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"Infected? No, we are in symbiosis. Together with Stigma, I will survive through the end of an age... as did my ancestors..." -Master Vakhushti
Cardia is the final strain of Stigma. It is first seen inside Master Vakhushti. Cardia is the Greek word for "heart." It is most similar to the GUILT strain Savato, in its method of attack and the duration of the battle, both split into two parts.
Cardia is seen first on a membrane that surrounds the heart, protected from any tools by an outer shell. The membrane must be excised. From time to time, a section of the membrane turns a deep red, and if the Cardia gets to that area, the maximum vitals will decrease. The Cardia will sometimes disappear momentarily and then reappear on another part of the membrane. After the membrane is excised three times, the outer shell of Cardia will break off, revealing its core.
At this point, the core, now vulnerable to damage from the laser, begins dashing around the heart. It will commonly make a series of lacerations, or a single laceration with a blood pool covering it. In addition, Cardia will spawn several tumors on the surface of the heart and attempt to detonate them with a ripple. The tumors must be removed promptly with the forceps, otherwise they will burst when the ripple touches them and cause severe vital damage.
After damaging the Cardia enough, Cardia will release 20 or so tumors in a ring. Cardia then moves to the center, where it is vulnerable to attack. However, if it is not dealt with in time, the Cardia will release a ripple, destroying as many tumors as possible. If not dealt with after that, Cardia will release another ring of tumors. This is the point where the Healing Touch is needed - If you're playing as Dr Vaughn, you have the option to excise all the tumors before finishing Cardia; if you're playing as Dr Blaylock, the tumors will detonate harmlessly, leaving you free to finish off Cardia immediately.
Note that if Cardia is defeated, any remaining untreated or unburst tumors will disappear.
If Cardia, while in its shell, touches a red section of the membrane, the patient takes damage to his current and maximum vitals.
Cardia creates a new section of membrane. This only happens after a membrane is removed, and only 2 times in an operation.
Cardia makes a single laceration with a small blood pool on it.
Cardia creates 3-8 lacerations, one right after another. This causes 20-35 vital loss and usually follows a Tumor Spawn.
Cardia creates 3-8 small red tumors that need to be removed with the forceps.
Cardia releases red ripples that will blow up the red tumors on contact. This is always used after a tumor attack. This attack does no vital damge unless it hits a tumor.
Ring of Death
Cardia creates 20 tumors in a ring shape. The Healing Touch is STRONGLY advised at this part, because if the ring is detonated, the tumors will deal 750 vital damage (which would make the patient INSTANTLY die).
In order to achieve the most amount of points, remove the membrane one section at a time. This will boost your chain. Always remove the red membrane first.
Use the time when Cardia is not attacking to boost vitals, and laser it only when it is releasing the ripple.
It is a good idea to use Valerie's Healing Touch for this operation so that you need not worry about the Healing Touch running out or being used at the wrong timing when Cardia begins its final attack.
It has been proven that the Healing Touch is not absolutely required to defeat Cardia (unlike Savato or Aletheia). The only way that this is possible is if the final point of damage before the ring of tumors is dealt while Cardia is emitting ripples, as Cardia will not make the ring of tumors until after the ripples dissipate.
When Cardia sheds its outer shell, a second Boss theme begins. Singing can be heard at the beginning of this theme. The voices singing are saying "The Stigma In My Blood Is Immortal" in Latin.
Cardia is the only final boss that does not require a serum to be injected into it to defeat it.