Part 118: Episode CXII: The Peach BatEpisode CXII: The Peach Bat
Back to the Euro-Tour revisit of sidequest content. Our next stop on the list is Le Havre where we met everyone's favorite wrestler vampire, Joachim. We have a couple of items of content here.
Music: Town of Twilight ~ European Town
First up, there is another failure point for the oddly complex Trading sidequest by talking to a far out of the way hobo in the ass-end of Le Havre in an area we'd have otherwise no reason to ever visit other than getting a treasure chest with some long-obsolete Wool Coat armor during our first visit.
Food? Not really, only this moldy old rice. Maybe that's what you can smell.
I am compelled to hold onto it. There is no discard option. My life is falling rapidly out of my control by unknown forces or curses.
Moldy rice?! That's my favorite! Let me have it, pleeeease!
Okay, but you'll be in the bathroom!
Nonsense, lad. I'll shit off the edge of the dock. I'm homeless!
I'm not gonna dive into your business, guy.
Oh, I haven't had rice for ages! Here, you have this. There's no point in me hanging on to it. Tasty! This moldy rice is real tasty! It's the best! So sticky, but a little powdery too...
Just visit rural Japan and talk to strangers if you ever want more moldy rice.
Will do, good sir!
And we have another failure point of the Trading quest which merely results in another Fifth Key. We just got a Seventh Key in the last side quest and that wasn't even the last step to it. It's not even a decent reward, Extremely Poor Mahone. You lousy bum. I'm glad you starve with no moldy rice in this timeline.
There is an actual new sidequest available in Le Havre. It requires returning to Granny Lot's bar with Joachim in our active party.
Hey, they're back!
Welcome home, Joachim!
Hello, kids! Have you been good! Did you miss me?
Yeah! But a new bat came, so we didn't miss you too much!
<crosses arms> Huh? A new bat...?
That's right. We found it half-dead in front of the tavern. Me and John have been nursing it back to health. And you know what? That bat told me it's been out looking for you, Joachim, for a long time!
Looking for me...?
Do you know this bat?
Know it? Well, I... Um... What color is this bat, exactly? Was it... silver? Or maybe...
Was it using a rapier and seldom speaking up in conversations?
...Why does that sound weirdly familiar?
A pink bat flies over above the kids.
I finally found you, big brother!
Oh, man! This guy's got a sister?!
After that fight, you left the castle and never came back. I've been worried! And it's been awful since you left... Ever since you broke that Demon Sword, big brother Keith hasn't stopped laughing. I can't get any sleep!
You *know* he's a bored vampire!
...Why does this all sound kinda familiar? Blanking...
Th-that was an accident! I was pretending to be a bad-guy wrestler, and it just bent! It wasn't my fault! They just don't make swords like they used to...!
He barely earned Demon/Magic Sword, Tyrving from that optional boss fight to begin with. One more round and he would have been finished!
Just save it.
Ha ha ha! You mean you're nothing but a big ol' runaway?
Shaddup! Just leave me alone!
Joachim, aren't you ever coming back home? Why don't you just make up with Keith and come back to your coffin?
Keith...? Did I know a Keith at some point? Huh... Do you remember a Keith, Karin?
I-I want to go home, but... But I'm a champion of justice now! I have to be able to hold my head up in front of my fans, don't I?!
You've been watching too much TV, bro! haven't you had enough of playing hero?
Just leave me alone! This is the path I chose!
It's been close to a year now.
Time is convoluted!
Remember how little brother Keith said he wanted to follow Yuri to the very end? Well, I understand how he felt. I can't waste my life. I've got to pour some energy into it, do something worthwhile! I've been alive for hundreds of years, but, right now, this is the first time I finally feel really alive!
Wait... Keith the VAMPIRE guy from Romania?! That's your brother?!
...Yes, of course.
You... didn't realize that...?
I am a Romanian vampire with the same surname of Valentine.
That doesn't narrow it down!
We met in your previous adventure.
I was the golden bat. A form I have frequently morphed into...
I challenged my brother, Keith, in the basement of Blue Castle for the Demon Sword, Tyrving.
Translations are rarely consistent.
