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  -Suikoden Main
  -Part 1 :: [02.13.02]
  -Part 2 :: [03.09.02]
  -Part 3 :: [08.03.02]
  -Part 4 :: [05.26.03]
  -Part 5 :: [07.28.04]
  -Part 6 :: [10.13.04]
  -Part 7 :: [02.17.05]
  -Part 8 :: [02.17.05]
  -Part 9 :: [08.04.06]
  -Part 10 :: [08.04.06]
  -Part 11 :: [02.17.10]
  -Part 12 :: [06.11.11]

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"So the guards caught the guy with his ass sticking out of a hole in the wall? What can I even add to that?"
     -Sam, Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Part 2

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Suikoden : Part 2
By Jeanne
Posted 03.09.02
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3
In the next scene, everyone is in yet another alcove in the sewer, and the fallen guy is now standing up. The funny thing is, he doesn't know where he is. No, he doesn't have amnesia, he just doesn't know that he's in the Liberation Army hideout. It doesn't seem like the kind of place you'd just stumble upon, seeing as how it's a secret passage behind a clock in a hotel room. It's a lucky coincidence that he happened to find the person he was looking for. It turns out the guy is a bandit from Mt. Seifu, and his message is that the leaders of the bandits, Varkas and Sydonia, were captured by the Imperials and have been strung up to starve to death. That sucks. PUGGY!!! looks around and whistles nonchalantly, having everything to do with this particular predicament. Boy, is his face red. The bandit asks Odessa for help.

You're a rebel army, not a freakin' corporate office.

Cleo isn't all that mad about the cruel and unusual form of execution; instead, she's pissed off that Varkas and Sydonia are being executed without a trial. Apparently this is illegal. Odessa's all "...bummer." and Flik's all, "This is going to be dangerous because the Imperials have upped security." But Odessa insists that they need to help because the bandits asked them to. She's Good and Noble and all that crap.

I can say words other than 'too' at the end of my sentences, too. ...Shit.

At this point, PUGGY!!! comes clean about the whole mess. The screen goes black in one of those he's-explaining-what's-happened-but-the-person-playing-the-game-doesn't-need-to-reread-all-the-boring-details-so-just-pretend-that-he-explained-it-in-two-seconds moments. "I see," Viktor replies. He goes on to say that PUGGY!!! is responsible, so PUGGY!!! needs to go save Varkas and Sydonia. Cleo agrees. She doesn't want to betray the Empire, but she hates Grady. So do I. Actually, I don't care one way or the other about him, I'm just trying to get into the spirit of the game. Even Gremio goes along with the plan.

Varkas and Sydonia have been strung up at Grady's house. That saves me the trouble of having to find my way to a new location. Odessa tells Viktor to go to. So he does. Everyone gives cheery going-away messages, too, such as Flik's declaration of mistrust. How sweet.

Once PUGGY!!! and the others are back in Rockland, they head straight over to Grady's house. Some guy is standing in front of the door, possibly the same guy from earlier, but they always reuse sprites, so who the hell knows? The guy tells PUGGY!!! to go away, or he'll end up like those bandits "over there". The camera obligingly pans over to show us Varkas and Sydonia tied to stakes and dangling off the ground. PUGGY!!!, Viktor, Cleo, and Gremio "inconspicuously" walk a few feet away from the guard and discuss the next part of their plan. How well they've prepared. Viktor says to leave everything to him, and he walks off, leaving the other three standing there quite awkwardly. Literally two seconds later, there is a rumbling and a crackling sound, and a generic male sprite comes running out shrieking, "The Grady mansion is on fire!" and we see that the eastern part of the roof is, indeed, on fire. The generic male sprite and the guard run offscreen, presumably to put out the fire, and two seconds later, Viktor returns. I love this scene. Why use a stealthy method such as lockpicking or something when you can just set the damn house on fire?

Of course Viktor doesn't admit to the arson; he just says something about the dry weather. Gremio is all scandalized and tells PUGGY!!! not to use Viktor as a role model. I could make some comment connecting Viktor's flames to Gremio being flaming....but I won't.

PUGGY!!! and the others enter the burning mansion, which shows no signs of being on fire on the inside. There are a bunch of rooms, some of which contain treasure chests, or Imperial guards, or both. It's nice that there are guards just randomly sitting around in rooms even though the place is burning down.

