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The Dark Id
Aug 13, 2005

Why
you
know
I
LOVE
THIS SHIT !!!!



ďReasoning draws a conclusion, but does not make the conclusion certain, unless the mind discovers it by the path of experience.Ē Ė Roger Bacon on grinding and RNG, probably.

*****


What is Shadow Hearts?
Shadow Hearts is a JRPG by Sacnoth -- released in December of 2001 for the Sony PlayStation 2. Midway published it this time around. They used to have their hands in... varied markets before going belly up. It actually had the rotten timing of being released five days before this little known rival indie title, Final Fantasy X... You might have heard of that game somewhere before. Shadow Hearts is an indirect sequel to the 2000 RPG by the same developers, Koudelka -- a completed LP of which can be found right over here Sacnothís output this time around is far more of a traditional JRPG rather than the survival horror game trappings married to a nightmare of bad design decisions RPG combat system of its predecessor.

To be blunt, unlike Koudelka, which I would in no way, shape or form suggest anyone play for themselves, Iíd say Shadow Hearts is worth a fair shake. Even if it does have some issues and might be a bit of a step back in a few ways. But weíll have more than enough time to discuss that later.

Do I need to have played/seen an LP of Koudelka to enjoy Shadow Hearts?
No. Especially early on, Shadow Hearts seems to have very little to do with Koudelka. Though it is far more of a direct sequel by the end than say NieR to NieR: Automata. Youíll have more than ample time to read that LP I just did if youíre curious. Koudelka was a 13ish hour affair that you could complete over the course of a weekend. Shadows Hearts is a real rear end 30+ hour RPG. So weíre gonna be here a little while longer!

I thought you said you werenít going to LP the Shadow Hearts games?
I said I didnít have plans to LP all of the games. And plans can be changed, you pedantic jerk! Itís not a Xenosaga situation where Iíve gone on record saying Iíd sooner eat a bullet than engage with those games in LP fashion. So donít take that as any guarantee that Iíll LP another one of these games. Probably...

With that said, letís begin...

The Dark Id fucked around with this message at 16:04 on Apr 6, 2019

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The Dark Id
Aug 13, 2005

Why
you
know
I
LOVE
THIS SHIT !!!!



This is where updates go to live. What else did you think was going to end up here? Sheesh!





Episode I: Midnight Train
Episode II: Rude Hero



Episode III: Stat Chat 1913
Episode IV: Ghost Dad
Episode V: Malice
Episode VI: Country Hospitality
Episode VII: The Quack Oracle
Episode VIII: The Anti-Cat Maneuver
Episode IX: A Single Thread



Episode X: Get Alice Elliot!
Episode XI: The Alluring Spy
Episode XII: The Sewer That Killed My Computer
Episode XIII: Seals and Guards
Episode XIV: A Tiny Problem



Episode XV: Casual Discourse on Somniloquy
Episode XVI: Sea Mother
Episode XVII: Quack Back
Episode XVIII: Valorization



Episode XIX: Don't Rock the Boat
Episode XX: Fire and Water
Episode XXI: Busting a Ghost



Episode XXII: A Rainy Day Fifteen Years Ago
Episode XXIII: Under New Management
Episode XXIV: No Sell
Episode XXV: Pit Fighter



Episode XXVI: Meowster
Episode XXVII: Hands On Trial
Episode XXVIII: Xifa
Episode XXIX: Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies



Episode XXX: Alliances
Episode XXXI: Press the Select Button to Submit



Episode XXXII: A Well-Timed Fieldtrip
Episode XXXIII: Puppet



Episode XXXIV: Essential Smut
Episode XXXV: Snipe
Episode XXXVI: Calamity





Episode XXXVII: Terry No Guard



Episode XXXVIII: Red Fog
Episode XXXIX: The Bored Vampire
Episode XL: The Transformation Short Straw



Episode XLI: I Warned You About the Stairs
Episode XLII: Keep Digging
Episode XLIII: Face/Off



