The Let's Play Archive

Shadow Hearts

by The Dark Id

Part 74: Episode LXXIV: Orphan Blood Sports

Episode LXXIV: Orphan Blood Sports

Good thing Albert Simon went WAY over his run estimate for the end of the world considering the party has backpacked clear across Europe and back again for at least a couple months travel time wise. That aside, we have one final standard sidequest left in this chapter, at least. There's one final sidequest unlocked after we do absolutely everything else and reach the final dungeon for the first time. This one takes us back to the mean streets of London.

Music: Vitamin Metropolis

Before we head off to this last quest, we need to do a wee bit of prep work. Namely, we're going to stop by the nearest Silent Peddler and cash in a few hundred steps to stock up on Thera Extract (Full HP restoration consumable.) They're only 100 steps a pop and we've got more than enough to spare here. We might need these in the very near future.

There's another thing worth noting that I only learned about recently because there's enough obtuse junk in this game's sidequests already that a proper hint delivery system seems like a foreign concept. If we went to Old Carl house next to the London Rats there is a telephone. During our first visit and any subsequent ones prior to the Neameto Float rising, it simply says it's disconnected. Turns out being a wise old man aiding orphans in arcane arts isn't great at paying your bills. However, in the endgame chapters if we come here and use the phone...

Hunh? You want to know who exactly this Papa is? Sorry, that's a secret. Ah hah hah hah. <hangs up>

There is a mysterious father on the phone here that will drop hints as to the location of the gravestones to unlock all the Level 3 Fusions. Hell if I know what any of those hints are because we already got all the gravestones long before hitting the actual endgame and I can find zero documentation of it anywhere on the internet. And I'm not invested in replaying fifteen hours of the game to find out some vague hints to gameplay elements I already know the solutions to...

Apparently, there's speculation that the Dad on the phone is actually Halley's father -- Edward Plunkett since this is unlocked after Koudelka gets fully rescued and becomes entirely irrelevant to the plot. That seems ridiculous to me since that would mean Edward was ever useful beyond punching things well. As we all know, that's gravely out of character for that muppet. Anyway, I felt that was worth mentioning.

Pesky Splinter posted:

From a few updates ago, I had a save file just before Nemeton and thought I'd see what "Dad" says regarding hints to find the gravestones. Like all the sidequests, it only actives after you speak to Koudelka in London. And you know we all thought that London was part of the game where they didn't bother to check the translation...well...

put drunk down phone, you're dad.

Hahahaha. Amazing.

Let's head on over to where the actual sidequest is hanging out -- the London Rats hideout.

Music: Babysitter is Old Nurse

You know, the ominous music of this orphan hideout makes a lot more sense when you learn there are a necromancer and a demon summoner hanging out here.

Speaking of Devil Summoners, guess what is fully activated now that we're in the official end game? Pit Fights, of course! Joy... My favorite. Story lacking gauntlets of battles for the sake of battles. Old man, are you still facilitating this foreboding child?

For some reason, I went strange... I can see it, I can see it!
Kinda feel like I should inform Koudelka about the weird neighbor with dementia hanging out in the basement...
The monsters thou hast defeated account for 76% of the total. The treasure thou has accumulated accounts for 90% of the total.
What total? Like in the entire world? Just in Europe? Cuz that seems ridiculous either way, gramps. I know of a few dozen demons I never got around to punching back when I was a kid in Japan alone.
...The world is truly a mysterious place.

Knowledgeable Carl will now tally how much treasure and how much of the Monster entries in the Library we've obtained. There is actually a prize for obtaining all Library entries though it is New Game + only (since Library entries go up to and include the final boss) and ergh... well, not the most highbrow of rewards, shall we say...

Black Silk Underpants
The sophisticated choice in undergarments, they have concealed many
mysteries. Be sure to be wearing them just in case. They cut Magic Attack
damage in half.

Yeah, it's a pair of panties accessory for Alice that halves Special Attack damage and also changes her underwear color in battle to black. Yeah, I'm gonna go through New Game + just to show that off...

Anyway, about that summoner child.

My power grows by the day. I can see the monument of sins mankind has constructed. The day of reckoning where my hordes will descend upon thy flesh is nigh...
O... kay...?
I mean, tee-hee... I can make funny monsters come out to play.

Do you wanna see a monster?
Yeah, I wanna see it!
Who's gonna fight?

Here's the deal with this version of the Pit Fights. Back in Shanghai, Mr. Zhen's Pit Fights only required us to complete it once with any character to get the rewards for the sidequest. Sharon, being an evil little shit, has locked prizes behind soloing a ten round gauntlet with EVERY character having a different reward. This runs the gamut of not too shabby to utterly useless rewards. I am most certainly NOT going to be running this through with all the characters. I'd have to grind for a couple hours alone with just Zhuzhen alone to get him up to snuff (like Level 50ish) to handle soloing this challenge. There is one noteworthy reward that will require dusting off Halley and putting him through the wringer as Halley's ultimate armor is locked behind his completion of Sharon's Pit Fight. We're going to equip Halley with a Crucifix to negate any status effects and that set of earrings that reduces his MP consumption by 20% along with an accessory to reduce his SP consumption to boost his viability solo.

