The Let's Play Archive

Shadow Hearts: Covenant

by The Dark Id

Part 61: Episode LVI: The Mirror Castle

Episode LVI: The Mirror Castle

We find ourselves abruptly dumped into a new castle setting. Welcome to the Mirror Castle. Or Palace...? Much like the Winter Palace/Hermitage, the game seems to flip-flop on terminology. We'll just stick with Mirror Castle since we just did a Winter Palace and that would be confusing to do back to back palaces. In either case, as soon as we so much as take a single step forward...

Music: Vicious 1915 ~ Battle in Europe

We are thrust straight into a mandatory battle. Despite looking somewhat more intimidating than the usual trash mobs, much like Pendulum back in Petrograd, this is just a common enemy of the dungeon getting a touch more fanfare than usual.

These specters are called Ogoroja and have a Light elemental affiliation with a paltry 86 HP making them easily defeated by Karin or an unfused Yuri just doing standard blows. This is a one-off dungeon with only two characters. They definitely put the kiddie gloves on for this region. I guess they've learned from the days Koudelka was tossed on her own after a disc transition with no save point until after a solo fight boss encounter... Its only abilities are a brief physical attack combo or casting Bright Crime. Neither of which are of much of a worry. I don't think any common enemies in this dungeon do more than 50ish HP of damage a turn.

I have no idea what the heck an "Ogoroja" is meant to be, exactly. That's a direct translation from Japanese with no alterations The word might mean "fences" in Russian, but I have no idea if that is true. There is Ogopogo a Loch Nest Monster-esque legendary lake monster in Okanagan Lake, British Columbia, Canada. Gonna be real, I don't know how either of those fit in with a quad-trident wielding grim reaper, here.

While we only have to fight the two Ogoroja here initially, we may as well just consolidate the rest of the enemies for this dungeon since they are entirely unremarkable. First up is Tweedledee a 98 HP sporting creature of the Water element. It's a little hard to make out but this is just the Thug enemy from the Wine Cellar segment of the game only it has gotten access to thermoptic camouflage. It can only attack with physical blows with a chance to cause Fake Ring and... yep, that's it.

Accompanying Tweedledee is naturally Tweedledum which is a 93 HP opponent of the Wind class element. Much like it partner, Tweedledum is just a translucent version of the Fat Thug from earlier in the game. This one also just smacks people with his transparent 2x4 only with a chance to inflict Up Ring instead.

You've probably heard of these two before. They're two fat idiots from an old English nursery rhyme or more commonly as mainstays from Alice in Wonderland and its derivatives (they actually didn't show up until the sequel book though!)

That isn't quite all we'll be facing in the Mirror Castle. But it will be the bulk of what I'll be fighting off-screen. Not the most exciting batch of critters. But at least they go down fast.

Music: Spiritualization ~ Holy Land of God

<steps forward> Are you okay? Is the pain really bad?
It's not great, but...
<stands up and scratches his head> No, it's not so much pain as... Um...

What do you mean?! Of course, I'm Karin! What's wrong with you?
I dunno. I just couldn't get your name out all of a sudden. Trying to remember makes my head hurt. It feels like my memory's getting more and more hazy. Ugh, I feel really sick.
Ugh... I knew I should have eaten something before inviting someone into some hidden castle in my soul.

Haha. I think I'll pass on that!
That also doesn't really narrow it down with women I've met.
Yeah, I bet.

Welcome to the Mirror Castle proper. You see these corridors? Sometimes they go north. Sometimes east or west. Sometimes even south! And... yeah, you've pretty much seen 90% of the dungeon. At least it's not another cave or dank brown dungeon but it isn't doing much for me either.

Every once in awhile we'll run past a mirror but there is nothing to be done with those at the moment.

Eventually, after the interruption of a handful of random battles, we'll encounter one of the few rooms that aren't a blue hallway. And by "few" I mean two. Here we have a lounge with comfortable chairs, a cozy fireplace and a magnificent picture of a... peacock? I'm not sure what that is all about... Yuri is there some past trauma involving peacocks you're not telling us about...?

There is also a mirror on the side of the room opposite the fireplace. We'll check that out in just a moment.

Just to get all of our bearings in this dungeon. Due north from the lounge is a locked door with a save point that is obviously progress. You know, once we bumble around and inevitably stumble upon a key to open it.

Perhaps the mirror found in the only unique room in the area can shed some light. It would make sense mirrors finally come into play in place called "Mirror Castle" right? Should we click on it...

Well, it's inside my heart, after all. We've got to expect things to be kind of screwed up.
Huh. Nothing... Maybe it is just a normal mirr—
<enters fighting stance> Look out. Here they come.
What?! That's just your reflection, Yuri.
And I'm gonna kick its ass!

