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Eclipse Plays Etrian Odyssey III

Discussion in 'Video Games' started by Eclipse, Jul 16, 2016.

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  1. Eclipse

    Level 82
    Apr 3, 2015
    Marshadium Z ★★★★★Dragon Fang ★★★★Luxury Ball ★★★Comet Shard ★★★★Mewnium Z  ★★★★★
    Chapters posted so far:

    Introduction: Where the Lake Meets the Ocean (this post)
    Prologue: Meet the Cast (Post #2)
    Chapter 1: Beware the Yellow Cats (Post #3)
    Chapter 2: The Birds are Worse than the Cats (Post #4)
    Chapter 3: Stealth, Shrooms, and S'missing People (Post #5)

    This Game Journal also has its own gallery folder, viewable here.


    Eclipse Plays Etrian Odyssey III

    "The ocean city Armoroad, far to the south, is said to have a ruin leading below the waves. As if tacitly admitting it, the Senatus ruling over Armoroad have invited explorers to their city. The invitation drew throngs of eager explorers who gathered to traverse the undersea maze. But none of the throngs who came to challenge that maze were strong enough to master it. The impenetrable ruins came to be known as the Yggdrasil Labyrinth, and its legend spread further... You yourself are an explorer who has heard its legend and now sail to Armoroad to investigate. Your only objective: to challenge the Labyrinth and win fame and fortune. Your hour is at hand!" — Etrian Odyssey III's opening line


    I'm here to kick ass and explore the Yggdrasil Labyrinth, and I'm all out of ass.
    Introduction: Where the Lake Meets the Ocean
    Greetings, everyone! My name is Eclipse, and welcome to my Game Journal of Etrian Odyssey III: The Drowned City. This series has been something I've loved for a very long while, and through a very interesting turn of events (which I am convinced involve ShiroLugia's magical powers) I came to own a copy of this game. I knew this would be a new experience for me, as all the EO titles I've owned so far have been on 3DS, and thus had the advantage of the crisp new interface. Etrian Odyssey III was the last of the games to be on the regular DS, so I knew a lot of things would be different (for example, the absence of the Circle Pad makes map-drawing noticeably more 'clunky', and FOEs appear as floating circles rather than full 3D models — which I've grown very used to).

    For now I'll start off with some introduction to the game's playstyle (interface, features, that sort of thing), before I get into the main plot and exploration of the thing. (The story proper will start in the next part, the Prologue.) Etrian Odyssey games have always been about forming a team of adventurers to go out and explore the titular Yggdrasil Labyrinth (the Japanese title of the series translates to 'the World Tree's Labyrinth'), with the battles (and the plot) progressing the further you descend (or ascend, in the case of Etrian Odyssey II, where you climb up the labyrinth instead of down).


    Etrian Odyssey games are most known for three things: its ability to create your own party (which I'll get to shortly), its grueling difficulty curve (the game starts off hard and gets harder, so you have to really know what you're doing to survive), and the fact that you draw a map of the labyrinth as you explore it. Indeed, the bottom screen on the DS (or 3DS) is reserved entirely for you and the drawing of your map; the gameplay and interaction happens entirely on the top screen. The game provides you with all the drawing tools you'll need, including a grid, lines to mark walls, various colors to mark the floors with (starting with 3 colors, with EO4 making it 4, and EO2U giving you a whopping 8), and all sorts of little icons so as to help you make a map. You can even mark memos (max 16 characters) on specific squares to remind you of things, so it really is your personal map. The labyrinth isn't randomised or anything; it's always the same. It's just knowing where you are and how to get there.


    Here's a shot of the bottom screen shortly after you get the map in this game. As you can see I haven't drawn in anything new (that bit is just the bit the game gives you to start off), but you can see the icons and such that I can choose from off to the side.

    Ah, yes, I'm going to be using my 3DS camera (as you've no doubt realised) to take pictures of my game periodically throughout the story. Since the screen is so small, my proper camera makes the photos come out rather fuzzy, so this will be the next best thing. The 3DS camera is also rather odd lighting-wise, so please be mindful of that also.

    The main draw about playing an Etrian Odyssey game (outside of the Story Modes in Untold) is the ability to essentially make and create your own party from scratch, similar to the character creation process in games like Dragon Quest IX (which is another JRPG I recommend if you have the time). Essentially you pick a name, a class, and then a portrait, and bam! Instant party member. Other Etrian Odyssey games have you pick the name after the class and portrait, but the process is basically the same. After creating your character, each class has its own unique class tree, which you can invest skill points in to gain access to your skills — to learn most skills requires you to have a certain level in other pre-requisite skills, so deciding where to allocate those points is another important part of character building.

    EO3 has a total of 10 classes you can pick from right off the bat, plus another 2 that come into play later as you progress the events of the plot — but I'll get to that later. The classes can be roughly bifurcated into being either attack-oriented or support-oriented, with 5 classes each. (Even the two classes that come later follow this trend, to make a total of 6 in each category, but I won't discuss those right away.)
    n EO3, the class names tend to have more exotic names than those seen in other EO games — the attack-oriented classes are Arbalist, Buccaneer, Gladiator, Ninja, and Zodiac; the support-oriented classes are Farmer, Hoplite, Monk, Prince(ss), and Wildling.

    Rather than just explain all the classes by category right away, I'm going to start explaining 4 more prominent classes — Gladiator, Zodiac, Hoplite, and Monk — as not only are those the most commonly used, but they fall into more well-known character archetypes among RPGs in general. (At least one of these archetype classes is in every other EO game as well.)


    The Gladiator class is essentially your well-rounded physical damage-dealing class, or what you might think of as a 'Fighter'. Stick some nice gear on him or her, and you have a pretty nice machine on your hands. Virtually all of their abilities are concerned with either dealing damage or increasing their physical attack power. Their preferred weapons are swords and clubs, and they tend to focus on dealing as much damage as possible, as quickly as possible — though this can potentially lead to a risk-versus-reward approach as well. The class's signature skill, Endless Battle, increases the user's physical damage output.

    The Zodiac class, by contrast, is the elemental offensive class, and very solidly falls into the 'Mage' archetype (or 'Black Mage' for those of you who are Final Fantasy-inclined). Enemies that boast high physical defense do not trouble these fellows at all; indeed, since this is one of the few ways you'll be dealing elemental damage (and the only non-physical way), Zodiacs can be in high demand. They also have a unique 'prediction' skill as well; if they detect an enemy about to use an elemental attack, it's turned back on the attacker as it's about to execute. The unique skill of the zodiacs, Ether Mastery, increases their elemental damage.

    The Hoplite class is focused on defending attacks and keeping the party alive, much like a 'Paladin' intercepting attacks for his or her allies. (A hoplite was an ancient Greek foot soldier equipped with a spear and shield, and who commonly fought in formation. This is preserved as well in the class's name in the Japanese version, 'Phalanx' — the name of the formation itself.) Like their ancient Greek namesake, these heavily armored explorers go about with shield in one hand and spear in the other, and while their true strength shines in their ability to block damage, they can play a decent offensive role too. Guardian, the key skill of the Hoplite, lowers physical damage the user takes.

    The Monk class, interestingly enough, is the game's resident 'Healer' class (or 'White Mage', if you will), whose main duty is to keep the party's HP topped up and healthy. (In all other Etrian games, the more well-known Medic class fulfills this role instead.) They're far from defenseless, though; as some of you may have guessed, monks are very skilled at fighting with their bare hands if necessary. While I myself have never used a healing class for anything other than healing, EO games are nice enough to give healing classes an offensive tree. Granted, it's not too strong, but it's there. Of course, his or her top priority is as a cleric, and as any EO player knows, that will become both very time-consuming and extremely important. They boast the signature skill Form Qi, which makes their HP-healing skills heal even more HP.


    But this game has 6 other classes to choose from right off the bat, and even then your maximum party size is five people, so you wouldn't want to form a party with just those four. That said, you could do so, and it would be very effective — but we have options. I'll list the next three attack-based classes (Arbalist, Buccaneer, and Ninja), and then the other three support-based ones (Farmer, Prince, and Wildling).

    The Arbalist is a firearms expert whose most notable feature is their weapon of choice, being a crossbow about the size of a person. (The class name is a corruption of 'arbalest', which is a large variety of crossbow.) It is very much an example of a glass cannon; while it can fight equally well on either row, and has the highest strength of all classes, it also has the lowest defense, so anyone who takes up the path of the crossbow will have to watch him- or herself carefully. Keep in mind, large weaponry isn't easy to use, so a lot of their skills may seem quirky, but they are very powerful in the right hands. The arbalist's signature skill, Giant Kill, dramatically raises its damage output against creatures with much higher current health than they.

    The Buccaneer is an offense-based class that trades away some of their strength for agility. They might not possess as much raw power that other attacking classes may offer, but their quickness makes up for it. They're very fond of attacking multiple times and speedily getting the edge on their opponents, as would most any pirate traveling the high seas want to do; their proficiency with both rapiers and guns alike helps to solidify this. Besides, this game is at a location based right on the ocean, and the open sea factors very heavily into the environment, so of course you're going to have a representative swashbuckling lad or lass hopping around. They sport the unique skill Trickster, which recovers some of their TP after using an attacking skill.

    The Ninja is about as cool as it sounds. Their strategy involves diversion, subterfuge, and the ancient art of ninjutsu. While every class can equip knives, ninja are most skilled at using them — but that's not all they do. They have the highest evasion and speed of all classes, and don't suffer damage penalties when in the back row. A ninja or kunoichi's most useful skill, however, is the ability to create copies of themselves to assist in the battlefield as well, essentially functioning as both another target and another turn — and that's not even getting into what they can do in conjunction with those shadows. Oh yes, it may be cool to be a pirate, but it's just as cool to be a ninja. Interestingly enough, all of the Ninja's skill names remain un-translated from Japanese (excluding 'Knife Mastery'), and the class's signature skill, Keburi no Sue (which roughly translates to 'smokescreen') reduces how much TP it spends on skills, and removes the damage penalty of attacking from the back row.

