The Let's Play Archive

Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold: The Fafnir Knight

by Ragnar Homsar, Dr. Fetus

Part 21: Esbat

Update 16: Esbat

Alright, everyone seems ready. What's on the itinerary for today?
Let's see... "Get presents for Quona," "Kill three Tree Sponges," "Go through 10F," and... "Get milk and eggs?" "Sit in room and wait for something to happen?"
Oops. Sorry. I needed to write down my to-do list and that was the only paper I could find.

Last time, we took on two quests before heading into 10F. Let's take care of The perfect gift first.

...Does anyone actually know what Quona would like for a gift?
Uh... That's a very good question.
Maybe she'd like pieces of monsters from the Labyrinth... A Gryphon wing, maybe.
Condensed fire or an ice core seem like good ways to get her started on special effects. They're very, very pretty too.
Llllllet's just go ask some of the people in town, alright?

Our quest starts with visiting everyone in town to get ideas for gifts.

Yeah, uh... Yeh got any idea what Quona would like for a present?
Hee hee, I see! Oh! I didn't mean to laugh at you. I'm sorry. I mean, you're such capable explorers... It's funny to see you with no idea what to get a girl for her birthday! It's kinda cute.
I mean, we DID have some ideas, but I don't think Quona's very interested in severed monster parts or condensed elements. Also, um, that last comment--
N-Not that I mean to say I think you're cute or anything... Sorry! That came out wrong.
Oi, c'mon. I may have a burly face and a buncha scars, but that hurts ta hear.
Umm... Let's see... She might like flowers. She's a girl, after all. How ab out the Small Flowers that you can Take from the first stratum? She'll like it for sure! But there might be something better, so why don't you ask other people as well? I hope you can find something nice!
Let's go visit Regina. I'm getting hungry, anyway.

Quona--the innkeeper's daughter--her birthday's coming up. Hanna wants us to get her a present, but we don't have the faintest idea of where to start.
I see... In that case... Alright. I'll see what I can do. I'll take care of something while you all look around. The party's at the bar, right? I'll bring it over as soon as I finish it.
Thank you very much, Dame Regina! We'll be going to... Erm, where to next?
Cass seems like he knows everyone in town pretty well. He's probably got some fun ideas.

Hanna wants us to find a present for Quona's birthday...but the only ideas we could come up with ourselves were severed monster parts and densely-compressed elements.
...Welp, no clue what she'd want.
Thanks, Cass. Really helpful. You're as useful as alw--
But look, I'll help yeh out... I know where yeh might be able to find somethin' valuable.
...I'm listening.
A little while back, a caravan of merchants was attacked in a small room on the 3rd floor. They fled from the monsters and left behidn two wagons filled with treasure! I bet yeh could find some nice swag there... Oh, and keep this a secret, eh? Oh, and why don't yeh try askin' other folks, too? G'luck, kids!

Alright, let's see... We haven't asked Marion and Dubois for their thoughts yet.

Quona's birthday is coming up, and Hanna asked us to get her some presents. We're flat broke for ideas, though, so we've been askin' everyone for their thoughts.
What possessed you to come to me for advice...?
We're asking everyone in town for their thoughts.
Mm... I see... The world is a dangerous place, after all, so how about a sword? If she starts training now, she'll be ready to deal with any attackers.
I... I mean, I can see the need for self-defense, but... Quona? A sword?
...Er, merely a joke. Well, perhaps she'd like some berries? After all...who doesn't like berries?
Good point.
You can find high-quality berries in the western region of the 6th floor. Monsters may be roaming around that area, which is also why the area's not too well known...but you'll be fine. However...I can't guarantee she'd be excited by them. It might be wise to seek more recommendations around town. That's all. If there's nothing else to discuss, clear out.

Well, the only person we haven't visited yet is Dubois. Let's talk to him and then get on with this.

Innkeeper's daughter. Birthday present. We don't have any ideas ourselves.
A very difficult problem. No matter their age, women tend to be complicated and mysterious. Even I often wonder what to get my granddaughter. I'd certainly help you if I could, especially as the question is coming from you... But my duty is to the nation as a whole. I cannot set aside time for one individual citizen, adorable as she may be. I suggest you ask others in the city...they may be able to offer more useful advice. As a member of the board of education... I still have no insight into young girls. Forgive me for not being able to help. May you have luck in your quest.

Alright, let's see... Flowers, something from that abandoned caravan, and berries. Regina said she'd cook something up, too.
Let's start with the caravan, then.

