Part 76: Monster EthicsMonster Ethics
Continuing off, I got back to the previous island and go left.
Pauline has maxed out her STR. Not that it'll do her much good in the end.
This island has both Chop and Take points. But there's a Cocatris guarding this island in the afternoon, so be careful about that.
: Aw shiiiiiiiiiiooooooot.
Double level up! Unfortunately, I forgot to make use of their skill points.
Unfortunately, that island was a dead end, so I head back to the island with the Mine point to move forward.
Going down just leads to a series of dead ends.
Going up is the way forward, while the other paths are detours that'll take you to some other areas. I'll cover those a bit later.
Left is the way forward.
The petals sway in the breeze as the pleasant aroma grows stronger... The serene clearing would make a good place to stop and catch your breath...
: Ah, how about a break? We've been at this for a while.
: I dunno about this...
: I could use a rest myself.
: I don't think we should rest near those flowers.
: Oh come on Nick, not every flower is out to get you. These are just regular flowers, not monsters. Just relax for a bit.
: Yeah, well those aren't normal flowers! I'd recognize those teeth anywhere!
: Huh? Oh crap!
You are only beginning to enjoy your rest when you freeze in mortal terror... What had seemed an innocent field of flowers is actually a den of floral monsters! You are trapped amidst a horde of the fiends! You must draw your weapons and fight!
No, fuck this shit.
Oh come on, not even the conditional drops?
The bottom platform takes us further in. The top right just takes us back to the Mine point. I take the bottom right platform because it takes us to treasure.
The northern platform just takes us back to the island where we fought the Edgewolf.
A nice defense boost I guess, but I don't put this on anyone.
: Alright, I'd say that's enough for today. Why don't we... Uh oh.
: Boss? What's wrong?
: Guess what I forgot to buy?
: Oh great, we're gonna die out here.
: Perhaps we should buy multiple Warp Wires. In case we forget to buy more on our trips to the store.
: Nonsense. As long as we don't try to pet any squirrels, we don't need more than one.
: Considering the surprising amount of times you've forgotten to buy them, I doubt that claim.
Some people swear by buying spare Warp Wires in order to avoid incidents like these, but I find that to be unnecessary most of the time.
In order to get out of here, we can take this platform here.
Then go down, since the upper platform takes us back to an island we've already been to.
And taking this right platform takes us back to the entrance. From here, it's pretty easy to get back to the Geomagnetic Field. Mainly because Ken and Pauline roasted everything they came across.
: Fine work! The guard said that was quite the beastie yeh took on, eh?
: Not really.
: I've an official letter here from the Ducal Bombardiers. Allow me to read it for yeh... Members of Firefly, we are indebted to you. Your name will be forever honored in our ranks. As a token of our appreciation, we grant your sterling gunner the title of Musketeer. Holy...! Musketeer!? That's one of the very top ranks in the Bombardiers! Yeh just might make yer way to the leader of the group someday!
: I'm not really sure how to feel about this.
: I've never even heard of these guys before.
: Yeh really passed this one with flying colors! Here's yer reward... Yeh've earned it. Come back anytime!
Seriously? At this point in the game?
: You'd think they'd be a bit more, uh, grateful about this.
: Is the reward all you think about?
: Good work, yeh lot! I heard all about how yeh helped that doc cheer the kid up. So, did yeh find a Gold Quill?
: Uh, I got one right here.
: Wow... Look at the size of that thing... and the way it shines... Fabulous! Just hand over the Rook and yer quest will be over! Well done! Here's the King piece... yeh've earned it! Thanks a lot!
Now that Pauline's above level 40, I'll take on this quest.
: Ahh, that quest... Yeh must be bound by fate or something, eh? It's from the same girl.
: Ah, which one?
: Whaddya mean, which one? Just how many girls are yeh involved with!?
: I'm drawing a blank here, too.
: I'm talking about the girl who joined the naval band after yeh avenged her true love!
: Ahhh! I remember her!
: A lot of people nowadays look up to the great explorers and want to be just like them. That's fine, but I worry about the ones who go in the Labyrinth and can't defend themselves. So the Grand Duchy's decided to hold a lesson on the ins and outs of exploring. That girl's got the new troubadours in hand, but they need a skilled survivalist. So they want one of yeh lot to play teacher for a day. I'm counting on yeh!
The Grand Duchy is looking for a strong survivalist to train new guild members... And the survivalist currently in your party would be perfect for their needs! Return to the bar once you have a spare moment.
: Teaching new guild members... Alright, time to put on my serious face! No wait!
: I guess that would be a good face to make if you're trying to scare the newcomers.
