The Let's Play Archive

Shadow Hearts: Covenant

by The Dark Id

Part 144: Episode CXXXVIII: The Great Question

Episode CXXXVIII: The Great Question

<pants> Well... That wasn't so bad...

<breathes heavily> Oh, man... Why me?
I never want to see another palette swap enemy again... Or hear about curry...
Joachim! That was amazing! We're finally at the top...!
Hey... where the heck... is everyone else...?
Oh, I think they all climbed down and left.
<pants> Then why the hell... am I still... here...?
Like me. To see the dramatic climax! Duh!
<breathes hard and sighs> I don't like... that phrasing...

You've done weeellllll to come this faaaaaaaar! This is the true battleground!!
<dramatically gestures to the horizon> I am not... your TEACHER!!

My name is... the Great Question. Champion of the Man Festivaaaaaaal!!
Great Question...?!
...Fine, then! Great Question it is!!

Great Question?
I have questions...
<slowly crawls back> They've gone nuts, those guys. Totally... lost it!
Are you okay, Yuri?
Nothing about this is OK... I want off this ride...

Now, then, my little challenger! Bring it on!
<raises hand> Before we start, can I ask you just one thing?
Why sure. What is it?
This baptism you were talking about... What exactly is it?
Is it metaphorical? Spiritual? ...Physical...?

Ha ha ha haaaaa! You're thinking about defeat already, aren't you, huh? I knew it. Hehe.
<raises hand> Excuse me!
<points to Anastasia> Yes, dear.
I want to know too!
No you don't. No, you don't!
Hmph! I do!
I don't!

<crosses arms> Hmm. Well. Very well, then. I will tell you.

Those who fail in the Man Festival must receive as a punishment the winner's full manhood!!

<tilts head> Manhood...?
<backs up> Y-you don't mean... Gross!
I'm still not following...
You are seriously not old enough for any of this!

<nods> ...Exactly! That is correct!
<points to Gama> So, Great Question, if you win...?!
<puts hand on chest> A-and if I win...?!

The sound of bullets cases hitting the floor and a dog howling in the distance to blowing wind.

What kind of choice is that...? Huh? Eh?! A battle for manly dignity, huh? I'd say it's pretty sick!
<continues to back up> Oh, man! No way! Not this guy.

Well, the time for talk is over! The rest will be decided by sweat! <motions to the side and whip cracks>
<backs up and shudders>
Ho ho ho! Are you afraid, trembling boy?!


Joachim reaches around his back and pulls out the Grand Papillion mask!


Music: Grand Papillon!! ~ Pro Wrestler

Champion of Truth and Justice, Grand Papillon! Ready to fight all evildoers!
Evildoers?! Oh dear me! Here we goooooooo!

Music: Glint of Light ~ Mid Boss in Europe

We finally reach the finale of this extended shitpost -- a rematch with Great Gama the Great Question. Despite all the build-up, this is just the previous Great Gama fight except he has 2400 HP. The Great Question is still of the Light elemental class.

He still attacks with all the techniques he passed down to Joachim. There are no new tricks up his sleeve. He is clearly not wearing any sleeves. How would he even do that?! He just hits a whole lot harder, doing around 200 HP of damage each turn even with Joachim in his Grand Papillion form. I hope you had Joachim equipped with a Leonardo's Bear because Grand Slam is guaranteed to knock Joachim into the outer reaches of deep space for an instant defeat. In space, no one can feel your manliness.

The only major thing to watch out for is on the seventh turn of the match he will use the Seventh Key and Joachim MUST be blocking his onslaught or he will be hitting the mat for good. Even defending against the Seventh Key the Great Question will still deal out roughly 400 HP of damage. Unguarded he'll do well over 1000 damage and considering the HP cap is 999 health points... yeah, Joachim is not taking that on the chin.

But through blood, sweat and tears... and a curative spell every second turn, Joachim's muscles prevail over the Great Question.

