Part 42: The Power of MusicThe Power of Music
We're gonna be finishing up some quests first before exploring the Labyrinth.
Also reskilled Bellamy so we could finish up that one quest.
: Hey Cass. What's this one about?
: Ah, I thought yeh'd ask about that one. It's a request from another guild. Yeh're in the same profession, so yeh're rivals in a way, but yeh have to put that aside now.
: Oh, so this is a competition, then?
: Hey, think about it. Everyone's hunting down that floating castle, but the guild that gets there first is gonna get all the glory!
: Ah, it makes perfect sense! We must be the first ones to reach it!
: Anyway, the lot of them were ambushed as soon as they set foot on a certain floor. Most of them escaped with their hides, but their alchemist weren't so lucky... So they're asking if they can borrow yer alchemist. Don't let yer fellow explorers down!
: Hey Bellamy! We need you.
: Oh, is it time for me to join in on the explorations?
: Sort of. Actually, another guild needs you.
: Yeah, that one doesn't look half bad. I'm sure the other guild will be pleased. All right, follow me to where the other guild is waiting. The rest of yeh, stay here.
Cass leaves and comes back.
: All right, I delivered yer alchemist safe and sound. Their mission starts soon. We'll just sit here and wait for yer friend to come back, shall we? Let's hear a few war stories, eh? I know yeh must have some good ones! Drink up, friends! Haw haw haw!
: Hmm... Oh here's one...
Fade to black.
: Well that was easy.
: Ahhh, welcome back! Sounds like yeh really showed your mettle. The power of Firefly, eh? I heard good things from the leader of that other guild. He said... We appreciated your help. Let's put our rivalries aside and just enjoy exploring. Funny, that... it almost seems like a challenge! Haw! Here's yer reward. Take care not to lose against that lot!
Because Bellamy knows the Flame skill, we got the extra reward of 600en. If he only knew Fire, we would only get 300. Let's turn in that other quest.
: Welcome back! How'd it go? That innkeeper lass is scarier than a forest wolf, eh? Her husband must be a brave one to deal with a woman like her... And don't tell her I said that! Let's see now... Ugh! She feeds this rubbish to her guests...?
: I'm just as baffled as you.
: Some things man was not meant to know, eh? Well, much as I don't want to touch that foul stuff, I s'pose I should go deliver it... Here's yer reward. I'm counting on all of yeh!
Metapons are a bit of a situational, but useful item. They dispel all buffs on an enemy. While buffs are pretty powerful in the EO series, not too many enemies can buff themselves at this point. Still, they're can com in handy.
: Hey, I saw the reports. You're not coming with us, boss?
: Oh no. I need a break after all that. Oh by the way Ken, you're the leader now. Good luck! And try not to die!
: Uh, what!?
: Wow. Thrown under the bu- wait, HE'S COMING WITH US!?
: Oh joyous day! I must have proved myself at last with my songs!
: No wonder he was so eager to get out of here.
: I am going to kill Fedot!
So this is gonna be our team until we reach the boss. Let's take a closer look at them.
Ken now has 3 points in Midareba. Ken slashes at an enemy twice for 70% damage with each slash. Not much damage yet, but it'll be the most powerful damage skill in the game eventually.
Orochi is a single target Fire/Slash attack that deals 120% damage at level 1. I took this because our team is heavily lacking in elemental damage.
I just put another point into VIT Up for Ling. The reason for that is because I want to get En Garde, which unlocks when he has 10 points of VIT Up.
Maverick's going for Salve 2, so he has 6 points in Healer. Cure 2's gonna be the one leveled up from now on.
Aliara took a rest and has been reskilled. She no longer has Revenge. I maxed out Poison and Torpor, which should help if we get into a bad situation with any random encounters. She has 2 points in TP Up which should let her cast her curses more often, but mainly because I'm going for this skill.
Hoo boy. This is much more broken than the game makes it sound. It requires a huge skill point investment, but for a good reason. It's one of the most powerful debuffs in the game. Maxing out Curses is straightforward, but Scavenge needs a huge skill point investment.
