The Let's Play Archive

Shadow Hearts: Covenant

by The Dark Id

Part 15: Episode XV: Minecart Madness

Sorry for the lack of updates. I'm just hella swamped with work and traveling for work. Might get a bit infrequent another week or two.

Episode XV: Minecart Madness

Music: Holy Mistletoe ~ Graveyard

...I lost my train of thought. Shit. Anyway! I mentioned the Level 1 Fusions of this game were... budget, let's say. So here we are... The Light and Dark class ones particularly are... a goddamn show. We're gonna be picking them all up today. There's really no reason not to do so at the earliest point. Soul Energy is there to be spent. It isn't doing us a bit of good banking it at the moment.

Yuri's poor The Joker cosplay, Radeus, comes with the following stats:
There actually are some stat penalties initially for certain Fusions. These can be negated by just leveling the Fusion in question up a couple ranks. For instance, Level 2 Radeus is:
.....Yeah, not really a massive improvement. But it's something.

Like Karyl, Radeus also get a pair of Special Skills

Barrier - 12 MP. Increases one ally's Special Defense Power. If someone is getting their ass whipped by an elemental weakness, this could get some play.
Heaven - 16 MP. Light Class Special Damage. Single target/4 hits/Anti-ground. Anti-ground attacks mean they're a launcher that will fling the enemy into the air. Otherwise, it's just decent low-level Light magic.

That's it for Radeus. But we're still sitting on a healthy stock of Soul Energy. Let's mosey over next door in the Graveyard and hit up the Wind Element Class while we're in the neighborhood.

Yuri will always laugh at a fart or fart joke.

...I don't know about this one either. Why is the wind dude's legs so chufty? And shirtless but giant pauldrons? I dunno, man. I dunno.

Malakia here comes initially sporting:
That's an OK spread I suppose. At least there are no actual penalties. The Wind class Fusion's special attacks are:

Gale - 12 MP - Shortens turn interval for one ally. It's a haste spell. Always useful.
Howling - 16 MP - Wind Class Special Damage. Single target/7-hits/anti-air. Pretty standard.

That's everything from the Heaven's Commandments side of the Graveyard. Let's see if we can't pick up a couple of elements from the Hell's side as well, eh?

Of all of these, the Water Fusion might be the most useful for upcoming events. So let's nab that first.

Little known fact: Yuri loves Blitzball.

That description really sounds like it's upselling itself. Amnis is probably the most of this batch of Fusions that looks like its previous incarnation. Granted, it's not a hunched lizard dude with a tail and vaguely Xenomorph features. But at least it isn't Yuri in body paint and a bad wig.

For this scaly boy, we've got:
Strength is getting the short end of the stick in a lot of these early Fusions. Beyond that, it has:

Mirage - 12 MP - Increases Evasion Rate for one ally. I've always felt these kinds of spells were useless most of the time. I used a similar spell during the Wolf Bout and it proceeded to do absolutely nothing but waste a turn for Blanca.
Splash - 16 MP - Water Class Special Damage. Single target/3 hits. Very wet.

Shuffling right along, the Earth elemental tablet is just a room over. So let's grab that too.

Always trust solid ground against your feet. You ever seen the stats for gravity-based deaths in the Souls franchise? Shit's ghastly.

If you say so. It just looks like you gave the last one a bulkier costume and covered it in dirt. Vastitas (that name is evoking Kingdom Hearts real hard and I don't like it) has initial stats of:
Literally dumb as a box of rocks. But quite strong. Sounds about right. The brick here has:

Shield - 12 MP - Increases Physical Defense for one ally. Gepetto could probably afford to get this cast on him once in a while because man that guy is brittle.
Crag - 16 MP - Earth Class Special Damage. Single target/5 hits/Anti-ground/ Ironic you claim to be an Earth guy and then are all about the anti-ground, sir.

We actually are just short on enough juice to grab the very last Level 1 Fusion. So we'll depart the Graveyard for now.

I don't worry about. We'll make it up in very short order since now that we're done with the Cathedral District and have obtained a new Fuse on top all the Fusions, it's a matter of returning to the underground...

Music: In Darkness of a Labyrinth ~ Dungeon

And retracing our steps back to damn near the beginning of the entire dungeon.

I'll just wing it.
Doing that has only gone wrong like half the time. That's OK odds.

Yuri, I assume, just fastball pitches the fuse into the train and that happens to move the thing out of the way gives us the path to the end of the dungeon. But like I said, we had one more Fusion to unlock and there were like seven random battles on the way back here. So...

Music: Holy Mistletoe ~ Graveyard

Let's jam some energy into this Dark Stone and claim the last of the elemental Fusions. Remember, Yuri came by default in the original game with the Dark Element Fusion, Death Emperor and that was basically his default look. It was a Devilman that looked like Amon's brother who got into IT support instead of lifting weights and adventuring.

