Part 31: Episode XXXI: I Think I'm A Negative But I'm Not PositiveEpisode XXXI: I Think I'm A Negative But I'm Not Positive
Music: Spiritualization ~ Holy Land of God
Let's see what's crackin' in the west wing of the villa. I mean, besides low-res 2D leaves on a plant that probably shouldn't be that close to the camera.
Why, there's just a big ol' pile of fortune cookies laid out for the taking. Apparently, Yuri is one of those weirdos that actually eats the cookie and doesn't just crack the thing open for the dumb fortune before tossing it in the trash.
Eating one of these will give us a randomized fortune which in turn will give us a small to moderate boost of the entire party's HP and MP... assuming it's a good fortune. It's also possible to get a bad fortune and have the entire party's HP or MP reduced somewhat. This particular fortune gives the whole party a very slight restoration of both stats. Or it would have if I didn't just save the game and used a Tent twenty seconds earlier.
Further in we find a very similar corridor to the east wing. And by very similar I mean it's the same exact corridor but mirrored. I'm afraid there are no hidden goodies in this one, though.
There is a rather vacantly furnished side room that contains another chest full of a trio of zodiac tiles. Let's see what opinions Shadow Hearts 2 has about this set of signs.
Everyone rolls their eyes and makes a jerking off motion after Sagittarius leaves the room.
Pisces are statistically the most likely to fall for pyramid schemes.
Everyone knows if you see a Scorpio plotting they're just moments away from tossing a chair through a store window and starting a riot.
Only three tiles remain. And wouldn't you know it, there's only one room we've yet to explore at the end of the hallway.
...Are you AB?
<shakes head> No. Carla is AB. I'm type B. I guess she was trying to keep me out of mischief.
They told me in the service I was type A. Too bad...
I don't know my blood type.
I don't know mine either.
How about you, Blanca?
Yeah, no dice.
That's all right. We can all just give it a shot, anyway.
This room is set up so that if you try the door and fail even once, a really great treasure inside disappears.
Lucia turns and motions to the back of the room.
If the two people have blood types that don't mix, the lamp overhead will light.
Shouldn't it light up if they DO mix?
Yes, that would probably make more sense.
...Why would you even have this thing? How does it even work?
"I don't know" is the answer to all of those questions. Tee hee.
I heard about blood types once! They say A and B don't mix with each other, but that O mixes with either. Luckily, I'm A and Lucia is B. All we have to do it find someone who makes the lamp light with both of us.
As soon as you find someone, that person just has to go back and touch the door.
OK. I guess it's time to find out everyone's blood types through a magical device that can detect only if a person's blood type matches or not via the soles of their shoes. Don't question it.
So on the right side of the device, we can select either Karin and her Type A blood or Lucia and her type B blood. On the left we have to pick one of the boys. Sorry, Blanca. Humans only.
Yuri, for example, mixes with both Type A and Type B so he's Type O blood.
Joachim mixes with Karin's blood but not Lucia's so he's Type A.
Finally, Gepetto mixes with neither Lucia nor Karin so we have our type AB winner! Sadly, the game does not make judgment calls based on people's blood types as it does with their zodiac signs. Anyway, let's examine that heart door.
I like to think there's just an elaborate contraption that drops the treasure chest into an incinerator which only exists to burn that one particular treasure chest if the puzzle is failed.
We're given the option to select who tries to open the door. Karin and Lucia are on the list even though the set-up for the puzzle specifically said it wasn't them. Sadly, there's not a wildcard Blanca option listed too.
Since we correctly selected Gepetto to open the door, we get a bonus piece of treasure.
A Petrify add-on effect. I think there is roughly a 5% chance of triggering an add-on effect. But hey, that's still a 5% chance to basically one shot a standard enemy. But more importantly than that, this room also contains the last set of zodiac tiles.
Heroic and strong but easily clowned on by any common adventurer.
Gemini I heard you talking shit.
There are two career options, Cancer. Scientist or half-assed at everything. Choose wisely.
In any case, now that we're equipped with all twelve zodiac tiles, we can now return downstairs and start figuring out where the hell these all get slotted. Each door has a poem (two in the case of the double-locked middle door) which will give a pretty decent clue as to what order the tiles go in. Let's start on the left and work our way right, eh?
The important thing about the zodiac tiles is solely the relief depicted on each one. The flavor text is just there for funsies.
So... key words in that poem are Children, Archer, and Wild Beast. If we shuffle through all the tiles...
