Part 129: Episode CXXIII: Ghosts, Spies and Little GuysEpisode CXXIII: Ghosts, Spies and Little Guys
Now that we can leave the Neam Ruins to rot for the rest of eternity a bounty of content can be checked off the agenda for the Shadow Hearts 2 Endgame. First up, we are heading straight back to Roger Bacon's house. We did need to leave the area and return to trigger the next event that can occur here because video games be like that sometimes.
Music: Spiritualization ~ Holy Land of God
Roger has moved from his usual spot in the center of his home to a side area with a sci-fi treadmill. Hey, remember how we received Yuri's ultimate weapon in the previous game by having Yuri run on a sci-fi treadmill and accidentally teleported Roger Bacon to the moon? Yeah... what if we just did exactly that again?
What's up, Roger? You're certainly in a good mood.
Putting that magazine to good use, huh?
Hehehe. I'm finally finished with the repairs. Behold the rebirth of the glorious teleporter!
Oh, that thing, eh? What did you have to go and hide it on the moon for, anyway? It's not like anybody'd want it...
We should have hidden that Émigré Manuscript piece of crap on the moon. It would have saved everyone a lot of trouble.
Nonsense! Do you know what the vacuum of space would do to a tome like that?
Dunno. Don't care. We can toss that thing into the sun for all the good it's done us.
Bite your tongue! You know I couldn't let such a powerful weapon get into the hands of some evil genius! But, gee, you really did show up at a perfect time! What luck!
Mere chance. If I'd known what you were up to I would've stayed far, far away.
So how about it? You ready to take another little sprint? I bet you're just itching to hop on that thing!
Can't say I feel the least bit itchy.
Not itching just a little?
Not in the slightest!
Though my legs are starting to ache remembering the last time we did this crap.
...Guess it can't be helped. I'll have to do the running, I suppose. You just go stand in that Warp Point.
Roger motions to the center of the room.
...I'll do the running!
No, no. That's fine.
No, really! Suddenly, I'm just dying to go for a jog. Oh, please! Please, please let me do the running! C'mon! You go stand on the Warp Point.
I already went to space once to punch out a god. I'm good on space travel.
Thatta boy! Thanks, Yuri!
Yuri runs onto the warp treadmill.
Roger trots over to the Warp Point/Elevator combo platform.
Or with the luck I'm having I'd end up in the hell dimension or stuck in some awful floating platform jumping segment. That'd suck.
Yuri starts jogging and the machine begins to power up.
That's the way! Now give it all you've got!
As in the previous adventure, we're now tasked with striking all the Hit Areas on the Judgment Ring a whopping TEN revolutions of increasingly swift speed. While this is still a taxing task, it's not nearly as hard as the Shadow Hearts 1 incarnation. The Hit Areas are far more generous and the maximum speed isn't nearly as impossible with the split-second input lag on the emulator. It only took me two tries to get it down compared to the too many tries obtaining the Nightbird Claw.
Watch he ended up on a Mars moon or got stuck in some alternate world that operates strangely like a medieval RPG and everyone is horny for no real reason.
...He'd probably like that, actually.
The sound of something falling from very high and impacting on the ground with a loud thud.
Neil Armstrong is going to be very confused when he sets foot on the moon and there are multiple burnt outlines of a tiny man smashed on the moon's surface.
Roger dashes across the room up to Yuri and the treadmill.
<pant> I went there... to the moon!
How do you get back from the moon, anyhow?
<pant> Like I told you... last time... I jumped. You... would be surprised... by my ups...
I-I brought back a souvenir...
And so we gain Yuri's ultimate weapon. Yuri, please do not try to punch out the planet with these. That would be ill-advised. But we will wear them to punch other, less destructive targets with its +209 Physical and +188 Special Attack power.
By the way, there, Rog. You almost died out there again, didn't you? You okay?
You ever think about hitting the water or something instead of face-planting into the solid ground to get back?
...Wh-what are you talking about?! Of course I'm okay. Ha ha ha...
Phew! It's pretty nice for distances, but I'll admit it isn't very convenient. I'll have to make a few changes...
Have you considered an energy source that isn't a guy jogging on a treadmill?
Now that's just absurd, Yuri! Just leave the science to me.
