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

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

Postby TA » Sat Mar 29, 2014 4:05 pm

Cleo's an A-list choice no matter what, and the soulless husk of Gremio really ought to be there, since you went to all the effort to scrape him back up.
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 29, 2014 5:19 pm

He's five or six battles on the world map behind, same as anyone else I've ignored for the entire game.

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

Postby nosimpleway » Sat Mar 29, 2014 5:22 pm

Brent has a valid idea, so "starter party" has been added to the poll as an option.

Which reset all the votes so far. Huh. Well, the leader at the time was Sonya with two votes, so it's not like a whole lot of progress was lost.

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

Postby TA » Sat Mar 29, 2014 5:52 pm

Hey, I like Flik. He's cool. Especially with Viktor.

There's a lot of great things in the sequel but them two is one of the best. They're basically an old married couple.
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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François
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Re: Not if it's bitter. Let's Play Suikoden!

Postby François » Sat Mar 29, 2014 7:19 pm

I voted for the former generals because I like the idea of "im in ur base with ur dudes killin ur other dudes".

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

Postby Thad » Sun Mar 30, 2014 1:56 am

TA wrote:Hey, I like Flik. He's cool. Especially with Viktor.


I don't think the poll's casting aspersions on him, just noting that he doesn't fit the theme of "everybody who was there in the beginning". But then, it's not like you can put Ted in.

TA wrote:There's a lot of great things in the sequel but them two is one of the best. They're basically an old married couple.


I would play an entire series of games about Viktor and Flik's adventures.

Well, provided they were better games than Suikoden 4.

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

Postby McDohl » Sun Mar 30, 2014 11:51 am

Write-in vote for Kuromimi and Gon.

Hooray!

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

Postby Grath » Sun Mar 30, 2014 1:09 pm

Write-in votes for Sergei, Luc, and Krin.

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

Postby nosimpleway » Thu Apr 03, 2014 7:56 pm

I wanted to do a video tour of the fully-developed castle, but my ancient sound card doesn't even have the capability of recording output automatically. I have to put a microphone in front of one of my PC speakers to get sound, so it comes out tinny and low-quality. Compare with the unimaginable strain on my computer from running both an emulator and a recorder at the same time and the video just isn't worth posting. Oh well.

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In the closest I think any poll has ever gotten to a unanimous result, Brentai's suggestion pulls into a strong lead. We're wrapping this up the way it started: with Mute, Viktor, Cleo, Pahn, and Gremio. And Flik, but Ted's not around anymore.

Music: Echoes of the Changing Past

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Gregminster's gone sepia-toned and is largely abandoned, with most homes and businesses (including McDohl manor) locked up tight.

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Poking around enough shows that the armorer and item store are still open.

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The armorer sells some proper endgame gear, too. No one has the ability to wear really heavy armor so the full plate on sale is kind of useless, only Flik carries a shield so I only need one of those, Pahn has some better martial-arts gear than the Master Robe that I found in Moravia... um... hey, Silver Hat! That's helpful. Everyone gets a Silver Hat.

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The bridge to the palace is blocked.

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

Postby nosimpleway » Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:02 pm

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Doin' pretty good. In charge of an army now, you see.

Viktor: You're... I remember now. You're the one who let us go when we were disguised at the Fortress of Kwaba...
Ain Gide: Yes, and I believe your name was Schtolteheim Reinbach III.

Hell of a memory, this guy.

Viktor: What do you want? Please let us pass.
Ain Gide: I can't. I am an Imperial General.
Viktor: The Imperial Army is virtually finished! Please let us through. I owe you one, and would hate to harm you.
Ain Gide: Even if the Imperial Army is defeated, I cannot betray Emperor Barbarosa. If I, Ain Gide, betray him, who will he have left? Master Mute, if you insist on going any farther, you will have to do so over my dead body!

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He's a fine general. Perhaps not a Great General, but a noble soldier willing to put his life on the line for his morals and duty.

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...not much of a boss fight, though.

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Viktor: Yes, he was wrong. But just as some things can be right and useless at the same time, can't something be wrong... and priceless?

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On to the palace.

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

Postby nosimpleway » Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:08 pm

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Even if I had bought a Full Armor for someone, it's obsoleted by this, the best armor in the game. Shame no one in the party can wear it.

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It's hard to get screencaps of it every time it happens, but every side room and passage in the palace has a group of elite Imperial soldiers, the Emperor's final guard, waiting to pop out and engage the party. The first set was waiting in Kraze's old office.

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There are random encounters, too, but the rate's set pretty low. There are enough scripted encounters, after all.