: So, this one's yer candidate? Looks scary... Don't yeh ever smile?
: I'm sure yeh'll have no trouble getting a class to sit down and shut up. Well, come along now. The rest of yeh, watch the bar.
Cass leaves and comes back.
: Oi, I'm back! Yer survivalist is a real downer, yeh know that? I didn't see a single smile the whole time we were together. But the Duchy's men were there as an escort, so things should be fine.
: She really kept that face up the entire time?
: I tell yeh, though... that girl has changed a lot. She was all waving and smiling like the sun. It can only be because of yer help... it were a great thing yeh lot did. Once this job's done, yer one will be back, so just relax until then. Why don't yeh try a big plate of my latest dish? I've been experimenting with a new menu! I just know this one'll pack them in! I've been living alone for the longest time... *sniff*
Fade to black.
: ...And of course there was only one thing to say to THAT-- Oh, yeh're back. Job went well?
: Yeah, it was really easy.
: I get so jealous when I see how calm yeh lot look all the time. Yeh never lose yer cool. Truth to tell, it makes me spitting mad!
: You wouldn't be saying that if you saw us in the Labyrinth.
: Ehh, here's yer reward. Thanks a lot!
Oh hey, actually good rewards this time. You only get 800en if your Survivalist was level 22 to 29.
This game is just dumping katanas on me at this point. I don't buy this one because it's a downgrade for Ken.
New equipment, some we're already seen before. I upgrade and restock accordingly.
: Let's buy two Warp Wires while we're here.
: Wha? No, we don't need-
: LET'S BUY TWO WARP WIRES.
Accidentally bought a spare, but whatever.
Nick leveled up his STR to 5, which means...
: Hee hee hee. More! More!
Anyways, coming back to where we left off, this platform is the way forward.
I'm leveling up Pauline's AGI so I can get some of her passive skills.
2-Hit now has a 20% chance to proc.
Yet another false ending for Cass' quest.
The middle left platform takes me nowhere meaningful. The bottom right platform is the way forward.
At this point I realized I forgot to spend Ken and Gilbert's skill points.
Ken leveled up STR to 5, which unlocked this skill.
: Uh, I think if I can focus... Hmm, yeah that should help.
Clarity provides an evasion bonus for the Ronin as their HP gets lower, which can help them since they're pretty squishy.
I just start leveling up Gilbert's stats since I had him take every skill I wanted. I put points into his TP and AGI.
The upper right platform takes you back to the entrance while the bottom right takes you to the stairs.
And we're completely done with the 19th floor.
The man who speaks to you now is one of the winged ones... But he seems different from the others. He is well-dressed and has a noble bearing about him. The man glares at you for an achingly long time, then speaks in harsh tones.
: We of Siveta have waited long to hear those words of the ancient pact. But words are not enough. If you wish to gain entry to the path to the heavens... Bring the Old Bauble. Without it, we do not recognize you as the bearer of the ancient pact.
The chief of the winged ones crosses his arms and blocks your path forward. It seems you must return to the Duke's Palace to inquire after this Old Bauble.
: You really think the Grand Duchy has this Old Bauble?
: It's our best shot. They're the ones who told us about the pact in the first place.
You can try to go through the door again, but...
: The ancient teachings say we cannot let you pass without it.
The winged one remains resolute in his refusal to let you pass. It seems you have no choice but to inquire after the Old Bauble at the Duke's Palace.
: Yeah, we'll come back with it. Hopefully.
: Well, we met the leader of the bird people.
: You met with the chief of the winged ones...? Perhaps he may know the way to the place the Duke's daughter spoke of.
: But he didn't want to let us pass. Said we needed an Old Bauble or something.
: Ah, but they blocked your path. I see... So they require some other object in order to grant you access to the forest... Wait here and I shall fetch Lady Gradriel.
: From what Minister Dubois tells me, the winged ones have barred your path forward. Is this so?
: Yes. They wanted us to bring them something called an Old Bauble. Any idea what that is?
: This ancient keepsake they refer to... I believe I might know what they desire. I had considered offering it to you as a reward. However... To give it to you now means that you must continue searching for a way through the castle. I will part with it, on the condition that you perform a favor for me.
: And that would be?
: Yeah, I accept.
: Thank you... I am sorry that I must burden you with the fate of High Lagaard. I must inform the Duke's daughter of this good news.
: I had faith that you would help this land. You will need this, then. It is a pendant with an engraving of an ancient sword. Perhaps this is what the winged ones mean by the proof of the ancient pact.
: I am counting on you all. The floating castle and the Holy Grail... For High Lagaard's sake, you must find them!
