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  -Part 1 :: [02.13.02]
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  -Part 8 :: [02.17.05]
  -Part 9 :: [08.04.06]
  -Part 10 :: [08.04.06]
  -Part 11 :: [02.17.10]
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"Cid laughs over the whole thing 'return[ing] to sand' but Brother is huddled in the cockpit, crying all Tightass-like. His dad explains that machina can be rebuilt, so he should stop whining like a little pussy. Meanwhile, Wakka tries to console Rikku in true Wakka fashion. 'Don't get so down. Boom! Like happy festival fireworks, ya?' God, what a moron."
     -Jeanne, Final Fantasy X Part 14

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Suikoden : Part 10
By Jeanne
Posted 08.04.06
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3
If you're reading these recaps in order (and you should be, you big lazy cheaters), you probably read the previous recap just a short time ago. Therefore, you should already know that PUGGY!!! is whizzing his way (not like that) across the lake in his brand new speedboat, trying to reach the secret factory with the Fire Spears so he can defeat his dad.

PUGGY!!! zips around a bit, eventually finding yet another pesky whirlpool that he probably wouldn't have been able to cross before acquiring the boat, but I wouldn't know because I never bothered to explore this area of the lake. Just beyond the whirlpool, PUGGY!!! finds a port town called Kirov. You'd think that the giant, unpassable-except-to-speedboats whirlpool might cause a problem for the town. Apparently not, as PUGGY!!! encounters quite a few people milling about. And not just any people. Portrait people.

The first individual PUGGY!!! encounters is an androgynous youth named Melodye. That sounds like a girl's name but...I've been burned before. When PUGGY!!! introduces himself as the leader of the illustrious Lubrication Army, Melodye responds, "I'm nothing compared to you." Whereas that's true -- just look at his/her hideous outfit! -- PUGGY!!! doesn't need people with raging inferiority complexes in his army. Not that such a trait makes them horrible fighters or anything -- they're just fucking annoying. PUGGY!!! need not worry right now -- Melodye won't even consider joining the army at this point. See, some Runemaster told him/her that he/she has this "special power" and to unleash this mysterious power, Melodye needs a rune. How convenient. Melodye totally buys into this sad sales attempt, but instead of actually going out and getting the damn rune, he/she is just going to stand by the side of this building until someone brings it to him/her. Guess who gets to do that?

Before going on to find the other valuable recruits in the town, PUGGY!!! talks to some of the clones to get the latest news as well as some "valuable" information. One guy has no trouble spilling his guts to PUGGY!!! regarding the numerous "seafaring smugglers" that do business in the town due to the lack of Imperial control. An old woman -- or man -- moans about a horrible battle that happened somewhere to the north, in a place called Kalekka. Hey, PUGGY!!! just lost a big chunk of his own army, so he's not in the mood to hear other people's whining.

And PUGGY!!! doesn't want to hear about it -- what a happy coincidence!

PUGGY!!! moves on to the next non-clone in town. Yes, another woman. She's sitting behind a large washtub, doing the laundry. In case the tub, the folded clothes, and the two full clotheslines did not quite convey this to us, Sarah makes sure to tell PUGGY!!! and his crew that she's doing the laundry. Now that we've cleared up that mystery of the ages, PUGGY!!! decides that a laundress in the castle might not be such a bad thing, even if she is of the wrong gender. Since each member of the army only owns one outfit, you can imagine that it would take something far greater than even Milich's collection of flowers to cover up the stench.

This ought to be an easy sell -- what woman wouldn't want to hang out in a phallic castle full of misfits and perverts, doing the laundry all day? After all, women just like to cook, clean, and have babies, right? Not that PUGGY!!!'s willing to engage in the activity that will produce the latter. Anyway, PUGGY!!! gives his spiel -- all contained within the handy "Recruit" command. Like I guessed, Sarah is thrilled at the prospect of washing all those clothes. "OK, I'll join," she decides.

But it's a fake-out!

Before she gathers up her wash and sails off to the Lubrication Army's rocky schlong, she needs PUGGY!!! to fetch some soap for her. He'd like to remind her that the Lubrication Army's impressive and fabulous leader is no errand boy, especially to a chick, but God damn -- it's an easy errand, right? I mean, soap is one of those basic necessities that they sell everywhere.

Not so fast.

Apparently, the entire town smells like body odor and ass hair. Only one person in Kirov owns a bar of soap, and he has no problem giving this precious, unique item to PUGGY!!!. Provided PUGGY!!! finds him some soy sauce, of course. As you may have figured out by this time, PUGGY!!! has stumbled headfirst into a pointless, time-wasting fetch quest. Not that there's such a thing as a meaningful, productive fetch quest, but this one takes it to a whole new level of snore.

