The Let's Play Archive

Shadow Hearts

by The Dark Id

Part 31: Episode XXXI: Press the Select Button to Submit

Episode XXXI: Press the Select Button to Submit

Music: Army Mood

Let me see… Is that… It’s the Yawang Gate key!!
Then… we can get into Kuihai Tower!
That’s right!
Awright! Back to the inn!

This game really loves to make the most of its maps by making you run a circuit from one end to the other to trigger plot flags. But given how our taste of an actual linear dungeon goes... Perhaps that's for the best. In any case, it's back to Kawashima and Kato's room, where we find...

Music: Profile

So you’re the new dog Tokyo sent? I had no idea they wanted me so badly… They sent you all the way to Shanghai, just for me?!
We have issued telegrams with explicit orders to return to Tokyo at once for questioning towards your recent behavior.
I cannot be expected to read every trivial notification that comes across my desk.
Fourteen telegrams were sent. I can see one of the correspondences on the table right there!
Yes, well... Tch...

Don’t think my father will take this lightly!
Hmph. Watch your mouth. You’re speaking to the new ruler of Shanghai.
<turns away> You’d best forget your father. Oh, you haven’t heard the news, eh? Well, I’ll tell you. Your father adopted a new daughter… someone from the Qing Dynasty.
Wh… WHAT…?!
He’s busy raising her. He doesn’t have any time for you now.
He even gave her your name. I guess he's doing a redo after you were such a disappointment. Harsh...
<turns around and approaches Kawashima> Your time’s up.

Yuri struts into the room. Kutsugi and his men are very confused.

Heh heh. I’m your worst nightmare, buddy.
Are you one of her underlings?! Get him!! Nobody stands in my way!!
Aww, that's cute. You must be new in town...

Music: Brain Hopper

Kutsugi is too much of a bitch-made fuckboi to participate in battle so we'll have to settle for his men instead. These guys are Sergeants and they're far sturdier than the rest of the Japanese soldiers we've faced. The rifles these guys have been issued do upward of 30 HP of damage. Very impressive stuff. They can also survive a combo out of Yuri, which is far more than anyone else human thus far can claim.

They cannot, however, survive two combos. Or really one Yuri assault and a follow-up by Margarete or Zhuzhen. Needless to say, that's two more notches on our party's growing slaughter of the Japanese military. We're at least three or four times the body count of the Trans-Siberian train massacre in the prologue.

New Music: ICARO - Beated Version
(If this plays anywhere else in the game I don't remember it.)

Major Kutsugi runs off with his tail between his legs. You'd expect him to come back later on with reinforcements to be a minor nuisance to the party at the very least. Or to show up and unceremoniously get killed by Dehuai and his minions. But nah. Spoilers: We never see this man again. He apparently just takes the Japanese soldiers under his command and flees off back to Tokyo after this. His home planet country needed him.

Major Kutsugi and his men run off.

You came… but why?

Kawashima helps Kato back up.

Y-you came back for us! All of you!
Hee hee. We just stopped by to say hello! You can thank us later.
Relaxing that whole arrest warrant for the spy Malkovich would be a good start.
Once I get back control over the situation, I suppose I could see what I could do... assuming you stop bombing army infrastructure.
Let's not start talking crazy here.

We seem fated to keep meeting. We may be on opposing sides the next time we meet, but do take care.
Yuri. You’re going, right? To Kuihai Tower.
…Yeah. You know her, she’ll sob and cry if I don’t rescue her.
Or at the very least flop over unconscious like a sack of potatoes again and get in everyone's way. We wouldn't want that.
Heh. Be careful, ok? And, Yuri… I’ll pray for your success.
<turns to leave> Heh. Thanks.

Yuri and the gang depart.

Meanwhile, in Kuihai Tower...

Music: Misfortune - Psycho Temple

Hee hee hee… Are you awake, Alice?
<lifts head> D-Dehuai!
This is my Kuihai Tower laboratory!! What do you think? Impressive, isn’t it?
The amount of effort it took to get the Feng Shui correct with all this scientific equipment alongside traditional Taoist elements was a real pain in the ass to get right. But I'm pretty happy with the final product's aesthetic.
O... kay...?

