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  -Suiko4 Main
  -Part 1 :: [02.17.05]
  -Part 2 :: [10.19.05]
  -Part 3 :: [02.17.06]
  -Part 4 :: [05.20.12]
  -Part 5 :: [06.04.13]
  -Part 6 :: [09.27.14]
  -Part 7 :: [09.27.14]


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"Everyone follows Geddy into the Great Hollow, except for Queen, who pauses to say, 'There. Everything is fine. You can come out now, Jacques.' Jacques emerges from a bush, wearing a black leather bustier, stiletto heels and bright red lipstick. Oh, not that kind of coming out? Whoops. "
     -Sam, Suikoden III Part 5




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Suikoden IV : Part 4
By Sam
Posted 05.20.12
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3 : 4 : 5
A million years ago, the last time we visited with sweet Marvy Gaye and his lame castaway friends, they were cast out to sea, only to be rescued, cast out to sea again, shipwrecked, and finally set adrift again on a ship they made using coconuts, dreams, and the hull of their first ship.

We pick up with our heroes still adrift in the middle of nowhere, and while they pathetically try to move toward the south and inhabited land, their efforts are mostly pointless because, like before, there's nothing to do other than inch in a direction until a couple random battles happen. Another "boss" fight eventually begins, this time against two "Killer Rays" that might have done in poor Steve Irwin. Paula is finally good enough to access her third level of rune magic, so she manages to use The Shredding once before being relegated to healer duty. Despite Chiepoo still being incredibly useless, the Killer Rays are dispatched in short order, but in the process, somehow, they lose their oars. Whuh whuh whuuuuuuuuuh.

Chiepoo thinks they could just "paddle by hand" to the island, but Chiepoo is an idiot. He, at least, has a suggestion, however a stupid one; Keneth and Paula just point out to Marvy that the oars are gone. What would he do without them, besides be happier?

This dire circumstance gives way to a cut scene in which the castaways float through a thick fog, lying on the deck and starving to death. Man, the early hours of this game are just full of sunshine. And we haven't even witnessed any burning villages yet! Keneth murmurs to them, "Don't give up... We're all going back to Razril, right...? You'll see..." Marvy has no fucking idea why Keneth would want to return there, but then again Keneth wasn't wrongfully accused by his ex-boyfriend of killing his boss. He just snuck away with him because of adventures.

While Marvy is tuning out Chiepoo whining some more, he sees what must be a mirage in the fog: another ship coming their way. He briefly considers keeping his mouth shut and letting it pass so he can die in peace, but what if he went to the afterlife and these three were there? Marvy simply cannot take that chance.

 
Is that hot chocolate? Are they trying to kill the cat?

A few moments later, we get an unnecessary close-up of Chiepoo's stupid face as he enjoys a hot beverage aboard their savior ship. "...Whew! I feel alive again, meow!" I would like to state for the record that my dog noticed this "meow" and started barking at my monitor. He's not a Chiepoo fan.

Everybody gets up from the deck as another figure walks timidly into view. Even though he presumably helped save these people, he seems to think being overly polite is necessary, probably because he's an obvious Waylon Smithers-esque bootlicker. It's all over his mousy, eager-to-please face. "Oh, hello, my name is Desmond," he says. "I was wondering if I could get to know a little bit about you, if I may?" What are they, under arrest? They don't gotta talk, man. Keneth spoils my fun and answers, "I am Keneth. I'm a former Knight of Gaien, a Libra, and I enjoy wine tasting." It's a bit odd how trusting they all are, given how their last "rescue" went. The others likewise introduce themselves while Desmond pretends to see them as something other than the massive bores they are.

After Marvy simply answers, "I'm Marvy," like a boss, Desmond gets all up in his grill, or more accurately, his gloves. Marvy backs away skittishly. "Uh..." Desmond starts. "Would that happen to be a Rune on your left hand? Pardon me, but if you don't mind, I'd like to take a look. It is my job to investigate such things." It's his job to poke at the runes on people's hands? I get the feeling that Desmond is more interested in what brand of moisturizer Marvy uses that would keep his hands so supple after being lost at sea for days. Regardless, Marvy reluctantly removes his glove and lets Desmond stroke his palm. "Hmm...?" he says. "...?!" At this, uh, utterance, he jolts upright and runs to the ship's cabin. Yes, Marvy's manicure is really that impressive.

