Update 28: Memes

Urgh. That was the worst knot in weeks.
Oh, morning, Cecil. On your way to...do...Cecil things?
For certain values of "Cecil things," yes. In all seriousness, do you need a knot tied? I'd like to believe I'm pretty good with my hands.
Even when you're not punching things?
I've heard tell that I'm better at non-punching hand tasks.
In any case, no, I'm talking hair knots here. I had a HORRID tangle. Hurt like a bastard getting it out. I imagine it's probably from some sort of...monster goop.
See, this is why I keep my hair short. It's just convenient.
Reasonable! We can't all be Adonises.
Hey, Lanzon!
Why are you so concerned with being physically attractive?
Beauty is its own reward, Dosen.
Really? So, you're beautiful for...yourself?
It brings me endless satisfaction to know that I am an incredibly attractive specimen.
Wow. I've never heard that before.
...Cecil, it's just Dosen, why are you cowering?
Sorry, he just startled me.
Hey Cecil, why are you so concerned with having huge muscles?
That's arguable. I mean my real aim here is to make my orch--
Hey Cecil, why are you so concerned with having huge muscles?
Okay, fine, ignore me. I'm quite certain I've explained this before, but I got in the habit a while back when, well okay so it's a long story but I had to fend for myself in the wild for several years. So it's quite comforting to know that my body is a deadly weapon that could destroy any outside threats.
A body trained for attractiveness and a body trained for deadliness... Thanks for the frank answers! This'll help a lot...
Yes, but--
Glad I could help, Dosen. Anything for my little herb buddy. Herbuddy.
I appreciate you too, Cecil. Bye!
...What--what is he going to need help with?
I try not to ask. I think if I asked, I would learn truths that would shatter my understanding of the universe.
Do you like Etrian Odyssey memes that are relevant in both the Japanese and English communities? Because we've got a big one coming up today.
les dank mehmays, are very interesting to me

Before that, though, let's take care of this minor Yggdrasil Key area.

Obtained Nectar II.
Yes I will gladly take this please thank you.

Let's move onto a proper secret area now though.

...Early sets of stairs always make me nervous.

Ugh. This again?
Wasn't the entire point of the glamour to prevent inexperienced explorers from going too far? Why are there remnants of it behind a sealed door that we needed to go to the 4th Stratum to--
Listen, Alexis, um... Best not to question it.
It makes thematic sense, doesn't it?
Yeah, why not give us a harder version of the 1st Stratum's gimm--

Fuck me I hate these things.

Giant Shield Stick Insect

HP: 1593
STR: 95
INT: 84
VIT: 93
WIS: 93
AGI: 64
LUC: 85



Damage Resistances:
75% 75% 75%
150% 50% 50%

Disable Resistances:
100% 50% 0% 50% 150% 150% 50%
50% 100%
50% 150% 100%
Attack a Giant Shield Stick Insect with physical damage at all? Not only is it not gonna be particularly effective, you're going to be on the receiving end of some pretty awful pain after the fact.
Bah, what kind of loser uses non-physical attacks?

Tonight we'll dine on turtle soup! ...Eh? Eh?
I thought you gave up on the edgy thing?
I dunno, maybe I'd gotten tough enough that it would seem real?
Nope. It's absolutely ADORABLE though oh my god!

(Grass Shield.)
Grass Shield is extremely capable of fucking up your party, especially if you have a phys-heavy party and aren't careful about what enemies you hit.

(Shield of Vengeance.)

Its sword is made of leaves... How...


Ah... Well then. It would appear that my most sensible option...

Is to flee!

New rule: leave squashing those insects to me and the healer who can't--
Who can't what?
Ignore that. I thought better of it.
...You, thinking better of insulting someone? I beg your pardon?

Anyway, let's get back to doing this thing while not being murdered by stick insects. You have to rotate this golem, there's no way forward otherwise.

