The Let's Play Archive

Shadow Hearts

by The Dark Id

Part 47: Episode XLVII: Father Doyle

Episode XLVII: Father Doyle

Music: Wind Which Blows From the Dark II

We're now given the option to reshuffle our party yet again (and Meiyuan's stalker ass can change it up after this point for whatever reason.) We're gonna go ahead and swap out Keith for the newly returned Margarete. I'm gonna be real... Keith never really got a lot of play in my party. There are very rarely Light elemental enemies while more than a handful (including the very next major boss) is Dark elemental making him less than ideal on that front. Plus Margarete is a smidgen faster than him while only being a few ticks weaker physically overall. Plus, his Judgment Wheel configuration is just weird and I could never nail reliably. Not a fan of the first Hit Area being IMMEDIATELY after selecting attack.

Margarete has been boosted up to Level 28 for her reunion, which is what the game expects the party (outside Yuri obviously) to be roughly at by this point. We're literally right there at the moment. So that works out fine!

They were even nice enough to automatically equip Margarete with updated equipment (accessories aside.) Margarete comes packing a "Zeruel" which I think is vaguely meant to be a Sauer 1913 or some Frankensteined gun close to that. At least, looking at a bunch of old guns that is one that looked vaguely like this gun even if it had different ammo size and the fact it's probably not actually a machine gun. If anyone knows a better match, let me know. I cannot say I'm an expert on early 1900s pistols. Especially ones vaguely unstuck from time in an alternate history setting. Zeruel only gets me one of the Angels from Evangelion (it was the one with the razor tape arms.)

Margarete also comes sporting a stylish Jasper Cape which is the most current female armor set available at this point. So that saves us some cash upgrading. We can hit up the Silent Peddler to get Alice a matching outfit to upgrade her armor as well, alongside a set of Thriller jackets for the boys.

Speaking of the Silent Peddler, now that we have a full party again we can go ahead and upgrade everyone here. For instance...

Alice has gotten cursed twice but I think she has evaded possession. So far, at least... But if it comes up, we're set. The Ever-Bible offers 53 Physical and 64 Special Attack Power for use in Alice's continued misunderstanding of how to use books.

Zhuzhen is probably going to be benched until further notice. But that doesn't mean we cannot buy him some more canes to give him the glimmer of hope he'll return to the active party. We get 52 Physical and 61 Special Attack out of this bopping stick.

Keith gets a Witcher's silver sword to slay monsters when necessary. You should play The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine if you haven't yet. It has some chill vampires to hang out within it. And extremely unchill ones as well. Perfect for Halloween season! Anyway, this new sword offers a boost of 40 Physical and 20 Special Attack. If Keith's items seem like they're underwhelming compared to others, just remember he came in WAY later than everyone else and defaulted to much higher stats so his weapon boosts are comparatively lighter to balance it out.

Finally, the ladies get a companion to the Loin Guard in the form of protective Charming Pareo as an accessory. Is there a difference between these and a sarong? Hmm... Nope. They're literally just different words for the same glorified beach wrap for women's swimsuits. You learn something new every day!

Music: But-Dad-Dead-Bed

Leaving the confines of the hotel, an evil fog has descended upon the city of Rouen and frozen all of the loitering townsfolk with a curse that only allows them to speak in quotes from Final Fantasy VIII protagonist, Squall Leonhart. A dire fate indeed.

Music: NDE - Near Death Experience

Random battles have also stricken the town's streets. Bifronzes are now among the trash mobs. I guess Arcane Olga just went "fuck it" and released her entire reserve stock of the jobbers. They're unchanged from their less than impressive first outing in the first encounter earlier. The only reason I'm bringing them up is their name origin. Bifronze is a mistranslation of Bifrons.

Wikipedia on Bifrons posted:

Click here for more!

In demonology (Specifically: The Lesser Key of Solomon), Bifrons is a demon, Earl of Hell, with sixty legions of demons (sixty-six according to other authors) under his command. He teaches sciences and arts, the virtues of the gems and woods, herbs, and changes corpses from their original grave into other places, sometimes putting magick lights on the graves that appear like candles. He first appears as a monster, but then changes his shape into that of a man.

