Part 109: ArachneUpdate 18: Arachne
Is this... an ingredient found from the Yggdrasil Sprout? I'm impressed... you really managed to find another like it. Could you wait a little while? If I remember correctly... there may be another recipe similar to the last one.
Is this another recipe for tea?
Yes, and it should have quite a different taste... and it'll have a different kind of effect, I think. If you don't mind, I'd like you to test out the recipe.
Now we can make the second tea.
It's done. This is Yggdrasil-sprout tea!
My... The water looks so beautiful; it's like you melted a piece of amber.
This is the first time I have ever seen such a beautifully-colored tea.
Yeah, I don't know anything difficult, but I do know this is pretty!
Ah, it is a pretty sight. But, is this really tea? I feel like I'm licking honey. It's sweet as heck.
I didn't boil it like normal tea. I ground it instead, so the flavor of the sprout itself is what you're tasting.
So, that means... Yggdrasil flavor is very sweet?
...If I bite the trunk, it'll be sweet?
Let's try it.
Yeah. If it's sweet... then we don't have to worry about being hungry while exploring.
Sorry to burst your bubble, but the sweetness exists only when it sprouts. The trunk isn't sweet.
Huh!? Wait, don't tell me that you've tried to cook it already!?
As a cook born in an Yggdrasil city, of course that's something I would try once. At any rate, this is the unique flavor of a sprout. Take your time and enjoy it.
It tastes terrible.
Huh!? You mean... you've tasted it?
That's a coincidence; I've tried it, too... But it's not something to be eaten.
A-And... How was the taste?
I've never eaten wood before, so I wouldn't know how that's supposed to taste like...
At any rate, this is the unique flavor of a sprout. Take your time and enjoy it.
Believe or not, edible wood is actually a thing that exists. And yes, we're talking tree trunks here.
Anyway, this tea is a really good one. What it does is force all Grimoire Chances to become Premium Chances. Every kind of Grimoire Chance. This makes grabbing Grimoires you want slightly easier, but it doesn't completely take out all the RNG from it, as you aren't guaranteed to get a max level Grimoire from one.
And let's turn in that mission.
It may not be adequate compensation for such a feat, but I'd like to present you with a reward. The Flame Demon posed a great threat to explorers of the Labyrinth. Your actions have saved the lives of many future explorers... Thus do we offer this token of gratitude.
Money is always nice.
But experience is even nicer.
We did. I cannot be completely certain, but I believe the way is clear for us to proceed.
That is good news indeed! Well then, this old man shall pray for the success of your ritual.
Even if the minister isn't royalty himself, it's only polite to bow.
Come now, that isn't necessary! There is no need for you to be so humble here. May fortune favor you as you carry out your ritual.
We don't know if the path will actually open yet. We should try and see if it works as soon as we can.
Yes, let us go forth.
Come on, Trand. Let's go.
Yeah... Looks like it's finally time...
None of the townsfolk have new dialogue yet. So it's off to Ginnungagap!
It's past where we fought that lizard. Are we going?
In order to reach the sealed door again, you step into the quiet temple.
Oh and here's an audio only conversation I forgot to show off when it was just Flavio and Arianna traveling with us through Ginnungagap.
It's sure quiet, huh?
You can't help but whisper for some reason, right?
I must agree.
The black-robed girl approaches the door and touches it with a small hand before quietly muttering.
It still doesn't seem like it'll open.
Chloe, don't go getting your fingerprints all over it. ...Usually, these things only work when the one who has the power touches it.
Bertrand pulls Chloe away from the door by the nape of her mantle, like a mother cat with a kitten, and motions to you.
It opened. Can we go on now?
The woman's mouth hangs open as she stares at the suddenly-opened path...
Thank goodness, eh?
I was fearful of what might happen if the door hadn't opened.
But yes! Let us explore further within, for the sake of the ritual.
You follow the woman and step further into the unexplored ruins.
We're done with the first floor. Now onto the second.
You can't help but halt in your tracks in this suffocating atmosphere.
Let's push through this.
Agreed. I won't rest until we've found the Hall of Sealing!
With that fiery response from the princess, you begin your journey through this new floor.
The ceiling's white.
Good lord... There's spiderwebs everywhere.
Where there are webs, there are sure to be spiders close behind.
Let's hunt them down.
Huh!? Wh-Why...? C'mon, wouldn't it be better to move on and perform the ritual?
