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"Cesuelia's then plonked down inside what I presume to be the Sealed Library. It's only now that I notice how boring that name is - maybe I'd be a little more excited about the game's first dungeon if it sounded ominous and/or interesting, like Sealed Temple or Sealed Dungeon. Sealed Library just makes me think of a room full of musty old books."
     -Ben, Wild ARMs Part 1

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Grandia II : Part 8
By Jeanne
Posted 01.10.08
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3
Well, it's time for another installment of my favorite game, where all my personal pet peeves are combined into a hellish slurry of wankitude. The last time we checked in with our insipid heroes, they had just saved a town that was cursed by the Eye of Valmar. Ryudo insisted on making this process as nauseatingly painful for me as possible, with his child-loving asshattery. That would have been bad enough, if not for the sadistic bastard game designers. Nope, they had to add epic levels of retardation and repetition along with Mary Sue buttkissing. Over two years later, I can still feel the pain.

So let's get started! If you'll recall, the party's ultimate goal is the Granas Cathedral where Mary Sue hopes to have the hot demon Millenia exorcised from her annoying body by Pope Zera. Well, they're almost there -- no, I'm serious! They just have to navigate some caves and mountains full of monsters. Piece of cake! Actually, it is quite a piece of cake compared to the hell that is the Skies of Arcadia battle system.

Yes, Tidink is able to wear pumps.

After seven minutes of winding through mountain paths and fighting velociraptors and abominable snowmen, Ryudo's exhaustion forces him to set up camp for the night in one of the caves. I'm almost twice his age and I think I could handle seven minutes of climbing and fighting. I guess Ryudo was just hankering for another thrilling ChoadChat, since that's what happens after the party sets up Skye's homosexual tent and gets a blazing campfire going. This awkwardly phrased conversation revolves around -- what else? -- the events that took place in Mirumu Village. Naturally, Mary Sue has to angst over whether they did the right thing, like it would have been so much better to let the town deal with Valmar's curse as long as they didn't have to hurt an innocent chyyyyyyyyyyyyld. Yeah, fuck those stupid adults. They were probably asking for it anyway, what with their aging.

"I cannot accept Selene's ways... But what else could be done? Could something else have been done?" Tidink wonders, confusing me. He makes it sound like Selene went ahead with her plan to burn down the village, but that didn't happen. Ludo makes sure to kiss Sandra's ass again for being such an awesome parent whose choices were 100% perfect during the whole ordeal. There's some more discussion about how Selene was totally off-base with her intentions to burn the village and kill children, and Mary Sue would never have been able to do such an awful thing. "If it weren't for Millenia, we'd still be back there sorting through the mess. Hell, Selene might've put a torch to everything," Ryudo makes sure to compliment Mary Sue's favorite person. Also, really? You think she might have burned the village down? Where did you get that crazy idea? Jesus, these characters.

I disagree.

And that's not all! Since Ryudo changed the subject to Millenia, we naturally have to have another conversation about Millenia's status as the Wings of Valmar versus her seemingly good-hearted personality. It's nothing we haven't heard before -- numerous times -- except for Ludo's inane comment, "Millenia is but a child, yet unacquainted with the world." Tidink, who has seen the rather mature attributes of Millenia up close and personal, responds that he "think[s] of her as quite an adult." I hope we find out how the God of Evil's wings transformed into a hot, oversexed, yet completely innocent and naive female. Actually, I don't really want to know, but I'd kind of like to see how the game designers try to explain it so I can point and laugh.

And when you put it that way, it makes me ill at ease, too. Or just ill, rather.

Before Mary Sue can get too far into another "Millenia creeps me out" wankst-a-thon, Ryudo thankfully cuts the ChoadChat "short" and they all go to bed. In separate sleeping bags. Fully clothed. And for once, there's no Midnight Moment between the two lead characters! I guess I must have done something good in a former life.

The next day involves more spelunking and mountain climbing and waterfall crossing. Twenty minutes into this strenuous task, Ryudo once again decides to set up camp. I can't decide what's wrong with him -- is he addicted to ChoadChatting? Is he trying to delay their task as long as humanly possible, even though he was originally the one who wanted to speed up the process? Great, another complete 180 that works against me.

Did they just pick up sperm?

Tidink offers to go get water, sounding just a little too excited. Disturbingly, Ludo offers to help him. Although Tidink has previously displayed a thoroughly gross ability to hit on his elders, he draws the line at furry play and tells Ludo that he doesn't need any of the beast man's "help." But Ludo persists and Tidink eventually gives in, conveniently leaving Ryudo and Mary Sue alone with each other. God damn it.

Yes, Ryudo can also wear pumps.

Sure enough, the scene cuts to the eventual couple sitting in front of a "romantic" campire, Skye's gay tent pitched in the background. It's completely dark out and Ludo and Tidink are still gone. I never thought I'd say this, but spending time with Ryudo and Mary Sue is the less disturbing alternative. Please kill me.

'Don't forget to use lube!'

