Part 84: Welcome to the ThunderdomeWelcome to the Thunderdome
He glances in your direction without paying much heed.
: Whaddaya want? You come here to try to change my mind?
: You know?
The guard has anticipated your quest, it seems. You aren't sure how to proceed from here.
: Heh. Figures... This is a nice place, isn't it? Real peaceful. Brings back some memories...
You step beside the guard and look to see the sky, but all you see is a dark green ceiling.
: Tell me... is my boy refusing to get hitched without my approval?
It all comes down to this point, it seems. You carefully weight your response... Much hinges on appeasing the guard!
The guard heaves a small sigh at your response.
: I see... You're probably right. He's always been that way. Always eager to please me, to get in his dad's good graces. And he hasn't changed.
The guard looks directly at you and chuckles softly.
: When he finally came to me and told me straight up that he was engaged, I was happy. But if he's changing his mind based on what I might say... I've gotta question his resolve. It's clear my son isn't ready for his commitment. Tell him... his dad doesn't approve.
With this, the guard walks deeper into the castle and disappears from your sight. This can't be...! You failed to understand the father, and the son will pay the price! You feel as though you must set this right, but where has the man gone? You hesitate, unsure whether to find the guard again, or to put the whole business behind you.
So there's a couple of different spots the guard can be found at depending on the time of day. From midnight to 7 AM, he can be found on this spot.
From 8 AM to 5 PM he can be found on this spot. Unfortunately, I don't know where he can be found from 6 PM to 11 PM.
: These are severe wounds! We can't let them go untreated! We'll have to postpone the quest for now and hurry back to the hospital!
The quest has failed. If you wish to try again, cancel it and accept it again at the bar.
And in my attempt to find the 3rd guard spot (before giving up on that), Emilia died, which meant I failed the tree quest. Angie's reaction is delayed though. So if you just revive all dead party members before taking a step, that won't happen.
: Uhhhhh, no?
Anyways, you have to lie to him to complete the quest. Saying yes means that you have to go to a different tile to search for him.
The guard laughs softly upon hearing your response.
: Yeah uh, I think he's tired of trying to please you.
: Heh... You think so, too? I felt the same way.
The guard lets out a deep sigh and faces you directly.
: When my boy finally told me straight up he was engaged, I couldn't have been happier. A child who lives in his dad's shadow will always be a child. But my boy's making decisions on his own now... That shows he's finally a man. Would you do me a favor and deliver a message to my boy?
: I don't approve of his marriage. If he falls on hard times, he shouldn't look for my help. Once he's married, I'm cutting ties. If he's set on getting hitched even with all that... Oh, and give him this, too.
The guard hands you something before turning his back and disappearing into the castle. Is it some way of obliquely showing his true feelings...? You stow the item into your bag and move onward. When you have time, return to the bar to complete the quest!
: Now what?
: I believe that's the best we're going to get out of him. We should proably return to the bar.
: Ah, yeh're back! Did you find that old sourpuss?
: Yes. He said that he didn't approve.
: He said that, did he? Haw...! What a stubborn old coot. Ahh, he's probably got a lot on his mind. Things don't always work out for the best. I'll pass the message on to the lad.
: Give him this, too.
: What's this...?
: It's something he wanted us to give his son. What is it, anyway?
: The dad gave it to yeh? It's an old pendant, but very valuable. Looks like there's an engraving on the back, too. ...Haw haw haw! That old man's got style! This pendant belonged to the lad's mother. It's not a gift for his son. The old coot means for him to give it to his bride-to-be. It means, "Congratulations!" So he does have his son's interests in mind after all... I s'pose he always knew his son had become a man, and knew what he'd have to do. Well, this'll help the message go down easier. Looks like yer work here is done! Here's yer reward, and come back anytime!
And now for the tree quest. There's 4 locations you have to go to, and if anyone dies and you forget to revive them, you have to start all over.
: We made it! Let's get started!
She digs into her bag, removing various tools... You are spellbound to watch her work.
: Okay, all done! Don't worry, the trees around here will soon be good as new.
