Part 42: Update 33 part 2Update 33 part 2
...Oogh, my head...
Ah, good, you've awoken.
Colette? Wait, what happened? Why was I asleep?
We got back to the inn after selling stuff at Sitoth, you started shouting about the Labyrinth, and then you just kinda...collapsed.
I may not be trained extensively in psychology, but I can tell you were under severe stress, especially after discovering the second empty space. Might I recommend a few days of bedrest?
We'll bring, I dunno, Nadia to help with Ginnungagap--
Ginnungagap?! Nope nope nope, I'm ready to go! C'mon, you guys won't survive three seconds in that deathtrap without me! Let's get going, now! Hmm... What was my deathtrap fee again?
I evidently misjudged her ability to recover when money is on the line...
Yep, we're finally done with the secret area nonsense. Now we can enjoy a nice, relaxing trip down into the depths of Ginnungagap.
No-one ever said being an explorer was always fun.
Alright, what's behind the door...
...W-what is that?
Looks a lot like some kinda mystic symbol to me.
It kinda reminds me of the symbol on the cover of... Wait, what was it called again?
"The Adventures of Knight and Guild Guild?"
Yeah, that! How'd you remember it?
Ranger asked Colette for it so he could scribble the symbol on his hand. Using crayons. Come to think of it, that book kinda...eerily parallels what we've done so far, huh?
M-maybe the writer was just very prescient?
SYSTEM: Could this be the mysterious field the Minister spoke of? But nothing happens even when you reach out and touch the device. Perhaps because it is not yet night...
Oh. Right. Dubois did say that, huh?
SYSTEM: Could this be the mysterious field the Minister spoke of? As you unconsciously reach towards it, you find yourself floating, just as when you touch a Geomagnetic Pole in the forest!
Wh-who are you?
More like "where are you?"
SYSTEM: Startled by the disembodied voice, you cast around for its source, but it simply continues, calm and placid.
But the creeds of the past carry little weight today. This land's role will soon come to a close.
I'm not going to try to hide who's speaking here. If you've read Dr. Fetus's story LP, you'll remember this person--the Black Guardian--from when Knight first got the power of the Fafnir Knight.
W-wait... "This land's role?" What d-does that mean, exactly? Please, tell us...!
Child of man. Unsealed ones. You are...not the ones that I have been awaiting.
Well, that's just rude.
However, your presence here cannot be anything but fate. Show me, then, the strength that dwells within you. Perhaps...the extinguished light of hope may yet be rekindled.
SYSTEM: The voice fades away, its parting words as cryptic and confusing as the first...
Wait, don't you leave us! What did any of that even mean?! "This land's role will soon come to a close?" Is everyone going to die?!
SYSTEM: As you ponder what the voice could have meant, you set forth to try and find an exit from the ruins...
Well, I guess there's no reason to stay here. C'mon, everyone, let's get moving.
Welcome to Ginnungagap B3F, a very special floor--in fact, it's the only one of its kind across the entire Etrian Odyssey series.
Firstly, we spawn right in front of three chests.
Which all contain Return Flutes. That might seem confusing, but...
Ugh. What is it now?
This place was created as a trial--a solemn gauntlet by which one might train themselves. It thirsts for life energy. A barrier was here cast, long ago. Even with your might, you cannot escape it until you have withstood its ordeals...
SYSTEM: Its grave proclamation finished, the voice fades once more into silence... If the voice is to be believed, you will be unable to return until you have cleared these trials...
No. No no no no no that can't be right. Freyja, get the Ariadne Thread out. We're going back to town.
...I-it's not working...
...Oh gods. That voice wasn't joking.
Just what have we gotten ourselves into?
SYSTEM: However, you can use items and skills to return to the start point. Think carefully and clear this floor!
Once you enter Ginnungagap B3F, you can't leave it until you've reached the end. While this isn't quite as bad as it may seem at first, believe me, the first time I played EO2U and reached this part, I was completely unprepared, and I actually ate quite a few restarts/game overs before I finally got to the end.
The floor is, mercifully, very short once you know your way around it, but you still need to approach this place differently than you would a normal Labyrinth floor. The big thing is that, unless you have a Sovereign (for reasons we'll see later), conserving your TP is a necessity. Running out in the middle of the floor is a really shitty situation to be stuck in, given that you can't just leave and rest up.
Got all that? Good. Let's begin.
HP: 1900, STR: 30, TEC: 24, VIT: 26, AGI: 19, LUC: 24
- Charge: Uses the head. Increases the user's physical damage by 100% on the next turn. User can be stunned and knocked out of the Charge state by Blast Grenades. Has an 80% speed modifier.
- Scythe Slash: Uses the arms. Deals 100% melee STR-based Cut damage to one row. Has an 80% speed modifier and 99 base accuracy.
- Execution Scythe: Uses the arms. Deals 100% melee STR-based Cut damage to one target. Attempts to instantly kill the target, with a 15% base chance. Has a 60% speed modifier and 99 base accuracy.
- Normal: Soft Scythe. 80% chance. Sells for 308 en. 1 needed to make Harpe (+103 ATK).
"The massive scythe of a forest mantis. It's said that many died to its edge."
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One slash from its razor-sharp claws can lop off the head of a careless adventurer.
Grim Mantises are basically the game reminding you that carrying some Blast Grenades around is always a good idea. If they don't Charge up their skills, they're honestly not *that* big a threat--at least compared to the stuff we were fighting in the secret area. Remember that Longisquamas had 41 STR--30 is an incredibly big step down from that.
If they DO get to use Charge, though, you can say goodbye to one of your party members or, worse, an entire row.
Put those claws away, please...
Are the silver bits metal?
Nope. They taste kinda like fish, I guess.
One scythe-claw, cleanly severed.
Who's even going to carry something that big?
First room has nothing interesting going on.
...Please tell me that was just your stomach, Sophie.
You obviously can't hear it, but something made the FOE "noticed" noise when we entered this room.
I don't see any FOEs though, do you?
Eh, kinda useful.
Did that w-wall just get closer?
You're just imagining things, Freyja... I hope...
https://zippy.gfycat.com/SadCaringJohndory.webm (GIF version)
Guess Mimics aren't the only monster in the business of mimicking things.
Meet the Death Walls. These things are the primary fixtures of Ginnungagap B3F, and make up the backbone of its puzzles. Their movement pattern is kind of unique: if you're looking directly at them, they won't move. If you move when you're not directly looking at them, however, they will move towards you very quickly.
KILL IT KILL IT KILL IT!
...Wait, no, that's a terrible idea!
HP: 8834, STR: 40, TEC: 30, VIT: 35, AGI: 19, LUC: 33
- Thousand Eyes: Cannot be disabled. Prevents the use of the Escape command. Does not use the Death Wall's turn.
- Crush: Uses the arms. Deals 160% melee STR-based Bash damage to the entire party. Has an 80% speed modifier and 99 base accuracy.
- Reflect Guard: Cannot be disabled. Counters physical damage to the Death Wall on that turn with 150% melee STR-based Almighty damage to the entire party.
- Normal: Rigid Fragment. 100% chance. Sells for 975 en. 1 needed to make Shield Wall (+35 DEF, +10% Cut, Stab, and Bash resistances).
"A hard chunk used when mimicking a wall. It can be used to make protective shields."
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It is disguised as a wall, ready to prey on adventurers. Its gaze can immobilize you!
The most notable thing about Death Walls is just how much punishment they can take. 8834 HP already takes quite a bit to chew through, and 35 VIT plus 75% resistance to all physical damage just makes it even worse.
Crush would also 100% kill Ursa if she uses Hit-Taker when it happens, and will leave the rest of the party really badly hurt (it might even just kill Freyja or Asriel).
Oh, yeah, Thousand Eyes.
C'mon, let's get outta--
A-a-a-ah... I c-can't move...
Well, isn't this just a great situation.
Wait, those flutes that were at the start...!
Smart thinking, Freyja!
The only ways out of a Death Wall fight are Flee on a Protector (whom we don't have right now), Return Flutes, waiting for the Death Wall to use Reflect Guard and escaping on that turn (they use them according to this pattern: turns 3, 6, 10, 15...), killing the Death Wall, or dying to the Death Wall--and that last one isn't much of a way out, is it?
So yeah, that's how every Death Wall puzzle goes: if you get caught by one, you have to Return Flute back to the start of the floor, and do it over again. Unless you have a Sovereign (again, for reasons we'll see later), just cheesing the puzzles by killing the Death Walls isn't an option due to how annoying they are to kill. You'll run out of TP long before you kill even two of them.
Thankfully, the first puzzle only has that one Death Wall, and keeping it in place is as easy as it seems.
