Let's Play Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan!

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Etrian Odyssey IV?
Hello, and welcome one and all to my playthrough of Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan! For those wondering what Etrian Odyssey is, it’s a now-eleven-years-running series of dungeon-crawling JRPGs with a focus on party customization and exploration. Etrian Odyssey really excels at fun, strategic dungeon crawling while you map out the floors of the Labyrinth, at the expense of a slightly lacking story. It’s notoriously difficult as a whole, but Etrian Odyssey IV offers two difficulties- Standard, for people who enjoy the difficulty of the series, and Casual, for people who don’t want to worry about getting party wiped during their stay in the dungeon.

Why this game?
No special reason really, other than the fact that I haven’t seen another complete screenshot playthrough of the game.

Spoiler policy?
No thanks. Etrian Odyssey isn’t story heavy, granted, and I don’t care about spoilers personally, but in case someone reading this hasn’t been informed of the plot before, might as well not ruin it for them.

List of installments:

Update 1

Update 2

Update 3

Update 4

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Update 3: Aurum Gets Wings
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The final step before completing your mission will be to visit the Grand Court and report your find.

Alan We’ve an obligation to return the Iridescent Ore to the Count. Let’s get going, shall we?

Smith Speak for yourself, I’m bushed. I’ll meet you kids at the inn.

Untitled Aye, I could use a rest.

Rei I guess a rest couldn’t hurt. We’ve still gotta make sleeping arrangements, though- I wasn’t planning on having a full guild just yet!

Billy Don’t worry about it- There’s an inn just up ahead! I have some relatives that stay there on occasion, including my brother, who lives just outside of town.

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Innkeeper Welcome to Saehrimnir Inn. Lots of our explorers use this place as a base between excursions. If you get hurt or tired, come back here and get a good rest. We have clinic in the back, too! You’re welcome to use it if you have any ailments or wounds to treat.

Rei Yeah, we are new explorers! How’d you know? Anyways, we’re gonna need reservations for… two rooms, please.

Alan Two?! But I must object- such tight spacing will surely not be adequate for proper rest!

Rei Why, Alan? You’ve volunteered to pay for our housing? How kind of you! That’ll be… twenty five gold, for five rooms, if you please.

Alan I never-

Rei OR, we could pay ten for two rooms, and take the funds from the guild coffers. It’s your call.

Billy Ahahaha! Alan, was it? I think it’d be wise to leave the financial decisions to Rei.

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Rei All right Amine, UP AND AT 'EM! We got a mission to turn in, people to meet, places to explore! Get yourself ready, will you? I’ll go get the guys-

Untitled FIE, WOMAN! LET ME SLEEP! THE CARDINALS HAVE NOT YET BEGUN TO CHIRP!

Rei Not a morning person I see… All right. You’re up, at least.

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Count I now pronounce the Aurum Guild to be explorers of Tharsis with my official blessing! And of course, there is the other half of your reward to be given. Here you are, then…

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The party gets almost two levels’ worth of experience.

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Count It’s a vessel that sails the skies, powered by the Iridescent Ore. You’ll be searching for Yggdrasil on one. Your skyship is ready now at the city gates. Once you claim it, why not make the Lush Woodlands your first stop? The Lush Woodlands is a large, natural labyrinth currently being investigated by many of our explorers. Once you reach the Lush Woodlands, head straight for the pillar of light you’ll see. It’s an invaluable tool. Oh, and stop by the atelier before you go. I sent them my authorization for you to buy certain necessities. Well then, may your way be clear!

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Rei grabs the first of the damage skills she’ll be using the entire game- Blazing Link.

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Billy has a better chance to trigger Taunt.

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Another level in Long Shot.

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Smith gets Healing high enough to unlock Line Heal, which is just as self-explanatory as Healing. It costs 10 TP though, which is pretty hefty for this point in the game- especially to be using in long dungeon treks.

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And finally, Alan gets Lightning Rune, which targets a whole row of enemies. It’s probably the best of the first-tier Runes.

Untitled We were asked to head to the Berund Atelier, no?

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The soldier takes a moment to catch his breath before pulling out a letter and reading it over.

Soldier It says he will be giving you a Foodapult. I’m guessing that’s equipment for your skyship? Maybe that’s why he can’t give it to you by hand. It says here it’s been delivered to the city gates, and you should ask the one in charge there for details.

