The Let's Play Archive

Etrian Odyssey

by Crosspeice

Part 1: Welcome to the Town of Etria

Part 0: Welcome to the Town of Etria

Spinning the Tale Opening

Is it time for my Strange Journey LP already? Feels like I've been building up to it this whole time.

Innocents were stranded; sinners drowned in the depths; the damned vanished there. The great power was lost to Man, and Mother Earth turned her back to the new world. Only the cursed king on his throne in the abyss remembers that golden age.

The very first Etrian Odyssey is a bit rough around the edges and has a few bugs here and there. It's also pretty hard and unfriendly to newcomers, but it is pure, distilled late 20th century JRPGs and that is just wonderful. I cannot wait to show you this game. But, for the first time, I will be joined by some very cool peeps!

Hi, I'm Rea (Ragnar Homsar). I'm the woman that's made LPs of EO2U, EO5, and EOU. I didn't do EO1 because I didn't have the patience for it. Thankfully, Crosspeice does. My history with EO1 is that I played it up until the end of the main story and then lost all drive to play any further.

Hello there. I'm Araxxor. I suppose if we're doing credits, I made the EO2 and EO3 LPs. (And 7th Dragon which is a rip-off takes a lot of inspiration from EO1.) I've 100%ed every one of the mainline EO games. EO1 is pretty rough around the edges, but at the time, it was a very solid entry and one of the more successful attempts at modernizing the dungeon crawler. Though it was still fairly niche. This LP should be a very nice look into where this entire series started.

The cat will be the game text, cause I like cats. We'll check out the Options later, but let's jump right in.

Any able-bodied adventurer was invited to investigate the forest and explore its depths. But no matter how many came to investigate the dungeon, none gained the renown they sought. As more adventurers tried and failed to conquer it, it came to be known by a new name... The Yggdrasil Labyrinth. You are the latest adventurer to journey to Etria in response to the Radha's proclamation. You have but one goal: explore the forest to win fame and fortune. Etria is at hand...

Quaint little place we have here, though there's only one place to go.

That Name Was Engraved Into the 100th Volume!

Then welcome, friend. Not many guilds lately are admitting new adventurers. Those shortlisted losers care too much about trifles to do any real investigation. If you've got the guts, you should make a guild entirely for newcomers. There are loads of guys just sitting on their thumbs, who'd join any guild that'd take them.

What, I gotta make my own from scratch? Screw paperwork!

...alright fine, but I won't be reading any contracts I sign!

This will do for now, but it's only a temporary name.

Of course, you can go into the Labyrinth yourself. If you've got the stones, then register your own name as a member. More adventurers means more options open to you, and less of a chance of dying down there. Think about it for a while, and make sure you register a variety of classes into your guild.

Any hints or tips? Kinda throwing me into the deep end with what I can choose from.

Right. I thought all these preset idiots would be flocking to join my guild, but if I've gotta come up with my own members, then I'm outta here.

Hmm, I still don't want to create my own, so how about you, yes you, the reader, come up with your own character that I can use for this LP! What an excellent idea that I totally came up with myself.

To be fair, I don't see how you'd do an EO LP without characters if you want to keep the majority of peoples' attention.

I mean it would certainly be possible. But consensus from others and the LP sandcastle would be that it would be boring as hell to read. Especially with a game like EO1, which doesn't exactly have as much going on as the later games.

Agreed, when most of the game is a blank slate for you to do whatever, I should definitely challenge myself with my first narrative attempt.

Landsknecht Overview

The first class is a pretty standard one, but that's good in this game. I've written up overviews of every class, so marvel in their skills and stats. Landy's have great damage output, for both regular mobs and bosses, if you switch weapons, and can take a fair few hits. Definitely a dependable damage dealer, damn!

Landsknecht's a strong contender for a party slot in most any composition. Can take hits, can deal hits, what else do you really want out of a damage dealer?

Ah, the Landsknecht. This game was probably their finest moment (I consider the version in EO4 and EON to be entirely different classes from this one.) since they ended up being nerfed hard in the later games. A very dependable jack of all trades. You can't go wrong with putting one in your party!