Rotating this one (the screenshot is post-rotation) blocks the way forward, so, uh, don't do that.

Again, no way forward without rotating this one.

...Is what I'd say if this pillar wasn't there.
Already, I am beginning to lose my patience.

fuck me


Victory Dog

HP: 1793
STR: 90
INT: 85
VIT: 88
WIS: 88
AGI: 69
LUC: 99



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

Disable Resistances:
50% 100% 50% 150% 0% 150% 100%
100% 100%
50% 100% 100%
Victory Tusk would be liable to one-shot even slightly flimsy party members as-is, and then you get to factor Triumphant Roar in, and then you get to be very annoyed. I would eat a one-turn game over if Shield of Vengeance came out after my party got hit with Triumphant Roar.
To be honest, I'm so glad these dogs are in the game. It's these sorts of things that make it all worth it.

(Triumphant Roar.)
Oh god please don't let the insect have used Shield of Vengeance

(I cannot tell skills that use the same animation apart at a glance, and the fact that both of the stick insect skills use kanji does not help)


I think Stick Insects might actually stick to a consistent pattern, but I haven't tested it and they don't show up outside of this secret area nonsense, so...

It takes fucking forever to skill a stick insect when you only have one source of purely elemental damage.

please look at the turn count

insects are the worst

I got annoyed with the puzzle and went up the stairs to see what's up there.

Why? I sincerely do not understand this place a majority of the time.
the answer to my curiosity: exactly fuck-all

(this is where a postgame boss will spawn much later in the game)
don'tcha just hate that

Why...was a wall drawn there?
Um, I'm, ehehe, sometimes a bit hasty with mapping.
no I'm not projecting my own bad mapping habits on Mio why do you ask

and then I immediately made the same fucking mistake again

(look at the map)

Embarrassingly, I spent a long enough time meandering around, looking for the path forward due to that stupid mapping mistake, that I had to go back to town to rest up.
Kutune Shirka (+86 ATK, +93 MATK, INT Up 2, Bronze x4) is made from 2 Camouflaged Dog Fangs (Victory Dog normal). Costs 20000 en, sells for 8000 en.

Hundred Foe Gun (+80 ATK, +50 MATK, TP Up 2, Bronze x4) is made from 1 Knightbug's Greatshield (Giant Shield Stick Insect normal). Costs 25600 en, sells for 10240 en.

Fang Helm (+15 DEF, +15 MDEF, +10 STR) is made from 1 Camouflaged Dog Fang (Victory Dog normal). Costs 6600 en, sells for 2640 en.

Um, I can explain.
Ugh. Give me that map. Evidently, no-one else--
I could.
Is it possible for anyone to say anything without you one-upping them?
...Fine then. Cooperative mapping.
I'll...accept this. Let's see, who shall take care of what...

There's...not much else to do but go up these stairs.

I miss the crystals already.
Empty, featureless areas are always fun, aren't they?

Oh hey Magda got a level.

Up goes Smoke Solid.

okay this thing's down to that low HP, auto-battling is 100% safe

The adventurers have been wiped out...

Owowow... Um, hello?
So, the game is over...
Waaagh! Who what where?!
What a truly foolish end...
...P-please don't scare me like that, Raven. Where even are we?
Uhhhhhhh. I think those invisible jerks said this was the end of everything?
Wait, wait, don't worry, I can fix this!
Turns out auto-battling a stick insect, even if it's close to death, is basically a death sentence.

That was just me being extremely lazy, bleh.

Ooh, we didn't even just get sent back to the inn this time.
Um... Convenient... I think?

these fucking things I swear to GOD

I told you this place is just a big stretch of nothing, punctuated by the occasional near-TPK experience because of a stick insect.

The only thing that makes exploring the Labyrinth worthwhile is that usual sense of progression, and right now, I am experiencing a severe lack of that.

There's a secret passage here.

I forgot how fun it was to topple these statues.
I shove the golem, which opens a door way to the left, near that passage that I accidentally walled off on the map earlier.