Episode XLIV: Mysteries of the Ladies' Room
Episode XLV: Fusion Frenzy



Episode XLVI: The Scene of the Crime
Episode XLVII: Father Doyle



Episode XLVIII: London Rats
Episode XLIX: Jack the Doctor



Episode L: Wow! What a Mansion!
Episode LI: Hope This is Not Chris's Blood
Episode LII: Mammon



Episode LIII: Mental Care
Episode LIV: The Key of Darkness
Episode LV: Translation Issues



Episode LVI: Identity
Episode LVII: Gravestones



Episode LVIII: Bacon Juice
Episode LIX: The Door of Judgment
Episode LX: The Runabout
Episode LXI: Amon
Episode LXII: Float
Episode LXIII: We'll Use Science!



Episode LXIV: Yuri's Awakening
Episode LXV: The Emigre Manuscript
Episode LXVI: Kawashima's Debriefing
Episode LXVII: Margarete's Confession
Episode LXVIII: The Dollhouse
Episode LXIX: Orb Chaos
Episode LXX: Keith's Performance
Episode LXXI: Spread Eagle
Episode LXXII: The Ancient Ruins
Episode LXXIII: The Cave Temple
Episode LXXIV: Orphan Blood Sports
Episode LXXV: Punching a Curse
Episode LXXVI: Atman
Episode LXXVII: Equivalent Exchange



Episode LXXVIII: One Last Thing...
Episode LXXIX: For Tomorrow
Episode LXXX: Nobody Knocks the Door
Episode LXXXI: Star Shape
Episode LXXXII: Middle of Nowhere
Episode LXXXIII: Messiah
Episode LXXXIV: Imbroglio
Episode LXXXV: Shadow Hearts



Episode LXXXVI: Hiding a Curse
Episode LXXXVIII: Death March Speedrun
Episode LXXXVIII: Covenant

The Dark Id fucked around with this message at 18:20 on Feb 21, 2019

The Dark Id
Aug 13, 2005

Why
you
know
I
LOVE
THIS SHIT !!!!



Cool and good junk people have made for the LP goes here. Always appreciated and encouraged. There's probably gonna be spoilers, naturally.

******


Epicmissingno has been abusing Lullab-Eye.


Nohman shows off the cast's alignments.


Nohman also knows the best time to embark on a sidequest.


CountryMatters found a hole in Dehuai's scheme.

The Dark Id fucked around with this message at 19:14 on Sep 21, 2018

The Dark Id
Aug 13, 2005

Why
you
know
I
LOVE
THIS SHIT !!!!

Episode I: Midnight Train



Welcome to Koudelka 2 Shadow Hearts. There really needs to be a term for games that lay the foundation of a successor series that go on to become the mainline franchise. There is Koudelka going into Shadow Hearts. Soul Edge/Blade going on to become Soulcalibur. Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain leading to the Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver games. Iím sure there are other examples. But thatís not really what weíre here for. Letís get started with our new tale...


New Music: Wind Which Blows From the Dark I



Click Here to Watch the Opening Movie
(You should really watch this. Itís a real good opening. Also WAY more violent than most anything else in the game.)



Our story begins fifteen years after the conclusion of Koudelka. Gone are the dreary wastelands of the hellscape that is Wales. Instead, letís venture to a lovely city in rustic France. Surely, the capital of the Normandy region of France is devoid of dark rituals, alchemical crimes against humanity and serial murders.



...OK. Perhaps I spoke too soon.



A travelling priest, brutally murdered before sunrise! His body lay scattered in pieces, as if savaged by a beast. His daughter, believed to be travelling with him, is missing...



Well, Iím sure that wonít be relevant. Letís shift gears a continent over and several months later, shall we?



South Manchuóautumn, that same year.



So I might have been wrong on my assessment of dark dealings in French back alleys. But transcontinental railroads are another matter altogether. As far as I know there has never been a transcontinental rail trip that has no less than one or more murders, at least one to three people who are secretly spies or not who they claim to be, a serial killer/actual demon ready to strike, a robbery transpiring or a bomb planted somewhere aboard. There is some poo poo about to go down on this train if it hasnít already. Put good money down on this fact.





