YMMV / Etrian Odyssey

  • Accidental Innuendo: One of the Landsknecht's skills in Legends of the Titan is called "Mind Break"note .
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Olympia: Well-Intentioned Extremist doing what she must to protect the Deep City's secrets, or did she enjoy leading hapless, trusting explorers to their deaths?
  • Angst? What Angst?: Present in The Millennium Girl quite a bit.
    • Frederica is from the distant past and left behind her family, everyone she knew, and all of the customs she was familiar with. This is mostly glossed over in favor of her being upset over having amnesia, a sub-plot which is resolved fairly quickly...only to replace it with the far more serious issue of Gungnir and the consequences of its use...
    • Arthur and Simon hail from a mining town called Gotham and were almost killed by Gungnir's activation when younger. Despite that fact, they remains cheerful most of the time (save, obviously, when the issue of firing Etria's Gungnir pops up, when M.I.K.E. and Frederica know full well it will kill everyone in Etria), and the only kind of problem Arthur seems to have developed from it is a fear of darkness... which is only brought up in an optional and missable scene.
    • As the party enters the Sandy Barrens to fight and kill the infected members of the Forest Folk, Raquna feels exceptionally down about the idea of having to carry out these executions. No talk is made of it in the aftermath of the ensuing battles.
    • It's the end of the game. Several Forest Folk have been killed, the leader of Etria is dead, M.I.K.E. went rogue and had to be terminated, Kupala gave up her life, and Etria may become a ghost town now that the Labyrinth has been (near) fully explored. Well, see you next time! We're going to report to the Midgard Library!
  • Annoying Video Game Helper: In Beyond The Myth, Necromancers' Wraiths and Rovers' Hawk and Hound can attack enemies, which does little damage but is still usually an acceptable supplement to your own party's attacks. Unfortunately, these attacks also wake up sleeping enemies, which means the sleep ailment is much more unreliable for any party containing these classes. Oh, and the Eternal Tyrant, the final boss is weak to sleep, so these "allies" will most likely deny you some precious opportunities to heal and reapply buffs during this difficult battle.
  • Anti-Climax Boss: The Yggdrasil Core in Untold. It's markedly tougher in the first phase, but thanks to the virus, it actually doesn't have much more HP than your standard endgame F.O.E. and its attacks are easily handled with regular healing. Thanks to Kupala's Heroic Sacrifice, you'll deal boatloads of damage in the second phase, and while Necrosis is something to watch out for, the first time it's used is liable to fail across the board. Keep up the pressure and it won't have the chance to use it again.
    • The final boss of Mystery Dungeon, Dread Muspell. Her main body doesn't even do anything until you deal a lot of damage to her, and even then, her damage output and that of her minions is weak. She does have a mass confusion attack and the ability to summon a D.O.E., but for the former, several classes have abilities that can easily remedy this, and the latter move takes a long time to charge.
    • Sky Kaiser, the boss of the 10th Branch dungeon, also qualifies considering you have to beat the three elemental dragons to get to it (and the Blizzard King is That One Boss). Even though it can deal massive untyped Area of Effect damage with Deafening Roar, it will likely only uses this attack once, if at all, since it can only use two of that move and its more common random status spreader (which may even grant status buffs) before its depleted of amber and must generate more (easily destroyed) pieces to restore its condition. Its only other damaging move is its physical attack, so if your party can survive Deafening Roar, it essentially becomes a giant punching bag.
    • The Dryad in the postgame of Beyond the Myth would make for a threatening boss, if it weren't for the fact that she is quite vulnerable to a lot of disabling ailments and binds. The battle against her effectively becomes "disable or die", because her attacks are very powerful if not prevented.
  • Audience-Alienating Premise: Etrian Odyssey Untold: The Millenium Girl was hit with this since it was announced. Why? Well, take a franchise that's beloved by fans for the ability to create your own completely customizable party and interpret what the world is like for yourself, then make a game with an actual story mode with pre-existing characters, and you can see why people were skeptical. Sure, you could still create your own party in Classic Mode, but then you lose out on all the new content, including the Gunner and Highlander classes and the second dungeon.
  • Awesome Moments: Has its own page.
