Part 38: Bear vs. ToadUpdate 30: Bear vs. Toad
I-is there any reason we're back down in this f-freezing stratum?
Pretty sure Zack mentioned the last party accepted a quest to clear up some fish on this floor.
Fish?! Let's go c'monc'monc'monc'mon!
Due to technical difficulties (I don't have old footage on hand), I don't have a screenshot of the initial dialogue, but here it is anyway.
SYSTEM: As you move through the freezing forest, you feel an unfamiliar aura of menace, and feral growls sound in the distance... Do you remember a request asking you to defeat a group of fish monsters that have been attacking new explorers? Cass said that if you slay the fish monsters on this floor, the leader may show itself. You are unsure if the plan will work, but with no other leads, it seems it is your only possible course of action. Now, draw your respective weapons in order to eradicate the monsters drenched in blood!
You see that exclamation point on the map, by the way? That's a first aid camp--we can go there for a full HP and TP restore, a maximum of three times. There, I just condensed several lines of guard dialgoue into a single sentence.
The gimmick of this quest is that every encounter on 11F is forced to be various formations of Mbengas. These things are still non-threatening, but 656 HP per enemy takes quite a bit to chew through.
Also, no, one battle does not cut it. This isn't like The sun shines down where it's based solely on time--we have to fight quite a lot of Mbenga formations before we can progress.
That many, specifically. I'm unsure if the amount of fights you have to do is variable, if it's based on the number of Mbengas (not formations) you kill, but once the game considers you done, this happens.
SYSTEM: The mad roar hits your ears with a rage and ferocity unlike anything you've heard... This can only be the creatures' leader!
That'd...better just be another fish...
More fish? I've already had a dinner's worth, but if you insist...
SYSTEM: A moment later, you hear screams of terror, and monstrous roars from the direction of the extermination team's base camp! Your stomach sinking, you hurry towards the room occupied by the team's healing forces!
A-ah! We have to hurry!
SYSTEM: This must be the leader commanding the horde of raiding monsters!
Hm... The red must mean it's spicy!
How can you think about its taste right now?! Look at this place!
SYSTEM: Across the camp, the extermination team lies, most near death. Atop the bodies, the troubadour girl lies still and lifeless... Before you have time to process, the beast lunges for the troubadour, glistening fangs biting down on her arm...
SYSTEM: As its jaws close on her, however, a sonorous metal clang resounds in the air, and the beast darts back with a pained howl. Though unsure of what happened, you order the others to retreat with the girl, and seize your chance, surrounding the beast.
C'mon, c'mon, get out of here! We've got this fish...thing!
SYSTEM: As the extermination team escapes, the monster turns its bloodshot gaze on you. With a snarl, it charges!
Never much cared for fish, anyway!
HP: 9560, STR: 42, TEC: 43, VIT: 31, AGI: 24, LUC: 35
- Glacial Fin: Uses the legs. Deals 110% ranged TEC-based Ice damage to the entire party. Attempts to bind hit targets' legs, with a 60% chance. Has a 90% speed modifier and 120 base accuracy.
125% 100% 100% 100% 50% 125%
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50% 50% 100%
The leader of the Mbenga, it launches into a frenzy if its kind is under attack.
Unlike most other event enemies we've seen, the Don Mbenga is no joke. Glacial Fin really hurts, given that it has 43 TEC, and 9560 HP is more than Chimaera had, even before the pits. If you go into this thing expecting to be able to Auto-Battle or just lightly whack it until it dies, you're probably going to be on the receiving end of a Game Over.
Don Mbenga only having 100% resistance to leg binds means it's kind of worth it for Freyja to try and bind the thing.
Asriel will deal slightly more damage than normal thanks to Don Mbenga having 125% Cut resistance.
If you're wondering where his Force went, I used Issen to deal with a Mbenga encounter because I was getting sick of the things.
Mistakes were made by choosing this option.
This was stupid. I should've just had Freyja go for one of the lesser binds and have Sophie focus on the leg bind, which is actually kind of important.
And that's why it was stupid.
You ate its fins, why would they taste of anything?
Fins are an acquired taste...
Maybe I should've...worn a shirt...
M-my feet! Fat lot of good these boots did!
I-I don't think it liked me eating its fins...
Shit shit shit this is bad.
My hand's kind of being forced here.
