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"Exposition!Chick warns Red Cloud that there won't be anything left by now. She's standing with her back turned to him, which earns her a few points, at least. Red Cloud takes off through Happy Forest to his beloved village. Exposition!Chick moves as if she's going to follow him, but doesn't. Good girl."
     -Kelly, Legend of Dragoon Part 1

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Final Fantasy VI : Part 3
By Sam
Posted 03.22.05
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3 : 4
For the record, as soon as this little exchange is over, and I'm in control of Guile, he is able to leave the car and could theoretically jump off the train right now. Of course I can't make him do that, because it's too dangerous, whereas jumping in a river to punch a giant octopus monster in the family jewels so wasn't. Anyway, Guile backtracks to the caboose, where he finds a save point and the train's manager, here fancily called the "Impresario." I guess there's a ghost cabaret on the train. The Impresario gives Guile a couple interrogation options: "Tell us about the train" or "How do we stop it?" Thanks to Kyan I already know the lowdown on the train itself, so it's question number two. "Wanna stop the train?" the Impresario asks. "Just use the controls in the engineer's compartment!" Well, he's stating the previously assumed, but at least now I know going to the engine room isn't a fool's errand.

After making use of the save point, Guile discovers a lever in the right-hand corner of the room, and impulsively pulls it. I mean, you're on a ghost train steaming toward the afterlife. I don't think it can get much worse than that just by pulling a lever. But Kyan throws a huge PMSing fit, like he just can't believe Guile's gall in doing such a crazy thing. Or he's afraid something horrible will happen to his crush. I don't know. At any rate, he even puts the lever back in its original position. What a douchebag. Guile wonders if Kyan is scared and needs to be held, which Kyan brushes off with an indignant "How dare you!?" He adds, "Just because I respect other beings' property doesn't mean I'm not mechanically minded!" Wow. What does that even mean? Anyone? Guile conjectures that it means Kyan is "a total klutz when it comes to machines." Kyan's eyes do the shocked popping thing. We need to come up with a name for that. How about "the Don Knotts"? Okay, so Kyan does a Don Knotts and screams, "SILENCE...!" but then meekly adds, "H...How could you tell?" Let's just say Guile knows a thing or two about how a machine likes to be touched. Wink.

And that was the whole scene. God, this game. Outside the Impresario's cabin in the caboose, there is a single sheet-wearing ghost floating around benignly. Gulie determines that it seems to want to come along. I'm not going to say no to cannon fodder. Welcome to the team, Ghostie! Now three strong, the party begins to traverse the length of the Phantom Train. Ghostie kind of sucks, especially compared to buff-ass Guile and Kyan, but he can basically insta-kill any of the monsters on the train by possessing them. If I let him do that, however, he's not in my party anymore. Nah. I'd rather have someone in the party who is silent and presumably smart. Plus, there aren't too many other nice ghosts on the train. Most of them just want to kill me or sell me Avon makeup.

An aside: I just remembered that according to the lame opening FMV, Flaffy should be here, dispensing with these ghosts using his 1337 ninja powers. Flaffy can kiss my ass.

Blah blah, random battles, blah blah Bombs and other lame monsters, blah blah boring. The only interesting thing I pick up from fighting my way through the train is a closer inspection of Kyan's victory dance. Unlike the other characters, who generally raise both their sprite-arms in celebration after a victory, Kyan appears to only throw up one arm, giving the visual impression that he's yanking on a ripcord, or...well. Jackin' it.

In one fabulously fun cabin, a ghost is blocking the door outside. He hisses, "N.o...e.s.c.a.p.e...!" at the party. I think that might just beat any bad punctuation in the entire Suikoden series. After defeating Ghost!Nanami in one hit, Guile and Kyan run through the door, only for about five dozen ghosts to surround them outside. Up the ladder to the roof of the car. I mean, ghosts can't climb ladders, right?

Damn Jehovah's Witnesses!

Obviously, this is not the case. Kyan and Guile end up at the very edge of the front end of the roof, and Kyan is pretty much pissing himself at this point. Fortunately, his heeeeeeeero Guile has an idea. If you guessed that his idea is to jump to the next car because he's so strong and athletic...well, you get no prize, because it's only the most obvious idea ever. Anyway, before the ghosts can do anything, Guile sweeps Kyan into his arms (whoo!), gets a running start and leaps about three gaps in the train cars before missing the final jump and landing flat on his back. Unfortunately, the ghosts take no time at all to catch up. "We have to detach the rear train cars!" Guile cries. Well, how convenient is that, they just so happen to have landed on the car with the detachment controls! Back outside, Guile watches as the rear cars and the ghosts within fall behind them. Wait, so now all those ghosts are just stranded in train track purgatory forever? Real nice, Guile.

