Story Update 12: Broken Coral

We must report the results of our investigation to them in any case.
Yeah, we need to tell them about the dreadful stuff hidden below the town.

There's something we need to tell you about that. Can we have a little of your time?
Is it a pressing matter? If so, then I will make time immediately.

Even if we do know what's causing these strange events, if we have no means of remedying the problem, Etria is doomed.

Leave it to Achievers.
...Are you saying that Achievers will continue investigating the ruin for a way to get rid of the calamity? Very well. I shall accept your help. Thank you, Achievers. I wish you the best of luck on your investigation. I am sure you will need to find another Geomagnetic Field in the forest, but the 3rd Stratum is still unexplored. We have no new information on any Geomagnetic Fields there.
I see... I suppose we'll just have to look for it on our own.
Regrettably, yes. We were thinking of starting off by creating a map of the area, but... I am not sure if the Radha soldiers will be enough for the job. How about we work together on this?

Quinn has like several different talk dialogues banked up.
If you are going to continue down into the Labyrinth, do you mind giving us a hand? It would mean a lot to us if the ones who defeated the King of the Jungle would aid us...
I am sure that the soldiers' morale will improve once they know that the Highlander is fighting alongside them. I am counting on you, Dude.

It seems I was right in asking for your help, Achievers. Keep up the good work.

Let's accept.

This time, we'd like for you to create maps of the 11th and 12th floors of the forest Labyrinth. The third Stratum is full of mystery, even for we in the Radha. In the past, there were supposedly those who ventured into it, but no records survive of them. Though the Radha's brave soldiers are devoted to the task, the going is slow due to the threat of dangerous monsters. Our request to you is that you cooperate with them to complete these maps.
Dangerous monsters... Has something in particular come up of late?
Nothing specific, but in recent years we've seen reports of monsters native to lower Strata seen out of their depth. Even Cernunnos, whom you defeated recently, is said to hail from a much deeper Stratum.
In recent years, huh...? That might be related to the calamity that's been growing down in the depths.
That's certainly possible. I believe the drop in our soldiers' morale is due to their fear of these terrifying monsters. But if renowned explorers like you were to lend a hand, it would lighten their spirits considerably.

If this is caused by the calamity within the Labyrinth, the situation may be more serious than we thought.
So, you're saying that Cernunnos and Fenrir were in the upper levels because the calamity made them go berserk? Ugh! This calamity thing is nothing but trouble for us.
Let me reiterate. Cernunnos, who is flat out called the King of the Jungle in-game, did not actually live in the jungle until recently.

Everything about this "plot point" is fucking stupid and I hate it!
He just killed the previous king and usurped the throne. That's how monster heirarchies work, right?
I'm pretty sure there's no such thing as a good calamity, Arthur.
Well... yeah.
He does have a point, though. This calamity has only done harmful things to us. We have to do something about it...
Yes, if the Yggdrasil Core is allowed to reach the surface, who knows what will happen to this city, or the world. ...I will give my all in the protection of this city.
Yeah, I wouldn't want any of these people getting hurt! Right, Dude?

Ehh, the NPCs in this game are like the most boring NPCs in the series. But sure.
I would do anything for the guildmaster. We picked up a good crew, after all.
Of course!
Nobody wants to see a familiar face go away... or a city be destroyed!
But first, we'll have to explore the Labyrinth. Let's hurry and find the Geomagnetic Field. Come on! Let's go, Dude!

Frederica lingers around for a bit as everyone goes off.

Queen Bee's drop unlocked... an okay piece of armor, I guess? I mean personally don't find +10 TP that vital for Raquna to have.

Also, before you go into the 3rd Stratum, stock up on Sonic Bombs! Several enemies and FOEs from here on out will have access to Charge, and these will pretty much turn them into fodder!

Oh and for the record, no one has any new dialogue in Story.

Ragnar lost all the footage for the floor 11 and 12 quests, so I'll have to show them off. She already showed off Valerie's introductions for all of them, so I won't show those again.

First up will be Official Buisness I.
I think it's nice that the footage was "accidentally lost" so we'd have more to go over. Ragnar is very considerate.

