Part 47: Episode XLIII: GodhandEpisode XLIII: Godhand
Lenny is a bit miffed with us for making him look bad in front of his co-workers. So what better way to handle it than to throw most of his co-workers into a Yuri and company meat grinder?
Music: Vicious 1915 ~ Battle in Europe
We have some Claw Admirals to contend with. A LOT of Claw Admirals to contend with, actually. Six in just this fight. Fortunately, this highly trained cannon fodder has been practicing their tactical unit formations and thus the bulk of them have been kind enough to group together in the center of the battle line.
This makes it incredibly easy to wipe out the bulk of their forces in a single turn with a decent AOE magic attack. Pretty much any second-level elemental spell is likely enough to one-shot the entire group and everyone in our current party is beefy enough to wipe out the stragglers with physical attacks.
The end result is that entire squad of Claw Admirals getting wiped out before they even get a single turn. I don't think this is going to sway Lenny's anger at our party.
OK. Well, that didn't work. What they just send in another wave? What's the worst that can happen?
How about tackling EIGHT Claw Admirals! That's TWO whole goons for every one party member. Certainly, that's more than they can handle!
...Oh wait, crap. They all bunched up together again and all but one of them died to a wolf summoning a rogue ice ball from space. You hate to see it.
You know that last mook had to be pretty demoralized to see all his squad mates get vaporized in an aerial bombardment right out the gate. I mean, it must have been demoralizing for the whole ten seconds he remained alive after that before one of his enemies turned into a giant demon bird and viciously pecked him to death.
OK. So those last two squads got utterly annihilated in about twenty seconds flat. But they were losers! You've got this C-Team! I've got confidence in you all to be the ones to take the protagonist party down!
...Aaaaaaand, they're all dead. Welp. It was worth a shot, guys.
So I'm the last of the Steel Claws...
In retrospect, I probably should have just sent everyone in at once instead of in manageable waves, huh?
Why didn't you just do that?
<sigh> Lousy union mandated engine limitations.
Veronica gets angry and goes to confront the party but is stopped by Lenny.
You go join Nicolai and the Master. I'll take care of these guys myself. <stretches and cracks neck>
<shrugs> Okay, I'll go ahead and... wait for you there.
I have... every confidence... that you'll be able to handle them this time...
Hey, thanks. It's good to build team morale.
<waves him off> You go too. Just stay out of my way. All I want is the old man.
And to just get the hell off dull maze of an island. C'mon, guy. You probably want to get off this boring joint too, right?
I can't do that. We're gonna finish it now!
You just killed literally all of my remaining boys. Leaving now ain't gonna cut it.
Yeah... I guess we did overdo it a little.
Lenny proceeds to do his best Dragon Ball Z impression and powers up. Karin and Yuri back-up from him looking rather concerned since, you know, this is new for Lenny.
Strangely, Karin and Yuri's mouths are both clearly moving like they're supposed to be saying something here but they are both completely silent. It even zooms in on Yuri briefly and his lips move again but we get zero audio. I tracked down the Japanese Director's Cut version of this scene and... yeah, no. There's still lip flaps a flappin' but nothing coming out of Yuri or Karin. Yuri does a very brief gasp that does not at all match his mouth movement during the zoom in. That's it. It's not like there would be anything meaningful more than going "what the hell" or "oh crap" but it's still kind of odd.
Oh yeah, about Lenny...
...He's transformed into a giant rock man with a ginormous pincer arm that looks like he could be an Astaroth from Soulcalibur alternate costume. Or a Kamen Rider villain of the week. The latter would probably make more sense given the origin of his goon squad Claw Soldiers. Though his new forehead... ridge... deal... has the unfortunate look of him wearing a bowler cap which sort of undermines his threatening new form.
Lenny uses his new pincer arm to smash a nearby wall in a show of power.
Alternate Music: GODHAND
Lenny Curtis has now transformed into his final form -- Godhand. Which, I don't know Lenny. That's not actually a hand. It'd call it more of a pincer or a claw, maybe? It sort of looks like an oversized version of one of those crane game claws, looking at it now. In any event, the Godhand transformation has nearly quadrupled Lenny's health from the first battle against him to a sizable 1960 HP. Considering the last "major" boss fight we had was Janus with only 880 HP, that's quite the leap in health pools.
Other than that, Godhand retains Lenny's Earth elemental class. So the first order of business is to swap Yuri over to the Grano Fusion to counter that.
The other thing Godhand retained from Lenny is that he is slow as molasses. The entire party will get their first turn before Godhand gets up to back for the first time. And some rounds we may even get a party member receiving a second turn if we're lucky. Giant rock dudes aren't exactly known for their speed, in my experience. With that in mind, it is VERY easy to immediately set-up a four-person strong combo and execute before he comes close to interrupting it.
Grano's wind magic or just physical strikes will deal the most damage in this fight by far. The latter is better for combos since wind magic tends to launch enemies.
That said, we've got both Karin and Joachim loaded up with a few Wind elemental spells. Though, Joachim can stick to physicals if his tiny MP pool gets sufficiently drained. He's still a tough boy. Hooking him up with Air Cast wouldn't be a bad idea in such a case. But fiddling with buffs is not setting up disgusting Combos and laying on the pressure until it's absolutely necessary to heal is probably the safer bet over may an extra 30 HP of damage.
