The Let's Play Archive

I am Setsuna

by The Dark Id

Part 7: Episode VI: Goods and Services

Back at it on the overworld map. Mysterious swordsman who certainly will not have any further relevance in this tale, Nidr, gave us directions to the northeast to hit the town of Paprika or some shit. And sure enough, there seems to be a small settlement in that direction. But eh... This is the first fairly open portion of overworld we’ve hit. As such, there may be a couple other alternate points of interest.

A bit to the west of this snow field that is large as a better part of Nive Island is a particular patch of land called Orrvall Plains. Surely, that’s worth a pit stop. If only to inform whoever is in charge that they’ve simply mangled the name Orville.

New Music: To the Warmth of the Sun
(This music is real nice.)

Well it... sure is a plain alright. There seems to be a guy in the distance. Maybe that is Orville Orrvall.

But little trace of them remains today. Many old customs and food traditions have been lost... It’s up to us to try and carry them on. That’s why I’m here, looking for traces of those settlements. Looking for evidence of human life...
*looks to the left*
*looks to the right*
*looks behind*
*looks back* Yeah, guy. I’m here with a survey of the area. Turns out you’re wasting your time. What do yo—
There were once many settlements on this island, both large and sma—
...Yeah, we’re leaving.

There is, in fact, nothing to do here. It’s just a big open field with the one guy hanging out by the solitary tree. Right then...

Returning to the world map and trekking due north from Serendale will take us to the rather uninviting mountain maw known as the Frost Caves. As an aside, those overworld mountains look really nice.

As far as the Frost Caves themselves go... it’s just a small cavern that immediately gives way to a locked gate. I’m assuming this is future progress. But, only when we’ve dealt with whatever tomfoolery awaits at the destination we were told to visit next.

Right, then. No avoiding it. Onward to the village fort of Purikka!

New Music: Stronghold

This must be the village that Nidr was talking about.
Oh! My friends! You’re all here! You’re all safe!
! We met you on the ship...
You’re that traveling entertainer.
That I am! Come on, step right up! Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls! Watch me spin this plate...
I was much more impressed with disappearing act you did when you didn’t help out with the frikkin’ sea monster.
Ehem... Well, I was told to stay back... But...

*sweats and shakes head* No, I’m from the Magic Consortium.

So you made it to the mainland safely, too. You’re a lucky man.
Well, I don’t feel very lucky... All my cargo went down with that ship!
The entire crew of the ship very likely went down with your junk...
...Yes, well. Such is the life of a sailor!

So, I’m planning on setting up shop here for a while. Are you heading for Floneia Citadel?
*nods* That’s right. It seems we have to cross a mountain to get there from here, though...
Aha! Well, you don’t need to worry about that! There’s a series of caverns that leads to the citadel!
There is!?
Yes, the captain should be able to unlock the entrance for you.
Oh, what a relief...
You say that as though the caves won’t be filled with monsters and probably a boss. Or that we won’t have to eventually scale a mountain on this trip...
...For once, I agree with you.
*frown* Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Have you got everything you need for your journey? Make sure to stock up on items before you leave! And if you have any materials that you got from monsters, please do sell them to the Magic Consortium. We always do our utmost to offer the best possible prices! Inside the village you’ll also find my fellow traders. There’s a blacksmith, an apothecary, a chef... They’re all inside the pub to the left of the village entrance, so please give them your business, too!

We now have access to the Magic Consortium. A conga line of every other merchant type in the game will be following that. Not the greatest of mechanics pacing, but whatever...

The Magic Consortium shop is where we can dump all of our vendor trash materials that monsters have dropped after battle for both a boat load of profit and to unlock more Spritnite stones to gain more Techs for our characters.

Lutius here will actually by items off us as well. Indeed, Magic Consortium shops are the only place we can sell off unwanted items. Though... there is absolutely no reason to do so and the selling prices are terrible. But hey, at least there’s an option.

The weird thing about I am Setsuna is... you cannot sell weapons or talismans. Anywhere. There is no good reason as to why this is the case. We can buy weapons and talismans just fine. There’s a blacksmith in town that sells ‘em. But selling back? Nope. Nobody in the Land of Snow is interested. It is like they just forgot to enable a tab for selling that equipment. So it’s best not to get overzealous with our purchases, lest our equipment menu suffer more bloat than an open world Bethesda game.

