The Let's Play Archive

Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold: The Fafnir Knight

by Ragnar Homsar, Dr. Fetus

Part 28: This Ice Ain't Nice

Update 22: This Ice Ain't Nice

Iiiiiiiit's Snow Bloom day!
Do you really have to be so cheery about it?
It'll be like going through any other Labyrinth floor, honestly. We already completely map them.

Alright, let's finally take care of 12F.

Much like 11F, I have nothing to say about preparations, so let's just get straight into it.

Did Dubois even tell us where the Snow Blooms are besides "on the twelfth floor?"
We'll find 'em eventually. Let's just start.

More ice? Are we really sure we don't have some kind of super-traction boots that let us walk on the ice?

12F in the original EO2 had a massive central area filled with a bunch of ice tiles. Evidently Atlus didn't think that idea was worth re-treading, since 12F in EO2U is pretty much B21F from EO3 (the first floor of Cyclopean Haunt)--tons of narrow corridors with slippery tiles all over.

SYSTEM: But as fearsome as the monster's outward appearance is, it is fast asleep and shows no sign of moving.
A sleeping FOE. Well, that's a new one.
Don't think we can really budge it without waking it up. Guess we'll just have to find another way to that area behind it.
SYSTEM: You let out a sigh of relief and banish your worries before leaving the monster to its sleep.

Oh yeah, here's the other primary gimmick of 12F. Hell Dragons will be sitting around in certain places on the floor, sometimes blocking your way, sometimes not. During the day, they'll be asleep (and yes, starting a fight with them whie they're sleeping in the Labyrinth does make them start the fight asleep). During the night, they'll be patrolling a linear path back and forth.

Fighting a Hell Dragon at this point (even while it's asleep), by the way, is a really terrible idea.

Is that...a door over there?
Looks like it.

We'll be reaching that small area much later in the floor.

SYSTEM: Sunlight shines down through the somewhat resembles a budding flower.
I think that might be a Snow Bloom...?
I don't think the Duchy will want it in this state.
SYSTEM: If you come back once the sun has set, the resemblance may grow even stronger...

The game will let you know where a Snow Bloom spot is during the day, but you'll have to check them at night to actually get the things.

You think it dug out that little crevice itself? Seems kind of pointless otherwise.
So you think the Labyrinth was planned out by someone--or something? I don't think there's much of a "point" to anything in this place.
Well, all of the floors we've gone through have all revolved a central gimmick each. I can see where that idea comes from.

Six front legs seem like they'd be a hindrance.
That mane's kinda amazing, though.

HP: 474, STR: 29, VIT: 22
Damage resistances:
Disable resistances:

An eight-legged horse that gallops over its target at great speeds.

Another uninteresting enemy. Trample hits kinda hard, but as long as it doesn't hit the same non-Ursa person more than once, we'll be fine.


I can fix the wounds, but I dunno if I can fix the hoof marks.

"Neigh" to you.

The Fishman died without much of a fight.

No matter how many times we slide, I still feel uneasy.
I really hope the next few floors don't have as much ice in them...

...Are we REALLY sure we can't kill that thing? That treasure looks--

We'll be able to get that treasure once night rolls around.

Claw Beetle
HP: 459, STR: 26, VIT: 24
Damage resistances:
Disable resistances:

A large insect with a hard shell that deflects bullets and swords.

Claw Beetles are kind of annoying to take down without elemental damage. That's really all there is to them. If you're using an Axe Landsknecht, you should definitely go for the conditional drop, since the Tabarzin is very nice.

Hmph. Chipped my blade.

I really can't overstate how great Stardust is at just deleting random encounters. She killed both of the Snow Ghosts in one shot and hurt the Claw Beetle for over half its HP.


I swear these things are intentionally sleeping in the worst possible places.


Owwwww, my hand, ow, ow...
Even the swiftest swordsmen couldn't open that thing while moving.
How would you get the actual treasure even if you opened it?
I can--ow--dream.

Another Snow Bloom spot.

