Update 43: Sugar Mama

And I purport, that if you would simply observe that child over there attempting to spin its toy with its feet, that you would--
Kaelin. What does my astrological sign represent.
Mhm. And what does yours represent, again?
Say it.
I believe that should adequately back up my assertion that babies are, in fact, able to think.
...Now, Lanzon, if you'll just listen to my points here, you would be 100% convinced that Vanderkaum is the best artist for your dandelions to listen to!
Pah, Vanderkaum. If you were actually cultured, Sasha, you would know that Thurston encourages dandelion fluffiness the most, with Bentcliffe and Brackenstall coming right after, and Vanderkaum a distant fourth.
You're making fun of us, aren't you.
Can you really blame us, dear?
I'm forced to agree. You two have the most annoying displays of plumage.
...Plumage? Where in the seven hells did that come from?
Did I...never tell you? Did Lanzon never tell you?
Tell them what, A?
Oh, I was a Raging Owlbeast when I was alive.
None of you ever asked! ...By the by, I was a Super Lightning Squirrel!
No you weren't. You were a plain old Lightning Squirrel.
Y-you're in no place to put me down, former One Submerged in Luxury!
Hold up. Hold up hold up hold up. We've heard the story of the weird drama that led to you all being stuck like this from Lanzon. How the heck did that happen if you were monsters?
Well, I never! The nerve, thinking monsters can't live fulfilling, sentient lives.

...Was there, uh-- Was there a mixup with this "Forbidden Garb?" Is it really a sundress and a hat?
If I may offer my opinion as a former model: that is an adorable outfit.
We begin with me getting another bit of ultimate equipment.
Forbidden Garb (Reaper ultimate armor; +94 DEF, +100 MDEF, +15% resistance to all ailments) is made from 1 Blind Eyeball (Doomwheel conditional). Costs 284000 en, sells for 113600 en.
Kinda a shitty equipment bonus if you ask me, but such is EO5.

This thing's worth more than I ever made as a lone saleswoman...
Sasha gets the Dragnar Mail.

Hey, Lanzon, you said this thing was..."adorable," right?
I did indeed say that, approximately forty seconds ago.
Do you, um, think--
Yes, Mio would think you look adorable in it. Because you would, dear.
A boy? Wearing a sundre-- OooHOOOGH!
Shut it, ahem, honey.
And Raven gets the Forbidden Garb.

3, 2, 1, blast-off!

(Floor subtitle: The spokesman of darkness)

I brought Kaelin along almost solely for Levitation, because my god we've got damage tiles coming up.

Do note that damage tiles here, if I didn't have Levitation on, would be dealing 50 damage per step.

Trick Parrot

HP: 1564
STR: 136
INT: 134
VIT: 138
WIS: 141
AGI: 97
LUC: 111

Skills:Drops:Damage Resistances:
100% 100% 100%
100% 100% 150%

Disable Resistances:
0% 50% 0% 100% 50% 100% 50%
100% 50%
50% 100% 50%
Remember Bounce Parrots from the 2nd Stratum? They're back, and now they're trying to counter elemental all-target attacks.

Lanzon's single-target damage isn't that bad, even if it does tear through his TP quite quickly.

Goodbye...and god-ridd-- OUUUUACHH!
If we're going to spend our lives together, I'm going to need to help you cut down on your self-aggrandizement. ...A lot.

Oh, that parrot looked like my fifth-best friend's cousin's nephew's concubine's--
Concubine? Monsters have concubines?!
If you're going to react like that every time I talk about my past life... Oh, right. Bound ghost. Can't do much.
And I'll play no part in abetting your pettiness~

More Scythe Mastery.

And I figure Kaelin could use more points in Thunder Break and, after that's done, Explode.

you can't see me, obviously, but i'm sobbing a lot irl at this fight

Asura Cicada

HP: 1074
STR: 131
INT: 128
VIT: 148
WIS: 85
AGI: 116
LUC: 62

Skills:Drops:Damage Resistances:
50% 50% 50%
150% 300% 150%

Disable Resistances:
50% 0% 50% 50% 50% 0% 50%
0% 50%
100% 100% 100%
Asura Cicadas are the absolute worst. They make your party take 50% extra damage from everything, and then fucking ruin you when they die, unless you have Material Guard or Prayer: Cold Rain.

Bind them? I dunno, I honestly I can't remember ever having any problems with these guys.
(Aggravating Cry.)
And I thought ambient cicadas were terrible...

