Part 50: Yggdrasil's ApexUpdate 41: Yggdrasil's Apex
Well, that just happened.
We must be at the end of the floor--let us press on.
Hm... Maybe Regina could make unbreakable forks and knives out of those nails...
HP: 779, STR: 40, TEC: 29, VIT: 31, AGI: 26, LUC: 31
- Crazed Fang: Uses the head. Deals 140% melee STR-based Bash damage to one target, with splash damage. Attempts to inflict fear on hit targets, with a 70% base chance. Has an 80% speed modifier and 99 base accuracy.
- Normal: Dark Claw. 50% chance. Sells for 326 en. 1 needed to make Purple Khakkara (+95 ATK, +4 TEC, +4 VIT). 3 needed to make Black Armor (+60 DEF).
"The small and toxic claw of a Mad Crawler. Take caution when dealing with its venom."
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A giant caterpillar whose sharp fangs are no trifling matter.
Mad Crawlers are another enemy I hate. Crazed Fang hurts like hell to begin with and fear really sucks to get hit by as well. Combined with Wind Cutters or, god forbid, Great Moths, they can pretty easily cause a game over or two.
At least their low VIT and low HP means they don't take hits well--that's basically 50% of the thing's HP.
I don't believe I've mentioned this before, but petrified party members do get one positive effect, weirdly enough: they take half damage from all sources.
Whoops, I burned the nails.
I'm really thankful we stocked up on Thericas before leaving.
Even when turned into a statue, his face is as unreadable as always.
That's quite enough petrification for one day, I feel.
Refresh now targets a row instead of just one party member, but also now costs 20 TP.
This event occurs automatically as soon as we enter this small area.
SYSTEM: The air is thin at this high altitude, but your breathing is surprisingly easy. If you wish, you can rest from your long walk here and spend some time enjoying the breathtaking sight.
Killing all those FOEs really takes a lot out of someone...
Yeah. How about we just sit for a while?
SYSTEM: Thinking this the perfect place to rest, the party takes a seat. You take a long, soothing rest as you enjoy the cool breeze.
The sky is both above and below us... What a glorious view.
"20F, left-center: good view."
The heck are you writing down?
Stuff for secret plans.
It's not much of a secret if you--
SYSTEM: All agree that it was a well-deserved break, but just as you prepare to resume your trek... Suddenly, you feel a piercing gaze directed toward you from the area's center!
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SYSTEM: Though it is still far away, the sight of it chills you to your core! The monster with the brilliantly-colored wings must be the Queen of the Skies you are tasked with defeating!
So this is the hunter of the winged ones that Sir Canaan referred to...
SYSTEM: You wait, half paralyzed with dread, but the winged monster shows no sign of approaching your party. For that matter, you have no means of getting at it easily either. You decide that your best recourse would be to search for a path leading to where the Queen of the Skies awaits.
Wait. We have to go BACK DOWN to get up to her?!
Seems like it.
It's as the game says: we have no way to get to Harpuia's platform from here. Just off-screen are some stairs going down; remember all the empty central areas on previous floors? We gotta go through those before we get to Harpuia.
Before that, though, let's map out the small northern area.
This frog's really easy to bait into an empty space. Just walk to this corner, walk forward, walk back, and it'll jump off the edge.
I would've rather had a Unihorn for Harpuia.
Everyone's Force was either empty or broken, so I decided to go back to town before finishing the 4th Stratum.
Feather Choker (+57 DEF, +3 AGI) is unlocked by selling 1 Black Feather. This is the best collar I'll be able to get for Ursa for quite a while.
Crapaud Dress (+38 DEF, +10% Bash resistance) is unlocked by selling 1 Frog Skin.
Haste Talisman (+7 AGI) is unlocked by selling 1 Black Feather. I prefer to have Nadia focus on inflicting ailments, but this would be very nice on Jackie.
Let's get this over with.
SYSTEM: You expect that it must feel quite refreshing to let out a good, solid yell in such a place.
Eh, why not?
SYSTEM: You give into your rising impulse and shout at the top of your lungs! Your voice echoes, as if melting into the blue sky, before silence settles back in. After having to mind every breath while traveling the forest, it is quite liberating to yell in such a carefree manner.
SYSTEM: You may try it once more if you wish, or go back to your investigation.
Yelling that loudly again is as good as jumping off this edge. Back to work, everyone!
SYSTEM: You cannot shake the worry that a monster may have heard your yell and is headed your way even now. You hastily leave the area to avoid any needless battles.
The only FOE in the 19F central area is this Enraged Raptor, who goes down one part of the last pathway.
HP: 446, STR: 34, TEC: 30, VIT: 26, AGI: 30, LUC: 34
- Night Call: Does nothing for one turn. Can be interrupted by Blast Grenades, which will stop the skill and stun the enemy for one turn. Uses the head. Attempts to put the entire party to sleep, with a 120% chance. Has no speed modifier.
