Part 40: SalamoxSalamox
Alternate titles for this update. Game is Vaporized. I am Completely Insane. Take your pick.
I'm going to stop pretending for a brief moment that this game has any difficulty left in it. Because what I'm about to do can technically be done at any point in the game as long as you have the skill points for it. So last time, I showed off why it's a bad idea to tackle Salamox this early in the game. It's a lategame enemy that you're supposed to sneak past for now, and wait until much later in the game before attempting to kill it.
In this update, I'm going to kill Salamox. We'll need to make some preparations before doing that. Also, I'm going with my own party setup for this one. First thing we need to do is unlock an accessory in the store, which we need to get by mining.
Going south from the Geomagnetic Pole on the 8th floor and crossing the hallway to the west, an FOE pops up.
It immediately spawns when stepping on this tile, and it will chase you around.
Avoid these unless you want your party to be killed horribly. They're tougher than the Redwoods and hit a lot harder.
You can shake it off by going into this door up ahead.
Unless it catches sight of you again, it'll just go back to its spawn point and stay there.
Just what I was looking for, this floor's Mine point.
Common: Fluorite - 1 needed for Fungus Jet, Arm Guard, Bite Piece, and Warp Stone. 3 needed for Godhunter (Gun.) 5 needed for Battle Axe (Axe.) 1 needed for the quest Smithy Thompson's Request I.
-Used in iron production and crafting lenses.
Uncommon: Red Ball - 1 needed for Breaker (Claw), Fire Wall, and Bash Wall. 3 needed for Zanmatou (Katana.) 5 needed for Katzbalger (Sword.)
-Highly durable red gem.
Rare: Blood Rock - 1 needed for Life Belt. 1 needed for the quest Quid pro quo.
-Dark red gem that looks like a clot of blood.
Not what I want.
Ah, there we go!
We unlock the Fungus Jet for that quest. But the thing I really want is this.
Now we can purchase Life Belts for everyone.
I buy 3 for Aliara.
: When a smithy puts his heart and soul into a piece, it ends up with mysterious powers. Just by holding it, you could become faster, or stronger, or who knows what else!
Here's your explanation for why these pieces of equipment sometimes have special properties. Magic.
: My father and everyone in his crew pray for your safe return when they make the equipment. I know they'll protect you in the Labyrinth, so please use them! Thank you again for all your help! You'll take any other requests I have, right?
: Sure thing Abigail!
And here's the team that will be taking down Salamox.
I also make sure to buy 2 Speed Pins for Fedot so I can pull this off.
: Alright. We're gonna be sneaking into Salamox's nest and looking for that Fire Plume.
: Gee, I can't wait to become lizard food.
: Okay, but are we really bringing the singing bird along?
: Hmm, now what should I write for my next line here?
: Well he needs to explore the Labyrinth at some point, and we can't just keep him out forever.
Now I have all my characters build up their Force meters. We don't need Aliara's Force Skill, but we need everyone else's.
Also, I save at this Geomagnetic Field in case something goes horribly wrong. Like someone dying and losing all their Force.
: Oh my feet! They stain the ground red!
: Cool! I'm leaving bloody footprints everywhere!
: Oh great, now the Labyrinth itself is trying to hurt me!
: I already miss our Medic.
: I dunno, I kind of like walking over these thorns.
Without Patrol, our party's gonna be taking damage from these damage tiles now. But even if I did have Maverick or Pauline on the team, I don't want to stop the party from taking damage. In fact, I want to walk over as many damage tiles as possible.
Mainly so I can lower Aliara's HP to 1. I don't want the rest of the team to be low on HP, so I healed them up. Now damage tiles are kind of annoying in the other EO games, but I personally love them in this game because they provide really easy setup for something Aliara can do.
: Everybody ready?
: Let's just get this over with.
Text we've already seen.
: It's roasting hot in here!
: I'm not staying in here any longer than I have to. I'm getting out of here once we find that feather.
Right, I didn't talk about the Red FOEs in here last time. Let's fix that.
These are the first of the elemental Kings. Every other stratum has one of these as their Red FOE. They're stronger than every other FOE in this stratum and will gladly roast your party if you let them. I could actually kill these things right now, but I don't want to waste my time and TP on them. My real target is Salamox. Anyways, here's our party setup for the fight.
Aegis, Nick, and Fedot haven't changed any since the last time we saw them in action. These guys are purely here for their Force Skills.
Aliara on the other hand had her skills adjusted. She has 2 points in HP Up, and 7 points in Curses, which unlocked this skill.
It is time to unleash the broken. Revenge deals damage to an enemy, and deals more damage depending on how much HP she's missing.
Gilbert's also here for his Force Skill, but he's gonna be using one other skill for this fight.
I relocated the points in Bravery into Stamina. It increases everyone's max HP by 150%, but it doesn't heal up the amount the HP got increased by.
The Firekings only walk on the yellow squares, they won't join in on the fight. To get the Fire Plume, you need to grab Salamox's attention by stepping on one of these blue squares, which is its aggro zone.
Then walk all the way around so you can search these spots. The Firekings shouldn't get in your way if you walk straight to that spot, and then straight to this spot. The exclamation points are where you can search for the Fire Plume.
