Part 17: PyroUpdate 12: Pyro
Another day, another donut. Let's get going.
Are we almost at the new team point? I'm getting real sick of waking up early.
Don't worry, I've got a Thread already! There probably aren't going to be any situations on 7F where we'd want it (no situations where we can get trapped between an FOE and a wall), but it's better to be safe than sorry.
Oh yeah, one thing about preemptives.
Let's just run before they notice us. I just want to take care of the bear, and go get the reward.
You are guaranteed an escape if you try to Escape on the first turn of a preemptive attack. Pretty useful if you just want to get somewhere and get out, like I do right now.
SYSTEM: The air is tense, and intimidating... You have the distinct feeling that something in the bushes is watching you. Perhaps this aura of menace means that the territorial bear from your request is somewhere close by...
C'mon out, greedy bear. We've got honey!
SYSTEM: If you throw the honey Cass gave you into the room, the bear may show itself, but it will almost certainly attempt to maul you. If you are prepared, then you can throw the sweet honey, and force the bear to reveal itself.
SYSTEM: Scattered over the ground, the honey's chokingly sweet scent quickly fills the room. Insects buzz, drawn by the sweentess. However, the insects are not the only ones drawn--within moments, a bear lumbers from the bushes, breathing heavily and growling. This must be the bear... Eyes bloodshot, it whirls on you with a snarl, charging towards you for the sake of the honey!
Pissed off bear, 12 o'clock!
HP: 2100, STR: 23, VIT: 20
- (G) Destructive Claw
- Normal: Cut, Stab, Bash, Ice, Volt
- Weak: Fire
- Normal: Poison
- Resist: Blind, Paralysis, Sleep, Curse, Fear, Petrification, Instant Death, Stun, Head bind, Arm bind, Leg bind
Though usually docile, if it smells anything sweet, it becomes a force of nature.
The Honey Bear's got stats and HP comparable to 1st Stratum FOEs. If you can take those down, this thing won't be much of an issue. Annoyingly, it resists every status ailment except poison.
I unfortunately forgot that this stupid bear resists all the status ailments we can inflict, and didn't enable War Edge Power as a result.
Beast Roar lowers physical attack a decent amount now, so I cast it. It'll take some of the heat off Ursa.
Ranger prepares his normal combo.
I should've just used Illusion Step to get as much damage out of Nadia as possible, in retrospect. She's probably not going to blind the thing.
Milly does the same thing as always.
I hit that thing right in its beady eyes! How can it still see us?!
Yeah, this is why Preemptive Roar is useful. Ursa having to take a turn to set it up means Colette loses nearly all of her HP, and Ranger wouldn't have fared much better.
Ailing Slash is kind of wimpy if it doesn't get its bonus damage, but it's not awful.
I enable Desperation to ensure Ursa can tank everything that'll hit her.
ＹＯＵＲ ＧＲＥＥＤ ＷＩＬＬ ＢＥ ＹＯＵＲ ＤＯＷＮＦＡＬＬ！
The Preludes don't buff up someone's damage much now, but they'll get much better later.
Okay, I got kinda lucky there.
Yeah, if the bear wasn't blinded, Ursa would've taken quite the beating--around 120 damage.
Now that's what I like to see.
As is that.
Never take your eyes off your foes!
Oh yeah, sometimes the bear'll skip turns due to the honey.
For the record, here's Ailing Slash after Colette had Ice Prelude applied to her. Troubadors allow for some really broken damage output once they get some levels.
This is probably some insane overkill, but eh. I'm headed back to town after this fight, anyway.
Learn to share your food next life.
Okay, yeah, that went beyond "insane overkill."
SYSTEM: You keep your eyes on the fallen bear, catching your breath, and sense a great many eyes upon you... Hands on your weapons, you glance around the room, and notice a horde of small forest animals watching anxiously from the door. By their joyful chittering at your victory, you realize they must be the animals driven off by the bear. They scatter in the bushes...
And so, the Labyrinth's ecosystem is preserved.
Why do you care about what monsters live and die here? They're all out to kill us!
Yeah, but something like the Labyrinth is unique, as is everything that lives in it. We'd all be worse off if the system gets thrown out of balance.
SYSTEM: This marks the end of the request. When you have time, you should visit the bar to report your progress.
