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  -Part 1 :: [01.07.03]
  -Part 2 :: [02.15.03]
  -Part 3 :: [06.08.03]
  -Part 4 :: [10.04.03]
  -Part 5 :: [08.13.04]
  -Part 6 :: [09.26.04]
  -Part 7 :: [08.19.05]
  -Part 8 :: [08.19.05]
  -Part 9 :: [06.04.09]
  -Part 10 :: [07.01.12]
  -Part 11 :: [02.17.13]
  -Part 12 :: [10.26.13]
  -Part 13 :: [08.06.14]

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"A random NPC standing outside the actual entrance to the tower remarks that 'There's a strange woman living here...a bookworm, yeah?' Yeah, because people who read books are total weirdos."
     -Ben, Breath of Fire III Part 4

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Suikoden III : Part 7
By Sam
Posted 08.19.05
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3 : 4
During our last ride on the Hero-Go-Round, Geddy's chapter one ended with a whimper rather than a long overdue Joker/Ace bang, with Geddy's 12th Unit arriving in Caleria and...getting their room at the inn. Ooh. But now that Hugo's, Chris's and Geddy's first chapters have all ended, maybe we'll start getting to the real meat of the story! Except that we now have Frodo Baggins's chapter one to contend with, and it'll make hanging out with the Saint Loa Wankers seem like a non-stop thrill ride. Buckle up, kids.

We open with a few slow-pan views of Lake Castle, to remind us right away that yes, the place is a dump. We know. Our halfling hero approaches the entrance, wondering if he's come to the right place. Yes, the Wayback Machine strikes again, putting us at Frodo's first day on the job. And this time, I don't even get to catch a rerun of Lulu's non-tragic death. I'm bored already. Frodo whines to himself about why he was sent to such a place, but adds, "Oh well, it's not our job to ask why." Our? Is he using the Royal We? Are you allowed to speak that way when you're a Hobbit wearing melon green flood pants?

The armor- and vagina-sporting Samwise Gamgee sees Frodo approaching and prods her long spear in his general direction. Frodo introduces himself, and Samwise snaps back, "I command the castle guards here. We're expecting a new master today." She adds that someone named Mr. Sebastian has ordered her to keep suspicious brunette midgets off the premises, so Frodo'll have to go. Oh, the wacky shenanigans! It's funny, 'cause Frodo is that very castle master they've been expecting! This is better than an episode of Three's Company.

Finally, Frodo manages to get out, "I am the new master. This is Budehuc Castle, isn't it?" The first time I played this game, I honest-to-God misread the name as Buttfuck Castle. And "Budehuc" is awkward to say, so the nickname stuck. Guess what I'll be calling the place now. I'm sure none of you saw this coming.

Samwise profusely apologizes for being so rude to the new master of Buttfuck Castle. Frodo brushes it off and asks if she'll show him in. Samwise smiles and agrees to take him to this Mr. Sebastian. I suddenly have a mental image of a tiny, snooty crab running this manor, with the animated mantle trinkets from Beauty and the Beast to assist him. Don't ask me how my imagination works.

Your mom, that's what!

Samwise and Frodo hook up--as party members--and go up the steps to the main Buttfuck Manor. Samwise shouts up the staircase to Mr. Sebastian that she's got the new Lord of Buttfuck with her. Sebastian enters the scene at the top of the staircase and trots down in a hurry to make with the introductions. Rather than being a tiny crab with a Jamaican accent, going back to the Beauty and the Beast scenario, he looks rather like the human version of Cogsworth, the pompous talking clock. And the similarity is not purely superficial.

Cogsworth apparently thinks Samwise is pulling his stubby leg--where is this new master? He looks comically from one side of Samwise to the other, completely oblivious to Frodo's unobtrusive presence, until he thinks to notice, you know, the only other person in the room, who also is staring at him expectantly. Yeah, I know that I'm being silly. After all, Frodo here is only sixteen. Just a kid!!! Cogsworth basically reacts accordingly when Samwise introduces Frodo, like he's about to wet himself at the idea of taking orders from some shabby, pot-smoking Shire-dweller.

