The Let's Play Archive

Shadow Hearts

by The Dark Id

Part 20: Episode XX: Fire and Water

Episode XX: Fire and Water

Music: Manufacture - Conveyorbelt for Killers

Mother, did you hide on the boat to put Li Li’s soul to rest? What, you KNEW this would happen?!
<shakes head> Yes… I didn’t think Li Li would give up so easily. I would give my life to save that poor girl’s soul!
And you didn't warn us about a potential ghost stowaway... why, again?
What was the plan if the ghost chick like stayed behind in the village instead?
This is a one-way trip to Shanghai. How are you even getting back home even if you did deal with Li Li?

Say, Sea Mother… What happened after Li Li opened the door that night fourteen years ago?
<nods> Ah… We were interrupted.
...All those questions and THAT is the one you're going to answer?
Oh, frick... Not another ghost story... Alice, you're burning through that goodwill you just built up REAL fast, here...

Sea Mother backs up and takes the storytelling position. No voice acting for the conclusion of the Li Li tale, sadly...

She saw her father, back from the dead… he was in a terrible state. He returned to let Li Li take his life. He returned to give Li Li her voice back.
He came back as a drowned corpse… to be killed by his own daughter?
This whole thing is a real melodrama for two people having switched their voices and getting super self-conscious about it.
And did she? Did she kill her father, who had finally returned?
No. She came to return the dagger. Then, with her father’s drowned corpse on her back… she walked on towards the ocean, staggering under the weight… That’s the last time anyone ever saw them. We couldn’t find their bodies, either.

<shrugs and shakes head> No wonder her spirit isn’t at peace…
Ya, the whole town stood around while like a 100-pound wet girl lugged a big burly drowned corpse slowly into the ocean. I'd be kinda pissed if everyone just let that happen too.
I-I couldn’t do anything for her…

Sea Mother collapses to her knees in a coughing fit.

<goes to Sea Mother's side> Are you all right? I’m sorry to bring up all these bad memories. Why don’t you get some rest?
<stands back up> Thank you…
Li Li... I'll save you...

The trio leave Sea Mother and head back above deck.

Music: DOA

Wh-what IS this?!
Th-the wheelhouse? Has something happened there…?
Probably shouldn't let the people steering the boat get ganked...

Yuri and friends run up to the wheelhouse door.

Open, damn you!!

Yuri kicks that sonuvabitch open.

<satisfied laugh> Yeah! Now we're talking!

Welp... None of this seems like it's going well. Especially the lightning indoors. That's generally a bad scene. Which naturally leads straight to...

Music: Brain Hopper

Time to bust some ghosts. After all, busting makes me feel good. Remember that part of Ghostbusters where Dan Aykroyd gets a blowjob from a ghost? That part always sneaks up to me in the mid-film musical montage... There's an alternate timeline, perhaps the one the Shadow Hearts series is going down, in which Dan Aykroyd got a whole subplot about going to an old fort which involved courting and fucking a ghost.

Anyway, these flaming jerks are Ogre Flames and are just Fire elemental remixes of Evil 4, the tutorial Malice challenge monster in the Graveyard.

The Japanese name for these fire boys is "Onibi" -- spirits born from human or animal corpses that just kind of hang out in the woods. It's just the Japanese equivalent of will-o'-wisps. Some yokel saw some weird swamp gas or fireflies, didn't know what the hell it was and assumed it was a g-g-ghooooost!

Ogre Flames only have 40 HP a piece so they're quite easy to kill. Yuri or Margarete can do the job in a single combo. If they do get the chance attack, they're much like the Fire Bats back in the Fengtian Sewers in that they all just spam Fireball in succession every turn they get. As such, the easiest way to deal with 'em is to just have Margarete immediately use Grenade to clear the lot of 'em in a single turn.

Not a problem. Unlike the completely jacked sizing scale of everything in this wheelhouse. Those bottles of liquor go up to Yuri's chest. You could stuff Alice in that urn on the right and I think the entire party could fit in the crate next to it and still have space to spare.

Music: Manufacture - Conveyorbelt for Killers

<slowly stands up> Wh-what was THAT?
<yawns> Some frikkin' chumps... What's up with you? You look like you saw a ghost.
I-I just did...

<turns to Smuggler Boss> You said you saw them in Dalian, didn’t you? Or their relatives.
I-I… never imagined they actually…!!

Music: DOA

Foul monsters! I’m not about to lose to the likes of you!! Oryaaaaahh!!
<shakes head> Tsk, now Sea Mama’s in on the action?! Well, isn’t this fun…
I swear, it's like the first time y'all have got in a fist fight with a ghost...
What the ACTUAL fuck!?

Yuri and the gang run out to go see what sort of mischief Sea Mother has gotten involved with here. At least, that's what the game wants us to do. I'm sure the old woman can hold her own against a few jobbers for a couple minutes. We're going to go back into the boat's wheelhouse.

Er... need...?

