Part 43: Guild EsbatGuild Esbat
: Nah, we're about to go back in there.
: You sure get a kick out of exploring. That kind of life isn't for me, but... Is it really even for you? Every time I see you, you're all scratched and bruised up!
: No big deal. It could be worse.
: That's fine for men, but I don't know if that's any way for a lady to behave! Someone with all those scars would have a hard time finding a husband!
: Uh, I think I'm too young to worry about that.
Let's go and do some quests.
: She has another one?
: Ohhh... right, that quest. Haw! It must be tough to be so famous, eh? It's another one from that old bat of an innkeeper. They're looking to remodel the Flaus Inn, and they need some building materials. Yeh can hear the rest of the story at the Inn. G'luck!
Time to complete this quest.
: Ah, that one, eh? Yeh know Dr. Stiles at the hospital, right? It's from him. He asked for yeh special, so I s'pose it's good that yeh're taking this one. There was a shipwreck near the city, and the survivors were all sent to Lagaard Hospital. They called in every able body to deal with it, but they're still short-staffed on medics. Lots of medics are volunteering, but the more the better, right? I'm counting on yeh!
The hospital needs powerful medics to deal with the influx of patients. The medic currently in your party would be perfect for their needs! You resolve to report to the bar when you have a spare moment.
When you have the right party member at a high enough level, the game lets you know.
: Aw crap! I need to get back there! I spent too much time exploring!
: Uh, go right ahead.
: So that's the medic yeh're volunteering for the job, eh? Yeh always seem to have these top-hole folks on yer team, don't yeh... Well, come with me. The rest of you know the drill: stay here and watch the shop!
Cass leaves and comes back.
: Ahh, sorry about the wait. I walked yer medic over to the hospital. The doc was happy to see the medic, but I hope yer one will be all right...
: I think he works there, so he should be fine.
: That doc... Once yeh get him started on health or medicine, there's no stopping him. You drink too much, he says, or You should think about exercising more. What a pill. Speaking of which, while we're waiting, how about a shot or two? Drinks are on me!
: Oh! I'll have some of that wine from that shelf over there!
: Geh? Come on now, be reasonable! Don't order the high-end stuff, or the hard-to-make ones... I'm treating yeh here! Yeh gotta be respectful of my feelings! Haw haw haw!
Fade to black.
: Ah, yeh're back! That were quick. Seems like yeh did all right for yerself out there! Good work! Here's yer reward, and I'll be counting on yer help again!
We get the full reward of 400en for having Maverick at level 20. Levels 12 to 19 would only net us 200en. Now the main reward we got, the Amrita, is a very good item. It recovers 50 TP for a party member. Unfortunately, this is one of the few we can actually get for a while. We can't unlock Amritas until we reach the 15th floor. Until then, we have to rely on the stuff we get from Take points to recover any TP. Amritas were a lot weaker in the first game, only recovering 15 TP, but you could buy them at the start the game, and the TP costs of skills were a lot lower. Ever since then, Atlus has nerfed TP recovery with each game.
This quest can be annoying if you don't know how to cheese it.
: Northern Academy... Sounds familiar.
: Ahh, yeh're here. This request was addressed to yeh from the start. Who's it from? Oh, right... The doctor at the hospital. He said something about not being able to make it, so he'll send someone else in his place. Oh, right... he left a note. It asks yeh to go to central Lagaard at the time specified here. The note reads, Meet at 8 PM in the central city.
This one unlocks if we completed the Fleehog quest earlier.
: Ahhh, that one, eh? It's from that odd duck of a nobleman... Remember him? Lord Gascoyne, him who was so keen on that animal hide. His wound's all closed up, but as soon as he went back to the Labyrinth, he got a real scare. Looks like the monsters from the higher floors are heading below to the lower ones. He 'spects if they're heading downward, eventually they might even reach the town. He's asked the Grand Duchy for help, but yeh know the guard corps... He needs yeh lot! So yer job is to stop those monsters from getting any closer to good ol' Lagaard. Right now, they're s'posed to be around the 10th floor. Go show them what's what!
If you're thinking this quest was given to us too early, it's not. You'll find out why in a bit.
: We'll, uh, keep an eye out for them.
: I think we could get some Red Roots and Hardwoods from the 7th floor too. Come on, I'll show you the way.
You gulp, remembering the quest you accepted at the bar. Those monsters are heading for the Labyrinth entrance, and you must stop them.
: How long ago did he post that request?
The client believed they were still on a higher floor, but they must be on their way down! Their descent through the Labyrinth will lead them inexorably to Lagaard! There isn't a moment to waste. Ready your weapons and defeat them at once!
