The Let's Play Archive

Shadow Hearts: Covenant

by The Dark Id

Part 94: Episode LXXXVIII: Pop Quiz

Episode LXXXVIII: Pop Quiz

Technically, the game wants us to return to the mean streets of Yokohama to speak with Kawashima senior in order to unlock the next area. However, like this game often likes to do, it has added some new side content to the previous dungeon. Thus we are unfortunately returning to Battleship Mikasa one last time.

Music: In Darkness of a Labyrinth ~ Dungeon

On the plus side, the Imperial Navy has decided to do away with that nonsense door lock security measure and thus all doors are now wide open. Additionally, the Iron Soldiers and their mechanized battalion have also vacated the naval vessel so no random battles to deal with this go around. Which is nice. I don't want to be here any longer than necessary.

Our destination is the central part of the Middle Deck. Here we find a wooden toy placed at the end of a sealed bulkhead.

If you smell a Wolf Bout creeping towards us you'd be correct. For this one, Blanca MUST be wearing a Petrification warding accessories like the Zodiac or Mirror Bracelet. Otherwise, this encounter is rendered impossible. Full stop. Hey, did you know every Wolf Bout has a voiced failure line too? There's a reason for that because this is the most "fuck you, have a guide" quest in the game. With that in mind, let's go ahead and get that taken care of beforehand.

Excuse me, folks. Just hold it right there.
<jumps back> Yikes! It moved! And it talked!
Awroo...? (All the things we have seen and this shocks you...?)
Yeah, boy. I cannot believe it either.

I may be made out of wood, but I have a soul. The name's Carven. Nice to meet you.
Awroo... Awroo? (Where to start? First, what's a wooden carving doing on a military ship?)
Awroo... Awroo? (Wait, can you even understand me?)
What an absurd question. Of course, I can speak awroo. Cannot everyone?
<tilts head toward Yuri and back> Awroo... Awroo? (No, they do not... So why are you here?)

They saw how strong I was, so they asked me to be a bodyguard. If I could be of service, how could I say no? In any case, could you please just leave, for my sake? If you won't cooperate, I'm afraid I'll have to get tough with you...
Enough talk out of the hunk of wood!

Music: Soul Comet ~ Spirit of the Wolf

<growls and enters fighting stance> Enough of your old-fashioned sentimentality! Real life is a whole lot harsher than your silly drama world.

Music: Glint of Light ~ War of the Hungry Wolf

Let the next Wolf Bout begin. Carven is an Earth elemental enemy with 700 HP. It also is perhaps one of the easiest Wolf Bouts in the game assuming Petrification is off the table.

We are going to spend our first turn putting up a Shield and...

...given that Carven's only ability is to bite Blanca once trying to inflict Petrify and with Shield cast his only ability is now to bite Blanca for a single hit point per turn.

And given Blanca's innate Wind elemental affinity Carven gets chopped down to size in all of about two minutes. Carven, I like your design. It's cute and all. But maybe entering the wild world of the Wolf Bouts was not your scene. Certainly, that was not the best showing for the first Wolf Bout of Disc 2.

Music: In Darkness of a Labyrinth ~ Dungeon

But I'm not really good at anything else... This is the only way I know how to live... I lost to a civilian... How can I show my face in this world anymore?
Awroo. (The results of today's competition can stay between us. But, I will need your pawprint for tournament clerical reasons.)
But I only have wheels.
Awroo... (I'm sure that is fine.)

Take my pawprint with my best wishes.

And thus Soul Comet continues its upward trending. As for Carven...

Attacked and set afire while returning home from the battlefield. Age 28 at the time of his death.

"Better to burn out than to fade away."

That's taking that a little too literally. Rough luck to bump into an ornery pyromancer on the street like that, though. And to have your soul stuffed into a wooden dog toy. I bet one of those dangerous sorcerer orphans we left unattended in London in the previous game are behind this shit.

It's all right. It'll give me a chance to go back home and visit my mother.
Awroo...? (You do realize your soul is in a wooden toy, right...?)
<nods> Yes, mother knows that. She's fine with it.

Goodbye to you all, and good luck!

Carven wheels off.

Awroo. (Don't be a jerk.)
I knew you'd agree.

We have one other stop also on the Middle Deck. The Lower Deck is for dweebs like that Terada guy. Incidentally, for once there is no reason to return to the boss fight room of a dungeon. We can go back there. It has unique camera angles we didn't see in the cutscene but there's not so much as a Thera Leaf to be found anywhere.

