The Let's Play Archive

Shadow Hearts: Covenant

by The Dark Id

Part 37: Episode XXXVII: Gazing at a Bad Idea

Episode XXXVII: Gazing at a Bad Idea

Music: Call Back From Jesus - Mysterious Monastery ~ Underground Ruins

Not sure about the gems on the dicks of these alien dudes aesthetic. But we'll just have to deal as this dungeon continues for like... another half hour.

New floor. New gimmick. We have a configuration of stairs here and a bunch of colors of switches that Yuri can stand upon. Can you detect the correlation between them? They don't seem to correspond to any colors or numerical business, right?

No? Good. Me neither. It is just random ass trial and error bullshit! No nuance exists in this space. Just mash stuff and get it right eventually. For reference, the most efficient solution is: Green, Green, Blue. Get fucked, Red.

Going up a floor seems counter-productive. But here we are as Neam Ruins plays by its own rules. So what's on the next floor?

Oh, you know. Just two more of these lovely puzzles. Terrific. When I originally played this game like fifteen years ago I didn't have any internet access at the time. These all took like five minutes apiece. I was not thrilled with the level design here.

Going to be real, I 100% just looked this shit up this time. Fuck. That! Anyway, as mentioned there are two puzzles in this room. The first one is progress. The second one is optional but required because there's a Crest up there.

If you're curious, the solution is: Blue, Yellow, Yellow, Blue, Blue, Red, Red. Yes, that is the most efficient way to do it. Seven prompts. Again. Fuck. That!

Our reward is a new crest with a rather potent Dark elemental spell. If I'm not mistaken this also might complete another part of Solomon's Key. Spoilers: We've got two regions we can sort out at this point but I... just want to get out of this puzzle-centric dungeon before doing optional puzzles. And I like the Solomon's Key puzzles.

Backing up, we should probably make progress to the next level. This is a long set of stairs but the solution is surprisingly simple. I mean, assuming you just look it up and don't trial and error it.

Green, Green, Yellow. That's the end of this miserable excuse for an obstacle. For now. Neam Ruins might have a second area that is optional endgame business and all the warriors of tedious puzzle design return.

Despite the odd translucent blocks here, this floor is safe and devoid of block-based puzzling. You might think that we should go talk to Gerard and Pierre who are somehow in the middle of an underground dungeon accessible only by a rope ladder in the middle of Bumblefuck, Wales. But you'd be a fool to do that! If we head directly to the right of the entrance, we have the second most important encounter of the dungeon...

That's right! It's your boy! Ring Soul!

How's your wife?
Your wife... how's she doing? You mentioned her last time, right?
I did?
<sighs and grunts> I've got to stop drinking on the job...
...What was that?

...Ahem! I can see your future... I entrust this to you...

Guess what? We're pumping Yuri up to having FIVE attacks in his default physical string. Not everyone can do that. I believe it's just Yuri, Karin, Joachim and <REDACTED>. know the drill.
Okay, time to go! I can't put in any overtime today!
The boss chewed me out last week.

Ring Soul OUT!

How is he even getting hours for this? We see him like twice a month!
I am very confused.
Where did you even meet that guy?
...The Vatican.
Is... Is he Catholic?
Again. I am very confused and do not know.

We'll see Ring Soul again when the new work week roles over. For now, let's see what the hell the Magimel Brothers are doing down here.

I feel that's a fair question.
We moved heaven and earth to beat you here! The blocks, the stair puzzle... It was hard! You better buy something!

We're not going to question the logistics of getting that truck across flying block puzzles and up sets of stairs half its width. But we are going to buy something. Particularly, remember how we got that Leonardo's Bear that prevents instant death earlier? We've got two of those now. Perhaps, we'll buy two more on top of that. No reason why... Just to be careful, you know? Super careful. Like equipping everyone with on right now careful.

That's so rude! Don't be so cold! And, do you want a dress?

With the Magimel Brothers chatted up and Cash exchanged, the next level awaits us.