Unlike the Medic and Alchemist who can level up their versions right off the bat, the Hexer needs to invest in some stats to unlock hers for some reason. TP is a great stat to level up, but TEC doesn't really do much for a Hexer. Unlike the other games, TEC isn't used to determine the chances of a status effect landing. All it does for a Hexer is determining how accurate Revenge is. Supposedly. But I've never seen Revenge miss, and it worked on Salamox just fine.
Gilbert's skill points got shuffled around a lot. He doesn't have any points in Stamina anymore, that's not gonna do much for us at the moment. He only has 2 points in Bravery, which is only an 8% boost to the whole party's damage output. He has 7 points in Songs which unlocked several handy skills.
Blaze, Frost, and Shock act like the elemental oils. Leveling these up doesn't boost our party members' damage outputs. All leveling them up does is decrease the TP cost and increase the speed modifier. Which is something you really want to do since all of these skills start off costing 20 TP. Gilbert only has 64 TP. I need him to do a lot of singing, especially since these songs are our main form of elemental damage. So I pump a lot of points into these skills. These buffs cannot stack and will overwrite each other.
He also took these two skills. Erasure is a single target song that dispels enemy buffs. It's a weaker Metapon. It dispels more buffs depending on its level. Nihilo is an AOE version, but it costs more and is slower.
Troubadours are very handy party members. Their main role is to buff the party, but aside from their Force Skill, Crusade, all of their songs last until the end of the battle, the buff gets overwritten, or if the buffed member dies. Because of this they don't need to do much else once their buffs are thrown out there. But enough about the party, let's get to exploring.
: Oh my, the dreadful thorns are back!
: Alright guys, you know the... Oh that's right, you weren't around for that. Just put these on and those thorns aren't a problem!
Skills: Taillash, Corrode
-Common: Ruby Shard - 1 needeed for Stain Gage.
--Scrap of Noziuchi hide. Contains crimson metals.
-Conditional: Ruby Scale - Kill with Volt. 1 needed for Horn Plate. 2 needed for Gara Rod (Staff.) 5 needed for Snake Whip (Whip.) 15 needed for Self Bow (Bow.)
--Crimson metal scales that turn red in heat.
Description: When it shakes its long tail, the sound causes panic and headaches in humans who hear it.
Weakness: Ice (150%)
Garauchi are support monsters. Meaning they're not too deadly or annoying alone, but depending on the encounter they can cause things to go horribly wrong for you. Taillash attempts to bind a party member's head, which prevents your Alchemists or Medics from doing anything. Corrode decreases your whole party's defense. Corrode is really bad when they get paired up with strong physical attackers.
: Aw come on! I just bought new armor for everyone!
: Hey, we're swimming in cash. We can just buy some more.
: Yeah, but still!
: Worry not! For I shall-
: Okay, we need to get one of those, and train it to shut this guy up.
I'm gonna go for the conditional drop, so I wait for Gilbert's head to get unsealed.
: This song is for you, Ken!
: I'm soooo honored. Maverick, gimme those earplugs!
: Hands off! These are mine!
: Go and shock them with your blade! Your electrifying blaaaaaade!
: Alright, alright! Just be quiet for a second!
: Whoa. Uh, on second thought, keep singing?
: As you wish, leader!
: Ken. You are an imbecile.
And managed to snag the conditional drop!
: Whoa! Score!
Nectar IIs are much stronger versions of Nectars. They revive your character with around 100 HP. If you're using a Revenge Hexer, you don't want to be using this on them. Just use Nectars instead so they revive with as little HP as possible.
It seems ancient... Vines are choking the thick trunk and a scarlet veil is drawn over it. As you follow the path of the twisting vines, you spy a large, violet fruit. The fruit seems ripe... If you step forward, you might be able to reach it. It's awfully tempting... So much so that you wonder if you should leave it alone.
: Maybe it's not a good idea to eat this.
: You're the leader. Are you really scared of eating a fruit?