If Halley won't marry her because she's too young then she will see him suffer. I'm surprised Chris hasn't been devoured by a summoned creature yet.

In fact, thou hast not won even once.
Yeah... I'm trying to retire that saying. It's kind of awkward, you know?
Then enter my tapestry of pain!
Tee-hee! Do your best, Halley!

All right, let's go!!

Music: NDE - Near Death Experience

So we need to survive ten rounds of consecutive battles. No breaks to heal. No aborting and coming back later. There are twelve possible enemy spawns and they are randomly seeded as we progress through the fights. Halley's first pick is Night Stalker, the mid-boss from Jack's Orphanage. I see Sharon has resurrected her kidnapper so he could suffer the pain of death again and again. Night Stalker has 2500 HP and hits fairly hard by casting Gun for 150-250ish damage each round.

Clearly, Halley was in need of some levels since he was barely able to handle that fight alone. He did manage to pick-up a new ESP tech in Black Hole with the defeat of Night Stalker. While that'll be quite helpful, it won't quite make the donuts for running this gauntlet.

Thus, cue about a 90-minute off-screen grind getting Halley up from Level 36 to around Level 40ish. I want to say by the end of this session and completing the Pit Fights he was at Level 42 as all the refought bosses give the same amount of EXP as they did in their original appearance. Halley also learned Reviver during this training session -- a resurrection spell that probably won't see any use anytime soon. I'll make a video montage of everyone's Special Attacks once we are near the end of the LP.

Anyway, with newly powered up Halley, let's return to this tournament arc. The first round was Night Stalker once again (I just reloaded the game after the first attempt burned through a half dozen Thera Extracts.) Round 2 was Mayor Kevin of Bistritz's exceedingly unfortunate Apostle form the Rotting Clifford. Why don't we try out that newfangled Black Hole on the big doggie sex pest? Black Hole is a 75 MP ESP spell which does Darkness damage on enemies; plus Instant Death. That last part isn't going to work but...



Sure enough, the stalker mayor is sucked into a localized black hole found entirely in the basement of an abandoned building in the middle of London, never to be seen again. I mean, technically the fight lasted another five minutes because the thing has 2000 HP and Halley can at most output around 350 HP of damage per turn. But let's just cut that part out and watch Kevin's shambling form fade into the black hole's event horizon.

Sharon evidently has a real damn grudge against Rausan because he's been resurrected for a second time to get his ass handed to him. That is, assuming he has an ass and there's not just another pair of heads back there. You never know with these kinds of transformations. Again, is this another five-minute fight because the guy is sporting 2500 HP and obnoxiously throws up a shield which reduces special damage by 30% at the start of the fight and will recast it as soon as it runs dry.

Following that, we had Dark Judge who made the trip all the way from Kowloon. Turns out this guy is vulnerable to Instant Death. I had Halley cast Black Hole on it and it was dead before I realized what had happened. RIP.

After that, we have one of the two REAL fuckers in this Pit Fight. Much like back in Zhen's version of this bloodsport, Sharon has cooked up a special overpowered version of the Wind Shear, the Perfect Wind Shear. If we didn't have a Crucifix equipped, this little beastie would cause Paralysis with each blow making this fight near impossible. Barring that, it still does around 200-350 damage per turn meaning Halley needs to pop a Thera Extract every round. Luckily we have like 30 of those in stock now. On the plus side, the Perfect Wind Shear is a Light elemental enemy and Black Hole will sort it out in about three casts as it only has 1200 HP.

Following that we're given a breather to replenish Halley's HP/MP since it's just the birdmen that attacked back in the first visit to Rouen. Looking at them funny will kill the entire crowd in short order. Barring that, just about any attack from Halley will do the trick and they are nearly incapable of hurting him.

Which is great because the next round is against ANOTHER Wind Shear variant -- the Full Armor Wind Shear. I have no idea what the full armor part is about. It has the same exact health as Perfect at 1500 HP and it's just an Earth elemental instead of a Light elemental. Instead of attempting to inflict Paralysis and failing, it instead goes for Ring Anomalies which our Crucifix will also ward off. This guy was basically the same exact deal as the Perfect cousin but it took four casts of Black Hole to take it out due to the shifted elemental affinity. Sadly, we don't get any damn Soul Energy from Pit Fights. Still, need to get six units of Earth Energy... Could really use a freebie.

