Part 56: Conflict of InterestConflict of Interest
Here's the party we're going with for the 2nd half of the Stratum. I did end up relocating Gilbert's points around. Mostly removing any points in Stamina and moving them to Health.
Wow, what a fantastic start.
At least head binds won't stop me from doing what I want to show off. So let's show off how chasers work.
: Hey, Fedot. I wanna try out that new move I've been practicing. Soooo, ready when you are!
: Alright, might as well.
: I shall assist too!
: I'm ready! You guys ready?
Chasers always go first. They don't have a speed modifier. This can't be overwritten by 1st Turn either, so don't be afraid to use that skill if you have it.
: Blood shall be spilled!
Gilbert's gonna be providing the fuel for Emilia's chasers.
: Light the fire up in the night!
: Alright, go Emilia!
Unfortunately, chasers can still miss. And if the attack that's supposed to proc the chaser misses, the chaser won't kick in.
: Alright, let's see. Gotta mix this together. Aha!
I had Fedot use Fireshot here. Oh, and it deals a decent amount of damage without eating up a ton of TP. At level 1. Looking at you, Alchemist.
: Didn't see me coming, did you?
Emilia's chaser kicked in here. Those skills target everything on the field, but it only strikes the enemies that got hit with the right element. It can actually chase AOEs, so we could have Bellamy use one of his tier 3 spells, and Emilia has a chance of hitting everything it hit. Once a chaser fails to proc, that's it. There won't be anymore chases.
So that's how chasers work. They were pretty terrible in EO1, only activating once. Since EO2, they can activate multiple times, although how often is dependent on the RNG. EO4 replaced them with Links because one chaser skill ended up being completely overpowered in EO3, while all the others were overlooked. Chasers did reappear in the remakes. Unfortunately the main problem with them is that you have to build a team around them to get the most out of them. Otherwise they end up becoming weird unwieldy elemental attacks.
There's an Armoth in the next area.
Two in fact.
I stocked up on some Sleep Bells because I want their drops. I wouldn't bother with this if Nick was in the party, but I really want that extra turn.
: Like the shining stars light the path whenever it's dark...
: Take that, vile creature!
: It's just an elephant.
: An evil elephant!
Hmm, that is some nice damage, but I wonder if we can get more out of Emilia.
: Be brave everyone!
Much better. But here's another downside to chasers. Look at Emilia's TP pool. Landsknechts have a tiny TP pool, and chasers burn through it fast. You need to invest in TP for them if you want to use those skills a lot.
Of course I don't get the drop. Again.
Supplies were running low so I went back. I went and upgraded everyone's equipment while I was at it. Also, some swords have the Stab attribute instead of the Cut attribute. Considering that Stab can exploit more weaknesses than the other two physical damage types, I consider this an upgrade. But what I should have done is buy an axe for Emilia. They have the slowest weapon speed in the game, but chasers don't have speed modifiers so that's a moot point.
The other weakness this team has is that we have no AOEs! Mobs are much harder to clear out, especially if a ton of physically resistant enemies show up in battle.
Emilia got a level up at least.
Except I put that skill point in STR Up instead of TP Up! Way to go Fetus.
Let's see if we can squeeze even more damage out of Emilia. War Cry stacked with Warmight, how much damage does that end up dealing?
What have you all done? You've created a monster.
A very TP hungry monster, but still.
Oh come on!
There's another Armoth in the area to the right.
After another battle, both Frederik and Fedot level up.
Frederik is close to unlocking Cursecut.
As for Fedot, his TP pool is big enough at the moment, so I level up 2-Hit. It makes it so that his regular attacks, not his skills, have a 5% chance of hitting twice at level 1. Normally I would ignore skills like these, except Gunners have a lot of really bad skills that don't do much for them, or are already covered by another class. Leveling up their elemental shots isn't worth it either since the damage increase is barely worth anything. 125% damage at level 1 to 215% at level 10, whoopee. And the skills they unlock are really terrible unless you're also using a Survivalist. Skills like 2-hit can help him save TP for regular battles.
If you go up from there, you'll find the other Take point on this floor.
: How worthless.
I should mention that in the first two games, a lot of the items acted like class skills. In this case, it's an Alchemist's Piercing skill at level 2.
: Hey, there's a hole in the wall here!
: Wasn't there a request to come here?
: Yeah, alone.
: Are you sure you'll be fine by yourself? You don't have to do this.
: I'll be okay. I've taken on some FOEs alone during my time in Etria. This shouldn't be as hard compared to that. Hopefully.
: Ooh! Tell us about that sometime!
: Hmm, I'll think about it.
This is the spot where we need a solo party member to go to for that quest. It won't activate for a 2 to 5 man party. Except the game doesn't tell you this because they forgot to add in a textbox for cases like that. All pressing A does is make the check prompt disappear and then reappear.
The fruits are easy enough to pick up and eat, but would that really be wise...?
: Maverick, are these safe to eat?
: I'm not really familiar with this kind of fruit. Fedot?
: Don't ask me.
: They are safe. I will show you.
Frederik volunteers to take a small bite of the fruit. To your surprise, the fruit's bizarre appearance belies its delicious taste!
: Ah, delicious.
: Well what are we waiting for? Let's dig in!
You begin to gorge yourselves on the fruits. Within minutes, the whole crop is gone.
: Ah, what a divine gift from the heavens! What joy I've had from such a delicious meal!
Very handy if you're hurting on HP and TP like I was.
Down here is nothing but a dead end.
: Ah, hello there!
After you call out a greeting, he turns to you and responds.
: Hmm? Oh, explorers. You must be pretty strong... this is one of the higher floors.
: You seem pretty capable. What are you doing here?
: I was an explorer myself, once. I was here when they discovered the Labyrinth. But I got wounded, so I quit, and now here I am. I'm off duty today, so I thought I'd come up here.
You wonder what he's doing here, and whether or not you should inquire about it.
: So why are you up here?
The guard blanches at the question, and mutters a reply...
: Oh, um... I really like liquor. Especially this kind you make from Labyrinth plants.
His words put you in mind of a quest you accepted... You agreed to collect ingredients for Cass's special Labyrinth whiskey. Once you tell him of your quest, the guard perks up.
: Ah, we are looking for ingredients for Cass' special whiskey. Might you know where to find them?
: You're here to look for the same stuff!? So I'm not the only one! Okay, most of it you can get from fighting monsters around this Stratum. But the Death Stems... You'll only find those by chopping.
After he gives you his advice, he disappears into the white forest, as if going into hiding. You decide to proceed based on the information he gave you.
Just a hint for Cass' quest.
There's a Darksoar in the next area.
I want to get a preemptive strike on it, so I move around outside the room so I can sneak up on it from behind.
: All right, let me at em!
: Who wants some Darksoar wings for dinner?
: Your aiming skills are impressive. How long were you a Gunner before you came to High Lagaard?
: Oh, not that long really. I learned how to use guns after I was done in Etria. But I had plenty of time to practice my aim back then.
Ricochet is pretty much why Gunners can get away with not really investing much in their skills. It's really good physical damage, and if anything resists physical just sic a Hexer on them. Revenge or Dampen will have them die very fast.
: That's what it was guarding?
: How disappointing.
A weapon that we can already buy in the store.
Maverick gets a level up and puts that skill point into Scavenge. I should probably note that with two healers in the party, the team is practically unkillable. Our offense is a bit lacking so having good defense is nice enough to make up for that at this point.
Moving on, we now have a quick shortcut to the end of the floor.
Try not to get into a random battle near here. Especially this spot.
: Pfft, this is nothing. I'll cut them all down!
: Uh guys?
: What is it?
Yeah, if a Killclaw joins in at this point, you're done for.
: We're boxed in!
: We are getting out of here! Now!
Another shortcut right here.
: Whoa! This is some really strong medicine!
Medica IVs are very rare and can't be bought until the postgame. They restore all of a party member's HP. Essentially it acts like Cure 3.
Bravants aren't as useful on the other hand. They act like a level 3 Warmight, boosting a party member's attack by 25%.
I said our team was unkillable with 2 healers. Not really true when they're out of TP.
: How could this happen?
: I can smell garlic...
Okay, I can fix this. I'll just revive them and have Maverick heal them up.
: I'll never yield.
: I can feel the stake piercing my heart...
OH SCREW YOU! Reviving someone and them having them die on the turn they get revived really ticks me off.
: All right guys! You should be all better now! Oh...
: They needed that a few seconds earlier.
: Yeah, I can see that.
This is why I don't like Medics. They are too slow to be useful most of the time.
: Enough of this.
: May you ride on nether zephyrs!
At least Gilbert got a level up.
If your party switches rows thanks to deaths, it stays like that after battle. Kind of annoying to switch your party around after that.
I had to sacrifice some points in his elemental imbues for his current skill build, but I put a 3rd point back in Shock.
We're not completely done with this floor, but that's for another time.
There's two ways we can go from here, left or right.
Remarkably, it's barely cracked, but it won't fare so well if left here in the cold. You can return the egg to the nest at the top of the cliff, or leave it as is.
: It'll probably perish down here.
: Well I won't let it happen! Come on, help me up!
Emilia climbs up the cliff and successfully places the egg back in the nest!
: Ha ha! Huh? Oh, thanks!
What's more, Emilia returns with a plume as a reward for your magnanimous effort. You smile wryly to Emilia as the group leaves the area.
You get a monster drop if you say yes.
Going down leads to nothing but a dead end.
: Hmm, I would think there would be something around here.
: Well there's nothing for us here, so we better just go the other way.
: Guild Firefly... It's been so long, I nearly forgot your faces.
: Wouldn't this be our first face to face meeting?
: Not for me and Gilbert.
The old marksman Wilhelm keeps a withering eye on you as he speaks.
: Ms. Artelind told you that good children don't go deep into the forest, didn't she?
: We might've gotten the memo.
: I don't know what you're up to. But I do know there'll be a world of trouble if you go on.
His gaze pierces directly into your soul as he continues.
: If you leave, fine. If you stay below, fine. But if you ignore our warning... Then the 15th floor... Mark me, children: that frosty hall will be your grave.
His stern speech concluded, the old marksman leaves the area, marching briskly.
: W-Was he threatening us?
: What should we d-do?
: Hmph. We're gonna keep exploring, that's what. But I think we could use a break in the meantime.