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"Ralphie sticks his keen sniffer into the air and announces that he can 'detect the scent of water.' This is supposed to be important because we can see that Ralphie isn't completely worthless, but it's not like he's doing anything a cuter and less annoying dog can't do."
     -Sam, Suikoden III Part 2

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Suikoden III : Part 8
By Sam
Posted 08.19.05
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3 : 4
In part seven, we got to know Frodo and his Happy Buttfuck Castle Pals. Well, a lot of them weren't terrifically happy, because of their abject poverty, and they made sure we knew it. But now Frodo has discovered a way to get everybody some money: bring people to this castle to open businesses. It's about as clever a disguise as I've seen in this series for "let's go recruit ten thousand Stars of Destiny"--let's see how well it holds up by the time we're done.

Frodo puts a party together--and by "party" I mean the same lamewads he's been using since he became castle master--and heads out to the world map. Every previously visited destination except Caleria and the Mountain Pass is available to Frodo now that he needs to start his recruitment drive. We won't be visiting all of them in this recap, but that doesn't mean it won't feel like we have by the end. First is another visit to Mount Hei-Tou. Frodo now takes a little more time to explore the area. There are several delicious corpses to be violated here, but Frodo takes one look at them and looks like he might faint. That boy has the fortitude of a 98-pound beauty queen, I swear. But near one of the corpses, he and the others find something more interesting--a puppy! Yay!

Be a man and poke it with a stick.

No, seriously, it's a shivering puppy hiding in the bushes off the main path. The dog, named Koroku, howls balefully at Frodo and Samwise as his chipper theme music cuts in. Koroku's Theme sounds like circus music. I wonder if he's a tightrope walking dog. Or a feeder dog for lions, which would explain the shaking. Frodo has three options: to adopt Koroku as the Official Mascot of Buttfuck Castle (and his fabulous teal bandanna means he's dressed for the job already), to leave him alone, or to be a jerk and chase him away. Of course, Koroku is adopted by our Hobbit friends. At the good news, Koroku wags his tail and then runs off in the opposite direction, presumably back to the castle. The Poké Ball GO!!! sound effect--the one constant in every game in the series--kicks in to let us know Koroku has joined the 108 Stars. I'll tell you right now that he sucks and is not worth actually using in battle, but if there is one character type more welcome in my army than hot gay men, it's puppies. Leave me alone.

Going deeper into the hills, Frodo and his party spot the PMS Crab still scuttling over her bounty of used jewelry and broken helmets. Unfortunately, I am not even given the option to risk their fictional lives to battle for this treasure, because Frodo freaks out and runs in the other direction. When they're a safe distance away, Frodo and Samwise, panting, wonder what that horrible monster was. And Frodo will have this reaction every time he tries to approach the crab in this chapter. You know, even if Frodo is the biggest noodle-armed douche in the universe, Samwise and Juan could probably take the thing. But I guess I'll never know.

The party next cuts across the Yaza Plains to the Great Hollow. When Frodo penetrates its inner sanctum enters, he finds the surviving members of the Karaya Clan, Important People and all, mulling about in pointless NPC fashion. They have nothing of interest to say, and won't until Hugo comes here in chapter two, so Frodo leaves them to their wandering and goes upstairs to the Trading Post. A Chishan Suiko!Clone asks Frodo if he'd like to have an Iron Hammer. Frodo can barely lift the thing but he takes it anyway, and then drags it with him to the ground floor.


In the armory and smithy, Frodo meets the Lizard Clan's blacksmith, a nose-ringed Lizard named Peggi. Yes, his name is Peggi. Awesome. Peggi asks Frodo what he's doing here, and Frodo asks him, "Could you work on my sword?" Undoubtedly he has identified this well-hung male with a girl's name as a home team player. But Peggi, surprisingly, has no interest in touching Frodo's sword. Not because there's anything wrong with Frodo's sword, but because he is lacking the proper equipment. You know, a nice, hard...hammer. God, what did you guys think I meant? Perverts.

Peggi spots the Iron Hammer Frodo just acquired and his eyes widen in appreciation. "Whoa! A shiny new hammer!" he shouts. Peggi shouts everything. "Could I have that? Please?" When Frodo hands it over, Peggi is most grateful, and he conveys his happiness with lots of short, exclamatory sentences. He also asks if there's any place Frodo knows of where he could move his business, since he likes being out in the sun and not in this dank hole. Convenient that Frodo happened to meet the one Lizard with a business to run who doesn't like living in Great Hollow. Of course, Frodo tells him Buttfuck Castle would be a perfect place for a smithy, and Peggi is all too eager to be the Blacksmith of Buttfuck. Who wouldn't want that on their business card? When Peggi's left, Frodo says, "What a voice..." like he's totally turned on. What can he say? Lizards are hot.

From the main foyer, Frodo heads through a passage to the inner, inner sanctum of Great Hollow. There the sound of of metal striking rock can be heard. Frodo follows the sound to its source--a male Dwarf in a yellow hardhat. The Dwarf, Twaikin, is digging away at the Hollow's rock wall with a shovel. He stops when he notices Frodo and, when asked, explains that he is "expanding the bottom floor" of the Great Hollow. Do-it-yourself buttsex joke there, readers. Run with it. Frodo is totally impressed that this one guy could penetrate so deeply into the Hollow. But before Twaikin can give Frodo a private demonstration of his prowess, a Lizard runs over to chase him away. According to the Lizard, this bottom-floor expansion was entirely non-consensual. The Lizard yells at Twaikin to leave and calls him "mole man," to which Twaikin takes objection, because he is a Dwarf. Even though the Lizard might be referring to the giant mole on his face. That's my guess, anyway.

