The Let's Play Archive

Shadow Hearts

by The Dark Id

Part 76: Episode LXXVI: Atman

Episode LXXVI: Atman

What if we did something crazy and got back to actual plot progression? I'm sure Roger Bacon is wondering where the hell we've been all this time.

Music: Callback from Jesus

Let's finally head back to Nemeton Monastery and check in on the old geezer that we've been deliberately avoiding the entire endgame chapter.

Rog, we've been out sidequesting for like... a while...
Yes, well... Science cannot be rushed!
Didn't Simon say that the space god should arrive in seven days? It's been like over forty days since then...
Oh, that boisterous fool couldn't estimate a reasonable timeframe if his life depended on it. When he was young, he would show up late for lessons all the time and then throw into a rant about how time is merely a social construction when I scolded him for it. If you had another month until God arrived it wouldn't surprise me in the least.
Cool. So how long until the teleporter thingie is actually done...?

Please have some rest. Everything is going to be done before you all get up.

Music: Sweet Pillows

And so everyone takes a well-deserved nap. Except...

Music: Graveyard Moon

Welcome back to the Graveyard, Alice. We only beat up the Four Masks. We didn't actually break Alice's curse, per se. So this probably isn't a great scene for her especially since it is right before the final dungeon.

<looks around> Or... just me...
It's that graveyard again...

Alice walks further into the graveyard and looks around.

It’s almost as if this entire world was waiting for me…
Like some kind of curse.
...Oh. Crud...

Alice walks further into the graveyard and collapses to her knees.

In order to progress, we naturally need to go speak with the Four Masks. But, before we rush ahead we can examine all the elemental tombstones for some new flavor text.

I don't wanna hear complaining I ain't paying for train tickets. Have me go rescue someone with some money if you want me to stop doing crimes, sheesh!

Dunno about that white hair though. Did she dye it that way? Did she just go gray early...? Probably shouldn't ask. She's already kinda pissed at me...
It isn't white, it is just really light blonde.

Did she just stuff it into her err... jacket? Blouse? I dunno what you'd call that thing she's wearing... Point is, it's a sewer dog. It's probably lousy with flees. Even I wouldn't touch that.
In retrospect, perhaps that was a bit forward to me. Especially, given the dog's true nature.
...I stuffed Dehuai into my shirt.
<shudders> Let's not think about that too hard.

I was fine being a tower vampire. Now I know there are ACTUAL vampires out there and that's worrying...

Yuri you were nine when you lost your mother. I'm 20. It's a little bit different. You don't have to beat yourself up over that one.

And finally, we have Alice's grave. She seems less than thrilled to see it. Oh well, enough dawdling. Let's go see what the Four Masks want after their thrashing.

Ho... ho... ho...! It seems our spell has finally taken you!
Yeh... heh... heh... You're just lucky the sacred covenant of the side quest kept us at bay for so long, girlie.

Bwa... ha... ha...! What’s wrong little girl? You struggle, but your soul’s fate lies here.
Tsk... tsk... tsk... It wasn't very sporting bringing your friends in to fight your curse. Or using that troublesome relic. Where did you even find such an accursed object!?
An orphan gave it to us.
Tsk... tsk... tsk... Fine! Don't tell us! It matters little!
...But I'm telling the truth.

Yeh... heh... heh...! If you could, you would die for your love, hmmm?

Tsk... tsk... tsk...! Go now to the depths of the evil dimension.

The gate behind the masks opens.

<presses hands to her chest>
Hmph… Do you fear me?
Oh, you?!
I'm not sure... I don't know what I am talking to...
Oh, right... Of course... My bad. Just a moment...
ERGH! I mean... BEHOLD!

I am Atman, the executioner of spirit sacrifice. I bring death to your soul.
<looks around>
Looking for someone to come and save you? Unfortunately, you’re all alone here. No one is coming to your rescue, you’re quite alone. Do you have any regrets about dying for that man?
<shakes head> No, I have no regrets.
Oh... Truly? Hmph... This is usually the part usually beg and plead for mercy. I suppose that allows me to skip a bit of this speech. <clears throat>
Such a courageous girl. How delicious your pure, unsullied soul must be… Come. The final wedge has been driven into the Judgment Ring. You’ll become one with my darkness…

Music: Much Hatred Still Rankles

Hey, what the hell!? Masks! No visitors! I'm trying to perform a dark ceremony.
I hope that's a euphemism for my foot in your ass!

Yuri strolls into the evil dimension.

Pfft... This stupid thing doesn't even have an ass.
<turns to Alice> Sorry I’m late. Those masks outside slowed me down a bit.
Impossible! You forced the door to the Dark Side open and entered the Curse of Death yourself?!
That is SO incredibly against all rules and protocol. I can't even with you right now...
<turns to Atman and swipes the air> She’s my woman. You’re not takin’ her. Never!
You plan to break a contract for a soul? To disrupt an ancient and holy ceremony?! Don’t make me laugh. Have you lost your mind? You’re throwing your own precious life away!
Maybe I am, so ya better watch it! Dumb ass!

