Recap Retrospective #20
By Quartz Falcon
This is where the biggest plot twist, the most gigantic surprise in the history of RPGs, the out-of-the-blue, non-foreshadowed, smack-in-the-face shocking turnabout revelation occurs -- you'll never guess it, but PUGGY!!! agrees to become the leader of the Liberation Army.
The Cold Hard Facts
The Recap: Suikoden: Part 3
Written by: Jeanne Rubbo
Posted on: August 3rd, 2002
Days since Last Recap: 14
Days since Last Suikoden Recap: 147
Size: 57 KB, 7 pages (3 HTML ones)
Accompanying Pictures: 12
Cast Members Introduced: 9
This recap's heading: "I hate Chinchirorin"
What it says on the tin: Odessa dies because she's not the main character, and thus cannot remain the leader of the Liberation Army. That job falls to....guess who? The fact that Odessa seemed to have a bit of a "thing" for him had nothing to do with the promotion, I'm sure.
Previously on Suikoden: Just a day in the life of a young man named PUGGY!!!. On his way to meet with someone who will deliver the plans for making fire spears to some guy at a secret factory, PUGGY!!! and his friends get poisoned in an inn on top of a mountain by some guy who ends up becoming their friend because some guy with a mullet threatened to do unspeakable things to him.
Though there were only 2 weeks of waiting time for this one, Jeanne had a few upcoming Real Life projects to deal with, which is why, shortly before this recap went up, she roped in two of her friends into doing a mailbag for the site (yes, it was weekly, once upon a time). She chose Kelly (Auron's Girl) and Sam (Lita-chan) for such an endeavor because their sense of snark and humor was more on par with the site than anyone else's back then. Or because she realized they were the right sort of people through which she could form her New Forum Order. Potato, potahto.
Shockingly enough, given that the last recap dealt with an hour of nothing, a lot of things happen during the hour or so recapped herein: PUGGY!!! & co. arrive at the smallest town on Earth (small even by the standards of this game), in which their mission is accomplished in the middle of a botched attempt at RPG Cliché #125; then they make a quick trek back to the LA's hideout, just in time for a Tragic Death Scene, after which the survivors cross the border via the Subtle Art of Deception, get the aid of the Requisite Silverberg, endure the Minigame From Hell, and finally arrive at what was the Biggest Wang In Town before advances in video game design gave us such luminaries as the Durandal, the Phallus of the Gods, IT!!! and the airships and Gigas from Skies of Arcadia.
A few notes from the events recapped:
- "PUGGY!!! is now wondering what Ted was going to tell him earlier and also just what Gremio puts in his special stew to make it so special." Jeanne, bored to tears by Odessa's speech of Conscience™, focuses on those small details. "PUGGY!!! begins to wonder why this strange woman is looking at him like Gremio often does when he thinks PUGGY!!! can't see him."
- First snark about how videogame ninja tend to have names like "Shadow" or its Japanese equivalent. Sam and Ryan would second this sentiment with gusto later on. "Just once, I'd like some secretive ninja dude to be named 'Shiny' or 'Sparkles'."
- "Odessa runs off to her doom. Oops, I gave that away too soon. Let me try again. Odessa runs off to...um.....see what's going on. Yeah." Much like the game itself, Jeanne fails to conceal the anvils.
- The first ever mention of the one, the only, Schtoltenheim Reinbach III. Obviously, Gremio and Cleo's "………" stands for "Dude, you're not even half as fabulous as the legendary Schtolty".
- Jeanne teaches the subtle art of Sprite Graphic Interpretation. "You see, Gremio is trying to trick the guards, but on another level, he's acting out all his sexual frustration. It's totally obvious in the way he keeps rubbing against Schtolty IV as he has him pressed against the wall. Sure it might look like they're just standing across from each other, but you have to learn how to read sprite body language. It's an art."
- We are introduced to Chandler (not the one from Friends), Sergei and Antonio, who, along with our fellow expatriate Marie, are currently unemployed. Oh, if only there were some place that had a conveniently sudden need of their services, as there always happen to be whenever there's an upcoming war involving True Runes in this world.
- "Viktor asks a random guy standing around outside if he knows where Mathiu lives. Little does he know that the man he's talking to is Mathiu. But we know, because his name is written in the little speech window." The old "Person X? He's right ahead" scenario, by the way, was actually done better on Suikoden IV. And no, I'm not waiting for anyone to remove their jaws from the floor.
- "I bet the other guys in the Liberation Army are wishing that they hadn't run off like a bunch of pansies back at the hideout, because now this upstart little ex-Imperial guy gets the prime job. Oh well, at least they won't have to lug around that gigantic earring."
- Jeanne, once again, has no sense of direction. "PUGGY!!! may have become the leader of the Liberation Army, but his navigation skills have not improved. He walks over the entire countryside before realizing that all he had to do was walk just a little ways south and west from Seika. The other party members are understandably pissed, but I don't see them helping out."
- You'd think that a woman carrying a manly spear would have a finely tuned gaydar, right?
- If Jeanne ever gets to do those Special Edition Recaps, she should add here a video of the pan through Toran Castle as the Underage Choir gives an angelic cry of "PENIS!".
The highlight of the recap, of course, is the recounting of the first ever exposure to that game favored by shady gamblers in the Suikoverse, Chinchirorin. The name stands for 'Shitty game designed by shitty game designers and is rigged so that Jeanne never wins unless she tries for a period of time that can be measured in hours', but since that would take up a lot of space (as well as being a mouthful in a way that isn't good), we all call it *Ominous Voice of Deepness* The Game That Shall Not Be Named */OVD*. Such a moniker perfectly conveys the sense of dread which befalls gamers when they realize they have to win TGTSNBN five times in order to get the best ending for the first two games, an endeavor many can look up to if/when both games get their remake on the PSP.
|Speaking of which, what do you want out of the remake?
And speaking of annoying-yet-compulsory minigames, let me point out that this is another aspect Suikoden IV improved upon its predecessors: despite having the highest number of minigames, you only have to win one, and that's only if you're going for the best ending (plus Rita goes easy on you until you start depending on her game for some quick cash); though of course Suikoden II loses its bad TGTSNBN-related karma thanks to the cookoffs. Allez cuisine!
I'm not sure if this blatant rigging of the game was supposed to make it seem as if Tai Ho was being a scoundrel, or if the game designers just hate me. So I am going to direct my rage at all of them just to cover my bases.