|“||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...||„|
|~ Yuri Hyuga about the R'lyeh Text (Codex of R'lyeh).|
The Codex of R'lyeh is one of the 3 obscure magical books with reality warping potential in the videogame Shadow Hearts. The book records the true nature of the Outer Gods and gives the reader knowledge of how to call out to such monstrous beings.
The R'lyeh Text is one of the three books written by Roger Bacon and stored in the Pope's secret library within the Vatican. In the late 18th century, the Codex of R'lyeh, along with it's sister books the Émigré Manuscript and Pulse Tract, were stolen from the Vatican by a student of Bacon's named Albert Simon. Albert was a Cardinal of the Catholic Church that had been accused of heresy by the Church and disenfranchised for questioning the "divine right" of aristocracy by stating all people were equal. Simon was also betrayed by one of his own pupils named Grigori Rasputin who had used the rites Albert and his friend Jovis had taught him to make a demonic pact with the demon lord Asmodeus. Simon was hired by a man named Patrick Heyworth to steal the Émigré Manuscript to bring back his dead wife, Elaine, but in truth Cardinal Simon had just put the idea into Patrick's head in the first place to give him an excuse to break into the Vatican for the books. Albert used the books to achieve revelation just as his master Roger Bacon had. Albert gave Patrick the Émigré as promised but the real reason was so he would have someone else to test out one of the book before Albert used the Codex of R'lyeh.
Testing the Sister Books
As expected the Émigré Manuscript was more than what it appeared to be and required massive dark rituals which upon completion summoned a twisted monster in the body of Elaine Heyworth. Patrick Heyworth fed himself to the monster that was supposed to be his wife out of despair in the bottom of his lab in the Nemeton Monastery and the creature was eventually defeated by the witch Koudelka, who had been summoned to Nemeton Monastery by Elaine's tortured soul. After the death of Patrick although Albert had returned to take back the Émigré Manuscript, though Patrick considered the ritual a disaster and could not live with himself, Albert had learned much from watching him and intended to apply what he learned when using the Codex of R'lyeh. Albert gave Émigré Manuscript to another man named Jack to bring back his dead mother, the Pulse Tract he gave to a mad Taoist sage named Dehuai and waited to see who completed their rituals first for regardless of what tragedies were wrought Simon intended to use them as research for his plans with the Codex of R'lyeh.
Dehuai used the Pulse Tract to attempt the Reverse Demon's Gate Invocation, a similar though much smaller version of the rites Albert was looking to perform with the Codex of R'lyeh. Dehuai's ritual summoned a being of unimaginable power called the Seraphic Radiance, the creature was the planet's wrath incarnate. Though Dehaui was killed by the hero, Yuri Hyuga, and the creature summoned was pacified by Yuri after a short rampage that destroyed the city of Shanghai, Albert still considered the rite a success for it taught him much about the nature of what his own ritual would entail. For one thing Albert had come to know was that the ritual needed a human with a link to the divine as the catalyst/sacrifice for the ritual, from Jack's results with the Émigré Manuscript Albert saw they were cleaner though smaller than Patrick's and with similar results in the way of what was brought back to life, this taught Albert that he needed to use a place of spiritual significance like Patrick had. For his catalyst Albert used the witch Koudelka Iasant, who had killed the horror Patrick had inadvertently created, and intended make his ritual site in the lower levels of the Nemeton Monastery.
Albert showed an Inquisitor where to find Koudlka then waited for them to torture her into a compliant state, offering to release her from their dungeon if she agreed to be his pawn. Koudelka had used her power to put herself into a hypnotically induced trance and kept herself that way to shut off the pain the Inquisitors were inflecting on her. Albert eventually broke Kouldelka out of her trance though by holding Halley Plunkett, her son and Yuri's friend, hostage. Koudleka agreed at last to allow Albert to use her for his ritual if he spared Halley, Albert let Halley go and teleported to the Nemeton Monastery with Koudelka. When Yuri and his friends make their way through the ruins of Nemeton Monastery and to the alter Albert had set up he reveals his plans to them, that Patrick, Dehuai and Jack were all just guinea-pigs and that he intended to use the Codex of R'lyeh to summon "God" to remake the world as it should be. With Simon's mad plans revealed though Koudelka turned on him, willing to sacrifice herself and him to save the world rather than be part of a ritual that she then saw would likely kill her son along with billions of others. Albert countered Koudelka with his own powers though, the powers of Amon, a demon lord Albert had made an unholy pact with in order to fight Asmodeus later on. Once Koudelka was overpowered Yuri and his friends stepped in to fight Amon themselves. Though Amon was beaten
Albert took the so-called lose in stride for the ritual was set to absorb the power offered on the ritual site and the energy Albert, Yuri and his friends had spent in the fight only fueled the Codex's ritual. Once complete the ritual raised the Float from the bottom of the sea. The Float was a alarm system left on the planet by "God" to go off once the planet reached it's natural end and called out to Him to clean up the remains; So after years of testing and planning Albert's master plan with the Codex of R'lyeh was completed.
After the rites, the Codex of R'lyeh can be found back at the ritual site at the bottom of the Nemeaton Dungeon, the book is key for triggering a series of sidequests that lead to a hidden fusion ability for Yuri and the game's good ending. In the sequel game Shadow Hearts: Covenant the full scope of Albert's past becomes clear, though he was driven to desperate measures in order to defeat Rasputin he seems far more collected and sane without the knowledge of the Codex of R'lyeh wearing on him. Albert is not the only one to be unhinged by comprehending the true natrue of the Outer Gods as Roger Bacon himself has become borderline insane, even Koudlka briefly sees a vision of the secrets of the books and doubles over in pain from them.
- The name "R'lyeh" is a direct reference to the ancient city ruled by one of the Great Old Ones known as Cthulhu in H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos.
- The book is called the "Codex of Lurie" in the original game, this is likely a translational mistake as the letters for L and R are often confused when translated to English.
- In Shadow Hearts: Covenant, the book is re-dubbed the "R'lyeh Text".