Part 20: Episode XX: Busta WolfEpisode XX: Busta Wolf!
Music: Deep Meditation ~ Title
Before we undertake the next bit of optional content, let's take a closer look at this whole Solomon's Key business.
A new menu option has unceremoniously appeared on the second page of our menu. I'll admit it took me a little while to even notice this the first time I played.
Popping in here brings us to the Solomon's Key or the Key of Solomon. The menu itself cannot seem to make up its mind. Either way, it is a reference to the Lesser Key of Solomon an actual compiled 17th-century grimoire about demonology. It's interesting to take a look at that closely and realize like half the weirder Castlevania/Final Fantasy and what have you monsters that weren't stolen from D&D were derived from that.
Proper terminology aside, we're presented with a map slotted with UI elements that look hauntingly akin to the Final Fantasy X Sphere Grid.
Taking a closer look at the Crest List will present us with a multitude of regions on the map we can examine more closely. They are:
- Palace of Tranquility
- Enchanting Sea
- Forest of Passion
- Forsaken Hill
- Flame Desert
- Eternal Boneyard
- Wilderness of War
- Bastion of Riches
- Spring of Wisdom
The game is actually nice enough to just highlight the areas where we currently have available Crests. Also, it auto-sorts the crests to the correct area. I could see a version of this system where you just have 72 things to click on and GOOD LUCK!
At this point in the game, we actually have all the crests of one region -- The Forest of Passion. Furfur is lingering at the end of this list. As such, we can now complete the first part of this sidequest.
For each region, we need to properly place all the crests in their designated locations based on a vague description of the crest in question so we can place it on the
As an example, Furfur's description is: "A deer with a lightning tail. All who hear him fall in love with one another, man or woman. Lives by Gremory in the north forest." So we can deduce it goes in the northernmost part of this map.
OK. So then Gremory only has one possible space nearby. That is at the edge of a lake to the south.
Nearby we have a place that if you squint looks like some sort of arena. And maybe Andras belongs there, eh?
Well, there's only one mansion looking thing on this map so Zepar goes here.
And between that and the fact, there is a forest right next to the ocean where there be dragons, Vassago goes there.
So this Sallos creep hangs out in a weird rape tent in the woods so... here we go! Stay clear of that mess.
And finally we have... boy a lot of these are kind of rapey, huh? Old mythology is kind of fucked. Oh well, this is the only space left and it is a lake so...
The game will immediately confirm when all the crests on the Solomon's Key are in their correct position. If not, we can just reset the region and try again. There's no penalty for a goof-up. So what's the point of doing this?
Not much... Just ALL the Crests in that region getting an additional magic spell added to them free of charge (no DCP increase or anything.) Namely the crests gain:
- Furfur - Cure (Same old Cure spell but on a second Crest.)
- Gremory - Bright Light (16 MP, Light Class Special Damage. 1 Hit.)
- Andras - Hail Break (16 MP, Water Class Special Damage. Piercing. 2 Hits.)
- Zepar - Rock Rot (16 MP, Earth Class Special Damage. 1 Hit.)
- Sitri - Red Rave (16 MP, Fire Class Special Damage. 1 Hit.)
- Sallos - Gale Spin (16 MP, Wind Class Special Damage. 2 Hits.)
- Vassago - Evil Ray (16 MP, Dark Class Special Damage. 7 Hits.)
So basically a new elemental spell for all of those Crests. And another person able to use Cure if we so chose. Not bad for taking the time to complete some light word puzzles for a couple of minutes.
Music: Old Smudged Map ~ Europe
That's about it for the Solomon's Key for the time being. We'll check in on that later when more regions get filled out. What's not yet sorted out is the Wine Cellar. The wayward kidnapped orphans and the demon summoning dominatrix may have been dealt with. But a couple of new challenges have moved in since the party's last trek through these musky halls.
Music: In Darkness of a Labyrinth ~ Dungeon
All the random battle pools are still the same as ever. Particularly the large concentration of hostile thugs. I guess the mayor never sent word he was reforming. Oh well. Our first destination is to the western part of the earlier half of the dungeon. Heading into the back room of this segment of the cellar presents us with...
What do you say, Mister? Give it a whirl?
A whirl? What kind of business is this?
This better not be some kinda drug deal sting. Are you a cop? You gotta tell me if you're a cop.
No, sir! I am a legitimate businessman.
...Operating out of the back of a shady mobster goon hangout?
It's a grassroots start-up. We all need to start somewhere. But as for my business...
Glad you asked! I thought it up myself. I call it "Lucky Chests"! You pick two out of the eight treasure chests lined up here. If they have the same thing in them, you get it! You get two chances! And the first person that gets all the chests open gets a special prize. The rules are simple and it hardly costs anything to play! Only 100 Cash for one game. So how about it?
