Part 37: Episode XXXVII: Terry No Guard
Episode XXXVII: Terry No Guard
New Music: Atmosphere - Blow Up (Europe gets a punched-up intro to the map theme.)
Welp... That all happened... So, who is ready for a big change of scenery? Our Shadow Hearts adventures in Asia have come to an end. I mean... it's not like we can very well go back to Shanghai again. It being a smoking crater and all now... As such, the second half of the game will shift gears to Europe for the remainder of the game. Specifically, we'll be heading to Prague. Which I believe in 1913 would have still been part of the Kingdom of Bohemia in the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Before we start backpacking across Europe, let's take a look at where our useless Score stats stand at the beginning of the second half of the game. Though, I dunno if I'd say we're halfway through the game. Europe definitely has more overall content than Asia. I feel like we've been stuck at the distance from Tokyo to Yokohama for a while now...
In any case, let's jump into Prague and see how the hell we ended up 8,500 km away since the end of the last chapter.
New Music: City (Very moody.)
Ah... A half-year time skip. That'd probably do it. We can see pretty much the entire Shadow Hearts rendition of Prague in this shot, making it look like a tiny hamlet you could jog through in about five minutes. Prague in 1913 would have had a population of around 230,000 people. It was a pinch larger than what is shown here...
<laughs> Yes, and that was just too funny! He thought it was a poltergeist? It was just the lady next door doing aerobics!
I don't know... The way she was stretching haunts me. I'd break my hip trying that.
Aww... And I was all set to get you a leotard to start practicing.
Now the thought of that is giving me the willies...
Heh heh heh Ah, the worlds a peaceful place.
As long as you just push everything from a half-year ago out of your mind...
<far off stare> Yeah...
Anyway, what do you say we get a bite to eat and then unwind a bit?
Are you asking me out for a drink?
<laughs> You know me too well! Ha ha ha
Since Yuri is
How did the exorcising go? Another case solved? Impressive!
It was just a lady doing jumping jacks in the next apartment over.
How Oh... You still got paid, right?
Darn straight! We're not taking a day's long walk pro-bono.
From exorcism to finding lost objects, we're ready to help you! We're the fastest, cheapest, and most skilled exorcists around! Call Alice and Zhuzhen today!
...is what the battered notice says.
So, Alice and Zhuzhen haven't skipped over to Asia and started up a ghostbusting spin-off series. I mean, Shanghai might have been a disaster that killed tens of thousands of people. But nobody knows they were involved with that. Zhaoyang Village and Dalian had their ghost troubles solved fairly handily with few incidents. It makes sense to stick with what worked early on.
Anyway, getting into Prague proper we find a man with the rare talent (well rare outside of video games) of sleeping standing up. Let's wake him up. He might have something important for us.
<becomes Lottery Member No. 08> Well, I don't sleep like this all the time, you know. What'll ya do?
...Yuri told me about this once and I thought he was just messing with me.
Some advice. Even if you fall asleep right after eating, you won't turn into a cow. Don't worry!
O... kay...? I'll keep that in mind.
Since Guard Hamas seems to have narcolepsy, his Lottery Judgment Wheel spins veeeeeeeeeeery slowly, making this one of the easiest Lotteries to score the Red Hit Area prize. Which nets us...
Man, nothing about this item is correct. You'd think between the name and item description that this accessory would buff strength and possibly auto-inflict Berserk or something. Nope. Berserk status only results from depleted SP and the earrings themselves add +20% HP. It has nothing to do with physical strength. That said, a twenty percent increase in health ain't bad. We'll slap those on Alice since she is lagging about a level and a half behind Zhuzhen and could use the bump.
One can never be too vigilant against the threat of rogue wolves. They're a MENACE! But beyond that, the building right behind this guy can be entered to progress the plot. So instead, we'll skip right past that and continue down the street for some loot.
There's an awful lot of consumable items in this game that speed up/slow down/fuck about in general with the Judgment Ring and boy do I never feel compelled to waste a turn using one of 'em ever. There's probably a good reason like 2/3rds of them get purged from the loot tables by the time the sequel rolls around.
I never minded taking care of wolves and thieves, but ghosts? I'd rather not get involved...
And birdmen... I've always had a deep-seated fear of being attacked by birdmen...
That's why we'll call you if we have any... supernatural encounters!
By the way, there is another Lottery Ticket hiding somewhere on this screen. Can YOU guess its location...?
Gold star if you went with hidden behind foreground trees. I personally would have gone with one of the lampposts.
Anyway, let's get back to that bar and get some R&R. Sadly, Alice and Zhuzhen don't seem to have a hokey Prague Exorcists storefront we can poke around in.
