Part 6: Zhaoyang Village, part 1
Zhaoyang Village, part 1
Well, it's not full of nothing but creepy children, at least.
Rat-toothed Man: I figgered the outside world had totally forgotten about poor old Zhaoyang Village.
Zhaoyang, huh? Sounds nice. Looks a bit dingy, though.
"Sticks 'n' bones"!? What do I have to do t' get people to appreciate my finely muscled physique? Run around with my shirt half open?
Bird-like Scrap Dealer: But women... Women are fulla fat 'n' gravy... Hee, hee hee, hee hee hee...
Fidgety, Pot-bellied Man: But that was a long, long time ago, weren't it? Heh heh heh...
Dull-witted Clerk: They're all so greedy, you know?
I'm more concerned about the creepy part, personally.
Dull-witted Clerk: So I gotta share everything fair-like. 'Cause if i don't? I might not live to eat again.
Cow-breast Mother: No matter how many times I go through labor, there never ends up being any babies left...
I'm beginning to notice a few running themes here.
Frog-eyed Man: Why? 'Cause if I eat somethin' today, I'll get eaten tomorrow.
There's a couple of items to be had lying around here. The Arrowhead is hidden off to the right of the main street and doubles your hit area on the Ring (one time, user only).
And back-tracking to the gate gets us an Angel's Feather, which cures Paralysis.
Back to the street and all the way north, we get to the area with the Mayor's house. It's the torch-lit doorway in the upper portion of the screen.
Warbling Woman: Eek! H-How... embarrassing! You heard me singing, didn't you?!
Warbling Woman: So? "Take it out, peel it off..." Kinda sexy, don'tcha think? Sure ya do. Just a little. Sure.
I think I'm gonna be sick...
Weaselly Fish Seller: See, when yer young, ya like stuff fresh, but as ya get older ya like it aged. ...Don't get it, do ya?
Lost Peddler: H-Huh, me?! I'm just a traveling peddler. I, I happened on this village by chance...
Thank goodness, someone normal!
Lost Peddler: B-But, there's just...something not quite right about it, don't you think?!
Lost Peddler: ...Oh, say! Since you're here, how'd you like to buy something? I have plenty of useful items!
There isn't much I need at the moment, and I'd like to save some cash for when better armor and weapons become available (this guy doesn't have any) so I just picked up a Bandanna for Yuri, a Tent, and a couple Mana Leaves.
There's another Luck Talisman hidden to the right of the peddler. And now, before we go to see this "Granny Mayor", we're going to check out the area through the gate to the north.
Not good, but I can't say I wasn't expecting something like this the first time I played.
Th-These are all... bones! Human bones!! The bones of people...killed here! What's happening in this village...?!
Looks like the voice was right. These people're cannibals.
What was he doing down there? Checking the bones for tooth-marks?
Look over there, that shrine...
It's as if it holds all the anger of the people that died here.
What is it, pops?!
Vacant-eyed Old Man: Hee hee... Looking for the Black Tortoise God that was enshrined here? He's been gone for 6 months!
The Black Tortoise God?
Vacant-eyed Old Man: Yes, to pacify the Earth Spirits, humans deified him, and built this shrine. It's all such nonsense! But now with the troublesome Black Tortoise God gone, we're free to do as we please! We can even take the form of humans! We couldn't ask for more! The only problem is now we get hungry...
Vacant-eyed Old Man: It's all thanks to the new protector of our town, Yamaraja!
Yamaraja? What kind of a name for a demon is that? I suppose I'd find him in that shrine there?
Vacant-eyed Old Man: How...how insolent! But, no matter... You won't last long...
Vacant-eyed Old Man: Tonight there'll be a special feast for our rare guests...
Vacant-eyed Old Man: Now, you just run along and say hello to the Granny Mayor.
Well, I don't know about you, but I'm not too fond of the idea.
I'm not happy about it either, I can tell you!
Ha ha ha! It's all right, I'll protect you.
I don't think she's reassured.
Back at the Mayor's house, we're greeted by the Doublecreep Twins.
Yellow-eyed Child: You really came!! We're so glad!! C'mon, c'mon, come inside!!
Yellow-eyed Child: Granny Mayor! Granny Mayor! We got visitors! Visitors with lotsa juicy, juicy meat!
Red-eyed Child: ...Juicy!
