Part 77: Flying to the Queen of the SkiesFlying to the Queen of the Skies
We're gonna finish up that thief quest before exploring the 20th floor. Just a warning, you're gonna wanna stock up on supplies for this one.
But your eye has been trained by now to spot his abnormal movements... Before your weapons are fully unsheathed, the imposter jumps back, a grin on his face.
: Heh. Not bad. I guess I can't fool you three times!
The thief pulls out a slender object and puts it to his lips. The monster-controlling flute...! Its high-pitched tone causes a cacophony of monster shrieks from all sides...
: If you run, I'll spare you. I'm on a schedule... I need to get to town, heh.
: Oh dear god.
: You bastard! Get back here!
It can't be... You now see the magnitude of the villain's horrifying plot. He intends to use these monsters to attack Lagaard! According to Cass, the guard corps should be here, but there isn't a moment to waste! You ready yourselves for battle, knowing that you must dispose of all the ensorceled monsters. You mustn't relax for an instant until all the monsters under his control have been slain!
This is another defense mission. There are 7 FOEs that you have to take down, and if a single one reaches the stairs down, you fail the quest. You can block off the tile I marked, which makes it impossible for the FOEs to pass. But there's so many FOEs to take down, that running out of supplies is something you have to look out for.
: Stand your ground! We'll cut them off here!
Item Drops: N/A
Description: A thick-skinned monster with a poison sting. Deployed by thieves to attack a village.
Weakness: Volt (150%)
Resistance: Physical (75%)
They're just stronger versions of Killpions. Now the thing to note is that they're really tanky. If you don't have a good team, it's possible to waste a lot of time on a single battle, and let another one slip through.
Repeat 5 more times. Really, the main threat is either running out of supplies, or that your team can't hold out and are forced to give up. Nothing interesting happened in the rest of the battles, so I'll just skip to the end.
: Phew! I think that's all of them. Hey! He's getting away!
You give chase, but suddenly you hear a scream, followed by a beastly roar. It seems there was still a monster or two left that the flute lured in... In his haste to escape, the thief lost control, meeting his end at their claws and fangs.
: I, uh, don't think we need to worry about that guy anymore.
: Good riddance.
Your quest is complete! It's time you headed back to the bar for your reward!
: Good to see yeh... So, did yeh catch that thief?
: Didn't have to. His own monsters killed him.
: Ahh, now that's what I like to hear!
: He was planning to attack Lagaard with them.
: Yeah, I heard as much already. It's hard to believe what the bastard really had in mind. I owe you my thanks. Yeh did quite well! Lots of people praising Firefly these days.
: So who was that guy?
: He wasn't a Lagaardian... Just some foreigner posing as an explorer. Turns out, the man was so notorious that he's wanted in four separate countries. I know the Grand Duchy is awfully grateful that yeh were able to bring him in. I dunno if it's worth all the work yeh did, but think of that as a little bonus. Haw! Here's yer reward, with a little something extra from the Grand Duchy. Thanks again, yeh lot!
I also caught Abigail's quest dialogue for The sorcery-reflecting lens quest, so you can know what that one was about.
: You're going to help us again? Thank you so, so much! Let's see... well, it's another collection quest. Have you heard of affinities? My father told me about it. Apparently, you can give weapons and armor special properties! If you use alchemy on the raw materials, the finished product will have that affinity! Then you can become stronger or faster just by equipping it! Isn't that neat!? Oh, sorry! I get so excited talking about it... I didn't mean to ramble like that. One of the alchemists who works with our equipment wants to try a new technique. She needs raw material from the Labyrinth, and we hoped you could help us out again! All right, here's the list... 1 Hazard Bud and 1 Malachite. ...That's all! You can find them both somewhere called the Four-Eyed Forest. Good luck! Oh and in case you need help finding the Hazard Bud... The ronin who last got one said he had to use a technique called Issen to get it. Once you have everything, just come back and sell it to me. I'll take care of the rest! Take care!
So yeah, I ended up missing some important stuff. This is the earliest the game actually tells you about conditional drops. Yes this late, at the end of the fourth Stratum. And you can miss this information by accident, like I did in the last update. Thanks Atlus. EO3 and onwards lets you know about that stuff from the beginning of the game, and actually tells you how to get them from most random encounters. Anyways, here's her proper dialogue for finishing the quest.