If these things have so many eyes, one would think they'd have some on their backs too.
I dunno about you, but if I could see both in front of and behind me, I'd get disoriented really quick.
HP: 733, STR: 29, TEC: 24, VIT: 26, AGI: 20, LUC: 25
- Plague Club: Uses the arms. Deals 50% melee STR-based Bash damage to the entire party. Reduces the amount of HP the target recovers by 75% for 4 turns. Has a 110% speed modifier and 99 base accuracy.
- Normal: Ugly Horn. 45% chance. Sells for 140 en. 1 needed to make Luck Staff (+89 ATK, +35 TP, +10 LUC). 3 needed to make Fairy Boots (+15 DEF, +1 STR, +1 AGI).
"An Illbear's small horn that spreads sickness. Exercise caution with it to avoid disease."
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Those struck by its club find that their wounds do not heal normally. Try to evade this one!
Illbears themselves aren't that remarkable. Plague Club is annoying when you have a Beast tanking the party's hits, especially when you're partnering them with a Medic, but it deals so little damage on its own that it doesn't matter a lot.
What the hell's on that club, anyway?
Ursa has all the shielding skills I want from her, so I'm going to have her go for the Auto-Lick build now. To refresh your memory, Lick Wounds heals one target's HP and removes binds from them (103% healing power and 1 bind at level 2), while Auto-Lick gives the Beast a chance to use it on themself when they take damage (16% at level 5, 24% at level 10).
Getting to that chest, incidentally, is easy--just back into it while keeping your eye on the Death Wall there.
At least we have a shortcut now in case we have to Return Flute again.
I'm starting to get paranoid about what's a wall and what isn't.
Eh, I'm sure this is just a norm--
Oh, come on.
W-we're boxed in, too...
Back we go.
Okay, here's how you actually do this room.
Walking over here will aggro the Death Wall here on you.
Backtrack a little...
Take the fork we just went down...
If that voice that was talking to us is responsible for designing this place, I'm gonna give them such a whacking...
And we're home free.
Awww, look at that pink monster. I almost don't want to eat it...
HP: 495, STR: 28, TEC: 24, VIT: 23, AGI: 20, LUC: 29
- Confuse Vine: Uses the arms. Attempts to inflict panic on one row, with a 60% base chance. Has a 60% speed modifier.
- Normal: Gourd Head. 55% chance. Sells for 147 en. 1 needed to make Pumpkin Hat (+24 DEF, +1 TEC).
"Large pumpkin like a laughing face. It sells out in certain times of year."
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A gourd whose vines can spread insanity with a single touch! A true herald of the underworld.
There's not a ton to Deathly Pumpkins. Just take proper precautions, if possible, to ensure Confuse Vine doesn't tag too many people, since having 2 or 3 people panicked can be a really bad situation.
HP: 196, STR: 26, TEC: 26, VIT: 19, AGI: 16, LUC: 22
- Blessed Light: Used after a random number of turns. Cannot be disabled. Fully restores the party's Force--this includes characters who have used Force Breaks. Kills the Axolotl upon use.
- Forbidden Light: Used upon death. Breaks the entire party's Force.
- Normal: Pink Leather. 70% chance. Sells for 299 en. 1 needed to make Rouge Glove (+19 DEF, +5 TP). 5 needed to make Rose Cuirass (+41 DEF).
"Soft leather with a distinct pink color. It's popular among young women."
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A curious Ginnungagap resident, it emits light that either means good fortune or certain doom.
Axolotls, on the other hand, are one of the most interesting random encounters in the game. They don't attack you at all--they are completely non-hostile. If you leave them be for some amount of turns, they'll completely restore your party's Force, even if you used Force Breaks. This is why I was saying Sovereigns can enable a lot of TP sustain down here: you can just use Proof of Nobility, run into an Axolotl, and have it again.
On the other hand, if you just blindly use AOEs or are an inhuman monster and kill the Axolotl in particular, it will instead completely break your party's Force, which can really suck if you get into a situation where you, for example, need Medical Miracle to save yourself from a game over but don't have it available.
I'll demonstrate Blessed Light by having Freyja use Rose Prison on one of the pumpkins.
You n-never know when a pumpkin might turn violent...
...And here I thought she was one of the more rational people in the guild.
You just had a breakdown over empty rooms.
What just happened? Where'd the axolotl go?!
It killed itself to give us our Force energy back, I think.
