Part 51: Episode XLVII: Dances With WolvesEpisode XLVII: Dances With Wolves
Music: Vicious 1915 ~ Battle in Europe
...You'd think a creature that can literally fly would manage not to be surrounded. But I suppose it didn't anticipate being drawn into a combat pocket dimension that has warped the size of all space within and also allowed a scantily clad fencer and a wolf to instantly teleport to its flanks. This is Pendulum, a 333 HP Water class mid-boss.
Calling it a mid-boss is probably being generous. It's a complete pushover with a few unimpressive attacks and the somewhat annoying ability to cause the Reverse Ring anomaly. But that's not much of a worry as the party can easily take it in a single round and will do just that.
But this fight mostly serves as a chance to use Anastasia's special ability -- Snap Shot. Snap Shot only costs a single MP and unlike every other action in the game, it's an automatic ability with no Judgment Ring necessary. Let's give it a whirl.
I'm not sure where Anastasia got the tripod from but then again she just did a Jojo pose and made a camera appear from thin air. So it's best not to question it.
<cranks camera> Now look this way!
And so Anastasia gains a new ability from that snapshot of Pendulum. Only a handful of certain bosses will yield a new ability. And indeed, it's impossible to get all of them in a single run of the game since Carla's cat, Andre, and Veronica's dog, Oscar, both had SnapShot abilities long before Princess Romanov was available. There is a New Game + mode in Shadow Hearts: Covenant where all the party members are available in battle from the very start, so that's how you can be all completionist for Anastasia's abilities. If this was a more modern game or it ever got an HD Remaster, I have no doubt there would be an annoying achievement tied to this.
Spoilers: I'm not THAT much of a completionist. Andre yields Cash Steal which lets Anastasia jack extra cash off enemies. Oscar provided Remove which nullifies an enemy's buff. Ho-hum.
A second function is SnapShot that it will also display the targeted enemy's HP/MP and elemental class. These stats are permanently unlocked for the enemy type with the need to take another picture, assuming we see another one. However, the revealed numbers will only appear if Anastasia is in the active battle party. So that's a little annoying.
A Snap Shot that unlocks a new ability will give Anastasia a free turn immediately which allows her to dig into a new menu option in the form of Album. From here, we can go ahead and use that stolen ability and throw it back at Pendulum.
I summon you! <tosses the picture toward the screen>
Oh yeah, Anastasia less stole their ability and more made summonable copy of their soul to launch their signature attack at the enemy.
Aqua Raise is one of the cheaper Album summons at 36 MP and is obviously Water-based damage. Though it does have a spicy chance of causing Poison alongside that. But in the case of Pendulum, it just annihilated him outright. That works too!
Music: Result ~ Victory
Well? How'd you like that?
Well, the first use of your special ability didn't get the entire party killed so you're already ahead of Lucia, I'd say.
Music: Anastasia ~ Going Her Way
*pant, pant* I-I'm fine.
Is there anywhere you want us to take you? Is your home nearby?
*pant, pant* Th-there's a clockmaker down the street. I need to see him.
Is that where you live?
No. I commission him for inventions to fight against Mother Russia's enemies.
<sigh> Let's just roll with it and take her there.
A short while later, back at Edgar's Shop.
Oh! I'm so glad you're safe! Thank God! Thank G
<waves dismissively> Oh, come on now. Don't make such a big deal about it!
So a demon bird almost ate me in an alley. It happens!
What do you mean, "big deal"?!
<motions to the Yuri and the others> If these folks hadn't helped you, you would have been...
<puts hands on hips and looks away annoyed> I know. I know. I'm grateful already!
And half these people weren't even there! Tch... Fine...
Anastasia strolls up to a nearby store counter and slams something down on the table. Yuri walks over to inspect it.
<motions to the ring> It is a gift. Please take it.
So... what's it do? +3 to physical strength? Protect against poison?
...What? No. It's just valuable! Wear it. Pawn it off somewhere. Do what you please!
Well that's boring.
Excuse me, miss. If I may, young lady, there is a much more important question than that. Why was that monster trying to kill you, anyway?