  • Awesome Music: This series has a whole page dedicated to awesome songs from this series.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Arianna from The Fafnir Knight. Is she a kind-hearted heroine that, despite being an airhead, is a nice reprise from the dark things that happen in the story? Or is she an idiot that has no idea what she's doing and ruins serious moments with her inability to grasp situations the party ends up in? The fact that the game's artbook says she was created to be the opposite of the fairly popular Fredericka isn't helping her.
  • Best Known for the Fanservice:
    • The series in general is known in the dungeon crawler community for the moe female portraits, due to the character artist Himukai's style.
    • Untold 2 has some infamy due to the Hot Springs DLC content.
    • Of the many things Beyond the Myth is known for, the younger female Necromancer who doesn't zip up her hoodie is one of the more prominent. It's also known for the "Sultry" personality option, which makes your character sound like someone from an adult game.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: The "Etrian Nightmare"/Hurt Babirusa in The Fafnir Knight. It shows up out of nowhere, the party (in Story, anyway) makes a comment on it, then they fight. After the battle, there's no dialogue and the party just acts like it didn't happen.
  • Breather Boss:
    • Gimle in The Millennium Girl. It's insanely bulky, but it isn't a threat at all when you consider that you just got past the Iwaoropenelep. Doubly so if you have Peace Ballad, as it removes any need for even TP restoring items.
    • Demi-Fafnir in The Fafnir Knight, particularly in Classic mode. After the one-two punch of Guild Esbat and Scylla, he's a step down, lacking any of the major heavy-hitting moves that the above threw at you. In Story Mode, this is slightly counterbalanced by the fact that you're missing one of your party for the fight (specifically, Bertrand, due to him kinda becoming the Demi-Fafnir). Classic Mode, however, places no such restrictions on you.
  • Broken Base:
    • Etrian Odyssey IV caused a rift between fans at one point, especially with Casual Mode, and the shift from a synthesizer-based soundtrack to "actual" instrumentation.
    • The Millennium Girl brought in all sorts of disagreements within the fanbase, ranging from the new Story Mode and the main characters, to Grimoire Stones (until the second Untold game, anyway) and the floor jump feature.
    • Downloadable Content in The Fafnir Knight. There are there who are more than willing to purchase the additional features, and others who are accusing Atlus of implementing microtransactions when QR codes (as done in the fourth game) would've accomplished the same thing.
      • To add insult to injury, they are releasing QR codes for it...if you pre-order the game in North America. And even then, it's just grimoires that serve to make the game easier.
      • There was particular ire with one item of DLC unlocking nude portraits for Story Mode's two female characters, especially considering that one of the characters is twelve.
    • Etrian Mystery Dungeon. Is it an interesting take on the franchise and a solid roguelike? Or is it a mistake of a game that got the series' core concepts wrong and traded in the series' legitimate difficulty for a lot of Fake Difficulty and cheap shots?
      • The game's announcement alone was aggravating for some—not so much because of the game itself, but because of the timing. The game was announced about a week after the Japanese release of The Fafnir Knight, while there was still no word on localization for the latter. To add insult to injury, Mystery Dungeon got a localization announcement within a week of the Japanese announcement, while a localization announcement didn't come for The Fafnir Knight for another two months. And this is to say nothing of Europe's problems with Atlus localizations.
  • Contested Sequel: Whether you consider Beyond the Myth's immediate predecessor to be Legends of the Titan or The Fafnir Knight, it falls into this either way. Series fans either appreciate the expanded degree of cosmetic customization, the usual quality-of-life improvements, the four races, and the new classes, or find it disappointing that the game scrapped the Story Mode of the Untold games and the world exploration of the last two non-remake non-spinoff games and nerfed floor jumping thus resulting in what is considered a comparatively bare-bones product.
  • Critical Research Failure: The Furyhorn in The Fafnir Knight neighs like a horse when encountered.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Giving an adventurer in Beyond the Myth the "Sassy" voice option makes them into a good source of Black Comedy. Ally faints? "Aww, my toy broke!" Gets revived from death? "I didn't ask for this."
  • Demonic Spiders: With its own page.
  • Disappointing Last Level: Downplayed in Beyond the Myth — while the floor design and random encounters of the final few floors of the fifth stratum and the entire Bonus Dungeon can certainly keep a player on their toes, it's difficult to ignore the fact that these floors are almost devoid of Adventure Episodes or floor events which would have made things a little less monotonous. The Bonus Dungeon doesn't even have any events at all barring the occasional story-focused cutscene, on top of only one postgame quest requiring items obtained there.
