% speed modifier.
Aura: Uses the Head. Increases damage dealt by all allies by 150% for 5 turns. Has an 80% speed modifier.

Damage Vulnerabilities
100% 100% 100%
100% 125% 100%

Disable Vulnerabilities
50% 50% 50% 50% 50% 50% 50% 25%
50% 50% 50% 35% 25%

Drops
Glue Hide: 20% chance, sells for 126en
1 required for Sherwani - Clothing, DEF+20, VIT+1 - sells for 420en

Gum Hide: 95% chance, sells for 11en.
1 required for Wing Leaf - Clothing, DEF+13, HP+5 - sells for 200en
1 required for Sherwani - Clothing, DEF+20, VIT+1 - sells for 420en
2 required for Bullwhip - Whip, ATK+32 - sells for 260en
2 required for Hide Aspis - Shield, DEF+12 - sells for 325en
2 required for Rough Hat - Headgear, DEF+8, TP+8 - sells for 120en
3 required for Hide Plate - Heavy Armor, DEF+22 - sells for 310en
5 required for Iron Glove - Gloves, DEF+10, VIT+1

Conditional: None

They still have pathetic damage and HP and defenses, but that's because they're in this battle, they have a good chance of giving Chimaera that attack buff and then will just attack, or heal if Chimaera is injured. You don't really want to be diverting resources to fighting these, after all the ones on the map all die if Chimaera does, and it'll take until turn 4 and then turn 7 for them to reach you, so you have a little breathing room to setup your strategy. Chimaera isn't too difficult with some good defenses, it'll use Blaze after certain HP thresholds and then a chance to use its other attacks, with a higher and higher chance of using Pile. Due to a somewhat low Poison chance, especially if you use accessories, outside of Blaze and with some alright defenses, Chimaera doesn't do a whole lot. Until it gets Aura, after that you're in trouble.

Chimaera isn't just a big combat exam against a major enemy, it's also testing how well you deal with other factors such as external threats. If you were wondering why Slaveimps had that name and were rather pathetic FOEs, this is why. Their true purpose is to serve as Chimaera's minions and support it in battle. If your party's damage output isn't great, Heal will be a big setback. And Aura will basically cause Chimaera to be capable causing a game over very quickly. Flight isn't a lot of damage, but it can help Chimaera get kills or finish off weakened party members.

So how do you deal with these Slaveimps? Any FOE items or skills you have on hand will do a lot buy you time. These Slaveimps fly over impassible tiles, so you can't just walk over and snipe them before the fight begins. You'll have to lure them out to do that. Stunning them or luring them to a faraway spot can do wonders for buying you time. Because not only do they make Chimaera tougher, you essentially have to deal 152 more damage to clear them out, and that's about 11% of Chimaera's HP for each Slaveimp. Unlike Fenrir in the first game, Chimaera stays put, so you have all the time in the world to plan out and deal with the Slaveimps before you engage with the big beast. But once you do, any Slaveimps on the field will try to rush towards the battle as soon as they're able to.



Well Provoke didn't really work, so no Bravery to start with. Yes, Juthro is my second tankiest unit here so you know this team is a wild one. Still, even with the boost, Corinth won't do that much with a tier 1 level 1 spell, but in fairness most of the team is here for moral support.



Still, you can see that against Lily, Chimaera is doing sweet gently caress all that kathy immediately heals, so I wasn't really worried about dying, but with Hart out of TP and a big boost via the Slaveimp, let's try this again.




Come at me, fool!

Kick... kick... no, uh, poison... poison...

So that I wasn't here for ten thousand years I did have to rest Hart to go all in on Poison. I was trying to avoid that but it was the only way I was gonna get through this fight. If not, a Bravery boosted Eschaton would've probably done the trick, but Hart is back to his Torpor and bind build after this fight, so it was a necessary evil. However, even at max level, it's still a 21% base infliction chance and there's no guarantee it'll stay on for long.

Gotta love EO1/EO2 disable mechanics.

Poison is a very easy way to cheese the fight, but it's very RNG dependant. If all else fails, well you can grind out Force I guess. For one, if the Alchemist's TEC is high enough, 1 Eschaton can instantly kill Chimaera.



i'm helping

Cute effort.



See, you need to focus on torturing, not kicking!

Oh it did not like that!



It secretes a similar kind of venom, how much could it really hurt- HOLY poo poo!

Oh. So this is the power I now wield. gently caress yeah.

...huh. Well, I'm glad to not have to use this drat gauntlet as much.

Ah, uncapped Poison is a sight to behold. This is at max level, so it's about as good as it gets, but ~300HP each turn will carry on for a long, looooong time. That was 20% of its health, and with Health making Pile a non-issue, we can just wait it out and try not to die to Blaze.

After the first game where Poison was straight up poo poo, it flipped right around to broken in this game. Even in big fights, 300 HP worth of damage can be huge, because enemy HP pools in this game are easily the smallest compared to any other game. Damage numbers in EO2 tend to be very small, so for those of you used to later games where you casually dumped out 4 digit damage, this is actually massive for EO2 standards. Probably the equivlant of a certain venomous skill in EO4 I would say, for those of you familiar with that game. Being a form of nearly completely fixed damage pretty much either brings it to useless or broken with no in-between depending on the game.

Also it's kind of weird, but Pile is also a skill that actually does more damage to its adjacent targets more than the initial one. Not sure why but that's just the way it is.



Ah, geez, I gotta cool this down somehow!

Cause, yeah, Blaze will gently caress us up.

If you see how hard Chimaera is hitting right now, I'm pretty sure you can math out that 50% more damage would be a game over for Cross. He's gotta take it down fast before Aura becomes a factor!



do your best

You're welcome! Gack!

Because we're doing so much Poison damage, it keeps going to the next stage of its health, so that was two Blazes in a row, tanked wonderfully by our Provoked Protector.



Gah, I am not used to such little health!

So long as it means I'm not dying again.

We better finish this up quick, we've got a turn of the attack buff, but after that the imp will heal 110HP and undo a lot of progress. Still, what are the chances that Poison has stuck around this long?

