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Shadow Hearts: Covenant

by kethryveris

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Original Thread: Check his flower pot for gay porn! Let's Play Shadow Hearts: Covenant!

If you liked this LP, you might also like Shadow Hearts by kethryveris, Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind by Musical_Daredevil and Earthbound by Travis343

Introduction

Before beginning, you may want to read my Let's Play for the first game, available here at the Let's Play Archive: Shadow Hearts.



Shadow Hearts: Covenant, aka Shadow Hearts 2, was developed by Nautilus and published by Aruze in Japan and Midway in North America and Europe. Released in the US in 2004, it was named RPG Vault's PS2 Game of the Year.



Except for where we set it on an alternate-Earth, so all the country names are the same. And we named several characters after real historical people.


The story of Shadow Hearts: Covenant directly follows the events of Shadow Hearts, a half year later. Alice has died as a result of the Four Masks' curse, and Yuri has disappeared. World War I, the Great War, rages across Europe, and our story begins in a small village in France that has resisted the German invasion...


Updates twice a week.
This is a hybrid LP. Look for these buttons -

- to view commentary free video of selected scenes and boss battles.

Table of Contents

Characters

Yuri Volte Hyuga

The Godslayer. Born to a Russian mother and a Japanese father, Yuri was orphaned at a young age. Although the traumatic events of his childhood have left his personality a bit rough around the edges, Yuri is basically a good guy. As stubborn as a mule, he firmly believes that mankind can write their own destiny without any outside interference.

In his human form, Yuri is the second strongest attacker in the party, and his Fusions make him the most versatile character in the game. He can eventually fill any missing role in your battle formation, be it Offense, Defense, Healer, or Mage.

Karin Koenig

A German army officer before she ran afoul of Nicolai, Karin is nearly as stubborn as Yuri, although she (usually) uses her brain. She says she's staying with the group because Sapientes Gladio will be hunting for her, but she probably has ulterior motives for sticking close to Yuri.

Karin is balanced between physical and magical stats. She hits well with her blade, and her Sword Arts skill has the potential to become truly devastating. She also isn't half-bad with Crest Magic.

Blanca

The White Wolf of Domremy. True to anime conventions, Blanca is the smartest and most level-headed of the group. Beyond being raised by Jeanne since he was a pup, Blanca's origins are a mystery even to him.

Another balanced character, Blanca will earn attack and healing skills by competing in the Wolf Bouts.

Gepetto

A lonely old man with dubious associates and even more dubious taste, Gepetto is a retired puppeteer who has decided to spend his golden years annoying the hell out of Yuri. At least when he's doing that he's not playing with dolls or collecting gay porn.

Gepetto is the party's first mage, and he casts his spells through his living marionette, Cornelia. Getting new dresses for her lets Gepetto learn new spells, and the old man can also equip a respectable number of Magic Crests.

Joachim Valentine

Yuri met Keith's brother in the first game as the Golden Bat when Keith fought him to earn his ancestor's sword, although Yuri doesn't seem to remember. Since then, Joachim has left Blue Castle for reasons unknown and picked up pro-wrestling lessons along the way. He also seems to think that he's Sailor Moon.

Like Keith, Joachim fills the spot of the party's tank with his huge physical attack and defense potential, which is further enhanced by his vampiric Drain Touch skill. Add to that his powerful (though somewhat unpredictable) transformation abilities and his learned Muscle Arts, and you've got one of the best battle members of the game.

Lucia

A beautiful fortuneteller and dancer from Italy, Lucia has the unfortunate drawback of being, well, retarded. She's like Forrest Gump, except without the good-natured innocence.

Lucia is the second mage to join the party. While Gepetto's magic is geared for offense, hers is tailored to support. Aromatherapy can be hugely beneficial and powerful, although it does not affect Lucia herself. Tarot can be equally powerful, but it is extremely risky to use due to the randomness and the possibility for negative effects.

Princess Anastasia Romanov

The headstrong youngest daughter of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, Anastasia is determined to protect her family and beloved homeland from the dark intentions of the Mad Monk, Rasputin. Like most teenagers (she's 14), she has very little regard for her own safety and believes that she always makes the correct decisions. She also has a thing for pretty-boys.

Anastasia is the third and final mage to join the party. Her Album ability is nicely balanced between attack and support. Her main drawback is that she has the smallest SP pool of anyone in the party.

