The Let's Play Archive

Septerra Core

by ToxicFrog

Part 33: Temple

33: Temple

Here we are at the Temple of the Chosen.

And we're not five steps in before we're stopped cold by a locked door.

Something has been ripped out of this panel...
A cable's missing from the panel.
This is a Chosen Temple. Our people use light to allow our bio-computers to talk to each other. This door is not responding because it has no communication line.

Bringing Selina along pays off! The Chosen systems use fiber optics; maybe the optic vine is what we need?

Behind the door is a staircase, and up the stairs...

It's the ninth bird! Only one more to go!

The rest of the temple is, well, this. Stone floors, stone walls, bugs crawling around and setting you on fire. The game is not fucking around; the white-and-brown bugs can easily kill a party member in two hits.

Fortunately, we aren't fucking around either. Spells like Unheal or Flame Strike suffice for most fights, and for harder targets we still have Big Bang.

Or this other little thing we can do with our new Chaos card.

Summon Gemma, like Summon Marduk, is just a big ball of damage with no other features.

The only real point of interest in this area is a chest in the northwest holding the Speed card. We could fake it earlier with Mirror Slow, but now it's cheaper, at least.

There's a locked door to the northeast, but with no key we have no option but to press further into the ruins.

If, looking at this map, you think that this part of the temple will involve a lot of running around flipping levers to open doors, congratulations, you're correct.

However, since every dungeon in this game involves running around flipping levers to open doors, I'm not sure you deserve a prize.




You get the idea. There's a few healing items scattered around this area, and a Holy Relic (immunity to Curse), but the real point of this area is just to get the Red Key and return.

Behind the red door is...another lever! This one is a bit more interesting, though.

Pulling it causes a lot of bridges to rise and fall, completely reshaping this area.

We're now cut off from the entrance, but a new exit to the southwest is open.

This new area ups the ante slightly, with crabs and demons.

The crabs die like all the rest to Big Bang.

The demons are a bit more dangerous, but only in that they can usually get a few fireballs off before they die.

At this point, the game really has ceased to be a challenge, at least until the endgame. With a caster party, pretty much anything will die in one hit. The best casters in the game are also the fastest characters, so this means most enemies die without ever getting to take action. And by now, you should be rich enough to buy an endless supply of Core Relics and Core Runes.

This area has the same lever-bridge deal...

...culminating in a box with the Ancient Talisman in it.

The box also contains the Cloak card. This lets us give a massive "fuck you" to anything we're fighting, but better yet, it also lets us remove cloaks by combining it with Mirror. Pity we don't get this until after the Chosen Palace, where most of the cloaking enemies in the game are!

Of course, now that you have it, you need to get out, which basically means replaying everything you did to get here backwards, less the detour to get the red key.

Inside the Factory, who do we find but Tori!

Is Layla okay?
Yeah, I brought her from the ship. I - uh, wanted to help out.
Are you going soft, Tori?
NO! I just feel...responsible for some of this, for what I got you into.
Wow, you're finally growing up, Tori.

How long have you been here?
Over a thousand years.
Impossible! That's how long the Chosen have been on the upper shell...And yet, you seem more advanced.

Good. Now, where is the Ancient Chosen Talisman?

For some reason the Talisman doesn't show up in screenshots. Don't worry, we'll see it again later, because...

You may keep the Talisman, child.
Why did we have to get it, if you're not going to use it?
One day, you shall need it.

I would rage at them for sending us to that temple for nothing, but they're right, we will need it later.

The healing will begin. Go to the Cathedral on shell 3 and await the return of your friend. But be warned, no one touches the realm of the dead and returns unchanged...
Thank you.
Do not return here...go now.

In wind city, a large crowd has gathered around the cathedral.

What's going on?
The Lady has entered the Cathedral...She is truly a sight!
They aren't going anywhere anytime soon.

This is why Corgan is in the party.

As a Guard of Wind City, I command you all to stand aside and yield!
Maya, stay here, I must go alone.
I understand.

Where is my love? What have you done with her?

