The Let's Play Archive

Shadow Hearts

by The Dark Id

Part 11: Episode XI: The Alluring Spy

Episode XI: The Alluring Spy

Music: Coffee With Bullet

Now that we have some downtime, we are free to explore Fengtian. This city has actually had its name changed several times. At this point in history it should be going by Mukden with Fengtian referring to the province. The year following this game, 1914, it would have its name changed to Shenyang (which was actually an older name for the city) though most would still call it Mukden. Japan took over occupying this region from Russia in 1905 following Russia getting its ass kicked in the Russo-Japanese War. Don’t worry about all that too much. Shadow Hearts is working on an alternate history that only gets more hinkey with its grasp on actual events as it goes along.

Anyway, let’s talk to some townsfolk.

So I thought up a new service to draw customers. I call it “Pedometer Service”.
Whoa-whoa-whoa! Hold up, champ. NOT interested!
...Do you not know what a pedometer is, sir?
Some sicko rating for how much you wanna diddle kids?
This is why I seldom speak to people... No, it is a device that keeps track of how much many steps you take by tracking the movement of your hands or hips.
OK... You should really workshop that name, though.

First of all, let me give you this. <hands Yuri a Pedometer>
Wear that when you walk though danger. It’ll count your steps. Get enough and win a cool prize! ...No?
<shakes head> I don’t want it? No, no, I’ll have it if I can. Are you selling it?
Sir... what you just said was borderline incomprehensible. I already gave you the device and explained the rules...
Look I just walked all night after fighting a buncha cat demons, an ogre and a wizard. Sorry I ain’t talkin’ so good. So can I get a prize?

I’m sorry, but I don’t have any merchandise for sale at the moment.
Even if I did, I literally gave you the pedometer 20 seconds ago and you have not walked a single foot. You would able to claim zero prizes and waste both of our times browsing.
Tch. Whatever man. Maybe you should stop yappin’ then?

The Pedometer is now in our possession. The Silent Peddler will show up at random points in the game and as he said we can claim prizes by turning in points correlating with the number of steps we’ve taken ONLY in areas with random battles. So no tying a rubber band, pointing Yuri at a corner of the town square and leaving the game running overnight. Unfortunately, this is an accessory so if we want to participate in the Silent Peddler business we need to give up an inventory slot.

The game actually tracks a variety of stats in the “Score” tab of the pause menu. Gah! So close to a nice ranking... Alas... Let us return to chatting townsfolk.

I hear that some awful criminals have escaped and are hiding out here in Fengtian. God have mercy!
N-no! Don’t hit me, sir, please!!
Word of my punching might have gotten out of hand. It’s not like I’m gonna go around socking innocent old ladies, now... Sheesh!
...? Oh, I guess... you’re not Japanese, are you? I’ve never seen eyes that color before.
Don’t worry about that... I have... special eyes...

This is becoming an amazing city. Architects and engineers from the world over are on a building spree.

Spoilers: We’ll be seeing 100% of the explorable parts of Fengtian’s streets halfway through this update.

The soldiers are scary, though... Who do they think we are, anyway?!
Native underlings of an occupied region?
You don’t have to put it so plainly!

Just a day’s stay there costs... Goodness! A month’s salary, for me!
Wandering in circles, only stopping to talk to random guys that walk up to you really ain’t payin’ the bills, huh?
Hmm? You... that...

Building-loving Man somehow notices what is in Yuri’s pocket and transmogrifies into...

P-Play? Play what?
You don’t know? It’s your first time, eh? Then let me explain. That ticket you have there, it’s a Lottery Ticket. When you have a Lottery Ticket... we members of the World Lottery Association let you play for lots of fabulous prizes.
What is with this city and dudes springing random prize raffles on you...?
But we never tell anyone about the lottery unless they have a Ticket. Basically, the lottery is secret. Don’t worry. It’s not shady. The chairman is just funny that way.
World Lottery Association? The way the chairman likes it? It all sounds pretty fishy to me.
This like a mob scam or are you a cop? You sound like a cop.
Don’t ask me any more than I’ve already told you. If you I tell you anything more about the chairman... it could mean my life... Just kidding. But seriously, it could strain our beautiful friendship.

Leaning back towards mob scam now...
Hah hah hah. They say the proof is in the pudding. Try it once and you’ll see what it’s all about. Whadda ya say? Wanna play?
Seems kind of suspicious to me. PROBABLY gonna regret it... But eh, what the hell?
>Sure. I’ll give it a whirl.
All right, here we go, then.

When the indicator stops on a color that matches a prize, you get that prize. The indicator will go around as many times as you want, so take your time. All right. Here goes.

