The Let's Play Archive

I am Setsuna

by The Dark Id

Part 64: Episode LII: Rebellion

We’re down to two more character quests left in the game. As it turns out, democracy somehow managed to essentially go in order of length from longest to shortest quests. Well, almost... Setsuna's quest actually has probably the most dialogue of any of 'em, even if its gameplay content is extremely brief.

In any case, the second least amount of votes went to Nidr. So let's get his quest underway.

Nidr’s quest takes us back to Purikka, home of the awkwardly titled Resistance... the glorified frontier militia protecting an outpost in the middle of nowhere tasked with guarding a decade abandoned town and a monster filled ice cave.

Music: Stronghold

Today’s sidequest returns us to Freyja, Nidr’s old dual-wielding broadswords master who... didn’t actually do much besides get her ass kicked off-screen. Perhaps this side quest can rectify her shortcomings.

Hey, Cap’.
Looks like I’m not imaginin’ things... which makes me worry... What are you doing here? You’re not going to tell me you failed again, are you?
C’mon, look! The sacrifice is right here, safe n’ sound!
*raises eyebrow* Yes. I can see that. The SACRIFICE is still alive... That doesn’t sound as though things are goin’ like they oughta...
Look it’s err... complicated...

Our journey’s goin’ fine, don’t worry.
Then what on earth are you doing here?
I’ve been asking myself that for a couple weeks...
Well, you see...

Fade out to explain nonsense that has transpired...

So... What’s up with that...?
Oh huh... He did attack you, didn’t he...? Forgot all about that.
*annoyed glare* Yuuuuup.

It’s clear your journey hasn’t been a straightforward one. Well... you haven’t failed, that’s the important thing.
’course you haven’t succeeded yet, so you’re not exactly making me proud either...
*rubs neck* We’re workin’ on it...

Anyway, tell me honestly... Is Nidr making himself useful?
He’s useless.
*surprised* I see. You are very honest indeed...
It’s important in my trade.

Endir was just joking! Nidr isn’t useless at all... he’s been a huge help.
Heh. Yeah, yeah... Just kidding. I mean... it’s safe to say Setsuna wouldn’t even be here today if not for ol’ Nidr’s help...
Endir I SWEAR...

So if your journey isn’t over yet, what are you doing back here?
Sounds like you outta sort out that Dark Samsara business sooner rather than later.
YES! That! Thank you!

I came to get my sword.
Your sword...? The one I gave you, you mean? I seem to remember you turning it down, saying you didn’t need it...
No, no! That was... I... I just didn’t think I was worthy of it...
*shakes head* And now you do? The fact you failed to guard Nanase has all been forgotten now, has it?
No! I never said that! I know I’m no hero... but all I can do is keep pressin’ on... And to do that, what I need right now is strength.
First you don’t want it, now you do... How did I end up with such a foolish student?
What’s wrong with your current swo—Nidr... Nidr, what is that on your back?
Oh this? Umm, well it’s a...
Is that a tree trunk with an end you’ve whittled down to a handle...?
Well... *I* didn’t whittle down anything, but...
Nidr, what the hell are you doing with that thing?
Err... Master, it’s REALLY strong an—
Strong? What, as a loadbearing column in a cabin?!

Please, master...
I understand your situation.
Other than the tree trunk thing...
However... I’ll decide whether to give it to you or not once you have met your guest.
My guest....?
Perhaps it is his strong will that brought you here...
What? What’re you talkin’ about?
Go to the beach. He should be waiting there.
Who should!?
Go and see. An old friend of yours...

Alright, then. By “the beach”, Freyja means the Forgotten Shore south of Serendale where Endir, Setsuna, and Aeterna washed up after their shipwreck early in the game.

Music: Feel of Unease

Who’d a thunk the snow beach would be like the only unique monster infested area templates in the game? The area itself is full of enemies that will keel over from the party so much as glancing in their direction while being unable to deal any sort of damage whatsoever themselves.

