Update 25: Shiny Entertainment

Bravo, bravo! Di molto!
...That's good, right?
Oh, yeah, it is. I think she means it was beautiful.
What he said!
I mean, I suppose it was okay.
"It's not like..."
Pretty good. I'll give it a 7.3/10.
"...not like I liked it or anything. Idiot."
Aw, c'mon, Magda, you could be a bit nicer.
You're biased because you do that...fan dancing...thing.
Is it really bias if you recognize it?
Yes. Yes, it is, I've done a few studies on...
Raven, were you actually poking fun at Magda?
S-she clearly liked it a lot, I don't see why she has to be so...weird about it.
Mio, if I were to give you a choice between one person being tortured for fifty straight years, and every other person on the planet getting a speck of dust in their eye, which would you say is better?
Uh, the latter, of course.
Right, of course. But I met this guy once, real enormous asshole, who said that that made my behavior inconsistent or something.
He was like-
I can't believe it. You actually made fun of somebody. You made a joke, unprompted.
Why are you making it all weird? Please stop. You're too close to me.
Sorry. I'm just very proud of you, Raven.
What are we whispering about?
Cecil please don't walk so silently you are large and you suddenly being there is very scary and might kill me thank you very much okay have fun out there thanks for the performance Jana I'm going back to my room goodbye!
Ah, my bad.
Into the 4th Stratum we go.

(Floor subtitle: The sacred forest, covered in shining crystal)
So, uh, question. How're we gonna get past that giant crystal? Anyone got...I'unno, a pickaxe?
I fear even my tempered, monster-slaying fists would break upon it.
Perhaps looking around instead of dawdling would be a good idea.

Surrounded by brilliant crystals, you come come to a dead end where you discover a particularly dazzling one. Hexagonal in shape, it appears to be somewhat chipped but beautiful nonetheless, and more than likely valuable too.
You put it in your backpack and return to exploring.

Obtained Dragon Crystal Fragment.

4th Stratum, as is per tradition for EO (excluding EO3), means new random encounter music. I'm pretty fond of it, although it's nothing too special.

Bolt Creep

HP: 459
STR: 72
INT: 72
VIT: 57
WIS: 57
AGI: 57
LUC: 58

Damage Resistances:
100% 100% 100%
10% 150% 10%

Disable Resistances:
150% 150% 150% 150% 150% 150% 0%
100% 100%
0% 0% 0%
Oh jesus my model viewer does not play with the Creep enemies well.

Anyway, Creeps. They use elemental damage. That is really it. Bolt Creeps are special because their conditional makes Amritas.

I just cut you into a hundred pieces!
Jana can one-round a Bolt Creep with one cast of Four Gods.

(Spit Thunder, reduced by Material Guard).

That's some real heat-resistant crystal.

Ooh, this gives me a chance to mention something.

(Received 2 Warped Voltstones, and 1 Numbed Sugarpit.)
EO5 made a merciful change to how a bunch of conditional drops work: for any conditional whose condition is "Kill while under the effect of this ailment/bind," if you kill that enemy with the skill that inflicts that disable, it will give you the conditional.
What? Convenient gameplay decisions in Etrian Odyssey?!

Everything we had couldn't break that thing...
Hrm... Oh, hello there.

Howdy, folks! I heard you went to a new stratum, so I've been waiting right here like a loyal pup for my bestest buddies. Find anything good, anything that makes you go, "Wow! I've never seen that before?"
...Someone looks pleaaaased. Methinks you did in fact!
You sure can tell.
'Course I can tell! C'mon, let me have a look.
Lemme see... Yep, here it is.
Whoowee, this is quite a specimen... This here's a Dragon Crystal Fragment. It's a legendary item said to be a scale from a dragon of crystal. As its mystique implies, it is very, very, very rare! ...Unfortunately for our business relationship, it makes for plumb awful armor. It'd shatter into a billion pieces as soon as someone smacked it kinda hard. That said, rich folks, like nobles, or foreign merchants, those guys'll pay top dollar for it, so it's pretty valuable to yours truly! So, if it's all the same, I'd sure appreciate if you could just send 'em my way if you pick more up.
Well, uh, we'd love to, but there's kinda the problem of the one way further into the floor being blocked by a giant crystal.
...Wait, you can't get any further because the cave was blocked by crystals?

...Brownies sure can't run fast, huh?

The merchant runs off, and returns a few minutes later, carrying a large tool.
Sorry to keep you waiting! But my word, I forgot how heavy this thing is... So, here, have this thing.

