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"Then Pierre does something very mysterious. He walks forward and says to Punk, 'Whew, looks like they're buying it.' Then he returns to his perch next to the Judge. Um... okay? I'm sure the impromptu chat with your defendant didn't look suspicious at all, Pierre. Thanks."
     -Ryan, Chrono Trigger Part 2

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Suikoden III : Part 12
By Sam
Posted 10.26.13
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3 : 4 : 5 : 6 : 7
Frodo and the Buttfuck regulars stand around outside looking morose for what feels like seven hours. Samwise offers to go beat up the Zexen knights, basically, but even she seems to realize it wouldn't help. "Master," Cogs finally asks, "do you have any last minute ideas?" Of course Frodo has none, and Juan helpfully interjects, "Why ask him? He won't be master much longer." Fair point. He goes on that they have to go back to their old ways, pawn all their valuables, and perfect their put-upon surly locals routine for the next rube who walks up those stairs. And Juan even comes up with a silver lining! "If this is going to be Zexen territory," he blathers on while Cogs looks like he's close to tears, "they'll probably help us out with funding, at least a little. Besides, we might get some rich kid as our next castle master." It does beg the question of why these people wouldn't want to be fully part of Zexen, since it seems like it would be easier to, like, get money and food and stuff in that case. I get why Martha the Grasslander wouldn't be keen on it, but fuck her.

Everybody else endures Juan's speech with nothing but some muttering and uncomfortable glances, but Samwise is not going to listen to this corncob-headed douche be all pragmatic about the ousting of her hobbit lover. She levels her spear at his face and snarls, "If you don't shut your mouth right now, I'll shut it for you! [Frodo] is the master of this castle! I want it to stay that way!" Juan's all, "Yeah, he's the castle master until tomorrow, LOL," and Sam is even less amused. After a moment, Frodo puts his hand on her shoulder and says, "It's okay, [Sam]. Stop it." Because Frodo, the essence of bland congeniality, is most concerned with not having his last day end with a squabble. Without another word to anyone, he walks through the group into the manor and goes to bed.

That night, though, the poor boy can't sleep. In fact, he says, "I just can't sleep," while standing next to his bed in the dark. Thanks, Frodo! So on what he imagines to be his final night in this dump, he takes one last moonlit tour of the manor. In the library, he finds Lurch researching "this common land issue," which Frodo thinks is too little too late, but wishes him well anyway, with the distinct air of not caring what Lurch does with his time anyway. No one does. Lurch, for his part, also seems supremely unconcerned with anything Frodo might be up to. That was a productive conversation!

As he walks down the stairs, Frodo runs into Cogsworth, who stammers, "I-I was just preparing the journal for you to make your entry." Now I'm wondering if the manor journal is code for Cogsworth's ass. "With all this fighting, I just haven't been on top of it." And neither has Frodo! Ba-dum ching. Frodo wonders why it matters since he's leaving tomorrow anyway, and Cogs goes, "Hmmm...good question... One never knows, does one? Tomorrow's another day, and all that..." Frodo should be picking up on a pattern of people who are assuming he isn't leaving, no matter what he thinks is going to happen.

Dat ass.

And that pattern continues with Muto, who is staring, tail erect, at the crack in the wall at the end of the first-floor hallway. Muto tells Frodo he is working on repairing it, since they are going to have to fight again. "Muto..." Frodo sighs. "Don't worry. All this will end when I leave this castle. You'll all go back to your normal lives." I love that even meek, boring little Frodo is still enough of a narcissist to think their lives are totally exciting and dangerous with him around and that only his noble sacrifice can restore them to their prior banal existence. Muto asks like a defensive girlfriend, "You mean you want to...leave?" Frodo can choose his answer here, and since he's worried Muto will paw at his face in despair if he says yes, he answers, "Of course not." And that, naturally, is enough for Muto to turn his attention back to the wall crack problem, as if Bubba and Percy are going to storm in through here. To Frodo, he says, possibly threateningly, "You'd better go to bed right away. You wouldn't want to catch a cold." He narrows his eyes and everything.

Everyone else at the castle sleeps outside, I guess, so Frodo returns to his room. But in the hallway he finds one more person: Samwise, moping outside his bedroom door like a total stalker. She practically has "DON'T LEAVE ME, FRODO" written in blood on her face, but Frodo's still all, "What are you doing at this hour?" like a clueless idiot. Samwise replies, "There was something I wanted to ask you..." Careful, Frodo! She wants to go steady and wear your ugly mustard jacket around campus!

