Story Update 1: Dude

So let's go on into the Yggdrasil Labyrinth and take on that first mission, hm?

Instead of having a full party to start the game, we get a very overleveled Ronin and a very overleveled Hexer. Say goodbye to any actual challenge on B1F!
I'm here for Story updates now too because the only thing I was good for in the last LP was making stupid jokes and Story Mode in this game is one long stupid joke. Death to Etria. Hellfire and brimstone.

Don't need fortune when I'm on Picnic!

Much like guests in EO4, Ren and Tlachtga use differently-colored UI elements.

Here's Dude. He's a level 1 Highlander with a blank slate for skills. He is the only chance we will get to start building from a blank slate.

I question your choice of Drawing Stance, Ren, but not as much as your decision to learn Severing Slash, which involves five points in ATK Up and five points in Crit Up. Breath's pretty stupid too.

why did you waste five skill points on Chop, Tlachtga

also five skill points on Staggering Word

If there is anything you don't understand, I'm sure they will be of assistance.
Quinn here says something special for starting out in Story mode. The rest of the townspeople just say their normal thing.

The shop has necessary equipment... You can learn things at the pub... And the inn is a good place to rest. When you're ready to set out, you can enter the forest from the outskirts of town...

Please, make yourself at home.

You have special permission, however. You can record your adventures here, so use this place as a base of operations.
I've already gotten word that you're working for the Radha. Please, don't hesitate to stop by for a rest.
Only explorers can stay at the inn? Why?

Well, if y'need items, weapons, equipment, I'm y'girl!

I'm sure you'll be coming here often on your mission.

This isn't just a place to eat. Adventurers can sign up to do quests here, too, but... Has this guy been recognized as a real adventurer yet, Ren?

In Etria, you may only be an official adventurer once the Radha have approved of you, Dude. If you can complete the mission they gave you, you'll be granted that right. If you have an interest in carrying out these quests, come back once you have completed the Radha's mission.
Well, Ren, if you've taken a shine to the kid, I'm sure he must be good. Dude, was it? I'll be looking forward to when you come through my door again...

Bar patrons are the same as they were in Classic.

Oh, you're the Highlander that the Radha called here, am I right? This is the Explorers Guild. It's a place that manages all the explorers here in Etria to explore the Labyrinth.

I still don't get why the game keeps flip-flopping between "adventurer" and "explorer." Basically every EO game's weirdly inconsistent with that.
That's nothing to do with your mission, but perhaps you'll have business here someday.
If you're still interested in the Labyrinth after your mission's done, come back here. All the explorers we have these days are spineless. I'm glad to get one of the famous Highlanders here!
Hey, fuck you, Guildmaster, my guild's not spineless.
It's probably hard to explore the labyrinth when your skeletal structure doesn't even function, I guess.
What are Highlanders famous for? Getting their parties killed by proccing counters when they scream too hard? Making me bitter about proccing counters when they scream too hard? Bowling?

Alright, let's get going.

Ren slowly takes in her surroundings while speaking calmly to you.
Still, this first floor is they go. You'll have us with you, so don't worry and tend to your map.
With that, Ren falls silent and turns her gaze to the path ahead. It seems she expects you to go on. You take your first halting steps into the forest, to draw the map you were requested to complete.

Same deal as Classic--map the red area of B1F.

It's a fur boot... Maybe an explorer lost it...?
The two experienced explorers look to you as if curious to see what verdict you will render. You weigh the options of picking up the dirty boot or leaving it where it lies.
Why wouldn't you pick up the boot?
You gingerly pick up the dirty boot. It's rather heavy, due to the ivory-colored stones its previous owner hid inside.

As you marvel at the stones, the ground begins to shift unnaturally.
Curiosity killed the cat, they say. But I don't blame you. Now get ready to face the threat!
No sooner does Ren finish speaking than a group of monsters bursts from beneath the soil to ambush you!

And I'm a hexer... We're not good at fighting directly, but we have other skills that make us useful...
Still, even Tlachtga can probably defeat most monsters on this floor with one strike. Which makes this an opportunity to watch and learn. Don't think about defeating the enemy. Focus on protecting yourself.
Even when not playing on Picnic, you can just auto-battle through everything and have Ren and Tlachtga's normal attacks take care of monsters.

Case in point.