    The Farmer class is a notable departure from any other Etrian Odyssey class ever in that it has no real combat presence whatsoever. Yes, it has a few small things that can divert attention or lessen the impact of an enemy, but their real usefulness lies in the field and the exploration of the labyrinth itself. They are excellent at gathering resources at chopping, mining, and taking points alike, and are even better at it than other classes. They are also superior at harvesting more materials from defeated monsters, and can even help the party garner more experience points. They may be no good in an actual fight, but that does not mean that they're no good. Surprisingly, their class skill Earth's Bounty increases the EXP the party receives at the end of each battle if the Farmer survives it.

    The Prince or Princess class (depending on gender, and renamed to 'Sovereign' in all later Etrian Odyssey releases outside Japan) is a class devoted entirely to buffing the party stat-wise. They have a number of 'orders' at their disposal, ranging from increasing attack or defense, to regenerating HP, to even blocking status ailments, so these up-and-coming royals are far from useless in combat — in fact, it's exactly the opposite. Any noble has to know how he or she must get the upper hand, so it's fitting that the most notable aspect of this class is its ability to completely erase an opponent's buffs — just to make sure his or her allies will always be ahead. Their Royal Lineage class skill causes them to recover some TP each time they receive a buff, no matter who gave it (including themselves).

    The Wildling is probably one of the more versatile classes in the game, and that's largely because of its unique mechanic. It can summon creatures from the environment around them to assist them in battle, and while they can only call for one at a time, they have several choices on who to call on. Each animal has a different effect, ranging from binds to ailments to even countering enemy attacks. Because of this, a Wildling can be incredibly resource-intensive, much more so than any other class. Nonetheless, it's actually quite nifty to have an ally who knows that the wilderness is his or her friend, and how to use it to his or her advantage. The signature skill Beast Soul increases the overall power of the beasts they summon.


    All right, I've gone over the basics of the game itself. Now that I have this out of the way, when the actual Prologue goes up, we can get to the actual game, in which I will play it and you will watch me suffer.

    (There is also a Gallery I have associated with this Game Journal. It will go public after the Prologue is posted - if all goes well, that will be later today, if not tomorrow.)
  2. Eclipse

    Level 82
    Apr 3, 2015
    Marshadium Z ★★★★★Dragon Fang ★★★★Luxury Ball ★★★Comet Shard ★★★★Mewnium Z  ★★★★★
    The threshold for double-posting without the two posts merging is 12 hours. Since nobody posted, that means the next update would happen in 12 hours at the earliest.

    Fortunately, when I planned to post it, only 11 hours had passed, so I just had to wait for the last one on his own. Yeah!


    Eclipse Plays Etrian Odyssey III
    Prologue: Meet the Cast

    The vessel coasted smoothly up to the edge of the port, its presence greeted with the scent of the sea breeze and the sound of workers lifting. While it wasn't a cargo ship per se, it was holding luggage, for it was a passenger ship, bringing the next new wave of explorers into the port city of Armoroad.

    By now the natives had come to expect this; after all, Yggdrasil was the main draw of the city and its livelihood, even though it was a highly dangerous area. Of course, not everyone was aware of this; they just knew it was full of monsters, despite its pristine beauty. As such, explorers and guards would be the only people in a position to enter at all.

    This story begins centering on two individuals in particular: a girl dressed all in white who was enthralled with the book she was currently reading, and her companion who looked not unlike a gold-plated tin can.

    "Hey, are we there yet?" the book girl asked the tin can.

    "The ship just pulled into port and dropped anchor," came the reply. "What do you think?"

    "Oh, right, yeah. How are the others?"

    "They've either already gone on ahead, or they were on a previous ship and got here like before we did. The instant they know we're in town, they'll come running to the Explorer's Guild."

    "Will they know where it is?"

    The armoured one pointed. Positioned conveniently next to the dock were a series of arrows and other signs that marked the path which led straight to the Explorer's Guild.

    "At night, I've heard the path is lit with light bulbs embedded in the cobblestones, so even the late arrivals don't get lost."

    "Wait, really?"

    "Probably not, but they must have something. After all, their commerce is heavily tied to the influx of new explorers, of which we are two more."

    "I've been meaning to ask, why didn't you bring much with you on the journey? Other than a few changes of clothes I barely saw you pack anything."

    "I guess you could say I travel hop-lite."

    This caused the white-garbed girl to start snickering uncontrollably. This was the plan, for the armoured companion had been sitting down, and took this window to stand up. It took a full fifteen seconds to do, and right then, the laughter stopped. All that remained was for the two of them to actually register their guild.

    "We agreed we'd go with...that name, right?"

    "Of course. Given the circumstances, we have to."


    The guild was pretty well kept. There were marble pillars and flower pots hanging everywhere, almost like what I'd expect for an ocean city building if I'd ever been to one before. She and I made our way into the guild, though on no less than five points during the walk, she had to stop because I was catching up.

    Have you ever tried going at anything faster than a slow walk in heavy armour? It's awful just wearing the stuff, never mind the speed and freedom reduction.

    Anyway, by the time we got there — sorry, by the time she got there — the man in charge had already asked her what she wanted our new guild to be called. He was a bit incredulous, as when I walked into the pavilion, I distinctly overheard him say "A zodiac? A lone zodiac wants to start up a guil-oh, never mind, there's the hoplite." Still, she answered the question without missing a beat, thus cementing our guild name in the annals of Armoroad's history forever.


    He's catching on already.

    (Disclaimer: Team Butt Fist condones butting fists. It does not condone fisting butts.)

    "Okay, Shiro," I spoke up, "now that we have our name set in stone now, there are a few ground rules we're going to have to go by if we want to survive. And by we, I mean mostly you."

    "Wait, what?"

    "Rule One: No trying to get us killed. No exceptions."

    "Hey, no fair!"

    "This is Etrian Odyssey; playing the game is a declaration of suicide enough as it is. I don't even want to think of how many Game Overs we'll get."

    "Okay, fine, but what's the next rule?"

    "Rule Two: No Sanc joining the guild. While I have nothing against him personally, this is Team Butt Fist, not Team Ghost Hot."

    "I can agree with that. What's Rule Three?"

    "There is no 3. Rule Four is we need to trade off the active party every once in a while, so I'd like to at least start off with one person in every class. There's already the two of us, so we have eight more to go."

    "So that's why we sent everyone ahead? But where are we going to find a —" Shiro hurriedly went to look at the list of available classes "...a prince?"

    "Did somebody say 'prince'?" called some voice from the door. I whipped my head around and beheld an absolutely stunning sight: a tall fair man with deep blue hair and shimmering gold clothing, holding a staff glittering adornments. It was as if his outfit spoke a thousand words, and they were 'I'm the definition of swag' repeated 200 times.


    As a wise man once said, 'Swiggity swooty'.

    "Damn, Del, you look fabulous," I said. "And the navy blue hair dye is a very nice touch."

    "Thank you very much. You pull off the gold look very well too."

    "Wait, that's what colour my armour is? I can't tell on account of being unable to tilt my neck."

    "Hey, wait a minute!" Shiro interrupted me. "You're going to post snapshots of our starting class portraits!? Why didn't I get one?"

    "Oh, right."


    Before you ask, yes, the starting gear is the same for everyone, since all classes can equip knives and clothes. That won't last long, though.
    "There, that all right?"

    "Very much so! So what classes are next?"

    "Well, you apparently read 'Prince' off the list; why don't you read them off?"

    Next on the list was Gladiator. Since Gladiators were all about swinging their weapons about and hurting people with wild abandon — which, in an RPG, is essentially par for the course — it's very hard to decide who fits into this role best. In all honesty, I wasn't sure who to decide on a Gladiator before talking it over with Shiro, and then she gave a suggestion.


    See, if Sanc WERE here, we'd have problems already.

    He apologised for being late before asking if Sanc was here. After being told he wasn't showing up, he expressed joy and relief at the fact that he wouldn't have to look at his ugly mug...which is just as well, as Sanc would have said the same thing back.

    Hoplites are all about taking blows, keeping people alive, and making sure people are overall safe without taking an active damaging role. Of course, it's a little anticlimactic since you already know who Buttfist's protector will be, but I'm just going in order.


    Stupid cowlick.

    My decision process for this journal would be to go through all 10 classes one at a time, and then pick off my favourite portrait for each. (Handily enough, there were 5 male and 5 female.) After that, I would start deciding which roles would go to which members, and leave myself to snag whatever was left over.
    Shiro got first dibs, so she chose the Zodiac. Conveniently, it was the white-clothed girl.

    I myself was gunning for either the prince or the hoplite, but Del was more fitting as a prince, so hoplite I am. Besides, their weapon of choice is the spear, which reminds me of my favourite class in the entirety of the EO series, the highlander. And I've always had a wall class heading up my teams no matter what EO game I've played, so it's a win-win for me.

    Next one is the Buccaneer, which conjures mental imagery of swashbuckling privateers with guns and cutlasses and a thirst for adventure — and, because of all of that, they are easily excitable. I was in the middle of writing up this paragraph when I heard a ricochet, a tumble, and an apologetic "Sorry I'm late!"


    Excitable would be an understatement.

    Right, how silly of me to forget that the one with voices of OCs in her head would be the one with the gun.

    Ninjas throw knives and are all about not being obvious, diverting attention away from themselves and onto more sturdy party members, like yours truly, the walking tin c-wait, did someone just throw a potato at me?


    When I was playing through Etrian Mystery Dungeon, I named my male ninja as 'Potato', and with the exact same portrait too. The decision was clear.

    "...Did you just throw a potato at me?"

    "Yeah, I was getting some practise in."

    "Practise for what?"

    "In case I need to divert attention, I know exactly how to do that. It's a well-known fact that monsters cannot resist the smell of potatoes."

    "And why were you throwing it at me specifically?"

    "Isn't it obvious?"

    Please excuse me while I hang my head in shame. Or I would, if I could tilt my neck.