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Ah, this room takes me back. Back to the beginning, really.

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The path leads through the throne room, to a door we hadn't been able to reach before.

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The offices and closets give the Imperials plenty of places to ambush the party.

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Plenty of places.

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Plenty of places.

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Plenty of places.

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No shortage of places.

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Nonetheless, they eventually give up the idea of springing out of side passages and just wait in the corridors.

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It's a popular strategy.

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You can tell this screenshot is a different ambush than the last one, because there's a suit of decorative armor in the background.

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Am I really starting to drive home how tedious the final dungeon is?

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

Postby nosimpleway » Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:13 pm

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The Power Ring does what you'd expect, but the real treasure in this room is the save point. If you want to transfer your save data over to Suikoden II to reap those benefits in the next game, it has to be a savegame from this spot.

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At last, a change of scenery. Those straight hallways were so boring I thought I was playing Final Fantasy XIII or something.

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Hey, a black dragon orchid.

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np

Barbarosa: Look at this garden... a beautiful place full of flowers in bloom. This is the end. It is all that remains of my Empire. Mute, I shall protect my Empire. With my own hands!

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Pff, so you switch us to a battle scene -- like I didn't think there was gonna be a last boss! -- and put a big sigil on the floor. Big whoopty doo.

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HOLY CRAP

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

Postby nosimpleway » Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:22 pm

Music: Ultimate Enemy
You might think the Golden Hydra deserves a unique battle theme! It doesn't. This is the same music that played for every boss in the game, from Gigantes to Dragon to Shell Venus. But this one's plot-relevant! Doesn't matter.

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Despite its three heads offering three targets, the Golden Hydra only attacks once per round. Its attacks are powerful, yes, but nothing overwhelming even considering how crappy Pahn and Gremio are at magic defense.

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Mute and Flik bring out the big guns with their runes.

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Pahn and Gremio team up with their Talisman Attack unite.

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The Golden Hydra responds in kind, with its own attack that unites all three heads together. It's the hardest hit the Hydra has.

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Each head has 10000 HP, more than any other enemy in the game. But with Cleo providing healing with her Flowing Rune -- did I mention I swapped out Cleo's Fire rune for Flowing for just this purpose? -- the Hydra loses a war of attrition.

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On to the next target.

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Aw, bastard! I can never remember which head it is that has the healing powers.

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Turns out it's the one on the party's left, not the Hydra's left.

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

Postby nosimpleway » Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:28 pm

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With the last head revived, the Hydra can use its superlaser attack again.

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But I have a trick up my own sleeve! Flik blasts the Hydra with his most powerful Thunder magic, while Cleo brings out the top healing spell from the Flowing rune. The two spells combine into one superpowered hit that fully revives and restores the entire party. I sure hope that's good enough, though, because Flik only has the spell power to contribute to that kind of thing once.

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The problem with the Lightning/Water magic unite is that it's the only magic unite that hits only one target, and it's hard to aim. I chose to hit the left head with Flik's Thunder magic, but the unite spell hit the rightmost head instead. Thankfully, everyone else managed to wear the left head down enough that it died in the same turn, saving me from having to deal with another resurrection.

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Viktor's fighting style is the most boring -- no magic, no unites -- but he's got a huge sword-arm and a big damn talking sword and a Killer rune. His critical hits do as much as the Talisman Attack or Flik's Thunder magic anyway.

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Just as the rest of the game has some good core ideas that lack polish, once you deal with the last boss's revive gimmick, the rest is pretty easy. Granted, Cleo's nigh-unlimited whole-party healing magic was a major contributor there.

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

Postby nosimpleway » Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:34 pm

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Barbarosa: Kasim...
Kasim: You've changed, Your Highness. Why? We believed in you.
Barbarosa: Kasim, I've missed you. And I miss those days we fought together.
Kasim: You were deceived by that woman. By Windy.

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Speaking of.

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Windy: And you call yourself the Golden Emperor. For shame.
Kasim: How dare you insult His Highness!
Windy: Don't be silly.

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bzzzap

There's no animation to Windy's spell, just a flash.

Kasim: Y-Your Highness...
Windy: Ha ha ha ha ha! Now it's your turn, Mute. This Empire is dead. But I'll still take your Soul Eater! Give it to me!

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

Postby nosimpleway » Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:47 pm

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You might think it's because of the plot point brought up in Suikoden 3 that any given individual can only bear one True Rune at a time. But with that development came the retcon that Windy, through her own sorcerous talent, is the only person in the entire world who can. So had she found two True Runes that could stand to be stuck to her, her goal would be achieved.

