Update 14: E2M5 (Alternatively: MAP10)

...I wonder what type of person Marina was...
Alexis. I need a younger person's assistance.
Gck! C-Cecil, your knock sounded like you were trying to break my door... Anyway, come in. What is it?
Mio's been insistent on observing my practice routines for quite a while. She also keeps talking about mining during said routines.
...Mining? Pardon?
Specifically, she keeps shouting something about ore.
Ore, hm? Perhaps that's a Japanese way of saying she needs a jewel cut for something?
I don't do jewels, though. I do monster bones.

Alexis had a lot of skill points to spend from bringing him up to speed. I didn't want to bring Predict up to costing 11 TP per cast just yet, so I tossed some points into Race skills, one point into Rapier Mastery for stab element Sylphid hits, and three points into Vision Thrust.

Cecil brought each of the bind punches up to level 5 (177% damage, 40% base chance to bind, 5 TP), and leveled up One-Two to level 6 (123% damage, 50% follow-up chance, 9 TP).

Jana leveled up Armor Penetrate to 9 (200% damage, 25% def reduce, 8 TP), and tossed the leftover two points into Katana Mastery because I'm out of things I want on her (3% damage increase).

Mio leveled up Oracle: Dance to 4 (168% damage, 26% resistance reduction, 12 TP), got some Race passives, and then put another point into Prayer: Eradication (23% atk increase, 10 TP) because I ran out of other things to level up.

Also I fully forged Gram's current bow.

(Floor subtitle: The king of sky, who rules the plateau.)

Th-that gorilla's muscles are bigger than its head...
Muscles bigger than heads...? That sounds just like those wretched BLOODBEARS.

Hammer Kong

HP: 893
STR: 60
INT: 38
VIT: 45
WIS: 42
AGI: 29
LUC: 44

Damage Resistances:
100% 50% 100%
100% 100% 100%

Disable Resistances:
150% 100% 100% 50% 100% 100% 100%
100% 50%
100% 150% 100%
Hammer Kongs hit hard and can take a lot of damage before they die.

You have no idea how hard it is for me to not make a shitty Donkey Kong joke right now.

Pretty sure the game already did it for you.

As always, monsters are too brutish for their own good.

<img sr
We interrupt this broadcast to inform you that we've replaced the rest of this update with shitty Donkey Kong jokes. Let's see if Ragnar notices.

(Received: 1 Triangular Kitten Ear and 1 Huge Wristbone.)

A 1% damage increase for Jana.

(Obtained 2 Moon Apples!)
This food point has Moon Apples.

Hmph. Greg could topple that mutt in a second.

Giant Spotted Dog

HP: 577
STR: 69
INT: 36
VIT: 58
WIS: 54
AGI: 42
LUC: 38

Damage Resistances:
100% 100% 100%
100% 150% 100%

Disable Resistances:
50% 100% 50% 150% 50% 150% 100%
100% 100%
150% 100% 100%
Giant Spotted Dogs are considerably less threatening to us now than their red counterparts down on 1F were when we first met them. Attack debuffs are basically moot when I have Mio, and even then, lowering one row's defense was far more dangerous.


I can't deny that a wild dog that's taller than I am is quite a bit threatening.

(Received: 2 Broken Bladeclaws, 1 Hound Jawbone, and 1 Blackened Claw.)

(Received 1 Strong and Thin Branch naturally, 1 Twisting Root from Alexis, and 1 Strong and Thin Branch from Cecil.)
10F, B3 Chop Point


(Mist Slice.)
Jana is both quick and nimble when she needs to be and my best way of neutralizing dangerous enemies for a bit, thanks to Mist Slice.

I think this sword's getting a little worn out...
Worn out? Looks more like it's getting blunt from being frozen to me.
I didn't know swords could be blunted from being used to conjure up ice.
And I didn't know swords could conjure up ice in the first place. I don't wanna question it.
I should get around to buying Mio a new weapon soon, probably something with INT Up or TP Up on it. Cold Wave's becoming pretty mediocre by this point.

Hoo-Ha now deals 127% damage on the initial hit, and has a 52% follow-up chance.

As you proceed carefully through an area with loose footing, you come across a person collapsed on the ground. Wondering if they were perhaps attacked by a monster, you rush to their side, however they tell you that they're fine.
Oh, hello again.