I thankfully learn my lesson now.
Alright, up and at'em! That fish still wants to kill us! Hah... Alright, 30000 en for the Healing Touch seems fair...
The legs taste even worse... Ick.
Alright, no biggie. At least no-one lost their Force due to dying.
This... This is for k-killing me...!
Y'know, you've never explained why you're still shy around monsters.
What if they u-understand us?
That's just with two binds, good lord.
Knowing my luck, another bind'll have fallen off now.
I don't entirely remember why I turned on Desperation here, to tell you the truth.
Imagine how painful so many fights with Realga would be if I didn't get that Warrior Song Grimoire for her all the way back before Chimaera.
Remember when Ronin were, like, super overpowered in EO2? Good memories.
I hate Evil Eye sometimes.
Well, its eyes are spicy, at least.
Okay, that's just disgusting.
N-no wonder it's terrified.
Alright, Freyja did a real number on the thing. We'll be done soon. ...I hope.
You don't understand. Eating its eye lets me control its brain!
That's...not how ANYTHING works.
Several turns of auto-attacking the thing later...
D-don't bother us any more!
Oho, getting a little aggressive now.
SYSTEM: At the sight of their leader slain, the minions squeal in terror, and scatter desperately into the dense foliage. The monsters preying on novice explorers have now been neutralized. There should no longer be any casualties.
No, wait! ...All that fish, gone to waste...
Well, let's get go--wait wait wait, hang on.
SYSTEM: As you turn to leave, you notice something out of the corner of your eye--a wispy man with a calm smile, half-bowing to you.
SYSTEM: When you turn to look properly, the man is gone. In his place, the troubadour's fiance's gauntlet lies in the pristine snow. The girl must have been wearing this since your previous quest... When you pick up the gauntlet, it crumbles away in your hands, as though whatever was holding it together has faded...
...Was that his ghost? Did...did that really happen?
Least we gave him peace. He can go up to the big Yggdrasil in space, now.
SYSTEM: What's done is done. Your request has been completed. Visit the bar when you have a chance, and report to Cass.
Oh, welcome back! Good to see yeh're in one piece!
H-how's the troubadour doing?
The lass? She's fine, relax. Someone's seein' to her now. So, what's that in yer hands?
The remains of the gauntlet...? Hold on, I got no idea what yeh're talkin' about. Yeh'd better start explaining...
Even Cass understands her. Ugggghhhh.
...Huh. I can hardly believe it... That ratty old gauntlet was able to stop the teeth of a monster twice yer size?
Think it was more than just the gauntlet stopping those teeth.
Heh... I guess her fiance ain't gonna let a little thing like death keep him from protecting her, eh...? Bah, what am I sayin'!
Aww, is Cass showing us his soft side?
Please never talk like that again, Realga...
...I usually ain't one to comment on this kinda thing, but that lass hasn't smiled like that in a long time. I even figured she was joining the extermination team outta vengeance for her fiance, but that wasn't it. She just smiled, and said she didn't want anyone else to go through what she had to go through.
She's been teachin' kids how to sing, helping out with the new explorers... She wants to help folks like yeh lot do. Well, it's all thanks to yeh. Yeh folks did a great thing today.
Oh, good, she can give Realga lessons.
That military march wasn't good enough for you?
Are you s-sure it wasn't just from that book on ancient entertainment methods that Colette mentioned?
Oh, she showed me that. The song was from the section with the papery mustached hero, I think.
...Ah, look at me ramblin' away. I'll pass off the fragment to the little lady... Though I wonder if she needs it anymore, eh? And here's yer reward...
...Hm? Cass, these Somas weren't part of the reward.
Mm? Too much, yeh say? Huh. Strange. Maybe someone messed up the paperwork and put a little extra on there. Welp, might as well take it! Don't worry about it. See yeh, Lumen! Haw haw haw!
I can't remember if I've already explained Hamaos, but if I haven't: they restore 100 HP and 20 TP to one party member. I'm not the biggest fan of them--the TP restore amount is miniscule (it's less than one cast of Ecstasy, for crying out loud), and the HP restoration's on par with a Medica II.
High Regen now heals for 60%, and increases recovery rate by 39%.
Sophie, are you certain we have to fill out that Codex?
Filling it out seems important, and we're missing some FOEs at the start of this place.
