Part 69: Episode LXIX: Orb ChaosEpisode LXIX: Orb Chaos
Music: Demon's Gig
Well... at least there's only the one giant demon baby and it's not several stories tall or eating anyone. Meet Orb Chaos the boss of the Dollhouse. Quite the leap from a ghost to a possessed doll to... this whole situation. But here we are.
Orb Chaos is actually a reoccurring enemy in the Shadow Hearts series. One of the few that appears in every single entry, Koudelka included. Back in the progenitor game of the series, this thing was just a wee little thing no bigger than a mid-sized boar. Back then it went by the name Tamacoss. Tama being just a direct Romanization of the kanji for Ball/Orb and the coss part being a mistranslation for Chaos. They actually just got this one right for a change. The Shadow Hearts original receipt and smaller Koudelka incarnations are downright pleasant compared to their later downright fucked incarnations.
This bundle of joy is a Light elemental enemy packing quite the pool of endgame bonus boss caliber health with a hefty 7500 HP. For reference, Albert Simon/Amon had a collection 6000 HP between them and the final throw down with Arcane Olga had only 4500. So we're going to be here a wee bit against this bulletsponge.
Especially given Orb Chaos' moveset. Do you enjoy bosses that cast defensive buffs? How about offensive buffs? What if they just had nearly every single available boss buff in the game? As that's what Chaos Orb might have in its arsenal. On the plus side, it will waste quite a number of turns just spamming buffs in succession. The AI for boss baby seems rather obsessed with having at least three buffs active at all times.
The psychedelic rainbow Iris gives Orb Chaos a 30% boost to evasion. That's fine. We're not going to be using much in the way of physical attacks. Who wants to touch a great big fetus orb? Although, this thing seems to have garbage evasion to begin with so this barely helps.
Charge boosts Physical Defense by 30% in case any of those attacks happen to hit. No no no! Don't shake the baby!
Sanctuary we've seen a few times before cast by other mainline enemies. This one gives a 30% boost to Special Attack defense. Now that one is a little a bit annoying. You already have 1500 more HP than any boss outside the final dungeon, boss baby. Cool it with the additional defenses, will ya? While these are the three buffs it chose for this fight, Orb Chaos can also potentially cast Battle Cry (buff Physical Attack by 30%) Accelerate (boosts its evasion/speed) and Release Magic (boosts is Special Attack power 30%) It's a tiny bit annoying it went all defense on our go against it for the LP. But we can deal.
This orb can roll or... more like a slushy squirm toward a victim and make nauseating, juicy squicky noises to slap them around with its front arm and maybe follow-up with a headbutt if it's feeling saucy. This does between 70-250 damage to a single target depending on how many times it feels like smacking someone. For some reason, Orb Chaos just seemed to HATE Alice during this fight and targeted her the vast majority of the time.
Beyond that, Fetus Legion only has one attack but it is a doozy. Expression is a flood of tears that hits the entire party for upward of 250-300 HP of damage. Additionally, if we didn't have everyone equipped with Crucifixes then everyone would get the book thrown at them with status ailments on top of losing 2/3rds of their health.
Needless to say, Alice is on immediate Arc duty any time Expression comes into play. Which... is nearly half of Orb Chaos' overall turns in this long slog of a fight.
Meanwhile, we're going to have Yuri transform into Amon and start spamming Demon Rays with every turn. I know we just got The End and you'd THINK the unlockable hidden special ability on the very easy to miss optional Fusion would be the go-to spell to cast. But nope! Demon Rays only targets a single enemy but it does more overall damage. Hell, if we trotted out Czernobog and have him spam Revelation it'd also do more damage than The End since Revelation is Dark Elemental magic. Demon Rays costs a spicy 86 MP a cast but it does do a fairly respectable 575-600 HP of damage. Revelation does around 550 for 72 MP a cast. The End does sub-500 damage for 100 MP a cast.
That said, with Yuri's MP reserves, we're only getting four casts of Demon Rays before he's spent so Margarete is on support duty making sure he gets MP topped off to keep the pain train going.