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I don't know if it's explicitly explained in any of the side materials why the Soul Eater wants nothing to do with Windy.

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My theory is that the Rune of Life and Death is powered by consuming the souls of people the bearer cares about, and Windy is a wrathful husk of a woman who's been through such emotional trauma that she can't form relationships like normal people. Since there's no one she cares for, the Soul Eater would have nothing to consume, so it rejects her outright.

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Windy: What are you doing?! I'll destroy you with my magic.
Barbarosa: It's no use, Windy. The rune on my Dragon King Sword, the Sovereign Rune, is protected against any form of magic. Even the Rune of the Gate.

Yes, Barbarosa himself bears a true rune. The powers of the Sovereign Rune aren't ever really elaborated upon, other than the immune-to-magic thing mentioned here (that itself doesn't apply to the Sovereign Rune Incarnation, the Golden Hydra, considering how Flik's just about out of spells). So between the Soul Eater, the Gate Rune, the Sovereign Rune, Joshua's Dragon Rune, the Night Rune Viktor's using as a weapon, Luc's True Wind Rune, and Yuber's Eightfold Rune, there's a lot of damn True Runes involved in this war. Nine of 27, a full third. Of the eighteen that are ever specifically mentioned in the series, half of them show up in the very first game.

Windy: But with the Black Rune... you were...
Barbarosa: I lied.

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Barbarosa: I loved you.
Windy: Liar. You loved my resemblance to Claudia!
Barbarosa: That's not true. I wanted to erase the sadness that lies hidden deep in your eyes. The sadness of one who cannot accept others. I loved you. But that was a mistake. It was my only mistake. But it cannot be forgiven.
Windy: Please... please stop it, Barbarosa.
Barbarosa: As a result of my mistake, I lost my Empire. Mute, what kind of land will you create in its stead?
Sonya: Emperor Barbarosa!
Milich: Emperor...
Kwanda: Your Highness!
Barbarosa: Farewell!

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Barbarosa leaps from the balcony of his Floating Garden, presumably to his death. Windy and Barbarosa are never seen again in the series, but the Sovereign Rune and Windy's half of the Gate Rune are never mentioned to have found new hosts, either. You'd expect if Windy dies that the Gate Rune would work its way back to Leknaat to make itself whole again, right?

You also don't get to dole out the asskicking Windy so deserves for brainwashing people, summoning monsters, and being indirectly responsible for the death of Gremio. Oh well!

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

Postby nosimpleway » Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:59 pm

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Flik: And the end of the Empire.

The screen starts to quake. Somehow despite being outside, under the open sky, in a garden raised far above the ground, the Golden Hydra was still a load-bearing boss. Maybe Windy really splattered when she hit the ground, and her visceral shrapnel damaged the palace foundation.

Viktor: I don't think this palace will hold for much longer. We'd better escape.

Yeah, yeah.

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So in the early game the Imperial soldiers are all corrupt, bribeable bully hicks. Now they're my-country-for-good-or-ill supersoldiers willing to die for the cause. I guess the Liberation Army steamrolling each city-state one by one took out a lot of the Imperial chaff.

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Mute: Don't be ridiculous, Viktor.

"Killing these guys takes thirty seconds, tops."

Viktor: Mute, this country still needs you. But me? Once the war is over, I'm useless. Don't worry. I'll be right behind you. Flik! Take care of Mute!
Flik: Let's go, Leader. Let him do what he wants.

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Flik dives in front of an arrow fired from offscreen.

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Flik: Mute, you were chosen by Odessa to rebuild this country. I can't let you get killed here, or else Odessa will be furious when I see her again, up there. Go, Mute, and fulfill... Odessa's dream. Hurry!
Mute: I can't leave you here.
Flik: I'll be all right. Viktor and I will join you later.
Mute: I can't leave you here.
Flik: Hurry up and go, or I'll kill myself right here!
Mute: I can't leave you here.
Flk: Go, Mute! Don't disappoint Odessa.
Mute: Stay alive, Flik.
Flik: It's a bit too early to see Odessa again. Our reunion can wait until I become a better man.

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Viktor joins Flik for a last stand, but between the two of them and the Mega Medicine I know they're carrying, I bet they'll be fine.

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

Postby nosimpleway » Thu Apr 03, 2014 9:05 pm

Music: Victory March

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After Viktor and Flik nobly and senselessly sacrifice themselves to get Mute to escape a collapsing palace that doesn't actually collapse, the scene goes outside where the required recruits are celebrating the Liberation Army victory.

