Welcome to the Etrian Odyssey Community Thread!
This is where explorers pool their talents.
It's something like a mutual aid society.
The Etrian Odyssey games, known as 世界樹の迷宮 in Japanese (Sekaijyu no Meikyuu,
or Labyrinth of the World Tree), are first-person dungeon crawler RPGs published by
ATLUS on the Nintendo DS and 3DS for those gamers who are explorers at heart.
In essence, the games are about building a party exploring a multi-floor labyrinth,
learning the combat and skill system, conquering the challenges along the way, and
ultimately getting a truly rewarding sense of mastery and completion. Some imagination
is required to fully appreciate this kind of game because it will not hold your hand past
the city gates. The series rewards attention to detail, caution, and planning and
preparation, but also often rewards experimentation and thinking outside the box.
The games have stories but they are on the minimalistic side, giving you details
here and there and letting you fill in the rest with your imagination. The stories
have no strong ties to each other so you can play them in any order.
One distinctive feature of the series is that the player draws their own map in-game as
they go using the bottom screen of the Nintendo DS/3DS. Each game has a few differences
in the details of the map-drawing interface, but all of them have the core system in
common, allowing you to indicate various floor types (normal, damage/trap, water, etc.),
walls, doors, treasures, pitfalls, enemies, and even free-form text notes.
Each game has some level of auto-mapping option, such as the ability to automatically
paint a floor tile you walk on. If you do not like the mapping part of the game, auto-
mapping does most of tedious stuff and you just need to mark special icons or notes.
Etrian Odyssey (NDS)
The first game in the series, praised for its unforgiving difficulty, addictive exploration,
and great plot twist. Also disliked for that same unforgiving difficulty! Though in many
ways its remake renders this original irrelevant, this is where it all started back in 2007.
Etrian Odyssey II (NDS)
Set as sort of an indirect sequel to the first game, EO2 is mechanically very similar to
the first game but adds a few classes and improvements to game balance and interface.
Etrian Odyssey III (NDS)
Etrian Odyssey 3 made some major changes to the formula, some of which stuck around
for future games. This entry re-shuffled the class deck, reusing many skills and
mechanics of the previous games but mixing them among all new sets of classes, many of
which are still unique to the game as of this writing.
Etrian Odyssey IV (3DS)
The move to the 3DS saw several improvements in the Etrian Odyssey series. Besides
better graphics and sound/music quality, several significant interface overhauls and
a better implemented and balanced subclassing system were introduced.
Etrian Odyssey Untold: The Millennium Girl (3DS)
Untold is the remake of the original game, nicely polished up for the 3DS. The original
game's content is still largely intact but class skills have been tweaked and overall
game balance has been adjusted to account for the now-standard level cap of 99.
This remake includes the controversial Grimoire system and Story Mode, where you use a
premade party and work your way through a story that fits into the original game's
minimalistic story (by spoiling the entire thing right from the get-go).
Please refer to FAQ section below for an important note about game modes in EOU.
Etrian Odyssey II Untold: The Knight of Fafnir (3DS)
This will be the remake of Etrian Odyssey II that will use a similar formula as the
first Untold did; adding a Story mode along side Classic mode. This is the first game
in the series to have DLC. English version coming summer 2015.
Etrian Odyssey V
Announced on November 24, 2014, details of the fifth mainline instalment of the EO series
will be added as they are available. You can find more info in the announcement thread that
L~A posted here.
Persona Q (3DS)
Persona Q is a Persona spinoff game that applies Persona-flavored SMT to an Etrian Odyssey
style of game. Much of the EO team was involved in the project and the Q in the name comes
from the "meikyuu" in EO's Japanese name sometimes being abbreviated as MeiQ. The game throws
characters from the casts of P3 and P4 into EO-style dungeon exploration.
