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"The next scene shows Sean Connery sinking slowly underwater in a column of light, Twink still on his back. Though Twink can't swim for two seconds without hacking and choking like he's giving an amateur blowjob, he manages to look around underwater for a while before coughing slightly. Whatever, Twink."
     -Jeanne, Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker Part 6

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Suikoden II : Part 6
By Sam
Posted 07.19.03
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3
In our last recap full of zany gay hijinks, after meeting the fashion-cripped Lady Anabelle and Jess, Barry and Jowy were separated in their mission to gather information on Highland's butter supply. Say that last bit out loud and it sounds even dumber. Nanami worried, while Barry wallowed in sex deprivation-related angst. But Jowy came back, and all is now right with the world.


I won't keep you in suspense. No, it isn't.

The morning after Jowy's return to Muse, Nanami bursts into Barry and Jowy's room at the inn (hehe!) to wake them up. Jowy complains about hating mornings, but Barry gets right out of bed. I think we can guess who did all the work the night before. Nanami informs them that something important is happening on Jowston Hill. She thinks it might be a festival. Ooh, wouldn't that be a good excuse for everyone to get drunk and let go of their inhibitions! Not that our heroes ever need an excuse for lack of inhibition. Barry and Jowy join Nanami and obediently troop downstairs, where Leona tells them to have a good time while she watches Lassie for them. I really like this emphasis on keeping Lassie out of my traveling party. Too bad it won't last.

Barry is impressed.

None of the NPCs in town, as usual, have anything remotely important to say, so Barry wastes no time in heading to the northwestern corner of town, where he finds the now-unguarded path up to Jowston Hill. After going up a winding path, Barry reaches a building on top of the hill, and sees Bear standing there, picking his nose. Or waiting for them, I don't know. Jowy asks Bear what's going on, and Bear explains: the Hilltop Conference, held on top of Jowston Hill, is a political meeting between the heads of each of the City-States. "Leaders of the 5 State cities, Muse, South Window, Greenhill, the Matilda Knights and...oh I forget," Bear says. Actually, not only did he not name all of them, but there are actually six--he left out Tinto and Two River. I don't know if this is to make Bear look even less informed, or if the writers just goofed...AGAIN.

His faulty exposition completed, Bear leads the group up to the entry, where the bouncer of sorts refuses to let Bear in, because he doesn't recognize him. At that moment Flik arrives, and asks if Bear is going to use his "good trick" again. You know Flik really likes the "good trick." The bouncer, meanwhile, takes one look at Flik and starts gushing like a Square fanboy who just discovered Yuna x Rikku x Lulu doujinshi. "Oh!" he cries orgasmically. "'re....Are you really Sir Flik?" Flik affirms this, only to get additional burbling: "You're the mercenary soldier....the one...the one they call....'Flik of the Blue Lightning'..." See, this is the reputation he claimed to have in the first Suikoden, but really didn't have because he was just a punk kid dressed all in blue. But now he's a World-Renowned Hero...dressed all in blue. Whatever. The bouncer, of course, lets the party pass, since they're with the Super Amazing Flik of the Blue Lightning. Bear gets jealous because he's not all famous. Hey, Bear, just be thankful you're not the guy wearing a blue cape and headband.

Inside the conference room there are long tables arranged in a U-shape, surrounded by flags on the walls representing each of the six City-States. On the second story, we can see a million or so Suikoden Clones waiting for the proceedings to begin, but right across from the conference tables on the first floor is seating for six, which is where our group settles in, next to a random blonde girl. So the place is packed to the brim with onlookers, and the party arrives just in time, but they get the best seats in the house without a reservation? And Flik was complaining that they get no respect from the government.

Jowston's House Subcommittee on Cloning.

