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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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"As the camera slides slowly down the grand hall of Castle Wyndia, showing us the multitude of guards and upper-class artsy-fartsy decor, the King's voice reverberates down the hall: 'And it be in truth a dragon?' Because Kings talk funny. Don't look at me, I don't make the rules."
     -Ryan, Breath of Fire III Part 3

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Lunar: Silver Star Story : Part 10
By Sam
Posted 11.26.13
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3
In the last installment of Half-Dragonmaster Alex's red-hot flaming adventures, the kids found out the Red Dragon was kidnapped by the Vile Tribe and is also possibly in a magical coma, essentially making her TurtleNinja. She still managed to give Alex the Red Dragon Shield, and now, to reach the three-quarters mark of his self-indulgent cosplay mission, he must travel to the Stadius Zone and find the Blue Dragon.


As Laike indicated, the way to the Stadius Zone is through inbred Meryod and across its newly repaired bridge. The Walmart greeter and most of the villagers are all too eager--or "plum tickled pink" as more than one of them actually says--to discuss this bridge, because it presents a ripe opportunity to exposit about our next Town with a Theme. An old lady tells them she's very excited about the bridge's completion, because, "Now I ken finallee get back ta Lyteen ta listen ta theer beauteefull music!!" A woman across the bridge contributes, "Sum feller done told me that thuh Blue Draggin Shrine is in sum lake north uh here. I went there ta check it out, but all I foun' was sum weird folk singin' funny." Could the shrine and the village of singers be related?! No, of course not. That would be crazy.

Jessica's next upgrade will be a mace for fighting yeast infections.

Directly to the east--making Meryod the most unfortunately located village on the planet--is another forest area. Another shrine to Althena is visible past the forest on the map, and Alex rather enjoyed the first one, so he takes a look. Just inside the trees, a man is hanging out seemingly just to tell him, "I heard there's someplace really cool inside the forest, where the monsters are really strong! They're supposed to be SO powerful you can't even SCRATCH them!" Kyle quips that he'll show these monsters some "scratchin' action," when I was expecting him to start singing "Cat Scratch Fever" just to piss off Jessica and Squeak in one fell swoop.

As promised, the monsters hidden in this place, called the Forbidden (Fucking) Forest, are horrible, though the forest's Walmart greeter is incorrect about not being able to touch them at all. I mean, our heroes barely do any damage to the group of fluttering red pot plants they encounter, and are immediately dispatched by the Weed Demons with ease and extreme prejudice. But it's not like they're completely immune to attacks. Nonetheless, it's pretty much impossible to get through this terrible place until a little bit later, so for now, following a game restart after which our heroes remember nothing of their grisly deaths, they exit the forest and walk north into the mountains, to a village on the edge of a lake.

Well, there's not enough here for everyone. That's just bad planning.

The second Team Alex enters this village, I am assailed by a truly grating piece of background music. And I don't mean like the interminable horns of Reza; this town theme is terrible by design, and weirder still, the kids can hear it too. Even Mia, who can always find something nice to say, asks, "What is that awful noise...?" Jessica replies, "It sounds kind of like a song...but whoever's playing it has a serious case of tone-deafness!" Just like this game! Jess is also wrong--it sounds less like someone is playing it wrong and more like an ensemble of really badly tuned woodwinds, which is pretty close to the truth. Not that that's going to be relevant! Nash nails it as usual by asking, "Do you think stuffing blades of glass into my ears would help to stop the bleeding?" But Kyle, naturally, grins and tells them, "What are you people talking about? This song is great! In fact, I'm gonna sing along..." To Squeak's consternation, he lets out what I'm guessing is a very musical belch. This in turn allows Jess to both be shrill with him over his poor manners and think she's right about the song being "tone deaf," since Kyle obviously is.

