|“||This light, this storm, now is the END OF THE WORLD!||„|
|~ Albert Simon as he is completing his ritual to summon God.|
Albert Simon, also known as Roger Bacon, is the main villain in the video-game Shadow Hearts. He is also alluded to in the original videogame Koudelka, though his name and face are not revealed until Shadow Hearts and the full scope of his history does not become clear until the sequel game, Shadow Hearts: Covenant. He has the outwardly appearance of an old gentleman at the age of 60 or so. However, he is actually a warlock of more than 600 years. He is polite, sophisticated, and seemingly reasonable which makes his ironclad resolve to bring about the apocalypse all the more terrifying.
Albert Simon was a student of the legendary philosopher and monk Roger Bacon. Roger saw great things in Albert and took him under his wing to teach him law, philosophy, science, astronomy and alchemy. Albert had the makings of a great civil-rights leader and Bacon looked forward with great eagerness to the world Albert would help forge. But in time Albert began to question the “divine right” of the ruling class aristocrats to manipulate, sacrifice, and generally mistreat the masses. When Bacon attempted to moderate Albert's views and encouraged him to let the world be as it was for the time Albert lost faith in Roger and went to the Vatican to charge Roger with heresy for his tolerance of the corrupt. But it was Albert who the church condemned as a heretic for questioning “divine right” in the first place. Albert was locked away for years before his release. The years changed Albert and he became a far more cynical person especially with regards to the church .
Sapientes GladioAfter Albert's release, he joined a priest of the Greek-Orthodox-Church named Jovis Abraham. Jovis was going to do missionary work in Turkey and was forming an order there he called “Sapientes Gladio”. The two became good friends and did what they could in their small corner of the world to tear down racial, societal and religious prejudice. One day a young acolyte named Grigori Rasputin came to join the order. Showing diligence, Jovis and Albert took him on as a disciple, teaching him will-power and various divine rites. But once Rasputin learned what he needed, he showed his true colors as an opportunist and megalomaniac. Rasputin used his training to form a demonic pact with the king of demons, Asmodeus. Albert and Jovis resolved to beat him but were not strong enough and Rasputin cast them out of the order and inserted himself as it's new leader. Albert was crushed by this second exploitation of his willingness to see the good in people. He opted to beat Rasputin at his own game and made a pact with the god of wrath, Amon. Though after the merger with Amon ,Albert never became possessed by the demon, he did become somewhat unhinged. It is unclear if this was due to Amon's influence or just Albert's state of mind by then.
Three Stolen Tomes
Around the year 1890 or so, Albert would come upon a man named Patrick Heyworth and set in motion the events that make up the video game Koudelka. Patrick had just lost his wife Elaine and would give anything to see her again. Hearing of his plight a thought occurred to Albert; he knew of three ancient arcane tomes housed in the Vatican that his mentor, Roger Bacon, had translated/reconstructed there for the Church. The Émigré Manuscript was one of them, a book with power over death and time. He agreed to steal the Émigré Manuscript for Patrick and while he was there took the other two books as well, The Pulse Tract and the Codex of R'lyeh, each of which had power to warp the fabric of the universe. Albert however decided to test out the books first. He used the Émigré Manuscript to attain semi-eternal life, like Roger Bacon before him, but unlike Roger, Albert seemed to be skilled enough to halt the aging process as well; Then he gave the Émigré document to Patrick to use on Elaine, Patrick ended up bringing back his wife's body but not her soul and was killed by the undead abomination, after which Albert took back the book. Though he is not mentioned by name or revealed to have known what might happen with the Émigré Document, until Shadow Hearts, Albert is simply referred to as "A thief within the Vatican" in Koudleka. He spent years fully studying the books. Simon now intended to call down God to destroy the world thus severing Asmodeus's grip on it and then use the knowledge he gained from the Codex of R'lyeh to remake it without Rasputin or the cruel hierarchies of society. But when he returned to Jovis with his plan, Jovis became fearful of toying with God's works and declined to help. Albert tested out the Émigré Manuscript and the Pulse Tract respectively, this time finding individuals far more expendable than Patrick Heyworth. He gave the Pulse Tract, which had the power to incarnate the wrath of the Earth, to a mad Taoist sage named Dehuai who sought to free