The soldier makes a slight bow, then begins to explain the details of the quest.
You see, there's a man-eating plant that's been appearing here on B10F and attacking everyone it sees. We were sent here to kill the man-eater, but it's too strong for us. So, we'd like the help of you strong and skilled adventurers who have a grasp on surviving the 2nd Stratum.
A man-eating plant, eh? Do you know where we can find it?
There have been reports that the man-eating plant is hiding somewhere in a small room here on B10F. Oh, and the plant is very fast, so you'll have to use this.
The soldier reaches into his pocket and pulls out a pink sachet of incense.
If you burn this where the plant is, it should numb it, keeping it from moving. That's when you should strike! I'm sure Achievers will be able to handle it, but I wish you luck. There isn't much known about it, and it has claimed many victims. Please, be careful.

A fast-moving plant monster, huh? If there's a way to stop it in its tracks, we'll take it.
A small room on B10F... There are several. Which one can we find it in?
You resolve to look for the monster in one of the small rooms on the 10th floor.
The reason we're given 3 of these is because we can actually screw up in this quest. There are 3 rooms that are possible candidates to use the incense in, but only one room is the correct choice.

!As Raquna says, you can feel a distinct ill-will directed towards you. Whatever it is, it must be the plant monster you were sent to defeat. If you believe this to be the place, you should try kindling the pink incense in the middle of this room.
The game will pipe up whenever you go into a room that's a candidate for the incense. But this room isn't it.

This is basically one of those quests where you have to encounter the event associated with it beforehand, and then remember where it took place. There was an encounter with a vicious plant that took place in the upper right corner of the map.

If you ignite the incense in the wrong place, you'll just get into an encounter with a Fanged Vine.
This is why you always mark anything and everything you come across. While it might not do anything at the time, it's almost always related to a quest later, or a skill based event in later games.

Same spiel as before.

And this is the correct room.
You decide that the monster must be in this room, and burn the pink incense given to you by the soldier.

The room begins to fill with a spreading cloud of pink smoke... Without warning, you hear a heavy thud right beside you!
You see a large plant monster there, writhing in pain! However, it still harbors malice toward you, and slams its vines on the ground like whips!
This has to be the man-eating plant we're after.
Heh, if you ask me, I'd say the incense just made it madder!
This monster is surely the one behind the attacks! Take this opportunity and defeat the beast now!

Murder Vine

HP: 1880STR: 30TEC: 24VIT: 26AGI: 22LUC: 23
EXP Given: 960

Damage Vulnerabilities:
150% 100% 100%
150% 100% 100%

Disable Vulnerabilities:
50% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
50% 50% 100%
100% 50% 100%
  • Vicious Bite: Deals heavy cut damage to all party members. Average speed.
  • Vicious Bite: Deals 100% melee STR-based cut damage to all party members. The damage ranges from 107 to 125 on average. Has no speed modifier and a base accuracy of 99%.
  • The Murder Vine always opens with Vicious Bite.
  • Murder Vines are more likely to use Vicious Bite when they're at 50% HP or lower.
  • If this is the first turn, use Vicious Bite.
  • If the Murder Vine's HP is at 50% or lower:
    • 64% chance to use Vicious Bite.
    • Else, Attack.
  • If the Murder Vine's HP is at 100% to 51%:
    • 34% chance to use Vicious Bite.
    • Else, Attack.
  • Vicious Bite: Deals cut damage to all enemies. Slightly slow.
  • Vicious Bite: Deals melee STR-based cut damage to all enemies. Has an 80% speed modifier and a base accuracy of 99% at all levels.
Its AI causes it to use Vicious Bite when it's the first turn... yet it's impossible to get into a battle with this thing without a preemptive stike. Nice going Atlus.

There's not much to this enemy. It's beefy and has a hard hitting AOE attack. It's basically just a one trick pony. Do whatever you need to take it down.
Standard quest enemy, just a big chunky boy with a bit of HP. Though of course, you've seen the numbers we're dishing it, so it really doesn't make a difference.

Vicious Bite doesn't even do that much damage to us.

Easy peasy.

