Part 39: Burned to AshesBurned to Ashes
Starting back from the 7th floor.
Almost ran into another Trigourd here. Keep an eye on that FOE radar, and watch your step.
Thankfully it's the only one on this floor.
He seems more exhausted than pained, as if he wants nothing more than to take a rest. Once he realizes you are here, he wearily waves to you and approaches your position.
: Hey... Are you guys the ones the Grand Duchy sent?
: Yep, that's us. Need a hand?
: Thank heavens... We came to map this place, but the monsters were too much for us. I've got part of it done... Hope it helps. Sorry about any mistakes... I was so tired...
The guard pulls a parchment from his bag and hands it to you.
: There should be another guard up on the next floor... Tell him I've gone back. Good luck.
The guard leaves as unsteadily as he came, heading for the Labyrinth's exit. You stare at the guard's map, unsure whether to trust it or to double-check his work...
We're given a portion of the map here, and it's mostly accurate. There's a few important details missing from it, and I'll go over it later. Oh, and while this does help with the map accuracy check, it doesn't reduce the amount of tiles we need to step on to trigger the quest completion flag.
: Oh that's nice. I guess.
: If we didn't have all that money, I'd be more excited for this.
Yeah, nothing the game can give us money wise for the main game can ever compare to the boss conditionals. Way to go Atlus.
Something I neglected to mention in the last update is that Bigcaps are immune to poison. So if you have a Hexer, use Torpor instead. Anyways, new enemy.
-Common: Steel Fang - 1 needed for Iron Claw. 2 needed for Beast Tail (Whip) and Long Bow. 3 needed for Snow Axe.
--A boar's large fangs, containing quality iron.
-Rare: Beast Hide - 1 needed for Hard Aspis. 2 needed for Plate armor. 3 needed for the quest Volunteer Service II.
--Tough, thick beast fur, perfect for armor.
Description: A large forest boar that excels at using its weight to ram its foes.
Weakness: Fire (150%)
The Gigaboar's been in every Etrian Odyssey game at this point, and it acts the same way most of the time in all the games. It likes to use Bullrush, which is a physical attack that deals splash damage. That's about it. Just roast it and move on.
: Oof. I keep forgetting to use this shield.
: That explains a lot.
I keep forgetting to have Aegis use Front Guard.
: Aw crap.
: How many of these trees are there?
Rest of the text is the same as usual.
And here's the first Chop point.
Common: Red Root - 1 needed for Self Bow. 2 needed for Pumpkinhat. 5 needed for Snake Whip and Fire Beads. 3 needed for the quest Toward a cozier inn.
--Flexible ivy that stretches like rubber.
Uncommon: Hardwood - 1 needed for Flame Leaf. 5 needed for Milk Maul (Staff.) 2 needed for the quest Toward a cozier inn.
--Wood that doesn't burn, even in a fire.
Rare: Red Pine - 1 needed for the quest Quid pro quo.
--Reddish pine that grows in low-moisture areas.
: Huh, what's up with the floor over there?
What we just walked over were damage tiles. From the 3rd game onward, they deal a set amount of damage, from about 10 to 20 depending on where you ran into them. In the first two games, the damage is percentage based. They take off around 5% of a party member's health for each step taken on these. However, they cannot kill a party member. They'll just leave them at 1 HP if they ever get that low.
: Heh heh heh. Thought something like this would happen.
: Here! Wear these!
: Where'd you get these boots?
: Pauline and I worked on them! Just wear these and those thorns won't be a problem at all! Oh uh, but they kind of wear down pretty fast.
: Why would you design them like that?
: You see how sharp and thick those thorns are? You're gonna be poking so many holes into the treads, the boots'll fall apart! Don't worry, I brought several!
: Oh uh, thanks.
It's hard to see, but we are walking over thorny vines. It's much more clear in the remake. Also we're given a little boot icon in the corner telling us that Patrol is in effect. I'm gonna mark down these tiles with yellow. There wasn't a good way to mark them down in EO1. There also wasn't a way to deal with these, other than healing up the damage. EO2 onwards gives you a few ways to help deal with damage tiles.