I see you were carrying valuables. Are muggers just like that in Russia? We're new in town...
<folds arms and looks away> ......
A royal princess's personal business is none of the affair of peasants.
Yeah, I'm checking out of this conversation. Hey, Blanca. Come here. I wanna try something...
Let's just say that in this great big world there are those who choose to align themselves with the forces of good and battle against the dark forces of evil.
Yuri does not have time to listen to a self-important tween girl. He is far too occupied practicing his dance number with Blanca and happily hums to himself while doing so. Blanca seems significantly less enthused but he's a good boy and goes along with it.
<bows and looks around nervously> Please forgive her! She's always liked to daydream... Urgh... Don't take her seriously.
I'm not daydreaming anything!! <pouts>
Yuri has engaged in the conversation once more. Or finally stopped zoning out. It's difficult to say.
Well, my dear, it's probably nothing. Nothing to get too worried about...
Little girls get attacked by hellspawn all the time. It happens.
But that monster that attacked you looked a lot like a creature we fought.
I don't remember fighting anything like that.
Meh. Same ballpark of monster.
That is not the point. Now, young miss, that monster...
It was summoned by black magic. A powerful wizard. Am I right?
Anastasia turns around startled.
Do you know how to use magic too? Like Rasputin?
<looks around confused> Why did you all shout like that?
Anastasia runs up and hides behind Edgar.
Please say it isn't true! You're not working with that dirty old man?!
You know Rasputin?
Yes, I know him.
Ana comes out from hiding.
Everyone says that, because of him, my father's government has been ruined.
<folds arms> Your father's government? Really?
Also he did just try to kill me and admitted to a plot to kill my entire family. So there is that...
Uhh... Excuse me, but does that mean that you are...?
<sighs and motions to Anastasia> She is Princess Anastasia Romanov.
Music: Anastasia ~ Going Her Way
I can't let Rasputin get away with whatever he's doing! He's going to damage my father's honor!
And maybe try to kill him. I probably should have led with that.
We understand how you feel. But aren't you taking a few too many risks?
Tch... Other than that monster assassination attempt, I was doing just fine...
If you go back and reveal Rasputin's scheming to the empress, she'll listen to you, won't she?
<looks down> No. My mother never believes anything I say...
I can still protect my father's honor. Mother is a lost cause...
Now, now, Princess...
Rasputin is planning on doing something at the victory reception, right?
That's right. That's what I think he said, anyway.
I don't remember telling any of you that so I'm sure how you know...
Don't worry about that.
<steps forward> What is this "victory reception"?
I'm not gonna lie, I've been blanking on half this talk...
Very professional, Yuri.
The victory reception will be a celebration of his return.
Oh, did they... win the war? Kinda had my own deal going on in the last few months. I haven't paid attention to that.
No, the war is still going. The royal family just... ergh... enjoys indulging in celebrations... It's not the most popular practice, honestly...
I think they're a bore, personally. But those of nobility attending them seem to enjoy it.
Princess, the issue is people *not* attending the balls...
That's a great idea! I can't believe you came up with it!
That way, we can guard Princess Anastasia and we can get into the Hermitage without any trouble!
It sounds like a good idea, but do you really think it'll work?
Yeah, I dunno. You guys all look pretty suspicious...
So do you!
Hey, I've got a stylish aesthetic going on. Unless there's a circus in town, I dunno what you're going for...
Let's remain civil.
Yeah, OK local aging pimp.
No need to be mean.
And I'm not even going to get into your whole situation again.
At least I know how to wear a belt.
OK, can we stop?
Yeah, sure let's just walk in with no cover story in the dead of night. I'm sure there will be no issues with that. No sir.
Video: Episode 46 Highlight Reel (You should definitely watch this.)
Pendulum Concept Art - Getting a real Eve from Parasite Eve vibe with that weird spikey talon substitute for legs.
Edgar Concept Art - It's like Dr. Wily and Dr. Robotnik did a Fusion Dance.
Yuri and Blanca Dancing Illustration - Macabre gothic horror.