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"Kuromimi's on his way back from the Village of the Dwarves, where those meanies refused to give him the secret cure for the kobolds' sickness. He's determined to go around irritating the fuck out of people until they give him the cure to shut him up."
     -Jeanne, Suikoden Part 5

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Legend of Dragoon : Part 1
By Kelly
Posted 11.25.02
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3
Well, here we are, my first recap for VGR. Like a skier on a bunny hill, I picked Legend of Dragoon for some snarky love and attention. Cut me some slack, eh?

Ah, Legend of Dragoon, Sony's epic Final Fantasy VIII ripoff, er, RPG for the Playstation. That's all you really need to know at this point. Let's get recappin'!

We start off with the usual "cinematic" opening that reeks of FFVIII. We even get a J-pop mournful theme song. Sony thought of everything! There's a shot of our presumed hero, a blonde guy in red armor who looks for all the world like Cloud from FFVII, intermingled with shots from the game. We also get the FFVIII-inspired pseudo-poetic text overlay, saying things like "The doors of fate are opened." It begs the question how fate, which by definition is "a predetermined outcome" could presume to have doors, but it must've sounded cool in the copy room. Moving on. We see lots of buildings being destroyed, along with lots of explosions, but it's hard to tell what the hell is supposed to be going on. It's a lot like a Wesley Snipes movie. Now for some more psuedo-poetry. This one says "You are free to sever the chains of fate that bind you…." Oh, so first fate has doors, and now it has chains? Sounds like ol' Fate might have an S&M fetish to me. And with that, the opening cinema is over.

Nope, it isn't. I lied. The title cinematic opening is over. Now we have the game opening cinema. Isn't this fun? Ten damn minutes and all I've been able to do is choose "New Game." I suppose I could've chosen "Load Game," but that would take all the fun out of it, now wouldn't it? Our game opening cinema begins with a foggy night scene. Why? I dunno. Maybe the band of marauding evil bad guys wanted to go out clubbing afterwards. And here they come, right on cue. Fire arrows come shooting out of nowhere with that whistling noise that real fire arrows probably don't make, since the guiding feathers on the damned arrows have already burned off. It sounds cool and foreboding, if your idea of cool and foreboding is listening to the noise cheap Fourth of July fireworks make over and over again. It makes me want to take a fire arrow or two to the foley editors. But never mind the arrows, here come our horsemen! Well, they're riding something with four legs, at least. It's vaguely reptilian, much like Emeril Legasse, except I don't think he's got the lizard tail. At least, I'm pretty sure he doesn't, but I've never been able to watch the show long enough to check. I must admit, the CGI looks spiffy. More fires and explosions, so we can safely assume this isn't the fire brigade. Our horsemen finally arrive at the edge of town, and the camera focuses in on a dude in a huge dragon helm, plus enough armor to plate a small castle. Who's betting this guy's important? My suspicions are confirmed when a lackey says "Great commander, this way." See? I knew he was special. Dragon-Head saunters towards something we can't see. Hey, if I had that much armor on me, I wouldn't be moving with a quickness either. He says, "So, this is her." with some awe in his voice and we see a shot of a young, dark haired woman, lying helplessly asleep on a palette. She looks somewhat like Yuna from this angle.


Thankfully, she's silent, unlike Yuna, or we'd be here a lot longer. Dragon-Head reaches back towards his lackey, and the lackey's name has now been changed to Smithers. Smithers obediently puts something in Dragon-Head's hand. It looks like one of those big glass marbles that my mother-in-law collects, with all the air bubbles swirled around inside it to make the price jump to about $10.00 per radial centimeter. Dragon-Head holds the marble over Not-Yuna's head, and it glows nicely. Then we see a shot of the moon, also glowing. I wonder if there's some kind of connection here? Nah. That wouldn't happen, would it? The marble continues to glow brighter and brighter until it looks like it's drilling a hole in Not-Yuna's forehead, but it isn't. Gee, I wonder if she's got some special power or something? Dragon-Head grunts, sounding just a little too close to my beloved Auron for comfort. He says, "Indeed. Put her in custody." Cookies for those of you who saw this coming. Dragon-Head stalks off, followed by another dude in what looks to be a blue dress from the mid eighties, the way the shoulders are jacked up to his ears and the ten-pound epaulettes. But it isn't. It's just a cloak - with big-ass shoulder pads. Dragon-Head isn't happy. "Is this really necessary?" he whines to Blue Dress Dude. Blue Dress Dude fires back "It is his majesty's, Emperor Doel's command." Ah, nice to know someone's in charge of the mass killing. "Who is she?" Dragon-Head now asks Blue Dress Dude. I think he wants Not-Yuna's phone number or something. "That is none of your concern." BDD fires back. Ouch. Not your day, Dragon-Head. BDD gives the command and all our baddies ride off. The opening cinema is (finally!) over. Think I'll get to play now? Who's taking bets?

Now that the game opening cinema is over, we now get to hear the oh-so-fake sound of wind whistling through the trees, as well as some sporadic lightning strikes. Get a six-year-old to reenact the tornado scene from "The Wizard of OZ" and you've pretty much got the sound now offending my ears. All I can see right now are huge "Road Runner" style cliff-faces and lots of 2d trees. I think if I had to listen to that damned wind sound much longer, I'd jump off the cliff and spare the game designers any more trouble. But no, here comes someone. It's a woman, and she's in the shortest blue armor I've ever seen. Forget about visible panty lines, much higher and we'd be in DOA Volleyball country. Ick. Honestly, who in the world thinks up these costumes? Armor chaffing your butt is no way to run around the countryside. She's also wearing one over-the-knee boot and one calf-length boot, kind of like Tidus' overalls in reverse. I'm willing to forgive her for that at the moment, and content myself with cursing the game designers. The camera moves off of the chick in blue to focus somewhere in the 101 Million 2d Trees. There's…something out there that's a lighter shade of green than the trees, but it's hard to make out just what it is. Luckily, the chick in blue introduces it as "The Green Tusked Dragon, Feyrbrand". The chick in blue has just been renamed to Exposition!Chick.

Whew, thanks for clearing that up!

The dragon hangs out in the trees, looking like an outcast from that "Jurassic Park" ride, only more jerky. Exposition!Chick decides that the horrible fake wind sound is just too much for her and jumps off the cliff to a smaller cliff-face just below, and then off into the forest. Now it's time for a big lightning flash, and the ever-so-typical white-out screen.

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