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  -Suikoden Main
  -Part 1 :: [02.13.02]
  -Part 2 :: [03.09.02]
  -Part 3 :: [08.03.02]
  -Part 4 :: [05.26.03]
  -Part 5 :: [07.28.04]
  -Part 6 :: [10.13.04]
  -Part 7 :: [02.17.05]
  -Part 8 :: [02.17.05]
  -Part 9 :: [08.04.06]
  -Part 10 :: [08.04.06]
  -Part 11 :: [02.17.10]
  -Part 12 :: [06.11.11]


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"'They also told me that you drove off the fire-breathing ship that was destroying our land,' King Ixa'taka continues. Okay. I would like to point out here that the treehouse has windows, and this battle took place just a few feet away not two minutes ago. I'm getting the idea that this guy isn't too bright."
     -Jeanne, Skies of Arcadia Part 8




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Suikoden : Part 6
By Jeanne
Posted 10.13.04
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3 : 4
The last part of PUGGY!!!'s not-so-ambiguously gay adventures took him to the land of non-humans, where he met extremely creative versions of elves and dwarves. His new dumb friend Linkolas helped bring all the races together in order to prevent Kwanzaa Rosman from burning the forest with a giant mirror. Yes, a giant mirror. Unfortunately for Linkolas (and for us, since we had to deal with his whining), he wasn't quick enough to save his own village from a fiery fate. I can't say that was much of a loss.

So now everyone wants revenge on the evil Kwanzaa. But first, we start where we left off at the Burnt Village of the Elves. But where there was only charred ground and crispy remains of houses, there is now an extremely feminine young man. I realize that is rather unspecific for a Suikoden game. This particular feminine young man has a pageboy haircut, a blue Donald Duck hat, and culottes, and his name is Templeton. Those of you who didn't immediately go, "Ah, it's the same Templeton (or Templton) that I read about in Sam's Suikoden II recaps!" should be highly ashamed. But yes, it's the same "guy", albeit three years younger and one vowel richer.

"My god, this is terrible! I wish they wouldn't do such things!" Templeton shrills in his squeaky prepubescent voice. "Now I'll have to change the maps." Yes, as before (or after, if we're talking the game chronology), Templeton has realized the true tragedy of this situation -- that it will take two seconds to scribble this hellhole off his map. The sad thing is, I don't think I'm being sarcastic here. It's not like anyone will really miss these jackholes.

Templeton somehow finds out that he is among Liberation Army members. "I just heard that the Ancient Castle of Toran was taken over by the Liberation Army," Templeton comments. Gremio doesn't pissily correct the name of the castle, but it would be really awesome if he did. So let's just pretend that happened. Templeton is aching to lend his extremely necessary mapmaking skills to PUGGY!!!'s army all of a sudden on one condition -- that PUGGY!!! allow him to map out every contour of the Penis. Somehow I don't think that will be a problem, if you follow me. PUGGY!!! makes the extremely difficult decision to recruit this boy. Templeton announces that he will head to "PenisCastle" after he finishes up in the burnt village. Am I the only one who wonders where this kid's parents are? I know this is Suikoden, but Jesus.

Then Templeton does something which, if I were Sam, would make me want to reward him in an inappropriate manner -- he gives PUGGY!!! a map. Yes, a map with little dots showing the towns. I shall never get lost again! Well, not on the overworld map areas. Just let me be happy about something, okay?

For some reason, PUGGY!!! heads to the empty Kobold Village, where he encounters Kuromimi running out of the forest. The Kobold tards something about wanting to help his dipshitted people and not wanting to get caught, which is a surprisingly subtle way (for Suikoden) of letting us know that someone is hot on his ass....er, is chasing him.

Sure enough, a group of identical Imperial soldiers surrounds PUGGY!!! and friends. One random guy, let's call him Frank, notices "that traitor, Valeria," and mentions that there's "a price on [her] head." So presumably Valeria is in hot shit for helping the Elves. Well, okay. But as for PUGGY!!!, the extremely conspicuous son of one of the Imperial Generals and the leader of the rebel army -- well, who cares about him? THAT CHICK WAS HELPING THE ELVES!!!!

