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  -Part 1 :: [01.07.03]
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  -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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"'I just exhausted all my usual bits of dialogue. You're on your own,' Auron replies. Actually, he says that it's time to think and wait. 'Two things Tightass is bad at,' I say, just as Tightass says, 'Two things I'm bad at.' Well, now I have to kill myself."
     -Jeanne, Final Fantasy X Part 21

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Suikoden III : Part 12
By Sam
Posted 10.26.13
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3 : 4 : 5 : 6 : 7
As soon as they're gone, Juan sighs, "Thank goodness they left quietly! If I'd actually had to fight two of the Mighty Six Knights of Zexen, I'd be dead no matter how many fists I had!" God, I wish I could do this scene over and make different choices. Once Juan and Frodo have established again that trouble with the Zexens is coming, Frodo chirpily tells the group, "It's going to be tough, but I'm sure there's a way. We've got to work hard! For the good of Bude...uh, um...HukeBude...?" Okay, this is where I have to act like I haven't been calling it Buttfuck Castle this whole time, but it's okay because Frodo is all of a sudden acting like he can't pronounce the real name, even though he has been doing so for quite a while now without any trouble. Cogs sighs and corrects him, only for Frodo to try again, "Uh, I'm sorry. Bude-what again? ...It's a weird name." I'm not arguing with the latter point, but come on, this is a conversation they should have had within five minutes of his arrival, if they were ever going to have it.

But Cogs has a fucking great idea: "Perhaps you'd like to give this castle a new name?" Frodo is worried that there is history behind the name he just called weird and unpronounceable and basically acted like a shithead about, but Cogs basically answers, "Yes, but fuck history." Indeed! Frodo can choose to leave the name as is or to change it, and you fucking know I'm changing it. This prompts Sam to trot out the old chestnut Orange Castle, and Juan to tell him to just pick a name out of a hat. But we all already know what the name will be.

"Yay!" Sam cries at the new name. "Buttfuck Castle. Sounds great!" Once everyone has agreed on the inherent awesomeness of the new name, Frodo says, "In any case, the people of Buttfuck Castle shall all join together and fight! We're going to defend our home!" If only they had changed the name before Bubba and Percy left. They probably would have moved in immediately and helped defend the castle against the other knights.

That night, Frodo is about to go do something--probably wander around in the dark for no reason again--and opens the door, only to find Samwise standing there with her mouth hanging open. I don't even want to know what she was planning to do. "Give herself and Frodo matching Buttfuck Castle tattoos" is the tamest option running through my head. Anyway, it turns out she is here to apologize for what she said when Frodo was about to leave. "I was out of line," she says. "I've been thinking it might be best for you to return to Vinay del [Sexay], after all." Wow. If I didn't think Samwise was completely lacking in guile, I would call that some serious mindfuck tactics. "I love you! You have to stay! Oh, you're staying? GET OUT." As it is, I think she's just extremely confused and doesn't know what to do with these feelings for the castle master, especially after she saw him and Cogsworth doing some unspeakable things with rubber ducks in Goro's bath.

Frodo tells her to just stop talking, because he's staying and that's that. Unless he's dragged away by knights, in which case that will not be that. "What you and the others said really touched me," he goes on, not a little creepily, "but I think I knew the right choice even before that. I feel like this is the first time I've chosen anything for myself." Because it is, apparently! Anyway, since he knows she gets off on it, he sternly addresses her as Commander Samwise and commands her to get some rest so they can do their best tomorrow. "Everything will be fine," he assures her. "Everyone's working so hard. Besides, there's the plan Caesar left us." Oh, right, the bundle of envelopes that I was convinced contained a picture of a middle finger. I bet everyone at Buttfuck Castle is really glad Frodo only bothered opening that up in the middle of the night before their fateful confrontation with an entire fucking army. Really left them ample time to prepare.

The next morning, the camera fades in on the quiet tranquility of Buttfuck Castle and the sound of running water in its fountain. Water! Chris likes water! It will never come up again. Cogs, Sam, Juan, Piccolo, and Muto are standing at the entrance and staring out into the distance, waiting for the Zexen invasion to come, when Frodo runs up from the manor, his mysterious preparations completed. Once he tells Juan he's ready, he counsels everyone to follow their Silverberg-approved plan. This leads them into the army battle screen to do battle with a bunch of knights, presumably. This plan already has a significant flaw. Everyone shouts something motivational--some cries more successful than others--and then four Zexen units appear to the east. They appear to be led by Babyface Official, who grouses, "They say I must leave this area, do they? As if the Knights could give orders to Councilors!" It's kind of strange that he even has the time or freedom to be here for this in person, but there's no real point in harping on it.

This is my life's finest accomplishment.

