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  -Part 1 :: [11.23.02]
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  -Part 7 :: [10.25.03]
  -Part 8 :: [05.09.04]
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"I'm having a bit of trouble conveying exactly how annoyed I feel with the next sequence without simply resorting to typing random strings of letters with my face or posting sound clips of me yelling in frustration. The best way to describe it, I think, is to imagine my near lethal levels of nausea from the FFX pond scene, and simply change 'nausea' to 'irritation.'"
     -Jeanne, Final Fantasy VIII Part 7

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Suikoden II : Part 8
By Sam
Posted 05.09.04
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3 : 4
Previously on Barry's Backdoor Bawdiness, our hero confronted a Muppet-like vampire (sadly, not Puppet!Angel) with the help of a slightly better party than he's had thus far, only for the vampire to escape, laughing his way into another appearance in the second half of the game. Worse still, the city of South Window was taken by Salon Jhee and his pointy-haired legions of soldiers, Lord Granmeyer had his pacifist head chopped off and his man-bitch Waylon cried like a little baby. Whew. When I don't stretch it out over pages and pages of text, it kinda sounds action-packed!


You'll remember--and if you don't, that's why I'm here to remind you--that last time Apple finally admitted her severe incompetence in the ways of strategery, and I danced and rejoiced. Therefore, Apple's going to help Barry recruit another, better strategist named Shu. Nanami, to the surprise of no one, is tagging along as well, but for the first time in over two recaps I get to pick my remaining party members, since that gluefoot hag Leona finally caught up with everyone else. I've missed Muku Ranger Red terribly, so he gets an invite, as do Kinnison the Gay Archer and Shiro the Badass Wolf. I stick Lawrence of Assholia in the sixth slot, because...well, what good is the amusing nickname if he's never in the party? It's not like he's central to the plot. Out of sight, out of snark, you know.

The walk between North Window and Radat Town, Shu's home, is a short one, but I stretch it out so I can see Muku Ranger Red own all those other sentai squirrels. I'm also trying to get one of them to drop a Celadon Urn (for later recruiting), but my efforts are in vain. The Videogame Deities are apparently against me getting any good rare items in this recap. Sigh. But the endeavor isn't entirely fruitless, oh no sir! The series of random battles does illustrate for me that Lawrence is just as crappy a fighter as I remembered, and easily the wussiest member of the current party. And no, I'm not handicapping anyone based on species or masculinity.

When I'm tired of trying to obtain pottery from squirrels in red capes, Barry's mini!map!sprite enters Radat Town. And boy oh boy, is there ever a smorgasbord of Profile People in this place. But not a one of them is open to the idea of joining Barry's cause at the moment, so just pretend they're not here. (Sorry, Stallion fangirls. All five of you.) However, it has been a while since Barry did something utterly random in the name of padding his recruitment numbers, so he skips right past the entrance to Shu's home and runs east all the way out the opposite end of town. Back on the world map, he and his comrades make the short journey to the remains of Bear's mercenary fort. Why would Barry want to return here, you ask? Surely not to stomp on Pohl's charred corpse? As much as he'd enjoy that, the real reason for his visit is actually standing in front of the gates, arguing with two Highland soldiers. I find it highly amusing that Prince Adolf has stationed guards at a burned-down building. Just in case the ashes try to get away.

How do you pronounce that?

The recruit in question is quite cheesed off at the guards for not allowing him access to the fort. Wait. "Him"? As in "this person has a penis"? Okay, Konami, whatever you say. Between the sassy chin-length tresses under the pillbox hat, the culottes, the knee-high socks and the hush puppies, I know I'm totally sold on this person's machismo. Why, he's as manly as Barry! At any rate, Templton (real name Templeton, but Konami sucks) rilly rilly needs to get into the fort so he can make changes to his map. Ah, so this is the "cute young mapmaker" Nanami mentioned in Coronet. One moment while I jot this down on my legal pad, under the heading Evidence that Nanami is a lesbian.

Templton has a bit of a temper on him, and appropriately kicks one of the guards in the shins--for the guard's sake, I hope it's his shins--for not giving him entry. As he's running away he notices Barry watching this exchange from behind a tree. That voyeur. I never knew. Barry and Templton get to chatting, and Templton learns that Barry witnessed the destruction of this place. Templton thinks this is terrible. Not because people died, or because of all that smoke polluting the air. Nope, it's a crying shame because he has to keep updating his map whenever a place burns down. I so feel your pain. Ass. He then takes off, because cartography waits for NO ONE! Barry follows like the creepy stalker he is.

