Part 23: Formido Oppugnatura ExsequensFormido Oppugnatura Exsequens
Before I start this update proper, I want to make a quick comparison of EO1's map making screen, and EO2's.
EO2 added in a lot more icons, and the ability to color the floor differently. And the map is slightly more zoomed out so you can draw on the edges without having to change which square you're looking at. Each Etrian Odyssey game really improves upon the last.
: Alight, I think the stream of water was over this way.
And the final enemy you can encounter on this floor.
-Common: Earth Nail - 1 needed for Kalinga (Axe.) 5 needed for Spike (Axe.)
--Hard, thick claws of a Labyrinth mole.
-Rare: Soft Fur - 1 needed for Hide Gage. 2 needed for Jerkin. 3 needed for Hard Vest.
--Soft fur obtained from beasts.
Description: A type of mole that surfaces only to use its sharp claws on unsuspecting prey.
Weakness: Fire (150%)
Another enemy that has appeared in every Etrian Odyssey game to date. Moles are hard hitting enemies that you really want to be careful around. Claws is a slightly harder hitting attack. They're fairly easy to take down, but you may want to run if you encounter 3 at once.
Just to give you an idea of how hard they hit. Keep in mind Ken is wearing the Town Crown right now. If it weren't for that, he would be dead.
And this is a mole taking out half of Nick's health. If you get unlucky in battles and the monsters decided to gang up on someone, they would be dead.
And a sweet, sweet level up. Unfortunately I forgot to level up my skills here, but I do it later. A new feature added to battles was the Auto-Battle. Just turn that on and battles go by in a flash, it even skips all the animations to save time.
It seems that water from some natural source has found and outlet, creating a small stream.
: See? Right here.
: Guess that guard had a point about making a map after all.
Before you is a small but clear spring of natural mineral water, filtered by the rocks. You take a moment to enjoy its cool, refreshing taste... It's a sensation like no other. After draining your flask, you fill it with the water flowing from the spring.
: If we run into more of those poison butterflies, I'm out.
: Just be on your guard. We'll just take a look inside.
A warning is written on it to explorers who challenge the Labyrinth.
: Looks like there's part of a map here. And a marking on it.
Do not disturb the monster in the hall! Your curiosity will be your undoing! It seems that one of your predecessors wrote this warning... You cannot grasp its meaning, but you resolve to keep it in mind as your press onward.
: Huh. What kind of monster you think it was talking about? I can't really think of anything in this place that's worth warning people about.
: Hmm. If it's the kind of monster I think it is, we want to stay as far away from it as possible.
You crane your neck to see a hole in the tree, just above your reach. It is difficult to tell, but it seems that a gleaming jewel is inside the hole. A jewel like that would make a worthy souvenir of this trip.
: Oh, there's something shiny in that tree!
: I vote for Ken to go get it.
: What? Why me?
: Well you're pretty built, so you can probably fight off any monsters that it belongs to.
: But... fine.
Ken reaches into the hole and gropes around... It seems that a hard, jewel-like stone is inside the hole. Ken firmly grasps the stone and pulls it from the tree.
: Got it!
: See? Nothing to be afraid of.
: Says the boy who's awfully scared of the sight of blood.
: Shut up.
Okay, this spot. At daytime, you get this item, no strings attached. At night time on the other hand, this happens.
So the event plays out the same way up to this point. But then...
You can now clearly see an animal glaring at you.. It seems to have nested here.
: Dammit Nick!
Ken grabs the shining gem and pulls it out before jumping down from the tree. But now is not the time to gloat over your prize... The beast will attack at any moment! Take your weapon in hand and fight!
We still get the Gel Core for the record, but now we get into a fight with three Crawlers. With a level one party. Even at level two, this party wouldn't stand a chance. This is the other place you can get into an encounter with three Crawlers. Yeah just turn off the game or accept defeat at this point. There's no way you're winning this fight unless you get incredibly lucky.
You can't run from scripted encounters either.
: I regret everything.
Sadly my party was not so lucky. Now I had no idea this event existed, so it caught me off guard. Normally I would have shown off the game over screen, but I turned off the game in blind rage. We'll see it later.
That never happened. You saw nothing. In this room down here, we find a chest with a Steel Pin.
It's a nice piece of headgear, giving a character a bigger TP pool. I put it on Fedot because he's lacking a bit in armor, and could use the TP.
: So what do you think that monst- oh crap, incoming!
: Where the hell did these things come from!?
: Can't you guys watch out for this kind of stuff?
