Part 71: Episode LXVI: Sliding Into Your DMsEpisode LXVI: Sliding Into Your DMs
Music: Town of Twilight ~ European Town
Back to it in Petrograd. For essentially the last time. We may need to return here for a sidequest or two. The city's relevance to the plot is being put to bed. They'll be calling it St. Petersburg again by the time we get back. A few NPCs in the square do acknowledge that a fortress across the river turned out to be some flying ancient alien doom citadel. Let's see what the common man thinks...
Oh, have mercy...!
You know someone out there is claiming they just KNEW Rasputin had a doom fortress the whole time and feel vindicated that they "called" it.
The monsters are attacking!
<looks around and raises eyebrow>
The end is nigh!
OK, maybe talking to the locals aren't a good use of our time. Let's go make further mistakes by speaking to the Magimel Brothers. Specifically, Pierre. Since, you know, we do have another Stud Card to trade...
You don't spend your evenings alone, dressing up and acting out scenes and stuff, do you?
No! What are you talking about?
That Purple Bondage suit! It still smells of the queen!
I hate this already...
I mean... Well, if I had it, I'm sure it would help me think up some new dress designs.
You want this? Oh, I get it! You just wanna get dressed up in it, right? What a perv. ...Oh, well, why not?
Live your best life.
Thank you! I'm so happy! Okay, I'll get sketching right away! Like this... a bit here... a bit there... Done! See! It's superb! Very regal, with a touch of naughtiness! I'm a genius for sure, even if I say so myself! That really perked me up!
Now that I've got a new design, I'll sew you a dress any time you want! Of course, there's the usual S-t-u-d Card exchange! Hmm?!
...Welp. We're all on a list now. The police are on their way. I don't think the best way to honor the dominatrix dark lord Rasputin's girlfriend's memory is dressing up a magic animated doll of a six-year-old child in her outfit. But here we are. In the Bad Place. This is the Non-Elemental dress for Cornelia although it boosts Air and Dark Crest Magic elemental damage for some reason and it has a unique attack "Passion" (I don't like that name either even if it's just dropping a giant pumpkin on an enemy) which is Gepetto's second strongest unique technique.
Since we are in the Bad Place already, I may as well mention that, much like the Wolf Bouts, in Gepetto's profile we can get a direct line into Pierre's head for a descriptive blurb on each dress we've acquired. Remember those halcyon days where Cornelia was just a weird magic doll that something like Lulu FFX would carry and Gepetto got to participate in battles?
The mushroom, however? 100% actual fungi.
Neckerchief... A human came up with that article of clothing and term at some point and I'm glad they're dead.
If one of these fucking things says "refreshing vulnerability" I am abandoning this LP.
Modern colors of 1915 were gaudy as it came.
No! We're done here!
Let's get back to wholesome content instead of this degeneracy. For instance, it has been a hot minute since Joachim last received a new weapon. And I am planning to tag him back in for a while to the main party, so... There's this giant tuna here next to the Winter Palace... Let's see what that is all about.
Music: Gathering God ~ Thrill
Hmm. Nice tuna...
What's a tuna doing here?! We're in the middle of a city!
No doubt about it. This tuna swam its way through the violent waves of the Tsugaru Strait to make its way here!
W-Where the heck is the Tsugaru Strait?!
It's an ocean...river thing in Japan between Honshu and Hokkaido.
We are a LITTLE far off from Japan!
Yeah, tell him that.
<looks to the sky> A fine tuna! A tuna among tuna! I too have been called a fish out of water. This fish is perfect for me!
What the hell is he talking about?
What is he going to do with it?!
And thus did Joachim hoist the Frozen Tuna over his shoulder, discarding the Earthen Pipe in favor of his new bounty.
You just thought the tuna was frozen because it's winter in Russia? How early we are to judge. Joachim's final Disc 1 weapon grants +87 Physical and +72 Special damage. We may need to return and defeat Great Gama with this tuna. As the fated match of destiny was intended.
For we... are men... of the sea!
I'm a girl!
Knock it off, you're going to get us sued by Square-Enix!
You're not going to eat it, are you? You're going to use it as a bludgeon, right?
<silently walks off with the Frozen Tuna>
Yeah... He... just kind of does that sometimes.
Walk off with giant fish?
No, he just steals things and starts hitting people with it.
Yeah, you know... the occasional mailbox or gym locker. You get used to it.