Oh, yeh're back! Great job, yeh lot! I guess the bear hunt went well, eh?
The thing barely put up a fight.
Haw haw haw...! Hmm? A lot of customers for this time of day? Right, right... Heh heh. Y'know why? The hunters heard about yer success, and wanted to celebrate with a round of drinks! So, since I sent yeh out in teh first place, they came here! Yeh have any idea how much I'm makin' off them!? They do say "strike while the iron's hot..." Though I'm more interested in their gold than their iron! Haw...! Oops, back to work! Here, yer reward! See yeh next time! Now outta the way, I got payin' customers! Oy, where are those Lagaard Beers? And someone check on that simmered bear meat! Still needs the wine sauce!
Did...did you have your employees go take the bear carcass after we killed it?
Everyone got a level up off that. Including the EXP from defeating the bear itself, everyone got 2650 EXP.
I don't want to increase Ailing Slash's TP cost, nor do I really need any more points in Vampire right now, so I opt to have Colette start learning War Lore skills. I'm mainly interested in Artery and Barrier, but those are quite a ways off, and getting them to useful levels is even farther.
I know I was saying how Preemptive Roar is useful, but I opt to have Ursa level up Loyalty Mastery to increase the chance of it halving whatever damage she takes. She's starting to either be put close to dying or just straight-up die from tanking.
Another Freeze Sabre level.
I don't want to really start building towards Hazy Arrow yet, so I max out Blind Arrow. Nadia has the TP pool to handle the 12 TP cost now.
Another point in Shelter Song.
Alright, let's start the new floor.
Alright, a fork in the path. I'll ask you before you just wander off on your own this time, Ranger: do you "smell" any treasure?
Hmm... Nope. Not this time.
...I do hear a small animal down this path, though.
HP: 281, STR: 17, VIT: 13
- (G) Binding Vines
- (G) Gouging Thorn
- Normal: Bendy Vine
- Conditional: Crazed Bulb (Defeat while panicked)
- Ingredient: Vine Head
- Normal: Stab, Bash, Ice, Volt
- Weak: Cut, Fire
- Normal: Poison, Paralysis, Sleep, Curse, Fear, Petrification, Instant Death, Stun, Head bind, Leg bind
- Weak: Panic
- Resist: Blind, Arm bind
A terrifying plant that will bite anyone foolish enough to come near...
Fanged Vines aren't that bad on their own, but can become real nuisances with other monsters. Binding Vines is kind of a non-factor in everything, unless it binds a support's head. Gouging Thorn, on the other hand, tries to blind your entire party, which can be a serious hindrance if it hits two or three damage dealers.
Headcut is a War Edge skill that tries to bind an enemy's head if they have an ailment (or if you have War Edge Power on). I don't really like the binding War Edge skills, but they're useful if you need to bind an enemy for a conditional drop, like I...don't need to for the Fanged Vines. While I was recording this, I thought the conditional for Fanged Vines required binding their head.
Ooh, every head gets lit on fire.
AAAAH! I can't see!
Did you just eat the sun, Ursa?
Aside from wasting War Edge Power, that fight was pretty unremarkable.
Same text as the last squirrel encounter.
No. We are turning away from this thing, and moving on. Realga was still irritated she'd let a squirrel steal an Ariadne Thread, last I talked to her...
SYSTEM: You stand and leave the squealing rodent behind as you continue exploring the forest.
Saying yes just leads to getting an Ariadne Thread stolen from you, like the last time this squirrel showed up.
Ohhhh man, I do not like this encounter.
HP: 448, STR: 18, VIT: 15
- (G) Bullrush
- Normal: Steel Fang
- Conditional: Thick Boar Skin (Defeat with Bash damage)
- Ingredient: Boar Thigh
- Normal: Cut, Stab, Bash, Ice, Volt
- Weak: Fire
- Normal: Poison, Paralysis, Panic, Sleep, Curse, Fear, Paralysis, Instant Death, Head bind, Arm bind
- Weak: Blind, Leg bind
- Resist: Stun
A feral boar whose charge is quite nearly unstoppable.
This is the monster that bar patron warned us about. Bullrush already hits really hard on its own, but it can wipe out an entire line when paired with a Giant Moa. Much like the bar patron also said, though, Raging Boars are really weak to blind, which makes them a minor nuisance.