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The soldier apologizes for delaying you and nods curtly before leaving.

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Engineer I got a request from the Outland Count to prepare yeh a skyship. She’s all ready to go. Yeh can set sail as soon as she’s registered. So, what’re yeh going to name her?

Alan If I may? Our guild is titled after a word of old, meaning gold. Perhaps a name such as Argentum would suit our guild’s new flight companion?

Billy Don’t be so dry. Our ship should bring death from above for all who dare oppose us- She should be called the Juggernaut, the Deathship, the Flying Menace!

Untitled Let us go with the Mocha.

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Rei Huh? Why the “Mocha?”

Untitled I had a dog once. We called her Mocha. She was brown, like coffee. …I know not why you are glaring at me like that.

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Engineer I’d explain the controls, but yeh’ll learn faster if yeh try it out. Yeh can outfit it at the city gates. Which reminds me, yeh got a piece of kit from the Outland Count, right? Yeh can equip it on your skyship. Come by the wharf when yeh’re bored, and I’ll let yeh guys have some other equipment no one else is using. The Cargo Wharf might not seem like the place for explorers, but that’s where yeh’d be wrong. I’ll explain what I mean when yeh stop by. I’ll be waiting!

Rei Oh, yeah! We’ll definitely stop by.

Smith Sure thing.

Alan Beyond a shadow of a doubt! We won’t be visiting, will we?

Rei Nope.

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Wynne Now we can finally sell yas dem Ariadne Threads. Every explorer gots ta have an Ariadne Thread. It takes ya back ta Tharsis wherever ya use it from. Ya oughtta buy one right now! It’d be a disaster if ya forgot!

Wynne isn’t lying. Ariadne Threads are great. They’ll warp you out of the labyrinth in both dangerous situations as well as ones where you just don’t want to walk back to town.

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Smith Y’know, I’m real curious to know who would pay for a Grasseater leg and what its practical applications are, but we got paid so I don’t really care.

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The Leather Vest is a pretty nice upgrade from Tweed, and Billy will be taking quite a few hits, so I grab one for him. Unfortunately the shop requires you to have enough materials to make each piece of armor, and I only had enough for one Leather Vest, so Rei will be stuck in Tweed for now. The back row really doesn’t need anything else quite yet.

Alan Did anyone else notice that magnificently dressed woman disappearing into that building just now? …Come to think of it, what is that building?

Smith Nothing stopping us from checking it out.

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Peacock Here at the Dancing Peacock, you may accept quests and seek information from our patrons. Completion of these quests is met with commensurate rewards. Many explorers enjoy passing time in this way. A request I think to be perfect for you was only just posted. Might I ask that you look it over?

Untitled I beg your leave, but I do not believe-

Rei “Commensurate rewards,” you say? Color me interested. C’mon, Amine, let’s at least check them out!

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Rei How about this one?

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Peacock A group of soldiers are exploring the east side of the Windy Plains. But they lack the food to carry on. So your task would be to gather food and drop it off for them. Their camp is in the forest. I was given to understand that it is in an open area. Freshness is important in food, so you must find and deliver it in one trip. I shall await your swift return.

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Rei And this one?

Peacock That request? It is from the governor of Tharsis… the Outland Count. He wants you to search for a small grove of kapok trees. You can learn more by talking to him at the Grand Court. I shall await your swift return.

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Untitled Rat fangs? I wonder if I could aim precisely enough to sever them with my arrows.

Peacock That request comes from the Berund Atelier. They are keenly interested in materials for a sword. They can supply you with more details of the task at the Atelier. I shall await your swift return.

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And then there’s the bar patrons. I’m honestly curious if anyone would be interested in seeing the dialogue here- there’s a LOT of it. In the interest of actually getting something done today, I’ll be skipping this for now. I do have the dialogue in case anyone is interested in seeing it in the future though.

Rei Let’s visit the Atelier first, and the Grand Court afterwards.

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Wynne So I want yas to get me two of dem Rat Fangs. Dem Tree Rats out in the Lush Woodlands drop em. When ya gots em, come sell em ta me. Don’t worry, da money yas get for selling em ain’t part of da reward. I’m counting on yas. Buh-bye!

