The Let's Play Archive

Shadow Hearts: Covenant

by The Dark Id

Part 13: Episode XIII: Dear, My Dressmaker

Episode XIII: Dear, My Dressmaker

Music: Town of Twilight ~ European Town

Yuri seems surprisingly OK with riding trains considering his last few experiences on them were having his arm cut off, getting beaten up by a wizard and having his girlfriend drop dead.

So... I think we found our way into the secret paths of the tunnels. Unfortunately, Victor the Foreman is blocking all entry into the under construction area at the moment. Since that is the job of a construction site foreman, right? Security guard well away from where the actual construction is taking place.

Oh well. I'm sure we'll be back there later. For now, let's go above ground to the scenic avenue of Champs-Élysées.

Before we head any further, there is a new Add-On Effect item for Ring Customization just discarded behind the metro entrance. Who would leave a perfectly good regretful slime lump like this behind? Disgraceful.

As we venture further into the area, we're stopped by these two... colorful gentlemen. I hope you're ready for some cringey dated gay stereotypes! I'd like to say this is the product of being from the mid-aughts and all. But Persona 5 only came out two years ago and had something exactly like this pair. It was probably actually way worse there.

NEW Music: Dear, My Dressmaker ~ The Tailor

Oh, we certainly have!! You quit the theater so suddenly. We had no idea where you'd run off to, naughty boy!
<looks at Gepetto> Umm, wh-who are these guys?!
The Magimel Brothers. Pierre here is a tailor, and Gerard runs an item shop. They're my old theater associates. They used to sell me costumes and supplies to use on stage.

Gerard saunters up to Yuri.

Hey! Don't start scaring off my friends!
Well, I never! ...But, anyway, now that we've all become such good friends, let me give you a fabulous present! Here you are.

Remember the Discount Cards system in the original Shadow Hearts? Well, that's been replaced by a Point Card system (and only the one card) in Covenant. We'll get into that more after we finish introductions with the Magimel Brothers.

That? That's a very, very special card you can use at any shop at all! If you have one of those, you can build up points whenever you go shopping. Those points really add up! And the more points you collect, the bigger the discount you can get. Isn't that just fabulous?
G-gee... Th-thanks...
Hey... what about this Eternity Card I had? I was getting like 50% discounts in shops before. It was great. Can I still use that?
I'm afraid those old discount cards expired back at the end of 1914.
Everything I loved died that year...

Gerard saunters back to his shop cart.

Tee hee. Of course I haven't! And what about you, Gep? You haven't forgotten that little "item" I asked you for, Have you? Did you bring it?
Of course! Let's see... Where did I put it? Ah, yes! This wasn't easy to get ahold of, you know.

Just for that, I'll now sew you a fabulous dress. Just pick the design you want, all right?

We are now given the option of choosing a dress for Gepetto's doll, Cornelia. The first one is "free" since we automatically were given that Stud Card back at Gepetto's Apartment.

There is a variety of dress option for Cornelia. One for each element, in fact. Not really a big fan of several of these being put on what looks like a kindergartener modeled doll. But, that's just how Shadow Hearts 2 is gonna roll, for better or worse. If you cannot guess, this is Gepetto's unique ability sidequest. But moreover, these dresses will actually change Gepetto's elemental affinity on top of providing him with an additional technique.

Since we do not have anyone filling out the Water elemental niche at the moment and there may be an upcoming fight that could use someone with Water-based abilities, we're going to be going with the Water element's dress design. Water.

Perfect colors for summer! The cuffs and neckerchief are a cute and "girly" touch. The waist can be cinched however you like. Mmm! *drool* Simply fabulous! I'm in the mood, now! Just a moment while I whip you up a cute little number.

Music: ENDS. Drumroll begins.

Presenting the latest creation from my 1915 Pierre Magimel Collection! I call it...

Thanks. I hate it.

That's Pierre's genius for you. His dresses certainly bring out Cornelia's beauty!
Somehow this has all managed to get even creepier...
You philistines don't know anything about fashion.
Yeah not chomping at the bits to get into toddler dress trends.

And not just outer beauty alone. Every time a young lady changes dresses, new possibilities blossom, you know! Now, then, Gep. Why don't you get little Cornelia changed? Oh, isn't this just too exciting, people?!

Dresses can now be changed from Gepetto's character menu. They're not like Yuri's Fusions where they can be swapped out at will. Whatever Cornelia is wearing into battle is what Gepetto is using for the duration of a fight. Additionally, they don't provide any stat boosts or anything other than a buff to Offense/Defense for their elemental class. Also, each dress grants a unique Marionette ability while equipped. Sassy Sailor gives Gepetto Aqua Cast which is a 20 MP Water damage magic attack that hits for a decent amount of damage.

