Part 82: BrevityBrevity
This is the party we'll be going with for this Stratum.
The nighttime splash screen.
: Holy crap! You guys weren't kidding about the yellow!
: MY EYES!
: It looks a little better at night, but not much.
This conveyor belt leads back into the Stratum.
But it also leads to some treasure. The treasure boxes have a different appearance in this Stratum. I guess it would've blended in with the eye searing yellow too much.
And from there, it leads straight back to the Geomagnetic Field.
OH NOT GOOD!
-Common: Bat Fangs - 1 needed for Jazeraint and Hamao. 2 needed for Sonic Claw. 20 needed for Agbuster.
--Fangs soaked in blood.
Description: A vampiric forest bat which leeches the blood from unwary explorers with its sharp teeth.
Weakness: Fire (150%)
There's not really much to Woodbats, other than them being really annoying to hit thanks to their high AGI and LUC. They can use Drain to hit hard and heal up any damage they've taken, but they don't use that until the battle drags out past 10 turns, or if they're running low on HP.
-Common: Cry Root - 1 needed for Scourge (Whip) and Nectall. 3 needed for Failnaut (Bow.)
--A Mandrake's sturdy roots.
-Rare: Arc Branch - See 4th Stratum Chop info.
-Conditional: Coal Brick - Kill with Fire. 1 needed for Ichimonji (Katana.)
--Carbonized body of a burnt Mandrake.
Description: An eerie, human-shaped plant whose shriek is said to bring death to those who hear it.
Weakness: Fire (150%)
Now these things on the other hand are complete and utter BULLSHIT to deal with! Note their high AGI and LUC stats because you'll see it come into play later. It makes them really hard to even hit for one thing, but those stats also serve another purpose. Scream is... well, you'll see later.
: Ready when you are, Fedot!
All good so far.
: I don't know why I'm even bothering with these anymore.
: Damn plants, zipping around like that.
Ohhh, NOT GOOD!
Well, Emilia managed to kill it, so nothing bad happened.
There's more conveyor belts leading in.
ARE YOU SERIOUS?
Those things are gonna give me a heart attack, I swear.
Crap, I was hoping I could kill the Mandrake in one turn. No big deal, I'll just attack it and it'll die. Hopefully.
: Ohh, that's going to hurt in the morning.
Well, fuck. I was hoping this wouldn't happen. So, this is what Scream can do.
: My ears!
: What a shrill noi- oh dear.
Scream inflicts AOE instant death! And it has a 35% of working, which is boosted by the Mandrake's ridiculously high luck.
: We have no choice! We must run!
: Yeah! Let's get out of here!
: Don't... die...
So yeah, the thing about Mandrakes? If they're at full health, they're harmless. Well aside from hitting your party members pretty hard. But once their HP drops, even a little bit, they have a 49% chance of casting Scream every turn. You're probably thinking, how's that bullshit? You just need to kill them in one turn. I'm not talking about that part. That aspect would just make them extremely unforgiving, and I would have just told you use a Troubadour's Health skill (if you had one) as a safety net. However, that's not the only time they'll use Scream.
This is why I was panicking every time I got blindsided. They have a 25% chance of casting Scream in those conditions.
Now, if you're wondering how you're supposed to deal with that, you can't. There is equipment that provides instant death resistance, but you don't have access to that at this time. Now I consider Etrian Odyssey to be a tough, but fair series. If you get a game over in these games, that generally means that you made a mistake somewhere, and you need to learn from that. You can't learn from shit like this. This stuff is just, fuck you, you lose. Try again.
You're probably thinking, that's not bullshit, that's just being really unlucky. One Madrake killing your entire party is just an unfortunate circumstance. Normally I would agree, but Mandrakes can be encountered in groups of five! Incidentally, that's actually a common blindside gathering encounter. When the dice gets rolled that many times, the odds of getting out of that situation alive are really low. So I basically have to hope that I don't get blindsided by these things while going through this place.
The only thing you can do about this is to bring along a Survivalist that's leveled up Sagacity a decent amount to reduce the blindside rates. But that involves bringing along a Survivalist, which is usually a terrible idea. It's a terribly designed enemy, and I have no idea what Atlus was thinking when creating this thing. Thankfully, that's the only enemy in this Stratum that's like this. Everything else is really easy to deal with.