Frodo sees that Twaikin is in trouble and covers for his new pal, saying that Twaikin wasn't doing anything. The Lizard lays off, but he's still mad about all the digging willy-nilly that Twaikin's been doing. "Come on," Twaikin objects, "I dug you up a fabulous equipment store, didn't I?" Wow, this guy is a machine. But the Lizard is not deterred and asks Frodo to please narc on Twaikin if he sees him digging again. Why does he think this little Hobbit would go tattle to the Lizards? If anything, he would keep his mouth shut out of solidarity with his vertically-challenged soul brother.

When Frodo points out that Twaikin is indeed a Dwarf, Twaikin says that being a Dwarf around here is lonely, since he tunneled all the way from the Toran Republic. Is that the only place in the Suikoden world where Dwarves live? Well, either that or it's another name-drop, and I'd prefer to think that's not it. But Twaikin sees that if he goes to Buttfuck, he'll get to dig shit up to his heart's content (since the place needs repairs anyway), and he'll be around another short person who shares his pain. Sign him up!

I'd like to point out that even though Dwarves were introduced in the very first game, Twaikin is the first (and as of this writing, the only) Dwarven Star of Destiny. There are fifteen fucking Kobold Stars in every game, but one Dwarf in the whole series? Fate is very prejudicial.

As innuendo- and fun-filled as Great Hollow is, it's also dank and depressing, especially with the whiny Karayan refugees hanging out here, so it's time to move the recruiting drive elsewhere. Stop number three on the tour is Ass Castle, and there's plenty of Poké Ball throwing to be done here. First Frodo meets an extremely gay young man outside the western walls of the castle. I know "extremely gay" isn't quite enough when we're talking Suikoden men, so I will elaborate: the young man has golden blond locks tied back into a loose ponytail with a pale blue ribbon. On top of these tresses rests a red beret. He's also wearing pine green capri pants with frilly white cuffs, red-and-black striped knee socks, a horizontally striped white-and-blue blouse and a brown half-jacket over that. To cap off the whole thing, he has a vivid green parrot perched on his right arm. I don't think "gay" is enough here. In fact, this outfit leads me to believe he might be blind.

Anyway, the young man is named Scott. His parrot, which talks rather well and is a bit of a smart-ass, is named Waurenhyte. Cool name for a pet, in my opinion. And that's not sarcasm--the last thing I need is some psychotic Waurenhyte the Parrot fangirl deploying their Capslock of Rage on me via email. So Scott introduces himself as a trader, and asks if Frodo has any experience trading around. Unless we're talking about boyfriends, then no. But Frodo fakes it and says he has some experience so Scott will keep talking to him. Scott passes along what he surely thinks is a fabulous tip: people use Deer Antlers for lots of different things, so look to buy them somewhere and sell them...somewhere else. So that's how trading works. Thanks for straightening that out. Scott says if Frodo can find some Deer Antlers and bring them back to him, he'll "reward" Frodo well. Eh, Scott's not exactly the hottest guy Frodo's ever seen, but he is gay and an entrepreneur, so he'll work.

'Now that you'

Frodo has no Deer Antlers at the moment so he leaves Gay Scott and his gay pet alone. Next he enters town and steps into the Rune shop. In here he makes the acquaintance of one Runemistress Jeanne. For this installment in the series Jeanne is wearing a strappy black nothing with leg slits all the way up to her obscenely perfect hips. Frodo explains that Buttfuck is in need of her services, even though she's not exactly their target demographic. But, shit, it's Jeanne. She might have supernatural turn-gay-men-straight powers, for all we know. She says her spirit has grown "stagnant" in rusty old Ass Castle so she'll be happy to go to Buttfuck and get some fresh air. But she says all this in a totally seductive way, because that's just what Jeanne does. Hell, whether I'm a straight woman or a gay little boy, I have no interest in women and I still kinda want to do her.

Next door to the Rune shop is the Education Center. In the back of the room, near some bookshelves, a young girl is examining the tomes. Her name is Ernie, but I'll be calling her Apple Jr. because that's who she looks like. Well, this girl's hair is curly, not straight, and I don't think Apple's ever walked around wearing a mortarboard, but the resemblance is still obvious. Let's just not try to picture Apple mating with anyone and we'll be fine.

Apple Jr. is trying to stay out of everyone's way back here in the corner, but is still afraid she is in the way and apologizes for it. When Frodo says he didn't think she was in the way, she apologizes for misinterpreting what he said--which was nothing. I love people who have such low self-esteem that they constantly apologize until you get mad at them for saying sorry all the time and then they apologize for upsetting you. Apple Jr. is clearly one of those people. Changing the subject, Frodo asks about the mortarboard and wonders if Apple Jr. is some kind of brain. "Well...I wouldn't call myself a scholar," she says. "I'm just a beginner. I barely qualified for the job. I don't even have a laboratory yet." So in this universe, you can actually get a paid position as a scholar (at thirteen years old), but you have to wear a mortarboard all the time and you have to have your own laboratory. But if you actually get a job as a scholar, shouldn't you be provided with the necessary laboratory? I'm confused.

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