Part 94: Meeting with AriannaUpdate 3: Meeting with Arianna
So yeah, Story Mode was also kind of intended to attract new players, so there's more hand holding in the beginning of the game than if you picked Classic.
If you're a new explorer here, I could recommend some products to you if you like?
Sure, why not?
Okay! First, then, let me check the gear you have now! ..... ...And... checked! Um, it looks like the armor you have now is really thin! Some shoes, gloves, or accessories might be good to have, too! My recommendations would be a Wooden Hairpin, or maybe a Thick Gage!
Wow, I don't remember EOU coddling you that much. Anyways, let's see what she has to say.
I suggest you first make sure you're completely armored, from head to toe.
Good advice. I outfit Knight and Flavio in some armor. Knight can make use of Katanas and Swords. But I upgrade his Katana, since those typically have higher attack power. Flavio makes use of Bows, but I didn't have enough to get him a new one. Now normally I'd recommend you buy some Medicas, maybe like 5 of them, but don't do that here. That's a waste of money. Anyways, let's leave.
The most popular one for explorers is the Flaus Inn. You should go take a look... I mean, when you can.
Oh, really!? I thought I had a good memory, but...
Sorry, my memory must be failing me.
Sorry about that. Actually, it's our first time in the city...
I thought so. Welcome to Lagaard, then. There are lots of inns here, but my place is the best! You're explorers, right? Great! You'll fit right in. Try to get along with the other guilds!
If you played EO2, you might notice that they're giving all the NPCs names this time. EOU didn't even do that.
There's no need for formalities, you can just call me Hanna. That's what everyone else does! Hahaha!
Let's talk to her.
Time to go.
You'll meet plenty of experienced explorers there. I'm sure you can learn a thing or two from them. ...Of course, if you are in a hurry, you can just head on into the Labyrinth.
And now the game stops railroading us. But let's check out the bar anyway.
And the rest of his dialogue is the same as Classic Mode's. Even his regular talk dialogue. You can also talk to the bar patrons here, they'll give you tips on what to look out for in the Labyrnith. While a few bar talks are different in Story Mode, most of them are the same as in Classic, so I won't be showing most of those off.
Anyways, let's finally go to the Labyrinth!
But I don't see anyone around here. Let's go look around further in.
The sight overwhelms all who see it for the first time... The Yggdrasil Labyrinth. This forest maze exists within Yggdrasil, the tree that looms over the city of High Lagaard.
You nod your assent to Flavio as you gaze about. Just then, you see a figure approach from the far side of the clearing
Truly amazing... The scenery here is almost enough to make me forget the Labyrinth's dangers.
The woman wears a friendly smile on her face as she speaks.
In EOU, (really low quality) animated cutscenes played at certain points in the game during Story Mode. EO2U replaced those with these animated stills to keep the file size of the game at a minimum. As a result, the only animated scene in EO2U is the opening movie.
Your smile is what's amazing.
Wh--Knight!? How can you deliver a line like that with a straight face...!? There's a girl here alone in the forest! Hitting on her shouldn't be the first thing on your mind!
Because your reactions are amusing.
As the woman watches you snipe at one another, she smiles again.
Are you explorers, here to investigate the Yggdrasil Labyrinth? The forest is lovely, but dangerous. Please take care.
You note that the name the girl gives you is the very same as the person whose request you are here to grant.
We'll make sure to be careful.
You bow lightly after responding and the woman's face brightens.
Excellent! Please return safely. I hope we can visit again sometime.
But the young survivalist watching the scene unfold can hold his tongue no longer...
Okay, enough of this whole 'see you later' business!
Look, we're the Midgard Library investigation team you're waiting for.
Truly? I confess to being a bit scatterbrained...
Ohhhh boy. I can see that this will go well.
After making an apology for the misunderstanding, the woman asks for your names. You and Flavio introduce yourselves. On hearing again that you are from the Midgard Library, she curtseys to you.
Well then, Sir Knight and Sir Flavio. I'm pleased to have your assistance on my journey.
I was waiting here for you because I'm eager to depart. If it's all right with you, I would like to begin at once.
And Arianna is also a member of our party in Story Mode. So we're stuck with 3 characters instead of 2. Eh, that's better, I guess.
Oh, I nearly forgot. You'll be wanting these.
