Part 99: Rescue MissionUpdate 8: Rescue Mission
And now that we've reached the 3rd floor... let's go back to town!
I mean, you've got a bunch of cute girls, and Knight and Flavio just seemed like pretty boys... I was a bit worried, since you didn't come off as the explorer type. But seems like you're doing fine! Keep up the good work!
Before we set out again, why don't we get some sleep?
Go away, I'm trying to sleep.
It's been a while, huh? Remember how we used to talk like this whenever we couldn't sleep?
Of course, back then we didn't have our own rooms.
By the way, uh... How's, you know... How's the arm? If I know you, you were probably biting back the pain for everyone else's benefit.
Well, if you don't want me to worry about it, I won't.
I was worried about your arm... but I also wanted to talk about Arianna. She mentioned coming to study at the Library when she was young.
I thought about it, and that was the time of the accident...
You remember it now?
More like I never forgot. You and Arianna were the ones who didn't remember. Guess some of it's still fuzzy, huh? That day... we were playing investigation team in the woods, and we got attacked by a monster. Arianna started crying, and I was shaking like a leaf. I thought we were dead meat.
But you stood up... You'd been hurt, but you held your ground and told us to run.
After the monster was down, you just blacked out. Arianna, too. You changed back, but I was so scared. I had no idea what had just happened... I ran crying into the Library, thinking you were dying. I kept yelling, Knight suddenly transformed! Help him!
But no one believed me. Flavio the Fibber, at it again. When you two woke up, neither of you remembered it happening, so they all really thought I was lying. I figured it was what I deserved for all the lies I told before...
'Flavio the Fibber'?
You might not've known. Ugh, there's a nickname I wish I could forget.
Before we were roommates, I lied a lot... So people started calling me that.
Since I couldn't get anyone to believe me, everyone thought I made up the whole incident. But this time... it's different. I can tell someone and show them proof to back it up.
Once we finish this, we're going back to the Library to get you checked out. Hm... I've been sitting here for a while, huh?
Yes. Get out.
Alright then... g'night.
That's the professor, for the record.
On the other hand, we have no idea who that is.
I don't remember anything.
And then we wake up.
If you see them in the Labyrinth, you can always count on them to help you out. They're regulars of ours. They're a really strong guild, but they're also really kind and nice to everyone. ...Well, one of them is a little scary.
I just received something that Grandpa prepared for us. As thanks for helping out with this cafe, he left, uh... a storage area. Kind of strange for someone to just drop off a storage house out of nowhere, but I guess I'm not complaining. So now you can store your items at the Guild House, if you want. Just let me know if you want to use it. I'll keep an eye on your things.
And now we have the option to store our items. Regina's 3F dialogue is the same as in Classic.
That lot... they ain't exactly like other explorers, but they're a good bunch. If yeh're ever in a bind, it might actually be better to ask their help than mine... Ah, who am I kiddin'! Haw haw haw!
Cass has some one time dialogue for when we run into Guild Beowulf. His 3F dialogue is the same as it is in Classic, but...
Let's tell him that slow and steady doesn't win the race.
I want to get through it faster.
Whoa there! Don't do anythin' stupid. The Labyrinth ain't that easy to get through. I ain't trying to be condescendin' but yeh should really think about yer own skill and go at a steady pace. But I do like yer spirit, kid. Good luck to yeh, Guild!
...I must say, I'm rather impressed by the Midgard investigation team's prowess. Ever since the discovery of the Labyrinth, the Grand Duchy has been sending guards to investigate... yet it has proved fruitless. As you can see, this is a small country. Our military is quite modest... but to think we would be outdone this easily... I suppose this could be problematic. Perhaps I should seriously consider some changes to the division of--Ah, my apologies--I did not mean to go on for so long. In any case, I am glad to hear that your exploration goes smoothly. We owe much to you. I look forward to the results of your future endeavors.
Marion's dialogue isn't any different. Anyways, I take the time to do the quest where we have to take care of Quona. If you actually turn her down when she comes to you about the drunk guard, you actually don't have to deal with that and the quest ends immediately. However you don't get as big of a reward and only get 125 exp per party member. Also Cass calls you out for being a dick to her. The Story party doesn't have any new dialogue for this, so I'm not showing off the quest. So let's get back to the 3rd floor.
You're kidding me... This again?
