Part 37: Statues are Dicks: Part 1Statues are Dicks: Part 1
First things first, I buy a bunch of Nectars and Therica Bs. We'll need them for the next floor.
: Maverick, are you sure we need all this?
: Can't be too careful! I mean, what if you get hurt? Die? Turn into a statue? Stub your toe?
: As long as we have enough room left in our bag for monster parts, I'm fine with it.
So starting from a new Stratum is a little different from the first game. There was an option to use a Geomagnetic Field on the menu screen here in the first game. That's gone now.
Instead you access the list of Strata from the Labyrinth option, which all future games kept. Let's get going.
Here's the nighttime splash screen, which you can't see if you're coming from a Geomagnetic Field. Something that should be noted. This Stratum has an effect that makes it so that you can see falling leaves in front of you as you explore. It's kind of a nice effect, but it causes a few framerate and lag issues, which are kind of annoying. And it's not just the emulator, this happens on my DS too. EO2 was not a well programmed game. The devs mentioned on their blog that they fixed that issue for the remake, so that's nice.
Noticing your presence, it prepares to flee. You suddenly remember the quest you undertook at the bar.
: Oh right. See that thing? We need to hunt it down for a request.
There was a similar cowardly monster whose hide Lord Gascoyne desired. Perhaps the monster in front of you now is none other! You may choose to pursue the monster and complete your task, or resume your explorations.
It's an FOE we need to chase down, but we're not doing that just yet.
Another secret passage here.
: Okay, let's see what you all got. Take down that Moa.
-Common: Tail Quill - 1 needed for Bird Whip (Whip.) 2 needed for Madfa (Gun) and Quill Arm. 3 needed for Shell Boot.
--A Moa's tail feathers, spread to scare enemies.
Description: A large, birdlike denizen of the forest. Though flightless, its legs are extremely powerful.
Weakness: Stab (150%)
Moas were second Stratum FOEs in the first game, but they got downgraded to random encounters here. They became FOEs again in the 4th game. They're not too tough. Rush is something to watch out for since it's a physical AOE.
Loyalty kicking in here. Ling took all the damage Fedot would've taken. It can come in handy occasionally, but it being a passive skill makes it really unreliable, and it kicks in when you don't want it to.
: Oh uh, thanks Ling.
: I can see that we have a lot of work to do here.
: Now, if you all can do that, we'll be fine. Hopefully.
Exp bars are all over the place now.
: Well, I didn't expect to be kicked around by a flightless bird.
: Ugh, that was rough. I got lots of cuts all over.
: Oh don't worry! I got lots of medicine for that! Lots!
Sadly I don't have Salve or Salve 2 on Maverick yet, so he can't do any AOE healing. Also he's our only source of good healing right now. Medicas are starting to fall off hard here.
Skills: Mold, Spores
-Common: Open Cap - 1 needed for Stud Coat and Fungus Jet. 2 needed for Milk Staff (Staff.) 20 needed for Milk Maul staff. 1 needed for the quest Smithy Thompson's request I.
--Bigcap's head with a hardened interior.
-Rare: Tiny Bloom - See the first stratum Take Point info.
Description: A mushroom monster that has begun to attack humans with its poison spores.
Weakness: Fire (150%)
Bigcaps are a bit annoying. They like to use their two skills a lot instead of attacking. Mold poisons a party member for 65 damage per turn, while Spores just paralyzes them. Depending on the encounter formation, they can be really deadly. It should be noted that running into a solo Bigcap will be a guaranteed blindside.
Eugh. Emilia is doing some nice damage, but Aegis has some pretty terrible offenses. And unlike Maverick, he's in the front row, so he has no excuse.
: I feel like I'm about to-
Ling's Hellclaw has a fire attribute attached to it, which is why it's doing so much damage right now.
And Fedot's Fireshot for comparison. Ling's decent enough at dealing damage at this point.
: Get ready!
: Wait. Look.
However... it doesn't seem to notice you. It is focused on licking something before it. Straining your eyes, you can tell that it's a nest of giant ants. The monster seems to have destroyed the ant's nest, gleaning the honey inside.
You remain silent, hoping the monster will leave before you sneak to the ant's nest. You briefly worry that the monster may return or the ants may swarm, but nothing happens. Unable to resist the sweet scent any longer, Ling takes a taste of the flowing honey. It melts on Ling's tongue, permeating their tired body and relieving all tension!
: Huh, must've been some good honey.
A few of these events choose a random party member to get a positive or negative effect, which can be kind of annoying, since a party member at full HP could be the one chosen to get healed. EO4 and Untold lets you choose the party member to be on the receiving end of these events.
: Huh. Trees don't usually look like that.
: Whoa! Are these the trees that the explorers keep reporting about?
: Yep. I better mark this down.