Let’s skip over to the Obtain Spritnite shop menu. Here we are given a list of Spritnite the Consortium is willing to part ways with to our party. Just ignore that entire conversation we had with Lutius about how he lost all his cargo. Guy has enough gold to buy a third world country and enough magic stones to erect a pyramid.

Now, we cannot just purchase Spritnite like we do items. The Magic Consortium first needs monster drop materials in exchange for its Notmateria. It may be as little as a single item drop or it may be multiple pieces of different material.

Is this menu, each Spritnite has an option to automatically queue up and sell the required materials, assuming we possess them. Which is quite nice and one of the most hassle free parts of the whole Spritnite business.

For Aura, a healing Tech for Endir, we need a single Sleek Barbel. Not sure what in the blazes that’s supposed to be, but we’ve picked up four of ‘em along the way. We’ll just go ahead and sell the lot of ‘em since the Magic Consortium is the only place buying this crap.

Now that they’ve gotten the wanted material, the Magic Consortium will fork over the associated Spritnite. The only charge is the material (which they pay us for in gold.) So there we go. One Aura Spritnite for Endir.

Speaking of which... this Tech has all but made Setsuna useless. It’s a full party heal (proximity is required in battle but it is VERY generous) with a Momentum buff that cures all status ailments. This will be one of the most useful healing Techs for the entirety of the game. Endir is kind of busted as far as main characters who are ridiculously good at everything goes...

Jumping back over to the sell screen, we can pop over to the Materials tab and just burn through all of our material inventory here at the Magic Consortium. Just not the stuff that is colored green. Those materials are used for another gameplay mechanic. But everything in the white can safely be sold.

As an aside, not everything is Spritnite unlock fodder. Usually the boss item drops, like the Sea God’s Rainbow Scale we got from the Schwarzstrom battle, are more or less just trophies worth a lot of G to be sold for some quick cash (since monsters don’t actually drop money.)

Emptying our pockets of assorted monster droppings thus far has given the party a tidy profit of 14076G. Not bad at all!

As far as Spritnite unlocks go, there’s something for everybody. Setsuna has gained a Lightning spell, so she still has a bit of use now that her healing duties have been usurped. As well as Incite, which is straight up just a provoke spell (read: enemies will focus on attacking Setsuna.) The latter ain’t great considering Setsuna is fairly squishy. We’ll need to get a new Talisman with an extra slot to use a third Tech for Setsuna, as the default Talismans all only come with two available Spritnite slots.

Aeterna has picked up a Protect spell. Which isn’t greatly useful at the moment, since its MP consumption is nearly as much as performing an X-Strike.

That’s all for the Magic Consortium browsing and Tech upgrades. Let’s head on into Purikka proper and see what’s crackin’ in town.

The walled village isn’t seeing a whole lot of action at the moment. It’s winter. Nobody wants to go outside. There are a trio of soldiers training in the yard. Nidr mentioned this was home of the “resistance” forces. That name might not be the best choice of words. They’re not some rebel faction vying for power against some evil empire. They’re actually just a small force of people patrolling and fighting off local monster attacks in the area to keep the peace.

But they’re boring folk like most soldiers. The Magic Consortium vendor told us a bunch of other merchants were hanging out in the pub to the left of the town entrance. Let’s go mosey into there.

So an apothecary, a blacksmith, and a chef walk into a bar...

I Am Setsuna is just going to go ahead and dump every type of merchant on us all at once in this town. Granted, most major villages include the whole spread of shop types. Just... not usually so bunched together.

First up we have Weppy & Talli’s Blacksmith. This may be a reoccurring merchant. Just unlike Lutius earlier, this guy has no time for chat. He’s all business.

We can chat this guy up for a bit more of a tutorial on the Flux system. Right... I forgot there was even more randomized bullshit with the as of yet to be acquired Support Spritnite. Don’t worry about all that for now...

Weapon Merchants offer weapons for sale (but again, no buying back) at not too unreasonable prices. White Setsuna and Endir both received freebie weapons from chests on the road, we need to cough up some dough if we want to kit out Aeterna with something new and shiny. We are swimming in excess funds for this early point in the game and we don’t want her lagging behind, so...

A weapon that manipulates the flow of time itself when cutting seems somewhat excessive for the first weapon upgrade. But who knows how wacky we’ll get by the end of the game. Regardless, this brings Aeterna’s stats in line with the boosts Setsuna and Endir have received.