Before we begin the Demon’s Gate Invocation, I must test your power… just a little. Hee hee hee…
Wh-what do you think you’re going to do to me?! I’ll never, ever cooperate!
Hah! We’ll see how long that sassy little attitude lasts. You’ll soon give up and do whatever I wish. Well then, shall we begin? Hee hee hee… I hope you enjoy this.
I'm going to run a high voltage electric current through your body. If it's just for a short time, it won't kill you.
...Th-that doesn't sound right. At all.
Ah. Calm your tits! It'll be fine

Now, answer me!
(They’ll come for me, I know it… I just have to buy some time…)

So, this is kind of a strange sequence. Alice is getting tortured by Dehuai. How much she gets tortured depends on the responses she gives to Dehuai's interrogation. Doing this sequence correctly directly ties to unlocking a rather lengthy sidequest. If we pick the wrong replies, well...

<screams in pain>

It's not a good day for Alice. So, let's screw it up on purpose first just to see what happens.

> This strange machine is so sexy!
Oh. Into the kinky stuff, huh? Well, I won't let you down.
<flips the switch>
<gets electrocuted> AAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!
<laughs> You can't trick me.
I'm not buying that kind of talk out of your white bread, missionary only after marriage ass. I wasn't born yesterday.
Do you feel like cooperating now?
I-I... I'll n-never...
Okay, here it comes!
(Wh-what should I do?!)
> This scary tower is sexy, too!
Uh-huh... Gonna flip this switch again now...

Alice gets zapped again. It isn't a pleasant time.

I LIVE here. Impressive. Menacing. Foreboding. I'll take those descriptors for my tower. It ain't sexy, sweetie. Try again.
Hahh... hahh... s-somebody...
Okay, one more time!
(Wh-what should I do?!)
> But YOU'RE the sexiest!
<sigh> You're still doing this, huh? Honey, I've got half a face, a reptilian prosthetic arm I ripped from a lizard man and a peg leg. That's without even going into the nasty stuff going on below deck. I'm not hitting the dating market anytime soon. I am hitting this torture switch though!

Alice screams from the torture and passes out.

Wah hah hah hah hah hah hah!! Wah hah hah hah hah!! Wah hah hah... huh?
<sizzles and smokes>
Oh CRAP! You're not dead, right!? AWW c'mon! Frick frick frick! Piss!

<approaches Alice> Tsk! She's passed out...
<wipes brow> False alarm... OK. That was fun and all but that's certainly enough of this... Dammit. If I accidentally killed her I'd never hear the end of it from that dick, Bacon! Crap. He's probably spying on me right, now! Ehem... I mean... <clears throat> Wha ha ha!
How sad. I'll have to stop before I put her into a coma... Heh heh... Finally... finally! I begin the Demon's Gate Invocation! Bear witness, lowly maggots! I shall soon show you the face of God!!
All of you! Especially any dick European warlocks!
Wah hah hah hah! Wah hah hah hah hah!!

And from there the scene fades out and we'll rejoin Yuri and the gang. But having Alice deep fried isn't the optimal or desired outcome. Instead, let's rewind to the beginning of this sequence and do it right.

There're three choices in each segment. We want to choose the first option every time to do this sequence correctly. This will cause a different reaction out of Dehuai.

> Quit it, you dirty old man!

Dehuai moves away from the torture device switch and walks up to Alice.

Wh-what's going to happen to me...?
I'm going to run a high voltage electric current through you. Tap the action button to regain your strength.
I-I... don't know what that means!
Look, I'm just reading the instructions in the manual.

<walks back to the switch> Okay, here it comes!
(Wh-what should I do?!)
> Just get away from me!

Dehuai steps away from the machine again.

I'll have you know I used to be quite sexy back in my youth. I dunno, I think I still got it.
S-stop, please...
<walks back to the machine> Okay, one more time!
Or... for the first time. I really need to stop getting distracted.
(Wh-what should I do?!)
>Ignore him.

Dehuai steps away from the machine again and stomps his foot angrily.

Help... Help, Yuri...
Bad vibes... Not enjoying this...
<goes right up to Alice> Such a stubborn girl...! Do you really believe that brat will come to save you?!
Yep! He's going to come and kick your butt!
Oh, now you're just pissing me off!

That damned, filthy Harmonixer! Wugui's sure to have sent him to hell by now...
<looks around> ...Where is Wugui, anyway? I don't think he'd return to Kowloon without telling me...
<frown> I was going to take him out to lunch. I got reservations and everything. That'd be rude as hell... Oh well, I'm sure he'll pop up eventually.

