The Let's Play Archive

Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold: The Fafnir Knight

by Ragnar Homsar, Dr. Fetus

Part 26: No Penguins In Sight, Unfortunately

Update 20: No Penguins In Sight, Unfortunately

Everyone got their winter clothes ready?
...Everyone except you.
I trained in the cold long ago. I'll be fine.
I dunno how well a 60-something man'll handle freezing weather, but okay.

We'll actually start exploring the 3rd Stratum today.

I really don't have anything to say regarding preparations, so let's just go.

E-even with this thicker coat, I'm still freezing...
Weak kids. Let's get a move on.

Right off the bat, we find a Chop point near the Geomagnetic Pole. It gives Glitter Apples for ingredients.

That thing is just...what?
A Deep One! We must slay it immediately! Before it produces offpsring!
Those're just stories, Asriel.

HP: 353, STR: 21, VIT: 21
Damage resistances:
Disable resistances:

Fishmen are trash mobs that I really don't have a lot to say about.

To be swift, you must beat one's enemies!
Wrong order, Asriel.

Oh yeah, I don't think I've mentioned this about Ronin yet. Each of their stances, when maxed out, gains a 20% chance to automatically activate at the start of a battle, which also effectively gives you an extra turn of the stance as well. Leveling up the stance to 20 through Grimoires increases the auto-activate chance to 30%.

Beast Roar + Preemptive Roar makes Ursa's job during random encounters a lot easier. Look how little damage she's taking from these things.

Not much of interest happened in that fight.

Yeah, the starting part of 11F just has filler around it, aside from the Chop point. Exciting!

Shortcuts in the Frozen Grounds are little green shrubs. Again, they contrast well against the normal parts of the stratum.

That... That is a snowman with a face.
It's kind of cute.

Snow Ghost
HP: 253, STR: 19, VIT: 16
Damage resistances:
Disable resistances:

A manifestation of pure snow whose vitality will spike when endangered.

Snow Ghosts are trash mobs normally. Do you remember those drunks at the bar who warned us about Snow Ghosts "biggefying," though? Yeah, don't leave one alone in a fight, or you'll really regret it--because you'll be fighting a 15F monster.

Forest Dragonfly
HP: 422, STR: 26, VIT: 19
Damage resistances:
Disable resistances:

A carnivorous dragonfly that adapted to harsh life in the forest. Its wings are highly prized.

Forest Dragonflies are significantly more threatening than Snow Ghosts. Confusing Blitz can either kill someone from full HP outright, or leave them basically helpless. It's an especially big issue when you have a Beast, since arm binds disable Hit-Taker.


I kind of feel bad killing it...
It's just a monster that looks like a snowman, it's fine.


That's not so much a "neck snap" as it is a "wing cut."

Cut is basically the most common physical damage type for player characters (Landsknechts, Dark Hunters, Troubadours, Ronin, War Magi, and Sovereigns all have innate access to it), so getting the Severed Wing isn't too hard.

A mere few steps later...

That's one mad-looking cow.

War Bison
HP: 919, STR: 29, VIT: 23
Damage resistances:
Disable resistances:

A wild bull that resides in deep wood, it tramples all in its path.

War Bison are an annoying combination of "very durable" and "hard hitters." 919 HP will take a while to chew through, even with Fire damage, and while you're chewing through it, you're going to have to try to keep your party members alive through Stomp. Unless someone's at 100% HP, they're very likely to get taken out by it. Asriel, especially, is at an extreme risk of dying repeatedly here.

Note that I had Ursa debuff the War Bison with Beast Roar to make it easier to deal with.

Can you, uh, fix that, Realga?
I dunno, those were some pretty intense squishing sounds...

Asriel took a lot more damage than Ursa not only because he has considerably worse armor and VIT, but Ursa had Loyalty Mastery kick in. Remember: this thing's physical damage is debuffed by around 30% right now.

Ohhh, my aching...everything.
Oh, don't be such a baby. Ribs grow back!
Okay, no they don't. I'm still charging full price for that revival.

Alright, who wants cooked bison meat?

