Part 98: Quests SuckQuests Suck
: So you're resigning?
: Well, not really. It's just that the hospital is short staffed right now, so I don't know if I really have the time to help out the guild anymore.
: Well you better let Fedot know about tha- HOLY CRAP! What was that!?
: What the-!? Where did that sword come from?
: That's what I'd like to know since it almost went through my head!
: Huh, it's all rusted.
: Should we pick it up?
The sword seems worn and filthy, completely unusable as a weapon. You decide to leave it where it lies and continue your journey.
: I don't see the point of taking a rusty old sword. Just look at that thing!
: It might be worth letting him know about it though. Swords don't fall from the sky for no reason.
Some more items I unlocked.
We're not gonna be exploring the 6th Stratum in this update. Instead, we're gonna be doing some quests.
This is the final quest in the tree quest line, so there's gonna be a big payoff to this.
: Uh, this sounds urgent.
: Ahhh, excellent. This quest is perfect for yeh lot. It's another one from that doc. Looks like there's been a new development with the withered trees... I never pay attention to any of that stuff, though. Ask the man at the hospital. G'luck! Haw haw haw!
This is the last quest on this we'll be taking. The others have you deal with some optional bosses, and the party in their current state isn't strong enough to deal with them yet. Unfortunately, it's not the last one in the chess quest line.
: It appears that someone has some spare chess pieces to trade.
: But we don't have the Knight.
: I dunno about this one... Didn't yeh see the sheet? The reward is a King piece. Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't yeh already have a King?
: Oh, that's right.
: I don't see any other quests about any chess pieces up there, so I guess we might as well do this one? Plus, we'll have two Kings!
: Two are better than one, sure, but what yeh're really after is the complete set. Maybe it's worth doing if yeh can trade a King with someone for a piece yeh don't have...
: Actually, that's a lot smarter.
: We would need to do a two for one deal to profit from this quest. I don't know if we can pull that off.
: Well, I won't stop yeh, but just be aware that it might end up as a waste of yer time. Anyways, g'luck!
: Oh! There you are!
: Huh? What do you need?
: We saw a sword fall out of the sky! Almost landed on my head too.
: What? Really!? Where did it fall to!?
: Uh, it landed at the entrance of the Labyrinth.
: You wouldn't happen to know anything about that, would you- aaaaaaaand they just ran out the door.
: I guess that sword was important after all.
You vaguely recall seeing it before, but can't quite remember where.
: There it is!
: Wait, remind me where that sword came from?
: Huh, did we really spend that much time in the teleporter maze? It was that sword that was in the magic circle. I dropped it when the Golem attacked us. Remember?
: Oh yeah. Sorry boss, that teleporter maze was exhausting.
You consider picking the sword up and taking it with you.
The sword turns out to be rusted and brown, completely unusable as a weapon.
: Okay, how are supposed to "gain total control over the Labyrinth" with this?
: No clue, but it can't hurt to keep it with us. Maybe someone can fix it up.
Still, you brush off the dirt and place it in your belongings before moving onward.
Now killing Golem and picking up this sword is the start of a new quest line.
The first of which becomes available after picking up the Ruin Sword. If you have a Survivalist with a level 10 Stalker, put them in your party before doing this quest. Do not make the same mistake I am about to make.
: Huh, that one's new.
: Could yeh lot handle this one? It's a bit of a bother. The client's part of a famous guild... Not more famous than yeh lot, but then who is?
: My old guild? Then again, we weren't exactly the heroic type. Anyways, what do they need.
: Their landsknecht's favorite axe has gone dull. He asks that yeh bring the axe in to have it sharpened... But there's a catch. The sharpener needs a whetstone and his fee before he can do his work. The worst part is that whoever takes the request has to put up the items, and the money too! Hopefully, the reward will make up for whatever yeh're out. The whole business bothers me. But I'm glad someone took the quest so's it's off the board. Yeh can find the sharpener in the center of the 21st floor. Here's the axe for him. G'luck!