: I uh, okay. Here goes.
Ken, at the front of the party, walks forward and reaches for the fruit. It's large and plump in Ken's hand, and seems to be very juicy. Ken cleans the fruit with a bit of cloth and bites into its soft skin! The taste... it's incredibly bitter! Rather than spit it out, Ken forces the bitter fruit down. Judging by the reaction, you make a mental not not to try the fruit for yourself.
: I... don't think I'll have any of that. The flora in this Labyrinth don't seem to like me anyway.
: Whoa, back off Ling! No need to do the Heimlich maneuver on him! He's gonna be fine. We use that fruit to make medicine at the hospital.
But you hadn't realized that it's commonly used in medicine! Ken regains health!
: Son of a...
: Uh, sorry guys. That was the only one. I guess it is okay to eat some things in here. Not including all the stuff the boss cooks for us.
For best results, put someone that really needs to restore HP or TP at the front of the party.
Another Razeking pops up when you pass by this area.
: Aw crap. Run!
: Nice! New armor to replace my old one!
The Wing Plate is a huge defense upgrade for Ken.
: That's nice, but the Razeking is still chasing us!
: We must fly away at once!
: I didn't say fly into death's embrace!
: I-it's okay guys. We've still got a Warp Wire!
I take this time to restock and rest up. Oh and I did have a reason for going back. Mainly because I forgot about this quest that unlocks right after completing the Labyrinth Lunch quest. By the way, if Chimaera's respawned, make sure to kill it before doing this quest.
: Doing that one, are yeh? It's another one from the inkeeper-- Haw! Don't make that face!
: Already? We just got done with that other one.
: Seems she's got an important guest, and she wants to keep him happy with some tasty fruit. Though after that Labyrinth Lunch, I'm not sure I'd eat any fruit she brought me... As always, yeh can get the details over at Flaus Inn.
: I've got a VIP staying here who wants to sample our meals between jaunts to the Labyrinth. He's simply mad about hunting! He wants the meal delivered to his camp on the 4th floor today. Trouble is... We're low on the Labyrinth Lunches, so I decided to send him some fruit instead. And I heard an explorer say he'd found the most delicious fruit in his travels. I don't know much about it, but he assured me it would make a great meal for my guest. I want you all to find the fruit and deliver it to the VIP on the 4th floor! He said the fruit should be around the southeast area of the 8th floor... I think. Oh, but he also said once you pick the fruit from the tree, it starts to spoil at once. You'll have to deliver it before it goes completely rotten! I know you won't let me down!
Well, this is better than the quests in the first game where you were told to go search for something, except the game never told you where they were. You're told to go look around in some area of a floor, but it can still take you some time to find it.
Another Razeking down here.
Now the fruit is down this path, but if we go this way first we'll be trapped. So I head to the door instead.
: You guys hear that?
: Yeah, wonder where it's coming from. Oh crap where did that turtle come from!?
Tortmails almost always spend their first turn in a guaranteed blindside increasing their defenses, which can make them a pain to take down. You can get around this with elemental attacks, or...
You can dispel its buffs.
: There's something going on. Something not quite right.
: There's something strange a-happening to you.
: Gilbert, I'm pretty sure what you're doing right now counts as animal cruelty. Like the illegal kind.
: It's okay Ling. It'll be over soon.
Incidentally, the Tortmail's drops are used to make Metapons. So if you unlocked those you could also use those to deal with them. Now that we shook off the Razeking, let's check out that other path.
It's smooth bark and odd branch structure would make it difficult to climb... But looking up, you can see a perfectly sized fruit daring you to pluck it. You weigh your options... Pluck the fruit, or walk away?
: Okay, so who's getting that?
: Didn't we talk about this already? You get it. And you better not survive this time.
: Uh, alright then.
As the leader of the party, Ken was chosen to climb the tree and pick the fruit. The fruit's skin is a shining yellow sheen, and it emits a pleasing aroma... You remember now about the quest you accepted at the bar. You agreed to fetch a type of fruit from the Labyrinth... The fruit in hand can only be the one the innkeeper requested!