We sure could use a bed for the night.
Mayor Lady: Yes, yes! I heard all about you from the children. You just make yourselves at home. We rarely get visitors here. We don't have much for you, but please rest your weary bones.
Hey, thanks, ma'am. We'll be out of your way by early morning.
Yuri is suspiciously good at playing stupid. Lots of practice?
Mayor Lady: Hee hee... Now, now, no need to rush. You just stay as long as you like!
Thanks ma'am. It's kind of you to let us stay, having just shown up in the middle of the night like this.
Mayor Lady: What a nice-mannered young lady. But you don't have to worry about your manners so much here.
Mayor Lady: ...For, it won't change the taste of their meat.
These 'people' aren't exactly subtle.
Kind woman! You all talk as if you're going to have us for supper!
Mayor Lady: Hee hee hee... Well, at least one of you has brains! Eat you both, we will!
She thinks HE'S the smart one?!
Mayor Lady: I've got to go tell Yamaraja we have an offering for him!
Mayor Lady: Hmph, let me get through here... Okay, okay...
Red-eyed Child: Don't worry, we'll be right outside so you can't get away!
Oh, yeah, that makes me feel better.
We're in trouble now. Looks like they've got us trapped.
It appears so.
How can you be so calm at a time like this?!
Aw, c'mon, if you get too anxious, it'll just make you hungry. Let's take a rest, and see what their next move is.
They actually lay down in the village full of man-eating spirits, or whatever they are, and the kids sneak back in a short time later.
Red-eyed Child: Looks like it!
Red-eyed Child: Quietly, now, or Granny Mayor's gonna kill us!
Oh, it's not Granny Mayor I'd be worried about if I were them.
Yellow-eyed Child: Yikes! They're NOT asleep!
Red-eyed Child: Y-You tricked us!!
You're finally ready to show yourselves for who you really are? Huh? Little goblin brats!
Yellow-eyed Child: Darn! If we let you get away, everyone'll get mad and then they'll eat us up! And if we DON'T let you get away, they'll know we tried to sneak a taste, so they'll eat us anyway!
Red-eyed Child: If we're gonna get eaten no matter what, I at least wanna taste the girl! Lemme have the girl!
Hah! Tough luck, kids! If anyone's going to eat her, it's me!
I think Yuri's going to pay for that crack later.
Yellow-eyed Child: Ooh, you're so bad!
Red-eyed Child: We'll kill you!!
The kids finally reveal their true forms as Hellcats in a mini-boss battle. My brilliant strategy for beating them is to wail on them mercilessly.
The Hellcats are actually Light-based creatures with a magical attack, Exorcist Arrow. They tend to use it exclusively, which helps the weaker Alice, since Light is also her element (making her only take about half the damage from the spell that Yuri does).
The fight is over in just three rounds; these guys are barely stronger than the local enemies.
Red-eyed Child: He's not human!!
This is funny because I didn't even bother Fusing for this fight.
You'd just get the runs if you ate us, anyway! Got it, fools?
Oh? So the whole town's decided to show their true selves, have they?
Back outside, the town's gone through some major redecorating. Enemies will attack now. The ones in this area are Canus, Green Flyers, and Zombies.
It's like a sea of blood! Is this what the village really looks like?
Yes, this is what was left after the demons devoured the humans. Be careful. I think they mean business this time.
The peddler is still wandering around. I guess even monsters need a cheap place to buy Pure Leaf.
Lost Peddler: This strange fog came and then suddenly the village looked like this! And there are monsters too!
Lost Peddler: Oh, that's right! I can't forget business, even at a time like this...
Uh...no thanks. We're a little busy at the moment.
Over by the well, I pick up a Tent I missed earlier and then head back to the shrine.
Hey, lady, I put the kiddies to sleep. Permanently. Why don't you show us your true form, too? We're tired of this endless procession of fiends. We figured if we came here, and took care of you...Well, you know how it always works!
Mayor Lady: Ha! Fools! Even if I die, the monsters will remain and you'll still be imprisoned in this town. Because all of this is the Will of the great Yamaraja, protector of our village!
Yamaraja? C'mon, I could take care of him just by destroying the shrine back there.
Mayor Lady: Take a good look! These are the bones of all those I've sacrificed to him! I used the malice of the townspeople, and made this fence to keep one and all away from here.
