Part 40: Episode XXXVIII: Film Festival
Episode XXXVIII: Film Festival
Music: Old Smudged Map ~ Europe
It's roughly 1104 miles/1777 kilometers between Aberystwyth, Wales to Cannes, France. It would take roughly 17 hours and 45 minutes using modern transportation if Google Maps is to be trusted. Our party is a bunch of broke wandering adventurers on foot. Also World War I is ongoing so I'm assuming some transportation routes are problematic at the time. That's a wee bit of a hike we took between chapters here. But don't worry about that. We're in Cannes! There's nothing else to do at the moment (trust me I tried to tackle the Great Gama Round 2 and Joachim is floating in low space orbit in that timeline.) So let's just jump right in.
Music: Town of Twilight ~ European Town
That's an odd decision to have your town sign facing the opposite direction of the entrance to the town. But I'm not a French city planner in 1915, so what do I know? We're going to blaze through this location in a single update. Despite that, Cannes is actually the largest town we've hit since Le Harve and we're going to smack into the majority of ongoing sidequests while we're in town. Seems France just has the monopoly on all the JRPG towns with more than two maps to them. We may as well chat with the locals to get the lay of the land.
There's talk of some sort of viewing of those confounding moving picture shows but it all sounds like hogwash to me.
Unlike Manmariana Island, St. Marguerite Island (or Île Sainte-Marguerite) is a real island off the coast of Cannes and it did have a fortress-prison. The Man in the Iron Mask was kept there for a few decades. The prison itself was closed in the early 20th Century. Not sure when Sapientes Gladio took stewardship of it from the French government.
They say that nobody that's been imprisoned there has ever gotten out alive. Pretty scary, eh?
Actually, 1874 a 63-year old French Legion Officer named François Achille Bazaine repelled 300 feet down a cliff with a rope tied to a fortress gargoyle and escaped on a boat with his wife. He was the only person to ever escape the prison. That's a pretty good display for a guy in his mid-sixties. I'll give him props for that.
Anyway, at the opposite end of this entrance square is stairs leading down to the main thoroughfare of Cannes. Here we hit our first sidequest related NPC. It's time for more of the Trading Sidequest!
Only an amateur, homemade one.
I don't know how to work this thing. I'm told it's some kind of annie may or something? Whatever that means. I don't know.
Even amateurs can make movies over here?! That's cool! Can I take a look at it? I'll give you something in return.
Okay, if you're giving me something.
Just so you know I traded it for some straw. It's got to be better than straw. I'm not trading downward.
Great! Thanks! Here, this is for you, then!
My mom gave it to me before I left home, but it just gets in the way. You have it. Take care of it, okay?!
My mom got killed by zombies sent by an incompetent Chinese wizard.
...That's rough, buddy. But...
You gave me a great memento! It won't be long before I make my first movie now. Come see it, okay!
Right. We have our next items in the series of trading. The trading sidequest is actually a bit more involved than most quests. We'll get to that a bit more later in this very town.
I'm cursed and trying to save a 400-year-old magician from a secret murder cult.
Tch. Young folks these days.
About the only villager that can go over there is Nelson, the stevedore. He takes food over there once a week.
Good to know. Where can I find him?
Another Lottery Ticket is hidden next to a lamp post by the stairs to the lowest level of Cannes. Maybe we'll actually find another Lottery Member soon.
And it was a feeble old man too! Poor guy. I hope they haven't tortured him to death by now...
Did he look kind of like a human version of a shriveled up raisin?
That's the guy! How did you know?
Going down another flight of stairs, we find a fountain with an item hidden it. What is it, you ask?
Why it's another Aroma Oil for Lucia that we'll likely never use. Grass Oil can be mixed with our current Ocean and Misty Oils for the following Aromatherapy concoctions:
- Grass + Ocean = Medium Physical Defense Boost for three turns. 25 MP.
- Grass + Misty = Medium Special Defense Boost for three turns. 25 MP.
- Ocean + Grass = Small amount of HP restored for one turn. 20 MP.
- Misty + Grass = Protection against Ring Abnormalities for two turns. 25 MP.
Well?! Do you or don't you?! I'll ask you one more time! Do you like treasure hunts?!
I don't know what you're asking or why.
Y-yeah! I-I love them!
