The Let's Play Archive


by The Dark Id

Part 20: Episode XX: Wrath or Love

Episode XX: Wrath or Love

The band is finally back together after that harrowing half hour of Koudelka’s ill-fated solo career. There’s just one minor issue with the reunion tour we need to address.

Apparently James and Edward just immediately ran from every single battle on Disc 3 thus far so their levels haven’t budged an inch since we last saw them. Edward, you’re supposed to be the party’s tank. How you going to show up having 500 less hit points than the party’s caster. You’ve barely got more HP than the goddamn support unit. Shit's embarrassing, bro.

Short of just having Koudelka KO’d in battle intentionally and grinding up her companions, there’s very little way to avoid her outclassing her companions several levels at this point in the game. I suppose there’s a reason this game is named Koudelka and not Edward or James. Mostly because those would be terrible names for a video game. Plunkett, maybe but ehh... Father O’Flaherty is a no go.

Anyway, you’ll recall in her solo exploits the previous update, Koudelka completed the Vigna and Valna doll set. Since we’ve already explored everywhere else thus far (the Church is inaccessible thanks to the Gargoyle having collapsed the Library adjacent entrance) backtracking down to the caverns beneath Nemeton and those girls’ corpses is our new goal.

All things considered, taking in mind how heavily influenced everything in Koudelka (outside the battle system naturally) is on Resident Evil, there’s been shockingly little backtracking in this game up until now. Survival horror’s bread and butter is usually wandering back and forth ferrying some bullshit to open up doors to acquire other bullshit to unlock even more doors. So that’s been nice. Even this trek is maybe only 5-10 minutes of retracing our steps.

Anyway, back to just shy of where we began Disc 2 and the corpses guarding the Green Key. Now that we have the two dolls, we can select to hand them over to the pair of corpses. Handing these over eliminates the ghost dolls battle and the easy source of weapons/magic training they brought. So any skill grinding using the ghost dolls of the twins has to be done now. But once we’ve got our affairs in order, then...

Once you give them the dolls, Vigna and Valna stop moving. You’ve got the “Green Key.” It looks like Vigna and Valna are dead, again...

That’s quite the fancy key for a dungeon cell...

Which we’re going to use not two seconds later and immediately throw in the trash. Someone had to draw that ornamental key, transfer and compress the image into the game’s files, make an entry for it in the inventory and whatever else goes into adding an item. And poof. It’s there and gone in no time flat.

Oh well, no use lamenting misspent man hours on a weird nearly 20 year old game. Onward to new territory! It turns out the dungeon leads to... err... well, more prison cells. Who’d a thunk? This first new room offers absolutely nothing of interest. That cell in the back is just some background fluff. So let’s take the stairs up to...

OK. Still nothing... But behind the door ahead, surely there’s something worth the party’s time and effort backtracking half way across the monastery grounds.

Ahh... Well that’s different. We’ve found where they were keeping the Queen of Hanover’s bastard child. It’s a surprisingly nice quarters. I mean other than the door that makes you climb over an end table to enter the room. The door to the right of the entrance is “held shut by a mysterious force” aka we need to sort out a boss fight somewhere nearby. So let’s explore past the dinner table, where we find...

Suddenly, the furniture in the room starts to vibrate and space itself begins to twist.

Music: Incantation Again

Aww hell. The dreaded haunted furniture plaguing the Welsh countryside for decades has reared its ugly head once more as a mini-boss. The gang needs to defeat the Possessed Chairs and Shelves to clear the way to confronting Charlotte. Sure, why not?

Charlotte’s poltergeist fueled furnishing is of much higher craftsmanship than the paltry ghost décor of the caretaker’s quarters from the early game. As such, it comes packing over 5000 HP each and a very strong resistance to physical attack. Sorry Edward, punching a chair to death is not going to solve our issues this go around.

Fortunately for us, spectral furniture is no match for magical attacks and Koudelka can quickly bring this farce to an end with a casting or two of her spells. Strangely, this assortment of wooden fixtures is surprisingly resistant to being burned. Being frozen or torn asunder by the earth itself? Far more effective as it turns out.

In any case, this mini-boss is quickly dealt with by the gang. But we’re not through with our dealings in Charlotte’s Cell just yet. Depending on our earlier actions, one of two events now play out regarding the fate of Charlotte D’Lota.