The origin of the name is the Roman god, Janus (Ianus Bifrons.)
Sure, I guess that a black color-swap Wind Shear can fill that role.

Joining the Bifronze are yellow palette swaps of the Bird Men from back in Bistritz. They will cast Lightning and literally do nothing else of note. Yuri or Margarete can easily kill one of 'em in a single turn. Heck, Alice gets pretty close too. They only have 158 HP to their name. While utterly unremarkable, their name also has an origin of some interest.

Wikipedia on Camazotz posted:

Click here for more!

In Maya mythology, Camazotz was a bat god. Camazotz means "death bat" in the K'iche' language. In Mesoamerica, the bat was associated with night, death, and sacrifice.

In the Popol Vuh, Camazotz is the bat-like monsters encountered by the Maya Hero Twins Hunahpu and Xbalanque during their trials in the underworld of Xibalba. The twins had to spend the night in the House of Bats where they squeezed themselves into their own blowguns in order to defend themselves from the circling bats. Hunahpu stuck his head out of his blowgun to see if the sun had risen and Camazotz immediately snatched off his head and carried it to the ball court to be hung up as the ball to be used by the gods in their next ballgame.
Getting your head torn off for use in a deity's B-Ball game is a pretty badass way to go out. Anyway, bats...? Yellow crows...? Same difference!

Music: But-Dad-Dead-Bed

In order to progress, we need to get to the church and talk to this Father Doyle (lovely traditional French name.) The front door is locked tight. But if we return to where Alice's father got telefragged, or however Roger Bacon exploded him into bits, we can try the back door instead.

Here we find a new Judgment Ring challenge. I barely even remember the last time the game forced a glorified QTE to progress but here we are now. This one, as the description suggests, is a gauntlet of three Judgment Ring spins of increased speed in a row. There's no penalty here for failing other than Yuri smashing his foot on the door and looking the fool before trying again. But hey, here we go!

<laughs and walks in> Hey! Take a look!

Yep... That sure is the back entrance of a small church, Yuri. Before we go forward, we're going to go ahead and equip a Shell Bracelet (Nulls Poison) on the entire party. No real reason. Just seems proper for setting foot on the holy ground, ya know? In any event, let's continue forward and see if we cannot find that priest, eh?

Music: Angel Heart

Hey, we're just here to talk.
A-Are you burglars?
Nope. Not burglars?
How, how did you get in here? I locked all the doors.
...OK, so MAYBE we broke in. But it's not to rob or hurt you or anything!

An elderly priest enters from the back room.

Wh-what do you want?! H-have you come to kill me?!
Father Doyle!! It’s me, Alice Elliot!!

Alice approaches Father Doyle.

Th-that’s impossible! Alice was kidnapped by the Devil a long time ago. S-she can’t be alive…
I’m sorry to scare you, but it is me. I’m finally back in this town.
I just got taken to East Asia, not dragged to hell.
<steps forward> Is it really you, Alice?! N-no, I don’t believe it. You can’t fool me! You’re just an illusion!

Father Doyle takes a step back, puts his hand on his heart and raises his hand.

Psst. Are all those Vatican Church guys or whatever a few screws loose like this guy?
Ehh... That... is a loaded question...

Please, Father Doyle. Tell me about the man my father was trying to meet that day. I want to know. Whatever it takes, I must stop Roger Bacon.
<jumps back in shock> B-Bacon?! No-o-o-o! Wait! I-I’ll tell you everything! J-Just please spare my life… P-please…! Don’t kill me…
This is quite serious. He thinks we’re all Bacon’s lackeys. He must have gone through some unimaginably dreadful experience.
I guess he didn't pick up the part where she said we wanna stop Bacon, huh?
You said it yourself... Does the man look like he's fully parsing the situation?

