Not if it's bitter. Let's Play Suikoden!

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nosimpleway
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Re: Not if it's bitter. Let's Play Suikoden!

Postby nosimpleway » Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:45 pm

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Barbarosa: Judging from your outfit, you must be a Dragon Knight.
Futch: Y-yes your highness. I-I'm Futch, Dragon Knight 9th Class.
Barbarosa: An apprentice. And what might you be doing here?
Futch: I-I came to g-get a black dragon orchid, your H-Highness. P-please let me go. I really need this orchid. To wake up the other dragons.
Barbarosa: Dragons? It must be Windy again. Young man, you must leave immediately.
Futch: Y-you'll let me g-go?
Barbarosa; Hurry, while I still feeling generous.
Futch: Y-yes, your Highness.

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yoink

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Futch proves himself smarter than 90% of the characters from Japanese media. He could hang around and chat with whoever it was who just showed up, but he already has what he needs.

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bweeeeeeeeeeee

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Unfortunately, the person who just showed up happens to be a powerful magician.

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nosimpleway
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Re: Not if it's bitter. Let's Play Suikoden!

Postby nosimpleway » Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:56 pm

Futch,

are you all right? Futch...

Wake up, Futch.


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Liukan: Ahem! It appears you're awake.
Futch: Huh? What??? Where am I? Where's the orchid?
Milia: Don't worry. When we found you unconsious in the forest, you had the black dragon orchid in your hand. We had a hard time prying it loose.
Futch: I see, then the dragons...
Liukan: Yes, I made the antidote from the three ingredients and gave them to the dragons. They should be awakening soon.
Futch: Thank god. ......... Dr. Liukan, what was the third ingredient?
Liukan: Harrumph! The th-third ingredient?
Futch: Is something the matter?
Joshua: ......... I'll tell you. The third ingredient was a dragon's liver. And it came from...
Futch: !!! N-not...my... Black...
Milia: I'm afraid that when we found him, Black was already dead.
Joshua: Hate me if you want, but we had no choice.
Futch: B-but... B-Black...

Music: An Old Irish Song

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Humphrey: Let's go to Joshua's quarters to draw up an alliance pact between the Liberation Army and the Dragon Knights. He should agree to help us now.
Flik: You're right. He hasn't committed to an alliance yet.

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Humphrey: Well then, Joshua.
Joshua: It looks like we'll be fighting together again, side by side. But against a different enemy this time. Commander Mute, the Dragon Knights will join you. To defeat the Empire.
Flik: Now we can finally return to Wrassle Castle. I can't stand the smell of dragons.
Joshua: Humphrey, I have a request.
Humphrey: Request?
Joshua: Come in, Futch.
Joshua: You know what this is about, Futch?
Futch: Yes, sir.
Joshua: A Dragon Knight who has lost his dragon must leave the Dragon's Den. Now that you have lost Black, I cannot keep you here.

Once you lose Black, you can never go back... home.

Futch: I understand, sir. Black probably died to save my life.
Milia: Futch, don't blame yourself.
Futch: I'm all right. I just want to believe that Black saved me.
Joshua: Humphrey, will you take Futch with you? I won't have to worry about him if he's with you.
Humphrey: ...I understand.
Futch: Thank you, sir.
Joshua: Commander Mute, when war breaks out, we'll rush to your aid.
Milia: Master Mute, Master Liukan wanted to return, so we are about to fly him home on a dragon. Would you and the rest of your men like a ride too?
Mute: Please.
Milia: Fine. I will be waiting out front with Thrash.
Joshua: Futch, take care. Someday you may be able to return.
Futch: Yes, sir.
Flik: Hey, don't look so depressed. I'll teach you how to use a sword.

Joshua joins as a technicality, but he doesn't fight in the party and doesn't show up in Wrassle Castle anywhere. Milia joins permanently. Futch comes along too -- he's a lancer like Milia, but being a kid, he's all Speed and Luck. Futch and Milia can Unite when they're in the party together.

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Thad
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Re: Not if it's bitter. Let's Play Suikoden!

Postby Thad » Fri Mar 21, 2014 2:03 am

nosimpleway wrote:Let's just ignore that this gameworld has no such thing as "Ireland".


How do you know? It's not like you get an airship and travel the world.

nosimpleway wrote:Ted lays it all down. I'm not sure if any game had done the "main character has one of the cosmic keystones, but doesn't realize it's willful, sentient, and malicious" thing before.