Oh, goody! Let's do it!
Here we go, then! Let's play Lucky Chests!!
Lucky Chests! Do you know that card matching mini-game from Super Mario Bros. 3? It's just that. Pick two chests and if they have the same thing you get the prize.
Simple enough. We're allowed to screw-up once before the game is over. The prizes themselves aren't very compelling. Just basic restorative items.
However, the real prize is obtained from matching ALL of the chests correctly. What that occurs...
Come back and play anytime!
Our grand prize for completing Lucky Chest is our second Stud Card. At a glance, this guy looks like Buff Hitler wearing a chef's hat and I think I'd pass on that cuisine offering, personally...
That's it for our first order of business. The second one requires... running all the way to the back of the dungeon again. I'll spare you all that dull ten-minute trek.
Before we head into the former boss arena, let's take the time to rejigger Blanca's load-out. Particularly, we're gonna slap the Pocket Watch on him and the Focalor (contains Hail Break) and Zepar (contains Shield) Crests.
Heading into the Wine Cellar boss room, we find a new opponent has replaced Veronica. The Legend of the Hungry Wolf is about to begin...
Awroo, awroo! (Well, what do you know? I'm famous...)
Grrr! Awroo! (I'm Kelly. I travel the world, looking for strong wolves. Call me hungry!!)
Awroo, awroo! (You don't look very special.)
Grrr! Awroo! (What do you know? I'm on the road to the final victory. The mark of the wolves will be mine.)
Awroo! (You've got some wild ambition, newcomer. But be ready. This is going to be a real bout.)
Awroo, awroo! (Enough boring talk, Let's let our fangs do the talking!)
Sure. I'll take you on.
Music: Soul Comet ~ Spirit of the Wolf
Time for you to get a taste of my legendary skill. Sure you can handle it?
You're raring to go, aren't you? I've got plenty of that, myself.
C'mon! Get serious!
Music: Glint of Light ~ War of the Hungry Wolf
If you're not up to date on your SNK fighting games character references, Kelly here (kind of feel like that one PROBABLY should have been localized as Kerry) is a big ol' reference to Terry Bogard, the protagonist of the Fatal Fury/Garou series and series regular of The King of Fighters. He is a Fire elemental class enemy with 180 HP. Sadly, Kelly doesn't have a Burn Knuckle or Rising Taco in his move list. Indeed... he just has the standard three-hit wolf attack animation as Blanca and Tetsu.
Kelly's version of the standard wolf attack just has the Fast Ring anomaly attached to it. Which would be a problem if Blanca wasn't wearing that Pocket Watch. As such, the hungry wolf just can do around 15ish HP of damage a turn.
Or we can have Blanca use Shield and reduce that to around 9 HP of damage. No sense in taking risks.
Meanwhile, while tanking Kelly's hits we'll retaliate with Hail Break which does a healthy 60+ HP of damage per cast.
That is... pretty much all there is to the fight. Early Wolf Bouts aren't the most compelling of battles, unfortunately.
Music: Result ~ Victory
But a win is a win and nobody got tossed off a skyscraper. Yet. Sadly, there is no Wolf Geese Howard featured in this questline.
You got a little overzealous. You've got to keep your cool if you want to win.
As it stands, your moves are predictable. It's too easy!
*whimper* Awroo. (Damn. You're as strong as they said... Stronger, even.)
<approaches Blanca> Awroo, awroo! (Okay, Blanca. Here's my pawprint. You earned it!)
One day Blanca will become the King of Fighters.
Awroo! (I'll be seeing you! And I'll have my fangs sharpened for next time.)
Sure we, will Kelly. (We never see him again.) Another thing we never need to see again is this lousy dungeon! We are officially done with the Wine Cellar for good.
We're also done with Le Havre for the time being. All that's left to do is talk to the first mate of our ride to the UK and set sail. Thus closes our adventures in France. Tune in next time as we near blighted lands of Wales and maybe meet an old friend or two along the way as Shadow Hearts: Covenant continues!
No new characters in this chapter but we did do our fair shake of brawling along the way.
I feel like if roach the size of a medium-sized dog has managed to get to your stomach you're already messing up badly.
I remembered the time my neighbor Henry's orifices just erupted with a mountain of roach hatchlings. Never let that guy borrow a cup of sugar again.
Mammal flesh only! Get that bird and fish bullshit the hell out of here.
The Belmont clan got real weird and kinky during that down period of Dracula activity between the late 1800s and the 1999 final battle.
Wino frogs -- the most despicable of all of god's creatures.
Video: Episode 20 Highlight Reel (C'mon! Get serious!)
Full Solomon's Key Art - Awful commute.