The Let's Play Archive

Shadow Hearts

by The Dark Id

Part 87: Episode LXXXVIII: Death March Speedrun

Episode LXXXVII: Death March Speedrun

Music: Nobody Knocks the Door

Welcome back to Neameto Float. It's like we never left! If the title of the update didn't clue you in, we are going to be skipping through a lot of the joint this go around. It's mostly repeated content. And since I no longer feel the need to see every random battle enemy type nor pick up every wayward item, the traversal of the dungeon will go a touch quicker. That's not to say it will actually take that shorter a time on my end. But you don't need to worry about that.

Everything goes exactly the same as last time with Yuri finding a laser force field, doubling back to an earlier room to search for no particular reason and the party getting split up for all of three minutes. This time around Zhuzhen got trapped instead of Alice. Which is a shame, since I was going to let him go be party member and hit the switch since I felt a little bad sandbagging him for never being in the active party again. Oh well. The universe does not want Zhuzhen to get a chance to shine, no matter how briefly.

If you're curious, Zhuzhen being trapped instead changes basically no dialogue. So there's no need to get into specifics for that bizarre design choice of reshuffling the party for two minutes before never doing it again.

Naturally, we need to fight all of the bosses again. I power-leveled the benchwarming characters off-screen so I could show off all their high-end Special Skills. This has also resulted in Yuri being like Level 64.

Which is probably for the best, since we need to offset the fact we no longer have Seraphic Radiance's huge buffs and core stat boosts that made the rather unimpressive bosses on each floor go much quicker. Unfortunately, that means these fights just take twice as long since the primary damage output is falling back to the Amon Fusion and spamming Demon Rays. I brought Keith along this time since his final few Rituals have much better damage output than anything Margarete has in her toolset.

Still... I was not looking forward to doing any fights in this dungeon. Remember, everything had at minimum like 8000 HP.

But once we do beat one of the Float's floor roadblock bosses, we are now treated with a new scene in the Normal Ending timeline. They all universally begin with Alice growing faint and collapsing to her knees. That probably isn't a great sign...

Yuri rushes over to Alice. The rest of the party crowd around her.

I just feel a little faint. That’s all…
You look pale.
And that is saying something since you usually look like a ghost.
Are you sure you’re not feeling ill?

Alice rises back to her feet.


Music: Star Shape

I'm sure that's nothing to worry about. Let's just continue pressing forward. This next area was a huge pain in the ass to traverse when going back and forth Soul Block's boss arena a half dozen times in order to disable every gate and pillage every tantalizing chest. But since we're skipping all that shit this go around, it actually only takes like three minutes to dash straight to Hate.

It's a tad on the demoralizing side to just post three summarizing screenshots and call it a day to shuffle past a ten-minute chunk of your life you'll never get back. But such is the dark underbelly of editing an LP.

Time for another new scene which once more starts with Alice's knees buckling.

Everyone rushes up to Alice. Margarete kneels down to help her.

N-no… Please, not yet… The time is…
Time? What about the time?
I think it was like 6:30 PM when we left...? Dunno how long we've been here. I think it's gonna be a late night.

Margarete helps Alice up.

I… feel short of breath…
<turns to the rest of the party> Go ahead, everyone.
You’re not coming?
I’ll take Alice and follow right behind you. Okay?
<looks to the other party members>
<nods> Okay, I got it. I’ll be waiting.
We ain't gonna go too far ahead. Don't want you to get into some kind of random battle without us.

The boys shuffle off to the next floor.

<shakes head> I’m… don’t have anything to hide…
<turns toward Alice> Come on, spit it out.
In case you have forgotten, I *am* a spy. It is literally my job to get secrets out of other people. And every single one of those people I've gotten secrets from has been a MUCH better liar than you.
You’re just keeping quiet because you don’t want Yuri to worry.
And you're doing a bad job of that. He is already super worried. That is another one that is just godawful at hiding anything. No wonder you two are hooking up...
I don’t have much time left. I received a curse from the Four Masks when I rescued him from his mind’s darkness.

...I will be truthful with you. I have NO idea what that means. But I do know the part where curses are a bad deal.

<nods> Yes. I offered my life to save his. It’s almost time to close the deal.
<clasps hands together> Please, Margarete. Don’t say anything to him. I don’t want him to know.
I feel like he sort of knows but not how to fix it. And I don't know either. These things always sort of worked themselves out on their own before, you know?
There is no ghost or monster we could beat up to fix the curse? That worked last time you were cursed. We can't beat up these masked guys?
I think it is too late for that...

<shakes head> I don’t know how much time I have left, but I want to stay with him until the end…
<walks up to Alice and nods> Okay, I’ll help you. Hang on, Alice! We’re going to get through this together.
<clasps hands together> Thank you, Margarete!