That concludes our business with Roger... for now. We now shift focus toward St. Marguerite Island and the Fort of Regret. Now that we have obtained the Hieroglyphics tablet maybe we can send the Professor's ghost to the great beyond and never come back to this damn island again.
Music: In Darkness of a Labyrinth ~ Dungeon
It's still in fairly good shape despite sitting in an ancient ruin flooded with an evil aura for lord knows how long.
You mean it really did exist? This Hieroglyphics table thingy? Good thing I asked, just in case!
Hey! You didn't even know if it really existed?!
I suspected it existed. At some point... I think. Ghost memory is flaky. That's why we were doing this, isn't it?
<turns away> A-anyway, I'll just get down reading it here... Hmm, I see... What do you know? Well! Hmm...
And? Does it tell you what you wanted to know?
<turns back> Well... You already heard, didn't you? About the weapon that could destroy the world? I thought it was in this fort. But this tablet says it's on the beach in Cannes...
This tablet looks thousands of years old and it's pointing to a... beach in southern France? Doesn't that seem... off...?
Hey, I'm just translating what it says. I didn't make the tablet.
So that means Professor Stein was right.
I'm not too happy about it, but yes, it looks like it. By the way, what year is it now?
It's 1915. Why?
Haven't we been traveling for nearly a year now? How is it STILL 1915?
We have more pressing matters to worry about, Yuri.
I dunno. Time failing to move is sort of worrying. We've been to Cannes a half dozen times now and it's been sunset every time. I think it's just always sunset there...
Yikes! Big trouble! This is the year that weapon is supposed to go off! No time to explain! I'm already dead, but you guys are going to die too if you don't hurry! Quick! Take this Hieroglyphics tablet to Professor Stein right away!
Alright. Back to Cannes one more time. I believe this is the final time we'll have any reason to return to this town.
Professor Stein has vanished from the beach. But in his place we find...
Music: Gathering God ~ Thrill
Wh-what do we have here?!
Hold on! Do you hear voices coming from inside?
I-I think she'd right! Sounds like little people in there!
They're really swearing up a storm too. Yowza! That's some colorful language.
They would be tiny sailors, would they not? It makes sense.
Wouldn't they technically be tiny submariners?
I don't know. I was in the German Army, not the Navy.
Hmm. Nice submarine...
What? You mean it's not a toy?
The legendary submarine that brought star travel within the grasp of mankind. Its name, the "Nautilus"!
Its conquest is the sea of stars. The final frontier.
How long do you think he's going to talk?
Don't worry. This is his last weapon. Let him get it all out of his system.
And so Joachim receives his ultimate weapon -- a tiny space submarine staffed by miniature astrosailomariners. The ship bestows +212 Physical Physical and +185 Special Attack power.
The Nautilus surges forth, leaving the trail of men's happiness and aspiration in its wake! What splendor...! What magnificence...!
Joachim walks off with the Nautilus in tow.
<nods> Sounds good.
I could go for a burger.
Ooh. Yeah! Good idea.
It's decided. Let's burg!
The party leaves the beach and immediately wrong into Professor Stein.
Music: Town of Twilight ~ European Town
I went home for the day. Do you think I lived on the beach like some sort of hobo?
There were a few documents I wanted to look into. But what are all of you still doing in Cannes?
We came back to find you. A certain man asked us to give this to you.
Well, the ghost of a man, technically...
Karin hands the professor the Hieroglyphics tablet.
We'll fill you in later. The man told us we really had to hurry. Could you take a look at it now?
<turns away and looks over the tablet> All right. Hmm...
<nods> Well! What do you know...? Hmm... I see... What?! Oh, no! If it's true, the world is going to be destroyed...
In roughly... let's see here... eight minutes from now! Good lord!
...It's good we didn't stop to eat before bumping into you.
We must find that weapon, the Nautilus, as quickly as possible!
What? You did?
Just now. We found it washed up on the shore.
Where you were usually standing, actually.
<gasp> Oh, no! We have to destroy it immediately! Before it wipes out the entire planet!
<folds arms> Don't worry. I gave the crew a nice little talking to.
When the hell did you do that?!
We just concluded a pitched negotiation of terms.
How? You were gone for thirty seconds.
Do you really think it's safe now...?
<clenches fist> You bet! We made a nice little agreement among gentlemen. They gave me their word. No need to worry!
