The Let's Play Archive


by The Dark Id

Part 10: Episode X: Unpleasant

Episode X: Unpleasant

Well, we’ve converted this area from a Mortal Kombat stage to a Soulcalibur one. I suppose that’s a marginal improvement. But we now have our first Permanent Save on Disc 2. So that’s nice. It’s only about 25 minutes or so until the next special item unlock milestone. So let’s trudge around the acid pit for a bit doing a spot of grinding and seeing what other ghouls and ghosts are skulking about in the random battle dimension. There’s still quite a few in the immediate area.

Music: Waterfall

First off, we have this nightmare creature – the Tamacoss. This top boy is an unbaptized infant that died and ended up in Limbo. Wherein apparently freaky shit happens turning them into a fleshy chaos orb baby. This little bundle of joy is actually a reoccurring enemy in the Shadow Hearts series appearing as a boss monster in all three games.

Sadly here, it is only a common trash mob capable of crying paralyzing tears and slapping people with poisonous tiny baby hands. Edward has no qualms with punching undead babies. I’m sure James would similarly justify such action by saying any unbaptized baby was probably a poor immigrant that deserved their fate. Lousy babies always looking for a free handout. Bootstrap it up, kid! I don’t care if your feet are obscured by a giant mount of writhing chaos flesh.

The Seeker Trio has disbanded since that earlier boss fight and started appearing individually as random encounters. They’ve also rebranded from “Seekers” to “Watchers.” I dunno guys... I know some inter-dimensional cannibal space babies that could put you in legal trouble for copyright infringement for that name. They behave exactly as their earlier counterparts. Just with far less HP.

Next up we have either a Beholder’s severely undercooked little brother or Mother Brain’s inbred half-cousin, the Eyeball. It’s a big gross lump of brain tissue with several eyeballs in random places like a G Virus era BOW. It just kind of slowly slides around and whacks folks with its broken eyestalk. Maybe it has some other attack, but Edward poked out its eyes far too quickly to see them.

Finally, we have the Inverse – an upside-down dude that has grown several additional heads out of its first head. Cannot say what the deal with that is.... Seems highly inconvenient. Inverse is a monster that also appears in the first Shadow Hearts.

Despite this being a random battle, this might be one of the most dangerous enemies we’ve encountered thus far. As it comes equipped with the mighty power of a gun. Turns out getting shot by a regular ass gun really hurts compared to being slapped by tentacles or magic spell casts or even being bitten. Koudelka straight up got double tapped and died. That’s the first time anyone had gotten KO’d in the game thus far. Inverse seems to prioritize just taking back row party members to headshot city. So he’s a real prick.

I did a trial run of the first disc of Koudelka before starting the LP proper to double check I actually wanted to go through this game. Inverse can show up as a random battle in the very first room past where Koudelka and Edward meet. The very first random battle I encountered was against an Inverse who proceeded to ventilate the duo resulting in a very unceremonious end to their adventure after about five minutes of gameplay. That’s a real good first impression...

Music: ENDS

In any case, the allotted time has arrived of 3:33:33. This time around, our inventory was closest to the 32 item mark. Only had to drop a single stack of bread to get us to the appropriate inventory space. So what’s our reward this time around? Let’s just reload the game and...

...Enjoy some Cat Foodod? Infogrames, how did you manage to typo the word “food”? C’mon, son.

Cat Foodod is actually just the Dried Food item that is the mid-range consumable heal. You know... the one we got from a random drop back in like the third update? The one we already were carrying eight of before this juncture. Yeah... in retrospect, I probably should have taken a closer look at what this was and not wasted half an hour running in circles waiting for it to unlock. Hmph...

Anyway, back on track. Now that the Mad Fly has been slain, the “mysterious force” it was emitting has dissipated, allowing us to progress past the Acid Pit and adjacent corridors to...

Another storeroom filled with crap. Naturally. Before we can investigate our surroundings further, a game immediately takes over for a cutscene. Maybe this one will end amicably and not in an argument nearing blows. Maybe...

<examines table> Amazing. Absolutely amazing. I can’t believe these treasures are in this monastery.
<looks closer> Is that Montaigne’s signature?

