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Main protagonist and eponymous character of Koudelka, she also had a minor, but important role in the spin-off game, Shadow Hearts.

Library Entry[]

Beckoned by voices not of this world, she visits Nemeton Abbey, on All-Hallows' Eve, 1898., and runs into a lot of unexplained things.
~ Game Manual

A mysterious woman who knows the truth behind the string of incidents. She disappeared after the Nemeton Monastery went up in flames. She has strong mystical strength.
~ Shadow Hearts




Koudelka was born to a poor Gypsy family in the remote Welsh village of Abergynolwyn, beside the Taliesin river. Even as a child, strange things seemed to follow her path. She began to display strong psychic abilities, which frightened her family and neighbors.

Things came to a head when she predicted her own father's death down to the very minute, days before it happened. Her mother, fearful of her daughter's powers, tried to kill her but was unsuccessful. Shunning her, and still terrified of her powers, her family and peers began to say that she was possessed, and brought her before the Gypsy elders. She was banished, and chased her from the village.

In 1888, when Koudelka was nine years old, she was found in London by Mrs. Blavatsky, a renowned medium for the spirits. She raised Koudelka as her daughter, helping her hone her skills until she passed away in 1891.

Nemeton in DistanceKoudles

Nemeton Monastery

Once again, Koudelka was all alone. She set off traveling around Britain, supporting herself by finding lost articles for other people and serving as a medium for those who wish to communicate with the spirit world. It was a bleak existence, where during desperate times, she would reluctantly prostitute herself in exchange for warmth or money.

In the Autumn of 1898, Koudelka heard a desperate plea of help from a spirit asking her to travel to the Nemeton Monastery in Aberystwyth, Wales. Curious, she began the long trek there on horseback...



Finding the gates barred, Koudelka rappelled up the side of the building, staring into the darkness of the courtyard below. Shuffling along the roof, she lost her pendant after narrowly evading a loose decorative spike.

After falling through the stable rafters, she met the wounded Edward Plunkett, whom she saved after an encounter with the monster that would try to kill him.


Meeting Koudelka

Healing him, the pair made their way through the desolate abbey, until they came across the caretakers; Bessy and Ogden, who poisoned their food. Too suspicious of them to eat, Koudelka declined the soup and later berated, the now-poisoned, Edward for being so naive and too trusting of people, before, again healing him.

They later came across an unconscious priest who had been attacked by yet another monster.

Despite saving them, he was sniffy and dismissive of the pair, believing them to be mere thieves based on their appearance, and expressed flat disbelief when they informed him of the caretakers' attempt to poison them. Despite their open mutual dislike, he opted to travel with them, for safety.

As the trio made their way around the dark, monster-filled corridors, James and Edward began to argue over poetry - Edward's love of Byron, in contrast to James' dislike of him - before being shot at by the caretakers - to James' flat refusal of the belief that they were the shooters.


Encountering Charlotte

They eventually found themselves in the former hidden Prison of the monastery - filled to the brim with bodies - some hundreds of years old, some very recent and fresh - as Koudelka noticed. as they were haunted by the vengeful spirits there, including the ghost of Charlotte D'Lota, who tried to trick Edward into falling off a high ledge - but he was saved by Koudelka.


Koudelka Possessed - "No! Don't touch me! You, piss off! Go to hell!"

In one of the rooms, in order to find out what happened in the dreary place, Koudelka allowed herself to be briefly possessed by the roaming spirits, startling Edward, and horrifying James due to the blasphemy.

As much as it pained her, they learned of the gruesome history of the place, and set off to explore more of the building.

as Edward continued to argue with James, as even when presented with the overwhelming evidence of the caretakers' grisly deeds, the priest was reluctant to believe they were capable of such a thing - but was dismissive of the victims, claiming he wasn't interested in the deaths of "mere liars, thieves, and heathens", to Koudelka and Edward's anger.


Having made their way to the Storage Room, they discovered a vast haul of confiscated artworks, jewels and other objets d'art. Again, the group argued; James wished to see them brought to the Vatican for their historical worth, while Edward, facetiously, was more interested in material worth. Koudelka regarded it dismissively, seeing them as cursed artifacts. Her anger growing, as she butted heads with James' attitude.

