Part 14: Dalian, part 2
Dalian, part 2
Well, I never! Aren't you rude, then? You can't just come barging in, yelling and flailing about! Now you look at me as if you've seen a ghost! have we met before?
I know she's Dutch, but I always hear a Southern U.S. accent in my head when Margarete talks. It just fits so well.
Cowardly Chen: Uh, n-n-no, no! Not at all!! I... I just, uh, didn't expect to see such a beauty in a place like this! M-my apologies. Heh heh, heh heh heh...
I don't think Margarete would fall for that, but before we find out, guess who wanders in the door.
Y-you?! It's the quack oracle!
Sensing tension in the air, Chen hightails it out of there.
Hmm? And who's this? Someone from the railroad company?
I'm Margarete. I'm a high-ranking government official from a certain large country. Sigh... Another shady-looking old fellow. So, who are you?
Master Zhuzhen! Thank you for coming! We've been expecting you.
Sorry to keep you waiting. Some idiot blew up the railway depot, and the trains aren't running.
I'm not... I mean, I'm sure whoever did it had a perfectly good reason! Oho ho ho!
...Whew. That's a mighty powerful curse she's under.
...But you needn't worry anymore.
My arts are as good as useless against it. More than ten have died so far...
It's not about your lack of power, Mother. It's the man pulling the strings... It's "him".
What do you mean?! You...you know why Li Li came back?!
Oh, I have a pretty good idea. I'm starting to see who might be behind all of this.
Of course, he isn't going to enlighten us with his idea. Jerk.
Oh ...! It's...Zhuzhen...
Don't worry. I know it's hard. This'll be over soon, I promise. Just stick it out a little longer.
Li Li...is in...pain, too. S-somebody...forced her...to come back...
Yes, yes...I know. I know exactly who it is, and what he's up to. You just take it easy and get some rest. I assure you, it'll all be over by tomorrow morning. Okay?
Our first task is to rid this town of its ghosts! What do you say? Are you with me? What d' ya say? You want to tag along?
If that'll save Alice? You'd better believe it!!
Aw, he really does care!
Okay, let's strike while the iron's hot! Good. Let's get cracking, then. First we've got to find the place they're all getting in from. My guess would be somewhere down by the water. There's sure to be a mark at the spot where they enter.
...We need to destroy it.
Monsters are everywhere outside. Be careful...
I shall look after the girl.
Right! We'll leave her to you. Don't worry, it won't take long.
Before we can start pounding a monster until everything is fixed, we get a scene in a nearby undisclosed location.
So these three are in the port of Dalian? And the Caucasian girl has been stricken with a curse?
Cowardly Chen: Yes. The man and the woman have set out to destroy the monsters that've been appearing in town. That's how they're going to break the spell on the girl. At least, that's what they said.
That bastard was a spy!
I know you're standing over by the desk, but I'm going to talk into the bookcase now for dramatic effect. Please carry on as usual.
So the other two must be the thin young man and Malkovich... Very well. The beast is caught in its trap!
...Yes, we must proceed with caution...
Cowardly Chen: E-excuse me...
...Perhaps I'd better do this myself.
Cowardly Chen: E-excuse me, Lt. Colonel... I was wondering, heh heh, that is, if you don't need me anymore...
Yes, yes. You may go. Get your money before you leave. And one more thing. You must not breathe a word of this to anyone. Have you got that?
Yeah, I'm sure he's eager to tell his countrymen that he's an informant for the Japanese. That'll make him the most popular guy in the village. Right up until they throw him into the ocean tied to an anchor.
Cowardly Chen: Huh? Oh, of course! Honestly, I've got a terrible memory. I've already forgotten the whole thing...
She paces back and forth in front of the desk a few times, spewing forth elipses from her head. That's how you can tell she's thinking.
Soldier's Voice: Yes, Lt. Colonel!
Hmm? I've never seen you before. Are you new?
I'm sorry, but could you leave the self-introductions for later? We don't have time for this now. I want you two to dispose of the man that just left this room. Make it look like a traffic accident.
Now that's cold.
Sergeant Kato, you're coming to Dalian with me. Get a boat ready.
I don't care what kind. Any old thing will do. Do you understand? If so, we leave now. Follow me!
Back in control, finally. I love this part of the game, but it is mostly just one big cutscene.
This place is called the Sea Turtle Restaurant, by the way. But the guy over in the corner sells items and accessories, not food. I picked up some Leather Caps, Casual Belts, a Bone Bracelet (prevents Confusion), a Bronze Dagger (widens the hit areas of the Ring for everyone), and a Silver Hourglass (slows the Ring for the user).