Music: Middle of Nowhere

You know it'd be a real dick move if Alice, your primary healer, just keeled over dead half-way through the final dungeon of the game. It turns out they gave the player 87 varieties of varying curative consumables for a reason. But I don't think any JRPG has the balls to actually do something like that. That aside, this teleporter maze still takes roughly as long as it did the first time through.

And then, of course, there is throwing down with this apparently fruity citrus smelling monstrosity. I would have gone with a stench of rotting meat given the whole skinless goat and whatever is going on with this necks. But what do I know about ancient alien mutants or... whatever the hell classification you'd put this mess under. Anyway, the third boss means the third and final new scene.

I’m okay…
It's probably nothing...

Yuri walks up to Alice and kneels down.

<looks at the other three and motions them to move on>

The rest of the party continue down the path leaving Yuri and Alice alone. Yuri stands up and looks away from Alice.

I’m fine.
I'm a big dumbass about most things and even I know that ain't true...
<turns around> It’s just a little further. Whether we win and go home, or lose and turn to nothing… I’ll always be with you.
<stands up and nods> Yes.

The rest of the party wanders back.

We will make it back alive!

And with that we reach the point of no return. This is going to be way more of a slog without Seraphic Radiance. But, we'll get it done.

Didja miss us? I hope you didn't have that goat flesh pillar outside as the only one to talk to because I've got some bad news...
Oh heavens no. The scapegoat was very evangelistic religious with all its chat. They were tiresome conversations, if I am to be frank. I will not miss them. But I am glad you all have joined me. It is shame the end is so near and you won't be able to see the new world I'll create.
<shakes head> Gonna be real, a world made by some space god and a 400-year old white English guy sounds hella boring.
No. It'll be great! Hush!
If you say so champ. Anyway, I've grown to respect you on some level.
<shrug> I dunno. I gotta lot on my mind lately. Anyway, let's have a good clean fight. No second forms or God fusions or self-destruct sequences if you lose, OK?
Can I transform once?
Tch... Fine! But only if it's at the beginning of the fight.
I agree to those terms, sir.

Well, at least this time around Yuri gets to dunk on Albert Simon with the Fusion he stole off him earlier. That's fun. What isn't fun is the part were this fight took fifteen minutes. Grace, the 2000+ HP heal that Messiah does the first time it gets low on health, is way more demoralizing when it takes like eight minutes to get to that point.

But, with Crucifixes and Will Powers equipped on everyone it's no more difficult than it was the first go around. Just longer to seal the deal. It's not like Shadow Hearts got any more balanced in gameplay just because we're using the really overpowered Fusion over the absurdly overpowered Fusion.

Music: ALICE

We got you last time too. You just went nuh-uh immediately after that fight.
Indeed. That was less than sporting of me. I apologize.
It's cool.
In any event, if you're strong enough to defeat me maybe you stand a chance to defeat God. If that is possible, maybe humanity can keep on living. Even if what is coming next in history is its own unique horror.
Dunno what that means, but OK. It's worth a shot. I can punch God and see what happens.
...So is he gonna show up here or...?
I am sending you to space now. Good luck.
Wait, wh—!?

<in sophisticated British gentleman> I say, barf...

Music: ENDS

Aww hell we're in space!
It's actually the stratosphere, I think.
Nobody cares, nerd!
Crud! Sorry! I'm just excited about being in space.

I do believe God is here.
THAT is God?
I hope those are legs and not... well... you know...

Get down here you all mighty pissboy!! You gotta date with my fist!!

Aww heck... Can God understand English?
English? You hit your head, kid? We've been speaking Mandarin the whole time.
...You mean French, right?
Are you saying you all haven't been speaking Romanian?
What are you all on about? You've definitely been speaking the Queen's tongue.
<nods> Yuri and Halley are right.
Gonna be real... I dunno language names too well. I just heard English thrown around a lot. What do they speak in Japan, again?
That's the one! I think that's what I grew up knowing.
...How has this never come up before?!
We'd been kinda busy.
<frown> This is a puzzling revelation. But perhaps we could discuss it another time? There are... more pressing issues.
Ah right.
<cracks knuckles> Sorry, big guy. Lemme show you the one true language of the fist!!

Music: Imbroglio

This version of events is much less satisfying for one key reason...

Amon is simply not beefy enough to knock Meta-God the fuck out in a single turn using the exact same set-up as last time.

It took two turns. I suppose more of a struggle is more appropriate to a final end of a series conflict and all. But, you know... Yuri just glaring dead-eyed at a deity while rubbing himself all over with and/or scarfing down assorted mystical relics before letting loose is a fun mental image.

Aaaaaand TIME! That concludes our speedrun of the Normal Ending of Shadow Hearts. Tune in next time for the fruits of our labor and the conclusion of the LP as Shadow Hearts comes to a close...

Video: Benchwarmer Special Skill Reel
(This took a while to make so go watch it, ya jerk!)

I said earlier I'd make a video for all the Special Skills of the benchwarmer trio and I did. I caught up on quite a few podcasts grinding out these jag-offs...

For reference, the skills shown are: