Part 54: Big Ball BombUpdate 44: Big
I told yeh all that puttin' these magic two-way display things in the Byeahs was a good idea.
That's right, the Byeahs were the first ones to set foot in 22F proper, since the Take points had materials I needed for an ultimately-failed experiment.
That thing looks kinda familiar. Heck if I can remember where, though.
Just looking at it's making me really angry.
SYSTEM: In that case, there is no cause for alarm. You put the armor out of your mind and return to your investigation.
Well, the game's being kind of truthful, but believe me, these are not just inanimate statues.
SYSTEM: A short distance away is an inexplicable object floating in the air.
It appears to be constructed of a similar material to the silver light sword-wielders from the previous floor. Perhaps it serves a similar purpose?
SYSTEM: Just as you are about to approach the mysterious floating object, it makes a sudden noise and begins to move!
SYSTEM: The explosion was quite powerful... It was potent enough to disintegrate the armor, and surely enough to vaporize you as well. The floating object seems to have been a bomb to ward against intruders. You suspect you have not seen the last of these bombs, and vow to take even more caution in your search for the Grail.
Bombs are a first for the EO series: a dynamic obstacle. They move 3 spaces forward from their spawn point, and if you end up on the same axis as them (meaning you are on the same X or Y plane as them), they will change direction and head for you. If you collide with them, your entire party takes 100 damage.
They can also destroy any FOEs in their path, as we just saw. This will be the core of pretty much every FOE puzzle in the Heavenly Keep from here on out.
Their spawn points look like that.
Byeah. Byeah byeah byeah.
Okay! ...Anyone got any clue what they just said?
They got a fruit that looks powerful.
5th Stratum Take points are incredibly important, because of the fact that they give Odd Fruits.
And that's why.
Hamao (restores 100 HP, 20 TP to one party member) is unlocked by selling 1 Life Honey.
Metopon (purges all enemy buffs and debuffs) is unlocked by selling 1 Wild Rose.
Flame/Frost/Storm Jar (deals 220% ranged TEC-based Fire/Ice/Volt damage to all enemies) is made from 1 Odd Fruit. I've talked about it before, but these things combined with the Strawberry Daifuku food and Compression equals big damage for Stardust.
Unlocking Hamaos meant we finished Healing innovations.
Now, I just have to bring these to the hospital! I'll do my best! Ehehe...the healers at the hospital are kind of strange sometimes, huh?
Everyone just brightens whenever I talk about you. It's strange...whenever your name comes up, I end up smiling. The doctors, too... Hee hee, even Mister Cass!
Is, uh... Is Abigail okay? She's talkin' to the Byeahs like we're there.
Thinking about the forest and all its danger is exciting, but for me, it's more interesting just spending time with you like this... Thank you so much! Please help us out again next time!
Welcome back. How'd it go? Heh, I guess I can tell by just lookin' at yeh. Yeh know, that chump from the hospital stopped by again. He stuck around to chat a little. The guy said that because of all the different stuff yeh brought 'em, they can make new cures that could save lives. From now on, he says, they're gonna have better medicines to help yeh lot out.
Well, the pre-made medicine is certainly helping us when the straw-drawing results in teams like this.
...Yeh know, if yeh lot are so nice all the time, folks feel obligated to pay yeh back! Relax and think of the lives yeh saved, eh? Even the Trader's little missy's taken a real shine to yeh lot, hasn't she? Well, anyhow, good work! Here's yer promised reward! Haw haw haw haw haw!
Cass, we are not your trash can, please deposit your trash elsewhere.
Still working towards Parry.
An extra 1% max TP for Ursa.
Now that I've cleared out a space, let's take on Small comforts.
Hey, I've been waiting for yeh! This quest comes from the inn. Yeh know that little missy from the inn? Seems she's been gettin' a bit sick lately.
Quona does look pretty flimsy.
I ain't the most sensitive about this kinda thing, so I didn't notice...and she's good at hidin' stuff anyway, so... Uh...sorry, got sidetracked. Forget it. Here's what yeh need to do. The girlie needs medicine, but there ain't enough ingredients around.
