The Let's Play Archive

Shadow Hearts

by The Dark Id

Part 41: Episode XLI: I Warned You About the Stairs

Episode XLI: I Warned You About the Stairs

Music: Atmosphere - Blow Up

The European section of the game has a lot more hopping between locations mid-chapter than the Asia section ever had. Whatever, we are done with the Bistritz's tomfoolery and moving onward to sorting out the Blue Castle's further issues for our new vampire buddy.

Let's take a look at our current stats before venturing forth. Alice and the gang are going to be getting some fuckin' cardio during this chapter. So I just wanted to see precisely how far we'd trekked before beginning the traversal through the Blue Castle.

In any event, let's get to it!

Music: Coffin Fetish

There's nothing new in the grounds outside the castle. Well... almost nothing new.

Wanderer Meiyuan is still hanging outside the gates trying to hook up with hot vampires like a weirdo. It occurs to me we haven't seen Keith's reaction to acupuncture. Not that we need it at all right now. But for completion's sake...

He's into it. Keith just kind of rolls with everything. I'd personally be a little bit more annoyed with a gross stalker joke character hanging out in my yard.

Anyway, do you remember that locked door to the west of the area that we ignored during our first visit? We're heading up there now as Keith has the key to unlock it. Keith would actually mention during the first visit that there's some bad news taking up residence in the tower here but we've got more pressing issues back in Bistritz to attend to first.

In any case, I hope you like climbing stairs! Cuz that's the rest of this dungeon! It's a five-minute walk upstairs to the top of this tower with three or four repeating maps the entire time. Gotta save money on those assets somehow.

Occasionally, usually every fifth or sixth screen, we'll get a reprieve from the stair climbing in the form of a side dungeon which usually holds some goodies. The dungeons are also just copied and pasted. There's like maybe four different map renders used for about two dozen screens on the way up this damn tower.


Music: NDE - Near Death Experience

Naturally, there are also random battles along the way to break up the monotony. Except... there are only 1.5 enemy types in the random battle pool. The Hollows from earlier and a mildly upgraded version of them called Dead Knight. And by mildly upgraded, I mean they'll waste 10 seconds casting Gale every time they get a chance to take a turn before killing them and they have twice the HP. The only two trash mob configurations are two Hollows and one Dead Knight or just two Dead Knights. You have no idea how sick I was of fighting these assholes by the end of this chapter.

Music: Coffin Fetish

At least one of the pit stop dungeons has a new item we can take a look at to break up the monotony.

Headgear is a +9 P-Defense and +2 SP-Defense accessory which makes it the best defensive err... headgear accessory available in the game thus far. We'll stick this on Alice. It looks padded and she is more than due for another fainting and slamming her head on the ground session here soon.

There's also another Lottery Ticket hidden among this... pile of rotting human skeletal bones. Really starting to get a real Nemeton Monastery underground vibe out of some of the cells, Keith. Is there something you're not telling us about the humble Valentine family that would NEVER attack its subjects...?

Six repeating screens later, we've got another jail cell lock-up to rummage through. This time we've got...

Reska -- the most anime of witches in all of Eastern Europe.

After what felt like an eternity (looking at the recorded footage, it took 14:37 seconds from the bottom of the tower to the save point at the top if you want any indication of how much was brushed past in the LP) we finally reach the top of the tower where Keith's uninvited guest is camping out.

This aura belongs too… Yes! I’m sure of it!
He’s inside…
Do be careful. He really did a number on me once.
Being punched in the nose is one way to chase away grogginess from two hundred years of slumber. Though, I would not recommend it.

The trio enters the chamber to find...

Yuri! You’re alive!

Wait. He’s definitely not his normal self!
You know him?!
Rmn… mn…
<shakes head> Not only know him… We’ve been through struggles of life and death with him. How on earth did he get to be like this?!
Fusing with a god.
Oh, right... That did happen, didn't it?
I feel as though there is a tale I am lacking context on for this situation.
Yeah... that's an understatement. Some other time.

Do be on your guard. He attacks very unexpectedly.
I offered him some tea and he tossed the cup out the window up there and then spin-kicked me out of the room. It was an unpleasant exchange. I quite enjoyed that tea set...
<approaches Yuri> Yuri? It’s me, Alice.
Nggnn… argg… unn… mmn…
He has every appearance of a human, but it’s as if he has lost his soul somewhere. In his present state, he is nothing but a maleficent monster.
I'd also recommend against standing downwind of him. His hygiene leaves something to be desired.
Yeah... If I had to guess, I'd say he's probably been wearing that ratty outfit for the last six months straight.