The rest of the flavor text is the same as the other times. And we've technically completed this quest, but there's a few more spots on the 7th and 8th floors that have these as well.
Another new monster.
-Common: Soft Horn - 1 needed for Broadaxe (Axe.) 3 needed for Tachi (Katana.) 30 needed for Sting Whip (Whip.)
--Horn formed from the hardened skin on a frill.
-Rare: Collar Fur - 1 needed for Muffler. 2 needed for Petal Coat.
--Hide surrounding a lizard's neck area.
Description: It puffs up its collar to appear larger than it is. If that fails, it will use its claws.
Weakness: Ice (150%)
They're weak to Ice and sometimes uses Clawing to hit harder. Nothing remarkable here.
Oh hey, I got two of their rare drops. That's lucky.
: Hey, I found something!
Huge boost in damage for Emilia. She should be hitting as hard as Ling now.
: Why don't you give that sword to me?
: You're a Protector. Your job is to protect things. My job is to slay evil! So I think I need this more than you.
: Besides, she uses her sword a lot better than you use yours.
Aegis' stats for comparison. Seriously, he's not gonna be killing things at this point with that piddly 11 strength. Protectors took a bit of a hit in the transition from 1 to 2.
Great! We're off to a fantastic start, with the worst enemy on this floor!
: Ha, our panda's got our backs!
Crap. Don't use it on Maverick don't use it on Maverick don't use it on Maverick.
: What was that supposed to do?
Right, the Mystues. They are dicks.
-Common: Rock Shard - 1 needed for Kora (Sword) and Stud Coat.
--Strange-looking rock, crushed to fine pieces.
-Rare: Amazonite - See first Stratum Mine info.
-Conditional: Holed Rock - Kill with Stab. 1 needed for Shard Mace (Staff.)
--This pierced rock has a large hole in it.
Description: A mysterious statue that achieved sentience. Its soulless breath hardens skin to stone.
Weakness: Volt (150%)
Resistance: Physical (75%), Fire (0%), Ice (0%). Immune to Instant Death and Poison.
Mystues are the first of the gargoyle type monsters. Those are all immune to Poison and Instant Death. The Mystue itself resists physical damage slightly, but it takes 0% damage from Fire and Ice, so those won't do much. Breath has a low chance to petrify someone. The only way to cure Petrification is through a Medic's Refresh if it's at least level 8 (their multitarget refresh doesn't cure it.), or by using a Therica B. They also hit hard, but here's what really makes them a deadly enemy.
: What the!? Agh, it went straight for me!
Their enemy AI is different than most enemies. They target the back row most of the time. You know, the place where you put all your squishy healers, attackers, and casters. They rarely target the front row. Yeah, expect to use up a few Nectars thanks to these things.
You need to be a bit careful when dealing with those. Emilia's getting close to a level up at least.
: Shh! Something's behind us.
: What the hell is that thing?
: I think it's a blue pumpkin? It's not showing up on the map at all!
You wonder how it could have come so close without you sensing it at all...
: Huh. This is new. Guess we'll just have to be extra careful around these things.
The game introduces a new type of FOE here. Purple FOEs are invisible FOEs. They don't show up on the map at all, so you have to be more careful with your movements. Using the Survivalist's FOE skill will not reveal invisible FOEs on the map, so you can't cheat that mechanic. Thankfully they still set off the FOE radar, so you can use that to help watch your step. Unlike the flying FOEs, these never got used again, aside from a cave in 4. But those FOEs doesn't work the same way.
Just don't walk counterclockwise and you'll be fine.
What's with all the blindsides today?
: You know, one of the important parts of being an explorer is being aware of your surroundings. So we don't get ambushed all the time. You all really need to keep a better lookout.
: Don't blame me. I'm just keeping a lookout from the front.
Nothing much happened in that battle, but Emilia did get a level up.
She levels up Swords. Aside from Tornado, there's not much else she wants since most of her skills are really terrible. I might go for the Chasers later and some of her passives.
The FOE we were chasing earlier rests in this spot. Be prepared for it, because this is a really tough fight.
: THIS is the beast we were supposed to hunt down?
: I've got a bunch of medicine ready in case ya'll get hurt by it!
: I don't think we'll need it, thanks.
Item Drops: N/A
Description: A timid creature that vanishes soon after appearing. Lord Gascoyne had asked after its fur.
Weakness: Physical (150%)
It's just a stronger version of a Hedgehog. Just kill it and turn in the quest. It counts as an FOE, so it doesn't give out any exp.
Emilia racking up some pretty respectable damage here. She even outdoes Fedot at the moment.
If you're somehow having trouble with this thing, Climax does work on it.
: Oh, I'm really glad Nick isn't here.
: Why's that?
: You don't want to know.
It was rough work catching the monster, but you've succeeded in defeating the beast! Judging by the way it moved, there can be no doubt it is the monster from your quest. You efficiently strip it of its fur and take your leave.