Oh, have I mentioned how fucking annoying the inventory system is? No? Well, each character has a limited inventory, and there's no "common" inventory. So if I open a treasure chest and, say, Gremio is the first character with an open spot in his inventory, the treasure ends up in his inventory. If it's a piece of armor that I want to put on PUGGY!!!, can I just equip it on PUGGY!!!? Nope! I have to make sure PUGGY!!! has an empty space in his inventory (by moving something out if necessary), and then move the armor in. And then I have to choose a completely separate command to equip. Yes, it's a pain, and shame on you, game designers, for doing this.

Anyway, where were we? Oh yes, the "burning" mansion. After being ambushed by a big group of guards, PUGGY!!! and the others take the side exit into the courtyard where the two bandits are strung up. Varkas recognizes PUGGY!!! and the others and wonders if they came to laugh at him. Cleo sums their whole ordeal up in her usual succinct manner, "A few things happened, and now we're wanted by the Imperials, just like you. We'll help you out."

After Varkas is untied, he asks PUGGY!!! and company to untie Sydonia. Sydonia does this quick disappearing thing and reappears right behind the others. Surprise! Sydonia could have escaped all along! But why didn't he, wonders Varkas? "Ha! Can't very well escape alone," Sydonia replies. It's supposed to be all sweet because he wouldn't leave his friend there to die alone. He and Varkas have a "moment," and no one thinks to ask Sydonia why he didn't escape and then untie Varkas so he could escape, too.

Viktor interrupts their moment to suggest that they get the hell out of there. Just when they are almost at the exit, Grady catches them. He's pissed about several things, including the whole house on fire incident, and threatens them. Varkas and Sydonia counter-threaten him. Grady runs away like a little pansy, vowing to tattle on them to Commander Kraze. "Do you think the Empire will take us back?" Gremio wonders, clearly in need of the services of a clue-by-four. "I don't know," Cleo replies. The rest of her sentence, left unspoken, is, "how you can be such a dumbass."

As PUGGY!!! and the others leave the mansion, we see that it is still on fire. No one is bothering to put it out, and why should they? The fire hasn't spread at all in the last ten minutes, nor does it seem to affect the inside of the mansion. I guess they could use this miraculous fire as some sort of nifty decoration.

At the entrance of the town, Varkas and Sydonia take their leave. Varkas says that they owe their lives to Odessa (even though she did jack shit except for tell Viktor and PUGGY!!! to go save them - hell, even I could've done that), and that they'll be there for her if she ever needs help. Gee, I wonder if we'll see these two again? If not....well, that whole last ten minutes was totally pointless.

Back in the Liberation Army Sewer Hideout, Odessa is happy that PUGGY!!! has returned safely. She doesn't appear to give a shit about anyone else. She's all excited about something. There is some pointless banter of the "I'm excited about something...." "You don't mean...?!" "Yes, yes I do" variety, until Viktor asks what's going on. Thank God someone did. Odessa shows them some plans for something called a "Fire Spear". I love how "showing someone some plans" looks exactly the same as "a bunch of sprites facing each other". The music gets all ominous and Odessa explains some of her plans for the future - for the Liberation Army to become big enough to "meet the Imperials head-on". Keep in mind that for all intents and purposes, PUGGY!!!, Gremio, and Cleo's loyalty is still unknown, and Odessa is still announcing all of their secret plans. "When that day arrives, the fire spear will come in handy," she says, as if she's talking about a pocketknife or one of those rubber things that you use to open tight jars.

Odessa asks PUGGY!!! to deliver these top secret plans, since the Liberation Army can't leave their hideout unattended. I wonder if PUGGY!!! could take these plans and tattle on the Liberation Army to get back in the good graces of the Empire? Odessa doesn't seem to wonder the same thing. Gremio finally points out the fact that they're still Imperials. Just as Gremio begins to drag PUGGY!!! out of the hideout, Odessa launches into a speech. "Do you have any idea what the Empire is really doing? Do you know what the people want? Or will you pretend to ignore all that? Gremio, you saw with your own eyes, heard with your own ears. Are you willing to ignore the truth despite all you see and hear? What about you, PUGGY!!!? Do you still want to return to the Empire? And continue to be McDohl's little boy?" Uh-oh. Now that's hitting below the belt. "My father goes his way, I go mine," says PUGGY!!! the Badass.

Gremio has a moment of angst and tries to talk PUGGY!!! out of it. Oh, give it a rest. You're worried you won't get to rejoin the Empire. We get it. You've only said it about ten million fucking times. Cleo says she'll follow PUGGY!!! wherever he goes. Gremio says nothing. He needs to retrieve the stick from his ass.

