Part 21: Episode XXI: Busting a GhostEpisode XXI: Busting a Ghost
Music: Brain Hopper
We're jumping right into it with a battle against the vengeful spirit of Li Li. She seems really shocked to see the party throwing down here. Or... that's just how she always looks. It's hard to say for certain. In either case, we're going to have to burn through 580 HP if we're gonna bust this ghost proper like.
Our first order of business is getting Yuri into the proper Fusion. There's a reason we stopped and obtained Heaven's Fiend back in Dalian and it's this battle. Li Li is the first (beatable) Dark elemental boss we've come across in Shadow Hearts.
While Heaven's Fiend isn't the physical attack powerhouse of other Fusions, its Light elemental affinity is more than enough to offset that in this case. One weird slapping and gross tail smacking combo out of it does a cool 70-80 HP of damage every turn. Not too shabby. Of course, we could tap into Heaven's Fiend's magic stock and fire off some Exorcist Arrows. But we want to conserve MP during this fight if at all possible. Not saying that there is, I don't know, a second phase or anything to the fight. But there's totally a second phase to the fight. So, we need to act accordingly.
That said, Alice has MP for days so she's the only one we're going to splurge a bit with and cast a few spells. Especially since her physical attacks may as well be a wasted turn even if she is Light elemental. Particularly, we can use Holy Edge to give Margarete's guns the Light element.
This will turn Margarete's damage output against Li Li from less than 40 HP a combo to around 60+ damage every turn. Not a bad buff.
Of course, Li Li isn't going to just stand here and take a beating. I mean, she will do just that. It's a turn-based RPG. She doesn't have much choice. But when her turn comes up, the ghost lady has a few nasty attacks. The biggest issue is the Dark Messenger attack she's borrowing from the Death Emperor Fusion. Li Li will vomit a nasty miasma of darkness at a single target dealing a significant chunk of damage. Margarete will get hit for around 50-60 HP while Alice or Heaven's Fiend Yuri will take it on the nose for 70-80 HP.
But there is a more pressing issue with this attack beyond the high damage output...
If we're unlucky, like Alice was here, Dark Messenger can just randomly straight up cause Death status and one-shot a character. So that... ain't great.
There are zero defenses against the Death status this early in the game so we just must roll with it and burn a Talisman of Luck then immediately heal Alice since any of Li Li's other attacks will KO her again if she gets targeted.
While there is nothing to be done about instant death, Li Li's other major attack, Paralysis, can be thwarted from its ill-effects. This is the reason we equipped everyone with Rosewood Bracelets. Paralysis will still do 40-50 HP of damage but at least we won't burn a turn using a consumable we're in short supply of getting a party member back into the game.
You may recall earlier than Alice leveled up and finally obtained an offensive ability -- Blessed Light. Since we're more likely to have Alice run dry on Sanity than Magic Points by the end of any given fight, we may as well let her splurge a little in her MP stocks and do a cast or two the Light elemental spell. Which creams Li Li's ghost for 100+ HP of damage. Gotta get a little revenge for that one-shot garbage, right?
Beyond physical attacks that are identical to Paralysis but without, you know, the paralyzing part, that's about it for busting this ghost. Li Li that is quite the death pose... Could you not?
There's nothing more insulting than beating up a vengeful spirit and then mugging it for the contents of its wallet while it is down.
For defeating Li Li, we also get another Judgment Ring shuffling item. This one is somewhat more useful than a few we've encountered. A halved Judgment Ring is still generous if we say the Strike areas of the grid are a lost cause. But enough of weird animal hair we found in a ghost's pocket, let's finish dealing with Li Li...
Hold that thought! Lord Raiden is teleporting in to invite us all to a fighting tournament to decide the fate of the reaoh no. Wait. It's just that goober Dehuai... False alarm.
Music: Misfortune - Psycho Temple
<laughs> How nice to finally meet you, Alice Elliot. And Zhuzhen! Long time no see.
Dehuai... Why don't you go step on a rake again?
Grr! That was fifteen years ago, don't you dare bring up that ancient history!
So youre Dehuai! You brought poor Li Li back, didnt you?! You were USING her!
Thats right. Ah, Alice Youre even more beautiful than I had imagined!
I told you this guy was gonna be some creepy old perv.
Silence, you... You...
...I have no clue who you are.
Yeah? Nice. Let's keep it that way, creep.
Well, well! We finally meet the real Tiny, eh? Except that youre not nearly as cute.
Sorry, I forgot to pick up a doggie snack for you back at the port. Tell you what, I'll get you a cute collar when we make it to Shanghai.
Hmph. So, youre the abominable Harmonixer, are you? Very well. Im sure you and the old man will make a lovely snack for the Shanghai crabs.