The ingredients they need are 2 chunks of Yellow Gelatin, and 3 Mandrake Roots. Once it's all gathered, just bring 'em to the inn. The innkeeper's makin' the medicine, and the kid'll have to drink it! It's for that little missy. Hurry up and go get them ingredients, would yeh?
We'll see the enemies Yellow Gelatin comes from on 22F.
Also, note that while Small comforts is active, Quona cannot be at the inn's front desk.
At this point, I just walked around 1F for several in-game hours to pass the time to finish the ad campaign, and hopefully Haute cuisine.
1800 en short. Is there somethin' nearby that I can stab t' let out my anger?
I did some upgrades at this point. Every area that isn't fully upgraded is now one upgrade away from being fully developed. Those final upgrades are not cheap, mind--the North Ward costs 69k en to finish, Uptown costs 58k, and the South Ward costs 50k.
I cooked because I could.
Nest and Mushroom Soup restores 20 Force to someone when they have an ailment/bind inflicted on them. Like every other food of this nature, it's garbage.
Zhulongbao gives the party 80% resistance to head binds. This is pretty useful for parties with multiple classes that rely on the head--Medics, Alchemists, War Magi, Sovereigns, etc.
Ignoring the big group in Uptown might've been a mistake, but none of the foods they'll eat overlap with the other groups in the area.
While I'm clearing out the quest log, might as well do Labyrinth groundskeeping.
SYSTEM: Do you remember the quest you accepted at the bar? The farmers asked you to prune some of Yggdrasil's branches from a few places in the forest. This seems to be the place they mentioned... You can choose to prune the branches, and apply the tonic that Cass gave you.
Alright, everyone take a different part of the branch! ...This means you, Milly.
SYSTEM: You take a moment to prune a few branches that are extending into the air outside, and apply the tonic you received. After bundling up the cut branches, you set off on your way to the next location.
'S one down. Let's get the next one.
Rinse and repeat.
SYSTEM: You have pruned all the branches from the places that had been pointed out to you. This completes the quest. However, you still appear to have some tonic left... You can choose to look around for other overgrown branches, or you can return and report your progress at the bar.
Well, I've got nothin' better t' do. How about we go branch huntin'?
You pretty much have to kind of find this spot by luck. You can check this spot before taking on Labyrinth groundskeeping, and the game will give you dialogue about overgrown branches here, but again, there's nothing otherwise indicating this spot is special.
I'm with the bear. Let's hurry this up so I can get some sleep.
SYSTEM: You take a moment to prune a few extra branches that are extending into the air outside Yggdrasil. One of the branches is practically the size of a tree itself... It would make a fine source of wood for the town stocks.
That oughta be enough t' make at least five houses--
SYSTEM: However, at the final chop, the branch sags with a groan of wood, and snaps off...plummeting down towards ground level.
Nice going, Spearman.
Whaddya want from me? Prunin' branches ain't exactly the same as stabbin' monsters!
SYSTEM: Nonplussed, you watch the branch vanish from sight. After a moment, you deem it a lost cause, and sheepishly apply the tonic. You have now used up all the tonic, and gathered a great amount of lumber. All that remains is to return to the bar when you have time, and report your progress!
Hey, welcome back! Did yeh cut down enough branches? Haw!
Oh, has word of our...mishap spread back to town?
See, it was hilarious. Yeh know how yeh dropped down a whole damn tree...?
It was just a damn branch!
Wait, what? That was just a branch!? Well, whatever. Anyway, the wind took it pretty far, and it ended up crashin' right through a roof! There's a huge hole now!
...Yeh're kiddin', right? Please tell me we didn't just destroy some smelly unfortunate's house.
Eh? Oh, does it sound like I'm scoldin' yeh? Baw haw haw! Nah, relax, it's not a big deal. Nobody got hurt or anythin'. First of all, nobody's gonna blame yeh if they got no idea yeh dropped the damn thing... And more importantly... I hate the old bastard whose roof yeh wrecked, anyway! Haw haw haw! Yeh did great! Just great! Ah, yeh should have seen his face...! I'm glad I asked yeh lot. There's a lot more sunlight around the place now, so they're even talkin' about expanding their fields. That huge branch was probably in the way. With all the wood from yeh and the other guilds, we can fix everythin' and then some! The farmers are so happy, they're callin' yeh the 'herald of the sun'. Fancy. They gave yeh a nice fat reward as well. Make sure yeh accept people's gratitude, yeh hear me? I'll be lookin' forward to workin' with yeh again next time!
