Part 20: Episode XX: Wrath or LoveEpisode XX: Wrath or Love
The band is finally back together after that harrowing half hour of Koudelkas ill-fated solo career. Theres 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 havent budged an inch since we last saw them. Edward, youre supposed to be the partys tank. How you going to show up having 500 less hit points than the partys caster. Youve barely got more HP than the goddamn support unit. Shit's embarrassing, bro.
Short of just having Koudelka KOd in battle intentionally and grinding up her companions, theres very little way to avoid her outclassing her companions several levels at this point in the game. I suppose theres 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 OFlaherty is a no go.
Anyway, youll recall in her solo exploits the previous update, Koudelka completed the Vigna and Valna doll set. Since weve 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, theres been shockingly little backtracking in this game up until now. Survival horrors 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 thats 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 weve got our affairs in order, then...
Once you give them the dolls, Vigna and Valna stop moving. Youve got the Green Key. It looks like Vigna and Valna are dead, again...
Thats quite the fancy key for a dungeon cell...
Which were 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 games files, make an entry for it in the inventory and whatever else goes into adding an item. And poof. Its 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. Whod a thunk? This first new room offers absolutely nothing of interest. That cell in the back is just some background fluff. So lets take the stairs up to...
OK. Still nothing... But behind the door ahead, surely theres something worth the partys time and effort backtracking half way across the monastery grounds.
Ahh... Well thats different. Weve found where they were keeping the Queen of Hanovers bastard child. Its 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 lets 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?
Charlottes poltergeist fueled furnishing is of much higher craftsmanship than the paltry ghost décor of the caretakers 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 were not through with our dealings in Charlottes Cell just yet. Depending on our earlier actions, one of two events now play out regarding the fate of Charlotte DLota.
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 wasnt actually properly implemented and just solved itself? Do you also recall praying at the little brats grave in the previous update? Well, if we fail to complete either of those tasks then we get the bad ending to Charlottes subplot. Which now follows...
<breathes heavily> Charlotte... Stop it. If you keep this up, youre the only one that's going to get hurt.
Oh *I* will get hurt? Ha! Thats rich. Im 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 youre alive and I am not. Looks like you got to grow and I didnt. You can leave Wales at any time and Ive been stuck here for... Im 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 youre 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 dont 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.
...Im a bishop, actually.
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. Ive been alone ever since I was a little girl, just like you. Thats why
Thats 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 youre so alone, huh!?
Oh... they barely count. I only just met them.
Oh, Charlotte... Im 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. Youll be hexed twice over before you even hit the ground!
I dont know what that means either. But three curses upon you! You and your stupid haircut.
H-Hey... My hair isnt stupid...
I will kill everything! Why dont you all just die! Die! When everything is dead and gone, then well 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. Shed make for a terrible Shin Megami Tensei protagonist. Meet Charlottes Wrath, the boss encounter were gifted with for failing to calm Charlotte DLotas vengeful ghost. This abomination comes packing 4761 HP. Which is less health than a floating chair we fought just prior to this...
Charlottes 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 shes mad pissed at our protagonists shitty attempts at comforting her) and James will completely shrug this attack off with minimal fuss.
Edward wont be so lucky if hes targeted. But the damage output still isnt all that much even then. Charlottes 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 DLotas newfound vengeful form. Edward actually has a kind of rough stretch with bosses for a bit that just decide theyre not going to get harmed by non-element damage for a time.
But since diplomacy has failed, Koudelkas 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 childs 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 dont 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 Charlottes storyline and battling with Charlottes 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. Its 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.
That said, we did go to the effort of finding Sophias Letters and praying at Charlottes grave during the course of this LP. Performing both of these actions results in the good outcome to Charlotte DLotas 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. Dont 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. Im not going to ask questions and we dont 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? Theres 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.
Charlottes powering up her Ki aura dissipates. We will not be battling her wrath form in this timeline.
<sheds tears> What...? No! I cant take this now!
She loved me? No... No! Its too scary!
This goes against the entire narrative I had! Im going to have to rework everything. Its too much! Too much!
<holds and shakes head> Hey, I feel warm...
Wait... I feel ANYTHING!? Thats now how this works... Wait... Wait!
Whats happening? No! Help me! Now I forgive her...? She loved me...? I hate you! I hate you!
Dont 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 thats it for Charlotte DLota. Since theres no extra boss fight against Charlottes 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. Its difficult to say where all that malice went at this time.
Avoiding Charlottes 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 girls ghost like that is kind of a dick move.
Its worth noting that the Flare Brooch shows up in all of the Shadow Hearts games as an accessory. So I guess thats the canonical outcome to Charlottes 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 lets 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 Patricks 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 Patricks 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: Charlottes Wrath Outcome (You should watch this.)
Video: Charlottes Release Outcome (You should watch this too.)
Charlotte DLota Concept Art Whats with this sassy... lost child?