Part 52: Battle at Yggdrasil's ApexUpdate 42: Battle at Yggdrasil's Apex
Giant bird woman, huh? Shouldn't be too bad.
I must still advise caution--to fail so close to the floating castle would be our worst possible fate.
Hmm... Okay, that should be the last adjustment I needed. The Portable Effectizer is ready for action!
Um, are your metal gloves supposed to be sparking that much?
Finally, I can actually see at least one of the scenic spots Ranger's been noting down.
We're finishing the 4th Stratum today. Harpuia is all that stands between us and the floating castle.
I got a little ahead of myself and bought Zack his ultimate non-body armor already since it only cost 130k en. As for his skills, I rested him to reset his focus from sword skills to the chasers plus some points in Axe Mastery for bonus damage. If you're wondering why I went with axes instead of swords, it's because axes generally hit harder than swords do. I also opted to max out Triple Charge because the chasers cost 30 TP at level 20--that will drain Zack dry incredibly quickly if I just spam it, so I can use Triple Charge to lose out on 20% damage per turn in exchange for spending 42 TP every 2 turns instead of 60.
Zack is kind of the cornerstone of this entire party--basically everyone but Sophie is in here because they can provide fodder for Volt Chaser.
I rested Rheine mostly to focus her build on Attack Order, Link Order, and Morale Boost.
Stardust took a rest to reallocate her points in Inferno and Cocytus Formulas into the palm skills. Additional Palm is a really easy way to get as much damage out of a Chaser as possible, plus the nature of palms being low-TP cost means Stardust can spam compressed formulas for the duration of Analysis, and then switch to the palms so she doesn't run out of TP before the fight's over.
All those random Grimoires are for the Volt Up effect, by the way.
Sophie is the one party member here that I didn't rest before this fight. I put her new skill points into Madness Curse, since it's a good idea for her to have access to a debilitating ailment that isn't fear, in case an enemy (like, coincidentally, Harpuia) is immune to fear.
Jackie has Charged Volt and Burst Shot both maxed out now.
Lastly, before we go up to fight the Queen of the Skies, I ate the LUC +10 food so that Sophie's chance of inflicting stuff on Harpuia is raised, since Harpuia has 25% resistance to a LOT of disables.
Huh. I was expecting something more like Scylla.
Make no mistake, she is just as deadly as the Ice Princess...
VIDEO: Boss Fight: Harpuia
You're not gonna stop us from getting to the castle!
A quick refresher on Harpuia's stats:
HP: 19660, STR: 45, TEC: 45, VIT: 41, AGI: 38, LUC: 45
- Shrill Cry: Uses the head. Attempts to inflict fear on the party, with a 60% base chance. Has no speed modifier.
- Claws of Despair: Uses the arms. Deals 2 instances of 150% melee STR-based Cut damage to random targets. Can hit the same target multiple times. Attempts to inflict paralysis on hit targets, with a 20% base chance. Has an 80% speed modifier and 99 base accuracy.
- Storm Feather: Uses the arms. Deals 110% melee STR-based Stab damage to the party. Attempts to inflict blind on hit targets, with a 20% base chance. Has an 80% speed modifier and 99 base accuracy.
- Feast: Uses the legs. Deals a variable amount of instances of 80% melee STR-based Cut damage to random targets. Can hit the same target multiple times from the second cast on. Attempts to bind every body part of hit targets, with a 10% base chance. The number of hits Feast deals varies based on how many times Harpuia has casted it. In order based on number of times: 3, 5, 7, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21. The number of times a target can be hit also scales based on number of casts: 1, 2, 3, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. Has a 40% speed modifier and 99 base accuracy.
- Chaos Scream: Uses the head. Triples the chance of all party members being afflicted with ailments and binds for 6 turns.
- Normal: Harpy Wing. 100% chance. Sells for 6000 en. 1 needed to make Nihil Blade (+147 ATK, +10 TP, +2 AGI).
"Winged arms with three sharp talons at the tip. Its power charms those who look upon it."
- Conditional: Queen's Quill (Kill while head is bound). 100% chance. Sells for 12500 en. 1 needed to make Sylpheed Vest (Survivalist ultimate armor; +94 DEF, +30 TP, +3 AGI).
"A seemingly weightless sky-blue quill. Silence its bearer's song to obtain it."
