Update 13: The Strongest Link

Hmm... Lanzon, have you seen Greg? Been looking for him all morning.
"Seen" is one word for it, yes.
This mangy mutt won't leave the lower half of this coffin!
I didn't think anyone would find a Necromancer coffin comfortable, but I evidently don't understand dogs too well.
Gram, please, can you coax Greg out of there? I can't prepare for our trip into the Labyrinth like this.
Heh! I wish I could coax him outta comfortable napping spots. Looks like we're stuck here 'till he wakes up.
...Precisely my luck. Oh well, c'est la vie.

Floor subtitle: Collapsed pillars force detours on this rocky mountain.

The floor opens immediately with a giraffe puzzle. There's a twist on this one from 7F, though, which we'll see in a bit.

The path that starts here is too long to cross without running into a giraffe, so we have to head into that corridor visible in the screenshot.

The merciless sun beats down on you as you walk through the seemingly endless trails. Wiping away your sweat, you feel a deep thirst, but you aren't carrying all that much water with you.
Oho, do my eyes spot a cactus fruit?
When you check the area, wondering if maybe there's something around here that could wet your parched throats, Lanzon says they found something. There's a patch of cactus growing nearby, with ordinary stems and bright red fruits. The fruits seem edible at first glance, but they may be poisonous or worse.
Hold up a second, let's check the cactus first...
Despite your thirst, you're unsure if these will be safe to eat, you decide to observe a bit longer. That's when you notice a small bug land on one of the fruits.
It's a scissor-horned kabuto beetle, and it seems to be drinking juice from the fruit. If you wish, you may be able to capture it.
This bug shall be mine!
You swiftly reach out for it and manage to get it into a cage!

(Obtained Scissor-Horned Beetle!)
Ahhh, what a perfect specimen.
Y-yes, I'm sure that bug is...just fine. Please, dear, just...put it in our pack.
Why're you so scared of bugs? It's almost kinda cute how small it is.
How do I detest insects? Let me count the ways. ...Actually, hm, that might make for an excellent sonnet...
As fun as writing might be, shouldn't we be focusing on the fruit?
Since the beetle was drinking the juice, it may be safe for consumption. You haven't yet decided yet whether or not to eat the fruit.
Yes yes YES, I haven't had anything to eat or drink yet!
I... Why did you skip breakfast?
Driven by their powerful thirst, Dosen grabs a fruit and bites into it without hesitation! With a crunch, they suddenly find their mouth full of hard seeds.
Urg... Blech!
While they instinctively gag and spit them out, in the process they notice that there is also plenty of sweet liquid inside.
Okay... One bit of advice... Drink, don't eat...
They shouldn't be bitten into, but you can still suck the juice out of them. The rest of you learn from Dosen's example and indulge yourselves in this fruit juice...

Your thirst quenched, you return to exploring with renewed vigor.

Cactus and beetle

After observing the cactus, you both caught a beetle and and quenched your thirst.

Choosing not to wait for the beetle or not drinking the juice after getting the beetle lowers the EXP reward.

Feeble Miasma now increases ailment/bind infliction rates by 1.42x.

Lanzon learns Bestow Mana because I'm actually using Jars as Chain fodder now, and because it increases his LUC a bit.

If my notes on the giraffes' movement are correct, this one should be right beside this boulder.
So, whatever we do, we must not shove this boulder. Shoving it would cause great harm to the giraffe, and I'd rather it die quickly and easily, rather than under the weight of this thing.
Wouldn't a boulder this size kill it pretty quickly?
Well, even with a giant boulder, a giraffe that large probably wouldn't--
I-it would, actually, yeah. Hang on, lemme--

...It's still on its feet, even if it's stunned. Absolutely amazing!
Shoving a boulder on top of a giraffe lops off 25% of its HP, shoves it backwards, and stuns it until we leave the floor. The boulder being here also disrups the other giraffe's charging paths, meaning we can actually progress from this room now!