Let's do some 3rd Stratum FOE cleanup, starting with this Ambush Wolf. It's really easy to get a preemptive on them--just wait until they turn away from you, and dash towards them.
I think Ursa's getting territorial...
HP: 8715, STR: 42, TEC: 32, VIT: 26, AGI: 30, LUC: 27
- Assault Howl: Uses the head. Raises the Ambush Wolf's physical/elemental attack by 100% for 4 turns. Has a 60% speed modifier.
- Frost Fang: Uses the head. Deals ranged 250% ranged TEC-based Ice damage to one target, with a line-piercing effect. Has no speed modifier and 99 base accuracy.
- Normal: Pure Fang. 100% chance. Sells for 800 en. 1 needed to make Wolf's Pain (+100 ATK, normal attacks become Cut+Ice). 3 needed to make Ice Fang (+98 ATK, normal attacks become Stab+Ice).
"White fang that froze countless enemies. It can grant icy power to weapons."
- Conditional: Crazed Wolf Eye (Kill while panicked). 100% chance. Sells for 1500 en. 1 needed to make Madness Staff (+100 ATK, +30 HP, +30 TP).
"Wolf's eye bulging with insanity. Even now, it makes your mind feel strange to look at it."
100% 100% 100% 150% 50% 100%
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A wolf with a curious ability to burst into a savage frenzy yet still keep focus on a target.
Ambush Wolves are not to be trifled with. What I didn't note about Assault Howl up there is that the thing uses it out-of-turn--it doesn't take up the Ambush Wolf's turn. Actually, it goes after the Ambush Wolf's had its turn. That buff doubles its damage, turning an already hard-hitting enemy into what is essentially an instant-deathbringer.
The conditional isn't that bad to get, honestly. The Ambush Wolf basically has normal FOE resistance to panic--50% isn't that bad. Just make sure you can burst the thing down quickly, before the panic wears off.
100% leg bind resistance is Freyja's cue.
Oh man this is a big gamble, and a potentially unnecessary one, too.
Well, I hope this works.
Scratch "think," she IS getting territorial.
S-stay where you are.
I've mentioned this several times, but it bears repeating: Dark Hunters and Hexers make for very good partners.
Th-that...sounds a little too dramatic for this.
It sounds like it'd fit fighting a giant, kinda-evil Byeah better.
Where'd you even learn this?
A Highlander and Gunner that stopped by the Stickleback. I think the Highlander's name was...Ricky, or something. Couldn't have been the Gunner's.
I should really get Sophie a Speed Up Grimoire, or at least hold off on Trance until three binds land. I'm losing out on quite a lot of damage by activating it when only two are active.
This'd better work.
Are you...tightening the binds to cut off blood flow to the thing's limbs?
Crueler than I expected.
That fire sword looks cool, but it doesn't seem to do much...
Ah, I'm still out of practice. Just give me a few more months.
Alright, you can probably guess what's coming up next.
Ohohoho, never mind! This is gonna be fuuuuuun.
Sophie has one turn left of Creeping Curse. This is my best shot at the conditional. Please work...
The poor thing looks like it's begging for death.
Dear sweet merciful god. That was 40% of the thing's HP.
Okay, I've had my fill of wolf meat. I would've rather had it cooked, though...
I think the lack of blood flow to its head is getting to it, too...
I grant you the solace of death.
And Freyja thought my music was overdramatic...
Alright, that went incredibly smoothly. The wolf didn't even touch anyone.
Here's what the Ambush Wolf's drops unlocked.
Madness Staff (+100 ATK, +30 HP, +30 TP) is unlocked by selling 1 Crazed Wolf Eye. The raw ATK bonus is really nice for Vital Hit Medics, even though it lacks a TEC bonus. It's decent for War Edge-focused War Magi, too, since the level 10 War Edge Mastery bonus effectively gives it 110 ATK. Some of the 4th Stratum swords quickly outpace that for damage, but the raw stats could be useful.
Wolf's Pain (+100 ATK, normal attacks become Cut+Ice) is unlocked by selling 1 Pure Fang. It's outclassed incredibly quickly by 4th Stratum whips. Oh well.
Is bothering this thing a really great idea? I mean, I know it's missing from the Codex, but--
Hmm... I have an idea!
