Part 4: Episode IV: Departure
Music: Tender Glow
Previous on I am Setsuna, our protagonist, Endir, was given the choice of joining Setsunas party as a guardian for her (totally not Final Fantasy X-alike) pilgrimage since, seeing as she dies at the end, it will fulfill her contract. Or... just waiting in a shack under guard for like six hours until Setsuna departs before being freely released to bugger off or even attempt another assassination at a later date.
Sadly, there is no option to
*navel gazing* Im sorry for asking you to involve yourself...
By the way... whats your name? I didnt get a chance to ask you before...
Im the star mercenary of the masked men tribe son of Heckt.
Ahh... Nothing. Forget it. I am Endir.
I see... So your names Endir. Say, Endir... Im going to the Falling Snow Monument. Will you come with me?
*shakes head* Go by yourself!
I got Cutscene Owned last time I went there.
Oh? So thats how it is... Youre the reason my prayer got cut short in the first place, you know.
...Yes. In the first place. When I was intent on murdering you. You want us... you and me... to return ALONE to the place where I made an attempt on your life?
Please, it wont take long... Please? If you could just guard me until we get to the Falling Snow Monument...
...You arent the brighyou know what? Forget it. Fine! Lets go.
And so Setsuna has rejoined our party for a trek back to where we first met. Welp, you can already tell Aeterna is kind of a shit guardian given how tremendously bad an idea this is at a glance. But then again, Endir will make no further attempts on Setsunas life in this situation for no particular reason.
You could reckon Endir is reluctant to murder her now that he knows killing the sacrifice early is probably a bad scene if you dont want penguins to go all Zelda angered Cuckoo on you in droves. But, ya know... Given hes a silent protagonist, it just seems dumb. Gee... Its almost like the silent protagonist thing really doesnt work too hot when theyre given independent motivation in a story and arent just entirely a blank proxy for the player to participate in a story.
Musings on the merits of silent protagonists aside, the game isnt nice enough to just let us skip past Dazzshire Woods on our return trek to the monument. Nothing has changed here, other than Setsunas participation in battles. Setsuna and her weaponized hair ornaments do jack shit for damage. Shes lucky to break far into the double digits, even with Momentum buffed attacks.
So lets just skip past any fighting and make our way back to the North Cape to recruit Magus or whatever Setsuna has to do back here.
Im so glad that youre with me, Endir. This wont take long, so just wait there.
Before Setsuna can even take a few steps towards the monument, Endir immediately zones out and starts having flashbacks to... well the last couple of days. Look, the guys memory isnt all that hot.
New Music: Memories
I was chosen to give my life in the Last Lands.
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...
Cats are so different from people. If I ever settle down Im getting a cat. Real fluffy one. Meow.
*sweats* Ive been standing right here, and you didnt notice at all... Are you done thinking about whatever it was?
My prayer is finished now. Thank you for coming with me... All right... Lets go back...
Endir and Setsuna begin walking away...
It feels like Ive been waiting for this day... waiting to meet you... I dont know why... But for some reason... Thats just the feeling I get. So... Im happy that I met you...
Uh... huh... Do you do this with all new party members or...? You know what? Whatever. Lets go.
Well, that was certainly a necessary use of our time. Back we go!
The map designer was at least kind enough to leave a trail immediately south of the Falling Snow Monument exit that allows us to hop down a hill and dumps us right at the southern exit, letting us bypass the rest of the woods.
Do you think its pronounced like knive or live with an n? I was looking up a video for some information and some Youtuber pronounced it the latter. That just sounds wrong. Given its a YouTube video, it likely was wrong.
Music: Tender Glow
I need to get ready for our departure... So Ill be going now. Thank you for everything, Endir.
Im glad that I met you.
And with that, Setsuna runs off and vanishes into the ether where departed party members hang out. Really, you cannot find Aeterna or Setsuna anywhere in town. Theyre just gone. Eerie.
The townsfolk of Nive Village have certainly been busy in the fifteen minutes we were gone. Thats some speedy carpentry. This stage is erected on the exact same spot we began the update.
Anyway, now that our short day trip with Setsuna has concluded, we should probably go hit up the village elder in the northern cottage to make our
My options are literally Yes or Let me think about it some more... I somehow get the feeling that second one wont be a constructive use of my time...
*nods* I am truly grateful... Having you along shall be a tremendous comfort! As luck would have it, the departure ceremony is just about to begin. How fortunate you were in time! Come, let us head to the departure ceremony!