: Thank you so much! Now we have everything we need! Did you get to meet the alchemist? She's so pretty! I want to be like her when I get older... But if I can't, do you think she could make me look pretty using alchemy? Haha! I didn't think so... Then what should I do...? Oh, but now's not the time to get distracted! I'll go send this to her right away! If we have any other requests, you're the ones we'll ask!
Okay, enough questing. Time to explore the 20th floor.
Yet another incorrect spot for Settling a bet.
: Alright, there's two ways we can go from here. Left or right?
: East or west?
: Um... Is there a coin I can flip or something? Oh wait, we have Cass' coin. I'll just-
: We don't have time for this.
: Ah-ah-ah I mean west!
-Common: Pale Quill - See Cocatris bio.
-Rare: Pale Beak - 1 needed for Big Axe and Snow Quill.
--Strong, sharp beak taken from a pale bird.
Description: A crow that lurks in the dark corners of the forest, always watching for unsuspecting prey.
Weakness: Stab (150%)
This enemy isn't that threatening, but it can be an annoying one. Its AGI and LUC are through the roof. (58 and 55) so its pretty evasive. Terrify is a single target skill that has a moderate chance to inflict terror. Granted, someone freezing up at the wrong time can wreck your team, but hopefully it won't get to that point.
: Need a light?
Really, just imagine me doing that for every single encounter, because that's pretty much what I did for the majority of the floor. Floor 20 is normally really tough to go through, but for some reason it was decided that Ken had to be in the party. So this floor ended up being kind of uneventful for me to go through.
We're gonna have to travel through several one way passages on the floor.
Oh, and Cocatris are back.
I won't be taking this one way passage just yet, it essentially leads back to the entrance.
Oh no, Petaloids. What am I going to do.
: Burn, baby, burn!
Petaloids are still something to watch out for, but they're much more manageable by the time you get to this floor. Really, the only way I'm gonna die here is if I get blindsided.
: Ooh! Found something over here!
The only way to avoid these Cocatris is to come between 4 and 6 pm. The spawn times are still the same.
: Oh, sweet! A new toy for me to play with! I wonder how loud I can make those monsters scream in pain with this!
: Can you please stop placing me on the same team with him?
: Sorry, no can do. Almost everyone made that same request.
: Of course. Why am I not surprised?
A one way exit from this area.
It would be a simple matter to pick the fruit and eat it, if you so chose.
: Ah, what delicious looking fruit!
: Whoa, hold on there Gilbert. Let me take a closer look at it. Wouldn't want to eat some poison fru-
: HOLY CRAP!
: Boss, you okay!?
: I changed my mind, I do not find exploding fruit appetizing.
: Yeah... Ugh. Explosive fruit. Sure, let's go with that. Ugh...
You are constantly bewildered by the variety of traps and snares the Labyrinth holds...
Well, there's only one way to go from here.
Oh these things are jerks!
: Okay, that hurts!
: My hands aren't supposed to be green, right?
: Can't catch me!
Skills: Paralyze, Fang
-Common: Dark Spur - 1 needed for Arquebus (Gun), Stun Gas, and Gauntlet. 5 needed for Czar Plate. 15 needed for War Bow.
--Caterpillar claws coated with strong poison.
-Conditional: Curve Horn - Kill with Fire. 1 needed for Flamberge.
--Fang-like spikes from a caterpillar's maw.
Description: A giant pillbug whose lethal venom makes it far more dangerous than ordinary insects.
Weakness: Volt (150%)
Resistance: Immune to Poison
Venombugs are the strongest enemies in the Stratum. Sure, they're less tanky than Wrathbuds, but unlike those things, these things can be encountered in groups. Yes, groups. You saw how much damage Fang did. Getting blindsided by those things pretty much means I'm done for. Fang is a hard hitting physical AOE that has a decent chance to poison. Paralyze is single target, but inflicts paralysis instead. If you were thinking of having a Hexer try to clear them out with Poison, don't. They're immune to it. Use Torpor instead.
While everything else isn't a threat, Venombugs are the one enemy I have to watch out for. They and the Petaloids are the reason this floor is tough to go through.
I went back to the one way shortcut I skipped earlier. It takes us to a Chop point.
