Part 40: London, part 2
London, part 2
And now we've got a sixth member for our group. It's a bit of a relief to see that Halley looks more like a boy in the close-up of his character model. Halley is another balanced character like Margarete. His strongest stats are his Luck and Agility, but there isn't much of a point difference between any of them.
His special Skill is ESP. He gets a lot of different element attacks, making him very versatile against bosses; he's got a good chance of having an opposing element to attack them. And it's obvious which is which element in the spell names. Strong Earth is Earth-based, Aqua Blade is Water-based, and Air Shot is Wind-based. He also has Healing, but it's much more expensive than Alice's Cure. That's Halley's drawback - his spells are powerful, but they also cost a lot of MP.
All Halley comes with is a Slingshot (which we'll be replacing right away with the Oak Slingshot) and some armor.
Everyone in town has reactions to the gang being kidnapped.
No actually offers to help, however.
Meiyuan's showed up at the hotel. We can also include Keith or Zhuzhen in our party at this point, even though the initial choice was only between Margarete and Alice. The lazy bastards refused to leave the hotel earlier however, so they can sit here a while longer.
Back at the Orphanage, the place seems to be deserted, leaving us free to explore.
And we've already found the missing kids!
Joshua! Are you in there?
Voice of Joshua: Halley!! You've come to help us?!
Yeah! Hold on just a little longer, okay?
And, according to RPG rules, this would be the punching bag with the key, right on time.
Man in Black: You've managed to sneak in here, but it won't be so easy to leave.
Damn it! I knew it was you!
The Man in Black transforms into a monster called Night Stalker and we get a boss fight. Two can play the transforming game, so I Fuse Yuri into Mad Bull. He and Halley take the offensive, while Alice is on support. Night Stalker is a Wind monster. He'll cast Gale on himself and he attacks with a gun. For some reason, he focuses almost exclusively on Alice, but I've noticed that a lot of the bosses seem to do that.
He falls soon enough.
And, whaddya know, he had the key.
Cheerful looking place.
I was so scared!
You're safe now! Where's Chris?
A man wearing white clothes took her!
Ah, shit. I knew it was too easy.
Halley, Halley, you've got to help Chris!!
No, we're going to leave now and forget about her.
I will. You two head back, okay?
All right. Let's go Sharon!
Oh yeah! Hey, take a look at this! I got it from this funny old man. It'll probably come in handy!
Funny old man?
You received the Guestroom Key.
This entire building is depressing.
It's behind the first bed.
If you've never read "The Monkey's Paw" you should. It's a wonderfully creepy short story by W. W. Jacobs.
Now that we've gotten everything out of this room, it's time to find which door the new key unlocks. There are now monsters wandering around the mansion: Larmgelgs, which cast Fast Ring, and Banshees, which have an SP Lowering attack.
There's a chest hidden on the second level, and the guest room is behind the door on the left.
Although the key names it a guest room, it seems more like it belongs to a child.
A child with a gambling problem.
You have to do a Ring Test before you can look at the book. You only have to hit each area once, but it moves fast.
5, March, 75. With my dearest Jack, one year old, Mary.
What month is March?
The game proceeds to give a huge clue. There are two doors in the mansion that need a four digit code to open them. The date on the picture is one of the codes.
Yuri, you really shouldn't go through other people's things...
Nah, it's okay. I read your diary all the time and nothing bad's happened.
4, February, 13.
It's been two weeks since I was moved into this room all by myself. Every night the doctor comes to talk about his dead mother. He sounds just like a little child... He becomes so emotional. He starts to cry. He even gets up and screams all of a sudden. At first I was scared, but I got used to it. If I just listen, I get to have warm soup and bread. Every night, I listen to the sobs of the new kids here. But then again, I'm usually crying too. I hope I can find new parents soon and get out of this place... Isn't God listening to my prayers?
21, February, 13.
The doctor seems so excited. He smiled and started talking as soon as he saw me. He was happy because his experiment went well and some book was going to make his dreams a reality. Sometimes I shiver when I hear about his research. It sounds like the story of Frankenstein to me. I can't hear the crying of the children tonight. Even though it's definitely time for it.
22, February, 13.
I had a great dinner tonight. I've never eaten so much delicious food at once. The teacher was all smiles too. It seems that it's going to be my turn to help his experiment tomorrow...
This is the last entry in the diary.
Maybe she just got adopted the next day, right? ...Right?
We can now get into the other door on the second floor.
