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  -Part 1 :: [02.17.04]
  -Part 2 :: [08.24.04]
  -Part 3 :: [10.17.04]
  -Part 4 :: [12.23.04]

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"Vyse takes the wheel and ends up getting just a little too excited over flying the ship. Yes, there are several double entendres here relating to how old the ship is and yet it's still responsive, but I just don't want to go there, okay? I have to draw the line somewhere. No, really. I do. 'Heh...For someone who's hardly ever been at the helm of a ship this size, you seem to know quite a bit, boy,' MwaAA says. I GIVE UP!"
     -Jeanne, Skies of Arcadia Part 3

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Breath of Fire III : Part 3
By Ryan
Posted 10.17.04
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3
All alone in the world, Alf sets out on his journey. The very first thing he does is leave and re-enter the forest, a process you'll be delighted to know takes about ten minutes. In that time, Hagrid saw fit to haul out the old log-splitting stump and is contentedly splitting a million logs into smaller pieces.

"...Hmph!" Hagrid grunts when Alf approaches, "So, are you ready to try working for a living? ...I've learned that young folks like you need the advice of their elders... You can use our experience to help keep you on the straight and narrow, see?" Oh, do I ever see. This is Hagrid's version of an intervention! He disapproves of Alf's lifestyle and is going to beat the sexual deviance out of him. Knowing full well that it'll never work, Alf agrees to learn from Hagrid's advice, eliciting a gruff "......Hmph. I guess you're sincere enough..." from the abysmally dim Keeper of the Keys and Grounds. Then, Alf becomes Hagrid's pupil, throwing Dumbledore's magically-centered school of thought out on its ass in favor of learning Hagrid's brawny fighting techniques. Hagrid tells Alf that while under his tutelage -- hee! -- Alf's strength and defense will go up faster than his magic power. Then he sends the whiney brat on his way.

Alf emerges from the forest and wanders around on the world map for awhile before regaining his bearings and heading south and eastward on the Yraall Road. As Alf approaches an auspicious-looking mountain jutting up from the middle of the road, the screen cuts to black and, after a moment of disk crunching, fades back in on "Central Wyndia." It's still the world map, just the random jumping fishes and cute and currently useless rings of flowers scattered about the map change positions. Anyway, Alf continues along his trek until he runs smack into Mt. Myrneg.

Yes, but do you have candy?

Alf starts to trek blindly about the mountain, and he soon stumbles across a creepy-looking monster that doesn't seem to be particularly malevolent. Said monster seems to be oozing some type of crusty goo from its enormous, single, unblinking eye. First of all, Penis! and secondly, eww, STD! ...It's weird as all get out. I mean, shouldn't a monster that's constantly oozing stuff from its eye either form a puddle at the bottom or run out of stuff to ooze from the top? Aren't those the only two options? Regardless, the Ooze!Monster creepily informs Alf that he's not into little kids, and that he'd rather tell Alf the weaknesses of some of the local monsters.

Eye Goos, for example, are weak against Blind, which is really redundant, because they perish when confronted with Alf's sword, too, last I checked. Oozie also tells Alf that when you hit "the Nut people," a brand of monster indigenous to Mt. Myrneg that looks like -- you guessed it -- people made from nuts, with Fire, they'll die. Then Oozie tells Alf that, since he did the kid a favor by telling him how to kill all the other monsters, Alf should be nice to the Ooze!Men in return and not use Ice magic on them. Which is, duh, another weakness of one of the mountain's monster types. Alf considers the last weakness and the fact that he doesn't have any Ice magic at his disposal until he searches the treasure chest right next to Oozie and scores an Icicle. Which casts Ice magic in battle. How oddly relevant to the situation.

Popcorn, anybody?

Alf continues along the path, climbing up decrepit old rope ladders, toasting Acorn People, and searching hidden nooks and crannies for treasure. As an interesting side-note, the Acorn People randomly drop Molotov Cocktails upon meeting their fiery demise. That seems more than a little dangerous for a race that dies instantly when they make contact with fire. I mean, really, what's the motivation in that? They might as well just use the damn things on themselves and save Alf the trouble of rifling through his inventory every ten seconds.

Eventually, Alf reaches the summit of Mt. Myrneg, and who else should be waiting there but Clydesdale, one of the Bizarro Centaur Assassin Twins. Clydesdale gazes vapidly --it totally looks like he's pissing-- off the top of Mt. Myrneg, and as Alf tries to slither behind him unnoticed, he stammers for Alf to wait. Alf, thinking he's busted for sure, freezes and sweatdrops. Clydesdale turns around, thinking that he's talking to his brother, and says he's ready to go. There's a beat as Clydesdale realizes that he's not talking to his brother. We're this close to seeing the realization dart across his face out here in TV land. Clasping his hands to his head, Clydesdale realizes that Alf is "supposed to be dead!" and runs away, shrieking about a ghost as Bonnie canters into the scene. Bonnie's all, "What choo talkin' 'bout, Foo'?" and Clydesdale pulls a quick about-face, running past the rapidly-sweatdropping Alf, screaming for his brother to do something. Attempting to push Alf towards Bonnie and finding the child surprisingly corporeal, Clydesdale freaks out that Alf is a "zombieee!!" and the text even shudders back and forth so we can all fully grasp the level of his hysteria.

