The Let's Play Archive


by The Dark Id

Part 8: Episode VIII: Just Following Orders

Episode VIII: Just Following Orders

With the defeat of the Doppelgänger Trio, the second permanent save point of the game is unlocked along with its restorative properties. Though we’re not that much in need of grinding at the moment. If step just past the holy font and examine the stained glass window, we may find something interesting.

There’s some kind of writing in red at the bottom, but it’s illegible because of the other colors. Maybe if you had something red to rub against it you could make out the letters.

Well, we did get something red recently. Not sure about the “rubbing against it” part of that message. Also the game just automatically uses it because all key items are auto-use ordeals. So, the Red Glass Part causes...

As you look at the numbers, you remember that the chest on the second floor had a 4-digit lock on it.

Hmm... We’ll just have to remember that code for the future. And by the future, I mean later in this update because if we go through the other door in this room, we go straight to Disc 2 and that chest is out of our reach for quite some time.

Speaking of time, another absurd requirement special item unlockable is nearly upon us. This time the fated hour is 2:22:22. Given the loads of items we’ve collected, we needed to unload our inventory down to 32 items (which this time only meant dumping some bread and a crummy weapon.)

I actually managed to do this save timer in one shot after mucking it up over a half dozen times the previous timer milestone. I... honestly don’t like the fact I’m getting better at Koudelka’s obtuse bullshit.

Fun fact: A lot of guides for this erroneously state you need to be at a permanent save point to unlock the hidden items. That’s not at all the case. Temporary Save Points work too, if they’re far more fickle to pull off since they only present themselves when first entering the appropriate room. The reason some guides say a permanent save point is required is because the Japanese version of Koudelka ONLY had Permanent Save Point spots. The temporary save spots were added to the western releases because nearly an hour between save points which require a boss to be defeated is a wee bit unfair to the player.

Also no save points until about 45 minutes into the game is a good way to make nobody play your game... Well, dissuade all twelve people who actually played it even further...

Our reward this time is a shirt from the other member of the sweet Welsh alleged mass murderer and definite poisoner duo, the Hartmans.

Ogden’s Shirt is actually just a fancy version of Rags, the very lowest level armor in the game. But hey, considering our party has seen exactly zero armor drops thus far... it’s a bit of a boon.

The Rags armor only raises PIE by seven points. Given that Edward is a fussy eater when it comes to pastries, his PIE stat is extremely low compared to Koudelka or James. So we’ll slip this shirt on him. Plus, making someone wear the shirt of a guy who poisoned him hours earlier is funny to me.

Anyway, let’s retrace our steps back to outside the Mummy Bride and Koudelka Possession room to that locked chest we passed whose code we now possess. 7-0-3-8. The code isn’t randomized. It’s always 7038. We could have cheated and opened this the first time we passed here. But there’s no critical items in here. Instead...

...We just have lore. Quite a bit of it, in fact. The Guard’s Diary unlocks a Read option in the game’s menu. It’s just a mountain of text, so I added some visual aids. So, just sit back and grab yourself an exposition sandwich. Just make sure it’s not made with Solaris Beef.

1st June, 1716

It's been two month since I left Canterbury, owing to my stay at St. Claire's. Lord Webster had said that the weather would be warm at this time of the year, but it's still brisk in the fishing village lining the coast. After days of being knocked about in a carriage, I have finally arrived at Nemeton Prison—an evil-looking place, leering down on a barrel plain from atop a cliff battered by the chill sea breezes.

Lord Webster told me to keep the strictest confidence. I cannot say what lies within this old, lonely building; only that while I am yet young, I have been a guard many years, but I have never seen nor heard of a gaol built in a place such as this. While Lord Webster didn't tell me much about the prison's history, it is easy to imagine the part this foreboding place played in quieting conspiracies and political struggles... Although I do not look forward to spending my days here,

I have no choice.
My family depends on it.

2nd June, 1716

Nemeton Prison... A hell on earth. While conditions here are no worse than Newgate, they are no better. I had imagined it would be so, but imagining a thing and actually experiencing it are different. I shudder to think of the countless souls imprisoned here over the centuries. There are people from all walks of life here -- from members of the Pale removed from contention for an inheritance to simple barbers locked away to prevent them from repeating what they innocently heard while performing their jobs.