: Now the question is, where can we find a Knight?
: Maybe Abigail knows something. She did sell us a piece earlier.
: Hi, everyone! You're just in time... I had something to tell you! Remember when you bought the golden piece from us? Another customer came later, and wanted to sell me the exact same piece. My dad wasn't around, so I couldn't agree to it at the time... But I thought maybe you'd want to buy it from him! He said he was a guard, on his way to the Labyrinth for an investigation. And if anyone was interested in buying the piece, that they should come to the 25th floor.
: Great, more wandering around the Labyrinth.
: Um... I'm sorry I couldn't help you myself... B-But maybe he'll give you the piece for free if you explain everything to him! Sorry to put you through all this work...
: Eh, it's fine. Thanks for letting us know where he is.
: We saw the request you put up. You said you found the monsters causing the trees to die?
: Did you take another one of our requests? Great! We actually found the cause of the disease from our last few requests. Remember the monsters you fought at the time? You were right--it was the culprit! It seems to secrete a substance from its fangs that's poisonous to plants. It enters the tree's cells and alters the metabolism, causing the nutrients to flood outward. Oh... Listen to me ramble on! Long story short, that monster is a sudden mutation. Though it normally feeds off the Labyrinth's trees, it's begun to poison them in the process. If we don't step in, the mutant strain could end up destroying the whole Labyrinth. As a new mutation, their ability to reproduce is still inhibited. So we still have a chance. Their nest is in the center of the 18th floor. Exterminate them... before it's too late! We're counting on you!
Something I'd like to point out is that the Yggdrasil Tree's role in this game is pretty limited. In this game, it just happens to be the setting where the game takes place and nothing more. Where as in all the other EO games, it was a large part of the plot. Anyways, let's go do some quests.
: Found them!
One of them sees you and gets up to walk over to you.
: You must be explorers. Pretty good ones, if you managed to get here.
You can tell by their worn armor and the panic in his voice that they've been attacked.
: What the hell happened here?
: We're with the guard corps. But we didn't sign up for this kind of hell. We're through. Problem is, our map got stuck in the branches and we can't find our way back to town.
The guard points to the tree's highest branches... You can faintly see a parchment there.
What branches? We're indoors!
There are no footholds ruling out the chance that a survivalist could climb... Perhaps a dark hunter's whip would be more suited to the task...? Dark hunters routinely carry whips, after all, regardless of their equipment... A skilled dark hunter would stand a better than even chance of reclaiming the parchment.
Alas, there is no dark hunter in your party skilled enough to wield the necessary whip. With no other way to help the guards, you leave the area.
Just having a Dark Hunter isn't enough. They need 8 points in Whips or else they can't get the map.
: Let's see here...
: No funny stuff, Nick.
: What? I'm just getting the map. Uh... HA! Got it!
Your dark hunter skillfully entangles the whip's tip on the lost parchment.
: Great! Now we can finally get back to town! By the way, what brought you guys all the way up here? There must be some reason.
The guard inquires into your journey as he painstakingly places the map into his pack. You think back to what you heard at Sitoth Trading... You were told that a guard on the 25th floor had a golden piece for sale. You are free to ask the guard here whether or not he is the one with the piece.
As you mull over your answer, he looks at you dubiously.
: You came to a deathtrap like this for no reason...? In my professional opinion as a guard, I suggest you get the hell out of here. Let's go.
: I heard that you had a chess piece for sale?
The guard beams as he hears your question.
: That was me! Hey, you came this far, why don't we trade instead?
: Sure. Aliara?
: Here's the pieces!
You nod equitably and show your pieces, as the guard takes out his own two gold pieces.
: I was thinking of a straight trade, but you got our map, so I'll give you two for one. Let's see... how about my two pieces for your King? You consider his offer carefully before replying.
I can get two pieces if I trade one away? What a ripoff!