The two of them, probably at Frodo's insistence that they stay away from his bed, relocate to the balcony near the elevator. Anyway, Sam's question is, "Do you honestly plan on surrendering your title here?" I think it's less that he plans to do so and more that it was already surrendered for him by the people who gave it to him. Frodo keeps it simple, though, and tells her he has no choice. Then he is immediately given, ha, a choice: "It's not a voluntary decision" or "There's nothing I can do." Those...are the same. And are also the same as not having a choice, which he just said. The thing we are banging home here is that Frodo doesn't have agency in any aspect of his sad little life, so he goes with one of his non-choices and tells Sam "It's not a voluntary decision." Frodo laments further to her that he'd "do anything" to stay, but he can't, so he has to go back to being the weird nobody he was before and honestly still is. "Then, then, why did you become the master of this castle in the first place?" Sam asks. "Wasn't it your choice to come here?" Oh, girl. That is just the saddest thing.

Frodo is basically like, "Uhhhhhhh..." because this is crazy awkward, and Sam is still giving him these huge puppydog eyes like she believes in her heart of hearts that Frodo rode here on Shadowfax to rescue them from poverty. Finally, he says, "I wish. Before I came here, I'd never heard of [Buttfuck] Castle. I was actually forced to become the castle master here, and I wasn't too happy about it." Sam keeps on giving him the world's saddest face and basically goes, "But whyyyyyyy." Yeah, why would anyone not want to live here? It's fucking paradise.

You can actually pinpoint the second her heart rips in half.

Sadly, Frodo's answer has little to do with not wanting to live at 12 Grimmauld Place, Suikoden Edition. He confesses, "I was happy living with my mother in the northern Outlands. But she died about three months before I came here." Frodo's mom told Frodo on her deathbed about his father, prompting him to seek him out. This is tragic and everything, but it's not like Frodo's dad is some mega celebrity or notorious serial killer and she just had to keep his identity a secret until the moment of her death. He's just some admittedly wealthy bureaucrat, who cares? As if he's justifying this to me, Frodo goes on, "She told me to go tell the Council who I was, so I'd be assured a decent life." I mean, he's old enough that he's not literally going to die without his mother to shelter him, so if they were already so poor that her death meant he would be completely destitute, why didn't they both go seek him out way before this?

As Frodo is talking and Samwise is looking like she feels like a dick for jumping on his case, the camera pulls out and we can see that Cogsworth, Martha, and Muto are all spying from the corridor where Frodo's bedroom door is. How did they get over there without him seeing? Were they all waiting in his room? That is not the kind of goodbye orgy he had in mind, Cogs. But back to Frodo, who is still trying to make this not sound dumb. "That's why I came to the Zexen Federation," he tells Sam. "I could have survived in the Outlands, but I wanted to see my father's face just once. Can you blame me?" Given that you got this far in life without having that desire, and only came to have that desire when your mom told you daddy has money? A little bit, yeah. But the point here is everyone at Buttfuck Castle is miserable and lonely and poor.

We fade out on Frodo looking miserable and lonely and poor and again view the flashback of Frodo meeting his father in Vinay del Sexay. It is exactly the same this time so I won't bother repeating myself the way the game apparently felt the need to. Out of the flashback, Frodo explains to Sam, "My father wasn't too happy to see me. He wanted me as far from Vinay del [Sexay] as possible. What better way than to make me master of a remote castle?" I don't know, give him a sack of potch and send him back where he came from? Keeping him nearby and in the bureaucratic system seems like a rather strange way to get rid of him, now that I think about it. "I had no idea what to do, and I still don't," Frodo finishes. "I can't live up to your expectations." Expectations seem like a really pointless luxury here at Buttfuck Castle, anyway.

