Etrian Odyssey III: The Drowned City
Etrian Odyssey III: The Drowned City is a highly enjoyable RPG from Atlus
- Constantly challenging, offers lots of depth and customisation to play how you choose, has interesting new features
- Gruelling difficulty and need to grind will turn some off, story is downplayed for dungeon-crawling, objectives are not clear at certain points
A wholly enjoyable if gruellingly difficult dungeon-crawler, Etrian Odyssey III is a worthwhile improvement on its predecessors, offering a variety of new features, options for customisation, and fresh challenges to face.
~ From the journal of the young Farmer lass Shana ~
09/05 Today's my first day in the big city of Armoroad! This place is huge! I hear they want people to explore this dungeon thing they have. There's something about a sunken city, too. That sounds mysterious and awesome! It definitely sounds more fun than baling hay all day. I soooooooo wanna go adventuring! But I can't really fight. I hope someone's willing to give me a chance...
09/08 I joined an adventurer's guild today! They have an open-recruitment thing going. It's run by this lady named H. She's very shadowy...like she's from another world or something. Weird! But she said she wanted me to join! It didn't matter that I can't really fight, she said, because she can always recruit a bunch of warriors. Hooray!
09/10 H told us our guild name. We're called Guild Failpile? What?! Yeah, she says she has a weird sense of humor. But she also said that's our name because exploring will be really, really hard, and we'll encounter lots of trouble and make lots of mistakes. She told me that I should just make sure we survive, 'cause we won't learn from our errors if we're dead. I'm nervous now. :(
09/13 I didn't go on the first expedition today, but a bunch of the other guys did. I think Vanetha, Rei, Syrg, Erica, and the Cap'n went down there. It was only a few hours before Vanetha and Rei came back up carrying everyone else on their backs. They were totally bruised and beat up! Vanetha was okay since she's a Hoplite in thick armor and Rei's a Monk that studies healing skills, but she can't heal really bad injuries yet. The inn's doctor treated them, and H said we'll need to get used to "this sort of thing." I'm trying not to think about that, 'cause I get scared if I do. We also got a map from an Armoroad soldier as a welcome gift. We can use it to make notes and draw locations of shortcuts, dangerous spots, and the weird things we find. This is gonna be suuuuuper neat to use! Just looking at it makes me stop being scared. I wanna draw all over it!
09/14 Rei and Syrg went down again, along with Nemi, Mia, and Oystah. Syrg's a Zodiac, which means he's smart and knows magic and stuff, but he wants to bring a few other Zodiacs into the guild since H insists that he specialize only in ice magic. Nemi's a supercool Ninja! Rei tells me she can make shadows of herself and make enemies attack them. Oh, Mia's majorly cute! She's a little Wildling that knows how to summon animals and have them help us! I hope I can see that soon -- I'm starting to miss my cows. Oystah is a Warrior, and he's a really good fighter, but Rei says he's kinda dumb -- he gets upset when he sees anyone get hurt, even Nemi's shadows. Anyway, everyone seems a bit more confident now. My first trip down is tomorrow...I'm getting goosebumps!
09/15 Wow, H wasn't kidding! This is megaexhausting! But I had fun. I went with Rei and Cap'n -- he's a funny Pirate who likes to do team-up attacks -- and A REAL LIFE PRINCESS!!! Her name's Clarissa, and she's sooooooo pretty in her armour! She's supercool, too, because she knows all these enhancements she uses that make us stronger when we fight! How awesome is that?! Oh, and Erica! She's an Arbalist, so she likes to shoot things with arrows from a distance. She's really strong, and she told me H found out how to train her to get superpowerful. I wanna be like that someday!
09/18 Owwww! I hurt so much! We encountered this thing called an FOE after we got stuck in some mud. It was a big, terrible monster! All it did was hit me once, and I can't remember anything else until I woke up at the inn. H says to avoid those things until we've trained some more. We just need to learn each FOE's behaviour. I'll study them so I won't get so beat up again! Then I'll come back and beat IT up!!!! >:)
09/22 I understand why I was recruited now! It's hard to make money just by selling monster hides and stuff. H says Failpile can only afford decent armour and supplies because of the crops and minerals I find. There's another farmer who joined named Medibot, and we work together a lot. I've also found a way to run back to town really fast from anywhere in the labyrinth! It's really useful! H also gave me a new weapon she had specially forged that makes me move faster. But I still wish I was stronger...I got knocked out again today by a giant bird that ambushed us. Stupid bird.
09/30 Wow, H managed to get Failpile a ship! She wants to help the Armoroad government map the oceans around the city. Sailing is SOOOO AWESOME! I think we could really spend a lot of time just exploring the seas. It looks like people will want us to aid them when we're out sailing, too. Which means more loot for us! I'm so glad I joined Failpile! Even if I did get poisoned by a mushroom yesterday. Owwwwie.
10/06 We killed that big, ugly fish thing yesterday! I wasn't on the team that did it, since they needed fighter types...but I heard about it from Hayama, our newest Zodiac. It kept trying to escape, so they had to learn how to sneak up on it. I bet those snooty Armoroad government bigwigs are gonna love us now!
10/07 We got to the second Stratum of the labyrinth today.... Floor five! It's so different from the last section we were exploring! There's all sorts of new things here...and there's lots of new materials to find, so I get to come along! H says every Stratum is unique like this. How does she know that? Well, I'm superduper happy. I wonder what the other places look like! I wanna go!
10/29 So we got this treasure that we were told would open up more of the labyrinth, but we couldn't figure out what to do with it. We tried to use it for a couple days, and eventually we had to ask H if she could help. She said she'd consult with a "higher power." Wow, can she talk to the gods? Anyway, she was told what to do and let us know. That was kinda frustrating....
11/27 I haven't written in a while, have I? That's 'cause I'm superbusy learning about being an Arbalist! We got offered a chance to study other skill specialties, and I jumped all over it...now I can use a bow from a distance! I'm pretty good at it, too! I feel sooooo much more awesome now that I can actually fight well! I knew that someday I'd be more than some ignorant country hick, and now I kick monster butt! :) Everyone else is learning additional skills, too.... We even had more new guild members join just to try specialising in two different trades! It'll take a while for them to train, but they could be really useful. We also saw the third Stratum today...it's still really hard, but I'm used to it. We just have to be careful to survive long enough to learn things, like H said. Plus, with H's help, everyone's trained so hard and learned new things! I'm gonna keep on training...it might take a long time, but we'll find out all the secrets of this labyrinth!
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