The Let's Play Archive

Shadow Hearts

by The Dark Id

Part 45: Episode XLV: Fusion Frenzy

Episode XLV: Fusion Frenzy

Music: City

But you have to give the guy credit for how he set his trap without anyone knowing.
I dunno if jumping someone in a bathroom is like some high-level strategy.
If we're being honest, we REALLY don't "have to hand it to" someone who attacked me.
Well, if you're gonna put it that way... Fine. But...

On top of that, we now know she’s connected to Bacon somehow…
Heheh! The plot thickens once again. Now I’m really lookin’ forward to France!

Once more we are given the option to assemble our squad. Nah, I think we're good still with this party for the trek to France. Before we go, let's chat with the other bar patrons.

At least I won't need to break out the mop.
Yeah... A wall is scorched and the floor is all torn up...
Oh... Great... Is that all?
Eh. The sink looked backed up.
<sigh> I'll get the mop...

You ever think about cuttin' back, lady?
I'll take a break on the next day that ends in a "y."
...Doesn't every day end in Y?
<knocks back another glass> Yup.

Up until this point, Alice has been the only playable character allowed to walk around in Gismot's Bar and she was staunchly against entering the men's room at any point. Now that we're Yuri, we can jog right in there and obtain another Lottery Ticket off the filthy men's room floor. Score!

Welp. We're completely done with Prague. This whole chapter could have just been a single update. But, we have something we can do now that Yuri is back in the party for good.

As mentioned early, now that Yuri has gotten over Fox Face and his mental issues about Fusion, he now has access to Level 2 Fusions and (almost) all of 'em have been unlocked at this point just by virtue of playing through the game, doing everything available and (almost) never running from a fight. Dammit, game. I'm not doing a goddamn random battle in the five steps between a boss room and a save point when I just topped off my health with a tent. That's some bullshit and you know it!

Music: Graveyard Moon

All the gravestones here are lit up like it's Christmas. I mean, other than that slacker delinquent that is the Water element. I'm not sure why this game has such neglect for the Water element. There hasn't been an area heavy with enemies in that element since the tiny stretch that was Fengtian Sewers. Even places that seemed like they ought to have a bunch of Water elemental enemies like... I dunno, Dark Port Dalian or literally a goddamn boat had exactly zero Water elemental enemies. There have been exactly zero Water based enemies in Europe thus far and spoilers: there ain't none in Rouen either. Oh well, we'll sort that out one day. Or I'll extensively grind the first Water based enemy we find. One of the two!

In any event, waltzing up to one of the lit up gravestones will once again initiate a battle against the Fusion monster held within the grave.

Music: NDE - Near Death Experience ~ Muddy Water Edit
(This is basically a training montage so here's a remix from the Shadow Hearts Near.Death.Experience arranged soundtrack.)

For the most part, and by that, I mean damn near universally, Level 2 Fusions are just flat upgrades from their previous incarnation. They'll gain access to the Level 2 elemental spells of their particular affinity, as we've seen enemies in the Europe section of the game employing. They also usually gain a souped-up version of their previous unique abilities. This can be a bigger percentage buff, more potent healing abilities or a status effect that lasts a few extra rounds.

The Fusions themselves also get a redesign. The Earth elemental fusion has jumped from a Raging Tiger to a Mad Bull. Too bad we're still a few levels short of Level 34.

I'm not really going to go over the fights for the new Fusions. The Inferno Fusion buffed with Fighting Spirit and punching the hell out of things works most of the time just as well as it had been previously. But beyond that, these fights are basically the same as the first go around just with different attack animations and bigger numbers. All the Fusion battles are tuned to Yuri's current level so they're all totally beatable with minimal fuss. And even if Yuri were to fall against a Fusion monster, all that happens is he gets booted out of the Graveyard back to the real world with 1 HP left.

So let's just cut to the chase where Yuri punches a pint-sized Minotaur the fuck out and steals its soul.

Me every time I browse the internet.

I'm not a fan of Mad Bull's color palette. It looks like some off ass like P6 palette option in a fighting game. What's with the magenta hooves, guy? Gaudy coloring aside, Mad Bull offers:
Plus it can summon a shower of rock spears. What's not to love?

Moving right along, we've seen our fair share of Fire elemental enemies along the road. Indeed, Fire is sitting just barely in third place for most Soul Energy collected. This is nice, because our maximum punch-boy, Inferno, has served us well thus far in getting shit done.

Someone is discussing Kingdom Hearts in my vacinity and I hate I now know what they're talking about.

