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  -Part 1 :: [01.07.03]
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  -Part 5 :: [08.13.04]
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"Zell, still being kind of a freak, yells at her to just keep going and deal with whatever happens. I agree, except for the constipated stance and the spastic way of saying it."
     -Jeanne, Final Fantasy VIII Part 6

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Suikoden III : Part 5
By Sam
Posted 08.13.04
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3
It's been a while since I ventured into the gay, duck-filled world of Suikoden III, and as gamers, we all obviously have five-minute attention spans, so let's go over the story so far:

- Lulu died. Twice.
- Chris the Ice Queen is a formidable warrior and is also very attractive.
- The Duck Clan has creatures called Ducks in it. They have bills and feathers.

And there was some crap about war and strife. Nothing too important.

Of course, it doesn't really matter because we're back to the Wheel of Heroes, which means we're replaying the whole goddamn story again anyway. We've finally reached the last of our Flaming Champions, Geddy. It occurred to me recently that I unwittingly named him after the lead singer of Rush. Which, from my perspective, is not a good thing. Stupid "Freewill." Hate that song. And now it's in my head. Shit.

Anyway, Geddy's story begins without him actually being in the scene, at the Vinay del Sexay inn. It looks to be early in the morning, because it's light outside, but all the chairs are up on the tables in the tavern. But three people are hanging out there anyway, gettin' hammered. At 7 a.m. I think I'm going to like this group.

Through the front door comes a fourth character--still not Geddy. This dude, named Ace, is all dressed up in camouflage and combat boots, so we can tell he's a mercenary. See, we wouldn't get that if he were in a pink tutu and tiara. And now I've given the game designers a new character design idea. Hell. Ace glares down at one of his comrades and says, "How can you drink like that so early in the day? You good-for-nothing fool!" The drunk in question, named Joker (an older gentleman sporting a festive purple jumpsuit and a totally not-gay mustache), tells his uptight buddy that he's a big-ass hypocrite, since he, Ace, has been "wasted before noon plenty of times." Today is different, Ace insists, because they're on the clock. "I'm the only reason you can lounge around all day, you know," he adds, so we know that hopeless alcoholic or no, Ace works hard for the money, so hard for the money.

The lady in teal merc wear sitting next to Joker speaks up. "Gee, thanks. What would we do without you?" says Queen. Hey, I think I'm spotting a bit of a pattern with these names. I'm not sure, though--it's so subtle. Mercenary #4, in a different shade of teal and wearing a wide white 1980s headband, adds an "Mmm-hmmm" from the bar, lest we forget he's there. His name is...Jacques. Hey, wait. Ace. Joker. Queen. And Jacques? Jesus Christ, Konami of America. Your dumbassitude has officially reached a new plateau. I'll be mailing out your commemorative gift certificate shortly, complete with five different spellings of "commemorate" and eighty seven question marks, exclamation points and ellipses. It should arrive in six to eight weeks. Enjoy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ace brushes off Queen's snide remark and inquires as to the whereabouts of their captain. "Think he' a bad mood?" he asks. Queen figures he's a "hard one to read," and Joker adds that the only way Ace is going to find out is to go talk to him. Ace grumbles in their general direction and stalks off upstairs.

We cut to a pretty art render of the Vinay del Sexay harbor, with several large ships on the shining water. So we get that this is supposed to be an actual scene, and not just someone looking at a painting, we hear the sound of seagulls and crashing waves. Cut to our eyepatch-wearing hero, Geddy, looking pensively out his window. Hopefully the scenery isn't inspiring him to compose a lamewad prog rock ballad la "Rivendell." Geddy looks around as Ace knocks and lets himself in. "Oh! Geddy and Ace are alone in a bedroom together!" I'm sure the yaoi fangirls are cackling, hands poised over their keyboards. "This must be where the weepy buttsex comes in!" Sorry to disappoint, ladies.

If the very-straight members of the 12th Unit were not so very straight, we might see:
Geddy x Ace. With lots of crying.
Geddy x Joker. Old guy smut!
Geddy x Jacques. Featuring French maid outfits.


Ace lets Geddy know that they've received orders from HQ. Ace recites the orders: "The higher-ups have determined this scene is not meeting its homoerotic quota. Get naked immediately." (There. Happy?) Actually, he says, "I quote, 'There are rumors of the Fire Bringer once again making a move in northern Grassland. Confirm your situation.'" Geddy and Ace exposit for me about the Fire Bringer, "a spirit from over 50 years ago." Okay, that means crap to me at the moment, but it's all I've got. Geddy tells Ace to "accept" the order, even though the only order was to confirm their situation. I guess they're just jumping the gun a little bit. Don't read anything sexual into that statement. I know how badly you want to.

Once Ace leaves, I get control of Geddy. So much for free will, pal. He follows his non-lover downstairs into the tavern, where the rest of his underlings are waiting to discuss the game plan. For the record, they are his underlings in the 12th Unit of the Holy Harmonia Southern Frontier Defense Force, hereafter known as the 12th Unit, because 1) that's a hell of a long name to type out all the time and 2) hehe, "unit." Anyway, Ace implores his fellow unit members to help come up with a plan for investigating the Fire Bringer, but as they're all three sheets to the wind, his plea is about as effective as a court order for Seymour to throw out his child porn.

Eventually, Ace just comes up with a plan by himself. Since this rumor about the Fire Bringer came from around Iksay Village, and since Iksay is near Grassland, and since the Lizard Clan is the closest Grassland clan to Iksay, they should go check out the Lizards. I blame the rest of the unit for this inane plan, because they should know Ace is an idiot and can't think on his own.

No comment.