SYSTEM: Looking around, you see a gleaming stone like a pillar of ice atop a mound of snow. You think you may be able to grab the stone if you reach for it...
It's right there. If something bad happens, I've got everything needed to fix it.
Give me a moment...
SYSTEM: Asriel volunteers, and after nearly slipping a few times, manages to grab the stone.

Adularia is a Mine item we can't get until 12F.

There's something angry near us...
SYSTEM: Jackie speaks up, raising their agreement, and points to the south.
W-wolves... Over there...

SYSTEM: It is not facing in your direction, and does not seem to have noticed your presence. You may proceed with caution to stay out of its line of sight, or you may simply dispatch it to remove the obstacle.
No. Nuh-uh. Absolutely not. That thing looks strong, and it looks mean.

Fighting an Ambush Wolf is a great idea if you've got a death wish.

Ambush Wolves stay put when you haven't aggroed them, and turn every few steps. Their vision is roughly a cone shape around them, meaning you can aggro them when you're not in their direct line of sight. If you aggro a wolf, it will chase you until you leave its invisible aggro zone, at which point it will walk back to its original spot, turn to where it was when you aggroed it, and reset its turn counter.

Oh yeah, there's another Chop point here, with Forest Tea for its ingredient.

Tch! I was careless!


Remember gathering ambushes from the original EO2? They're...well, kinda back. They're not nearly as common as they were in EO2, and the encounters aren't specifically set to be as mean as possible, but it's still a guaranteed blindside.

That is...gonna take a lot of work to fix.

Here's how much Stomp hurts without a physical attack debuff, by the way.


If you're wondering why I broke Issen out a few turns in, it's because Asriel and Ursa kept dying to Stomp, and Stardust and Jackie weren't killing the War Bison quickly enough.

How many bison can be on one floor? Good gods.

Can I please stop running into these things, game?!

Ambush Wolves are easy to get a preemptive on, but I still wouldn't recommend fighting them now.

SYSTEM: You can rest here and admire the snowman, or ignore it and plow onward.
Those bison are taking a lot out of me. Let's just relax for a bit...
I'd normally question how a snowman this cute was built in the Labyrinth... Oh well, it's a very nice snowman.
SYSTEM: You decide to rest your weary feet and admire the snowman for a while. The sight is so incongrously adorable that it naturally soothes your soul.

The entire party recovers 30 TP from saying yes. If you say no, you get into a fight. A fight I'm pretty sure you get blindsided by.

SYSTEM: Well-rested from your short break, you leave the area in a much improved mood.

I don't like the way that wolf's licking its lips...
Get back get back get back!

Looks like it realized we can outrun it.

Ignore the snarling. Just keep moving. We can outrun it. I think.

Just showing that Ambush Wolf vision is a cone, rather than a direct line. And yes, the cone is not completely obstructed by walls.

Since there's a shortcut back to where we just were, I take this chance to go back to Lagaard and rest up.

Cutlass (+74 ATK) is made from 1 Blue Scale. It's the first 3rd Stratum sword, and is not really worth buying.

Epsilon Axe (+83 ATK) is made from 1 White Gem. Axe upgrades are infrequent enough that it's probably worth buying this thing if you're running an Axe Landsknecht.

Crystal Mace (+63 ATK, +30 TP, +2 TEC) is made from 1 Adularia. The TP and TEC bonuses are nice for caster classes, but you probably don't need to upgrade from whatever staff you last bought in the 2nd Stratum just yet.

Ganyu (+90 ATK) is made from 3 Blue Scales. It's a +4 ATK upgrade over the Heshikiri. Yawn.

Dragonfly Bow (+76 ATK, +10 HP) is made from 1 Severed Wing. It's a very nice upgrade from 2nd Stratum bows, and I'd recommend buying one if you have a Survivalist.

Red Helm (+18 DEF) is made from 1 Red Foreleg. It's a helmet without extra stats. Woo.

Scale Boots (+12 DEF, +10 TP) are made from 5 Blue Scales. Consider that the Quill Boots from the Red Haggis give 1 less DEF in exchange for +1 TEC. Pass.

Hmph. There's more of 'em.
Let's just watch where they're facing, and be as quiet as possible...