They were attacked by a thief, Alias, who had thus far managed to evade the caretakers, and been witness to their numerous bloody murders. James, however tried to pin the deaths on him, accusing him of committing them - snidely disparaging his status as a low-class immigrant. Again, to Koudelka and Edward's shared disgust at James.


"...They're all the Princess Alice"

After Alias had finished telling them of what he had seen, Edward coldly pulled a gun on him, and shot him dead. James was appalled, as he intended to hand the thief over to the police - only for Edward to mockingly point out the danger in leaving him alive to potentially attack again, or the liability in taking him along with them.

After his death, they found a key to access the caretakers' quarters, and investigated while the caretakers were away. Inside there was a room covered in paintings of ships; burning ships, sinking ships, ships at sea - all the same ship, the "Princess Alice". Touching a painting, she saw a vision of the drowned victims, and pondered its significance.


Koudelka receives a vision of Elaine

Later, she received a similar vision, this time of the more recent murders, and the repeated name of a single woman; Elaine. The lone voice that had drawn her into the monastery.

Finding themselves in the abbey Library, James began to frantically search through the alchemic and mystic texts, much to Koudelka and Edward's puzzlement, being deliberately vague to them on the nature of his search. Edward mockingly quoted Shakespeare to him, giving James the tiniest glimmer of respect for Edward's knowledge of the Bard.


"Is that just a mummy?"

Hidden away in a secret room in the library, the three discovered a lone coffin on a bier. They approached it to discover the emaciated form of Roger Bacon - who promptly sprang to life, startling them, enigmatically speaking of the Formors and the Émigré Document, before abruptly collapsing back into the coffin.

James tried to question the strange man, being met with no response. Tired of his evasiveness, Edward demanded an explanation on the Émigré Document, and James' true purpose for coming to the monastery. Hesitant, he finally told them the whole story; the nature of the Émigré Document and his knowledge of its owner, Patrick.


Encountering the Gargoyle

Somewhat satisfied with the answers, the trio continued the exploration of the grounds, ending up in the Church Nave. As the church bells tolled midnight, the malignant energies of the spirits in the area coalesced into a hideous demonic creature, and attacked them - separating Edward and James from Koudelka, blocking off their access to the nave.

Escaping the beast, Koudelka found herself alone in the garden courtyard. And found also her Pendant, in which she had lost earlier. Opening a hidden passage in one of the central courtyard arbor as she discovered the bloodstained chamber where the most recent murders had taken place, with an axe.

While she was overwhelmed with psychic visions, Ogden snuck behind Koudelka, and knocked her out. When she regained consciousness, she was strapped to a table, while Ogden sharpened an axe, raving madly about Elaine, her death, and his past as the captain of the Princess Alice.


Screaming at her to shut up, Ogden raised the axe, but fortunately Koudelka's was saved at the last moment, as Bessy shot her husband in the back, deflecting his axe strike mere inches away from Koudelka's head.

Bessy gave Koudelka the means to escape her bonds, and explained to her the true events of what had transpired at the monastery; Elaine's murder, her husband - Patrick - and his attempts to resurrect her. Koudelka could only watch as Bessy calmly held the shotgun to her own head, telling her that she "must keep [her] husband waiting", before pulling the trigger.


"Don't get killed" "Same to you!"

Freeing herself, Koudelka heard the voices of Edward and James through a crack in a damaged, but unopenable door. The trio agreed to regroup at the library, telling each other to be careful not to be killed.

After a brief venture through the underground caverns, Koudelka surfaced in the monastery graveyard, finding both the graves of Charlotte, and Saint Daniel - founder of the monastery.


While offering a brief prayer at both the graves, she sensed a presence behind her; the enigmatic Roger Bacon, who had risen from his coffin to explore the grounds. Striking an odd kinship with the equally odd man, he directed her to the library, asking her to keep her somewhat more noisy companions in check.

