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  -Part 1 :: [11.25.02]
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Legend of Dragoon : Part 2
By Kelly
Posted 12.03.02
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3
For those of you who missed part one of these recaps, tough. You're just going to have to go back and read it. The rest of us are going on without you. Try to catch up. Now, kids, it's on to save Shana! (for the first time, anyway) Off we go to Hellena Prison. There it is on the screen for the hard of thinking.

 
Yep, that's the place all right

A guard is leading poor little Shana to her luxurious cell, complete with a bed and a torch, even though they have a rat running off into the wall to drive home the fact that this isn't the Hilton. Then again, maybe it is. I've stayed in some pretty crappy top-name hotels in my time. The guard knocks Shana to the floor of the cell to show that he's a mean, bunny-killing bastard. Shana stays on the floor and begins to weep copiously. I roll my eyes. Someone called the "Hellena Warden" tells her to "Be good in there." That's just wrong on so many levels. But we'll get one more level as soon as we see the guy, so just wait a minute. For now, we get the familiar fade to black. Our next scene shows a huge guy in a purple cloak walking across that staple of castles and prisons everywhere, the rope-and-plank bridge. If I were this guy, I'd be worried about breaking strain, if you catch my drift. In fact, this dude is so big he automatically earns the name Fat Bastard. See? I told you it was just wrong.

I'll bet he eats LOTS of baby-back ribs
 

Fat Bastard is meeting up with Blue Dress Dude from part one. They're both standing on the bridge. I can hear the boards creak from here, I'm telling you. Fat Bastard immediately starts whining, "Who the heck is the girl!? You can tell me!!" Blue Dress Dude replies, "The world's future rests on her." I wonder if my optometrist is going to get lots of money from my vision insurance when he un-rolls my eyes from their sockets. Fat Bastard whines some more, and Blue Dress Dude tells him basically to shut the hell up and follow orders. Fat Bastard tells our retro-nightmare drag queen that only "His Majesty, Doel can order me!" Um, forgive me if I'm wrong, but if Doel is an Emperor, then he wouldn't be called "His Majesty". In fact, not even kings or queens are called "His/Her Majesty" except in formal pronouncements; they're called "His/Her Grace" or "Your Grace". Do try to get your titles right next time, you lazy game designers. Well now that Fat Bastard has sufficiently pissed off BDD, BDD decides it's time to show him who's boss. He shoves Fat Bastard back towards the left edge of the bridge, warning him that if poor little Shana is hurt that it'll cost him more than his head, provided that they can find any other vital parts without too much digging around. Fat Bastard stalks off, knocking some poor lackey off the bridge to his doom. Yeah, I always kill my underlings when I've been told off, too. I like to consider it stress relief. Fat Bastard leaves, and BDD leaves, giving us another fade out.

 
What were the choices again?

Now we're back with Red Cloud as he heads out to save his darlin'. The map says we're "South of Serdio". There's a nice yellow dotted path in front of him, leading to a happy little forest, and the smoking ruins of Seles behind him. For those of you even thinking about bitching about how a map with a nice dotted line is too linear, listen carefully. I like being told where to go next. It means that I don't get lost and have to spend half a damn hour looking for the town of Buttmunch which I continually miss since the camera is turned the wrong way. ("Don't forget the eighteen million @#$% random battles." - HG) Are we all clear on that? Good. Red Cloud follows the Yellow Line Road into Happy Little Forest. From this angle he looks as tall as the trees. So, instead of the Jolly Green Giant, we have the Sullen Red Pyromaniac? Doesn't seem like a fair trade to me, but what do I know? At the entrance of the forest, I'm given two choices, No Entry or Enter. Considering that I need to go through the forest to get to the prison, the choice is obvious. Of course, it also helps that choosing "No Entry" means that you just stand there looking like a complete dumbass.

Hit me do not! Weak am I.
 

Now that Red Cloud is in Happy Little Forest, the music has changed to Happy Little Forest Music for the Brain-dead. It's so cheerful even the Brady kids would be gagging. There are tons of little rodent-like creatures jumping around and generally making a nuisance of themselves, but you can't kill them, so I suppose they're just part of the general good feeling and all round lobotomized joy saturating Happy Little Forest. I also find the first merchant of the game here. Thank goodness he's not O'aka. I pick up a few things like potions, healing items and so forth. I can only carry 32 items at any point, and each item counts separately. Thanks, game designers. Red Cloud runs around, opening all the treasure chests he can find, and getting into battles with things called "Berserk Mouse". Because I complete the combo attack, the Crappy VA from Hell once again offends my ears. Heading out of this part of the forest, Red Cloud crosses a downed tree and into the other side of Happy Little Forest. This must be the younger part of the forest, since Red Cloud looks like he has a good foot on the trees. Maybe His Majesty His Grace the Emperor Doel got bored and decided to make one of those freakin' maze things that all the European castles seem to have. (Well, all except the castle near my house, which has nothing but pastures around it as far as the eye can see. It's Kentucky, what did you expect?) There are also tears in the space/time continuum that allow Red Cloud to run through one part of the forest and come out on the other side. Wow. Emperor Doel sure spared no expense for a crappy maze out in the middle of nowhere. In any case, the whole point of this little exercise is so I can stock up on healing items that I don't have to pay for. Makes you wonder if the merchant knows about all the freebies just waiting to be had, huh? It also makes me wonder just why I wasted my money back there. Oh, well. Before leaving the forest, I have to fight a battle. I know this because the game designers decided that instead of springing the battles on you willy-nilly, they're distance based. So, if you watch the little marker above Red Cloud's head, you can see it change from blue to yellow to red. Red of course means that you're about to fight. It doesn't help, since once the marker turns red you're not getting out of the fight. But enough of my bitching. This time Red Cloud is facing off against something called an "Assassin Cock" and a "Goblin". The Assassin Cock looks like a blue chicken, but I can't stop snickering at the name. It's at times like this that you know the localization crew is having you on, and there's not a damned thing you can do about it. Red Cloud takes it out with one hit. The goblin looks just like Yoda. I keep the faint hope that if you hit him enough times, he'll pull out his HO scale lightsaber and knock the ever-lovin' shit out of Red Cloud.

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