Part 126: Episode CXX: The Bad Guy
Episode CXX: The Bad Guy
Music: Grey Memories ~ Map of Japan
And so we enter the endgame of Shadow Hearts: Covenant. Much like the Neameto Float in the first game, it is required we step foot on the final dungeon for the first time to unlock the plot flags for a flood of endgame locked sidequest. This also unlocks triggers for the conclusion of the rest of the ongoing ones in our backlog. These are mostly tied to everyone in the party's ultimate weapons, armor, or abilities. But it is necessary to go in a bit of an order knocking out quests to do this the most efficient way. And even so, we're going to be here a while because there's still a ton of back and forth bullshit that is unavoidable. This game is not light on endgame content. Or making how to do large chunks of it clear to the player. At all.
To that end, we are will mostly be farting around Europe initially. Our first destination will be a return to St. Marguerite Island.
Music: In Darkness of a Labyrinth ~ Dungeon
Particularly, we are returning to the Fort of Regrets in the basement. Which, if you cannot tell, is the Karin-centric extra questline. We did sort out the two ghosts on the second level of the haunted fortress back a while ago. There was the little girl, Crybaby Kazuma, who wanted Karin to do away with an Ogress Mask, which we accomplished by giving it to a weeb in Paris.
<nods> Yes. You're all right now. I got rid of it in a place far, far away!
I may have cursed a Japanophile Frenchman in the process. Is that OK?
Good. That bad ogress is all gone. I'm not scared anymore.
Crybaby Kazuma fades into the afterlife.
The other remaining wayward spirit down here was a sailor that couldn't recall his name. We found his grave in the Yokohama Foreigner's Cemetery some time back. Time to go inform him.
You did?! What is it?
Wayne Hashida, lieutenant in the Japanese army. I saw your tombstone in the Foreigner's Cemetery in Yokohama.
(Lt. Hashida, Who Now Remembers) Wayne Hashida... Yes! That's it! They named me after my mother's father. Thank you! I feel so much better! I can't thank you enough! I feel so relieved now, like my spirit is free. My body is starting to get light...
Wait... wait... Why's it getting so hot all of a sudden? What's going on?! What's going... WAIT! AAAHH!! AAAAAAHHHHH!!!
And with that, this floor of the Fort of Regrets is cleared of its Malice energy or whatever vague forces put plot flags up in this universe. Onward to the lowest level of the dungeon.
Hang in there, skeleton.
But I can't remember what's holding me back... If only I had something that would help me remember...!
And that's all we get out of this guy as a hint: Fuck all! Welcome to Go Buy a Strategy Guide RPG Hell, which was the style of the time. Or look it up on GameFAQs. It's not like that practice halted or anything. Now it is combing a ten-minute video for the single line of information you need. Some technological progress has not been for the better...
In any event, Cannes, oddly enough, is the nexus for a handful of quest hooks. The first one is not specific to Cannes. It's just now that we've triggered the Endgame, we can return to Pierre at any of the Magimel Brothers' magic merchant truck locations to obtain the final dress for Cornelia. The prerequisite for this is both reaching the Endgame and traveling to Zurich for the scene at Alice's grave.
Music: Town of Twilight ~ European Town
Well, um... I don't know, but... what do you think of this? I drew it myself! I've been meaning to ask you to make it for ages, but... well... I was a little embarrassed, you know...?
Plus, saving the world. Curses. Globetrotting. You know how it is... You've been stalking me across the continent.
Oooh! You can draw?
<scratches head> No, not really... Just a little.
Let's take a look then...
Sheesh. "Just a little" is an understatement.
Wow! This is great! It's so cute! So smooth and flowing! Oh, I feel my artistic blood starting to stir for the first time in ages! I'll make it any time you want. Of course, there's the usual S-t-u-d Card exchange! Hmm?!
Sure! Take this the heck off my hands!
