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"Hugo, Sarge and Lulu end up in the castle's mess hall, and run offscreen, with Bubba and Percy literally two seconds behind them. How they could be that close in pursuit and not see at least some sign of their fugitives is beyond me. But they look around the empty room, shrug their armored shoulders, and walk out. I'll hazard a guess that these two didn't become famous warriors for justice because of their skill at capturing criminals."
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Legend of Dragoon : Part 6
By Kelly
Posted 03.13.03
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3
Last time in the great adventures of A Girl, A Doofus and A Pyro, we were reunited with Serdio's favorite underwear model, Rose, who once again saved Red Cloud's idiot ass from being pulverized. Rather than a brotherly hug of affection and thanks from the dumb lug, our favorite pale and mysterious goth chick played Twenty Jealous Questions with Shana, winning the grand prize of a grudging apology in the lightning round. Red Cloud has also been introduced to the strange and mysterious power of the Dragoon that he happened to have inherited from his dear old dad, making him a pyro with a mission. Oh, yeah, and the town of Hoax is no more thanks in part to a L337 asshole in a bad ninja costume. Now all that remains is to see what strange and exciting adventures await our little group in the hinterlands of Volcano Villude and the Nest of the Dragon.

We begin in Hoax, and after being reminded a few dozen times that we'll need to cross Volcano Villude to get to the Nest of the Dragon, Red Cloud & Co. make their way to the exit. Before we can leave, Rose stops us for a quick tutorial on how to fight as a Dragoon. Basically, it's a trade off between a timed button physical attack or a magical attack. Gee, Sony, thanks for throwing the twist in there. Now that I'm all up to speed on what it takes to kick ass as a Dragoon, we can leave.

Back on the Yellow Dotted Line, we can see the city of Hoax, still burning. You would think that people would have caught on by now. Invite Red Cloud in, and your village "mysteriously" burns down. Instead, those idiots think Red Cloud's their new "Messiah". Considering some of the folks who've claimed to be the Messiah in the past, I'd say they were half right. And they've already got the mass destruction of their compound out of the way, too, saving time and those ever-important tax dollars.

Take that, Janet Reno!

A little way down from Hoax, we come across the "Marshland". It's dank, drippy, dreary and no doubt full of potholes. It's just the place for an adventuress like Shana to prove her stuff as a full member of the team and not some helpless token female with a bow. Now, if you'll excuse me, the seat of my pants is getting mighty warm, and this telephone wire's chaffing my ass. Oh, well, there's nothing to do but go in, if we're going to get to Mr. Moron Mantis anytime within the next millennium, so off we go. The first thing that greets us is a handy little sign that says to go left if you're heading to Volcano Villude, and straight on if you're going to the Seventh Fort. For some reason it reminds me of a friend of mine with an aversion to the word "straight." He thinks it should be "gaily forward." So, Red Cloud goes gaily forward up the path into the Seventh Fort. This is sounding more and more like a gay porno flick all the time.

Once we get to the fort, we see that the evil Sandoran baddies have already done their worst. Red Cloud once again calls upon his own personal Jesus to save them and bravely runs into the fray with Sergeant Pepper and Rose. As expected, the baddies go down, then they lose. And then we get to do it all over again...and again. While we're pummeling the evildoers into submission, we get to hear Rose's first addition move, a little thing called "Whip Smack", said in a just-this-shy-of-passable VA voice. However, HG persists in calling it "Bitch Smack", so that's what it'll be from here on out. And it's only going to get worse, trust me.

Oh, my precious virtue!

Inside the fort is the remainder of the 10th Knighthood, each dying their own private deaths as the really sad "Tear Jerker Piano Solo" plays in the background. Red Cloud, the callous bastard, uses this time to relieve the soldiers of any precious goods they may have wished to bequeath to their loved ones. Way to ruin the moment, psycho boy. One of the soldiers gasping his last warns us to watch out for the Dragon's breath, and hands over a Wargod's Amulet. Thanks for the free armor, dude, but if the Dragon's breath is all that bad, you could've at least handed over your stash of Tic-Tacs to go with it. Let that be a lesson to us all -- always use a breath mint after eating, before the foul stench kills a battalion of soldiers. I know it's a lesson I'll take to heart.

With no one left to steal blind -- er, I mean comfort; Red Cloud leads the way out of the fort and back down the path towards Volcano Villude. In order to get across the marsh, we have to traverse a lovely set of branches and waterways, which just so happen to have treasure boxes placed in tricky locations to lure your dumb ass into yet another character building level fight. Now I like having good stats as much as any other gamer, but this is a little silly. Then again, this is a game doing a not-quite-competent ripoff of a Final Fantasy game, and we know how loony they get from time to time. In any case, after collecting all the goodies and getting back on dry land, it's time to head out of the Marshlands and go on to the fun, excitement and lung-scorching goodness awaiting us in the volcano.

Then again, maybe not. You see, just as we're all ready to head out, Shana falls to the ground screaming "Yeek!" forcing everyone to stop and see what the hell's wrong with her this time. Oh, she's twisted her ankle. Somebody hold me, I'm about to pass out from the shock. A female lead character who twists her ankle? Surely you jest, game designers. Shana tries to play it off and walk with everyone else, only to fall to the ground in a helpless female heap of uselessness. Goddamn it, just give her a branch and let her use that for support. It would probably make a better weapon than the bow, and Shana would get to say "Harpoon!" now that I've finally gotten to take that stupid addition off of Sergeant Pepper. However, this is the magical plot furthering, vomit inducing "romantic" time between Shana and Red Cloud, so instead of helping her to her feet and seeing if they could maybe get her to walk her sprain off, he picks her up for a piggyback ride. They have some lovely non-sensical conversation while the tinkly "Romantic Plot Point Theme in D" plays in the background. And no, I don't want to see a letter from some rabid fanboy telling me I got the musical key wrong. The fun part about making up names for things is that I can call them whatever the hell I want, and you can't stop me. Once Red Cloud manages to carry Shana over to Rose and Sergeant Pepper, she jumps off his back and runs up the pathway out of the Marshlands saying that her pain is gone. And that tells me the little bitch was faking the whole time. I strained my ankle back in January, and it still hurts. Either way, however, we're now going to leave the Marshland behind and find out just how long it takes for a human body to dissolve in melting hot magma. I'm just kidding. You'll only wish you had jumped into the Volcano Villude Lake 'o' Burning Death.

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