Breath of Fire III : Part 2
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"Hey! I think I figured it out!" Teepo gushes, as if he's found a cure for the common cold or discovered Atlantis or something. Alf and CT register their confusion by displaying pretty purple question marks above their heads. Sigh. You know you're in trouble when the person with the most rational thought in your party is Teepo, for fuck's sake. "He must have jumped into the water to get away...yeah...that's it..." he continues, still sounding unsure of his theory. God dammit, is it too much to ask to have a BoF character with more than two brain cells to rub together? "You're probably right..." CT replies, astounded that one of his playthings could be so intelligent. "So, how do we go after him?"
Now, the obvious response would be "Gee, CT, I think we should jump into the water after him! We should try to find a higher ledge to jump from so we can get into that there underwater cave". Does Teepo say this? No, he fucking doesn't. He says "..........I dunno", breaking his own ellipses record in the process. Head, meet desk. And wall. And fist.
So, now I must guide these retards to a higher ledge from which to jump into the water. Do I have to do everything for these kids? I'm glad Capcom stopped short at having me wipe their asses for them when they go to the bathroom. Although, CT would probably get a lot more enjoyment out of doing that job than me. Aaaanyway, it doesn't take long to find the aforementioned higher ledge. Upon noticing it, Teepo squeals "OK, OK, this time I really got it! We dive in from here! And then we float down to that spot we saw before..." For fuck's sake, give him a gold star already, then maybe he'll shut up. CT asks Alf (ie, me) if Teepo's right. Of course, I have to reply in the affirmative in order to eventually get out of this godforsaken cave, and this recap, with my sanity intact. Ever the gentleman, CT replies "OK Alf, you go first." Poor little Alf doesn't protest, as he's obviously used to CT taking the lead.
After confirming that, yes, I DO want Alf to jump into the water, Alf takes a deep breath and goes down....into the water. See, I didn't make it sound completely dirty! I must be losing my touch. He is duly followed by CT and Teepo, who's probably worrying about how the hell he's going to swim properly, what with that miniskirt and his butt-length hair weighing him down. Still, if the worst comes to the worst, I'm sure CT will be more than willing to administer the kiss of life.
So, doing it doggy-style (I meant swimming, honest!!!), the party floats downriver and into the gaping maw of the underwater cavern. Cut to interior of said cavern, where the three ragamuffins are shaking themselves to get rid of the water. Teepo's hair is straggling down over his face, giving him the look of a cute-and-cuddly-super-deformed-purple-haired Samara from The Ring. I just hope he doesn't crawl out of the TV and kill me after all the nasty things I've said about him. After gaining control of Alf again, I only manage to walk a few paces before we hear the ear-splitting cry of the Nue. It appears from yet another cave opening and leaps towards the party, who, instead of screaming like little girls, somehow manage to stand their ground for the inevitable Boss Battle. The battle is actually quite easy - then again, I suppose I would have had more trouble with it had I not spent countless hours fighting Goos whilst trying to climb the damn mountain. After the fight, the Nue, using its last ounce of strength, crawls over to the tunnel it emerged from and blocks the entrance as it dies, as if trying to protect something inside the tunnel. Can you see where this is going? Yep, it's make-the-player-feel-like-a-heartless-piece-of-shit time!
Inside the cave, three Nue cubs are lying dead on a bed of straw. "It looks like they've been dead for a long time," the Invisible!Narrator begins. "That Nue must not have realized they were dead and kept on bringing food back for them..." So, the party has just slaughtered a beast trying to protect its babies. I guess it's becoming a BoF series trademark.
|Pots and kettles, Teepo, pots and kettles...
Some sad music begins to play as Teepo remarks "Boy, it wasn't too bright, was it? I mean, its cubs were already dead..." I know I feel sorry for the Nue and all, but he does have a point. CT finishes this moving little scene with his cute catchphrase, before I'm free to leave the caves for good. Our three young delinquents jump back into the water and float merrily along and out of the cave. The Black Screen of Lazy Game Designers (man, the inaugural Black Screen has a lot of relatives) shows up for a quick visit before we see the party standing near the foot of the mountain, once again shaking their hair for about ten minutes. Okay, they floated down the river, they're wet, and we know that you can animate the pretty sprites to shake their oh-so-conditioned hair as if they're in a fucking Herbal Essences commercial. Cait Sith on a quad bike, we get it already.
Hagrid shows up to thank the party for mercilessly slaughtering the beast who was just trying to protect its babies. Unsurprisingly, they don't want his thanks.
"You knew the Nue was only hunting for food for her cubs...and you still had us kill her!?" CT shrieks as Hagrid tries to walk away. Hagrid responds by asking them if they would have been able to bring themselves to kill the Nue had they known she had cubs. None of the party members answer, so the answer is obviously "No". And with that, we fade out. What with this little 'moral of the tale' segment and the blindingly-bright, cutesy graphics, I almost have to remind myself that I'm not playing one of those crappy edutainment games that were so popular among the OMG PROTECT THE CHILDRUNN!!! brigade a few years back.