Weapon merchants also sell Talismans. Talismans can have a Bonus Effect, which is an actual buff applied by just having the item equipped. It’s usually minor stuff like use less MP or see enemy’s HP. Nothing spectacular. The Flux Bonus is all that RNG governed nonsense I talked about in the previous update. The Slots indicate additional Spritnite that can be equipped on Talisman. All Talisman by default have two slots. If there is an “A” under its description for slots, that means it can have another active Tech Spritnite equipped. S means it can have another Support Spritnite.

For now, we want a Talisman that has at least one more Active slot, since everyone has two to three Spritnite techs. The Flux Bonuses ought to be something appropriate to that character’s techs. But again, we’re not going to worry too much about that subsystem since it’s governed entirely by random chance. We may very well not see another Flux Bonus pop for a dozen updates.

I mostly got the Chain of Newborn Cries talisman for Setsuna because it sounded like a weapon name from Drakengard.

That’s it for the Blacksmith. There was a Tempering Items tab I didn’t explore because it’s entirely empty as Tempering requires metal materials we have yet to encounter in our journey.

Across the room from the blacksmith, we have another Apothecary. I’m just going to stock up on a handful of Ethers now that our cash flow is doing better. This merchant doesn’t have anything new to offer.

Continuing our tour of the pub, the next NPC in line is not a merchant. But they do offer a new mechanic. As soon as we approach them, the waitress exclaims...

A Purikka Cobbler, a Square Onion, some Amber Rock Salt, and a Golden Peppercorn... You couldn’t give those to me, could you?
I’m not even going to ask how you divined what was in my pockets.
And I won’t ask why you were carrying around all of that in your pocket to begin with.

Wonderful! I must thank you... Wait here a minute!

Some time passes and the waitress returns with a fresh meal for the party. This is a one-time use item we can have one of our party members chow down on to gain a buff for a single battle (or a very small portion of the battle, depending on the food.)

The Purikka Cobbler Salad is a scrumptious salad that’s enjoyed across the mainland. It boosts the amount of EXP earned, number of drops, and maximum HP. Again, this is all for a single battle.

I’ll give you a recipe for this dish, so give it to a chef. You’ll need to pay, but they’ll make it for you any time you want!
*looks around* This is a bit much, don’t you think? What do they think this place is, exactly? The man selling herbs, I can just about understand... but a blacksmith!? The chef’s pleased, because he can get his pots and his knives fixed on the spot... but really, come on...
Lady, you’re talking to a wandering mercenary, a sacrificial maiden, and some dork in a froggie hoodie.
Excuse me?!
Hey, get a more interesting trait and I’ll say it. The point is, you’ve got some weird costumers. Deal with it.

Now that we’ve found a NPC that can fix a meal with a random assortment of ingredients we’ve collected (the Square Onion was on the overworld map, most of the rest were shiny drops at the Forgotten Shore and Serendale) they will fork over a recipe for said dish. Now we just need to find a chef to share it with... And the just happens to be one three steps away. Fancy that!

If you give it to me, I can add it to our menu!
Why didn’t the waitress just give you the recipe? Didn’t you literally just make this for us?
I have never seen this dish in my life.
...Yeah, alright. Fine. Take it.

I’ve added it to our menu, so feel free to order it any time! Now, back to work...

I didn’t mention it earlier, because the mechanic hadn’t cropped up. But the shiny spots I mentioned last update? Yeah, they’re entirely ingredients in order to unlock new menu items. In short, the whole cooking system goes:

From now on we can purchase a Purikka Cobbler Salad from any chef we run across in our adventures for... kind of a steep a price. That’s about the long and short of it. They’re not quite going full Tales of Symphonia with cooking nonsense.

If you’re wondering how we acquire the location of new recipes out in the world, the answer is: we don’t. Unless you’re looking at a guide, it’s just a matter of talking to every NPC in town and hoping we run across someone with a recipe. Also we HAVE to have the ingredients beforehand. Otherwise they just say a completely unrelated line of dialog... Yeah... That's less than optimal.

In the next house over from the pub, we can barge in and find...

A Hailbean, a January Cabbage, a Snow Crown Turnip, and some Avalanche Kelp... You haven’t got those ingredients, have you? Could you give them to me?
My first question would be ‘who are you and what are you doing in my house’. But yeah, guy... I’ve got that stuff for... some reason. Just don’t ask *where* I got it. Mostly because I literally do not remember...
Really!? Phew... I’m so grateful! I’m starving, but I didn’t have any ingredients... Now I can finally make THAT dish!