Unfortunately, I'm not sure that's an option. Look over there.
Moreover, the spider seems to have noticed your presence and is making threatening motions toward you... You doubt you will make it through this room without dealing with the spider, one way or another.
Are you all right, Sir Flavio?
Wanna go home?
I-I'm fine, really... L-Let's go...
But we should try not to fight it if we don't have to. I don't like the look of that thing. Not one bit...
You take the quaver in your friend's voice into consideration as you ponder how best to deal with this situation.
Most impressive. Could one spider alone have prepared this much webbing?
H-How can you girls be so casual at a lime tyke this?
Yikes. You're freaking out so much you can't even talk straight.
But a web that reaches this far down might be just what we need.
Fancy a souvenir, do you?
Why would I want a spiderweb? Besides, it's oddly tough. I don't think I could cut it that easy.
No, that's not what I was getting at. What I meant was, why not set fire to the web we can reach here?
I-Isn't that dangerous...? The fire could spread up to the whole web all across the ceiling.
I think we'd be fine. It's your call, though.
The rest of the group looks to you, awaiting your decision. Whatever action you elect to take regarding the web before you, now is the time to take it.
Time for a bit of pyromania!
You're too excited, Flavio.
S-Sorry. I couldn't help it...
But we might not have to go near those things from here on out!
Very true. Well then, let us keep watch for more webs that dangle within arm's length as we move forward.
You got it!
We'll fight the next one.
Wow, that's pretty harsh. Even I feel a little bit bad for him.
C-C'mon, you're joking, right? Right, Knight?
You nod noncommittally to Flavio, who keeps pressing the issue, as you resume your exploration.
Incidentally, you can easily take on the spider FOEs at this point. Maybe that was so that you could make good on your word there if you chose the 3rd option. I went back to town to rest up a bit. Now the townsfolk have new stuff to say, but we can't see any inn scenes yet.
The best part is how easy it is to make them! He'll make an excellent housewife someday. I'm sure of it!
Gracious... That is quite high praise indeed, coming from the owner of the inn! That's wonderful, Flavio!
Haha, well, what can I say...?
...W-Wait a minute! What do you mean, 'housewife'? I mean, I can't even get 'house husband' here!?
Oh it's all the same! You know, Flavio, ladies don't go for a man who gets all bent out of shape on the details.
...He's good at making sweets, doing the laundry, and house cleaning... Plus he's good at repairing things... ...I'm going to do my best so that I can be as good as Flavio!
Nobody likes getting compared to someone else. Good luck, little lady.
Yes, I wish you the best of luck in defeating Sir Flavio! Give him a sound thrashing!
W-Wait! Defeat? Thrashing!? I don't think any thrashing's necessary!
I mean, lots of explorers are just pretty, but something about her feels different somehow... I wonder why...?
Because it's Arianna.
Oh, so you think she was just born that way...? Yes, you must be right... ...*sigh*.
Because she's a princess.
Hee hee! Yes, she sure seems like a princess sometimes! It's unusual to hear you joke around like that, Knight. ...You... um, you were joking... right?
If you ever need a break, just stop by here. I'll make you something when you do... assuming we have the ingredients.
Heard yeh beat down a huge fiend up on the 10th floor! Haw, I completely underestimated yeh! Well, what're yeh waiting for? Go on, spin the tale! Tell us yer story!
Haw haw haw! Well, ain't that a tale for the ages! Well then! Let's have us a toast to the future heroes of High Lagaard! Cheers! Haw haw haw!
Whoa... S-So? What happened next!? Oh, c'mon, quit holding out on us! Hell, I bet yeh could charge people to hear yer story! 200 ental a seat! Damn, yeh folks with talent can do anythin' yeh want. Fight, talk, yeh name it. Haw, almost makes me sick! So c'mon, what happens next?
Oh c'mon, don't hold out on us. This ain't the time for modesty. Go on! Yeh got an audience, here! ...Yeh really just gonna sit there and act like it ain't a big deal? Man... Yeh're no fun at all! Yeh kids need to learn how to let loose. Work's fine, but so's relaxing... so c'mon! Let's chat!
...I understand that you're not strictly a part of the exploration effort... But... instead of returning to Midgard after your investigation... have you considered remaining here, as explorers?
I'll think about it.
Ha, so there is some hope? I'll be looking forward to your decision when the time comes.
That's something I can't do.
