Part 52: Episode XLI: Aeterna Explains It All
New Music: Final Push
Welcome to the final dungeon of I am Setsuna: The Frozen Land. Yeah it is... the void ruins dungeon template but with a sepia color filter over the tileset...
There isnt a whole lot to this dungeon. The real highlight is every floor of it, Aeterna is going to briefly take a minute to finally explain the end game plot to the rest of her companions. Which is nice considering if you really gunned it, theres like an hour and change of the game left.
Its there in order to contain an unimaginable vast power that lies sleeping here.
A vast power...?
*nods* Thats right. A horrific beast known as the Dark Samsara lies sleeping here in the Last Lands.
The Dark Samsara...
The big baddie behind everything is named ...Dark Sam?
Dark Sara is not any better!
Dark... S-A-M-S-A-R-A. Its one word.
*sigh* Close enough.
*shakes head* It is a creature that was created over a thousand years ago, by foolhardy humans...
...Why was this Dark Samsara created?
Thats a very good question...
*fades away into the non-cutscene zone*
The first floor of this dungeon is home to Greater Deermon and a new upgrade to the Megaten boys, the Peacockiel (the previous standardized enemy version was the Heroniel. Notice a theme?) Theyre just stronger. More lighting junk out of the man-deer. More full party buffs with the Megaten lads to make battles take longer if Grand Cross wasnt instantly turning them all into paste.
Theres also an upgraded reskin of the Dinotarus: the Dinotaurus Magnus! They still explode into a Meteo spell upon death and thats still a big dick move. These guys require a Grand Cross AND a follow-up Tech to down. Fearsome beasts up in here.
Anyway, theres no loot of note on the first floor. So lets grab a portal up (down?) to the next floor and some more Aeterna exposition.
Then the power that dwells here... is indeed my kingdoms nemesis...
Even now, as it sleeps, its unimaginable magical energy continues to wreak havoc... It is what brings the monsters into this world, and it is what will bring about this worlds end...
So its got a real thing for penguins, huh? Whats up with that?
Penguins are cute.
Thats not an explanation.
So ymean... this things been livin here all this time?
*nods* Thats right... The Dark Samsara lives on even now.
*sweats* You said it was sleeping, right? If it creates monsters while its sleeping, whats gonna happen when it wakes up!? Will the barriers hold up!?
The barrier is still maintained today by the guardian who first created it...
And whos that...?
Well... *fades away out of cutscene*
Yeah, theres some slight switch flipping on this floor. Uhh... thats it. We got some Megalixirs, I think. Maybe some weapon upgrade material... And like ten battles in-between. Indeed, assume Ive skipped 8-10 fights on every floor. It is the final dungeon.
So thats my duty...
The energy and life force given by the sacrifices is what helps contain the creature. This has continued for a thousand years... But we are reaching the limits of what can be done. The evil magical energy seeping through the barrier is already causing the monsters to change...
The last few penguins weve seen have been outright ugly.
These are dark times...
*nods* We have little time left.
The third floor has the strongest of the mushroom apes outside the Spritnite eaten variety (which we met literally right after or potentially before any previous mushroom ape.) They have even stinkier breath! Whod a thunk!
Theres also a new weapon for Endir in the form of the Timeforger. Its kind of gaudy looking, if you ask me. Like some kind of accessory youd find on a bargain bin He-Man knock-off. And it has increased SP gain while attacking versus more often and harder hitting criticals of the Rainbow sword. I think well stick with what weve got already.
Onward to the next floor!
*nods* Thats why we needed a new solution... A last hope for the future... And so, we needed to reach that solution, no matter how many times that meant repeating this...
*fades out of cutscene* Hey wa
They crammed reskins of Deermon (upgraded to the Arch Deermon) and the Persona expat angels (dubbed the Condoriel.) I did not give a one of these things the time of day. Were all out of coal for these baddies, but Grand Crosses for everyone will have to do.
This floors only noteworthy loot is Frog Squash, a new command Spritnite for Aeterna. It is...
...exactly what youd expect it to be. Do you remember Chrono Trigger?! DO YOU REMEMBER CHRONO TRIGGER?! DO YOU!? DOOOO YOUUUUUU?!?!?!
Thats it for the final floor of trash mobs in I Am Setsuna. Yep... we saw the last new enemy type about ten minutes into the first area of The Last Lands.