I don't remember seeing it before this. I've said before that Suikoden 1&2 are about the only games I've really felt for a silent protagonist. It's a combination of stuff like this -- the small, local, personal conflicts, and the sense that your heroes are pawns who would have much rather just been simple Regular Folks but got caught up in something much larger than themselves.

The message works a bit better when you're a peasant orphan than when you're the son of a general, but still.

nosimpleway wrote:Barbarosa: Dragons? It must be Windy again. Young man, you must leave immediately.
Futch: Y-you'll let me g-go?
Barbarosa; Hurry, while I still feeling generous.
Futch: Y-yes, your Highness.


I think this is as good a time as any to note the series' tendency to hit you with two big bads -- one who's totally, irredeemably, cartoonishly evil, and one who seems more like a basically decent person who's wound up fighting for the wrong side through simple happenstance -- or, more accurately, the manipulation of the True Runes.

Why is it that Tir and Barbarosa are on opposite sides? It's not as simple as good and evil -- hell, the Soul Eater is pretty fucking unambiguously evil. It's fate; it's the hand each of them was dealt. Please tell me the answer -- is fate unchangeable?

Not in this game. Maybe a little in the next two, but still not very much.

And then the ones after that are prequels, which tends to make fate EXTRA unchangeable.

nosimpleway wrote:Image


Am I correct in remembering that we see Black go down, as a speck in silhouette, here? (Is that him off to the right?)

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nosimpleway
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Re: Not if it's bitter. Let's Play Suikoden!

Postby nosimpleway » Fri Mar 21, 2014 8:47 am

It's not a speck in silhouette, he spins into a nosedive from the top of the screen. I just, uh, missed the screenshot.

The black flecks across the background are emulator graphical issues. They're really bad in parts of Neclord's castle.

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nosimpleway
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Re: Not if it's bitter. Let's Play Suikoden!

Postby nosimpleway » Fri Mar 21, 2014 9:58 pm

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Kasumi: Your instincts? Don't make me laugh. Thanks to your instincts, we almost got captured by the Imperials, remember?
Krin: Hee hee, I wasn't quite myself that time.
Flik: What's the problem here?
Krin: I'm saying that I have a hunch. He's a spy for sure. That's why he won't talk.
Kasumi: That doesn't necessarily mean he's a spy.
Flik: What's going on here!
Kasumi: Oh, er, welcome back Sir Flik, Master Mute.
Krin: Hee hee, how ladylike you try to be in front of Mute. But for you it's a lost cause.

Kasumi chases Krin offscreen, sadly without ever catching him and gutting him like a fish. Oh well.

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Humphrey: Uh huh.
Mathiu: .........? Did you manage to secure an alliance?
Flik: Don't worry, Medical Officer. It's just that Humphrey could be a little friendlier to others.
Humphrey: Uh huh.
Flik: By the way, who is this silent fellow here?
Mathiu: Kasumi and Krin captured him hanging around the castle. He refuses to say anything, so we were waiting for you to come back and decide what to do with him.

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Taggart: Thank goodness. Now I can complete my mission for Master Warren. I kept silent because I was under strict orders not to speak to anyone until I met you face to face. Kasim Hazil, who took over the northern defenses after Teo McDohl, has recently begun to apply extreme pressure on rebel factions.
Sanchez: He's looking for a comeback.
Taggart: My Master Warren is a famous man of wealth in the north, long respected even by the Imperials. But as a man of honor and generosity, he harbored many fugitives in his mansion. As a result his home was surrounded by Kasim Hazil and his troops. Master Warren and Sir Viktor, who just happened to have dropped by, fought hard against the Imperials, but they were eventually captured and taken prisoner. This is what Master Warren told me to tell you.

Viktor's hometown is (er, was...) in the City-States of Jowston, north of the Scarlet Moon Empire. Kasim's domain is in the northwest. So it's not unreasonable for Viktor to have stopped to rest in Warren's manor, if Warren's as well-known for his generosity as Taggart says.

Mathiu: Commander Mute. Viktor is one of our most powerful soldiers. Warren, despite his wealth, is an honorable man with a large following. We must go and rescue them.
Sanchez: At present Kasim Hazil's troops number more than 8,000.
Flik: And they're a trained army, whereas we're just a ragtag bunch.
Mathiu: Commander Mute, despite its name, the Liberation Army is not yet a unified army. To continue fighting in the future, we need to give the troops some proper military training.
Mute: I agree.
Mathiu: Let me make the necessary preparations. I suggest you retire now, Commander Mute. You have a busy day ahead.