Y'know, as fun as Guild TFKrew showing up is, I'd like it if the game could use the other guild cards I got from Clarste and Tyty sometime soon.
Introducing themselves as Glock from Guild TFKrew, apparently they got separated from their party before slipping on these rocks and spraining their ankle.
...Um, we'd offer some medicine, but the only medicine we have are Amritas...
Perhaps we should trek back to town to stock up on some Hamaos?
Eh, we'll be fine.
my pack is so stuffed full of Amritas that it's easy for me to forget that I don't have any HP restoration items in a party that has no healing skills
Unfortunately, you have no medicine on hand so you won't be able to help them. However, [Name] dismisses your concern with a smile and a wave of their hand, claiming that their party will be back for them soon enough. Praying for their safety, you return to exploring.
Having some Medicas on hand would let us get an Adventure Episode in the end, but my tendency to be an idiot means we miss out on it permanently.

Yes, permanently. Events involving guilds from Guild Cards can't be repeated, even if you fail a check like that.

A random encounter gives Alexis a level.

Vision Thrust now costs 9 TP, in exchange for dealing 210% damage and having a 65% base blind chance.

P-pardon me, I must look away for a second...
Scared of heights? Vertigo?
A-acrophobia is the term, I believe...
Eeeeee, that's adorable! Do you need to cling to someone?! Oh, if only Raven were here...
I-I'm glad you can derive enjoyment from this...
Incidentally, the outer edges of 10F look considerably different from previous floors.
A scenic view from 750m.
As you climb the scenic trail, you come across an open area suitable for a break. It seems some of your predecessors had the same idea, as a number of stones suitable for sitting have been placed near each other. You can either put down your bags and rest or hurry on.
P-please, as long as we face away from the cliff...
Feeling tired from simply walking the Labyrinth, you decide to stop for a break. You each put down your belongings, find a nearby rock to sit on, and begin wiping away your sweat or gazing at the sky, or whatnot.

Your bodies and minds refreshed, you get up with renewed vigor! ...However, when you go to grab your bags, you notice them wriggling about on the ground! Worried about what this could be, you look inside the bags carefully only to reveal small animals stuffing their cheeks with your food. They appear to be the rodents known as "hamsters".
When they notice you they scurry away into the crevices of the cliff, but the damage has been done. The hamsters have eaten your food. Slumping your shoulders at the loss, you return to exploring.
How...careless of me... RRRRRRRRRRRRAAAAAAGH!
Cecil, dear, please stop punching the ground.
We lose four random food items from this. Oh well. I don't particularly care about that. Better than losing an Ariadne Thread or something, squirrels.
Also, if you have no food, the hamsters get very confused, and the Adventure Episode placard changes slightly.

The fearsome hamsters!

During your exploration, you stopped to take a break but in the meanwhile hamsters got into your food supplies.

I went back to town because Alexis died while dodgetanking too many enemies. Such is the risk of using Predict.
Mandau (+49 ATK, +49 MATK, INT Up 1, Bronze x3) is made from 1 Huge Wristbone (Hammer Kong normal) and 1 Razorstone (2nd Stratum Mine 2). Costs 2480 en, sells for 992 en.

Leiomano (+59 ATK, +42 MATK, TP Up 1, Bronze x3) is made from 1 Hound Jawbone (Giant Spotted Dog normal). Costs 2010 en, sells for 804 en.

Sasanoyuki (+57 ATK, +37 MATK, TP Up 1, Bronze x3) is made from 1 Blackened Claw (Giant Spotted Dog rare). Costs 3090 en, sells for 1236 en.

Killing Shot (+45 ATK, +44 MATK, Risk Perception, Silver x3) is made from 1 Neckbeast Fur (Dashing Neckbeast normal) and 1 Strong and Thin Branch (2nd Stratum Chop 1). Costs 2120 en, sells for 848 en.

Risk Perception: Gives a chance to nullify blindsides.

I'd say this would be an okay equipment skill if it wasn't tied to an FOE drop.

Howitzer (+48 ATK, +33 MATK, TP Up 1, Bronze x3) is made from 1 Huge Wristbone (Hammer Kong normal). Costs 3280 en, sells for 1312 en.

Haubergon (+27 DEF, +27 MDEF) is made from 1 Huge Wristbone (Hammer Kong normal). Costs 1800 en, sells for 720 en.

Corsica (+9 DEF, +21 MDEF) is made from 1 Blackened Claw (Giant Spotted Dog rare). Costs 660 en, sells for 264 en.

I buy a Leiomano for Cecil, a Sasanoyuki for Jana, and a Killing Shot for Gram. I fully realize that two of these are current downgrades. That's fine, because...

I do some forging immediately after.