And the code is 5375 (March 5, 1875).
The sound of a lock opening.
This must be Jack's bedroom. But the lunatic isn't here.
It's full of hard-to-understand content, drawings, and symbols.
There's a sign that says Mary, 3 July, 54.
July? When's that?
And we've found the second code.
We have to do another Ring Test to open the drawer. And we get...
Yuri has a problem.
18, April, 09.
We finally finished the move. My mother seems to like the mansion too. I was worried when I first came, but I don't believe the ghost of the old owner will return here. Tomorrow is my first day as a doctor. It will be difficult, but my mother and I will make it.
27, May, 09.
It's been a month since I started working as a doctor. So far so good. But the change in climates has given Mother a chill. She is always tired and I'm worried.
11, October, 09.
What is going on?! I have no idea what is making my mother so ill. Each day her illness worsens. It's unbearable watching her appearance change so rapidly... She used to be so beautiful, but now her body is changing, drying out as if she were becoming a mummy. Please give me the power to help Mother! I would do anything to return the smile to her lips...
2, November, 09.
It rained hard all night long. My mother passed away before dawn. The mummy in front of me will not move again. I tried to halt her illness, but in the end I failed. My mother screamed like a beast, went into convulsions, and died with an agonized look on her face. She ne'er failed to grace me with her smile, and was rewarded for it by God with a torturous end. Tell me "God", why did my mother deserve this? We honored you, prayed to you as we were taught... Why have you forsaken us? It is something I simply cannot fathom...
8, January, 10.
As I suspected previously, my mother was killed by some kind of curse. The more I study the black arts, the more I am certain. If I can but unpuzzle their arcane logic, perhaps I can solve the enigma of my mother's death. But why am I doing this? Even if I uncover what caused the strange disease, I cannot bring the dead back to life.
13, February, 10.
I ran into someone in town today. His name was Roger Bacon. He told me my mother's disease lies in the secret arts practiced by the ancient Druid monks. What an unsettling man. He told me that he knew everything about me, although we had never met before. He has given me an old book. The text is all in Greek, so it will take some time to decipher it.
30, February, 10.
What have I done? Have I come face to face with God? A week has passed since last I slept, yet my excitement and curiosity build all the more! Decoding the Émigré Document shouldn't take much longer. Then a whole new world will open to me.
2, March, 10.
It was already dark outside when I finally awoke. My relief at finishing decoding the document must have lulled me into a deep sleep. But I shan't hesitate any more. I have discovered the path that I must take. I can bring the dead to life with the Émigré Document! I can see my mother's smile once again! I'm going to be quite a busy man...
Bacon again. I'm starting to wonder if there are any pots left that he doesn't have fingers in.
The last code opens this door.
3754 (July 3, 1854)
The sound of a lock opening
So you've come after all.
Where is Chris?
Halley starts to move toward Jack, but Yuri stops him. Hey, the kid has to learn that if there's violence, Yuri gets the first punch.
Chris? Ah yes, the girl? As an essential resource for my upcoming experiment, she is of course being taken care of.
What the hell are you up to?!
Do you really wish to know? All right, then, I'll tell you. I shall become a master of life and death, transplanting the soul of the dead into a living vessel. Never again shall we feel the pain of losing those dear to us: they shall glow with ever-lasting life! Are you with me? Can you see the beauty of it? The brilliance?
Mad as a March hare...
Let us proceed to the final adjustments. Chris, it's finally your turn!
And Chris comes out from behind the screen left standing. There's something decidedly zombie-ish about her walk.
Look upon this great spiritual vessel! A holy womb for the soup of life! Even as we speak, a life has nearly blossomed within it! Chris... Use your life to reawaken my dear mother!
Hahahah!! That's hardly enough to break my hypnotism!
Everything starts shaking violently, and Chris falls off the cauldron onto the floor, but Halley continues trying to pull the entire building down around his ears.
Yuri still manages to stay standing, though.
Calm down! You'll destroy everything!
Mysterious Voice: Calm down... Don't give in to your anger...
If you watch the videos, you'll notice the voice is coming through a lot clearer than it usually does.
Wait, did he just call Yuri's psychosis "Mom"?
Mysterious Voice: Your power... is not for your own use...
If Halley's mom can talk telepathically, why has she been bugging some kid half-way around the world instead of speaking to her own son?
Mom?! Ouch-ouch-ouch!! I haven't felt this pain in a long time.
Mother...! Mother!! She was almost resurrected!!
