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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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"Behind the gauntlet of repfibions, there is a small clearing with a lone, discolored bush in its center. The bush rustles intermittently and actually conceals the ladder to Frog's lair. Hot melted butter on a side of crabcakes, I feel just like Nancy Drew!"
     -Ryan, Chrono Trigger Part 4

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Suikoden : Part 11
By Jeanne
Posted 02.17.10
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3
Zorak doesn't recognize them, proving my theory about Hix's solitary travels to the Phallus Palace, but he's heard of the famous Commander PUGGY!!!. He invites the group to his house where he agrees to spill the beans about The Count. After he physically drags Tengaar into a house to the north and Hix follows like a puppydog, the group merges back into PUGGY!!!. After a brief Black Screen of Town Population, the village is suddenly full of Suikoclones. PUGGY!!! really doesn't care about The Count now that he knows, thanks to his mysterious controller and True Strategy Rune, that the vampire is one of the non-hot kinds. So he's not the slightest bit interested in subjecting himself to Zorak's exposition. Instead, he wants to go on the hunt for some warriors, while getting his obligatory Talk to Everyone session out of the way.

PUGGY!!!'s not a machine, you know.

One NPC has some dire news. "This is the Warrior's Village [as opposed to the previously-mentioned Warriors' Village, apparently] and it's famous for the Village Chief's lengthy speeches." PUGGY!!! emits a horrified gasp. Also, he assumed the Warrior's' Village would be famous for its warriors. Either way, this is bad. A second NPC greets Flik, so I guess it's a good thing that I brought him along. I wonder if the dialogue would be any different if I didn't. An older Suikoclone standing near a well shares with PUGGY!!! a quote: "Even in the forest, not just at night, during your work, praise the King." These were apparently the last words of the only person who ever survived an attack on The Count's castle, so it's probably some clue to a puzzle that I'll forget way before I ever go there.

PUGGY!!! asked no such thing.

Then PUGGY!!! spots a vaguely familiar person and gets the urge to save his game at the village inn. Way, way, way back in Part 1, there's a screenshot of a rather unmasculine individual named Marco. I don't know what Marco's deal is, like if he's supposed to be a kid (with the gigantic saucer eyes) or an old man (with the gray ponytail), but his character portrait is just as girly as ever. And Marco, like half the other members of the Lubrication Army, likes to force PUGGY!!! to play a minigame. If PUGGY!!! wins the standard amount of 5000 bits from him, he'll join the Lubrication Army. I think I'm just going to copy and paste that last sentence from now on.

Now this is when things get weird. The minigame is your classic shell game, with three styrofoam cups and a coin. So it would appear that for once, the character running the minigame is up front about it being a scam. The weird thing is, not only is it possible to win, but...PUGGY!!! is actually good at the game. I feel like I need a moment to recover from the shock of typing that. Seriously, when PUGGY!!! plays the medium level of the game, betting 1000 bits each time, he guesses correctly five times in a row. Five times in a row. Since neither PUGGY!!! nor I have any actual gaming skill, the only conclusion I can draw from this is that Marco is a fucking idiot who rigged the game in PUGGY!!!'s favor. For a moment, I think I've found a decent way to earn cash, but then I remember that random battles now give me three times that many bits in a fraction of the time. Marco will just have to enjoy not-scamming the other denizens of the castle.

This is like saying, 'If you grope a naked Shion, I'll let you watch the Pond Scene.'

PUGGY!!! hasn't explored all the houses in the village, but he's pretty much given up on his quest to find any burly warriors in this shithole. What a gyp. In order to avoid listening to Zorak's diarrhea of the mouth for as long as possible, PUGGY!!! decides it's the right time for more recruitment efforts. Well, it's never the right time for that, but it's really the lesser of two evils right now. Just to show what a master of procrastination he truly is, PUGGY!!! manages to put off the inevitable even longer as he avails himself of the appraisal and vault services at Penis Castle. Yes, this means that he's dealing with his inventory, which is possibly worse than anything else he could possibly encounter. PUGGY!!! just can't win.

