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  -LunarSSS Main
  -Part 1 :: [02.22.03]
  -Part 2 :: [05.23.03]
  -Part 3 :: [02.01.04]
  -Part 4 :: [08.17.04]
  -Part 5 :: [02.17.05]
  -Part 6 :: [02.17.06]
  -Part 7 :: [08.06.08]
  -Part 8 :: [08.28.11]
  -Part 9 :: [05.17.13]
  -Part 10 :: [11.26.13]
  -Part 11 :: [11.24.14]

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"Mio's all worried that he might get killed by monsters if he's traveling alone, but Tuta knows what to say to ease her mind: 'Not to worry. I'm tougher than I look. I fought in the [Yaoi] Army, you know.' Let me say from my first-hand experience that Tuta did no such thing. Unless licking Dr. Huan's ass 'round the clock counts as 'fighting.'"
     -Sam, Suikoden III Part 8

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Lunar: Silver Star Story : Part 4
By Sam
Posted 08.17.04
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3
In the last scintillating recap, Gams revealed herself as a true blue Mary Sue, Royce did not reveal her skanky titties (that's for later), and Ram-It revealed that he was a useless piece of crap (just kidding, he did that a long time ago). With my improved, prettier party of Alex, Gams and Nash--and lest we forget stupid Squeak--it's time to go to Nash's home, the Magickal City of Vane. During the interim, I used the money made off of selling Ram-It's stuff to buy all the good things I didn't get Gams and Nash earlier. What can I say, maybe I don't dislike Gams as much as I let on...or maybe I just need to keep her alive so she can heal the characters I don't hate. Duh.

Just outside Meribia on the world map, Nash provides the party with directions on getting to Vane. That is, they follow the clearly-marked path they're already on until an anime cut scene smacks them in the face. How, oh how will I ever make it there? Of course, this is Nash, the guy who got stuck under a wicker basket, so he probably assumes everyone else is as "smart" as he is and therefore needs a road map to get out of a wet paper bag.

Squeak asks Nash, who is wearing his usual smirk, what he's smirking about. Or maybe we don't get a changed avatar indicating this new, smirkier smirk of his. Anyway, Nash tells him that he'll know soon enough, and to "keep [his] eyes on the sky." Whatever could that mean? Surely Vane, a MAGIC CITY, is on the ground, and not in the SKY!

After journeying southeast for all of eight seconds, the Dual Shock rumbles giddily, along with a rumbling sound on-screen, to let me know something is heading for the party. "Behold!" Nash cries, probably jizzing himself in glee. "The Magic City of Vane!" I get a brief spritely glimpse of, yes, the flying city, before the anime cuts in and we can see what's making Nash so very excited.

Even though a flying island in the sky is pretty cool, Lord knows we've seen it elsewhere. I mean, this IS Lunar, land of 10,000 RPG Clichés. So, the folks at Game Arts had to sit down and brainstorm.

"Guys," one of them said to his game designer buddies, before taking his first of many bong hits for that afternoon, "how can we spice up this boring old floating city?" One of his colleagues--no doubt a novice in the ways of game design--suggested some interesting ideas. Maybe the island could be like colonial Australia: an island prison for Lunar's scumbags and criminals. Or perhaps it's held in the air by the force of a terrible storm below, and walking under Vane would spell disaster for travelers. The game designers in the room, including that asshole playing the sitar in the corner, laughed off these ideas. This kid, they figured, had a long way to go in this business.

Then, another man cleared his throat meaningfully. He was the senior designer on the team, and when he spoke, the others listened. In a clear, confident voice, he said one word: "Penises."

Holy crap.

"Brilliant!" the group roared, and in celebration of their collective genius, they got high some more. And that, as they say, is that.

The end result is an island that would probably make Sigmund Freud's brain explode. Not only are there phallic, Stonehenge-like rock monuments spaced around the edge of the island, but at the head of the city, there are two penisy spires thrusting into the heavens, side by side. The Washington Monument would feel inadequate here. And to cap off the whole thing, the Magic City of Vein circles the Goddess Tower, a humongous phallic structure that reportedly serves as Althena's home. Either Althena is a cock-whoring slut (and I might be onto something with this), or we're entering a realm of terrifying RPG crossover and she's actually CHAOS!!!.

Once Nash has finished explaining about Vein, and how its mystical penisy powers protect Althena from harm, the group continues on to the Spring of Transmission, the entrance to Vein. The old guy guarding the Spring immediately recognizes Nash as Ghaleon's soopahstah apprentice. Nash's ego, which had been swelling nicely, gets popped almost immediately when he tries to get Alex and Gams into Vein using his own impressive penis size credentials. "They're my friends, sir," Nash says, gesturing not-so-subtly at his crotch. "I assure you that they are most worthy of ascending to [Vein]." The old man isn't having any of it. "I'm sorry, Nash, but they're not," he insists, watching with satisfaction as Nash deflates (in more ways than one). "Rumors abound that the Magic Emperor himself roams the land... Thus, Lemia Ausa has placed quite stringent rules into effect." I like how it was all Nash's idea to come here, but he didn't even check into this beforehand. Ass. At any rate, Alex and Gams (and Squeak, I guess) can enter Vein, but only if they fill out an application form, which can be obtained from someone named Phacia in Althena's Shrine. Off to the penis we go!