(Obtained Viewing Crystal!)
The Viewing Crystal reveals all shortcuts, stairways, FOEs, gathering points, and treasure chests in a 9x9 area around us. Any FOEs that are on tiles we haven't "discovered" yet are also shown.

...Y'know, the neckbeast's stunned, and we haven't logged one in the Monstrous Codex yet.
I know where you're going with that, and is that really a great idea?
Y'know, I've heard that neckbeast fur fetches a high price in some markets...


Dashing Neckbeast

HP: 4484
STR: 66
INT: 45
VIT: 47
WIS: 45
AGI: 42
LUC: 45

Damage Resistances:
125% 100% 100%
75% 100% 100%

Disable Resistances:
25% 50% 50% 50% 50% 50% 50%
100% 10%
75% 50% 50%
Dashing Neckbeasts are incredibly simple: they'll either use a normal attack, or Charge followed by Power Sweep. A Charged Power Sweep will either wipe out our party entirely or, failing that, leave our front line severely injured and our backline either dead or close to it (assuming I have guard skills and characters using Defend.) Head binds are a good way to completely neuter giraffes, but if you don't have that, your only real option is damage racing it.

Since I'm sure you can guess what Iseria and Sasha do, let's skip to Raven, who's using Feeble Miasma to make Lanzon's job easier.

Said job is inflicting poison.

Urk... What're the stuff in these jars made out of anyway...

A. Be a dear and replace the giraffe's blood with acid.

Thank you very much~

Using Tri-Shield works if you're just trying to guard against normal attacks, but it won't do anything against Power Sweep.

Might as well get three ghosts for Fire Bomb spam.

Not gonna happen!

Oh, yeah, Dosen has a bow equipped.

This means he activates extra Chain hits!

Well, that's...less than impressive. To be expected when going up against an elementally-resistant monster, though.

It's worth it just to proc a Chain hit.

Hey, don't look at me, all I had to work with was a bit of stomach acid.
You're fucking kidding me, the poison's gone already?! Two turns is the literal minimum for how long a disable can last! Ugh.

Chewing through that much HP without poison's gonna be annoying.

Uh, the neckbeast looks puh-retty pissed off.
We'll be fiiiiine, trust me.

To avoid a total party wipe, I have Dosen use Aegis Shield. If you'll remember the Races update, Aegis Shield is the "ultimate" Brownie limit, and it completely nullifies all attacks to the party for one turn.

Okay, apply a bit of █████...
Apply what?
That's a tongue I'm unfamiliar with...

...What the fuck? Why did C die?

Uh oh. I don't have any answer to this aside from defending.

Everyone defends, Sasha applies the Line Guard effect to the front row.

At least this momentary vanishing is brought to me by a majestic creature...
In what world is this beast majestic?

Okay, that's not so bad, right?

I agree with B... This neckbeast is...incredibly majestic...
Uh oh.

A-another one?
I'm still hurting from the last one...
And now I'm fucked. I can't do anything against this next one.

The fur...wasn't worth this...
I'm gonna listen to people less...in the next life...

Dears... I don't think we're outrunning this beast...
Why must my life come to an end already?!
...Why did I put saying that off?
...Saying what off?
I've been trying to run for several turns and it's just not happening. I feel like I'm playing EO4 again--failing to run this often is an anomaly for EO5.

(The explorers have fallen...)
I should not have wiped here. The poison only lasting two turns was bullshit. Any longer and the thing would've died before all that nonsense.

Welp... Doesn't matter now...
What I would give...to record this experience...

...Hang on. What...is this? I'm still conscious...
...Uh, hello?
What's...happening? Where are your voices coming from? What's this red vortex?!
the universe ending

What you're seeing there is the usual EO game over "save your map data" prompt. For anyone new to the series, when you game over in an EO game, you're given the option to save any modifications you made to your map after your party's wiped--basically to save you the time redrawing it when you reload, and to help you better prepare for whatever might've killed you.