And that's why I said for you to not buy any Medicas. This will be plenty to tide us over in our first trip. They're single target consumables that restore a bit of HP.
Oh, and here's something a Classic Mode party misses out on. A Nectar at the start! They'll revive any dead people in battle. Then again, I can see why they did that. A party of 5 losing 1 is not as bad as a party of 3 losing 1.
I was given these medicines for the outset of my journey. Use them as you will, Sirs. Now the, let us waste no more time in setting off!
And here's Story Mode's map making tutorial. And yes, I imported my maps from NG+. I'm not drawing all that again! Also, but thou must question.
Remind me, Flavio?
We covered that at the Midgard Library, didn't we? Let me see if I can remember...
And then we're given a tutorial on how to draw a map.
Alright, let's give this a try!
You nod at your young companion's enthusiasm and decide to begin mapping this floor as you proceed.
As you cautiously proceed through the forest, you stop at a crossroads in the path with two clear branches.
So, which way?
Obviously we should pick up that treasure before moving on, but ehhh...
It's all one to me.
...What a spoilsport. You're making me look like the only one excited around here.
It's a fork in the path, dude.
Well then, why not try left? I feel as if the path will open up that way.
Okay, we'll do that. Oh, but that reminds me of something more important than a fork in the road. You two are properly prepared for exploration and battle, right?
Yeah. At the Library, they taught us that developing skills is important when exploring the forest. I went with Bow Mastery to focus on that type of skills... But if you two haven't learned any yet, now's as a good a time as any.
In order to use skills, you must allocate Skill Points to learn them. At present, you have 3 points available to spend. You will gain 1 point each time you level up.
You can check a skill's description to see what spending points on it will do.
Yeah, but don't expect them to go into detail about it. Oh yeah, we should probably get to spending our skill points.
Okay, so Knight here is of the Fafnir class. It's job is to... uhh... I'm not really sure how to describe him. He's a frontliner who can deal some okay damage, I guess? To be honest, he's kind of mediocre. His stat spread is kind of average, except for STR and TEC, which are fairly high. Honestly, he's probably among the worst damage dealing classes in the game, simply because his skills have really low damage modifiers compared to most other classes.
At any rate, I suggest leveling up Blade Mastery to 3, so you can unlock his Elemental Sabres, which gives you some nice offensive options. As for one of the first skills you should go for, don't level up the Sabres just yet. You actually want Delayed Chase, as that's one of his better damage skills. Anyways, the Sabres have Knight attack a single target with Elemental/Cut damage, so you definitely want those first.
Knight also has an entire skill branch dedicated to the Force mechanic. It's a complete mistake to invest anything in here at the moment.
Mainly because he doesn't have access to Force Skills, unlike Arianna and Flavio! Anyways, Arianna is of the Sovereign class. They're a support class whose job is to buff the party. They can also dish out some nice bit of damage and heal the party while they're at it. They're kind of jack of all trades, and can be considered to be the defensive counterpart of Troubadours. Now in Classic Mode, if you're using one, you might just consider investing in their buffs.
In Story Mode, that is actually a really bad idea. Arianna's buffs will have a miniscule effect at this point, and we're limited to 3 party members at the moment. What you want to do instead is invest in Link Order. It's skill that needs a certain condition fulfilled in order to activate. In this case, it's a delayed nuke. Arianna targets a single enemy. If that enemy gets targeted with an elemental attack (and doesn't miss), Arianna will then attack with whatever element the target got hit with. (So a fire attack will cause the nuke from Link Order to be Fire as well.) It runs off of Arianna's TEC stat, so she can deal a fairly decent amount of damage with it. That's also why I recommended you unlock the Fafnir's Sabres right away. Link Order is meant to combo with his elementals.
Let's talk about Flavio. Like he said before, he already invested a skill point into Bow Mastery, which is a nice touch. Flavio is a Survivalist, which is a ranged attacker and support. Right now, he's should be used as a mix of both, but you should kind of prioritize his support a bit more. As a Bow user, his attacks deal Stab damage and run off the AGI stat. And he has a pretty high one, so he's one of our fastest (and most evasive) party members.
I leveled up Bow Mastery to 3 to unlock those skills. They can inflict ailments, which is really good for disabling enemies and making your life a whole lot easier.
