The Let's Play Archive


by The Dark Id

Part 12: Episode XII: Red Key Profile

Episode XII: Red Key Profile

Previously on Koudelka, we discovered the identity of the man who’d been trailing our party since the end of Disc 1. At least... we discovered it was, in fact, a man. Then Edward straight smoked that dude. At least they couldn’t be bothered to re-render background the party propped his corpse back up against a wall instead of leaving it sprawled out in an undignified fashion on the floor.

That said, we’re going to immediately loot the gun and ammo off this guy’s corpse. After all, he won’t be needing it anymore. Unless he comes back from the dead like everyone here seems to... at least in that case he probably won’t grow extra heads and start taking potshots at our trio from the ceiling.

The DA Pistol is a flat improvement over the initial SA Pistol we started the game with to the point we can toss the old model in the trash. Unless we wanted James to become a Bullet Bishop or something. But I don’t foresee that becoming a thing.

Entering the door behind Alias’ corpse, we find a very obvious puzzle room. Seems we need to cross this floor in a specified pattern.

The game is actually nice enough to show us the clue from earlier we found at the top of the stairwell near the Boss/Holy Water Font room. Unfortunately, we only have symbols for the spaces belongs to the second half of the grid. We’re going to need to find the rest before we can proceed further in this room.

There is also a box of shotgun shells in this room. The trouble is we’ve yet to find a shotgun to use ‘em on and our inventory is getting critically close to its 50 item max limit. Oh well. Nothing more to be done in this room for now. We’ll just remember it is here.

For now we’re going to double back to the save room as the next allotted hour of 4:44:44 has arrived. This time our inventory is currently sitting at 43 items after a touch of old weapon and low level supply culling.

This time around we’ve pilfered Charlotte’s Book. Pfft. She was in prison since the day she was born till the day she died. She almost assuredly couldn’t read. What is she going to need with a book? We’re well within our rights taking this.

Charlotte’s Book is actually a renamed Fire Scroll. Scrolls are extremely rare, single use consumable drops which cast the highest level spell of that particular element. So this can really wreck a water elemental enemy’s shit at some point. That’s a touch more worth it than the lousy 350 HP heal item we got last time...

Back on task, we now have the Red Key which popped out of Alias the Thief’s shirt as Edward was beating his ass prior to murdering him. And we also have a shortcut back to the opening area of the game. If you’ll recall, the dining room where we met Bessy and Ogden was immediately barred by a Red Key door when we left it. So let’s go pay that a visit while we’re in the neighborhood.

Since we’re backtracking through past areas, there’s not much in the way of new enemies. Save one... Edward managed to get his ass kicked and paralyzed by a malevolent tag team of a spectral corner table and a ghost set of chairs bashing him in the shins and smashing him over the head. It’s already crowded enough with the undead in this monastery and this jerk added another dead guy to the monster mash. No wonder the spirits are taking issue.

The Hartmans are nowhere to be found in the dining room and it seems they couldn’t even be bothered to clean up after supper. The Welsh have no manners, I tell ya.

Though Ogden and Bessy have left the scene, in their place another anim—err... moderately large creature themed statue has been left on the table since their departure. We’ll just help ourselves to that for... a still as of yet unknown purpose other than it’s there and we can take it. James doesn’t seem to have any objections jacking the good Christian couple’s shit anymore. Who are we to say any different?

The back of the dining room gives way to a rather morbid back room filled with paintings of sinking ships. Huh... Whoever has this grisly collection is going to be over the moon in 14 years when the Titanic goes down...

Further into the room we find Valna’s Doll. You’ll remember those invincible ghost dolls wanted what I suppose is their corporeal form returned to their... corpses? I’m not clear on how that haunting works. The point is, we needed to acquire this doll and its companion piece for them to give up that Green Key they were carrying. That gets us half way there. Though our Key Item collection is growing to be somewhat absurd.

Also in the very back of this messy room is an interesting item that really has an inadequate item description. Given all the other random shit we’ve gotten like this in rapid succession recently, you might think that this is another Key Item no doubt destined for some mannequin busts or placed on shelves to unlock a secret passage or the like. But no... This is actually a special item that permanently decreases the trash mob random battle encounter rate as long as it is in the inventory. That isn’t really gotten across from the item description, no?

This means we’ll only be fighting rarer enemies with higher chances of dropping rarer goods. Of course, everything is still set to the whims of RNG even with this in our inventory. So it’s just another element of chaos in Koudelka. The only way to get rid of this effect is to discard it forever. We’ll just hold onto it for now.

