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  -Part 1 :: [02.13.02]
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  -Part 4 :: [06.14.03]
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  -Part 8 :: [03.02.05]
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  -Part 10 :: [12.19.07]
  -Part 11 :: [02.17.13]

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"Yuna has one question before she goes to meet her fate -- she wants to know if Seymour will let her continue her pilgrimage. Tromell answers in the affirmative, and adds, 'Lord Seymour wishes nothing else, I'm sure.' Well, obviously Seymour doesn't care if Yuna goes off and eventually dies because she's right on the cusp of turning eighteen, and at that point, she's of no use to Seymour anymore. This is a no-brainer, really."
     -Jeanne, Final Fantasy X Part 12

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Skies of Arcadia : Part 4
By Jeanne
Posted 06.14.03
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3
The next pointless scene is Vyse, Pippi, and Drachma standing outside the inn the next morning. Vyse announces the plan again just in case there was someone in the town who didn't hear about it, and then it's time to head out. After running around like a decapitated chicken for no reason whatsoever, Vyse and the others finally reach the manhole. Hee! "Manhole" -- I just can't get over that. They climb down into the sewer, and make their way along a walkway next to a river of green sludge. I guess everyone in the town binges on avocado chips or something. And even though Ron lives in the sewer without, you know, dying, it appears that the area is infested with monsters. Yay.

A waterfall of green poo. Lovely.

Vyse and the others climb down a ladder next to, and now they get to run ankle-deep through shit. I'm sure his dad will be real proud. If we needed more proof that game designers are on crack (and we don't), it can be found in the design of one of the random battle creatures in this area. It's a giant beetle mounted on a person's head, and is controlling the human like a puppet. Yes, this means that Ron lives down here and has somehow avoided the mind-raping giant insects, but also: what the hell?

They reach the end of the River of Poo, and find themselves in a single stone hallway. Honestly, you'd think the designers of the catacombs might put in more than one corridor, but no. I'm not going to complain too much, though, because for once I'm not getting myself lost. Go, game designers! Wait, did I just say that?

In one of the two side rooms, Vyse collects treasure out of some neatly-placed treasure chests. I guess Ron must have missed those, too. After running in a straight line some more, the party reaches a part of the sewer that actually looks different. It's like the game designers said, "Hey guys, should we maybe put something other than this boring stone floor?" and another guy said, "How about more poo?" but no one liked that idea, so they went with a section of the tunnel with pieces of the floor missing and the stormy sky showing through. I think it would be funny if Vyse tripped and went plunging to his doom, but alas, I am unable to make the characters fall over the edge.

ASS Pirate, ASSASSin blade, hee!

There's a chamber with a save point just after this area, and once again, that's my cue that there is to be a boss battle soon. It's a good thing Vyse and Pippi gained that one level. Sure enough, after ascending a couple of staircases in a bloody hallway (no that's not slang, the hallway is actually bloody), the party encounters a huge creature that looks like a clear Jabba the Hutt that swallowed a bunch of skulls. There are also skulls scattered around the chamber. Good thing the game designers put that in, otherwise I might not understand that this is a bad guy.

Jabba has some wonderful attacks, such as "Shoot skulls out of the mouth", "Shoot skulls and frost out of the mouth", "Hit people", and my personal favorite, "Puke up poisonous green stuff and skulls while making a disgusting gurgling sound." Honestly, are the game designers trying to make me lose my dinner? This is so not cool. Unfortunately, I find that I am somewhat outmatched in this battle, as Vyse gets his ass royally kicked. He dies right after saying something like, "Can't get it up..." That's the least of his worries right now, I'd think. Of course I don't have any revival items, so I finish the battle with just Pippi and Drachma. Vyse doesn't get any experience. God damn it. Since I'm too lazy to actually go back and redo the battle, I just let Vyse lag behind the girl and the old guy in experience points. Loser.

Thanks a bunch, game designers.

Eventually, Jabba explodes in bursts of badly pixilated fire, and the battle is over. There I go again, stating the obvious. I've been playing too many of these games. Vyse magically revives after the battle, and it's off to the save point I go. Returning to the Chamber of Skulls, Vyse and the others ascend the ladder that Jabba was conveniently standing in front of. Again, it would be funny if this ladder led somewhere other than the Coliseum, but it doesn't. Not only that, but there isn't even a freaking lid at the top of the ladder -- there's just a big hole in the Coliseum floor. Whoever planned that had a few brain cells missing.

