Part 78: Episode LXXII: AsmodeusEpisode LXXII: Asmodeus
NEW Music: Hardcore to the Brain (This is actually the primary Disc 2 common boss fight music but Rasputin is giving us an early taste.)
OK, then. I would have pegged a fight with Demon Lord Rasputin in his human wizard form before jumping straight to the unspeakable abomination transformation phase of the Soul Pact. You know how class act Albert Simon did back in the day. But here we are jumping straight away to facing Asmodeus. Rasputin's glow up is a rare Non-Elemental enemy with 2880 HP. Which... seems kind of low, honestly. A Soul Pact with one of the trifecta of most powerful demons of destruction only gives you a thousand more HP than that jobber Victor and only 500 more health than the titty elemental Veronica? That seems underwhelming.
Before we do anything we are spending the first turn slapping on all the buffs and defenses going with getting Arc Barrier, Arc Rage and Arc Gale up and running. Arc Shield isn't a bad idea either but isn't as essential since Yuri will be fusing into Amon and we can only use Crest Magic with the other three characters. Maybe next turn. But really, Arc Barrier is absolutely essential as Asmodeus hits HARD.
Asmodeus' first action is to cast Evil Crest which hits the entire party for significant damage and lowers everyone's Special Attack power by 30% for 5 turns. Mind you, the damage numbers shown are with everyone protected by a Barrier spell. Without it, this hits in the 225-250 HP range. Our frontline characters all have not much beyond 300 HP max so... that's a not at all insignificant chunk of health! We need to get that healed immediately because Rasputin WILL kill a character the next turn if they don't have 200+ HP reserves at all times.
After nerfing everyone's Special Attack power, Asmodeus will also buff his own by 30%. He wants to be the only one with big boy magic power in the room.
Asmodeus can also send people on a brief trip to another dimension for 200+ HP of damage.
He can also just slap the shit out of someone for 150-200+ HP of damage as well. This has the troubling side-effect of lowering their SP significantly. I don't think it can outright completely drain sanity to zero. But it will lower it all the way to 1 SP thus that character needs to be sorted out with a Pure Root or the like the next turn or they'll be going Berserk. And that would be less than a choice development for a major boss fight.
Arc Gale does give us enough breathing room after a couple turns to get all of our necessary healing/SP repairs in and give us a chance to set-up a Combo. Which is what we need to do to get ahead in the resources race against Soul Pact Rasputin.
Even with our magic abilities debuffed, we can still make the donuts with a 4-person combo ending with a spot of Combo Magic. Like to the tune of right around a thousand HP of damage.
If we can knock that out a couple of times and still gets some hits in during the healing phases, in no time Asmodeus will be Asmodone.
Music: Result ~ Victory
All that build-up Asmodeus Rasputin and you only lasted as many rounds as Godhand Lenny and two less than Night Queen Veronica. Sad. But what isn't sad is our rewards for defeating Rasputin once and for all.
Rasputin drops a returning accessory from Shadow Hearts 1 if we ever want to go all-in on magic damage output.
Za Warudo Tarot Card either will double Cash, EXP and Soul Energy from a battle or halve it when reversed. The Special Effect grants either 4x rewards or reversed a 75% reduction in payout. A crapshoot as usual but could come in handy if we ever needed to grind. Which, hopefully, we will not. I could have gotten away with zero grinding in the first game if not for elusive elemental Soul Energy deposits and having to drag Koudelka's son up to snuff for a lousy Pit Fight boss rush.
Everyone but Anastasia gains a Level Up from Rasputin's defeat. She must be cheesed she was put on the bench fighting the guy who has been menacing her family and plotting their murder since she was a toddler. Sorry, kid. Mages kind of suck for this battle.
How could it be...? I can't... believe... it... It was... human will that finally defeated me...?
I'd say my fists helped too.
Albert was 100 times stronger than you.
<grunts and laughs weakly> Albert, eh...?
<snort> Tch. I'll even say it. Dehuai was more of a tough match than you too.
I don't know... who that... is...
Another sorcerer like you and Albert.
The Mistletoe was supposed to be used to defeat him...
Do you know what the true horror of the Mistletoe is?
Well, other than it grows a creepy tree with another me growing out of it in the graveyard in my soul.
Ergh. Nevermind. I shouldn't interrupt. You're leaking... green slime.
The Mistletoe doesn't simply steal away a person's life. It kills the soul by stealing a person's thoughts, will and memory...
Wha...? Kills the soul?
Hee hee hee. Just as Nicolai said... Your most powerful weapon is your human willpower...
Being able to fuse souls with demons and transform is what I would have gone with, but sure.
But with each moment that passes, your soul slowly fades away...
Still living, you will become a hollow person... Your personality will be stolen away and you will live on as an empty shell.
You will become bland as a married middle-aged salaryman. You will only talk about the weather, baseball games and mowing your lawn.