Obtained Heavy Pickaxe!
I had this baby here custom-made a while back because I wanted to do some legwork to get some real tough stuff, but, well, look at it, now look at me, you can probably gather the issue. As a result, it's been sitting in my backroom gathering dust bunnies ever since. You've got the guarantee of Ceric and Sons Merchantry, subsidiary of the Grand Market, that it'll smash those crystals in your way lickety-split!
...Ceric and Sons? You have children?
...No no, it's named after my great-grandfather, see...
Well then, we can actually go further into the floor now.

Before that, though, this thing.

Wu Lei Shen Ji (+70 ATK, +74 MATK, INT Up 2, Bronze x4) is made from 1 Warped Voltstone (Bolt Creep normal). Costs 17700 en, sells for 7080 en.

When you return to the shining crystal cavern, you find a lone guard wearing a defeated expression.

Oh, it's Nameless. Good work with the exploring and all that.
When he sees you, the guard gives a weary sigh. You're free to ask him what's wrong.
Yo, uh... Something bothering you? Something happen?
Actually... When you guys came back with that Dragon Crystal the other day, the whole town got unusually excited.
It seems the stories that Ceric would pay a lot for a Dragon Crystal from the fourth stratum had spead throughout town.
Oh dear.
Inexperienced explorers and even the townsfolk have been rushing here with dreams of getting rich quick.
The guard goes on to say that he'd been ordered by the council to stand here and give people warnings.
I doubt you guys will have any problems up here, but if you see any of those types up here, could you give them a hand?
Ugh, very well then.
You nod at the guard's request, and prepare to explore the vast new Labyrinth.

You step before the large, dazzling crystal that's blocking the path. Earlier, this crystal had been too hard for you to destroy, but now you have Ceric's pickaxe. With this, you might be able to break the crystal and move forward. Feel free to try using the pickaxe the destroy the crystal.

Pressing A on a smashable crystal will break it down one stage.

Pressing A again will break the crystal fully.
What a meaningful mechanic.
When you bring the pickaxe down a second time, the crystal shatters into countless tiny shards and no longer blocks the path! There may be more such crystals ahead, but as long as you have this pickaxe, they shouldn't be a problem. Now, it's time to finally begin your exploration of the fourth stratum!

Green Leech

HP: 434
STR: 79
INT: 59
VIT: 97
WIS: 91
AGI: 42
LUC: 53

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

Disable Resistances:
50% 50% 150% 50% 100% 50% 150%
50% 100%
100% 100% 50%
Green Leeches don't have much going for them. Their VIT and WIS are pretty high, I guess.

Blech, cutting that many times leaves all kinds of leech bits on my swords...
Jana can still kill one of them in one action via Four Gods.

YOUR SKIN WILL... Actually, hmm... I think I have my "stretchy materials" bases covered.

Received 2 Stretchy Leech Skins.

At the end of another small path, you find yet another of those beautiful crystals you picked up earlier. It is really this easy to find these things here? You wonder this as you place it in your sack.

Obtained Dragon Crystal Fragment!

Hypnotizing Bat

HP: 570
STR: 75
INT: 70
VIT: 54
WIS: 60
AGI: 60
LUC: 69

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

Disable Resistances:
50% 100% 100% 100% 50% 100% 100%
100% 50%
50% 100% 150%
All-party sleep is insanely annoying, no matter how low the base chance might seem. At least Hypnotizing Bats die easily enough.
no. no the petaloids won't stop

Quiet down, Falz, Gram's...tryin' to sleep...

Another enemy Jana can kill in one turn.

Alright, these've gotta work now, right?

Heehee, there we go!

Oh yeah, since the Reflower proc counts as another usage of a skill, if Jana kills something with the first cast, the Reflower cast will get cast on some random enemy left in the battle.

Mmm... Good boy, Falz.

Obtained 2 Bat Needlefangs and 1 Stretchy Leech Skin.

Jana's skill point goes into To the Death.

This food point gives Labyrinth Wheat.

Received 1 Shining Bark naturally, 1 Shining Bark from Sasha, and 1 Crystal Wood from Cecil.
16F, B2 Chop Point
...So, the turtle has called in its friends for revenge, even now. Very well.
Raging Fortresses just patrol one set, non-linear path, unless their path is obscured by crystals.
They don't have a patrol path exactly, they just have movement rules. Basically they always move forward and turn when they hit a wall, which usually has them moving back and forth down a corridor.

As you enter the room, you find yourselves completely surrounded by beautiful crystals. What particularly catches your eye is a large formation extending down from the ceiling, which makes you think of the so-called Dragon Crystals you've seen before. If you like, you can reach up and try to break it off with all your strength.
I still got it in me, don't worry.

