Part 25: Episode XXV: GrimlockEpisode XXV: Grimlock
Music: In Darkness of a Labyrinth ~ Dungeon
We probably should have asked Ring Soul directions out of this endless mine. But frankly, he probably gets turned around down here too.
All there is to do is trudge forward. Though our path is somewhat impeded this time around. Northwest of where we met up with Ring Soul we encounter a darkened passage. Entering which results in...
We're not gonna get anywhere like this. We need some kind of light...
You know, it's actually impressive engineer that all the decades abandoned and monster-filled the mines have had full operational electrical lighting systems up until this point.
Continuing down the still lit path, we eventually come to a crossroads. To the west is...
Hmm... We're gonna have to find another way to go.
Well there only is one other way to go to the south and down another elevator. I'm going to hazard a guess and say we may find a light source in this direction.
And wouldn't you know it? The only thing down this tunnel is a storeroom with a...
I'm not sure why they just didn't give us a lantern right past where we spoke with Ring Soul. It's not like going down an elevator to a storeroom added anything. Heck, this bottom floor doesn't even have any random battles enabled. So it's not even good padding. But, nothing about this dungeon is particularly well designed or good. Why buck the trend now?
In any event, now that we have a lantern we can return to the dark sections of the tunnel upstairs and continue onward.
Now we can make some progress.
That first darkened area just leads to another storeroom dead end with a Speed Seal nestled by the boiler or whatever the heck that big iron contraption is supposed to be.
The westward path actually leads to progress. Spoilers: It's pretty much the same exact area as the first level of the mine only now there's mood lighting from the lantern. I wonder how many people put this game down at this joint because it is utterly a momentum killer slog that takes far too long to complete.
There are a couple of points of interest in-between all the identical rock walls. This whole dark section of the mine is basically a big loop. Only the counter-clockwise part leads to a dead-end in a cavern with a chest and a man standing in darkness spying on us. Nothing creepy about that at all.
The chest itself contains an upgraded rapier for Karin. One might even say it is a fine rapier, indeed. This gives Karin a +32 Physical and +30 Special Attack power bump. Glad we saved our money back in Southampton. Although, I was mistaken. Gepetto gets jack shit for free here. It's like they knew nobody was going to use the old man with a creepy doll over the male and female leads, a cool wolf and a luchador vampire.
Now about that creepy man standing in that last room. If we follow the mine's loop clockwise to its endpoint (skipping past a northern path that is actual progress) we can find that weirdo.
<becomes Lottery Member 14> Oh, hold on a minute! Have you come to do the lottery?
There's no other reason I'd come to a brain numbingly boring mine dungeon than to play the lottery.
We simply cannot skip a new Lottery member, now can we? This one is a little tricky. The Lottery wheel ticker doesn't spin very fast. The catch?
All the Hit Areas turn invisible as soon as the Judgment Wheel starts spinning. Hope you paid attention to the markings and didn't just mash through dialogue.
Not really, I'm still not done with this dungeon. Plus I'm going to Wales.
Can you leave me alone now, please...?
Yeah, OK. Have fun umm... standing in the darkness, I guess?
The top prize in that Lottery is a very powerful item returning from the original Shadow Hearts. The Third Key allows us to repeat an action three times in a row (assuming we don't bungle the Judgment Ring spins.) In other words, Yuri has a four-string physical attack. If the Third Key was activated, he'd potentially be able to dish out 12 physical attacks in a row. Likewise, someone could use one of their special technique three times in a row (assuming they have enough MP.) Since this is a consumable that lasts only one turn, we'll just keep that in our pocket for a rainy day or particularly bullshit encounter.
We're now cleaned this dungeon of everything but the inevitable boss fight. However, all the many random battles I've omitted from covering on this level of the mine (it's the same exact enemy pool as the first level) has resulted in...
Music: Vicious 1915 ~ Battle in Europe
Joachim's Invisible form has activated from the Joachythms. The Invisible form isn't super interesting. Unlike the Golden Bat form, all of Joachim's stats stay exactly the same and he is still able to use special abilities. While invisible, enemies will almost never target him in battle and if they do (if for some reason he was the only non-KO'd character) he has an extremely high evasion rate. That said, he's not completely immune to damage. AOE attacks will still affect him if he's in range. And some enemies can see through his thermoptic camouflage trickery. Great Gama, for instance, will just ignore that shit and knock his pupil into space no problem visible or no.
Invisible also gets its own unique Profile blurb while active. Much like the form itself, not super interesting.
Music: In Darkness of a Labyrinth ~ Dungeon
Backtracking a bit and going down the only viable path from the big darkness corridor loop takes us to yet another crossroads and decent lighting. We came from the east and the southern path might lead to progress.
West takes us to a treasure chest containing an accessory that grants +4 Physical Attack. We'll pop that on Yuri. Hmm... Hmm... I could have sworn the rock music genre didn't start until the late 1940s or so. But, I suppose we are in thorough alternate history territory at this point. Maybe someone seeing Shanghai get nuked was inspired to start jamming on an electric guitar. They were also inspired to invent the electric guitar. Stranger things have happened in this universe.
Returning to the crossroads and heading north leads us to... wait, what?
Jeez?! What do you mean, jeez?! That's pretty rude, you know!
I'm just surprised is all. I've been wandering through this place for like an hour and somehow you already have a shop set up here? It's just weird is all.
Oh, now I am weird?!
Your rudeness knows no end, sir!
Fine, sorry. Geez!
There again with the jeez!
Actually, I said "geez" with a 'G' this time.
There's a penalty for being rude. You have to buy something! Otherwise, I won't forgive you!
I'm so sorry! May I buy something?
