Yeah, I know this is a late entry but I believe its still on time. Anyway
Etrian Odyssey is a fantastic DS game and easily one of if not my favorite game on the system. Such a long and epic journey through the game's amazing world has taught me many things about the game, and about life itself. I'll now explain some of the experiences and important lessons I have learned from this outstanding game. But first, a short explanation of the adventurers of the labyrinth.
It all started early on with my fledgling guild, Endphase. Led by the adventurous and brave Landsknecht Saigo looking for the thrill of death and a quick treasure stash, the guild was certain to achieve fame and fortune. Following Saigo was Reena, a childhood friend of Saigo who wanted to help him out with her mighty shield and thus became a Protector. Drent, Reena's older brother, joined as well aiding his mighty bow and skills as a Survivalist to the guild. Cenik, a Medic for hire decided to join at a discount after finding himself infatuated by Reena. And last but not least is the rowdy Alani, a Troubador with a pencant for parties and a good time.
This intrepid and ragtag group of adventurers (as if there's any other kind ;P) set out for the first floor. After exploring and adding a bit of meat to that pitiful excuse of a map that soldier gave them, the party came across a quaint field of flowers. There they thought it would be a good idea to take a rest. The following that ensued led me to my very first lesson of Etrian Odyssey
: No matter what others say, stopping to smell the flowers is usually not a good idea, especially when in a forest surrounded by fuzzies and crawlies itching to treat you like the pretty boy in prison who just dropped the soap.
Anyway, eventually Endphase made it to the 2nd floor. And there they met with the very first FOE. At first, the merry band avoided it for a while, in fear of the flaming orange aura surrounding the monstrosity. After gaining some more experience slaughtering the many wild denizens of the maze, our heroes decided to descend upon the demonic sphere confident they could take it on. And within that sphere lay one solitary antelope that, while angry, looked relatively harmless. The party sighed in relief and grew ever more confident, ready to take on the beast. It was then that the confidence started falling each turn, along with a member of Endphase following each dip. When the ominous Game Over screen flew in front of my eyes, the second and probably most important lesson became clear.
: I just got my ass handed to me in many pieces by a freaking antelope. THIS GAME IS GONNA ROCK!!!
"I EAT FINAL FANTASY CHARACTERS FOR BREAKFAST!!"
Anyways, after my party was inexplicably well again due to the magic of Load Game, they continued onward up until the dreaded encounter with Fenrir. It was then that I realized that my skill sets needed adjusting, so our band of wide-eyed hopefuls reluctantly retired themselves from dungeon crawling for a while so they could re-assign some skills. After careful planning, Fenrir was again confronted and swiftly dealt with, much like he would do to Endphase so long ago. It was there that I learned yet another important lesson.
: Be sure to praise and worship the Holy Trinity of Etrian Odyssey. The Father (Immunize), The Son (Defender), and The Holy Spirit (Relaxing) of buffs. They're almost necessary.
Soon after learning these important lessons, the pack of treasure-hungry maze-trekkers slaughtered beasties of fuzz, of feather, of scale, of goo, and of just about any other thing you can think of. Eventually the guild gained a new recruit in Sea, a traveling Ronin who was off to create her own guild (and she may just fulfill her wish soon :D), but decided to settle on traveling with this band of Endphase misfits. After further exploring the labyrinth, the party came across more than they bargained for, and met face to face with a little girl. A creepy little girl. It was here that I learned my 4th, less Etrian related but still relevant lesson.
: Whenever someone in Japan creates a fictional creepy little girl, no matter if said girl is in a game, movie, book or what have you, she will be scary enough to make grown men want to sleep with the lights on, and TV off, for at least a night or two. This strange girl within the labyrinth was one such character.
"I EAT FINAL FANTASY CHARACTERS FOR DINNER!"
Anyway, with these important lessons under my and the guild's belt, they pushed forward, following mission after increasingly questionable mission, until they discovered the wondrous 5th stratum of the Labyrinth, and all seemed to be revealed before their eyes, thus making the rather cryptic text clear. You know, the cryptic text that appears before the eyes of every adventurer after the mystic Power Button is pressed, and right before the adventurer has to begin their quest or resume their current one? Yeah that text.
So Endphase finally conquered the final adversary and solved the mysteries of the Yggdrasil Labyrinth. They were heroes, rich in both their experiences and their pockets. They, along with myself, thought the adventure was over. Until, that is, the guild ventured into the deepest depths of the maze again. That was when I learned my 5th and, as of now, final lesson:
: The adventure is never over. As soon as you let yourself think it is, you'll discover a whole new quest to take part in, and you'll get your ass handed to you by crabs all over again
. And you know what? You're going to love it.
"I don't eat Final Fantasy characters. I just murder them. And participate in historic battles."
So, that's all I have to say now about my experiences within the dreaded labyrinth. Endphase still has the true depths of the maze to take care of, but they hope to reach the bottom real soon. And Sea is itching to begin traveling again and start her own guild. Lagaard seems like a good place to begin ;)
I hope that this was a good read and someone has learned something from these lessons, or at least can share their sentiments about these experiences with the game. I've become a huge fan of this game in just a little under a year, and I would love to obtain the second installment so that I may joyfully continue my journeys with the characters I've grown so attached to, and learn many more helpful lessons from a whole new labyrinth! And in closing, I have one last thing to say...
Never let the adventure die!