Let's see his regular dialogue.
: By the way... those winged ones. Are you certain they mean no harm to humans? If they are the ones mentioned in the legend about taking men up to the floating castle... We cannot let that happen to our citizens. You are the ones who have made contact. Please find out the truth of the matter. The last thing High Lagaard needs is an ambush from above. If you could communicate our peaceful intentions to the winged ones, we'd be grateful. It's in your hands now. I expect great things from you.
: It seems that you're exploring the Labyrinth alongside the winged ones. I wish that I could meet them myself... But I have obligations here with the guild. I'll have to content myself with your stories of the higher Strata. Consider it an official task from the Explorers Guild: stay alive, and bring back stories. That's all the advice I have for you. May the Labyrinth's blessings be with you.
: Will do! Heh, can't believe I'm the one telling these stories for once.
Whoops, some of the NPC dialogue assumes you've advanced in the floor a bit.
: Uh, yeah. It's true.
: Hmm... I see where this is headed. Well, it's too bad, but... If they want yer valuable time, why can't they post a request here like everyone else!?
: I doubt what they asked of us could be considered a simple request.
: I oughtta give those bird-people a piece of my mind... But I'll let it go this time. Yeh lot are getting a reward for this, right?
: The Grand Duchy's giving us one. Does that count?
: Hmmm... Yeah, I s'pose I can let them borrow yeh just this once. Haw!
: Borrow us? You don't own us!
: Are yeh insinuating I'm not the one who's been backing yeh!? I think it's time we had a chat!
: Hey! Are yeh listening!? Wipe that smirk off yer face! Damn, but yeh lot pisses me off...
Lots of new quests.
: Whatever. Oooh, tell us about this one!
: Ahhh, I thought yeh'd jump at that one. It's another job from Sitoth Trading! One of the alchemists nearby has some ties to the shop, and wants to try an experiment. Yeh lot keep finding new stuff deeper in the Labyrinth, and it keeps the craftsmen happy. So they want yeh to do yer routine again, and find them some more materials. Head to Sitoth Trading for details. The young miss will fill you in like always. Take care, all right?
This one's the finale to the thief quests.
: Ahh, there yeh are. Did yeh find him?
: Who? Oh, I mean that thief from before. The Grand Duchy got word of a flute that controls monsters. Yeh're not his only victims. They already sent out the guard corps, but yeh've been tricked twice already! This is yer fight! The bastard's on the 17th floor. I say yeh pay him a visit!
Not doing this one since we need a level 50 War Magus to get the best reward.
The next quest in the Guild Esbat quest line.
: Huh, the ultimate gun?
: Haw haw haw! Every explorer in Lagaard comes running at the phrase ultimate! Remember when yeh granted that old geezer his request to find the lady in his guild? He said he'd show yeh where to find the ultimate gun, as a way of showing his thanks. But he doesn't know exactly where it is, 'cept it's in the Labyrinth somewhere. But apparently the lady is good at divination, and said she'll try her hand at finding it. I know exploring the Labyrinth would be much easier if yeh had the ultimate gun, right? So if yeh want to get yer hands on it, finish the job. The lady needs a Small Bone, a Spinal Fin, and a 100 Shell to pinpoint its location. If yeh decide to look for them, good luck to yeh.
So this is a fetch quest, although a bit harder than a normal fetch quest. If you've been paying attention to the enemy bios, you'll know that all those items come from FOEs. I have the Small Bone and Spinal Fin, but I need to find another 100 Shell.
: But... if this is about the quest... Oh, I'm so sorry! I double-checked, and found out that you already sold us what we needed! I should have been more careful... I'm such a klutz! I'm so terribly sorry! I feel so bad that you came all the way out here for nothing... I'm really, really sorry. I'll be extra careful next time, I promise! Cass at the Stickleback Bar has the reward, so you can get it from him, at least... I always seem to cause you so much trouble... I hope you don't hate me. Come see us any time! I really enjoy our visits! Thanks, and I'll be looking forward to seeing you again!
: Uh, it's okay?
It turns out I completed this quest by accident. You need to make a Safeguard, which needs a Hazard Bud and a Malachite to unlock. But because I already did that, instead of Abigail spitting out the quest dialogue, she has a breakdown instead. I don't even know what the quest was supposed to be about since it's too late for me to get the quest dialogue. I'll try to be more careful about that in the future.
: Here yeh go. I don't know what they were working on, but I hope it went well.
: I don't even know what happened there. She just suddenly started apologizing when we opened our mouths.