  • Ear Worm: F.O.E.! F.O.E.!
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Shilleka from Etrian Odyssey, for exposing a lot of skin.
    • Hypatia from The Drowned City has a lot of fans due to her unique design and her cuteness. The later reveal in supplementary material that she dyed her hair since Agatia liked blondes made her even more popular.
    • Arthur from The Millennium Girl receives a lot of attention from fans due to being rather comical.
    • Cass, Edie, Missy, and Genetta, for actually having memorable personalities.
  • 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. This gets fixed in the remake.
  • Even Better Sequel: The Fafnir Knight in comparison to The Millennium Girl. It boasts a better storyline and features 15 classes to use. The Story Mode characters and NPCs are also given more conversational lines than before, the restaurant management is an improved version of the Guildkeeper's enhancement system from EOU, Grimoires have been improved to be easier to acquire and actually show what skills you get mid-battle, the new Story Mode dungeon is available in Classic Mode, among other various and well-received changes.
  • Fandom Rivalry: A one-sided one spent a long time simmering with Persona 5, with the popular belief that the localization of Etrian Odyssey V was being put off in order to focus on promotion and localization for Persona 5, which was delayed several times.
  • Fanon: Outside of bits of story and the Untold games' story modes, this is literally encouraged by the developers! As explained on the first game's website (Director's Diary, entry 5), one of the major elements the games take from "old-school" dungeon crawlers is that the party is meant to be defined largely in the imagination of the player. How they react in detail to what's going on, what they adventure like, how they interact with one another, is meant to be up to the player to define. This is why the games only ever describe your actions in the broadest of terms - they want to encourage you to invent your own interpretation and "canon" for what your characters do and say. This is also why the Story Mode of the Untold games has proven divisive: having five pre-defined characters, as opposed to the party that lives in the mind of the player, seems to many to go against the wider spirit of the franchise.
  • Fridge Brilliance: a quest in The Fafnir Knight has you explore a cave in the third stratum that a guard claims has treasure in it. whats interesting is that if you decide that the guard is suspicious, one of the dialogue options allows you to accuse the guard of being a fraud. To quell your accusations he produces a guard ID which proves he's legitimate, but after resolving the quest you find out that the guard actually was a fraud and was an outlaw in disguise. but then the question remains, if he wasn't actually a guard then how did he get his hands on a guard ID? earlier in the game you can take a quest that involves you looking around town for an ID card that a guard lost. During that quest you never actually find the guard's ID card, you simply inform the guildmaster and she issues him a new one. Its entirely possible that the lost ID card ended up in the outlaw's possession and is what he used to deceive you!
  • Funny Moments: Has a page here.
  • Game-Breaker: Has a page here.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The Fafnir Knight is generally considered one of the weaker games in the series in Japan, due to the many balancing issues, an average plot that contradicts itself at times, the HP stats of enemies being through the roof, and paid DLC. In the US, it's considered one of - if not the - best games in the series in spite of its flaws.
  • Goddamned Bats:
    • In Etrian Mystery Dungeon, one of the labyrinths features an owl monster which loves to spam mind-control spells at you. When controlled the first thing any character tends to do is unequip all of their gear and start chucking it in every direction. Oh yeah, and this particular dungeon doesn't have walls; the playable area is on raised platforms above a deep pit, and if your tossed gear happens to land "out of bounds" it is instantaneously and permanently destroyed and gone forever, even if it was rare or unique. Fortunately the owls are also fairly weak and easy to kill, and the control effect can be undone by a medic, but still one unlucky incident could mean the permanent loss of a piece of gear that you can literally only get one of in the game.
    • Myconoids in the 2nd floor of Beyond the Myth like to toss out petrification to entire lines at a time. What keeps them from being outright Demonic Spiders is the Nerf applied to stone status: it now wears off over time or when you finish the battle (and thus, a full party petrification is no longer an immediate Game Over). Still, having multiple party members unable to act for several turns can be a pain in the ass.
    • Eerie Chokers in the third stratum of Beyond the Myth are surprisingly fast and can throw head binds across the entire party, rendering your Warlocks and Necromancers helpless before they can even move. They also like to come in numbers, so having your entire party head bound becomes an inevitability.