Lepant: The Empire is destroyed.
Kirkis: We did it, we did it, Sylvina.
Sylvina: Kirkis!
Cleo: It has ended at last, Master Mute.
Pahn: Our Empire has been destroyed.
Hix: L-look, Tengaar! We won! We defeated the Empire!
Tengaar: Ouch! Ouch! Don't pull me like that!
Hix: Oh, s-sorry.
Futch: Black is avenged...I guess.
Humphrey: ...it's over.
Gen: Hey, old man! Aren't you lucky you got to see all this before kicking the bucket!
Kamandol: Stop calling me "old man"!

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Mathiu: I see. Master Liukan, I despise war. I always felt that to take a life of another, for whatever reason, was wrong. And yet I became a military strategist, and took many lives. Did I do the right thing? Perhaps I should have remained in that village, fishing in my idle moments, until my death.
Liukan: Master Mathiu... the answer to that...

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

Postby nosimpleway » Thu Apr 03, 2014 9:34 pm

Music: Aventuneiro Antes Lance Mao

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Each of the 108 stars recruited pop up with the results of how they lived after the end of the war. The frames to these textboxes are oddly glitched and look awful, so I suppose I'll type them up instead of posting images.

Luc: Disappears with Leknaat.
Humphrey: Leaves Toran Republic with Futch.
Kasim: Become the Commander-in-Chief and protect the border.

Oh yeah, and this is grade-A video-game-translation-from-the-90s grammar here. I'm leaving it intact.