: Yeh lot do yer share of work for them, eh? Yeh're practically their delivery service... I hear there's all sorts of uses for alchemy. Some noble houses even keeps an alchemist on hand to light the cooking stoves! The more skills and whatnot yeh develop in the Labyrinth, the easier life gets for all of us. If yeh're out of candles, say, a glowing rock could do the trick. Although even if I had that sort of thing, I'd never figure out how to use it! Haw! Well, that job's done with. Here's yer reward. Use it wisely, all right? Come back anytime!
: I have no idea what just transpired.
Not much new equipment unlocked from that. Anyways, here's her regular dialogue.
: Hey, did you know the butcher's having a big sale!?
: Really now? Where is it?
: Go straight out the door, left at the wall, and the butcher's should be on your right. Oh, wait... I guess explorers usually eat at the inn... But the meat from there is so, so good! Serve it along with potatoes... yum! You really have to try it for yourself someday!
I held off on picking up this quest since there was gonna be so much dialogue overlap with Abigail if I did. I should probably tell you that this is part of the Dragon quest line. It comes right after Dazed and disoriented.
: Oh, what's this?
: Ahhh, that one's from the same girl as always--yer friend from Sitoth Trading. I don't know the details, but she seems to be in a bind. I suggest yeh go see her as soon as possible... She looked a mite frazzled. Help her, why don't yeh?
: I've heard rumors of a strange race of winged ones there... If they're true, I'd love to be able to meet with one. But I'm always on call here... I can't ignore my patients. So I'll leave the exploring to you! Good luck!
: Holy- where do you want it? H-Here?
: That's right, just set it over there... Great! Thanks! That wasn't so heavy when I was younger, but now...
: You should be careful. You don't want to strain yourself.
: Huh? I shouldn't overdo it? Oh, you're too kind... Thanks for worrying about me.
: What was that stuff, anyway?
: Oh, these are just my daughter's old clothes. I'm going to donate them to charity. You have to look out for those less fortunate, you know. You too! If you see anyone in trouble in the Labyrinth, you should help them out. Who knows? Maybe they might pay you back someday!
: Indeed. What do you need?
: I'm... I'm not sure if I should be asking you to do this... I mean, you're already working so hard to climb Yggdrasil and find that floating castle...! B-But... I need you to... defeat some monsters for me, and... Ohhh, I can't ask you to do it! I'm sorry! You don't have to take the job! Just go back to the bar, and tell Cass I said it was okay to take the reward!
For the record, she's serious. We can go to the bar right now and turn this quest in.
: We did, but she just told us to take the reward. Not sure what happened there.
: What the...? The job was over before it started? What the devil is that supposed to mean? Well... if the client says so, I s'pose it's all right. But I think yeh'd better go have another try at asking her, don't yeh agree? Might be easier getting her to talk if yeh go at night, when she's got fewer customers. It's up to yeh.
Screw alleviating a little girl's guilty conscience, let's just get the reward.
: Well... if yeh did what yeh think was best, then there's nothing I can say. Definitely not the sort of job that leaves yeh with a warm, fuzzy feeling inside. Ahhh, but talking about it doesn't solve anything. Here's the reward. Come back anytime!
Oh fine, I'll do it properly.
: You didn't take the reward!? Wh-Why not?
: You can tell us if something's wrong. We'll listen.
: ......O-Okay... but please don't do the job if you don't want to, okay? I heard from an explorer who came to the shop... Um... No! I can't! I just can't ask you to do this!
: It's okay! Really! I'm sorry about this... Thanks for trying to help!
: I don't think we're getting anything out of her now.
: She just sent us back here to take the reward. Couldn't get anything out of her.
: Don't yeh know how to stand up to a wee little girl!? Just because she says that's okay doesn't mean it IS okay! Yeh've got to pry it out of her no matter what she says!
: What do you suggest we do then?
: Here, try this... I happen to know that she has dinner at 9 in the evening. That's yer chance! Head to the central city to find her. 9 in the evening! Got that?
I just wandered around near the Labyrinth entrance for 3 hours.
: Oh, what are you doing out here with Abigail?
: Hm? The girl? I tried talking to her, since she didn't look well, but she was preoccupied. It sounds like it has something to do with you... Is there anything I can do to help? I was just telling her how much you could be trusted!
: Well that's awfully convenient.
: Yeah, you can tell us anything! We'll listen!
: All right, I've made up my mind! I have a request for you... Will you hear me out?
: Sure. What's on your mind?