The soldier said it killed a lot of people... I'm sure he'll feel safe now.
You decide to return to the pub and make your report.

The Hall's job must've been really tough. I can tell by the looks on your faces. But you did it. That's simply incredible. The people at the Hall were all impressed by your skill. They told me to thank you. You really did it this time.


If you screwed up and used the incense in the wrong room at least once, you would only get 2 Stonards.

You would also only get 2000 exp per party member instead of 6000.
That's the only part we care about. At least 4 Stonards would sell for a chunk of change.

Also gonna cover these quests now.

Oh yeah, here's a new character. He has a bit more relevance than that little girl.

Now let's finally head off to the 3rd Stratum.
Ah, finally, a good character. One of those was bound to show up eventually.

As you turn your gaze forward while listening to Ricky, a soldier emerges from the other side of the clearing.

We've all been looking forward to meeting the skilled warriors who felled the King of the Jungle!
Hahah, well, who wouldn't!?
They told us to come and help you with your maps. How are those coming, eh?
...... The thing is, these floors are totally different from the previous ones, and the new monsters here are so strong...
The soldier trails off with a rather embarrassed expression.

So, you're making no progress?
The blunt question causes the soldier's shoulders to slump and his gaze falls to the floor.
B-But if famous explorers like you were to give it a try, I'm sure you'd have the maps drawn in no time!

That's one of the Radha's brave soldiers we heard about, eh...?

Let's draw the maps on our own.
Yeah... They did ask us to do this, after all...
Besides, there might be some soldiers who could help us. Right...?
You pray that Ricky is correct as you step into the new Stratum to chart its unknown expanse.
Yeah, that's not happening. See, that's a leftover from EO1. In the original game, the soldiers were actually helpful and not useless. They were scattered around the 11th and 12th floors, and when you talked with them, they would fill in parts of the map for you.

In this game? Yeah, you're on your own, buddy.
Helpful is a strong word to describe the maps given to you. But I guess if you were an absolute savage you wouldn't notice anything wrong with them...

Ricky pipes up here, but this is for the Lost item quest, not the current mission.
Dude, isn't this where that man said we could find the owner of this boot?
If I recall... the mining point on the 11th floor... That's where he should be. I don't know if we can believe that man, but it may be worth looking anyway.
The strange man's advice did say that the boot's owner would be here, but following it is up to you.

On closer inspection, you discover a broken wand. There is something inscribed on it, but the damage makes the lettering illegible.

This is probably one of the things we're looking for. Let's take it with us.
You believe this to be an article of one of the deceased, so you place the wand in your pack and continue on.

Killer Ants (and their FOE counterparts) come with Attack Unit, which is a great offensive buff to grab off of them! It's even stronger than Evil Cry to boot! (And also stacks with it.)

Are you getting tired, Ricky? We could take a break somewhere.
You look around and find a rather large boulder at a dead end. It seems large enough, in fact, for you all to have a seat... If you wish to spend time resting, you could do so on the boulder.

Sure, a break would be nice.

Why, Arthur totally deserves a break!
Ahaha, yeah, eheh, let's be nice to Arthur, snrk.
Alright, I get first dibs--
Just as you are about to take your own seat on the boulder, Arthur jumps up with a strangled cry. Curious as to what happened, you look at the spot where Arthur sat and find a broken piece of coral...
I-It stabbed me in the butt...!
Yikes, are you okay?
It really hurt! You try getting stabbed in the butt like that, see how you like it!
Ugh, will you stop saying that?
Upon close inspection of the boulder, you indeed find coral growing everywhere on it, rendering it unfit as a seat...

Though broken, the coral may still be usable in crafting something, so you place it in your pack. After warning the others not to rest on the spiny boulder, you return to your investigation.

You push the plants out of the way and uncover a chipped axe. Perhaps the vegetation protected it, as it doesn't look worn. It is chipped, as if from a fierce battle...
This must be what we're looking for. ...He made it this far, it seems.
You believe this to be an article of one of the deceased, so you place the axe in your pack and continue on.

