Part 72: DragonDragon
Starting off, here's the pitfall I said not to go down a few updates ago.
Because it doesn't lead anywhere useful.
: I didn't miss this. I didn't miss this at all.
: It was peaceful while it lasted.
: Heh heh heh. Now what should I start with? The head, or the legs?
: No! Fedot! Stop! Please! AAHHH!
: HA HA HA HA! FRESH MEAT!
: A pox upon you...
Yeah this is one of the nastier encounters. Status ailments can make things go sour real fast. Binds, not so much.
The vivacious colors on its wings are oddly alluring... If you reach out, you may be able to catch the butterfly.
: Oh how pretty! Aw, come back!
You frown and wonder if you could have more luck once it approaches you again.
: I'll get you this time!
: Whoa! Stop right there!
: Hey, what gives? I was about to catch it!
: And then fall into that pit over there?
It would be an ignominious fate to lose one's life from being distracted by a butterfly. You stare quietly at the insect for some time before giving up and moving on.
Saying yes twice results in falling into the pit. Never trust a butterfly.
I start having Aliara relearn Torpor, since there's not much else I want her to learn.
Megido still does a terrible amount of damage.
Here's the other Take point on this floor.
Fedot's regular attacks have a 13% chance to hit twice.
You can brush away the web and save the butterfly, or simply leave it to its fate.
: Oh, it's the butterfly from earlier.
: Poor creature. To run into such a cruel fate. Shall we set it free?
: Here you go. You may fly free!
The butterfly flits around your party as if in thanks, before it flies out of sight.
: Huh. Does anyone feel kind of... relieved?
: Now that you mention it, I kind of feel a bit better.
You couldn't have guessed it, but the butterfly's scales have a mysterious healing power!
You watch the butterfly go before returning to your exploration of the Labyrinth.
: Guys! There's a path through these trees!
: Look out below!
This pit takes you to a secret area.
A secret area with treasure!
: Happy thoughts Maverick... happy thoughts.
The exit sends us right back to the stairs.
Now I got really tired of being forced to sneak around the Voltking, since you'd have to do a ton of waiting to get past it due to how the map is designed.
: Lousy useless formula! Why did I bother creating this mixture?
: Just keep at it. It took me a while to perfect my curses.
: Powder burns...
: How does it feel to be on the receiving end for once!?
: Maverick. It is a bad thing if anyone, not just us, has to push up daisies!
: Sorry. Being on the front lines can be a bit stressful. I think I'll stick to healing.
: This was a bad idea.
Unfortunately, several things went wrong with that plan.
I retooled Maverick's skillset so that he can heal people again. Combat Medic just wasn't working out.
Back at that room from earlier, there's a Flygourd in the north room.
It dies fast.
: How utterly useless.
: Not true. We can still give it to Ken when we get back.
: Ah, how heartwarming! A small gift to bring joy to his day!
: Uh, yeah. I guess so.
This pit leads to some more treasures. I have Gilbert equip the new helmet.
The exit for this area leads back into the areas from earlier.
There's a Shelltor in this part of the room.
Unfortunately, its movement patterns tripped me up, so I ended up getting into a fight with it.
Skills: Defend, Jaws
-Common: 100 Shell - 1 needed for Apollo Gun. 1 needed for the quest A diviner's tools.
--Carapace of a hundred-year-old turtle.
-Rare: Prehinite - See 4th Stratum Mine info.
Description: Those who would slay this giant turtle must contend with its hard shell and mighty jaws.
Resistance: Physical (75%)
There's not really much to this guy. Its pretty tanky, and Jaws is a powerful physical AOE.
: Yeah, I think I'll just leave this to Bellamy.
: You know this works for you too, right?
: Yeah, but Bellamy's formulas are more powerful. Also lets me save a bit on ammo.
: Aliara, are you absolutely sure that you don't-
: In your dreams.
: Okay, is there anything else I can do to show my appreciation?
And here's another Voltking. I don't mind being forced to dodge FOEs in the EO games, but I would at like it if you didn't have to go through so many hoops just to get past one every single time you're trying to explore the floor. Provide alternate paths or shortcuts so people don't have to do this more than once.
