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Video Game / Etrian Odyssey II: Heroes of Lagaard

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Etrian Odyssey II: Heroes of Lagaard (世界樹の迷宮II 諸王の聖杯, Labyrinth of Yggdrasil II: Holy Grail of Kings) is the second installment in the Etrian Odyssey series, following up the first game. It was released in 2008, slightly one year after its predecessor.

The game's premise is very similar to that of its predecessor, but now taken to a new setting. A new Yggdrasil with its own labyrinth is awaiting to be explored, and is located next to the idyllic, wealthy city of High Lagaard. The city's governing body, the Grand Duchy of High Lagaard, invites adventurers to come and explore the labyrinth within the tree, while reminding them of the numerous dangers that lie there in the form of vicious monsters and environmental hazards. The main difference this labyrinth has in relation to that of Etria's Yggdrasil is that its main path goes upward instead of downward. How high, though? So far nobody has dared (or survived for long enough) to find out, so it's up to the player's character party to be the first to do so.

In 2014, a remake of this game called Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold: The Fafnir Knight was released in Japan, being available later in 2015 for the Americas and early 2016 in Europe and Australia. Much like the remake of the first game, it adds a Story Mode with pre-existing characters and a more elaborate narrative, as well as a brand-new dungeon to explore; notably, it also adds the Highlander class (which, in the first game's remake, only existed for the Story Mode's protagonist and didn't exist for Classic Mode). It was also the first game in the series to have Downloadable Content.

In the story mode, fellow Midgard Library childhood friends the Fafnir Knight (the protagonist) and Flavio are sent to High Lagaard to escort Princess Arianna to the Ginnugagap for an important ritual, while the little group is also tasked in exploring the Yggdrasil labyrinth. During their ritual trip, they happen to stumble upon an old knight Bertrand and her quiet companion Chloe within the mysterious dungeon. Together, the five become an exploration team and decide to uncover the secrets for both the Yggdrasil labyrinth and Ginnugagap. However, what relations does Arianna have with the Fafnir Knight, and is there a reason Bertrand is interested in tagging along?

Many of the gameplay mechanics, features and perks from the first game are retained in this sequel, without much being altered or replaced. However, it does present some novelties to keep the formula fresh. For example, in addition to retaining the original nine classes, the game adds three to raise the total of twelve: Beasts (animals loyal to their human companions), Gunners (hunters who use firearms), and War Magi (sorcerers capable of performing magical actions during battle). Secondly, some frustrating elements from the first game have been alleviated here: The level penalty for resting a character was reduced from 10 to 5, the number of unlockable shortcuts in the strata's floors has increased, the difficulty progression is slightly more forgiving, a more effective Limit Break mechanic is implemented, a Suspend Save option is added, and the UI and graphics have been polished for a prettier presentation. It also introduces the option to retire a character to replace it with another who, despite not sharing the other's level, does inherit their stats and has the default level cap of 70 increased by one. It's theoretically possible to repeat the process to raise the cap to 99, but it's extremely time-consuming.

The game received another remaster in 2023 for Windows PC via Steam and for Nintendo Switch, along with remasters of the first game and Etrian Odyssey III: The Drowned City; it can be bought by itself or with the other two games as well as part of the Etrian Odyssey Origins Collection. It is based on the DS original, lacking 2 Untold's Story Mode content, and some — but not all — of the quality-of-life touches from 2 Untold and other newer games are kept, such as skill flowcharts, multiple difficulty levels, the option to choose character portraits other than ones specific to their class, and the upgraded map interface. Both versions of the game modify the cartography interface to accommodate a single 16:9 screen, and mapping can be done with keyboard, game controller, or mouse controls on PC, the touchscreen on Switch when in Handheld or Tabletop Mode (with options to accommodate both stylus and finger touches), or a controller on Switch in any mode (including TV Mode, which does not allow use of the Switch's touchscreen).

Tropes present in both versions of the game (or exclusively to the original):

  • Absurdly High Level Cap: The level cap has been increased to 99, but not only you should be able to beat the main game at 50-60s, your characters' level cap is also 70 at natural. It can be increased by retiring those characters which resets their levels but ultimately increases their level cap by 1 per retiring. Yes, you need to retire your characters 29 times plus one last time to give a maximum stat bonus to finally reach their level cap.note  The Fafnir Knight eschews this complication by simply having the Elemental Dragons raise the party's cap upon their defeat, like in all games from III onward.