HP: 9009, STR: 40, TEC: 31, VIT: 32, AGI: 19, LUC: 35
- Venom Fang: Uses the head. Deals 110% melee STR-based Bash damage to 3-5 random targets. Attempts to poison hit targets, with a 90% chance and 50 base damage (around 61 adjusted for level). Has an 80% speed modifier and 99 base accuracy.
- Normal: Dark Scale. 100% chance. Sells for 1300 en. 1 needed to make Scale Sword (+101 ATK, +1 TEC). 3 needed to make Scale Armor (+49 DEF, +30% poison resistance).
"Bladelike scales of a many-headed dragon. It retains its color when worked."
- Conditional: Petrified Heads (Kill with petrification). 100% chance. Sells for 2560 en. 1 needed to make Holy Gift (+40% EXP for one battle).
"All seven heads of the Hell Dragon petrified at once. Said to bring good fortune."
100% 50% 100% 50% 50% 125%
50% 0% 50% 25% 25% 50% 50%
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A vicious, multi-headed monster. Some parties recommend petrifying all of its heads first!
You see that conditional drop?
If I just drink this...
That's a gas, th--
S-Sophie... You petrified the monster just by b-biting it?
Urk... All I want is some food from Regina... That gas tasted awful...
...No, this wasn't the result of recording multiple times, that was legitimately my first try. Let's do some quick math for a second:
Gases have a base 40% chance to inflict something. With Creeping Curse's bonus (Curse Mastery doesn't apply here), that's 120%. Matched against the Hell Dragon's petrify resistance, that's a 12% base chance...
Alright, it's not entirely unreasonable, especially given that Sophie has a whopping 16 LUC advantage on the thing.
Items from the Hell Dragon's drops.
Scale Sword (+101 ATK, +1 TEC) is unlocked by selling 1 Dark Scale. Would've been decent for Colette a while ago, but it gets outclassed by 4th Startum swords really quickly.
Holy Gift (+40% EXP for one battle) is unlocked by selling 1 Petrified Heads. These things would be okay for grinding if grinding for the things themselves wasn't such a massive pain in the ass.
Hmm... I must admit, this hot spring does look quite relaxing.
I still have no clue how you guys managed to make this inside a giant tree, but hey, I'm not complaining.
I told you before, I hit some kind of root, I guess, and the water just started pouring in.
After all the stress I've been put through, dancing in front of those big monsters... Yeah, I could go for some hot spring time.
...Wait, where're Phoebe and Freyja? I thought I invited them earlier...
They both said they'd rather eat at FOEbucks with Asriel and Ranger. ...Hey, Stardust, are you okay? You look really stiff and uncomfortable...
I-I'm fine. Just...cold. Come on, let's just get in...
...So, wait, lemme get this straight. This hat guy--he and his guild learned the truth of Etria's Yggdrasil, killed the guy taking care of it...and then ran out of town as soon as they saw giant blood cells in the stratum below?
Last I heard of them, yeah. I think they might've gone to...I dunno, Armoroad.
And their guild card actually has "Professional Idiots" written on it.
Can they really call themselves idiots if they got that fa-- ...A-ah...
Does anyone else hear a w-worryingly deep croak?
Hey! Screw off, we killed you already!
I-I'm more concerned about the fact that all of our stuff is over there, a-and that toad looks like it's ready to charge in!
Please tell me I'm not about to go through death by toad while in a hot spring.
U-Ursa, please, don't! That thing'll--
Rematch time, baby! You'll recall, when we fought this thing, I mentioned that getting its conditional drop--kill with Bash damage--was a massive pain in the ass with the party I had, and that I'd do it at a later time.
Well, Ursa's auto-attacks are Bash damage, so they'll count!
Now, I know what you're thinking. And yes, I also know what you're thinking beyond "the hot springs again?" Namely, you're thinking "you have sent a solo Ursa on a suicide mission." Surely, even a Beast couldn't solo the Gentle Toad, right?
Actually, yes they can!
On Picnic mode.
Yes, EO2U lets you freely mess with the difficulty when you're not in the Labyrinth. Truthfully, I've actually been setting the game to Picnic mode when I have to grind everyone up before a boss fight or something, but this is the first time you'll actually get to see it in action. Literally all I'm having Ursa do is just Attack the thing over and over, since it has basically no hope of killing her before she kills it.