China from imperial Japanese rule by turning Shanghai into a demonic stronghold with him at it's center. Albert had been counting on Dehuai getting in over his head and being killed while he watched the eldritch horror destroy the country or possibly the world. Albert returned to Europe to his old house under the alias “Roger Bacon”, a title he had been using since he met Dehuai to borrow from his predecessor’s fame in order garner prestige with the supernatural creatures and mystics he was now dealing with. As it turned out “Roger Bacon” was being pursued by an exorcist named Father Elliot. Elliot had been chasing “Bacon” all over Europe looking for the books with his daughter Alice. Elliot was sent by the Vatican to hunt down the thief who had made off with their priceless artifacts. After clearing out his research, Albert sold his home to a doctor named Jack in order to sever any ties Elliot might track him by. Jack's mother caught a fatal illness; one Jack, despite all his training, could not seem to cure her of. Jack was a schizophrenic, each personality of which had an Oedipus-complex to boot. Jack was willing to do anything to save his mother, including research into the occult. When Jack's mother died he was the perfect test subject for the Émigré Manuscript. “Roger Bacon” left Jack the necromantic tome and was content to sit back and wait to see who destroyed the world first, Dehuai or Jack.As it turned out Dehuai was the first to make real headway with his book. "Roger Bacon” teleported back to Shanghai to see if he could help. Dehuai, thinking of “Bacon” as a mere lackey, told him he would need a conduit for the rites, someone with strong spiritual power and preferably a line to the divine. Albert knew just the person, the esteemed miss Alice Elliot, his hunter's daughter. Albert returned to Europe yet again this time to confront his rival. Elliot was sent a message telling him to meet a man in Rouen, France called 'Cardinal Albert Simon' who had information on “Roger Bacon”. When Elliot arrived “Bacon” killed him but Alice escaped. Alice would be picked up by the Japanese conciliate and spirited off on the transcontinental express to Fengtian and later Tokyo, to be given to the Japanese military as leverage over the increasingly troublesome Dehuai.
"Bacon's" Role in Shadow HeartsIn autumn of the year 1913, “Roger Bacon” had tracked down the train Alice was on. He calmly proceeded to procure her for Dehuai's experiment. However someone else had also stowed away; a young man named Yuri Hyuga. Yuri was a harmonixer, a man capable of fusing his soul with the bodies of apparitions and demons. Yuri tried to save Alice but by this time “Bacon's” arcane talents were far above most other supernatural creatures. Alice, out-cold, inadvertently released a large amount of holy energy reacting heavily to Yuri's inner monster souls. The blast wounded “Bacon” giving Yuri a chance to jump off the train with Alice; once again Alice had gotten away. At this point “Bacon" reported to Dehuai of the potential catalyst for his spell. Dehuai refused “Bacon's” continued help as Alice was now in China, Dehuai's home territory.
Albert watched the powerful maiden and the harmonixer that had defeated him with great intrigue. Dehuai had less luck than “Bacon” at first, but eventually did capture Alice and began the rites to use her spirit as his own personal power-source. Yuri and his allies, Zhuzhen, Dehuai's brother, and Margarete, an international spy, broke-into Dehuai's tower to free her. Though her life-force was weak she was revived by a strange voice that had been guiding Yuri up til that point.With Alice freed and revitalized Yuri and his friends all closed in on Dehuai as his Reverse Demon's Gate Invocation|ritual came to a close. Dehuai had tried a similar rite years ago to summon the power of hell to command but it ended in failure. When Yuri and his friends confronted him this time Dehuai admitted the new ritual he was using the Pulse Tract for was to summon the power of the Earth itself by drawing a seraph-like monster from it; the wrath of the planet being apparently more dependable than the wrath of hell. After a heated battled Dehuai was defeated. With the last of his strength Dehuai made a dying declaration pouring all of his life-force into the rite to fuel it even if he would not be around to see it completed. But as it turned out the rites of the Pulse Tract were far too complex for Dehuai even at full power to fulfill. Yuri and company's sighs of relief were short-lived as “Bacon” came out of his hiding place and appeared in front of Dehuai's corpse. Commenting on Dehuai's weakness but accomplishment so far “Bacon” used a small piece of his own power to give the rites one final push. The small spiritual donation sent Dehuai's ritual into overdrive. A huge storm descended and Dehuai's tower began to shake. While the skies lit up and Yuri and his friends watched a fearful creature