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Mathiu: Commander Mute, it appears that a spy has infiltrated the Liberation Army. While you were away, I sent Kasumi and Krin on a reconnaissance mission into Imperial territory. According to their report, it appears that there is an intelligence leak somewhere in our army. So if you permit, Commander Mute, I'd like to over see the military training maneuvers tomorrow.
Mute: As you wish.
Mathiu: Thank you, sir. You must be tired, Commander Mute. I will leave you now. Commander Mute, the coming battles will become increasingly fierce. I am prepared to do anything to win, no matter what the sacrifice may be.

Well, that's... not very subtle foreshadowing, now is it?

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nosimpleway
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Re: Not if it's bitter. Let's Play Suikoden!

Postby nosimpleway » Fri Mar 21, 2014 10:03 pm

The next morning...

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Whoa, Pahn and Cleo are gettin' pretty cozy. (Or not, they just happened to bump into each other as they wander around their tiny, shared, bedless quarters.)

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Flik: What?! So suddenly?
Sanchez: I thought this was just a drill.
Mathiu: The Imperial Army will think so too. We mustn't miss this opportunity. We will attack the north immediately.
Humphrey: A surprise attack.
Flik: No wonder there was so much equipment for a drill.

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Soldier: They're suddenly attacking us.
Griffith: Yes, I know, I know... .........! Do you mean to say that our spy was mistaken? My god, what shall I do? How far have the Liberation Army advanced?
Soldier: They're right in front of our eyes!
Griffith: Hmmm, this is a serious problem. All right, you go report to General Kasim while I try to stall them.

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Re: Not if it's bitter. Let's Play Suikoden!

Postby nosimpleway » Fri Mar 21, 2014 10:31 pm

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Mathiu: Oh, excuse me. But I must say its pretty late for breakfast.
Griffith: It's not your business. In any case we're badly mismatched. We surrender.
Sanchez: If we can avoid bloodshed...
Griffith: Of course, but some soldiers may prefer not to surrender. So give me some time.
Mathiu: This is a ploy to stall us. We'd better attack at once. Give out the signal!
Griffith: Damn, we couldn't fool them. Troops, do the best you can, but don't waste your lives.

This battle is hardly a speedbump. We outnumber them five to one! But I give a rundown of the army makeup every time this happens, so...

Alen and Grenseal back up Humphrey's Team Charge group, power 24.
Fukien joins Kai and Liukan in the Old Soldiers Charge group. Hey, that's convenient, they have a Unite together! Power 24.
Kreutz heads up the Wild Geese Charge group with Morgan and Kirke. Power, yes, 24.
Zen joins fellow agronomist Blackman in the Fellows group, power 21.
Hix and Tengaar team up with Flik in the Warrior's Village Kids Charge group, power 17.
Quincy is with Lorelai and Mina in the Adventurers Bow group, power 17.
Pesmerga and Clive are the Experts Bow group.
Hugo joins Sergei and Templeton in the Engineers Bow group, power 12.
Marco joins Rubi and Georges in the Archers Bow group, power 8.
Crowley now leads the Children of the Runes Magic group, power 25.
Joshua, Milia, and Futch are the Special Dragon Knights group. If the enemy chooses Charge or Magic, dragons swoop in and blast them. If they choose Bow, they shoot the dragons down but do no damage to the rest of the army.
Leon joins Mathiu and Apple in the Strategists Special group.

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Anyway, speedbump.

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Mute: Recruit
Griffith: Join you? And betray the Imperial Army? Promise me one thing. Will you spare my troops?
Mathiu: Of course. I guarentee their lives.
Griffith: Then I'll agree to your proposition. Whether I'm fighting for the Imperials or the Liberation Army, it makes no difference to me, as long as I can eat.
Soldier: M-Master G-Griffith, we will follow you.
Griffith: What wonderful men you are! Thank you, everybody.

Griffith can join the party but I've never used him and Suikosource seems to be down so idk

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Mathiu: Sir Lepant, I'll give you a battalion to attack the Fortress of Duha.
Lepant: I understand.
Mathiu: Sir Humphrey, I'll assign another battalion to you. Take the Fortress of Rakan.
Humphrey: Uh huh.
Mathiu: As protector of the north, Kasim Hazil will be forced to send reinforcements to the respective fortresses. Meanwhile, we will sneak into Moravia Castle and rescue Warren and Viktor. This mission will be carried out by yours truly, Commander Mute, Kasumi, Krin, Griffith, and three others.

