Part 20: Setting up our GuildSetting up our Guild
Legends say that the central city of Lagaard is home to Yggdrasil, gateway to the floating castle. The residents of that metropolis have discovered a labyrinthine dungeon within the legendary tree. High Lagaard's Duke is currently researching the Labyrinth to find the truth behind the floating castle. The castle and the Labyrinth drew adventurers to High Lagaard from far and wide... But none among them were able to master the Labyrinth and find the truth of the ancient legends. You are among the legions of explorers eager to penetrate the Labyrinth's mysteries. Your quest is to find the floating castle and make your fortune. The city of Laagard awaits!
It seems that the city is full to bursting with explorers. Since you yourself came to make a name as an explorer, you should register at the Explorer's Guild. ...But first, indulge a bit of curiosity regarding your history.
If so, surely you have a password from those days as a memento of your adventures. Now is the time to speak up! If not, of course, pay it no mind and head for the Guild.
We do indeed! In Etrian Odyssey 1, the game generated a password once you finished the game, and updated it accordingly depending on what you did in the postgame. What's contained in the password is the name of your Guild in the first game, whether they got the Town Medal or Town Crown accessories, both of which are rewards for beating the main story, and 100% completing the game, respectively, and your party member's names in your EO1 combat party, their weapons, and their levels. The last three do not get used in this game at all, so I hope you weren't looking to transfer your party members over to this game. Only EO1 and 2 have this sort of connection. EO2 does not generate a password for the next game, but Etrian Odyssey 4 and Etrian Odyssey Untold do generate extra data to use in future titles. Not much is known about that yet. Feel free to use this one if you're playing this game. Using a password gives you some benefits in the game, as well as change some of the early dialogue slightly.
Well we can't go exploring without setting up a guild first, so that's our only option at the moment.
A little note. There's actually two different versions of this soundtrack. The PC-88 version and the DS version. The Nintendo DS doesn't really have good audio quality, so the PC-88 songs in this game get compressed and are lower quality than the songs on the OST and sound a bit different. Though I personally prefer those to the PC-88 versions. For this LP, I'll be posting both versions of these songs. The link on the left will play the version you'd normally hear while playing this game on a Nintendo DS, while the link on the right will play the original PC-88 version, which is what will be used in the remake's Classic Mode.
: Ah, it is you? Then you must be here to explore the labyrinth, I assume. Guild Odyssey... Yes, the legendary explorers who saved the town of Etria.
Wait, what? If you played EO1, to 100% completion no less, this isn't true at all. It would be if it went with Untold's storyline, but that game came out several years later.
: Well, you're welcome to use the name you're already known under... I'm sure many explorers here would be eager to sign up with your guild. Or, you could change the name and go incognito. It makes no difference to me. Either way, explorer, I must record the formation of your guild on this first of Emperor.
You can vote on this later, for now we'll stick with this name.
: Oh yes... I have something for you, since you led Guild Odyssey in those days. It's in honor of all that Odyssey accomplished... You're worthy of it. I expect that you'll achieve the same level of renown here in in High Lagaard.
Since we used a password, we get this little accessory. In the first game, the Town Crown was a really powerful accessory that when equipped, it granted that character 100 HP, 50 TP, and a 15 point boost to all stats. It's a lot less powerful here, as it only grants an extra 15 points of HP and TP, and only gives a 2 point boost to all stats. It's fairly useful for the earlygame though. The Town Medal on the other hand, only grants 10 points of HP and TP and gives 1 extra point to all stats, so it falls off earlier than the Town Crown.
Register lets you create characters for your party. Organize let's you kick people out, or reset their skill points. Formation let's you choose who you're going to take with you into the Labyrinth. And talk is self explanatory. Let's see what the Guildmaster has to say.
: Only confirmed citizens have the Grand Duchy's permission to enter the Labyrinth. Don't worry... We don't inquire into your past. If you prefer, you can even use a fake name. Whether you're a foreign king in disguise or a wanted man on the lam... It makes no difference here, so long as you're willing to challenge the Labyrinth.
Interesting. Well let's start signing people up for our guild.