We actually want to go to the far western side via the lower corridor. The upper corridor leads to that hatch down to the Lower Deck that Team Kurando had to use. I definitely didn't goof and waste a minute of my time running back around. In the section where we pressed one of those lettered buttons, there is a newly unlocked room to the Captain's Quarters. This room is super rude since, during the dungeon version of the visit, this door couldn't even be interacted with at all. And I don't mean it was locked or anything if clicked on. There was no indication it was a real door in a dungeon that has no less than a dozen doors that are just background elements including multiple dead-end bulkheads like the one here.

Anyway, we can speak to Captain Kaneda, who has chilled out after arresting us at gunpoint a few days ago.

Throwing us in the brig for three days with no food wasn't great, no.
It's not much but how about I give you a quiz to make up for it? Knowledge is just as important as strength, right?
Quizzes aren't really my scene. But... Okay, I'll give it a try!

Captain Kaneda calls in two subordinates and proceeds to put on a timed trivia game of Shadow Hearts: Covenant factoids. I hope you know your stuff about assorted items, accessories, and spells and have been reading those item descriptions thus far! Ten randomly selected questions will be relayed to Yuri (of a pool of 20) with a ten-second timer for each and four choices to select from per question. Yuri has to answer ten questions in a row successfully to finish this sidequest and claim a reward. If he flubs any of them, he's booted out and has to start over from the beginning. There's no cost for trying again other than wasted time.

There is one small problem here. Do you see the text in the box above? Shadow Heart 2's in-game dialogue scrolls fairly slowly on screen by default. Normally, we could just mash X to get all the text to appear instantly. However... X is currently being used as an option for a question at the moment so we can't do that.

And there's the problem of English have way more characters in a sentence than Japanese. So most of the time the question won't fully appear on screen until 4-6 seconds have passed. This is the very shortest question and I paused it the instant all the text appeared in this screen. Four seconds down the drain. Hmph.

The answer here is Thera Extract. Getting a question correct will have the two sailors squat and make a circle.

Failing a question gets you the cross symbol, you idiot.

The questions we got for the LP playthrough were as follows. You can take the quiz yourself and become a Shadow Hearts: Covenant scholar too!

What pro-level accessory makes Hit Areas vanish, but doubles Attack Power?

> Poor Eye.
> Short-sighted Eye.
> Mind's Eye.
> One Eye.

Which of the following weapons used by Lucia sports a full-moon emblem?

> Saturn Fan.
> Jupiter Fan.
> Golden Fan.
> Lunar Fan.

Which of the following accessories protects against poison?

> Coral Pendant.
> Shell Bracelet.
> White Underpants.
> Bandit Earrings.

Which item cures all status and ring abnormalities in an instant?

> Daffunnda Fruit.
> Daphne Truth.
> Daphne Fruit.
> Mifune Fruit.

Which accessory is the savior that stops instant death?

> Pedometer.
> Bhodi Bracelet.
> Replacement Man.
> Leonard's Bear.

Which item increases max SP, which shows emotional stability?

> Ring Soul.
> Seal of the Soul.
> Seal of Life.
> Seal of Aura.

What's drawn on the front of the Seal of Force which increases Power?

> An angel.
> A heart.
> A man's chest.
> A goddess.

What's the effect of the charming getup for men, the Loin Guard?

> Guards against Status Abnormalities. (This text actually goes off the screen. They clearly didn't playtest this mini-game particularly well in localization.)
> Easier to go Berserk.
> Increased Attack Power.
> Increased Defense Power.

What creature's eggshell is Anastasia's weapon, Blue Serpent, made from?

> Mammal.
> Reptile.
> Bird.
> Fish.

The answers were:
2. Mind's Eye.
3. Lunar Fan.
4. Shell Bracelet.
5. Daphne Fruit.
6. Leonard's Bear.
7. Seal of the Soul.
8. An angel.
9. Increased Attack Power.
10. Reptile.

Honestly, that was a pretty easy set of questions we received. The only one I had to take a guess on was what the hell was on the front of the Seal of Force since I haven't looked at that item description in probably within a few months shy of a year. There are some really piss easy questions in the pool like "What's coating Gepetto's weapon, Copper Filament?" (Spoiler: It's copper.) Or "What kind of weapon is Joachim's Timber? (It's err... Squared Timber.) And there is a handful of rude as hell ones like "What was the name of the automatic sword upgrade Karin received after her outfit change?" and "How many tissues are in a pack of tissues?" The answers are "Fleuret" and "eight" apparently. FUCKED if I would remember of those.

