Update 2: Creepy Crawlies

Uuuuugh... What is that horrible noise...?
Oh, good morning, Raven.
...First of all, the sun's not even up yet. Second, where did you get that solid block of wood?
I fashioned it out of some of the trees on the first floor.
And why is it in our room?
Large, sturdy blocks of wood make for excellent boxing practice.
...Please just let me sleep.
Clarste reminded me that, since I did the entirety of 2F in one go, I never got a chance to show the 2F dialogue. Here it is:
Sometimes, in the Labyrinth, you can set up a campfire and start cooking. Make sure you have ingredients so that you can do that thing!

So us Brownies come from the Great Plains of Crusé, where we're always on the go. Maybe it's 'cause the plains connect us to all sorts of places, but our families just naturally got into the whole merchant thing. I mean, y'know, I've got family like anyone else, but I only see 'em a couple times a year. Y'know, Brownie holidays and the like.

Every so often, you'll find a monster in the Labyrinth that you can't possibly beat as you are now. When that happens, you should run away. In the Labyrinth, if you must have one quality, it's caution, not courage.

Reached the 2nd floor, eh? Not bad, for beginners. Way I heard it, a fifth of the guilds who started along with you then gave up on the 1st floor. More than a few lost their lives. That's the meaning of challenging Yggdrasil. Go in half-hearted, and you'll die without accomplishing anything. Never forget that.

Is your exploration of Yggdrasil going well? We have guards posted on the 2nd floor, so that even citizens are allowed to visit it. If you run into one, why not have a chat? I'm sure they'd be willing to help you too.

So, what's this I hear about a bright young upstart looking for a guild?
Oh, right. This Lunarian girl--well, she said Lunarian--was directed to us after she asked if any guilds had open spots.
Uh, aren't there other guilds with a lot more open spots than ours? Why us?
Seems like she was directed to us because...other guilds desperately shooed her away. Oh, joy.
Now, now, boys, don't be rude. Let's at least meet this girl, shall we?

Um, hello.
Hello, dearie. I'm assuming you've already gotten a look at our roster.
Why the shyness? Come now, we're very welcom-- Urp!
Oogh... W-what is that horrible stench coming from your bag?!
Some compounds I'm looking into.
You're an Herbalist, right? I'm sure that "stench" is fi-- Uuu...ugh...
Oh dear.
...I'm going to assume you're the "Innocent Poisoner" I've heard so much about back in the plains.
I take issue with that name!
What, the "innocent" part? Because "poisoner" isn't really up for debate.
Oh, quiet. Think about it: if our senses of smell react this badly, imagine how monsters feel!
Meet Magda, our Smoke-focused Herbalist. She won't be joining the active party just now, but given my personal playstyle, I'll probably be pushing for her very hard later on.

(Floor subtitle: "Cooking around the campfire")

As you walk under the overgrown vegetation, you find an open, room-like area with signs of an old campfire. Looking closely, you see that that there are still glowing embers within the ashes. You may reignite the fire if you like. You might be able to cook something over the campfire.
We just ate breakfast no less than 30 minutes ago.
Couldn't hurt to cook something for the journey, though.
Let me, gentlemen and lady.

Sasha moves their face close and begins blowing on the embers. The weak embers gradually regain their intensity... It seems you have successfully lit the fire.

Our only option right now is to cook any Labyricanths we have.

Which gives us an equivalent amount of Roast Labyricanths. Cooking food basically consumes one type of food to make a better type of food.
There are also more complicated recipes later on. Personally I like to save up my ingredients for those, but on the other hand they practically throw fish at you early in the game, so why not?
So how long until the fish try to kill you?
Unfortunately, never.

We're out of cookable food, so we're booted out of the campfire menu and back to exploring.

Sneaky bastards!

Oh my... Should've brought...some blankets...
Ambushes are back, yep. And hey, our first death! Had to happen sooner or later.

Ice Bat
HP: 123
STR: 17
INT: 24
VIT: 16
WIS: 16
AGI: 19
LUC: 12

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

Disable Resistances:
100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
100% 100%
150% 100% 100%
As Gram just so aptly demonstrated, Ice Bats are annoying because Cold Wave can one-shot damn near everyone in our party this early on. With the Ropers in play, as well, good luck killing the Ice Bat before it hits someone.

The other somewhat interesting thing about Ice Bats is that Cold Wave is one of the few INT-based attack skills that uses the arms instead of the head.

Just gotta do this, and... Presto! Instant magic-resistant shield.
Meet Material Guard, the replacement for Fire/Ice/Volt Wall (known as Antifire/Anticold/Antivolt in the DS EO games). It doesn't fully nullify attacks like those skills did, but it does protect against fire, ice, and volt all at once.

...It didn't do much on this turn.

Hoho, thank you. I'm not quite ready for that just yet.

There we go. Material Guard cuts Cold Wave from one-shot level down to "manageable."

