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  -Part 1 :: [02.13.02]
  -Part 2 :: [03.09.02]
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  -Part 5 :: [07.28.04]
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  -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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"Thirteen minutes of irritation later, the battle is over. So now I'm supposed to feel sad and affected that the aeons are now no more, but instead, I'm harboring a big ball of burning anger in my soul. I think it's safe to say that the game designers did not succeed at their intended reaction here. Unless that was their intention, which wouldn't surprise me all that much."
     -Jeanne, Final Fantasy X Part 22

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Suikoden : Part 12
By Jeanne
Posted 06.11.11
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3
This is so not what PUGGY!!! meant when he said he wanted to spend time with a well-chiseled man and his smoking hot balls.
In the depths of the cave, PUGGY!!! finds a sword floating point up above a stone pedestal. Bear and Cleo manage to figure out that this is the secret item of which they were told. It would be funny if this were just some kind of decoration and the real item was sitting somewhere further in the cavern, but of course this is it. The sword suddenly starts spinning like Linda Blair and then it speaks, "He who awakens me, be cursed." Imagine this ominous statement in the funny accent of your choice. PUGGY!!! finds himself not the least bit frightened, considering his life became cursed many recaps ago. What is this sword going to do -- make more women join the Lubrication Army? Not possible. For the record, this sword is the same Star Dragon Sword that was recovered in Sam's Suikoden II Part 7 recap. There, the sword and Bear already knew each other because of their shared past, and the sword was an aggressive and sarcastic jerk to Bear, which was hilarious. Here, they've not yet embarked on their shared past, and so the sword doesn't have a hell of a lot to say to him. Boring. As the sword continues to spin, a giant gray bubble envelops the party, causing them to disappear. The scene immediately switches to a small village, as PUGGY!!!, Bear, and Cleo get spit out of a small, temple-like stone building at the top of a long staircase. I guess it could have been worse -- the sword could have teleported PUGGY!!! into the middle of a pile of naked Imperial ladies.

Voldemort is responsible for this?

A haunting flute tune in the background accompanies the group's DURR-filled discussion where they determine that hey, they're not in the cave anymore, but they don't know where the fuck they actually are. The Einsteins decide to check out the place. There are only three tiny houses in the entire village, so at least I don't have to do a lot of running around. When PUGGY!!! heads toward the largest house at the back of the village, a young boy in a yellow sweater and blue pants spots him and runs into the house. PUGGY!!! follows, not at all creepily. As he reaches the front steps that the boy ran up only seconds ago, PUGGY!!! sees the same boy dart out from behind the well, several steps away. That's just not possible, unless the boy is a wizard or a pair of twins. It turns out it's neither option, which is just as well, since PUGGY!!! would rather encounter twins that are sexy and legal. The boy runs off the bottom of the screen, and PUGGY!!! once again gives chase. He is not amused. This time when PUGGY!!! catches up to him, the boy actually speaks to PUGGY!!! as the other five members of the group look on. Yes, the three non-required party members continue to show up sporadically. This inconsistency is pretty much the only consistent thing in this entire recap.

At this point we discover that the boy in the sweater is named Ted. And although he is clearly younger in appearance than PUGGY!!!'s ill-fated hottie friend Ted, he still looks a hell of a lot like him. Except that PUGGY!!! is not attracted to him here, just so we're clear on that. Surely the resemblance and matching name must be a coincidence (just play along).

"Are you the people who came to take away the treasure?" this Ted asks. PUGGY!!! isn't sure how to answer this -- if he says yes, does he get the treasure? He decides to find out more, and asks Ted, "What treasure?" "Good. I didn't think so," Ted responds. Crap, PUGGY!!! just screwed himself out of the treasure. Well, it was probably a shitty treasure anyway. Ted and his giant saucer eyes mention that his grandpa was pissed off, possibly because of someone else coming to steal the treasure. Just then, his grandfather, the village chief, calls Ted from offscreen. Ted obeys the summons, leaving a confused sextet in his wake. "Master PUGGY!!!, did he say 'Ted'?" Cleo wonders, since she doesn't have access to the name info in the text box like we do. PUGGY!!! responds that the boy did kind of remind him of Ted. Cleo wants to know what the hell is going on. I would say that I do, too, but come on, I think dogs know what's going on here.

After everyone merges back into PUGGY!!!, some random villagers pop into existence. Shit, now PUGGY!!! has to talk to them. One girl wonders if he's Windy. That's the most insulting thing anyone's ever asked him. But this name-drop tells us that Windy is involved in the current scenario. From other NPCs, PUGGY!!! finds out that the place he's in is called the Village of the Hidden Rune, and that they've been protecting something for a long time. Maybe a rune? I know I'm going out on a limb here. This isn't the first time in gaming history that a bunch of dumbasses have named their village after something they're trying to keep secret. And that always ends so well.