Ive been waiting for all of you...
This here is the last save point of the game. Well get a few chances to use it. But there are no further save points past this one. Just a note.
Anyway, theres a floating platform in front of a gigantic ball of yarn with a glowing cloaked figure hanging out in the center of it. This better not be some Time Lord Catgirl...
Hey. Sup, Old Aeterna. Took a few fashion lessons from Lady Yunalesca and her stripper mage design catalog, huh?
What!? Whys there a fake Aeterna here!?
*draws log* What is it, a monster!?
W-Wheres its pants?!
The rest of the party is startled about the lack of pants present on this new character and draws their weapons as well. I guess Setsuna has completely gotten over the diplomacy phase of dealing with human enemies after acing Reaper.
*shakes head* Put away your weapons. Shes no foe.
*sweats* Really!? You sure its all right? We can trust you, right? Right?
I think if she was gonna backstab us, shed do it before the evil doppelganger reveal...
...That makes sense, but...
I mean, thats what Id do. But in my case itd probably involve pulling out an even eviler looking mask and putting it on.
Man... Im SO doing that the next double-agent ambush job I get.
Everyone puts their weapons away. Aeterna walks up beside her mystery double.
Aha! Thats your deal! I knew it!
...No you didnt, Endir.
Okay, no... But, being fair... how could I guess you were the clone of uhh... Who were you again...?
*nods* I created Aeterna using my magical energy.
What does she mean, a clone?
Did you just poop out your younger self at some point...? Is she like your daughter-clone? Cuz Ive heard someone try that before and it ended uhh... weird. Whats YOUR deal? Who are you?
I am the Time Judge... I no longer recall my human name.
Aeterna said the Dark Samuel thing was created a thousand years ago.
Time Immemorial just means a very long time ago. Which 1000 years most certainly qualifies. Please stop interrupting my mom, Endir...
...As I was saying.
I am unable to leave here. That is why I created Aeterna... To move around the outside world on my behalf. Aeternas role is bringing the sacrifice, Setsuna, here.
*nods* That role has now been fulfilled.
I came here intending to pass on my magical energy and life force to you.
I-I think...? The sacrifice instructions began and ended at using chakrams and going to The Last Lands...
*shakes head and looks down* But... if that wont change anything... Then I want to change the future myself. I want there to be a future where families and friends can live together, and laugh together...
*nods* Then let us change it, Setsuna.
Yeah, I know Im being unrealistic and naïve about what can be dowait...?
You are special, Setsuna. You are able to choose your destiny. You, Setsuna, are our last hope for a new future.
*nods* It is exactly as she said... It is exactly as Mana said... She saw hope in you... And she was right.
? Mom did...?
I believed her, and watched over this last glint of hope... I have watched you grow, and learn... Thanks to you, I am now ready to stake everything on one other option...
Or at least Aeterna watched you and I did by proxy. I am sort of stuck here...
We shall destroy it completely.
Destroy it completely...? Why didnt you just do that in the first place, then?
If you fail, this land and all life in it will be destroyed. The decision to attempt such a fearsome battle cannot be made lightly.
Couldnt you have raised an army? I mean... Ive been carrying this party and everything. But even with me, were still just six people...
Im afraid not that would not work.
It is a complicated matter.
The conversation has moved on. The matter cannot be dealt with so lightly.
Yeah, anyoned get nervous if they had a decision like that weighing down on them...
*nods* But now you must make your choice... To pass on your magical energy and life force to me as sacrifice... or to destroy the Dark Samsara... Which shall you choose?
*looks down* ......
*turns to the party and nods* My mind is already made up. I want to know what the others think, though...
By the others, Setsuna of course just means Endir. And were given a dialogue option here of just going along with the sacrifice or going with the fight the final boss plan. Unsurprisingly, this is a completely false choice. Setsuna will briefly consider doing the sacrifice and then go nah fuck that noise a moment later. So lets just go with Destroy the Dark Samsara like the narrative wants.
Pfft. Just because you put dark at the end of a dopey name like that, doesnt make it impressive. Lets kick this thing in the dick. ...Does it have a dick? Whatever. Well work out the genitals to kick it in later. Besides, if time just loops at the end of this job... I don't get paid.
Wait ...But if we beat this Dark Sammy I... don't fulfill my job and do not... get paid...