My standard procedure for fights for this floor is having Raven cast Brittle Miasma, and then having Kaelin unload with one of his all-target elemental attacks. It tends to work out pretty well.

(Death Throes.)

...If I hadn't upgraded Raven to the Forbidden Garb, or if he didn't have Absorb Vitality going, that would've been a game over.

Walking around with a 10 HP Raven and four corpses didn't sound terribly appealing, so I returned to town.
Hell Shooter (+130 ATK, +128 MATK, HP Up 3, Silver x4) is made from 1 Hellfly Wing (Asura Cicada normal). Costs 104000 en, sells for 41600 en.

Jazeraint (+89 DEF, +59 MDEF) is made from 1 Hard Beak (Trick Parrot normal). Costs 118000 en, sells for 47200 en.

A double dose of ice-flavored pain.

This... I dunno. I'm kinda at a loss for words at this floating pool of water in space.
With fish in it, no less...

fucking rude

Sasha and Magda get levels form that.

Sasha's working towards Buster Cannon.

It's been a while since I last brought up Smoke Rot, hasn't it?

That weird bubbly gurgling is scaring me...

...Wh-where did it go?

Oh, look, my descendant.
Meet the One Submerged in Luxury. They patrol a path until we get within a small space near them, at which point they will aggro on us. Fairly standard stuff, yeah? Well, here's their gimmick: they can hide in damage tiles, hiding them from the field and your map. If they move from one damage tile to another damage tile, their movement is hidden, too.

Also, it's slightly hard to tell from here, but yes, its tendrils are high-heels.
This thing is ridiculous. How does something like this even begin to exist?

You'd think I would realize that if I stepped forward, I would get into a fight with the One Submerged in Luxury, even though I can't see it.

You'd be wrong.

At least we can circle around this small impassable area to give the pudding there the ol' loopdeloop.

Anyway! There are teleporters scattered throughout the floor, which we can enter from any side.

It's maybe a bit hard to see here, but going far enough away from the pudding back down there caused it to de-aggro on us.

They can aggro on you from across uncrossable space, by the way!

Magda, dear, I'm curious about something.
Is it about why I keep having to give Kaelin a gentle elbow to the gut?
...No. I've been wondering, if we're among the stars... Aren't you within proximity of your sign?
Isn't that...you know, important? I'd expect you to be celebrating, or something similar.
I respect Dinogator's power, but that doesn't mean I have to worship her at every turn, or be dedicated solely to her while we're out here.
If she wanted more loyal followers, perhaps she could've chosen better blessings than destruction and motherhood...
...Nah, he's right. It's kind of a pain in the ass being "blessed."

Anyone who played EO2U and did the 6th Stratum is probably getting flashbacks to 27F right now--that floor that was basically one half giant open damage tile area, and one half giant open damage tile area with fog.

I'm here to tell you that those flashbacks are true, because 28F is basically EO2U 27F but less badly-designed. Still not terribly fun to go through, but hey.

how fucking oblivious am i

Okay, in my defense, it's really fucking hard to keep track of the puddings when you have to be actively drawing the map and they're constantly diving in and out of the damage tiles.
Just use the FOEdar, Ragnar!

I never wanna eat pudding ever again after this...

Remember: this is all one giant, open room.

Up that way lies treasure, but I cannot figure out how to get past these three fucking puddings for the life of me.

There's a campfire here.

How the hell does a campfire work in space anyway.


Ooh, ooh, I can see it! Finally!
See what?
The way out of this fresh high-heeled pudding hell!


--oooooooom... I'm...gonna be sick...
Perhaps keeping your eyes open and shouting while we're being spun by those terrible things isn't the best of ideas.

When your transfer is complete, you end up in a new area. Archon wears a troubled expression and begins to groan.

Hmm... The floor is...awfully twisted compared to the others. If we're going to traverse it on foot, be prepared for the long haul. I'll try to help as much as I can, but ultimately I'm relying on you.
If what she says is true, clearing this floor will be a Herculean task. You should be well-prepared before you begin.
Oh, in that case, I'm gonna high-tail it back to town.
That floor is certainly twisted.

One small unlock.
Rune Tunic (+69 DEF, +104 MDEF, +15% fire/ice/volt resistance) is made from 3 Hellfly Wings (Asura Cicada normal). Costs 87000 en, sells for 34800 en.

