Part 34: Episode XXXIV: Janus or The Trouble with TarotEpisode XXXIV: Janus or The Trouble with Tarot
Music: Glint of Light ~ Mid Boss in Europe
You know, the two-headed buff winged part was evident in that previous cutscene. The bulbous testicle lower extremities of the creature...? Not so much. I suppose we're fighting this now because dungeons must have boss fights. This creature is going by the name "Janus" here. You know, two heads and all. Very clever. Though this was such a filler fight that its Japanese title was just Ajitobosu or literally "Hideout Boss".
Janus has a decent 880 HP and a Light elemental affiliation which... could be a problem given we've got two Dark elemental class characters and Lucia is particularly fragile. Indeed, despite being the most nothing boss thus far plotwise (even Grimlock back in the mines had the "malice of a bunch of dead miners" justification), this thing is actually kind of tough compared to the pushovers we'd had the last few major fights.
For starters, it is surprisingly strong. Its physical attack string will do around mid-60 HP damage to Blanca or Karin and approaching 90 HP of damage to Lucia or Yuri. On top of that, it debuffs Special Attack Defense leaving them open for even more damage in subsequent turns.
Namely, Bright Light a (obviously) Light elemental attack will do 90-100 HP of damage to Yuri and Lucia and WILL two-shot them if they aren't healed before Janus' next turn. It does a good 70+ damage to the non-Dark elemental characters too. Janus also has a slightly less damaging Red Rave Fire elemental attack which still dishes out a good 50-60 HP of damage to everyone but Karin, who can tank it a little bit easier.
While we can set-up a Combo and blast Janus with some Dark elemental spells at our disposal. We cannot really maintain it as well just because, well, Lucia just kind of sucks at offense compared to Joachim, unless we load her up with Crest magic and even then, eh... Meanwhile, Karin is fine sticking to Sword Arts or physical attacks. Frankly, they both deal about the same amount of damage against Janus. Blanca's Soul Comet is probably his best bet.
But I decided to try to give Lucia some redemption with her poor showing of the Tarot skill and let her take a shot. She was going to get stuck on healing duty for the duration of the battle. Especially since she does have that Arc Cure, which is quite useful for this fight, especially since Red Rave/Bright Light can potentially hit multiple characters if they're close enough together. But...
...Mistakes were made.
NEW Music: Swoop! ~ Running Wild in Europe (You should probably listen to this because I'm avoiding it at all costs most of the time.)
So yeah, the Hermit Card reversed AND it was the randomly selected Special Card so its abilities are buffed to max aka Lucia drained the entire goddamn party's SP to 0 making everyone go Berserk at once. I've had zero characters go Berserk up to this point, Lucia. ZERO! We're almost eleven hours into the game. Are you SURE, you're not a Sapientes Gladio plant?
So now that the entire party is Berserk all at once we have... zero recourse against that. Berserk doesn't just go away on its own. Sanity Points will, in fact, dip into the negative digits and keep going down. So where does that leave us...?
Well, an uncontrollable party beating the shit out of itself and wasting consumables in a fit of berserker rage while a fairly formidable mid-boss smacks the shit out of them occasionally to help along the downward spiral. Though, there was one choice revelation in this cock-up...
While in the Berserk status, Blanca gains a unique ability where it will run up to someone (I assume this can potentially happen to an ally as well) and piss on them for 1 HP of damage. Can't say I ever knew that was a thing. It makes me wonder if there are other Berserk only actions. Not enough to test it, though.
Anyway, since there's no way to recover from this save one of the Berserk characters accidentally using an SP restorative consumable at random... welp...
Music: Death and Defeat ~ Game Over (I didn't loop this one it's just weirdly long as hell. Also you should listen to it since we're trying to avoid this.)
Lucia, we need to have some words when this dungeon is over and those words are "get cozy next to Gepetto for the rest of the game cuz your liability ass is getting slam-dunked onto the benchwarming position" as soon as this is over.