Meeting in the library, Koudelka told them that the caretakers were finally dead, but before doing so had told her of the death of Patrick's wife, Elaine, many years before, to James' shocked horror and disbelief. He explained to them his past, and his deep love for her; his numb shock over her murder.

Once again, they encountered the vengeful ghost of Charlotte, deep within the prison, in her cell. But this time, they managed to lay her angry spirit to rest.

Inside Patrick's Quarters, they found Roger in Patrick's personal library, Edward and James hardly believing he was, indeed the 13th century philosopher until he began to discuss his involvement in the copying of the Emigré Document. Amused by the strange man, they left him to his devices, and ventured deeper into Patrick's Quarters.


Elaine appears before the trio

Before a full-size portrait of Elaine, Koudelka channeled her spirit, causing her ghost to materialize before them. They listened as she told them of her murder, and Patrick's attempt to resurrect her body, and how it had become an unthinking monster, while her spirit was stuck stranded on Earth, unable to move on. As she faded away, she begged the party to burn her body to ash, to free her spirit.

Having located Patrick's Research Notes, and wishing to free Elaine's spirit, they spoke again to Roger, to see if it was possible (and in what manner) to return Elaine's body to death. Roger speculated that calling upon sacred powers to destroy the roots of the Tree of Life in which her body was housed, and then calling up the energies of either fire or water, could potentially destroy it. Luckily such a relic was on the monastery grounds; the mummified arm of St Daniel, founder of the monastery.

Trying to make their way to the church, where Elaine's body lay, they were stopped by a seemingly impassable door. James tried to convince Koudelka and Edward to leave him; it was his friend, and his fight, not theirs - though they quickly rebuffed him, as it was now far more than a personal matter. Still unable to open the door, James had an idea seeing the chemicals in Patrick's lab; nitroglycerin.


Relaxing over drinks

While he set about the task, Edward and Koudelka, with nothing to do for a while, started a fire, and relaxed, drinking heavily. They told each other stories of their past, enjoying each other's company. She told him of her Rom heritage, and her personal secret name, Zlato, but playfully refused to tell him its meaning. Edward told Koudelka of his upbringing, and his longing for adventure, and of his envy for the seemingly free life she seemed to lead.

Koudelka reacted angrily, and told him of all the misery she had suffered, and what she had done to survive alone in the world, before breaking down into heavy sobs. Later, James had finished creating the nitroglycerin, by placing it at the base of the door. They stood far back while Edward took aim with a pistol, and fired, exploding the unstable mixture, and the door with it.


With access at last to the Church, they discovered it had become overgrown with vines, and that the cauldron lay hidden in a secret crypt. There they found Patrick's mummified corpse, covered in the vines.

Angry, and now resolved to the Tree of Life's destruction, James suddenly grabbed some nearby gasoline canisters, to Edward's surprise, and started to douse the vines and area with it. Prepared, they cast St Daniel's arm into the cauldron pot invoking his saintly power. The vines reacted violently; thrashing and writhing tearing apart the masonry, causing the trio to flee outside, but not before James threw down his lantern, igniting the gasoline, and turning the place into a blazing inferno.


"We'll be fine. Trust me."

They fought their way to the base of the bell tower, where the main stem of the Tree of Life - and Elaine housed within - waited. A giant bud lay at the plant's apex, and as they drew closer, unfolded revealing the monstrous resurrected body of Elaine - mindless and animalistic. She attacked, forcing them to retreat further up the bell tower, to the very spire. Her body mutated, and left with nowhere to run - they battled her.

Bloodied and beaten by Elaine, the trio lay sprawled across the rooftop. Rising to his feet, and holding his cross out before him, James questioned his faith, before resigning himself to his fate, admitting his love to Elaine. Calling upon some divine force, a beam of light shot from the heavens, enveloping them, causing them to ascend upwards, as the ugliness of Elaine's form was stripped away, revealing her true body - reunited again with her soul. Elaine spoke kindly to him of their shared memories, and told him they were returning home.


"Ah, the sun came out, I prefer it a little hazier though."

