Part 79: Episode LXXIII: Fort of Regrets
Episode LXXIII: The Fort of Regrets
Music: Old Smudged Map ~ Europe
Coming full circle, Apoina Tower has gone from the tutorial area to the Disc 1 final dungeon. Now that Rasputin is eating dirt (or his corpse landed on some poor townsperson's roof along with fifty tons of rubble from a crumbling sky temple) the last slew of sidequest progression in Europe has unlocked. After we tackle Apoina Tower, we may not be seeing Europe again for some time. Although, it's not a Shadow Hearts 1 situation where when Asia was done it was done for good. We will be able to eventually return to Europe. So there is no missing a wizard's porn magazine and being locked out of end game content this time around. But that will be a good clip into Disc 2. With that in mind, let's clean up the last of the side content before going to punch Nicolai in his smug face.
But first, it's been most of the Rasputin arc since we last checked out the Score screen. Let's see how we're doing as we approach the game's half-way point.
Hell yeah! We're on par with a goofy cartoon skeleton!
I need to look up and see if there is a listing of all the Score ratings so I can cut the premiere hip hop album lyrics of the year.
I'm still pretty good at QTEs. Drakengard Ending E has forever tainted my soul.
Yuri and Karin pulling ahead. The Mirror Palace really set them over the top from Blanca.
We have two locations we're going to visit today. The first takes us back to the Wine Cellar, of all places.
Music: In Darkness of a Labyrinth ~ Dungeon
Remember how following the first visit we could return to a side room where an entrepreneurial NPC had set-up an item matching mini-game business in the back of a mob-controlled basement in rural France? Well, he's still down there and there is a very good reason to play his game again.
It costs 300 Cash to play. There are twelve treasure chests now, but you get three changes this time. And of course, the first person to get all the chests open gets a special prize. So what do you say, Mister?
It's 300 Cash, but I'll do it!
I'm flush in Cash after stealing Rasputin's wallet.
If you say so, Mister.
All right! You've got three chances! Let's play Lucky Chests!
OK. Three chances to make six matches of items randomized in these boxes. That's fairly reasonable and it's not like 300 Cash to retry will break the bank. The prizes found in the chests themselves are complete garbage. They are just the Seed variety of the assorted consumables. However, the prize for matching all the boxes in Lucky Chests...
...Pretty damn good! This is the final Soul Drop we'll find on Disc 1. I'm not going to ask where a weirdo running a mini-game out of a giant roach-infested wine cellar got a powerful Harmonixer tool. Some questions are best left unanswered.
Music: Holy Mistletoe ~ Graveyard
There is no reason to hold onto this for a rainy day so let's return to the Graveyard to cash in our Lucky Chests bounty.
We are going to go with the Fire elemental Fusion as our next Level Max Fusion unlock. A charged-up Level 3 Fire element Fusion actually has stronger physical hits than Amon so that's PRETTY useful to have to make the grind of dungeon crawling go smoother.
Music: Vicious 1915 ~ Battle in Europe
This time around our shadowy Fusion unlock foe is Svarozic, the Slavic god of fire and smithery. Seems reasonable.
As before, it has the same stats as its companion Fusion unlock mini-bosses. It casts Rage on the onset of the battle and will inflict Physical Attack Down with its strikes while occasionally setting Yuri on fire with Magma. Which is all more obnoxious than hazardous.
But, you know, post-Idar Flamme Yuri is a good four levels stronger than the last time we took on one of this enemy type so... yeah, this is nothing to write home about. And it's just going to a complete crushing defeat in no time by the point the next Soul Drop crops up. Maybe they should have done the Shadow Hearts 1 thing where it scaled to Yuri's level for these guys seeing as they are unique enemies and not just the Fusions but an enemy. Or just given Yuri the Level 3 Fusion and dropped the filler fights. That would work too!
Music: Holy Mistletoe ~ Graveyard
Your Power of Fire has been completely resurrected.
Defeating Svarozic unlocks the Fides Fusion which looks like a dope dude that would completely slam my ass into the dirt in Nioh. This is the first Level 3 Fusion that looks rad. I'm into it.
Out of the box, Fides buffs Yuri's stats with the following:
- Strength +10
- Vitality +11
- Agility +4
- Intelligence +8
- Power +7
- Luck +8
Arc Rage - 36 MP. Increases Physical Attack for all allies. Hell yeah, everyone on the ass beating train.