Thus we unlock the final Cornelia dress -- Blue Virgin. I... don't think that title is accurate in the interval between the final boss of Shadow Hearts and Alice's death... Still, I'll allow it just to show that those doodle recaps of Shadow Hearts 1 from early in the game are canonically Yuri's five-year-old child artistry level. Blue Virgin is a non-elemental dress that grants Gepetto the ability to cast Advent, which was Alice's ultimate ability in the first game.
Yuri, did you remember that Alice was Gepetto's niece and dressing his magic doll up as a dead family member is a little fucked up and in poor taste. Just saying, my guy.
Moving on. Previously, this beach was devoid of life or content. But a trio of NPCs have wandered onto the twilight vista and they're all relevant to quest lines. The two children, in particular, start an entirely new quest!
<clenches fist> You think? If you train hard every day, you can get this big someday too.
Immortality to grant you four centuries of strength training is a key part of the regiment.
But that man before was even bigger, wasn't he?
Huh? Somebody even bigger than Joachim, huh? Wow.
<nods> Yup. He was lying on the beach. Me and Guri found him.
Some time ago...
<walks over> Hey! It's rude to call somebody you never even met before a "bad guy"!
Yeah, but he's got spikes coming out of his shoulders. Of course he's a bad guy.
...OK. You're right. That's definitely a bad guy.
Eeek! He's still alive! Let's take him home. Here, give me a hand!
Huh? But Mom told us not to bring any more weird things home...
You remember how ticked off she was last time we brought home a stray villain?
Tch. How was I supposed to know he was one of those soul-stealing London Rats pit fighting gang?
Don't be dumb! Saving a life is more important than that. C'mon, help me!
Back in the present...
A bad guy bigger than Joachim, with spikes coming out of his shoulders...
<nods> That's got to be Lenny. No doubt about it.
So he's alive!
So is this bad guy still at your house?
...Wait, did just the two of you twerps manage to drag that huge guy off the beach by yourselves?
We used a wheelbarrow.
Yeah, no. I'm still impressed.
<nods> You youth are indeed on the way to ultimate muscle.
So is he at your home still?
Nope. He left after he got better. He said he was going north.
Ah. We actually got a clue this time. North! You know, literally all but two available locations on the Europe map. But hey, it's better than the last guy. Speaking of the last guy... We now want to talk to the elderly man by the pier on the beach.
Huh? What's the matter? Is there something wrong with this place?
Shh! Not so loud! There's an ancient weapon lurking somewhere on this beach that could destroy the whole world!
Ancient weapon? You're pulling our legs, right, Gramps?
...What am I saying, there are stupid ruins and magic crap every twenty feet on this planet...
I don't blame you for doubting me. But fifty years ago, I saw an inscription that told all about it. I've been searching the beach ever since but I haven't found anything yet. <sigh> If only my friend hadn't left me back then. I bet we could've found it.
Well, that was incredibly vague and could just be the random ramblings of an NPC. But actually, talking to this random-ass professor in an area we traveled through in all of one update in the main plot is linked to gaining Joachim's ultimate weapon, unlocking a bonus dungeon, and the next step of dealing with the Professor in the Fort of Regrets.
So now we have to go BACK to St. Marguerite Island, go through eight map load zones. Both ways. And speak with the apparition of the Professor once more with Karin.
What, do you think I know every professor in the world?! That's presumptuous! I don't even know how long I've been dead.
<shrug> I... I don't know... He was a professor. And had a professor friend. You're a professor. I do not have a lot to work with, sir.
(Professor, Remembering a Little) Funny professor? On the beach...? Was it... Professor Stein? I couldn't remember for so long. But when you opened that door for me, I started to remember a few things.
Professor Stein said some pretty troubling things. Something about a friend that left him years ago...?
Hey! That makes it sound like I'm a terrible person, somebody that would betray his friend! Well, I never!
...Just kidding. I don't really know what happened. My memories are still pretty vague around that time.
I'm a ghost with lost memories stuck in a castle dungeon for God knows how long. I could have traitored him or plowed his wife. Heck if I know.
I feel like I'm really close to remembering everything. Sorry, but could you give me a little more time?