I know they will honor their words...
Of the sea!
...Why the hell did you say it like that?!
Proud naval tradition!
No need to thank me. We didn't do a thing.
Joachim is just going to bash things with it. It is in good hands.
D-Don't worry about it.
I'm really glad. It looks like all my research wasn't in vain after all. By the way, it was Professor Mancini who asked you to bring me this stone tablet, wasn't it?
What? Well, uh... We...
You don't have to hide it. He and I are just about the only ones that could read that Hieroglyphics tablet. Give him a message from me, would you? Tell him, "Nah, nah! I won this one! You owe me a beer!"
Dr. Stein walks off.
This means, that's right, one final frikkin' trip back to St. Marguerite Island. This is the final one, thankfully. It and Cannes get crossed off the endgame destination list after this update.
Music: In Darkness of a Labyrinth ~ Dungeon
Yes, and it looks like we managed to stop the destruction of the world for now too.
Ha ha ha ha! Thanks to me!
Yes, thanks to him... somehow...
We've got a message for you. <ahem> "Nah, nah! I won this one! You owe me a beer!"
Stein said that...? Ha ha ha ha! ...Hey! I finally remember! Why I couldn't rest in peace! My regret wasn't in these ruins. My regret was abandoning Stein that time to follow my own research.
He wanted to research another pint while trying to pick up a girl and I called it a night since I had an early morning. I abandoned him as a wingman. He never scored that fateful evening.
Gee, Professor Mancini...
And then I got hit by a bus on the way home. Always look both ways before crossing the street. Especially when six pints deep.
Now I really see why they call this place the "Fort of Regrets." The souls that gather here get to experience their important memories one more time before they go...
Yeah... that's not what happened with most of the people here. One ghost just wanted to play lottery three times and another wanted to get rid of a creepy mask. It didn't have any sort of consistent theme to it, honestly.
Thanks for all your help, guys. I guess I'll be leaving now. I have to clear out if you guys want to get any further, right?
Wait! Don't you have any message for Professor Stein?
...Nah, I guess not. I'll apologize to him in person when he gets to heaven. I'll be waiting with a nice cold beer!
Unless he ends up rotting in hell. In which case, "Nah nah! I win!
And so Professor Mancini fades into the great beyond allowing Karin to enter the final chamber of the Fort of Regrets to finish up this sidequest.
Grandma...? Grandma Doris, is that you?
What, child, have you forgotten your grandmother's face already?
<shakes> Of course I haven't! It's just that... this is so sudden...
I'm sure being a glowing white semi-translucent projection of my restless soul would take a minute to adjust to, dear.
<looks down> ...I'm sorry, Grandma. It was all my fault...
My death and what happened to the Koenigs -- none of that was your fault. We were the ones that were powerless. Besides, I'm kind of glad it happened. I'm sorry you don't have a home to go back to, though...
Glad? Why, Grandma...?
If I had to spend one more day with my infernal husband I'd have burned the town down myself. But beyond that...
Joining the military when you didn't want to, fighting for the family name, wasting your precious youth...
Grandma, I'm only 25...
Twenty-five and not married. Do you even have a boyfriend?
Well, there is someone I like but it is... complicated...
No. That's a no. It's a pity.
I hated to have to see you do these things. You always had a brave smile but I knew, and I couldn't stand it... But now you have nothing tying you down. You're truly free now.
<looks down> ...I'm sorry, Grandma. I never even realized how hard it was for you, how much you worried about me.
How could I possibly rest in peace, as worried about you as I was? But now I've said what I wanted, and I'm satisfied. Oh, and I wanted to give you this. Hold on to it, now.
And so Karin also gains her ultimate weapon, the Durandal. This comes with +199 Physical and +197 Special Attack power. And it only took 37 trips to St. Marguerite Island to obtain it.
Have you forgotten what I just said? The family is gone. Our name is gone. There's nothing holding you back now. This is the start of your new free life as an independent woman. You'll need that sword to keep you safe.
If you're sure... Okay, thanks, Grandma!
Plus, your no-good deadbeat of a grandfather is rotting in hell where he belongs now.
Oh, my goodness! There's nothing to cry about, my dear!
He was a right bastard. My only other regret was I wasn't there to see him croak.
