Suikoden II : Part 8
1 : 2 : 3 : 4
"But more than all that," Shu says, knowing he'll get laid for all this sweet talk later, "I've seen the brilliance in you. The kind of brilliance that this age needs. You must lead the State Army." Nanami advises Barry to think this over carefully. Barry and I are all ready to take this heavy burden of responsibility if it means long nights "strategizing" with Shu, but even Shu doesn't want Barry to make his decision without at least sleeping on it. Killjoy. Meanwhile, Bear says he has something to discuss with Barry, "something that Anabelle didn't have time to tell him......" Yes, it's that thing. The story we've all pretty much pieced together by now. "Barry, Nanami, come to the tavern later," he says. "I'll tell you about Genkaku." DUN!
Blackout Screen Fast Forward to nighttime. Nanami asks Barry if he's going to keep his date with Bear, as she's interested in hearing this story herself. The two of them run downstairs to the tavern, where Bear is waiting for them, nursing a beer. He considers getting our kids drunk until he remembers they're too young. "Too young" has never stopped videogame characters from, er, "indulging." Take that however you'd like. Nanami cuts to the chase, saying she wants to hear about Genkaku, but Bear isn't so eager to be Exposition!Man. "It's a long story," he says, "and it's not a very happy one either, okay?" But he begins to tell it immediately following this statement. All right, then.
"Just before this war started," Bear begins, "fighting between Highland and the State was pretty much limited to minor border skirmishes. But was it about 30 years ago? Highland and the State fought a great war against each other." Thirty years is going to be this game's magic number, since that's when everything happened, short of the events of Suikoden I. As the tavern fades out, and we go to Sepia-Toned Sprite Storytime, Bear explains that no one is exactly sure how this story goes, since it's been embellished upon so much. "But it looks like the State started the war." At the time, Anabelle's father, Darell, was Mayor of Muse and the head of the City-State. A man named Han Cunningham was the leading general of the Highland Army. The name "Han" should ring a bell or five. It's time for more Black-and-White Butt-Buddy Symbolism. You are very excited.
We see a bunch of City-State Soldier Clones dying at the hands of Highland Soldier Clones, as Bear tells us that "Darell was an amateur when it came to war and before long he had lost half of Muse and the Matilda Domain." I'd say "amateur" is a bit of an understatement. But just in the nick of time, "That's when a hero appeared....your adopted father, Genkaku." Apparently Genkaku was all smart and crafty and such, and "raided Highland's supply tent." That sounds somewhat familiar. Maybe Jess was just paying homage to Barry's dad by sending him on that mission? While Highland recovered from this setback, Genkaku took charge. The ugly scene of dying sprites changes to one with sprites standing around and watching Genkaku and Han have tea on the grass. Amusingly, it's in the exact same spot where all the sprites were previously dying. Perfect place for a picnic, don't you agree? "The war went back and forth," Bear says for filler. "Genkaku and Han were from the same village and it looks like they were good friends." I won't even approach the idea that they were from the same hometown, yet ended up on opposing sid--oh. Wait. I GET IT. Describing the scene we're seeing, Bear adds, "Sometimes they would drink together leisurely right in the middle of both camps." The sprites drink their tea and laugh jovially together. "And doing so," Bear sighs, "they soon both realized what a stupid and pointless war it was." Well, yeah, it's interrupting their obvious urge to be together. Hello, it's right there in the sprite body language.
Bear exposits that in light of this realization, Han and Genkaku worked together to create a peace treaty. Flash to a sepia shot of Jowston Hill, where negotiations didn't go so smoothly. "There was one border city," Bear tells the kids, "your hometown of Kyaro, that Darell refused to give to Highland." I guess we can assume that's where Han and Genkaku were originally from, too. So the war "began anew," all because Darell was a dickhead. Seems like a one-sided explanation, though--obviously the King of Highland wasn't willing to make a compromise, either. But I'm sure Darell really was a dickhead, so let's not worry about it.
Finally, everyone was sick and tired of fighting, and King Agares of Highland had an idea. "The war should be decided by a 'duel between both champions.'" Whoever won the duel would win Kyaro for his respective country. Han and Genkaku weren't keen on fighting each other, but "wished only that the war would finally come to an end." So they dueled on top of Jowston Hill, right under that phallic pillar Barry admired earlier. Han was given Agares's sword, and Darell gave his to Genkaku. But once the duel began, Genkaku refused to attack even once. "Time passed, and the people got angry that the contest was spoiled. They blamed Genkaku." Well, who else would they blame? "With no other choice, Han knocked away Genkaku's blade, put his own sword to Genkaku's neck and declared victory." Bear adds unnecessarily, "That's how your town of Kyaro came to be Highland territory." Wow, 'cause I thought it would go to the City-State after Genkaku lost.
He continues, "Genkaku was called 'traitor' and ordered into exile by Lord Darell. He left without ever revealing his reason for not fighting." But years later, once Darell was out of power, everyone found out the truth: "Darell had secretly coated the sword he gave to Genkaku with poison." Genkaku, not wanting to kill his
lover friend lover, would not attack with it. Turned out that the whole thing was a big plot by Darell to fuck over Genkaku because Genkaku made him look bad. Either way Genkaku would have been disgraced. So, yeah. Darell was definitely an asshole. No argument from me anymore.
