Story Update 2: That Stuff We've Already Seen

VIDEO: Scene: To the Yggdrasil Labyrinth

I've heard it's dangerous, but you wouldn't know that to look at it. It's beautiful...
Beautiful? This? It's just a bunch of trees!
*sigh* You don't get the idea of atmosphere, eh? We're looking at the same forest, but not the same thing.
This does feel different from my homeland... I can't quite explain how, though. How did you feel to see this Labyrinth, Dude?

Where do you hail from?
My homeland? It's called Ontario. Do you know it? It's a northern land, cold as a witch's teat.
Raquna being from Canada specifically annoys me for reasons I'll state later.
It's a city far to the northeast of Etria. The autumn leaves of the maple trees are said to be beautiful...
You sure know your stuff. The syrup from the maple trees is a delicacy, too. We make all kinds of things with it. Roast maple syrup chicken, crispy maple spareribs... And then for dessert, maple syrup ice cream.

Oh yah, a specialty where I come from. It's cold, sweet, and just melts in your mouth...
Can you make some for us, Raquna?
Eh... I actually don't know how. We had local specialists make it.

Do you want me to make it?
You can do that?!
Er... I believe you'll be needing eggs, sugar, and fresh cream to make ice cream. The eggs and sugar aside, procuring fresh cream won't be easy. Even if you had the ingredients, I don't know where in Etria you could freeze it properly. And on top of all that, the only way to make it maple syrup ice cream would be to import some from Ontario.
Oh... Well... I-It's a good thing I didn't have my hopes up...
Enough chitchat, though. Let's get moving.
Sounds good to me. We can talk about ice cream some other time.
The girl plods on with the trek as if nothing had happened. You see the others follow after her and hurry along with them.
I should note: Dude saying his homeland is better would result in us being informed that the Highlanders live in the mountains near the Duchy of High Lagaard.
Yay, continuity!

A way out west there was a fella, fella I want to tell you about, fella by the name of Jeff Lebowski. At least, that was the handle his lovin' parents gave him, but he never had much use for it himself. This Lebowski, he called himself the Dude. Now, Dude, that's a name no one would self-apply where I come from. But then, there was a lot about the Dude that didn't make a whole lot of sense to me. And a lot about where he lived, like-wise. But then again, maybe that's why I found the place so durned interesting.

Time for the next floor.

Am I the only one who senses something bad nearby?

My father took me deer hunting when I was little... But that's bigger game than anything we hunted.
Can we overcome that thing...? What do you think, Dude?

Tell me more about deer hunting.
Not much more to tell. All I did was watch the hunting dogs and grown-ups from the back...
But you saw 'em hunt! Can't you remember any weakness the deer had or something?
I was just a girl, eh? How would I remember something like that?
...I think that's enough pointless digression while the enemy stands before us.
It's not pointless! Knowing the deer's weakness would be a huge help!
I think what Raquna remembers is most likely elk hunting. It's a popular sport for nobles of Ontario, I hear. But that thing up ahead is no elk. Even if Raquna did remember, I don't see the value in it now.
Wow... You really know a lot about this stuff, huh?
I thought it was common knowledge.

We get a more in-depth tutorial about FOEs in Story mode compared to Classic, for some reason.

Hey, yeah! You think it's good to eat?
Is that all you care about...?
You look in the direction Raquna is pointing and see a swaying orange fruit that looks enticing indeed. It would be no trouble to take the fruit and eat it.

I feel like having Frederica eat the fruit, for no real reason.
Well, here goes...
The moment Frederica bites into the orange fruit, her expression sours.
Uch... It's so bitter.
It seems to taste worse than it looks. You realize the danger of false appearances as you resume your quest.

Hold on, everyone... Look there.
You look toward where Raquna is pointing and see a monster there.
It's just another monster. What's the big deal, Raquna?
Look closer, Arthur. That monster's clearly different from the others we've encountered so far.
You're right... There's something ominous about it...
As you observe the monster, it notices you as well, and glares at the party.
Here it comes!
The armored woman's yell spurs you into action just as the monster attacks!