The gimmick of this level? The floor is invisible, naturally. The path flashes when Yuri steps on the first block of a sequence and must navigate the rest of the path from memory. And if you're wondering...?


Yes, Yuri can tumble off like a dingus. It doesn't actually hurt at all but we will have to return to the next floor and start from scratch if he beefs it.

It's not that hard to navigate. Other than if we get an inopportune random battle and accidentally run off an edge immediately following the fight. I definitely never did that at any point.

So anyway, you want a boss introduction that makes Janus seem like he had a lavishly cinematic introduction sequence that lasted the length of a late-game Metal Gear Solid cutscene? Check this next guy out! It's just this line of dialogue and we're instantly thrown into the dungeon boss.

Music: Glint of Light ~ Mid Boss in Europe

A space squid is here now. I'm uncertain why a space squid is guarding the Émigré Manuscript but I've definitely got some questions about what Roger Bacon was doing with the space god summoning book now. As you can see, this fellow is called the Grail Gazer. It's quite meaty, despite the gelatinous look, with a 1240 HP and a Water elemental class.

Keeping in theme with uhh... you know freaky space aquatic animals, Grail Gazer comes with a pair of space starfish appropriately enough called Star Gazer. The Star Gazer duo are also Water elemental and have a much less impressive 320 HP each.

We actually want to kill those Star Gazers first because they do nothing but set-up combos and we definitely do not want them doing that. Especially, since the first combo they pop off is basically guaranteed.

Additionally, Star Gazers only have one single attack: Instant Death. There is a reason we bought those spare Leonardo's Bears and equipped them. Indeed, that's probably the reason they stuck that shop one area below the boss room. It was a mildly rude awakening getting to this boss fight the first time and having half the party taking a dirt nap in the enemy's first turn. Even if we've sidestepped the Instant Death stipulation, Star Gazers along hit for 55-65 damage and a full combo with all three enemies WILL kill any of our party at this point. They're a little dangerous.

On top of that, Grail Gazer is mostly a water magic caster and will dish out 65-75 HP of damage with most of his spells. Given the chance, he'll also buff himself and his Star Gazer buddies with increased physical attack resistance. We need to break up this band immediately.

Our best bet is to get our boy Joachim supped up with Heat Edge to make him quite a potent bruiser against our Water affiliated foes. We can get Blanca on that wagon as well but ehh... he's my utility good boy who is casting all the buffs and doing all the healing.

If we get really lucky, we can just have him use Grand Slam to smash one of those Star Gazer jabronis back into space where they belong. They're technically a common enemy (that only shows up in this particular boss fight, but details) and not an actual boss. So they're not immune to Instant Death like every proper boss enemy. It's only fair for jerks that go around spamming Instant Death to get a taste of their own medicine.

We'll pull out Yuri's Barbaria Fusion just for the maximum amount of damage output to the remaining Star Gazer. We buffed this a couple levels at the beginning of the chapter for a reason.

Karin is good with her Sword Techs since they're fire elemental by nature. We do need to be mindful of Karin (and to a less extent Yuri with his Fire Fusion) because the enemies are nearly killing her if she gets targeted. It's fine once we sort out the Star Gazers since Grail Gazer has no multi-target attacks and isn't strong enough to take anyone by himself.

Indeed, as long as we just have someone on healing duty (Blanca) to patch anyone up each round. The boss is pretty much done after the Star Gazers bow out. It just takes a while by sheer virtue of it having a sizable pool of health.

Music: Result ~ Victory

See?! I'm terrific!

Seven turns, huh? I think that's by far the most any boss has gotten thus far. That's quite the post-battle bonus, at least. Plus we got a handful of goodies on top of it.

Can't get enough of those Crests. Got to get them all. Even the redundant ones.

And now we too can just pop off a lucky Instant Kill. You know, except for the mass of enemies that are just immune to Instant Kill.