New Music: Farewell
Boy, theyre really not wasting any time giving Setsuna the boot to begin her journey. Youd think they would perhaps give it a day or two given that at least one assassin has been dispatched to stop her pilgrimage. But hey, small towns are always sticklers for tradition.
Setsuna walks off the ceremony stage and talks to each villager along the path out of town...
*nods* Thank you.
But I shall be praying for your safety.
Thank you. You look after yourself, too.
As long as it aint my teeth were talking about, Ill take care.
I... I had a crush on you. I never thought Id end up telling you like this, though...
*sweats* Th-thanks... Umm... I dont really know how to put this... but I hope you find happiness... for the both of us...
Ill never forget you...
Even when youre gone, your face will be preserved in my spank bank. Its the least I can do.
*sweats* I-I... That is... Im going to... Bye now!
If I were only a little younger, I too could have volunteered, of course...
Please look after Dad for me...
*nods* You just leave everything to me. Concentrate on fulfilling your duty and dont you worry about a thing.
Ill keep his bed nice and warm for you.
It wont be a problem.
Setsuna... How many times must I tell you to not skip past the text prompts.
Im sorry, Dad. I am a bit nervous here.
It will bring you protection... Please wear it always.
*nods* Thank you, Dad.
First, you will sail by ship to the mainland, to Floneia Citadel. The town is a key transport point, and there is no shortage of goods and information to be found. From there, you will be able to decide the most appropriate route for your journey. I shall give you a small amount of gold. Please use it to prepare for your journey. Please be careful.
So thats a small amount of gold, huh? I guess we have our answer as to whether Endir was a low-rent mercenary.
So youre coming with me...
*deep sigh* Against my better judgment and all sensibility for my way of life... I somehow feel this is the best course of action. I will definitely not regret this immensely. No, maam.
*nods* Thank goodness.
Aeterna wanders over to the pair...
Frog Hoodie seems to have gotten over her reservations about the attempted murder joining the team rather quickly. In any case, she and Setsuna are now back in the party.
Every time members join our party, the roster shuffling screen appears. As per tradition, we can only have three active party members at a time. I mostly just wanted to show this screen off to show the little sprite art portraits for everyone.
That concludes our business in Nive Village and the island as a whole.
Our final destination for this chapter is right back where we started at Nive Harbor. I do like the detail that a new ship has docked. Theyre not just boarding the same ferry that Endir took to get here, which is now inexplicably sailing to a new land.
Glad to hear it! Come on, all aboard, all aboard!
And off we go as the journey begins.
Hey, easy with the spoilers, chapter titles!
*turns to Endir* You can do what you want... If you want to make a run for it, no ones stopping you.
Mhm. Other than the fact were on a boat in the middle of the ocean.
...Yeah, well. Shut up!
*shakes head* Theres no need to be like that, Aeterna...
Aeterna walks up to Endir...
*shakes head* But I still dont trust you. If you try and harm her again... Well... consider yourself a dead man.
You do know we went off alone back to that monument earlier, right?
...You did what?!
Yeah, I could have killed her like 20 times over. Glad youre on top of things.
*glares* Im watching you.
Aeterna storms out...
...She left me alone with you again. Not to be morbid, but I dont think she grasps how quick and easy it is to kill someone, if they were motivated to do so...
Now youre with us, I really feel like this journey is going to go well, Endir...
...Other than the part where I die at the end.
To be honest, looking out at the ocean like this makes me feel almost excited...
...Were in a windowless cabin.
Oh, what am I saying... I know this wont be an easy journey...
No! Dont say crap like th
Music: Deadly Gamble
You just HAD to say something!?
Lets go out on the deck.
In my experience, either the boat is sinking, were under attack by pirates, or its sea monsters. Or a combination and its the worst case scenario where this boat trip arc takes nine years to conclude. Lets just pray it isnt that...
Yes, Im worried about Aeterna... Lets go.
Endir and Setsuna run out on deck...
*sweats* Help! Monsters!!!
It isnt safe here! If you cant fight, get out of the way!
...Really? This was what all the ruckus was about?
Music: No Turning Back
Time for the party to face a fearsome* new enemy: The Skullian. Gone are the halcyon days of penguins and walrus based baddies. Now begins the dawn of the tyranny of the horseshoe crabs! Look, its got an angry skull painted on it and everything!
* May not actually be fearsome.