Also, that conditional is gonna be fun to get, because our only sources of Bash damage are axes (Zack and Phoebe), staves (Realga, Stardust, Milly, Rheine), and Ursa. I don't even try for it on this trip.
Ha, it's even easier to blind them than the Hexer said!
Nothing of note really happened with that encounter, thankfully. Better to have boring battles than ones where I'm at constant danger of dying.
SYSTEM: They look soft and inviting... It would be an excellent place to take a rest. You're sorely tempted to dive into the fallen leaves and forget your cares for a time.
We could all use a break, even if we are fairly early into this expedition.
Eh, why not. I doubt even the Labyrinth can hide danger under a pile of leaves.
SYSTEM: Taking turns standing guard, you dive into the fallen leaves one by one. After frolicking in the leaves, you begin to leave when Ranger cries out sharply!
I think it was the nuts on the ground.
SYSTEM: It seems Ranger was unlucky enough to jump onto these nuts... Fearing that the fallen leaves could conceal more of the nuts, you give up on resting here and go on your way.
Better than the EO2 version of this event, where you would lose an Amrita if your party had 100 total LUC or less.
SYSTEM: You use the opportunity for a short rest and a look around when a sudden revelation causes you to gasp.
Is that...a baby monster?
It's pretty big for a child monster, but it kinda looks like it.
SYSTEM: It does not seem to threaten you at the moment, but you cannot say if or when the monster may change its mind. You make a note to be especially cautious of the monster's position as you travel through the area.
We take a step to the left, in front of the monster, and...
SYSTEM: Unable to predict its next movements, you decide to distance yourself from it to observe its actions.
SYSTEM: The flames hang in the air at the spot where you stood only a moment ago. To pass through the lingering flames would surely injure you severely.
SYSTEM: You fix in your mind the monster's ability to breathe fire at nearby prey as you proceed onward.
So Baby Salamanders are 7F's gimmick. If you enter their line of sight (four tiles in front of them), they will spit fire one step later, which pushes you in the direction the Baby Salamander is facing, and deals 30 damage to the party on Expert. After that initial spit, you can walk through the fire just fine for a few steps, although stepping on the fire will hurt the party for 10 HP. A few steps later, the Baby Salamander will spit fire again.
Being damaged looks like this.
OH GODS IT BURNS!
OHHH I'M BURNING, I'M BURNING!
This is...uncomfortable, to put it lightly!
Why did we think that was a good idea, again?
We now know how much the fire hurts. Let's call it "the pursuit of knowledge," and leave it at that.
This room's pretty simple. There's a path to a gather point and shortcut to our present left, and a path forward that's visible on the top screen screenshot. We have two Baby Salamanders whose lines of sight both go over the path out, but all we have to do is just run forward from in front of the path.
7F's other Chop point.
Like I said, pretty easy.
Next room. There's a Baby Salamander directly overseeing the way into the room.
It's also guarding the way out of the room. Every few steps, the Baby Salamander will turn to face another direction. Unlike some other FOEs in EO2U, the Baby Salamander will only react to you if you are in its direct line of sight. It will react if it turns to face you while you're walking the path, though.
It's near that salamander.
You have to start going for the treasure chest that's just ahead as soon as the Baby Salamander turns around--otherwise, you'll end up getting stopped like this. Also, notice that we have no way out of this!
Ranger... Please get up... You're crushing me...
That baby's got some serious lungs.
All that for this?
Bite Earrings provide immunity to blind. Blind's one of the less threatening status ailments, so I dunno why you'd really want to use your accessory slot immunizing yourself against it.
And we're past the Baby Salamander blocking the way out.
We're so close to a shortcut to the door and I'm headed back to town as soon as we get it, so I just have Ranger cheese this encounter.
How does Akashic Nova even work, anyway?
SYSTEM: It appears as though the wall might have some sort of mineral inside... The wall is rather hard and chipping away at it will take some effort. Seeing what a waste of effort it would be, you abandon the idea and leave.
There's three spots on 7F that give this exact same text--they're part of an 8F quest we'll see later. The first spot's actually near the entrance (I marked with an E), but I forgot to show it off earlier.
Here's the shortcut I mentioned.