This one. I didn't show it earlier, but this was a glamour wall before.

Before I continue with the puzzle, where do these stairs lead?

To a small area that just gives me a shortcut back to the 4F area.


Okay, to actually solve the 1st Stratum secret area, you have to start it from this set of stairs.

Rotate this one to start.

Because you don't have to rotate the initial statue when you come from the staircase I came from, you can now finally rotate this one.

Which means you can rotate this one.

And then you can get down here.

Which contains one final set of stairs.

Obtained Training Orb!
This thing is...a really weird anomaly. When someone in the party has the Training Orb equipped, for every step you take in the Labyrinth, each party member gains the value of their level as EXP.

...Maybe it'd be easier to show than tell.

Obtained Nectar II.
Right after that.

Look at Alexis's EXP bar and his level to see what I was talking about. It's in the top right, just below his level.

Honestly? I can think of worse things for just having on while exploring. It's...not really gonna amount to much, though. Our party currently gains a few thousand EXP each after a given battle, and it'd take about 100 steps to make that through this.
Go to an area with no encounters and powerlevel Dosen into godhood. Do it now.

The ride never ceases, does it?
You're free to talk someone else into taking your place, if you want.

First up is this room-thing.

Others would, to some degree, admire your courage, baboon.
...No, they wouldn't.
I begin by killing this thing to save myself a headache.

Obtained Medica IV.
Medica IVs restore 500 HP to one party member.

That squirrel... The Dinogator has warned me of it...

Blaze Squirrel

HP: 1283
STR: 79
INT: 91
VIT: 93
WIS: 97
AGI: 75
LUC: 82



Damage Resistances:
100% 100% 100%
10% 50% 150%

Disable Resistances:
0% 150% 100% 100% 50% 100% 50%
50% 0%
50% 100% 50%
fucking MEMES

please look at fucking WICK

Okay this requires explanation. In EO2, once per stratum, there was an event involving a squirrel. If you let this squirrel climb onto your party, it would steal an Ariadne Thread from your inventory. Again, there was one of these every stratum. In fact, in the 5th Stratum version, if you refused the event after having fallen for it previously, the narration would say something like "You won't fall for the demon squirrel's trickery again!"

Because the internet, across the entire world, is inscrutable and mysterious, this became a meme in both the Japanese and English-speaking EO communities. Well, that meme has now officially been referenced by Atlus, and it is excruciatingly painful to deal with. Even if you survive a battle with a Blaze Squirrel, having an Ariadne Thread burned is extremely dangerous--I actually start carrying two with me at all times, because having no Threads is that dangerous.

I also eventually just start running from Blaze Squirrels after I get the conditional drop, because even beyond the Ariadne Thread gimmick, they hurt like motherfuckers and can easily cause TPKs on their own. Also, they're constantly thrown into dickish encounter formations, like this.

Notice how taking care of the Numbing Cicada has left two party members, including my dodgetank, paralyzed.

I should've...listened to Her guidance...
(Combustion Lance.)

Good riddance.

Every encounter here has a Blaze Squirrel in it, by the way.

Still re-leveling Affection.

I had to run back to town because I wasn't gonna expend Nectar IIs on reviving those two.
Ratatoskr Staff (+93 ATK, +93 MATK, TP Up 2, Bronze x4) is made from 1 Flamebeast Horn (Blaze Squirrel normal). Costs 23500 en, sells for 9400 en.

The fire spread to an Ariadne Thread!
...We...don't have any way out, do we?
I'm afraid so.
Even though I know...things'll just get reset...
Come now, don't cry. What would Raven-- ...Actually, wait, reset? Pardon?

Right as soon as I asked... Loathsome rodent...
The adventurers have been wiped out...

Aw, come on, again?
Eh, oh well! You can just reset everything again, right?
I guess, but, uh... How about we just run from any more squirrels when we get back?
Sounds like a good idea to me.
Even if Alexis and Mio managed to run away, I would've been fucked without a Thread.