: How did we end up back at the entrance?
: Huh? Let me see that map!
: Hmm. Doesn't look like we can explore any more of the floor on this side.
: So we just walked in a big circle? Great going Ken.
: Hey, how was I supposed to know that wasn't the right way? And besides, you wanted to go west too!
Another wrong corpse to leave the coin on.
: This better be the right way.
: Dude, it was your fault too.
: Yeah, well I was just going with what Pauline said.
: You guys said it at the same time!
: Don't drag me into this!
: Knock it off, you two.
There's a Voltking that patrols this path, and a hidden shortcut off to the side.
This is the scariest encounter to get into because two Fangs will wipe out your party. Fighting three of these things means you have to take two of them out, which not all parties may be capable of doing at this point.
They also have enough HP to survive Ken's Kienzan, so I can't just get rid of them instantly.
: Crap. I think I just pissed them off.
The others managed to clean up, but not before a survivor managed to get off a Fang.
Acts like a level 2 Gravity.
: You know, it's kind of weird.
: What's weird?
: The last floor was a bunch of floating islands, and now we're back on solid floor. What's up with that?
: Now that you mention it, that is a bit odd.
Apparently the devs thought so too, because the sky islands got moved to floor 20 in the remake.
I said Venombugs were a threat to my team earlier. I take that back.
: May your heated blade shine brightly through the... day... light. Hmm, no. That's not right.
: Uh, sure. Okay.
Turns out even when using Kienzan, Ken is faster than the Venombugs, and can just have Gilbert buff up his attack. Or someone else can just smack the Venombugs, and that puts them into killing range.
Almost have Nick's STR maxed out.
2-Hit now has a 24% chance to proc.
Here's the Take Point on this floor.
Pauline leveled up AGI to 3, which unlocked these two abilities.
: They'll never see me coming.
: This ought to take the heat off of me.
Ambush is a very nice field skill, so I'll be leveling this up next. Also, mainly because there's a specific encounter in the next Stratum that I do NOT want to get blindsided by. All I'll say on the matter is that it's the one enemy in the game that I think is pure and utter bullshit to deal with, instead of just really unforgiving like the Petaloids and Venombugs.
At this point, I opted to go back and resupply.
Some new stuff, although none of them were really upgrades.
I decided to take out this Voltking for the same reason I took out the others. So I wouldn't have to dodge past it every time.
I've pretty much accepted that someone is gonna die when I fight these.
Another way out.
Just a few stat upgrades for Ken and Gilbert. Don't expect them to learn anything exciting after they've got their best skills maxed out.
There's two ways to go from that last shortcut. Left or up. Up was the way forward, so I went left.
The last of floor 20's item points.
You are somewhat curious as to how it might taste...
: This isn't going to explode on us, right?
: Only one way to find out! Mmm! Sweet and tasty!
The tree sap is sweet, and very effective at curing your fatigue.
: Uh, behind you! The poisonous insects!
: What the-? You've got to be kidding me.
Unfortunately, you weren't the only ones interested in the delicious sap! You feel a hostile presence and before long, the monsters emitting it ambush you!
Nothing is a threat to this team now. Well until we reach the next Stratum anyways.
Of course, entering this area means you have to backtrack a bit.
: What have we here?
Meh. I guess this could be good for Ken since his TP pool's really low, but his defenses are already pretty low.
Another way out of this next area.
Which has Shelltors patrolling it.
More mediocre treasure. I never really liked Hamaos in the EO games.
Triple level up!
More power for Nick.
And now we have an extra 10% chance of getting preemptive strikes.
2-Hit has a 29% chance to proc.
: Hey, we made a full lap around this place!
: And you were complaining about the west side being a dead end.
: Well it was! I mean, we couldn't get through this spot earlier! So it was the same thing as a dead end!
The shortcuts stop being marked at this point, so you have to look for the way forward yourself.
More stats for Ken and Gilbert.
And we've reached the Queen of the Skies. Her room is beyond here.
You look up to see Canaan, chief of the winged ones whom you spoke with at the entrance. He flies down towards you and executes a graceful landing.
His voice carries sincere respect for your victory over the Labyrinth's hardships.
: It must have been a challenge for earthbound ones to reach this place.
: Eh, it's not really a problem when you just burn down everything in your way.
