The Let's Play Archive

Shadow Hearts

by The Dark Id

Part 53: Episode LIII: Mental Care

Episode LIII: Mental Care

On to our next destination -- Calios Medical Hospital. Which seems to be somewhere on the coast of Norfolk County, England. That's about a 150 miles from London, give or take. I hope Esper Oliver Twist had stolen some damn fine walking boots before we set out on this journey. If you're wondering, Calios Mental Hospital is not a real life location. That's pretty easy to tell as soon as we see the joint...

Music: Castle of Silence

How did we end up on the Los Illuminados Island off the cost of Notspain? I'm pretty sure a fat guy with a chaingun is gonna rush out to fight as soon as we approach that gate.

Yuri takes a few steps forward. A pair of goons run out from the guardhouse.

The Calios Mental Hospital doesn’t allow visitors! Get lost!
Get out of our way!

Music: NDE - Near Death Experience

We're immediately cast into a battle against Guard A and Guard B which have both transformed into Specters. That's not the game freaking our anything. Their default battle stance is actually floating in a T-Pose with the X-Axis tilted about 45 degrees. They've also gone from dumpy dad mall cops to blind zombie women that look like something out of a latter Silent Hill game. There are a lot of questions raised about all this and I have very few answers.

Despite wearing black robes, naturally, the Specters are Light elemental enemies and will spam Nova, a Light element attack that hits the whole party for a small bit of damage.

They're also capable of shooting bullets out of their hand like Lord Saddler in the one weird, janky boss fight at the end of Resident Evil 4's Separate Ways scenario. This barely does any damage but has a very rare chance to inflict Confusion. Very rare as in we fight like eight of these guys during this dungeon and it happened exactly once.

Everyone pitching in with their basic attacks is more than enough to send the modern Catholic Inquisition off to meet the lord. If you jerks see James up there, tell him he's still a bigoted asshole.

Music: Castle of Silence

You call this a mental hospital?! More like a fortress!!
It’s true. No patient has ever made it out of here alive.
<laughs> Well, doesn’t that sound like fun. I’ll be careful not to go nuts and wind up here!
Yuri, you were in an actual fortress and crazy just a couple months ago.
Tch. That was a castle, thank you very much. And it didn't look half as sketchy as this place.
It was full of ghosts and owned by a vampire.
Yeah... It was! My statement still stands.

At the same time elsewhere...

Is something the matter, Viscount Rausan?
I’ve just received word from the gate. Just as predicted, the bandits have arrived.
Bandits seems a touch unfair a term for that lot.
I have reports they regularly steal money from the pockets of their slain foes and raid every chest or shiny trinket they come across.
Hmm... When you put it that way. Regardless...

So, they have now made it this far! I presume they have come for the woman?
…Of course. But they’ll be surprised to have the tables turned. Vulgar lot playing right into our hands. How lovely.
Good man. Your reputation as the last true leader of the Temple Knights is well deserved.
I heard rumors a band of assassins had done quite a number on your order in recent years. Your men seem to be terrified of anyone wearing a hood. Curious...
<sigh> Let's not get into that here...

Your powers may be on the wane, but surely you have no plans to retire, eh, Friar Knight Rausan?
Is that sarcasm? Do not misunderstand me, Lord Bacon. I’d not have joined with you were it not for that girl. She may be the last witch of this age. I’m interested in the power she carries. She may be a heretic, but her power seems to be God-given… Now, it wouldn’t be much fun if I let such a precious girl go under someone else’s control, would it?
<steps forward> I understand. Anyway, I’ll count on you to finish them off. But one of them… Please keep in mind, however, that the Elliot girl must be taken alive.
<nods> Hmph, yes, of course. Well then.

Viscount Rausan wanders off.

Heh heh heh, don’t let him get to you. I’m sure he will do fine work for us as a pawn.
<nods> I sure hope so.
If nothing, he'll do an admirable job delaying them for hmm... Well, you've fought with that lot more than I have. What do you think?
Six minutes. Tops.
Oof... A merciless diagnosis. I'll give the poor chap the benefit of the doubt and say last at least eight minutes.

So, Lord Bacon. What do we do now?
We wait.

Bacon walks to the very obvious secret entrance to a lower level.

Will it be white or black? The mother’s heart residing in her breast or the stoic witch mask?

The secret entrance slides open.

Which will be the victor? That is what we are about to see.

Roger enters the basement.

We're now free to enter the mental hospital proper. Before we proceed, there are two items hidden just out of view right before Yuri. In that little guard post... cave entrance deal to the left, there is...

A new slingshot for Halley. He'll get a decent amount of use from it here. Not once did it inflict Silence. In fact, come to think of it I've not seen ANY of his slingshots actually inflict the status ailments they claim to potentially cause... Oh well, it still has +8 Special Attack power over the previous model.

