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"The first thing I do is use Rose's Dragoon Magic. Maybe it's for the fun, or the pretty lights, but personally, I think I do it because then the poor girl gets to wear some freakin' pants for a change."
     -Kelly, Legend of Dragoon Part 6

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Grandia II : Part 3
By Jeanne
Posted 08.17.04
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3
Battle of the Wangs.

Uplifting Orchestral Interlude in A Major accompanies a dramatic shot of a canyon the size of Tidus's ego. The walls are white and majestic, and would make a fabulous backdrop to a shot of Mary Sue falling to her death. For those of you who haven't played the game, or haven't read the recap of the intro movie, this is the canyon created by one of the sparkly things. I know that doesn't clear anything up for you, but I'm just trying to be complete. Tidink informs us that this particular feature is the Granacliffs. Oh, I thought this was another giant canyon in the same area. Dumbass.

Of course that fabulous orchestral piece can't go to waste, so we are treated to a shitty Dreamcast FMV of pretty much the entire chasm. "So these are the Granacliffs," Mary Sue tards. Since it is the equivalent of a giant asscrack in the earth, it is now the Granasscrack. Ryudo somehow deduces that Mary Sue hasn't visited the Granasscrack before. "Scripture speaks of it, yet the size.... The land still aches, its wound yet felt..." she drama queens. Cripes, it's a fricking canyon, not a giant penis raping the crack. "The Battle of Good and Evil still so close," she continues. Ryudo bursts her dramatic bubble by pointing out, "And still, after all these years... No one has come up with a better name than 'the Battle of Good and Evil.'" Hee! But then I realize that the game designers are trying to make their lack of creativity seem okay by having a character make fun of it. Nice try, guys.

'I never expected Granas' schlong to be THIS HUGE.'

Mary Sue wonders how they can cross the giant asscrack. This triggers yet another shitty FMV of a strange contraption rising out of the clouds in the canyon. It looks like a flying saucer and some old phonograph speakers mated, then had a makeover by a flaming gay guy. "... That's called the Skyway," Tidink explains. Or the Skygay, as it is now named. Tidink goes on to inform Mary Sue that the Skygay ship goes to and from a nearby town, and that the St. Heim Papal State is very near to the far side of the Granasscrack. Skye gets all cocky by pointing out that he has a fabulous pair of wings and they don't, so he'll have to visit all the gay bars on the other side of the crack while waiting for their landbound asses.

Ryudo decides that the ten minutes of fighting crap warrants setting up camp. I sure hope it goes as well as the last camping situation. At least Tidink is there to stop any potential hanky-panky. And not join in on it, I sincerely hope. God, the mental images. We cut to the cozy campsite, with everyone sitting around the fire. I think this may be the first instance (at least in my particular game) where I have the "opportunity" to select each of the three characters, over and over, in random order, to carry out a fun dinner conversation. Since I don't feel like describing this particular event every time it happens in the game, I'm just going to name it ChoadChat.

If I had to make a wild guess, I would say that the game designers intended ChoadChat to be a more natural, interactive way of having the characters converse. Unfortunately, the dialogue ends up being extremely repetitive and, of course, pointless. Imagine that. During this particular ChoadChat, Ryudo reminds the other two that they could fall to their deaths at any time. Shhhh, don't warn them! For some reason, Mary Sue's Mary Sue Song plays in the background of this scene. Not quite sure why, unless we are supposed to feel awed and humbled by the grandeur of God's buttcrack. Mary Sue says, in several different ways, just how awesome she finds the Granasscrack, and that you really have to see it to believe it. Tidink's moronic contribution to the conversation is a comment about the land being split in half, then, "Now I remember! It was the Battle of Good and Evil that made [this Granasscrack], right?" I start to make a sarcastic remark to the effect that Mary Sue already mentioned the freaking battle, but then I realize that nothing Mary Sue says is important to anything whatsoever, so it's okay if the other characters ignore her.

I didn't need to know that Granas was into bukkake.