100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 125%
0% 75% 25% 25% 25% 50% 0%
0% 0% 10%
75% 25% 25%
Since Stardust needs a turn to set up Compression, I'll have Zack also take a turn to use Triple Charge.
Prevent Order is basically a necessity here, to stop Shrill Cry.
Same as ever.
Madness Curse will stop Harpuia from doing anything dangerous for a few turns while I get some binds off.
I'd rather let Burst Shot get the bonus activation from Action Boost.
Steel your resolves!
Oh, gods, my ears!
I knew harpies had high-pitched voices, but...augh!
Mm! The thighs taste just like already-cooked poultry!
Even with Creeping Curse in effect, that was lucky.
Let it begin.
While those three start the chase chain, Sophie will try to bind Harpuia.
Whenever you two are ready...
While that kind of hurts, it's significantly better than being on the receiving end of Claws of Despair or Storm Feather while lacking a defensive support.
That was, also, very lucky.
That's my cue!
Electrifying, isn't it?
It's three bullets turned into one!
And chase again!
Gunners are really good in chaser parties since Action Boost's second hit is a separate action, meaning it procs chasers twice.
Under the effects of Triple Charge and Full Charge, with only 3 of the 5 chases possible on that turn, Zack did 2026 damage. That is pretty damn good, especially for a class that's normally on the low end of total damage per turn.
Now that Attack Order's in effect, Rheine can contribute some damage of her own, and provide another chase opportunity.
Leg binds are next on Sophie's itinerary of disables.
Burst Shot has a cooldown, so Jackie has to swap to Charged Volt now.
My luck is bordering on "suspicious" now.
The fun never ends!
Stardust might be the only one dealing big nukes, but the damage from everyone else racks up--Zack just did 1514 damage, and that was without using Triple Charge.
Sophie's actually running out of things to inflict. Bear in mind that Harpuia is still panicked.
Jeez, did you, like, skip dinner?
Well, the panic wore off, but look at that. The only damage buff I have is Attack Order level 10 (30%), and we've whittled down Harpuia's HP to this little in just 4 turns.
This is somewhat dumb, since TP conservation isn't really a concern right now--Harpuia's going to die really soon, definitely before Zack runs out of TP.
Uh, Stardust, you sure about this?
It's kind of hard to hit someone with the Portable Effectizer from the back row.
Now that Analysis and Compression have both run out of duration, I decided that Stardust should switch to demonstrating Volt Palm.
Only one-fifth of the energy for around half of the impact of a normal effect!
That's, ah, impressive... I suppose?
What you can't see here is that Volt Palm also has two extra effects: it increases the damage Stardust's next action will deal by 20%, and also adds a Volt element to whatever her next attack is.
It seems as if she's having trouble staying airborne...
I'd hope so. Those wings and feathers didn't taste of anything...
I asked if those giant gloves were supposed to be sparking that much... At least it kinda hurt her.
Additional Palm activates whenever Stardust uses a palm skill, and deals some extra damage of the same element as the used palm skill at the end of the turn. Again, this is a separate action, and procs another chase.
Yeah, it's over by this point.
Couldn't fly around that, could ya?!
That was really easy. I even got the conditional!
SYSTEM: You have defeated the dreadful tyrant reigning over this Stratum!
We did it, WE DID IT! The floating castle's just a few steps away!
All those mornings and evenings forgetting my sword training and practicing using these heavy things paid off, hah.
I...must admit, I never thought our guild would actually reach the floating castle...
Perhaps I could take up some side jobs working on weapon design after all of this is finished.
I don't want this to ever end! All of--okay, most of these monsters are so delicious...
SYSTEM: As you shout for joy in celebration of your victory, a figure descends from above.
SYSTEM: You recognize the voice of the winged ones's chief, Canaan, as he appears before you.
Oh, uh, thanks. ...Who are you?
I will inform you later, Zachary.
Is this the power of the Star's will? Or was this thing done by your strength alone...?
If your god was influencing that fight, I certainly didn't notice.
SYSTEM: Canaan regards you, impressed, before looking up into the forest and continuing.
We have recovered our holy land, and are honor-bound to grant you access onward. Ahead lies the path to the heavens. If you would tread it, continue with care.
SYSTEM: With that said, Canaan points further within. You may continue deeper into the Labyrinth, or head back to High Lagaard to prepare.
I suppose we should check if the castle has a Geomagnetic Pole... Onwards!
We have now (almost) completely explored Yggdrasil. Onto the castle!
