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 » Mon Mar 24, 2014 8:30 pm

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Oh damn shit just got real

Humphrey: Master Mathiu...
Viktor: What happened?
Liukan: Are you all right?
Flik: Sanchez! Damn you! What have you done? Why did you light the oil before receiving orders? Answer me, Sanchez!
Sanchez: I'm sorry, Master Flik. I have been deceiving you all this time.
Flik: What!
Sanchez: I have been in the employ of the Emperor since the War of Succession, 7 years ago.
Flik: Then you're the spy!
Sanchez: That is right. In the days of the War of Succession, His Majesty was a wonderful man. And like everyone else, I swore allegiance to him.
Flik: When the hideout was attacked and Odessa... Are you to blame for Odessa's death?!

At this point Flik has his head down and quakes with rage.

Sanchez: That was the result. I won't deny it. But my heart was in pain. Being with you people, I began to question myself. Who's right? What should I do? Ultimately, I chose to remain loyal to the Emperor. At my age, it's difficult to change one's way of life. I'm sorry about Lady Odessa...
Flik: Don't you dare mention her name. You haven't the right.
Sanchez: I understand.

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Sanchez: Yes, Master. I have no regrets. But please remember one thing. I like you. All of you. Master Flik, you are immature. But that immaturity, that honesty, was something I coveted. And I'm sure that is why Lady Odessa loved you...
Flik: Sanchez! Prepare to die!

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Liukan: Are you all right?
Mathiu: If you kill Sanchez now, and the troops find out that he was a spy, the morale of the Liberation Army will plummet. Administer the punishment later. Right now, we must prepare the Army and march to Gregminster.
Liukan: Don't be ridiculous, Master Mathiu. You're badly injured. If you move...
Mathiu: There is a thing called flow in this world. There is a thing called timing in warfare. If we lose this opportunity, we will never defeat the Empire! Commander Mute, you must decide.
Liukan: In any case, we'd better return to the castle.

In one of those circumstances that don't get addressed outside of the game engine, one little stab from a knife in Sanchez's liver-spotted hands is enough to mortally wound Mathiu, while everyone else has gotten blasted by magic, slashed by Sonya's naginata, and half-eaten by monsters... and they're no worse for wear. lol y didn't u just use a pheonix down on Aeris

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

Postby TA » Mon Mar 24, 2014 11:01 pm

Well, that's a reason you can't put Mathiu in your party. Dude's made of glass.

Seriously though I don't see where it says he stabbed him? It sounds more like he got badly burned, because they were still questioning why Sanchez fucked up with the oil, and not stabbing him for stabbing Mathiu.
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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Re: Not if it's bitter. Let's Play Suikoden!

Postby Thad » Tue Mar 25, 2014 1:10 am

nosimpleway wrote: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.


Fuck me.

I knew Kalekka was an atrocity committed by the Scarlet Moon Imperials, but I never got the detail that they inflicted it on their own people as a feint.

Major Suikoden 2 spoiler follows: So at what point does Leon join Highland? Is the entirety of 2 precipitated by Leon pulling the same trick, or does he just happen to join an army that had the same idea?

My recollection was that they brought him in after Jowston got Shu, but...one hell of a coincidence if so. Maybe Luca heard the story of Kalekka, repeated it, and then decided hey, maybe I should hire the guy who came up with that maneuver?



EDIT TO ADD: Another thought that's extremely pertinent to explore at this point in the game:

Now, when you meet Leon, he's in Kalekka. This would seem to indicate, rather strongly, that he has some serious regrets about what he did there. But he would, absolutely and without hesitation, do it again.

He feels the weight of those murders on his conscience -- and he does have one -- but he believes they were justified by the Greater Good. He believes those sacrifices were necessary to prevent more deaths.

Leon believes in sacrifice -- but not in his own. That's what separates him from his niece -- and, as we've just seen, his nephew as well.

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

Postby nosimpleway » Tue Mar 25, 2014 8:38 am

As I recall, Leon joins Highland when Jowy, already an imperial general, summons him to. Leon's general philosophy is to end any given war as quickly as possible, at whatever the cost might be. Except, as noted, perhaps his own hide.