Even enjoys a good Dark Desire.

Tch. Mediocre! Yuri, why are you just a purple K' from The King of Fighters now? And what happened to your shoes? Why are your feet so grody? I don't like it. I don't like it one bit.
Of course, nobody would walk out of the house with that look and possess any kind of intelligence. I enjoy when gameplay and story intermingle like that. :v:

Beyond the dirty goth boy look, Nox also comes with:

Surge - 12 MP - Increases Special Attack Power for one ally. That's usually an OK opener if we're exploiting an elemental weakness or the like.
Hell's Eyes - 16 MP - Dark Class Special Damage. Single target/3 hits/knockdown. Not really feeling that over the doom lasers and summoning a laser light show Tree of Sephirot or the like the old Dark Fusion had.

In any event, that is all of the Fusions unlocked. That came pretty quick considering we only got to that point like a good chunk of the way through the first half of the game the previous go. Oh well, let's get the hell out of this subway. It feels like it's taken weeks to make it through here.

Awroo, awroo!
Great! We can clear a lot of ground fast with this!
Let's just hope we don't have to jump too many cliffs on this thing. That'd suck.
Planks are easy to avoid. Just lay down on your back or duck the whole time. Heck, you don't even have to worry about it.

NEW Music: Crisis
(Yeah, this sounds like the theme of trouble.)

So did you know French minecarts are completely self-propelled? It's true. They can reach speeds in excess of 30 miles an hour if you just lean forward a little bit.

Blanca, being a good boy, is diligently keeping watch of the rear and spots something in the distance.

What's that?!

Not sure where he procured another mine cart from but it seems Lenny and his gang also have mastered the self-propelling subway cart tech.

Ha ha ha!! I gotcha!

That guy is pretty stubborn, ain't he? Hmph!

<shit eating grin> Hey, there, spike boy! You couldn't catch a cold of you wanted to! Now bite me!

Why, you little!!

The pursuit continues until Lenny and his goons have made it right alongside Yuri and the gang's cart.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha!!

<in exact same tone> Ha ha ha ha ha ha!!

Lenny fixes to jump to the party's cart, positions himself carefully to make the leap, and...

Music tapers off...

Heeeey, where ya going?!
<silently wave goodbye>

Welp. That was silly. Poor Lenny gets no respect but bless him he's trying his best to mid-boss. Either way, the party's train cart soon comes to an abrupt stop just at the end of the line. Literally. It's stopped two feet from the track vanishes.

While Lenny has failed to even initiate a boss battle even once yet, someone new is waiting at the far end of the metro dungeon...

NEW Music: Veronica Vera ~ Her Majesty, The Queen

Welp. That sure is a character design... You better believe those huge honkers have PS2 jiggle physics attached to them defying all known laws of gravity in the process.

Never thought I'd see the day Margarete seemed like she dressed modestly...
Who are you?!

Give yourselves up now and be my slaves, and I just might spare your lives.

Hmm... I don't know, I'm kind of into it.
Not the time, old man...

<points at the party> Such a shame! It'll be too late if you change your minds later, you know. I wonder if you'll be saying such brave things after my pretty pets here have their way with you!
Oh man, you're the drop a monster of the week and split kinda baddie? Weak.
Weak will be your knees after you see my power.

Music: Glint of Light ~ Mid Boss in Europe

Time for the boss of the Paris region, twin monsters - Castor and Pollux. Both of these boys are both sporting 250 HP a piece and you can probably guess their elemental class by glancing at them.

Yuri just barely has initiative so our first order of business is to going to be going back to the Karyl Fusion. Yeah, I know we just literally got five others we've yet to show off. But there's literally a Water element boss we need to sort out right now and it's the easier of the two to focus on first.

We want to take out these two straight away because their main gimmick while both are alive is Combo attacks.

Combo Attacks which at this early stage of the game are DEVASTATING. One decent full hitting combo with the two brothers can over halve Yuri's HP even in Fusion form and almost outright kill Gepetto or Blanca with their lower overall HP values. Only Karin is also sturdy enough to be able to take one or two combos on the chin before being in trouble. Not only are these combos damaging, the strings they're using includes ailment inflicting attacks like Small Ring or Poison. So that's not great either.

If the two enemies form up for a Combo (they play by exactly the same rules for that sorta stuff as the player) then it is possible to knock the formation out by doing a heavy hit to target the stationary boss (read: the one that doesn't move for the combo formation.) The one initiating the 100% uses the resist attack ability to make it damn near impossible to move from its spot.

Unfortunately, if their turns are still within consecutive range, then they can just reposition and probably the inevitable has only been delayed.

Which is why we should start fighting back with our own Combos and focus on one of the boss brothers to make life much similar. There's a pretty ace combo we can do with Karyl Fusion Yuri and Karin.

Karin's Keuervelk Sword Art is a launcher...