I then recycle the old weapons. This gives me a Bronze Ingot in return, and I end up with 5 Bronze Scraps left over.

I wanted to take care of the two quests I have active, so I do so.
You return to the cliff you visited before and look up to see the white flower swaying in the breeze, the same as ever. This is clearly the flower the pharmacist was looking for. Just as you're coming up with a plan of action, you suddenly feel a strong gust of wind, which shakes the flower furiously. Miraculously though, the only effect of this was to dislodge a single petal, which gently flutters down to the ground. You casually pick it up and offer a word of thanks before placing it in your pack.

(Obtained White Petal!)

I also got a Bound Hoof, which we need for A favor for Ceric I.

Jono (+45 ATK, +35 MATK, Panic Assault, Bronze x4) is made from 1 Bound Hoof (Cliff Goat conditional). Costs 1820 en, sells for 728 en.
This was the thing I needed to unlock for the aforementioned quest. When we leave, Ceric says this:
Well don't be shy, come take a look! This is is the Jono you just helped me make! Ain't she a beaut? I'll be putting it up for sale right away, so check it out if you're interested! Oh yeah, and I left the reward with the same Lunarian lady as usual. Pleasure doing business!

So you finished Ceric's request, right? Good work, as always. Come to think of it, since you're always completing his requests, it's kind of like he's your best customer too. And since he's also putting them up in my bar, I suppose I've gotten involved in this as well? *chuckle* Well, either way, I hope we can continue this profitable relationship. Here's the reward. Thank you.

(Obtained Jono.)
Alexis already has a better sword. Oh well.

Welcome back. Looks like you found that white flower without any trouble. Oh my, it really does smell nice... It's almost like it's both calming me down and filling me with energy. Oh, whoops, I probably shouldn't be manhandling this before I deliver it to the client. Thanks for your work, here's your reward.

(Obtained Petrifrisser!)
...What need have I for such a blade?
The Petrifrisser has a 20% base chance to petrify on normal attacks. G A R B A G E

Hoo-Ha's initial hit now deals 131% damage, and it now has a 54% follow-up chance.

I can't wait to get specializations.

Target Arrow now costs 10 TP, still deals 175% damage, but now reduces defense by 30%, and lasts for 6 turns.

Prayer: Eradication now buffs attack by 25%.

Walking along the Labyrinth, you notice something left on the ground near the edge of the cliff, right over the abyss. Looking more closely, it seems to be a collection of copper and silver coins, a charm of some kind, a gun, and other items you'd expect an explorer to carry. The ground they're on is filled with small cracks, and their owner may have thought it would be too dangerous to recover them.
No. I refuse to go anywhere near there. For all I know, an unstable cliff could've claimed the life of my betrothed.
Taking a step forward, the ground trembles and a piece of the cliff falls away. ...It really is quite dangerous. You can either leave this alone or attempt to recover the lost items.
What's a performer if not someone who likes taking risks? So, what should I go for?
I'd say the charm. We have plenty of money, and Sasha has no need for a new gun.
You reach for the charm on the unstable ground. The moment you do so, the soil crumbles away, and everything but the charm you grabbed falls into the abyss.

(Obtained Arm Guard!)
Having obtained the charm, you carefully leave the dangerous area and return to exploring.

Lost goods and cliff

You discovered some items near the edge of the cliff. While you barely made it, you obtain a beneficial item.

Sometimes, you gotta wonder what twisted maniac is responsible for these areas.
Oh, that's an easy one: the dungeon designers! We'll see them once the credits roll.
...Beg pardon, dear?
This room is a combination of a scorpion and giraffe puzzle. It's easier for me to show than tell:

F2 is where the giraffes spawn, and F1 is where the scorpion spawns. The giraffes charge in a counter-clockwise pattern. Our goal is to aggro the scorpion and run from the left corner to the door; the scorpion will block the giraffes' charge that way.

Like so!
You can also just avoid the scorpion's line of sight and barely sneak between the two giraffes on the right.
It's just like driving in a city.

This next room is a giant room containing a Haughty Hermit and another Tunnel-Visioned Predator.

F3 is the baboon, F1 is the scorpion.

There's a proper way to solve this room, and that involves playing ring-around-the-rosie with the baboon around the solid tile on the left while not aggroing the scorpion.

But scorpions beware, 'cause he's after YOU!