: I dare you to strike me down!
Here's the classic Provoke and Parry combo you can do in RPGs. It's much more effective in EO2 since Provoke got a huge buff.
: Ha! You'll have to do better than that!
: You know that you're supposed to keep holding the shield, right?
: Are you new to this whole Protector thing?
: A simple mistake. That's all.
Parry unfortunately doesn't last that long at lower levels.
We're getting a lot of exp here.
Oh great, now this is an annoying encounter.
Skills: Binding, Thorn
-Drop 1: Moving Eye - 1 needed for Madfa (Gun) and Bite Piece. 5 needed for Battle Axe. 1 needed for the quest Labyrinth Stew.
--A squirming Fangleaf bulb.
-Drop 2: Bendy Tool - 1 needed for Headdress and Blind Gas. 3 needed for Fancy Coat.
--The tangled, fibrous vines of a plant.
-Drop 3: Bent Twig - See 1st stratum Chop info.
Description: A sapient plant that bites anything within reach. Do not mistake it for an ordinary flora.
Weakness: Fire (150%)
Now here's an interesting thing about the Fangleaf. It doesn't actually have a conditional drop. It's one of the few enemies in the game that just has 3 regular drops. As for what it can do, it can bind everyone's arms with Binding. Which is really annoying because it cuts down on your physical damage by a lot. Thorns is a physical attack that has a chance to blind whoever it hits. It's not much of a hassle by itself, but it loves to be paired up with a bunch of Bigcaps, which means lots of status effects are going to be thrown around.
: I am not being taken out by poison again!
: Oh, so you do know how to use that shield.
: Why don't you focus on your job instead of telling me how to do mine?
These things drop the Moving Eye we need to complete that quest. But we don't get one yet. The weird part is that they don't have an eye. Or a visible one anyway. The description for that item says that it's actually the bulb of a Fangleaf.
: Eh, not as good as my boots.
The Guard Sole is an item that can be used to lower damage from damage tiles. However, it isn't a replacement for a level 5 Patrol. A Guard Sole only functions as a level 2 Patrol, so Maverick's version is a lot better, and this is just free money.
After another battle, Ling gets a level up.
I just put another point into VIT.
Now Atlus put a few branching paths here.
Now if we walk straight ahead, we'll just run into some damage tiles.
But snaking around has us avoid all of them. A bit of a subtle lesson here that if you're willing to sacrifice some HP, you can get through some paths faster, which some later floors make use of. There's actually another example of that coming right up. Not that it matters at this point because we need to step on most of them to complete that quest.
Aegis and Maverick get a level up after a battle.
Aegis levels up Provoke. It now has a 70% draw rate.
While I do want Maverick to get Salve 2, I don't want to increase the TP cost of Cure 2 just yet, so I just level up Healer.
Also, don't underestimate Bigcaps. They can cause a few casualties.
Here's another branching path. You can avoid the damage tiles and go left, but that leads to a longer path. But if we go through the path with the damage tiles here...
Well for one thing, we get this event.
Looking closely, you see that it's red amber. Could the tree's sap have seeped out and hardened? Amber normally solidifies under ground, so it seems out of place, but valuable nonetheless. You can carve out the amber and take it with you, or give up on it and leave the area.
You pry the tip of your weapon into the amber's edge in an attempt to extract it.
: Man, this is hard to get out!
: Anyone hear something?
But when about half the mass has been scraped out, you hear an odd sound and turn to meet it.
: Don't look now, but two angry turtles are looking at us.
You gasp as you see a monster standing there, roaring menacingly at your party!
: Why would they- oh great. There's a nest here. We just pissed them off.
You belatedly hear something squealing at the tree's roots. It seems that the tree was serving as a sanctuary for the monster's young... The monster has marked you as a predator of its children! You cannot avoid battle now!
Skills: Armor Up
-Common: Armor Hull - 1 needed for Fancy Coat, Shell Boot, Broadsword, and Metapon. 2 needed for Breaker Claw.