Hehe. We'll try. But usually, she's the one who takes care of us.
Karin keeps us straight, you know.
That's right! Karin and I are the only ones who know what we're doing in this group.
This train wreck group would be in shambles if not for us.
Oh, you guys!
Hee hee. You have very nice friends. I won't have to worry about you anymore. Goodbye, Karin. I hope I won't see you in the next world for a long, long time.
Grandma Doris fades away.
And with that, we can say goodbye to St. Marguerite Island and the Fort of Regret for good.
Music: Town of Twilight ~ European Town
We do have one final sidequest we can wrap up today before moving onto some more new endgame content. The successful end of the only sidequest that has multiple failure points -- the Trading Sidequest!
Now that we've triggered the final dungeon a new NPC has appeared in the Cathedral district of Paris. Although, to call them truly new might be a false statement...
<recoils in surprise> ...Oh! I-it's you!
Huh? Yeah, I know you from somewhere...
<jumps back in surprise> Oh! I nearly didn't recognize you with the makeup. How are you...
<quickly covers Yuri's mouth>
Shhh! Don't call me by that name! I'm undercover!
I'm Malkovich, an Ordinary Citizen. Of France.
Ah. Of course. Malkovich. An ordinary citizen of France. Gotcha! <big wink>
Do you... know this person, Yuri?!
Huh? No, no! No, we just met a couple of times in the past.
Tch. Is that all I am after I helped you beat multiple magicians and space monsters?
Nah. That was some spy lady named Maggie or something... You must be confused.
...OK. I forgot you're not a complete idiot. Just a dick.
I can't believe it, bumping into you here!
That's my line! I never heard anything from you. I was worried something happened to you.
Yeah, well, you know. What about you, Sonny Boy, with all these friends? Don't tell me...?
Hehe! Yeah, that's right.
Saving the world from wizards. Cursed again. Hanging out with a bunch of weirdos. The usual.
You haven't changed either!
Have you kept up with any of the old party?
Last I checked, Zhuzhen is still doing his thing Chinese mystic thing. Keith went back to sitting in his castle, though I heard he may be on the move lately. Halley and Koudelka went to America to track down the boy's father. I hear he's well in debt playing child support. The deadbeat. You and Alice just sort of fell off the map.
Meh. Alice died from a curse. I retired and started beating up the German army for kicks before getting back into the world saving game.
...That's rough, sonny boy.
Eh. Don't worry about it. Remember that guy Kato?
...Umm. The name sounds familiar.
Japanese guy. Huge chin.
<snaps fingers> Ah! Yes. I remember now. What about him?
Mhm. He got weird. Cloned Lt. Colonel Kawashima. Didn't go well. He's off trying to destroy the world through time magic now. Gotta go kick his ass soon.
The tall goofy guy with the big chin? Japanese Army. That guy? Really? Him?
Tell me about it.
If only I wasn't working, I'd say let's go get coffee or something, but...
I know, you're busy. We'll bump into each other again.
Guess so... Glad to see you looking so well. We'll talk next time, okay?
Yuri and Karin begin to walk off.
What, this? Some guy who likes mold gave it to me.
He gave it to you?! That's a British Intelligence Services envelope, isn't it? Let me see!
Yuri walks back and hands
<shakes head dismissively> Um... Not exactly.
I traded it with some random guy in an inn for a bowl of rotten rice I got from a ventriloquist in Japan.
Why? What's the matter?
This is a report about a unique bacteria that's harmful to humans! It's not about saving the world, you know!
You're kidding! That sounds pretty serious!
It is serious! How do you always end up in the middle of a mess?!
<shrug> Rude Protagonist is my job description. It just kinda happens. I only got it because some guy in Southampton gave me some straw a few months ago.
I don't even know what to do with that statement.
Don't look at me.
Okay, look, I'd better take this off your hands. Okay?!
Okay, leave it with me! I'll dispose of it properly. Oh, yeah! I guess you could use this if you're still getting yourself into trouble.
Lucia joins the ultimate weapon club with the Nemesis Fan. We will have to eventually use Lucia for some endgame content so I suppose this is fine. This fan grants +187 Physical and +210 Special Attack power. It should be noted that this is the successful Trading sidequest reward. Well, that and the Margarete cameo. But if quest comes to one of the many premature ends, the junk shop in the Cathedral here will sell the Nemesis fan for 500,000 Cash. Considering we only get 300,000 Cash for the runner-up reward in this questline... Yeah, let's just give Marge the Research Paper.