emerge from the ritual site. “Bacon” chuckled and watched with glee as his sponsorship of the mad Taoist’s scheme had finally payed off. The Seraphic Radiance, as Dehuai had dubbed it, began to stir. Out of options, Yuri decided to try to use his power to fuse with monsters to try to merge with the eldritch abomination to keep it from destroying the world. “Bacon” and Alice saw what he was trying to do as Yuri leaped towards the beast, both knew that Yuri's soul would surely be crushed underneath the will of the Seraphic Radiance just as his father had met the same fate years ago to foil Dehuai's previous ritual. After the fusion the Seraphic Radiance began to calm down for a moment and it appeared that Yuri was successful, but it only remained calm for a few seconds before it became hostile. “Bacon” looked on at the power of the Pulse Tract as if it were aw inspiring beauty but said that it was mere child's play compared to what he had in mind and considered the spell a failure. All the same, he had learned a great deal of the sort of power he would need to make it's sister book's rituals work. “Bacon” then announced his plans to go back to London and told Yuri's friends that he would gladly await them there if they survived. With a nearly dramatic exit “Bacon” teleported away. As it turned out he was right, Yuri may not have had control of the Seraphic Radiance but his merger with it had tamed it slightly and after it blew up a good chunk of Shanghai it decided to fly off rather than continue it's wrath of destruction. Yuri's friends were more or less safe from the height of Dehuai's tower and did survive the initial explosion and after both “Bacon” and the Seraphic-Radiance made their leave they decided to pursue them across Europe.
Following leads through the continent Yuri's friends had wound up in Prague. Alice and Zhuzhen stayed in the area working as exorcists in hopes of encountering Yuri/Seraphic-Radiance while Margarete decided to comb around Europe looking for any information she could find on “Roger Bacon”. During their escapades in Prague Alice and Zhuzhen met the ghost of a witch, who was responsible for several bizarre happening in the area and following up one of them Alice and Zhuzhen met a vampire named Keith who asked them for help getting a strange young man that could turn into a monster out of his castle. Alice and Zhuzhen knew it must be Yuri and left at once to get him. Yuri was very nearly completely swallowed up by the Seraphic Radiance and the other demon's in his heart. Alice pledged her life to the demon's in exchange for the release of Yuri's soul. They agreed and Yuri became himself again. United at long last and with an intrigued Keith now tagging along they returned to Prague to await for word from Margarete on “Bacon's” location.
Once they got back to Prague Alice was cornered by the ghost witch they had seen earlier. The witch struck at Alice joking about how once she was dead she would possess her body and looked forward to being young again. Alice managed to fend off the ghost just barely before her friends arrived in response to all the commotion. Before the ghost left she told them her name, Arcane Olga, and revealed that she was an agent of “Lord Bacon” that had been sent to spy on them.
Olga then reported with a heavy heart her failure to “Bacon” in the Inquisitional halls of the Calios Mental Hospital. “Bacon” was already engrossed in his experiments with the Codex of R'lyeh and did not considered Olga's failure to stop Yuri or kidnap Alice as a great loss, he was however very concerned with the power of the Seraphic Radiance sleeping in Yuri's heart. Though weaker than what he had in mind ,it's power could surely put a stop to his plans as they unfolded and so “Bacon” began to turn his attention towards the reappearance of Yuri.When Yuri and his friends went to Rouen to meet Margarete and investigate the death of Alice's father they were ambushed by “Bacon”, Olga and “Bacon's” monsters. Father Hans Doyle, a friend of Father Elliot, was the target of the attack. Doyle was unnerved by the appearance of Alice even more than that of “Bacon” and ran, he seemed to feel terribly guilty about something and had been hiding as a recluse for some time. But once Alice convinced him she was not a ghost and they meant him no harm Doyle told her that her father was waiting for a man named “Cardinal Albert Simon” when “Bacon” attacked and Doyle himself had been the one who set up the meeting. Before Doyle could reveal anymore Olga arrived on behalf of “Bacon” and killed Doyle. Olga took “Bacon's" advice to heart and this time took no mercy on Yuri and his friends, but Olga was outnumber as well as outmatched and was defeated by Yuri and his friends. After explaining to Margarete what had happened and collecting themselves Margarete told them that “Bacon” had some sort of house in his name in England, so they made their way further across Europe to London.
