The Let's Play Archive

Shadow Hearts

by The Dark Id

Part 44: Episode XLIV: Mysteries of the Ladies' Room

Episode XLIV: Mysteries of the Ladies' Room

Music: Atmosphere - Blow Up

Back at it again on the Europe map. We just need to take a short 1064 kilometer trek back from the greater Bistritz area back to Prague to regroup.

Before we head off, I'd just like to point out we were at 100.115 Miles at the start of the Blue Castle Stairs Hell chapter. So that was a good thirteen-mile walk worth of stairs climbed according to the game. Just in case you thought I was overblowing how much damn stairs were in that castle.

But that's behind us. We have no reason to climb any more stairs taller than a single flight anytime soon. So let's jump right in back in Prague and see what's crackin' in town. I mean, besides the obvious witch we briefly saw murking Terry and is name-dropped as the chapter title.

Music: City

Nothing at all has changed in Prague since our departure. No sudden monster invasion or curse besetting the town. And World War 1 is still a few years off so minimal political strife.

With that in mind, let's just wander on over to Zhuzhen and Alice's favorite local dive bar sincethey didn't bother to give them an actual apartment in town or shop storefront Yuri could probably use a drink after all that mess in the Blue Castle.

I have a message for you from Margarete.
A message?
Uh-huh. I thought she would just wait here until you two got back, but she rushed off in a big hurry.
Also that was coming up on nearly two months ago. Where the heck have you two been?
Long story...

She said she wanted you to meet her in Rouen, north of Paris.
What’s the matter? Why the sudden outburst?
Rouen is the place where my father fought Bacon and died.
Is that right? But why did Margarete do that?
I thought for sure she'd flake and be off doing spy stuff again by now. Did she get her fill of bombing and crashing things or something?

Maybe this means she’s finally got some leads!
It's sort of been just months of her coming back, shrugging that she didn't find anything and sticking us with the bar tab after a "reunion drinking night."
I see… So he’s been hard at work even after I got swallowed up by that beast in Shanghai…
I’m sure that Bacon is somewhere in Europe. Either England… or Rouen. Margarete is looking for him, but to no avail.
Considering how he taunted us to come after him… he must have some trick even more sinister than Dehuai up his sleeve. We’ve got to find him! We haven’t heard a peep out of him for six whole months now.
Oh... So Bacon ISN'T hard at work doing anything since Shanghai.
Well... nothing concrete we've heard of, no... But a guy like that doesn't just stop.
That's not really reassuring, gramps.
Psh! It took Dehuai fifteen years to try his next scheme. Warlocks have no sense of reasonable timetables for their villainy!

Flirtatious Yuria stumbles over to the crowd.

Let’s party!
Wh-whoa! You’re drunk!
<waves a dismissal> Me? Drunk? No way.
I dunno. Seems like this lady has the right idea.

Yuria wanders off to the bathroom to go puke in the toilet. Totally by coincidence, not because she drank too much. No sir!

Has she been going at it that hard the whole time we've been gone?
Is it a day ending in "Y"?

Hmm… Roger Bacon, huh… Do I understand correctly that another member of your party is waiting for you in France?
Hey, friend… hic! …Where’s this France place, anyway? Is it far?
Cuz ya said last time it'd be a "bit of a walk" back to this Prague joint and that took like a month jog.
Tch. It was three weeks, tops.
Oh yeah, cuz that makes it better! So where is this France joint?

<shakes head> From here, it’s, let’s see… well… um…
C’mon pops! You either know or ya don’t!
O-of course I do! What do you think I did on the long boat trip from China?!
Sleep half the time?
That's being generous.
Hey, don't take his side!

I studied up real good, that’s what I did! So anyway, let’s see…
<laughs> C’mon pops! You’re a regular country bumpkin!
Aw, shut up! Takes one to know one!!
Hey, I didn't even know I was in frikkin' Europe until the other day. I ain't trying to front as some kinda knowledgeable oracle geezer here like some other old timer I know.
<glare at one another>
I think it’ll take less than a month to get there. I’m sure we can catch a carriage somewhere along the way.
Oh yeah? So whadd’re we waitin’ for?
Weren't you just belly aching about the last walk?
Meh. Ain't like my feet can hurt any worse.

You’re right. What do you say, Alice?
<nods> Yes.
In that case, we’d better get a solid meal in our bellies before we set out.
<looks around> Say… Whatever happened to Yuria?
She hasn’t come out of the bathroom for ages. She’s probably out cold! You saw how drunk she was.
Someone should probably make sure she isn't drowning in the toilet. Don't want her to curse us or something cuz we didn't check. That'd be a pain in the ass.
I’ll go take a look.

