Part 2: Episode II: I Am Just Here On Business
New Music: Voyage
The next thing we know, Endir has hopped on a boat up north and is fixing to get his assassination on. Our mysterious employers pitch went on a bit longer than the prologue plot hook implied. So we hear it now in its entirety
In that village, there is a young girl who shall turn 18 years old this year. My mission for you, Endir is to kill her. The village of which I speak is known as the village of sacrifice Once every ten years, a sacrifice is chosen and sets out on a journey to the Last Lands to fulfill her duty. Not long ago, a young girl was once again chosen to become a sacrifice It is she who is your target.
Alright, just a quick ferry ride to some Podunk town, murder some teenager, and score an easy payday. Sounds simple enough. Its got to beat midnight polar bear brawling out in the wilderness.
New Music: The Scent of the Sea
It is very unusual for travelers to come over from the mainland, of course!
*points ahead* Nive Village is just past here. All the villagers are very friendly Im sure youll feel right at home in no time.
So are you here on business or pleasure, if you dont mind me asking?
Oh well. Enjoy yourself just the same.
Its not often anyone comes here from the mainland. Usually its the other way round Theres a departure ceremony today, actually. What? Whos departing? The sacrifice, of course!
Mhm. They sure are
Welcome to the Nive Island Docks. Theres a few dock workers milling about. Nobody has much of interest to say beyond being generally friendly and pointing us toward the main village to the north-west.
Being an RPG, old school styled or not, our protagonist is of course free to loot any unattended treasure chests in the area and stuff their contents into his pockets. Here we find a handful of Fogstones. These let us escape from battles. Theres no run command, weve got to use these consumables. Ehh If you say so, game.
Were also free to barge into any unlocked doors. Ive got to say I really do like interiors in this game. They all have a nice cozy warm glow to them in contrast to the perpetual wintery setting outdoors.
As it turns out, this is a restaurant of sorts. Unfortunately, its not quite open yet. Well, lock your door and put a closed sign up, you buffoon. I know youre a backwater village, but there are some universal protocol to operating a village. Sheesh.
Oh sure, keep your door wide open to your closed business, but have the inviting treasure chest locked. I see how it goes. Endir was thinking of stopping by here for lunch after the assassination. But now, I just dont know if thats wise.
So silver chests are locked for now. The method to unlock them wont present itself for a good while. So lets not worry about it.
Indeed, there is precious little to be done on the docks. So lets just head north and see about this village everyone is pointing us toward.
New Music: The Winter Breeze
Welcome to the world map. It actually has been quite a while since Ive played a game with a proper over world map you could travel across like this. That concept was just kind of quietly phased out at the end of the PSX era of RPGs.
There is no worry of random battles while traveling the world map since the game doesnt have any random battles at all. Were free to wander around out our leisure. Not that there is much to see here. True to the villagers word, Nive Village is a short trek northwest of the docks.
New Music: Tender Glow
Aww, geez. Two minutes in the village and weve already caused an Alert. Nice going, Endir!
Beautiful scenery, warm people Its a wonderful place, this village. Please, stay as long as you like.
Just passing through.
Well, this Wal-Mart greeter of the opening village seems helpful enough. Maybe he can point us in the way of our mark. Lets chat him up again.
My own daughter is the one who will take on this important role I suppose this, too, is fate
Yeah. Fate is real weird like that. Look, I gotta go
Take care, friend.
Oof Awkward. Alright, that wasnt the best start. But maybe someone else knows something, eh? But first
Look at this cute ass snowman. It is just precious!
This is a really nice looking game, as it turns out! Especially for something made in Unity. But were getting off track here. Lets investigate the whereabouts of this sacrifice girl. Preferably, out of earshot from her father. There is a woman wandering about just a bit north of Raishin. Maybe she knows something.
She often goes to the Falling Snow Monument to pray to the past sacrifices. Wheres the Falling Snow Monument? Just past the Dazzshire Woods to the northeast.
Oh. Huh. Well, that was remarkably easy. Thanks, Kind Woman. You have been instrumental in this assassins intel gathering session!
Im not going to go around chatting up each individual villager in town. The gist of the local gossip is the sacrifice girl is getting booted off to go on a journey today and thats a bummer. But theres a bunch of monsters around lately causing a ruckus and apparently her journey is the remedy for the monster attacks. Well, it seems like were just cutting out the middle man here with the whole murder for hire gig.
At the northern end of the village, we find a couple landmarks. The large building here is the village elders house. Theres nothing of interest there at the moment. But to the right of that, we find
An apothecary aka our first merchant. Here we can blow our hard earned cash from the polar bear kidnapping gig to stock up on supplies. We can also gain a bit of advice in the form of random tutorial screen.
We can eventually upgrade weapons. Great to know. Not particularly relevant at the moment since we wont have access to the resources to do this for a couple hours. Though, upgrading our weapons is quite important in I am Setsuna, as well see in a bit.
As for actual shopping, weve got a small variety of items to choose from. Most are probably self-explanatory if youve ever played a JRPG before. But a quick overview is as follows:
- Potion Recovers a small amount of HP.
- Ether Recovers a small amount of MP.
- Antidote Removes Sap status. (Read: Poison)
- Crescent Grass Removes Paralysis status. (Read: Slow)
- Smelling Salts Removes Confusion status.