Odessa continues with her plan. She needs PUGGY!!! to deliver the secret fire spear blueprints to the Liberation Army's secret factory. Dirty Sanchez pipes up to give directions. They need to cross over Mt. Tigerwolf to the northwest to reach a village called Sarady, where someone will meet them. Flik brings up exactly the same point I made earlier. He wants to know why Odessa is trusting PUGGY!!! with this important task. That's when Odessa announces that she'll be going along. Flik wants to come along to protect her, but she makes him stay behind and lets Viktor go along instead. I get the idea that Flik totally wants a piece of her.

Blah blah blah traveling, blah blah blah Mt. Tigerwolf. Some ethnicy folk music plays in the background. At the foot of the mountain, Cleo says something random about not wanting to spend the night on the mountain. Lo and behold, there's an inn at the top of the mountain (yes, I just skipped past the entire traveling up the mountain and fighting stuff bit). Just as they are about to pass it by, a guy who was randomly standing outside the inn, despite it being cold and snowy, approaches them. He says that it's late and they should spend the night in the inn. The guy, Ledon, is quite creepy-looking. It might be the bowl cut or perhaps his pedophile-esque face. Odessa wants to keep going, but everyone else wusses out.

Wow, it almost looks like people standing around a table, not just sprites standing on individual squares.

Inside the inn, everyone is gathered around a table. The mixture of sprite graphics and the round table result in a very crappy attempt to make it look like everyone is sitting in a circular formation. Ledon offers them his special tea. That just sounds wrong. And since they're devoting so much time and dialogue to the tea, something is obviously going on. Everyone bitches about how bitter it is. Could it be drugged? Could they be any less subtle in their foreshadowing? Ledon offers some tea to PUGGY!!!. I choose the "Not if it's bitter" option.....about ten times. Okay, game designers, I'm smart enough to refuse the damn tea, don't force me to be a damn idiot. But it's no use. So PUGGY!!! drinks the tea, and everyone passes out. Because it's drugged. Wow, didn't see that one coming. Ledon calls it "Robber's Tea." Get it?

"Heh heh heh. Everyone's asleep. Thanks to the drugged tea of Mt. Tigerwolf," Ledon says to himself, as if we are total fucking idiots, and still didn't get what happened. He goes around and robs everyone, and talks to himself some more about all the loot. Then some guy with a blond mullet and mustache enters the inn. His name is Kessler. "Why it's Boss Kessler," Ledon says so that we know Kessler is his boss, "I just pulled a job...." Kessler creepily leers at Odessa, and then he recognizes her. I hope not from any "intimate" moments. I don't know what kind of guy Kessler is, but that mullet is just scary.

Oh, please don't say what I think you're going to say...

Kessler gets pissed and asks Ledon if he knows who Odessa is. Ledon thinks she's just a traveler. But she's not! She's Lady Odessa of the Liberation Army! Kessler explains this to Ledon, who realizes what he's done. Whoops. Blah blah blah antidote, blah blah blah don't let anything happen to Odessa, and then everyone is awake. The antidote had rabbit's tail in it. Ew. Kessler is all apologetic, and I think he even offers to kill Ledon. But Odessa is Kind and Good, and says that she needs to be more careful next time. Yeah, listen to PUGGY!!!, who knew what the hell was going on until the game designers forced him to drink drugged tea in spite of himself. Ledon invites them to stay for the night. "But no more poison, you hear?" Viktor tells him. What a wacky misunderstanding this all was.

The next morning, PUGGY!!! wakes up before the others and goes to talk to Ledon and Kessler. Ledon says he has learned his lesson and will never served poisoned tea again. So it takes a mishap like that to figure out that serving poisoned tea is a bad idea? Kessler randomly shares his feelings about Odessa being a great heroine who is dedicated to overthrowing the empire, and she's their only hope for freedom.

Viktor, Cleo, and Gremio wake up and join PUGGY!!!. Cleo is in a bitchy mood, as she always is in the morning, according to Gremio. Hey, I know the feeling. Odessa wakes up and in two seconds, she joins them as well.

And with that, it's time to end this installment. Join me next time for....uh, fire spears and stuff. In case you're wondering, I didn't write the entire recap while drinking. But I won't tell you which parts were written less-than-sober. Use your imagination - it's a beautiful thing.

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