The Let's Play Archive

Shadow Hearts

by The Dark Id

Part 14: Episode XIV: A Tiny Problem

Episode XIV: A Tiny Problem

I suppose the wandering exorcist adventures of Zhuzhen: The Legendary Journeys will have to wait for another day. Everyone seems to have survived their second bombing of the day relatively intact.

Margarete and Yuri quickly get back to their feet. Alice isn't quite so fast to recover. It's understandable; most people don't get blown up twice in the span of an hour.

Alice gets up as well.

<frown> This really needs to stop happening…
Yeah, no joke.

<looks at wreckage> Another ka-boom? What the hell’s going on?
<looks offscreen to the right>

Something catches Alice's eye and she runs off.

Hey lady, I thought you said you were done with all the damn explosives? You have a serious problem.
This one wasn't me…
I was the one who was going to… reappropriate that plane, remember? Why would I bl—


Yuri and Margarete rush over to Alice in order to see what's wrong.

Music: Misfortune - Psycho Temple

T-the dog is TALKING?!
C-Could it always do that?

…You’re the one that blew up the plane, aren’t you!? And just as we were about to make our escape!!
As if I’m going to go chasing you halfway across the continent! I think not. You’re coming with me. …The heathen girl, that is.
Who ARE you…?! This evil aura…!! So YOU’RE the one that’s been watching us! Ever since the sewers!
Hee hee hee… That’s correct.
Ohh, I get it! You’re Bacon! What, did ya get reincarnated as a dog after I killed you on the train?!
I can't believe I punched a guy so hard he came back as a Chinese sewer pup. Pfft…
Haw haw haw!! This… this is too much!! H-how unbelievably LAME!! Haw haw haw!!

Evil puppy aura intensifies.

You want to know who I am?! Not that you zeros are even worthy of hearing my name. Hee hee hee…
Um, let’s see… Is it “Tiny”, after all?
<snorts> Alice, did this little guy whisper you his name while we weren't looking? Ha ha ha!
D'aww. That'd be adorable… if he didn't blow up our plane.
Hey, how do you think he did that? Did he like… set up a little tiny puppy bomb or somethin'?
…I'll be way less upset if there actually was a teenie-weenie lil' puppy bomb he had to activate with his widdle paws!
That… that would be pretty cute…

Puppy aura… intensifies.

<shrugs> I can’t follow all this. Look, buddy, I don’t know who y’are, but we don’t have time to chew the fat.
I do got one question though… Were you like possessing this puppy the entire time? Or transformed into it? Whichever.
What difference does it make, you insolent fool!?
If you were in control the entire time… does that mean you were the one making all those puppy yelps and barks the whole time?
Haw haw haw!! Oh man, he totally was! I didn't think this could get lamer. Ha ha ha!
Oh, wow! You have a real talent for that, lil' fella.

<aura grows> Nnnghh…! I will not stand for this! You shall repent! Taste my wrath… the wrath of DEHUAI!!

Music: China Ogre

Boss fight time! Tiny has gone through a real growth spurt and rebranded as "Beast Dog" in the process. No mythology or folklore with this one. Its Japanese title is just "Bewitched Dog." It's just a big, angry hellhound. Of all things, it heavily reminds me of Django, the sub-boss of that classic PS1 fighter Ehrgeiz: God Bless the Ring. That's the first and hopefully last time I'll recall that title for the next decade.

Beast Dog is a Fire elemental opponent which comes to the party packing 480 HP. Which means Margarete is going to fill a role similar to Zhuzhen where she'll be taking the most damage as well as being our biggest DPS boon.

First things first, we're going to transform Yuri into Raging Tiger and have him do his usual routine of just smacking an enemy until further notice. In retrospect, we were quite close to unlocking Yuri's Water elemental Fusion and that probably would have been quite helpful here. But I may have gotten knocked out of whack with my PC dying and having to replay all of Fengtian over to catch up to this point.

That's fine, there's a Plan B in kitty got wet and now does Water elemental damage with his claws for just as much damage as it would have been doing had we the Water Fusion. Yuri goes from dealing 45-65 HP of damage a turn to 80-90 HP of damage around. I think that'll offset our brief deficiency.

Meanwhile, Margarete is just going to return to slinging grenades at everything until things stops being quite so insane. Or maybe that's just her standard reaction for everything. It's hard to say, we've only just met her. Remember these are tactical water balloons in Grenade form, so they're doing upward of 60-70 damage to the Beast Dog every cast.

As usual, Alice is filling her White Mage niche and keeping everyone healthy. This battle can last a bit, so we need to take extra care of making sure her Sanity stays in the black.

Attack wise, Beast Dog doesn't have the largest arsenal of attacks. Its primary threat is its fandom of Breath of Fire, a series of which Dehuai is adamant about being underrated and deserving of a revival. Breath of Fire hits Yuri and Alice for 35-45 HP of damage while the Water elemental Marge gets heated for 55-65 damage. Alice needs to prioritize making sure Margarete is first in line to get healed afterward.

Other than that, it just kind of swipes and bites at single targets. Quite hard, mind you. Its damage is 30-60 HP depending on how many times it decides to strike in a single turn. That's kind of the Beast Dog's only two moves…

Offensively at least. Every third or so turn, Tiny will borrow a technique from the Water Tiger earlier and boost its Fighting Spirit for a 15% bump in physical damage. If everyone stays above around 60 HP, we should be fine.

