Update 1: Adventures Across the Sky

Oh, look, the old Atlus logo.

We're on the 3DS now, no need for developers to have to put in "Licensed by Nintendo" somewhere during game startup on their own—the 3DS already does that for them!

Ah, it's been too long. The EO5 and EON intros are all well and good, but you can't beat cryptic text drawn over landscapes rendered with layered flats.

Anyways, we're four sentences in: welcome to Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan! It's that game that's probably most EO players' favorite.
It's mine! I love this game.

Behold, something EO4 introduced to the series: difficulty options! Normal is as it sounds, it's the baseline experience. No adjustments are made to the results of internal formulas.

Casual is a pretty drastic reduction in difficulty. It increases the damage you deal to enemies by 50%, and reduces the damage you take by 50%. Additionally, it makes Ariadne Threads—we'll see those later—infinite-use.

More power to you if you prefer playing on Casual, but we'll be playing on Normal.
♪ No music ♪

Legends say something sleeps within Yggdrasil that calls people to eternal paradise. In order to ascertain the truth of this legend, the Count of Tharsis issued a challenge across the land. Reach Yggdrasil and uncover the truth! That summons has drawn countless explorers to the city. You are among their number; a pilgrim to the city with little to your name but a blade and boundless curiosity. Nevertheless, you aim to solve the mystery of Yggdrasil and win fame and fortune!

Aye, the guild's just a few blocks from here. You holdin' up, Miss Harper?
I'm okay.
No need to hold your tongue, Naijou, I know my home bein' this far from the guild is a pain in the—
No, no, not at all. I am being quite genuine when I say that, no matter how long the walk to the guild is, it does not bother me enough to complain about a free roof over my head.
Ahh, I see now. It's not just the fur that makes it clear you're not from Tharsis.
I beg your pardon?
It's the patience and courtesy, too! Hohohoho!
The people out here seem nice.
Hoho, ho, hah, ahh... Don't worry, Miss Harper, I'm only kiddin'.

Well, mostly kiddin'. Anyhow, land ho, and by that, I mean guild ho.
...And by that, you mean?
If you'll look just in front of you.

Ah, I see.
Thank you.
You're wel—
By Yggdrasil, I've never see anyone move that fast. One cannot fault her enthusiasm.

Thank you.
This is the Explorers Guild, where your kind pools their talents. It's something like a mutual aid society. Now, if you want to operate in this city as an explorer, you have to be part of a guild.
I know. I wanna make one.
Then write a name in that ledger. Though your guild will be your whole identity in Tharsis, so think it over carefully before—

Done. Thank you.
That was fast.
My moms and uncle were all explorers. When I was a baby, I thought Daffodil would be a good name for a guild. That's why I was fast.
Very well. Here's hoping you can live up to the name.
I will.
You'll want this. It's a letter of introduction that'll get you into an audience with the Count.

Is the Count a busy man?
No. He just doesn't want to be bothered unless whatever business you have with him is important.
Ah. Does he write books? That requires a lot of concentration.
...Not as far as I know. I'm pretty sure he just likes spending time with his dog.
Harper? Where'd you— Ah, there you are.
Pah, hah, hah... I've never sprinted that quickly before... How did you do that, Harper?
My moms' side of the family is very fast.
...When you say "your moms," I'm not sure which side you're referring to.
I have my moms, and then I have my mamas. My moms are fast, and my grandmas were fast, too.

I'm done, by the way.
Snipers are ranged physical attackers, meant to be used in the back row. While the fact that they use bows might invite comparisons to survivalists from EO1/2, snipers are actually far closer to gunners, from EO2, in terms of functionality. A big part of their identity are the Snipe skills, which deal low damage, but can't miss, and attempt to bind one body part. Snipers definitely peak, usefulness-wise, in the midgame, but that does not mean they're useless before and/or after that.
They work best in a specific kind of party lategame, but are never bad and can do great damage.

...I've been holding my tongue out of politeness, but I need to ask about your walking lion friend.
Ah, pay me no mind. I'm Naijou, a visitor from very distant lands.
He offered to be my first guildmate.
Well, he can talk, and judging by those muscles, I'd wager he can fight.
Very much so.
He's also very nice.
Bushi is the second of the three unlockable classes. If you read the OP, you'll already know that I've unlocked them all from the beginning, because I think the whole "unlockable classes" thing is kind of dumb.

Bushi are sort of a combination of axe-using landsknechts and ronin, both from EO1/2. Hell, this is even reflected in their weapon choices, with access to and skills for both maces (this game's version of axes) and katanas (which are...katanas). We won't be seeing katanas until the point where we'd actually unlock the class on a normal playthrough, so Naijou will be making do with maces until then.

It's not just their attack skills that make bushi unique, however—besides that, they also have Blood Surge, which is basically their core mechanic. Blood Surge increases all damage dealt by the user at the cost of draining some HP and TP every time the user acts—this includes non-attacking actions like using a healing item, or defending. Blood Surge is, importantly, not a buff, and has no set duration. Blood Surge only wears off when the user dies, or if they manually use Deep Breath.

You're joining these two, Marlin?
Well, these two are going to need help gettin' the lay of the land, and the Rum-O-Rama's provin' to be a bit more expensive than the Cap and I were hopin'. Way I see it, I can help these two get started, get some treasure that'll net me a nice pile of ental. And hey, maybe we'll have some fun along the way. Plus, y'know, explorin' is good exercise, it'll help me keep my physique just how I like it.
Thank you, Mister McCoy.
Ahh, call me Marlin, Harper. We're guildmates now, after all.
Okay. Thank you, Marlin.
Not to be rude, but... While it's up to you how many people you take out on an adventure, Explorers Guild guidelines suggest five-person teams for all but the most skilled explorers. And I'd say five is just the absolute minimum amount of guild members, even then.
...Marlin and Naijou are the only people I've met here.
Not to worry, a friend of mine let me know yesterday that she's got three women staying at her inn, all of them hopin' to find a guild to join up with. Told her to let them know to come by the guild to—
Excuse us!
We're looking for the guildmaster.
Got three fresh-faced birds on the hunt for a gig with a guild, man!
Mm, tall, near-shirtless, bit older than you might expect, sure enough. OIIIIII, SCUSE ME!
Your enthusiasm is appreciated, but I can hear you if you speak normally.
If you find the volume knob on her, please let me know.
I'm going to assume that's them.
Hi. I'm Harper.
Oh! Hello, miss guildmaster. You were younger than I was expecting!
I'm not the guildmaster. I just made a guild, though.
Dancers are ostensibly EO4's version of troubadours and sovereigns: the glass that gives buffs. That wildly undersells just how differently dancers operate from all of the other buffing classes in the series, though. Instead of placing buffs on a group of party members, dancer buffs instead place single buffs on the user themself, which then apply effects to other party members in their row. Having dancers function like this is an interesting decision that comes with interesting effects on how the player actually uses them—for example, it frees up buff slots on other party members, and lets stuff like Wide Dance exist—but I'm getting ahead of myself.

Dancer also has a completely separate skill tree based around reacting to other party members' attacks, or even making other party members do additional attacks. They're...somewhat strange, to be sure, and I've never really used them before, but hey, first time for everything.

