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  -Suiko3 Main
  -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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"As soon as Twink enters the boss chamber, he is greeted with a most magical sight. A slew of multicolored Poes run madly about the room, accompanied by a high-pitched rhythmic sound. Twink has discovered the Earth Temple's Gay Ghost Disco! Suddenly, the repetitious horrors of the dungeon fade into the distance as Twink's heart performs hot spasms of joy. He steps forward to join his homosexual brethren in their dance, thanking his lucky stars that he decided to leave Medli outside."
     -Jeanne, Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker Part 8




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Suikoden III : Part 9
By Sam
Posted 06.04.09
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3
In the previous installment, we finished up our court-mandated time with Frodo Baggins and his capering Buttfuck Castle comrades. They were boring and didn't do anything action-packed or exciting. So I'm thrilled to welcome you to the second installment of Hugo, Sergeant Duckman and Fubie's madcap adventures. Compared to Frodo and company bitching about being poor for two hours, this shit is gonna be electrifying.

Upon selecting Hugo on the Wheel of Heroes, a handy PowerPoint slide provides a refresher on what Hugo was doing last time and where we left off. Lulu's death heavily figures into this summary, which pleases me. So, as indicated, we last saw Hugo crying like a bitch at Lulu's grave, until Sarge slapped some sense into him. I hope he's not going to spend this entire recap being emo. There are enough people like that in this game. I chose you for your sunny disposition, Hugo! Dammit! Be sunny!

Hugo leaves Karaya Village and heads north through the plains. This brings him in pretty short order to--oh boy!--Duck Village. Now, you guys are going to laugh at me, because I have made fun of the ducks and all they stand for at pretty much every opportunity in these recaps. But Duck Village is my favorite place in this game. The music is catchy and fun, there are silly creatures to giggle at everywhere, and it's not as boring to look at as Ass Castle and Vinay del Sexay. It's fun and quaint, okay? Don't judge me.

As Hugo breathes in the fresh air, Sarge reflects on how long it's been since he's visited his hometown. As if to remind him of why he's stayed away, two ducks come charging over, in a panic about some disturbance in the middle of town. The two ducks, Rhett and Wilder, carry on a grand tradition of comedic duos that can be summed up as "the fussy one and the fat one." Wilder (the fussy one) tells Sarge that his timing is "fortuitous." Rhett says cryptically, "Nothing seems to please her! We're at a total loss. We need you, Sergeant!" That is a pickle--what does anyone in a Suikoden game know about pleasing a woman? Hugo, Sarge and Fubie follow, intrigued.

 
'It tastes great on duck.'

Well, to be accurate, first they go around the whole village to take in the sights and talk to NPCs (including some Portrait People, none of whom are available for collection yet), and then they follow. Once Hugo has spent the group's dwindling savings on various shinies, and I've wasted some skill points on trying to encourage Hugo to work on his magic, he heads over to a flock of ducks on the west side of town. They're all gathered around a redhead girl dressed like one of the Three Musketeers. She's scowling at the ducks, hands on her hips, all sassy-like. "I'll ask once more, but don't make me ask again!" she snits at the poor ducks. "Where is the Flame Champion? Will one of you answer me?!" The ducks are at a loss to deal with this odd person. The girl, named Lilly, is convinced that the ducks know the Flame Champion's whereabouts and are keeping it from her in some show of Grassland solidarity. Their insistence that they don't have a clue what she's on about just makes her angrier.

These roast duck jokes are really too easy.
 

A few feet away, Hugo asks Sarge who the Flame Champion is, and Duckman shakes his head at his charge's ignorance of local history. Lilly overhears and notices Hugo, saying, "Oh, look--he's not a duck. Thank goodness." Oh, she is darling. I love her. Lilly shoulders her way over to Hugo, relieved to have contact with a non-bird. When Hugo introduces himself, Lilly says she's never heard of the Karayans, because she is foreign and stuck up, if you haven't picked up on that. "I'm Lilly Pendragon of the Republic of Tinto," she tells us, adding for name-drop flair, "The president, Gustaf, is my father." We briefly met Gustav (with a V), but because I suck and have not recapped that far into Suikoden II yet, we have not met his charming firecracker of a daughter, who was kidnapped and nearly molested by The Count. So here she is, seemingly legal this time. Hugo tries to make nice, saying, "The daughter of a president meets the son of a chief. That's something in common, right?" Lilly's like, "Ew, no."

Lilly is about to question Hugo about this Flame Champion, though we already know he's clueless on the matter, when a young man with aspirations of being a blond Elvis hails her to tell her he's gotten them a place to stay. Elvis and a young black man, who seems to have gone really prematurely gray, wave at her and run over, clearly exhausted from their efforts to, uh, find an inn. Elvis is named Reed, and his graying friend is Samus. These two continue the grand tradition of comedic duos that can be described as "the whiny one and...uh...the whiny one." Both men are clearly totally whipped, as Samus gives Lilly a laundry list of things she may not like about her room. Lilly glares at both of them. "You think me overly demanding?" she shrieks at them. "Need I remind you that you asked what I wanted and I answered? Right?" She storms off to inspect her lodgings, leaving Sarge and Hugo to wonder if this is why hurricanes used to be named after women.