Tidink doesn't follow my advice, instead begging Mary Sue for some exposition on the Battle of Good and Evil. God, that is a really retarded name. Basically, back when Valmar decided to be a total prick and cover the world in darkness, Granas fought him with a huge phallic sword. Using this penis sword, Granas cut down Valmar, only to end up cutting the land in half as well. Hey, I thought a sparkly thing made the asscrack in the opening movie, not some huge guy with an oversized blade. Well, whatever. There's a greater-than-average chance that all of this is going to turn out to be bullshit anyway, so let's move on.

Tidink brings up a great topic -- whether or not Mary Sue feels Millenia possessing her. Disturbing lesbian undertones aside, this just prompts Mary Sue to blather on about how Darkness (yes, with a capital 'D') is soooooooo bad and terrible. According to her, if people are possessed by Darkness, "they will no longer feel for other people." Hell, I guess I'm full of Darkness then. She goes on some more, then finishes with, "If someone is truly caught by Darkness, that person will have no future." What, they'll be stuck working in fast food for the rest of their lives? Ryudo lamely comments that he must not have a future then. Where did that come from? Mary Sue unsuccessfully tries to backpedal, saying that Ryudo can't be a Dark One because he's not "wicked" enough. Tidink also agrees that Ryudo is not a Dark One, and that Darkness is something "different." What? This whole conversation makes about as much sense as thinking Shion is smart. And it only goes downhill from there. Summary: Darkness is baaaaaaaaaad.

He must have a really small penis, then.

When Ryudo decides this lamery has gone on long enough and ends the ChoadChat, I assume that we'll skip directly to the next morning. Unfortunately, my hopes are for naught. Cut to inside the mansion-sized tent, where Mary Sue moans in her sleep. I will pause for a moment so you can go vomit. Her exact words are, "Stop, stop it... Stay away from me... My body is... melting! Stay AWAY from me!" We've solved one mystery -- Mary Sue is the Wicked Witch of the West. That explains a lot. She and Ryudo pop awake at the same time, as I brace myself for another "moment." Mary Sue describes her lovely dream to Ryudo: "A huge tongue-like thing... was coiled around me... And it was... devouring me..." Ew. The ellipses of foreshadowing are cut short as Ryudo hears something from outside.

The generic nighttime cricket sounds stop, which can only mean that something is horribly, horribly wrong...or the game designers decided we all had brains and could figure out that it was night without the obnoxious clichéd sounds. Obviously it's the horribly wrong one. Ryudo wakes Tidink up, most likely causing that little pervert to think he has a chance for some Geodude lovin'. The group hears a slightly fearsome growling sound. Because we are morons, the game designers included a helpful text box with the word, "Grrrowwwwwl...!" in it. Ryudo tells the others to shut the fuck up. In Stupid Mary Sue terms, this apparently translates to "scream bloody murder."

The 80s guitar segues us into a boss battle with the monster outside. It turns out to be a beast man, clad in some sort of armor, carrying an axe. This is truly a character that we've never seen before. The scariest thing about this guy is that he talks in all caps. "I'VE FINALLY... FOUND YOU... I'LL TEACH YOU A LESSON!" he AOLs. Kimahri's Cousin packs a punch, but he's no match for a group of three, even if two of them are about as useful as Tidus's wang. Mary Sue, of all people, lays the final blow on...ew, I mean, she knocks out Kimahri's Cousin. I can't help but feel sorry for the poor dude. That has to be humiliating.

After the battle, Kimahri's Cousin -- whose actual name is Mareg -- drops the caps. Thank God. That would have been completely tedious to recap. "Are you... not him?" Mareg asks confusingly. In some bad dialogue and voice acting, Ryudo wants to know why the fuck Mareg tore into him like a recapper into a pretentious game. "Your SMELL called me. The same SMELL as that of the villain who destroyed my village," Mareg explains. So Ryudo ate beans around the campfire, and that pissed off this beast man with the sensitive schnoz, apparently. Also, this "SMELL BAD" shit, plus Mareg's character portrait, reminds me of Ludo from Labyrinth. So that's Mareg's new name.

