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"There's a big-ass airship across the field from Adelbert, and he feels the need to state the obvious once again. 'It is indeed the cargo ship! Now I can take the princess back to the castle!' I take a break from recapping in order to write a letter to Square, informing them that while I can understand why they think all gamers are drooling idiots -- there are so many shining examples -- not all of us fit that description."
     -Jeanne, Final Fantasy IX Part 3

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Suikoden IV : Part 7
By Sam
Posted 09.27.14
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3
Previously, Marvy did a fuckload of sailing and recruiting, and just thinking about it is making me tired. This game should have been packaged with vodka and Vicodin.

Now, because Kika has probably been tapping her foot very impatiently for some time, Marvy sets sail for the Nest of Pirates. It's a long sail to the southwest of Obel, but it "only" takes 10 minutes to reach the place, and at least two minutes of that is me trying to find the spot on the island to make landfall. In retrospect, the Nest of Pirates is an island surrounded by high rock walls, except for one incredibly obvious opening to a beach, so I am a dunderhead.

Kika demands, rather than suggests, that they come inside, and though she is polite about it there is no question who is actually in charge here. Marvy is going to need to assert himself over this ragtag crew at some point, before everyone has seen Oleg's sex tape and he's lost them all for good. Marvy does a little shopping and weapon sharpening with Kika's resident vendors, finds some Pirate Bracers in a chest, and obediently follows Kika inside.

'Great, here's a box of sequins, a body stocking, and some tail feathers from Ramada's bird.'

Inside the cave that serves as the pirates' tavern and headquarters, we are treated to a slow overhead pan of the pirates having a raucous good time, which mostly means they sit at tables and sway their bodies a little while overdone laughter and bawdy shouting of non-word syllables boom over the background music. I mean, it's a wild party atmosphere! So realistic! Most of the pirates won't give Marvy the time of day, but one man near the hearth is all too happy to talk to him. His name is Phil, he looks exactly like John Lennon, and he is improbably the pirates' tailor. Improbable both because these pirates look like they just wear whatever they find on the ground, and because his own clothing looks a bit rumpled and ill-fitted. But he's still better dressed than just about everybody else Marvy has met, and if he's Kika's tailor, he did right by her. Marvy needs this man in his life, both to make him clothes and to compose lyrically perfect pop ballads about shitty ex-boyfriends.

And it's really as easy as talking to him. Without any prompting Phil wonders if that big, impressive ship out there is Marvy's, and asks, "Could I be allowed on board, too? With a ship that size, you must have many people on board, right? I could tailor clothes to my heart's content..." Where has this man been all his life? Marvy mentally spams the "RECRUIT" button until his brain is sore, and Phil is off to the ship. Marvy will have to make sure he doesn't have his time monopolized by Lido asking for more of his jeans to be hacked into jorts.

This meeting with Kika almost feels like an afterthought now that he's acquired his own personal tailor, but he and Lido sit down with Kika and Sigurd. Sig wants to know why Kooluk invaded Obel. "If it was Scarlet Moon or Gaien, I could understand, but..." he adds. Seriously, Kooluk had a base on Iluya, which wasn't even that far away. Why is any of this even a surprise? Lido figures they will colonize the southern islands first because they "can't take others like Gaien head-on." The same Gaien that was thoroughly pantsed by Kooluk seven years ago? The same Gaien led by fucking Slowe and his daddy? Please.

Kika and Lido keep expositing in this infuriating manner, until Lido also brings up that he is suspicious of the recent activity of the Cray Trading Company. "I'm thinking the two might be related somehow..." he actually fucking says. What intuition this man has! Why, it's almost like he captured a man working for Cray and should already be fully aware of the fact that Cray and Kooluk are working together! Wasn't I making fun of Kate not that long ago for not knowing this? Hervey and Dario elevate the discourse by basically chiming in, "DURRRRRR, yeah, the Cray Trading Company is bad, DURRRRRR." Marvy considers walking outside and letting the ocean claim him.

