Part 11: Your Best Friends (plus some snails)Update 7: Your Best Friends (plus some snails)
Everyone ready? We're entering Chimaera's territory today.
We're...not actually fighting it today, right?
Do not forget sir Hrothgar. We need to find him and his pet before they do something rash...
And we begin this update with me allocating skill points I forgot to last update. I maxed out Sword Mastery, which unlocked Falcon Slash on Zack. Falcon Slash is a random-target Cut attack that can only hit any given enemy once, and has a maximum number of times it can hit. It's pretty much built for taking out random encounters, although the TP cost's too steep to really use that much early on. We do need it at level 5 to unlock Hurricane.
Meanwhile, these four have very uninteresting level ups. Nothing groundbreaking here.
Let's begin. 5F is slightly longer than 4F in terms of "time you'll spend on the floor," but it still isn't that long.
Holy gods, that's more teeth than I'm comfortable with a flower having.
Eh. How's it going t' see us without eyes? We'll be fine.
HP: 362, STR: 12, VIT: 11
- (G) Poison Pollen
- (G) Freezing Snare
- Normal: Huge Petal
- Ingredient: Giant Bud
- Normal: Bash, Volt
- Weak: Cut, Fire
- Resist: Stab, Ice
- Normal: Blind, Paralysis, Panic, Sleep, Fear, Petrification, Instant Death, Stun, Head bind, Arm bind, Leg bind
- Weak: Curse
- Resist: Poison
A man-eating plant that emanates a venomous pollen.
Remember how I said Giant Ladybugs back on 3F could summon a 5F monster if you left them alone? This is that monster. Rafflesias aren't as intimidating as they would be if you fought them on 3F, but they can still kill some party members, potentially cause a game over, if you're not careful. Poison Pollen tries to poison an entire row, which ticks for around 40 damage. Freezing Snare is an all-party Ice attack that also deals around 40 damage. Our party can survive that fairly easily at this point, but if anyone is poisoned, Freezing Snare + the poison would kill them.
Fire Rounds is a composite Fire+Stab attack, which is why it dealt that much damage even though Rafflesias resist Stab. When you have a composite damage type like that, the game just picks whatever element would deal the most damage and uses that.
See? Told ya those teeth don't mean anything.
Rafflesias' basic attacks don't hurt that much, especially with Front Guard factored in.
Cut cut cut!
Every Stratum has a floor with one of all three types of gathering points on it. They only give one food type each, sadly.
This Chop point gives Asparagus.
Another solo Rafflesia. Okay.
Hold it. I think that shortcut's already open.
Secret room here.
Oh come on. Why do I always seem to trigger encounters at doors and in front of chests?!
Third solo Rafflesia in a row. Sure. Whatever. These things aren't that hard to deal with.
Now that's a good reward. We'll need as many as possible for the Chimaera fight.
5F's Mine point. I kinda wish it gave Rock Salt instead of Sugar Beets, but oh well.
How many big flowers can be on one floor? Jeez.
That is four encounters in a row now against a solo Rafflesia.
Ooogh, that's worse than a hangover...
On one hand, I feel sorry for Zack. On the other, kinda glad he's not in our row...
And way further down the...alley, I guess I'd call it, we find:
Any of you know how to curse people? 'Cause I don't.
I know how to lace arrows with venom, but that's about it.
Abdomen Curse is a Hexer skill that tries to bind one enemy's arms. Nadia could maybe make decent use of it, but she needs to be contributing as much damage as possible early on.
That is the FIFTH solo Rafflesia encounter in a row. Now I'm starting to get a little annoyed.
SIX solo Rafflesias in a row.
Oh g-gods that's cold, e-even through my jacket...
I-I should've dressed warmer...
I have Rheine use her Force Break here to both heal everyone and give Nadia and Jackie some TP.
Stay determined, all of you!
Got a level up after the sixth Rafflesia there.
I finally raise Tornado to level 5 because Zack's going to need as much damage as possible in the upcoming Chimaera fight.
These three have the same level ups as last time, basically.
I opt to level up Attack Order to level 5, which increases the duration to 4 turns at the cost of raising its TP cost to 10. I want it as high a level as possible before Chimaera.
SYSTEM: It is High Lagaardian currency... Could some explorer have dropped it? You may pick it up if you wish, though the option is always there to ignore the money.
We are not risking an ambush. Everyone turn back.
SYSTEM: Knowing that nothing good ever came from greed, you decide not to touch the money.
The last hedgehog event is here, but it involves an encounter I wasn't that interested in getting into. We'll see it after Chimaera.
Seven Rafflesias in a row. That's a lucky number.
Finally, something different from those teeth flowers...