Music: Call Back From Jesus - Mysterious Monastery ~ Underground Ruins

Sorry 'bout that. Roger put that sentry here so the book wouldn't get stolen.
How did you forget summoning alien monsters?
Look, I had a rough year. Some things slipped my mind.

Music: ENDS

OK. You leave space aliens to defend this magic book but you don't even so much as put it in a fancy box? Roger, you have strange priorities.

Yep. That's the Émigré Manuscript, alright. Reminder: This is not the original book. We never see that. This is a copy that Roger Bacon made for the Pope hundreds of years ago before he made himself immortal and bugged out. He actively decided it needed to be skull-shaped and as evil looking as possible.


Are you all right?!

Yuri's migraine/mental assault by an evil ass magic book continues until he loses consciousness and flops to the floor. Karin looks on with mild concern/confusion.

Music: Holy Mistletoe ~ Graveyard

Oh, nice. The Graveyard. Nothing but good things occurs when Yuri ends up in the Graveyard unprompted. Especially, regarding cursed objects.

Yuri climbs to his feet and looks around.

I'm here!

Yep, you sure are here, Yuri. Do you know what else is here?

Oh, you know. Just the Émigré Manuscript chilling out under a spotlight. Nothing ominous about that at all. I'm sure it too is fine. Especially, since it seems to have replaced that hell tree with another Yuri growing out of it.

Our rude hero approaches the book and trips just before reaching it. It's a very embarrassing display. Just plain clumsy. Hopefully, Jeanne's ghost won't roll in now to clown on his two left feet.



Hey, Alice. Gotten a little naked in the afterlife, huh? Still kept the oversized bow to maintain the hairstyle, though? I can respect that. I've seen the art with your hair down and you're like Elhymn van Houten level of absurdly long hair.

Music: ENDS

<pants and shakes his head>


The bring back the dead...

Yuri Hyuga! No! BAD! Do NOT under any circumstances consider resurrecting Alice Elliot with the Émigré Manuscript! There are two crazy soulless bug lady people I can point you to clearly demonstrate that is the worst idea ever conceived in this universe. One of them needed capital G actual God to show up and sort it out.

Yuri! Yuri! Yuri!

Eh? Huh...?

What happened?! You collapsed all of a sudden!
Are you all right?
Does he do this a lot?

Sorry, guess I need to eat something.
W-we're going to need to leave Wales first though. No thanks to that cuisine.
<concerned look>

Yuri stands up.

Is that the Émigré Manuscript?

Yuri responds by nodding and holding the most ominous anime way possible.

Music: Call Back From Jesus - Mysterious Monastery ~ Underground Ruins

Yuri! You mean you don't know?!
No, I don't. How do hell should I know?
I still barely know where Italy is and I was there for a couple weeks.
Do you know?
<shakes head> No.

Why do we keep you around?
<flexes> My rippling muscles!
Yeah, gonna stop talking to you now.

Everyone turns around and ignores Joachim.

So we should go to Cannes first, and then look for a way to the island.
Sounds good.
Let's roll out.

And with that, our time in Neam Ruins is completed. For now... There may be more to this area in the future, unfortunately.

Oh yeah, by the way, we've obtained the Émigré Manuscript. Let's just deliver this to Sapientes Gladio to get Roger Bacon back and NEVER consider resurrecting Yuri's dead girlfriend again. Why would you even consider that for a minute? Nonsense!

That was a near 100% dungeon chapter and it did have an unusual amount of enemies in it. Let's knock them out of the Library.


It knows when you poop and narcs to God.

"A head wound," you say? Sure, that's one way to interpret a near half-dozen swords in your brain.

Of course, a wizard decided this thing was a good idea. Of course.

It can deal with internet bullies.

It's actually a resident of HFIL now.


Oh... hey Alice... I see you've got an updated model and character portrait. I'm sure that bodes well for a dead person.

Video: Episode 37 Highlight Reel
(You should definitely watch this.)

Grail Gazer Concept Art - Cosmic horrors always with the eyes and the tentacles. Get a new gimmick, you jerks.