More than you’ve ever wanted to read about Etrian Odyssey

I meant to post this last week to coincide with the launch of Etrian Odyssey III, but there was that whole “flying back from Japan” thing, followed by the “jetlag” thing, which came paired with the “food poisoning from United’s gross-ass in-flight meal” thing. So I didn’t really have time to get this online until the weekend rolled around. But rolled the weekend did, and online it is: my entirely-too-lengthy paean to Etrian Odyssey.

This was originally penned as an article for GameSpite Quarterly 4, but it ultimately proved to be much too long and out of character for the rest of the book, so I ended up converting it into the most recent subscriber bonus book. At this point, all subscribers should have their books in hand (I’ve mailed two copies to several people who didn’t receive their, so they’d better), so now the article is up for all to read. I will be sincerely surprised if anyone actually reads this article all the way through, since it’s pretty much the opposite of what people want to read online — dense reams of copy versus hyper-spasmodic snippets of half-formed thoughts — but bear in mind it was originally written for print, so this is kind of a piece out of its proper element.

As it happens, though, you can still read it in its proper medium, if for some reason you’re so inclined: I have seven copies of the first and second bonus books left over from the mailings. If you’d like to snag a set for yourself and help contribute to the GameSpite War Chest, drop me a line. I’m selling the set of two for $42. Yes, that’s a lot for two slim paperbacks, but they’re meant to be fundraisers for the site. We are a charitable cause! (Well, not technically; please do not try writing these books off on your 2010 taxes.)

Also, you’ll note that I’m trying a new style of link graphic with this entry. I’m sure a lot of people will hate it. I don’t need to hear about it. I know you hate things. It’s a given. You’re the Internet. Hate is what you do. I’m just experimenting with different ideas, that’s all.

19 thoughts on “More than you’ve ever wanted to read about Etrian Odyssey

  1. I like the new font a lot! Definitely, definitely write a letter to United specifying which flight got you sick. Any food service, even airlines, take this stuff really seriously, and will get back to you about it (hopefully with, say, a discount or free flight.)

    The only Japanese dungeon crawlers I’ve played are Shining in the Darkness and that SNES one where everyone was represented as playing cards. Arcana? But this sounds mighty interesting.

  2. Fantastic write-up. It covered some of the philosophical design choices that make me worship this series like I do.

  3. Arcana is great! There’s a thread on the forums somewhere about first-person dungeon crawlers (the kind of game that EO and Arcana are, which trace roots back to Wizardry) if you’re looking for more.

  4. If there’s still a pair as of Friday (when I am paid), consider one spoken for.

    Basically I guess I should just send an email come then, huh?

  5. I try and avoid flying United for just this reason. Actually it’s because United’s terrible all round but this is certainly a part of it.

  6. That was very enjoyable and quite informative to read. I’ve been an Etrian traveller myself since the game came out in Europe. Living in Europe, though, I’ve never seen EOII or III arrive here. A quick import buy on eBay last week solved that problem, and I’ll be in posession of the seafaring dungeon explorer sometime next week.

    I have to admit that, though I’m a huge fan and really love the game, I’ve never ventured beyond the third stratum, simply because other things commanded attention. I’ve restarted twice, and still enjoy the game a great deal. I’ve been telling myself to finish it lately, especially with EOIII on the horizon, and this article made me want to go do that. It also shows me there’s much more of a story to be found within the game’s confines besides what it tells you; making up your own story as you go.

    I’ll soon be, once more, evading a dangerous Wyvern, eradicating the alpha wolf, and finishing off the infamous Stalker, once again, for the first time. In short, I’ll commence my adventure into the abyssal depths of the Yggdrasillian labyrinth once more.

  7. Hooray, link graphics. If any place on the internet can get over the requisite Fear Of Change, it ought to be here. Though honestly, I feel like these just hearken back to older link graphics… I’m pretty sure we had full-width banners once upon a time.

    Anyway, EO. I’m pretty convinced they’re great games, but I haven’t gotten sucked into them, partly for backlog reasons. Though I *did* get sucked into 140+ hours of DQIX. And I keep casting envious glances in the direction of the similarly themed still-Japanese-only Seventh Dragon.

  8. That was just a really amazing thing to get in the mail. It reminded me of zines, albeit with much better production values. I must confess I didn’t finish the whole thing but only because it was giving me an itch that only EO could scratch, and my copy disappeared a long time ago. Good stuff, though.

  9. I’m not good enough to be able to play Etrian Odyssey..although I did make an attempt on the second one. Still, preordered III to support the franchise.

  10. Hey Syrg, there are only a couple of book sets left at this point, so if you really want me to hold one for you, please let me know by email.

  11. I know you don’t want my hate, but I think this particular style of link graphic would look better with the border turned off. The white space below the actual image portion looks worse than it needs to. The best solution would actually be the text itself set in the image and the white rectangle entirely removed, but that’s much more difficult and not worth it.

  12. Thank you for fixing this.

    It’s an engaging article, really. It may not be read by the people that just go to gaming websites to get their arbitrarily assigned number values, but it’s well worth a read for the people that enjoy your work.

    Lately I’ve been enjoying story-light games. The story isn’t the point in these cases, so it lets your imagination take the game places. Though it does make me long for the resources to create a game featuring player created characters with randomly generated back-stories and personalities. Even if there would be a low/negative return on that investment.

  13. No, no, this is EXACTLY what I want to read online! I freaking LOVED it. I’d ask for a similar write up for two and/or three, but, well, I should probably finish three first. *laugh*

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