That didn't last very long.

This is a really awkward spot. It's entirely possible to get yourself caught in a loop of aggroing the wolf on the bot, running away from its aggro zone, and aggroing the wolf on the top.

Like that.

Rrr, rrr, rrr!
I-is she saying to go?
Yes she is! Move! The wolf's facing away from us!

There's a door to our right! Run!

Ah... Phew...
Well, this is a weird room. There's a bunch of rocks in front of us...and do I hear water from behind the trees?

This spot'll be important for two quests after we finish 11F.

Running in front of this Ambush Wolf isn't a great idea, since you need to go just to its right in order to get out of this room.

Much better.

SYSTEM: To your surprise, you find that this room's floor is covered in ice!

SYSTEM: You tentatively touch the icy floor before you... It seems thick enough for you to walk upon without breaking. You need only shed your anxieties and take the first step. You extend one tentative foot to see if the ice is walkable...
Oh, come on, you big babies. It's perfectly fine to walk on. See--


You'll forgive the open chest and time difference, I had to record this after the fact due to my laptop being worse than normal and causing the 3DS viewer to drop 10 frames off the end of the sliding.

SYSTEM: It is only due to the fallen snow there that you do not injure yourself from the rumble you take falling into the grass. This may present a problem... Once you step onto the ice, you lose control of your momentum until you run into something. A certain amount of trial and error will be necessary to figure out which path to advance to your goal. It may be best to look around carefully first to find the best way forward before proceeding.
Are you okay, Realga?! C'mon, up you go...
Um... T-thanks. Okay, that was stupid of me...
Least we know how to safely get across this stuff now.

Ice tiles will send you in whatever direction you walked onto them until you hit a solid obstacle. You can't move or change direction at all while sliding.

Thankfully, there's no random encounters while on ice tiles, so we're free to just slide as much as we want until we reach the stairs.

SYSTEM: It's hard to tell the exact number against the snow, but there seem to be at least ten. The snow creatures have not spotted your presence yet... You may have a chance to strike first, though it's also an opportunity to leave quietly.
Quietly now.
SYSTEM: As you begin your charge, the snow underfoot melts, revealing another snow creature!
What the--
SYSTEM: This must be their nest! Dozens of monsters, all alike, appear around you.
They look significantly less cute now...
SYSTEM: You are grievously outnumbered, and completely surrounded with no chance of escape!
S-Stardust--um, Luca... Th-there's something I should tell you before we die.
No time, ladies, look!

SYSTEM: The snow monsters clump up into a single area and begin to combine into one! Its size grows larger by the second, eventually developing into a gargantuan monster! The moment while it's still combining may be your only chance to escape from here!
C'mon, now's the time!
SYSTEM: You screw up your courage and face the gigantic monster! Failing to anticipate your resistance, the conglomeration of snow demons stops moving.
Hmph. What're you frozen bastards waiting for?
SYSTEM: You wait tensely for it to make the first move, but the giant monster suddenly begins to panic! You hear countless piping voices from its hulking frame, as if quarreling with one another. Sensing an opportunity, you take your weapons and charge at the brute!

Snow Swarm
HP: 2800, STR: 30, VIT: 23
Damage resistances:
Disable resistances:

A swarm of Snow Ghosts. If they would just act as a unit, they would be unstoppable!

The Snow Swarm is a modified version of a 15F enemy. In fact, they're a modified version of what the Snow Ghosts "biggify" into! This thing can take a while to kill, and can put serious hurt on your party if it casts Hailstorm. Even a high-level Ice Wall won't help, since Hailstorm is random-target and Ice Wall only works once per character for a given turn.

Also note that my choices there led to a preemptive attack. If you make the wrong choices (namely, choosing to run instead of fight), you get blindsided instead!

In a moronic decision, I didn't just have Stardust burn the thing down with Compressed Inferno Formulas. I underestimated how much HP this thing has.

It... It froze Ursa...
I don't have medicine for this... Stardust, help me thaw her out!

Bleh. The Snow Swarm's basically a mini-FOE, and I should've treated it as one. I could've probably killed it by now if I just had Stardust throw Compressed Inferno Formulas at it.