After Frodo is finished pouring out his heart to Sam, he flops exhausted into bed, and before he knows it morning has come and he's about to be evicted. Bubba and Percy are waiting for him outside. When he tells them he's ready to leave and never look at Martha's stupid face again, they let him pass and follow him down the stairs, trying not to hold hands or grope each other. By the inn, Frodo faces his tenants one last time and thanks them for all they did. Martha returns this gesture by refusing to look at or speak to him. Stay classy, bitch! Frodo, Bubba, and Percy make to leave, but--surprise!--Samwise is standing in their path, spear at the ready, her puppydog eyes of sadness replaced with puppydog eyes of rage. "I, the commander of the guards of [Buttfuck] Castle, will not allow [Frodo] to be taken!" Frodo's like, "Girl, come on, we talked about this," but she doesn't give a fuck. "Get this straight: You'll never take [Frodo] away! Never! NEVER!!!" Whoa. It's incredible that anyone could get this worked up about boring little Frodo. And yet, while Bubba and Percy roll their eyes at this, Frodo tells Sam that he's not the castle master anymore so she should ease up, like it isn't obvious to anyone with eyeballs that her interest in Frodo long ago surpassed the castle master/commander of the guards level. Sam tells Frodo that he can't give up just because his asshole dad said he had to, and then sadly has to spell this out: "It's not... It's not because you're the master of the castle that I'm protecting this castle. It's because--because you're you!" Frodo doesn't deserve this girl. I mean, she's 13 and he's having an affair with Cogsworth so it's a moot point, but if they were a thing, he wouldn't deserve her.

Oh no, she's reached the reciting OMD lyrics stage of infatuation.

This wasn't pathetic enough yet, so as Samwise is floundering, Muto and then Cogsworth jump in to plead Frodo's case to Bubba and Percy. Cogsworth, waving his arms repeatedly like he's trying to hail every taxi in the world, lists all the things Frodo still has to take care of, as if this were an actual functional castle in need of more than a bored figurehead. Bubba stares at him with a perplexed and angry expression, like he's trying to figure out how to land a punch between Cogs's flailing arms. Finally, Percy has had enough of this foolishness and says Frodo can have "a few more hours" to sort this shit out and say goodbye to his more emotionally attached servants. But even as Cogsworth is trying to wedge open this crack in Percy's generosity some more and get permission to go back to leasing land, Frodo seems to have lost patience for the entire enterprise. He tells Cogs to knock it off, and as they all stare at him, and Percy asks if that means he's ready to get the fuck out of here already, Frodo raises his head high, furrows his little hobbit brows into his steeliest glare, and tells the knights, "I'm going to stay at [Buttfuck] Castle. I'm going to stay with everyone. I'm going to protect this castle! You can go and tell my father that!" Man, I don't even care anymore, if I ever did. If Frodo just went with Percy and Bubba right now and I could move on to characters who use magic and engage in real intrigue and plot, I would not shed a tear.

Bubba replies, shaking his head like he just can't even with this shit anymore, "Don't be a fool, boy! Resist us, and we'll have no choice but to take you by force." That is probably in Frodo's dream journal. But this threat is enough to get the more apathetic of the Buttfuck players into the mix, as Juan cracks his knuckles and insists, "Take away our castle master by force? You'll have to go through me to do it!" Martha, Piccolo, and Lurch all help the others surround the knights, who I needn't remind you haven't done anything wrong and are just doing their damn jobs. Frodo thanks them all, and Juan replies, making me like him a tiny bit more, "Don't be so passive, [Frodo]. I hate that about you. But what I like is that you're the first of any of our castle masters who's cared about the castle itself." Nobody else who was in charge of this beautiful, well-maintained, not-at-all-shitty castle cared about it? I am shocked! Martha echoes what Juan said, hypocritically calling their old masters "horrible people" and lamenting, "If you go, I don't know if I could handle another strange one coming here to be our castle master." Of course, this is all about how hard it is FOR HER. Jesus, even when she's being nice she is the worst.


Bubba blusters a lot about how he is one of the six Zexen knights and super scary and manly, threatens and is threatened back by Juan, but is thrown off his game by the mere sight of Lurch standing behind him and being all creepy and ugly. They should have trotted him out for this a long time ago. Finally, Percy goes, "[Bubba], what say you to going back and telling them that [Frodo] is determined to stay here? And then hitting the sauna with Roland?" Bubba really doesn't want to leave, what with all these uppity poors acting like he's not intimidating, but Percy rightly points out, "If you keep swinging your axe around here, you'll only make things worse." But he might hit Martha! That would be an improvement! And just like that, the knights leave, but Percy kindly warns him on the way out of the trouble that will probably come of this decision. Because there wasn't trouble already.

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