Once the first Slaveimp has entered the battle, the clock is really ticking. And killing them will only help you so much, because there are several more on the way. If you aren't close to killing Chimaera, I'll be blunt, you're probably doomed.



Haven't seen that much blood in a while...

What a story!

What can I say, I'm a bit of a lucky bastard when I need to. Still, Poison didn't do all the work, just 99% of it. Corinth did enough uninterrupted Bravery damage across these turns to nearly shave an entire extra Poison turn. Juthro meant that Pile was a complete non-issue, and thank god Lily could actually survive a Blaze at full health, which she was at the end of the turn because while kathy is slow, she's great for preparing for next turn. Very happy with how well everyone contributed. Or, well, weren't very heavy while Hart/Sophia carried them all across the finish line.

Chimaera can be a very tough wake up call as to what this series in general expects from you. Good playing and management is pretty much paramount to succeeding in this series. You can probably imagine how much tougher this fight would have been if Cross didn't have access to a max level Poison.




pathetic

And that's a wrap. To compensate for no exp from FOEs, bosses now have... way too much exp, they overcompensated since Fenrir gave out 1800. And since we got the conditional... ehehehe... it gets better!

That was not a typo in Chimaera's infobox. Chimaera genuinely gives out 21,000 experience points! The Raflesia, the toughest enemy in this Stratum, only gave out 831. Yeah, while FOEs giving out no exp was a response to how much people grinded on them in the first game, they just moved all that exp to bosses and it just resulted in people farming bosses to grind. And yes bosses give out mountains of exp every kill, which makes EO2 one of the easiest games to grind in. Even though EO2 is possibly the most mean spirited game in the series, it also does plenty of things to utterly shatter its own game design. The world of Etrian Odyssey 2 is certainly a land of contrasts.

Oh and getting the conditional drop is a very big boon, as you'll see in a bit.

Gotta love how Atlus then went in the complete opposite direction in EO3, and made FOEs give too much EXP, while bosses don't give enough. Again.



Excellent work there, my kicking companion!

Huff... huff... I did most of the work! But you pulled off the chants pretty well for a beginner!

I just imagined the steps I would make for my illusions.

i had a fun time, what a lovely ugly amalgamation

Not how I'd put it, but with support like that I can't complain.

Heh, you're also welcome. This adventure is just beginning... though I can't say the same for...

Well done! You have defeated the loathsome Chimaera! A sense of accomplishment wells up within you, as a beast's howl reaches you from far away. The howl nags at you... it seems familiar somehow. If you can remember what it is, you can try returning to the place where it emanated.



he seems fine for now, but we might not make the trip to him

Agreed, let's find what Flausgal taught us, he deserves that much.

Here's all of 5F, quite a long floor, with quite the wall at the end, but we're ready to move on. The real Etrian Odyssey starts here

If this is your first EO LP you're reading, or your first experience with EO in general, he's serious. Chimaera may have been tough, but the game has even stronger obstacles in store for you. Can you handle the heat? Though to the rest of you more familiar with the series, I'm sure you already knew he was being serious in the first place.

:siren: Ever-Scarlet Forest :siren:






That's warm. My burning adventurer's spirit and the thick heated air. Yowch!

i can only treat external burns

Before, I wouldn't like this heat, now it's pretty comforting. Though I could cool myself down by-

I thought you were gonna stop doing that!!!

Steamy.

Indeed, the very ground is boiling, I wonder what would cause such a thing... the red leaves are my first thought, but they seem fairly average...



At least I'm not going to cook for long, heh!

The violet light rises from the center of the room, surrounded by poles. You think back to the protector Flausgul's words... the Geomagnetic Field he spoke of must be this light! You consider touching the pole of light to see how it works, though you could also move on.



A good feeling when you've cleared a stratum, though it is a little more rewarding last game since you went through the entire thing. Still, not gonna complain about more checkpoints! But before we go back, we do have an urgent matter.

Geomagnetic Fields function just like the last game. And unlike poles, these are permanent 2 way checkpoints.



At least you're still fine, r-right?

Not for long...

There was a lonely beast here with pleading eyes before. Upon your return, you see the beast standing here unchanged, like a bronze statue. He seems to sense that his long-time enemy has been defeated and wears a peaceful expression. Kurogane barks quietly in thanks, and paws his collar as if offering it as a gift. Satisfied at last, Kurogane falls to the ground, as if entering a deep slumber...



And so he shall return to the forest.

Not always a happy ending, but if we get stronger, we can make sure this never happens again.

you weren't cute, but i hope you sleep well

If you come back here later, long after Kurogane has passed away, there's actually alternate dialogue:

quote:

After defeating the Chimaera on the 5th floor, you enter a dead end at the forest's edge. You recall that before it was the endpoint of a trail of blood you discovered... As you follow the trail to its conclusion, you discover a beast lying on the ground. It is Kurogane, the Beowulf member you encountered before. He seems to be dead already... You bow your heads and pray that Kurogane's noble soul may rest in peace. Taking one last look at the deceased, you notice his collar lying loose on the ground. Some mysterious force impels you to reach for it and take it back to Lagaard with you.

Obtained Trust Band.

Though you still get that key item either way.



You guys go and get some rest, I'll finish this up.

There's somewhere we gotta go first...

I've heard that Chimaera is no more. Allow this old man to thank you with all his heart for your exquisite work! Well done, well done! On the Grand Duchy's behalf, I present you with this reward.



Kinda not used to missions just ending without much fanfare.

Hey, we got a lot of money at least. That should cover all the supplies that was needed to get past the 5th floor and Chimaera. Though... heh heh heh...



Its leader was very affectionate with beasts, and trained them to fight against monsters. You hold the collar he used in his training routine. With that, perhaps you too can tame wild animals and teach them to fight with you. Why don't you try inducting a beast into your guild?



Puppy...

This was preventable and due to our own weakness. Therefore we will induct these two Beasts into the guild to always remember what we could not do.

'ere 'ere! They look like fun to wrestle with!

I wouldn't recommend it, but then I have much to learn with working with animals.

Fluffy coats are good on beds, but this is fine too.