Of course, this is a prime opportunity for Gremio to exercise some of his Skills of the Obvious. It takes a lot of consistent practice to reach such a level of expertise. "Young Master, we're surrounded. This is a bit dangerous," Gremio points out. "What are you talking about? This is extremely dangerous," Linkolas attempts to one-up him. The sad part here is that it's not really that dangerous. There are eight bad guys and seven good guys. And these are the shitty army clones, not anyone who has any fighting ability. Still, Valeria feels the need to do something incredibly dumb.

 
Oh, I don't think that will be a problem.

"Hey, you there. If I turn myself in, will you promise not to hurt the others?" she wonders. Frank "swear[s] to god [he] won't hurt them." Well, how can you not be reassured by such a sincere promise? Incidentally, has anyone in a movie, book, TV show, game, etc. ever kept their word in one of these situations? What a bunch of idiots.

But Gremio is not worried about his own gay skin -- he's actually concerned about Valeria, a woman. Yeah, I know. Apparently traitors are put to death around here, just like every other empire in every other book/movie/game. Are you noticing a pattern yet? Valeria is Noble and Shit, so she wants to destroy the Burning Mirror, even if she has to sacrifice herself to set the others free.

Why is Gremio actually worried about Valeria?
He loves women. His relationship with PUGGY!!! is purely platonic. *snerk*
Anything to up the drama quotient.
Valeria is the closest woman to being a man besides Cleo. And Onil.
Inconsistent characterization.

 

PUGGY!!! basically tells her to stop being a dumbass, but that goes over about as well as a female stripper at Squall's birthday party. Valeria officially leaves the group, turning herself in for a rousing round of torture and brutal rape. Well, there would be rape if men in the Suikoden universe enjoyed having sex with women. Which they obviously don't. "That's a good girl. Behave yourself," Frank condescends right before ordering the rest of the party killed. Seriously, did anyone not see that coming? Anyone? Show of hands? Valeria the Moron Queen is surprised, and she points out that Frank swore to god, like that is the equivalent of a signed and sealed treaty. Jesus. "God? There is no god in these modern times," Frank wanks without any irony whatsoever. Seriously, this dialogue.

Frank leads Valeria off to be "molested" as the other seven soldiers attack. "Whoooaaa! Here they come!" Gremio screams with just a little bit of excitement at being set upon by a group of burly men. As if things couldn't get any worse for our party (just play along), Kuromimi takes Valeria's place. And gets automatically stuck in the back row where he, a short range fighter, can't do shit. Not that he's exactly an asset to the team, but still, that's pretty fucking lame. Since only six enemies can face off against the six party members at a time, one of the Imperial soldiers has to sit around twiddling his thumbs. PUGGY!!! and the others pound the soldiers' asses into the ground.

Okay, I admit that I didn't fare extremely well in that battle, HP-wise. But my characters are all alive and they did beat six of the seven soldiers. However, when we return to the main screen, the defeated soldiers are still there and Gremio complains about being outmatched.

Even though Kuromimi is the weakest and most useless member in the party at the moment, he accuses the others of being wusses. Well, yeah, they kind of are for thinking they're outmatched by these assclowns, but still -- shut up, Kuromimi. Just as the Imperials prepare to charge forward for another less-than-scary fight sequence, Mathiu of all people shows up. "Commander PUGGY!!!, I'll help you," he offers. Before anyone can break out into a fit of laughter at the thought of the poor recluse being any good in hand-to-hand combat, a random Imperial runs in and frantically informs the others that the Liberation Army has arrived. "What? Retreat! Get out of here!" Frank screams, apparently unaware that the "army" consists of a gossip, a bathhouse owner, a vaultkeeper, two blacksmiths, a pedophile, etc. Or maybe he spotted Tai Ho and is smart enough to run away.

Once the Imperials scatter faster than the male cast of FFVIII when the lights go on in the men's room, Mathiu appears onscreen with Humphrey and a small group of Liberation Army clones. Apparently, we have a bit of catching up to do. When Gremio wonders how Mathiu made it through the magically concealed forest, Mathiu replies that, "Somebody warned me about the Burning Mirror." If only Elves can go through the forest, then who could....oh, shit. Sure enough, the "surprisingly" alive Sylvina bolts onscreen and attaches herself to Linkolas like a God damn Rinoa leech. "[Linkolas]! [Linkolas], [Linkolas], I missed you!" she screeches, since it's been a whole hour since she last saw him. But her village burned down, so I suppose I should cut her some slack. Just kidding, you guys.

 
'How come you never do that to me, Linkolas?'

