The Let's Play Archive

Shadow Hearts: Covenant

by The Dark Id

Part 90: Episode LXXXIV: The Security Key Conundrum

Episode LXXXIV: The Security Key Conundrum

Music: In Darkness of a Labyrinth ~ Dungeon

Has there ever been an RPG dungeon with a split party gimmick that has been enjoyable? Sure, make a new character mandatory for a dungeon or something but don't make me use the B-Listers that are lagging behind five levels. Oh well. It is what it is and it is the gimmick of this dungeon. At any time we can switch between Team Kurando and Team Yuri and we will need to do so quite a few times to progress because this battleship was designed by an ancestor of a Resident Evil architect.

Orders are orders, but kidnapping a little girl just isn't conduct worthy of the Imperial Japanese Forces!
So will you aid us in rescuing her?
The navy won't help you, but we won't stand in your way either. Good luck.

Despite saying the navy won't help, this guy will, in fact, restore HP/MP if we speak to him again. How helpful.

So right next to a locked bulkhead door we have treasure chest containing a security key. This seems less than secure when anyone can just walk up and take it from an unsecured and unmonitored box left out haphazardly in the middle of a corridor.

Next to the key, we find a console with two different slots. That's clearly not the number 1 and 2 marked below the consoles but we'll ignore that fact.

There is also a map which they have not bothered to translate during localization but anything marked with a green circle with a line through it is a console where we can plug in a Security Key and the symbols denoting the circle will open the corresponding doors. On each level, bizarrely.

So if we enter the security key into Number 1 slot on this console, it will open the door next to us as well as the one in a similar location on the Lower Deck. That doesn't seem the most secure system or particularly sensible for that matter. But here we are and we need to work with what we got.

We also need to work with the old stand by of any dungeon...

Music: Deep in Coma ~ Battle in Japan

Akagi Soldiers are wandering the halls of Battleship Mikasa. They're identical to the ones back in the Brick Warehouses from earlier. Joining them are Spider Walkers. Yeah, Japan totally had the 1915 version of the Tachikoma from Ghost in the Shell in the Shadow Hearts universe. Don't worry about it! Spider Walkers (who have a much fancier Japanese title of "Walking Calvary: Killing Frost) are Earth elemental enemies with 144 HP. I'm not sure how you imbue a machine with a particular elemental type but there are many mysterious things in this universe. These mechs primarily attack by unloading on a target with their dual heavy machine guns and the central gatling gun for good measure for around 50-75 HP of damage.

They also have a huge ass cannon mounted on them for good measure that deals around 50ish HP of damage and also is an AOE attack that can nail multiple characters if they're unfortunate enough to be clustered together.

Since spider mechs armed to the teeth isn't enough for 1915 Imperial Japan, they also are supported Flying Drones (which get the subtitle of Autumn Clouds in Japanese.) These are water elemental enemies with a robust 480 HP. You would think a flying drone would utilize its... you know, power of flight to drop bombs or perhaps strafe a target from afar. Not this drone. Despite the fact it clearly has a chain gun on its undercarriage, this robot instead employs its four long arms, for lack of a better term, to just fly up to a target and bludgeon them repeatedly for around 100+ HP of damage. That's kind of it... that's all it does. Japan made a melee based flying drone. It does have the troubling potential to cause Paralysis on its victims. I suppose getting hit with a steel column repeatedly would stun someone, to say the least.

I hate these things because they're in every single random encounter pool and they have enough HP that it takes an entire round of turns just to maybe deal with one and often that falls just short. So every encounter takes twice as long as usual in a dungeon that is already annoying as shit.

Music: In Darkness of a Labyrinth ~ Dungeon

Getting back on task, each level of the ship is essentially two long corridors with some connecting halls in the middle and a large open space on either end. Our goal, on both decks, is to get the party to the far western end of the boat. So let's get started on the process of that.

...After we investigate a random set of pipes down a dead-end (ignore all the doors that look like this one they're not real.) Here we find...

Another Tarot Card. Just the thing we need. As it says in the description, this can potentially boost everyone's HP, MP, and SP by 50% of the max value. The reverse card will reduce everyone's HP, MP, and SP by 50% of the max value. The special effect fully restores all those stats. And the reverse special effect is literally just "Fuck you! Game Over!" Yep... good stuff, Lucia. Get used to being in the B Squad for this dungeon because you are getting slam-dunked back in the dumpster when we're done.