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Count Are you familiar with kapoks? That tree is not grown for food, but for its several other uses. There is a place in Windy Plains where many kapoks grow. I want you to search for this kapok grove. Rumor has it that it’s somewhere on the northern side of the Windy Plains. The A-2 region sounds likely. Oh, I’m sorry if my terminology is confusing to you. Do you need an explanation on maps and coordinates?

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Alan No, I don’t believe you need to recite a technique so simple as reading a grid.

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Count Now then, if you do happen to find the kapok grove, return here and tell me its coordinates. Of course, it you know them already, do not hesitate! Let’s have them!

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And now, if we head to the City Gates, we have three options- warp directly to a labyrinth like the Lush Woodlands we’re headed to, we can head to a “land,” which essentially corresponds to the Strata of the previous games, or we can begin next to any cave that’s been discovered.

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The Foodapult lets the Mocha literally catapult food in front of the airship, and it’s part of some FOE puzzles on the overworld map. There are other pieces of equipment too, and some of them are pretty useful for making money.

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As you would expect from the Windy Plains, strong gusts of wind blow across the skies. Some of the stronger winds seem likely to sway the Mocha from her course… Far to the north of these skies looms Yggdrasil, your ultimate destination. But you will never reach it without understanding how to control your skyship. You review the controls…

Smith Now how did I get stuck with Skyship duty? I ain’t too sure this is part of my contract.

Alan Most likely because your uses in the navigation department are severely limited. Regardless, operating this craft is simple. This lever drops crates of food, this one controls the thrust, and this wheel turns the skyship- obviously.

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The map you received from the wharf master shows Tharsis, as well as the Lush Woodlands the Count spoke of. You could head straight for that natural labyrinth, but it might be wise to have a look around first. Be on your guard. Encounters with monsters and tornadoes could cost you your lives.

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Billy I hope these soldiers like carrots!

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Smith Are you SURE this is the right time to be gathering vegetables, lass? I can’t really patch you up if you’re kangaroo droppings!

Rei But think of how much these will sell for!

Untitled We need to be leaving- now!

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Alan Quick! Through there!

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Untitled You fool! The winds are too strong for our ship!

Alan How was I to know?!

Smith Quit your bickering. 'Sides, he’s not following us anymore anyways.

Winds will push you in the direction they blow- groundbreaking, I know.

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Rei I don’t think I need to say this, but let’s find another way around.

Billy Such power! I must learn the ways of the tornado, and seek to become so fearsome a force in combat!

Smith Learn 'em on your own time- I’d rather keep our ship and bones intact.

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There are brightly colored fruits on the trees; many animals seem to flock here to feed on these fruits. You grow excited to think of what manner of exotic beasts you may encounter in this forest.

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Alan Breathtaking, truly, but this is most certainly the wrong destination according to the map.

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Looking down, you see breathtakingly clear spring water gushing out from beneath the quay. This seems to be the source of the river flowing to Tharsis. You linger to take in its beauty before leaving.

This is an important location for an upcoming quest.

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You can almost hear the rustling of the trees thick with large, glossy green leaves. This is the fabled kapok grove! You must simply mark its location so as not to forget and report to the Outland Count to fulfill the request!

Amine Kapoks, hm? They are marvelously beautiful- 'tis a shame we have none in the East.

Alan …Fascinating. What do you use for lumber, then? What about adhesives derived from Kapok sap?

Untitled I am unsure about these… adhesives. But we have other species of trees native to my homelands- in particular, the Darru trees, whose lumber is very flexible and strong.

Alan Ah! This intrigues me. Magic and baking are my callings, yes, but plants always fascinated me. Perhaps you could teach me about the flora of the East at a later date?

Untitled Perhaps. On the condition that you, too, tell me of the plants native to the West.

Rei You’re going to bond… over plants. Whatever floats your boat, I guess.

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To the east and west are high mountain ranges, far too tall for your skyship to fly overhead.

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Visibility is close to nil in the ravine. To brave it with your skyship would be far too dangerous. You also see some kind of monument south of the ravine. You can barely make out a crest engraved in it.

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To the side of the forest is the same stone monument that was next to the ravine. It seems to coincidental to ignore… There may be some connection between the ravine and the Lush Woodlands.

Billy That’s it- the Lush Woodlands. Those monuments are connected, without a doubt. I say we crush whatever monsters are in there, and we’ll find a way to clear the fog. Though I wonder why my brother never mentioned the monument before… he works as a soldier here all the time.