Reluctant to lose your King, you decline the guard's offer. The guard seems disappointed as you turn your back and leave the area.
: Sounds like a good deal. Give him the pieces.
: Here you go!
The terms seem fair, and you agree to the trade. The guard nods and shakes your hand.
: It's a deal! I'll take good care of the piece you gave me!
You have obtained a Rook and a Knight! Once the trade is complete, you leave the guards to rest a while before they return.
You have obtained all the items necessary for the quest!
Now let's see about sharpening that axe.'
A man is here, looking upward as if searching for something. When your presence registers with him, he looks toward you and begins to speak.
: Hello, explorers.
: Um, hi there.
You are surprised by his blunt attitude, but return his greeting. The man continues...
: Tell me, what do you think? Think this could be a shop? What's your shop look like?
: Er... well... Could you slow down a bit?
The questions come so rapidly that you have no time to answer any of them. The man laughs...
: Sorry, I forgot where I was for a moment. Whaddaya want?
You think back to the quest you accepted at the bar... You agreed to take an axe to the sharpener in the Labyrinth. This must be the man. You tell him the details of the quest and await his response.
: Someone needed this axe sharpened. They said we could find someone who could do that around here.
: Yeah, is that you?
If you don't have the required fee:
: That's me, the Labyrinth's sharpener. Did you bring a whetstone and my fee? The fee is 1,000en and I'll need a True Soul to sharpen the blade. If you don't have a True Soul, you can get one by defeating the White Knight in the castle. I'm planning on opening a shop here! So you go ahead and get what I need... I'll be here.
After the man says his piece, he turns his gaze to the ceiling and resumes mumbling. It seems you'll need a certain item in order for him to sharpen the axe... You bid him farewell, though you aren't sure he hears you.
If you have the required fee:
: That's me, the Labyrinth's sharpener. Good, you brought the stuff... hand me that axe.
He takes the axe and checks its blade with his finger, then sits down to begin his work.
I don't like where this is going.
You can't be serious.
Goddammit Atlus! So yeah, remember that quest where we had to stay on a floor for 3 days without leaving? This is the return of that quest, although it's one day. As in 24 hours. That means that you have to spend 720 turns on this floor.
The quest has ended in failure! If you wish to try again, return to the bar and accept the quest once more.
And yes, leaving counts as instant failure. Not only that, but the game eats up the 1,000en and the True Soul so you have to get another.
: I'm ready to go!
Because there's no way I'm trying to get that conditional with Aliara.
Emilia doesn't hit that hard, but at least she doesn't have noodle arms.
I'm gonna take this time to rant here because I got really pissed off when I found out what I had to do for that quest. First off, why does the player have to stay on the floor? Why is leaving a bad thing, and how does the Winged One even know if that happens? Also, at the point you get this quest, you've reached the postgame, so the encounters here aren't challenging at all! I mean, I guess there's the Mandrakes to worry about but those things are a whole mess of bad game design decisions. And if you're trying to get the player killed by dice rolls instead of threatening enemies that punish mistakes in that time, that's beyond idiotic game design. This quest isn't difficult. It's pure tedium and adds nothing interesting. So why the fuck is this in the game? You know what, I'm probably being too harsh here. Etrian Odyssey 2 is a genuinely good game. It just has a lot of really dumb stuff in it. Which I'm probably overblowing.
One of the reasons I said to bring a Survivalist with a maxed out Stalker was so you could cheese this quest and not have to deal with any encounters at all. I didn't realize this until I was halfway done because I was a gigantic idiot and made this quest a lot more annoying for myself. I ended up wasting a half hour waiting for the quest to be over. Another thing you can do is to walk on a conveyor belt tile that's moving towards you over and over. That doesn't advance the time, so you can avoid encounters that way.
: Is he done yet?
: Is he done yet?
: Is he done yett?
: Is he done yet?
: For the last time! NOoooh wait, it's been a day. He should be done now.
: Is he done ye- finally!
