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"Right on cue, the rune decides that Scruffy is no longer a suitable host--that skinny young teenager over there looks much more virile. And the magickal parasite glues itself onto Marvy's left hand before you can shout 'plot device.'"
     -Sam, Suikoden IV Part 2

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Wild ARMs 3 : Part 3
By Ben
Posted 02.17.13
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3 : 4 : 5
I have a confession to make. No, I don't secretly love Jet; the truth of the matter is that this recap should have been written nine months ago. That's right -- the thrilling events I'm about to dissect were actually recorded at the same time as the footage for Part 2, which was posted back in February. Yes, this means I've been putting this recap off for almost an entire year. What can I say? There's only so much Jet I can handle without running the risk of my brain exploding, and I came dangerously close to the threshold last time around. Thankfully, there's a lot less Jank (Jet wank) to wade through this time, so my sanity should remain intact. Note the use of "should" -- I'm not promising anything.

Also, I told a little white lie at the end of the last recap: having told you that two dungeons were in store this time around, I can now reveal that there will in fact be three (one of which is somewhat phallic, for that added whetting of the appetite). Try not to die of excitement!

With that out of the way, let's dive straight back into the cel-shaded action. We left our heroes, you'll remember, about to set out for the Ruins of Memory to claim the undoubtedly fabulous Eternal Sparkle before Anus Cascade and his gay cronies can get their filthy mitts on it. Let's see how this pans out, shall we?

A short distance east of Jolly Roger, Vagina and her boy toys stumble upon the entrance to the ruin which, like all the others in this series, appears to be in surprisingly good condition. There's even a red carpet and everything! Once inside, they meander through a few empty rooms before emerging in the cavernous main hall, where someone is waiting for them. Cutscene time!

We get a long-distance shot of the three buffoons (plus Clive) looking around in awe at their surroundings, while Anus lurks in the foreground, his bayonet protruding from behind a pillar. And by "bayonet", I do in fact mean his weapon, not his weapon. Honestly, you'd think I had a dirty mind or something. Sensing that they have company, Vagina swiftly draws her twin PENISes and points them in the direction of the pillar, prompting Anus to compliment her on her fast reflexes. However, he advises, pulling such a stunt in the wasteland could cost her her life is she doesn't follow through by pulling the trigger. It's like he wants her to shoot him or something. As Vagina contemplates his words, he steps out from behind the pillar, Dario and Romero in tow. I don't want to know what they were doing while out of shot. Vagina demands to know what the Three Cocketeers are doing here, apparently unaware that they're obviously after the Eternal Sparkle too. Even though Anus told her as much the last time they met. Well, I have a hard time remembering what happened in the last recap too (hint: not much), so I should probably cut her some slack, but the conversation was ten minutes ago for her, so I won't.

He just wants to see how fabulous it looks pinned to his jacket.

Anus once again offers to team up with the group, claiming he wants to "earn their trust", and to my astonishment, Vagina lowers her PENISes and accepts. The guys in the group regard her with shocked expressions at this, and Gallows practically has a heart attack. Vagina's feeble explanation for her decision is that she hates doubting people and wants to know for sure whether she can trust Anus. Uh, the guy tried to kill you the first time you met. I hardly think you're going to become BFFs, Vagina. Still, she won't be swayed, and the others reluctantly accept her decision. This is what happens when you elect an idealistic 18 year old who's never been outside of her backwoods village to be the leader of your group, and since none of the others had anything to say until just now, my well of sympathy is all dried up.

Gallows passive-aggressively asks Anus what he and his cronies are going to do to help, to which Anus spills some information on the demons who once possessed the Eternal Sparkle. Apparently, they existed ages ago (I thought they only died out yesterday!) and "their spiteful rancor supposedly lives on in these ruins". Yeah, that isn't really revealing much. Also, I am so going to work the phrase "spiteful rancor" into everyday conversation from now on. Anus clams up at this point, promising to reveal more once they actually find the Eternal Sparkle. Dogs can see how this is going to end up, but our easily-led leader happily agrees to escort the Ambiguously Gay Trio through the "trap-filled ruins". Of course there had to be traps.