: Oh I'm sorry. I dozed off for a second.
Sometimes while getting into a battle, your party will get blindsided. This leads to enemies having the first turn and getting their attacks in. Now how bad this can get depends on the kind of enemy you're facing. But as long as you're prepared for an encounter, you might be fine.
It ends the same way as most encounters anyway.
I finally remember to upgrade my party's skills here. Ken got another point in Dead Law, and is working his way towards Midareba.
Nick got another point in whips, which unlocked Gag, a whip move that binds the head. I'll level that up later.
Frederik is still working towards maxing out Regenall. That free healing starts to get really good at this point.
Fedot learns the last of the elemental shots. He won't be putting anymore points into those skills for the rest of the game.
Aliara begins her ascension to power here. Poison was a single target spell in the first game. It got upgraded to be AOE in this game. There was an AOE version of Poison in the first game, but it wasn't too useful and a huge waste of skill points. And the Poison skill itself was useful for cheesing certain types of monsters, but it fell off pretty quickly. That's not the case here. Poison is much better in this game. So much better.
: Oh this might be bad.
I had Frederik heal up Nick, but I should have made Nick use a Medica on Ken.
First death in the LP! Well it was bound to happen eventually. Let this be a lesson to you all, be prepared for any battles you get into. You don't even have the excuse of not knowing when one was gonna happen since we have that little radar that warns us.
: Maybe I wasn't cut out for this after all...
: Oh god Ken, get up! Don't make me the only one taking all the pain!
: Hold on for a second, I believe I have something for this.
Fortunately, we have a Nectar on us for these situations. Using one in the middle of battle is risky though. Thankfully monsters can't attack someone that just revived unless they used an AOE attack.
: Whoa. Thanks man. So that's what those things do.
: Hey, heal up before you guys get knocked out again. We don't have any more of those.
The rest of the battle is uneventful
Right over here is a gathering point. In every EO game you can have your team gather items from these points, depending on how many skill points are in their gathering skills. These items can be sold for money, and to unlock some items in the store. I won't have this party invest anything in the gather skills, which is why I have the farming team. There's three kinds of gathering points, taking, mining, and chopping, all of which yield different materials. You're limited in how much you can gather per day depending on how high your party's gathering skills were. In EO1, gathering was the main way to make money. A popular thing to do in the first game was to make a team of five Survivalists and have them gather at a nearby chopping point on the first floor, and sell it all to the store. Then sleep, and do it again until they had enough money. It's not that great a strategy in this game. Atlus decided to nerf farmbot teams, and gathering isn't the best way to make money in this game anyway.
Common: Tiny Bloom - 1 needed for Nectar. 2 needed for Therica A. 3 needed for Therica B.
-Small flower that restores some HP.
Uncommon: Sour Fruit - 1 needed for Ward Chime. 2 needed for Guard Sole. 3 needed for Poison Gas.
-Sour fruit that restores some TP.
Rare: Green Nut - 1 needed for Blaze Oil, Freeze Oil, and Shock Oil. Limited Stock.
-Press its seeds to make high-quality oil.
Each type of gathering point has 3 different items you can get from it. In EO1, occasionally you could find nothing from a spot, and the chances of finding something increased the higher your gathering level was. The good news is that you'll always find something instead of randomly being screwed by finding nothing. The bad news is that Atlus managed to replace finding nothing with something much worse in their campaign to nerf every successful strategy in the first game. I'll go over that later.
: Ah, this looks like a good harvesting spot. I'll mark this for the gathering team. They can take a look at this place later.
: I'm not dealing with this.
Unfortunately escaping isn't that reliable this early in the game, especially since only Aliara has a point in Escape Up. Once the whole party takes that skill, escaping is a lot more reliable.
: IT HURTS ALL OVER!
: This way!
: Now what?
: We go back. We need to get to the hospital to wake him up. You don't want to lug around his body while we're walking around his place, do you?
: Not really.
And this is why Warp Wires are essential items. In case of an emergency like that, you're back to town in a flash.
: Yeah, fix him up for us please.
When a party member is revived at the hospital, they come back with half their health.
: Eh, what happened?
: You got knocked out by a bug. Ready to go back in?
: Ugh, might as well. What else am I gonna do at this point?
: Slow down there boy. We need to restock and sell all the materials we found.