2% more extra max HP for Tyler.
Hey, look, another one of these voice box things. Who wants to hear some more static?
SYSTEM: It seems to have been neglected for years, but it somehow manages to catch your interest. Though pressing it seems to accomplish nothing, before long a disembodied voice sounds.
Environmental changes...still happening...everything...inevitable extinction...
Ex...tinction? What the hell?
Elite researchers...every nation...human...genome recombinant... I...machine's...body...human weakness... Live...eternally...
This is soundin' pretty familiar.
If...must live...become king...new lands... Genes...human cells...split...immortality... In...this world...live... Telomere...improve...
SYSTEM: The mysterious voice abruptly ends there. You cock your head, marveling at the strange phenomenon, before returning to your quest.
Well, no time like the present to explain some backstory.
The setting of every EO game (barring EO5, from what we've seen so far) is Earth. Y'know, our Earth. The one you're living on right now. EO2U has referenced this maybe one time (Cass talking about Ontario in his dialogue for Hidden Hot Springs), and it's not brought up at all in the original EO2, EO3, and EO4. However, it was a key plot point in EO1, even if it wasn't revealed until the last stratum. For those of you who haven't played EO1 or EOU, the 5th Stratum in that game is called Lost Shinjuku; as in, the actual location in Japan, all but directly stating that Etria exists on top of the ruins of modern Japan.
Additionally, right before you fight EO1's final boss, he tells you the history of EO's setting:
Long, long ago... A civilization greater than our own flourished. Its people had solved all the world's mysteries and had power to rival the gods. This power was called science. Mankind gained dominion over nature and life itself. But humanity's technology also cast a dark shadow over its future. Their forecasts and projections increasingly showed their own imminent demise.
In destroying the environment, humans were making their own habitat unlivable. The danger was realized too late, and billions died in the resulting climate change. Mankind faced extinction, but there were those who refused to give up, and kept fighting. By integrating their own technology with the laws of nature, man attempted to restore the lost balance.
This was the Yggdrasil Project.
(Everything after that is relevant only to EO1.)
Basically, we fucked everything up in a future not far off from the present day, and pollution plus climate change nearly exterminated humanity, which led to the Yggdrasil Project, spread across seven different locations on the planet. While only Etria and an unseen town called Gotham were stated to be Yggdrasil Project locations in EOU, EO2U's Story mode (not to give away too much) also states that Lagaard's Yggdrasil is part of the project. Armoroad (EO3)'s Yggdrasil has nothing to do with any of this, mind you, and EO4's Yggdrasil is similar to the ones involved with the Yggdrasil Project, but as far as I can tell, it's not related.
What does any of this have to do with that dialogue just above, or EO2's setting as a whole? Aside from "Environmental changes...still happening...everything...inevitable extinction," refer back to the intro text in the OP, which was part of the original EO2's intro:
When civilization sunk beneath the seven seas, deep forests spread across the five remaining islands.
Only the chosen ones escaped the waters in their castle stronghold.
Eventually, the waves overtook even the last five islands...
And the castle was all that remained.
After the passing of ages, the people of the floating castle chose to descend upon their mother soil.
These are the chronicles of the land of High Lagaard.
Basically, the effects of climate change manifested in Lagaard (which, going by the location and climate, is probably somewhere where Russia (maybe Siberia) presently is) as massive flooding. To escape this, a group of people built an ark--the Heavenly Keep--and went to the skies. Dubois and Gradriel have both mentioned this, but after a while, some of the ark's residents' descendants chose to go back to Earth, presumably after the flooding had subsided and the climate had been partially fixed by the Yggdrasil Project, and founded High Lagaard. The only hanger-on was, evidently, whoever ended up becoming the Overlord that's still taunting us as we go through this place.