In London, Yuri and company met a boy named Halley Brankett who's friend had been kidnapped by a man named Jack! As they set out to help him they found “Bacon's” old mansion that Jack was now living in. They also found the Émigré Manuscript! Jack's experiments with the Émigré Manuscript were not as world shattering as Dehuai's but far more depraved to say the least. Halley was a psychic and when confronting Jack he was about to go completely berserk. But the guiding voice once again made an intervention and calmed Halley down. The company stopped Jack's experiments but Halley recognized the voice, it was that of his mother a powerful witch/psychic that was taken away years ago by Inquisitors. With no sign of “Bacon” at the mansion Yuri and his friends decided to help free Halley's mother. In addition to freeing an innocent woman and helping a friend they hoped Halley's mother could help point them in the right direction. They had no idea how right they were.
She was being held in the Inquisitional halls of the Calios Mental Hospital. The Inquisitors there appeared to have become fearful specters from some sort of demonic pact which “Bacon” had arranged for the head of the Inquisitors, Viscount Rausan. After fighting their way through the dungeons and vanquishing Rausan and all his men, Yuri and company found the cell. Halley used an air duct to creep into the cell alone while Yuri tried breaking the door down outside. Inside Halley found his mother in a comatose state restrained in a straight-jacket barely able to sit up. “Bacon” and Olga appeared and used a strong spell to restrain Halley. Yuri broke in to find Halley at “Bacon's” mercy. “Bacon” revealed he had been keeping an eye on Halley's mother who had put herself into a trance to deal with the Inquisitors' torture methods. She had apparently been projecting her mind on a certain wavelength that Yuri, being a harmonixer, had picked up and had thus been watching over him in her spare time.“Roger Bacon” had known of her son and had Olga intentionally lure them to her in order to try to snap her out of her own trance. Yuri could not take a step towards “Bacon” or Olga without Halley being coup-de-grâced by “Bacon”. It looked like “Bacon's" plan would finally pay off though even he was ill-prepared for the results. Halley's mother awoke from her trance in a rage. Her powers sent Yuri, his friends and Olga to the ground. Simon was unnerved but quite happy to have finally gotten the woman, Koudelka's, attention. Koudelka had met the real Roger Bacon when she encountered Patrick Heyworth's dealings with the Émigré Manuscript years back and demanded to know the name of the imposter that was now holding her son's life hostage. “Bacon” told her it did not matter nearly as much as her son's life and he would let him go if she came quietly with him. Koudelka agreed and did as “Bacon” asked but before she did told Yuri to go to a man in Wales. “Bacon” agreed to give Halley, Yuri and all their friends a chance to live and left them in Olga's hands after relinquishing the spell over Halley and teleporting away with Koudelka. Olga now wanted to prove herself more than ever to her master and once Yuri and his friends had collected themselves she lunged at them in full power. By this point however Yuri and his friends had all become much stronger and at last the ghostly witch was vanquished. Before chasing down “Bacon” and Koudelka, Alice wanted to return to Rouen to see if she could find any clues in Doyle's old church. Alice wanted to go alone and Yuri begrudgingly let her. It was at the Rouen Church that Alice finally uncovered the truth about their enemy. Alice fond a photograph of Doyle and “Bacon” that read “1888 Revival Festival with Father Hans Doyle and Cardinal Albert Simon.” Alice realized at last who “Bacon” was and the full scoop of what had happened to her father. Cardinal Albert Simon came up behind her as she was taking in the shocking revelation. He told her he was not there for a fight and only wanted to talk. After a calm discussion on the state of the world and the nature of faith and his laments over good people like her father having to pay the price for his plans, Albert said that when he and Alice next met, he would not be so cordial and would kill her and her friends if they tried to stop him.
Yuri, Alice and friends went to Wales and saw the remains of Patrick Heyworth's Nemeton Monastery. There they met the real Roger Bacon who told them of Albert's past with him. He also told them of the Three books and the previous application of the power of the Émigré Manuscript. Yuri and friends dove into the ruins of the Nemeton Monastery to confront Albert and Koudelka.
