The Let's Play Archive


by The Dark Id

Part 23: Episode XXIII: Portrait of Ruin

Episode XXIII: Portrait of Ruin

“Something’s not right” seems like an understatement to all the batshit insanity of this joint at this point. So Patrick kidnapped and butchered 300+ chickens, nearly 50 pigs and somewhere upward of 200 kidnapped women and sex workers to cut up and stuff in a weird magic Welsh cauldron to resurrect his dead wife. Never mind that Ogden and Bessy apparently just had extracurricular activities of murdering anyone trespassing well after the fact.

And all that eventually resulted in is resurrecting a soulless husk. Even if the procedure had worked as planned... gonna venture a guess his marriage with Elaine would be mildly strained given the extent of heinous murder he committed... What was he going to do if she came back right? Was he going to have Bessy keep her busy while he and Ogden hastily run around the monastery grounds with a big wheelbarrow scooping up all the bodies to hide? What about all the ghosts and monsters the place was lousy with now?

There’s many flaws to this plan, is all I’m saying... But we’ll ruminate on that in a bit. First, we’ve got a boss encounter to sort out here. As soon as we step unto this corrupted holy water font we're attacked by the boss residing in Patrick's mansion. Given recent revelations, I can only assume Patrick Heyworth stuck his dick into the water flow outlet while getting his rocks off to satanic porn in order to coax out more evil spirits. With a drawing of his beloved dead wife pasted over the face of Baphomet and whatnot, naturally.

Music: Incantation Again

January 19th. Rain.
Blitzed another dozen hookers and poured their remains into the cauldron. Baked five hours on a medium heat just as the Émigré Document showed. Let cool for 20 minutes. Results... less than satisfactory. Too many legs. I think a spider might have crawled into the vat between cleanings. Will have to have Ogden clean more thoroughly before the next attempt.

Meet the Scapegoat, an enemy that definitely looks like it escaped from an alternate universe Bloodborne that was made in 1999. This mass of limbs and faces comes packing a fairly daunting 9216 HP. But despite its nightmare fuel visage, it isn’t all that much of a threat. Especially with its severe weakness to Fire elements, being a Water elemental beast for... some reason. I imagine it is quite juicy.

The Scapegoat’s primary means of attack is launching a lightning orb at whoever is closest to it at the moment. Which means our forever frontlines facing vanguard, Edward. Which is a bad scene for him, since he is the only one that will take any sort of significant damage from magic attacks. James has healing Edward duties for the duration of this fight.

The beast can also throw a mean haymaker that hits poor Ed for about the same 500ish range of damage. That would be extremely problematic for Koudelka or James. Which is primarily why we have him up front. Really, Edward’s only role here is to be a punching bag because the Scapegoat has a massive resistance to physical attacks.

Really, Edward cannot even break double digit damage from a three hit combo in this fight. He is utterly useless except as a damage tank while Koudelka does all the heavy lifting and James keeps him alive for more abuse. I’m sure there’s something to be said about the characters’ relationship from this dynamic...

Between pumping her magic stats every level, the Catseye weapon and all the magical trait buffing accessories equipped on her, Koudelka’s magic stats will carry us through most of the game damage output wise. Even with nearly 10,000 HP this monster can be sorted out in 2-3 turns of hitting its environmental weakness. Especially since we’ve had Flare the longest, it’s now a Level 3 spell by this point.

That’s kind of it for the woman/spider/nightmare hybrid that is the Scapegoat. You might be thinking Koudelka might be slightly overpowered by this point. But I’m going to counter that with: this battle system is terrible and anything that makes it go faster is perfectly fine in my book. Honestly, I probably should have had James start working on being a secondary battle mage to make the fights go even faster with magic casting overwhelming odds.

At the battle’s conclusion we receive the very last magical spell in the game -- Reflect. The Reflect spell works exactly like it does in many RPGs with a similar (usually identical) spell: it reflects magical attacks. This will be extremely useful (by which I mean all but mandatory) in the near future. So we’ll just keep in mind it’s now a part of our magical arsenal.

Speaking of arsenal, the Scapegoat also drops the final pistol in the game -- the Automatic Pistol aka the Mauser C96. Also known as the right choice of handguns, the Red 9 from Resident Evil 4. Or the basis for Han Solo’s blaster from Star Wars if you’re some kind of lame nerd. The Automatic Pistol is a straight upgrade over the DA Pistol and best of its class for handguns in Koudelka. Its chief advantage is having 10 rounds over the usual six of the revolvers.

Fun fact: The Mauser C96 was first produced in 1896 making this a fairly new handgun on the market. Clumsy Patrick must have dropped the one he bought into the homunculi cauldron as he was fumbling with all those severed legs he was dropping in that afternoon. What a buffoon!

In any case, the holy water font has been purified and with it another Permanent Save Point. After a long absence, we’re actually coming up on the next timed item unlock at 10:10:10. Well... in around half an hour, at least. But we’ll sort that out next time. For now, we’ve still got some more business in this room beyond slaying that boss.