Gemini has two dipshit kids hanging out. That sounds like our first tile.
Sagittarius is a centaur dude with a bow. That gives us our archer in the middle.
Leo is a big dumb lion. Lions generally qualify as wild beasts when not depicted in extreme middling live-action remakes of classic animated films. So takes care of the rightmost tile.
And there we have it. This door opens up to a dead end with a treasure chest inside. Which nets us...
The Fifth Key is the even more potent big brother of the Third Key we received a while back. This will remain in our inventory until probably the end game or never used at all until after the credits roll. You never know when you might need it just like those 23 Elixirs you were hoarding!
Doubling back, let's tackle the middle door. This one has two puzzles, one on each side. It would stand to reason this is PROBABLY the way forward. Let's start with the left side puzzle.
But getting succulent meat is the best thing of all.
OK, so wool is the bottom trash tier. Cheese is mediocre. Meat is S-Rank goods. Which means...
Aries has a lamb chilling out on it and that one is pretty obvious. So that goes at the bottom of the tiles.
Capricorn has a weird fishtailed goat. Not a big fan of goat cheese but it is a thing. So that takes care of our middle tile.
Taurus is an incredibly buff cow and I could go for a good burger right about now so that gets the top slot.
Like so. That's one half of the door unlocked. This better be worth it...
Was this the birth of Reptile from Mortal Kombat? Where's the part where he gets possessed by the spirit of Onaga? Oh well... Let's see...
Pisces is a fish. So that's a gimme at the bottom.
Cancer is a crab yeah that's a thing that came out of the sea with legs. Sure. Middle tile it is.
Scorpio is looks kind of like a crab I guess. And it is also poison. So... yeah, sure. That's how evolution worked. Top slot it is!
And there we go! This corridor does indeed lead to progress forward. As well as a treasure chest containing... a Thera Seed. You know, a thing we can buy in bulk at Pierre's shop? Yeah... I don't know if that was worth the double puzzle effort.
Anyway, it would be irresponsible to not do all four zodiac tile puzzles. Virgo, Aquarius, and Libra would feel completely left out! That said, by order of elimination the correct tiles are those three. But the order...
Virgo is a maiden so she goes on the upper scale.
Water is kind of Aquarius' thing so that goes on the lower scale.
Libra also exists so it goes on the bottom. Where it belongs.
It turns out this hallway ALSO is progress into the exact same destination. There's just no common item prize. This is the speedrunner path, clearly.
Regardless of which of the two paths we take, we're dropped off in a huge room that really looks like it ought to contain a boss fight. But nope. It's just a missive empty chamber with zero purposes beyond a save point and a hidden accessory in the corner.
Of course, an authentic Native American armband would be found in a remote island villa in Italy. It makes sense to me. This prevents the Panic status effect (loose 3x SP per turn) which... pretty sure literally nothing in the game has had the ability to do thus far. And I don't think anything too soon does either. Neat, I guess?
Well, if this wasn't the boss chamber then I've got an inkling we'll find a formidable foe down the mysterious garden path to the back of the mansion. Or an Umbrella lab. You know how these things go...
Isn't it, though?
<looks to the side and ponders silently>
Music: Flame of Strain to Blaze ~ Tension
The party scatters and admires the lovely garden and maybe considers looking for that Adriatic Magnolia thing we came here to find. We probably should have asked for a better description than "It grows on this island. Go get it!" Perhaps Lucia knows more...
Lucia... please, the fourth wall is fragile enough as it is! Don't mug for the camera! Also, why are you mugging for the camera like a scheming anime villain?
Lucia runs over to a comically oversized lever while everyone is distracted with gardening.
<smiles and nods head>
The sound of a large gate opening nearby.
Sweet fancy Moses... It is a giant feline version of Poshul from Chrono Cross...
I'm going to set up a Twitter account that is just Out of Context Shadow Hearts and this will be the first image posted.
Tee hee. This is where you all die.
Andre, go on ahead and get them!!
Music: ENDS as giant cat stomping and meowing approaches Lucia.
Wait a minute! Stop!!
I'm your master! Did you forget who I am?!
It looks like it's trying to... eat her.
That's something you don't see every day.
Maybe we should and help.
I think you're right.
Remember when this series began as a macabre survival horror game? Just saying. No real reason...
Video: Episode 31 Highlight Reel (You should definitely watch this!)
Lucia Concept Art - Probably should have stuck to the exotic dancing and telekinetic fortunetelling and not gotten into villainy.