You cautiously look over and find a familiar-seeming hedgehog... Once more, it is stuck fast due to its spines becoming lodged in the tree's roots.
We called it. How dumb is this thing?
You may rescue the foolish hedgehog or leave it to its predicament.
Fine, I'll give it another chance. But this is the last one!
In for a penny, in for a pound, you think to yourself as you reach towards it. Yet you still recall the intense pain your last rescue attempt resulted in. It is something you are not eager to repeat. You pause, considering briefly how best to go about this.
Okay, I've got a plan.
You wonder if you might escape unscathed if you leave it without any chance of launching a counterattack...
Your toss was well-timed, it seems. You were not bitten once!
...Well, I'm okay with this if he is.
Having done your good deed for the day, you decide to leave this place.
You don't get anything for picking that option, so let's just stare at it again.
As you work at dislodging the hedgehog, you try to convey through your stare that you only wish to help the creature... When all the spines have been extracted from the tree, the hedgehog obediently jumps to the ground from your hands. You seem to have gotten through to it!
I knew I shouldn't have trusted it!
A-Are you okay? It doesn't look like it left a mark...
In truth, your pride is more punctured than your skin.
Hm...? Look. It's a rare material.
Why don't you keep it, as a little thank-you from the hedgehog?
You convince yourself that this is the case and put away the hedgehog's token of gratitude before going on your way.
Okay, fine hedgehog. I'll forgive you this time.
Oh that's nice. More recipes means more restaurant skits.
Should come in handy in case I screw up badly.
Upon closer inspection, you see three injured guards collapsed on the ground behind him. What has happened here...? You consider asking the man.
I'm sure that doesn't mean anything bad. Those guards probably just tripped over something.
You ignore his warning and reach for the door. But the red-haired man quickly takes hold of your hand to stop you.
The red-haired man shows signs of distress, but he looks each of you in the eye before speaking up.
The guard corps you were searching for was attacked. Their unit was decimated, though some managed to escape.
Some? In Classic Mode, all but one got killed. Guess Story Mode is making some things lighter.
Hrothgar gives a backward glance to the three guards behind him. Their wounds are treated and they sleep peacefully.
From what I could glean, they were set upon by a monster they'd never seen before.
Wait, so... did the monster take out everyone apart from those three!?
I don't know. They mentioned a guard named Brucke, who ran west to draw the monster away. It was thanks to his selfless actions that these three, injured as they were, escaped to find me.
But Sir Brucke is the very man that we're looking for!
I see... Then there isn't a moment to lose. But the injured must be tended to, and the Grand Duchy informed. What do you think, Guild guild? Will you go to the Grand Duchy at once and tell them what happened here? I'll watch over these three and take them back to town as soon as they're fit for travel.
Hmph... I feel like we're getting dragged into more drama here...
C'mon, old man... You can't brush off a scene like this as just 'drama.'
Yeah, yeah, I'm sorry. I'll shut up.
It's no use complaining. Let's go to the Grand Duchy.
Yes... We should report to the Minister without delay, and then return here to search for the missing Sir Brucke.
You nod at Arianna's words and make to return to the Duke's Palace.
Screw this, let's just go through the door now!
It seems that he won't let you through for any reason until you have returned to town. The fastest way to move forward, it seems, is to return to High Lagaard for now.
I must thank you for aiding my granddaughter. Hm? You seem flustered. Is there something wrong...?
Minister, something terrible has happened in the Labyrinth! The guards...!
...What!? An unfamiliar monster has appeared, and the guards are in complete disarray!?
Yes. With the help of Sir Hrothgar, we were able to save three, but we are still unsure of the others' whereabouts...
Hrmm... from the sounds of things, they require assistance, and quickly... however, I am afraid that will be difficult.
Yes. From what you've told me, it seems the guards are completely outmatched against this monster...
So you're saying... even throwing all the soldiers in Lagaard at it isn't gonna do a damn thing, huh?
It pains me to say it... but the guards are all comparable in their skills. If this monster can easily sweep aside a squad of ten guards... I'm afraid there isn't much we can accomplish by sending more. Thus... the Grand Duchy is issuing a new mission. The task will be to rescue the guards from the Labyrinth. I would... be grateful if you would accept this mission as well, Guild.
Dubois has new dialogue if we talk to him.
It would be a great favor to High Lagaard if you would help us by accepting this mission...