"The SMELL of that scum... drives me crazy. I must find him... this... Melfice," Ludo continues. Ooookay. So he knows for sure the name of this smelly dude, can clearly tell that the dude in the earmuffs is not him, but attacks anyway because...the smell makes him insane? Either this guy needs some anger management classes or Ryudo needs some beano.

Skye totally freaks over Ludo's latest statement, but not because of the insult against his main man. "WHAT! He said Melfice! Ryudo!?" Skye shrieks. The extreme significance of this name is not explained, but the dramatic camera zoom combined with the split-second picture of something that I can't quite make out indicate that this is really fucking big. In some more awkward dialogue, we establish that Ryudo may or may not know Melfice, but Ryudo's smell -- excuse me, SMELL -- "does not have the dank SMELL of death." It's reassuring to know that our hero does not have the odor of a rotting corpse. So the SMELL of this Melfice dude makes Ludo crazy, and Ryudo SMELLS like Melfice but not? And Ludo can tell a difference in their SMELLS but attacked anyway? Oh, but why should the game designers have to worry about stupid boring things like consistency when they can make big dramatic battles and crappy dialogue? "I had forgotten myself," Ludo says by way of "explanation," walking away.

Ryudo calls after him, asking about "[his] bro...", but cuts himself off when he realizes that he's not supposed to come right out and say that Melfice is his brother. After all, that would mean that we would have to skip the big dramatic "reveal," and that can't happen. Instead, he asks if Melfice -- who is in no way his brother, no sir -- is still alive. Ludo gives him a pointless non-answer, saying that Melfice is a big doodyhead. He apologizes for attacking them before slinking away into the night like a fanboy cut down by the recappers.

But Ryudo isn't done being dramatic. He objects to Ludo's over-the-top descriptions of his brother Melfice as a "demon-man." According to Ryudo, he's just a "common murderer." Ryudo doesn't seem all that thrilled at the prospect of his brother this totally random stranger Melfice still living. Instead of his usual sarcastic tone, Ryudo adopts a melodramatic whine for this sequence. "I never thought I'd have to relive that nightmare again in such a place..." he whimpers in the worst line and voice acting of this entire game thus far. I mean, sure, I'd take this shit over any of the romantic tripe with Mary Sue, but that's like saying I'd rather have sex with Shion than with Tidus.

Mary Sue is obviously immune to whiny bullshit, unlike the rest of us. She's also slower than a dead snail. "Who is this Melfice?" she dumbasses. There's a, like, fifteen second pause here while the camera switches shots. This is to add to the tension of Ryudo's reveal of Melfice as his brother, as there's been such a buildup in the last minute since we first heard of Melfice. Finally, Ryudo spills the beans: "... He's... he's my brother..." HOLY FUCKING SHIT. His brother? No freaking way. The camera fades out on this "important" announcement.

...And back in on the Baked Plains, where we continue on our way to whatever town. I guess I can forgive the anticlimactic nature, since Ryudo's little announcement was about as shocking as walking in on Squall and Seifer making out. The party skips past all the other stupid monsters to reach the false overworld map. From there, they go to Liligue Town. Now, I've mentioned offhand the game designers' propensity for showing every inch of each village the group encounters. Thus far, it hasn't been a huge problem because the towns have all been about the size of Rinoa's brain. Liligue City, however, is much larger than those lame Podunks. So when the camera pans over the entire fucking town, it takes a full minute. No, really, I counted. I now know Liligue City better than I know the inside of my eyelids, although if I were smart, I would have focused on the latter for this entire sequence.

Liligue City is the requisite technologically advanced town, with a lot of metal and construction equipment. It also has quite a bit of festive color, both in the houses and the decorated streets. There's a church up on a hill, and a bunch of broken, curved pillars in town. The Happy Town Music implies that this is a wonderful place to live. Could it be that all is not as it seems?!?!? (Hint: yes.)

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