Realga, you're keeping the map up to date, right?
It's annoying with how much we're sliding on ice, but yeah. I'm charging double for floors with ice on them.
I don't wanna think about how lost we'd be without that map.

I'm getting kinda sick of these lizards.

Snow Lizard
HP: 276, STR: 20, VIT: 18
Damage resistances:
Disable resistances:

A lizard with an affinity for ice. It tries to chill its prey with its breath.

Snow Lizards aren't that bad on their own, but much like the Flame Lizards from the 2nd Stratum, multiple Freezing Breaths can actually put some really serious hurt on your party if you're not prepared.

A minor setback.
S-speak for y-yourself.

Realga and Ursa took considerably less damage because they were defending. You can also kinda see how TEC factors into the elemental damage formula going by how much damage Asriel, Ursa and Jackie (very low, low and low-ish TEC, respectively) took compared to Realga (high-ish TEC, high-ish VIT) and Stardust (high TEC).

Like I said, one Lizard on its own isn't that bad, but multiples mean that Freezing Breath damage starts to stack up.

My flame, wreathed in blades!

Flame Grater is an Upper Stance skill that deals Cut+Fire damage to one row of enemies. Yeah, it still requires Upper Stance be set up, but it lets Asriel contribute a bit more to random encounters.

Only one more Snow Bloom location left to find.

The Chop point here gives Petit Onions for its ingredient.

Someone's keeping track of the time, right? I'd rather not have these things suddenly wake up on us.
Wouldn't it be nice to get the mission done in one go, though?

Hold up...

Realga-- It's just-- A squirrel! Stop!

If you didn't learn your lesson the first two times, you can let the squirrel steal another Ariadne Thread from your pack.

Something tells me the last Snow Bloom isn't behind that door.
Might as well just see if the stairs are behind here, though!

SYSTEM: You enter and are met with a cheerful voice ringing out.

SYSTEM: The woman who makes her presence known with those words is Artelinde. She gazes at you, as if searching for something.
If you're here...then aren't you on a mission for the Grand Duchy to search for the Snow Blooms?
...How do you know that?
W-what she means is, yes, we're doing just that!
We just wanted to see what was beyond this door.
You won't find them past here, I can tell you that. All that's up ahead are the stairs to the next floor.
SYSTEM: The woman glances over her shoulder as she speaks before looking back to you.
Great. We'd just like to learn where the stairs--
You really should finish the mission before going further.
Good advice, but I'm not one for following--
SYSTEM: With that, the woman casually blocks your path--intentionally, you suspect. It seems you have no choice to turn back for now.
Come on, Realga, let's not start anything...

At least there's a shortcuts back to the stairs here. I'm not headed back to town yet, though, since there's only a little bit of the floor left to map.

I think this is what that lovestruck guy told Cass he needed.
I really doubt this is gonna convince the person he has his eyes on.

And this is the last Snow Bloom spot.

...Well, that was abrupt.
I-it just got a lot colder, t-too...
We've been exploring for longer than I thought.

Yeah, the game just kinda goes from perfect daylight to night within the span of a few seconds when the clock ticks from 6 PM to 7 PM.

However, since it's now nighttime, we can go get the Snow Blooms!

Right after I pick up trash from the Labyrinth floor.

My word, that's a gorgeous flower.
SYSTEM: Could this be the Snow Bloom that Minister Dubois asked you to retrieve? The flower blooms alone in the frigid night air...
: Alright, carefully now...
SYSTEM: You reach out to pluck the flower blooming quietly in the snow... Taking the icy, sublime flower in hand, you leave the area.

One down, three to go.

Nothing interesting happens as I backtrack to the Snow Bloom spots.

Aside from this irritating encounter.

A short time later, though...

Is that...stomping I hear behind us?

SYSTEM: You recall it being fast asleep when you last saw it, but now it's placidly stomping about on the path. It would seem the dragon is active at this time of day... You commit that fact to memory as you resume exploring the snowy forest.

Like I mentioned before, the Hell Dragons become active at night, and patrol linear paths back and forth. A few of them block off paths, but they don't make parts of the floor unexplorable.

