Let's Play Suikoden 2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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nosimpleway
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Let's Play Suikoden 2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Postby nosimpleway » Sat Apr 12, 2014 5:53 pm

I told you that story so I could tell you this one.


I've spent the last few days trying to get a video recorder to work properly, and I've come to the conclusion that my old PC is just too anemic to run an emulator and record it at the same time. Quite apart from the issues with video artifacting and sound synchronization that everyone runs into, I just end up with laggy, terrible video. So I've got to keep borrowing from other YouTube accounts. Oh well.

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Suikoden 2 is, yes, the sequel to Suikoden. But for those people raised on Final Fantasy rather than Dragon Quest or Shin Megami Tensei, Suikoden 2 offers a twist: it's a direct sequel. The game takes place just three years after the revolutionary war that toppled the Scarlet Moon Empire and reformed it into the Toran Republic, and is set in the City-States of Jowston immediately north of there. If you watch closely in the introduction video, there are a few familiar faces in the rapid-fire blur of character portraits.

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As before, our main character is a teenage boy turned political pariah fighting a war much bigger than he is, taking the role of the Tenkai Star to unite an army against a stronger, better-established political force. That's hardly a spoiler. As before, there's no official canon name, so it's up to you guys what to call the little tonfa-wielding kid with the weird circlet on his head. Just as the son of the McDohl household is unofficially named "Tir", this guy is unofficially "Riou". Your call.

You may also want to consider what to call the army and the castle they end up in, since you'll be prompted for those later.

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And, as much-discussed in the previous LP thread, the beginning of the game prompts you to load any existing Suikoden 1 save data you may have lying around.

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I'll go ahead and take the data for the complete run, rather than the minimalist one. This allows returning characters a little bit of a power boost if they were leveled up in the previous game, and unlocks a sidequest later.

But for now, name the hero of this tale.

-----

Returning to read up?
LP Contents:
Unicorn Brigade Camp! The Beginning of Adventure!
Viktor's Fort! If You Don't Work, You Don't Eat!
Jowy's Rescue! What's This Flint For?
Escape to Highland! The Great Circus Performers!
Homecoming! A Trial for Treason!
Execution! Who Will Rescue Us Now?
Mercenary Recruiting! The Return to Viktor's Fort!
Introducing Pilika! To Muse And Back Again!
Highland Troops Incoming! The First Great Army Battles!
The Rune of Beginning! Power to Decide Fate!
Matilda and Mt. Rakutei! Is That A Dragon?!
Sindarin Ruins! What's The Precious Thing?
Spies For The State! Protect Your Sentries!
Hilltop Conference! The Struggles of Representative Government!
Assassination! Jowy's Black Blade!
The Harbor Closed! How Do We Cross The Lake?!
Vampire! What A Horrible Night!
An Old Castle! The Tale of The Strategist!
Shu's First Strategy! The Attack on North Window!
Flashback! Genkaku's Storied Career!
City Between Two Rivers! Racial Tensions Escalate!
Post-Two River Sidequests! Is That A Unicorn?!
Greenhill Chapter! Let's Schooling!
Forest Path! Hidden Cabin!
Forest Path Again! Who's Waiting To Meet Us?
Matilda Knightdom! The Sequence Break Isn't An Edge Anymore!
From Matilda To Muse! Is That A Wolf?!
Highlands March To South Window! General Kiba's Advance!
Pervert! The Emissary to Toran Republic!
Nostalgia Hard! A Song In Praise of Peace!
Luca Blight's Return! Harmonian Soldiers Advance!
Holy Fuck! Luca Blight Just Won't Die!
Matrimony! Inheritor of the Blight Clan!
Muse Again! Sneaking Back to Jowstone Hill!
Two Heroes Unite! Double Tenkai Star!
Invitation to Tinto! Bandits and Zombies!
Gaiden Story! This Is Bad End!
Stay and Fight! Curse of 100 Murders!
Tinto Mines! We Love Our Master!
Gaiden Story! Boris Appears?!
To Greenhill! Who Do You Fight With?
Greenhill's Forest Path! Retracing Footsteps!
Return to Return to Muse, Again! Is That A Golden Wolf?!
108 Stars Gather! The True Power of the Bright Shield Rune!
Liberation of Matilda! War's Heavy Cost!
The March on Highland! Could This Be The End?
Assault on the Highland Capital Stronghold! The Final Battle!
The Leader of a New Nation! This is Bad End?!