Cut to Buttfuck Manor's war room parlor, where Cogsworth has gathered some more of the castle's residents to meet Frodo. "Hmm... Are you really the new master?" he asks. You'd think he would have bothered to get that question out of the way before he called everybody in here. But a man who looks like Lurch (his real name is Eike, not that I'll be calling him that ever) checks Frodo's "seal" and assures Cogsworth that he's the real deal. And Frodo, the overprepared little scamp, even has a letter of appointment from the Zexen Council. Wouldn't that have just cleared this whole thing up right away? These stupid people.

'In Zexen, men say hello by groping each other's buttocks.'

Despite this proof of Frodo's identity, Cogsworth is still being a Fretting Franny, but tries to suppress his anxiety so he can get on with introducing the residents of Buttfuck to their new Hobbit Overlord. Frodo's all, "Okay, get them all together so I can meet them! Will we need to use the outdoor ampitheater or will the gymnasium be big enough?" Cue the third crazy misunderstanding in the past two minutes. Cogsworth explains to Frodo that the rag-tag bunch assembled before him is, in fact, "everyone." Frodo gapes in shock as if he was just told that Duck Village is full of Ducks. But Cogsworth isn't being entirely accurate--Muto, the Kobold in the back with the lobotomy scar who looks like he needs to have his mittens pinned to his jacket, raises his hand and says, "Juan's not here." Well, lucky fucking Juan. I'm starting to wish I could join him. Muto's proclamation about Missing Juan causes Martha the Lottery Hag to soundly abuse the guy for not showing up. Hey, if I knew Martha were anywhere I would keep myself as far from that location as possible.

Meanwhile, Frodo needs something cleared up. "But, [Samwise]," he asks, "I thought you said you were the commander of the guards." And she is. Which means she is fully in charge of herself. And she's only thirteen, so let's not be taking that the wrong way, fellas. Samwise adds that she is "responsible for the welfare of this entire place!" I'm sure Frodo will sleep without trouble tonight, knowing that the girl in the orange plaid skirt and knee socks will be keeping watch. But Frodo, being a good little trooper, takes this large pile of disheartening news in stride and cheerfully introduces himself to the gang. They stare blankly and coldly back at him as the scene fades out.

'Unless you want to call me sir.'

And now Cogsworth and Frodo are alone in a dark bedroom. I guess Cogsworth wanted to welcome the new master privately. Ick. Actually, he's just showing Frodo where he'll be sleeping. They promise to meet up for a business brunch with coffee and scones in the morning and kiss goodnight. Cogsworth adds as he leaves that he'd like Frodo to keep up on the tidiness of his quarters, since he recently had to lay off all the maids. Oh, don't worry, Cogsworth. Soon enough Jacques will be parading around here in a French maid outfit, feather-dusting things to your heart's content. Once the butler is gone, and before he goes to sleep, Frodo whimpers to himself that he hopes he's up to the monumental task of being lord of a shitty manor. Real confident, this one.

The next morning, Frodo tracks down Cogsworth as arranged the night before. Frodo is eager to go over the details of his new position, as Cogsworth said they would do, because Frodo's never done this kind of thing before, but Cogsworth is most unhelpful: "As I see it," he says, "you're in charge of making decisions which concern the castle and domain." Frodo, frowning, shows how deeply he is in over his head with this very Dilbert-inspired response: "Oh, you mean solving its problems and straightening out issues and such?" Let's shift the paradigm and synergize our strategies while we're at it. Cogsworth is all, "Yeah...what you said," and then instructs Frodo that he must first...introduce himself to everyone at Chateau Buttfuck. Frodo is an agreeable young man, so he does not stamp his feet and scream petulantly that he already did that, otherwise what the fuck was the point of that meeting last night at which he introduced himself to everyone?!?!?! Yeah, that was me. I'll sit back down now.

Frodo's first stop is the cobwebbed library on the second floor, where Lurch hangs out. You may have guessed that this makes Lurch the librarian. Crazy concept, I know. Lurch is less than responsive to Frodo's hello, but after the second or third time Frodo says something Lurch turns around, clearly realizing that Frodo had been there the whole time, and drones (I expect he has a droney sort of voice), "Oh, a thousand pardons, master! Didn't mean any disrespect. I was just lost in thought." It couldn't be any more obvious that Lurch was ignoring Frodo on purpose, but I can't say I blame him much for this. Poor Frodo's much too bland and polite to be tolerable company. Like Ned Flanders. Taking a step toward being less than polite, Frodo asks Lurch what he was thinking about. "Feeding you to my young," Lurch does not reply. Instead he just mutters something about his thoughts being too private to share. Frodo stammers, "You're right. None of my business. See you around," and hauls ass out of there like he's half an hour late for elevensies.