  • Bag of Spilling: If you choose to start a new file based on a Etrian Odyssey save (the completion of which generates a password in the DS version and makes your save file interactable for this game in the HD ports), then while your guild are recognized as experienced adventurers, you can't recreate your endgame party. You can manually remake those characters with the same names, looks, and classes, but these supposed veterans have to start all over at level 1 with only Daggers and Tweeds equipped and three skill points just like any proper fresh faces you make.
  • Bait-and-Switch: There is an event on the first floor that is a callback to the original game. Where the cruel switch comes is this: A "new" guild will find the exact same choices/consequences as in the original event (resting starts a fight, not resting avoids the fight), but if you are playing an Old Save Bonus guild with data inherited from the first game, you will find that the consequences for the choices in the event have been swapped around (so that opting not to rest will cause the fight to trigger instead).
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Overlord is defeated, thus freeing High Lagaard from his insane experiments, but the Birdmen are now left with the reality that their "god" was in fact a fraud, and their leader admits that his people's future is uncertain. Also, the Overlord's death unleashes the Ur Child, but the Guild deals with that in the postgame.
  • Blatant Lies: If you use the password system, it's stated multiple times that your guild saved Etria. This is completely false, as your guild killed their Yggdrasil by killing the only thing keeping it alive, and potentially turned it into a Ghost Town. Though this was fixed with The Millennium Girl, as Etria's Yggdrasil (as well as Gungnir) would have wiped a large portion of civilization off the map if your party hadn't intervened.
  • Bonus Dungeon: Forbidden Wood is a lush, seemingly-paradisial forest located far above the highest floors of Heavenly Keep. It's filled to the brim with dangerous monsters, and navigating across is is a big challenge on its own due to the high number of harmful ground areas, disorienting teleporters, and fog that reduces visibility. The boss is Ur Child, the ultimate creation of the Overlord and one of the strongest living beings in existence.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: A specific random encounter in the final floor has 10,000 hit points, more than five times the number of hit points of the next strongest random encounter, and 3000 more than the strongest FOE the game has to offer. Said random encounter also has a multihit attack on your entire party what will usually OHKO any of the non-tank classes, as well as a skill that prevents you from using any of YOUR skills. Said random encounter also holds the dubious distinction of being the only FOE or random encounter in the game that is immune to Instadeath Skills (most Bosses are immune), and the ONLY enemy in the ENTIRE game that is immune to Stun. If you're particularly unlucky, this also appears as an ambush while harvesting. In pairs. The Fafnir Knight remake retains this random encounter in all its overpowered glory, and made it stronger, with over 30,000 HP, and a Desperation Attack that can destroy the party when it approaches death. A quest needs you to hunt one. One of the guaranteed ways to get it to spawn also gives that enemy ridiculous Action Initiative. And there's a conditional drop to boot.
  • Broken Bridge: Like in the first game, you won't be allowed to proceed to the second floor of the labyrinth (in this case, the second floor of Ancient Forest) until you show a properly-drawn map of the first. It's justified this time: The guards explain that if you can't survive long enough to draw a map of the first floor, you're guaranteed to die if you go any further.
  • Catchphrase: The guildmaster ends most conversations with you with "Never underestimate the Labrynth." You really shouldn't. 2 Untold changes this to "Try to avoid any unnecessary risks." Still good advice.
  • Danger — Thin Ice: The highest floor of Frozen Grounds features a space whose surface consists of an ephemeral layer of ice that is unsafe to stand on. The player's character party has to wait until night falls so the cold temperature hardens the layer and makes it safe to pass over.
  • Dual Boss: Artelinde and Wilhem in Frozen Grounds. The paired characters use skills based on certain explorer classes, so they also qualify as Mirror Bosses; and by the time you face them you realize their intentions aren't as benevolent as you originally thought.
  • Early Game Hell: You can use a password obtained at the end of the original game to get recognized as the same guild. None of your characters transfer over; you're still going to be training up a new team of heroes, but you'll still be viewed as old pros. And while this lets you access some special encounters down the line, it also means that, because you're such experts, the guards at the start of the labyrinth won't bother giving you some Medicas to help you get started.
  • Eternal Engine: The fifth stratum, Heavenly Keep. It's a highly advanced building run by the Overlord (the game's Big Bad), and has features like conveyor belts, food dispensers and (in the remake) remote bombs that are harmful to the explorers but can be lured into F.O.E. to kill them. What makes this dungeon stand out, besides its Schizo Tech nature, is that all other strata in the game are The Lost Woods in different seasons.