And with that, we gain another recipe. Throw a few potatoes in there and baby, you got a Hailbean Stew. This one is “A satisfying stew that’s loved by everyone. It boosts the amount of EXP earned, number of drops, and physical attack power.” Spiffy.

That’s certainly it for the half-baked cooking mechanic of I Am Setsuna. We really don't need to ever concern ourselves with cooking and recipes. But there it is.

Hitting up the rest of town, the biggest landmark is a lookout post on top of a large hill at the northern part of the encampment. Unfortunately, the only thing up here is a really bored soldier on watch duty.

If we want to progress in our search for the next plot flag exploration of the town, we’ve got to enter the cottage on the easternmost part of the village. Here, we find someone with two Buster Swords strapped to their back. Take your crappy remake and toss it into a dumpster, Cloud Strife. Dirge of Cerberus has been warming up that trash bin for you for a decade now.

The party approaches the new character, right after stealing 5 Ethers from that chest...

Yes? What is it?
! Are you the captain...?

*returns to cooking*
*sweat* Sorry... I didn’t mean to offend you. I just never imaged that the captain would be a woman...
Travelers, are you?
*nods* We want to get to Floneia.
Floneia Citadel? You certainly don’t look like any merchants I’ve ever seen...
*stops cooking and turns back around* I just can’t let a group of unidentified people through. If you want to get to Floneia, you’ll need to explain yourselves.
We’re the sacrifice’s guard.
The main characters. Can we just skip whatever trial or issue of proof you need. Check it. Illustrated character portraits. We’re important.
Is that the best you could come up with?
...It’s a pretty solid argument, you text only peasant.
Your portrait looks like someone spilled red ink over your face and just fudged the details to make it fit.
*sweat* Please, calm down...

It hasn’t even been ten years since the last sacrifice!
*shakes head* We are not lying. Have you noticed? The monsters are more ferocious of late, and their numbers are increasing rapidly.
We got shipwrecked within literally 20 minutes of leaving our island. It should be that way...
Yeah, didn’t even have some introspective bottle episode scene.

If something isn’t done soon, there will be dire consequences. That’s why it was decided to send another sacrifice sooner than usual.
Mm... I see... and that sacrifice is you, is it? I too have sensed the monsters growing more ferocious. It is becoming harder and harder to deal with the ones near the town... Are the sacrificial rites losing their power? Or is something else awry...?
Oh godda—DON’T SAY STUFF LIKE THAT. What is WRONG with all of you?!
I have indeed been feeling a strange sense of uneasiness lately... But that’s only all the more reason for me not to let you through the Frost Caves.
But why?
The monsters in the Frost Caves are even more dangerous than those aboveground. I am responsible for guarding this village... And I cannot send a sacrifice and a guard of just two to their deaths.
So what should we do?

Freyja paces around a bit...

”Youngsters”? What are you like 30 years old and doing the grizzled veteran act?
I’m 27, not that it is any of your business.
...If I wasn’t wearing this mask, my eyes would be rolling out of my head right now.
*glares* Getting back on track. The trainees...

I want you to at least choose one of them to take with you.
*shakes head* We don’t need anyone’s help.
Especially not *those* guys. I don’t think Private Redshirt is going to even the odds here.
The sacrifices protect us all. Their safety is essential. How do the two of you alone expect to guard one adequately? If the two of you die, the sacrifice shall become monster feed! You’re the scrawniest-looking guard I’ve ever seen! I don’t know what else to say...
Hey, you’re right about Froghat being a stick figure build. But don’t you be talking smack about me!
...Have you seen yourself lately? Your arms and legs are as thin as mine and you’re wearing a puffy coat. What are you just two dimensional under there?
I am not even going to dignify that with a response.

We met a man in the abandoned village near here... Is he part of the resistance, too?
Oh, so you met Nidr... Technically, he’s a little different.
He did once serve as part of a sacrifice’s guard... but...
Really? He accompanied a sacrifice? Oh, he didn’t tell you? It was almost 20 years ago now...
He didn’t seem like the type...
Tch. That guy is absolutely going to turn out to be a badass. You’re a terrible judge of character.
...Oh yes. You’re definitely the judge of character I turn to as to who is a badass. The main in the blue dog mask.
One. It’s a cat mask and it owns. Two. Shut up.

