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  -Suiko2 Main
  -Part 1 :: [11.23.02]
  -Part 2 :: [12.03.02]
  -Part 3 :: [01.13.03]
  -Part 4 :: [03.13.03]
  -Part 5 :: [06.18.03]
  -Part 6 :: [07.19.03]
  -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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"'Make way for Cap'n Fargo...!' some random guy yells. The cap'n, made much more fearsome for being named after a city in North Dakota, arrives in all his shirtless, neckerchiefed glory. He also has a ponytail and a homosexual mustache. I think it would be safe to say this pirate is of the ass persuasion."
     -Jeanne, Chrono Cross Part 6

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Suikoden II : Part 3
By Sam
Posted 01.13.03
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3
When we last left our heroes and their randomly-assembled group of misfits, they were just about to leave Viktor's mercenary fort in search of the fabled Tsai of the Divine Spear. In the last recap I questioned the true divinity of Tsai's spear, and that question has been burning in Jowy's mind--the last thing he needs is to look inadequate in front of his red bathrobe-clad slampiece.

Well, if I'm in need of a spare bedsheet, you'll be the first person I ask.

After dumping Lawrence of Assholia out of the party in favor of the bum Rikimaru (who, for his shortcomings, at least isn't a pantywaist), I get the group equipped and ready for the long, arduous journey two inches northeast on the world map. The destination: the forest behind Ryube, where it seems many local pariahs like to while away their days and nights.

Once the party reaches Ryube Barry chats up a few of the townsfolk. Apparently all of them are aware of the imminent threat of war against Highland, but none of them really seem to give a crap. The citizens of Ryube are either indifferent to the conflict or confident that the City-State will kick the hell out of some Highland backside. Their collective attitude is supposed to drip with dramatic irony, but let's not worry about that for the moment. I don't want to spoil the surprise of the town getting torched. Oops.

Has no one in this series heard of women's lib?

The group makes short work of the monsters in the forest, between the Gay Lovers Attack, the Technically-Not-Family-But-They're-a-Real-Family Attack, and the bloodthirsty wolf in the party. I also brought Kinnison along, which doesn't pay off at all since he sucks as much as most other archers. But it just seemed wrong to take his dog out for a stroll and leave him behind. Anyway, shortly the party reaches the back of the forest and finds a small cabin, complete with picturesque stack of firewood and axe stuck in tree stump.

They enter through the open doorway, only to find that He of the Divine Spear isn't home. Jowy, astute young man that he is, says "Nobody's here......" like no one else in the party could see that. They decide to wait around for a while. While the rest of the party stands perfectly still at attention, Jowy walks around the cabin, eagerly inspecting the long spears hung on the wall, thinking that Tsai wouldn't miss just one. Before he can ask Barry which one he prefers, however, Tsai comes home and takes no time at all to make our heroes feel unwelcome. Any notion I had about Tsai of the Divine Spear being a Ron Jeremy-esque porn hero goes out the window now that I can see him. He's one of those anime-style characters (though he looks obviously Asian, unlike most anime characters) who doesn't know how to open his eyes, so he just has little slits, like Brock from Pokémon. He also wears his hair in a bun. "Divine Spear," my ass.

Before Tsai can kick them out, Jowy and Barry make with the "We need you" talk. But they don't get the Exposition Hat for this scene! Tsai himself dons the hat and says "The 'Fire Spears,' right?" Apparently Tsai already knew about the attack on Toto--you know, like everyone else in the world--and that he would be needed. How he knew about the 'Fire Spears' is beyond me, but I'm not even going to bother to make sense of anything related to those things anymore. He even went ahead and packed his stuff for the day when my ragtag party came to fetch him. It would be so funny if he just sat around his house forever, waiting for someone to come for him, and no one ever did. So Tsai's all ready to go, how super for us. Jowy offers him the 2000 potch for his work, but the Not-So-Divine Spearman tells him to keep it, since he doesn't take prepayment for his work. He says when they beat Highland, he'll take his money. Well, isn't that a confident attitude. I dump Tsai in the convoy, even though he can fight, and head back out of the forest. But at the exit, Barry's little sprite jumps in alarm as he takes a gander at a not-so-nice scene.