And back we go. Something I haven't shown off: EO2U marks items that are necessary for quests with a red exclamation point in the Sell interface. Previous EO games would tell you if you had the items needed to finish a quest, but usually only if you had all of the required items--if you only had a few, it generally wouldn't tell you, and it ONLY notified you when entering the shop.
Broadaxe is unlocked by selling 3 Steel Fangs. It's a very sizable upgrade from the best 1st Stratum axe. I don't have anyone using axes right now, though.
Headdress is unlocked by selling 1 Bendy Vine. I outfit our front liners (minus Ursa) with Headdresses, since the DEF increase is pretty decent over our old Ladybug Hairpins.
Chain Glove is unlocked by selling 1 Steel Fang. I also outfit our front liners (plus Ursa) with Chain Gloves, since they provide a decent DEF increase along with +5 HP. Ursa wants every bit of HP she can get so she's as tanky as possible during Desperation.
Moa Boots are unlocked by selling 2 Ostrich Tendons. In addition to providing +7 DEF, they also provide +1 STR. If you're outfitting any physical attackers with boots (which I don't generally do), the Moa Boots are a decent choice.
Oh, now this is a rare occurrence! I mentioned this while doing the DLC grinding quests, but the Yggdrasil enemies do have a natural, albeit small, chance to spawn on any floor in the Labyrinth. I don't fight this one because it only gives 1 ingredient, compared to the 30 or so its DLC variant gave.
Alright, now where were we?
Oh, right, more Baby Salamanders. As much as I'd like to just charge forward here, we don't have the distance to make it to the room's exit before the Baby Salamander notices us and forces us back.
There's a small area where we can wait out the other Baby Salamander's fire.
Baby Salamander puzzles really aren't that hard as far as FOEs go. Also, yes, if you can somehow kill that Baby Salamander, you can skip to this room from the one where we got the Treasure Chest.
Just gotta wait for this Baby Salamander to face where we are right now...
And we're home free.
There's also a shortcut here to skip the puzzle on return visits.
Colette, I gotta ask: how are you not just roasted to a crisp by this point? Your clothes look super heavy.
The cloth my garb is fashioned from is heat-resistant. Conversely, I must ask how your skin isn't burned--you aren't exactly wearing much.
...y'know, that's a good question.
My best guess is that those salamanders just make the ground very hot. Maybe the fires are just intense mirages?
Same basic concept as the last room--two Baby Salamanders that prevent us from just making a mad dash to the door.
In addition to the Baby Salamander you can see on the map, here's the other slightly discolored wall.
Since that Baby Salamander to the left is watching that narrow path, we have to wait for the one to the right to turn north, and then run down the lower path.
Or you could do it the Ragnar H. Homsar way and get pushed by the fire into the wall.
And then get pushed back by the lower Salamander.
I just opt to walk through the fire since I can reach the safe spots before the Baby Salamander goes off again.
Almost done with 7F. Just got these two doors left.
Behind the far door is the other Chop point of 7F.
And behind the closer door is the stairs.
There's actually something we need to trigger before we go back to town. When we walk in front of the door in front of us, this happens:
Uh... Anyone else feel some really strong heat coming from below the door?
Are we at the door to a giant oven?
SYSTEM: It seems that something unusually strong resides beyond here. To continue may be dangerous. You wonder if it wouldn't be best to return to town first and seek more information at the Grand Duchy.
And if we try to get on with the floor through the opposite door:
Grand Duchy's orders. If you want to get past here, you should take it up with them.
Call me crazy, but I think there might be a new mission for us at the Grand Duchy.
Nnnnnot quite. We're actually got a question about the 8th floor.
Something about the 8th floor? DO you mean to say that you've already reached that point...? ......
This Labyrinth's not really that hard to go through. Don't understand how all those people have died in it.
...Now that it seems you have grown strong enough, there is something I would like for you to do. Only a select few explorers know what I am about to tell you. Please, promise you'll keep this a secret.
You might recall that our chief goal in exploring the Labyrinth is, of course, to find the floating castle. But there is a more pressing concern... The Duke himself.
Is the Duke in good health?
The Duke is a very wise and good man...however, he has fallen grievously ill.
That's...more than a pressing concern, I think.