PUGGY!!!'s doesn't come on a rope -- is that all right?

The only thing that saves the entire town's population from lethal blunt force trauma by staff is PUGGY!!!'s True Strategy Rune, which guides him to the very individuals who hold the valuable items needed by previous individuals. Not that it makes this whole experience any less silly. But it saves me a little bit of time, time that I can use to finish such important tasks as "read LiveJournal" or "take afternoon nap."

Finally, PUGGY!!! finds the one person who holds someone else's essential item and who doesn't expect anything in return. Right. In this town of greedy dicklickers? Not so much. Actually, PUGGY!!! has to buy sugar (not like that) from the local item shop. The very same local item shop that should have all that other shit in stock. PUGGY!!! realizes that the item shop guy is the source of all his current irritation. Where are the man-eating spores when PUGGY!!! needs them?

Okay, so PUGGY!!! makes his way back through the chain, trading sugar for a yardstick (WTF?), a yardstick for salt, salt for soy sauce, and soy sauce for soap. The soap guy adds to the whole "comedic" effect the game designers were going for in this sequence by "joking" that he has another task for PUGGY!!!. But he really doesn't! That's a real kneeslapper, right up there with such gems as the Macarena Temple and random Star Wars quotes.

'...if you know what I mean. *wink*'

PUGGY!!! chucks the soap at Sarah's head. "Oh, you brought me soap? It turns out I had some, but thanks anyway." PUGGY!!! experiences a vivid fantasy where he drowns Sarah in her own washtub. Somehow the game designers managed to refrain from inserting (heh) any buffoonish music to further emphasize the hilarious nature of the fetch quest, as Sarah joins the army and magically teleports to Penis Castle without any further humor attempts. She leaves her clothes behind. Let me rephrase that -- she leaves clothes drying on the clotheslines. PUGGY!!! takes a quick look to see if there's anything worth stealing, but none of the garments fit his fashion criteria -- they don't hurt the retinas. He briefly considers asking Tai Ho and Yam Koo to change into some actual clothes, but then he'd have to see them naked. PUGGY!!!'s day just tripled in suckitude from that mental image.

While taking a walk and doing the usual home invasions to cool down his anger and nausea, PUGGY!!! finds an empty house with a bubbling stewpot on the stove. It's been a while since he's had any hot, creamy stew, so what the hell. As long as no one sees him, they can't judge him. Just one mouthful... "Very smooth!" PUGGY!!! comments to himself. Oh, how he missed that!

Imagine his surprise when he finds the house's identical mirrored twin, which contains another stewpot. This is pretty much fate ordering him to swallow another spoonful, as far as PUGGY!!! is concerned. With only the slightest amount of guilt, PUGGY!!! stealthily samples this stew as well. Again, he comments upon its smoothness. Like, did he expect it to be chunky or something? Nasty!

PUGGY!!! finds no more unattended stew, but he does find a man in a chef outfit standing around inside a rather ornate lobby of another building. The chef, Lester...well, he's not a sexy beast by any standards, but he's also not a horrific, deformed freak. So...yeah, PUGGY!!! would probably hit that. Especially when Lester remarks, "Oh my, you've gone around tasting all my stews." PUGGY!!! blushes to his roots. He thought no one could see him! Oh, how mortifying! Chef Lester continues, "You must be someone special if you appreciate the taste of my stew." PUGGY!!! blushes even harder. Emphasis on "harder." So Chef Lester liked it when PUGGY!!! gulped down his stew? PUGGY!!! must have this man in his army -- so what if they already have another chef? Dude, he just recruited a woman who does laundry. And what about the gossip whore -- don't tell me she's necessary.

It turns out PUGGY!!! doesn't even have to go through the whole Recruit/Don't Recruit charade with this guy -- Lester takes one look at that stew-swallowing young hottie and joins faster than you can say "Please sir, may I have another?" Off to Penis Castle he goes!

Did someone in the Suikoden series just say 'whassup'?

So this trip wasn't a total waste. With a newfound spring in his step, and the lingering taste of stew on his tongue, PUGGY!!! heads to the inn to save. Why hello, what's this? It's a young, rather pretty (relatively speaking) man with a headband and...well, an 80s style mullet. You know, a mostly grown out mullet, not one of those buzzcut-top, permed-back ones. PUGGY!!! hopes he's not relaxing his standards too much. Anyway, this young stud introduces himself as Georges -- another sign that he bats for the home team -- and gives his occupation as "free man, you might say." PUGGY!!!'s a bit confused -- is Georges saying he's not a male whore? -- but Georges clarifies: "To put it simply, I'm an idler." Oh. Such a description gives PUGGY!!! the impression that this guy hasn't quite yet moved out of his parents' house. Plus, PUGGY!!! doesn't need some lazy deadbeat boyfriend sitting around waiting for presents and nookie while PUGGY!!!'s out doing important Lubrication Army stuff. Still, PUGGY!!! experiences a twinge of temptation when Georges invites him to play a game. "If you beat me, I'll join you," he winks. PUGGY!!!'s eyes go wide -- is he talking about S&M?

