The Let's Play Archive

Shadow Hearts

by The Dark Id

Part 51: Episode LI: Hope This is Not Chris's Blood

Episode LI: Hope This is Not Chris's Blood

Music: Ripper Ripper

Welcome back to this truncated, made for TV budget retelling of Koudelka's Nemeton Monastery backstory. We could go straight to the door in the center of the first floor and end this little arc right now. Buuuuut...

Larmgelg are Water elemental enemies that go down extremely quickly and cough up a couple of Soul Energy in the Water category a pop. So that's four Water Soul Energy for every random battle in here which lasts a good 30 seconds tops if we're on the ball laying waste to the enemy (with an additional four Fire Soul Energy from the Banshee for whenever we get the relevant Fire Gravestone at a later date.) So we'll do a brief of grinding here to get the last of our Fusions to Level 2.

I also finally remembered to use all those stat boosting Seals we'd been accumulating. Alice now has a whopping 13 SP! What a paradigm shift! Now Halley has the inglorious ranking of least sane individual in the party. Shameful.

This very brief bit of grinding (nine minutes and twenty seconds if the timer on this video is to be believed) was enough to push Halley to Level 30 which unlocked Air Shot -- a Wind-based ESP ability. That might also prove to be quite useful in the near future so happy bonus!

Now that we've finally managed to raise Water to Level 2 Soul Energy, let's take a brief pit stop at the Graveyard to cash those chips in and claim our reward.

Yep... That's exactly what we're looking for!

Music: NDE - Near Death Experience

I think we know how this song and dance goes at this point. The Level 2 Water Fusion is slightly more obnoxious than most by virtue of casting an Evasion spell that seemed to make every first strike in Ifrit's combo miss. That's the most damaging hit, you dick! He also healed himself mid-battle. Twice! That's just rude, no two ways about it... Plus there's the whole being the opposite element and doing more damage than some off-brand ice Lizardman ought to do to a hulking hellfire boy.

And there we have it! All of our Pokémon Fusions have evolved straight up been replaced by beefier secondary versions.

Music: Graveyard Moon

Me every time I need to grind in an RPG, even if it's only for less than ten minutes.

This just looks like off-brand K-Mart sold copy of a Xenomorph. This is some B-Tier mutant that would get instantly, gorily gibbed in some hyper-violent '80s anime OVA. Its derivative looks aside, Dragner (it's supposed to be Dragoner, which is still dumb but less typo looking dumb) comes with the following stats:

Kind of underwhelming for being the last one to the party. But hey, gotta collect 'em all.

While we're here, that brief bit of grinding did raise our Malice quite a bit since Alice was present in the party the whole time. It's been quite some time since I've mentioned clearing Malice. But there's a minor reason for doing it now.

Music: NDE - Near Death Experience

The Evil <Number Goes Here> series of enemies for clearing Malice were left behind in Asia. The European half of the game replaces them with Gust <German Number Here> instead. Gust being a mistranslation of Geist -- you know the German word for spirit. That'd make a bit more sense with it being a ghost and coupled with a German number and all.

This here was Geist Vier since our Malice had built up to critical levels since we hadn't cleared it since Rouen. But, the Graveyard monsters still all scale to Yuri's current level even with Alice being the one cursed now. So it's no big deal to readily kick this thing's ass and be good to go for a while.

Music: Graveyard Moon

We receive a meager reward and no extra dialogue despite the change in the curse parameters. Oh well, back to the real world we go. Hopefully, Chris hasn't been tossed into the orphan sacrifice cauldron yet or whatever is going on in that back room.

Music: Ripper Ripper

Back to the task at hand. The hint for the final lock was the painting of Mary, Jack's dead mother, born 3 July, 54. It's the seventh month, Yuri. July comes seventh in the line of months. Stop being a dumbass! That said, before we head inside we're going to do a brief bit of prep work equipping Zodiac Bracelets (prevents Paralysis and Petrification) or the Crucifix (prevents all status ailments) on the entire party. It might make life far easier.

The door unlocks and the party shuffles into the back room.

So you’ve come after all.
<stomps foot> Where is Chris?
<holds out arm to stop Halley>

Let's maybe not gank this fancy pirate guy until we learn where your friend is being held...
Chris? Ah yes, the girl? As an essential resource for my upcoming experiment, she is, of course, being well taken care of.
<looks around> What the hell are you up to?!
...We're not going to find any other orphans here, are we? There's never more than one survivor tops in the sketchy underground labs of these kinda joints...
Do you really wish to know? All right, then, I’ll tell you. I shall become a master of life and death, transplanting the soul of the dead into a living vessel. Never again shall we feel the pain of losing those dear to us: they shall glow with ever-lasting life! Are you with me? Can you see the beauty of it? The brilliance?
<groans> No you're not! It's gonna go horribly wrong and you're gonna get killed instantly.
You know nothing!
No, I do actually! You're like the fifth guy I've seen who's done something like this. The details are different but the result is the same. The thing you create is gonna turn out wrong or you can't control it and it'll instantly turn around and impale you or rip you in half or set you on fire or just plain eat you.
I don't know what half-rate fools you've encountered. I've done my research! It is flawless.
You evil science nerds never talk to each other! It's just "let's do a crazy experiment to resurrect the dead or summon a demon lord or make some ultimate bio-weapon!" And then whoops! Got your head lopped off or transformed into a fleshy teethed anus...
A what now...?
Hmph. Believe what you will...