At least you don't have to wait a long time just to slip past this one.
: Didn't we already explore this area?
: Yeah, if you look at the maps, our landing spots line up with the pits. See?
: We probably should have looked at them a bit more carefully.
Things like that makes drawing good maps important, and I like that aspect of the series. Sometimes you're indirectly rewarded for keeping your maps up to date.
Still trying to take down that earlier Voltking. I'm having a bit more luck this time.
: Come ooooooooon! Don't leave me hanging!
: You're cruel.
Though I didn't get through this battle unscathed.
: Goddammit Fedot! Ha! Been wanting to say that for a while.
: I hold no grudges myself.
The other reason I wanted to kill the Voltking was to get its drop again. I need it for a quest.
Now this pit is actually required to progress.
Your mouth waters to think of the honey that must be stored within...
: Mmm, quite delicious! The rest of you, have a taste!
: All right! Eh, uh oh.
When you reach towards the bee's nest, you feel a sense of malice in the air... It's an ambush!
: Crap, we pissed off the bees!
: I'm sure you can handle them.
Here's the last set of stairs, but we're not done yet.
The shortcut gives quick access to the stairs.
And a nice little consumable.
Now we're done with the 17th floor. Finally. That took a while.
: I hate this stupid Labyrinth.
: It shall be fine. There's not much of the 18th floor left. The pain shall finally stop.
One last Flygourd.
And the last of the treasures on these floors.
: Worry not Maverick, for you shall be able to rest soon.
Suddenly, an overpowering voice echoes from above!
: Father Ish and Mother Ishsha! Bless the earthbound people with the gift of new life!
The winged one looks at you as if in judgement.
: I have erred... You are not fit in the eyes of almighty Nuh to use the Grail of Kings. The path to the heavens will remain closed. Leave this place until the proper time comes!
The winged one's voice is firm, and he remains resolute in barring you from passing here. You think back to the phrase you learned at the Duke's Palace... Perhaps the winged one before you may relent if you speak it now.
If you haven't visited the Duke's Palace and learned about the pact, you'd be forced to go back at this point.
The winged one stares at you coldly as you stand before him, speechless.
: Leave, earthbound ones, and walk the paths of the ground.
It seems that only the words of the ancient pact will sway him.
You repeat the words the Duke's daughter taught to you before the winged one.
I think this is the only time in the entire series that your guild gets shown speaking out loud.
Their meaning remains murky, but the effect they have on the winged one is striking. He gazes at you with momentary surprise before spreading his wings and rising into the air.
: You bear the ancient pact! Shall those who descended to earth return to the heavens?
You no longer feel anyone else watching you... Their presences have vanished along with his. You are unsure whether to continue investigating or return to Lagaard for now.
: They seemed intent on barring our path until we spoke about the pact.
: Any idea what those words meant?
: Not a clue. I'm hoping we'll find out later.
Here's a more direct shortcut to the exit. The one on the 17th floor was in case you didn't find out about the pact.
: I'm done with this front line crap!
: Same here. I request that our more sturdy members are on the front for the rest of this Stratum.
: I'll see what I can do.
Good news, that's the last death we'll see in this part of the Stratum.
Because we're done with this floor!
: Wow! We're so high up!
: The sky looks so beautiful up here! I can only imagine what this place looks like in the daylight.
: Yeah, it's something all right.
Here's a better look at this area. Yep, you can see the sky on this floor. I personally think EO2 is the weakest entry of the main games, but the thing it does best without question are the aesthetics. The Strata in the other games just don't compare at all.
: Well, enough sightseeing. Shall we go back?
: Ah, yes... Your names have reached the Duke's ears. It seems his daughter told him.
: Where is the Duke's daughter at this moment?
: Mm? Where is she? Ohohoho! You wound me... Are you weary of looking at this old man? She is having high tea with a foreign dignitary, and cannot come down right now.