Yeah, totally spaced out for that. I'm kinda checked out if I don't get to punch something...
Gee, Joachim... I always thought you were a big dummy, but somehow... you sound pretty heroic to me right now... <flies into Joachim's face>
Gaaahhh!! What do you think you're doing?!
Thus we earn Keith's penultimate weapon: The Dark Tower -- a tiny skyscraper filled with little office workers. It gives Joachim +198 Physical and +174 Special Attack and we're automatically equipped with it. But the only way we can hold onto it is to accept the following challenge...
It's a present! It makes noise if you shake it, 'cause there are little people working in that building! And they are facing a deadline right now, you know, so they're really irritable. It makes 'em really fierce in battle!
The deadline crunch is real and they have to ship by next month. Many of them are sleeping under their desks to maintain the status quo.
Ghastly business practices!
I don't make the rules.
What in the world is this girl talking about...? Anyway, I don't know if I'm too thrilled getting this weapon...
This seems like a union striking waiting to happen.
Pah. The little people council will fire the lot of them before they ever get the chance to unionize.
And now it's time to test your skills! I have to make sure you're ready for that weapon, you know.
What?! I have to fight you?
Of course! And I'm really good too! If you lose, it's game over, you know! In the fifth turn, I'm going to hit you with a really deadly blow, so plan your strategy carefully. Okay, here we go!
Fine. I'll give it my best shot!
Music: Vicious 1915 ~ Battle in Europe
And so we are thrown into a battle with the Peach Bat. Who crops up again as a party member in Shadow Hearts: From the New World, Hildegard Valentine, much like Joachim the Golden Bat does in this game. This fight is quite similar to the Golden Bat fight to get Keith Valentine's ultimate weapon from the endgame of Shadow Hearts 1.
The Peach Bat has 777 HP and is of the Earth Element like the other Valentine siblings. All she does initially per turn is buff herself with Energy Charge. The biggest difference in this fight to the one from Shadow Hearts 1?
She's full of shit with giving Joachim five turns before attacking. It's only four turns and she will instant kill Joachim and it is, in fact, a real Game Over if she does so.
The counter to this is to just burn one of those Third Key items we have been stocking up and have Joachim flip out. He can easily take out his sister in a single round if doing so.
Doing so gives Joachim a nice chunk of Experience Points, a decent payout, and a Lottery Ticket for good measure. Plus we get to keep the gnome office building for Joachim to use in battle.
Music: Town of Twilight ~ European Town
Well, I guess this is goodbye. I like it here though, so I think I'll be staying for a while.
It'd be a pain in the butt to fly all the way back to Romania. Plus, Keith keeps avoiding cleaning up all of those wolf corpses around the castle estate. It's really annoying. That monster dog mayor rotting in Bistriz is REALLY starting to stink up the place.
The Peach Bat flies off.
Hey! Sis! She said the fifth turn, but she would have hit me in the fourth! My sister...
No sense of honor or proper caloric intake with snacks.
It's that strange building near Shinagawa Station in Tokyo... You want it?
Not in the least.
In fact kinda sketched out there's a bunch of little dudes in some office building you're lugging around and hitting people with.
This is a Valentine family tradition!
...You do you, man.
Eek! Eek! Hee hee hee! Little human boys sure are cute!
Try not to suck the kid's blood or anything. It's bad enough he doesn't have a character portrait.
...For now. But only because you're friends with my brothers.
Take care, Joachim. We'll be waiting for you!
And that concludes our business in Le Havre for now. We may return there later for one more assignment. But now our focus turns to the only Wine Cellar in all of 1915 France. Do you recall that mini-game that was matching crates in the back of this nothing-burger of a dungeon? Well, if not too bad. It has a second phase to it now.
Music: In Darkness of a Labyrinth ~ Dungeon
It costs 500 Cash to play this time. There are sixteen treasure chests now, but you get four chances to win! And of course, the first person to open them all gets a special prize this time too. So what do you say, Mister?
It's 500 Cash, but I'll do it!
That's like punching one cat worth of Cash.
All right! You've got four chances! Let's play Lucky Chests!!
It's another match the items randomly distributed game that I certainly didn't cheese to gain the desired result. I'm shocked you'd even think I did such a thing.