Gerard's shop is selling the same junk it was back in the Port of Southampton. It's just here in case we want to stock up before venturing forth to fight the obligatory boss. That's unusually nice of the game.
I just topped off some consumables (mostly Tents) here since we're quite flush on Cash after all those random battles. That was enough to rank up our Point Card to D Rank aka we can now get up to a 20% Discount and 10% Mark Up on selling items. Spiffy.
In any event, head back out of Gerard's shop and to the south leads us to an elevator at the bottom level of this miserable dungeon. We're almost home free.
Looks like someone did a number on this room. I'd be quite unfortunate if this was the sight of the mining disaster and now the malice of all those slain had convalesced into an angry spirit or cursed abomination of some sorts.
My god... This was one of the fabled Ecto Cooler mines. What, you didn't know they mined that shit? Why do you think it went away? It was a limited resource and the overindulgence of the early '90s depleted it completely. Tragic, really.
Music: Flame of Strain to Blaze ~ Tension
Oh. Hi! I cannot help but think this creature dropped down from the ceiling and is now looking straight up Karin's skirt. Look, it gets lonely in Rhondda Mine. Do you know how crappy company Lambton Worm is? And don't even get me started on Tammuz always going on about his cheating ex-wife.
Music: Glint of Light ~ Mid Boss in Europe
You know what? That's a pretty choice demonic design. Assuming this is a creature born of malice from a bunch of dead miners, having its "wings" be two blackened lung looking appendages is pretty morbidly choice a design. At least his subpar dungeon had one decent thing going for it. Meet Grimlock the boss of Rhondda Mines. It is a hardy 780 HP touting Dark elemental enemy.
The name Grimlock comes from a creature in Dungeons & Dragons which is in itself just a serial number filled off, original character DO NOT STEAL version of the Morlocks from H.G. Wells' novel The Time Machine. Either way, it's a race of underground dwelling devolved blind cannibalistic humanoid monster folk. That's a little bit different from what we're encountering. But as always, names are only a suggestion in relation to Shadow Hearts' creatures.
Back to the subject at hand, Grimlock here is one of those obnoxious bosses that like to fiddle about with speed-related status effects/buffs. The first action it takes is speeding itself up by 133% using Gale.
To make matters worse, Grimlock also has a physical attack string that only does sub 40 HP of damage but does inflict the Slow status effect. We've got a remedy for that at least, but we'll get to it in a moment.
Finally, we've got Grimlock's unique attack -- Hell's Eyes which will wreck a single target for 50-60 HP of damage. There's a reason we didn't unlock Yuri's Level 2 Light Fusion earlier despite the next boss being Dark elemental. This attack would do nearly 100 HP of damage to him in that form and would be A Problem.
That's why instead we're going to have him shift to our Level 2 Wind Fusion -- Grano, instead.
Grano does pretty decent damage to the tune of around 60-65 hits per physical combo. But more importantly, Grimlock's favorite tactic is just slowing everyone down while enjoying his speed boost.
Grano comes factory stock equipped with Gale. Blanca also has Gale equipped from Crest Magic. We don't have any items that directly negate the Slow status at this point. But copying Grimlock and casting Gale on anyone inflicted will completely negate the spell's 50% speed reduction while still giving us a decent boost of speed.
Additionally, Joachim, who is still in his Invisible form for this fight, is a character I forgot I added the Slow add-on to his Judgment Ring ages ago. And his first round of attacking landed the Slow status on Grimlock, negating over a third of his speed boost and one advantage in this battle.
Speaking of Joachim, since he's basically completely safe in this fight, I thought it'd be fun if he spammed Rage on both himself and Yuri and see what happens when they go to town while Karin provided support with her Sword Arts.
The result was a comically short boss fight. Status buffs are still pretty good in Shadow Hearts 2, as it turns out! And frankly, I just want OUT of this tedious dungeon already. So I'm perfectly content with having a stomp match against the area boss.
Music: Result ~ Victory
You can run but you can't hide!
Poor bastard only got three turns and it wasted one of them on a speed boost that immediately got neutered by an invisible wrestler. We gained a fairly substantial Soul Energy reward slaying Grimlock. That's more than enough for one additional Level 2 Fusion next time we hit the Graveyard.
Additional, the Murmur Crest grants a resurrection spell. Yet to have to use any revivals thus far and I'd prefer to keep it that way.
Music: In Darkness of a Labyrinth ~ Dungeon
I mean, I was expecting a big dumb monster. But that thing was kinda freaky.
I bet this was the spot where the explosion was.
Let's go, you two.
Hey... wait! No, you clowns! There's a treasure chest RIGHT THERE! Don't just walk away and leave the dungeon. I mean I can relate to wanting to get the hell out but c'mon! (We actually have to manually walk two steps to exit and it's just another Seal of Strength.)
With that said, that concludes our time in the Rhondda Mines and as far as I know, unlike many dungeons, there is no reason to ever come back here again. Hallelujah! And with the dungeon's end, so too ends Chapter 8. Tune in next time as we return once again to the vile hills and sinister plains of that infernal land of Wales as Shadow Hearts: Covenant continues!
Bad dungeon but a decent monster mash that I never want to see again because I fought all of them about 20 times a pop.
Touching it, sure? But what about punching it? I feel like those are different actions.
I've seen how many of those things were plodding around those barren mines and find this description suspect.
Spaniards have some fucking issues...
Warmer weather? Well, that won't be a problem in England.
What exactly were all 100 miners doing in that one chamber when the accident happened? Were they having rave that just got out of hand?
Video: Episode 25 Highlight Reel (Grimlock gets Grimrocked.)
Rhonnda Mines Concept Art - Color shift all that yellow to brown or dull grey/blue and it's fairly spot on.