Part 65: Episode LX: Gallery of the DeadEpisode LX: Gallery of the Dead
Music: In Darkness of a Labyrinth ~ Dungeon
Welcome to the Gallery of the Dead -- the dubiously themed underground of Petrograd. For all intents and purposes, it is a sewer level. There are wastewater streams blocking paths and assorted gates with corresponding irresponsibly engineered levers located dozens of meters away all of which need to be pulled to progress. But it is also some kind of crypt with assorted coffins and skeletons strewn about. But it is ALSO an actual dungeon of some sorts with skeletons shackled to walls as well and abandoned inside prison cells. I don't know. They just sort of threw all the underground dungeon themes into a blender and called it a day.
If nothing, at least the fact it's almost entirely lit by only our lantern makes it somewhat more of a visual interesting locale than the last grey and brown, stone constructed prison-esque areas we did... you know like the dungeon before last... Been getting a real shitty areas in Dark Souls 2 where they removed all the lighting vibe lately, so a change is nice.
Before we head anywhere, if we have Yuri inspect a skeleton directly to the left of the entrance we discover it is holding a book. And not just any book...
It's another piece of the Nibelung Opera which provides some extra power to Karin's Geusehbenst Sword Art. Spiffy! Other than the mime attacks involved in the description text. Those devilish fiends lure you into a sense of comfort pretending to be trapped behind an invisible wall until the next thing you know they're coming at you with an invisible dagger. Never trust a mime.
Anyway, if we trot a few steps down the dungeon we find our first obstacle and indeed the theme of this dungeon.
I bet we can open it with this lever. Look, it has the same symbol on it.
That's not a "symbol"! It's a perfectly good Cyrillic character!
That's stupid. Nobody says it like "tomahto."
How do you read it?
You're not very scholarly, are you? "Д" is read "deh."
I'm going to be real, I have no idea how we're even communicating in the first place. I'm Japanese, you're Russian, Karin is German, Gepetto is French, Lucia is Italian, Blanca is a wolf, Joachim is... uhh, were you French too? I never asked.
Huh. That right? Weird... I rolled with a guy from Romania for a while.
I am aware.
Really...? I usually never mention that guy. I can't even remember his name. It was umm... Devin, I think?
<snaps fingers> That's it. Anyway, the point is don't get on my case about languages.
Please, just pull the switch already!
Yuri tries moving the lever. Sure enough, the gate opens.
I get it. All we have to do is move the lever with the same symbol and the gate opens.
It's not a "symbol." It's a letter of the Russian alphabet!
I thought you said it was "cyrelac" or something?
It's "Cyrillic!" And it's the same thing!
Well, that's confusing.
They speak English outside of England, don't they? Why are you so hung up on this?!
...OK, you got me there. Let's go.
This dungeon seems more confusing to navigate than it actually is. It is, for the most part, a giant square with side paths in all four directions (including the south where we started) coming off the main square. We'll mostly be navigating this square in a counter-clockwise loop, hitting all the side branches as we go. Except for getting our bearings first...
If we head to the west first (this is the "bottom" of the square") we'll hit a couple of locked gates which will be important later. To the west we find...
Wrong. When it's the Russian alphabet, "A" is read "ah".
Ah! I get it now... <taps forehead>
This gate isn't too important. It's essentially the shortcut back to the entrance from the far end of the dungeon. However, the gate just south of here...
"Б" is a "lenition" or "consonant weakening" symbol. It doesn't have a reading.
Yeah... I am just going to nod my head and pretend I know what that means...
I can't believe I'm trusting the rescue of my nation to an ignorant peasant like you.
Well, excuuuuuse me, Princess!
So there is a shiny bit on that skeleton behind this gate. Now THAT is, in fact, extremely important. The end of this dungeon may hinge on opening this gate and looting that corpse.
Backtracking to that crossroad and heading north. There is a sidepath here with another switch. We're going to run past that for now just so we can continue to get a lay of the land.
