The Let's Play Archive

Shadow Hearts: Covenant

by The Dark Id

Part 73: Episode LXVII: Soul Drop

Episode LXVII: Soul Drop

Music: Old Smudged Map ~ Europe

As you can see, Idar Flamme has appeared on the map just outside of Petrograd. While we could head there straight away it is a rather lengthy dungeon and it's been like... maybe 45 minutes in-game since the last crawl through hostile territory. So let's do a tour around Europe and knock out some sidequest progress first as the appearance of the floating fortress has unlocked a handful of things. Technically, we need to actually finish Idar Flamme to unlock all of the Disc 1 sidequest progress. But, it's probably better to spread this out.

The chief thing that has unlocked is Domremy is once again accessible on the map. Let's head back to where the adventure began and see what's shaking.

Music: Town of Twilight ~ European Town

There is nothing going on in the outskirts of town other than several wolves howling in the distance. All the treasure boxes Karin looted early on are still looted and there are no longer random battles. Remember how Nicolai and Karin were attacked by assorted magically enchanted toys? Which would imply Gepetto has dominion over all manner of dolls and wooden horses and whatnot. Why couldn't that be your gimmick? Utilize a bunch of weird animated toys. Why do you need to limit yourself to the single most uncomfortable doll you had on hand?

It was really vague as to what happened to the Domremy villagers earlier on. It was implied they were all killed, given Jeanne being incredibly dead and Yuri expressing remorse about what happened to the village. But nope... only Jeanne died. The rest of the villagers are fine and just chilling out. I guess the German Army gave up trying to fill in this part of the map as their territory when they lost another entire platoon of soldiers. That's a good thing. We wouldn't want Karin to get arrested for desertion.

Let's talk to the townsfolk.

Don't get discourage either. Even when everything seems bad, something good can come along...
Or more bad stuff can come along. It's been usually that lately.
Well now I'm just discouraged.

Huh. Walking all across Europe has actually taken a decent chunk of time. Who'd a thunk?

I feel much better now that I've made up my mind. Hehe. Pretty strange, huh?

Should I try to stop him from going to the front, or should I send him off with a smile?
I don't know. I'm sure it'll be fine. What's the worst that could happen?

One week later...

Nothing like this ever happened when Jeanne and Blanca were here...
I wonder where they wandered off to...
Blanca is doing fine. I've seen him around.
Really?! That's great news. Was Jeanne with him? They were inseparable.
<rubs neck> Uhh... no... Weird... Haven't seen her... with Blanca...

This is the only NPC in town that it is important to speak with in order to unlock something. We'll get back to that in a bit.

Eh... It isn't so bad when you can fly there in the Bacon Jet.
The bacon what?
...Don't worry about it.

And we're back to where it all began. Where both Yuri got cursed by the Holy Mistletoe and Karin got cursed by a nerd awkwardly declaring their love for her out of the blue. Also, I suppose Jeanne got gibbed here as well. Truly an auspicious location.

Speaking of Jeanne, remember how she randomly popped in to tell Yuri he can unlock Level 3 Fusions now? Well, there is this strange YELLOW glowing loot indicator in the corner of the church. If we investigate that, we will receive...

Our first Soul Drop! These replace the Gravestones from the original Shadow Hearts. Unlike those, which were elementally attuned, these items are universal. They also don't require grinding out specific elemental Soul Energy since they dropped that whole system. Yes, I'm still somewhat salty about that feature-length movie of grinding out the last of Earth Energy because the game just forgot to put in more Earth elemental enemies after a point. In fact, they don't require any Soul Energy. They can be used one time to unlock any Level 3 Fusion of our choosing.

There are three Soul Drops in Disc 1 and three are in Disc 2 and we're going to need to collect them all for something special. Yeesh. This is turning into a late '90s Rare platformer with all these collectibles.

Music: Holy Mistletoe ~ Graveyard

We do need to manually return to the Graveyard and place the Soul Drop on the desired elemental Gravestone. So let's go do that right now.

Given Yuri, by default, is a Dark class character, it seems appropriate to go unlock the Level 3 Dark Fusion first.

> Yes, hold the Soul Drop up to it!
Slam that thing in! Is... that how it works?