Father, relax! We’re not gonna do anything to you. Just answer our questions. That’s all we want, okay?
Okay, okay. Anything you say…
Look, just calm down and let's talk this ou--wait, what?
OK. I'll tell you everything.
Oh... I thought we were gonna have to... Err... Yeah, OK! Cool!

Father Doyle crosses his heart and makes a prayer to the cross.

Alice... I’ll tell you everything I know about your father.
It all started 23 years ago.

The distraught priest walks to the center of the aisle and shakes his head.

The books contained forbidden secrets of sorcery and alchemy… Long held under lock and key by the Pope, the disappearance of the books caused the Vatican to panic. They immediately called in two of the finest exorcists to find and recover the secret books. One was your father, Father Morris Elliot.

Hey, now! That's a name that you should know if you've played Shadow Hearts' predecessor, Koudelka (or more likely read the LP I did immediately prior to this one!)

Father James O'Flaherty was one of the three playable characters from the previous title. He was tasked by the Vatican to track down the Émigré Document -- an ancient text written by a lost race of goat dudes from Wales called the Formor which held a variety of magical secrets regarding such topics as immortality (which Roger Bacon used and then tossed in the trash so nobody else could have it) but more chiefly the secrets of resurrecting the dead. Father O'Flaherty's old college buddy Patrick Heyward apparently obtained the book from the Vatican's archives by vague means and was using it to resurrect his dead wife, Elaine, in a Welsh monastery. Apparently the secret sauce for resurrection involved essentially a huge ass build-up of Malice which was achieved by, you know, just murdering several hundred drifters and prostitutes over the years.

Ultimately, Patrick Hayward and the Émigré Document managed to resurrect his wife... as a soulless abomination that immediately murdered the shit out of him and the monastery in question became a monster and ghost filled hellhole even by Welsh standards. The events of Koudelka transpired there. Long story short, a wandering spirit medium, a dipshit punchman thief and Father O'Flaherty had a very bad night in Nemeton Monastery which ultimately ended up with Elaine and James getting raptured by The Lord (Catholic Priests are capable of summoning God as a one-time assist in a pinch in this universe), the monastery exploding and the Émigré Document never actually being recovered.

If you were negligent in reading the Koudelka LP, now is probably the time to mend your ways because the events of that game start becoming far more relevant going forward. But back to Father Doyle's chatter for now...

The two of them wandered through Europe for many years in search of the missing volumes. They traveled together at first, but when a daughter was born to Elliot, they traveled separately.
Hmm... I could have sworn I read Catholic clergy were sworn to celibacy.
There are exceptions from time to time in fringe cases.
Priests on a secret mission directly from the Vatican seems kind of in the thick of things and not very fringe.
Ergh... There are more pressing matters to discuss than the intricacies of the faith. As I was saying...

Then, in 1899, Father O’Flaherty disappeared in England.
It was around that time a monastery in Aberystwyth, Wales was destroyed in a cataclysm but there was no confirmation Father O'Flaherty was involved. It could have just been one of the many fonts of evil flaring up in the cursed land...
I remember that! I was only 5 or 6 years old. It was all in that last letter he sent to my father. It said that one of the books had been purchased by a scholar living in Wales, so he went to take a look.
There was also a lot about heathens and disparaging immigrants for his lack of progress. It was a troubling correspondence.
<shakes head> But no second letter ever came.
Afterwards, Father Elliot began to hunt for the criminal himself. And then, he finally found him.
And it was Roger Bacon!
Yes. But Father Elliot was terrified of Bacon. As well he should have been. Bacon’s a thousand-year-old demon! There’s no humanity left in him. Your father had to protect his wife and daughter, but he knew that if those books were defiled, terrible forces of hell could be summoned to earth…
<paces the room> So, that was the Demon’s Gate Invocation… Curse you, Bacon! You steal a holy book and then defile it with your foul experiments?! Blasphemy…
<walks back to the altar> In order to discover Bacon’s weak points, he continued to look for someone who could help him. That person was also a great warlock and had a history of conflict with Bacon. Fortunately, I was able to contact him. I was certain that he would prove to be a powerful ally.
Huh? So, this other guy you’re talkin’ about… Who is he?