Inside, Kato has recovered from getting whomped by a ghost. Kawashima is still in some shock that ghosts and magical shit really does exist and wasn't just some Chinese country bumpkin superstitions. We're given two options to respond to Kato Courier Subordinate.

> Yes, of course!

This results in Kato opening the "Pachimon General Store" and becoming a vendor. He's carrying a combination of the junk available in the Sea Turtle Restaurant and the underground weapon store from Dalian, in case we missed anything. What we want to buy here is a third Rosewood Bracelet. Remember, we got one back in Dalian? There's another one below deck in a semi-obscured chest right next to where Yuri started his seasickness scene with Alice. So we only need to buy one more.

We're going to go ahead and slap one on all three of our party members. Just in case! Nobody likes getting paralyzed in a fight. That aside, if we talk to Kato again and chose the second option while speaking to him.

> What are you saying?!

So, you in?
Count me in.

It turns out Kato is secretly Lottery Member Number 13. We'll be careful not to let his boss standing within earshot know he's a member of some shady lottery raffle organization on the d-low. Kawashima has enough on her mind at the moment. We'll be seeing Kato several times in the future, but this is the only opportunity to use his Lottery service. As usual, we need to win a prize if we're going to keep this sidequest going.

Whatever you do, don't tell the boss?
Your secret stays between me and your chin.

The top-billed reward here is Iron Clogs, a frankly worthless accessory. Equipping these halves the speed of the Judgment Wheel at the cost of tanking Agility by 15 points. For reference, Yuri and Margarete have around 25 Agility. Alice has 15. Hitting those Critical areas isn't going to offset the fact we're attacking around a quarter as fast...

With that out of the way, we probably should attend to that 80-year-old woman getting into a kung fu fight with spirits down below deck...

Again, lighting indoors seems like a bad scene. Sea Mother already got struck by lightning once this evening. Let's try to prevent an encore performance.

Music: Brain Hopper

Our foe this time is a cyclops cousin of the Evil 3 that Yuri fought to sort out his Malice earlier, the puzzlingly titled White Wolflings. These guys also have fairly low overall health at only 45 HP a pop. They also only have the single attack in sliding over to their victim and punching 'em with their stubby little tentacle arm. This only does 5-10 HP of damage but does have the very annoying (but thankfully rare) potential to inflict the Random Ring anomaly.

The Japanese name for White Wolflings is White Maiden in reference to the Chinese folktale Legend of the White Snake.
No idea where the hell they got "Wolfling" from here... I'm starting to suspect localizing the enemy names and general combat junk was some of the last stuff that was tackled and was kind of a rush job...

Just as with the Ogre Flames, Yuri or Margarete can likely take down a single White Wolfling in a single physical combo. Sadly, the Grenade tactic isn't effective against this mob since they are Water elemental jobbers.

In any case, that's Sea Mother saved.

Music: Manufacture - Conveyorbelt for Killers

<returns to her feet> You… you’re good, boy.
That's not really the brand I'm going for, but sure...
They must be after Master Zhuzhen, too! Please, boy… would you go and check?
Sheesh, Sea Mama, you sure know how to work people. Anyway, that old geezer won’t be beaten so easily.
Master Zhuzhen is in the middle of a ceremony! He’s extremely vulnerable right now…

Yeah... crud, I GUESS that's a good point... I'd be weird if these dumb spirits attacked everyone but pops...

Yuri automatically returns above deck once more. Similar to the situation in Dalian, this is a VERY short area. We just need to run to the other side of the area, where we left Zhuzhen, to initiate the boss battle that will end the chapter. Buuuuuuut...

The two trash mobs we took out defending Sea Mother and the fake smuggler duo have now become random battles on deck. Very easy random battles. Remember, Margarete can wipe out all four Ogre Flames in an instant just like she could do to the jerks back in Dalian. The White Wolflings are only marginally longer to take care of overall.

Music: Graveyard Moon

What I'm getting at is that less than ten minutes of grinding is enough to get both the Water and Fire elements' Soul Energy leveled up to unlock some new goodies for Yuri back in the Graveyard. I'm sure Zhuzhen can hold his own for like fifteen minutes, tops. He's a tough old timer.

Sure enough, back in the graveyard, a couple more headstones have lit up with Soul Energy. Let's go check out the Water element one first since we really ought to have hit that one back in the Fengtian Sewer.

Music: Brain Hopper

Our Fusion soul challenger for today is Lizard Man Man Dragon! He's a slippery, speedy reptilian dude if there ever was one.

Man Dragon starts off the fight by casting Illusion, a spell which raises its Physical Evasion +15%. Lizard dudes HATE getting slapped. It makes them so mad. Too bad he's got some bad news coming his way.

The Water Elemental Fusion can strike a pose to summon a quick shower to heal 30 HP or so if the Illusion happens to yield less than impressive results. I'm glad anime sparkles and a rainbow doesn't appear when I shower. Seems like it'd get old fast.

And since Fusion monsters tend to borrow abilities from random battle enemies, Man Dragon comes packing the Water Kamehameha Flash Flood we'd seen from similar elemental enemies earlier to round out its abilities.