This old lady passing this dapper gentleman? An Assassin is off to stop Templars planting an explosive in the engine car. Too bad sheíll have to make it through a botched heist two cars up and a Vatican priest hunting down an immortal killer battling on the roof the car ahead of that.





Meanwhile, some bum who sneaked on board is relieved to see nobody has checked for his ticket or asked him to move his feet off the seats for the last two stops. Living life large.



Meanwhile, in the dining car/caboose we find the place locked down by soldiers of the Japanese Army. Letís see what theyíre discussing inside.



Itís already past 2300 and itís still a long way to Fengtian.
Major Tsugi, what is this about? Why the special train in the middle of the night to escort this girl to Japan?



She looks pretty ordinary to me.
Well other than the silver hair. Whatís up with that?
Maybe she just went gray at an early age? Donít ask me. Iíd be happy to have any hair...
And that outfit. I didnít even know they made buttons that size! Whatís that about?
Do I look like an expert in Westerner fashion?




Hell if I know. Thereís no telling what the big shots in Tokyo are thinking. Hmph... Next time I see you-know-who, Iíll ask her, okay?



GAAH! <crunch and chewing sounds>





Meanwhile, things have taken a turn for the gruesome with the guards outside. The first of the two was taken by surprise. Surely his partner will be able to hold the line! The honor of the mighty Japanese Imperial Army is on the li--



AGH!



...How do you even get a head to twist in that direction? Thatís some Havoc ragdoll physics gone awry poo poo right there.



Wh-whatís going on!?

Why Major, itís only the most sinister, malicious force of ill-will you could ever come across...



...An old white guy.



Sh-Shoot!
<open fire>



GARGH!
<gasp>
AHHH!
<also gasps>
Argh! <pulls out pistol and opens fire>



Who went to town on the sliders when making this guy in a character creator? The head to face ratio on this manís model is JACKED. But other than his unfortunate facial features, this guy has bigger problems.



It seems the dapper gentleman either has some kind of anti-bullet shield or... No! Could this be the work of an enemy Stand!?



Die! Die! Die!



<click click>



Pictured: The look of a man who wishes his face was twice its current size. Also, about to be brutally eviscerated by some kind of murder machine wizard.



ACK! <crunch> <blood splatter>



Ahh! Itís you...



Yes. Roger Bacon. Iím honored that you remember me so well.



Roger Bacon is looking fit compared to when we last saw him. Guy really cleaned up well in the past fifteen years. Whatís his secret in... growing like two feet, de-aging a few hundred years, getting a completely different face, voice, skin tone, manner of speaking and gaining a Stand... Hmm.



The girl decides now that sheís cornered and feet away from the Stand user Roger Bacon sheís going to make a break for it. She is quickly deterred. Incidentally, itís amazing she managed to not get a single drop of blood on her pristine outfit when it has coated literally every surface around her. That takes some talent.



You canít escape. Ho-ho. Come along quietly, sister.

The sound of the train car opening comes from behind Roger.



Ahh... A new actor in our play.





Roger wastes no time siccing his little murder helper on the interloper and seemingly lopping off one of his arms. Only...





I donít think this is how things were meant to work out for this little imp dude. He doesnít seem to be enjoying himself.



I cannot believe that little murder gremlin is loving dead. Turns out it was actually like a really aggressive, large mosquitoes and those soldiers would have been way better off just swatting the thing out of the air the whole time. Ahh well, hindsight and all that.



<shakes head dismayed> I was fond of him...
Poor, poor Doctor Mirabilis... <frowns>



Thatís one baddie down. Just a moment though, our new guest needs to attend to something.





Just gotta glue this back on real quick. Spoilers: At no other point in the game can this guy just reattach limbs and regenerate like that. I mean, not that he is ever in a situation that warrants it again either. Itís just odd. Like if Piccolo in Dragon Ball Z just did the regrowing a limb technique exactly once ever out of nowhere and nobody spoke on it or mentioned it ever again.



Once more, the girl in distress decides that once things have calmed down and there are zero distractions, sheíll make a break for it. It goes about as well as youíd expect...