Aces, aces. Good to meet you, guv, it's Ray.
Wen Ray-shin, if you ain't into that whole brevity thing. As a rocker, though, havin' a snappy callsign's wunna the most important things—so it's Ray, eh? That's rock, baby. Anyhoo, good to work with ya!
You're really joining just like that?
Oi, girl's gotta get a meal an' a tumble an' a roof, eh?
Makes sense to me. You were in fairly dire straits when Meri and I first saw you.
Bein' coals, that ain't something they tell you back where I come from. Here I am, on the floor—
Okay. I'm happy to meet you, Ray.
Oh, sure 'nough! Got a name, Boss Lady?
Harper Lupita Hannighan-Mathers.
Harper! I dig harps, y'know. Not my favorite, but a true rocker don't discriminate, y'see.
Do people often join guilds without taking the time to meet the leader first?
Can't say I've ever seen it happen before.
Arcanist is the first unlockable class, normally becoming available after you finish the 2nd Land. They are the disable infliction class, following in the footsteps of hexers and wildlings. The best way to describe them is "what if wildlings, but without all of the jank"—arcanists follow the same basic pattern of summoning something that attempts to inflict a disable, and then that something attempts to inflict that disable again on following turns, without the user having to use the skill again. In this case, instead of summoning beasts that eat up the empty sixth party slot, like wildlings, arcanists create circles, which attempt to inflict a disable at cast time, and then attempt to do it again at the end of subsequent turns. Disables are incredibly strong in EO4, even though it uses EO3's jank-ass disable mechanics, so it's kind of hard to go wrong with adding an arcanist to your party, once you can.

Well, Meri, let's both join Miss Hannighan-Mathers's guild, too!
You're sure about that? We just met her, I haven't even gotten to talk to—
Sometimes, Meri, the fates make it clear that they have designs in store for you.
And you're saying that the fates have...decided that we will join this guild?
All of this is somewhat serendipitous, is it not? It's all too perfect for it to be a... Oh, what's the word I'm thinking of, I've seen it before...
A coincidence?
Yes, exactly! At a certain point, an event like this goes beyond being a coincidence, and instead is the machinations of fate. I say let's join up, and see where the future takes us!
...Well, I was going to join a guild at some point. Do you have any problem with us joining, Harper?
No. Hi. What're your names?
Jia Xiaohu! You can just call me Xiaohu.
Hi, Xiaohu.
Hello, Harper! I've come to Tharsis to explore practical applications of my runic studies. Thank you for letting us join! Oh, and this is Merula—we met on the train to Tharsis.
I've been traveling for some time now—I came from Armoroad, so I've had to take two boats and several trains to get here.
Oh, I'm from Armoroad, too. My mamas, one of my moms, and my uncle moved there after they were done exploring in Lagaard. Then my other mom ended up in Armoroad, and then I was born.
...Huh. I see. Well, I'm Merula Rosen. It's an honor to meet you, Harper.
Hi, Merula.
If you ask most EO4 players what the strongest class in the game is, I think most people would answer "Nightseeker." Nightseekers are sort of a replacement for dark hunters from EO1/2, in that they're the class that both attacks and inflicts disables (in Nightseeker's case, it exclusively deals in ailments). However, unlike dark hunters, who have to rely on two particular skills in order to really deal their big damage (Soul Liberator for ailments and Ecstasy for binds), nightseekers instead have their mainclass-exclusive passive (I'll explain later, don't worry) massively increase their damage when attacking enemies that are afflicted with ailments. And by "massive increases," I mean "starts at 2x damage and scales up to nearly 3x." It helps that nightseekers are pretty decent at inflicting ailments even on their own, too.
Nightseeker is the president of kicking your ass! U S A number one!
Runemasters are the spellcaster class. I could stop right there and you'd probably get the idea. They deal elemental damage using attacks that run off of the TEC stat instead of STR. What sets them apart from their contemporaries—alchemists, zodiacs—is that instead of just having single-target and all-target spells for each element, runemasters have three different tiers of fire/ice/volt spells, and each element in each tier has a unique targeting type attached to it. They also have the ability to simultaneously increase the party's resistance to a given element, and also increase all enemies' vulnerability to the same element. They're basically Troubadour's Fantasia skills, but actually having them on a damage dealer is sort of novel. Importantly, it lets runemasters create artificial weaknesses on enemies who are otherwise neutral to, or even resistant to, a given element.
galvanic rune

And here we are, the Explorers Guild.
Thank you, Sir Waylon. Here, take this, please—I insist.
I-I can't accept this much ental! Not for something as simple as guiding you around town, and especially not from a teenager!
Please, I would feel awful if I did not compensate you for taking time out of your day to help me.
Oh, Waylon! Thought you were tryin' to focus on your machines this week.
Ah, good day, Marlin. Yes, that's what I was trying to do, but, well...
Beg your pardon, Sir Waylon, but I can explain. My name is Eine Afilitaria Aurelis. I just arrived in Tharsis this morning.
By yourself?
Indeed, Lady...?
Xiaohu. How strange, you look exceptionally young to be travelling on your own.
Well, I am only thirteen years old, I suppose.
Not even a year into adolescence, and he's travelling to distant lands on his own. You can see why I felt compelled to help him when I saw him asking for directions at the plaza near my house.
I do loathe being a bother, but when I told Sir Waylon I was on my own, he insisted that he help me find my way around town.
How chivalrous. Waylon is a titch too selfless for his own good, though!
Says the man who housed a walking lion and a young woman he'd never met when he learned neither of them had lodgings.
Never said I'm not too selfless for my own good, hoho.
Hi. I'm Harper.
Good day, Lady Harper.
Do you want to join my guild, Eine?
I don't want to bother a more established guild with my inexperience, so... Yes. A very hearty yes.
Thank you. I'm happy to meet you.
The pleasure's all mine, I assure you.
Well, my fine engineering friend?
Oh, what the hell. I'm a bit rusty on my martial skills, but maybe I could be some help.
Oh. Thank you, Waylon.
Waylon van Houten's my full name, if that ever matters.
Thank you, Waylon.
Thank Marlin, I'd probably have just gone back to my drive blades if he wasn't here.
Thank you, Marlin.
Medics are exactly what you're probably imagining just based on the class name. They've got a pretty big repertoire of ways to keep your party from wiping, and even some attack skills, in case you feel like messing with those.

I really do not know what else to say.
Imperials are the third and final unlockable class, and the least amenable to being used from level 1 instead of level 40. I had to make a whopping eleven new drive blades just for Waylon to function, for crying out loud.

Anyway, imperials are based around firing off single, very high damage attacks, and then managing the cooldown cycle that follows—figuring out the most efficient way to bring the cooldown down to 0 through specific skill use, working in when best to use the imperial-specific charge skill, that sort of stuff.
I cannot wait to see earlygame Imperial.

Good match.
Yeah, good match.
If I may ask, who are those two?
Don't know about the one with the hair ornaments, but the one with the hair bandana is Ace. I don't normally put people up at the guild, but she makes for a damn good sparring partner. Guildmasters have to keep in shape for when disaster strikes, you know.
Hey, Teach.
I told you not to call me that.
Right, gotcha, Teach. What's with all the people here?
I can answer that.
Holy shit, a walking, talking lion.
...Right, yes, I should expect that by this point. Hello, my name is Naijou. I've travelled from lands far from Tharsis, in search of new challenges.
'Kay, yeah, that tracks. Nice t'meet you, Naijou.
The same to you, Ace. Anyhow, we're forming a guild—Harper, the blonde woman with the hair bow there, she's the guild leader.
Neat. How's that going?
Well, amongst the professions that the Explorers Guild officially recognizes, we are only missing...
A landsknecht, and a fortress.
Landsknecht, huh? Alright, I'm in.
I-I don't believe I've had the pleasure?
Fortresses are this game's tank. And I mean that in the literal, original sense of the word, not the common parlance that just means "very durable character." They lack the direct damage mitigation of protectors and hoplites, but to this day remain unmatched in terms of taking hits so other party members don't have to.