Gram reaches up to get a good grip on the crystal before gradually beginning to apply their strenth to it. The unnaturally extending crystal begins to make a creaking noise, and you can tell that it's gradually becoming unstuck. Thinking "I can do this!", Gram puts even more force into it and the crystal suddenly falls from the ceiling along with a torrent of smaller rocks! The party is injured by the falling rocks!

If someone knows Agility, you avoid the damage.
You took some bruises, but in the end you manage to safely gather the crystals before returning to exploring.

The beautiful crystal room

You found a room filled with dazzling crystals and successfully managed to obtain one extending from the ceiling.

I went back to town to unload some of the materials we'd gotten.
Leech Priss (+31 DEF, +46 MDEF) is made from 4 Stretchy Leech Skins (Green Leech normal). Costs 7700 en, sells for 3080 en.

Bat Necklace (Immunity to sleep) is made from 5 Bat Needlefangs (Hypnotizing Bat normal). Costs 800 en, sells for 320 en.

Sleep Gas (50% base chance to inflict sleep on all enemies) is made from 1 Bat Needlefang (Hypnotizing Bat normal). Costs 250 en, sells for 100 en.

This Raging Fortress's patrol path is just a U shape extending from those small alcoves and the top of the section.

Cecil, Cecil, c'mon, no, fighting this thing's a bad idea!

At this moment, the Raging Fortress's patrol path is just from the bottom left of this small section, to the crystal.

Obtained Frost Jar.
Frost Jars deals 150% ranged INT-based ice damage to all enemies. Eh.

Once you break the crystal, the Raging Fortress's patrol path extends to this top area.

As you proceed through the shining Labyrinth, avoiding terrifying monsters on the way, you run into another group of explorers. Their leader greets you as they approach.

...You're intentionally assigning yourselves moronic profession names to annoy us, aren't you?
UV Tyson is a category of Doom speedrunning where you have to go through a level, killing every monster (Lost Souls excepted), with only the fists, berserk fists, chainsaw, or pistol. I think that fits the Cestus MO, don't you?

(the name is weird because I forgot that there's no special formatting for it)
Wait. You mean there are other ways to play Doom?
They introduce themselves as Glock the UV Tyson, from TFKrew. Apparently they recently heard about this rare gem called a Dragon Crystal that can be found on the fourth stratum, so they came here to look for some. But the Labyrinth was more complicated than expected, and filled with dangerous monsters to boot, so they were about to head home. They then open their pack and take something out to present to you. Apparently they brought these berries on their search, but since they're giving up, they have no need for them anymore. You gracefully accept their gift and put them in your bag.
Oh, uh, sure.

Obtained 8 Labyrinth Berries!
Handing them over with a smile, Glock and their party turn to leave. You watch them go and return to exploring.
You ever think those guys know more than they let on?

Once we break the crystal in front of this room, the Raging Fortress's patrol path becomes the perimeter of this small room.

Breaking this one lets us--

Ass. I can't even blame anyone but me for that.

Good thing Full Retreat exists. All the convenience of Return Flutes in EO2U, without them being an item that requires restocking for some dumb reason.

And then I went back to town anyway.
Quartz Knuckle (+86 ATK, +60 MATK, LUC Up 2, Bronze x4) is made from 1 Quartz Bamboo (4th Stratum Chop 2). Costs 10000 en, sells for 4000 en.

Quartz Armor (+40 DEF, +40 MDEF) is made from 1 Quartz Bamboo (4th Stratum Chop 2) and 2 Stretchy Leech Skins (Green Leech normal). Costs 9500 en, sells for 3800 en.

Fortune Necklace (+30 TP, +50 LUC) is made from 1 Crystal Wood (4th Stratum Chop 3). Costs 8500 en, sells for 3400 en.

Amrita (Restores 50 TP to one party member) is made from 1 Numbed Sugarpit (Bolt Creep conditional). Costs 1000 en, sells for 400 en.

There we go.

This seems too simple.

Who are we letting do nagivation, again? The bird?
Knew it.

Oh boy here we go.

Christ but am I dumb sometimes.

Hey, look, the stairs.

Obtained 1 Shining Bark naturally, 1 Quartz Bamboo from Sasha, and 1 Quartz Bamboo plus 1 Crystal Wood from Cecil.
16F, E5 Chop Point
As you approach the corner of the shining path, you hear a loud male voice shouting "What a find! All right!" Thinking that there must be someone up ahead mining for crystals, the voice suddenly turns into a scream and calls for help! Whoever it was must have been attacked by monsters. You can go to his aid, if you like.
Is that even a question? C'mon!
You dash around the corner and see a guard holding a pickaxe being attacked by a monster! Without hesitation, you draw your weapons and engage it!