Music: Result ~ Victory

The greatest wrestling match in history atop the Tower of the Holy Ring is decided. And with it a fine helping of experience points and... the change leftover in Great Gama's wallet after ordering lunch earlier. It reeks of spilled curry sauce and sweat.

Music: ENDS

<breathes heavily>
<looks to Joachim and nods head in approval>

<clasps hands and smiles> You won...!! Tee hee hee!
<continues to crawl back to the edge of the ring> N-nice job! Nice job!!

Music: Relaxation Mood ~ Relief

<stretches> Ooooh... What a relief! Ooohhh.

Take my title... I beg of you. Uneasy is lies the head that wears the crown...
<steps forward> Mmm... But... but, teacher...

You have done it... This belongs to you now.
This is...

The Mask of Question! From this day on, you are the true hero. You... are The Great Question!

I... I'm the Great Question...?

Music: Gathering God ~ Thrill

Well, now! You've passed the physical. Now it's time for the mental test!
The Man Festival must end with the final expression of love between two men!

Hehehehe. Hmm-mmm-mmm.

<clasps hands and smiles brightly> Isn't it beautiful? Love comes in so many different shapes!
<cringes and shakes head> I... I'm not... into that shape...

<both yelling at the top of their lungs>
No way...
<hooting and hollering continues>

And so The Man Festival continues at the summit of a 100-story tall wrestling ring with a 400-year-old vampire and a real life Pakistani wrestler gone to the bone zone as a tween Princess Anastasia Romanov looks on adoringly and our rude protagonist regrets many life decisions to make it to this point. That happened. How did we get here? Where are we going and why? Who knows. Who can even say anymore?

The completion of The Man Festival, for better or worse, gives us the Mask of Question.

This, in turn, permanently upgrades Joachim's Grand Papillion form to The Great Question. The Joachythm has the same calculation to pop as Grand Papillion. With the earlier obtained Electro Band equipped that means we'll see his Great Question form once every 30 battles. Uhh... all that is remaining of the game where Joachim can participate is the final dungeon. So in all... I saw The Great Question exactly once in a completely throw-away random battle just prior to the end of the game. Even if we did The Man Festival much earlier I would probably only have encountered it maybe once or twice more.

...I am going to go ahead and say that maybe wasn't worth the effort of a two-and-a-half-hour-long shitpost.

Hey, you know how we just made it through a combat gauntlet of twenty palette swaps of the same enemy? Guess what? They ALL have Library entries! So strap in for deep Curry Man lore.


What lady could resist this helping of man?

Liberal with his attacks. Politically shockingly right-wing.

A curry of contrasts.

Vindaloo is an online social media sensation. They have that in 1915. Roger Bacon invented it early. Wizards have no sense of right or wrong.

You don't want to know his method of tenderization.

Terrible engagement numbers.

Green peas are a powerful foe.

I'll take the mustard gas spiciness level.

You don't want aged prawns in any instance.

I'll only use the meat of chickens bred deep in a hidden mountaintop monastery nestled in the Himalayan mountains.

This curry will let you breathe fire. Now, which is the one that grants stretchy limbs? And can I learn teleportation via curry?

The saga of the Curry Men is a rollercoaster of emotions.

You get 5% snootier by eating French curry fusion.

A dishonorable fraud of a man.

Curry Mom is always calling him a bum, bragging about how much better her sister's kid are doing and telling him to move out of the basement.

The rare sovereign citizen curry.

I heard he got nerfed in the last patch and his ground game is trash now.

Yeah, so this cut of meat is set to expire tomorrow. Look at the sale price! We can make it work, baby! And these vegetables are only slightly moldy. We can just cut those bits off. They're still good.

Will any of us ever find it, really?

Curry zen is a state we all yearn to achieve.

It took until nearly the onset of World War 2 to finally get the stench of curry out of the streets of Nihonbashi.

We have always been at war with humanity's greatest foe the Tin Lions.


Let us never speak of his twisted hands again.

Video: Episode 138 Highlight Reel
(You should watch this. But maybe not at work...)