The Let's Play Archive

I am Setsuna

by The Dark Id

Part 33: Episode XVI: There Was a Hole Here...

New Music: Road to Closure

Well I’ll be a monkey’s uncle! It’s more snow! The paradigm has shifted in this new biome. Let’s get explorin’.

I don’t usually show off the pick-up junk. But “Euphoria Pumpkin” is hilarious to me for some reason. Especially since I started this recording session while cooking for Thanksgiving.

Despite the claims of this region being the “Fridging Mountain Range” there sure is a lot of open snow wasteland. Heck, there’s even a region called the Barren Plains. Let’s see if this one is more eventful than the past throwaway side areas...

Survey says: NOPE! I’m not sure what else we ought to have expected. Though, it’s not entirely without points of interest. A bit to the north we find...

...a small forest, running counter to both the barren and plains part of this area description. And some dude hanging out constructing a massive pyre. So umm... whatcha doing out here, guy?

It carries a faint magical energy... Only those with powerful magical energy can cross the mountain... I wonder what lies across it...
Isn’t it... like the Last Lands?
Sure is.
Well, mystery solved. So umm... what’s all this firewood about...?
Sinners must be cleansed in the purifying flame.
Well, good luck with that, sport. Gotta go.

Yep. That’s all there was to that area. I’m not sure what they were going for with those fields with a single weird NPC hanging out. I think a couple are used in endgame sidequests. But more often than not, they’re for jack shit. Anyway, to the north there is that massive purple barrier nobody seems to bother mentioning. Still can't pass it.

So we will continue further to the north still and reach the next sleepy hamlet that will surely not have any localized drama or conflict requiring our party’s intervention to resolve. That would never happen in this game.

New Music: Simple Gratitude

Gatherington, huh? I mean, I guess it’s a step up from “Royburg” but not by much. Let’s see what the townsfolk are up to here.

This suggests there exists high-pitched voiced lumberjacks and that is clearly incorrect.

I knew it’d be colder here, but I didn’t think it was gonna be this bad...

Julienne faints.

! Julienne!
Sheesh. Is everyone gonna keel over today? Kir? Setsuna? You all feeling a bit of the vapors next?
...You passed out earlier too.
Yeah, but that was Nidr’s fault. Doesn’t count.

Julienne picks herself back up...

Are you two from this town? We’re on a journey...

We’re headin’ for the Last Lands... How far are they from here?
The Last Lands, eh? They’re on the other side of Fridging Heights. But you’d be best off forgettin’ that idea, if you value yer life... That mountain can no longer be crossed.
What do you mean?
You’ll ‘ave seen ‘em during your journey, no doubt... The distortion in space... We call ‘em “blakkols” ‘round these parts... They’re ‘specially bad in the mountains near ‘ere y’see...
...Any of you pick up half of what this hick mumbled just now?
‘ey! Learn ‘ome manners ‘ounen.
No... hablo... NPC...
He said the mountains are full of distortions in space called “black holes”.
Oh... That’s a little bit more understandable.
Black holes?
I think they mean the giant barrier we keep running into outside of towns.
...That ain’t no black hole. It is neither black nor a hole! Literally no part of that description is apt.

When will the distortions go away?
They grow worse by the year... You’d be wise not to hold yer breath, I’d say!
Ain’t there any other way to cross Fridging Heights, then?
I did once know of a cave that led through the mountain...
It’s gone now, is it?
*ponders* No... I said I once knew of it. For some reason, I can no longer remember it...
So you forgot where it was?
*shakes head* I do not know... I shouldn’t think yer gonna believe this... But a memory that should be there...isn’t.
A memory that should be there isn’t...?
*sigh* So was there some monster in the area or maybe a mysterious traveler who passed through and suddenly everyone forgot?
*nods* A cave that led through the mountain def’nitely did exist... That much is certain.
But how can you know that for certain if you can’t remember?
*nods* Many folks in this town say the ‘xact same thing as me... Folks who’ve lived ‘ere for a very long time... If you think that nothin’ more than a coincidence... well, that’s up to you...
If it’s somewhere near here, why don’t we try looking for it?

You say it definitely existed, so maybe we’ll find it!
You shall do no such thing! There shall be no needless prying!
*jumps* AUGGH! Phew... Don’t scare me like that, old lady!
*shakes head* Some things are best left unchanged... Not that you are capable of changing them, anyway...

Gloomy Old Woman walks off...