The Snow Swarm has FOE resistance to instant death, but I decided to take the gamble anyway.

Oh yeah, sometimes the Snow Swarm does nothing.

Agh. I had such plans.


Okay, Issen helped. Instant death would've been nice, but the damage wasn't nothing.

Practice your teamwork next time.

Fighting the Snow Swarm is important if you're going for 100% completion, since it's not a missable event fight, and is recorded in the Monstrous Codex as a result.

SYSTEM: You pick up the stones, which you assume are the remains of the fused beast, before making your exit.

So, Realga, what did you want to tell me?
Uh, um... N-nothing! Nothing important. Incidental details. Money stuff. Let's just get to the twelfth floor, shall we?
Same for me. I can't say I understand what just happened.
You don't? It's pretty obvious to me.

Now that the Snow Swarm's taken care of, let's get back to the ice puzzle. It's fairly simple--the room's full of small outcroppings like the one we're bumped into that you just either slide into the corner of or the jutting-out part to go somewhere.

Oh yeah, if there's solid ground on the path you're sliding, it'll stop your slide.

And from that small patch, we can get at the treasure chest. Again, hard to go wrong with free Amritas!

There's also a handy shortcut back to the Geomagnetic Pole room.

And so, we're (mostly) done with 11F.

SYSTEM: He must be a member of the guard corps that you heard about at the Grand Duchy, one still searching for the Snow Bloom. You approach the guard to speak with him.

We're Guild Lumen, yep.
We were the elite, sent on the Minister's orders to find the Snow Blooms, but...
SYSTEM: The guard cuts his speech short there and looks away timidly before continuing.
Conditions here are worse than we'd imagined. The slippery ice keeps us from progressing. We can't find the flowers. We'res taying out of trouble and only searching during the day, but maybe that's not enough...
Knowing the Labyrinth, yeah, those Snow Blooms probably only show up at night.
SYSTEM: The guard falls silent there, and gazes at you before continuing.
This task was too much for us. Do you think we could leave the rest to you?
SYSTEM: The pitiful soldier stands there hugging his own body from the cold and fear. It falls to you to investigate the ice-covered forest and find the Snow Blooms.
Well, the Duchy told us to find the Snow Blooms. Should we get started?
Rrerr nrr.
I'm super-tired after that giant snowman thing...
Let's call it a day, shall we?

Always fun to come back to a finished ad campaign.

Not as much as last time, but still nice.

The North Ward campaign brought in this Protector, who has a passive I actually kind of want.

Hang on. "Barehanded Fafnir?" Isn't that Ranger's special thing? That's what Colette said, anyway.

Yeah, you can find other Fafnirs while Grimoire Trading. It's kind of strange and arguably runs directly counter to the plot since there should only ever be one Fafnir (note: should), but whatever. For the record, Fafnirs are just random events, and aren't tied to any particular ward in the town. Grimoire Trade Beasts follow the same rule.

Anyway, I swap out a max-level trash monster Grimoire for the Protector's level 9 Aegis, which is a passive that gives its owner a chance to survive a mortal hit once per fight at 1 HP. I'm sure it doesn't take a lot of thought to put together that I put this on Ursa. Beasts do have Deadly Resolve, which does the same thing, but it takes 20 skill points total in two passives to max out, something I'd rather put off till later.

Anyway, I set up new ad campaigns to appeal to the Gunners Bureau in the South Ward and the War Lore Study Society in the West Ward.

Let's take care of 12F dialogue. I unlocked nothing from selling our stuff at Sitoth, by the way.

Oh, must've forgotten to close it after the snowman fight.
There, all done up. That should do it, but you need to be more careful! This may be a peaceful little neighborhood, but you still need to be careful! While I was out the other day, I tripped and fell on the road. Apparently, the stone pavement was loose on a hill. I landed right on my hip, and it's been sore all day!
Ouch. That kinda hurts just to hear. But, uh, what does that have to do with our bag?
Huh? What's my point? Um...oh, right. There's more dangerous out there than just the Labyrinth, so you still need to stay cautious. Bahaha!