Further ahead, we have two more paths with locked gates. One to the east and one to the northwest. The eastern gate to the right reveals...
That's "E," and it's read "yeh." We should find the lever that goes to it.
Yeh, let's go do that.
You are just doing this to irritate me now, aren't you?
Before hitting the northern oriented gate, there is an item of interest perched in the corner near the sewage stream.
It's another one of Lucia's Tarot Cards that I'll never use again after that first debacle. This one does indeed Reduce MP loss by 50% or if reversed, it doubles MP consumption. The special effect reduces MP use by 75%! And the reversed Special Effect grants the lovely bonus of 4X MP consumption. Yep, that sure does sound like another potential great boon or completely fucking yourself over again card in line with the rest of 'em.
Anyway, about the gate to the right of this Tarot Card...
Kah-not wait to get past this gate!
That's not even the right letter for that pun to work in any language!
Now that we know the gates, we can return to that path we briefly skipped and pick up another Lottery Ticket. But more importantly...
That's "E," and it's read "yeh."
Yeah, that's what I thought... It says "E," and that's pronounced "yeh."
Good, you're actually learning something.
Yeh, that makes sense!
Why am I even bothering?
Do you know what else makes sense? You guessed it!
Music: Vicious 1915 ~ Battle in Europe
There is a very small pool of enemies for this area. In fact, this is 66.6% of them right here. These two elemental heads are called Jack and Jill. Jack is the fire elemental head and Jill is the water elemental floating face. They both have a light 90 HP to their names. They both possess a couple of less than noteworthy common spells of their element of choice. The only real difference between the two, elements aside, is that Jack can cause Special Defense down with his physical attacks while Jill can cause Physical Defense down.
Their name comes from the nursery rhyme about two dumbass kids eating shit on a hill. You know the one.
Accompanying Jack and Jill on occasion is just... a damn skeleton. It's called Agony. It has 100 HP. It has literally no abilities other than running up and yeeting on folks which can possibly cause Delay. That is... that is it. It's just an angry skeleton in a sewer-crypt-dungeon. I don't know what else to tell you.
In any event, most mobs, especially ones including Jacks and Jills, tend to bunch up tightly together at the start of rounds and Amon is quite good at just deleting an entire encounter if he gets the drop on the enemy. Amon -- still a pretty good Fusion, as it turns out. I guess it really was worth it to go into the depth of Yuri's soul and completely retcon the motivations of a previous game's villain.
Music: In Darkness of a Labyrinth ~ Dungeon
Back on track, that E-gate did open the gate to the east and hmm... wouldn't you know it? There is a wolf-like creature hanging out in a cell down this path. If you smell a Wolf Bout coming, you're finally starting to understand Shadow Hearts 2. This is actually the penultimate Wolf Bout... of Disc 1. We are actually coming to the end of a few sidequests... as far as Disc 1 progression goes...
Our prep work for this one is Blanca needs a Bhodi Bracelet equipped to prevent Paralysis or Blanca is not winning this fight. With that done, let's go talk to this wolf infected with the T-Virus.
Awroo? Awroo... (You're a zombie? Never thought I'd run into a half-dead wolf...)
Awroo, awroo... (Half-dead...? Wrong. I'll never die.)
Awroo... (My mistake. You seem to be full-dead.)
Awroo, awroo! (The preferred term is undead, pal.)
Awroo, awroo... (The "dead" part is still key here.)
Awroo... Awroo. (I love the taste of live wolf flesh. I ate so much, I became immortal.)
Awroo, awroo... Awroo... (And so you're just going to hang around this world forever, huh? Poor guy... I'll help him rest in peace...)
Music: Soul Comet ~ Spirit of the Wolf
...You look pretty tasty. I'll lap you up -- guts, fur, bones and all!