The Soul Drop releases the Power of Darkness!!

Music: Vicious 1915 ~ Battle in Europe

Oh yeah, unlike the earlier Fusions, there is a boss fight required to obtain the Level 3 versions. This cloud of darkness is Veles. Uhh... I think there is supposed to be a shadowy version of the Fusion in question here but it's not quite rendering correctly. You can see a big secondary shadow there. Look, the amount of jiggering with settings I had to do to get this to emulate smoothly 95% of the time is not being touched for some throw away optional mid-boss fight. Pretend there is a big generic gargoyle looking demon shadow in the evil cloud. In any case, Veles comes with 600 HP and err... I think you can guess which element.

Unlike the Fusion fights in the previous game, which were leveled encounters and just a waste of your time filler battles as such, these battles are at a set level and at this point in the game are a tad rough. Level 3 Fusion bosses will always start out the battle using their top elemental buff. In the Dark category's case that means Surge.

They'll also bust out the highest-end (for the mid-game at least) elemental attack in their playbook, which is Dark Claw in this case. Which, despite the name, seems to send out a series of cursed Pac-Man monsters to bite Yuri's face off. This does over 100 HP of damage. Veles also has a physical attack string that has a chance to debuff Yuri's Special Attack Power and does 85-100 HP of damage. Amon is still our top Fusion and but even with that Yuri only has 300 HP. And our best option is to just punch this thing doing maybe 80ish HP of damage every round. This adds up to maybe two turns of offense before having to heal and then it's a matter of juggling a turn of attacking and a turn of healing unless we want to gamble the boss won't get a critical attack in. I think I used more consumables on this fight than the better part of the latter Disc 1 combined.

I barely scraped by here but before I did, I checked to see if this was a real match. In Shadow Hearts 1, losing to a Fusion battle just left Yuri at 1 HP and he was told to go home and be a family man. Here? Nope. He's dead if he loses. Which I assume in the real world Yuri just falls over dead while standing on a save point. The rest of the party must be exceedingly confused.

But, we brought it together in the end. Even if Yuri only had 20 HP left. Hey, a victory is a victory. Even if it has no rewards. I mean, other than the new Fusion...

Music: Holy Mistletoe ~ Graveyard

Your Power of Darkness has been completely resurrected.

Defeating Veles nets us the Somnion Fusion. OK, centrist of darkness... You sit on that fence of destruction. This Fusion... to be honest, looks way crappier than its previous game counterpart Czernobog. At a glance, this looks like a big dumb winged cartoon dinosaur. It's the legs. They're too beefy. It looks like a guy in a rubber suit. But not in a charming Godzilla sort of way.

By default, Somnion buffs stats...

Well, it's not the smartest but it's pretty darn good in every other regard.

In addition to the skills Nox and Orexis possessed, Somnion (with a large amount of Soul Energy pumped into it) has the potential to learn:

Arc Surge - 36 MP. Increases Special Attack for all allies. Yuri really shouldn't be in a supporting role, but sure.
Delay - 40 MP. Odds of delaying one enemy's turn. Yeah... no.
Thanatos - 64 MP. Medium-linear Dark Attack. It's the best Dark elemental attack in the game so this is pretty good.

That concludes our business in The Graveyard. Take it easy, curse tree Yuri.

Music: Town of Twilight ~ European Town

Now while we're done with The Graveyard, we are not QUITE done with the Domremy revisit. Remember that NPC I said was important to speak with? The one that talked about the wolves being jerks? And remember how I said there were wolves howling on the lead up into town. Well, if we return to the entrance now...

Well, look who showed up. Yep, it's time for another Wolf Bout. You'll perhaps notice I've not done the usual prep work to negate the gimmick of this fight for Blanca. That's because... we can't! At least, not at this point in the game. Blanca is just going to have to equip the best equipment available and suck it up. It's more important to give him maximum durability than worry about a stat ailment gimmick. You'll see why...

Awroo? Grrr! (Who the hell do you think you are, coming into our territory?)
Awroo! Awrooo... (Hey, Boss! I think this guy is the "White Demon of Domremy"!)
...Awroo! (Yeah. Some call me that.)
(Awroo...?) (Since when did corny name startup?)
<shakes head> Awroo, awroo. (Awroo, awroo.)
Hey, Blanca, can I fight these guys too?