Purrrrrrrrrr!

Hehe!

Hey! Where are you two going?!



Thankfully Beasts are unlocked nice and early, and we'll be using both Rajah and Loopy throughout the next stratum, buuuuut it's a shame this class is so poo poo. It's why we have two, Loopy will be going full into Loyalty and become a very glassy cannon, while Rajah will avoid that skill entirely and be a mediocre tank. Oh well, it's a perfectly fine class, but it has a lot of small issues and one very big issue, as I go into full detail in the class writeup. At least we now have the full guild!

Unlike the last game, you actually get the unlockable class at a reasonable time. And grinding one up isn't too much trouble, as a battle with Chimaera should bring it up to par. Chimaera starts its respawn timer right away, so you can rest at an inn for 2 weeks to bring it back for another go. Too bad Beasts has its own fair share of issues.



Those guys seemed a bit down, wonder what happened in there? Well least I can do is sell thi- HOLY poo poo!

Now for more imbalance, because I love this dumb game so much. Not only can you crush everything in your way with broken classes and ridiculous Force skills, bosses give out tons of exp and have very easy conditional drops that sell for ludicrous amounts, we will not have money problems for the rest of the game. And hey, it'll take a few more kills, but here's a bow they were expecting you to buy much, muuuuuuch later. Because of this bow, Survivalists can actually be a force to be reckoned with, but I don't fancy grinding that myself. Still, the choice is there if you want it. Oh yeah, what about the regular drop?

1 Brute Tail required for Shadow Bow - Bow, ATK+58, STR+2, HP+10, +5 speed - Its arrow can pierce anything imaginable.

What the making GBS threads gently caress!? Yes, that conditional drop sells for a ridiculous amount! Just look at the fund difference in those screenshots! Money troubles can be an issue to deal with in the first part of the game, but the moment you lay your hands on a boss's conditional drop (they all supply a ridiculous amount of funds), money is basically no object for the entire rest of the game! Especially if you gun for the rest of the boss's conditional drops. And unlike in most other EO games, there's no downside to doing so. Boss drops are not mutually exclusive in EO2 (which EO3 would change back), so you can snag every drop at once from a boss. This is pretty much why gathering fell out of favor as the best way to make money. Why risk a weak team and wasting time wiping to an rear end in a top hat flower, when you can just get far more money from poisoning the first boss!? The only downside is that Poisoning Chimaera is RNG dependant but uh. There other ways to make a lot of money too.



Back at last...

Yeah...

It was a fun time, heh, but still...

huh? who are-

Beasts incoming! I'm ready to fight!

Don't you dare!!!

Hmm!

Hmhm!

What are they...? Uwah!

Hey get off her- gah!

Heh!

Mmhm!

They're licking you both... heh...

how sweet of them

What happy additions to the guild, did you come to make us feel better?

Hahaha, they are really fluffy!

I guess we shouldn't, bleh, feel so bad about the end of one adventure, when we have new ones just beginning! But I really need to get this now slobbery armour off me...

Purrpurrpurr...

Ehehehehe!

Well, we could stay for a bit longer...

Next time, the next stratum begins!

It's a game

Crosspeice
Aug 9, 2013

Zzzz... sploosh... zzzz... KABOOM... zzz... sploosh...

Beast Overview



Welcome to the final class of the game, where all bets are off. Every game has some kind of meme class, whether it's Farmers or Bushi, or perhaps Hexer from the last game, there's a class where you look at it and it makes you go... okay? Beasts are meant to be more offensive Protectors but have a lot of weird skills, a passive that might be one of the worst designed skills in the series and pretty good offensive utility that requires said godawful skill. The main issue is that you don't take that skill and get an alright defensive class... which is worse than a Protector, or you take the skill and go all in, becoming the glassiest of cannons. Neither works that well, this class is so strange, it feels like it was added in last minute and since it's the only unlockable class in the game, it might well be. Let's get stuck in.

Here's the only unlockable class in this game. Fortunately you unlock this class super early, right after beating the first Stratum boss, so it doesn't have the exact same problems as Ronin or Hexer. Unfortunately what's behind the lock isn't great. Why? Oh just read on...



Here's the first weird thing, to see how well each class fares, I've been ranking them by how their stats compare to the other classes. Then I take all those ranks and create an average, just out of curiosity. Beast is number one, it has the best overall stats out of all the classes in the game, best HP, second in STR and VIT, third in LUC, the worst TEC oh no, and decidedly average everything else. That means this class is great, right? RIGHT??? Well we'll get to that, but on paper Beasts have everything they need for greatness.

Beasts can be built one of two ways. An offensive tank hybrid. Or taking Loyalty. Why these 2 builds? Oh you'll see in a moment. As for stats you want, HP and TP are good builds. TEC can be ignored entirely as +10 to that awful TEC stat won't fix it. STR is really good no matter which build you go with, so you'll want to max that out. VIT is an odd one. If you're going with the hybrid build, you'll want to max it out. If you're going with the Loyalty build, VIT is completely useless to invest in, and HP is the only defensive stat they can really use.

Common Passive Unlocks

HP Up: Lv3: Autocure
VIT Up: Lv10: En Garde
TEC Up: Lv5: Fetch
LUC Up: Lv5: Fetch

Ah, one useful skill out of three, sounds about right. Fetch invests in two stats Beasts really don't care about and you can just use Survivalists from base instead for gathering. It's kinda cool that it rolls the gathering skills into one, but it's not worth it. En Garde is pretty alright on defensive builds and Autocure would be pretty great if it was per turn instead of per battle, but both are basically useless if you pick up Loyalty which is, oh yeah, up next.

Loyalty
Unlocks: Lv1: Doze Off; Lv2: Preen; Lv3: Bristle; Lv10: Rampage
BUGGED: Uses the ally's defensive stats and buffs instead of the user's, treated as recoil damage and thus ignores damage reduction and nullification skills.
Gives the user a chance to take damage for an ally, can activate multiple times per turn. Takes priority over any damage mitigating or nullifying skills. Passive.