We're back to playing as Alice again. It's not like any of the other party members are qualified to enter the forbidden zone that is the Women's Restroom. Before we head in, let's chat with everyone briefly.

Tell me, is it still very French?
I... don't know what that means.
Yes, you do.
...Yes, it's still very French.

Heheh... I can go with ya!
<unimpressed glare>
Just jokin'! Sheesh...
<turns back to Keith> So... umm... You're a vampire, huh?
I am.
That's cool.

Try not to overdo it.
Oh, don't worry. You know me.
The last time you had more than three glasses you cried until morning over Master Xiaofang's death.
<sniffles and takes another swig> I loved that cat and its terrible puns.

...binges lately. Could you go see if she hasn't fallen asleep in the ladies' room.
And tell me if I need to go fetch a mop for in there.


Oh, Zhuzhen's quite handsome, don't you think?
Mmm... And that boy in purple is quite dashing too.
...What about Yuri?
The boy in the coat?
<cringe> Oh. Is he with you? I thought that was just some drifter vagabond that wandered in the night.

In order to progress, we do indeed need to enter the ladies' room and see what became of Flirtatious Yuria. No entering the Men's Room though! That wouldn't be proper.

Music: Someone's Table

That's certainly ominous music for a bar bathroom. I would piss with caution in such conditions. But that goes without saying in any bar piss tank.

Anyway, Yuria isn't sprawled out on the floor. So let's see if she's in one of the stalls.

Hearing no answer, Alice opts to go in and investigate further. But there is nobody inside.

Let's move onto stall #2! Surely, Yuria has to be in that one. There literally is nowhere else she could be unless she squeezed through that tiny vent to avoid her bar tab and that seems beyond the scope of her size or dexterity while shitfaced.

Alice enters the stall for a moment and immediately exits finding nothing.

Well naturally, if she's not in either of the stalls we need to investigate the mirror to see if she's fallen into the Mirror Dimension. You can never be too careful when a mate has had too much to drink. There's nothing worse than having to drag a sloppy drunk out from the Shadow Realm at the end of a night of boozing.

That's a shockingly clean mirror for a run-down bar on the outskirts of a city. Granted, they couldn't afford a second mirror for the other sink and the sink itself is clogged up. So it's not entirely off-brand for the establishment.

Alice loses interest in the mirror and walks away to... I'm not sure what the plan is at this point. Moments after she does so, her reflection runs back and giggles. That's probably something to worry about.

At this point, you would think Alice would go tell the others or at least the owner that Yuria has straight up vanished from the bathroom. And indeed, Alice can leave and go talk to everyone again with zero issue. But she neglects to issue any statement on the weird shit going down in the toilet. So, naturally...

...We need to go check the two stalls again. Maybe Yuria got stuck behind the door or managed to cram herself into the toilet bowl. Stranger things have happened. Alas...

No dice! Welp. Maybe that mirror with the giggling reflection has something to do with this mysterious disappearance. I mean, WE know that it does. But Alice doesn't. This is a weird conceit for a playable character if you think about it for a moment.

Nope. Still just a mirror and a normal refle—HEY!

Alice's reflection giggles again. Alice jumps back in surprise.

Wh-what the--?
Hee hee hee!


Yes, that was an illusion. But also that was clearly the witch that killed that scrub Terry and you should probably go get help now! And again, there's no magical seal on the door so she can't leave. Alice can waltz right out to the rest of the party at any time. But Ms. Elliot has just taken it upon herself to be exceptionally dumb this chapter. So... let's just go check both the stalls one more time! Surely, a different outcome lays ahead this go around!

I know you’re in here! Come out!

...Well, I mean. I guess that is a different outcome. Alice is now a demon granny. Although she will not realize her transformation until she looks into the mirror again. Again, Alice has just gone full moron for no particular reason here.

Th-that’s not me!
Heh heh heh...
Astute observation. Are you sure you don't need to check the stalls a few more times to confirm something is amidst!?

Y-you’re the one who killed Terry!
Hee hee hee… That’s right. That was the mayor’s request.
Seeing as you lot are back with the Harmonixer boy, I take it things did not go the way the dear mayor wanted...
H-He turned into a rotting hound monster. We had to take him out.
Hee hee hee... Oh? Did he actually use that transformation? That's rich! I promised him a new form that would horrify his enemies. I bet it wasn't quite the way he imagined. But that's aside from the point...