  • Excalibur in the Rust: In the postgame sidequest, the party retrieves a rusty sword known as "God's Key" in order to open up the rest of the Bonus Dungeon for exploration. This event is followed by a chain of Side Quests involving sharpening the sword to restore its power, culminating in the unlocking of a Superboss at the end and finally gaining the sword as an equippable item for yourself.
  • Featureless Protagonist: Strangely, while the game usually plays it straight like all non-Untold installments, the guild officer here invites you to register yourself as a member (i.e. name a character after yourself), but the system isn't designed to recognize which character is "you." If you take her up on her suggestion, the narrator will refer to you and your avatar as separate people for the rest of the game.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: Besides bringing back the classes from the first game that have access to these three elements and, among the bosses, the three Elemental Dragons, this game also adds the Gunner class. They can shoot projectiles (bullets from the former, arrows from the latter) imbued with fire, ice or volt; the former also has a second trio of elemental stab skills.
  • Flunky Boss:
    • The first stratum boss is the Chimera, aptly subtitled "Lord of the Beasts". After a few turns, a massive flock of Slaveimps come to his cause, either casting Heal or Aura (an attack-up spell) on their master. If the Chimera dies, one still has to knock out any Slaveimps that made it into battle, but if there are any still trying to reach the battle, they disappear if the battle ends without them.
    • The Salamander, from time to time, will summon Baby Salamanders to join the battle. The boss has a skill that redirects all of the party's attacks to the baby into itself in order to protect them, as well as to frustrate the player by not being able to get rid of the babies. However, a clever player can then launch a wide-scale attack that, instead of hitting each target once, hits the boss multiple times to deplete its HP faster.
  • Forest of Perpetual Autumn: The second dungeon, Auburn Thicket, a forest that never got past autumn (the other forest dungeons are encased respectively within the other seasons). It is filled with harmful floor tiles, and is home to a species of Salamanders who attack explorers with fire breath (this also applies to their mother, who is luckily a Skippable Boss), so it's not an easy place to be in.
  • Frictionless Ice: There's an entire stratum dedicated to this (Frozen Grounds), including the obligatory "bounce from obstacle to obstacle in a convoluted path to reach the other side" movement puzzles.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: On B10F while playing on a file with the Old Save Bonus applied, a guard appears on a tile and, if talked to, offers the party an overpriced Ariadne Thread as a form of expensive insurance if they fall for the nearby squirrel. The event is so obscure that the English version of game (and no others) has some bits of improper color formatting present in the narration. This is just a funny oversight in the DS original... but it wasn't fixed in the Origins Collection remaster, and talking to the guard in that version causes the game to hang and forces a restart. Thankfully, the game was later patched to fix this.
  • Garden of Eden: The Forbidden Wood takes cues from the biblical Garden of Eden, with it being the lush, pristine forest where the Overlord raises his most powerful creations, including the Ur-Child who is the most powerful entity created by him. This also makes it the most dangerous location in the game, which is why it's a Bonus Dungeon only accessible during the postgame.
  • Give Me Your Inventory Item: At one point, you can find an exhausted, stranded guard who begs you for a Warp Wire.
  • Glass Cannon: The Gunner class can be considered a Glass Cannon, except Gunners are supposed to be back-row characters anyway, which mitigates their low defense, to an extent. A more proper example, however, would be a Hexer specialized in using Revenge: so long as its HP is low, they'll be able to deal huge damage (up to 255% the amount of damage they've taken). As long as you can keep them alive, of course.
  • Guide Dang It!: The True Final Boss has a fixed attack pattern if fought during the day. At night, it acts completely randomly, with no indication to this change in behaviour, so it's entirely possible to immediately experience a Total Party Kill.
  • Healing Shiv: The Gunner class can learn a skill called Medi-Shot, which can cure status effects.
  • Inconveniently-Placed Conveyor Belt: Conveyor belts are present in the fifth stratum (Heavenly Keep). The player's party characters are forced to work around these things to navigate through a dungeon that is already made difficult by the tough enemies present.
  • Insurmountable Waist-High Fence: The game introduces a special type of wall that looks more or less like a waist-high pile of rubble. You easily look over the rubble-walls and see everything on the other side, but they still count as walls, and you absolutely cannot pass. The only actual gameplay-related difference is that blue F.O.E.s can walk on/through them.
  • It's All Upstairs From Here: Unlike in the first game, where the Yggdrasil Labyrinth aimed downward, the one from High Lagaard is explored in the opposite direction, as the explorers have to climb it steadily upward to conquer it.
  • Kukris Are Kool: Kukris are available for your use in the game, although they are quickly outclassed. One NPC in the same game has one attached to the end of her staff.