Ugh, look how big it is... ...And there's no way that's the only ant around, huh? I mean, it is an ant, after all...
Yes, which is why it's best we avoid fighting them to conserve our strength.
You cautiously observe the ants' movements as you press onward.
You can probably fight them if you really wanted to. The ants aren't really that strong. Though there is sort of a reason for that.

They're all survivalists, and one of 'em has brown hair.
Huh? That's exactly what that creepy guy at the pub said.
You recall the oddly specific advice that the strange man at the pub gave you. As Arthur said, one of the men in front of you matches the description perfectly.

No reason not to.
You ask the survivalists if one of them has lost something. You produce the boot from your pack, and the chestnut-haired young man cries out in recognition. He asks you how you knew it was his.
Someone at the pub told us it belonged to you. Do you know him?
You describe the man to the survivalist, but he only shakes his head. It seems he does not know the man from the pub.
...What's going on here?
You have no answer. The survivalist hands you a freshly mined lump of ore.

Hey, that also helps clear the Love, cast in silver quest. It's neat when quests do that sort of thing.
He gives you his thanks and returns to his party.
We've finished the quest, but... something about this bothers me. How did that man know so much about the owner of that boot?
You have your own doubts, but you decide to return to the pub and turn in the mission.

I'll turn those two quests into the bar soon.

And here we have our first Silver Grimoire!

It's filled with absolutely garbage skills, but the important part is that this is our first 5 slot Grimoire!

That's how Mafia works.

Right, let's turn in those quests.

I'd like to see what kind of ring he makes out of it.

Too bad we don't have Efficiency. Then again, Simon would be out of a job if we did!

Still... That guy from before didn't know the owner at all? How could he possibly have known so much about him, then?

The answer was before your eyes, but you weren't looking. That's all.
Whoa, you again!?
Ah, pardon me. I just happened to overhear you.

Care to tell us how you knew?
Hrm... You ask, and I shall answer. The facts lie in simple logic that anyone can understand. Examining the size of a shoe allows one to easily determine the gender and general physique of the wearer. The shape matches most survivalists' boots, and it has been modified to allow one to move with great stealth.
Now that you mention it...
But how could you tell how many people were with him just from his boots?
The sole answers your question. You can see that it shows a great deal of wear, yes? This is the same pattern of wear that a person who fights on the front line--such as yourself--would have.
...I see.
For a long-range support unit such as a survivalist to be on the front line... It isn't difficult to deduce that there are few people in his party.
Even the game questions the worth of front line Survivalists!

Okay, that's not a terrible idea in this game, just less than ideal.
Huh... You can get that from a single shoe.
How'd you figure out where he was, then?
The bluish-black spots, with splashes of mud, can only come from spending time near water. No place in the forest, save for the recently pioneered 3rd Stratum, is damp enough to cause those stains.
Oh, okay... What else?
From the scratches and spatters of mud on the higher parts, it was clear the owner spent extensive time digging. From all these indications, I deduced that the boot belonged to an adventurer looking for raw materials. Oh, and there was a strand of hair caught in the lining. That was the simplest clue of all.
Whoa...! This guy's crazy!
I thank you for the compliment. Now, then, I believe I have adequately explained my logic to you. Do you have any further questions?

Who ARE you?
I am Austin. A detective. I have business here in this country, and will be staying here for some time. If you need any help, come ask me.
Yeah, he's pretty much a very blatant Sherlock Holmes homage! It's great.

If you're wondering what the deal with him is, you'll find out later.

...He really likes to talk, doesn't he? Either way, it's good that you were able to return the boot to its owner. If there's something we don't know in the future, maybe we could ask him. Good job, everyone.

We can also talk with Austin after that quest.

Hrm... It seems you're the perfect people for my first case here. This must be fate. Lady Luck is on my side.

He's, uh... How should I put it... He's kinda strange, isn't he? What do you think, Dude?

What can I say? I'm a sucker for a homage like that.
It's a bit unfair to literally every other character that interacts with him, especially those from the first game, since it really shows the difference in writing quality.
I like him.
What!? Really?
Hey, me too! That old man's kinda funny.
He did figure out who owned that shoe, so I'm sure he isn't just all show. There are a lot of people who enjoy flaunting knowledge of trivia, but few who can actually put it to such use.
I agree. ...I'm sure we'll cross paths again.
Now back to the 3rd Stratum.