Barry, Jowy, Bear and Flik move toward their chairs as Anabelle is announced into the room, but Nanami, struck dumb at the pomp and circumstance of it all, stands fast in the doorway. Predictably, she's blocking traffic, and a tubby old white guy in white knight armor knocks her down. I know I got mad at Lulu for doing basically the same thing, but Nanami, unlike him, wasn't being stupid on purpose. Also: I like Nanami, something I could never say about Lulu. "Out of the way, girl!" shouts the knight, who is called Gorudo. He looks to me like a pissed-off bullfrog with a big gray beard. Therefore, in honor of Super Mario Bros. 2, his new name shall be Wart.

Nanami shouts indignantly at Wart's retreating back. One of the men accompanying him, a red-clad knight named Camus, apologizes: "Pardon us, my lady. I believe he was but overeager. May we have your forgiveness?" I believe this is but Konami's sorry attempt at making Camus sound like a character from an Arthurian romance. (And yet he's named after a French existentialist. What gives?) But Nanami eats it up, since she's so unaccustomed to being treated like a lady. The knight in blue, named Miklotov, tells Camus to get his bishounen butt in gear, as their Lord and Master Wart is waiting. Poor Miklotov has a very unfortunate bowl-cut fringe across his forehead, like his mommy cut his hair to save money. Camus and Miklotov leave and our heroes take their seats, Nanami still all a twitter over Camus' extremely forced chivalry.

Lots of important-sounding people are announced in this scene. I'm going to list them off, but as we'll meet each and every one of them individually later, don't worry about keeping track. First, of course, is Lady Anabelle, Mayor of Muse (with her as always is Jess). Next Lord Wart is announced, the leader of the Matilda Knights and the White Knights. He, of course, is accompanied by his bishounen bitches, Miklotov and Camus, leaders of the Red and Blue Knights. Then comes the "Representative General" (whatever that means) of Two River, Lord Makai. After him is the "Acting" Mayor of Greenhill, Lady Teresa. With her is some guy in a yellow turban and an orange gi. Yes, I think there's a new contender for Jess' "Worst Fashion Sense Ever" crown. Teresa is followed by Lord Gustav, Mayor of Tinto. Lord Granmeyer of South Window is next. Finally Lord Hauser, Commander of Muse's army, enters. Let's get this party started!

Well, it turns out to be a pretty boring, tension-filled party. Jess starts out by informing the group that the Highland Army is at the border, ready for a two-week attack campaign on Muse. Makai, who by the feeble, frightened expression on his face looks to be way out of his league here, is still under the impression that Highland is abiding by the peace agreement. So he's na´ve, too. Jess points out that burning down villages isn't exactly under the terms of the treaty. Lord Wart also has his head up his ass, and replies, "As for that, didn't Highland reply that that was a 'trick by mountain bandits'?" Wow, the translators actually used punctuation correctly! Didn't see that coming. Across the table from Wart, Granmeyer notes that Bear's mercs are too cool to be defeated by lowly bandits. Obviously he's never had the "pleasure" of meeting Pohl or Gengen. Hauser restates what everyone else has already said, just getting more whining from Makai, Wart and Gustav. See, they all know that King Agares Blight is really such a nice fellow and therefore they're in no danger. Funny, considering the implication that Highland and the City-State have been warring for a while, and that this treaty is just a reprieve from that. I bet Agares was a real sweetie when he was killing their young men before. Teresa informs them that Agares is no longer in charge, and that his son (Adolf) is not at all the benign gentleman his daddy is. This leads to some sniping about petty domestic bullshit between her and Wart.

It's funny--I just realized that in this scene, all the rational folk are on the left (Granmeyer, Teresa, Hauser) and all the scared, ignorant people are on the right (Wart, Makai, Gustav). Anabelle, meanwhile, has had enough of everyone's bickering. She orders everyone present to assemble their armies ASAP, as Muse is the mostest importantest city EVAR and it needs protection. The right side of the table is less than enthused about this. More whining, until a Muse soldier enters the room and delivers some news to Jess. The news turns out to be that the Highland Army is on the move toward Muse. That settles that, then. Wart, though, is still somewhat unconvinced. Because he's an asshole.

