The Let's Play Archive

Shadow Hearts: Covenant

by The Dark Id

Part 11: Episode XI: Memories of Melodies

Episode XI: Memories of Melodies

Music: Old Smudged Map ~ Europe

Back to the world map we go with our destination of Paris, France before us. We could go back to Ardennes Forest if we so desired. It's not locked off like the now German-occupied Domremy or the not particularly welcoming to demon transforming punch hobos Vatican. But there is zero reason to do so at the moment.

But first, an intermission back at the Graveyard! Hey, isn't it kind of weird that little girl Jeanne just vanished after the events at the church in Domremy...? Well...

Music: Holy Mistletoe ~ Graveyard

<approaches Jeanne> Huh?! ...Jeanne?! What're you doing here?
You shouldn't be wandering around here alone. Or... ya know, inside my soul...
Tee hee hee! I came to see you, Yuri!

Far, far away?
Yeah. 'Cause I died, you know.
I'm sorry that probably made everyone really upset.
<rubs neck> Yeah... everyone is super broken up about that...

<steps forward> Before I go far, far away, there was something I just have to check first. That's why I came here.
Something you wanted to check? What?

Jeanne turns and looks toward the black void at the edge of the Graveyard.

<scratches head> Inside my heart?! Don't go digging up anything embarrassing, you hear?
If you find any memories or something of me with any weird looking magazines. Well, that stuff ain't for kids.
Tch. I wasn't born yesterday, Yuri. I only died yesterday.
...Yeah, you keep saying that.

...So what are you looking for?
<turns to Yuri> Ha ha ha! It's a secret! But don't worry. I'll tell you if I find it.

Jeanne starts walking off in the other direction.

Hey! Wait!

The journey of living your life alone? Are you scared?
N-nah, of course. I'm not scared
Maybe a little.
...I see.

Jeanne turns back to Yuri.

And with that Jeanne teleports away. She can do that now as a ghost, apparently. Also yep, I wasn't joking about getting the (somehow) obligatory LP child death out of the way early. That post-church dream sequence wasn't entirely fictional. Jeanne did, in fact, get smoked back there. The game never specifies exactly how she died. Also, nobody seems to particularly acknowledge it or care much at all. Both the old man that Jeanne was fond enough of to call Grandpa and literally her pet wolf have zero input on that kid's death ever. It's really weird.

Anyway, we might see more of Jeanne's ghost in the future. For now, let's actually head to Paris...

Music: ENDS


<nods head> Hmm... Uh-huh... Mmhmm...

I'm starting to suspect Yuri doesn't know how chairs or beds work. Literally, every time the man has been found asleep it's either been sprawled out on the floor or slumped against something. There was exactly one time they showed Yuri in an honest to goodness bed and that was an illustration from the non-canon path where he rescued Alice from her curse in the first game.

The door to the room opens. Blanca and Yuri wake up and get to their feet.

Well, have you learned anything?
<grunts> The Mistletoe is a powerful item...
Oh you don't say? It only cursed and de-leveled me from defeating a god status.
Could I finish talking before the peanut gallery interjects?

Gepetto squats on the floor and opens up a heavy tome.

The church has used it for centuries... hmm... yeah... as a tool... for guiding lost souls. Hmm. Well... That's what it says here, anyway. It's now being kept at the Vatican.
Or it was... Guess this book needs an updated edition now, eh?
So it's going to guide my soul too?
<nods> I suppose so. Mmhm.

<stands straight and crosses arms> That's bull.
It is NOT bull!
Is there some way to fix it?
Hmm. Ehh...

Gepetto stands back up.

Well, you've gotta do something.
I think you're screwed.

OW! Ugh! Stop! Let go! Eek! Ow! No, my nose!
Aww! Ya old man!
No! Let go! Let go of the beard!
Ugh! AAH!

Gepetto and Yuri's roughhousing is interrupted by someone else entering the apartment.

Err, umm...
...Look at that.

NEW Music: Memories of Melodies ~ Peace
(A nice pleasant tune.)

I'm sure wandering around France in a full German Empire's officer uniform probably isn't the hottest idea. But Karin has made some... questionable fashion decisions in the interval since we've arrived in France. Better get used to it since it's her character design for the rest of the game.


Ugh... ohh...

<increased annoyed/embarrassed grunting>

...You guuuuuuys!!


Let's get the obligatory sexually harassing the lady party member anime shit out of our system early. We don't need to slip back into early Shadow Hearts weird perv Yuri again.

NEW Music: Town of Twilight ~ European Town
(You should listen to this. It's probably one of my favorite tracks. It's very cozy.)