For a series whose main setpiece is very much directly taken from Norse mythology, EO2's backstory and even some stuff in the postgame is weirdly Judeo-Christian.
How can so many mutations of a single gelatinous creature exist?
HP: 464, STR: 41, TEC: 31, VIT: 30, AGI: 27, LUC: 31
- Paralyzing Fluid: Used upon death. Uses the head. Attempts to inflict paralysis on the party, with an 80% base chance.
- Power Gel: Uses the head. Deals 5% melee TEC-based Almighty damage to one enemy. Increases the targeted enemy's physical/elemental damage by 50%, and their AGI stat by 100% for 4 turns. Has a 30% speed modifier.
- Normal: Yellow Gelatin. 35% chance. Sells for 625 en. 1 needed to make Gastraphetes (+114 ATK). 5 Ironwoods and 2 Yellow Gelatins needed to make Steadfast Axe (+146 ATK).
"Faintly luminescent nucleus. If treated properly, it can make a powerful weapon."
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An oozing gel creature that uses its body to restrain enemies on the battlefield.
Yellow Gels are very much support monsters, and really irritating ones that you should kill last. Having them buff up other enemies (usually) isn't as bad as most likely having 4 or 5 party members paralyzed.
I will note that Power Gel is one of two very special skills that has a special buff effect. Instead of increasing the target's action speed, like the game says, it actually multiplies their AGI stat directly. This doesn't mean a ton for enemies, but Power Gel and the other skill like it are very popular for parties that have Survivalists and Gunners, since it functions as both a 30% normal damage buff, and then an extra 60% AGI boost. (Note that those numbers probably do not result in a 108% damage buff for AGI attackers, since a 60% increase in AGI most likely does not equal a 60% increase in damage.)
Beast Dance has whiffed on me a lot (off-screen), so I decided to try a different method of using Ursa.
Expert teamwork, Ursa!
What, I don't get any thanks?
That damage is comparable to Beast Dance, but keep in mind that Link Order II is only at level 5, I think, and more importantly, can't ever miss.
Huh. Can't move.
This is why I said you should leave Yellow Gels for last.
Most of your party being paralyzed is so much more dangerous when the Yellow Gel is accompanying an enemy that isn't just another Yellow Gel.
HP: 900, STR: 48, TEC: 33, VIT: 35, AGI: 38, LUC: 35
- Beaked Rush: Uses the head. Deals 140% melee STR-based Stab damage to one target, with line-piercing effect. Has no speed modifier and 99 base accuracy at all levels.
- Normal: Coal Bone. 40% chance. Sells for 622 en. 1 needed to make Hamonhirumaki (+154 ATK). 4 needed to make Black Chausses (+21 DEF, +10 HP, can be equipped by Beasts). 5 Black Carapaces and 2 Coal Bones needed to make Black Collar (+61 DEF).
"Charred bone fragment of a Black Wing. It's brittle, and hard to work with."
- Ingredient: Black Breast. 2-3 given. 3 needed to make Ominous Aspic (Western Food 5; restores 2% max TP every 10 steps). 3 needed to make Triple Salisbury (Western Food 5; restores 3% max HP, 1% max TP at end of turn). 3 needed to make Beggar's Fowl (Chinese Food 5; +80% fear resistance). 2 needed to make Sky Chawanmushi (Japanese Food 5; adds 0-5 levels to new Grimoires).
"Tenderloin from a dark bird."
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A deathly dinosaur that can prey on multiple targets at once.
Remember Wild Wings from the 1st Stratum? Remember how they were pretty big pains? Black Wings are literally just Wild Wings with higher stats.
I coulda lived a long, happy life without ever runnin' into one'a these birds ever again... Oof...
At least you are protected by Phoebe...
At least I'm not hurting for elemental coverage--Phoebe has access to the Preludes for each element, even if Ice and Volt Prelude are both at level 1.
A'ight, how about yeh just put that beak down?
At least Beaked Rush isn't instant-kill territory any more.
This is the last bomb puzzle in the stratum that only involves dodging bombs, instead of blowing up FOEs. There's probably only of these because you can just eat the bomb damage and go on, especially if you have a Medic.