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

Postby Thad » Thu Mar 27, 2014 12:48 am

And I'm not even sure that's cowardice. It's ego -- not entirely unjustified; he's Leon fucking Silverberg; empires are won and lost at his command. Losing a good tactician, by definition, puts your side at a tactical disadvantage. He doesn't consider himself expendable.

There is, of course, one case in which putting your strategist in harm's way CAN win the day, and Mathiu's found it: when you're at the turning point, when you've hit that moment where after this the strategist is no longer needed.

Because at this point the war's all over but the mopping up. The Scarlet Moon Empire has lost its generals and tacticians. It's down to a disgraced emperor hiding out in his castle, a handful of remaining loyalists -- and Windy and her forces. Which generally means Yuber and a bunch of monsters -- powerful, but not exactly reliable, and certainly not a force that's going to maintain an empire even if they manage to repel the Liberation Army.

Of course, Windy's plans have never been about controlling the Empire -- she wants the Soul Eater, and she's still in a position where she might get it. Because, after all, for all that this is a high-scale war, it's still a JRPG -- it was always going to come down to a small party making its way through the final dungeon to face the last boss.

None of which actually explains why Mathiu had to put himself in harm's way to ferret out the traitor, of course. But that's not really the point.

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

Postby Classic » Thu Mar 27, 2014 1:40 am

The problem and advantage of writing super-intelligent characters is that you can do a fair amount of hand-waving about the super-intelligent character's competence if the audience believes in your world and narrative. If you succeed, you get people debating what these characters meant or felt, or how their decisions subtly fill in details about the world. If you fail, people are just going to see Mary Sue plot holes.

Mathiu could be right that this was the best way to ferret out the lone (he's a genius, so he's figured that part out at least) traitor before he has the golden chance to undo McDohl,

Or it could be that Mathiu's been struggling through this war and doesn't want the next idealist to coax him out of retirement again and put him at risk for undoing this atonement.

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

Postby Mazian » Thu Mar 27, 2014 12:50 pm

I never thought that it was meant to be a deliberate risk - with all the three-lines-of-dialogue nobodies you've been recruiting all over the place, many of whom are sketchy characters in the first place, Mathiu might not have had any clue where the traitor was. If Mathiu was a perfect genius, you wouldn't have had those forced loss army battles against Milich's flower castle and Teo's Armored Cavalry. (insert more hand-waving about super-intelligent character's competence here)

Now, if he'd just been a little more genre savvy, Mathiu could have noticed the one sneaky hint that the game does provide: Sanchez doesn't appear on the Stars of Destiny tablet.

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

Postby Classic » Thu Mar 27, 2014 12:53 pm

I'd argue that one of the big failings of super-intelligence is that authors sometimes make it equivalent to prescience, which makes it unbelievable.

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

Postby Thad » Thu Mar 27, 2014 8:50 pm

Classic wrote:The problem and advantage of writing super-intelligent characters is that you can do a fair amount of hand-waving about the super-intelligent character's competence if the audience believes in your world and narrative.


I think it was Kurt Busiek who explained how you write characters smarter than you:

He said that to write Batman as World's Greatest Detective, you just make him immediately figure something out that would only dawn on you after hours or days of thinking about it.

Mazian wrote:I never thought that it was meant to be a deliberate risk - with all the three-lines-of-dialogue nobodies you've been recruiting all over the place, many of whom are sketchy characters in the first place, Mathiu might not have had any clue where the traitor was. If Mathiu was a perfect genius, you wouldn't have had those forced loss army battles against Milich's flower castle and Teo's Armored Cavalry. (insert more hand-waving about super-intelligent character's competence here)


But he leads up to it with ridiculously over-the-top foreshadowing about risks and the relative unimportance of anyone not named McDohl in this war, and then he comes along on a mission he doesn't really need to personally be there for.

If he's NOT meant to be intentionally putting his ass on the line, then it's just bad writing. Or, at best, bad translation.