Survivalist Overview

Next up is another dependable damage dealer that can take some hits. Survivalists can work from the front or back with their bows and can make other members go first, which is very handy. They have slightly less damage than a Landy with their multi hit attacks, but that's by no means a bad thing. Also they can get us a lot of dosh, but I'll have a gather party for that.

Survivalists are weird in EO1. In EO2 and on, they've shifted into a semi-supportish class whose main asset is their high speed, but in EO1 they're just straight-up damage dealers.

Oh, Survivalists. This game was where they were at their peak and... let's not speak of what happened to them in EO2. Though they did get better in later games. Anyways as for this game, if Landsknechts are a jack of all trades, then Survivalists are a master of all! Damage dealing? Battle support? Field support? You name it, they're great at it. And yes, you can actually put them in the front row in this game, unlike in later games where that's a bad bad idea if you don't know what you're doing.

Protector Overview

If you want to not die in one hit, then Protectors are pretty damn great, able to take hardly any damage from attacks, as well as protect the rest of the party from both physical and elemental damage. Due to their high STR they can even deal some nice damage in the lategame, but that's a while away still. You probably shouldn't leave home without one.

Due to how a lot of core mechanics work in EO1 (namely, that they don't), I can't imagine not using a Protector. They're even good damage dealers when they don't need to use their defensive skills!

I'd actually say defensive wise, Protectors aren't really that great in this game due to a bunch of weird design decisions. But that's not saying the class is bad, it's still one of the better classes to go with since there's quite a bit they do for your party.

Dark Hunter Overview

An excellent support class that deals damage but also inflicts binds and/or ailments. In a regular game you'll use Whips to bind enemies and avoid stepping on a Landy's toes with Swords, but since binds will be covered in another way, I'll be using a whole host of ailments for this class. While ailments are not required for any conditional drops, they're still kinda useful. But you should use a Whip one.

I never used a Dark Hunter in my one run of EO1. Disables work completely differently here from any other EO game, and the way they work turned me off using DHs.

Can't blame you there. Dark Hunters are actually one of the weaker classes to go with in this game. Though they're not terrible by any means, but it can be difficult to justify using one if you're trying to set up a good party.

Medic Overview

The best class in the game, hands down, with the broken skill of Immunize that apparently works exactly as intended. Oh yeah, they also heal you for ridiculous amounts, can bring you back to life and can hit you with a staff for crazy damage in the lategame. It's crazy how useful this class is and not having one in your party is a real bad idea. While you can ignore Immunize and have plenty of items to sub in the healing skills... just use one.

If you don't use Medic 2 or Medic 3 then I don't want to talk to you.

If you are playing the game for the first time, for the sake of your sanity put this class in your party! It's suicidal to not do so! This game hates you so much, and Medics really take the sting out of what the game will try to throw at you!

Alchemist Overview

Ah, finally, actual elemental damage. You can use all three elements at once here and they do a lot of damage, if falling off a bit in the lategame. Alchemists are fantastic for conditional drops, hitting weaknesses and offering more variety in attacks. They won't do much else, but they're always fun to use and will happily sit in the back row all day slinging spells. Also they can Poison stuff, but it's horrendously bugged, so only do so in the early game.

Alchemists are a pretty decent class to go with. Having one can make the very rough early game so much easier to deal with. I would definitely recommend this class for a first timer. Veterans on the other hand, may want slot in the next class from the get-go instead.

Troubadour Overview

Buffs, buffs and more buffs! With songs that last all battle, Troubadours might not contribute damage directly, but their skills are something you probably can't be without. Also they're super useful in the postgame and can make your party better, faster, stronger, as well as recover TP, boost experience gains and reduce elemental damage while increasing it for the enemy! That's usually all the classes you can use from the start, but where's the fun in that?

Troubs are good in EO1, but they suffer from a lack of dynamism, if you catch my drift. They just kind of throw down songs and then sit around and be pretty useless.

Troubadours may be a bit boring to use, but they're easily one of the most important classes in the game. The support they provide for your party easily justifies the slot in the party they take up. That said, their early game isn't that great, so newcomers may want to use an Alchemist over them instead.