...I'd hate to see such incredible talent disappear back into Midgard, and I'm sure many would agree with me. That's... rather unfortunate.
You've gone through a great many ordeals, but hopefully now you can at least complete the ritual. ...I do hope that nothing unfortunate occurs... Oh, I shouldn't tempt fate like that! Please, pay no attention to this old man's ramblings.
Now let's head back to Ginunngagap.
...There's something mean past here.
Your senses, honed through your many adventures, tell you much the same.
I hesitate to say this... but you know all the spiderwebs around here? With this many around here... maybe there's not only a lot of little you- know-whats, but one giant one... ......
Seemingly too agitated to speak another word, Flavio falls silent, his face pale and clammy.
There may be a giant spider ahead.
Ugh! You didn't have to say it!
We need to check everywhere to find the ritual hall. We can't avoid just this place.
Dame Chloe is right. Please, Sir Flavio, I know that you're afraid, but try to find the strength to endure.
Wh-Who said I was scared? I can do this! No problem!
Something baleful awaits you beyond this door... You review your readiness before committing to opening it.
A giant spider creature resides in this room.
Er, a giant spider woman.
Who is laughing at us while upside down.
On the other side of the door is the bewitchingly dreadful monster Arachne, a ghastly fusion of woman and insect! Arachne does not attack at once; rather she takes the time to laugh mockingly at you. Despite the beauty of her face, there is little but malice in her smile, and there is no knowing when she will strike...
The spider queen?
Ugh, this is going to hurt... But we'll have to get through somehow.
You can do this, Flavio.
I-I said I'll be fine! I'm totally fine now that I know there's a you know-what in here! I'm not even scared of them, really, I just hate how they pop up out of nowhere!
Yeah, yeah, we get it.
Well, you don't sound like you do!
Who cares. Let's fight it.
You coax the anguished Flavio back to sense before taking up your weapons and stepping into Arachne's lair!
Well, she's helpless. So let's just slip past her.
But no. We must stay on the railroad.
But before we tackle Arachne, let's take a look at our party now. Once again, I'm using the MAX TP food, but mainly as insurance. I doubt I'll need it.
Okay, let's do this.
Lend me your aid!
- Venomous Bite: Arachne will "sharpen her fangs" at the end of the turn before Venomous Fang. Uses the head. Deals 215% melee STR-based Bash damage to one row. Attempts to inflict poison on hit targets, with a 70% base chance and 70 base poison damage (around 94 damage adjusted for level). Has a 70% speed modifier and 110 base accuracy.
- Poison Swamp: Cannot be disabled. Deals ranged TEC-based Almighty damage to the entire party at the end of every turn. Damage depends on the length since it was casted, and how many times Arachne has casted Poison Swamp: 15%, 25%, 35%, 50%, 65%, 80%, 100%, 120%, 140%.
- Silk Spit: Uses the head. Deals 130% ranged STR-based Stab damage to one party member. Attempts to bind the target's head, arms, and legs, with a 60% base chance. Has a 130% speed modifier and 99 base accuracy.
- Silk Spread: Uses the head. Deals 70% ranged STR-based Stab damage to each party member. Attempts to bind hit targets' head, arms, and legs, with a 40% base chance. Has no speed modifier and 99 base accuracy.
- Stinger: Uses the legs. Deals 100% melee STR-based Stab damage to one target, with line-piercing effect. Attempts to stun hit targets, with a 30% base chance. Has a 150% speed modifier and 99 base accuracy.
100% 100% 100% 125% 100% 75%
0% 0% 50% 25% 50% 50% 25%
0% 0% 10%
25% 50% 50%
Arachne is really pathetic compared to Flame Demon. Seriously, I don't know why the web is even there. They really should have increased her HP because the amount of HP burning the web takes off is just pure overkill.
Take this free turn as an opportunity to set up.
If you can head bind Arachne, you've basically won the fight, as that will lock down most of her skills. Though don't expect that to be easy to pull off without a Hexer.
Arachne is immune to Blind, so Paralysis is my only option here.
I don't foresee this battle taking long enough to justify saving her Break and using it when necessary.
Ha ha, yes!
My number one priority for this fight is landing a Head bind on Arachne. Which unfortunately did not happen here.
The Ginnungagap boss theme is a nice track, but I think it's time we switched up the music a bit.
Give me power!
Flavio's job is done, so I'm just gonna have him spam his attacks.
