The Let's Play Archive

Septerra Core

by ToxicFrog

Part 17: A terrible accident

17: A terrible accident

The party returns to the Ill Repute to contemplate their next move. But hang on, what's this outside the bar?

It says "Danger - Explosives".
If anyone hit these explosives, the sholw crate would go up.
Explosives like these are easily triggered.

Asking either Led or Grub to look at the base of the crane will cause them to fiddle with it and lower the crate to ground level.

These chains are not as strong as they appear.
I think there's a weak link in this chain.

However, there's nothing more we can do with it; we can't, for example, carry it over to the entrance to the bounty hunter headquarters and detonate it.

Perhaps, now that we know why we need it, Loch will hand over the bounty hunter access key?

Even a beatin' can't teach you manners, can it!
[fight] What a disgusting little man...
Mind yer manners, little girl, or I'll have to teach you a lesson! HA HA HA!
That's it! We'll take care of this outside...

Nope. All we get is another fight with him.

I say, Maya's aim looks a bit off there.

Oh my god! She hit the explosives!

Loch is dead...all that's left of him is his key.

Clearly the only right thing to do is to take this key to the bounty hunter headquarters and deliver it to his next of kin. A poor memorial, but it will have to suffice. Grubb and Led have seen enough for one day, so let's take Corgan and Selina; perhaps it'll keep them from each other's throats, and Led and Grubb can unwind by taking apart Runner and putting him back together again.

I stop briefly at the store to grab some new gear for Corgan and Selina. This is the first look we've gotten at Selina's stats, and they're pretty impressive; her Strike and Power are lacklustre, but that's because she's still wielding her starting weapon, and her everything else is pretty good. With a better sword, she'd match Corgan in hitting-things power and exceed Grubb - albeit just barely - as a spellcaster, while falling squarely between them in speed.

She starts with a single ability, Curse Strike. Curse is Septerra Core's general debuff; it reduces all of a target's stats. However, at 20 Core, Curse Strike is not at all worth it.

Loch's key unlocks the secret sewer entrance to the bounty hunter headquarters.

The sewers are mercifully short, consisting of a single twisting path of rusty grating.

Along the way are a few fights. This Sonic Maggot/Blood Maggots fight plays out pretty much the same as the fights in the Ankaran tunnel, except that the Blood Maggots have an attack that hits everyone near them.

The party makes short work of them.

There's also anothing armour-plated crab, the Sea Crab. Like its Shell 2 brethren, it is highly resistant to attakc; that 4 is from a fully-charged attack by Selina.

Even Cursing it doesn't have a noticeable effect.

Finally, for added fun, it has a hit-all attack. Fortunately it doesn't do much damage.

Those aren't the only fights in the sewers, but they're the only ones that introduce new enemies, and the rest are boring. So let's skip straight to the bounty hunter hideout itself.

Map - Shell 4 Bounty Hunter Headquarters

Hey! We accidentally blew up Loch and we're here to deliver his effects!

Sadly, the bounty hunters are disinclined towards forgiveness, and we are left with no choice but to enact a policy of TOTAL BOUNTY HUNTER GENOCIDE.

All the enemies in the hideout are ones we're run into before, or slightly upgunned recolours thereof. The only one with a new trick is this Cyclone with the black miasma around him...

...he can cloak.

Cloaked characters can still act normally, and can still be targeted, but are nearly impossible to hit. Later on we get a way to break cloaks - and cloak our own party members - but until then there's nothing to do but wait it out.

Unfortunately, while waiting it out, Corgan decides that the real solution is to kill Selina. This is the problem with asking someone to fight alongside the person directly responsible for the razing of their hometown and death of almost everyone they know and love; whenever you have both Corgan and Selina in the party, there's a chance that Corgan will attack Selina as soon as his time bar fills, before you can enter any commands.

Fortunately, these attacks are one-off; he won't go hostile for the rest of the combat.

As soon as the cloak drops, we're on him, but Selina is looking a bit ragged around the edges. Conveniently, there's one summon I haven't demonstrated yet: Heal + Summon.

Kyra appears, spreads her wings, and twirls around, releasing a burst of light...

...and Selina is healed. When I said Summon makes everything awesome, I didn't just mean attack spells.

Circling around the area, we find a chest in the northwest corner. It's guarded by not much of consequence, and the loot is similarly disappointing - a Wallet, an accessory that protects partially from Steal. Since Steal only ever takes gold, never takes much of it, and is used only rarely by a tiny minority of enemies, you will gain more money by selling it than you will lose by not having it equipped.

Guarding the cell in the lower left are these guys. As it happens, Corgan has learned a new ability just in time to test it on them.

Core Force, like Runner's beam attack, hits all enemies in line with the target. It's also very cheap, at 3 Core.

The damage is better than a normal tier-2 attack, too, so even against single targets it's a cheap way to boost damage output.

In the cell we find Araym, but the door is locked and the party can't yell through the door to him.

This switch in the middle of the area opens the door.

Name's Araym. Thanks for letting me out...I got a date at the Brothel.

Araym, as a playable character, is spared from the TOTAL BOUNTY HUNTER GENOCIDE. On the way out, however...

The escape through the sewers consists of a series of fights against more bounty hunters. If you can handle the headquarters, there's nothing there worth worrying about.

Finally, the party escapes and makes it back to the Ill Repute.

Araym, who busted you out?
Has Lacey got my stuff?
She' s upstairs.

Araym runs upstairs to get his stuff. When he returns wearing his arms, however, Corgan suddenly recognizes him.

