The Let's Play Archive

I am Setsuna

by The Dark Id

Part 5: Snow Chronicles 1: Datalogs Without the Refreshing Vulnerability

Snow Chronicles 1: Datalogs Without the Refreshing Vulnerability

Music: Beginning of the End

Before we begin the next chapter of I am Setsuna, let’s take a brief break to check out one of the options in our menu that I haven’t talked about : Snow Chronicles. The Snow Chronicles are... basically a codex/datalog/big ol’ infodump. Which... HEY! That’s not old school JRPG sensibilities at all! You got a total playtime tally at best for collected information and you should be thankful to get even that, whippersnappers!

Oh well... At the very least, I can assure you this game’s codex is way better presented than The 3rd Birthday’s shitshow. Also the information within is mostly just background fluff and not essential information to understanding what in blazes is happening. It’s also not operating on outdated drafts of the game’s script.

I’ve got to stop talking about The 3rd Birthday. It’s making me upset!

***** RECORDS *****

There is quite a bit of information tucked away in the Snow Chronicles. Such as a record of all our accomplishments thus far and just how much of the Snow Chronicle we’ve filled out. Let’s see what we’ve got here...

Hmm... We’ve already met nearly a quarter of the characters of the game but only encountered 1/20th of the monsters. And what’s a Shining Spot? And we’re supposed to be eating food? Fluxes?! What like the Capacitor? Huh? And what’s a Magic Consortium? ...Let’s just move on.

***** CHARACTERS *****

The Characters tab gives us a brief background blurb on all our playable main characters and noteworthy sub-characters. Sub-characters mean they’ve actually been given a proper name. So Tutorial Grandpa or Setsuna’s lame dad. Not Round-Faced Man or Village Elder. We’ll start with our main characters.

“Endir is reluctant to entrust his decisions and choices to others” he keeps telling himself as he is immediately and effortlessly pressed into service as Setsuna’s bodyguard.

“She’s not zoning out, she’s seeing special, unseen connections in other people,” proclaimed the wisest woman in town as she puffed another toke from her natural herbal remedies and returned to watching cartoons the rest of the afternoon.

When inquired about “the heck is up with the frog motif” she suddenly began speaking in Faux Olde English for the following hour before coming to her senses and saying she just thought frogs were cute.

We’ll return to main characters in the future. Our party is far from complete. Let’s take a look at the sub-characters. We’ve only actually met two named non-player characters so far...

Hapsper then guzzled from a flask of moonshine and everything made much more sense.

It’s a shame to see once proud adventurers age into lame dads. The brand of the dadstache will mark him until the end of his days.

***** MONSTERS *****

That’s it for the Characters tab. Moving on next, we’ve got Monster. Monsters are divided into several species. The penguins that have been our primary throwaway battle adversary have their own category. So don’t expect the penguin slaughter to let up any time soon. They’re basically Setsuna’s equivalent of the Slimes from Dragon Quest.

Let’s take a look...

These creatures have specifically evolved to slap the taste out of people’s mouths. Nature uhh... finds a way.

One nice bit about the Snow Chronicle is that it will record material drops from enemies using specific kills after the first time they’re used. So it’s an easy reference if we find ourselves grinding for a specific material or if someone is trying to fill out all the item drops for an achievement unlock like a lunatic.
Nah it takes like maybe five more hours to get all the grinding materials. You could easily 100% complete this game in about 30 hours.

The only Furred monster we’ve encountered was the tutorial polar bearman boss. I’d seriously question the attentiveness of ferry dock workers if this thing managed to stowaway.

Sea Monsters is the most populated category thus far. Rotund is a good synonym for fat. More people should use it.

Don’t even put up a front, Skullian! We all know damn well you paid a Pengy to paint that skull on your shell to look tough. You’re not fooling anyone with this “no guys this is all natural pirate skull on my shell” nonsense.

Here’s the jerk we just fought. I’m sure he’ll never come up again after no-selling that fight against him. And the length of its body in no way eclipsed the ferry ship. It was barely even a fifth as long. Stop overselling yourself, Whale-Nessie.

The only winged creature we’ve encountered was this bag of hot air from the attack on Nive Village. I kind of like how the enemy descriptions are written like they’re trying to take some scientific account into why a giant hovering bird can breathe fire. That’s a cute kind of dumb I can get behind.

***** WEAPONS *****

That’s it for monsters. Next up we have weapons. All the weapons in I am Setsuna are uniquely modeled and get a blurb about their crafting. Sadly, no wacky Weapon History tales like the Drakengard/Nier series. We can’t have everything.

