Etrian Odyssey

Etrian Odyssey

released on Jan 18, 2007

Etrian Odyssey

released on Jan 18, 2007

In a vast and fertile land lies a small town known as Etria, a peaceful village that became famous for a startling discovery. A crack in the vast forest opened at Etria's edge, leading downward like a gaping maw. It all began there... Your salvation in the labyrinth is in your own hands: Create your own team of adventurers to withstand the maze's fierce battles, while creating your own dungeon maps using the Nintendo DS touch screen outside of combat. Lush 3D graphics and a world-class soundtrack puts an exquisite face on the mortal danger that lurks at every step.


Also in series

Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth
Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth
Etrian Odyssey Untold: The Millennium Girl
Etrian Odyssey Untold: The Millennium Girl
Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan
Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan
Etrian Odyssey III: The Drowned City
Etrian Odyssey III: The Drowned City
Etrian Odyssey II: Heroes of Lagaard
Etrian Odyssey II: Heroes of Lagaard

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I'm in love with the way EO leverages the DS to digitize manual mapping. absolutely wonderful, beautiful stuff that captures the spirit of the genre a billion million zillion times better than any automap ever could. in a perfect world this would've heralded imitative ports of every drpg under the sun, and all of them would've been strong contenders for the best versions by default. unfortunately we live in the eternal piss and shit dimension so I'm doomed to pout about the missed opportunity for the rest of my life

as for the rest: game's like one of those images where either you see the old crone or the smokin hot babe; the lamp or the smoking hot babe; the white and gold dress or the smokin hot babe. you know?

from what I gather if you're coming at it from an EO perspective this thing feels like it was coded straight into zhoukoudian limestone by the peking man. folks act like it's the dustiest, crustiest, most satanic verses ass antipathetic crawler ever made. they're out here throwing blankets over their ds at night like a furby to stop it from talking backwards and shit

but if you're coming at it from a broader drpg perspective it's almost the complete opposite: decidedly modern, breezy, and accommodating; its push toward transparency, telegraphs, and convenience at odds with the core tension loop pre-bradley wizardry clones fundamentally rely on

I fall into the second category and found most of this to be pretty dry. by the time I hit the 5th Stratum I was approaching vegetative status, zoning out and mashing A with one hand while reading scandalous celebrity gossip on my phone in the other. hovering out of body, well above the dungeon rather than being subsumed by it; existing outside of stress, anxiety, and uneasy decision making. EO just doesn't got the stomach to wrench your guts around, put you on the perpetual backstep, or fill the role of derelict steward the way the most successful clones do

which is fine! I like most of the experimentation here in isolation; there's a dialogue happening that's a lot more interesting than reheating 1980-1988 endlessly. the deterministic angle opens up a lot of unique design avenues; character building could easily swerve toward embracing shortform tactics over longform attrition, and moments like B20F show that FOEs can be more than softball fodder goin woop woop woop in a 3x3 grid. there's a lot to be excited about, it just needs to be contextualized in ways that flatter rather than compromise

more than anything EO needs to stop being uncomfortable in borrowed skin and start being comfortable in its own. no reason to be another mediocre wizardry when it could be a great etrian odyssey 🌈 ⭐❤️

Took me like 4 years to beat it when I was a kid.
Although it lacks polish and good balancing, Etrian Odyssey is an original and brilliant dungeon crawler, which made the most of the Nintendo DS.

1. I played the 'Untold' 3DS remake first, which informed how I approached the game. I was liberal with guides, feeling "well, I've already done all this, so it's okay". I hope I didn't damage the intended difficulty, which I thought was as challenging my Untold playthrough on 'Standard'.

2. My favourite part of Etrian Odyssey - any version - is drawing the map, no contest. It's beyond satisfying seeing an empty map grow into a full one, and empowering to use what you've drawn as a resource in exploration. A fun part of going backwards to this version, though, was how much more limited your mapping tools are! There's only a couple icons, and you can't paint the floor tiles different colours, or draw paths to auto-walk down. I say 'fun' because I found this a fun challenge! I used the limited tool set to communicate the floor's specific mechanics in more creative and concise ways. Ironically, the restrictions made my maps more personal!

3. The lack of 'Floor Jump' was the biggest change coming from 'Untold'. (You enter the dungeon at any floor you've explored instead of a checkpoint every five floors.) I like the game more without it! Clambering down to where I was last made the labyrinth bigger, fighting to get there felt stressful, and learning what paths to take made it more familiar. Fast travel makes for a less interesting experience.

4. Respect having the items you need for pub side quests so painfully scarce. Farming them typically gets a level up, so I never needed to grind them out. It's pretty elegant - though frustrating in the moment.

5. Having to think about how my characters react to the story was fun - a lot different from Untold, which has a premade cast and cutscenes. My imagination never ran that wild, but getting to think up little scenarios for my fellows was cute. That said, I did regret basing them on my actual friends. I was always worried about them acting out of character...

No lo completé y no creo que lo vuelva a jugar, pero me encantó la experiencia. A mitad del gameplay, me di cuenta de que sin quererlo le había creado personalidades a los personajes de mi equipo, e incluso dinámicas y relaciones entre ellos. Nunca antes me había ocurrido, y me doy cuenta de que esa es la magia del Etrian, tú creas la historia.
Decir que, mi cosa favorita del primer juego es que el médico esté tan roto. Adoro los game breaking bugs.

A good start to the series, but balance is a bit questionable, the story's attempt at deconstructing a generic RPG plot is poorly done, and the postgame dungeon is just a slog

Not a big fan of the maze like structure of the game. It feels reminiscent of Shit Midgami Tablet titles of yesteryear and I fucking hate it. Mid.