Further down the corridor, we find a console with allegedly a "3" label on it.

And another locked door with an "A" on it at the far end. It's going to take some doing to get through this door. We'll just remember it's here for now and put a pin on it.

So we need to backtrack to the first console and switch the key from the 1 slot to the 2 slot. This locks the door ahead of Kurando and cuts off any progress. So...

We now switch to Team Yuri on the Lower Deck. The "2" console might not help Kurando but it does open the way for Yuri to progress through a connecting hall in this batshit security system.

In the hall where we begin with Team Yuri, we find a door with an actual normal lock separate from any of this console tomfoolery.

And a "B" door at the far end.

And up at the northern path, we've got another pesky "3" door.

But since Kurando used the Security Key on the "2" console upstairs, this "2" door downstairs is now unlocked allowing Yuri access.

And in this room Yuri finds his own Security Key. How the hell do they coordinate this where there seems to be no radios or means of communications between decks is beyond me.

But there's a secret trick to getting around with only two keys. ...Do you know what I'm talking about?
Does it involve switching between two separate teams on each deck?
...How did you know?!
Lucky guess.

Now that Yuri has his own Security Key, he can use it to unlock the "1" console which will keep the "1" door back by Kurando open.

This means Kurando is free to just take the Security Key here with him and proceed further on with the key in tow. Though this locks out Yuri downstairs.

So, now we can run all the way back to the "3" console and insert the key there. Note that this is just a "3" console. This is not a "3" door in front of Kurando. In fact, that's not a real bulkhead door at all as far as the dungeon's puzzle goes. That's not confusing or anything. Remember, Yuri was the one that ran into the "3" door down in the Lower Deck.

Now Yuri can insert the Security Key into the "2" keyhole and unlock this door.

And then head straight down the hallway through the newly opened "3" door.

Here we have a crossroads. To the west is...

Getting through bulkheads? An elaborate system of various consoles and electronic keys that seems specifically designed to make sure sailors drown in an emergency. The actual cabins of the ship? Meh. Some garbage key we got from the 1915 equivalent of Ace Hardware.

Down that other path, we find...

<becomes Lottery Member 8> Although... if that's a lottery ticket you've got, I could make an exception! Wanna try your luck?
I'm supposed to be helping to rescue a kidnapped child. But eh... what the hell. I'll do it!
Top class!

No gimmick with the Lottery Ring to speak of here. Physical Attack Down 3 is EXTREMELY good and will make the next boss a joke. We'll also nab that Kendo Mask since that is the current best headgear available.

Now that we have the Cabin Key we can retrace our steps back to the sole door that isn't controlled by electronic locks or is a fake background detail and unlock it. Keep in mind between all these points of interest there's been at least two random battles to delay things. I was not thrilled by the end of this dungeon.

In this rather spacious cabin, we find another Lottery Ticket to replenish the few we blew just before. I hope the sailor standing in here doesn't mind we just steal this right in front of him.

Captain Kaneda is a fine man, a man of the sea, responsible and loyal. But the government is appropriating the military now. They're up to no good, and Captain Kaneda is very upset.
I'd be upset too if I had to run a ship that had a security system this dumb too.
I'm not sure I follow.
Yeah, you wouldn't.

Now, we do want to throw that enticing switch in the corner of this room. But...

Remember that Treasure: Sneak clue we got from Loud Croft. If you'll recall the clue was...

"In a cabin on the warship in the port. Check the pocket of the military uniform hanging on the wall."

Well, we are in a cabin of a warship and there is a military uniform hanging up here. And wouldn't you know it, there is a treasure. Well, this feels less like discovering "treasure" and more outright thievery. But I'm sure Loud Croft doesn't care about the distinction. Too bad we have no means of returning to Cannes anytime soon to rub it in his loud face.

About that Switch. The "A" Switch, you say... If flip that...

We can now switch back to Team Kurando and proceed through the A door at the far end of the Middle Deck.

Here we find yet another Magic Crest. I don't think we've seen Hail Crash yet. Or perhaps we have and I've just forgotten. It's a little difficult to keep track of dozens of different crests with seemingly randomly selected attributes and all the spells having similar names. But that's another one for the collection regardless.