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nosimpleway
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Re: Let's Play Suikoden 2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Postby nosimpleway » Sat Apr 12, 2014 7:41 pm

There's an eight-character limit on names. Suppose I should have mentioned that before.

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Grath
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Re: Let's Play Suikoden 2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Postby Grath » Sat Apr 12, 2014 7:48 pm

I vote for "Asshole" as the main character.

Or "I never".

Niku
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Re: Let's Play Suikoden 2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Postby Niku » Sat Apr 12, 2014 9:47 pm

We're playing a series all about catching them all. If you've already got Mute, you need to get Muteiu.

Also I am so excited for this. I barely remembered anything about Suikoden after playing it so many years ago, but I never got to play 2.
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TA
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Re: Let's Play Suikoden 2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Postby TA » Sat Apr 12, 2014 9:49 pm

Niku wrote:We're playing a series all about catching them all. If you've already got Mute, you need to get Muteiu.

Also I am so excited for this. I barely remembered anything about Suikoden after playing it so many years ago, but I never got to play 2.


Motherfucker.

Yeah, we're not gonna top this.
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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Grath
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Re: Let's Play Suikoden 2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Postby Grath » Sat Apr 12, 2014 11:10 pm

TA wrote:
Niku wrote:We're playing a series all about catching them all. If you've already got Mute, you need to get Muteiu.

Also I am so excited for this. I barely remembered anything about Suikoden after playing it so many years ago, but I never got to play 2.


Motherfucker.

Yeah, we're not gonna top this.


Yeah... So this is the first Wrassle Castle / finish it the way it started of Suikoden 2.

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Classic
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Re: Let's Play Suikoden 2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Postby Classic » Sun Apr 13, 2014 1:25 am

Is there an "^" symbol?
I feel like you're allowed some amount of gross self-indulgence here.

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nosimpleway
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Re: Let's Play Suikoden 2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Postby nosimpleway » Sun Apr 13, 2014 1:32 am

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TA
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Re: Let's Play Suikoden 2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Postby TA » Sun Apr 13, 2014 1:34 am

Also Mute^2 is dumb and misses half the joke.
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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Esperath
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Re: Let's Play Suikoden 2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Postby Esperath » Sun Apr 13, 2014 2:04 am

Butts McFadden
pisa katto

ImageImageImage

pisa katto

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Thad
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Re: Let's Play Suikoden 2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Postby Thad » Sun Apr 13, 2014 2:18 am

nosimpleway wrote:I told you that story so I could tell you this one.


I've spent the last few days trying to get a video recorder to work properly, and I've come to the conclusion that my old PC is just too anemic to run an emulator and record it at the same time. Quite apart from the issues with video artifacting and sound synchronization that everyone runs into, I just end up with laggy, terrible video.


I don't think I've ever actually gotten the intro to Suikoden 2 to run in an emulator without sputtering, recording or no.

Quick thoughts on intro:

1. It is a really great intro. Suikoden used to be pretty highly-regarded for those.
2. Yep, few notes of Theme of the Advancing Army in there.
3. Man, 32-bit JRPG composers sure liked to riff on Carmina Burana.

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Classic
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Re: Let's Play Suikoden 2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Postby Classic » Sun Apr 13, 2014 5:22 am

TA wrote:Also Mute^2 is dumb and misses half the joke.

Boozed up Classic was suggesting the even-more-mundane R^2; LP/Bronto Castle pairing.

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nosimpleway
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Re: Let's Play Suikoden 2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Postby nosimpleway » Sun Apr 13, 2014 1:23 pm

Thad wrote:I don't think I've ever actually gotten the intro to Suikoden 2 to run in an emulator without sputtering, recording or no.


The intro video works fine running on its own, but the recording software is so system-intensive that it lags gameplay too.

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TA
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Re: Let's Play Suikoden 2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Postby TA » Sun Apr 13, 2014 2:03 pm

I wonder if the video is on the disc as a file you could pull out. I remember using some kind of viewer to look at unused videos on some other ps1 games.

I have no idea where my copy of Suikoden 2 is, or I'd check.
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: Let's Play Suikoden 2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Postby nosimpleway » Sun Apr 13, 2014 3:24 pm

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Our story opens at a small military camp.