The goal point is easy to find, once you fight through the Frog Gods and Water Creepers. The Creepers are kind of annoying because they can cause Tiny Ring, which makes the Judgement Ring, well, tiny. On the plus side, Zhuzhen has gotten a new skill while he was gone, Nourishing Potion. It's a healing spell like Alice's Cure, but it isn't as good. It heals a few more points of damage, but not enough to make up for the fact that it costs 3 times as much MP to cast.
If we get rid of this, the monsters disappear, right? Awright, let me at it!!
Not so neat! This is Yamaraja: Wind. Who is, of course, Earth-based, as found out by using Margarete's new skill, Scout. The two attacks he uses are Shockwave, an AoE attack that hits the entire party, and Flying Stones. The tricky thing about this boss is that he can only be harmed by magical attacks.
This fight isn't difficult, just long. None of his attacks do a huge amount of damage, and Yuri's Wind Shear is especially effective agains him.
Used up a lot of magic, though. The good news is that the monsters are gone from town now.
But...I wonder why this village was targeted by evil spirits in the first place?
For generations, the villagers have worshipped the Blue Dragon at an undersea shrine just off shore. A month ago, lightning struck, and the Dragon was sealed away. As a result, Li Li became a ghost.
Wait a minute, that sounds familiar...
It's just like what happened at Zhaoyang, isn't it?! Which means...
Dear Diary - Yuri figured something out today!
Mr. Smarty-Sage, you know who the big boss is, right?
...Wait, we were attacked in Fengtian, too! It's that old geezer, Dehuai, isn't it?!
Oh? You've already met him, have you?
...At any rate, you are correct. He plays puppet-master from his tower in Shanghai. He is attempting to gain control over the entire continent...
I think I know where we're going next.
...by using his Taoist magic in forbidden ways.
What does Dehuai want from US?
He wants Alice.
...In any case, we've successfully broken the spell that was cast over this village. Let's go back to the restaurant from before.
Alice is all better now, even though we never found Li Li.
Oh, and Sea Mother...I don't think Dalian will be having any more ghost trouble. However...the fact that Li Li herself did not appear does concern me...
We are indebted to you. On behalf of everyone in this village, I thank you.
Don't mention it.
Ya sure that's not your rheumatism, old man?
Will ya listen to what I've got to say?
Aw, don't go all formal on us. Just spill the beans.
Heh heh... Well, we have the Black Tortoise of the north, and the Blue Dragon of the east...
They're 2 of the 4 gods of directions. Someone is trying to seal them away to further his own evil ends.
Yeah. Now, this is the most important part. The villainous Dehuai...
He's after you, Alice.
Yeah, you were saying that before, too, but...why's he after Alice? I don't get it. Or, hey! Maybe this Dehuai guy's just some sick old perv with a Lolita complex!
Now, now. Well, Alice? Is there something YOU can tell us about this?
I... Actually, I don't know anything at all about this man named Dehuai. Except...
When Bacon murdered my father in France a month ago, the last thing he said to me was...
"He" being her father, I think.
"There are dark warlocks trying to bring about the Valorization. I won't let them make you their key!"
Alice... A "key"?
You're no ordinary "Demon Eyes", girl... The star within you shines far brighter than that. Li Li's power was nothing compared to yours. I'm not surprised there are warlocks seeking to abuse it. Your father gave his life to protect you from them, correct?
Yes. And in the end, he sent me far away.
Too bad it was straight toward another warlock that wanted to use her.
...He used up the very last of his strength to keep me safe...
What, so you've gotta keep running forever and ever? That's the dumbest thing I ever heard.
We could always make for Shanghai and go after Dehuai ourselves. What say you?
Master Zhuzhen, if Dehuai is preparing another Valorization...
Indeed. It would mean a repeat performance of the nightmare we lived through fifteen years ago.
The nightmare fifteen years ago? The "Valorization"...?
It's a ritual that, in effect, turns the entire world upside down. Dehuai attempted the Valorization once before. Countless people lost their lives in the catastrophic earthquakes and disasters that followed.
Fifteen years ago, huh...
So this Valorization didn't work?
Hah! You must be joking. If he'd succeeded, it would have meant the end of the world. As I recall...
A certain man stood in Dehuai's way, and gave his life to stop the process of the Valorization.
A 'certain man'? One thing's for certain: Zhuzhen loves his secrets.
Having lost half his body in that battle, Dehuai went underground... But now he's plotting his comeback. Yes, plotting secretly to carry out the Valorization rite known as the "Demon's Gate Invocation!!"
More and more trouble is caused by no one making sure the villain is actually, y'know, dead.
'Demon's Gate Invocation?!" So if we don't, like, stop it, this battle'll go on forever, right? I like it!! I say we go to Shanghai.
He likes the plan of stopping Dehuai, or he likes the idea of fighting forever?
I want...I want to go to Shanghai, too. I can't keep running like this forever...
...Not if confronting Dehuai will help me understand why my father died.