You will put ketchup on all meals and find anything more potent than a pinch of pepper to be too spicy for your palate. You will never throw another punch and shy away from conflict, "not wanting to get involved."
Your penis... will cease function.
For a man such as you, it will be a fate worse than death.
Karin shoves Yuri out of the way and yells at Rasputin.
How do we stop the curse?!
It's true... That's why it was our final weapon against Albert Simon...
I have been many things but a liar is not one of them. I am not starting now... bleeding out and unable... to feel my legs...
I... I won't change...
There is nothing you can do... Your will to resist will soon be gone...
Maybe not today, or this week or even this month. But soon... Perhaps by the end of second adventure in a far off land.
I'll tell you one more thing before I die...
Nicolai is headed to the Vatican.
Music: The Real Intentions
To Apoina Tower...
I thought you said The Vatican?
It's a place in The Vatican. Don't worry... I might know where it is...
He plans to release the malice locked in the tower...
What's that, now?!
There is a great reserve of evil intent locked behind a gate in The Vatican.
That is a question for the Catholics... Not I...
Why are you telling us this?
Because Nicolai can... bite me...
Go on. Go and finish Nicolai. Then you'll see how pointless your struggle really is...
BARF! <dies spurting out Ecto Cooler>
It turns out Rasputin, much like a Dracula, was a load-bearing boss and his death has resulted in Idar Flamme coming apart at the seams. Or it took like twenty minutes to notice its heart stopped beating and it's a happy coincidence. Either way, it's time to go!
Not yet. It's not over.
Hey... was Idar Flamme still floating over the middle of Petrograd? Because, umm... That seems like kind of a problem to have a massive castle just drop all over the city.
Oh well! Not our problem. We did our best. I am sure only a few blocks of Petrograd were crushed in the rubble. After Shanghai had a dark god set off a magic nuke in the Disc 1 finale equivalent of Shadow Hearts 1, I'll call this a win. Though, it's a real missed opportunity to not have the Magimel Brothers' truck ramping out the side of this thing as the Bacon Jet flies away from the crumbling temple.
In any event, on to the Disc 1 endgame back at the start of the game! The Vatican -- the only place with more evil locked under it than Wales, apparently.
Meanwhile, in Apoina Tower...
Music: The Real Intentions
So he's won...? <smirks>
Nicolai walks to the nearby window.
Very well, Godslayer! Come here! I'm waiting for you!
There is one more face that needs to be punched before we can wrap up the first half of this adventure. But before we start working our way toward bodying Nicholas Conrad, we have one final scene of this chapter back in The Graveyard.
Music: Holy Mistletoe ~ Graveyard
What am I, invisible?
Crud, I'm not actually invisible, right? This place is weird like that sometimes...
Not a big fan either.
Rasputin said it's going to kill my soul by stealing my memory.
I guess nobody can help you in your fight against this curse...
I guess not.
I thought about beating the crap out of this tree but... I don't know... Seems like a waste of time.
Yuri, I live inside your soul now. Come on.
Yeah, I'm scared.
I wouldn't blame you if you were scared. It's so... horrible...
It's just a stupid tool for controlling people. But it's not going to work. I'm not letting this damn curse win!
I already let one stupid ass curse win and that's one too many! No more!
I don't know how to break the curse. I tried and tried, but I couldn't find a way.
Rasputin said there wasn't any way to break it.
But is he telling the truth?
I KIND of have the feeling he wasn't and that's a little worrying...
I won't give up, then. I'll keep looking! Don't you give up either, okay, Yuri?
<nods> I won't.
And that concludes our time with the floating temple Idar Flamme and the end of the Mad Monk Grigori Rasputin. Tune in next time as we begin the Disc 1 loose ends wrap-up before tackling the apparent font of Malice that is Apoina Tower, The Vatican as Disc 1 of Shadow Hearts: Covenant draws to a close.
No new characters to speak of this chapter but we do have a whole load of new monster entries from the penultimate Disc 1 dungeon.
It will shit on your hobbies as a stupid waste of time without remorse.
No, dawg. You should totally have four hotdogs at 3:00 AM! It'll taste great!
Not if I turn them into delicious Soul Energy first.
Welp, eviction notice has been sent. Guess I'll just die now.
But it mostly just attacks forward. What with the claws facing forward and minimal dexterity.
Yep. That's a nightmare creature right then.
Alchemists are just behind wizards with no sense of right or wrong. Let me tell you, NEVER let them have both a daughter and a dog under the same roof!
More like acts like a waste of my goddamn time!
I really feel like we should have gotten some Parasite Eve ass transformation for Rasputin into this crazy-ass form.
Video: Episode 72 Highlight Reel (Freaky boss fight and major character death. You should watch this!)
Asmodeus Concept Art - Could frankly use a haircut.