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Shadow Hearts: Covenant

by The Dark Id

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Original Thread: Shadow Hearts: Covenant - Reach Out and Punch Someone



"Awrooo awrooooooo!!" (Wolf Howl) - Unknown Good Boy


What is Shadow Hearts: Covenant?
Shadow Hearts: Covenant, also known as Shadow Hearts 2, is a JRPG by Nautilus (formerly Sacnoth, they rebranded in the interval between games) released in 2004 for the Sony PlayStation 2. Unlike the first Shadow Hearts, which was a somewhat tenuous sequel to its predecessor, Koudelka, Shadow Hearts: Covenant is a very direct sequel continuing the story of the rude hero punchboy, Yuri Volte Hyuga a year after the conclusion of the events of Shadow Hearts. You can find a full LP of the original Shadow Hearts that I'd recommend reading through right over here.

Unlike the transition from Shadow Hearts to Koudelka, where they basically threw out everything and made a completely different game, Shadow Hearts 2 is a clear evolution on what worked and didn't work in the original game and makes steps to improve the experience. Shockingly enough, it is a WAY better actual game as a result. Battles are hugely improved and far more engaging (Fusions are actually a balanced mechanic and not the one optimal win button one at any point), it actually looks like a PS2 title and not a ported PS1 game. They got back a budget for voice-acted cutscenes again. It's a better game in almost every single way. Shadow Hearts 1 is a game I'd recommend with several caveats. Meanwhile, Shadow Hearts: Covenant I'd say is actually a really solid ass game and one of the better JRPGs of that console cycle. It still has some problems, don't get me wrong. Ain't no such thing as a perfect game. But they're more of the minor nitpicky bits or "boy this sure was a game made in the mid-aughts" sort of... questionable content stuff and not the game falling apart at the seams like parts of the original game had going for it. All of which we'll get to later.

Do I need to have played/seen an LP of the previous games to enjoy Shadow Hearts: Covenant?
You can safely ignore Koudelka at this point. Absolutely nothing from that, outside of a single reoccurring character, is relevant to the rest of the series. You may at least want to brush up on the plot of Shadow Hearts 1. At the very least, how it ended is quite important. Covenant has mostly a new cast, outside of the punchman hobo protagonist Yuri and a handful of returning characters and small cameos. But the game actually does go out of its way to recap previous events when they pop up, so if you want to skip my previous LP like a huge jerk, you'll probably be fine.

How many things get punched in this game?
Many strong men await.

What was with the huge break in the LP?!
My daughter died. Quite suddenly. I was a WEE bit depressed and not good for doing this thing. I'm still kind of significantly am depressed. But let's try to get it together at least a little, eh?!

:siren: Spoiler tags! :siren:

Shadows Hearts: Covenant is nearly a fifteen-year-old game at this point. And while it reviewed quite well, it still sold... not great and I doubt tons of folk have played through it. So please be considerate and use spoiler tags for events and gameplay the LP has not yet reached! Thanks!

Updates live here. What more do you want, you louse?

Episode I: Domremy
Episode II: The Great War

Episode III: Stat Chat 1915
Episode IV: Glint of Light

Episode V: The Demon of Domremy
Episode VI: Godslayer

Episode VII: Bonfire
Episode VIII: Crestfallen
Episode IX: Grave Consequences
Episode X: Arachne

Episode XI: Memories of Melodies
Episode XII: Wolf Bout
Episode XIII: Dear, My Dressmaker
Episode XIV: Tight Fit
Episode XV: Minecart Madness

Episode XVI: The Bandit of Le Havre
Episode XVII: Grand Papillon - Friend of All Children!

Episode XVIII: Wino ~Redux~
Episode XIX: Solomon
Episode XX: Busta Wolf

Episode XXI: Sweet Chin Music
Episode XXII: The Great Teacher
Episode XXIII: Grand Slam

Episode XXIV: Down and Brown
Episode XXV: Grimlock

Episode XXVI: Aberystwyth Again
Episode XXVII: The Explorer

Episode XXVIII: Staring Ettiquite
Episode XXIX: Firenze

Episode XXX: Zodiac
Episode XXXI: I Think I'm A Negative But I'm Not Positive
Episode XXXII: Andre the Giant

Episode XXXIII: A Typical Bad-Guy Headquarters
Episode XXXIV: Janus or The Trouble with Tarot
Episode XXXV: Book Burner

Episode XXXVI: Block Head
Episode XXXVII: Gazing at a Bad Idea
Episode XXXVII-2: Solomon Again
Guest Update I: Director's Cut Content - Nakhásh Temple

Episode XXXVIII: Film Festival

Episode XXXIX: A Fragrant Perfume
Episode XL: Press the Select Button to Submit Again
Episode XL-2: Don't Use Auto-Fire or I'll Know!
Episode XLI: Good Boy Sneaking Mission
Episode XLII: The Key to Success
Episode XLII: The Key to Success (Part 2)
Episode XLIII: Godhand
Episode XLIV: Bacon Tech

