Part 26: Never Trust a SquirrelNever Trust a Squirrel
: So about that Troubadour that joined us.
: Not. One. Word.
: I didn't even know music could sound that bad.
: You should have just let me poison him. No one would know. Or care.
: Do you think about things other than making people suffer?
: Sometimes. Not that much.
: Shh. Look ahead. Now that would make for a fine dinner.
Now we start encountering the mobile FOEs. We can see FOEs that are adjacent to us on the map screen, but they won't show up on the map most of the time unless we've stepped on that specific tile. Not even painting them will make them show up. Generally it's usually best to map out their areas by stepping on a bunch of tiles in said areas so we can learn their movement patterns. This FOE's movement pattern is quite simple.
It just moves around in a square. Now an FOE takes one step for each turn we make. A turn is counted as a turn in battle, or one step on the field. This also means that if we get into a battle on an FOE's path, they can join in once they've reached us, so that's something we need to be aware of.
: The plants are alive too?
: Now I'm just realizing how weird this place is.
: Moving around means it's fresh and lively. It'll make for a decent side dish for tonight's dinner.
-Common: Cactus Pin - 1 needed for Wakizashi (Katana.) 3 needed for Spike (Axe.)
--Light, sharp thorn from a Cactoid's head.
-Rare: Cactus Log - 1 needed for Green Boot. 2 needed for Nail Glove.
--A cactus's flexible trunk.
Description: A cactus that evolved into a monster over the years. It attacks with sharp needles.
Weakness: Fire (150%)
Cactoids aren't really a threat at all. Yeah they have high attack, but at this point they only appear alone.
: Oh my liver did not need that.
It did do some high damage to Frederik, but take a look at the Cactoid's health.
Our party can just finish it off without it getting another attack in. At this point it can't one shot any of our party members at full health, even if it lands a critical hit. These guys really aren't a threat alone. And even in groups, they're usually the least threatening enemy in the encounter. Save these guys for last unless they're paired up with a Hedgehog or Woodmai. These things are just pretty much a check for keeping your party members topped off since they only way they can actually kill someone is if they're not at full health.
: Wonder if this new shot works.
Something that's pretty annoying in the DS games is that you can't really pan the camera. So sometimes you can only see FOEs while in the middle of turning. The 3DS games fixed that by letting you look around the area with the circle pad.
: Ah, now this one looks like it has some meat on it's bones. Watch closely, I'm gonna show ya'll how to hunt deer.
Known as Ragelopes in EO1 and Untold, these guys return to kill your party if you get careless with your movements. They can kill two party members at the same time, or confuse your party members and make them kill each other.
Pay close attention to the bottom screen here.
: I don't think our dinner is going down without a fight. Hrk!
: I think that thing just crushed his lungs, heart, and well everything.
: Maybe we should just give up on dinner and find a replacement for Ken?
: Nonsense, we need to fill up our stomachs now. Aw great, his corpse is in the way. Come on, I'm gonna look for another spot to get a better shot.
Notice how we got pushed back as we escaped? Now what would happen if the game couldn't push us back?
: Ah, now this is a better spot!
: Okay I'm having second thoughts about this. Can't we just eat Ken's remains for dinner? I'm sure his stomach's still in good condition. I'm out of- oh crap this wall's in the way.
And this is what happens when our party is sandwiched between a wall and an FOE. They can't back out, and there's no where to run. All we can do is watch them all die. Atlus decided with the addition of sidestepping, that it should be easier to trap yourself against an FOE. In the first and third games, the only way to trap yourself was to get into a random encounter with your back against the wall, and let an FOE join the fight. In EO2, when your party runs into an FOE, they turn to face it, so if they're just walking along the wall and an FOE runs into them from the side, they'll turn so that their backs are against the wall. EO4 and onwards removed this mechanic entirely.
: This was a really stupid idea.
When the front row dies, the back row switches places with the front row. It stays like this if you win the battle, so remember to switch it back.
: Well if the deer meat doesn't work out, you're free to eat my corpse.
: Oh shoot, I missed. I blame all these deaths. Oh well, looks like it's up to you, Aliara to feed our guild tonight.
: Oh please work.
: I DON'T WANT TO DIE!
: Well poisoned meat wouldn't have made for a good dinner anyway.
The party is dead, just like this LP. Thank you for reading everyone, and have a nice day!
Okay there's still more. Now this is a screen you'll probably see a lot when playing an Etrian Odyssey game. Don't be discouraged. Failure is a big part of these games, they're rather brutal after all. Now, if you want to get the most out of the playthrough that resulted in a death, accept the prompt to save your map data. It will make it easier to learn from your mistakes, and help to avoid making the same mistake again.
: AAAAAAHHHHHhhhhh. Huh?
: Ohhh. What's wrong Aliara?
