Part 53: Dollhouse
Time to clear out the last of the optional dungeons, the Dollhouse. This is one of the "traditions" of the Shadow Hearts series. Each game features an optional dungeon called the Dollhouse (never the same house, just the same name), and each one is, for lack of a better term, creepy. Yes, even in the much campier From the New World, they manage to pull off the creepiness factor.
That's the second biggest dollhouse I've ever seen!
We have to take Yuri and Alice, and I brought Keith along because I like Keith.
What is it?
It's cold. Be careful. There's an aura of bitterness all around this house.
Already things are odd. Ewan has only just turned up in Prague after running away from here, but this place looks like it's been abandoned for years. Like most places, there are three different monsters wandering around: Ghouls and Ghoulers, both of which cause random Status Abnormalities, and Spankys (Spankies?). They can cast Lightning.
This is entire place is a puzzle, where you have to do everything in a specific order to unlock the boss area. The first step is to examine the clock on the left side of the foyer.
The Crank for winding the clock is on the floor.
You've received Crank...
Through the door to the right, there's a Lottery Ticket hidden by the entrance.
You can examine the fireplace, but it doesn't do anything special (yet).
The glass door at the back of the room is open. Looks like it leads into either an open-air courtyard or a conservatory.
Whichever it is, it's as shabby as the rest of the building.
You can see a small key at the bottom of the fountain...
You have to do a Push Ring to get the key out. I guess the water must be really icky and Alice has to get up the nerve to put her hand in it, or something.
You've received Storeroom Key!
Back outside the entrance, there's a path between the house and the stairs that'll take you out of this area. That wooden wall is where the "Storeroom" is, and Alice (and the Earrings) are hidden by the tree branch that I've circled.
This place just keeps getting cheerier and cheerier.
You started the generator using the crank for the clock!
When you control Alice, you solve puzzles using things like "logic" and "improvisation". Yuri just hits things until they do what he wants.
We'll climb down the ladder to get to the next area. With that pit there, I guess it's a good thing Alice refused to wander around in the dark.
Maybe this is why Ewan wanted us to get rid of the ghosts. I can't imagine he'd want to actually come back to live in this dump, and we haven't seen anything else that looks even remotely valuable.
There is a small slide plate next to them.
You've received Slide Plate!
Neat! Now let's see what's behind door number 2.
Water trickles down in droplets. It seems that the weight of a huge amount of water is holding it shut.
We'll have to figure this out later. For now, it's back into the house and up the stairs this time.
This takes us to the library.
Which, oh-so-conveniently, happens to have a projector in it.
You insert the slide plate.
Merry Christmas, Laura and Lillith! December 24.
The only other item of note in this room is the book over by the window.
Ewan took a picture of Laura and Lillith to celebrate the anniversary of their first meeting! Lillith kindly spoke to me. Perhaps this will ease my loneliness somewhat. Nice meeting you, Lillith!
Hm. It looks like this is Ewan's diary from when he was a kid. It would also seem that Lillith is the little girl in the picture and Laura is the doll. Apparently, Laura is Ewan's doll, or that's what I'm getting from the context, anyway. This begs the question: what kind of little boy plays with dolls?
Back downstairs, the fireplace has changed. We need a code, and, just like the Orphanage, it's the date that was on the picture.
You can hear the sound of water flowing somewhere.
Checking the fountain confirms that the water was emptied from there. Back down to check the door in the cellar!
Shit. When did we cross over into Silent Hill?
It felt like the doll turned around and smiled!
I must be thinking too much...
The words "Help me!" are written all over the wall...
There's a chest in the corner by the bed. We now have three Crucifixes, enough for the entire battle party.
Can we get outta here already?! This place is really givin' me the creeps...
"Creeps"? I was just thinking this place would make a lovely summer cottage. I wonder if that Ewan fellow would be willing to sell?
Spooky Child's Voice: Ahha ha ha... Over here. Don't see me?
Spooky Child's Voice: Heehee! Don't be so scared. You're my new friend, right? In place of Lillith? C'mon. Let's play!
Is Lillith the girl on the slide?
...so that means, you're Laura?!
Cursed Doll Laura: Come on, play with me! 'Til death!
Now we get to fight "Laura". Actually, the boss is called Orb Chaos. With Alice and the Crucifixes on everyone, this fight isn't too tough. Orb Chaos will waste quite a few turns on buffing itself and on re-buffing when those spells wear off. She(?) also has an attack spell, Expression, which hits the entire party for about 200 damage each. Not that it's a problem, thanks to Alice's spell, Arc.
Two can play the buffing game, though. I fuse Yuri into Forron and have him cast Battle Cry to up the party's attack. I also have Alice cast Gospel on herself to increase her defense. She's on healing duty once again.
Yuri and Keith concentrate mostly on physical attacks. With Yuri doing 200+ to 300+ damage on his first strike and 100+ on the second and third thanks to Battle Cry, it doesn't take too long to finish the fight.
When the fight is over, Alice learns a new spell, which raises an Unconscious character and restores full health. More importantly, she gets her Ultimate weapon!
This doll's been alive all this time... She must've been so lonely. So she used Ewan as her plaything...
Hey, what about yourself? In the real world, the only people who like toys are little kids! A doll that wanted a toy human...
Let's go. Now everyone can forget about this house...maybe.
What could the doll's eyes be looking at?
Back to Prague to collect our reward, but...where's Ewan?
Owner Gismot: What's that? You're looking for the guy who asked you to do that job? Strange thing is...he's vanished. Gives me the creeps.
Flirtatious Yuria: Ha, I get it! Trying to scare me, right?
The stain looks like it spells out "Thank you."
And that's it for the Dollhouse. Personally, I think it left more questions than it answered. Who wrote the diary? Was it really Ewan, or was it Laura? Who locked Laura up in the cellar, and did they lock Lillith or Ewan, or both, up with her? Did they blame Ewan for Lillith's death, so they locked him up with all his things so he couldn't hurt anyone else? Who was it that wrote "Help me" on the wall, trashed the room, and made the drawings? Was it the doll or one of the kids? It just doesn't feel like we got the entire story behind what happened there.
Next time on Shadow Hearts: setting up the Good ending.
Orb Chaos Fight on Viddler