All this will not prevent a Raging Tiger from becoming very upset some asshole lizard got its fur wet.

There is the negligence obtaining this Fusion soul back in Fengtian corrected. What a jerk, taking advantage of my PC imploding to elude capture. Lizardfolk, I tell ya...

Music: Graveyard Moon

Yuri realizes there will never be a Godhand 2.

Now is that a fog with seven colors at once or seven different colors of fog can be farted out of his skin? I feel like those are two very different things for this man-lizard vape rig. Anyway, Man Dragon comes with the stats:
Not a bad spread overall. The minus one Strength is odd but barely noticeable.

Man Dragon will get some action in the future. Such as right now, as we go take on the Fire element Fusion soul!

Music: Brain Hopper

A new challenger appears! Meet Inferno -- a Fire elemental Goro. I'm sure there were many four-armed creatures in fiction before Mortal Kombat, but I don't care. You got four arms in a video game? You're a Goro. End of story. Don't "umm, actually..." me about their race being Shokan. You should be ashamed knowing specifics of Mortal Kombat lore. That's a dark road to go down. Repent now...

Man Dragon is the best and the worst take on this four-armed jerk. Honestly, we probably should have fought Inferno first since he's significantly stronger than Man Dragon, especially if it's exploiting his elemental weakness.

Inferno isn't a complicated boy. He's good at punching. The dude's got four goddamn arms. It'd be a crime if he wasn't using 'em to punch shit. Inferno will start the match by casting Fighting Spirit to raise his Physical Attack Power by 15% and then just get to throwing haymakers for 70+ HP of damage. This guy managed to just knock Yuri the fuck out almost instantly my first attempt here since he still had some damage from the Man Dragon fight. Turns out you just get kicked out of the Graveyard if Yuri falls here.

Try again at full health and getting luckier with not getting hit by buffed critical hits repeatedly made things go much smoother. If physical attacks aren't doing the business, Flash Flood will hit for nearly 100 HP and a couple casts of that will be more than enough to sort out Inferno.

This message just makes me think I've picked up the moveset of the final boss of Soulcalibur in Create-a-Character mode.

Music: Graveyard Moon

Killer Instinct seems like just the sort of stupid game Yuri would be into were he born a century later.

Inferno will fully be replacing Raging Tiger as our "get someone strong to hit stuff good" Fusion of choice. The Fire elemental Fusion is the best physical damage output for a good portion of the game, especially with that attack buff Fighting Spirit. It's kind of strange it has access to a spell that removes several status ailments. But hey, why not? Inferno's stats are:

Since we did slay quite a few monsters in rapid succession back on the Smuggler's Boat, our Malice did build up a decent notch. We can sort that out while we're in the area...

It's DEFINITELY not just an excuse to show Inferno going hog on some poor mook. Oraoraora!

That's all our business in the Graveyard shift for today. Let's head on back and hope Zhuzhen hasn't gotten ganked by spirits or decapitated by a ghost fish or some shit while we were away.

Music: Manufacture - Conveyorbelt for Killers

Bah. See? He was perfectly fine! I don't know what Sea Mother was worried about.

The area flashes white several times.


Naw... We already did this song and dance once already. We're done here. Get on with the next scene. That's enough filler fights.

<looks around> But you didn't do anyth—

WOAH! How about a warning beforehand?! Geez!
Here we go!! <performs arcane kung fu motion>

Music: Angel Heart

This is me every time I watch high-level fighting game tournament matches.

Sea Mother wanders onto the scene.

So this is an old-fashioned exorcism pentagram?
Ain't pentagrams for like summoning devils and such? I'm gonna be real ticked off if you mess this up and summon another demon on top of the ghost, pops!
Just hush up so I can explain.
...Wait, unless the demon FIGHTS the ghost. That'd be kinda rad.
There's no demons involved, kid. Just shut up and get over here.

<motions to the pentagram> Now, Sea Mother, I’ll need your help. We have to keep Li Li’s power in check.
<nods and takes position next to the pentagram>
<turns to Yuri> Give me a shout when you’re ready, kid.
Master Zhuzhen, I shall assist you!

This is the last chance to go sort out any business on the Smuggler's Boat. But I think we have everything covered here. Let's get to work!

<nods> Yes, let’s! On-tei-naa… On-tei-naa… Li Li, come before me! <begins praying>
<begins concentrating energy>
H-here she comes!!
Really? I don't see anyth—

Yeah, OK. Checks out.

Li Li appears before the group.

How DARE you invoke that wretched chant!! DIE!!

Tune in next time as we bust a ghost, perhaps multiple times, as the boat arc of Shadow Hearts draws to a close. The next LP update will be in 67 weeks as per anime boat arc tradition. See you in Autumn 2019 for the exciting conclusion!

Video: Episode 20 Highlight Reel

Man Dragon Render – Terrible posture. His back is going to hate him in a few years.

Inferno Render – Don't stare at the fire vagina...