Part 71: Artelind's RequestArtelind's Request
Expect to see this a lot.
: Oh joy, I can tell this is going to be fun.
: Not this again.
: Back up we go?
Another Sonicker patrols this area. It should be noted that any tiles the FOEs step on and damage tiles are completely safe.
: We just fell into one a few minutes ago!
: Ooh! Treasure!
In retrospect, that one was kind of obvious.
: Oh for the love of-
: Uh, might as well look around while we're down here, right?
: Urge to kill... rising...
: Oh if you think this is bad, you don't want to go to the Claret Hollows.
: Oh, does that have anything to do with Etria?
: Maybe. What's it to you? At any rate it doesn't matter now.
: Hmph. Every time I ask him about Etria, he clams up.
: Maybe he would be more open if you weren't so nosy about it.
: You've... got a point.
I'm severely tempted to link to what I call pitfallhell.png, but I won't.
Here's the Sonicker's patrol path.
It goes down easily.
: This is boring.
: Oh sorry, falling down and breaking your bones several times isn't fun enough for you?
So here's another Sonicker. Just follow it or pay attention to where it walks over.
: OH MY GOD!
: How did Artelind even get through this place?
: Probably the same way we did.
That pitfall lead us to some treasure. Better than the last one at least.
The other Sonicker's patrol path.
: Sometimes I question why I went into this whole thing in the first place.
: Somebody get us out of this hellhole!
Thankfully that was the last of the pitfalls.
And we get a decent consumable out of that treasure chest we saw earlier.
And we're done with this floor, aside from that section Ling needs to go through.
Just a short little passageway here. We're completely done with the 8th floor now.
At this point I realized I needed Nick for something.
So I went back and-
Today, we're going to observe the hunting habits of the explorer panda.
The grass here looks to be well-trod. You can tell the path continues to the other side. You use your keen senses to determine whether the opening is large enough to fit through. You slobber happily, discovering that you can fit. The question now is, should you?
The panda spots its prey. A creature, known as the Kilohorn. The two lock eyes, waiting for the other to make the first move.
Skills: Deathorn, Neigh
-Common: Steel Horn - See Actaeon bio.
-Conditional: Kilo Horn - Kill while head bound. 3 needed for Ill Wind (Bow.)
--Complex horn resembling a many-branched tree.
Description: Chief of the Actaeon family. Its enchanting horn is the last thing many will ever see.
Weakness: Fire (125%)
The Kilohorn is a powerful creature, considered to be a higher form of the Actaeon. As such, it shares the same attacks as they do.
The panda is the one to initiate. Using tricks that it learned from living with humans, it uses a bell to put the Kilohorn to sleep, so that it can get the first strike.
It uses the extra time it gained to apply a protective mist to itself.
This dulls the effectiveness of the Kilohorn's attacks.
The two creatures wrestle, biting and thrashing about in an attempt to subdue the other.
Look at that utter display of brutality! Pandas can be very dangerous creatures when provoked.
The panda is tired, being forced to use medicine to heal its wounds.
Seeing this display of weakness, the Kilohorn believes it has won. And bellows at the panda to asert its dominance.
However, the panda isn't cowed, and instead takes advantage of the Kilohorn's arrogance to strike the final blows.
Well that was a bit of a tricky fight, but it's one I got through just fine.
Oh, now this will come in handy. The Vigor Belt is an upgrade from the Life Belt. Adds some extra defense, but more importantly, it can be used as Revenge fuel. Unfortunately these can't be bought until the 5th Stratum, but one will suit my purposes for now.
And now the 9th floor is completely finished. There's nothing more for us here. Oh right, I was about to explore the rest of the secret areas.
So here's another Sonicker. It patrols the lower part of this room.
: Say... where's Ling? I haven't seen him around.
: Dunno. I think I saw him wandering around a while back. I think it was around that area we couldn't fit through.
: Maybe he got curious and wanted to explore it himself?
: Will he be alright there?
: The panda is trained to deal with 4th Stratum monsters. I'm sure he'll be fine at this point.
: I hope so.
: Just stand still Aegis.
: This better be worth it. And not another one of your special techniques.
: What? It's just a simple trap. Sheesh.
: Hmph, make it quick. My legs are sore and need a rest.
: Don't you worry about that! I got medicine for it! That I'll finish in a while.
: Here, let me help you with that! I know a bit about medicine myself!
: Aw, thanks!
: Oh, so there is something you're good for. I was beginning to think you were a complete waste of space. Oh wait, you still are.
1st Turn is a bit situational, but it's a godsend for slower party members, and slow parties in general. While this does eat up the Survivalist's turn, they're not really good for much in this game.
: Got ya!
: Hmm, now that was impressive.
