|Etrian Odyssey III: The Drowned City|
Etrian Odyssey III: The Drowned City (世界樹の迷宮III 星海の来訪者 Sekaiju no Meikyū III: Seikai no Raihōsha), is a 3D dungeon crawler role-playing video game by Atlus for the Nintendo DS. The title was released in Japan on April 1, 2010 and in North America on September 21, 2010. It's a sequel to Etrian Odyssey II: Heroes of Lagaard and is followed by Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan. Even though it adds many new features to the game, such as the ability to travel the seas and Limit Skills, the gameplay of this installment remains the same in that the player must explore the Yggdrasil Labyrinth.
The game is set in a sea city known as Armoroad, which is surrounded by the beautiful ocean. Armoroad prospered in the ancient time with high-level civilization. However, because of the great earthquake that happened a hundred years ago, the central part of the city sank down into the bottom of the sea, along with its superior technology.
After the "Calamity", a labyrinth appeared in the hole of the city created by the earthquake. People from all over the world gathered around Armoroad to find clues that will lead them to the vanished city. Adventurers embarked down into the enormous hole, which devoured most part of the city and the lost technology. Some sought for the truth behind the "Calamity", while the others sought the treasures buried deepest under the sea.
Players assume the role of a guild leader, adventuring into the labyrinth to fulfill quests. As their party proceeds deeper into the labyrinth, they will discover a few secrets concerning both the labyrinth, their employers and the "Calamity" itself.
This game follows in the footsteps of its predecessors with one screen showing a 3D view of the Wizardry-style dungeon, while the other one shows an overhead display of the map that players must maintain.
Like its predecessors, the game only partially maps the terrain for you. Players make use of a mapping system which lets them freely place icons on a gridded map. These navigation icons can represent sea currents, landmarks, and footnotes of the terrain that players encountered. As in previous entries, there are no pre-made playable characters. Players have to build their own guild by creating characters from a number of different character types (classes). Each class has its own skills and statistics, as well as limits on what equipment the character can wear. Although no more than five characters can be in the player's active party at the same time, up to 30 characters can be added to a guild, and players can switch out characters in town.
This title provides 12 all-new classes, as well as the ability to subclass (gaining most of the second class' skill set) with the exception of an unlockable class, the Yggdroid, which cannot be subclassed but can learn sub classes.
Another addition was the option to "set sail" on a ship that you are able to get after the first mission is completed. Your voyages depends on the amount of provisions that you have at the moment, restricting your movement only for the amount of spaces that the provisions allow you to advance. While at sea, the mapping system is the same as on the labyrinth, only with the addition of new navigation icons exclusive for sea mapping (e.g. whirlpools and islands). However, while sailing, there are no random encounters and no monsters except for pirate ships roaming the same ways as F.O.E.s on the labyrinth which, on contact, will sink your ship. Mission assignments for the player while on the sea will be to locate and reach foreign ports in order to restore Armoroad's trading roads. Once a foreign port has been reached, a sea quest option will be available. The sea quest option will be to get rid of certain unique monsters that can only be found in that specific area, meaning that in order to complete the monster discovery book, the sea quest is mandatory.
Another addition not seen in the first two games is customizing weapons through forging. Forging is the act of including an effect in the weapon of your choice as long as the needed materials have been provided beforehand and the weapon has enough "sockets" or blank spaces to place the corresponding forge, along with the required money to pay for it. In order for this to be available, different "hammers" with the desired effects need to be found either through quest or in chest located all over the labyrinth. The four categories to forge in to a weapon are: Bound (e.g. head bound, feet bound), Own Status (e.g. vitality, strength), Status Effect (e.g. poison, blind) and Element Attack (e.g. ice, fire).
Shigeo Komori, the director of Etrian Odyssey II and III, told the reasons of adding the "sea" element to the new entry of the series during an interview. Komori said that the image of Etrian Odyssey was a green sea of trees and that of Etrian Odyssey II was the chill sky of North Europe. When he came to think about the theme for the third title, he felt really attracted by the warm southern sea.
Endings EditEtrian Odyssey III currently is the only game in the franchise that offers different endings depending on the choices the player makes. During the third stratum, the player must choose whether to side with the Deep City or with Armoroad. They can also forsake both and side with the Eldest One, unlocking the "true ending." Each ending changes what the bosses of the proceeding Stratum are, as well as giving the players different unlockables.
For more details see Endings (Etrian Odyssey III).
Armoroad Ending Edit
The Armoroad Ending is unlocked by siding with the ocean city of Armoroad, by taking the 3rd Stratum mission "Slay the Gatekeeper" from the Senatus. The Armoroad ending will also unlock the Shogun class for the player to use. The boss of the fourth stratum will become Kirin, a beast summoned by Olympia via an incantation. The fifth stratum boss becomes the Automaton King and Olympia.
Deep City Ending Edit
The Deep City Ending is unlocked by siding with the Deep City, by taking the 3rd Stratum mission "Protect the Gatekeeper" from the Abyssal King Seyfried. This will also unlock the Yggdroid class for player use. The Fourth Stratum boss will be Shin, a beast summoned by Kujura. The Fifth Stratum boss will be a two-stage battle with Kujura, and then the Deep Princess (Gutrune).
True Ending Edit
The True Ending is the most complicated of the three to unlock. It allows the player not to side with either the Deep City or Armoroad and instead opt for a more neutral path. To obtain this ending, the player must first make a prompted promise to Olympia to not tell Armoroad of the Deep City. Immediately afterward, they must break this promise and report to the Senatus. Then proceed through the Third Stratum as normal and unlock the Fourth Stratum. While proceeding through the dungeon, the player must return to the town to trigger two events where Kujura and Olympia will give two key items. After defeating the Fourth Stratum's boss and gaining the Moon Key, they must not accept the Fifth Stratum's mission. Instead, head back to the Eldest One's sealed room in the Third Stratum and speak with him/her to receive the Porcelain Offering and another key item. The Fifth Stratum will be automatically unlocked without receiving the barrier-removing key item given by Flowdia or Seyfried. The player must then go to the normal boss room of the Fifth Stratum to trigger an event. A previously locked portion in the Fourth Stratum will now be accessible, wherein lies the final boss, the Progenitor (Eldest One).
All three endings result in an event with Olympia, should the player continue playing the game instead of starting a New Game Plus. She will inform the player of the Sixth Stratum, where the "god" of the Deep Ones (the Abyssal God) resides, and will ask the guild to defeat it. Also, the entity in the Aerial Forest of the oceans will unlock the three dragons (Wyrm, Drake, and Dragon) as optional bosses. Defeating the three unlocks the Sea Quest battles with the entity itself (the Elder Dragon).
The game received "generally favorable reviews" according to video game review aggregator Metacritic. Famitsu gave it three nines and one eight, for a total of 35 out of 40; they said that "the core charm of the series, with its Wizardry-style gameplay and player-built maps, is as strong as ever."
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