Ronin Overview

For this LP, I'll be using the unlockable classes right from the start! Mainly because they're unlocked way too late to be useful and also cause they're kinda bad regardless. While the Ronin deals ridiculous single target damage, they need time setting up, only a few of their skills are any good and they have a habit of dying easily. But aside from that, they can shred Bosses very quickly and have a lot of ATK buffs.

Still a lot better than EO2U Ronin.

Ronin... have issues. To say the least. On a normal playthrough, where you unlock them far later, they're very difficult to slot in, because by the time you unlock them, your party is very likely set in stone at that moment. There's a lot more I could say, but I think I'll save that for later.

Hexer Overview

The worst class, due to being unlocked so late, having awful stats and basically zero damage output. Hexers are at least better at laying down ailments and binds due to their class skill, but they don't do anything aside from that. Dark Hunters will be just fine doing their job, but since I want to show off how useful Hexers can be, our Dark Hunter will have to do something less useful. A shame, but if I'm gonna use this shitty class, I might as well do it properly!

EO1 is a seriously awful game for Hexers because of the fact that stats don't influence disable infliction at all, which really badly devalues the Hexer skillset compared to, say, a Dark Hunter.

For those of you familiar with the later games, it may be surreal to think of the Hexer as a bad class, but that's unfortunately what they are in EO1 due to how so many things resist what they can dish out in this game. Later games would be far more kind to them, but in this game it's very hard to justify using one. Especially on a normal playthrough where they're unlocked even later than Ronin!

Well that was a fun test, but none of what I've submitted here will carry over. Now you've seen all the classes and know basically everything they do, it's time to start with characters you guys submitted!

The Edda Guild!

Lavin the Landy by Lynneth

Lavin used to be part of Etria's militia troops until the call to adventure went out. He did wait some time to see what the fuss was all about before finally ditching the safe-ish, steady work under the Radha. Now the impressionable young man is eagerly looking for a Guild to sign up with. He's eager, a bit inexperienced in life (if not battle), but stubborn as all hell, and willing to keep going at a problem until it's not there any more. His slight build belies the strength he can bring to bear. Magic gives Lavin the crawlies though, because that stuff's just so weird. He much prefers hacking and slashing to this mysticism stuff that some people use. Throwing fire can't be healthy for you in the long run. Can it?

Gerson the Protector by ajkalan

An audacious blacksmith of little renown but great ambition, he sees the labyrinth as a chance to prove that he can forge better armor and weapons than anyone else in the country. And since someone else might screw it up, he naturally dons his goods and heads into Yggdrasil himself, confident that he can swing his sword just as well as he can hammer it. Gerson is fearless and cocksure; if he does indeed experience fear, then he is convincing at masking it with bravado and channeling it into action. If you want someone to unhesitatingly put their life on the line for this expedition, he's the perfect person for the job. His confidence can sometimes resemble charisma, but it can equally resemble arrogance; a little of him goes a long way. He has good intentions, but he could use someone to direct his energy towards the guild's best interests.

Liana the Survivalist by jimmydalad

Liana grew up the youngest of three siblings, all of whom were brought up to hunt by her father in the woods nearby her village. As not only the youngest, but also the only girl of the three, she was constantly teased by her brothers and forced to compete in archery matches with them, which she often lost due to their experience in comparison to her. This led her to develop a desire to “prove herself” to them, spending more time honing her skills with a bow and learning about wildlife and nature in order to further improve her hunting abilities. Her skills with the bow never reached the level of her brothers. However, when she tried to show off how her knowledge of wildlife covered for her self-perceived lack of skill with the bow, her brothers blew her off and argued that the most important skill that the survivalist needs is bow proficiency. Frustrated, she tried to think of a way to demonstrate to them that they were being idiots and that her knowledge made her a better survivalist. Learning about Etria, she set off to search for the treasure and to show to her brothers that she is better than them in a way they couldn’t dismiss.

She is very strict with herself, often criticising any mistake that she makes for long periods of time and asking advice from those she feels like she could glean useful knowledge from. She also uses her knowledge to come up with complicated schemes for every encounter, trying to find the best way to exploit their weaknesses and micromanaging everyone’s actions to ensure what she believes is the fastest way to defeat and enemy. This has led her to being very terse, impatient and confrontational with those who rush headfirst and ruin any plan she may be trying to come up with. Though she is by no means bad with a bow, the years of bullying she faced from her brothers leads her to not being confident with her bow skills and she can freeze up if she feels out of her depth or is put in a situation she finds highly uncomfortable. Normally, this happens when she’s not given time to plan against FOEs or very dangerous monsters.