<focuses on Li Li> Li Li, I shall unleash all of your power!! Hate everything! DEVOUR them with your hate! Hee hee hee hee!!
We probably shouldn't let the evil sorcerer just go around casting spells like this. But alas, cutscene paralysis...
Li Li rises back to her feet and glows with an evil aura like Tiny had back in Fengtian.
Wait, Li Li!! I promise you, I WILL deliver you to your eternal rest!
Music: China Ogre
...Boy, that cutscene didn't properly convey what Dehuai was doing to Li Li, huh? The ghost of Dalian has gone from K-Mart brand Sadako to err... grimdark Ursula from The Little Mermaid? Sure, why not? In any case, here is the real boss to cap off this chapter and the reason we were conserving MP for Li Li's early incarnation. In Form 2, Li Li has upped her maximum HP to 720.
Even in her new form, Li Li remains a Dark elemental enemy. So once again, Yuri will be Harmonixerin' over to his Heaven's Fiend form to rumble. But first, he has another duty...
We did just fight a boss battle a couple minutes ago and hadn't had a chance to top off everyone's health. Heaven's Fiend just so happens to have a full party heal in the form of Sacred Remedy. So, we'll just sort that out first thing to get everyone in full fighting form. Sacred Remedy remains one of the only full party heal spells for quite some time, so Heaven's Fiend is a useful Fusion throughout the early game. At least, until another rank replaces it...
As before, we'll have Alice hook up Margarete with Holy Edge. She'll be doing roughly the same damage output as the previous battle and that's just fine. If I saw this thing slosh unto a boat deck, my first instinct would probably be to start dumping rounds into it too.
Alice is also free to let loose with her Blessed Light more often now that we're not caring as much about MP consumption. It's still doing upward of 80-90+ HP of damage a shot. It's nice to have Alice contribute to the offensive for a change.
Speaking of which, Yuri can now dip into his somewhat limited MP reserves and bust out the Exorcist Arrow to pierce Scylla-Li Li for around 100 HP. So, if all goes well, that's around the ballpark of 270ish damage out of the party in a complete turn.
Of course, Li Li has a few things to say about that. Her Octomom form seems way more into using Paralysis over everything else. Again, that Rosewood Bracelet was worth the Accessory slot.
Li Li has a new attack in her transformed state -- Hate Storm. This will strike the entire party for around 50 HP of damage. Strangely, it seems to be non-elemental since neither Yuri nor Alice takes any additional damage from it. The entire party losing nearly a third of their HP is easily countered by Sacred Remedy. Hate Storm has one benefit in that it replaces Dark Messenger and cannot one-shot any of our party out of nowhere. So at least that's nice.
That's about all there is to say about Transformed Li Li. We came prepared to this fight with a really good counter elemental Fusion and everyone equipped with accessories to negate one of her more dangerous attacks. Plus, Alice leveled up enough to have her Light elemental offensive attack. The first time I played this game I didn't have any of that shit and it went quite poorly. I think I scraped by a second attempt with like Raging Tiger with the Holy Edge buff doing all the heavy lifting and getting lucky to not have anyone OHKO'd in the first round.
The party gets a very nice chunk of experience points for finally dealing with the Ghost Troubles. Plus, Dehuai was nice enough to restock Li Li's wallet so Yuri and friends could raid it again the second round. Very thoughtful of him.
Another one of this sort of items is our bonus reward for completing the fight. I dunno, I feel like a smaller Hit Area moving normal speed is easier to deal with than a double speed one in a normal sized Hit Area. But that might just be me.
Li Li vanishes in a blinding flash of light.
<approaches Dehuai> Its your turn next!!
Hee hee hee
Dehuai peaces out back to Shanghai. As soon as he's gone, Sea Mother falls to her knees and then collapses to the floor.
New Music: ALICE (Alice's Theme, only rolled out for bummer scenes.)
Alice rushes to her side.
<shakes head> Its been a long time since Ive seen such fine magic.
Really? Musta missed that while I was, ya know, actually fighting that thing. Come to think of it, where the hell were you, pops?!
Maintaining the exorcism so the ghost didn't just teleport away again.
<narrows eyes> Awright... That sounds kinda plausible. I'll give you a pass... this time.
Rest in peace, good Sea Mother
She... looks like she's still breathing...
She's totally still breathing.
I-I am not... dead... yet...
Alice stands up and looks to the sea.
Spirits in the heavens! Our beloved magic user will be coming under your care.
Hey, Alice. She's not actually de
Our wonderful, wonderful magic user
Missy, she hasn't kicked the buc
<prays> Please be good to her
Well... this is embarrassing...
You're still alive!?
We were trying to tell you!
Oh, I'm so sorry!
No, no... That was... nice... It's fine... I'll just...
...'kay, Alice. I think you're in the clear now. She's dead for realsies.