<hands Yuri something> Good answer! So, you like hunting for treasure! Well, I love hiding it! So if you guys all like looking for it, let's have a little competition, okay?!
What's this scrap of paper...?
It's an encoded note that shows where I hid the treasure! If you can figure out the code, you'll find great treasure, and you'll win! But if you can't find the treasure, and the code is too hard for you, then I win! Get it?
Yeah, I get it! I'll give it a try...
Or just never speak to you again. The possibilities are endless.
Meanwhile, do you want ANOTHER sidequest added to the pile? We're you're in luck! Loud Croft (Father of Lara Croft pre-reboot) is here to help add to the busy work! We can't do anything with this at the moment. But it sure sounds like a location that could be found in, I don't know, a prison island we're heading toward? Just a hunch.
Aaah, when's a new movie gonna come out?
OK. Remember how I said the Trading sidequest had a bit more to it than most. By that, I meant it is some "you should probably just use a guide" JRPG bullshit. As was the style of the time. It's not quite to the same degree as the myriad of easily flubbed quests in Shadow Hearts 1. But this one is certainly the easiest to just actually fuck up permanently. Unlike most side ventures, the trading questline has multiple people that can have an item traded to and there are multiple dead ends with less than desirable rewards at the end of the quest. One of the ultimate weapons in the game (as well as perhaps a unique encounter with a returning Shadow Hearts 1 party member) is tied to successfully getting to the very end of this quest.
Now why am I mentioning this here with this random dipshit child that wants to yell about the new Star Wars on YouTube to incels but was born in the wrong generation? Well, the film we traded with Aspiring Director Ijichi earlier can ALSO be traded to Wannabe Movie Critic Fabio here. So let's back up and see that dialogue and outcome had we opted to trade with this kid instead.
This? It's someone's homemade movie. I got it from this guy who's just crazy about straw!
I don't understand what that means, mister.
Life is complicated.
A homemade movie...? Well, I guess some amateur movies must be okay. All right, then! Will you let me review it?
Just say you wanna watch it! Here!
I guess it's animated. Something about giant robots and war being bad? I'm not sure.
Yeah, well... It'll pass the time I guess. You can have this. I thought I'd give something besides movie a go, but it's not my thing.
This seems like a way more nonsensical trade than the previous guy. But nevertheless we did get a new trading item and the questline continues. In this event, both Wannabe Movie Critic Fabio and Aspiring Director Ijichi will continue the questline. We will just need to make trades with different people in the next major town we hit. There are a few trades where multiple people are acceptable and will continue the quest. I am not going to show them all off because that shit is like 5-10 hours apart and that'd be insane to do for five extra lines of dialogue. But now you know how the quest works.
Canonically to the LP playthrough, we traded with the Aspiring Director Ijichi. A ten-year old that wants to be a film critic sounds like an asshole, sorry.
Getting back on track, most of the doors we've passed in Cannes have just been background decorations. But this bar here is enterable and is, in fact, the critical path of completing this area. So let's head in and see what's crackin' in Vieille horloge.
How's that been working out?
I've given three people alcohol poisoning.
...I need to make sure Gepetto doesn't wander in here.
A-are you ordering?
Nah. Just talking to random people and hoping to trigger questlines.
So this drunkard dirtbag in the corner, who is definitely not a palette-swapped model of the dirtbag from the Port of Southampton we met in another bar, is necessary chatting to continue the main plot. So let's do that while we're here.
Don't get all crabby on us, now. Yeah, we may be strangers, but we've got a very special favor to ask.
A favor? What is it? I ain't doing nothing for free, ya know.
Could I offer you a weird Japanese doll thing?
<rubs chin> ...Possibly. I am going to have to know what you want first, stranger.
We want you to take us to St. Marguerite Island.
You've heard of Sapientes Gladio, haven't you?
Secret society. Bunch of colorful idiots leading it. A lot of cannon fodder guys in armor with really stupid claw weapons?
<looks away> What?! Are you fellows with the secret society? I ain't said a word! I done just like I was told, and never told nobody about hauling that "load" over there!
By "load," do you mean an old man? You helped the society imprison an innocent old man? So you're their pawn, eh?
<shakes head> No way! I hauled an old man over there, but I ain't no pawn! Look, I'm sorry, all right?
<turns back> What're ya gonna do with me? Don't tell me you're gonna kill me!
I gave that old man a free hit from my flask and everything. I was real hospitable!