Simone the DH by RickVoid
Look, back home our village had a monster problem, okay? And it's not like we had a foundry set up or anything, our blacksmith was barely competent enough to put out usable pitchforks and horseshoes. On a good day. And what do a bunch of farmers know about armor? Listen, when the undead are at your door and somebody sees someone else's half-hidden magazine that depicts a, um, very fit young lady wearing some very... interesting leather armor and carrying a perfectly functional weapon, all of which we could make ourselves... WE DID WHAT WE HAD TO DO TO SURVIVE, OKAY?

Ryu the Alchemist by BrightWing
Ryu is the youngest son of a wealthy merchant family from the east. His eldest brother was well on his way to taking over the family business and his other brother, the middle child, galavanted off to some coastal city in the south where he was making a name for himself as a knight, leaving Ryu lots of time to read his books, dabble in a bit of alchemy on the side, and sigh dreamily watching the big muscular warehouse workers he was supposed to be managing. He was bored out of his mind. Knowing you're the leftovers of the family and in search of some way to prove your worth something tends to lead to terrible decisions, like signing up at the adventures guild instead of making deliveries.

Karin the Medic by Sel Nar
An experimenter at heart, Karin's spent most of her years traveling from city to city, pondering the big questions such as 'can bones be permanently reinforced with metal to make sturdier farmers', or 'what organ, when poked, makes the funniest gurgling noise?'. Which has caused her to be run out of towns more than once, because little things like 'informed consent' or 'hippocratic suggestion' never crossed her mental landscape. Always on the lookout for new subjects to experiment with, and new injuries to examine before patching them up, the call of a new guild for something exceptionally dangerous has her practically salivating at the opportunities.

Also, she wants to see if 'Meat Shield' can be taken as a literal term.

Wagner the Troub by Cattail Prophet
Wagner was once part of a renowned musical troupe, known throughout the region. People would flock from miles around to hear them play in taverns. A few years back, though, a mysterious incident caused the group to break up. Wagner doesn't like to talk about it. He tried to strike out on his own afterwards, but it turned out he didn't have the raw talent to cut it as a solo artist. Fortunately for Wagner, though, in the labyrinth it doesn't matter how good your music is. A mediocre song gets the job done just as well as an awe inspiring serenade. Can this washed up has-been make a new name for himself, with a new kind of team backing him up?

Aryll the Ronin by Crystalgate
Arryl is the sixth daughter of a nobleman with way too many children. Having five older sisters, she was considered fairly unimportant and mostly left to her own devices. After reading about the samurai, Arryl became absolutely fascinated by them. She would spend her considerable free time training with a Katana and researching the samurai, the bushido and everything else related to them. Of course, research meant reading various romanticizing fictions of the samurai. Why would she bother with more historical work that portrayed them as professional combat pragmatists who would prefer a bow and a pole-arm over a sword and gladly stab an enemy in the back, overall doing what it takes to bring victory for their lord? Surely that can't be right as a true warrior would prefer a sword and never accept any dishonorable advantage (any advantage other than superior skill) over an opponent in a fight!

Eventually, her father announced that she was to be married to some nobleman belonging to a family who's alliance he considered unimportant, but still advantageous. Arryl took that as her cue to run away and begin her life as a Ronin, a master-less samurai. To her advantage, she is actually very talented with a sword. To her disadvantage, her complete lack of combat pragmatism makes her combat style unintentionally suicidal.

Cheese the Hexer by Kvx87
An abandoned child of ambiguous gender, raised in the wilds of a distant Labyrinth by the most evil of all monsters: squirrels. Having mastered the evil squirrel skills of hexing, stealing warp wires, and dying to elemental damage, they now seek to bring the entire world under the dominion of squirrelkind, starting by infiltrating a novice explorer's guild in order to scout a newly found Labyrinth for potential rodent allies.

Luckily for everyone else, they kind of suck at their job.