    • Hypno Bats, goddamned literal bats in the 4th Stratum of Beyond the Myth who love to put your entire party to sleep.
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • You can skip Fenrir in the first game by exploiting the fact that FOEs maintain aggro even with a wall between you to lure him into a corridor so you can run past him. While you can't 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.
    • The Medic's Immunize skill in the same game. It was intended to reduce only elemental damage, according to the in-game description. However, the different physical attack types (Pierce, Slash, and Bash) were considered element types as well, turning it into a well-known Game Breaker. It was cut in Heroes of Lagaard, then made its reappearance The Millennium Girl after it was fixed.
    • 1st Turn and Slowstep in Heroes of Lagaard are supposed to have chances of failure which decrease with investment up until Level 8, but a bug skips the check for failure, so these skills are always effective (and far more efficient due to their low TP cost) at Level 1.
    • Koteuchi in the Japanese version of Heroes of Lagaard is a skill that's supposed to be able to land an arm bind on top of doing damage, but the arm bind effect instead went to Getsuei. On top of that, Getsuei's arm bind effect was far stronger than Koteuchi's intended strength, on top of having a speed bonus.
    • In The Drowned City, while the Monk's Fist skills require you to fight unarmed, for some odd reason, the second slot counts as a Weapon. If your first Armor Slot is blank, a Monk can use his/her fist skills with a Mace, even though he/she doesn't have the Shogun's Second Sword class skill. Whoops.
    • One of the three-headed Dragon Bosses in Drowned City's Sea Quests can have its AI script to regenerate severed heads disrupted, rendering it incapable of regrowing any heads that destroyed each other due to Confusion-caused self-inflicted damage.
    • In Legends of the Titan, "Auto" skills activate at the beginning of a battle, giving you a buff immediately without costing a turn. However, since the non-"Auto" variants of the buff do cost a turn, they actually last one turn less than their "Auto" variants (because it activated on the middle of your turn, and once the turn ends the buff's duration ticks down one turn). Especially useful with "Auto-Throw", which usually just lasts for one Throw skill, but when activated via Auto-Throw can be used twice. And seeing as mentioned above that Venom Throw is one massive Game Breaker on its own...
      • This quirk was preserved in The Fafnir Knight, and is most noticeable with the Ronin's Stances, Troubadour's Songs, and Hexer's debuffs, as their Force Boosts prevent turn count depletion.
    • There are two notable and extremely useful glitches in The Millennium Girl; one allows infinite replication of any item that can be used in battle, while the other lets you pass down a large number of skill slots from a grimoire in synthesis without actually consuming it.
    • In Mystery Dungeon, the Sovereign's "Arms" skills makes an ally's attack become a certain element, adds resistance to that element, and raises STR by 3 when applied. All well and good...except you can apply the STR bonus multiple times, and when it wears off, only 3 STR is lost, meaning that you can get at least 3 net STR.
    • In The Fafnir Knight, the War Magus' "War Edge Mastery" skill lets them use their sword skills while equipped with a staff. The bug/added feature is, if they have sword skill grimoires from Landsknechts or Dark Hunters, it lets them use those skills with a staff as well.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: When Erik asks you what to write to his penpal in The Drowned City, one choice is to talk about flowers. Her homeland is being destroyed by them.
  • Heartwarming Moments: Has its own page.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Atlus's other first person Dungeon Crawler series would borrow the first game's big twist in Shin Megami Tensei IV.
  • It's Easy, So It Sucks!: Part of the problem veterans have with The Fafnir Knight is that the difficulty is toned down compared to previous entries, even on the hardest difficulty. Boss fights in particular feel less like a challenge and more like a slog, due to everything being a Damage Sponge.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks!: Some players who had taken interest in The Drowned City's and Legends of the Titan's overworld exploration and the Untold games' Story modes find it disappointing that Beyond the Myth has neither.
  • Memetic Badass: The FOEs as a whole, not only known for making players' pants turn brown but also being immortalized in an extremely catchy IOSYS song.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Even in _____, F.O.E.! Explanation 
    • "NeVer eVer" Explanation 
    • Wynne's lady bonerExplanation 
    • Never trust squirrels! Explanation 
  • Memetic Psychopath: The FOEs in general and the Ragelope/Furyhorn in particular are often made out by the fandom to be more bloodthirsty and unstoppable than they usually are in actual gameplay. Not helping matters is when one reads their Japanese names and realizes they are quite grandiose — compare, for instance, "Cutter" with "Destroyer of the Forest".