Irritatingly, and contrary to how guests worked in EO4 and EO2U, Ren and Tlachtga count as party members for EXP being split, and take experience away from Dude.
It's still a decent opportunity to take advantage of characters that can oneshot the enemies here for EXP.

Use it during battle to heal both yourself and your companions to either side. That's important to remember.
...Yes, thank you, Ren. I'll be sure to have Momoe learn that completely worthless skill.
Ren's build is kind of baffling in general, really.

There's what Severing Slash looks like. It can be convenient up until the 6th Stratum, but it's still not worth the skill point investment.

Further within the clearing are squarish boxes spaced equally apart from each other.

Ah, yes, I neglected to mention. Story has a lot of pointless dialogue options for Dude. These actively affect, once?
It's a complicated case, y'know, lotta ins, lotta outs, lotta what-have-yous.
They are useful for explorers. When you find one, give thanks as you open it...

This happens when we've mapped about half the floor or so.
You're doing well... Good luck filling in the rest...
Encouraged by the girl of few words, you continue your exploration.

What do you think? Should we have some? It is forest water, but we're still on an early floor...
Don't see why not. It's just water.
Then let's have some.
Cupping your hands in the stream, you bring a sip of water to your lips... The clear, cold water quenches your thirst.

This could be useful if we remember it's here.
Feeling much better after drinking the spring water, you decide to move on.

There's Staggering Word.

You look toward where Tlachtga is pointing to see red fruit growing just within your reach. You consider for a moment whether or not to eat the fruit...
We can have Dude, Ren, or Tlachtga eat the fruit. Let's have Dude eat it, shall we?
If you intend to spend much time in the forest, you should experience things like this for yourself. Try it, Dude.
The fruit's sweet juices slide down Dude's throat.
Ren, weirdly, doesn't have any dialogue. Tlachtga does, though.
It's sweet...

An old rucksack, seemingly abandoned by a past explorer, is lying at your feet.
Must've belonged to one of the victims of the forest. Guess no one missed him...
No reason not to pick up the rucksack.
You peer inside the rucksack and find a number of coins inside.
Keep them. I'm sure they'd have wanted it that way.

What a sweet smell... I feel like it could draw anything in...
You contemplate whether to rest and enjoy their sweet smell, or leave immediately.
I'm sure resting here is completely safe.
...Okay. A rest might be good.
Ren and Tlachtga agree to your suggestion and sit down gingerly in the sweet-smelling clearing. You close your eyes and relax as you feel the aroma clear away your fatigue.

You startle at the quiet yet insistent voice. A pack of woodflies has gathered around you! It seems you're not the only creatures in the forest lured by the sweet floral scent.
Careful. These are poison. This could get messy.
Knowing that escape is futile, you brandish your weapons and prepare for battle!

Second verse, same as the first.
Most of this segment is pretty much just "Ren murders everything", it's fairly dull.

This is a chop point... You can gather rare plants here... There are take and mine points, too... Where you can find herbs and ore... Shilleka's Goods will buy them...and make new things to sell... You can gather once per day at each point... Maybe more, if you have the right skills... But beware... Harvesters are easy prey for monsters...
Tlachtga, please end your sentences with something besides ellipses. You're giving me Quona flashbacks.
Look, Tlachtga, everyone uses ellipses in their own unique way.
Which is just... another way... of saying no one does...

...But I still need to map that area.
Looks like you're done.
Ren peers at your map and nods with a smile. You must return to the Radha to report the completed mission!
I'm not done, though!

Okay, now I am.

Stop, Dude. Something's not right...
The trees around you begin to rustle, confirming her suspicions. The birds scatter and you hear a noisy rumbling.

The camera's shaking a lot during this.

Been a lot of quakes in Etria lately.
The ronin looks around briefly to confirm that the shocks have indeed ceased before she continues.
Okay, back to the Radha. You can't let a little quake or two stop you if you want to finish your mission.
You can see her point... You must return to Radha Hall now and report to them that your mission is complete.

Now then, Ren. What did you think of our Highlander's work?
...It wasn't bad. He's got potential. If you're asking if you have a good man for the job, I can say you do.
I see... You may leave, then. I'm sorry to have taken your time; I know well how busy you are.
There's no need for that. We were told to work with you, so we did. We will be going now. May you be in good health, Dude.
I'll see you later... Good luck...

There go my "I win" buttons.
And they were never heard from again...
There is also a reward for the mission you completed...