A sad little boy with teal hair sings them an off-key welcome near the Althena statue: since it wasn't obvious from the horrible accent of the Meryodians, this village is named Lyton, and everyone here loves music and singing! But, but, how could a village of music lovers also be inundated with such a discordant, piece-of-shit town theme? I'm asking now so I don't have to repeat it when our heroes ask this of every single NPC in town. Anyway, the boy has an answer of sorts: all the villagers are miserable because their town theme is fucked up for some reason and it's hampering their own ability to sing. I swear, if their town theme has been corrupted by a fake Dragonmaster, I'm leaving.

A jaunt around town provides a few more details courtesy of the utterly obnoxious residents of Lyton: the town theme is "composed by the Wind Spirit itself," which, run through the bullshit translator, means it is a naturally occurring phenomenon; the shrine to this "Wind Spirit" has monsters in it all of a sudden; and though they all seem to know what's gone wrong and cannot stop bitching about it, the citizens of Lyton are apparently pacifists and are "unable" to pick up a fucking sword or even a shovel with a sharp end and do something about it. It becomes immediately apparent that Lyton is exclusively occupied by lazy narcissists who don't know how to do anything but sing. Worse, they are sensitive arteestes who are much more concerned about depriving the world of their own unending melismas than about the fact that the shrine right next to their own village is overrun with fucking demons. One girl cries in the most melodramatic way possible, "I want to SIIIING! I want to send my voice into the heavens as an offering to the Goddess Althena!" I'm sure Althena is just beside herself with loss right now. An old man tells them with total seriousness, "In the village of Lyton, our lives and our songs are joined together. If we lose one, we lose them both..." Nope. I promise that's not true.

You're right, there is nothing else you can do.

And in case the town-wide diva complex wasn't enough, it also turns out they have prophetic dreams that are probably just numbers from Wicked. A girl with bright purple odango hair says, "I dreamt of a green-eyed boy coming to Lyton. He seeks the Blue Dragon. He seeks to be a Dragonmaster..." Why the fuck else would he be seeking the Blue Dragon? And aren't the green eyes a Dragonmaster thing anyway? This bitch is cold-reading Alex like a pro. And pulling from Royce's Big Book of Vague-Ass Premonitions, she goes on, "In my dream, the green-eyed boy met the Blue Dragon...but then everything went dark. It was as if someone didn't want me to see what happened next!" Uh huh. Squeak, being an idiot, is all-in on this totally real, not made-up prophecy.

So, in summary: there are monsters afoot, the Quakers of Lyton are too busy crying big old crocodile tears to handle the problem themselves, and it just so happens that one of them had a vision of a boy with green eyes saving their bacon. You guys know that Alex will help if you just fucking ask, right? There's no need for all these elaborate excuses. He's really nice! Too nice! Finally, the teens find the town elder and his wife, the latter of whom is thankfully a little more direct about requiring assistance. But the old lady calls her husband "that magnificent man," which is a little creepy, and I wonder if they're one of those couples who aggressively and constantly make out in front of strangers.

The suicide rate in Lyton must be astronomical.

Mrs. Elder tells them that in exchange for their help, "he can give you the information you desire...I can see the questions already on your lips." So she knows I'm about to ask, "You know, you can always just talk normally instead of singing, right?" Anyway, the elder. He barely even looks Alex in the face before declaring him the "green-eyed boy" and announcing that many of the villagers, including himself, have also had the same completely non-fabricated dream about him. When Squeak enthuses that the elder "knows" Alex--and expresses surprise that "gullible" is not in the dictionary--the elder carries on with his ridiculous cold-reading. "Alex! So that is your name! We never learned it in our dreams," he says. I bet they didn't.

"Do you hear that awful music, Alex? Of course you do..." the elder says. God, this is so meta. Why can't anybody else hear their town theme? What is with this fucking village? The elder goes on to repeat, at length, the details the teens got from everyone else, plus some more whining about how they "don't have the resources" to fight the monsters. Yeah, the story from the lady in the item shop was that the elder refuses to allow weapons in the village, but no, it's all about how destitute they are and how they "know nothing of combat" because they're so very peaceful. Whatever.

