Part 38: Statues are Dicks: Part 2Statues are Dicks: Part 2
I'm about to show you why taking on these FOEs right away is a bad idea, even if you do have a Dark Hunter on the team. If you have an Alchemist with a specific skillset though, go right ahead.
: Hmph, should be easy to take down a pumpkin.
: Well crap.
Trigourds are very tanky and resist nearly everything.
: I get the oddest feeling that something bad just happened to me.
They can also curse your entire party, which makes it so that a party member takes half of the damage they deal in an attack. This is more deadly to party members than enemies, since Etrian Odyssey follows the JRPG rules of party members dealing more damage than what enemies can do to them.
: Hmm, I think I'm the only here that actually made some sort of dent in it. Still, it doesn't look like it's going down anytime soon.
Skills: Pain, Whisper
Resistance: Physical (0%), Fire (0%)
This game was their debut, and they've appeared in every game since. Aside from Untold, which was a remake of EO1. They are the first of the gourd-type FOEs you'll encounter in the game. They lost their FOE status in 3 for being a deadly postgame random encounter, but regained it in 4 as a deadly postgame FOE. They resist everything aside from Ice and Volt, so if you don't have the right elementals or non elementals you'll have a tough time whittling them down. They take 0% damage from what they resist, so all using those attacks will do is deal single digit damage. They can curse your entire party with Whisper, and have a very strong AOE fire attack with Pain. They're a very painful reminder that Climax can't help you if you can't get them into killing range. However, they do have a weakness. An Alchemist with their Force Skill ready to go, or has a level 5 Megido can nuke them in one shot. Aside from that, there's not much you can do to these things until your party gets stronger. Unlike the later games which paired it with the rest of its family, the Trigourd is alone here. The rest of the gourd FOEs only appear in every other stratum. And yes, they are also invisible.
: Well none of us are doing anything meaningful. I might as well just go on ahead.
: Wow, lame. I guess they can't all be winners.
Hidden treasures tend to be a lot more useful than ones out in the open.
Past the door are two Trigourds.
The one on the top goes clockwise, and the one on the bottom goes counterclockwise. Don't get yourself trapped. One thing you have to be careful about invisible FOEs is getting into a random battle around them. You can't see them on the map, so you can't keep track of how much longer you have until they join in on the fight. So try to finish up fights quickly, or better yet, don't get into random battles in the area at all.
The deliberate way that they've been placed makes you suspect that a human did this. As you mull over the path of berries, one tactic occurs to you... You can always follow the trail if you want to learn why they may have been placed here.
Thinking it may be a sign of some sort, your curiosity leads you to follow them. The trail ends at the wall. You walk towards it to investigate it more closely...
: Ooh! There has to be a reason they're placed like this! Let's follow them!
: Wait! Trails of berries is a technique used to set up traaAAAAAHHHHHH!
Suddenly, Fedot screams out! You spin to see what happened.
: FEDOT! Are you alright!?
: He tells us to wait, and yet he's the one who gets injured. Pfft.
Two saplings hidden in the grass spring up to catch Fedot's leg, locking it in place. The row of berries was a trap all along to catch wild game! It was most likely set by other explorers, and now it has snared one of their colleagues. You carefully break the trap, setting poor Fedot free. But the saplings sprung up with such force, Fedot's foot was injured in the process.
: And this should do it! Oh, but that's gonna leave a nasty cut on that leg. Good thing I brought medicine!
: Next time, wait and listen to me!
: But you're the one who got injured. Doesn't that mean you should've been careful?
: I- you've got a point.
After another battle, both Aegis and Ling get a level up.
I level up Provoke up on Aegis just so he can get the Mystues to stop attacking the back row.
As for Ling, I'm just making him as tanky as possible.
: How do we get these open?
: Uh, we haven't found that out yet. Just ignore those for now. And put the sword down.
A minor upgrade in defense for Aegis.
: Crap, I'm a goner!
: Whoa! Thanks Ling!
: Ha! He does a better job of protecting us than our Protector.
: Aegis, would it kill you to cover the back lines sometime?
: I'm sorry. I can't protect the front lines from all the way back there. Besides, it's almost funny to watch you get hit.
: Oh for the love of. Lousy Protector.