Every time you come back to town, make sure to do that. Do whatever you need to do before going back in the Labyrinth. From selling all my stuff I unlock the Kalinga axe, Amud Staff, Steel Pin headgear, and a Hide Gage glove. I pick up another Warp Wire to make up for the one we lost, and a few Medicas. I still don't pick up a Katana for Ken. If you have a Ronin, save your money and hold off on that for now. Now I was going to heal my party up later since I just wanted to show off something in the Labyrinth. Then this happened.
: WHY ME!?
: Maybe they just don't like you.
One reset later
: Alright, let's see what this monster is. I'll show that thing who's boss!
But after passing through an old ruin and entering a hall, you feel a strong presence... You peer into the next hall and witness a dreadful monster sitting in the room's center! You wonder, though, if it might be wounded... It doesn't seem to budge from its position. You ask yourself if you are confident enough in your skills to challenge the creature. If not, you muse, it might be best to walk away as quietly as you came...
: Is that a DINOSAUR!?
: Uh, I take back what I said. Maybe we shouldn't fight that thing.
: It doesn't seem to be moving. Perhaps its docile and we can go around it?
: Oh I see. Yeah, we don't want to fight that thing. If I remember right, that's a kind of monster known as an Formido Oppugnatura Exsequens, or FOE for short. If you want to throw your life away, go ahead and fight it.
So the game itself doesn't tell you what these monsters are, even though it did in the first game. They were called Field-on Enemies in Japan, but the NA version decided to go with Latin for some reason. I think the EU version still goes with the Latin, but it goes with a different name. I'm not sure what it means. I think it translates to Powerful Nature Warrior? I'm not too sure on that. Anyway, these enemies are represented by an orange fuzzy ball on the top screen in the DS games, but the 3DS games actually have the enemy models on the field. The purple circle on the bottom screen shows you which way they're facing. This FOE is immobile for now and is more of an introduction to the concept.
Now the little icon on the bottom right corner of the top screen will let us know how close we are to an FOE. This tells us we're 3 steps away from an FOE
Two steps away.
And if we're right next to one. This is also why the game lets us know how close we are into getting into a random encounter. If you get into a battle on an FOE's movement path, they can join in on the battle if you take too long to escape or kill all the enemies. So if the circle is red, and you're about to enter FOE territory, it's best to reset it by wandering around and getting into a random battle. Then enter the area where an FOE is patrolling. Thankfully FOE areas tend to have low encounter rates, so the chances of running into an enemy there are pretty low.
: Maybe we can get a closer look at it.
: If you're gonna do that, approach it from behind.
While your party can be blindsided by monsters, you can also get a preemptive attack on them sometimes, getting your team the first strike. Running into an FOE from the back guarantees you a preemptive attack. Likewise, if you back into an FOE, or an FOE runs into your back, they're guaranteed the first strike. Backing into an FOE's back cancels both out and it's just a regular encounter. Annoyingly enough, running headfirst into an FOE can still cause them to be blindsided, though they can still get preemptives as well. Let's take a look at the FOE, maybe we can take it on.
Behavior: Stationary (For now)
Or not. If you die to this thing, you have only yourself to blame. FOEs are enemies that are essentially cut from a later part of the game, and pasted into an earlier part. They are not enemies to fight, they are obstacles to avoid. If you can take an FOE out, that's great, but most of the time it's just better to avoid them. FOEs are how Atlus keeps players on their toes during dungeon crawls. Players have to be aware of their surroundings in an FOE infested area, and bad movement is punished by a quick death. Now in the first game, it was popular to cheese FOEs with a certain class skill, and grind on them for experience. And by the 4th Stratum, FOEs stopped being a major threat, even without being cheesed. They were essentially slightly tougher enemies by that point. Atlus didn't like that, so what they did in this game was heavily beef up the FOEs, and put a greater focus into avoiding them through the dungeon design. Something you might have noticed is that the Gashtor does not give out exp. This isn't unique to it, all FOEs in the game no longer give out exp. This was one last way for Atlus to emphasize that FOEs weren't supposed to be fought. Instead they are a massive waste of time and resources if you try to kill an FOE the moment you come across one. This change was thankfully reverted in 3, but they also toned down the FOEs in that game.
: Okay if we stay here any longer, I think it'll bite our faces off. I'm out of here.
Now a nice little change that was made in EO2 (that was reverted in EO3 for some reason, but reinstated in EO4 and on) is that a preemptive attack guarantees that your party can escape on that turn.
: Hey guys! Over here! I think I can clear these trees out. We'll be back at the entrance in no time!
: Oh, nice job Nick.