Welcome to the final stratum of the main story.
Look at this place! It's huge! I can't even see the top!
This is a lot different than any castle I've ever seen...
I, the Overlord of the heavens, created this keep. No one may enter without my permission.
Th-the Overlord? Where are you?
SYSTEM: No one is nearby, and the strong wind roars around you, yet the mysterious voice goes on. You ponder an appropriate response to the one who calls himself Overlord...
We're the ones who seek to fulfill the pact.
SYSTEM: You allude to the ancient pact which seemed to pacify the winged ones. The mysterious voice falls silent for a time before speaking again.
The ancient pact... You descend from those who left me and fell to the earth.
SYSTEM: The voice continues in a scornful, condescending tone.
If you acknowledge your error and wish to return, I shall welcome you with open arms. Enter my stronghold, shed your transient life, and gain the blessings of eternity.
I think we all want to pass on that offer.
SYSTEM: The mysterious voice falls silent after this. You wonder whether you should continue down the path or use caution and return to High Lagaard.
...So, uh, can we please stop standing on this really tiny platform in the middle of a big storm?
All of this technology looks interesting, too.
Heavenly Keep in the original EO2 looked eye-searingly ugly, which basically necessitated a complete redesign. I wouldn't really call it nice to look at like Petal Bridge was, but I still really dig the design of EO2U Heavenly Keep--especially the stained glass (you can kind of see some at the top of the image there), which was nigh-unseeable in EO2.
I believe we all deserve a nice rest after this.
Selling Harpuia's drops.
Nihil Blade (+147 ATK, +10 TP, +2 AGI) is unlocked by selling 1 Harpy Wing. This thing could honestly last you until the final boss and even a little bit beyond, since the gap between it and the next significant katana upgrade is basically an entire stratum.
Sylpheed Vest (Survivalist ultimate armor; +94 DEF, +30 TP, +3 AGI) is unlocked by selling 1 Queen's Quill.
Haha, what do you think? Lovely, isn't it? My daughter drew it for you. It looks like she's taken quite a liking to all of you! Now she even helps out with the room cleaning, and preparing dinner... Hahaha, I'm so proud of her. Now you go on and make my daughter proud! I'm counting on you!
Oh, that's right. I never did check on Quona's FOEbucks dialogue, did I?
We went to the bakery that I told her about...and regulars there can order food too. ...I'd like you all to come with me next time...
Maybe when I'm not on the active party. That sound okay?
Her normal 21F dialogue.
When I go buy supplies...they all ask me how Lumen is doing... Everyone wants to hear what you're like... It makes me kind of happy to hear that.
We really have become celebrities, huh?
You heard right.
So, I was right! Huh? Oh, about who'd find the floating castle first, of course! I was just telling Dad that if anyone was going to find the floating castle, it would be you all. I should follow your example and work even harder! I'll start by cleaning the whole--Eek!
Owww... Oh, I-I'm so sorry! You're not hurt anywhere, are you?
N-nope... Just kinda sore now...
*sigh*... No matter what I do, I'm still clumsy...but I'll still try my hardest. Take your time looking around, okay?
Are you looking forward to us discovering exotic ingredients?
Wh--well, n-no, I just... ...Grandpa told me. You have some goal to accomplish, and that's why you've gone to the floating castle, right?
A goal that's crucial to Lagaard's future, yep.
Even someone who's obsessed with cooking can see now's not the time to be talking about ingredients. So... I'll be keeping you all in my thoughts, and praying for your success.
That we did.
Haw haw haw haw! This is great news! It's incredible! Three cheers to Lumen! Well? C'mon, let's hear it! We want the whole story!
If you wanna hear the entire story--like, from us starting from 1F--we'll be here a while. How about we just get going?
Are yeh that dense? Look around yeh! Everyone's waitin' to hear yer story. Yeh ain't getting outta this one! C'mon, out with it! And yeh might as well take out that wallet of yers and order something too. Haw haw haw!
21F bar patrons.
Hmm... Aha! Cass, what's the calmest, coolest drink you've got?
WhoaAAAaAaA!? C-Cold! I-I wanted to drink that with my mouth since it smells so good... But this means... Lumen is here...right? Right. There's nobody else that would do that...
*sigh*... But thanks for waking me up. I have to bring something to Lilly, you see. Here, look. It's a Bound Root. You can obtain it if you defeat a Mandrake while its head, arms, and legs are all bound.