(Received: 2 Thorny Vines.)
The Ropers died without much incident.

(Received: 1 Ripe Lotus Fruit.)
1F, F4 Take Point
Buncha important consumables here. Thericas are gonna be pretty important all game, Nectars are extremely important until we can get Nectar IIs (which isn't until the 6th Stratum), and Medica IIs are satisfactory, as far as healing consumables go, for at least the first two strata.

As you proceed along the overgrown path, you run into a lone girl resting in the shade of a tree.

Oh, well hello there! Hehe, are you new explorers?
It's almost uncanny how everyone's able to guess that.
The monsters up ahead are much stronger than the ones on the first floor, so you should really be careful.
Yep, we already ran into one of those Ice Bats. It did a number on Gram...
Continuing with a friendly smile, the girls steps out from the shade.
Oh, my name's Lily. I'm a Necromancer.
I guess showing off chests is just standard Necromancer fashion.
I'm surprised that Mr. Leather Thigh-Highs is talking about fashion.

I've been waiting here for a while, kind of wanted to see some new explorers, you know? So now that I have, I...should be going, hehe. I'll get weird looks if I don't. It was nice meeting you!
Nice meeting you too, dear.
The girl who calls herself Lily politely excuses herself and heads off into the forest. You remember her advice and steel yourselves to head deeper into the 2nd floor.

There's a food gathering point here (a new type), which gives Labyrinth Wheats, but we need someone with Woodland Gathering Skills to actually use it.

As you walk down the narrow animal trail, you find a guard in the thicket, moving restlessly. If you're interested in interpersonal contact, you could call out to him.
Hey! Something the matter?

BWAAAAAAHHH! ...Oh, ahahaha, it's just explorers. Here I thought I'd been found by a monster. Hey, so check this out; my friends, is this not the singular greatest thing you've ever laid eyes upon?
Near the boasting guard is a massive beast, caught in a pitfall. Based on the layout of the area, it can be assumed that the guard set up a trap.
That is quite the impressive trap. Nicely done--
As you congratulate him on his success, though, the beast leaps out of the trap and attacks!

Charging Boar
HP: 370
STR: 30
INT: 19
VIT: 23
WIS: 22
AGI: 22
LUC: 18

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

Disable Resistances:
100% 100% 100% 150% 100% 100% 100%
100% 150%
100% 150% 150%
Charging Boars and Ice Bats both mark the point where not having a defensive support (either a dodge-tank Fencer or a Dragoon) will seriously start to bite you. Reckless Charge can seriously damage one party member and leave anyone adjacent to them hurt as well, although not nearly as much.

A Dragoon doesn't wholly negate damage, but they make it very, very manageable. Even a Reckless Charge wouldn't do much with Line Guard active.

Charging Boars aren't too big a problem, so long as you can kill them before Reckless Charge and its splash damage build up.

...As you defeat the attacking monster, the guard turns to thank you.

Dagnabbit, sorry about that. I guess the damn thing was too big for my trap. Ooh, that said though, yours truly still gets his trophy!
With a chipper air to his movements, the guard brandishes a knife and begins butchering the monster right in front of you. ...Dumbfounded, you watch as he dresses the beast with the speed and skill of a professional. Eventually, he presents you with a lump of flesh.
Here, as thanks for saving me. If you like meat, you should eat it!

(Obtained 5 Animal Meats!)

Power of the wild

You splendidly fended off an attack by a monster big enough to break a trap. To the victor go the spoils.

At levels 5, 10, 15, and 20, characters gain access to one new Union skill, and a few more racial passives.

Everyone in our party had two skill points to invest (because I forgot to use the level 4 skill points), so the Earthrun characters (Sasha, Cecil, Raven) put a point in Woodland Gathering Skills.

Sasha levels up Material Guard to 2, which increases its fire/ice/volt reduction to 33%. I just need to level up Healing Guard to level 2, and then I'll get access to Gun Mount.

Cecil puts a point in Flicker.

Raven levels up Miasma Weapon. Firstly, that reduces the current HP cost to 35%, and increases the speed multiplier to 140%.

Secondly, it unlocks three passives: Preemptive Weapon, which gives a chance to use Miasma Weapon at the start of a battle; Endless Shroud, which gives a chance to use Miasma Weapon when using a debuff skill; and Death's Judgement, which gives a chance to inflict sleep on one enemy whenever the user loses HP (either through damage or self-inflicted HP loss).

Gram puts one point into Target Arrow (bottom), which deals 118% damage to one enemy, and attaches a debuff that both reduces that enemy's physical defense by 10% for 4 turns, as well as forces summoned dogs/hawks to target that enemy.

She also puts a point into Flash of Both Wings, which deals 80% damage to one enemy, and makes the hawk attack the target's row, dealing 200% damage.

Dosen puts a point into the Animal Husbandry, so we can get the chickens, and Resurrection Herb, which revives a dead party member at 10 HP.

