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  -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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"Since the game designers don't really care about things like plot holes or sense, I don't expect any of these questions to be answered. The moral of the story is that Drugs Are Bad, M'kay?"
     -Jeanne, Final Fantasy X Part 18

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Lunar: Silver Star Story : Part 5
By Sam
Posted 02.17.05
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3
Way the hell back in part four, Alex and his dysfunctional gang traveled to the Magic City of Vein, which is very magical and also very phallic. We were also introduced to the two most important people in Nash's life (other than himself): his fantasy girl, the demure Mia Ausa; and his dead sexy master, idol and possible fantasy man, Lord Ghaleon. The Premier of Vein wanted to shake Nash off his leg for a little while, so he sent him and his companions off to a town called Lann, in order to bust some poser Dragonmaster. But how funny would it be if this guy were the real Dragonmaster? Like, "Sorry, Alex, your dream is now officially unattainable. Go home and marry your sister."

We pick up with the kids and their annoying pet back on the world map, south of the Shrine of Foreshadowing, in front of the entrance to a mountain pass. Of course, I simply must stall the story and go back to the shrine to see if any of the irrelevant people there have anything new to say. They don't, but the lady in charge does. Gams thanks Fellatio for helping them get into Vein, but Fellatio thinks that Alex going after his Very Special Dream™ is thanks enough, and oh isn't he just the cutest little Dragonmaster-in-training. She also tells him his natural ability for magic is even better than Dyne's was. Isn't that nice of her to tell him that. And to act like she means it! Aww.

Okay, that was pointless. Now we can go to Lann. The mountain pass is somewhat irritating, if only because Gams and Nash are wuss-tastic, especially Nash with his Level 13 Pipecleaner Arms. How am I supposed to skate by with his Thunder Bomb spell in every battle when the lazy, two-dungeon-skipping jackass doesn't have the MP to consistently deliver? Dammit. Another lesser problem are the trick treasure chests scattered throughout the pass, which automatically land the party in a battle, confused and spinning around drunkenly like Shion at a frat house. With a little backup from the strategy guide, though, avoiding these traps is not a problem. And since this guide isn't by Bradygames, I don't have to be paranoid that the guide is wrong and I'm missing some fabulous treasure that I'll need to beat the final boss.

So much innunendo for one monster!

The soundtrack, for what it's worth, is working its little heart out to try and make me care about this dungeon, jammin' the exciting MIDI bass beat like it's going out of style. But no amount of badly synthed electric guitar is going to make Nash and Gams slapping mud monsters and mutant ants with their wands any more interesting. Well, maybe if it was a porno track. ...No, wait, it'd still be boring.

I get all excited when Alex exits the screen and enters a town, until I realize that the town is in the middle of the damn mountains, which means I haven't reached Fishing Village Lann yet. Crap. This place happens to be a gated community, so Nash "politely" asks the guy at the gate to let them in. Yes, he does it with a lot of Vein-related name-dropping. How the hell else would Nash get anywhere? The guard is thoroughly freaked at the idea of Ghaleon frying his ass on the Skillet of Pain, leaving our heroes free to move on into the fort, called Nanza.

Unfortunately, the power of Nash's Magic Guild Cred shrivels up at the western gate--the guard couldn't care less about Ghaleon and Lemia and all those other spellcasting hippies. The only way he'll let the gang through is if they get the explicit permission of some guy named Kyle. Well, that would be simple, except according to the guard, this Kyle is off on a bender somewhere in Nanza because he got in a fight with a lady friend. The guard says to check the north tower. He says nothing about talking to every NPC in a half-mile radius, but you know I'm going to do that anyway.

Like the Shrine of Foreshadowing, this joint has a theme, and here the theme is "Criminal with a Heart of Goooooold." The criminal is Kyle, because he's a no-good bandit, but according to many of the folks milling about here, he's such a nice sweetie pie and helps poor women and babies and crippled old dudes cross the dangerous mountains. Also, rainbows come out of his ass and he once helped shut down a puppy mill. But don't forget that he's still a bandit and therefore a bad boy. This is important.

Well, now I just have to meet this guy. He's not at the north tower, but someone there directs us to the east tower, where Kyle was just spotted with a pint of Nanza's finest. I'm quite sure he'll be there, because I'm a clueless idiot who's never played this Chase the Dollar on a String down the Sidewalk game. The originality, it's making me tear up here.