After fighting their way through all number of apparitions still lingering in the place they met Albert and Koudelka on an alter at the very bottom of the dungeon. The Altar was unlike the rest of the structure and Roger had said that similar structures were deep underground all over the world as sort of beacon devices left by the “Old Gods”. Albert at last made his true intentions clear. He was going to use the Codex of R'lyeh to summon God Himself to wipe the planet clean and use the rites in the book to use the power left behind in God's wake to recreate the world after God left. For this, Albert knew he would need a person with powerful inborn power to catalyze the process and that only a few people in a generation ever have that sort of power. The only two were Alice or Koudelka, and after Dehuai's failed plans with the Pulse Tract he knew he needed a more sophisticated power than Alice, thus ever since the incident in China he had been primarily concerned with finding away to get Koudelka to cooperate with him and be his powersource. Yuri and company obviously had no intention of allowing Albert's plans to come to pass and were about ready to fight him. But before Albert could strike, Koudelka turned on Albert. Koudelka would rather self destruct with power and take Albert with her rather than let him destroy the world and her son with it. But it was at the last second, that Koudelka learned what it was she was dealing with. Amon's power overwhelmed Koudelka and Albert revealed he had made his contract with Amon and Yuri was not the only one who could fuse with the conquered will of demons. Albert then transformed into Amon on the alter and fought Yuri and his friends. Yuri and his friends managed to overpower Amon and subdue Albert. Albert was stunned that they could match Amon's power but it did not matter, the altar had been set up to channel the power on it, namely Koudelka's but since Yuri, his friends and Amon had all fought upon it they served instead to activate it.
Everyone ran out as the beacon began to activate and “The Float” began to rise. The Float was indeed an ancient fail safe of sorts God had left on the planet Earth to activate and alert Him if the planet ever got the point where it needed to be disposed of, Albert had simply triggered it early convincing God that it was time for the Apocalypse. Albert looked up into the sky at the huge Float arising. He gazed and laughed as his goal was finally completed. His time, efforts and experiments were at last realized and he told Yuri and friends as they looked on in horror that in seven days God would descend to Earth and cleanse it of the evil that now infected it. After Yuri and company returned to Roger to find out how to stop him. Roger noted that this “God” was most likely not the actual God of Christendom, but was a creature that humans might as well consider a god that did have a hand in starting life on the planet. In any case this 'God' was certainly capable of ending all life on the planet and would think of it with no more malice or effort than a human would have stepping on an ant hill. Roger did however have a teleportation device he was working on that could take them to the Float. The company decided to use Roger's invention to go to the Float and try to defeat Albert once and for all and hopefully in doing so prevent 'God' from arriving.Making their way through the winding living structure of the Float and all the creatures that dwelt within, Yuri, Alice and their friends finally arrived at the top and confronted Albert himself. Albert offered them a chance to simply sit back and watch him remake the world as a utopia once 'God' had, done the demo work as it were, for him. Though they admitted his goals were true and admirable they were not prepared to take the gamble he was. Before the final confrontation though Yuri had one request of Albert; when Albert inquired as to the nature of the request, Yuri said that no matter who won or lost they would both agree no hard feelings. Albert laughed and agreed that there would be no hard feelings and the fate of the world would lay in the hands of the last one standing. In the battle Albert transformed again this time into a celestial guardian of 'God's' called “Messiah”. But as Albert soon found out, when Yuri defeated Amon on the alter he had taken the demon god from Albert and merged with Amon himself. Messiah/Albert unleashed devastating power but Yuri and his friend were able to fight it and finish off Albert once and for all with the power of Amon backing them.
When Albert fell, mortally wounded from the damage he had sustained as Messiah, he admitted defeat congratulated Yuri and his friends on their valiant battle and increased strength by then. But Albert said his defeat would not matter and 'God' was still on his way. Yuri and his friends did not know what to do, but Albert agreed to help them with the last of his strength. In a final act with his dwindling life-force, Albert healed up Yuri and all his friends and teleported them to 'God's' throne. Albert said if they really did have the sort of hope they claimed for the world they could fight 'God' in the stratosphere as He arrived and could try to expel Him before He turned His wrath upon the planet. After using the last of his power to give Yuri and his friends a fighting chance Albert completely collapd and died. Albert expected to go to hell for the things he had done when he died but unknown at the time Albert's soul was still linked to Amon and with Amon's soul now fused with Yuri Albert disappeared into Yuri's heart as well. With the power of Amon and the other eldritch creatures at Yuri's disposal and the party's strength by then they managed to expel the Meta-God as He arrived.