  • Memetic Troll:
    • Etrian 2/Fafnir Knight and Beyond the Myth have the memetically annoying/dangerous Ariadne Thread-stealing/destroying Squirrels, that actively seek to deprive adventuring parties of their emergency escape tools.
    • Beyond the Myth has Conrad and his Freeblade guild, who demonstrates Guild Card perks including field events where a character from one of the player's Guild Cards (which can be exchanged via QR codes or StreetPass) can show up but then sometimes shows up in said events which has led to Guild Card collectors believing he's just showing up to piss the player off. And since many of these particular events are one-time, each appearance of Conrad means a wasted chance to see a fellow player's character as the Hero of Another Story.
  • Moe:
    • Present throughout the series, but the female Yggdroids from The Drowned City 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. Any why would robots need to wear glasses?
    • Abigail from Heroes of Lagaard, Lili from Beyond the Myth, and Missy from The Drowned City also count.
    • Hypatia gets extra moe points for having a tragic backstory and being potentially doomed by your choices.
    • Beyond the Myth has an entire race of these, the Brouni: short, cheerful humanoids who specialize in party support and look extremely cuddly. Lampshaded in one bar conversation, in which a "pouting Brouni" complains about being used as a cuddle companion by a Celestrian.
  • 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.
  • Most Wonderful Sound:
    • The chime that plays when you get bonus EXP from a rare breed.
    • The extended death rattle that plays when you kill an FOE or boss.
    • The extended variation of the current area's random battle theme (not the one that begins with a guitar riff) if you get a preemptive strike.
  • Narm:
  • Outside-Context Villain: The Final Boss of Beyond the Myth is suddenly introduced at the penultimate floor without much buildup. Even those of the previous games had plot significance for a longer period of time.
  • 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 straight later (maybe, the game never explicitly says that either character is dead: 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 either dead or unconscious 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 gets hurt, while "No" is for 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.
  • Replacement Scrappy: When early info about The Drowned City 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. note 
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • While Grimoire Stones in The Millennium Girl offer a lot of flexibility, one big problem with them is that the skills you can obtain in one is random. Creating the ideal stone will likely take a lot of skill point manipulation and praying to the random number gods that the right skills drop quickly. They're still random in The Fafnir Knight but a reworking of the systems around the Grimoire Stones, including the means of influencing the skill you get, means that it's not as annoying.
    • Issuing commands to your party members in Etrian Mystery Dungeon requires you to spend Blast Points to use them. These include orders like scattering or following you, which feel like something that should be issuable at no cost. Given that you use Blast Points for things like your class-specific Limit Breaks as well, it makes the commands costing something even more annoying.
    • In the DS games, you can rename your characters, but it costs 1,000 en per rename; early on, it's a steep cost that could go towards things of actual functionality such as equipment and Warp Wires / Ariadne Threads. The cost is thankfully gone in the 3DS games, where you can rename your characters as much as you want at no cost.
    • The 3DS games allow you to scan QR codes for a variety of purposes, such as items and exchanging Guild Cards (which can also be exchanged via StreetPass). Unfortunately, the game seems to be horrendously unreliable at scanning the series' super-dense QR codes (due to the 3DS being significantly weaker than smartphones, which QR codes are frequently associated with), even ones from QR code image files generated by the game itself (as opposed to QR codes in photos). They generally work best if you align the QR code with the 3DS's right camera (which the game uses for scanning), but the game does not tell you that. And then there's Beyond the Myth's QR codes, which are not cross-region compatible, not even between NA and EU/AUS copies.note 
    • The Double Attack Union Skill in Beyond the Myth, for whatever reason, does not allow targeting of back-row enemies if the one initiating the attack is in your party's back row, even if they're using a ranged weapon and the other participant also has enemy back row access.
    • In Beyond the Myth, you can show your maps to the council and get rewarded if they're accurate enough. But for some reason, using blue squares to mark water counts as a mistake, and you are expected to represent it as normal walls. And some FOEs can swim through water, so you do have a reason to want to distinguish water from walls. Plus, the fact that a game about cartography penalizes you for making a more accurate map is just infuriating.