: There you are. I've been done for a while. Go on, take it.
You pick up the axe and are surprised at its exquisite sharpness. The blade has been polished to a mirror sheen, and a razor edge... you dare not touch it!
: That's a sharp axe, alright.
: I think I just cut myself by just looking at it!
You thank him and turn to take your leave, but he calls out to you without looking.
: Thanks a lot!
: Where'd you get that sword in your pack? I'd like to have a crack at that one...
: How did you...?
You are amazed that the man could know about the sword you have been carrying... The sharpener waves his hand in farewell, laying down carelessly on the forest floor.
Whatever, let's go do that last quest and kill some bugs.
There can be no mistake... One of the monsters you seek is digging into the soil here. It is focused on its task, and has not yet realized your presence. Now is the time to hunt the fiend! Brandish your weapons and prepare for battle!
: Ha! This should be a piece of cake!
However... you suddenly notice other signs of life nearby.
: Its not alone.
The soil erupts around you as many creatures burst forth!
: Oh crap! There's so many of them!
You form a tight defensive circle, as the monsters close in!
: Yeah, not good at all.
The game does a cute little fake out here.
The Invaders are the same as before, but with one key difference. Once you get into a fight with one, the rest will try to join in. Aside from that, they're not really notable. After killing them all, you get this message.
You clutch your weapons for a few more seconds, awaiting another ambush, but the danger is over.
: Never mind, that was easier than I thought.
You have slain the monsters that poisoned the forest, thereby saving Yggdrasil! You breathe a sigh of relief before noticing a sapling behind you that wasn't there before... You gaze at the mysterious light it emits, wondering when it could have appeared.
: What's that? Huh, I suddenly feel like just reaching over and...
: What are you doing?
As you uproot the small sapling, it changes shape in your hand, becoming a luminescent staff!
Whoa, that means I got Aliara's ultimate weapon? That's awesome! I can't wait to see the stats on this thing!
For comparison this is her old weapon. As for the Ygg Staff...
So the ultimate payoff for that quest line is a staff that is completely and utterly USELESS! Oh sure, it has the highest attack power out of all the staves, but it has no secondary stats at all, which is what staff wielders are concerned with. The last thing I want is for Aliara to be doing is to use her regular attacks instead of a debuff, ailment, or Revenge. If you're thinking this would be good for a Combat Medic build, it isn't. There's a staff I haven't unlocked that gives a huge strength bonus, which is much better for Combat Medic shenanigans since increases in strength is far more important than increases in weapon attack. Yes, a weapon you can buy from the shop is much more useful than this so called ultimate staff.
In fact, this isn't the only quest line like that. Remember all those quest lines we've been doing? Most of them have the exact same payoff. A weapon that has the highest attack power, but minor or no secondary stats or attributes. You know, like Force Up which lets you use Force Skills every few battles. These "ultimate" weapons are really terrible and are vastly outclassed by the stuff you can buy in the store. Oh yeah, and all the ultimate weapons have a 0.1 speed modifier, making them even worse! I said in the beginning of the LP that quests suck in this game, and this is one of the main reasons why. The "ultimate" payoffs are not worth doing all that terribly designed bullshit for. They don't even count for the Gear Registry either! So unless they lead to an optional boss, do a favor for your sanity and skip them unless you really want 100% completion. Now despite what I've said, I'll still show off all the quests, don't worry about that. Oh, as an insult to injury, you can't throw the "ultimate" weapons away or sell them. Now Atlus isn't that mean. You can store them at the inn, which is what you should do unless you didn't unlock a class' real ultimate weapon.
: Ahhh, welcome back! Yeh finish the job?
: Yes. Some monsters were actually poisoning the trees.
: Tsk, tsk... yeh just never stop, do yeh? A monster that poisons the forest, eh? Why would a beastie like that destroy its own home? I mean, if all the trees die out, they're the ones in hot water, right?
