Part 58: Rescue MissionRescue Mission
I guess we'll start off by Gilbert getting a level up and putting a point back into Stamina.
Here's the last item point on this floor, the Chop point.
This next room has a Darksoar and two Helldras in it.
I'm sure there was an elaborate puzzle you had to solve here, but I just went ahead and killed the Darksoar.
The Helldras block off the hallways at the left and right at night.
The stairs are down here, but there's a bit more to explore.
: I believe there is a secret passage down here.
: Wow, this tree has a lot of medicine lying around.
Twice as powerful as a regular Hamao. A nice find.
And now we are done with the 14th floor. Hmm, it's awfully small.
: What was that?
You turn to face the screams, and see a familiar uniform against the ice and snow! It's the assistant from the hospital, surrounded by dangerous monsters!
You call out to her, but she doesn't notice and runs deeper into the forest. The monsters follow close behinder her in pursuit... If you wish to save her, you must defeat all the monsters before they can reach her! Take weapons in hand and destroy all adversaries before you!
Once you take a step, these FOEs spawn.
Skills: Rend, Ice Fin
Item Drops: N/A
Description: A ravenous monster that constantly searches for new prey, frequently claiming human lives.
Weakness: Volt (150%)
Resistance: Ice (0%)
Their stats are the same as the Redfish's aside from their HP. Nothing more to say. If they reach a certain point on the floor, the quest is failed.
Standing in that spot I showed you earlier cuts them off and prevents you from failing the quest.
Even though Emilia has her chasers, Fedot is pretty much the strongest damage dealer in the party right now. Her chasers would be far more effective if Bellamy was in the party, and they kind of rely on the enemy having a weakness.
There's three Mawfishes you have to kill.
You succeeded in saving her life!
: I think that's all of them.
: What were you thinking!? Going into the Labyrinth by yourself is dangerous!
The assistant reacts to your scolding with slumped shoulders and closed eyes.
: I-I'm sorry! But we had the medication, and they wouldn't even let us test it out! Trees are living beings, too... It's unforgivable not to allow us to help them!
You forgive her for her rash behavior and ask whether or not the salve was effective.
: Just don't do that again.
: Did the medicine work?
: Oh, yes! It worked wonders, and you can see the effects already! Once we manufacture more, we can heal all the trees!
Her fear of only moments ago has been replaced entirely with boundless enthusiasm. Startled by her sudden change in attitude, you use her Warp Wire to return her to Lagaard. The quest is a success! Report the results back to the bar when you return to Lagaard.
: Ah, I didn't notice this while we were filleting the fish.
: Hey, there's a shortcut over here!
: There's another here, too.
: Hey, shouldn't we go back and make sure that she made it back okay? We did find the Geomagnetic Pole.
: Hmm, you do have a point.
: Are you sure they were talking about us?
: You are the ones of Firefly, right? Yes, as I thought. They say you are strong as lions and fast as the wind while in the Labyrinth. That's what the guards claim, at any rate. I wonder... A single guard has spread the word all over the Grand Duchy. The power of rumors... The rumors will only become stranger and more popular as you become more successful. I'm interested to see how high you can rise. I expect great things from you.
: I must warn you, we've received a report of a dangerous monster on that floor. One of our own was sent to the hospital. Its appearance is deceptive, apparently.
: What did it look like?
: He said it came to his party in the form of a human girl, but as soon as they were near... He remembers nothing else of the incident, and he was the only survivor. But something troubles me... I was there with him in the hospital during his treatment. I thought I saw a gunshot wound on his back... Perhaps I'm mistaken. That's all the advice I have for you. Never underestimate anything or anyone.
: Wilhelm and Artelind.
: Has to be.
: Yeh're at the 15th floor now, right? Great, great, but listen to this... A lot of guilds have been up there, trying to steal yer thunder, but... Some huge beastie has been slaughtering every one! I'd hate to see yeh go to the Great Bar in the Sky before yeh find the castle in the sky! Well, whatever yeh do, just be careful, okey? Haw!
: Ahhh, welcome back! Looks like yeh're done!
: You know? How?
: Eh? How do I know? Why, because the assistant came by and asked me to thank yeh for her! Looks like yeh really outdid yerself this time! Haw haw! But still... that doctor and his assistant are an odd pair, don't yeh think? The girl escaped by the skin of her teeth, and she's just happy the salve worked! She's crazy! Well done, though. Here's the reward! Come back anytime!
Should be handy for something coming up later.
This quest is dumb.
: Ah, this sounds interesting.