That sounds incredibly annoying.
Lilly said that she likes this a lot! I think she'll like it a lot. You see, she's really cute... She makes me try my best even though it's so hard...
Boy with a stick:
Ah, it's Lumen! It's Lumen! It's really them! Hey, um, tell me about the castle! It's so cool, right!? It's floating in the sky, right!?
Uh, I, um... Y-yeah! It's got...tons of really scary monsters! ...REALLY scary.
Whoa... W-Wow...! Really!? Oh man, that's...that's so awesome! It sounds really dangerous, but you get back safe, and then you just go back in again...! Yeah... M-Me too! I'm definitely gonna become a fearless adventurer too!
I heard if I wait around here, I can meet the explorers that discovered the flying castle...
You are observing them now.
Wait, you guys are Lumen!? Seriously!? A-Are y'messing with me!? ...Wow, you're...uh...more normal than I thought. Ah, no, no, I don't mean in a bad way! Normal in a good way! S'a compliment! Really. ...Phew. Hope they bought it.
After months of exploring every inch of that tree, we're finally there, yeah.
A building that floats among the clouds... One day, I'd like to witness it with my own eyes. All that remains is to find the Grail of Kings, and save the Duke.
"All" that remains. Yeah, sure.
I expect great things from you. I believe...you will be the ones to save High Lagaard. Well, that's all I have to say for now. I hope you find fortune on your travels.
You've finally done it! Mere words cannot express how grateful I am... You have now proven the legends true. To be honest, I did not expect to live to see this day. Well done. I will never forget your guild. Its name shall be etched upon my gravestone, to ensure future generations remember your service.
Woah... Uh, thanks. That's...quite an honor. Having our name engraved as a part of a minister's epitaph.
All that remains for you to do is to enter the castle...and obtain the Grail of Kings.
Lady Gradriel and the Duke are counting on us. We'll find it as soon as we can.
I look forward to your safe return, Guild Lumen!
Jesus, that's a lot of new quests. No Ginnungagap quest this time, though.
That DLC quest, incidentally, recommends your party be level 85 or higher. Yeah, no.
Oh, that one comes straight from the Grand Duchy. Gotta show 'em how good FOEbucks is doin'.
We made enough profit from one ad campaign that we made Realga faint. Is that enough?
Good lord. Yeh lot are handlin' a ton of jobs around the place. Restaurant manager, explorer...how do yeh do it? Oh, the quest says: Garner 50,000en income for the store from one Advertising Plan.
...FUCK. The last ad campaign (turned in off screen) made almost 100k en. God fucking dammit, I should've just waited till now to turn it in.
...F-Fifty friggin' thousand ental!? Yeh're making that much!? Ah, wait, no, yeh just gotta make that much from now on. Ain't rakin' in that much yet. Phew. But...that's the kinda figure that could really make a man sing. And it's comin' from the Grand Duchy, even... Well, give it yer best shot...but don't try so hard that I start to losin' customers to the cafe. ...Listen close. I'll say it one more time. Do not. Bring. My sales down...awright? Got it?
I can't imagine the intersection of "bar patrons" and "restaurant goers" isn't very large, and they most likely see both establishments as serving their own purpose.
That was a lotta words to just say "both of our places do different things."
The Test of Courage:
Oh, yeh're here. Yeh lot did good work! Siddown, siddown. Let's have a talk. Yeh remember that job yeh took a while ago? Where yeh had to get the meat for the banquet, yeah?
Where we had to quickly slaughter that bison, yes.
Sounds like yeh really impressed all them nobles at the fancy dinner! Couldn't stop talkin' about yeh. And now, more and more folks are lookin' to meet yeh. A really fancy noble was askin' after yeh the other day. Folks call him the count palatine. Turns out, he wants yeh to take part in the Test of Courage that happens for the Lagaard Foundation Memorial Service!
What's with those blank faces? Wait, don't tell me yeh never heard of High Lagaard's Test of Courage? Well...should've figured yeh wouldn't know how things work 'round here. Yeh're new, and yeh been in the forest the whole time!
No to the first part, yes to the second part.
Listen up. Gettin' invited into the Test of Courage...well, it's one of the biggest honors in the whole damn country. It's every five years during the Lagaard Foundation Memorial Service, and it's a battle to decide who'll represent the nation. The Memorial Service started yesterday. Usually, yeh can't join this late, but...this is a special case! Haw haw haw! It's real simple. Yeh just gotta defeat
the most of a certain kind of monster in the forest, on the 17th floor. Anyways, yeh can get details on the 17th floor. A guard's takin' registrations there, so he'll tell yeh all about it.