I should note that this is where I start carrying two Threads.

You're certain that was necessary?
If you want to doubt the Dinogator's guidance, be my guest.
I used Chain Blast on this one squirrel to get an easy conditional drop.
I Chain Blast all of them whenever possible.

Yep, very easy.

lol at trying to do that with a Cestus or, god forbid, tanglethreads

Ninety-Three (Warlock ultimate armor; +74 DEF, +120 MDEF, +18 INT) is made from 1 Bound Tail (Blaze Squirrel conditional). Costs 225000 en, sells for 90000 en.
Oh hey, it's our first bit of ultimate equipment, way earlier than any of the others.

So, here's the thing: I am going to buy ultimate equipment as soon as it becomes available, with the help of the money DLC. It saves me some trouble down the road, and most of them, like I said, are going to become available far later than the Ninety-Three does. I don't buy a Ninety-Three for Kaelin right now, but I do later...if not in this update, than in my raw footage, which also has 18F.

Incidentally, if you're curious and/or baffled at that name, here's an explanation, courtesy of shibbotech on Something Awful:
Warlock's ultimate armor is called Ninety-Three most likely as a reference to the Thelemic greeting - that whole thing Crowley founded. "Do as thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law; love is the Law, love under will." The key words there being "will" and "love" respectively. In Greek, the word for "will" is Thelema, and the version of "love" used for this phrase is Agape. When combined with isopephy (assigning numerical values to the letters), the sum of Thelema and Agape each is...93. This has become a shorthand for greeting both in person and in writing for members of the OTO and other Thelemic practices.
Ninety-Three? Ninety-Three...? Ninety-Three...

The fire spread to an Ariadne Thread!
Oh for fuck's sake.

That was for my guildmates.

...Now, how exactly do I get these four back to town if I don't have a Thread?

fuck me, the one time I forget to buy a second thread

Still a sight better than whatever arranged marriage Father had planned.

Well then. That was...quite an adventure.
I somehow managed to get Alexis back to the Pole safely.

Oooooogh... What even happened...?
Ah, good, you're all awake.
I...vaguely recall being burned alive by one of those detestable squirrels.
Yes, that's a good summation of what happened.
How did you avoid perishing?
Oh, I'm very fast.
Hang on, how did you get back to town?
I'm very fast.
But then how did you get us back--
I'm very fast.
So that just happened.

Here's the way forward, but there's still one more thing I have to check out.

I'm...getting the weirdest feeling here...
Of what?
Dread? Yeah, I'm gonna go with dread.

Monsters jumped out of the box!
I knew it...

I don't like where this is going.

Hmph. Is that all?
Oh great, he's doomed us. Watch, that one's going to make thunder fall from the--

I fail to see how this is my fault.

Super Lightning Squirrel

HP: 1197
STR: 71
INT: 89
VIT: 91
WIS: 94
AGI: 73
LUC: 92


Damage Resistances:
100% 100% 100%
50% 150% 10%

Disable Resistances:
0% 150% 100% 100% 50% 100% 50%
0% 50%
50% 100% 100%
Hi, these things can fuck up (but probably not outright kill) your party to open the fight, and can one-shot a given party member, no questions asked. Does this sound like fun? Are you beginning to hate squirrels as much as I do?

Why do I always get to be the last one alive?

It's...always awful...

We're, uh, really dying a lot these past few days, huh?
I get the weirdest feeling we're not supposed to be in these places yet.

Second verse, same as the first.

Enjoy your last non-toxic breaths, you hellspawn.

At least I'm not...the last one this time...

If you hadn't killed Mio, I wouldn't have done that! ...Actually, wait, no, yeah, I would've still done it.

That box can be a really nasty surprise, especially if you're already hurting from normal encounters.