Dahh, yeah, sorry, forgot my manners. Been a while since I've met someone new. Shelly Valentine, that's my name. You?
Eine Afilitaria Aurelis. It's a pleasure to meet you.
Yep. Hey, I don't mean to be rude, but how old are you?
Thirteen years old.
And you're...joining up with a new guild? To explore Yggdrasil, I'm gonna guess?
Indeed. I have my reasons.
Right... Does anyone in this guild have any exploration experience? Combat experience?
My moms were explorers.
Yeah? Which Yggdrasil, and how far?
Lagaard. Money Mama still has the Ducal Mark in her office.
The Ducal Mark?! That gemstone the Grand Duchy had commissioned for Guild Lumen when they left town?! Your moms are the heroes of Lagaard?!
...Oh, right, I thought the name "Hannighan-Mathers" sounded familiar. Those are the people that run that huge theater.
You're...Uncle Thierry and Uncle Emmett's grandkid?
Sorta. My mamas didn't have me, but they helped my moms raise me.
Small world, seven hells. Well, we can talk family stuff later—mind if I join? The kid—
Eine, please.
Eine said you don't have a landsknecht yet. Sorry, I'm awful with names.
Well, I see no reason not to take Lady Shelly aboard.
No guild's ever died for havin' some front-line muscle.
Okay. Hi, Shelly.
I'm in too, then. Just pencil me in as a fortress, I'll get the ropes quick enough.
Y-You're sure? That's rather sudden.
You think I'm gonna pass up a chance to fight with my godsdamn idol? With the Heedless Blaze?
Wait, you're the Heedless Blaze?!
Keep it down, you dandy!
Sorry, it's just sort of hard to not hear stories about you when you work the Tharsis nightlife.
Yeah, I'm sure. Can we talk about that later, though? Right now, I've got...a problem.
The kind that can be fixed by beating people up, or by talking to 'em?
I mean, both, I guess? See, uh, I've got my own ship, been using it to travel. Thing is, the Tharsis port authority...doesn't take kindly to ships that aren't guild-owned, merchant-owned, or merchant-affiliated. What I'm gonna ask is that we get going and do whatever he wants ASAP—the sooner that's done, the sooner we can get settled in. And the sooner I can stop fretting about the deadline before she gets scrapped...
Okay. Eine, who should we take?
You appear to have become Daffodil's unofficial bureaucrat.
I... Very well, I suppose we do need someone to handle paperwork and final decisionmaking. Ah... Well, how about...
Landsknechts can be very plain physical attackers, if you want. However, their real draw are the Link skills, elemental attacks which deal a light initial hit, and then add follow-ups when other party members attack. They're not terribly impressive in the earlygame, but can turn into utter monsters once you reach the midgame.
This is my favorite class in the game. I fucking love Links. I am dangerously addicted to Links.

Myself, Lady Harper, Lady Xiaohu, Lady Shelly, and Liege Ace? That seems reasonably well-balanced for a first expedition.
Fine by me. I'd feel like crap if I didn't help get out with this, anyway.
You're not gonna hear me saying no.
A chance to apply myself? So soon? Hooray!
Before we go, guildmaster, is there anything we should know?

To become fully accredited explorers, you must complete the Outland Count's initiation mission.
Right, thank you.
Definitely needed to be reminded of that, Teach.
Very well. Everyone else, I suppose you can all go take care of your own business. Just try to be back at the... Oh, curses. Sir Marlin, where would make for a good location to regroup?
The Saehrimnir Inn. Dalla's more than happy to let even non-paying customers regroup there.
Thank you. We're off, then.
(Oi, wait, but ain't I gotta work for—
You're that girl who keeps caterwauling in the city plaza, right? Listen, here's a tip for you—just take the free lunch.
Aye, nobody can complain about a free lunch...especially not you, miss.
Put your money where your mouth is an' take me near, then, boys. Eh, Meri?
..."Take you near?")

It's quite impossible to miss this place, what with the ost... Osten...
Yes, the ostentatious exterior.
A fair point. Anyhow, welcome to Tharsis, the city closest to Yggdrasil. I am its overseer; you may call me the Outland Count. Here in my Grand Court, when there are important duties to be carried out, I assign them to explorers as missions. But of all the explorers who arrive in Tharsis, like yourselves, we want only the best on the hunt for Yggdrasil. Before you can set out on your search, you must prove yourself worthy as explorers. What say you to this?
Ah, very reasonable of you! In that case, simply accept the mission I have offered and prove your skills.

That's it?

I mean, I'm not complaining, but I've been doing that every day to get food money.
Hey, if chump work's gonna get your ship flying again, I'm not complaining.

We had thought the vein was mined dry—
If you don't know where to look, sure.
...But the other day, a certain explorer found that there was more to be had. The iridescent ore is a pretty thing. Shine light on it, and it refracts it into all the colors of the rainbow... But its true worth is not found in its beauty! Though I'll explain more about that if you complete the mission. Now, do I understand right that you've only recently arrived in Tharsis?
Marlin's been here for some time, it sounds like, but otherwise yes.
You must lack the proper essentials. So I'll pay half of the reward for this mission in advance. Use that to purchase whatever you'll need.

That's quite generous of you, sir.
Thank you, Mister Count.
You're quite welcome! The Old Forest Mine is the perfect place to test your skills. You'll need all your strength and cunning there. Once you're ready, head to the city gates, and I'll have a soldier waiting to escort you there. Best of luck!
Most EO games just have your party start with a few hundred en to get started, but EO4 has the Outland Count give it to you, just to show that he's a nice guy.

Before we go, can you please tell us about where we'll be adventuring to today?
Certainly. The Old Forest Mine is a small cave located very near Tharsis. It's a wonderful place with lovely vegetation, but since ore mining halted, monsters have settled in. As it stands now, it makes an excellent training ground for novice explorers. Train hard against the monsters there for the struggles to come!

Before we go, would it not be prudent of us to keep a journal of each day's goings-on? A reference of the challenges we've faced.
Good idea. Journals make the past come alive—that's what Gun Mom always told me.
My mom who used guns when she was an explorer. Jacqueline Lupita.
Wait, Jackie?
That's what Money Mama always called her. She and Bow Mom were the ones that had me. Money Mama, Fireworks Mama, and Uncle Ranger helped them raise me.
Okay, well, Ranger is obvious. I'm going to guess that "Bow Mom" is...Nadia Lupita. "Money Mama" has to be Realga, and that would imply that "Fireworks Mama" is the famous Stardust.
Mhm. You know a lot about my family.
My grandmas visited your grandpas a lot when Realga was little. She wrote to them all the time, and I visited them all the time when I was little, so I've heard more than my share about her and what her guild accomplished. Man, and I thought I had a hell of a lineage.
Oh, we're at the inn. Let's go in.
Wait, I wasn't—
There's never gonna be a dull moment with this guild, is there?
I suspect not.
Hell yeah, just how I like it.

Welcome to the 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 a clinic in the back, too! You're welcome to use it if you have any ailments or wounds to treat.
Lady Shelly, do you have a fever? Your face is quite flushed.
I think she's okay. She just thinks Miss Innkeeper is pretty.
Just because it's true doesn't mean you have to say it!
Ah, I see.
Welcome to the inn. In the narrative, our guild won't be making use of the inn for actually sleeping, but this is where you go to heal everyone back to full, drop items off for storage, and make any dead or petrified party members, well, not dead or petrified.