It's the rare breed tutorial again.

That monster was definitely stronger than the garden variety ones, eh?
We'd better be extra careful if we come across any more glowing monsters like that one.
Then again... It did seem unusually good for honing our skills. We'll leave the decision to you, Dude.

It seems like some sort of creature... Not a monster, I don't think...
You wonder whether to chance it or leave the sound alone.

Arthur, you're up.
Alright, I'm gonna check it out! Watch me!
Arthur triumphantly pushes back the tall grass, but...
Arthur yelps and jumps back. You see a snake near his feet slither away... It seems the snake bit Arthur.

Dammit... I'm gonna fry that thing the next time I see it!
It's your just deserts for making so much noise. Be more careful next time...
You pull yourselves together and continue on the adventure.

Rapid screen shaking again.
The tremors continue for a while, but soon come to a stop.
...That was quite the quake, eh?
Indeed it was. It must have been one of the abnormal earthquakes troubling Etria of late. We must hurry and make progress in our investigation of the Gladsheim ruin to get to the bottom of the quakes.
And to get my memory back, right?
...Er, of course. Restoring your memory is the main objective. I'm sure much will come to light at that time.
Yah. And for that, we need to find a Geomagnetic Field.

I'm surprised you noticed such an unremarkable fruit.
You look toward where Frederica is pointing. On the tree at the end of the narrow trail is a shriveled green fruit. At first glance, its color and shape make it look rather unappetizing... But if you really wish, there is enough for you all to pluck the fruit and eat it.

hell yeah let's eat this gross-looking fruit
Appearances to the contrary, the fruit was fresh and juicy.
Huh? Wow, it's great!
Oh? Hm... This actually isn't bad at all.
Huh? Ooh, this tastes neat! I like it!
Wow, this is delicious. Looks like we can't be so quick to judge by appearances, eh?

I missed this event by accident in Classic, because... Well, c'mon, this is kind of a weird spot for a manually-triggered event.
Hello, explorers. How goes your journey through the forest? It must have tired you out, coming this far.
And you are...? You look like a soldier from the Radha, but...
My duty is to help explorers in the early going of the forest, at the Radha's instruction. Well? Are you tired enough to take a breather and dine with me? With that, the soldier drags over a large basket sitting beside him and smiles.
Ooh, something smells good!
Arthur! Where are your manners?!
What should we do, Dude? Should we eat with him?
...A savory aroma wafts from the basket, making your stomachs growl. The choice is yours whether to take the soldier up on his kind offer or hurry on ahead.

We'll gladly accept your offer.
Ah, indeed? Then I'll get the food ready right away!
The soldier nods happily and begins to bring out the contents of the basket. First come open-faced sandwiches with sliced jerky, cheese, and butter...
Wow...! Are you sure we can have all this?
Oh, this isn't the half of it!
Next to be laid out is grilled mountain quail, potato and caper salad, bunches of raisins, and wine.
Holy shit, dude, how many explorers pass through here that necessitates all that food, to say nothing of its fanciness? Wine?
This guy takes his cooking seriously, damn it!

Another Caucasian, Gary.
Right, Dude.

Friends like these, huh, Gary.
That's right, Dude.
Oh, man! Dude, you're amazing!
Haha, there's no need to be modest. Eat as much as you like!
Tired and hungry as you are, you only nod at the soldier's generosity before reaching toward the banquet before you.
...This is most delicious.
Especially the salad. That subtle taste of mint...!
Hey, if you're not gonna eat that sandwich, can I have it?
Quit that! I'm still eating here.
After enjoying the meal the soldier so considerately prepared, you find that your body and mind are healed!