--Thorned armor of a giant dragon.
-Conditional: Armor Bone - Kill with Bash. 1 needed for Godhunter (Gun.)
--The hard core of an armored tortoise's scale.
Description: Its skin is incredibly hard, and the thorns on its back can easily puncture swords.
Weakness: Ice (150%), Fire (125%), Volt (125%)
Resistance: Physical (75%)
Tortmails are actually a monster from the next floor, but they're not too tough. If you have elemental attacks that is. Armor Up increases their physical defense. But elemental attacks don't care about that. Ice is the most effective element, but using the others will get some nice results too. Be careful, a battle with a solo Tortmail will be a guaranteed blindside. Other than that, they're just another check on your party composition.
Emilia's dealing out some pretty decent damage.
Don't expect that to last.
Fedot's gunshots don't care about physical defense. Even using fire deals decent damage. I forgot that these things took more damage from Ice. There's a lot of enemies to keep track of.
: How about we treat ourselves to some roasted turtles after this?
: Sounds exotic.
If you have only physical attackers, battles like these last a really long while. It's one of the main problems with the game. Way too many enemies resist physical attacks. And boy do I have some things to say about the weakness distribution. But I'll save that for a later update.
: I hereby prescribe a cane to the head.
Managed to get the conditional drop, but not the regular drop. Maverick is our only source of pure Bash damage at the moment. Ling's attacks are also bash, but thanks to the Hellclaw, they have a fire attribute too, and that would not have gotten me the drops.
And we're at the stairs already.
And we still have a lot of floor left. Trying to avoid the damage tiles results in a much longer path.
We can see the map of Salamox's room down there and oh my god why is that map drawn all wrong aaaaaaaaaa
: Shh! Keep your guard up.
You remain vigilant for some time, but the sound does not reoccur. You can't be certain if it's hiding from you or waiting for a chance to strike... Part of you wants to leave the room now, and part of you wants to proceed with caution.
: Nothing's happening. Let's just go in.
Apparently scared by your drawn weapons, the source of the noise flees deep into the forest.
: Hey, something fell down over there!
You sheathe your weapons and look around. Something has fallen to the floor... The unseen creature must have dropped it. You stow the unexpected bounty in your bag.
: Lucky us, I suppose.
I'm just gonna keep this for something later. I'm not gonna sell it.
Skills: Breath, Fumes
-Common: Green Hide - 1 needed for Flame Whip and Fire Wall. 7 needed for Zanmatou (Katana.)
--Lizard skin impervious to any flame.
-Rare: Green Tail - 1 needed for Fire Beads. 3 needed for Flame Leaf.
--A Firezard's tail, left due to mortal peril.
Description: A dangerous lizard with an affinity for fire. Null its flame attacks and it poses no threat.
Weakness: Ice (150%)
Resistance: Fire (0%)
Nothing much to this guy. It's all about fire. Breath is a single target fire attack that deals heavy damage, while Fumes is an AOE fire attack that deals light damage. If you encounter two of these, just hope they don't use Breath on the same target.
By the way, here's a huge problem with the Beast's Loyalty passive.
: Ling, stop! You don't need to protect all of us!
: Sheesh, is that panda suicidal?
Ling defended everyone but Fedot and now he's really low on health. Yeah, it can proc for every hit of an AOE, which can take them from full health to low very fast.
The battle was relatively unremarkable otherwise.
: Now that this is set up, let's go back and rest.
: High Lagaard is somewhat remote and difficult to reach from anywhere else. We have been considering how to deal with the influx in new residents. We need new roads, housing, and food sources... So many things to consider.
: So you aren't used to all this.
: We didn't expect Lagaard to become the boom town that it is now. But you have been abroad. Have you any suggestions as to how to deal with these issues?
: Uh, I can't think of anything yet. Haven't really thought of anything outside of exploring the Labyrinth during my time here.
: I realize that exploring is a full-time job, but if you should think of something, tell me. I expect great things from you.
: Do we look that incompotent?