Uh-uh. <sleep spell>



Our hero has slightly better timing with his actions and rushed Roger Bacon as soon as heís busy abducting the girl. Unfortunately, thereís one thing he didnít take into account.





Roger Baconís Special Eyesô!





The monkís Brand sends the man flying back through the wall of three train cars. It doesnít seems like itís a very fun time to have. Good thing the train was on a straight away and not a big turn. That could have gone way worse.



And he also didnít manage to go flying back far enough to crash into any knife fights, sorcery duels, political kidnappings or a clutch bomb defusing happening just a few cars back at this very time on the railroad.



<gets up from getting owned like The Undertaker> Heh...

Tune in next time as Shadow Hearts begins in earnest and we get to work punching the poo poo out of that dapper wizard. Thereís no way heíd use the Special Eyesô move twice, right? Absurd.






Video: Shadow Hearts Intro
(Hey go watch this!)

The Dark Id fucked around with this message at 14:54 on Jun 24, 2018

ApeHawk
Jun 6, 2010

All the NPCs will look up and shout, "Do this quest!"
and I'll whisper, "Sure, why not."


Well, it's certainly not a flying whale creating a destructive tidal wave to wreck an entire town while a blonde plays water soccer, but a dapper old man with an imp stand killing people with a smile on his face is still a good intro.

Onmi
Jul 12, 2013

If someone says it one more time I'm having Florina show up as a corpse. I'm not even kidding, I was pissed off with people doing that shit back in 2010, and I'm not dealing with it now in 2016.


I forgot Yuri could just... reattach limbs

Geomancing
Jan 8, 2004

I am not an egghead. I am well-read.


Watch the intro video if only to listen to the accents of those two Japanese guards.

CmdrKing
Oct 14, 2012

Maybe if I called it 'Interpretive Stabbing'...

I think they must have made this whole opening as a proof-of-concept sales pitch or something, because a lot of what happens here just doesn't line up with the overall mood and style of the actual game. Of course it's certainly good for getting the player to pay attention out of the gate, so that's useful.

Ah well. Immortal Bum vs Crusty White Dude, the most eternal of struggles, let's rock.

Speedball
Apr 15, 2008



Onmi posted:

I forgot Yuri could just... reattach limbs

Yeah, maybe he just popped a healing potion or something, he certainly doesn't regenerate like that in the main game.

Edvarius
Aug 23, 2013


One thing I really appreciate about this game is that it doesn't pretend the hero is some ordinary kid who just so happens to grow into being the legendary hero. Ordinary kids don't reattach severed limbs casually like that. The hero is a superpowered freak, and this game is letting you know that right up front.

I also appreciate Roger Bacon here. More games need dapper murder wizards.

TheGreatEvilKing
Mar 28, 2016



RIP little imp dude, he is survived by little imp wife and little imp son.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


This game totally rules and gets off on the right foot.

HR12345
Nov 19, 2012


Welp, weíre in for a fun time. Yuri is the kinda snarky protagonist worthy of a The Dark Id Letís Play. Iíll put him up there with Endir and Serge.

Mraagvpeine
Nov 4, 2014

I won this avatar on a technicality this thick.

I wonder if those spies/heists/bombs are specific references to other works.

Req.Martyr
May 4, 2016

I don't go by my caste, creed, or religion. My works speak for me.



Just what I've been waiting for.

Love the stream of Darkid sharing these games with us. Been on board since I first found you in the archives years ago

Jagged Jim
Sep 25, 2013

I... I can only look though the window...


I love how our first antagonist of the game is just the dapperest English gentleman possible. I wouldn't be surprised if he craps scones and pisses Earl Grey.

Jen X
Sep 29, 2014

To bring light to the darkness, whether that darkness be ignorance, injustice, apathy, or stagnation.


Oh no, Roger

ultrafilter
Aug 23, 2007





This is going to be fun.

Shitenshi
Mar 12, 2013


The old bald dude with the small face is clearly a reflection of Haley Joel Osment's life after getting on the wrong side of DARKNESS too many times. Just a poor extra on a train who thinks he's in charge while cooler people take the main stage.