Before we leave the room, there is one final business of note to be found here. If we have Koudelka examine the painting in the center of this room it will trigger a hidden FMV. At least I’m fairly certain this is optional. Anyway...

Hey, what’s this?

The Princess Alice...?

She was a pleasure boat that went down in a terrible accident in the Thames.

This one too...

And this one.

What’s going on...? They’re all the Princess Alice.

Koudelka vision... ACTIVATE!

Koudelka’s psychic vision treats her to a montage of drowned bodies, ominous music and a medley of stock scream sound effects – as any good grisly montage of a tragedy ought to...

So the sinking of the SS Princess Alice was an actual event. It was a passenger paddle steamer that operated on the Thames river. On September 3rd, 1878 the ship offered a Moonlight Trip from a pier near the London Bridge to the rather ironically named Gravesend borough. On the way it collided with the Bywell Castle, a much larger coal shipping vessel, causing the Princess Alice to split in two and sink within four minutes.

Of the passengers, only around 69 to 170 were rescued. Meanwhile, over 650 passengers died in the disaster, with most obvious dying from drowning. But also those escaping the ship had the extremely rotten luck of a twice-daily dumping of 75 million gallons of raw sewage having just occurred up river an hour earlier so the Princess Alice went under right in the middle of that. Which needless to say is a bad scene to be swimming in fleeing for your life in the middle of the night...

What... is going on...?

That’s a good question. One we won’t be discussing or addressing with the rest of the party. I’m not sure where James and Edward wandered off to while Koudelka was on a disaster porn mind journey.

Regardless, we’re done with the dining room of the Hartmans and their odd collection of river boat disaster artistry. Time to retrace our steps back a ways to the room full of James’ “treasures” which contains the other door locked by the Red Key. The game is nice enough to automatically discard the key as Koudelka instinctively knows its use has come to an end. I never did get why Resident Evil and other survival horror games aping it always made discarding keys an optional task when they’d become useless. Especially when limited inventory space was involved...

Huh... Another trashed storeroom. Really mixing it up here. Where the hell do Bessy and Ogden sleep in this dump...? In that room full of hay adjacent to the werewolf room? The temporary save did refer to that as the Caretaker’s Quarters...

There are a couple items of note in this room. First up we have Roman Nuts, which is just a funny name for anything. These are the Senzu Beans of Koudelka resulting in a full HP/MP revive on characters who have gotten their shit kicked in.

A random crate in the corner of this room also has a drawing that looks awfully familiar. I guess we have the entire code for crossing that weird puzzle room now. They probably should have made it clearer that crate is an interactive item since it looks just like any other clutter in the scenery.

Lastly, the chest of drawers in the corner contains a Music Box. Which we need to stuff in our bag of holding for our obsessive compulsive Key Item collecting needs.

Unfortunately, I hit the item cap right here. Despite now having over a dozen essential items that cannot be discarded in our inventory, the total item capacity we’re allowed to carry is 50 items. All items are included in that tally – armor, weapons, accessories and tools. We’re obviously not going to discard the couple pieces of armor or the handful of accessories we’ve acquired. So that adds five more inventory slots accounted for... A large culling of weapons and lower grade healing items was made. Those Roman Nuts we just picked up also got tossed in the trash. That shit is like a Mega Elixir. It’s just going to fester in the inventory JUST IN CASE it’s needed one day and that day will never come. Better to part with it immediately.

Now that inventory issues are handled, we can liberate this ornate music box from the mansion basement for... some reason. I really hope all of these key items are used in one absurd room full of slots and specialized levers that fit ‘em all in at once.

Anyway, time for yet another retracing of steps right past the thief’s corpse yet again and back to the puzzle floor room now that we have all the pieces to pass it.

The game helpfully shows us both answers hints to crossing the floor again. Which again is extremely generous given the era of video games where “write that shit down, busta” was the order of the day.

Here’s the proper path across the tiles – triangle, mixed drink glass, flask, Roman Number 4, the flask again (that seems like cheating having to double back a space), round flask, pitchfork, spooky eye, Mercury symbol. After all those are crossed, a pleasant unlocking sound is heard and our path is cleared.

Tune in next time as the party faces the greatest challenge of all... literacy. Also perhaps we finally get some sort of reason why this monastery is full of abominations, ghosts and other unpleasantness. Also perhaps we'll finally get a place to shove a few of these key items we've been collecting as Koudelka continues.

Video: Episode 12 Highlight Reel
(You should probably watch this.)