  • Journey to the Sky: After the player's character party defeats the Overlord in the last standard stratum (Heavenly Keep, which is itself placed at the top of the Yggdrasil), they can continue climbing further and discover a beautiful, yet deadly location in the high skies: the Forbidden Wood. Serving as the game's Bonus Dungeon, it is a sacred forest where the Overlord (the then-defeated Big Bad) encased his deadliest creations; it takes cues from the biblical Eden, and there are floating islands one can reach by using warp points.
  • Limit Break: The game calls these "Force Skills", although not all of them are damaging: the Protector's "Painless" makes your party completely invincible for a turn.
  • Lost in Translation: The path to Briareus in the Forbidden Wood is preceded by brief questions that, if answered incorrectly, will reduce a party member's health to one point. The last question asks if the monster's name is Briareus; the answer is actually "No", because the boss's name is misspelled in the Japanese-language prompt. However, the question didn't have a failure state due to an error, so when the puzzle was translated, the misspelling was assumed to be accidental and got "fixed". While The Fafnir Knight gives Briareus (now Hecatoncheires) a different puzzle, the Origins Collection remaster of the original fixes the question and also misspells Briareus's name in English.
  • The Lost Woods: The first four strata in this game and the remake The Fafnir Knight (each based on a season, thus carrying over a Seasonal Baggage), as well as the Bonus Dungeon, are of this kind:
    • Ancient Forest is Summer, and is rife with stone ruins of which only some pillars and walls have survived the test of time; there's a bat-like species of F.O.E capable of flying over those stone ruins, which makes escaping from them more difficult (especially since, this way, they can move through different rooms freely whereas explorers can only use the doors); lastly, the remake Fafnir Knight adds a second gimmick in the forms of thin floors the explorers can use to temporarily trap monsters.
    • Auburn Thicket is a Forest of Perpetual Autumn, and has many floor tiles that are harmful to the player's characters, though it's possible to mitigate the damage with skills. Among the F.O.E. present are Baby Salamanders which spew fire as soon as someone enters their line of sight, and they're the children of a larger Salamander which is a Skippable Boss.
    • Frozen Grounds is Winter, thus being a Slippy-Slidey Ice World with slippery frozen water and ice blocks used for puzzle solving.
    • Petal Bridge is Spring, blessed by cherry blossom trees and inhabited by the Birdfolk; this stratum's earlier floors bring back the damaging tiles, and these are even more harmful than in Auburn Thicket. The latter floors, meanwhile, have hovering platforms that allow players to pass through large chasms and reach distant areas.
    • The Forbidden Wood, only accessible after the game has been cleared for the first time, has the looks of a serene, beautiful forest. However, it houses the deadliest creatures gathered by the Overlord, and as you progress you'll find some harmful obstacles like damaging floors and fog. Also, since the forest consists of floating islands, the teleport spots will take you to different islands depending on the time of day (the islands have their own orbits, after all).
  • Magic Knight: The War Magus, described in-game as a hybrid of The Medic and the Landsknecht. Their War Lore gives them access to healing spells and buffs, while their War Edge lets them learn specialized sword slashes which have extra effects on enemies under certain status effects... including Cursecut, which can be combined with their unique Transfer skill to become game-breaking when used properly.
  • Master of None: Two of the classes suffer from this. Thankfully, The Fafnir Knight makes major improvements to both classes' abilities to make them viable choices for your party.
    • War Magi can use healing and support magic as well as sword-based attack skills, but their healing doesn't stack up next to that of a dedicated Medic (though since they can use swords instead of staves, they are significantly faster, at least), their buffs are less useful than a Troubadour's, and their attack skills are woefully situational (stunning an enemy afflicted with Sleep?). Add to that their overall unimpressive stats and there's no real reason to use a War Magus over one of the specialists.
    • Beasts have a variety of defensive abilities and strong offense, but due to a number of flaws with their skills as well as a lack of decent armor they usually end up being more of a liability than anything else.
  • Maximum HP Reduction: One of the most powerful skills Hecatoncheires, a Superboss fought during the Playable Epilogue, has is one which halves the party's maximum HP.
  • Mecha-Mooks: Befitting its Eternal Engine setting, the Heavenly Keep features robotic enemies and FOE, with the latter having to be avoided unless the player's character party is very prepared to face them. These include the Sky Metal Knight (which attacks with Laser Blades), the Silver Sentinel, and the Silver Gunman.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: Players meet Hrothgar and Wulfgar early on and learn several important things about the Labyrinth from them. Once the player learns of their tragic history, alarm bells should be going off... the ill-fated moment comes upon finding an injured Wulfgar and learning of Hrothgar's fate. Wulfgar hangs on just long enough for the player to take revenge.