Music: Town of Twilight ~ European Town

Fabulous! Did you bring me what I want, then? My hot little heart's desire?
Nope. Not my department.
What? You don't have on?! How do you expect me to get my creative juices flowing! Come back when you have one!

Anyway. That's Gepetto's game spanning sidequest -- collecting burly men porn trading cards to exchange for elemental magic imbued dresses for his creepy ass little girl doll. Sure, why not?

Pierre handles the dressmaking. Gerard here meanwhile provides the first shop in Shadow Hearts: Covenant -- La Cage Aux Songes. All shops get unique names, as they did in the first game, but they skimped out on giving them an artwork background. So we're just left with a sterile menu screen. It's one of those things you wouldn't really notice if you didn't just spend like seven months talking about the previous game on a regular basis...

We're not exactly rolling in cash at the moment but this shop does have a variety of new goods for the party. We'll just take a look at all the new items for sale at the moment. We're not necessarily going to be buying them all.

We haven't hit any yet but the Judgment Ring itself has its own share of status ailments it can be inflicted with that are present in the game. This item cancels out those effects. This item is extremely cheap and Ring Anomalies are really annoying, so we'll grab a couple of these for the road since it'll be a while before accessories warding off that kind of crap become available.

Oh, well if it's made of <Darksteel> then you know it's good. Yuri got a real taste for stab-punching with his equipment by the end of Shadow Hearts 1 and that trend continues into the sequel. This gives him +22 Physical and +18 Special Attack (the default gloves are +11 and +9 respectively.) We'll grab this for Yuri since he is doing a lot of hitting things in the face at this point in the game.

Don't try using this shit on Pinocchio. He'd hate it! This one is a +18 Physical and +22 Special Attack boost (versus the default strings' +9 and +11.) This too will be getting a purchase.

So is Yuri sanding down Blanca's nails? Is Blanca doing it himself? Do we really want to know the answer? Either way, this provides +19 Physical and +21 Special Attack (+9 and +11 were the default brush's stats.)

There is also a female-only set of armor for Karin with the Cotton Blouse. It provides +9 Physical and Special Defense. But the Officer's Coat (which Karin is still technically equipped as an armor despite her costume change) has +10 Physical and +8 Special Attack so... we can pass on this for the moment.

Lastly, there is an accessory that prevents the Poison status effect. This would be pretty useful... except for the 2770 Cash price tag. That's 75% of our current funds. Even with a discount, that's a bit too pricey at the moment.

Speaking of discounts, the store discount system from Shadow Hearts 1 has returned. Upon checking out from the store we can vie for a reduced price on our purchase by successfully completing a Judgment wheel spin.

Right now we can only try for a 10% Discount (and 5% Mark-Up when selling.) Successful transactions will also result in Points being added to our card. Eventually, we'll get enough points to Rank Up our Point Card level and unlock additional discounts (with additional Judgment Ring spins to obtain them. The rankings are:
The point calculation is 1 point for every 100 Cash spent/sold based on the retail value. It's also possible to get point penalties for screwing up the Judgment Ring discount. Those are equal to 1 point for every 100 Cash the Discount would have been worth. Optimally, there would be a lot of save scumming before making big purchases which means reloading from a memory card (hoping there is a save point within reasonable range.) I'm gonna be frank, I'm using an emulator with save states. I've already got to deal with very minor input lag. Fuck this capitalist nightmare mini-game. I'm save scumming the SHIT out of it.

Anyway, as far as the LP is concerned you don't need to worry about that system since that'll mostly be on my end. But it's there.

In any case, now that we're done with our transactions with the Magimel Brothers, we're free to chat up with folks in the city. I really thought this rotund mini-Kingpin was gonna start something that at some point in that previous scene since he's just glaring daggers in our direction the whole time. But no. He's just a rich shithead with little of note.

A wizard blew up Shanghai two years ago and a space god nearly destroyed the world last year.
Hmph. But they didn't do it near me.

Napoleon had it built, but he never passed under it during his lifetime. Bet you didn't know that, did you?
Don't even know what a Napoleon is.

You may think that's a usable door next to the very French Chef named Mitsuboshi. But you'd be wrong. It just gives a locked door prompt.

(Short-tempered Emmanuelle) Stop that! Don't go touching it with your filthy hands! What if you scratch it or something?!

