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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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"Hey, wait a minute! In order to pass through, Tony must set fire to it once again, even though evil and/or non-evil monks presumably pass through this all the time. I assume they're not burning and rehanging a tapestry every time they use this door. But hey, I like burning stuff."
     -Jeanne, Eternal Darkness Part 3




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Suikoden III : Part 1
By Sam
Posted 01.07.03
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3
After years of waiting, the Suikoden franchise has finally come to the Playstation 2. Which means it's time for a third round of recapping with arguably the gayest game series in RPG history. Hopefully this time around the characters will stop teasing me and get on with the yaoi scenes. Yes, I know it's a pipe dream. Shut up.

Before the startup screen, there's quite a long anime cinema. I know I should recap it from start to finish, but there's really no point, as it's just an anime montage, albeit set to very cool music, of a bunch of characters who won't be introduced for a very long time. Maybe I'll do a recap of it before the last hour of the game, but for now, suffice it to say that there's a lot of slashing monsters and explosions and there are many young, hot men featured who may or may not be in the business of chocolate diving.

Gay? Oh, probably.
 

The anime fades out and the startup screen fades in. After pressing start, I'm prompted to pick a name for the "Flame Champion." If you thought I was lying about the gayness, well, there you go. I figure a little connection between Suikoden II and this game is in order, so I decide to follow my own example and name our Flaming Champion "Isaac," as in Isaac Hayes. Oh baaaaaaaby.

With that, and the issue of loading my Suikoden II save data, out of the way, the game continues to a screen with three large circles and three small circles arranged in--you guessed it--a big circle. For a moment, I fear that Konami ripped off Final Fantasy X's sphere grid, but it turns out this is the hub of Suikoden III's "Trinity Sight System." We'll get to that later on. Three flames erupt from the three large circles, and when I am given the option to select one, I find out that each flame represents one of the game's three heroes. How thin are they going to make me stretch the flaming jokes? For now, I choose the tan young man with the blond hair and dark roots, whom the text onscreen tells me is named Hugo.

The music swells majestically as the scene opens up on a grassy plain under a pale blue sky. The camera pans quickly to the right, over the grass, and we move in on Hugo, riding what I can only describe as a cracked-out combo of a zebra and a gazelle. With a rhino horn. Hugo and his horned zebrelle ride to the edge of a small cliff and are soon joined by a griffon and an anthropomorphic duck wearing an old-school football helmet with a picture of a rubber duck on it. Duckman's also carrying a poleax. I'm sure this representative of the Rubber Duck Army is really a seasoned and formidable warrior. Pffft. The threesome (and the zebrelle) look on as the camera reveals a small village nestled in the grass. I can only guess that one or all of these characters live in the village, because if they were sent on a mission to invade it, whoever chose them needs to have his or her head examined.

 
THE VILLAGE IS ON FIRE!!! ...Oops, false alarm.

The next scene opens up with Hugo riding his zebrelle up a path into the village. The motion capture is really goofy-looking, as Hugo's head and the creature's head bob back and forth in time with each other, in exactly the same way. That sounded pretty bad, didn't it? I also get the impression that riding the zebrelle makes for really bad posture, as Hugo's neck is crooked at quite the uncomfortable angle as it bobs around. I wish my sentences would stop coming out that way. Or maybe I don't.

Before he makes it into the village proper, a random NPC dressed similarly to Hugo (and with the same color hair) asks him why his "horse" is so tired, and if he's been out "hassling the sleeping earth spirits again." Wow, this dialogue is so amazingly natural. I know every time my boyfriend comes home looking tired, I question his disturbing of the sleeping earth spirits. Hugo takes the bad dialogue one step further and announces he needs the spirits' help to make him a better rider. What the fuck do earth spirits have to do with riding a "horse"? Unfortunately, I never find out, because Duckman interrupts this scintillating scene with a derisive "Get real," taking the words right out of my mouth. Duckman's real name is Sergeant Joe, or Joe, I suppose, since Sergeant is a title. Anyway, I was hoping Sarge would put the kaibash on this blatant exposition crap, but he's nearly as bad: "My Duck Clan doesn't believe in that nonsense!" That's really incredible--I thought he was part of a clan of mountain lions. Dumbass.

...Horse?
 

Sergeant Duckman berates Hugo a little bit more for having his head in the wrong place, since spirituality won't help make him a good killing machine. Hugo has nothing to fear, though, when Duckman and Fubar are with him. Who's Fubar? The griffon, actually, who screeches appreciatively at the sound of his name. His screeching is matched by the irritated and offended screeching of fanboys across the land when they read that name on the screen. "How stupid! How could they name a character that? OMGWTF!!!111" Give me a break. I'm fairly convinced most of them are bitching about the name because they secretly want to be praised for remembering the word from Full Metal Jacket. Fine. The griffon has a stupid name, which I will change now to Fubie, since that's my name for him anyway, and it will hopefully keep the fanboy posturing at a minimum. Can we move along, now?

After Sarge nearly gets his head bitten off by Fubie (ha ha!), Hugo suggests they all go get some grub. Sarge digs the suggestion, since "Karaya meals are always a pleasure. Especially in the home of the Karaya Clan Chief." Any guesses at who the Chief Exposition!Duckman's talking about is? Don't bother; you'll find out soon enough.

Back to the Trinity Sight screen, which I'm guessing means Hugo's introduction is over. What have we learned about Hugo? He has very odd taste in friends, and since he's the best rider in the village and the chief's son, he's obviously this game's Gary Stu. Way to leave a first impression, kid. Next. I turn the Wheel of Heroes and find our second recapping victim, a white-haired woman named Chris. I'll pause for a moment so the male fans can writhe in anger at Konami having the audacity to include a female RPG hero, and so the female fans can sing a few verses of "I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar."

Done now? Let's continue.

The scene opens up in an old-timey town, on the cobblestoned street. Hundreds of doofy motion-capture people are waving their arms happily as the ticker tape and flower petals fly through the air. Judging from their arrangement, I'd say this is a parade. A little NPC boy gestures that he wants to be held up over the crowd, and an NPC man obliges, probably so Konami can show us how cool their real live 3D models are. The screams of joy get louder as an entourage of knights enters through the town gates. They're led by our new friend Chris. Note that she's on a pretty white horse and all the other knights have brown ones, because it will become important later. Sort of. There's a close-up on Chris as she passes through the crowd. The NPC boy from before sticks out from the people waving at her. This warrants a smile from our lady knight. Look, she's a hero and she's beautiful! I smell a Mary Sue to complement our Gary Stu.

 
Don't get used to this expression.

Cut to the room of a manor, where a young lad in armor similar to Chris' is preparing tea. Chris clunks her way over to a sofa and sits down. Yes, clunks. Whenever she walks her armor makes jingling and clinking noises, la our old buddy Adelbert Steiner. Chris is brooding about something. She seems a bit upset about knights being treated like "clowns." I have no idea what she's talking about. Another person appears in the room--or maybe he was there the entire time, I don't know--and tries to comfort Chris, since she's a Zexen hero and she needs to have some PR. I guess Chris didn't like the parade idea. What a killjoy. The man (?) is Salome, and apparently he's a knight, too, despite his different style of armor and his hilarious haircut. It's one of those mushroom jobs like Tootie from The Facts of Life had. Hey, I think I just found a nickname for Salome.

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