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  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Olympia: Well-Intentioned Extremist doing what she must to protect the Deep City's secrets, or Complete Monster who enjoyed leading hapless, trusting explorers to their deaths?
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: Cherry Tree Bridge from the second game.
  • Demonic Spiders: Petaloids and any of their variants in Etrian Odyssey loved nothing more than to chain-sleep your entire party every round while everything else killed you. If no other enemies are around, they'll gladly kill you themselves.
    • The Bloodant FOEs in the first game: the first time you encounter them on floor 12 they don't hit very hard but their Hp is significantly high and they regenerate indefinitely, they can also summon deathants AND bloodants on every turn making it even harder to get past them. They just keep fighting you until your entire party dies from exhaustion. Also, four of them pop right out of nowhere when you fight the Royalant Boss. They're each in a corner of the room, and there is no way you can beat the Royalant before they start moving on. Enjoy a main dish of Royalant, a side order of Bloodants with a generous helping of Deathants with your-ass-getting-kicked sauce.
      • In general, there is at least one type of enemy on each stratum in every game that could qualify as one. In particular, the final strata have plenty of enemies that can get very dangerous unless handled right. The Drowned City has the Longicorn Beta on the final floor that can summon multiple enemies at any time, and then throws them for high damage to the entire party. It's also highly durable, which makes it difficult to shut it down with statuses long enough or kill fast enough to stop it from throwing enemies.
      • In the third game, there are also monsters that are otherwise weak, but they qualify as Demonic Spiders because if you don't kill them fast enough, they will summon or transform to FOE-type monsters. A really nasty surprise if you don't expect it.
  • Ear Worm: F.O.E.! F.O.E.!
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Shilleka from the first game.
  • Esoteric Happy Ending: The first game. Hooray! You've defeated Visil and uncovered the truth! Too bad it involved killing the guy who probably saved the world and likely plunging Etria into an economic disaster.
  • Excuse Plot, sort of: the introductory plot to both games is more or less "there's this labyrinth and this town built around it, and you're one of quite a few guys who wants to conquer the labyrinth for gold and glory and to solve its mysteries. Have fun." It tends to remain so for about 3/4 of the entire game, but then things suddenly start happening near the end. In a sense, the major plot twist is that there actually is one. The third game is better about this.
  • Game Breaker: In a game where most classes had roughly 300 HP at max level, Etrian Odyssey's "Immunize" was the difference between most enemies hitting for 250 and for 25. Because Atlus has a personal vendetta against anyone who ever succeeds in any of their games, rather than rebalancing it, they just removed Immunize entirely from Heroes of Lagaard. Oh, and no more Healing and Relaxing for Troubadours, either. Have fun!
    • Which didn't help much, because they also took the opportunity to boost some unused skills, and did a bit too much. In Heroes of Lagaard, the Hexer skill Revenge was boosted to deal 255% of the damage the Hexer had taken for only 19 TP once mastered, which means a Hexer with items to boost max HP, 1 HP left, and enough AGI to move first can be devastating. ** [1]
    • Also, the Whip It Good Dark Hunter's Climax, once mastered, kills any enemy vulnerable to instant death with less than 55% of its HP (previously, it only had a 20% chance of working, even when mastered). Most bosses are immune to Climax, but FOE's aren't; having Climax mastered essentially halves the duration of any FOE encounter.
    • A War Magus' Cursecut can drain TP from an enemy that's been cursed (best done with a Hexer, which is a Game Breaker in and of itself). War Magi can also transfer their TP to other characters by the use of their 'Transfer' skill. With this combo, you have potentially limitless TP. A shame that this is pretty much all that a War Magus is good for...
      • Speaking of Hexer and War Magus, the former's Torpor immensely aids the latter's Sleep Cut, allowing the party to deal pretty massive damage while the enemies are asleep.
    • The Dark Hunter's Dominate. It's guaranteed to go last, but it's also guaranteed to bind any enemy, including bosses, preventing them to use their skills (beware: some exceptions exist). And bosses generally will try to use skills even when bound, wasting their turns. Couple that with Dark Hunter's other skill, Ecstasy, which deals massive damage to a completely bound enemy, and you can often win quite easily. Also, using a Survivalist's 1st Turn skill allows the Dark Hunter to use Dominate before anyone else moves.
      • The second game's Force skills in general are fairly severe Game Breakers. The Gunner's guarantees that you'll stun an enemy for that turn. The Protector's negates all damage and status effects for one turn. The Dark Hunter's fully binds an enemy. At the end of the game, it's possible to use them every turn by dedicating two characters to feeding the Force skill users items that raise the Force gauge. It's very costly, though, and requires you to gather materials, so it isn't suited for spamming.
  • Good Bad Bugs: While the Monk's Fist skills require you to fight unarmed, for some odd reason, the second slot counts as a Weapon... if your second Item Slot/First Armor Slot is blank, a Monk can use his/her fist skills with a Mace, even though the Monk does NOT have Second Sword (a Shogun class skill)... whoops.
    • You can skip Fenrir in the first game by exploiting the fact that FO Es maintain aggro even with a wall between you to lure him into a coridor so you can run past him. While you can not go far on the 6th floor without going back and killing him (as you need to report Fenrir's death to do so), it does allow you to warp to town, save, and fight stronger monsters for better gear and get a free turn on Fenrir by attacking him from behind, as well as open some new quests. This is all very helpful, as Fenrir is an Early Bird Boss.
  • Moe: Present throughout the series, but the female Yggdroids take the cake. The males look like you'd expect humanoid robots to look, but the females really had moe shoehorned onto them. They're tiny, have human faces and look like they would break if you looked at them too hard. (also, why would robots need to wear glasses?)