Shortly after you arrive on the new floor, you run into a group of smiling explorers.
Oh, hello.
Introducing themselves as TFKrew, they remind you that you need to stay vigilant, as this is just the beginning.
That is...quite the odd name.
They recommend learning the skill Woodland Searching Skills as they pull some wheat out of their bag to show you. Apparently, if you're good at searching, you'll be able to find even things like this.

(Obtained 5 Labyrinth Wheats!)

And with that, the party from TFKrew wishes you luck and begins to leave. You say your thanks and return to exploring.
Remember how I mentioned how guilds and characters from Guild Cards you have registered will sometimes show up in the Labyrinth? This is the first example of that. Most of the time this happens, you run into the other guild, and they give you some food items. Nothing really fancy happens, but it's still kinda neat. It also makes the Labyrinth feel less...empty, I suppose? Yes, let's go with that.
Tomodachi... nanda? Tomodachiiii! Huaaaargh!
...Yes. What she said.

(If you don't have any Guild Cards registered when you start an event, you run into a guild named Blaze, whose mascot character is a default Fencer 3. Sapph is Guild TFKrew's mascot, so she's the one that represented us. After the event, Blaze gives you their Guild Card.)

Explorers' advice

You ran into another group of explorers and listened to their advice.

Mandatory Adventure Episodes, like this one, don't give much EXP.

As you proceed through the expansive, waterside Labyrinth, you come across a solitary figure facing the water and dangling a line. Covered from head to toe in jet black armor even while holding a fishing rod, you recognize him as Edgar, the Guildmaster. When he notices your presence, Edgar turns to face you without letting go of his rod.

Oh, it's you lot. Well, good to see you putting effort into this. Keep on.
Seemingly satisfied with this one-sided declaration, he turns back to his fishing. You were surpised to see him suddenly show up during your exploration, but you can ask him some questions if you like.
Is there anything you need right now, Guildmaster?
Anything I want? Well, hm.
The Guildmaster stares at his fishing line in thought for a while before suddenly continuing.
Lately, I've been gettin' sick of having nothing for dinner but fish, day after day after day. I caught some birds already, but I don't have any ingredients to cook a bird properly. You got any Labyrinth Honey? I've been looking for it. ...Not for free, of course. You've got my word that you'll get something back for it.
Don't believe we've gotten any yet, nope.
You'd love to give the Guildmaster his Labyrinth Honey, but you don't have any.
This, uh, might be obvious, but what are you doing?
...What am I doing? What does it look like I'm doing? Fishing.
Yeah, um, sorry.
Always been a fan. Doesn't just kill time, y'know, fishing feeds you, keeps you tense, teaches patience. Lots of virtues to fishing. Endless training.
How's the fishing today looking?
Could be worse.
As he says this, you notice a basket behind him filled with enough fish to be called a huge haul.
Well, we've got the rest of the floor to explore. Bye, Guildmaster.
Nice seeing you, Nameless. The Labyrinth may be cruel, but that's what forges you into something better.

A pleasant breeze blows through the Labyrinth as you find a Labyrinth Berry flower in a large clearing. Looking closely, it already has fruits, and if everyone works together you could gather quite a few berries.
Well, they don't look poisonous...

(Obtained 3 Labyrinth Berries!)
With more than a little excitement, you begin to harvest the berries. Absorbed in the task of picking them one-by-one, you nearly fail to notice that there are an awful lot of acorns in the area. While you get the feeling that there's something unnatural about this, you still manage to obtain a lot of berries. However, there are even more still on the bush. If you like, you can continue harvesting them.
They're just acorns. Even if they're Ghost Acorns, we can handle them.
You return to picking the ripest berries. Engrossed in this task, you once again fail to notice the acorns squirming unnaturally underfoot... By the time you realize this, you are being attacked by dreadful monsters!

Even when I'm being ambushed, three Ghost Acorns are nothing.

After repelling the swarm of Ghost Acorns, you find that another group has already gathered!

This one isn't even an ambush.

Somehow managing to fend off the Ghost Acorns, you check the berries you've picked.

(Obtained 3 Labyrinth Berries!)
You feel like you already have plenty of berries, but if you like you're free to pick even more.
...Uh, does anyone else hear snarling nearby?
Let's quit while we're ahead, shall we?
Going any further with this not only results in a 35 HP and 10 TP loss, it also throws you into a fight with 3 Mad Dogs. That is not a fight I can win, no matter how hard I try.
Pretty sure I beat them. Helps a lot if you can put them to sleep and deal with them one at a time.
Despite the abundant berries, you return to your exploration.

Berry gathering and acorns

You found a berry field in the Labyrinth and, after dealing with an acorn attack, gathered berries.

I'm pretty sure the Adventure Episode EXP changes based on how far you go in the event.

(Obtained Medica II.)

