The Let's Play Archive

Shadow Hearts

by The Dark Id

Part 52: Episode LII: Mammon

Episode LII: Mammon

Music: Demon's Gig

Welp. This is happening now. Meet Jack's mother, Mary Mammon. This abomination is an Earth elemental creature coming to the party with a real bad attitude. Since this chapter is essentially a speedrun of the events of Koudelka, this too is a fairly direct reference to how tits up that whole endeavor went down. In Koudelka, the resurrected by a dipshit alchemist via the Emigre Document loved one, Elaine, started out as a gooey naked monster lady who quickly evolved into...

...This monstrosity. Which Mammon holds more than a passing resemblance to here if you took it out of the innocent soul sacrifice oven a wee bit too early and half-assed on the quality of the ingredients when making it. So that's a neat touch. Not sure about the name though.

Wikipedia on Mammon posted:

Click here for more!

Mammon in the New Testament of the Bible is commonly thought to mean money, material wealth, or any entity that promises wealth, and is associated with the greedy pursuit of gain. "You cannot serve both God and mammon."

In the Middle Ages, it was often personified as a deity and sometimes included in the seven princes of Hell. Mammon is a word in Hebrew ממון and it means "money". Mammon is the god of material things.

Not sure how the personification of wealth figures in here... Regardless, canonically in Koudelka the party just straight up got their asses kicked by the previous incarnation of this thing. It took a literal act of God to destroy giant bug deity Elaine. But by that same token, the cast of Koudelka was comparatively ridiculously weak to the cast of Shadow Hearts. Yuri alone could probably one-shot that entire party no problem and solo that game's final boss. As such, this cheap knock-off only results in a somewhat annoying boss battle and not due to its power level. For reference, Mammon only has 3500 HP. Elaine had 22,800 HP. The force modifier of Wales coming into play when creating sins against God is not a factor to be trifled with...

Yuri is going to stay the course with Fusing with Ifrit buffing himself and getting his punchman combo on. Since Mammon is an Earth elemental, we can boost Yuri's damage output even more than usual by having Halley hook his fists up with Wind Edge. This results in Yuri doing around the ballpark of 400 HP of damage every turn until Ignition runs out. That ain't too bad!

Alice is on her usual healing duties. But she also has a secondary task for this fight of topping off Halley's MP if necessary and nobody is bleeding out at the moment. There's a good reason as to why that will be necessary.

Gah! I hate you! I hate you!

During our brief grind prior to this fight, Halley learned Air Shot -- his Wind elemental ESP attack. Earth elemental Mammon here HATES getting wind blasted in the face. Air Shot does between 330-350 HP of damage per cast which ain't nothing to sneeze at here. The downside is that it also costs 60 MP per cast. Which means at maximum MP, which he most assuredly will NOT have at the beginning of this fight, especially after dumping a little bit to buff Yuri, means we'll only get 5-6 casts before Halley runs dry.

Mammon isn't sporting all that many abilities. But that's the usual trend for mid-tier Shadow Hearts bosses at this point. Primarily, Mammon will attack by repeatedly stabbing a single target with her claws for around 60-80 HP of damage. This attack animation is actually copied verbatim from Elaine's physical attack in Koudelka. Koudelka was a game that kinda looked like ass in a lot of spots for a game released LATE in the PlayStation 1's lifecycle, but it did have some decent battle animations going for it.

Jack's Mom also has a Petrification version of its physical attack. This would have been a really pressing issue... if we hadn't sorted that out beforehand by equipping defense. This boss rush definitely didn't go so hot the first time I played this game without any guide.

The only other attack to Mammon's name is Shockwave, which hits the entire party for around 110ish HP of damage and 120-30ish for Halley since he's weak to Earth damage. Like I said at the start, this boss is annoying, not due to its damage output.

Once Mammon falls to around 33% total HP, it starts casting Howling. What does Howling do, you ask?

It's a healing spell! Quite a potent one on its first cast, healing 540 HP. On subsequent casts, it only heals 360 HP. The problem is when it gets low enough on health it just spams Howling every single turn. Which turns the end of this fight into a damage race slog since it is negating the damage output of one of Yuri or Halley's turns. It doesn't help it tends to start spamming healing right around the time Halley is probably running low on MP and Ifrit's ignition is running dry or SP levels are getting dangerously low. Any time spent topping all those factors off means it negates another turn of damage Yuri or Halley did and it gets downright annoying as hell by the end. I don't mind a boss that heals once or twice. When it turns its entire life into undoing the damage you did up to that point? That's not a great scene...

