The Let's Play Archive

Shadow Hearts: Covenant

by The Dark Id

Part 119: Episode CXIII: Trial of the Believer

Episode CXIII: Trial of the Believer

I suppose we should quit procrastinating and get on with it completing the next stage of the Trials of Solomon. We can put off the terrible idea main plot jamboree for as long as necessary. Thus our band return back to the Goreme Valley for another session as Sarah, our trial provider, can apparently utilize Instant Transmission to teleport from Japan to Turkey at will. Only Japan and Turkey. It's a very specific discount version of the technique.

Music: Spiritualization ~ Holy Land of God

Ah! What is it now? Don't tell me, another trial?
<nods> Exactly! Last night King Solomon spoke...
Come on! Give it a rest! There's no end to all of this!
This ghost guy is really pushy.
Only your will can decide if you attempt the trial or not... But King Solomon has prepared a great prize this time. But if you don't want to do the trial, I can't make you... It'd sure be a waste of a great prize, though!
Well... you know, I've been thinking, and... Maybe I will give it a try!
Don't force yourself! Your will alone must decide.
But again, it would be a shame to lose out on this fabulous sidequest exclusive prize from the great King Solomon.
Please! I'm sorry I was so negative before... I won't do it again! I really wanna do this trial!
<clasps hands> King Solomon will be delighted to hear you say that! Are you ready?

Our next set of trials is the Trial of the Believer. Technically, that whole spiel was for the next level of trials after this one. Trial of the Believer has been available since the team up with the Mutant Apes in the Imperial Capital and Roger Bacon restored the Bacon Jet to fly back to the Europe map. But screw doing any of these trials as soon as they unlock since it is just grinding through every single fight we just did in the last several hours of the game under tougher conditions. And none of the rewards are worth that hassle.

Anyway, let's get started. As per usual, we have four total trials in this bracket to burn through.

The first one is a two-member party that has to win three battles with permanent Reverse and Tight Ring. Neither of which is particularly taxing. We'll be taking Yuri and Karin in for this one.

Music: Vicious 1915 ~ Battle in Europe

For the most part, the battles in Trial of the Believer run from Idar Flamme to the Otherworld dungeons. The first set is against a Zamuza, a Megafilaria duo, and an Echidna from Rasputin's flying fortress.

Given the level scaling... yeah, they can barely put a scratch into Yuri or Karin, and most go down in a basic physical attack string. I don't feel bad cheesing this by pushing it back. There's more than enough side content without drawing out the one that is just grinding out even more battles.

Following that we're dealt the hand of a trio of Akagi Soldiers from the accursed Battleship Mikasa.

And lastly, there is the monster mash from Garan's Otherworld with a pair of Gaki, Pera-pera, and a Noh Mask.

All of which are more than easily dispatched. Who even goes to the Otherworld anymore? Everyone knows the Underworld is the new freshness.

Music: Spiritualization ~ Holy Land of God

Our reward is another pair of Warlock Earrings. We already have two of these in storage. They're just giving them out for doing well in boss battles nowadays. You can do better, King Solomon.

Our next task is taking a party of three characters while permanently poisoned and with Fake Ring installed. We'll be adding Blanca to the party for this set of trials. Joachim has decided to go Golden Bat and has far too little a pool of HP to be useful here.

Music: Vicious 1915 ~ Battle in Europe

We will actually have to occasionally heal for this set of trials since the Poison HP drain will add up over the course of five battles. Especially since enemies in the trials tend not to bunch up too much so we cannot just nuke a set with an AOE spell. The first enemy set is another Idar Flamme reunion but with the Zamuza swapped out with the off-brand Xenomorph-looking Hati.

After that, it is "Oops! All Worms!" with five Gigafilaria.

The Battleship Mikasa has brought in mechanized support with a pair of Akagi Soldiers flanked by a Spider Walker and a Flying Drone. We sandbagged some impressive Japanese tech by dismantling the entire Japanese military the last few months.

Otherworld refugees Pera-pera and Noh Masks give it another unsuccessful go.

And finally, power armor dad, Lt. Terada, and the last squad of Akagi Soldiers take a run at the party. Terada is the only one that can actually deal more than around 5 HP of damage a turn. I am afraid it doesn't help him escape from this Pit Fight Purgatory to ever see his child again.

Music: Spiritualization ~ Holy Land of God

That is another round in the bag and with it another Magic Crest. We haven't gotten much in the way of specific elemental defense magic so this is at least noteworthy in this set of rewards from our ghost King of Israel benefactor.

Next up it is time to squint with a single character. Yuri seems fit for the job with the most versatility in his tool kit. Not that we need a ton beyond hit good.

Music: Vicious 1915 ~ Battle in Europe

The Idar Flamme monstrosities have one final go at it with one final stand of the Zamuza, Hati, and Echidna.

An actually unique fight is TWO Mother Filaria. We only had to do the one in Idar Flamme. They're multiplying!

This fight can be someone of a drag. Not because of the difficulty. But because if you'll recall Mother Filaria annoyingly had the Cure ability. Which was just a minor nuisance when we had a full party. But now we solely have Yuri. And on top of that, the creatures will chain Cure spells on whichever one has the lower HP. So it will randomly just negate a good chunk of damage dealt if that occurs. It's actually a better idea to take turns beating on both of them individually instead of focusing on just one. As in that case, they'll both cast Cure on themselves, which is far more manageable than having one essentially get a full cure and wasting our time the last several attacks.