: Hey, didn't we need this for that request? There was something else about it too...
But you have the nagging feeling there's something else relevant about this fruit... Oh yes... as soon as you pluck it from the branch, it will begin to spoil! You resolve to head for the 4th floor before the fruit spoils, angering the VIP.
: Oh right, we need to deliver it fast! Let's get go- KEN!?
A thud breaks your reverie... Ken fell from the tree and landed badly!
: Ughh... I'm okay. I think. I got the fruit.
The event doesn't show up if you don't take the quest, so you can't avoid the HP loss. Even though it's minor. To get the maximum reward, we need to head to a spot on the 4th floor as fast as we can. Which spot? Oh the game doesn't tell you. But the fastest way to get there is taking the Geomagnetic Field to the 2nd Stratum, and heading down to the 4th floor.
Oh right, this thing's in our way.
: I remember when we used to be scared of these.
: Hard to believe we got that far, huh?
: They shall be stopped cold by your claws and teeth!
: Grr... Still kind of though.
: Shush. Corpses don't speak.
: Courage is a must for everyone...
If you plan out your moves carefully, you can use sleep to give one of your attackers a huge damage boost.
You approach them, but they block your way with their weapons.
: Halt! If you have no business past this point, we must insist that you turn back.
: Wait! We need to deliver this fruit to a guard!
You show them the fruit you're holding and tell the guards about the request. After considering your words, the guard relents slightly.
: All right. I'll see that he gets it. Now be on your way. Wait... Maybe you should take half of it, as proof that you completed your duty.
: Uh, okay.
The guard pulls out his hunting knife and slices up the fruit in two equal pieces, giving you one.
: Thanks for helping us out!
You thank the guards for their hospitality and decide not to overstay your welcome.
And we're done with that quest.
: Ah, there yeh are! So... This is the fruit, is it? Must've been hard to find... It's a bit brown, but I don't see a problem with that! Great job. Here's the reward. Thanks!
Stonards increase a party member's defense. Could be handy. We get the full reward of 800en by delivering the fruit straight away.
Back in the Auburn Thicket, Gilbert gets a level up.
The skill point goes into Bravery. Which is an 11% damage buff for the whole party.
Even though most of the floor tiles have been stepped on, we don't get a notification about our map. Yeah, we're not actually done with the 8th floor yet. There's still a bit more to explore.
: Those are some pretty big lizards.
: Were these the Firekings the reports talked about?
: Yeah, but it looks like these move slower than the ones in Salamox's nest.
Unlike the Firekings in Salamox's nest, which took a step for every step you took. These Firekings only take a step for every 2 steps you take. It's really easy to get a preemptive attack on them because of this. But don't think about trying it until much later. They're still Red FOEs after all.
There are actually two in this area.
: Seriously? How do we keep getting caught off guard?
: Not the face! Get off of me! Shoo! Shoo!
Skills: Fangs, Claws
-Common: Steel Beak - 1 needed for Broba (Axe.)
--Sturdy, steel-like beak of a Gryphon.
-Rare: Pure Quill - 1 needed for Oval Aspis. 2 needed for Wing Plate. 4 needed for Jelly Helm.
--A Gryphon's glistening white crown feathers.
Description: A mythical beast with the head of an eagle and the body of a lion. It can summon strong winds.
Weakness: Stab (150%)
Gryphons are annoying. Fangs is a really strong physical attack, while Claws is a weak one, but it hits its target twice. What really makes them annoying is the fact that they have the highest AGI and LUC stats out of all the enemies in this stratum. Which is 42 for both of them. This means that they'll go first most of the time, and that your attacks will whiff a lot more often on these. A Gunner with the Snipe skill can take these down pretty fast.
There's a bit of a combo you can do with Crusade and a healing Force Skill.
: Guild Firefly, may you shine so brightly in the dark!
: Hold still for just a few seconds.
Heal up all the missing HP, and you now have a very tanky and very strong party for a few turns.
