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"Laguna immediately and correctly assumes the person in question is a guy. Go figure. When Laguna asks Little Miss Speech Impediment for details, she describes his clothes as 'funny.' Well, that narrows it down to every single male in this game. Jesus."
     -Jeanne, Final Fantasy VIII Part 9

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Suikoden IV : Part 6
By Sam
Posted 09.27.14
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3 : 4
Last time, Marvy, King Lido, and a group of largely gullible people escaped from Kooluk-occupied Obel aboard Lido's top secret midlife crisis Penismobile, er, warship. Right now they're supposed to be following Kika to the Nest of Pirates, but our hero is a little burned out on going along with a plot that rivals Slowe in its dedication to treating Marvy like garbage. So Kika can wait.

First on Marvy's to-do list is checking out his new digs. Now, in theory, he should have been able to access everything on the ship (still lamely called "The ship of OBEL" in the location chyron, but we'll get to that later) before their escape, except for maybe the top deck, since that would have given the game away that they were on a boat even more than common sense did. But no, there are all these new rooms and entirely new floors. I am about 95 percent sure I looked for this stuff before the big boat "revelation" and it wasn't there. No matter! Of course some extra rooms could just conjure themselves out of the ether. As long as they're full of sculpted men reclining naked on felt Ritapon mats, Marvy isn't going to nitpick.

How insightful, Rat Boy.

Marvy speaks to Desmond to examine the ship's "roster," a board with 108 small wooden placards, some with names filled in, some only with the corresponding Star of Destiny. No explanation for this is given, so I'll just assume Leknaat has been visiting Desmond in the middle of the night, too. This sad substitute for the Stone Tablets of Promise is laid out horribly--the placards are arranged in 12 rows and nine columns, but only six rows fit on the screen at once, so I have to scroll vertically and horizontally to see the entire roster. Anyway, he determines from looking over the filled-in names that three people he's never met are already aboard the ship, and he endeavors to seek them out, in case any of them are hot. This is important work.

Marvy begins his search on the top deck, and immediately finds one of his three mystery passengers, a slender, silver-haired teenager named Nico. Nico turns out to be the ship's lookout. He's holding a spyglass, which is a helpful visual detail, but what's even more helpful is his bright yellow head scarf with a giant red eyeball. Exactly what I needed to ascertain this man's occupation! He tells Marvy, just in case I am blind and am having the dialogue read to me, "I was personally ordered by His Majesty to stand guard over this ship! I look forward to working with you!" I am dying to know how long poor Nico has had this job. Has he been sitting inside the cave entrance, in the dark, peeping on Marvy and his companions every time they walk by? Or has he been confined to the deck, in the dark, looking through a spyglass at absolutely nothing?

Well, Marvy isn't the one who had it built, so only one of you should feel stupid.

Marvy next heads for the bridge, directly under where Nico is standing. He's hoping to meet the sexy helmsman that I got a peek at last time, but finds the bridge full of Suikoclones. "Mr. Haruto won't take the helm himself unless we're in a crucial spot..." explains the one standing at the helm now. On one hand, Marvy is furious that this Haruto isn't here to meet his new boss. On the other hand, this means his work schedule allows ample downtime to spend on Marvy's lap.

On his way downstairs to find Haruto, Marvy takes a look at the latest issue of Perrault's newspaper, in which he actually feels the need to report that Obel was occupied, and that some people escaped on this very boat. Way to go, Bob Woodward. Also, his short story "Madam Depression" is still eye-rollingly terrible, but I'm sure he doesn't care--he's already got a Pulitzer in the bag for that top-notch reporting on the Obel crisis.

On the third deck, which Marvy is pleased to see is labeled "Boutiques," he finds one long room with individual stalls, and sees that Chadli and Adrienne have already set up their store fronts. He hands Adrienne the iron hammer he got, uh, somewhere, but is still too poor, or possibly too scared, to let her pound on his weapons. Deck four is mostly empty, with Dr. Yueh and Rikie the only ones occupying rooms, so it is in the early lead for shittiest deck on the ship.

'Dr. Strawman, come quickly! It's an emergency! A poor person doesn't understand the free market!'

But if deck four is for giant droning bores, deck five is where all the freaks hang out. First, he finds that weirdo Reinhold, who has set up a training hall for lots of hot, sweaty sparring, but won't let Marvy use it because he hasn't yet recruited enough hot, sweaty men. Don't worry, baldy, Marvy is way ahead of you there. Next, he wanders into a room at the other end of the hall, which is labeled the "Accessory Atelier." Its proprietor is Lilin, and the idea is that she creates accessory items for Marvy out of raw materials he finds in his travels. But judging from the display cases around the room, it looks like she's actually selling, at a premium markup, whatever random seashells and bird shit-encrusted rocks she finds while harvesting her breakfast seaweed. My first thought is that this should really be upstairs on the Boutiques deck, but maybe the other craftsmen were repulsed by the idea of sharing retail space with a fish lady hoarder.

