The Let's Play Archive

Septerra Core

by ToxicFrog


Thank Fucking God, It's Over

For those of you who've forgotten - which is entirely reasonable given how long it's been since I updated this thing - we left off in the putrid bowels of the Palace of the Chosen, trying to reach the Emperor before Doskias's forces can pull off a coup d'etat.

After slapping around one of the Magi, we got the red key, which means more backtracking to this door.

Which contains #2, the Seer. Hooray.

The fight starts off pretty normally. He hits you with a variety of elemental attacks; you hit him with whatever you like.

Hit him enough and he vanishes, leaving behind three balls.

These will hit you for embarrassingly little damage...

Until you finally kill them all and the Seer reappears. Repeating this process until he dies results in the usual assortment of money, experience, and healing items, as well as the Slow card and the yellow palace key.

Which means backtracking to the main hall, which has now sprouted robots, and finding the yellow door.

This area of the palace contains a fiendish puzzle, so I'll take it step by step.

Step 1: follow the outer right path all the way to the end and pull the lever.

Step 2: follow the outer left path all the way to the end and pull the lever.

Step 3: follow the center right path all the way to the end and pull the lever.

Step 4: follow the center left path all the way to the end and pull the lever.

Step 5: kill yourself and then whoever designed this level follow the center path all the way to the end for a boss fight.

To be fair, it's slightly more complex than that.

For example, you can find a Red Star (useless) and an Armour Seal (also useless).

And you can run into enemies who know Cloak, Barrier, and Haste, for the fuck-you trifecta of being faster than your entire party combined, taking half damage from everything, and being completely impossible to hit in any case.

Oh yes, and they have area attacks too.

Have I mentioned how much I hate this part of the game? I genuinely have no idea how I completed it as a kid.

Anyways. The bossfight. This is number three, the Listener. Like the others, he has three balls.

Hitting him, or the balls, while they're in play will trigger a fairly nasty counterattack. You can get rid of them safely by attacking them in the right order, or you can do what I did, abandon all pretense at tactics, and take out all the frustration this dungeon has generated on him in an orgy of high-damage spells, healing occasionally.

And when he finally keels over, you get a cutscene.

I defeated you once, Doskias. I can do it again.
Don't be so sure, Gunnar. Do you not recognize my weapon?
It can't be...Gemma's Blade?
I've been doing a little archaeology. Gemma's Blade, forged in hellfire and used against Marduk himself!
Now I know you to be a heretic! You claim to follow Marduk, but you do Gemma's work!
Fool! I am the direct descendant of Marduk! I am the savior of Septerra! I do not Gemma's bidding, but the Lord's. Did not Marduk turn Gemma's daemons against him? Did he not trap them and call them for his own? As Marduk once did, I shall use the very forces of darkness to fight for light!
You're mad!

Nothing stands in my way now except the Emperor. But he will not stand for long...

Gunnar's plan to "end Doskias's treason by ending his life"? Not going so well.

Meanwhile, back at the player characters, we now have the green key which opens the door to the throne room.

No...I must stay and confront Doskias with honor.
Would he do the same for you?

Aspertine drifts forward to hand something to Alisa.

Take this and keep it safe.
The Imperial Seal?
It is proof of your bloodline. One day you will use it reclaim the throne from the Heretic.
I won't leave you here to die!
Go! If we both die, our bloodline ends today. Go...

Moments after Alisa flees the throne room, the Magi show up. I don't know why they were carrying all those fucking keys, they clearly don't need them.

For that matter, why did they even spend so long dicking around in locked rooms waiting for me to show up? They could have been in here an hour ago!

The Heretic can't be bothered to kill me in person? He has to send his Hellspawn!
You will know soon enough if we are the spawn of hell...You may ask Gemma, when you meet him in the Pits of Jaanak!

And the party shows up just in time to not save the emperor. Today's score: Doskias 2, good guys 1/2.

The tomb of the powers of peace are near full...brothers, add these interlopers to its coffers.

And it's the last fight against the Magi. Apart from ball-creation, they have pretty much the same attacks they did before - you're just fighting all three at once. The main difference is in how their defences work.

What you're meant to do is attack the Listener, who has lots of armour but will emit light when struck, injuring the Seer. Once the Seer goes down, attacking the Speaker will hurt the Listener a lot more than attacking directly will, and once he dies you just need to deal with the Speaker, who is relatively weak.

However, I forgot all of this and opened the fight by immolating the Speaker with a single attack, leaving the two more dangerous Magi completely unharmed.

The rest of the fight was a tedious slapfight between Team Protagonists and Red Mage.

The Law card I got from the Speaker proves useful here; then I finally do what I should have done at the start and cast Slow on him to reduce the incoming damage even more, which turns out to be a waste of time because the next attack finishes him off anyways.

And he drops something interesting.

This must be one of the Keys that Gunnar spoke of.

Shoot, Doskias's forces! We're trapped...unless we jump.

Having killed every living thing in the imperial palace, including Doskias's personal bodyguards twice, Maya decides she's sick of violence and tries to end it all.

I can't let him have this key...

Her efforts are in vain, however, as the game designers forgot to implement falling damage. Selina lingers briefly to pay her last respects to the Emperor, and the whole party runs for the exit to the world map.

Tune in next time, which will hopefully be before the end of February, for more sidequesting and ancient artifacts.