What the loving gently caress were they loving THINKING with this skill??? On the face of it it seems fine, a passive 1 Guard that when combined with a bunch of defensive buffs, can be a great shield for the party. But of course there's two HUUUUUUUUGE problems, due to a bug it doesn't use its impressive VIT and various defensive buffs, instead it uses the allies. So that squishy Gunner trying to use a Charge shot? All you did was replace their HP and died in their place, it makes the Beast into an incredibly fragile unit due to the high activation rate at high levels. And when AOEs get thrown around more by the enemy, guess what the Beast can do? They throw themselves in front of every goddamn hit and ignore all the wonderful unique defensive skills they have, making them completely useless. Preen and Bristle are pretty alright skills if Loyalty didn't ignore their DEF reduction aspect, so instead you get their ATK reduction and Provoke rate, respectively.

Second issue, and this is an important one: IT GOES BEFORE FRONT GUARD OR ANTI ELEM SKILLS, so even on the all out offense build, you can't even get them somewhat protected by those skills. Up against the biggest and baddest enemies, when you'd want to Rampage all over the place, they instead die to the dragon breaths even if the rest of the party has that attacked nullified or to the various physicals AOEs that get thrown around lategame, that you love using Front Guard on.

That means due to their below average AGI, they might not even get an attack off, they'll just take a full hit from a postgame enemy and immediately die. What is the loving point of them then??? Well, you can ignore this skill completely and become a discount Protector because you can't get Preen, Bristle, or hell even Doze Off. It is staggering how this skill forces you into two different builds, completely at odds with what the class is supposed to do and make them mediocre in BOTH aspects. What an absolute shame. And this is the first loving skill!!!

THIS SKILL, IS loving poo poo! And it really brings the class down! It's very rare that's the case because most lovely skills can just be ignored, no need to waste SP on that garbage after all. Not Loyalty, ohohoho boy! It has several issues that makes it even more poo poo than a standard bad skill. For one it's a mastery skill. You want those particular skills, you gotta take this, there's no way around it. It's a passive that can't be toggled off either so you can't take it back outside of resting the SP out.

There's also the fact that Loyalty is this class's core mechanic, several things were designed to work with it. Except not! It's completely and utterly bugged. I have more specifics on this skill in a Jank Odyssey writeup, but the gist of it is that the damage redirection a) happens way too late and b) is coded as recoil damage, breaking several interactions with all these skills. This also means that by ignoring Loyalty, you are met with an incomplete and half baked class. And if you do take Loyalty, the class design is at complete odds with itself due to the sheer anti-synergy the bugs introduce!

This is why HP is the only defensive stat that matters for Loyalty builds. The Beast's VIT is completely useless on Loyalty procs. Not only that, you basically have to do 2 separate builds with this class. Taking Loyalty or ignoring it since those 2 builds are completely at odds with each other as Loyalty turns the Beast into a ridiculous glass cannon, while the other build gives you a tank with several missing tools for actually tanking. And no matter what you do, you are left with a very incomplete and mediocre class, if not really terrible in the Loyalty build's case.

Now there is a way you can make Loyalty work. It scales with your party's defenses, but most classes in the game aren't exactly on the beefy side, but there are a few that are. Just stuff all those slabs of beef into your party and suddenly Loyalty becomes very strong as with even more defensive buffs they won't die. What's the problem with this strategy? Doing this setup requires going with a party that focuses heavily on defense instead of offense and tanking their damage output greatly! It's way more efficient and far less effort to just go with an offensive party of some kind where with this strategy you have to put in a lot of effort just to make the skill functional. And that doesn't even fix all the anti-synergy issues this class has. It's just a bandage over a far bigger problem. As such we're not gonna be writing this overview with that specific strategy in mind, as it's very unlikely most players will even go for it. If you're doing a challenge run, be my guest but that's pretty out of scope for this LP and if you're doing one, you don't really need our help and already know what you're getting into.

Alternatively run a solo Beast and literally no other party member. Or 5 Beasts. Suddenly all of Loyalty's issues go out the window because there is no party to defend, or the party is full of Beasts that can actually use their stats while reaping the benefits of the defensive skills they can actually use. But uh again, that sort of thing is out of the scope of this LP.

Autocure
Prerequisites: HP Up Lv3
Unlocks: Lv5: Autoheal
Restores the user's HP by a certain amount after each battle. Passive.


Now for a defensive build this is a pretty great skill that gives you a nice chunk of scalable healing at the end of each tu- oh, it's at the end of every battle? WHAT IS THE POINT OF IT THEN??? You're gonna invest 10 points for a skill that gives you like 50HP at the end of each BATTLE? Just use Cure, it's super cheap and heals for way more, and chances are if you have Loyalty you'll be dead at the end of a two turn battle anyway. Still, it has one positive point, and it's the skill it unlocks.

A more selfish version of Patch Up for less return. It does stack with Patch Up so whether you want to take this is up to you, though I'd consider it super low priority. Especially if you took Loyalty to max level and are frequently left with a dead Beast.

Autoheal
Prerequisites: Autocure Lv5
Unlocks: Lv5: Tenacity
Gives the user a chance to recover from any ailment at the start of a turn. Separate chance to the standard Recover Chance. Passive.


Now this is much better, gives the Beast a great chance of recovering from any ailment since it's in essence a second recovery roll. Since they have great LUC, it's very likely they'll shrug off ailments after one turn, which is very nice for a tank. Of course, if you have Loyalty, dying also cures ailments, but what this skill unlocks would actually help with that build, so it can be worth picking up in both. Just a shame about Autocure.

Keep in mind it doesn't work on binds, but it does work on Petrification! Which isn't a huge upside as only 5 enemies have access to Petrification in the entire game. Still, being able to get right back into the action is a really good passive to have. Though non-Loyalty Beasts will see significantly more value from this since they won't be dying all the time.

En Garde
Prerequisites: VIT Up Lv10
Gives the user a chance to reduce incoming damage by 50%. Does not stack with Loyalty. Passive.


