The Let's Play Archive

Shadow Hearts: Covenant

by The Dark Id

Part 108: Episode CII: Equivalent Exchange

Episode CII: Equivalent Exchange

Our business is concluded in the Forest of the Wind. For now. One of our optional side quests may see us return there someday. But for now, let's continue our journey and enter Inugami Village.

Music: Field of God-Dog ~ Village of The Dog God

Kurando is taking the lead for this segment. Which is fitting, this being his hometown and all. The game is finally going to give Kurando something to do since other than getting a Fusion, he's just... kind of existed since joining the party. Inugami Village is not very large but it is dense with activities to further a handful of sidequests. The actual villagers themselves have almost nothing interesting to say. There are about three variations of "we sure do live in an isolated village between a forest and a mountain." And the rest are old people complaining it's only old people around nowadays and all the youngens go off to the big city. If I lived next to a forest full of nothing but Tengu and mutant snails with a tendency to occasionally slip into a hell dimension, I'd probably move too.

You may notice a familiar truck in the distance. Let's go say hi to the brothers.

Don't worry about that! It's just nice to meet up again, isn't it? No doubt you want to buy something, right?
I could throw some cash away...
We did just loot the corpse of a weird baby head wizard.
Friend, as long as the money spends, I don't ask questions.

The Magimel Brothers' shop has completely updated its inventory with new weapons and armor for the entire party. Since we are flush with Cash at the moment, we're going to go ahead and deck out the entire party with new weapons and our main team with new armor. We end up dropping 105.5k Cash on kitting out the entire party here. Which had an added benefit:

We reached Rank A in the Magimel Brother's shop's point system which nets us The Gold Card that, as it says, exempts us from discount/mark-up failure penalties and also nets us an attempt at a 50% discount and 25% mark-up on goods. Though the Judgment Wheel challenge from that one is really tight. That said, I sold all of the party's outdated weapons and armor for the 25% mark-up. We started with 433,668 Cash and by the time we decked everyone out and sold all the excess equipment we walked away still having 408,721 Cash by the end. So that was a good bit of transacting.

So let's take a look at what we picked out on our spending spree.

Can I get some self-repairing winter gloves? I got a hole in my good pair. Oh well. These meaty stab punchers grant +182 Physical and +165 Special Power.

A wooden sword made out of an old tree -- somehow sharper Nicholai's sword bathed in the blood of a dark god and a sword used to hunt dragons. If you say so... This is a +174 Physical and +172 Special Attack bonus.

The LEO. When you absolutely, positively need to have your dog bite the SHIT out of someone, accept no substitutes. This paste comes with +172 Physical and +174 Special Attack.

I don't know if I want my weapon of choice to make me increasingly damp. Seems unpleasant. But you can't say no to the +192 Physical and +155 Special Attack power.

But what if it detects the child playing with it as a threat? I have seen some hostile ass children before. Some toddler is going to get annihilated by +166 Physical and +181 Special Damage.

Excuse, me "non-living" puppets? What kind of puppetry is being performed around these parts...? +163 Physical and +184 Special Damage are found here.

Or it just equipped on Lucia so she can cast Cure spells more efficiently as I use her as nothing a healing font in the menus between battles. This bestows +165 Physical and +182 Special Damage.

Now, you might be wondering why I bothered upgrading the bench warmers' weapon. In Gepetto's case, there may be a bonus dungeon he is a mandatory companion for in the end game. Lucia... not so much. The real reason is these are the last weapon upgrades we receive from the Magimel Brothers. The next weapon upgrade for everyone is either in loot in one of the few remaining main quest dungeons or at the end of side quests. And after that, it is everyone's ultimate weapons which... we'll get to at the end game wrap-up.

We do have a couple of pieces of armor to check out before we exit the menu.

+160 Physical and +151 Special Defense for dressing up like a ninja. Who can cosplay as a ninja? Yuri, Kurando, Joachim, Karin, and Blanca only... That's quite the eclectic ninja team collection.

Only one of these is made a year and they're all stuffed in a box in the back of the Magimel Brothers' truck. This heavenly outfit gives +150 Physical and +161 Special Defense. The only ones qualified to wear this sacred mountain dress are Karin, Lucia, and Anastasia, naturally. Oh and Gepetto... I'm not asking questions And... Blanca, as well for some reason. Blanca will be a ninja dog or a shrine maiden wolf. Blanca don't care. Blanca just going to Blanca.