So that old lady is behind whatever this is, huh?

If no one knows where this path is, our only option is to try and find a way across ourselves. We don’t have time to wait for this blizzard to stop, or for the distortions to disappear. Our journey must go on.
Exactly! Aeterna’s right! Let’s find a way across Fridging Heights by ourselves!
Hey old timer, where does your wife or whoever live?
The old woman. The gloomy one.
Oh. She is ‘ot my ‘ife. But she ‘ives at the top of the hill yonder.
Thanks, pal.

Alright, let’s explore this town and do the usual RPG thing for a spell. The local pub is the first building in town. As usually, Weppy & Tali’s merchant has gotten far too drunk and kicked out of the establishment. We’ll come see him in a minute.

The usually suspects of the Apothecary and Magic Emporium spritnite dealer are camped out here.

It has been two fairly lengthy dungeons since the last time we hit this guy and there’s a good 35,000 G in profit to be made dumping all the materials we’ve gathered off countless dead penguins and snake monsters. And with it, a handful of new Spritnites to equip and seldom use.

Endir has gained a Life spell to resurrect fallen party members. Kir got his shit kicked in during the last dungeon when I tried to tag him in for some levels. That is literally the only death I’ve had of a party member in battle. And even then, I just shuffled his corpse to the B-Team roster and went on my way.

Nidr is grabbing another way to slash folks with his massive sword. Unfortunately, Wind is not a real element in this game so it’s just another whatever physical tech.

Kir is continuing his journey to become a reckless pyromancer and now can summon fountains of magma to pour on unsuspecting foes in the alternate dimension where Serge died and I actually ever used Kir.

And finally, Julienne gets a fairly useful Tech where she’ll stab folks every time one of her allies stabs someone. Real good team builder, that one.

Leaving the bar, we’re now flush with smackers, which is good since there’s a whole new set of weapons available. Two new weapons, in Julienne’s case. Well, we don’t want to spoil our newest party member. Plus Endir and Setsuna both picked up new weapons in the previous dungeon. So we’ll refrain from upgrading them for a bit. But the rest...

Aeterna has a new dagger that looks like a prop from a high school drama club production. But it is somehow better in every way from the Chaos Rune Blade, so what are you gonna do?

Nidr has gained a dragon’s tooth with a hilt attached to it. Which would be cool and all, if it wasn’t wrapped up with bandages like that dipshit Cloud Strife cosplaying as Vincent Valentine version of Cloud from Kingdom Hearts.

Kir has upgraded from a magical girl wand to... dude, this is just Sailor Moon’s wand. That doesn’t even make sense for Kir, he’s a pyromancer. See, this is why I never use you in battle, Kir.

Finally, Julienne is casting aside her ancient family heirloom lance for one with a fancy ribbon. Despite the description claiming it ought to buff the heck out of defense, it seems to actually buff the hell out of Julienne’s attack and barely raise defensive stats. I feel like the entirety of the weapon system was both overambitious and completely rushed.

Anyway, that is about all for this town. There’s a bunch of townsfolk milling about in a village that just follows a slope east up a hill (with the cranky woman from earlier’s hut at the top) but none of them have much of interest to say. Beyond the weird cave across the mountain that none of them can seem to remember and nobody has bothered to check out ever.

So I guess it’s up to us to sort out the situation and bravely venture northward to seek out this mysterious cavern...

Music: Road to Closure

Found it! It was literally about a mile outside of town. Straight up the first landmark visible. Good job, everyone. The mystery is solved.

The barrier blackhole we encountered south of town also reaches north past the world’s least mysteriously lost cavern. There’s a trail behind it but heck if we can get there.

Due west of Gatherington is an unnamed Abandoned Village off a desolate peninsula. Surely, there will be something worth pillaging from the ruined town...

...You’d think that. But nope. This is just another one of those weird locations with a single wandering NPC waiting for the elements to take them or whatever their end goal happens to be. Here we find...

Why must the people of the Village of Sacrifice bear such a burden? No matter what might have happened in the past, the past is just that... the past...
Monsters keep spawning and will eventually overwhelm humanity unless we do the sacrifice. It’s *kind* of important.
Why must the people of the Village of Sacrifice bear such a burd—
Yeah, you’re not getting through to this one. Let’s bounce.

Alright, that’s all the exploration for this region. Guess we’re just gonna have to hit the Fridging Caves. Ya know, since it’s been at least three dungeons since we’ve seen the cavern template.