There's no reason not to accept this, so I do.

Do you mind if we just give you The Ability to Fix the Universe and call it a day? We were kind of busy at the bar.
okay good that makes our jobs easier

Wait, what jobs?!
okay cya
try not to fuck up next time

Uh, Raven, you okay? You look--
No I am not okay. Lemme just... Think for a bit...
From here, I do everything I did before. Including fighting the Dashing Neckbeast.

This time, the fucking poison decided to last a few more turns, but, uh, now I'm left without any options against an incoming Charged Power Sweep.

I used Tri-Shield to at least keep Iseria and the ghosts alive.

Wait, "again?" ...Oh, I can mull on that later, there's a victory to be had!

If I can just stall for a turn or two, I'll win.

(Defeated Dashing Neckbeast!)

(Received 1 Neckbeast Fur.)
Ha! Haha! It's only natural that I would triumph in the end, even alone! ...Although, my achievement is somewhat diminished by everyone being dead...

Back to town to fix everyone being dead.
Parrot Gun (+44 ATK, +49 MATK, Lightning Shot, Bronze x4) is made from 1 Electrified Beak (Bounce Parrot conditional). Costs 2620 en, sells for 1048 en.

Lightning Shot: Uses the arms. Deals ranged INT-based volt damage to one enemy, with line-piercing effect. Has a 120% speed modifier and 100 base accuracy at all levels.

Garbage for Dragoons, decent for Warlocks. If you're only hitting one enemy, Lightning Shot at level 5 compares favorably to Lightning: 7 TP for 130% damage at level 5 for Lightning Shot, compared to 12 TP for 129% damage at level 5 for Lightning.

Giraffe Surcoat (+27 DEF, +20 MDEF) is made from 1 Giraffe Fur (Dashing Neckbeast normal). Costs 1640 en, sells for 656 en.

Despite Lightning Shot being useless for Sasha, I bought her a Parrot Gun anyway since it's a pretty big improvement over her old artillery.

S-Sasha? Dosen? What's with those looks in your eyes?


A rare breed Dashing Neckbeast is the one time I'm willing to fight a rare breed FOE, mostly because I can still get the preemptive, and it's not like the damage increase it gets means anything, given that it's very capable of killing us already.

Yes yes yessssss, look at it, it's still sparkling...
How much do you think we can sell it to Ceric for?!

Rare breed FOE EXP can best be described as "a truckload."

I forgot to spend the damn skill points again, though.
That's my favorite, because when you go in the Custom screen and see a forgotten skill point it's like Christmas.

I'd like to note that I bought a Magii Irana for Raven after going back to town to heal.

Well, uh, approaching this from the front would be dumb. (The scorpion here doesn't turn. Ever.)

Y'know, running from that scorpion and...running from the scorpion's made me tired. How about we take a break?
There's a campfire spot here.

Well, it's the actual right time for a campfi

whoops hang on gotta check my 3DS's battery

okay we're good

(yes I still have my EO2U cart in my recording 3DS, months after finishing that LP)
fyi ragnar has like a billion 3DSes

Raven, dear, are you okay? You look shaken.
I'M FINE. ...I've got words for those invisible jerks the next time I see them...
Anyway I cook a bunch of foods. I don't think anyone particularly cares which ones I cooked since we've seen them before.

To progress, we have to shove this boulder, so that it blocks the scorpion's line of sight.

With that, we can progress peacefully.

This food point has Labyrinth Wheat.

I'm sure this gigantic open corridor is perfectly safe.



You stop as you sense strange about a certain rock. For whatever reason, it feels like there should be something behind it. Unsure if this is just your imagination, you crane your necks to peek around it.