: Must've been a while if they're on this floor now! Look at the map!
Our objective is to take out those three FOEs. But if they reach the stairs, we fail the quest, and have to go back to the bar to get another try.
: What do we do?
: Uh, go after those two down there!
: Oh great, it's another one of these gargoyles. And why are we in the front!?
Whoops, forgot to switch my party back after that.
: Sorry about that. So you know how to kill these things?
: Yeah, you just need to zap them with something. Wait, crap. We don't have Fedot with us! What are we gonna do!?
: Fine. Just get it over with.
: The katana that radiates so brightly, shall be their demiiiiise.
Right, so our targets.
Item Drops: N/A
Description: Normally dwelling in the higher reaches of the labyrinth, it has lately been targeting the town
Weakness: Volt (150%)
Resistance: Physical (75%), Fire (0%), Ice (0%). Immune to Instant Death and Poison.
They're basically stronger versions of the Mystues. Because these monsters are gargoyle-type enemies, they're the only FOEs in the game that are immune to instant death. So you can't use Climax on them. But these are the only exception to that rule, and you don't need Climax for these fights anyway. They're easy to take down.
: May you never wake.
Honestly, there's not much to these things. Just kill and move on.
: Hold on, let me fix up your wounds while I find that cure.
Of course there's the petrification to watch out for. Something else to note is that you can't battle more than one Spectre at a time. You can just hole up near the chokepoint at the staircase, and none of them will be able to get past you.
: Well that's one down.
: Hmm, might it be in our best interests to hold our ground near the stairs? That other FOE could sneak by while we're battling this one.
: Huh, good point. Uh, fall back! Or however that goes.
: Sheesh, you guys are wearing me down. I don't have an infinite supply of these!
The last one went down even faster.
In the absence of the intruders, a welcome silence can be felt throughout the floor.
: Is that all of them?
: I don't see any more of them.
Through your quick work, you have prevented the encroaching threat from reaching Lagaard! You may report back to the bar at any time.
: Aha! The heroes return! All too easy for the Firefly Guild, was it?
: They were chumps.
: That good-for-nothing guard corps is worse than useless... I ask yeh, why does the Grand Duchy even keep them around if they can't protect the city?
: Perhaps it's because having little protection is better than having none at all?
: Still, thanks to yeh, our town is safe. And the Grand Duchy trusts me even more! Haw! Well, here's yer reward! Come by and have a drink sometime, why don't yeh?
The Beast Bell increases the encounter rate. Could be useful if you want to grind, except killing bosses would be much faster for that.
: Well, now what? It's not 8 yet. What should we do in the meantime?
: Hey, there's the rest of the guild over there. Why don't we go talk with them? They might want to hear what's happened to us.
Something you can do to pass the time if you need to, is to go to the Labyrinth entrance on the 1st floor and just walk around for a while since there aren't any encounters there.
: And yeah, Gilbert's actually been pretty helpful.
: Huh, really now? That's good to hear.
: But he really could use some singing lessons. Oh, it's 8 now, we need to go.
Here's another Trauma Center cameo. Her name is never stated in game, but this is Angie, in her first game outfit.
: I'm one of his assistants. He asked me to help you out on this quest. You are the ones who documented Grey Bark Disease, aren't you?
: Uh, yeah. That's us. Wait, what's Grey Bark Disease again?
: Oh, sorry... It's the name of the malady affecting the trees withering in the Labyrinth. We reported your findings to the Northern Academy. Unfortunately, they refused to accept our research, even with plenty of documentation.
: But why?
: They told us, further study is needed... but if we wait, the disease will spread! We'll have to go into the Labyrinth and pinpoint the reasons for this phenomenon. If possible, we need to take a sample to convince those hard-headed doctors. We're headed to the south of the 9th floor. It's spreading there... We might find a clue. I'll be tagging along, so lead the way into the Labyrinth!
South of the 9th floor. Hmm, can any of you figure out which
: Gilbert, we needed to go through the pole, not the field!
: Oh, my mistake. Ah, a little more exercise for all of us can't be bad, right?
Gilbert got a level up on the way up, he put that point into Bravery, which is now a 14% damage boost.
Here's a shortcut I missed the first time we went through here.
Ken and Ling level up. Ken now has 5 points in Midareba which causes it to deal 85% damage per slash, and Ling just puts another point into VIT Up.
: I think Ling found something. Oh wow, how did we miss this?
Another shortcut I missed. But before I can open them, I get into a battle.
Nothing interesting happened. Other than two level ups.
Maverick is working his way towards Salve 2, while Aliara gets another point of TP Up.