Y-you're ALL going?! ...Hmm. This means I'm outnumbered. Sigh. Guess I'm in this thing with you, then.
She doesn't have to go with them. Not that I mind; I like Margarete.
But how are we gonna get to Shanghai? If we go overland, the Japanese Army'll catch us at a checkpoint for sure. And...I've...had enough flying.
Yuri isn't really that stupid when he actually stops to think instead of charging blindly ahead.
Female Voice: You can use my boat.
It is. Things just got a lot more interesting.
Hey! Were you eavesdropping on us?!
There aren't any eaves in Dalian, and that's a fact!
I didn't mean to. I just happened to overhear. I didn't expect to get into port THIS late, you see...
There was some big fuss going on about monsters. It was all I could do to protect my goods!
Oh? And what business ARE you in, Miss? It does seem rather late for honest traders to be out and about.
Tee-hee. The same could be said of you, no? At any rate, I'm a courier.
...Of course, "courier" is a bit euphemistic. To put it bluntly, I'm a smuggler. Based on what I overheard, you're looking for a way into Shanghai.
...And that means sneaking past the Japanese Army, right?
Heh. No need for explanations, I guess. So, you got a boat?
Yes, but it's old. The Army thinks it's a fishing boat, and they let it right through the checkpoints. They never guess there might be contraband under the floor-boards... even if it's human.
Hmm. I don't know how comfortable I am with this, but...what would you ask in return?
You tell me. You could say I'm a little short on cash...
Oh, she's good at this.
All right. It's a deal.
Excellent. I'll go ahead to the boat. Make your preparations and meet me there at first light.
Don't fret. You'll find people making a living slipping under the eye of the law anywhere you go.
I really don't think that's the problem.
Is that the kind of person you think that woman is?
Most likely. Besides, do you have any better ideas?
Yes... You should call it a night and get some rest at the inn.
Sea Mother has a point. Let's be going.
You're finally up, huh, kid? Margarete's already left.
Now, this is the most important part. The villainous Dehuai...
Oh, shut up. You were dead asleep.
Yuri, let's get going.
There's a couple things to take care of, first.
Our favorite stalker is still following Yuri around. I don't think I had anything upgraded this time.
I did run down to the basement and grab an item I missed earlier.
Everyone outside has different things to say now that Li Li's curse is gone.
Nothing makes this woman happy!
Fish-drying Woman: Would you bring this to Sea Mother for me? She loves fish, so you might receive something in return.
You've received Dried Fish.
Inside the restaurant, Yen Yen's brother is lurking in the corner.
It's good to see that he's coping with his grief. Chin up, champ.
I just missed the Pocket Watch, which would have been nice to have (they prevent Judgement Ring abnormalities), but we do need at least one box of tissues, so it's not a total loss.
You've received Tissues.
Lottery Member No. 14: Don't blab yer mouth 'bout me not bein' so filthy, ya hear?
And yet the stingy bastard won't give me anything from his shop for free.
Oh, yeah, we had something for her.
The spirits are gone from the harbor, but they still roam the ocean. I will pray for your safety. Oh, is this fish for me? Thank you. This is my favorite...
I'll tell you something.
This isn't going to be scary, is it?
A man who died from Li Li's curse left a strange message. It's about where he kept an extra stash of money. I didn't look into it too much, but maybe you'd find something useful. I don't understand what he means. He said, "Where the turtle looks, take three steps." What does that mean?
It's actually right outside the Sea Turtle restaurant. Unlike most hidden items, a question mark doesn't pop up over Yuri's head, so you just have to mash X until you find it.
Huh? Something's lodged in here... Is this what the old lady was talking about? Jeez, what a pain in the rear.
At this point, you get a 3 hit area Ring test. If you just hit the first area, you get a small amount of cash (200 or 300, I think). If you hit the first 2, you get 1,000, and you get 2,000 for all three.
Wow! This is nice!
You've recieved 1000 cash!
I hit 2.
Now, for an extra bit of creepiness, talk to the fish lady again.
Fish-drying Woman: I know young people like raw fish better, but I think it tastes great dried, too.
Fish-drying Woman: You got quiet all of a sudden. Something wrong? Have a bad experience with dried fish, or something?
Something like that, yes.
This guy has a mini-game now. For 300 cash, Yuri gets a hoe and 3 chances to dig in the field. Each time, you have to do a Ring test, and if you win, you get a random item (usually a Thera Leaf). It's really not worth it.
The Silent Peddler is also down here, but we haven't counted enough steps to get anything good yet.
Old Man with Bad Back: I still think about her whenever I see the ocean...
Alright already! Jeez, what crawled up your butt?
And with that, we're done with Dalian.
Next time on Shadow Hearts: A luxurious ocean cruise! (Not really)
Dalian, part 2 on YouTube (part 1) (part 2) (part 3) (part 4)