I think your guild name has a very nice ring to it, dearies.
Thank you.
What inspired the name Daffodil, if that's all right to ask?
I came up with it when I was a baby. Daffodils are pretty.

Oh, and the inn is where you save your game, too. I forgot.

Sadly, it would take Atlus until EO2U to realize that, even though map data eats up a lot of space, relative to the usual SRAM sizes, they could just use the 3DS's extdata feature to allow for multiple save slots.

Should we not go get "geared up" before we explore?
That would be prudent, yes.

W-What? Sorry, I'm having a little trouble understanding you.
She does have a fairly thick accent, yes. Ahem, indeed we are. The Daffodil Guild, to be specific.
Da Daffodil crew, huh? Well, hey, welcome ta Berund Atelier. For alla ya weapon and item needs! Eh...mosta ya needs, anyways. It kinda depends on da materials you explorer folks sell us. Da more materials ya bring us, da more kindsa stuff we'll sell yas!
A shop that uses its customers as its supply line? How peculiar.
We gotta list posted of what kinda equipment we can make, so if ya see something ya want, bring us da stuff. Well, niceta meetcha! Give us a ring whenever ya need something for ya advencha!
Wynne, as you may be able to tell, speaks with a...Boston accent? Brooklyn, maybe? Sort of hard to tell, the two tend to be used kinda interchangably, but her accent is quite thick, in any case. I assume she speaks with the Kansai dialect in the Japanese version, Boston/Brooklyn accents are one of the go-tos for the Kansai dialect in localizations. Reading Wynne's dialogue can be a little trying at times, but it's nowhere near as bad as EO1/EOU Shilleka.

Oh, right, the video game I'm playing right now. Berund Atelier is where we go to buy weapons, armor, accessories, and consumable items—you probably already figured that out.
people who hate wynne's accent are my enemies (all)

We have no junk to sell right now. We don't have any items, period.

A major improvement that EO4 made regarding the shop UI is that you no longer have to scroll through a huge list of weapons containing everything you've unlocked. Instead, you have separate tabs corresponding to each weapon type, which you can just easily page through.

Also convenient is that, when you reach a new section of the game, the Berund Atelier shop list will list some of the equipment you can make with drops you'll find in the new section. Not all of the equipment, though—generally, just stuff you can make with normal monster drops, plus gather materials.

The katana and drive blade tabs of the shop are not normally open this early—they only become visible once you unlock the ability to create bushi and imperials, respectively. However, since my method of unlocking all the classes from the start was just "patch out the assembly instruction that actually checks if you've unlocked the classes, and make the check always return true," they're immediately visible.

Note the Type-0, which might look weird to anyone familiar with EO4. As stated before, both in this update and in the OP, in order for Waylon to actually be usable, I had to create some new drive blades for the first few parts of the game. This makes the LP not strictly vanilla, but who cares, I think it'll make for a better read.

EO2U was also the first game to equip new characters with weapon types that actually fit your class, meaning I have to burn 60 en to make Harper actually usable.

Ace is also gonna need a shield to use their, well, Shield skills, so I might as well grab one now.

Boooooots. Boots are important, and I'll explain why now.

In EO2, a character's place in the turn order was decided entirely by their weapon type, which most classes have basically no choice with regards to what they get to use. Weapon speed modifiers were so overbearing that basically none of your equipment choices, a skill's speed modifier, or even a character's actual AGI, made much of a difference in how early or late they act on a given turn. Using staves, axes, guns, or claws immediately tanked you into the "go last, loser" zone, while using bows, swords, or especially whips would make a character act at hyperspeed.

EO3 made significant revisions to how player action speed is calculated, and since EO4 uses EO3's formulas and systems with very minimal, often no, changes, that same system carries over to here. The formula itself is very simple: an entity (either a player character or an enemy)'s base speed is equal to their AGI. Then, modifiers are added to or subtracted from the base speed—skill speed modifiers, equipment speed modifiers for player characters, etc. Account for priority tiers, add a random number from 0 to 4 to each entity's total speed, sort from highest to lowest, and bam! You've got yourself a turn order. With that in mind, here are all the equipment speed modifiers for weapons:
While we're here, might as well list what classes can equip what weapons:
Okay, now for defensive equipment:
And as for who can equip what, defensively... Well, everyone can equip everything, with the following exceptions:
You can see why I was going "boooooots." Everyone can equip them, and they provide a really significant boost to speed—for the slower classes, +4 equipment speed can be equivalent to several levels' worth of AGI. Ostensibly, the tradeoff with slower equipment is that it provides more DEF...but, well, in short, DEF really sucks as a stat in EO4, and it's only worth grabbing armor upgrades if they give better bonuses than your current one, or if the DEF increase is really big.

I'll explain the specifics in a later algorithms post—but, for now, what I can say is that EO4 uses EO3's damage calculation formulae pretty much exactly, and I really do not like that. EO3's damage formulae has some significant flaws that basically do nothing but penalize the vast majority of players for not understanding the game's inner workings. In a game that is designed around avoiding the EO series's bad habit of having way too many "newbie traps," I think this specific flaw is worthy of pretty harsh criticism.
wait what. did i learn this and just forget it?
The way equipment speed works in EO3 and on is lodged deeply in my head, because it was one of the first "advanced" tips I learned about the series, courtesy of one of the old EO megathread OPs. Thanks, Rangpur.

I'm tempted to buy hide boots for everyone, but I should probably spend my money on other things first, just to be safe.

By the way, unless item names are proper nouns, I will not be capitalizing their names. After playing Final Fantasy XIV, I've become kind of particular about that. I imagine that's probably a bit weird coming from earlier LPs, as well as...basically every bit of text in the UI, so heads up.

Oh, right, accessories.

If you're wondering what those icons at the bottom of the item description are, those are forges, a system introduced in EO3, used with a few changes in EO4, and then never used again. Forges are two things: they're a way for players to lightly customize their weapons, and they're a clunky way of adding bonus effects to equipment. For example, with head guards, there's eight of those little head bind icons. Each head bind icon, on defensive equipment, is worth +10% resistance to head binds. So, eight icons, 80% resistance to head binds. Neat. It's not full invulnerability, but it's a substantial amount. "Well, I'll just buy two Head Guards if I really need to," says the person who played any of the DS games, and none of the 3DS games.

Yeah, sorry, no. Accessories were way overpowered in EO3, both as a consequence of how much armor sucks, and because of how powerful accessories were when stacked. You could use two accessory slots to give yourself immunity to a damage type, for crying out loud! Anyway, accessories very clearly needed nerfs, so Atlus obliged by removing the ability to stack accessories. It's one or nothing.

Unfortunately, they didn't bother to fix the other half of why accessories were overpowered, which is that armor is fucking useless with EO3 math, so losing an armor slot's worth of DEF didn't matter much.

Wynne does start the game with two accessories in stock for you: power rings, which give +5 STR, and smart earrings, which give +5 TEC. They're both okay for the earlygame, though they'll fall off in value fairly quickly. Absolutely not worth dropping 200 en on right now, though.

Wynne also has only one consumable in stock for us right now: Medicas, the most basic healing item. Single-target, restores 50 HP.

I may have Eine with me, but it never hurts to have some backup Medicas, just in case.

Since I have money to spare, I grab a shortsword for Shelly.

I also buy hide boots for everyone.

All told, I still have 120 en.