So if you were wondering why I didn't mention this skill when talking about Loyalty... well there it is, god could you imagine how good this class could be if all the multipliers and defensive buffs actually WORKED with Loyalty? But for defensive builds this is pretty darn nice. Would've been nice to combo with Bristle but oh well, stuff to dream about. Of course, this skill works well when it actually activates and outside of Loyalty there's no real way for the Beast to attract hits so it won't work as well as a 1 Guard Protector, but you've invested ten points of VIT Up, might as well use this!

This skill would be loving amazing with Loyalty IF IT ACTUALLY WORKED WITH IT! As a result, ignore this entirely if you're using Loyalty, it won't help one single bit. For a tank build, it's really good though. It effectively increases the Beast's HP by 38%. This is also a big reason why this class is so weird. Just look at how at odds the skillset is with each other! All this anti-synergy is just disgusting!

Tenacity
Prerequisites: Autoheal Lv5
Gives the user a chance to be automatically revived at 1HP. Can activate multiple times per battle, stacks with Loyalty and cannot activate if the user was killed by Instant Death. Passive.


Finally, something that actually works with Loyalty. This skill is pretty great if your Beast is dying a lot and pretty useless otherwise. Still, the fact that it can proc after every death if you're lucky enough is pretty drat good, but it's also pretty bad when it doesn't activate, since reviving a Beast for it to then die immediately isn't a great feeling. The best way to keep on Rampaging and that's not saying a lot.

This is pretty much the only defensive skill you can even get with Loyalty builds, and it's probably the only worthwhile one since your Beast will be dying all the drat time. Might as well mitigate that the best you can! Outside of Loyalty builds, probably take it or leave it. Your Beast will be pretty tanky but this could be handy to have on the off chance they die from a stray Loyalty proc if you have that at a low level.

Maul
Unlocks: Lv5: Devour
A single target Claw attack that increases in damage the lower the user's HP. Claw skill with Bash damage, uses the Arms.


Wow look at all those numbers. Unfortunately this type of skill is back and it's still hard to justify, especially on Loyalty builds where it'll rarely get the chance to be this low in health, and Rampage is better. This can work on more defensive builds, but there's better skills to use, like the one this skill unlocks! Can be worth throwing out if you find yourself at low health, but due to the free flowing of Salve II and it not being worth maxing means you're better off doing something else.

This skill isn't quite hard outclassed by others like some other skills of these types are but it's still outclassed in practice. Loyalty builds should be using Rampage instead, while tank builds can be using Devour or Bodyslam. 25% HP is a very dangerous threshold on tank builds, and on Loyalty builds, you're either dead or you're not dead. There is barely any inbetween. And again, Rampage exists, so please use that instead of making your Beast's existence even more miserable than it already is.

Devour
Prerequisites: Maul Lv5
A single target Claw attack that heals the user's HP by a percentage of damage dealt. Claw skill with Bash damage, uses the Head.


Now for a tanky build, this is a pretty great skill. Due to the Beast's high STR it'll do a nice chunk of damage and, indeed, heal a fair bit. For Loyalty builds, this will absolutely not offset the amount of damage you'll take, so don't even bother. Otherwise this move is kinda whatever, since it doesn't really heal that much, but for keeping topped off and for a slight investment that can ease your healer's load, it's pretty nice.

A pretty strong utility skill for tank builds, as dealing damage and healing yourself at the same time is a really strong effect. And on a supportive class this can really extend their survivability. But on Loyalty builds? Trust us when we say that the lifesteal does not make up for the sheer amount of HP they will lose from Loyalty procs. Or deaths they will run into.

Bodyslam
Unlocks: Lv5: Rampage
A single target Claw attack that attempts to inflict Stun. Claw skill with Bash, uses the Arms.


...what is this scaling?! Truly this is the meme class, but that does mean when fully invested Bodyslam is a drat good skill, hitting hard and striking fast. Of course, this is outshone by Rampage, but for defensive builds this is a great move to spam if you don't fancy doing anything else. Of course you'll need to wait to use this, it is absolutely godawful early on, but quickly becomes an excellent skill. Since it doesn't require HP tuning like Maul or the suicidal Loyalty like Rampage, this is the best overall skill this class has, which says a lot, but the Stun chance coupled with high LUC is actually pretty dependable. Definitely something to work towards, you'll want this skill nice and early.

From levels 1 through 5 it's straight up worse than a regular attack, and it's barely better at level 6. But past that point is where the skill starts getting good. What the gently caress is this scaling!? Keep in mind Etrian Odyssey does not tell you the specifics of the skill data, we're pulling this out for you, so chances are a player who invests in this will likely see that this skill is crap and not invest in it further. What the gently caress is this class!?

Anyways if you're using a tank Beast build, this is your best damage skill in its toolkit. Deals decent damage and could possibly lock enemies out of a turn. Assuming their Claws don't weigh them down anyways.

Rampage
Prerequisites: Bodyslam Lv5, Loyalty Lv10
A multi target Claw attack to 3-6 enemies, does not redirect if original target dies. Claw attack with Bash damage, uses the Arms.


Alright fine, you want the suicidal Loyalty build, what does it get you? Well, okay, it's the best attacking skill in the game. Yes, it outpaces Midareba and Richochet, but is MUCH harder to use than those since you usually don't get off more than two of these in a battle before you're paste on the wall. Theoretically you do incredible damage with this skill, but accuracy and the chance of only doing 3 hits at max level really hamper this skill's effectiveness. It can outdamage all other skills, but will it? Will it really? Loyalty is just such a fundamentally terrible skill that warps everything associated with it that even at this class's best, it's still hard to use and can explode in your face at any moment. I just can't recommend this, good as it may be, and that's the biggest shame of this class.

If you maxed out Loyalty, you might as well snag this. It's the best attacking skill in the game, and you might as well embrace the glass cannon nature of your pet since they're going to be dying a whole lot due to Loyalty. At max level, taking into account the lowered accuracy, it deals a whopping average damage of 546%! (Without the accuracy penalty, the average damage increases to 728%.) Extremely high for a non-conditional damage skill! Then again Loyalty gives it a condition of "hope your Beast doesn't loving die." It would be an amazing skill if it wasn't attached to Loyalty, but it is and rarely does being associated with a terrible skill bring down another skill! God, what the poo poo is this class design!?