As I age, I too walk into establishments and loudly announce to the patrons my intent to go take a shit. I suppose Alice can kill some time bothering other customers while Zhuzhen attends to nature's call.
Hmm. I heard some town in the Orient was destroyed, but... ahh, what's it matter?
Oh, is that right...? What a shame. I'm sure they did everything they could to stop it.
Meh... Probably another sorcerer summoning a dark god. It's one of those deals every other year with those Orientals.
...No, I can tell just looking at your face. I guess not. Oh, you'll find him... eventually. Men always come back when they feel lonely.
This is a little different...
Listen, hun. It doesn't matter if he skipped out in the middle of the night or turned into a Dracula or what have you. Just give it time and it'll work itself out.
Take a load off and relax awhile.
Don't mind if we do. The table next to Owner Gismot just happens to have a free bottle of Priest's Wine. Let's see what we've got here...
...This is literally blood and muddy water in a flask. I've heard of watered-down swill before, but this is ridiculous. It does restore 100 MP and 6 SP for some reason, though.
Are you getting acquainted with the town? Certainly, looks like your business is going well. That reminds me... I should get back to work. Let me know if you need anything. Do you need anything?
Peddler Rosa is offering quite a few new items in here "Time is Money" shop. But, we're going to refrain from purchasing anything at the moment. There might be another discount card in the near future before we head into any combat heavy zones. In any case, speaking with Peddler Rosa is the trigger for Zhuzhen finishing up his massive dump and progressing the story.
Huh? Oh Its just that I cant believe its been half a year already. I asked Margarete to bring me to Europe, but
<turns away> What what if hes dead?
Dont be ridiculous. You know that kids not the kind to die so easily. Even if he HAS been absorbed by a monster, so long as his soul remains alive, well meet again.
Sure, we might have to put him down in a monster possessed form but... Hey, closure!
...That isn't helping.
And besides, your sixth sense tells you that hes still alive, right.?
<shakes head> Im not sure, but thats how I feel.
Dont you believe that if we continue our work, were bound to run into him again?
Yes I did.
I have a good feeling that any day now we'll catch a brea
A disheveled man rushes into the bar. The owner approaches him.
Are you OK!?
Umm... I heard I could find some exorcists here.
That timing was a little too on the nose for me...
The spirit detectives approach the man.
If you came looking for us, I assume you need something exorcised?
Just so we're clear, we do "exorcism" -- as in getting rid of malcontent spirits and apparitions. It is NOT "exercise" we cannot help your town if they've gotten out of shape.
You're still upset about those guys in Olomouc wanting us to help them work out?
A gluttonous man's paunch is a problem I cannot help with and walking half a day to find out about it is not a good use of my sunset years.[/i]
Y-yes! My name is Terry. I came from Bistritz, a small village east of here. I run a general store.
Bistritz?! Thats quite a trip! It mustve been a hard journey
By the look on your face, Id say you must have had good reason. Why dont you tell us your story?
R-right. Its its like this. My village is attacked by vicious monsters every night
What scale of vicious monsters are we talking here on a scale of 1-10? One being a malevolent cloud of gas causing mischief to ten being an indescribable cosmic horror that drives a man mad and strict him blind just by gazing on them.
At least a six... six and a half!
<strokes chin> A six and a half is no joke... Tell us more.
Theyre theyre not human. No matter how many bullets they take, they dont die. So many villagers have lost their lives
Andy... Joe... Billy... Mai... They're all gone.
I heard a rumor about you from a friend, so here I am.
Are they ghosts or demons, I wonder ? Go on. Tell us everything you know.
Well, Bistritz is a small village located about two days walk east of here. A lord used to rule the village, but his bloodline died out some three hundred years ago. The strange thing is that since the attacks began, thereve been lights seen in the castle windows.
Are the monsters and the castle related in any way?
I dont know. Theres no history of any of our liege-lords ever attacking his people.
My great pawpaw once said something about bloodsucking incidents once, but his mind has been going for years...
However, in the off chance that it does involve the castle, I would like you to investigate. Im here on behalf of my village to ask for your assistance. Will you accept the job?
<shakes head> So it would seem that youve got two assignments for us. One, getting rid of the monsters attacking the village. Two, investigating the lords castle.
Yes Even at this very moment, the monsters are preying on my village. Im so worried about my wife and daughter Youre our only hope.
Zhuzhen and Alice huddle up.
Margarete should be back soon, too.
You know how antsy she gets if she doesn't get to shoot a monster for a few days. This should work out well.
<nods>All right, leave it to us. Well eradicate these monsters for you.
Y-you will? Oh, thank you!!