: You better have a good reason for waking us up this late.
: Oh, sorry. I had a weird nightmare where you all acted like idiots and then a deer killed us all. I blame the Troubadour, his music put a bunch of weird thoughts into my head.
: Yeah, his music was pretty awful. Why did we even let him sing us a lullaby after his first songs?
: Well I couldn't just say no to him after he joined us. Anyways, I don't think any of us are in a mood to sleep after that. How about another trip into the Labyrinth?
: Might as well make good use of our time while we're up.
: What the hell was up with that dinosaur!? Wasn't that thing staying still before? Why is it rampaging around now?
: Don't ask me. That thing almost had me for dinner!
: The only reason I can think of is some idiot decided to poke at the thing or something.
: Didn't our gathering team mention something about a dinosaur when the girl got her wounds?
: Oh looks like someone is gonna miss out on dinner tonight. Hey, why's our map filled in like this? We haven't been to those areas yet.
: Oh, I kind of got bored and filled some of it in. I drew in what I remembered from that weird dream anyway.
: Well if it's wrong, we can change it later.
This is why it's important to save your map data, and by extension make a good map of stuff in case you die for some reason. Notice how we can see the FOEs on the map even though we've technically never been there? Now we can watch for it's patterns on the map even when our party isn't near it.
Another simple patrol pattern. The thing to watch out for is to not run into the FOE when returning from the west door.
: Huh, that was a pretty accurate map for something that came from a dream. Maybe you should get nightmares more often.
: How about no? Hey Fedot, you sure you didn't want to hunt those deer down?
: What? No! We're nowhere near strong enough to take those on. Maybe sometime later. We'll have to settle for hedgehog and snail meat for now.
: No. We're not doing this.
: Oh how lucky. This is really strong medicine.
The Medica II heals for 200 compared to the Medica's 50. Yeah it's overkill at this point. We won't need that massive amount of healing for a while, but it could come in handy during an emergency.
: Look! I think I see something over here.
You can barely make out a squirrel-like animal in the shadow of a large plant. The rodent doesn't seem to fear your party, and it chirps brightly as it approaches. It seems as though it wants you to pet it. You wonder if you should oblige the creature...
: Oh, can I pet it? It's kind of cute.
: No! Squirrels are vicious and devious animals that seek to feast on your entrails. Don't do it if you value your life!
: Uhhh, Fedot?
: Okaaaay. I don't see what's the harm. Go right ahead.
You reach out to the small animal...
: Aw- wait, what are you doing!?
: Hey! Get out of our stuff!
: What did that critter make off with!?
: Damn it! It took one of our Warp Wires!
: I told you they're vicious animals!
: Did you see where it went?
: No, it just ran off somewhere. I don't think we can catch it at this point.
It's too late for you to catch the animal by now... You sigh, and move on with your journey.
: Well good thing we had a spare. We'll just have to be more careful next time.
And here's a massive dick move by Atlus. Warp Wires are pretty much an essential item to have on you at all times. Forgetting to bring a Warp Wire on a trip can result in some lost progress. But Atlus decided to punish players that only brought one Warp Wire with this event. Saying no to this event makes nothing happen. Saying yes without having a Warp Wire on you still has the squirrel try to steal something, but it gives up when it can't find the Warp Wire. And then the game decides to be all passive aggressive for you not having a Warp Wire, saying that whatever it was the squirrel was looking for, it wasn't anything valuable since you have everything you need on you. Thankfully EO2 is the only game where you can actually lose Warp Wires.
Oh this might be bad.
: Why are they ganging up on me!?
: Maybe they just don't like you.
Right now may be a good time to go into how the enemy AI works in the EO games. Most of the time the enemy likes to target the person with the highest HP in the front or back rows. Enemies have a 60% to target the person with the highest HP in the front row, a 30% chance to target the person with the highest HP in the back row, and a 10% to target someone else entirely. Not all enemies follow this AI. Some follow different rules, and might do something like target the back row, or the weakest person.
: Oh, I've got this. Choke and die!
: Oh come on!
Seriously, these things are not a threat at all. Even without the Town Crown, Ken would have lived.
: Huh, this area's pretty rocky. It should make a good mining spot for the others.
: Maybe we could learn how to gather materials to save time for the other team.
: No, we need to focus on learning how to fight. The gathering team can work off the map we give them, but we have to go in blind.
This is what the mining points of this stratum contain.
Common: Amazonite - 1 needed for Iron Glove, Bird Stare, Venom Ring, and Leg Guard. 3 needed for Matchlock (Gun.) 7 needed for Warabide (Katana.) 5 needed for the quest Paint the town blue.
-Bluish rock used for weapons or fuel.
Uncommon: Aragonite - 1 needed for Luck Beads. 5 needed for Boar Spear (Sword.) 7 needed for Tshirovha (Axe.)