Since you come from a clan that has always been loyal and respected our alliance, I have a mission for you.

This abnormality vexing Etria... It will fall to you to investigate the cause. In particular, I mean the earthquakes that have plagued us lately. Normally, we'd think them to be acts of God...
This is the only time in the series that someone invokes a monotheistic god, I think.
But our own investigation has shown that these earthquakes seem to be related to an unknown ruin. It's an ancient place we discovered in a dangerous region where the ground rises and sinks. Whenever a mysterious sound echoes from the depths of the ruin, it is soon followed by a quake. We have researched this thoroughly and concluded that there is a correlation between the sound and the quakes. Yet we know not what it is. We've dispatched soldiers, but they were stymied by the ruin's denizens. And so we send you, a Highlander, to investigate this monster-infested ruin and put a stop to these earthquakes.
You're sending an idiot probably-teen with a spear to do what several trained soldiers couldn't?!
We've got true justice on our side. It's fine.
We know that you are both skilled and trusted, so we feel safe leaving the inquiry in your hands.
Dude was being escorted by two trained explorers with levels in the 30s! None of what just happened should be an example of his strength!
We considered using an ordinary guild, of course, but it's better not to let on that the quakes are unnatural. We would rather investigate in secret. Once we know more, we might make a public announcement, if necessary. And with that, I've said all I need to. We have a carriage ready to take you to the ruin. Once you are prepared, you can meet our soldier at the Forest Entrance.
...Oh, whatever.
So this is the asshole responsible for excising content from Classic.

It's some distance away. Once we depart, it won't be easy to return to town, so be sure you're ready first. I estimate it to be about a day's carriage ride from here. If you're ready, we can depart now.

Its walls, supposedly built of advanced technology, are cold, driving home the ruin's deep mystery...
This is the unknown ruin we found. The reports of monsters within made it too dangerous to explore. The Radha told us they'd send one skilled in battle... that's you... and that we were to leave him to it. Your first order of business will be to proceed into the depths of this floor and investigate what you can. We've no idea how large the place is, but we will pray that you succeed on your mission. I'll be waiting here for you. Come back if you need a rest.
The soldier who guided you here then hands you a small bag as you are about to depart on your investigation.

I'm sure Nectars will be very useful while Dude's on his own.


A mechanical noise starts playing here.

Then it stops.
You remain unmoving for a while and the bizarre sound stops as well. The area is blanketed in silence once more. Nevertheless, you have a mission to venture further within and find the information the Radha desires. You must stanch your fear and continue deeper into the ruin...

Random encounters in here are just small groups of B1F monsters.

Big room.

You have yet to discover anything that the Radha might consider useful... Still, it might be worth checking this room a bit more to ensure that there is nothing here.

Maybe this giant hole's a good indicator of where to go.

Startled, you reach for your weapon, but there is no other change. Your curiosity stoked by the mysterious light, you consider touching it...
Do it, Dude.

But there seems to be no notable change to your surroundings. It may be that something else has changed elsewhere on the floor... You try to think of what that might be so that you can go and see if a change has indeed occurred.

I didn't show it earlier, but this door was locked until we hit that...button, I guess.

VIDEO: Scene: Introductions
Please watch that scene to get an idea of who the weirdos we're about to meet are.

This is Simon. He'll be our Medic for the game.

Errant Camel

HP: 1120
STR: 9
TEC: 9
VIT: 8
AGI: 7
LUC: 9

EXP Given: 400

Skills:Drops:Damage Vulnerabilities:
100% 100% 100%
150% 150% 150%

Disable Vulnerabilities:
50% 50% 50% 50% 50% 50% 50%
1% 1% 50%
150% 50% 50%
Even on Expert, this thing would be a chump.
It's mostly a bag of HP.

This is Raquna, filling the role of Protector.

Simon has a Grimoire with Raging Edge on it.
This is an extremely bizarre decision, since he's not that amazing with it. They even gave his character art a sword. The hell?

This is Arthur, our Alchemist.
Oh goodie.
Everyone's favorite.

And, lastly, Frederica, our Gunner, and the titular "Millenium Girl."

I am on Picnic still, so I'll just skip to the end.

Those four technically aren't part of our party yet, so Dude gets the full 400 EXP.

Now that the battle is over, you look toward the unfamiliar faces whom you fought alongside.