Y'know, how do so many monsters keep falling for tricks like this without ever learning? Our show animals at least picked up on us doing the same thing over and over, eventually.
These monsters have no intelligence, souls, or anything of the like. They simply hunt each other for food, savoring the chance to feed on explorers when they can.
Um, Cecil... Ever think your grudge against monsters might be too...general? Or intense? Maybe both? I-I mean, stoic characters are fine, but--

gg ez makes crushing mobs seem such a breeze

This event triggers automatically.
Proceeding along the rocky trail, you notice that the passage before you is unnatrually littered with small rocks of various sizes. Looking around, you can only imagine that they fell from the cliffs to your sides. It might be dangerous to linger in that area for long. You can either run past it, or take your time and stroll through.
Let's just get outta here as soon as possible!
Afraid of getting hit by falling rocks, you dash through the passage!

Walking would mean we'd discover a Seven-Horned Kabuto Beetle, but I'd still need Animal Husbandry to actually catch it, and...no-one on this team has it. OOPS.

Falling rocks

You successfully dashed through the narrow passage before any rocks could fall on you.

(Received 1 Walnut naturally, 1 Peanut from Alexis, and 2 Pineapple Smells from Cecil.)
10F, E3 Take Point

Second-to-last puzzle of the floor.

F2 is a giraffe, F3 is a baboon.

Correct solution: let the baboon shove down the boulder with relative ease, and then give it the loop-de-loop around the top tile, while avoiding the giraffe.

My solution: kill the baboon.

I'm not showing the actual fights, but this party is scarily good at making FOEs cry out for mummy at this level.

Gram now fires in spurts.

Prayer: Eradication increases attack by 27% now.

You hear the sound of footsteps as a lone guard approaches you.

A-are you explorers? Oh thank goodness. I hate to admit it, but... I'm lost!
You sound shaken. Did something happen that led to you being here?
Well...you see...
Turning his face away in shame, the guard informs you that he had set out to explore the Labyrinth when he got lost. He had intended to make a map, but before he knew it he had no idea where he was.
I would chide you, but that's honestly no worse than us forgetting an Ariadne Thread. Here...
You then open up your own map and show the guard the way back to town.
Oooh, I get it. So I need to take a detour to get back to the stairs, huh?
Looking over the map, the guard confirms that he's understood your explanation with a confident nod.
You called yourselves Nameless, right? Thanks so much! You're lifesavers!
Ehehe, no problem!
He turns to leave before suddenly stopping, as if he just remembered something.
Oh, right, I almost forgot. I'd better give you something as thanks for helping me out.
As he says this, he rummages through his pack before taking out a small leather sack.
I found a cow in the Labyrinth, of all places! Here, have some of its milk; it's fresh, so drink it while it's good!

(Obtained Milk!)
The guard then leaves with the same quick pace he arrived. You pray that he makes it home safely before returning to your exploration.
Not an Adventure Episode!

This food point gives out Labyrinth Wheat.

By the way, if you couldn't guess, the encounters start getting pretty nasty by this point. We're really close to the stratum boss.

Proceeding throught the Labyrinth strewn with stone pillars, you come across a dead end. In it, you find a giant tree root sticking naked out of the cliff, as if the soil around it has been gouged away. Exhausted, Gram suggests taking a little break here. You can either sit on the tree root or hurry on.
I'm getting pretty beat, and Falz isn't much better. How about we take a quick break, mm?
My sword arms're getting tired...
I find it hard to object.
Perfect time to give YHVH another try...
Is that the same...game, I believe you called it, that Raven's been obsessing over?
...Well, I'm sure something fun's hidden behind all of that incomprehensible script.
You make use of the natural rest stop.

The 2nd Stratum sure is generous with these healing points.
After catching your breath, you return to exploring.
Also not an Adventure Episode.

This final puzzle is so huge that it can't be drawn all at once. Map time!

F1s are Tunnel-Visioned Predators, F3 is a Haughty Hermit.

...Gonna be real honest with you here, I--

I just beat the shit out of two of the FOEs and then sneak past the scorpion in the corner.

Navigating the cliffside trail, you come across a man sitting on a rock. You recognize him as the guard you gave directions to earlier, except now apparently drunk.
...How? What? The stairs are...
He notices you at the same time you notice him, and calls out to you cheerfully.

Heyyyyyy youuuuuu guuuuuyssss! What perfect timing! So I followed those directions you gave me but uh...no stairs?! What the hell?!
...This clearly isn't the place you directed him to, but you get the impression that he doesn't think it was his own fault. You can either carefully mark his map for him, or simply leave him alone.
...Look. Here. Here specifically. Go here.
You take the soldier's map and carefully draw a line from his current location to the stairs.
Oh yeah, I get it now. Yeah. Yeah. This place is like...a Labyrinth or something.
While he's talking, the guard pulls out a leather sack and begins to drink from it.
Right, right. Yeah. How about I give you this, as thanks for your great help!
He then pulls out another leather sack and hands it to you.