  • Mini-Boss: Artelinde and Wihelm, fought in a Dual Boss fight in the last floor of Frozen Grounds, shortly after they reveal their darker side (though things get better after the battle); shortly afterwards, in that same floor, you fight the proper boss of the stratum (Scylla). The game also has the Juggernaut, a strong guardian located in Heavenly Keep and one of the most powerful creations of the dungeon's main boss (the Overlord, who is also the game's Final Boss).
  • Mission-Pack Sequel: In many ways, the game feels like an encore of the first game, as it doesn't change or add too many elements from it aside from a few new classes, new stratum themes and other quality-of-life features. In comparison, the subsequent installments would present changes and/or additions that were more impactful and significant (like a subclassing and Multiple Endings in the third game, an overworld in the third and fourth, or Prestige Class and stratum events in the fifth).
  • Non-Standard Game Over: After defeating the first form of the Overlord, he tempts you with immortality in exchange for abandoning your pursuit of the Holy Grail. Agreeing ends your game. Refusing gives you a moment's reprieve to patch up your party (but you're forbidden from leaving the boss room) before you commence the next phase of the fight.
  • Old Save Bonus: There are some minor bonuses if you entered a password obtained by beating the original game, with the HD remaster allowing you to straight up use the previous game's save file as a base. While no characters transfer over, people recognize the name of your Guild and that you are "experienced adventurers", and several password-exclusive secrets are unlocked. However, this also has some disadvantages, such as the tutorial guard not giving your group free Medicas because he assumes your "experienced" Level 1 heroes are strong enough to make it back without any help.
  • Ominous Floating Castle: The fifth Stratum of the game, the Heavenly Keep, is a legendary flying castle hidden within the highest reaches of Yggdrasil.
  • Powerful, but Inaccurate: The third major boss, Scylla, has Cry Soul, an attack that deals several blows that are powerful enough to one-shot all but the tankiest party members but so terribly inaccurate that usually none of them will actually hit. Unfortunately, she also possesses skills that inflict sleep and paralysis, and summons flunkies that attempt to bind your characters' legs — all of which prevent dodging attacks...
  • Sacrificial Revival Spell: The Medic can learn Phoenix, which fully revives their team at the cost of their own life.
  • Sad Battle Music: "Guardians Of The Sorrowful Ice", further reinforced with its remix in the Fafnir Knight remake. It stands out from the other boss themes in the game for having a more melancholic tone, especially during the first half (it then gradually transitions into a foreboding tone). It symbolizes the suddenly somber reveal about the opponents you're facing: Artelinde and Wilhem have killed several explorers that got into near the end of Frozen Grounds, because letting them advance would led them to fight Scylla, originally the founder of the guild Artelinde and Wilhem are now part of and now turned into a monster due to the Overlord's actions.
  • Same Content, Different Rating: Unlike the first game, which was rated T by the ESRB, this one was rated E10+, even though the kind of content remains unchanged. Most intriguingly, the remake of the second game was rated T, like the majority of games. The only other games to be rated E10+ in the series is the third.
  • Schizo Tech: The Heavenly Keep in the game and its remake Fafnir Knight is less like a regal ark as implied by the lore, and more like a colorful spaceship with functional conveyor belts and bombs.
  • Seasonal Baggage: The first four dungeons are respectively modeled after the four seasons, symbolizing the time the player's characters have invested in exploring the Yggdrasil: Ancient Forest is summer, Auburn Thicket is autumn, Frozen Grounds is winter, and Petal Bridge is spring. The Ancient Forest and Petal Bridge return in Etrian Odyssey Nexus as Nostalgia Levels, but the other two don't, so their association with this trope is lost.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: The game, true to its season-themed strata, boasts this for its winter floors (Frozen Grounds). The highest floor in the strata adds to it by making the ice too thin to cross except at night when the temperature drops. You are also given the chance to take a nice rest on one of the floors. Bad idea. The very first paragraph of this trope description should suggest why. The remake Fafnir Knight removes the thin ice but adds ice blocks that can be pushed through the icy tiles, useful to solve navigation puzzles.
  • Strong Enemies, Low Rewards: Unlike in the previous game, defeating FOEs gives zero EXP, meaning that the only reward for killing them is their drops. This quirk was dropped from all subsequent games, aside from this game's HD remaster.
  • Suspend Save: Starting with this game, the Etrian Odyssey series features this as the only way to save while in a dungeon. The player can hard-save in town or next to a Geomagnetic Pole, but can only use the suspended save while exploring.
