Suikoden II : Part 1
1 : 2 : 3
Oh boy, my first ever recap! Fittingly enough--and because Jeanne loves me--I get to debut with a send-up of my all-time favorite game: Suikoden II. I'd say that I hope to do this wonderful game justice, but is that really the point of a recap? It is? Crap. Well, without further ado, let's get right to it.
The game starts out with an optional opening animation which features still anime-style shots of the characters mingled in with some not-that-great CGI. Suikoden II came out about the same time as Final Fantasy VIII, so even by the standards of the time when it was released, it still ain't all that. First we see two effeminate young lads--one with short brown hair and one with long blond hair in a ponytail--fade away into the background, their images replaced by symbols that look like a shield and a sword. Gee, hormonally-challenged young men, one represented by a white shield, the other by a black sword? This reeks of symbolism, and I'm sure it will lead to these two wanting each other very badly. At least, I hope so, and I know you do too.
The next characters shown look to be the baddies--not because they all look expressly evil (in fact, the brunette chick is very good-looking), but because 1) the music is quite evil and 2) their images are capped off by The Most Evil-Looking Guy Ever. He's standing on a heap of dead bodies and his evil, Dilandau-ish face is glowing in the light of the big dead body bonfire he's got going on. This man is obviously a Puppy-Killer. I hope he won't kick my ass later.
Oh! But there's hope, as we see a crappy CGI leaf let fall a crappy CGI drop of water. From the water's light a new scene full of happy, non-puppy-killers presents itself. Our main characters and protagonists are shown as blissful and happy--doing laundry, bashing each other over the head with rolled-up maps, and getting shitfaced. Several of them look to be quite hot. The final shot shows one of the effeminate boys from before, holding the most phallic weapon since the gunblade. It's two wooden planks, tapered to a point, strapped to the young man's forearms. Was 1999 the year for phallic weapons or what? This tonfa-wielding boy with the tiara is, of course, our hero. I press start.
|I think it's safe to say he's not the hero.
Just as in the first game a screen comes up for me to name Tonfa Boy. I choose to name him Barry, for the following reasons:
1) I've always wanted to name an RPG hero after Barry White.
2) It's obvious that Tonfa Boy will be a lady-killer, even if he doesn't talk.
3) If he did talk, I bet he would have a smooooooth bass voice.
After a longish loading screen, the sprite form of Effeminate Boy #2 is shown walking through a campsite. All the other campers are dressed in military uniforms, but since Effeminate Boy #2 is a main character, he gets his blue sleeveless turtleneck and khakis. Hint the first that this lad plays for the home team. He enters a tent to find the spritely Barry, who looks to be sticking his hand in his pants. He's supposedly just getting dressed, but come on. The effect is magnified by his outfit: a mini red bathrobe, black spandex, a bright yellow scarf and, of course, his lovely tiara. Hoo boy. Jowy (thank the gods, I can stop playing dumb about his name) wonders aloud why Barry is already changed into his civilian digs. Since Jowy is, too, he exposits that he's so excited to go back to Kyaro that he couldn't wait to get back into his gay clothing. Exposition!Jowy goes on further to assume Barry misses Nanami, since he's her only family since some dude named Master Genkaku died.
Pesky plot details out of the way, Jowy asks Barry if he's going to go outside or go to sleep. I don't think I can win here. If I have him go to sleep, Jowy's likely to jump in the sack with him. If they go outside…well, there are a lot of bushes around the campsite. I decide that I want to talk to NPCs, so Barry heads for the door. Jowy joins the party, and I resist the urge to turn that into innuendo.
Most of the Unicorn Brigade members are nancy boys who want to run home to Mommy, which is exactly what they're doing the next morning. One of them even wants to run home and then get with Barry's sister. Asshole. Highland's war with the City-State is at a truce for now. Barry sees a full-grown soldier guy in the woods to the east of camp…hmm, that's suspicious. Could it be that the war isn't quite as over as people think it is? Nah. There wouldn't be a war in a Suikoden game.
Barry and Jowy wander into another tent, hoping for some privacy to practice with Barry's tonfa, but it's Captain Rowd's tent. Whoops! Captain Prick screams at them for being out of their uniforms, and makes them scurry off to bed. Since the Prick won't say anything else other than "Go to bed," they do so.
A little while later Barry and Jowy wake up and notice there's quite an uproar outside. Something about a surprise attack. Crud. Jowy joins the party again and they're off for some action. At least, Jowy hopes so. Outside their tent, they meet with Captain Prick, who tells them the City-State "scum" have broken the peace agreement. And I'm sure the first thing they'd do to cripple the Highland Army is attack their equivalent of the Mouseketeers. The Prick tells our heroes to escape to the east…where that soldier guy was before. No, this doesn't seem like a bad idea at all.
Jowy (sort of) catches on, and tells Barry they should head back to camp to warn the Cap'n about a possible ambush. The Cap'n will no doubt give them medals for their mastery of the Totally Fucking Obvious. To humor Jowy, Barry goes back.
Barry and Jowy run past their dead comrades and end up eavesdropping on a particularly interesting scene. Rowd the Prick is speaking with another man about the "ambush." It worked and all the nancy boys are dead. Hoorah. His superior turns out to be the Puppy-Killer from the opening animation, Prince Luca Blight. The Prick totally kisses the Puppy-Killer's ass, and the Puppy-Killer makes it clear that he has no need for weakling peace treaties. He does so using a whole lot of exclamation points. Prince Puppy-Killer is clearly a psycho bent on death and destruction in the name of his ideals, so his new name is Adolf.
I force Barry into the stupid decision of confronting Captain Prick and Prince Adolf. The Cap'n wants to know why they didn't die, er, escape through the woods. Jowy wants to know who the hell the pyromaniac in the white armor is, and Adolf introduces himself as their royal Prince. Jowy goes "oh shit" and they run away to the north. At the edge of a cliff, the Prick catches up with them and promises they'll die Mouseketeer Hero Deaths due to the "City-State's surprise attack." Nuh-uh, not so fast! Barry and Jowy whomp the Highland soldiers with their unite, the (Bosom) Buddy Attack. The Prick seethes and tells them to stay there so he can gather more people to kick their asses. Uh huh.
Jowy says their only chance is to jump for it. I know it is, in fact, the only way, so I skip the objections and make Barry go along with the plan. They each leave a mark in the cliff face and Jowy makes Barry promise to return there if they ever get separated. Lovely idea, Jowy. Return to the place that could be more than likely crawling with people who want to kill you. Just as the Prick returns, the two boys grasp each other's hands (!!!) and leap into the gorge.