: It's probably just instinct. Some animals don't do much thinking at all and just do whatever.
: Well, I s'pose it's a moot point now. I still can't get my head around it, though. Oh, almost forgot. Here's yer reward... Go on, take it!
The regular quest reward is by far better than the "ultimate" weapon.
: Welcome back! Eh? So yeh traded that King for something else? Well done! Let's see... A Knight and Rook, eh? Well, that finishes the quest! Here's the reward. Thanks!
I can never have enough of these. Especially since Frederik can't learn Salve 3.
: Yeh're back. So, how good is this sharpener, anyway?
: Take a look for yourself!
: Holy--It couldn't be shinier if yeh'd let an alchemist at it! Now I see why that landsknecht insisted on this sharpener... I've never seen finer work! Yeh should have had yer weapons sharpened as well. Too late now, though! Haw haw haw! Anyways, here's the reward. Use it wisely, all right? Thanks!
Now doing those last two quests opens up some new ones.
: Another quest involving the chess pieces?
: Oi! I've got another quest about those golden pieces! The reward this time is a Pawn. If yeh don't have a Pawn piece already, it's perfect for yeh! This is from an ore miner in the neighborhood. He moved here from abroad, but there's nowhere to ply his trade in High Lagaard.
It's been a while since we had an in game typo.
: Then he hit on the idea of going into the Labyrinth to mine ore in the forest. He was inspired by the explorers streaming back into town with loads of rare metals. He wants to see with his own eyes what kind of ore yeh can find in the Labyrinth.
The last one is a rare item from the 5th Stratum Mine points, but the other two have to be obtained from the 6th Stratum's Mine points. Which we don't have access to yet.
This is the next quest in the Ruin Sword quest line.
: What's this one going on about?
: Gonna take that quest? It's from the Grand Duchy's investigation arm... Could be profitable! There've been reports that the south part of the 6th floor was boiling hot the other day. A scholar looked into it, and declared it... What's the word? Ah, rising geotherms. Where there's an effect, there has to be a cause. So that's where this quest started. A few guilds already took it, but none of them have brought back any proof. Not one! I'd hate for yeh to waste yer time, so if yeh think it's a lost cause, come back. G'luck!
: So boss, what should we do about this one?
: So a few guilds already looked into it? I wonder if the Guildmaster knows anything.
You need the Tree Key in order to complete this quest, since you have to investigate the secret area at the south of the 6th floor. And unlike the "ultimate" weapons, the Tree Key has much better payoffs in the postgame.
: We heard something about rising geotherms at the south of the 6th floor. Know anything about that?
: Geotherms on the south of the 6th floor...? It can't be...
: Oh, so what do you know?
: It's nothing. Forget it.
You can talk to her again to make her spill more info.
: Do you know what's causing them, at least?
And talking to her a 3rd time...
: Come on! Tell us!
: This was many years ago, on a quest to investigate geotherms on the 6th floor, just as now. My companions and I were the Grand Duchy's elite explorers... The most powerful guild. I deduced a secret entrance on the south of the 6th floor, so we began our search there. We fought through many levels, and our investigation came to an end on the 9th floor... That was where the journey became a nightmare... In an instant, a sudden blast of hot wind came, and before we knew it, one of us was dead. The rest of us fought the demon with its enormous red wings and sharp black spines... One after another, we fell. Its tail claimed one, its claws another, its breath most of all. Victory was impossible. Our weapons were useless, and it laughed off our spells. I was the only survivor. I still bear the scars on half my body, and one on my face...
: It's a monster in the truest sense. I don't think even you could hope to match it. Perhaps it would be foolish for any human to try to win against that thing. I won't stop you from investigating... Just beware of the monster. If you see it, run. No one would call you cowards. Good luck. That's all I know of the geotherms.
: Hmm, thanks for the info.
That description should sound very familiar for the people who've played through EO1's postgame. That is in fact Wyrm, and doing this quest line will let us fight it. Wyrm is the Fire equivalent of Dragon, and like Dragon, he's been in every EO game. This is why you want the Tree Key. Without it, you can't access the area he's in.
