The game's hero is Yuri Hyuga, a young harmonixer - a man who possesses the power of transforming into demons. He meets Alice Elliot, a young British girl whose father was brutally murdered, and who is persecuted by a mysterious warlock who calls himself Roger Bacon. Yuri and Alice travel through the pre-war China, dealing with demons, evil magicians, and Japanese occupation army. The journey eventually takes them and their friends to Europe, where they have to confront their ultimate enemy, but also uncover the truth about their own pasts.
"Shadow Hearts" implements traditional turn-based combat style for the battles, adding to it a feature called Judgment Ring. Every time you perform an attack, a ring with a spinning arrow appears on the top of the screen. If you hit a critical area on the ring, your attack will be more powerful. However, missing a hit area will cancel the attack. Various types of attack have rings of various difficulty - usually, the more powerful a spell is, the smaller is the hit area on the ring. Judgment Ring is also used for other purposes - it can help you to reduce prices in stores, and is needed to solve many puzzles.
- Engage in action-packed turn-based combat using the 'Judgment Ring' to determine the outcome of your actions.
- As a 'Harmonixer' you will be able to morph into 20 different creatures, each with unique and powerful attacks.
- Meet unique characters who will join you on your quest, each with their own characteristics, personalities and abilities.
- Discover more than 200 special items including weapons, armor and other magical enhancements.
- Battle more than 100 different creatures using magical weapons and spells that produce spectacular effects.