: Ah, don't look so downhearted. Am I not pleasant company? Er, all that side... You are the ones closest to reaching the floating castle. Once you find it, I'm sure the Duke's daughter will want an audience. Mm... I'm sorry to have rambled on a bit today. Good luck with your exploration.
: I, uh, wait, what?
: Ahaha! Joking, of course. Have you noticed the buzz around town lately? It's all thanks to you. I hear you met the winged ones. I never thought the Labyrinth would be home to such beings... The Grand Duchy is trying to quash the rumors. But three may keep a secret if two are dead. Everyone is looking to you now to find the truth behind the legendary floating castle. I am no exception. That's all the advice I have for you. May the Labyrinth's blessings be with you.
: I hear yeh saw some bird-people or whatever... Are yeh sure yeh can trust them?
: They haven't antagonized us so far. Why do you ask?
: They live in the friggin' Labyrinth! For all yeh know, they eat humans for lunch! Yeh know, there's many a story of explorers being fooled by harmless-looking beasties! Like... beautiful flowers, a small, fuzzy critter, a good-looking man or woman... Poisonous, each and every one of them! Well, those last two aren't in the Labyrinth, but... Anyways, be on yer guard at all times!
: Uh, guess I'll be doing this one. What's going on here?
: That one there's a job from the Ducal Bombardiers. Ah, yes, the details... Sounds like gunners are pretty hard to come by. Yeh wouldn't think so, with all the ones around here, but our technologys a mite advanced. I've been places where I never seen a single one. So that's why gunners are in such high demand. With so few around, a lot of them banded together. That's the Ducal Bombardiers. Their sole aim is to advance gun technology and hone their skills as a group. But of course, any group has to have a leader. Theirs was quite the warrior, and quite the drinker as well! But he's dead now... A Labyrinth monster got him. The Bombardiers want every gunner to help get revenge. No one's forcing yeh... Yeh don't have to take it. But think about this. The gunner who finishes off that monster restores the Ducal Bombardiers's god name. Now doesn't that sound like a noble use of yer time? Eh?
: Think of the prestige... The honor that'll come to the one who does the job! I need hardly say it, but there's a reward, too. Oh, and one more thing...
: This is solely a Gunner's job, isn't it?
: That's right... This quest comes direct from the Ducal Bombardiers. They figure if yer crew doesn't have a gunner, it's none of yer business. A gunner's pride, yeh know? Their blood is up, and they're not taking it lightly. One more thing... Don't say a word about it to anyone else. The beastie that killed their leader's on the 19th floor. Everyone's after the critter. It won't be easy, so g'luck!
You need a Gunner to complete this quest. It doesn't matter how strong the Gunner is, you just need one in the party when you take on the monster.
: Sounds like quite the job. Oh, now what's this?
: Ahh... That one's from me, actually. This isn't easy for me to say... Yeh have to know... I treat everyone who walks in that door like royalty. I'm no noblemen, but I don't discriminate, and I aim for my bar to be the best in Lagaard. But I'm only human. I try not to get involved, but sometimes... A man can't help himself.
: Oh my, is this...
: Yeh see... Long ago, there was this one adventurer I really took a shine to. She just drifted in one day... Just like yeh lot. I'd see her from time to time, and I grew to fancy her, I did. She said the floating castle were no legend or myth, and she'd climb high enough to find it. Back then, nobody knew about the Labyrinth, yeh see. So I just laughed. Then one day, she came in and said she'd found a giant maze. I was the only one she told. I assumed it was a regular cave, and told her to lay off the sauce. All joking, like. But she didn't find it funny... And stormed right out that door. And... that were the last I saw of her.
: How tragic.
: And? You can't just leave us hanging like that!
: You have no problem doing that yourself.
: We had a bet going! If she was right, I was to pay up one shiny gold piece. If not, well... we hadn't decided yet. Haw, listen to me. This is no way to tell a story... There's nothing in it yeh can use. But she was talking about the Labyrinth, and I know in my heart she's in there somewhere. If any explorer made it up to the castle... it'd be her.
: Even if she is... Uh... How do I put this?