Mostly the strategy here is to defend and wait for the Zexens to come barreling in, which works great since the unit they choose to attack is the one with Twaikin the dwarf in it, and that dude can apparently be sliced up with swords for an hour and barely feel anything. Sam's unit is less successful because she's stuck with the troubadours and I haven't leveled their skinny asses up at all. Whoops! All in all, though, the three Buttfuck units handle the Zexens with ease--Frodo even gets the killing blow on the last man standing! I did not see that coming.

Unfortunately, the following turn, Bubba and Percy show up to, in Bubba's words, "Get down to business." Unless they mean to drop their pants and start rolling around behind the bushes, that does not sound good. In practice, it's manageable--Bubba and Percy obviously hit a lot harder than their orange shirted men do, but the Buttfuck Army manages the best victory the game will allow--all the orange shirts dead, and Percy and Bubba at exactly half health. As soon as Percy has retreated and is no longer taking shovel blows for 0 health from Twaikin and Mel, Cogsworth reminds Frodo of the plan and Frodo shouts, "Oh, right--Retreeeeeat!" What a leader. Martha finds a Killer rune on the ground as spoils from their sort-of amazing victory retreat, and she'd better be fucking giving that to Frodo and not putting it up as a prize in the goddamn lottery.

Back at the castle, Frodo tells the group he is heading back to the manor, per the plan, and that everyone else should get in position. Their positions turn out to be hanging out largely where they always do, including Cogsworth standing behind the reception desk at the inn and fretting about how worried he is. Babyface Official is hot on their heels up the castle steps, and orders his knights to follow them. It still makes no sense why this dude is here. What makes even less sense is that, once Frodo proceeds up the stairs to the manor, Cogs is back with them as they face a group of Zexen knights in pursuit. They dispatch the knights with ease, and Piccolo giggles about how well they're doing, until Cogs stuffily reminds him that they still have work to do. Up to the manor they go! I actually had to do this whole bit twice because I forgot to check in with Cogs at the inn and set my party the way I wanted it--with the characters I'd bothered outfitting and leveling up--and the result was that everybody died in the following battle. I'm awesome at Suikoden!

Cut to the manor. Two knights storm in the front doors, swords in hand, only to find an empty front hall. They're so confused by this that when a red ball of laser light appears by their shins, they stand there and stare at it dumbly until it explodes into a giant fireball, immolating them both. From around a corner, Piccolo lowers his staff and giggles to himself again. Inconsistency alert: he doesn't have a Fire rune and I'm too cheap to buy him scrolls! What gives! Samwise thumps her spear on the floor and says with delight, "Amazing, Mr. Piccolo! Amazing!" Meanwhile, Juan wants to know, "How come you didn't do that in the first place?" That is a great question. Piccolo non-answers, "Hohohoho...I only just learned it. I'm glad it worked. It's my once-in-a-decade lucky day." Right. They're all getting ready to pop the champagne when four more knights come in and stare with puzzlement at the bodies of the first two. There is going to be a big pile there when all is said and done.

These knights are magically a lot tougher than the others, and even with my preparedness the second time, it's not actually possible to kill them. After several turns the battle ends and the Buttfuck Army is left panting and kneeling on the floor. "Oh, my..." Samwise gasps as their hard, erect swords point down at all their heads, bukkake style. But just when it looks like all is lost, a mystery voice says, "Close your eyes." And a mystery person who is actually Queen throws a flash bomb into the middle of the room. Over the white screen caused by the flash, we can hear the sounds of the 12th Unit laying waste to these invincible knights. Cogsworth wonders if this was part of the plan, which Frodo and I are quite sure it was not. I'm fairly certain Caesar didn't arrange for the 12th Unit to randomly swing by and save them only after allowing them to battle on their own up to this point.

'Spicy wieners. Our boss is a great cook.'

Frodo says they have to face more knights, because apparently the 12th Unit wasn't obliging enough to take out all their opposition, just the few of them who were in this room. Sure enough, BO enters with more knights and more trash talk. "It's high time you people gave up!" he understates. "If you continue to resist, you'll be charged with treason!" I'm astonished they haven't already been charged with treason. I would think attacking any of the knights at any point would be grounds for it. Meanwhile, the Buttfuck Army is exhausted and desperately wishing for another assist from the Foot Clan, or anything at all that will get them out of this predicament. Frodo says, "We have to learn to defend this castle ourselves. We can't depend on help from the outside." Yes, they certainly can't depend on, say, having a bunch of super-powerful, True Rune-using heroes come and live there. That would be silly.