Mayor Lady: As long as I'm alive, this fence will protect Yamaraja. Because without killing me, you can't get near the shrine!
Mayor Lady: ...Um, just ignore that last part, okay?
So I was right after all! You ARE the one to get!
Cat Lady: Hyahahah! First, you'll have to catch me! POOF! And I'm gone!
Yeah, Mayor Lady suddenly becomes Cat Lady here, but the way she looks doesn't change.
Cat Lady: Hyah hyah hyah! You're going to wander aimlessly through this village forever! Wither and die in this village where morning never comes! Hyah hyah hyah!!
Damn it!! I'll skin your hide!!
Where did she run away to? I don't think that cat demon can escape this place any more than we can.
Yeah, she must be somewhere in the village. Let's find her!
The only thing to do now is chase her back down the entire length of Zhaoyang.
She pops up in a flash of light about halfway down each section of the village.
Cat Lady: Hyuk hyuk hyuk! You mean you didn't get eaten by my underlings yet.
Cat Lady: You're a tough cookie. Poof!
And now she's gone again. To the marketplace!
Dammit! Yer not gonna get away this time!
Cat Lady: Hyuk hyuk hyuk! Don't you think it'd be easier to just give up and let us eat you?
Cat Lady: Poof!
Meanwhile, at the town gate, two men are poking around a giant seal when Yuri and Alice show up.
But he was supposed to have lost his powers 15 years ago... Surely it can't be that he's...
Who's that with you? An elder munchkin?
Well, well. Still people here, eh?
Yuri goes and pushes on the gate, and when that doesn't work, he falls back on his old standby of kicking things.
Huh, it won't open!!
Unfortunately, you won't be able to leave. See this?
What's that? You mean that Wind of Heaven business you were talking about? In this country's language, it means you can't leave, right?
Yep, that's about the size of it.
Excuse me, but how did you men get in here?
Through here. We just pushed the gate open. It would appear that anyone is free to enter.
Through most of this exchange, Yuri keeps trying to open the gate and kicking it. He's nothing if not persistent!
We got in, but it looks like we can't go back out. Ah, I hate this, I hate it.
No, he doesn't.
...and you are?
Hahaha... You want to know who I am? I am the true ruler of the nine heavens. The absolute sage...
Although it would be funny to keep him as Quack Oracle, we'll go with the default name.
There are many adepts in the world, but only I will do that kind of work by the hour or day. I was hired by the elders in the neighboring village to come and investigate this place tonight.
An adept for hire by the day? That's quite unique.
I guess every other adept charges by the hour.
This guy's weird all right. But he's invaluable to me, for all the great jobs he brings in. But wait, handsome, don't you want to know who I am?
Now we'll see how Yuri likes being drooled over by some pervert.
Hey, hey, hey, lay off. That's how you scare customers away. Sorry about that, kid. This fellow here is a top-notch acupuncturist. Even brand new weapons feel like they've been yours for ten years once he's worked on them. The only problem is, you have to learn to put up with certain predilections he has.
He's right. I can't fight, but you'll love the way I assist.
Do you do any other acts besides an odd couple?
Let's hit it, Alice. We can find our own way out.
Now hold on a second, kid. You, too, honey.
I'm Yuri. And this is Alice. What is it now, pops?
I admire your spirit, kid.
No matter how much you walk, you'll never get out of this village the way you're going.
What's that supposed to mean?!
That's because of this mysterious mark here, isn't it, Zhuzhen?
Aha. She's a smart one. Exactly. This seal's power separates the village from the outside world. The seal itself is just like the lid on a pot. But this one has a lock that needs to be opened.
The seal's only on the gate. Maybe Yuri was going to try to scale the wall?
How can we open that lock? What do we do to break the seal?
That's right. You get the idea. Now listen carefully, both of you. Someone in this village must be the key to this seal. You must find and defeat that person.
...Well, as they say, the journey IS the destination, so I'm coming along to see how I can help out.
Great. A geriatric exorcist spouting fortune cookie wisdom. Just what I always wanted!
What a pain...
Zhuzhen doesn't believe in wasting time, and heads off without an answer. Then again, he doesn't look like he has much time left to waste.
I'm no good at fighting. I'll stay here and dodge monsters till you get back.
Next time on Shadow Hearts: slaying demons and physical therapy!
Zhaoyang Village, part 1 on Vimeo