The secret room bounded by the flame-red walls is as hot as an open fire... The soil under your feet feels like iron plating, and the air is shimmering with heat.
: Holy crap, that's hot!
: It's like an oven!
: Try to hold out. We need to come back with proof that Wyrm is causing this.
This must be the source of the abnormal geotherms to the south of the 6th floor! Your quest will be complete once you make a thorough search here to discover the cause.
: Okay everyone, spread out and look for any proof. If you see that monster, run.
: Uh boss, about that monster. Do... do you think we could kill it? I mean, it sounds really dangerous.
: Heh heh heh. Wanna know a secret? I've actually fought a monster like that back in Etria. He's a dragon. His name is Wyrm. He has control over fire, like Dragon has over lightning.
: Whoa whoa whoa! There's more than one of those things!?
: Before we get caught by surprise, are there any more of these dragons we should know about?
: Hmm, oh right. There's one called Drake that has control over ice.
: Wait wait wait. So you're telling me there's three dragons. And you've called them Dragon, Drake, and Wyrm?
: Yeah, my old leader wasn't the best with names. At any rate, if it came down to it, I can take them all down again. I've gotten a lot stronger since our fight with Dragon earlier.
: I found something!
It is a round, Red Tablet roughly the size of your arm. It may be a clue in solving the problem of the rising geotherms... Dehydrated and ready to faint from the heat, you decide to leave the room at once. Your quest is complete! Report your success to the bar when you return to Lagaard.
: I'm ready to get out of here. I need a lot of drinks.
: So what's up with this tablet?
: That's not a tablet. That's Wyrm's scale.
: Uh, how big is this Wyrm?
: Remember Dragon? About the same size.
: I'm gonna need a lot more practice with this thing.
: Same here.
: Heh, you'll have plenty of time for that. It doesn't look like Wyrm's here. Come one, let's go back. I'm sure the Guildmaster would want to hear about this.
: Oh, sorry! Is this a bad time?
: Well... I suppose I don't mind, since you already know my darkest secrets. How did the quest go? Hm...? Is it awkward for you to look at me without my helmet.
: Kind of. I mean, we see you with that thing on all the time.
: We're just not used to it.
: Ahem. So, we finished our investigation of the 6th floor.
: I want to hear the story. Unless you're too unnerved to talk to me this way. Heh heh heh heh...
Fade to black.
: You were lucky. It's very likely that you unknowingly walked into the monster's den. What did you think this red plate was, after all, but one of the dragon's scales? I shall never forget the sight of that creature as it appeared before my guild... Listen, Firefly, and I'll tell you a secret: I mean to slay that dragon.
: Are you crazy!? You'll get killed, just like Guild Beowulf did! If you're gonna do it, let us help!
: I need no assistance. If you try to stop me, you'll find that you lack the means. But thank you, Firefly... Perhaps now I can atone for what I have done.
: Ahhh, yeh're back... Eh? Yeh lot look like yeh've lost weight.
: Secret area... of the 6th floor... Too hot... I'm so dehydrated... Need a drink...
: Hmm? The geo-whatsits are in the secret area? Yeh came back because yeh were dehydrated!? Well, at least yeh came back. The job's done! I'll report to the Grand Duchy for yeh.
: There's this thing too.
: Eh...? Yeh have something for me? A tablet? Why would yeh do this? Don't yeh know the paperwork the Grand Duchy will saddle me with!? Labyrinth rules: Yeh found it in the forest, yeh keep it! I'm sure it's valuable, too... Ah, and here's yer reward! Thanks, yeh lot!
: So what are we going to do about the Guildmaster?
: Attempting to kill a dragon alone would be suicide.
: Simple. We kill Wyrm before she even has a chance to fight it. The moment we hear about a monster on the 6th floor, we'll make our move.