    Now monks are all about healing and finding pressure points, so they're all about being a boon to their allies and a terror to their enemies. But the ones in charge of healing are supposed to be endearing, so who could so effectively conceal such precise fighting skill under a masquerade of peace-loving?


    Well, if the stories I've heard you people tell about 100% Orange Juice are any indication...

    Nope, not surprised. Sadly, this means that, since she's the healer, she now has leverage. And lots of it.

    I'm also not going to mention what zodiacs do, especially not about how they blow things up with magic and can predict the future. Besides, Shiro is squishy enough, and thus fulfills one of the requirements to be a zodiac easily.

    The next one is Wildling, and that has everything to do with summoning monsters to help fight and assist you, in ways that make people just stare in awe. I'll be honest; one thing that really inspired me to play this game was watching PKLooove's Solo Wildling run of Etrian Odyssey III, even though I only saw the boss fights. While I don't think I'm quite skilled enough to try a solo EO3 run yet, it has nonetheless taught me a lot about the game — and the series — that I wouldn't have known otherwise. It's both a resource and an inspiration, and one I still love to watch occasionally.


    If you are reading this, that means you aren't playing Monster Hunter Generations. What are you doing!?

    ...It made sense to me, anyway.

    The next one is the arbalist, whose most notable feature is having the equivalent of a hand cannon the size of a person on hand at all times. While it isn't the heaviest thing that someone would have to carry, it would be the most outlandish, and draw a lot of attention, never mind being unwieldy.


    Seriously, look at that thing.

    "I saw you walking down the street on the way to the guild, Eclipse! Did you not notice me?"

    "I did, Noctis. If memory serves, you were pointing and laughing at me for having the pace of a sea slug."

    "You were asking for it what with that suit you're lugging around."

    "Says the woman with the improbable firearm."

    The winning move is obviously to not play, but I couldn't resist the goad.

    And lastly there's the farmer. As you might expect, a farmer is totally unfit for a combat situation, but is very good at tilling the soil and gathering more resources. After all, their very livelihood depends on what they harvest. I certainly wouldn't call them cowards, but they sure do know how to make a run for it when necessary. (I already like the class solely for having a skill called 'To Market' that takes the party back to town immediately.) It's interesting that they made a class solely for exploration purposes. Then again, it was bound to happen sooner or later.

    Now, who's the most non-hostile person I know?


    Goat Mum has become Sheep Dad.
    That was a no-brainer.

    While I was there, the guildmaster gave me 4 items: a Guild Certificate, a Cross Script, a Resolve Script, and an Offense Script. The first one is just a key item to prove I exist; the other three I'll get to later once I start talking about skills. He suggests I read them. I think I will. After you set up your party, you can access the menu at any time (except in battle) by pressing the Y button. It has 7 options to choose:

    :: Items — Lets you view your current inventory (max 60 items) and key items (unlimited).

    :: Skills — Lets your party use any skills they know outside of combat. Those skills are either used only in the field, or they're healing skills. I can't think of any other examples off-hand.

    :: Status — Lets you view your party's current stats, including class, stats, gear equipped, current HP/TP, and the amount of EXP needed to level up. (Pressing A here lets you view all skills that party member knows too. Use Y there to switch between the tabs.)

    :: Equip — Lets you equip or unequip any gear that you have on hand. Each character has 1 slot for a weapon and 3 for armour and/or accessories. As you can guess, your class determines what weapons/armour you're allowed to equip (for example, only a handful of classes get access to heavy armour, one of which is the hoplite), and you can only equip 1 of each type of armour. (You can equip multiple accessories at once, though. This is not the case in all EO games.)

    :: Custom — Has two parts. In "Skill", you assign skill points to learn new skills or other abilities. EO games follow a skill tree system in how you learn things; while you get 1 skill point with every level-up, what things you learn is not strictly tied to level.
    In "Limit", you can assign what Limit Skills will be used by your party. They are used in battle when you fill up your limit gauge (done gradually in battle). Each burst skill has its own name and effect, and can be set to a certain number of party members at once. For example, the Cross Script (mentioned above) gives the skill Cross Slash, which can be equipped by up to 2 party members, while the Resolve Script gives Indomitable, that can only be equipped by 1. (The Offense Script gives Charge Tactic, another 2-person skill, which means right away you'll have enough to set limit skills to all 5 of your party members.) Each limit skill also must be set to that many party members to be used, and anyone with that equipped shares the limit gauge. I think it also shares the power of the attack between them, but I'm not sure.

    :: Party — Lets you assign your current party formation. You can have up to 3 party members in one row, and up to 2 in the other. While you're in the back row, you take less damage, but you also deal less damage unless using specific types of weaponry (such as guns). In later EO games, which let enemies be in front/back rows as well, those in the back row can't use non-ranged weapon attacks to target the opponent's back row — unless, again, you're using specific types of weaponry.

    :: Book — Lets you view your database up to this point, for quests and missions. In later EO titles (starting with 4), the catalog for monsters encountered and items discovered is in this menu as well; in earlier titles (including this one, EO3), it's at the location where you receive missions — which I'll get to shortly.


    Now that everyone is in one place, I can start explaining Armoroad's facilities one by one. This will be important to know, and it will tell me who is right and who is dead. I'll go in order of how they show up.

    The first one is Aman's Inn, who appears to be run by a young boy. I'd be surprised, except children running businesses seems to be the norm in EO games...except for the first one, oddly enough. What was the most awkward is that he complimented me on my hairstyle being the same as his — namely, a bowl cut. Anyway, at the inn you can store items, treat allies who have been petrified or KO'd (which don't wear off after a battle ends), stay until morning (7AM) or evening (7PM) to fully heal the party, and — most importantly — save your game. So, naturally, I'll be coming here a lot after my frequent brushes with death.


    What is he, eight years old?

    Napier's Firm is the shop, where items are bought and sold. In this game, the shop's inventory expands as you sell them materials (drops) from monsters you find in the labyrinth — if you're thinking it's like harvesting the bodies of dead animals for parts, that's good, because that's exactly what it is. You can buy and sell items, forge weaponry to make them stronger (later, anyway), and even change your equipment (which you can do in the menu anyway, but this is a faster option.) And yes, just as Aman's Inn is run by a boy named Aman, Napier's Firm is run by a girl named Napier.


    No, that's not a glare; the doorway really is that bright.

    The Butterfly Bistro is where you will accept quests from other explorers and townsfolk in Armoroad. The requests will range from the simple to the complex to the frustrating. Quests are gradually unlocked as you progress through the labyrinth and/or complete other quests, and they always have rewards of some kind (including EXP), so it's always worth your time to do them.
    You can also talk to people here to gather information, and the one person here right now, if asked, will actually tell you some of the history of Armoroad. While I don't have access to any quests yet, the thing I immediately notice is that the bar is run by a pink-haired woman with noticeably large breasts who speaks in broken English. (The woman, I mean. The breasts don't speak.) Her name is Missy, not Butterfly. Sorry to disappoint you.


    ...Glad to hear it.
    For some reason, her clothes were so bright that the picture couldn't capture her. She actually looks like this.

    The Explorers Guild is where you can register new members, arrange existing ones, and do a few things like change their classes. But I already talked about all of that, except for that last bit which isn't relevant right now.


    No way. Two words: SAND EVERYWHERE

    There's a location called Inver Port, but I'm not allowed in yet since I need permission from the Senatus to go on voyages. That's who I am, conveniently, going to talk about next.

    Via Senatus is managed by an extremely old crone named Flowdia, who is in charge of giving missions to up-and-coming new guilds. Missions function almost exactly like quests, except there will only be 1 mission at a time, and it's always plot-related. (Quests are more like side-quests, if anything.) The first mission given to every new guild is to create a map of the first floor (B1F) of the Yggdrasil Labyrinth, and we are no exception. Accepting this initial mission also gives us access to the bottom screen, and thus the map we will eventually draw out and serve as a reminder of how far deep in trouble we are.


    Did I say extremely old? I meant extremely ooooooooooooooooold.

    The very last location accessible in Armoroad is the Forest Entrance, which does exactly what it says — and nothing else. But it's best to cover that bit in a future part, since I've let the introduction go on long enough. Hope you enjoyed the Prologue! Now excuse me while I get us all killed.


    As promised, since I posted the Prologue to this game journal, its gallery is now open to public viewing. It contains all the images I use here in a single place, so if you want or need to find a specific file, just scroll through there.
    Deltheor, ShiroLugia and Megarai111 like this.
  3. Eclipse

    Level 82
    Apr 3, 2015
    Marshadium Z ★★★★★Dragon Fang ★★★★Luxury Ball ★★★Comet Shard ★★★★Mewnium Z  ★★★★★
    Edit: I had meant to put links to the music encountered in this game into the chapter below, but I forgot to make a note of it in my Word document. That has now been fixed, and you can find the links below in the chapter!

    This part introduces 2 new tracks - the first stratum theme, and the battle theme. The links are found in the chapter right when those things are introduced.


    Eclipse Plays Etrian Odyssey III
    Chapter 1: Beware the Yellow Cats
    Do you recall my mentioning earlier that, at the bistro, there was one guy who would tell you of the history of Armoroad when prompted? Well...

    "This city where you stand is the world-famous ocean city of Armoroad! A free city of clear skies and white clouds, an endless sea, and a vibrant, eclectic culture! ...But freedom can't exist without order. This country does have a royal family. Sadly, the modern royal family has been reduced to mere figureheads... Ah, but who then governs Armoroad? The aristocrats of the Senatus, led by a fearsome old crone! Consider her to be the true power behind Armoroad. You'll most certainly meet her yourselves. There's more to Armoroad's royal family than that, but... Let's leave that for another time, hm?"