Ooh, that's generous.
This is actually a very useful event on B2F. It's a good booster to get you to the east end of the map.
Looks like that set you aright. I'm glad I could help you on your way.
With that, the soldier cleans up and stands again.
There's no more food, I'm afraid, so I'll be heading back. But I'll be here again at daybreak, if you want another meal. Good luck in the Labyrinth.
You thank the soldier and return to the investigation with renewed vigor.

No way...!
Get back, Frederica!

No sooner are you in safety than the giant boar rushes by and slams against a wall!
That monster seems to charge at any prey that enters its sight. The mimicry must be to catch its prey off guard. That speed, though... That'll be trouble for us. I don't see a way we can dodge it.
Does that mean we can't get by? So what're we supposed to do, Simon?
Let's make a detour and be careful where we walk.
You nod at Raquna's suggestion. Since you cannot be sure the beast is unique, you must tread cautiously.

I'm just kinda going from event to event, since all the important stuff's already covered in Classic.
It's hard to say things about this, because after the first introductory bits it pretty much becomes Classic except you have people go "well that happened" for events. Well, until later things.

That's saying something, coming from the man who never met a danger he wouldn't run headlong into... Dude, I think we should be extra careful around here. And if we bump into one of those things... Just run. Don't even think about fighting it, eh?
You look and see that Raquna speaks the truth. There are extremely dangerous monsters lurking nearby. You see no shame in running away if the need arises. Survival must be your first priority...

But we'll be okay if we stay calm. Let's just go on like before.

Have you memorized the monster's pattern yet? Then let's go...

I warped back to town due to some mishaps with escaping.
Yeah, that's us. You need something?
Oh, thank goodness! Then you would have a member of the Sheldon family with you, correct?
I'm Raquna Sheldon. And you are...?
Ah, so you are Ms. Raquna. It's such a pleasure to meet you. My name is Rosa. I have orders from my master to assist you, Ms. Raquna.
What? Wait. Hold on a minute. I don't understand...
Your father is worried for you, and so he ordered me to come to your aid. I will care for all your needs.
*sigh* Father's at it again...
Your father is only concerned for your well-being.
I have a message from my master, as well. May I ask who might be the leader of this group?

Pointing at Simon or Frederica isn't funny enough, so let's just be truthful.
I'm the leader of Achievers.
Master Dude, is it? Very well, let me read Master Sheldon's letter to you.
I have heard news that my daughter will be joining an investigation team. Nothing can be allowed to happen to her. She is my only daughter, and part of the esteemed Sheldon family. This is why I have decided to assist you. To be specific, the Sheldon family has arranged for a mansion to be made available as your base of operations. I have also sent a capable servant. I am sure her culinary skills will be of use to the investigation team. And, I expect Rosa to keep me up-to-date on my daughter's well-being. I hope you will accept this aid.
That is all my master has to say. Will you accept?
Wow, uh... Your dad's kinda... How should I put it...?
I know. He's far too overprotective.
A mansion? That is an extravagant gift. And yet, a "home base" certainly has merits. What do you think?

false choices whee
Thank you for agreeing. Would you like to give the mansion you will be staying in a name?

Again, I just asked alcharagia for a guild house name here. You'll have to ask her for context.
"Treehorn" it is, then. I shall head there in advance to make the place ready for you.
Why don't we go see what this Treehorn is like before we go into the Labyrinth?

Very well then.

Please, feel free to use this mansion as your own home. I shall see to all your needs.
What a beautiful house...!
...Dang, your family's kind of crazy.
Yah, a family that buys a mansion in a city where their kid goes and then sends a maid... "Crazy" is a good word.
Even so, I am grateful for this gift. Thank you, Ms. Rosa, it's a pleasure to meet you.
Thank you. Please, call me Rosa. I will be here to prepare meals for you when you return from your excursions. Please, feel free to come by between your excursions.
And we get the same tutorial on the mansion as Classic from there.

You recognize them as Ren and Tlachtga, who accompanied you on your first mission.

You introduce your companions to the women and they nod a brusque greeting.
But have you come this far and heard nothing from the Radha yet? Go back to town and take it up with them. We can't let you pass until you do.
With that, Ren falls silent. It seems that you must go to Radha Hall to find out what this is about...