But, you can go watch the highlight video if you want to pinpoint the exact moment I started getting aggravated with this fight. We'll skip to the part where the resurrected mother created from the souls of hundreds of dead orphans gets put down for good. Piss off, God. We don't need your help with this one!

All in a day's work!. Sure, we didn't rescue 99% of the missing orphans and they're all extremely dead. But on the other hand, we never met any of 'em and the crazy Majima-Kiryu hybrid doctor didn't get his way either.

Music: ENDS

I'm so sorry... Mommy... <reaches out to cauldron>

BARF! <dies>

Halley runs up to Chris.

<shakes head and waves a dismissal> Hmph... Gimme a break.

Later, back at the London Rats hideout...

Music: Babysitter is Old Nurse

Are we going to have to find a place for those other orphans you found in that creepy joint?
Yeah... naw... That's not gonna... be a problem... <coughs>

But can it be true? Can the person behind that voice really be Halley’s mother?
<turns to Margarete> Holey moley. When Halley’s anger got the best of him and he nearly lost it… That voice came and calmed you, keeping you from going Berserk…
I was about ready to shove a handful of Pure Leaves down his throat before the voice jumped in.
<turns back to Halley> Hey, was that really your mother?
<nods> Yeah, I’m positive…
<looks at the ceiling> That voice has troubled me for years. I hear it in my head, telling me to do this-and-that.
Go beat up a demon in a cave here. Go climb a tower and punch a wizard in the gonads there. Roundhouse kick the occasional cat. All sorts of junk...
But of course, it’s saved me dozens of times, as well.
Ya know... Come to think of it, that voice being someone's mom kinda explains all the times it reminded to brush my teeth and wash behind my ears or not to eat sketchy food...
Halley. You said that your mother abandoned you, right? Perhaps your mother wants to tell us something. Maybe that’s why she’s sending her voice to us.

Halley turns and looks at the wall for a bit.

A monster?! <turns and looks at Yuri>
Whatcha looking at me for?!
At least I look normal most of the time. I don't see you giving the side eye to the literal vampire guy.
Hey, don't be mean.
Think nothing of it. It seems my kind has grown into its own genre of monster genre fiction over the years. It's all terribly inaccurate but I'm flattered none the less.

<turns to Halley> Nobody here thinks you’re a monster. You just have different abilities than most people.
My mom used to say we were both human. But… those guys didn’t think so.

Video: Click Here to Hear Halley's Voice Acted Flashback!
(Warning: Halley does not have a good voice actor.)

Music: Castle of Silence

My mother told me that too. That she and I are people just like anyone else. It's just that, when we were born, God gave us some powers that are a little different. But that's not the way those guys saw it...

The Friar Knights of the Inquisition decided from the start that my mother was a witch! And they locked her up in a mental hospital. All my mother did was to use her special powers to help people who were possessed by ghosts. Or to heal people who were hurt.

She didn't fight back at all! Because they threatened to kill me if she did... They weren't my mother's enemies at all. It was all because of me… all because of meee!

Halley powers up again. Alice and Zhuzhen fall to their knees.

Kiddo, the voice in my head ain't a two-way radio. I can't phone up your mom again to make you chill the hell out. You're gonna have to do it yourself.

Halley calms down and collapses to his knees. Zhuzhen and Alice quickly recover.

Music: Babysitter is Old Nurse

And it’s the same power your mother had.
Kinda... I guess... She took a REALLY long time to cast her magic...
<picks himself up> I’m sorry… I can’t control my power very well…
I'm not allowed in that bar down the road. I went in once to use their bathroom and... it got out of hand...
That's too much info, kid.

…So your mother was taken away by the Friar Knights of the Inquisition?
<nods> Yes.

Alice walks to the window and shakes her head.

Hey, what’s an inquisition?
It's something nobody expects.
<sigh> I'll take this one...

The Inquisition was a religious tribunal formed to stamp out heresy in 11th century Europe. They burned witches and warlocks in God’s name, but many innocents were slaughtered as well. Many were killed for political purposes as well. They were beaten, tortured and burned alive. It was terrible. Started by people who derived their authority form their religion.
Those guys took your mother away?!
It was so unexpected...
<walks up to Halley> Halley, I promise you I’ll save your mother!

...What? Wh-what does that even MEAN? Alice, is that some saying that's flying over my head?
<baffled look> Not that I'm aware of...
I don't think that's a saying.
I've never heard it in all my years.
Did that power-up give you a minor stroke, sonny boy?
I uhh...
We're just gonna ignore that and move on, OK?