The Jelly Helm is a nice increase in defense and TP, but the Life Belts that everyone has is much better for defense at the moment.
: Whoa, nice! Might be more than we need even.
We won't be needing these for a while, unless we run into an emergency.
And this is the spot we need to go to.
: Hey, did you guys feel that?
: Yeah. What was that?
It appears the doctor's assistant sensed no danger... She seems to have had a nasty collision with the retreating Gilbert. You apologize to her, while keeping an eye on your surroundings.
: Oh! My apologies, Angie.
: I don't feel it anymore. It might be safe to go in.
You stand there for some time, but all that you hear now is the soft falling of leaves.
: This disease is spreading fast. These trees weren't like this the last time we were here.
: What's this strange liquid...? And this scratch, too...
You notice she is investigating the very place where you felt the strange presence... You step closer to her, seeing that she's using tools from her bag to scrape off the liquid. Several other trees are coated with the liquid, and you can see a pair of scratches on them.
: Yo Maverick, any idea what caused these?
: No clue. You might have a better chance at asking Fedot, but I don't think he'll know anything either.
The markings and the liquid must be related to the disease... But what was that presence?
: Well, don't just stand there! I have the sample we came for. Let's hurry back home.
The assistant stores some of the liquid in her bag and prepares to return to Lagaard.
And here comes the annoying part of the quest.
: I have medical training, you know. If anyone falls on the way home, I know what to do! As a doctor's assistant, I'll do whatever's necessary to tend to any wounds you receive.
: I don't like where this is going. Meaning?
: But that'll probably mean we'll have to get another sample, so be careful on the way back. Oh, and uh... I forgot my Warp Wire... Sorry to ask, but please don't use yours, or I'll be stranded out here all alone. Let's do our best and head back to Lagaard!
: No problem! We'll give you... Uh.
: Crap, we don't have a spare. Guess we'll have to walk back.
You nod in agreement and leave the area.
So this is why this quest is annoying. It turns into an escort mission halfway through, where your party members are the escortees and a single death means we have to walk all the way back to that spot. Oh and you fail the quest instantly if you use the Warp Wire, since that means leaving Angie alone in the middle of the woods with all those monsters. But you can go back to the bar for another try, so don't worry about that. Oh and for the record, no, you cannot give her a Warp Wire if you have a spare. Now a sane person would probably just walk back at this point. I've shown you that I'm anything but.
: So, now what?
: Hmm, if a we can't use Warp Wires... Let us go. I have several songs to keep our spirits up!
Oh look, it's the stairs.
: Sweet, let's- what is it Ling?
: It seems you've missed a path.
: Hey! Healing's my job!
: I apologize, but he was looking ill. Be quicker with your healing.
And right here is the big downside with Medics. They're very slow healers. This is a huge advantage that Frederik has over him. In order to get the most out of a Medic's healing you have to kind of guess which party member is gonna be attacked, because they can't do reactive healing. If you're wrong, your Medic has wasted TP, and one of your party members is about to die or is already dead. Gilbert is our best healer right now because he's the fastest party member. Where all Maverick can do is reliably heal outside of battle and stop our party from taking damage from damage tiles.
: Now what's this?
: Don't bother trying to open it. None of us figured out how.
And now the map is complete. For now.
We still have a lot more of the 8th floor to go.
: Looks like there's thorns here too. Here, put these on.
: I don't think we'll need-
: Put them on.
Beyond the low grass is a small field with patches of wild strawberries growing in places. You give thanks for the blessing and enter the field with your comrades to enjoy the snack.
: Oh man, I'm hungry. Let's chow down!
: Mmm! Yummy!
: This is nice, but what about monsters?
: I don't see any around, so enjoy yourself and relax! Mm, delicious.
You wade into the field and feast on the strawberries. A worry flits across your mind that a monster may ambush you, but it proves to be unfounded. You enjoy your fill of ripe strawberries before returning to your exploration. The sweet forest strawberries have calmed your nerves! Ken, who gorged the most, seems to have entered a transcendent state!
A random party member recovers 30 TP from this event. There was a class specific shortcut I skipped past, but let's go back to it.
: What's that!?
: Oh my, it seems to be wounded!
: Step aside! All of you!
You're surprised to find a large beast! It's injured and breathing heavily... You are taken aback, but the medic in your party moves into action at once!
: Hmm. Gonna need to apply this here... Hey, you guys. Help me wrap this around the leg. Alright, you should be alright now!
Your medic skillfully examines the beast and asks for your help in treating the wounds. Thanks to the medic's diagnosis and treatment, the beast recovers and leaves the area. Once it's gone, you notice that its hulking body has trampled a path for you to use. You can use this path to cross to the other side of the forest wall!