As you stop to admire the grand lake, you find a small pond surrounded by rocks. You assume it's an artificial pond created by your predecessors, because poking between the rocks is a pipe carrying clean spring water. You may drink the clear water collected at the pond.
I'm feeling a bit parched.
You scoop up the water and pour it down your parched throats. It has a gentle taste.

You consider the other explorers who must make use of this pond. It wouldn't be right to drink too much water, but there shouldn't be a problem if you limit it to once a day. You make a note of this location and return to your exploration with renewed energy.
Pretty much every EO game has at least one of these "once-per-day HP and TP restoration" spots.

(Received: 1 Brown Tuber naturally, and 1 Brown Tuber from Raven.)
1F, E5 Take Point

That...thing in the back is freaking me out.

HP: 193
STR: 26
INT: 18
VIT: 21
WIS: 17
AGI: 14
LUC: 21

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

Disable Resistances:
100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 50%
100% 100%
100% 100% 100%
Myconids can be pretty serious issues even with a well-constructed party. Remember that petrification is a complete disable, and doesn't reduce damage from physical sources this time around. Combine that with the fact that shield skills stop working if Sasha gets petrified, and one unlucky cast of Petrify Spores can put me in a really bad situation.

Uh... Can this be fixed with herbs?
What kind of amateur do you take me for?

(Received: 1 Fluffy Fur, 1 Massive Mushroom Cap.)
Never mind, doesn't look like we needed it.
We might not have needed it, but please, fix that quickly next time.
All those nights, spent curled up, terrified, hiding from the bears... That was not all too dissimilar...

As you proceed through the 2nd floor, you come across a lone girl sitting on a convenient rock. She notices you and walks up to you with a smile.

Good work, everyone! This place isn't too dangerous in the grander scheme of things, but still. You can't let your guard down here.
You must be quite skilled to act this relaxed.
You're perplexed by how relaxed she seems in this harsh Labyrinth, when suddenly she reaches her hand into her bag... She takes something out and hands it to you.
I've got a present for you! The Labyrinth is pretty dangerous, so I'm sure it'll come in handy. I hope you like it!

(Obtained Nectar.)
(Obtained Ariadne Thread.)
We already have an Ariadne Thread, per Ceric's recommendation, but still, thank you.
Aw shucks, I just felt like doing it. Oh, but I'm still glad you liked it! And I'm also glad that you seem like good people.
Just so you know, the other dialog option was to stare blankly at her. She thinks you don't trust her, but forces you to take the items anyway.
Having said that, Lily picks up her things and begins to walk away. You watch the strange girl as she skips into the forest, waving her hand at you. If you wish to keep going, you can continue your exploration.

Shortcuts in the 1st Stratum are...distinctive.

...Stop. There's something here.
As you pass through the door, you sense a fearsome presence from the path ahead. You look around.
Oh, come on, what could possibly be here that we haven't seeeeaaaaAAAAAAGH!

Those of you with keen memories and ears might recognize the "crisis" music in EO5 as a remix of Unknown Threats from EO3.
You quickly find the source of the presence, wriggling eerily.

It is a huge caterpillar, the likes of which you've never seen before. Luckily, it doesn't seem to recognize you as prey, and makes no effort to approach you. However, based on its intimidating presence, you doubt you could easily take it on. If you value your lives, you'll take careful note of its movement and finda path around it!
Oh, gods, it's giant and has horns and it's slithering and eeeeeeeeeewwww!
Caterpillars used to eat your crops too, huh?
That thing... It's precisely the size of the blood-stained BEARS...
C-Cecil, c'mon, please, don't fight that thing! My shield can only take so much!
D-don't let it get any closer! Those people at the bar said it emits a poison aura...!
It wouldn't be an EO game without FOEs, would it?
Did it actually take us this long?
For those of you not familiar with the series, FOEs (short for Field-On Enemy in Japan, Formido Oppugnatura Exsequens in the US, and some other Latin phrase in Europe) are one of the core features of the Etrian Odyssey series, and arguably the feature that sets it apart the most from most other dungeon crawlers. FOEs, in the field, are basically walking obstacles that force you to either take a path around them, or solve some puzzle to progress. Walking into an FOE on the field will trigger a battle with them.

In battle, FOEs are pseudo-mini bosses. They're pretty much always way too strong for you to take on as soon as you see them (early and midgame, anyway), since they have far higher HP than normal enemies, deal way more damage than normal enemies, and usually can do really dangerous things that normal enemies can't.
This is lost in translation for the English versions of these games, but in Japanese FOEs tend to have purely descriptive names. As in, it's pretty obvious that whoever came up with the name has no idea what they're looking at and just tries to describe it as best they can. They generally refer to both their appearance and how they move. The best example of this I can come up with are the bat FOEs from EO2. In Japanese they're called something like "Flying Rats That Sniff You Out" which indicates A) the writer doesn't know what a bat is, B) they don't know what echolocation is either, and C) that the enemy will attempt to "sniff you out" while you're hiding from them. Frankly, I think it adds a lot of flavor to monster book: you aren't biologists, so you're not concerned with giving things proper names. You're just swords-for-hire reporting what you find to the Council.
For the sake of simplicity, since some FOE name translations can get ludicrously long, I'll be referring to most FOEs by arbitrary nicknames, probably based off their internal model/script names. For Crawling Venomous Bugs, I'll be referring to them as Crawlers.