Joker agrees with me that this plan is supremely stupid, but Queen sticks up for Ace: "Well, it's better than going into the Grasslands with nothing. Besides, we can probably count on the information that knight gave us." Okay. Which goddamn knight? Is this around the same time Bubba and Percy were there? Is Queen having a brief, whirlwind affair with Tootie? The Saint Loa Wankers? Maximillian Knight Fred? Jesus, I swear, there are five kerjillion knights in this game. Can't some of them just be plain old warriors or something?

Of course, it could just be some random line that one of the translators threw in there for filler. I know, I know, with this crack localization team? As IF.

Everyone agrees to Ace's lame-ass plan, mostly because coming up with something else would involve sobering up, and who wants that? Against Geddy's better judgment, they decide to leave Vinay del Sexay immediately. Outside the inn, Ace and Joker snipe at each other a little bit for no reason, certainly not out of a secret lusty desire for one another which they're covering up with hostility. No, that can't be it, because these guys are STRAAAAIGHT. Like arrows. Which are phallic. Shit.

Geddy is now free to roam around V. del Sexay and spend all 12,000 of his potch. I scoff derisively at this modest sum, because playing as Chris the Ice Queen has made me greedy and unappreciative. Worse still, Geddy has five party members to outfit and sharpen weapons for, not to mention all the hardcore yaoi het porn he was eyeing at the Trading Post. Poor Geddy settles for outfitting himself and Queen as best he can--not that there's any reason those two should get better stuff, goodness no--and buying some Deer Antlers to sell later. He also scopes out the Profile People hanging around, but as in Hugo's and Chris's chapters, they're not available to be recruited, and mostly just ignore his impoverished ass. The Saint Loa Wankers are outright rude to him, because greasy straight guys with eyepatches are not to be trusted. Or maybe because they're evil rat children. Whatever.

Ew, she's, like, six.

At the front gate, Ace looks back over the city and wishes it a fond farewell. Joker unnecessarily asks, "Right. You're from here, aren't you?" Well, it IS necessary, if the writers are to work in their Obligatory Suikoden Familiar Name Drop. "You could say that," Ace answers. "I was once one of Gilbert's mercenaries. That makes me an important person with a big penis. See? SEE?" Joker wonders if that's how Ace ended up working for the Holy Harmonia Southern Frontier Whosawhatsit. Ace non-answers, "There were plenty of reasons. I'm sure you had yours," as if Joker just asked him something really personal and offensive. Unless Ace's motivation to join Harmonia was to score some hot man-on-man action. And then he wouldn't want to say anything to Joker, lest he reveal his true feelings. I mean, if they were gay. But they're not.

Ace takes one last look at V. del Sexay before they leave, no doubt longing to stay in this beautiful city. I, on the other hand, am rather glad to be leaving it behind--I've been here three fucking times now, and the bass-ackwards layout of the city hasn't gotten any less annoying since my first visit. Geddy heads out onto the world map and into Zexen Forest, where he and his fellow uniteers fuck up some Holly Shrubs, '80s style. I soon realize that Jacques's Boronda Hawk Rune is the best thing ever in random battles, because it makes a lot of them end very quickly. I also soon realize that it's a good thing the kill counts for each party member don't really mean anything, because Jacques has everyone beat out in that department by a good 50 corpses. And getting beat out by an archer would make all the other party members worry about their penis sizes feel bad about themselves.

The party makes a quick stop at Brass Castle--somehow I have overlooked nicknaming it Ass Castle, which I will remedy right now--to upgrade weapons, armor and skills, then travels through the Yaza Plains to Great Hollow, the home of the Lizard Clan. Well, if it's not the obvious name (i.e., Lizard Village), it's the homoerotic name. Rock on, game designers.

Outside the opening of the Lizards' damp, dark cave, Joker wonders aloud what they're supposed to do now that they've pretty much carried out Ace's plan. "First of all, we should offer our greetings to the Lizard Men in the Great Hollow," Ace says out of his ass. But before they can do any such thing, they're greeted by seven lizards with menacing, pointy weapons. Oh, and they have spears, too. The one non-generic Lizard asks them who they are and what the hell they're doing, trying to enter the Lizards' sacred cave without permission. "We're traveling merchants," Ace answers, once again out of his ass. Everyone else knows this is a terrible lie, as their clothes give them away as warriors. Joker, for one, has had enough of Ace fucking everything up. "This is another fine mess you've gotten us into," he snits. "We're not trained to go up against these guys." Well, most people, no matter how well-trained, would soon quail under the power of seven extremely well-endowed Lizards. So they shouldn't feel too bad about that. But Ace, in turn, has had enough of Joker's bitching. "If you'd spent as much time training as you did drinking, we'd all be better off!" he shrills like an unappreciated housewife. Joker snaps back that it was Ace's idea to put all their, er, luxuries on the unit's tab. This includes Ace's own indulgences: "We all know you benefited just as much as we did by not having to pay for the girls you bring back." There's no voice acting, but I can totally hear the jealousy and hurt in Joker's voice. Wait. I mean, Joker and Ace don't like each other. They like girls. GIRLS!

Ooh. Zing!

The Lizard leader, named Shiba, interrupts this domestic dispute so he can get on with killing them painfully. But Geddy steps in to save the day, and says to Shiba, "We are from the east. I am the warrior [Geddy], born from the flame. Taking the pledge and following the ways of the past. I would like to meet the great warrior, Chief Zepon. That is our only request." Ace is very wowed that his boss knows the warrior lingo, completely missing the point of what Geddy just said. But Shiba gets what Geddy is saying (more on this later on) and allows the 12th Unit passage into the Butthole of the Lizards.

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