The young man in the white coat seems to be directing their efforts. And as for the other...

The girl who had been asleep within the bizarre device now stands with a perplexed expression. You want answers, but are unsure whether to seek them from the strange girl or the trio of intruders.
Let's talk to Frederica first.
You ask the girl, who seems dazed now in contrast to her prior bravery, who she is.
I'm... Frederica.
The girl answers you quietly and then looks up at your face. She then closes her eyes with her brow furrowed in thought. After clenching her fist as if hurt or trying to remember something, she opens her eyes and continues.
I feel like I know you... I was with you before, when...
Hey, look at this plot point about Frederica remembering Dude from the past. Commit it to memory. Then immediately discard it because it never comes up again.
This has slightly less plot relevance than JUSTICE. Which is to say they immediately forgot it ever happened, much like Frederica forgot everything.
The girl trails off again and clutches her temples as if pained. Sensing that further conversation with the girl will be difficult, you step away from the girl Frederica.
I too clutch at my temples at Story Mode.
Okay then. How about those three weirdos over there?
Recalling that the Radha selected you alone to explore this ruin, you wonder who these three could be... Just as you are about to express your doubts to the young man in the white coat, he notices you and speaks up.

The young man smiles affably. This may be a good time to raise the questions his presence implies...

Who are you three?
The young man seems to have anticipated your question and has a ready answer.
We're an investigation team from the Midgard Library. We heard about strange happenings here and came to see.

What was that monster?
That, I don't know. But it looked like a subspecies of a camel that's native to tropical climates. Still, its savagery was surprising. If there are more beasts like that in this ruin, it could be very dangerous.
After you speak with the young man in the lab coat, you take a step back to reassess the situation. The girl claims to know you, and the trio from the Midgard Library is apparently also here to investigate... The trio is looking around and conferring amongst themselves, but the girl's eyes are downcast. The young man occasionally looks to you and the girl with a worried expression. It may be his medic's training... Upon reflection, she does look unwell... You consider voicing your concern for her, though you can also let it lie.

Are you all right?
The girl Frederica slowly raises her eyes to you upon hearing your voice.
I've remembered my name, but...that's all I remember. My mind feels...foggy...
The girl makes another pained face as another headache renders her silent once again.
Yeah, I can't afford a new prescription for my glasses either.

Er... What I overheard sounded quite peculiar. Did she not come here with you...?
You tell him that you met the girl here, that her memory is spotty, and that she seems to know you somehow. Intrigued by this, the young man looks back and forth between the girl and the device in which she slept.
Hmm, she was inside this ruin, eh...? Amnesia can be very serious... But if her confusion is temporary, there's still hope. Seeing places or things she knows might jog her memory.
Things I know...?
The girl mutters to herself while looking at you with a troubled expression before continuing.
I don't know what kinds of things I know. But I feel like I know you, at least... Hey, could you tell me your name?

I'm the Dude, a Highlander.

goddammit this stupid name makes everything silly
The girl mutters your name to herself a few times, as if testing to see if it sparks any remembrances...
...No good. That doesn't do anything for me.
The girl sadly mutters to herself and looks around the room, as if hoping to find something she remembers.
But I feel like my mind's slowly starting to clear up.
With that, the girl faces you again with determination in her eyes.
Hey, Dude. You said you came to investigate too, right? Then do you wanna come with me?

There's absolutely no reason to stay silent. It's a but thou must.
Yes, let's go together.
The girl gives a small smile as she thanks you, seemingly relieved by your answer.
Looks like the two of you have come to an agreement.
The young man quickly looks between you and the girl before continuing.
If you plan to keep on exploring this ruin, might we join you? As I mentioned earlier, we came to investigate this same ruin. I believe we can be of use to each other.
The young members of the Midgard Library investigation team eagerly await your response.

These three are just gonna end up being attached to us later anyway, might as well stuff them in the party now.
Yes, let's work together.
The young man in the white coat smiles to hear your reply.
Good. Oh... I haven't introduced myself yet, have I? My name is Simon. I act as the leader of this investigation team.

I'm Dude. Nice meeting you.
Then shall we proceed?
Sensing that your conversation is coming to a close, the blond boy waves to you and raises his voice.

Just a moment, Arthur. We're going to be accompanying him now.
Huh?! How come?!