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

Postby Grath » Thu Mar 27, 2014 9:18 pm

Thad wrote:He said that to write Batman as World's Greatest Detective, you just make him immediately figure something out that would only dawn on you after hours or days of thinking about it.


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

Postby nosimpleway » Fri Mar 28, 2014 12:34 am

Mazian wrote:many of whom are sketchy characters in the first place,


Out-of-universe, chalk it up to the story that served as the game's loose inspiration, the Water Margin. Both works had a collection of bandits, pirates, thieves, and other ne'er-do-wells in their midst. I don't know if Water Margin had a guy who's only good at cutting off heads, though.

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

Postby nosimpleway » Fri Mar 28, 2014 10:15 pm

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Now, where was I? Oh yes. In the basement.

Cleo: My name is Cleo, Lady Sonya.
Sonya: What are you doing here? You are a traitor.
Cleo: Lady Sonya. I was always by Master Teo's side. So I understand how you feel. I also know about your personal relationship.
Sonya: How dare you! Shut your mouth!

Please, like it's not obvious.

Cleo: Lady Sonya... Do you think Master Teo hates Master Mute?
Sonya: .........
Cleo: You are someone who may have become Master Mute's mother. And yet you hate Master Mute. I cannot bear the thought.
Sonya: But I can never discard my loyalty to the Empire and General Teo.
Cleo: The expression on Master Teo's face when he died... was very peaceful. He seemed happy to have seen how his son grew up. Please remember that.

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Mute: I want you to join us.
Sonya: Don't forget that I hate you. Do you still want me to join?

Look, I forgave the guy who genocided the elves and the guy who murdered my personal manservant. I've got a big stone tablet upstairs that says this is bigger than you or me, lady. Grab your naginata, we got shit to do.

Sonya: All right. I'll join you. But I won't help you fight. I'll stay by your side so I can watch you die.

Suit yourself!

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As Mazian pointed out, there is exactly one person in this castle whose name isn't on the tablet. The eagle-eyed player may have picked up that there's something up with Sanchez the whole time, but chances of picking up on that before the in-game reveal are practically nil.

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

Postby nosimpleway » Sat Mar 29, 2014 8:24 am

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Mathiu: Now is the time to gather our forces and attack Gregminster. Commander, please give me the order to march forward.
Liukan: Let me tell you something, as a doctor. I won't let Mathiu go to battle.
Mathiu: But I must. I have my responsibilities. I swore to my sister Odessa...
Mute: Let's wait and see what happens. We've got a boatload of Mega Medicine in the vault, we can patch you up in a jiffy.
Mathiu: Commander Mute, you have much to do. Why do you hesitate?
Mute: Let's wait and see what happens. After all, I've got a couple Flowing Runes around here, and several talented spellcasters. You'll be fine.
Mathiu: Commander Mute! If you miss this opportunity, you'll never defeat the Imperial Army! ......... Forgive me. I lost control. But please reconsider, Commander Mute.
Mute: Let's wait and see what happens. Hell, if you die, we just get Fukien up here to scold your corpse until you get up again. There's really no reason to push yourself like that.
Mathiu: I have said that I am prepared to sacrifice anything to win this war. And that sacrifice includes me.
Mute: Christ, you're impossible. Fine. March to the capital.
Mathiu: Thank you, Commander Mute. A force of 20,000 remains in the capital. They will be desperate and dangerous. Please assemble all the Liberation Army troops. We must raise their morale.

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Of course, there are only a few people you're guaranteed to pick up along the way, so it's actually a small meeting.

Music: Theme of the Advancing Army

Flik: The troops are assembled, Medical Officer.
Mathiu: Commander Mute, let us begin. Warriors of the Liberation Army! The time has come! The end is near for the cruel Imperial regime!
Lepant: Think of your friends. Think of your families. And fight for them!
Warren: The ground quakes with the anger of the people. Their cries echo in the heavens. Now is the time to for this to end.