Well, try hard, but don't get too reckless. Awright then! I'll be expectin' a lot out of yeh!
This is a real fucker of a quest, and one of the few ones where I'd be perfectly fine with taking a lesser reward. Yes, it's a variable reward quest.
Oh, yeh're here! That's a request from a farmer from out in the boonies. See, this city's protected by Yggdrasil. Well, the Labyrinth's the whole reason yeh came, so I guess yeh already understand. The damn thing's massive, but it's still growin', even now. Longer branches, denser leaves, and reachin' higher every year... Well, it ain't a bad thing, but if we let it get out of hand, then that can make life a lot harder for us. In some seasons, the branches can keep the sunlight out all day. Worse, if somethin' falls from that high, we're screwed.
Entire days without sunlight. Jeez.
Yeah, that's...one of the less good parts about living here.
And what with all the adventurers, High Lagaard needs a lotta resources to keep runnin'. Especially fresh wood and lumber. So, we thought we'd kill two birds with one stone, see? Chop down some of the longer branches for extra wood. We do it at least once every few years, but before we found the Labyrinth inside, we had to climb the damn thing's trunk.
That sounds both implausible and incredibly dangerous.
The whole job was too damn dangerous. Lotta folks got injured, and a fair number of 'em never came back. In the end, y'can only get so far up the outside anyway, so we could only take a couple of the lower branches. But now the town's full of explorers, eh? Might as well turn it into a proper request! We asked several guilds, but the higher floors are pretty dangerous, yeh know? If that ain't enough, it looks like there's a couple of tough beasties around the target, so maybe yeh're the ones for the job. So, where we'd like yeh to go...are these spots on the 20th floor. Here, lemme see yer map for a second.
After yeh cut the branches 'round there, make sure yeh rub this into the tree. It's a tonic that makes plants heal up faster.
...Um, Cass, you gave us three bottles of this stuff.
Huh? What, too much tonic? Well, they gave me a bunch'a extras, so just take 'em. Better safe than sorry, eh? I mean, Yggdrasil's practically a god to these folks, so they want to make sure it's treated with respect and all that. So take 'em. Bringin' extras might end up helpin' yeh out. Who knows? Yeh know, there are more places on that floor with a ton of branches than the ones I just marked down for yeh... It's up to yeh whether yeh wanna look for more or not. We'd be happy just gettin' the branches from the places I marked down. Awright, g'luck!
It's pretty much like Cass said: there's an extra spot that he didn't mark, which will give us more reward if we take care of it.
In the cold, white night:
Hmm? Whassat now? Oh, that request. I was looking for someone to take it. That one comes from the Explorers Guild. That was one of the first places in High Lagaard yeh set foot in, right? I dunno the specifics. I'll leave the talkin' with that guildmaster to yeh... She's so uptight! It drives me nuts! So... Why don't yeh go ask her about it yerself, eh? Haw haw haw! G'luck, then!
Let's do what Cass said before we close out for now.
We're here for the quest you posted at the bar.
Hmm, the request... I see, you accepted that. Has the situation already been explained?
Cass dodged the question when we asked him.
...I see. I thought not. Perhaps it hasn't been an issue yet, but the altitude of High Lagaard means brutally cold winters. Ordinarily, it'd be good to start getting ready now. However, we're housing a lot more explorers than usual this year... The Palace and the citizens aren't too concerned, but at this rate, we won't have enough food and lodging for everyone.
I wouldn't wish being without housing in Lagaard during the winter on my worst enemies...
It's an explorer's responsibility to be prepared for any situations, so I called for guilds to gather food and fuel... But we simply don't have the resources to make new housing facilities. At this rate, when winter hits, we could have explorers out on the streets, freezing... I trust you take my point. I'd like you to gather building materials from within the floating castle. What I need you to gather is... Ironwood. Just 1 is fine, but I wouldn't turn down more. Let's see... 10 should be ideal. I've heard you can get it by chopping in the castle in the sky. I'll leave the quantity up to you, but bring me whatever you can. Thank you in advance for your help.
Man, that was a lot of quest dialogue.
Next time: we start exploring the Heavenly Keep.