Update 5: Hungry Like the Wolf

So, Vicious Vinny, I'm curious. How, exactly, do you treat the grievous wounds you surely endure from all these brave acts?
Treatment? Medicine? That's f' the weak. All I need is t' drink the blood'a my enemies.
Vince. I need a word with you.
I only got one word for someone like you, Doc.
Vince. I need a word with you.
...And that word is "okay," what is it? Listen, Doctor T. I--
You know, actually, my husband did call me that, from time to time.
Based on an old historical figure, you know. He always said that I pitied the fool who didn't respect the power of medicine. Do you consider yourself pitiable, Vincent?

Final floor of the 1st Stratum. Let's go.
This floor can wear you down quite a bit compared to the earlier floors.

Hey, Dr. Hannighan, can you make any kind of medicine out of mandrakes?
Out of the actual plant? No, they're extremely toxic. Out of the monster plants we're fighting right now? They're probably toxic as well, in addition to several other qualms I'd have--
This pharmacological discussion's all well and good, but can we focus on the monsters, please?!

Burn, buuuuuurn, burn them aaaaaaall~
I have a long list of things I am good at, but "skilled at improvisation" is not in it.

Hey, Momoe, anyone ever told you that katana techniques like that are...almost dance-like?
...No, but that gives me great ideas for new pitches...

wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee i love getting more of these things

Mad cow on the loose.
That's a bison, not a cow.
...I know that. One-hundred percent know that.

War Bison

HP: 330
STR: 15
TEC: 8
VIT: 11
AGI: 11
LUC: 9

EXP Given: 300

Grimoire Skills:
  • Stomp: Uses the legs. Deals melee STR-based bash damage to one row of enemies. Has a 70% speed modifier and a base accuracy of 99% at all levels.
Drops:Damage Vulnerabilities:
100% 100% 100%
100% 100% 100%

Disable Vulnerabilities:
100% 100% 100% 100% 150% 50% 100%
100% 100% 100%
100% 100% 100%
War Bisons are plenty capable of demolishing your front row with Stomp, both with and without a Protector.
Stomp is incredibly nasty. It's a pretty good introduction to what large enemies will be throwing at you for the rest of the game. Besides that, War Bisons are surprisingly fragile for a final stratum enemy. Just leg bind them if you have it or you're in for some trouble.

Please don't wake up before it's over...


There we go!

You think Rosa would like it if I brought some cuts of bison steak back for dinner?

B5F B1 Mine Point

*intense sobbing*
This formation is incredibly straightforward yet incredibly dangerous. Giraffa Beetles don't screw around.

Okay, okay, the guys are dead, but so are the bugs now, the bugs are dead too. Good.
Um, how are we gonna...get their bodies back to town?
Case in point.

Oh, right, Rosa wanted some Beetle Jaws!
...Is now really the best time to think about that?

christ al-fucking-mighty
At level 12, the party's pretty much outpaced the threats posed by this formation. A little too late there, game.

This formation's particularly annoying, and introduces the concept of the game deliberately preventing you from hitting priority targets, since the Flying Beetle casting Cover will keep us from hitting the Zebratherium.
Luckily Arm Hammer isn't as much of a threat at this point, but it can still add up really quickly.

B5F E2 Chop Point

Up go Sigrid and Momoe's levels, after a tussle with another bison.

Sigrid now has ATK Up at level 3, which unlocked Boost Up.
Boost Up is a pretty good passive, especially since Dark Hunter focuses so much on single large hits.

Horse Slash now deals 250% damage.
It will also remain very reliable for roughly half of the game or more at this point.

I went back to town because, uh, I noticed I didn't have an Ariadne Thread, and didn't want to go too far into the floor because of that.
Amud Staff (+36 ATK, +20 TP) is made from 5 Pyroxenes (1st Stratum Mine 1) and 1 Metal Horn (War Bison normal). Costs 390 en.

Warabite (+57 ATK, +1 VIT) is made from 3 Bronzites (1st Stratum Mine 2) and 1 Thorn (Flying Beetle rare). Costs 870 en.

Short Bow (+32 ATK) is made from 1 Vine (Mandrake rare). Costs 300 en.

Hasta (+45 ATK) is made from 3 Thorns (Flying Beetle rare). Costs 650 en.

Laced Mail (+20 DEF) is made from 2 Metal Horns (War Bison normal) and 5 Gum Hides (Roller normal). Costs 360 en.

