The Let's Play Archive

Shadow Hearts

by The Dark Id

Part 58: Episode LVIII: Bacon Juice

Episode LVIII: Bacon Juice

Aberystwyth, Wales. It's just plain evil country. But if we want to progress the plot, we are going to have a trek to that blighted land in search of an old man who definitely isn't the Yoda ass real Roger Bacon from Koudelka. Yuri and Alice are mandatory for this stretch of the game. But I've swapped out Halley for Margarete because I'm extremely sick of watching Halley's magic animations every single fight. I already did that song and dance with his mom in Wales once. We don't need an encore.

New Music: Callback from Jesus
(This is a real nice track. Also there hasn't been new music in ages, so give it a listen.)

Ain't never had to punch an alien before... I think. I mean, I've fought some weird stuff. Never really asked where it came from... There coulda been an alien or two mixed in there, ya know?

Yuri starts marching up the structure's stairs.

What? Like some sort of robot? I've heard some wild rumors about Wales over the years, but transforming robot houses weren't one of them...
Are you kidding?! Don’t tell me you believe that junk?! Oh boy.

Yuri walks back to the rest of the group.

You're supposed to confidently kick in the door and see what's what!
Huh? But, you know, it’s dangerous… What if they transform?
Getting grounded up in some kinda transforming robot house would be one of the lamest ways to go out that I can think of...
Nothing is going to transform!!
How do you know? Are you an expert on weird transforming robot homes?
I've heard talk the Welsh put traps like that in their houses to keep out intruders.
Robot traps!?
There's no robot anything here! What is WITH you two?!
Robot transformation fears.
<nods enthusiastically>
I'm really regretting being put back in the active party again... You all turned WEIRD hanging out with that thieving esper brat the last couple weeks.

Well, it might be dangerous if you get too close. Come on, let’s go!
Naw. Now I'm feelin' called out. I'm going in!
Already fixin' to kick in the front door.
That's more like it, sonny boy!

OK, let's do some breaking and entering into the house the slightly advanced looking for 1914 techno house. What's the worst that can happen?

There’s a strange machine here…
I think this house is going to transform. Yeah, and then the whole thing’ll rocket off!!
Maybe we'll end up on like... the moon. Ain't never gotten in a brawl in space. Gonna put that on my bucket list...
<looks at Yuri> Where did you grow up?!
Hey YOU are the one who got the idea of some kinda transforming robot house in my head. How is it that a plausible possibility but a ROCKET house is a bridge too far...?
Yeah... well... Let's just try to stay on task and find this old man. He's clearly not here...

We can investigate a few points in the house but there is nothing that can be interacted with just yet. Yuri doesn't know how to work a treadmill. Also, if you'll look closely at the statue at the head of the treadmill...

That's the statue that was holding the Sacnoth Sword -- the ultimate weapon in Koudelka. Which was only obtained by... beating the optional super boss of the game. Koudelka has many questionable design decisions.

Look, Yuri really wants the party to get an airship like a proper JRPG. Sadly, he will go through this game disappointed. Airship tech doesn't show up until the sequel.

This has been Yuri's response to every piece of paper with text on it he's encountered his entire life. Unless there is a Judgment Ring prompt tied to it before opening the book. He's very picky about his literature requirements.

The only real point of note in here is beneath the stairs at the far end of the structure where we find the final wayward Gravestone -- the Light Gravestone. No stair climbing, marriage counseling or getting piss all over our hands required. It's just tossed beneath some stairs like some loose change. Sure, why not?

There may be more to that extremely out of place house later on. For now, let's climb the path to the bluffs and explore the ruins of Nemeton Monastery.

There isn't a whole lot left of the joint. The gang from Koudelka might have committed a minor bit of arson on the way out the door. In the first game, only the bell tower was destroyed but apparently, the fire spread to the rest of the area and the whole thing burnt to the ground after everyone left. Whoops!

I'm fairly sure this is supposed to be the back gate to Nemeton Monastery. Apparently, if we looked the other direction there was a cliff dropping straight into the sea a few steps ahead of the camera angle.

Speaking of Koudelka, James O' Flaherty's grave is found on the cliff edge... or at least a marker for it. There wasn't really a body to be buried since the guy kinda got raptured by God. I assume Koudelka and Roger Bacon were nice enough to set that up after Edward stole Koudelka's horse and buggered off into the sunset to get an early start on being a deadbeat dad.

Directly across from James O' Flaherty's grave is a treasure chest with a rather morbid piece of armor. I wonder how good insolation clergymen scalps provide... It seems a questionable lining for a coat. Also itchy. This particular item kind of confused me on my first playthrough of the game because it is specific to Keith. The description might suggest this notion but... the only way to read the description is to return to London, swap Keith back into the party via Wanderer Meiyuan and only then does the armor show up in his available equipment options and the description can be read. Opening the chest just says Mantle of Nobility and that's it.