A moment later, Desmond returns with a young blonde woman with a black choker and a puffy pink pirate shirt. "Desmond, is this the person?" she asks. No, it's the cat over there, lady. The dialogue box identifies her as Flare, a terrible Mary Sue name if I've ever heard one. Desmond is apparently her servant or something, because he replies, "Yes, Lady Flare." Flarey Sue doesn't even ask for Marvy's permission to grab his hand, and he is obviously less than pleased about it, shying away from her as much as he can without yanking his hand away. After examining his hand for a minute, Flarey Sue breathes, "Yes... You're right. Do you suppose this is fate rearing its head?" With no explanation of that forthcoming for the time being, despite how nicely Chiepoo asks for one, Flarey Sue asks Desmond to "take care of these people" until they reach their destination. "Treat them with courtesy," she adds, like Desmond was planning to water board them below decks.

As Flarey Sue wiggles off to go have a threesome with Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy, Desmond clears his throat. "Ahem... Please pardon me," he announces. Way to assert yourself, dude! Jesus. "This is a patrol ship from the Kingdom of Obel. You will all be coming along with us." Chiepoo, the future great merchant, has never heard of a country he's not from, asking, "Kingdom of...what?" Desmond earnestly replies, over-enunciating in Chiepoo's face like they don't speak the same language, "Obel. It's called the Kingdom of Obel. The lady you just met is Princess Flare." Holy shit, she's a princess, too? Called it. Anyway, Desmond is still talking. "I humbly request that you treat her with deference and respect." She'll only earn my respect if she can make vampires and werewolves fall in love with her, using her beautiful singing voice.

We need to get off the subject of Princess Flarey Sue before I burn through all my Mary Sue jokes. But Chiepoo wants to know what a high-and-mighty princess is doing on a patrol ship. Desmond stutters, "Oh. W-well, that is... Uh, let's just say that this is Her Highness's will." Is she learning to sail so Twink will fall in love with her and leave Beedle Zelda? That's it, isn't it?

WE ARE THE CONEHEADS. WE ARE FROM FRANCE.
 

His friends have nothing of importance to say, as usual, so Marvy heads inside the ship's cabin to see what he can pilfer. There, he finds a soldier of Obel who peevishly warns him not to go near Flarey Sue. Her alabaster skin might crack if Marvy looks at her funny! More importantly, though, this particular Suikoclone is wearing the official uniform of the Kingdom of Obel, and I wish I could say the funniest things about it were the flared wrist cuffs that don't attach to anything, the '90s two-tone sleeveless vest, the culottes, or the calf-high lace-up stripper sandals. Any one of these items would qualify this person as a fashion disaster. But the crowning glory of this truly horrendous ensemble is a white conical helmet with swirly pink patterns over the ears. Whoever outfitted this poor Suikocone is a real asshole.

Flarey Sue, the likely designer of this outfit, is also in the room, but doesn't want to talk until they reach land. Never would also work. Marvy is good with never. He grabs a treasure map from her desk and bolts the room to go dish to Keneth about how Flarey Sue makes her guards dress.

Talking to Desmond a couple times triggers the ship's arrival at Obel, a small, mountainous island. A tiny cat sits on the dock watching the ship come in, ready to engage Chiepoo in a fight for island dominance as soon as he walks down the gangplank. Even though Desmond basically acted like they were under arrest, he and Flarey Sue turn them loose at the dock, though Flarey Sue asks Marvy to "drop by" the Royal Palace later. "Just tell them, 'The king sent for me.' I'll let them know that you're coming," she adds. I'm sure she will. Marvy's going to get the royal suite next to Flarey Sue's room, isn't he? The one with the heart-shaped bed covered in rose petals? Ugh.

Marvy grabs another treasure map that was sitting on a barrel at the dock before heading up the hill to the village, passing another Suikocone and suppressing his urge to giggle. Obel seems like a bit of a backwater island--there are barely any buildings in the village, and those few are sparsely scattered among the hills. But what it lacks in urban development, it makes up for in Profile People. After accepting a free lottery ticket from a young lady near the lotto booth, Marvy takes a look around. He first runs into a man named Yu, who has thinning dark hair and a hipster scarf. "Oh? What's the matter?" he asks. It's nothing--Marvy just always has that sour, punched-in-the-gut look on his face. "Are you not feeling well? If you'd like, I'll take a look at you." Yu explains that he's a doctor, though he doesn't "look it." I'm not really sure what a doctor is supposed to look like, but I guess I'll trust Dr. Yueh on this. He says his checkup fee is "500 Potch per visit. In advance." I see socialized medicine hasn't made its way to the Island Nations yet. Marvy complains about the expense, and Dr. Yueh tells him to fuck off if he's too poor to afford basic health care. The system works!