: But your challenge is far from over. Beyond this point is the Queen of the Skies's lair. Since you have done so well in coming to her domain, I wish to do all I can to help you. Is there anything you would like to know? I will answer anything within my power.
Canaan looks at you, awaiting your first question.
: So who are you guys? Everyone down there calls you the Winged Ones.
Canaan answers your query in a proud tone of voice.
: We are whom of which you speak. Almighty Nuh made we sons of Father Ish and Mother Ishsha. We obey almighty Nuh's commands and live in this forest by the sufferance of the voice of god.
Canaan holds his head high as he speaks. You doubt you can learn anything concrete.
This will pop up after every question. Saying no will end the questioning, but let's see what else he has to say.
You ask the chief of the winged ones about the voice of god.
: Soooo, what's this voice of god, anyways?
He looks up into the sky and gives it some thought before slowly responding.
: Almighty Nuh gave birth to us, and his voice dictates the laws of our kind. In the past, our leader... meaning myself... heard god's word in the holy place. We were given several commands. This is the oldest of them: Escort those who bear the pact to the path to the heavens. You have fulfilled these words. We were also told to carry the injured earthbound ones to the heavens.
: And why is that?
: Why? I cannot say. We did as we were told and carried scores of earthbound ones to the sky.
: You know what happened to them?
: What happened to them? We do not know. We do not ask. We do not enter the castle.
Canaan breathes a deep sigh. You are more curious than ever to know why they carried humans to the castle in the sky... You consider asking Canaan, but you doubt he will speak any more of the matter.
: Might as well get to the point. Can you tell us about this Queen of the Skies?
: The Queen of the Skies... You wish to know more about your adversary.
Canaan's face takes on a stern cast before he continues.
: That demon bird suddenly appeared before us, out of the blue heavens. We were preparing to receive the word of our god when it fell upon us mercilessly. Many of Siveta fell victim to the foul bird. We were forced to abandon the holy land... Ever since, many of our best warriors have given their all to defeat it. The result... was always the same. Many died, and our ties to the holy land were lost... If you defeat it, we can once again commune with our god. Much is resting on your shoulders.
The winged one smiles and continues with his speech.
: The Queen of the Skies has a beautiful yet deceptive voice. Beware of that in your battle.
After delivering this warning, Canaan blesses you and promises to pray for your safety.
With no further questions to pose to Canaan, you thank him for the information. Canaan acknowledges your thanks with a nod and points to the door behind him.
: I don't think we have any more questions. Thanks for the information.
: Our former sacred ground is past this point. The demon bird makes her nest here. Whether or not you can ascend to the castle in the heavens depends on this battle. May almighty Nuh bless you, Firefly...
Canaan slowly rises into the air, looking down after you until he vanishes. The door before you is the entrance to the former holy land of the winged ones. You can open it and challenge the Queen of the Skies, or head to Lagaard and prepare.
Here's a quick shortcut back here.
And here's the rest of the equipment I unlocked. Now let's take a look at our guild.
: Huh, never thought I'd actually get this far.
: Hmm, now what are the best techniques to use on demonic birds?
: Wow, to think I'd get to reach the floating castle myself!
: A beautiful voice, yet one I must not listen to. What a conundrum.
: So far, this whole trip through the Labyrinth is going a lot better than the last one. I hope it stays that way.
These five are the same.
: The floating castle at last. I can say that my life has been a fulfilling one.
Frederik has maxed out Cursecut and Transfer, so he can provide infinite TP to the party. But that's really more for the next Stratum. He's also maxed out Salve 2, which is his best healing skill.
: Ah, sweet sepsis.
Aliara has her standard skillset again, no Revenge for now. She has Torpor, Poison, Corrupt, and Dampen maxed out.
: Now this is getting interesting.
Aegis just beefed up his defenses a bit. Not much changed.
: This demon bird is going down!
I've been working on maxing out Emilia's stats at this point.
: Finally! I've perfected it! This so called Queen of the Skies shall be slain quickly!
Remember how Megido was hitting for really pathetic damage before? Not the case anymore, it hits really hard now since I've maxed it out.
: Maybe I should bring earplugs to this fight.
Maverick hasn't really changed much.
I've beefed up Ling's HP a bit, and maxed out his strength. He can hit really hard with Rampage.