If I can hear her voice, she must still be alive.
I mean at least I don't THINK she's a ghost that's been haunting me. That's not usually how ghosts work. Usually...
And you must want to talk to her in person, right?
Do you know where your mother is now?
<nods> I know where the mental hospital is. The security is tight, though. I’ve already tried breaking in…
We don’t know where Cardinal Simon is right now. It seems like we know where we have to go next!!
What did you try to sneak in there last time?
Yeah. But I got caught and kicked out.
<pulls out gun> Ahh... there are ways other than stealth.
...Oh. OK.

<nods> All right, then, let’s start getting ready right away!

Our party remains the same as our adventure in the orphanage. We're now given the chance to talk to the remaining bench warmer party members before we take off and ditch them for the next leg of the adventure.

All three of them.
Yep... We rescued everyone somehow.
If you only count the children that were abducted today. That we know about... Then yes, that is correct.
Mission accomplished!

By the way... did you happen to like find that magic book?
That's probably something we shouldn't leave lying around...
...Did you even look for the book?
Do you think maybe we SHOULD look for it and, I don't know, toss it into a lit fireplace?
Meh... I got this whole mental hospital thing with the new kid and the voice in my head... Maybe some other time?

Oh, poor Zhuzhen. He was such a mainstay of the party for so long and now it's just kind of pfft... naw, dawg.

That said, I really enjoy the option of adding him to the party when talking to him. The Big Man appears!

In any event, Yuri is never leaving the party again by design, Halley is mandatory and we still need a healer in this next chapter of the game. So we'll be sticking with our current formation going forward.

The benchwarmers vanish from the London Rats hideout as soon as we leave. But we can return to the hotel near the entrance to this segment of London and find Meiyuan's creepy ass. Please stop trolling for young boys, dude. You're like in your 50s. Stay away from Halley.

Before we end this chapter and our time in London, there are a couple of things we can do now that Jack has been slain and his evil orphanage shut down. Let's talk to the London Rats before we depart. There's a very small window (and it's right here and now) where we can speak to Joshua here for something special.

At least not the usual ones.
Oh yeah, Halley. If you're not using that slingshot, could we borrow it?
This slingshot? Sure, don't need it.
<Halley hands over his default equipment slingshot>What are you going to use it for?
Haha... it's still a secret. Just relax and wait.

We already got an upgrade to Halley's weapon before we even acquired Halley. But now that we've handed over his old gear, we may gain a hefty upgrade once we're done with the business at the mental hospital.

I don't remember a thing about what happened. But I'm so glad to be back at this house.
You got hypnotized and almost jumped into a giant magic bowl so the guy running the orphanage could resurrect his dead mother and possibly have sex with her.
That last part is just speculation.
...I'm just going to go back to not remembering what happened.
That's a solid plan.

Same. Turns out it's your leader's mom.
That's a nonsense statement, mister.
That's my life!

I dreamed about a mouse this morning, and a real mouse appeared right before my eyes! It's a strange power! Joshua doesn't believe me, though!

Aww... what a cute little devil summoner. We'll have to check up on this latter, assuming she doesn't tear open a rift to the hell dimension and get all the orphans eaten after we leave.

Music: Vitamin Metropolis

We could leave town now and close out this chapter. But there is one last item of interest before we depart London. It's back at the Orphanage.

Particularly, back in Jack's laboratory. We automatically left there and couldn't loot the place following the events that unfolded. But if we return now and look behind a screen in the room, we'll find a shiny new pistol for Margarete.

Once again, I have no idea what this gun is meant to be. It might just be a video game frankenpistol. It does offer 55 Physical and 47 Special Attack. I doubt it'll get a lot of use overall. But here it is for completion's sake.

With that sorted out, so ends our time slumming it in London and Chapter 17. Tune in next time as we go searching for Halley's definitely not protagonist from the previous game mother and undoubtedly get a respectful view of the mentally ill in Chapter 18: Sealed Mansion.

London had its fair share of nasty critters after all. Let's take a closer look.


Wait... you can just take a trip from hell to get in on some heinous crimes? Do you like have to put in vacation notice with Satan or...?

It's very chilly to have your skin flayed from your body. Especially, in this climate!

So a low-level spirit is equivalent to a dude with a gun if you want relative power levels with the spirit realm.

Note: Also made from liquefied orphan bio-mass.

That's putting a lot of pressure on a reskinned low-level ghost armor.


I don't think any multiple personalities ever came up and while the guy was overly fond of his mother, I don't actually think he wanted to fuck her. Also, that's a real dick move to refer to orphan children like animals.

Video: Mammon Boss Battle

Video: Halley's Flashback
(You should watch this! It actually has voice acting. Bad voice acting.)