Music: Glint of Light ~ Mid Boss in Europe
Let's try that again, by just having Lucia spam Arc Cure every turn and have the competent fighters with reliable abilities do the rest.
Indeed, we can just have this go much faster and smoothly by casting Rage on Yuri's Orexis Fusion and having him go ham with physical strikes. Casting Dark Edge on Karin can also improve her damage output. Blanca was on buffing duty and Lucia on healing like a normal person and not using dumbass RNG shit abilities with the occasional Evil Ray blast if nobody needed healing.
And guess what? It went perfectly fine this time. No party wipes or mass outbreaks of insanity because a card was upside-down and sparkling. Funny how that works.
Music: Result ~ Victory
<fans self> Oh, I'm so tired...
At least we got a decent payout from that jerk even if everyone but Gepetto and Joachim died in one timeline. Oh and look, another Tarot Card we'll now never use again after that incident.
...The good outcome is everyone gets a full heal but someone needs to waste a turn reviving Lucia? What's the reversed version? Lucia gets a full heal and everyone else gets KOed? Actually it's the Special Reversed result where everyone gets KO'd BUT Lucia. She does not get healed. Normal reversed is just Lucia drops over dead with zero healing done. Well done, Lucia.
That's odd. There's no one here at all.
There was that monster. And all of those Sapientes Gladio soldiers.
Tch. C'mon, Karin. Guys in battles you don't talk to beforehand aren't real people.
Weird. Where could they be hiding the old man?
I'm sure it's fine.
NEW Music: Strain ~ Assault (Theme of shit popping off.)
<rubs head and looks up> ......
Hmm... Didn't Nicolai mention something about an airship not too long ago? You don't think...
...Nah. It couldn't be connected.
Turns out Yuri can tank cannon fire fairly well. I suppose he did get blown up more than a few times back in the Shadow Hearts 1 days and was no worse for the wear.
Yuri stands up and brushes himself off.
Is everyone okay?!
Yeah, I know. What the heck...?! I thought this was a filler dungeon.
I think I'm okay! Yeah...
As hardheaded as usual, I can see.
...I think I'm about to get a headache...
Music: Suffocation ~ Grim Atmosphere
What are you up to?
Nice to see you, Lieutenant. You too, Godslayer.
Ahh! You see? This guy is SO rude.
Now now, Lenny.
Well! Let's see... It's been... two months since the Mistletoe's curse! You still look quite normal.
I'm not sure about the company you're keeping these days, though. Outside the Lieutenant, of course.
<pats chest and smirks> It didn't work. It's a load of crap.
Somebody needs to teach him manners.
Ask the foot I put up baldy's ass.
The one you're looking for is no longer here.
St. Marguerite Island. We're holding him there.
Wait, what? You gave me so much crap for telling him last time!
Allow me to finish.
<grumble> Call me a bungler and then just tell the guy anyway. I don't get paid enough for this...
<leans on the railing smugly> Godslayer, get me the Émigré Manuscript. Do that, and I'll give you Bacon!
I don't know what you're talking about.
Don't lie to me. You most certainly do know. It contains the secret of life. You used it to achieve your victory. Afterwards, you and Bacon took it and hid it away somewhere.
That much I already know. <smug dick smirk>
And with that, Nicolai and Lenny take off. Presumably to this Saint Marguerite Island where Roger Bacon is being held. Welp, after being sort of a footnote overall in the first Shadow Hearts it seems the Émigré Manuscript (or Document depending on which localization you ask) is coming back to relevance. Tune in next time as Yuri gives a history lesson once more complete with crayon doodles and perhaps reveals the current whereabouts of that way too much trouble than it's worth ancient tome as Shadow Hearts: Covenant continues.
Video: Episode 34 Highlight Reel (You should probably watch this.)
Nicolai Conrad Official Art - Sure, he ditched the church for his evil cult but the aesthetic was solid. If you're a huge douchebag.