Part 84: Episode LXXXIV: ImbroglioEpisode LXXXIV: Imbroglio
We're given one very last chance to switch up our party before throwing down with God. Unfortunately, there is no alternate ending for losing to the final boss this time around. So sorry Zhuzhen, Keith and Halley. You get to just cheerlead from the sidelines. Assuming Halley can still talk. I don't think he's had more than three non-generic lines of dialogue since we rescued Koudelka. At least Zhuzhen is still participating in the plot even if he's useless in a fight. And Keith... sometimes pipes up, I guess.
Let's get to it!
Gonna be real, I didn't think a game starting on the Trans-Siberian Express in 1913 featuring a shonen protagonist punchman and a girl in a sexy Alice in Wonderland Halloween costume would end up in space. But here we are... Also, apparently that massive glowing god glyph that appeared during the Neameto Float rising cutscene has just been hanging over the planet this entire time. That's got to be obnoxious for anyone in the northern hemisphere.
The party all slowly beams onto the god glyph. I guess the thing provides ample footing. And oxygen...? Don't worry about it too much. It's eldritch old ones magicks. It's fine.
<looks around> Where are we?!
...Yeah, I don't know what that means.
Umm... well, it is the second layer of the atmosphere between the troposphere below and the mesosphere above.
...That's not helping.
It means we're in space, kid.
...It's not TECHNICALLY space. We're more in the upp
...I don't think technicalities are going to help matters.
Frikkin' space! I'm gonna punch out something in space. Hell yeah!
Maybe you're right.
Look how tiny the temple is from here!
How bad would that be if it fell outta the sky?
It probably wouldn't be great.
I dunno. I think it'd be a pretty awesome explosion.
Tch... Guess I'll never get to see it...
This really is the end of the earth...
Everything briefly shakes violently.
Hey, what's going on?!
I'm not big on science, but I don't think they get earthquakes in space.
<shakes head> So it would seem.
I thought He would be taller...
God buzzes the
<punches fists together> All right, god!!
Punching out god and punching a dude in space has been on my bucket list since as long as I can remember. This is gonna be the best day of my life!!
...I am going to have to rethink religion after seeing this.
I don't want to think of all the paperwork I'm gonna have to file in a report saying I shot God.
Well... I had a good run.
I still think it should be taller.
New Music: Imbroglio (It's the final boss music. Of course you should listen to it! It's also really good.)
Meet the final boss of Shadow Hearts -- Meta-God (or Super/Ultra God if you're going with the original text which... sounds just kind of dumb.) Being a deity and all, Meta-God is a non-elemental boss with the highest health value in the entire game with a whopping 12500 HP beating out the runner up, Cherubim, and its 10,000 HP.
Meta-God opens the battle for the fate of the planet with its contractually obligated Final Boss Overly Long Attack Animation super move -- Time of Judgment. It is only 20 seconds long, so it isn't that bad in the grand scheme of final boss moves lasting for an eon.
Time of Judgment is just an overly elaborate meteor drop on the planet. A meteoric drop of which the party happens to be standing in the path of at the moment. It's somewhat hard to tell on that really low-resolution texture of the planet, that was far blurrier on original hardware, but it looks like the meteor is heading for Southeast Asia. Hopefully, Shanghai isn't getting another bad day during this space battle. That seems like it would be a real dick move.
The meteor drop super move does around 270-300 HP of damage to the entire party and also drains 20% of everyone's MP for good measure. That would only really be an issue for Alice since she is once more sliding into the healer role as Meta-God is all full-party damaging attacks all the time.
Now that Meta-God is done showing off, we should probably discuss our strategy. Hey, you know For Everyone which buffed the entire party extremely well and kind of trivialized most of the boss encounters on Neameto Float? The thing that felt like our reward for doing all the plot relevant side quests in the game? That technique?
Yeah, Meta-God is having NONE of that bullshit and will instantly counter it (and any) full party buffs with Light of Depravation which instantly negates any buffs applied. So the For Everyone tactic that had aided us so well for... like four boss fights... is out the door. I personally feel that is kind of bullshit. I went and did all your damn optional content. Let me clown on the final boss.
This guy already sucks. He needs to go!
So fine, Shadow Hearts. We'll play by your damn rules. No full party buffs. Fine! What if we use some of those 97 consumable buff items and just pump every goddamn stat boost we can fit just into Yuri? What if we punched Meta-God the fuck out in a single turn? What then, Shadow Hearts!?