<nod> Yeah.
All I could see was stars.
That's all?
<strokes beard> Hey! You mean you saw something else?! What did you see?!
<puts hands on hips> Paradise.
<looks away and shakes fist> You did?! Damn! I couldn't see a thing. Paradise, eh!

Karin approaches the duo. They both quickly scatter from their panty shot chatter and revert to not being dirtbags.

Hmm... I've run out of ideas.
You've gotta be kidding me!
Hey, I looked up the thing. It's not my fault the text said "Yuri is screwed" in bold letters.
Thanks to that miserable Mistletoe, there's something definitely off about my condition.
And I've heard the word "Mistletoe" so much that it's stopped sounding like a real word.
And to top it all off, my body seems to be sending out waves that attract monsters from miles around!
That's all I need is random battles against monsters.
Wasn't that a common occurrence in that region already?
Yeah, but the monsters were just being jerks then. That was fine. I didn't need an ACTUAL lore reason why I'm getting randomly attacked wandering around. Sheesh.

Isn't there anything you can do?
I have one idea. If this old fart can't do anything for me, I'll go ask an even older fart.
What?! Who you calling an "old fart"!
The guy that is older than everyone else in the room combined.
You don't have to be rude about it.
Anyway, this elder fart...

There's this weird old creature I know, living in Wales. This guy is really, really, really old.
Like grandpa Gepetto here is like toddler age compared to this guy. He's that old.
So this guy knows a lot, eh?
Yup. He's been alive for centuries!

His name is Roger Bacon. He's kind of creaky and broken down in places, but we can depend on him!
Like "bacon" is the texture of his skin he's such a shriveled up old mummy.
We get he's quite old, Yuri.

<strokes beard> R-Roger Bacon?! You mean that legendary magician?
<nods> That's the one. I told you about him before, right? Told you I knew him.
Yeah, but I thought you were kidding.
Why would I kid about being friends with a 13th-century Franciscan monk from Wales?
Did you just hear the sentence that came out of your mouth?
...OK. That's fair.

Well, sure! A great magician like Bacon ought to know about that Holy Mistletoe, and about Sapientes Gladio, to boot!
Well, it's settled, then. We're off to Wales, in the U.K.!
Gonna warn you right now. That place, Wales? SUPER frikkin' evil! I'm surprised I never got cursed just hanging out there for a few weeks.

If we just go north to Calais, the port town, that's where the front line is, so it'll be hard to get a ship there.
Oh... right. There's a big war going on. Kinda forgot about that.
It's sort of a big deal.

Le Havre, huh...?
Umm, "Karin," was it? We don't know what kind of danger we're gonna be running into, so you should be heading home, now, little lady.
<shakes head> Look, I trusted that man! And trusting him got my men killed... I can't go back to my country like this. And even if I could go back, they'd probably just find me and kill me.
Also, I think even if I'm not listed as KIA yet it would probably count as desertion by this point. And knowing Nicolai's true nature now I may have helped steal something from the Vatican and that cannot be a good look for my record...
You wanna come with us, then?
But you see what kind of shape I'm in. I can't guarantee your life, you know.

Music: ENDS

I hope you don't mind...

Karin whips a rapier out from behind her back and holds it in the air.

<points at rapier> Ahh... That's from my university days... Hehe.
You can use a sword?
I dabbled in my day.
Could you use that in a fight instead of the weird doll? That thing gives me the creeps!
Never! And watch it, kid! Cornelia is not creepy!
...It's a little, teeny-bit creepy.
It is SUPER creepy!

Karin swipes the sword through the air a few times to show off her skills.

I found it over there. Is it all right if I borrow it?
<exchange a glance>
You're welcome to it, my dear.

The party's conversation is interrupted by something banging on the roof.

Music: Flame of Strain to Blaze ~ Tension

...They've chased us all the way here? Hmph. They sure are stubborn.

It would have been funny if this mook tried to smash through the window and got caught in the frame by his dumbass three foot long claws.

Music: Vicious 1915 ~ Battle in Europe

Time to throw down with the goofy Clawed Soldiers of Sapientus Gladio. Being the biggest jobbers to ever job, they only have 37 HP a piece with a Fire elemental affiliation. Apparently, these guys are straight up supposed to be a homage to the Shocker Combatmen from Kamen Rider (they make the same exact high pitched "YII!" sounds when attacking/dying.)

The Clawed Soldiers are actually able to hit pretty hard, especially given they can link up for their own combos and unleash a devastating three-person string on a single target.

That is... if they were given the chance to actually attack ever. They were not. Especially, given Karin has officially rejoined the party and the fact that Shadow Hearts: Covenant's battle system has expanded the active party from three members to four members able participating in combat.