Well, hello there. I'm Raquna. It's nice meeting you, Highlander.
The protector woman clad in silvery white armor smiles as she greets you.
Pfft. Well, if Simon says, I guess it's okay.
Hey, I'm Arthur. Thanks for helping. Sorry you got dragged into it.
The mischievous blond boy grins as he says so. You nod, ready to continue your search with the amnesiac girl and Midgard Library investigation team.

And there's our actual party.
Hey, Dude? Can we start by checking out that device?

You can follow her suggestion and examine it, or look elsewhere.

This system message is so pointless. No, I actually want to walk around in a square and avoid the only progress available.
Is that really necessary?

Hey, I wonder what our new friends' builds look like!

Oh. Whatever, that's...workable.



*internally screaming*
Cover Fire no please go away

As you approach to examine its shape and interior, the young man Simon mutters to himself...

The girl emerged from a device forged by an ancient civilization, now lost... How bizarre it all is.
Yeah... Plus, wouldn't it be uncomfortable, trying to sleep standing up in this thing?
Simon's perplexed musings and the boy Arthur's irrelevant remarks wash over you as you, too, examine the device.
Frederica stands next to you and looks at the device's side.

can we just stop with that name
The die has been cast, Dude.
The girl, having seemingly made a discovery, points to a section of the device. You see words beneath the dust and moss on the side of the device Frederica indicates.
Hibernation test subject: Frederica...
Eh? You can read that ancient script?
Frederica nods to the armored woman's question and continues to pore over the writing.
We pray for Ricky's future as she enters a long slumber for the sake of our project...
Is this about me?
What kinda project is this that they froze a 16 year old girl to go into the future?
You'd think that Frederica is someone special or something from all of this, but nothing ever really comes up? It's weird as hell.
The girl looks anxiously up at you, but the words she is reading are beyond your comprehension. She inspects the device thoroughly in search of more information, but there seems to be none...
There doesn't seem to be anything written here that would help us in our investigation.
Just as you are tempted to agree, you hear a boy's shout.
Hey, Simon! Check this out!
As you were investigating the device, Arthur had climbed on top of it, and now calls out to you loudly. When you find him, the boy has fit himself perfectly into where Frederica had been sleeping.
It's really soft in here! It feels great!

Good for you.

This portrait is the only good thing about Simon.
He's good in a fight, but that's about all he's good for...
You wait for Arthur to clamber down from the device so you can continue searching for more clues.

Arthur seems beside himself with excitement at discovering the new path.
I think it leads to the other side! We haven't been there yet, right?
Guess we owe that monster one, eh? There's no way we could've knocked down this wall ourselves.
Yeah. It's real solid...
I don't think I've ever seen this kind of thing before! Where the heck did this ruin come from...?
That's what we came to investigate, Arthur.
I know that!
...If you're going to fool around, can it wait until later? Let's keep going. If this area hasn't been checked yet, you'll need to do that, right?
With that, Frederica slips through the crack in the wall. You hurry and follow her in.

The girl beside you avidly searches the area in hopes that something will trigger her memories to return.
I'm not sure we'll find anything to help you remember, just stumbling around like this.
...Maybe not.
There's no call for such pessimism. Beyond the scenery, the very air and environment here could help you. It would be wonderful if they help you remember, that we might learn more of this ruin and the odd quakes.
After Simon's attempt to console the girl, he turns toward you.
Dude, you told us that the Radha asked you to investigate this ruin, yes? If you don't mind, could you tell us their hypotheses and your findings? We'll share what we know as well.
Simon's light tone is contrasted by the grave expression in his eyes as he looks to you expectantly.

Of course.
You reveal everything that the Radha had told you to Simon.
I see... So even here in Etria, they don't know any more than we do.
Simon then begins to explain what his team has learned thus far.
Here's the long and short of things as we know them. Though I regret to say that even the Midgard Library's famed investigation team has discovered very little.
The young man digs through his pack for a stack of documents and rifles through them.

Around that time, mysterious sounds were heard in the forest above this ruin, which agitated the wildlife. The Midgard Library was informed of the matter and told that the quakes were growing more frequent. The Library decided to compile a dossier on the ruin and dispatch an investigation team to the site.
That's us three he's talking about.
But even we know very little. Though we did decipher the ruin's proper name... Let's see, according to these documents, it's called--

Frederica's voice is firm as she cuts short Simon's explanation. The anxiety she showed when she was yearning for clues is gone, and a powerful tenacity gleams in her eyes. You are unsure whether to ask her to elaborate or let the surprised young investigator resume his speech.