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Music: Touching Theme
Any time Theme of the Advancing Army plays, you get about twenty or thirty seconds to enjoy it before the music switches to something else. Even when it's probably the best scene in the game for it to play, that scene lasts for fewer than a dozen text boxes.

Leknaat: My sister Windy is looking for vengeance against the entire world. Hundreds of years ago, my ancestors, the Clan of the Gate, were powerful people. But because of their power, they were massacred. Windy and I managed to escape, using the power of the Rune of the Gate. The Rune of the Gate is in fact two runes, the "front" and "back" runes, also called the "entrance" and "exit" runes. My sister carries the "front" rune, and I the "back." Their powers are connected.

Surprising no one, Leknaat has a true rune. The twist is that she has half of a true rune.

Cleo: Then it was Windy who tried to kill you.
Leknaat: To increase her power, Windy tried to take the "back" Rune of the Gate from me. That is why I isolated myself on Magician's Island, setting up defenses, and biding my time. Awaiting the appearance of someone like you, Mute.

The number of people who try to hide from Windy -- who we have all seen teleport around -- by living withing a stone's throw of her quarters at the palace is staggering. Well, okay, it's two, but still. Those two people should have known better.

Leknaat: Listen to me, everyone. You are all travelers, stars that wander freely across the skies. And you have all assembled in this single spot. Together you will be victorious.
Viktor: Hey, wait a minute, there, sis. You said there were 108 Stars here. But you're mistaken. We're missing one.
Pahn: .........
Cleo: .........Gremio.
Leknaat: .........Mute, I shall show you the power of my Rune of the Gate. Soldiers of the Liberation Army, quiet your minds, and remember your friend.

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Music: Main Theme, Guitar version

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Gremio: There's still some laundry left to do...and a new stew. Huh? What the...
Cleo: Gremio!
Pahn: Gremio!
Gremio: Cleo, Pahn... Y-Young M-Master... I...
Leknaat: Such is the combined power of the Rune of the Gate and the 108 Stars. But what you have just witnessed is possible only once.

Despite that Gremio's soul was consumed by Mute's rune, he's back and a fully-functional member of the party. Mute doesn't even lose the spell that Gremio's death gave him. Gremio is usable once more, but he hasn't changed or improved at all, so while he was a fairly-useful defender in the earlygame he's been outclassed by the likes of Humphrey and Kwanda since then. But enough game mechanics, Mute got his best friend and surrogate father figure back!

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

Postby nosimpleway » Sat Mar 29, 2014 8:32 am

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Mathiu: For our departed friends, and for the future, we must battle on. We must bring an end to this conflict. Under the banner of the Liberation Army, under our leader Commander Mute...

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Viktor: Victory!
Flik: Victory!
Humphrey: Victory!
Tai Ho: Victory!

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Yeah! We're psyched! Everybody's stoked! Let's go! LET'S DO THIS

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Oh. Crap.

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

Postby nosimpleway » Sat Mar 29, 2014 8:46 am

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Leknaat: Most of the 100,000 must be monsters that my sister Windy conjured up. I will return the monsters from whence they came. Rune of the Gate, return those monsters to the nether worlds!

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Kanaan: Sir Yuber! The monsters are...vanishing.
Yuber: What? It must be Lady Windy's sister. Don't worry, she will never be able to defeat Lady Windy's sorcery.

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Mute: The Soul Eater...
Leknaat: You mustn't. You must never use that rune.

what

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Joshua: Oh Dragon Rune, lend your inhuman power, the power that tears the sky apart, to this person.

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

Postby nosimpleway » Sat Mar 29, 2014 9:08 am

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Pff, hah! We've made it this far, there's no stopping us now! Somebody go tell Yuber that.

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...uh, good enough.