'We're here to film Splendor in the Ass 13.'

Upon entering the base of the Goddess Penis (the testicles?), the party is greeted at the door by a priestess. She heals everyone up, just like one of those pretty statues, except she's a real person. Who has to stand there all the time, just so people can get their hit points back. Couldn't they have just put a statue there? I'm sure there's a warehouse somewhere full of those things, in every color of the rainbow.

And Vein will never fall from the sky, right? Right?

Althena's Shrine is hereafter officially known as the Shrine of Foreshadowing, because every goddamn person here feels the need to whack Alex upside the head with his or her Shrine-issued Foreshadowing Mallet. Several people let us in on the truth about Master Mel's daughter, one Jessica de Alkirk. Apparently, she's a naughty girl who skips out on the shrine all the time to go party with booooys! Like, her? No way!

Another kind spirit skilled in the craft of non-obvious clues tells the party all about the Goddess Penis. Althena lives way up there, and from the look of things she probably has a world-class vibrator to keep her company. "I've never seen her, of course," he einsteins. "You couldn't reach the [Penis] unless you could fly!" Squeak asks Alex if he should fly up there and check out the digs. Gams chides, "Ha, ha! I don't think your tiny wings could get you all the way up there, [Squeak]." But if he had great, powerful wings--you know, say, humongous dragon wings--maybe he could go all the way to the Goddess Penis! But that's silly talk, as we don't know that Squeak is really a baby white dragon. In the same way that we don't know Alex is going to become Dragonmaster. Pshaw.

And finally, a priest provides some background on the Shrine itself, where the priests and priestesses of Althena are trained in highly difficult and complex healing magic. "[Gams] can do the same thing with her songs!" Squeak pipes up, eager to show off their lovely Mary Sue. "A singer with the power to heal?" the priest says, positively flabbergasted. "In all of my years as a priest, I've never heard such a thing. You must be mistaken." He goes on, because this isn't the most obvious fucking plot twist ever, "The only person with a voice powerful enough to heal is the Goddess Althena." Cue look of despair and angst from Gams. Oh, for the love of God. Who didn't see this coming? Show of hands?

Let's jump the gun a bit. How early did you figure out that Gams = Althena?
Let's see, the fucking BACKUP SINGERS were a bit of a clue.
I wasn't sure until the end, but there are tons of hints about it in the game.


The backs of their heads a bit sore from all that hammering, the kids make it nonetheless to the back of the Shrine, where Nash gets them an audience with Phacia. Squeak wonders if she's a hottie. Right, dumbass. Like they'd ever have a sacred priestess be anything but gorgeous. Gams asks Alex if he's blushing at the thought, and for once keeps her jealousy in check and doesn't go claw Phacia's eyes out. After a moment, Nash accompanies Phacia to them, and we zoom headfirst into another anime scene.

Like the introductory scene with Ram-It, I wonder if there's really a point to this being animated. Once the camera has panned up Phacia's body to show us her nice curves and her floor-length silver braids, it's just Phacia speaking. Badly. Not that she's speaking badly about anyone or anything--it's just that her voice actress is unspeakably awful. For some characters, as we'll see later in this recap, Working Designs found some great people, especially considering that they cast locally instead of hiring professional voice actors. But then there's Phacia. Jesus. Anyway, as for her intro speech, she rattles off in a high, fluttery voice: "Good day to you all! I am Phacia, head priestess at the temple of the Goddess. I have received word that you are on a journey to become the new Dragonmaster, Alex! I pray that you choose to stay in [Vein] and become the guardian of Althena, for as you know, we haven't had a Dragonmaster since the days of Dyne came to an end!"

Seriously. It's like William Shatner and Anna Nicole Smith produced a horrible, Satanic love child, and it grew up to have a part in this game. And you're welcome for the mental image. I only provide the best.

I breathe a sigh of relief as the anime ends, and Phacia's future dialogue is rendered beautifully silent. You'll note, by the way, that I have thus far resisted the damn near uncontrollable urge to nickname her Fellatio. I do like her as a character, and unlike most of the other girls in this game, she doesn't really earn the raunchy moniker. It doesn't really fit, does it?

...Oh, what the heck. You only live once.

Fellatio goes on about the Dragonmaster thing, telling Alex, "Since Dragonmaster Dyne's passing, no one man has proven worthy of the title." Well, yeah, if someone had, wouldn't there have been another Dragonmaster since him? Wait. There I go, thinking I don't need all this redundant exposition. The game designers only have my best interests at heart. But Fellatio actually has a point in saying this, as she uses this fact to try to persuade Alex into doing something else, like studying to be a mage in Vein. Squeak tells Fellatio thanks but no thanks, since Alex has his jaws wired shut and can't answer for himself. Squeak goes on that the only reason Alex is trying to get into Vein is to find out more about the other three Dragons. Fellatio tells Alex again to reconsider, but no dice. Alex is going to be the Dragonmaster, with the stupid earflap hat and everything, and there's not a damn thing you can do to stop him.

Wait, why would she want to stop him? The head priestess of Althena couldn't be eeeeevil, could she?

Dun dun DUN!

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