The Let's Play Archive

Shadow Hearts: Covenant

by The Dark Id

Part 23: Episode XXIII: Grand Slam

Episode XXIII: Grand Slam

Time for yet another solo boss fight with Joachim. Yuri and the others are completely unwilling to rush the ring with a steel chair just now. The Great Gama is a Light class enemy with 250 HP rippling through his muscles.

Music: Vicious 1915 ~ Battle in Europe

This fight is not too dissimilar from the bout between Joachim and Veronica. Our first order of business is to immediately cast Rage to buff our buff boy's physical attack abilities as we enter another damage race. With this, Joachim can deal around 60-70 HP of damage per turn. So that gives us roughly four-five turns of attacking to take down his mentor.

Great Gama only has two attacks in his moveset but unlike Veronica, they're PRETTY potent. The first is just the same exact physical attack combo as Joachim. The only difference being that instead of a giant hunk of lumber, Great Gama is wielding err... a wooden statue of a pirate...? Like the type you'd see outside of a restaurant in a coastal tourist area. Sure, why not? I mean, it's doing 35 HP of damage per combo and that isn't too shabby.

Joachim's teacher also possesses a special attack in the form of Grand Slam. This does 40-45 HP of damage which is over a third of Joachim's current HP. That's going to make things a bit tighter than the numbers Veronica was outputting.

More notably, remember how we equipped Joachim with that Leonardo's Bear accessory that prevented instant death? Well, if we hadn't done that Great Gama's Grand Slam has about a 50% chance of just knocking Joachim into space and one-shotting him. Resulting in...


You think this some scripted event? Go wrestle in America if that's what you want.
I-I'm sorry, Teacher!
Ha ha ha ha! That's all right. I'll take you on again anytime you like! Whenever you think you're ready, my boy!
<stands up> A-all right, then, Teacher! I'll go out into the world and polish my skills, and I'll be back! I promise!

But we came prepared! So Grand Slam just does a load of damage instead of outright giving Joachim the Team Rocket treatment.

That said, unlike Veronica where we just had to take her down before she took down Joachim, it is actually necessary to take every third turn to heal up with a Thera Leaf since there's just no way with our current stats to outpace Gama's higher HP even with Rage.

In any event, Joachim and Gama beat each other with large pieces of wood in a wrestling ring until Joachim lands a knock out on his teacher. I think you're supposed to pin him at this point, Joachim. But I'm not a wrestler.

Music: Result ~ Victory

You still think you can beat me?!

For our efforts, we receive 1 Cash, a tiny bit of EXP exclusively for Joachim and...

A packet of tissues. Oh... okay...? I'm not even going to ask about that. Or where he was storing them. Moving right along!

Music: Grand Papillon!! ~ Pro Wrestler

Whenever you want to test your skills, come back to me, my boy. The open-air ring will always be waiting for you!
<clenches fist> Oh, thank you, Teacher!

And so now too can Joachim potentially launch and baseball swing enemies into low earth orbit. It worked for Auron, it can work for Joachim.

All this hot-blooded manly action and rippling muscles in the squared-circle is too much for Yuri to handle. He's gotten soft.

Music: Town of Twilight ~ European Town

We're now free to actually explore Great Gama's wrestling arena. Though, before we continue it's worth noting Great Gama here? Totally a real dude -- Ghulam Mohammad Baksh.

Wikipedia on The Great Gama posted:

Click Here for More Info!

Ghulam Mohammad Baksh Butt (22 May 1878 – 23 May 1960), better known by the ring name The Great Gama, was a pehlwani wrestler from the Indian subcontinent, who was an undefeated champion of the world. Born in the Amritsari village of Jabbowal, then in the Punjab Province of British India (under the British Raj), in 1878, he was awarded the Indian version of the World Heavyweight Championship on 15 October 1910, and went on to defeat grappling champions across the world. Undefeated in a career spanning more than 52 years, he is considered one of the greatest wrestlers of all time. Following the 1947 partition of India, he moved to Pakistan, where he lived the rest of his days in Lahore.

Gama's daily training consisted of grappling with forty of his fellow wrestlers in the akhada (court). He did a minimum of five thousand baithaks (Hindustani word for squats) (avg. speed 100-200 squats per minute) and three thousand dands (Hindustani word for pushups) (avg. speed 50-100 pushups per minute) in a day and even sometimes more within 30 to 45 minutes each by wearing a doughnut-shaped wrestling apparatus called a Hasli of 1 Quintal (apprx. 100 kilos). Gama's diet included:

10 litres of milk per day mixed with
1.5 pounds of crushed almond paste
Half litre of ghee
Six pounds of butter
Three buckets of seasonal fruits
Two desi muttons
Six desi chickens
along with fruit juices

and other ingredients to promote his digestive system and muscular health.

Bruce Lee was an avid follower of Gama's training routine. Lee read articles about Gama and how he employed his exercises to build his legendary strength for wrestling, and Lee quickly incorporated them into his own routine. The training routines Lee used included "the cat stretch", and "the squat" (known as "baithak", and also known as the "deep-knee bend.")
Covenant's depiction of him is a bit less flattering than the brick shithouse he actually was built like. Also... I don't think he ever set up shop wrestling training in Southampton, England at any point. But, minor details.

Joachim can challenge Great Gama to another bout but... apparently, Ghulam was just holding back and he will absolutely demolish Joachim in a rematch. We'll be back another day to rise to the challenge in order for Joachim to gain more abilities. Among other things... Meanwhile, if we step just to the left of Gama's ring we are thrust into another scene.

Music: Gathering God ~ Thrill

Look at this old, dented, filthy locker. It's a thing of beauty!

Joachim hoists the locker over his shoulder.