The ghoulies from the Otherworld have one last go of it. It's not even worth mentioning how one-sided it is.

The one fight I would say is still somewhat of a threat is we have to solo Asmodeus. That would be somewhat untenable if did this trial right when it was unlocked. We were maybe in the single-digit levels up from where we were at the end of Disc 1 by that point seeing as there were only two dungeons crawled at that point in Disc 2.

But that's no longer the case six or seven dungeons deep into Disc 2. Rasputin, get your greased up creepy-ass back to hell where you belong.

Music: Spiritualization ~ Holy Land of God

We do get a unique item from this trial. The description isn't particularly helpful but this is a Joachim exclusive accessory that gives him +2 to all stats and increases the frequency he transforms into the Golden Bat. Spiffy!

The final Trial of the Believer lets us have a full party with zero stipulations in a twelve battle gauntlet. That's quite a bit of fights, eh?

Music: Vicious 1915 ~ Battle in Europe

What do you say to a Boss Rush of the bulk of end-of-dungeon baddies from Disc 1? I believe the only omissions are Asmodeus and the Night Queen. We just refought Asmodeus solo. It would be lame to do it again as a group. And I assume the Night Queen omission is having a boss with Instant Death crop up 10 or 11 rounds in would be fairly shitty a move to pull.

I hope you enjoy squash matches and watching old bosses explode again because all their stats and health pools remain unchanged from their initial encounter. The poor Gargoyle guarding Apoina Tower's cursed treasure did not know what hit him when Golden Bat Joachim swoops in and tears his neck out in a single blow.

Then there was that time Yuri's Malice went out of control his body shat out a creepy as hell hand-spider Arachne. Good times. That never came up again. Just the hand spider was all the Holy Mistletoe curse had in it.

Castor and Pollux are once more jobbing in the Pit Fights. It goes even worse for them this time than the rematch a couple of trial sets back.

The alcoholic mutant from Meursault and its bug friends return from the Wine Cellar and straight back into the grave.

I had to struggle to remember where this thing was from... Remember Rhondda Mine? Grimlock. And this thing just... kind of showing up because they needed a boss for a 100% filler dungeon? Yeah, me neither.

Carla's weird giant pink cat has decided to burn another life in the Pit Fights after its defeat on Manmariana Island. If we brought Anastasia along she could use her photography skill to steal err... Cash Steal from the overgrown feline. We could do that. I am not going to do that. Have you seen how much money every boss is dropping at this point? We're good.

Here's another one I barely remember. Janus from the Sapientes Gladio Italian HQ. The monster that just... showed up to fight. Grimlock at least had a description that indicated it was born of Malice from a mining accident killing a bunch of workers. This... nothing. Monster is here now. Fight it. Oddly enough, despite being the most nothing boss this thing gets copy and pasted as a regular enemy in late-game Shadow Hearts: From the New World. I guess it had a good agent. To get into a subpar game.

After that, we have the Star Gazers and Grail Gazer defenders of the Émigré Manuscript in the ancient Welsh Neam Ruins. We really should have kept that book down there in retrospect.

We need to kill Veronica's dog Oscar again. Anastasia can learn the Remove ability from Oscar which negates any buffs on a targeted enemy. In a game where if a boss does buffs and has them removed it will just get pissed and immediately recast the buff. Remarkably useless.

A duo of Mother Filaria gives it another go. This is much more manageable with a full party. A 4-person Combo can just immediately destroy one of these oversized worms. I don't know why they bothered throwing in a rematch.

Our penultimate fight is the only Disc 2 boss and one our main party never fought since this was exclusive to Ouka and the Mutant Apes' dungeon in the Hojo Research Lab Part 1. It was basically impossible to lose to when it was a party that only had physical attacks and grenades to chunk at the machine. It's even less of a threat now.

The final challenge is a completely unique enemy to this trial. This cute little dude is a Mini Tanuki. It is a Light elemental creature with 400 HP. Technically, this is a model swap of the Ducky Toy enemy defending Domremy from Nicolai and Karin way back in the very beginning of the game.

While this thing isn't very threatening. It can deal damage but only to the tune of around 50-75 HP if it attacks. Its main threat is it will just jack items from our inventory. It seems to target curative consumables. The loss of a Pure Leaf is no big deal. But it can jack high-end restoratives if we're not careful.

But four characters against a toy raccoon dog with 400 HP is no big deal. We'll take the hit of a couple of consumables in the process.

Music: Result ~ Victory

And with that, we have defeated the final Trial of Solomon ~ Trial of the Believer! Hurray! Ugh... There are still two more of these in the future.

Our final reward is another Seventh Key which... loses its impact somewhat considering we had just received one of those from defeating the Peach Bat in the previous side content we did. But hey. Perhaps one day we can string these together to attack and dethrone god or whatever end of the game hijinks will occur in this all-over-the-place adventure.

But for now, we bid Goreme Valley and the Solomon Trials adieu and venture towards our bad idea destiny. With perhaps one final pit stop along the way... That should reinforce this is a bad idea. Stay tuned.