Claw
Unlocks: Lv5: Wildcut
A single target Claw attack. Claw skill with Cut damage, uses the Arms.


Uh, yep, you are reading this right, this skill gets stronger, but also gets slower and less accurate the more you level it up. What the gently caress is the point? I feel like I'm asking that a lot with this class, just use Bodyslam instead, hell use the skill this one unlocks, I dunno why they would make a bland skill worse the more you want to use it, they were just throwing everything at the wall and yes, haha, very funny, but stop making this class bad!!!

:psyduck: Well this isn't something you see too often in an EO game. A skill actively giving reasons not to max it out beyond raising the TP costs. You'll have to decide where to stop, but if you want Wildcut, you'll need to level it up to 5. This feels like an experiment that didn't work because SP is already a precious resource, so knowing how to carefully distribute it is already an important skill for players to learn. And skills are already competing to gain SP, so there really didn't need to be more reasons to drag a skill down. Or they thought a Beast having access to Cut damage was really really scary.

Wildcut
Prerequisites: Claw Lv5
A multi target Claw attack. Claw skill with Cut damage, uses the Arms.


Oh hey Wildshot but better, how you doing. This is clearly supposed to be a finishing off skill with that godawful speed modifier, and it does work well in that regard due to pretty high power and good Beast stats. Otherwise kinda whatever, line wide Cut damage is definitely interesting and useful against 5 enemies at once, but if you can't finish the enemies off your party will have to awkwardly kill them off at the start of the next turn and you'll probably want to use Bodyslam instead to secure the kill. Or Rampage if you're suicidal, yadda yadda. Still one of the more useful and unique skills of this class.

A 1% speed modifier. Did somebody think giving the Beast access to Cut damage was really scary or something? What's with this skill and Claw? Anyways it's the only true AOE skill they have so pick it up if that's something you want your Beast to be dishing out. It's one of the few physical AOEs in the game but it won't be able to take out random encounters before they act.

Bristle
Prerequisites: Loyalty Lv3
Increases the user's physical and elemental defense, and reduces their damage output for 5 turns. Buff skill, uses the Head.


So for the other Loyalty skills, you were probably wondering if you could only invest in the mastery skill, just a little bit, and just ignore the higher activation and Rampage. And yes, you can do that, but there's a few problems with this, firstly the activation chance, even at the lowest level you'd like, 3, is still annoyingly high. Secondly using these skills in conjunction with Loyalty activating is pointless because it ignores the best part of them, the damage reduction for Bristle is FANTASTIC, and for a more defensive approach the lower damage is kinda whatever.

But if Loyalty activates that huge damage reduction doesn't matter at all and the 1% less damage you'll take from a level 3 Loyalty is all that'll matter. You're using these skills praying that Loyalty never activates at all, and that's a huge problem with the 3 skills early in this tree, so it's less of a headache to just not bother with them. When Loyalty doesn't activate, hot drat these skills are pretty darn good, but 1/3 times that's not gonna be the case. And that just sucks. Are you sick of me talking about how bad Loyalty is yet?

More amazing skills that are just utterly tanked by how loving poo poo Loyalty is! Once again, the anti-synergy on display here is just utterly horrifying! Which is a shame because this is the strongest defense buff in the game! But Loyalty ignores all of it! And even on tank builds that took a bit of Loyalty to unlock this, 33% of the time it won't matter! And this is completely useless for Rampage builds since the last thing you want to do is reduce Rampage's damage, which is the only redeeming thing about max level Loyalty, and the defense buff will be ignored 75% of the time!

Preen
Prerequisites: Loyalty Lv2
Increases the user's physical defense and provoke rate for 5 turns. Buff skill, uses the Head.


Now for the next Loyalty shackled skill, Preen is pretty great for when you want your tank to be a tank, but if you've only got Loyalty at level 2, there's a 31% chance that you'll technically use this skill but take 2% more damage, making this skill completely useless in those cases! If you're able to combine Preen, Bristle, En Garde and even Wildwall, you can see how this class could've been an amazing tank. But there's always that hanging spectre of death that will completely screw everything up and act as if you didn't invest in those skills at all. This is the only way outside of Loyalty for the Beast to properly draw aggro and help protect the team and it's not a great defense increase, admittedly, and has the godawful passive associated with it. So again, it's just easier to ignore it entirely and go full Rampage or not pick Loyalty at all.

Like Cross said, combining all of these defensive skills could have made for an amazing tanking class. But once again, Loyalty induces anti-synergy, so these skills have extremely questionable usefulness. With max level Loyalty, Preen's basically in effect all the time anyways, and on tank builds you have to hope Loyalty doesn't activate to get the most out of this since the defense buff doesn't activate in those cases. The defense buff is also pretty bad, so it's not even a must have even if you're trying to ignore Loyalty. It does have one specific use in the post-game at the very least, but that's about it.

Wildwall
Nullifies all STR-based attacks for the entire turn or if the user dies. Buff skill, uses the Arms.


Ah, a Parry that can nullify STR-based elemental attacks for some reason, rare that they are. Combined with Preen, this is a great way to really shut down any physical attacker for a turn considering Loyalty doesn't gently caress everything up, but it's also something you don't need to level up all the way. It's rare you'll take 10 hits at once, let alone loving 20. Of course, without Preen, and indeed Loyalty, this skill isn't very dependable since there's no way to guarantee the enemy will attack you, so it's best to use a Protector for this strategy. See how with most skills with this drat class there's always a freaking asterisk? Ah, what could've been.

Suffers from the same issues Parry does, in that it'll fall off as the game goes on since it's pretty tied closely to Preen. And it doesn't even work with Loyalty, so that bit of usage is completely thrown out the window. At best it's a one point wonder. Just imagine just how powerful this class would have been if Loyalty wasn't horrifically and utterly bugged!

Roar
Attempts to inflict Fear on all enemies. Curse skill, uses the Head.