While he's here, he dumps Pahn, Flik, and Hellion from his party and adds the three matching blacksmiths instead. He considers abandoning them on a rock in the middle of the lake, just because he's still bitter over what they charge for their services, but first he heads back to the village. The one with the supposed warriors in it. I don't feel like fighting with that apostrophe. To no one's surprise, PUGGY!!! needs these three blacksmiths in order to recruit a fourth. This one is the Orange Blacksmith, Moose, who has a mustache, a beard, and floppy hair covering one eye. Seeing that the other three blacksmiths have lent their "considerable talents" to the Lubrication Army, Moose agrees to join as well. Astonishing. In the same house as Moose is a Suikoclone who gives PUGGY!!! the lowdown on the village tradition of engraving their "beloved's" name on their swords. So if Hix hasn't engraved a name on his sword yet, does that mean he's still looking? Does PUGGY!!! still have a chance, or does Hix prefer the burly embrace of Bear?

Doesn't that hurt?

But then things get weird once again. In one of the rooms in the overpriced armor shop, PUGGY!!! talks to a drab clone woman. "He's always trying to be a big shot, but I happen to know that he's engraved my name on his sword," she says of her armorer...husband? What kind of village is this? PUGGY!!! experiences a feeling of dread in the pit of his stomach. Even so, he makes one last stop in the item shop to buy some red flower seeds. Flowers make everything better. Well, unless they represent vaginas. Starting to feel nauseous from all the teleporting, PUGGY!!! returns to the castle again, this time to dump the three worthless blacksmiths from the party. His sense of relief is short-lived, because he has to voluntarily put Linkolas back in the party. There aren't enough ellipses in the world to convey how PUGGY!!! feels about this. PUGGY!!! hopes that Linkolas will understand that this is merely recruitment-related business, and that he's not actually interested in hearing more about Linkolas's desire for everyone to live in perfect harmony.

It seems like returning Linkolas to my party would be a bad enough punishment for whatever I did in a past life, but apparently not. This also relates to my long break from the game. See, I vaguely remember recruiting a guy who likes to grow seeds. And PUGGY!!! currently has flower seeds in his inventory taking up valuable space and not growing into pretty flowers. So it should make sense to go find Whiteman and drop off the flower seeds, right? After three real-time minutes of searching the castle for any signs of the guy, PUGGY!!! finally gives up. To make matters worse, he accidentally stumbles onto lazy Georges at one point and has to exit out of the minigame screen. God, who has time for this crap?

This one does, apparently.

It gets worse. PUGGY!!! decides to stop at the vault and loot the inventory of other characters in order to find less shitty armor for Linkolas. I won't get into the specifics of the system, but because of the way it's set up, I manage to accidentally strip PUGGY!!! of his equipment and items, ending up with them all in the vault. Jesus, I don't remember everything he was carrying. So now I have to wade through the massive amount of inventory in the vault to find PUGGY!!!'s original armor and items, which is a truly daunting task. Way too many minutes later, I think I have PUGGY!!! re-equipped with most of his original shit. But then I do the same thing again, this time with Bear. Fucking hell. And Linkolas still has his same crappy equipment, so I haven't even accomplished my original goal. Man, if you guys think I don't suffer when I end up taking recapping breaks, you are smoking some serious motherfucking crack.

Let's just fast-forward ahead to the point where I have everyone equipped with marginally decent armor and items and PUGGY!!! is ready to use his Soul Eater rune to off himself. If all the stuff PUGGY!!! just went through wasn't enough, it's now time for him to endure Zorak's exposition fest. Hooray. Inside what appears to be Zorak's bedroom, Zorak, Hix, and Tengaar are all standing around patiently. PUGGY!!! is just waiting for someone to make a crack about him being late, and he'll open up the biggest fucking can of whoop-ass this shitty village has ever seen.

Yeah, PUGGY!!! will get right on that.