Nail Glove (+7 DEF) is made from 1 Thorn (Flying Beetle rare). Costs 120 en.

Green Boot (+5 DEF, +5 TP) is made from 2 Vines (Mandrake rare). Costs 100 en.

Aspis (+12 DEF, +5 HP) is made from 3 Hard Shells (Flying Beetle normal). Costs 190 en.

Ocarina (+30 TP; Troubadour only) is made from 1 Metal Horn (War Bison normal). Costs 250 en.
There's a few Troubadour-only TP booster accessories throughout the game. It's kinda weird.
It's a holdover from the original game, but Troubadours eat through TP like crazy so it's not completely out there.

Okay, Thierry, we'll need to workshop your singing--
Yes, I'm aware, thank you.
I gave Thierry a Grimoire that has Fire Prelude on it, because he often has nothing useful to do without it.
Welcome to Medic! They make pretty good buffers themselves since they have so many turns where you just don't really have anything to do.


I'm bringing all of the Walls up to level 4.

Revive now has a 10 HP base revive heal, but more importantly, Thierry also unlocked CPR.

Fire Prelude buffs damage by 16% now.

The soldier notices you as well and gives a friendly greeting.
Hello, explorers. How goes your journey through the forest? It must have tired you out, coming this far. My duty is to help explorers who are on their way to defeating Fenrir, at the Radha's instruction. Well? Are you tired enough to take a breather and dine with me?
With that, the soldier pulls over a large basket sitting beside him. A savory aroma wafts from it, making your stomachs growl. The choice is yours whether to take the soldier up on his kind offer or hurry on ahead.
Oh, gods, I am starving.
It's never a bad idea to ensure we have plenty of nutrition.
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... They are followed by grilled mountain quail, potato and caper salad, bunches of raisings, and wine.
Go on, 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.
Now, remember, everyone, the wine will do nothing for thirst.
...After enjoying the meal the soldier so considerately prepared, you find that your body and mind are healed!

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.

Sometimes formations have clever interactions and dynamics in play. Sometimes they just have a bunch of dangerous enemies. Even if we first saw Forest Hares on B2F, they can still easily weaken someone so that they succumb to a Strike Up, or finish off someone hit by a Strike Up.
I forgot this was even a formation in S1. Sheesh, this is a really nasty setup.

The bird's joyous song lifts your own spirits to hear, as if you are included in their celebration. You can tarry and listen to the birds sing for a while, if you wish.
I could go for some birdsong, after fighting endless bison and bugs...
You decide to sit and enjoy the birdsong as long as you can. Whether or not the birds are aware of their audience, they perform in a splendid chorus. By the time their chirping has ceased, you are thoroughly refreshed!

When you stand up, you see a new set of birds gather to replace those which flew away. If you come back at daybreak, you may be able to hear the birds sing again. You decide to commit this place to memory and return to your investigation with a gladdened heart.

Well now. That's an...interesting coloration for a naturally-bred wolf.
It has a pink tongue...

And it's...scared of us?
I'm not going to complain about monsters finally learning the extent of my abilities and feats.
Hi, Emmett, the rest of us are here too, including the two with actual weapons and the one with a gigantic shield.
When we walk towards Skolls, they will take a step away from us in the same direction, until it is impossible for them to run away.

Hey, why not?


HP: 859
STR: 16
TEC: 14
VIT: 14
AGI: 15
LUC: 13

EXP Given: 570

Grimoire Skills:
  • Silver Fang: Uses the head. Deals ranged STR-based ice damage to one enemy. Has a 70% speed modifier and a base accuracy of 99% at all levels.
  • Binding Howl: Uses the head. Deals ranged STR-based almighty damage to all enemies. Attempts to stun hit targets. Has a 150% speed modifier and a base accuracy of 99% at all levels.
Drops:Damage Vulnerabilities:
100% 100% 100%
150% 50% 100%

Disable Vulnerabilities:
50% 50% 100% 50% 50% 50% 50%
10% 10% 50%
50% 50% 50%
Silver Fang is annoyingly strong against certain classes, and Binding Howl, on average, will cause at least one person on your team to lose a turn. Other than that, Skolls don't have too much going for them.