The reason I broke out Arianna's Force Boost was so she had access to an AOE Prevent Order in case anything went wrong.
Unfortunately, the Paralysis didn't lock up Arachne's turn.
Chloe failed to head bind her again. It's times like these I really wish I had a Hexer.
Average of 310 damage. Not bad.
I'd say we're not lacking damage in this fight either.
This is what I was putting up Prevent Order for.
I have no reason to hold onto Flavio's Force Boost. The fight shouldn't last long enough for it to come up again, and Arachne doesn't have any summons.
Sure, why not?
Say goodbye to 600 more HP.
Make that 1100.
Arachne got paralyzed this turn, so she wasn't able to use Venomous Bite.
Unfortunately, Paralysis wore off this turn, so I'm going to activate Chloe's Force Boost in hopes of landing a head bind.
I think this may be one of the last attacks Arachne gets off in this fight.
There's Extend in action.
For the record, I really don't care about Ailing Slash. It's not gonna speed things up that much.
Still no head bind?
Well, she's not immune to Sleep, so maybe I can cause her to lose another turn.
Ha ha! That was lucky!
Arachne is now effectively helpless.
Arianna's helping speed things along with Link Order.
May as well have Chloe conduct the pain train again.
Accumulative Resistance makes landing Paralysis again unlikely, but Flavio has nothing better to do.
I had Flavio fire off a Sagittarius Shot earlier. This skill is only level 2 right now, which means this should deal a lot more damage when it's maxed out. But unfortunately, it didn't stun Arachne, not that I was expecting it to.
Whittling down Arachne even more.
That's some nice damage.
Unfortunately for Arachne, she can't use Venomous Fangs thanks to her head bind.
May as well fire this off.
Even without an ailment, Ailing Slash still hits decently hard.
And now Knight will only used Delayed Chase + Flame Sabre for the rest of the battle.
The old man's on fire!
At this point, why not?
AHAHAHA! That sure was lucky! So yeah, my grand strategy for this fight is to a) make Arachne helpless and b) beat the ever loving tar out of her while she is helpless. So far it's working!
Fortunately, Bertrand's arms didn't get bound, which are the limbs he really cares about.
I'll just say that the last turn was the last time Arachne gets to attack at all in this fight. She spends the rest of the battle completely paralyzed. Poor Arachne.
Looks like this is the end.
That spider just got stomped. Arachne isn't really a difficult fight, as long as you don't let it go on too long. It's even easier in Classic Mode, since you can make a much more powerful party there.
You have bested another of the threats standing in your way to the ritual!
You hung in there, Flavio!
Heheh, it'll take more than a little old you-know-what to get the better of me!
Despite his bravado, Flavio seems vastly more cheerful now that the arachnoid monster has been vanquished... You are tempted to point this out to your friend, but content yourself with simply rejoicing in your victory for now. But just as you've finished basking in your triumph, the black-robed girl voices a reminder.
So where do we do the ritual?
The ritual hall ought to be here someplace. Let's search for it.
The woman's anticipation is at its height as the group begins searching the hall.
Now we can go through this door.
This mark... It is a sign that this is the ritual hall!
The woman raises her voice with happy excitement before turning to you.
Thank you ever so, Sir Knight. If not for you... if not for all of you... I should never have made it here.
Don't worry about it.
Ahahah... You're always so kind, Sir Knight.
I must thank you as well, Sir Bertrand and Dame Chloe.
I admit, you struck me as unusual when we first met... but I've come to cherish our time together.
That's our line.
Yeah. Truth be told, I was interested in these ruins too.
And I was curious about the ritual that the princess of Caledonia performs here with the Fafnir knight...
What do you mean, old man? Wait... Do you know something about it?
Well... it's complicated. First, let's let the little lady start her ritual.
I shall begin at once.
The words are difficult to make out. But they have a familiar, yet alien ring to them... You watch quietly as her voice slowly rises to fill the room.
Sir Knight. Please come this way...
The woman unexpectedly calls for you. Her closed eyes open, and she beckons to you with an outstretched hand. You obey her request, noting that she sounds unlike herself, and take her hand.
Of all the people I have met, there is one man that I trust the most... That man is you.
A bell sounds.
The woman's dignified voice resounds. In response, you hear the sound of bells echoing somewhere... The bells reverberate through the room, creating a wave of sound that seems to sink deep into your bodies.