When Loyalty does kick in on the times you want it to, it's a pretty good passive. It's just that leveling it up too much will make it kick in when you don't want it to all the time. Even though it may seem like a good idea to take Back Guard on a Protector, this is only one of the few times it would come in handy. Compared to Front Guard which is relevant more often. Just bear through it and use Nectars if you have to.
Maverick leveled up here, and Fedot's getting close to a level up.
Maverick masters Patrol. Now our party's feet are completely safe from damage tiles.
: Ha ha! They're done!
: What's done?
: Just something Pauline and I have been working on. Maybe we'll get to use them soon!
Incidentally, Ling's Force has been building up fast because of all the hits it kept tanking with Loyalty.
Devour's also handy for keeping a Beast alive. Decent physical damage and the heal rate isn't bad.
: Huh, you taught Ling how to do that?
: Yep! But it was a pretty painful teaching session.
: I kept healing her wounds!
: Oh, so that would explain the bite marks on your head.
: Fedot? FEDOT!?
: Oh dear, our leader is dead. Let us have a moment of silence for hi-
: All better! Told ya we needed that!
: Don't even try it!
Got the Holed Rock off it. Something to take into account is that the Gunner's elemental shots are purely elemental attacks. They don't have the Stab attribute, so they don't work if you're trying to get conditional drops that way, or are trying to damage an enemy that resists elemental attacks but not physical attacks.
Got Fedot to level up.
Fedot has now mastered how to use Guns. Which unlocked 2-hit, a passive that gives his normal attacks a low chance to hit twice. But more importantly, it unlocked this move.
Ricochet is a Gunner's best damage skill, and one that doesn't put them in any danger, like the Risk shots. It's like the EO1 Survivalist's Multishot, but better. At max level anyway. It's also pretty expensive, but worth it.
: Ugh, can't clear out these trees.
: It'll probably be easier to open up from the other side
: How does that make sense?
: I have no clue. I stopped questioning a bunch of the weird stuff in here a long time ago.
We're not gonna be able to open this one up for a long time.
: What are you- oh that's just disgusting!
Ling's Force Skill works exactly the same way as the Medic's Force Skill. Salivall revives all dead party members and heals them to full health, as well as getting rid of status effects. Can be pretty handy and it charges up really fast thanks to Loyalty.
: Hey! Look up there!
Is it another explorer's? It looks like a hemp sack and doesn't appear to be empty. You can try climbing a nearby tree to reach it or give up and leave it be.
: I got this!
: Hey! Careful up there!
Maverick finds a strong branch and uses it to shimmy up the tree. The sack is farther from the tree than it looks. Maverick nearly slips trying to reach it. No one in your party had any way of knowing, but this is no normal tree...
: Agh, I'm getting all itchy... Aw crap.
Still, at least you caught the sack that Maverick dropped, so its contents are yours to keep.
: Got it. Agh, ooh. I should not have done that. Gonna need a lot of medicine for this.
: There wasn't even much in there. Just this.
The Red Pine is a rare item from a Chop point, so I'd say losing 50 HP to get one is a good trade. That said, they don't unlock any pieces of equipment, and you only need one for a quest. So you might want to keep this instead of selling it.
Now we have a shortcut to the 7th floor. The stairs are nearby.
The stairs are over here, but there's still more to explore.
You can't see it right now, but there's another Trigourd in this area.
: Aw man, I was so close to curing him too.
: That has to be one of the worst ways to get taken down. Come on Fedot, get up!
: Oh, thanks Emilia.
: Maybe we should've waited until after the battle to use that.
Unfortunately, enemies can target anyone who just got revived, so be careful about that. Also dead characters do not get exp after battle.
And here's me being an idiot and sidestepping where I shouldn't.
Fortunately it likes to curse your party most of the time instead of using Pain and killing your party.
Just don't walk clockwise and you'll be fine.
: Ha ha! Another one!
: How do these things keep slipping past the front lines!?
: Our leader, everyone.
: Don't worry!
Something you can do to deal with the Mystues, is switch your front row and back row with the Switch command so the Mystues target them instead of your original back row, but that leaves the problem of your front line being in the back, and your squishy back line in the front. Who are guaranteed to die if a Mystue or some other enemy decides to target them.
The other Take point of the floor.
The Fire Wall is an accessory that reduces fire damage slightly. We won't need that just yet.