Right now, that is. They'll become far bigger threats in an upcoming thing.
it's a wolf except you use ice wall every turn

Emmett, that was just you flinching, right?
Y-yes. Whysoever do you ask?
Just making sure your hearing wasn't damaged.
Binding Howl deals absolutely piss-poor damage.
It's still an introduction to Stun, which is almost always loaded onto extremely fast attacks. It can be incredibly disrupting in later fights and can outright cause wipes if the wrong person gets hit if you're not cautious enough.

Dammit. I used Boost on that.

Momoe's here to pick up the slack.
Ronin's kind of awesome.

Sigrid's lucky she has above-average LUC.

Hey, Emmett, teach me the secrets of your singing sometime?
Most certainly not. I spent a long, long time honing this prowess of appealing to the auditory senses. ...Why are you suddenly interested, anyway?
N-no particular--
Is it flirting-related?
Fine, yes.
That's the effect of Emmett's current level of Fire Prelude, by the way.

Also, notice how there's an FOE aggro'd on us on the map. That is another Skoll--Skolls will aggro on you and move towards you while you're in a battle.

Sleep tight!

I also killed this other Skoll for no real reason.

Who where--

Ren hands you a bag with a round hunk of metal in it.
It's called a Flash Bomb. They'll sell these at Shilleka's too now. Works well when you're surrounded by monsters closing in. It makes a bright flash that blinds the monsters so they can't horn in on your fight. But the effect only lasts for one round. Don't expect it to save you forever.
She hands you the bag with the Flash Bomb in it and then turns on her heels to leave. You transfer the Flash Bomb into your own pack and continue on your way.

Flash Bombs stun all FOEs in the room you're in for one turn, stopping them from moving. These are thoroughly useless.
Except for one point very soon. Which you need many for.

I went back to town because the upcoming room gives me hives.
Wolf Glove (+8 DEF, +10% ice resistance) is made from 1 Wolf Pelt (Skoll normal). Costs 290 en.
I should note that while +10% ice resistance might not sound like much, it's worth a lot more when you consider that TEC is basically the sole determining factor in elemental defense for players, and quite a lot of classes don't exactly have lots of TEC.

This room has a lot of FOEs in it.
This room is a party house. I tend to bungle it pretty badly whenever I go through it.

Okay, that wolf's screwing with us.
As far as I know, there's no way to get at that chest without killing that Skoll.

Not really feeling that was worth it...

This room's slightly chaotic, between the mantis and the Skolls.

None of the rocks are Boulder Boars, though.

The room's not that long, at least.

Directly to our left is a Skoll, backed into a corner. In the distance, two Ragelopes that are, currently, running in opposite directions. Our goal is to get between the gap created between them so we can proceed.

The way to proceed is this, incidentally.
These two rooms are pretty much a final exam of sorts for Emerald Grove.

jesus christ

Rooms that lead to boss rooms often have the nastiest possible encounters assigned to them.
This is one of those encounters that I just kinda stare at for a second or two.

Or the most annoying possible encounters.

Their reek is ever-present in your nose, while their constant low growl plays on your nerves. You have reached Fenrir's dread lair!
...This specific block made more sense in EO1, where it played upon entering the Fenrir room.
So. Who's up for seeing what this deadly wolf looks like?
Too late we're going in.

...No wolf.
My eyes are functioning correctly, yes?

Heh, he finally shows himself.

A wolf howling sound effect plays.
Why does the wolf have eyeliner

Got'chaself a buncha compatriots, eh?
I wonder what sort of wolf would mate with Fenrir...

To judge from its white fur and majestic bearing, it must be Fenrir, the alpha wolf. Prepare yourself for a hard-fought battle! The beast you hunt is before your very eyes!
Allow me to "dad" for a second.
Is that really used as a verb?
It is now. In any case, we should go back to rest before we fight this bizarre wolf.

Here's some item unlocks for the road.
Beast Bow (+40 ATK, +1 TEC) is made from 3 Metal Horns (War Bison normal). Costs 490 en.

Hide Armor (+16 DEF) is made from 8 Gum Hides (Roller normal) and 3 Beetle Jaws (Giraffa Bettle normal). Costs 240 en.

Balaclava (+10 DEF, +1 TEC) is made from 1 Penetrated Hide (War Bison conditional). Costs 320 en.

Roggenwolf (+10 DEF, +10% ice resistance) is made from 2 Wolf Fangs (Forest Wolf normal) and 3 Wolf Pelts (Skoll normal). Costs 180 en.
Next time: Fenrir.

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