Yep. They were having a loving laugh with this class lemme tell ya. Still, wonky infliction rate aside, this is a drat good skill at max level when combined with high LUC. Pairs very nicely with a FEAR TREE Hexer and can also just shutdown enemies pretty effectively, especially when combined with Bodyslam. Holy poo poo a good skill where I don't have to UM, ACTUALLY and mention Loyalty in any way. ...poo poo

What the loving poo poo is this scaling. Did they forget to design levels 1 through 4? Just max it out as soon as possible if you're grabbing it. AOE Fear is pretty okay crowd control, but it can be paired up nicely with a Hexer if you're using their Fear skills. A high priority if you're using a Fear Hexer. Can be taken or left in the dust if you're not.

Saliva
Restores HP to a single target. Healing skill, uses the Head.


Uh, right? Due to a lack of a healing boosting passive and any TEC to really speak of, this is a pretty pathetic heal, but can be a way for a defensive build Beast to heal other party members...? Just use Devour, it has much better utility, and leave the healing to the actual dedicated classes toots. Still, if you don't have a healer for some reason...

No Healer, the worst TEC stat in the entire game out of all the classes, yeah pass. Just have them throw out a Medica or something if you need your Beast to be healing someone else. And if they need to heal themselves, Devour can do that while also chipping away at their enemies at the same time. Or they can gobble down a Medica if they really need a lot of emergency healing.

Doze Off
Prerequisites: Loyalty Lv1
Restores the user's HP and puts them to Sleep. Heal skill, uses the Head.


Again, what? Stop being such a loving weird class! Still, this does combo with Autoheal and is a very cheap heal, but Devour is again way more useful, you should have a dedicated healer, and also this requires Loyalty and being asleep when that activates is a BAD loving IDEA, so maybe don't.

...Why? It's a fast healing skill and Autoheal can Purge off the Sleep next turn but uh. Use an actual healer. Or an item. Devour is also there too to deal damage and heal at the same time. Oh and in case you had any ideas, no, Sleep resistance or any form of ailment resistance will not prevent the Sleep from happening, as it's guaranteed and pierces immunities. Recovery buffs do work so there's that. It has one possible use in the post-game, but Preen can also do that and is just a better skill all around.

Howl
Lures non-red FOEs in a certain radius to tile used and stuns them for a set duration. Field skill.


God this class has so many skills... can be useful but I prefer saving SP for other skills, even if that's a hard sell with this class, and using items instead. Fighting FOEs is a bad idea, so can definitely be useful to avoid them!

Oh hey more FOE field skills. Take em or leave them. Though most players opt to leave them.

Growl
Stuns non-red FOEs in a certain radius for a set duration. Field skill.


Gets both FOE skills like the Troubadour, so can offer some nice utility like that class, but this class is pretty confused enough, maybe don't add more chaff to it? Ah who cares, I don't care, let's end this already.

Right so instead of repeating my commentary on these skills yet again, let me drop a bit of trivia on you. These skills were an attempt to make Labyrinth explorations more interactive. Players could use these to interact with FOEs to make their trips more easy. However, these skills were frequently ignored outside of certain sections of the game that forced you to use them. Not only do FOE items exist, but learning FOE behaviours isn't particularly hard, and avoiding them is pretty easy once you've got their patterns down. Not only that, Red FOEs are probably the ones you'd want to avoid the most but these skills don't work on them, limiting their usefulness further. And yet another downside is that depending on the FOE navigation puzzle, you might gently caress up the patrol routes if there are groups of FOEs by using these skills and make it completely impossible to get through that part without killing them.

In short, these mechanics were basically failed experiments. These were dropped entirely starting from EO3, and instead they opted to make puzzles involving FOEs more involved once the 3DS era of Etrian Odyssey came around to add more interactivity to the Labyrinths.

Fetch
Prerequisites: TEC Up Lv5, LUC Up Lv5
Allows the party to gather from Chop, Mine and Take points a limited amount each day.


This is unique, but since you're putting investment into two pretty mediocre passives for this, it's just easier, and takes around the same amount of SP, to use the Survivalist's skillset instead. Going with a team of 5 Beasts is not as useful and you don't want these skills on your actual Beast, so heavy skip, even if it's a fun novelty.

This is an interesting idea in theory but in practice it plays out the exact same way as investing in all of the gathering skills on a Survivalist. TEC and LUC aren't particularly stats the Beast cares about. And in a gathering party? Beasts are locked off at the start of the game so you can't really make a party of Beasts from the get-go, and Survivalists have actual field skills they can use to reach gathering points easier that Beasts don't have access to. And due to the skill tree design, you don't get the payoff from this skill until later in comparison. A Survivalist can gather from 3 different gathering points with 3 SP, but it'll take the Beast 11 SP for them to do so. Just stick with a Survivalist gathering party.

Salivall
Heals and revives the entire party and dispels all status ailments. Does not remove binds or Stun. Force skill, uses the Head.


Oh thank god it's nearly over. Salivall is a worse H. Touch since it has a limit to its healing, but it's still a really nice OH poo poo button that falls off in the lategame. It's basically the same skill otherwise so you'll use it if you have it, but it's otherwise a mediocre and confusing cap to a mediocre and confusing class.

It's basically a worse H. Touch, what else is there to say? The base healing is pretty big though so it's not all bad and should cover your party for most of the game, even if by late or post-game it stops being a full heal. Throw it out whenever you need it and it's up.

Folks. What the gently caress did we just read??? If everything worked out like it did in my dreams then the Beast would be a wonderful defensive class with some fun utility that makes it different enough from the Protector, better healing and defensive measures with a lack of elemental mitigation. And honestly that's fine, because the various offbrand and offensive skills this class has is actually pretty nice.

But then Loyalty comes and fucks it all up. So either you ignore it entirely, which ignores the great skills of Rampage, Bristle and Preen, becoming a worse Protector in the process, or you go all in and die to anything that deals any modicum of good damage. It's such an awful rock or hard place to be in and I hate it, I really do, this isn't a bad class, per se, it's a very interesting experiment that can go horribly wrong at a moment's notice, and you don't need that kinda stress in your life. At least the remake fixed them, but anyway, that's enough of us rambling, it's on with the main event! loving finally, what a journey these classes have put us through...