<continues pouring over table> Oh, that's a Caravaggio! Unbelievable truly. Why have these treasures been forgotten?
<scoffs> Treasures...
If these treasures can be contributed to the Vatican, their value to Christianity is unquantifiable. What a discovery!

Do you remember what this place is? It's not just a monastery. It was a prison. People were executed for fighting each other for supremacy. These “treasures” must have been taken from them... soaked in curses and hatred. You'll be cursed if you worship those things.
Do you honestly think we’re constantly coming against ghosts and cursed undead here just out of coincidence?
I’m not looking forward to seeing that fly... man... THING in my nightmares next time I catch 40 winks...

I am a busy man that does not have the time to teach you the importance of faith. But I will tell you why we have found these treasures. It can only have come from the guidance of God. God sees all. He knows all. Got it?!
Preach to the converted.

What about you Edward? You seem a little more educated than she.
I don't really care. Talk to me about monetary value. Save the holy crap.
How much is the Vatican forking over for this stuff? I don’t see you lugging it all out yourself in that purse.
<starts pacing> Hmph. Seems I am disappointed once again. I believe these dead thieves are better than you two. At least they appreciated true value.
You do know you’re talking about stealing these books yourself, right? You realize what that makes you too, correct? Begins with “t” ends with “hief”, Father...
<scoffs> I simply wish to relocate these treasures to their proper position in the Vatican. No more...

Instead of preaching I want you to understand something, OK? You can't label all those dead bodies as thieves hunting treasure. I saw plenty of dead women who were cut up and mixed in with the mummies... and they were pretty fresh...
To make no mention of the children too. Such as that ghost girl we just talked to twenty minutes ago... I don’t think she was here picking pockets...

Yeah strange. Even if I was used to seeing dead bodies I'd be vomiting.
So it is that couple. But why?
...The Welsh. They’re just plain evil.
Fools! How could a kind and faithful couple be cold blooded killers?! This is the work of jealousy and greed... and pagans born of savagery -- immigrants.
...OK. Just going to throw some racism in there for kicks, huh?
A mere observance of facts. Anyone can see it.
<groans and makes jerk off motion>

I will not be a party to such abusive slander! This is... this is so unpleasant.

Good talk, everyone. Back to business. We’ll be ignoring James’s treasure stack in favor of a couple out items of more use to the party at the moment.

Wouldn’t want to break immersion with a woman pulling back a bow string unaided. Unlike the rifle we picked up earlier which still fell under the Guns banner, the Bowgun is its own Crossbow class of long ranged weapons. There’s only one other weapon in the Crossbow weapon type that comes much later in the game. The crossbow is generally stronger than pistols but weaker than rifles.

Naturally, crossbows have their own ammo type in arrows. The real advantage a crossbow has over a gun is that it doesn’t need to be reloaded periodically. As long as there are arrows remaining, it will automatically be reloaded after each shot. That said, arrows are much less abundant than pistol or rifle bullets.

Inspecting the room further, we find a door locked with a Red Key. If you’ll recall, the dining room of Ogden and Bessy was also locked with a Red Key after they booted us back into the hall. So that’s two colored keys and three doors we have to remember to check later in the game. For now, let’s head to the door directly to the left of the Red Key lock to...

A staircase leading upstairs. At least we’re out of the acid pit and abomination filled basement. Before we trot upstairs, the background here in the center of the wall can actually be inspected. Let’s take a closer look.

If you poured water on it from above, you might be able to get it out.

If you poured water on it from above... we could totally snatch a statue out of it for... some reason. Koudelka is really not good about giving a motivation to collect key items, is it? Anyhow, upstairs we’ve got a couple more points of interest. The corner of this wall can be inspected, even if there is very little indication that it can be.

OK. Someone jot down Bong, Pitchfork, Eye, Ankh with Devil Horns. I’m sure this will be relevant at some point. Probably...

Also in this room we find some more wine with magical regenerative properties. Shotgunning some Rose Wine restores 100 MP to our adventurers. Good to know.

