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  -Part 1 :: [11.25.02]
  -Part 2 :: [07.04.03]
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  -Part 5 :: [11.08.04]
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"We're just supposed to accept that the following things happened: 1) Tightass and company end up on the bottom of an empty frozen lake. 2) Sin shows up in a pocket of water that magically exists somewhere in said lake. 3) Tightass has some random shared memories with his old man/Sin. 4) ... 5) Tightass ends up in a random oasis. The game designers are a bunch of lazy assholes."
     -Jeanne, Final Fantasy X Part 14

Link to VGR!

Grandia II : Part 2
By Jeanne
Posted 07.04.03
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3
In the first installment, we met our main group of characters who will all pretty much become annoying wankers by the end of the game. When we left off, Ryudo, the world-weary and cynical 17-year-old, was just about to leave on a journey to escort Mary Sue to Granas Cathedral, where she will be cleansed of the Wings of Valmar and hopefully become less irritating. Oh, who am I kidding?

Whatever, Tidus.

On their way out of Carbo, that most hated town of Atkins Diet losers everywhere, Mary Sue stops to talk to a couple of townspeople. They basically kiss her ass a lot and insist that she take time to rest after the previous night's horrible events, but she's Mary Sue and she's got a job to do! She's so strong and perfect until the plot calls for her to turn into a simpering wuss. Frequently.

Ryudo and Mary Sue head out onto the menu-style map, where I only have one option: INOR MOUNTAINS 2. I'm not sure what happened to INOR MOUNTAINS 1, but whatever. I'm just so happy that after the not-stereotypical-at-all forest "dungeon" that I get to head straight into the also-not-stereotypical-at-all mountain "dungeon".

Blocking the mountain path are two giant mushrooms, which is appropriate, because the game designers like 'shrooming. A little exclamation point pops up near the shrooms, and I learn that Ryudo can -- now don't look so shocked -- hit them with his sword to squash or break them. Sometimes they have goodies inside, like the one mushroom that has a "muscle mushroom" inside. A shroom inside a shroom -- I guess my earlier statement regarding the hobbies of the game designers was indeed correct.

There is a sparkly rainbow save cone nearby, and it looks like Link or Squall could pop out of it at any second. Again, someone must have been on some kind of psychedelic drugs to come up with such an artifact. Ryudo and Mary Sue run into their first fight a few steps away from the Gay Cone. Of course it's a bunch of spiders. My favorite. Thanks, game designers. This occasion also marks Mary Sue's first battle. As I surmised, she's completely pointless, and it's up to big strong Ryudo to do all the real fighting. At the end of the battle, Mary Sue chirps, "Gotta work even harder!" Yes. Yes you do.

Along the way, I find out that the game designers threw in the extra special twist of making some mushrooms contain monsters. I guess that's what we call a bad trip. It amuses me that someone on the Grandia II design committee said, "I have a great idea! Let's have giant red mushrooms that have rattlesnakes hiding inside them!" and everyone else agreed that it was, indeed, a fine idea. Of course, there may have been the one non-drug-addled member of the committee (who somehow made it in without the necessary "qualifications") who didn't agree, but that person's sane, well-thought-out ideas are usually vetoed anyway. I know this all seems like an unattainable fantasy, but I have to believe there's that one intelligent person, or I lose all faith in humanity.

I quickly learn my lesson and run like a pansy away from the mushrooms as soon as I break them open. Sure, I'm probably missing valuable level building, but at this point, I don't give a shit. After leaving the foresty part of the mountain, Ryudo and Mary Sue head up onto the rocky cliff part. It's all windy and stuff, to signify that we're high up in the desolate peaks, but come on. These are the dinkiest mountains ever.

On the next screen, a random cut scene is triggered. Ryudo asks Skye to scout around the area. I'm not sure what purpose this serves, since it's not like Skye has any effect whatsoever on me getting around in the mountains. I'm just hoping that this isn't a pathetic excuse for the two lead characters to do it. I'm not sure if my stomach could handle that right now. Or ever. Skye complies, and that's Ryudo's cue to do the gay Squall hand-on-hip stance. He asks if Mary Sue needs to rest, and of course she says no, because she's strong and independent and can do whatever the big manly man can do! Only she's completely lying. "Don't get too comfortable," Ryudo tells her. "The night has many eyes......teeth..." Mary Sue throws a shit fit at Ryudo, insisting that his "children's tales" don't scare her. Her lie is made apparent when Skye swoops down over her head, causing her to scream like a wuss and fall to her knees. Thanks for breaking all the stereotypes, Mary Sue. Ryudo informs her that they're camping out in that random spot for the night. "Can you stand?" he wonders. Mary Sue answers "yes" and the scene fades out. Most pointless question and answer ever.

The next scene has the tent all set up. I wish it happened like that when I went camping. The tent is decorative beyond what one would expect for someone purely interested in functionality, which leads me to believe that Skye is responsible for the design. There's even something that looks like a gay falcon on the front, which confirms my suspicions.

What a masculine tent.