In other words, it’s a Judgment Ring. Each color on the ring represents a different prize. Usually the Red Prize is the best item and also the smallest Hit Area. This ring spins fairly slowly. Like one second for one revolution slow. So it’s not a problem to hit the mark. They will get much more difficult. It is incredibly recommended to find a save point and use it before dealing with these guys.

When tapping the button to stop the Judgment Ring indicator, the dial will do one full revolution but whenever the button is tapped is where it will actually stop. There’s no momentum for it slowing down factor like the Price is Ring Showcase Showdown wheel or anything.

Our prize for this Lottery Member is a Jade Lariat which does just as it says in the description. We want to win at least one prize from each Lottery Member. It’s possible to win multiple prizes from the same Lottery Member by spending multiple Lottery Tickets. But there are only around 20ish Lottery Tickets in the game and fifteen members to play through the adventure. There may also be a bonus Lottery Member who only appears if we’ve played every single previous one. And these guys are absolutely able to be permanently missed. This first dude right here we only have the window lasting to the where this update ends and he’s gone for good. So yep. Totally possible to fuck-up this sidequest immediately in the third area of the game.

Oh, just one word of caution. Association members all have different prizes, and there aren’t all that many Lottery Tickets out there, either. I urge you to choose carefully whose lottery you’ll play. Well, then, good luck!

As a final note, World Lottery Association members will not reveal themselves unless we’re currently carrying a Lottery Ticket. Speak to that man again and he’ll instantly revert to just an NPC that wants to stay at a fancy hotel in the distance.

In any case, that’s enough chatting with townsfolk. Let’s wake Alice up and get on with our journey of err... not getting Alice kidnapped, I suppose.

Alice groggily gets off the bench.

…Oh, you’re up? You okay? You were sweating like crazy… Have a nightmare or somethin’?
You can’t have been warm with your butt sitting out in the breeze like that...
It was terrible. I was in a dark room… maybe a hospital, and there was a woman, all alone, crying… She… she was staring at me. And then, that man! The one from the train… Bacon… appeared.
What happened to the woman?
I don’t know. It got dark all of a sudden, I couldn’t see…
I had a doctor once tell me something about “Foreshadology” and how my dreams could tap into it. But I can’t remember what he said...
Hah! Don’t let it get to ya. It’s just a dream, right?
I have dreams about cursed masks unleashing creatures of negative energy I have to punch into submission or my ghost dad will show up to kick my ass. Happens to everyone.

And the old guy, what’s his name…? Bacon, right. If he shows up again… well, I’ll make him wish he didn’t.

With Alice back in our party, we’re free to run into the nearest sketchy back alley and snoop around.

Music: ENDS

Yep... Definitely looks like a good place to get mugged. There’s a Tent in that chest if you’re curious. No doubt muggers would rappel down from the rooftops along with their dogs to attack unsuspecting adventurers drawn to said chest. But fortunately for us, the Japanese Army is keeping the random battles away. For now...

<notices Yuri> Oh hey, you there! We got lots a’good stuff! C’mon, take a look!

Eh, may as well. Not like we have much choice. The end of the alley is blocked by a pair of Japanese privates that just tell us to get lost. But as we enter...

New Music: Blade seems there is something more going on up on the rooftop.

The woman strolls over to a silver attaché case which she opens to reveal a portable radio device.

We blow up those cars, and the Japanese Army’ll be stuck here for at least two months! Hah! I can see the look on that idiot Kawashima’s face now… Not that I know what she looks like.
...I should probably look into that some time, now that I think of it. Ah, well! Some other time!
Malkovich, why is a pro like you always letting your personal feelings get involved? Our objective is to track the movements of the Japanese Army, not cause unwanted trouble… Speaking of unwanted trouble, you didn’t set any unnecessary bombs this time… right?
Just because we allocate you extra explosives for contingencies, DOES NOT mean you need to use ALL of them.
<walks a distance and looks off the roof> Don’t worry. Only one.

What else could I do?! There are plenty of innocent people working in that depot, too, you know! And… and they all have these cute little lunchboxes! Anyway, all I did was set a little one outside. See? It’ll go “pop” BEFORE the big one, everyone’ll come running out to see what it was, then, KA-BOOM!!

And what if they lock down the station due to a terror threat...?
Pfft... What are the odds of that?

Ah, ah ha ha! D-don’t get into one of those moods on me! Look, I’d better finish up my work here. My handiwork’ll be in the papers again. Make sure you check out the morning editions! ‘Kay then, bye!

Malkovich deactivates the radio and closes the case. Meanwhile...