Turns out, no. He's talking about another God damn minigame. I know I keep making snide remarks about the uselessness of Lubrication Army recruits, but truth be told, I'm not an expert on military matters. So maybe I've been wrong all this time -- maybe layabouts running minigames are the most essential members of the army. Maybe all they have to do is stand on the front lines with their cups and dies and cards and ask the opposing forces if they would like to play a couple of rounds. If that doesn't send the Imperials running for the hills, I don't know what will. At the very least, the Imperials would strike them down with extreme prejudice, and then I wouldn't have to deal with the minigame assclowns anymore. It's a win-win-win.

So, Georges. His particular minigame, it should go without saying, is nowhere near as vile as The Game That Shall Not Be Named. It appears to be some sort of variation on Memory, where you try to turn over matching sets of cards, but instead of flowers and butterflies, these cards contain the hideous character portraits of Lubrication Army members. I don't even want to know the levels of stalkerdom involved in Georges acquiring -- or worse, creating -- such a deck. Sure, the average townsperson might know the more prominent individuals in the army if he or she bothered to keep up on political matters. Still, who the fuck would know about Onil and Tesla? Enough to plaster their likenesses on a set of cards? Even scarier, who would know about Lubrication Army recruits that PUGGY!!! hasn't even met yet? Only a very, very sad and scary psychic. One who isn't going to get any sugar from PUGGY!!!, that's for sure.

To beat Georges's dumb card game, PUGGY!!! must flip over the cards within a certain time limit. This is much easier than the actual version of Memory (I almost wrote Memorgy...I don't want to know why) since the game automatically flips surrounding cards, setting off a chain reaction that essentially clears the board in about two moves on PUGGY!!!'s part. Okay, so PUGGY!!! has to try a few times. Give him a break -- he has a lot on his mind. You'd be more understanding if your dad's army was marching on your phallic castle.


Georges the Psychic Slacker, now part of the crew, does the Black Screen Teleport to Penis Castle and out of PUGGY!!!'s sight for now. Wow, that's way too many people to recruit in one dinky town. At least PUGGY!!! can rest assured that his bigger and better army will help him in the upcoming major battle. I totally could not type that with a straight face.

PUGGY!!! bids a not-so-fond farewell to the town of Kirov and heads north to another dot on the world map. This fine metropolis, according to the text box, is Kalekka. If you've been paying attention, you'll recall that this is the site of a terrible battle. Even if PUGGY!!! hadn't spoken to that whiny individual in Kirov, the fact that a goodly portion of the town's buildings lie in ruins might serve as a giant hint that some shit went down here. There's not even any carefree town music, for fuck's sake -- just some desolate wind sound effects.

So what actually happened in Kalekka?
Man-eating spores.
I don't care. All I know is that there's a burned out village and I don't see fifty gay guys groping each other yet.
You are so ignorant. All true Suikoden fans know about the Kalekka Incident. God.
That wizard can be a nasty, destructive bitch when he wants.


But the visit isn't a total loss for PUGGY!!!. He finds some treasure chests that survived the attack and any subsequent looting. Of course, all that good stuff is cancelled out by the random battles. Apparently, any time a town's population drops below ten or so, the monsters move in. PUGGY!!! battles his way to another mostly-intact house where he finds some guy standing around. The guy in question has a character portrait and he's important enough to earn his full name in his text window: Leon Silverberg. See, if he only got his first name, like pretty much everyone else in the entire game, we wouldn't make that important connection between him and Odessa and Mathiu. He'd just be Leon, a guy with a bitchin' pornstache. Leon Silverberg recognizes PUGGY!!! right away, saying, "I know you." Not to be creepy or anything. PUGGY!!!'s glad that he has his buddies along (Tai Ho and Yam Koo don't count), and he's not actually stuck in this dank, abandoned house with his second stalker of the day. "Be careful. In a war, only the strong survive." Well, the Lubrication Army is fucked, then. "That's all there is to it. You must recruit as many soldiers as you can," Leon adds. Well, that second part doesn't exactly match up to the first part when you're talking about the Lubrication Army. Still, there's nothing wrong with subscribing to the cannon fodder method of army building, I suppose. Especially when the majority of your recruits annoy the crap out of you.

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