I guess Roger Bacon's transformation here is clearly a sign the dude has become another Xehanort over the past fifteen years since we last saw him. White hair, funky eyes, it all checks out.

Pine Bamboo Plum
Nov 5, 2009


Incredibly happy to get on the ground floor of an LP of one of my favorite games. I remember following kethryveris' LPs of both SH1 and 2 back in the day, and now that I no longer have access to either game it's great to relive at least SH1 through a DarkId LP. Even though I remember the battle system being kinda clunky, the overall atmosphere and story is just so drat engaging that it's worth playing now. The music especially is just fantastic--this is a game with a lot of care put into it, even with its PS1-level graphics.

Shitenshi
Mar 12, 2013


EDIT: I'm behind on pop culture.

Shitenshi fucked around with this message at 04:18 on Jun 21, 2018

Onmi
Jul 12, 2013

If someone says it one more time I'm having Florina show up as a corpse. I'm not even kidding, I was pissed off with people doing that shit back in 2010, and I'm not dealing with it now in 2016.


Shitenshi posted:

The old bald dude with the small face is clearly a reflection of Haley Joel Osment's life after getting on the wrong side of DARKNESS too many times. Just a poor extra on a train who thinks he's in charge while cooler people take the main stage.

I guess Roger Bacon's transformation here is clearly a sign the dude has become another Xehanort over the past fifteen years since we last saw him. White hair, funky eyes, it all checks out.

Not everyone is Xehanort.

Tuxedo Ted
Apr 23, 2007



You got me. I thought for sure you'd not go any further than Koudelka. I'm super psyched, but sorry about all the chatting about the Shadow Hearts series in the last thread.

iospace
Jan 19, 2038




I have never heard of this series (prior to the last LP) because I was an N64 kid. I enjoy this

NGDBSS
Dec 30, 2009








I'm psyched to see Shadow Hearts on the docket so soon after Koudelka. Though man are those cutscene graphics out of place for a PS2 game - they're not that much better than Koudelka had on PS1.

TheLastRoboKy
May 2, 2009

Finishing the game with everyone else's continues


I think I've played through this game start to finish with fresh saves like four times now, I really love it. The intro really sets you up for a great time.

curiousCat
Sep 23, 2012

Does this look like the face of mercy, kupo?


I only ever read reviews of these games, I was never able to actually find copies. Excited.

bman in 2288
Apr 21, 2010


Shitenshi posted:

Okay so I know this topic just started and nobody likes that guy on the internet, but did you mean to say Stand here? Because the only thing I can think of here is a Berserk reference while the Jojo reference earlier seems far more apt.

Sorry about the quality, but check this out. it's the most directly relevant video I could find.

Shitenshi
Mar 12, 2013


bman in 2288 posted:

Sorry about the quality, but check this out. it's the most directly relevant video I could find.

Okay that makes sense. Boo on me.

Edvarius
Aug 23, 2013


Onmi posted:

Not everyone is Xehanort.

Are you sure about that? We're talking about a guy who is is known to use multiple incarnations, body snatching, mental/spiritual contamination, and time travel. He very well could be everyone, and he's already the villain of a crossover series. Would it really be that surprising for him to jump series too?

Picayune
Feb 26, 2007



Taco Defender

The Shadow Hearts games were Extremely My poo poo back in the day and I am psyched to relive at least one of them now.

Leraika
Jun 14, 2015

slime time



Oh boy it's Shadow Hearts!

I'd make a lame joke about LPing Chaos Wars too, but literally no one deserves that misery.

WampaPartyEX
Jan 13, 2012


These games are absolutely bonkers good, the first two moreso than the third (but the third still a pretty good JRPG despite even fewer people playing it than played Koudelka), and I'm super happy to experience them all over again.

Accordion Man
Nov 7, 2012




Buglord

Shadow Hearts is by far my favorite JRPG series so I'm ready to continue on this ride.