And behind that passageway, damage tile palooza!
: Aren't you glad I told you to put those on?
Yes, that whole area is covered in damage tiles. Thankfully you don't need to go here for the mapping quest, but stepping on all those tiles will give you a huge buffer for it.
The Head Guard increases head bind resistance, which can be really nice for a Medic since their skills all use the head. Except at this point in the game, nothing can inflict head bind! So it's useless right now.
Here's another Fireking in the area. Now I think this thing moves counterclockwise.
: How do you even make that kind of mistake!?
: It's kind of hard to see which way they're facing sometimes, okay?
: Sounds like you need to see a doctor. Fortunately, I know a lot-
: AAAHHHH!! GET AWAY GET AWAY GET AWAY!
: Man, I have no idea what got into me.
: Look. The scary lizard is gone. You can relax now.
: Shut up.
When there's an FOE in the area, make sure you know it's movement pattern before possibly getting in its way.
And we're done with the quest now. The event description is the exact same as the floor completion description from the 7th floor.
: Ugh, what stinks?
You follow the odor by searching through the grass, where you find a monster's corpse. It seems to have died leaning against the tree roots, with its legs splayed out. Could another explorer have slain it? Perhaps you could scavenge some raw materials... But you'd have to ignore the stench to search the corpse... You may simply want to leave.
: Okay, now how did the boss do this kind of thing?
Blinking back tears against the awful stench, you take a careful look at the corpse.
: Ken, you might want to look up!
But it seems you weren't the only one attracted by the smell...!
Like hell I'm fighting this normally.
: Okay, here's how this is gonna go. I poison all of you, then you all drop dead. Got it?
You have defeated the carrion-eater, but you cannot stand the stench for another second! Grab whatever you can and leave the area before you lose the contents of your stomach!
Our reward for winning that fight.
: Ah, that makes two now. We just need one more for that request.
: Are we ever going back?
: Oh! Right, uh...
: Fear not Ken, just keep exploring. Trust me.
: Ah! Everyone, to me!
Another secret area, this time containing a Soma.
And now we're done with the 8th floor.
: Are we ever getting to the 10th floor?
: The floors seem to be interconnected. Who knows, we might have to make another trip back down to the 8th floor before reaching the 10th floor.
: Ugh. Yeah, it sucks.
: How many of these things are there? RUN!
: I think we can lose it here!
Oh man, another Amrita. That's lucky for us. Hmm, speaking of luck, what's the party's total luck at this point?
Hmm, 94. That's not gonna be enough.
: Phew, now we can get back here a lot easier.
: Another one? And it's night now.
: You know, we might want to head back soon. I mean we do have a handy shortcut nearby.
: Maybe, but I wanna see if the stairs to the 10th floor are nearby.
: As long as we get back, eventually.
: Not the time!
: You did kill the other two monsters, so don't be in a bad mood!
: Eh, thanks.
This event is special when you come here at night. Nothing much happens here in the day.
: Yo! How's it going?
: Lagaard's guard corps ladies and gentlemen.
: Cass would get a kick out of this.
Shockingly, the guard has fallen asleep on the job in the middle of the Labyrinth! You reach toward the guard to give him a hard shake, when you see something that stops you. There's a heavy-looking money pouch fastened to the guard's waist...
: And he leaves his money out in the open like that?
: Maybe you should take it to teach him a lesson.
It's a tempting situation... The guard's fast asleep, and doesn't realize you're here. You stand frozen between the two choices: filch the guard's money pouch, or wake him up?
: Let's not. Besides, we have a lot of it on us. YO! WAKE UP!
You couldn't live with yourself if you stole from one of the Grand Duchy's guard corps!
: Are you kidding me?
: Screw this, let's keep going.
You give up on the idea of waking the guard, and take your leave from the room.
If you want, you can steal the money if you check this spot again. If you decide to steal from the guard, you'll get 2000en. There are no consequences for doing this, other than a guilty conscience and some amusing dialogue. It only happens at night. At day the guard is awake and nothing really happens here.
Here's the last item point for the floor, the mining point.
And we are now done with the 9th floor. For real this time. We'll come back here later once we can explore more of it.
: I get the feeling we're missing a huge part of the floor here.
: Well there's nothing much we can do about that.
Right off the bat, here's another inaccessible shortcut.
: Aw, it's a squirrel.
: Hmm, this reminds me of something, but I don't know what.
: Squirrels... squirrels...
: It's adorable! I must pet it!
: Squirrels... Wait, don't!
: Hmm, why not? Wait, what are you doing!? Stop!
