|“||Six months ago, there was a man who tried to destroy the world. He raised a temple into the sky and summoned a god from beyond the stars...to remake the world in his own image.||„|
|~ Yuri Hyuga|
The Float also called Neam, also called the Castle of Deranged Gods is the final dungeon of the video-game Shadow Hearts. The Float is a massive floating castle that was left behind by God to be used to call out to Him as a beacon if His experiment that was life on Earth ever went aery and needed to be disposed of, thus acting as signal for the apocalypse
In the game Shadow Hearts, it is stated that the world as we know it was created by forces catalyses by a being referred to as Meta-God, an Outer God mistaken for the Judeo-Christian God due to His role creating the planet. Meta-God not only helped forge the planet He imposed evolutionary guidelines and the outlines of sentience that the human race would eventually achieve. However "God" had no particular interest or love for His creations, instead seeing them as little more than an experiment and left earth shortly after His guidelines were imposed. Before leavening though God left behind a complex living fortress, The Float.
The ancient Druids sensed God had left from a specific point on earth and to honor it built what they considered a holy site on it, "Neam" which meant "Float". Neam was eventually consecrated by saint Daniel Scoutus who considered the ancient Druid magics unholy and upon his death Scoutus was buried on Neam upon which a great tomb and later monastery was built, a structure retitled Nemeton Monastery.
The Demons' Gate Invocation
In the 16th century The Monk and Philosopher Roger Bacon would be asked by the Vatican to translate an ancient Druidic spell book called the Émigré Manuscript, not for the spells but rather for posterity. Upon reading the entire book during translation Bacon received what he called a revelation from God into understanding the basic aspects of reality. Roger used his knowledge to write two following books the Pulse Tract and the Codex of R'lyeh in addition to the Émigré Manuscript. Roger was to be executed to maintain the books' secrets but had used his revelation to give himself immortality and escaped into the recesses of history, quietly taking on students to better the world for him.
Roger's best student, Albert Simon was declared a heretic for his ideals of equality which challenged the divine right and he was imprisoned as a heretic. Some time after his release and a soured ordeal with an organization called Sapientes Gladio Albert went mad and become a complete nihilist due to humanity not living up to it's own standards. Upon being hired to steal the Émigré Manuscript by a man named Patrick Heyworth, Albert decided to use the opportunity to steal the other two books as well and used the Émigré Manuscript to become a powerful warlock before giving it to Patrick. When he finished reading all three books Albert became aware of many things including the true nature of God and the purpose and location of Neam. The game Shadow Hearts has to do with the main heroes lead by Yuri Hyuga and Alice Elliot stopping Albert's plans.
In China Albert had manipulated a mad Taoist sage named Dehuai into testing out the Pulse Tract for him, as he had gotten Patrick to do for the Émigré Manuscript. Dehuai undertook a rite he called the Reverse Demon's Gate Invocation but Dehuai had died pouring his life force into it with no result. Albert would give the rite a final push to activate it after Dehuai's death the result was devastating but still far less than the rites Albert had in mind. Albert did however learn much from it and so late in the game Albert activates a similar ritual he puts together in the ruins of Nemeton Monastery in the depths of Neam.
Albert had kidnapped the witch Koudelka, who had stopped Patrick's applications of the Émigré Manuscript before and was the mother of Halley Plunkett, one of Yuri and Alice's friends. With Koudelka and the ritual site of Neam, Albert intended use the R'lyeh Codex to call down The Float. Though Koudleka would ultimately prove less than cooperative the ritual site was activated anyway from the energy given off by Yuri and his friends as they battled Albert. Once activated the ritual triggered the Float's power source, which traveled along huge underground cables from Nemeton to The Float itself, which had been resting bellow the sea. The Float rose out of the sea, into the sky and soon stratosphere.
The Castle of Deranged Gods
Roger Bacon told them that The Float was called such not because it floated but rather was a reference to a fishing lure float; It acted as a lure for God, something to get His attention as a sort of beacon to alert Him that the world had gotten to a point where it needed to be destroyed. Roger would help to get the heroes into The Float with a teleporter he had invented so they could stop his nihilistic pupil but warned them that God was not some benevolent force sitting on a cloud but an amoral alien organism. Yuri and his friends still wished to proceed and Roger teleported them to The Castle of Deranged Gods.
The innards of the castle were biological, grey and twisted. The halls of the Castle of Deranged Gods were filled with evolutionary dead ends, half-made humans and competitors for the planet's dominant life-form. The doors were triggered by organ like triggers. Some of the hallways did not function on the same plane of existence as Yuri and his friends soon found as each step brought them to a completely different part of the structure. Guarding the main areas of import were several eldrich horrors left behind by God Himself. At the end though was Albert waiting for both the heroes and God.
Albert had merged with The Float's arbiter, the Messiah, and intended to use it's connection to God's power to rebuild the planet and all life on it after God destroyed it, just without the flaws inherent in humanity. Albert invited Yuri and his friends to sit back and watch from the safety of The Float however none were willing to gamble that Albert would be able to do what he claimed without compromising humanity in the process and so rejected his offer. With both sides unwilling to compromise in their convictions about humanity Albert and the heroes fought and eventually Albert/Messiah was defeated. However Albert's defeat did not call off God, but Albert used the last of his strength to send Yuri and the others to God's throne to fight Him and test their convictions. God is defeated and He leaves the Earth, seeing it as more trouble than it was worth. Upon God's defeat Roger teleports Yuri and the others back just seconds before God's throne collapses and the shock-wave destroys The Castle of Deranged Gods as well and remnants of the Float crash back into the sea.
- The Float matches almost exactly the ancient City of R'lyeh, from H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos.
- It is likely that the R'lyeh Codex is named as such for the startling similarities between the Float and R'lyeh.
- As Meta-God is the eldrich high-ruler of The Castle of Deranged Gods, Cthulhu was the eldrich high ruler of R'lyeh.
- The Float is just one of many tributes to Lovecraft's works in the Shadow Hearts series.