We sought the aid of many healers and priests, but none of them were able to find a cure. ...It pains the young Lady Gradriel greatly to see her father in such a state. She lost her mother when she was quite young. Her father, the Duke is the only family she has left.
Pardon my bluntness, but you should probably be more worried about diplomatic concerns before Lady Gradriel.
That is why Lady Gradriel has pushed the exploration of the Labyrinth...in order to find a cure for her father. ...The queen that founded this country was very skilled in medical arts, and she saved many people in her time. She left behind a great many strange and esoteric texts. Lady Gradriel has read through all of them... ...The texts are quite old. Any information within their pages may be inaccurate, or simply conjecture... But to the Lady Gradriel, with little else to sustain her but despair, it was a much-needed glimmer of hope. In the end, it was all I could do to keep her ladyship from entering the Labyrinth herself, and leave it to explorers.
Good gods, is she really despairing enough that she'd challenge the Labyrinth herself? All that'd do is just make the situation even worse.
Indeed. What if the Duke died of illness without an heir?
Ah, but I've rambled on long enough... Here are the facts you need. It has been reported that the ingredient for this potential medicine, the Fire Plume, has been found on the second stratum. I ask that you help us strive towards a cure for the Duke.
Saving a ruler from an incurable illness...
We'll do it. ...as long as we get paid appropriately.
Then you will help? Thank you... I'll explain further. We know that the Salamander resides on the 8th floor.
Is that Salamander what was powering the giant oven?
Its feathers are used to make the Panacea. Panacea, I should explain, is the term used for the miracle cure in the Duchess's papers. Guild Lumen... Will you help the Duke's daughter and myself? I must warn you, the rumors say that this Salamander is an incredibly strong beast. Many members of our guard corp have set out to investigate it, only to face near annihilation... I have the map they made. Watch for enemy movements, and avoid battle as much as possible. Moreover, this is the area where the Fire Plume is thought to be found.
I have no clue what that whole "here's the map they made" thing is about, since we don't actually get any of the map filled in. EO2 did fill in the Salamander's (then known as Salamox) nest on your map--maybe it's a holdover from that?
Our guard corps risked their lives for this information. I implore you not to let their efforts be in vain... I shall be counting on you, Guild Lumen.
As long as we get paid, we'll take care of it.
Quiet with the payment stuff, I don't want the Duchy thinking our guild's just a bunch of mercenaries or something.
And since we hit a new floor, everyone in town has new dialogue.
I've lived a buncha places. I grew up in Tharsis, that town with all the kangaroos, though.
While I've never lived in this Central City, I do hail from High Lagaard.
I came from Ontario. Decided to set out for other countries after hearing about the Sheldons' youngest daughter...Raquna, I think her name was, leaving for Etria.
...I don't remember, Ursa.
High Lagaard is a bit remote... It must have been quite a journey just to arrive here.
You're telling me. I had to go all the way to the coast, get a boat to Armoroad, and then walk even further to here.
Hm. I was merely thinking of possible measures to attract more foreign explorers... Road maintenance, arranging lodgings, ensuring we can provide for more visitors... There is much to be done. If there is anything you can think of that might help, please let us know. I understand that there is much that you have to do already, but I would appreciate your advice in the matter, hm? Ah, I've kept you too long again. I look forward to your safe return.
Marion's 8F dialogue.
Ha... I'm only joking. You seemed somewhat on edge, so I was trying to loosen you up a bit. I heard you accepted a mission to obtain a fire plume. The monster is extremely powerful... Be careful. Your mission is indeed important, but it's even more important that you come back alive. Understand?
You say that like we don't already understand it.
There's no shame in retreating if things look grim. As long as you keep yourself alive, you'll have a second chance. Well, that's all I have to say for now. Try to avoid any unnecessary risks.
By the way... Heard yeh made it to the 8th floor. Rumor has it there's some kinda fierce lizard there. Yeh all okay?
We haven't even seen the thing yet.
Whassat? Yeh don't know about it? I kept hearin' there's some huge lizard that shoots fire there... Was it just a rumor? Aw, crap, I got totally taken in! Hah! I heard a ton of guilds got wrecked by it! I don't know what's going on in there, but yeh'd better not forget to keep an eye out. Better to be smart and safe than dumb and dead, right?
That's a...crass way to put it, but I'd be hard-pressed to disagree.