It's a good job Vagina isn't recapping this game.

"We're counting on you, [Anus]" Vagina says, making error of judgment #2 of the recap. "You too, Princess. You too," Anus replies, surprisingly resisting the urge to throw in a dastardly stage-snicker. With that, Gallows, Clive, Jet, Anus, Dario AND Romero all squeeze inside Vagina (ew) and I finally regain control.

At the back of the hall is a curious rock formation which, according to the Phantom Environment Describer, has a human form. However, it won't come into play until much later, so Vagina just pretends not to notice it for the time being and heads through a side door into an adjoining corridor. Along the way, the party is dragged into a dozen or so random battles against "Blue Books" -- floating, sentient spell tomes who like to pelt the gang with various magic arcana spells. Fighting them over and over again would ordinarily be annoyingly repetitive, but if I tell myself the party is actually shooting copies of Fifty Shades of Grey, it becomes quite a cathartic process.

Of course, like all my sources of happiness when recapping, this one is short-lived; after one particular battle against E L James's badly-written fanfic, a tantalizing treasure chest pops up on the battle screen, just begging to be plundered. I'm prompted to choose one of my party members to open the chest, so I pick Vagina, since she's so eager to find treasure in here and everything. Unfortunately, this particular chest is rigged with a bomb which explodes in Vagina's face, destroying whatever treasure lay within and blowing her to smithereens depleting her Vitality gauge. That's it, Jet is on chest-opening duty from here on out.

After tending to her third-degree burns and receiving an impromptu skin graft, Vagina dusts herself down and continues to explore the ruin. In the next room are several glass display cabinets (smashed into pieces and with their contents long gone, natch) which make me wonder what this place was actually used for. The cabinets would suggest a museum of some kind, but the game would have us believe that the place has been abandoned for centuries and only rediscovered recently. I'm sure we'll find out in due course, and this is just the tip of the I Have No Fucking Idea What's Going On iceberg, so let's continue.

This treasure chest is brought to you by al-Qaeda.

At the top of some steps are a locked door and a corresponding floor switch, the latter of which is encased in another glass cabinet (why? I know you're not supposed to touch the exhibits in a museum, but does that suddenly extend to using the doors, too?). Vagina decides the best way to access the switch is to run headfirst into the glass (like, ouch), which does the trick, but leaves me wondering what other injuries the poor girl is going to inflict on herself by the time she manages to get out of here.

The next room houses another locked door, this one linked to one of the ball switches last seen back in Jet's opening dungeon. I switch to Jet for as long as it takes him to throw his wanky boomerang and trip the ball switch, turning it an inflamed orange colour in the process. The door duly opens, allowing me to switch back to Vagina and progress to the next room (which will, no doubt, be filled with even more excitement than the previous two).

Christ, this dungeon is boring. The game designer in charge of dungeon creation clearly tried to mix things up a little for this room, which consists of a walkway over the entrance hall as opposed to the standard puzzle room, but surprise! -- there's yet another locked door on the other side. This one must be opened by Gallows, of all people -- the trick is to use his Jizzer Doll to extinguish four torches at each corner of the walkway. Once all four flames have been coated with the white gunk, the door swings open. The room ahead contains -- all together now! -- another fucking locked door, this one controlled by a floor switch, much like the first door in this endless sequence. However, this floor switch is pressure-sensitive and must be weighted down with a heavy object in order for the door to remain open. Both switch and block are trapped behind more sheets of glass, which I switch to Gallows to break, since I figure Vagina has suffered enough already. Besides, where there's no sense, there's no feeling, so Gallows is the perfect man for the job.

You might want to be sitting down to read this next part -- the following room doesn't contain a locked door. I'm so shocked by this turn of events that I forget to cancel out of a random battle and find myself facing some reanimated skeletons (who, I'm fankwanking, died of boredom while trying to get to the heart of this building). It's only once Clive has put a cap in their bony arses that I realize Anus and his butt buddies aren't participating in battle at all. Some team they're turning out to be.