Abigail's up next.

They say you're climbing Yggdrasil faster than any other guild, and it's only a matter of time before you find the floating castle! I agree!
Well, if the Labyrinth follows the pattern I think it does, we can't be that far.
Remember, even if you become big famous explorers, don't forget about our little shop!

I've already mentioned the postgame 6th Stratum a bunch of times, so make of that what you will. Until then, here's a fun game: try to imagine what the upcoming strata will look like.

Moving over to Regina.

All the background noises just fade away, and the only thing that feels like it matters to me is the recipe's next step. The kitchen's often full of noise, but to me, it feels like the most quiet and peaceful place in the world. ...You probably think that's a little strange, huh?
Nah. From what I've heard about cooking, that sounds about right.

Cass is always fun to talk to.

Coulda done without the comment on War Magi, Cass. But, eh, it's pretty nice to look at.
What's that? It looks "pretty?" Sure, it's pretty for a frozen armpit full of monsters. C'mon, are yeh lot even takin' it seriously?
We had a brush with death less than an hour ago, Cass.
Let me tell yeh something, I hate the cold! When it's winter here, even the inside of the store gets freezing cold...
You don't have to tell me that, Cass. I've lived here since I was a baby!
Not quite as long for me, but I've been here a while, too.
I hate having to open this place up in the morning. My hand gets all numb from the cold! One of these days, I'm gonna live somewhere nice and warm. Tropical. With strong drinks.
Armoroad? You've gotta be talking about Armoroad.
But for that day to come, I'll have to keep slaving away here! Haw haw haw!

Marion's not as fun to talk to as Cass, but still.

Getting used to the frozen forest yet? No matter how skilled of a fighter you are, the cold is bound to slow you down.
Not really.
Not for me.
I trained extensively in the cold, long ago.
But the monsters that have lived there since all their lives have adapted, and grown used to it. Your odds are...not ideal. If your normal approach doesn't work, then you'll have to think quickly. Try some new strategies, and see what works. Well, that's all I have to say for now. Try to avoid unnecessary risks.

And last on the dialogue list, Dubois.

...Tell me, what will you do if you find the floating castle?
Well, I've got a pretty big bill running so far. Could probably just retire comfortably if we go that far and finish!
I'll have gotten everything I wanted out of life after we find the castle. Think I might settle down in High Lagaard.
Rrrr... Rrer rr.
...Find a cheese-loving panda and settle down in the forest? ...Y'know, I don't know what else I could've expected. Me... I dunno! I'll probably think of something when we get closer to the end.
Minister Dubois... Didn't you mention something about ennobling us once we reach the end of the Labyrinth?
Of course, we will honor our promise to grant you the status of a noble! Please, rest assured. It is just...there are some that question whether explorers would actually be interested in receiving that as a reward. For my part, we at the Grand Duchy would like nothing more than for someone of your distinction to join our ranks... Hrm... ...Pardon me, I suppose I got somewhat ahead of myself. Though you have a ways to go, your progress thus far is exemplary. I look forward to your safe return, explorers.

There's no new bar patrons this time, so... No. No, that's the wrong quest. Take it down. We're not even close to being able to take that on.

Much better. This is the first non-grinding DLC quest we can take on.

Y-Yeh're takin' that quest? Yeh're serious? Did yeh even read it? Askin' for hot springs in the forest...'s downright ridiculous!
We've seen weirder in the Labyrinth.
The forest is dangerous enough already, but to hang around shovelin' in it... Why would anyone ever wanna do that? I mean, I did put up the request, but I didn't think that anyone would grab it... Yeh really are nosy, aren't yeh?
I'd say more thorough than nosy.
Well, the client's already picked out a location, apparently. 'Round the southeastern area on the 11th floor. ...But still. Ain't no way yeh can get hot springs outta Yggdrasil, no matter how hard yeh try...right? Either way, its yer funeral now, so go give it a shot until yer client's satisfied, I guess.

Yep. Hot springs. I'll let Fetus show you what that entails in Story mode since it's different there, and you can probably guess what it'll entail if you've ever played a Persona game. For Classic, it's pretty much just your average quest.