SYSTEM: You approach warily, identifying it as the aftermath of a monster attack, but neither monster nor human seem to be here. Mvoing closer, you find a few bags that look like luggage. You may find something if you decide to scavenge.
...Is this okay? What if the merchants come back to try and get their stock?
Finders keepers. That's the Duchy's rule regarding the Labyrinth.
SYSTEM: The rules of the Labyrinth allow whoever finds an item within to lay claims to it. Regardless of the caravan's destination, it must have carried something worthwhile. You rummage through the bags, looking for something that could be used as a birthday present...
Over here!
SYSTEM: Before long, Rheine finds a candle with a faint floral scent in an open chest. You recognize the candle as a type popular among nobles. Its clean, fresh aroma, created by alchemy, provides relaxation for the owner for years on end.
...Wait, what's thi-- Ugh...
SYSTEM: However, the treasure chest seems to have been rigged with a trap, and Rheine looks woozy!

Your first party member loses 50 TP here.

Alright, let's...oogh, let's get on with it. Let's go find some flowers...
Here, just drink this. You'll feel better in a few minutes.
SYSTEM: Either way, you were able to obtain a present for the innkeeper's daughter. If you are satisfied, you can choose to go back to the bar to report, or you can choose to look for another present.

What kind of lazy chump do you take me for, game? We're going for every present.

SYSTEM: You may have been told by someone in town that perhaps flowers would make a good present. You could bring the Small Flower that you just got back to the bar as her present. If that does not seem enough, then you can choose to gather more presents.
Let's go get the berries that Marion mentioned.

SYSTEM: You may have been told by someone in town that perhaps berries would be good as a present. You can see distinct green leaves and purple fruit nestled on the Labyrinth ground.
Alright, carefully now...
SYSTEM: You decide to gather a careful selection of berries, and put them into a bottle.
My bottle.
My corrrrrrrrrk there's monsters here!
SYSTEM: However, the forest is far from idyllic... There appear to be monsters in the area! Monsters rise to attack--aiming to keep the berries for themselves!


SYSTEM: Thrashed around form the ferocity of the battle, the berries in the jar were mashed into paste. It has a sweet, fruity scent... It occurs to you that this may be a blessing in disguise. The mashed berreis emit a sweet, cloying fragrance... It resembles that of high-quality jam. You decide that you will make some minor adjustments to add sweetness and sourness ot the jam, and give it as a present.

SYSTEM: You now have more than enough presents for the daughter! All that remains is to go back to the bar to report your progress!

Ahhh, Lumen! Perfect timing! We're having a birthday bash for the innkeeper's daughter! Why don't yeh join us? Yeh can give her the present yeh found!
A'ight, where's the birthday girl herself?

Heh. Happy birthday, Quona!
We gathered some presents for you, Quona.
SYSTEM: You handed her the Small Flower as her present!
Wow...! ...... It's pretty...and it smells good. It's so nice... This is a great present... Th-Thank you...
Hold up, there's more!
SYSTEM: You handed her the Quality Jam as her present!
Ah...! ...... looks delicious. Can I share it with my mom?
Why would you have to ask us? Feel free to.
Thank you... This is a wonderful present... Haha...
One more.
SYSTEM: You handed her the Scented Candle as her present!
Whoa...! ...... Ha ha... It's a great present! Thank you!

Wow... Is that...a cake?
Mhm. A birthday cake for you.
This is amazing... Thank you...Miss Regina...
If you're gonna thank anyone, thank Lumen. They sort of gave me a quest, you see. ...Since I made my delivery, I'll go back to my store. Happy birthday.
Okay...! Uhm... Thank you very much for the party... I think...this is my best birthday ever. Thank you very much... Eheh...that's all.

Ah, shaddap, Cass. Heh.
All right... It's time we got down to business, Lumen. Here's the reward for doin' the job. Nice work! The girl has her gift, yeh have yer reward, everyone's happy! Cheers! Thanks for helpin' out!

We get more Therica A/Bs and EXP for getting more presents.

Standard, kinda boring level ups for Tyler and Realga.

Sophie, on the other hand, leveled up Curse Mastery to level 5, which unlocked the binding Curses. Binds are very useful, but I'd say just pick one or even two to max out. Maxing out all three will require a metric ton of skill points (27 of them).

It would seem that my services are needed once more.
What am I even here for? Can't you all just do this yourselves?
Why is it called a Tree Sponge if it's more like a fairy?