It was the only way to save me, dearest Corgan. The Watchers had no choice.
Are you really...Layla? Or are you one of them?
A part of me will always love you, Corgan, but the Layla you knew is gone. She paid for her recklessness by meeting death. Now she has learned, and become one of the Watchers.
Don't be sad. I am part of a larger consciousness now - I have evolved into something much greater than Layla ever was. Now I must help to lead the people of Septerra against the forces of chaos.

Please come here to seek information whenever you need it.
Are of them?
I am all that Layla was, and all the Watchers are. I am here, and I am there. I am myself, I am everyone.
Watchers? Who are they...Why have they done this?
They were once part of the Chosen, but stayed behind when their brethren ascended to the upper layer, so long ago. They have been observing ever since, waiting for the day to act. I am that first step.

How can we save the world?
We must wait for Doskias to attempt his next shell movement. When he does, we will be ready to save those people he would throw away. We cannot allow Doskias to receive the power of the gift of the Creator! He would use it to subdue all people, to enslave them to his will!
But eventually we'll have to complete the task, raise the final shell piece ourselves...

I am yours to command, Lady.
You serve Marduk well...

You are truly a sign from the Creator...
You have much to learn of the gods, Selina. You worshiped a mere man, capable of seeing only a fraction of his destiny.

As long as Layla's here, we may as well ask her about everything we can.

What can you tell me of the Chosen?

We were once of the Chosen, the ancient people of Marduk's city. Many years after Marduk's reign, our people tapped the power of the Spine and learned to reshape nature. But we also learned that to fully use the energy and knowledge of the Spine, we would have to travel to the upper shell, and draw that power from the north pole of the planet itself. Our people began the long journey, abandoning the ancient capitol of Babylon. The Chosen believe in power through strength and war. that from conflict comes growth. The Watchers left
their ranks because we believed in the power of the mind.

Why did the Creator leave us?
The Creator left when his work here was done. No one knows what will happen when the land is raised to form the Runes. Some think god-like powers will be gained, some say fabulous riches, others believe we will be able to communicate with the Creator, or ask for his help. But one thing is certain. Marduk prophesized that one day, we would need to solve his Legacy in order to save the world.

Who are the Watchers?
We were once of the Chosen, but left when our philosophies conflicted. Marduk teaches us that every man must walk through darkness battling great eviI, to attain the Gift of God. The Chosen take this literally. Like Doskias, they believe that they must battle a tangible evil. The Watchers believe Marduk meant that each one of us must walk through the darkness of our souls, confronting our own evil, to obtain enlightenment, the greatest gift God can give.
Are the Watchers robots?
No, we merely have no need for the cage of flesh. We are free to wander, one soul, one consciousness, communicating to the outside world through these bodies built from the scrap of Oasis. We have watched and waited, choosing not to meddle in the affairs of men, until the day when prophecies of salvation would come to bear fruit. All of their knowledge is a part of me, and all of myself is a part of them.

How did the Chosen find the Keys that Marduk hid?
They were unearthed near the North and South Poles of the upper World Shell, where they'd been hidden. Marduk teaches us that the keys would be found when they were needed to save the world, and that we could use them to unlock the Core. But Doskias was impatient, and decided to steal them from his tamper with the natural order of the world by bringing light to the Core prematurely. In doing so, he has indeed brought the world to the brink of destruction.

Why did the Creator make the Keys?
To allow man one day to obtain greater power. Or perhaps to allow us one day to obtain heaven on earth. No one really knows. The Chosen believe that the person who completes the Prophesy will wield the power of heaven, and use it for whatever purpose he desires.
What do the Watchers believe?
Some of us believe that it matters not the person who completes it, but that the Creator will judge all of us, and grant us the Gift only if we are worthy. That is why we must oppose Doskias. His actions doom us all.

That's all Layla has to say...for now. What next? What else but heading to Southfarm to talk to General Campbell?

Voting time! Araym is mandatory for the next part, and a lengthy part it is, so pick one character to descend with Maya and Araym into the depths of Hell itself.

Malachite_Dragon posted:

If I'd known I was going to get control of the brick wall known as Badu, I might- MIGHT- have stayed the course in playing this thing. As it is, I always find my Shogo CD just before Septera, and... well, Shogo is easier to play

After the next two updates, you might be glad you didn't.