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  -Part 1 :: [02.13.02]
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"Even better, as the last forest was lacking in that other forest monster staple, giant poison insects, this one is chock full of 'em. I'm so pissed off at this game right now."
     -Sam, Lunar: Silver Star Story Part 2




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Skies of Arcadia : Part 5
By Jeanne
Posted 08.04.04
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3 : 4
In Part 4, Vyse the Longwinded saved his dad and the other male Ass Pirates in spite of stopping every few seconds to spout "inspirational" garbage. Even a sewer full of green shit and a town full of whiny poor people couldn't keep him down for long, unfortunately. We ended just as Vyse and Pippi decided to risk imprisonment and death in order to save Fina Mary Sue from the eeeeeeeevil Saddam and minions. Since there's nothing I love better than wasting valuable time saving helpless RPG females, I'm so ready to do this.

We rejoin Vyse and Pippi in the Valuan Upper City, where they intend to follow Drachma's advice and take a rail car to the Imperial Palace. Little do Vyse and Pippi know that Fina is being taken to the Grand Fortress instead. Oh noes! Will they ever find her?

As you'll recall from the last installment, Lower City was full of poor people whining about being poor. The Upper City, in a surprising twist, is full of rich people bragging and, yes, whining about being rich. What a subtle study in contrasts. The Upper City citizens are, for the most part, rotund -- because they have a lot of food to eat, since they're rich -- and quite over-the-top in their dress sense. I haven't seen this much pink and frilly shit since peering into Link's closet. And in case we didn't quite get that these people are completely excessive in their wealth, we have one lady pondering what she needs to match her gold bathtub and deciding upon a silver toilet. And since people in video games never use the bathroom, even that particular item is completely for show.

Get off the cross, we need the wood to make the world's tiniest violin.
 

A nobleman sitting on a bench inquires after Vyse's family name. Of the three choices, Vyse chooses to tell the truth -- he's from the Dyne family. It was either that or say he was related to Admiral Fruity. Um, no. Ironically, the guy says he can tell Vyse is from a rich military family, just from looking at him. Yes, those detached sleeves and neckerchief just scream "I'm loaded." The guy says he will remember the name Dyne, and suddenly Vyse inwardly panics -- did he fuck up? But then he realizes that no matter what, it's not going to be as big a screw-up as the one caused by whichever genius named their home Pirate Isle. This is small potatoes in comparison.

Vyse even manages to talk to a smug little Dudley Dursley clone who wonders why the Lower City people don't just eat cake if they have no white bread. This is to illustrate that the Upper City folk are spoiled and rich, and cannot possibly understand the plight of the less fortunate.

Now that you know all these complex dynamics, rest assured that they have nothing to do with the rest of the recap. Vyse and Pippi, upon reaching the end of a walkway that leads to the next part of town, spot a rail car. We don't see it, but luckily, Pippi points it out and describes it for us. "I think you're right, [Pippi]. Looks like it can only ride on those rails. I guess it would be hard to steal..." We may all die happy now, as we have seen true genius at work.

Vyse uses his handy-dandy binocular eyepatch to zoom in on this riveting action. And it's a good thing he did, because Fina conveniently stands at the entrance to the car, flanked by two Ultra!Zippo guards. Pippi expresses disbelief, as Dyne told them that Fina was at the palace, and there's absolutely no way that someone could be brought from one location to another. But their illusions are shattered, as that's exactly what did happen.

Somehow Vyse deduces that the rail cars are headed toward the Grand Fortress, and this is their last chance to save Fina before it comes impossible. Wait -- isn't Vyse the guy who just wants to prove people wrong whenever he hears the word 'impossible'? So this kind of impossible is impossible, but saving Ass Pirates or escaping the city is the possible kind of impossible. Right. Glad we cleared that up.

We get ten thousand absolutely necessary shots of the train starting up, complete with lights and lens flare. And God knows, if I don't get my daily dose of lens flare, people die. After this drawn-out sequence, Vyse manages to figure out that the train is starting up. "We'll never get down there in time," he pouts. Pippi is all, "Vyse, I am a woman and I am unable to think independently. What should we do?" More shots of the train starting up. Incidentally, the train is long, red, and ridiculously phallic. This becomes important later. The camera shows us Fina sitting in the front car. Since the track runs right past the walkway on which they stand, Vyse decides that the only way to catch the train is to jump onto the roof. Pippi shits herself, despite the fact that this is pretty standard RPG fare. Two seconds later, she contradicts herself by saying it's "not that tough."

There's a shot of Vyse defying all laws of physics as he jumps onto the roof of the train. But that type of camera angle isn't good enough for the game designers when it comes to Pippi. Nope, we have the extended shot of her from below, paneled skirt all akimbo, with her black panties zooming straight toward the camera. She lands on her face, so we don't get confused and think she's the graceful Mary Sue rather than the tomboyish female buddy. That doesn't mean we can't ogle her underwear, though.

Of course, the phallic train zooms into a tunnel. Vyse reminds us that Fina is in the front car, while the two of them are all the way toward the back. I could've sworn there was at least another car behind them during the jumping sequence, but I'm heading toward a slippery slope trying to find consistency in a scene that already anally rapes all natural laws.

Meanwhile, at the now-abandoned coliseum, Galcian of the Miniature Wang surveys a crew of zippo soldiers. One of them announces, "Lord Galcian! We've just received a message from Central Station in Upper City... They've spotted some [Ass] Pirates snooping around the rail cars." Snooping -- that's one way to put it. Also, I don't know if I'm surprised or not that they got caught. On one hand, duh, they're not exactly sneaky, but this is an RPG, and sneaking around unnoticed isn't the most difficult of tasks.