Sword Lizard

HP: 876
STR: 80
INT: 63
VIT: 67
WIS: 64
AGI: 59
LUC: 60

Damage Resistances:
50% 100% 150%
100% 100% 100%

Disable Resistances:
0% 50% 50% 100% 50% 50% 150%
50% 100%
50% 150% 100%
Sword Lizards can be annoying if they're combined with Creeps or with Hypnotizing Bats. Hey, look, that latter condition's happening right now.

(Vacuum Cut).

Perish under crushing rocks.

Humanoid or not, all monsters must fall.

You defeat the monsters and find the guard repeatedly thanking you over and over again.
Actually, I've been having money troubles... I heard rumors that this place was packed with Dragon Crystals, so on my day off I came up here to mine for some, but...
The guard tells you that this wasn't worth risking his life over, and present you with one of his crystals as thanks for saving his life.

Obtained Dragon Crystal Fragment.
You gracefully accept his gift, and the smiling guard sets off back to town. He takes one step to the west and disappears into the wall. Perhaps there's a secret passage there?
Yes there is.

The off-duty guard

Hearing a cry for help, you rushed to the rescue of a guard being attacked by a monster and received a crystal as thanks.

Another point in Magi Mastery.

Up we go.

And back we go.

So, my sister still haven't come back. As you can imagine, my luscious green mane, beautiful as it is, was about to sprout some gray bits when some nice explorers came by with a letter from her, which means she's probably still alive! Wahoo!
Uh, yeah, that's...great. She's still missing, though.
Says here she went looking for crystals to sell--knew it--but she's having the time of her life living it up on impromptu drinking parties with all her new explorer buddies. Apparently recently she ran into this nice bunch of blue and green fellas and got one of their scales to commemorate the occasion!
...Waitaminit, scales?
(The joke is that Genetta's older sister is drinking with the humanoid lizard enemies. We'll see two more variations on them as we go on.)

Hey there. Oh, you're on the 17th floor? At this rate you'll be done with the fourth stratum before you know it! Well, y'know, I've known you guys were something special ever since I first laid my eyes on you. I am a merchant, after all, I'm quite confident in my appraisals!
Appraising people in the same way one would appraise my staff seems...moronic.

Kampilan (+76 ATK, +70 MATK, VIT Up 3, Bronze x4) is made from 1 Chipped Blade (Sword Lizard normal). Costs 12400 en, sells for 4960 en.

Composite Armor (+47 DEF, +30 MDEF) is made from 2 Chipped Blades (Sword Lizard normal) and 1 Warped Voltstone (Bolt Creep normal). Costs 11800 en, sells for 4720 en.

Vitality Bangle (+30 HP, +30 VIT) is made from 3 Chipped Blades (Sword Lizard normal). Costs 13000 en, sells for 5200 en.

Oh right. I remember reading in a book that it's possible that some of the soldiers from the ancient war may have lived on somewhere in Yggdrasil. I've even heard that the Lunarian capital was seriously considering sending a team to investigate that possibility. If you keep exploring the fourth stratum, you might just run into their descendants.

Let's take care of that quest that wanted Shining Barks.
Architect: Oh, having you brought the Shining Bark back already?
Architect: Excellent! You've been a lifesaver! So, how many did you bring?

Five measures, right here.
Architect: Marvelous! So you've brought all five! With all these, I'll be able to make something even grander than I had imagined! Oh, but I'm getting ahead of myself. Thank you, truly. I did put up the request, but frankly it's hard for me to picture the kind of strange and mysterious place that could have this much shining wood... But it's thanks to that that I'll be set for a long time to come. Oh, and to you, of course. Thanks again. I left the reward with the bartender, so be sure to go pick it up.

Before we go turn in the quest, let's check on the two bar patrons for 17F.

Well, the one new one. The top is just Hansuke again.

Exorcist Shaman man:
Shaman: Hey, you guys are Nameless, right? We finally got to the fourth stratum too. But there are all these huge crystals... Whenever we hit one, doesn't it make a loud noise that could alert any nearby monsters with good hearing? Of course, those same monsters would also be able to hear us fighting nearby. Brr... Just thinking about it gives me shivers. Sure hope there are no monsters like that further up...
There are.
I do find it sort of amusing that they're telling you how to handle a FOE that no one in town has encountered yet.

Looks like you've delivered the materials to the client. Good work. I only got a glimpse from over here, but was that glowing wood?
Labyrinth's always got something new and fun, doesn't it?
A house made from that stuff would be quite a sight to see. And with that much wood, this thing would sparkling everywhere, both inside and out. I'll have to go check it out when it's done. Anyway, here's your reward. Thank you, and stay safe.