Still more randomly, Barry immediately knows that he's supposed to find Templton again in Toto Village. As before, the Heinous Tragedy, Won't Someone Please Think of the Children?! music is droning throughout the remains of the village. And that one surviving dog is still hanging out, soberly dragging its feet around the area. All the adults in town die horribly, but the slow-as-molasses dog and the wimpy little girl survive. Whatever. Templton is standing at the west end of the village, staring at the ruins. The carnage over at Bear's place didn't move him in the slightest, but all the slaughter of innocents and whatnot here in Toto makes Templton sad enough to bury his face in his Jackie O. hat. "This...this....this is horrible........" he says, and now I dead from punctuation abuse. Again. "I thought I'd seen everything," he continues, "but this....." Maybe it's just me, but I've played all the games in the Suikoden series enough that I'm completely desensitized to burned-down villages. When I think of Suikoden, I think of fifty gay guys standing in a burned-down village and groping each other. So I have no clue what the hell Templton's problem is.

Templton, clearly in dumbass!mode, asks Barry if it was the Highland Army who did this. "No, it was the fucking Mario Brothers," Barry would reply if I could write my own responses. But he's nice and answers in the affirmative. The mapmaker remembers that Barry was thrown out of the mercenary fort, and figures out that Barry is fighting Highland without needing a whack from the Clue Bat. Barry confirms this, and Templton agrees to lend his highly useful services to the cause. And I'm almost not being sarcastic there. Now that Templton has joined up, Barry receives the Suiko Map so he doesn't have to walk around the world map blind anymore. And Templton will also hang out at headquarters to show Barry his full map. Go on, write a smutty fanfic about that. I dare you.

Sometimes I love shitty translations.

With that important bit of plot out of the way, Barry returns to Radat Town and approaches Shu's house. Apple announces for my benefit that this is indeed the home of the one named Shu. Nanami whispers conspiratorially to Barry, "Hey hey hey, Barry. So there's something going on between you and Shu, eh?" No, she really says that. Check out the caption. I'm sure she's supposed to be talking about something between Apple and Shu, but this is Suikoden and boys don't like girls, and now I have evidence and I'm going to make a webpage called "BARRY <3'S SHU 4EVANEVAH!!!!1111ONEONEONE!!1". Apple ignores the whispering behind her back and leads everyone inside.

Shu's Love Pad, Sitting Room. A female Suikoden Clone greets Apple, Barry and Nanami and goes to fetch her "master" as they sit down at a long table. Nanami points out that this joint is bitchin', so we remember that Shu is a rich trader with gobs and gobs of money. Nanami falls silent just as the man himself enters the room. The well-dressed sprite enters the room and sits down opposite Barry (EVIDENCE!!!) at the table. We see his face for the first time as he greets them.

Excuse me for just one moment. I have to go take a cold shower.

I'm back, and he's still increasing the temperature of my living room. Read: hurr hee hoo, Shu shore is purty. And his dress style is not the only snappy thing about him, as he cuts right to the heart of the matter: "I already know what you want, but go ahead and tell me anyway." Apple acts as if she didn't hear this--perhaps she's as stunned by his raw sex appeal as Barry and I are--and launches into her Help Us Save the Day spiel without a trace of wariness. She finishes, "Please, Shu, please lend us your strength," and I vomit into a bucket. Shu considers her cliché request, joins the growing list of people to refer to Prince Adolf/Luca Blight as a "blight," acknowledges that the City-State is in for some serious shit, and then says, "I can't." Apple gibbers. Because a brilliant strategist refusing to contribute his genius? Hasn't happened before or anything.

Shu shocks Apple everyone by further explaining his reasoning: it's not that he thinks Prince Adolf won't wreak havoc on the City-State. He just doesn't care. "I'm a trader now," he explains for the people who went to the bathroom the first couple times this was mentioned. "I use my knowledge to predict shifts in the world's economy. It's the greatest way to get rich." He makes sure Apple hasn't gone catatonic from all the big words he's using, and then continues. "Rulers change, borders change, countries change, but money is constant. In fact, nothing is better for business than a good war." Barry swoons, as this ruthless, wealthy, pretty man is so much better than his former ruthless, wealthy, pretty man.

Shu: hot?
No! I mean, yes!