Anyway, PUGGY!!! wasn't magically sent here for his health, so he decides he'd better find out what's going on. Besides, it's impossible for him to leave the village, so that makes the choice a lot easier.

Is this a question that really needs to be asked of a Suikoden male?

In front of the village chief's house, PUGGY!!! finds young Ted talking to an elderly Suikoclone. This clone is none other than Ted's grandfather, the village chief, and they didn't bother to give the guy a name, a portrait, or an individual sprite. Considering what we're about to find out about the guy's significance to the story, I think he really got screwed here. He at least deserves a name, so let's call him Ned. Ned wonders if the three-to-six strangers were sent to the village by "that woman." This is getting irritating -- the people in this village seriously need to learn how to ask a decent question. How about "Who are you guys?" or "So what brings you to our quaint little Podunk?" It would be nice for them not to assume that these people are a bunch of thieves there to steal their shit. Bear, not having been sent by any woman, is all, "Dude, what the fuck?" After some back and forth where Ned determines that these people really don't know what the hell is going on, but he doesn't see fit to tell them what the hell is going on, he tells them to get the hell out. Wait, so if PUGGY!!! was there to steal stuff, then he'd be allowed to stay? This village is confusing.

Ted, who has only been around three or four other people his entire life, wants to talk to this brightly colored group of weirdoes. But Ned is not going to let his son hang out with strange adults, so he pulls the kid into his wooden shack and slams the door. Ned is kind of a dick. Since there is still no way for PUGGY!!! to exit the village, as much as he might like to, he decides to nonconsensually follow Ned and Ted into their house. Inside, it consists of a single room with two beds, a table, a fireplace, a large area rug, and a treasure chest. The treasure chest contains Mega Medicine, in case you were wondering. Hey, I guess PUGGY!!! was there to steal their treasure! I don't think that was their actual village secret though, because it's not called the Village of the Hidden Mega Medicine. PUGGY!!! goes over and stares creepily at little Ted some more, then tries talking to the surly Ned. "Are you still here? We don't want strangers here," Ned complains, shaking his cane at the whippersnappers. Cleo the detective asks Ned if he's afraid of the woman he mentioned earlier. Well, this is a Suikoden game, so fearing women isn't a huge stretch here.


But oh no! "'That woman'? Rather a rude way to speak of someone, don't you think?" says Windy, who has been eavesdropping on the conversation from outside. I could think of a million ruder ways to speak of her -- I mean, no one even said the word "cunt" or even "bitch." (I just wanted to type naughty words.) In order to hear their private indoor conversation, I figured that Windy must have been crouched underneath the window or something, but it turns out she's not even next to the house -- she and The Count are both standing in front of the village well. I guess she must have used some Extendable Ears from the Harry Potter series. She is a witch, after all. Ned runs out to meet her, followed by PUGGY!!!'s group and Ted. Way to stay hidden there, folks. "W-Windy? What are you doing in this place?" Ned duhs, like it's so very shocking that Windy would show up when everyone in the town was worried she'd show up. "Damn you, [The Count]! How dare you come here! By the way, Cleo, what is this place?" Bear says, ruining any sort of confrontational tension by asking that last question. And why is Cleo supposed to be the God damn expert here? She's totally awesome, because she responds, "Who cares?" Exactly.

Village name that would best keep the Rune hidden:
Village Where There is Totally Not a Hidden Rune
The Village You Want is Thataway
Village of Naked Ladies
Chinchirorin Village


So to clarify for those of you who for some reason haven't grasped this yet, there's a hidden rune in the Village of the Hidden Rune, and Windy's here to steal it. The only thing I can't figure out is why The Count is here, unless there's just some sort of rule that all bad guys in a game have to team up at some point. Even after everything that's happened so far, Ned, of all people, wants to know why Windy is there.


Windy's all, "I'm here for the fucking rune, you retard." And you'll never guess which rune it is because everything is so very mysterious here. Surprise -- it's the Soul Eater! But it's not the one that currently resides on PUGGY!!!'s hand. I don't want to spoil the "reveal" for you, so just keep reading. Ned, in what I imagine is a very suspicious voice, says he has no idea what she's talking about. "Don't bother to lie to me. I happen to know that this is the Village of the Hidden Rune," she responds. Well, shit. "Hey Cleo, let's remember that. The Village of the Hidden Rune," Bear says loudly and unnecessarily. It's kind of hard to get into the ominous atmosphere they're setting up here with Bear acting like a big dope every other second. Out loud, Cleo recites the information they already know about the village and the existence of a boy named Ted. It's painful to watch these people's tiny, rusty mind gears turning. Things get much better when the entire village suddenly bursts into flames. According to Windy, someone named Yuber is responsible for this flaming display. Yes, this is the same Yuber who appeared as the chaos-loving Man in Black in Suikoden III but whose name wasn't yet revealed as of this point in the recaps. He also appeared in Suikoden II, but Sam didn't get to him in her recaps yet. So his introduction here doesn't really mean anything to anyone who hasn't played the games and has only read the recaps. It's not even worth mentioning, really. But yeah, this is the same guy.

