FGO Septem: Thoughts and Reactions

WHOOO boy it’s been awhile since I’ve been able to post. 。(*^▽^*)ゞ Even with this year being the most relaxed Christmas I’ve had in years, there was still enough going on that writing took a bit of a back seat. I’ll have to keep that in mind when planning for next year!

But for now we are creeping up on 2018, and I’ve got a list of a bunch of other games I’m already outlining my experiences with for future journals. So I wanted to get down my thoughts in one more FGO post before we launch into the Saber Wars event next month. Back when the story quest half AP campaign was live I managed to rocket through Septem and take care of a few interludes. So with that said, let’s hop right to it!

To be perfectly honest Septem didn’t hit me as hard as the story for Orleans did. I felt that the Orleans map was a very strong opening for the game after Fuyuki because where Fuyuki focused on the technical aspects of the game’s plot, Orleans delved into the more emotional aspect of the servants and what screwing up history would mean for certain people. And while it didn’t exactly fit the canon from the rest of the Fate universe, there were still plenty of interesting concepts that the writers explored. I always felt engaged and wanted to know what would happen next.

Frankly Orleans is a tough act to follow in that regard. So I can’t really blame the writers for Septem falling flat in comparison. But boy is it flat! I didn’t feel any emotional pull towards the scenario and I found myself wanting to speed through quests just to get it done. Talk about a complete 180 from the last chapter!

Why Was The Story Boring?

For one thing I think the convoluted plot got in the way of everything else. Orleans’ plot was simple: Jeanne Alter is born filled with hate towards the people who let her die after she had given her life for France. And so she’s off to get her revenge. We step in to stop it. While the plot was overwhelmingly simple and even cliché, its simplicity left plenty of room for the writers to branch out. They had room to play with character motivations and emotional reactions. That’s the power a simple concept has for storytelling: it gives you flexibility.

Meanwhile in Septem I was scratching my head over a lot of it. Essentially Emperor Nero has just spread her great Roman Empire far and wide, but thanks to the singularity new “fake emperors” have come and stole some of her territory right from under her nose. Now there’s a war between Nero and these new emperors, and we step in with our charming little kohai to help set things straight by fighting under Nero’s flag.

So it starts out simple: we just have to go and discover the identity of each of these fake emperors and then beat them, right?

Well, not really.

Remember that asshat Lev Lainur? (Which by the way: I thought he was “Lef Lenore” when the game was first translated? Did they change their mind or is my memory wonky?) Yeah, after being completely MIA since the end of Fuyuki he magically becomes relevant again in Septem. However he doesn’t appear until a few quests in: until then we just know he’s back because of some assumptions the Doc makes.

Which he doesn’t even really have evidence for those assumptions either. It amounts to: “What a convoluted setup! This must be Lev’s doing!”

To which I can’t help but think: “If that’s how you feel, then why didn’t you make that same assumption last chapter?”

In other words there’s a lot of inconsistency in Septem, and as I got closer to the end more and more weird things got piled on. We had the gorgon island subplot, we had Caligula lust after Nero as a subplot that only lasted for two or three quests, Lev turns into a fucking demon, and then BOOM: Altera appears as Lev’s last resort and threatens to destroy ALL of Rome. Even the territories captured by the “fake” emperors.

And it just feels like the writers didn’t give us a chance to really dig our teeth into any of those subplots. They’re all decent ideas that could have turned into something very good, but rather than just pick one or even three of them they wanted to throw in everything AND the kitchen sink, and somehow have it all tie together within roughly 15 quests.

There Was Still Plenty to Like Though.

Nero is a treasure:

Despite all of the above shortcomings, there were plenty of things that kept the chapter fun and stopped me from skipping through in its entirety.

For one Nero’s personality carried this section of the game. She’s bubbly, she’s confident, but she’s also insecure about her place in the world and she’s shy. In other words they managed to keep her believable despite all the craziness happening elsewhere in the story. She’s not one of my favorite servants, BUT I thoroughly enjoyed getting to play with her and watching her react to everything.

In truth she had by far the best subplot and one of the two best emotional connections in the chapter. At one point you learn that the “fake” emperors are actually past emperors of Rome. So not only is Nero having to reclaim her territory, but she’s also having to fight against famous figures from her land’s history as well as family she had already lost.

Speaking of family: my knowledge of Roman history is terrible. So when Caligula appeared and started his really intense and creepy ass incest vibes I was just staring at my phone like: “whoa…was…was this a real thing!? (O∆O) .”

I mean I had heard of Caligula and that he was terrible, but had no idea that was part of his character. So I felt the need to go look that up, and sure enough, turns out Caligula was accused of incest with his sister/Nero’s mother, AND also whored out said sister to other men.