"So Shu," Apple wanks, "are you saying that even though you know what a monster [Adolf] is, you're just going to ignore it?" Thanks for the redundancy. Dumbass. Shu snarks, "In a word.....yes." Oh, be still, my beating heart. Apple starts in with the guilt trip about how Master Mathiu must be spinning in his grave over this, but Shu smartly cuts her off with "The Master expelled me," before inviting her to get the hell off his property. Okay, I've decided: Shu can do no wrong. He is officially God of the Suikoden Universe. I shall build a golden statue of him. Believers will make pilgrimages to visit it and place offerings of fruit baskets at its feet. And good fruit baskets, too, not just junky ones with Washington apples and Valencia oranges.

Apple, Barry and Nanami are forthwith escorted from the premises by one of Shu's Suiko!Clones. Apple is deep in "thought." I know that because she says, ".............................." Nanami chooses this moment to ask Apple if Shu's really as much of a dick as he seemed to be. We hear AGAIN that they were both students under Mathiu, but also that "Shu thought of [Apple] as his own sister....." But Mathiu told Shu not to use his powers for the daaaaaaark side or whatever and their differences eventually led to Shu's expulsion from the Mathiu Silverberg Academy of Strategery and Poor Cover for Pedophilia. "Master Mathiu and Shu, they were both so important to me....." Apple whines. "But they couldn't get along...." I'm glad to see neither of their universes revolved around Apple to the point where they would tolerate one another just for her sake. Ha ha, Apple, nobody likes you.

Barry has been outside the thrall of Shu's gorgeous eyes long enough that he now has something to say. He can choose to abandon the plan and leave Shu in peace, or to continue trying to, er, obtain Shu's "services." Barry chooses the latter, as there is a distinct lack of guys that hot in their army at the moment. Oh, and they must defeat Highland and stuff. Apple agrees they'll stay and try to change Shu's mind, and throws a big pity-party for her sad, incompetent self in the process. I never thought I would get sick of Apple putting herself down, but it only took about half an hour of game time. That bitch ruins everything for me.

Well, that's forward of him.

The group agrees that getting more information on Shu would be best at this point. Clearly, the best way to do this is to run in circles around Radat and talk to random people, so that's exactly what Barry does. His calculated method of investigation leads the party to the local tavern, and shockingly, not a single drunken loser in the place has any good info. Barry does get a nice recipe for simmered fish, though. Fabulous! As the party is leaving, however, Shu and his gang of clones enter the joint, looking to wet their whistles. With Barry's party and Shu's party facing each other like this, I fully expect a rendition of West Side Story to break out, or at least a rendition of Michael Jackson's "Beat It" video. No such thing happens, making me wish for the umpteenth time that I had written this story. Shu wonders what they're still doing there, and advises them to beat it (heh) before Highland invades Radat, too. Apple refuses to go anywhere. Shu asks her if she's going to resort to begging, and she actually does. I'm stuck somewhere between "Ha ha, Apple's on her knees!" and "Ewwwwwwwww, Apple's on her knees!" She prostrates herself at Shu's feet, begging him to help. Shu is very rightly squicked, and loses his desire for a frosty beverage. If I saw Apple looking up at me from the floor like that, I think I would need the alcohol that much more.

Hell, I'd be willing to beg. Leave me alone.

Before leaving, Shu tells Apple she should be ashamed. Mathiu didn't train her to get on her knees and--oh, dear, I do not want to finish that thought. Apple sits up, blinks stupidly, and fires back, "No. You should be ashamed." The sprite graphics do not convey the finger snapping and "Oh no you di'nt" stance, but I'm sure they're there. She continues, "Of course I don't like to dirty myself on the ground before you [ew], begging like a dog... But if necessary, I can throw away my vainful pride. That's what I learned from Master Mathiu." The phrase "vainful pride" unsettles me deep down in the "Quit abusing English, you fucking hacks" part of my brain. Maybe because I'm pretty sure "vainful" isn't a word. ANYway. Following this exchange and yet another Suikoden Brand Long Pause™ by Shu, the man walks out. Nanami hauls a determined Apple up off the floor. "Please stay with me just a little longer, Barry," Apple begs. It's like even Apple knows that hot young manflesh is the only thing that would convince Shu to change his attitude. Lord knows her yellow-raincoated milkshake isn't going to bring him to the yard. Barry agrees to stay, but what are they going to do now? Apple points out that Shu will avoid them from this point on. How can they get him to meet them again? If this somehow involves getting a sailor to take us on his boat, I think I'm going to have to kill myself again.

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