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Legend of Dragoon : Part 4
By Kelly
Posted 01.13.03
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3
When we last left the Tepid Trio, they had just made a terribly un-thrilling escape from Hellena Prison and were making their way through the Limestone Cave. Red Cloud ended up saving Sergeant Pepper's lunky ass twice while Shana admitted to knowing something Red Cloud didn't, which based on what we've seen so far isn't much of an accomplishment. We were also beat over the head with the Huge Plot Mallet of Doom regarding Red Cloud and the Black Monster. There, now that we're all up to speed, it's time for another episode of A Girl, A Doofus, and A Pyro!

We start this little interlude right back in the Limestone Cave. From the save point you can see the exit, plus a few more treasure boxes scattered here and there. Looks like a short, easy trip, right? Um, actually, it is. Yes, boss fight and all. You see, as we approach what looks to be a rock formation in the cave, the soundtrack starts making this kind of hissy noise. Now anyone untrained for this job would think, "Well, that's odd" and traipse right off to their doom at the scales of the Guardian. But I'm a recapper. It's my sworn duty to spot these things and milk them for all they're worth. Red Cloud and Sergeant Pepper have both got the willies and draw their weapons. And upon reading that sentence back I realize it sounds far more pervy than it should. Okay, so the boys have their swords and halberds at the ready…um, they're at full attention…er, they're ready to rumble…shit! Let's just move on, huh? Red Cloud tells Shana to go somewhere safe so he and Sergeant Pepper can get down to business in a kicking-ass sort of way. As if there was any other way that we could interpret the phrase "get down to business". Jeebus, I just can't win this time, can I? No, I can't, since the next thing Sergeant Pepper says is "It's coming!" as the Guardian approaches.

Oh, gross!

Yes, here he slithers now, the Guardian of the Limestone Cave. Too bad no one thought to bring the Garden Shovel of Oblivion, or this fight would be over a lot faster than it's already going to be. The Guardian's name is Urobolus, and he has four distinct attacks: Stand Still while Hissing, Spit Noxious Chili-Cheese Breath Gas, Bite the Dumbass on the Head, and Go Hide in the Big Rock while Hissing. Quake in fear, mortals! Actually, the first time I ever played this part of the game, the stupid reptile kicked my fool ass three ways from Sunday. Then I sobered up and played it again. This time however, my mad gaming skillz get me through without Shana so much as breaking a sweat. After the snake has taken all the beat-down it can stand, Red Cloud leaps forward heroically to deliver the finishing blow. Unfortunately for Red Cloud the move also makes him look like a Lord of the Dance reject. Urobolus goes down in a drawn-out, overdramatic scene with much hissing and gnashing of fangs.

When it's all over, Sergeant Pepper announces that they should leave the cave as quickly as possible and be on their way to Bale. He goes first, with Red Cloud following after him, and Shana bringing up the rear. On his way out, Red Cloud turns to Shana and says her name for some reason. Dude, I think she knows what her name is. The only mental difficulty she seems to be having is the delusion that you're her boyfriend. Sergeant Pepper and Red Cloud move on, but Shana hangs back a bit, looking at the poor l'il snakey those two mean boys killed with their awful swords and things. Well, as it turns out, the ole Guardian of the Cave isn't quite ready to give up the ghost, since he now rises up to deal some manky Chili-Cheese Breath Stench of Death onto poor Shana. The boys come running back in the nick of time, but it's too late - for the snake that is. Suddenly, rays of white light come pouring out of Shana's head and surround Urobolus, causing him to disintegrate before Red Cloud and Sergeant Pepper's very eyes.

I think some Excedrin is in order

Red Cloud and Sergeant Pepper stand dumbstruck at Shana's new super snake killing power, but it doesn't last. Red Cloud says "Wha, what was…?" as required any time your party member has an unforeseen (but constantly hinted about) power. Shana just stands still and pitiful as the psuedo-spooky Mystical Power Serenade plays in the background. Sergeant Pepper again makes the point that they should be making tracks to Bale. Hm, you think he's anxious to get home to his Prince Albert? Wait a second. That sounds bad - and painful. Either way, Sergeant Pepper gets his wish and we leave the Limestone Cave. From there it's just a quick run down the Yellow Dotted Line to the teeming metropolis of Bale. The overworld map tells us we're now in the North of Serdio. Boy, these kids sure do get around fast. That, or it's a really small country.

Well, here we are in the great city of Bale. The opening shot shows some quaint, Old-Worldey streets lined with the fake Tudor style that most RPGs of this type seem to favor. There's a fountain in the center of town, conveniently located close to the local pub. Some happy "Isn't this a nice place?" music is playing, and as Red Cloud & Co. enter, the soundtrack is overlaid with the sounds of what's supposed to be city life, but really sounds more like a lot of people talking and trying to be quiet about it. I mean, there's not a siren or a boombox or anything. Even I have to put up with occasional police cars or bad impromptu country music "concert" sometimes, and I live in a podunk town in the middle of Mulletland. I mean, the most exciting thing that happens around here is a stupid college ball game, and then the nearest "big" city shuts down for the whole damned day so SUV driving morons can get all the good tables at Outback Steakhouse. But I digress. Let's get back to the other morons.

Being an inquisitive sort, the first place Red Cloud checks out is the little hovel on the outskirts of town. As it so happens, the place is home to the local artiste, who you just know isn't bothered by such worldly things as sturdy walls or cleaning up. Then again, I don't like cleaning up either, so I guess that makes me somewhat artistic - except not. When our "Portaitist Girl" spots Sergeant Pepper, she goes completely apeshit, simpering and sycophanting all over the place. She asks if she can draw his portrait again and sets to work. Since my handy strat guide tells me this is important later, I make Red Cloud wait, which he does like an ADHD pre-schooler who doesn't have the benefit of Ritalin. When the Portraitist Girl hands over the finished painting of our gallant Sergeant Pepper, Red Cloud takes one look and snarks "Isn't it a little too handsome?" What a bitch you are, Red Cloud. On the way out of the Portraitist Girl's hovel, Red Cloud lifts her life savings out of a handy treasure box, adding kleptomania to his many fine personality traits.

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