Okay, so we've got our whole army assembled! A quick rundown of everyone on our side, and what they contribute:
Charge units:
Knight's Party: Maximilian, Sancho, Qlon. Power 30.
Commander's Team: Gremio's back! Mute, Gremio, Pahn. Power 26.
Lepant Family: Lepant, Eileen, Sheena. Power 26.
Old Soldiers: Kai, Liukan, Fukien. Power 24.
Humphrey's Team: Humphrey, Alen, Grenseal. Power 24.
Wild Geese: Kreutz, Morgan, Kirke. Power 24.
Viktor's Team: Viktor, Warren, Taggart. Power 23.
Pirates: Anji, Leonardo, Kanak. Power 23.
Former Imperial Team: Kasim Hazil, Griffith, Valeria. Power 22.
Invulnerable Defense: Kwanda Rosman, Eikei, Gaspar. Power 21.
Fellows: Blackman, Zen, Ivanov. Power 21.
Bandits: Varkas, Sydonia, Kessler. Power 21.
Fishermens: Tai Ho, Yam Koo, Kimberly. Charge 19.
Warrior's Village Kids: Flik, Tengaar, Hix. Power 17.
Good Buddies: Marie, Onil, Sansuke. Power 16.
Black Golds: Not "Black Smiths" for some reason. Maas, Meese, Moose. Power 15.
Secret Factory Team: Mose, Ronnie Bell, Sarah. Power 14.
Carpenters: Gen, Kamandol, Tesla. Power 14.
Kobolds: Fu Su Lu, Kuromimi, Gon. Power 13.
Tricksters: Juppo, Jabba, Meg. Power 6.

Bow units:
Forest Protectors: Kirkis, Sylvina, Stallion. Power 21.
Soldier Beauties: Sonya, Cleo, Camille. Power 20.
Experts: Clive, Pesmerga, Mace. Power 19.
Adventurers: Lorelai, Quincy, Mina. Power 17.
Cooks: Antonio, Lester, Rock. Power 14.
Engineers: Sergei, Hugo, Templeton. Power 12.
Archers: Rubi, Georges, Marco. Power 8.

Magic units:
Children of the Runes: Crowley, Luc, Lotte. Power 25.
Magicians: Jeane, Hellion, Viki. Power 20.
Narcists: Milich Oppenheimer, Vincent de Boule, Esmeralda. Power 18.
Musicians: Kasios, Melodye, Window. Power 14.

Special units:
Strategists: Mathiu Silverberg, Leon Silverberg, Apple. For the next few turns, the power of Charge attacks is increased.
Dragon Knights: Hits hard against enemy Charge or Magic attacks, but fails if the enemy uses Bows.
Merchants: Kun To, Chapman, Chandler. Takes away a couple thousand enemy troops and adds them to your own. Works best if the enemy has you at a major disadvantage, so it almost never works.
Ninjas: Kage, Kasumi, Fuma. Tells you whether the enemy will use charge, bow, or magic attack on their next turn.
Thieves: Krin, Ledon, Giovanni. Tries to determine the enemy's next attack, like a ninja. Failing that, tries to steal some money instead. Failing that, returns to the army as useless as we all know Krin really is.

Is that everyone accounted for? (Sanchez doesn't count, even though he's not present.)

The Imperial Army starts with 20,000 troops for this battle, slightly outnumbering my 18710.

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Here's what the Imperial army looks like by the time I'm out of ninja to spy on them.

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And here's how they look when I run out of thieves.

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What did you expect?

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

Postby nosimpleway » Sat Mar 29, 2014 9:20 am

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Hey, time for all our allies to show up and pretend they helped!

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Kasumi: Chief Hanzo! You survived!
Hanzo: Yes, but we had to keep it a secret. I'm sorry.
Kasumi: Oh, no...
Zorak: You have come far, Commander Mute. We of the Warriors' Village have come to give you a hand. It has been a wonderful war. It's been such a long time since we enjoyed such a big one. Our father, Clift the Crusader...
Viktor: Hey Mute, we don't have time to hear the old man's stories. Let's charge into Gregminster!

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Viktor: And under very different circumstances from the time we escaped. Now all we have to do is take Emperor Barbarosa's head. Let's do it, Mute!
Flik: Mute, I mean Commander, take me with you. I want to avenge Odessa's death with my own hands.
Mathiu: Please watch yourself, Commander Mute. Although the Imperial Army is defeated, the Emperor himself is a very powerful man...cough...cough!
Liukan: Master Mathiu! Don't strain yourself any further. You shouldn't be outside.
Mathiu: Mute, please fulfill... my sister Odessa's...dream.