In any regard, the reason we wanted to that silly quiz is the Captain forks over another Magic Crest for succeeding in his test. We have a full curative magic spell now even though that's complete overkill still when the standard Arc-Cure pretty much has most people covered to date. It's also a rather costly 10 DCP to equip it. But, we do need this for completing Solomon's Key eventually so what can you do?

We may now leave Battleship Mikasa forever and hopes it finds a watery grave in a future war. It's time to head back to Yokohama Streets and get some plot advancement.

Music: Rising Sun ~ Japanese Town

Except one new, easy to miss NPC has appeared in town. And we might already be acquainted.

Oh, it's you! The treasure-hunt guy! Where have you been all this time? You just disappeared before.
Wait, what am I saying... I left you behind on another continent halfway across the world.
I've been here in Japan, thinking up new ways to hide treasure! Now it's your turn to feel the humiliation of losing at the treasure hunt!
You wanna do that again?! You just never learn, do you?!
By the way, I found that last "treasure" of yours and you have a broad definition of what treasure is supposed to be. I'm pretty sure that was just stealing something out of a sailor's coat pocket.
I won't stop hiding treasure until I beat you! Try and find it! Feel the frustration!
Uh huh... That is still definitely a priority in my life.
It will consume you!
Just give me the lousy hint.

Considering we've been in an industrial port city the entire second disc, I am going to wager a guess that this clue is for a future location. Going to another forest zone might be nice. Lord knows I'll take it over another cave or sewer.

Our next plot flag is returning to the inn where Kurando and the Kawashima folks have holed up.

Oh, Kurando!
<looks to Yoshiko> Don't you need to say thank you?
<steps forward> Um... Thank you for helping me.
Not at all! My pleasure! Glad to have been of service!

I got to be an active party member again. It was exhilarating!
Yeah, don't get too used to it.

What are you going to do now?

A grave?
You know people are trying to kill you, right? Why visit a grave?!
They're probably going to pay their respects to someone. What do you think?!
That is going to be hard to do if you get shot or kidnapped on the way there.

Ha ha ha! I know, I know! I don't expect you to understand! The Foreigner's Cemetery is just outside town. I take a steam train from the capital to go there.

Um... Well...
What is it? You've worried we'll be attacked again?
Well, yeah...?
It's a mild concern.
When are we not getting attacked?

Don't worry about that. I'll be there.
Look, I know you're a pretty tough guy, but...
...You did kind of beef it with that whole kidnapping thing the last surprise attack. And I'm not doing another split party thing. That was a one and done arrangement.
Trust me! Those men won't show their faces for a while. They haven't got time to be bothered with us. So, shall we get going?

A new location opens up now -- the Foreigner's Cemetery. Given the area portrayed on the map, this is almost certainly supposed to be the Yokohama Foreign General Cemetery which is a real location in Yokohama. Since we have no outstanding activities remaining at the moment, so let's jump right in.

Music: In Darkness of a Labyrinth ~ Dungeon

Yeah... it's not a good sign walking into somewhere and hearing the dungeon music immediately playing.
Something's different, somehow...
But we've gotta keep going, right?

I don't know. It looks like a run of the mill cemetery to... Uh... huh. Granted, I'm not entirely familiar with the rites and practices of Japanese foreigner's cemeteries beyond it being where they bury, well, foreigners. But I've got to guess they're not all located aside a cursed spectral realm. That just seems disrespectful if so.

Music: ENDS

This sure is one ugly place.
I wouldn't want my tomb to be in a place like this...
I can't believe we've found a graveyard creepier than the one in my soul.
That is an odd metaphor.
No, there's like literally a metaphysical graveyard in my soul. It's where I get those fancy Fusion. Karin can tell you about it. She's been there once.
...Perhaps we should focus on the evil at hand.

<points ahead> Hey! Look!!

Music: Suffocation ~ Grim Atmosphere

Anastasia runs over to Kurando and cradles him upright.

Aah!! Kurando!!

<starts barking>
Princess! Stay back!!


Kurando climbs to his feet.

<whimpers and backs away from the definitely not about to become a boss fight Kurando>

Whoa! This guy can fuse too?!
How do you know he is using Fusion? We've fought a half dozen enemies that turned into monsters.
Cuz that's MY deal and I know when someone is stealing my deal! What the hell, Kurando!? I thought you were cool!

Video: Episode 88 Highlight Reel
(You should give this a watch.)

Naniwa Kawashima Concept Art - The western corruption of that fedora is palpable.