Have your memories returned?
The girl turns, apparently caught off guard by your question.
No... It's just, when I was listening to you guys talk, that word just popped into my head.
Surprised, Simon puts a question to Frederica...
Have any other memories surfaced?
...No, that was it. Although... I feel like I met someone in Gladsheim once...
Who was it...? Some man...with broad shoulders... We made an important promise...and... Ngh!
Seemingly taken with delirium, the girl suddenly cuts herself off and crouches, clutching at her head. You can see the pain evident in her face... Perhaps you should lend a hand in support.
I'm sure Dude's a good enough...dude. Let's have him put a hand on her shoulder.
Oh no, more intrusive dead-end plot threads!
Simon... I understand that you're curious, but let's let the poor girl be for now. She must be exhausted, having just woken up with almost no memories. We shouldn't be pushing her like this.
But she must know something... If her memory returns, it would be that much better for our investigation...
The young man seems disheartened, but seeing the girl's pain is enough to make him tread more lightly.
You're right, of course. It won't do any of us any good to overtax her.
Simon looks up at the ceiling, lost in thought... You take a short rest to check on Frederica's condition before resuming the investigation.

Okay, I can suspend disbelief for treasure boxes in the Labyrinth, but how the hell did these end up in Gladsheim?

On the other side seems to be unexplored territory within the ruin... As you look at the cracked wall, the protector Raquna stands beside you.

Indeed, it appears a passage once did exist, but the walls have crumbled and the corridor is no longer passable.
There's no other way. And with the ground so weak, it was impossible to get at from aboveground, either.
Then we can't get over there. I need to hurry and find a terminal to check on the state of Gladsheim.
The girl speaks another unfamiliar phrase in her frustrated muttering. You can address your question to the girl peering beyond the wall or try asking the investigators.

Let's ask Frederica.
On hearing your question, the girl casts a suspicious look at you before retorting.
How do you not get this? It's a terminal. There are computers all over Gladsheim, and...!
The girl's tone becomes heated, but she abruptly covers her mouth in shock at her own words.
Terminal? Computers...? What did I just...?
Maybe your memory's coming back?
Um... Hmm... Those words just came to me when I was looking over there... There's a terminal further in, and I have to hurry there! I know that much, but... That's all...
It seems that bit by bit, the girl is remembering some things, but the larger picture still eludes her.
A terminal and computers... They're remnants of the ancient civilization. I've seen examples at the Library. But if this is true, then there would be a terminal further in on that side, correct?
The girl nods at this, and Simon looks at you with a serious expression.
In that case, then I don't think that we can let anything stop us from moving onward. A way must be found, to get at the mystery of the abnormality and the key to this girl's memories...
It is very well of the young man to say so, but you can see no path nor think of a way to proceed...

Let's keep looking.
But we've already checked everywhere we can think of.
No, Dude is right. If we can't find it here, we'll look elsewhere.
...What's that mean? Do you have some idea how to get through?
Simon smiles, as if awaiting Frederica's question, before responding.
I do, in fact. In one of our documents, it says that to go deeper into Gladsheim, the use of transport devices is necessary.
Transport devices...?
Yes, it's technology from the bygone era. It transports objects to other places. That Yggdrasil Labyrinth... It's said to contain a singularity which makes this transportation possible.
The Yggdrasil Labyrinth...?
Frederica, please stop with the Solid Snake impression.

Fuckin' Guildmaster. That creep can roll, man.
Yeah, but he's a fucking pervert, Dude. When he moved down to Venice he had to go door-to-door to tell everyone he's a pederast.
What's a pederast, Arthur?
Shut the fuck up, Ricky.
Something we found in Library documents. There's no evidence of it, but it's worth trying. We do need to get further in...
One problem with that, though. The Radha's got the forest under strict watch. Who knows if they'll let outsiders like us in there...
Psh, why wouldn't they? We've got a guy right here that the Radha trusts.
Right, Dude?!

No way, you heard me! You totally heard me!
Enough, Arthur. We're not out to make trouble for you, Dude. We only ask that you speak to them about the matter. After all, I doubt that we alone would be granted so much as an audience. And in case you've forgotten... We need to go deeper within the ruin to restore Frederica's memories. You'd be helping her as much as us.
...Dude... I'm with them on this. I need to get further into this ruin. I don't remember much, but I do know that, at least.