Either way, this provides 78 Physical and 72 Special Defense plus the aforementioned halved Earth element damage. Character exclusive armor will start popping up as we reach the end game. Everyone in Shadow Hearts has an ultimate weapon and an ultimate set of armor. I'm not sure why Keith gets an early exclusive armor here. Oh well, we've dwelled on this enough. Let's head into the ruins proper...

So this is the evidence of the monastery's research to raise the dead, just as Halley said.
Err... if you say so. Just looks like some crumbling ruins. I dunno where you're getting necromancy evidence from...
You know, it's just a general vibe.

<steps forward> There was something here… But now, this entire place is like a graveyard.

I'm still not seeing it.

Oh yeah? You can hear the cries of the dead roaming this area?

Who’s this?!

A dapper EXTREMELY old man wanders into the middle of the group.

New Music: Bacon's Juice
(Warning: Whimsy Incoming)

Happy things. Unfortunate things. Lucky things. Poor things. Misunderstood things. Necessary things. Unneeded things. All of them have returned to the earth and the heavens.

<turns away from the old man> Wh-who are you?

The old man walks up to Alice.

<shakes head> What? Um… I don’t think I should look into your eyes.
I've had bad luck with bald old men the last few months.
But you cannot even see what is underneath this hat.
Nobody with hair wears that sort of hat.

Well, wasn’t that blow a stinger! Hahaha… What’s it called? Verbal abuse?

The old man walks back to the middle of the group.

Hey… Now just what is it with you?
What's your deal? You gotta name? Is that your house down there? Can it transform into a robot or a rocket ship?
Me? I’m… I…

We're given the opportunity to name Strange Creature.

It's worth mentioning his naming screen portrait is doing the exact same pose as Rude Hero Yuri's had when we named him. Anyway, we'll just stick with Strange Creature because...

Well, SO----RRY! Maybe if we had more time, then we could've been friends. I'll barely finish on schedule even as is. But, boy, it would've been fun to adventure with you!
What are you babbling about?!
Who is he talking to? Maybe it's a ghost?
I can't sense anything.

<nods> I guess it doesn't matter.
<swipes the air> What doesn't matter?!
Will you leave that fourth wall alone, ya old geezer?! It ain't done nothin' to nobody!

The Strange Creature returns to the middle of the group.

My name is Roger Bacon! The eternal prodigy, lover of science and learning!
<shakes head> Huh?!
What? Roger Bacon?!
How many jackasses are named Roger Bacon around here?!
Just the one.

Are you here for a delivery?
Do we look like deliverymen?
We're in Wales. Only the bravest sorts can be pressed into delivering a package out here. So, where do I sign...?
We're not here for any delivery, dammit!
<sigh> No toaster, huh? Breakfast will be disappointing.

<steps forward> Koudelka told us to come here.

Koudelka? You mean… that Koudelka?
You even know who Koudelka is, old geezer?!
<nods> O-of course I do! I wouldn’t forget that strange girl… Koudelka Iasant, correct?
Magical Romani girl? Red hair? Fiery temper? Cannot hold her liquor?
Ergh... Maybe? We only like actually met her for all of five minutes. Though she had been yelling stuff into my brain for a few years.
That sounds like a mental disorder. But OK...

I see… So, the time has come. Why don’t you all come inside?
It can’t be that…
I’ll be waiting. Come see me, okay?

Roger Bacon wanders off.

Roger Bacon. At least that’s what he said.
OK. I'm not the only one extremely creeped out we were just talking to like a shriveled up mummy, right?
Eh, I've seen worse...

Music: Callback from Jesus

Before we depart the ruins, there's a new item hidden in the rubble. It's like an Elixir Phoenix Down! There are now five different versions of the restore from KOed items. This game is decadent with its number of slightly varying consumables.

Also in the rubble is a sealed hatch to an underground chamber. I'm sure that'll never come up later.

There's not actually any significance here, but this hatch seal is quite similar to the title screen of Koudelka. So that's neat.

In any case, let's head back to Roger Bacon's home and see what he has to tell us.

<nods> Um… Mr. Roger Bacon?
Please call me Roger. What is it, Alice?
How do you know Koudelka?
Ten years ago… those ruins were called Nemeton Monastery.
I thought it was fifteen years ago...
Bah. When you're as old as me, a few years off doesn't make a lot of difference...