No WONDER Nero had such a conflicting reaction towards that bastard! ━(◯Δ◯∥)━ン Also fuck that noise: I am burning every copy of him that stops by my Chaldea (I’ve had two so far I think). I was creeped out by him to begin with, and now I just detest the asshole. None of that in my Chaldea! You can join the forever burn pile with Medea [old]. ( ︶︿︶)_╭∩╮

Despite the rage I think Nero’s reactions to Caligula were actually really well done. She feels sad to see him again because he’s her family. She feels bad she has to fight him because of that. But she’s also thoroughly disturbed by his obsession of her and her mother. And so Nero has to put on a brave front and stomp him flat, ignoring whatever fear or fondness for him she may have.

I also thought that the point where Nero first encounters Romulus as we stormed the enemy capital was particularly interesting. Nero comes face to face with her Empire’s legend, the true start of Rome…only to have him tell her it’s best for her to give up.

That would hurt. And it does shake Nero to her core. Unfortunately it only lasts for I think one quest? And then she’s right back to her “I AM ROME!” shtick.

Which goes back to my original point that everything seemed really rushed. I mean Orleans allowed us to watch Jeanne Ruler battle with her insecurities throughout the entirety of the map, so when she does overcome them to face “herself” it felt that much more satisfying. Here Nero comes off as a bit of a drama queen (to me). Granted she is, though a good-natured one, but that’s beside the point. Why couldn’t we have had a quest or two where we or even Boudica picks up the slack for a crestfallen Nero? Speaking of which:

Boudica had some promise.

I really, really wish Boudica had gotten more screen time, because the premise around her existence in this chapter is actually fantastic. The fact that she was willing to step in as a general for the Empress that took over her nation just because she didn’t want to see more people suffer and lose their homes says a lot about her character. There was also a lot of hinting at Nero regretting forcing Boudica to fight for her because of their history, but unfortunately we never see the two of them hash it out.

I mean I thoroughly enjoyed the campfire talks that Jeanne and Marie had, so why couldn’t Boudica and Nero go through something similar? Nothing quite as touchy-feely given their past, but it still felt wrong to end the chapter without either of them confronting how things came to be the way they are in the singularity.

I also severely enjoyed how she coddled Mash! It was nice to see a female character have a loving and doting complex over other girls rather than the typical: “Master’s MY husband/wife, back off!”

Boudica was a character that I didn’t really pay much attention to before, but after Septem I think I’ll consider finding a team to make her work in. She’s cute, caring, and has a lot of conviction. It also makes me feel a lot better about having her at NP5 XD

The demon design was on point.

I mean, JUST LOOK AT THIS THING!

I mean EWWWWW! (☍﹏⁰)。 As much as I hated Lev and all of his monologue-ing, his demon form was just the right amount of being grotesque and threatening. It felt so, SO good to beat him down! I also appreciate all the HP value jokes they give the enemies in this game.

Time to Prepare for Another Event!

All in all, I had fun going through Septem, but not as much fun as I did with Orleans. I’m really hoping Okeanos is better. Though there’s a big chance it will be for me simply just because I’m a pirate nerd, so I’m really looking forward to the possibilities there.

That being said I won’t hit Okeanos until after Saber Wars is finished. I actually have a good number of the featured servants so I have a lot of leveling up to do! But what else is new for me? I tend to slack in that department. 。(*^▽^*)ゞ

I also did some rolls in the last two banners. Only a few for the Archimedes and Lancer Alter banner as I’m not fond of either of them, and the feeling must be mutual because I didn’t get much of anything from those rolls. Now for the New Year pickup with Arjuna and Karna? Yeah…I’m terrible and decided to chuck my 60 quartz at two ten-pulls. Mainly because I had a strong feeling I’d get something out of it, and usually my intuition is right in that regard.

So what did I get? Well my first roll netted me Stheno and Limited Zero Over craft essence! Which I’m more than happy to have! Also now that Stheno has returned I can make my gorgon sisters team! <33

Meanwhile I completely forgot to take a screenshot of my second roll (-~-), however I wish I had. Because I actually received a second copy of Saber Alter! (۶ꈨຶꎁꈨຶ )۶ʸᵉᵃʰᵎ

I have no idea WHAT I did to earn her favor, but having her at NP2 feels really good! Needless to say, she’s getting that brand new Limited Zero Over. And I’ll try to have her at least in her first ascension before Saber Wars goes live.

So how are all of you doing? Did you have a good month? Any plans for New Year’s? What did you think about Septem’s story? Did you pull at any of the new London banners? Please feel free to discuss your experiences in the comments below!

And as always, thank you all so much for reading! I shall see you next time. See you later~ ( ´ ▽ ` )ノ