And then an earthquake happens.
Then, as if in answer to the sound of the bells, the earth begins to quake...!
The earthquake stops.
The tremors last for some time before stopping as suddenly as they began. Silence reigns once more over the hall.
A familiar voice makes itself known within you...! You recall this sensation well from the first time you came to Ginnungagap.
...What was that?
My ears feel like they're... ringing.
Unlike before, however, it seems you weren't the only one who heard the voice. All five of you cast about for the voice's origin... but see nothing unusual.
I am one guided by the Lady's prayer.
The mysterious voice responds directly to Arianna's question. It would appear that it can hear you, in addition to you hearing it...
First, put your mind at ease, Lady. The ritual had begun the moment you stepped into these lands.
What...!? Whatever do you mean?
The ritual is already underway. It began the moment a Lady and her Knight entered these lands together... In truth... it began when fate brought the two of you together long ago...
What's going on here?
The ritual involves the selection of a new guardian. Normally, it begins when a Lady and her Knight perform it in the Hall of Sealing, where they receive the power of Fafnir. You two, though, are different. Due to an old anomaly, you met when you were young, triggering the ritual then. The mark on Knight's arm is proof enough. To account for the anomaly, the ritual chose a partner early, and waited.
An old anomaly...
Indeed. To compensate for this anomaly and protect this land, Knight's power will be required. You must gain further strength by gaining power through the ordeals. That strength will be the foundation of this land.
And Knight learns a new passive. Though it's called Self-Regenerate instead of Regeneration in Knight's skill list. Anyway, while Knight is Transformed, he will now recover 20% of his max HP at the end of each turn, making him even harder to kill.
Little time remains. When you gain one more power, the ritual will come to its end. The ritual to seal the Calamity that plagues these lands, in the depths of Ginnungagap...
We have to choose every option in order to move on.
What is this ritual about?
The ritual is a trial by which you gain power. A Fafnir Knight needs this power to become more than man.
I... am the Lady of Caledonia. Sadly, I have little to no knowledge regarding this ritual. I was told only to go to the Hall of Sealing in Ginnungagap and pray there with Sir Knight. They told me that a voice would guide my steps from there. If the purpose of the ritual was for Sir Knight to amass power... Then what is my role?
Lady of Caledonia. Daughter of the Mark. Your duty was to select a Fafnir Knight. You alone in this world hold the power to select the next Fafnir. You chose Knight, thereby discharging your most important duty.
What was this 'old anomaly'?
I refer to what occured one hundred years ago... the previous ritual. What's done is done, and I will not dwell upon it. But I will say... there was an error, which greatly diminished our powers. That old anomaly... it is why Ginnungagap is now in ruins, and why the Calamity is stirring again.
What is the Calamity?
The Calamity is an embodiment of evil that slumbers deep in the earth. It is a dreadful thing. They say that when it awakens, it will bring about an end to these lands. We call this bringer of catastrophe, which must be sealed by Fafnir's power, the Calamity.
Then... the reason why Knight...
He changed into a monster because of the Caledonia ritual?
*gasp*...! It was I... who did this to Sir Knight...?
So Arianna is the reason Knight has superpowers. Thanks, Arianna!
Sir Knight... I'm sorry... I... I...!
The woman begins to sob in utter grief and shock.
Do not be swayed by emotion. Do not forget the greater cause. Travel deep into Ginnungagap... into the depths of the earth. When the Fafnir Knight passes through the Door of Boundaries, the ordeals will come to their end.
The voice grows softer and more distant...
Please wait! If we proceed with the ritual... will Sir Knight regain his normal form?
I know that you have been burdened by fate... All I can ask is for you to complete the ritual. Go to the Yggdrasil Labyrinth and defeat a new evil to gain power. When you return, the ritual will come to its close. Knight's fate will be known to you then...
And so, the voice disappears... What could the Black Guardian have meant by your fate"...? The ambiguous and portentous statement gnaws at you deep inside...
Probably should prod the Black Guardian a bit more.
No matter how you try to raise the Black Guardian again, your voice echoes in the quiet hall with no answer given.
Why don't we go back? Neither of you look very good since the ritual.
Chloe's assessment spurs you to put a hand to your face. Though you weren't conscious of it, you do feel an odd weariness. You think it would be best to return to town for a rest.
You too, Trand. Let's go back.
You decide to leave the ritual hall and return to High Lagaard.