Obtained 4 All Mists.

I'll invest the skill points later. For now: quests.

#1: In a dark, dark hole:
That one's from an adventurer who just entered the fourth stratum the other day. He was running from a powerful turtle monster on the 16th floor when he dropped a charm given to him by his grandmother. It's important to him so he really wants it back, but he can't remember exactly where he dropped it. He had a vague recollection of a hole in the ground, but nothing more detailed than that. Anyway, it's definitely on the 16th floor, so why not go take a look? Good luck.
#2: A favor for Ceric III:
That one's from Ceric again. Sounds like he wanted to talk to you about something this time. Maybe this has something to do with what was bothering him earlier? Regardless, why not go ask him about it yourselves?
Eh, later.

So, how's the crystal labyrinth treating you? Not that I've got any experience with it myself. I mean, I've never been there. Nobody has. So, I'm fresh out of advice. Just remember though, even if nobody knows what's coming, there's nothing you can't overcome with both wisdom and courage. Stay safe out there.

I am reminded as of late of the fact that when I was young, I lost my twin sister.
To tell the truth, I... barely even remember my own sorrow, by now. It's a distance similar to that I feel by bearing the responsibilities of Earthrun nobility, the same sort of distance that keeps me ever unsure whether I am guiding society in the proper manner. However, the doubt I feel in choosing my own path, the struggle, is in a way what it means to be alive. One's history dictates their reasons for any action they may take in attempting to achieve their dreams--
L-Lord Remus?
...I'm sorry. I'm rambling. I don't even know what I'm saying anymore. What I'm actually trying to say is that I'd love to hear your tales once you reach the summit. Yes. Thank you. Please do not tell Genetta about this or she will pinch my cheeks.
...The fuck did that come from?
Bond with me, Nameless.

Contrary to what you might expect, it is not time to close out the update. Let's take care of that quest about a dark hole.
You stand in front of a hole in the ground. It's pitch black inside, so you have no idea what could be in there. The entrance is too small for more than one person to fit into, and even one adult would find it a tight squeeze. It's possible that the client dropped his charm into this hole. If you'd like to search it, you'll have to choose someone to go.
Hey, Kaelin, you can see in the dark, right?
Yes, but why do--
Great, have fun!
You decide that if you have to send someone in, it should be Kaelin, who knows Night Vision. Accordingly, Kaelin enters the dark hole...
You will pay for that! ...Agh...
Yeah, yeah, can you just see if the charm's there?
A little while later, you can their voice calling out to you from inside. Just when you're about to peek inside, Kaelin crawls out, clutching something sparkly in their hand. It's a beautiful charm embedded with a small gemstone.

Obtained Lost Amulet!
You're sure this is the client's missing charm. All that's left is to deliver it to the bar.

Before we do that, let's talk to Ceric.
Fancy seeing you guys here! My gut's telling me you took my request?
Thanks, that's a big help. Y'see, I got a letter from Mama the other day. Nothing really important, just letting me know what's happening back home, but, conscientious son I am, I figure I should send her a gift with my reply, right? And I got to thinking, what better than one of those glittery ores from the fourth stratum that've been trending on the market recently, eh?
Does she...like...rocks?
What? Naw, no reason it's gotta be a rock. It's just, my family's been merchants for generations, so I figure Mama'll jump for joy if she gets her hands on a hot commodity like that.
Is this what was bothering you a bit ago?
Ah... Well, yeah, it is. I knew I wanted to send her SOMETHING, but I wasn't sure what to send yet. Plus, it's, uh... a touch embarrassing to send gifts by mail, y'know? I'd probably be a load more confident if I was doing it in person, but, uh, well... Anyway, I'd like you to go mining in the fourth stratum and bring back the best-looking rock specimen you can find!

Good. Looks like you found the charm without any problems. I'll deliver it to the client myself. Hmm, but it's not often that I lose anything on the job like that. Has anything like this ever happened to you?
Can't say it has.
Really? Not once? Impressive. That'd take a lot of attentiveness. So if I ever need to hide something can I count on you guys? Just kidding.
Well, er... I kinda maybe sorta tend to lose stuff all the time. In my house.
Ah, I see. So you're that type. You wouldn't happen to leave your room a mess too? I really do recommend keeping your things in order. It'll help with more than just keeping track of your belongings, it can take a load off your mind too. Oh, excuse me, I really shouldn't meddle in your private affairs. Anyway, here's your reward. Good work.

Obtained Head Bind Staff!
Just another day in the life of Jimmy Nutrin

And I forgot to drop the skill points before ending the recording. That does it for this update, then. Next time: 17F.
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