Part 83: Episode LXXVII: Breaking QuarantineEpisode LXXVII: Breaking Quarantine
Music: Death is the Great Leveler ~ Tower of Atonement
Back at it again at Apoina Tower! We're nearly to the top. It isn't THAT impressive of a tower for something that apparently holds all of the Catholic Church's Malice stock. The tower siphoning Catholic Guilt energy, though? Hoho. There's a sight to see.
The next room features yet another puzzle.
Well, perhaps "puzzle" is a generous term. It's mostly a series of flipping switches in order to move hanging cages to act as platforms to fill in gaps in the walkways above. Why would you do it like this is a secret only The Pope knows.
The order of the switches is fairly elementary. As in... just flip the next switch we come across and it's fine. The catch is that one of these moving platforms contained a treasure chest that was slowly lowering to the bottom floor. Of course, the switch that got it all the way to ground level was one on the top floor. So we need to run all the way down three stories to go nab that. Thanks, I needed to do four more random battles in this room. What good is my time?
But we really do want to acquire this chest as it contains the Paimon Crest -- the final available crest in Disc 1. Well, that's not quite accurate. It's technically possible to get a Crest intended for Disc 2 by chatting with some rando on the streets back in Petrograd. And giving him a non-negotiable 100,000 Cash... Yeah... We're going to wait on that one for a point it won't wipe out 95% of our savings accrued in the last 30 hours of gameplay. Thanks for the offer.
Paimon is an unimpressive Crest that just has Evil Ray and Evil Born equipped to it. But what it does, more importantly, is complete the Forsaken Hill region of Solomon's Key.
An old man chilling out by the sea, huh? Agares goes here to commit his decapitations, apparently.
There is only one slot near the Forest of Passion to the south so Camio is simple to slot in here. He can chill out with this decapitation angel.
There is only one slot next to a castle and by the desert region so Paimon finds a home here. Near... another... decapitation angel? Are people's heads being attached to their necks the forsaken part of this hill?
Tower by the woods is simple enough. Barbatos can hole up here and fear of random beheadings.
There is only one slot next to Camio so Phenex has its Sphere Grid slot.
We just found where Phenex went and this is the center of the map. I think we have Purson's home.
There's nothing dumb about avoiding the heat and we've only got one slot next to Paimon free, so here we are Marchosias.
And there's only one open piece of real estate here so Raum can get slammed in there to complete the set.
For our efforts, we now power up the Magic Crests to gain:
Paimon - Dark Resist. 88 MP. Increases ally's resistance to Dark-based attacks by 50%. Pretty darn good if we ever go up against a real jerk Dark elemental foe.
Evil Summoning - 64 MP. Large-area Dark class attack. A real decent Dark class AOE in case we come up against some Light elemental jerks.
Marchosias - Gale. We have like three of these and the superior Arc-Gale. Mediocre. In fact, that's most of these in this set. See also the following.
Camio - Shield.
Phenex - Holy Edge.
Purson - Dark Edge.
Raum - Evil Born.
Barbatos - Earth Edge.
Agares - Rock Storm.
To be fair, other than Paimon, most of these are early game Crests that have been waiting for a complete set for some time now. Still, overall disappointing bonus for the effort.
Heading up another flight of stairs we finally arrive back in the chamber where the teleporter dumped us out in the tutorial version of this stage. There is no special prep work to do before heading in to confront Nicolai. Pretty much everything that applied to Asmodeus will apply to the Disc 1 final boss ahead.
So let's head in there and go punch that dickwad Nicolai in his smug face!
Music: The Real Intentions
It seems as though Nicolai has been just hanging out in this room since we defeated Rasputin waiting to give a villainous monologue to Yuri and the gang. The flight time from Saint Petersburg to Rome is around six hours. This dungeon traversal was a little under an hour. If we take all the sidequest dickery as non-canon to the main plot, that's still seven hours this muppet has been standing around in here thinking he's going to be cool and not get his ass kicked in the next twenty minutes. Admirable dedication.
Well, it's been a long time.
Rasputin is dead now.
Yes, I know.
It happened over a week ago. Word gets out when a floating citadel powered by the will of your ex-boss falls from the sky over a major city.
<shrugs> But what of it? He was never your true enemy, anyway.
Nicolai, what are you trying to accomplish? What are you after?
<backs up toward the gate> Hahahaha!!
<sigh> Here we go again...
This vault is filled to overflowing with the hatred, malice, and despair, of the countless souls who've perished here. What if all that malice were to be suddenly released...?
Yeah, what if?
Wait... that's not a proper noun "Malice" is it...?
What if it were?
It would creep into the hearts of people all over the world. All their petty, paltry vices would become magnified... warped into bitterness, anger, and envy.
Don't you see? Men would slaughter each other like cattle to get ahead. Yes. The 21st century will be a time of unprecedented conflict and bloodshed.
How can you?!
You shouldn't have turned me down that night, Karin!
...Did what now?
N-Never mind about that!! Nicolai, you monster!
Do you think you can stop me, Yuri?
<shakes head> Hehe. What I want to do is to crush you. The man who beat Cardinal Albert Simon.
<pulls out sword> Who endured the Mistletoe's curse, who refused to bend before Rasputin! If I can't destroy you, I'll never be able to forgive myself!!
Behold! Aren't they beautiful? Orbs of negative energy! Godslayer! Pandora's Box has been reopened! These unfettered bundles of malice will infect the world forever.
Welp. It's not blowing up Shanghai with a dark god but it's not great either releasing the Satsui no Hado upon the populace in the middle of World War I...
Hahahaha!! You can try your best, but no matter how much you fight...
The Age of Darkness is nigh! Hahaha!!
Welp! Tune in next time for the conclusion of the first disc of Shadow Hearts: Covenant!
Video: Episode 77 Cutscene
Nicholas Conrad Concept Art - I bet he drew these himself like a big dumb nerd.