So for the final battle, Viktor and Flik force their way into the party. I'll put voting for the other three party members up in a bit, but first...

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The enemies around Gregminster have gotten a major upgrade. I guess Leknaat didn't send all of them back to the interdimensional rift, or whatever.

Hey, is Gilgamesh around?

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There are some graves in Rockland that weren't very interesting up until now.

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But the "Homeless Woman's Last Words..."

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Clive: You're trying to deceive me again, woman. I swore I would find you, and I'll never give up until I do. So I can kill you with my own hands.

So there's that. And down in Lenankamp...

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Meg's parents asked me to let them know if I ever saw her, and I did. So I report in.

Meg's Mom: Well, well, it's Meg. And you're all right, I see. Say, who is this?
Meg's Dad: Wh-who is it!? Meg! It's not your husband, is it?
Meg: Who? You mean Mute? He's just a friend. He's Leader of the Liberation Army.

Leader-of-the-Liberation-Army-zoned again.

Meg's Dad: Friend!? What!? Did you say leader of the Liberation Army!?
Meg's Mom: So you're finally back, Meg.
Meg: Oh no, I plan to see a lot more of the world and learn all there is to know.
Meg's Dad: Meg, it's no use talking to you.
Meg's Mom: Good luck, Meg.

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

Postby nosimpleway » Sat Mar 29, 2014 9:50 am

Okay, so. I might do a little grinding with the local monsters in the meantime -- Simurgh birds around Gregminster drop Thunder runes, and I've got Flik right there -- voting is going up for the endgame party. Viktor and Flik are stuck on the front lines, so I only need one front-line character and two back-row troops. If polling is overwhelmingly in favor of back-row characters, Mute can stand on the front row and I'll take three of those.

Since we all saw what happens when I take mediocre characters into tough fights when the blacksmiths all got blasted by Shell Venus, I suppose I can get away with only listing high-tier characters in the poll, yes? There's only 30 poll options in this forum software, anyway.

Remember, Viktor is a straight-up high-Power swordfighter, and Flik is a sword-and-board fighter with decent enough Magic growth to gish.

Kwanda is one of the best front-line defenders in the game, with Humphrey just about as good as he is.
Kasim is a high-Power, high-Defense swordsman.
Alen is a swordsman with a Rage Rune.
Grenseal is largely redundant with Flik present.
Milich is another sword-and-spell gish.

Versatile Medium-ranged characters who can go front or back.
Mace has a surprisingly good stat spread for a blacksmith.
Gremio is largely outclassed by now, but I went through all that trouble to get him back, so...
Sonya can hit from the back row with her naginata and has usable Magic growth.

Cleo and Tengaar are largely interchangable back-row magicians.
Clive is a back-row crit machine.
Kirkis, Sylvina, and Stallion are about as good as Clive. Stallion has the ever-useful dash ability, and the elves can unite with each other to damage all enemies.
Kasumi, Kage, and Fuma are skilled shuriken-huckers, and Kage has moderate Magic growth so he can use a backup rune too. They can unite to kill stuff quickly.

I'm putting up party votes that automatically fill all three slots, while I'm at it. If one of those wins, the rest of the votes don't matter much. Otherwise, I'll be assembling the party using the individual votes as guidelines, with caveats based on weapon reach.

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

Postby Thad » Sat Mar 29, 2014 1:22 pm

I never caught those two endgame cutscenes before. Nice bit of foreshadowing that Clive's story's not over.

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

Postby Brentai » Sat Mar 29, 2014 1:38 pm

Knight's Party: Maximilian, Sancho, Qlon. Power 30.


This keeps bugging me, because Qlon has such a reputation for being pointless, but without Qlon you'd just have another 24 power group.

Anyway. How far behind is Pahn? I kind of want to see Gremio, Cleo and Pahn for the return to Gregminster.

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