Part 133: Episode CXXVII: Crimson ThreadEpisode CXXVII: Crimson Thread
Music: In Darkness of a Labyrinth ~ Dungeon
Back at it again at the Doll House II: The Reckoning Revelations ~ Origins. I see no reason not to enter the sealed cellar of the mad doll maker who practiced dark arts with demonic crests to resurrect his dead daughter and accidentally imprisoned the souls of several other dead children into assorted failure dolls. It's probably fine and dandy down there. Though, we do have three Crucifixes that protect against all status ailments. Perhaps it wouldn't hurt to equip those on our party before venturing forth because, well... You never know!
<nods> Hmm. She's every bit as good as Cornelia. A.T. certainly improved after he left me...
He was my student, back when I was young. It's such a shame he's dead, with talent like this.
What does "A.T." stand for?
<shrug> Heck if I know?
But, wasn't he your student? How could you not know?
Tch. We have been traveling for nearly a year.
What is my surname?
Umm... Err... Gepetto?
Sorry, I guess I've forgotten.
That's because none of you ever even bothered to ask my full name, Ms. Koenig. So sorry I don't remember what A.T. stands far, dang it!
OK! OK! I'm sorry. You made your point...
Stop picking on her. That's a trick question anyway. Gepetto is just your stage name unless Pinocchio is hiding under that hat.
And who asked you?!
The chair with the doll begins rocking.
<jumps back> Yikes! This one talks too!
This is the eighth one we've seen now. How are you still getting startled by this?
The one Gepetto has already creeps me out and that one doesn't even talk. Dolls are freaky, OK? This place sucks.
Do you think "Father" means your student, Gepetto?
<scratches beard> Oh, my... That voice...! I-it can't be...!
That's right. It's Cornelia. You haven't forgotten me, Father!
How could I possibly forget you?! You're my... daughter... The one that died all those long years ago... My god! I never thought I'd hear your voice again...!
That marionette's name is Cornelia too? Is she my replacement?
No! It's nothing like that! Cornelia is... I mean, this puppet is...
That doll is SO much creepier now.
...I am going to have to incline to agree...
Hey, isn't your outfit one of her borrowed dresses?
Oh... no. Why did you have to remind me of that?!
Well... there's always that outfit Rog gave you.
...I'll power through the new uncomfortable feeling of this one.
You don't have to get flustered! ...But, you know, she really does look just like me, when I was little.
Cornelia and Gepetto are transported into the Fiddy Zone.
I was so sick, I couldn't go outside and play, so they were my only friends.
Yes, I remember. I made them for you so you wouldn't get lonely when I was away traveling for work.
I did have to hone my craft. Out on the road. Making puppets.
And one day, when you were out traveling, I died...
Ironically, crushed by a pile of timber you used to make dolls.
I was never lonely while I was alive. But Mother didn't put any of the puppets in my coffin. So now I'm all alone here. I've been all alone all this time, for decades now...
My soul trapped in this doll in rural Japan.
My poor Cornelia...
Aren't you coming here yet, Father? I want us to live together again. I want to make friends with the new puppets you'll make me...! I bet I could be good friends with your new Cornelia too.
<nods> ...Maybe you're right. I've lived a long life already. Maybe it is about time I went and joined you there. I'm sorry, everybody, but I'm staying. I'm going to be with Cornelia now...
Don't go, Father! I need you here with me...! You can't go! Don't leave me...!
<nods> ...Of course! I never realized it until just now. You've always been by my side, haven't you, all this time.
Gepetto! Get ahold of yourself!
This is why you don't get in the main party. You keep spacing out with these senior moments.
I was being influenced by the evil doll, smartass.
Oh great. That's MUCH better.
There's no need to get so rude! ...Hehe. Guess I had you worried there for a minute. But I'm all right now. Hmph! And I call myself a puppeteer! I was being controlled myself, just like one of my own puppets!
...Aw, you came to your sense. That's no fun! Just when I thought I had a new puppet to play with...
First of all, you look nothing like my cute little daughter. Second of all, why would my daughter, who passed away in France, have her soul transferred to Japan? Thirdly, she only departed twenty years ago. Why would she be in a thirty-year-old puppet? Your pitch has several holes in it, whatever you are.
I didn't think I would have to try very hard on such an easy mark.
You've been very, very naughty. I guess we'll just have to teach you a little lesson!
A lesson? What interesting things this human says. Fine. I was bored, anyway. If I can't have you for my puppet, at least I can have fun destroying you!
Music: Hardcore to the Brain ~ Mid Boss in Japan
While I feel like Orb Chaos Redux would be more appropriate to resurface in the Doll House, given that's where its last incarnation appeared, I suppose we'll have to settle for the Lord of Destruction, Baal. As with most optional dungeon bosses, Baal adheres to the Non-Elemental denomination and comes with a sizable 7200 HP. This is definitely tougher than Neo Amon but not nearly as rough as Orobas. Insofar as Shadow Hearts: Covenant bosses get particularly rough.