Intimidated by her unyielding smile and resolve, you move onward.
You can also use Warp Wires to get out immediately after going to a spot.
Here's the next spot. The text is the same most of them.
Here's the third spot.
Here's the last spot for the quest.
: All right, this should be the last one! Hold on a moment, I'll take care of--Yeeeeeek!
Alarmed by her scream, you look to see a bizarre new monster slash downward at the assistant! She dodges quickly, but the blood welling up from the small cut has whet its appetite... You have no choice but to draw your wapons and face the fiends head on to protect her!
: What's that thing doing down here?
The last spot will force you into a battle.
Skills: Paralyze, Fang
Item Drops: N/A
Description: This creature's mucus erodes tree bark, killing the tree to expose the nutritious sap within.
Weakness: Volt (150%)
Just a stronger Venombug. Yawn.
: Bellamy, did you ever learn what overkill was?
This enemy doesn't give out any exp despite the regular battle music playing. That's because the Invader is actually an FOE. You see, the game was supposed to play the FOE music for this fight, and it does that if the 2nd, 6th, and 9th floor spots were the last spots you went to. But if you chose the 15th floor as your last stop, the regular battle music plays instead. Good job Atlus. You did some fantastic QA for this game.
Seemingly oblivious to the peril she was in, the assistant examines its head.
For some reason, her portrait doesn't show up in this scene. I have no idea if that was intentional or not. But given the amount of bugs in the rest of the game, I'm inclined to think this is another one.
Curious, you look closer and see the liquid from before on the monster's fangs.
: The incisors are spaced and sized consistently with the scratches on the trees...
: I think we might have found our culprit.
: I'd better find the doctor and let him know!
You help treat the wound on her arm and finish your work here. As you are well aware, she is not considered a part of Firefly...
You're kidding me.
You must either return by foot or access a Geomagnetic Field! May luck be with you!
Yes, if you use a Warp Wire, you instantly fail the quest, and have to do everything all over again. Even though the game lets you use a Warp Wire at any other time! This is just a random screw you placed in. Like before, you can cheese this part with a Warp Stone if you came from a Geomagnetic Field. If you used a Pole, tough.
Unfortunately, I didn't have a Warp Stone, so I had to walk all the way back.
The assistant nods her thanks to you and uses the Geomagnetic Field to return to Lagaard. You have successfully escorted the assistant back to safety. Now you need only to return to the city yourself, and the quest will be complete!
: Welcome back! You did another great job out there. Our work is finished, but we couldn't have done it without your help. Oh, don't forget to pick up your reward at the bar! Why don't we meet up again sometime? Preferably not as patient and nurse... Hee hee!
With a wide smile, the assistant waves happily before returning to the hospital. The quest is complete! Report your success to the bar to claim your reward.
: Did she just...?
: Who was she even...?
: I don't want to think about it.
: Ahhh, welcome back! I heard the news... yeh're all done! Sounds like yeh were up close to that assistant again, too. Well done! But yeh're having all the fun! Remember, saving other people is great and all, but be sure to take care of yerselves, too! Haw haw! Come back anytime!
Meh. Let's get back to exploring the 22nd floor.
Are you kidding me!?
Oh, phew! Those things were responsible for a couple of game overs.
: I just bought new armor!
: MMPH MMMMMPH!
: Missed me!
Skills: Tailash, Vine
-Common: Pale Hull - 1 needed for Steel Gun, Fur Boot, and Axcela. 3 needed for Dotanuki (Katana) and Evil Arm. 10 needed for Shidgedou (Bow.)
--Nozuchi's outer shell, made of blue metal.
-Rare: Crabapple - See 4th Stratum Take info.
Description: A dangerous forest snake that has evolved into a smaller size in exchange for control over ice.
Weakness: Fire (150%)
Resistance: Ice (0%)
Nothing's really notable about them. Tailash attempts to inflict random binds on your whole party, which can be very annoying. Vine is a pretty weak Ice attack.
: How shocking!
Nothing up at the top, so let's explore the sides.
Here's a Take Point, and a very important one!