First up we have Endir’s trademark sword. Or at least the one he’s wielding in any official art or concept material. It’s a pretty cool looking blade that will be replaced within a minute of the next update.

In addition to the background blurb, each weapon has its stats in the Snow Chronicle, if we don’t want to go digging through the equip menus. You’ll notice the weapon has stats for both physical and magical offense as well as defense. That’s because armor doesn’t exist in this game. The usual JRPG functionality of armor is folded into weapons. So upgrades to our arms will also buff our defensive stats. It’s pretty important to stay on top of weapon upgrades as the game progresses.

Setsuna’s physical attacks function like Aeterna’s Charge where it hits everyone in a line. But... Setsuna is pretty much garbage at physical attacks and will only be employed if she’s out of MP nearing a battles end and we cannot be arsed to burn an Ether on her.

Physical Attack: 10
Magical Attack: 16
Physical Defense: 6
Magical Defense 11
Elemental Junk: 0

Azoth Dagger? Really? You’re going with that? Alright, kiddo. Be a tryhard.

Physical Attack: 15
Magical Attack: 14
Physical Defense: 6
Magical Defense: 6
Elemental Junk: Nil!

***** TALISMANS *****

Next up we have Talismans. This is the equipment that lets us slot Spritnite into it in order to use Techs. Talismans don’t have any stat boosting effects. But they can grant bonuses to certain attributes or... whatever the hell a “Flux” is... Everyone’s default equipment does not offer any bonuses.

There’s no particularly interesting information here. Setsuna’s has a rising sun emblem. Aeterna’s is a frog. Apparently people aren’t quite sure what a frog is, despite the item name. Weirdos. Let’s move on to...

***** SPRITNITE *****

Spritnite. I hate that word. It sounds like an ill-conceived marketing campaign for Sprite from the mid-90s. Make it a Sprite Nite! No, fuck off. The only time I’m making it a Sprite Night is if I’m feeling like a garbage person fixing some vodka and Sprite to water down some cheap liquor.

Name aside, we can check out a brief blurb on everyone’s Techs here. Let’s take a gander...

What is the video game or anime origin of spinning around with a sword like an idiot as a special attack? It’s not like it was limited to here or Chrono Trigger. Spinning around like a dumbass with a blade is a well-established technique at this point.

If you’re not a selfless white mage or touch yourself at night, don’t even THINK about learning a Cure spell. You do not have what it takes, chief.

Aeterna’s Charge is technically a magic spell that is speeding up her boots to rocket at enemies. But I’m still cheesed she’s been using some other wiggy magic in cutscenes that we don’t have access to while using her. That’s not cool, game.

Technically, X-Strike is stronger if used close to an enemy. But in practice, since there’s little way to move our characters position in battle beyond burning other Techs, it’s pretty much just a nice thing that happens occasionally and not a valid component of utilizing the Combo. Which ends up being a lot of elements of the battle system...

The last topic in this tab is Momentum Mode Effects and I think you can figure out what they mean at a glance. Later on the buffs get a bit more esoteric but it’s all pretty basic stuff right now.

***** ITEMS *****

The next tab we have is Items. This is more or less just a quick reference to junk we have. There’s no real noteworthy information given here.

Items > Items is just a list of all the junk we’ve acquired thus far and the same blurb we’d see if we bought it in a store.

Key Items are special pick-ups that are story relevant. Setsuna’s Mother’s Keepsake is the only one we’ve acquired thus far. Setsuna’s Mother also went on a sacrifice pilgrimage and died. I’m sure that’ll never come up again.

Lastly, there’s materials. EVERY fight in this game, no matter how small, will drop some sort of material depending on how they were slain. Some are just vendor junk/boss trophies to be sold for gold. Others are used for an as of yet unseen few systems. Unless it’s a boss or I have to go grind for a specific material, I’m not going to list all the crap dropped in this game. Sadly, there’s no interesting blurbs attached to any of it. Just a listing of what creature dropped what.

***** LOCATIONS *****

Continuing right along, the next tab is as of yet unavailable. We’ll have to skip that one and go on to Locations. So far we’ve only hit up two locations. I know there are three listed here, but that middle one is from the next update. I cannot very well spoil it in the side-update you’re probably, at best, skimming like a jerk.

You may notice a list of “Shining Spots” for an area. We’ll get to that later.