Galcian lets out a Tidusy "Huh?" before asking if the other escaped Ass Pirates have been recaptured. No, duh. The other guard offers to search all the rail cars for the snooping Ass Pirates, despite the fact that the Central Station clearly must have seen which train they were on. But Galcian knows their whereabouts for a different reason -- obviously they must be trying to rescue Fina. After a pointless exchange regarding the status of the Grand Fortress gates, Galcian orders the gates closed and "all ships in the bay on full alert." I guess they usually just float around, not looking at anything. "Dispatch the Imperial Rail Car immediately. I shall deal with these pirates myself," Galcian says ominously. Uh-oh!

Back to Vyse. He and Pippi run toward the front of the train, fighting random battles with zippo soldiers all the way. After running for a while, a cut scene triggers and...oh my, I can't even make this shit up. Something causes Vyse and Pippi to lose their footing. Cut to the back of the train where an identical phallic red train rams it rhythmically from behind. No, really. Obviously, this is Galcian's Compensation Train. Suddenly the man himself is standing atop Vyse and Pippi's train, holding -- I'm not making this up, either -- a giant penisy sword. Wow, his tallywhacker is shrinking by the minute.

 
Take it all, bitch!

Galcian throws off his concealing cloak to reveal a pair of tight leggings. Not the greatest choice of clothing for the unit issue, but it's only going to make him angrier at the world, and channeling this anger may make him more effective in battle. "Who's that?! Vyse, there's something about this guy... I'm not sure what it is, but I don't think we can take him," Pippi freaks. Oh, man. Apparently, Pippi finds something very intimidating about not-so-well-endowed men. "Yeah... And he looks really mad too!" Vyse agrees with Pippi's "small wang" analysis. Vyse's brilliant plan is to run and save Fina before Galcian catches them. Um... Apparently Vyse has not thought this plan through very carefully. See if you can spot the flaw.

A more effective way for Galcian to make his penis seem bigger?
A cucumber wrapped in tin foil.
Stuffing Lady Yunalesca's final battle form down his pants.
Utilizing one of those 500 spam e-mails that promises a bigger schlong.
Standing next to Tidus.

 

The next task involves continuing to run toward the front car while Galcian walks toward them at a snail-like pace. This requires a lot of concentration and skill. Hoo boy. Leaving Galcian in their Ass Pirate dust, Vyse and Pippi reach their destination. The screen goes black so that they don't have to animate Vyse and Pippi actually breaking into the car. The scene switches to inside, where the two Ultra!Zippo guards stand behind Fina. Suddenly the door behind them bursts open to reveal...Vyse and Pippi! Fina turns around, still bound at the wrists, gasping in surprise. One of the U!Z guards demands their names, and for once Vyse doesn't take them up on the offer. Holy crap, there's a first time for everything. Pippi informs Fina that they're going to save her, as if Fina would think they were there to molest her. One of the U!Z guards consults the handbook that he received on the first day of training: "The Big Book of Bad Guy Catchphrases: Underling Edition." From this, he recites his next line: "Insolent pests! You'll have to get past us first!" The other guard congratulates him on his fine use of their "Bible." The first guard thanks him, a little smug. Battle time!

The Boss Music starts up as the camera rotates all over the inside of the train car like a drunken hobo. Despite the fact that Fina was standing up a moment before and nothing detrimental has happened since then, she dramatically collapses the floor in a helpless heap at the start of battle. That's really fucking sad. As for the Ultra!Zippo guards, they come armed with some yucky magical spells and an annoying counterattack stance. In spite of this, Vyse and Pippi don't bother to use any sort of strategy, but instead rely upon their brute strength. It's not that I was being lazy and not paying much attention to this lame battle. Stop giving me that look.

A few minutes later, the guards lie dead and bleeding on the ground. I'm just assuming, since they never show them. Sappy Mary Sue Piano Theme plays as Pippi unties Fina. Vyse just sits there, dick in hand, fantasizing about the two ladies in a lesbian bondage situation. Fina is all, "Why...?" "Why do you think? We're here to save you!" Vyse duhs, like they didn't just tell her that. "You mean...you did all this...just for...me?" Fina stutters. Pippi explains to her in small words the concept of "friends" and "RPG heroes who can do anything." Fina lames a bit about being scared and lonely, because she's soooooooooo fragile and helpless. What, was she afraid of Galcian's microscopic prick? She practically sucks Vyse's dick in her profuse thanks. Sadly, this greatest of rescue scenes is cut short when Vyse reminds them that they now have to find a way out of this moving train car in the middle of the tunnel.

But oh no! A sinister laugh from behind them reveals Galcian along with two zippo guards. He's all the way at the back of the car, while Vyse, Pippi, and Fina are at the front. This becomes important in a minute. "What?! He found us!" Vyse dorks again, astounded that someone could watch them enter the train car and then figure out where they went. "I am Galcian, Lord of the Imperial Armada," Galcian (duh) announces for their benefit. As always, he's eager to throw around his "impressive" titles, so as to draw attention away from his less impressive features. He wants to know Vyse's name, probably so he can write their names together in little hearts all over his Imperial Armada notebooks. "I'm Vyse of the Blue Rogues. I just thought you were the guy that cleaned the rail cars," Vyse snots back. "Are you saying my penis is small?" Galcian asks defensively. He also connects Vyse's name to the unfortunate incident with Fruity.

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