We'll have to assess the situation further before naming a commission price. I'll warn you, investigating anything more robust than a Doom House has quite the bonus fee.
I hate doing the Doom Houses.
A haunted castle is going to cost you folk.
Sure, whatever it takes!
Were waiting for one of our companions, but once she arrives, well go straight to Bistritz.
Wonderful. Ill head back and tell them the good news!
Just wait for us to get there, okay? Well be right behind you.
<nods> Certainly... Excuse me.
Terry exits the bar. Owner Gismot approaches the duo.
A traveler once told me he'd gotten into a fist fight with a pack of warlwolves out that way once and barely escaped with his life.
Do you mean "werewolves"?
No, he was quite insistent on "warlwolves" and then went on some tangent quoting some poet. Strange fellow. He bought several entire bottles of liquor off me at full markup insisting there was no better way to cure injuries and something grumbled something about the Welsh before taking off.
Ive heard the same. Its always been a poor village Ive never heard anything good about it.
No handsome guys from there either. That scruffy stranger was on the hotter end of the spectrum and yuck.
G-good to know, Yuria.
Heh. Were well acquainted with monster dens, constantly wandering into them back in Asia.
As long as there are no more cat demons. I've had quite my fill of those and I'm fresh out of anti-cat powder.
Zhuzhen, do you think Terry will be okay? I have a bad feeling about this
Now, now, stop trying to scare me. Margarete will be here soon. Then well be off.
Prague is safe enough. Surely, he'll get by waiting for just a few hou
What was that?!
It cant be!!
Now THAT timing is too on the nose.
<increasingly concerned grunt>
To the north, we go!
Urrggh m monsters
<takes fighting stance> What whats this terrible evil I perceive?!
Music: NDE - Near Death Experience
The Prague exorcists are set upon by a pair of Birdmen. Their only skill is pecking a single member of our party for around 20 HP of damage and potentially inflicting Silence in the process.
Zhuzhen is having none of that shit and can instantly immolate the pair of them with Ogre Flamedance before they even get the chance to attack. Perhaps he started a partnership with Alice, so he would no longer the most useless member of the party in battle.
Ugh Th-they followed us Please save the village Mi chelle Nina
Hang in ther
<frown> Never mind...
Damn! We were too late
Alice stands back up.
Theres nothing we could have done.
We could have told him to stay in the bar for another two minutes.
Well, yes... but... Hindsight and all that... Don't beat yourself up over it.
That evil I was feeling this was no ordinary monster. You felt it too, surely? That bloodsucking hag could have killed us, too, if we werent careful.
Yes its the first time Ive felt such evil in Europe.
What do you think she was? Some sort of vampire?
Pah... Don't be absurd. Vampires are just an old wives' tale.
Zhuzhen, I dont think we can wait for Margarete.
I think youre right. Maybe the two of us should go on ahead to Bistritz.
Despite that conversation, we're immediately tossed back into the bar afterward. This is the last chance to do any item purchasing. But like I said earlier, I think we're good. Everyone does have some new dialogue. So, let's chat before we depart.
Hmm. It seems the world is getting noisier.
Back in my day, men had the decency to scream in terror during decent daylight hours. People these days...
That man died...
And woke up my wife. That's why I'm back in this bar again.
It's in such a remote area, there's no telling what kind of monsters you'll encounter.
I can't believe monsters showed up in this town. Thank God you were here to protect us... I'll pray for your safety.
I'll let Ms. Margarete know where you went, don't worry about that.
OK. Just don't let her open another tab on our account while she waits for us to get back...
I've learned my lesson on that one.
If we return to the scene of the crime, the people of Prague wasted no time cleaning up Terry and that generic guard's corpses. There's a familiar face hanging out here. Well, technically two familiar faces, I suppose.
The man near the signpost is Europe's version of the Silent Peddler. We still have quite a bit of walking to do before we can unlock that grand prize. We'll get there eventually. Alongside the Silent Peddler, it seems Wanderer Meiyuan has also made his way to Europe.
Yuri sacrificed himself trying to stop Shanghai from being destroyed!
Whatever helps you sleep at night.
We'll definitely be skipping on Meiyuan's services here.
In any case, that's it for this short Part 2 intro chapter and Prague in general. For now... Tune in next time as Zhuzhen and Alice's adventures continue in Chapter 12: Cursed Bistritz. It'll be very Halloween season appropriate.
That might very well be the shortest chapter in the game. But we did get a couple new Library entries. Such as...
Someone performed a Mortal Kombat Fatality on that bell ringer schmuck.
* Was a loving husband and father.
Terry Portrait That definitely looks like a guy named Terry.