Next it's down to the basement to speak with Muto, who runs the warehouse. I already touched on Muto's large forehead scar, but not upon his hideous outfit. Muto is dressed in puffy overalls--the kind a five year old would wear in the snow--with one strap undone, and underneath that he is wearing a livid orange sweater with a bright turquoise stripe and dog bone pattern across the middle. Also, matching hat. The overall effect is that Muto is wearing something his mom picked out at the Kobold Gymboree. Obviously, this ensemble does little to dispel the notion that Muto is dumber than a sack of doorknobs. And once the gay men start flooding into Buttfuck Castle, he's going to find himself the subject of an ambush makeover before he can bark "character assassination."

Muto greets Frodo and shows him the warehouse, which also has a teal flag with a bone on it hanging above the door. Bad taste, but coordinated bad taste. "What I lack in mental skills," he then says out of nowhere, "I make up for in physical strength." I mean, yeah, I just spent several sentences pointing out how he's stupid, but it's not like Frodo even said anything to that effect. Frodo's all "Oh" and then asks, in turn out of the blue, what it is Cogsworth does around here. "He cooks, mostly," Muto replies. "Our chef left, you see. The butler's food does not please all, but I find it tasty." I have a feeling Muto finds his own balls tasty. So not exactly a ringing endorsement. Frodo frowns. "Poor guy. He's faced with many tasks." What, cooking and toadying? I weep for the man.

And that's the end of Muto and Frodo's quality time. I like how getting to know Muto involved finding out that he's stupid, like ninety-nine percent of Kobolds are, and talking about the fat butler. But certainly Muto's a character with layers within layers--like an onion--and I'm just not doing the guy justice. Let the angry Muto fangirl emails commence.

Let's make up a deep secret in Muto's past!
He buried the bones of Jimmy Hoffa in Buttfuck Castle's backyard.
He has a catgirl fetish.
He's really Pesmerga! OMG!!!
He killed Dumbledore!


Frodo decides to get some sunshine on his pale, pasty skin and heads outside to continue his Meet 'n' Greet. He finds Martha, Old Bag of the Grasslands, hanging out at her lottery booth. She immediately assails her new boss with demands that he buy a lottery ticket. Frodo stammers that he just came to say hi, not to give her all his money (not that he has any). "That's a very nice gesture," Martha replies, not meaning it at all. And here comes the Unsolicited Life Story of Misfortune: "I'm going to be in trouble if you don't work hard as our master. Ever since our last master ran away three years ago, we've been without one, and the castle's been in turmoil. Thanks to that, I hardly have any customers. I have a business to run. I'm really counting on you." Frodo agrees that he needs to work hard, which makes Martha ask again if he wants a lottery ticket. Jesus Christ, lady. Frankly, this place could be crawling with shoppers and she'd still have no customers. And she would still be blaming it on the castle master, not on her own special ability to make people want to be as far away from her as possible.

Frodo puts some distance between himself and Martha and runs into Piccolo's pitched tent. Hee. Piccolo calls himself a "great sorcerer" by way of introduction. We'll get to what a fucking lie that is in a little bit, but to Piccolo's credit he's at least friendly and supportive of his new boss. Frodo asks what kind of stuff a sorcerer does--I don't know, dumbass, how about sorcery?--and Piccolo says he specializes in fortune-telling. Frodo asks if that's M-M-M-Magic, and Piccolo just laughs, because it was an incredibly stupid question.

Samwise is at her usual station at the castle walls. "Are you patrolling, [Frodo]? No need, really. I keep things safe around here," she insists. Frodo asks her what kind of desperate, bottom-of-the-barrel person would bother attacking this shithole, except he's nicer about it than that. "Anything from wolves to mountain bandits," she answers, basically admitting that no one of any importance gives a crap about this place. Speaking of unimportant people, Frodo asks, "I heard this was considered part of the Grassland frontier. Does anyone come here from Grassland?" According to Samwise they do, and Muto and Martha's relatives even come to visit them every now and again. Does that mean there's another Kobold Village, in the Grasslands, and it's just never covered in this game? Or was Muto raised by Ducks? I'm sure someone has written a fanfic about this.

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