Common: Life Honey - 1 needed for Bravant and Axcela, 2 needed for Nectar II. 3 needed for Soma. 4 needed for Hamao. 5 needed for Nectall. 2 needed for the quest Healing innovations.
-Healing honey that restores some HP.
Uncommon: Wild Rose - Unlocks nothing.
-Brilliant pink flower that restores some TP.
Rare: Odd Fruit - 1 needed for Flame Jar, Frost Jar, and Storm Jar. Limited Stock.
-Human-shaped fruit used to activate talismans.
The uncommon and rare items aren't that important, but that Life Honey unlocks a lot of good consumables. This is where you can finally unlock Axcelas, and you'll probably want to do that for an upcoming boss. Nectalls are also very handy to have at this stage in the game.
There's also a Red FOE here, that doesn't seem to be moving at all.
: Why is this thing staying still?
: Let me get a closer look.
: I remember there was an FOE that looked like this back in the third Stratum. They're awake at night.
: Huh, I guess the same might apply to these ones.
Yeeeeeep, it's the return of the nocturnal FOEs.
Behavior: Nocturnal, Patrol
Like the Helldras, they're resistant to elementals. They're also heavily resistant to status effects. Oh, and don't try to kill these things. Why?
That's why. They'll always use Charge on their first turn, and then Banquet, which is a guaranteed party wipe at this point. You only have 2 turns to take them down, and their stats are too high to make a dent in them. And since they're Red FOEs, you can't use any of the bells to move them out of the way.
-Common: Coal Bone - 1 needed for Expel Coat and Vigor Belt. 2 needed for Melputteh (Sword.)
--Charred bone fragment of a black wing.
-Conditional: Coal Skull - Don't kill with physical. 1 needed for Comet Whip. 1 needed for the quest The opposing one.
--Preserved skull of a winged dragon.
Description: This winged horror's control of sharp, biting winds allow it to hunt multiple prey at once.
Weakness: Fire (125%), Ice (150%)
Weaker versions of Darksoars. Wing hits everyone in the party for light damage.
: Frederik! I need a refill!
: Coming right up!
So yeah, Bellamy can wipe out everything easily, at the cost of requiring a ton of TP support. Unfortunately, Transfer can't keep up with that.
More HP for Bellamy. I don't know if this will be enough for him.
As you can see on the map, there's no way to move on.
: There's no way to budge this thing, is there?
: I'm afraid not.
: Look on the bright side! At least the look of this place will be easier to stomach at night!
One nap later...
: All right, time to move out!
And the Evildras are moving!
Here's the patrol path for this one.
And the one in the middle of this floor.
More HP for everyone. I really hope that this will be enough for something coming up.
Another Evildra to the right, normally that conveyor belt is blocked off at day.
I would say that this would be handy for an upcoming boss, but it's not. In fact, using this would actually be worse than not using it in said fight.
The last Evildra on this floor. All of them block off conveyor belts. That said, if it turns day all the Evildras will stop in place, so if they're not blocking off the conveyor belts, you don't have to worry about dodging them.
Here's the other Take Point.
: Hmm, north or west?
I say west, it leads to that treasure we saw earlier.
: More supplies would be good.
: Treasure! Treasure!
: West it is.
Some decent armor, but I don't put it on anyone for now.
Now the stairs are right here, but I'm not actually done with the floor yet.
: Hey, another button! Can I press it?
: Go ahead.
It seems to have been neglected for years, but it somehow manages to catch your interest. Though pressing it seems to accomplish nothing, before long a disembodied voice sounds.
The mysterious voice abruptly ends there. You cock your head, marveling at the strange phenomenon, before returning to your quest.
: I'm afraid I have no idea what any of that meant.
: Same here.
Satisfied, you examine the wall before you and find more of the hieroglyphs drawn there. It is nothing like the written language you know, and will be quite difficult to decipher. You could try to decipher it with the knowledge you've gained in your adventures...
: Another one? Let me see if I can read this.
Using every half-remembered scrap of information, you slowly piece together the meaning. Your lips move as you begin to understand, involuntarily reading the message out loud...