Limps toward the screen.

Bear witness, lowly maggots! I shall soon show you the face of God!!

And fade to black. Alice made it through the sequence without getting tortured and knocked unconscious for the 23rd time this adventure. Repeatedly getting knocked out like that cannot be good for her. In any case, having Dehuai bring up Wugui in a conversation nobody in our active party heard has somehow unlocked a new sidequest.

At that same time...

Technically, we're immediately tossed from the Shanghai streets to Kuihai Tower for the final chapter of the first act of the game, Chapter 10: Kuihai Showdown!

Well, well. It’s a whole lot bigger than it was fifteen years ago.
Where does he get the funding to pay for all of this?
I never figured that part out, honestly.

Just wait, Alice. I’m coming for you.

Yeah... Just wait, Alice. You can hold out for... ehh... Like a week, right? We'll be right back... Eventually...

Music: ENDS

We're going to backtrack to Huayuan, Shanghai. Kuihai Tower is actually a major Point of No Return for this portion of the game. This is the last chance we'll have for doing anything in Shanghai.

Music: Swindler - Shanghai Mood

All the NPCs have returned to town and the Japanese army random battle encounters have vanished. The townspeople all have new dialog, but it's all just variations of "Hey, it's cool the Japanese army left! Screw those guys!" Kawashima and Kato have also vanished from the hotel room. Don't worry about them for now.

What we want to do now is return to the docks with the Smuggler Boat still in port. First of all, there is a new mini-game here involving that man and his puppies. I suppose we have time to check that out.

A prize for only 300!
Boy, you people will gamble over anything, huh?
That's a little racist, boy. But also, yes! So, you in?

Sure, I'll do it.
Do you want to hear how to play?
Sure, tell me.
In retrospect, I probably shouldn't have wagered on something without fully knowing what it was about, huh?
Indeed, you shouldn't have, sir!

It's simple. First, you pick one of these dogs here. Then, the dogs move around for a fixed time. Keep your eye on your pick! When the dogs line up again, point out the one you first picked. If you're right, you get an amazing prize! If you're wrong, it's all over. It's simple see? Whaddya say? Let's start with an easy level.

So, this is a cup game but with tiny dogs instead of a ball under a cup. We have to select a dog and keep our eyes on 'em as they randomly scurry about. These are trans-dimensional dogs that can phase through one another if they should cross paths. So that makes it a little tricky. A little it's still a remarkably easy cup game equivalent. I got every pick my first try.

For picking the correct dog we receive another Lottery Ticket. We can never have enough! After claiming our prize, we pay another 300 Cash to play a slightly more difficult variant of the game with FOUR dogs. Winning this one gains us another Leonardo's Bear. At least we can sell the extra for a couple grand.

If we speak to the man a third time, he'll offer a final challenge level. This time it is four dogs but they... move marginally faster, I guess? And the length of time they shuffle might be a bit longer. I couldn't tell all that much of a difference between level two and three.

Either way, we get a Monkey's Paw consumable item. Unrelated, Windjammers 2 is announced... being made by Dotemu... is announced. Chaos reigns.

So, the dog watching mini-game is NOT the reason we came to these docks. The real reason is Junk-dealer Taka here has repaired the Smuggler's Boat for... some reason. He's not charging Yuri or anything. It's not like it was his boat. Presumably, Kato and Kawashima were just going to let this thing rot on the dock until further notice. But why do we care about this?

Well, if we hop on board, noted seasickness suffer Yuri will suddenly decide to get adventurous and want to hit the open seas for... some reason. Demon's Gate Invocation? Rescuing Alice? Pfft... The wind is calling me... So, where the hell would we sail to? Maybe a return trip to Dalian? Fengtian? Nah...

What if we just fucked off 1200+ kilometers to the south and hit up Hong Kong for a vacation to go find out what happened with Wugui of Kowloon when Roger Bacon took off with him? That seems like a swell use of everyone's time! Tune in next time for the most absurdly timed extensive sidequest in Chapter 9: Kowloon Fortress! Sure, why not?

I mean we're technically in a new chapter already. So, we may as well do the brief rundown of new entries.

Very stressful.

VERY stressful.

The elite soldier who pursues his prey for... all of twenty minutes, then immediately aborts his mission and returns home in failure at literally the first sign of opposition. Given the mortality rate of NPCs with portraits thus far, this probably makes him one of the smarter guys in this game, really.