These are all the classes we can accept into our guild. Nine of these are returning from the first game, and because Atlus hates success, they nerfed the popular picks in the first game, with only the Protector and Medic coming out somewhat unscathed, while Survivalist and Landsknecht got hit the hardest. On the other hand, they buffed the underused classes, which were Ronin, Dark Hunter, and Hexer, all of who may have gotten buffed too much. This game introduces 3 new classes, Gunner, War Magus, and Beast. Beast is locked for now, but it unlocks pretty early into the game, shortly after beating the first boss. Because of the nerfs and the new classes, this results in some classes being outclassed by others since some of them cover the same roles, and some of them do a far better job at it. I would have to say this is the worst Etrian Odyssey in terms of class balance because of that. Later games are much better at giving classes distinct roles and making sure they can do them well. Our party can only hold 5 members at a time, and because the class balance is really lopsided, the party composition for the main story and the postgame have already been decided. However, at some points the game wants you to use certain classes to access some areas, so all the classes will be seeing action at some point. But for the most part, the classes that don't make it into the main party will be part of a farming team, whose main focus is to safely gather materials in the Labyrinth. I'll give a more detailed writeup on all these classes later, but here's a brief rundown on all those for now, and what most of these classes were like in the first game.
Masters of sword and axe in close combat.
Force Skill: All Out
-Channel weapon energy for a fierce attack.
Balanced warriors for the front line.
They're a bit of a jack of all trades sort of class offense wise, with being able to hit multiple targets when using swords, or can deal huge amounts of burst damage to single targets with an axe, and even have access to elemental attacks. In EO1 they were one of the best damage dealers in the game and were very good at clearing out mobs. That hasn't changed here but Atlus increased the TP costs of all their skills, so they can't use them as often, and they don't have a large TP pool. They also gained some passives that lets them deal more damage the lower their HP is.
Fleet-footed archers wise in forest lore.
Force Skill: Airwalk
-Increases the entire party's speed.
Fast-acting fighters useful in either line.
In the first game, Survivalists were easily the best class in the game. They had fantastic field abilities which made dungeon crawling much easier, and in terms of damage, they were pretty much kings and queens of dishing it out, only an axe weilding Lansknecht and a Ronin could compare to them in terms of raw power. Unfortunately, their attack power took a massive hit in this game, and they're pretty much only good for supporting in battle and in the field now. Despite what the game says, they're best suited for the back since their defenses aren't that great.
Holy defenders of the weak.
Force Skill: Painless
-Nullifies all damage taken for one turn.
Best used as front-line warriors.
Protectors are pretty much the tanks of the game. They're not too shabby at dishing out damage, but their defenses are the main reason you would want to use them. They can reduce the damage your party takes, and cause enemies to focus on them instead of your squishy Survivalist or some other class. They can also heal party members, but it's usually better to have actual healers handle that job. They were pretty much essential to the postgame in EO1, and kind of are here, but they're not really necessary to this game's postgame. Their defensive capabilities still stand strong in this game, but they were reworked to be unreliable at times.
Their pinpoint whip strikes weaken enemies.
Force Skill: Dominate
-Bind all of an enemy's body parts.
Their skills are best used in the front.
Dark Hunters are front line fighters that can inflict status ailments on the enemy. They can bind an enemy's body parts if they're using whips, which debuff the enemy and prevent them from using certain attacks, or just inflict the standard RPG status effects if they're using swords such as paralysis, sleep, and petrification. A nice aspect about this class is that even if a status effect doesn't land, the attack still deals damage so it's not a total waste of a turn. They were overlooked for other options in the first game, so Atlus decided to buff them into the second most broken class in the game. They're even the primary class of choice to cheese certain types of monsters in this game.
Their healing arts support the party.
Force Skill: H. Touch (Healing Touch)
-Heals the party's HP and status ailments.
Use their healing gifts from the back.
It's pretty obvious, but they're the healers of this game. Healing, reviving, getting rid of status effects, they've got it all. They got some new skills coming from the first game, and even got some buffs to their old skills. Unfortunately, they no longer have access to Immunize, which was supposed to reduce the damage taken from elemental attacks, but was bugged to reduce physical damage too, which made them a key class in getting through the first game. They could even be used as front line fighters, and were fairly effective at it. But that strategy is no longer as effective in this game, and it's better to have an actual damage dealer if you want to go down that route. They're also a bit slow, so if your party is hurting at the start of a turn and needs to heal up before they get hit by a big attack, Medics won't come through for you on that most of the time.
Specialists in offensive magic.
Force Skill: Eschaton
-Deals non-elemental damage to all enemies.
Elementalists who prefer the back.
These guys are the Black Mages of the game. They have access to elemental spells such as fire, ice, and volt. And in this game, they even gained access to physical spells and Megido, which like in Shin Megami Tensei series, is an untyped spell which hits hard. They have a passive that makes any spell that hits a weakness, hit harder. The downside to this class is that all of their spells eat up a huge amount of TP, and the TP costs in this game are a lot bigger than in the first game. They also lost the Poison spell, which was a useful spell in cheesing certain kinds of monsters in the first game. In the first game they're useful in the early and midgame, and start falling off lategame, and are usually chucked aside in the postgame for something else.