: Shit. It's not in this spot.
: This spot is also empty!
: Uh, that lizard's right behind us!
: Goddammit. Looks like we'll have to fight our way out.
Time for a rematch.
Skills: Breath, Tail, Blood Cry
-Common: Flame Bone - 1 needed for Levantine (Sword) and Soma III. 2 needed for Megido Gun (Gun.)
--Unyeilding bone with high fire resistance.
-Conditional: Flame Puff - Kill with Fire. 1 needed for Agneyastra (Gun.)
--A lizard tongue that burns on contact.
Description: Wears a layer of flame as armor. Inexperienced explorers are advised not to attempt it.
Resistance: Fire (0%)
We actually need to kill Salamox twice in order to unlock all the equipment in the game. So I'm just getting one kill out of the way now. I'll go more into detail on this boss when we fight it for real later. The conditional drop unlocks the best gun in the game. Unfortunately, we can't get it right now since Fedot's Fireshot won't do that much damage to it.
I'm holding off on Aegis' and Nick's Force Skills for now.
Fedot's main job in this fight is to stun Salamox. But if he wasn't wearing those Speed Pins, he wouldn't be fast enough to stun it.
Aliara's missing 249 HP at the moment.
She's just gonna be spamming Revenge for the whole fight. And oh boy, this skill is BROKEN!
And I have Gilbert use his Force Skill here.
: Wow this thing's fast!
: I don't think I did much to it.
: Fear not friends! For this song shall motivate all of you!
: No. No. Please don't.
: Oh Guild Firefly, shining so brightly...
: And here he goes.
: Please stop.
: Ha! This thing's still got it. Maybe we can try some lizard after this. Might've cooked itself too.
: Shining so brightly in the flames...
: Make it stop!
: Holy shit.
: Took the words right out of my mouth.
A reminder Aliara didn't use a Force Skill. That was a normal skill that only costs 19 TP. Meaning that she can spam it as long as she has the TP for it.
Also Salamox can't do anything this turn thanks to Riot Gun. And it won't be able to do anything for the rest of the fight.
Now I ensure that Salamox is locked down with these two skills.
Fedot's not doing anything important. His job is done.
Crusade doubled Aliara's max HP, which made Revenge deal a lot more damage. Also, here's the big downside of Crusade. In the Etrian Odyssey series, party members and enemies are limited to having 3 different buffs and debuffs. If you try to place a 4th buff on a character, the oldest buff, the one in the top slot is overwritten. Crusade eats up all of your buff slots, and since the attack buff is in the top slot, it will be overwritten by other buffs. So you can't stack attack buffs with Crusade. Another problem with this Force skill is that later bosses go completely bonkers if the game detects that your party has too many buffs. So using Crusade in those fights is suicide.
This is the last thing Gilbert needs to do in this fight. Increase Aliara's damage further by using Stamina. Hexers and Troubadours are great partners because Troubadours can increase Revenge's damage this way. As long as Aliara has at least 666 max HP, Stamina can help them hit the HP cap of 999.
Aegis is now ensuring that Nick can safely set up Dominate. The best part about Painless is that it will always go first. The Protector's level or speed doesn't matter.
: Aliara, you look agitated. Perhaps this song will help you relax. Put a smile on that face-
: Will you just shut up!?
It should be noted that Revenge is untyped and more importantly unresistable damage. It will always deal the same amount of damage if Aliara has the same amount of HP missing for each cast.
: Your fire retardant-ass just got dominated!
So this is how Revenge works. At level 10, it multiplies the amount of HP missing, in this case 749, and multiplies it by 2.55. Which rounds to 1909 damage. In the first game it wasn't that great. The damage multiplier was 1.65 at max level, which dealt 1646 damage if the Hexer was missing 998 HP. Also enemies and bosses in that game had far more HP. With 998 HP missing in this game, the Hexer can deal a maximum of 2544 damage! And yes, the Hexer can reach the HP cap, although it's much easier with a Troubadour.
: Perhaps a lullaby then? Rock-a-bye Aliara, on the treetop...
: Make him stop.
: SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP!
: Note to self, don't piss off the girl if you value your life.
Even though I just killed a boss way earlier than I was supposed to, you may be wondering if 2544 is a lot of damage. Since in any other EO game, it would be a pathetic amount of damage. Why yes, it would. The thing is, the HP values of bosses and enemies are at an all time low in this game. Here's a comparison of the HP values in EO1 and EO2. In the first game, the final boss had 18000 HP, and the final bosses of the other games had HP values comparable to that. In this game? The final boss has 8000 HP. Oh and the boss before it has 4500. This stratum's boss has only 2100. Yes that's right, with enough HP missing, Aliara could theoretically waltz into a boss fight and win the fight in 1 to 2 turns. You do have the downside of carting a low HP party member around, but that's the only downside to the skill. When you can end FOE encounters and Boss fights so fast, that can be easily overlooked. Oh and if the Hexer dies, you can just revive them with a Nectar, and they can go right back to nuking their target for a lot of damage.