Feels kinda mid-aughts console cycle brown to me. The game had been fairly colorful up until now.
What would you know, vagrant? Muted browns are the next generation of graphics. We just need some more bloom in here to liven up the place.
Barf. Hard pass.

And then this huge, spiky man came up to me and said he was sorry. Hmph! Adults should know how to behave in public!
How huge we talking? Like body builder bulky or cartoonishly thick?
The latter. He needs to pick better friends.

At the end of the street, we find our destination. It's the only door we can open here so it better be.

Nice hotel lobby. First things first, time to grab some free guest concessions.

Namely, another Magic Crest. The Haures Crest provides Red Rave -- 16 MP Fire Class Special Damage, small circular single hit area. I was hoping for some bagels. But I guess this will do.

Is it cool if we run around bugging people until we find the guest we want?
I am not being paid enough to see a reason why not.

Do you think all patrons need to provide Stud Cards to get dresses from the Magimel Brothers or is Gepetto just a special case?

He goes by Nick, Out of the Shower 98% of the day and everyone is very concerned why that is so.

Anyway, the next room over has Subway Expert, Dr. Gautier. Locks weren't invented on hotel doors yet in 1915 so we are free to barge right in and pester him, as was the tradition of the era.

What brings you to visit? This was the last thing I expected! I'm very pleased. Very pleased!
Sheesh. Do you know everyone in this city?
I'm sorry *SOME* of manage to be popular and well regarded. We can't all be anti-social hobos like yourself.
Tch. Whatever...

We're looking for a way through the subway tunnels out toward Le Havre, and we thought maybe you could help.
Toward Le Havre, you say?
Yes. Do you know a way?
Hmm... Let's see. Just give me a minute to think, here...

Dr. Gautier walks to the window and considers the question.

They went wild and dug tunnels all over Paris, but they didn't end up using all of them. And if I remember correctly, one of those unused tunnels heads northwest.
Wow, is the subway tunnel system really all that big?

Gautier walks back to the group.

You go down into Champs Élysées station and go right, and that'll bring you to the abandoned tunnel to Le Havre.
So we already passed right by the way we needed to go. Of course...
Hey, we wouldn't have known that until we asked.
<shakes head> I can see this is your first adventure. I mean it was the only other way out of this area. Of COURSE, that was gonna be the way we needed to go.
...I don't think I follow.
<shrugs> You'll get used to this kinda thing.

Go right, eh? Got it! Thank you, Dr. Gautier. You've really been a huge help!
<shakes head> I'm certainly glad to hear it. I've always been an ardent fan of yours, you know, Gepetto. ...But why do you want to leave Paris by way of the tunnels, anyway?

Oh, I see... Yes, the economy's been so bad since the war started. Things are hard everywhere...
<rubs neck> Yeah... the war... of course...
Listen, don't you worry about a thing! My right-hand man is the site foreman down at Champs Élysées station. I'll send a message down to him to let you into the restricted area.
That's very kind of you! Thank you very much, Doctor.
If you ever come back to Paris, promise me you'll go back to the stage. I'll bring my grandchildren to see you!

With that, our time in Champs Élysées is pretty much concluded. Let's head back down to the subway again. However, on the way, one new NPC has spawned in the streets...

Is there some kind of parade or costume contest going on today? But the weirdest thing was they were all lined up in a row, sitting politely and quietly. What was with those guys?

Meh. I'm sure it's nothing to worry about. Back to the subway we go. Dr. Gautier has psychically transmitted instructions to Victor the Foreman instantaneously. And so...

<moves out the way> The tunnels are pretty vast. Be careful not to get lost.
Yeah, yeah... Tunnel maze dungeon. Got it.

Sure enough, off we go to the next dungeon. As soon as we leave the station, we get one final scene on the platform...

Music: In Darkness of a Labyrinth ~ Dungeon

But when is the Holy Mistletoe gonna kick in, I wonder? The damn little punk looks perfectly fine to me.

One of the Clawed Soldiers scoots in front of Lenny.

What kind of way is that to do things? All he needs is one good punch!

<pounds fist and punches the air>

What?! Is that damn woman here too?!
<nods> Yes, sir. She said it would be the perfect way to kill some time...
<sags shoulders> *sigh* Damn that S&M broad.
<rubs chin> Oh, well. They've got that weird puppet guy on their side. We might as well have a magic lady warrior, I guess. Looks like ol' Nicolai is desperate.

Wouldn't want to accidentally cause a boss rush. That kinda mess is just damn rude...

Gepetto and Cornelia Official Art - Please put some clothes on that ceramic golem. You're gonna get the party thrown in jail. (The artbook version of this illustration has nipples drawn on the doll.)