Come on, kid… Did the Seraphic Radiance completely consume your soul…?
Yuri? Don’t you remember me?

Yuri stands up.

Music: Much Hatred Still Rankles

I don't like where this is going...
You damned monsters… You’re here for mom, aren’t you?!
<runs in to defend Alice> Watch out!! Stand back!!

New Music: Thorn of Mind
(Menacing. Also it is barely ever used as a boss track so you should probably listen.)

Welp. This is happening now. Time to take on brain broke Yuri Volte Hyuga. I'm not sure if being out of it beyond a willingness to punch things and mommy issues are better or worse than being wheelchair bound and mumbling about Xenogears all day.

Yuri has been doing some off-camera grinding since we last saw him considering he is now sporting an impressive 2000 HP up from the mere 295 HP he was rocking last time we saw him back in China. Alternatively, absorbing a god's essence only gave him a 1700 HP bump? Seraphic Radiance clearly blew its load nuking Shanghai.

Initially, Yuri attacks about how you'd expect -- by punching and kicking things repeatedly. That said, Yuri is still freakishly strong and his boss fight combos will do upward of 125-175 damage, which is enough to either outright kill or send any of our party to critical status in two turns.

Obviously, this leaves Alice on full healing duty for the duration of the fight. But, before she gets slotted into her typical role, we'll have her quickly cast Holy Edge on Keith to give a Light elemental edge to his physical attacks. All of Keith's Rituals are Dark elemental affinity and that's not going to make the donuts against Yuri here. But a volley of Light augmented physical attacks put his damage output near where it ought to be if he could still use his Rituals to their full effect. In a pinch, Blood Sucker can be used to steal enough HP from Yuri to take Keith out of the danger zone if Alice is too busy healing Zhuzhen or herself at the moment to help out Keith. But mostly, Keith will just stick to stabbing his home invader repeatedly and hoping for the best.

Zhuzhen's Corpse Arm still outputs respectable damage in the 100-120 HP range. With Keith doing around 100 HP of damage and Zhuzhen doing not much more, we're looking at around ten rounds to take Yuri down. So we'll need to be mindful of Alice's sanity during this time. Also, there's one other kink to fighting against Yuri.

New Music: Reckless
(This is actually the Berserk version of this track. But hell if we'd ever hear it normally.)

After he drops to around 75% HP, he'll fuse into Death Emperor. Now the real fight begins.

Now Yuri's physical attacks are doing 120 HP minimal and can go up to 150 HP damage output, give or take. So we absolutely need to get anyone punch in the face by the former party member Devilman patched up immediately unless we want them to go down for good.

Death Emperor can also vomit a cloud of Darkness like he's reciting lines from a Kingdom Hearts script to cause around 100 HP of damage with Dark Messenger. Allegedly, Dark Messenger has a very rare chance to cause Death and OHKO someone. I certainly didn't prepare for such and it wasn't an issue but I could have just gotten lucky.

When Yuri is down to around 33% health, he'll cast Drain Wave on himself to buff his Special Attack damage output by 33% (read: Dark Messenger.) So now his clouds of darkness smog do around 130-140 HP of damage (160-170 for Alice.) So that's a touch worrying.

He's also got a second attack... also called Drain Wave, which actually will do something similar to what the name suggests. Namely, it will drain a decent amount of MP, around 30% or so, from the targeted party member. Enemies in this game technically have a limited pool of MP but he'll if a fight ever lasts long enough for that to become an issue outside maybe one or two cases. That aside, Yuri was kind of an idiot and decided to steal MP off of Keith -- the only party member barely using magic. Zhuzhen or especially Alice getting drained that much mana would have been way more of an issue.

All that aside, towards the end of this fight, Yuri will repeatedly cast the Drain Wave buff or MP steal which means Alice can potentially have a free turn to use Blessed Light for a bit of extra damage against Yuri. So that's nice.

Once Yuri is drained of HP, the fight abruptly ends. No Yuri losing consciousness or no-selling the fight or... anything, really. It just fades to black and...

Music: ENDS

Welp! Nothing about the scenario of having the girl you like dropping into your weird spectral soul palace graveyard can be a good thing...

Video: Yuri Boss Battle

Keith Valentine Portrait - No, Keith! You're not supposed to eat those!