After the meeting is over, our heroes leave the building. Bear tells the kids how interesting he thought this was, and knowing Bear he was probably playing tic-tac-toe with himself (and losing) on a scrap piece of paper during the proceedings. Nanami, bless her mal-punctuating heart, says, "You think so?????? Looked like just a bunch of old men talking to me." I guess that's true, if we forget that Anabelle, Jess, Teresa and Makai were there. Bear laughs and admits Nanami has a point--which she very much does, despite her apparent blindness to females and young men. "Man, I'm tired out from just sitting in there," Bear says, making me laugh out loud. Aww, did all the gwown-up talking hurt Bear's widdle head? He suggests returning to Leona's so he can get some Children's Tylenol and lie down until his brain is emptied again.

Unfortunately for Bear, there's an unexpected visitor waiting at the tavern: it's Anabelle! Surprise! She's standing with Apple, and I think the intelligence of the room is a few degrees lower than normal. Bear greets Anabelle, and congratulates her for herding the "old men" into doing her bidding. Anabelle isn't that happy about how things went on Jowston Hill, as she's meeting a lot of resistance on the whole issue from Wart and the like. Bear's still in need of a good, long nap, so he cuts to the chase: "So what is it? You're not here to make small talk." Of course not. She's here to do the nasty with you, you big rough animal. God help me--God help us all--had she actually said that. Instead, she asks Bear for a favor. She needs him to slow down the Highland Army until all the reinforcements arrive in seven days. Unfortunately, the Highlanders will be there in five. Yet Barry traveled to their camp and back in what is portrayed as the span of one day. I know large groups travel more slowly, but are they walking through molasses or something?

Bear, proud owner of Smooth-Talkin' the Babes for Dummies.

Apple, speaking with the kind of authority she neither possesses nor deserves, answers on Bear's behalf. "2 days....We battle outside Muse, and maybe bloody their noses a little. Yeah, I think I can buy you 2 days." I swear, if I could get my hand through the screen I would reach in and pinch her head off her shoulders. Bear, pretty much ignoring everything Apple just said (good man!), says, "You'll never change. You ask for crazy things like they're nothing. The idea of us alone trying to stop that [Adolf]...." Anabelle takes this to mean "I'll do it," though that doesn't at all sound like what he said. Oh well, it's not like he really would have said no. Not to her. At least, though, Anabelle does give Bear one piece of good news--the Matilda Knights should be showing up early. Well then, this shouldn't be too bad! Unless Matilda, for some unforeseen reason, ends up being of no help at all...NAH.

Before Anabelle leaves, Jowy quickly asks her for the chance to fight for Muse. If you've been paying attention at all thus far, you should already know how this exchange goes. Blah-blah-don't-put-yourselves-in-danger, blah-blah-you're-just-CHILDREN, yadda-yadda-well-if-you're-sure-then-we-won't-stop-you-but-we're-oh-so-very-WORRIED. Jowy turns to Barry for backup--not that kind of backup, not in front of all these people--and Barry says that of course he wants to go into battle. Anabelle repeats for the zillionth time, "Barry, Jowy, Nanami. ....Don't get yourself killed." Apparently she only wants one of them to not die. Finally, she tells them to come to her after the battle and hear all about Genkaku.

Exhibit X for Jowy's gayness: watching Barry while he's sleeping.

Next morning, Nanami barges in as usual to wake up the boys. Jowy, who had been staring across the room at Barry from his bed, says that he's already awake, as he couldn't sleep. Take that however you like. I'm taking it in the dirtiest way possible, personally. The three of them return downstairs, where Apple, Bear and Flik are waiting. Apple is in the middle of saying to the others, "The Highland Army advance forces are close. If we can beat them, we'll have done our job." I guess a big part of being a strategist is stating the incredibly freaking obvious. Bear and Flik add their bit of obviousness into the pre-battle pep talk, and we're ready to go.

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