Ragnar also forgot to cover these FOEs, so I'll do so right now.

Blood Ant

HP: 1586STR: 33TEC: 26VIT: 28AGI: 22LUC: 25
EXP Given: 4000

Damage Vulnerabilities:
100% 75% 100%
50% 150% 100%

Disable Vulnerabilities:
50% 50% 50% 50% 50% 50% 50%
10% 10% 50%
50% 50% 50%
  • Attack Unit: Increases one row of enemies' physical attack by 50% for 4 turns. Very fast.
  • Attack Unit: Increases one row of enemies' physical attack by 50% for 4 turns. Has a 150% speed modifier.
  • On the first turn, if Attack Unit has not and will not already be used on this turn, the Blood Ant will always open with Attack Unit.
  • Attack Unit has a cooldown of 4 turns.
  • Attack Unit will never be cast when any enemies have its buff.
  • If the Attack Unit cooldown is not initialized, initialize it to 4.
  • If the initial Attack Unit flag is set, decrement the Attack Unit cooldown by 1.
  • If the initial Attack Unit flag is not set, Attack Unit was not already used on this turn, and no enemies have the Attack Unit buff, use Attack Unit, and set the initial Attack Unit flag.
  • If the Attack Unit cooldown is less than or equal to 0, Attack Unit was not already used on this turn, and no enemies have the Attack Unit buff, use Attack Unit, and set the Attack Unit cooldown to 4.
  • If none of the above happened, Attack.
  • Attack Unit: Increases one row of party members' physical attack for 4 turns. Fast.
  • Attack Unit: Increases one row of party members' physical attack for 4 turns. Has a 120% speed modifier.
  • Normal: Black Carapace. 60% chance. Sells for 481 en.
    • Bardiche (+90 ATK, +20 HP): Made from 1 Black Carapace. Costs 6720 en.
They're basically stronger and beefier versions of Killer Ants. They're slightly more threatening than Servitor Ants since they can actually buff their attack, but they really don't do much on their own since they're meant to support other enemies. Yeah, there's a reason why the "FOE that functions as a support" archetype has never been used outside of the first game. Or this one. If you have ways to erase buffs or any attack debuffs in your party, you've pretty much defanged them entirely.
By themselves they're just an annoyance that can hit kinda hard, it's only later on that the pieces of the puzzle come into place and then really start annoying you!

Since they're going to open up with Attack Unit, I'm gonna have Dude put a stop to that,

Raquna has nothing better to do. If she lands the arm bind, great. If not, it's not a big deal.

Simon and Arthur will set up, while Frederica gets some chip damage in.

Come on let me see ya shake your tailfeather!

Arm bind didn't land, though I wasn't expecting it to.

Even though whatever damage the Blood Ant will do won't be much, I'll still have Simon heal it up since there's not much else he can do.

Gonna reduce that damage even further with Forest Guardian.

Now that the Blood Ant has ceased being a nuisance (It was never a threat in the first place), I'll take the time to set up.

Are you ready to witness something stupid? ACTION BOOST ARTHUR!

And Action Boost Ricky! This is going to be absurd!
What did this poor ant ever do to you?
Nothing. And that's exactly what this poor ant is going to turn into.

Yeah, this thing is pathetic.

And here we go.

Arthur just killed that thing all by himself. He didn't even need Dude or Ricky helping out!

Would you believe me if I said that this isn't as crazy as it gets? That Arthur can achieve an even greater level of power? (And for that matter, any Alchemists in Classic, but who cares about those bozos? They can't get Action Boost without New Game Plus.)

And- I don't get the drop!? Really? Hang on.

Okay, there we go.
Drops in the middling percents are just that way for shits and giggles, really.

This is what the Blood Ant's drop unlocks. Could be a nice boost for Axe Landsknechts.

Next time, we'll finish up that mapping mission. Just be warned that things may get a bit... dusty.
The Target Goggles, they do nothing!

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