With nothing better to do, the boys follow Lilly and her retainers to the the lobby of the inn, where Lilly is, natch, making a huge scene over the quality of her room. Of course, she's pretty much repeating all of the things that Samus already told her would not be to her liking. She says the room is "too damp," for one, when it's a cabin propped up on sticks over a freaking swamp. But all Lilly is asking is for them to change the climate of Duck Village to make her more comfortable! What's the problem? Sarge and Hugo enter, and Sarge asks her if she's still bitching like it's going out of style. Ignoring him, as he's a duck and below her contempt, she asks if Hugo would like to finish their "talk." So far as I know Hugo didn't get further than what his name was, but no matter. She's all ready to talk here, where it's "private," until her men inform her that her room is actually out back, removed from the main building. Lilly accuses them of sending her back to stay in the servants' quarters. Man, these guys can't win.

Anyway. It's hard to make Lilly complaining about a hotel room all that interesting. In her totally unacceptable room, we can finally get on with things. Lilly tells Hugo, "If you know of the Flame Champion's whereabouts, you'll receive just compensation..." Sarge scoffs at her. "'The Flame Champion'?" he asks. "The hero our grandfathers spoke of? Didn't expect such a topic from the likes of you..." So the Flame Champion is old and dead, got it. Only Lilly isn't convinced. She thinks he and his "Fire Bringer" band are still alive. Hugo interrupts to ask who in the hell they're talking about. The duck reminds us of his friend's youthful ignorance and then launches into exposition.

According to Sarge, the Flame Champion was a hero from a couple generations back who helped to save the Grasslands from invading Harmonians. His posse, the Fire Bringer, was some kind of mercenary group joined by an army of Grasslanders, and Sarge puffs up as he says, "Our clan was the first Grassland clan to become allies of the Fire Bringer." Whatever makes you feel good about yourself. Hugo wanks, "Sounds to me like a real hero. Even a great hero." Thanks for the insight. Sarge concurs, before continuing that the Flame Champion "vanished without a trace" after the war. So everyone pretty much assumes he's either dead or old and decrepit. Lilly cuts in: caravans coming out of Tinto have been attacked by bandits recently, and, according to her, "One of those bandits turned out to be none other than one of the Fire Bringer." She has nothing to go on here except the word of the traders, but they apparently insisted they were attacked by the Flame Champion, and that the guy was called that by his own men. Well, someone said the name out loud, so it just has to be the same guy. And thus Lilly traveled to the Grasslands for information on this Flame Champion, even though he seems to be a more prevalent news item at home than he is here. That's using your noodle. Her manservants pretty much echo that sentiment and are both convinced that their lady just wanted to go on a road trip and is using this as a flimsy excuse. But then, why would Lilly come to Duck Village, of all places? As much as I shamefully like the place, it can't be for the fucking ambience. The takeaway here is that no one knows what the hell is going on. Let's just go with it.

 
Which is nothing.

Speaking of lack of ambience, Lilly hasn't learned anything from these silly ducks, so she's going to try the lizards next in the (snerk) Great Hollow. There've been attacks there too, which is as good of a lead as Lilly could hope for. Not really, but whatever. Unfortunately, Reed and Samus are morons and can't read a map, so she needs a guide, and offers the job to Hugo for 4000 potch. Hugo and Sarge come to the consensus that they have nothing better to do and take the offer. Once the details of payment and such are worked out, the group heads for some nearby ruins that apparently house a tunnel to the Great Hollow, not even delaying long enough to rest in the room Reed and Samus just acquired. I had to hear about that room for what felt like an hour and now they're not even going to stay? Sigh.

I spend ten minutes--an eternity in terms of recap time--rearranging the party's inventory and equipment and allocating Lilly, Reed and Samus's skill points before my anal retentive side is satisfied and Hugo and company can finally leave town. Often I consider pausing my VCR to save tape space when I do things like this, but then I wouldn't be able to tell you all about them and you wouldn't be able to judge me for being weird. And I would inevitably forget to turn it back on and miss something important. I would just hate to do that again.

Not too far from Duck Village, Sarge leads the way toward a cluster of boulders in the middle of the plains. According to him, this is the only place the hidden path to the Great Hollow could be, as "Nowhere else fits the description," which makes me think I blacked out and they've been exploring for hours. Sarge shakes his head at what he obviously thinks is a waste of time as Lilly directs her men to look around for a secret passage. As the camera zooms out, it becomes plain that the rock directly in front of Lilly is going to move aside when they find the switch, but Lilly stares at it for at least a minute without finding anything. Meanwhile, Hugo looks like he's having a staring contest with the back of Lilly's head. Sarge snaps him out of it--as Lilly, Samus and Reed run around the side of the rocks--and asks what Hugo makes of their new companions. "They don't act like enemies," Hugo responds, as applause thunders down from the rafters for his ongoing amazing insight. "But I'm not sure of their plans." I don't think anyone is sure of Lilly's plans, Lilly least of all. "Quack, quack, quack!" Sarge replies. Kill me. "Of course they're not our enemies. But does it serve us to make them allies?" Hugo has no answer to that, of course. Hugo probably couldn't provide an answer for why he puts on pants in the morning.

Meanwhile, one of the Three Stooges finds the switch to open up the passage, and the aforementioned slab of rock rumbles aside to reveal a dark opening. It turns out Lilly was the one who found the switch--naturally--and all Reed and Samus did was stand behind her and whine that they're tired. This is the kind of deep, meaningful characterization you get when you create over a hundred characters for one game.

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