    But that's not all he tells you about. After all, that was just about the city. We haven't even gotten into the history yet, which refers to an event they call the 'Calamity':

    "This ocean city of Armoroad was once a grand capital where science and technology flourished. But around 100 years ago, the center of Armoroad was suddenly swallowed by the ocean! Afterwards, the rippling waters became tidal waves... The gentle breeze gave way to earthquakes. Armoroad's advanced technology was sunk, which ended diplomatic relations with nearby countries. It's been a long road to recovery for Armoroad, but even today, it's nowhere near what it once was... Not since the Calamity. If you ask anyone here, you'll get nothing but a stony silence. Then again, that's just because no one knows exactly what went on 100 years ago! It wasn't all bad, mind you. After the Calamity, a Labyrinth was revealed, drawing explorers here. Though the Senatus had other reasons for gathering explorers... But that tale can wait for now."

    I'm thinking they must be fond of the word 'calamity', because I think the phrase 'Calamity' has referred to a catastrophic event in the past in every Etrian Odyssey game. It's always a different event each time, but it's given the same name. Wait, didn't he mention something about the royal family? And don't royal families usually have a princess of some sort...?

    "Glad you asked! That's the most popular story of the day! I'd appreciate a tip for the telling."

    The game never gives you the option to tip him. That's fine, because I'm super poor anyway.

    "Her sobriquet of the Porcelain Princess comes from her pure, white shining skin... Her voice is like music from the harps of the goddesses; radiant enough to tame monsters! But even the goddesses wouldn't linger in her presence for having to compete with her face... She is Princess Gutrune, a lovely goddess of Armoroad in her own right! Her visage is the stuff dreams are made of... Though, mind you, I've never seen her in person. Each successive princess in Armoroad is named Gutrune. I'll tell you the reason... later."

    I heard a "Booooooooriiiiiiiiiiiiiiing!" echo out from the other side of the bar. I never had a chance to find out who it was since I couldn't turn around fast enough, but I'm positive it was someone in our guild.

    In any case, there is some natural beauty and some life-threatening danger to be had, so I set up a party formation which I think I'll want to retain for a while (consisting of myself, Deltheor, and Lunar in the front row, with Shiro and Bloom in the back), and head off to explore the Labyrinth in...

    Those birds actually fly over the bottom screen and into the background at the top. It's a nice touch, actually. I'm pretty sure the waterfall also moves.

    Labyrinth 1: Waterfall Woodlands - from Etrian Odyssey III's OST.
    Remixes of this song you may enjoy:
    Etrian Mystery Dungeon's rendition
    Remix by Memories of the World Tree

    (Throughout this game journal, whenever a new piece of music pops up, I'll put links to the music so you can hear the game's soundtrack, and a few other renditions/remixes I'm personally fond of. There are obviously a lot more remixes than just the ones I listed. I've just given the ones I myself have a personal fondness for.)


    The truly observant among you will have noticed that it says "1st Stratum", which implies there must be a second at least. You'd be correct — in every Etrian Odyssey game, the titular labyrinth is divided into strata (which are also subdivided into floors), gradually increasing in difficulty as you go further in. Those familiar to the game will know how many strata there are, and also how many floors in each, but for the sake of those unfamiliar I'm not going to say how many just yet. I will say, however, that each stratum is concluded by the presence of a boss fight, right before progressing to the next layer.

    Also, this place is pretty picturesque:

    Your first impression will be one of two things: "Those flowers are beautiful" or "Welcome to die".

    And just because it's the first floor doesn't mean this game will go easy on you. I have had two Game Overs already just from trying to write this chapter. It got to the point where I went to get myself new gear, assign skill points, and assign limit skills, before I left Armoroad, and then saving my game again.

    Anyway, moving on. I'll get to the stories of me dying later.

    The first sight that greets me as I step into a clearing is a rather large and pristine rectangular stone structure, from which spews out a waterfall — hence the name of the area, I suppose. (It actually has a waterfall cascading from all four sides, but upon entry, only the south side is visible.)

    Going a little further, there is a guard at a crossroads, who was dispatched by the Via Senatus to check on my progress for the mission they gave me. Since the mission involves drawing a map, he (or rather the game) explains to you how it's done, using pictorial imagery on the top screen. The process is the same in every game (it involves use of the touch screen, colouring in all of the floors and walls, and marking points of interest) so I don't really see a need to repeat it here.

    Oh, he said 'plainly'. I thought it said 'painfully'.

    Oh, yeah, controls.
    Tapping Up on the Control Pad makes you move forward 1 pace. Down makes you move backward 1. Left and Right don't make you move, but rather, they rotate which direction you're looking. L will make you move left 1 space (while looking in the same direction); R will make you move right 1.

    Note that forward/backward/left/right are not compass directions. They are forward/backward/left/right. If you're facing east, for example, forward (Up) is 1 space east, backward (Down) is 1 space west (while still facing east, mind), L is 1 space north, and R is 1 space south. It's all according to your perspective. Y still opens the menu, and A is to investigate areas. Yes, the controls for this are the same in every game.

    A prompt on the top-right of the top screen will appear if you can investigate the area. Usually this happens at dead-ends, but there are other places too — for example, the crossroads at which I talk to the guard (and there, it says Talk instead of Check).

    On the bottom right of the top screen there's a small circle that gradually changes colour as you walk. It indicates how close you are to a random encounter appearing, which is based on how many steps you take. It starts off blue (as a rather deep dark blue), but then gradually progresses to green, yellow, orange, and finally to red. Once it's red, you know a random encounter is going to jump you any seco-


    The camera didn't pick it up very well, but when it starts, an animation of branches will whoosh across the screen. You can see it a little bit, but...ah, the laments of being unable to directly screen capture. #firstworldproblems

    So, this is how a battle works. And I will explain pictorially! Because I don't often get to do that.


    Battlefield: The First Campaign - from Etrian Odyssey III's OST.
    Remixes of this song you may enjoy:
    Super Arrange album's rendition
    Remix by Ayahuasca


    These are actually pictures of one of my earlier attempts before a Game Over, which is why only my healer has any Skills right now.

    Attack is fairly simple. You attack with your normal weapon, selecting your target, like this:


    If you target any enemies, you get a rough idea of how much HP they have left, shown by that little bar up there. Obviously the Forest Frog is at full HP since the fight just started, but it helps to know who to target.
    If, by the time your turn comes around, your target(s) was defeated, you'll target another random enemy that's still alive.

    I have no greater shame with me than in bringing along a mage who can't use magic.

    Defend makes you take up a defensive stance, halving all damage you take for the turn. This is good for characters who don't deal much damage and don't have anything else to do right now.

    At least I didn't forget to set healing skills! ...That's not saying much, is it.

    Skills are when you use skills that you've learned via your skill trees. Passive ones are always active so they won't appear in the list. (If your limit gauge is full, your equipped limit skill will show up in here too.) Simply choose your skill and choose any targets it has.

    Items lets you use an item you have in your inventory. It's greyed out since I don't have any items on hand right now.

    I only just now noticed, after writing this chapter up, long after the fact, that Deltheor is the only male in my current line-up. This is awkward.
    If I'd brought Satix instead of Lunar, I would have a perfect 50-50 gender split.

    Switch lets you exchange your position with that of another ally, while still keeping the rows having the same number of people in them. It works slightly differently in each game. In the first two, Switch consumes a turn and swaps the front and back rows completely. In the third game (this one), Switch consumes a turn and swaps your position with that of 1 other ally of your choice. In every game thereafter, Switch doesn't consume any turns and lets you arrange your lineup however you wish mid-fight.

    And Escape is to try and flee from battle. I should note that the probability of fleeing isn't all that high — in fact, at one point I failed to flee from a pre-emptive strike (in which the enemies shouldn't be able to notice you). They fixed that in later games, though, such that if you try to flee during a pre-emptive strike turn it will always work. I've only ever tried fleeing from fights when 1 of my party members is KO'd and I want to get back to town to revive him or her. At that point it's basically just running for my life.

    (Well, this game is always running for my life, but it's just more serious sometimes than others.)

    It was only now I noticed that she's a blonde, not a redhead.

    Pressing Y when deciding your action lets you see all buffs and debuffs on a single party member (whose turn you're choosing for), as well as how many turns each buff/debuff has left before it expires. In later titles, it let you view the buffs and debuffs of all allies and enemies at once.
    Any given combatant can have a max of 3 buffs and 3 debuffs each. If it would gain a new buff/debuff, it eliminates the topmost one before applying the new one. If it would gain one it already has, it just lengthens the duration of the existing one (the effect doesn't stack, but how long it last will). Knowing your buffs is vital — especially since I'm using a Prince class, which is all about buffs.

    I obtained a Slimy Leg! How...nice...

    After all enemies are defeated, all party members will receive experience (divided evenly among still conscious members; any remainders after division are dropped), any drops from the monsters will be acquired, and any enemy or item you haven't seen will be added to your Monstrous Codex/Item Compendium, which can be viewed at the Via Senatus. (In this game it just tells you really rudimentary stuff; it doesn't tell you things like what weapons/elements they are weak to or resist. They added that feature in EO4, and starting in EO2U, they even added their matchups against binds and ailments.)

    Okay, yes, the 3DS Etrian games have babied me, big-time. I didn't expect the Monstrous Codex to be so threadbare in this game!

    Anyway, back to exploration. The guard at the crossroads will halt you if you try to go east of his position, so that probably just leads deeper into the labyrinth. Either way, we aren't responsible for that area, so we'll just map everything else. The possible monsters that will show up on this part of B1F are:

    Fanged Fish: Pretty speedy, but also the weakest thing here, dead within a few attacks. Resembles a small red creature with an open toothy mouth.

    Forest Frog: Has a bit more HP than the Fanged Fish, but otherwise not a worry. You saw the picture earlier so I don't need to describe it again.

    Deadly Durian: Appears more often as you go further in. Resistant to physical attacks and has the monster skill Thorn, which may blind 1 party member. (Blinded heavily reduces the accuracy of all your attacks.) It doesn't deal much damage and takes substantial damage from magic, so it's annoying at best. Resembles a large green spiked fruit with eyes peeking from inside the shell.

    Great Lynx: Uncommon encounter that becomes more prevalent further in. Easily the strongest thing here, deals hefty physical damage with both its regular attack and its skill Bite Off, which can do about 50 damage — easily enough to one-shot any of your party members. Resembles a large yellow cat.