Don't worry, I'll do it.
...Thanks, Dude.
You decide to take the girl and the investigation team back to the Radha.

The soldier is unable to hide his surprise that you entered alone, yet emerged alongside four companions.

You summarize for the soldier the events that transpired inside.
The Midgard Library?! I've heard much regarding their investigators... So they, too, are looking into Etria's abnormality! But your findings and the Midgard Library's involvement must be reported. Let us return to Etria.
With that, the soldier guides you and your new companions to the carriage to begin your journey back to town.

And the air's really clean, too...
Huh? Isn't it like it always is?
Tell me, Frederica, does this area seem familiar to you?
...No. Why?
Ah. I had hoped it might help your memories to return. The information in your skull will be very useful in exploring Gladsheim, so it'd be helpful if... Well...
...Sorry if I'm not remembering to your expectations, but I just don't recognize anything yet. But we need to be getting to that Radha place, right? Then let's quit messing around and go.

It may not be much, but here is your reward as compensation for your report and map.

We'd like for you to continue your investigation into the abnormality.

Now, we have no objection to chaperoning the girl from the ruin during your explorations. As for the rest of your report... I'm surprised to hear that a Midgard Library investigation team was snooping about the ruin.
I'm sorry to have surprised you, Subaltern. But it's nothing out of the ordinary. The Library investigates mysteries of all kinds, including ancient ruins. This was no different. The Library heard rumors of the abnormality and we were dispatched to investigate.
Hm... And Dude's report says that you can help us solve this abnormality?
Yes. That's why the Library sent us, in fact. We are seekers and compilers of knowledge. And if our investigation results in a safer Etria, why, all the better.
Yes... You have your own circumstances to consider. But if it dovetails with our efforts, we welcome your aid. Though I would like further explanation of the bit where you wish to gain access to the Labyrinth as well... The report claims you think it necessary to investigate the ruin. How certain are you of this?
I would swear it upon the Midgard Library's good name. Learning more about this ruin will be impossible without entering the forest.
Never really got the whole "swearing upon X's good name" thing.
You sound quite sure of yourself. ...Does the Library have any theories on what that ruin might be? Or the reason underlying the abnormality?
I couldn't speculate on that yet. That's why our team was sent in the first place: to investigate.
...It's true that you have information the Radha lacks, which could be of use in this instance. Still...

this name just won't stop

They're trustworthy enough.
Well, who am I to doubt a Highlander's word on the subject? Envoys from the Midgard Library, I understand your circumstances. Dude, I request that you continue investigating this new ruin. Please accompany our guests from the Library as you do so. The information they hold could be vital to us, but I hesitate to allow them to act unsupervised. But I believe you can ably represent our interests in the matter and keep everything harmonious. Will you accept, Dude?

Please leave it to me.
I thank you. Well then, envoys from the Library. I grant you leave to venture into the forest, provided you do so under Dude's command.
We have no objections to that.
Well then, Dude. I hereby approve the creation of a guild with you as its leader. You need only fill out this line here with the guild name you wish to register.

Again, I'm not entirely sure. You'd have to ask alcharagia.

Shit yeah, the Achievers.
Little Sheldon Urban Achievers, yes, and proud we are of all of them.
You should deliver this letter to Shilleka's Goods. They'll sell you an item you'll find quite invaluable.

Now then: head out and investigate the forest Labyrinth.

Quinn has special Talk dialogue.
I implore you to explore the Labyrinth in addition to the ruin.
There's another one, too.
Who would have thought that the Midgard Library would send a team all the way to Etria... It came as a surprise, but I'm sure their cooperation will help you have a much easier time of things.

The feeling's mutual.
All right! We're gonna be fighting side by side now. Might as well have a good start.
He's got a point. I mean, we just met. We barely know each other right now. How about we go to the pub and get to know each other a little better?

That's a good idea.
That's the spirit!
...You're just looking for another excuse to go drinking.
Well, our guild leader said it was okay! I don't know what you're complaining about. C'mon, let's hurry up and go.

We've already heard this spiel.

Come on, you two. Grab a seat! Hurry!