Oh, and one other thing. If you leave the game alone for a while, the characters will start up a conversation depending on where you are. Those conversations are audio only, but I decided to transcribe them here. Here's one of them while you're only a 3 man party on this mission.
This is pretty nerve wracking. This may be just the first floor, but it seems dangerous here.
Let's brace ourselves, and-
My, what could that be?
Naaghh! Don't wander off on your own!
Now let's get on with the game.
Ah, so she really likes treasure, huh? I think we'll get along just fine.
Yes, I've heard that these are scattered here and there in the Labyrinth. What should we do? Open it?
You see nothing preventing you from opening this treasure box found deep within the Labyrinth if you like.
And we get ourselves another Nectar!
Shortly afterwards, I get into a battle. Anyways, like I said. Knight cannot use Force just yet, so he can't really do much.
On the other hand, Arianna can, which gives the other two party members a bit of an edge over Knight. Anyways, when the Force Gauge at the bottom is full, your party members can use Force Boosts. Those are passive abilities that are active for 3 turns and don't take a turn to use up. Arianna's is Victory Vow, which makes her Order skills (her buffs) AOEs instead of row target, and halves the TP cost. So it essentially quarters the TP cost of her skills, since she doesn't have to cast her skills twice, and it's halved on top of that. While in a Force Boost, you can use a Force Break. A Force Break is an active ability that's fairly powerful, but can only be used once per Labyrinth trip. And it locks you out of using Force Boosts until you return back to town. Arianna's Force Break, Proof of Nobility, restores 40% of the party's max HP and 33% of their max TP when cast. In my opinion, the Sovereign has the worst Force Boost and Break in the whole game. In Classic Mode at least, because this is because this skill is more suited for long fights against tough enemies, but it's easy to end fights fast in Classic mode.
In Story Mode? Ohhhh boy, we're gonna need Arianna's Force Break big time.
Also, a word of warning if you have played EO3, Sovereigns are no longer a front line class. Despite the fact that they can wear heavy armor, their VIT took a huge drop, so they don't handle being on the front lines well. Heck, there's no benefit to putting them there at all. I'm only leaving Arianna up there for now, since I don't want Knight tanking all the damage.
Oh and another thing EO2U added. It let's you see what ailments and stuff like that are effective on enemies. And the game will also kindly tell you what damage types are effective or not. Concentric circles means that enemy is weak to it. A circle means they are neutral to it. Triangles means they are resistant to it. And Xs means they're immune, don't bother with that. Another thing that's new is that you can see what buffs and debuffs an enemy has. About time. Anyways, I handle this battle pretty easily. I won't be going into too much detail on battles.
Oh? What a healthy dog. And such a fine coat on him... Could he be someone's pet?
Yikes... He looks more like a wolf than a dog. You don't think he's scary...?
Sir Knight... Are you uneasy around such beasts?
Have no fears. I assure you that this fine animal means us no harm.
Arianna, who seems to have taken quite a fancy to the beast, reaches out and gently pats its head...
The moment the woman speaks the beast's name, it makes a nodding motion, just as a person would.
I think you're right about that.
The woman continues to gaze at the beast, who is still staring at you. Eventually, she reluctantly stands back up.
We must be on our way. Farewell, Wulfgar.
After watching the woman wave goodbye, you decide to return to the task at hand.
Though you had forged onward, you turn around to see that the animal from earlier is not far behind you.
How curious. Could he be mistaking us for his owner?
He must be out for a walk.
A walk? That sounds heavenly... I myself enjoy a good stroll.
Why, were we not in the midst of an important mission, I would have joined him gladly.
Well then, shall we plough on?
You nod to Flavio, and then turn back towards the path leading deeper into the Labyrinth.
The three of you are at a loss at the sudden turn of events, and can only brace for its impact, when--
H-Holy--! Wait... Did that beast... help us?
Beasts? Helping people? Nah, that's impossible.
Maybe he thought it was food?
Well, naturally one cannot fight on an empty stomach. Thus did Wulfgar attack the fiend! It's only sensible!
Sorry to butt in on your little chat, but we'd better get our weapons out.
Flavio speaks the truth; the monster that tried to attack you has called its allies, and they are closing in! There is no escaping this! Take up your arms and defeat the monsters!
Are you perhaps going to fight at our side, Wulfgar?