I'm showing this graphic from the FOE tutorial because the fact that the visible party members in it are dead is funny to me.

Oh, and the weird orange sun icon in the title bar is a reference to how FOEs looked in the field in the DS EO games--floating orange balls of lint, rendered as sprites.

Crawlers have a pretty simple movement pattern--they just patrol a line of tiles back and forth, turning around once they hit a solid obstacle, like a wall.

Here, all we have to do is just wait for this one to turn around after its first patrol down.

After that, we can take this side path to get around it.

There's another Crawler not too far from the first one.

Here, we have to wait for it to pass us here, and then move down that small corridor before it can catch up.

You stop as you suddenly smell the stench of an animal and hear a cry like "ook!" A short ways ahead of you, you see a small monkey in front of the creek, engrossed in fishing. Despite its small frame, it is still a monster--you can take it by surprise, if you wish. You can choose to either observe it from here, or to attack before it notices you.
Let us observe before we fight.
After watching it for a while, you see that the monkey is having trouble. Its repeated attempts to catch a fish all end in failure, and you doubt it will succeed anytime soon. If you feel pity for it, you can give it one your own fish. But it bears repeating: this is a monster. No matter how much you may sympathize with it, it is likely to attack you anyway. With that in mind, you carefully consider your options.
If I could read this on the fly, or if I'd just cross-referenced what was on-screen with my translation files, I would've chosen to give the monkey a Labyricanth, because I like it when you can be nice to monsters. Unfortunately, my mind blanked a little, and I just chose the second option coming up--attack it from behind.

For the record, if you give the monkey a Labyricanth, it runs away with the fish, and you don't get into a fight. It also unlocks an event on the next floor that results in you getting an item. Welp!
You silently ready your weapons and sneak up to the small monkey. Hoping to get it while it's distracted by the fish, you bring down your weapons!

Forest Monkey
HP: 160
STR: 24
INT: 24
VIT: 22
WIS: 23
AGI: 26
LUC: 25

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

Disable Resistances:
100% 100% 100% 100% 150% 100% 100%
100% 100%
100% 100% 100%
Forest Monkeys on their own are almost pathetic. Forest Monkeys with other enemies, however, can be really damn dangerous, since now every enemy essentially deals double damage to you. This can be a really serious problem when doing up against, say, an Ice Bat and a Forest Monkey, and the Ice Bat uses Cold Wave.

I almost feel bad for the monkey, honestly. The battle only took one turn!

Having defeated the young monkey, you continue exploring.

The little fisher

You got the first strike on a careless monster and easily dispatched it.

One last Crawler. Just start crossing that corridor once you're behind it.

As you walk through the trees, you suddenly come across a manmade stone wall.

Upon inspection, it appears to be quite old. It is chipped in places, and moss covers ancient writing. If you're curious you can approach it to study it in detail, or you could ignore it and move on.
I...don't see any way forward, besides where that wall might be blocking.
Let's take a look at the writing, then!
You stand before the stone wall and once again take a look at it. It seems to be blocking your path. You are unable make sense of the unfamiliar characters carved into it.
...Hey, don't look at me. I know a lot about herbs and miscellaneous greenery, not about ancient languages!
Hmm... These symbols are unlike any language I've ever studied.
Well, now what? I doubt Mr. Punch there can break the wall down.
If we had a Lunarian in tow that knows the Detect Magic racial passive, we'd get a considerably different bit of dialogue.
...However, [Character] can tell that these characters are hiding something with magic! Using their ability to detect magic, they see through the illusion and examine the true characters written underneath... The writing discovered through Detect Magic states the following: "These magic walls shall be as a barrier sealing off the Labyrinth. Upon touching the golem, the illusion shall be dispelled and the path opened." Apparently, this is some sort of device to prevent entry. If you wish to pass, you'll have to find these golem it mentioned. You head out to look for it.

You stop your movement along the narrow path when you notice something in the thicket.

...What the hell is this thing?
It's...weirdly cute.
You must make a decision before this adorable statue.
What are we supposed to do with this stupid-- Waah!
Yes, the narration calls it adorable.

You try gently touching the statue... It suddenly propels itself backward and falls over! At the same time, you hear a loud noise behind you, coming from the stone wall. Has the barrier been lifted? Perhaps you should go back to check.

Well, what do you know?
Excellent job, Dosen.
Y-yeah, sure. That was 100% on purpose.