Soooo... Lay it on Miss Genetta. What're you planning on doing when you're done with this whole Labyrinth gig?
I've got business over in Queensland once this is over, and by business I mean--
We know.
I love talking to you guys on a sophisticated and bosom buddies-type level, so if you'd like to stay here forever, that'd be fantastic! I mean, think of the financial security I'd have!

The 29th floor? You've gotten to the 29th floor?! Then you're probably almost done with the sixth stratum! So, is this gonna be the real, actual top this time? Maybe your dreams are actually in reach this time! But hey, listen up fellas, if you find anything reaaaaaally cool, you show your old buddy Ceric first out of anyone, remember? It's a promise!

So you're finally on the 29th floor. The top of Yggdrasil is within sight, for real this time.
We are long past being in that weird tree.
Plenty of explorers have dreamed of this, but those dreams are as fragile as soap bubbles. So I want you to prove it was possible. Do this for all the people dreamed of this in the past. Reach the top, and come back to tell the tale. ...And whatever you do, stay safe.

Go away, Hansuke.

Aaaaaand there's no new quests. Huh.

You guys, eh? How's it going?
We're...almost done, actually. 29th floor!
...The 29th floor, huh? I wouldn't know how this 6th stratum is arranged, but we're approaching a multiple of 5, so it seems like we're almost to the best part. I've been flooded with work these days. Our new explorer turnout has almost doubled thanks to you. You're downright celebrities now, y'know. The famous explorers who opened the door at the end of the 3rd stratum, freeing our peoples from a barrier blocking them for centuries! The entire world's expecting you to reach however far past the top of Yggdrasil this whole mess goes. It's a lot of pressure, but don't let it get to you. Just keep at it.

Why, it's been a while, Nameless! Not seeing you around was making me a touch uneasy, please don't worry me like that. Exploring is important, of course, but don't forget--coming back to town to rest or prepare are just as important!
...Hey, uh, Lord Remus--
Yes, I know I'm being nosy. Please let me have this.

The main dungeon bit was kinda short, so let's take care of some quests.
When you arrive on the 25th floor, you see something strange mixed in with the usual scenery. Floating octopus-like monsters that you're sure weren't there before are now wandering around as if they own the place. You need to exterminate them for the safety of the Labyrinth.

Every battle on 25F is set to various formations of Seal Octopi for this quest.

After a bunch of fights, this happens.
Having more or less wiped out the monsters dominating the 25th floor, you allow yourselves to let out a sigh of relief. But just as you do so, you feel a wicked gaze upon you and turn to meet it. It's a giant octopus monster glaring at you with unbelievably sharp eyes!
Can one of these requests just...go normally, for once?
Perhaps angry over the death of its minions, the conspicuously large monster is clearly threatening you! It swiftly attacks without any warning, gaining the inititive in battle!

We're blindsided here, by the way!


HP: 9374
STR: 161
INT: 111
VIT: 109
WIS: 109
AGI: 90
LUC: 139

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

Disable Resistances:
100% 0% 150% 100% 100% 50% 50%
0% 10%
50% 0% 150%
161 STR means that Necking's basically a guaranteed kill on Sasha or Raven, even with Line Guard, and Binding Dance is just as terrifying on this thing as it is own Seal Octopi. At least there's only one.
It will only take one thrust to penetrate your frail form!

(Binding Dance.)
Oh cool great way to start the fight.

Okay, that's gonna make things considerably easier.

I never was one for cooked octopus, but for this abomination, I'll make an exception.

Once you defeat the giant octopus, the remaining octopi scatter in all directions like spiderlings. The 25th floor is now safely back to the same state it was when you cleared it. All that's left is to report this back in town.

It seems you've successfully taken care of the monsters. Just the skills you'd expect from the conquerers of Yggdrasil. I suppose in recognition of your deeds I'd better give you a suitable reward, huh? Here you go, good work. Thank you for protecting Yggdrasil.

Obtained Mercy Tanto!
The Mercy Tanto gives a 20% base chance to instantly kill on normal attacks.


And then there's the "get FOE conditionals" quest.

Look, I'll level with you here: what follows in my raw footage is several minutes of me fighting FOEs that are now completely trivial, while trying my best to not kill them before I trigger the conditional.

Let's just skip ahead.