...Mathiu, Mute of course, Kasumi fine fine WHAT WHO

God

Mathiu

WHY??

Lepant: I don't mind being a decoy but what if the reinforcements attack us? We'll have no chance of winning.
Mathiu: If the Imperial troops arrive, retreat immediately.
Flik: Then we won't have time to sneak into Moravia Castle.
Mathiu: Don't worry. We too have asked for support.
Flik: Support? The Dragon Knights?
Mathiu: No, but they're still a dependable force. Those are the details of our plan. Please take action immediately. Commander Mute, please select the party that will break into Moravia Castle.

Humphrey and Flik are out, but Kasumi and Krin are in. Blacksmith Party is further delayed. Kasumi and Krin are long-range fighters, as are votewinners Clive and Tengaar, so rather than take a fifth long-range fighter I give the tiebreaker to Ronnie Bell instead of Stallion.

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Mathiu: Griffith, you're going to help us sneak into Moravia Castle.
Kasumi: What do you mean?
Mathiu: Griffith, I want you to pretend that you captured me. Commander Mute will enter the castle with us, disguised as one of your men.
Griffith: I see, a ruse, eh? I don't mind, but do you really trust me?
Mathiu: Think of the fate of your men should anything happen to me. It's true that I would make an excellent present for your former leader, but you are not a man who would betray your own men.
Griffith: Tsk. You see right through me, don't you. All right. I'm in.
Mathiu: Now that that's settled, let's hurry on to Moravia Castle, Commander Mute.

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Re: Not if it's bitter. Let's Play Suikoden!

Postby nosimpleway » Fri Mar 21, 2014 10:46 pm

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Before I run off to the next dungeon I've got to warp back to the castle for equipment and weapon sharpening and so on. I swing by the bath while I'm at it; as the castle grows, so too does the bathhouse.

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As you stay in the bath and soak, the characters get so toasty-warm they turn crimson.

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Anyway, with Ronnie's claws sharpened to level 15 and our runes all sorted out, I head on to Moravia just in time to witness Mathiu's decoy plan working.

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Griffith: It was hell. But they shouldn't have underestimated me. Look at who I have here. This is Mathiu, Military Strategist of the Liberation Army. I took him prisoner. Let me in. I'd like to report to General Kasim.

Military Strategist? Griffith gets points for being the only person who doesn't think Mathiu is a physician.

Door Guard: Yes, sir. I will inform him immediately. Please wait a minute.
Krin: Is this really going to work? If it doesn't, I'll escape by myself, hee hee.
Kasumi: What a thing to say, Krin. You'd leave Master Mute behind?
Krin: Hee hee, I dunno.

Well hey, you fat useless fuck, how about you not talk about our sneaky plan right in front of the door guard who's still standing right there listening to you?

Why the hell Krin was ever allowed anywhere near Wrassle Castle I'll never fucking know.

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Die

Die you son of a bitch

(Okay so Mute isn't actually using Soul Eater on Krin, but let's just say I don't waste a dose of medicine on reviving the little shit for the entire time I'm in this dungeon. I'll be honest, I planned on bringing Humphrey along for this part so he could use Krin as a blunt instrument for the entire dungeon, but I forgot Humphrey is off doing his own thing for plot reasons. Oh well.)

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The dungeon is boring so I'm skipping the recap of it.

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Viktor: You're late, Tir. I've been waiting forever for you to show up.
Krin: Hee hee, why don't you stay a little longer and cool off?
Viktor: What did you say! Who do you think you're talking to!
Krin: Hee hee, catch me if you can.
Kasumi: Master Tir, I've opened the lock.
Krin: Yikes! Whoaaa! I-I was just k-kidding.

An unknown force stays Viktor's hand. As is typical of video game characters, Viktor never got disarmed when he was thrown in prison, so maybe the Star Dragon Sword just considered Krin so far beneath him that he wasn't worth stabbing?

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Viktor: Didn't I tell you they'd come, Warren?
Warren: You certainly did.
Kasumi: We don't have much time. Let's hurry.

Warren joins as an average middle-ranged melee guy.

