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  -Part 1 :: [11.23.02]
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  -Part 7 :: [10.25.03]
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  -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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"They chat some more about androids in general, until Jerkinov comes over to say, 'They say ignorance is bliss...looks like they were right.' Um, what the hell is he talking about? 'I'm just envious, that's all,' he elaborates, except I still don't know what the hell he's talking about. Oh well, I'd better get used to that feeling."
     -Sam, Xenosaga Part 1

Link to VGR!

Suikoden II : Part 16
By Sam
Posted 08.30.13
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3 : 4 : 5
And we're back! That was fast. In the last installment, Barry dealt with yet another betrayal at the hands of Jowy Atreides Dickweed Blight, a.k.a. Jillia's house husband. He attempted to scrub away the pain of that unfortunate reunion by finding an even sexier true rune user to make out with, one PUGGY!!! McDohl, but it's just not the same. And now he'll try his last and most successful trick to put Jowy out of mind: murdering evildoers.

At the entrance to Drakemouth Village, Koyu tells Barry they will have to get past the guard station on the other side of town, which he says he will handle. Yeah, because "I'm Lord fucking Barry, out of my way," totally wouldn't work. Barry takes his time wandering through this deadly dull village, stopping to buy a calf and listen to some stupid family's angst about sending their kid to prep school, before making for the gate to the northwest, which is guarded by a Tinto soldier Suikoclone. Koyu saunters up to the guard and creeps, "Come on, give me a break, Kokto." Kokto? Wowsers. That's an unfortunate deformity. "You're not forgetting how I lent you money when your mom was pregnant, are you?" I am trying not to interpret that in the worst possible way, and failing hard. Cocktoe shoves Koyu against a wall and shouts, "I TOLD YOU NO ONE COULD KNOW ABOUT THAT." Kidding. He is actually all too happy to return a favor to Koyu, so he wanders off to take a leak and check on his son baby brother.

This must be on the French See 'n' Say.

With Cocktoe out of the way, the party is free to pass through the mountains between Drakemouth and its sister village on the other side, Tigermouth. They pass through lovely evergreen terrain along a clearly marked path, with wooden stairs and everything, but it's still infested with monsters, so I wonder how normal people deal with that. Oh, and the fearsome Lampdragon ass bandits, can't forget about them. Speaking of bandits, Koyu stops Barry at a fork in the path and indicates they should go north to reach the Lampdragon stronghold. But OH NO! As they emerge from the path onto a plateau, Koyu exclaims in disbelief and some of his bandit compatriots enter stage right, ostensibly fleeing in the opposite direction. One of them, Koyu's brother Gijimu, is wearing hot pink sweatpants, a hot pink bandana, and a fur collar. It's a good look, somehow. But he also has huuuuuge muttonchops and even furrier eyebrows than Koyu, so Barry pumps the brakes a little. If he wanted a dude that hairy, he already has Bear.

Gijimu explains to an aghast Koyu that a huge group of zombies showed up at their bandit pillow fort. Well, he doesn't say this, because all his dialogue in this scene is frustratingly obtuse, but it's fucking zombies. He noticed some of their fallen bandit companions among the zombie mob, which was probably a little unsettling. "We burned the barricade, and destroyed roads and bridges as we escaped so they couldn't follow," he adds. He doesn't know what happened to their sister Lo Wen, a woman who I bet is a total shrinking violet, and says they should head down to Tinto, where the zombies seem to be going, and join forces with Gustav.

Barry finally discovers the burned village with fifty gay guys groping each other.

Of course, because of Koyu's "bad manners," I guess, they formulate this entire plan without Gijimu realizing he's standing with Lord fucking Barry. "Sorry this is what happened after you came to help," Gijimu sighs once they're introduced, like Barry wasn't just using this as a flimsy excuse to go to Tinto in the first place. Oh crumbs, he can't help the bandits! Barry will be crying all night about that lost opportunity. Gijimu duhs that Barry should come to Tinto with them. "They probably won't listen to us bandits, but if you who defeated [Adolf] say something, that Gustav will listen." Awkwardly put! Bear, obviously, agrees with Gijimu, and tells Barry, "If they feel it relates to them, the people of Tinto can't turn away from the issue." Bear, we're talking about a zombie horde, not a Gallup poll on capital gains tax. Not that Barry actually requires convincing, because it's decided without him saying a word that they'll go to Tinto. Koyu is ordered by his brother to guide them there while Gijimu gathers up the rest of their surviving Suikoclones.