    • While conditional drops are generally accepted by the fandom for injecting a little challenge to fighting monsters, some of the more difficult conditions are guaranteed to elicit much rage and make people reach for their Formaldehydes with disgust. For example, the monsters that require you to kill them with the backlash damage caused by a Curse, as Curse backlash is relatively small compared to your average FOE or boss's HP pools.
  • Surprise Difficulty: Do not be fooled by the cute art style (especially compared to fellow Atlus series Shin Megami Tensei) of promotional material, the games' box art, or the characters, or the relaxing designs of the game interfaces. These games will destroy unprepared players young and old alike, and maybe destroy them if they are prepared.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: The Super Arrange of the boss theme Their Own Brand of Justice has moments that seem like Far Beyond The Sun and a few other Yngwie Malmsteen songs. A less distinct, but similar part occurs here as well.
  • That One Achievement: Attaining the Seven Kings Grimoire in The Millennium Girl is a Guide Dang It!. Nothing in the game clues you in on where and how to get the King Grimoire skills, and even if you do know how note  it takes a significant amount of effort to get everything to line up and for the Grimoire Stone to appear during the battle. Then you need to fuse all of the skills into a single stone that has 7 slots, and again it takes luck to get a 7-slot stone to drop. At least you can attain these skills off other players' Guild Cards, either through Streetpass or QR codes, but the skills generated from Grimoire Stones obtained this way are, again, random.
  • That One Attack: Many a cause of a Total Party Kill.
    • Alraune in The Millennium Girl has Ancient Pollen which inflicts random status ailments across the party, leaving them severely disabled if not completely petrified. The superboss also has this skill.
    • The Yggdrasil Core's Cell Membrane in The Millennium Girl. It prevents any and all damage for a turn and releases a painful party-wide counter in return for getting hit. If you just so happen to have a character that has the Highlander skill that may cause an attack upon being dealt damage, you may go down from a single attack triggering a chain. The only saving grace is that it can be predicted with the assistance of a guide.
      • That same boss also has Armageddon, which deals massive amounts of damage and is very difficult to survive. The problem is that this happens outside of its designated pattern, triggered only if you happen to have one too many buffs, so your loss can be randomly guaranteed the moment you see it use King's Resolve.
    • In the original Etrian Odyssey, Primevil had a very accurate version of Necrosis that retained the instant-death status effect. Any party that avoided the TPK would lose its momentum, which could be fatal anyway.
    • The Fallen One in Legends of the Titan has Darkness Curse, which can almost completely bind the party while also applying some binds on itself. This conveniently doesn't bind the limbs this boss needs to execute its next attacks, while your party is mostly rendered helpless until they unbind themselves. The skill is very likely to go before anyone else does, and cannot be stopped with any bind. While it is guaranteed to open the battle with this skill, its subsequent uses become less predictable.
    • The Warped Savior in Legends of the Titan has two. The first is Ragnarok, a very accurate instant kill attack. There are only two ways to avoid it: stun it, or traverse the floor to weaken it. The second is Chaotic Embrace which inflicts random ailments across the party. This one is still used while the boss is weakened, with the only reliable way of stopping it is by landing a bind.
    • The DLC Ur-Devil in The Fafnir Knight has several means of instantly killing the party, but the attack that takes the cake is Realm of Death, which is an environmental effect that cannot be dispelled. Not only does it reduce the party's ailment and bind resistance, it also prevents them from recovering from or removing these ailments, while also blocking revival of fallen party members. The only saving grace is that preventative measures like Barrier or Prevent Order still work, if they haven't already been mandated by the rest of the fight.
    • The Crystal Dragon of Beyond the Myth uses Clear Breath, an almighty attack that does more damage if it hits a buffed party member, on top of erasing their buffs if it hits them. For players trying to make the most out of the Shaman's buffs, getting subject to Clear Breath can result in a Total Party Kill before they realize why it's so strong. Parties without Shamans aren't safe, either, as most classes carry an indispensable skill that also counts as a buff, meaning they'd have to deliberately fight with a handicap to avoid taking near-lethal amounts of damage.
    • Of the many skills possessed by the limbs of the ultimate Bonus Boss in Beyond the Myth, two stand out: Parry blocks all physical attacks to it and its parts for the turn, and Elemental Decoy does the same for elemental attacks. If an attack has both a physical and elemental component, like a Fencer's Chain skill, it's susceptible to both moves. Getting your attacks blocked by these moves at inopportune times practically buys the boss a free turn while its other parts can wreak havoc with impunity.