Might as well drop by the Dancing Peacock.
Do we have any business there?
No, but we might as well, anyway. Maybe we'll get some "sage advice" from the patrons, or...something.
Mm, true.

What, s'there something on my face?
Many apologies, but I am allowed only to parcel out work to explorers approved by the Outland Count. Make sure that you come back to me after you have finished the initiation mission issued at the Grand Court.
Aw. Are you sure?
I am quite sure, sorry. However, it may be good to ask the other patrons the basics of exploration. Those who gather here are skilled.
Mm. I dunno, my moms were all really good explorers.
That may be true, but your mothers were once in the same position as you: beginners, in need of all the advice they could get.
...Okay. Thank you— What's your name?
Thank you, Kirtida. We're the Daffodil Guild, by the way.
Well then, Daffodil Guild. I shall pray for safety in your travels. Kismet be with you.
The fates be with you too, Miss Kirtida!
Kirtida's pretty plain. Probably the most forgettable barkeep in the series?

Anyways, as she says, there's no quests for us right now. This isn't EON, the game's teaching us how to play it with a mission, not a quest!
You only think that Mirina is more memorable because of her giant tits.
I mean, that's part of it, but the other part is her very strange dress that has multiple diamond-shaped holes everywhere.

Quests aren't the only thing we can come to the bar for, though. There's also bar patrons. Sometimes they've got useful advice, sometimes they're just here for flavor text.

Grizzled, one-eyed man:
Hey, crusty guy.
L-Lady Ace! Surely there's a nicer way to get his attention...
It'll be fiiiiine, guys like him don't take it as an insult.
She's right, kid.
...I see.
Don't worry, Eine, soon you'll be talkin' the explorer talk like it's second-nature.
I look forward to the day that happens. Anyway, if you have some time, sir, do you have any advice for us?
Sure I do. Alright, listen close. The paths through dungeons aren't always obvious. If you see a wall that looks a little different, stop and take a closer look. There may be a secret passage.
Places where the foliage isn't as thick, or perhaps where the earth has worn away enough to be easily tunneled through... I see! That does sound very helpful.
Now you're getting it. If you find a secret passage and mark it on your map, it'll make exploring much easier. Trust me. I expect you guys to pass that down the line once you're senior explorers. That's how this stuff gets taught.
I will remember to do that, sir. Thank you for your time.
EO4 is really good about indicating the important secret passages, so you shouldn't have much of an issue finding them once you're actually in the Labyrinth.

Dancer-like woman:
Are you people new explorers?
Just formed our guild today, yes.
Did you get your weapons and armor already?
We just finished procuring our initial equipment.
Wow, you're already doing better than most. Still, couldn't hurt to hear what I was gonna say.
Go ahead.
The first rule of battle is to make sure your weapon is sharp and your armor can take a hit. The shop's also a good place to check and see which materials they need to make the equipment you want. Once you know which material you're after, you can probably figure out which monster drops it.
I do like EO4 showing you some of the stuff you'll be able to unlock once you reach a new section, but I also get why later games dropped it, it does sort of clutter up the shop UI a bit.

Alright, if no-one can think of any business we'd have at the cargo wharf—
Not really!
I wanna get my ship back, but doing the mission is the path of least resistance, so...nah.
Watching the people could be fun. But we have a mission.
Very well. Off we go, then.

♪ No music ♪

Before we leave, you're sure you're ready for this? Whatever skills you have are useless if not trained.
What kinda chumps do you take us for?
I take you for the kind of chumps who just formed their guild two hours ago and are already setting off to the mine. Nothing wrong with confidence, but overconfidence will get you killed.
...Yeah, I guess that makes sense.
The game launches into a tutorial on skill points and the Custom screen here, but...you don't need to see that.

Also, it's me, I'm a chump. Let's invest our initial SP before we head out.

Shelly's initial build is simple. Sonic Raid, plus her class skill. As you can see from the description, Sonic Raid is a pretty
basic attack, with the caveat that it has priority. In simple terms, it'll go either at the start of the turn, or very close to it. Beyond the utility that its speed presents, Shelly also needs it to unlock the Link skills, which are her bread-and-butter.

Given that Sonic Raid has priority, I also grab her class skill. Class skills come in three tiers: Proficiency, Expertise, and Enlightenment, one for each tier of skills. We only have Novice skills right now, so we can only level the first tier. Veteran skills will unlock when a character hits level 20, and Master skills will unlock when a character hits level 40.

Gating skills based on character level is...a slightly controversial choice, but personally, I think it works well as far as helping to keep newer players from worrying too much about what they'll build to in the future, and helps keep their focus on what will help them now.

Anyway, re: class skills, they're also exclusive to characters whose main class is, well, the class in question. Subclasses do not let you level class skills. In Shelly's case, her class skill increases the damage and accuracy of attacks against enemies that she has damaged on a given turn. Proficiency increases damage dealt by 20%, and accuracy by 10%. Not bad at all, especially given that it can be easily activated by Sonic Raid.

For the record, when I say "it increases accuracy by 10%," I mean it increases a character's chance to hit an enemy additively—if a character, after the accuracy formula is finished, ends up with a 90% chance to hit their target, Shelly's Proficiency would make that a 100% chance. When I talk about accuracy modifiers and buffs and debuffs in the future, this is how they will all work too, so make sure you've got it memorized, committed it to memory, whichever version of Axel's catchphrase you prefer.

Ace invests one SP in their Proficiency, which restores 3 TP any time they're targeted by an enemy. Note: targeted, not attacked. The Fortress class skill works on enemy actions that are not strictly attacks, and also does not require that the action even connect with Ace for the TP restore to occur.

Ace also drops two SP in Taunt, which places a buff on her that increases her chance of being targeted by enemies. The exact mechanics of this are more than I'm willing to discuss in depth in an update, but to make a long story short, Taunt massively ups Ace's chance of being targeted by enemies if she has the highest HP in the party, and provides a solid boost even if she doesn't. Note that Taunt does not work if an enemy is using a specific type of targeting—for example, if an enemy is targeting party members who are afflicted with a particular ailment, and there's multiple targets to go after, the enemy's choice in target is truly random.

I don't normally build snipers like this, but what the hell. Harper invests her three SP in Long Shot, a very plain single-target attack. The important part there is that getting Long Shot to rank 3 unlocks Steel Arrow, a row-piercing attack, and Flank Shot, a row-target attack. I'm mostly interested in Flank Shot, though Steel Arrow could have its uses as well.

The Snipes can wait until Harper can deal with multiple enemies at once.

Eine gets one rank of Healing, which restores one party member's HP. He then gets two ranks of Refresh, which removes ailments from one party member. I'll have him grab Recovery, which does the same thing, but for binds, and then level up his actual healing some more.

Xiaohu gets one point in Ice Rune and Volt Rune, both of which are required for her to actually get attack skills. She also gets a rank of Lightning Rune, which will actually let her attack. Lightning Rune is a bit odd—it's a melee range row-target TEC attack. Because of this, while Lightning Rune does not suffer a damage penalty from being a melee attack used in the back row (which only applies to STR-based attacks), it does mean that while Xiaohu is in the back row, she can only target the enemy front row with Lightning Rune. Not a big deal, though.
If you want me to be serious, then: we're ready.
Alright, then follow me.

Oh, how exciting! What sorts of adventures await us, I wonder?
A many grand and wonderful ones, I would assume. Do be careful to not die, though.
Don't worry. If there's one thing I'm good at, it's pissing people off, and taking whatever they can throw at me.
These are monsters, though.
Same idea. Monsters'll get pissed if you shout at them, same as any guy trying t'pick a fight at a bar. Shelly saw how much of a beating I can take.
...Yeah, fair. Couldn't knock you down, no matter how hard I tried.