GODDAMMIT! I am getting stiffed on this job either way, aren't I?! I cannot believe I have been TIME SCREWED out of a paycheck after all of this garbage. Son of a BITCH!
*puffs up* We might as well, right?
After all this, you really think were gonna chicken out now?
If there is a chance to break this vicious cycle, then we must seize that chance. For the sake of my people, I too shall end you my strength.
*leans over to Time Judge* Should I interject my support here?
That seems inappropriate.
*nods* Thank you... all of you... I feel the same way, too. I want to change things... and to do so, I must fight.
Everyone all right with that?
*turns to Aeterna and nods*
Finally? This time? Look, all that stuff about things repeatin, or whatever it was... It took us a long time to get this far... Enough with the riddles, eh?
I have given you this choice many times before. To defeat our foe, and bring the world into the future... Or to avoid battle, and leave the situation unchanged... Up until now, you have always chosen to avoid battle.
What the hell, guys? Weak...
But each time, the outcome was always the same... one of destruction... And each time, I once again wound back time.
Sound clock winding SFX.
Space Time... Spritnite...?
*nods* Thats right...
Since... when was that... a thing...?
Although, Im sure none of you remember, of course...
What!? I dont remember a thing!
Yes... because time reset to before we ever met. Ive just been aware of every loop.
Oh... Well... how does that...?
*sigh* This is the 62nd time youve gotten confused about how time loops work.
Im gonna shut up now...
Each time, we chose to evade combat, and each time, time was wound back once again... Does that not mean this world does not move toward the future?
Yes... this world constantly repeats the same period of time... That is true. When time is wound back, no one retains their memories. Except for me, the user of the spritnite... and except for Aeterna. But very rarely, it seems distortions can occur, causing others to also retain their memories. That is likely the cause of your dream, Setsuna... the cause of your sense of déjà vu.
How far is time wound back?
Is it like the beginning of Setsunas journey? Have I been stuck traveling to the same Podunk town and getting blindsided in a cutscene all this time.
I continued to wind back time to that point, over and over again. Each time, though, the events that followed unfolded in more or less the same way.
*nods* However... this journey has been different. The rapidly changing monsters... the Vanished Land... the appearance of the Reaper...
Sounds like this time loop go is a real bummer.
And most unexpectedly of all... Endirs appearance.
*nods* None of those things ever happened once before... Not once.
*blink* So... erm... Really turning it around this time loop, huh?
This is a helluva lot to take in all of a sudden... and weve got no way of knowin if its true or not...
So this means... Youve seen lots of different versions of us, right, Aeterna?
Yes... You were all different each time, though only slightly. Shall I tell you about the other Kirs...?
*sweats and rapidly shakes head* NO THANKS! I dont wanna know!
Honestly, a large chunk of them died. It wouldnt be too long to relate.
W-Wha...? Didnt you say Id gotten confused about time loops or whatever a bunch?
*nods* Yes. 62 times. There have been loops WELL into the three digits range...
Juliennes monster blood... situation evolved a great number of loops and she became a mildly difficult boss encounter a great deal of attempts at this. Killing Kir in quite a few of those time loops, actually...
*nervously glances at Julienne*
*blank unimpressed stare*
Setsuna was... well... Setsuna, usually. Nidr sometimes had a mullet and a soul patch.
When I think of these thousand years that youve lived alone, it makes my heart ache...
Thank you... but I am fine. I have simply lived for a little too long. And anyway... My role shall soon end...
*nods* I want you to show me proof...
Music: Endirs Theme
Proof that you have surpassed me...
But... you cant...
If you cannot defeat me and I kill you all here, I can... just reset time and try again. I absolutely can do this.
Well... yes, but...
I must thank you. Starting with the appearance of Endir, many changes have come to pass. These changes appear to have also affected me...
I got that way with the ladies.
*turns to Aeterna* Well, if this doesnt actually change anything, at least well have someone new to shit talk for the next loop.
...Wait. You guys two talk mess about us between time loops?
*nods* I have just... remembered something...
I have remember my own name... and the name of the person I once loved... Although, of course... this was a thousand long years ago...
*nods* I am glad to have met all of you...
Then come with us!
No, Setsuna... You must face me! You must fulfill your role!
I must fulfill my role...
Tune in next time when we throw down with the