Before we advance too far into this area, we’re going to have the party scarf down a fortifying vegetable stew. This buffs the chance of critical hits during the next fight. It might help matters out a bit shortly...

If we head due south from the area exit and follow the shore to a previously lonely empty stretch of beach, we find a burly new character hanging out. No, you shouldn’t know who this guy is since he’s never appeared, much less been mentioned, before right now.

You know him?
We haven’t met this guy before, right? Sorry, I’m already purging all memories of the Land of Snow’s faceless nobodies encountered during this job.
He served on the pilgrimage together with me. We were separated when that huge monster laid waste to the guard...
Wait, what? I thought it was just you and Setsuna’s aunt with the vague illness that wanted your D...
...My what now?
You had a full party wipe along the way too?
Yeah err... long story. But Shinku...

I ain’t seen or heard from him since... I never even dreamed he was still alive!
Oh, so he’s an old companion!
For an old comrade, something is not right... I do not sense friendliness from this man... I sense hostility...
That and he looks like a dick. White hair? Really, guy? You’re going with that? I give the rest of you a lot of mess. But at least I respect you for having normal hair colors.
OK, Setsuna is pushing it. But I’ll allow it...
*frown* What’s wrong with my hair...?

What a relief to see you’re safe, Shinku! I’m so happy to see you, after all these years...

You let Nanase die... Now I want you to pay for that crime... with your life.
With my life...? Shinku... what are you...
I honed my strength in order to avenge our companions who died during the pilgrimage... I grew stronger, in order to make you pay...
Nidr was like Level 10 when we met him... That doesn’t say much. Was this guy like your old party’s Kir?

But because of injuries I received on our journey, I can grow no stronger than this...
You left me a cripple!
*looks Shinku over* Wha...?
*sigh* We set up camp a bit too close to a monster nest. A Pengy bit off his pinky toe...
*shakes fist* My balance was never the same! I can still feel it! The phantom pain from my loss just won’t leave me... It’s been with me all this time.

I am unable to defeat you!
Shinku, I'm not gonna fig--wait, what?
What? Are you bein’ serious?
*shakes fists* Of course I’m serious! If you wish to run, run. I will not follow you... But your past will follow you forever...
So... we're not gonna fight...?
No! I know when I am beaten. Go. Run and throw away your life, coward!
*rubs neck* Uhh...?

*shakes head* I ain’t runnin’ nowhere... But I ain’t givin’ you my life, either. Please, Shinku, listen... I have a duty I must fulfill... That’s why I’m here now.
I take issue with that statement...
*frown* Maybe not now, Aeterna...

What duty can a man like you ever fulfill? You’ll only make the same mistake again!
No, I won’t... I can’t. And that’s why I need more strength.
Also... Nanase died from like a terminal illness... It’s not remotely the same thing...
So you need this sword, right? Then take it from me... by force.

Freyja wanders onto the scene.

What Shinku says is true. There is no point in giving it to you if you’ll only make the same mistake again. Shinku is unable to defeat you himself... So instead, I shall be your opponent... and I will not hold back! If you lose to me here... well, there was no hope in entrusting the future of the world to you, anyway.
You serious...?
*walks off* Indeed I am.

Tch... I know y’all are doing the samurai showdown thing on the beach... But you all couldn’t have arranged this back in town, so the rest of us could have stayed inside out of the snow...?

Nidr and his tree trunk march down the beach alone to duel with Freyja, leaving the rest of the party to awkwardly just sort of hang out with Shinku. If you’re wondering, nope there’s no fight with Shinku too. Indeed, he doesn’t even get a Snow Chronicle entry for me to make a proper dialogue portrait out of...

Music: Relentless Advance

Time for a one-on-one duel with just solo Nidr against a 5760 HP Freyja. This fight is a HUGE pain in the dick for a variety of reasons. Nidr being one of the slowest characters in the game is a real big issue. Freyja can take roughly 1.5 turns of every 1 turn Nidr gets. There’s also the fact Nidr has zero dedicated healing techs. The best you get is Blunt Blow and Stone Slash with Momentum heals like... 150 HP.