Ryudo and Mary Sue are sitting in front of the raging bonfire, another aspect of their little campsite that's completely overdone (insert "flaming" joke here). Sappy music plays in the background as Ryudo asks if Mary Sue is all right and tells her to "pay attention next time." Okay, I'm not denying that she overreacted to Skye flying over her head, but Jebus -- it's not like she had a nervous breakdown and went into a coma. Then Ryudo wonders if she's ready to discuss what happened in the Tower. I don't know why he turned into such a fucking psychologist, but I guess the writers needed to insert some exposition into this scene and didn't have a whole lot of options. Mary Sue speaks with a lot of ellipses, meaning that she's being all dramatic and faltering, as she says that she doesn't remember most of what happened. She spouts crap about what we already know -- it was a sealing ceremony and she was supposed to sing. When Ryudo asks about the wings, Mary Sue passive-aggressives, "Forgive me. I do not wish to remember."

Ryudo isn't about to accept this. "We're missing something here," he presses. "You must be able to remember - or did the clouds of incense fog your memory?" "...Do you assume...?" Mary Sue wonders. Ryudo says he's not assuming anything about what happened. Again, this doesn't really make any sense. What is he assuming? That she remembers something? That they were burning incense? What? When Mary Sue dramatically says that he doesn't understand, Ryudo responds, "Because I'm not sophisticated enough? Because I don't fall all over myself to be the first in line at the temple doors?" What the fuck does that have to do with anything? Mary Sue whines that Ryudo is mocking her. "No. I've been mocking you for the last half hour. A little slow to notice, aren't we?" I have to laugh at this despite none of this fucking conversation making any sense. Maybe I should go back and eat some of those shrooms in the woods.

"Why do you persist in vexing me?" Mary Sue bad-fanfictions. "Do you bait me to watch me suffer? Do you take pleasure in my pain?" Sure I do. That's what VGR is all about. "Please, I do not need your grief, as I have much of my own." Obnoxious self-pitying asswipe, table for one. Ryudo marvels that she can be so God damn na´ve and still manage to get through life. Mary Sue is taken aback, and retreats further into feeling sorry for herself. She starts to walk over to the tent when Ryudo tells her to leave him some room. This pisses Mary Sue off so much that she announces that she's going to sleep outside the tent. I am happy for two reasons: a) this increases the chance that she might get eaten by some of the nearby monsters, and b) if she and Ryudo are sleeping in two separate places, they're not going to do it. Ryudo sort of tries to apologize, and then finishes with, "Hope you like sleeping on rocks." Mary Sue simply says, "!" as if she can't believe that someone would actually respond to her passive-aggressive bullshit with anything other than extreme ass-kissing. She then stalks off to sleep behind the tent. Good riddance.

The camera fades out and back in again on the exact same scene, in order to show us that some time has passed. Ryudo is still sitting by the fire. He says something about Mary Sue finally falling asleep. I don't know how he magically knows this, considering that he's in front of the tent, and she's in back. At that moment, Skye flies down and perches on Ryudo's shoulder. Perhaps he's hoping that Mary Sue's absence is a chance for him to lay the gay falcon charm on Ryudo.

'Or would you like to engage in a little bestiality with your best buddy?'

Skye asks Ryudo if he's going to sleep. "I can't...I keep seeing [Mary Sue] surrounded by Darkness in the tower...Nightmares, man," Ryudo wanks. Oh, get a fucking grip on yourself. No, not like that. Ryudo's evil transformation begins. Skye basically tells Ryudo to suck it up and deal. Once again, not like that. "And I pissed her off, man. She's so...perky and happy...Now she hates me. You saw her." Oh, Jesus Christ jumping on a pogo stick. First of all, he wanted to piss her off, and second, she's been more bitchy and stupid than happy and perky. Consistent character development, please. Oh, right, the game designers are on drugs.

Skye says something about the church disliking "us working types," because there hasn't been a reference to the intense, nonsensical hatred of the evil Geodudes for at least ten minutes. Ryudo wanks some more about how Mary Sue is so sweet and good and has never been exposed to the bad, bad world, and now her poor little friends are dead and it's all Ryudo's fault for not saving them. I'm playing the world's smallest violin right now. Skye says that Ryudo's sentiments are too little, too late, and now it's time to have some HOTT HOTT bird-on-human lovin'.

'wan't'? Is that a contraction for 'wank it'?

Ryudo turns up the ungodly drama as he practically brings himself to tears over not being able to protect Mary Sue from her emotional harm. "And I cannot bear to see it," he overreacts. Cait Sith on a jungle gym, this is the worst character development I have ever seen, EVER. And yes, I am including the whole Squall-loves-Rinoa crap from FFVIII. Whoever wrote this scene should be beaten severely, preferably with something that has nails poking out of it. It's not helping my stomach that the Melodramatic Music of Mary-Sueishness is blaring in the background of this scene in addition to all the wank. Skye suspects that Ryudo's feelings aren't completely motivated by duty. Right, because we all need it tattooed onto our brains that he's going to fall in love with her. "With WHAT, Skye? With concern? With sentiment? That's...not me..." Ryudo replies. Sure, I believe you. "Still, I've never felt....Bah. Good night, Skye." There is no God.

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