Impressive. You really got the rare materials from all those monsters... To be honest, I thought it was something of an unreasonable request, but now that you've done there's nothing else to say. So, how was it, fighting all those tough monsters?
Less than "nothing special."
Fighting FOEs we first killed months ago isn't exactly riveting.
Oh. You're pretty calm about it. Plenty of explorers are forced to run away from those, you know. But either way, you guys sure are strong. And to think it was just the other day that you showed up in town. Oh, you don't want to hear me ramble about that again. Here's your reward. Good work.

Obtained Gold Ingot!
Ooh, I really like that.

Now, there's one more thing to take care of.

Rarely, when walking around 25F, a mysterious FOE with a gold map icon will show up in the bottom left room.

No, I'm not going to do the Iosys joke.

Anyone familiar with the DS EOs is getting flashbacks right now. For the uninitiated, FOEs in EO1-3 were rendered in the Labyrinth as giant floating orange fuzzballs, due to the limitations of the DS. The Labyrinth appearance of the "FOE" we're standing in front of right now is a direct callback to that.

Oh, right, the "FOE" itself. It moves randomly.


This can work to our advantage, though!

Because I can get a preemptive on it.

Also, note that while this is an "FOE" and uses the FOE music, the battle started with a boss fight-style camera zoom-out after starting zoomed-in on the mantis.

That Which Reaps All

HP: 26052
STR: 115
INT: 126
VIT: 118
WIS: 118
AGI: 108
LUC: 103

Skills:Drops:Damage Resistances:
100% 100% 100%
150% 50% 100%

Disable Resistances:
50% 75% 50% 25% 50% 75% 25%
0% 25%
25% 25% 25%
...That's a hell of a skillset. Jesus.

So, the That Which Reaps All's (who I am now going to refer to as "the mantis") gimmick is... Well, it's got a few. Firstly, its normal attack isn't actually a normal attack. It's a special override that immediately uses Dominate on the party member the mantis attacked. Essentially, its normal attacks try to completely bind targets, and it has a 70% base chance of doing that. Sounds fun, right?

Nextly, the dances. At the end of each turn, the mantis will use a random dance, which provide it with very dangerous buffs. You really do not want to be fighting a mantis that has, say, +50% attack, +50% defense, and +50% evasion.

Keeping these buffs in check is no easy feat, though! You can't just chuck a Metopon at it multiple times, because then you'll find yourself on the receiving end of Reverse Cut. Because that thing is almighty damage, we have no way of reducing it at all, aside from Full Guard, which Sasha doesn't have. 100% isn't a lot on its own, necessarily, but it will add up very, very quickly.
this motherfucker's gonna pull out the irregular klezmer
The name of the boss is a reference to the Omnihunters from EO...3 I think? They were called something like That Which Devours Anything in Japanese. So basically it's supposed to be a super Omnihunter.

Laying down debuffs on the mantis is a very good idea, since it dispelling debuffs with its own buffs won't trigger Reverse Cut.

Okay, uh, the giant, overside cannonball goes here...

Thank god Kaelin's kind of a fucking monstrous damage dealer.

(Calculating Jig.)
Hey, no fair, this was a preemptive, you shouldn't get a turn!

At least that's the most pointless buff the mantis could've given itself.

Only a head bind, but whatever, that shuts down some fairly dangerous skills, including Reverse Cut.

The accuracy buff kind of offsets blind, but whatever. Magda can use Smoke Bomb now.

And then Sasha just puts the mantis to sleep. Oops. At least that damage is nice, even if it took her two turns to do it.

Raven dispels the accuracy buff.

A, dear, I need your power for a bit.

You know that hurts, like, a lot, right?!
My apologies, dear.

(Irregular Klezmer.)
That name is extremely silly.

Lanzon needs to use Sacrifice to deal this kinda damage, but it's still worth it.

And Calculating Jig again.

I'm kinda shredding the mantis, haha. This fight can get really dangerous really fast, to be honest with you.
Good thing it's weak to the classic "bind everything and kill it before it wears off." Also most of its more dangerous attacks are dodgeable by a Fencer.


We really hate you sometimes, you know that?
My apologies.

(Elusive Marzuka.)
Oh, that's not good.

At least our party's extremely high average LUC compared to the mantis's LUC has meant that head bind's lasted a while.

Sasha: Pro Bug-With-Humanoid-Part-Thing Exterminator!

I was kinda hoping I'd get the conditional through some kind of miracle, but whatever. It's a pain to get this thing to respawn, but I'll do it in the future.

That's it for now! Next time: 29F.

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