Part 2: The Train, part 2
The Train, part 2
And we finally get control of our hero at the point where he crashed into the seats. Good thing this train seems to be mostly empty!
Let's take a look at our stats:
Right now, he's just called "Rude Hero". We'll have a chance to rename him later. Our hero is level 3 right now, and pretty puny. As you can see, his strongest stat is strength, and he'll be our power hitter through <most> of the game. He's also got the highest Sanity Points of all the characters. I'll go more into them when we actually get into a battle. His element is Dark, meaning he'll be more resistant to Dark-based elemental attacks and weak to Light, its opposite.
Every character you add to your party has a unique special skill. The hero's is "Fusion". Basically, he can turn into different monsters at the cost of Sanity Points (the main reason he has more SP than the other characters).
He only has one now, Death Emperor (costs 16SP to Fuse). Eventually he'll have several, but you have to equip them. He can only have any three Fusions equipped at one time. This is vastly improved in the second game, which lets you access all of his Fusions at any time.
His equipment is pretty sparse right now, too. He fights with his hands, and his starting weapon are leather gloves which add nothing to his attack values. Eventually, we'll be able to upgrade to things like Brass Knuckles and Claws. He also starts with a Cotton Shirt, the lowest level of armor for the male characters. He doesn't have any accessories.
Continuing down the train, we can get into random encounters now. The only creature we run into are Wind Shears, the same as the creature that Bacon had following him. They're weak and usually fall in one attack. I won't bother Fusing to fight them, standard attacks work well enough. You'll notice that the hero's Sanity Points have gone down by one. Any action in battle that ends a character's turn takes away one Sanity Point. When SP reaches zero, they become "Berserk" and you lose control of that character. They also become as likely to attack your party as they are to attack the enemy. Certain enemies also have attacks that can drain SP, but there are accessories you can get to block that.
This game is a little different from your standard turn-based RPG. That wheel on the screen is called the Judgment Ring, and it's used for pretty much everything in battle as well as for the mini-games outside of battle. The one on screen is an attack ring. You have to hit X while the indicator is in the yellow and red zones. Hitting in the red zones is a strike and scores extra damage. You keep going until you either hit all of them or you miss one.
Using magic is a little different. You'll have between one and three green step areas you have to hit and then you have to hit the green and red area to cast the spell. Hitting the red strike zone makes the spell more effective.
The battle is easily won, netting us some experience, some cash, and a healing item. Note that while HP and MP stay where they were at the end of the battle, SP is completely restored after every fight.
A bit further along, we come to the place where the first two guards were killed. The little question mark indicates that we can look through their pockets for loose change.
We don't find any cash, but we do get a Thera Leaf (restores HP) and a Mana Leaf (restores MP). In the next car, our hero comes back to the scene of the confrontation with Bacon, only to find him and the girl gone.
His Cloud impression is interrupted by the sound of tapping on the roof.
Rather than bother with the door and ladder, the kid makes his own door by jumping through the roof.
You ain't getting away, pops!
Oh boy! Boss battle!
I'll take this chance to show off Fusion a bit.
Fusion is apparently very painful.
It's also completely awesome.
We pound on Bacon a bit.
And we hit him with our Dark Messenger attack. Unfortunately, this battle is scripted to be un-winnable.
After two rounds, Bacon performs a skill called Blacksurge that raise his Special Attack Power by 30%.
And on his very next turn, he does THIS.
Now, foul monster...you shall cease to be!
Wh-What on Earth...!?
Hey, I think I've seen David Copperfield do this trick before.
Our hero doesn't like magic tricks, and he takes the opportunity to bum-rush Bacon while he's distracted.
This face haunts my dreams. And now, it can haunt yours as well.
Healing magic is green, apparently.
I swear you can see part of his brain before his eye grows back.
Oddly enough, he just stays on the train as it speeds away instead of chasing after them.
'Okay, heroic pose! Hold it...hold it... (Damn, my back hurts.)'
Next time on Shadow Hearts we actually get into the game proper!
The Train on Vimeo