...which can be followed up with Karyl's Blaze attack which is Anti-Air (meaning it'll do more hits to an airborne target. This does over 100 damage per combo, which is nearly half its total health. Not too shabby.

Meanwhile, Blanca can focus on spamming Soul Comet on Pollux as well. While it's not a Fire class damage, it's still 50 ballpark damage range for either boss and that is nothing to sneeze at either. We only have enough MP for about three casts of it. But that's plenty of DPS. Good dog.

Meanwhile, Gepetto doesn't have a lot going on to deal with Pollux so he can instead use Aqua Cast on Castor and... basically handle that boss by himself. Aqua Cast is savage against the Red Oni here.

Once Pollux is eating dirt, the fight is basically over. With the threat of Combo attacks gone, it's just basically Arachne 2.0 but way less creepy.

Yuri at this point can swap over to Amnis and start spamming its Splash ability on Castor to speed up damage. I haven't mentioned it directly yet but the mechanics of switching Fusions in battles have drastically changed from the first game. In Shadow Hearts 1, the player was only allowed to equip three Fusions at a time. And in order to switch, Yuri would have to morph back to human form, perform an action and then the next turn he could switch to a follow-up Fusion. You would NEVER do this since Fusions in that game also had a huge Sanity Point cost up front that made it literally impossible late game without using consumables between Fusions to restore SP.

The way it works in Shadow Hearts: Covenant is Yuri has access to every single Fusion and can swap at will as the battle demands. Also, Fusions just drain a set amount of SP per round (like 3 SP per round instead of just one SP.) It's 100% a better system across the board. As much gameplay elements of this game go.

In any case, RIP Castor & Pollux. Which since they're on their way out, I may as well mention they're also named after some Greek mythology:

Wikipedia on Castor and Pollux posted:

Click here for more info.

Castor and Pollux (or in Greek, Polydeuces[c]) were twin half-brothers in Greek and Roman mythology, known together as the Dioscuri.

Their mother was Leda, but they had different fathers; Castor was the mortal son of Tyndareus, the king of Sparta, while Pollux was the divine son of Zeus, who seduced Leda in the guise of a swan. Though accounts of their birth are varied, they are sometimes said to have been born from an egg, along with their twin sisters Helen of Troy and Clytemnestra.

In Latin, the twins are also known as the Gemini (literally "twins") or Castores, as well as the Tyndaridae or Tyndarids. When Castor was killed, Pollux asked Zeus to let him share his own immortality with his twin to keep them together, and they were transformed into the constellation Gemini. The pair were regarded as the patrons of sailors, to whom they appeared as St. Elmo's fire. They were also associated with horsemanship, due to the idea that they rode the 'white horses' of foam that were formed by curling ocean waves.
...Not sure how we got magic goober dragons out of that. But there you go.

Music: Result ~ Victory

<claps> Oh-hoho! I haven't lost a step!

We've received quite a few rewards for wrapping up Paris including two new crests. Zepar contains Shield, a 12 MP magic ability that increases Physic Defense power for one ally. Sitri contains Rage, another 12 MP magic ability that increases Physical Attack Power for one ally. Both of those could have their uses, I'm sure.

But more important than any of that, we've got the very first Lottery Ticket of Shadow Hearts 2. T-terrific... We'll get more into what the sequel's version of that entails in the near future. But for today...

Music: In Darkness of a Labyrinth ~ Dungeon

And with that, Veronica teleports away. Karin sees fit to run to her position to confirm she's gone. I suppose technically she's never seen anyone teleport before, huh? What a sheltered girl.

Another weird character to deal with.

Oh, Yuri. You sweet summer child. You're not even close to the most high profile members of that group yet. But what were are close to is the end of Paris. As in... this is literally the end of Paris. Tune in next time as Yuri and the gang's adventures continue the French port of Le Harve. You are not yet prepared for who we'll encounter there. Nobody is...

A lot certainly did go down in Paris and we have a number of new entries in the Library. So let's get down to brass tacks, eh?


Yes and I bet if an entry of Puddies from the Power Rangers showed up here you'd also tell me they're a formidable fighting force as well.

Mr. Needlemouse's inbreeding got out of hand.

You throw ONE guy's corpse in a ditch with a snake you incidentally killed in the scuffle and you never hear the end of it.

The giant thought all that arrow to the knee garbage from Skyrim was highly disrespectful.

That's what happens without basic eye care examinations, kids.


Well, I think we're good on child death for a while as far as the LP goes. I think...

Nobody with that white hair streaks in the front has ever been on the level.

Turns out the trading card business was much more lucrative.

Sadly, I don't think we see Nico from DMCV-esque antics. Even if they literally do end up in hell castles and such with no explanation.

I can't even tell you what is going on with that half-Domino mask feathered... thing on her face.

Video: Episode 15 Highlight Reel
(You should at least watch the first cutscene with Lenny.)