Sea Mother's body fades away and finally vanishes in a flash of light. It's shockingly easy to get away with murdering a magic user in this world.
Heh heh. A fine send off. Sea Mother will be most pleased.
Did anyone actually know her real name...?
I err... Well, I think it was... Umm... <rubs neck>
It... wasn't Sea Mother?
Kawashima and Kato wander onto the deck.
Yes. Everythings all right now.
D-did that old woman... die...?
Mhm. You saw her body vanish, didn't you?
That isn't how that... usually works...
Don't sweat the details. Right...
Lets get this thing moving. Full speed ahead, please!
You got trapped in an evil curse pocket dimension and were raided by malevolent spirits led by the vengeful ghost of a drowned girl who was resurrected by an evil Chinese sorcerer. A Taoist adept and a local shaman teamed up to paint the deck with exorcism runes to entrap the ghost, so a murder suspect could transform into a slug angel and beat it up. Then the evil Chinese sorcerer behind everything turned the ghost into a cecaelia, which also was defeated but exhausted the power of the local medicine woman, so she was raptured into the afterlife.
It's not that complicated, I don't know what you're beside yourself about, honestly. But enough of that, there is one final scene to close out the chapter.
Music: Misfortune - Psycho Temple
<stomps foot and paces about> I must not underestimate that boys power. And now that Zhuzhen has joined the girl
Should probably look in on that woman with the boobs, while I'm at it...
Time to take a step back and conjure up a plan. Hmm
A lanky man in a red outfit wanders into Dehuai's chamber, startling the sorcerer as he rambles to himself.
Ah, Wugui! So glad you could make it here from Kowloon. I did not wish to tear you away from Hong Kong, but I could not afford NOT to call you
<nods> Do not worry. Not much is going on in Hong Kong, and to tell the truth, I was growing a little bored. Indeed, weve already made puppets of the newly-appointed French parliamentary officials.
...The British have taken over, not the French.
Whichever. Same difference... Stuffy western foreigners.
<nods> Excellent. Damn the foreign superpowers. They believe this country is theirs for the taking! Ha! Ill never let it happen As long as Im here, they wont lay a finger on Shanghai!!
<steps forward> Master, if I may be so bold are you experiencing difficulties with the Demons Gate Invocation?
Yes, well As you can see, the Spirit Machine of Kuihai Tower is complete and ready to go But the girl the KEY is still running loose. An unwelcome guest blocks my way.
No, I haven't seen that dick of a warlock in a while. It is...
Absolute Sage Zhuzhen!
Master Zhuzhen? I never imagined he still lived.
What is he like a hundred years old now?
We're around the same age...
<rubs neck> Ergh... Sorry, master.
Still, I wouldn't have guessed he lives...
My Blue Dragon trap only succeeded in killing an old hag. Grr !! Pathetic, I tell you!
I don't even know who the heck that was. I almost feel bad... Bah! She was PROBABLY attempting to foil my plans... It's fine...
<steps forward> Not to worry, Master Dehuai. I shall deliver the girl to you immediately along with the old mans head.
<laughs> Hee hee. Good, good! Youve always been my best student.
Just... put it in a box or something this time. I JUST got this new carpet in. I don't want a repeat of last time's performance.
Yeah, that was my bad, master...
...I really liked that old rug, too. It really brought the room together, you know? This one is fine but... it's just not the same...
<turns to Wugui> A word of warning, though. Do not underestimate them. One of them is a monster with the power of Fusion.
Fusion?! The Japanese man he cant still be alive?
<shakes head> No, this one is different. Hes still young, though there is no doubt hes a Harmonixer. Two Yamarajas have fallen to him thus far.
The name swapping ruse was no help to them at all.
It was always a dangerous gambit, master.
Gods ! Heh heh heh. If what you say is true, Master, this should be interesting. I, Wugui of Kowloon, shall not fail you.
<nods> Then Ill wait for the good news. Show that grinning bastard Roger Bacon what were capable of. Now, Wugui! Go!
And that concludes Chapter 5 of Shadow Hearts! The ghost troubles have been sorted out for real this time. Even if the only NPC with a character portrait from the town we saved dropped dead in the process. Shadow Hearts isn't very nice to its regional story arc sub-characters if you cannot tell. Yuri and pals' adventures will continue in Chapter 6: Demonic Shanghai!
That was a quite short chapter. So not a whole lot to add to the Library listings. But we'll do our due diligence.
That doesn't seem like the most efficient way to go about eating people.
You'd be surprised about how many jellyfish lap up drowning man piss.
OK. But why did Dehuai make her boobs way bigger? That dude is just a weird pervert. You know between the puppy thing and this, he's just acting out some weird kinks he has. Wizards, man...
Tragically, he lost his eyebrows in the bargain.
Video: Li Li Boss Battle