Sylvina humps Linkolas's leg for a while. And if you think I'm just making shit up, I invite you to watch the sprites closely during this scene. "Sylvina...how? Why?" Linkolas asks, clearly dismayed. Here he thought he would be able to reap the double benefits of sympathy over a dead beard plus the dead beard, but no. Stallion and his phallic nose zip into the scene just in time to take credit for Sylvina's "heroic" rescue. Linkolas wonders if anyone will blame him for putting an arrow right through this guy's chest, but for some reason decides against it. Maybe he doesn't want to miss out on any potential nose action. And we've reached a new low. "It was incredible. There was a flash, and Stallion charged forward at an unbelievable speed," Sylvina gushes, apparently unaware that Stallion can and probably did do other things at light speed. I remember an old Superman joke kind of like that. Stallion reminds us that he can run really fast, as if the ten thousand times he already mentioned it didn't quite sink in. Christ, it's not like the guy has any other character traits.

Then, something strange happens. Linkolas calls out Sylvina's name twice, and the sprite animation looks like he's hugging her. Well, that can't be right. Stallion gets all pouty over not being the center of attention. What, did you expect thanks from these gay dudes for rescuing a woman? It takes more than a phallic schnoz to make up for a faux pas like that.

Why did Linkolas hug Sylvina?
He's straight and he loves her. You're just a gay British pubescent homo who can't get any.
He was trying to hide his erection at the magnificent sight of Stallion's nose.
If you look closely at the animation, you see that he's actually trying to choke her.
More inconsistent characterization.

 

Gremio, not one to miss out on the chance to be melodramatic and cheesy, hands Linkolas the ring. Well, that's not what it looks like he's doing, but the dialogue says otherwise. "Now I understand that hope should never be abandoned," he wanks mightily. I'm sure there are quite a few things that Gremio is hoping for. Do I need to spell them out?

Linkolas, furious, makes a mental note to never do it with Gremio, ever. Well, unless he apologizes. Because obviously Sylvina spots the ring and chirps, "What is it? A ring? What is it, [Linkolas]?" Great, now he's stuck unless he thinks of a really good lie. Which he doesn't. But he does try to put her off by saying, "This? I, when everything is over..."

Luckily for Linkolas, Mathiu bails him out before he gets into anything he'll really regret. He explains the presence of Humphrey and the actual soldiers. Apparently, Humphrey and Dirty Sanchez brought the surviving members of the "old Liberation Army." Wait, so if the remainder of the Liberation Army was following these guys around, who the hell was following PUGGY!!!? Well, besides all the useless profile people. Continuity issues aside, PUGGY!!! now conveniently has enough troops under his command to go kick Kwanzaa's genocidal behind. And enjoy it. "Commander PUGGY!!!, please give us the signal to move forward," Mathiu says. Now, this may seem reasonable and everything, but what PUGGY!!! doesn't realize is that Mathiu is really saying, "We're moving out now, no matter which option you choose, because the game designers are asshats and won't let you save before a stupid army battle which might cause the death of one of the 108 stars and then you'll have to reload and sit through this stupid shit again."

So. Army battle. One of the staples of the Suikoden series, of course. Though if this is the original game, I guess it's not really a staple yet. This is the most primitive form of the army battle, before we get into the highly strategical war simulations of Suikoden II and III. Stop laughing. Seriously, this shit is just a version of rock-paper-scissors where charge attack beats bow attack, bow attack beats magic attack, and magic attack beats charge attack. I don't even have to move people to different squares. To mix things up a little bit and keep it from being completely random, I can select one of the thieves (a nice name for "the ugly, deformed characters") to try to find out the enemy's next move. Sometimes it actually works. There are some other "cool" stat boosts and shit that I can do, but this is pretty much as basic as you can get. With that annoying explanation out of the way, let's plunge right into the Battle at Pannu Yakuta Castle. Over a backdrop of two miniature sprite armies facing off, Linkolas swears revenge on the man who burned down his crappy village. We see Kwanzaa's character portrait for the first time as he yells something incoherent about Emperor Assarosa. Kwanzaa...well, he has an interesting expression. He wears full armor, including a helmet with nose guard. Under this helmet, his face looks downward, while his eyes look up and to the side, coyly. He also wears a rather seductive grin. Intimidating, he is not. Also see: homosexual. By now I shouldn't even have to mention that particular detail.

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