CmdrKing posted:

I think they must have made this whole opening as a proof-of-concept sales pitch or something, because a lot of what happens here just doesn't line up with the overall mood and style of the actual game. Of course it's certainly good for getting the player to pay attention out of the gate, so that's useful.
Yeah, it really screams proof-of-concept that they didn't change to fit the rest of the game once they made it. The violence, Yuri's regenerative powers, and even some of the stuff Roger does doesn't really come up again.

NGDBSS posted:

I'm psyched to see Shadow Hearts on the docket so soon after Koudelka. Though man are those cutscene graphics out of place for a PS2 game - they're not that much better than Koudelka had on PS1.
SH1 started development as a PS1 game and its an early PS2 game as well. They also probably didn't have the budget considering SH1 is a lot longer than Koudelka.

WampaPartyEX posted:

These games are absolutely bonkers good, the first two moreso than the third (but the third still a pretty good JRPG despite even fewer people playing it than played Koudelka), and I'm super happy to experience them all over again.
I really wouldn't call FTNW less popular than Koudelka. If anyone knows about Shadow Hearts they probably know about FTNW, Koudelka is the one where even some Shadow Hearts fans may not have heard of it.

WampaPartyEX
Jan 13, 2012


You know, that's fair and true. Koudelka doesn't have that kind of name recognition. Still, From The New World definitely got a bad rap because instead of being "an absolutely fantastic JRPG" it's merely "an above-average JRPG."

As for Yuri's weird cutscene regeneration power, I believe that's...briefly touched on at some point? Possibly it's just something I rationalized because of his deal? I don't know, it's weird, and talking about the situation constitutes a massive spoiler.

chiasaur11
Oct 22, 2012





You know, it's funny to look at games like this, and remember how true to life they were.

It was only in the mid 1970s or so that anyone could expect to go on a train trip and not be murdered by supernatural creatures. In fact, many rail lines in the late 1920s to early 1930s made a prominent point in their advertising that the supernatural monster haunting their rail-lines would only murder non-paying passengers and occasional "unusually unruly" small children.

Of course, now we know the majority of those "ghosts" and "demons" in later years were only bank managers and circus hypnotists in masks, but 1913 was a more primitive and superstitious time.

Hunt11
Jul 24, 2013



Grimey Drawer

That is quite the start. Also slightly disappointed that I could never think of any appropriate sheep shagging jokes for the last lp you did.

EponymousMrYar
Jan 4, 2015

The enemy of my enemy is my enemy.


Watch out! Roger Bacon took several levels of Dapper!

Jolly good whot whot.

Ubiquitous_
Nov 20, 2013

by Reene


The music is really where Shadow Hearts most shines over Koudelka. As well as its addictive battle system. The writing is almost as good, but the voice acting... regardless, still one of the best jRPGs out there, imo.

This is one of those games I swear TDI had already LPed, given its tone and humor.

Ubiquitous_ fucked around with this message at 07:22 on Jun 21, 2018

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Zagglezig
Oct 15, 2012


Geomancing posted:

Watch the intro video if only to listen to the accents of those two Japanese guards.
Funny thing about that. They sounded really familiar and it finally clicked at the head officer's voice that they're all flavors of the voice of Grandpa from Yu-gi-oh. And sure enough, same actress.


The Dark Id posted:

Surely, the capital of Normandy region of France is devoid of dark rituals

But transcontinental railroads is another matter altogether.

that has had any less than at one or more murders

itís amazing she managed to get a drop of blood on her pristine outfit when it has coated literally every surface around her

it was actually like a really aggressive, large mosquitos

Like if Piccolo in Dragon Ball Z just did the regrown a limb technique exactly once

Unfortunate, thereís one thing he didnít take into account.

The monkís Brand sends the man flinging back through the wall of three train cars.

Most of these are small add a short word or change a letter sort of things, so I'll just list them: "of the Normandy region", "railroads are", "than one", "to not get", "mosquito", "regrow", "Unfortunately", and "flying".
Not totally sure if the last one was intentional or a typo cause you were thinking about saying "flings the man", but seemed better to bring it up.

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