Heading past the merchant brothers and making a clockwise circuit around town, we find this farmer. His tips for food preservation for winters are of no use to us. What is of use are areas of interest to his right and left.

To the left, we find another Silver Angel for Edgar's collection back in Petrograd. We'll tuck that away for a rainy end game day. Now to the right of the farmer, in the very corner of the village, we find an old friend...

How ya doing?
Oh, don't tell me... You split up, right? With your wife... Hey, come on! Cheer up! Sure, it'll be lonely at first, but you can have fun being single, you know! I know it hurts to think it wasn't meant to be with Miyabi, but...
I'm sure she'll let you see the kid every other weekend and hopefully, the Ring Soul gig pays enough to cover child support. And...
Nooooo! It's not that!
W-what then?! Don't scare me like that!
You didn't go and take a mistress behind her back as revenge, did you? That is not the way to play this out, bud.
No. It's nothing like that!

Miyabi... Miyabi gave me this...
What is it?
This! Look! This sweater! It's cashmere! See!
I can't see anything! How can I when you're glowing like that?! Your whole body's on fire!
How do you even fit a sweater on there? Do you have to put one ring in at a time like arms in sleeves...?
Ah, yeah! Of course. I really wanted you to see it too! Oh, well, never mind. I'm just so happy! Miyabi wanted to surprise me with it on my birthday, so she's secretly been working at a store the whole time! She's amazing, huh?! It's like something out of a movie, don't you think?
Yeah, that'd be a real thriller. Secretly getting a part-time job. Edge of my seat stuff...
I'm so lucky!
Oh... I was really worried for a while! I'm glad it worked out.
Yeah, thanks for your support. So, it's back to work, I guess! This I entrust to you... Just wanna share the joy!
Okay, thanks.

I don't have the heart to tell him I've stopped bothering to equip these on the bench warmer characters.

Okay, I've gotta get back. I thought I'd take a present for Miyabi, but what should I get...?
Yeah, I'm not really the gift-giving type unless I'm making some euphemism about gifting someone my fist. And I punch them.
I know! Creme caramel! She loves that! If you put a tiny bit of soy sauce on it, it tastes like sea urchins! Miyabi taught me that. Ever since I discovered it, I can't get enough either! You should try it!
No, thanks! It sounds gross!
Oh, well. See you!

How did we end up marriage counselors for an upgrade delivery service spirit?
Speak for yourself. I try to keep quiet during these encounters for a reason.

Right next to Ring Soul's location we find another magic crest. Sure, I'll take another Cure All. That's a handy trick.

Looping back around to the entrance of the village, we find a well. Hidden in it is the sixth and final Soul Drop in the game.

Music: Holy Mistletoe ~ Graveyard

No sense in holding onto it. We may as well complete our set of Level 3 Fusions. All that is left is the Earth stone. I don't even remember the last time we fought a Wind elemental boss that we'd use an Earth Fusion to counter against. Certainly no one on Disc 2 thus far. Actually, getting curious now and checking the only two Wind elemental bosses we've fought the entire game was that giant frog Veronica summoned in the Wine Cellar and Veronica's two-headed hell hound we fought on St. Marguerite Island. So, yeah. Not a lot of reason to have upgraded the Earth Fusion set.

Music: Vicious 1915 ~ Battle in Europe

The Earth guardian spirit, Mocos, takes SLIGHTLY longer to immediately obliterate than its last couple of predecessors solely due to it casting a barrier on itself and reducing Yuri's physical attack output. And by that I mean it took three rounds to kill it instead of two. And it is still incapable of doing more than 1 HP of damage per strike.

At least we'll never have to waste time with these filler creatures any longer. That's the last of 'em.

Music: Holy Mistletoe ~ Graveyard

The power... is YOURS!

And you don't even want to know the calamity that will shatter the land if he ever gets aroused. That's the big one waiting to happen. Stat wise, at the base level we have:

Strong and sturdy. Got it. On the special abilities front, over its predecessor, Sorm, it now possesses:
Nothing too impressive here. But hey, we're now fully stocked in Level 3 Fusions. That's not to say we've obtained all the Fusions in the game. But that, as with many things, is for another day.