The pair faded in a flash of light, with the implication that they had passed on to the hereafter.

As Edward and Koudelka stood, trying to process what had just happened, fire burst from the ruins below. The pair ran to the edge as the flames licked higher. Edward reassured Koudelka they'd be fine, before scooping her up and jumping from the tower. Surviving the fall unharmed, they set up camp and spent the night together.


"Somewhere we'll meet again..."

During the hazy dawn, Roger came down to greet them, as they prepared to part company. Edward mounted Koudelka's horse, as she wished him goodbye, saying they'd probably never see one another again. Before he left, he asked her the meaning of her name, Zlato. Koudelka told him it meant "treasure" much to his amusement.

He rode off into the dawn, with Koudelka quietly confident the pair would some day meet again...

Non-Canon Endings[]

Three endings are possible in Koudelka, the canonical (as detailed above) is the ending in which the party loses to Elaine in the boss fight, and James "dies". Because of this, it's sometimes known as the "Bad Ending" . The events of this form the backstory of Shadow Hearts.


"Dead people don't speak. It is just in your memories."

The other ending, achieved by winning in the fight against Elaine changes and alters these events. Her spirit reunites with her body, and she appeared at the beginning to speak, before she plunged into the inferno of the church below, dying, finally.

Sitting in the dawning sun, the trio quietly contemplated what they had seen, reflecting that the last true bond with the departed, was memories. In this ending, James lives, leading to it often being called the "Good Ending".

The last is a non-standard Gameover if the player doesn't find, or discards Koudelka's Pendant. When she awakens from her bud, Elaine blasts the party with a necrotizing breath - melting the flesh from their bones.

Shadow Hearts[]


Koudelka fell pregnant, and later gave birth to a son, whom she named Halley, and who had also been blessed with her powers. She raised him by herself.

98-040 74

Koudelka with infant, Halley.

After the events that led to the destruction of Nemeton Monastery, she began to use her powers to help and heal others that were in need of it.

Her powers caught the attention of Albert Simon, who deduced that she was in fact a "Key to Darkness" - a being born every 100 years or so, who embodied dark magic, and was possessed of tremendous magical power.

Seeing her potential use for his own schemes, he used the Inquisition to abduct Koudelka as his prisoner. Threatening to kill Halley if she resisted, she chose to go with them.

99-040 75

Abducted by the Inquisition.

She was then taken to the Calios Mental Hospital who was under the watchful eye of both Viscount Rausan, head of the Inquisition, and Albert Simon.

Unwilling to submit, she was continually tortured, though she resisted. Making no progress with her, Albert turned his attention to her counterpart, the "Key to Light", a young Englishwoman called, Alice Elliot.

While locked up she became aware of the extent of his plans, and tried her best to prevent them from happening, though realized that because of her imprisonment, she would require a "champion" of sorts.

Using her powers, she eventually found a receptive mind; Yuri Hyuga, who, because of his fusion abilities, could hear her.

By talking to Yuri within his mind, she led him across the globe in an effort to stop Albert's plans, leading Yuri to a certain train in China, on which Albert was intending to kidnap the girl.

Shadow Hearts[]


Koudelka as she appears in SH

Unable to physically act, she continued to use Yuri to intervene in Albert's plans, and gave what little help she could by using her powers to warn the pair of upcoming dangers.

During the Valorization she gave Alice some of her powers to give her strength from when the warlock Dehuai would drained her energy as trying to fuel his ritual.

Her voice was heard again at Albert Simon's mansion, when she attempted to calm her son so he wouldn't destroy the whole building with his unstable powers.

In an effort to free her from the mental hospital, Halley mounted a rescue attempt, which was thwarted by the intervention of Albert Simon. Initially catatonic, she was only roused when Albert began to attack her son. Regaining herself, she stopped his attack, and agreed to help him if he spared Halley and the others, but not before directing Yuri to Wales, to seek the true Roger Bacon.

50-043 45

Koudelka in a straight-jacket, unleashing her powers.

Spirited away by Albert, she waited with him in the subterranean temple, deep beneath the ruins of Nemeton Monastary, while he prepared his ritual to raise the Neamto Float, and summon a god to cleanse the world.