Episode XLV: And Then On to Russia
Episode XLVI: Petrograd Patrol
Episode XLVII: Dances With Wolves
Episode XLVIII: A Royal Audience
Episode XLIX: Puppet Show
Episode L: Victor's Loss
Episode LI: Gleeful Laughter
Episode LII: Star Wolf

Episode LIII: Solomon's Trials
Episode LIV: My Old Friend...
Episode LV: Old Man, Hold Hand
Guest Update II: Director's Cut Content - Crema e Viola
Episode LVI: The Mirror Castle
Episode LVII: Your True Home
Episode LVIII: Remorse

Episode LIX: Tsar
Episode LX: Gallery of the Dead
Episode LXI: The Cyrillic Shuffle
Episode LXII: We Brought Receipts, Bitch!
Episode LXIII: The Night Queen
Episode LXIV: A Monster Punch
Episode LXV: The Third Devilman
Episode LXVI: Sliding Into Your DMs
Guest Update III - Director's Cut Content: Beautiful Fool

Episode LXVII: Soul Drop
Episode LXVIII: Deathtron Hammer
Episode LXIX: A Nice Trial
Episode LXX: Grey Worm
Episode LXXI: Bite Me
Episode LXXII: Asmodeus

Episode LXXIII: Fort of Regrets
Episode LXXIV: Karin Koenig ~ Ghost Whisperer
Episode LXXV: Trial of the Monk
Episode LXXVI: But Steel is Heavier Than Feathers...
Episode LXXVII: Breaking Quarantine
Episode LXXVIII: Astaroth

Episode LXXIX: The Young Swordsman
Episode LXXX: Wrong Neighborhood
Episode LXXXI: A Rough Morning
Episode LXXXII: A Snowball's Chance

Episode LXXXIII: Picking Teams
Episode LXXXIV: The Security Key Conundrum
Episode LXXXV: On the Intersection of Japanese Politics, Super Science and Wizards

Episode LXXXVI: Trials of the Mutant Apes
Episode LXXXVII: Do You Have Your Passport?

Episode LXXXVIII: Pop Quiz
Episode LXXXIX: Otherworldly Encounters
Episode XC: In Memory
Episode XCI: Animals Were Harmed in the Making of This Update

Episode XCII: New Japan Pro-Wrestling
Episode XCIII: Sunset Park
Episode XCIV: Unlikely Alliance
Episode XCV: Loose Lips Sink Ships

Episode XCVI: Relationship Status: It's Complicated
Episode XCVII: The Death of Ego
Episode XCVIII: Jumping Jehoshaphat!
Episode XCIX: Downtime

Episode C: Purgatory
Episode CII: Baby Head

Episode CII: Equivalent Exchange
Episode CIII: Mom, You're Embarrassing Me!
Episode CIV: Your Nose and Your Eyes

Episode CV: The Final Ring
Episode CVI: The Fallen Angel Runs Wild
Episode CVII: Faith or Fate

Episode CVIII: Mecha Lord
Episode CIX: Kick Based Guilt Trip
Episode CX: Mistakes of the Past

Episode CXI: Soft-Looking Tush
Episode CXII: The Peach Bat
Episode CXIII: Trial of the Believer
Episode CXIV: Cross
Episode CXV: Checkmate
Episode CXVI: Boss Baby

Episode CXVII: Transience
Episode CXVIII: The Oath
Episode CXIX: You Think Big

The Neam Ruins -
Episode CXX: The Bad Guy
Episode CXXI: Queen's Guardian
Episode CXXII: Brought to You by Square Space

Tiffauges Castle -
Episode CXXIII: Ghosts, Spies and Little Guys
Episode CXXIV: Château de Tiffauges

The Doll House -
Episode CXXV: Getting Armored Up
Episode CXXVI: The Doll House - Eastern Branch
Episode CXXVII: Crimson Thread

The Dog Shrine -
Episode CXXVIII: Mark of the Wolves
Episode CXXIX: Dog Days

The Black Forest -
Episode CXXX: Jutendouji
Episode CXXXI: On Further Keys and Trials of Solomon
Episode CXXXII: The Black Forest Flowers
Episode CXXXIII: Mind the Gaap

The Man Festival -
Episode CXXXIV: Solomon the Embodiment of the Creator
Episode CXXXV: The Challenge
Episode CXXXVI: Many Strong Men Await
Episode CXXXVII: Their Tears... Their Suffering...
Episode CXXXVIII: The Great Question

One Last Thing... -
Episode CXXXIX: Dark Seraphim
Episode CXL: King Solomon

Episode CXLI: It Won't Be Long Now...
Episode CXLII: Wind and Thunder

Episode CXLIII: Suddenly Susano-O
Episode CXLIV: Covenant
Episode CXLV: Shadow Hearts
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