...This is just a potion made out of pulverized rocks. Why does every treasure we come across have to be useless?
Y-you sure it's just pulverized rocks? It feels kinda evil...

Petrify Gas has a really low chance to petrify every enemy in a battle. You may think this is kind of a random treasure, but the Hell Dragons' conditional drop actually requires that you petrify them. Aside from monster Grimoires, the only ways we can do that are Petrify Gases and the Scorpion skill for Sword Dark Hunters. The latter is not an option with how I've built Freyja, and it's really finicky anyway. I'll have to come back to 12F later with Sophie and just keep restarting the game until I finally petrify one of the Hell Dragons.

Hold up.

We have all of the Snow Blooms. Why don't we just go back to Lagaard now?

I wandered around aimlessly for a bit before I realized I actually had all four Snow Blooms. Back to town we go!

Oh man that's a lot of stuff to take care of. Let's go turn in the mission, first.

Oho! I see you succeeded in collecting the Snow Blooms! We now have another of the ingredients mentioned in the ancient documents... Please wait here, brave explorers. I must consult my Lady...
Take your time.

Truly!? Minister Dubois, do they wait in the antechamber still? I would express my gratitude to them in person!
Stay. As the Duke's daughter, I must thank those who risk their lives to save my father!

Meet Gradriel. Her name and character design (save for a modified hairstyle and a hairclip styled after the seal of High Lagaard) are borrowed from the main character of Princess Crown, an Atlus-developed Sega Saturn ARPG from 1997, of which I know absolutely nothing about since it was never released outside of Japan.

...! I-it's a pleasure to meet you, Lady Gradriel.
Minister Dubois has appraised my of the situation. He says that the renowned Guild Lumen is the one to obtain the Snow Blooms.
Yep. Spent most of the day searching for them.
My father is bedridden with a grave illness... In his absence, I thank you. I had thought to enter the Labyrinth myself to cure my father's malady... But as Lady of High Lagaard and the Duke's only daughter, I was unable to do so. It is only through your courage that my spirits are lifted.
I understand that no monetary reward is adequate to the risk you have incurred thus far... But that is currently my only concrete means of expressing gratitude. I pray you accept this reward for your hard work in the spirit it is meant.

Muuuuuuch appreciated! Alright, I think 6000 en is a fair cut for my extra "mapping on slippery ice" charge--
We'll pay you when we reach the end of the Labyrinth. That money is for guild expenditures, now.

We're already pretty busy doing Labyrinth stuff. Tell us the details, first.
A fair concern. The demand is mine, to be sure. Our lore has it that the royal family descends from residents of the floating castle. Many ancient texts support this legend. We believe it to be true.
I mean, we're all technically descended from the floating castle, I think. Go on, though.
One source also makes mention of an artifact called the Grail of Kings. This holy Grail, said to rest in the center of the floating castle, can heal any illness.. Further inquiry allowed us to identify the components necessary to create this powerful curative. You know them as the Fire Plume and Snow Blooms. When mixed in the Grail of Kings, it creates a miraculous Panacea. By your guild's efforts, we have the two ingredients. One final step remains...
To find the Grail of Kings.
And, if I had to guess, it's probably in the floating castle.
That is correct. Legend says that this Grail of Kings is enshrined in the center of the castle in the heavens.
Called it!
I would ask that you continue your journey until you gain access to this castle. Should you discover the Grail of Kings there... I beg that you return with it that I might save my father...nay, our entire nation of High Lagaard!
...Hmph. Didn't exactly think our exploration would gain an ultimate purpose.
That grail is probably worth a lot... Hell, I could even make more traveling with it, curing whoever...
...O-on the other hand, having the Duke indebted to us is probably worth a lot, too...
We'll do it! We'll work tirelessly to get that grail and cure the Duke!
...Yeah. Sure, let's go with that.
What generosity toward a man you have never met before...! Your guild is truly composed of kind hearts. All I can do is pray that your journey is as peaceful as possible.

We won't force you. But if you discover anything of use, I beg you to inform this old man. You'll be rewarded, of course. Forgive us for laying this burden on you...

We now have a purpose to our exploration of the Yggdrasil Labyrinth: saving the Duke of High Lagaard. It's not something that'll really come up again until later, but it's there.

Let's go take care of those other things before we finish that last bit of 12F.


Hopefully this'll fare better.

I use some of our surplus money to just make random upgrades to the town.

Yeh already got it!? Livin' up to the Lumen reputation, I guess. But still, if I were yeh, I'd have sold it to the jewelers instead of bringing it here...! I admire yer sense of duty. I'll make sure this finds its way into the right hands! Between yeh and me... Do yeh really think this proposal scheme will work?
No chance.
Dumbest thing I've heard all week.
How is this any different from what he's tried?
She didn't really seem that interested to begin with...
Not a chance in hell, I say! The poor man'll end up with no rock and no girl. Mark my words! But I guess we'll have to wait and see... Well, here's the reward. Keep it up, yeh lot.

Cut Talismans reduce the amount of damage Cut attacks deal to the holder by 25%. I personally consider it worthless. On the other hand, EXP is never worthless!

Passives. Yep.

I really want Protection Vow, so I have Ursa put a point into Protect.

Another point into Salve.

Thor Formula levels. Very interesting, yep.

Burst Shot levels are interesting too.

Selling off the materials from exploring.

Talwaar (+82 ATK) is made from 2 Metal Horns and 1 White Metal. It's a middle-of-the-road 3rd Stratum sword.

Rouge Whip (+75 ATK) is made from 1 Red Mane. It's on the lower end of 3rd Stratum whips.

Cut Talisman (Reduces Cut damage by 25%) is made from 1 Divine Carapace. I already gave my opinion on these things.

Alright, we finished that Snow Bloom mission. Hopefully Artelinde won't get on our case this time.

SYSTEM: The black-haired witch Artelinde is still waiting here.

SYSTEM: Her enthusiasm is halfhearted, as she wears a dark and rather melancholy expression. She continues in a low voice...
Maybe it's useless, but... I have to try. Your quest in the Labyrinth... What would you say if I asked you to give it up and go home?
Beg your pardon?
If I weren't so nice, I'd have a lot of choice words for you, you godDAMNED--
Calm down, Realga.
B-basically, we can't do that, Artelinde.
SYSTEM: The impish woman smiles sadly upon hearing your response.
Figures... You'd need a better reason than my say-so, I guess. Then I'll tell you one thing.
SYSTEM: She looks up to the heavens from the snowy forest and continues her speech.
People in High Lagaard say there's a floating castle above the Yggdrasil Labyrinth. That's where the ruler of the skies and his people live... They collect the souls of the ones who die down here.
SYSTEM: Artelinde catches a snowflake falling from the sky and gazes at it in her hand.
It sounds like just a legend, but it's not that simple. Something terrible is past here that no one can defeat... I'm warning you now. If you still want to go up there, I won't stop you...
Good, we'll be on our way--
...Not yet, anyway.
SYSTEM: The black-haired witch quietly mutters the last sentence before turning her back on you.

I don't like the way she said that. Sounded too much like that Ronin I met in Etria for my tastes.
You still sure Wilhelm wanted to "help us" back in the 2nd Stratum, Luca?
I can't believe you're still upset about that.

Eh, I'm sure those're just empty threats. What the hell could be in this frozen wasteland that Artelinde would want us to not go near?

SYSTEM: It is a very large block of ice, bigger than any within your party. You give it a hard knock and a hard sound issues from within, indicating that it is solid indeed. While checking the block of ice, Asriel notices something else and points at the ground.
The ice is on ice.
SYSTEM: This block of ice is itself on the same icy ground you've slid across so many times thus far. From the look of it, the block is not completely moored to the ice on the ground. If you push the block with all your might, you may be able to mov eit. You may test this conjecture by pushing this block of ice here...
Ursa, if you will.
Rr-hrm. HRRRRGH!
SYSTEM: You stand in front of the giant block of ice and push with all your strength to force it down the icy path!

Well, that seemed easy to push, given how big it is... Still, good job, Ursa.
SYSTEM: It would appear that the block of ice can be pushed across the icy ground to the other size. Using this shoulda llow you to reach heretofore inaccessible areas. You keep it in mind as you once again return to your investigation of the Labyrinth.

For the record, ice blocks start showing up on the map once we check or push one. They follow the same rules about sliding on ice that we do, except that we can't push them onto solid ground. They also act as solid obstacles, and will stop us if we slide into one on ice. For example, we can't push the ice block to the right (relative to the map)...

But we can push it to the left, which gives us access to that treasure chest we saw a bit ago.

Which has a very nice treasure in it.

Once ice block push later, and we're done with 12F.

Let's just head back to town.

Let's start the end by checking in on Hanna.

She's been helping out with the inn a lot lately. She even covers the front desk for me, when I'm busy.
Doesn't her being super shy get in the way of running the front desk?
Hm? You're worried about her because of how shy she is? Haha, she's fine! She is my daughter, after all. I'm sure Quona's doing her best to impress all of you, too. Just let her do what she needs to do! Thanks for your concern though. I'll be sure to tell my daughter you were worried about her! Bahaha!

Moving on to Abigail.

It was my first time ever going there... There were so many tough-looking explorers, I ended up getting really nervous. You all explore the Labyrinth and fight monsters alongside people like that, right?
Kinda, yeah. I guess.
Wow... That's amazing...! Exploring is so cool!

I unlocked nothing new, so let's just move on.

Seemed like he really liked my cooking. After calling me over to compliment my work, he finished his meal, and left. ...The strange part came afterwards. After a little while, someone that looked just like him came into the cafe. If it was just that, then I could just write it off as a coincidence... But he proceeded to order the exact same thing. Could that really be a coincidence...? Even if it wasn't, then what could it have been?
It was probably just--
Wait...c-could it have been a gh--!
I... I doubt that.
N-No, of course not. I-It must have been his twin brother?
Regina, it was probably just the same guy coming back for more food.

Over to Cass.

I just won big at my weekly card game, and I'm feeling fine! Look at that beautiful sun! Yeh want something to drink? Go on! It's on the house.
We'll take it!
Why am I not surprised these two are day-drinking?
Heh heh. Drink up, drink up! Let's have a little celebration! Oh, but more importantly...exploring the Labyrinth's fine and all, but don't forget to check my bulletin board. We don't just need yeh for explorin'. There's other help that the people of Lagaard need. Just keep in mind that the people of this city are depending on yeh! I mean, yer one of the best guilds around now. I've got plenty of requests, so keep helpin' me rake in those profits.

We'll check on the quests after we talk to everyone.

...There's something I'd like to warn you about, though. You've heard of the guild Esbat, correct?
Those two...are probably some of the strongest fighters I've ever seen come out of High Lagaard. ...I'm only thinking out loud here, but... Sometimes, it feels like those two act strangely. Suspiciously, even. If you ever see them within the Labyrinth, I suggest you keep your guard up...just in case. Well, that's all I have to say for now. Try to avoid any unnecessary risks.

And last on the list is Dubois.

There is actually more to that legend of the floating castle. "God waits in the floating castle for heroes. The strong will live with God forever."
Hm. Artelinde said something similar.
...In truth, there have been many stories of powerful guilds suddenly disappearing into the depths of the Labyrinth. The logical answer, of course, is that they fell victim to monsters, but some believe they were taken away to the floating castle. ...Your guild has grown quite powerful, too. I merely wanted to give you a warning in advance...just in case. Now, excuse me. I look forward to your safe return.
I'm not gonna die until I get payment for services rendered. You can quote me on that.
I'd prefer not dying, period.

13F quests.

