The Let's Play Archive

Shadow Hearts

by The Dark Id

Part 12: Episode XII: The Sewer That Killed My Computer

Episode XII: The Sewer That Killed My Computer

You know, it is a bold move to introduce a pair of protagonists for the opening couple of hours of a game only to kill them both off out of nowhere and shift gears from occult intrigue to a spy thriller. But Shadow Hearts plays by its own rules.

The Alluring Spy leaps off the roof. She has very sturdy legs.

Music: Blade

…Ugh. H-hey now… What’s with the big boom alla sudden…
<looks around> Whoa! Lady, I can see your…
Good, you’re alive. Thank God the bomb I designed to SAVE people didn’t end up killing them!
Still... getting a real show here lady... Kinda just got blown up... This is on you...
Anyway, I hope you got a good look, sonny boy. Just think of it as my apology.
...I’ll take it.
<walks over to Alice> …And how are you feeling, Miss?
I’m… I’m all right.
Alice, you get a free show if you lie around for a minute...
I don’t think it is your concern.

Alice and Yuri pick themselves up. As they do, a couple of Japanese soldiers run onto the scene down the alley.

They’re the people from the radio!!
Wait... I thought we were after only the one white woman.
Yes and...?
There are two white ladies here.
Err... What was the description again?
Caucasian, slender build, light color hair, wearing a short dress... Err... Again... There’s two of ‘em.
Hmph. Ergh... This is above our paygrade.

Call for reinforcements!! H-hurry, we gotta inform the Captain!

The two soldiers run off.

Hee hee! So they’re after you too, are they?!
Us?! We’re not bomb-toting terrorists, ya hear? Jeez, lady, my ears are still ringing!
Don’t worry, that’ll clear up. Now then, I’ve got to get out of here before they get back, but… What are you going to do? I can’t baby-sit, but you can come with me if you want.
Where? The street you blew up or the other part of the street you blew up?
I’d call it more of an alley, but...

<walks to already open for some reason manhole> Okay, I’m going on ahead. See ya!

The Alluring Spy peaces out into the sewer. You think she put a small explosive beneath the manhole to blow it off giving her a quick Plan B exit?

Yuri, did you hear that radio broadcast?
Yeah, sounds like they’ve blamed you for the attack on the train last night.
Yeah... You heard the same broadcast as me. We just got chewed out by that old hag shopkeeper.
Right... I just had an explosive go off near me. Forgive me for being a bit out of sorts.

Don’t worry. I’m your accomplice, after all.
I did splatter two or three monster heads and punch out a wizard’s eye. I can take the blame for SOME of the mess.
Wait a sec, we can’t stand around chatting! Let’s move! Looks like we can get out through here, like that woman did.
Ugh... I can’t believe I’m already roped into a sewer level...

Before we head down, the bombing knocked loose a Lottery Ticket in a random spot in the alley. We’ll need to hold on to that for later.

No avoiding it. Our only option is going forward into a sewer level. At least they’re getting it out of the way early...

Music: ENDS. Sound of stock water flowing begins.

Narrow side paths, a canal in the middle with muddy flowing water, narrow bridges over said canal, straight line corridors and a ladder or two. Yep... This sure is a sewer level. Thankfully, it’s a very short one by JRPG standards. Before we get on our way, you see that small staircase? The one leading into the raw sewage? If we have Yuri inspect that, we find...

I’ve got some bad news about those “granules of gold” you just found in that sewage hourglass...

As we all know, the various subterranean waste canals the world over are host to all manner of unseemly characters in the best of times and an unwavering nest of man-eating monsters in all other cases. Fengtian’s sewers are no exception...

Music: Brain Hopper

Mutant Frogs make their home in these particular sewers. Ones with tendencies to smack anyone that comes their way with their err... tongue hands. Now does a hit with tongue-hand constitute a slap or a lick? Maybe a... slick? Slaick? Regardless, these hits can cause the Poison status effect at random.

They can also lickap Yuri or Alice in a specific gross way to cause a random Ring Abnormality if they’re feeling really saucy.

Other than that, they’re not too substantial a foe. Especially with our new weapon load-out. Even Alice is able to bop a Mutant Frog in a single combo. Yuri has ‘em beat in at most two strikes.

The far more troubling mob are these jerks. Hey, remember the monsters from the Plains? Well they’re back with a new coat of paint and in greater numbers.

Fire Bats in particular are a real pain in the ass because, as the name might suggest, they can shoot Fire Balls doing a not too bad 6-12 HP of damage. The more annoying part is they have high Agility so they get more turns/initiative over our party and they ALL do nothing but Fire Ball, which is about an 8-10 second animation. Which might not sound so bad but look, I don’t want to see any lame lengthy casting animations that give me flashbacks to Koudelka, alright?

The Spiders Shiki Bugs are just stat buffed spiders that cause poison more often. No big deal. What is vaguely dangerous about this mob is there’s an awful lot of ‘em to burn through and the Fire Bats have more HP than you’d think. If we’re not careful, this is a really easy fight to lose track of Alice’s Sanity Points and...

New Music: Ghost Jogging
(Doubt we’ll hear this much, so listen to an anxiety attack now.)

...have her become Berserk. VIOLENTLY! Berserk gets its own music track to know you’ve done fucked up and better fix it immediately. I briefly mentioned what Berserk does earlier, but let’s see it in action. We completely lose control of anyone who is Berserk, naturally. What makes this status really suck and to be avoided at all costs is the following...