: Well now that we have a shortcut back, let's rest up and head back in later. We'll have the gathering team check that spot we marked on the map.
At certain spots you can check the wall and it will unlock a shortcut to the other side. Most of these are two-way, and can be considered checkpoints of sorts while making progress in the dungeon. A few of these are one way though, so be careful about that. I have my team rest up at this point, and go to the bar to report in.
: Well, well, look who's back. And yeh've got the Rock Water. It doesn't look like much, but I s'pose even this is a blessing from the Labyrinth. We're a small town here, and I 'spect we'd lay over and die if it weren't for Yggdrasil. Another job well don, all of yeh. Here's the reward.
Freeze Oil is a consumable that can add an elemental attack to a character's attack. Ken's attack is normally slashing damage, but when Freeze Oil is applied, it becomes ice and slashing damage. Can be handy I guess, never really bothered too much with these.
: This looks like another simple one.
: Ah, yeh'll take the job? Well, yeh're the only ones who've shown any interest... There's a craftsman been here for a dog's age. He's a mite odd, but damn good at his job. He makes clothes from animal skin, but it's a tough needle that can pierce them hides. Long story short, yeh kill this needled critter and bring back the spines. Shouldn't be too hard to find a beastie that'll drop the Long Pins yeh need. G'luck!
: Oh, those Woodmais had needles. We can probably get these pins off of them.
: What? No! The only animals with needles we ran into were those hedgehogs.
: Oh, terribly sorry.
: Keep it together old man, try not to go all senile on us.
The game doesn't tell you about how to get this conditional drop, but it's really easy to get.
: Oh the reward for this one sounds sweet!
I don't know why this quest is available this early. It's impossible to complete at this point. Still, make sure to complete it. It's part of a pretty important quest line.
: Haw! I knew yeh'd take the bait on this one. Just say weapon and the explorers come running! Yeh know Sitoth Trading of course. The dry goods store just out front... exactly. Never seen Sitoth myself, as the man's obsessed with his job. He never leaves the workshop. Nah, this one's from his girl Abigail. She wants to help yeh lot out by making new weapons. How can yeh refuse a girl like that? I put it up straightaway, but... well... To be honest, I wasn't listening too close. Yeh'll have to go ask her what she needs.
: Yep. You put up a request in the bar for that?
: Whew! I'd never made a request with Cass before, so I wasn't sure if anyone would take it... My father's very busy, so I'll have to give you the materials list myself. Umm... here it is. What we need is... 1 Bug Wing and 1 Bent Twig. Once you have the materials, sell them to me. The reward is on top of the sale price.
: Already have the Bug Wing, but we'll look for the Bent Twig.
Okay, so you can only get a Bent Twig from a chopping point. Unfortunately, you don't get access to those until the 3rd floor. Like I said, I have no idea why they gave you this quest so early. Now at this point I sent in the farming team to get stuff from that take point, which you'll see in a future update.
: Okay, let's head back in.
: Come on, don't you wanna see what's on the second floor?
: Ugh, might as well.
This game also added in some night time splash screens for the strata.
There's another take point to the right of the hallway. For the most part, each floor has 2 gathering points of one type.
I don't know why, but I kept running into these bugs while I was on this portion of the floor. Odd because on my first playthrough, I barely ran into them and had to actively look for them. Still, if you're looking for Crawlers, or their drop, this part of the floor seems to be the best place to look for them.
: Poison flows! Now suffer!
: Right. Suffer. What was that about trying to poison me in my sleep?
: I-I just need more practice. That's all.
In EO1, poison was the main method to taking down FOEs far earlier than you were supposed to. At level 1 it had a 200% base chance to stick to an enemy (this is reduced by status effect resistances, which most FOEs had) and did a ridiculous amount of damage at level 8 (10 just boosted the chance to stick at 250%), 255 fixed damage per turn. Atlus learned from that, and made the chance of Poison sticking to an enemy far lower. It only has a 15% chance to land on anything at level 1, and even then it wouldn't have done much damage. 25 base damage with a 20% variance from the base value. This is a skill you need to max out before it becomes worthwhile, which is the Hexer's main problem with most of their skills. Of course once you get past that hurdle they just steamroll everything in the Labyrinth. Unfortunately, we don't have a method to cheese FOEs at the moment, so all we can do is avoid them.
One last look at Ken's damage output.
OH YES! This is the reason I told you to hold off on buying a Katana. For reference the only Katana available in the store at this point gives a 20 point boost in attack. Ken was already doing a lot of damage, so I was willing to wait on this.