: But that place is a deathtrap. I'm not going to kid myself and pretend she's still alive. Still... if I don't pay up what I owe her, I'll never put this behind me. Could yeh... deliver this Old Coin to its rightful owner?
: What a moving tale... We will! I guarantee it!
This quest is another tile hunt, and one that can be messed up. It's actually really easy to complete, but getting the full reward is another matter. Although we were given a pretty big hint on how to complete it properly.
Now this quest is of an ongoing quest line.
: The guards again? Sheesh, seems like they always get in trouble.
: Ah, going to take up that one? It seems like a bit of a pain to me... Some of the Grand Duchy's guards were dispatched, but they're not back yet. It sounds urgent, so I'll explain the details. The reinforcements they sent haven't found any sign of the guards either. So they're looking for outside help to go find out what's going on in there. And that's the sumb of it. I can't say I expect yeh to find anyone alive... They lost contact with the guards on the 18th floor. Have a look around and I'm sure yeh'll find some sign of them. G'luck!
: Sorry? What for?
: Huh? Why am I apologizing? Oh, I just made a horrible mistake...! My last customer told me that I made an error. I wrote one extra zero in the price tag... It wasn't supposed to be that expensive! It's a good thing no one bought it before he figured it out... I'll have to be more careful!
The 100 Shell actually makes a gun that's a downgrade for Fedot, so I don't buy it.
: You're role models... To the extent that explorers are trying Strata they're not ready for. It's good to have something to aim for, but their reach exceeds their grasp... I just wish everyone could take as good care of themselves as you manage to.
: Hahahahaha! Oh that's hilarious!
: Do you children know how famous you are in town? My daughter tells me that no matter where she goes, everyone is talking about Firefly! She's been bragging to her friends that Firefly stays at the inn where she works. Bahahaha! Even my husband asks his friends if they want to meet you! I can't believe how well-known you are now! You loves are like my very own children! Ahaha!
I'm sure you've noticed by now, but EO2's NPCs pretty much heaps praise on your guild throughout the game. It's a pretty huge contrast with EO1's NPCs (Not EOU's, since they added a lot more dialogue there) who barely acknowledge your efforts at times. Anyways, let's get to completing that quest on the 18th floor.
Now you recall the quest you accepted at the bar... You are to investigate the matter of the missing guards and report your findings. It sounds distinctly like a battle in progress, and you can hear human voices. Of course, they may be other explorers... It's up to you whether to investigate or not.
So those three FOEs down there are our main objective.
: There they are!
As you near its source, you see a group of guards fighting for their lives. A horde of monsters has fallen upon them! Unless you intervene, their chances are bleak. You may draw your weapons for a noble cause, or leave them to die and move onward.
Item Drops: N/A
Description: When their territory on 4F is threatened, they will swarm to attack the interloper.
Weakness: Fire (125%)
These guys are actually weaker version of Windsnips. They're just more tanky. I don't even know what 4F is referring to. The map location? But they're fought on F5-F6.
Repeat 2 more times.
You turn to see that the guards are about to deliver the final blow to their opponent. They sheathe their weapons and turn to greet their reinforcements.
: We couldn't find our way home, and we've lost half our men. We had just about given up.
Once the guards calm down, you ask them what has happened there.
: What caused this?
: Even we're not sure. We saw a gold shadow, and the floating island was covered in storms... Before we understood what was going on, we were tossed around by the gale winds.
The guard's face turns pale as he speaks, recalling the horror. What was this golden shadow...? You tend to the wounded and show them the way back before leaving the area. Your quest is complete! All you must do now is report your success to the bar.
Gunpowder explosions and the screams of monsters permeate the floor's atmosphere. The din reminds you of the quest you accepted at the bar... You volunteered the use of your gunner to avenge the Ducal Bombardiers' leader. There isn't a clink of swords or the chant of a spell to be heard here... Only gunfire. Without a doubt, the monster that slayed the Bombardiers' leader is on this floor! The intense clamor begins to make you anxious, and you leave the area.
Here's a look at this floor at day. I won't be doing that quest just yet.