In reality, the monastery was a jail for political prisoners with life sentences. In time, its role as a prison faded away and the building was bought by a man named Patrick. Then, that dreadful incident happened…
Dreadful incident?
Patrick moved into Nemeton with his beautiful wife Elaine and a pair of servants. But one day, some bandits broke into their home and took Elaine’s life. Patrick couldn’t accept her death, and delved into deep research of black magic…
Then he and his servants became some of the most prolific serial killers in history for a few years there. Boy, did I pick the wrong place to take a nap for a few centuries...
He finally raised her from the dead, but what returned was not his wife – but a hideous monster! Koudelka defeated that monster and released Elaine’s soul.
Is probably what she told you... In reality, they got their butts whooped. Only a sacrifice from one of their party and an intervention from the Lord stopped the monster's rampage.
Hey… That story is the same as Jack’s from the orphanage!
Except without the God bit and we kicked the monster's ass. And it was someone's mom, not their wife. The rest is on point though.
What happened to the Patrick guy? Did they fight him too?
He turned into a plant monster.
...How'd that happen?
Don't dabble with the dark arts, kids.

Does that Emigre something-or-other book have anything to do with it?
You… you know of the Emigre Document?! Patrick used it extensively in his research.
How did Patrick get ahold of the Emigre Document?
I’m not sure, but I think he bought it from someone.
A man stole that book from the Vatican. His name is… Roger Bacon.
Who? Me?
But he’s actually Cardinal Albert Simon. Maybe he sold the document to Patrick.

Music: Wind Which Blows From the Dark II

Albert Simon?!

Tall? White hair? Mid-50s? Affinity for top hats?
That's the one.

<nods> I see. He has been concerned these past years with the study of the deepest Laws of the Universe. I knew it. He hasn’t given up yet…
We're fighting Albert.
That guy sucks.
You know Cardinal Simon?
Yes. I know him well. He was a student of mine.
A student? Really?
Guess you weren't teaching an ethics course, huh?
<nods> It’s true. How long ago was it, now? I’d say about 300 years before I slept here. It’s about the time period when he followed the crusaders and fought against the Ottoman Empire!

:alert: Click here for video! :alert:
(You should watch this. It has voice acting. Disappointingly, Roger isn't nearly as hammy as he was in Koudelka.)

Music: God Knows Bad News

Of all my disciples, he stood out as the finest. In fact, he was too good. Having come from the lowest and poorest class of society Albert lifted himself up and applied himself diligently to study so that he could change the world. I saw GREAT promise in him, and I taught him EVERYTHING I knew: law, philosophy, science, astronomy, alchemy...

But in time he began to question certain contradictions he saw in the world -- the ruling classes and the subjected masses. He came to reject a world where a person’s place was determined by his birth and he lost patience with me when I attempted to moderate his views.

In the end, he brought me up on charges before the court of the Vatican! But... it was HE who the Church condemned. Of course! In an age of absolutism, anyone who called for the granting of rights to individual citizens could do nothing but anger the powers that be -- whether they be the church or the state.

Any such person was destined to be condemned as a heretic and locked away forever or tortured to death.

The truth is... I knew that he was right. But I also knew that a world in which everyone could live as equals was nothing but a pipe dream. Perhaps it could be achieved in time... as knowledge spread more widely among the people. But for that age, it was an idea much too far ahead of its time...

Music: Wind Which Blows From the Dark II

Albert changed after the trial. His cynical smile did little to hide the darkness behind his eyes. Ignoring my advice, he pushed himself to the limit and ended up becoming trapped by the black arts.
I knew there would be trouble the first time he gave up the robes for a suit and top hat...
He unsealed forbidden magics and worked to fulfill his dreams: the total destruction of society.
But… I feel like I can understand how he felt… in a way…
He's not wrong and you kinda threw him under the bus. I'd be pissed too. But, too bad he's such a total dick about it.
We can’t leave him be! Albert will do something drastic… using Koudelka’s power. We have to stop him!
I know, but we don’t know where he is.
It's surprisingly hard to track a guy that can teleport.
I really regret teaching him that one...
Yeah! Same! Hey, you didn't teach him how to do that lightning crap too, did you?
<rubs neck and mutters something>
You're on NOTICE, old man!
Yes, yes. You've very scary. Let's stay on subject.

If I am right, he is close.

I’m sure Koudelka realized what Albert was about to do. In that case, we don’t have much time…

<nods> Yeah. But I don’t know how long we’ll last fighting him. But I won’t give up until we settle this.
Okay, then. I shall assist you. I’ll take you to Albert.
Roger! Really?
Well, you know... I'm feeling a WEE bit responsible...

Roger fiddles with a control panel and a vending machine in the back of his house lights up.

This teleporter isn't completed yet, but the vending machine works fine. Get whatever you might need.
The prices are quite reasonable.
...You're charging us? Really?
Ma'am do you have ANY idea the shipping costs of getting any supplies sent to a haunted ruin in Wales? Now THAT is highway robbery.

Welp. We now know Albert Simon's reason for being such a dick and have met the real Roger Bacon. Tune in next time as the gang gears up and begins tackling one of the longest dungeons in the game as we soon approach the endgame of Shadow Hearts! Stay tuned!

Video: Albert Simon Backstory
(Hey go watch this. It has voice acting!)