Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / Shadow Hearts

Go To
Shadow Hearts is the first game in the eponymous series of Eastern RPGs. The game was released in 2001 for Playstation 2. The game was followed by direct sequel, called Shadow Hearts: Covenant.

Set in 1913, the game follows Yuri Volte Hyuga, a badass, yet stupid Ineffectual Loner with a mysterious voice in his head. Following its advice, Yuri saves a young girl named Alice, who wields the power of White Magic, and is sought after for it by the bad guys. Yuri takes it on himself to protect Alice, and to stop the schemes of a warlock, who tries to use her power for himself.

This game provides examples of:

  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Fengtian has a giant sewer system that party uses to leave the city. It's also the place where they first meet Margarete.
  • Alternate World Map: Well, not world, but rather region. During the Time Skip, the party travels from Asia to Europe, which serves as a new world map.
  • Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: The final battle takes place on top of a giant glowing Judgement Ring, that flies in space high above the Earth.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The game ends with the world saved, but Alice dies to Four Mask's curse. The ending credits also confirm that The Great War begins shorly after.
  • Bookends: The game begins and ends with a train ride. The train is also a place where Yuri first meets Alice, and loses her.
  • Boss Bonanza: The final dungeon has three bosses throughout the dungeon itself, and then two back-to back final bosses. You're only required to defeat the last two in one go, though.
  • Bullying the Dragon: Koudelka, the woman whose spirit Viscount Rausan is trying to break, may look broken and semi-comatose, but she actually has the power of a god. As the Big Bad points out, she is actually just messing with him by giving him the silent treatment. The second her son shows up and is put in danger, we see exactly what he was talking about.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: When you play as Ben Hyuga in a flashback, he can effortlessly kill any of his enemies, and has the strongest Dark fusion, Czernobog, on top of that.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: The game's final boss? Meta-God, an alien monstrosity from 50000 light years away. You punch it in the face.
  • Duel Boss:
    • Keith's fight against the Golden Bat (actually his brother Joachim) in his sidequest. He must deal 1500 HP worth of damage in five turns, before the Bat kills him on sixth.
    • All of Yuri's fusion monsters, due to the battles taking place inside of his mind.
    • Played for Drama in Alice's fight against Atman. If she loses the battle, it means that she succumbs to the Four Mask curse and will eventually die. And there's no one to help her, making the battle unwinnable in a normal playthrough. However, if the player completes the sidequest, this trope is averted, and Yuri comes to her aid and saves her, leading to the good ending.
    • Alice fights Arcane Olga solo after you return to Prague. As for why she fights alone... Well, the battle takes place in a women's bathroom.
  • Dungeon Town: Several of them.
    • Zhaoyang Village is a village full of cannibals, who turn into cat demons. The Voice actually warns that party of it, but Yuri and Alice walk into it on purpose. All villagers here are described as Gonks, and the local shrine is full of bones, so the warning wasn't even that necessary.
    • Dalian is cursed by a vengeful spirit, and random demons attack the party until it's defeated.
    • Shanghai briefly turns into one when it's overrun by the Japanese army.
  • Equipment Spoiler: You can check the weapon shop in Bistriz and find here a new weapon type (namely, swords), before you get the party member who can use them.
  • Evil Overlooker: The Western cover art depicts the Big Bad overlooking Yuri and Alice.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: After some Character Development, Alice declares that she is not afraid anymore. This, however, doesn't affect her SP or panicked battle quotes at all.
  • HP to One: Spells "!!!", used by several bosses, and "Nine Springs", used by the Final Boss.
  • Interface Spoiler: When in Europe, once Alice goes to Rouen by herself, the Big Bad's profile updates, spoiling a very large plot twist shortly before the cutscene where you're supposed to learn it.
  • Lovecraft Lite: The game revolves around a couple of insane warlocks who try to summon otherwordly abominations to destroy the world. In the end, however, these plans are foiled by the same people they tortured to acieve their goals, and all the otherwordly abominations get their asses handed to them.