Just so, then! Let us do this together!
Wait, what!? Can this mutt fight!?
Who cares, there's no time to hesitate! We're counting on you, boy!
One important skill, which restores HP, is called Lick Wounds. Use Wulfgar to the fullest during battle.
So EO2U makes use of something introduced in EO4. Guests. Guests are NPCs who will join the party for a short amount of time, and are fully controllable. Only Story Mode gets Wulfgar to use as a guest because they're stuck with 3 party members. Classic Mode doesn't get such a benefit.
Anyways, now that we have Wulfgar, let's move Arianna to the back.
This is the only time you can use Beasts in Story Mode, as they cannot be reclassed into. Anyways, Wulfgar is a pretty strong party member. He can deal a decent amount of damage with Tiger Blow and Comet Drop, while being able to protect everyone else from harm with Protect and Hit-Taker. He can also heal others with Lick Wounds. Their Force Boost is Desperation, which triples their max HP. Their Force Break is True Endurance, which forces them to shield other party members and take all damage dealt that turn in their place, however they can't die from it. Then they unleash a powerful Bash attack to all enemies afterwards, dealing more damage the more damage they took.
Oh, and before I forget. Flavio's Force Boost is Illusion Step. It massively increases his evasion, and adds an extra attack that chases his attacks. The damage output of the chaser increases with his level. His Force Break is Summer Rain, which attacks all enemies on the field with Stab damage up to 16 times, but he's limited to attacking the same target 4 times. It's our only panic button at this point, but it's a pretty strong one.
Since Wulfgar is level 12, the fight ended quickly. Guests do not earn exp. They're stuck at the level they're at.
Seriously... We wouldn't have made it out of that alive if not for this mutt.
It was two Hedgehogs. We did not get blindsided. You had Summer Rain available. I think we would have been fine.
You're quite strong.
What, with you being level 12 and all.
Whether the black-furred beast grasps your words or not, his tail wags as if congratulating you on the battle. Even after you have given him your thanks, the beast continues to follow you as before. It seems he will be accompanying you for the time being. You accept Wulfgar as a companion and return to your investigation of the forest.
The young man who had been scouting ahead motions you over to his side.
There's something hanging from this tree... I think it's a whip.
What Flavio points to seems like a vine at first, but then you make out the whip tangled in the branches.
Oh my... Whoever lost this must have been exceedingly tall.
What kind of person is over ten feet tall!? There's a scary thought...!
You can try and recover the whip or ignore it and continue on your investigation.
Let's pull on the whip.
Hmm. Might as well try, I suppose!
Sure that you can recover the whip with a good, sharp tug, you begin pulling on it with all your might. Though your muscles strain, the whip itself is elastic and the supple branch bends as well. It remains firmly in place.
Hmm... This isn't going to work. We need a better plan.
It seems that you will not retrieve the whip in this way. You must come up with another idea...
Okay fine, let's climb up the tree.
Flavio is normally the correct answer for this, but...
Let's send up Wulfgar instead!
Uh, maybe if he was a cat, but... This might be too much for Wulfgar.
Flavio's words spur Wulfgar to back away from the tree a bit before darting up the trunk with tremendous leg strength!
Your lack of faith disappoints me, Flavio.
Good job, Flavio. You've angered Wulfgar.
Th-That was amazing...
Thank you, Wulfgar. You are quite adept with your paws to untangle such a snarled whip.
You fool! Don't boost his ego!
Don't get cocky over this.
Wulfgar's expression is calm even after hearing your taunt. You feel as though you've lost this battle...
Darn. Foiled by a wolf.
Yet the whip he so skillfully retrieved is damaged and unusable...
Well, it could come in handy for something. Why not hold onto it?
You stow the whip in your pack before continuing on with your exploration.
There's a Dark Hunter in the bar that you can return this to for a reward.
Oh? What's the matter, Wulfgar?
Looks like he's stopped following us.
He must love going on walks.
Walks are fun.
The Yggdrasil Labyrinth is a lovely place, after all.
It's also very dangerous. If he's going back in there, I hope he'll stay alive to help us again.
I feel certain he'll lend a hand again, should our paths cross. He did aid us last time without being asked.
That's true. He did help us out on his own... That's a cheering thought.
Well, I think that's enough for now. We'll finish that mission up next time.