There's also not a lot you can really do with these kinds of puzzles.
At least this one appears to be another statue.
How about you just keep your hoity-toity trap shut next time?
SYSTEM: The air about this armor is very different from before, and you feel a sense of menace directed at you! What you had taken for a decorative suit of armor was in fact a monster set to eliminate intruders!
SYSTEM: Though you have seen for yourself how the floating bombs can easily obliterate the armor threatening you now... You must take pains to avoid both this monstrous armor and the flying bombs as you search for the path to a new floor.
And so begins the first FOEs plus bombs puzzle.
Cursed Knights have pretty simple movement rules: they'll aggro on you once you're in their direct line of sight, and then take one step toward you for every step you take.
Anyone just hear a big boom?
I hear one less pair of big metal boots stomping around.
Well, that one was pretty easy.
There's a Take point in a small room to the right of that area, incidentally.
I went back to town to restock on Somas, since the bombs were draining me dry very quickly.
Hamonhirumaki (+154 ATK) is unlocked by selling 1 Coal Bone.
I get that this place had t' hold a lotta people, but did the ceiling really need t' be this high?
You've got a lot of room to move in this area, so blowing up both of the Cursed Knights is super easy.
Baiting both of the knights into being in front of the bomb spawner is the easiest way to go about this.
Same deal as the other ailment gasses: 40% base chance to inflict curse on all enemies. Blech.
You gotta be FUCKING KIDDING ME
Phoebe! Where's yer damn shield?!
Eh. It ain't gonna save us.
OH FUCK I ACCIDENTALLY HIT THE L BUTTON AND STARTED AUTO-BATTLE
I just...wanted t' be a hero...
Damn nihilistic philosophy...
Take me...but do not forsake...my friends...
Another red vortex? But I just fixed everything yesterday.
Oh, come on, do whatever you do, quickly. I was in the middle of reading...things.
You're still reading that saccharine story about the ghosts?
...Okay, a) how did you get here, b) how do you know about that story, c) no.
Is it the one with the red-haired girl and time travel? And the guy who gives everything weird names?
Just fix the stupid universe already.
For the record, that idiocy happened because I disabled the confirmation prompt for auto-battle while I was grinding everyone for Harpuia. ALWAYS CHECK YOUR SETTINGS, FOLKS.
I didn't mention it earlier, but when you aggro one Cursed Knight in a room, they will all aggro on you.
This particular area's the last one on the floor, but it's pretty annoying due to how wide it is, plus how little walking room you actually have.
Left left left!
Never saw it comin', heh.
Second verse, same as the first.
Are there any monsters that actually have brains in this place?
The Cursed Knight on the far right...just killed itself, I guess, since I never saw it show up on the map screen.
Incidentally, like how Petal Bridge floors were circle-shaped, Heavenly Keep floors are all oval-shaped.
Your form surpasses that of any ordinary man... But have you no interest in attaining even greater power? In immortality?
Go screw yerself. What yeh're offerin' isn't immortality.
SYSTEM: The question rings in your ears as if a corporeal presence had spoken it not two feet away.
Have those who have fallen to earth forgotten the terror of the shadow of death? Influential men, mighty kings... All who gained power shared the same dream in their hearts. Immortality. Countless men yearned for it, and each faced death in turn regardless.
The plural of anecdote is not data.
The Grail of Kings I have obtained is what gives humans the power to overcome death. Do not approach me lightly. On this very floor is one who was once a veteran explorer... Through the power of the Grail of Kings, he has been granted might beyond his human form...
Ah, great, another one.
SYSTEM: The mysterious voice takes on a slightly taunting tone, as if amused.
I look forward to seeing your mere human's strength pitted against its almighty power...
SYSTEM: The voice falls silent. Whatever it spoke of is beyond your understanding... But from what you could deduce, a fearsome enemy awaits you on this very floor! Your heart races as you proceed through the Labyrinth with the utmost caution...
Well, might as well see what horror's awaitin' us this time.
Aren't these big monsters usually on the last floor of a stratum?
Just when yeh thought these bomb rooms couldn't get any bigger.