Kurando Inugami

Kurando was met by chance on the streets of Yokohama where he was working as a bodyguard. Reserved almost to the point of being shy, he first joined the party to rescue the daughter of his Master, Naniwa Kawashima. Soon after the rescue mission, he becomes a permanent member of the group.

Kurando is the final party member to be recruited. He is a mostly physical fighter and is a Harmonixer, like Yuri. Also like Yuri, he cannot equip Crests. Since he only has one Fusion form this makes him far less versatile, although his mother hints that he has more powers to be unlocked.

And here's some neat stuff dug up by Azure_Horizon:

Azure_Horizon posted:

I hate to double-post but I wanted to throw this in the thread since I recently read up on it (despite being a fan of this series for years, I never researched this), but the Judgment Ring has some awesome stuff on it that you can't really see in-game. The design of it changes between games, reflecting the nature of the games pretty well, I feel. Took this stuff from the SH Wiki.

Shadow Hearts 1's design



The first game has a bit of a Masonic design. The words Sator arepo tenet opera rotas appear on the outside, which makes up the Sator Square, and it's a Latin palindrome. It can translate any number of ways, since the words themselves are varied in their definition:

Sator
Sower, planter; founder, progenitor (usually divine); originator

Arepo
(arrepo) (I) creep/move stealthily towards, also trust, or likely an invented proper name; its similarity with arrepo, from ad repo, 'I creep towards', may be coincidental

Tenet
holds, keeps; comprehends; possesses; masters; preserves

Opera
(a) work, care; aid, service, (an) effort/trouble

Rotas
(rota) wheel, rotate; (roto) (I) whirl around, revolve rotate; used in the Vulgate Psalms as a synonym for whirlwind and in Ezekiel as plain old wheels.

Arepo is unique in that it's a hapax legomenon, it appears nowhere else in Latin literature. If read boustrophedon (alternating from left-to-right and right-to-left in line reading), it reads SATOR OPERA TENET ("found, possess, care for"). Because of it being a four-way palindrome, it was said to have magical properties. The next ring has star signs and their symbols, which become a gameplay mechanic in From the New World.

In the semi-circles below that are names of the angels Zachariel, Samuel, Michael, Anael, Gabriel, and Raphael, as well as Venvs (Venus), Mercurivs (Mercury), Lvna (The Moon), Ivpiter (Jupiter), Mars, and Sol (Sun). The innermost circle has Halchymia (Alchemy), Medica (Medicine), Cabala (Kabbalah), Theologica (Theology), Magia (Magic), and Altrologica (Astrology). On the outer triangle is Ignis, Aer, and Aqua. The innermost triangle has Vegetalia, Mineralia, Terra, Wica (Wicca), and Ada (Hebrew for nobility).

Covenant's design



The Ring is much more esoteric, riddled with obtuse symbolism and Latin script. The three eyes in the first Ring's design (which to Roger Bacon were determination, action, and outcome) are replaced with stars. The innermost triangle disappeared and became a heart ("Cor" can be seen in Latin) nestled in a mistletoe tree (the biggest plot point in Covenant, labeled as "Viscum"). Sol, Luna, and Terra are now in a triangle of their own. Halchymia, Medica, etc. reappear as well.

Around the inner circle are the planets in the solar system, which include Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. The words written around the planets read Immensa caeli machina (In the immense heavenly machine), Numquam rotando deficit (At no time falling short of their spin), Planeta quisque proprium eundo motum conficit (Each planet moves and goes of its own accord). The leftmost spoke has Diabolos, the rightmost spoke, Angelis. This is emphasized by the rightmost spoke having angel wings, the leftmost having bat or demonic wings.

The inscription on the ring reads, HINC OMNE QUOD COELO SUBEST ORTUM EXITUM QUE POSTULAT (Hence, everything that is under heaven, the rise and ruin, shall he demand). This, as well as the quotes in the previous paragraph, are extracts from a poem by a German missionary, Johann Adam Schall von Bell, who was describing both God and the Chinese Emperor at the time.

I'll go into FTNW's design whenever that is LPed, but it doesn't have much significant changes from Covenant's Ring. I have to say the Judgment Ring is my favorite piece of art made for videogames.


Fan Art!

Daigerus posted:

Forgive the sketchiness, I just wanted to put this up before this awesomeness got archived.

This is probably one of my favorite moments in the game, except more exaggerated and in animated, chibi gif form!


Also, a what-if scenario in one-panel-comic form!


Here's Spinning Yuri in avatar size, in case anyone feels compelled enough:

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