As he began the ritual, using her powers to fuel the raising of the float, she blocked him from siphoning her power, and was prepared to use her magic to kill the both of them, to save Halley. It would have succeeded, if not for Albert's soul pact with the God of Wrath, Amon.

Weakened, but not killed, Albert invoked his pact, and used his powers to raise the float, along with the energies given off by his battle with Yuri.

Unconscious, but still alive, she was taken to recover in London, where Halley and friends had made their hide-out.

13-058 13

Halley and Koudelka, setting sail for America.

Having been separated from each other for three years, the mother and son had a heart-to-heart and discussed future plans, while Koudelka reflected how much Halley had come to resemble his father. She promised that they would travel to America to reunite with Edward, and bid the party good luck in their fight against Albert.


Koudelka never appears in another Shadow Hearts game, but Alice mentions in her post-game narration, that she and Halley went to America to try and find Edward.


Main article: Koudelka Iasant/Manga


"Healing/ Dowsing/ Channelling" ~ Koudelka Manual Koudelka's abilities.

As well as being able to contact and speak with the dead, Koudelka also possesses a form of precognition, allowing her to see some events before they happen. As shown in the Cutscenes of Koudelka, she is also able to allow herself to channel the spirits of the dead, and allow them to possess her body.

She has a range of other magical abilities, such as telepathy, which allows her to talk to Yuri and other receptive minds, telekinesis, which allowed her to break from her straight-jacket, and various other magics such as pyrokinesis, hydromancy, geomancy and aeromancy.

She also has forms of protective magic, such as the ability to heal wounds, to the point of bringing back Edward from near death, and a reflective barrier.

So great is her power, she is the "Key of Darkness", a being born every century, who acts as a conduit/embodiment of sorts to dark magic, a complimentary counterpart to a similarly born, "Key of Light". Despite the title, they are not necessarily antagonistic to each other.




FMV Model

Despite her youth, her many early hardships were the cause of her somewhat bleak outlook on life. as she had a strong will and drive to help people - especially those who were disadvantaged or discriminated against - she displayed a streetwise streak of cynicism, and lingering sense of distrust towards others, not suffering fools gladly - a trait that would cause her to butt heads with Edward, but especially with James, whom she saw as callous and indifferent.

Sometimes appearing cold, stony, snide, and bitterly sarcastic, in spite of her hard outer shell, she was genuinely moved to assist those in need, and empathetic to the plights of others.

While initially cautious of him, and still thinking of him as a fool, her relationship with Edward could be rocky, as she believed him to be gullible, naive, and too trusting, but had a respect for his rare pragmatic moments, and was attracted to him, in a low-key way, taking a liking to his charm and sense of humor.

It was with James that she had the most issues; she thought him a pompous, self-righteous hypocrite, and the pair clashed on many events that happened in the game. She delighted in offending his religious sensibilities, and would purposely needle him for a reaction.

An outcast, she sympathized with Charlotte the most - seeing her own lonely, unloved life reflected in the girl's, recalling the hate she had felt for the world.

She wanted little more in life than to find meaning for herself - and had a deep wish to be needed by someone.

Shadow Hearts[]

With the birth of her son, Halley, she finally found that meaning.

Having a close bond with her son, she was prepared to sacrifice herself for the sake of him, and his future. An extra degree of closeness was formed as the pair possessed the same powers, with her guiding him to control them.

Still possessing a strong will, she softened in her outlook, and was nowhere near as acerbic as she once was. She continued, as she had before, caring for other people; the disadvantaged, and the dispossessed.

And when not physically able to assist people, she trusted, guided, and relied on Yuri to perform actions she was unable to do.


  • Although Albert says Koudelka is the "Key of Darkness" as Alice is the "Key of Light", Koudelka's element is not darkness but fire instead.
  • Koudelka's name is derived from renowned Czech photographer, Josef Koudelka, perhaps most famous for his photographs of Romani gypsies.
  • At some point in her past, Koudelka encountered Jack the Ripper.