The problem with Etrian Odyssey

You know, much as I love the Etrian Odyssey games, I’m finding their tendency to bleed into real life has begun to grow somewhat alarming. Maybe it’s inevitable, given the series’ core element of physically mapping your progress on virtual graph paper, tidily integrating a real-life meta-game concept into the heart of the adventure. But I was willing to chalk up my F.O.E. encounter in Nara, Japan to coincidence. I was even willing to put aside the time I was sitting on a park bench mapping the first game’s first stratum only to look up and see a deer standing a few feet from me.

But no! Yesterday I had a real-life encounter with the dreaded Claw Shrimp. Now it’s getting serious.
I was simply out yesterday morning enjoying a walk through Golden Gate Park, heading from my apartment to an Irish bakery up in the Richmond district to the north of the park. It was a cool, overcast morning, and strolling through the pedestrian paths of the park reminded me of being up in the mountains of New Mexico on a summer morning. It was a beautiful, peaceful, pleasant experience. Especially with the distant smell of a wood fire burning somewhere. (I crossed my fingers and hoped that it was a controlled fire.) But as I turned to skirt the western edge of Stow Lake, I was suddenly confronted!

Claw Shrimp appears! Command?
It was walking along there, dead center in the middle of the pedestrian foot path, facing me directly, its upper abdomen bent upward and its claws raised high in the air as a sign of challenge.

We both stopped and faced each other for a tense moment. Neither of us dared act, knowing that whoever made the first move had to perform flawlessly lest he leave his guard down for a deadly counter. Suddenly the mountain chill in the air was less pleasant, more ominous: a funereal cold.

Then an old Chinese lady who was passing by picked up a big leaf from where it was laying on the grass, swooped in, used the leaf to grab the claw shrimp, and chucked the thing into the lake.

An anticlimax to be sure, but I can’t rest easy knowing that this dread nemesis was merely thwarted rather than defeated. It’s out there, waiting. Me? I’ll be taking the bus next time I need to cross through the park.

19 thoughts on “The problem with Etrian Odyssey

  1. I’m Chinese, and I didn’t even know our martial arts allowed us to conquer Claw Shrimp so… so…


  2. Desonovich – I wonder, is it your martial arts which give the Chinese that ability or is it your culinary arts? Also, isn’t claw shrimp considered a delicacy in China?

  3. Huh. And here I thought the easiest way to get rid of those things was to bop ’em from below and then kick them off screen.

  4. Rumors has it that the first time you play Etrian Odyssey 3, your phone will start to ring. Answer it, and you will hear a young girl say a date. Listen carefully, because that will be the day that you die. (Unless, of course, you are a level 70 Protector with maxed Anti-fire.)

  5. i’ve pre-ordered EO3 against my better judgment. so many things look delicious about it, but i’m not sure i will enjoy the map making.

  6. Clearly the old Chinese lady is a monk. You should have asked her what guild she is a part of.

  7. WHAT? But mapmaking is the best part of Etrian Odyssey. Although that subclass system looks pretty cool too.

  8. Etrian Odyssey 3 is the first game I’ve preordered since back when I preordered… well, Dragon Quest IX. But BEFORE THAT it was a long time!

  9. Meh.. Probably the ONLY game I’ve ever sold due to being extremely boring. Ilost interest under 10 minutes. It’s just not my cup of tea…

  10. It probably just wanted a hug. You have all these commands: Fight, Item, Flee… but you do not have the ability.. to Love.

  11. I was camping in the Adirondacks all weekend, with a five mile walk back to civilization. My greatest fear was that a black bear would appear and wipe out my party, or at the very least steal my cooler. That exposure on all sides made me wonder though: will we get an Etrian Odyssey someday that allows you to travel and map organically in some areas that are not confined to 90 degree paths of a labyrinth? Maybe even with topographic elements like hills and cliffs? This probably all came to mind having played Snake Eater for the first time last week, more precisely, feeling utter dread upon discovering how vulnerable I was while stalking The End as he had me in his crosshairs. It might be interesting to see if the Etrian Odyssey series selects to juggle a combination of open and claustrophobic environments if it continues on 3DS.

    If anyone is on the fence about pre-ordering EO3, don’t dawdle too long, or else you’ll end up paying double for a used copy six months after the release date.

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