And now for something completely different. Say hello to the Tree Sponge Exterminators, a party I have put together solely to kill those fuckers as quickly and painlessly as possible. Ranger and Milly are going to be doing most of the heavy lifting, but I have Stardust for extra purely elemental damage, Jackie for Supreme Bolt, and Colette for War Edge Power plus Ailing Slash in case things go really badly.

I probably could've killed it with the normal party if I just had Tyler do nothing until I could bind the thing's arms, but eh. This was more fun.

Tree Sponge
HP: 4808, STR: 25, VIT: 22
Damage resistances:
Disable resistances:

A plant being that spins out of control, knocking foes off their feet!

Tree Sponges are either cakewalks or nightmares depending on your party composition. Physical damage dealers are basically right out until you can either Blind/Panic the thing or binds its arms. We saw Spin Drive a few updates ago--even now, it'd still kill the entire party.

The key thing with Tree Sponges is that purely elemental damage (composite types WILL trigger Spin Drive) does not make Tree Sponges go berserk. Their normal attacks hurt, yeah, but far less than Spin Drive does.

Also note that it nullifies stun, so Supreme Bolt is basically only a fast-acting attack here.

I have Colette and Jackie (not pictured) defend until I reach a point where I'm confident that the Tree Sponge will die before getting Spin Drive off.

You hate physical attacks, huh?


And I rev up the bulldozer.

Stardust'll help too.

If Ranger is a bulldozer, then Milly is some kinda aftermarket mod that replaces the bulldozer's engine and wheels with those of a racecar. (I presume that's how cars and industrial vehicles work.)

Barely felt that!

Back row party members using Defend take effectively 25% damage compared to normal.

And already, Ranger's dealt just shy of 600 damage to the thing.

If I just smoosh all these matches together...

Prepping for the Murder Turn™.

Stardust'll deal some damage in the meantime.

Because Ranger wasn't quite ridiculous enough already.

Consider that Stardust has a maxed-out Compression + War Song (60% effect) + a decently-leveled Inferno Formula + Analysis, and you begin to see why I consider Ranger's damage absurd.

This is gonna be fun. I have Ranger use Meteor Smash instead of Fire Wave since he'd run out of TP for the second one after casting the first--if you run out of TP to cast an action during Accelerate, you just waste a turn. And that's no fun.

Crush the thing like a bug!

~1000 damage from Fire Wave.

Meteor Smash does set off Spin Drive, but the Tree Sponge will die before it can use it.

For those of you keeping track at home, why yes, Ranger DID deal nearly 3700 damage in one turn, why do you ask?

Par-ting SHOT! Boom!

And Supreme Bolt's basically-priority action speed modifier lets Jackie snipe the Tree Sponge before it can act.

Imagine me repeating this same fight two more times.

I also remember that pretty much the entire party has skill points I didn't invest while grinding. I maxed out Ailing Slash on Colette, since I feel she can now eat the TP cost increase, and put 3 points in War Lore Mastery, which unlocked Warmight and Rockskin (buffs I don't care about since Milly and Rheine exist), and Artery, which gives the entire party a buff that restores their HP after acting for a set amount of turns. It's a very, very good buff, and one that I'll get to at least level 5 before going for Barrier.

I level up Fire Wave to level 7 on Ranger.

Leveled up Cocytus Formula to 9 and Inferno Formula to 4 on Stardust.

Another point in Fire Prelude. Oh yeah, I leveled that up a lot during the grinding.

I'm not entirely confident that Jackie can handle Charged Ice's TP cost increase from 20 to 25 at max level, so I have her put a point in Charged Fire instead.

Offscreen: I swapped out the Tree Sponge Exterminators for the normal party before turning the quest in.

Hey, welcome back! How was it? Did yeh get the ingredients?
Right here. Thank the Tree Sponge Exterminators for them.
Please stop calling them that.
Haw haw haw! Yeh guys are amazing! Gatherin' up all this must've been hell for yeh! Even gatherin' one's supposed to be hard, and yeh just stroll up with three... Yeh know I was kidding when I said three would be good, right? I only expected one, but yeh actually did it! Haw haw haw!
Aw, what's with the dirty look? I still gotta reward yeh for the extras, don't worry. Y'sure yeh don't want me to sing an ode to yer greatness instead?
Please no.
Haw! Fine, fine. Take all these! Use 'em carefully!

Axcelas are pretty damn good consumables. When given to a character, they restore that character's Force by around 10 or 15 if they are not a) in the Force Boost state or b) have had their Force gauge broken.

I put one point in Link Order and another in Link Order II for Rheine. Pretty much everyone gained one level from me using the Yggdrasil Clover Tea to grind.