Music: ENDS

Remember back near the end of Disc 2 when we found those letters to Charlotte we found in that optional safe? You know, the one locked by a puzzle that wasn’t actually properly implemented and just solved itself? Do you also recall praying at the little brat’s grave in the previous update? Well, if we fail to complete either of those tasks then we get the bad ending to Charlotte’s subplot. Which now follows...

<breathes heavily> Charlotte... Stop it. If you keep this up, you’re the only one that's going to get hurt.
Oh *I* will get hurt? Ha! That’s rich. I’m already dead, idiot.
I'm not fooling around. I don't want your pity. I've had enough.

Koudelka stands up.

Charlotte, listen to me. I understand you. We're very similar, you know.
Oh, are we? Looks like you’re alive and I am not. Looks like you got to grow and I didn’t. You can leave Wales at any time and I’ve been stuck here for... I’m not sure even sure how long because nobody taught me to count that high before cutting off my head!
OK... Maybe that came out wrong... Charlotte, I understand you’re angry, but...

You could never understand me. How could you? I've never been out of this place. I was born and I was executed. On the day I was killed, a priest came to me and said: “Dear Lord, please accept into your glorious kingdom this poor, sinful lamb...”
I don’t even know a lamb IS! But I know I hate it. Just like I hate you and your stupid friends. Especially the old, ugly priest one.
...I’m a bishop, actually.
Nobody cares!

Tell me! What did I do that was so bad!? Is it my fault that I was born!? If I was born just to be killed, why did she have me!?

<steps forward and cups hands> Oh, I just...
...My mother abandoned me too. I’ve been alone ever since I was a little girl, just like you. That’s why—
That’s why, what...? That's why you “understand” me? That's why you're like me? Don't make me laugh. You're not like me. You're alive! What do you mean, you're alone? What do you mean you understand? Give me a break.
What do you call those two other fools if you’re so “alone”, huh!?
Oh... they barely count. I only just met them.

Oh, Charlotte... I’m SO sorry. I want you to understand! I really—
A curse upon you.

A curse upon you.
<steps back> Charlotte...
On you! On your friends! A curse upon you all.
Screw you too, lady!
Two curses upon you.
Oh yeah? Come to the East End and try that, spook. You’ll be hexed twice over before you even hit the ground!
I don’t know what that means either. But three curses upon you! You and your stupid haircut.
H-Hey... My hair isn’t stupid...

I will kill everything! Why don’t you all just die! Die! When everything is dead and gone, then we’ll be the same. Only then will you understand my pain. I know what it is to regret being born! I will kill you! Kill you! KILL YOU!

Music: Incantation Again

Aww, Christ! That escalated quickly... Remind Koudelka to never attempt negotiating with spirits in the future. She’d make for a terrible Shin Megami Tensei protagonist. Meet Charlotte’s Wrath, the boss encounter we’re gifted with for failing to calm Charlotte D’Lota’s vengeful ghost. This abomination comes packing 4761 HP. Which is less health than a floating chair we fought just prior to this...

Charlotte’s Wrath only has one main means of attack and that is vomiting out a cloud of intestines at a single party member at a time. Since this is considered a magical attack, Koudelka (who Charlotte primarily targets because she’s mad pissed at our protagonist’s shitty attempts at comforting her) and James will completely shrug this attack off with minimal fuss.

Edward won’t be so lucky if he’s targeted. But the damage output still isn’t all that much even then. Charlotte’s Wrath also has a swiping poisonous physical attack. However, her mutated Resident Evil BOW form is incapable of moving from its position. So a party member has to get right up in her grill to get on the receiving end of that attack.

Which naturally Edward is all too eager to do. Unfortunately, Edward is all but useless here once again since physical attacks are barely damaging to Little Miss D’Lota’s newfound vengeful form. Edward actually has a kind of rough stretch with bosses for a bit that just decide they’re not going to get harmed by non-element damage for a time.

But since diplomacy has failed, Koudelka’s back-up strategy of bombing foes to death with overwhelming magical attacks more than makes up for it. Being a big angry manifestation of a pissed child’s wrath, Charlotte is a Fire elemental creature. So a casting of Level 2 Geyser from our beefy sorceress Koudelka will nearly one-shot her.