(Obtained Milk!)
O-KAYYYY. The power of belief will propel me to the stairs if I just believe.
And with that, the guard begins walking, his nose glued to the map.
...Is he gonna be okay?
Probably not. It's the Labyrinth. It's just another Tuesday when a guard goes missing.
Just like performers getting their heads eaten off by lions!
More than a little worried about him, you also return to exploring.

(Obtained 2000 en.)

(Obtained 1 Razorstone naturally, and 2 Razorstones from Alexis.)
10F, D5 Mine Point

Sizable room ending in a solitary door near the center of the floor. Something tells me we're at the boss.

Upon setting foot in front of the door, you run into two explorers.

Oh, long time no see guys! It's pretty impressive that you've gotten this far!
The necromancer speaks with a carefree tone at odds with the danger of the Labyrinth.
Lily. How many times do I have to tell you that if you don't take this seriously that you're going to die?
So says the Reaper. The Necromancer named Lily and the Reaper named Soleil now both stand in your way. Apparently, they're in a party with each other.
Hm. A party of two? Impressive, although I question how far it can go.
Soleil nonchalantly takes a defensive position between you and Lily. Without making it clear whether she's noticed that or not, Lily speaks again in her carefree voice.
Oh! That's right, I haven't introduced you yet. Soleil here is my partner in our guild. Well, I say that, but it's just the two of us at all, so we have to work pretty hard!
Following up on the grinning Lily, the expressionless Soleil begins to speak.
Less guild, more I'm stuck with her. We've been traveling together since before--
I'm sure that story's interesting, but is now really a good time for it?
After saying that, the girl suddenly interrupts herself.
Blech, why the hell am I telling you this? Anyway, we're posted here to warn you about this floor. It's really dangerous past here this time. Though, personally, I don't think anyone gives a damn if you wanna become worm food--
Well, nuts to you too.
Lily chimes in to scold her for her cold words.
Um, excuse me, I do! I don't like it when people I know die!
The Reaper groans as Lily continues.
So, not to impose, but... Could I ask you guys to go back to town, if you want to go further?
Translation: You need the Council's permission to get in. "Won't let in rookies unless they bring cookies." So sayeth Lord Remus. You should do it--during work hours. I'm sure he'd enjoy them.
...Oh-kaaaaaay. Weird...metaphor? Is that a metaphor?
Let's just return to town.

If it isn't the Nameless bunch. It's been a while since you came by last. Your equipment seems quite a bit more effective than back then. To tell you the truth, it's nice seeing you improve like this. So, what brings you here?
That door and the two that're blocking it is what brings us here.
...Oh, I see. So that's it. Time does fly. It feels like just the other day you were new to exploring. So it's already time to discuss this... I believe this is cause for celebration on your part and the Council's.
Huh? Why is a violent monster cause for celebration?
Please allow me to explain. Here in Aeolis, we manage many explorers; those with sufficient skill are called Master class. Those who receive the title of Master are recognized as top-class explorers by the Council, and are provided instruction in new skills befitting their title. Missions to the 10th Floor are the Council's current means of determining worthiness to be called a Master. It's a test to ensure that only explorers who are truly capable will be able to proceed further.

...And I think you are ready to take this test. If you want to proceed deeper into the labyrinth, then, by all means, accept this mission and pass the test.
If, for some fucked up reason, you don't have at least one party member that's level 20, Remus will tell you go to train more before taking on the mission.

The arrogant whelp Hippogriff

In order for the Council to recognize you as Masters, you'll need to defeat the magical beast known as the Hippogriff that awaits you at the end of the 2nd stratum.
Looks like you're determined to take the Mastery exam. In that case, here's what you'll need to do. To determine whether you're skilled enough to be called a Master, we would have you slay a monster called the Hippogriff, which makes its nest in the Crag Trail.
That much, we could infer.
It is said to be a proud beast, ferocious as a demon, possessing razor-sharp talons and beak, and able to fly freely through the sky. No doubt it will be a tough opponent, but once you've defeated it, your guild members will all be recognized as Masters. The Hippogriff inhabits the depths of the 10th floor and attacks any explorer who approaches. I'd like you to please approach this task cautiously, and make sure you're prepared.
I dunno what else to say that Remus didn't, honestly.

Next time: Hippogriff, our second boss. Take it to the fridge!
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