This is a Sense Mana check.
As you examine the mysterious area, Lanzon lets out a small sound and slowly points at the ground. They tell you they can feel a powerful energy. It was probably so strong that even the insensitive among you could tell something was off. You can either leave it alone or try to dig it up to see what it is.
Why would you not dig it up?
You begin chipping away at the patch of earth that Lanzon indicated, using the handles of knives and whatever else is available. Soon enough, you've uncovered something. It appears to be a small box, clearly ancient. Lanzon informs you that the magic is emanating from its lock. You can only assume that someone must buried it here long ago, and Lanzon sets about dispelling its magic. Inside are several silver coins.

(Obtained 3 Lunarian Silver Coins.)

Ancient treasure box

Using your ability to sense mana, you successfully found an old treasure box.

I remembered that I had skill points to spend.

Still don't want to bump Material Guard up to 5.

Cure Herb now has 255% healing power.

Anyway. The solution to the corridor is to block the scorpions' line of sight with this thing.

(Obtained Bronze Ingot!)
I piss them off and box myself in for this, though. Well worth my time, in my opinion.

I do some forging back at town, and use a Bronze Ingot to max out Lanzon's Megalith 5006.

Barrier Wall, the skill on Lanzon's Megalith 5006, now reduces physical damage to the entire party by 34%, compared to 26% at level 4, but also costs 15 TP instead of 9 TP now.

...Wait one second. Why are we fighting a scorpion?
To fill in this agonizingly-blank space in the Monstrous Codex.

Yeah, uh, I just decided to fight a scorpion for no reason other than I could.

Tunnel-Visioned Predator

HP: 3657
STR: 63
INT: 46
VIT: 53
WIS: 44
AGI: 44
LUC: 54

Damage Resistances:
75% 75% 100%
125% 125% 125%

Disable Resistances:
50% 75% 75% 50% 50% 50% 100%
50% 50%
25% 25% 25%
I don't have any methods of inflicting petrification other than Petrify Gasses, and even with a weakness, they're not too reliable, so I'll take care of the conditional at another time.

Contrary to what you might expect, Tunnel-Visioned Predators don't inflict poison like you'd probably expect a scorpion to--in fact, they're weak to it, which makes Lanzon's job easier. An easy poison infliction means we'll chew through 3657 HP fairly quickly.

Oh, right, the scorpion itself. 63 STR means even normal attacks hurt a decent amount, and Binding Bludgeon will leave even someone under the effect of Line Guard hurting quite a bit. Nothing unrecoverable, though.

Iseria will only spam Chain Fire. That's it.

Sasha tosses out one of my two remaining Fire Jars for Chain Fire hits. (I don't need to use Line Guard since I got a preemptive.)

Feeble Miasma and Poison Bomb, same combo as last time.

And Dosen just does a normal attack to get a Chain hit.

Hm. So much for all scorpions only being innately weak to electricity.
Where the heck did you read that?
Guild TFKrew lent me an old Monstrous Codex from another land they've explored--Etria, I think they called it?
Never heard of it.

Aw, what?

Is there, uh, some kinda trick to using these?
Yeah, uh, Earthrun characters do not make for good Jar users.

I wasn't interested in the Jar damage, though.

Oh dear. We might be here for a while if the poison doesn't land.

I use Tri-Shield to give myself a free turn. The scorpion can only ever hit two people at maximum.

My "Invincible (mostly)" guarantee holds true!


That's more like it.

A few turns pass where our damage numbers basically consist of this on repeat.

It's much more effective than what we were doing earlier.

By the time the poison wears off, the scorpion's already close to dying.

Unfortunately, Lanzon's out of ghosts right now, so I need to resummon them.

Which I don't do.

Because I'm smart.

(Binding Bludgeon.)

(Lanzon reduced the damage Sasha took!)
Wait, what?! Lanzon didn't do anything this turn!

(Lanzon reduced the damage Dosen took!)
Okay, I'll cut the act. I appear to have found a bug that no-one else has discovered (at least it's not documented on the @wiki).

See, last turn, Lanzon used Barrier Wall, that phys damage reduction skill on his coffin. Now, on this turn, Sasha used Gun Mount after having used it last turn. As it turns out, Gun Mount does not only replicate the shield skill the user used last turn--it replicates ANY shield skill from ANY party member.