Raquna likes to drink, so much so that she has a portrait of her holding a mug.
Ah, that's the stuff!
Now, if we're gonna be exploring together, we should introduce ourselves to each other. Dude, is there anything you want to ask?

Let's ask about the Midgard Library first.
Huh? It's a library. You know, books and stuff.
...It's an organization that seeks to collect and preserve knowledge throughout the world. Literature, geology, mathematics, astronomy, pharmacology... All kinds of academics, as well as legends. We systematically study all these different fields, and teach them to those who seek to learn. You could call it an enormous school of sorts. Take Raquna, for example. She came from somewhere else to learn.
How about what to do from now on?
No matter the situation, you keep priority on your mission. I expect that from a Highlander.
Still don't get why being a Highlander has all these expectations attached.
Let's see, that Geomagnetic Field within the Yggdrasil Labyrinth is connected to the ruin, right?
Yes. It's from an ancient text that seems to be a reliable source. There's no mistake about it. I think we should be concerned about whether or not we'll be able to find the Geomagnetic Field.
I'm sure if we just walk around the forest long enough, we'll find it eventually.
We can ask about each of the three of them personally. Let's start with Simon.
Me? Well, I was the leader of our team of investigators, but only because I was the oldest among us.
Don't be so modest. It's because you knew the most about the ancient civilization.
No, you were appointed as leader because you're a noble. I was only given the position after you declined.
Well, we're here to investigate, not for combat. You should've been chosen in the first place. You agree, don't you, Arthur?
Yeah! Even if we were a combat team, I think Simon would be a better boss.
Moving on to Arthur.
What, you want to know about my formulas? I just go "Zoom!" and it goes "Whoosh!" and then "Bam!" and the enemies are like "Noooooo!" and I'm all "Hahaha!"
As always, I have no idea what you're saying.
Not a clue.
Meet Arthur. I hate Arthur.
Hey, Dude, you understand what I'm saying, right?

Hell no.
Oh, come on! That was such a clear explanation!
You need to understand that nobody knows what you're saying. Admitting you have a problem is the first step.
...He may be bad at explaining things, but he is skilled in his own right. You don't have to worry there.
I kind of sympathize with this because I can't teach people to save my life. You do the thing with the stuff.
Lastly, Raquna.
Ha, what about me?
Well, before I tell you anything, you and I are gonna have a drink.
Dude seems like the kinda guy that'd join in.
Good, you can handle your stuff.
I wouldn't go any further, Dude. She can drink you under the table any day of the week.
Yeah, she's a beast. I don't know where all that booze goes.
You got a problem or something? Food and drink are for eating! That's what table etiquette is for!
The scene proceeds now that we've exhausted all options.
Hey, Frederica? Is there anything you want to ask us?
...Not really.
Well, that's a shame. I would've liked to know a little more about you, but I suppose you can't say much about that, eh?
...Well, I guess I'll just ask you some questions, Dude. So, you're a Highlander, right? I've read about you guys in books, but you're the first I've met in person. What kind of people are Highlanders?

Hell if I could tell you.
I guess that's to be expected. Everybody's got their little differences.
I, too, have heard many rumors about the Highlanders. They have several codes that they live by, but the one they uphold the most is to find "true justice for all."
This never actually plays a significant role in the plot.
What?! Did you...just say..."true justice for all?"
What's the matter, Frederica?
I've heard that before. I feel like somebody close to me said it once...
Again, much like earlier, this never gets elaborated on.
Did you remember something?
...I'm not sure.
There's no need to rush.
But... I feel so helpless... Will this feeling go away if I get my memories back?
Of course. That's why we need to explore further into the ruin and find that terminal thing.
The terminal... Yes, you're right. If I can just find a terminal...
Yes, but first we must explore the Yggdrasil Labyrinth to find the transporter device. We may be able to find something pertaining to your past, as well as your relationship with Highlanders.
We never do, as far as the Highlanders bit goes.

I don't think foreshadowing gets sloppier than "foreshadow something and never elaborate on it."
Story Mode is "we came up with like 5 ideas, tried to cram them in and immediately forgot they existed and came up with something else later on".
Hopefully, we'll also be able to find some clue as to what's causing all these abnormalities in Etria. Just tell us when you're prepared to leave, Dude, and we'll head to the Yggdrasil Labyrinth.
God, that was a lot of text.

Next time: more Story.

Next Update
Previous Update
Table of Contents