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Video Game / Shadow Hearts: Covenant

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Spoilers for Shadow Hearts are unmarked. You Have Been Warned!
Shadow Hearts: Covenant, or Shadow Hearts II, is the second game in Shadow Hearts series of Eastern RPGs. The game was released in 2004 for Playstation 2. Covenant is a direct sequel to the first game in the series, and continues its plot.

The game begins in 1915, six months after the end of previous game. Yuri, now known as "Godslayer" among secret societies, lives in a small village of Domremy, dedicating himself to protect it amidst The Great War. However, a group called Sapientes Gladio, that seeks control over Europe, sees Yuri as an obstacle. They manage to seal his powers using the Holy Mistletoe, and now Yuri must not only defeat the cult, but also fing a cure for himself. He's accompanied by Karin Koenig — an officer of the German army, who was accidentally pulled into dealings of occult underworld.

This game provides examples of:

  • Abandoned Mine: Rhondda Mine was closed due to an accident (implied to be gas explosion) that claimed many lives. It's a labyrinthine network of tunnels, some of which can't be traversed at first due to being pitch-black. The boss of the level is a demon, born from collective malice of several hundreds coal miners, who died to the accident. The party has to go through it to get to Wales.
  • Absurdly-Spacious Sewer: Gallery of the Dead in Petrograd, while never actually called so, strongly resembles a sewer system.
  • AB Negative: One puzzle involves a door that opens only to people with AB blood type. Luckily, there's a device nearby that allows you to compare blood types of party members. Karin is A, and Lucia is B, for starters. The answer is Yuri is A, Joachim is O, and Gepetto is AB.
  • The Alcatraz: The unnamed prison on St. Marguerite Island (Fort Royal in real life) is said to be so secure, that no prisoner has ever escaped it. The party, naturally, manages to escape, but only with the help of Blanca.
  • Alternate World Map: Just like in previous game, the party eventually travels to another region, specifically from Europe to Japan, which gets its own map. Unlike in the previous game, you can go back.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different:
    • The game starts with playing as Karin and Nicolai. During this time Yuri doesn't even appear.
    • While the party travels to Petrograd, the player is given control of Anastasia.
    • The second disc starts with you controlling Blanca, and later a couple of short sections that give you control of the Mutant Apes.
    • Additionally, Japan-only Director's Cut version has a short dungeon on the first disc, where you control Nicolai, Lenny, and Veronica.
  • And Then What?: Orobas, a sidequest boss, declares his intention to Take Over the World; after hearing it already from someone else, Anastasia asks him this. Awkward pause.
    Orobas: Then... I'll have to think about that.
  • Bag of Spilling: Yuri loses all of his items from the previous game. He retains his Amon fusion (and, presumably, other fusions), but has them sealed in a cutscene before you get to control him.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: There are at least four people who qualify as a Big Bad.
    • The first one is the leader of Sapientes Gladio, Grigori Rasputin. He plans to take control of Russia, and has it conquer Europe.
    • One of underlings of the above, Nicholas Conrad, plays his own game, and wants to use Japan to depose the Tsar and rule Russia by himself.
    • Aforementioned underling initially works with Japan's shadow goverment, led by Minister Kantaro Ishimura. They are a group of ultra-nationalists, who aim to conquer Eurasia, considering it their divine right.
    • One agent of said ultra-nationalists, Masaji Kato, does not share their beliefs, works with them only to ressurect his Lost Lenore, and eventually turns on them.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The Gallery of the Dead dungeon features several gates marked with letters of Russian alphabet. Anastasia tells you how they're pronounced, but doesn't tell that they, put together, spell "декабрь" (December).
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: Karin's sword art skills, as well as the "Idar Flamme" are... not translated well. If anything they sound more As Long as It Sounds Foreign.
  • Bookcase Passage: Everything in the secret base of Sapientes Gladio in Italy. There is an elevator in floor clock, a revolving door behing a painting, and an entire hidden staircase.
  • Bookends: The first dungeon and the last dungeon of the first disc is Apoina Tower.
  • Chain of Deals: One major sidequest has you start with a piece of straw, and end with the best weapon for Lucia... Or some useful, but common item, if you don't play your cards right.
  • Cruel Mercy: As Roger points out, Yuri's refusal to kill Minister Kantaro Ishimura is actually this. The man's plans are foiled, his allies abandoned him, and his henchmen are dead. He is more or less harmless by the time Yuri and co. finally reach and beat the crap out of him. His failing health means that he will die in several years at most, but not before having enough time to think about the sins he's commited.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Garan appears in situations that would scare normal people... however everyone is more interested in the fact that Garan floats around while kneeling on a pillow than the fact he's trapped them in a dark dimension.
  • Combination Attack: If two characters stand close enough to each other, they can initiate a combo. When one of them successfully performs an attack, and the player passes the Combo Ring, the other character will immediately follow up on that. Later hits in the combo get additional damage based on the overall number of hits, and the fourth character in the combo can use special Combo Magic in place of their own skills.
