Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan (JP: 世界樹の迷宮IV 伝承の巨神) is a dungeon-crawler RPG developed and published by Atlus, the company most well-known for the Persona series (and also Shin Megami Tensei, I guess). It was released in Japan on July 5th, 2012, in North America on February 26th, 2013, and in Europe on August 30th, 2013. Key staff on the project include series character designer Yuji Himukai (known, these days, for making Fire Emblem Heroes players angry), series composer Yuzo Koshiro (known for way too many game soundtracks for me to list, but Streets of Rage is a good starting point), and in the director's chair, series newcomer Daisuke Kaneda, whose prior credits include being the director of Trauma Team, as well as several roles on various Persona games. Series director Shigeo Komori was, at the time, busy with Etrian Odyssey Untold, the 3DS remake of the first game, so Kaneda was brought in to direct the series's first foray onto the 3DS.

EO4 is a peculiar game as far as the series goes. Under the hood, it's not very different from EO3: all of the internal formulas are the same, and the structures of internal data files are all the same. The two games, however, could not play more differently. EO4's class design is completely different from EO3's, with an emphasis placed on helping the player avoid falling for so-called "trap" skills, and guiding the player towards figuring out how to best use each class with, for the most-part, tightly-designed skill trees that make it easy to build characters who function well in combat, even for first-time players. The dungeon-crawling side of things has also been overhauled, too, with the addition of overworlds, which connect the main Yggdrasil Labyrinth strata (now referred to as "mazes") with smaller one-floor mini-dungeons with unique gimmicks (referred to as "caves").

Owing to its unique structure and player-friendly design, it's safe to call EO4 the most beloved entry in the series, with many fans citing it as either the first Etrian Odyssey game that hooked them, or their first EO game, period. The fact that it was the first EO game available via digital distribution almost certainly helped it reach more players than any of the DS games ever could've dreamed of. That's not to say the game is perfect, mind you—I have plenty to say about some of EO4's bad design decisions, as well as some bizarre decisions made with regards to enemy stats and vulnerabilities. However, it's still a fun time, and I invite you all to come and see why this game sold so many people on this very niche series!

Hey, wait a minute, why do you have the three unlockable classes already?

Unlockable classes are a bad and dumb design decision, and I'm gonna break the rules by enabling them from the start without NG+. Additionally, while the first two unlockable classes can function just fine from the beginning, Imperials lack actual weapons until near the end of the story. As such, I've added some early and midgame weapons for our guild's imperial to make use of. This does make the LP not fully vanilla, but I wouldn't let it bother you that much.
You can tell when commentary is coming from me, Rea, when it's got my avatar (the one wearing the multi-colored hat and sometimes outfit) next to it. If you're viewing updates on rhematic, then my commentary is also in a light blue box, for extra visual cue-ity.
I'm Kinu, and I'll be providing co-commentary. I'm one of those people who started with EO4, and it's still my favorite. As such, I'm here to provide occasionally insightful comments and maybe just giggle about the cute puppy the rest of the time.
Table of Contents

Update 1: Adventures Across the Sky
Update 2: This is Not Australia
Update 3: Elafiphobia, Not Cervidaephobia
Update 4: Wander Around the Lush Woodlands
Update 5: Drenched in Red
Update 6: The Great Leons
Boss Overview: Berserker King
Update 7: Headbangin' Grizzly (VS. Berserker King)

Update 8: Hazy Maze Cave
Update 9: Archaeology Stream
Update 10: Myst
Update 11: Arcane Incantation
Update 12: Relatively Peaceful Days
Update 13: Thanks For the Fog Wave, Grizz
Boss Overview: Hollow Queen
Update 14: Jelly Madchester (VS. Hollow Queen)

Update 15: Viaduct
Update 16: Next Time, Let's Just Sit In An Oven
Update 17: Barnblitz

Class Overviews

Cast of Characters

Shelly Laura Valentine (by Angel)
The dreaded sky pirate captain known most commonly by her terrible nickname, "The Heedless Blaze". Merely uttering either name is enough to send a sailor crew into an uncontrollable panic. Ruthless and unstoppable, Shelly's fighting style is perhaps the most frightening thing about her: she coats her blades in volatile chemicals like nitroglycerine, blanketing the battlefield in many explosions, with herself in the middle of each of them. This means she goes through many, many swords; the walls to her room is always caked in sword racks, so she has replacements for the ones she just sort of blows up. She would raid and rob rich merchant skyships and corrupt officials, making even the honest people terrified of her.