Baal brings the usual endgame assortment of high-end magic spells to the table. Its physical strikes are somewhat damaging but as has been the case, it's four against one. Healing up from getting smacked around isn't the most taxing of ordeals.
The lord of destruction that spends its time hanging out all day in a basement trying to trick 70-year-old men via haunted dolls is that it really enjoys time fuckery magick. Its attacks can inflict Delay and Slow, hence the Crucifixes to nip that in the bud. And frankly, everyone in the main party should just be wearing a Crucifix as we get 'em since nobody likes status ailments. It also will cast Gale on itself to speed up its movements. The only counter is to cast an Arc-Gale of our own since it's one of those jerkstore bosses that will get pissed and gain an extra turn to rebuff itself before taking its next action. Even with that, good grief is lagging in levels Gepetto slow. I literally could not sync up a four person Combo for the first boss fight since probably Disc 1 because Gepetto just got so out of sync turn-wise that often characters got two turns in a round occasionally before Gepetto got one. Or Baal would attack twice before Gepetto sauntered over to participate.
Beyond that, it also has the annoying Mental Break ability to drain MP. Crucifixes fix that. I did not give a Crucifix to Gepetto. Who ate that and Slow to become basically dead for the rest of the battle.
At the very least Yuri got to use one of his new Neo Amon abilities, "Die, Scumbag!" where he... just flies into the air and shoots a hundred fireballs. You know that one attack they do in every Dragon Ball Z fight after a point. The one that universally ends with the smoke clearing and the villain is completely unphased. It has possibly a zero percent success rate. It's that. But this actually stings enemies quite a bit!
Gepetto himself, until he ran out of MP and I was not wasting valuable consumables I'll never use before finishing the game, at least brought Advent to the table. Equipping the doll fashioned after Gepetto's dead daughter with the clothes of his dead niece gives the duo the ability to unleash Alice's ultimate attack from Shadow Hearts 1 which hits for a sizable amount of Light Elemental damage. The attack is exactly the same as the one from Shadow Hearts 1 except the magic laser beam pyramid's eye now has curly eyelashes on it. And when I say the attack is exactly the same animation, I mean down to the part where the caster's panty flashes the camera with a low angle zoom-up for five seconds. Thanks, Shadow Hearts: Covenant... Your dedication to consistency... is very inconsistent and often ill-advised.
At the end of the day, Team Puppeteer defeat the hell beast that... wait, was it actually just locked in the basement and so bored it did this whole ruse? Did Baal possess A.T.'s masterwork puppet to trick him into dying in the basement here. And curse the house. But... oh shit, what do you mean the old man put a complex locking mechanism to the basement and locked it tight on the way? Aww, shit! Baal done goofed again!
Music: Result ~ Victory
For our efforts, we get a boatload of EXP and Cash as well as the second of two Flare Brooches which we can stick on Kurando seeing as those only benefit Harmonixers and there is only the two present in the game.
Music: In Darkness of a Labyrinth ~ Dungeon
Oh well. I suppose it's fun being the one that's controlled every once in a while. I guess I'll come with you.
Baal likes it both ways in the S&M kinks and grants us another high-end Magic Crest to add to our overflowing collection.
I thought you stroked out for a second and I dunno if healing magic fixes that.
Ha ha ha! I guess I was just about to go join my wife in heaven! Thank goodness Cornelia saved me... Thank you, Cornelia.
I'll take it easy on the racy outfits in the future now that I know you are with me.
...Little late for that.
Gepetto briefly has a red glow from his stomach indicating some magical link or his self-destruct sequence has activated. It'd be a hell of a twist if Gepetto was an automaton puppet this whole time.
What in the...? There's a string tying our fingers together!
...Oh, yeah! My father told me about a saying they have in Japan once... He said when a man and woman are bound together by fate, that there's a crimson thread that connects them from birth.
So Gepetto and Cornelia are bound together by fate?
...Looks like it.
It must be true. Cornelia and I will be together until the very end!
Yeah, one would think the fates of father and daughter are probably linked by fate. It's a fairly safe bet. Certainly better than a dweeb from the city and a country bumpkin being bound to fate by a magic space meteor blowing one of them up. But more importantly, we have earned Gepetto's ultimate weapon which is fated to give him +186 Physical and +211 Special Damage. And alongside that, the Doll House dungeon draws to a close.
Not the longest stretch between dungeons. But a stretch filling a few gaps nonetheless.
Before they can learn the values of love and wisdom, all children wake up every day and choose violence.
This thing looks like a guy in a rubber suit from a shoestring monster mash movie from an MST3K episode.
Nothing makes for faster friends than a guy who squats in your attic for half a year being a crazy demon-possessed person, barely talks to you, and then immediately ditches you when your usefulness has ended to go get laid.
Gepetto and Cornelia Concept Art - Gepetto seen irritated he's slowly devolving into a gnome.
Cornelia Puppet Show Art - Is a fucked up NieR boss fight about to start?