Now we get to fight Jack. (Note to self: never enrage a crazy person with a mommy-complex.)
I Fused Yuri into Dragner for this fight (even though Jack is also affiliated with Water) and had him cast Mirage on himself to up his evade. Yuri and Halley attacked while Alice was on support once again. Mostly, I tried to conserve everyone's magic in this fight because, well, you'll see. Jack has a Paralysis attack, but everyone is protected against it. He also has a nasty spell called Slash that does 200 points damage, on average. Alice was actually knocked unconscious on one turn because of it.
Despite the set-back, Jack is defeated soon enough.
He nets a healthy amount of cash and XP.
Can we go home now?
Doesn't look like it.
Mother?! It's not even complete... Why?!
Wh-What the heck is that?!
"That" is Mammon, the result of trying to play God. This is why you shouldn't accept gifts from strangers, kids.
For this fight, I'm using Czernobog. I have him use Release Magic to raise everyone's Special Attack. Oh, yeah, I've also let him go Beserk, so he's got Revelation now. As usual, Alice is on healing duty, although the magic boost does let Blessed Light pack a little extra punch. Speaking of healing, Mammon has the spell Howling, but she only uses it once. More annoying is the Needlerain she starts spamming when her health gets low.
Finally, the bitch goes back in the grave where she belongs.
Not without some cost. On the bright side, we got enough XP for everyone to go up a level again!
I'm so sorry... Mommy...
God, that was depressing. I need some chocolate and a hug.
But can it be true? Can the person behind that voice really be Halley's mother?
Holey moley. When Halley's anger got the best of him, and he nearly lost it...
That voice came and calmed you, keeping you from going Beserk...
Hey, was that really your mother?
Yeah, I'm positive...
That voice has troubled me for years. I hear it in my head, telling me to do this-and-that. But of course, it's saved me dozens of times, as well.
Halley. You said that your mother abandoned you, right? Perhaps your mother wants to tell us something. Maybe that's why she's sending her voice to us.
Do you all think I'm a monster?
Watcha looking at me for?!
Gee, I don't know. Which one of the group was it that merged with a 60-foot tall winged freak and proceeded to burn down an entire city?
Nobody here thinks you're a monster. You just have different abilities from most people.
My mom used to say that we were both human. But...those guys didn't think so.
Halley: My mother told me that too. That she and I are people, like anyone else. It's just that...when we were born, God gave us some powers that are a little different. That's not the way those guys saw it.
Halley: The Friar Knights of the Inquisition decided from the start that my mother was a witch. And they locked her up in a mental hospital! All my mother did was to use her special powers to help people who were possessed by ghosts...
Halley: Or to cure people who were hurt. She didn't fight back at all! Because they threatened to kill me if she did. They weren't my mothers enemies at all! It was all because of me... All because of me!
And the kid does his earthquake impression again. He's had a rough day.
And it's the same power your mother had.
I'm sorry... I can't control my power very well...
...So your mother was taken away by the Friar Knights of the Inquisition?
The Inquisition...in this day and age? How could there still be such a thing...
Because nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!
Hey, what's an inquisition?
The Inquisition was a religious tribunal formed to stamp out heresy in 11th century Europe. They burned witches and warlocks in God's name, but many innocents were slaughtered as well. Many were killed for political purposes as well. They were beaten, tortured and burned alive. It was terrible. Started by people who derived their authority from their religion.
Those guys took your mother away?! Hally I promise you I'll save your mother!
Yuri, thou hast not won even once.
If I can hear her voice, she must still be alive. And you must want to talk to her in person, right?
Do you know where your mother is now?
I know where the mental hospital is. The security is tight, though. I've already tried breaking in...
We don't know where Cardinal Simon is right now. It seems like we know where we have to go next!!
All right, then, let's start getting ready right away!
Yay! Field trip!
I'm not sure how one ties into the other.
It's good to see all the kids safe and sound.
Oh yeah, Halley. If you're not using that slingshot, could we borrow it?
This will totally pay off later. Good thing I didn't sell it before we left for the Orphanage, huh?
Sure. What are you going to use it for?
Haha...it's still a secret. Just relax and wait.
I don't remember a thing about what happened. But I'm so glad to be back at this house.
I dreamed about a mouse this morning, and a real mouse appeared right before my eyes! It's a strange power! Joshua doesn't believe me, though!
Next time on Shadow Hearts: jailbreak!
London, part 2 on Viddler
Video 1 (boss fight)
Video 3 (boss fight)