Part 5: Episode V: The Demon of Domremy
Episode V: The Demon of Domremy
Music: Old Smudged Map ~ Europe
Now that our side venture to the Vatican is concluded, we can resume our main mission of sorting out Domremy, France for the German Empire.
Fun fact: Domrémy is a real location in France. It is currently known as Domrémy-la-Pucelle a village in bumbfuck rural France with a population of 126 people according to the 2014 census. The town is noteworthy for being the birthplace of Joan of Arc. Aside from that factoid, Jeanne d'Arc has zero relevance to anything in the plot so don't fret about that part too much. Though don't be surprised if we run into a character named Jeanne in the area.
Before we venture any further, it's worth mentioning that the (still completely pointless) Score system from the first game has returned and been expanded for Shadow Hearts 2. I see they kept Distance Traveled in kilometers this time but it's still completely jacked calculations since Nicolai walked all of around a city block's distance the duration of that tutorial tower.
There are also now per-character stats for Judgment Ring successes and number of battles participated in during the game. I'd be curious to see what those kinds of stats were for the first game. I think Keith Valentine barely ever broke double digits for the number of battles he was active for the whole first game LP playthrough.
I'll probably show off that report card at the beginning of new chapters. But that's going to be a while. Let's stop dawdling and finally get to Domremy before the dang war is over.
NEW Music: In Darkness of a Labyrinth ~ Dungeon (Very moody.)
These men have been idling without food or water at this position for like half a month now.
Good to see Super Mario had three identical brothers to take up the fight after his unfortunate run-in with the demon. There used to be a fourth brother but... Well, look... The rations and other provisions ran dry five days ago. We don't talk about that time...
A guard, eh. Don't worry, I've made the necessary preparations.
Are you going to tell me what that entails?
Karin lets that vague remark slide and turns to her men.
Split up and surround the church!
Lt. Koenig has now taken over duties as the lead character in the field. She's dressed somewhat more appropriate for forest combat than the guy in the all-white Jesus pajamas.
Nothing is getting past ol' Johann here up to and including his superior officer. Funny, I don't remember Karin telling anyone to guard the rear like this. But, there is no getting past the wall that is Johann now.
I suppose we'll just have to continue forward. There is assorted loot to be found in chests or hidden in alcoves only indicated by a question mark thought bubble erupting from Karin's head. But they're all the same generic brand consumables we had with us initially, so we'll just skip mentioning any of 'em and continue our stroll through the woods. There is a mini-map now to help us navigate and it often indicates nearby treasure. So that's a helpful new feature.
Just so you know, the demon seemed impervious to bullets. And grenades...
Hmm... What of a bayonet between the ribs?
It stood nearly two meters taller than most men and could fly, so... I cannot say anyone tried.
Aha! There is our chance!
...OK. Maybe just be on the lookout here for now.
I couldn't say why the game felt a brisk two loading zone hike through the woods was a necessary precursor to reaching the town itself. But soon enough we find ourselves in Domremy proper.
As soon as we enter the town, Samuel here will provide infinite HP/MP restoration. The training wheels are still firmly on the bike at this point. Technically, there were random battles in the woods. But they weren't worth bothering to go over since...
There is this little wrinkle scattered around the village. There are tripwires down nearly every path in Domremy. Unfortunately, Karin was never properly trained in the highly technical art of "jumping" during her time in the military. Indeed, even the concept of stepping over a very obvious trap is a foreign concept to the Deutsches Kaiserreich. So our only recourse is to blunder into it like an idiot. Which results in...
Music: Vicious 1915 ~ Battle in Europe
An ambush by animated wooden children's toys, of course. What else did you expect? A grenade satchel? A spike trap? Pfft! You're thinking too simplemindedly when you could have a Wooden Lion roll up to bite an unsuspecting intruder's knee caps.
Or worse yet, a Ducky Toy banding together for a deadly ice attack. Toy Story goes and gets involved with Kingdom Hearts the one time and now all toys suddenly have knowledge of arcane arts. It's a damn mess, I tell you.
However, since we ARE still firmly in early game with a limited toolset, these magically enhanced toys pose a very little threat to our party and go down in a single physical attack string.
<brushes himself off> They were foolish to face me in combat.
Nicolai says the same sort of thing when smashing an ant he catches crawling on his kitchen counter with a smug sense of satisfaction. He's one of THOSE types.
<places hand on chest> Where is everybody, I wonder?
Not that we have actually checked any of the houses yet, but...
<turns to Karin> They are probably hiding somewhere. I bet that wolf that was howling was warning the villagers.
What?! Demons and wolves protecting a village?
As well as... animated toys? I'm not even sure what to make of that...
Yes, admirable, aren't they? Foolhardy, little volunteers...
Whoever set up these tripwires was clearly not a master of subterfuge. That said I wouldn't be surprised if German casualties are still in the double digits solely from vicious toy surprise attacks. Some poor 18-year-old kid from Hamburg was torn to ribbons by a particularly fierce trio of Ducky Toys. The first World War was a dark page in human history indeed.
Oh, it's you, Commander. I thought I heard some people around, that's all. Is there some other unit besides ours, I wonder?
Nothing suspicious about unnecessary ellipses when an NPC is pondering if a mysterious third party might be present during a military operation. It's probably nothing. Let's just keep heading toward the church and investigate no further.
May be that demon called in his boys.
Stay on your toes, Lieutenant! We lost Private Hans to a particularly barbarous Wooden Lion early this afternoon. There wasn't enough left of him to fit in a lunchbox. Poor boy...
<nods> Thanks for the warning, Sergeant.
The rest of the troops in town wander up to the church.
As we all know, a cleric overrides all structural chain of command when dealing with matters pertaining to a spooky church. That's just plain common sense, people.
Music: Flame of Strain to Blaze ~ Tension
Gunfire and screams immediately spill in from outside. Karin turns around rushes to the door to go help.
Stop! It's dangerous to leave now!
<stops and turns back> But why?!
He has come.
The time has come and so have I!
I... don't know what that means...
I bet the Demon of Domremy sort of regrets its grand entrance smashing through the church stained glass window was wasted on like only one named character and a bunch of nobody NPCs. Now there are multiple primary characters with portraits and everything and the best he can manage is crawling through the same window and doing a superhero pose landing. What a goof.
Show your true self, Demon of Domremy!
The demon strikes a sassy pose and...
Aww, snap! It's your boy -- the Rude Hero himself, Yuri Volte Hyuga! Tune in next time as Shadow Hearts II: Covenant actually begins.
Video: Episode 5 Highlight Reel (You should watch this if you want to see Nicolai get bopped by children's toys.)
Karin Koenig Uniform Concept Art - Guess the whip didn't make the cut. Or having two female characters with whips was a bit much.