I-I told you...
Pfffffft. You suck at your job when you can't even inflict an ailment on Asriel despite having a 60% base chance and a LUC advantage.
Hey, look, just like I said: Freyja's Force is back.
Nothing else of note happened.
Alright, the final part of Ginnungagap B3F. The floor's really short, mostly because a gimmick floor where you prevent the player from leaving until it's over rides a fine line between "acceptable" and "completely unfair bullshit."
It took me a few tries and a game over to get how to approach this room on my first time playing the game (because I am incredibly thick-headed), but here's how you do it. Firstly, aggro the FOE in the top-right-most part of the room, shown here.
Walk up this corridor. Keep your eye on the Death Wall over there, or else it WILL start a fight with you.
This will also draw the aggro of the last Death Wall.
Then you just head up to the door, and you're home free.
You have cleared the trials of this ancient place, even while forbidden from returning to safety...
But of course. I don't wanna die in a dark ruin surrounded by unappetizing monsters.
I have witnessed your strength. Thus, I lift the barricades of time, and allow you safe return to your present... However, if you wish to know the truth behind this place... Continue onward through these sanctified halls. Cross the Door of the Boundary, and once you overcome the next obstacle... I shall show you the true purpose that lies behind Ginnungagap.
SYSTEM: With that, the voice is gone. You can listen to the voice and proceed onwards, or use the Geomagnetic Pole to return to safety...
As much as I'd like to pretend none of this ever happened, that stuff earlier about "this land's role will soon come to a close" has me really worried.
Time to press on, then.
This Geomagnetic Pole's kind of redundant, as you will soon see shortly.
Look, it's that symbol again.
If Ranger wanted to draw that symbol on his hand... Maybe he knows more about this place than he's letting on?
He doesn't seem like someone who keeps secrets well...
These are basically stairs, not a Geomagnetic Pole.
We're in the bottom parts of Ginnungagap now, and with that comes new music. It's not all that different from the first version, but eh.
These are the deepest recesses of Ginnungagap...normally unreachable by those of your world. ...But, as surely as time flows, the will of this world is also fading. My only course is to relay the truth to those who seek enlightenment...
Relay it without the weird purple prose, then.
Unknown adventurers...if you seek the truth of this place, then I bid you overcome yet one further trial.
Release the four seals within this land, and stand against the illusions that yet remain! Your ordeal lies beyond the door to the south. I bid you prepare.
SYSTEM: At those words, the voice fades away. You resolve to explore Ginnungagap further...
Hm. Something tells me we may have gotten involved in something far beyond us.
I-I feel like we're getting involved with calamitous things here...
I can't believe none of you are focusing on the fact that we're in the deep part of an ancient ruin. There's probably tons of treasure to be found here!
Well, Realga, it's nice that no matter what happens, your priorities always stay the same... I guess. I'm really tired after that last floor, can we please go back to town and sleep?
And this is why I said the last Pole was redundant. Incidentally, we can now warp to both of the Poles we just found from the Forest Entrance now.
Let's close out the update with some items, including one very important one.
Harpe (+103 ATK) is unlocked by selling 1 Soft Scythe. It's a boring sword with no extra attributes, next.
Rouge Glove (+19 DEF, +5 TP) is unlocked by selling 1 Pink Leather. It's a glove with a minor TP increase. Yawn.
Fairy Boots (+15 DEF, +1 STR, +1 AGI) are unlocked by selling 3 Ugly Horns. We've had boots that give +1 STR or +1 AGI for a while. If you really want slightly more DEF, then feel free to buy these.
And now, the big one: Luck Staff (+89 ATK, +35 TP, +10 LUC) is unlocked by selling 1 Ugly Horn. This thing is basically Sophie's ultimate weapon, and is the last weapon I'll be purchasing for her. The TP boost is pretty nice, but look at that LUC increase! Look at it! +10 LUC is an incredibly big boost to Sophie's chances of inflicting disables on things.
It's so amazing, I could almost cry. Sophie's LUC in this state, with the +10 LUC food, the Fortune Necklace, the Pointy Hat, and the Luck Staff, is higher than almost every boss in the game, including most of the postgame bosses, and she's only level 41! The only bosses that outpace her in terms of LUC are the postgame superboss, and three DLC bosses you're supposed to fight after said superboss.
Join us next time, as we kind of learn a bit more about Ginnungagap. Kind of.