Part 35: Episode XXXV: SnipeEpisode XXXV: Snipe
Music: Misfortune - Psycho Temple
No turning back now! Let's head up to Dehuai's lab proper and go kick his ass. I'm sure there won't be any further complications along the way.
Grr... Now, this pisses me off to no end! Why do I even bother with a gate and summoning a guardian if they walk right past them?! How do those dicks even see up here from that perspective?! Bah!
<clears throat> Ergh... I mean
Dehuai walks to the balcony's edge.
<laughs> Congratulations. Youve made it all the way here, despite rather heavy security!
It must have been some trial obtaining the Yawang Gate Key. I was getting rather disappointed I wouldn't witness your deaths firsthand! Heh heh he
Naw, we got that like three days ago no problem.
Then where were you?
Sorry to break it you, but Wugui is dead!
Ahh... My loyal minion delayed you this long. An unfortunate, but acceptable loss!
Naw. Roger Bacon grabbed him after the temple ruins and took him to Kowloon. He got turned into a weird like... zombie deal. It was a whole thing.
<stomps foot> Damn that meddling warlock! After I deal with you, I'll go to Kowloon to settle matters with him.
<shakes head> Like I said, gramps, we dealt with Wugui already!
Yes, then you said Bacon took him to Kowloon.
I mean we took Wugui out in Kowloon.
<rubs neck> I am having trouble following... Are you saying you fools went to Kowloon Fortress and back? That's where you've been?
<cracks knuckles> That's right!
Well, you see... Umm...
You know what? I don't care anymore. I got more pressing matters! And this nonsense is all making my head hurt...
No matter. You are too late to stop my Demons Gate Invocation, the ultimate Nine Heavens magic!
Zhuzhen and Margarete run in.
So, I figured Id deliver the last rites I failed to deliver fifteen years ago. Thats why I came all this way to see you.
<shakes head> Ha! Still alive, eh, Zhuzhen?
That's right, brother!
Bah! We're not brothers. We took the same crappy Taoist magic training courses for two summers with that ridiculous Xifa.
That was a low blow using Master Xiaofang to get through Master Xifa's barrier.
I didn't even need a conduit to slip through. I just HATED that STUPID cat! Always with goddamn cat puns. They weren't even real puns half the time. It just added "meow" to random words! It was the most obnoxious thing I've ever encountered!
See! I'm not the only one that thought that was annoying.
You're not in good company with this one, sonny boy...
<points to Zhuzhen> You will lose, just as you did fifteen years ago. Ill make you beg for mercy if you survive. This Demons Gate Invocation is quite different from last time, you see. Hee hee hee
Sorry, pal, but there wont BE any Invocation.
<dismissive wave> Detestable Harmonixer boy son of that monster, Hyuga! You think you can stop me?! Heh heh. Like father, like son. Kuihai Tower will be your grave! Take this!!
Music: Brain Hopper
Dehuai tosses a mid-boss our way in the form of Badger Devil. It's just a reskin of the Felinus mid-boss from way back in Zhaoyang Village but a Fire elemental (with Fireball as its only magic spell) instead of the original flavor's Wind element. Its original name was Senri, which is just the Chinese variation of the Nekomata yokai mentioned back at Felinus. They tended to shapeshift into a sexy catgirl/catboy. Mountain folk were very lonely.
Anyway, you know how Margarete picked up that new Snipe ability after beating Yamaraja: Stone? Let's give that a test run. This time around, the super spy phones up support and...
A rifle drops from the sky straight into her hands. She then proceeds to immediately headshot the targeted enemy. This causes a fairly decent chunk of non-elemental damage. But more importantly...
It has a chance to inflict Instant Death. You know, since taking a bullet to the brain tends to not be a great scene for much of anyone. As it turns out, Badger Devil is susceptible to Death and so this fight lasts shorter than the amount of time it took you to read about it.
The party might consist of a bunch of arcane warriors, but Margarete is staying quite competitive with her ability to cast Gun.
Music: Misfortune - Psycho Temple
Did that bimbo just f'n shoot my cat!?
Screw this! Get up here! I'll take care of you myself!
Dehuai hobbles off.
We'll be up there in a second, Dehuai. We need to do some looting first. Like picking up another Lottery Ticket from the mess in this corner of the room. Going upstairs will initiate a fight with Dehuai.
The path to the southeast unlocks that gate from earlier. This is actually the very final chance to just leave the tower and head back to Shanghai. The actual point of no return is facing Dehuai at the top of the stairs. But we're good.
Speaking of stairs, that tiny staircase next to where we fought leads back to that barred off path with the chest we had to pass outside the Umbrella bio-lab on the second floor. This holds a slightly better revive consumable that restores 50 MP on top of the 30% HP. Nothing picks you up after a beating like having the photo of a greasy old man rubbed on your face.
Anyway, that's all we needed to grab. Let's go finally face Dehuai.
Music: ICARO - Beated Version
In truth, you should be on your knees giving thanks for the chance to witness such an event!
Wait a second! Valorization went out of style a long time ago, old timer!
Good thing being a stupid hussy will always be relevant!
Do you have some problem with me, you dirty old perv?
You shot my goddamn cat! But enough talk...
Alice! The time to unleash the power that sleeps within you has come! The four gods are sealed! I call thee with storm, fire and quake! Let the Valorization commence!!
Dehuai flips the switch on his device. White energy is drawn out of Alice and flies around the room.
Dehuai shadow steps in-between Yuri and Alice.