: Ahaha... It was only a joke. Don't take it so personally. I heard your next destination is the 8th floor to collect a Fire Plume from the Salamox. There's no shame in running from a monster that strong. Survival is your first priority. That's all the advice I have for you. Never underestimate the Labyrinth.
: So what's this I hear about yeh reaching the 8th floor? Did yeh meet that lizard?
: Uh, what lizard?
: Whaddaya mean, What lizard? Don't yeh know!? It's a huge beastie that shoots fire! How could yeh miss it!? Maybe it's just a rumor... Well, I was taken in! I hear about the thing destroying guilds all the time! I don't know what's going on in there, but yeh'd better watch yerselves. Better to be cautious than to be dead! G'luck!
: He must be talking about Salamox.
: Sounds like a ferocious beast. What's our plan for dealing with it?
: I'm still thinking about it. While I'm doing that, let's see what's on the board here.
In case you think that you can kill Salamox, the townspeople here warn you otherwise. You really don't want to get into a fight with it.
: Oh, that request is from Smithy Thompson. He's a rough one... Yeh lot should know him. He works at Sitoth Trading. He's asked for any guild to collect materials for his next piece. Go to the shop and ask him what he needs. G'luck!
As for this quest, we need Bellamy for it. But this one works a bit differently. To get the maximum reward, we don't need Bellamy at a certain level. We need him to know a certain skill, more specifically, Flame. It's his tier 2 fire spell which needs 5 points in both Fire Up and Fire. That said, if he knows Fire, we can get part of the extra reward. We'll tackle this later.
: He says he's too busy to come out, but I think he's just shy around people. Isn't that weird for someone like him? Hee hee! Oh, I need to give you his list! He asked for 1 Flourite and 1 Open Cap. You can get them from the Auburn Thicket. Just sell them back to me once you collect them! We're counting on you!
We already sold the Open Cap to her, but we need to get the Flourite from a mining spot.
We unlock some new gear, and I upgrade some of our party members. The Iron Claw is a bigger attack boost for Ling, but the fire attribute of his Hellclaw is helping him dish out some decent damage, so I stick with that. Oh right, her regular dialogue.
: Huh? Oh, Aegis... Your clothes are torn!
: What? Oh. Must've been the monsters. Blasted things.
: Come here and let me fix it. There you go! All better!
: Er, thank you.
: Hee hee... I'm good at mending clothes and things like that. I'll be over there, so call me when you're ready to check out!
: As more people explore the Labyrinth, we make breakthroughs in science and medicine. Just the other day, we found a plant there that actually eases a fever in humans. But there are so many different plants and herbs, and we don't know what many of them do. If we could do research on them, it would advance the cause of medicine worldwide. But to do that research, we need explorers to bring us samples of these plants. We need their help to cure wounds... But so many of them are wounded trying to help us. That's the circular situation I'm in now. I hate to see anyone get hurt, but... I know it's asking a lot of you, but I'd like you to continue exploring the Labyrinth.
: Sure thing, doc!
: I just need someone to take care of those dishes. Thanks!
: Mmm! What's this!?
: Huh? You've really never had this before? It's one of our best-selling meals. We call it the Labyrinth Lunch. My husband came up with it! I can make it myself, if you want, but to be honest, I don't think that's such a good idea.
: Why? Do indulge us.
: Why? Oh, well, you know... Bahahaha!
I rested up my guild and had them go back into the Labyrinth.
: So, what's our plan for dealing with Salamox? And why are we back on the 7th floor?
: I'm still thinking about that. And we haven't really exploreed the 7th floor all that much. The big missing part from the map is bothering me. And we need to finish up that request.
Now back down here is a secret passage. But it's one way. When you go through it, you can't go back the same way. The games don't warn you about this until EO4. A way you can check for one way passages, is to see if you're able to check the other side of the wall. If you can't, then it's a one way passage.
Remember how I said there were a few missing details from the map? For one thing, the damage tiles aren't labeled. The other thing is that there's an FOE patrolling the area. And the game just draws in the map, it doesn't count the areas drawn in as being stepped on. So I couldn't see that there was an FOE here. What happened next was that I forgot about the FOE here and just walked straight into it.