Alice, that is the man that your father was waiting for that evening.
Albert Simon…
So, this cardinal that Bacon didn’t want your father to meet…
Father, where is Cardinal Simon now?
Gah! You spooked me! I forgot you were here!
It's a church. I am trying to be respectful.
Aren't vampires like... not good with crosses and churches and junk?
Nonsense. I used to attend mass every Sunday.
...Huh. Weird.
Could you all hush and let Father Doyle finish conveying the very important information that cost my father his life!?
S-Sorry... Yeah, so where is this Cardinal guy?

I believe he…


...We probably shoulda stopped interrupting him, huh?
<mortified glare>
<rubs neck> Yeah... Probably shoulda done that...

Music: Wind Which Blows From the Dark II

It's ARCANE Olga to you, boy!
...Yeah, that sounds dumb as hell. I'm not saying that.

I think it would be best if we finished this here! Lord Bacon will be pleased to be rid of unwanted pests. Well, are you ready?
Hah! What a laugh. When I’m done with you, there’ll be nothing left!
At least you're in the right place to say your prayers!
Bacon is my only Lord. Jesus can eat my ass.
Yeah, gross. Keep the weird fetish stuff to yourself, grandma.

New Music: Demon's Gig
(This is the major boss battle theme for Europe. You should probably listen to it!)

Arcane Olga is back at it again. If you cannot tell from the fact she now has a bombastic boss battle theme, over the generic battle tunes of her previous bathroom ambush, Olga is now a real match. Her health has jumped up from sub-700 to 3300 HP for starters. She may have also expanded her move list just a pinch from the garden variety spells she was sporting in Prague.

Of Yuri's shiny new array of upgraded Fusions, we're going to stick with Baldo for this battle for a couple of reasons.

The Witch of Prague is still a Dark elemental enemy. So Baldo's Nova does the business to the tune of around 200 HP. So that's always a plus.

Alice is going to use her first turn to cast Holy Edge on Margarete and then we'll have our newly returned spy start the bullet storm. Margarete is honestly going to be our primary damage output during this fight. Her physical combo with the Light element stuffed onto it does upward of 200 HP of damage every turn at zero MP cost. There's a good reason we benched Keith in her favor here.

Meanwhile, Alice is actually going to go on the offensive for a change. Baldo can handle healing for this fight with its Grace ability to top everyone off a good 200 HP if necessary. Alice can output around 150-175 HP of damage every turn at a fraction of the MP cost of Baldo's Nova. That ain't bad. But you'd think God could do a solid and give a blanket buff to holy magic cast from a bible when someone is fighting in a church. But nooooo, you've got to manually call in a favor from the big guy to get that kind of treatment.

Olga has access to her generic Level 2 spells from the prior fight but will rarely use them. The chief concern with this battle is Olga's new ability -- Black Fog. This hits the entire party for 100+ HP of damage (120 for Alice.) If we didn't have those Shell Bracelets equipped on the whole squad, it would also inflict Poison. This isn't normally a concerning status effect on its own. But when everyone is down a hundred health and are bleeding an additional 25+ each turn with another 100 HP about to evaporate the next chance Olga gets (she can potentially just spam Black Fog every turn if her AI is feeling like a particular jerk) the need to deal with that drain is less optimal.

But since we prepared for that, we can just have Yuri cast Grace to fully restore everyone to fighting form every other Black Fog cast and be in pretty good shape. This fight can be a real level check if we hadn't upgraded all of our Fusions or were lacking in decent equipment. I definitely got straight up wiped here my first playthrough of the game and might have had to go do a spot of Blue Castle grinding to get up to snuff for the challenge.