Etrian Mystery Dungeon (3DS)
Announced along with EO5, this is not one of the mainline games. EMD is a crossover
game in the Mystery Dungeon series that will feature Etrian Odyssey influence and characters,
so this will be a rogue-like (or maybe rogue-"lite" if you prefer) rather than have traditional
Battles in Etrian Odyssey games are turn-based and encounters are, besides bosses, random.
You input your commands for each of the characters in your party and then the round of battle
happens based on turn order. This is repeated until one side or the other is dead. Time
passes while in battle just like it does while you are walking around the labyrinth.
While the battle system in EO will have many things that feel familiar to experienced RPG
players, there are some specific things worth noting about the battle system.
FOE stands for Formido Oppugnatura Exsequens in English, or Field On Enemy in Japan.
However, this meaning can basically be ignored. The true meaning of FOE is fear.
Represented in the first three games as angry orange or red orbs on the map, FOEs are
powerful enemies that roam the labyrinth on the field itself (thus the Japanese name).
Nothing will teach you the fear of forgetting your Ariadne Thread quite as fast as being
trapped between two angry glowing orbs on a new floor of the labyrinth when you have no
idea what they even are and the only sure thing is that one of them is probably enough
to kill your entire party in their current state, much less two of them!
Rather than being engaged via random encounters, FOEs are only engaged when you actually
bump into them. This might not sound so bad at first, but FOEs do not all obey the same
movement rules your party does. Some can move faster than you or can move through walls
or over obstacles. Some FOEs are passive and some will aggressively pursue you if you
move into their line of sight. The fun thing about FOEs is that they get to move around
while you are fighting or gathering and they can barge in and join a battle in progress,
even one against another FOE! If you do manage to kill them, they will respawn in a few
days, so beware!
The rule of thumb with FOEs is always avoid them when you are clearing through an area
for the first time. However, hunting FOEs is rewarding as you will get items from them
to unlock more powerful equipment, so always make a point to revisit areas to hunt down
the FOEs that previously frustrated your efforts.
A target can only be suffering from one ailment at a time. Ailments also have a priority
system. Death > Curse > Poison > Sleep > Panic > Paralyze > Blind (at least as of EO4).
This means you can't apply Blind to a Sleeping target but you can apply Curse to a
Every type of attack in the Etrian Odyssey series has one or more properties: Slashing,
Blunt, Piercing, Fire, Ice, Electricity, and Untyped. Many enemies are weak to (and
likewise resistant to) one or more of a certain type of attack, so pay attention to enemy
weaknesses. The one exception is Untyped; nothing is resistant or weak to Untyped.
One thing to keep an eye out for is when your party is getting attacked you can identify
what kind of damage is being dealt to them by the graphics that display when your party
Note the little slash over the character's HP box, indicating Slashing damage. Similarly,
blunt and piercing attacks will look like the same kind of effects when your party attacks
enemies, only smaller and redder. Paying attention to this kind of detail can help you
prepare for tough fights by equipping proper protective gear in advance.
Binds are a different category of status effect in EO that are akin to the Disable/Mute
type of effects seen in some other games. The thing about Binds in EO is that they do
not count as status ailments and a target can have up to three binds applied at once.
Head Bind - Reduces TEC and disables any skill that requires Head (these are
things like magic skills and other "verbal" things like taunt and charge).
Arm Bind - Lowers STR and also disables any arm-based skills.
Leg Bind - Nullifies evasion, prevents Flee, lowers AGI, and also disables any leg-based skills.
Buffs in Etrian Odyssey are multiplicative. You can't stack the same buff multiple times
but you can stack different buffs that buff the same thing. The buff (and debuff) limit
on both allies and enemies is three. If another buff is applied, the buff with the
shortest duration remaining is replaced. Same for debuffs.
Chaser is a term to describe attacks triggered by other attacks. Certain classes like
Landsknecht, Dancer, Shogun, Ronin, and Buccaneer have skills that let them automatically
attack when an ally hits an enemy. Effective use of chasers can be quite powerful.
