Update 4: End of the Long Wait
I do not believe I will ever get over the beauty of these forests.
Yeah. I wonder if every place we visit’ll be as pretty as this…
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…
Whoa. You guys see it too, right?
Hm. Though you may have no clue, I believe I have already deciphered this mysterious phenomenon!
Of course! I have deduced… that this phenomenon is of a magical nature!
Brilliant observation, lad. You’re a right ace detective.
…Well if you have anything better to share, please do so.
I do, actually. Let’s quit standin’ around and go check it out.
As you gaze upon it, wondering what it could be, a nearby soldier addresses you.
The soldier points to the pillar of light that stretches to the heavens.
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.
Ain’t any harm in trying it out.
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.
Rei is right. We should be getting going.
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.
It seems dangerous to be hanging around here. The sweetness of this scent could lure the monsters.
Hm? What is the matter, 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.
Now that’s sweet and all, but we just made a point of the dangers of hangin’ around here.
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.
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.
Sonic Reid! Get it? Because my name’s… no? Ok.
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.
Oh yeah. Hehe… oops.
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.
Billy learns some better insults.
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.
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.
And Amine’s Long Shot gets longer.
Come at me! Let’s see your strongest attack!
Mayhap you should not provoke-
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.
At least we were able to extract a fang from this one. It was mercifully in one piece, and identifiable, unlike the last one.
I said I was sorry!
I wonder what it is about this flora that attracts it to gaps in the forestry like this…
Nasty little buggers. I haven’t seen such a ferocious cut from a small animal in ages; at least we got what we need.
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!
Is that a… GOLD PELT? QUICK, DON’T LET IT ESCAPE!
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.
Aww, what? This is just a regular shell!
Sorry, lass. Looks like the gold glow dies with the monster.
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.
Huh? Another one? They’re in the most inconvenient spots too… I can see a path just past this!
It seems there is nothing to be doing about this. Let us move on.
Aww, look! Cute butter- I mean. Ahem. I believe these are dangerous enemies to be eliminated.
Hehe! Looks like Alan has a soft-
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).
Urk… I cannot say I am accustomed to this feeling of utter darkness…
Hm. These are easy targets… when they stop with the blinding.
Smith, you got a bottle of eye drops? The mighty Billy isn’t feeling so mighty…
Sure thing. Try not to stare so hard next time.
The ground is littered with wood splinters. It looks as if something smashed its way through a wall. You wonder what happened here…
You kids should be careful. It’d take somethin’ strong to crush a tree into splinters like this.
Halt. I sense something in our path…
Maybe if we creep, it won’t notice us.
Creep?! The mighty Billy WILL CREEP NOWHERE! NO FOE WILL INTIMIDATE ME!
You stand tense, knowing that those thick, trunklike arms could easily pound you into jellly!
BILLY, YOU BLATHERING FOOL!
No time, lad! Run!
It attacks the trees…? Mayhap this could prove useful…
WHY ARE YOU SLOWING DOWN?
Out of the way!
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.
Hm…? Do you hear something… approaching?
What? I sense nothing of the sort. The danger was back there, with the large, angry ursine creature.
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.
GAH! That… was… nothing…! I don’t think it’s supposed to bend that way…
Lemme fix that…
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.
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.
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.
“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.
Hate to say it, but I don’t think we have anything to spare at the moment.
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.
Hold on a sec. I’ve seen these items before- the Thread is worth 100 en tops!
Haha, I had a feeling you’d try that! But you’re wasting your breath. I come from a family of merchants.
And look at this cheap thing! This sword looks second hand- no way I’m shelling out 1,000 en for this!
Come on, give me a break… I’m already cutting my own throat here! I’m just trying to help you out.
No way! You’re not gonna swindle us out of our money- not while I’m here!
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!
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.
I’m proud of ya, lass.
Ha! Might your family have been merchants as well, Rei?
I apologize, I have a tendency mumble or otherwise ineffectively communicate at times. I asked-
AHEM. How about the flora of this area, hatted one?
Hm? But we were- OW!
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.
On consideration, you doubt he will be back. You watch him disappear into the woods before going your own way.
We have no reason to engage this monster. Let us be leaving before it smashes Billy like a bug.
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!
HAHAHA…! Heh! Ack… what…?
I’m outta medical supplies… I can’t help him!
No… please… I can’t-
LASS? HANG ON!
Quickly! This way!
Without my supplies, there’s nothing I can do. I can’t stop the bleeding…
ARGH, YOU LOUTS! THROUGH THE DOOR, BEFORE WE’RE DEAD AS WELL!
I can’t find a pulse. We need to leave, now.
Alan, you heard what Smith is saying. We need- Alan?
Alan, we need… ALAN?!
He’s already gone, Amine. We need to get these three back to the clinic, and to do that we need to run away.
I said run. We head for the stairs, where it’ll be safe to warp back.
Your reverie of what might lie below is broken by hurried footsteps echoing from the stairs…
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.
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.
We’re not gonna be in here much longer anyways. Send 'im with us, it won’t make any difference.
The man smiles.
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.
You are free to continue down the stairs or return to Tharsis to replenish your supplies.
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…
It should be safe here. Let’s head back.
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.
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…
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.
I’ll take them to the clinic. Go see if those two need anything.
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…
I… must apologize. I endangered our only means of escape, and-
Don’t worry about it, lad. We’re all right. Nothing to be sorry about.
I-I’d like to be alone for a while, please.
It was so-- horrid. So lonely… so cold…
…It’s all right. You’re not alone now. You have us.
WHO DARES DISTURB MY SLUMBER? Oh, it’s you. Hello!
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!