Locked away... and tortured, and killed. My research into the prison's records show the only a select few of those sent here were ever convicted of a crime. This is not the simple prison it claims to be. It is rather simply a dungeon, where those in power seal away those without it who stood in their way.

How ironic that this place, built as a house of God, should become a house of horrors, forsaken by Him!

3rd June, 1716

I have discovered something nearly impossible to believe - because I do not wish to. According to the prison's records, from 1632 to last year, over 8200 people have met their maker within the walls. And these are only those for whom there are records... How many more hapless souls have died locked away here, with no one ever caring?

4th June, 1716

Today, I was ordered by the warden to watch over the prisoners in the west wing. Although this is my first assignment since arriving, I do not look forward to it. This is different from punishmenting some simple beggars. What sort of man could take pleasure in beating women and children?

Received a letter from Mum in Southampton today. She complains that I wasn't able to attend my sister's wedding. Apparently, she married a Gibbs boy -- one of the wealthier land-owning families in the area. I'm sure she'll be happy; she's been brought up well and should have no problem fitting into even a gentry family. It seems like just yesterday she was a baby, following me around clutching her favourite little doll. I'm fiercely proud of her, though, even though I worry she may have been pampered a bit too much. I wish her the best of luck as she now starts her own family.

5th June, 1716

We began the "questioning" of Prisoner 27 today. The warden tells us he was instructed to do so by one of the nobles currently in favour with the Crown. He looks to have been a man of good learning and some standing. He broke down and cried like a baby after the iron was pressed into his chest. Knowing he will never be released, we need not take care to leave him whole. I am used to using water or a rack -- something that would not leave a mark -- for such things, but there is no purpose, no desire to convert a heathen or bring about repentance.

Here, the punishment is only meant to cause as much pain as possible until death.

A job is a job, and while I have no intention of taking it up with the warden, I still have reservations about what we do here -- after all, we are still nominally employees of the Crown. Getting paid to inflict pain on others -- are we no different than common ruffians?

6th June, 1716

Torturing people has become a daily routine. And there is no shortage of tools here -- whips, chains, Iron Maidens, Spanish Boots, cages, Spiders... Even some I had never seen or heard before coming here. I must admit I am impressed at the ingenuity of the human mind, and the way that it can create such a myriad of ways to inflict pain upon another living being. But which is worse -- those who think of such devices, or those who use them?

All those we torture beg us to kill them, but we instead keep them alive that they may suffer more. There is no rest for them -- not now, not ever.

14th August, 1716

Received a letter from Mum today. She says my brother is wanting to go to some fancy school in the east and needs money. Why he would want to go to such a place is beyond me. Imagine -- a university graduate in our family!

I wonder what Pa would think...

I know she gets some money from my sister's family, but I'm sure she doesn't want to always be asking for handouts from her daughter. I want to help; I want to do as much as I can for my family.

31st August, 1716

The mad woman in solitary confinement has died. If there is such a thing as fate, she must have been born under an unlucky star. She was a merchant's daughter whose hand had been promised to the heir of a wealthy family, but he had a change of heart and abandoned her. He eventually married a nobleman's daughter, and was adopted into the family, which had no heir.

She was brought here to keep her out of the public eye. She kept the wedding dress she never got to wear until the day she died. I wonder -- who is more insane, her or us?

26th September, 1716

A strange rumour is making its sounds amongst the prisoners. The number of people who say they have seen a sign from God in the night sky is growing. None of the other guards believe there is such a thing, but such rumours are often a sign of trouble. I hope nothing happens...

3rd October, 1716

Torture, pain and death. These fill the days of all who live here. I have come to envy those who quit living. Dear God, have mercy on my soul. I did not come here to become an executioner. I have pleaded with the warden to have pity at least on those suffering from illness, but he turned a deaf ear upon my pleas. In the end, there are only two things people care about : power and money.

They who have it use it, they who do not only suffer.

13th October, 1716

I feel as if I'm losing my mind. I can no longer bear to hear the screams of those trapped here. Could I help I them would, but since I cannot, I do not wish to share their confinement a moment longer. Were it my choice, I would quit this place at once, but my family looks to me for support. I cannot let Lord Webster, who found me this job, down -- I must repay his confidence in me. The other guards say that I will grow used to it soon enough, that I should not let myself be affected by trivialities.