This is the rudest anyone has been to me in eons.
Yeah, I get that a lot.

Very well. If you think you can break my contract for this soul, give it your best shot!

Music: Demon's Gig

It is time to take on Atman. If you are wondering if there is some story beat somewhere from way earlier in the game that perhaps alluded to this entity in any way that you're just failing to recall now... Nope! This guy has not been mentioned once prior to this scene. And he's also dying this same update he's introduced.

Atman is coming to the party with only 4000 HP and a Non-Elemental affiliation. He is a somewhat dangerous foe due to there only being Yuri and Alice present for this fight. But this is also a Yuri and Alice that have gone through all of the end game content. Atman is technically the first main quest boss we've fought since Simon Albert/Amon. So overall, nothing the duo cannot handle.

Right off the bat we're going to want to blast Atman with Demon Rays and Advent before he starts attacking. That shaves off around a quarter of his total HP in the opening blows.

Which is good because Alice is now shifting to healing duty for the duration of the fight thereafter. Particularly, if she gets blasted with this attack.

Eradication is an attack that only targets Alice. After all, Atman was fixing to devour her soul and all. He'd probably still like to do that.

I think Eradication is the funniest attack in the game solely because it features a static PNG of Father Elliot cartwheeling through the void over a screenshot of the alley where Simon insta-gibbed him as the conclusion of the attack. Eradication will hit Alice for around 275 HP plus reduce her Sanity by half. So that's an added worry to this fight since it's not like Alice had a ton of SP to spread around in the first place.

While Alice can sort that out quickly with Arc and ditto for any other attack, we really do need to watch out her sanity level for this fight since we don't have Margarete around as our support unit.

Beyond spamming Eradication on Alice, Atman can also inflict Status Abnormalities with his physical attacks. Everyone still has a Crucifix equipped so that's not a big worry. The attack itself still inflicts 70-150 damage. Not too worrying.

Beyond that, Atman has access to all the Level 3 versions of the elemental attacks we saw the Four Masks utilizing during their fights. Yes, this includes just summoning a big rock and throwing it at our party. That move has gotten really popular all the sudden.

Really, the difference between this fight and the usual operating procedure is that Alice and Yuri need to support each other with Yuri keeping Alice's Sanity topped off and Alice making sure Yuri has enough MP to keep dumping Demon Rays on Atman.

Beyond that, it turns out that if punching a curse into submission fails, you can always blast it with Devilman laser beams instead and that should do the trick.


No! I'm good! I'm good! I still got thi—

Ugh... I... I don't got this...

Music: Results

With that, Atman is defeated and the experience level gulf between Yuri & Alice versus the rest of the party widens even further.

Atman, the fifth mask, drops a ring to halve damage from the Light element. Again, I don't know if I'd go wearing trinkets from somewhere literally called "The Evil Dimension" but maybe I'm more cautious than the average JRPG adventurer.

Music: Graveyard Moon

This has... never happened... before...


No! Don’t say anything.
<turns to Alice> I promised, didn’t I? That I’d protect ya.
We were having a nice moment and then gramps came in with that mystical book he dug out of some priest's grave. Still kinda pissed at him for that...

C’mon, let’s go. I wanna say goodbye to this nasty place!

Music: Callback from Jesus

Alice stands up from her nap on the floor.

You know Rog set up some cots in the back. You don't have to keep sleeping on the floor like that...
<nods> I’m okay. It was just a scary dream. I’m fine now!
You don't... remember having a fight or anything, do you?
Huh? Not... recent? Why? Does something need punchin'?
No, no.

You were here by my side the entire time?
<nods> Huh!? Umm... I guess so.
I didn't want anyone tripping over you. That'd be a crappy way to wake up in the morning.
<nods> Thank you, Yuri.

Click here for video!
(You should watch this. It has voice acting for Alice.)

Music: ALICE

I’m not sure when it was that I started to feel the way I do about you. You can be so short-tempered and foul-mouthed sometimes… And yet, so graceful, and strong and pure...

Would you be surprised if I told you that I sometimes wished our travels together would never end? I don’t know where that journey will end, but I’m frightened when I start to feel it coming. You’ve survived so many hardships since you were a child. Overcome such pain.

I’m certain it was because your mother and father gave you so much love when you were small. And that’s why, even if you don’t put it in words, you’re always teaching me just exactly what love is. I’m so grateful that I met you. So truly, truly grateful...

Video: Atman Battle Highlight Reel
(You should watch this just for Eradication.)