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  -Part 1 :: [02.17.06]
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"According to Hans, a 'hurricane' caused them to crash land on the island. I'm assuming he means one of those irritating tornadoes. Doesn't there have to be an ocean or something to produce a hurricane? And not an ocean made of air."
     -Jeanne, Skies of Arcadia Part 7

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Tales of Symphonia : Part 3
By Jeanne
Posted 12.26.09
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3 : 4
I'll get this out of the way right up front: yes, once again it's been three and a half years since the last installment. To you, this might seem like an unbearably long time to go between ToS recaps. For me, it's not nearly enough time. Seriously, I recorded this footage several months ago, and I'm just getting around to actually writing. But I have an excuse! See, the thought of recapping this game makes me want to curl up and pretend to be dead, which I consider a very valid reason to procrastinate.

Last time, a whole bunch of repetitive and nonsensical stuff happened, the highlights of which were that the low level characters made it through the first dungeon, Suelette was officially instructed to start her Magical Mary Sue Journey of World Regeneration, and she supposedly found out that a gay angel was her true biological father. In more phallic news, a giant tower magically appeared as a reward for Suelette's worthiness or some shit. Reading back through the end of the last recap with its five thousand unnecessary skits, I'm not really sure what I'm supposed to do next. Luckily I have a free GameFAQs guide to (hopefully) point me in the right direction.

After reacquainting myself with the button-mashing controls and the menu options, I steer Lloyd and Penis back to their bustling hometown. You'll recall that the "terrifying" Desian attack from earlier had scared most of the townsfolk into hiding. Well, they're all out and about now, and I for one am not going to miss this opportunity to find out what they all think of the latest goings-on. One dope patrolling in front of the schoolhouse with a pitchfork and a homemade colander helmet laughably warns Lloyd against fighting any Desians that may be lurking in the bushes. Yes, I'm sure the guy with actual swordfighting skills -- such as they are -- is less equipped to deal with the bad guys than a random peon wielding farming tools.

Other folks are less worried about a possible Desian ambush and more concerned with jizzing themselves over Suelette's upcoming journey. The Mayor is currently in a meeting about said journey. This is all breathtakingly exciting, I know. I steer Lloyd and Penis back into the schoolhouse for no real reason -- it's not like anyone should still be there. Let's imagine that Penis is trying to lure Lloyd into the empty building with the hopes of engaging in some extracurricular activities. If I don't have realistic motivations for my random actions, I just couldn't live with myself as a recapper. Anyway, Penis's naughty intentions are thwarted by the presence of his sister at the front of the classroom. Yes, that's right. Raine, who was a bit too deeply engaged in her studies at the temple not two minutes ago, has somehow beaten the boys back to the village. And by "beaten the boys," I am in no way referring to the spanking incident. Between this and her sudden appearance at the temple earlier, the only logical conclusion is that Raine has some very magical and convenient teleportation powers. I can only hope these powers will be at my disposal when Raine inevitably joins my party.

It seems that Raine got all her incestual spanking out of her system, as she is now quite calm and personable in her dealings with the boys. Thank God for small favors from the game designers. How sad is it that the best I can hope for is a slight reprieve from all the horrors they love to unleash upon me? It's kind of like being a battered spouse. Raine, turning away from the blackboard, informs them that school is out for the day. "We know that. I wanted to tell you that [Suelette's] going on the world regeneration journey," Lloyd replies. For some reason, Raine doesn't scream "DURRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!" in his face. I mean, not only was she there at the temple and probably heard the whole story from Suelette's grandmother (or Suelette herself on the way out), but the whole fucking town is already in the know.

Yes, we can.

Given the complete lack of attention to continuity and sense thus far, I almost expect Raine to not know this information. But she does, and she's already been recruited to go along on the journey with Suelette. Lloyd jerks backward in surprise, showing more reaction to this announcement than he has to any of the day's wondrous events. While Raine is away having thrilling adventures, Suelette's dad and grandma will take care of Penis. Raine misinterprets Penis's negative reaction as worry over her safety rather than disappointment at not shacking up at Lloyd's place. She promises not to die horribly on the journey, then requests that Lloyd "look after" her brother. Penis, a little perkier now, gives his sister the usual "be careful" stuff, and warns her to stay away from ruins because they make her all horny and shit. Who knows what kind of terrible things will happen if Raine loses her self control around Kratos and Suelette? Well, I'm sure at least one fanfiction writer knows, but let's not pursue that subject any further.

For his great concern, Penis is awarded the title "[Platonic, for the Love of God] Brotherly Love" which means I need to reacquaint myself with that particular gameplay mechanism. While poking around the menu screen again, I discover something that manages to be both helpful and a bit eyerollish at the same time. Namely, the Synopsis section. Here, the game provides me with a rather detailed journal of the events thus far. It's like a recap, but without penis jokes. It also makes the events sound much more exciting and -- dare I say it -- logical than they actually were. From this, I can determine that without the repetitive dialogue, the continuity issues, and the button-mashing battles, the game would last about ten minutes. My stress level would also be about 1000% lower. But then you wouldn't be able to enjoy my angry recaps, and we can't have that.

I guess this means I'm Penis's sister.