Music: Vicious 1915 ~ Battle in Europe

Time to fight Mirror Yuri and Mirror Karin. Both of them have identical stats and elemental class as the real McCoy. Only, this version of Yuri and Karin are equipped with their default load-out from the start of the game so their damage output is less than remarkable.

Of the two, Mirror Karin is actually the more dangerous of the pair. While her equipment is lacking, she does have access to all three of her Sword Arts and can dish out a decent 60ish HP if she opts for one of her stronger attacks.

Meanwhile, Mirror Yuri cannot use Fusion. He just remains in his default human form. Which leaves the doppelganger with the option of... let me check my notes here... Hmm... Ah, yes. Punching things a couple of times and maybe throwing a kick if he's feeling fancy. This can do an OK amount of damage to Karin but it doesn't even register into the double-digit damage against the OG Yuri.

As such, Copy Karin is the priority while Xerox Yuri is a secondary target. Not that it strongly matters, a decent combo with Yuri and Karin coordinating is enough to take at either of them in a single turn. Likewise, the doppelgangers fail to ever attempt a combo and just attack indiscriminately until they are taken out.

Music: Result ~ Victory

Stay outta my way.

That's what you get for cheap knock-offs from a mirror dimension. What you also get is absolutely no reward! Thanks for nothing, copycats.

Music: Spiritualization ~ Holy Land of God

Unpleasant music sting!

The reflection in the mirror is the darkness in your own heart, your shadow self. It envies your living flesh.
You must reach out to the truth if you want to obtain victory.

The mirror path is a single ray of light. There's no turning back.
Huh? What does that mean?
I'm not really up for the philosophical crap about beating up the darkness in my heart to accept it or whatever mumbo-jumbo punching out my reflection represents...
<turns to Yuri> It means if we look in a mirror, we have to fight our alter ego there. And the path that opens up will be one-way.
<turns back to Jovis> ...Right?
<nods> Yes. Looks like I did the right thing, Karin, sending you.
So we've got to do that lame imitation version of us fight again to get back across the mirror?
Sure, fine...

Here, now let me do something to help you.

This is a sealed field in your heart. To get back, you must break Amon's seal. Come to me whenever you need healing.
Thank you, Bishop.

If we come back to this mirror, Jovis will now helpfully restore our HP and MP. We are... not going to need this service again. There's like 15 minutes left of this dungeon before the boss fight. It would be more like five minutes if not for the random battles.

We are now in a mirrored version of the dungeon we already traversed. To the north is no longer a gate. There is merely a treasure chest with another Third Key item.

Since that isn't the right direction, naturally the correct path is... just backtracking across the entire dungeon to the beginning except the east and west corridors are flipped now. I would tell you next dungeon is more interesting but I'd be fully lying because it's a goddamn sewer level...

Once we retrace our steps back to the mirror copy of the room we began in, there is now a chest containing a Glass Key. Welp. We've only seen exactly one locked door and have hit every corner of this dungeon AND it's reversed self. So that means... oh good, backtracking across the entire dungeon again!

Only this time, we have to hit up one of those mirrors we passed on the first run through these overly blue halls and do a rematch with Yuri and Karin's mirror selves. It is the same exact fight. No differences. Still no reward.

So we'll just skip past all that and return to the non-mirrored version of the Mirror Castle's northernmost corridor (mirror is starting to stop sounding like a real word) and use that Glass Key to enter...

Oh smashing! Another damn mirror! Granted, this one is in front of an ominous-looking magical glyph and surrounded by eerie candelabra stands. Let's hope no time-displaced mages have tried to awaken a parasite alien god in here recently. We're already jumping into mirror dimensions. We don't need to dabble in any time travel.

Music: END. Ominous hum begins.

<stops walking> Oh...?
<bumps into Karin> Eh?

Poor guy... Amon doesn't know what to do with his hands like an awkward game developer at a press conference.

Soon now.
So do we need to tap the mirror to get his going or—?

Amon slowly stomps forward.

Oh, OK... He's just walking out. Here we go.
Are we going to have to fight another mirror me?
Let's hope not. That seems like it would just be distracting.

Amon puts on a brief energy surge laser light show to show off his power.

Oh... Whoa...
<looks at Karin and points at Amon> Are you telling me he's always been this scary?
C'mon! Don't be such a wimp!
I-I just didn't know I looked that freaky when I was fused with Amon. No wonder everyone freaked out and shot at me every time I showed up back in Domremy. Now I just feel bad... I looked like a friggin' nightmare demon!
Yeah, you should feel bad! Now get it together!

Tune in next time as Yuri and Karin take on Amon, the God of Wrath. Well, I guess this is technically a rematch with a new support partner for Yuri. But, details...

Video: Episode 56 Highlight Reel

Mirror Castle Concept Art - More like copy and paste castle.

Ogoroja Concept Art - I hated having to go through that annoying Covenant in Dark Souls 2 to fight this jerk.