New Music: The Strength of Time

Aww shit, son! This ice cavern is glowing purple! This is some next level business going down here. You didn’t think I Am Setsuna was just going to reuse the ice cave layout a third time. Yee of little faith.

Fridging (this word feels like someone forgot to use spellcheck on Frigid) Caves is home to the Uppa. Hey, the tutorial boss finally made the palette swapped transition to common enemy. Good for him. These boys pack a fairly meager 370 HP and just kind of swipe at a single party member at a time. Occasionally, they’ll Howl to raise their attack and lower the party’s defense. But they do have one dire trick up their sleeves...

BEEEEEEEEEES! These bears can pull a REAL dick move and just conjure up a swarm of angry bees to descend upon our party. This hits the entire party for around 50-75 damage and is just plain rude. I mean, it’s impressive a bear has both gained the abilities of The Pain and done so in the fantasy Arctic Circle. But still... real rude attack.

On the plus side of dealing with a swarm of angry bees, these guys are just a piñata of materials if we get creative with our Momentum’d up Techs and debuffs. Particularly, if we use Combo attacks to kill ‘em (pretty much any Momentum buffed physical attack counts as a combo) they drop White Bay Laurel Wreaths. Which are pretty handy as they may lead to the obtaining of a broken ass Spritnite shortly.

The cave itself is rather uneventful, beyond the bears and bees. But there is a new weapon for... Aeterna... Who we just dropped 5300G to get a new weapon like ten minutes ago... Goddammit.

I cannot even get that mad because... well, look at this thing! It’s amazing. It’s a walrus dagger. It’s adorable, dumbest thing and I absolutely love it. Also, murdering all the Uppa in this cave nets us a good 10,000G so it’s not a big loss. I Am Setsuna is not at all good about rationing new weapons pick-ups. But man. Walrus dagger...

Amazing Walrus Dagger aside, the party eventually reaches a dead end at the back of the cave. Probably best to investigate this, eh?

This is the cave! It is, isn’t it?
Nope. I mean it’s clearly a dead end. You dope.
...What? But...

You think the townspeople would really forget about somewhere so obvious?
*looks at wall* ? ......?
Wait a minute...

Aeterna touches the glowing cavern wall at the dead end of the only path through the cavern and wouldn’t ya know... magic bullshit!

Music: Faith

So what does that mean?
Most likely, it means that a sealing spell has been cast here...
*nods* I can sense it, too...
It just rippled magical energy through the whole cave. I think we all felt it.
Yeah, we're all magic people. I'm a necromancer now. It's weird.

So this is it, after all!?
*puffs up* I said it was, didn’t I!?
No duh, Sherlock.
Hey! But you said it wasn’t before.
I was... are you for real? Sarcasm. That’s like, my entire thing... Get with it.
It’s hard to get a read on you when you’re wearing that mask.
Hey! You were offered the gift of a mask of your own and you cast its splendor down. Now you toil away in the fields of Endir not giving a shit about your opinion and reflect upon your mistakes.
Can we focus here?

The people in that town didn’t seem like they were lying, though...
Then the memories of everyone who knew of this cave must have been erased... Except perhaps the one who cast the spell, or anyone who knew it had been cast...
! What!?
It’s that old lady.
Maybe someone here is hiding something...
The gloomy old woman.
Who do you think sealed it off, then!? No one in the town seemed suspicious!
The elderly woman who we met as soon as we entered town.
No, there was one person...
Finally! Someone with a head on their shoulders. Like I said, it was the...
The lumberjack.
...What?! No.
That way he was talkin’ ain’t natural. He was hidin’ something.
No. That was just an idiot accent. The only mystery surrounding that guy was how many generations of rural inbreeding it took for him to end up that way. No. It was...

The wrinkled old woman.

! What!? That old lady!? She wasn’t very friendly, but she didn’t seem like a bad person or anything...
She may well not be “bad”... But there is more to her than meets the eye. I too could sense that.
Looks like we better try talking to her again...
Hey, executive team decision. We’re stopping by the pub again and loading up on some liquor before we go headlong into another tragic backstory.
Do what you want. Let’s just go.
Can... I get in on that?
Mhm. I’d buy you a beer but you went the stupid route with the whole Setsuna daughter thing so...

Hm? Did someone say my name?

Welp! Alright then. Back to the village we go! One of these times we’re just going to encounter a dungeon with a village nearby and simply move on without obstacles. No we won’t.