Cut to the Coliseum. The camera pans down dramatically from the dark sky overhead. We hear the crowd cheering as a green zippo soldier presents Dyne to some guy on an elaborate platform. Luckily, even though Vyse, Pippi, and Drachma spent an unrecapped two hours building levels, they made it just in time. The guy on the platform is the executioner, and he's dressed in imposing spiky armor. He also has a giant axe. Gosh, I sure hope I don't end up fighting him. He recites the crimes of the Ass Pirates, and announces that their sentence is death. Well, no shit, Sherlock. We see Ron push through the crowd to observe the proceedings. "Heh...Looks like he gave up after all...I knew it..." Ron gloats. Just then, with pitch perfect timing, Vyse and the others pop out of the unguarded manhole. We see, from Vyse's point of view, him running up and punching out the zippo soldier. This prompts the other, um, two Ass Pirates besides Dyne to kick their own personal zippo guards. "Hurry! Run for the opening in the floor!" Vyse directs. Pippi is there to herd them down the hole.

The executioner seems a tad peeved, despite doing nothing to even try to stop the Ass Pirates from running off. "You have deprived the audience from witnessing the deaths of a notorious band of [Ass] Pirates!" he blusters. "Now they will witness your execution!" I can't say I didn't expect that. Vyse boasts about freeing his comrades and beating the shit out of the guards, and then informs the executioner that his ass, too, will be summarily kicked. The executioner springs into action. Crap.

Vyse and the others have to fight two little magician guys along with the executioner. The magicians do annoying things like cast attack boosting spells on the big guy. This sucks royal amounts of ass, and only my mad gaming skillz and the five or so levels I built give me any advantage whatsoever. Otherwise, I'd be as screwed as Cloud in the Honeybee Inn. Finally, Vyse lays the final blow on the executioner. I realize that I can't write a non-sick sentence to save my life. This final act whips the crowd into a cheering frenzy, and there's even freaking confetti flying everywhere. Who the hell brings confetti to these things? Vyse waves to the crowd and does a dramatic bow before jumping back down into the pit of poo. Gosh, how will the bad guys ever find them now?

Uh, Guys, We'd Better Get the Hell Out of Here music plays as we rejoin Vyse in the sewers. He runs back into the chamber with the save point (which he uses) to find Ron standing next to a newly opened passageway. Ron has now seen the light that is Vyse, and thinks that the Ass Pirate is all that and a bag of chips. Vyse wonders what Ron is doing there. Duh, asshole, he lives there. Ron reminds Vyse of this and also tells him that he opened the secret passageway and hid the other Ass Pirates in the chamber beyond. Wow, if the bad guys showed up now, they'd never find everyone, what with the giant open doorway and all. Vyse rejoins his buds and finds some treasure boxes that were miraculously untouched by the horde of Ass Pirates. After plundering the boxes, Vyse talks to everyone in the room. Most of the random characters express their uncertainty as to how they're getting out of Valua. Yeah, that's going to be kind of tough.

Vyse's non-gay 80's dad chides Vyse for almost being too late. He's just giving Vyse shit because otherwise he'd have to be sappy and he's supposed to be a badass Ass Pirate or something. "Vyse, I always knew you were tough, but breaking into a public execution and freeing all of us...Now, I think you're crazy too!" Ha, ha, that silly Dyne. Vyse looks around and notices that Fina is missing. Oh, for crying out loud. Dyne says that the Valuans took Fina "somewhere else," and he just happened to overhear that the somewhere was the Valuan Imperial Palace. Vyse expresses confusion as to why they would bring Fina there. Dyne apparently has never played an RPG before, because he says, "I've got a feeling that there's more to that girl than meets the eye. She knows something important enough to have Valua after her." Dyne gets this recap's No Fucking Shit award.

Now I get the choice to save Fina or to sit around picking my ass. I have Vyse choose the first option, which -- surprise, surprise -- turns out to be the correct one. Vyse figures that now is the perfect time to save Fina because "the whole island is in chaos." Excuse me? He freed a couple of Ass Pirates; he didn't blow up the God damn palace. Well, anyway, they're going to save Fina and that's that. Dyne gives Vyse his Yellow Moon Stone, and I wish I knew what kind of creatures I'll be able to kick the asses of, but of course I don't understand the stupid chart in the instruction booklet. So yay, I think. This is Drachma's cue to leave the party. He's going to cram all the Ass Pirates onto the Little Jack, and he tells Vyse to be there when the gates open. Uh, 'kay.

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