Beast could have been an amazing class, but due to programming shortcuts being taken, it's among the bottom of the barrel instead. Trying to make Loyalty work takes a ridiculous amount of effort to pull off, and at that point you could have completed the game more easily and faster with a better party. And if you don't take Loyalty you just have a pretty middling generalist class. What a shame, it has a pretty decent toolkit that's heavily undermined by one terrible skill causing a weird split in skill builds. So instead you have a unit that's pretty mediocre all around. It's astounding how one skill, one skill, completely undermined a class's design.

Crosspeice
Aug 9, 2013

Zzzz... sploosh... zzzz... KABOOM... zzz... sploosh...

Well that was a loving trip... anyway, new stratum and a new vote for who will be exploring most of it. We have the 5F team to explore 6F, but we'll need the divide the 12 members in 3 teams of 4 to explore 7F-12F. Simple, uh, right? In any case, here's how everyone is shaping up. Or will shape up when I level them for being in the party.

Holly: Starting off a little awkwardly with bad skill Tornado, but will start focusing on Chasers as more members delve into their elementals. Bit of a slow burn, but should be fun!

Lily: I can keep ignoring the anitskills for now, right? She'll focus on Provoke and Parry for now and generally keep everyone alive. Max level F.Guard is kinda good!

Logan: Also starting off awkwardly with bad skill 2-Bolt, but will soon come into his own with exploration utility. 1st Turn will be very nice.

Sonia: Always hard to start with an EO2 Dark Hunter, we'll get arm binds and Climax rolling, along with Viper for damage, Baits to come later.

kathy: all the healing plz, guess I should work towards Purify and CPR. But Salve II...

Corinth: He's shown how, uh, wonderful level 1 tier 1 spells are so he should probably get better ones before we head for Megido.

Juthro: What do you do with a Troubadour after Bravery, anyway? After Health I can go... Nihilo? Sure.

Eleanore: With Kienzan obtained it's Midareba time and that's about it. Ronin, everybody!

Hart/Sophia: Working on Torpor again along with head binds, yes I'm avoiding Poison and Revenge until later.

Aleks: I'm not a pussy so it's Charged element time, babyyyyy! Oh wait I should get Richochet first. Siiiigh.

Alastor: Warmight and Salve II and then maybe Cursecut, not much else really.

Rajah: Will not get Loyalty, will get Devour and Wildcut.

:siren: Vote for which three you'd like :siren:

Top four will be featured first, then the next four, then the next four. The 5th slot, or wildcard, for this vote will be both Beasts, focusing on Loopy first for fun Loyalty, but I'll have a different wildcard for whatever team Rajah is voted for.

Araxxor
Oct 20, 2012

My disdain for you all knows no bounds.


AI Oddities

The first thing I'll be getting into is the Gashtor/Raptor (their enemy data points to the same AI script file, so they behave the exact same way in battle)

Gashtor/Raptor posted:

If the party is blindsided, and flag 1 is not active, activate flag 1, then:
-90% chance to cast Fangs. (Targets the front row.)
-10% chance to cast Fangs. (Targets the back row.)

If HP is below 50%:
-79% chance to cast Fangs. (Targets the front row.)
-21% chance to cast Fangs. (Targets the back row.)

Else:
-69% chance to cast Fangs. (Targets the front row.)
-31% chance to cast Fangs. (Targets the back row.)
There's nothing wrong with this enemy... at first glance. In fact most FOEs in the game (And some random encounters) are more likely to perform a nasty action if they manage to blindside you, which makes sense considering how fearsome they are and that getting an FOE to walk into you back is meant to be a punishment for poor positioning. All well and good, but there's one major problem with this.

It doesn't work properly. The FOE system in EO2 is frankly a glitch ridden mess, and talking about all the intricacies now would be irrelevant and rather spoilery, so I'll save that for another time. You see, when an FOE manages to walk into your back and grants them the free blindside... the enemy doesn't actually realize they've blindsided you and the game actually skips that routine entirely. The only way for the FOE to realize that they've blindsided you and use the proper routine, is for both of you to run headfirst into each other and have the game roll a natural blindside that way. Which was most likely not the intent given that almost every FOE was designed to eviscerate you upon blindsiding you. It would be an odd piece of design if it only popped up on a fairly uncommon occurrence.

Also on a related note:

Furyhorn/Furylord posted:

If the party is not blindsided and flag 1 is not active, cast Step. (Targets Landsknechts, Protectors, Dark Hunters, Ronin, or Beasts.) Activate flag 1.

If HP is below 75%:
-75% chance to cast Step. (Targets party members that aren't confused.)
-25% chance to use a regular attack. (Targets party members that aren't confused.)

Else:
-50% chance to cast Step. (Targets party members that aren't confused.)
-50% chance to use a regular attack. (Targets party members that aren't confused.)
The Furyhorn and Furylord are the only FOEs in the entire game to show you kindness if blindsided. Or rather naturally blindsided. Dunno if that was due to a typo, but compared to how many other FOEs will gleefully jump at the chance to get first blood, it's kind of odd.

Also something I'll probably paste into the EO1 correction update and is not an AI oddity, but as it turns out, Blind is a pretty terrible ailment in EO1. In EO2, it's an 80% reduction to accuracy. In EO1? A mere 20%. That's the exact same amount as a Head Bind in EO1 gives! And Blind doesn't have any special side effects in EO1 (Ailments nullifying evasion was an EO2 addition) so it's literally a shittier Head Bind! It does stack with Head Binds but that's not really that much. On the plus side, it makes the Ronin's Sight skill a little stronger since Blind is of very little consequence to them. Of course you can just go at Night for that one.

More corrections to info. Paralysis and Fear give a 30% chance to deny someone's turn, not 50% in EO1. I have no idea about EO2, I haven't checked.

ajkalan
Aug 17, 2011



Holly, Logan, Sonia

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Verant
Oct 20, 2012

Go on an adventure ordained by fate?
-->Okay.
-->Eh.

Good lord, what were they thinking with Beast? Even with everything else in this game, that is a hot mess.

Also, Sonia, Kathy, and Aleks

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