Oh boy, can't wait to see how much exp our party's getting from that! I mean, I just killed a boss you were supposed to tackle at levels 50-60 at levels 15-19.
Yeah, Salamox is considered a post game boss, and the post game bosses in the first two games don't give out any exp. This was changed starting from EO3. At least we got the drop. We'll be back later to kill it for real.
Revenge is pretty much the best damage skill in the game. The only other skill that can compete with that is the Ronin's Midareba. In fact, this skill is so broken, I refuse to use it for this LP. It probably wouldn't be entertaining for anyone if I had Aliara press the I win button for everything in the game. For the main game anyway. Postgame bosses do have more HP and I will abuse Revenge heavily there. But when voting and all that, do not even take Revenge into consideration. I will not use it. It's ridiculously overpowered and catapults the Hexer to being the most broken class in the entire series. The skill does show up in 3, but it got nerfed hard. The damage multiplier got lowered back down to EO1 levels, and the user has to be fully bound in order to use it. Also the class that gets the skill is questionably designed. It does show up in Untold, and could deal around 9000 damage with enough setup, but it's much more risky to pull off there. Despite that, Revenge got a big nerf in the remake of 2. Atlus did not want a repeat of god tier Hexer.
But here's the best part. Aliara still has some tricks left that break other aspects of the game. Revenge just happens to be her most broken skill. I'll talk about those when we see them in action, but yeah, this is the main reason why Hexers are considered to be so broken.
: Jesus Christ, Aliara.
: Remind me to never make her angry.
: Oh! We've successfully slain the Salamox! I should get to work on more songs to help us all!
: I don't even know how to respond to that. Anyways, we came here to search for the Fire Plume, not kill Salamox. Now where is that thing?
This must be the Fire Plume you seek!
It should be noted that the Firekings despawn once you kill Salamox.
Searching this spot again nets you this message. On a normal playthrough, you would actually get cornered by Salamox, and you wouldn't be able to exit the nest the same way once you found the Fire Plume. You could get out with a Warp Wire, but if you don't have one, don't worry, you're not completely screwed.
: Hey, where does this lead?
Atlus gave you a one way passage to get out of the nest in case you forgot the Warp Wire. Or if you just want to explore the floor a bit more.
Looking around, the small, open area seems to be completely barren, even of shrubbery... Yet even here, something seems familiar near the tree growing in the clearing's center. An unmoving arm... Splayed legs... in the Labyrinth's context, it makes a grim scene. You take his pulse and confirm that he is gone from this world. His armor marks him as a guard.
: Hmm, what could have caused this?
: I believe I may have an idea. You may want to look up.
Glancing up at the tree, you suddenly notice an unmistakeable set of claw marks... By the time you realize something is here and stand to face it, it is too late! There is a thud from behind you as a giant monster leaps from the tree! The monster has honed its claws and teeth on the tree... You have no choice but to fight!
: I got this.
After defeating the monster, you check the fallen guard's bag and find his map. You can trust his map and continue exploring, or retrace the guard's steps.
We get another map piece here. There's actually a lot more to this floor than the 7th floor.
The last spot. Once you find all the spots for the quest, we get this message.
This should be sufficient data. Report back to the bar at your earliest convenience.
A note informs you that the Grand Duchy has temporarliy closed the way ahead. It seems there is a task yet to be completed for the Grand Duchy before you may proceed...
: Are you serious?
: Even I'm starting to get fed up with these.
Yeah, you can't go to the next floor until you complete the Salamox mission. It's annoying since I can't get new dialogue or open up any new quests. It's even more annoying since the stairs are right next to the one way passage.
: Oi there, welcome back. Yeh lot did another bang-up job! Haw! Excellent work as usual. Here's yer reward!
Time to finally turn in this quest.
: Welcome back! So what was all that about? Something about withered trees...? It does sound pretty strange that they'd all wither that way. But it's no big deal, is it? It's not like everything'll rot away... will it? Hmmmmm. Truth to tell, I've never once understood what that man goes on about. Oh well... The quest's done, so here's yer reward. Come back anytime!
The Volt Jar is always given for completing the quest, but we get an extra 2000 en for finding all 5 spots. Finding only 4 spots gives you 500 en.
Fantastic game balance there Atlus. Fantastic game balance.
: Simply amazing work. I've half a mind to ask you to train our own guard corps!
: Well they could use some training.
: I assume you were able to avoid contact with the Salamox? There's no shame in fleeing from it.
: Actually, I killed it.
: Very funny. Take your time, build your strength, and challenge it when you have more experience. It's more than enough for our purposes that you were able to bring back the plume! As a reward for your excellent service to the Grand Duchy, I present you with this.
: A 10th of what we could get from poisoning Chimaera.
For the record, there's no alternate dialogue if you managed to kill Salamox. Atlus really doesn't expect you to be able to do that this early in the game.
The Flame Bone does sell for a decent amount of cash.
Yeah, this is from the normal drop. Atlus really doesn't expect you to kill Salamox this early.
: Oof. Good work everyone.
: So, now what?
: I dunno. Maybe another team shuffle's in order.
I'll hold the vote for the party setup later. For now, I'll just let you take in what just happened.