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Re: Not if it's bitter. Let's Play Suikoden!

Postby nosimpleway » Fri Mar 21, 2014 10:57 pm

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Kasim Hazil: Why did you leave the Imperial Army? Because of that incident?
Mathiu: That is one reason. But more because I dislike myself intensely when I am fighting.
Kasim Hazil: And yet you joined the Liberation Army. Strange man. Why don't you come back to us? I'd rather not execute you as a traitor.
Mathiu: You needn't worry about that.
Kasim Hazil: What do you mean?

A soldier runs in. Usually when something different happens onscreen I post a screenshot, but that's... really not necessary for this conversation, is it?

Soldier: G-General Kasim! W-we're surrounded by the Liberation Army!
Kasim Hazil: Ah, I see. Those attacks on the fortresses were a decoy. You're getting rusty, Mathiu. When the reinforcements return, the Liberation Army will be wiped out.
Mathiu: If they return, that is.
Kasim Hazil: What's that?

Another soldier!

Soldier: We have just received word that the troops sent out to protect the fortresses were ambushed by the Jowston Army.
Kasim Hazil: What! Why those... You did this, Mathiu!
Mathiu: That is correct. I sent Jowston a letter informing them of Imperial Army plans to invade their land. The City-State of Jowston is hungry for this Empire. It's quite easy to manipulate them.

Remember? General Teo was sent north to monitor the developing situation with the City-State of Jowston at the very beginning of the game. Unlike his inheriting the Emperor's sword, that detail actually became important later.

Kasim Hazil: Traitor! You dare sell out this land to the City-State!
Mathiu: I have no such ambitions. I merely manipulated them. In no way have I joined hands with Jowston. It is likely that the City-State will temporarily occupy this region. But the Liberation Army will permit no more than that.
Kasim Hazil: Damn you to hell, you conniving turncoat!

Lepant and Humphrey enter, too.

Lepant: Master Mathiu, are you all right? We've pretty much taken care of business outside.
Humphrey: ...yo.

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It's getting crowded in here.

Mathiu: General Kasim Hazil. Now it is my turn to make a request. Please surrender. The ideal Empire you once envisioned has changed beyond recognition. The Emperor himself, to whom you pledged loyalty, has changed too. Do you still plan to cling to the past?
Kasim Hazil: I still...

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Bam! Milich out of nowhere!

Milich: Think about it. Do you really think that the Emperor is the same man we once knew?
Kasim Hazil: I don't...
Milich: You know he isn't. You are one of the Emperor's loyal followers. Isn't it your duty, then, to try to convince him to mend his wrongful ways? The Five Great Generals were unable to prevent the Empire from deteriorating. Therefore the time has come to help the Emperor open his eyes. Do you not agree?
Kasim Hazil: ......... All right. I surrender.
Mathiu: I'm glad you understand, General Kasim. We must retreat immediately, Commander Mute. If we wait around too long, the City-State will attack us.
Viktor: What? Nothing for me to do? Shucks, I was looking forward to a good rumble.

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TA
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Re: Not if it's bitter. Let's Play Suikoden!

Postby TA » Sat Mar 22, 2014 2:12 am

I guess Kasim was considered so wholly unimportant up there that Windy never bothered to Black Rune him?
のほも is such a good word?? the concept is kind of hard to fully get across in translation, but basically it means a feeling of pure, deep, platonic affection, and i think thats beautiful

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nosimpleway
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Re: Not if it's bitter. Let's Play Suikoden!

Postby nosimpleway » Sat Mar 22, 2014 10:29 am

Of the five generals, only two got Black Runes.

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Re: Not if it's bitter. Let's Play Suikoden!

Postby François » Sat Mar 22, 2014 11:22 am

I would assume that the Emperor's sword thing is mostly there to emphasize that Mute isn't just the son of one of the Five Great Generals, but in fact the son of the Greatest General. Barbarosa probably doesn't give his sword to all his generals, unless he's the kind of doucher who does that. "Yeah you mean a lot to me, here's my sword. It's alright, I'll have another made as soon as you leave the room and probably give that one away as well. To, I dunno, Milich. He smells nice."

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Re: Not if it's bitter. Let's Play Suikoden!

Postby Thad » Sat Mar 22, 2014 3:25 pm

TA wrote:I guess Kasim was considered so wholly unimportant up there that Windy never bothered to Black Rune him?

nosimpleway wrote:Of the five generals, only two got Black Runes.