Nah, don't worry. We're not like those secret society scum, you know.
They're actually intensely not cool with us. They shot up their own building in Florence to do a villain monologue and everything.
Just tell us how we can get over to the island. That way, you can keep from getting involved, right?
<nods and hands Yuri something> Okay, sure. My boat is tied up outside. Ya can use that to go over with. And this here key opens the door to the waterway. I'll let ya borrow it.
Thanks. We appreciate it.
Ya won't tell anybody, will ya...?
Nah. Don't worry about a thing. Just drink up and go to bed.
Pal, it's only five PM. I've got some drinking to do, ya know?
But you're already sloshed.
I started at noon.
Ya do you.
We now have this incredibly complex key (there's bits on BOTH sides!) to allow story progress. Spiffy. We'll get to that shortly. There's still one more sidequest item present in this bar. It involves a rotund man in the back of the establishment.
I'm ignoring you.
Don't be like that, chum. There's something in it for you!
...I am ignoring you even harder now.
Fine. I guess I'll buy you a drink.
Yuri spends 500 cash. We don't know that sum until after he agrees and consults his ledger.
Why, thank you! Let me give you this as a small token of my appreciation. It'll always remind you of me. You're just as fit as those men on the cards! Ever thought of becoming a model? That necklace would cover enough up!
I am resuming my stance of ignoring you.
His sword. Right. Well, that's another Stud Card in the collection. We can now return outside and continue down the street. Right past the bar, quite close to that budding film critic in an area where film is barely a media, we can find a NPC of note.
<morphs into Lottery Member 13> Not to mention the lottery! I love it! Let's play!
About time we got another Lottery Member. This one's gimmick is just having a tiny Lottery Ring. That's it. I actually burned two Lottery Tickets to grab the Face Guard as well since those won't be available for sale for a while and they're quite better than the current head accessories.
In any case, we've gotten another Crest. Gale Spark is a new one, I believe. It's the third tier of Wind magic. When that will come in handy remains to be seen.
Further down the street, you won't believe what gay stereotype shopkeepers have followed us from Wales to the coast of France. I suppose with that Stud Card we do have more business with them than usual.
Why, we're flat broke! Not a penny to our names! ...Say, I've got some time on my hands. Shall I sew you something?
Doesn't seem like Gepetto is ever going to show up to do this even though it's his thing. Old people, I tell you...
Once more, we're just continuing down the line because no thanks engaging with Gepetto. The Light elemental class is up next and that nets us...
Yeah, nice Dragon Quest cosplay. Get back on the bench, you creepy animated doll.
Well, if you must know, I frittered away everything I had at the casinos in Monaco. Now, won't you buy something?
Gerard is one of those guys that tries to game digital poker by going all-in on a bluff and he doesn't realize the game can see his cards and will call it every time. Anyway, there are a couple of new pieces of armor that greatly outperform our current ones. The next dungeon is a little rough so we will pick these up while we're here.
That seems a bit warm for early fall Europe but alright. This grants +42 Physical and +38 Special Defense. Curiously, only Yuri, Karin, Joachim and... Blanca can wear it? We're going to buy this for the first three candidates in our main squad.
Meanwhile, Druid garb is only available to Gepetto, Lucia and... also Blanca again? This one grants +37 Physical and +43 Special Defense. We're going to pick this one up for Blanca since he may need some Special Defense bonuses in the near future. We'll figure out how we're going to make a canine wear a druid robe at a later date...
With our purchasing done, let's finish up talking to folks on the street before wrapping up Cannes.
These days meh... effort.
Did you see a big bald dumb-looking brute or a guy in white pajamas on it?
...Yeah, actually. How did you know?
This is definitely not an indication of a future sidequest step. No, sir!
There is a dock at the far end of Cannes leading down to the beach. There is nothing going on at the beach at the moment. But just remember that Cannes has a beach. It may come into relevance, oh I don't know, 40 hours from now?
That said, on the western end of the dock is a rowboat we can just jack to head out to Saint Marguerite Island. And with that, we're just done with Cannes. Tune in next time for what is essentially the end of the first act of the game. Shadow Hearts 2 is LONG and we've got a very, very lengthy journey still to come. Stay tuned!
Cannes Concept Art - Yep. That's the place we were just at alright. I'm starting to question why Europe seems locked in eternal twilight...