- Normal: Night Vine. 45% chance. Sells for 316 en. 1 needed to make S Knight Greaves (+19 DEF, +10 TP, +2 AGI). 8 needed to make Thorn Fist (+130 ATK). 4 Glinting Beaks and 2 Night Vines needed to make Shamshir (+124 ATK).
"A thorny vine of a Night Flower. When treated, it can put others to sleep."
- Conditional: Dormant Seed (Kill while asleep). 100% chance. Sells for 564 en. 1 needed to make Dark Saker (+116 ATK, +6 LUC).
"Black seed that seems completely dormant. It's unknown if it can return to normal."
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A flower that blooms in the moonlight and lulls its victims into an eternal slumber.
Night Flowers are really fucking dangerous when paired up with one or more Mad Crawlers. Sleep will turn Crazed Fang into a one-hit kill. Mercifully, just one cast of Inferno Formula or Link Order II (Fire) will kill them.
Getting that conditional is incredibly difficult at the moment, since Nadia only has one point in Sleep Arrow.
Fantastic way to start.
But... I never got to...
Those nails WOULD make good knives...
Roasted, toasted, and burnt to a crisp.
The Take point here is an extra source of Big Strawberries, which I very much appreciate.
These "backtrack" areas really don't take very long.
Great, more of these.
The floating castle's floors are gonna feel like a vacation compared to being near open sky all the time.
Taking the previous platform up and to the fight leads to this glorious treasure.
Halfway there, basically.
See, this one's smart--it put itself in a bunch of small corridors without pits.
I must question if it put itself here, or if someone--perhaps the winged ones--put it here.
It's all of our favorite parts of this stratum, in one convenient burst.
The Cranial Hammer has a 30% base chance to inflict head bind on normal attacks. It's going in the garbage as soon as I get back to town.
Really not worth walking over all those damage tiles.
A fatal flaw in an otherwise optimal position.
The stairs here are the way forward, but there's some basically-optional parts on 16F that I want to map out.
The lower set of stairs just leads to this small island with a shortcut.
The upper set leads here.
SYSTEM: For just an instant, you think you see something like the silhouette of a fish in the sky near your feet.
...I've gotta be seeing things.
No, I saw it too!
But... That's... That makes no sense! A sky fish?!
SYSTEM: You have never heard of a fish that swims in the sky before, but this is uncharted territory... It would not surprise you to come across such a fish here! You consider casting a line in pursuit of this new discovery.
Okay, no, I'm gonna catch this thing!
SYSTEM: You each try dropping a fishing line into the sky spreading beneath you. ...After some time, there is a mighty tug on Nadia's fishing rod! One of the sky fish has taken the bait!
Heh, gotcha now!
SYSTEM: The fish struggles mightily, dragging the line left and right! Nadia patiently keeps pace with the fish's movement until the line stops moving, and then quickly reels it in! But at that moment, you hear something snap, and the weight on the line mysteriously vanishes.
SYSTEM: Still pulling on the rod, Nadia falls backwards and hits their head on the hard, stone ground!
SYSTEM: As Nadia sits back up, still in pain from the fall, you find a tree branch caught on the end of the line. It seems you mistook the strong pull of the hook getting caught on a branch for the writhing of a fish...
Agh... See, I knew "sky fish" was a dumb explanation...
SYSTEM: Though you are at first dejected, you then see that the branch is one of the rarer materials found in this Stratum!
SYSTEM: You did not make the new discovery you hoped to, but you have a rare material, and that is cause enough for joy as you go.
This is the only other notable thing on the floor.
The stairs leading up from 17F just goes to this small central area. All you have to do is ride a platform down, right, and up again.
This happens as soon as we enter the area.
SYSTEM: You look up to see Canaan, chief of the winged ones whom you spoke with at the entrance. He flies down towards you and executes a graceful landing.
SYSTEM: His voice carries sincere respect for your victory over the Labyrinth's hardships.
It must have been a challenge for earthbound ones to reach this place.
You have no idea.
But your challenge is far from over. Beyond this point is the Queen of the Skies's lair. Since you have done so well in coming to her domain, I wish to do all I can to help you. Is there anything you would like to know? I will answer if it is within my power.
SYSTEM: Canaan looks at you, awaiting your first question.
Let's ask all three.
Let us start with a simple inquiry: who are the winged ones?
SYSTEM: Canaan answers your query in a proud tone of voice.
We are those of whom you speak. We are the sons of the will of the Star, Father Sun, and Mother Moon. We obey the Star's will and live in this forest on the sufferance of the Star's voice.
SYSTEM: Canaan holds his head high as he speaks. You doubt you can learn anything concrete.
Hmm... What about this mysterious "Star?" You've mentioned it several times.
SYSTEM: You ask the chief of the winged ones about the voice of the Star. He looks up into the sky and gives it some thought before slowly responding.
