ALL RIGHT LISTEN UP NERDS
I’M ABOUT TO TELL Y’ALL ABOUT THE DEMO FOR ETRIAN ODYSSEY 2 UNTOLD: THE FAFNIR KNIGHT
If you haven’t heard about the Etrian Odyssey series before, I’m disappointed, but not really surprised; it’s a pretty niche series for Nintendo handhelds made by Atlus, and let’s be real, the internet rarely ever really pays attention to Atlus unless someone even thinks about their Purse Sonar games or whatever they’re called. But then, if you are a fan of Purse Sonar and you’ve played the series’ 3DS spin-off, Purse Sonar Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth, then CONGRATUMALATIONS YOU’RE ALREADY FAMILIAR WITH THE GAMEPLAY OF ETRIAN ODYSSEY HOORAY
(Purse Sonar: a spin-off from Atlus’ She Mecha’d Me Tensely series that quickly overtook its predecessor in sheer popularity. idk what it’s about, TVs? teddy bears? steak? fortune tellers? dancing? the title leads me to believe psychic kleptomaniacs but who knows)
But ETRIAN ODYSSEY. The gist of the series is that you create your own guild of explorers from several different character classes (ever wanted to play a game with a queer disabled woc as the protagonist? now you can!), throw them into a formation of five, and hurl them into the pit of despair that is the Yggdrasil Labyrinth. Initially your goal is simply to become a guild of renowned explorers logging the monsters and items that lurk within the labyrinth, and sure, it starts off green and gorgeous and fun enough, but quicker than you can say “Ariadne Thread” you’re dealing with body horror, genocide, possession, moral relativism, the end of the world as we know it, you’ve hit your 157th full-party wipeout at the hands of Bambi’s evil cousin today alone, and you don’t know when you started crying??
Oh, and did I mention that you have to make your labyrinth map yourself? That’s kinda important.
Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold: The Fafnir Knight is a remake of the series’ second game, Etrian Odyssey II: Heroes of Lagaard. As was the case with Etrian Odyssey Untold: The Millennium Girl, a remake of the series’ first game, the main focus of the game is a brand-new Story Mode, eschewing the character creation for a pre-set party of five new characters–but in exchange, you get voice acting, animated cutscenes, an extra dungeon to explore, a much more dedicated plot, AND MORE.
EO2U’s Story Mode (which is the basis for the demo) puts you in the shoes of the Fafnir, an orphaned explorer who lives at the Midgard Library, making you a giant nerd. You and your best friend
Yuri Lowenthal Flavio are called upon to be bodyguards for a princess who has to travel to the Ginnungagap ruins to perform an ancient ritual–a bit out of the ordinary, since the royal guards of High Lagaard should be up to the task, but whatever, it gets you out of Nerd HQ. While said princess, Arianna, is
an even bigger nerd than both of you combined, her first reaction to
Bambi’s evil cousin, slayer of swaths of even the most prepared
adventurers, is to gush about how delicious he would taste.
As you travel with her and she proves that she actually is surprisingly hard-core, you run across the tiny stoic nerd Chloe and her lazy bum surrogate dad Bertrand, who are looking to make a quick buck in the very ruins you’re traversing for the ritual. Naturally you team up when you’re ambushed by a monster and they join your party permanently afterwards, but HOLY CRAP JUST BEFORE THEN YOU HEAR SOME WEIRD COCKAMAMIE AND SUDDENLY GAIN THE POWER TO TRANSFORM INTO AN UNHOLY BATTLE DEMON. LIKE SO.
THE STORY’S ONLY GONNA GET CRAZIER FROM HERE, FOLKS. BETTER BUCKLE UP.
So the demo takes you through the first…hour? two hours? of the game, and you can transfer your progress
to the full game, even though the demo imposes a level cap of 10 and a
Grimoire Stone inventory cap of 99 (out of a possible FOUR HUNDRED).
Hitting that cap isn’t likely to be much of a problem unless you try
to get a ton of Grimoires; you don’t unlock the ability to equip them
until the tail end of the demo, whereas you’re probably going to hit
level 10 as the demo wraps up. Grimoire Stones, for the uninitiated, are items you can equip that can grant you new skills or weapon abilities, or power up existing skills. The game gives you a few to start with, and then as you battle, the stones have a chance to “split off” and create new stones with your own skills, or even the skills of enemies!
And on the subject of Grimoire Stones HOLY WOW THEY FEEL MUCH BETTER THAN IN THE MILLENNIUM GIRL SO FAR. YOU CAN EQUIP MORE THAN ONE (only up to two in the demo though) AND THEY’RE SO MUCH SIMPLER. Skill Trees are also improved in that leveling up a skill sufficiently, in addition to unlocking a new skill, will also automatically add one point to that skill! And maps will update with things as you unlock them, such as highlighted secret tunnels (SECRET TUNNELLLLL), opened treasure chests, etc. The Millennium Girl’s guildkeeper system also returns with a variation–rather than having a mansion to yourself with a maid to provide for your needs, you help a woman named Regina (who is a nerd for food) with the development of a café, finding ingredients and decoding recipes for meals that will grant you different bonuses when you enter the labyrinth next! All in all, the mechanics all feel very streamlined from previous titles in the series!
AND YE GODS, THE MUSIC
I MEAN THE DEMO COMPRESSES IT SOME FROM WHAT IT’LL BE IN THE ACTUAL RELEASE BUT YOU CAN HARDLY TELL, NAY, NOR EVEN CARE, FOR HOW GLORIOUS IT IS TO BEHOLD
AUGUST 4 AND FIFTY HOT BUCKAROONIES TO SPEND CANNOT COME FAST ENOUGH AAAAAAAA
PLAY THE EO2U DEMO. BUY THE EO GAMES. LOVE YOURSELF. STAY IN SCHOOL.