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"The Kobold not wearing a pink dress is Kuromimi's brother. Well, I'm assuming he's not the one in the pink dress. This is Suikoden, where the men are women and the women are men."
     -Jeanne, Suikoden Part 6

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Skies of Arcadia : Part 11
By Jeanne
Posted 02.17.13
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3 : 4
It seems like just yesterday that I subjected myself to the torturous random battles, the abject stupidity of King Dickcheese of Ixa'taka, and the horribly disturbing character design of the Green Gigas. But it wasn't. Not even close. Let's say no more about it. Although the smart thing to do would be to "forget" to update this recap and quit while I'm ahead, I'm going to be as idiotic as the Ass Pirate Vyse and continue on. It's my gift and my curse.

Due to my bad track record when recording footage, I'm now extra paranoid and I record two copies at once. One goes directly onto my computer, and the other onto a videotape. I only use the most high tech equipment for this hobby. As long as I make sure to save into different save slots and back up my recaps regularly, I shouldn't run into any of the issues that have plagued me in the past. Right? What could possibly go wrong?

This might be referring to Drachma's penis.

After loading my most recent game save, I notice that my party is in need of healing before I continue on through the former Iron Net into the skies of Valua. So I spend about fifteen minutes fighting with the controls, the map screen, and the confusing layout of Whoreteka until I find an inn and item shop. I'm slightly baffled as to why the item shop owner is acting like such a prick to me when I saved his horrible fucking village. I'm even more baffled when I leave the village and make my way back to the northern part of Ixa'taka, only to find the Iron Net still in place. After making a futile attempt to find a hole in the net, I decide that maybe I haven't triggered the proper cutscene. I return to King Dickcheese in his dumb hideout. Then something terrible happens. He thanks me for rescuing Isapa from the mines, but says nothing of the more recent events, such as Vyse saving his worthless kingdom from the Green Gigas. Hey, wait a minute. Holy shitballs, I'm playing the wrong game save. After a few moments of panic -- and yes, this situation warrants this strong of a reaction -- I remember that I have a more recent save file way down the list. I really don't know what I would do if I had to replay all the stuff from the last two recaps. I have a sick feeling in my stomach just thinking about it.

But crisis averted! I load up my actual most recent save game, only to find myself in roughly the same location with the same health issues, just with a few extra levels. This means I get to fly back to Whoreteka and navigate the whole fucking village again. I am not amused. But overall, this is one of the least depressing screw-ups I've ever committed while recapping, so I should just count my blessings.

Yes, because it's all about making sure Vyse is happy.

Okay, so this time the Iron Net really is gone, just like my desire to be sober. That means it's time for one of my very favorite activities in this game: flying aimlessly around, looking for my next destination, fighting random battles every two screen pixels. Just for the record, they haven't gotten any more tolerable. The Valuan airspace, called the North Ocean, has not suddenly become a bright sunny place with lots of birds flitting about peacefully since we last visited. Wow, that was a long fucking time ago. Vyse is in a slightly different part of Valua now, but don't ask me to describe where it is in relation to the fortress he infiltrated earlier. It looks pretty much the same -- the atmosphere is dim and gloomy and gray, with a threatening black cloud wall acting as the area boundary. The walkthrough I'm following religiously warns me that I will be attacked by a pirate ship soon after entering this section of the map, so when I see an ominous ship headed my way and a little exclamation point starts blinking in the lower right corner of the screen, I assume this is the ship.

Fuck off.

Surprise! It's a Valuan Gunboat, not a pirate ship. The camera lovingly caresses every angle of the enemy ship, which -- surprise, surprise -- looks like a giant black cock with propellers. It's bad enough I've stumbled into an optional battle -- a ship battle, no less -- I really don't feel like watching the camera get fancy here. Then, the gunboat starts mouthing off to Vyse. I think it's supposed to be someone inside the boat using a loudspeaker or something, but the dialogue is attributed to "Valuan Gunboat," so who knows. Whoever it is screams, "The Imperial Armada is invincible! You will learn to bow before the might of Valua!" If I didn't know better, I'd think it was Galcian at the helm. Vyse isn't going to let anyone, airship or human, talk to him that way. Although he would totally escape this battle if he could, game designers. So it's on!

Since this is the ship battle equivalent of a random battle, I figure it will be over fairly quickly. I don't know why I assume that, since even regular random battles aren't over quickly, so I guess I'm the moron here. What I'm trying to say is that this is most definitely not a short fight. Plus, I almost get myself killed. Jesus. It takes me three rounds to get to the point where I can even use the Harpoon Cannon, and that kills the gunboat in a single hit. Typical.


About a millimeter away from the Little Jack's location after the battle, I run into the automatic battle that the walkthrough warned me about. Very funny, game. The camera has to do its obligatory -- and don't forget endless! -- introduction of this new ship. It looks like a round, red, spiky fish, and even has angry eyes painted on the outside. The ship title screen informs me that this is the Bloodlust, belonging to the Black Pirate Gordo. That name is a bit too threatening and pretentious for my tastes, so I hereby rename it the Blowfish.