  • Treacherous Quest Giver: A couple of Side Quests are actually posted by bandits taking advantage of the noticeboard system to lure unwary adventurers into traps. The bartender who manages the request system is understandably pissed when he finds out, and warns your Guild when they take the second mission.
  • Useless Useful Spell:
    • The Beast class suffers from a severe case of this trope with their Loyalty skill, which makes a Beast take a blow for any other available party member. The problem? Loyalty makes Beasts take damage depending on the Defense stat of the character they're defending, as opposed to their own Defense (so if your Beast is defending, say, an Alchemist, they'll take more damage than if they were blocking a Protector from the same attack). The most damning thing is that Loyalty is a passive, causing the Beast to uncontrollably take damage defending party members that don't need it, and putting points into it raises the chance of this happening. This ends up damaging the Beast class as a whole, as some of the Beast skills require mastery of Loyalty to some degree.
    • The War Magi have various sword skills that have effects on their target, provided that the target is afflicted with a specific ailment. So not only are they very situational, they also demand the use of other ailment-inflicting classes to make the most out of these skills.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: Heavenly Keep, a regal castle located at the top of the Yggdrasil, and inhabited by the Overlord.
  • Yandere: The sidequest "Dinner for one" is from an NPC, asking the party to fetch ingredients to cook up a meal for her husband. Cass eventually discovers that these are all highly poisonous and rushes off to stop the woman. Turns out she saw her husband with another woman and wanted to poison him.

Tropes exclusive to The Fafnir Knight:

  • 11th-Hour Superpower: At the climax of Story Mode, the protagonist uses the Holy Grail to become strong enough to beat the final boss on his own.
  • Adaptational Superpower Change: A few classes behave remarkably differently in The Fafnir Knight compared to the base game. Some of these examples overlap with Balance Buff.
    • The Force Limit Break system has been reworked — each class now has a unique Force Boost and Force Break, accessible when their Force Gauge is full. A Force Boost is a 3-turn buff that can enhance their performance while active, while a Force Break is a powerful skill that can be used during Force Boost, but using a Force Break prevents further use of Force Boost or Break until the party returns to town.
    • Instead of casting spells corresponding to physical elements, Alchemists gain a line of Palm skills which offer cost-efficient elemental damage, but these spells are only available in the front line.
    • Taking cues from Slantwise Cut in The Millennium Girl, the Ronin in this game now enable their stances with attack skills so that they can maintain their usual role in battle without spending turns not dealing damage. Their stances also no longer take up a buff slot so they don't interfere with the three-buffs cap and are not rendered powerless by a Status-Buff Dispel.
    • Gunners go from Glass Cannon to Fragile Speedster, with a different stat spread that focuses on Agility and their attack skills now calculating off Agility. Survivalist damage skills also now calculate off their Agility stat to make them a competent damage dealer.
    • War Magi in the second game were a Master of None due to their Situational Sword attacks and their healing and support not quite matching up to those of the specialists. On top of that, their inability to inflict ailments themselves made them very team-dependent. The Fafnir Knight greatly revamped their skill set, making their War Edge skills trigger off any ailment and giving an Action Initiative factor to their healing skills to set them apart from the Medic. Their new Force Boost also allows them to maintain function in case ailments are unavailable or impractical.
    • Beasts were built around Taking the Bullet for the party, but there were a few pitfalls in the programming: First, their Loyalty made them tank hits automatically, and second, they would take the damage the defended member would have taken, without taking into account the Beast's own defense. This meant that instead of a party surviving a non-lethal Herd-Hitting Attack, the Beast could take all hits that are destined for its allies and die as a consequence. Also, when it moves to defend a Glass Cannon or Squishy Wizard, the Beast would take damage higher than it would if it were attacked directly. The Fafnir Knight reworked the Loyalty skill tree — Loyalty Mastery passively gives a chance for the Beast to halve incoming damage so that they can tank effectively, damage calculation during tanking now correctly uses the Beasts's own defense stats, and any tanking actions from the Beast are player-controlled rather than automatic.
  • Arrange Mode: As with the remake of the first game, Story Mode gives you a fixed set of five canon characters who are pre-named except for the protagonist, there are a fair bit more cutscenes and dialogue, and areas and bosses have many distinct differences including content that is not available in Classic Mode. As compensation for having five fixed characters in your guild and not being allowed to add more, you are given the option to change their classes.