Music: Result ~ Victory

As such, the Clawed Soldiers were all smoked in two total turns with two more on our side to go before they would have a chance. Guys, you can't waste initiative by making a flashy entrance and then doing nothing with it.

Music: Town of Twilight ~ European Town

Hee hee!
Why the heck didn't you help out in the forest?
I lost my weapon back in Domremy.
You coulda just used a stick or something. Half the things we fought were just angry insects or... I dunno what a snail is... Is that a bug too?
It's a gastropod mollusk.
...Not even gonna pretend to know what that means.

Say, I know! If you're this good with swords, Karin, let me give you this.
What's this?
It's a script, written by the very hand of the famous opera composer, Wagner, himself. There's a scene in there that could be very helpful to someone who wanted to polish up their sword techniques. With your great reflexes, I thought you might be able to learn a new trick or two from it, so I brought it with me.

Gepetto, I'm going to be real and say I'm not exactly seeing the connection between fencing techniques and a 1870s manuscript of a German opera about Norse mythology by Richard Wagner.

But as it turns out, Shadow Hearts: Covenant has many sidequests that of this nature. Other than Crest Magic, most characters also have specialized techniques that are unlocked by sidequests usually involving collecting certain items of note. For Karin, she learns Sword Art techniques for collecting manuscripts of the Der Ring des Nibelungen opera. The Nibelung Prelude has unlocked Heuervelk -- a 16 MP Fire element attack.

Sure, why not? It's not like that is the remotely most peculiar way to unlock abilities.

<shakes head> Think nothing of it. ...But we shouldn't be hanging around relaxing like this. The entrance to the subway should be just up ahead. Let's hurry!

Before we depart Gepetto's Parisian apartment, Yuri automatically notices a shiny trinket on the floor by one of Gepetto's desks and collects it.

...OK? What the hell is a "Mr. Sommelier," you ask? Well, let's just look in the Key Items tab of the menu and find it is...

A trading card with French beefcake porn on it, naturally. What else would it be?

What the fuck, you might be asking yourself now. Well, remember how I said Karin's Wagner manuscripts weren't the most peculiar way to unlock new abilities. Maybe this is related to that statement. We'll slip that into our inventory in the folder labeled "Taxes" or something and move along for now.

While we're in the menus, we can see that Karin has officially rejoined the party. Unfortunately, she hasn't gained any stats since the end of Domremy so she is lagging a tad bit behind the rest of the party at the moment. It's only a couple levels. That'll even out soon enough. This game is much better about having long stretches of party members leaving the party and falling behind on levels than its predecessor.

Karin's profile has also updated. Yeah... I dunno if I'm buying her new outfit being meant for a doll that appears to be a six-year-old girl. I mean, that'd probably explain the world's tightest shirt and the skirt that may as well be a slightly longer belt. The thigh-high adult sized boots seem a bit much for that doll...

Karin's weeb faux-katana has also been replaced by the one she borrowed from Gepetto. It has otherwise the same default stats.

Additionally, all of the Ring Customization items we picked up in her couple of chapters with Nicolai have transferred over to her new party. We could redistribute them if we wanted to but ehh... Karin is one of the better physical offensive characters in the game so she'll be fine keeping what she has equipped.

We can poke around Gepetto's remarkably detailed for a 2004 PS2 game apartment a bit. Not that there is anything to inspect.

There is a chest in here containing the Crocell Crest which provides both a 6 MP Cure spell, which does exactly what you would expect, and an 8 MP Aqua Edge spell that can add the Water element to a character's physical attacks. We're gonna stick that on Gepetto for now. I prefer using him as a utility/healer character. Karin could fill that role as well, but having the one female character always being the healer is a little played out at this point... back in 2004. It's still extremely played out in 2019.

Gepetto, just how lucrative was the puppeteer business that you have retired for years and still retain a spacious loft Paris apartment overlooking the Eiffel Tower?

We were told the subway station was just up ahead. Now you would think that means just going down the street, right? Dead wrong!

Music: Vicious 1915 ~ Battle in Europe

Doing that results in an immediate ambush by more Sapientes Gladio Clawed Soldiers.

Not that it is anything resembling a threat. But, alas we cannot head that way without an infinite supply of Kamen Rider villain knock-offs attacking.

Music: Town of Twilight ~ European Town

Obviously, walking down the street is not what Gepetto meant at all.

He, of course, meant a secret hatch in a run-down empty lot back behind his apartment. What else would he have meant? There's nothing weird about that. Let's just all pile down and make doubly sure no cops are following us. As you do...

Video: Episode 11 Highlight Reel
(All your bickering and titty ogling needs.)

Jeanne Official Art - F