He's not really talking about tomato seedlings, is he?

West of the turnoff to the bandit pillow fort, things take a decided turn for the brown and bleak. Where Drakemouth was piney and green, Tigermouth looks like it's in the middle of a century-long drought cycle, and is making me want to turn my humidifier up to max just looking at it. Koyu urges Barry through this desolate dust bowl of a village and says they should keep moving toward Tinto, to the north.

Barry contemplates murder.

Before heading to Tinto, Barry makes a quick stop on the way in a village called Crom. As Barry tries to enter the inn, a rude man storms out past him, and Wakaba leaps out of Barry to yell at him, "Ahh!!! Master!!! Master!!!" Baiter! (Sorry.) Wakaba's master, one Long Cock Chan, stops at his apprentice's voice. "Hm? Wakaba?" he asks. "You're not neglecting your training, are you?" But while Wakaba is still stammering out a response, Long Cock speeds off, closely followed by the innkeeper, who is yelling at him for dining and dashing. Barry sighs and thinks of Hoi. How many layabout freeloaders with black holes for stomachs is Barry going to have to take on? He already has like 80! Wakaba conveys through ellipses to Barry that she is sick of her master being AWOL, so Barry sets off to find him. Eventually he discovers him "hiding" in plain sight behind the item shop, his bald, top-knotted head sticking out for the whole world to see.

When Wakaba is all, "Why did you leave without paying for your dinner, oh wise Master?" like a sad chump, Long Cock replies, somehow with a straight face, "Well, the legs are the base of the body and the basis of unarmed combat. Strengthen them and you strengthen your base." Wakaba goes, "Wow!! That's great!!! Amazing!!!" So I guess Wakaba is learning the sacred art of hobojitsu. Long Cock's next lesson will demonstrate how to use the core abdominal muscles to deflect Railcar Pete's broken bottle shank.

Long Cock quiets Wakaba's pained protests as the innkeeper speeds by, steadfastly refusing to look even a tiny bit to his left or right. But once he's out of danger, Long Cock demands of his pupil, "Who is that with you?" Wakaba basically goes "This is Barry!!!!!!! He's AMAZEBALLS!!!!!!!!" and Barry spins his tonfa with a flourish in case Long Cock wasn't already impressed. The two of them square off to test each other's strength, both kind of wishing that Wakaba would look away. Wakaba panics that her two masters are going to grind all over each other in front of everyone, but Long Cock backs off, suitably dazzled by Barry's hot bod. "You have found a worthy teacher, Wakaba!!!!! Who is this man!!!!" he shouts. Wakaba flips out back at him, "I told you before!!! The leader of the Yaoi Army, Lord Barry!!!!" Even Nanami thinks these two need to tone it down a little. And once Long Cock has painstakingly established Barry's identity, he graciously agrees to join the Yaoi Army and eat for free some more. Hooray! Another mouth! After encouraging Wakaba to learn "Genkaku's way of fighting" from Barry--hey, he knew who Barry was all along! Those exclamation points were all for show!--he takes off for HoYay Castle, chased by the innkeeper again. What a scamp!

God, those two are exhausting, and not in the way Barry likes. Moving on to someone a little more low maintenance, Barry enters one of the few houses in town and comes across an old man in a lovely dark blue robe with green trim. His name is Tenkou, and shockingly he once had a career as a window maker even though his name isn't Window! I know, I'm confused, too. "Hey, boy," he asks Barry, "isn't that a 'Window Set' you have there?" No, Barry's just happy to see you. Wink. Barry pulls out the window set he brought along, and Tenkou, feeling a wave of nostalgia wash over him, asks if he can buy it. Barry can ask for 10,000 potch, a million potch, or to take Tenkou into indentured servitude at HoYay Castle. Tenkou totally needs to haggle this down to the 10,000 potch, but he is so inspired by Barry's cause and possibly turned on by Barry being "such an important person" that he agrees to join up.