Apparently, it's called a battle fan. I "borrowed" it from the boss of this secret organization a little while ago. She was one hell of a big shot. Really full of herself. So I thought I'd cut her down to size.
With shaped plastic explosives and a remote detonator planted on her car.
I couldn't figure it out, but it's got quite a story behind it, I think.
Don't worry about it. Let's call it a loan. Okay, I'd better be getting back. And, Yuri! Don't do anything stupid, okay?!
Hehe! I hear ya! Okay... see you, then!
With that, the Alluring Spy departs. Technically, we could have done the Margarete end of the Trading sidequest as soon as we made it to the Asuka Stone Monument and confronted Kato. But now that we've done the Neam Ruins Part 2 we can return to Roger's house one more time. I do believe this is the final time we have any reason to visit Wales in the Shadow Hearts series. Truly, the end of an era...
Music: Spiritualization ~ Holy Land of God
I got a visit from an old friend yesterday!
An old friend? Who...? You don't mean that woman, do you?!
The spy with the huge bazongas?
That's exactly right. Margarete Gertrude Zelle! She was hoping she'd find you here, she said.
That's weird... I just saw her earlier today. In Paris.
She certainly gets around.
She's on a very important mission at the moment. She just stayed long enough for tea, then went rushing off again.
It's too bad she couldn't stay longer.
Haha! I'm sure she'll show up again. Wherever there's trouble, that's where you'll find Malkovich!
How did you meet someone like that, anyway?
She nearly blew me and Alice up bombing a train station in Fengtian, China and then we did a sewer dungeon and fought a mutant puppy possessed by a Chinese sorcerer.
...Why do I even ask?
...But take a look at this.
Roger walks up and shows Yuri something out of view from Karin.
Margarete forgot it.
<gulp> Th-this is...?!
Roger and Yuri huddle up away from Karin.
Man, this outfit is great! But why would Margarete leave it behind? She's always so careful...
Oh, I get it. Don't tell me you swiped it, Rog!
Don't be ridiculous! Of course I didn't!
Are you sure...?
Of course I'm sure, you idiot!
It may be some sort of counter-espionage at work.
Still sounds like it fell into your hands via covert means.
Bah. How does a fool like you even know what "covert" means?
I hung out with a spy!
...But, nevermind that. Wouldn't you like to see somebody try it out?
What?! I never knew you were into playing dress-up, Roger!
Gah! You dolt! Not me! Who said anything about me wearing it?! I nearly just had a heart attack imagining it!!
Nobody in this room could handle my sex appeal!
No, the one this outfit would look good on is...
<rapidly looks back and forth between Roger and Yuri> What?
Wait a minute, guys. What are you looking at me like that for? What have you two got up your sleeve?
Shall we ask...?
<walks up to Karin> K-K-Kaaarin...!
<clenches her fists and yells> I think you'd better calm down, please!
<hands Karin the Dating Outfit> A-a little g-gift for you.
B-borrowed from a... mutual friend... She'd want you to use it to... help you... in battle...
<gulp> That's one way to put it.
What in the world is this?! Hey, there's nothing to this outfit!! Don't tell me you guys want me to wear this thing?! It took me forever just to get used to what I'm wearing now!!
<jumps giddly> We just want you to try it on... just once.
For... research... into... umm... s-science...
The sound of a pair of slaps and Karin storms off.
D-do you think we made her mad?
No, she just slapped us and stomped out of the room out of joy. Weren't you supposed to be smart?!
It's been a hot minute since I've had experience outside of... recreational magazines...
Um, she took it with her, though...
And thus we gain a Karin exclusive Accessory -- the Dating Outfit. This has absolutely no stat benefits whatsoever.
It just changes Karin Koenig's outfit into a maximum fanservice outfit. Shadow Hearts: Covenant. Wherein a character can gain their ultimate weapon from the ghost of their dead grandmother telling them to live their life to the fullest. And gain a fantasy stripper outfit dropped by a historical spy in the same beat and keep on truckin'.
Karin Dating Outfit Concept Art - For when the already really horny default outfit just isn't horny enough.