Playing Cupid II:

Well, that was fast.
Haw! Wondering what that one's about, are yeh? The lad was rejected...again.
Don't think anyone here is surprised about that, right?
Yeh remember yeh found the Celestine for him? Well, he went to the girl to present his gift to her... And she didn't even look at him! That's how I expected it'd go... Haw haw! I knew she wouldn't be so easy to flatter as all that. But the lad won't back down yet. If the first gift was rejected, he wants something better. But I doubt he'd find anyone who'd...
What does he want now? We'll do it!
Eh? Yeh're willing to help him!? Yeh're too damn soft...
Well, some of us have different reasons than altruism.
Ahhh, now I see! Yeh just want the reward and the joy of seeing him fall on his face again, eh? I take it back about yeh bein' nice--yeh lot are more wicked than me! Haw!
...Eh? What's with those faces...? Hrrrrngh! Yeh're all so naive and innocent! Yer child eyes are ruining my b uzz! Welp, fine. Yeh can be goody two-shoes if yeh want...means more fun for me! Haw! So, this time around, he wants a flower called Narcissus. And about that Narcissus... I heard yeh can Take it from the 3rd stratim. C'mon now, though... Don't risk yer life to help a lad with his hopeless pursuit for love! Well, g'luck then!

We'll find Take points on 13F.

To the bitter end:

Now I have to warn yeh, this quest comes with its share of sorrows... The client is a poor lass who was all set ot be wed last month, but... Just before the ceremony, she came down with a heavy fever. Her fiance, being a helpful lad, went into th Labyrinth to find some healing herbs. The guard corps...they looked for days, but all they found were his things.
Don't know what he expected exploring the Labyrinth on his own.
No body left behind, but we all know what happened. The girl's drowning in tears nowadays. Says she'll have her revenge for her fiance. I thought she'd gone 'round the twist. So I promised her if she posted a request, someone would take care of it. Nice guy, me. Haw! His things were found on the northern end of the 12th floor. When yeh get there, yeh should find the beastie. Really let 'em have it, alright? Be careful.
Eh, it can't be that bad. Even Hedgehogs could take out someone on their own.

Just out of reach:

Oh, that request. I knew yeh'd see that one.
Well, it has quite the nice reward attached!

The quest's reward is 8000 en, by the way.

The fella who put it up was kinda...skittish, but it sounds like he found out about some kinda treasure in a cave on the 12th floor. Seems the farthest depths of the cave are full fo stalactites. Yeh know those, eh? Big sharp icicle-lookin' stones on the ceiling? Anyhow, nervous guy like him didn't wanna tromp around in a dark, dangerous cave. So he came back here. But the fella couldn't get the treasure off his mind, of course, so he's puttin' in a request to find it. Doesn't even want it for himself! All he wants is to know what it is. Beyond that, he ain't askin' for anything else. Might be dangerous, but as long as yeh go int he cave and see what the treasure is, yeh get it on top of the reward. Sweet deal, eh?
Almost too good to be true. Feels like there might bea catch...but nothin' ventured, nothin' gained! Besides, yeh can handle it. As for the place, it's on the 12th floor to the west. The fella oughta be waiting for yeh there, so get goin'. Keep an eye out! Can't be too careful, eh? G'luck!

The only new patron is the Dulcet-voiced caster.

Oh, members of Lumen. Hmhmhm... How kind of you to talk to a guild as small and weak as us, hm?
We're all doing the same thing, basically. Couldn't hurt to catch up with everyone else.
My brother and I have started out on the third stratum. But we're...moving at a bit of a slower pace than you. Perhaps you've met Mr. Great Hermit? Rather big, and rather tough... Usually, if it's too tough for physical blows, common sense says you should use elemental attacks... But he even raises his elemental defense in the middle of a battle. Vexing, isn't it? Thanks to that, my poor brother was running around in fear, gabbling that we should never have let our guard down... Well, clearly I have no choice. Next time, I'll simply seal its head and punish it before it can raise its elemental defenses. Hmhmhm...that should ease my brother's worries.

And that's all for now. Next time: probably not 13F, but instead catching up on various conditional drops and other miscellaneous things. Fun times for all, basically.