This is going to take a few rounds of doing, so let's get started. First with with Silver Hand, which we just got from dear departed Albert Simon. It gives the user a 100% Hit Area for five turns.
Alice is going to be on Arc duty. She has such an absurd pool of mana by this point that we won't need to worry about topping her off even with that Time of Judgment MP drain.
Meanwhile, Margarete is just going to take pot-shots at this space deity. It doesn't do much, but I appreciate the moxey of just trying to light up an Old One with conventional firearms. It's worth noting that Meta-God has the silliest sounding pain noises. They sound more like they belong to a cartoon fish getting slapped than an unknowable eldritch beast from the darkness of space screaming in pain.
Meanwhile, Meta-God starts doing this attack. Or more accurately, it starts doing six different versions of this attack. Yellow Abyss is a Wind Elemental full party attack which does around 210-250 HP of damage. Most of Meta-God's attacks are some variation of this just with a different elemental affinity. There are also Black Abyss (Dark), White Abyss (Light), Verdant Abyss (Earth), Scarlet Abyss (Fire), and Blue Abyss (Water) versions of the attack. It's the same exact animation but with a different color for the psychedelic lines. Alice will take a bit more damage from Black Abyss, Margarete from Scarlet and Yuri won't care either way since Seraphic Radiance is non-elemental. He'll just take around 210 damage regardless.
Besides, he's still too busy setting up for punching out Meta-God in a single turn. Monkey's Paw is an item that makes the user's attack power 3x but also inflicts an irregular indicator speed. But we've already got 100% Hit Area from Silver Hand for four more turns. So no big deal. We picked up one of these back in Jack's Orphanage and another from the Dog version of the Shell game in Shanghai.
Other than the Abyss variety of attack flavors, Meta-God also possesses Nine Springs which is just a really unimpressive looking reskin of the !!!! attack that drops its target's health to 1 HP. Alice can sort that out with Arc just like everything else. Arc is kind of a broken skill for something that is virtually impossible not to gain from just normal gameplay. Remember we got that back when Halley was still a relevant character and we hadn't even met Koudelka yet and that was even with Alice frequently getting taken out of the party by the plot in the early game.
Meanwhile, we'll slap a Star Swallow on Yuri. This was in a chest back in Keith's Blue Castle. As a refresher, this one makes all attacks a Critical Hit for the next turn. We're almost ready to make the donuts.
At the same time, Margarete is still holding down the fort taking pot shots at Cthulhu's cousin. At this point, Meta-God is down roughly like MAYBE 500 HP out of its 12,000 total. Margarete can only do at most sub-200 damage turn with her physical attacks and calling in an airstrike to space would only raise that to 300 HP of damage tops. She's kind of a third wheel here. But so is anyone else at this juncture, really.
The final piece of the Punching God the Fuck Out Stew is the Seventh Key. This is an item that makes the Judgment Ring spin SEVEN times and will repeat the action taken as many times as the player can make successful hits on the Judgment Ring spins (canceling out if we were to flub it at any point.) This item is virtually impossible to use on its own because the Judgment Ring indicator speeds up with each spin until it's going at roughly one revolution in a quarter of a second. I'm good at QTEs but I'm not THAT good.
But... given all the other items we've poured into Seraphic Radiance Yuri at this point...
Music: Bate Me Bate Me (It's the Berserk version of the final boss theme. RIP.)
To review, Yuri now has a 100% Hit Area on the Judgment Ring, is doing 3X damage, all physical attacks are Critical Hits and the Judgment Ring will spin seven times. We're now going to have Yuri perform a Physical Attack. Which means we get to jam X on the Judgment Ring 21 times in rapid succession. It's very satisfying.
This results in Yuri doing a three-hit combo round of physical attacks in the ballpark of 1,800+ damage...
Seven times. ORA-ORA-ORA-ORA!!
Prolonged horrible inhuman scream/baby's cry.
And thus did Yuri Hyuga become Yuri the Godslayer -- the man who punched a deity the fuck out in a single turn.
Meta-God, or perhaps whatever lingering will Albert Simon had, is nice enough to teleport the party away before Meta-God does what any good deity does after getting hit a sufficient number of times with blunt and/or sharp objects.
Violently explode! Tune in next time for the Ending A of Shadow Hearts!
Video: Episode 84 Highlight Reel (It's the final boss. You should watch it.)