If you're wondering why I didn't heal up, I ran out of Medica IIs and Maverick's out of TP. I'm out of Nectars as well.
: Goddammit Nick. Wait. I mean, goddammit me.
: I'm wondering how the old team put up with Fedot being taken out all the time.
: We should probably ask them about that.
: Should have healed myself...
Our back row is probably gonna rack up the highest body count for the next few floors and it's because of those things.
There's still more to explore on the floor, but that's for much later.
: At least they got taken out near the stairs.
: We should go back. We're out of supplies and I'm not carrying around a body for this whole floor.
: Yeah, Maverick's pretty heavy.
: Hmm... You don't look so good. Are you tired? Exploring while tired can be risky. Take frequent breaks to maintain your stamina.
: Statues are dicks.
: Now I know how Nick feels. Ugh.
Going to the Duke's Palace when we've reached the 7th floor advances the plot, so let's do that.
: You've grown stronger... And so I have a favor to ask. Very few explorers know of what I am about to say. Please keep it a secret. Our chief goal in exploring the Labyrinth is, of course to find the floating castle. But there is a more pressing concern... It's the Duke.
: What's wrong!? Tell us!
: He's a very wise, very good man, but he is grievously ill. I've asked many priests and shrine maidens, but none could ease his pain. Though his suffering is slight compared to his daughter's... She lost her mother when she was young. Her father, the Duke, is the only family she has left. So she went out into the forest to find a cure for her father's disease. The Duchess, you see, was very skilled in the medicinal arts and saved many patients. She left behind many documents on the subject, and the Duke's daughter has read them all. The documents are old, and they may contain no information on the Duke's illness, but... She will stop at nothing to heal her father. To watch her efforts makes my heart ache. All I can do for her now is ask explorers to go into the Labyrinth in her place. But this old man has rambled on long enough... Here is the hard information you need. The Duchess's documents say that ingredients for a miracle cure are in the second Stratum. I would ask that you help us obtain those ingredients.
: Ooh, this sounds pretty heroic! I'm in!
: I'd love to help heal the Duke! Count me in!
: Then you will help? Thank you... I'll explain further. We know that the Salamox resides on the 8th floor. Its feathers are used to make the Panacea. Panacea, I should explain, is the term used for the miracle cure in the Duchess's papers. Guild Firefly... Will you help the Duke's daughter and myself?
: Uh, sure. I'll be happy to help.
: I must warn you, the rumors say that this Salamox is an incredibly strong beast. I've spoken to an explorer who tells me Salamox wiped out his entire guild at a stroke.
: Okay, so don't fight the beast. It's Wyvern all over again.
: I have the map he made. Watch for enemy movements, and avoid battle as much as possible.
We won't actually see it until we actually get to the 8th floor. Anyways, this is pretty much a reprise of the Wyvern mission in the first game. You had to sneak into a Wyvern's nest on the 8th floor, and steal its egg. This is pretty much the same thing, only difference is we have a map this time. The first game didn't have that courtesy and it made running around the Wyvern's nest, or trying to get into it dangerous. More on that later. As much as I like this game (Even if some of my comments implied otherwise), I hear some people say that this is just an expansion pack sequel to the first game. And with moments like these, it's hard to disagree. Some of the plot points from the first game got reused in this game, just remixed a bit. The later Etrian Odyssey games were much better about differentiating themselves. Anyways, let's talk to Dubois.
: You just talked at us. And rambled for ages.
: Shush. There's a legend regarding this nation I'd like to share with you all... They say our Duke is descended from men who came to earth from the floating castle. No one knows for certain, but I thought you might be interested to hear the legend. Well, then. I expect great things from you.
: I'm no longer sure you need my advice, but... All the same, a word of warning. It takes insight, analysis, judgement, and action to make it further into the Labyrinth. That's all the advice I have for you. Never underestimate the Labyrinth.
: Hey, why don't yeh ever bring me back something from the Labyrinth?
: Uh, like what?
: Oh, yeh know... Like a fruit that looks like a diamond, or a golden egg... Something rare!
: That sounds expensive.
: Eh? Sounds expensive? Of course it does! Who wants something that's not worth anything!? Are yeh lot fresh from the crib? Money is power! Haw haw haw!