Hellflame - 64 MP. Large-area Fire attack. A big strong Fire elemental AOE. Also handy to have.
Inferno - 80 MP. Single-target Fire Physical Attack. When you absolutely, positively need to burn some jerk to a crisp... accept no substitutes.
Music: Old Smudged Map ~ Europe
Good stuff. It'll be a decent clip until another Soul Drop ergh... well, drops. Anyway, you know how we have almost too many sidequests going on at the moment and we're only now reaching the half-way point of the game? Let's take a quick inventory. We have...
- Yuri's Soul Drops Collecting
- Karin's Nibelung Script Collecting
- Gepetto's Stud Cards/Dresses
- Blanca's Wolf Bouts
- Joachim's Weapons
- Joachim's Great Gama Training
- Lucia's Aromatherapy Oils Collecting
- Lucia's Tarot Card Collecting
- Anastasia's Photo Album
- Anastasia's Silver Angel Collecting
- Item Trading
- Solomon's Trials
- Solomon's Key
- Lottery Members and Tickets
- Pedometer Steps
- The Treasure Hunt
Yep... That's a sizable amount of ongoing shit unrelated to the main plot. Anyway, let's start another sidequest that will be ongoing until the end game! This one takes us back to St. Marguerite Island.
Music: In Darkness of a Labyrinth ~ Dungeon
Aw, c'mon! Forget me already? It's me! Remember? I made you that key that time?
I try to forget about most things about this place, but...
Oh, yeah! I remember! ...But I never saw your face before, remember?
Oh, that's right! Nice to meet you, then!
I'm not running back and forth across this place again to get you materials for another key. You're on your own.
So what're you doing back here? There isn't anybody left now.
A frequently asked question... I have no answer. I just feel like someone is guiding to weird places sometimes. It gets worrying...
I'm not particularly concerned.
Everybody escaped with the guards gone, huh?
Yeah, that, and there's another reason too. This place is... haunted. There are ghosts...!
Yeah, underneath the storeroom floor. They say there've been moans coming up out of there every night. I don't really believe it, but it's still pretty spooky. I've been thinking about going home too.
What, you're leaving too?
An abandoned prison full of guard bodies is cozy and all, but it might be time to move on.
Hehe. If you plan on walking around, make sure the ghosts don't get you!
Moans from the storeroom floor, huh...?
I ain't afraid of no ghost. Except for the inconsistent times I am. I like to keep people guessing.
...OK? Take care.
And with that Dexterous Locke is immediately raptured and is never seen again. F.
The game wants us to return to the storeroom where we found a tube of discarded glue during the runabout to craft a key for ergh... Locke. The place is indeed abandoned. They're nice enough to not waste our time with random battles that would take longer to load in out of than actually fight.
<looks down> ......
What's the matter?
<shakes head> I don't know. I'm shaking all of a sudden. But not because I'm scared. I have this funny, familiar feeling, like somebody is calling to me...
You think it was a ghost? That locksmith guy said they had a ghost problem.
That would be troubling but, maybe? Wait, weren't you afraid of ghosts?
Only when I'm in Turkey. Turkish ghosts are scary as hell. I don't want nothin' to do with them!
That's a strangely specific fear, but OK?
Don't judge me.
I want to go. I have feeling I was meant to...
Okay, let's do it! Let's check it out! First, we've got to move this stuff.
<clenches fist> All right! I'll lend a hand!
Oh good, you have a reason to be in this scene and you're not just fixing to steal public property again.
My muscles always have a reason to be on the scene!
A short while later.
It's pitch-black down there, Yuri, hand me the lantern.
Here you go. We'd better watch out. This looks pretty dangerous.
Karin gets to be party leader for this sub-basement of the prison as this is her secondary side quest. Everyone in the game eventually gets a character-specific regional sidequest and this is Karin's. And despite what Yuri said, it's not dangerous at all down here. There are no random battles or bosses to be found.
But... there are indeed ghosts.
<gets startled> Y-yikes!! He's see-through! This guy is see-through!
Yeah, pretty ghostly, huh, the see-through thing? I am a ghost, after all! Haha haha!
W-what's up with this ghost? He seems pretty weird...
I'm gonna punch it!
Do NOT hit the ghost, Yuri. It is not attacking us.
<steps forward> Excuse me, but I think somebody was calling me down here... Do you know who?
Calling you, huh...? That must mean the soul of somebody close to you is shut up somewhere in these ruins.