Enemies and FOEs are gonna have a hard time taking you down.
Something to watch out for when dealing with enemies that can bind you.
Even if your character fails to use their skill, their TP still gets used up.
Ken and Ling both get a level up.
Midareba now deals 75% damage per slash.
Ling levels up VIT some more.
Here's this floor's Take point.
And another level up. Now we can turn in that one quest that needed a Medic.
Maverick's working towards Salve 2, while Aliara's working towards Scavenge, and by extension Dampen.
There's some more Firekings patrolling the area.
I actually had to go through 2 playthroughs for this run for reasons I'll reveal later. I got some hidden treasure on the first run, but I didn't get it on this one. I'll grab those later.
This is where you would normally encounter Actaeons. I splattered them instantly last time, which is why they didn't get a proper introduction there, but here's the bio for that enemy.
Skills: Deathorn, Neigh
-Common: Steel Horn - 1 needed for Vine Bow (Bow), Horn Plate, and Charm Gas. 10 needed for Ice Musket (Gun.)
--Actaeon's giant horn, containing steel grains.
Description: These deer with intricately shaped horns deliver powerful blows to defend their mates.
Weakness: Fire (150%)
If you see these paired up with some Garauchis. Run. Neigh is a single target skill that has a chance to inflict Terror on a party member. But Deathorn is the skill to worry about here. It's a hard hitting single target physical attack, and if Corrode is on your party, well say goodbye to whoever it hits. I put Life Belts on everyone to specifically to avoid any instant gibbing scenarios.
: Hey, you know what guys? I'm getting kind of tired of this whole exploring thing. I mean there's a lot of scary stuff in the Labyrinth-
: I can do a lot worse than what that deer can do to you. So don't even think of running out on us.
: Okay, I'm out of here!
: Hey! Help me hold him still!
: Perhaps I can sing Ken a lullaby. That should calm his nerves!
: I think we'll be fine.
: Look. The scary deer is gone. You can relax now.
: Uh, sorry about that guys. Not sure what got into me.
Here's the Chop point for this floor.
: Uh, you guys might want to take a look at this.
Maverick eventually discovers a monster's young at the root of a tree, chirping and wheezing. A lump seems to be lodged in the down-covered chick's throat, which it is trying to dislodge. It may have swallowed something dangerous... If left alone, it will eventually die. It wouldn't be difficult to put a hand down its throat and help it spit out the mass... On the other hand, you are well aware that it is a monster's young you're dealing with. You know that no good may come of this... Regardless, you must make a choice.
: Hmm, what shall we do about this bird?
: Uh, help it!?
: But it's a monster. Why should we care about it?
: I know it's a monster. But it's still a baby! I'm not leaving it here to die!
You crouch beside the poor chick and help it cough up the lump stuck in its throat. The chick heaves several times before giving a violent upheaval as the mass comes loose! Finally at peace, the chick looks at you with beady eyes. One last chirp, and it is gone. You look at the lump caught in the chick's throat, and are surprised to find a gemstone. You take the gem as a reward for your benevolence and leave the area.
: Huh, it tried to swallow this thing? Sheesh, no wonder it was choking.
Here's one of the stairs for the floor. We're not done with floor 9 yet. There's still a lot we haven't explored yet.
Aha! Now we're down in another part of floor 8.
Now there's a branching path here, but don't go down this way unless you want to see your party made into mincemeat by a Razeking. As for me, I'm going down here because I have a score to settle with this thing.
I accidentally sidestepped into a corner where I couldn't escape, and it was responsible for a party wipe. But now it's payback time.
It spawns when you step on this tile.
: Oh crap! I didn't mean to go that way!
: And there's no way out. We're gonna have to fight this thing.
Skills: Crusher, Axe Roar
-Common: Horn Shard - 1 needed for Beheader (axe.)
--A cow's broken horn.
-Rare: Beast Hide - See Gigaboar bio.
Description: A legendary 4-eyed, 6-armed monster. Even veteran explorers may fall to its strength.