To offset his brother's ridiculous antics, Bonnie deadpans, "This is a surprise. Is he really alive?" Clydesdale screeches that Alf is now a "vampirrrrre!!" and Bonnie surmises that the Bizarro Centaur Assassin Twins probably didn't finish Alf off. Well, that what tends to happen when slipshod enemies run off without finishing the job, Bonnie. Meanwhile, Clydesdale, consumed with irrational fear, goes completely apeshit crazy and dashes up to Alf, stabbing him in the back with his sword. Alf, thusly skewered, falls over, presumably dead.

'Ramming my sword into a small boy's back makes me feel so deviant!'

Clydesdale's all, "I'm not afraid of a dead zombie!" like that somehow negates the complete pantywaistery that was spewing forth from his goggling trap not five seconds ago. Bonnie is less than impressed and wonders if they really got him this time. Clydesdale laughs and, because he's a horse, a whinny hijacks the FX reel. He's all "We killed [that poor, defenseless kid]! We're the strongest!!" and Bonnie can't help but whinny too, because Bonnie and Clydesdale are evil and nothing makes an evil duo happier than killing themselves some baby.

The celebratory chortling of the Bizarro Centaur Assassin Twins screeches to a halt as a Telltale Heart-esque heartbeat slides off the soundtrack and smacks them both upside their mohawked heads. Bonnie and Clydesdale blindly move their heads about in search of the noise as another Telltale Heartbeat booms through the scene, this time accompanied by a shudder from Alf's unconscious form. As Bonnie and Clydesdale hone in on the source of all the Heartbeats, Alf's body shudders more and more rapidly, eventually expelling Clydesdale's sword and transforming into -- wait for it -- a baby dragon.

While I wait for half the reading audience to reawaken from their stunned swooning, I'd like to point out that, for some reason, as Alf changes into a dragon he absorbs the discarded sword into himself. Um... ouch. Like, take it all, bitch.

Anyway, is everybody back with me now? Good. Clydesdale asks Bonnie what the heck just happened, and Bonnie speculates that Alf isn't human. Deductive reasoning at its finest, folks. Clydesdale tells Bonnie that he's scared and thinks the Bizarro Centaur Assassin Twins should run away again. What is it with Clydesdale and unconscious and/or dead bodies? He gets all heebie-jeebie every time he's presented with one, which isn't very appropriate assassin behavior, if you ask me. Bonnie tells Clydesdale to hold his horses because he thinks Dragon!Alf can be the Bizarro Centaur Assassin Twins' "golden egg," whatever that means, and the screen fades to black.

On the World Map, the camera pans eastward from Mt. Myrneg and shifts north to a huge city surrounded by enormous stone walls and dotted with windmilled houses. The camera stops over the huge stone palace located on the northern end of the city. MysteryExposition!Man earns his keep by slapping "Castle Wyndia" on a black screen.

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.

As the camera comes to stop over Bonnie, Clydesdale, and a mysteriously mysterious shrouded cage, Bonnie tells the King that "it" certainly is a dragon. The camera swoops to the northeast to include the King, Queen, and a blonde blob swaddled in pink clothing Princess in the picture as the King postulates about how bad things could get if the dragons stage a comeback. Only he says it in a passive, inverted form of the English language. Because Kings talk funny.

Bonnie's all, "Yup. Dragons are bad. Tried to destroy the world," as if we didn't already know, and then steps toward the shrouded cage. With a dramatic, "Your Highness, I give you... the dragon!" he whips off the shroud. Those of you that are faint of heart might want to sit down before reading what happens next. The shock could kill you.

Alf the human is sitting in the cage. I mean, I know nobody was expecting a creature that randomly changes between dragon and child to change back into a child behind the protective screen of the shroud, but Crapcom has defied all logic with this latest turn of the plot. Man, those sly bastards.

The camera pivots back to the King, fervently dropping beads of sweat, and he demands to know what the fork is going on. Bonnie and Clydesdale figure out that Alf changed back into a little kid and decide that the best thing to do would be to try and hurt him again. Not surprisingly, Alf starts to cry as the Bizarro Centaur Assassin Twins kick his cage. The Queen deflects her gaze with a fan, the Princess covers her eyes, and the King orders for the con men and their "dragon" to be arrested. Because Alf was so totally party to the plot. Geez, this game.

The Black Screen of Lazy Animators springs into action, whisking us away from the throne room and plunking us down in Wyndia Prison. In cell number one, a rotund frog in a sailor suit is sleeping soundly despite the banshee wailing of Alf in cell number two, and in cell number three, Bonnie and Clydesdale trot about in frustration. Clydesdale yells for Alf to stop crying, citing that it's his fault that they're in prison anyway as...

...The clanging of a cell door silences Clydesdale and the camera cuts away to the prison entrance. Oh look! It's the Princess, slithering right past the sleeping guard, --how cliché!-- all by her lonesome. Good gravy, whose ill-conceived idea was it to give the Princess the keys to the prison, anyway? Usually, in situations like this, the Princess gets hoodwinked and kidnapped in under three minutes, because she's naïve. But that probably won't happen this time.

The Princess waddles into the prison and straight up to Alf. She introduces herself as Nina, like, huge shocker there for series veterans, and practically humps Alf's leg as she tells him how sorry she felt for him watching the Bizarro Centaur Assassin Twins pummel him back in the throne room. Alf's all, "Uh, I didn't know minors were allowed conjugal visits."

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