A reminder on what Picnic mode actually does:
Picnic: Your party deals 200% more damage than normal, and takes 75% less damage than normal. All non-fixed healing is increased by 200%, as well. When your party is completely killed, you have the option to restart from one step before the battle where you died. Status ailments and binds are less likely to be inflicted on your party, and you have a higher chance of inflicting them on enemies. Certain environmental hazards in the Labyrinth also deal less damage.
This goes on for quite a while.
Picnic mode is seriously an absolute joke, and you may as well not even be playing the game if you're doing an actual playthrough on it. Consider that Hydro Jump is normally either party wipe or severe damage territory.
Over fifteen turns later...
Yeah, that was kind of cheating for the conditional drop, but my only other feasible option was resting Zack and putting some axe skills on him. Phoebe's STR means she'd hit for barely anything, even with a good axe, and having to rest Zack twice (once to get the axe skills, and again to get rid of them) would've just been...bleh.
This is the only time I'll be doing this, for the record. I'll otherwise be getting every other conditional drop, no matter how annoying, fair and square.
But yeah, Picnic. Not worth playing on. Game's a complete joke with it--you can just turn on auto-battle for pretty much every fight, and you will win pretty much every time.
U-Ursa... That was...amazing!
Geez, you put up a serious fight. I'll patch you up before we go back to town, okay?
Ursa, you have my word: I will allocate an incredibly large sum for woodland and wildlife preservation when I return to my home. You have saved all of our lives today, and for that, you have my eternal thanks.
Mrrr, mrr rr.
...Is no-one going to explain what that toad's deal was? I've never heard of giant mutant toads that are attracted to hot springs.
Who cares? The thing's dead now.
I was careless to just leave my matches out of reeeaaaaaRANGER?!
Y-you! W-when did you get here, a-a-and why?!
R-Ranger! I t-thought you were better than this!
More importantly, WHY ARE YOU STILL HERE?!
My steak got cold, and Regina wouldn't let me near the stove. See?
...You came to a hot spring. To heat up food.
Hmm... Actually, Ranger, I think you're onto something. Can I try a bit of that steak? Maybe the spring water changes the taste--
Buy your own.
W-well, Ranger doesn't strike me as the kind of guy who'd be interested in looking... Maybe if we all just turn to face away from him?
I... No, sorry, I'm really creeped out now. Let's just go back to town... Uuuggghhh...
I would've really rather avoided getting the EXP from the quest, but there wasn't any way around it, honsetly.
A 1% increase to Freyja's damage; 11% to 12%.
Asriel now gets 3% bonus damage and +120 non-base accuracy when attacking before his target.
Protection Vow now reduces damage dealt to Ursa by 31%.
And Torpor Curse now has an extra 1% base chance to land. Yeah, the intermediate levels for Curses really suck.
...I'd die of embarassment long before any monsters could kill me if I wore that thing into the Labyrinth.
Th-that's... Even normal Dark Hunter attire is modest compared to that...
Who'd wear that kind of ridiculous armor into b--
Well, if the bear thinks it suits her...
Rr-hrr! Hrr hrr hrr! Rrr rer RERR!
Bikini Armor (+1 DEF) is unlocked by selling 1 Crushed Skin. It may seem like a joke item, but oh boy, is it anything but.
The more astute among you might have realized I left out the Bikini Armor's other attribute: it halves all Fire, Ice, and Volt damage to whoever wears it. This isn't that great a tradeoff for +1 DEF, but you'll notice that Beasts can wear it too.
See, here's the thing: collars don't actually count as armor. Normally, a character can't equip more than one body armor at once--heavy armor, light armor, clothes, you name it. This restriction also doesn't normally apply to Beasts, since they can't equip any non-collar defensive equipment that isn't specifically allowed for them--and, predictably, most body armors don't allow Beasts to equip them. The Bikini Armor, however, does. Ursa now has a normal piece of defense equipment (her collar) alongside a flat 50% reduction to elemental damage, giving the big benefit of the Bikini Armor while also negating its single weakness. She'll be keeping this thing on for the rest of the game, pretty much--it gives a far greater benefit than anything else she could equip over it.
And so, that's all for now. Next time: the 4th Stratum? Nah, let's do some secret areas instead!
We'll get to Ginnungagap and the 4th Stratum eventually, I swear.