While you were surprised to find monsters in the box, you breathe a sigh of relief once they are defeated. They were most likely nesting inside the box. That being the case, you don't expect to find anything useful inside, but you check anyway, just in case. Inside, you find a worn book.

Obtained Worn Book!
...Uh, can either of you read this?
You open it to see what it is, but it's written in a strange script that you can't read. You flip through to other pages, but they're all in the same unfamiliar script.
This seems to be an even older language than what I'm versed in... Feh.
Thinking it would be futile to spend any more time trying to decipher it, you stuff the old book in your backpack and return to exploring.
All that. For one stupid key item.

(we need it for a quest later)

We raise all that money, and you waste it on a fancy suit?!
Ahem. It is not a mere "fancy suit," it is garb that is worn only by Grand Magi.
It looks like a suit to me.
I would think one as refined as you would be familiar with high fashion.
The only fashion I care about is this doctor's coat, and the six other identical ones in my closet. ...Wait, no, hold it. Did you just call me "refined?"
Ngrk! I-ignore that, I command you, you erudite...something!
Stop that, you two!
At this point, I was annoyed enough by the squirrels that I said "fuck it," gathered up the funds, and bought Kaelin his ultimate armor.

Oh my gods does this ever END?
There has to be an end to this, surely. ...At least, I sincerely hope so.




So this final section of the 2nd Stratum secret area is... Uh... Well... It's something. It's a big, long puzzle involving baboons and getting rocks shoved on you.

Don't kill this one like I did here, or the puzzle becomes unfinishable.

You can keep going if you let the rock fall on you, but I...didn't remember how to do this puzzle on this attempt.

Obtained Ariadne Thread.
Some higher power is guffawing at us, I would wager.
Even in this open setting, without the proper communing preparations, I can hear the Dinogator laughing...

Okay, let's do this for real.

First, let yourself get shoved by that rock.
I have no idea what you're doing since I can't see the screenshots from here, but for the record, Guard Soles will protect you from getting smashed by a giant rock pillar. They protect you from all environmental damage, after all.
...I did not actually know that, and frankly, I don't think I would've ever guessed that in a million years. It makes sense from a game mechanics programming perspective, but from every other perspective, it makes no sense at all.

That rock'll then get toppled. It doesn't matter, really, since you aren't (well, shouldn't be) under it.

If you don't launch yourself forward by getting hit by that first rock, you'll be one step too late to get here before that one gets shoved over.

Some corridors later, and we arrive at...

Obtained Paralyze Mortar!

Obtained Formaldehyde.
OoooooOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHH. Now that's a treasure I can get behind.

Formaldehydes, if you're unfamiliar with EO or just need a refresher, force any enemies killed on their turn of use to drop all of their potential drops, even conditionals you haven't fulfilled the condition for.

One last sealed door for the road.

Obtained Hamao Prime.
Obtained Formaldehyde.
Hey, I'll take it. Hamao Primes restore 250 HP and 75 TP to one party member.

And... That's it. That's all of the stuff the Yggdrasil Key lets us do. I could do 18F, but that would mean this update would be a bit too long for my tastes. So, uh...

Next time: 18F.
why is it called ninety-three
(editor's note: that comment was added before it was explained to us)

I still think you're weird for picking Futaba.
Yeah, well, it's my save, and I think Futaba's cute, so there. ...Why do we fake-argue about this?
I'unno. It just feels fun. ...Aw, jeez, it's really late.
Cecil's probably done with his night training, so I think-- A-actually, wait, um.
S-so, um... I was-- I was thinking we could get dinner at the tavern together tomorrow maybe?!
Oh, a date! I didn't know you had those here! Yeah, sure!
Um, yes.
Oh my god this is actually happening a cute boy that likes anime and games who's a year younger than me but still is asking me out on a date oh my god oh my god oh my god.
Is-- Is that still a yes?
Yes yes yes I'm looking forward to it good night Raven!
A-ah, thanks. G-good night, Mio.
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