Freyja, on the other hand, hits for at minimum 200 HP with each attack (all of her attacks hitting twice for around 100 HP, what with the two swords.) She’s also, much like Hapsper was with Endir, a Nidr clone boss. She has Blunt Blow (causes Paralysis aka No Tech Use), Double Back (uhh... this is just a free hit since Nidr doesn’t do Magic) and Wind Slash (it just hurts a lot!)

Most pressingly, Freyja has Nidr’s Stone Slash. What, you didn’t come to this surprising solo boss battle with defense against Stone, a status effect like... two random enemies in the game possessed? One that will instantly kill Nidr if he gets hit by it and the only deterrent being a specific Support Spritnite that just wards against, but not completely neutralizes, Stone status? Tough luck. Instant Game Over. Try again!

So in all, this is KIND of a bullshit boss battle. Except, there is one way to make it completely trivial. I’m not sure if this was programmed intentionally or if it’s just a happy coincidence. Observe:

Nidr has the Counter tech, which puts him in a defensive stance until he takes another action. Nidr will no-sell any physical attacks and counter with his own standard attack strike. Normally, this ability is completely useless since most bosses have magic attacks as well as physical strikes. Freyja, being a big idiot with a huge sword clone of Nidr’s moveset, is a big exception to that!

All of Freyja’s attacks are physical strikes. Even Wind Slash is magic in name only. It still counts as a Null damage attack. As such, if Nidr has Counter up she literally cannot hit him.

Meanwhile, Nidr can bludgeon his master with his tree trunk. Sure, it’s not a huge amount of damage. But it is free damage with zero repercussions. So the easiest way to beat Freyja is to just toss on Counter immediately and... go do the laundry or something... Just don't enter any further commands. Even dicking in the item menu or targeting Freyja to see her remaining HP seems to break Counter. Just... let the game sit there and run its course. It took roughly six and a half minutes to beat Freyja this way...

The reason we ate that Floneian Vegetable Stew earlier was that it sped up the proceedings a bit, with Nidr pulling a critical attack counter once every few turns. Sure, this is a real cheesy way to beat a boss battle. But man... fuck solo character boss fights in RPGs. The alternative is burning through half our consumables trying to keep Nidr’s plodding old ass alive since he never learned how to cast the most basic ass healing spell and has less MP than literal children.

When Freyja falls to 33% health she busts out a super move in the form of Rebellion. Which is like Nidr’s standard Aerial Strike if he caught on fire on jump and exploded on contact. Rebellion does 400-500 HP of damage and will happily one shot an unprepared Nidr.

...Yeah. That’s still a physical attack, despite the pyrotechnics. Complete no-sell.

Eventually, Freyja just surrenders in frustration at Nidr’s flawless evasion and counter techniques. Surely, he’s on track to help save the world... assuming Dark Samsara knows absolutely no magic whatsoever.

For our trouble, we still get less EXP than beating those Spritnite Eaten penguins. But hey! Free used comb! All in all, definitely worth it!

Music: Path of Redemption

I was stuck in the past, unable to move forward... but then, I got the push that I needed... It was my new companions who gave me that push. Travelin’ together with them has made me realize somethin’ very important... Overcomin’ your past don’t mean denyin’ it, or ignorin’ it... It means understandin’ your own weakness, and acceptin’ that what happened happened.
And rejectin’ the letter “g” at the endin’ of words.
That’s what you gotta do if you wanna move forward...

Yes, it does... It seems you really have overcome your past, Nidr. There is no hesitation in your hand... no weakness in your swing...
Sorry... the captain insisted that she wanted to test you, you see... I didn’t think we were going to fight him for real, though, master...
Tch. You know what I mean... Sorry I didn’t pitch in. I’ve worked at a post office for the last 8 years, not fighting monsters. What do you want out of me?