Uh, Marvy will pass, thanks.

Marvy notes that there are four small holding cells down here, one to each corner of the back of the hallway. His inner interior designer is already converting deck five into a nightclub, featuring cage-dancing male strippers in tiny pirate hats. Past what he's already calling The Brig, he finds the rune cannon control room. The Brig will also have cannons guests can ride, like mechanical bulls, Marvy decides. He finds the second of his three new recruits fiddling with rune cannonballs. His name is Pablo, and he is the blond in need of rhinoplasty I spotted in the hubbub of their escape. He insists that he is doing "research" on rune cannons down here, even though I see no scientific equipment whatsoever that would allow him to do research on either the cannons or the cannonballs, or on any kind of runic power. He is down here fondling balls all day. Marvy is not fooled.

The last occupied room down here is the quarters of Tov, the shipwright. Marvy enters it on the assumption that Haruto will be hanging out in here as well, though hopefully he's not macking on Tov, because even though they have yet to meet, Marvy is already intensely possessive of his new boyfriend. But Haruto isn't fucking here! Just Tov, asking if Marvy has a new "Canvas" in case he is "dissatisfied" with his current sail. I don't even remember what the current one looks like, but thanks, buddy.

Marvy is starting to get pissed now--where has his sexy helmsman hidden himself? Remember how I said there was nothing of interest on deck four? Well, Marvy starts entering doors on the fourth deck at random, even the ones marked as empty. Sure as shit, Haruto is stashed in an "empty" room--one that will clearly be the library at some point--staring at a map, his long brown bangs hanging just so in front of his gorgeous face and making Marvy all tingly. But anyway, what the fuck is this? Is he hiding from Marvy? Oh god, what's wrong with him? Is he damaged goods forever because of Slowe? Does he smell bad? It's the smell, isn't it? He knew it--he screws Oleg one time and now he's going to reek of Old Spice and desperation forever.

Wrong, because your job is now to please Marvy at all times.

And when Marvy peeks around an empty bookcase, he finds Oleg standing there, looking like the cat that ate the canary, or the cat that fucked the captain. Well, that's it. This ship is now a poisoned well, since every desirable man that joins up is going to find a letter from Oleg and a DVD inside their welcome aboard gift basket. Marvy had better just light this rig on fire and start over somewhere else.

Marvy goes to bed, even though it's like 10 a.m., because it's important to know when to persevere and see the day through, and when to draw the curtains and tell everyone you have a migraine. When he wakes up and tries to leave the room, he is stopped by Tov talking to him from the other side of the door. "Sir Marvy..." he creeps, "I don't recall designing this Forbidden Room. I sense something in there..." The Forbidden Room? That sounds promisingly kinky. "Would you please check it out?" Tov begs. "It frightens me a little..." Okay, it's totally a BDSM lair. But while Marvy is walking down there in giddy anticipation: what does Tov mean, he doesn't remember designing it? The ship has the rooms it has. This is like Shion freaking out about KOS-MOS's heretofore unknown battle capabilities. Did you design this bitch or didn't you?

So the room Tov is referencing is on the Freaks deck, across from Reinhold's training hall. It's the only room on the ship that doesn't have a label on it when Marvy approaches the door. At worst, he is turning this into The Brig's champagne room and VIP lounge, and everyone will have to slip on dog collars when they enter.

Marvy tries the door, and someone shouts back, "Who's there?" Please be hot, please be hot. Marvy gets a little nervous and replies, "C-Can I come in?" and the mystery person declares this "Mao's room" and asks Marvy not to open the door too wide. Tantalizing! So you can imagine Marvy's disappointment when he opens the door, expecting to find Christian Grey's Red Room of Pain, and instead he discovers shelves upon shelves of mushrooms, presided over by a boy who looks like an overgrown baby in a lab coat and goggles. This might still be some kind of kink, but Marvy is not at all into it.

The overgrown baby, the aforementioned Mao, giggles and asks Marvy if he would like some mushrooms. He will pass--after his drunken regret-a-thon with Oleg, Marvy is going to stay sober for a while. "This room has just the right dampness," Mao tells him, "so it's truly perfect for the mushrooms." Ick. Now, through a series of questions Marvy asks Mao, it turns out Mao is somehow unaware he's even on a boat, but asks if he can stay and keep supplying the crew with hallucinogens. Marvy would really rather have the dog collar champagne room, but Mao "agrees" to join the crew before he can even say so. Oh well.

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