Jessica and Mia agree that Alex shouldn't have any trouble handling Lyton's demonic pest problem, but Nash whines, "But we don't have to waste time slaying mangy monsters for a hapless bunch of lounge singers! Not when we still don't know where to find the Blue Dragon!" I will forgive his whiny tone and his willful deafness to all the people who said the Blue Dragon is near Lyton, because "hapless lounge singers" makes me giggle. Of course, the elder goes, "Right! Dragonmaster shit! I know all about that!" The Blue Dragon, per the elder, is guarded by these very lounge singers, and is summoned by the villagers' singing during some shitty festival not unlike that in Burg. "But without our song, we can't get festive about anything!" he cries again. HINT HINT. Finally, once Kyle has acted as the audience surrogate and has noted that there's really only one choice here, the elder demands, not asks, that they enter the shrine and take care of business.

It's worth noting here, now that Alex has chatted up every warbling NPC in Lyton, that there is not one mention of any singers from the village being kidnapped. Weirder still, the teens, who were so obsessed with that particular mystery when they encountered Royce in Reza, don't even think to ask anyone in this village of singers if they've had any trouble on that front. I could probably fanwank this if I tried hard enough--though it can't be that they stopped kidnapping singers when they got Gams, because of Lily--but I am instead choosing to believe that no one was kidnapped from Lyton because none of them are actually talented singers, and that this town is in fact one big echo chamber of mediocre songstresses validating their talents for each other. It amuses me to no end to picture Xeboobia sitting in their tavern in disguise one evening to gauge who the most talented one of this bunch was, only to mutter "NOPE" and teleport out of there without even ordering a drink.

On to the shrine, which is pretty much on the immediate outskirts of the village, and is not in some nearby windy valley like the elder said. Three men are "guarding the door" for Alex, should he need some extra voices to shout for help when he gets murdered in there. No, really: the mulleted man in this trio tells them, "If it's too dangerous, don't be ashamed to get out of there as quickly as you can. After all, you're just children..." Drink! The elderly man next to him is a little more blunt: "You're going into the shrine, huh?" he asks. "Hey, that's a great idea. Might as well get 'em used to the taste of humans." The old man also tells them to look out for the less structurally sound parts of the floor inside the shrine. But I bet it's so nice in there!

I'm worried this might actually be the Blue Dragon's septic tank.

Apparently the Wind Spirit just doesn't have the cultural cachet Althena does, because this is not a shrine, it's a cave. It's not even a fancy cave. It's also hard to see how it's a shrine to the Wind Spirit when the only structures in here that appear to be man-made are these turd-shaped sculptures on circular pedestals. I really wanted to say they look like penises, but despite their upright, erect nature, anyone whose penis looks like that needs to see a doctor immediately.

The monsters in this teal-and-fuchsia clash zone are nothing new--mostly giant ants, this game's answer to Moblins, and pink-and-purple cousins of the Brain Dicker. The more interesting feature of the Turd Shrine is, as the old man alluded to, the ramshackle flooring. Alex first encounters this while approaching a chest that contains a lovely violet Wisdom Robe for Nash. Near the chest is a rather obvious crack in the fuchsia ground. Obviously stepping on this crack is not wise, but I do so anyway because I live dangerously. Alex drops through the floor onto the next sub-level, where he immediately runs into a brand-new variety of one-eyed monster, this one a floating black hole with a single lazy eye that wields, strangely, lightning powers. The gang clears the area of One-Eyed Glory Holes (metaphor confusion!), nabs a Star Light from a chest, and goes down another level. So, to be clear, nothing bad happens if Alex falls through a hole in the ground, because there are staircases on every level and he has to descend to the bottom level anyway. Still, if they care about their Turd Spirit so much, they could really stand to come in here and do a little carpentry. What is the money in that donation box even funding?

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