What a beautiful young woman you are.
Prematurely graying hair, granted. But no beauty is perfect.
<frown> It's just really light blonde!
Oh, you keep telling yourself, my dearie. Regardless...

Makes me feel good just assuming your form. If your body was to become mine… Hee hee hee…

Music: NDE - Near Death Experience

Boy, evil granny looks slightly different in battle form. You should probably get used to people suddenly transforming into bizarre outlandish demonic forms as soon as a battle transition occurs. I'm not talking about guys yelling about power and revealing their monster forms like that idiot Kevin or Dehuai. I mean just a normal looking lady or dude suddenly being a lich or hellbeast with zero fanfare as soon as battle music is queued up and everyone enters a fighting stance.

In any event, since Alice Elliot is a stern believer that what happens in the bathroom stays in the bathroom, she'll be taking on this foe solo. Meet Arcane Olga (or Ghost-Spirit Olga if you're Japanese) the first mid-boss lackey of the foreign lands of Europe. Since this boss has Alice alone as our only party member, it's barely above a particularly annoying random battle in difficulty. Olga is only sporting 680 HP and has a Dark element affiliation but will NOT use any Dark element attacks to hit Alice's Light element weakness. The cards are all stacked in Alice's favor.

There is very little to be said strategy wise for this fight. Alice has the one Light element offense spell in the form of Blessed Light. She is going to use every turn casting Blessed Light until Arcane Olga is defeated. If necessary, she can waste a turn to heal herself. But that was not remotely necessary in our case.

Arcane Olga lives up to her name and spends her time casting a variety of spells in Alice's direction. None of them hit all that hard. It's mostly 40-50 HP of damage per attack. I'd just like to point out that nobody bothers to run in and see what's happening in this bathroom literally a wall away as restroom gets...

Set ablaze.

Energy beams are shot into the walls.

And javelins of concrete are torn from the floor and smashed into the surrounding area. Owner Gismot must have soundproofed the shit out of this crapper.

All that aside, Alice handily wins this occult battle of sorcery in the ladies' room and Arcane Olga's assault is driven off.

Music: Results

Alice's victory nets her a very healthy sum of EXP and Cash. Hitting Level 28 unlocks the Gospel spell which raises a targeted party member's Physical and Special Defense for five turns at the somewhat hefty cost of 40 MP. That will probably prove useful at some point. Or I'll completely forget she even has that spell and never use it. One of the two! It's likely the latter.

We also obtain a new accessory from the defeated Olga. As it says, these earrings boosts experience gain by 20% which ain't bad. But it also lowers Sanity Points by 20% as well. I suppose that could be OK if we needed to grind with anyone besides Alice. You'd think the girl would get a few more Sanity Points after over half a year of fighting ghosts, demons and warlocks. I should probably remember to use that stockpile of consumable stat increasing items sitting in our inventory one day. I can tell you right now as of this update, that one day is not within the next two chapters of the game I already recorded.

Music: Someone's Table

I’d be more careful next time! You were under my spell the moment you entered the bathroom.
What WERE you even searching for in those toilet stalls?!
I... thought maybe I could have missed something.
You stepped on the drunken wench on the floor a handful of times, you know.
S-Sorry Yuria...

Yuri finally notices something is wrong after the two-plus minute long magic battle and barges in.

That cat demon lady!
Aren't you that cat demon lady from... err... that Chinese countryside village... Ergh... Alice, help me out here.
Zhaoyang Village?
<snaps fingers> That's the one!
I have no idea what you're talking about.
You're not the cat lady demon from that village? You were real mad we killed your hell kittens? That's not you...? You look JUST like her.
Huh... now that you mention it...
Enough of this ignorant chatter!

Hmph, you’re back from the spirit’s graveyard, eh? I’m sure you’ll make Lord Bacon proud.
<snort> Lord Bacon...
I am Arcane Olga! Remember my name! I’ll be seeing you again. Hee hee…

Arcane Olga OUT! The party really needs to do something about people teleporting away while they stand there doing nothing. The will never do this. NEVER!

Tune in next time as everyone washes their hands and leaves the Cursed Bathroom of Prague just in time for Yuri to travel back to the Graveyard and make a big ol' showcase of the new line of action figures Fusion forms as Season 2 of Shadow Hearts continues!

Video: Arcane Olga Battle
(Who knew dive bar women's rooms could expand to triple the size if a brawl broke out in one?)

Arcane Olga Character Art - Evil vampire grandma is gonna get her drink on.