  • Curse: The Holy Mistletoe places a curse on its victim, that will eventually kill them. It's later revealed that it doesn't just kill a person's body, but their very soul, by drainig their thoughts, will, and memories. Yuri is able to stall it somewhat with his powers.
  • Disc-One Final Dungeon: Two of them, one right after another.
    • First one is Idar Flamme. which is a flying castle, where Rasputin, possessed by Asmodeus, prepares to end the world. However, once you go through it, Nicolai reveals himself as The Man in Front of the Man, and goes to Italy to unleash pent-up Malice upon the world. So the next destination is...
    • Apoina Tower, where you fight Nicolai, wielding the power of Astaroth, the last of three demon gods. It would normally be the end, but Nicolai is saved by Kato, and the party is forced to go to Japan. Oh, and it's also the actual final dungeon of the first disc.
  • Disc-One Nuke: Gepetto is basically "Disc One Nuke" as a character. Early-game, his special casts through Cornelia are stronger than just about everything else you have.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: The party dresses as Iron Soldiers while infiltrating Hojo lab. How they are able to hide Blanca and Anastasia is anyone's guess.
  • Dual Boss: Fuujin and Raijin, or rather One-Winged Angel forms of Hien and Raiden. Together, they are the penultimate boss of the game.
  • Duel Boss:
    • All of Yuri's tier 3 fusions, just like in the previous game.
    • Most of Blanca's Wolf Bout opponents are fought alone, by design.
  • Dungeon Town: Domremy, when you explore it as Nicolai and Karin.
  • Eiffel Tower Effect: The very first shot you see after arriving to Paris is Eiffel Tower. Downplayed for other landmarks, as they usually have some reason to be shown. For example, the Winter Palace really was the Russian Emperor's residence, even though in real life it was used as military hospital during the game's timeframe.
  • Empty Shell: The Holy Mistletoe can drain its victim's thoughts, will, and memories, eventually leaving them as living, but soulless shell. One villain even namedrops the trope when explaining it.
  • Evolving Attack:
    • Karin's and Blanca's skills will be gradually powered up, as you go through their sidequests.
    • Fusion monsters can be powered up with Soul Energy. It makes them stronger and gives them new skills.
  • Flunky Boss: The Final Boss is one. He's fought alongside three giant, autonomous replicas of the Japanese Imperial Regalia. Thankfully, they are far more fragile that the boss himself. Punch the Yasakani Gem first!
  • Foreshadowing: There's a reason Yuri and Karin have the same blood type.
  • Gainax Ending: Well, the canon ending is comprehensible, but it still raises more questions than it answers. Brief overview: Kato opens time rift to send the world 100 years back, but heroes manage to prevent that. The rift closes, but Karin is sent 28 years back, where she is found by Ben Hyuga, Yuri's father. Meanwhile Yuri allows himself to be killed to preserve his soul from the Mistletoe Curse, he is met by Alice's soul... and then he finds himself over a year into the past, just before he met Alice. The implication is that the entire 28-year period is a Stable Time Loop, in which Karin gets sent to the past to become Yuri's mother. However, it doesn't make sense because Yuri still has his memories, and it's implied that he's going to save Alice this time around. And Alice needs to die for the events of the game to happen as they did, and for Karin to be sent to the past.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: The party has a world-spanning airship, yet is still locked in Japan for a bit and has to enter Japan the old fashioned way. This is revealed to be because the airship crashed and is being repaired.
  • Gas Mask Mooks: Basic Sapientes Gladio mooks (Clawed Soldiers, specifically) wear slightly anachronistic gas mask. Along with their Wolverine Claws and hunched-over posture, it serves to make them look somewhat inhuman.
  • Global Airship: Roger Bacon builds a nuclear-powered airship thet allows your party to travel to Petrograd and then to Japan. While random encounters on the world map are not a problem due to the game's Point-and-Click Map, and the player can revisit any of the European locations anyway, the "global" part comes in play when Anastasia crashes it somewhere in Siberia (she wanted to take a closer look at that bear), and the party is forced to travel to Japan the old-fashioned way. The player is subsequently locked from returning to Europe until Roger fixes the ship.
  • Gratuitous German: All of Karin's skills are written in horribly, horribly butchered German. "Heuervelk" is supposed to be "Feuerwerk" (fire works), for once.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • Obtaining the Nemesis Fan, Lucia's Infinity +1 Sword, requires you to finish the item trading sidequest, done by talking to the NPCs until you find one that wants the item you have, giving it to them, and receiving another one. The problem is that midway through the game this become a Luck-Based Mission, as there will be more than one person wanting the same item; giving it to the wrong one means that you failed the sidequest.
      • Thankfully if you do fail that sidequest, it's still possible to get the Fan, but it will cost you 500,000 Cash (or 250,000 with a full discount).
    • Joachrhythms. Joachim has four forms: himself, the Golden Bat, the Invisible form, and the Grand Papillon (or The Great Question if you finish his sidequest). There's a graph that tells you where on the rhythm he falls, but there's no indication of what each does. Each form has different attributes, and the game doesn't tell you which stats these forms change. And the Grand Papillon form doesn't have a graph associated with it, further muddling the matter.