Right, Teo never got one either -- in his case it's quite clear that it was unnecessary because he was loyal to the Emperor to the death. It's never explicitly established why Kasim and Sonia don't get them -- it could be that Windy believes they're loyal too, or perhaps she doesn't have the opportunity, or perhaps she's only got so many Black Runes to go around. Or, as you say, maybe she doesn't think they're important enough.

I'm inclined to believe the "loyalty" reason in Sonia's case. I think if anyone but Teo's son were leading the revolution, she'd die before switching sides. She was in love with Teo.

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Re: Not if it's bitter. Let's Play Suikoden!

Postby nosimpleway » Mon Mar 24, 2014 6:55 pm

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Moravia Castle had the last bucket of paint to be found, so Ivanov can finish his mural. In Japan, this was the game's box art -- the hero McDohl up front, with required recruits for the story all around. In America, we... er...

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America got this. Is it any wonder the Suikoden series has sold poorly? I mean, who even is that?

(But R2!, you cry, because most of you still call me that, who is who?)

ANYBODY. I can assume Ming the Merciless up there is supposed to be Barbarosa, and maybe, maybe bodice-and-lightning is an alternate-universe Windy. Which may put antagonists on the left side, so the middle face is... Teo? If the antagonists are on the left, does that mean that's Teo's son on top-left, and... O... des... sa? beneath him? Why is there a warlock? Who's riding the dragon? Why didn't they even get the castle right?

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For collecting some paint Ivanov gives you the Binoculars, which lets you pan the camera around a little bit in battle scenes.

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Re: Not if it's bitter. Let's Play Suikoden!

Postby nosimpleway » Mon Mar 24, 2014 7:20 pm

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Sanchez: The Liberation Army is becoming comparable in force to the core of the Imperial Army, still remaining at the capital.
Viktor: Good. We are ready. What target do we attack next? The capital, no doubt.
Mathiu: To get to the capital, we must get past the Fortress of Kwaba, commanded by Ain Gide, or over the water past General Sonya Shulen's Floating Fortress of Shasarazade.
Lepant: I say via the Fortress of Kwaba. We can't prepare enough boats to attack Shasarazade.
Mathiu: That is exactly what the enemy will think. Don't worry about the boats. I will have 500 of them prepared by tomorrow.
Lepant: 500 boats!
Mute: All right. Let's get to work.
Mathiu: Thank you, sir. I swear I will keep my promise. Please look forward to tomorrow.
Viktor: It's going to be a big fight tomorrow. Better retire early tonight.

Music: Theme of a Moonlit Night
In what briefly became a series tradition, one of the last major battles of the game is preceded by some character development all around the army's home base, set to Theme of a Moonlit Night. In games after this one, the Theme is reserved specifically for this purpose.

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Mathiu: Yes, Sir Humphrey.
Humphrey: I heard that you were once in the Imperial Army. And that the Kalekka Incident was the reason you left.
Mathiu: That is true. I was unable to prevent that tragedy. In the middle of the war, I discovered my own powerlessness, and left the Imperial forces. I was hoping to lead a quiet life, never to see war again.
Humphrey: I was one of the soldiers who attacked Kalekka. I have never been able to forget that incident. In my fury I attacked my own commander, and became a fugitive. That was the first time I attacked someone out of pure hatred. And I hope... that it was the last time.
Mathiu: Humphrey, this is no time to be distressed. We have a job to do. Once the war is over...

The Kalekka incident battle during the War of Succession, where the citizenry of the Scarlet Moon Empire were whipped into a frenzy by Jowstone troops torching the town of Kalekka. Only it wasn't Jowstone troops really -- Kalekka was burned in a false-flag operation by Imperial soldiers.

And why does Mathiu distrust ol' uncle Leon? Because the whole thing was Leon's idea.

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Kamandol: What are you doing yourself, novice? I told you not to enter my room without permission.
Gen: Geezer. You might drop dead tomorrow, so I came to see your face. Thanks to Master Mathiu's crazy scheme, I've got to work all night. I just took a little break to come see you, and...
Kamandol: Ho ho! Then I shall brew my finest tea.

Aww, they really do like each other.

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Pahn: Yes.
Cleo: It looks like Young Master has become a very important person.
Pahn: True.
Cleo: I kind of miss him.
Pahn: I miss him a lot.