Behind the gate to the right of the guard post is an accessory which halves the encounter rate. There's really no reason to use this... mostly. It's easy to overlook, especially when the game has auto-leveled characters that left the party for extended periods of time and most areas have consisted of forced party configurations until very recently overall. But, Shadow Hearts doesn't give EXP to bench warming characters. That's kind of a big issue when Halley is forced into the party for two dungeons and Alice is kind of essential too. We're going to get out of here with those three around Level 36-37 meanwhile the rest of the party back in London are sitting around ten levels lower. I think poor Zhuzhen will be eleven or twelve levels behind everyone else. We could mitigate that by easing the throttle on random battles, but... We also are probably going to have Yuri and Alice as beefy as possible, so...

Whatever, we'll cross that bridge of grinding off-screen to get folks back up to snuff when we get there. Or just use Halley and Alice forever like the last playthrough of the game I did.

In any case, let's head into the asylum proper. For a chapter named "Sealed Mansion," they didn't even bother locking the front gate. But, as soon as we enter the front door, the party is met with...

Say your prayers, heretic monsters!

It's just another fight with these guys. They might repeat this battle several times. I guess technically they count as mid-bosses since they're scripted fights and the enemies never show up again and are not part of the random battle mob pool. They're still chumps.

After that short tussle, we're free to explore this passage. If we check the first two, I think we may have card suits key gimmick naming conventions going on in this mansion. They're really doubling up on the Resident Evil type shenanigans here in Shadow Hearts.

If that wasn't enough, there's also emblems coins that might have to be placed in specific slots. Perhaps to open a secret passage we saw in a scene just a few minutes ago involving an underground lab? hidden vault, maybe? We'll have to keep an eye out for both of those.

Agents of the witch! We will not allow you to see your master!

But for now, more jobbers! Again, these guys don't get progressively higher stats or anything. They just copy and paste that one fight for every Friar Knight goon.

In this hallway, we find the doors for the Spade, Diamond and Club Keys. We'll just remember they're all there for the inevitable runback through the dungeon that Shadow Hearts loves to do. Gotta get the most out of those assets! You know, except for Kowloon.

There's also a Lottery Ticket at the end of this corridor. It's in a dang chest just right there in the open. That seems like it should be illegal.

Continuing along the path, hey... We saw this room once before in a Roger Bacon and Arcane Olga hanging out being evil interlude back in Rouen. Approaching the electric chair results in...

Wh-what is this…?!

There are several flashes of light and Halley collapses to his knees.

What’s wrong, Halley?!
<stands back up> I-I feel my mother’s spirit from this chair…! Yuri, I think my mom’s already…
Don’t say that, dummy! We’ve got to look for her. We can’t give up!
She probably only got a TINY bit of torture, is all. Everyone's been through that. Alice got electrocuted by an evil sorcerer for like a solid week when me the others chased down Bacon to Hong Kong without her and she's fine.
...That's not reassuring.
Sure it is.
It's really not.
Not with that attitude.
The others were right. You're really bad at this kinda thing...

Moving right along, hey we're back in the chamber with the secret passage Roger Bacon went into. Unfortunately, it's sealed up again. And also, if we approach it we run into...

Hah! Those’ll make nice last words for ya!
We clearly have an exit and you're boxed in, guy.
That's what you think, heretic!
<shrugs> Blah blah. Just turn into the dumb floating ladies like the other dudes, already.

Shockingly, it goes poorly for the Friar Knights.

They call themselves “knights”! They’re nothing more than monsters!
Hahah! I’m not holding back on you, buddy!
They're already dead, Yuri.
Yeah. I kept my word.
That's not how that taunt works...
Just let me have some fun. We've been doing nothing but walking places like 90% of the time since I got with it again. Sheesh!

It's pretty hard to notice in a screenshot and I'm not wasting a gif on a shiny item, but there is another coin just above the Friar Knight's corpse.

If we check the corpse itself, we get a... guys, you're leaving syntax errors in the script localization now...

Is it more prison than a hospital? There doesn't seem to be ANY patients or prisoners here outside of maybe Halley's mother.

If we examine any of the fountains in this room, there's a tiny switch at the bottom that Yuri can flip a coin into in order to activate. Yuri... why can't you just shove your hand in the water and press the switch? If you have to keep all four switches pressed, I dunno... get a rock from outside? Use that dead guy's shoes?

Fine... whatever! We'll get all four coins from across the mansion! Back to the first hall with the Heart Key locked doors.

Music: NDE - Near Death Experience

Of course, Calios Mental Hospital is home to more than just Templar zombie ladies with a jacked up X-Axis. There's a small handful of other nasty critters lurking about. A new variant of the ridiculous dogs with a hand growing out of their maw, now dubbed Meat Eater, is here. They can cast Lightning if they feel so inclined but are otherwise nothing to worry about.

