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  -Part 1 :: [11.23.02]
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  -Part 5 :: [06.18.03]
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  -Part 7 :: [10.25.03]
  -Part 8 :: [05.09.04]
  -Part 9 :: [12.01.04]
  -Part 10 :: [12.01.04]
  -Part 11 :: [02.19.07]
  -Part 12 :: [05.22.11]
  -Part 13 :: [09.09.12]
  -Part 14 :: [09.09.12]
  -Part 15 :: [08.30.13]
  -Part 16 :: [08.30.13]
  -Part 17 :: [06.14.14]

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"The point is that two different summoners can't summon one aeon at the same time. Until this point, Yuna has never been blocked from summoning an aeon, so that leads me to believe that no one else in Spira ever summons anything. I mean, what are the odds? "
     -Jeanne, Final Fantasy X Part 6

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Suikoden II : Part 11
By Sam
Posted 02.19.07
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3 : 4 : 5 : 6 : 7 : 8
It's been way too long since we last visited with Barry and the Yaoi Army, so let's review: in part ten, Barry and his Everybody in the World Knew My Fucking Grandpa Rune won the hearts and the swords of the multicultural citizens of Two River. And every great army needs cannon fodder. Barry can't wait to tell Shu all about his battle strategy for taking back Muse, Operation Get Behind the Wingers.

Speaking of Shu, he and the other bigwigs of Barry's army are waiting in the war room to pound our poor hero's brain with more exposition, but they can wait--we've got more Poképeople to catch! Barry hijacks the S.S. Manhandler and returns to Lakewest. Once there, he realizes he's a bit peckish after all that sailing and digs through his inventory until he finds the delicious snack stash he bought in Two River's Kobold district. Yeah, they're kind of stale and cold now, but at the time, fried tacos sounded pretty damned good. Barry gulps down four of them, only to discover afterward that he seems to be steaming. Like, there are puffs of steam, or maybe something else, coming out of his face. It's very disconcerting. Is he going to explode? Or did those tacos contain that special variety of cilantro?

Still in this condition, Barry enters the second house from the shore. The gray-haired man inside, named Tetsu, inspects Barry like he's a smoking piece of meat (and maybe he is). "Hey, that's a nice, clean-lookin' face ya got there!!!!! Ya look all 'toasty' like ya just came out of the bath." Okay, now I'm really suspicious of what's in those fried tacos if this guy's putting "toasty" in the scare quotes. Anyway, Tetsu is very turned on by Barry's freshly-bathed look. Not creepy at all. He asks if Barry likes baths. Our hero is not retarded and knows where this is going, so he answers, "But of course!!!!!" I think Nanami wrote this scene.

Tetsu is just thrilled by this response, and he shows it with more punctuation. "Really?? That's great!!! I knew it! My name is Tetsu and I make baths." You don't say, now. Of course, I have fucked up the name-drop because I slacked off on recapping this game, but I guess it works if Suikoden III was your first exposure to the series. Anyway, Tetsu here is Goro's dad and rival creator of sensuous bathtime experiences. I think I've already gone over how fucked-up that relationship is, so let's just move on.

Tetsu tells Barry, "Lately with all this war going on, my baths are gettin' broken faster than I can make 'em!!!!" Barry wasn't expecting to hear a load of whining about The Cold Truth of War™ from a goddamn bathmaker, but I guess if Templton gets to complain about how war ruins his stupid maps, then anyone is entitled to bitching. And on the bright side, Tetsu wants to take a break from repairing his war-torn baths and make Barry a custom bath for his crib. Barry's mind is spinning with possibilities.

How should Barry have Tetsu customize his bath?
Entire bath cut out of amethyst
Marble statues of naked!Shu
Barry wants that bath from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. With Harry in it. And Cedric.
Duh! Penis-shaped fountains!


Once Tetsu has been captured recruited, he spazzes, "So where's your house!!!!!! HoYay Castle? Oh you mean near there, eh? Good, I'm looking forward to it. By the time you get home, there'll be a beautiful new bath waitin' for ya!!!!" And with that he nonchalantly abandons his home, leaving Barry both excited and terrified in his wake. What if he and Nanami become friends? They might blow up the whole continent with the power of their exclamation points.