Many enemies have special drops that can only be obtained by killing the enemy in a
specific way. This could be anything from something easy like "kill it with fire" to
something much harder to do like "kill while fully bound" or "killing damage must be
from poison." You can use the item Formaldehyde to make the enemies drop all their drops,
including conditional drops, no matter how you finish them off.
Critical hits in the EO series deal additional damage, as you might expect. The
important thing to know about critical hits is that only normal attacks can crit!
A party's formation is an important consideration. First and foremost, characters (and
enemies) in the back row take reduced damage. This means that although it may not seem
intuitive, a tank is often best off in the back row when taking hits for the party.
Other formation considerations include the targeting of enemy skills, which vary in how
they target your party. In the first three games you can change rows during battle at
the cost of a turn. As of EO4, changing formation in battle does not cost a turn and
utilizing that can be especially important in boss fights.
Turn order is governed by a combination of the AGI stat, skills that increase speed, and
the equipment you are wearing. While the exact math varies by game, lightweight weapons
like daggers give you a turn speed advantage over using medium weapons like swords or
bows and even more speed advantage over using heavy weapons like spears or maces. Heavier
armor and shields also slow down your turn speed. Skills also all have their own hidden speed
that may or may not be affected by turn speed.
Each character in Etrian Odyssey belongs to a class which defines their stat growth and skill
set. Classes in Etrian Odyssey games typically fall into one of three roles: Defence, Offence,
or Support. Some classes are a mixture but even hybrid classes tend to gravitate towards
one role. Most well-rounded parties will have 2-3 members purely for offence and a mixture
of support and defence for the other 2-3 party slots, but that's not to say you can't try
something unorthodox and make it work.
As your characters level up they will gain 1 skill point per level. This slow growth adds
gravity to your choice of where to spend your skill points. However, don't worry too much,
because by late in the games you will have plenty of skill points to get the stuff that is
important for that character. Many classes only need a few dozen skill points to pull their
weight and perform their role in the party and the rest can be spent on various enhancements
For more info on specific classes and party builds, check the wiki links at the bottom of
this thread. Doing some reading on GameFAQ will probably help, as well, but also feel free
to post questions, we're here to help. Just keep in mind that one of the great things about
this series is that many party builds can work and there is no real "magic bullet" or "best"
party except for in some specific situations.
Starting in EO3, you can start a New Game Plus after clearing the game and carry over your
guild and most of your stuff.
One special note regarding the Untold remakes. When you NG+ you can switch between classic
and story mode. This allows you to use the story mode characters in a classic mode game,
but does not allow you to use your classic mode characters in a story mode game.
However, your classic mode characters will not be lost, so if you clear story mode and
start another NG+ into classic you'll have everyone back!
Resting is the way to reset your character's skill points in EO. In EO1 this came at a very
high cost of going down 10 levels but was reduced to 5 levels in EO2 and 3, and then down to
just 2 levels in EO 4 and Untold. You'd better plan your skills out in advance because losing
10-or even 5-levels before reaching postgame could be a big setback. Resting also clears your
subclass selection in EO3 and EO4, allowing you to pick a new one.
Retiring is basically the changing class feature of Etrian Odyssey, implemented thematically.
Retiring replaces one of your existing characters with a new character (but you can pick the
same class and name and pretend it's the same person) that has bonus stats and skill points
but will be lower level than the original character. Retire bonuses are not cumulative;
once you have retired a character at max level you can't get any more bonuses.
Retiring bonuses in EO1 are different (lower) than the rest of the series. Retiring bonuses
in EO2 are also tiered and of similar value to what is shown in the image below for 3, 4,
and Untold, but the level cap system in EO2 is different, which impacts retiring.
In EO3 and EO4, once you reach a certain point in the game, you can set subclasses for all
your party members. This gives 5 bonus skill points and access to most skills from that class.