Killing a puppy doesn't count as child murder, right? I mean it grew up quite quickly and we fought it as what looks like an adult hellhound. Unless that's the size of a puppy canine monster. I'm uncertain on the growth patterns of a Cerberus, honestly. Regardless, Beast Dog is only marginally more challenging than the previous chapter's major boss. It isn't until the next area where the game takes off its kiddie gloves and throws us a particularly challenging boss fight.

Music: Results

Defeating the Beast Dog nets us a nice reward of EXP and Cash. Everyone managed to Level Up with Alice learning her first offensive spell (and first Light magic offensive spell in general) in Blessed Light. We'll see more of that another day.

Our victory also lends us a tribute to Lucky Dan which will take a mortal blow for us. Optimally, we are going to try to avoid having our party members get knocked out, so this emergency measure doesn't have a ton of use.

Music: Coffee With Bullet

Ha ha! Giving yourself away like that… real smart, DEHUAI!
I'll be sure to bring some dog treats next time we see you, jerk!
He seems to know about Roger Bacon. Not only that, but… He seems to know about ME, too.
<yells> Hey, come on, you two! We’ve gotta stay on our toes! I know a little something about that Dehuai character. I’ll tell you about it later.
Wha? No, none of that trailing off and you leave the party crap! That quack doctor already pulled that! Tell us what you know now.
OK, sonny boy. I know this all took a… strange… turn recently, but in case you've forgotten… we're still breaking onto an airbase and the Japanese army will undoubtedly have reinforcements here any minute.
Oh… Yeah. Shoot, that's not great.

In the meantime, I’ll look for a plane we can use. Be right back!

Margarete dashes off in search of a non-exploded plane.

You DO have that whole innocence thing going on…. Or maybe it’s because… you have some big secret.
<stomps foot> Ooh…! Don’t look at me that way!

The pair are interrupted by the labored sound of a plane barely managing to turn its engine over. It rolls on over to Yuri and Alice's position.

New Music: Rice Field of Light
(This sure sounds like a lost festival/town theme from Xenogears or Chrono Cross.)

It was abandoned, I think… but it started when I gave it a swift kick!

…Oh yeah, that’s a hand-me-down, all right.
I didn't know the Wright Brothers made a trip to China…
…You don't know what a telephone is but you do know who the Wright Brothers were?
<shrug> Yeah? And? I also know this thing looks like a death trap.

Y-you want us to RIDE in it?
Bingo! Stop your chattering, kids, and hop in!

Alice and Yuri get onboard.

Oh, I’m so sorry, Yuri!
N-no problem! You’re plenty light, Alice!
Don’t you two get all cuddly on me now! This is it! Hold on tight!

And away we go!

It’s really sh-sh-shaking!! Eeeek!!
There’s no turning back now! Come on, Yuri, you’re a BOY for God’s sake! Show a little gumption!!
Don't think my junk is gonna help me survive a flying machine crashing!
Not with that attitude!!

Here goes! Full throttle!!

Sometime later…

Music: Army Mood

Leaving just four men on reserve to guard the entire base, honestly…
Just how far do they think they can get in that rust heap…? Amusing little fools…
<steps forward> Lt. Colonel, the pursuit planes are prepared to fire! With your permission, we can shoot them down!

Wouldn't it make more sense to pursue them until that time, ma'am? Our planes can be in the air in just a few minutes. The enemy plane is… it's still in visual range in the horizon.
Are you questioning my orders?
N-no, ma'am! Sorry, ma'am!

One thing does surprise me, however. I never imagined they’d be involved with that “Malkovich”…
I-I apologize about the state of our troops, Lt. Colonel, I…
Don’t worry about it. I’m heading for Dalian; make the preparations. I suppose we shall have to set traps for them, then lay patiently in wait.
<stands at attention> Yes, ma’am! Understood!

And that concludes Chapter 3 of Shadow Hearts! Yuri, Alice and Margarete's adventures will continue in Chapter 4: Dark Port Dalian! I'm sure that name sounds much less sinister in the original tongue…

That's another chapter in the bank. Let's take a closer look at all the friends we made along the way.


You always know the product is taking a hit when they start cutting it with rat guts and pigeon feathers.

At least this giant spider isn't into weird butt stuff.

…This frog is picking up the butt stuff slack.

The Mutant Frog Tournament Arc is a hell of a thing.

Honestly, whose head doesn't make a discordant noise when hit?

He's looking real trim for a Fat Boys Only diet.

Remember when Yuri and Margarete stone-cold killed a bunch of 18-year-old conscripts?

Shadow Hearts really likes the term "warlock," which I felt I hadn't seen a whole lot in fiction recently. Then I saw a trailer before a movie with both Jack Black and Agent Dale Cooper as warlocks and now I don't know what to think.

Evil 3 is just happy to be here.


Kawashima is based on a real person of the same name. She was a Manchurian princess raised in Japan and acted as a spy during the Second Sino-Japanese War. She's sometimes referred to as Eastern Mata Hari. Although Kawashima was a real ass spy. The Western Mata Hari was at best not an actual spy and blackmailed into getting some dirt on people and at worst just godawful at her job.

Again, Shadow Heart's version is based on her. Don't worry about any of the actual history in the wiki article. The historical Yoshiko Kawashima would have been six years old in 1913 and that's clearly not the case... Don't bring up the character from Covenant, thanks.

I like to think he accidentally got a peg-leg just a wee bit too long and had to get that platform boot to compensate.

Tiny font of evil.


Video: Beast Dog Boss Battle

Dehuai Portrait – So did he deliberately have Tiny shipped from Shanghai to Fengtian in order to perform this ruse, or…?