The grand prize is yet another Magic Crest for our nearing completion collection. I think there is a little over a dozen left to collect. And they're mostly behind endgame bullshit.
We will have to actually go back to the Wine Cellar for one more phase of that mini-game once we reach the final dungeon. But that is in the distance of the uncertain future. Our final stop for today will be the Port of Southampton.
Music: Town of Twilight ~ European Town
Particularly, we want to go to the Hope and Anchor Bar/Restaurant where we stayed after our voyage to the UK and met Special Agent Kato for the first time in this game's adventure. There are two people we want to speak to here. The first is Sefo, the Rescued Barfly we saved from other shit bar patrons during our first visit.
I always said, if there was somebody good enough, I'd let it go. So here! You earned it! It's just talk! People saying the queen hid the Final Nibelung Scene away in a secret castle... It's all just talk!
Thus we earn the second to last Nibelung manuscript and power up Karin's Geuschbenst Sword Art. As for the final piece. Again, that is sequestered to the end of the game world tour. Shadow Hearts 2 really doesn't want us to earn any ultimate equipment or techniques early.
That out of the way, we now to head upstairs to one of the inn rooms to find a newly spawned NPC that is one of the final steps to completing the Trading Sidequest. This is the correct person to trade with this time.
Huh? What's that moldy smell?
Oh, sorry! It's me. I mean, I'm carrying this around with me.
Don't ask me why. I am as baffled as you are at this point...
Rice-grown mold, huh? That takes me back... I was doing research into that up until a few months ago. ...Will you let me have that? I'll swap it for this Research Paper.
Sure, you got it.
I want this out of my pocket.
Just one thing. Please don't give that paper to anybody except someone you really trust, okay? If the wrong person gets ahold of it, it could destroy the world. I'm not exaggerating, okay? I'm serious...
What else is new?
And thus we gain the final trade item in this questline -- the Research Paper.
We cannot successfully complete the Trading Questline, like so many others, until the final dungeon is unlocked. However, the second-best reward can be obtained now. It's not the optimal end to this questline. But if we return to Himovic, the Straw Merchant who sent us down this path, to begin with...
Oh, it's you! So, what happened? Did you manage to swap the straw for something you wanted?
Nah, it hasn't been going well. Somehow, all I ended up with is this Research Paper.
Research paper? Do you mind if I take a look?
What is this all about, then...? Oh, my god! W-what are you doing with this?! Where did you get it?!
Some guy gave it to me. He's doing research into mold or something.
A dude in the inn across the plaza. I traded it for weeks-old molding rice. It was weird...
I see... I thought it was just rumors, but it really did exist after all. Would you consider letting me have this? I'll buy it from you. Just name the price.
Really? Okay, then, 100,000 Cash for you!
That's an associate of the Hyuga gang price.
Very well. 100,000 it is!
What?! You're gonna pay up?! I was just joking, you know...
At this point we can just trade this for a cool 100,000 Cash. But also...
He can be refused and the asking price goes up to 300,000 Cash. He really wants what I'm fairly sure is some kind of nerve agent that our dipshit protagonist has gotten their hands on by trading a pocket full of molding rice.
<hands over 300,000 Cash> Well? I was right, wasn't I? One bit of straw can make you a small fortune.
You're right! I never would've believed it, but you're right?
It rings a little hollow getting the fortune from the person that sent me to do this in the first place. But ehh...
Okay, I'm off now. I've got to read through this document.
For science, you see.
...What kinda science?
Of the unethical variety.
Does it involve demon stuff or curses?
Not to my knowledge.
OK. Not my problem.
A good day to you.
Himovic, Definitely Not Going to Produce a Nerve Agent wanders off out of the game.
Sure, why not? We can't do anything with it. And besides, look at all the cash we got!
Yeah, but... I dunno. I've just got a bad feeling about it...
Yeah, but cash!
But that is another instance of an aborted timeline for that quest and so we take our leave of the Port of Southampton never to return. Tune in next time as we... oh, fuck. I've got to do the Pit Fights? Ugh. Dammit!
Joachim Valentine Concept Art - Who is this Keith? I don't remember that guy.