Skipping ahead to shit you guys might actually care about, Lloyd and Penis head on over to Suelette's tiny-on-the-outside house. I hope you'll forgive me for not including the rest of the Talk To Everyone session, but as it's mostly information we'll find out at least a dozen times before the end of the recap, I thought it best to save a fraction of my sanity. Lloyd barges right into the house, ending up in the middle of a voice-acted cutscene. The mayor, a man with a gray bowl cut and Hitler mustache, sits at the head of the table with the blond trio of Phaidra, Suelette, and Frank on one side, and the flamboyant purple-suited Kratos on the other. "Then, we shall entrust the protection of the Chosen to Kratos and Raine," the mayor reiterates what we already know. I'm not sure why Raine is picking her ass at the schoolhouse instead of attending this seemingly important meeting, not that I blame her for wanting to skip it.

Holy shit, someone actually mentioned that dead priest!

Suelette spots the two boys loitering in the doorway and chirps her thanks for their help earlier. Grandma Phaidra is thrilled not to be dead, too, and rewards them with a Collector's Book. My instinct is to make a snarky comment over the shittiness of said reward, but I honestly don't remember whether or not it's actually useful. Sometimes I can be a bit trigger-happy with my scorn -- I don't know if you've noticed. Speaking of scorn, I don't think I'm out of line for finding Lloyd's next line worthy of a shouted "DURRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!" "Say, were you talking about the world regeneration journey just now?" he tards. No, they were talking about providing condoms for Suelette's homemade porno. God damn, I'm seven minutes into my recapping footage and I'm already fantasizing about murdering the entire cast.

In another news flash, Lloyd expresses his desire to join Suelette on the Magical Mary Sue Journey (henceforth referred to as MMSJ). So does Penis, except he tries to make it seem like he wants to go along with his big sister and not his crimson-clad butt buddy. I don't think anyone is fooled. Kratos nips their boyish fantasies in the bud. Basically, he doesn't want to babysit the two of them in addition to Suelette. Although it's not really babysitting if Lloyd is his kid.

Lloyd and Kratos get into it a little bit, and I really regret typing that. The gist is that Lloyd and Penis are Just Children(tm) and thus completely incapable of battling the even tougher black blobs they'll encounter on the journey. Now, I don't blame Kratos for not wanting these two along -- the thought of going on a road trip with Lloyd and Penis makes me want to stab myself in the face. But he's just so over the top about it. I also like how he acts like there's no way in hell they have the skills for the upcoming battles when we all know the next monsters will be slightly more difficult than the monsters they just fought. Mayor Hitler agrees with Kratos, and says they have important grown up stuff to discuss. In other words: get the fuck out.

Lloyd and Penis get the fuck out, but a frantic Suelette follows them out the door, asking them to wait. So they Suelette randomly falls on her ass. (SFC: 4) After gracing us with that repetitive character trait, she immediately busts out with another one: the unnecessary apology. Lloyd assures her that he doesn't hold her responsible for something that she had nothing to do with. So she apologizes for her unnecessary apology. Is this game over yet?

As if this scene couldn't get any more inane, Penis randomly blurts, "Oh yeah, happy birthday, [Suelette]!" Wait, what? Now it's her fucking birthday, too? I admit, this isn't so far out of left field -- after all, it kind of makes sense in terms of backstory (is someone recording this?) that the extra special oracle day would automatically fall on the Chosen's birthday. But it's odd that no one bothered to mention this in the avalanche of exposition earlier, and it's even odder that none of her friends would have bothered to wish her a happy birthday until this very moment. Assuming my fanwank theory about the oracle day is true, it's not like they could forget about it. At least Professor Raine would have mentioned it at some point before her pointless lecture, right? I know I'm getting worked up over a minor little plot point, but this is all so God damn stupid.

Anyway, Penis hands over some homemade cookies that he's been carrying around all day. I guess he just forgot about them while they melted in his pocket. I sure hope the dungeon crawl and the bloody monster battles didn't affect their quality. Then he adds, "If I knew you'd be leaving tomorrow, I would've made something a little more special, but..." It seems Penis just assumed that Suelette would fail that whole oracle thing and not have to go on a journey. Otherwise wouldn't he know that she'd be leaving on a journey sometime soon at least?

Ah, the days before cell phones.

It's almost a relief when Penis turns to Lloyd and pointedly asks about the necklace he apparently promised to make for Suelette. If it's a Komodo Scale necklace, I'm turning off this fucking game. Naturally, Lloyd forgot all about Suelette's birthday, which might be the first time in video game history that a character neglected to focus on the Mary Sue. And here I said this game was not groundbreaking. Lloyd tells a very transparent lie about how the necklace is almost complete and he'll give it to her before she leaves tomorrow. He's kind of freaking out about it, when all he has to do is make her something like this. It would take him under five minutes and since Suelette doesn't seem the most discerning sort, she'd probably love it. Speaking of not having a clue, Suelette totally buys Lloyd's obvious lie and assures him that she'll stop by his place as soon as the grown-ups decide on her schedule.

Lloyd worries that "it" will be dangerous. He's probably talking about her MMSJ, but it's such a jarring segue, he could really be referring to anything at all. Suelette reassures him that as the Chosen, there's no way anything bad could ever happen to her. All that stuff about violent Desians and dangerous battles is just bullshit, I suppose. Suelette goes back into her house, oblivious to anything going on in the real world. As soon as she's out of earshot, Penis calls Lloyd on his lie. What a detective -- I can't believe he figured that out. But Lloyd knows that all he needs is a piece of thread and a gold paper clip, so he's not worried about any timing issues.

This whole plot point is so silly I kind of feel like an ass for even recapping it. Thankfully, Penis changes the subject. But this is one of those situations that initially feels like a relief, then turns out to be even worse than the thing that originally annoyed me. I'm trying to think up a good excuse to just skip over the whole deal, but let's face it -- if I was able to recap the Pond Scene, there's no reason I can't survive this. Deep breaths.

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