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Tai Ho: Huh? Oh, I was just thinking about tomorrow.
Kimberly: That's not like you at all. Let's have a good time tonight. Just the two of us. Until sunrise.
Tai Ho: Just the two of us? Seems like there's three.
Yam Koo: That's true, Big Brother. The three of us.
Kimberly: (Damn. Inconsiderate fellow)
Yam Koo: (Big Brother has a weakness for the ladies. Better stay here and protect him)

Tai Ho is cockblocked for his own good. Kimberly's a man-eater.

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Hix: Huh? Did you say something, Tengaar? Have some of this fish. It's delicious.
Tengaar: Oh, why are you always like that?
Hix: What? Why do you look so angry?
Tengaar: I'm not angry!

B-b-baka!

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Flik: Oh, nothing. Just thinking.
Sanchez: About... Lady Odessa?
Flik: .........
Sanchez: We have an early morning tomorrow. Better get back to bed. If you can't sleep, I have some good tea.
Flik: Thanks, Sanchez.

Tea? ...Tea? Did you say tea?

Well, it does help you sleep...

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Krin: Wow... treasure... Too much to carry... Hee hee hee hee hee...

Why does the game insist on trying to make anyone give a shit about Krin?

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Fukien: We can. We can, but...
Liukan: But?
Fukien: Many young lives will be lost. The thought pains me.
Liukan: Me too. We old ones are prepared, but... It hurts to see young ones die.

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Viktor: Were you asleep? Amazing how you can sleep before a big battle. Just like a true leader. I have something to give you, Mute. Take it.

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Viktor: This was Gremio's hatchet. I brought it back from Soniere Prison. I kept it hidden away until now. I thought it would only sadden you more. But I may lose my life tomorrow, so I thought I'd give it to you tonight. Mute, it will be a big battle tomorrow. May lives will be lost. But you must go on. For all the soldiers who believe in a better future. For Gremio. Right? I'm going back to my room now.

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nosimpleway
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Re: Not if it's bitter. Let's Play Suikoden!

Postby nosimpleway » Mon Mar 24, 2014 7:30 pm

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Milia: No kidding. Using my Thrash for something like this.
Kamandol: Commander Mute, please take a look at this. It's made out of ice. They froze it by using a dragon's breath.
Tai Ho: Incredible. It's floating all right, and pretty sturdy, too.

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My orders are to hold the fuck on 'cause I got shit to do.

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Remember when we hit Moravia prison, and Vincent was in the jail cell with Viktor and Warren? Well, the damn fool doesn't have the initiative to come back out unless you drag him out yourself. He's also forgotten how to spell his own name.

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From Moravia, walk south through the checkpoint where we got Griffith, and...

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Max and Sancho join up, too. Max is a retired knight (of the Order of Maximillian, so it's not clear if he's the founder of the order or if he's referred to by title or rank rather than his own name), and Sancho is his squire. There's a vague Don Quixote vibe here, but Max isn't overtly delusional, just glory-starved.

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As Thad keeps saying, if you wanna recruit Mace the Blacksmith, you have a very short gap to do it in.

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At Moravia you've got Kasumi and Krin forced into the party, and after the next dungeon there are two more forced in until the end of the game. Since Mace demands to see all four of his apprentices at once, you have to recruit him before finishing the scenario at Shasarazade.

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There's not a lot of improvement to be done over Moose's work. Mace is the only blacksmith in the game who can improve weapons to level 16, though. Which is his own personal downfall -- if he's in the party, he disappears from the forge inside Wrassle Castle, so you can't talk to him. And if he's not in the party, he's not available to have his weapon sharpened. Mace can't get his own hammer any better than level 15.

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nosimpleway
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Re: Not if it's bitter. Let's Play Suikoden!

Postby nosimpleway » Mon Mar 24, 2014 8:01 pm

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Tai Ho: Hey, you're pretty cute.
Sonya: H-how dare you, you impertinent scoundrel! I'll lop off your head!

It's not often we actually outnumber the Imperials!
Max and Sancho head up the Knights Party and give it an appropriate theme at last. Qlon alone is power 6, but the three together is charge power 30, the strongest unit in the game!
Warren and Taggart join Viktor's Team, for a total charge power of 23.
Kasim and Griffith join Valeria in the Former Imperials unit, adequately explaining why Kwanda, Milich, Alen, and Grenseal are all elsewhere. They're charge power 22.
Mace rounds out the Experts group. Why is a bow group populated by a gunner, a knight-errant swordsman, and a master blacksmith? Anybody's guess, but they're power 19.
Vincent is now a spellcaster with the Narcissists party, which I just now realized is spelled "Narcists" in-game. Anyway, they're magic power 18.
Did I mention where Fuma went at any point? He's in the Ninja specials group. No surprises there.