Hey look, we can take on a DLC quest.
Haha just kidding, we'd get fucking slaughtered if we tried that. (Look at the recommended level.)
Quid pro quo is the first actual quest in the the The beautiful princess line.
Haw haw! I knew yeh'd take this one, since I'm the client! Yeh remember the quest yeh've got going, where that noble wants the Princess piece? I told yeh before, but it won't be easy to come across. Many nobles collect the Master Craftsman's stuff, and they won't part with it for nothin'. But they just might trade it to yeh for a piece they don't have. Now then... To tell yeh the truth, I myself have one of these chess pieces! A man came by once, and he paid his way with this piece instead of money. It's the only one I have.
Yeah, you never struck me as the chess-playing type.
But I ain't much for collectin' these, and I know yeh need it, so I can't just hide it away. So I'll swap it to yeh for a few things from the Labyrinth. That's fair, eh? 3 Rubies are all I want. Just bring 'em and I'll fork over my piece. G'luck!
Rubies are common Mine items from 8F. We'll have to make multiple trips to get 3 of them, but it won't be that bad.
Many happy returns:
That quest, eh? It might be kind of a hassle... Yeh sure about this?
Hassle is my middle name.
Well, yeh know the Duke's Palace isn't that far off, right? Naturally, his daughter lives with him. Us common folk don't hear much about their daily lives, since they're up in the palace, but... The Duke's daughter is having a birthday soon. There's a big celebration every year, and usually the whole city bands together to buy a gift. Usually it's a jewel. We have lots of jewelers, but not many quality stones.
Why the hell do you have more jewelers than gems?
I think yeh can see where I'm heading with this. Sorry to ask yeh to do our dirty work, but... Well, look at it this way: do a good job, and yeh're that much closer to the Duke's daughter!
I'd rather keep the gems for War Lore purposes. Finding unrefined precious stones in this land is near impossible.
Hunt for them on your own time.
Yeh can find precious stones at the walls of ores, in the 7th floor. Just 1's fine, but 3 would be enough to make somethin' with some real class to it. That's what the craftsman says. Welp, it's up to yeh how many yeh feel like carrying back. G'luck!
I already know where all three spots are, so there's no point in not getting them all.
There's no new bar patrons, so let's just move onto Regina's 8F dialogue.
Hm? Oh, I suppose I do have to carry a pretty heavy load...but it'll take more than that to slow me down. I can't explain it, but whenever I go, I end up surrounded by the housewives that shop there. They talk, fuss, give me discounts... But...how should I put it...? It just wears me out.
Over to Sitoth Trading, where I talk to Abigail before selling my stuff.
Hmm? Oh, I suppose my collar is worse for the wear.
Stand over here for a second, I'll fix that for you. A stitch here, and there... There! All done! Hee hee... I'm pretty good at mending clothes like this.
Thank you, Abigail.
I'll be minding the store, okay? You can take your time to look around.
Muffler's unlocked by selling 1 Collar Fur. It's a downgrade from the Trust Collar.
Mushroom Pin's unlocked by selling 4 Open Caps, and provides immunity to paralysis. Situationally useful on supports like Medics, I suppose.
At this point, I head back into the Labyrinth to get the Hardwood we need for Toward a cozier inn.
Ah, welcome back! Holy... Did yeh really carry all those materials from the Labyrinth?
Having a bear for a guild member is really useful for stuff like this.
Damn, I'm impressed at yer strength! All right, let's see here... Everything seems to be in order. Leave it to me! Here's yer reward! Use it wisely!
New recipes are always good, even if I don't really cook new foods that promptly.
Still working towards Artery and Barrier.
Still increasing the "halve damage" chance.
Freeze Sabre'll stay at this level for a while, since the TP cost for it jumps from 9 to 17, to say nothing of Ice Wave.
And Shelter Song is where I want it for now. I'll start leveling up one of the Preludes now.
Since I turned in the quest after reaching 8F, I lost Hanna's 7F dialogue. Oh well.
Yes, that plate right there... Oh, thank you. Hm? What is this...? Oh, have I never served this to you before? This is one of our customer favorites. It's something my husband came up with. I could whip some up if you want...but I wouldn't really recommend it. Why? Oh, well...you know. Bahahaha!