The first Take point is right behind the Fleehog.
Common: Mint Leaf (1 needed for Medica II and Charm Gas. 1 needed for the quest Medicinal research. 5 needed for the quest Volunteer service II.)
Uncommon: Mugwort (1 needed for Metapon. 3 Needed for Blind Gas. 3 needed for the quest Labyrinth stew)
Rare: Tri-Fruit (1 needed for Fire Jar, Ice Jar, and Volt Jar. 3 needed for the quest Quid pro quo.)
Yeah, this Take point is really important. And try to unlock the Medica II as soon as possible. It will make your trips through this Stratum much easier.
: I should've brought more medicine...
And this is why I hate Mystues. Oh well, Maverick was running low on TP and I was running out of supplies.
: Yeah, off to a great start. Hey. Wake up.
: See? I told ya bringing those would be handy.
: Whatever, we're running low on supplies now.
Sold off a bunch of our stuff to unlock these, and I upgrade everyone's equipment. Normally you shouldn't upgrade equipment every time you unlock something in the EO series, because that will cause you to go bankrupt fast. But as you already know we have absolutely no money problems in EO2, so upgrade as much as you like.
I want to finish up that one quest and unlock Medica IIs as soon as possible, so I'm bringing Pauline with us temporarily.
They're not too much of a threat on their own, so Atlus gave them guaranteed blindsides to help even the odds. Still not really a threat unless you're really low on supplies and health.
So over here at the Take point...
Oh great. You also get nothing if you get ambushed so that's a wasted attempt at gathering.
This is the strongest monster of this Stratum. Now normally an encounter with something like this would probably be scary, except for one thing.
It always spends its first turn charging up. On its second turn it uses Scurry, which is a physical AOE. But that gives your party plenty of time to run away, making this nothing more than an annoyance. It's only dangerous if you brought a low level farmbot team who might move last and die to it horribly. One rest later to replenish my gathering attempts.
Oh come on! I'm not a fan of this feature at all. No matter which way you look at it, it's just a minor annoyance. Your farmbot team gets wiped out here? Just restart and try again. Your main team gets ambushed? They can run away and just lose an attempt at gathering. It should be noted that you won't always get ambushed by the same monster. Like in the first stratum, you can get ambushed by three Hypnowls instead of a Rafflesia, and sometime we can run into five Bigcaps here.
Now we have some healing items that don't suck and we can have Maverick save some TP. I make sure to buy a bunch of these.
: Oh, before I forget, I got a letter from the doctors. Here, I'll read it to you... It starts, We have all the ingredients now, and we can start sending it to Sitoth. We're in your debt, as are all the people whose lives will be saved by your kindness. There's a lot we don't know about the Labyrinth. Beware of diseases as well as monsters. When in battle, pay attention to the diseases inflicted... Um, I'm going to skip ahead. Watch yourselves out there. If you're feeling ill or injured, stop by at any time. I won't let anyone die from an incurable disease! Not ever again! I wish I could understand what he was talking about... But whatever it is, I'm glad the medicine they made will help all those people! If you need anything else, just ask! Don't overdo it out there, okay?
Not gonna turn in The Dying Forest just yet, but I turn in the other two.
: Ah, yeh lot made it back safe. How's the medicine look? Think it'll come in handy?
: Oh definitely! I can't wait to try this out on the others!
: Wouldn't it be better if you don't have to use it at-
: I'll be quiet now.
: I know yeh make a tidy profit selling the things yeh find, but others benefit from it too. Even the information yeh gather could save a man's life someday. Every scrap of food and drop of drink on the table, we owe to some brave explorer! Don't forget to appreciate all yeh've got in life, yeh know?
And we get a free Medica II off that quest.
Now it says that the reward is a Pole Stone.
: Did yeh catch the bugger? How'd yeh do it!?
: Uh well...
: Don't tell me yeh just chased the thing all over creation! Haw haw haw! Let's have a look at this hide, shall we?
: Sure, it's... Oh no.
: Hmm? This... this looks like a dirty old rag. Why would he...?
: Oh my. It looks like the Panda was too rough with the creature.
: What!? Don't try to shift the blame onto Ling! It was your fault too!
: And yours.
: Technically it was all our fault.
: W-Well, whatever, eh!? No one told yeh how to kill it, did they? Then no harm, no foul! Job done, then! Great work, and don't forget yer reward!
But we get a Warp Stone instead. What's up with that? Probably another typo. Anyways, it acts like a weaker Warp Wire. Instead of taking you back to town, it takes you back to the last Geomagnetic field you used. Could be handy if you want to conserve your Force for something, since it resets if you go back to town. EO3 nerfed the item by making it take you to the last field or stairs you took. EO4 made both versions of these effects into separate items.
Next time, the rest of the floor.