Part 10: Episode X: ArachneEpisode X: Arachne
Welp. So much for getting out of the forest before sundown with Yuri off in metaphysical dreamscape la-la land for the time being... While he's sorting out his mental baggage, we return to Gepetto and Karin hanging out by yet another bonfire.
Is he human? Or maybe...
Or some sort of man-devil or has a devilish trigger of some sort...?
Hehehe. Eh, he's human. Ehh... But he's a strange one, all right.
I once found him trying to fry an eggshell.
He told me he heard egg whites were good for you. Thought they were talking about the shell. I tell ya, the boy is a disaster at taking care of himself. If he couldn't fight so well I'd call him a lost cause.
Karin sits down at the fire.
Have you been with him for long?
Hmm? Well, over half a year now, near as I can recall...
I forget the exact date. It was just after that Austrian Archduke was assassinated, roundabouts.
See, it sounds real bad when you use that as a date reference point...
He suddenly appeared one day along with my late wife's niece.
Your wife's... niece?
I suppose that'd make me her uncle-in-law. But I don't like the idea of being anyone's uncle. Too old sounding and weird a title for my tastes.
Hmm... she was more like my own daughter. But unfortunately, she was already dead when he arrived. She and Yuri were lovers... He dug her grave with his own hands.
<sigh> We've both lost people in our lives. We just try to live as best as we can. Hmm? Hehe.
With his own hands... Wow.
Music: Flame of Strain to Blaze ~ Tension
<grunts> Ahh... ugh...
Yuri's stirring wakes Karin up. She wisely backs up from the guy that can turn into an eight-foot tall demon on command.
<continued unpleasant groaning>
<shakes Gepetto awake>
Eh? What's going on?
I was just getting to the good part. The size of the jugs on kangarwha?!
Yuri surges with energy from his talisman and then proceeds to take another dirt nap. I think he just acquired the Karyl Fusion on the other side.
Gepetto and Karin rush up to Yuri.
What's happening to him?
Hey, Yuri! What is it?
...Is that normal?
What do you think?!
Why would you think that is normal?!
I don't know! This is all new to me!
OK. A giant spider is one thing. Putting a nose on a giant spider? Not a fan. No sir... Not a fan at all. And that is not even getting into the fingernails on the end of its legs. That's a bad scene all around.
No! Malice is pouring out of his body... It's formed into a monster!
The creature starts stomping toward the party. Karin runs up to the comatose Yuri and starts shaking him.
<snores> Ngh... N-Not yet... C'mon... Just f-five more... min...utes mom...
Music: Glint of Light ~ Mid Boss in Europe
With that, we're thrust straight into the second boss battle of the game -- Arachne. This nose sporting hell spider is an Earth elemental with 300 HP, making it tougher than every previous enemy we've faced combined health pool wise. Which says less for it and more the pitiful amount of HP everything has been blessed with up to this point in the game.
The name Arachne comes from Greek mythology (I mean it literally means "spider" in Greek too, but...)
Wikipedia on Arachne posted:
Click here for more info
In Greek mythology (and later Roman mythology), Arachne was a talented mortal weaver who challenged Athena, goddess of wisdom and crafts, to a weaving contest; this hubris resulted in her being transformed into a spider. There are many versions of the story's weaving contest, with each saying that one or the other won.
Most versions boil down to Athena being a salty asshole god and turning the lady into a spider for getting uppity. It feels like Athena gets a big pass as being slightly chiller that most gods in a lot of modern stuff referencing Greek mythology. But nah... She was a huge shithead like most of the rest of them.
Back on task, to show off its Earth elemental abilities, Arachne immediately blasts Yuri awake with Crag -- a magical attack that does a good 33 HP of damage to our rude hero. Thankfully, it VERY rarely performs this attack since while Yuri only loses around half his HP from that technique, that's enough to put poor Gepetto or Blanca in critical status (Blanca taking additional damage since he's a Wind elemental good boy.)
Arachne's only other attack is a three string combo that hits for 25-30 HP of damage but also potentially inflicts the Poison status effect. This again is enough for anyone to be concerned about at this early stage of the game.
Now that we've had our first romp in the Graveyard, Yuri once again has access to his Harmonixer Fusion abilities. Or at least one of 'em. Using a Fusion drains from Yuri's (way larger than everyone else combined) Sanity Point pool. All the initial numbers in Shadow Hearts II are much smaller than they were in the opening hours of the original game. As such, instead of draining like a third of Yuri's total SP using a Fusion it is only a mere three Sanity Points out of his total 26 SP. Yuri also seems to have gotten less stable with using his Fusions again and is back to looking like he has to pass a kidney stone every time he transforms.