Delayed Charge is now maxed out, and does max damage after 4 turns, along with generally doing much more damage. I'll be going for more Cross Charge levels after this.

Overheal can now boost someone's max HP a little more, and gives extra bonus heal.

Maxing out Cocytus Formula would bump its TP cost up to a whopping 50 TP, so I just get more Inferno Formula levels for now.

I put 2 points into Blinding Curse so Sophie has a way to disable enemies (as much as Blind disables, anyway) semi-reliably.

Let's get this out of the way so we can get to the strata I actually really like.

The Chop point on 10F gives Oni Chestnuts for its ingredient.

HP: 398, STR: 27, VIT: 18
Damage resistances:
Disable resistances:

A wild deer with intricate horns. Do not get overrun!

I really hate these things. Blast Horn is powerful enough to one-shot most front liners and either kill or severely damage whoever gets hit in the back row. Powerful Rage is basically irrelevant, since it basically means the Actaeon wastes a turn while you use all-target skills to end the battle quickly.

Rattle Nozuchi
HP: 224, STR: 15, VIT: 13
Damage resistances:
Disable resistances:

A long-tailed reptile creature so rare that a frozen specimen is worth a lot to collectors.

Thought Actaeons already hit hard? Corrosive Aura makes it even worse. That's pretty much all Rattle Nozuchis do, though.

Bear in mind, that's just the Actaeon's normal attack. Rheine really should not be in the front row, but still.

Murder clouds your vision...
Uh, I think biting its face clouded its vision.

Alright, c'mon, you're back in fighting--


Oh, COME ON. The thing's blinded and has its head bound! How the fuck did it hit her?!

Those antlers aren't much good when you're dead.

The Rattle Nozuchi died without much of a fight. My point still stands though: Actaeons can seriously screw you up.

It' of the Salamander's children?
If I remember right, Colette said they spit fire when they see something.
Isn't that a Tree Sponge over there?

SYSTEM: However, you believe you are familiar by now with each monster's behavior. One wanders the passages and the other breathes fire... You may be able to use this to your advantage to find a way through. If you can imagine your course clearly, then there is no need to hesitate. Go forth and put your plan into action.

You ever wonder what happens when a Tree Sponge walks into a Baby Salamander's fire?

That. That's what happens.

SYSTEM: You congratulate yourself on finding the most efficient means of proceeding! You may continue to use that flame to your advantage from here on, or decide it is not necessary and take another route.

For something that lives in a warm stratum, those Tree Sponges sure are flammable.

Rheine got a level up from a boring random encounter. I put the skill point into Link Order.

Same thing in the next room, except with a lot more empty space.

The timing's slightly harder on this one since the Tree Sponge isn't just patrolling the possible fire path. You have to walk into the Baby Salamander's vision when the Tree Sponge is one tile away from the fire path.


Oh, hello. Another dinosaur.

HP: 831, STR: 25, VIT: 19
Damage resistances:
Disable resistances:

Though generally an herbivore, this creature has a long neck it can use to harm intruders.

I hope you have some Blast Grenades or can kill the Sauroposeidon in 1 turn or so, otherwise enjoy having an either mostly or entirely dead party!

I think I can pretty fairly call that a headshot!

Head Pierce's instant death proc is always fun.

Secret passage here.

With a worthless Grimoire. Risk Perception gives your party a passive chance to negate a blindside, but its chance is low enough at the Grimoire's level where it's just a waste of a slot.

SYSTEM: The figure standing silently before you is an old man with a gun in each hand.
Heh. Those're some nice guns. So, who're you?
I hear a lot of things about Lumen. You made it here, so you can't be half bad.
SYSTEM: The old marksman's voice is deep and cold.
Not half good either, though. Why not leave this place to us and retire while you can?
SYSTEM: The marksman's words are shot through with spite...
Okay, enough of this. Who are you?
SYSTEM: The old man responds with a mocking laugh.
Since I'm the last man you'll ever meet, I should introduce myself. Listen well!

Fun fact: the original EO2 had an umlaut over the u in Der Freischütz, but I guess Atlus USA didn't feel like doing that for EO2U.

Wilhelm's title (which is his only name in the Japanese script) is a reference to Carl Maria von Weber's opera "Der Freischütz", or "The Marksman". Having never seen the opera, I can't tell you much about it, but this isn't the last reference EO2U makes to it.

Extra fun fact: Wilhelm's guns have names, although they're only given in the artbooks. The black-barreled one is named "Selena," while the gold one is "Traumerei." I don't know if there's any significance to these at all, but feel free to let me know if there is.