What used to be a wall has lifted up to reveal a staircase! It seems the wall and the statue were both part of a mechanism to hide the way forward. You expect that if you find anything similar in the future then pushing the statue should have the same effect. You should take this to heart and advance to the next floor.

The labyrinth that surpasses human knowledge

You've shed light on the bizarre mechanism and take a step into a new world.

Sasha's point goes into Healing Guard, a thoroughly useless skill. It reduces physical damage to the caster only and restores their HP. I guess it has some use if you're doing Dragon's Roar tanking, but I still heavily prefer damage mitigation.

Cecil levels up Flicker to level 2.

Raven puts a point into Miasma Weapon, which now only eats 30% of his current HP, and now has a 160% speed modifier.

Flash of Both Wings now has Gram deal 82% damage, and the hawk 207% damage.

Cure Herb now has 115% healing power, compared to level 1's 100%.

Incidentally, note that the "items you need to turn in a quest are marked with an exclamation point" feature returns from EO2U.

So, you want to report in for the request?
We have more acorns than we know what to do with. Please, just get these things out of our pack.
Well, the request this time's classified as a delivery. So, first of all, I need to confirm the goods... Yup, looks like you've got everything you need. Well, with that, you've completed the request. Even beginner explorers new to handling requests like your group should've found this simple, right? Requests are sorted by difficulty and offered to explorers depending on how far they've proceeded through the Labyrinth. The higher up you go, the more difficult the requests you'll be entrusted with. And of course, the rewards you'll get will scale to match. But once you reach the upper levels, most of the requests become truly dangerous. Try not to take on anything you can't handle. Now then, I'm sure you're waiting for your reward. Well done. I hope to see you again.

I always wondered what reason there was for Thericas in the English versions of EO just being referred to as A and B. Turns out it's because the English versions can't do alpha and beta characters!

...Why? Fuck if I know! My only reasonable guesses are that the fonts Atlus uses (some Nintendo SDK font in the DS EOs, Neuton in all of the 3DS EOs to date) don't have those characters.

3F bar patrons.

#1: Therian hunter:
Hunter: Hello, nice to meet you...right? Based on your appearance, I'm guessing you're explorers? I make my living in the Labyrinth too, as a hunter. The name's Jamie. I'm renting a room from the proprieter here to sell the Animal Meat I've collected. If you're adventurers too, maybe you'd like some? Just let me know if you ever feel like buying any.
Talking to Jamie again results in this:
Jamie: Hello, Nameless. I'm selling Animal Meat now. It's 2 for 100 en, interested?
Never hurts to have more sustinence.
Jamie: Well, thank you! Here you go.

(Obtained 2 Animal Meats.)
Jamie: That's all I've got on me for today. I'd better go resupply. Until we meet again.
#2: Dark-skinned male Dragoon:
Dragoon: *scoff* What's with you? You're telling me the third floor is a piece of cake?
Nobody said that.
Dragoon: Well, have you ever seen a Charging Boar eat a Ghost Acorn?! They get even stronger! If you ever seen 'em together, for the love of the gods, kill the Ghost Acorn first!
...Hold on! You said that wasn't true! You lied!
And what reason did you have to believe me saying "no?"
#3: Black-clothed man hiding his face:
Man: Hey, you from that new guild, Nameless? I'm an information broker. Call me Hansuke. I specialize in info about conditional monster drops.
Hansuke: For example, did you know that Ice Bats drops something rare when killed with a stab attack, like a bow? I'll let you have that one for free: go test it out for yourself. Nothing's more important in this business than trust. And the more business I get, the more things I hear, so be sure to stop by now and then. I'll be waiting...
Too bad I have the game data formatted and at my fingertips!

#4: Female shaman lying over a table:
Shaman: So I took one of those requests to gather rare materials, but no matter how times I go back there I just can't find any... It's, like, impossible... So I'm thinking, maybe I could find them if I had someone with a gathering skill? *sigh* I'll bet...
Basically a hint that you can't find rare materials unless you have someone that knows a gathering skill for that gather point type.

#5: Purple-haired lady Fencer:
Fencer: Oh, I believe you were from Nameless, correct? I wonder, have you encountered this curious beast? It was like a bear, but with the head of an owl... And it seemed quite insistent on chasing out anyone who enters its territory. We managed to get past it by paying close attention to the map...but I must admit, my heart skipped a beat while it was chasing us. It was like something out of a horror novel.

Anyway, yes, quests.

#1: Your first gathering:
That request is from a pharmacist in town. Sounds like they're out of ingredients because of all the explorers in town these days. In particular, they'd like you to gather a single Skunk Cabbage. They grow on the 2nd Floor of the Labyrinth. Be careful, though; you won't be able to gather them without someone who knows the Taking skill. You don't need to fight at all for this one, so it should be relatively safe. If only they were all like that...
#2: Angler's understanding:
That request is from a fishmonger in town. Apparently the market's getting less fish these days due to the decline in fishermen. So the requester is hoping all the explorers in town can make up the difference. That being the case, they want you to fish up 1 Labyricanth from the Labyrinth. Be careful though: you'll need to have someone who knows the Fishing skill in your party.
We've done this plenty of times.