Eating food when you're hungry? BRILLIANT!

Obviously, Kyle's not here either, but a little girl at the top of the tower nudges Alex toward the cafeteria in the basement of the fort. An underground kitchen. Great idea. In the dank vibrant mess hall, Kyle is nowhere to be found. Several NPCs wax poetic about Kyle stuffing his face moments ago before crashing in his bedroom. "You should've seen it!" one guy squeals. "There was a man in here who had the most severe case of the munchies I've ever seen!" This guy is not the only one to make a comment to this effect, leading me to wonder if Kyle's beer stein doubles as a bong.

Desperate much?

In Kyle's love pad, Alex finds not Kyle, but Kyle's coddling, sycophantic assistant. He explains that the SOP for drunken!Kyle is to lock him in a jail cell until the drunkenness and subsequent hangover have blown over. The ass-istant also lets slip, "I wish he'd stop arguing with Jessica and just admit how he feels for her..." Wait, you mean Slutty Schoolgirl Jessica de Alkirk? The plot, she thickens!

The jail cell is conveniently right next door to Kyle's bedroom, presided over by a guy with an inexplicable Funny Foreign Guy Accent, à la Latka on Taxi. He elaborates on Jessica and Kyle being a thang, and expresses his desire that they "make up most happily and start boxing their tonsils!" Thanks, Working Designs. Anyway, "talking" to Kyle lands our heroes in a big ol' pile of anime FMV.

Slow pan over the tanned and, may I say, quite hot body of Kyle of Nanza, stretched out on the dirt floor. He's overwhelming me with his masculinity, between the frilled short-shorts and the hooker boots with fur trim. Arriving at Kyle's face, I forget about the fabulous outfit, because he's snoring and drooling and has a snot bubble coming out of his nose, and that is totally icky straight guy fare. For an added level of detail I'm not sure I wanted, Alex, Gams and Nash are reflected in the snot bubble. Gross. The bubble gets bigger and bigger until it explodes like a goddamn firecracker, waking up its owner. I'd hope so. I think that sound woke up my neighbors.

Kyle, clearly still drunk, staggers to his feet and grins stupidly at the camera. "What a night!" he growls hoarsely. "Kyle had himself another night of wine, women and song!" He's even doing the glug-glug gesture as he says this, the universal symbol for downing a couple bottles of Mad Dog. Oh, he's adorable. "Just between you and me, I think I had a little too much of the wine. But the women didn't complain!" And with that proclamation of "I LOVE CHICKS!!!!!!!!" he crashes back to the ground. Oh yeah. I'd tap that.

We've all had boyfriends like this. Am I right, ladies?

Latka pulls the party out of the FMV to yell at them for waking up the boss. Squeak balks, having not made the difficult leap in logic from "drunk in a jail cell" to "the very drunk in a jail cell we're looking for." He asks what the hell Kyle is doing snoring away on the ground if he's this big important guy around here, like the bootlicker back in Kyle's bedroom didn't already explain this to us. Jesus Christ, Squeak. So Latka goes through the whole fight with girlfriend -> drunk -> violent -> jail cell concept for us a second time. My lethargic brain has almost grasped what he means. Just one second, I've just about got it.

Latka would rather not disturb Kyle again, thankyouverymuch, and agrees to get the guard to let them through if they'll just get the hell out. Sounds easy enough. As they leave, Squeak wonders, "Jessica was Kyle's girlfriend?!" I open the menu and frantically search Nash's magic inventory for a Dismember Squeak spell. Again, Nash lets me down.

Spells we wish Nash had:
Comprehend Languages Game Designers
Vanish Gams's Clothes
Vanish Gams
The 'Gorge Squeak on Fish until He Chokes, Just for the Irony' Spell


The guard at the gate continues to be a dick, and yells at our heroes for doing something so stupid as trying to wake up Kyle when he's drunk. When, you know, he told them to. Ass. But he lets them through the gate, so no harm no foul. Except when I see that there's more mountain pass on the other side of Nanza, which means more annoying battles between me and Lann. If I hadn't had to fuck around with Drunky McRummerstein I would probably already be in Lann. I feel so cheated. Well, Drunky was kind of hot, so I'll stop bitching.

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