Inferno upgrades to Ifrit. Which... looks less like the Go-Bots version of a Goro and more like Goro and Reptile had rough sex and out came this angry looking lad. At least his gaping scaly vagina is no longer prominently visible. That was getting uncomfortable for everyone involved. Ignition replaces Fighting Spirit with a 38%-40% increase in overall Physical Attack Power over Inferno's paltry 15-18%. So that's not too shabby an upgrade! Beyond that, Ifrit's stats include:
So yep. Still a pretty decent punch-boy tank of a Fusion.

The good times keep rolling. Just assume most fights here on out have Ifrit punching the new Fusions into submission instead of Inferno. Regardless, the Light element is runner-up to Dark in most Soul Energy collected and we'll probably be cranking out its newest incarnation for future fights where Alice alone healing just isn't cutting it. I'm not sure about that name, though...

I think that's just heartburn from that Chinese food I had for lunch. Big mistake...

This doesn't look anything like a cartoon dog! What's going on here? Did the freaky angelic nightmare from earlier just not look unnerving enough? Let's give it leathery wings, a head that looks like a gothic eraser and replace that tail with some golden orbs to punch it up. Perfect! Now it's ready to go fight Bayonetta. On top of that, its stats now include...
Let's be real, the only time we're busting out the Light elemental Fusion is when we need frequent full party heals. To the end, Baldo will get the job done.

Wind and Earth elements are pretty far down there in Soul Energy with Wind pulling slightly further ahead. Likewise, I can barely remember the Wind element's Fusion. It was useful for like... one fight back in Dalian. I think it was a big ugly owl boy? What have you got for us here, Icarus?

I personally am not a fan of anything roiling within me.

Ah! A nightmare owl boy! Delightful! Who needs eyes when you could stick bonus beaks in their place? I like to think this thing is just shrieking non-stop and Yuri is powerless to stop it during his Fusion. Anyway, this top notch squawker is flying too close to the sun with...
I suppose being able to heal most status effects could be useful in a pinch. Beyond that? Meh.

It might not be immediately obvious, but the gravestones have been growing as they've accumulated Soul Energy. If that wasn't abundantly clear before, just take a gander at the Level 3 MAX Dark Element headstone. It's had a wee bit of a growth spurt. And a quick fight with the Devilman hanging out within yields Charon.

My feeling every time I decide to start a new LP.

Honestly, it just looks like Death Emperor's emaciated ass just started pounding some carbs and hitting the gym to bulk up. Good on him. Too bad his move list is still kind of ehh... I have never in my life been one to use an MP stealing technique in an RPG. The consumables are right there and there's never been a game where mana restoration items weren't in surplus. Oh well, beyond that Charon is sporting...

Charon has the unfortunate luck of being the forgotten middle child of the Dark elemental Fusions. Death Emperor gets a ton of play between it being both Yuri and Fox Face's go-to default and Ben Hyuga busting out the Level 3 Czernobog Fusion early to show Yuri's potential if he got his shit together. It doesn't help we can unlock Czernobog straight away since the endless succession of Dark elemental trash mobs up the 13 miles of stairs of Blue Castle has maxed out that Soul Energy to its limit already.

Considering ordering some Mexican food for dinner and my bowels will know of this treason...

There is a drawback to having Czernobog already. You might notice the third ability for this Fusion is listed as [????] while Ben Hyuga, and indeed the mini-boss version of Czernobog monster fought to obtain this Fusion, had access to Revelation -- Roger Bacon's big fuck-off ultimate attack from the opening of the game. The trouble is we need to unlock the ultimate ability of some Level 3 Fusions to reach their full potential. No having access to Ultima right out the gate of Disc 2, unfortunately. But that's something we won't have access to until we reach the endgame and there's still a lot of Europe to cover before we reach that point. For now, Czernobog will sit kind of neutered, but with still some respectable stats in the form of...
Huh... That's a not insignificant stat boost across the board... Too bad the next few bosses of any difficulty are all Dark elemental too.

Music: Graveyard Moon

Before we finish with the Graveyard field trip, you might notice there's an extra grave here now -- a nice shiny white one. It looks like it's brand new. I'm sure the relevance of it won't come up anytime soon and it's completely unrelated to any Faustian bargains made recently to a set of ornery evil masks.

Speaking of our old pals, they're still writing the script for dunking on Yuri over Alice's recent questionable plays in the spectral realm. Don't worry. They won't stay strangers for too long.

That's about it for our time in the Graveyard and upgrading Yuri for his European adventures. Back to reality, we go!

Music: City

As soon as we hit the town gates, that's a wrap for Prague and Chapter 14 as well! Tune in next time as the game maybe actually starts making good on that LP title of Koudelka 2. Shadow Hearts continues in Chapter 15: Rouen Reunion! No room for heathens in this adventure.

That was another tiny chapter and only one entry was booked in the Library.


Even Speedwagon Zhuzhen was impressed!

Video: Episode 45 Highlight Reel
(If you want to see all the new Fusions in motion, take a gander!)