    If you see one, either run like hell, or kill it on sight and do not hold back.

    One of my Game Overs involved me being blindsided by one. It killed Deltheor in one shot. In fairness, it probably could have one-shot-killed any of my party members, not just him. My other Game Over was also related to one of these.

    I am never forgetting to teach Shiro Volt Star again.

    After being severely weakened by one of them, I tried to head back to town and was beset by another one. That is where the above picture comes from. Game Over allows you to save your map data, but I don't do that as it doesn't preserve any of the hidden passages you found. After that it just dumps you back at the last point you saved, whenever that was. It would be a while ago.

    One trend you'll notice is mapping a little bit, and then heading back to town, and repeating the process. This game is all about being cautious and knowing your limits.

    Not wanting to take chances on getting a third Game Over, I just explore a little bit and head back to town. And by chances, I mean Bloom ran out of TP and I'm not walking around with no healer. That's just stupid.

    Especially with these things running around.

    At least I got my team to level 2 this time!

    But this floor isn't all about being killed by cats (even though it's mostly about that); it had a lot of other small things as well, which I shall now expound upon.
    There is one location below that I didn't mention — near the top left of this floor there's a spot that's remarked as a perfect place to rest, but it goes on to say that my exploration is more important so I leave it be. The spot remains after being checked, so I'm guessing it has to do with a quest or something similar.

    In a few points on this floor, there are passageways that, at first, look like they're impassable from one side — marked by blue flowers. This is actually a staple in EO games; they serve as 'shortcuts' for when you've progressed through a certain point. If you find the other side of the passageway, on the opposite side of the wall, and go through it on that side, you'll be able to use the shortcut from there on out in both directions.

    They aren't always marked by blue flowers — it differs entirely based on stratum and by game, though you have to be facing the wall to investigate them — but you'll know them when you see them, as they'll stand out. To date, the only shortcuts I haven't seen marked are in some late-game strata in Etrian Odyssey IV.

    Slightly north of the guard you'll run into the first interaction, which is where the photo earlier that said 'Check' comes from. It's at a dead end not far off the beaten path.


    "CAUTION! Not all roads in the Labyrinth lead ahead. Only explorers who are careful to examine their full surroundings will be able to continue forth."
    You surmise that the sign, which contains elementary advice, was written for novice explorers.

    But only Lunar has a cap to tip...

    Continuing north, and hugging the centre wall, there's a small passageway that leads into an enclosure, from which you can see the waterfall from the north side. There's also a small shortcut to backtrack to the other side — which I did very quickly after noticing Bloom had no TP left. Besides the vista, there's-

    Do you even need to ask?

    An Amrita is an extremely useful item and I try to hold on to them whenever possible. It's a consumable item that heals 50 TP. Elsewhere there is: a chest with a Medica, which heals 80 HP and is readily available at the shop anyway; another with a Nectar, which revives a downed ally at low HP; and another with a Medica II, which heals 160 HP.

    This silver chest is also found in the centre clearing with the Amrita, but I'll probably need a special key to get into it.

    There's a room in the top left of the floor, which gives you a prompt immediately upon entry:


    The peculiar flowers sway in the wind... their sweet fragrance grows more alluring... You consider resting here to more fully enjoy the flowers' scent.

    Not much, but that's enough for 1.5 skills' worth.

    I chose to rest there, and I was rewarded for it, but that isn't always the case:

    Due south of that room, there's an event where you can investigate and see a child monster stuck in the bushes. You have a choice to either set it free or let it alone. I chose to set it free, and it was released. Two others that looked to be its parents came up, and I had to hope they would interpret my gesture as kindness. Instead they perceived me as a threat, and I had to fight all 3 of them.
    It was a new enemy called Great Platypus (that normally doesn't show up until B2F), sporting an attack called Poison Tail, which doesn't deal damage but has a chance to poison. I won the battle, but I lost Lunar to poison, so I had to high-tail it back to town.

    EO games are full of these kinds of events. Choosing to investigate an area (after being given a yes/no prompt) will make something good happen, something bad happen, or cause nothing to happen. Choosing not to investigate will...do 1 of those 3 as well (though never the same as the other choice). More often than not, refusing leads to 'nothing happens', but sometimes it doesn't.
    To make things more difficult, these kinds of events are essentially indistinguishable from one another, so you'll have to use your best judgment on each one. After the event, it will disappear (regardless of your answer), to either never come back or regenerate the next day, so I find it just a best practice to be on your toes at all times, and don't investigate corners yet until your party is healthy enough.

    There's a very similar event on the west side of the waterfall, which — like the 10 TP above — can be repeated daily. If you rest there, everybody recovers 15 HP before continuing.

    Lastly, at the top right of the area you're called to investigate, there's a chopping point. Chopping, mining, and taking points are marked by an area of sparkles on the ground, and are places where you can find rather valuable resources, which are sold to the shop for even a higher price than most monster drops in the area. For each skill point your active party has invested into the skills Chop, Mine, or Take, you can harvest materials from that spot once per day. (The Farmer skill Harvestry gives you 1 point in each of those.) Without those skills, you cannot gather from those points.

    I'm not sure about the two games before, but in every game afterwards, the gathering points didn't require a skill for you to get materials, but having them simply increased your gathering yield instead. Also, the gathering points could only be harvested from a few times per day (once in EOU and EO2U, and between 2-4 times in EO4), after which the points would expire, until they would regenerate at midnight.

    The rest of B1F isn't accessible until completing the mission, so let's see how our map is looking so far.

    Looking good, right? Let's hope the guard thinks the same.

    The guard is waiting at the same location as before. You can have him check your work by saying 'Report your success', so I do...

    The guard's previously stern countenance lightened upon examining your work. "Outstanding. You've done a simply wonderful job here!"


    As soon as you gain the smothering approval of the guard here, you can go back to the Via Senatus and report your mission as complete. Unlike quests, missions can't be abandoned, but that's almost never an issue since you never have more than 1 mission at a time, and there's a limit to how many quests you can take at once. All that's left is to update our monster/item codices and present our map.

    Plot checkpoint acquired!

    ]Finishing this first mission here causes a few things to happen — first, it lets us explore the rest of B1F at our leisure; second, it lets us take quests over at the Butterfly Bistro; third, it allows us access to Inver Port to go sailing on other side-quests...

    It makes sense in context, I swear.

    ...and fourth, most importantly, is that Napier's Firm will start selling a special item called an Ariadne Thread (or Warp Wire in earlier titles). This is probably one of the most important items you'll ever come across; using it while in a dungeon (except in battle) will teleport you instantly back to Armoroad without having to walk all the way back. It can be bought at the shop for 100en, and while that doesn't sound like much, right now it would be a huge chunk of my finances.

    Strangely enough, I'm one of the few EO players who never carries an Ariadne Thread on-hand, not only in the Untold games (the advent of Floor Jump in the Untold games has made Ariadne Threads largely obsolete), but even in EO4, which is just as challenging as the other EO games.

    Then again, I have a feeling that this is going to be a habit that will very soon be broken.

    Oh, yeah, and finishing any quest or mission will also grant your party experience points, never mind the material rewards — so it's always worth it to turn in the requests.

    Woohoo, how great am I!? ...um, don't answer that.

    I'm going to get my party up to level 5 before I delve any further into Waterfall Wood, because I don't want any nasty surprises like Great Lynx popping out of nowhere and just wiping my party. See you in Chapter 2!

    Game Over Count: 2 (just in case this becomes a regular occurrence)
  4. Eclipse

    Level 82
    Apr 3, 2015
    Marshadium Z ★★★★★Dragon Fang ★★★★Luxury Ball ★★★Comet Shard ★★★★Mewnium Z  ★★★★★
    Eclipse Plays Etrian Odyssey III
    Chapter 2: The Birds are Worse than the Cats

    I'm sure there are plenty of new quests to pick up and try, but I want to see how deeply I can delve into the Labyrinth before looking at the list. Besides, I may learn a few more things, like how many different ways I could die, for instance.

    To start, at least, there's heading east from that guard who stopped me before. As it turns out, a guard is there waiting for me, though I couldn't say if it's the same guard or a different one, since the uniform is all the same. For the sake of convenience, let's just say it is the same one. In celebration of our feat, he gives us three small hammers for us to use as we see fit.

    "How rude!" Shiro noted. "You didn't bring enough for us each to have one!"

    "No, these aren't weapons," Deltheor said. "See, look, they're far too small."

    "Then maybe they're used to hit switches?"

    "This is not a Mario & Luigi RPG game," I answered. "Besides, you didn't let the guard finish talking."

    Said hammers are used to forge weaponry at Napier's Firm. Each hammer adds a slightly different property to the weapon. (I think other pieces of equipment like shields can be forged as well, but I'm not sure yet as I haven't seen any forgeable pieces other than weaponry.) The hammers he gave us are the Attack Hammer (which makes the equipped weapon give a STR bonus — attack), the Guard Hammer (makes it give a VIT bonus — defense), and the Flash Hammer (makes its attacks have a chance to blind).

    Here's an example of what the forging screen looks like. You select your weapon, then you select an upgrade. Doing this fills an open 'slot' on the weapon, and you cannot forge weapons without any open 'slots'.

    Forging properties onto a weapon will cost money, yes. However, it'll also cost materials, i.e. things harvested from monsters in the Labyrinth. Any materials you sell to Napier will be stocked up to spend on forged weaponry, and the materials required will vary from weapon to weapon — though, the stronger the weapon is, the stronger the materials required will tend to be. There are a total of 24 hammers in the game, as you could probably tell by the above photo, so I have a lot of collecting to do.

    I wish someone would do something for free. Even using the item storage costs money. Even asking for a head pat costs money.

    In Etrian Odyssey IV, the material stock for the shop not only determined forge cost but also the shop's inventory itself. I don't know if that's the case in this game, partly because on the normal buy screen it doesn't mention if there's a limited stock of each weapon, and partly because I have money problems and can only afford to buy so much at a time. (Between going on an excursion through the labyrinth, gathering materials, selling them back, and resting at the inn, I might only gain a 10en surplus. At this point, any excess is going towards defensive gear; I have yet to own an Ariadne Thread because it's so pricy.)