Bamp chicka bow bow

For the moment, the elderly window dresser and the gluttonous mustachioed vagrant are the only points of interest in Crom, so Barry finally stops stalling and enters Tinto City, which would only be labeled as such by the most generous of mapmakers. The entrance to the "city" is a zigzagging path cut into a cliff, which seems cool and unique until Barry has to wind up and down the thing a hundred times instead of walking through a gate like a civilized person. Tinto actually seems smaller than Crom, but it's set directly into the mountain and has direct access to their mine, which I'm sure won't come up at all while Barry is here. Why would Barry want to plunge down a long, dark shaft? The local Suikoclones--a peculiar variety with denim overalls, train conductor hats, and blond walrus mustaches--point Barry toward their guild hall, where the mayor-slash-union boss, Gustav Pendragon, resides.

Before meeting up with Gustav again and having the final City-State politician tell him he's Just Some Fucking Kid, Barry makes the rounds through Tinto, stopping at the houses of two Hatfield-and-McCoy-esque engineers who have created rival schematics of a dragon penis and unicorn horn penis, and eagerly hand them to Barry to give to a sculptor. I'd say the first thing any sculptor he finds is going to create is a replica of his penis to mount on the castle ramparts, but these are pretty much the same thing.

Near Gustav's house, he runs into a woman in, even by Suikoden standards, a pretty flamboyant outfit. She's wearing a red headdress like a Mary Sue palette swap of Sailor Galaxia, complete with gilded tiara, and a clingy blue dress that shows off her cleavage. It should not be a surprise, then, to learn that Raura (wow, really, localization team?) is a friend of Runemistress Jeanne, the only other person in this game with that much boobage on display. Raura demonstrates that she's more than a little daffy as she asks Barry to help her find Jeanne, since "This is Two River City, isn't it?" Barry helpfully starts to tell her that Jeanne is actually at HoYay, but Raura cuts him off to tell him all about how she's "friends" with Jeanne (uh huh) and how she is on her way to teach Jeanne "the secret of making scrolls." I bet they'll be unfurling some parchment rolls together. Dipping into each other's inkwells. Cunnilingus. Once Raura realizes Barry is the Yaoi Army leader, she receives some directions, marks her map, and says, "Hee hee, I'll be troubling you for a bit, sorry." Barry celebrates adding another vagina to his collection, only for Raura to consult her map and wander off to the right, the opposite of the way she should be going. I mean, I guess. Barry sweatdrops as he watches her, but maybe she was just finding a bathroom before beginning her journey in the right direction. At least she's willing to ask for directions! Honestly. Dudes.

No wonder this church is so empty.

Outside Tinto's guild hall, the Yaoi Army delegation receives a less-than-enthusiastic welcome from a terse City-State Suikoclone, giving Bear and Koyu the opportunity to reflect on the Tintoans being a bunch of isolationist dicks who deserve to be attacked by zombies. And yet here we are. Inside, Barry heads straight to Gustav's office, where the man in charge is waiting for them. "Ah, so you're the Yaoi Army leader, Lord Barry," he says, and predictably adds, "It's just as the rumors say, you're still a boy." And you're still ugly! Yeah! Gustav body-shames Barry some more: "You have such thin arms. In Tinto there are boys your age with arms twice as big. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha." That's because the only thing to do in Tinto is jack off.

Barry is not used to hearing this.

But Gustav is just trying to break the ice, I guess, because he also thinks Barry's eyes have absorbed many horrors of The Cold Truth of War™. Yes, yes, we know, Barry has green eyes just like his mother or the Dragonmaster or some shit. Bear, probably as sick as I am of hearing this from everyone in the universe, gets to the point. "Let's join forces," he says. "Up until now you've ignored our Yaoi Army, but I won't dwell on that. I know the zombies are coming this way. What do you think? We can lend a hand." Gustav clearly bristles at being told he's being let off the hook for being an uncooperative twat, and he fires back that he stayed out of it because he didn't expect them to defeat Adolf. Well, obviously. Even Barry didn't expect to do that. "But we recognize your strength now," Gustav says. "We want reinforcements to face this enemy." Barry is sorely tempted to tell Gustav to fuck off after that sickening display of front-runnerism, but he knows Bear is at full mast at the idea of fighting The Count, so he agrees to help out.

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