: That one, eh? Do yeh consider yerselves lucky? If not, I suggest yeh stay away. Yeh probably don't know, but there's man that calls himself the Messenger of the Labyrinth. I've never seen him, but I hear he's an odd duck who actually lives in the Labyrinth. Then there's this other lot called the Curse Academy... They're a strange bunch, who take requests to curse or uncurse things. They get the incense they use for the job from the Messenger, in exchange for an offering. They say the incense has some special power, and it can't be made in town. Typical, eh? Nowadays, though, even when they go in with the offering, they can't find the Messenger. So the gist of this quest is for yeh to find the Messenger. ...If yeh want to, of course. The offering they leave is some hard mineral. Looks expensive to me. I bet yeh anything it's worth more than whatever reward they leave...
: Uh, where do they usually see this Messenger? Where was he last seen?
: Ah, yeh want to know where the Messenger was seen last? There's a few possibilities...
: Just find the Messenger, hand over the offering, and yeh can relax after a job well done. Well, what are yeh waiting for? Go hunt down that Messenger!
: Don't we need the offering first?
: Oh, right... here's the offering. Do whatever yeh want with it... Haw!
So this quest is another tile hunt. Oh but not just any tile hunt, it's a luck based tile hunt. There's 4 spots where you can deliver the Wind Rock. Problem is, the game might not accept it when you check a spot and force you to look someplace else. This can repeat to the point where you're forced to check places where you've already checked before. You can't really do anything about this other than hope that the game will accept the Wind Rock the next time you check one of those spots. This is possibly one of the most stupidly designed quests in the game.
: Hmm... Taking that quest, eh? It's from Sitoth Trading. But yeh're used to that by now, surely? Go by their shop for the whole story. Be seeing yeh!
: Huh? What's going on here?
: That quest, eh...? I see yeh're in the mood for a challenge! Well, here's the story. The Grand Duchy says a monster on the 13th floor is thrashing guilds left and right. Here's the strange part. When they went back to find all the items they lost, it was all gone. Yeh think a monster might be stealing them?
: I doubt it.
: Yeah, me neither. But something funny's going on. The quest asks yeh to go defeat the monster, but I know what yeh'll really be after...
: Now what would that be?
: Do I really have to spell it out for yeh? Are yeh that innocent? Think! It attacked all those guilds, and they all lost their items... Soooo... I'm talking about the treasure! Wouldn't yeh like a little something on top of the reward? The rules say yeh get to keep anything yeh find in the Labyrinth... It's perfect! Ahhh... almost forgot. One more thing I need to tell yeh. From all I've heard, I gather this beastie comes out only during certain times of day. Must be the thing's feeding time, eh? It'll show on the 13th floor from noon to 1. The place is so dangerous that there's nary a guard to be found. Yeh'll be on yer own. G'luck!
This is actually an important quest.
: Ahh, yeh're here. How goes it? Everything okay?
: What's this quest about?
: That quest? It's from the Grand Duchy. Worth taking, if yeh ask me.
: Why isn't it an official mission?
: Eh? Why didn't they make it an official mission? Haw haw haw! Yer sense of fair play is a tad overdeveloped! Look, if they issue an official mission, it's an open invitation to all explorers. Imagine opening up every job to every guild. There'd be nothing left for yeh lot! So some tasks get parceled out to folks like me, so we can choose who gets the job done. When they want a job done right, this is how they do it. Else, it's a bloody free-for-all. So it should be smooth sailing for yeh. Hurry to the Duke's Palace to get the details. G'luck!
If you're on The enigmatic woodsman quest, Abigail immediately talks to you when you enter the store.
: Oh my goodness... Is that... Do you have a Wind Rock!?
: Uh yeah. That's what this is.
: Wow! That's a very rare stone! It's used to make strong equipment. Are you... giving me that Wind Rock?
So all that bullshit I described about that quest? The game gives you a way to skip all that by giving the Wind Rock to her. Unfortunately that makes the reward for the quest a Nectar instead of an Amrita.
: Oh sorry. We can't.
: Oh... sorry, I didn't mean to pry. I'm sure you need it for something important. Sorry to get all excited like that... It's just that most craftsmen never get to see one. And my father's birthday is coming up soon... I thought it would make a good present. Anyway, I'm really sorry. I'll be more careful from now on. Come back and see us soon!
The annoying thing about this is that as long as you still have the Wind Rock, she will ask that question every single time you enter the store until you say yes or complete the quest properly.
: The workers gave me a list of what they want from the forest. It's... oh, it's just 3 Pale Arms. I heard you can get them in the white forest. When you have all three, just sell them to me and I'll take care of the rest! Please be careful!
Just a simple fetch quest. And something you want to do since Pale Arms unlock Amritas. They're dropped from some monsters on the 15th floor. Let's get her regular dialogue.