If there was any doubt Sharon was evil, resurrecting Mammon, the undercooked mother of Jack crafted with the souls of dozens of dead orphans, which almost included Sharon herself and all of her friends, should tip you off of her villainy at this point. This fight sucked all since it has 4500 HP and again, Halley is at most getting 350 HP damage a turn plus time needed to refill his HP/MP especially after that last bastard of a fight.

If that weren't enough, Mammon still has Howling which will restore 540 of its HP. Yeah sure, just negate the last two turns of damage at any time. That's cool and fun. I got lucky and Mammon ONLY decided to cast Howling twice drawing out the fight to nearly fifteen minutes. But if the AI is feeling especially dickish, it could have spammed it just as much as it did during the original fight. They certainly didn't rejigger any of the enemies AI just because it's a solo match.

After Mammon and the Wind Shears, the final two matches were a piece of cake. It was merely a bunch of Buggs that needed sucking into a black hole.

And the final match is against Speckled and Happy Creeper. Happy Creeper (the skull and dong sporting one) needed to be hit with physical attacks to kill in one turn since it is immune to Halley's ESP.

Music: Results

And with that lackluster finale, Halley has conquered the Pit Fights. Not fought were a team of Garm, the wolves outside of the Blue Castle, and a trio of Meat Eaters, those ridiculous dogs with an arm growing out of their snouts that were hanging out in Calios Mental Hospital.

Music: Babysitter is Old Nurse

The blood ritual is complete. The souls of the slain flow into my abyss. My power grows with their wails of agony crying out into an uncaring void.
You say something, Sharon?
Great job, Halley!

You've fought long and hard and you're all done. In honor of your 10 wins, we'll give you this.

With that, we receive Halley's ultimate armor. In addition to crushing the bones in the fist of anyone who punches it and the halved Earth elemental damage, this also provides 78 Physical and 82 Special Defense. That's everyone but Yuri's ultimate weapon and armor obtained!

If you're curious about the other character's rewards for completing the Pit Fights, they are as follows:
Beating the Pit Fights with all six characters gives one final reward in the form of:

Crystal Ring
A finely detailed ring with a crystal that hosts a powerful spirit. Cuts non-class
damage in half. The base is in the shape of the goddess constellation Lief.

This is the only item in the game that reduces specifically non-elemental damage. Pretty spiffy, I suppose. Not worth adding six hours of gameplay time smashing our faces into the Pit Fight tedium.

Originally this update wrapped up here! But...

Music: Graveyard Moon

I had my flight canceled earlier and the next one available to my destination not presenting itself until the following day. So I found myself with a whole mess of time to kill and decided to grind out the remaining Earth Elemental Soul Energy required to unlock the last wayward Level 3 Fusion. I tried my hand at the Ancient Ruins and... promptly got four Sweepers (the big green slime monsters) in a row, filling up Earth Elemental Soul Power to max in roughly ten minutes. So goes the fickle mistress that is RNG.

With that accomplished, we can now venture to the graveyard in order to challenge the last remaining Fusion. We didn't want all Level 3 Fusions solely for completion sake. I mean, we did but having them all is also a prerequisite to unlock the final sidequest in the game. So...

It's just a wolf dude but it's got white fur now. After all that trouble, I'm not dignifying it with a description of its leveled monster fight. Yuri shot Demon Rays at it until it died. It healed once so he had to shoot one extra Demon Rays. The end. We received Lobo's Soul. Do you want the mythology for Lobo? Here: It's "wolf" in Spanish. The lore is deep.

The one time I'd be OK with wasting some time grinding out some crap because I'm having my day wasted anyway and it's the one time RNG is kind to me.

Moreso than most Fusions, this looks like some monster of the week that would get sorted out in a low budget Super Sentai series. I do kind of like the concept of yelling at someone to be healthier and it working. That's more than you get from most American medical plans. But beyond that, this thing we're never going to use again after this mini-update has...

Music: SSC - Special Short Cuts

For completion sake and being able to fully take this Fusion out back and shoot it like Old Yeller, we'll go ahead and grab its [????] Skill.

Lobo gains Strike, a 72 MP Earth Elemental attack that damages all enemies. So what does Strike entail?

It summons a giant rock and throws it. That's it. That's the whole attack. The description claims it's a "meteorite" but boss, you're just summoning that with magic. You ain't got any certification that rock hails from space. That shit is straight from the desert of New Mexico for all I know. Get out of here peddling that carnie shit, Lobo! You're not foolin' anyone!

Lackluster final Fusion aside, we've gotten all the Fusions leveled to maximum any way you cut it. We're nearing the end of all the optional content in the game!

In any event, that is all for reasons to return to London and sidequest specific to any location in general. Tune in next time when we perhaps finally get around to dealing with that whole curse thing Alice has had hanging over her head for a decent chunk of the game now as Shadow Hearts continues!

Video: Halley's Black Hole
(You may as well watch this. It's a unique attack and we'll probably never use Halley again.)

Lobo Render - Kamen Rider villain of the day ass looking busta.