So, what happened? Why is she down here, gearing up to help reach Yggdrasil?

She accidentally raided a humble merchant's skyship, which she mistook for a more affluent one.

As soon as she realized what she'd done, Shelly disbanded the pirate crew she'd been leading on the spot. No-one knows where the hell she went after that, but she popped up again in Tharsis, signing up to go explore the Labyrinth. Carrying with her a giant bag full of bottles of nitroglycerine and intact swords, and nothing else. She seemed to mostly be back to her usual self--loud, rowdy, and merry, and perhaps slightly drunk. No-one can ever tell for sure. It's a well-known fact, though, that the din of battle is instantly sobering to her, so the concern of her ever stumbling in battle from one too many mugs of ale is null at best. Looking to absolve herself of her sin of harming the common people, the Blaze is now lending her blade, her extremely dangerous chemicals, and her discerning eye to the trip towards Yggdrasil.

She's also supes gay. She looks pretty damn composed when talking to a girl, but she's secretly repeatedly dying.

Merula Rosen (by TollingBells)
Merula comes from a dedicated family of Nightseekers, Dark Hunters, and other like disciplines. She is a adequate Nightseeker, but she's the black sheep of her family, due to her tendencies outside of battle- She's polite and well spoken, enjoys reading, decorating, and baking, and often attends tea parties and parlor events of her friends. She decided to join the group in a effort to prove to her family she's still a capable Nightseeker, even if she has "strange hobbies."

Terra J. Cho, aka "Ace" (by Roxi)
Ace is a failed gladiator from the port town of Armoroad. Not "failed" in the sense of "tried and failed," per se, but "failed" in the sense of "My adventuring party really showed promise, but a week after we joined some random group of adventurers nobody had ever heard of blitzed through the entire tree and now there's no labyrinth left to explore."

Not content to simply gather materials for for modest pay, as many did in the wake of the sudden discovery and demise of the abyssal ones, Ace made their way across the seas (Armoroad being a healthy Port town with plenty of ships to charter), working odd jobs on various cargo ships for cash and to pay their passage. In doing so, they befriended a handful old sailors, worldly sorts with stories to tell to liven up the voyage. It's from these sailors that they heard hushed tales of the dreaded Captain Shelly, and her sudden disappearance. Through tails of Shelly's Robin Hood like escapades, Ace came to admire her as a distant figure and role model.

Arriving at Tharsis and hoping to find new work as an adventurer, one of the first things Ace discovered was news of Shelly's sudden reappearance, and the founding of her very own guild. They immediately decided that they had to be a part of it, but there was just one problem: at this point, all the guild needed was a Fortress. Ace doesn't even know what that is; in her line of work in Armoroad, defenders were invincible, spear wielding magicians that somehow appeared to be in two places at once, effortlessly nullifying even the most brutal offenses as if they weren't even there. When she says as much, the people of Tharsis just laugh it off as tall tales; there's apparently no one here train her in their ways. But she has a mace, and the strength to put on a suit of armor, so she'll simply have to learn what she can as she goes.

Harper Lupita Hannighan-Mathers (by Kinu)
When Harper first set out to become an adventurer, she looked at her family's multiple legendary, divine bows and said, "nah, I'll just buy my own" and left.

That's the sort of woman Harper is. She's understated, but whimsical in a lot of ways, which, when you come from a long line of famous adventurers, understated is not something you usually find yourself being. Keen, and an expert chef, she's an incredible culinary savant capable of exactly reproducing any recipe after only eating it once, no matter how complex.

Harper also has a quick, but odd, wit in conversation. While she's not particularly talkative, she's both very good at understanding what other people mean no matter how cryptic, and kinda bad at not being cryptic herself sometimes. It's a learned habit from one of her uncles, you see, and comes from an odd disconnect between her own train of thought and what everyone else is talking about. Are lobsters mermaids to scorpions?

Eine Afilitaria Aurelis (by Aurelis)
Raised by a rather large-community guild consisting of expert explorers, Eine was often assured that his late parents, once part of said guild, were of the legendary-amazing sort, a duo that could raze the labyrinth effortlessly and solved many disputes over the course of their adventures. To him, though, he remembers little regarding them other than the one night, when he was but five years old, guild leader Snow came to him with nothing but a single brooch; his voice quiet as he told that it was all they could find left of his father.