Moving on. One car down is the train's dining car. Guile can't continue on, because there are two unmoving ghosts--waiter ghosts--blocking the way. Seeing an opportunity for free food, Guile sits down at the large dining table in the center of the room and demands service. Food service, sickies. And Guile is a hungry, hungry man. For Edgar. Kyan worrywarts that it might not be safe to eat the ghost food, but if we've learned anything on this adventure it's that Guile doesn't give a shit what Kyan thinks, and so he eats it anyway. Turns out, it fully recovers the party. Suck on that, Kyan. Replenished, the party exits the car and goes around to the door behind the waiter ghosts, to liberate a pair of Earrings from a treasure chest. As much as I'd like to sparkle up Kyan's earlobes, in game terms they're not exactly suited to him. Alas, I'll have to give them to a Magic user later.

In the next car, in a private cabin with what I can only describe as burlesque house décor, there's an inviting treasure chest. But upon inspecting it, someone shouts, "Stop where you are!" and a heavily-armored sprite drops down from the enormous black void. "I am Ziegfried, the world's greatest swordsman! That treasure chest is mine." Now, I have to recap the rest of this conversation verbatim, because it's just that weird:

Ziegfried: If I were you ox, I'd grab grandpa, here, and run!
Guile: (laughing like a spaz) You look more like a manicurist. Now SCRAM!!!
Ziegfried: Aha! The ox bellows! Allow me to introduce my blade!

Seriously, "the ox bellows"? Shut up, Ziegfried.

In battle, Ziegfried is all confident and shit that he's going to win, even though each of his hits does something like seven damage. On the other hand, I'm not going to take any chances with the guy pulling some Giga Volt Katana Whirlwind Attack or something on me, so I decide Ghostie's time has finally come. Ziegfried is possessed and dead, and Kyan and Guile celebrate their contribution of jack shit. Following his defeat, Ziegfried is all disillusioned that he lost, but the asshole loots the chest and runs off anyway. Dick!

A couple uneventful cars and a save point later, Guile and Kyan make it to the engine. Handy instructions on the left-hand wall indicate that Guile should pull the first and third levers in the room, and then pull some switch outside near the smoke stack. "Press this switch and the train will stop," some voice out of nowhere points out. Thanks, I was kind of counting on that. But when Guile presses it, something unexpected happens. And when I say "unexpected," I really mean, "We all knew the train was alive and we'd have to fight it in a boss battle, right?" Anyway. The train's all, "Step off my smoke stack, bitches!" and Guile's all, "Make me!" Boss battle time!

For starters, this whole boss battle scenario is hilarious because, on the battle screen, Guile and Kyan are on the tracks and running away from the Phantom Train (renamed the GhostTrain in battle). But when they attack they stop running, turn around and do their stuff, at which point the train does not catch up with them and smack them in the face with its cattle guard. Also, one of the train's attacks is to throw a random wheel at one of the party members. Oh no, not a wheel. And it's not even a big wheel. It has some more powerful attacks, but on the whole the Phantom Train is a total bitch, as it goes down in about four turns, and that was with Guile missing all his Blitz combos. I He sure does suck at those. Loser.

'Don't run! I'm a friendly penis!'

In battle the train fades away when it's defeated, but obviously the train is still there. It promises to let them go, as soon as it takes care of some business. That business, clearly, is loading new soul cargo. The train pulls into the next station, where Kyan and Guile exit with glee, even though they likely haven't the slightest clue where they are. Guile understates that he and Kyan do not belong here among the dead, and they get ready to get the hell out. But we can't leave the Phantom Train without a Spooky Plot Twist™!

That's right: Kyan spots his dearly departed, beloved, sexy family boarding the train. Oh, snap. And Guile will think he's an unfeeling creep unless he makes a big show of his pain at seeing them there. Thus, he appropriately blows past Guile and runs screaming over to the boarding area, but he may as well have blown them kisses from the platform for all the good it does. The train pulls away from the station, with Elayne and Owain staring at Kyan from the back of the car with dead, accusing eyes. They no doubt noticed he's picked up a boyfriend all of an hour after their tragic demise. He yells for them but they do not respond. And if they did, it would likely be Elayne screaming, "My mother was right about you!!!"

Oh, wait, there's some ethereal text on the screen, apparently a last message from wifey and sonny boy. "My love... You made me so happy. Don't forget me..." Okay, guessing that's his wife, because I'm a little creeped if that one is from Owain. Owain says, "Dad! I'll make sure Mom's all right!" Well, that's comforting, son. Make sure you hook her up with some hot, non-gay rock star up in Heaven. Then everybody's happy.

Guile, back in my control, goes to Kyan, who's still standing at the edge of the platform, hanging his head. He wants sympathy sex, Guile. Pick up on the sprite body language. Neither of them say anything, and before I know it there's a Black Screen of Covert Butt Lovin' and Guile is standing on the world map. That was fast. A little too fast. I do hope Guile was gentle.

It's here that I'll be leaving Guile and Kyan, because I've already been playing for two hours and I can't take the stupid anymore. Next time Ryan will handle the rest of Guile's adventures and meet a young furry man in a loincloth. Because this adventure just isn't gay enough yet. Ta!

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