The Let's Play Archive

I am Setsuna

by The Dark Id

Part 66: Episode LIV: I Can’t Leave Without My Buddy Super Boss

Music: The Winter Breeze

We are done with everyone’s character side quests. But there is still a wee bit of content to squeeze out of I Am Setsuna’s endgame. Today we’ll be covering the game’s super bosses, such as they are... There are technically three super bosses insofar as big baddies with achievements for fighting ‘em. But one of them involves a gimmick with the final boss, so that’s for another day...

The first of the two super bosses requires we return to Serendale where the party first met Nidr. You may notice there’s now a boat docked at the derelict pier of the abandoned town. It was quite abandoned until recently. Let’s go check that out, eh?

Serendale itself has nothing new to it. Just a few unfortunate penguins and exploding seals that have the misfortune of encountering our roaming band of marauders lovable adventurer party. At the end of the dock we find ship access and a soldier hanging out. We can’t board the ship itself thanks to a pesky invisible wall. So let’s see what the soldier has to say...

Your mission is to eliminate the Schwarzstrom that’s been causing havoc near here. Are you ready to go?

Saying “Yes” to the Hasty Soldier will instantly transport the party to the high seas where we face off against the first super boss: a rematch against Schwarzstrom. Remember that sea monster we encountered within thirty seconds of Setsuna beginning her journey? If you’ll remember the end of that fight, Schwarzstrom kind of just no-sold the boss battle, trashed the ferry, and swam off. Time to sort him out properly now.

Music: Relentless Advance

The achievement for this super boss fight just requires the battle to begin, not actually putting the beast down. There might be a reason for that. Schwarzstrom immediately poses the following question to the player: Does your entire party have over say... 550 HP?

No...? Fuck you! Game Over! By the way, the Game Over text has changed from “The Pilgrimage Ends in Failure” to an off-brand “But the future refused to change...” now that pilgrimage has long since completed. So at least we got to see that...

Really, this super boss is just a HP check barrier for entry. One which can be circumvented by having the party munch on a healthy Purikka Cobbler Salad to boost everyone’s HP by 33%. Seriously, for all the food options in this game, Purikka Cobbler Salad and its HP buff is the only useful one 99% of the time. The game clearly knows that too because it’s priced 1000G cheaper than all other meals available at a chef and is the first one listed on the menu.

Alright, let’s try that again with a great deal more HP. Now that the party can survive Schwarzstrom’s Tsunami intact this... isn’t a particularly difficult fight. Setsuna has more than enough time to recover everyone with Cure II and the wave attack is the only full party damage dealer at its disposal. The sea monster itself has gone from a measly 2000ish HP up to a hearty 10958 HP.

As far as its move set gets it is... just the same boss fight as it was early on. It can stun the entire party with Bellow (read: drains ATB and everyone loses a turn.)

It also has a bite and water spit attack that both take out 450-500 HP on a single target. Endir did not appreciate getting both of those back to back. But this flub aside, party members falling is easily avoided by just having Setsuna constantly top off everyone’s health.

The one new ability Schwarzstrom has gained is Dive in which it err... well, it dives underwater. It says it right there. What did you think it did? Sheesh! Dive just gives everyone time to hang out and build Momentum for a couple turns worth of time. But most importantly, we need to absolutely make sure everyone is at full health.

That’s because Schwarzstrom will cancel its dive by activating Tidal Wave, the slightly beefier cousin of Tsunami. And with that we’ve seen everything Schwarzstrom can do in this fight. And you probably won’t be surprised by the method to beat it...

Spoiler: The solution to the equation of I Am Setsuna’s non-gimmick end game bosses is Momentum Battlecry + Momentum Coup de Grace. Repeat until dead. Which in this jerk’s case was five doses, just pausing to heal with Setsuna (whose Momentum boosted Cure II will instantly fill her ATB to get back in line for another round.) I forgot to plant Aeterna with the proper Spritnite set-up here, but both Setsuna and Endir will also completely fill their HP and MP with the Battlecry/Coup de Grace combo thanks to the HP and MP leeching Support Spritnite.

The game is officially completely broken by this point. I’m sure there might be other Triple Techs set-ups available that are even more broken (other than all stats buffing Battlecry. That’s beyond busted on its own.) But uhh... I don’t really have any reason to explore those options since they’d probably require grinding out material drops for some remaining Spritnite and using other party members I like using less.

Music: Astounding Victory

Our reward for properly slaying Schwarzstrom is a respectable amount of EXP and a variety of material drops related to how we went about slaying the beast. These are used in unlocking some high end Support Spritnite, if we wanted to make our party even more broken than they already are right now. It might seem weird that a super boss would follow the same material drop conventions as standard enemies.

That is because the party is unceremoniously dropped back on the dock where the fight trigger began and... we can just refight it if we want. The Hasty Soldier doesn’t even acknowledge our victory. He has the same spiel about taking down Schwarzstrom. So ultimately we accomplished nothing as far as the world is concerned... Well then. That’s one super boss, for lack of a better term, down...

Enough of messing out on the sea. Time to go take on the actual super boss. For this side quest we’ll be heading to Laniff Ruins, just northeast of The Last Lands.

Music: Walking Through the Maze of Time

I briefly touched on this ruins at the beginning of the side quest block and how it was empty. Not the case anymore! Not at all. Indeed, preparation for this side quest involves getting a LOAD of consumables to help us along the way.

Since this is not just a super boss... this is in reality a gauntlet of bosses leading up to the super boss. Since I am Setsuna was clearly lacking in the boss rush department. Laniff Ruins has been populated by ALL the fallen foes we’ve battled in the side quests up to this point. In order to unlock the final challenge of the Laniff Ruins, we’ve gotta beat ‘em all. In one sitting. Without leaving the ruins, since that resets all progress in the dungeon. And also no saving since there are no save points within the area. So set aside a good hour and change before trying this out!