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It's a pretty standard battle from here on out.

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It does last a while, though, on account of both armies being pretty huge. I end up using some units that don't get to lead the charge very often.

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There's also that time I chose to use the Dragon Knights group instead of the Thieves group to go spy on the enemy. Turns out they were using a bow attack! Oopsie.

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It's a longer-than-usual battle, but we still win without losing a single soldier. (The dragons are wounded but survive, they'll be back in the next army battle.)

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nosimpleway
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Re: Not if it's bitter. Let's Play Suikoden!

Postby nosimpleway » Mon Mar 24, 2014 8:10 pm

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Mathiu: Commander Mute, we will burn this fortress down with oil. To do so, you must go and close the floodgate at the far end of this fortress. As soon as it's closed, we'll pour the oil and set the fortress on fire.
Viktor: At the far end of the fortress?
Mathiu: Yes. Kasumi has already scouted the area. Please choose your men.
Viktor: Mute, let's get going.
Flik: Mute, Humphrey and I are going to pursue the survivors!
Liukan: My hands are full with the injured.

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A blacksmith's party at last! I'm not entirely sure why Mose can wear better helmets than the rest.

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Dungeon, dungeon, dungeon. Ho hum.

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Wow, Sonya's got an amazing-looking clam.

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The Shell Venus is kind of tough!

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Mace can participate in the Blacksmith Attack, too, and do a better job of it since he's enough stronger than Maas to make up for his weapon not being quite as sharp.

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Four blacksmiths, with their weapons at the highest level possible, hitting with a 3.5 damage multiplier... can do more damage than any other single attack in the game.

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BZAP

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So hey, here's the reason that I haven't been putting Sergei and Sansuke and other shit-tier recruits in the polls. Trying to use awful characters in the party isn't hardmode, it's certain death. In this case, blacksmiths have dickall for magic defense, so one blast from Shell Venus KOs over half the party. Mute can't carry a Resurrection rune and Viktor sucks at magic too much to get a revival spell.

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The rest of the battle sees Mute and Viktor alternate between hitting the Shell Venus and treating their wounds with Mega Medicine. It's a good thing I frontloaded all that damage with the blacksmiths, because a battle of attrition wouldn't have ended well if it had gone on much longer.

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But we win at long last, and Viktor hops up onto the sluice gate to close it. I revive my blacksmiths, and we're all on our way.

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nosimpleway
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Re: Not if it's bitter. Let's Play Suikoden!

Postby nosimpleway » Mon Mar 24, 2014 8:14 pm

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Near the entrance, Sonya sneaks up behind us.

Viktor: Hey, you're that Imperial leader!
Sonya: Yes, I am the last of the Five Great Imperial Generals. I want to ask you, Mute. Why did you betray the Empire? Why did you betray your own father, Teo? Inciting rebellion, causing war, taking lives... is this what you call justice?

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Roiling flames explode down the waterway...

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Sonya: The all-consuming flame... is this your answer? Is this what you want? You raised your sword against Teo. You will pay. Now. With your life!

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nosimpleway
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Re: Not if it's bitter. Let's Play Suikoden!

Postby nosimpleway » Mon Mar 24, 2014 8:21 pm

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Another reason the Shell Venus is a tough fight is because there's a second boss fight before you leave the dungeon. You're better off saving a bit of firepower -- such as Mute's fourth-level spells -- to defeat Sonya.

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Judgement is the most powerful spell in the game, and it still does damage well shy of what the Blacksmith Attack is capable of.

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BZAP

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Yeah, getting some magicians into this party would be nice.

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Bang bang! All the blacksmith's hammers -- platinum, iron, copper, and tin, but not silver -- come down on her head. Bang bang! All the blacksmith's hammers make sure she is dead.

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Well, incapacitated at 0 HP.

Sonya: But I will not let you defile me. I am the Empire's... His Highness's... Teo's...
Sonya : Stop it, what are you doing?
Viktor: Can't let a pretty lady like you die. Besides, you seem to have your reasons. Mute, we'll take this woman general with us.

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