The Remote Islands is where the tutorial took place and Hymncott Forest was the only part of it we saw. Look, it’s really dense there. Don’t ask questions as to why it’s suddenly nighttime if we ever happen to travel back there for some reason.

Nive Island is the only other major area we’ve visited so far. Remember the docks. How we arrived and then left there. Good times. Fond memories.

Lovely, quaint little village. Its chief exports are snow and sending young women to their death.

At least until they are mauled by a roaming band of Pengy while their distracted marveling at the woods’ beauty.

Magus will also be hanging out here after you destroy the Blackbird and fling Dalton into the future to murder half the cast in the weird sequel.

***** NOTES *****

That’s all for Locations for now. The penultimate tab is for Notes aka a vomit of assorted terminology and Locations that don’t fit neatly into quaint screen cap territory. Let’s start with Story.

A sacrifice pilgrimage every ten years, huh? Sort of like the time between Braska and Yuna’s pilgrimages in another suicide mission pilgrimage centric narrative...

I bet this is like the dipshits who go “Hurfa druf. So much for global warming!” the first cold day of winter.

Well hell... What if we had just tamed the Whitewind boss instead of immediately slaying it. We could have just flown straight to the Last Lands and bypassed this entire perilous journey. It’s the Eagles in Lord of the Rings all over again...

...Hey Endir, have you read this bit about how the Guardians Sacrifice’s Guard usually eats it by the end of the journey? I think the parties involved failed to mention that bit when you signed up for this gig.

There were no monsters at all back in MY day, before the Millennials ruined everything.

Bunch of lazy bums. Got to bootstrap that magic use. No handouts. Just walk into a business, ask to speak to the manager, and cast a fireball at him. You’ll get hired on the spot.

Great. So Endir is basically a Mandalorian from Star Wars. I like him less now.

Give me a RPG where there are barely any restaurants, it’s just all seedy pubs and bars full of unwashed drunks and scumbags.


...Wait, that was The Witcher 3, wasn’t it?

Next we jump over to Locations the 2nd. Like I mentioned early on in the LP, I hope you like snow because that’s mostly what you get in I am Setsuna. The game takes place on and around a continent literally named The Land of Snow. It’s gonna be a bit nippy out.

Also, should you find yourselves traveling with a JRPG party, there is an almost certain chance of the boat being raided by sea creatures and sunk within mere minutes of setting sail. Travelers beware.

Lastly under this tab, we have Combat Notes. Most of these we’ve hit on before. A few... not so much. Let’s see... All weapons are magic in this game. I cannot wait until the character wielding an enchanted elephant gun joins the party.

It’ll be interesting when this world enters the modern era and there’s a talisman upgrade arms race like there is for smartphones nowadays. And by interesting I mean awful.

I’ve got a Spritnite equipped that just helps with hangovers. Works with a 95% effectiveness. And it can be yours for only 8000G. Oh, remember it reacts to your internal magical resonance. So if it isn’t functioning to well for you, it just means you’re not magically inclined enough. Sucker.

No man could twirl with a sword without the aid of magic. It’s just not done.

If you’ve been wondering about the occasional stat talking about inflicting Null damage, it isn’t a programming error displaying. Null just means non-elemental. I’m not sure why they felt the need to go out of their way categorizing what should be obvious if you’re playing a decades old JRPG throwback. But here we are...

Just pray to Ye Olde RNG Gods and something good might happen. One mechanic that has never gone out of style across the ages.

Shut up. Nobody in existence says “Status Boost” or “Status Ailments” when referring to Buffs and Debuffs.

Look, we just need to infiltrate the Sky Nazis’ Cloud City and we’ll have those ability limiters released in a jiffy. It just might take a betrayal or two by a sketchy asshole doctor we’ll have to befriend at some point.

This here is a convoluted and ill-explained mechanic we’ll hit on another day.

Ditto for this. Don’t worry about it right now. I’m not even sure why either of these two are listed in notes at this point.

***** STORY *****

Last, but not least, we have a recap of the first two chapters of I am Setsuna. We of course have our adventures in the tutorial.

And our bogus adventure on Nive Island. That wraps up everything thus far in the Snow Chronicle. I’ll be doing collective side updates like this at the end of the game’s chapters. So feel free to skip ‘em if background fluff isn’t your thing. Just keep it to yourself. Future Chronicles of Snow updates shouldn’t be nearly as long as this one since we won’t be flooded with terminology like the game dumped initially here. Until then...