: Thank you so much! Umm, I heard this from an explorer who was in the shop not long ago. His guild defeated a monster in the northwest part of the 19th floor. It attacked first, and they had no choice but to kill it, but its child was left behind. I know monsters are a pain for explorers like you, so it might be strange for me to ask... But ever since I heard that story, I've been worried sick about the monster's child! Can't you please do something so it doesn't die!? I don't know what monsters like to eat, but I brought some food that it might eat! Please save the baby monster! I'm begging you!
: ...Can't say I was expecting that.
: Should we do it? I mean, baby or not, it's still a monster.
: It may be a danger to others when it reaches adulthood. Letting it die would mean one less monster for others to worry about.
: Hmm... That's a good point, but I just wouldn't feel right about doing that. Especially when Abigail begged us to do it.
: Well, it's up to the you in the end. I gotta say, I agree with you. I don't really feel right about leaving a baby to die either. Even if it is a monster.
Now I went back into the Labyrinth to fulfill this request.
: Goddamit Ken.
: Look over there!
There is a small lump in the grass... You investigate to find a small bird wrapped in fur. The bird remains still, looking at you with its dark, beady eyes. You think back to the quest you accepted from Abigail... You swore to feed a baby monster that had been orphaned in the Labyrinth. This must be the same monster child the girl referred to... But the bird is a monster at heart, and may eventually grow up to attack you... or others. You wonder if the benefits of being merciful are worth the risk involved...
This is not a but thou must situation. We can leave the baby to starve, and this quest won't have a happy ending. So let's not do that.
As you offer the food to the little bird, it eagerly swallows without a moment's hesitation. Though this is a monster that may eventually be your enemy, you are showing mercy for now. You recall Abigail's face as you agreed to help, and decide it may have been worthwhile. The bird finishes its meal... It seems to have regained some of its energy. You leave the remainder of the food nearby, so as not to leave it in danger of starvation.
: Aw, it looks so cute!
Touched by the bird's innocence, Pauline feels at peace after helping it survive.
Your third party member recovers 10 TP if you say yes.
: Ahhh, yeh're back. I heard the story... a baby monster, eh? Are yeh okay with this? There are so many monsters in the Labyrinth already... If it grows up to be dangerous, yeh'll have to shoulder that responsibility.
: I'm aware of that.
: Well, that's all I'll say on the matter. Just remember... yer actions have consequences. Ahh, and here's the reward. Just make sure the beastie yeh fed doesn't have yeh lot for a second course! Haw haw haw!
This is our only reward. Yes, we could have just turned this in without all that back and forth and nothing would have changed. Though Cass did brings up a good point. Was saving the animal a good idea? Who knows if we'll ever find that out. Anyways for the A diviner's tools quest, I went and killed a Shelltor for the 100 Shell.
: So yeh lot went out to find the stuff, eh? I knew yeh couldn't pass up the ultimate gun! I'll make sure that lady gets the whole kit and caboodle. And if she figures out where the gun is, I'll let yeh know at once. Keep yer fingers crossed!
Now THAT'S a reward! We can't buy these until the postgame. It's the highest tier of Nectall, reviving everyone at full HP! Yeah, you can see why these items never reappeared in any other games.
The winged one repeats his familiar request.
: Yeah. Got it right here.
When you produce the Old Bauble given to you by the Duke's daughter, he seems surprised.
: By almighty Nuh... They may be the ones we have been waiting for...!
The clearly excited winged one looks at you in appraisal.
: It is as the pact said. Tell me, earthbound ones... What are your names?
The winged one smiles wryly at your reluctance to give your names.
: Earthbound ones, you need not be so cautious. We accept you as bearers of the pact. But we cannot guide those whose names we do not know. Please, tell me you names.
: Okay, I'm...
: ...And those are our names. But you can just call us Guild Firefly.
: Firefly... I shall remember that name well.
: With the words of the ancient pact and the Old Bauble, you may take the road to the skies. Our kind obeys our god and stays in the forest. We do not mingle with earthbound ones. Hear me, Firefly. Though you are earthbound ones, you bear the proper credentials. We are bound by our teachings to direct you to the path leading into the heavens. But think carefully... Do you truly have the resolve to throw yourself on the sky's mercy?
Canaan points to the forest behind him, speaking slowly.
: It's true. The path to the throne of god lies beyond here. But it is also a gateway to death. A winged beast perches before that sacred gate.
Our boss for this Stratum.
: If you would head to the castle in the heavens, you must face the Queen of the Skies...
Canaan continues, as if testing your resolve.
: Though I doubt that those who bear the pact would back down out of fear.
With that, Canaan spreads his formidable black wings.
: Farewell, Firefly. We shall meet again once you've reached the path to the heavens.
After these last words, Canaan flies high into the air and disappears into the sky. You can continue ahead or return to town and resupply.