The soul of... somebody close to me?
Yeah. They call these ruins the "Fort of Regrets". It's a place where souls who are still attached to this world can gather.
I think we should go back up and put those boxes over this place. Maybe have Joachim clothesline down a pillar to bury it.
I would prefer if you did not do that.
I ain't making no promises to no ghosts!
So the person who called me-- that person's soul -- is somewhere in here?
That's right. But it might be hard to find them. This fort has multiple levels, and the doors are all sealed. To break the seals, you have to help all the souls on that level rest in peace. Sounds like quite a job, huh?
I see... Thank you for all your help.
You're welcome. Glad to help, you know. Stop and talk again next time you see me.
We can speak to the Professor ghost again for some added explanation about the Fort of Regrets.
> Tell me about these ruins.
They call this place "Fort of Regrets." It's a resting place for souls who are still attached to this world. To move through the ruins, you have to help all the souls on each level rest in peace. Pretty big pain, huh?
I don't make the rules. I just know them.
> How do we help them rest in peace?
Each one of them has some kind of regret that keeps them from passing over to the next world. If you help them resolve that regret, I bet they'll be able to go over into the next world in peace.
I assume that is how that works, at least. I have never actually seen anyone do it. But it sounds good on paper, doesn't it?
> What are you doing here?
Being dead, mostly. Ghost and all. But...
Well... I think I was doing some research here, but my memory of the time of my death is pretty vague... I don't remember my own name, and I have no idea what keeps me from resting in peace. Pretty sad, huh? Ha ha ha!
Yeah, you still get memory decay as a ghost. It is not great. But it is what it is.
> No special questions.
Karin now needs to become a ghost whisperer. The Fort of Regrets will be an ongoing quest that we will not complete, like most others, until the end game. It unlocks Karin's ultimate weapon at the end. But we can complete the first level of the sidequest now. Or at least start it in this update. The first ghost is just to the north of the Professor.
(Serge the Sailor) I suppose I am. Say, I know we just met and all, but could you do me a favor? It's nothing hard. Could you give this ring to a woman in Le Havre named Irene?
Don't ask me how I can hold onto a ring being incorporeal and all. I think they just make up these ghost rules on the fly.
Tragically, Serge was attacked by a panther demon and died from its venom before he could ever ask the hand of marriage of his true love -- a mermaid chick that heavily misused umlauts.
Yeah. I bought it in one of the ports along the way, but my ship went down in a storm before I could get home. I know it's too late to propose to her now after all this time, but...
I knew that charter to El Nido was a mistake...
Don't say that! I bet Irene's been waiting for you the whole time. I'll give it to her, I promise!
OK. We need to pop by Joachim's old stomping ground to get that one done. That seems easy enough. Next up is a ghost in a cell to the east of Serge.
Sorry. Forgot to introduce myself. I'm Darcy. I died in that earthquake the other day.
Nice to meet you. So you regret losing your life in an earthquake, and that's why you're here?.
No, not that. It's just that right at the time of the earthquake, I was right in the middle of "doing my duty"... If you know what I mean. Ahem! Anyway, I died before I had a chance to wipe! You can't imagine the itch or the smell...
It seems unfair I still have mud butt as a ghost. It's not like the poop died too. Being a ghost sucks!
...It sure is starting to sound that way, yes.
Please! You've got to give me some paper! You know, something really soft and white and fluffy...!
Well, we did find that questionable pack of tissues next to Rasputin's bed back in Petrograd. I suppose we can part with them. By the way, this a reference to Guard Darcie in Prague from the first Shadow Hearts who also was stranded and needed toilet paper for a sidequest. He then gave Yuri a magic piss-yellow rock after he wiped his ass and failed to wash his hands. I was in a public restroom and saw someone just walk right out this very day without washing their hands. We live in society!
Could you wait a second for me to walk ar
Aaahhh! Sweet, blessed relief!
Darcy, Who Didn't Make It is blasted into the afterlife after wiping his ass.
...Looks like he's gone.
That's one ghost down and one to go on this level before the first gate will be unlocked by the uhh... dissipation of ghost regret energy?
In any event, it's time to take a trip to scenic France and rekindle a lost love as Karin begins her adventures as a ghost whisperer.
Graveyard Concept Art - It would be nice if there were at least a few gravestones sticking out of the ground instead of just a flat surface with grave textures. But alas.