Otherwise, since this bundle of joy decided to spam every defensive buff in the book, most we're getting out damage wise with Margarete is like around 200 HP with On Switch or MAYBE 150-175 with just trying to abort this travesty with bullets.
In any event, let's just skip past twelve minutes of Yuri doing Sentai hero poses to shoot eye lasers while Margarete takes pot shots and Alice keeps calling in favors with God to heal everyone's scrapes as a giant undead baby cries poison tears on everyone non-stop.
A bounty of Cash and EXP showers our party. Margarete levels up twice and learns her penultimate technique -- Bazooka.
You don't get any points for guessing what that Secret Weapon does... It's literally just a comically oversized rocket launcher dropped into Margarete's hands which hits all enemies with a freeze round for a sizable amount of Water elemental damage. Huh, ain't seen freeze round explosives since Resident Evil 3: Nemesis. Poor old Nemmy would get bodied like it was a random battle encounter if he went up against this party.
More important than giving our incredibly unsubtle spy a goddamn bazooka to ambush her targets, we've gained the actual reward for doing the Dollhouse sidequest -- the Holy Book of Flesh aka Alice Elliot's ultimate weapon. This grants +85 Physical and +89 Special Attack. I'm uncertain if it's wise to be handing over our nice religious girl cleric the K-Mart brand Necronomicon. But, I'm not going to argue with those stat boosts.
Music: Someone's Table
<shakes head> This doll's been alive all this time... She must've been so lonely. So she used Ewan as her plaything...
The man we received this job from initially?
When did that happen?
Back in Prague...?
Wait. That was related to all of this crap?!
What did you think we were doing here, Yuri?
I dunno. You're the one that took the lead as soon as we got here. I just started punching ghosts.
...Well, at least this doll is at peace.
<turns to Alice> Hey, what about yourself? In the real world, the only people who like toys are little kids! A doll wanted a toy human...
So like... was that doll possessed by a ghost child or... What was that whole thing about?
I've learned not to ask too many questions when it comes to exorcism. The job is done. Let's just go get paid before it turns out the client skipped town or was a ghost the whole time.
Or maybe they were a ghost the whole time and were actually the ones who hired us and were just doing suicide by exorcist. That one always stinks.
Do you get paid for that last one?
<shakes head> Let's go.
And that concludes our time with the Dollhouse. We only had to run back and forth across the whole area once. That's pretty sparse by Shadow Hearts dungeon standards.
Technically, the sidequest is over, and we can just move on. But let's return to Prague and get a debriefing from our quest giver, eh?
I never noticed how piss yellow that beer decal was over the unreadable bar sign text. That's not the most inviting hue. Maybe that's why all this bar gets is haunted degenerates and ghost hunters.
What's that? You're looking for the guy who asked you to do that job?
Already don't like the way you're phrasing that...
Strange thing is... he's vanished.
OK. Like faded from existence vanished or bolted out the door when you weren't looking.
Sir, I carefully attend this spot all day every day looking in the very direction you find me in at present. The fellow simply blipped out of existence. You can ask Yuria to confirm.
...Alice ain't gonna be happy about this.
God DARN IT!
Gives me the creeps.
Ho, I get it! Trying to scare me, right?
I need to shake off my nerves with another drink.
How many is this today, lady?
It's a Tuesday so hmm...
Pretty sure it's Wednesday.
Even better! Bottoms up!
Welp. So much for all that money Runaway Ewan was going to pay us to get rid of his poltergeist. If we check the spot where he was standing, we find...
The stain looks like it spells out
And that's the conclusion of the Dollhouse sidequest. Alice gets an unholy tome wrapped in human flesh and Gismot needs to mop up his bar because a ghost scribbled blood graffiti while stiffing the party for the job. With that done, we say goodbye to Prague forever. Tune in next time as our revisit of Europe reaches the furthest east to Romania where Keith finally gains relevance for the first time since... err... well, the last time we were in Romania for the plot. Shadow Hearts continues!
Video: Episode 69 Highlight Reel (You should see the horrific orb child in motion.)