|“||That's fine I'll have my monster. Screw his damned ego!||„|
|~ Dr. Hojo disregarding the strain of his machine of Nicolai's soul.|
Doctor Hojo is a character in Shadow Hearts: Covenant. He is employed as a top secret researcher for the Minister Ishimura, the shadow ruler of Japan. He and his facility are contracted to extract the fallen angel, Astaroth from Nicolai's body to weaponize his powers for Japan.
Japan's interest in Nicolai and Astaroth
Nicolai Conrad was the illegitimate son of Tsar Nicholas II. Nicolai had sold his soul in an effort to get revenge on his father for abandoning him and his mother, dispose of his master, Grigori Rasputin and rise in the ranks of both their organization Sapientes Gladio and become ruler of Russia. Nicolai made a soul pact with Astaroth, a ruler of hell that that rivaled Asmodeus, the demon Lord Rasputin had made a pact with and intended to use to rule Europe in combination with his conning of the Russian royal family. Nicolai had made his own contacts with Masaji Kato, the ambassador to Japan and Minister Ishimura's agent. Once Rasputin had killed the Tsar and taken the throne for himself Nicolai intended to use Astaroth to kill him thus becoming the new legitimate ruler of Russia with the backing of Japan's influences and in turn would become a puppet ruler for Minister Ishimura. However Rasputin was defeated by Yuri Hyuga and Nicolai gave into Astaroth's will shortly after, seeing his plans had all been for naught. Yuri and his friends defeated Nicolai in Astaroth's form but at the last second Kato appeared to protect Japan's investment and bought Nicolai back to Japan where he was given to Doctor Hojo for experimentation.
Extracting Astaroth's Power
Hojo had built a device to extract and manifest psychological components from the ego. He tested it repeatedly on Nicolai until the device was perfected. Minister Ishimura wanted Hojo to extract Astaroth's power and weaponize it for Japan but still wanted Nicolai intact physically and mentally after the process to use as a pawn for challenging the Russian throne. Yuri and friends had pursued Kato to Japan from Europe, by the time they had gotten there Hojo was beginning the serious extraction of Astaroth from Nicolai's soul. Nicolai kept the creature restrained to maintain control of his body and the demon had become more or less imprisoned in Nicolai's sub-conscious which meant that the machine could only extract Astaroth at certain intervals, intervals that were apparently months apart. In Dr. Hojo's first real attempt to extract Astaroth he attempted to transfer Astaroth from Nicolai's body to the body of a dog to use as a vessel. The machine worked but Hojo had greatly underestimated how great Astraroth's presence was and only a small piece of Astaroth's aura was transferred to the dog before it was overwhelmed. The dog was knocked out cold and appeared dead but Astraroth's will remained inside Nicolai. Upon examining the dog's body it began to pulse with Astaroth's power and transformed into Shoki a monstrous extension of Astaroth's will that escaped the lab and began to wreak havoc.
Kato had gone out to stop the monster while doctor Hojo re-calibrated the machine. Kato found Shoki but not before Yuri and his friends did. Kato asked Yuri for help defeating the creature. After destroying the creature Yuri followed Kato back to Hojo's lab. When Kato arrived he found Hojo eager to start up the extraction again while he still had a window of opportunity to lock onto Astaroth in Nicolai's ego. Paired with the recent failure, Yuri's intrusion into his facility, the months he had waited and the future months he would need to wait if he failed again Hojo decided to ignore the safety protocols in place for maintaining Nicolai's mental health. In his second major attempt to extract Astaroth Hojo was successful, though in throwing caution to the wind and submerging Nicola's ego to get at Astaroth Hojo inadvertently granted Astaroth full control of Nicolai's body and released all his power at once. Astaroth, then fully possessing Nicolai, easily broke free of the machine's restraints, killed Hojo's guards and upon seeing Yuri within the facility teleported out of the lab. Kato once again went to clean up Hojo's mess and left Hojo to deal with Yuri as he wished. Hojo was of course enraged at his months of hard work going to waste and decided to transfer blame for the failure on Yuri and his friend. The facility was put into full alert and many of Hojo's dead-end experiments were turned loose on the heroes. By the time Yuri and his friends worked their way up to the ground level of the facility they met Doctor Hojo in his ultimate weapon a gigantic robot piloted by Hojo inside. Yuri and his friend destroyed the robot, killing Hojo in the process and left to pursue Kato and Astaroth.
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