"Give me a little more time" is the video game code for "please leave the area and return to trigger the next quest flag." We'll get back to that later. We're going to be back there for another reason anyhow. Let's get back to tracking down Lenny for... reasons. He went north is very vague. But, Petrograd is the highest latitude we've traveled in this game. And it stands to reason Lenny might want to regroup with his old teammates. Even if he's quite a few months late on that rejoining the fight front.
Thus Russia is our next destination.
Of course, we have nothing to work with when we get there. We just need to talk to random NPCs unless you can recall every single one from an area we've had no reason to visit for 20 hours. What we want is this old lady across from the guy we got the Asmodeus Crest from a few updates ago.
Hey! Don't point your finger at me!
<nods> Why, yes, I have. You're pretty big too, but he was even bigger.
<clenches fist> I must train my muscles harder to surpass him!
...Yeah. That's not how height works, big guy.
Was this guy up to no good?
Up to no good? Of course not! That man rescued me!
I-I most certainly will not! Why should I?
Cuz I'm mugging you...
That's no good excuse!
Shut yer mouth! And hand over that money if you don't wanna get hurt!
Lenny wanders onto the scene.
What, you wanna get yourself hurt too?
<folds arms> So you think you can take me, eh? Hmph! Good luck!
You wanna see the power of the Godhand?! Duh duh dunna naaah!
Yikes! I'm sorry, Mister. I didn't mean no harm!
Devilish Borscht wisely flees with great haste.
Thank you, son. You saved me.
I didn't do much. This town is pretty dangerous, eh?
Yes, what with the war and tyranny... And then that thing with Rasputin lately. What will become of Russia...?
I wonder... But about that Rasputin... Do you know what happened to him?
I don't know the whole story, but I hear Princess Anastasia and her attendants defeated him.
He blew up a few blocks of the city with a crazy airship. Some kind of Devilman punched the thing out of the sky. A massive floating castle rose up and just sort of sat there before falling down again. It was a really strange week, sonny. But quite the spectacle.
Oh, yeah...? I guess that means I'm the last one left...
Back in the present...
Do you know where he went after that?
I don't really remember, but I think he said something about going to visit an old acquaintance in France.
France...? Okay, thanks, Granny!
Oh, France, huh? Well, that narrows it down to just six locations, one of them being four different maps. But, to cut to the chase, we want to head back to Paris and specifically the Champs Élysées district.
Wandering down the main boulevard of the area, we spy a suited man with a somewhat familiar-looking hunched-over stance. Let's chat them up real quick, shall we?
I bet you're here sightseeing? Isn't that nice!
Kind of strange it's been sunset for five months straight. But you get used to it.
...You're a Steel Claw, aren't you?
Whaaat?! How did you know...?
How could we miss it? All we had to do was look at you.
Yeah, well... That stuffy armor and claws weren't great on the back. You think I'm hunched over like this because I enjoy it?
We're not interested in who you really are. What we want to know is whether you've seen Lenny around here lately.
Lenny? He left town already... Oops! Never mind. I was just kidding! I haven't seen hide nor hair of Lenny!
I was thinking of my good friend ergh... Rene! Yeah, that's right. Rene Curtis. No relation to any Lenny Curtis.
...Lenny's last name was Curtis?
Yeah, of course. ...Crud!
Yup. He's a Steel Claw all right, with that kind of brainpower.
And there are few times Joachim can make a claim like that.
Look, it slipped out already. No use trying to hide it now.
Yeah, yeah. All right. Lenny was... heading for Cannes.
What, back there again? Well, I guess that means we're through here.
The gang begins to walk away but is stopped by the former Steel Claw.
Don't know yet.
Might punch him until he explodes or something. That's kinda how it's gone with most of Sapientes Gladio's upper management.
...I know Lenny's done a lot of rotten things. But he was just following the society's orders.
He wasn't even a follower of the society. He just saw a mid-boss listing in the want ads.
Lenny himself isn't a bad guy. He even saved my life once.
Earlier in the adventure...