Black screen. About a minute passes by. More black screenage, which gives me horrific mental images of what special games CT and the
dragons kids could be playing away from the cameras. I rush off to rinse my mind's eye with bleach, and return just in time for our old friend, MysteryExposition!Man to wake up, pull his finger out of his ass and finally start doing some work. "And so, spring came at last. Spring came to the mountain, and to woods [sic], and to their inhabitants" he (badly) writes across the screen. The black screen vanishes and we find ourselves somewhere in the forest around the Jungle Love Bungalow.
Some Yay-it's-spring-and-everything-is-right-with-the-world!!! music starts to play as we see a few birds flutter by happily. All the trees and grass are green, as opposed to the earlier brown and yellow, and flowers and shit are growing everywhere, because IT'S SPRING. I hope we all got it this time. The camera pans across, showing us a nice chest (of the treasure, not FFX-2, variety) and a bag (presumably containing someone's stash of 'Vitamins'). The chirpy tweeting of the aforementioned birds, and the sight of numerous butterflies flittering around, complement this idyllic sylvan scene very nicely. I half expect Bambi to prance onto the screen. As the camera reaches the Jungle Love Bungalow, MysteryExposition!Man continues reading from his badly-written script: "And the virtue of the young boys who saved the village from the ferocious Nue Chimera...Earned them a place in the villagers' hearts..." We see Teepo entering the JLB, then follow him inside.
"I'm home!" he chirps, like a husband returning from work. Ew, I think we've just walked in on one of CT's fantasies. Back out, back out! Fortunately for us all, it appears that Teepo has been out looking for food, not acting out one of his favourite roles. CT and Alf stand at the table, anxious to discover what they're going to be eating tonight. No comment. Teepo, almost creaming himself in excitement, triumphantly produces...three apples. Wow. Gee Teepo, I'm sure they'll last the three of you until winter at the very least! What with the magic Beef Jerky, I guess food in the BoF world really goes a long way.
"Hey!" Teepo squeals, safe in the knowledge that, what with their supplies of three apples, they'll be feasting like kings for weeks. "Why don't we go down to the village and show 'em who did it? Tell 'em who got rid of the monster!"
CT responds by scratching his head, something his sprite always does when worried, unsure, agitated, bored, etc. I guess it's easier to convey emotion through sprite poses instead of trying to do it through convincing dialogue. "Hmm........." he hmms, adding to the ridiculously unnecessary usage of ellipses in this recap. "I don't know...Isn't it better if we don't brag about it?" "W.. Why's that?" Teepo responds, all crushed because CT rejected one of his kewl ideas. Build a bridge and get over it, Teepo. "But.........I suppose it wouldn't hurt to go see what they're saying about us, would it?" CT replies, panicking that Teepo is going to get all pissy and refuse to play Hide-the-Sausage anymore. Luckily for him, Teepo perks up at hearing this, and so the group decides to head down to McNeil.
McNeil. Some sneaky-sounding music plays as our inept heroes realise that they seem to be the only ones in the village. "That's funny...no one's here..." Teepo wanks. Captain Obvious has entered the village! "I told everyone we'd be coming into town today..." he continues. Hmm, maybe that explains it. You did give them ample warning to get the hell out of there, Teepo. CT gets all snitty because Teepo was bragging about slaying the Nue behind his back. Meow, hiss. This kitty has claws!
As if on cue, all the villagers appear from their houses. And I do mean 'appear'. Instead of opening their doors and walking outside, they just seem to flicker and appear out of nowhere, complete with an opening-door sound effect even though the doors don't move an inch. It looks really shoddy and lazy. Yeah, I know, unbelievable. Just act surprised.
The villagers assemble en masse around the party, some of them clutching a variety of farming-tools-cum-weapons, such as spades and hoes (no, not the kind the game designers mingle with whilst taking their 'supplements'). Maybe they're all going to beat the three wankers into oblivion, thereby saving me from Death By Wank. Alas, I have no such luck. Instead, the villagers thank the party for killing the Nue. God damn. Amongst the numerous palette-swapped villagers, there's also a rather shifty-looking character in a face-concealing full-length green cloak, who sticks out like a Rinoa cosplayer at a SquallxSeifer yaoi fanclub meeting. I'm sure he's a paragon of virtue, and not dodgy at all. No, sir.
|Spot the miscreant!
Black screen. The villagers take this opportunity to flicker back into their houses through their magic doors, leaving the party alone with the creepy green-cloaked guy, who mutters "Heh heh...you guys are something...I'm really impressed...No, I mean it...I am." Yeah, he sounds completely normal. "Me? My name is Loki" he continues. Any Norse mythology buffs among you dear readers will immediately recognise this name. That Loki was, in general terms, a nasty piece of work. But this Loki is obviously nothing like that at all. He isn't important enough to warrant his own profile on the cast page, either. "I guess you guys are heroes, eh? Saved the village, yeah? Yep, you three are certainly heroes...yep, yes indeed!" Loki gushes. Of course, not being the brightest stars in the sky, our loveable rogues fail to see through his blatant torrent of sycophantism. Sigh. Will they ever learn?
Unbelievably, Loki still isn't finished kissing their asses, but I won't recap the rest of his dialogue, just in case this recap self-destructs through wank overload. "Seeing as you're so strong...I wanted to ask for your help..." he finally finishes. Of course, Alf, CT and Teepo decide immediately to help him, otherwise the story won't progress. Loki, overjoyed, tells the party to meet him inside a hut on the little farm down the road. I don't even want to know what he has planned for their little rendezvous.