That's a pretty stupid and funny bug if you ask me, but its usefulness in a standard run is also pretty limited in scope. I only discovered it because Barrier Wall technically counts as a shield skill.
Hey, a bug that makes your life easier instead of harder! I love those.

Then the scorpion died.

Lanzon learns Anatomy to boost his INT a bit.

Back to town to heal.
Shokudaigiri (+63 ATK, +26 MATK, Charge, Silver x3) is made from 1 Sharp Pincer (Tunnel-Visioned Predator normal). Costs 4070 en, sells for 1628 en.

Charge: Uses the arms. Increases the damage of the user's next physical attack. Has a 50% speed modifier at all levels.

Garbage until level 5, at which point it's basically a TP conserver. I'd grab one for Jana, but honestly, there's other katanas that are more easily forged, and with the boatload of Amritas we have both in our pack and in storage, TP's not an issue.

Cut Charm (+30% cut resistance) is made from 1 Sharp Pincer (Tunnel-Visioned Predator normal). Costs 1000 en, sells for 400 en.

Incidentally, since I haven't shown it yet, here's Haggle in action (Dosen knows it). All of Ceric's prices are reduced by 5%--it's most noticeable with Ariadne Threads (top), since they normally cost 100 en.

I actually do the scorpion puzzle correctly this time and move on.

An encounter with a rare breed Cliff Goat leaves Lanzon dead, and gives Raven and Dosen level ups.

Feeble Miasma now increases infliction chances by 1.46x.

Dosen learns Acrobatics in case an event needs it.

As you proceed along the dusty path, you're suddenly struck with a strange discomfort. Stopping to look around, you notice that the soil seems to have been disturbed, and the ground is flecked with black marks, possibly bloodstains. You can either turn back now, or keep going.
Everything about this just screams "bad idea."
Keenly aware of the suspiciousness of this place, you keep going.
Maybe another party died here? It wouldn't hurt to see if their pack is still-- OUCH!
...Immediately afterward, a giant steel jaw closes around Raven's leg! They seem to have stepped on a bear trap!

Startled, Raven nonetheless bears the pain and begins to try to pry open the trap. ...After a hard struggle, they successfully free themselves and gingerly stand up on their injured leg. To prevent this from happening to anyone else, you destroy the trap before moving on.
Owwwww, ow ow ow ow owwwww...
Euch. That wound's preeeeetty deep. Gimme a sec to patch it up...
Ooh, are you gonna try that disinfecting herb you talked about?
No time like the present, I guess. Good idea.

The bear trap incident

You encountered a fearsome bear trap set in the Labyrinth. Surprised by it, you resolve to be more careful in the future.

As you proceed through along the path, surrounded by rock, you come across a dead end with a small hole. The entrance isn't large enough for a person to pass through, but you can tell that it opens up deeper inside. You could probably reach an arm inside to feel around for something. Although obviously that isn't necessarily safe either. You can either reach inside or leave.
Allow me, gentlemen and princess.
Sasha, accustomed to danger by now, casually reaches inside the hole. As you thought, it's much larger inside, so they continue to grope around for while. But as you all nervously watch Sasha work, you're suddenly attacked by monsters from behind! Sasha hastily pulls their arm out to help fight!

Blehhhhhhhhhh I hate squirrels enough already, an ambush is just salt in the wound.

The battle over, you breathe a sigh of relief and turn back to the hole. However, a strange shadow now appears on the wall. It seems the sound of the previous battle has attracted even more monsters! They bare their fangs at you and pounce!

Blehhhhhhhhhh again.

The second battle won, your shoulders are heaving from your heavy breaths. You decide to sit down for a while when you hear the sound of wings from above!

Blehhhhhhhhhh and also yawn.

Having defeated a veritable swarm of monsters, you finally turn your attention back to the hole. Sasha eventually touches something metallic and pulls it out. It's a helmet, presumably left by some adventure, and in pristine condition. You have no idea why anyone would hide a brand new helmet in a hole, but you might as well take it with you.