Jack knocks over one of the screens to reveal a massive cauldron.

Chris shuffles from behind the left-hand screen in a daze.

<turns to cauldron> Look upon this great spiritual vessel! A holy womb for the soup of life! Even as we speak, a life has nearly blossomed within it!
<turns to Chris> Chris… Use your life to reawaken my dear mother!

Chris shuffles towards the stairs leading to the top of the cauldron.

<shakes with anger> Stop!
<walks to the edge of the cauldron> ......
<shakes head shrugs> Hahahah!! That’s hardly enough to break my hypnotism!
I kinda feel like we should maybe do something.
I kinda wish Margarete had come here instead of me...

Music: ENDS

I told you, that won't break the hyp—

<powers up> Stoooop!!

Jack falls to his knees. Chris loses her footing and is knocked unconscious as she crashes on the floor below. Thankfully, she doesn't fall on her neck but comes VERY close to doing so.

Calm down! You’ll destroy everything!
Collapsing the entire mansion ain't gonna help this situation!
<long sustained shonen anime protagonist yell>
Also don't shoot an energy beam at this jerk. Your friend is RIGHT behind him!

<falls to his knee>

Calm down… Don’t give in to your anger…
Excuse me—AHHHH FRICK! My head!
Your power… is not for your own use…

Halley powers down and chills the fuck out.

Music: Castle of Silence

<stands back up> Mom?! Ouch-ouch-ouch!! I haven’t felt this pain in a long time.
Seraphic Radiance was bad, but at least it didn't scream into my brain loud enough for other people to hear it.
<stands up> I had admittedly nearly forgotten that whole thing with the voice in your head.

Mother…! Mother!! She was almost resurrected!!
<punches the ground repeatedly and shakes with anger> Mother!! Mother!! Mo--the---r!!

Jack stands up and rushes Halley.

Damn you!!

Music: NDE - Near Death Experience

It's time for Jack to let 'er rip! Christ, if this dude wasn't enough of a Majima/Kiryu hybrid now he's fighting with a knife. It's especially weird because this game predates Yakuza 1 by four years...

Design oddities aside, Jack is a surprisingly sturdy fellow for just being an angry one-eyed mama's boy with a combat knife. Margarete is more magical than this guy and her power is gun and a robust support network. That aside, Jack is a Water elemental foe sporting 2500 HP.

Yuri's Ifrit schlock works particularly well here what with him being the opposite element of Jack. Also in general, normal humans don't stand up to hell demons punching the living shit out of them.

Halley is lacking any Fire elemental damage output. But his Strong Earth does a good 175-200 HP of damage a turn and that ain't bad. It might not be entirely advisable to blow a ton of Halley's MP during this battle for reasons that might become apparent in the near future. Halley's biggest flaw in battles is that any prolonged battle will just completely decimate his MP reserves by the end. Meanwhile, Alice will just stick Cure duties and she has more than enough MP for that not to be an issue since she's responsible with her mana consumption.

Jack only has two attacks. One of 'em is a knife attack that causes Paralysis. That'd be a real bummer if we didn't prepare for it beforehand. Even with the status effect added, it still does a good 100-130 HP of damage. But that's nothing Alice cannot quickly patch up.

<literally Goro Majima's insane laugh>

The real attack to worry about with Jack is Slash, which hits a single party member for 250-300 HP of Water elemental damage. That can take out even Yuri in two turns. I'm not quite sure how Jack managed to pull off one of the single most damaging attacks in the game thus far with just a knife and being angry about his mom. But Alice needs to heal that up immediately afterward.

Once Jack drops to critical health levels, he'll start using Thera Seeds to restore a bit of health. Halley or Yuri can more than negate that restored HP in a single turn. The real thing to do here when Jack starts healing himself is to make sure we do the same with our party's HP and Halley's MP before we finish off Dr. Jack. It's like there might be immediately a much more difficult follow-up fight after Jack or something...

RIP Jack. Thanks for loads of EXP and Cash. It's not going to make up for the, what was it...? Four years of kidnapping and sacrificing all the orphans in London...? But it's a start.

Music: ENDS

Yuri, how do you not know what order months of the year come in but somehow do know what an Oedipal complex is...?
I dunno. You pick up some weird terms on the road...
He's not even using it right. I don't think this nutbar wants to bang his mom.
N-no! I totally did! I had almost succeeded! D-damn...
We need to get out of this place.

The orphan sacrifice cauldron starts bubbling and smoking. Everyone is shocked.

Wh-what the heck is that?!
<shakes> EXACTLY what I said was gonna happen earlier...

Tune in next time for—

...Aww CHRIST! Someone underbaked the orphans and mother mix!

Video: Episode 51 Highlight Reel

Video: Jack Boss Battle

Chris Portrait - I cannot see a character with a do-rag in an RPG and not think of Serge from Chrono Cross.

Jack Portait - Do you think he lost the eye before or after the evil science and mass orphan murder heel turn?