HP: 343, STR: 13, VIT: 11
- Snail March
- Normal: Metal Hull
- Conditional: Electric Shell (Kill with Volt damage)
- Normal: Cut, Stab, Bash, Fire, Ice, Volt
- Normal: Blind, Poison, Paralysis, Sleep, Fear, Petrification, Instant Death, Stun, Head bind, Arm bind, Leg bind
- Weak: Panic
- Resist: Curse
The king of all snails, whose magnificent shell changes attributes when electrified.
King Snails aren't that intimidating on their own, or even when paired up with a Hypnosis Owl like here. It's when they have Forest Snails that they become dangerous, thanks to Snail March there. You'll see it later.
Smash its shell and smear it on the Labyrinth's floor!
Even tiny eyes can't escape my aim!
Tramonte said something about electrifying snails, didn't she?
Wake up, everyone. Battle's over.
Mm...gimme a few minutes, sis... Lemme sleep it off...
I'm not your sister, Zack! We gotta get going.
Hm. This is odd. Why are there pillars in this small room disconnected from the rest of the floor?
Aaahhhh, what am I stepping in?!
SYSTEM: ...It's moss! Even through your thick-soled boots, it is evident how soft the ground is. But why would moss be growing in a place like this? Moss thrives on liquid, but try as you might, you don't see any water sources nearby. Yet you can't discount the possibility of an unseen source of water somewhere... If you wish to solve the mystery, you might try coming back here at night.
You guys think we should go wait till night falls back in town?
We will come back later. Let us map out the floor before we take care of sir Chapman's request.
Coming back here from 7 PM to 6 AM will result in a different event.
And behind this door...
How'd all these monsters get in here?!
This looks like a serious pain to navigate...
Gimme a second to think and we'll be fine. Hmm...
SYSTEM: Whether you slip by without encountering them or fight your way through, the passage will be harder than ever before. If you are prepared, then step forth!
A room full of Ragelopes and Vampire Bats. The Ragelopes circle around those two trees you see, while the Vampire Bats maintain their normal back-and-forth pattern. My first time playing, I was intimidated by this room pretty badly, but it's actually not that big a pain to navigate. Just try to trail behind the Ragelopes and stay out of the Vampire Bats' way.
Wait for that Ragelope and that bat to pass, then we run.
Same thing for these last two.
And we're done. Like I said, the room looks more intimidating than it actually is.
Let's go to the left first. We gotta map everything.
And the last gathering point of the floor, the Take point.
This is a fairly threatening encounter. A hit from the King Snail could finish off anyone in the back line low hit by Poison Pollen or Freezing Snare.
I killed the Rafflesia first, and this was the result:
Fight fair! You gotta gang up on us with your snail buddies to stand a chance?!
They're just snails, Zack.
If a King Snail is the last monster left alive, it has a chance of summoning 4 Forest Snails and putting itself in the back row.
Steel yourselves! The king is coordinating with the minion snails!
That message pops up when a group of monsters are preparing a group attack. I kill the Forest Snails before the King Snail can act, though, which leads to:
YEAH! Not so tough without your snail buddies, huh?!
I know battle gets you worked up, Zack, but seriously, give it a rest.
Snail March is a random-target Bash attack that hits (1 + (# of Forest Snails)) times. It hurts quite a bit, and is capable of killing one or two party members if you get unlucky with the hits. Thankfully, the actual attack is tied to the King Snail, not any of the Forest Snails, meaning that blinding the King Snail will pretty much completely shut the attack down.
And now that I've unlocked this shortcut, I take the chance to go back to town, sell off what we've gotten so far, and rest.
Warabide is unlocked by selling 3 Owl Beaks and 1 Metal Hull. If you're using a Ronin, this is the best katana you can buy in the 1st Stratum.
Rafflesia Whip's unlocked by selilng 1 Huge Petal. It's the best whip for Dark Hunters you can get in the 1st Stratum.
Flower Collar is unlocked by selling 4 Huge Petals. It's worthless for reasons we'll see later.
Lightning Shield is unlocked by selling 1 Electric Shell. It provides 10% resistance to Volt attacks. I didn't buy one for Phoebe here, but I might before Chimaera; it's a decent boost over her current Targe.
After that, I rest up, and run into an enemy on 3F I forgot to demonstrate while I was going through it.
HP: 84, STR: 9, VIT: 8
- Stomach Acid
- Normal: Gel Core
- Weak: Fire, Ice, Volt
- Resist: Cut, Stab, Bash
- Normal: Blind, Paralysis, Sleep, Curse, Fear, Petrification, Instant Death, Stun, Head bind
- Weak: Poison
- Resist: Panic, Arm bind, Leg bind
An unusual life-form whose viscous, liquid body is very difficult to damage.