Next on Barry's itinerary is a visit to the Greenhill-Muse checkpoint, north of Two River. There, he finds a vaguely familiar-looking girl--to us, not to him--getting mouthy with a couple Highland soldiers. Meg, useless Juppo's useless niece, is demanding that the Highland grunts let her through so she can get to Muse. The Highland soldiers are tired of her asking, so instead of telling her no again they ask her what that thing is trailing behind her. The thing they're referring to looks like a barrel glued to a tricycle. Meg wigs a little bit at the question and insists, "Th, this is...a barrel. That's it, it's a barrel." The Highland soldiers are like, "Whatever, leave us alone," an attitude I fully support. But Meg is not to be denied. "Hey, hey, I need to get through here! I'm on an adventure. Yes, indeed, adventure calls." I can think of at least five places off the top of my head that would make for better adventures than the Muse metropolitan area.

A sixteen-year-old girl in clown shoes (accompanied a barrel on wheels, of all things) claiming to be heeding the call for adventure just isn't enough ridiculousness for this scene, so upon further refusal from the guards Meg busts out this gem: "Ooooh! So it's come to this. I haven't mentioned this yet, but I'm a trickster! Well, a trickster trainee, anyway." Neither of the guards seems to know what the fuck a trickster is, let alone a trickster trainee, so Meg unfortunately keeps talking. "Know what we do? We make clockwork machines to beat people like you up. That's what Gadget here is for. My uncle Juppo made him." Am I alone in hating when people mention their nearest and dearest to total strangers as if said strangers know who in the hell they're talking about? Also, tricksters specifically do nothing but make clockwork battle robots? Is this something you go to college for? Does Juppo have a bachelor's in trickstering? Because he just struck me as a bum living in Lepant's house who stole odd bits of plywood and sheet metal to make himself a little playground of horrors in the basement. Does that count as a career?

Meg then asks Gadget to, um, sic 'em, but Gadget--whom I'm tempted to rename Inspector Gadget, but then Meg would have to become Penny and that's just too much trouble, plus they don't have a pantomiming dog with them--refuses to cooperate. The guards laugh at Meg because she sucks. After a fade-to-black, we see Meg and Gadget standing several feet back from the guards, with Barry openly watching them like a creep. When Meg asks Gadget why he didn't beat down the guards, he deploys his Go Go Gadget Capslock: "I AM NOT A TOOL FOR FIGHTING." Meg groans, then turns around and notices Barry, who, for his part, has been staring at Meg's ass this whole time. I can understand--if you ignore the dress and the long ponytail, she's kind of mannish. And since this game is Japanese, a dress and a long ponytail aren't really the indicators of femininity they would be otherwise.

Go Go Gadget Ball Gag.

At Barry's prompting, Meg makes with the introductions. She's Meg, she's a trickster in training, blah blah Uncle-Juppo-cakes. Meg seems to think that Juppo wants her to be a world-class trickster--whatever that means--but it is pretty obvious that Juppo just sent her off on this "training" to get her the fuck out of his hair. He is a busy man, what with all the stupid dungeon puzzles he's got on his to-do list. Juppo also made Gadget for Meg, if you think gluing some googly eyes on a barrel constitutes "making" something. Speaking of Gadget, he wheels on over to join the conversation. "INFORMATION PROCESSING COMPLETE. GREETINGS, LORD Barry, LEADER OF THE Yaoi ARMY." Yes, just like that. Gotta love this game. Meg flips out at Gadget's name-drop, repeats it back to him like he's not the one who recognized Barry in the first place, and then insists on joining up with Barry's army. Gadget contributes his opinion: "YOUR PATTERNS ARE EASY TO PREDICT. STILL, JOINING THE Yaoi ARMY IS A GOOD IDEA." Barry tries to protest this non-consensual recruitment, but Meg keeps building up her wall of text as a shield against Barry's complaints. To add insult to injury, she says, "And you kinda resemble Uncle Juppo, somehow…" I know both of them have abominable taste in fashion, girl, but the similarities end there. If Barry knew who the hell Uncle Juppo was, I'm sure he would smack Meg in the mouth right now. The girl and her wooden robot leave the screen, presumably to travel to HoYay Castle and annoy the crap out of whoever I left there.

Our next stop is Forest Village, way in the northwest corner of the map, in the middle of a barren desert. I kid. As soon as Barry enters the village, Clive emerges from his person and looks around suspiciously. That is, his sprite turns left and right. "The woman is here, in this village…" he whispers dramatically. "Barry, come with me for a moment." Barry has given up on hawt alone time with Clive, since he seems obsessed with finding some woman, but he goes along anyway. Barry scours the entirety of Forest Village looking for whatever will start this particular Clive-'n'-Elza event, and finally finds a hidden path of sorts that leads to a clearing in the back of the village. A blonde woman with a white cape is standing in the middle of this area, with her back to Barry and Clive. Oh, I bet that's Elza! Clive's got her for sure this time!