#3: Sunlight, moonlight:
That request is from a Lunarian man named Thaddeus. Sounds like he just wants a particular item. This isn't a combat request, but apparently it's something that can't be acquired through ordinary methods. Actually, why not just get the details from the man himself? He should be waiting for you around the bar somewhere.
#4: Rare breed hunter!:
...Oh, that one? Come to think of it, that was from the Council. Have any of you heard of rare breeds?
No, but anything that has "rare" in the name has my attention!
I suppose that's no surprise. As the name implies, they're quite rare. Rare breeds are something of a mutation that sometimes occurs among monsters. Unlike normal specimens, they sparkle, are stronger, and move incredibly fast. The request this time is to kill one of those rare breeds. This is also an effort by the Council to make sure that rookie explorers get the proper experience. It's true that rare breeds are stronger than ordinary ones, but by this point you should be more than capable of dealing with that. The rare breed you're hunting this time was apparently spotted on the 2nd Floor. Specifically...here.

Thaddeus the Lunarian:
Thaddeus: Would you be the guild who so kindly accepted my request?
Thaddeus: My sincerest thanks. Regarding the request, I'd like you all to acquire two stones; a Sunstone and a Moonstone. My understanding is that both may be found on the 3rd floor of the Labyrinth, and that they both emit a strange energy; the Sunstone in daylight, and the Moonstone at night. You have my thanks, and I'll be counting on you.
And, before we go, Melina's 3F dialogue.
My, you've already reached the 3rd floor?
Reached it, yes. Explored it, no. Hopefully we'll be done with this stratum in...a few days?
My, such gusto. But the Labyrinth is much more dangerous than it seems you think it is. Don't be bull-headed. That's recklessness, not courage.

And we're immediately back here because I had already finished Angler's understanding.

So this is the fish you caught? Okay, I'll handle the delivery. So, how was it? Did this request awaken your latent appreciation for the joys of fishing?
...Not really?
You can eat the fish you catch, so it's pretty useful for explorers too. Might as well make you of all the fishing spots you run into along the way. ...Oh, right, I have to give you the reward too, don't I? Good work out there.

(Obtained 5 Labyricanth!)
Our reward for catching a fish? Five more fish.

Good lord even standard ships to the shop unlock tons of junk early in EO games.
Ice Bat Fang (+26 ATK, +30 MATK, Cold Wave, Bronze x4) is made from 1 Pierced Fang (Ice Bat conditional) and 1 Cone Fang (Mad Dog). Not the worst purchase in the world if you have a Shaman--Cold Wave lets them attack a little when they don't need to be buffing or using items.

Lactarius Staff (+18 ATK, +27 MATK, TP Up 1, Bronze x3) is made from 1 Massive Mushroom Cap (Myconid).

Uchigatana (+28 ATK, +18 MATK, AGI Up 1, Bronze x3) is made from 2 Massive Mushroom Caps (Myconid).

Leather Hat (+8 DEF, +6 MDEF) is made from 1 Cold Wing Membrane (Ice Bat normal).

Mushroom Ornament (Immunity to petrification) is made from 2 Massive Mushroom Caps (Myconid). Could potentially be useful for the 1st Stratum boss, since that has party-target petrification.

Medica II (Restores 100 HP to one party member) is made from 1 Ripe Lotus Fruit (1st Stratum Take 2).

Therica A (Removes all binds from one party member) is made from 1 Brown Tuber (1st Stratum Take 1).

Therica B (Removes ailments from one party member) is made from 1 Brown Tuber (1st Stratum Take 1).

Petrify Gas (20% base chance to inflict petrification on all enemies) is made from 1 Massive Mushroom Cap (Myconid).
Here's Ceric's 3F dialogue:
Remember what I told you about the Great Plains of Crusé? Every few months the merchant families have a big get-together in a huge city called Zepharia. Us Brownie merchants aren't considered adults until we come back with something, like, wow! "I've never seen that before!" Eye-popping newness. Once I get that special something, I'll get to join in the getting together too, so I've got high hopes for you guys!

I don't actually need to use the inn yet, I'm just here for Genetta's dialogue.
Whoa, you're on the 3rd floor already? Then get on over to the southeast plaza. You can get some fresh-baked loaves of bread over there, courtesy of yours truly! It'd be super great if you tried it!
Um, you mean town plaza, right?
I'm confident she's smart enough not to venture into the Labyrinth alone.

After that, on a whim, I decided to upgrade Sasha and Cecil's weapons, since we had spare materials left over.