I just got sick of listenin’ to you two talking for so long...
You really brought up the lost pinky toe thing...? Really?
Hey! It’s still weird every morning when I put socks on, alright?
*rolls eyes*

You mean... You planned all this, Freyja!?
Augh... What sorta person comes up with a plan like that!?
*shrug* Well, there were some things I wanted to give you. Shinku happened to be in town, so I asked him to help me.
? Things you wanted to give me...?

Time for our quest rewards. Nidr games Master’s Sword, an overdesigned visual mess that is in no way, shape, or form remotely better than a tree trunk the noble Iokan Sword. Thanks, I guess?

The actual side quest reward is Nidr’s ultimate spritnite, Rebellion. Rebellion has a masochist gimmick to it where the more damage Nidr has received, the greater its power. I suppose that’s more viable than having most of the party dead or the like.

Rebellion itself is a single target physical attack where Nidr coats himself in oil, lights himself on fire, and kamikaze sword strikes in a fiery explosion on a single enemy. With an ATB boost for Momentum. Well... at least it’s flashier than Julienne’s almost identical damage output ultimate tech.

You said that you need strength in order to continue on... However, what you truly need is determination. That determination shall become your strength. That is what true strength is.
Also, a well crafted sword and a spritnite of outstanding power can’t hurt...
In your hands, this sword and this stone will grow stronger. I suppose in that sense, perhaps you were right to return it to me... The old you probably never would have been able to unlock its strength.
That Flux business with Spritnite is fidgety enough without grinding nothing but enemies well under your level.
You have become a man with determination even greater than my own! Now you are worthy of this sword.
Master... Thank you.
Thank you very much, Freyja.
My feet are SO cold.

*shakes head and shrugs* There is no need to thank me. Your pilgrimage is more rigorous than any ever before it... And you do it for the sake of everyone in this land. It’s only natural that I should help you.
*begins walking off* Come, Shinku, let us return to the fort and drink... It seems we no longer need worry about the sacrifice’s guard.
Oh, yeah... I’m sure that’s the excuse and not it being a day of the week ending in the letter “y”...

Freyja walks back to town and irrelevance...

If you make it back alive, let’s get together and reminisce about the old days, eh?
Yeah... uhh... so I guess it’s good you’re alive...? No hard feelings...?
Pfft... Yeah, whatever. It’s ancient history. I’ve been coming back to town every Friday to drink with master for nine years now... I’d just avoided you cuz... you like... turned into a weird hobo fighting monsters every day faking our pilgrimage succeeded... Awkward... Anyway, uhh... Glad you’re out of your funk, dude. Later...
Y-yeah... Later...
He seems nice.

Shinku exits the scene, never to be seen again...

What strange creatures humans are... They pass on their own will to others...
Can’t you understand that?
No... Perhaps now I do understand...
Can I pass on my will to get off this cold ass beach...?
The past is important, too, just like the future... When I fulfill my duty as sacrifice, it will be with my memories with everyone in my heart...
Well, that won’t be happenin’ quite yet...
The old man’s right for once!
Indeed! So let’s get it together and take on Dark Sams—
Now that I’m thinking about it, can we head back to Nive Village? I would like to take care of something before we finish this.
*rubs eyelids* I can’t get mad at her, she’s the sacrifice... I can’t get mad at her, she’s the sacrifice...

And that concludes Nidr’s sidequest. I mean... not sure what to say about that... They had boss fight Freyja programmed and goddammit, they were gonna use it somehow. Also this unique character model that nobody was using. Sure, he’s part of Nidr’s previously unmentioned old sacrifice guard. Why not? Throw it in!

Oh well. Just one more side quest left in I Am Setsuna featuring... err well... Setsuna. Which is... actually a quest that is WAY more about Nidr than this one was... Tune in next time as the last of the end game content winds down as our pilgrimage to the conclusion continues.

Video: Rebellion Tech Demo