Sigurd says the pirates would get blown away by Kooluk and Cray's combined forces, but somehow the Kooluk-Cray connection would be no match for the fucking Knights of Gaien led by Slowe Fingerbang and his INJURED ARM. These people. Lido, therefore, suggests they join forces, only for Hervey to blurt out, "Hey, does he know who he's talking to? We're pirates! For the king to suggest something so rebellious..." Right now Lido may as well be king of one boat, and over Marvy's dead body he is, anyway. Lido suggests that this is merely "two parties banding together for a common interest," and appeals to Marvy, the guy who has been staring at his hands for the last five minutes, to back him up. And Marvy only sees one way out of this conversation so he, Phil, and Haruto can go to bed: "Ms. Kika, let's fight together!" Kika's like, "Cool," as I assume she has some fine-ass ladies to get to bed with herself.

Have you met the king?

But no, the fucking conversation continues, as Marvy and Kika fidget in their seats. Our next topic is Lido giving command of his superboat to this kid he barely knows and who thinks those shorts are fashionable. Dario doesn't get why King Lido wouldn't be in command, setting up a political conflict that is entirely of Lido's making and that will be resolved by the end of this recap just as easily as Lido began it. Lido is struggling to answer Dario's needling questions, but Kika steps in. "Aboard a ship, the captain has absolute command, Dario," she says. "You should know that." Dario shuts up, because Kika is a force of nature and says everything with superlative authority, but that doesn't really explain why Marvy would be the captain and Lido would not. What explains it is that Lido sucks and Marvy is great. Finally, Kika puts an end to the confab, and she, Sigurd, Hervey, Dario, and adorable Nalleo join the Rebellion of Fuck Cray Trading Company, Apparently.


Marvy returns to the ship to get some "rest," dump his new maps and window sets on Rene and Nataly, equip Kika and the handsome members of her crew, play more Ritapon, and make sure nobody is getting cabin fever and shooting up the place. Once he's done taking care of business, and has made the rounds of the trading posts a few more times, all he has to do to advance the plot, such as it is, is return to the Nest of Pirates. There, some pirate Suikoclones inform Marvy, now ominously accompanied by Keneth and Paula, "Hey, a 'guest' washed up here while you guys were out. Claims to be a Knight of Gaien..." Marvy is not sure if Slowe is the first or last person he hopes it is. "This person," per Keneth, because we can't spoil the surprise by being gender-specific, is being tended to in Kika's room. If it is Slowe, Marvy hopes he is being treated for a crab clamping down on his penis.

Hand to God, this happened THREE MORE TIMES.

Of course it's not Slowe, though it's the second-most awkward person possible: Katarina. She has no penis, but Marvy's wish is more or less unchanged. Marvy runs over to her bedside to glare at her with his giant glassy eyes, and Katarina, clearly in some pain, grunts, "Marvy?! You're...alive?" She holds her stomach and groans some more, like she's about to give birth in Kika's bed. (Kika would no doubt move her onto the floor to spare her linens.) Paula and Keneth join Marvy in his awkward silent staredown, until Katarina says, "Ugh... If you wish... You could kill me right now... You hate me...don't you?" Fucking dying people and their ellipses. If Marvy didn't know better he'd think she was being killed by the Rune of Punishment.

Always, always save before Ritapon.

Anyway, Marvy hangs his head at the notion that he might hate Katarina--heaven forbid!--and a bizarre black screen later, we're still in the same goddamn scene, and Keneth goes, "Ms. Katarina! What are you saying?!" She's saying Marvy has reason to be upset with her? Where the fuck has Keneth been? If there's anything surprising about this, it's that Katarina is acknowledging it. Katarina only now seems to register Keneth and Paula's presence, and wonders what they too are doing there. Now I'm curious what all the Gaien Knights thought when the two of them disappeared. I think it's fair to say that despite it being the truth, it would have been a leap to just assume they stowed away with the doomed exile carrying the True Murder Rune. I mean, what kind of fucking idiots would...oh. Speaking of idiots, Keneth answers her, "We came to accompany him and to prove that he's innocent." WHAT. WHAT, KENETH. I am dying, just dying to know how exactly Keneth thought they would prove Marvy's innocence from an adrift raft. Did he stash the paperwork for a correspondence paralegal course with the oars they lost?