The Redwood is probably the weakest FOE in the stratum. Yeah it has more HP than the Trigourd, except the Redwood doesn't resist everything. Its incredibly slow, which gives your party plenty of time to do their thing. That said, it can poison you, so if its regular attacks can't kill you, the poison will. Also we can't kill it at this point. If only this were EO3. I could just nuke every FOE I come across immediately.
: I'm out of here!
It just walks back and forth. You can duck into the side paths to avoid it, but you'll take damage if you do that. Think about your movements carefully.
Emilia and Fedot got another level up after a battle.
I'm just going for her Chasers and passives at this point.
And Fedot takes a point in Ricochet. It's a random target attack that can attack from 1 to 3 times at level 1. It can also attack a single enemy multiple times, so if there's only one enemy in the fight, Richochet can deal a lot of damage. It deals 70% damage and has a 50%/40%/10% chance to attack 1/2/3 times. It's pretty bad at level 1, you want to be leveling up this skill.
: I think I'm just gonna stick with this rod.
The Gara Rod is an increase to HP and attack, but I prefer the extra 10 TP the Milk staff gives Maverick. And his attack is really bad anyway. So I just keep it in my inventory.
Up here is another Redwood.
It also walks back and forth.
And another one in the room up here.
There are some blank spots... But these areas are currently inaccessible, so no harm done. You painstakingly create a copy of your current efforts, in case the original should be marred. The Grand Duchy should be able to conduct safer explorations with the map you have made. After you finish copying out your work, you place it in your bag and decide to move on. To complete this quest, you need to map both floors. Only then can you report back. If you have not yet mapped both floors, you must carry onward and complete your map.
: Okay, we finished enough of the map. Here's a copy we can give to the Grand Duchy.
: But it's not done.
: Your point being?
: I guess they can make do with this.
When you've completed enough of the map, you'll get that statement. The part about copying the map is the game telling you that you don't have to redo the map if you mess it up. Now we haven't gotten all of the map on here, so you do have a bit of breathing room for this quest.
The Chop point is beyond that door, but you have to walk across some damage tiles to get to it.
Ling gets a level up, and I'm just maxing out VIT at this point.
An upgrade to our boots. I put those on Emilia.
Maverick levels up Healer to level 5, which unlocks Revive. He can now raise party members from the dead.
The last level up for this update. Aegis levels up Provoke to 6, which now has a 95% draw rate. That should be handy for a few enemies.
Now we've properly completed floor 7. At least, the part we could explore at this time.
: Ready to face Salamox?
: Good, me neither. Let's go back to town and prepare.
Rested up my team. Salamox probably isn't that tough. I mean if things do get rough, I could have the guild run away.
You can sense a terrible aura drifting to the room's entrance from beyond the trees! Have a care! Fighting in this area will surely lead to your deaths. Be on your guard!
Two red FOEs spawned in this area. They only walk on the yellow squares. The FOE on the blue squares is Salamox. It doesn't move, but the blue squares are its aggro area. Walk in there, and Salamox will start chasing you. Alright, enough talking, let's take down Salamox!
Video: THIS WAS A TERRIBLE IDEA!
I'm gonna have Aegis put up a Front Guard, since this thing might hit hard.
Just having Emilia hit the lizard with a Tornado.
Ling's probably gonna take a beating, so I'm gonna have him heal himself.
Maverick's attacking since he has nothing better to do at the moment.
Well if this thing breathes fire like the townspeople said, it's probably weak to Ice, right?
Uh, not as much damage as I would've liked. What are the stats on this thing anyway?
I have made a huge mistake. Salamox has the stats of an endgame/postgame boss. What was I thinking!?
Yeah, you aren't meant to fight it at this point. I mean, you'd have to be completely insane to consider killing Salamox this early.
A moment of silence for Guild Firefly, who is now lizard feed.
Well I guess that's the end of this LP. It was fun working on this while it lasted. Thanks for reading!