After this brief respite, the very next room sees a return of the locked door tradition, with one slight difference -- the entrance door closes itself behind Vagina once she crosses the threshold, locking her in. Now she has TWO locked doors to contend with! Oh, the drama! The solution, which I freely admit to looking up online, is to use Clive to bomb one of the many statues dotted around the room, revealing the previously-hidden floor switch. Wait, if the statue was on top of it, shouldn't the door have already been open? I'll let you guys figure it out, because frankly, I know what lies ahead and can't afford to waste any of my energy on fanwanking.

Why wasn't the door already open?
The statue was made of a rare lightweight material which ensured it didn't activate the switch. Look, I've written a thesis on the properties of this fictional alloy!
The switch was crafted with powerful magic, enabling it to distinguish between the weight of a statue and that of a living person. If you'd actually read the Japan-only guidebook for the game, you'd know that the use of arcana can easily accomplish this
It's just a nonsensical puzzle...and there are far worse to come, so just get over it.



You know what? I'm just going to skip over the next couple of rooms, because there's only so many times I can describe the act of opening a door before either you or I fall asleep. A little further along, Vagina spies a new kind of switch, this one with a phallic lever standing to attention. Pulling back the knob lowers a wall, opening up a shortcut back to the main hall. Hmm, that would have been handy, say, half a fucking hour ago, but whatever. After another few boring rooms, she finds herself in some kind of library, which I guess confirms the whole museum theory. One of the books even mentions the ancient and priceless relics housed here, and pleads with visitors not to steal or damage them. Yeah, like Drifters were ever going to listen to that. What's more, the only way to get to the adjoining room, and the hallway leading to the Eternal Sparkle chamber, is to destroy a nearby cracked wall using Clive's bombs. So, whoever was in charge of this place was apparently all anal about vandalism and shit, but even getting this far into the building is impossible without destroying numerous statues, walls and display cases. Am I missing something here?

Cut to the inner sanctum of the ruins. Finally deciding to do some work, Anus emerges from within Vagina and starts gushing, fangirl-like, over the elusive Eternal Sparkle, which apparently lies at the far end of the room. As all the other characters remove themselves from Vagina's skirt, Anus practically skips across the room, to where three strange shields are embedded in the wall. Still rhapsodizing all over the Eternal Sparkle, Anus breathes "A great power is bestowed upon the one who comes in contact with it. It grants a spear that can destroy all life." So...the Eternal Sparkle is actually a wang spear, and not some kind of brooch? Colour me disappointed.

We now see a close-up of the three shields which, upon closer inspection, actually look more like masks. Sadly, none of them are sporting blowjob mouths I could make a lame joke about. This dungeon blows. Because I'm not quite sure whether to refer to them as masks or shields, I'm simply going to refer to them as shasks from now on. Two of the shasks are a faded yellow colour but the third one, a vivid shade of blue, is the one Anus picks up (I guess the other two are just for decoration). I become even more confused at this point, as it apparently turns out that the motherfucking Eternal Sparkle is not, in fact, in here, but hidden elsewhere. The shask Anus just picked up (called "Hieraco", after one of the legendary demons) is one of three which act as the keys to unlock its power. He reveals -- big shocker here -- that he plans on nabbing the others, too. One is currently being excavated, and the other is in the hands of another unnamed Drifter (who I'm absolutely certain we won't be meeting anytime soon). Hearing all this, Vagina loses her shit, screaming accusations of double-crossing and trickery. Well, what the hell did she expect -- for Anus to just hand over the treasure and be all "It's no trouble, I just came along for the experience"?

This is Vagina letting him have it with both barrels.

To his credit, Anus apologizes for misleading her (even though she's at least partly to blame for swallowing his bullshit) and once again tries to explain how Drifters aren't simply good or bad; they're winners or losers. Of course, everything in Vagina's sheltered universe is simply black and white, and she's unable to comprehend his way of thinking. She claims she won't forgive the cad for shattering her trust in him. "Save the sob story, Princess," he bitches, hand on hip. "That's just how the game's played in the wasteland."

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