I've said it like three times already, but I'll say it again: what the hell is that?!
Have you realized yet, those who have fallen to earth? You look upon the Juggernaut! This dreadful beast has been granted immortality and now guards my research! Now begin the dance! Show me whose might shall win the day: yours, or my own creation's!
SYSTEM: The voice speaks with a ghastly cheer before fading away. It would seem that your only avenue forward is to defeat this monster... But beware! You can easily believe that this monster is far stronger than anything you have faced thus far! It will take all your strength and expertise to stand against it!
How about we get back to town and put together a party that's less prone to destroyin' the universe?
I concur. ...Destroying the universe?
GODDAMMIT. If I had fucking appealed to the big group in Uptown instead of trying to appeal to multiple groups I probably would've gotten enough to finish Haute cuisine.
If some of my decisions seem weird, keep in mind that I'm trying to appeal to multiple groups.
Hanna's still saying her Small comforts dialogue.
Hmmm, it's not coming out... You might have to give this one a thorough washing.
Washin' this armor takes a lotta time. I'll get to it eventually.
I got most of the mud off, though you should have Hanna wash this for you once you get back. She'll make it squeaky clean! Oh, there's even mud on your face, too... Um, if you don't mind... There! All clean! Hee hee...well, I can't help you all when you're off exploring... So I'm just glad to know that I can still be helpful...in my own little way. I guess that's a little silly, huh? Eheheh. I'm looking forward to seeing you again!
What are you hungry for?" How about some Forest Cuisine?" ...I'm starting to hear that everywhere these days. I never thought the people would accept these exotic dishes so...naturally. Something about it feels good. ...Actually, I'm very pleased.
Well, some'a the dishes actually look pretty normal. Maybe that's got somethin t' do with it.
Kinda strange when yeh think about it. When I heard that yeh made it to the castle, I thought I was hearin' things. But look at how things are now. I'm so used to seeing yeh head off to that castle. Hasn't even been that long since it was discovered, but now everyone acts like they knew about it the whole time.
Well, technically, everyone did know about it the whole time, in a different capacity.
You just love your technicalities, don't you?
Think about it though. Even as we speak, that castle's just floating up above us. Kinda makes yeh shiver, doesn't it? I guess folks can get used to anything...
The Gallant ronin is part of Adventurers' Bond, so let's just talk to the Haughty doctor.
I'd say I'm rather unexciting, and my methods of exploration are thus similarly unexciting. That's simply my way, but... I... I suppose that's not quite true. No matter how slow I go, something about the flying castle is truly heart-pounding. Lumen, you're also exploring the castle, yes? Have you seen those Solo Bombs already?
Plenty of 'em.
Those things will attempt to rush you, so the first one I saw gave me quite a fright. But if you examine its movements, you may notice... there are some places that it can't enter. Perhaps it can't do sharp turns. Tch. I'd rather not think about it... hm? Oh, did someone as unexciting as me just advise the famous Lumen...? Ah, I... Perhaps I might be somewhat impressed...
We're starin' down another big monster. Giant graysish-black deal. Tons of tusks and horns.
I was researching the texts at the Duke's Palace on a whim... and I came across a phrase that might be of interest. In the center of the Heavenly Keep, the Black Beast waits to punish the wicked." ...If the winged ones from these texts actually existed, it seems likely this Black Beast exists too. Keep it in mind. Well, that's all I have to say for now. I hope you find fortune on your travels.
...Apropos of nothing, are your parents in good health?
I should hope so. If my parents were to succumb to an illness right now, there would be no-one to occupy the throne...
Man, I haven't talked to my mom and dad in years.
We were just thinking of keeping a record of you and your achievements here in Lagaard. I will take it upon myself to complete this record, even if it takes a lifetime. But your journey is not over... Hm. Where will it end, I wonder?
I'm gonna go with what hat guy 'n his friends are doin': keep goin' till I get bored.
Ho ho, I'm certainly looking forward to writing this one. I expect great things from you, Guild Lumen.
That's all for now. Next time: the sole 23F quest, finishing up some other quests, and after that, Juggernaut.