Let's do this.
Oh, you've accepted this one? How very kind of you. We'd like you to prioritize finding and rescuing the survivors over slaying whatever monsters did this. Please do what you can to find the surviving guard corps and save as many of them as possible. From all I've heard, the guard who went in to save his comrades--the one you search for, Princess--may still be safe. I ask that you do what you can, for the sake of those anxiously awaiting the corps' return.
And Dubois has more to say if we talk to him again.
All of us who await the guard's safe return... we're counting on you.
Wasn't that guy we met earlier pretty strong? Why don't we get him to help? It'd sure make things easier on us.
Yes, Sir Hrothgar would be an invaluable asset to our guild... Let us pray that the guards are safe.
We probably could have saved more if we went in right away.
We may be too late.
Actually, yes. Maybe if they'd escaped, sure. But if they had to fight an unknown monster? Probably nothing good happened.
Hey, stop that. It won't do anyone any good to expect the worst before we even get started.
Yeah, you got a point.
Still... sometimes it's better to be ready for the worst. Just this old man's opinion.
Now let's head back to the 3rd floor.
Oh? It seems Sir Hrothgar and the others have gone elsewhere...
Think maybe the guards woke up? He might've taken them back to town.
As you discuss the possibilities, two figures appear behind you.
The red-haired young man smiles as he explains himself before continuing.
I heard at the Grand Duchy that Knight took the mission. I'm surprised a beginner would do that.
The protector's expression darkens, and though he opens his mouth as if to speak, no words come out.
Think we're not up to the task, huh?
Do we seem that weak?
That's not what I mean... I'm sorry. I'd hoped to give you some kind of advice, but nothing came to mind. I pray that your mission goes well. Be careful in the Labyrinth.
Hey there. I got a question.
What is it?
If you look that worried about this mission, why not do it yourself.
Hey, what're you saying--
No, it's fine. He's right. Forgive me if I offended you. But there is something I must do. It may sound cruel, but for me, this takes priority over saving the guards.
The young man's cold tone is a far cry from his usual friendliness... He turns his back to you.
...If you're going to open this door, you should be ready first. Because like it or not, it'll teach you what it means to explore this forest. ...Let's go Wulfgar.
Hrothgar and Wulfgar leave.
'What it means to explore this forest...?'
What in the world are we going to find past there...?
So? Do we go or turn back? Tell us, leader.
You are free to proceed through the door if you wish, though you also consider returning to town to prepare yourselves.
Considering that we had to go back to town to even proceed with the plot, I think we'll be fine. Let's go through the door.
When you notice what lies at the monster's feet, you feel as if you have been punched in the stomach... Scattered about is armor and helmets worn by the guard corps, atop a patch of ground utterly soaked in blood!
The dreadful sight leaves the entire group at a loss for words.
'What it means to explore this forest,' huh...? Hmph... That guy might seem nice, but what he said was downright nasty.
Look at the armor. It's definitely Grand Duchy stuff.
In contrast to the shocked young man and woman, the protector and his black-clad ward begin analyzing the scene.
I count... three helms. So three victims. Plus the three from before, that's six. The other four could be alive somewhere.
Chloe turns her gaze on your, and Arianna looks at you forlornly as well.
Let's search for survivors.
So Knight, looks like there's a bunch of pitfalls between us and the monster to the west. If we can lure it into one of them... Think we could make it to the door back there without a fight?
The young man patiently awaits your ruling on the suggestion. If you mean to investigate the path ahead, you must either slay the monster or devise a way to avoid it. Either way, the decision is yours... But be cautious. The monster lurking ahead is more vicious than anything you've faced, and victory is not certain!
We're going to get pasted if we try to take on that FOE now, so we have no choice but to avoid it.
First, walk two steps forward to trap the 2 Raptors for 10 turns.
Then walk over here. The Terrible Hunter will hop over any pits that are in its way, but it has to rest for a turn if it does that. So how do we lure it into one?
Aside from that aspect, it acts like a Raptor in its movement patterns.
So move one step to the left and...
Take a step back! The Terrible Hunter will attempt to jump over the first pit, only to land in the second one!
After luring it into a pit once, the Terrible Hunter loses the ability to hop over pits, and moves 1 tile every other turn, so it's much easier to lure it into a pit the second time. We're still not fighting it because we aren't strong enough yet.