New Music: Heaven - Kungyang Kungyang

So what if there is a terrorist spy on the roof planning a bombing? That’s not our problem. Yuri and Alice don’t even know about that! Let’s see what’s going on in this shop which... is clearly a bar.

Wanderer Meiyuan has migrated to Fengtian. The “wanderer” part of his name is just an excuse as to how he’ll show up in every location the party makes it to, no matter how unlikely. We don’t need his services today.

You slept on a park bench for like four hours.
Yes... Well... No more wasting any MORE time.

We actually need to speak to the shopkeeper to progress. She has the third tutorial for today to throw at us.

Oh, a Guild Card, eh? It’s that card you’re holding with the crow and snake design on it. It’s called a Guild Card.
Does everyone in China just inherently know what’s in your pockets?
It’s pretty common in Europe too.
Rude is what it is. Sheesh!

With it, stores everywhere will allow you to try to get a discount or a price raise. There are many kinds of Guild Cards. The one you have is a Snake Card.
A discount?
Choosing Discount lets you try a ring challenge in hopes of getting a price discount. If you successfully complete the ring, the shop will give you a discount. If you run out of money, and keep losing on the ring, the card loses its power, so be careful.
Or price raise?
Choose Price Raise lets you try a ring challenge in hopes of getting a price raise on sold goods. If you’re successful at the ring, the shop will buy your goods for a special rate. How’s that sound?
Sounds like this city was built on a carny burial ground. Just show me whatcha got on sale.

We aren’t super flush in cash. But this store is selling the next level of both weapons and armor for Alice and Yuri. We can at least afford to pick-up that.

We’re purchasing or selling an item from now on, we have the option of getting a Discount/Sell Raise by doing a Judgment Ring mini-game. The Snake Card only offers 10% off/5% value raise. But since we’re on a tight budget, any bit can help.

It’s a pretty simple Judgment Ring spin at the Snake Card value. Just hit all three Hit Areas in succession successfully and the discount is ours. Screwing this up will result in immediately having to pay the full normal price and also incur a Penalty Point on our Guild Card. Accruing five Penalty Points will result in the Guild Card losing its function and that discount option being gone for good. Much like the Lottery Members, it’s best to save before trying this stuff. Just in case...

It’s also worth mentioning that the game will also dock us a Penalty Point if we attempt to purchase an item and don’t have the funds. So no mashing through those buttons carelessly while window shopping. Anyway, about our new goodies...

Yuri gets some new spiked rings to hold while punching for a +10 Physical Attack and +8 Special Attack. That’s worth the money.

Perfect for the man who swears by leather in battle -- the rare Battle Leather Daddy. This offers +10 to both Physical and Special Attack Defense and a 1% increase to evasion thanks to that smooth southern steer leather.

Now that she’s a demon hunter sidekick, Alice has tossed out her bible in favor of some more heretical tomes. This offers her a +8 to Physical Damage and +13 to Special Attack. Going to be a while before we get use out of the latter stat, but hey.

Alice also gains a skirt which offers +9 to Physical and +11 to Special Attack Defense and that 1% gain to evasion. Unfortunately, her character model will never gain a longer skirt.

That’s about all for our mercantile needs in Fengtian. Speaking with Alice again will give us the option to hit the road. Only, as soon as they try to depart a radio on a nearby table crackles to life with an important announcement.

Music: DOA

The Army has issued the following report: Criminals suspected in the mass murder of... Army soldiers aboard the Changchun-Fengtian train today have disappeared into Fengtian.
Psst. We should probably go...

The ringleader is a thin Caucasian female. All suspicious persons are to be reported to HQ immediately.


Hey, that... that broadcast just now...! Don’t tell me... Are you people...?!
After I gave you a Guild Card tutorial and everything...
Hey! Do I look like a thin Caucasian female!?
<bzzt> The ringleader may be traveling with either a smartly dressed older gentleman or a tall, wiry younger vagrant looking sort.
I’m gonna find and punch whoever invented the radio...

Honey! Dear, help!!
<shakes head> N-no! There’s been a mistake!
The older gentleman was behind the massacre.
So you admit you were there!?
Yes... I mean... But it wasn’t like that...
You are bad at this.

Damn it, what a bother... Let’s go, Alice!

The two bolt for the door just as the shopkeeper’s husband runs in. At the same time...

Fine! Call the cops! Your stupid shop was overpriced anyway! Oooh! 10% discount if you win a carnival game! Gimme a break!

And then Yuri and Alice died in a terrorist bombing. Tune in next time for the new adventures of Malkovich the Alluring Spy as Shadow Hearts series retools next time!

Alice Elliot Status Screen Art – Lady, those cuffs are out of control. How do you put anything near your face without smacking yourself?