Etrian Odyssey Untold: The Millenium Girl is a retelling of 2007’s classic dungeon crawling RPG for the Nintendo DS. With its new addition of a character-focused story mode, players will test their mettle with role-playing prowess against the various stratums of Yggdrasil. Is The Millenium Girl destined to be a classic, or this a tale better off untold?
Brand new story
Etrian Odyssey Untold focuses around a highlander seeking the cause of earthquakes plaguing the land of Etria and an amnesiac gunslinger by the name of Frederica whom he stumbles upon in an ancient ruin. In addition to this pair follows a trio of investigators on behalf of the Midgard Library. Medic Simon, Protector Raguna, and Alchemist Arthur round out the party. This band of five adventurers follow a traditional party structure. Healer, defender, main line fighter, and two ranged attackers represent a similar party makeup I would use in more classic RPG’s. Those that follow along with Untold’s story mode will be rewarded with unique party conversations, voiced dialogue, animated cutscenes, and even an exclusive dungeon.
The dungeon of Glastheim is a fresh addition to Etrian Odyssey Untold and is the location where the Highlander encounters Frederica for the first time. Hidden deep within Glastheim lies the truth behind Frederica’s history and perhaps the cause of the recent calamities and FOE sightings. Glastheim offers a futuristic motif, a welcome change between the other nature driven stratums. As the dungeon itself isn’t completely accessible from one entrance, I found myself going through most of the first area without much issue before coming to a dead end with nowhere else to go. It wasn’t until I reached the second stratum that I reached another teleporter to a separate area of the Glastheim dungeon and could proceed further.
Exploration is key
Map making has always integral to Etrian Odyssey‘s unique style and Untold is no exception. Players will have to chart their own course through Yggdrasil. The maps have all been reworked, as have the monsters and items to be discovered, so any old experience with the first Etrian Odyssey won’t help you here. While an optional automatic mode can plot out basic paths and walls, it’s up to the payer to fill in the rest. Doors, gathering points, shortcuts, traps, and damage panels will all need to be plotted by hand. Be diligent enough in your cartography skills on a given floor and be rewarded with a new Floor Jump ability.
With just a single tap on the map screen, players can bypass entire sections of the current stratum and teleport to the nearest staircase. Floor Jump can be both a life and time saver when backtracking previous floors to fulfill a request or narrowly escape the clutches of an angry FOE. While it’s necessary to be able to finish the current floor and find one’s way to the exit staircase before Jumping is unlocked, both this and other shortcuts are welcome, almost mandatory tools to exploring Yggdrasil. Being able to navigate quickly will be crucial to getting back into action after returning home to sell off the spoils of war or revive a fallen party member (which can happen frequently even to the most cautious of parties).
Difficult yet accessible
Etrian Odyssey Untold represents a Japanese love letter to the Wizardry series of long ago. After assembling a custom five-member team (or venturing forth with the default story mode party), it’s all a matter of survival in the depths of Yggdrasil. When not exploring or gathering materials, the rest of the time is spent in combat. Encounters come either at random or by crossing paths with an enemy FOE. One thing to always keep in mind is that while combat may bring you to a separate instance, roaming FOE can and will join the fray if nearby as they move around after each turn in combat. Without proper planning or skills, expect a fight with a FOE to be over in a few rounds (usually with your party six feet under).