You holding up okay, Harper? You're kinda quiet.
Mhm. Thank you, Shelly.

Alright, here we are. If you want to head back to town, just come back here. My orders are to escort you to and from town until you've completed the mission.
Don't worry, we'll only need this one trip.
If you say so.
Thank you, sir.
You're welcome. Now, please just go do the mission.

Never before have I seen such lush greenery...
Dense, too. I can barely even see the sky through the thicket.
...There's something shiny up ahead.

You pick it up and see that it is a shining, golden locket, with space for a small picture inside. Could another explorer have dropped this...? If you are curious, you can try opening the locket.
Gonna open it?
No. That'd be rude.
Good call.
Just as you are wondering what to do with the locket, someone speaks to you from behind.

Is this locket yours?
Correct, little lady.
Here you go.
You hand the locket to the man, who seems to be a friendly sort. He asks the name of your guild.
We are the Daffodil Guild. And you are?
Me, I'm Whirlwind. Though that's really just a nickname... Nice meeting you, Daffodil Guild. You're here for some iridescent ore, I'm going to guess?
What gave it away? The beginners' gear we're wearing?
That, and the blonde girl there's trembling a little.
...I hadn't even noticed that.
Very perceptive, Mister Whirlwind. Anyway, Shelly told us there's still ore to be found?
Yeah, I think there's still some to be had in this Old Forest Mine. How do I know? Because I'm the one who found it in the first place. Here, maybe this'll help.
The man takes a parchment from his belongings and hands it to you.

Oh, thank the gods, I felt naked without this thing.
I sketched in where you can find the iridescent ore. I hope that helps point you in the right direction.
This thing is less than half-done.
Well, that makes this a great chance to learn to draw your own, huh?
...Can you show me how to draw a map?
Sure, always happy to teach other amateur cartographers.
With that, the man points to the blank map you've opened and explains how to draw in it...
Tutorial that you don't need to see would go here, if you needed to see it.
How 'bout it? Think you can draw your own?
She took to that real quick.
Well, it's helped her stop trembling, so that's good.
I always tell people, "Don't worry. If I can do it, anyone can!" Hahaha!
I'm not sure keeping one's bearings in the midst of a monster-filled forest is a laughing matter...
What's your name, kid?
...Please don't call me "kid." My name is Eine.
Your head's screwed on straighter than most, Eine. You need to learn to draw a map if you're going to chase Yggdrasil. That map is your lifeline. When you're all beat up, and can't use any more fancy techniques, you're going to be real happy you have a clear path back home. Besides that, you'll also be real happy when you can actually remember where you've been, where the shortcuts you've found are... You get the idea.
Money Mama still has her old maps framed around our house. She talks a lot about how valuable they are, and how proud she was of them. I'll make good maps.
That's the kind of attitude I like to see. Tell you what, when you think you're done with mapping this place out, come back here, and I'll look over it for you. I'll be near the entrance.
Thank you.
The man then parts with you and walks back the way he came... You glance at the map he gave you and decide to begin your search anew.

At a glance... This would probably make for a good shortcut, but we'd almost certainly have better luck carving through the foliage from the other side.
"At a glance?" How the hell can you tell from here? Just looks like a ton of plants to me.
This is the sort of esoterica that perceiving runes helps greatly with!
Shortcuts in 1st Land Labyrinths are marked with pink flowers. Really easy to spy at a glance.

Across the water, you see a shining patch of ground. It seems something buried shallowly is reflecting light.
I know that spot, that's where we'll find the iridescent ore. Guarantee it.
The water's far too deep, though. I certainly don't want to try swimming in these clothes.
Long way around it is.


Holy hell, that thing's bigger than I expected.
It's cute.

Level: 2HP: 36STR: 4TEC: 6VIT: 6AGI: 8LUC: 7DS: 20
EXP Given: 67

Damage Vulnerabilities:
75% 75% 75%
125% 125% 125%

Disable Vulnerabilities:
75% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
100% 100% 100%
100% 100% 100%
  • Rush Attack: Deals light bash damage to one party member. Slightly inaccurate.
  • Rush Attack: Deals 130% melee STR-based bash damage to one party member. Has a speed modifier of ±0, and a base accuracy of 90%.
  • Rollers have an equal chance to use either Rush Attack, or a normal attack.
  • 50% chance to use Rush Attack.
  • 50% chance to attack.
  • Hard Skin: 70% chance. Sells for 4 en.
    • Scale Jerkin (17 DEF): Made from 1 Hard Skin. Costs 150 en.
  • Roller Shell: 50% chance. Sells for 6 en.
    • Scale Mail (26 DEF): Made from 1 Roller Shell and 1 Thin Wing (Woodfly Drop 2). Costs 390 en.
    • Leather Vest (22 DEF): Made from 1 Roller Shell. Costs 220 en.
Out in the nearby wilderness of Tharsis, you'll often find creatures rather like the armadillos near my homeland. They'll roll about and sit on their backs with their shells to the ground, and seem to enjoy being used like bowling balls by local baboons. It's a charming sight, but having only narrowly avoided being beaned in the face by one on a test of one of Wynne's drive blades, I find myself nervous around them.
Rollers are an early reminder that it's a good idea to have some elemental coverage on your team, though it's not like they're impossible to kill with just physical damage.

Ah, I should probably explain vulnerabilities real quick. Vulnerabilities are multipliers applied to attacks of a given damage type, or attempted inflictions of a given disable. Rollers have 75% vulnerability to each of the physical damage types (cut, stab, bash), so they multiply physical damage to them by 0.75x. They take 75% damage from physical sources. Easy, right? Diable vulnerabilities work the same way, though they're applied just before the disable infliction formula ends. They're not the final step, though, and I'll discuss the implications of that later.

For composite damage attacks—stuff like a cut + fire elemental attack—vulnerabilities are actually designed to work in the player's favor. When using a composite damage attack, the game will use whichever vulnerability is higher. If we attacked a roller with, well, a cut + fire attack, the game would use the roller's 125% vulnerability to fire damage instead of its 75% vulnerability to cut damage.

One final note: if I ever say the phrase "increases vulnerability to," it's exactly what it means: that action or modifier increases an entity's vulnerability to something, making them take more damage from it, or be more likely to be inflicted with the associated disable. Conversely, "increases resistance to" means that a value is subtracted from an entity's vulnerability, making them more resistant to that damage type, less likely to be inflicted with that disable, etc. I could use "reduces vulnerability to" instead, but I find that "increases resistance to" is just a bit easier to understand at a glance.

You'd be surprised how quickly you can act when your sword's coated in nitroglycerine.
It's coated in wha?
Explosive chemicals.

That went about as well as I'd expected it would...


Experience for defeating enemies is split between all of the party members who are alive at the end of a battle.

That's about all I can think of to say about the result screen.

If you want to 100% EO4, you're going to need to encounter every enemy, and find every item. Always check your Monstrous Codex and Item Compendium regularly, make sure you've gotten everything you can up to that point.

Aside from the roaming monsters, this mine seems reasonably peaceful.
Not much to worry about while we're just walking around, yeah.
Man, her eyes are beaming, filling that map in.
She did say that Realga was proud of her maps. Maybe she's happy to be following in her Money Mama's footsteps.
Okay, let's go.
Hey, wait, lemme take point!