You know, I don’t go out of my way to seek out titles where horrific things happen to children for videos games I LP. It just kind of keeps ending up happening that way... Again and again...

Music: Level Up!

Getting the bad ending to Charlotte’s storyline and battling with Charlotte’s Wrath is the only way to receive this accessory – the Star Brooch. This accessory grants +10 Intelligence, +7 Piety, +6 Mind and a whopping +18 Agility. It’s not a bad accessory at all for beating the shit out of the ghost of a child and sending her soul to Welsh hell or whatever murdering her again resulted in.

Music: ENDS

That said, we did go to the effort of finding Sophia’s Letters and praying at Charlotte’s grave during the course of this LP. Performing both of these actions results in the good outcome to Charlotte D’Lota’s storyline.

In this path, after we defeat her haunted furniture we are treated to a FMV sequence instead of an in-game one.

<walks forward> Charlotte, do you know what these are?

Do you know what is written these letters?
No. And even if I opened them, I never was taught to read... So...
Oh. Well... Huh... That lessens the impact of this. Is it OK if I read them to yo—
Quiet! I can do a thing... Ghost power. Don’t ask. This had better be good!

Charlotte uses her ghost powers to telekinetically open all the letters and sort of beam their contents into her mind which disintegrates them in the process. Look, ghosts are weird and play by their own rules. I’m not going to ask questions and we don’t have all day to watch her sit down and daintily open each letter individually and pour over their contents.

These are letters from your mother.

My mother? Letters? There’s so many.

Did you know that your mother was a Queen of Hanover? It seems that after you were born in secret, your mother was locked up inside Ahlden Castle.
Well I do now. Wait... did you open and read all of my letters!?
Just two or three.

Even while she was imprisoned there, she sent many letters to you here in the monastery. She never laid eyes on you, but she often imagined what you looked like. She dreamt of the day when she would be able to see you. Her letters never got to you... And she was never told of your death, so she continued to write you letters even after you died. Your mother loved you, Charlotte.

Charlotte’s powering up her Ki aura dissipates. We will not be battling her wrath form in this timeline.

<sheds tears> What...? No! I can’t take this now!

She loved me? No... No! It’s too scary!
This goes against the entire narrative I had! I’m going to have to rework everything. It’s too much! Too much!

<holds and shakes head> Hey, I feel warm...
Wait... I feel ANYTHING!? That’s now how this works... Wait... Wait!

What’s happening? No! Help me! Now I forgive her...? She loved me...? I hate you! I hate you!

Don’t pray for me! You... You! <shrieks and vanishes>

...Was that good?

Charlotte... How does it feel to know you are loved? <sheds a tear>

And that’s it for Charlotte D’Lota. Since there’s no extra boss fight against Charlotte’s Wrath, our reward for doing all the optional bits is left on the floor where Charlotte was Raptured up to heaven. Or her soul was annihilated. It’s difficult to say where all that malice went at this time.

Avoiding Charlotte’s Wrath is the only way to gain this accessory – the Flare Brooch. This accessory grants +9 Vitality, +9 Intelligence, +8 Piety and +6 Mind. I kind of feel like the Star Brooch with the huge Agility buff is the better deal of the two options myself. But I suppose doing in a murdered little girl’s ghost like that is kind of a dick move.

It’s worth noting that the Flare Brooch shows up in all of the Shadow Hearts games as an accessory. So I guess that’s the canonical outcome to Charlotte’s fate. The Star Brooch also technically appears. But unlike the Flare Brooch, the Star Brooch has a completely different look in the Shadow Hearts games. The Flare Brooch is identical. Also Brooch has stopped looking like a real word. So let’s move on!

Now that Charlotte has been dealt with one way or the other, the mysterious force sealing the exit to her room has vanished allowing the party to continue onward.

And if we mosey just pass the massive pile of corpses down this corridor, we find the door opened by the Blue Key to Patrick’s mansion. We can just fling that into the pile of dead since it has no further use.

Wow, what a mansion! Tune in next time as Koudelka and the gang begin their investigation into Patrick’s living quarters, learn more about ancient texts and dabbling with the dark arts and other assorted frivolities as our adventure begins its third act.

Video: Charlotte’s Wrath Outcome
(You should watch this.)

Video: Charlotte’s Release Outcome
(You should watch this too.)

Charlotte D’Lota Concept Art – What’s with this sassy... lost child?