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  -Part 1 :: [02.17.06]
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"Luckily for me, the three days pass in the time it takes to say 'Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.' (Not to be confused with the time it takes to type the word, which is considerably longer.)"
     -Ryan, Chrono Trigger Part 2

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Tales of Symphonia : Part 1
By Jeanne
Posted 02.17.06
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3 : 4

After fighting their way through multiple black blobs in order to build some levels, Lloyd and the others finally reach the temple. From the outside, it looks like a domed building set into the side of a cliff. Two spiral light beams shine upward from the center of the dome. This is apparently the light they saw from the classroom, even though that one flashed once and then stopped while this one appears constant. "Then an oracle is going to be conveyed. [Suelette's] going to be the Chosen of Regeneration," Penis duhs. Well, they haven't explained the plot to me in the last few minutes, so obviously I needed a reminder. "It's really, really bright!" Suelette chirps, to the dismay of the other two. Lloyd reminds us -- again -- what Penis just fucking said, and adds a little namedropping about the aforementioned hero Mithos for good measure. The icing on Lloyd's tard cake is his comment, "So maybe you should act a little know. Chosen-like..." As if Lloyd is himself the pinnacle of intelligence and decorum. Suelette's all, "Teehee! Okie-dokie!" instead of whipping off his suspenders and using them to strangle him. Don't get me wrong -- after numerous games chock full of Mary Sue asskissing, it's nice to see a change, but Lloyd was just being a douchebag. It's not like Suelette was rubbing herself in feces and screaming obscenities.

A rabbit. What's it going to do -- hump them to death?

"Hey, there's a lot of commotion at the temple," Penis comments. Okay, people, I've held off this long, but it's beyond my control to do so any further.


God, even the smart people in this game are morons. And this game is approximately 50 hours long. I'm going to be a vegetable by the end.

Lloyd turns his attention to the temple for a moment before agreeing. Jesus Skydiving Christ. The camera even pans around the temple while we hear generic RPG swordfighting sounds from inside. What could that be?!?!?!?!?!?! The trio, not seeming in any particular hurry, begins heading up the stairs. Suelette, trailing behind, randomly falls flat on her face. Oh, the comedy. Just to be even more of a masochist, I'm going to implement a Suelette Falls Counter (SFC). Any time we see her fall or one of the other characters mentions her clumsiness, I'll add to it. So far that would be SFC:2.

Most annoying incident thus far?
Contradictory and confusing Sunday School lesson.
Game exposition disguised as an insultingly obvious classroom lesson.
The heroes completely forgetting about the priest's death.
The heroes randomly forgetting about the Desian attack.
Black blobs on the overworld map.
I DID'NT GET 2 C NO B00BIEZ!!!!11111


Suelette gathers herself after this pointless pratfall and they continue up the stairs to the temple. The camera switches to a view of an elderly blonde lady standing in the doorway of the temple, facing a trio of random helmeted soldiers and a man with spiky brown hair, pointy ears, a Satan beard, and a skirt. Okay, these dudes are standing in front of the temple, even though we just got a fantastic shot of the place and no one was outside. Either the old lady chased these armed soldiers out of the temple within the last five seconds, or these are totally different guys who just teleported into place.

Satan Beard demands to know the whereabouts of the Chosen. The old lady -- oh hell, we know it's Suelette's grandma -- steps fearfully backwards. On cue, Suelette and the others appear at the top of the steps. Satan Beard -- whom one of his underlings refers to as "Lord Botta" -- threatens, "Chosen One, your life is mine!" Or maybe he's hitting on her. It wouldn't be the first or last time someone does that in this game. "I won't let you Desians get away with anything!" Lloyd growls, whipping out one of his swords. One of the unnamed cannon fodder soldiers finds it hilarious that Lloyd refers to them as Desians, indicating that they are possibly not Desians. This, obviously, is too subtle a nuance for our rocket scientists to notice. But Desians or no, the clone soldiers are still big enough shitheads to attack this group of teenagers.

As always, the teenagers easily overpower the trained soldiers. The clones run away faster than Squall at Rinoa's surprise wedding, making way for a hulking armored dude wielding a hammer and a huge-ass flail. I have no idea where Lord Botta went off to during all this. Nor do I have any idea why this giant flail guy has to be wearing leather biker shorts.

Thanks so much, game designers.

Okay, I watched this twice -- not for the shorts -- and I'm still confused. The trio bombards Flail Guy with attacks, Lloyd gets hit once, and the trio bombards Flail Guy with even more attacks. Suddenly, the trio falls to the ground in unison, looking and acting like they just got the shit beat out of them. Cripes, they got hit harder by rabbits on the world map. "Man, this guy is really tough!" Lloyd grunts. Just as Flail Guy prepares to land the final blow on these wimps, someone appears between him and the teens. The first shot we have of this individual shows his skintight, sleeveless purple jumpsuit -- complete with two belts -- purple full-length arm cuffs, lavender gloves, and purple/lavender pointy cape with pointy shoulder pads. I don't think that outfit could get any gayer unless it had a giant rainbow triangle smack dab in the center of the chest. The camera pans up to show us this guy's cutesy, cel-shaded face and red hair that looks like Squall and Cloud's hairstyles got together and produced a love child.