The will of the Star gave birth to us, and his voice dictates my people's laws. In times past, our leader...which is to say myself...heard the Star's voice in the holy place. We were given several commands. This is the oldest of them: "Escort those who bear the pact to the path to the heavens." You have helped us fulfill this oath.
You've mentioned this before, yes.
We were also told to carry the injured earthbound ones to the heavens.
...! The Duchy's writings were true, then... Why?
Why? I cannot say. We did as we were told and carried scores of earthbound ones to the sky.
You have any idea what happened to them? All we know is two of them ended up becoming monsters we had to fight.
What happened to them? We do not know. We do not ask. We do not enter the castle.
SYSTEM: Canaan breathes a deep sigh. You are more curious than ever to know why they carried humans to the castle in the sky... You consider asking Canaan, but you doubt he will speak any more of the matter.
Ahem... Finally, can you explain anything about this Queen of the Skies?
The Queen of the Skies... You wish to know more about your adversary.
SYSTEM: Canaan's face takes on a stern cast before he continues.
That demon bird suddenly appeared before us, out of the blue heavens. We were preparing to receive the word of the Star when it fell upon us mercilessly. Many of our people fell victim to the foul bird. We were forced to abandon the holy land... Ever since, many of our best warriors have given their all to defeat it. The result... was always the same. Many died, and our ties to the holy land were lost... If you defeat it, we can once again commune with our god. Much rests on your shoulders.
Oh, great, no pressure, then.
SYSTEM: The winged one smiles and continues with his speech.
The Queen of the Skies instills fear in its prey with its shrill cry. Beware of that when you battle it.
That's quite possibly the most literal metaphor for a skill I've ever seen. The skill's even called Shrill Cry, for god's sake.
SYSTEM: After delivering this warning, Canaan blesses you and promises to pray for your safety.
That was all we wanted to ask. Thank you, Sir Canaan.
SYSTEM: With no further questions to pose to Canaan, you thank him for the information. Canaan acknowledges your thanks with a nod and points to the stairs behind him.
Our former sacred ground is past this point. The demon bird makes her nest there. Whether or not you can ascend to the castle in the heavens depends on this battle. May Father Sun and Mother Moon bless you, Lumen...
SYSTEM: Canaan slowly rises into the air, looking down after you until he vanishes.
SYSTEM: You can ascend the stairs and challenge the Queen of the Skies, or head to High Lagaard and prepare.
I feel like at least getting a rough map of the area would be a good idea.
Alright, but let's keep our distance.
As soon as we step on the platform and it finishes its path...
SYSTEM: But though it sees you, the Queen makes no move and stays serenely in its airborne position. She is beautiful to behold, but you feel as if a prolonged gaze at her would cause your sanity to ebb. You shake off the curious feeling and prepare for battle! A powerful foe stands before you to be defeated!
Okay that's the map let's go back to town c'mon everyone!
I can see someone's panicking...
Oh, great, Realga fainted... Again, I guess.
I'll bring her back to the inn...
Well, all that money must mean some good Grimoire Trade opportunities opened up.
Ooh, that's nice. I trade some duplicate level 9 and 8 Grimoires for the Curse Mastery.
And a level 8 monster Grimoire for this Curb ATK Up.
...Wait a minute.
I fucking attracted Legendary explorers by accident. If you didn't read the Grimorie mechanics post, here's a quick summary: to generate these guys, not only do you have to bring in at least 300 customers across 3 districts, but the ones digits of your monsters hunted and steps taken stats on your Guild Card must match up too.
I got some fantastic effects, too. Force Up is absolute trash, but Auto-Heal and Self-Heal Amp are anything but. I trade for every single Grimoire from both of the holders of those effects. Ursa is now several times stronger than she was before--Beasts end up with quite a few unused Grimoire slots that you usually just put some passives on, and these are basically the strongest possible passives.
Seriously, holy fucking shit, that was so goddamned lucky.
Let's cook some stuff to celebrate.
Strawberry-Jam Loin Steak increases each party member's VIT by 10. Definitely the least useful of the stat-up foods, but I guess it's kinda nice if you have a really flimsy party for some fucked up reason.
Stone Bird Nikujaga doubles the chance that generated Grimoires will have an additional effect on them. Again, if you're going Grimoire hunting, there's little reason not to use the Yggdrasil Clover Tea, if you have it.
Pepper Cockatrice gives each party member 80% resistance to Curse. There's pretty much just one boss fight where this is useful.
Oh, hey, my luck didn't end with the Grimoires--the giant population group of the Slums and the Gourmet King both showed up at the same time.
There's a festival going on in Uptown, too.
There's only a small group in the North Ward, but at least there's a festival.
Then, I (basically randomly) did the last upgrade for the Slums, since I wanted to get the most out of the combination of things going on in it.
And that's it for now. Next time: Harpuia, Queen of the Skies.[