You know they make portable things to put your junk in while traveling like backpacks and suitcase, right? ...Right?
Use it for? As a weapon, of course!
A weapon...? What? But don't we usually get weapons from chests or shops or something or after some big event?
What are you talking about? Those are the old-fashioned ways of getting weapons! Use whatever you can get your hands on! That's the first rule of a hero!
Yeah, maybe for heroes on a budget...
Tsk tsk! I'd rather you called me an "environmentally-friendly" hero!
I think they just call that theft.
Well, nothing's coming out of my wallet, so I guess I'm fine with it...

And so Joachim obtains a new weapon -- just a goddamn gym Locker. As Joachim said, he doesn't get new weapons the traditional way. He'll just find increasingly absurd solid objects and repurpose them into bludgeoning items. The Locker provides +35 Physical and +26 Special Attack Power.

Music: Town of Twilight ~ European Town

The only other loot of note in the arena is just to the north of the Locker where we find another Seal the boring old fashion way. Other than that, there are a few folks we can talk to.

And my favorite dirty trick of his is when he rushes the other guy with a key in his hand. Shows his wild side!

I feel like stabbing a guy with a key would be less effective than bludgeoning them with a wooden statue the size of a small child. But what do I know? Though, this is actually a hint for a rematch with Gama. He utilizes The Third Key item, a buff returning from Shadow Hearts 1 that allows three actions in a row. Hence why weren't not attempting that rematch. He'll just destroy Joachim in a single turn if he uses that.

Lots of students want to train under him, but end up quitting when they find out how harsh the training is. I wonder if anybody will ever be good enough to be his successor...?
Gonna put money on the big buff vampire guy he just fought. Though not until some world-ending threat is on the horizon and we should really be doing something else.
That seems unlikely.
You'd be surprised.

...and he told me he wanders from town to town teaching wrestling.
So has he not been here long?
Oh no, he's always been here as long as I can remember.
Yeah... thought so...

I thought rings were round things?
Wrestling is very mysterious. And very dumb.

With that, we have covered just about everything there is to cover in the Port of Southampton for the moment. Buuut...

Music: Holy Mistletoe ~ Graveyard

We are clearly heading to a new dungeon that is said to have some length to it. There's never a short mine level. So, before concluding the chapter and venturing forth to parts unknown, it might be prudent to upgrade a few of Yuri's Fusions. And wouldn't you know it? We have exactly enough Soul Energy to level up to three of 'em!

To level up Fusions we simply need to return to their respective elemental altar in the Graveyard and dump the appropriate amount of Soul Energy into them. Again, the leveled Fusion battles have thankfully been nixed since they were all utterly filler fights outside the bonus ones.

When I finally feel motivated to do a bunch of shit only to have local Canadian internet infrastructure shit the bed for days on end.

That's a bit of a step-up from the tall, ripped armored Oompa-Loompa of Karyl. Barbaria provides a buff of:
Which is an across the board improvement over the Karyl incarnation.

Barbaria retains Rage and Blaze from its predecessor. But also gains:

Energy Charge: 10 MP. Increases the next Physical Attack by 125% (150% on a perfect spin.) For when you really want the next attack to have some oomph.
Magma: 32 MP. Medium-sized AOE attack. Good for deleting clusters of trash mobs when we cannot be bothered to fight the same group of giant roaches or low-level mafia goons for the eighth time. Decent damage in its own right.

Upgrading our Fire class Fusion was more for offensive purposes. For a more support role, let's shift focus to upgrading our Wind elemental Fusion next.

Yeah, it's late-August. I'd take a cool breeze at any time.

Now that's a glam up from armored lizard dude that focused too hard on leg day. Grano here buffs Yuri:
Which is again an across the board improvement over Malakia. Heck, that previous jerk didn't even give a strength boost.

As before, this new incarnation of the Wind element retains the previous abilities -- Gale and Howling. But now it has added:

Arc Heal: 18MP Cures all status effects and ring abnormalities for all allies. Not quite Alice's Arc from the first game, which did all that AND healed everyone to full. But hey, I'm sure it'll have its uses.
Slash: 32MP. Single target damaging Wind spell. Hits multiple times to make up for the lack of AOE. Will give an Earth elemental enemy a real bad time.

Speaking of Earth, lastly, we're going to upgrade the Earth elemental class. We're just getting this one because it hits like a truck and Earth elemental enemies are less common than Fire elemental.

Maybe, in small doses.

We go from looking like someone The Guyver fights to a mid-boss from a mid-aughts action platformer than looks like it undoubtedly has a ground-pound and/or charging attack. Sorom here is sporting:
It's quite a stout rock boy.

Naturally, it too retains Vastitas' abilities of Shield and Crag. But it also gains:

Stand: 26 MP. Temporarily grants no SP loss when in Resist Defense for all allies. Yuri can just chill out tanking damage and buffing everyone's defense for a time without burning through Sanity. Maybe it'll have a use, but not much to my style of play.
Thorn: 32 MP. Medium-area AOE Earth Attack. Basically the same deal as Magma but Earth-based. Strong boy Fusions don't vary it up a whole lot.

I believe that is all the housekeeping we need to do. So ends our time in the Port of Southampton. The mysterious Rhondda Mines lie ahead and the blasted plains of Wales beyond that... Shadow Hearts: Covenant continues... with another not too great dungeon! Stay tuned!

There wasn't a whole lot of new faces our brief stay in Southampton. But nevertheless...


The mustache really pumps up the crowds.


Nothing says cold and grim like a vampire cape.

<staring into the middle distance> He sure does curry. He sure does...

Video: Episode 23 Highlight Reel
(You should watch Joachim get knocked into space.)

Great Gama Concept Art - Nice elf shoes, champ.