Kwanda: Become Commander-in-Chief of the Republican Army.
Pesmerga: Still in search of Yuber, he leaves the country.
Gremio: Follows Mute.
Warren: Become the 1st Chairman of Toran Republic's Congress.
Kun To: Wields power as head of the Merchant's Guild. Legally changes his name to Kun Tze to avoid people's jokes.
Cleo: Tired of fighting, continues to protect Teo's mansion.
Viktor: Missing in action in the final battle.
Valeria: Becomes a Platoon Commander and mediator with the Elves.
Griffith: Begins a business.
Clive: By the time the war was over he was gone.
Flik: Disappears during the final battle.
Camille: Becomes the lancing instructor of the Republican Army.
Kreutz: Leaves the country.
Stallion: Departs to become the fastest man in the world.
Kage: Saying his contract was up, he disappears.
Fu Su Lu: Was in Kobold for a while, then set off on a journey.
Kirkis: Works for rebuilding the Village of the Elves.
Milich: Spends his life protecting the graves of Barbarosa. Writes a theater play about the fall of the Scarlet Moon Empire.
Pahn: Embark on a journey to improve his imperfect self. Returns to Gregminster when he runs out of money.
Sonya: Become the Admiral of the Republican Navy.
Anji: Plans to go into the shipping business and make a bundle. Becomes hugely popular on Tumblr and fanfiction.net before angrily clarifying the sort of "shipping" he meant.
Tai Ho: Returns to Kaku and enjoy a carefree life. Before fleeing in terror from Kimberly
Kanak: Goes into business with Anji.
Yam Koo: Lives by the shores of Lake Toran, and enjoys fishing.
Leonardo: Goes into business with Anji.
Hix: Accepted as a "True Warrior" he departs on a journey.
Tengaar: Follows Hix on his journey.
Varkas: Named Captain of the Border Guard.
Sydonia: Disappears.
Eileen: Always by Lepant's side.
Leon: Spends the remainder of his life in his hometown.
Georges: Disappears north, Saying he found a good business.
Ivanov: Sets off on a journey to find "the color of freedom". Never realizes it's RED WHITE AN BLUE MURRICA YEEEAAAAH
Jeane: Resumes her career as runemaster at Antei.
Eikei: Departs on a journey in search of worthy opponents.
Maximilian: Retires from Knighthood.
Sancho: Happily continues to serve his master.
Grenseal: Appointed Co-Commander of the Republican Guard.
Alen: Appointed Co-Commander of the Republican Guard.
Tesla: Become the Secretary-General of the Toran Republic.
Jabba: Placed in charge of the Republic's finances.
Lorelai: Sets off to another land to find another adventure.
Blackman: Returns to his fields.
Joshua: Returns to the Dragon's Den to coach the junior.
Morgan: Returns to Qlon Temple and resumes his studies.
Mose: Works for rebuilding the new capital of Gregminster.
Esmeralda: Lives a comfortable life with a garden full of roses.
Melodye: Departs to collect all sounds of the world.
Chapman: Retires from the armory and successfully opens a theater.
Liukan: Opens a clinic, where he saves many lives.
Fukien: Returns to Qlon Temple.
Futch: Departs with Humphrey on a journey.
Kasumi: Returns to the secret hideaway at Rokkaku.
Maas: Dissatisfied with his work, he resumes his studies.
Crowley: Despising the world, he returns to the caverns.
Fuma: Invited to Rokkaku.
Moose: Becomes Master Blacksmith.
Meese: Goes to the Village of the Dwarves to improve skills.
Sergei: Becomes rich off his inventions.
Kimberley: Forces her way into Tai Ho's household. I only just realized her name has two Es in it.
Sheena: Wandering around and having a good time, as usual.
Kessler: Named Captain of the Toran Republic Patrol Corps.
Marco: Leads a vigorous life.
Gen: Returns to Teien, where he continues to build ships.
Hugo: Appointed the Republic's first Chief Justice.
Hellion: Succeeds Leknaat as Seer.
Mina: Becomes the most popular dancer in the Republic.
Milia: Returns to Dragon's Den, where she resumes her duties.
Kamandol: Still preoccupied with alchemical studies.
Juppo: Departs on a journey to find a bigger "trick".
Kasios: Departs to spread the Liberation Army's songs.
Viki: Failed at teleportation, she disappears without a trace.
Rubi: Welcomed to the restored Village of the Elves.
Vincent: Returns home and claims his inheritance.
Meg: Leaves home, saying "Adventure calls."
Taggart: Becomes assistant to Warren.
Giovanni: Starts his own business.
Quincy: Returns to the forest.
Apple: Goes off to collect material for a biography of Mathiu.
Kai: Appointed Martial Arts Instructor.
Lotte: Lives in a small house with Mina the cat.
Mace: Lets Moose succeed and retires.
Onil: Still loves to gossip.
Kuromimi: Becomes Village Chief of Kobold.
Gon: Working hard to become the No.1 warrior in Kobold. Hooray!
Antonio: Still the cook at Marie's inn.
Lester: Opens a restaurant specializing in stews.
Kirke: Throws away his scythe and becomes a farmer. Let's just ignore that a scythe and executioner's axe are two different things, and that he'd need a scythe as a farmer...
Rock: Asked to design a giant safe for dwarfs, he sets to work. Let's assume their vault is less terrible from now on, then.
Ledon: Enjoys success after opening an honest inn.
Sylvina: Marries her childhood sweetheart Kirkis.
Ronnie Bell: Said to be training for homemaking. You weren't imagining all that sexual tension with Mose.
Gaspar: Still tossing dice at Kaku.
Window: Accepts an offer to design stained-glass windows.
Marie: Reopens her inn at Gregminster.
Zen: The Ancient Castle of Toran is still full of flowers.
Sarah: Working hard as a maid at Marie's inn.
Sansuke: Keeping busy designing new bathtubs.
Qlon: Gladly accepts an offer to be keeper of Toran Castle.
Templeton: Departs for the sea in search of the edge of the world.
Krin: Steals Gregminster Palace's treasure and vanishes.
Chapman: Finally succeeds in opening his own store.

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

Postby Thad » Thu Apr 03, 2014 11:59 pm

nosimpleway wrote:Music: Echoes of the Changing Past

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Gregminster's gone sepia-toned and is largely abandoned, with most homes and businesses (including McDohl manor) locked up tight.


I could be here all day talking about how much I fucking love this sequence, and I could get as pretentious as an undergrad who's halfway through The Power of Myth.

There's something visceral about seeing a familiar place recontextualized, and I think games have an advantage over other media in that this is a place you inhabited, a place you explored. Having the game end where it began brings everything full circle, and changing it from bustling streets to emptiness, wind, and yellow light like it's sunset or there's a storm coming -- plus the music. Spooky. The only game I've played recently that managed to recreate this creepy sense of deja vu plus foreboding was Crisis Core, a game where you know going in that your character dies at the end.

Of course the whole game -- every game in the series, really -- is the story of one boy growing into a man, and this is the "you can never go home" part. It's Frodo returning to the Shire.

But of course everybody else already got that. That's why they voted Pahn and Gremio in even though they're not very good.

nosimpleway wrote:Image
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nosimpleway wrote:Viktor: Missing in action in the final battle.
Flik: Disappears during the final battle.


I love the ambiguity of this. I love that, just maybe, Viktor and Flik die, back-to-back, singlehandedly holding off the entire remainder of the Imperial Army...but that more likely, they just slip out when nobody's watching to go find another adventure.

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