Music: Town of Twilight ~ European Town
The Romanovs might be hugely incompetent rulers but you've got to admit the Petrograd public works system is on point given I'm FAIRLY certain we saw this city street get bombed to pieces during Rasputin's panicked hissy fit with his airship. In any regard, we COULD just leave Petrograd right now and continue on our way. But if we return to Edgar's shop at any point before the end of Disc 1, we get a rather lengthy optional scene and an upgrade for Anastasia.
And you, Princess! I didn't fold, even when Rasputin tortured me. I didn't tell him anything!
Thank you. It must've been awful!
Pfft... whips and heated rods? That's vanilla weak sauce torture. My wife, God rest her soul, could pull that off on a dull Tuesday night.
Ergh! I mean...
<nods> I might be over the hill, but nothing could break my loyalty to the emperor!
Not even being blamed for treason falsely by the emperor!
Are you going to try to take on Rasputin now? Well, you'd better have this, then. A lot of sweat went into making it! It's my very best work.
Lord knows the emperor is not going to do anything.
That doesn't sound very loyal to me.
Loyalty and faith are different things, my child.
Edgar hands over an Anastasia only accessory that allows her photography skill to scan all enemies at once instead of having to burn a turn on each individual foe. I reckon that is nifty even if most dungeons only have like... three enemy types.
Are you sure you have enough beds for us?
Haha! I don't own a bed. I sleep standing up, like my father and his father before me!
...Are all the adults I know like this...?
Music: The Real Intentions
Karin wakes up in a church. Indeed, this is the Domremy church where our adventure began... This likely doesn't bode well.
Karin gets to her feet and faces Nicolai.
I have come for you.
<extends his hand> Please come with me.
Karin, please. If you continue on with this foolishness, you and Yuri will end up being killed by Rasputin's assassins.
Yuri will never lose.
He has beaten all of Rasputin's assassins. Including you...
No, you are wrong. I have put in my two weeks' notice to Sapientes Gladio.
That doesn't matter. Yuri has already beaten everyone Rasputin has thrown at him. Including Rasputin himself once already. I'm good...
<steps forward> You believe in him?
<ponders> Huh. I see you truly care for him.
<shakes head> You're right. He won't lose. So I guess you don't need me, then, eh?
Wh-what do you mean?
<looks around> Wait... is this Domremy...? Is this a... a... dream...? A-Are you invading my dreams right now...?
I like to prefer calling it a direct message to you. Karin, listen...
I don't want to kill you. If you would only join me, you could achieve anything. What do you want? Fortune, fame... Anything you desire! Karin, my love! You could even... bring back your dead family!
W-where is this all coming from...? This is the absolutely the most insane thing I have heard come out of a man's mouth in a very long time and Yuri keeps telling me random no context bits of his previous adventure... You need to stop... whatever the hell all this is right now!
<looks dejected> ......
But why? Don't you understand how important you are? That's what I am trying to explain to you.
By... trying to... bribe me so you didn't have to kill me...? And... a-and... offering to bring back my dead family...? How do you even know about them?! I never told you that!
A man in my unique position hears things.
That sounds a lot like stalking...
<points behind Karin> What exactly has that boy done for you, anyway?!
Yuri? He has... saved my life multiple times. Mostly from you and your goons.
Again, I am no longer affiliated with Sapientes Gladio. Rasputin and I have parted ways.
That... doesn't change all times you already tried to kill me and my friends.
It is an unfortunate business... the conduct of my former comrades.
I was a respected Germany Army lieutenant! You killed ALL of my men and turned me into an army deserter!
You ordered Lenny to kill me and tried to stab me with that weird mistletoe relic! And you cursed Yuri!
...I was a different person back then...
You shot at me and my friends with an airship!
It was just business...
You drugged us and left us in a prison to get tortured by Veronica!
Yes... I... look, mistakes have been made, but... Yuri...
No matter how much you love him, his heart belongs to another woman!
What are you saying?!
It's obvious, don't you see? He'll never be able to give you what you need!
<shakes head> Don't!
Now, you see. It is *my* turn for truths...
<covers ears and shakes head> Ugh!
The Friend Zone, Karin. You thought it was only for insecure men...? Look deep into your heart. You know it to be true... And you are trapped within it.
Karin sinks to the floor.
Nobody in this room actually realizes why Yuri and Karin cannot be. And it is not him only being hung up on Alice Elliot. Nobody in this room is even close...
Nicolai walks past Yuri and slides in on the dejected Karin.
Karin, come with me. I'll give you the love you want.
Don't fight it.