Crusher is a hard hitting single target physical move, while Axe Roar hits the whole row. If you're sufficiently prepared you can take it down, although you may have to revive your frontliners.
: Be valiant everyone! We shall make it through thiiiiiiiis!
: Are you even trying anymore?
: The constant singing is starting to wear at my delicate throat.
: So there is a way to shut you up.
: Bad luck falls upon you!
: Hmm, not the one I wanted, but I guess it'll have to do.
: You get nothing. Good day, sir!
: All are healed!
I know I said I wouldn't use Force Skills for the LP, but just give me this one. This Razeking caused me to lose a lot of progress and I want revenge. Incidentally, the Curse status effect is a lot more useful in Persona Q since the HP values of party members and enemies are much more comparable.
Not so tough now, are you?
: I SAID GOOD DAY, SIR!
Oh revenge is so sweet.
What do you mean I don't get the drop?
Anyways, down this path is the other Mine point on this floor.
: The cruelest cut...
: Huh, is that the first time someone got taken out?
: I do believe so.
: Must be those belts we all bought.
Life Belts are really good accessories, and have saved this party plenty of times.
: Oh I bet Fedot would love this.
The Shotgun is a weapon for Fedot, but we don't have him with us right now.
Oh great, enemies that all have AOEs. This is gonna suck.
: I... I did not need saving there.
Loyalty kicks in even if it would kill the beast, and the party member could survive the blow. Oh, and the best part? I'm out of Medica IIs and Nectars. So I try to run away. Key word: try.
: Uh, RUN!
: I can't find a way out!
: Keep loo-
: The sweet embrace of death. At last...
CRAP CRAP CRAP!
: Any luck, Gilbert!?
: I'm afraid not!
: I knew I shouldn't have skipped out on the Nectars...
Great, I took out the FOE, and I'm about to die to a bunch of regular enemies.
: No! I shall not fall!
: They all need me!
: Help is coming, friends!
Holy shit that was a close one. I thought I would've had to do another restart there.
: How is your journey going? You've been in the second Stratum for a while...
: Ugh. It was going fine. Then we ran out of supplies and things went horribly wrong. At least we got up to the 9th floor.
: Oh, you're up to the 9th floor? I must say, I'm impressed. Always be on your guard, though. The Labyrinth is filled with danger. Don't neglect your health.
: Hey Gilbert?
: Oh, hi everyone! Welcome! How can I help you today?
: Nothing much, just the usual.
: Oh, my dad wanted me to tell you something... Hee hee... He said that he feels more energetic when he knows he's making things for you! He's always asking my opinion, to make sure he makes it perfect, just for you! You're always in my prayers. Don't overdo it, and good luck in the Labyrinth!
We unlocked a bunch of new stuff. I make sure to upgrade everyone's equipment so that doesn't happen again.
: Ah, but you know so much more about the Labyrinth than myself. I doubt I could tell you much. All I can suggest is not to overstrain yourselves in trying to find the floating castle. That's all for now. Good luck, explorers.
: You're staying at the Flaus inn, aren't you? Have you met the owner's daughter?
: I don't think we did.
: She's a pretty one... weak, though. If you should meet her, be kind to her. That's all the advice I have for you. Never underestimate the Labyrinth.
: What did that have to do with the Labyrinth?
: I think she just says that every time she's done talking.
: Uh, which one?
: The one I was talking about the other day? Nasty thing, breathes fire? Ring any bells? I know yeh've seen it! Yeh think its tail grows back after it's cut, like a regular lizard? I made a bet with one of the patrons, yeh see... If it does, I win! C'mon, yeh can tell me... The tail grew back, right? Spill it! Haw haw haw!
: I dunno, you'll have to ask Fedot about that. He's the one that cooked it for us.
: Wait, we had Salamox for dinner last night!? Man, that was good. Could you get us some more?
: If we find any more.
: Huh, there's a lot of requests posted here. How about we take a break before doing any of these?
: Sounds good to me.