  • That One Boss:
    • Iwaopeln in the original Etrian Odyssey. You need to beat every single F.O.E. on the floor to actually kill it on a floor completely filled with them. While it's possible to fight and beat Iwaopeln before nearby F.O.E.s reach you, it just instantly respawns if there's so much as a single one left. He also has a really powerful attack that will kill at least two of your party members if you don't have Immunize. Fortunately, this is not required in the remake, as they disappear as soon as the bird is defeated, although it can use the F.O.Es to assist it in battle, as well as respawning them if it sees you.
    • The Colossus in Heroes of Lagaard was a difficult endgame boss. His appearance in the Updated Re-release The Fafnir Knight, rechristened Juggernaut, is an absolute monster. With a ridiculous 72,000 HP (in comparison, the Final Boss "only" has 27,000 HP) as well as several powerful party-wide physical attacks and status moves, it's received a lot of fury. Even being able to reduce its HP by a third before the fight leaves it with perhaps the highest HP count in the main story. While it also throws a massive attack buff at your party (and also on itself) that gives you an opportunity to do ludicrous damage to it, it also permits the boss to use its strongest attack that can quickly cause a Total Party Kill if not dealt with in due time.
    • Artelinde and Der Freischutz in The Fafnir Knight. They wouldn't actually be all that bad under normal circumstances; actually they would be a little weaker than most boss fights since they have very few mass attacks and don't use the ones they have very often. However, when you get one of them to low health they activate their Force Boost, just like you can do, and after three turns they use a Force Break skill that kills themselves but is also a guaranteed Total Party Kill unless you use a Beast or Protector's Force Break to block it. If you do manage to kill one of them, then the other instantaneously starts their Force Boost and does the same thing. Thus your options are to either have two Beasts and/or Protectors available to block their Force Break, which is an option unavailable in Story Mode due to the fixed party; completely focus your efforts on one of them so that you can defeat them within three turns of their triggering Force Boost (and leaving your unused Force Break to negate the other); or very carefully manage damage distribution to cause both targets to trigger their Force Boost at the same time, and nullify both Force Breaks at once.
    • Also from The Fafnir Knight, Harpuia can be seen as Artelinde and Der Freischutz on steroids. She spams more and more severe status effects than Artelinde does, though at least you can mitigate that somewhat with the Wind Guard ability, which you can get as a grimoire from enemies on this stratum. She also hits your entire party like Der Freischutz, but for far more damage a hit. However, she also has FEAST. At first this move doesn't seem so bad... it hits your entire party at random and causes random binds, but it only hits 2-3 times, right? Wrong. It deals more hits each time Harupia uses it, and in a protracted battle, she can easily reach 18 hits with it! Why is it worse? Unlike those two, who telegraph when their attack is coming and K.O. themselves in the process of using it, Harpuia can use Feast without warning and as often as she wants. It does at least do less damage than the other boss's Force Break so you are likely to survive with at least one or two of your party members still alive, but you're still going to lose momentum, and in a game like this that means you'll probably only survive one or two more turns at best.
    • The Hollow Queen in Legends of the Titan, like her minions that are faced in the rest of the dungeon, has an incredibly high dodge rate until you bind her legs to make her a sitting duck. But at the same time, she is a Flunky Boss, summoning other Hollows (which also have similarly high evasion) during the fight that can either harass the party or heal her. Coupled with her hard-hitting attacks, and an unprepared party can be easily decimated. You need to either have a Sniper or an Arcanist in the party to make the fight even possible, but fortunately the first time round, Wufan can be invited to the party to help against the boss.
    • The Boiling Lizard even moreso qualifies. It unleashes fire attacks that hit the whole party, is capable of poisoning an entire line, has an insane amount of HP, summons scales that attack on top of him and even regenerates HP when low on health. Plus, making your way to the center of the room to destroy the scale pile to weaken him WILL involve doing a lot of escaping from him, on top of expending resources to heal off the damage from the heated scales on the way there.
  • That One Level: There's always one particular floor that is really tedious to map and navigate, or is crawling with deadly encounters.