    But I guess I'll find out eventually, won't I?

    There isn't actually much left of B1F to explore — at least, not that we have access to. I'll explain each part, in brief, in the order that I encounter them:

    Right past the guard there's a small 'loop' section that exits north and south. I choose to go north first, ignoring any side paths, and just keep going until I reach a dead end and can go no further. There is actually an event at this place.


    "Ooh, yummy! Dibs!" Lunar called out, entranced by its fresh scent. Without any hesitation whatsoever, she immediately reaches out, grabs one and takes a bite out of it before swallowing. Not even two seconds passed before she was clutching her chest and complaining of severe stomach pains.

    "...Did you think at all before trying to eat that?" asked Bloom incredulously.

    "Questions later! Healing now!"

    Whoever eats it loses 20 HP. The event is also repeatable the following day, as I later found out, but I didn't risk trying to eat one again.
    Although, it would have been funny to see Lunar make the same mistake twice.

    There's one path before that dead end going east, which leads to a T-junction going north and south. Going north leads to a hidden area with 2 treasure chests: one contains a Bravant, a consumable item which raises 1 ally's attack for a while; the other is a Feather Armour, which is a medium armour that can later be purchased at the shop made from a drop from a monster on the next floor.

    "Now, what are we going to do with this armour?" Del asked as I opened the chest.

    "Until we manage to get more of these, give it to the one among us who is the most squishy."

    "Ooh! Ooh! Pick me!" Lunar jumped up and raised her hand excitedly.

    "What? No, you're a frontliner. I'll give it to Shiro."

    "...Actually, this is a bit too heavy for me to wear."

    "Oh. That's a shame. Hey, Bloom; think fast."

    Without missing a beat, I tossed her the set of armour we'd just acquired. While she wasn't expecting the sudden throw, she did catch it safely, but the sheer impact made her fall backwards onto her seat. Hey, armour isn't exactly light.

    As I would later find out, 'Lunar' was actually the correct answer. To find that the pirate is squishier than the mage inwardly fills me with shame. ...To find that the highest damage dealer in the party is also not the pirate is equally surprising (Del and I are both tied for first), but that's a story for another day. I think it's because the only rapier in the shop so far is the basic starting one.

    Going straight south from the T-junction instead takes me to the stairs down to the next floor-

    "Hey, wait a minute."

    "Yes, Bloom?"

    "Why is there a set of stairs in a forest?"

    "...Come again?"

    "I can see the waterfall being here, that's obvious. I can even accept people just leaving treasure chests for explorers like us to find, but...isn't it weird that an area full of flowers and other greenery has a set of stone stairs leading downward?"


    I had no answer to that. Worse yet, I still don't. In strata that look like buildings (of which the other EO games have a small handful) it's sensible, but this wasn't a building or structure or anything of the sort. It was quite clearly a forest. So why the stairs? Was this part of the ruins of the Labyrinth or something?

    Maybe I'll just think of the silliest reason I can and just stick with that.

    Anyway, the bit of the floor south of the initial guard has a backtrack point that leads to the entrance, but right next to that is a door with a moon-shaped insignia on it.

    'You seem to have no way to open this door at the moment. You leave it be for the moment to explore elsewhere.'

    Strictly speaking, it's 2 moon-shaped insignia spinning in opposite directions from one another, as you might have gathered from the pictures above. Either way, much like the silver chest from earlier, it seems we'll need a key of some kind to go through here.

    Further on, there is a Chop point, and near that, 2 backtrack points. One is inaccessible, and the other leads...right to the stairs that lead downward. (I'd include a picture of the Chop point, but the camera doesn't pick up the indicative sparkles on the ground very well at all, at least not on this stratum.) So with all that said and done, it looks like we've finished up the map of B1F as much as we're able, so it's time to head downward.

    You won't always be able to map every aspect of every floor right away; some things, like the moon door, require items later in the game to fully explore them.
    One thing to note, though, is that where there's a set of stairs on 1 floor, the corresponding set of stairs on the other floor will have the same coordinates. For example, here the stairs are on the edge of C5, so when we go to B2F, they will be also on the edge of C5.

    "So B1F has the subtitle of 'A glorious journey's start'," Shiro said as we went down the stairs. "So why does B2F have the subtitle 'Marshlands of misfortune'?"

    "Shiro, are you leaning on the fourth wall again?" I asked.


    I let it alone, since there's no use pursuing that thought any longer. We're about to start our exploration of this new floor, cautious as usual, when...

    My Bishie Detector is beeping.

    "Is this your first time on the second floor?" he asks, as if gauging our mettle. I'm unsure exactly how to answer that question, since I'm not sure what his goals are — and plus, someone like this out of nowhere with a non-generic portrait has to be important.

    "And who are you?" I ask, as cordially yet as cautiously as I can. Obviously he has to have a reason for approaching us, and I want it out of him. Instead, he appears surprised and amused to have his question answered with another question.

    "Me?" he answers. "I'm not the one you should concern yourself right now. The monster ahead is." He's looking further down the path, past us, to a specific object. "Those who come here swaggering in triumph from the first floor... usually die at that beast's hand." I turn to follow his gaze, and I see exactly what he's talking about.

    If I were new to this series, I'd be confused, but if I can actually see a monster icon, I know it's bad news.

    "Eeeeeeeeeeeek!" screamed Lunar. "A floating orange orb!!"

    I know that's not actually what it is (it renders as such due to DS graphic limitations), but I let it slide.

    "If everyone were smart enough to back away from fights they clearly can't win, there'd be no issue," the red-garbed man went on. "But too many novice guilds perish from foolishly charging towards monsters beyond their abilities. ...I must caution you as well. Watch the enemy's movements before making your own." The man gives a faintly sardonic smile and bow before walking deeper into the forest.

    "I look forward to meeting you again should our paths cross," he calls out as he walks away. For a while we just stand there in silence. I cast my gaze about the group: Lunar is terrified that the sun is going to eat her; Del and Bloom are staring ahead with a look of great caution; and Shiro possesses the same look I do — a bizarre calmness at knowing exactly what it is, and knowing it should not be engaged.

    "So... Eclipse, what is that?" Del finally breaks the silence.

    "That, my friend, is what's known as an F.O.E.. If I had to guess its species, it's probably a Furyhorn, but I'm not up to testing that right now."

    "Does that stand for anything?"

    "Depends on who you ask. Anyway, I need to explain what that is."

    The FOE (abbreviated from 'Field On Enemy' in Japan, and from the dog Latin 'Formido Oppugnatura Exsequens' elsewhere) is a staple of the Etrian Odyssey series. The most simple explanation I can give is that it's a specific kind of monster that you can actually see moving about on the overworld, and is thus extremely powerful. When you first see one, do not engage it. As the helpful stranger implied, engaging that thing now will lead to certain death. FOEs are stronger than any random encounter monster found in their native stratum by a large margin, and are matched only by other FOEs and the stratum boss.

    And yes, in every Etrian Odyssey game, they will always introduce you to them this early. Consider yourself warned.

    In later EO titles, they added 2 more indicators about FOEs: first, the floating orbs are instead replaced with 3D models, which let you clearly identify what species they are. On the bottom screen as well, any FOEs will also be indicated by a red, yellow, or blue aura about them — a red one means it far outclasses you right now; a yellow means you're roughly on par but should still be careful; a blue one means that you'll do fairly well against it. (Bosses will have a purple aura about them instead, no matter what your level — but again, this is for later EO titles, not this one.)

    Oh, yeah, that's right. In addition to you being able to see FOE icons on the upper screen, you can see them on your labyrinth map as well, from areas on the floor you've already been to.

    Note where it is right when we talked to the guy. It's hard to tell, but it's 4 spaces directly ahead of us right there, as the image below will demonstrate.

    The FOE is the circle in purple facing west; we're the green one facing east. All FOEs also have a movement pattern associated with them; if you move 1 square...

    ...it does too...

    ...and you can see its new location on the top screen.

    Notice FOEs will actually face a certain direction. That indicates what direction they're looking (duh), as well as what direction they're liable to move in. If you go to engage an FOE when it's facing away from you, you'll get a pre-emptive strike; however, if a FOE engages you while you're facing away from it, it will blindside you. This won't be a worry yet, but keep it in mind.

    Some FOEs just move about in fixed patterns (like this one here), but some are actually aggressive and will chase you down if they happen to spot you — when that happens, their icon on the bottom screen will change from purple to red, and I believe that their 'sun' icon on the top screen will also change to red. I haven't seen one yet — the aggressive FOEs usually start to appear on the following floor — but I'll investigate whenever I get there. (Bosses will instead have a black icon on the top screen.)

    You'll notice that, right next to the circle indicating the random encounter (on the bottom right of the screen), there's another small bar there. That indicates your current proximity to any FOE on the floor, regardless of direction. It will have 1-3 lights active on it; having 1 means you're exactly 3 spaces away from an FOE, having 2 (as in the shot above) means you're exactly 2 spaces away from one, and having 3 means you're directly adjacent to one. (If that extra bar isn't visible, it means that you're 4+ spaces away from an FOE.)

    The FOE right here (and a few others later on this floor as well) just move back and forth down the 1 corridor, do not deviate from that course, and do not try to chase you down either. Given that behavior, and given how it's the first FOE you encounter in the game, I'm pretty sure it's a Furyhorn — but I'm not up to testing that right now, because if I do so right now, I'll die.

    That concludes my explanation on FOEs, but since these ones aren't actually hostile to me, it's not my biggest concern right now. This is:

    You remember my talk about the Great Lynx? This one is even worse.

    B2F sports the following new monsters:

    Largebill: Not unlike the Great Lynx from before, except it's faster (enough to go before all but your fastest party members), and is a lot more common. Also has an attack called Chomp which is very similar to Bite Off, which does enough damage to either one-shot or come close to it. Expect it to show up in pretty much every encounter. Resembles a large green bird.