We could go straight on the offensive with the newly buffed Karyl Fusion. Or we could play it smart by tossing a handful of buffing spices on Yuri before letting loose. For instance, we can use his Rage technique to buff his Physical Attack by a healthy amount.
And if you'll recall, we gave Blanca Air Edge which can be used on Yuri to give him Wind elemental punches which work wonders against this Earth boss. After that, we'll have Yuri go on the offensive with Physical Attacks and Blanca back him up with Gale Spin magic and physicals too once he runs out of MP.
Meanwhile, we'll just have Gepetto spam the Hail Break spell since he's rather worthless otherwise with his single physical strike. It's worth mentioning that not all magic attacks cast the same way. The wind spell we gave Blanca and the Light spell Nicolai was carrying back when he was playable were both limited range AOE attacks that exploded from a target's position. Hail Break, on the other hand, actually has a path it will cruise along damaging all enemies in a line between it and the target before exploding in a sizable AOE. So that can result in some extra collateral damage against the enemy if some chump happens to be in the path of the spell. Not that it will help us here against this big goofy bruiser. But it's good to know for the future.
There isn't a lot more all told to be said about Arachne. It is a REMARKABLY slow enemy. Other than having the initiative at the very beginning of the fight, it only took roughly one attack turn for every character in our party getting two rounds of attacking.
Needless to say, these numbers do not work in Arachne's favor...
Music: Result ~ Victory
Haha! We sure showed them!
That's a wrap on the boss of Ardennes Forest. We get some extra Cash for doing a decent Combo to it during the battle and also waxing it after it got only two attack turns (the opening attack does not count.)
Additional, we picked up another Magic Crest. This time it grants the Surge magical ability which can buff Special Attack Power (read: magic.) Gotta spend magic to make magic, you know? I'm sure a wizard somewhere said that once.
We also got lucky and got a rare drop of a ring add-on that potentially will poison enemies on attack. That could unreliably come in handy.
And naturally, everyone leveled up from that boss battle. The lack of gaining a full bar of health after leveling is really egregious after a major fight. Even if everyone did flawlessly in the clash without taking a single hit, it still makes it look like everyone took a ton of damage just thanks to the HP caps going up. Oh well, I'm sure we'll find a place to heal soon enough.
<looks around confused> What's going on...?!
<points at Yuri> That thing just jumped out from inside you. Mmm-hmm.
That was worse than the first time I let you swipe some of my hooch before going to bed.
I'm sorry about that. It's all because of that weird "holy" stick thing. The monster souls inside me are starting to get a bit unruly.
I'll tell the kids to keep it down next time.
Yeah. He's got a strange power. Hmph. Whenever he beats a monster, he takes their souls and then can fuse with them.
I mean... that's not EXACTLY how it works. It's not like I can punch a random wolf out and then suddenly turn into a wolf.
Don't worry. I wouldn't even try to punch a wolf.
Yes, OK. Maybe I've punched a few wolves in the past... But they were all bad!
Look, the point is...
I can change into a monster, okay?
Gonna be real... That Fusion back against that spider thing? It wasn't my best work. I know I just kind of looked like a guy with a tan in armor that lifts a lot of weights. That lousy curse has me a little off my game...
<crosses arms and looks suspiciously at Yuri> ......
Huh... Hmph. <stretches and walks off>
Anyway, it's good we're OK. Heh. Let's get out of this forest before something else happens.
<turns back to Karin and nods before walking off> Hm.
Karin briefly protests and lingers behind. But a growl in the distance quickly challenges her resolve and she runs off to catch up with the others. And so ends our time in Ardennes Forest. Tune in next time as our story continues with awful fashion decisions, questionable collection quests, dog fights and more in the mean streets of Paris as Shadow Hearts: Covenant continues!
Technically, this is Domremy and Ardennes Forest's entries rolled into one. But there was no real breakpoint between those two areas. So let's just get 'em out of the way now.
MC Moe, Jdog and Lil Sqwalk put out the freshest beats of Summer 1915.
That's a hell of a robust spring.
I feel like there is an upper limit to this snail's skull shell growth potential before it just becomes a homeless slug bum.
It's a very small springboard between photosynthesis and man-eating in the plant kingdom. Also adherence to the laws of gravity.
Aww. I didn't even notice its little cartoon snake tongue. That looks like an enemy from Donkey Kong Country.
We made this creature full of poisonous sacks. No, we didn't make it immune to said poison. Who'd want that?
1915 Leon S. Kennedy was a huge dick.
Lenny has his faults but the man clocks in at 9:00 AM on the dot each morning and puts in the hours every day with no complaints.
Video: Episode 10 Highlight Reel (You should watch this.)