: I heard you're up to the 15th floor now... It's supposed to be a scary place. Everyone says the ice monster won't let anyone get through to the next floor. You're going to try to defeat it, aren't you...? I'm so worried about you all... Come back safe, okay? I would be so sad if I could never see you again...
: We will, don't worry.
: I heard that you've reached the 15th floor. One of my patients mentioned a dangerous monster at the end of that floor... It's probably nothing to worry about, but be careful nonetheless.
: Which one is that?
: I heard there's an ice-woman with more than the usual arms and legs. How disgusting... By the way, how are things going in the Labyrinth?
: We're actually on the 15th floor.
: What? You're on the 15th floor already!? Goodness! It's a good thing you came in today! Now you won't be surprised when you meet it. See? Even I can give you helpful information! Bahahaha!
: I believe you put up a quest for the Duke's grave?
: Come for the quest, have you? I see... it eases my mind to know that you've taken it. You haven't been in High Lagaard for long, so perhaps you don't know of the Ice Duke. He is one of High Lagaard's legendary heroes... One of its wisest rulers, as well. His name derives from his icy calm and snow-white complexion, and a rather frigid bearing. He was a grand master at using whips. Some called him the White Ivy of Lagaard. A day or so ago, we discovered a secret vault containing many ancient documents. From these records, we have recovered some new information regarding the Ice Duke.
: Those are the words. What do you make of this?
: I'm afraid I have no idea what that means.
: No matter how often I read it, I can think of no meaning for ancient forest save Yggdrasil. It may well be that the Ice Duke's grave lies within that mysterious forest. Could you enter the Frozen Grounds and locate the grave of the Ice Duke? On reading further, it seems the way there is hidden in the 14th floor. I expect a favorable result. May luck be with you.
: But we didn't find any hidden passages on the 14th floor.
: But the floor does look a bit smaller than the others we've explored.
: Maybe we missed something.
: No time to worry about it now. We need to move out.
This quest will be covered in the Stratum cleanup since it'll take a lot more time to complete than the other quests we've accepted.
If you attempt to walk over it now, the ice will shatter and you will never see town again. But should the temperature drop and the ice thicken, you may have a chance... You decide to press on for the moment and leave the area.
: It's colder at night. We might be able to walk over the ice then.
These ice tiles are shortcuts that are only accessible at night. We can skip a lot of the floor if we come at that time.
-Common: Snow Quill - 1 needed for Pure Plate and Haste Pin. 5 needed for Flissa (Sword.) and Bone Helm. 7 needed for Bipennis (Axe.)
--Snowbird wing feathers, thin and white as snow.
-Rare: Red Root - See 2nd Stratum Chop info.
Description: A bird that lives in the coldest parts of the Labyrinth. It is feared for its strange powers.
Weakness: Stab (150%)
Snowbirds aren't really that threatening by themselves. They love to spam Wings, which reduces your party's elemental resistance. It also has an additional effect.
: Sparky sparky!
: Oh come on!
Yep, any elemental imbues are also dispelled. Which can be annoying if you want to make use of a Troubadour.
Aside from that, there's not much to them.
: Anyone feel that?
It feels as though something is watching you... but you have no idea what it might be. You nervously wonder whether to stay here and search, or to hurry on ahead.
: Keep watching.
You search until the snow's whiteness is seared into your eyes, but nothing changes. To remain here any longer may be a pointless effort. What's the use of remaining on guard against an opponent who may not even be there...?
: Perhaps we should go? Sitting around here all day will accomplish nothing.
: We don't know if it's safe yet.
You stubbornly refuse to leave or let down your guard, and the strange presence finally leaves! There's no way to know what the presence was, but you seem to have made the right decision. You at last lower your guard and cautiously leave the area to return to you journey.
If you decided to leave at any point, you would get into a fight.
There's a branching path here. Going down is the way forward. Don't bother exploring the area to the east if it's night. You'll just get blocked off by a Helldra.
One that I accidentally ran into.
Unless you can kill it, you won't be able to explore this area fully at night.
Acts like a Hexer's level 1 Paralysis. Blech.
I up his TP pool because I want him to be using a lot of his skills later.
Here's this floor's Chop point.
-Common: Metal Horn - See Armoth bio.
-Rare: Bison Hide - 1 needed for Heat Aspis. 5 needed for Hard Mail and Tentacle (Whip.)
--Bristly cow fur that's as sharp as needles.
Description: A bull that lusts for battle in which it can prove the strength of its mighty horn.