The young man stops briefly to check the ground and nearby branches before looking back up.
There's signs of several people walking through here, in full armor... Might've been the Grand Duchy's guards. That trail leads south, so I assume they escaped that way.
The young survivalist looks to the path heading south as he awaits your instructions. It is up to you whether to follow the footsteps and head south, or search the northern side first.
...It would seem there is no one here.
That's odd... The footsteps definitely led here. Maybe they're still nervous and hiding somewhere... They might answer if we called out to them.
If the missing guards are indeed in hiding, fearful of monsters, they may be difficult to find at first glance.
Is anyone here?
On hearing your voice, an injured man carrying comrades on his back emerges from between the trees.
You silently lend your hand to the guard.
As the guard takes your hand, he is overcome with emotion and begins to sob. You shudder to think of how painful it must have been to be forced into hiding by pursuing monsters...
I'm... I'm so glad...
The guard squeezes your hand tightly... Once your are sure that he's calmed down, you tell him that you are explorers charged by the Grand Duchy to save him.
From the Grand Duchy...! Thank God! We can go home... We're saved!
But once his outburst of joy subsides, the guard limps over to Chloe upon noticing her.
Hey, aren't you a war magus? Please... You have to treat my unit!
In case you're wondering, altering the story mode party's classes has no effect on the plot.
The guard points to his three comrades hidden amongst the trees, ignoring his own severe injuries.
We managed to flee this far... but their wounds are too serious. They can't take another step.
Chloe moves to the three collapsed guards and begins treating them... ......
Fade to black.
...There. If you take them back now, they'll live.
Thank the heavens!
The entire party shares a moment of relief...
Are you the bridge expert?
You speak to the guard again, who is looking gleefully upon his comrades. If this is Brucke, then he must be the bridge expert you were searching for...
Bridges...? Well, it's true that I love bridges. How'd you know?
You don't remember me? We met at the bar.
One hell of a reunion, huh?
The guard can't help but smile as well at the protector's smirking remark.
We have a question for you... But you're hurt as well, Sir Brucke!
Mr. Bridge is wounded. He needs to let me fix him up.
Fade to black.
After you do what you can for the guards, you hand Brucke the Ariadne Thread that the Grand Duchy gave you to pass on.
Wait, when did we get that?
...I can't thank you enough. I'll be sure to let the Grand Duchy know that your guild saved our lives. And if you need to know anything about bridges, feel free to come ask me once you get back to town. I'd do anything to help you out. You saved our lives, after all! Be careful on your way back.
The guard then uses the Ariadne Thread and returns to town with his three comrades.
The guards leave.
......That... completes the mission. Let us return to the Grand Duchy.
The woman is right. You must now return to town and inform the Grand Duchy.
That can wait. Why don't we go to the next floor, first?
I expect that the Minister is anxious to hear the outcome of our mission.
The woman is right. You are duty-bound to report back about the guards that you have rescued! Before you explore any new areas, you must return to town and speak to the Minister!
Words cannot express my gratitude over what you've done for our citizens.
Oh, not at all... There's no need for such extravagant thanks. We merely accomplished the task given us.
Isn't that so, Sir Knight?
It had to be done for us to move on.
Knight! Don't say that. I apologize for my friend, Minister.
No apologies necessary. Whatever your motivations, the fact remains that you saved our people. And for that, we present to you this token of our gratitude.
Furthermore... I asked the guard about the bridge in Ginnungagap. He said, based on your description of how the bridge moves, that it is a type called a submersible bridge. That seems to be the technical term for bridges whose girders rise up, allowing passage across. In his opinion, the fact that it stopped moving partway indicates that its power source has expired.
So... does that mean it's broken?
No, not as such. It only lacks power to supply its mechanism. If that is replenished, the bridge should move again. But there is a problem associated with its power source, which is a special one called the Dynamo Stone.
What kind of problem might this be?
They Dynamo Stone is a mysteriously charged ore which High Lagaard uses to develop various tools. But an increase in demand has left us in short supply. You could mine it in the forest, but nowadays...
...I don't like where this is headed. You're not about to tell us it can't be had anymore, I hope...
No... not precisely. The only known deposit of Dynamo Stones now is a dreadful monster's lair. Worse yet, the reports I've read suggest that this very monster is the cause of the anomalies in the first Stratum.