Albert's Role in Shadow Hearts: CovenantWhen the events of Shadow Hearts: Covenant occurred and Yuri needed to confront Asmodeus and Astaroth he learned of Albert's time with Jovis and that the world Albert was speaking of was one without Asmodeus. Yuri went on a spiritual journey to use Amon to break a curse upon himself. While in his own soul, Yuri met Albert's spirit living in a corner or Yuri's memory from his childhood; enjoying the peace and serenity. Albert no longer considered Yuri an enemy and agreed to use Amon's power to undo the curse on Yuri to allow his friend to fight his sworn enemy, Asmodeus. Yuri returned to Albert after his encounter with Asmodeus and once Astaroth had appeared. Albert told Yuri he would unleash Amon's full power but that in doing so, he could not hold back and he would have to use lethal force on Yuri. Yuri agreed and was eager to have one last battle with Albert. After defeating Albert in Amon's true form Yuri gained Amon's full power; Albert is never heard from again but he is presumed still in Yuri's heart enjoying the childhood memories of Yuri in a state of pure peace.
PersonalityAlbert is a typical anti-villain to counter Yuri's role as an anti-hero. He is proper, possesses extreme etiquette, remains cool-headed in the face of sudden set-backs and despite being genuinely friendly, he is completely insane. Whether it was Jovis's refusal to join him, The Church's and Rasputin's betrayal, Amon's influence or comprehending God's nature through the books is subject to speculation but some time between Jovis turning down Albert's offer and the start of the game, Albert seemed to have adopted an eerily composed insanity. Albert seems aware of his status as a villain, with no delusions of his actions being justifiable. Actually Albert admits to Alice he is convinced he is going to hell for the things he has done but still considers the end result worth the means if not outright justifying them.
The best example of Albert's personality is in the first minute of the game as he enters the train cabin: Albert politely steps aside for an old lady, tipping his hat slightly as she makes her way to the next cabin, 5 seconds later he kills 2 Japanese soldiers without so much as batting an eye and a polite smile never leaving his face as he steps through their blood.
Powers and AbilitiesCardinal Albert Simon's standard attack is potent telekinesis. He is also fond of using dark incantations to excel his mystical strength. He is ageless and immortal unless killed. Albert has advanced healing capabilities though only on himself. Albert can also merge with entities, such as angels or demons; with a nigh-indomitable will that resists possessions from said entities. Albert's favorite ability seems to be an incredibly powerful spell called “Revelation” which can instantly put a single target an inch away from death; he seems to also be able to spread this power out to affect multiple targets however doing so lessens the affect. Albert has an ability to teleport himself and other willing or unconscious subjects over vast distances. He has the power to fly, though at a limited speed. Albert seems to have a force-field as well that can protect against god level radiation energy although it does not seem to protect him against physical assaults, or at-least the physical assaults of stray rocks. With the aid of the books Albert has the power to siphon his own spiritual energy and that of others in his immediate area, raise the dead as undead and summon god level creatures. Lastly Cardinal Simon seems to have a form of “clarity” which may have resulted from translating the books; he can see passed physical appearances, sense and track powerful beings and has limited precognitive sight.
- In Albert Simon's concept art, he is shown holding a cane which never makes a real appearance in either Shadow Hearts or Shadow Hearts: Covenant.
- The name Albert comes from Old German High Words that mean "noble" or "bright," which fit his attire as a English gentleman and the vast knowledge he possesses. Simon was also the the original name of the apostle Peter, and also the Samaritan sorcerer "Simon Magus" who was converted by Saint Peter.
- In an artwork of Albert Simon, his surname was erroneously spelled "Saimon.
- Albert's "Revelation" spell manifests as "Qliphoth Tree"/ "Tree of life", an old Hebrew concept tied into mysticism and later Satanism.