Can they not hear the screams! I understand now... They are as mad as any of the prisoners... That, then, is my fate -- I, too, shall end up mad, just like them.

29th October, 1716

Woe unto you that desire the day of the Lord!

To what end is it for you? The day of the Lord is darkness, and not light. As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hard on the wall, and serpent bit him. Shall not the day of LORD be darkness, and not light? Even very dark, and no brightness in it?
(Book of Amos, Chapter 5)

1st November, 1716

I am writing this after having awakened by gunshots in the middle of the night. There are screams of joy and anger throughout the building; we are being attacked by an armed band. Apparently, the "sign of God" the prisoners had been discussing was actually a signal from people outside the prison plotting to aid their incarcerated friends. The freed prisoners are going mad, killing the guards and other staff. Their positions reversed, they flee for their lives but are hunted down, beaten, killed, and even burned alive. I find a strange satisfaction in watching them, they who were so drunk on power and wealth, dying like insects at the hand of those they brought they were masters of.

The mob is sure to make its way here in time. The time of our -- my -- judgement is upon us. Do not grieve for me, dear sister. I will welcome them with open arms, as a fellow sufferer and sinner. Even now, I hear footsteps.

They are just outside my door... They...

And that is where our tale ends. You always got to love the gumption of someone committed to writing a journal just up to the point they die and adding ellipses at the end for effect. Real dedication to the craft. Anyway, that was all for this brief sidequest, for lack of a better term. Back we go to the chapel downstairs and what lies beyond.

On the way there we may have run into a new enemy – the Possessed Armor. Gonna be frank, I platinumed all three Dark Souls games over the winter. If I never see another undead dude in armor, my life would be alright. Possessed Armors just take a bit more punishment than most enemies, but are otherwise less than noteworthy.

Though there are a couple reason I brought up this particular random battle, beyond the new enemy type. For one, Koudelka finally managed to upgrade her Flare magic to Level 2. It now costs 18 MP a cast and will damage enemies one grid square to the right and left of the target. It also hits a heck of a lot harder.

Also worth mentioning was the fact that Possessed Armor is one of the few enemies to actually have a rare armor drop, appropriately enough. Granted, the actual armor itself is less than impressive considering it came from an animated suit of plate armor. But beggars to RNG cannot be choosers. Literally. It’s random. It’s right there in the Random Number Generator title...

The L Mail grants +7 Vitality and +2 Luck for some arcane reason. Also given its random elemental trait is Water, it will grant an unseen boost in defense against Water damage. The mechanics of which will remain a mystery to all... Since Koudelka has by far the smallest pool of HP, we’ll go ahead and suit her up with the L Mail.

Sorry James. Maybe if you weren’t such a dick, you’d get some gross second hand clothes to protect yourself too.

In any case, our business is concluded. Now is the time to do any grinding with the newly acquired holy fountain/save point. But our party is doing pretty good at the moment. So let’s head into the door we’ve yet to enter and explore beyond the first floor chapel, to...

Ah. The chair storage room, of course. Every dungeon has to have one. You have no idea how quickly you burn through chairs in the torture business. The costs are absurd! Now, if we so much as take a step further into this room, we’re treated with...

Koudelka, did you find anything?
No, nothing. But...

The gang decides to mosey on over and investigate whatever the heck Koudelka is poking at in the realm of grainy Playstation 1 era FMVs, when suddenly...


Or maybe not. Our unfortunate trio’s fall is broken by a pile of dried corpses and skeletons. I’m told it’s just like falling into a bed of feathers.

A shadowy figure is seen skulking off for all of a quarter second. I’m pretty sure whoever this is, they had nothing to do with three grown adults standing on a woefully poorly maintained structure causing it to collapse. Despite that, Edward immediately asks the hard questions.

Who’s that!?

Who is that indeed? I mean, it’s not like we’ve been constantly hounded by ghosts, the undead and assorted abominations at every randomly determined number of steps or anything...

But Edward’s burning question will have to remain for another day. So concludes Disc 1 of 4 in the adventures of Koudelka and friends acquaintances idiots stuck together. Tune in next time for more ghouls and ghosts as Koudelka continues into the unknown of Disc Two...

Video: Disc 1 End
(If you want to see three idiots eat shit in a short clip.)

Nemeton Monastery Render – Seek the pale blood to transcend the hunt.