  • Interface Spoiler: If the player looks at Nicolai's profile page when he is briefly playable, it spoils that he is evil.
  • Living Toys: One of Blanca's opponents in the Wolf Bout is an animated wooden toy in rough shape of a wolf, called Carven.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: Idar Flamme falls apart and collapses after Asmodeus/Rasputin dies. More justified than some examples, because it was floating in the air.
  • Magikarp Power: Lucia's aromatherapy skills at first are nothing to write home about - a mild heal that could easily be outdone by a simple Arc Cure (which the player will have picked up) or protection from status ailments. She also only has five tarot cards. By the end of the game, Lucia's the best support character bar none.
  • Mega Neko: Andre, Lucia's giant pink man-eating pet cat. As Yuri puts it:
    Yuri: That is one big pussy!
  • Minimalistic Cover Art: The Japanese cover is just the game's logo on black background.
  • Mook Horror Show: In the opening cutscene Yuri scares the shit out of some German soldiers as he slaughters them. To drive the point home, rifle bullets are shown to bounce off him. Not surprising, as he uses the Amon fusion against them.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The trailer paints Nicolai as a new main character, and shows him running through mid-game dungeons. There's even a wallpaper that shows him alongside the party. We know how it turned out in the end.
  • No-Sell: Two unrelated storyline bosses (Yama Garan and Mecha Lord) can only be by physical or magical attacks respectively. Hope you didn't bring too many characters of the opposite specialization.
  • Our Perytons Are Different: Perytons appear during the climax of the Russia arc and are described as a creature with the body of a bird and the head of a deer whose antlers are on fire. The bestiary claims that, every year, perytons flock from the Mediterranean Sea to Africa, inspiring terror on all that they meet.
  • Powered Armor: Iron Soldiers wear heavy suits of armor, that make them look like Space Marines. It's explicitly stated to be powered in Titanium Soldier's description.
  • Powers as Programs: Magic crests can be equipped on any character in the party (except for Yuri, who doesn't know how to use them), and provide the wielder with several spells. Each character has a stat called "Dominance Capacity Points", that determines how many crests the character can use. More powerful crests usually require more DCP, but their amount rises with levels.
  • Reset Button Ending: The game ends with each party member being send to place where they can be truly happy. For Yuri it is Trans-Siberian Express, just before he met Alice. It's implied that he will be able to save her this time around, thus definitely cancelling events of Covenant and, to a lesser extent, original Shadow Hearts. How it would mess with the timeline is anyone's guess.
  • Schizo Tech: There are Powered Armor, nuclear-powered airships, and complex brain scanners... in 1915!
  • Sequence Breaking: Once you can return to Europe on Disc 2, you can talk to a man in Florence and do the Castle Tiffagues sidequest early. The enemies are much stronger (As they're supposed to fought at the end of the game), but if you force your way through, you can get Neo Amon before fighting Neo Astaroth. Heck, you can even finish up the Wolf Bout, getting Blanca's ultimate weapon and ultimate skills if you know where to go!
  • Shoot the Medic First: The Final Boss is supported by a trio of minions, one of which heals him. And you probably want to take out at least one of them, lest they pull out a Combination Attack that's all but guaranteed to wipe the entire party out.
  • Sinister Subway: One early dungeon is a network of abandoned tunnels of the Paris subway. The dungeon's gimmick is the ability to move trains that block certain passages.
  • Stealth-Based Mission: When the party is captured on St. Marguerite Island, Blanca must sneak past a number of guards to free them. Or you can just kill every single guard for some experience.
  • Superboss:
    • King Solomon. To fight him, you'll need to finish all of Solomon's Trials, as well as collect all of 72 magic crests and correctly place them on Solomon's Key. He wields the most powerful spells of all elements, as well as extremely powerful Non-Elemental Melt Crest. Thankfully, he is not overly tanky, having slightly less health than the Final Boss.
    • Shichifukujin (Seven Lucky Gods), added in Japan-only Director's Cut, is the boss of (already optional) Sea of Woods dungeon. Not only it has three times more HP than the Final Boss, its attacks apply every single type of Status Effects in the game - Status and Ring ailments, halving MP or SP, setting HP to One, directly cutting characters' attack, or dispelling status buffs.
  • Time Skip: The game starts six months after the end of the previous one. Later, after the Disc-One Final Dungeon, it skips three more months to allow characters to travel to Japan in reasonable time.
  • Undefeatable Little Village: Domremy in the beginning of the game is this, but only because Yuri protects it.
  • Unnaturally Looping Location: Queen's Gargen has a hallway that transports the party back to its beginning. To go through it, the player must first solve a puzzle.
  • Updated Re Release: Japan-only Director's Cut version introduces one required and one optional dungeon (with a Superboss inside), and a couple of new skits.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Shadow Hearts II



Lucia attacks the party by sending her pet cat Andre after them... who happens to be absolutely massive, being several times a normal human's size. Yuri has a VERY appropriate comment for the situation.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / MegaNeko

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