This fight actually went unusually well because Arcane Olga also has a physical attack that may as well be a skipped turn on her part. She just kind of comes up and slaps someone for barely double digit damage. Maybe she'll do it twice if she's feeling saucy. For some reason, she saw it fit to waste time with physical attacks an unusually high number of times for the LP's fight against her. Not that I'm complaining. By all means, keep striking people for pathetic damage, the lady who literally has the word "arcane" in her frikkin' name!

In any case, Arcane Olga once again fails an ambush on our party. I dunno, maybe she should have used that surprise one-shot lightning strike on Yuri or literally anyone else other than the dumpy 60-year-old priest. I'm pretty sure you could have killed that guy by just throwing a rock at him. But what do I know? I'm not a teleporting mystic with a void for a face.

Music: Results

For our troubles, we get the usual influx of Cash and EXP. Olga also drops a companion piece to the Big Jug, the Small Jug! This accessory buffs just about every stat at the cost of 2 SP drain each turn. Honestly, it's pretty much something only Yuri can get any functional use from reliably. But outside of boss battles, it's a pretty solid piece of equipment since hell if most of 'em are going to last enough turns for Sanity drain to be an issue even with half the turns.

Music: Wind Which Blows From the Dark II

Kicked your ass granny. Maybe now you'll say your prayers.
Nah... Rule of threes, idiot. I still got one fight in me!

Somehow Yuri manages to still be astonished when one of the villains flees the scene by warping away despite it happening almost literally every single time. At least Roger Bacon didn't warp in to Hadoken him in the face and immediately leave with the mid-boss minion like Wugui's treatment.

Alice remembers Father Doyle got struck by lightning and was looking fairly dead like ten minutes ago. She rushes to his side.

Uh… Uh… Alice… The cardinal… is in… London…

Unlike all those godless heathens who faded into oblivion upon death, Father Doyle gets the dignity of being raptured to the afterlife as he expires. Well, he technically made it two scenes before dying and was mentioned prior to appearing/dying. That puts him ahead of the pack of quite a few folks in the non-playable character bloodbath that is Shadow Hearts.

Music: But-Dad-Dead-Bed

The party is unceremoniously dumped back into the streets of Rouen. The random battle mobs have vanished and everything is now back to normal. Only Happy Leonard here has any notion that anything has changed like... you know, the local priest getting struck by magic lightning and getting raptured. We could leave town right now to set off for London and the conclusion of this chapter. But one other thing has changed following Arcane Olga's defeat.

A new NPC has appeared in Crime Alley, Hook-nose Robin. You don't get any points for guessing why he's here after major story events.

Is it too dark to see? Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Hmm...
Ehh... not really opinionated on guys' noses. It's OK, I guess.
<becomes Lottery Member No. 06> Hmmmm... You, like, carrying a Lottery Ticket? Perhaps you wish to, like, play?
If it makes you stop talking about your nose to me...
Sure, I'll, like, play.
Once in a while, I, like, know what I want to say and stuff.
Like, whatever. Just, ya know, spin the ring thing.

This is pretty average Lottery Judgment Ring. Nice job formatting the spacing on Alchemist's Water guys...

The grand prize of this lottery session is an Accelerator. This is an accessory that can be worn in conjunction with the Pedometer to double the accumulated steps traveled at the cost of eating the two accessory slots the two items need. Boy... really could have frikkin' used access to this thing back when we were running a 13 mile round trip of Keith's castle stairs...

Well then, that's it for Rouen, France. Without even stopping to discuss the matter, we're off on another several hundred kilometer journey to the city of London as this chapter of Shadow Hearts concludes. Tune in next time for a trek to the British Isles in Chapter 16: Boy From London. I hope you like dealing with orphans!

Another short chapter. But at least it garnered more Library entries than the last couple of 'em.


Yeah, just blacking out all the textures isn't doing wonders for that low poly model.

What the HELL kind of bet did you take where you had to end up in a three-way with a bat and an eagle!?


Shockingly, one of the few characters that have a completely unique model that never gets recycled. Arcane Olga is just Evil Sea Mother who in turn was nice Cat Demon Mayor.

Video: Arcane Olga Boss Battle 2