A baffling new enemy type is the Doom -- a naked woman with leprosy doing a handstand and holding a stake with her brain stuck to the end of it. Yeah... OK. She can do acrobatic tricks to either cast Rock Storm to hit the whole party for marginal damage or cartwheel over to stab a party member with her brainstick. It's honestly impressive she can hold onto that thing so readily with just her two toes.

If we don't run into that mob of enemies, we will run into a swarm of Buggs. These are just giant roaches. That's much more comprehensible than anything in the previous group. Bugs just run over and bite a party member for a tiny bit of damage.

They can be a bit aggravating because they will also randomly inflict just about every standard status effect. Thankfully, the whole group can be exterminated in short order with a decent magic attack. Charon's Nightmare does the trick pretty well. Most of the time... There is, however, occasionally a special Bugg is in a group almost always in the back center of the formation. This one will be especially durable and tank a high-level magic attack. If it's not killed immediately, on its next turn it copies and casts that same magic attack it was hit with the first time back at the party. I was extremely surprised to have a damn overgrown roach cast Nightmare which one-shot Alice with Death Status, took Halley to like 20 HP and nearly killed Yuri too. That's the closest I've come to a Game Over in this LP playthrough and it's from an insect that has less than 200 HP.

It's also worth mentioning that Buggs are enemies from the original Koudelka. They were virtually identical. They just came in smaller groups because that rotten combat engine couldn't handle more than four enemies on the field at once.

Music: Castle of Silence

Back to the task at hand, about that Heart Key Door...

Not the most inviting patient rooms. But also not the worst I've ever seen. Still, nobody here that looks remotely like a patient of the facility.

The chest near the door holds another weird status boost item coupled with a story that sounds highly suspect. There's SO many in this damn game. It's ridiculous.

The chest near the shabby bed in the center of the room has, what do you know? Another card suit themed key!

That key opens this here door in the next hallway. Inside is a chest which contains...

...Another key to a room in the same hallway. OK. I mean, you didn't HAVE to stick to the card suits naming scheme if you didn't need to use four separate keys.

The Diamond Key opens the door to this room which contains a shiny on the floor and nothing else.

Is that really demonic? It just looks like a ram head. Poor male sheep get such a bad rap just because they've got cool horns. Society is cruel like that.

The last door in the hall opens up to the final coin we need for that fountain "puzzle" for lack of a better term. The second door from the left is still locked with a Spade Key. We'll need to keep an eye out for that one.

Psh... I'm not interested in any dragons unless they're committing wanton murder with a buddy.

We can now return to the water fountain room and proceed to use the four coins. If you thought there would be some manner of a puzzle here as to the order the coins must be cast into the fountains, you thought wrong! Yuri just tosses 'em in their designated fountain and...

Hmm?! A hidden staircase here?!
No puzzle or anything? Just key items in the right slots? Lazy as heck. C- Grade hidden passage.

Down we go to the mysterious dungeon. In a building that essentially already just one big dungeon. Seems kind of redundant to me, personally... Before stepping forward, we're going to do a mild bit of prep work in the form of equipping everyone with an accessory that guards against Silence. Alice has the Crucifix and is pretty much never going to take it off. The other two can get by with Bell or Cosmic Bracelets.

When we get to the end of the hall here, we find...

<fiddles with door> Arg!! This key doesn’t fit!!
Why would it fit there, Yuri?
I dunno. Wishful thi—

The room flashes and Halley's Mother chimes in.

Mid-boss incoming... Be prepared...
Oww! Geez! I swear if she's in the next frikkin' room and is still using my head as a radio...

Mom! Mom! It’s me, Halley! Are you in there?!

Whoa whoa whoa, kid! Could you NOT do your raging super teen act while we're in an underground secret passage?! That'd be great!
Ah hah hah hah hah… You miss your mother’s milk that much, do you?!

Viscount Rausan wanders over. Halley chills out with his power-up.

Literally, who are you supposed to be? Alice, are we supposed to know who this guy is...?
<shrugs and shakes head>
Halley, do you know this guy?
He's dead meat if he's hurt my mom!
So that's a no... What's your deal, guy. I'm gonna forget you as soon as you're dead on the floor in like five minutes, but...

This is our mental hospital. The patient in that room is special. She’s not ready to be released.
Let my mother go!
So, are you a doctor or...?
I am a Viscount of the Friar Knights, scum.
Yeah... I dunno what most any of those words mean, Mr. Knight Scum.

<shakes head and shrugs> Give it up, you heretic slime. You’ve picked a fine place to meet your doom. Time to meet your Maker.

Tune in next time as we fight Viscount Rausan a floating robed pregnant woman with a second head growing out from where her legs should be. Shadow Hearts, are you feeling OK lately...?

Video: Episode 53 Highlight Reel

Viscount Rausan Portrait - The smug jackass with the '90s douchebag haircut part in Asia was smart enough to nope out of the plot as soon as he encountered Yuri and the gang. Will his Europe counterpart do the same?