: Oh my! What did it take!?
: It better not have-GAH, it did! It took our Warp Wire!
: Sic em, Ling!
: Don't bother, it's long gone now. Great, thanks a lot Gilbert. That was our only Warp Wire! We're stranded here!
: Weren't we going to walk back anyway?
: That's not the point!
: Ken, you must learn to relax. A loss of a Warp Wire is nothing to worry about.
: Are you crazy!? That's our lifeline! Whatever, let's just go.
Thought that was a one time thing? Nope, Atlus put another squirrel event here, which will punish you if you didn't learn your lesson the first time for some reason. Now, if you did fall for the trick again, if you're not on a password game, I'm sorry to say that you're completely screwed and you'll have to walk all the way back to the Geomagnetic Field. If you are on a password game, don't worry. Just keep going.
Ah, a new monster.
-Common: Red Core - 1 needed for Nodachi (Katana.) and Jelly Helm. 3 needed for Shard Mace (Staff.)
--A cubic nucleus that gives off warmth.
-Conditional: Ice Fiber - Kill with Ice. 1 needed for Snow Axe.
--A frozen, hardened cubic nucleus.
Description: Presumably related in some way to the Cube Gel, though with very different properties.
Weakness: Volt (200%), Ice (200%)
Resistance: Physical (25%), Fire (0%)
Cube Gels with a twist. They're now immune to fire. Other than that they're pretty much the same.
Unfortunately, my party isn't doing too well at this point, so I opted to run.
Here's the first item point of the floor, the Take point.
This guard only shows up on a password game.
He notices you and address you in a vulgar manner not usually seen in the guard corps.
: You there! Got a wire? What wire? Warp Wire, of course! It's the rare fool who makes it this far up and forgets to bring a wire... But of course, it has been known to happen!
: That's where I come in! A helping hand for those in need!
Looks like someone didn't double check their code.
His price is 1000en per--pure highway robbery for explorers in need!
It will be extraordinarily difficult to trek back to town from here without one... Weighed against your life, the price suddenly seems less appalling.
Sheesh, how much proofreading was done on this game?
: Can't believe this. Fine, we'll-
: NAY! How dare you exploit needy explorers! I spit upon your shoes at your greed. We will not pay for your wires! Good day sir!
: You're not buying it? Well I ain't going nowhere, so come back if you change your mind.
No matter the risk you may face as a consequence, you refuse to pay the guard's price! You fume as you leave the area, the guard's irritating voice lingering in your mind.
Gilbert gets another level up, but I forget to put a point into anything until later.
The figure standing silently before you is an old man with a gun in each hand.
: I hear a lot of things about Firefly. You made it here, so you can't be half bad.
The old marksman's voice is deep and cold.
: You know who we are?
: Not half good either, though. Why not leave this place to us and retire while you can?
The marksman's words are shot through with spite... You can respond to him in kind, or ignore him and move on.
: I'm not in the mood for this. We're going on through!
The old man's mouth twists into an eerie smile at your retort.
: How many have I gunned down for saying that? I don't know, but I could send you to meet them.
The old man takes aim with both guns. You draw your own weapons and prepare for battle!
: Bring it! I'm not losing to an old man!
: Ken, I don't think this is a good idea!
You prepare for an epic clash against the man they call Der Freischütz!
The voice coming from behind you is that of a young woman. You turn to face the girl.
Her impish expression and large eyes reminds you of a mischievous animal.
: I'm sorry. My guardian must be overdoing it. That man...
She flashes a glare at the old marksman and to your surprise, his menacing demeanor softens.
She takes a long look at you and then stares at the ceiling, deep in thought.
: Let's get introductions out of the way. We're Guild Esbat... You must know the name.
: And believe it or not, but my guardian was trying to help. There's a nasty beast on the Labyrinth's 10th floor. It's not like anything you've seen. We don't want anyone without permission from the Grand Duchy to get themselves killed there. So he meant well... He was only concerned for your safety.
: Uh, really?
You find this hard to believe, but the old marksman has said nothing since the girl arrived. You finally nod to show that you're willing to let the matter drop. The girl continues.
: If you want to go on ahead, you'll have to talk with Dubois at the Duke's Palace.
Artelind waves goodbye to you, as if impatient for you to leave.
: Well, see you later!
You walk away from the sullen old marksman and the impish black-haired witch. It seems that you have no choice but to return to Lagaard and visit the Duke's Palace.
If you try to get through the door...
: Right, right, I know you want to go on ahead... But I have to be firm on this.
The girl has no intention of moving aside. You have no choice but to return to Lagaard.
: Okay, now that leaves us with another problem. How are we getting back?