Entertainers who inspire the party.
Force Skill: Crusade
-Increases the party's ATK, DEF, and HP.
Supporters able to work on either line.
Troubadours have access to all kinds of buffs to help out the party, such as increasing their attack, defense, speed, and whatnot. They can even imbue a party member's weapon with an elemental property so they can hit a weakness, or through resistances. They were pretty essential to the postgame in EO1 thanks to some of their buffs. A key part of the class is that most of their buffs last indefinitely once they're up until they get overwritten by another buff, or if they get erased somehow. However in the transition from EO1 to EO2, they lost 2 songs, Healing and Relaxing. Relaxing recovered a percentage of TP for the party each turn, and was great for sustain in dungeon crawling or long fights. Healing wasn't that important, and the loss of it is pretty much a kicker. Despite what the game says, they're best suited for the back line since they aren't really gonna be attacking that much.
Foreign masters of all forms of combat.
Force Skill: Issen
-A single swing slices all enemies in two.
Proud soldiers who demand the front.
Ronin are essentially glass cannon fighters, great offense, but their defenses are lackluster. In the first game, Ronin were locked until you reached the 11th floor, and in order to use some of their skills, they had to spend a turn assuming the right stance before they could unleash some of their skills. That made them pretty unappealing, especially since EO1 didn't have a good way to grind up new classes. They got pretty big buffs in this game to compensate. For one thing these guys are available to use at the start of the game, and they no longer have to waste a turn setting up a stance, so they can use their most deadly attacks at the start of the battle. They're pretty much the strongest class in the game offensive wise thanks to that.
Their curses decide the enemy's fate.
Force Skill: Caprice
-Inflicts a random status ailment.
Tormentors used on the back line.
Hexers are classes that specialize in inflicting status ailments on the enemy. Like the Dark Hunters they can bind an enemy's body parts to debuff them and stop them from using certain attacks, or inflict status ailments. Their binds and status effects have a higher chance of working, but unlike the Dark Hunter, these don't do any damage on the attempt, so if they fail to land they've pretty much wasted a turn. They learned how to poison enemies in this game, but it doesn't have the same utility it had in the first game. In the first game they were unlocked once you got to the 16th floor, and were kind of decent in their own right, but at that point your party was pretty much set in stone, so there was no room for this class. Atlus decided to overcompensate by making them into the most broken class in the entire series! I don't believe any other class in the series comes close to what an EO2 Hexer is capable of in their own game. The one downside to the class is that they're frail and they need a lot of levels to get rolling, so they're not too useful in the earlygame.
Uses firearms with elemental ammunition.
Force Skill: Riot Gun
-Has a high chance of stunning an enemy.
Long-range attackers from the back lines.
Now we get to the new classes. Gunners are kind of a mix of a Survivalist and an Alchemist. They take up the Survivalist's role of being long range attackers, and they get access to fire, ice, and volt attacks. Unfortunately Gunners kind of make Survivalists and Alchemists redundant. They're not overly reliant on elementals, and can dish out good damage in their own right. Their downside is that they are really slow and their TP pool is piddly. Generally they're gonna be the last party member to act in battle, which is bad if you want the enemy dead now.
Equally skilled at magic and melee.
Force Skill: Invoke
-Heals party HP and ups elemental resistance.
Can work from the front or back lines.
War Magi are a jack of all trades, master of none sort of class. Emphasis on master of none. They're a mix of Landsknechts, Medics, and Troubadours. Their main downsides is that they don't specialize. Their offenses are okay, but not too great, they don't get access to some of the higher tier healing spells, and unlike the Troubadours, their buffs are temporary and only target one party member. It doesn't help that in order to get the most out of their offensive skills, you need a Hexer in the party, since their offensive skills are reliant on the enemies being inflicted with status effects. But they do make good supporting attackers. They're fast enough so they can heal your party before the enemy gets a chance to attack, which is good if the party really needs healing at the start of a turn. And their buffs are actually stronger than a Troubadour's buffs, even if they are temporary and only affect one party member.
I'll be doing this LP similar to how 100percentjesusfree did his. Come up with a name, personality, and choose a portrait for a class. The classes that I am mainly going to use are Ronin, Dark Hunter, War Magus, Gunner, and Hexer. The classes that are more likely to see a lot action outside the main party are the Protector, Medic, and Survivalist, so keep that in mind. Don't forget to vote on the guild name. The Guild name and the names of the classes have an eight character limit. Bold your votes or they won't count.