It's been ages since I fought a wolf. Manchuria was lousy with them. We can be like a tag team. What do you think?

Aw-awroo! (H-hold on! You're an official competitor in the Wolf Bout, right?)
Awroo... (Somehow, that is true...)
Awroo, awroo! (You can't go getting your humans to help you! It's against the rules!)
So... are we doing this, or...?
No dice? Meh... Have it your way.

...Awroo, awroo! (Fine, I'll take you all on, all by myself! This is for harassing the village!)

Music: Soul Comet ~ Spirit of the Wolf

Fate is a funny thing. Here I am, fighting to protect the village again...

Music: Music: Glint of Light ~ War of the Hungry Wolf

These guys are a reference to a team of jobbers from the original Mobile Suit Gundam -- Gaia, Mash, and Ortega which composed the Black Tri-Stars. And so the gimmick of this Wolf Bout is we are fighting all three wolves at once. Maya, the eyepatch wolf, is the real threat with 305 HP and a Light class elemental. He can inflict Poison with his attacks. Mash has 180 HP and is Dark Elemental and can cause Mental Break (Drain MP over time.) Finally, Martega also has 180 HP and is Wind elemental. He comes with Seal on his physical attack string.

Naturally, being a team, the trio will immediately set up a Combo and there is essentially nothing we can do about that. Except brace Blanca to deal with getting styled on for a while.

And we'll do that by blowing our first two turns with Barrier and Shield. Barrier should come first as all three of the Black Dog Stars are packing the strongest currently available magic spells on top of their physical attack add-on abilities. The team's combos are guaranteed to follow up with magic spells after the initial physical attack launcher.

Blanca might take a minor beating as we scramble to defend against this handicap match. But once that is done? Yeah, we're good for the next three turns. Time to go on the offense.

Mash or Martega should be the first to be taken out as they both have lower HP than Maya. Martega's Seal ability is the more problematic of the two and thankfully he didn't initiate a combo until we already had Barrier and Shield up, so whatever. Really, we just want to diminish their ability to do a Combo by quickly taking one of them out. It should take Blanca more than two turns to defeat either of the pair.

Once both of them are taken care of we can focus on the leader, Maya. By this point Blanca had his abilities sealed, was poisoned and at 36 HP with 2 SP on the clock. The Black Dog Stars put up a decent match.

Music: Result ~ Victory

However, nobody is going to beat our best boy. That's a pretty decent payout. Perhaps, mean spirited to steal all three's Lottery Tickets. Have you seen what the Mega Millions jackpot is this weekend?

Another Tarot Card has been collected. As suggested in the description, all damage is doubled if face-up. Naturally, it's halved if Lucia blows it. The Special Effect is quad damage or get bent and run away from/restart the fight because 75% reduced damage output is No Good!

Music: Town of Twilight ~ European Town

Numbers don't always decide the outcome. Doesn't matter how many you have if you don't believe in yourselves.
Believe in your own justice.

Awroo! (You'd better not bother Domremy ever again! And I won't tell you twice...)
Aw-awroo. (We won't. We promise. And to show you we mean it, here.)

That's another one in the book. Wait, only one paw print? What the hell. That was three wolves! Whatever... With our shortchange in Wolf Bout credit comes a new ability. Comeback is just a 36 MP full HP revive on a downed party member. Hopefully, it won't come into play too often. But more important, time for more Wolf Facts...

Boss of the dreaded "Black Dog Stars." A decorated soldier in his youth. Now married and on the run from his nagging wife.


Tragically, it cannot speak wolf.

He can speak fluently in Esperanto. Nobody is impressed.

<walks off>
Awroo, awroo! (Wait for me, Boss!) <chases after him>
Awrooo! (Awrooo!)

And with that, our revisit to Domremy is concluded. We may come back here sometime in the distant future. But for now, our European tour most resume elsewhere. The call of trading and the call of the ring await...

Video: Episode 67 Highlight Reel
(Some kinda SUPA wolf!)

Domremy Concept Art - Unlike most real locations we visit, yeah... Domremy is basically just a handful of houses, a church and a bunch of woods. Not sure about its wolf problems, though.