    Claw Shrimp: Nothing too threatening when compared to other things. It's on about the same power level as a Forest Frog. Resembles a yellow shrimp with a red tail.

    Great Platypus: I mentioned these a while ago in one of the events, but they have a chance to cause poison with their skill Poison Tail, so try and dispatch these ASAP. Resembles a platypus, but with a scorpion-like tail.

    Titan Arum: A rather slow, but sturdy creature, but it doesn't show up very often. Possesses the skill Vine Dance, which does 15-20 damage to everyone in 1 line, though if it does use this, it will go nearly last. Resembles a large flower bud resting on a frog-like body.

    All the monsters on B1F can also be found down here as well, though they usually appear with Largebills if that's the case.

    Between the Largebills showing up all the time, and having to write up partial maps before running back to town, I'm being reminded of a certain trend.

    I've had to return to town more than once because a Largebill knocked me out. Me, the tank. Even with me putting up a Line Guard every turn, it sometimes wasn't enough. (Remember how I said that Lunar is actually the squishiest member of my team? This is how I found out.) On the plus side, their drop lets me purchase more copies of Feather Armour, so maybe the game is trying to be nice in its own weird way.

    At one point I tried to get far enough in the floor to get to a backtrack point, but after one fight, only Bloom was still alive. By the time I actually found it...

    Game Over Count: 3

    Even the money problems wouldn't have saved me here.

    All right, time to recount what I actually found down here.

    Just south of the initial patrolling FOE, there is one section of the wall ahead that's hollow with something shining inside. I tried peering inside, but it was too dark to make out whatever the glistening object is.

    Nothing quite like the game goading you.

    "Ooh, shiny!"

    "No, Lunar, the last time your magpie syndrome kicked in, you got stomach pains. I am currently not willing to risk whatever is in there. My guess is that there's something inside ready to bite my hand."

    I am not in a risk-taking mood right now, especially given how those green birds will just jump out of nowhere and leave us all hurting. Going onward, the path winds on for a while. There are a few dead ends there, mostly due to backtrack points that are accessed from the other end. One of them has a take point, from which can be harvested Small Flowers, which can be sold back to the shop for Nectar — which, since it revives KO'd party members, is a very important item.

    And then just a little bit after that...

    I'm going to keep walking this way, and if you get hit, it's your own fault.


    Time to wait until it patrols and I can sneak past it. In fact, right past it another event is triggered, one that feels oddly like foreshadowing.

    None of them knew what walks on 3 legs in the evening.

    Noticing you, the figure comes near. You can see it is female, and what's more, she is smiling.

    Wait, Armoroad sells Skullcandy headphones? Get me some of that.

    "You needn't be frightened," she went on. "My name is Olympia. I am active in helping explorers like you."
    The girl smiles again and hands you one of the backpacks she is holding. "This is a camping tent. It is practically a necessity here. You may have it if you like." She points to the south fork of the road ahead before continuing. "That way lies a campground. It is a safe place to use your tent." Olympia looks again at the tent in your hands. "Many explorers use tents to rest during their travels. You should make use of that spot as well."

    "I will rest at the campground myself for a while. If you would like to talk more, come see me."

    And with that, the strange high-pitched girl is gone towards the south. We all exchange glances at each other after she leaves, as if participating in an unheard conversation.

    "Are you thinking what I'm thinking?" Del asked.

    "Totally," Shiro answered. "I need to know where she got those headphones."




    And so we follow. There's a large door separating the campground from the rest of the floor, so monsters won't find their way here. After all, everyone knows monsters can't open doors. On the other side of the door is what looks just like a campground — and I say that because there are signs that people have been here before. The room is pretty small but it's obvious where everything is.

    The campground looks like this when viewed — note the 4 wooden stakes in a square. Camping there uses 1 tent, and I'm pretty sure it lets you heal your party to full HP. I actually don't know as I haven't tried it yet — I'm trying to conserve resources.
    Also, the FOE is on the south side of the wall, I swear.

    Olympia is in the room as well, right where my marker is, in the southeast of the room, nonchalantly leaning against a tree. The actual camp place is on the southwest, as indicated by the tent.

    "We meet again," Olympia spoke, in the same cheerful high-pitched voice that she spoke in before. "How fare you in your travels?"

    Obviously there are a few questions I want to ask, but I have to wonder what to ask first. I offer to take the lead and speak for the party, and the first question that comes to mind is...well, who is she? Would she really be so free with advice in the Labyrinth, and expect nothing in compensation?

    "I'm somewhat curious, Olympia. Who are you, exactly, and what reasons do you have in assisting us?"

    Despite the suspicion evident in my voice, her answer is rather cheerful and upbeat.

    "Don't worry about that. I have my own reasons. After some time, if you grow as strong as I think you will... I'll tell you what they are."

    Playing it quiet, hmm... There's no use trying to push the point any further for now; I won't get any further answers. Do I have any other questions, though?

    "...Your advice about the campground here was very helpful. Do you have any other advice for novice explorers? You look like a veteran. Any suggestions, perhaps?"

    She looks up and thinks to herself, before answering slowly. "Listen carefully. Some paths in this forest exist where you'd least expect them to. Even when you think you've come up against a wall or dead end, search carefully. If you can find these hidden passages, travelling from town and back will be much easier."

    "Ah, right, we saw a few passageways marked with blue flowers, that served as backtrack points. You're talking about those, right?"

    "Yes, exactly." She looks at us and smiles once again, as if expecting us to ask another question.

    "I've got one last question for now... Those things by your ears, with the jack-o'-lantern motif... Are those headphones? They look a lot like them. Where'd you find them?"

    Olympia's smile doesn't fade or flicker one inch, as she answered in what looked like a thoroughly deadpan response:


    I'm stunned into silence; I really don't have anything to add on to that. It's surprising yet refreshing to be so cleanly shot down like that. So we quietly excuse ourselves and resume exploration, to quietly shudder to ourselves once we're sure we're distant enough from the campground.

    "Still want those headphones, though," Shiro said.

    "Oh yeah."

    Proceeding north to go back the other way leads to a locked door with a sun-shaped insignia on it — which was really just 2 suns overlaid and spinning in opposite directions. Much like the moon insignia door from before, it can't be opened yet so we're going to need a special kind of key for it. A little while later, though, there's a path to another FOE, plus something much worse...


    "...what was that noise?"

    "I'm not sure, but I have a suspicion I know..."


    "Yeah, we're in trouble."

    "What is it?"

    "Eeeeeeeeeeek! Another floating orange orb!!"

    "That's not the worst of it. Look at the floor, all of you — as well as the soles of your shoes."

    Well, that explains why B2F is called Marshlands of misfortune.

    There are a few tiles on this floor which are mud tiles, which slow down your progress. Essentially, when you take 1 step into (but not out of) a mud tile, that is the equivalent of taking 2 steps — so that means FOEs and other creatures will move twice when you only move once through the mud. It won't be too clear on the mini-map, but I've marked all mud tiles in red. (Any tiles I can't traverse, such as the cascades by the waterfall, I marked in yellow. I may change this later, since I only get 3 colours to work with, but it should be okay for now.)

    To make matters worse, this isn't the only FOE on this floor to sneak past where mud is involved.

    I sneak right past it, waiting until it's safely on the other side of the mud before I dash right past it. There are a few branching paths, but on a hunch, I decide to go straight south and–



    We're only halfway done with this floor and I thought for sure I would be able to fit all of B2F into a single chapter, but the page count right now is currently telling me otherwise, so I'm going to cut it off right here since this is a nice place to pause.

    Also it's nice to not die. It's very very nice to not die.
  5. Eclipse

    Level 82
    Apr 3, 2015
    Marshadium Z ★★★★★Dragon Fang ★★★★Luxury Ball ★★★Comet Shard ★★★★Mewnium Z  ★★★★★
    Eclipse Plays Etrian Odyssey III
    Chapter 3: Stealth, Shrooms, and S'missing People

    "It's the start of a brand new day!" called out Lunar's shrill voice with the same precision and intonation as a buzzing alarm clock. I appreciate being woken up, but she is really loud. And with my ears as sensitive as they are (true story), it doesn't often help.

    Del is up pretty quickly, and I follow soon after, nearly jumping out of my bed because I'm not wearing my armour to weigh me down. I notice Bloom isn't actually here, and I start to wonder, but she comes in right afterward, looking like she's been awake for an hour already.

    "Hi guys, I'm back from my run!"

    Probably because she was awake for an hour already.

    "Oh, yeah, that's right, you take a lap or two around Armoroad at 6am just to get a head-start on the day."

    "You should come along, Eclipse! It'd be a good workout!"

    "And the tin can get-up isn't? I'd never catch up to you."

    "No, silly, I mean you can go dressed normally. With how smoothly you move normally, you'd probably move like a lightning bolt without the suit."

    "...I don't have an actual rebuttal to that. Fine, you're on. Same time tomorrow; just wake me up by then if I'm not already. ...Hey wait, where's Shiro?"

    In my absolutely enthralling conversation with Bloom and rigourous physical activity, I neglected to notice that only Shiro was missing from our exploration party. I know we all went back together, so maybe she was still upstairs in our room? We go back, and Shiro is there, knees to the floor, looking around under the beds and across the floorboards.

    "Shiro, what on Earth are you doing?" I asked.

    "In what scientists are calling 'pretty gay', I can't find my shoes," she responded, not even looking up.

    "I heard a leading expert characterised the situation as 'retarded'," Del said.

    "...Del, don't encourage her. The rest of you help Shiro find her shoes, which I think she placed under her pillow as a sign of good luck."

    "Wait, why don't you help look?"

    "I still have to don my tin can so that we don't die."

    "...I don't have an actual rebuttal to that."

    Five minutes later, after Shiro did indeed find her shoes under her pillow (don't ask me why, I don't know either), we're back off to the forest again, to continue our career as explorers — starting right where we left off at the first backtrack point. In our rush to head back the first time, I didn't notice that there was a guard sitting near there.


    Why do they all look the same? That doesn't even look like soldier attire...
    We wave over to him; he nods in response to our hail and raises a hand to acknowledge us.