Music: Glint of Light ~ War of the Hungry Wolf
I'm getting flashbacks to that dipshit stalker mayor in Romania whose grand pact with evil allowed him the transformation of... a big rotting undead dog. Necros here is a Dark elemental wolf, naturally, with a fairly high for a Wolf Bout 576 HP. He does have a Dark elemental magic attack allegedly, but he never used it and instead tried fruitlessly to inflict Paralysis on Blanca with his physical attack string.
To move things along at a steady clip, I had Blanca employ Surge and then spammed Soul Comet. One weird trick to win most Wolf Bouts in an efficient manner.
Enemy wolves HATE it!
Music: Result ~ Victory
I'm going to be real, an undead wolf is kind of a step back after the space wolf that spoke only in emoticons. Maybe if you showed up around the time the Terry Bogard wolf was the flavor of the day, there would be more to say.
Music: In Darkness of a Labyrinth ~ Dungeon
<shakes head> Die with dignity. That's the way of the wolf.
And if you could ink your paw and stamp here before you depart, that would be terrific.
Oh, naturally. I must respect the traditions of the Wolf Bout.
And with that, Blanca earns another Soul Comet power-up. Also, Necros does, in fact, drop dead for real. RIP.
A wolf who died at age 6 and spent four centuries as a zombie. Possesses amazing self-control and disciple.
You know, except for the cannibalism of its own kind.
Now that the undead scourge of the Wolf Bout fighting circuit has been pushed off this mortal coil, we can resume our exploration of the dungeon. Just to the southeast of Necros' former cell (how did Blanca fight that thing through cell bars...?) we discover yet another switch.
Yeah, right. That's "K," and it's read "kah." So what should we do?
Let's pull the switch, O-Kah?
That's not even close to how that works.
Hey, I'm trying.
Are you? Are you really...?
Now, while that did open the gate back to the northwest, to the northeast of Necros' cell is another path with two important items of note.
Yet another Magic Crest is found in a treasure chest with a very spicy Arc Rage spell. We're going to go ahead and throw that immediately on someone. That might come in handy for many a future boss fight.
The much more important part of this branch is we have Yuri walk specifically all the way into the corner shown here, we trigger another visit from the most mysterious of allies. That's right! It's time for another round of Ring Soul!
I am the Ring Soul! The will of the Judgment Ring! The administrator of all fate...
You're doing a good job, but hasn't your image changed somehow...?
I can see it! I can see your future! This I entrust to you!
Alright, sure. I guess Anastasia can have another one of these. I really wish Karin or Blanca got a five-attack string. These seem like they're going to waste now that I'm sticking them on magic oriented characters.
Maybe I was too nervous or something, but my performance was far too stilted before. Now it's really flowing!
My groove has returned and with it balance to all things.
Flowing...? It just sounds a little short to me now. And what about all that stuff you used to say afterwards?
Someone about watching us, even when we -- nevermind...
Of course! I nearly forgot! Guess I got a little too relaxed! Here goes... I will appear to you again, to bestow upon you more power... But beware! I am always watching... Watching to see if you are truly the one to command destiny...
Okay, see you then!
Wait! Next time, why don't you try impersonating your wife or something?! I wanna see what she's like!
Huh? Impersonate my wife? When I'm being the Ring Soul?
<nods> Yeah! You can do it, right? You're an actor, aren't you?
I wouldn't exactly say an actor... I mean, I've always been the Ring Soul.
I do a bit of method acting to really get into the role. It's more cerebral than you'd imagine.
But I guess I might be able to...
You can! I'm sure of it! This is gonna be great!
O-okay, then! I'll start practicing! See you!
And so the mysterious relationship with the Ring Soul continues onward to another day... As does completing the rest of this dungeon. Don't worry, we're about to hit the good bonkers anime bullshit at the end of this tunnel.
Video: Episode 60 Highlight Reel (Undead Dog sounds like just the edgelord putting on a fake deep voice you'd expect.)
Gallery of the Dead Concept Art - The people of Russia will NEVER forgive Bloody Sewerday.