Continuing onward, there is a whole mess of junk to inspect in this storeroom #53 of the Nemeton Monastery. For instance, in the back of the room we find...

OK, let’s just pilfer this stone slate the size of a poster for future use. Ya know... just in case we find a printing press or some similar ink works in a drafty attic of the ground. You never know!

In the foreground we find the 1898 version of a nonsense tweet by a shitty bot. #Wales #MakeNemetonGreatAgain

Finally, we’ll just grab a lion shaped paperweight on the off chance we find a lion shaped paperweight hole to shove this in further into this kooky mansion. Maybe it’s in the same room as that statue with all the jewelry we’ve been accumulating or those color coded keys.

Moving onto the next room... oh boy. Here we go again. This game does feel rather dense with boss battles when you cut out the 20+ minutes of filler that random battles bring in-between major boss bouts.

We’ll do a tiny bit of prep work here. This go around we don’t have anything that will particularly augment Edward’s ability to dish damage with elemental attributes. So we’ll just slip a non-elemental pair of Brass Knuckles onto him to boost his damage output and speed for a time.

We’re also going to push Koudelka to the front lines of the grind so her magic attacks will prove more potent than the back row. We may be leaning on her heavily as our major damage dealer in the fight ahead.

Let’s step on up to the plate and face the second major boss of Disc 2...

Music: Incantation Again

Meet the Dark Young – a big ugly walking teethed vagina plant. Dark Young is actually just a low-poly version of a creature shamelessly copied and pasted from the Lovecraft Mythos -- the Dark Young of Shub-Niggurath. Well... sans quite a few legs and more mouths. The Dark Young comes sporting a respectable 2916 HP.

This fight is more annoying than anything. Dark Young is fairly resistant to physical attacks so Edward’s damage output is only OK in this fight. We are mostly keeping him up front to tank any physical attacks since remember nobody is allowed to pass anyone else vertically on the battle grid. Its physical attack, a big swinging whip with its tentacles, is nothing to worry about. James can top Edward off as necessary to keep him in line.

Most of the damage output during this fight is going to be from Koudelka. The Dark Young is an Earth Elemental enemy which makes it weak to Wind spells. However, since we have Level 2 Flare with Koudelka, that ends up outputting a little bit more damage overall (300-350 damage a cast versus Tornado’s 225-275 HP of damage.) So she’s on pyromancer duty.

The real thing that makes this battle obnoxious is the fact that the Dark Young has a magic spell that hits all party members. This will do a real number on Edward, but James and Koudelka eat enough PIE to shrug it off. No, the real nuisance from this spell is that it will randomly inflect Silence on potentially the entire party.

Which means burning turns using our (quite limited 4 total at the start of this fight) Panaceas to remove the status infliction so Koudelka can cast spells again and James can continue buffing and healing everyone. I really hope the game’s RNG spots me a few more of those because I was down to one Panacea left by the time this fight ended.

Naturally, I ended up burning one just before the boss was defeated and the end of battle neutralized all status effects. As it goes in the chaotic whims of Koudelka’s battle system.

Music: Level Up!

Despite being kind of a nothing boss, Dark Young gave way more EXP than any other boss so far. Everyone in the party leveled up twice from slaughtering that prey. I mean, punching out a Lovecraft Boy is quite an achievement if you think about it.

As a bonus reward, Dark Young drops an Evil Horn – a special unique Spear type weapon. There are a handful of special weapons in Koudelka. This is the only special spear. Most of ‘em are relegated to the Swords class of weapons (Knuckles, Knives and ranged weapons get nothing special.) This particular weapon boosts Intelligence +3, PIE +6 and Mind +4 and also inflicts poison on strike. More importantly, unlike most weapons which will break between 15-30 hits (all but one weapon in the game has a 15 hit minimal durability) the Evil Horn lasts a minimum of 100-255 hits. Spiffy.

In any case, job’s done and another Permanent Save Point is restored. Tune in next time for further abomination punching and ghostbusting, gimmick boss battles, gunfights and a spot more good old fashion anti-immigrant racism as Koudelka continues.

Video: Episode 10 Highlight Reel