I understand that you are in the midst of your investigation, but we have received reports of dangerous beasts. I have temporarily restricted the number of guilds that are allowed to enter the area. Please stay put until we have confirmed that the area is safe.
Stay put...? We don't have time for that.
Hmm... Let me see. I suppose your guild is strong enough. I was about to issue a mission to eliminate the threat within the forest. It would help us a great deal if you agreed to join the hunt as well.

Same mission as in Classic. Different dialogue here, though!
You accept, then? Very good. Let me give you the details. Beyond the 3rd floor, there have been many sightings of forest wolves. This in itself poses little danger, but their leader, Fenrir, has occupied B5F of the forest and is attacking explorers. You must head to B5F at once to neutralize this threat.

Consequences inevitably catch up to you, Dude.
I have no objection to exterminating the wolves, but shouldn't we ask for any tidbits on the Geomagnetic Field?
What do you know about the Geomagnetic Field, subaltern?
...The Geomagnetic Field, you say? I've heard a few reports of it from explorers. Some mysterious power that instantly transports people...
Would you happen to know where it is?
It's found just after getting through the first Stratum. Near the entrance of the second Stratum, I believe. You won't be far off once you complete this mission. I ask that you exterminate Fenrir for the sake of your research into this abnormality as well.

Yeah, I'm glad we found out! I bet you're relieved.
Sort of... We haven't actually found it yet. And even if we do, I won't feel better until my memory's back.

I'm sure your memories will return.
...Thanks, Dude.
Our plate is full: defeat Fenrir, find the Geomagnetic Field, fix Frederica's memory, and look into the abnormality.

We've accepted the mission at the Radha. Will you let us pass now?
Yes, they told us. The wolves are resilient enemies. Be careful on your way. We'll help as best we can...but we bid you good luck.
You gaze down the path that Ren has opened to you into the forest... Though the way is open now, you wonder if you should return to town first.
I just fucking left town.

What was that sound?
When you look up, a bear twice your size is standing there! But it either doesn't notice you or isn't interested in you, and is instead occupied with something near its feet.
Thankfully, it doesn't seem to care much that we're here. Maybe we can still get away.
Simon is correct... The bear is occupied with something at its feet. It seems the perfect opportunity to flee...
Why the hell would Dude want to agitate a bear? Let's get outta here.
Reasoning that it would be foolhardy to stay, you immediately flee.
...Okay, it's not coming after us.
You turn to see, but the bear has still not noticed you. You sigh with relief and resume your investigation.

Suddenly, you hear the dreadful growl of a fierce beast. Mere yards away, a giant wolf is preparing to spring onto an unlucky soldier!
Oh, no! That soldier's passed out! We need to hurry and save him!

Dude is many things, but he is not one to leave a soldier to be eaten by a wolf.
As you gird yourself for battle, the faint ringing of a bell reaches your ears...
What's that sound...?

The music stops.
Tlachtga murmurs a mysterious chant and rings the bell she holds once again. All at once, the wolf that had stood ready to pounce stops moving, its muscles tensed... At a final word from the girl, blood spews from the wolf's jaws, and it collapses.

Nothing special... These wolves don't hear or see well...but they can smell blood... You should be careful...

...Pretty sure that's a typo, and is supposed to be "wounds like this."

In any case, same HP/TP heal as Classic.
She could be referring to the soldier? Who knows.
I promise I'll stay here until you defeat Fenrir... If you get hurt again, come and see me... Past here you'll find the stairs to the 4th floor... Take them when you're ready...
Tlachtga points you to the back of the room, then begins treating the collapsed soldier's wounds.
I'm still not sure what happened there... But I think that soldier will be okay in her hands. Let's take her up on her offer and move on now that we're all patched up, eh?

This is as good a point as any to call it an update. Not too many images, but a lot of text.

Next time on Story: B4F, and B5F.

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