Smith No use speculating- the food’ll spoil if we don’t deliver it soon.

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You recall the request from the bar to deliver food to some soldiers… These are most likely the ones. If you mean to fulfill the request, it is best that you drop the food off at the soldiers’ location.

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Billy LOOK OUT BELOW!

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After checking over the contents, they signal you, satisfied. They seemed pleased with the food. The request is now complete! You can turn it in the next time you find yourself at the bar.

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You see a stone monument at its entrance that looks clearly man-made. Who built it here, and why? You will never know the answer unless you step into the maze… You steel yourself to begin your explorations.

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Rei I think we’ve flown around enough. Onwards!

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And that wraps it up for this update. Next time, Aurum checks out what’s going on in the Lush Woodlands.

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Ooooh, character development! Can’t wait to see where you’re going with this.

Question: I know you said no plot spoilers, but what about spoilers regarding game mechanics?

Class mechanics are fine in my book.

Okay then: Are we going to see characters for the other classes in the future, or has every character been introduced already?

Oh, no. We’re only rolling with half the final roster at present- I didn’t want to introduce everyone at once simply due to the way I’ve been handling introductions.

I’ll have the 7 characters of the base classes introduced by the first boss, and the other 3 will be introduced when their respective classes become available.

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Oh damn! Looking forward to that for sure!

I’m terribly sorry to anyone following this, but my laptop bricked today and I’ve already lost progress twice to issues with my DS itself. This LP will be on hold temporarily until I can get it fixed or replaced. I swear my intention wasn’t to keep people in the dark, I had planned to pump an update out by now but unfortunately I couldn’t.

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NOOOOOOOO!

But seriously, hope that the tech issues will get resolved soon.

Good news everyone! I have a temporary solution to the problem I’m having with technology. Unfortunately, I’ll have to replay everything so far since I lost a bunch of footage, but luckily that won’t take too long considering we’re near the beginning of the game. I’m looking forward to getting this rolling again!

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Now that’s some good news for sure!

Rejoice! Let us celebrate with some venison!

…On second though, it’s an EO LP, let’s skip the deer.

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Update 4: End of the Long Wait
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Untitled I do not believe I will ever get over the beauty of these forests.

Rei Yeah. I wonder if every place we visit’ll be as pretty as this…

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The beautiful scenery has a pleasant breeze that passes through, rustling the grass and the trees. Yet despite the soothing atmosphere, you have not forgotten that this place has claimed countless lives. You resolve to test your mettle against the labyrinthine hazards once more…

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Billy Whoa. You guys see it too, right?

Alan Hm. Though you may have no clue, I believe I have already deciphered this mysterious phenomenon!

Rei Really?

Alan Of course! I have deduced… that this phenomenon is of a magical nature!

Smith Brilliant observation, lad. You’re a right ace detective.

Alan …Well if you have anything better to share, please do so.

Smith I do, actually. Let’s quit standin’ around and go check it out.

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As you gaze upon it, wondering what it could be, a nearby soldier addresses you.

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The soldier points to the pillar of light that stretches to the heavens.

Soldier You touch it, and you’ll be able to go to and fro between the city and the forest in an eyeblink. Don’t bother asking around how it works, though. It was here when the explorers found this maze long ago. But it’s handy, that you can be sure of. My advice? Put it to use and never you mind the particulars.

Having finished talking, the soldier leaves his place, seeming pleased with himself… You are left free to test out the Geomagnetic Pole or to continue your wanderings.

Smith Ain’t any harm in trying it out.

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Rei On second thought, he said it’ll take us back to Tharsis, right? I don’t think we need to go back yet- we just got going, after all.

Untitled Rei is right. We should be getting going.

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It seems to be the smell of the sap oozing from the trees that form a wall in front of you. Fearing that the smell may lure dreadful beasts, you decide to quickly take your leave.

Untitled It seems dangerous to be hanging around here. The sweetness of this scent could lure the monsters.

Alan

Untitled Hm? What is the matter, Alan?

Alan Nothing of particular import. It is simply that we used to utilize this sap in the making of sweet breads… It dredges up old memories of my family and I.

Smith Now that’s sweet and all, but we just made a point of the dangers of hangin’ around here.

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Rei Ack! That’s a giant rat! Kill it! Oh, it’s so ugly!