Cube Gels don't hit hard. They're just annoying to take down if you don't have a Gunner or Alchemist. They have one noteworthy thing about them, though. When you kill them, this happens:
Oh gods, ew! Get it off me!
Stomach Acid reduces the entire party's physical damage for 3 turns. If you're in a fight against multiple enemies without elemental damage, this can seriously make the fight a real hassle.
Anyway, back to 5F.
SYSTEM: It appears to be a tiny flower, small enough to hold in a single hand...its petals a regal navy blue. You suddenly remember the quest you accepted at the bar... The quest involved a flower that would spark fond memories for an elderly lady who misses her beloved. This flower may be the very same that the quest asked for. You can choose to leave the flower where it is, or you can choose to pick it and take it back.
Well? Go on, pick it.
Don't rush me, flowers are pretty delic-AHH!
SYSTEM: The monster, shocked by your presence, lunges at you on instinct!
Come back when you've learned some honor!
SYSTEM: You have completed the quest! When you have time, you should visit the bar to report your progress.
Thought we saw the last of those dinos a few floors ago.
As easy to trick as ever, though.
Another FOE puzzle that looks worse than it actually is. You have two trees, one tile apart, with one Ragelope circling the one we're currently close to, and the other two circling the other one. Same solution as the others: just wait for the second Ragelope circling the right tree to pass, then run behind it.
There's a chest before we go further, though. Ice Jars are the same thing as Fire Jars, except they basically cast Ice Formula instead of Fire Formula.
The Raptor probably won't catch up to the party going through the Ragelope puzzle, but I tend to err on the side of caution.
So I trap it one more time to immobilize it.
You don't have to wait for the second Ragelope to pass, neccessarily; just the first one. I'd advise waiting for the second one to pass if you're close to a random encounter, though.
These FOEs are pretty coordinated to create puzzles like that.
Well, they've all got a common interest.
This is gonna hurt...
OH GODS STOP, I'M SORRY!
That is NOT a fun encounter to get blindsided by. Zack came dangerously close to death there.
HAHA! Try that again, tough guy!
They're snails, Zack. You don't need t' get so worked up.
Like I said, blind shuts down Snail March hard.
Shooting snails seems kinda unfair...
Don't feel sorry for them. You saw how fast they moved when they unloaded on me!
We're almost done with 5F. This is the last room coming up.
That dinosaur is blocking our way. Do we feel like we could fight it...?
I'm not taking any chances. Everyone retreat!
I have to go back into the previous room and let the Raptor de-aggro. The only way forward here otherwise is getting into a fight with the Raptor.
There's some pits over there! Move!
Back up! NOW!
I used to think dinosaurs were cool...
There we go. It might've looked like I was sandwiched there, but keep in mind the Raptor was injured and only takes 1 step for every 2 we do. It's easy to bait it into the other pit, as a result.
A modest sum of money, and our last chest of the Stratum.
Hm. You guys hear something behind that door?
Now that you mention it... It sounds like a...wolf...
SYSTEM: The black beast Wulfgar, always at his master's side, is here with blood-matted fur.
I-I didn't want to think this'd happen...
Hrothgar, you fool. You absolute fool, please be okay...
SYSTEM: When he spots you, he nudges towards you some objects at his feet, as if trying to appeal to you.
SYSTEM: The objects are assorted pieces of equipment... You surmise that they belonged to the Beowulf guild. One of them is a bloody sword that you receognize as that which Hrothgar carried. After presenting the equipment to you, the beast gazes ahead into the forest and gives a mournful howl. It is a cry filled with the sorrow of losing something precious...
Guess Hrothgar really wanted revenge. Can't blame him, honestly.
He saw three of his guild die to Chimaera. What made him think he could kill it with two...?
SYSTEM: In this way, you grasp the fate that has befallen the Beowulf Guild. And you know without a shadow of a doubt that beyond that door awaits Chimaera, the king of beasts... The black beast's gaze is locked upon you through the pain of its wounds, as if begging. You can challenge the king of beasts now, or return to town to ensure you're prepared.
Where's Chimaera?! I'll rip it apart monster by monster!
Lemme at it, too!
You IDIOTS! STOP!
SYSTEM: Its roar is so powerful that not only does it shake the nearby grass and trees, but your party as well. This must be Chimaera, king of beasts...the monster which you must slay!
T-this is Chimaera? This is what the Duchy wants us to slay...?
SYSTEM: The monster is unquestionably strong. Before you face it head on, you think it may be wise to see if anything in your surroundings may prove useful. Whether you charge at once or take a more measured approach is up to you. Once your mind is resolved, then make your move!
