Three Ancient Tomes

Though the Shadow Hearts series draws heavily from real-world history and existing mythologies, there are also constructions unique to its alternate universe reality. The three ancient tomes are perhaps the most significant creations. This section traces their backgrounds and history through Koudelka, Shadow Hearts and Shadow Hearts: Covenant.

Please note that SPOILERS ABOUND.

  • Background (Koudelka, Shadow Hearts spoilers)
  • Pulse Tract (Shadow Hearts, Covenant spoilers)
  • R'lyeh Text (Codex of Lurie) (Shadow Hearts, Covenant spoilers)
  • Émigré Manuscript (spoilers for all games)


    These three ancient tomes contain extremely powerful and forbidden magic, able to even "warp the very fabric of existence". They were carefully kept by the Vatican to protect their secrets from the world. In spite of this security, they were stolen by Cardinal Albert Simon, posing as Roger Bacon.

    Father Morris Elliot and Father James O'Flaherty were assigned to search for the whereabouts of the books. The priestly duo split up when Father O'Flaherty picked up a clue that one of the books was in Wales. The story of what he finds is explored in the first game.

    After learning that dark forces sought to use his daughter, Alice Elliot, as the key for certain rituals detailed in the books, Father Elliot travelled with her to find someone who could stand up to the presumed false Roger Bacon. His untimely end while protecting his daughter opens the door to the story of the second game.

    Pulse Tract

    "The first is the Pulse Tract. With it one can command the earth veins in order to wake an ancient god."

    "The Pulse Tract, which incarnates a god from the soul of the earth ..."

    First featured in Shadow Hearts, and mentioned in Shadow Hearts: Covenant. This book contains the rites for the Reverse Demon's Gate Invocation, which summons the Tengaiou/Seraphic Radiance/Dark Seraphim from the soul of the earth. This ritual is similar to the Demon's Gate Invocation (which fooled Zhuzhen, Zhongyun and Xifa into thinking it was), which also summons an earth spirit. However, it is of increased magnitude.

    It requires the other four guardian-gods (the Black Tortoise, the Red Phoenix, the Blue Dragon and the White Tiger) to be blocked off, and also requires a channel for immense energy (ie. Alice).

    The Seraphic Radiance has the physical form of an unearthly woman with enormous red wings, and runes tattooed upon her body. However, it is a being without emotion, or what can be defined as the individual self-awareness of a sentient being. The Seraphic Radiance is really pure energy, with power equivalent to that of a god. It is called the Spirit of Bronze and considered a guardian deity of the earth, but when summoned will destroy everything in its path.

    To halt its destruction, Yuri attempts to fuse with it and control it. Being only a human, however, he is overwhelmed by its power and driven into madness. His soul would have been consumed entirely had the spirit of his father not sealed it up within his soul, while Alice brought his consciousness back into the real world.

    The Seraphic Radiance remains sealed within Yuri until he defeats it and is able to control its power. It is available as an ultimate fusion to be acquired on the side in both SH and SH:C (as though it had never been unsealed in the previous game). Therefore, it technically has not yet truly been released in game canon, and is still hibernating in Yuri's soul, under Jinpachiro/Ben Hyuga's careful watch.

    R'lyeh Text

    "It tells how to summon the 'Other God' ... An omnipotent god from the far reaches of space ..."

    "The R'lyeh Text, with the power to summon a god from beyond the stars ..."

    First featured in Shadow Hearts (where it was translated as the Codex of Lurie), and mentioned in Shadow Hearts: Covenant. It is hinted to be of extraterrestrial origin, and is closely tied to Nemeton, one of the many places on Earth that contain a build-up of mysterious energy, like ley lines or nerve points of the planet.

    According to Roger, "one of the legacies left behind by beings who visited this planet long ago" is an artificial, alien construction that lies beneath Nemeton Monastery - a "neam", or "float" in the ancient tongue of Ebi. It originates from an alien home world that lies in the M72 nebula, approximately 4,800,000 light-years from Earth.

    Like the Valorization, the ritual detailed in the R'lyeh Text also requires a channel of great power (in this case, Albert used Koudelka as his key). This energy is then used to release the float from deep within Nemeton, where it acts as a celestial homing device for the extraterrestrial beings. These aliens are of such massive stature that they would be considered gods by puny humans.

    After Albert raises the float, one such being does indeed zero in on the structure and comes to destroy the Earth. With the help of Roger's greatest invention, the Instantaneous Matter Transporter, Yuri and co. are teleported to the float in outer space to defeat the alien Meta-god. (Whoohoo!)

    Émigré Manuscript

    "It creates life from nothing and can be used to summon a god of death."

    "... and the Émigré Manuscript, which creates life from death."

    Without a doubt the most infamous of the three books, playing an active AND key role in Koudelka, Shadow Hearts and Shadow Hearts: Covenant. Shaped like the profile of a human skull, it is a cursed tome that contains the so-called knowledge to bring the dead back to life. To achieve the ultimate goal of resurrection, it appears to describe a number of different rituals that can be used independently from each other. These include:

    • the creation of a vessel to house a soul
    • controlling the flow of time (mainly used to speed the growth of the vessel to the desired state)
    • the summoning ritual to call a soul back from the beyond
    In order to perform these rituals, a material called the Moon Crystal is required. It should be noted, however, that the ritual has never been completed successfully. The price for failure at attempting such straining magic is madness.

    Game Attempt
    Pre (mentioned in SH:C) Followers of Queen Victoria hoped to resurrect the dead sovereign and gathered the materials in Queen's Garden. However, the book was confiscated by the Vatican before the ritual could be attempted.
    Koudelka Sold by Albert to Patrick. Used by Patrick in an attempt to bring back his dead wife. He realized too late that he could not call back her soul, only a twisted demon. This caused much of the unrest first sensed by Koudelka at Nemeton Monastery.
    Shadow Hearts Offered by Albert to the doctor Jack, who became obsessed with the idea of bringing his mother back to life and was driven mad. He too was unable to call back the correct soul, creating a deformed monster.
    Shadow Hearts: CovenantHidden in Nemeton Fissure by Roger and Yuri after SH events. Obtained by Nicolai (who read it, but was repulsed by its cursed status) for negotiations with Kato as a representative of Japan.

    Kato only used one portion of the text - the section relevant to controlling the Gates of Time - to speed the growth of Ouka's fetus. He also used this magic at the sacred Asuka Stone Platform to bring the entire world into the time-altering influence of Takamagahara.

    Yuri and Roger attempted to bring Alice back to life with the materials retrieved from Queen's Garden. Unfortunately, the Moon Crystal used was unable to withstand the magic and was destroyed, causing the vessel to begin to fall apart. Malicious spirits attempted to take over the body, but the aura of Yuri's fusion souls drove them away. For the first time in the book's history, the correct soul was actually called back (perhaps because of the strong bond between Yuri and Alice), but the disintegrating vessel terminated the resurrection attempt.