  • Minimalistic Cover Art: Japanese cover art shows the game's logo over the Judgement Ring — and that's it.
  • Multiple Endings: There are two endings, that differ in exactly one thing: if Alice lives, or succumbs to the curse and dies. To achieve the good ending, you need to complete a difficult sidequest, but the sequel builds off the bad one.
  • Optional Boss: The Cursed Puppet, or rather Wugui, reanimated by the Big Bad. It's fought in the Kowloon Fortress (Kowloon Walled City in real life), an optional area, unlocked by correctly selecting answers to Dehuai, when controlling impisoned Alice.
  • Permanently Missable Content: Forgot to do something in Asia? Well, after the Time Skip it's gone forever. Justified, because the party can't go back in any reasonable amount of time.
  • Prematurely Marked Grave: During the first half of the game there's an empty grave in the Graveyard, with a tombstone that slowly builds itself over the course of the game. Once Alice takes on Yuri's Mailce in order to save him from his possession, the tombstone finishes itself and becomes labeled "Alice Elliot". If Yuri doesn't prevent it, Alice indeed dies in the ending.
  • Spoiler Cover: The Western cover shows the Neameto Float, the game's final dungeon.
  • Sprite/Polygon Mix: 3D models on 2D background, only outside of battles. It may have something to do with the game beginning development as a PS1 title.
  • Superboss: Where do we even begin...
    • Orb Chaos is the boss of the game's Doll House sidequest, that drops Alice's best weapon. It has a ton of HP, and an AOE attack that can inflict several status effects.
    • Seraphim is the boss met in the Ancient Ruins, that drops Halley's best weapon. Its physical attacks can kill most characters in one combo, and its "Divine Punishment" AOE spell can inflict both status and ring effects.
    • Cherubim, met in the Cave Temple, guards Zhuzhen's best weapon, and is basically a bigger, meaner version of Seraphim, with 2.5 times more HP, and the dreaded HP to One "!!!" spell. Oh, and magic heals it.
    • The final fusion soul, Seraphic Radiance. It has two forms, namely Ben Hyuga, Yuri's father, who then fuses into Seraphic Radiance proper. The boss hits like a truck, and in the second phase gains an attack that heals it. Naturally, it's fought with Yuri alone.
  • Time Skip: About halfway through the game, the story skips six months forward, which allows the characters to travel to Europe in plausible time.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The Neameto Float, an enormous flying biomechanical castle, which floats in space and serves as a beacon for Meta-God.
  • Villain Has a Point: Cardinal Albert Simon, the Big Bad of the game, wants to wipe out humanity and restart civilization because of the brutal repression of human elites. The party doesn't even disagree with him about the repression, but still fights him because of the loss of innocent lives. The sequel reveals that his actions in the previous game were a misguided attempt to stop another, even worse villain.
    Albert Simon: Only an illusion of peace exists in the superficial calm of our lives. In fact, the blood and tears of the poor are sacrificed daily by a handful of elite power-mongers. No matter how far science and technology advance, repression will never cease. We’re only human. Whenever the calls for revolution turn into concrete action, instigators are met by the full resistance of the elite, who stop at nothing to keep their power.
  • Violation of Common Sense: Want Yuri to get the most powerful spells of his level three fusions? He needs to go berserk. This is something you typically want to avoid.
  • The Voice: The voice in Yuri's head guides him through the events of the game. If he falls out of line, it punishes him with a severe headache. Later, the voice is revealed to be Koudelka, imprisoned by Albert Simon. It's implied that Yuri is susceptible to the voice due to his fusion powers.
  • Wham Shot:
    • It is made clear the reclusive Father Hans Doyle knows something about Alice's father, but he is killed by Olga before he can say anything. Upon looking through Doyle's belongings, Alice finds a photo of him with Albert Simon, who Alice's father went to see before Bacon ambushed and killed him and who owned the mansion Jack bought before going insane — revealing that the elusive witness of the mysteries, Cardinal Albert Simon is none other than "Roger Bacon" himself.
    • Yuri nudging Alice awake after the train-ride to Domremy, and Alice not waking up. Saving the world in no way undid the curse on her, a curse Yuri never knew about.