    • B3F of Ginnungagap in The Fafnir Knight. When you enter for the first time, you're forced to undergo a trial to the very end. You are unable to use Ariadne Threads to escape the floor (they'll instead take you to the beginning of the floor), and the the F.O.E. of the floor is utterly relentless, chasing you down and preventing you from escaping if it engages you in a battle note . Thankfully, saves are disabled, so you can't become permanently stuck in it, but the alternative of losing your progress still stings a lot.
    • B29F of the original game and its remake are also contenders, being a tedious warp maze that has the tendency to drop you back at the beginning for taking a wrong turn.
    • B24F of The Drowned City combines regions that disable auto-mapping with tiles that spin the player around and disorient them.
    • 29F of Beyond the Myth is not just any teleporter maze — it's a teleporter maze that sends the player all the way back through the unexplored parts of the lower floors and back up again, traversing rooms with FOEs that frustrate a player trying to thoroughly fill out their map. Shortcuts that speed up return trips are scarce, and from time to time there will be certain teleporters positioned to send the player back to already-explored regions of the map if they enter it from the wrong angle, wasting a lot of time returning to where they left off. To top it off, near the end is a door with a teleporter placed directly behind it that sets the player back by a good amount, and if they forgot to unlock a shortcut not too far away, well...
  • 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.) And if you decide to hang on to that quest as you progress the main story, well, quest items take up inventory space in this game, so you're effectively limiting your inventory space.
      • The quest returns in the remake largely unmodified, but since every quest (including the quests unlocked in the chain) rewards experience points and quest items no longer clog your inventory, some of the frustration associated with this has been alleviated.
    • Early in The Drowned City, the game gives you the 'Fish Festival' sidequest, tasking you with killing 15 different fish enemies (Fanged Fish or Devilfish) on B4F. At the level you're likely to take it, just surviving long enough to encounter 15 fish is tricky, and surviving to kill 50 takes either a lot of planning or a lot of grinding. Not helping matters is the fact that B4F is also swarming with Great Anacondas.
    • A second-stratum quest in Beyond the Myth requires you to investigate a Toxipede nest back in 2F. At this point, a single Toxipede FOE will most likely be a simple cleanout for your guild (and have the blue aura around their map icon as a result), but this quest requires you to fight four of them at once. Poison is still a deadly status ailment at this point in the game due to the damage it inflicts and the lack of an efficient way to reliably remove poison from multiple party members, especially if the afflicted ones are on different lines. And all of the good Area of Effect attacks (the ones that target all enemies, not just one line) aren't available until you unlock Legendary Titles (which have "beat the second stratum endboss" as a prerequisite), meaning that of the quests you get while exploring the second stratum, this will probably be the one you beat last.
    • A fourth-stratum quest in Beyond the Myth requires you to visit the section of the second stratum that is hidden behind a sealed door in order to secure an "Old Book" key item for Ramus. By now, you hopefully know that Fetch Quests will often require you to fight something in the process of getting the necessary item or immediately after getting it. However, this particular item is guarded by two Megavolt Marmots — basically Volt Squirrels on squirrel steroids — that are hidden in a chest in a big open room. Not only do they have some hard-hitting attacks that can easily paralyze and cripple a party capable of taking on enemies in the fourth-stratum, the battle opens up with an unavoidable ambush by these killer squirrels, meaning that you will have to contend with massive damage and likely paralysis on the first turn. If the RNG is cruel enough to paralyze more than one row and/or your healer, you are going to have a bad time. And you thought stealing your Ariadne Threads was the only way squirrels could be dangerous to you...
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!:
    • When the first preview screens of The Drowned City 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.
    • Inverted come Beyond the Myth, with its ten entirely new classes being met with excitement.
  • Underused Game Mechanic: Co-Op Multiplayer in The Drowned City is an interesting concept that allows players to combine their tactics and synergize characters to defeat the Bonus Bosses, though it was not used again in any subsequent game in the series.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: 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. A later example from The Drowned City is Beast King to Wildling, probably because (like most classes) you can make a female version, and it didn't change the class name like it did for Prince/Princess.
    • For the rest of the classes, it was more than likely 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 Phalanx or Ballista and Beast King (the class names in the Japanese version).
      • The Millennium Girl, with the addition of the Highlander class (not to mention the expanded screen real-estate of the 3DS), had the abbreviation icon as "Hi" in the English version, breaking this pattern. The Fafnir Knight does a similar thing, abbreviating Sovereigns to "So".
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