: Ahh, yes, I heard from the Grand Duchy! Thank yeh very much. I heard not even half those guards survived... Is the fourth Stratum really that dangerous?
: The guards said something about seeing a golden shadow, and then everything went to hell. You know anything about it?
: Eh? A gold shadow...? Oh, yeh mean the ones they say they saw. No idea, sorry. I'm certain I'd have heard of a monster that could destroy an entire floating island! Maybe their eyes were playing tricks on them... Anyways, thanks again, and take care!
Now this quest is a little special. It pops up immediately after completing The golden shadow.
: Ahh, it's yeh lot. Yeh should take this quest! It looks mite interesting! Apparently one of the guards on the lower level's gone missing, and they need help finding him. Don't yeh get a strange feeling about this one? I mean, without a map, it's easy to get lost... But we're talking about the guard corps. The Labyrinth's like their own backyard. Besides which they have copies of the maps yeh explorers make. Strange that one'd get lost. Which means... there's something peculiar going on here. Get the details from the Duke's Palace. I'm expecting to hear a good story later!
: Ah, hello, Guild Firefly. I was so caught up in my book that I missed your arrival.
: Is this about that quest with the lost guard?
: Oh, you've taken the quest? Good! Then I can be confident that the job will be done right! We received a call for help from a guard on the southeast part of the 3rd floor. We dispatched reinforcements, of course. But they, too, disappeared into the Labyrinth. No matter who we send, they can't seem to reach the people who need our help. Everyone who tries says they get dizzy, and before long, they end up at the 3rd floor entrance. But we can't just turn our back on one of our own. We must keep trying. I ask you, then, to help us rescue the guards in need. We are all relying on you.
Only a moment later you hear a distant howling... It's unlike the cry of a dog or wolf. The piercing sound is disorienting... You lose all sense of your surroundings. When the howling stops, your head clears, and you realize your surroundings have changed.
: Oh, my head!
: I don't... recall being at this spot a few moments ago.
The branches around you are wavy, almost as if you have been transported under water. You think back to the quest you accepted back at the bar... You were asked to save a guard who sent out a distress signal. The strange rift you just experience must be the work of some mysterious power. If you hope to proceed, you must take extra precautions.
: What was that?
: Ugh... I think... Hmm... Just watch your step for now.
You seem to have taken a wrong turn somewhere...
You seem to be at the floor's entrance... the stairs behind you lead to the floor below. If you hope to find the lost guard, you must try again and find the correct path! But if you believe this to be impossible, take these stairs and return to Lagaard in defeat.
So this quest should be familiar to those that have played EO1. There was a quest there where you had to traverse the right path, or you'd be sent back to the beginning. This is the exact same thing.
This is the path that you need to take.
After some time, you see the silhouette of a seated figure. Perhaps it's the man you seek...
The guard lets out a sigh, greatly relieved to see you. You ask if he is the one who sent out the distress signal and the guard responds.
: Are you alright?
: What happened to you?
: I heard this strange howl while on my regular patrol. Suddenly, I got caught in a weird rift.
The guard's explanation over, he leans on his weapon to stand, and thanks you. The strange rift enveloping the area slowly stabilizes, as the terrain returns to normal. After confirming the guard's safely, you leave the area.
: Hmm. Wonder what was causing all that. Now why don't we just- huh!?
Huh. Sounds kind of familiar. Can't remember why.
: Oh-oh-oh g-god. No... I didn't think there was one in this Labyrinth too!
: It's qu-quite l-large...
: No way. Th-that's a... dragon?
You have no inkling from whence it came, but it does not yet seem to have noticed you. Defeating it would bring glory, but this may be your only chance to escape with your life. You eye the dragon... It looks dangerous, and far beyond your capabilities...
Pfft, a dragon? Whatever. I'm sure I can take it at this point.
Dragon is a recurring postgame boss. It's been in every game in the series, and is the main reason why you want the tank class to take the Antivolt skill. For the record, it has 12000 HP! It is FAR stronger than Salamox, so don't even think about fighting it.