No, but could you repair these, er, broken tonfa?

The "Fire! Fire! Carnage!" music starts to play as we get another dose of crappy CGI. As I'm sure you all could guess--since I told you earlier--Ryube Village is not in the best condition at the moment. Because it's on fire. A montage of screaming people, bloodthirsty soldiers and of course lots of flames--no, not Barry and Jowy, I mean real flames--help bring home the idea that This Is Not Good. Back in normal gameplay mode, Highland soldiers are stampeding around the ransacked village, rounding up people for Prince Adolf's slaughterfest. No, seriously. They're lining up people for him to kill personally. Psycho. Adolf has some sparkling and witty lines in this scene, such as "Ha ha ha ha ha! Kill!! Burn!!!!" and the now-infamous "Die pig!!!!" After he's slashed up a couple more people, a bald, bearded guy named Kiba asks Adolf if he's quite finished stealing the blood of the innocent. Of course he isn't, and he wants the entire village to burn to the ground and for everyone to die. Um, it looks like that's happening anyway. But for some reason, on Adolf's command, the Highland troops set a couple more fires, since the dozens they've got going already just wouldn't be enough.

What a delightfully charming fellow!

After fading out and back in, Barry, Jowy, Tsai and the rest are staring in shock at the carnage. Tsai's pretty convinced that Adolf has inhuman strength, and he's right, but how he's right won't be explained for another 20 hours or so. Jowy and Barry don't care how strong he is; they decide to go take him on right there. Of course, Tsai's read the script and he knows they can't die like this, so he whacks both of them with his spear (ew) and knocks them unconscious. When they come to, he informs them that the Highland Army is long gone. They hurry back to the fort to inform Viktor that he'd best prepare for an ass-kicking.

Back at the merc fort, Barry and Jowy find widdle Piwika waiting for them. She tells Uncle Barry and Uncle Jowy that "a man who looks like a bear" is waiting for them upstairs. I can only assume the bearlike man is Viktor, which gives me cause to nickname him Bear from this point on. This new nickname will provide many a comic opportunity in recaps to come. You are very excited.

After saving and talking to a few of the mercenary NPCs in the fort--some of whom said Barry should "thank Pohl" for convincing Bear to come to the rescue (ha!)--the boys head up to the conference room to warn Bear and Blue Lightning Flik of the imminent brawl. They are apparently relieved that Barry and Jowy made it back okay, considering that they walked in on another Prince Adolf torching party. I love how they're all worried about our heroes' safety, yet they did nothing when they found out they could be in mortal peril. Jerks. Tsai quickly introduces himself and leaves to get to work on the 'Fire Spears.' Jowy wishes he could go refurbish some spears himself, but Barry will probably let him do that later.

Is a caption even necessary?

Their final retarded chore completed, Bear instructs our heroes to get ready to flee to Muse. Y'know, since Barry and Jowy are "just children" and therefore would be of no use in a fight. No, Bear didn't say as much, but "they're just children" is implied in pretty much every line of dialogue in this game, anyway. Barry asks for the chance to fight alongside them. Bear is about to say "You're just a kid," but Flik mercifully stops him and decides to give Barry a shot. "Barry, if you can even just wound me, I'll count you as a warrior. [Despite the fact that you dress like Cyndi Lauper.] Okay?" Flik's challenge gives way to the first duel battle of the game. Basically, duels are a rock-paper-scissors system. I have to guess what Flik is going to do from what he says, and then act accordingly. For example, if Flik chooses to defend, Barry should attack. If Flik uses the wild attack, Barry should defend. And since Flik says stuff like "C'mon take a swing at me," it's not exactly difficult to make these decisions. Hell, you don't even have to completely defeat him. Needless to say, Barry wins the little bout--prompting Bear to wonder if Flik's gone soft, if he lost to this fairy boy--and they decide to put him and Jowy in charge of a unit. Our boys go back to their quarters, so Jowy can help Barry "rejuvenate."

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