Subclassing can help further specialize a class by augmenting its natural skillset or it
can be used to give additional or enhanced role functionality to a party member.
In EO3, skills from the subclass can be raised to max rank, resulting in many classes having
extreme cases of identity crisis. In EO4, this was changed to only allow subclass skills
to be raised to half of their max rank for better class balance.
Is "Fight and Heal" some kind of inside joke? - It comes from an old Game Informer "review"
of the original EO game where the unimaginative reviewer named his party members Fight and Heal.
You can read select quotes over here. Zweizer managed to dig up the whole thing.
Which game should I start with? - The answer depends on what you are looking for and
who you are asking. My recommendation is to start with one of the first two games and go in
order but if you are really wanting to be "eased" into the series, start with EO4 since it is
the best balanced and most newbie-friendly game in the series, excluding the Untold remakes.
Starting with EOU is not a bad idea, as long as you play Classic mode first on Expert difficulty,
just know that EO1-4 do not have all the same features (floor jump and running, to name a couple).
Help! I can't kill Hollow Queen in EO4! - Leg bind!
Are there other games like EO? - PersonaQ is a mix between EO and Persona (more EO than
Persona) and is probably the go-to answer for this question. Beyond that, the EO games are
heavily influenced by Wizardry. Other similar games include Generation Xth (PC), Labyrinth of
Touhou (PC), and The Dark Spire (NDS). In the broader genre of first-person dungeon crawlers
are games like Demon Gaze (Vita) and SMT Strange Journey (NDS). Parakeetman wrote up some
more info in a post in this thread here.
How do the game modes work in EOU? Do I need to play one or the other first? What about NG+?
!!!When you New Game+ you have the options to carry over your guild members, maps, money, items,
and grimoires, even between game modes!!!
You can play either mode first. My opinion is you should play classic mode first, despite the
game urging you to play story mode first. The game doesn't really give you details on how these
game modes interact so here are the details.
- If you start Story Mode first -
You are stuck with the story party. You can reclass into other classes after level 30, however,
class changing only changes the skillset and the character will continue to have stat growth of
their original class so I don't really recommend it. For EO1, by clearing story mode you will
get the drop required to make the best katana in the game...which you can't even use in Story mode!
You will also "unlock" Gunner and Highlander as class-change possibilities for classic mode, but
this isn't really anything very useful because when you NG+ into Classic mode you can use Ricky
and your Highlander.
- If you start Classic Mode first -
You can form any party you want, except no Gunner or Highlander (EO1) or Fafnir (EO2).
You can retire to change classes just like in any other mainline EO game to date. In EO1 you will not
have access to the strongest katana but you will not need it. EOU1 has a story-mode-only dungeon
that you cannot access in Classic mode. EOU2 has an extra dungeon that can be accessed from either
mode, so you do not need to play Story mode to get 100% item/monster data like you do in EOU1.
- If you NG+ from Story Mode to Classic Mode -
- Ability to class change characters in Classic mode into story mode classes
- Strongest attack power Katana from last boss of story mode (EO1)
- Story mode cast can be mixed with classic mode members
- Classic mode characters will carry over but cannot be put in your party
- If you NG+ again back to Classic, everyone will be usable at that point
do two NG+ to get everything back together instead of just one, so this is an argument in favor of starting
with Story mode. However, if you want the purest experience or are not enjoying the story mode cast or
party restrictions, you really should play classic mode first, then power through story mode on NG+ after
that with endgame gear and grimoires. And then after that if you'd like you can NG+ again back to classic
and have ~everything~!
Interview with series music composer Yuzo Koshiro
Into the Labyrinth - Fansite where you can find the helpful Skill Calculator programs for EO3 and EO4.
Guild card generator for EOIV - Get your guild card images off your 3DS SD card first.
EO2U OT (JP OT)
Persona Q OT
Thanks to Dandy Crocodile for working on the banners for the thread and spiritfox for the title and to everyone else keeping the conversation going!