Our dour hero checks out the trading post, which is like every Suikoden trading post; and the appraiser's, which is run by a Profile Person named Nabokov with a huuuuuge nose. It's not as big as Toppo's, but it is nonetheless impressive. Marvy, of course, has nothing to appraise, so he leaves, while Nabokov stares down his behemoth nostrils at his back. He then returns to the lottery booth to take a spin with his free ticket. This game's lottery involves, rather than receiving random numbers from an old battleaxe, spinning a hexagonal wooden box with a crank and hoping a colored ball pops out. Marvy gives it a good, manly spin, and the ball that dribbles into the tray is white. But he decides to try once more, and this time, a shiny blue ball shows itself! Yay! The blue ball gets Marvy a fourth-place prize, Mega Medicine. Not so yay.

 
Turning someone's crank but ending up with blue balls? Story of Marvy's life.

On the next screen, Marvy runs into a handsome, albeit squinty, brunette cowboy by the name of Ornan. "Yes?" he asks, noticing the look in Marvy's giant dinner plate eyeballs. "By the way... You guys are...uh... Sorry, forget about it." Marvy takes this to mean he is not yet enough of a catch to take Ornan to a fancy dinner and then screw in the alley behind the inn, and walks off, more depressed than ever. But the lady near the clotheslines gives Marvy a bar of soap, in case he has "something that requires washing." Heh.

Up the stairs from Ornan and the gabby washer women, Marvy finds the town armorer and blacksmith. Given that he's a homeless vagrant, he is way too poor for either of these services. I'm sure Dr. Yueh would like him to wander around naked, riddled with leprosy, and carrying dull swords. And if he doesn't like it he can pull himself up by his bootstraps, or try being less poor for a while.

A man and woman in the area to the west are having a bit of a spat. That's polite society's way of describing an argument between a misogynist asshole and the sap of a woman who lowered her standards and married him. "Y-You've come at the right time," the man tells Marvy, like he's Dr. Phil on a house call. "My wife won't shut up. Please help me!" What, did he already tell her once with his mouth? Jesus. I mean, I know all the hot beefcakes in Suikoland are gay, but I would hope there are still some decent straight dudes out there for any interested ladies. Anyway, his wife says he's only good for talking his way "out of everything," which does sound kind of naggy, but it turns out the thing he's trying to talk his way out of is getting a job. Like, any job. He yells back at her, "You say I should work like the king... Until you start treating me like one, there's no way I could do that." So he won't work until he gets treated like the king--and let's just ignore how fucked up it is that he thinks he deserves said treatment for basically no reason other than being a man--but the king already has a damn job. Logical! Oh, and his wife adds that he does nothing all day but "drink wine and...drink more wine!" What a catch, Mrs. Misogynist Asshole! Well done!

Heading north up more stairs, Marvy finds the inn, the runemaster and the item shop. More shit he's too poor for! What a relief--spending money is such a chore. A nearby Suikocone informs Marvy that the palace is just up the stairs. When he reaches the top, he finds, well, I'm not sure what he was expecting, and I'm probably overselling how shitty it looks, but it reminds me of one of Kim Jong-Il's fortress palaces in the middle of nowhere in North Korea. Like, just this utilitarian little gray box on top of a mountain. Even the fountains in this "garden" area look more like a series of drainage canals.

And he's making a dismissive wanking motion!
 

So, on his way to meet Obel's Dear Leader, Marvy runs into a beach bum hanging around outside. Seriously: he's got spiky blond hair, cutoff jorts, sandals, a ragged open vest with no shirt underneath, and a necklace with feathers on it. If it weren't for the angry scowl on his face, I'd think this guy was Obel's resident affable weed dealer. "The Royal Palace? It's that building over there," he says in response to Marvy's I-wasn't-asking-for-fucking-directions frown. Chiepoo asks if the king is in the palace, because no one in this party has a monopoly on stupid questions. "Hmm..." the bum replies, "I bet the king's probably inside right now. Doing kingly stuff. And looking all royal. Yeah. Like, the opposite of how I look." Okay, some of that was me trying to make this more obvious: this bum is the king. I hope I didn't spoil this super important plot point for you guys, seven years after the fact.

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