CIPC #320: Shadow hearts: covenant

Throughout the years, I have discussed quite a few video games son this blog. I have talked about adventure games, strategy games, shooters — but not yet role playing games. That will change today. Our subject is Shadow hearts: covenant, a Japanese RPG from 2004 set during the first world war. It seems to consist mostly of battles against absolutely laughable looking monsters, but there are, as is not unusual, some puzzles mixed in. One of them has a chess motive and unsurprisingly it is that one that drew my attention.

It occurs closer to the end of the game, when one enters a gaming room with a pool table, some cards, and of course a chessboard.1 And that board is the setting for one of the puzzles. An exceedingly simple puzzle.

Unfortunately, even though the Staunton pieces were already quite common in 1915, the game designers have chosen some silly fantasy pieces that, to my knowledge, never actually existed. Still, I am quite confident in my reconstruction:2

The puzzle goes like this: The knight rescues the white king.3 This clearly means that the white knight that the player has picked up previously is to be added in such a way that white is not utterly and completely screwed. So it must obviously be put on h4.

This game apparently likes to make things easy. Not only for the players, but also for me. So: thanks! I’ll give you a failing grade in return.

Realism: 1/5 How should I even judge this? Should I look at it as a chess problem, note that it is trivial, and give it a 1? Or should I look at this as an actual game, note that white should have been checkmated ages ago and give it a 1? I think I’ll give it a 1.

Probable winner: White got rescued in the nick of time.

1. [Sadly, the setting prevents the inclusion the game itself in this game room.]
2. [On the other had, I’m very confident in this diagram editor.]
3. [Even though, traditionally, white knights are supposed to save queens.]