(Obtained Pith Helmet.)
Ooh, it resembles hats I've seen explorers in jungles wear.
...Call me crazy, but I'm pretty sure pith helmets aren't metallic.

Hidden opening

Having withstood numerous monster attacks while investigating a hole in the cliff, you obtained a new helmet.

At the end of the long, twisting path you reach a dead end. You dutifully mark this on your map and are about to head back when you find you eye caught by a single white flower blooming from the cliff-face. Growing in quite a high place, you find that the beautiful flower soothes all those who look at it. You're given the impression that finding a flower in a place like is a rare experience that should be treasured. Someone may be able to climb the cliff and pick the flower so you can take a closer look. All the better if they know Acrobatics and can climb without risk.
Let's send Dosen up there, shall we?
Confident in their agility, Dosen steps forward and immediately begins their swift ascent towards the flower... The rest of the party watches as they approach the flower and gaze at it... And soon enough they've returned, presenting something in the palm of their hand. They've plucked a single round petal from the flower. Even the lingering fragrance of it is enough to make you temporarily forget your troubles and the Labyrinth, and just relax.

After jokingly thanking the white flower for improving your mood, you return to exploring.

Flower blooming on the cliff

A single flower blooming in a precarious location. Your eyes drawn to it, you take a moment to admire it and find yourselves relaxed.

And that's the floor.

Let's go back now.

Oh yeah, did you hear that someone saw a rhinoceros beetle with lots of horns on floor 10?
I can't say that we have.
The way you said "rhinocerous beetle..." That's how someone talks about something they despise...
I've got this thing about beetles, cannot deal with them at all. When I was a little chiddler I got into a fight with a beetle over a watermelon...and lost...
I'd question how, but I've been in similar scuffles...

So, you've finally reached the 10th floor? After the 2nd Stratum, naturally the 3rd will be next! I betcha it'll have a completely different atmosphere, but more importantly, there'll be cool new stuff that you'll find, and there'll be cool new stuff that you show to me! I'm quaking in my boots in excitement!

Us Lunarians have a natural ability to see in the dark. They call Night Vision, but it's more than just being able to see at night. It can even help us hit our targets in battle. Similarly, Earthrun, Therians, and even Brownies all have their own racial traits. If you want to succeed in the Labyrinth, make good use of these racial skills.

Bar patrons.

#1 is Hansuke yet again.

#2: Slender-eyed doctor:
Doctor: Ow ow ow, never thought we'd bump into a rampaging gorilla, of all things. To borrow a line from one of my guildmates: "They're not as fast as the other monsters, but boy do they pack a punch." Maybe it'd help if they were blinded? Or had their arms bound?

10F has two quests associated with it, but I need to finish A favor for Ceric I before doing one of them.

Clinical trials:
So, you're taking that one? Thanks. It's from a Lunarian pharmacist in town. They want something for a new drug they're testing. Specifically, they need a rare white flower petal from the 2nd Stratum. Apparently, even just the scent of it has a healing effect. Sounds kind of amazing, honestly. So the clients have already looked into it, and discovered that it grows on the 9th floor. Unfortunately, that's all they've got: we don't know of any particular location. Which is why we need people like you, who are already familiar with the floor. Anyway, that's the long and short of it. Good luck finding that white flower.
We, uh... We already found it.
Guess we're making a repeat trip soon...

Well, damn. Cleared the 2nd Stratum in the blink of an eye. Guess I wasn't giving you your proper due. Promising young talent like you keep showing up, this town's future is as good as gold.
Oh, Edgar, you're making me blush.
...For the time being though, they're still gonna squeeze every last drop they can out of old bags like me. That golden future's still a long way off.

...Remus's dialogue is...the same. Huh. Wonder what that means.

What I do know is that talking to Remus means it's the end of the update. Next time: 10F.
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