Luckily for Zorak, he launches right into storytime, unaware that he may have saved himself from a grisly fate. "It was about three months ago. A man named [The Count] came here as general of the local Imperial troops," he begins. So it looks like the Imperial Army doesn't discriminate against vampires in their hiring practices. "With frightening magical [wizard] powers, he turned his men into zombies and skeletons," Zorak continues. I wonder how his superiors felt about that, and if they're planning to bring it up at his next performance review. Probably not, because they don't want to piss him off and get zombified. Also, zombies and skeletons? Like just one kind of undead isn't enough? And how does he determine who gets turned into a zombie and who gets turned into a skeleton? These are the kinds of questions that need to be addressed. "So that's why there were so many graves at the Fortress of Lorimar," Cleo pulls out of her ass. Now I'm confused here. Did she mean to say "so many dug up graves"? Because if not, that raises a question which I will let you answer.

What is the deal with the graves?
They were victims of Neclord's undead army who were given a proper burial afterward. This explains Cleo's "so many graves" comment, but makes no sense otherwise.
They were random dead Imperials from days gone by who were dug up and reanimated by Neclord. Cleo's comment was simply the result of a shitty translation.
You are thinking entirely too hard about a plot point the game designers probably created while tripping balls and have since forgotten.


With the fearsome and probably smelly dead soldiers under his control, The Count could do anything he wanted. So his first order of business was to go around to the local villages and demand their nubile young women. Now that's just sick. He's apparently after Tengaar now, but so far the villagers are refusing to cooperate. This confuses PUGGY!!!, because he would love it if someone showed up to Penis Castle and demanded all the young women. He'd hand them over in a heartbeat, clearing out space for more hotties. What is this village's problem? According to Zorak, all the other villages thought much like PUGGY!!! and gave in to The Count's demands. So impressed is Zorak with his village's resistance to The Count that he launches into a story of their proud origins. "Oh my god! Oh my god!" shrieks Hix. "Uh oh. Here it begins," Tengaar says ominously. What has them so freaked out, of course, is Zorak's aforementioned tendency to talk people to death. I have to laugh at their horrified reactions, even as I realize what I'm in for.

A few moments later, I'm staring at the screen, my mouth open in shock. Did the game designers just...skip over that entire story with a Black Screen of Unexpected Mercy? I can't believe this. I wonder if my game just glitched. But no, my first guess was right. Holy freaking crap. "I had a hell of a time," Bear comments in almost-Engrish. According to the dialogue here, Zorak has been talking for hours, past the setting of the sun, even though the light from the window looks the same as before. Zorak offers to tell another "good" story, but Bear's all, "Hells, no." Undeterred, Zorak announces that they can all have a sleepover at his place, and he'll just tell the story tomorrow. PUGGY!!! doesn't think so. He doesn't need to stay there, either, since he has a mirror that will magically teleport him back to Home, Sweet Penis at any time. But it's not like he has a choice. Again.

PUGGY!!! is so stealthy here.

A Black Screen shuffles some sprites around and invites the infamous musical theme of moonlight romance into the scene. PUGGY!!!, still standing in Zorak's bedroom face-to-face with the guy, is not amused. He races out of the room, only to find himself in the hallway with Tengaar. She's spying on Hix and Cleo, who are having a chat nearby. For a lot of obvious reasons, this is not a romantic chat, but that doesn't stop Tengaar from getting jealous. Okay, I can't play dumb anymore, obviously Tengaar is not Hix's sister and she's totally into him. And given all the evidence in this village of men and women loving each other, it's very possible that Hix is -- PUGGY!!! can barely comprehend this -- a heterosexual. PUGGY!!! will do his damnedest to deny this possibility for the sake of his own sanity. Anyway, maybe Tengaar recognizes that Cleo, as a rather manly woman, has a better chance with her intended (who is so totally gay). Tengaar tries to play it off as something other than jealousy, but PUGGY!!! is not fooled, especially when Tengaar stammers and then bolts out the door. Or maybe she just really has to go to the bathroom.

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