Inside the Blowfish, a fancy feast is laid out upon a table. I particularly like the roast bird with its head still attached. As the camera pans over the impressive spread, someone, his name given only as "Fat Guy," gives a synopsis of the delicacies. It's actually making me hungry. What? I like food. And so does Fat Guy, obviously, because he's fat. Fat people eat a lot! Get it?!

Now we get our first view of Fat Guy from the waist up as he sits at the table. He's bald, with a comical handlebar mustache, and he wears a yellow coat and what looks like a cravat. But a cravat wouldn't speak to his main character trait, which is that he likes to eat, so I think it's supposed to be a bib. Oh, and he's fat. I forgot to mention that. There are several bottles of alcohol in front of him, along with several martini and wine glasses. I like this guy already. As he digs into a pink and green dish in front of him, he exposits that he and his crew stole the food for this feast from a ship they captured the day before. I wonder who he's talking to, but then I notice that he has a pair of matching chefs on either side of him. They have red beards and creepy-ass zombie grins, and they're wearing black goggles and bright purple chef's garb. I would not trust these guys with my food at all. I'm talking about roofies.

A random Ass Pirate -- possibly also dressed as a chef, since that seems to be the dress code on this ship -- addresses Fat Guy as "Captain Gordo." Which is basically Spanish for "Fat Guy," so way to go with those subtle strokes, writers. Random Ass Pirate warns Gordo of an approaching ship with a big fucking harpoon. Fuck yeah, that would be me. This is welcome news to Gordo, as he assumes this mysterious ship is also full of delicious food to steal. Unfortunately for him, it's the Little Jack, and I've never seen any food on it at all. Oh no, what if Gordo starves? "I'll take on anyone if I think they have good food on board," Gordo states, just to make sure we understand his complex motivation.

Let's design a Skies of Arcadia villain!
Feo: He's ugly, so very ugly. He wears a bag over his head and captures ships just to destroy any mirrors on board.
Enfermo: Poor Enfermo is always sick! He has a big red runny nose, a hot water bottle on his head, and he coughs a lot. He captures ships just to steal their stash of Nyquil and Mucinex.
Limpio: This OCD motherfucker is always scrubbing the bejeebers out of his perfectly spotless ship, and he looks exactly like Mr. Clean. He compulsively cleans all the ships that he captures.
Pequeño: Wait, this is just Galcian.


Back on the bridge of the Little Jack, Vyse, Pippi, and Fina notice the Black Pirate ship heading their way. Drachma checks out the situation, and he recognizes the ship. Since Vyse and the others weren't privy to the scene on board the Blowfish, Drachma exposits for their benefit: "It belongs to a pirate named Gordo. He's known as the Gourmet Pirate. He attacks other ships and steals their food. He rarely uses his cannons because he's afraid he'll burn the food on the other ships. He'll do anything for a good meal." I'm afraid the information we've gotten on Gordo so far is a bit too subtle for me, and I'm looking forward to learning the mystery of what makes him tick. Good lord. From Vyse and Pippi's helpful narration, we learn that Gordo is brutally ramming the Little Jack with his Blowfish and boarding it from behind. It's time for a battle on the deck of the Little Jack! Thank God it's not a fucking ship battle.

The music indicates that this is a boss battle, to my extreme delight. Gordo has brought three of his scary purple chefs with him to fuck up my shit. Now that we can see Gordo from the waist down...let me rephrase that. Now that we can see Gordo's entire character model, it's clear that the character designers put a lot of thought into how to convey his inner soul. He's severely muffin-topping out of his clothing, and with every movement, his belly jiggles like Bellen/za's tits. I'm so glad they put as much effort into animating Gordo's flab roll as they did into Bellen/za's bellydancing. Fanservice for the ladies!

Just once I would like to see a chef character who doesn't wield a kitchen implement in battle. Like, you expect them to whip out a rolling pin or sushi knife, then all of a sudden they're unloading a machine gun in your face. But this is the wrong game to expect a major break from convention -- these assholes just wield cast iron pots. Boooooring. While this isn't the most harrowing boss battle in this game, it's more difficult than I'm in the mood for after that extraneous ship battle. I remove the rapey chefs first, because of their tendency to poison me with poisonous poison. Surprisingly, Gordo doesn't appear to have any fat-related attacks, such as body-slamming me with his immense bulk. But he does tend toward food and drink-based attacks. In particular, he has this one move where he blows alcoholic flames all over my party. He must have learned that ability from Auron. I would give my left testicle to be able to spit flaming booze at people I don't like.

Oh, and since I didn't mention this before, Gordo uses a fork and knife as weapons. Because he likes food! Those tiny character details are so easy to miss.

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