Nicolai helps Karin to her feet and grabs her by the shoulders.
A woman needs love to be fulfilled.
Whatever you wanted out of Yuri I can provide. I can even transform into a devil man now, if that is what initially got you going...
I need you... Let's be together. Karin... I love you.
Oh, eww... No. No, what is this?! This is the... NO! Nope. No!
Karin finally snaps out of it and pushes the creeper dream invasion Nicolai away. He seems genuinely surprised this tactic he's taken of being a giant weird fuck that is suddenly really horny for a lady he was coworkers with for about a week and change during a stretch a half year ago.
...But I love you!
<smiles and walks forward> Yes, I love you.
Nicolai reaches out to stroke Karin's hair like a creep.
I feel sorry for you...
You manipulate people's hearts. But what is it you really want...?
You are putting me on the spot here. Could I have a moment to answer that...?
You... barged into my dreams and declared your love for me out of nowhere. Are you for real, right now?!
Nicolai slowly backs off from his advances and slowly backs up as Karin gets heated.
You think you can hide your true self behind your smooth talk and good looks?
You still think I'm handsome, though, eh...?
Yeah, you are a good looking man and otherwise a terrible person I want nothing to do with. What, are you going to do? Flash a toothy smile and stroke your hand through your hair and think I am just going to swoon from just that?
Is that how you've been able to get to where you are now?
<looks away> Well, it won't work. You can't manipulate me.
Can you truly say you don't care for me at all?
Yes. Easily. When we met you had me help rob the Vatican under false pretenses. I just remembered that one... The only thing I care for you is the impressive amount you actually suck.
Goodbye, Nicolai. You and I were never meant to be together.
Watch this, you can actually pinpoint the second where his heart rips in half!
Naturally, Nicolai pivots straight from awkwardly trying to put the moves on Karin and getting shot the fuck down to attempting to strangle her to death due to his rejection in all of three seconds like the MRA motherfucker he is...
Fortunately, he is not Freddy Krueger and doesn't actually have that much dominion over the Dream Dimension and is thus cast out of Karin's psyche before he can act on further pervy insane person impulses.
Karin immediately faints.
Karin finds herself back in the waking world surrounded by a maddening din of clocks ticking with none of them in sync. Edgar, I get it you're a clockmaker and all but you live in a nightmare room. That's like being a soldier and having random firing and explosion foley in the background at home to stay on brand.
Also, I wasn't making a goof earlier. Edgar owns zero beds. Who the hell knows where he even dwells at these hours. Probably in a comically sized grandfather clock. Everyone in the party had to just pass out on the floor. Nothing says loyalty to the emperor like making his daughter sleep on the bulging bicep of a Romanian vampire.
Karin notices Yuri sleeping and scoots over to him and starts stroking his hair as he sleeps.
Music: Town of Twilight ~ European Town
Well... that was a fucking weird way to spend the night! I feel like Nicolai just managed to fuck-up so hard in hitting on Karin like a weirdo out of nowhere that he made her actually be into Yuri whereas they'd just been kind of just platonic friends up to this point. Much like Rasputin fucking everyone up at once, his disciple, Nicolai, has accomplished a similar feat in a different field.
With that done, we are now finished with Petrograd and firmly at the End of Disc 1 wrap-up territory. I know earlier Nicolai mentioned Idar Flamme would be ready to raze Petrograd by morning. But Nicolai also quit Rasputin's service and flipped him the bird on the way out. He seems like the type that would throw his keys to the business into the woods, steal a bunch of office supplies and glue a door or two's lock shut. And then get drunk and text his ex. Oh, whoops... That kind of happened, huh? So we are in all likelihood OK taking a final lap around Europe to mop up outstanding sidequest content as Shadow Hearts: Covenant - Part 1 begins to come to a close.
Well a WHOLE lot went down that chapter and thus we have a modest Library entry update.
Learned nothing from experiences. Still sucks. Yep, that sounds like a rich person.
That's getting a little too real.
I have a lot of questions about this ghost child who constructed an animated skeleton.
Excuse me? Then what the hell are they doing in Russia?!
Veronica Vera, she lived as she died... with big old titties. More than expected, even!
Caim would kill this jerk just for lacking conviction in doing all the murder.
Yes, he is unbelievably concerned with his family. You know, if we just ignore one of the main villains being his bastard son as a plot point.
Video: Episode 66 Cutscene (Delete your account, Nicolai.)
Shadow Hearts II Promotional Poster - Nicolai, your game is weak.