This new drive to not be shitty and weak leads the party into one more battle with two knights, but just as magically, these two are not nearly as powerful as the ones they just faced, and the powers of self-determination and plot contrivance lead our heroes to victory in a single round. Once they're all done being shocked that they won a battle that was clearly rigged by math to be in their favor right when they needed a win, BO shakes in anger and orders his guards to call in "the next batch" of knights. I really don't like talking about deadly knights in terms of batches. But another knight runs in with a message, and is closely followed by Martha, who bullies all of the knights out of her way. Frodo smiles with relief and says, "It's Martha!" I'm sure this is the first time anyone has been happy to see her.

A black screen ushers everyone outside, where "this old hag" (per BO, and also me) has some exposition to dish. BO starts to decree this land the property of Zexen, but Martha cuts him off so she can say her piece. But because she is frustrating, she first turns around and hands a rolled-up parchment to Frodo. "Look," she tells him. "There was quite a bit of mayhem up there, but I did manage to track down Lucia and get her seal." Frodo thanks her for her excursion to the Great Hollow (ew, in this context) and then she steps aside to let him do the exposition dishing. God dammit.

Anyway, Frodo reads: " of midnight last night, Buttfuck Castle was sold to Lucia, Chief of the Karaya Clan, by [Frodo], the master of the castle." That explains the random Karayan NPC standing behind the group, but there's also this random lady in a green dress who may be Old Ma Fraulein, and I don't know what the fuck she's doing here. "So, this is no longer Zexen territory," Frodo goes on. "What you are doing has not been approved by Council resolution and is thus an illegal invasion." BO is shocked by this turn, of course, but also pretty sure Frodo doesn't have the authority to do it. And enter Lurch, stage left. "On Caesar's suggestion," he says, "I searched all over the castle for records. I finally found a document relating to the common land. I believe Zexen was intending to give up this land in the future. I think there should be no problem with claiming that right." That's...pretty flimsy, but okay, let's continue pissing off BO. The Councilor decides that they'll all be homeless anyway if the land was sold to Lucia, as if they would actually sell it to someone who didn't intend to let them live there. Thus, Frodo keeps reading: "The amount of the sale is 200 potch. At the same time, Lucia of the Karaya Clan shall enter into a 200-year lease contract with [Frodo] of Buttfuck Castle. The payment for which is set at 1 potch per year." I know these guys are poor and everything, and that Lucia was doing them a favor, but you'd think she could have gotten a little more out of the deal, financially.

Babyface Official drops to his knees, finally beaten by this plan that seems really legally shaky. I mean, I'm pretty sure that, if the Council had just decided that this was Zexen territory anyway, some 16-year-old kid would not be allowed to sell that same territory to their enemy, and they would not recognize said sale as valid. But on cue, Bubba and Percy show up to play their part. "What is this?" Bubba asks with adorable commitment to feigned ignorance. "An invasion into Grassland isn't permitted without a Council resolution. You will have to leave the premises immediately." The knights all exit, leaving BO to have a tantrum and shout, while stamping his feet, "Why, I never! Hmph! Damn you all! I hate you! How could this happen? I won't forget this! Next time, we will take this castle--as your enemy!" That is really the logical conclusion to this entire sequence, but no matter--Percy speaks up to tell BO why they're really here. "It's become known that a few Council members have been taking bribes from the Holy Kingdom of Harmonia," he says. "These traitors are causing quite a bit of uproar in Vinay del [Sexay]. I don't see how you can remain head of the merchant's guild when you've upset customers so badly." It is awesome how much Bubba and Percy are enjoying this. BO lies that he has no idea what they mean, only for Percy to glare at him and answer, "Then you'd better hurry back to Vinay del [Sexay] to prove your innocence--before they come after you." Dang. Borus would be so hot right now.

Piccolo is enjoying the show.

BO runs off, more or less never to be seen again, leaving the Buttfuck Army alone with the knights. Percy addresses Frodo, "Well then, [Frodo], we will be leaving as well. Once the trouble at the Council subsides, it would be nice if you and the Zexen Federation could establish friendly ties." Frodo does not reply, "Only if my dad is one of the guys getting strung up by that mob in Vinay del Sexay." With that, Bubba and Percy also exit, leaving Frodo and his friends to relish the fact that they fought city hall. Samwise straight-up glomps him in relief, and I thought this would be the moment where Frodo and Sam would be forever established as boring-ass het canon, until Cogsworth glomps him from behind with equal jubilation, forming a truly awkward Frodo sandwich. Awesome. Of course, then Muto--sorry--dogpiles on and just makes things untenable. Nobody is interested in that.

Everybody exchanges platitudes about working hard and making Buttfuck Castle the buttfuckiest castle it can be, Martha lectures Frodo about not being an incompetent turd and making them some money for once, Juan takes a nap, Muto woofs, and the second and final chapter of Frodo's adventures comes to an end. Thank God. Next time, we'll start with the third chapters for real, and check in on our only marginally less boring buddy Hugo. Until then!

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