: Hey, you're staying at the Flaus Inn, right?
: I talk to the owner all the time! We usually shop together. Have you met her daughter? She's so small and cute... She looks almost like a doll! She's usually out doing errands, so you won't run into her often, but try to meet her if you can!
Some new quests opened up. This one needs a Medic, but a level 20 Medic will give the maximum reward, so I put off that one for now.
: This one? Are you serious?
: Honestly, I'm just taking everything I see posted on there.
: Oh, yeh're gonna go after that one? It actually has something to do with yeh lot... Yeh've stayed at the Flaus Inn, right? This request is from the lady of the house. I wasn't sure what to do, since she wasn't offering much of a reward... But yeh can consider all the great times yeh've had at the inn yer reward! Haw! I don't have the details. Yeh'll have to ask the Flaus lass for all that. G'luck!
Atlus, if you're gonna tell the player that the reward is bad (It is), then you should make the reward good, not poke fun at it. Really glad that EO3 made it so that quests gave out exp.
This quest kind of throws a lot of people off.
: That quest comes straight from the Grand Duchy. Getting pretty cozy with them, aren't yeh? Haw! Yeh know the Grand Duchy does their share of Labyrinth exploration, right? Well they want yeh to make a map of floors they haven't gotten around to yet. Personally, I think they should do it themselves, but I s'pose the corps can't hack it. Say... how far have yeh lot made it up by now? Don't tell me yeh've gone that far already!
: Nope. We had to drag two of our guild members up there before going back.
: Oh, so that's why there was dirt in my mouth.
: Well, if yeh want more details, ask at the Duke's Palace. G'luck!
: Hear me out, because we have some real problems right now. Have you ever eaten our chef's meals before? He calls it the Labyrinth Lunch. It's made of ingredients from the Labyrinth. People say it's good, but I wouldn't know. My husband usually fetches the ingredients, but he's been injured, the poor dear. Now we have a full house and there isn't anything left for the chef to prepare! Could you go to the Labyrinth for me and bring back 3 Mugworts and 1 Moving Eye? We need them at once!
: Right, and where can we find these?
: Where do you get them...? How should I know!? This is my husband's job! But I think he spends most of his time in there on the 7th or 8th floor... When you find the ingredients, just give them to Cass at the Stickleback Bar. Hurry! Time's a wasting!
The Mugwort is an uncommon Take item, so we can get those right away. But the Moving Eye is a drop from an enemy we haven't seen yet. Anyways, we didn't actually get her regular dialogue, so let's do that.
: Huh, not bad.
: Oh wow! Who made these?
: It's good, isn't it? My daughter made them. She's cute as a button and a good cook to boot. Just like me when I was young!
: I highly doubt that.
: What? Don't you believe me? Can't you tell by how beautiful I am now? Bahaha!
: We in the Grand Duchy take this task very seriously. There aren't many we'd entrust it to. But if it's you... Well, I daresay there'll be no problem. Now, to business. Our own maps of the Labyrinth are only complete up to the 6th floor. We've reached the next floor, but the corps are having unexpected difficulties.
: Are their guards always incompetent?
: I wouldn't say incompetent, but yeah, they're not really the best.
: So we'd like to enlist your help in mapping the 7th and 8th floors of the Labyrinth. Once you finish the map, you are to check in with Cass, the bartender at the Stickleback. It's a great responsibility that we place on your shoulders.
: I'll make sure to make some good maps.
Okay, so the reason this quest throws people off is how the game checks for map completion. The first game had an actual mission (not quest) that involved mapping the 11th and 12th floors. How it checked for map completion was checking to see if you stepped on a few select tiles, the corners of the floors, which was done to make sure you can't just complete it by looking up the map. And checking to see if your map was accurate enough. (12th floor also had you kill a boss but that's not related to this) The way this game checks for map completion is by checking if your map is accurate enough, and if you've stepped on most of the tiles of the floors. You can't just paint in the tiles even if you see them. No, you have to step on them. Oh, and the 7th and 8th floors are riddled with damage tiles. You know, the places people will deliberately try to avoid? Yeah, it's dumb.
: Well, let's hope that the 7th floor won't be a disaster like the 6th floor.
: It was only a disaster for you and the Medic.
: I don't need this right now Aegis.