- Athenian Water Revives a knocked-out character. Also recovers a small amount of HP.
- Tent Recovers the HP and MP of all characters. Also removes all status ailments.
- Fogstone Creates a smoke screen, allowing escape from battle.
All pretty standard JRPG items. Status effects annoyingly persist outside of battle, so it is necessary to have some remedies on hand if party members get unlucky.
But for now, our only interest is stocking up on a bunch of Tents, since they are by far the most useful of the lot and cheap as dirt. Tents can only be used at save points or the world map. But frankly, the only time well need to top off our health like that IS when accessing a dungeon from the world map or hitting a save point prior to a boss encounter. So Tents are quite essential!
Tents are especially necessary due to other quite questionable design decision of I am Setsuna: There are no inns in the game. You know places in safe zones where you can top off your health for a nominal fee? Yeah, those dont exist. Theres no healer. Save points arent giving out handouts either. Weve got to bootstrap ourselves to fighting shape with consumables or bust.
Allegedly, the justification is that people dont often travel in this world since it is a wintery, hostile penguin filled region. So inns couldnt sustain themselves as a business model, since the only people traveling is the occasional merchant
TLDR: Stock up on Tents because thats the only way were ever getting a full party restoration outside of story events! Its real dumb!
Anyway, Nive Village was a bust. Lets move on to this monument up north.
Dazzshire Woods is just a short stroll to the northeast of town. Its simple enough to track down. While were getting past a few bad design decisions right out the gate, heres another big, glaring one: There is no world map. As in this view right here? This is the most we get of the over world. Its not a big issue early on when were shepherded from one nearby location to another. But the games world will eventually open up and the lack of a map becomes a bit of a problem
New Music: Into the Woods
But enough about future oversights. Weve got a short bit of woods to trek through. Dazzshire Woods is a very short mini-dungeon. Indeed, theres two treasure chests (one of which is locked) and three encounters before were at the exit.
And two of those encounters are just against more Pengy critters. I hope you like murdering assorted cutesy penguins. Pengy is an entire class of monster in Setsunas world with over a half dozen permutations throughout the land. Theyre pretty much the games equivalent of Slimes.
There is one new encounter in the second snow covered woods of the game: the Waloompa a big dopey monster walrus. These fellows have about double the HP (100ish range) of a Pengy but theyre slow as molasses as far as attack speed goes.
And their only attack is trying to slap, poorly, with their floppy flipper arms.
Needless to say, it doesnt go well for the Waloompa in the Walrus vs. Endir match-up. There are creepier enemies later in the game. Eventually a few. Its not entirely murdering off-brand Pokémon critters. Just like 75% that
But, regardless. Thats it for Dazzshire Woods. I only cut out a forty second encounter against TWO Pengy. Like I said, its a very short dungeon.
And we arrive out the other side to a northern cape with a gravestone overlooking the ocean. Yeah, thats not conjuring up any old memories
And I wont bring it up again, but I do have to emphasis that it is a good idea to SAVE YOUR GAME OFTEN! My last save was before we beat the tutorial boss a good 25 minutes ago or so in-game. Sure dont want to have to redo that for no reason! Especially since the next opportunity may be another 20 minutes after this.
Anyway, onward to the Falling Snow Monument and hopefully the end of our mission.
Ugh Man. Serge better not be buried up here. I cannot do that again.
New Music: Winter Journeys Tale (Recommended Listening. Its pretty much the main theme.)
*stands up and nods* I hope you can keep watching over me until the end
Alright, lets step in here before our victims pre-murder chat with her dead mother reaches peak irony.
Are you the sacrifice?
Yes And you are?
*shakes head* I dont suppose youre going to answer that. I am the sacrifice.
Just like the past sacrifices whose names are engraved upon this monument. That is why I cannot let you take my life now.
But even if you do not kill me, my life will end soon enough. When my journey comes to an end, so too will my life
Yeah But you see, one outcome I get paid and the other I dont so Ya know
*pulls back sword* You are just killing the mood here.
WHAT?! Damn. Already a twist! I cannot believe the games title was an outright fabrication.
Well maybe not. This is Setsuna and despite the name of the game, we can rename her. But that would be really dumb. Itd be like titling a game I dunno. Nier. And then letting you rename the guy named Nier. Why would you do that?
Though, honestly. The only suitable alternate name for Setsuna would probably be Yuna.
*sheathes sword* Already regretting this job.
Name is OH SH!!
New Music: Endless Crusade
Thank goodness we made it in time
*stands up and pulls out sword*
Alright, screw this. I *was* just gonna walk away before, but now I am ENDING everyone here.
But have you ever taken on two magic users at once, I wonder?
I fought a bear yesterday. I think I can take a girl wearing a sock puppet on her head and some hippie dad.
Alright, maybe Ive never fought two magic users at once. But have you two ever fought a guy that can *spin* with his sword like a cyclone?
Thats like a basic move a 10 year old could pull of.
And thus our hero got his ass kicked Tune in next time for further adventures in botched assassination attempts!
Setsuna Official Art I dont think this is very practical winter traveling gear, lady. Also, you seem to have an entire garden ornament stuck in your hair.