A friend of yours, or ours?
He's a Bounty Hunter.
I didn't kill anyone. The other bounty hunters even went after me because I didn't follow orders in Wind City.
What's with your arms?
I lost them during the Jinam Resource wars with Ankara, following stupid orders and killing innocent people. My new arms are a weapon, and a bitter reminder of my past. They remind me never to follow orders blindly. I do what I want, when I want, for whom I want. If I join you, you must remember this, or I will go my own way.

Awesome, he's not just a bounty hunter - he's an emo bounty hunter!

We could use any help we can get.
If it'll get me outta this city, I'm in!
We're trying to get off this shell.
I know a captain down by the ship ports. Just get me there.
Why should we trust either of them?
Who DO you trust? My conscience tells me to stop Doskias' plans, but my heart tells me to save him, perhaps from himself.
That may not be possible.
Enough! I don't have the time to waste on your arguments...If you won't help me, I'll stop Doskias myself!

She storms out.

I told you she would betray us.

Well, we've lost Selina, but we've gained Araym; and that means we can head to Shell 7 now. First, though, let's detour briefly to Shell 3.

You can actually do this at any time after arriving on Shell 4; you don't need Araym with you.

On our way to Layla's base camp, we can see the remains of Jinam wedged under the shell, interwoven with the now-dormant Doomsday tentacles.

Doskias got to Shell 5 first. He wiped out Ankara and Jinam.
Ankara is in ruins; Jinam was raised until it slammed under your own world shell.
Ahh...that must be the cause of all the earthquakes recently...
Have you seen Doskias' ship return?
No. He seems to have disappeared.
He's mining the Core.
The source of the wealth of the Shell 5 nations...No wonder he wanted them out of the picture. What does he plan to do with it?
To create giant lenses and cause an artificial conjunction. The Chosen Lord Gunnar believes Doskias' actions could give him untold power.
He must be stopped!

Layla takes the destruction of Jinam surprisingly calmly. Yes, she has a lot her mind, but that's still a pretty laconic response to "one of the nations you sent us to ask for help has been wiped out by a continent-destroying superweapon".

[talk] Gunnar told me Doskias is mining the Core.
You've allied yourself with a Chosen?
They don't seem to be a unified nation. More like tribes that all pay allegiance to one emperor.
And Doskias? He no longer pays allegiance?
No...Perhaps with the Chosen's help, we can stop him from gaining the power of the Core.
[talk] Any news from the town of Armstrong?
I'm afraid no survivors have been found, Corgan...
[talk] What's yer name, wench?
You're a brash one.
I'll wager ya like that...
Maya, you do run with strange wolves.

Strangely, Layla doesn't seem to connect Araym with the massacre at Wind City, and Corgan doesn't remind her.

Also, since we can do this before Araym joins, we can also bring Selina along:

I'm sorry for all that I have done...can you ever forgive me?
Weep, my lady. For flowers, once harvested, do not grow again.

Frankly, that's better than I expected things to go.

Layla also has the usual range of conversation topics:

[Holy Guard] It seems that the Chosen are looking for scattered groups of the Holy Guard.
That means there are more survivors than just us. Let's pray that we find them first.
[Library] How goes the resistance in the Library?
They have gathered much help. People begin, slowly, to desire the fight.
[Farm] How goes it in SouthFarm?
Most of the men have been forced to work the farm to supply the Chosen with fresh parts for their demon ships...

Shell 3 isn't exactly under control, but it looks like it'll keep until we finish dealing with Doskias's mining operations.

On the way back to Shell 4, there's a detour to make.

In the catacombs, someone's set up a simple memorial to Bowman and the rest of the Holy Guard. Maya isn't particularly happy about rummaging through it...but we need all the help we can get.

Opening the chest gets us the Resurrect card. It's better than a SmellSalts but worse than a Kyra's Tear. Personally I find that the hefty Core cost isn't really worth it, considering how cheap SmellSalts are.

I know some of you wanted to see me clean out the secret forest, but sadly, we're not nearly powerful enough for that yet.

The first battle goes smoothly, as does the second...

However, the third battle is Adventures In Getting The Entire Party One-Shotted By Something That Takes Negligible Damage From Your Most Powerful Attacks.

It's time to head back to Shell 4.

Back at the Ill Repute, I swap out Corgan for Runner, and take a look at Araym's stats. He's actually a lot better than I remembered; he's an excellent caster, he hits just as hard as Maya (and hits everything in a line with his attack), and he's disgustingly fast. His only real drawback is that he's a bit fragile. He doesn't come with any skills yet, but he does have three slots for skill modules.

Hey, how's it goin'?
Made some new friends, eh Araym?
Aye, and they're lookin' for passage to Shell 7. Think you can get us there?
Just tell me when yer ready...
Anytime you want, Maya, but remember that I have to go with, or the captain won't go.

Simple as that, the option to go to Shell 7 is now open to us.

As we follow the captain to his ship, however, we walk right into a trap.

Who's this loser?
My former boss, the leader of the Bounty Hunters.
I figure you still owe me for all the trouble you've caused me, Araym. Now pay up!

And we fight it out. This doesn't even qualify as a boss fight; Duke is no harder than he was on Shell 3, and Araym's on our side now.

Araym still has his arm-shooting abilities; Duke still has explosives; Runner is still awesome.

Araym deals the finishing blow, and the path to the transport is clear.

Let's get out of here.

Next time, on Let's Play Septerra Core: fungus! Bioluminescence! Ultrasonics!

Also, if you have any preference for who you want to accompany Maya and Araym, now's the time to voice them.