So yeah, the tree rat. The first genuinely dangerous enemy you’ll fight. They have more HP than Rollers and Grasseaters, and hit kind of hard too. But they’re not much of a threat if you keep your party topped off.

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Billy Ha! That’s barely a scratch!

That’s the rat’s basic attack. Keep in mind that it’s from the back row, meaning the damage is halved, and that’s our tankiest party member.

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Rei Sonic Reid! Get it? Because my name’s… no? Ok.

Alan Very clever, but could you perhaps refrain from bisecting it next time? I don’t believe we’ll be able to salvage any materials from this one. And we require a quota of rat teeth to fulfill the Atelier’s request.

Rei Oh yeah. Hehe… oops.

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I gained an extra level when I was playing back to this point somehow, and I forgot to spend the point until after this fight. Regardless, Rei gets a point in Freezing Link.

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Billy learns some better insults.

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Smith gets a fourth level in Healing, unlocking Steady Hands- which gives Smith a thing to do on the first turns of boss fights and whatnot when he doesn’t need to patch someone up. I’ll go for it soon.

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Alan opts for Runic Gleam over Ice Rune/Ice Lance. There aren’t any notable Ice weaknesses in this area, and Ice Lance is the worst aoe type of the early Rune skills. He’ll have to pick it up later to get access to Glacier Rune, but eh.

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And Amine’s Long Shot gets longer.

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Billy Come at me! Let’s see your strongest attack!

Untitled Mayhap you should not provoke-

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Billy You stumbled right into my trap!

This was Billy defending, by the way. The tankiest member of our team takes 30+ damage naturally from Forest Rats. Yikes.

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Alan At least we were able to extract a fang from this one. It was mercifully in one piece, and identifiable, unlike the last one.

Rei I said I was sorry!

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Alan I wonder what it is about this flora that attracts it to gaps in the forestry like this…

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Smith Nasty little buggers. I haven’t seen such a ferocious cut from a small animal in ages; at least we got what we need.

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Billy Hm? What’s this… tingling sensation?! I feel something strong coming our way!

No sooner have you drawn your weapons than a herd of monsters leaps from the underbrush!

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Rei Is that a… GOLD PELT? QUICK, DON’T LET IT ESCAPE!

Billy Oh, a worthy adversary…! HAVE AT YOU, FIEND!

Billy activated auto-taunt there, which isn’t really a big deal in this fight since Rollers don’t hit hard. Anyways, rare breeds give quintuple XP if you kill them in exchange for being much faster and deadlier than regular enemies of that variety. They’ll run away randomly, and deny you your XP and drops from them.

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Rei Aww, what? This is just a regular shell!

Smith Sorry, lass. Looks like the gold glow dies with the monster.

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You expect that the shining monster you have vanquished is what they call a rare breed. The rewards that can be reaped by subduing these monsters are many, and should not be passed up lightly.

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Rei Huh? Another one? They’re in the most inconvenient spots too… I can see a path just past this!

Untitled It seems there is nothing to be doing about this. Let us move on.

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Alan Aww, look! Cute butter- I mean. Ahem. I believe these are dangerous enemies to be eliminated.

Rei Hehe! Looks like Alan has a soft-

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Rei GACK!

Billy ARGH! Devious little insects! I’ll crush you all!

Woodflies, everyone. And yes, their name is incorrectly pluralized as woodflys. They blind you with their magnificent scales. That’s it. They’re weak to volt and stab damage, and they do really pathetic damage. Even in groups, they’re no threat. These guys basically exist to save you TP(since you can basically just normal attack them to death, and they reset your encounter gauge).

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Alan Urk… I cannot say I am accustomed to this feeling of utter darkness…

Untitled Hm. These are easy targets… when they stop with the blinding.

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Billy Smith, you got a bottle of eye drops? The mighty Billy isn’t feeling so mighty…

Smith Sure thing. Try not to stare so hard next time.

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The ground is littered with wood splinters. It looks as if something smashed its way through a wall. You wonder what happened here…

Smith You kids should be careful. It’d take somethin’ strong to crush a tree into splinters like this.

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Untitled Halt. I sense something in our path…

Rei Maybe if we creep, it won’t notice us.

Billy Creep?! The mighty Billy WILL CREEP NOWHERE! NO FOE WILL INTIMIDATE ME!

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You stand tense, knowing that those thick, trunklike arms could easily pound you into jellly!