We’ve got to take on...

The Dysphormic Monster... for a third time. They really liked that black dragon design, huh?

Kir’s anime girl harem has also been resurrected... just to immediately be put down again. I’m sure Kir will eventually make it to second base before he keels over in a decade.

Grinche has briefly returned to the material realm after his suicide by JRPG party.

A magical reconstruction of Freyja is now taking on all challengers. This fight proves to be quite a bit more difficult than just cheesing it with Nidr countering forever. Especially since I forgot her Stone status effect attack and had to scramble to de-petrify my party members.

Hapsper is back to rumble and is WAY goddamn easier now that it’s three on one instead of just Endir winging it solo. The power of friendship prevails...

Finally, the Time Judge Eutess is back wondering why the flying fuck we haven’t taken care of Dark Samsara... Look, it’s a long story involving a lot of stones...

Once all the side quest bosses have been defeated a second (or third) time, a new challenger appears at the top of the ruins. Before we proceed, we’re going to keep on our diet by dining on another HP buffing salad. It’s not nearly as essential as it was with Schwarzstrom. There’s no HP restriction out the door. But it sure doesn’t hurt.

I couldn’t tell you why the rest of the party decided to briefly materialize here. There’s no fancy cutscene reveal of the super boss. They all instantly vanish again as the boss makes its unceremonious appearance...

New Music: Hidden Danger
(Hey, this is the only time this music plays! And it’s actually got some drums in it accompanying the omnipresent piano. Probably because it sounds like the guy on piano is having a seizure.)

Meet I Am Setsuna’s proper super boss: The Ruler of Time. If nothing, this dude looks rad as hell. It’s a shame the game only did... two crazy automaton bosses. They both have a pretty decent mechanical design. But we’ll have plenty of time gawk at this thing. Let’s get down to business.

The Ruler of Time puts its cards on the table immediately with its two best defensive techniques. Space-Time Wall is a barrier that makes physical attacks completely worthless for about two rounds. It’s just not having any sword play or dagger stabs.

Space-Time Mirror does the same exact thing except completely negating magic attacks. The Ruler of Time will always cast these two spells back-to-back. Meaning it’s just going to be invincible for a while. Tough luck! Luckily, this isn’t a tremendously big deal since it is just free time to build up Momentum for the Battlecry + Coup de Grace combo. Especially since Ruler of Time actually has a decent chunk less total HP than the Schwarzstrom rematch, clocking in at 8530 total HP. Which feels off, considering that was just a stat retuned rematch boss fight and this is the real deal secret super boss.

Pinpoint Laser is the Ruler of Time’s primary means of attack. It’s a percentage based damage that will bring the target down to 1% health. Maybe it’s just me, but it seems weird to work on percentages and not just... ya know... 1 HP like most JRPGs with this kind of attack. But, details...

Long-Range Punch is RoT’s second most used attack and it involves sending out a volley of rocket fists to target our party. This one does some serious damage in the 450-500 HP range. It also has a very odd hitbox. It seems to be a single target attack. But every once in a while it’ll also clip another party member for significantly less damage. Though at the same time, the chip damage attack seems to have a very high failure rate. Or it just doesn’t happen at all. Look, have you ever played The Phantom Pain? Rocket punches are hard to control. The controls are inverted. It’s a mess, even if you are a time god.

Scatter Laser is another percentage based attack at the Ruler of Time’s disposal. It just halves everyone’s HP at once. It’s nothing a quick Cure II can’t solve, so it’s not an urgent matter.

Finally, there’s Speed Up Time which... doesn’t actually have a damn thing to do with Time magic. All it does is deal 200+ HP of damage and negate all buffs on a single character. Considering most buffs in this game only last two rounds tops and are usually immediately followed up by popping off an attack using them to the fullest, this doesn’t do a whole lot...

The Ruler of Time does have one final attack in the form of Machine Gun Punch. It only uses this when it’s quite low on health. It involves just going all Fist of the North Star on a single character for 500-600 HP of damage (it likes to critical attack.) I don’t have any footage of this one because I’m not fucking about waiting for a super attack to pop off for demonstration purposes at the end of a seven round boss rush. This was already 90 minutes of my life I’m not getting back even before starting work on the LP update!

Anyway, as I’ve already stated, we’ve found the answer to the equation of I Am Setsuna’s boss battles. The Ruler of Time only takes four volleys of the Battlecry/Coup de Grace combo to fall. The trouble is that we’ve got to set up the timing to take into consideration the Space-Time shields making him invincible and hoping RoT doesn’t get cute ideas like negating Battlecry before we can follow up with Coup de Grace.

In all, this is probably one of the easier super bosses I’ve encountered in a JRPG. It’s more of an annoyance than an actual threat. But, I suppose if we factor in the boss rush getting to this point that adds slightly to the overall challenge.

Music: Walking Through the Maze of Time

Like with Schwarzstrom, we get a marginally respectable amount of EXP and item drops based on the methods of slaying the boss (Coup de Grace currently does Momentum/Link/Light/Shadow/Time and we Over Killed it.)

Once again, that’s because the Ruler of Time respawns. As soon as we leave Laniff Ruins, all the bosses will respawn. You’re not required to do the entire boss rush again to reactivate the super boss. But, hell if I’m ever going to fight it again. Let’s bounce!

There is one final stop in our journey of end game content in I Am Setsuna. Remember Morthshaw Woods from the beginning of the side quest block?

There was a mysterious portal here earlier which we opted to skip past for a later date. Well, the time has come to see what’s beyond that gate...

Tune in next time for an area that had more effort put into it than the last half dozen dungeons combined!

Video: Ruler of Time Attack Demo