Etrian Odyssey, as a series, has always been a throwback to the bygone era of dungeon crawling in games such as Wizardry and The Bard's Tale, and Etrian Odyssey IV continues that legacy on a new platform, the Nintendo 3DS.
Tharsis is the Outland City that acts as the town in Etrian Odyssey IV. There a many places to visit in the town such as:
- Saehrimnir Inn
- Berund Atelier
- Dancing Peacock
- Explorers Guild
- Cargo Wharf
- Mark Grand Court
- City Gates
The Atelier is your shop for Tharsis and acts as a place to buy and sell items you gather or find on your journey. Some items require the player to have certain items in order to purchase the items, creating an alchemy system by way of needing certain items to create new items at a cost.
By leaving town via the city gates, the player will be asked if they wish to:
- Depart on the skyship
- Enter the labyrinth (or return to the previous dungeon)
- Return to Tharsis
Exploring the World
Instead of the boat and sea voyage, which was used to travel the world in Etrian Odyssey III, the player will now control a skyship (which is actually a hot air balloon).
While flying, the player can avoid F.O.E.s while charting new lands, negotiate with rival guilds, and harvest plants. The ship can also be upgraded with parts scattered throughout the world that give you additional advantages like avoiding bad weather, harvesting extra food, or reaching new areas.
- If a F.O.E. is in the way of your entrance to a dungeon, simply toss some harvested food in front of the skyship to draw it away from the location or to a place you desire.
The story revolves around the player uncovering the mysteries of the tree Yggdrasil, which nobody has set foot near in centuries, as they uncover the pathway forward.
Unlike traditional JRPGs, which provide the map for the player, the player must navigate through a dungeon in fixed increments as they manually create the dungeon map by drawing pre-designed symbols and landscape textures on the 2D grid with the stylus. This allows the player to create a map as detailed or haphazardly as they please.
Etrian Odyssey IV will be the first Etrian Odyssey to have a Casual difficulty and the ability to change the difficulty at any time during the game. The new Casual difficulty will allow the player to lose no progress upon death by being transported back to town and an infinite number of Ariadne's Threads, which let you instantly warp back to town.
Guild Cards & StreetPass
The 3DS’ Streetpass feature has improved guild sharing, as Etrian Odyssey IV no longer needs to be loaded to gather rival guild information. Instead, QR codes store and share your guild’s stats, medals, and an envoy from your party with other players by turning a Guild Card into a QR code at Cargo Wharf.
These can be shared on the internet and also grant special items and bonuses such as additional quests.
Upon the release of the US demo, ATLUS released QR Codes via:
- The Etrian Odyssey IV website/blog at http://etrianodyssey4.blogspot.com/
- Embedded in a tutorial video on how to use QR Codes, mirrored at http://www.gamershell.com/news_148509.html
Additional demo-specific QR codes will become available through various ATLUS channels, including FaceBook and Twiiter pages, over the following weeks up until the release.