-Seashell-like rock used as a polishing tool.
Rare: Garnet - 1 needed for Apt Piece and Power Ring.
-Highly transparent crimson gem.
This thing couldn't even kill Nick. Our party is perfectly fine against these things.
: How are cacti this strong? And, oh crap, we better finish this thing off fast!
Unless an FOE decides to join the fight!
Fortunately our party finishes it off before this happens, and I finally get one of it's drops.
: Found something over here.
Upon closer inspection, there are a number of shining coins lying amongst the roots. Could another explorer have dropped them? You're tempted to retrieve them, but you have to wonder about the circumstances...
: Hmm, I don't think that Ragelope is coming by here anytime soon.
: They're called Furyhorns here.
: Whatever. I think it's safe to pick these out.
You pick the coins out from the tangled roots of the trees. Their total worth is 100en... A careless adventurer must have simply dropped them here. Heartened by the lucky find, you return to your investigation.
: Woo! Free money! Maybe we can actually buy our food now instead of feeding off the wildlife.
: Ahahahaha, no.
: But I'm sick of eating hedgehogs! Can't we eat some real food?
: I'm sorry, but we need to spend most of out money on supplies, and we don't have much to spend in the first place.
The patrol pattern for the FOE here. Once again, just watch when you open the door when coming back. You can run into the Furyhorn right away if you open the door at the wrong time.
: Another mining point. I'll mark this one down too.
: How many deer are in this forest?
: A lot, apparently. Just keep following my lead and we can sneak past them.
The patrol pattern for this FOE. They'll get more complicated later.
The party's getting closer to a level up here. Two more fights should do it.
Thankfully the Venomfly opted for a regular attack instead of poisoning anyone, so I decided to stick around for the fight instead of running away. I probably shouldn't have done that.
Crap. Well I guess we were overdue for another Nick death.
Or not! Frederik saves the day here with his regenall!
: Oh god, this still hurts so much, but thanks old man!
: You can thank me properly by giving me a blood sacrifice.
: Oh, sure. Wait what?
A few heals later, Aliara's poison actually lands for once. On both of them even.
: Oh finally!
When both enemies and party members are poisoned, they all take damage at the end of a turn. Aliara's poison does some nice damage here, but it still has a really low chance to land on anything at this point. Still, it's a better contribution than her just bashing things with her staff.
: Well that's some lame treasure.
: Look on the bright side, it makes up for the one we lost.
Even though Atlus took away a Warp Wire if you had one, if you explore this area, you'll get one in a chest, which can be a godsend if you lost your only one. Of course if you have a spare already, eh, it's only 100 en saved.
Okay, this encounter might actually be a threat. Even if the Cactoid doesn't kill anyone, the person that took the hit is in a good position to be finished off by the Woodmai.
Unless the AI decided to be stupid and attack a back row member instead. And it didn't even hit Fedot at that.
Something you can do if you have Regenall leveled up a good amount at this point, is to leave one weak enemy alone, and just spend time defending so your health gets restored. I'm out of Medicas, and Frederik is out of TP at this point, so this is my only method of healing right now.
Incidentally, I happened to build up Ken's Force meter completely here.
Seriously? At least I got the Cactoid's drops here.
Oh crap, this is bad. Fortunately the party's stronger here, so they might be able to get through this. Not to mention, I have Ken's Force Skill ready.
: Maybe this move will take care of them.
: Uh oh.
: My arms are stuck! I can't do it!
And it even wasted his Force Meter too. To make things worse, only Ken, Nick, and Aliara can escape right now since Frederik and Fedot's legs are bound. ABORT! ABORT!
: You guys got to get out of here...
CRAP! All the escape attempts failed here too.
: Can't find any way out! Find anything Aliara?
: I'm looking as hard as I can!
: Look harder! Ugh.
: Found a way out!
Thankfully, if someone fails at an escape attempt, the escape chance rises by 10%, eventually capping at 90%. Something that seems to have been changed or removed in the 3DS games because the escape rates are so terrible there.
: We're not staying here are we?
We unlock some new pieces of gear, nothing really special, but I buy some Green Boots for Ken and Nick since they could some increases in defense. The party takes a rest later.
: Can't believe we got out of that.
: Good to see you're alright Ken, because we're going back in there now.
: What!? We just explored a lot of the second floor, and got knocked out by those Crawlers, and you want to go back in!? Why are you doing this to us!?
: Don't be such a baby. Don't you want to see what was down that hallway?
: Come on, we can probably make it to the third floor this time.
: I too am curious about that hallway. We just need to be more careful this time.
: Well it's 4 to 1 Ken. Sorry, but you don't have a choice.
: Oh fine. Can't believe I'm still doing this.