I liked these knuckleheads a lot better than the Japanese stormtrooper Iron Soldiers.
The last battalion of the Steel Claws walk off to their fate of getting punched and magic blasted to death by Yuri and the gang.
Um... You want something, Lenny, sir?
Yes, sir. She's getting up there in years. so I'm trying to make a little money and help her out.
Times are rough. World War and all. Thought I'd try out this henchman gig.
<nods> Yeah? In that case, I've got a special mission for you. Go make a situational report to the Master. Tell him they got away, but that Lenny here is gonna take care of 'em, so not to worry.
B-but would it really be right for me to be the only one running away...?
<shakes fist angrily> Hey! Are you giving me lip? That was a direct order!
<turns away> Take good care of that mom of yours...
...That's also an order.
Back to the present.
Heh. Yeah... yeah, you totally would.
Lenny isn't a bad guy! So, please... don't hurt him, okay?
...Yeah, yeah. I got it already.
Alright. All the way back to bloody Cannes. Again.
A new NPC has appeared on the steps leading to the second half of the town. I hope you enjoy doing math on the fly!
<nods> Yeah. You know where he is?
<shakes head> I do, but I'm not going to tell you just like that. If you want to know about Lenny, you've got to have a little arithmetic contest with me first!
...What? You can't be serious.
I am. I am going to quiz you on math!
Why?! I hate using my brain.
Answer my quiz and I'll tell you why.
I'm good at arithmetic.
Yet another quiz mini-game has arrived! Doing some goddamn elementary school math on the fly. I'm not terrible at math. But this quiz has the problem of other quizzes in that the countdown starts immediately for the question but it might take 3-4 seconds for all the digits to appear and there's no way to make the text scroll faster. As with the previous two quizzes, we have to get ten questions in a row to complete this task.
Here are all the possible questions. Answer them on your own if you feel so compelled. No cheating on the test. Show your work.
What's 12 + 33?
What's 12 x 4?
What's 1002 - 40?
What's 84 / 4?
What's 33 + 44?
What's 91 - 86?
What's 12 + 5 + 8?
What's 24 - 8 + 8?
What's 6 x 6 + 6?
What's 29 + 29?
What's 3 x 13?
What's 1122 + 1122?
What's 2 + 9 + 2 + 3?
What's 3 x 4 x 3?
What's 33 / 11?
What's 26 - 4 + 8?
What's 4 + 4 + 4 + 5?
What's 17 + 8?
What's 23 x 3?
What's 89 + 16?
But, the game does have mercy. Yuri is only given three chances to successfully do basic arithmetic. The game takes pity after that and results in...
Hey! Shut the hell up! I'm just having an off day, that's all!
That's all right. You remind me of me when I was younger.
Couldn't grow facial hair and dumb as a bag of bricks.
Hey, I could totally grow a sweet beard. Y'know, if I wanted to.
1+1 = Doubt.
I met Lenny for the first time five years ago...
But if we do the pop quiz successfully.
Now keep up your end of the bargain. Where's Lenny?
He headed off to St. Marguerite a little while ago. Said he was going back to the place he got beat at.
The place he got beat at...? I know where he means!
Ugh. I've already been there twice today.
Well, I'm sure you'll catch up with him. Why don't you take a minute to listen to an old story of mine? I met Lenny for the first time five years ago...
Five years ago...
There was a rich couple of tourists with their bags unattended. That guy with the nice watch. Plenty of better marks that didn't have two feet on you height-wise.
L-leave me alone! You were the one stupid enough to let your wallet get stolen! I'm not giving it back!
You best give me back that wallet. It's the one that says I Love My Mother.
...What are you doing stealing things, anyway? There ought to be plenty of jobs for a guy your age...
You ever thought about getting into henchman work? I know a place with some openings...
<looks down> My family's poor, and I couldn't go to school. I can't read. I don't know how to do anything but steal!
School, eh...? Hey, why don't I teach you some arithmetic, then?
Yeah. There are lots of trades you ought to be able to do with a little math.