Alan BILLY, YOU BLATHERING FOOL!

Smith No time, lad! Run!

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Untitled It attacks the trees…? Mayhap this could prove useful…

Rei WHY ARE YOU SLOWING DOWN?

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Rei The door…!

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Smith Not now…

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Alan Out of the way!

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Smith Hah… We’re lucky to be alive. You kids should be grateful for your good fortune. Even a step slower and we’d be bear feed- ain’t any medication to fix that.

Future lesson. DO NOT do what I just did. Empty out your encounter gauge before leading FOEs around- there are dangerous encounters that would’ve led me to getting caught by the FOE.

Untitled Hm…? Do you hear something… approaching?

Alan What? I sense nothing of the sort. The danger was back there, with the large, angry ursine creature.

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Smith Billy… I apologize in advance, lad. This’ll be rough.

Meet the Angry Baboon, the bane of all newbie explorers. These guys are the first instance of that patented Etrian Odyssey SCREW YOU. I’d recommend running from them, honestly. They eat your TP very, very quickly, they hit hard, and they have a lot of health, especially for a random enemy.

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Billy GAH! That… was… nothing…! I don’t think it’s supposed to bend that way…

Smith Lemme fix that…

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The baboon outspeeds Smith’s healing. Ergo, I need to preemptively heal Billy because he’s by far the most likely target for the baboon due to Taunt and his HP. This is the only way to reliably kill Angry Baboons at this level with this party.

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And there it is, the strongest attack we’ll encounter on the first floor(barring Cutters, the FOEs). Swing does massive damage for this point in the game- consider that Billy is defending here, meaning damage to him is halved. Swing can do 60 damage to my most durable party member. Point being, it HURTS, and is one reason why it’s generally a better idea to run when you first find one of these guys.

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Fortunately Smith’s healing outpaces the Baboon’s damage against Billy while he defends, and it dies to Alan’s magic. Unfortunately, take a look at everyone’s TP.

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“Those who have, should share their bounty. Those who lack, take what you need with gratitude.” The box appears to be empty just at the moment. You are free to put an item inside or leave the box be.

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Smith Hate to say it, but I don’t think we have anything to spare at the moment.

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Guard I do a small trade in things from the city to help out explorers. At least take a look at what I have.

With a flourish, he produces a broad-bladed sword and an Ariadne Thread and lays them out on a rug. There is 476 en in your purse. You ponder whether to take him up on the offer or to politely decline.

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Rei Hold on a sec. I’ve seen these items before- the Thread is worth 100 en tops!

Soldier Haha, I had a feeling you’d try that! But you’re wasting your breath. I come from a family of merchants.

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Rei And look at this cheap thing! This sword looks second hand- no way I’m shelling out 1,000 en for this!

Soldier Come on, give me a break… I’m already cutting my own throat here! I’m just trying to help you out.

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Rei No way! You’re not gonna swindle us out of our money- not while I’m here!

Soldier Oh, fine! This stuff is old and I got it for a song anyway… But don’t you dare try and wring more out of me! I’ll go this low and no lower!

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Rei Hehe. I thought so.

Out of these two, the sword is actually a better deal by a tiny amount, since the Thread saves you 75 en but the sword saves 80. However, I actually forgot the Thread in this dungeon trip, so I opted for the Thread instead.

Smith I’m proud of ya, lass.

Alan Ha! Might your family have been merchants as well, Rei?

Rei

Alan I apologize, I have a tendency mumble or otherwise ineffectively communicate at times. I asked-

Untitled AHEM. How about the flora of this area, hatted one?

Alan Hm? But we were- OW!

Smith Hmm.

Soldier Thanks for the business. You’re quite the haggler… maybe you should take up merchantry instead! At any rate, I can’t let you keep picking my bones clean. I’m closing up shop here.

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On consideration, you doubt he will be back. You watch him disappear into the woods before going your own way.

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Untitled We have no reason to engage this monster. Let us be leaving before it smashes Billy like a bug.

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Alan Ah, the Forest Aloe! A species of plant, notable for its use in concoctions able to refresh the drinker, cleansing them of all manner of ailments!

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Billy HAHAHA…! Heh! Ack… what…?

Smith I’m outta medical supplies… I can’t help him!

Rei No… please… I can’t-

Smith LASS? HANG ON!

