The Gastraph Bow, in the form of the "Seventh Heaven" weapon, is the first Crossbow blade and the third guaranteed blade available without drops (after Hand Axe and before Rapier). Although many of the Large weapons have considerable range, Crossbow is the lone true ranged weapon type, that can attack from across the room and hit boxes that would be out of reach of other weapons. Gastraph Bow builds up RISK twice as fast as other starting weapons, though, with normal attacks, and this double RISK is added to the RISK from chain attacks.
Like the other Starting Weapons until Broad Sword and Scramasax, Gastraph Bow is not capable of superior combinations with other Crossbows, and instead devolves higher-Tier weapons. However, it can, with more ease than some other Designs, be incorporated into the Progression. Together with a Target Bow, the combination produces a Light Crossbow; together with another Target Bow, a Windlass is produced. With so few weapons to choose from at the start of the game, it is possible that this blade will acquire a great deal of Class bonuses, so it is worthwhile searching for a good combine target. Because of the relatively easy incorporation, the tactical superiority of their very long range in certain situations, and the fact that a Crossbow is required to destroy otherwise inaccessible chests that prevent Ashley proceeding, retaining Class and Affinity bonuses in the Crossbow design with the above procedure is recommended. Target Bows are found on three Zombie Knights in Undercity West (16/255), a Crimson Blade Groundsgarde in Town Center South (26/255), and a chest in Suicidal Desires in the Second Abandoned Mines.
The first Gastraph Bow blade is acquired in the The Reckoning Room in the Wine Cellar; like most of the other guaranteed Starting Weapons, it comes from a chest. It is the reward for victory in Ashley's first locked-door battle, and the room before it, which has several Beast Class enemies on the way in and on the way out.
Gastraph Bow is one of five Piercing Type Crossbows out of the total eight, the other three being Blunt type. The Simple Bolt grip it comes with is stronger than any of the other Starting Weapons' grips; as is to be expected from most starting weapons, it has no room for a Gem. It is an excellent Stock for the Piercing Type blades that are the majority of Crossbows, but not the Target Bow or Cranequin or Siege Bow.
Class, Affinity, Type, Damage Points and Phantom Points are all divided by four hundred and then multiplied by total Strength to determine Damage (Crossbow Phantom Points are divided by 800). For example, Simple Bolt has one Blunt, zero Edged, and ten Piercing, for up to 2.5% times the value of Strength, compared with 3.75% for Minor Elemental gems such as Sylphid Topaz, and the same for Minor Nemesis gems such as Iocus. Gastraph Bow's Damage Points are 66 at maximum, which would be 16.5% of Strength. Its Phantom Points are 150 at maximum, which is only 27% of Strength, since Crossbow PP percentage is divided by 800 instead of 400.