...Really? You can really teach me?
<laughs> Sure! I may not look it, but I'm the number one math whiz in the world!
Well, what do you know...? I just can't imagine Lenny teaching anybody math...
Lenny used to say that people who were good at math were good people.
I'm going to need to see some references for that one, but sure.
You got what you wanted, didn't you? Now get going.
One final time (this update) back to Saint Marguerite Island! They are getting their use out of this dump. First off, enough time has passed (i.e. we left the area once) to give the final Fort of Regret time to jog his memory. So let's take a quick stop there since it's on the way.
Music: In Darkness of a Labyrinth ~ Dungeon
What do you mean, "See"?
Ha ha ha! Anyway, I've got a favor to ask. You want to go further, right? I died while I was investigating these ruins. I have to know everything about them before I can rest in peace.
Everything? But we don't know anything about investigating ruins...!
It's a dungeon full of ghosts. I think I could get a tourist pamphlet back in town if that would help you.
Don't worry about that. Somewhere in the world, I hear there's a mysterious stone tablet called the "Hieroglyphics". I hear this tablet tells of the mysteries of all the ruins on earth. I want you to find it for me.
The Hieroglyphics tablet? So we find it and just bring it back to you?
That's exactly right.
And, could you clarify where it is located?
Somewhere in the world.
Could you clarify further, please?
Someone on *this* world.
You guys are so understanding. Really appreciate it! Good luck!
Man, fuck that ghost! Whatever. We need to return to the boss arena where Yuri and friends took on Godhand Lenny and slaughtered the last of the Steel Claws. I'm not going to lie, it took me ten minutes of running around identical-looking corridors trying to figure out where in the flying fuck that exactly was located. And it took me another four minutes to navigate out because I stopped to grab lunch before recording more and perhaps that was an error on my part...
...How ya been?
...But what do you care? I'm not fighting you guys. I don't have any reason to fight you anymore.
My Sapientes Gladio paychecks didn't clear by the time I got back on my feet and the order's severance account balance was empty. Rasputin, that cheap jerk...
Real class act, that guy.
Pfft. Tell me about it. Nicolai still around somewhere? I never heard what happened to him after Rasputin.
He got kidnapped by the Japanese military. Got his balls zapped until he got possessed by a demon. Flew off into a volcano. Got his head caved in for killing a guy's clone girlfriend.
Yeah, that sounds like him. Oh well.
I don't know, damn it. I don't know why the hell I even survived. I don't have any purpose anymore.
<waves dismissively> That's where you're wrong. On the way here, a lot of people said some pretty nice things about you.
What are you, embarrassed?
Shaddup! ...But, you know, I must've survived for a reason. Maybe I'd better think about it a little more...
Hehe. You know, I'm glad I got the chance to see you again.
No hard feelings about knocking you into the ocean and killing all your comrades?
Ehhh... Comes with the henchman territory. What are you gonna do? I got off easy.
Cool. I gotta go save the world from some time distortion junk in Japan. Don't worry about it.
You leaving, eh?
<walks up to Yuri and hands him something> ...Hey. Take this.
Huh? A jacket?
Yeah. I used to wear it back when I was a kid. ...You know, 'cause I caused you a lot of trouble and stuff.
You're giving me your hand-me-down?
That's museum quality leather craftsmanship!
...Hehe. I'll take good care of it. Thanks.
And thus we unlock the first ultimate piece of equipment in Shadow Hearts: Covenant -- Yuri's best armor the Bike Jacket. This grants +176 Physical and +160 Special Defense. And conveniently, a younger, slimmer, and apparently several feet shorter Lenny just happened to be the same size and have the same fashion sense as Yuri.
With that, we complete the Pursuing Lenny questline, and Lenny Curtis bows out of his henchman life in Shadow Hearts 2's narrative, moves to New York City, and becomes a dapper butler.
No, for real. He moves to America, cleans up his act, and is the main character's butler. He can be summoned in battle to use Godhand.
Happy trails From the New World, Lenny Curtis.