Katarina goes, "What did you say? Are you serious? Fools..." I hold out hope that she's scoffing at Keneth's impressively idiotic "plan" and not the notion of Marvy's innocence, but she goes on, "Aiding a criminal is not only irresponsible; you're liable to be punished for it..." Kika, if you have her hooked up to any kind of machinery, it's fine to pull the plug. Marvy gives his blessing. Oh, Katarina's still talking. This sounds important. "But there's no one who wants to punish you anymore..." Marvy wonders if this means he's been cleared. Hahaha. Oh, Marvy. I thought that kind of hope for the future was burned out of him ages ago. But she means that RAH-ZOO-RILL is now Kooluk territory. "Aid from Gaien never came," she says. But Kooluk could never take Gaien head-on! Lido said so, and he's like way smart!

After reassuring them that there have been no casualties "as of yet," because I don't know what I would do if something were to happen to sweet Meathead, Katarina adds, "Oh, that's right... You don't know... [Slowe] is Commander now. He sold Razril out to the Kooluk." Not Slowe! But he's such a good person!!! The news is unintentionally summed up by Paula, who replies, "[S-Slowe] did what?!" but her reading is so deadpan that she doesn't sound remotely surprised.

"Further," Katarina tells them, possibly relishing dumping all this bad news on Marvy, "as a reward, I believe he's now captain of Kooluk's Anti-Pirate Task Force." That sounds like something the Kooluk made up to get him the fuck out of their way. "I'm sure if Commander [Scruffy] were still here, he would be deeply disheartened to hear this," Katarina adds. Yeah, that's the real fucking tragedy of all this: Scruffy's disappointment from beyond the grave. So why is Katarina here, and not licking Commander Slowe's boots still? Well, she won't use the word "tortured," but she was tortured, because the Kooluk wanted to know about the pirates attacking the island. I'm assuming they wanted to know about the Rune of Punishment, except Slowe already gave up the goods on that as well. Or was Slowe's confession to the Kooluk Mustache Twirlers' Council after Katarina had been tortured? I just realized I don't give a shit either way, so let's move on.

'Okay, but when she's recovered, I get to set her adrift.'

Kika makes them all leave so Katarina can sleep off her internal bleeding, and back in the tavern Marvy finds Lido hanging with Kika's crew, like that previous meeting never ended. Ugh. "Going after Gaien and attacking us, too?" Lido wonders. "I can't understand. But there's no doubt they're growing more powerful." Nice attempt to save face, Your Majesty. Out of nowhere, as Lido is wondering what they should do next, drunk-ass Dario says, "Hic... We can just ask Ms. Elenor." Thankfully Dario does not have to slur out an explanation of who the hell Elenor is, because Lido already knows. "Elenor? Elenor Silverberg?" he asks. Of course she is. "She's the Scarlet Moon Empire's tactician... But I haven't heard any word of her lately." I'm guessing we're about to get hella acquainted with the latest in Elenor Silverberg news. Just a hunch. Lido and Sigurd both drop hints about Elenor's retirement being due to some "incident" that both of them are aware of but neither of them actually knows anything about, and then Lido mentions her driving the Kooluk out of the Scarlet Moon Empire. "If only we had someone like that now..." he adds, with Marvy standing right behind him. Fucking really, Lido? This is like a kid writing a letter to Santa but making sure to read every wish list item aloud so Mom can overhear.

Kika returns from Katarina's bedside and says she will get word of their plight to Elenor for them, but that they should also pay her a visit in person. "What's that?" Lido asks. "Are you saying you know Elenor? You could have told us earlier." Dario basically did just tell him, but King Lido is too busy for petty bullshit like facts. But Kika also says, "Elenor...has her own problems to deal with." Allow Krusty the Clown to foreshadow those problems: *glug glug* *vroom vroom* *thump thump*

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