Under maintenance:

Hah, yeh're taking that quest? Truly, yeh're heroes to the folks of High Lagaard!

Fun fact: the original EO2's US subtitle was "Heroes of Lagaard." I think the Japanese subtitle was closer to "The Grail of Kings," which we'll see later on, but don't quote me on that.

I warn'll be rough. This one involves carrying a huge load.
Eh, it can't be that bad.
Yeh've seen just outside the gate, right? And the shops that line the street... Yeh must have noticed that the roads here are in absolute shambles.
Hanna just told us about tripping on pavement and injuring her hip, yeah.
I'm not just talking about bumps in the road--some of them have huge boulders jutting out! And the problem is just gettin' worse with all the new explorers. To fix up the roads and add some new ones, we'll need a bunch of big rocks. There's a quarry on the 11th floor that we use for times like these. Yer job is to go get rocks from there, one by one. Backbreaking work, that is. So we figured we'd let yeh do it while we sit back and relax! Haw!
Do any of us look like we can carry huge rocks, Cass? Aside from Ursa?
Aww, don't get sore... I'm just kidding. Alright, let's continue. The guards at the quarry will give yeh the stones, but remember, they're huge. Yeh'll have to carry one rock at a time. When you pick 'em up, bring them to the Town Square or to the guard by the Geomagnetic Pole for the 3rd Stratum. Now, the quarry's gonna be around here.

We need three rocks in total, so yeh'll have to make three trips. Take yer time... It's a brutal job, but it's for the good of the town. Just put yer head down and power through!

Playing Cupid I:

...What the hell is this, Cass?
Ah, it's one of those... I accept any posting, but this kind of request... Meh. Ah well, no harm in telling yeh. There's a beautiful woman some ways off. Yeh wouldn't know her. She's a fickle one, with a new man on her arm every day. Most men know to stay well clear. But not this unlucky fella... He's an old friend of hers, and they're on reasonably good terms. So he figures, "What the hell?" and decides to propose.
That's...quite the leap to make. Geez.
He lavishes gifts on her, but she refuses every one. He's tried every method of proposal in the book by now, and more'n a few that aren't. All he can think to do now is try the stuff in the Labyrinth. What he wants is a chunk of Celestine. Some folks call it the "Sky-blue Gem." Yeh can mine it from the 3rd Stratum. It's no easy rock to get ahold of. If a man gave it to a girl, she'd be swept off her feet. It's a silly-sounding request, but... If yeh find some, bring it here, all right? Thanks!

Celestine is an uncommon Mine item that we can get on 12F. It'll be no trouble for the Byeahs to get.

Art imitating life:

Hmm... Taking that quest, eh? It's from Sitoth Trading. But yeh're used to that by now, surely? Go to Sitoth Trading for the whole story. Be seeing yeh!

But...didn't you already sell us what we needed...?

The quest wants us to unlock Red Helms, which we've already done.

Oh nooo, I think the workers forgot to tell Cass! I'm sorry! I'm really sorry! He probably didn't know the quest had already been done...
A-Abigail, it's fine. Please calm down.
They were supposed to tell him, but they must have been too excited to have the materials. I'm really sorry! But it's okay! I think he should still have the reward, if you want to claim it. Please be careful! And come back if you need anything!

Ahh, welcome back! How'd it go? Did they make anything new?
Kinda, yeah.
Haw! Good, good, It seems like yeh're getting along quite cozy with that Abigail... But yeh can count on me to keep my mouth shut. Haw!
...Pardon me, Cass?
Great work as usual, and here's the reward. Keep doing those quests!
No, Cass, come on, what did you mean by that?


Yet another point in Preemptive Roar.

Overheal can now boost someone to 175% of their normal HP.

Still holding off on the last Inferno Formula upgrade so Stardust can conserve her TP during Labyrinth exploration.

Another point in Burst Shot. It'll be worth using eventually, I swear.

Next time: hauling rocks, followed by Amazing, Mystical, Magical, Loved-By-Giant-Toads, Rejuvenating Hot Springs! (Only two of those adjectives are truthful.)