Lloyd wants to know who the fuck this guy is. "Get out of the way," Purple Studmuffin responds. This is gamespeak for "Let's cut suddenly to the battle screen where you and Suelette are inexplicably standing in front of me as I cast a spell from the back row." Whoops. PS brings two things to the party, besides his fabulous fashion sense: a phallic sword and a healing spell. Okay, he can stay. Comically, when the battle is over, Flail Guy whines about his defeat by "a bunch of kids." Yeah, that is pretty sad.

That's one fabulous outfit.

"I never thought you'd show up," Botta says to Purple Studmuffin before ordering a retreat. To someone of average intelligence, this might indicate that these two are already acquainted. Obviously, this flies right over the heads of our heroes, who seem to think that PS's badassitude was enough to chase away the Possibly!Desians. In fact, Suelette and especially Penis cream themselves so obnoxiously over PS that Lloyd starts to get a little jealous. Penis is his underage candy, God damn it.

While making a pointless inquiry into everyone's safety, Purple Studmuffin's Squally stance allows the orb on the back of his hand to shine obviously and meaningfully. You'd think the trio just saw Squall making out with Rinoa from the surprise on their faces. "Is that an [Extesticle]?" Lloyd wonders. No, it's from his line of special hand jewelry. Well, maybe it is. Nope, turns out it's an Extesticle. By this point, it's obvious that Extesticles are this game's version of the supposedly rare item that everyone in the party has by the end of the game. Grandma Phaidra gets in on the studmuffin-worshipping action, thanking him for saving "the Chosen." PS is all, "Oh, that's the Chosen? I was just trying to get some hot jailbait action with that kid in the shorts." Notice I'm not pairing him up with Lloyd. There's a reason for that. It'll take you about two seconds to figure it out, and that's if you're retarded.

That's masculine, Penis.

Suelette announces that she's going to go do the oracle trial thingy. Lloyd's all "Wha? Trial?" because it's been a few minutes since Suelette mentioned Martel's trial with all the monsters and shit. Purple Studmuffin, not a dumbass like the rest of these hicks, knows what she's talking about and mentions that he senses an "evil presence." Grandma Phaidra affirms this, informing everyone that the priests -- Suelette's protectors for the trial -- were wiped out by the Desians. Well, except for that one guy who, on his last legs, managed to make it out of the temple, down all those stairs, along the overworld map past all those black blobs, and into the village before he died. In fact, I'm not sure why the party heard fighting at the temple when they arrived -- the priest croaked twenty minutes ago. Even if he was the very first to go, you'd think it wouldn't take the Desians that long to eliminate the rest of the geezers. Whatever the case, you can bet there won't be a single body inside the temple.

This shit is wearing me out. With the priests out of commission, Suelette needs new guardians bodyguards, so Lloyd volunteers. From Grandma Phaidra's lukewarm reaction, you'd think that Lloyd has noodles for arms and uses Kleenex as weapons. "Your name is Lloyd?" Purple Studmuffin asks Meaningfully, an almost inaudible catch in his voice. What could this mean?!?!?!?!?! (Hint: "Lloyd, I am your _________.") Not that Lloyd picks up on it. He just snots, "Yeah, but who are you to ask for my name?" Believe it or not, this marks Running Joke #536 in the game -- Lloyd getting snotty when asked for his name. Eventually someone has to have a repetitive character trait that isn't totally lame. Right? I'm not just dreaming here, am I?

We learn that Purple Studmuffin's name is Kratos, and he introduces himself as a mercenary. "As long as you can pay me, I'll accept the job of guarding the Chosen." Hmm...a mysterious badass who somehow knows the guys who killed the priests? Why, he's perfect for the job! And just to make the hiring decision even more nonsensical, why not agree without even asking about his fees? According to Phaidra, she has "little choice" in the matter, since the hicks of Iselia can't tell the pointy end of a sword from the hilt. And they certainly don't have the fashion flair of Kratos, that's for sure.

Lloyd still insists on going, but Kratos tells him, "Lloyd, you'll only get in the way. Be a good boy and wait here." SO WRONG. SO, SO WRONG. Don't mind me. Another choice pops up here. Lloyd can either tell Kratos where to stick it (NOT LIKE THAT) or respond, "...Gotcha." Sucking up to Kratos (NOT LIKE THAT) gives affection points (NOT LIKE THAT), and since he was the second choice for soulmate (NOT LIKE THAT) on the forums, I decide to increase their relationship (NOT LIKE THAT) just in case I fuck up with the other one. Like that.

Though Lloyd agrees with Kratos, he says that he'll just follow along anyway. "You're a stubborn kid. Fine, do as you wish," Kratos responds, amused. "I'll do just that," Lloyd retorts in a snide tone. OOH, BURN! I'm not sure who died in Lloyd's cornflakes -- sure, this guy in purple spandex just made him look uncool in front of his friends, but he made them look uncool, too, and they're not throwing giant shitfits. I guess it's just the obligatory dynamic where the teenage hero has to act like a total pissy bitch around the Mysterious, Sword-Wielding Badass. Wake me up when we get to a cliché that's not irritating.

Lloyd ropes Penis into the Suelette Protection Party -- I think we all know why -- and the four of them head into the temple. Finally. After all that lead-up, I'm going to be a big jerk and end the recap here. You can blame the game designers and their horrible dialogue for the bloating of this recap. Will our heroes make it through a simple dungeon filled with low level monsters? Find out in Part 2!

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