A single Momentum buffed attack by Aeterna and Endir is more than enough to thwart this stowaway. But were not in the clear yet!
Now a second Skullian has boarded the ship and his brought a Pengy posse. You didnt know horseshoe crabs and penguins were capable of launching themselves twenty feet from the sea onto a ships deck, did you? Documentaries seldom capture that performance in the wild.
The penguin duo is the same as ever. But the enemy crab got a chance to attack this time around. Skullians are capable of launching their shells like a boomerang for a decent chunk of damage. Dont ask me to explain the physics of that. Boomerangs clocking people and still managing to return to sender has never made a lick of sense.
Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior remains one of the few depictions of what boomerangs ought to do when hitting someone. Cmon video games. Get it together.
After taking on the second wave, a third strike team in the form of TWO Skullians tries their luck. Skullians have around 75 HP or so? So it takes a Momentum hit from both Aeterna and Endir to take out one of em. We dont want to waste our MP on these small fries. Its not like theyre much of a threat.
By the end of the three battles, Endir had reached Level 5 while Setsuna and Aeterna both hit Level 4. Each fight gained us experience points. So if anyone hit a new level, thats a free HP/MP heal. So thats nice.
But we wont be able to let our guard down until we reach the mainland.
Wonderful, wonderful... Im saved!
The cloaked man runs up from the sidelines to greet the party...
*shakes head and sweats* Me? Oh, no... Im no one to fear! Im Lutius, a member of the Magic Consortium. Surely it must have been fate that brought us together like this! Ill bet therere lots of things youll be needing along the course of your perilous journey... And when you do, Im sure we of the Magic Consortium can...
Music: Deadly Gamble
Somethings coming this way!
Oh... Hey there. Nessie is here and she is pissed we clowned all her crab and penguin buddies!
But youll have to save the sales pitch for another time!
*sweat drop* Yes, it seems that may be wise...
Please get back!
If you want to bravely act like a decoy, thats cool too.
N-No... Im good retreating!
*runs back to the sidelines*
Music: Restless Advance
Alright, time for the final challenge of Chapter 2. Meet Schwarzstrom or Black Storm (Current?) if you dont want to use German to sound cool. Hes a real rude boy, as he opens the battle with initiative and immediately...
...drops a tidal wave on our boat, hitting the entire party for a sizable chunk of damage. Setsuna is going to have her work cut out for herself being the team nurse for this fight.
Once more, our strategy is to build up everyones SP gauge for some Combo Attack X-Strike action. Though, that wont quite carry us through the entire fight like last time. Schwarzstrom is sporting a bit more HP than our supply of MP for Techs can handle.
Setsuna is on healing duty. Her default Cure spell is rather excessive, healing 400+ HP to a party that is topping out at the mid-100 range. So we can hold off on healing our party members until theyre at around 80 HP or so, to conserve our MP. The off-brand Loch Ness Monster can do around 60-70 HP of damage at max, so anything below that is risky.
Attack wise, beyond the Tidal Wave, which Schwarzstrom can summon again occasionally to drench our party, the sea monster also has the ability to just bite and chew on one of our party members for around 30+ damage.
It can also vomit a spray of water for 70+ HP of damage. Dont ask me how sea monster spit hurts more than being rocked by a tidal wave. Im not a scientist.
Lastly and probably most annoyingly, German Nessie can roar and inflict Stun on anyone who fails to resist. Stun just drains a characters ATB gauge, effectively skipping a turn. No idling for SP gauge build up on Herr Schwarzstroms watch!
Once the party is drained of MP, well just have to rely on the old fashioned beating the boss into submission with physical attacks method. Its not too worth it to burn any Ethers on such an early boss. They dont come too cheap right now.
Especially if the party endures, theyre all certain to level up and restore all their assorted numbers to max. Overall, a bit trickier than the first couple of bosses weve faced. But none too difficult a battle. We are, after all, still only in the first couple of hours of the game.
Despite our clear cut victory, Schwarzstrom is a sore loser and performs the most underhanded act of all:
Performing a Cutscene Attack on the party. The bane of any JRPG adventure.
Welp. Twenty minutes into our maiden voyage and were already attacked by a sea monster and shipwrecked. This journey is already off to tremendous start!
Wait... Wasn't that Final Fantasy X's maiden voyage too?! Sure, the ship didn't sink there and a town got annihilated. But still... How long until Auron shows up?
Nive Village Concept Art Severe lack of shovels present for all that snow.
Video: Schwartzstrom Boss Battle