Hmph. Ya wanna fight us, then? Is that it?!
I've got medicine at the ready!
I'd rather not become a cannibal...
TYLER! REALGA! Stand down! We have nothing to gain from fighting other explorers!
Forget fighting other explorers, this man has decades of experience on us.
SYSTEM: Though your blood is boiling, you realize the futility in fighting fellow explorers. You sheathe your weapons, refusing to fight the old Gunner. But as you cast about for what to do next... You hear a voice call out behind you.

SYSTEM: The voice coming from behind you is that of a young woman. You turn to face her.

SYSTEM: Seeing her face makes you realize that this young woman is the same one you met at the Geomagnetic Pole on the 6th floor!
I'm sorry. My guardian must be overdoing it. That man...
SYSTEM: She flashes a glare at the old marksman and to your surprise, his menacing demeanor softens.
He can be such trouble...
SYSTEM: The woman gives a knowing smile to the old man before looking at you once more with dawning recognition.
You were the ones I met the other day at the Pole... Hmm. So you've managed to make it this far, have you?
SYSTEM: She adopts a curious expression as her eyes meet the floor. If you would like to ask her something, now may be the time.
Um, sorry about that. I don't think we got your name when we met at the Pole, though.
Oh? That's right, we haven't introduced ourselves yet. Let's get introductions out of the way. We're Guild Esbat... You must know the name.

Esbat apparently refers to some kind of Wiccan celebration of full moon, with the name being derived from Old French. I guess Wiccan stuff kind of meshes with the woman being a War Magus, but I don't see what it has to do with Wilhelm.

Marion talks about you a bunch, and we heard your name mentioned a bunch alongside Beowulf when we were new. So, yes, we've heard of you.
Haha, thanks. We've got a little skill, that's all, but it does add to our reputation. I'm Artelinde, a War Magus, and this Gunner is Wilhelm, my guardian. We explore the forest together. And believe it or not, my guardian was trying to help.
There's a nasty beast on the Labyrinth's 10th floor. It's not like anything you've seen. We don't want anyone without permission from the Grand Duchy to get themselves killed there. So he meant well... He was only concerned for your safety.
He was concerned for our safety, and tried to help threatening to kill us.
Hush, Realga.
SYSTEM: You find this hard to believe, but the old marksman has said nothing since the woman arrived. You finally nod to show that you're willing to let the matter drop. The woman continues.
If you want to go ahead, you'll have to talk with Dubois at the Duke's Palace.
SYSTEM: Artelinde waves goodbye to you, as if impatient for you to leave.
Well, see you later!

SYSTEM: It seems that you have no choice but to return to Lagaard and visit the Duke's Palace.

Lousy stupid Esbat. We were already warned about that Flame Demon, by Cass of all people!
Realga... I can see why you're frustrated, but please learn to control your temper. You too, Tyler.
Feh. At least Artelinde had a level head. That Gunner should've retired at least 10 years ago...

"Encountered" is putting it lightly, Dubois.
...Then you must have already heard from them. A terrible monster resides within the 10th floor. Its strength is quite fearsome, but it possesses an even more horrific quality... You see, a number of guilds have already set out to slay this monster, including Guild Esbat. Many faced down the ferocious monster...and some were even successful in slaying it.
Hold up. It's already dead? What're we here for, then?
However...after only a few days, the monster resurrected and appeared again, as though nothing had happened.
Do you see how the very thought of this creature pains me?
Okay, yeah, I can see why this thing's an issue now.
While the beast still lives...only the most skilled of explorers may pass the 10th floor. That is why I refuse entry to the untested, and only allow passage to those who understand the risks ahead. Do you also intend to fight that fearsome monster?
We are all committed to reaching the top of Yggdrasil, Dubois.

I see... I expected as much. Then I won't spare the details. Its den is at the end of the 10th floor, directly in front of the stairs upward. Its unholy regenerative powers and mastery over fire has led us to name it the Flame Demon. Countless explorers have met their deaths in combat against the fiend. If you mean to slay the Flame Demon, you must face it fully prepared!

I mean, realistically, the entire guild is at a level where we could take on Flame Demon and win with a decent party composition.

Gara Rod (+67 ATK, +15 HP, +2 TEC) is unlocked by selling 1 Ruby Shard. It's useful for Combat Medics, I guess.

Iron Claw (+76 ATK) is unlocked by selling 1 Steel Horn. I really don't have anything to say about this thing.

Next time: we finish 10F and prepare to fight the Flame Demon.