: Look Ken! A real sword! Kind of wanna see what the hell you can do with this thing.
: Eh, might as well use it.
: Whoa, that actually worked?
: Where did you learn how to do that?
: Uh, I just tried something I read in a comic book.
: Just when I was starting to respect you.
: Hey if it works, it works. I ain't complaining.
Look at that sweet sweet damage output. Ronin have very high natural strength, so they usually hit the hardest out of all the classes. Now that Ken has an actual katana, and the Town Crown, he's gonna be carrying the whole team on his back for the next few floors.
And the party gets a level up here. I remember to level up my skills this time, and level up Dead Law for Ken, Whips for Nick, Regenall for Frederik, and Poison for Aliara. As for Fedot...
I want this skill maxed out ASAP. Maxed out, it'll heal all the status effects in the game on the whole party. The Medic and Protector also have this skill. The Protector's and Medic's versions of this skill cost less TP to use, but the Medic's version needs more levels to max out. The problem is the War Magus does not have access to it, so Fedot has to pick up the slack on that one. This has a prerequisite of 1 TEC, which I take for Fedot.
: An actual staircase? You think someone made this place? I mean there were doors too.
: That is something to think about, but I don't think we'll find the answer to that for a long while.
: Yeah, good point I guess.
We're done with floor one for now,
This is where you're supposed to encounter Venomflies. By this point the party is strong enough to take them on without too much hassle.
Unless they get blindsided and poison manages to stick on a couple of party members.
: IT BURNS!
: Oh god, this hurts like hell!
: Oh dammit, I think my heart stopped.
: I really need to learn how to do that.
: Okay, we're going back.
: We could use some help here!
: The second floor was kind of rough on us. I think I still feel the burn.
: So you've reached the next floor... I see. Well congratulations. Just don't forget that the Labyrinth is a very dangerous place.
: We don't need a second reminder. Oh god I think my heart's stopping again.
: Once you're done, let's see what's at the bar. Maybe we got some new requests.
: I don't think we can do this one yet. Let's wait until later to take it.
Oh god no, we're not taking this quest yet. This is also part of the reason I had all the classes be party members. Some quests require a certain party member to be a certain level to complete. In fact if you're playing along, or planning to do not take any quests that require a party member to be a certain level until you can finish it immediately. Out of all the things EO2 does well, good programming wasn't one of them. How these kinds quests work, is that it checks to see if you've completed the quest after every step. Instead of every battle where that would make sense. Even if you don't have that class in your party. This causes half a second to a second of lag each time you take a step in the Labyrinth. It's really noticeable and gets annoying fast. There's also frame rate drops in some of the later strata, and the Japanese version of the game had a ton of bugged class skills, making some classes outright unusable. The US branch of Atlus had a lot of cleaning up to do for that one.
: What do you mean by that?
: Listen, though... Yeh're a tiny fish in a big pond. There's a lot of other explorers in the world out there. But if yeh want to get stronger, I've got some advice for yeh.
: What? Out with it!
: Don't die! Got it? Haw haw haw!
: ... Yeah, that's great advice all right.
: Well we managed to reach the 2nd floor, for better or worse.
: I see you've reached the 2nd floor... Good, good. Everything seems to be going smoothly. Most explorers underestimate the Labyrinth and slink out of High Lagaard in shame. Then, too, many explorers vanish into the Labyrinth, never to return.
: Under no circumstances forget the ease with which the Labyrinth can claim your life. That's all the advice I have for now. Never underestimate the Labyrinth.
: Yeah, don't need to hear that again.
: How is your equipment? If you have any problems, I'll see if my father can fix it. He always says that the key to victory is good equipment! So please take care of it!
: Wonderful! You may yet have what it takes to explore the Labyrinth. I hope you can discover the floating castle before this old body collapses. Good luck.
: That's what I thought at first, but now I'm not so sure.
: Why don't you get up to your room and change those clothes?
: Well we need to keep exploring the Labyrinth. I don't think we need to rest up just yet.
: You should relax once in a while! Walk around town! Life's not all about exploring.
: I'm sure we'll be fine, come on. Let's set out. We still need to find those Long Pins for that quest.
: You have got to be kidding me.
Guess what's the first thing that happens when we go back in there?
: Wonder how many times this is gonna keep happening...
: How many times is that now?
: Four. Wanna make a bet on how many times Nick gets knocked out?
: Nah, I've never really liked gambling.
: Wow, you're boring.
: I think we're done with the Labyrinth for today.