    • Abigail from Heroes of Lagaard and Missy from The Drowned City also count.
  • Moral Event Horizon: In The Drowned City, not only does Olympia betray the party after pretending to guide them and leave them to die against seemingly impossible odds multiple times, its heavily implied that she similarly led countless other explorers to their deaths, possibly even murdering them herself, thanks to her orders to keep explorers from discovering the Deep City at any cost.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Some of the enemy designs are very much this. From the Bonus Boss / True Final Boss of Etrian Odyssey to the one-eyed worms in the third stratum of The Drowned City.
  • Player Punch: Early in The Drowned City, a quest becomes available to locate a camping-obsessed guild that has been missing in the labyrinth for several days. Following the clues they leave from campsite to campsite, the last you stumble on is described as a scene of carnage (blood everywhere, tattered and broken equipment and whatnot); naturally, you believe they were all killed by monsters. Subverted when you go to report the quest at the pub, as Missy almost flat-out tells you that the guild members are freakin' fine, and that all the blood at the campsite was from the monsters that interrupted their beauty sleep.
    • Played jarringly straight later: If you agreed to help Hypatia and Agata enter the second stratum, then you eventually find them there, and Agata presses you to tell him the location of a nest of Sea Wanderers you found earlier while Hypatia begs you not to, as she already had a traumatizing encounter with them before. You just decide whether to tell him or not and think nothing of it when he runs off to find them. Then you decide to follow him, and go to the room and find one of the two fucking dead while the other is cradling their body. There is no way to avoid this happening, as saying "Yes" or "No" only determines which dies (saying "Yes" means Agata dies, while "No" kills Hypatia). There is no way to back out of this, except for refusing to help them enter the second stratum in the first place. Then you literally never see them again, and you're free to pretend they gave up and went home peacefully if you'd like. A bit anticlimactic, but hey.
  • Replacement Scrappy: When early info about the third game was released, and fans learned the original classes wouldn't return, Gladiators were blasted as being generic and vastly inferior 'replacements' for the Dark Hunter class, despite players not knowing anything about it beyond the physical appearance of one representative. Thankfully, this reaction died down over time.
    • Even funnier when you finally found out that Gladiator is supposed to replace Landsknecht instead. [2]
  • That One Boss: Iwaopeln in the first game.
  • That One Sidequest: Heroes of Lagaard: The Beautiful Queen. This is a quest you receive very early on to get a Queen chess piece. It is only by a Chain of Deals that lasts beyond the storyline endboss and well into the Bonus Dungeon that you are finally able to complete it. And it's all for a weapon that is absolutely useless unless you have a Landsknecht, at which point it's probably still useless, though that is slightly more arguable. (It's a weapon only Landsknechts can equip that has the highest attack power in the game, but like every other weapon type in the game, the one with the second-highest attack power comes with side bonuses that end up making it better anyway.)
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: When the first preview screens of the third game were released, some fans complained about the new seafaring setting and the new roster of character classes, bemoaning the loss of the classes from the first two games.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: And how. All classes have four character portraits to choose from. Two are male, and two are female. This is highly important information for the Survivalist, Troubadour, and Hoplite classes in particular, which have some portraits that can only be identified via process of elimination.
  • Woolseyism: Atlus changed the names of the character classes during translation; Landsknechts were originally Swordman, Protectors were Paladins, Survivalists were Rangers, and so on. This may have been done to give the game a more original flair and help it stand out. The Hexer class was originally called 'Curse Maker'; the War Magus was originally a 'Doctor Mage'. A newer example from The Drowned City would be changing 'Beast King' to 'Wildling', probably because (like most classes) you can make a female version, and the original game didn't change the class name to 'Beast Queen' like it did for Prince/Princess. Some classes got their names changed for no reason at all but to make them begin with different letters. Many of the changed names don't fit as well as the original games: Warrior became Gladiator despite not actually being a gladiator, and Andro became Yggdroid. Many of the changes in the first and second game were necessary because of the maximum character length, though the third game increased the limit. Some changes were made even though the original names would have fit the character limit.
    • It was (probably) also to avoid classes having the same first letter in their name as to make it easier for the item shop menu to characterize them. It would have been a little difficult to tell the difference between Princess and Pirate, or Buccaneer and Beast King.

Notes

  1. Revenge deals set damage depending on how much HP a Hexer has lost, ignoring enemy's defense, resistance, immunity etc; If a hexer can deal 1000 damage to a Mook, they can deal that much damage to a Boss. There are two reasons why Revenge is broken in Heroes of Lagaard but not in Etrian Odyssey: First, Revenge is stronger in EO2, and second, most importantly, FOEs and bosses have significantly lower HP in EO2: EO1 bosses can have upwards to 5,000-10,000 HP and even beyond, but in EO2, highest HP among non-Final Boss or Bonus Boss is around 3000-4000, but said bosses have such massive defenses that Other classes will have to be lucky or maxed out to deal a couple hundreds of damage to a boss. With proper equipments and setup, EO2 Hexers can dish out between 1500-2000 damage per Revenge. This entire thing is why Revenge is a Game Breaker: A Boss Fight using other classes can last 10 turns or even longer, while Hexers can happily wipe out a boss in probably two hits.
  2. The Princess gets the Landsknecht's ability to equip heavy armor, while the Gladiator is a straight combatant; while their armor choices emulate Dark Hunters, they generally lack the ability to dole out status effects unless they invest in Stun Attack. But in turn, when compared to Landsknechts, both classes can specialize in two weapons: Sword and Axe/Hammer, and their sword skills rely on hitting as many enemies as possible, while their other weapon skill rely on hitting one enemy as hard as possible.
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