As you finish reading the last line, you hear something from the other side of the wall! You can investigate the sound or continue to explore the castle.
This event is a little special. What it does is activate another event later. Now I would just head back to the stairs, but unfortunately, something bad happened on my way back.
I got into a fight with an Evildra. But more importantly, I'm pinned against the wall.
: We're trapped!
: Oh that's just great.
Might as well go down fighting.
: I don't like the looks of that.
: We're going to die, aren't we?
: I... don't know. Sorry everyone.
: Even then, I'll fight back as much as I can!
: I don't think that was enough.
Well that's normally a good amount of damage, but the thing has 5000 HP!
Maybe I chipped off enough HP to kill it in two turns. Maybe I still have a chance.
Should give a damage boost to the rest of my party.
That's not enough damage! Whatever, I've made too much progress. Might as well save the map data.
: It was nice working with you guys.
: HA! It's not over yet!
: She just stopped it in its tracks.
: Well, in that case...
I got very very lucky here. Evildras are resistant to status effects. Aliara just saved everyone from dying and bought me more time.
Oh come on, I just bought myself another turn and this happens?
This fight just went from unwinnable to possible.
Stop toying with my heart!
: I guess it only works once.
I don't know if the party could survive an uncharged Banquet, but I don't want to find out.
Okay, I'll take that.
Gaaaaahhh, I'm so close!
: Get up, gramps!
: My thirst for blood cannot be subdued!
: Good riddance!
: So, Aliara. Is there something you want? Like some candy or something?
: I'll think about it. Oh hey, Emilia.
: Could you... say something for me?
: What are you... you're kidding. Fine! Grrr... Th-th-th-
I could not believe what just happened. I did not think I was gonna make it through that fight. Aliara singlehandedly saved the whole team.
: Th-th-thank you.
: There, was that so hard?
: Oh come on, I don't get any credit? I killed the monster!
: Mmmm... fine!
: Wait, are you seriously...?
: Hey, you're the one that killed it.
Right, the Evildras.
Behavior: Nocturnal, Patrol
Skills: Charge, Banquet
-Common: Evil Bone - 1 needed for Godendag (Staff.)
--Hardened scales from a many-headed dragon.
Description: Its true intelligence is in its center, which directs the rest of the poison-fanged heads.
Resistance: Elemental (50%)
They'll spend their first turns charging up, and then using Banquet. After that, they'll do whatever. Physical attacks are the way to deal with them. But save these guys for later when Banquet won't one shot your party.
Anyways, after all that, the 22nd floor is, well not quite done, but we can't access the sides just yet.
This floor probably brings back some bad memories for EO2 players.
: Those who have fallen to earth. Have you no interest in gaining immortality?
The question rings in your ears as if a corporeal presence had spoken if not two feet away.
: Have those who have fallen to earth forgotten the terror of the shadow of death? Influential men, mighty kings... All who gained power shared the same dream in their hearts. Immortality. Countless men yearned for it, and each faced death in turn regardless. The Grail of Kings I have obtained is what gives humans the power to overcome death. Do not approach me lightly. On this very floor is one who was once a veteran explorer... Through the power of the Holy Grail, he has been granted might beyond his human form...
The mysterious voice takes on a slightly taunting tone, as if amused.
: To protect my research, I gave him the power of immortality, creating the Colossus! I look forward to seeing your mere human's strength pitted against its almighty power...
The voice falls silent. Whatever it spoke of is beyond your understanding... But from what you could deduce, a fearsome enemy awaits you on this very floor! Your heart races as you proceed through the Labyrinth with the utmost caution...
Colossus is the final Stratum boss in the game, and is very infamous for being a brick wall. It's what was what I was worried about all this time, because you fight it on this floor.
: What the hell was he going on about?
: Uh, Fedot? Look at the map!
: Hmm? Oh dear.
: Excuse me while I have a heart attack.
: That's a lot of FOEs!
The moment you go through that door, all these FOEs spawn.
: Should we just make some preparations and come back?
: Yes. Let's.