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Young Muteiu is putting the final touches on his weird-ass JRPG protagonist outfit.

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Jowy: Me too. I thought about going back to Kyaro and I couldn't wait to get out of that uniform. Hey Muteiu.... Nanami is probably waiting for you to come back, huh? You're her only family since Master Genkaku died... If not for this war...

I still love forced earlygame exposition.

Jowy: So anyway... should we go to sleep soon? Or do you want to get some fresh air? Looks like a nice night.

I elect to wander around camp for a while, so Jowy joins up.

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Most of this stuff looks pretty well the same, save for a few name-swaps. Power is now Strength, Magic Defense has split off from Magic... hey, there are three rune slots! That's right, while almost every character starts with a spot for a rune on their right hands, as their Magic stat grows they develop spots for runes on their left hands and heads as well. This allows for versatile magicians and some abusive power combinations later on.

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Another difference is that Jowy also comes equipped with Flaming Arrows in an item slot. In the first game, characters could equip to their heads, body, shield arm, and two accessory slots. This game still has helmet, armor, and shield slots, but the two accessories has been expanded to three! With the caveat that any consumable items you want to use must also be equipped there. A character who loads up on protective accessories won't be able to use medicine or food items to restore any damage that manages to pierce them. A new kind of battle-readied item is the spell scroll, which allows use of a spell from a rune not equipped to the character.

Between the two changes, that means it's possible for a character to have powerful Fire, Lightning, and Earth magic runes in their right hand, left hand, and head slots, then increase their versatility further by putting Kindness Drops and Protect Mist scrolls from the Water rune in their inventory to round out their battle effectiveness. I'm probably not ever going to actually do that, but it's possible.

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Anyway, we've got some game-opening NPCs to talk to, right?

Snoozing Youth Brigade Soldier: I'm happy there's a peace treaty. War is a terrible thing... I just want to go home.

Watchman: Muteiu, you changed already? If the Captain finds out, he'll be mad. But I understand.

Youth Brigade Soldier: We can finally go home. We never went to the front line and I'm glad.
Argumentative Brat: What did you say!? Those aren't the proud words of a Highland Soldier from the Unicorn Brigade!! Are you feeling all gushy too, Muteiu? Already feel like you're back in Mommy's arms?

I'm a JRPG protagonist. There's about a 90% chance I don't have a mother, and about an 80% chance I don't have a father either. Anyway, the two kids start to scuffle, and another has to get out of bed to break them up.

Kid Honing His Sword: Muteiu, Jowy, listen to this. It was my turn on watch tonight, but the Captain said forget it. It's the peace agreement, I guess.

Hey, wow, that is nice! I mean, they're sending the whole unit home tomorrow, so I guess he figures if there's not enough threat to remain at post, there's no sense standing watch, either.

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Oops, Captain's tent.

Captain Rowd: You two!!! Where are your uniforms?!
Jowy: S... sorry.
Rowd: Well, I'll forget it this time. Go back to your tent and get some sleep.

Huh, the first guy you talk to makes him sound really strict and mean, but I guess Rowd's a laid-back kind of guy.

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Re: Let's Play Suikoden 2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Postby nosimpleway » Sun Apr 13, 2014 3:36 pm

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I can't wait to see your mom either! heh heh heh burrrrrn

Sentry: I'm almost done with sentry duty. Who needs a sentry this deep in the mountains anyway?

I guess not everybody got off from their shift as lookout.

Another Sentry: Hey, Muteiu! When we get back to Kyaro, me and your sister are going to... um, ah, forget about it.

Sentry Furthest from Camp: Something feels weird... I could have sworn I saw something before...

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There's another Highland soldier further up the path, this one full-grown (whereas the only adult at camp is Rowd). He runs offscreen, but in true RPG fashion we're prevented from wandering too far.

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Might as well hit the hay.

During the night, the whoosh of arrows, the clanging of steel, and the crackle of flames erupt from outside!

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Good thing Muteiu and Jowy already changed into their normal clothes, it'd be embarrassing to run around this part of the game in your jammies.

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I don't think I posted Rowd's portrait before, so here it is.

Jowy: Captain Rowd, what is it?
Rowd: It's a surprise attack by the City-State!! They've broken the peace agreement, those scum!! It looks like we're surrounded. Take the mountain path to the east and save yourselves!!! Hurry!!!
Jowy: Let's run, Muteiu. We can't die here. Nanami will be all alone....