Music: Field of God-Dog ~ Village of The Dog God

Back to the realm of the living. Just past the Magimel Bros' Emporium, we find a crossroads at the end of town. The path up the stairs leads to a currently inaccessible area. So we'll skip that for now. The critical path is to the right. However, there is one last item of note in the main area of Inugami Village.

There is a tree right next to the Magimels' truck and a Save Point. If we interact with it, we find...

<Becomes Lottery Member 6> Let's get on with it, then! Let the good times roll! Come on, let's dance!
I'm going to gamble with a bug. I must be losing it...
I am a fully accredited and licensed member of the Lottery Guild. It is all on the level. Now, let's dance!

I'll dance!

It's just a Small Ring for this one. Not too much trouble as long as your eyesight isn't shot. Everyone staring at screens all the time stuck inside during quarantine the past year is probably going to cause a big uptick in eyesight issues, isn't it...

Our top-billed prize is this accessory which has a paltry +2 Physical Attack. But more importantly, it increases the wearer's total SP by 20%. Not too shabby.

Gimme a call anytime for the lottery. Oh, and I like weddings too!
I'm also an ordained minister.
Of course you are.
Dance, dance!

Heading down the path past the ladybug lottery broker, we come upon a somewhat out-of-place stone idol. Everyone else got a weapon upgrade... except Joachim. Let's go fix that.

Music: Gathering God ~ Thrill

<clenches fist> Hmm. Nice clay idol...
Here we go again.
What do you mean?
He's going to pick that thing up and walk away with it to go hit monsters.

Absolutely not! This is one of my village's precious artifacts!
I thought you just asked what it was?
Just because I do not know WHAT it is doesn't disqualify it from being a sacred relic of the village.

What does its deep and knowing look want to tell us...?
For you to get your head examined?

<shakes head> Don't waste your breath, Kurando.
He's already stolen it.

It also seems to have grown stone arms to do a sassy pose. Joachim's newest bludgeon provides +184 Physical and +163 Special damage.

My body burns with the raw emotion of the men of the age of mythology!

Joachim wanders off filled with reinvigorated muscle power. Kurando falls to his knee in despair.

Sorry 'bout that, Kurando. I should've warned you about him...
He just kind of does that sometimes. At least he got rid of that frozen fish. That thing was starting to stink to high heaven.
Don't worry about it. Let's get going before he digs up a coffin to hit people with or something next.

Music: Field of God-Dog ~ Village of The Dog God

Somehow, we still aren't done tackling sidequest forward progression in this tiny village. The cavern ahead will trigger the next plot point. We'll be heading there next update. What we want to do first is talk to the man standing outside the cavern. Remember the trio of Trading quest dead ends we hit recently? Well, THIS guy is the one we actually want to trade with next to proceed with the quest correctly.

No! I was just given this thing! Me, a ventriloquist?! Ha ha!
...I can barely use an indoor volume voice half the time.
Hmm... That gives me an idea! I could use an animal doll as my puppet rather than a normal one... Or maybe even two dolls together, acting out a kind of play... Yeah! That's a brilliant idea!
You think? It doesn't sound all that great...
Why are old men with dolls so weird about it...?
Can I have that doll of yours? Please! If I'm successful, I could be a big star one day!
Okay. Try and liven up your act!
I'm sure someone out there is into a guy pretending to make a puppet talk to a panda doll. I don't want to meet them, but you know... They probably exist. Probably.
Thanks! If it works out, you'll be the first one I show! It'll be good, I can promise you that! I must give you something back... Um... Sorry, this is all I've got. Still, you should have it.
Uhh... thanks... You uhh... shouldn't have... Like really. You shouldn't have.

I have many questions about this ventriloquist's lifestyle...

But they shall have to be answered another day. Tune in next time as we go meet Kurando's mom. Nothing makes a good first impression like a vagabond wandering into your shrine with a stolen rancid offering of rice.

Inugami Village Concept Art - Not pictured, a creep throwing his voice holding a bowl full of spoiled food and inquiring about dolls.