Fighting Chimaera right now would be absolute suicide, although you could probably guess that yourself.
Get out of here!
What in the seven hells were you two thinking?! You just saw what Chimaera does to explorers going on their own!
I didn't think Chimaera'd be so fearsome...or big...
What could've brought something that horrible into the world? What could've combined a bunch of monsters into one...?
Bein' dead won't do us much good in answering those questions, Jackie.
We'll ponder these questions and pay our respects to Hrothgar later. Engaging the beast right now would just result in us joining Hrothgar. Let us go tell the others what we found and prepare.
Ooh, the Landsknechts must've loved the Seared Deer.
After the results screen is closed:
He said that he wanted to trade Grimoires. If you're interested, I set up a section to trade in the Guild House, so check it out. He said something about it being good to have different classes and trading with stronger guilds. ...I didn't understand a thing.
Heyyyy...if the Landsknechts Guild was what wanted meat, that means...
Aww, come on. Only some axe guys came by for the meat?
Say hello to FOEbucks's newest feature: Grimoire Trading. Every so often, the list of explorers up for trading gets shuffled, in addition to Guest being added in time with ad campaigns. If an ad campaign you ran appealed to a group directly tied to a class, like the Landsknechts Guild, you'll get Guests, who have much higher leveled Grimoires compared to the normal riffraff.
I don't actually do any trading, but I do get the Deer Steak campaign we need for A taste for venison going before I leave.
Next, stopping by the Stickleback:
Hey, welcome back... This is the flower he proposed with? The damn thing's tiny...
It took quite a bit of gentleness to pick, yes.
...Looks like it's the real deal. Y'must have sharp eyes t'find a tiny li'l guy like this in the Labyrinth! Well, this oughta put a smile on the old lady's face. Good goin'. Here, take yer reward. Lookin' forward to yer help next time, too!
Like I said earlier, we need to back to that lone 3x3 room in the Labyrinth at night to see a different event.
SYSTEM: Looking carefully at your surroundings, you notice something odd on the ground. ...It's moss! Even through your thick-soled boots, it is evident how soft the ground is. 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...
My word. It's more glorious than any piece of art...
SYSTEM: The sight is so beautiful that it doesn't seem an exaggeration to describe it as tears spilling down from the moon. You can feel your cares and stresses melt away as you gaze upon it...
The event restores 35 TP to your whole party. Pretty useful if you're exploring 5F at night.
SYSTEM: The tears of the moon which Braggart Chap inquired after... He wished to know where they might be found. You feel certain that the "moon's tear" he spoke of is this very pool. Simply tell your client about htis place when you are next at the bar and the request will be complete.
We could've just told Braggart Chap where the event is, but it still needs to be night for it to actually count for quest completion.
Pretty sure we found where your "moon's tears" are.
Y-You actually found it!? Where... I mean, where was it!? C'mon, tell me!
Oh...so that's where it was! Awright, I'll take my son with me and go check it out!
Fade to black, followed by:
Y-You guys did it! You really found it! Thank you, thank you so much! It exists! It really exists! I was even seeing it in my dreams, but I couldn't find it...!
Guess you're not dreamin' any more, eh? Eh?
Ahahaha! Guess you're right! No pinchin' myself outta this one! But...thank you. For everything. I'm...really grateful... Gah...and old man oughta have more dignity than this... Look, I left somethin' with Cass, as my thanks to you. Go on, go get it. Thank you...so much.
Back already? Yeh aren't half bad. Never thought someone would waltz in and prove old Braggart Chap's been right all along... Guess it's time for a little field trip. I'll grab ol' Chap, the fellas, and some supplies, and we'll all go take a look.
You want to see the beauty for yourself, Cass? I do not blame you.
Eh? What're yeh talkin' about? I'm not allowed to go on a drinking trip with my buddies 'cause I feel like it? Look, go ahead and take yer reward. Awright?
I only need Tornado level 5 for Hurricane, and I'd like Hurricane as soon as possible, so I start leveling up Falcon Slash.
Pretty much the same level ups as before for these two. Paralysis Arrow now has a higher chance of paralyzing its target, at the cost of the TP cost going up to 8.
Jackie unlocked Charged Fire. We actually won't really need this until the 3rd Stratum, but eh.
One last point in Attack Order before Chimaera for Rheine.
Only unlocked the Sauschwert, which requires 2 Metal Hulls. It's a downgrade from Hrothgar's Sword.
And to close out the update, let's develop those last two foods.
Forest Deer Sukiyaki doubles your party's action speed for the first turn of a fight. Not really worth it.
Black Tea greatly increases your party's resistance to blind. This is actually very useful for a few fights later on in the game.