Unlike EO1, which had the Dark Hunter dish out a weaker blow if an adjacent party member got hit, the Bait skills deal full damage no matter who gets attacked. Oh, and it can proc for AOEs as well. It's pretty powerful.
The gimmick of this secret area is that there's a lot of doors.
All but three of them don't lead anywhere.
: That was a waste of time.
: Dude, chill out. There's one over there we haven't gone through!
The doors to the far right don't take us further in, but we need to go here. There's treasure for one thing.
Oh, and these two doors lead to the same place. But more importantly...
This is where we can find Artelind.
: There she is!
It is the lady you seek... She address your party, surprised to see you.
: Firefly? Why are you here?
You recoil slightly at her intense, hostile stare... You are unsure how to answer the question...
The other two options don't do anything, and we'd have to talk to her again. The middle choice is the right one.
: We were just worried about you.
: Worried about me...?
Your words seem to have been the last thing the black-haired witch expected.
: We barely know each other... Why all the concern?
She responds to you, a dubious tone in her voice.
: Or... are you really worried about the girl you defeated in the third Stratum? The girl who was transformed into Scylla, the Ice Queen...
Artelind wears a mournful expression, continuing to speak while facing downward.
: We heard you wandered into the forest alone, and got a bit concerned. Going into this place by yourself is a bit dangerous, even if it is just the 2nd Stratum. Wilhelm's worried about you too, you know.
: Look... if you really want me to come back, I'll need you to help me with something. Please... You have to kill the ruler of the heavens, up in that floating castle! If he's defeated, I just know the demons will return to their original forms... But... Our guild could never even get close to the floating castle. If you kill the ruler of the skies, I know Scylla will finally be at peace.
Artelind looks at you, desperately awaiting a reply. What should you say...?
: Yeah, we will.
Artelind's face lights up as she hears your response.
: I knew you'd help! Thank you...
Her tone softens as she expresses her gratitude for your kindness.
: I should go back now. I can't leave that worrywart alone, or he'll burst a blood vessel. You should take a break and explore around here before you start moving upwards.
She reaches into her bag and begins walking away from you.
: I'll go back to town first. Be careful on your way back.
She walks away, vanishing from your sight. The quest is complete! Report your success to the bar when you return to Lagaard!
So while we needed to go here to complete that quest, that wasn't the way forward.
To get further into this secret area, you need to go through this door.
I should note that the attack textbox came up before the blindside notice. Also there was no monster appearance notice. The starting battle text seems to have a bunch of weird bugs that pop up from time to time.
: Goddammit Ni-
: Oh shut up!
To the right, there's some treasure.
But aside from that, we're completely done with this floor.
This floor? This part of it is damage tile heaven.
Now I say heaven because we finally reached that shortcut we couldn't access for a long time. Which is near the Geomagnetic Field. In fact, it's very easy to set up a Revenge Hexer since you can just send one to the 6th floor, and have them until they get down to 1 HP.
: Hey, this is just a long hallway with a bunch of thorns in it! What gives?
: Maybe we missed something.
: Oh hey, it looks like we can get through here! It's gonna be a tight fit.
: And now we're trapped. Good job, Dark Hunter.
: We still have Warp Wires you know.
: Really? Because from what I heard from the Landskne-
: I have them with me right now. I didn't forget them.
Here's the actual gimmick for this secret area, one way passages. Several of them.
: Sweet! More treasure!
: You never learn, do you?
: LASSO UP!
: I'm both amazed and frightened at how many ways you can use that whip.
: I know a few more tricks with this whip! Wanna see some more? I could give you some private lessons...
: ...No, no, and for the love of god, NO!
: Oh wait, here's one I can do right now!
: What's he do- WHAT THE FUCK!?
: Come heeeeeere!
: WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU!?
: What's the big deal? I mean it-
: Yes, it's fucked up. Yes, we have to witness this shit every time he's with us. No, it does not get any better.
: I hate to tell you guys this, but that's not as bad as it gets.
: ...It gets WORSE!?
The other Kilohorn also dies pretty fast.
Some mediocre treasures, but we broke even on that Tree Key.
Unloading all my Force Skills onto this poor FOE, because why not?
Can you say, overkill?
: Okay, we've explored everything here... and found absolutely nothing at the end.
: Just a big ol' empty room.
: I'm wondering if that key was a good purchase.
: We got our 10,000en back, and a bunch of stuff that would help us out, so I wouldn't say it was a complete waste of money.
: We needed it to find Artelind too! Don't forget that!
Here's the last of the locked doors.
And now we're completely done with the 10th floor, and all the locked doors in the game.
: Welcome back! Did yeh find her?
: Yeah, we did.
: Good, good... The Labyrinth's dangerous for a girl alone, even if she knows what she's about. Ahhh, and here's that thing the old geezer told me to give yeh.
And we'll resume exploring the 4th Stratum in the next update.