Once again, Windy demands the rune, otherwise the whole town "will be charred beyond recognition." Um, it's already on fire. They kind of blew their wad already where that's concerned. Ned wonders why the fuck she even wants the rune, with its magical power of making its owner's life suck sweaty nutsacks. Then he pretentiously calls upon the Soul Eater's power to unleash some major hurting upon Windy and her companions. Yes, Ned the Surly Dipstick is the owner of the village's hidden and cursed rune. As should be extremely obvious by this point, PUGGY!!! and friends have stumbled into a time travel scenario, and are now in the distant past. Time travel, teleportation, and the ability to kill vampires -- is there anything the Star Dragon Sword can't do? It's like a phallic Mary Sue.

A giant black and white bubble fills the screen, indicating that the Soul Eater has worked its deadly magic. Just for the record, between Ned and PUGGY!!!, there are currently two Soul Eaters in the scene. This is really fucking with the space-time continuum. What would happen if PUGGY!!! and Ned set off their runes at the same time? Would that be like crossing the streams? This is heavy.

When the bubble explodes and the screen fades back in, Windy is knocked to her knees, and The Count is still standing in the exact same spot. I'm starting to think Windy brought along a cardboard cutout of The Count. The fucker hasn't even had any lines. Meanwhile, the good guys have all disappeared. Windy looks around, wondering where on earth they could have gone in this three-house village. Of course they're inside Ned's house, the one building that is not burning. What a genius hiding place -- Windy will never find them there! The group is in an unfurnished back room, which is probably supposed to be a super secret hidden chamber, but it's just built on the back of the house. I mean, it's right there. Ned apologizes for involving the three strangers in all this crazy crap going on. Little does he know that this is small potatoes for this gang. The three non-required characters are nowhere to be seen, so maybe they're trying to put out the fires. I hope that Windy and The Cardboard Count don't hurt them!

Ned tells his grandson to step forward, close his eyes, and hold out his right hand. No good can come of this situation, no matter how you interpret it. PUGGY!!! is having major deja vu here except when Ted passed the Soul Eater on to him, it was a lot sexier. Plus, PUGGY!!! doesn't remember Ted being as fucking pretentious as this Ned guy. For someone in a supposedly urgent situation, Ned goes on and on and on instead of just handing over the God damn rune already. Some black lines and circles radiate out from Ned's sprite, then two triangles appear beneath him, forming into a six-pointed red star. The star spins, shooting red columns of light upward. Now this is getting ridiculous. A thin white column of light envelops Ted after a while and then all the light columns fade out. I only bothered to describe all that to show how unnecessary and time-wasting it was -- these people really need to streamline the efficiency of their rune transfer process. "G-Grandpa, what's this?" Ted asks afterward. Ned is all, "Oh, it's just something that will kill all your loved ones and make your endless life a living hell. Boy, am I glad to be rid of that thing!" He warns Ted to never, ever use the rune's power. He doesn't bother to tell him why, which would have been nice for the kid to know in light of the fact that he just saw his grandfather unleash a giant can of bubbly whupass (kind of) on some bad guys with it. I guess it's a "do as I say, not as I do" type of situation.

Hoo boy.

To reiterate what is going on here: the Star Dragon Sword, like a magical pointy DeLorean, sent PUGGY!!! back 300 years so that he could witness some important exposition pertinent to his own personal runic journey. I'm not sure there's a logical plot reason for this beyond the game designers' belief that we were close enough to the end of the game to find out Ted's backstory. I mean, why the fuck would the Star Dragon Sword care about this shit -- PUGGY!!!'s not even the one who will be wielding the sword. Yeah, yeah, they came here from the Cave of the Past, but since Bear's the one with a hard-on for the phallic weapon, why didn't it force him to face something from his past? Does the sword, being a True Rune itself (I don't think we're even privy to this information), have some sort of magical trigger when it gets close to other True Runes? If so, did it do anything similar when it encountered Barry with his True Rune in Suikoden II? I don't remember anything but a boss battle. Clearly, I'm just too dumb to get the intricate workings of all this wizardy shit. Let's move on. This depressing stuff won't recap itself.

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