I might as well get this over with. While the last conversation revolved around the events of the recent past, this one is about the near future. Ryudo makes a snide remark about the trip taking a long-ass time, like that wasn't mostly his fault in the last town. "I fear our trip would have been much shorter had you not been with us, Ryudo. It is only because of you that we have come so far," Mary Sue kisses his ass. Yeah, thanks so much, Ryudo, for keeping Mary Sue alive. Things devolve further as the two exchange some asinine "Thanks for teaching me more about myself and making me a better person in the process" comments. Even Skye has to butt his feathery ass into the conversation to rip on Ryudo's lack of initiative before he met Mary Sue and took on this job. While it's gross that they're trying to have a moment even with the bird there, I have to hope that Skye's presence will prevent anything more...physical from taking place. The alternative is too horrible to contemplate.

I'm sure Skye would have liked that very much, if you know what I'm saying.

Mary Sue tries to change the topic to the upcoming exorcism, but Ryudo would rather do some more tongue-bathing. I'd just like to point out that I am writing this on Christmas. I'm supposed to be receiving presents and celebrating the holidays, and instead I'm sitting here, masochistically recapping a steaming wankpile of dialogue. You're welcome. Anyway, Ryudo starts out, "Look, this is a bit off-topic, but I've been meaning to ask: why are you so nice?" Jesus. Great, I just blasphemed the guy on his birthday. Thanks so much, Grandia II. "Well, the souls of the people are weak, so I must help them. I must bring them the Light. If they are not strong, then the Dark One will seize upon their with me," Mary Sue blahs. In other words, she wants to help people so they won't become like her? I guess that's not such a bad goal.

Like the butt?

Ryudo reassures Mary Sue that they will somehow find a way to get rid of the Daaaaaaarkness in Mary Sue's sooooooooul, even though I thought Ryudo liked Millenia. Whatever, I'm just glad that Ludo and Tidink choose that exact instant to return. Ryudo wants to know why it took them so long to get water. Clearly he has Trainwreck Syndrome. He adds that dinner is ready, which is a total lie since there aren't any dinner implements anywhere. Interestingly, Ryudo and Mary Sue didn't seem particularly worried at the long absence of the rest of the party when for all they knew, the two of them could have been eaten by rabid velociraptors. Not that I would be sad if Ludo and Tidink met a terrible end, but you'd think Mary Sue and her bleeding heart would at least give a crap.

Ludo tries to make up a fake excuse: "The path we followed wrapped upon itself as a many-coiled serpent, its course at once both circuitous and labyrinthine." When everyone stares at him like he just announced that he jacks off to Granas/Valmar slash, he translates: they got lost. This wacky confession segues via another black screen to a second God damn ChoadChat. Motherfucker. Nothing has even happened since the last one. Apparently, Ludo and Tidink's water retrieval hijinks merit a full discussion. You have got to be kidding me.

For your own sanity, don't pursue this line of questioning.

Ryudo and Mary Sue stupidly grill the monster and the young boy regarding their whereabouts and actions of the last several hours. Tidink is all, "We got lost, didn't we, Mr. Ludo? *wink, wink*" Ludo is all, "Have you ever heard of subtlety, you little tease? Are you trying to get me arrested?" He follows this with, "I see you have found yourselves. My heart is gladdened." This can only refer to Ryudo and Mary Sue. Yuck. After adding something cryptic that I think translates to, "You guys are going to end up fucking each other, so stop trying to fight it," Ludo changes the subject (thankfully) to their ultimate destination. But a smooth segue just isn't going to work for ChoadChat. Therefore, Tidink's response is, "Mister [Ludo], you really do worry about the strangest things! It would have been fun to watch on the sly." And the truth comes out -- although he and Ludo finished up their "errand" a while ago, they stayed away long enough so that Ryudo and Mary Sue could have some alone time to "find themselves." Which still doesn't make any sense because: a) how much time do they fucking need?, and b) Tidink and Ludo showed up right in the middle of their conversation, interrupting it. Don't think I'm not aware of the possibility that Ryudo and Mary Sue fucked like bunnies before having their talk. I'm just trying to block it from my brain.

What were Tidink and Ludo really doing?
Getting water. And they got lost. Don't you ever read the dialogue?
Fucking underneath a waterfall. And I hate you for suggesting it.
Fucking underneath a waterfall. Here, read my epic porn fanfic where I describe Ludo's beastly genitalia in detail!!!!


The ChoadChat lumbers on, eventually catching up to the Cathedral topic. "I wonder, do prayers said long ago by people you never knew still stay around... Even if no one still remembers them...?" Tidink randomly says. By all rights, the rest of the party should tell him to shut the hell up because no one cares. But that would be breaking the rules of ChoadChat, which are "See how much random, inane dialogue we can pile on Jeanne before she drowns herself in alcohol." So Ludo responds with something so pretentious and confusing that I'm not even going to bother recapping it. Out of this tangle of wankery, Tidink finds some sort of meaning because he responds, "On the other hand, there may be people who are still trapped by the old beliefs that they think are so important." You mean that in a world where almost everyone blindly follows a particular religion, there may be people who follow outdated beliefs to their own detriment? No way!


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