It was mostly Snow who raised him after that, and Eine very easily took after the courteous, mild mannered prince's mannerisms, watching and passively learning from his duties as leader and tactician, as well as being apprentice to the guild medic- he wouldn't ever want anyone else to feel like they're missing someone in their lives, wouldn't he? Oh, he did try to follow Snow's footsteps and learn how to fence too, but right now, the rapier is all for show as far as anyone is concerned; the only thing he's ever landed a hit with it is himself, somehow; hence the bandage he regularly maintains.

It wasn't long before Eine felt as though he had been too sheltered, too spoiled under the guild's care. Though he did care for them and wanted to stay, he felt as though he was nothing but dead weight, a rookie amongst hardened war veterans- and truth be told, he's right. It's at the age of 13 that he set off, promising to them that he'll come back after he's had an adventure and a half, but to himself, he’s resolved to return only when he proves more than capable of protecting the people he's come to know as his family.

Not that anyone would know of his soft heart, judging by his expression. Goodness, the boy has a resting bitch face enough to unnerve most.

Jia Xiaohu (by Endorph)
A young woman from a large, far eastern country. Born the seventh child of a well-off lawmaker, Xiaohu was raised with a firm belief in everything having a natural order - events flowed logically from one to the next, everything had a consequence, and a person's lot in life was determined from their birth. When she discovered runes, from a northwestern man who'd been detained under suspicion of being a spy, she took it as validation of everything she'd ever believed. 'Runes are foreign,' you say? So are half the things we eat. 'Setting things on fire doesn't seem very orderly?' Yes, if you're bad at it.

As the youngest of a large family, Xiaohu saw a chance to prove the worth of both her studies - born from scrawled notes she'd taken in her own language, roughly translated from whatever the runes were written in - and, indeed, herself. Explore the world! Come back with grand discoveries, probably. She hasn't exactly thought this through. Especially the whole language barrier thing - she can speak the tongue of Tharsis fairly naturally, but a lot of it is based off her taking notes as she hears new words, and sometimes her assumptions can be... off. Also, is it just her, or do none of these people have family names?

But she's confident, well-organized, and enthusiastic. That has to count for something. Probably.

Marlin McCoy (by oB2Ko Mario)
Marlin McCoy has a dream: building the greatest fleet of combat ships the world has ever seen. Tirelessly learning the craft of seafaring, Marlin spent most of his life around boats, sailors, docks, and everything in between. He devoted his life from a very young age to understand every aspect that goes into the creation of a single vessel, from the raw material used to build the ships to the social aspects of the seafarers that use them.

In his quest to understand the mind of the sailor, he took a rather unfortunate wrong turn one day into Captain Rug's Rum-A-Torium, better understood as the world famous pirate-themed exotic dancing club in his sea-faring town. With his clothes matching the sailors he had been researching, along with his self-professed devilish good looks, he was almost immediately mistaken for a male dancer in the club. He tried to object, but he soon found himself pushed to the front and center stage of the club.

By the time the night was over, he profusely apologized to the club's owner and tried to hand off all the tips he received for the night, but the owner was so impressed at Marlin's natural talent that he offered him a job on the spot as a lead dancer. Taking a second look at the tips he amassed on accident, he remembered that ship building requires a starting capital, and he was not going to make nearly this much money doing actual shiphand work.

Marlin had been in the business for almost six years now, and was currently in the process of helping Captain Rug open a sattelite club in Tharsis (tentatively named the Rum-O-Rama). He's close to meeting his end goal of amassing enough money to begin the build of his first warship, and he predicts that being the lead man and co-owner of the new site will push him over the edge to his true dream.

He'll probably keep dancing after he builds his fleet though. It's great for the abs.

Wen Ray-shin (by Kinu)
Wen Ray-shin, commonly referred to as 'Ray', is a Vessel who is wholly un-Vessel. Unfortunately for everyone involved, a piece of recording technology dropped from a hapless airship having trouble above from a dragon attack years ago, and she was instantly hooked on the symphonic sounds of human music.

So, rather than use her talents to... do... things that people like, she has instead managed to become a fantastic Arcanist in the most annoying way possible- she's turned her staff into an actual, functioning electric guitar. She shreds, baby! Rock is in her soul! Yeahhh!