Weakness: Fire (150%)
Warbulls are the strongest enemies in this Stratum. Rampage deals a heavy amount of damage to a random amount of party members. At this point it might leave them in the red. If you met one in a gathering ambush, expect several dead party members and possibly a game over.
: Get this bull away from me!
: Quit it!
: I can't feel my everything.
: That's it!
: Hope you enjoy being tonight's dinner!
If the Mawfish reach this spot in the Rescue operation quest, you'll fail.
And the last of the new enemies.
Skills: Breath, Shock
-Common: Pale Arm - 1 needed for Ochiba (Katana.) and Amrita. 3 needed for Gountlet. 5 needed for Hard Nail (Claw.) 3 needed for the quest Art imitating life.
--Pale stone with strange emblems etched into it.
-Rare: Flourite - See 2nd Stratum Mine info.
Description: Similar to the Mystue, the patterns on its body give it the power to attack any who approach.
Weakness: Volt (150%)
Resistance: Physical (75%), Fire (0%), Ice (0%) Immune to Poison and Instant Death.
The next of the gargoyle type enemies. Unlike Mystues, these guys aren't threats at all. Breath has a really low chance of landing, so it's really unlikely that you're gonna get petrified. And Shock?
: Was that supposed to injure me?
Deals a pitiful amount of Volt damage. Kill and move on.
I increase Emilia's TP pool with her level up.
: You all are improving. I remember when you all could barely handle yourselves in here.
: Heh, yeah. It's been a while since then, huh?
: We may actually reach the floating castle at this rate.
: Can't say that I have any doubts about that.
: But what about those two? Wilhelm and Artelind? It doesn't sound like they'll let us through.
: Worst case scenario? Well this isn't the first time I've had to fight other people. You'll be fine, I'll make sure of it.
There's a Helldra that blocks off a path at daytime. We have to come back at night if we want to get to the path its blocking off.
This time I start putting Frederik's skill points in the right place. Not that it matters now since we don't have Aliara with us.
If we came here at night, we could have skipped over all that.
Snowbirds aren't a pain by themselves, but in encounters like this?
: So cold...
I nearly party wiped here.
Here's this floor's Take point. It's pretty close to the Geo Pole if you want to farm for Strawberries or whatever.
: What reason is there for living? We all die in the end. Would it not be better to just lie down and await death?
: Aren't Troubadours supposed to entertain and cheer up people? You're uh, kind of depressing me here.
: But I am singing to the enemy.
So a nice thing about Troubadours is that they can erase all enemy buffs.
: Not the lungs!
: Your song didn't help at all!
Unfortunately, some enemies like Wolves don't care if they lost their buff and will still try to kill you anyway.
Okay, first of all, this has lower defense than the armor I am currently wearing. Second of all, I'm in an icy area. Where I would want Ice protection more than Fire protection. Why would I want this!?
Maverick will at least make my life easier with getting random drops now.
Another ice tile we can't cross over at day.
: That's a lot of elephants.
This area is Armoth central and can be kind of a hassle to get through.
I managed to get the Pale arms for the quest while I was navigating through the elephant crossing.
Gilbert gets a level up, but I forget to put a point in any of his skills.
A Helldra patrols this hallway at night.
And here's another path we can't cross until night. Unlike the other ice tiles, this is the only way forward.
: Of all the people to get turned into a statue, it had to be him.
: We don't have any more Therica Bs either!
: However, we do have a quick way back to this area.
Selling those Pale Arms got us this.
: The workers will be so happy... They can do a lot that they've never tried before! There should be new items in stock soon! I can't wait to see them, either! I'll keep doing my best to make your journey safer. Try not to get hurt, okay? A-And if you do get hurt... Don't die... Promise me! And if we need anything else, you have to be the ones to help, okay?
: Ahh, welcome back. How'd it go? Did they make anything new?
: Just a gauntlet of some sort.
: Haw! Good, good. It seems like yeh're getting along quite cozy with that Abigail...
: ...All 12 of us?
: But yeh can count on me to keep my mouth shut. Haw! Great work as usual, and here's the reward. Keep doing those quests!
Eh. I went out and farmed some Take point items so I could unlock some things.
Well these are good items, and you'll want to stock up on these for the Stratum boss.
YES! YES! Probably one of the best consumables you can buy at this point. TP recovery is so very valuable. I stock up on these.
: Looks like it's safe to cross now.
The frigid night air has definitely hardened the ice enough to cross onto. You take a tentative step onto the ice...
You decide to turn back for the time being in order to better prepare yourselves.
Now if it somehow turns daytime and you don't have a Warp Wire, don't worry.
There's a one way passage here so you can get out. Next time we'll deal with this dreadful presence.