  • Block Puzzle: Though absent in the original version, the remake adds ice blocks in the Frozen Grounds, and they have to be pushed across their icy ponds in order to reach key places (the Frictionless Ice would make navigation impossible otherwise).
  • Boss Rush: The "Treasures Untold" DLC quest requires you to fight the King Grimoire bosses from The Millennium Girl in sequence, with no chance to heal in between.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: Defeating the toughest DLC Superboss on Expert difficulty awards the Ragnarok, a sword that grants a massive HP and TP bonus and is usable by all classes, while outstripping the ultimate katana. But because you've defeated the toughest boss the game has to offer complete with all its unfair gimmicks, you've nothing left to use it on.
  • Butt-Monkey: Flavio is constantly made the butt of many, many jokes through the game by almost the entire cast, be they seniors, children, and many times indirectly from Arianna. This is probably retribution for all those years as a kid when he used to be an annoying Crying Wolf to the Midgard Library.
  • Chain Lethality Enabler: The eponymous Fafnir Knight's Overkill skill is a single-target attack, but will attack all enemies if the initial target dies.
  • Damage-Sponge Boss: Every FOE and boss (except for the second stratum's, oddly enough). Your biggest threat against them isn't their dangerous attacks killing you, but being worn down enough that you aren't able to put up with their attacks for 40+ turns.
  • Diminishing Returns for Balance: Buffs and debuffs are counterbalanced in The Fafnir Knight by reducing the potency of similar buffs should the player try to stack them. For instance, if a 30% defense debuff is applied on an enemy while the party has a 30% attack buff, the net increase in damage is remarkably lower than the expected 69%. That said, there are workarounds, especially with the large variety of buffs on a Troubadour.
  • Downloadable Content: This is the first game in the series to receive small pieces of DLC based on extra customization options, quests and other small features. However, compared to V and Nexus, The Fafnir Knight went a little further by also adding DLC quests that feature Legacy Boss Battles against bosses from the previous Untold, new postgame-strength boss fights, and an extra floor to the Bonus Dungeon featuring a new Superboss called Ur-Devil.
  • Dungeon-Based Economy: There's a restaurant that the player's Story Mode party is requested to support. This place not only uses monster meat and plants from the Labyrinth for cuisine, but also provides buffs with the meals thus created.
  • Easier Than Easy: Picnic difficulty. While other games in the series do have their own "easy" difficulty, none are as easy as this entry. The game might as well be playing itself with how much damage everything takes and how little your party receives. In this mode, the game only starts to become difficult when you reach the 6th Stratum, and by extension, the DLC 31st floor with its own challenging superboss.
  • Fantastic Nuke: The Alchemist gains a powerful Non-Elemental skill called "Nuclear Formula", whose description outright states that it uses nuclear fusion to cause an explosion.
  • Fighting Your Friend: Halfway through the Story Mode plot, you have to face the Demi-Fafnir, aka Bertrand. This also means that you have only four party members for this fight.
  • Flunky Boss: Almost every boss in The Fafnir Knight calls in adds that threaten to augment one of the boss's deadliest attacks if not dealt with quickly. Combined with the HP bloat in this game, it drags out some fights. It's easy to count the number of bosses here that don't do this!
  • Guest-Star Party Member: Wulfgar hops aboard for your first time through the first floor in story mode. At level 12, he's stronger than the rest of the party, but not as strong as the examples above. Hrothgar also joins for the fight against the Chimaera in story mode. He's level 16, about equal level with the recommended level to fight the boss. Marion also serves as a guest party member for the first fight against the Great Dragon in the postgame, but unlike the former two examples, by this point it's already likely your party is on par with, or even stronger than her.
  • Helpful Mook: Axolotls can potentially be these: when encountered in battle, they won't do anything except watch. Leave them alone for long enough, and they'll use a move that completely fills the party's Force gauges - even if they used their Force Breaks! Attack them, on the other hand, accidental or not, and they will instead drain your characters' Force gauges.
  • He Was Right There All Along: At one point, you wander around Ginnungagap when all of a sudden the FOE alert sounds, notifying you one of the floor's wandering superpowered enemies has noticed you. You may be tempted to turn around and see where it's coming from, only to find nothing at all as you look... and then the instant you take your eyes off the wall in front of you, the damn thing will reveal it's hiding inside the wall, and using part of the brickwork as a cover.
  • Hot Springs Episode: Part of the DLC, and it's exactly as pervy as you'd expect. Especially when the girls' bath is interrupted by an FOE.