These grasshoppers are quite acrobatic.

Level: 1HP: 38STR: 5TEC: 7VIT: 4AGI: 9LUC: 8DS: 23
EXP Given: 55

Damage Vulnerabilities:
100% 100% 100%
100% 100% 100%

Disable Vulnerabilities:
100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 50%
100% 100% 100%
100% 100% 100%
  • Jump Kick: Deals medium bash damage to one party member. Slightly fast, but slightly inaccurate.
  • Jump Kick: Deals 150% melee STR-based bash damage to one party member. Has a speed modifier of +3, and a base accuracy of 90%.
  • Grasseaters slightly prefer normal attacks over using Jump Kick.
  • 40% chance to use Jump Kick.
  • 60% chance to attack.
  • Grasseater Leg: 70% chance. Sells for 3 en.
    • Panzerstecher (24 ATK, +1 AGI): Made from 2 Grasseater Legs. Costs 160 en.
  • Grasseater Jaw: 30% chance. Sells for 5 en.
    • Makiri (22 ATK, 3 Slots): Made from 1 Grasseater Jaw. Costs 150 en.
There's a breed of grasshopper about the Tharsis wilderness that is much, much larger than your garden-variety. Their legs have significantly increased tensile strength—their kicks broke Wynne's first prototype, actually. They are still herbivores, but will regularly mistake humans as attempting to get in on their territory. I knew a guy once back in my military academy—I imagine he'd think they were quite cute.
Grasseaters are less resistant to damage than rollers, but also deal more damage.

There really isn't much more to earlygame enemies.

...Well, that feels good, at least.

That sure is slightly more damage than a normal attack would've done.

That was more hurt than I was expectin' from an overgrown grasshopper.
You can see Ace's class skill activating here. Yellow numbers are used for showing TP restoration.

What was that?
The verbal method of invoking runes! In order: "invoke," "line," "electricity," "finalize."

One must needs be very careful with runic wording, if you don't wish to be hurt.
You don't mean to say that an erroneous invocation could kill you, I hope.
Oh, no no no!
Thank goodness.
Not when the invoker is wearing this garb.
...There's no risk of collateral damage, right?
The garb also protects against that.

♪ No music ♪

Don't like that stomping one bit.

Big monkey, dead ahead!
...Does that baboon have a moustache? And styled hair?
Truly, the Labyrinth is full of undiscovered wonders.
Oh, that's an FOE.
That stand for anything?
Formido oppugnatura exsequens. Bow Mom studied them a lot before she left Lagaard.
Right, okay. What do we do?
Fighting it would be bad.
So...observe it, and determine when we can slip by it?
You were so nervous before you got your hands on that map, and yet here you are, able to stay calm when faced with that huge...thing.
I'm really scared, but Bow Mom always told me that being scared won't get me anywhere. Told me to always look for ways out of what's making me scared.
Say hello to our first FOE, short for...well, that Latin phrase that Harper so helpfully spelled out for us. This thing is level 10, it has 742 HP, and 16 STR. Fighting it is a bad idea.

FOEs exist to add some dynamism to dungeon exploration, where actual dungeon gimmicks aren't sufficient. Every FOE has a pattern to its movement that you're meant to observe, study, and figure out a way past. Once you get far enough in the game, facing them head-on instead of dealing with their movement is also an option, but we are a ways away from there.

Well, this baboon doesn't seem particularly ambitious. It appears to just be patrolling that corridor back and forth.
So... Get behind it as soon as it's moving away from us, and run for that opening.

Well, that was easy.
My moms told me about a lot of FOEs. Some of them were even smart.
Eh, they're still just animals. We can outsmart them, no matter how smart they are.

...Sorry, is no-one gonna say it?
That thing's got a weird— Actually, wait, no, you're a kid. Never mind.

If you get yourself trapped in this small crevice, there's a one-way shortcut back to safety.

Oh, this is a perfect spot to create a shortcut at! Ace, if you would please?
If I would please what?
Oh, sorry. Run forward from here, as fast as you can. That should knock down enough foliage to create a resuable passageway!
...Yeah, alright, that makes sense. I guess. Charge!

Hey, that was actually sort of fun, knocking those tiny trees down like that.
Thank you, Ace.

If you don't color the tiles underneath your doors, and also draw walls around your doors, then don't talk to me.
okay. me pushing this change to dropbox will be the last time we ever speak. i am sorry for my hellish felonies

Hell yeah. Big money, dead ahead.

...Damn monkeys.
If your map is accurate, then the iridescent ore can be mined at the shining spot ahead. But have a care! The wandering beasts will hunt you mercilessly even while you mine for minerals!
Tutorial about pressing A to gather items at gather points, etc. etc.

So many grasshoppers.
One has to wonder what's drawing all these large insects to this mine.

Hey look, our first level up.

Each time a character levels up, their stats increase a little, and they gain a skill point.

Shelly increases Sonic Raid to rank 3, unlocking the three Link skills while she's at it.

Ace gets the first rank of Auto-Taunt. It gives them a 15% chance to use Taunt at the start of a battle. It scales all the way up to a 50% chance at rank 4. Given how powerful Taunt is for random encounters, and how slow Ace will end up being, them being able to use it before anyone's actually taken a turn yet will be much-appreciated.

Harper grabs the first rank of Flank Shot, greatly increasing her utility in random encounters.

Eine gets his first rank of Recovery.

Xiaohu gets Ice Lance Rune, which lets her hit both a front-row and a back-row enemy at the same time.

The baboons appear to be circling the area around the water.
Hmm... A similar strategy to before, then. Run towards the ore just after one has passed us.

Alright, Shelly, let's get digging.
I'll help.



Found it. It's pretty.
At last, you have mined the iridescent ore you came for! Your mission is now complete. The ore won after many tense moments near powerful monsters is lighter than you'd imagined and feels fragile... After you finish exulting in your accomplishment, you stow the shining stone and begin your trek back.
Gathering points in EO4 are very simple: stand on the gathering point, and press A until you run out of gathering attempts. Each point has a set amount of times you can use it per day.

Man, it's just trees as far as I can see. Not even a bit of sky.
Yeah, I mentioned that earlier.
It's beautiful, but also somewhat oppressive, no?
...Y'know, I probably didn't pick the best spot to talk about this. Let's get out of the monkeys' way.

Ah! Treasure!

...Of a certain kind.
Figures a sky pirate would instantly perk up at the sight of a treasure chest.
Ah, shush.
...You're a sky pirate, Lady Shelly?
Retired, but yeah. Don't worry, I only went after merchants with dirty money.
I see.

...Do you have any tales of thrilling adventure you'd be willing to share?
Way more than you'd think for a woman in her twenties. You won't mind if I make them a bit kid-friendly, I assume.
If that is your condition for sharing them.
I wanna listen too.
Well, I can't say no to an admiring audience. Let's get this mission finished, though.
Oh! Mister Whirlwind!
Off she goes. Again.

I finished the map!
That so? Alright, lemme have a look at it.
Mhm, mhm!
You hand him your map and he pores over it to verify its accuracy...
Whirlwind studies your map intently for some time, but eventually his face brightens and he addresses you.
This is nicely done, considering the time it took. I'm surprised how well drawn it is! Looks complete to me. Good job— Oh, I never did get your name.
Huh. Cute name. Anyway, good job, Harper. You said your mom was an explorer who drew maps?
Ha, guess cartography runs in the family. In that case, feel free to keep the map. You never know when you might need it again, so take good care of it.
Whirlwind briefly pauses.
Ah, that's right! You guys were doing the Count's mission, right? Did you get yourself some iridescent ore?
After a brief run-in with some baboons, yes.
Good. I thought so, since you seemed so pleased. Well, I won't keep you. Safe travels.
The man congratulates you and you thank him before parting ways.
Well, he seemed nice.
I imagine he's pretty hardy, though, if he's out here on his own.