'Yes! Think of the facials I'm missing!'

Clive busts out of Barry again to confront his nemesis, spouting crap about his gun and the judgment of the Howling Voice Guild, obviously desperate to impress someone, anyone. All he gets from Barry is an eyeroll, but "Elza" seems to be paying heed to Clive's little speech. That is, she's freaked out. After about a minute of spewing his tired rhetoric like he's the blond, emo Grim Reaper, Clive realizes that his Elza wouldn't be stammering fearfully at him like this lady is, and that this, therefore, is not actually Elza. I swear, Clive is so out of Looney Tunes. It's like how Elmer Fudd can't figure out that the furry broad with the buck teeth and push-up bra is actually Bugs Bunny.

Faux!Elza explains: "I...I beg you, don't kill me...I'm just upholding my promise... She told me to stand here every day for a week, wearing this..." I have to wonder how Elza got anybody to promise something like that. "Hey, I need you to wear my clothes and stand here for an entire week, posing as me. No, no one is chasing me across the country, trying to kill me. What?" Clive, though, doesn't worry about these details like I do, and just wants to know where Elza went. According to Faux!Elza, Real!Elza headed off for Matilda. Clive is pissed, probably because he knows I won't be getting there until the next recap so he's going to be stuck at the castle with Meg, Lawrence of Assholia and Tai Ho. Have fun, Clive!

Surprisingly, Elza isn't the only person who chose to spend some time up here on the edge of the world map. In the home of the village elder, Barry runs into an unfortunately unattractive fellow named Tony. On the spectrum of Tonys, this guy is much closer to Tony "the Goose" Siragusa than to Tony Danza. As if that's not bad enough, he's wearing a frayed straw hat, patched and dirty blue jeans, and, in his portrait, he seems to be digging a wax buildup out of one ear. If there's one thing in this world Barry cannot tolerate, it's bad hygiene. Jowy can betray and leave Barry eighty times over and be forgiven, so long as he remembers to bathe regularly.

Tony, slovenly though he is, politely introduces himself to Barry, though Barry declines to shake his hand. Ick. "I'm working for the village elder here," Tony says, "but...I used to have a little field near Muse, you know. During the battle between the Highland Army and those mercenaries, my field was trampled..." More Cold Truth of War. From a farmer. Sigh. "Somehow I was able to run all the way here..." he goes on. "I'm no good at anything but gardening, though, so they're always mad at me here." And I suppose they should be, if he's only good at gardening but he's sulking in this guest bedroom instead of getting outside and planting some turnips.

Tony ends the conversation here, and Barry must speak to him again to ask him to join up. Yeah, he's gross, but he can help with the no-doubt daunting task of feeding all of Barry's freeloaders. Up to this point Barry thought he would have to pimp out Luc and Templton to pay for food. Tony says he'd love to join, but that the village elder "needs" him. I thought he just said that everyone in this village thought he was useless, but whatever. On cue the village elder enters the room, all "Get the fuck out of my house, you mooch." Actually, he says, "Tony, if you join the Yaoi Army, then the war will end that much quicker." I hope the elder doesn't think Barry is going to put this oaf on the front line with his hoe and rake. The Highland Army would laugh at him for weeks.

With that, Tony has no choice but to join up. "Barry!" he cries. "I promise, I, I'll do my best!! To end this war as soon as possible!!" Good, that's the spirit, son. Here's some tomato seedlings.

After selling some Ancient Texts for mad cash at the trading post and buying a mega-cheap Crystal Ball to sell back to the shiny-hungry Kobolds, Barry returns to the village entrance, where he finds a strapping young lad in an orange gi. In all the excitement of making an idiot out of Clive, Barry must have run right by this person. This intensely cute boy is named Wakaba, and he's training to become a master martial artist. He's also apparently on the hunt for a Dragonball Z convention. Wakaba says that his master left him here to train and become stronger, but clearly that was just an excuse to abandon the kid. See above, re: Meg and Juppo. Of course, Wakaba is cute and, maybe more importantly, is not a paperweight in battle. So abandoning him makes less sense. Not that Barry cares: Wakaba's master's loss is his gain.

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