Finally, Blanca's Soul Comet is near guaranteed to hit no matter Godhand's position (he's quite heavy so he won't be in the air for long if launched.) Blanca, really the MVP for this whole stretch of the game. Too bad it was a visually taxing dungeon that lasted three times too long. I never thought I'd miss the Rhondda Mines. Anyway, our opening round Combo hit 17 times for 526 Damage +99 Combo Damage bonus or nearly a third of his health bar. The next Combo hit for 25 times for 590 Damage +154 Combo bonus damage. So yeah, pretty good set-up we got going here. I did not quite get the usefulness of Combos my first playthrough until around this point of the game.
Anyway, we want to keep the pressure on Godhand because not only because he's a sturdy boy. He hits HARD. Like to the tune of 75 to 85 HP a turn. Keeping in mind that most of our party is hanging at right around 200 HP total, that's a sizable chunk of health a turn. Sure, we could heal up a turn or two. But there is the other problem with Godhand that going into it blind, would be kind of a hassle.
Godhand has a combo that can potentially cause Petrify with each hit. It's a four-hit string. It hasn't come up since nothing has inflicted this status effect thus far, but a petrified character can be shattered if hit while in the petrified state and this is an instant KO. So now we a character that we either need to waste a consumable on to heal Petrification. Or they need to be revived and likely healed immediately by another character since even our strongest revive spell at this point still leaves them in the range of Godhand acing them again immediately if targeted next turn. And we REALLY don't want to burn the one or two full heal consumable revives this early in the game. Oh, and Godhand's swipes are a mild AOE attack. They can hit multiple people if they're near each other. So that's great too.
Reminder, the game has only given us ONE Petrification resistant accessory freebie thus far. So if we didn't come prepared and the fight is a wish, it would mean reloading, running clear back and forth across this dungeon... AGAIN... to visit the wolf merchant and stock up on countermeasures. Guess what I ended up doing playing this blind with no internet to look up upcoming ordeals back in the day...? Alternatively, I suppose we could have Lucia wear that Zodiac Bracelet we looted and have her spam the Ocean Oil Aromatherapy that protects everyone else from Status Abnormalities... for one turn. So that's spending the entire fight having Lucia cast a fifteen second animation so we'd essentially be down a character that could be attacking anyway.
No, that plan is stupid and so is using Lucia. We'll stick with just dropping a few grand on Petrify status wards and go on the offensive. Especially, since going at this fight slow is a really good way to actually run into troubles with the Sanity Points drain on some characters.
Beyond the Petrify business, Godhand also has an attack where it just grabs one character and wings them at another. This just does straight up near 100 HP of damage to the person being thrown and 10-20 damage to whoever was targeted with a flying body. This attack can also hit multiple people if they're bunched together. And it does bonus damage if either flying body hits a wall. Plus, it's just damn rude.
Anyway, our party has both Karin and Blanca with a spare Arc Cure to top off the party once everyone gets banged up. They can both cast that in a single round everyone should be back to full strength. Sure, Godhand Lenny will do something about that the very next round.
But all we need is another four-person Combo to finish this fight with a bang. We've not had the chance or the need to go all-in with four-person combos up until now. But pulling them off leads to a new option on the final turn -- Combo Magic.
This is a mysterious 64 MP special attack, the name and element of which we don't learn until we utilize them for the first time. Combo Magic options are based on the elemental classes of the current party performing the combo. Which is an odd design decision if you ask me. But through the arcane and forbid power of savescumming, I hunted down the appropriate one for this fight...
Sorry to send you to the Shadow Realm like that, Lenny. But I'm still a little bit sore about my first playthrough all those years ago and this is payback. This attack is named, Air Shot by the way. You may recall a certain London orphan esper with a psychic mom and a deadbeat backpacker dad who had this attack in the original Shadow Hearts. Indeed, several of the Combo Magic are just supped-up versions of Halley Plunkett's ESP attacks from the original game. Do ask me why? That's just how it is. And the most reference to anything about Halley we will ever get in the rest of this series.
That all said, perhaps that was a LITTLE bit overkill... Godhand was defeated like five hits into the 15+ hit attack.
Music: Result ~ Victory
I just hate to lose.
Yeah... That went a little bit better than my previous playthrough of this game, to say the least. We get quite the bounty for defeating Lenny "Godhand" Curtis.
Thera Extract is the best health curative consumable in the game. Now to never use it!
Bandit Earrings also return from the first game. They're there if the player REALLY needs to grind some Cash. That hasn't been a problem yet and hopefully, it will never be. Nobody wants to be a gold farmer.
Everyone gets a victory Level Up! Even Gepetto and Lucia who are getting nice and cozy on that bench. That said, even if we did kind of trounce Godhand, this definitely the worst overall shape the party has been in at the end of a fight thus far. I mean, other than that time Lucia got everyone killed. But that catastrophe doesn't count... You put up a decent fight, Lenny. I'll give you that.
Well, at least Lenny can transform back. I've got to imagine having to use an eight-foot pincer in place of your dominate hand would get a touch cumbersome after a while. Plus being a giant rock guy seems less than ideal after a while. The Thing from Fantastic Four never seemed like he was having a particularly good time.
...Huh. Well, then... RIP Lenny Curtis. He died as he lived. Falling for Yuri's bullshit.
Video: Episode 43 Highlight Reel (You should probably watch Lenny's last stand.)
Lenny Armor Concept Art - Needs more spikes.
Lenny Face Concept Art - If you're wondering, Lenny, is, in fact, dead and out of the story for good. Full stop. OK, maybe he lived. But you only find that out in an optional side quest unlocked literally alongside the final dungeon. By that point, so much shit has gone down you'll struggle to remember who the hell that dingus even was...