They’ll waste our consumables! That Elixir equivalent you’ve been hording the entire game JUST IN CASE? Berserking character won’t give a fuck! Yuri’s down 9 HP. Top him off! Top the enemy off! Fuck it!

They’ll also do other assorted stupid shit like buff or heal the enemy and generally waste MP on frivolous junk. Set their allies on fire. Fuck it! YOLO! Needless to say, we’re gonna avoid Berserk status if it can ever be helped.

One final note: Sanity Points don’t just stop at 0 SP and start the Berserk status. They keep going down into negative SP if the condition is not treated and the Berserk character keeps getting turns to be a huge crazed dingus. Friends don’t let friends stay Berserk.

Music: END. Back to water flowing.

There’s a couple more monsters in the area. But we’ll see ‘em soon enough. In the meantime, there is a treasure chest to loot. I bet whatever Fengtian native stuck this down here thought they were being really clever with their hiding place. Who’d look around in a sewer? The FOOL!

All that’s in here is the second tier of Sanity Point restorative. These don’t start showing up in shops for several areas, so it’s nice to have an early sampling. It only restores 7 SP but that’s usually more than enough for a single fight.

To progress, we actually need to double back around the canal and reach the other side to that hole in the wall. Jumping across a sewer waterway is unthinkable. What if poo water got on Yuri’s coat? Scandalous. When we reach it, we find...

Is something there…?
Another monster…?
I dunno…
<crackle knuckles> One way to find out...

The puppy from earlier bounces out.

HOLY FU—wha?
Bark, bark!
G-Goddamn it, don’t freak me out like that!!

Whine, whine...
The little runt got lost in here, and now he can’t find his way out! Hah! How dumb! <laughs>
Tee-hee! Just like us, no?

Stupid dog! Ya making me look bad!
A-anyway, Alice! We’re off! Forget about the dog.
But we can’t just leave it here! Let’s take it to the exit with us, at least.
Hey, suit yourself, baby! I sure wish someone would take US to the exit…
Don’t blame me if you get fleas.
Don’t be mean. You don’t have fleas, do you?
Bark! Bark! Bork!
Just sayin’, it IS a sewer pup...

Gunshots are heard.


Alice scoops up the puppy and the two run in the direction of the shots.

OK, maybe they don’t immediately run in the direction of gunfire. If we inspect the hole the puppy was hiding in, we find yet another Lottery Ticket. What a lucky puppy. OK, now about that firefight...

It’s that woman…!
Oh… Asleep again, eh? Heh heh heh… What should I do? <laughs>
Asleep again...?
You know, like that one time yo—ergh. Never mind!

Um, hello?
She isn’t... dead... right?
I dunno. Sure ain’t gonna be able to tell from the smell down here.

<shakes head> Good heavens, she’s out cold. I’m sure she wouldn’t mind if I just…

Go ahead.
<jumps back> Whoa!! You’re awake?!
And you’re a bit of a creep, huh?

The spy picks herself up off the ground.

Aren’t you going to help me up with an “Are you all right, fair lady?” and a smile?
B-but, you obviously don’t need any help…
<shrugs and shakes her head> I never imagined there’d be monsters roaming the sewers. I guess even I can slip up sometimes.
...That’s like the only thing that is ever roaming in sewers, lady. That and weird information broker hobo villages.
Yes, well... I thought perhaps China would be different, is all!

That was almost the end of my epic saga! If the press were to lose me now, they’d be positively crushed. Ow! Ouch.
Are you all right?
<laughs> Yes, I’m fine. Thanks. Oh, you’re the two I met before, aren’t you? The terrorist boy and the mysterious girl.
YOU’RE the terrorist. We’re just a couple’a helpless “murderers”.
Hell, I think I’m only vague “accomplice” to miss Rail Tracer over here, right now.
Could we please stop bringing that up?

Terrorist?! Don’t lump me together with those barbarians! I’m a spy. S-P-Y. Get it? A ravishing beauty that just happens to be Miss Spy Genius.
But you did just set off a bomb in a public place, right?
Yes. But the reasons for it were much more complicated than mere pedestrian terrorism.
...Don’t think that one is gonna hold up in court.

The name’s Malkovich. Of course, “Malkovich” is only my CODE name. Say, tell you what… I’ll let you in on a secret, sonny boy: My real name. A little “thank-you” for coming to save me!
Look, I didn’t come to save you. And you don’t have to tell me your name.

Yuri begins walking off.

The hell is a “telephone number”? Look, I ain’t big on math.
Little bit of a bumpkin, huh? I could educate you.

<turns back> Jeez! I got it, already! Okay, so what’s your name?
You wanna know THAT bad, huh? My, my! I can’t keep them away with a stick!
Fine, forget it. <starts walking away again>
H-hold on! All right, all right. Here goes. My real name is...

Meet our fourth party member: Margarete Gertrude Zelle. Who you might know better from history as Mata Hari. Don’t worry much at all about the historical Margaretha Geertruida MacLeod/Zelle. Shadow Hearts’ version may as well just be Nina Williams from Tekken with the martial arts replaced with more guns.

Nice to meet you both. You won’t regret having me on board!

About ten seconds after this line I saved a recording of footage and my computer blue-screened as several components of my PC decided now was the time to die. Shit... You called it, Yuri! Well done...

Margarete Gertrude Zelle Status Art – I’d comment, but my computer is on fire.