Known for being an intense noise hazard in the area where she lives, somehow she's managed to survive Hollows by virtue of the fact that neither race knows what the fuck to make of those sounds she's making.

She's dyed her hair multi-colored through intense gumption (which could've been used elsewhere.) One day, with a power chord, she declared to the rest that she was going on a journey of self-discovery, baybee!, and ran off into the woods, her sound echoing far into the distance.

Naijou (by violentlycar)
Naijou of the Sentinels is anything but outgoing. He does not make friends easily - but those who have unlocked the door to his heart mean the world to him. As a young child, he had only one friend - a female vulpine Sentinel named Sanji. They spent all of their time together, and Naijou, despite his youth, loved her. However, on an early morning while they were sparring, a pillar toppled over and crushed Sanji. Try as he may to lift the pillar, Naijou could not save his friend, who died beneath the large stone. Anguished and furious with himself, the Sentinel child withdrew into monk-like training, vowing to never stop gaining more strength, more skill, and more power, so that he may never again fail to save those he loved.

But the passage of time is unforgiving. As he grew into an adult, he found himself growing listless. He began to question himself - what was even the point to his training if he had no loved ones to protect? Was he truly doing this to become a powerful protector, or was he simply trying to ease the still painful guilt over Sanji's death? After long reflection, he realized it was the latter, so he returned to his people to become the guardian he wanted to be. But Naijou had changed - in more ways than one - and the Sentinels barely recognized him. His difficulty in making friends only compounded this problem, and he found himself unable to reintegrate with society. After consulting with the Sentinels' leader, Naijou set off to the south toward Tharsis, hoping to find a new purpose and - just maybe - new people that he could truly care for.

Waylon van Houten (by Kinu)
So, there's a lot to be said for being a scholar. Waylon van Houten is probably one of the brainiest people you'll ever meet, learned in any number of sciences, and he earnestly enjoys them, too, wanting nothing more but to apply his vast stores of physical and magical knowledges to the benefit of society's understanding of the world. He's the pride of his family in any number of ways.

Unfortunately, he earned that pride by not being able to keep his big mouth shut while happening to watch some Imperials practice with their Drive Blades one day. They're marvels of engineering, you know, and a lot of inexperienced Imperial knights let their blades swing them around rather than actually swinging the blades. And, ooh, the blade revs up! Of course it's going to be hot to the touch, you idiot, don't burn yourself! If you want to swing the sword, you need to do it like this!

Within a few short weeks, the fact that he actually knew how physics worked meant that he was being hailed as one of the greatest Drive Blade prodigies in the history of the Empire, was given an immediate post in the army, a Drive Blade of his own, and very strong expectations from his family that he would go join up and fight things.

Waylon actually wears that armor and those poofy pants to hide the fact that his legs are still shaking every time he enters combat. He's a scholar at heart, not a combatant, and the fact that he knew how a Drive Blade worked at first sight didn't change that, but his own natural aptitude for the weapon meant that people began to think of him as a fighter at heart, and he even developed a reputation of being a bit brutish, of all things. He's not! Waylon is actually rather gentle, he's just very forward about it when people don't know things that they really should know given that they're trying to do those things.

Anyway, eventually he somehow wound up running odd jobs around Tharsis a long way away from the Empire, which is actually a much more comfortable position for him than the whole exploding swords in his hands thing, but it still doesn't mean that he's entirely satisfied. After a long day of moving crates, he looks up into the sky at the soaring ships, a marvel of engineering he's always adored, and dreams of the day that he can build one of his own. He doesn't necessarily want to adventure, he just wants to build something that amazing with his own hands.

...of course, when you're the only guy who knows how to work the exploding swords that people occasionally build somehow, you can't get certain young, yippy blacksmiths off your back, and now every time Waylon goes by the market he can feel Wynne's eyes on his back, daring him to step by again without trying out this fantastic new Drive Blade she's made from materials that adventurers have brought back, somehow. Waylon can't say no to requests from tiny girls. It's a fact about him that he's long since learned to accept. They're just too damn cute! So he's the one guy in Tharsis who owns a Drive Blade, too, excepting certain individuals who he bets think he doesn't recognize them, but he does, buy one of them once in a while, you dastard!