If the party tries to leave the room after killing the Scapegoat, a lengthy scene plays out as soon as we pass Elaine’s portrait. Let’s take a look...

So this is Elaine?
I don’t see what all the fuss is about.
<murderous scowl>

She’s the one I had the psychic vision of... Do you doubt it?
No indeed...
Good. Let’s begin.
Wait. You’re not going to let yourself get possessed by her or something, right? That didn’t go well last time...
No. I’m just going to summon her spirit.
...You can do that?
<shrug> Probably...

Koudelka performs some yoga breathing exercises as a low hum begins to emit from the painting and the ghost of Elaine Heyworth appears. Gonna go on record saying that the camera angle for this entire scene leaves something to be desired... I don’t think they intended for this entire emotional scene to be punctuated by an omnipresent Koudelka panty shot. But here we are...

<falls to her knees and starts panting>
It’s been a long time indeed, Mr. O’Flaherty
Oh Elaine, is that really you?
Yes, it is. It is such a pity we meet again and I can only present myself to you in this form.
You do not get to keep your shoes in spectral form, I’m afraid. It’s very rude of me.
<to Koudelka> This is the woman that responded to my voice is it not?

<rises to feet and nods>
Thank you for doing this for someone like myself.
You were screaming into my head with psychic calls every single evening as I tried to sleep for the last two weeks. I didn’t have much of a choice...
Elaine... Haven’t yet come to terms... Please tell me how this happened to you.
Didn’t she get murdered by some thieves?
<glares> Edward, I will end you.
OK... OK! Sheesh...

Of course I will explain.

New Music: Dead
(Music hardly ever plays in this game. You should probably listen.)

James... Eighteen years ago I was murdered by some thieves that broke into my home. I was helpless.
...... <hangs head>
See that’s exactly what I said...
Both Patrick and Ogden were out on business. There was nothing that anyone could do.
I will not accept this! This should not have happened!
Yes. Patrick responded the same exact way.
Well, initially. Bless his heart, it... got out of hand...
Understatement of the year...

He could not accept my death. He spent years and years perfecting his craft of wizardry and tried everything in his power to bring me back to life.

Resurrecting the dead? I-Is this for real? Hey, we're not talking about Frankenstein here...
That novel written about a hundred years ago.
It’s about this monster, Frankenstein, that was made out of corpses brought back to life.
I must have missed that one...
Frankenstein was actually the name of the doctor. The creature went unnamed. Also, it was actually only seventy-five years since it was written.
Well EXCUSE ME, miss. I suppose there is more wizardry in your husband’s version.

He was taking it very seriously! And he had found the key to actually make it happen...

<raises head> The Émigré Document.
Yes. With Ogden's assistance and the powers from ancient Druids, he held a resurrection ceremony in this monastery.
I haven’t seen dear Ogden in some time. It’s strange. He used to come regularly to talk to this portrait.
Oh... I’m sure he and his wife will be along... shortly. But about this ceremony...

But something went wrong, didn't it?
As I said, it got... out of hand... Repeatedly...
We read his journal. We know.
Oh thank goodness! That would have been awkward to go over...

He only resurrected my physical body. As you can see, my soul is still doomed to roaming the universe.
<hangs head>
Forever separated from my body. And the terrifying thing... is that my body was resurrected as a heartless monster.
Although the monster may look like me... <floats closer to James>

It is not me. Mr. O'Flaherty... Please! Turn my body into ashes with your power.
<raise head and sounds on the verge of tears> Ashes...? But if we do that, we won’t be able to bring you back to life...
Mr. O'Flaherty... I was robbed of my life by those thieves and I could hate them as mortal enemies. Choose to think that my death was preordained by the Lord.
<lowers head again>
Please do not mourn my death. It was wrong for Patrick to try to resurrect me.... to undo the work of God.
The hundreds of women he murdered wasn’t too great either... Was that the Lord’s plan too?
He works in mysterious ways.

<raises James’s head> Please do not be sad.

Death is at the heart of God's reasoning.
<voice echoes and gets further away> I urge you to destroy my body. Its existence defies the wise providence of Heaven. It mustn't exist in this world!

And with that Elaine’s ghost vanishes, never to be seen again.

Wait! E-Elaine!
I still don’t see what the big fuss is about with this broad...

<falls to his knees> God... curse... What a cruel world! I gave everything for your happiness! And now... what am I left with...? I have no meaning in my life...
<punches the ground> DAMN IT! What have I been doing with my life!?
<shouts at portrait> ELAINE! ELAAAAAAINE!!
Psst... Hey... Should we go or...?
Let’s just give him a minute...

And on that note we’ll let James have that minute. Tune in next time as we consult with everyone’s favorite Franciscan monk on recent events and see if we can’t figure out how to find Elaine and destroy her soulless monster body. I'm sure it'll be a straightforward, simple matter to accomplish. I’m less sure if that’ll sort out the nest of evil spirits and monsters fluttering about Wales. But at least it’s a solid objective as Koudelka continues!

Video: Episode 23 Highlight Reel
(You should watch this.)

James O’Flaherty’s Journey to Nemeton – He was never good at talking with ladies outside Elaine.