Having someone experience along would be a great help... Do you think he’d join us?
*shakes head* I very much doubt it... He’s not the man he once was.
Oh... I see...
I don’t know what to do with him, to be honest... He hasn’t been back to his hometown once since the pilgrimage... He’s ended up staying here the whole time.
Why’s that?
Well... maybe you should try asking him.
Tragic past incoming in 10... 9...
Do you just like to hear yourself talk?

Freyja walks to the door and turns back...

They should be out in the village square training as we speak. Come with me.

Following Freyja out into the yard, we find a trio of soldiers swinging their swords about aimlessly to show their combat finesse.

YOU’RE the resistance?
Pfft... Okay. Any of you own a red shirt? A tunic, polo or blouse will work too.
Yeah... why?
*shakes head* I hate to do it... but it looks like we’ve got no choice. Let’s see what you’ve got...
*sweat* Huh? What for?
If you really are strong, we’ll have you join us as part of the sacrifice’s guard.
Wh-what? Right now!? Is that really true, though...? You’ll have us join the sacrifice’s guard?
Mhm. Come. See the world. Travel with the sacrifice, her bodyguard, and the other one. Lose your life to a dungeon boss or a mid-boss villain proving his strength and that he’s raising the stakes! It’ll be a hoot.
You’re not helping.
...Yeah and neither are any of these clowns if they join.

The three of you can come at us at once. We’ll start when you’re ready.

The trio of soldiers huddle up...

Are we really going to fight these guys? They look pretty tough... I really don’t like the looks of that guy in the mask, either...
*glances over at Endir*
*points at Plump Young Man and runs thumb across neck*

No! I want to grow stronger! I’ll show them what I’ve got... and I’ll join the sacrifice’s guard!
*sweats* Nidr’s never been the same since coming back from the pilgrimage, though... Even if we do get a hero’s welcome when we come back... If we end up like him, then...
What are you, stupid? Just because Nidr ran himself down, it doesn’t mean we will! I want to be a hero! I want to be spoken of in legend and myth!
Don’t a lot of people die at the end of legends? And become myths because they died and nobody is quite sure what happens. I’m just sayin’...
Anyway, this might be the only chance we ever get to join a sacrifice’s pilgrimage...
*stomps foot* What are you blabbering about? Hurry up and get yourselves ready!
I’ll do it!
*nods* All right... I’m with you!
It’ll be fine! He’s just wearing that mask to look tough! C’mon, let’s get ‘em!
I heeeeeard that, Baby Face.

Music: No Turning Back

Alright, we now have a three on three battle of Endir, Setsuna, and Aeterna vs. Plump Young Man, Shrewd-Eyed Young Man, and Baby-Faced Young Man.

Spoilers: The Home Team gets smoked almost instantly. I think a single one of them managed to get a single 25 HP swipe out before falling.

Thanks for the experience, boys. I’m afraid your applications to the party have been dropped in the nearest bonfire.

Music: Stronghold

I never imagined the sacrifice’s guard would be THIS strong...
Y-yeah... on second thought...
How pathetic... They really were no match for you, eh? Regrettably, they do indeed have little real combat experience...

No, there is one person...
Really? Where are they?
Standing right in front of you.
You mean... you’ll come with us?
Well, what choice do I have? If no one else is up to scratch, then I’ll have to go myself.
I wouldn’t if I were you...
I’ve only been doing this gig for a day and I’ve already nearly drowned due to a sea monster attack. At the rate we’re going, those caves you mentioned are going to cave in due to some ice worm or something stupid like that.
I’m not so long in the tooth that I need a whippersnapper like you worrying about me!
Oh give it a rest with the grandma act. You’re like five years older than me.
I can still handle a sword just fine, thank you very much... I’ll be able to hold my own, don’t you worry!
*bows* Thank you. It’ll be a great relief to know that you’re with us.
*nods* Now that’s settled, I need to get ready...
*turns to crumpled troops* Come on! What are you doing, taking a nap!? All of you, patrol duty, now!
What? Now?
My legs... they won’t let me...
We need to rest of the day off...
With injury pay.
I might need to go on medical leave.

Pull yourselves together! *stomps*

You’re going to be defending this place by yourselves for a while!
*turns to Setsuna* Sorry, but can you wait here? It won’t take long. I need to do a final patrol while I kick some life back into my men!

The soldiers pick themselves up and run off out of town...

And with that, Freyja departs with her troops. Well, I guess we’ll just take the rest of the day off now that we’ve gained a new party member who we strangely did not get to name and doesn’t seem to have an illustrated portrait. Hopefully that routine patrol won’t take too long...