<shakes head> Its too late. The Spirit Machine of Kuihai Tower will siphon off all of Alices life energy. The Mandala of Hell shall open, and the Seraphic Radiance will be summoned!
The Seraphic Radiance?! You mean youre NOT plotting to carry out the Demons Gate Invocation?!
Correct. This magic is far more complex than the simple Invocation used to summon an Earth spirit!
<enters fighting stance> I-it cant be!
Hah! You think I would go to all this trouble just to try the same ceremony again? You think me that predictable?
Bah! Why do I bother asking a bunch of fools?!
I suppose I should keep you entertained while the tower fills with Alices life energy. Now you shall taste the wrath of Earth Sage Dehuai, True Ruler of the Nine Heavens! Wah hah hah hah!!
Music: China Ogre
Yikes, someone really set the graphics setting on low for Dehuai's torture device to get an FPS boost. Maybe don't focus on those assets, game?
No more animal possession proxies or subordinates or evil cats. It's time to finally face Dehuai personally. For being an ancient old fart, he's got the most health of any enemy we've faced thus far at 1700 HP. So, this fight can go on for a little while. Also, having trained with Zhuzhen, Dehuai is also a Fire elemental.
The game plan here is the same template we've been using. Inferno is an even better choice for this fight because Dehuai likes his pyromancy and Yuri will take far less damage as a Fire element himself while Aqua Edge will allow him to attack without any elemental penalties. Margarete is actually the worst off in this fight since her Water elemental ass takes about an extra 20-40 HP of damage from every attack Dehuai throws our way.
As such, we'll have to keep our eye on Margarete's HP while she gets to work repeatedly headshotting Dehuai for a good 90 HP of damage every turn. We'll just spam that with her until she runs out of MP and then switches over to physical attacks. Margarete innately does decent damage this fight, though nowhere near the level of Yuri. Zhuzhen will fully be on healing duty for this fight with as hard as Dehuai hits. Life Sucker does some respectable damage, but that MP is better served distributing Nourishing Potions to heal allies and himself.
Attack wise, Dehuai definitely took a lot of more combat-oriented training courses under Master Xifa than Zhuzhen did. The sorcerer's physical strikes do anywhere from 40-70 HP of damage depending on if he does one or two blows. Additionally, he can inflict the annoying Fast Ring status anomaly alongside his physical strikes. He only breaks out Fast Ring maybe once every four or five turns. But that's still one of our party wasting a turn to negate it. Real dick move.
Dehuai's biggest threat is Blaze, which hits the entire party for Fire elemental damage. Inferno Fusion Yuri and Zhuzhen only take around 40 HP of damage while Margarete suffers 70-80 HP every time it's cast. This might not sound like a whole lot, but once Dehuai gets below 50% HP all he seems to do is spam Blaze endlessly every turn. That damage can stock up if we're not careful.
But as long as everyone stays in their lanes and fills their role of punching, healing and shooting an old man in the face, Dehuai gets licked in no time. Surely, he'll flop over dead and that's the end of this crisis. Good work, everyone!
We receive a nice chunk of cash and XP from beating up the old man. To add insult to injury, Zhuzhen takes it upon himself to steal Dehuai's staff after the battle. It's important to remember to equip this next time we get control. It has double the P-Attack and +15 S-Attack over the previous store-bought stave for Zhuzhen. Plus beating an evil old man with his own walking cane is funny. Oh what, you thought we have finished with Dehuai already?
Music: ICARO - Beated Version
Pant, pant Give it up, Dehuai!
Fool! You think youve won?! Time is on my side. The girls spirit has filled the tower! We are but moments away from the final act! Heh heh heh
Not if I punch your stupid face in!
Dehuai teleports to the upper walkway and laughs.
Dehuai slowly hobbles out. Nobody stops him. Yuri instead turns his attention to Alice.
Yuri You came And everybody
It felt... like I was waiting for days...
<rubs neck> Yeah... days... Let's get you down from there.
Fade to black as Alice is released from Dehuai's magic siphoning/torture device.
I-Im okay. We must stop Dehuai and the Demons Gate Invocation
But how? Isnt it too late?!
T-there's three of you... You don't all... need to check on me...
...That's a fair point. But I shot that geezer in the head at least a dozen times and he walked it off. I'm not about to go it alo
The room is flooded with a white light.
Music: ICARO - Beated Version
Was that like... the Invocation starting?
<rubs forehead> Gah... No. It's just the stupid voice in my head. It happens.
The voice in your head... The one I just heard?
It's a long story...
<looks at Alice recoils in shock> Ohh !! Alice, youve youve regained your strength?!
Alice stands up and looks around the room.
I can fight!
<stands up> Heh heh! Its been a while since Ive heard that damn voice!
<looks around> Did everyone know about this creepy sky voice business but me?
It's the first I have heard of it. But that's pretty low on the concern list considering everything else going on...
Shes watching over us. Lets go!
We're now allowed to form a party for the final battle of Shadow Heart's first half. Or more correctly, we're allowed to decide between Alice and Margarete as our third member. We're not allowed to bench Zhuzhen for the climactic showdown against his arch-rival. That too would be kind of a dick move. Alice, it's nice to have you back and all but you're going to be absolutely worthless coming up and you're lagging several levels behind the rest of the cast thanks to your extended timeout. Just take it easy. You've had a rough week.
Tune in next time for the final match of the first half of Shadow Hearts atop Kuihai Tower!
Video: Badger Devil and Dehuai Battles