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The children from the Youth Brigade are already fleeing.

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But at the same point where we saw the adult Highland soldier, Jowy stops us again.

Jowy: Don't you think it's strange, Muteiu? The only way out is through these woods. The enemy must know that too.... The enemy might be waiting in the woods to ambush us. Let's go back, Muteiu. Let's tell this to Captain Rowd.

Yeah, that's... actually a pretty good idea. Rowd's a stand-up captain and put our safety first, so he's sure to think of something else we can do other than running straight into a trap.

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nosimpleway
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Re: Let's Play Suikoden 2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Postby nosimpleway » Sun Apr 13, 2014 3:41 pm

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The devastation is devastating.

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Luca: I wish I had joined the ambush. All I've had to fight lately is that old man. I'm getting rusty.
Rowd: Y...yes... I mean no, no. Prince Luca's swordsmanship is truly unmatched. My men would look like fools.
Luca: Yes, well, the young men served their country well enough. Now we don't need a peace treaty with those State weaklings..... I'll prove that they're no match for the power of Highland!!!!
Rowd: I agree, sir. With Prince Luca in command, Highland can finally earn the glory it deserves!!!

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Motherfucker false-flagged us, that's what. WE OUT

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nosimpleway
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Re: Let's Play Suikoden 2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Postby nosimpleway » Sun Apr 13, 2014 3:46 pm

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Rowd sics some of the adult infantry on us.

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The combat system is the same as before. You can still Bribe enemies if you feel like throwing money away, Run from enemies around your strength or Let them Go if you're notably more powerful than they are. Characters can still attack, use Rune magic or skills, consume items they've equipped in the aforementioned inventory slots, or use Unite attacks. In this case, Muteiu and Jowy have the Buddy Attack, which deals their combined fight damage to all enemies. Doesn't get much better than this, folks.

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Jowy: We can't keep this up forever... Muteiu, there's no other way. We'll have to jump for it.
Muteiu: I guess there's no other way...

You can scoff at the idea, but that just gives Rowd another chance to gather up more Highland troops and attack again.

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Muteiu leaves a mark on the stone as well. It's a promise.

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nosimpleway
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Re: Let's Play Suikoden 2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Postby nosimpleway » Sun Apr 13, 2014 3:53 pm

Alternately, when Rowd tells you to run east, you can instead run north to the cliffside instead.

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Jowy: Captain Rowd!! You're safe. And who are those Royal Soldiers behind you? Are they..... reinforcements?
????: Oh, it looks like we've got a couple of rats with bad hearing. Don't you know east from north?
Rowd: Prince Luca!

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Rowd: Of course, Prince Luca. Not that it's any of your business, but that's Luca Bright of Highland. That's right, your Prince.

Except you can't even pronounce his name right, ya jerk. That's Luca Blight, bearer of one of those names you learn to run away from really fast. Get used to this, folks, Suikoden 2 has a pretty crummy translation and localization. From what I've read, it's the work of one guy who had to get the whole thing done inside of six weeks. You can hardly blame the translation staff for working under those conditions, but who at Konami corporate thought it was a good idea to push the game out so quickly the entire script had to be half-assed?

Rowd: Don't worry, you both died fighting for the good of the Kingdom. Rest easy knowing you've helped my career enormously. That's enough talk. Have at you! Now it's time for you to die. As 'victims' of the treacherous City-State that is.

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The rest of the scenario plays out the same way.

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nosimpleway
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Re: Let's Play Suikoden 2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Postby nosimpleway » Sun Apr 13, 2014 3:59 pm

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After the two splash down, the screen goes dark and returns in a sepia-toned flashback of Muteiu's and Jowy's childhood together in Kyaro with Nanami.

But wait!

If you choose to tell Jowy it's a damn fool idea to jump off a cliff into a swift-flowing river, or if you hesitate to promise Jowy to meet back on the cliffside if they get separated, Rowd has enough time to regroup a few more soldiers and attack again. If you do this 108 times, you get...


The Reminiscence sequence in full color! 108 battles is awfully tedious, but even in the first battle it's possible to take out three of the four Highland troops in a single Buddy Attack. After four or five battles even the Commander of the group falls to a Buddy Attack, too. So winning isn't an issue when you can oneshot all enemies with a single move, but it still takes a damn long time.

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