We'd best not keep everyone waiting!
Best not keep my baby— My ship waiting, either.

Hi, Mister Count. We're done.

I now pronounce the Daffodil 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...

Much appreciated, sir.
Hey, Count, while you're at it, can you tell someone to go down to the wharf, and let them know that the ship at 6-22 is now a guild-affiliated skyship? My name's Shelly Valentine.
I can let them know to expect you, certainly. I trust you have the papers to prove ownership of that skyship?
I've had them stuffed in my breastplate all day.
That seems somewhat unconventional.
Do you see any room for pockets on these clothes?
Method of storage aside, the papers seem fine to me. I'm sure the wharf staff will have you in and out in no time, then.
Thank you very much, sir! I'll be back, everyone, just tell the others at the inn to meet at the city gates!
And I thought Harper was fast.

Turning in missions gives a lot of EXP. That was almost two levels' worth of EXP!

Thankfully, it seems that Miss Shelly already possesses one, so I'll just let the guildmaster know that's taken care of. Once you're able to set sail, why not make the Lush Woodlands your first stop? It's 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!
Is there anything else before we go, Sir Count?
Well, I am curious about one thing.

Far, far westward. I've been travelling for some months now.
Meri said she's from Armoroad, too. Me, I've come all the way from Ontario!
Holy hell.
And I thought my trek was lengthy...
Uh, anyway, former Armoroadian here, too.
Several Armoroadians, hm? Lovely town, wish I could get some time to visit there again. Well, while you are here in my city, think of it as your own hometown.
That's very gracious of you, sir. If you'll excuse us, we should inform our comrades about the skyship.
Ah, yes, don't let me keep you. I expect great things from you, Guild Daffodil.

Hold it hold it hold it waiiiiiiiiiiiiit!

Really wish...the Count could've...just told you while you were...in his office...
Catch your breath, man. We're not going anywhere.
Pahhhhhh... Okay, yes, sorry. The Count wishes to inform you that he will be giving you a foodapult. I guess that's equipment for your skyship?
Says here it's been delivered to the city gates. Ask the soldier in charge there about it. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go find some water...

Ahoy, everyone! Teehee, I've always wanted to say that.
We passed the Count's initial examination, and we have our own skyship now.
Oh killer.
That is excellent news. Well done, everyone.
I can't help but notice that Shelly isn't with you four.
Yeah, see, the skyship is hers. It was just impounded, I guess. Now that it's guild property, though, they let her commandeer it again. I think, anyway.
I had no idea that Tharsis gives authorized guilds their own private skyships. That's...quite a luxury.
Well, the skyships they give to authorized guilds are a bit... Well, they cover the essentials for exploration, but not much else. No crew quarters, no other kinds of livin' facilities. Shelly's probably isn't much different, given that she's the sole owner, but still.
Aren't these the wrong kinds of ships for you to know a lot about?
Hah! I may dream of a building a vast naval fleet, but that doesn't mean I can't dabble in studying other forms of shipbuilding, you know.
I get to ride multiple of this place's nutty flying ships? That's so rock. Oh man.
Well, transportation vessel-related banter aside, I think we should go meet Shelly at the city gates.

♪ No music ♪

Correct. Who are you?
Wharfmaster. Ciaran's the name. Just finished helpin' that red-headed captain'a yours get her skyship back in the air.
Is that our ship just ahead? Looks about the size I'd expect for a sole ownership.
Huh? Hell no. Look, over there.
That's Shelly's skyship?!
I'm afraid I don't have a good frame of reference for skyship sizes here. Is that particularly large, as far as these things go?
That ship is a certifiable colossus! It's larger than the commercial vessel that took me to Tharsis!
Is she a sky pirate or something?! That's way bigger than any skyship I've ever seen!
Yeah, actually, she is.
Yeah. Figured that's about how yeh all were gonna react. Well, I've got a wharf to master, so if'n you'll excuse me.
Hey, guys! What's everyone so surprised about?
Like you don't know, Heedless Blaze.
You've known me for just a few hours, and you're already talking to a legendary pirate that casually?
...Right. Sorry, ma'am.
Ah, lighten up, I'm messing with you.
Oh man
Yggdrasil weeps, Shelly, where did that behemoth even come from? No-one builds skyships like this.
No-one who builds them for money does. Good thing I used to have a multi-talented pirate crew with no small amount of knowledge of carpentry and skyship engineering between us, huh?
Oh that's so cool
You meet all kinds when you exclusively pillage ne'er-do-well merchants.
...Right. Should've expected that.
Are we all getting to stay in your ship, Cap'n?!
Used to hold dozens of hardened sky pirates, so yeah, I think us ten will be able to squeeze in, if we're smart about it.
Silly question, I know, but does this ship have a name?
People used to call it the Zephyr. Between you and I, though, my crew always called it the Air B'n'B.
I'm afraid I don't get it.
Bread-and-bek— Fuck. Okay, bed-and-breakfast. It's a kind of inn you see if you travel by road a lot. They're more common near Lagaard. Ship's big enough that you could probably run an inn out of it, so, well... Air B'n'B. I thought it was cute, anyway.
No-one wants to hear tales of daring-do more than myself, but... I am quite exhausted. Please tell me the rooms still have beds in them.
Yep, you're in luck. Go on in and just grab a room, we can worry about assigning rooms later. As for the rest of you... Wait, Ray, how old are you?
Sixteen summers, I figure?
Sixteen years, got it. No booze for you, then.
Ain't no problem, china, wouldn't be much of a battlecruiser anyhow. This girl's gonna make you kick and prance—Ray's a rocker, she is! This rules!
Don't know what that means!
Ah, I have a question. What is...alcohol? I'm unfamiliar with this substance.
Alcohol is a bad-tasting liquid that people sometimes put in drinks, but usually drinks make their own alcohol when they're being made. It's part of fermentation. Like I said, it tastes really bad—really bitter—but some people like that part of it. Most people like the part where it makes your brain sort of shut down. I don't, though. Oh, also, alcoholic drinks are used to make food sometimes—beer is used to make beer bread, and you can make some tasty sauces out of wine. Using drinks like that usually removes a lot of the alcohol. We had a lot of wine in the basement back home, but Uncle Ranger and I only used it to cook with. I don't think Money Mama or Fireworks Mama drank. Gun Mom and Bow Mom used to, but they stopped when I was born.
I like cooking. A lot. Uncle Ranger started teaching me how to cook when I was a baby.
...Hey, uh, Harper, would you mind handling...catering? Are we a big enough group to call it "catering?" Getting and making food for us. I know there's a lot of us to handle, and probably a lot of different palat—
O-Okay? Just like that?
Mhm. My moms had a reunion for their guildmates a few years ago, and Uncle Ranger and I made all the food for the party. It was a lot of fun. I wanna do it again.
Well, uh, we'll need to go shopping, I guess.
I'll come with. You lasses are gonna need some food money, after all.
Oi, hold on now, why not give 'em the bread and honey for gear, anyhoo?
Because we need money to make sure we can eat. Adventurin' on an empty stomach's not the best of ideas.
Oh, true, true.
Phew. That's that.

Next time: we actually go on adventures across the sky.

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