  • Incredibly Durable Enemies: The remake massively inflates everything's HP to offset the absurd damage the MC of story mode — the titular Fafnir Knight — deals while in his install form. This ultimately causes a few issues: first, the install requires a full meter bar to enter, meaning it's not a matter of keeping his MP high and can only be used every so often instead of constantly. Second, none of the other classes can keep up with him at all outside of Picnic difficulty, making most battles a slog in story mode, or all battles in classic mode.
  • Interface Screw: The bonus stratum, unlike in the original, presents F.O.E.s that emit fog so dense that it obscures line of sight for both the player and any F.O.E.s in the room, on top of disabling automapping. Some of these rooms are also damage tile mazes.
  • Lethal Joke Item: The Bikini Armor offers a paltry 1 Defense but gives a fantastic +75% elemental resistance. It does have its use in certain fights to mitigate elemental damage. What's not immediately noticeable is that it can also be equipped to Beasts alongside their normal collar armor — the combination makes them outstandingly tanky.
  • Limit Break: Compared to the original version, the Force mechanic now comes in two versions: A Force Boost which adds or enhances a certain attribute for three turns, and a Force Break that applies a very powerful skill but at the cost of disabling the Force gauge until the character returns to the Hub City (there are certain perks and skills that can restore it without leaving the Yggdrasil, but they're difficult to pull off).
  • Marathon Boss: While a lot of bosses suffer from HP bloat in the remake, the three elemental Dragons get particularly nasty about it. The main issue is that they also summon a core that casts an elemental attack that grows stronger for every turn the core is alive, so you can't just ignore it or it will become too strong to handle. The cores have a non-trivial amount of HP, so you're going to need to take time off the main body to fight it, and the dragon can regenerate it periodically during the fight. All this, while the dragon continues to harass you with deadly attacks. The Great Dragon is the worst of them all, sporting 72,000 HP and a core with 13,000, on top of sky-high Strength that can one-shot your more fragile party members. You have a Guest-Star Party Member to help you out, but she's so poorly optimized she might as well be a meat shield.
  • The Nicknamer: Chloe. She calls the Player Character 'Mr. Sword', Flavio 'Mr. Bow', and Bertrand 'Trand'.
  • Powers as Programs: Like in the first game's remake, Grimoire Stones allow the equipping characters to access skills outside their normal skill set. These stones are normally generated in combat and each stone only carries one skill, which is usually drawn from the one generating the Stone or may contain an enemy skill. They also can be equipped and swapped around your party outside the dungeon, and Grimoire Stones can even enhance a party member's innate skills beyond the usual cap of 10.
  • Pretty Princess Powerhouse: Arianna, who is part of the Prince(ss) class, and is explicitly expected by royal tradition to take on dangerous monsters themselves with little support.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Arianna is the Princess of Caledonia, having turned up in High Lagaard to participate in a ritual at the nearby ruins.
  • Temple of Doom: Ginnungagap is an ancient temple located not too far from High Lagaard, and is visited by the player's character party in order to help Arianna perform a centennial ritual. Due to a grave incident that occured 100 years ago during the then-last ritual, now remembered as the Anomaly, it has been abandoned by humans, and turned into a perfect habitat for dangerous monsters, including powerful bosses like Basilisk and Demi-Fafnir.
  • Three Plus Two: The remake features this with the main cast of its Story Mode. The Fafnir Knight and his best friend Flavio join Princess Arianna as her bodyguards to make up a party of three, and they later meet the duo of Bertrand and Chloe while exploring Ginnungagap.
  • Trial-and-Error Gameplay: The Fafnir Knight exaggerates this trope among the whole series by making almost every major boss follow a strict pattern, and some of them threaten to punish the party with a deadly attack if they don't prepare the correct defenses or find a way to stop it. Without a guide you may end up scrutinizing boss behaviour over multiple attempts to figure out a step-by-step strategy to defeat it.
  • Unwinnable by Design: There's a floor in its second dungeon - Ginunngagap - that tells you beforehand that you can't leave, and any attempts to do so will do nothing. What it doesn't tell you, however, is that the area is also full of moving walls that are actually overpowered F.O.E.s. Considering that they're able to trap you between walls where your only way out is through them, and that F.O.E.s are already extremely overpowered to begin with, your only choice is death if you take a wrong turn. However, the game does place three treasure chests in the first room of this floor, each with an item that allows the player to escape from almost any battle - including F.O.E.s - to the entry point of the floor. There are also one-way shortcuts that can aid a player in escaping a situation before it becomes hopeless, and the F.O.E.s will walk back to their neutral positions when the player leaves the room, allowing the player to make a different attempt at passing through the rooms.

Alternative Title(s): Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold The Fafnir Knight