    "Are you explorers investigating the forest? How goes it?" he asks.

    "Well, we-"


    Wow, rude.

    "I've been gathering materials left by monsters for a certain investigation. I've found a few, but there are still some I'm missing. I have a proposal for you. If you have any of what I'm looking for, can you spare some for me? I'll make it worth your while with something I know you'll find useful in your journeys."

    Upon saying so, the guard shifts his gaze to use to gauge our reaction. We consider this carefully...

    "...We don't see why not," Del said.

    The guard nods happily and clarifies his request. "What I need now is... a Sharp Tooth, a Pungent Ivy, and a Purple Scale. Have any of that?"


    Do we look like a welfare centre? We're probably even poorer than you.

    This event is repeatable, so you can go back and talk to the guy if you gather the stuff later, which I did. A Sharp Tooth is a drop from a Fanged Fish, the weakest monster we've encountered so far, so that's easy; if you swap it to him, he'll give you a Medica. A Pungent Ivy is a drop from Titan Arum, which actually start appearing on this floor right about this point; he will trade you a Theriaca B for one, a consumable item which heals an ally's ailment — which I find weird, because I thought Theriaca A would do that, with B healing binds. (With the letters, it makes sense, right?) Ah well, it doesn't matter too much.

    As of this writing I haven't seen a Purple Scale, but I believe it's the rare drop from the Claw Shrimp. However, because it's the rare drop, that means it has to be killed in a specific way, and I don't know what that is yet. (Yes, the Claw Shrimp is identified to have a rare drop in the Monstrous Codex, and it's the only thing I've seen so far that is shown to have one.)

    Oh yeah. When you log something into the Monstrous Codex, it will give its HP, ATK, DEF, and potential drops (but sadly little else). EO4 started adding new information, like attack names and weaknesses, and EO2U added even more stuff like resistance to binds and ailments. Anyway, the drop table on each entry has 3 rows: the top row is the common drop, the middle row is the uncommon drop, and the bottom row is the rare drop. If a row is empty, that means that monster doesn't have that kind of drop.

    Almost every monster in the game has a common drop (usually only special enemies don't). Uncommon drops just are a little harder to come by (for example, Forest Frogs have Slimy Leg as a common drop and Frog Cheek as an uncommon one), but still have an okay chance. For the rare drop, the monster has to be killed in (or with) a specific fashion, and killing the monster in this way is guaranteed to give you that drop. Such drops are labeled in gold instead of the normal blue, and when sold back to the shop, the goods they provide you are limited by how much of it you sold back, instead of infinite like goods gotten from normal drops.

    That's how it works in later EO games, anyway, but I'm pretty sure it works that way in this game too. I just don't know yet because I haven't tested it.

    Oh, right, exploration. Oops.

    From here it's a matter of heading west and seeing what's left on this floor. There's another small loop, so going either south or west won't matter which. Heading to the northwest leads to an FOE that I can't get past right now, since there's only 1 entrance into the path and the FOE patrols it with no hidey-holes to manouevre with. So I won't be going that way yet.

    Going south actually leads to a large waterfall, which is probably the same waterfall that we saw at the very entrance of the labyrinth, since coordinate-wise they are in the same location. Makes sense, but I like the attention to detail. There's also a FOE patrolling that path too, and I'm on the north side of the waterfall.



    I think this one actually can be snuck past, but given all of the mud and such, I didn't try it, so I went the long way around. It eventually does lead back to the waterfall — it just takes longer.

    But what if I go further west? I can't handle the FOE right now, so what if I...


    The bottom right of this picture is where the waterfall was, but right where my cursor is right now actually triggers a new event...

    Apparently there's a girl in the hall up ahead. She seems to be looking for something, and the instant she notices us, she rushes over.



    I apologise for the camera glare. She looks like this.

    "I'm Hypatia, an astrologer with the Murotsumi guild, and I'm in some real trouble..." she introduced herself. I'm about to ask what but she keeps on going.

    "Agata, a young ninja in the guild, got carried away and went deep into the forest all by himself!" The girl massages her temples with her slender fingertips and sighs deeply.


    "He's an excitable little ball of energy. Have you seen any young ninja like that?"

    The game actually does give you the option to say Yes or No at this point as to whether or not we've seen him, and I'm 97% sure that this is the game's capacity to allow you to lie to people — which means that this question is some kind of important decision point.

    I have to mull this over a lot here. If I say Yes, then this means she might have a chance of going onward and finding him, but it may get complicated if she asks for a specific location as to where he went. On top of that, she is obviously of the Zodiac class, like Shiro, and without someone like a hoplite to protect her, asking her to go deeper in is certain death. Knowing that, there's no way I could lie to her if it would mean she'd ultimately die. So I do the in-character thing, and tell the truth.

    "No...I'm sorry, we haven't," I say. "We haven't met anyone like that so far."

    "I see. Where in the world could Agata have gone...?" she replies. Her brow furrows, then raises as she addresses us again, her expression bright.

    "Hey! If you don't mind, um, maybe you could do me a favour? If you happen to see Agata while we're out here, could you tell me where you saw him!?" Hypatia's blonde hair again sways violently at the intensity of her request. I have to think about this, since there are a lot of other things in the Labyrinth I must think of...


    ...but what kind of heartless monster would refuse a request like that?

    "Sure thing. We'll definitely keep an eye out for him," I answer. In all honesty, I would have done that anyway, because someone missing in the Labyrinth just raises a ton of warning flags for me already. I'm hoping he's not already dead, but I know it'll move at the speed of plot, so his outcome is already decided regardless of when I get there, wherever he is.

    Hearing that answer, Hypatia finally smiles and joyfully expresses her gratitude. "In that case, I'll head back to Armoroad. I'll be waiting at the inn. I'm counting on you...!" And with that she leaves, the worried expression being notably less worried. I just hope I can find Agata in time, so it's time to go a little deeper still.

    And then I'm met with a very nasty surprise.


    That does it; if I survive this fight, I'm going home.

    I did. Including the walk back. Somehow.

    From where Hypatia is, to the northwest there's a Take point (in case I don't want to use the one at the floor's start), and to the southeast there's an FOE, which I can't sneak past from this direction. Instead, I have to go southwest, which leads to the same path but further down, so it creates an opening. There is mud there, so where and when you sneak in has to be precisely timed. And then, after that...


    Of course Lunar objects this time after eating that poisonous fruit, and I don't blame her. Thankfully, since our party is actually in pretty good shape at this point, I think it's worth the risk. It's a good idea, actually — eating a mushroom makes the party heal 5 TP. There's a few along that path (three, I think?) and you face a few points on the wall to ingest them. I forget if they regenerate or not.

    Further beyond that is a backtrack point that can't be taken (yet), and then there's a T-junction which leads to a door. I don't take it yet as I can come back to it, so I keep going. Heading north away from the door leads me to a backtrack point that...puts me near to the very start of the floor, which is very much needed.


    THANK YOU!! (It's in square D-3)

    And for those curious, the red squares are mud and the yellow squares are water, like those seen at the waterfall.


    I'm more surprised that I made it safely back to town with Bloom dead and with no further casualties beyond that. But level-wise I think I'm holding up okay.

    There are only a few pieces left of this floor to investigate, thankfully, as you probably noticed from the partial map I just gave, there aren't very many points left empty.

    A bit north of that backtrack point is the same waterfall I saw earlier, but from the south side instead.


    The vista makes me almost forget how many times we died to get here. And there will be plenty more to come before we see it again one floor down, I'll bet.

    I can continue that path around to the east side of the waterfall to another backtrack point, that leads back to the first Take point on this floor — which would speed up my progress a lot — but, as I noted earlier, there's an FOE patrolling the north side, and I'm pretty sure we can't kill the glowing orange orb.

    However, there is a small passageway north of the FOE's path that leads to a chest. This had better be worth it...


    Well, that was kinda worth it. Hamao is a consumable item that heals 1 ally by 50 HP and 25 TP. Not as much as a Medica or Amrita individually, fine, but it heals them both at once.

    With that I have 3 sides of that waterfall explored, with the fourth one behind that other FOE, which I snuck past to see all those mushrooms.


    It's annoying to see that empty space behind tha- you know what? Let's go for it.

    It does involve sneaking past that FOE, and by the looks of it, it does lead to the other backtrack point and the west side of the waterfall. This is too good to pass up, so I go past there and it leads to...


    Well, that wasn't what I was expecting, but this is actually really good.

    As it turns out, the backtrack point is right next to where the stairs are. However, there are no other paths here — but if that's true, where does the west side of the waterfall come in? Eh, I'll figure it out later. Let's check out the door that I passed up earlier. It's the last area of this floor I can safely explore right now.


    Well, if the mushrooms outside healed 5 TP, these ones by themselves ought to be really special.


    ...Well, I wasn't wrong, but on the other hand, I totally deserved this. I knew that was probably going to happen, but I did it anyway.


    No points for guessing what they can do.

    These orange enemies here are Venomshrooms, a rather common enemy throughout the EO series, and yes, these aren't the only kinds of mushroom enemies you'll encounter. There are 4 different varieties in all that I know of in the series, but usually you'll only see 3 of them in a game. (EO4, however, does feature all four, and two of them are only seen in the post-game.)

    As you probably guessed by the name, Venomshrooms are poisonous. Indeed, when they're alive they'll only sport regular attacks, but they use Poison Spores as a reaction when they die, which deals no damage but has a chance to poison everyone, and the poison damage is pretty high (~35). Yes, poison isn't percentile-based, as you might be inclined to believe. It depends entirely on the strength of the inflictor.

    And just like the Great Platypus encounter on the first floor, I'm sure that Venomshrooms will be a common encounter on the third one. But it seems like that's all for now.


    That missing bit on the west side of the waterfall is going to bug me, but I'll get over it — especially once I figure out how to get there.

    That concludes all I can explore on B2F for now, but I'll be back later for the rest, especially for what's behind those patrolling FOEs (how much later, though, is anyone's guess). See you in the next chapter!
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