Gotta check in with Edgar, too.
3rd floor, huh? Seems you're a little better than I gave you credit for. But the 3rd floor has some real monsters on it. I wonder--what'll your reaction be, when those monsters are breathing down your neck? That'll be the moment that really decides your fate.
Oh, that's an easy answer: SMASH THEM RIGHT IN THE FACE.
Cecil, dear, maybe you shouldn't start to rage out when we're in town.

I mentioned that Remus gives rewards for Monstrous Codex and Item Compendium completion, and here's one of them. We have 10 things logged in the Item Compendium now, which he gave us a Bronze Ingot for.

And before we go take care of the chickens because I damn near forgot to do that again, Remus's 3F dialogue:
Say, did you know that, long ago, Yggdrasil was embroiled in the fires of war?
Vaguely? I remember hearing about that when I was little, but I never got any details.
Oh, well. It's just an old legend. Maybe most people don't know it? It's...a touch of a long story, but I'm willing to tell it if you don't mind.
Very well. This is a story passed down through the royal family, speaking of an era so long ago it could be called a myth. Long ago, there was a man, who came to be known as a Mad King, who had aims upon the legendary power of Yggdrasil, and used his mighty armies to invade other countries in the hopes of obtaining it. His hopes were that his military might would be sufficient to secure the power of Yggdrasil. But...his methods were truly abominable. Forests were burnt to the ground. Villages were raided and plundered into oblivion. Troops were stationed so thickly that no other nation or race could even dream to approach.
"Mad King" is right, dear lords.
Naturally, the rest of the world's leaders were incensed, and sought to forcibly evict the troops of the mad king with the force of their own militaries. This led to what is now known as the legendary Great War. A long period of seemingly endless battle ensued, at the end of which the mad king and his troops were routed, and forced to retreat to their homeland. It was after that, I believe, that the Lunarian Puppeteers installed their golems at the foothills of Yggdrasil. It was probably a measure to protect Yggdrasil from anyone else who had aims like the mad king's. And they did protect it...so much so that Yggdrasil became forbidden territory nobody could enter. But now, over the centuries, the Puppeteers died out, and the golems' power has waned. The leaders of the four races held a conference and decided that since the barrier was weakening, now was the time to reopen exploration of Yggdrasil. The one change was that it wouldn't be armies in the labyrinth, but talented private explorers.
Huh. Well, that's as good a reason as any to open up a holy site.
...So...keep up the good work.

It was at this point that, after having shut off my recording 3DS for a bit, that I remembered I still had to find the chickens. Now that Dosen knows Animal Husbandry, we can catch them.

At the end of a path encircled by trees, you find a spot where the grass grows thickly, along with a group of chickens. These must be the Labyrinth Chickens the guard mentioned. You're free to either reach out to grab them or leave them be.
Alright, carefully now...
Dosen sneaks up behind the chickens and swiftly grabs one before they notice!
Heh, gotcha!
You have now caught 1 of the chickens. You will have to search the rest of the floor for the other 2.
I already showed off each of the chicken spots, so let's just report in to the guard.

Now accustomed to walking through the Labyrinth, you come across the same guard taking care of chickens that you met earlier. When he sees you, his dour look changes into one of unbridled joy, and hurriedly jogs over.

Oh! Oh, you brought back my chickens! Oh, thank goodness!
Upon seeing his chickens, he repeatedly emotionally expresses his gratitude. After he takes the 3 chickens, he presents one back to you.

(Obtained Labyrinth Chicken!)
He tells you that "if it's too much trouble to raise it on your own, you can always just leave it at the inn."
I don't want any of these things anywhere near me!
I...don't think we have much of a choice by this point.
Though baffled by this chicken-for-chicken exchange you've been roped into, you nonetheless take the offered chicken and leave.

Genetta starts talking as soon as we enter the inn.
Whoa! Where'd you get that chicken?!
We found some lost chickens, and the owner...gave us one of the lost chickens as a reward.
It doesn't make any sense to us, either.
As long as you have a chicken, she'll lay eggs every so often! You can use 'em in all sorts of recipes! But you're explorers, huh? You can't exactly take the chicken with you into the Labyrinth, can you? I mean, she can't fight... Probably.
You'd be surprised...
Oh, I know! Why don't you leave her here with me?! I've already got all these cats anyway! Another chicken or two won't make any difference to me!
Ssssssssssure. I don't see any downsides, I guess.
It's a deal! If she lays any eggs while you're in the Labyrinth, I'll hand 'em over next time you spend the night here! And if you're not here, I'll just eat 'em myself! I love omelettes!
...C-C'mon, that was a joke! Obviously! I would never... Ha ha ha...
Well, that just happened.

Next time: 3F.
This is actually the only way to get eggs in the entire game. So if you miss this one quest, say, because you can't read Japanese, you'll miss out on everything that uses eggs, which isn't insignificant.
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