The Let's Play Archive

Shadow Hearts

by The Dark Id

Part 1: Episode I: Midnight Train

Episode I: Midnight Train

Welcome to Koudelka 2 Shadow Hearts. There really needs to be a term for games that lay the foundation of a successor series that go on to become the mainline franchise. There is Koudelka going into Shadow Hearts. Soul Edge/Blade going on to become Soulcalibur. Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain leading to the Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver games. I’m sure there are other examples. But that’s not really what we’re here for. Let’s get started with our new tale...

New Music: Wind Which Blows From the Dark I

Click Here to Watch the Opening Movie
(You should really watch this. It’s a real good opening. Also WAY more violent than most anything else in the game.)

Our story begins fifteen years after the conclusion of Koudelka. Gone are the dreary wastelands of the hellscape that is Wales. Instead, let’s venture to a lovely city in rustic France. Surely, the capital of the Normandy region of France is devoid of dark rituals, alchemical crimes against humanity and serial murders.

...OK. Perhaps I spoke too soon.

A travelling priest, brutally murdered before sunrise! His body lay scattered in pieces, as if savaged by a beast. His daughter, believed to be travelling with him, is missing...

Well, I’m sure that won’t be relevant. Let’s shift gears a continent over and several months later, shall we?

South Manchu—autumn, that same year.

So I might have been wrong on my assessment of dark dealings in French back alleys. But transcontinental railroads are another matter altogether. As far as I know there has never been a transcontinental rail trip that has no less than one or more murders, at least one to three people who are secretly spies or not who they claim to be, a serial killer/actual demon ready to strike, a robbery transpiring or a bomb planted somewhere aboard. There is some shit about to go down on this train if it hasn’t already. Put good money down on this fact.

This old lady passing this dapper gentleman? An Assassin is off to stop Templars planting an explosive in the engine car. Too bad she’ll have to make it through a botched heist two cars up and a Vatican priest hunting down an immortal killer battling on the roof the car ahead of that.

Meanwhile, some bum who sneaked on board is relieved to see nobody has checked for his ticket or asked him to move his feet off the seats for the last two stops. Living life large.

Meanwhile, in the dining car/caboose we find the place locked down by soldiers of the Japanese Army. Let’s see what they’re discussing inside.

It’s already past 2300 and it’s still a long way to Fengtian.
Major Tsugi, what is this about? Why the special train in the middle of the night to escort this girl to Japan?

She looks pretty ordinary to me.
Well other than the silver hair. What’s up with that?
Maybe she just went gray at an early age? Don’t ask me. I’d be happy to have any hair...
And that outfit. I didn’t even know they made buttons that size! What’s that about?
Do I look like an expert in Westerner fashion?

Hell if I know. There’s no telling what the big shots in Tokyo are thinking. Hmph... Next time I see you-know-who, I’ll ask her, okay?

GAAH! <crunch and chewing sounds>

Meanwhile, things have taken a turn for the gruesome with the guards outside. The first of the two was taken by surprise. Surely his partner will be able to hold the line! The honor of the mighty Japanese Imperial Army is on the li--


...How do you even get a head to twist in that direction? That’s some Havoc ragdoll physics gone awry shit right there.

Wh-what’s going on!?

Why Major, it’s only the most sinister, malicious force of ill-will you could ever come across...

...An old white guy.

<open fire>

<also gasps>
Argh! <pulls out pistol and opens fire>

Who went to town on the sliders when making this guy in a character creator? The head to face ratio on this man’s model is JACKED. But other than his unfortunate facial features, this guy has bigger problems.

It seems the dapper gentleman either has some kind of anti-bullet shield or... No! Could this be the work of an enemy Stand!?

Die! Die! Die!

<click click>

Pictured: The look of a man who wishes his face was twice its current size. Also, about to be brutally eviscerated by some kind of murder machine wizard.

ACK! <crunch> <blood splatter>

Ahh! It’s you...

Yes. Roger Bacon. I’m honored that you remember me so well.

Roger Bacon is looking fit compared to when we last saw him. Guy really cleaned up well in the past fifteen years. What’s his secret in... growing like two feet, de-aging a few hundred years, getting a completely different face, voice, skin tone, manner of speaking and gaining a Stand... Hmm.

The girl decides now that she’s cornered and feet away from the Stand user Roger Bacon she’s going to make a break for it. She is quickly deterred. Incidentally, it’s amazing she managed to not get a single drop of blood on her pristine outfit when it has coated literally every surface around her. That takes some talent.

You can’t escape. Ho-ho. Come along quietly, sister.

The sound of the train car opening comes from behind Roger.

Ahh... A new actor in our play.

Roger wastes no time siccing his little murder helper on the interloper and seemingly lopping off one of his arms. Only...

I don’t think this is how things were meant to work out for this little imp dude. He doesn’t seem to be enjoying himself.

I cannot believe that little murder gremlin is fucking dead. Turns out it was actually like a really aggressive, large mosquitoes and those soldiers would have been way better off just swatting the thing out of the air the whole time. Ahh well, hindsight and all that.

<shakes head dismayed> I was fond of him...
Poor, poor Doctor Mirabilis... <frowns>

That’s one baddie down. Just a moment though, our new guest needs to attend to something.

Just gotta glue this back on real quick. Spoilers: At no other point in the game can this guy just reattach limbs and regenerate like that. I mean, not that he is ever in a situation that warrants it again either. It’s just odd. Like if Piccolo in Dragon Ball Z just did the regrowing a limb technique exactly once ever out of nowhere and nobody spoke on it or mentioned it ever again.

Once more, the girl in distress decides that once things have calmed down and there are zero distractions, she’ll make a break for it. It goes about as well as you’d expect...

Uh-uh. <sleep spell>

Our hero has slightly better timing with his actions and rushed Roger Bacon as soon as he’s busy abducting the girl. Unfortunately, there’s one thing he didn’t take into account.

Roger Bacon’s Special Eyes™!

The monk’s Brand sends the man flying back through the wall of three train cars. It doesn’t seems like it’s a very fun time to have. Good thing the train was on a straight away and not a big turn. That could have gone way worse.

And he also didn’t manage to go flying back far enough to crash into any knife fights, sorcery duels, political kidnappings or a clutch bomb defusing happening just a few cars back at this very time on the railroad.

<gets up from getting owned like The Undertaker> Heh...

Tune in next time as Shadow Hearts begins in earnest and we get to work punching the shit out of that dapper wizard. There’s no way he’d use the Special Eyes™ move twice, right? Absurd.

Video: Shadow Hearts Intro
(Hey go watch this!)