Then it may have been the one to...!
We the Grand Duchy hope to avoid such casualties on the early Strata. If you are going forth in search of a Dynamo Stone... Might you lend us your help on this as well?
Another mission becomes available, but let's see what Dubois has to say first.
And now let's accept the mission.
I think you meant part. Unless you really wanted us to boogie down here.
Princess, we understand that the ritual is still uppermost in your mind, but we beg you to help us.
Oh, but no! I am happy to be of service to this nation.
If a dangerous monster is on the loose, then that situation must be rectified.
Indeed. The first Stratum is now flooded with monsters... We now know that the cause of this is Chimaera, the king of beasts which dwells on the 5th floor. It is Chimaera's roar that seems to be drawing monsters from the upper floors down to the first Stratum.
So if we slay this Chimaera... you think the first Stratum will be safe again?
Most likely, yes.
Gameplay wise, it won't.
They Dynamo Stone you require can also be found on the 5th floor... where the beast is currently nesting. Acquiring the stone without vanquishing the beast first would seem unlikely. For the sake of both your ritual and the explorers of High Lagaard, we beg that you slay the Chimaera!
Dubois has more things to say if we talk with him.
It would be difficult to take from such a dangerous place... that is, unless you eliminate the Chimaera first. Please, defeat the Chimaera for the sake of the ritual, and for the sake of those that explore the Labyrinth!
This sounds like more trouble...
Well, too bad. We've taken the mission already... Let's get to the forest.
I've been wanting to say this for a while now... but you lovelies are just so brave! It's very different from helping people out in the city. Not just anyone can jump into danger in order to save someone else. I thought you all felt different from other explorers... Looks like I was right all along. Promise me that you'll never change, okay, loves? Bahaha!
Sometimes the town dialogue changes when something major happens instead of just going up to a new floor. Let's see what Quona has to say now.
...W-Wow, Guild must be an amazing guild... Everyone was so impressed. It's not something just anyone can do... That's what they say... Even if I was strong, I don't think I could do it...
You could do it./Someday, you'll be able to.
...Y-You really think so? I, um... Thanks... Mom was really proud of you... and I'm really proud of you too... Hee hee...
It'd be impossible for you.
...Y-You're right. I-It's probably something only you could do... Mom was really proud of you... and I'm really proud of you too... Hee hee...
You saved those guards from the Labyrinth, right? You're all... really amazing explorers!
Eh, we're not that bad.
That's not true! You don't need to be modest--wait... What did you...? O-Oh, right, not bad? S-Sorry, I misheard! Y-You're absolutely right! You're all so amazing!
Eh, we're not that great.
That's not true! You saved someone from danger in the Labyrinth! Not just anyone could do that! It's great news! I haven't stopped smiling since I heard! You have to let me thank you, at least... And congratulate you on a job well don!
We're not really explorers.
...Wha...? Huh!? But... but you explore the Labyrinth! Doesn't that make you an explorer?
...Knight, this is probably gonna get confusing. We might as well just say we're explorers, huh?
I used to think that all you did was just explore the Labyrinth. Looks like I'll have to reconsider my perceptions... I guess I should expect no less from the guild that Grandpa trusts so much.
You're being insensitive.
Yeh bonehead. How do yeh expect to make stacks of cash if yeh worry about hurtin' everyone's feelings all the time? Eh... s'pose that might be the natural thing to do somewhere nice like Midgard. Not that I'd know much 'bout it. In my opinion, yeh lot oughta act more like proper explorers.
That's not why we saved them.
Well, ain't yeh a smooth talker. Bet the bigwigs love yeh even more for that. Well, what's done is done. I'm just sayin' there's gonna be some folks who see it that way, kiddo. ...Hard to tell what kinda things people are gonna say behind yer back.
Just as planned.
Haw haw haw! That's what I'm talkin' bout! I'm startin' to get the impression Midgard folk ain't so different after all! Well, when yeh get all big and famous, make sure not to forget about ol' Cass. Yeh got that?
Even a well-armed and prepared squad of guards isn't immune to the Labyrinth's dangers... even on lower floors. It may already be clear to you, but the Labyrinth is fraught with danger. You'd do well to not let your guard down. Well, that's all I have to say for now. Try to avoid any unnecessary risks.
And we'll be making our way up to Chimaera's lair next time.