We know the rest. Genkaku left the State and moved to Kyaro, where he adopted two little kidlets and taught them martial arts, and now he's buried under a penis stone. I'm left wondering why Genkaku would choose specifically to move back to Kyaro. I know it's his hometown and all, but we've already seen that the people there were not only dicks to him, but to his children. He could have gone anywhere.
We cut back to the tavern, where Barry is listening intently across from Bear, but Nanami is snoring away. Heh. Bear says, "I guess it was more important to Genkaku to live happily with you two than it was to return to the State to clear his name." Aww, that's so cute I could vomit. Nanami follows this up with "ZZZZZZZZZZ...................." because we didn't see from the sprite graphics that she was snoring. But it's still funny. After giving his own brand of lame "be yourself" advice, Bear tells Barry to carry his sister up to bed. I don't know, it seems like she's sleeping just fine here. Leave her in the tavern! "You two are good kids," Bear notes wistfully. "I think I sort of understand how Genkaku must have felt about you." And again with the vomit.
The next morning, Nanami's all smiles and sunshine again, even though her brother's about to do the exact thing she doesn't want him to do. They enter the meeting room, and Barry speaks to everyone, leaving Shu for last. None of them have anything even remotely interesting to say. When he gets to Shu, Barry gives his answer: "If you think I can do it....." Wow, that's not an answer at all. A little more decisiveness from our new leader, please. Everyone is giddy as all get-out, and all the important folks in the room pledge their support to Barry. Oh, and Apple does, too. She whines, "I don't have much strength to give, but I'll give you all I've got." She's almost making me not like putting her down, since she does it to herself all the time. Bitch.
Bear suggests throwing a party, what with all the resources and time they have. But before he can get drunk for the first time since last night, a surprise guest comes in. Hey, it's Dr. Huan! Tuta shits a brick at seeing his master. Huan tells us that a nice soldier helped him escape Muse, so here he is to volunteer. I can only imagine the sort of "maladies" Dr. Huan will be healing in this place. Let's just say no one will want to sit down in his waiting room.
|Most common medical problem at HoYay Castle?
Out of virtually nowhere, the subject of this castle's name comes up. "North Window Castle is no good...." Bear points out. "North Window was the name of a village that no longer exists...." It's not like the place was nuked, Bear. At any rate, everyone agrees that "Lord Barry" should pick a new name. In keeping with the game's theme, I decide that everyone will have a grand old time at HoYay Castle. Andre jumps up and down, screaming "HoYay Castle! HoYay Castle!!" and I laugh my fool head off. Needless to say, everyone thinks it's a great name. Rina points out that Eilie would like any name Barry thought of, even if it refers to her crush being more flaming than a tire fire. Yeah, she is a moron that way.
One more guest shows up to congratulate Barry on his promotion: the Keeper of the Cryptic Exposition, Leknaat. She introduces herself to the people in the room who don't know her, before reminding Barry of his great cosmic responsibility. "The Stars of Destiny are poised to gather once again," she announces. As a housewarming present she hands over the Stone Tablet of Promise, to be used as a big stone guestbook for the castle. I think Barry would have liked a gift certificate for Bed, Bath & Beyond a little bit more, but thanks for the gesture, Leknaat. She also "gifts" Barry the "services" of her apprentice, Luc. Luc warps in, about fifty times prettier than he was in Suikoden I, but with the same sour personality. My name for the castle is working! More HoYay for everyone! "I'll also favor you with my great presence," Luc says modestly. "It's not what I choose, but Lady Leknaat has ordered it." Barry, totally stoked by now, pumps his baby-soft fist in the air. Two new recruits, a big-ass castle full of hot guys, and all he has to do is lead an entire army! Sweet!
Leknaat reminds Barry of his ex-boyfriend and their connection via their True Runes, which brings the mood of the room down just a bit. Barry's trying to move on, Leknaat! Why must you remind him of what he doesn't have? With that, she orbs out. Luc looks around the room and snits, "So. It's [Bear] and Flik. You're still alive?" Yeah, somehow. Flik explains to Nanami that they "once fought together." No, you guys stood in the front row and kicked ass while Luc sat in the back in his shitty Guard Robe that couldn't be removed and did shitty damage with his shitty Wind Rune. Trust me, I remember. I played this game first, and so was under the mistaken impression that Luc was awesome in the first game, too. Stupid Luc. Go stand by your tablet now.
Bear reflects sadly that he was denied a good hootenanny as the scene fades out. The next morning, Nanami wakes up Barry with a presumably deafening "GOOD MOOOOOOOORNING!" Barry has shit to do now that he's in charge, so no more sleeping in! And no more Froot Loops in the mornings for you, young man! Special K only!
Barry makes use of the handy-dandy save point right outside his bedroom before going to explore his new pad, which we'll cover in the next, much less plot-intensive recap. Also next time: the return of Big Gay Fitcher, the return of Clive and his long hard gun, and the return of Barry acting like a random nutcase in the name of army recruitment. Uncle Barry Wants You! In the Yaoi Army! In Part Nine!