Untitled Quickly! This way!

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Smith Without my supplies, there’s nothing I can do. I can’t stop the bleeding…

Alan I… what…

Untitled ARGH, YOU LOUTS! THROUGH THE DOOR, BEFORE WE’RE DEAD AS WELL!

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Smith I can’t find a pulse. We need to leave, now.

Untitled Alan, you heard what Smith is saying. We need- Alan?

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Alan They’re… dead…

Untitled Alan, we need… ALAN?!

Smith He’s already gone, Amine. We need to get these three back to the clinic, and to do that we need to run away.

Untitled Alan…?

Smith I said run. We head for the stairs, where it’ll be safe to warp back.

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Your reverie of what might lie below is broken by hurried footsteps echoing from the stairs…

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You search your memory for his name… Whirlwind, was it? His face is stern, but on seeing you, it relaxes. Only then do you notice the man slung over his shoulder! The armored man’s head is bandaged and he hangs limp and unmoving. He is clearly not conscious.

Whirlwind Sorry, but no time to chat. This poor Tharsis boy… looks like he ran into bad news down there…

Though the man projects a calm demeanor, his fatigue shows through in the sweat pouring down his brow. You suspect he may require help… You wonder if you should offer your assistance.

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Smith We’re not gonna be in here much longer anyways. Send 'im with us, it won’t make any difference.

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The man smiles.

Whirlwind But it’s okay. I’ve got this taken care of. Still, whatever got him down there… Once the Count hears of it, he might want something done.

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You are free to continue down the stairs or return to Tharsis to replenish your supplies.

Smith Hang in there you three… I’m sorry I couldn’t keep you safe. It’s my own fault I didn’t bring enough supplies…

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Smith It should be safe here. Let’s head back.

Untitled

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There is anger in their voices as they say things such as, “That monster…!” and “We can’t let this stand!” As you are wondering what could have happened, you suddenly hear a familiar voice address you.

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Smith Safe…? We have three heavily wounded party members who very well die if you don’t let us through. So unless you’ve got some news of that soldier you brought back or somethin’ similar…

Whirlwind Oh, that soldier I carried back? He’ll live, though he’ll be in the hospital for a while. I was lucky to bring even him back, though… Sounds like the rest of his troop was completely wiped out. From what I got out of him before he passed out, they got attacked by some bear creature with blood-red fur. The Outland Count’s not taking this one lying down. If you go the the Grand Court, he’ll ask you for its head. But I wouldn’t recommend that you go charging down into B2F. Fact is, the monsters there are too strong. But if you follow the river by the Lush Woodlands west, there’s this place called the Small Orchard. The monsters there are perfect to do a little training on. If you want practice, that’s where I’d go. Well, I should take off. Make sure you don’t do anything reckless, okay?

You decide to be on your way as well.

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Smith I’ll take them to the clinic. Go see if those two need anything.

Untitled

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Peacock It was nothing to be ashamed of… You seem to be doing your all to search the small caves that dot these lands. All of us in the city are grateful for your contributions. The caves have many rare and desirable minerals. The more of them you find, the more we shall flourish. I hope that you continue your efforts on our behalf. But now that Dalla has hungry mouths to feed, I should return to my place of work. Perhaps later, Aurum…

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Alan I… must apologize. I endangered our only means of escape, and-

Smith Don’t worry about it, lad. We’re all right. Nothing to be sorry about.

Alan I-I’d like to be alone for a while, please.

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Rei It was so-- horrid. So lonely… so cold…

Smith …It’s all right. You’re not alone now. You have us.

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Billy WHO DARES DISTURB MY SLUMBER? Oh, it’s you. Hello!

Smith Normally I’d scold ya for being so loud this late at night. But I think we could use some positivity at the moment…

And that’ll do it for this update. I tried to make it of a significant enough length to compensate for my long absence, but I’m not sure how good of an idea that was. It ended up a bit on the somber side for my tastes, honestly, but we’ll get some new characters and hopefully some more positive energy next update. Until then!

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Yay! Update!

He damn well better! Papa didn’t create no blood knight that could be dropped by a freaking tree rat! 10 laps around Tharsis, Billy! Then I want you to work on your taunts! And I swear, if I hear one of those dead horse “your mom” jokes, the next batch of laps will involve Depth Dancers!!!

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This is gonna be fun!

(This one was great too, btw)