I had heard that loose lips sink ships but that doesn't seem to be the policy here.
Those guys are from some specials forces called the Iron Soldiers, and they wear armored uniforms. Man, they strut around the Mikasa like they can do anything they want! They make me furious!
Worry not. There will be far fewer of them after today.
Oh thank goodness! Are they finally getting transferred out of here?
In a manner of speaking. They are indeed departing.

In this room, we find the "B" switch. Which you'll recall, opens up a path on the Lower Deck for Team Yuri, just outside the cabin where we left them.

So now we need to switch to Yuri and have him backtrack to the security console as he needs that Security Key to progress. Except... taking the key out would lock out Kurando and Kurando ALSO needs his security key again.

This means backtracking as Kurando as well, grabbing the Security Key out of the "3" console where we left it and then returning here and inserting it into the "2" console so Yuri's door opens downstairs. I fucking hate this dungeon and writing about it is annoying me all over again.

Now Yuri can recover his Security Key and proceed through the newly opened "B" door. Why did we need the Security Key, you ask? Well, there's more security consoles, of course!

There are now keyholes for the "1" and the as of yet unseen "4" door (it was actually at the far end opposite the 1 and 2 consoles. So basically straight ahead from Kurando's current position.)

So what we need to do now is have Yuri insert the key into the "1" keyhole.

Switch to Team Kurando, have him take out his Security Key and then walk him over to the "4" door. Then...

Now that Kurando is safely past the "1" door we need to switch back to Yuri, have him swap the key to the "4" door.

This gives Kurando access to a backset of stairs which leads to the far end of the Lower Deck. Down those stairs is our ultimate goal. But we still need to get Team Yuri over here for... reasons.

But don't worry, there's "C" lever here we can yank which might get Yuri and the rest of the gang where they need to go.

To open a security door, you have to press the buttons on either side of the door at exactly the same time. If anyone asks you, you never heard it from me, understand?
No one will know of your betrayal.

Talking to that guy is actually mandatory to progress. Yuri and Kurando are helpless to figure out the complex machinations below if they don't get this hint. Look, psychically linking to telegraph a series of key swapping and lever pulling is one thing. This is an entirely different matter. How could you ever hope to figure out pressing two buttons on opposite sides of a door at the same time otherwise? Madness.

Thankfully, we don't have to wait long as the "C" door is just a short jog from the security console where we last left Team Yuri. I did manage to get one last random battle during the fifteen seconds it took to run to the same position. Fuck you, Battleship Mikasa! I hope you sink and all hands aboard are swallowed by the sea.

Right. Our destination is definitely beyond this door.
I never want to see another key or security console again after this.

Let's get our timing down perfectly.
Yeah, I'm ready. On the count of three...
Okay, go ahead.

Now you'd think there would be a brief mini-game or prompt to do this. I was playing through the Final Fantasy 7 Remake and that sure as shit did. But here...

Nope. They just do it automatically. Fine by me. I don't think Kurando would be as amusing as Barret getting pissed if we kept goofing it up.

Yes, let's hurry!

Now that Team Kurando and Team Yuri have merged once again, it's time to get a proper mainliner party together. Sorry, Kurando. You need to learn more abilities than just "Use Sword" before you get to hang with the big boys.

We also want to make sure we have that P-Attack Down 3. Really, we should load up on Physical Attack debilitating Add-on Effects for this next fight. They're super effective!

Finally, the end of Battleship Mikasa is in sight. This dungeon took an hour and 45 minutes if my footage recording time can be trusted. Which puts it up there with Idar Flamme as one of the longest slogs yet. And bare in mind, that was having a guide open and doing all the steps optimally.

Yuri and the gang enter the back room.

Why are you dressed like an action figure?
Silence! This cutting edge battle armor's strength is unmatched!
...In dorkiness maybe...

I might've known you were behind this! Hand her over!
I'm afraid not! It's time I introduced you to my Iron Soldiers!

Two more Iron Soldiers rush in and take aim at the party.

So... is that like, all the soldiers you have left on the ship? I've beaten like dozens of those guys upstairs.
I cut down a similar number.
This is more than enough men to stop the likes of you!
<snort> Yeah, keep telling yourself that, champ.

Tune in next time for the climactic battle of Team Yuri vs. a chufty guy with a gun and four redshirts that will die in the opening round as Shadow Hearts: Covenant continues.

Battleship Mikasa Concept Art - Mhm... OK. I see what you did there using colors and all but. Now this is just a suggestion, but what if we took this and made everything a muted grey? I think we're on to something there!